jfs: (Default)
One of my favourite books about how to write is Stephen King's "On Writing". King, like John Irving, has such a distinctive voice when he writes - that New England laconic that infects my writing style for weeks after I've read something of theirs, sticking to my fingers like creosote, staining my keyboard with their rhythms.

So, following links on a dull May Bank Holiday Sunday, I found a post by Neil Gaiman where he'd interviewed King for the Sunday Times and then, because the Times interview is behind a paywall, has posted the interview on his blog. And one of the things that King said put my back up at first. He's written a sequel to The Shining.

I'm not a big fan of sequels that come out many years after. Le Guin managed it with Tehanu, but it took 10 years for me to (grow up and) like that book once it had been published. The questions it asked and answered about what had happened to Ged in the first three books were questions that it took me a long while to appreciate needing to be asked. Scott Card's 'Shadow' books were disastrous - take a character (Ender) that went through hell, and then take all his victories away from him 20 years later because the authors new favourite character (Bean) is working in the background, making things easier. It's revisionism, pure and simple.

So when King said he had written a sequel to The Shining, my instinctive reaction was to be wary.

And then he said this:

“I wanted to write Dr Sleep because I wanted to see what would happen to Danny Torrence when he grew up. And I knew that he would be a drunk because his father was a drunk. One of the holes it seemed to me in The Shining is that Jack Torrance was this white-knuckle dry drunk who never tried one of the self-help groups, the like Alcoholics Anonymous. I thought, okay, I'll start with Danny Torrence at age forty. He is going to be one of those people who says 'I am never going to be like my father, I am never going to be abusive like my father was'. Then you wake up at 37 or 38 and you're a drunk. Then I thought, what kind of a life does that person like that have? He'll do a bunch of low-bottom jobs, he'll get canned, and now he works in a hospice as a janitor. I really want him to be in a hospice worker because he has the shining and he can help people get across as they die. They call him Dr Sleep, and they know to call for him when the cat goes into their room and sits on their bed. This was writing about guy who rides the bus, and he's eating in a McDonalds, or on a special night out maybe Red Lobster. We are not talking about a guy who goes to Sardi's.”

And, you know? That's just such an awesome summary of 30 years of someone's life, 30 years of what would have happened to someone who went through what Danny did at the Overlook, 30 years of never being able to let go of the past.

I'm very much looking forward to reading this.
jfs: (Default)
"When I was 10", I told her, "I wanted my birthday to move from September to December just so there was the slightest chance I could wake up on the morning of my 11th birthday and open my curtains to a snow filled landscape."

There's been a lot in my head this year about mythologies; the stories that shape us. Andrew Rilstone (who writes very well, especially about Doctor Who, quotes Laurence Miles in this post saying that Doctor Who is his native mythology. Rilstone also quotes Ursula LeGuin talking about the language of the night and the language of the day; the symbological as well as the literal; two strands of language going on at once in one story.

Doctor Who was never my mythology. That's not to say it wasn't part of my childhood. I have a very strong memory of when we got our first portable television - Rebecca must have been about 5, I'd have been 10. Somewhere about 1978 or '79, so we'd have been watching Tom Baker. Why was the portable important? It was in the kitchen, and Doctor Who was on at the same time that Dad would have been watching the news in the living room, or Mum would have been watching her soaps. Back in the days of one television per household, we watched children's TV until 5.30 when the news started, and then control of the TV passed to your parents unless a combination of advanced diplomacy, foot stamping and cries of 'But everyone at school will be watching it! You're so unfair!' could wrest control back.

I remember the excitement of the portable television. Black and white, of course, and with only three channels, but under our control. We could watch whatever we wanted. (For a given value of 'whatever', of course - in actuality, we could watch BBC2 while Mum was watching ITV.) I remember watching the Young Ones on that TV, and the first series of Blackadder - Monday night comedies on BBC2; half an hour of anarchy. I remember watching Doctor Who and, as the end credits rolled, turning off the kitchen lights and turning up the brightness on the TV so the explosion that closed the credits lit up the whole room.

I remember the Who stories, of course, but not well, because I didn't internalise them. I didn't make them part of the mythopoeic landscape that I was building inside me, unconsciously at the time, but building it nevertheless. The bricks of that landscape were shaped by Ursula Le Guin, by Michael Praed, by Herne the Hunter and Ged the wizard. And by Will Stanton, of course; youngest of the Old Ones, 11 years old on a snow-clad morning, ancient and young all at once.

Susan Cooper describes Britain as myth-haunted, and that resonates as truth with me.

So I've never felt the pull of Who that so many of my friends have. For me, the myths of my childhood are both ancient and modern. Take Robin of Sherwood, for example. There have been Robin Hood stories for a long time, one of the quintessential underdog tales. But it wasn't until the 80's TV series, silly hair and all, that the overtly pagan Herne got added in to the story in the popular conscience. He's in the Dark is Rising stories too - master of the Wild Hunt, neither Dark nor Light but above and beyond both. I often wonder if the writers of RoS had read the Dark is Rising stories, or if both they and Cooper were merely drawing from the same stewpot of ideas.

I think it's the reason that I fell so heavily into LRP at the Gathering, to be honest. If I'd been in a different faction, I'm not sure it would have held my attention for as long as it did. But I was in the Lions, and then the Harts - fighting for Albion - the parts of England that were Arthur, and Robin, and Herne and the Swords of Wayland. I never felt the need to portray anything but human either - being part of the stories of my own mythology was enough.

The fact that we were adapting and creating our own stories had its own funny repercussions; the webmaster of the Harts website once received an email from someone in the USA demanding that we take down the story of how the Swords of Wayland came to be because her coven was the actual holder of the seven swords, handed down to them through the Middle Ages. I believe she may have been pointed at the interview with Richard Carpenter where he said that he'd made them all up, including their names, out of his imagination. She was, I think, treated more politely than I would have, at the time.

I think it's also one of the reasons why Odyssey, the LRP I was at a couple of weekends ago, didn't resonate. Mediterranean Mythology does little for me; keeping track of which God turned into which thing to sleep with which woman never really had much appeal for me.

So I’ll chase my own mythologies; outside of a costume, possibly outside of a mask. I’ll listen to the stories which resonate; some with truth, others with beauty, the occasional one with both. And I’ll listen to both the language of the night, and of the day, when the storyteller speaks.

And occasionally, just occasionally, I’ll tell a story of my own.
jfs: (Default)
Following the interview with Ursula Le Guin last week, this week, Radio 4 talk to Alan Garner about his Cheshire set books.

jfs: (Default)
""It is not just for a student's grade to depend on the willingness or capacity of a stranger to help him with his homework. I am ready to discuss this with your teacher, principal or school board."

Robert Heinlein's Form Letter.
jfs: (Default)
Ninjure: vb. To be wounded or otherwise hurt without knowing where the source of injury came from.

"Wow - that's a nasty looking bruise - what did you do?"
"No idea - I was totally ninjured."
jfs: (ninja)
I'm designing a series of buttons for an induction website, and I was having problems with one particular one.

It's to go with a screen about regulations, and the person who wrote the screen has called it "Dos and don'ts."

The problem is, that phrase works best when you typeset it thus:

DOs and DON'Ts

Because when you don't use the capitalisation, especially when you're talking about IT, people might be forgiven that you're talking about a very old operating system indeed.

Only, the buttons I'm designing have lowercase text on them, and though I say so myself, they look pretty good. And that really emphasises the operating system problem.

dos and don'ts.

Anyway - so I thought I'd have a look at other people's work to see what I could steal gain inspiration, so off to the web I went.

Have you any idea how many pluralised apostrophes there are out there?

do's and don'ts

Do these people not realise that if you accept that apostrophes pluralise, then logically, the phrase should be typeset thus?:

do's and don't's

Or even

do's and don's

I despair.

But not that much.


Aug. 8th, 2007 03:26 pm
jfs: (Default)

Only in silence the word,

only in dark the light,

only in dying life :

bright the hawk's flight on the empty sky.

A ship out at sea in a storm. Dragons flying and fighting overhead. Magic failing. A dragon dying.

It's a good start.

So, Tales from Earthsea.

I can see why Le Guin said "It's a good film. It's not a film of my story, but it's a good film" to the director.

It was like watching fan fiction. Well written, about familiar(ish) characters, but not quite as good as the original. The story is a mixture of The Farthest Shore and Tehanu with some flashbacks / homages to A Wizard of Earthsea and a few new additions that don't quite work, but which aren't bad.

The animation style is standard Studio Ghibli, without the (often overplayed, in my opinion) whimsy - the only cute animal is Arren's horse (which looks more like a llama) and that's acceptable. It's quite 'old' Ghibli, if that makes sense - having recently watched Nausicca and the Valley of the Winds it was more like that than Spirited Away - the colours were more muted, and there didn't feel to be such a wide pallete. But for a story where magic is draining out of the world, that's not a bad choice to make.

The story is slow, which is strange given that there's potentially two books of plot to cover. But, as [livejournal.com profile] toripink commented in my previous post, the relationships between the characters are touching; both between Ged and Arren, and  with their relationships with Tenar and Tehanu.

It's not a great film; it's especially not a great Earthsea story; but it is a good film.

And given how bad it could have been, I'm willing to be happy with that.
jfs: (Default)
(An explanation - the following piece is my most recent submission to [livejournal.com profile] musemuggers - a great LJ-Comm where several writing prompts are put up each week. One of this weeks was three cards from the Vertigo Tarot deck.Comments always welcome.)

"They're just cards, you know."

They'd had this conversation before; like an old couple playing chess in Central Park, the first moves flickered by like fireflies.

"I know. They're comforting."

"You're not looking for your fate and fortune in there are you?"

"That's not why I do it."

"So why?"

A change of tone. More weight to the words - difficult to do with only five letters, but somehow, she'd managed to fill that phrase with interest and despair, both at once.

He turned to face her;looked at her properly for the first time in a thousand years. Held his mouth still while his thoughts whirled and dipped, waited patiently for the right words to come. And she, for her part, waited too. Patience could have been her name, if she took it upon herself to use one.

"They're so inventive." He raised an eyebrow, forestalling her obvious interjection. "No, not the cards. The creators of the cards. The short-lived ones who see the road that stretches ahead of them disappearing into darkness and who do whatever they can to put off their fate. Some fall to destruction fighting that battle. Others, on finding that their destiny cannot be put off, seek to explain it. Some use drugs to step sideways for a while; risking eternal delirium for a momentary glance. Others ..."

"They dream.", she said, far more gently that before. She smiled then, and it reached deep into her eyes, lighting up the darkness.

A nod, accepting the obvious. "They dream, and for a few short minutes they can step off the path and onto another. Wherever they desire to go; wherever they need to go. They dream. And when they return to the world awake?"

She sat,crossing her legs unselfconsciously, propping up her head with both hands to indicate that she was giving her every thought to the matter.He didn't smile, but then he never did.

"They hold the dream within, and carry on walking the road. There's nothing else they can do. And when the road ends ..."

Her voice trailed off, a hand waving to indicate 'you know...'.

"Death." Five more letters, just as much weight.

"Yes? Oh. I mean, yes. Then death."

She grinned, her nose wrinkling up and her eyes creasing.

"But that doesn't explain the cards, oh brother of mine. They use them to step off the path, to see if they can evade their destruction. They stave off despair, they hunt desire. They dream through the cards, dear brother, and they delight at knowing their destiny. And sometimes they see their death, and count themselves at least prepared."

She watched his hands as he dealt another spread of cards.

"But what do you get out of this deck of yours, little brother. I know what they hope for. What are the cards to you?"

He looked at her then, and in his eyes the stars of all the universes ever dreamt of burned.

"Like any general before a battle, I seek to know my enemy."

She laughed then, full loud and long.

"Your enemy? Don't you mean your family?"

And there, just at the corner of his mouth, the very faintest hint of a curl of the lips. One would need to be familiar with that face, to have known it for a thousand thousand years to call it a smile.

"Are they not one and the same?"
jfs: (Default)
She's a very London mermaid.

You might describe her as Rubenesque if you wanted to be kind; but really she looks like one of the women pouring out of a pub in a Beryl Cook painting. They're carving her out of sand on the beach near the Oxo Tower.

You didn't know about that beach? Didn't know that there were beaches in the centre of London? Well, why would you? It's the kind of beach that is only there at low tide; its only purpose is to remind Londoners that old Father Thames reaches far beyond our city, that he doesn't just belong to us. If he can be said to belong to anyone at all. The beach appears and disappears as he falls and rises, Enough sand for one family picnic, or two canoodling couples who want just enough privacy from each other for inhibitions to lower and giggles to rise into the night sky. Or one mermaid, of course.

There are two sand carvers, both dressed sensibly for the cold March day next to the river. The woman, long blond hair tied back in a plait, works with a tea-spoon. She carves the scales in the mermaid's tail, one scale at a time, from waist to the splayed fin at the other end. The man acts as hairdresser, confining his attentions to the mermaid's semi-permanent coiffure. She'll be gone by midnight, her features eroded like the Sphinx, the particles of her body on the way down river, her atoms dispersed and travelling once more. But for now she's holding it together as the couple strive to finish their creation before the tide turns.

There's a tee-shirt outstretched on the sand, black against the muddy brown. Clear white letters are visible from 15 feet up on the embankment.

"Don't worry. We're professionals."

I have no idea why that makes me laugh on a sunny but cold friday afternoon, but it does.

The tee-shirt does its job - an obvious target for dropped coins as the couple carve away. A man and his son make a game of it - a point for a penny on the words, ten points for a silver coin on a sleeve. I drop a brassy Maggie in homage. The couple don't care. It's all cash falling as they work away.

Camera-phones flash, pictures are taken, trying to make permanent this transient trollop. She grins her toothy grin back; not so much with the confidence of Ozymandius but with the cheeky certainty of the Londoner born and bred.

"Look on my works, ye mighty and get us a gin and tonic while you're at it. Go on, make it a large one. You only live once after all."

If this sandy siren could fold her arms over her ample bosom, she would. And her smile would engage you conspiratorially and entangle you in a seaweed web of just what exactly that Neptune said to our Poseidon, and just where she told him she would stick his trident if he didn't keep his hands to himself. And her laugh would echo like a whale's cry, booming across a thousand miles of sea-bed and it would be your round again.

"Just one more before the tide turns and the bell rings, eh? It's a cold night outside and a long journey home, and a drop of mother's ruin will see us right before we go."

The beach starts to disappear and ebb turns to flood. Buoys bob and bells ring and with a saucy wink she starts to disappear, slipping away grain by grain into the dark water. The carefully carved scales lose their definition, her hair turns from careful wave to frizzy mess, but she doesn't care. She's happy, and a little bit tiddly, and on her way home once more.

One last laugh, the final dregs of her drink downed and she's gone where the beach goes, back to Father Thames' bed. And he laughs, a rumbling guffaw, as you stand on the Embankment with an air of confused disappointment.

"She'll be back", he thunders as he heads to the sea. "She'll be back."
jfs: (Default)
More a bookmark for myself again, but http://bankuei.blogspot.com/2006/02/flag-framing_03.html is an interesting idea on how to prepare for improvisation within a game.
jfs: (boy with cat)
I've just been sent an advert for a magazine looking for writers. Its quite a ... specialist magazine, and one I don't feel qualified to write for.

Others on my friendslist might feel differently, and so I present, with no further ado, the following:

Cthulhu Sex Magazine
Cthulhu Sex Submission Guidelines
All submissions to Cthulhu Sex must contain a major thread of at least one of the three themes in the subtitle: Blood, Sex and Tentacles. Most of our works are dark in tone, horrific in thought and streaked with sensuality. We are most interested in works that have an entertaining, motivated plot and evoke a charged atmosphere of terror and titillation. Catering to sensual horror readers, we look for horror with sensual influences as opposed to erotica with horrific influences. We are open to experimental writings. Most of all, we desire interesting and well-written stories. Perusing an issue is the best way to get a feel for what we print.

Guideline details, submission, payment, and contact information at:

Hmmmm ...

Jun. 16th, 2006 12:32 pm
jfs: (Default)
"Privacy and confidentiality is the founding stone of our relations with clients. Our company is perfectly aware that the majority of tutors manifest highly a negative attitude toward custom writing companies.Unfortunately, the contemporary academic environment often leaves them absolutely no choice but to apply for assistance to one of such companies. Thousands of students have to work in order to pay for their education, and they do not have time to fulfill all the assignments within the learning course. Others have set their mind on the learning priorities and do not want to loose much time studying secondary subjects. Some students may find themselves – for objective or subjective reasons – in a situation when the amount of pending assignments puts them at risks of being expelled while the time remaining is just not adecquate. We strongly believe that professional and legitimate custom writing is the only thing that really helps in such cases and has no negative impact on the academic growth of students. However, taking into consideration the fact that teaching staff usually has another opinion, our company never discloses any information provided by our clients, whether knowingly or unknowingly."

Leaving aside the dubious ethical stance taken by this "Custom Essay Writing Service", is it just me or is the text quoted above just plain gratingly ungrammatical? And my emphasis on the misspellings, but if you're going to sell a service about writing, surely as an absolute basic, you run the text through Word's spell checker first?

The going rate seems to be about £60 for 1000 words, by the way.
jfs: (Default)
According to http://www.google.co.uk/ it's Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday, and they're celebrating it with a Sherlock Holmes themed Google logo.

jfs: (Default)

Doing the Drabble meme reminded me quite how much fun I had about three years ago at http://www.100words.net - not that I knew what a drabble was, then.

The premise is simple - the best way to develop your writing is to write every day; no excuses. It's why  Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way suggests that the first thing you do every morning is to write three pages, hand written, and then don't re-read them. Just get writing, don't worry about what you write.

Anyway, 100words is slightly different - I'm pretty sure it was [livejournal.com profile] ashenkat who pointed me at it. You write  a daily drabble and submit it to the site. If you submit a drabble every day for a month, then the whole month gets published when completed. If you don't, even if you only miss a day, then it doesn't. Your reward is getting published.

It's not draconian - you can submit all your drabbles at once, so even if you don't have access to a computer, you can write your day's drabble and then type it up later in the month - but they all have to be submitted within a couple of days of the end of the month.

Anyway, I found it fun then, and I'm going to try it again, starting in June. Maybe see some of you over there?

jfs: (Default)
13 drabbles, even though I promised 10. I've split them out as a separate post, as well as replying to them in comments because ... well, because I have a rampaging ego and want you all to see them. Enjoy ....

[livejournal.com profile] delvy: Benedict

On a rooftop in the city of a thousand masks, a patchwork figure capered in the light of a full moon, lantern light glinting from the jewels that bedecked him. Two silver goblets stood on a balcony,amoretto’s amaretto in the dregs. Across the floor heather from a far off land was strewn, its foreign fragrance rising from each crushed petal, from each broken branch to mingle with the citrus and herbs that were the scent of this most sensual serenissima .

The sound of laughter, voices entwined. And the cool night air carrying the salt smell of the sea.

[livejournal.com profile] hepster: Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon.

A tense atmosphere as two be-suited figures faced each other in the claustrophobic capsule. Staring intently, their hands extended in front of them, they waited like racehorses in the gate, ready for the off.

“One, Two, Three, Go!”


“Rock. My game, Aldrin – I get to go down first.”

“Are you certain that playing Rock-Paper-Scissors with these gloves on works?”

The door’s seal cracked, and the world’s eyes focused on the man climbing down the ladder.

Because of a quick NASA sergeant, the first words broadcast from the moon were not

“That’s one small step for a cheating bastard ….”

[livejournal.com profile] wolflady26: Breaking the Rules, and the Consequences Thereof

“One hundred words”, she said. “That’s the rules. You can’t go over by one, or under by one. Someone sits there and counts them, and if you’re even a little bit out, you’ll face the consequences.”

I laughed, I think. “Face the consequences? What’s that supposed to mean?”

Her face was grave. “What’d happen if you couldn’t finish what you’d started? Would you be the same person that you are today if you’d always done a little bit more than you actually did? Would you be standing here today if at some point, you’d never managed to say “I love

[livejournal.com profile] maleghast: The Clockwork Man

7am: Alarm clock rings annoyingly. Fumble for the snooze button.
7.10am: An incessant buzz. Get out of bed.
7.20am: Wash, shave, dress.
8am: Breakfast and read paper.
8.30am: Drive to work.
9am: Clock in.
11am: Tea, biscuit, cigarette.
12.30pm: Lunch down the pub with work mates.
5pm: Clock out. Back to pub.
8pm: Across the road to the kebab shop. Donner, chilli sauce, salad.
11pm: Pub closes. Home to an empty house. Home to an empty bed.
11.15pm: Stare at her chair, at the knitting in the bag next to the fire.
Midnight: Set alarm clock. Sleep a disturbed sleep.

[livejournal.com profile] quintus: Talented wee bugger

*tap* *tap* *tap*

*knock* *knock* *knock*

“Are you done yet? Only, it’s nearly dawn, and you know she doesn’t like to be kept waiting. Why, the last time she was kept waiting …”

“The last time she was kept waiting she took it away. And what happened then? She was very, very, sorry. She tried leaving it out again and again, but we didn’t return. Forty years she’s waited, and if she hasn’t learnt patience in that time, she’ll never, and we’ll leave again.

*tap* *tap* *tap*

“I’m done. Take her the shoes and bring me the bowl of milk.”
[livejournal.com profile] mrssshhh: Padraig and the Lads

“You think you’re good enough? You think that you’ll pick up that spear, and have your hair braided in nine braids? You think you’ll survive being hunted by the Fianna through the woods like a wolf, the bark and thorns scratching at you, no time to drink from a stream, no time to kill a rabbit and eat its flesh? You think you won’t be sent back to your mother, weeping because you have seen the glory of the Fianna and knowing that it’s always out of your reach?”

“I think you should fucking shut it. Lets fucking do this.”

[livejournal.com profile] scary_lady: Aslan

I held his paw.

I didn’t think I’d be able to, because he is not a tame lion. I’d heard the stories of him since I was born – how large he was, how he smelt of summer and spring rain, how he had sung the world into being. I knew those stories deep inside my heart. We all do. Aslan, son of the Emperor over the Sea. Aslan, the protector of the weak.

I held his paw.

I held his paw as they tied him to the stone, shaved his mane and then killed him.

I wish I had not.

[livejournal.com profile] itsjustaname: [livejournal.com profile] jimfer

“Release the flying monkey robots!”


“You fools! Did you think you could stop Herr Doktor Jimfer once he had put his mind to ruling the world! Your petty plans mean nothing to me!”

“Herr Doktor! Herr Doktor!”

“Silence, minion! I am mid-soliloquy. Ahem …. Your petty plans mean nothing to me! Do you not think I do not see your attempts at distraction while your accomplice disarms the control beacon for my monkeys!”

“You’re mad, you fiend!”

“Mad!? You call me mad!? I who have discovered the secret of ….”

*BzzzBzzzBzzz* "And here’s Shona, with the weather!”

“Damn …..”

[livejournal.com profile] kingandy: Hammad and Jarane

“It’s all here, Hammad. 500 report scrolls. Twenty seven mystic artefacts which delve into mysteries man really shouldn’t delve in to.Fourteen magic items proving conclusive breach of the Treaty of Rome by Verditius magi. One queen and eight pawns of assorted confiscated Vis with receipts issued, blue copy to Quaesitor Maximus of the Tribunal,yellow copy in that folder over there. A copy of Plato’s lost work on the importance of humour. I think that’s everything.”

“Very good, Jarane. But my initial request was simply that you pick me up some parchment if you were passing near the market.”

[livejournal.com profile] castorlion: Regrets best forgotten
Three wine glasses on the table, all with dregs, but only two with lipstick stains. A smouldering cigarette dies a lonely death in the ashtray. From upstairs can be heard the sound of activity – scurrying and tidying, teeth being hurriedly brushed in preparation of what is now definitely going to happen. The evening is tinged with anticipation, a gentle rose coloured hue.

Outside, a car door closes as quietly as a sigh, and he listens to the gentle hum of regret driving away into the night.

He turns his head to the footsteps coming down the stairs. Be here, now.

[livejournal.com profile] ed_fortune: Ferrarius, the Early Years
It’s all about the colour, you know. What colour do things go when they’re put under pressure, when the heat is on. That’s when things change. That’s when the truth comes out. When the heat is applied, you see the true metal.

You can go through your life staying grey. You can live, never finding out your breaking point. You can face rock walls here for the rest of your life, or you can step through the doors, out into the open sky, and see the multitude of colours that exist in this world.

What colour are you, little gargoyle?

[livejournal.com profile] binidj: Friends walking

In a spring garden, they walk. Not hand in hand, not even quite side by side, but with an intimacy that tells the story of a thousand nights and days spent together. She stands upright, like a sword poised to cut through inconsequential conversation. He, a step behind or in front seems as light as air, as if only her presence holds him bound to the earth. Her face, though stern, is intent on showing him all of the marvels within the garden. She teaches, and he listens. She gestures,and he looks.

She rarely blinks. He never stops smiling.

[livejournal.com profile] rebby: Looking back at a childhood fear

I never understood why I was scared of cats. It was sensible to be scared of dogs ever since I saw an over-excited pack of the local neighbourhood pooches surround my sister, barking and yelping as she stood in the centre of a canine circle and screamed. So dogs? That makes sense. Heights? Look over the edge of a building. Perfect sense.

But I never understood why I was so scared of cats until I saw our cat sitting on our baby’s chest, her face watching his, her inhalation his exhalation.

And I felt a forgotten weight upon my heart.
jfs: (NWO)
Heroes are defined by their Virtues.

Villains are defined by their Flaws.

jfs: (NWO)
Because a few people have asked, I've put together a beginners guide to Ars Magica at the following URL:


It's only a couple of pages long, with a summary of the Houses, Tribunals and main issues facing the Order as we go into the Grand Tribunal, with a copy of the Code and a commentary on it on the back.

Hopefully people will find it useful - please feel free to point other people towards it.
jfs: (Default)
There is a song that I learnt as a child, one that has always troubled and comforted me simultaneously.

desire, grandfather, wet weekend, new shoes, sound of someone saying your name )
jfs: (NWO)
Everyone who was expecting one should have their character pack for NWO by now. If you have any questions, then there is a list of the writers on the NWO Forums (you'll need to be able to log in for that.)

Please contact your writer first; if they can't help, they'll pass it on to the most appropriate member of the team to help instead.
jfs: (NWO)
So I am going to profitably spend the next couple of hours destroying all humans.

I haven't done it for a while, and you know what humans are like - if you don't keep them under control, they get everywhere.

January 2017

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