Semi-weekly post about things w176 finds fascinating, which is pretty much everything. Written by a writing, art, science and roleplaying geekess from northen Sweden.
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  1. A girl at my writing class had an interesting approach to fan fiction. First of she wasn't ashamed that she enjoyed wring and reading it which I admire, standing up for something thats often considered really low status writing, and she was one of the writers in class I was most impressed with. As a writer and as a really charming person. But that's beside the point.

    She pointed out to me if you want huge amounts of feedback, reviews and comments on your writing. Just to develop, you should write fan fiction. It might not be exactly the feedback you looking for always (“That characters so hot!” and “Oh that's so not canon!” and so on). But you do get a lot of feedback.
    It was intriguing standpoint, and she had gotten to the point that the authors whose books she had written fanfictions about wanted her in their next anthology is she provides original work.

    Someday I will try writing fanfiction just to try her thesis of the huge loads of feedback.
  2. I haven't posted any writing what so ever here. Because i think I'll do a much better job writing in my mother tongue and let a professional translator translate if it's good enough for an international market.

    But the local larp campain got some players from the UK. Between larps I wrote a bit of flash fiction for or ingame forums about my bitter halfelf, always working for a world war where all but one race will fall and hence bring a world of peace.

    I can't say its representative for my writing. I don't normally like writing classical fantasy, or third person or being this unsubtle. A quick an dirty introduction to the character mostly, but its still a snippet of fiction.


    Work can be fun

    Some steps of the operation was almost like a childlike to their nature, simple and fun, but anything for the War of Wars right?*

    In a clearing beneath the moon sick yellow light stood a figure. She was smiling, drenched in blood and around her huge shapes lay fallen. The red thick liquid, not her own this time, was flowing sickly over scared skin. Her breath was heavy, but its hard to tell what its from ecstasy or hard work. The nights is freezing cold and her breath and and the hot blood is fuming.*

    Far away at horizon lights from the the warhorse stud farm main building should be seen between the trees. But the farmhouse was to far away for sound to carry from here. Conveniently enough. Foals and mares had been grazing silently in the clearing. Perhaps it had been her peaceful calaqundi blood that let the halfelf walk among them caressing the pitch black warhorses, murmuring soft words into their ears, slipping the rope over their head and tying them to the trees. It had been all to easy.*

    She raised the crude and huge homemade morningstar again and brought it down on the foals skull. For what could it be now, the thirtieth time? You couldn't even tell it was a head anymore. There. She licked splatted brain from here lips and sighed. Then she went over to the circle of carcasses cutting away the ropes that been tying them to the trees. Spread around the glen lay the tools of her trade. A rusty sword. A crude spear stood up from a mares round belly. A large obsidian knife obscene nailed a horse penis to a tree. Ugly arrows obvious not of any elven make was burrowed into the horses by the dozens.*

    "Oh, sweet gods. It look like a band of orks slaughtered the poor animals. What a shame. Indeed."
    *Tanna told the moon and hissed, pleased. Then she turned around, and walked away. Disappearing into the forest laving no prints behind on the frozen ground.
  3. After an event in the forest two weeks ago and walking with my grandma on a shortcut through the forest I was one more reminded that walking in terrain in a skill, and some people do it with an almost supernatural grace while others suck. Badly.

    I walk on forest paths daily with my dog, I got outdoor hobbies and always been raised close to nature. I can handle terrain. I can walk all day long through hard terrain, I can chose an effective path, I don't get lost and if I feel like it I can move silently and discretely though the forest.

    I'm good but my grandma grew up in the forest, for real, before modern society reach there, north of the polar circle. They didn't have any roads to her village and the closet settlement was an hours ride away at winter, when you could cross the river on ice. In the summer it was a two hours walk after rowing across the rapids in the rive, a river far to rapid for anyone be ever be able to learn to swim in it. All my life my grandma was a great at river fishing, and spent each fall picking berries in the treacherous swamps and the forests.

    When I was a kid and she was in her sixties she could move trough thick of the terrain with a determined, graceful effectiveness where normal people wouldn't dare to even walk. Threading upon the stones in the rapids while fishing even through she has ever learned to swim.

    Then we got the opposite people. City born and raised who never really gotten used to nature.

    Most writers get the risk of getting lost in the forest right if people don't know how to find their way in unknown terrain. Few writers capture how much people who isn't used to walk in terrain suck at it. They trip, they fall, they swear, they get bruised, they get caught, and they get exhausted and dehydrated. They're loud, they're noisy, and when they chose a path they fail miserably at it. Neither planning ahead, nor seeing and not recognizing the places ahead they should be avoiding. Often ending up splashing though cold swamp water, when they just could have followed the stony ridge a few feet away.

    If you belong to this group I got a few advice to give you the necessary basics.
    1. Lift you feet. This Might sound like a no brainier but it isn't. If you used to move on a flat surface you just lift you feet a comfortable minimum. If there underbrush or the ground isn't level, or you waking through sand or snow you got to lift you feet, all the time, a lot more.
    2. Plan ahead. Stop for a few seconds. Take a look at the terrain before you. Identify where you cant go, where it will be hard to go and where you will have an easier time.
    3. Take you time. If you are not used to the terrain you will have to move more slowly then usual or you will hurt yourself, strain you ankle or falling on you face. Stop to rest I you feel you need it.
    4. If your not 100% sure of something, like finding your way back, don't get cocky or hope for the best. Be sure.
  4. Sometimes a realization just strikes you about something about you writing. Something is off. A darling of some kind to kill off. Most often it feels so good doing it. So good.

    Last night, just before bed a realized:

    ”Hey. I don't want to do any world building. I don't want to introduce a setting painfully and slowly. Not in this project at least.”
    And fell asleep with a smile.

    Well. There will have to be some world building, if you going to introduce any fantastical elements to a modern day setting, but not the painful kind. Just go trough logical chains of consequence s and sorting things out.
    But i got rid of the half military setting that wasn't appealing to me. And the near future with most structured of society as we know it today changed... And people with really ****ed up values and...

    One of my strengths as a writer is mixing the fantastic and the everyday elements in way that get under your skin. Is were to work in anything else then a setting that in many ways wasn't close to everyday life i would lose that strength. I love killing darlings.

    Now I'm going to go trough my five last story embryos, identifying out bit and pieces I like about them and using that insight to create something new. A meaningful whole fitting the criteria ”People will be sitting on buses, doing their dishes, eating toast and make choices echoing our every day choices.”

    Damn. I love killing my darlings.
  5. Today was election day in Sweden and hence an interesting day.

    This blog post wont be about politics but rather awesome things noted about people behaviour today. Since people usually is a bit curious how government is run in different part of the world I will include a short briefing on the Swedish election process.

    We elect people to three levels of government (municipal, regional and national). Often people vote for different parties on the different levels at the government. There is seven parties in the Riksdag, and a eight one, extremely right wing islmo-phobic, anti-HBTQ, anti-feministic and racist party will probably elected in today, sadly enough. A minimum 4% of the votes is demanded to be represented.
    The right side alliance of four parties will probably form a minority government body, continuing to reign for a second term. This since boot the main alternative combination to form the government was a few percent short of get a majority of their own this election. The right side alliance will probably get around 48% and the Green Party might move in to support them, rather then let the new righting extremist party get the power of balance.

    But. That's not what this post is about.
    It's about walking.

    My mum remarked at a couple crossing the street hand in hand
    “Oh. Look. They must been heading out to vote, just look at their stride.” And she was right. They moved with a s certain determination, a certain pride and a certain sense of duty.

    Looking closely at people you could clearly see the difference not just on the people on other errands and those about to vote, but the people who already voted. Somehow the determination, had change to some sort of fulfillment about them, a finality, a weight of their shoulders.

    It was awesome to see. Next time you country have an election day, take a moment to study people walk that day. How democracy somehow becomes embodied in how people move. Stunning.