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Messages - Phil the Drill

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I've recently backed off on getting writing books, but some I've enjoyed over the years are:

Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain
Story Engineering by Larry Brooks
2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love by Rachel Aaron
Writing Fiction for Dummies by Peter Economy and Randy Ingermanson (the latter of which is known for his Snowflake Method blog which I really like)
On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner
Any of Chuck Wendig's books for their humor and bluntness

I like a lot of the others that people have already mentioned as well (Bradbury and King specifically) but these were some that stood out to me for one reason or another.

There was a point where I was frustrated that the books weren't coming out faster, but at the end of the day, he makes his own decisions. He obviously wants the series to be as good as possible. I imagine there is more pressure to finish the series before the TV show catches up with it. However, I imagine the two are going to become more divergent as the TV series goes on.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Best K.J. Parker Novel?
« on: May 05, 2014, 03:00:09 AM »
Strangely enough, I just picked up a sample of the first book in the Engineer Trilogy the other day. I really like it so far. Anyone can back up that this is a good trilogy to stick with?

Congrats to pornokitsch! And thanks to LisaElle for the kind words. I had fun with this challenge and there were some really good entries. Good luck to everyone with their future writing! :)

I'm way behind most people and just finished up Game of Thrones Season 3. I liked it a lot, but I think Season 1 is still my favorite so far.

I'm looking for a new series to watch and I have all of Deadwood, so that'll be my next one to marathon binge on. :)

May get a rental from me or if I'm bored one weekend, may check it out. That's sort of been my approach to the Transformers movies as well.

I know there's already a Polish version of the Witcher, but I wouldn't mind seeing a Hollywood version. Actually, maybe I would...I guess it depends on who gets a hold of it.

I don't think it could be possible to make this, but the Malazan Book of the Fallen would also be incredible if they could pull it off somehow. I think there's too much going on in those books though to faithfully do it justice.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Most Disturbing Fantasy Novels
« on: March 25, 2014, 04:09:02 PM »
Of course you don't have to get into graphic detail or anything, but what fantasy novels have you read that really disturbed you, either in a good way or bad way. I mean in a good way as in made you feel unease or dread like you would in a dark fantasy or horror novel. In a bad way, I mean maybe the content just turned you off and you didn't want to read it because it bothered you too much.

As someone who read lots of Jack Ketchum (one of the more disturbing horror writers I've read, in a good way) in the past, I'm curious if there are fantasy novelists producing disturbing work.


Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Books you are waiting for???
« on: March 25, 2014, 03:46:51 PM »
I'm looking forward to a book by Taiwanese author Wu Ming-Yi's book The Man with Compound Eyes. I heard about it on i09 a while back and it sounded pretty awesome.

From the book description:

When a tsunami sends a massive island made entirely of trash crashing into the Taiwanese coast, two very different people—an outcast from a mythical island and a woman on the verge of suicide—are united in ways they never could have imagined. Here is the English-language debut of a new and exciting award-winning voice from Taiwan, who has written an “astonishing” novel (The Independent) that is at once fantasy, reality, and dystopian environmental saga.

Doesn't sound like something I may normally read, but it sounds bizarre and intriguing, my two favorite adjectives. :)

Thanks! I plan on reading the other entries this week. I've read one of them already and it's pretty damn good!

Fantasy Art / Fan Art / My Bad Fantasy Art Project
« on: March 24, 2014, 06:16:02 PM »
So I started this series of blog entries about "bad fantasy art" a while back just for fun using MS Paint. I asked some people to submit descriptions of some of their characters and I went to work, using my admittedly weak art skills to produce some, er, interesting pieces of art.

Here are some:



I have some others I've done on my blog if you're interested in laughing and/or marveling at my skill. :)

I'm also open to doing more art of any of your characters.


1. Don't mind having your character drawn badly. :)
2. Physical description (as detailed as you like)
3. A little background info if possible

That's it!

Anyway, hope you like my craptacular take on art.

Posted mine today. I decided to join in after all because I am grim...and dark. But not grimdark. :)

The Black Hog of Dun-Madral

The elf skull crunched in my mouth. For something so fragile, I expected it to be softer.

“Here you go, hog.” The Feeder, a man with a pock-marked face and missing fingers, dumped more body parts into my pen. I rooted around, searching for something tastier than elf. No such luck. It was elf season again.
From the shape of the thunderheads I should have known. Rain and elf season went hand in hand.

I found it distressing that after all this time they still called me “hog.” The least the Dun-Madral Death Squad could do was give me a blasted name. Horace or Victor. Hell, I wouldn’t even mind an elven name like Landriel or Rinjal. Memories of names barked in battles or mumbled over flagons of grog. But no, I remained the nameless hog that ate corpses. And there were many corpses.

I hadn’t always been so aware of my surroundings. Eating, shitting, and snorting consumed my days. Ever since the Squad tossed me the remains of some charred witches, I’d never been the same. Colors became brighter, words clearer, tastes changed. I recognized faces and found myself wanting to eat the roasted chicken and beans that the Squad consumed nightly. I tired of eating corpses in varying states of decay. I wanted more.

My pen was a muddy prison, but my body was a prison unto itself. I’d bloated up significantly over the course of three raids in particular. The worst of them led to the Squad tossing me farmers fat on corn and bread. I ate with wild abandon until I grew slow and dull. My desire to eat human food started to pass. I felt my newfound intelligence slipping away. That’s when I first heard the rumblings of “the Pit.”

I didn’t know what the Pit entailed, but the men went on and on about it. After digging a hole and filling it with coals, they roasted meat for hours. I had brothers and a sister once, also nameless. They took them away one by one. The smell of their flesh filled my nostrils, making my mouth water. I struggled with my indiscriminate gluttony. Even as my brethren burned in a pit of fire, I hungered. Time passed and the rumblings about the Pit all but ceased.

That was until last week.

I knew they were coming for me next, but I wouldn’t eat. When they weren’t watching me, I spent my time jogging around my pen. I buried the elf corpses in the mud, only chewing on old bones to keep myself satiated. Me, their oldest and most loyal hog, would not be a feast. I planned my day of liberation.

“The hell’s up with the hog here?” I heard the voice of the one named Wick, a fellow with a curved back and thin, yellow hair.

Feeder came into view, wiping grease away from his mouth with the back of his hand. “What you mean?”

“He’s not fat enough. Lagra wants him fatter.”

Feeder looked to be in the midst of shaving, his neck dotted with globs of blood. “I’m feeding him. Can’t help if he ain’t getting fat. Maybe he’s got a worm in his belly.”

I didn’t have a worm, that was for sure. I snorted my derision.

“Shut it, hog.” Wick leaned into my pen and spat on my head.  “Get him fatter already. Whatever you got to do.
Lagra will flog the lot of us if this feast don’t go off like he’s planned. He wants the fattest hog this side of the Razor Thin River.”

“Shit, you don’t think I know?” Feeder rubbed his chin, wiping away pinkish soap. “That’s all the bastard talks about.”

Their voices trailed off as they walked away from my pen. Lagra. So, he’s the one. I’d only heard the name in passing now and again. He must have been cruel for he was often referred to simply as “the bastard.”  If anyone would be my doom it would be Lagra. I decided that night I’d pay him a visit. I’d been chewing at the wood at the bottom of the pen for the past week. The hole proved big enough that if I charged it, I could squeeze right through. At least that’s what I hoped.

Feeder came back moments later with a large sack. “Embarrass me, will you, pig? You’ll eat or I’ll beat the bacon off your back.” He dumped more unidentifiable parts in my pen. When I only sniffed at them, he slammed a heavy metal rod against the wood. “Eat, damn you.”

I made like I was eating, pushing around the parts with my snout. The illusion proved enough to fool him. He smirked and swaggered away.

With Feeder gone, I waited until night came. My plan could finally come to fruition. An unexpected screech pierced the air followed by the long, low note of a horn. Horns only blared when the Squad expected visitors.
The hiss of an arrow over my pen let me know they were not welcome.

Feeder stumbled back to my pen, this time with a black arrow jutting out of his neck. He clawed at the gate, blood bubbling from his lips, but slumped over into the dirt and out of sight. Something roasted, sickly sweet. Human flesh. The clash of swords rang out throughout the camp and the screams that followed were both of pleasure and pain.

A blue-skinned, bald Rattler elf peered into my pen, peaking through the hole I’d made for my escape. A necklace of human scalps swayed around his neck. “Yalik dul caris unda?”

The witch flesh I’d consumed long ago didn’t teach me elvish. I backed away from the sneering elf as he jabbed the end of one of his arrows through the hole in the pen.

As an orange glow filled the sky, I did the only thing I knew how: I squealed. My high-pitched squeals did enough to get the Rattler elf to plug up his ears. I took my chance and charged. Despite having lost a good deal of weight, the chewed wood still gashed my sides. Nonetheless, I trampled the elf just the same. Bones crunched underneath me and I kicked up mud.

I was free.

I ran, disoriented from the smoke and thundering feet of the Squad scrambling in all directions. Wick laid in a pool of blood, trying to yank out an arrow lodged in his cheek. I carried on, dodging some wide-eyed Rattlers, their shell and bone bracelets clacking in my ears.

The edge of the camp loomed before me when I heard, “Lagra! We must retreat?”

I skidded to a stop. A hulking beast of a man buried an axe into the skull of a leaping Rattler. He ignored the calls to retreat, wading through a pack of the elves before setting his eyes on me. He chopped like a mad butcher and sunk his teeth into one elf’s neck. He came away with a red grin, dripping and wild.

“Little piggie got loose?” Lagra’s licked the blood from his lips. “This won’t do.”

He swung the axe down at me, but I dodged to the left. I imagined him sucking on the bones of my brothers and sisters and growing fat on their flesh. I squealed and scraped my hooves in the dirt.

“Look at this shit.” Lagra pointed his axe at me. “Piggie has a bit of brav—”

 I cut him off mid-sentence, my head ramming right into his knee. It gave a sick crunch and Lagra hit the ground hard.

I wanted to eat him, to chew off his filthy face. However, when I saw a group of cackling Rattlers carrying the scalps and severed heads of Lagra’s companions, I knew it was over for us.

Lagra reached out to me, as if I was some angel to deliver him from his fate.

“May they eat your flesh as you have my brothers and sisters.” The garbled voice came from my lips.
Gasps came from the elves. Lagra stared up at me, eyes wide in astonishment. “By the Fell Gods, you can speak?”

“Perhaps I’d just been waiting for the right moment.”

The Rattlers descended on Lagra. His gurgled screams became music to my ears.

I expected the Rattlers to kill me next. My wounds from the pen bled heavily and my legs grew weak.

An old Rattler with missing front teeth fell down on his knees in front of me and offered one of the human scalps. The other Rattlers stared at each other and followed suit, tossing dozens of scalps in front of me.

“Runa gel taka drom!” They chanted over and over, bowing in reverence.

“I’d prefer roast chicken,” I said.

The Rattlers scrambled to their feet and within minutes I had a massive pile of roast chicken before me.

Perhaps I’d finally get a name after all.

General Discussion / Re: Got a blog? Share it!
« on: March 09, 2014, 05:04:53 AM »
Cool thread and a good way to find a bunch of blogs since I've been kind of starved for them as of late (mostly I read terribleminds and a couple of others).

1) What's your blog?
It's called Philip Overby's Fantasy Free-for-All. It basically means anything fantasy related, I'll write about it. Greatest fantasy door knobs? Yep, if I feel like it.

2) What sort of stuff do you write about? (Your own short fiction, fantasy book reviews, SF book reviews, gender politics, photos of your garden, whatever...) I've recently started posting stories, including a blog exclusive series of shorts, but mostly it's writing topics, writer interviews, book reviews, a series I do called Judging a Book by Its Cover (I talk about what I think a book is about based solely on its cool cover), Bad Fantasy Art (I make bad art with MS Paint), and other weird junk.

3) What's the URL? http://www.philipoverbyfantasy.blogspot.jp/

4) Why'd you start blogging and/or what do you like best about it? I used to have a blog I did about Japan, but I ran out of stuff to talk about recently and decided fantasy is my first love. Therefore I decided to dedicate a blog to anything and everything fantasy. It's a bit all over the place, but I kind of like that since I feel like my content can be anything. What I like most about it is that I get to experiment with different kinds of posts and see what generates the most interest. I did one article about how fantasy writers can learn from Breaking Bad which I enjoyed writing. The Bad Fantasy Art series is new, but I love doing that so far also.

I'm also an undead unicorn enthusiast. It's my totem animal.

Started writing something for this. It involves a hog.

I'll just leave it at that.

Edit: Actually, I think I want to shop this one around. Maybe I'll come up with something else before the deadline.

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