Jumat, 31 Oktober 2008

Here were are, November and even though I am an Ossee (to use the American pronunciation ;) and having once been a keen student of US history, I have one question burning in my mind:

Obama or McCain?

I wonder what Europe would be like as the ruler of a state? and I wonder what life in a place ruled by the Branden Rose might be like for Joe the Plumber...? Who would you like from the Half-Continent to rule your own land? (Just to keep things a little on topic - is it terrible of me to be so topical?)

Senin, 27 Oktober 2008

Facebook (remember the days when it was exclusive to students only?), aka. cum bucket of the internet, has so much to offer.

You can get reconnect with "friends" that you never had interest in real life, lose your privacy, get bombarded by clever data-mining advertisers, and blah blah blah...

It comes with no surprise there is a group called "CooLeSt TaTToo On FaceBook...." with this posted in it by Wayne Fright (go ahead and friendquest him):


Yep, it is an upside-down "Wendy".

Sabtu, 25 Oktober 2008

io9.com recently posted something about futuristic bad-ass tattoos, one that received much attention is on the back of Enola in Waterworld (it was a shitty movie by Kevin Costner, come to think of it, were any of Costner's movies good?).

From Engrish & Hanzi Smatter
I thought Enola was a dwarf when I first saw the movie. Perhaps that was because the camera's angle that made her head huge and shrunk her torso.

The characters on the left of the circular thing is "latitude" and "longitude" on the right. I don't know why the movie people decided to break two characters into three. It is not like they are saving any flesh space.

The characters inside of the circular part is longitude & latitude's actual coordinates.

Latitude = 27° 59' N
Longitude = 86° 56' E

Spoiler alert: it is the location of Mount Everest.

Selasa, 21 Oktober 2008

me was wondering: "It's nice to see that there are upgrades, add-ons, plugins, etc [Europe v3.11, perhaps?]. in the half-continent. Are these upgrades limited to internal organs only? Are there pugnators out there who figure an extra eye/arm/thorny-bark-like-skin-in-sensitive-areas/claw/magic-big-toe in addition to their modified innards might improve their trade [and fees]?."

You have hit the nail on the head about the "upgrades", (actually called scirrhitus) I do have a list of rare but existing outwardly editions to a person's self - not so much extra limbs but claws (actylls), thorns on back (which might even shoot out of the person- I forget their name off the top of my head and am not sure they quite fit the H-c "vibe"), different kind of teeth for a bit o' combat biting - known as sagital (sharp) or trenchant (blunt) maws, toughened skin, weird snapping jaws a bit like Aliens TM (called labiachus - though I am not so sure about this one, either), foul spit, and some other stuff. I have been thinking this might be a bit more in the Half-Continents future rather than right now in Rossamünd's time (HIR 1601) - we shall have to wait and see.

Interestingly enough I was just talking to Will and Mandii last night about how the Europe of Book 2 and 3 is a v 2.01 fulgar - she went and had her organs checked after vaoriating (spasming) in Book 1 and while the transmogrifer is there having a gander, she has the funds to have him do some major improvements... She gets to "kick butt" (as they say...) in Book 3... or was that too much of a spoiler?!

edwarrd asked: "With the spoors, is it something that a lahzar has to have, or is it something they choose to have to promote what they are? Also, can they have variations of the spoors?"

Some lahzars will chose to hide their nature, yes, or not make it obvious and so go without spoors or have them places not easily spotted. Others like to mark themselves with more than the usual signs, so that faces and bodies will be patterned with all manner of markings. As with our world such spooring is considered a step into the wilder side of society.

Just adding a bit more to anna's enquiries about literary traditions, I wrote this recently to a friend: The longest standing literary tradition is plays and folk songs... (I am thinking epic poems of the Attics and Tutelarchs would be included in this too) Novels - as Threnody reads - are a more modern innovation and are yet to be seen as a "literary tradition" as such.

Minggu, 19 Oktober 2008

This weeks piece of folksy wisdom: do not stay up way past your bedtime, tap yourself a glass o' water when overtired, go to bed and have your wife/partner/flatmate wake up 3 hours later to find that said tap (faucet) has not been properly turned off and the kitchen bench, floor and draws are all swimming, then spend next hour+ ladling water out of draws that can not be removed and towel dry every stinking piece that dwelt in said drawers. If you can avoid this, I would recommend it.

Noelle asked: "Is it possible to be both a wit and fulgar? This just occurred to me and it's going to bother me."

Well Noelle be bothered no longer! It is indeed possible to be a wit and fulgar in one person - a super-lahzar, such maddened souls are generally called dexters and typically have short lives full of violence, pain and a whole lot of treacle-taking. Not recommended for any but "power players".

Anna asks: "By the way Mr Cornish, how is the culture-life in H-C? Authors, painters, genealogy ..?"

There surely are these things, I touch on such a little more in Book 3 - though Rossamünd not being overly cultural does not give me great play with such things. However a brief mention in the story does give me licence to go too far in the Explicarium, which is yet to be properly worked up. I tend to add brief entries as I write the main tale, points to be elaborated while the main text is in Celia's/Tim's most excellent hands.

Ah, Monday, you spotted my H.P! I feel like I have been caught with my petticoat showing ;)

Thank you all! for your encouragements last post, I clearly see you all know full well the personal insanity that is writing.
In November 2008 issue of Wired magazine, there is an interesting article about underground (or should that be "under-net") volunteers that would add subtitles to popular American television shows for those who do not understand English.

The concept is interesting however the illustration accompanying the story is not so.

While both English and Arabic alphabets are up-right and correct, the four Chinese characters are upside-down.

means "serious laughter" in Chinese.

This is second time I have spotted Wired magazine making similar snafu.

Sabtu, 18 Oktober 2008

Alan and I both can't figure out what this tattoo is about.


Is it , "common laborer", or ?

Update: This tattoo belongs to "Joker" in Rankmytattoos.com

Rabu, 15 Oktober 2008

Something I find frustrating when I write is those times when I am keen to press on with the story but it occurs to me that one of the characters (usually Rossamünd, bless him) is not being quite true to himself in an earlier chapter. Sometimes I will try to write on, enjoying too much the sensation of the word count increasing and chapters being marked off (especially with the hot breath of deadlines panting on my nape).

Inevitably, however, I can avoid it no longer and must put the advance of the words on hold and correct the earlier discord, work the changes all through the text until I am satisfied - which can cost frustratingly large amounts of time. Yet once the agony is grappled the text invariably is far improved and my sense of direction stronger, and I leap off once more into 'storm front' of the tale with fresh vigour.

Sometimes I also just get stuck...

Sabtu, 11 Oktober 2008

While scanning through gossip site, The Superficial, I came across several images of Melanie Brown, aka. the former Scary Spice, modeling for Ultimo Autumn/Winter lingerie line.


I have no idea what the character circled in red supposedly to be.

Is it ? Or, is it ?

Oh, Melanie B, why can't you tell me what you want, what you really really want? According to the song, what she really wanted was "zigazig ha".

Kamis, 09 Oktober 2008


is a Chinese idiom means "to share the misfortune together". If this was picked from a tattoo template book, I am sure there are many sharing this misfortune.
Alan noticed something odd about the photograph in BBC's article about Russian journalist, Elena Tregubova.


Alan says: "The Japanese in the background is obviously reversed. Perhaps the BBC published a mirror-image reversed copy of the photo. Although obviously intended to be Japanese, the text in the background is not exactly legible anyway and it does not seem to make any sense. Maybe the Japanese is reversed on the background image. Who knows? I’m not sure why such a journalist would want to be photographed in front of such a gibberish background. Is this fashionable in Russia or something?"

My guess would be it had something to do with paragraph 3 of the article:

"In one chapter, its author describes a flirty sushi lunch with Vladimir Putin, then head of the Russian security services, the FSB."

Sushi, #42 on list of things White people like.

Selasa, 07 Oktober 2008

Just a quick heads-up that there is a prototype version of the Zoomable Map of the Half-Continent up and functioning. My esteemed comrade G.R. Morton and I shall be working to make it a tad more Halfcontinenty over the next x period, but I figured folks had waited long enough, so sneak preview away!

(oh, and if it seems to stay blury, just give the map some time and maybe a click and it should focus)

Ok, back to writing, writing, writing...

Rabu, 01 Oktober 2008

A great little post I found over at Whatever by John Scalzi (and its original source @ xkcd - thank you Tom) regarding word length of a book as being conversely proportional to is unreadability. The comments are illuminating too, MBT even gets a mention from a Seattle-based bookseller friend of mine in comment #51. Have a read if you will and come on back...

In reading the aforementioned blog and its associated comments, I too had the guilts for insisting on such circumlocutions as pediteer instead of "infantry" or leonguile instead of "cheetah" etc etc etc... though I tell myself I have good reason to alter these: sometimes the existing word/s are too our-world specific in their etymology or too modern-sounding to be appropriate in the H-c. I do not know the origin of every word but those I do I change - language is key when making otherworldliness, the dilemma is knowing when to reinvent, how much to reinvent and when to just go with the real stuff... I certainly won't be re-doing the parts for a flintlock, for example, they are perfectly acceptable as they are, cheers.

I recall someone railing at me once for daring to have a type of fly called a wurtembottle - "why can't he just call it a fly!" she said - to which I reply:
a/ know just how many species and therefore different names for flies there are in the real world; without even reaching for a textbook let us just try to name a few: house fly, blow fly, bluebottle, vinegar fly, horse fly, bot fly...
b/ why the heck not!

I tell you, the thoughtlessly contrary fun-crushers get a tad tiring; like Ayn Rand says, those who can't create, destroy.