Fantasist's Scroll

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


How To Write A Fantasy Novel

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

As you may have guessed, this is not a serious article.

Look, it’s Friday and nothing can be all that serious on a Friday, right? Well, despite the fact that the article is called How To Write a Best Selling Fantasy Novel, it is NOT serious. It is a joke. But, it’s a good joke, so click on the link.
Now, if you’ve been around the writing game for a bit, especially in the fantasy end of things, you’ve seen jokes like this before. For you, like me, it’s not a joke. For anyone who wants to make a living in the crazy game of speculative fiction writing, this is deadly serious. If I want to make it as a serious writer, I absolutely can NOT make any of the mistakes that are suggested in the article. On the other hand, it is a handy guide for what NOT to do anymore. Oh, for the good old days when that all still worked….

Anyway, no matter how you slice it, the article is worth reading. And, after all, it is a Friday.


Journaling Materials

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

Do you journal?

I have in the past, in the “real world”, that is. Blogging is a journaling of a sort, but not the kind that I mean. When someone asks me if I journal, they’re asking me if I record my innermost thoughts on paper. They’re asking me if I write to excise the demons of my heart, mind and soul by opening a vein and pouring ink onto the pages of a book that no one else will see. As I mentioned, I have done that in the past. I often toy with the idea of starting again.
And, I have to admit, I lust after a particular notebook to journal in: Moleskine. If you haven’t seen these gems, find them. Fondle one and you see why anyone who has done any kind of journaling has longed to have their words recorded in these notebooks. The paper is creamy and soaks up the ink. The black, oil-skin covers feel soothing in your hand as you open them, inviting you to write. You can imagine Hemingway or Joyce or even Wilde pouring out their thoughts and adventures into these beauties. Moleskines make you want to journal. So, the other day when I was searching around for things on the web and found them again… Well, let’s just say that I started to think about journaling again.
If you’re looking for an excuse to journal, these would be it.
Moleskine Large Ruled (lined) Notebook
MOLESKINE Large Ruled (lined) Notebook – quantity 2
MOLESKINE Pocket Ruled (lined) Notebook
MOLESKINE Pocket Plain (no lines) Notebook – quantity 2

Go take a look, it’s worth it.


WTF?! “Tales from the Five Kingdoms”?!

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

Did someone take my idea?

Or is it just so, so lame that more than one person thought of it? Okay, let me explain. See, I’ve had this idea for a fantasy fiction setting that I called the Five Kingdoms for several years. In fact, I’ve been talking about it so long that I don’t even remember how far back it goes. But, the other day when I was looking through some stuff on CafePress, I found a book called The Sorean, which has, right on the cover, a reference to “Tales from the Five Kingdoms”. I laughed so hard I almost ruptured something. The whole thing just totally cracked me up.

I knew that, sooner or later, this kind of thing would happen when CafePress started selling books. Of course, I figured that there’d be plenty of folks selling books that they’d taken from Project Gutenberg, and there are, but some of the other stuff surprised me a bit. A pleasant surprise was the Ethereal Press Language series. As someone who’s “into” constructed languages, these books were really interesting to me. I’m not sure that I’d ever buy one, but I think it’s great that someone is making them.
I also found more “serious” books, like The Book Of AisthC*tikos, which advertises itself for the “serious student of the occult”. So, all you lame posers can piss off! This book isn’t for you!
The other thing that was fun to browse through was the CafePress music offerings. Now, to be fair, some of these are probably really, really good, but undiscovered bands. On the other hand, some of them are just funny. My favorite “WTF” music cd was Shut Up The Devil by King MC. The devil is totally whack, yo!

And, of course, there is my very own Ye Old Wizard’s Shoppe, now with more panties. It’s really almost a joke, but if anyone ever buys anything, and I mean anything, I might just pay for a “premium” shop and do more with it. Anyway, I guess I may just be forced to give up on the Five Kingdoms and move on. After all, I wouldn’t want to infringe on any market right that The Sorean might now have. (Yes, I’m kidding.)


Hot Car, Cool Engine

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

The new trend in cars?

Smaller than a Mini-Cooper and more fuel efficient, too, the Smart line from Mercedes may be the next wave in car technology. According to this article on Wired News, the Fortwo is a new breed of car that is not only high-tech, but “cool”, too. Made from primarily recycled plastics and designed to be super fuel-efficient, boasting up to 70 miles per gallon. The car itself is tiny. In fact, it is almost literally half the size of a Hummer and two Fortwo’s can park in a regular parking spot quite comfortably. You can squeeze in three, if you park sideways. Is it the car of the future? Possibly. Of course, we won’t know in the US until sometime in 2006, which is when they plan on breaking in over here. Hmm, can I wait that long? Well, in the mean-time, go take a look at this what Wired News has to say about the Smart Fortwo.


Word A Day

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

I’ve always loved these.

I always used to get a “Word A Day ” calendar for my desk, because I loved the idea that I was building my vocabulary. Of course, I probably never used those words in actual conversation, but it was fun learning about them anyway. Well, if you like that sort of thing, too, then the A Word A Day site is for you. You can sign up to recieve, via e-mail, a word a day, just like the book or calendar. How cool is that?!

Anyway, it was cool enough for my Friday Fun Link. Go check it out.


Immune to HIV?

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Now, that is fascinating!

Apparently, two women in China have been found with a gene that makes them “immune” to HIV. According to the article on, these are the first two people in China, and possibly Asia, found with this kind of mutant gene. Apparently, this gene has been found in Caucasians, but not n Asians before this. That bit made me stop for a second, too. Until this article, I don’t recall reading anything about an immunity to HIV/AIDS. Of course, it makes sense that there should be, but I’d never read about it before. How fascinating…. I wonder how future generations will see the thousands of deaths related to HIV. Will it seem like the Black Plague to them? Something horrible that happened in “olden times”? In a science-ficition setting, that kind of thinking or detail could add a whole bunch of realism, at least for me it would. Something to think about the next time you’re describing a far-future classroom.
Anyway, it’s an interesting article, so go take a look!


Space Junk

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is a First Quarter Moon

Wow, for a “fantasy” website, I’ve been talking about science a lot lately!

In particular, space science. Well, here’s another one for you… According to this article on CNN, the International Space Station is filling with junk. There’s a problem that a lot of science-fiction writers forget to talk about. You’re out in space with no where to pile up all the garbage or broken stuff, but you can’t keep it laying around. What do you do with it? Well, at the moment, the ISS is keeping it in a “spare” air lock. Eventually, it will have to be disposed of, but, until that can be done safely, it has to be stored. An interesting problem, isn’t it?

As a writer, how would you deal with that issue? Can you make that into an interesting story? Why not try?


AntiMatter WMD

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

No, I’m not talking about Iraq or George W. Bush!

Thankfully, I don’t have to talk about politics on this weblog at all. But, I did find this particular article so interesting, I had to mention it. The SanFrancisco Gate on-line has an article about a fairly quiet U.S. Air Force project to make anti-matter weapons. Apparently, the U.S. Government has been studying anti-matter since the 1930’s with a bent toward military technology. At first, it may seem frightening, but it’s no worse than nuclear weapons or power, as far as I’m concerned. And, no matter your politics, any intelligent person has got to see that things developed for the military eventually find their way to the public sector, after all, look at the history of computers and the Internet.
In any case, the article goes on to talk about various applications, including, but not limited to: miniature bombs; tiny, but long lasting, engines and batteries; and electro-magnetic pulse weapons. More interesting, I think, is the neccessary advance in containment technology and the potential energy that we might tap. The potential is, quite literally, limitless. As a fan of science-fiction, I have to say that this is very, very exciting to me. Combine this with all the recent advances in private spacecraft and the future seems like an interesting place to be again. I hope it will inspire more science-fiction writers to start writing about it again!

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