November 13, 2019, 05:45:20 AM

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Messages - JMack

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Unseasonably gorgeous weather here in Trumpland. I’ll take it.
Meanwhile, it’s still daylight when I drive home, but not for long.
In a week, we change our clocks, shifting them an hour forward. A little brighter in the morning, but basically night at 5 during my commute.

General Discussion / Re: Member birthday calendar
« on: October 28, 2019, 11:41:06 PM »
And I’ll chime in, too. Just as belated!
Happy birthday, @J.R. Darewood!
Glad you’re around to see another one.  ;D

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: October 27, 2019, 11:41:36 AM »
Listened to “Skyward” by Brandon Sanderson, very fun, very fast-paced YA SF.
So I decided to get “Elantris” and listen to that. Oh my, very slow, with a horrible narrator. But I’m slogging through, having read a review that said the book really takes off after the first third.

Meanwhile, after 4 wonderful Murderbot novellas, Martha Wells is coming out with a full-length MB novel. Color me very excited. But I have to wait for April!  >:(

Pretty funny that Sanderson has an AI character in Skyward named “MBot”, and slips in a MurderBot reference.

Folks, the MurderBot stories are just. so. awesome.

Writers' Corner / Re: How much did you write today?
« on: October 23, 2019, 10:54:59 AM »
'The White Fire Stones' is now about 42,500 words after writing nearly 2K today. Next I need write all of the quiet penultimate chapter. Then finish last the chapter (the basic ending is written). That will be a complete first draft, though will later need some summary narrative converted to direct character action and dialogue. It's the second of the Trader's Isle series.

My best Beta reader is about half way through The Seven Talismans, the first book in this series. I'm already thinking about the plot of the third book and how the series may finish, though each book works stand alone.

Great progress!

Aaand another one who should post more to become a Big Wee Hag. :)

Says the Elderling who should be a Ringbearer, if he’d only, er, bear down a bit.

Well, we're having our first real snowfall over here.

I just got back from driving to the tire shop to have my winter tires put under, and I had two unpleasant incidents of the car sliding uncontrollably. The guy at the shop told me they're dealing with the biggest backlog they've ever seen. They won't finish with my car today, and possibly not even tomorrow. I still left it behind, because I sure wasn't going to drive back in these conditions. I probably wouldn't have gotten it uphill anyway.

And I'm now enjoying a reminder of just how fatiguing it is to walk in snow. Add a little resistance to each step and it really adds up. And I'm in for some serious muscle stiffness in the coming days, because walking on ice requires clenching leg and back muscles that normally see very little use.

I expect to read some of this in your next book.  ;D

Yup. 5 years.
I joined F-F in November 2014.
 Bea, how far am I from joining you as a Big Wee Hag?

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Magic vs Technology
« on: October 20, 2019, 04:16:32 PM »
I don't really see why so many see the 'vs' aspect of this. To my mind, magic and technology are best when they do very different things. If you want to kill a bandit, you grab a sword. if you want to see the future, you visit a prophet. or at least, that's the way I tend to handle things. Neither one is better than the other, because they're not competing in the same fields.

It's a variation of Science vs Religion theme.

Sort of. Depends on how you handle it. It could be a sort of Romanticism vs Enlightenment theme as well. Magic could stand for backwards superstition or chivalrous values, depending on how you frame it.

But I like the idea of a magic vs technology conflict because in most settings magic is only available to a select group born with magical powers. Technology isn't available to everyone, but everyone can, in theory, obtain it. It that way, technology is more likely to enforce equality, or at least equality of opportunity, and magic hierarchy, in particular a hereditary hierarchy.

That’s a really insightful er... insight. An interesting take would be to have magic actually available to all, while the powerful try to suppress that information.

I think about my father almost every day. At times I run a litany of names past my mind

@Eli_Freysson, I’ll take the summer land for them all, if it’s available to non-Icelanders.

General Discussion / Re: Member birthday calendar
« on: October 20, 2019, 12:24:00 PM »
Hello, everyone. Thank you for my birthday wishes. It’s been incredibly busy here at Castle JMack, but that’s no excuse to be away from my friends repeatedly.

So, metaphorical cake for all!

If you’re feeling a bit in a tight spot, there’s a heavy metal file hidden in there to bust the bars.

If you’re just feeling a bit down, I put some lovely marijuana oil into the batter. (I’m sure it’s excellent for arthritis, @Lady Ty, and other unnamed ailments.)

And if you just want a sweet dessert, well, this cake has cream in the center and chocolate ganache frosting on top. (Which is Boston Cream Pie, for anyone not quite following my text. BCP is second only to Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream in JMack’s dessert pantheon.)

Happy birthdays all around.  ;D

Writers' Corner / Re: How do you keep your characters realistic?
« on: October 20, 2019, 12:15:06 PM »
Erm. @J.R. Darewood: What exactly is deconstructionism?

@JMack sorry I just saw that you posted this back in July. Sorry I missed it I think at the time I was running around Peru and embroiled in some sort of unpleasantness here which might possibly still be lingering on me like a bad smell....

At any rate, "deconstructionism" is typically related to existential philosophy (ie. the deconstruction of reality and truth), but  in the context of this discussion (uhhhh that happened in 2014) we were talking about deconstructing tropes, specifically the hero trope.  Grimdark for example might take apart the noblebright hero trope exposing the underlying ways that heroism is *constructed* thereby inducing a sense of "realism".  So deconstruction is basically about taking apart/undermining/questioning etc social constructions we usually hold to be a given (the knight in shining armor, the divine right of benevolent monarchs, or anything really--pick your poison)

And here I thought it was everything Trump is doing to deconstruct anything good in American society and discourse. Shows what I know.

Oops.  Sorry. Political thread, here I come.  ;)

I just thought I'd link the most adorable video I've seen in a while.

Honestly, this critter is straight out of an 80's movie.

Just don’t pat the wrong way!

[AUG 2019] BtR: Weather / Re: [Aug 2019] - BtR: Weather - Voting Thread
« on: October 20, 2019, 12:10:32 PM »
It was a dark and stormy night when I read the cool stuff everyone wrote. And when the storm had passed, leaving a scent of fallen cherry blossoms on the breeze, I saw the votes. Good on you, @Jonathan Ryan, I thought. Good on you, @NedMarcus. Well done everyone. I rammed the point of my ink-stained sword into the ground and left it there, quivering.

I tried to leave it there. But it calls to me.

Ha! See you for “Schools” stories, everyone. Congrats, guys.

I also have a story idea I’d
Like to write.

[SEP/OCT 2019] School / Re: [Sep 2019] - School - Discussion Thread
« on: September 29, 2019, 08:52:55 PM »
I think another month. I like the theme, but I’ve been totally unable to write this month.   :(

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