Eris’ Tale – The Usefulness of Bards – Flashfiction Challenge

 

Song of the Saurials

Song of the Saurials (Note: we have not read this book, we were just really snagged by the cover’s craziness.)

Flash Fiction Title: The Usefulness of Bards
Word Count: 420
Cover Challenge: The Song of the Saurials

 

As soon as the bandits leapt out of their hiding places in the thick underbrush, Gregory the Bard knew he had inadvertently broken the first rule of combat: never bring a clarinet to a swordfight.

“Poop,” he said to no one in particular. He immediately had to duck to avoid a wild swing of a claymore from a bandit.

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Required Reading – The Rants: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Required Reading, book rants, The Lord of the Flies, William Golding, Eris O'Reilly, classic books

(A/N: I had this written before I saw Rebekah’s blog post. XD Looks this is going to be just a continuation of why she’ll never read this book.)

LordOfTheFliesBookCover

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding.

Like a lot of kids taking public education in America, I first had to read Lord of the Flies in high school. And to tell you the truth, I couldn’t even finish it. I managed to get just far enough in it that I could fake it for a C on the essay test. (I don’t even know how I accomplished that, but I did. Read only about two-thirds of it, still managed a C. I wonder if this says more about me than the book, or vice versa.) I have no idea what the ending is. I’m pretty sure they murder a kid? And possibly eat him? I have no idea.

Anyway, the reason I couldn’t stomach it is still very clear to me. It’s a bunch of entitled white boys doing terrible, horrible things to each other. And frankly, I could see that every day—my high school was full of entitled dudes doing awful things to each other and everyone else. I really didn’t need to read a book about it, even if the backdrop was an island paradise.

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The Ferret Libraries – Eris’s Collection

Sadly, my collection cannot be featured here easily.

Right now I have a sad, small little bookcase on the other side of my bed from the door.

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my tiny, sad little bookcase D:

The books share the space with my games and movies, as I have no other place to put those, either. In fact, looking at the picture, I realize that the bookshelf is mostly games and movies. >.> I should… probably do something about that.

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required reading the raves, required reading, fictional ferrets, rabid rainbow ferret society, classic books, book recommendation, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle, Eris O'Reilly

Required Reading — The Raves: The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

sherlock holmesI didn’t actually read anything of Doyle’s until college. I technically majored in Creative Writing, but ended up taking a lot of coursework in British Victorian literature. (If I remember right, I took every single class that was offered on the subject during my stay at college.) So, clearly, I already like the form and rhythm of Victorian lit.

I was assigned to read a Sherlock Holmes short story in one of the classes. I can’t remember which class—I think maybe the Gods and Monsters one? Or maybe it was just the short story class? It kind of doesn’t matter because I also can’t remember which story it was that was actually assigned. I’m pretty sure it was the Five Orange Pips one. Anyway, I found myself really enjoying it. Like, more than I thought I would. I liked it so much that I went out and bought the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes (two massive volumes, actually), and read through the entire thing in about a month.

Mind you, this was during and between assignments when I was averaging reading an assigned 120k of words a week and writing reports on them. Basically a long novel every single week, split up between poetry and short stories and actual novels. So squeezing in another, half a million words or something of Sherlock Holmes is kind of a testament to how much I freaking liked it.

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The Writer’s Pursuit of Health – Trying and Failing at This Health Thing

The Writer's Pursuit of Health, Trying and Failing at This Health Thing, Eris O'Reilly, Rabid Rainbow Ferret Society, health, writing, physical health, failing, making unhealthy choices

So, I can might have noticed from the time stamp, I’m late with this post. And it’s not for lack of trying. Eleven (!!) times I’ve started and ultimately erased the draft for this thing.

Any advice I could have given has been said. And even so, I don’t really have a lot of advice to give. I’m not in the best of health myself–and yeah, I’ve been making strides in my own life to try to get healthier but still. I’m actually still a pretty unhealthy person. I barely exercise. I’ve only just now managed to get my eating under some semblance of control, and even then I can go days between eating anything green or vaguely vegetable-like.

I know what I should be doing. I should be getting up in the morning to do some cardio or lift weights or whatever. I should be eating …. what is it now? Two servings of greens and two servings of fruit? Three and two? Four and three? Man, I don’t even know anymore. Definitely more vegetables should be happening in my diet, is my point.

About the only thing I’m even relatively proud of is that I did almost sort of cut out sugar from my diet. Except for that birthday cake this weekend. And the pumpkin bread last night. And the sugar I put in my daily, usually multiple, cups of coffee.

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Writing for Comics

I started writing a comic about this time last year, and since then I’ve managed to not only finalize the script but actually start getting pages drawn and posted. And even though it’s been a year, I have learned a lot. Mostly by learning from my mistakes.

The first thing to realize with scripting is that, even though you’re still putting words on a page, is that the script isn’t the final product. In this case, the comic is. But this is also true for scripts for film or stage or games. Unlike writing short stories or novels, where the words and how they appear on the page are the final product, the script is just a stepping stone.  Continue reading

The Off-Balancing Act: Binge vs Balance

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We created the lovely banner with the picture Lazy Limbs by Michael via Flickr’s Creative Commons with the CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. The image was slightly resized, and our text added. No other changes made.

Look, I literally just had this conversation about balance (or lack thereof) with my mother. (By the time you’re reading this, this conversation will have taken place around 10pm last night.) I was telling her about my artwork and this week’s page for Queen’s Rogues and the other stuff I’ve been working on for the comic when she asked me about my writing projects. I told her that I hadn’t written for about a week, because I’m terrible at balancing the various things (creative or otherwise) in my life…

Which reminded me that this post is due. Today. I had forgotten about it completely.

So now I’m sitting here, typing this directly up into the drafts at 10:08pm the night before it’s supposed to go live, and I have no idea what to say. Balance had never really been my forte, and it especially isn’t so when writing or other creative pursuits are involved.

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Finding Your Reader – The Evolution of a Writer: The Middle Years

The Evolution of Becoming a Writer Part 4

For a long time, I didn’t know who to write for. Seems silly, I know. The obvious choice is “write for yourself,” but that’s hard. The stuff I write only for myself I don’t want anyone else to read. So what to do about the stuff I want to write for others?

Turns out, writing for some vague, amorphous “anyone” is a terrible choice.

I’ve heard of the phrase, “If you open a window and make love to the world… your story will get pneumonia” (–Kurt Vonnegut). Stephen King has similar advice about finding your One True Reader and writing just for them. They boil down to essentially the same thing: writing specifically for one person. It’s more than just knowing your audience. Having a particular person I’m writing for actually makes the writing easier.

Unfortunately I hadn’t really processed that until now. I used to be caught up in the marketability of what I’m working on, whether it would sell, whether anyone would read it. I used to think if I wanted to get anywhere, to be a REAL writer, I had to write nothing but ORIGINAL, THOUGHT-PROVOKING STUFF.

It is incredibly hard to write when you’re anxious about stuff like that.

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The Act of Writing

Alright, so our lovely Michelle is on vacation this week, so I’m filling in. I want to talk about the actual act of writing.

If you’re a writer–professional, aspiring, or anywhere in between–then you’ve probably read an advice column/blog post/book or two on writing. More than likely, those pieces of advice all had one thing in common: in order to be a writer, one must write.

Which is absolutely true.

But I think, sometimes, that people–especially new writers–get bogged down in the act of writing. We all know that we need to write. We even have a vague idea as to how. And yet, the act of just getting your butt in the chair and get to work is, well, difficult.

And yes, I’m speaking from personal experience.

But unless you actually get your butt in that chair (or couch or balance ball or wherever it is you like to perch on in order to spill out your words), you’re not really going to do any writing. So, as a person who can have an incredibly difficult time of convincing herself that she needs to actually work on her projects, I have compiled a list of ways I have managed to successfully get myself into my chair in order to write. Some of them may work for you. Some of them may not. I’ve added in my two cents on what I think of them, but at always, your mileage may vary. Try them out at your leisure, and let me know whatever more tricks you have personally come up with along the way.

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