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Messages - Nora

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[SEP 2019] School / Re: [Sep/Oct 2019] - School - Discussion Thread
« on: October 11, 2019, 12:13:36 AM »
Yay! My two last submissions have both been one day affairs, and I was sick before both I think?

And Béa, I'd be dead surprised if IKEA doesn't sell poufs. Also I have a Moroccan shop in my area that sales them, among many other things! I've grown up with them around, they're perfect for children, and are rather popular in France. But yeah, I've not seen one in anyone's house in the UK yet. Not sure about US. Just covering my bases!

[SEP 2019] School / Re: [Sep/Oct 2019] - School - Submission Thread
« on: October 10, 2019, 11:26:45 PM »
Unlikely Friendship or 'An Impending Catastrophe' - 1500 words

Yeah I've been on a Tolkien bender, but I like peaceful times best.

Also, in case anyone's gonna give me grief, this is a pouf.
Spoiler for Hiden:

They come in all shapes and sizes and this one is the original moroccan design.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Ellois opened the virio he'd received in the mail with a sigh. He turned to watch Bulla collapse on the pouf next to his with a grunt.

'I have one also,' the orc said, baring her fangs in what looked like a sympathetic smile but Ellois knew was really a grimace of dread. She twirled a little roll of parchment between her tapered fingers. 'Family not so good with technology, but same crap, you don't worry.'

Ellois laughed. 'Shall we open them together then, and find out if things have calmed down back home?'

Bulla snorted and popped the seal of her letter. 'Friend, if the news is peace, I change career, buy the Cut-Boulder inn and you drink free every night your entire life.'

'Deal,' he said, without worrying of ruining his friend's prospects.

The pure indignation of his parent, family, and the bemused wonder of his entire clan was something he'd foreseen when he'd announced he was joining the new inter-species course of the dwarvish Bolarukt Metallurgic University. He'd expected all of the unexpected. But that, as an elf, he'd find himself becoming closest to an orc lass had not made the list of his wildest speculations. It also hadn't made the list of things he'd written home about.
"Feels quite lonely, this campus under the mountain! Turns out I'm the sole elf here (haha!), but not to worry, foreigner's club is welcoming and diverse, made friends with another loner! Charming Barung orc named Bulla–"
He probably would have gone home to find his entire forest bereft of elves, his home-tree tacked with his disinheritance and banishment.

The virio's gold threading shimmered, expanding and vibrating as they formed the image of his sister's face. Her voice came tiny and distorted. She sounded exasperated. She was the one who'd started the virio message, and warned that when their mother's turn came, she might insist he come home for the Bel-Lunar feast.

"You know, I think she hopes you'll refuse? Half the family will pester you to remain, half our friends will want to put you at the forge to see how "tainted" your skills are, and right about everyone will want to hear your stories, and get fed in the process." She laughed then, a brittle sound, "I personally hope you come dressed in dwarven mail and with a filthy long beard. Give them something to be so shocked about, they'll stop plaguing me for news, get my drift?"

She was right too, his mother's message was to ask him to return for the festivities. "Maybe bring something special? Some assignment you made, that would reassure the family?"
His father, looking tired and hard-pressed, appeared next, and then the two cousins who worked with him in the family forge. It was all pleas, gossip, and grief. The usual.

'You're safe Bulla,' Ellois said, folding the metal cage over his grinning cousin's face.

The orc didn't reply. She was starring dead ahead into nothingness. Ellois glanced around the room, just in case. They weren't alone of course, he could tell from the four pair of halfling feet that cropped up from the large couch by the fireplace. The inseparable group spent every afternoon break napping on that couch, and they sat there too in the evening, feet towards the fire this time. They'd effectively turned it into a sort of inland halfling nation that none of the other members of the Foreign Student Lounge dared infringe upon. Two humans, Mel and Ardan, a couple now, were playing a game of Atrib in a corner and not minding anyone else.

'Is it bad news then,' he asked, turning back to his friend. She looked like some blue-quartz statue with inlaid obsidian eyes, she was so still. Ellois snapped his fingers.

'Ah!' Bulla started. 'Yes. News. No, not bad.'

'Wait,' Ellois felt a shiver down his spine, 'you're not busy calculating the selling price of the Cut-Boulder are you?'

'Not bad news–terrible. My fair elf friend, you come from precious society, yes?'

Ellois gave her a deadpan glare. They hadn't gone for the passive-aggressive praising in months now.

"I mean you have nice society, full of the feelings.' She made a butterfly motion with her hand, her bone bracelets clicking. 'You let the children do what they feel, marry the person they feel for. Love, yes.'

'Sure,' Ellois said, confused. 'We live a long time. Maybe you can ask a human to put up with another for thirty years, but for an elf to spend centuries with another they do not like, it would be silly.'

'Yes. It is a nice way.'

'What's your practice in Barung?'

'Like this,' she said, grimacing at the parchment, 'by the mother telling her daughter "when you come home this Bel-Lunar break I introduce a fine orc to you. His family is large, runs an armoury, and they were very impressed by your work. He has two fine tusks and black hair like soot, very dashing. Your fathers approve." See, I think I made a tactical error when I sent my chain mail back home.'

Bulla was in the opposite situation to Ellois'. They were both the first of their kind to join the University, but her admittance had been the pride and joy of her family, and had, as far as Ellois could understand the very murky familial politics of Barung orcs, greatly increased their status. She suffered from jealousy, gossip and familial pressure.
Two months prior they'd started the armour course, during which the foreign students had each spent a week teaching everyone some local techniques, before moving to the dwarven four-fold layering of scale-plated cuirasses.
Karli, a Nortern woman, had demonstrated a splendid process to merge mail and plate in a single outfit, and Bulla had worked late into the night to adapt this to light orcish-style armour. She'd made a baby-sized model in copper and sent it home, and then had grinned for two days straight until the engineering professor had told her to quit it with the terrifying teeth display.

Ellois laughed a little. He felt bad for his friend, but it was funny.

'You made yourself too eligible then? Surely you can say no? Don't you have some sort of status matching going on?'

'What do you mean?'

'Well, you can already chat comfortably with the humans in midland-speak, you soak up elvish as fast as I let it out, though you'd need to file your teeth to fix your accent, you're obviously doing great in your dwarvish classes, that's four languages! You'll never be a jeweller but you're already in the top of the armour class. Plus haven't you gotten accepted in the Greater Metalworks studios for the summer months? You'll be smelting Alfuris! You must be the only orc who's ever seen that metal and lived to speak of it."

Ellois was on his knees on the carpet by now, waving enthusiastically. The human couple had turned from their game to listen to his peroration.

'You're a good friend, full of praise,' Bulla said, her cheeks flushed purplish with pleasure, 'but your value of me is– Oh! I see!'

'Right? Why not write home saying your status is much too high now to even think of marrying some armourer?'

'He's right, you know,' Mel called out, 'golden haired and golden tongued, our master elf! But you could be the first orc ambassador to the Midland Marsh as soon as you graduate.'

'Yeah, just don't open a business in the capital, no need for that sort of competition.' Ardan added, eyes already back on the board in front of him.

'Thank you, friends, I think on this now.'

And she did. She thought about what to do as she manned her bellows, thought about what to write as she peered in her crucible, tried to think about nothing as she hammered away, her broad shoulders slick with sweat, creating the assigned shapes.
By the time she arrived at the animated-goldwork class which she shared with Ellois, she'd made up her mind. She would write that she'd been privileged with extra work, and could not return home. It would buy her time.
She'd barely sat down that Ellois was upon her, his golden hair tousled and plastered to his brow, black streaks ran across his cheeks where he'd brushed sweat away carelessly. He looked like he'd run straight from his last forge.

'I have an idea!' The elf cried excitedly. 'I struck down on a piece of silver and it sang and I knew, like I had been speaking to it and it answered back! Haha!'

'What is it?' Bulla asked, bewildered. She'd never seen Ellois this out of sorts, and she'd seen him passed-out drunk under a tavern bench.

'As you know, I also got a message. It came with some advice, "to make a tremendous impression", to solve my own problems.' He grinned, eyes glinting with mischief, 'how would you feel about spending Bel-Lunar feast in an elvish home?'

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / An incredible LoTR Audiobook
« on: October 10, 2019, 06:57:20 PM »
I assume more veteran audiobook readers may have heard of this lad and call me out for my Late-News, but just in case, let me share this guy's incredible work :


He makes up audiobooks for the entire trilogy and distributes the result for free (despite it being all legal and all), and he does all the voices, doing a CRACKIN impression of both Ian McKellen and Billy Boyd. He has Howard's Shore music often playing with good background noises and while it's abridged, very little is missing.
It's a real work of dedication and art.

Anyone who wants to do a side re-read should give this a chance over buying the official Audible audiobook, it's a-ma-zing.


[SEP 2019] School / Re: [Sep/Oct 2019] - School - Discussion Thread
« on: October 10, 2019, 06:49:47 PM »
Ok I've dropped my sad topic and am now in the process of one-day-inspiration-stricken-writing a more comedic set up in a dwarven mettalurgic university campus, mostly due to me being sick all week and having done a re-watch of all of LoTR, and started an incredible audiobook reading of the Fellowship to put me to sleep too.

Just suddenly fancied writing a weird modern version of a peaceful middle-earth-esk uni campus with non human characters. I hope I get to finish it tonight and maybe polish it over the weekend.

I had huge holidays in September, but that included days of travel, lots of hard work for a visa application, indulging family members etc. Just got back to work and finally shed all the stress I had up to here. I have an idea and I've started writing it. Whether I'll actually make it is another issue, but I'm gonna keep this short.

[SEP 2019] School / Re: [Sep 2019] - School - Discussion Thread
« on: September 29, 2019, 09:33:15 PM »
Yeah... I also wasn't inspired. Had an idea but it had no cinch, no punch. I went down to Paris to do some visa related stuff, and was stressed enough to not have the headspace to write. Now I do have a new idea, with a cinch and all, and short too, but it's bleak as all hell and a mimicry of the topic.  :D
I'm not motivated to write these days. I'll give it a shot regardless.

[SEP 2019] School / Re: [Sep 2019] - School - Discussion Thread
« on: September 06, 2019, 02:06:34 PM »
The only "school" illustration I have in my folder of inspirational art is this one :

I think that would make a great basis for a humorous fantasy story.

Not what I'm gonna go for, if I have the time and headspace to do anything at all this month.
Things are still bad for me, and last month I lost interest in my own story... This month I stimply won't have much time until quite late in the month. So hopefully I'll find the time around then.

It depends on the section, and on the books. If everyone did that, I'd have a ton of crap faced-out in my section. God knows, I sometimes do.
But some places don't have anyone who knows scifi, to cater the section, so most likely in such places your face outs will remain in place longer.
Faceouts are picked up more often, but nothing beats a recommendation card.

Anyway, if you turned down my carefully selected face outs to put your fav author out, I'd change it back the minute I step back in the section. In my case a lot of thought (and sometimes effort) goes into choosing what I'm showing people. If I have faith in a book doing well I order bulk of it, and you'll find 4+ on the shelf, and then good luck making space for something else without making a multi shelf arrangement (if I caught you doing that in my section I'd ask you whatever the hell you think you're doing. If I don't want your face out, I'd promptly undo your work too).
But hey, the authors you listed are all faced out in my section already as it is, so you wouldn't have to do it :D
Cameron is face out too, and he did extremely well, selling all of the extra stock we had due to a cancelled event. Did so well the manager re-ordered bulk enough for a plump faceout. Now I just need to point out the second one is out, so if only we could have it...

We also don't have any Bodard, at all.

I've got an idea I like but I don't wth is going on with me and cursed couples atm.  ???


I'm somewhat disappointed. I read the title as 'singing'...

Likely to be a dirge if he does

Last time I saw him at a Waterstones signing was In Bristol on the last day of the Sharp Ends signing tour. He looked like a week of no sleep and decafinated coffee so look after him @Nora

BTW he is a Whiskey buff

Oh thanks for telling me that... May get him a little splash of something!!

[MAY 2019] Earth / Re: [May 2019] - EARTH - Voting Thread
« on: July 07, 2019, 01:45:08 PM »
Finish this story Matthew, but don't miss this month either!! I really liked your style, I'm curious to see more from you.

Now how do you guys feel about a critique thread for this month?

I’m for it! I was kind of thinking of doing a D_Bates and putting in a mini-crit for each story. Would you want to do that too?

It's a good idea. I can't easily do medium sized reviews, I'm usually a one liner or a line by line review...

[MAY 2019] Earth / Re: [May 2019] - EARTH - Voting Thread
« on: July 06, 2019, 09:41:50 PM »
Finish this story Matthew, but don't miss this month either!! I really liked your style, I'm curious to see more from you.

Now how do you guys feel about a critique thread for this month?

Was just wondering....have we had that many poetry submitted? Haven't seen any sice I joined.
A few entries, usually by @Alex Hormann or @The Gem Cutter, but I always felt that despite how good they were, stories/prose always have the upper hand, for me.
I once made second place with a poem. Must've been in '13 or so. ;)

But yeah, it's usually insignificant. Maybe it's time for a poetry month? ;)

Do this and watch your topic burn as I write in free style prose poem.

@Brand J Alexander congrats on being first to submit, but let me advise you on something : have a look at past months, you'll see everyone tries to format in a more readable way. Jump spaces around dialogue, etc.
Your text is one big chunk, and I know I'll hate it when I'm reading the stories on my phone. Don't loose points over presentation!

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Abercrombie signing in Scotland
« on: July 04, 2019, 11:46:49 AM »
Hey guys,

I'm at work, so I'll be brief, but I just choked upon seeing that we will have an Abercrombie signing at MY SHOP!!!


It's for his new trilogy. So, I'll be sure to be there if I can...

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