Monthly Archives: September 2011

Remember me?

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GhostlyOtter here again. I haven’t been posting because:

a.) I’ve been kinda busy with COLLEGE STUFFS,
b.) I haven’t had anything to post, and
c.) I completely forgot how to log in.

(Well, okay, it’s pretty much all C.)

Anyway. Back on topic. Last Friday in math class, I suddenly realized “OH HEY EVERYTHING IS MADE OF SHAPES”. Now of course I already knew this, but it wasn’t until Friday that my brain figured out how to put it together and actually draw stuff with it.

So I did what all good artists do when they have a newfound ability to draw pretty much anything…

…and I drew ballerinas.

Yup.

It doesn’t look too good on the computer, because I was lazy and just took a picture of it with my camera instead of scanning it. You get the point though.

(And yes, the man on the right is shirtless. My friends find this hilarious for some reason.)

-GhostlyOtter

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Maximum Ride Spork: Part Three

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(Gah, I keep misspelling spork as sprok.)

So it turns out that mystery speaker is the Gasman, or Gazzy as Max calls him (I think I’ll just use that from now on). Apparently he’s been Gazzy ever since he was a baby (he’s now eight), which makes me wonder how Max and the others would have known those specific words before they escaped the school (no, he couldn’t have still been a baby when they escaped, as Angel is six). It also makes me wonder why there’d be such an age gap between the different kids, as I’d think all the experiments would be done at the same time–at the very least there’d I’d expect a discernible difference between their wings and stuff.

Max tells us that Gazzy is a sweet kid along with Angel, his younger sister (they’re actually blood related, unlike the rest of them). We’re still just being told stuff, as we haven’t met Angel yet and all Gazzy has done is offered to pour juice.

Iggy slouches into the kitchen and falls onto a couch with perfect aim. Apparently there’s a couch in their kitchen? And supposedly he’s blind, but Max says he only has trouble when they move the furniture. Not being blind, I’m not sure how feasible that is, but it gets worse. (I originally said being blind doesn’t work like that, but I don’t actually know that and I may have been rather offensive, so I edited.)

Max talks to Iggy a bit, then turns back to the fridge and hopes the food fairies have come, which leads me to believe they don’t have much food–reasonable for being out in the middle of nowhere, though I’d think they’d have run out of food, you know, a couple of weeks after Jeb disappeared as opposed to a couple of years.

Aaaaa, Fang appears right behind Max. Apparently he always does that; how, I don’t know.

And apparently Iggy can cook better than Max, despite being blind and six months younger than him (you know, six months isn’t a very long time… not exactly a gaping wound in Max’s pride there). I can understand him being innately better at cooking, but not if he’s blind. A lot of cooking depends on being able to actually see what you’re doing, so you don’t go dripping eggs everywhere or overcook the brownies or what have you. So there’s another impossibility!

Max goes to wake up Nudge (still waiting on why she’s named that, considering she talks a lot and isn’t nudgy or anything) and Angel. Nudge is unhappy to be woken up, but gets up anyway and then Max goes to the other side of the room to wake up Angel. She sleeps behind a curtain and likes small spaces (though I’d think it would be the opposite, having LIVED IN A CAGE), and Max finds her fully dressed in with her stuffed animals and books and clothing (just where did they get all those stuffed animals and books?).

Max has never told the others, but she just loves Angel:

Maybe because I’d been taking care of her practically since she was a baby. Maybe because she was just so incredibly sweet and loving herself. (pg 12)

I’m not sure why that “herself” is in there, as Max didn’t seem to be implying that she was sweet and loving too, but moving on:

“Maybe because I’m like your little girl,” said Angel, turning around to look at me. “But don’t worry, Max, I won’t tell anybody. Besides, I love you best too.” She threw her skinny arms around my neck and planted a somewhat sticky kiss on my cheek. I hugged her back, hard. Oh yeah–that’s another special thing about Angel.

She can read minds. (pg 12)

Four things here:

  1. Max was thinking about how it might be because she took care of Angel for so long, which is about the same as Angel being like Max’s little girl, and Angel should have known that if she picked up on Max loving her.
  2. Wouldn’t Max have thought that she loves Angel in Angel’s vicinity a while ago?
  3. This is the end of a chapter. That’s a two and a half page chapter there, again ending on a faux cliff hanger. If this was some sort of dramatic moment, that would be okay, but it’s not and this is just annoying.
  4. Doesn’t this sound like the beginning of a creepy fanfic?

Angel says she wants to pick strawberries over breakfast (though there’s no explanation that we’ve moved forward in time, and since the previous chapter breaks had no time gap this is just confusing). They all decide to go and la la la everyone has baskets and buckets and they go to a wild patch of strawberries… guk. Oh, and apparently Gazzy can mimic any sound or voice. How? Who knows! He just does, though it supposedly has something to do with them being birdkids. That’s not how genetics work, JPatterson. Oh! But then:

Next to me, Angel froze and screamed.

Startled, I stared down at her, and in the next second, men with wolfish muzzles, huge canines, and reddish, glinting eyes dropped out of the sky like spiders. Erasers! And it wasn’t a dream. (pg 14)

Again, a few things:

  1. Can anyone say comma overload?
  2. For the third time in 14 pages we’ve been told what Erasers are. Now I’m convinced JPatterson is writing for idiots.
  3. The sentence structure here is… weird, and doesn’t do a good job of being dramatic. It’s just kinda ugh.
  4. This is actually a good spot for a chapter break… if the other chapters didn’t make this be a two page chapter. Less when you take off the blank spaces.

Apparently Max and her family were trained not to think, but to act (when or why I don’t know) by Jeb, and so fight!

Writers Block: A Poem

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Writers Block

It’s taunting me,

That damned, obnoxious, blinking little bar.

The one that says, “this is where you should be writing something,

You know, if you had anything worth writing.”

I can’t think when it does that,

It’s almost as bad as the blank screen it sits on.

Waiting…

Waiting for me to try so it can laugh silently at my every word.

  Questioning me,

Talking in that little voice and asking me

“Are you sure?”

Aw screw it,

I’ll write some other time…

GUN MAGIC

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This story has an interesting background, being a combination of two different things. Originally, it was about a modern world with magic, where magicians can create and control reptiles, rodents, insects, and arachnids. The plot was pretty sketchy; I only knew that the main character could control spiders, came from Vancouver (but then went to Europe to travel about), and the villain controlled snakes.

A few days later, I was itching to write a story that involved magic and guns. I didn’t have much of an idea for it other than that, though, and eventually I superimposed it over my old plot; animal magic became aura magic, and my world became much more interesting. My plot came into focus (though only the first act), and everything was a lot better.

So, with that rambling out of the way, here’s the beginning:

The street was dark and narrow, covered in water from that afternoon’s rain; dark clouds above promised more. In the gloom I hoped my figure, clad all in black, would be unseen as I hurried to a small bar—Arlo’s Pub. Its dimly lit sign was still bright enough to taunt me as I trudged through the tall grass next to the road (I didn’t dare walk on it). Squelch, squelch, squelch went my boots as I walked, irritating me to no end.

It felt like ages, but I finally reached the bar. It was small and dingy looking, like everything else on the road, made of dark stone bricks. Nondescript and boring, just as it should be. Putting on a nonchalant face, I stepped inside.

It was quiet in the bar, rather unfortunately. It was quite uncrowded, too, with only a few men nursing drinks at the counter, which was tended by a weary-looking man. I strode leisurely through the gloom to the barman, dropping a quick “‘ello” to a man standing by the door.

I sat down at one of the stools (a quite uncomfortable one) by the counter and stared at the barman.

“You can see my aura, yes? And I can see yours—it’s a nice shade of rust red.” I spoke softly and ignored the code words as I had learned to do long ago.

“Back room to my left,” he replied, his voice as tired as he looked. “And you can drop the accent.”

I frowned—I’d have to work on that.

“Before I go, can I get a shot of whiskey?”

“ID?”

“Just a Coke, thanks.”

Coke in hand, I walked past the counter and to the door to the back room. I opened it slowly, trying to avoid making noise—I hoped to slip in. It wasn’t to be, however, as the room inside was small and relatively uncrowded, and the people inside—with auras of brilliant reds, garish yellows, beautiful purples, among others—noticed me immediately.

“Hello,” I said, this time without the accent.

“What’s your business?” said an older blue man (trust it to a blue to be so blunt, eh?) immediately as the others scrutinized me.

“Just passing through. I need a job, though.” I moved towards an empty chair as I spoke and sat down.

“Got a waitress job over at the restaurant,” said an orange man with a thick Welsh accent. “Just as long as you don’t go beatin’ on anyone.”

I ignored the last sentence and smiled, but before I could speak the blue cut in.

“It’s getting late and we need to get a move on—I’m afraid your job hunt will have to wait. Now, we only have a few things left to discuss…”

My mind wandered as she droned on; I had never had much of an attention span. I examined the people around the table, though I kept my eyes on whoever was speaking at the moment. After a few minutes I caught a thirty-something magenta looking at me and flashed what I hoped to be a manic grin at her. She stifled a giggle—I had apparently failed—and a blue boy of about my age next to her pantomimed a heavy sigh.

“…Finally, I’ve noticed an aura runoff by the riverbank.” The words caught my attention for a reason I couldn’t gander and so I listened, intrigued.

“It belongs to no one here, being pink, and I can’t find trace of the aura elsewhere, so everyone keep a look out for pink, aura traces or otherwise.

“That is all—meet back here in… a week seems appropriate. And come to me if you see any trace of the aura.”

As everyone alternatively left or mingled, I stood up and walked over to the man who had offered me a job.

“That sounds great, thanks—the job, that is. If you’ll have me, I’ll start work any time.”

“Oh, of course!” The man smiled at me. “Always willing to help. The restaurant’s just down the road, no uniform necessary—you can start tomorrow?”

I nodded and smiled before walking off. I exited the back room and found an empty corner of the bar before pulling out my wallet. I didn’t have much money yet, but if I earned about minimum wage I’d be able to afford a hotel room. But right now, I was hungry, and I strained my eyes to see the menu on the wall behind the bar counter. Unable to make out the words, I sighed and walked over to the counter and sat down on a stool. The barman looked my way, but stayed silent for a minute before coming over to let me decide.

“See anything you like?”

“Yeah, I’ll just have a burger, thanks.”

I ate in silence—until the blue boy from earlier sat down next to me.

“That was quite the smile,” he said casually, though I could see a hinted smile on his face.

“Yes.” I didn’t want to be bothered, and hoped my curtness would drive him away.

He nodded. “I like that accent of yours—where do you come from?”

“Vancouver.”

“Nice. Always wanted to visit Canada.” And with that, he walked away.

Puzzled by his actions, I returned to my food. I ate quickly, not wanting to be bothered by anyone else, and left the bar. It was fully dark outside, and I walked slowly and carefully to keep myself from tripping. I wasn’t sure where I was going—I didn’t think to ask if there was a place to stay nearby, and there very well could be nothing. But I continued along that dark, damp, empty street and eventually found a small motel.

I stepped inside, and was immediately struck by one word: musty. The air, the look, the feel… the whole place was dingy and musty—certainly not a place I’d want to hang about. Keeping my face still, I walked up to a small counter tended by a timid looking man; no aura from him.

“How much for a week’s stay?”

“— ((Sorry, I have next to no knowledge of how much a motel would cost in America, let alone Britain.))”

“Sounds good.” I took the offered key and left.

I found my room with ease and, not bothering to look around, I flopped down on the bed and slept.

There were two major things I wanted to do in writing this: first, to avoid exposition as much as possible, and second, to avoid speech tags; instead, I implied who was speaking and added actions at the end.

Now, if anyone seeing this lives in Britain or otherwise knows how much a motel in a small town would cost, I would be very happy if you’d help me out. Similarly, if there’s missing or incorrect slang, please tell me!

ALSO, this is still a rough draft (NekoShogun says I should say that, so I am saying it as I say and say speak), and ALSO ALSO I may continue it.

A Little Bit of Random…

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It’s been far to long since I posted anything, unfortunately I can’t think of anything substantial enough to be it’s own post, so I’ll just heap them all together in a big pile of random. Let’s begin.

Fail Spanish: “Senor delfugeo sleeps in the lofto”.

What would the world have been like if compasses pointed south?

Why do the lawyers in commercials always look so creepy?

Is it just me or do sports casters usually just state the obvious?

If all humanity were to wake up one day and collectively fix every problem, stop fighting and killing each other, start helping and caring for each other, would that still be humanity? Or are our many flaws a vital part of what makes us who we are, what makes us human?

Cockroaches, strange as it may sound, might just be one of the most evolutionarily perfect creatures in history. Just think about how long they’ve been around, how long they’ll continue to be around, and how tough they are. Sure, it’s easy for a human to kill a single roach, but that’s mostly because of size. Roaches are much more resilient than us to food deprivation, air deprivation, and, of course, head deprivation. Long after humans are dead and gone, cockroaches will probably be there to clean up our mess.

For every answer you get in life, it seems like there are a dozen more questions waiting to take its place.

And finally, an inspirational quote:

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

–Jack London

Well, I think that’s enough randomness for one post.