Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


High Quality Journals

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

It’s nice to have a quality journal to write in.

I may not be an Oscar Wilde, who was famously in love with his own journal, but I do occasionally like to write in one. And, I have to tell you, I’ve scribbled in everything from cheap, spiral-notebooks to heavy, leather-esque tomes, but the best that I’ve ever seen is Moleskine. My mother got me one for Christmas one year and it was so beautiful that I was afraid to write in it. It’s bound with real leather and the paper feels, well, creamy. It takes ink like a dream from any pen. And, they have a built in book mark to mark where you stopped! Not to mention the elastic band to hold it closed and the pocket for small papers in the back cover. Really, these are superior journals. And, no, I don’t get a commission off this.
If you like writing in journals, you owe it to yourself to at least look at these. (You can buy them here.)

Conlang and Writing Haiku

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Now, for something different…

I think in strange tounges,
with agglutinating verbs,
but I write English…

No more research left,
but still the blank page sees me.
Now, I have to write.


Death from Above

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

That was me, allright, “death from above.”

I wanna’ be an Airborne Ranger. I wanna’ live a life of danger. Death from above! Hell, that was me all over. Only, I was never even a regular ground-pounder, much less Airborne. But, when we were ass-deep in greenies, nobody cared. Yeah, when those goblins came pouring out of whatever hell they came from, everyone was glad to see the North Glenview Irregulars show up. We weren’t much to look at, but the boys an’ I could kill the hell out of goblins. After that first skirmish, they elected me leader. They even called me Captain and saluted. I woulda’ been real proud of that, if I’d had time.

I was home from college the Summer the first goblins showed up. Nobody really knows where they came from. Some people say they were a government experiment to make the “ultimate soldier”. Some people say they came from some “alternate dimension”. Hell, some people say they came from Mars. Who knows? All I know is hearing the woman on the TV news start screaming about invaders and fires in the streets. That was downtown. We were out in the suburbs then. Before they built the walls.
Anyway, it was on every channel. These nasty, big-eyed, green-skinned bastards with sharp teeth and claws chattering away in some hell-only-knows gibberish, swinging meat cleavers and torches. That was bad enough, but then they figured out guns. Didn’t take long either. That’s when they started to really move. First, they followed the sewers from building to building, but soon they started up the river. Right toward us.

Well, I didn’t know where anyone was. Mom and Dad were both at work still and half the phones were out, so I didn’t even bother to call. I went right for Dad’s old .22 rifle. I loaded up that old thing with as many .22 long as I could, then I went looking for more. I found his shotgun, a box of shells for it, and his .38. I was still looking for the .38 shells when the sirens started to go off. I remember as a kid listening to ’em, but I never thought they’d use ’em for anything real. Damn near made me piss myself.
Our house was only two blocks from the river, so I knew they’d be coming right up it for us. We were between them and the Naval Air Station, so I figured we were gonna’ get hit hard. I was a pretty good shot, so I decided to hide up on the second floor and pick off as many as I could manage. At the time, I figured I might be able to hold ’em off until the Army could get there. I don’t know how long it was before I started to see other people in the street with guns. Just a couple of minutes, I guess. Well, I figured two stood a better chance of surviving than one, so I started calling people over to the house. Pretty soon there were about thirty of us with all kinds of guns and ammo. Hell, there was even a kid with bottle rockets and roman candles.
Well, it was about dusk when we could hear something weird. At first, I thought it was some kind of engine, but as it got closer I could hear that it was the goblins. They were singing. I couldn’t see the river, but I’d guess it helped ’em keep time when they were rowing. Anyway, we could see the glow from their torches go right over to the local park. It was as good a place as any to get out of the river and regroup. But, like I said, we were right dead in the middle of the shortest path from the river to the base, so it wasn’t long before they started marching right toward us. The chanting had died down while they were getting out of the water, but they started up again when they started to march. We were all scared, but I could smell that someone had pissed themselves out of fright. Hell, I was so scared it might have even been me.
It was really bizarre to see these things marching down the street like some kind of freak parade. It all seemed so unreal that I almost forgot to start killing ’em! By the time I snapped out of it, the head of the column had marched a block past us and the streets were filled with the green bastards. I went around to the far side of the house looking for their leader, but I think he’d passed by already, so I just picked one that looked dangerous and squeezed off a shot at him. Popped him right in the ear. He dropped like a stone.
I’d never killed anything bigger than a squirrel before and it kind of made me a little sick. In that smoky twilight, the greenie almost looked human. But, then, one of them noticed what had happened and started gibbering and pointing at the house and all hell broke loose.

I don’t remember much after that, really. It was just chaos. We just kept on shooting and killing through the night while the bodies started to pile up around us. Before it was all over, we had an embankment of green bodies that they had to crawl over to get at us. Good thing, too, ’cause if it weren’t for that, we’d all died. The only thing that sticks out for me was that kid with the roman candles. Some of the guys made fun of the kid, at first, but we used those bottle rockets to show the Army where we were so they could come help out. Turns out, they didn’t even know that this group of greenies had come North out of the city! Those rockets and roman candles were the only way the 101st Airborne found us. I’m not sure we woulda’ made it through the night if not for that kid.
Course, that was just the begining of it all and I was in the thick of most of it. Hell, they needed everybody they could get.

Well, now it’s mostly over. Oh, there are still some green bastards out in the hills, but we got most of them. Doesn’t mean I’m comin’ out from behind the city walls, though! Hell, no! I know those things are out there, just waitin’ for me to slip. Not me, though. I’m nice an’ safe here. With Dad’s old .22.


Internet Writing Journal

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

A great resource for writers.

So, I was going through my old bookmarks this weekend and found a link to The Internet Writing Journal. It’s an on-line resource for writers. It covers a lot of ground. They have a little bit of everything here: interviews with authors, book reviews, submission guidelines, and a whole lot more.
They have current articles and a fairly extensive archive. In the latest “issue” they have an interview with Victoria Strauss, an interview with Libba Bray, an article on choosing a writing teacher, an article on quirky but effective book launches, and an article on wrestling With rejection, not to mention the usual book reviews.

It’s an inspiring place to visit, so check it out.


What’s in its pockets, Precious?

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

The Magus knows!

And, now you can, too, with the Fantasy Pocket “Litter” Generator. It’s pretty simple to use: just check the boxes that correspond with the categories that you want to generate random items in and click the button. The result is a list of what a character in a fantasy setting might be carrying in its pockets. Suitable for fiction, role-playing games, or just for fun.
The generator is a fairly simple idea that was inspired by Picked Pockets designed by Wraith Systems Labs. Their’s was built in Visual Basic, or Visual C++, but this is web-based and will work for anyone with a browser.
But, enough chatter, it’s Friday, so, go have some fun!


Review: High School Earth Science Review

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Crescent

This weekend I finished the High School Earth Science Review.

That may seem odd, but it’s not, really. See, I want to create more realistic worlds for my fantasy and science-fiction settings, so, I need to know the basics. And, in my opinion, the basics include earth science. So, falling back on my memories of High School, I thought it would be good to simply review the things I hadn’t caught in science class. See? It realy does make sense!

Anyway, the book was actually fairly good. It gave a decent overview of the subject and used pretty simple language. After all, it is meant for High School students who are having trouble with Earth Science! But, it does hit all the highlights: plate tectonics, water movement and erosion, weather and climate, and so on. There are questions at the end of each section meant to test your knowlege alone the way, but I didn’t really pay attention to them. I wasn’t trying to pass a test, after all. It did give me several ideas for interesting things in regards to planetary processes that might turn up in some of my writing. And, of course, I hope it will improve the realism of my maps. Knowing that rain falls on the windward, and oceanward, side of the mountains, for instance, really effects a lot on a map.

Anyway, if you’re looking at world-building, there are far worse places to start than a review of High School earth science. And, this book is a fairly good review.


Odd Museums

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Two odd ones.

One’s even in Houston! First, though, the Troll Museum. Yes, that’s right. Trolls. Not in the very-scary-big-monster variety, but the neon-hair-belly-button variety. Yes, those horrible, little figurines have their own museum. It’s like a car accident. It’s terrible, but I can’t look away.
The second museum is in my very own Houston! It’s the National Museum of Funeral History. Yeah, you read that right. It’s a museum dedicated to the way we bury our dead. And mourn them. It’s horrific, too, in a different way. But, I have to admit, it’s interesting. Now, if I can just convince the wife that she wants to go….

Well, either way, they might make a fun vactation stop, depending on your sense of humor! Happy Friday!

(And, yes, this also appeared on my other blog. Hey, this was so cool I had to recycle it!)


Happy Birthday!

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Today is William Gibson’s Birthday!

For those of you who have been hiding under a rock, or are freshly hatched from the Great Egg, William Gibson is one of the fathers of the cyberpunk movement. He’s generally credited with coining the term “cyberspace” and popularizing a somewhat more realistic, if sometimes bleak, view of the future.
He also ran away to Canada in 1968 to avoid the draft. Which is the only bad thing I can say about him. I otherwise admire his work and thought processes. Certainly his literature is beyond compare.
If you’re interested in science-fiction at all and haven’t read any of his work, you have no idea what science-fiction really is. And not the movies, either, you have to actually read his work.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Bill.

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