July 13, 2020, 05:27:13 AM

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Messages - Ray McCarthy

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@DrNefario Have a look at getting some UV protection film put on your windows, that might help with preventing further sun damage.
I just don't open the library curtains. The 7 or so bookcases in the main bedroom are a problem. Does double glazing help?
I was thinking of putting three bookcases on the library windowsill as the curtains are rarely opened.
The landing has three bookcases and small one with DVDs. Only one gets much daylight. The kitchen/dinette has four bookcases. Light is only one issue.

Am I the only person whose shelving technique is "Do it by subject the first time books go on, but from there on out just shove books back in where ever they fit while having about ten books half-read lying around the house?"
But... But... how do you find anything like that? :o
Exploring can be fun.
I'm trying to organise our 3000+ physical books. Tricky as some only fit on some shelves.
Partly organised by Genre, Subject or Reference. The ebooks are easier to organise. Calibre.

I only read physical books

Why not try free e-books? Or free 1 month Amazon prime subscription to read free e-books so that you can buy the books you liked afterwards? :)
Subscription free trials are marketing manipulation, better to read free Classic Works / old books.
Also Prime cheats content providers and low usage subscribers. There is a reason why almost no subscription service is a la carte.

I only started reading many ebooks after getting an eink reader, Couldn't read for long on phone, tablet or laptop. I can read as much as on paper on eink. I have a Paper white 3 (my son's PW4 is actually not as bright under ambient light) but the 7" Kobo Libra is closer to reading a new paperback and better than a old one. I don't use the "front light".

I've reached the point where my TBR pile is almost gone. By the end of the month I might be out of books.
What is this new feeling? I don't think i like it.

If you've run out of money there are loads of great classics on Project Gutenberg, genuinely now out of copyright and proof read by humans.
I have a Kindle, but recommend a Kobo Libre for ebooks. I manage my collection with Calibre (free for Windows, Linux and Mac). I've also saved over €1000 now in paper and toner costs using eink ereeaders to proof/annotate and Calibre to read the notes back to text files in a window beside my main wordprocessor.

Writers' Corner / Re: Dues Ex Machina
« on: April 11, 2020, 10:07:22 AM »
Which books are you thinking ofwhen you say magic is used as dues ex machina.
Harry Potter?

Writers' Corner / Re: Aphantasia & Writing
« on: April 11, 2020, 10:05:41 AM »
I think imagining dialogue is more useful.
I can usually visualise things I know well. I think that might be more use for drawing, or set design, but even there most good artists use photos.

I can't imagine that visualisation makes much if any difference to writing. Yes, some description can be needed but you don't need a mind's eye even for that. Too much describing a picture in detail in words can be boring, like world building it can only be an aid to the story and mustn't degenerate to a list.

Even poetry becomes cloying with too much purple prose.

I'm sceptical that ability at visualisation has any relevance to writing. It has much less relevance even to drawing and painting than some bad teachers think. Even before photography artists used dressed models, camera obscura etc and they still paint outdoors for landscapes, not remembered visualisations.

Writers' Corner / Re: Need a solid word for my Gin & Magic stories
« on: April 11, 2020, 09:52:16 AM »
That kinda makes sense since magic can be used as a weapon :) I got it from Opel Astra ;D
Usually from the Latin for star in the West.

Writers' Corner / Re: Need a solid word for my Gin & Magic stories
« on: April 11, 2020, 08:49:50 AM »
(I mean, technically, aqua vitae is a sort of booze too, it's just probably the sort that makes you blind rather than drunk.)
Whiskey and Whisky are simply anglicising uisce na beatha, literally Water of Life. The oldest Gaelic word in English.
The Irish for Ireland is Éire, so that's how you remember Whiskey is the Irish one. Scotch and all others are Whisky.

Obviously it should be taken moderately.

Writers' Corner / Re: Need a solid word for my Gin & Magic stories
« on: April 10, 2020, 10:01:06 AM »
Flicker is the word that keeps coming up in my head. It’s frustratingly insubstantial and fleeting, just like trying to grab hold of magic can be, and it seems to be a word that people know and fits within the time frame comfortably.
And Flickheads works?

Flicker is good.

Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: April 09, 2020, 07:20:16 PM »
Now nearly at 50% editing in the annotations on "The Mission's Talent". I'm marking places with a ¬ and a comment were stuff needs added or a major rewrite. I'll Save and then Save As a version increment after doing the annotations.

Really hard with worst gritty eyes ever from hay fever. Not so bad today though.

Writers' Corner / Re: Need a solid word for my Gin & Magic stories
« on: April 09, 2020, 07:16:58 PM »
Few people can exercise arcane powers without becoming addicted. They'll then lie and cheat to control more people and more Quintessence till they are Quintheads and like the Dictators of Old Earth, lose contact with reality.

Is this one of those games where you pass the Avatar and when the music stops you have to add to the story till either the music starts or you fall silent (in which case you are "out")?

Writers' Corner / Re: Need a solid word for my Gin & Magic stories
« on: April 09, 2020, 01:06:59 PM »
Lots of Western Writers have used "mana" as a source of magic that gets created and used up.
I've quite a few of Larry Niven's SF, but sadly have not yet read any of the fantasy. In one book someone invents an apparent perpetual motion machine that uses up Mana and stops. In another, the magic stops because something is blocking the whatever it is that flows from the sun to create mana.

Though certainly the 19th C and 20th C concept of Mana mostly comes from the Asian Eastern Isles.
(Warning, may contain nuts)

See also Manna in the bible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manna

Fantasy very much relies on tropes and sterotypes to work, some thousands of years old.

Another idea is European Alchemy. Some may have believed in a literal five elements, the four phyiscal (Air, Water, Fire, Earth) and the spiritual or magical: Aether / Quintessence. Others may have ALWAYS regarded them as part of "magic".
Asian concept of "Elements" is a little different and perhaps more obviously metaphysical than literal.

So your gatherings of people, perhaps not ALL peoples, might generate Quintessence rather than Mana (or Manna). This might be commonly called "Quint" and believed to be carried on the Aether Æther or etheric plane.

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintessence

No charge and no copyright. It's all in the public domain for 100s of years and ideal trope recognised by many in any Fantasy or SF with Psychic/Magic elements.

It's a convention in SF, that magic is Magic by another name. Hence Psychic powers etc or unexplained (don't be George Lucas!) technology or unexplained Forces.

I'd not use a word meaning magic in any non-English language. My idea is predicated on the idea that the whaterver it is (please don't ever explain what it is!) is then used by suitable practitioners to either perform magic, or do stuff that seems magical or other apparently achieve what can't normally be done.

You'd want rules (even if the reader is never told what they are) so as to avoid Harry Potter style making it up with fake latin as you go to fix plot holes.

Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: April 08, 2020, 08:31:03 PM »
Interesting about the stolen Spanish gold maybe being the catalyst or grubstakes for the British Empire. I’ve never heard of Coral Island. What is that?
It's in the preface to Treasure Island as the inspiration
There are a couple of slightly different versions.   Better than Robinson Crusoe, which doesn't actually have a plot.
Practically the first "modern" so called YA adventure.
It's very famous in UK & Ireland.

My mashup of King Lear, Coral Island and Treasure Island as an SF story (set 25 years before Earth is contacted by Aliens) uses the sources Shakespeare used for King Lear so is less tragic. Actually Nahum Tate used those sources for his version of King Lear.  Tate's version was almost the only version in production from the Restoration (hardly any theatre allowed in Cromwell's Commonwealth) up to the start of the Victorian Era.
Shakespeare had very few totally original plays and all the stories he used for Tragedies were made more tragic.

My tribute to Chandler and Hammet in SF  is "The Legal Talent", Maisie has to explain everything at the end! I'm about 1/4 way through editing and re-writing the book after "The Legal Talent" in the series, "The Mission's Talent". I'd have liked it to be a detective thriller with a convoluted plot, but it's more related to a Hero Quest story with dysfunctional xenophobic politics.

And Shakespeare's son that died young?

Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: April 08, 2020, 12:06:40 PM »
I’ve gone back to my Gin and Magic concept (think Dashiel Hammet’s Thin Man, but with magic  :o).
Read it last night. The 1935s film version is quite different. The sequel films are not from Dashiel Hammet’s books.
Very gripping, though an amount of drinking and cocktails that would make Fleming / Bond jealous?
Was it partly because it was Prohibition in the USA then, on a similar literary principle to Enid Byton's characters having feasts during rationing (very severe in UK compared to USA and much worse just after the end of WWII, only ending in very early 1950s). Though prohibition doesn't explain the cops beating up people.

I hope the story works out for you. I'm sure I never read it before yet the start of my "Starship Chief" has some aspects similar to the opening paragraphs. Though  "Starship Chief" is an adventure inspired by a mashup of King Lear, Treasure Island and Coral Island.

Stevenson credits Coral Island and almost EVERYTHING in popular Western Culture on Pirates is from Treasure Island. Curiously only evidence that one Pirate ever buried treasure and the location wasn't really even secret. The most successful "pirates" were licenced by Queen Elizabeth to harry the Spanish shipping gold they stole from the Americas. The economic boom of Europe and subsequent ability to dominate / "colonise" the world might have been fuelled by that theft of gold. A second aspect was a population boom in Europe fed by the imported Potato. The resulting dependence was why there were massive famines in Europe, not just Ireland.
 The most positive aspect might have been the Portuguese introducing Chillies to Asia. What would Asian food be today without chillis?  Or Italian food without tomatoes? Chocolate and rubber too.

Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: April 07, 2020, 01:43:35 PM »
I’ve gone back to my Gin and Magic concept (think Dashiel Hammet’s Thin Man, but with magic  :o).
Coincidently it's the very next ebook on my TBR pile. Just read 1st page.
Not writing as such, but re-writing / editing The Mission's Talent, the last book in the series. It's at about 127 k words and needs a lot of work. Almost 500 comments on the 1st complete draft, but the Beta Reader (Alpha Reader) liked it and how it ended the book and series.

I didn't tie up any loose ends, so while I don't intend writing an 8th book in the series, it's possible. Or someone else can when I'm dead.

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