December 11, 2018, 08:35:02 PM

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Messages - The Gem Cutter

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We're both Anglophiles, but Mrs. Gem has a huge interest in English monarchs and their intrigues, while my fandom is mostly cultural. She wants to visit a specific place near London, the name of which escapes me.

Hampton Court palace by any chance and if not it should definitely be on her list.

That's it Rostum! Good call. So we're going there first. Is that area too far out from London for an impromptu gathering? I told her I was hoping to get some of you together and she thought was a great idea.

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We're both Anglophiles, but Mrs. Gem has a huge interest in English monarchs and their intrigues, while my fandom is mostly cultural. She wants to visit a specific place near London, the name of which escapes me.

I had thought of sponsoring an evening out for all my F-F friends in London while we are there at the beginning of our long tour. I am very excited about the prospects of meeting some of you and would happily spring for dinner in London or the surrounding area. I'll share the itinerary and schedule, and if anyone is near any of the spots, that would be amazing as well.

We are to visit Edinburgh in Scotland, four places in Ireland, and two spots in Wales, Liverpool, and a couple other locations in England in a two-week whirlwind. This is to be the first of several trips, so we are spreading ourselves thin across the UK, which I don't normally prefer. I tend to want to dig into a few spots rather than run the bases, so to speak.

Anyway, thanks for your encouragement, and I look forward to the possibility of meeting some of you with a big dumb smile on my face  ;D

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This summer I will (hopefully) be traveling all around GB and Ireland. Mrs Gem and I are moving to reconcile and thought it would be nice to have something fun on the long term calendar to look forward to. The trip begins in London and heads to a variety of locations for about 2 weeks, with stops in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.

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General Discussion / Re: Sword Fighting
« on: December 06, 2018, 05:10:55 AM »
Remember, for training longer is safer (harder to cut or stab oneself). Some videos of what I was trained in:
Pekiti Tersia:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvrvoBIq__k&t=132s

Good overview of the angles common to almost all weapons martial arts (unsure about European styles):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxk1Gtj5b1w

The most fundamental block and important "move" when facing the untrained:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iOnGhyLmpg

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General Discussion / Re: Sword Fighting
« on: December 06, 2018, 04:57:21 AM »
When it actually came to the time to ask I'm not fully sure what to inquire too, hahah. Is it fun and do you enjoy using certain types of weapons more than others? Also, since european longswords aren't really available in my area, do you think I could replace it with, say a katana, and do the same drills as for a longsword?

Thanks Cameron!  :D
I am inexperienced with European styles. For non-European styles for fun and defense, I suggest you look at the broad family of Philippino stick/knife/sword martial arts: Kali, escrima, and their various subsects, like pekiti tersia. Their moves are interchangeable and there are practitioners who can teach. Unlike many other arts, these are less-pretty more-effective arts with simple, stackable moves that are effective open-handed, with a car key, a screwdriver, or a stick, in addition to edged weapons. They are practical and evolved, so there's more subtlety than there appears.

YouTube them and find a practitioner. Lessons are not expensive and they are all good exercise and hand-eye coordination builders. I am renowned among my friends for little tricks of the hand (swatting bees from the air or catching dropped objects) - and it's from my training and practice. See my poem on the Peaceful Path for my summary on the subject.

That sounds amazing Gem.  ;D Totally agreed on the kali, eskrima, and other Filipino martial arts on being more practical in everyday situations. I probably won't have a sword on me when I'm outside anyway, hahah. I stumbled across a lottt of Filipino martial arts video on youtube, are there any specific teachers/ styles that you'd like to recommend, Gem?

For example, what do you think of this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaoqLJY0-jc&t=115s

The numbered strikes he's referring to a near-universal, although I admit I do not use the reverse grip (blade pointing down in the hand, opposite the thumb) with strikes below the chest (mine) - notice the proximity between the point and his own groin. I have a 3 1/2 inch long scar in my thigh from a minor mistake I made at speed...  Anyway, all those sinwali and kali moves are very good. The follow-ons and openings created by them are in fact very sophisticated - striking vertically compels the foe to block horizontally; following with a thrust is very difficult, so you notice the alternation between slash & thrust, horizontal and vertical, combined with the footwork make it very hard to withstand your attacks. Just beware... you will learn the vulnerability you have over your whole body in new ways and come to feel your true nakedness to the average kitchen knife. Anyway, just be fucking careful. Buy rubber practice weapons and get some nunchuku - they teach the flow and give painful lessons on control that are valuable. Never go faster with a live blade than you can handle. That said, cutting yourself, as I did, teaches one the way a hot stove teaches about caution. One should fully expect to cut oneself in a true struggle. The cost of doing business.

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General Discussion / Re: Sword Fighting
« on: December 04, 2018, 10:50:10 PM »
When it actually came to the time to ask I'm not fully sure what to inquire too, hahah. Is it fun and do you enjoy using certain types of weapons more than others? Also, since european longswords aren't really available in my area, do you think I could replace it with, say a katana, and do the same drills as for a longsword?

Thanks Cameron!  :D
I am inexperienced with European styles. For non-European styles for fun and defense, I suggest you look at the broad family of Philippino stick/knife/sword martial arts: Kali, escrima, and their various subsects, like pekiti tersia. Their moves are interchangeable and there are practitioners who can teach. Unlike many other arts, these are less-pretty more-effective arts with simple, stackable moves that are effective open-handed, with a car key, a screwdriver, or a stick, in addition to edged weapons. They are practical and evolved, so there's more subtlety than there appears.

YouTube them and find a practitioner. Lessons are not expensive and they are all good exercise and hand-eye coordination builders. I am renowned among my friends for little tricks of the hand (swatting bees from the air or catching dropped objects) - and it's from my training and practice. See my poem on the Peaceful Path for my summary on the subject.

7
Writers' Corner / Re: What do you call a group of dragons?
« on: November 29, 2018, 02:13:34 PM »
I don't think anything's going to be better than Cameron's doom of dragons, but you might consider a clutch, a flight, a storm, or even a gasp - it's what you do when you see a group of dragons, particularly when you don't expect them hahahaha

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Writers' Corner / Re: Sublime words in writing
« on: November 27, 2018, 02:36:43 AM »
I'm sure many would disagree, and they're welcome to. But when you write, I do not think you should use "your" voice; you use your writing voice, which should vary (perhaps a great deal) from your speaking voice. That variance should, even when writing narration, be centered in your Narrator's voice, which should match the genre, mood, audience, and like a zillion other things. That voice is not just vocab but usage, and you should build it deliberately. This is exponentially more important, or rather, more visible and complex, in your characters' voices.

So whether the sun shines, pokes, smiles, giggles, or guffaws its way through the trees, you should make that choice not so much on the first word that occurs to you, but the first word that would occur to your narrator.
 Consider the voices and word choices here - hear the characters (who are also the narrators) not only have distinct voices, but their word choices vary as they get to the critical parts.
Jump to the 1:00 mark:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNaXQQbcgw0
Then compare to this clip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMuam1MObtI
Notice where the narrator gets to the lofty ideas and ironies at 3:29 and the big words come out "magnanimous" - and hear how it's juxtaposed against the others' "gave up drinkin'".  Art.

My point in all this is that the question should not be "should I use big words?" - the questions (plural) are "Why am I using them?", "when should I and shouldn't I use them?", and most importantly - "Which ones, where / when, and by whom?"

The words themselves are never better or worse than others - only more or less appropriate for the task. The inability to speak in simple terms when one needs to is just as much of a limitation as the inability to make one's language loftier, airier, and effervescent when one needs to. My two cents.

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Get better soon Jmack. For my part, I consider 2018 one of the crappiest years of my life and look forward to 2019.

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I hadn't realised that you lived there too, Justan. Keep breathing :)


Ah yes, some say I'm a black hole of information. I let everything in, but nothing gets out.

Thanks, the air's getting better the last few days.  ;D

Get a Go Bag assembled and have a plan. I can help you decide what to put in it if you want. Like a fire extinguisher - having one makes having one unneeded most of the time. Not having it invites irony. Murphy is a SOB.

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"Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment - because they'll never come again." - Picard, STNG

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I am so sorry Ink

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Sorry to ask, but I trust you enough to do it without me explaining... can I get some hugs, maybe a dragon or fancy book or two? No need to clutter this thread, you can post in the King's Paws, but I'm asking here because it's related to the stuff in the title...
I am thinking of you with warm hugs and good wishes.

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Splitting up after 27 years.... So yeah interesting times. The good news .... I am breathing in and out, putting one foot in front of the other. Life is a monster sometimes, but one we all must face, alone if need be. So I will remain quiet and lurking while I squash these lemons into lemonade.

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