A Few Incidental Book Reports

Published June 23, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Rather, a few mini-reviews of books that aren’t for the Read Harder challenge.  (Even though the first two totally could be.)


 

First up, A Case of Possession and Flight of Magpies, books two and three of the Charm of Magpies series by K. J. Charles.  (The review of the first one is here.)  You may be wondering, before I get to the mini-review, why these two covers look so different.  Well, that’s because I screwed up.  When I ordered A Case of Possession, I didn’t go ahead and order the third book along with it, even though I knew I’d want to read it.  I did this for logical reasons, because I was sure if I had both, I’d read both right away, instead of reading something else I “should” have been reading.  Then while I was so bogged down in The Story of Egypt, I said to myself “okay, I deserve a treat, so I’m getting the next magpie book!”  And when I went to Amazon, the paperback had gone spectacularly out of print, suddenly costing upwards of $35.  For a book that runs about 120 pages.  I do love these books, but I don’t love them that much.  So I had to get the Kindle edition instead.  Which is better from the “I have no space in this house even for what I already have, let alone anything new” perspective, but it’s just not as much fun to read on my iPad as it is to read an actual book.  Anyway,  these books are hard to review, because they’re very much “more of the same” with the first one.  With the major difference that now our two lovebirds are an established couple, instead of first meeting and becoming involved.  The second two books focus heavily on Stephen Day’s job as a justiciar, the magical equivalent of a police detective, and although the idea is for him to be hunting warlocks who break any and all of the rules of their magical community, in these books that tends to resolve itself into the form of hunting down magical murderers.  We get to meet Stephen’s co-workers, who are also fun and interesting characters, and the Council who oversees things, who are a different sort of interesting and no fun at all.  (Not that they’re supposed to be fun.  They’re the people responsible for running Stephen ragged and giving him grief about it rather than properly thanking him.)  A Case of Possession featured two things especially worth noting.  First, it settled some of the worries I had coming out of The Magpie Lord about the way their relationship was going to play out.  And second, while The Magpie Lord had featured the POV of both men (and even a guest POV from Crane’s manservant Merrick), A Case of Possession was exclusively from Crane’s POV.  Given the story, it really had to be, but the change was surprising, and the POVs went back to normal for Flight of Magpies, the third and final book in the series.  As the final book of a trilogy, it wrapped up a number of loose ends for a satisfying conclusion that really felt like a conclusion.  I don’t feel like these second two books had quite as much world building as the first one, but there was some additional world building, and playing around with what was already there.  Somehow, the sex scenes in these two didn’t seem quite as exciting as the ones in the first book, either, but I guess that’s because the sex had gone from “finally!” to “routine”…er, okay, not “routine” exactly, but…instead of being this explosion of their pent-up desires and a discovery of what the other likes/dislikes/does/doesn’t do in making love, it’s just one more act in a play that’s been going on for a long time.  Yeeeaaaaaahhhhh, that made no sense.  I guess I can’t explain it.  Maybe it’s just me, anyway.

You Are Here:  An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds by Jenny Lawson.  I kind of wanted to put up a book report on this as soon as I got it, but…it’s sort of hard to review, because it’s half coloring book.  Sort of.  Her wonderful drawings alternate with text, some of it funny, some of it advice, some of it impossible-to-sum-up-in-one-word.  I love the drawing style, and some of the text was so funny I nearly cried laughing, while other parts of the text were sobering, or even sorrowful.  It’s something that needs to be experienced rather than described, ultimately.  (BTW, is WordPress dropping blogs from anyone else’s follow list?  When I went to get the URL for her blog, I realized it wasn’t showing up on my sidebar of “blogs I follow” and I started to get worried…but apparently WordPress just removed her from my list in May.  Which certainly explained why it had felt like a long time since I’d seen a blog post from her, but it’s frustrating/alarming to realize that I’ve got blogs just being dropped like that without asking me.  At least one other got dropped, too.  Is there, like, a maximum number of blogs you can follow?)

Just when you thought it couldn’t get more ridiculous than to do a review on You Are Here, then you scroll down and see that the final book in this post is Black Butler Artworks 2.  Because of course.  There’s so much to review here, right?  (If I did emojis on this blog, I would put a winking face with its tongue sticking out here.  But I don’t use them on this blog, so it would be very odd to suddenly start.)  I just finished looking through this yesterday and figured “why not include it?”  (Hey, just be grateful I’m not listing all the manga I’ve been reading!  That would get…actually, that would get pretty embarrassing…)  Inside the eye-injuring houndstooth print covers, this book is chock full of Yana Toboso’s incredible artworks.  Which is great for me, but your mileage may vary.  There are three sections:  full color manga illustrations, illustrations for the anime, and unrelated Toboso art, primarily collaborative illustrations of characters from other intellectual properties.  Thankfully, the pictures are followed up by a few pages of commentary on the images by Toboso, sometimes explaining certain poses or art styles, and usually answering the “who the heck is that?” questions I kept having in the anime section.


I’ve no idea when the next book report will come out, ’cause I’m not sure what I’m going to start reading next.  I was going to read the “classic by an author of color” challenge book next, but I can’t figure out where I put the danged book!  It’s somewhere in this blinkin’ house…I just don’t know where.  *sigh*  I still haven’t decided what to re-read, and what to use for a book on war, either.  So…yeah, no idea what I’ll be reading next, and therefore no idea when I’ll finish reading it to post about it.

(When did my blog become a book review blog?  I don’t recall making that change…but it totally seems to have happened…)

I may be a Doppelganger.

Published June 21, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m serious about this.

You know the legend of the Doppelgänger, right?  A mysterious double of you, and when you meet it, you die.  But what happens to the Doppelgänger after the original human dies?

I’m concerned about this, because I think I’m the duplicate, not the original.

Let me back up a minute, here.   For years, I’ve said I have a Doppelgänger around here somewhere, because I’ve often been mistaken for someone else, particularly in stores.  One time I went into a hardware store with my brother, and a salesman came up asking how the fridge he sold me had worked out.  I told him I’d never bought a fridge from him, and he insisted that I had, a mini-fridge for the teacher’s lounge at a local high school.  I assured him he was mistaken, but my brother and I were both freaked out by it, because it was the high school my brother had attended.

Now, that was years ago.

And since I started wearing braids in my hair, the incidences of people mistaking her for me began to taper off.

Then I went swimming on Monday at the Y.  It was an unusual time for me to be there, and I was stupidly trying to swim laps in the open swim lane (forgot there was one of those at the time) and this guy who was just hanging out in the open lane suddenly started talking to me as if to an acquaintance, and while I was standing there being confused, he said “You don’t remember me, do you?”

Well, I honestly answered that without my glasses on, I couldn’t see a thing.  I literally wouldn’t have recognized him even if I did know him.  (Seriously, all I saw was a human-shaped blob.)  And since he hadn’t made it clear where he thought he knew me from, there was always the possibility I’d taken a class with him, y’know?

But no, he thought I was the person who had taught him how to swim.  I barely even remember how to do the various strokes anymore (I keep meaning to take some refresher lessons), and I certainly never taught them to anyone else.  After explaining that I wasn’t who he thought I was, I did comment that I have a Doppelgänger around here, and how people are always mistaking me for her.

And in laughing about that…he mentioned her name.

And it’s the same as mine.

She and I not only have the same face, but we also have the same first name.

Admittedly, I just looked it up, and my name was pretty popular all through the ’70s.  (In the Top 30 most years.)  So it’s not at all weird that there are other women about my age with my name.  But for them to also have my face?  And considering I’ve sometimes talked to these people at some length without them realizing their mistake, she must also have a voice very similar to mine.

Therefore, one of us must be a Doppelgänger of the other.

And she’s a teacher, someone who touches a lot of lives.  (Though it sounds like she’s no longer at my brother’s alma mater.)  Meanwhile, I’m a near-hermit who avoids other people like the plague.  So if one of us isn’t real, it’s obviously me.

But if I just met someone at the Y who learned to swim from her, then she might be a member at the same Y.  And even if she isn’t, the encounter being so extended surely indicates that she and I are getting close to meeting.

So what’s going to happen to me after I fulfill my purpose as a Doppelgänger and my appearance before her eyes heralds her end?  Am I just going to wink out of existence?

And am I supposed to be okay with that?  The idea that it’s okay I’ll be causing her death, ’cause I’ll cause my own at the same time in a supernaturally imposed death penalty?

Because I am totally not.

I don’t want to disappear, and I sure don’t want to cause anyone else’s death, either.

But if I’m a Doppelgänger, do I even have a choice?

I’m seriously freaked out about this.

Book Report: The Story of Egypt

Published June 20, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Well, it’s been a very long time since my last Book Report, hasn’t it?  That’s because my choice for Challenge #11 “Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location,” was this:

(Oddly, according to Goodreads, this is the paperback cover, but it’s the image on the cover of my hardback copy.)  So, before I get to the book, let me give a little backstory on why I had this sitting around waiting to be read.  In my family, everyone writes Christmas lists every year, so that gift-giving isn’t a pain in the backside.  Because a list of nothing but DVDs/Blu-rays would be excessively dull, I always make sure to put some books on there, specifically ones that feel appropriate (the one about the mistresses of Charles II, for example, did not seem holiday-appropriate) and usually hardbacks, typically new releases that I find browsing idly at Barnes & Noble.  Last year’s list had a paucity of books at first, but after another browsing, I spotted this one and figured “may as well add it” even though it didn’t particularly scream out that I needed to read it.  So naturally this is the one my mother decided to give me. (Should I have ever expected anything else?)  I chose to read it at this time because the other Christmas gift waiting to be read (which would also have worked for this challenge) is a book about Mycenae that’s about the size of a coffee table.  Not really convenient to read unless you do all your reading at a table, which I don’t.  Aaaanyway, that’s all somewhat irrelevant, so I’m not sure why I’m going into it.

Now, you may be wondering if it would normally take me a month and a half to read a 368 page book.  (The page numbers go up a lot higher than that, of course, but that’s due to the notes and bibliography and such.  The text stops on page 368.)  And the answer is “absolutely not.”  The reasons it’s taken me that long are multi-part.  One, I haven’t had as much time to just sit around reading, due to one thing and another.  Two, because I’m swimming again, I’m not taking baths very often, and I usually read in the bath.  (Why waste water bathing when I take a full shower after getting out of the pool?)  Three, this book was very frustrating to read.

Number three, of course, is the big one.  This is a very heavily researched book, but the author tried her hardest to obscure that fact.  Not only are there no in-text citations or endnote markers, the endnotes themselves are horrible.  Basically, only quotations are cited, and they’re done in the most infuriating way I’ve ever seen.  If you see a quote, you have to turn the back, where you’ll find a list (in order, thank goodness!) of all the quotations, listed by chapter but without any reference back to which page they were quoted on, which then gives you a source, by author’s last name and year of publication only, so you have to flip still further back to find the author’s works in the bibliography to see where it actually came from.  And if you want to know where some of her non-quoted information comes from?  You’re just plain out of luck.  There were many times when I wanted to know what her sources were on things that weren’t quotes, but she didn’t cite them, so for all the evidence she provided, she could have outright made those things up.  (I doubt that she did make them up, of course, but any teacher on the planet would fail her for such miserable citations.)  And when I say there are no in-text citations, I mean it.  Any time she wants to admit she’s quoting someone, she’ll just say “an historian said” or “according to one ancient source”, sometimes being as “specific” as Greek or Roman…but she never gives the historian’s name.  As if anyone would be reading a nearly 400 page book on ancient history who’d be put off at seeing the name Herodotus in the text?  Not giving the names of modern historians I can understand, but avoiding naming the ancient sources is not just annoying, but downright misleading;  knowing something came from Herodotus is very different than it coming from Plutarch, Diodorus, or whoever else.  And given the way these citations were handled, I wasn’t about to sort through them to look up which ancient source said every thing she quoted.  Some of the translations she chose for the ancient historians were entirely inappropriate for modern works, particularly the one for which I’ll present the entire citation:

‘a thieving effeminate ballet boy in curlers’, Cicero in Graves  1968, p. 96.

Seriously?  “Ballet boy”?  Ballet didn’t exist for another 1500 years!  How is such an anachronistic translation appropriate to a scholarly work?  And as to “Graves 1968″…it is not in the selected bibliography.  So what book is it?  Assuming that “Graves” means the classical scholar (and novelist) Robert Graves, one can go to Goodreads and see what he wrote in 1968…and find nothing.  According to Goodreads’ sort by original publication year, Robert Graves had things first published in ’67 and ’69, but not ’68.  So is it a reprint?  Is it someone else named Graves?  Fletcher doesn’t tell us.  (Admittedly, given the decidedly old-fashioned manner of dealing with an ancient Roman insult to a man’s masculinity, it’s almost certainly Robert Graves, and undoubtedly simply something that was reprinted/re-edited in 1968, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that she quotes and cites something without providing the most basic information on the work.  And in this case, she ought to have stated which of Cicero’s works it came from, so the reader could have sought out a more accurate translation if desired.)

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MLM No “D” – “It May Be Too Late For Me”

Published June 19, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

It May Be Too Late For Me

So I went to see the Rifftrax Live Show last week.

It was a collection of summer shorts.

(Okay, actually, just the skits in between were summery.  The shorts weren’t at all.)

It was a fun show.

But…but…but…

The name of one of the shorts was “Rhythmic Ball Manipulation.”

OMG…the perverse thoughts that ran through my brain!

I am apparently sick.

If there is an illness where all the symptoms are not-safe-for-work thoughts.

It can’t be contagious.

Probably.

(Maybe you better run.)

(Just in case.)


 

MLM No “C” – Oops

Published June 12, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Delayed post again, another six hours and I’d be a day late.

I’ve been forgetful lately.

Thinking about everything but what I should be.

Sleepy, too.

So now you get this post full of ex– er — laughable attempts at explanation.

*sigh*

Why am I still doing this, anyway?


 

The Trojan Horse

Published June 9, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

So, you may have noticed it’s been quite some time since my last Book Report.  That’s because I’m working on the challenge to read a book set more than 5000 miles from your location, and it’s been slow going for various reasons.  The book is The Story of Egypt, by Joann Fletcher, and I’ll talk about the book at length when I finish it.  (Obviously.)  But right now I want to quote you a passage I read about a week ago:

Having learned that the prince of Joppa wished to see ‘the great mace of King Tuthmosis’, Djehuti [Overseer of the Northern Foreign Lands] had invited him to his camp outside the town [which Djehuti had been besieging for some time], where he suddenly pulled out the mace, shouting ‘Look at me, Prince of Joppa!  This is the mace of King Tuthmosis the fierce lion, son of Sekhmet, and Amen his father has given him strength to wield it’.  Then he used it himself, to ‘smite the forehead of the Prince of Joppa, and he fell stretched out before him’.  Djehuti then put the rest of his plan into action.  He hid 200 of his soldiers, Ali-Baba-style, inside baskets, which he sent into Joppa on donkey-back with the claim that they contained tribute. The folk of Joppa, clearly as gullible as their prince, took in the baskets, from which the Egyptian troops emerged to capture their town, anticipating the Greek tale of the Trojan Horse by several centuries. [187-7]

Tuthmosis III reigned from 1479 BC to 1425 BC, so that didn’t just pre-date the story of the Trojan Horse:  it pre-dated any historical conflict that might have given rise to the myth of the Trojan War in the first place!  Now, I am, personally, disposed to think that the myth was, in fact, loosely inspired by a Mycenaean invasion of Troy that was in some way particularly noteworthy (if only for being the last major military undertaking before the end of the palatial era), which has always made me wonder where such a fanciful finale came from.

Despite the occasional divine intervention, most of the events of the Trojan War are very down-to-earth and realistic.  There are no monsters, and even most of the divine interventions took on the form of things we would now call “acts of God” like plagues and floods.  Well, that and wrapping people in a mist to spirit them away from danger, but…point is, the gods are much more subtle during the Trojan War than they are in the other myths.  But that just makes the giant wooden horse story all the weirder.

I’ve often (well, maybe not often, but certainly many times) sat around pondering the idea of just where the myth of the Trojan Horse comes from.  I came up with all sorts of possible explanations, from Odysseus-like clinging to the underside of horses to outright lying by returning warriors.  I think a gate marked with a horse has been a common device to explain away the myth, too.  (That one I’m pretty sure isn’t one of mine, though.  I don’t usually think that way.)

But so now let’s look at this Egyptian story from about two hundred years before the Trojan War’s likely date.  (Possibly three hundred years, depending on when you think it took place.  The traditional date of 1154 seems a bit late to me, personally.)  Unfortunately, the book doesn’t tell us where modern scholars learned the story from; the notes direct one to a 1925 article in a journal my university library doesn’t have access to, so I can’t find out the source, but the title of the article does specifically refer to it as a “legend,” so it probably is something that was passed down through oral culture for centuries, rather than something painted on the walls of Djehuti’s tomb.  (Okay, just looked around online, and it seems to come from a papyrus.  So it’s unclear just how well the story had spread in antiquity, but it sounds like the papyrus was a literary text so probably it had spread pretty well.)

First things first, is it possible this could have happened?  Well, actually, yes, I think it is.  It doesn’t seem improbable to me that a prince going to the enemy camp after a long siege could result in a peace treaty, and in the case of such treaties, the trading of goods wouldn’t be uncommon, particularly if the siege had been cutting off the flow of food into the city.  Take out the word “tribute” and replace it with “trade” or “provisions” and it becomes quite believable.  This would have been in the days of guest-friendship all throughout the Mediterranean region, so a peace treaty would surely have included quite an exchange of goods, so it’s not inconceivable that the people of Joppa would have let those baskets into the town.  200 warriors taking a fortified city by themselves doesn’t seem terribly probable, but they could have opened the gates to let in the rest of the army.

So, let’s just suppose that it did happen as told in the quote above.  It probably would have become quite the famous maneuver, at least for a while.  And the book has mentioned repeatedly that the Egyptians not only traded with the Mycenaeans (and one pharaoh had claimed Mycenaean Greece as tributary to him), but also that they hired Mycenaean mercenaries to serve in their armies.  That being the case, it would be very likely that the story of the siege of Joppa would spread to Mycenaean Greece.

Of course, that doesn’t tell us much.  The real question is how and when that affected the Trojan War.  Did it have an impact on the real conflict between Mycenaean Greeks and the people of Troy; did they attempt to emulate the tactic?  Or was it just brought in when the war was being mythologized, to give it a spectacular climax, perhaps because the actual war ended in a lackluster treaty in which the city never fell?  And either way, where did the giant wooden horse idea come from?

That last part is the one I can’t provide a decent answer for, of course.

It does seem like Troy was strongly associated with horses:  many of the epithets applied to Hector and the other Trojan warriors involved horse-taming and related skills, and of course there were the fabulous horses given to the King of Troy by Zeus in apology for carrying off his son Ganymede.  I don’t recall reading anything about any particularly significant horse-related objects being found in the excavations at Troy, though, so it’s unclear how much of that actually dated back to the Bronze Age, and how much of it was after the fact.

I feel like there’s a logical answer that’s dancing around just outside my reach.  Very frustrating.

There’s one other thing about this Egyptian tale that I feel like could be significant, though I’m not sure exactly how.  And that’d the fact that the city which fell was Joppa.  Joppa, as you may recall, was a Phoenician city, and the homeland of Andromeda, wife of Perseus.  And Perseus was the mythical founder of Mycenae.

I don’t know.  Maybe that’s totally irrelevant/coincidental.

But what if it isn’t, and I’m just too dumb to see what the connection is?

(This particular fall of Joppa would have been about two hundred years after Perseus and Andromeda’s time, btw.  In case anyone was wondering.)

IWSG – Quitting time?

Published June 7, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

So, I have nothing in particular to say about writing this month (aside from the general fact that writing my bad fiction has kept me from writing any blog posts…or doing just about anything else) and therefore I shall fall back upon the question provided on the IWSG Sign-Up page.  This month’s question is

Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

It’s a kind of odd question for me.  I’ve been writing in one way or another since grade school (and considering I’ll be turning 42 later this year, that’s quite a long time!) so it’s an ingrained habit.  No, more like it’s part of the way my brain’s become hard-wired.  When I was a little kid and had trouble sleeping, my mother told me that I should replay my favorite movies in my head to lull myself to sleep.  Nice idea, but I didn’t know any movies well enough for that.  (Well, no, I probably knew Star Wars well enough, but that was hardly going to lull me to sleep!)  Instead, I made up stories to entertain myself until I got too tired to remain conscious.

It didn’t take long before I was doing that every time I got bored.  I must have been really little when I got that advice, because the entire process was a firm part of the way my mind functioned by the time my personality started solidifying.  And since none of the other kids ever wanted to play with me, I spent a lot of time telling myself stories.  (I have, at this point, gotten to the point where I literally have to be doing it while I’m doing almost everything else, unless it’s something I have to concentrate on really hard.  I can’t even watch a (brand new!) movie without imagining two or three of my favorite characters are watching it, so I’m both watching the movie and imagining how they’re reacting to it.  The only exception to that is a dialog-heavy foreign language picture, because I’m already multitasking pretty heavily in watching, listening and reading subtitles.  But even then I still tend to have characters pop in during the dialog lulls.)

Anyway, writing to me is nothing more than setting down on paper (or, far more often, on computer screen) the stories I tell myself in my head, which is often the only way to get a “rerun” to go away and be replaced by something new, as it’s  never as much fun to tell to myself after it’s solidified.  So I could never quit writing without ceasing to function.

But I’ve gone back and forth on the idea of ever trying to publish anything.

There was a time when I was convinced I was going to be a great, best-selling novelist.  Then I thought I was going to be a major screenwriter.  Then I realized I sucked and went into exclusively writing fanfic, which I wasn’t even sharing with anyone, for the most part.  Then something changed, and I stopped writing fanfic, and tried to turn myself into a (self-)published author.  And then I remembered that I sucked, and decided that I’d never try to publish anything, but I was still going to keep writing original fiction, because that was somehow “better.”  And then I got obsessed with Velvet Goldmine and started writing fanfiction again.  I’ve got a new really good original fiction idea on the back burner, waiting for me to flesh out its world and write it, but we’ll see if I return to trying to self-pub, too.  Not like the quality of my writing’s improved any, after all.

…hmm.  That didn’t really answer the question, did it?

Well, it’s just a guideline, so that’s okay, right?

Movie Reaction: Wonder Woman

Published June 6, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Yes, “reaction,” not “review.”  I wouldn’t know how to give the movie a proper review.  However, I will admit that — despite an opening that disgusted me (which will be the focus of this post) — I was really digging it until a scene that had me muttering under my breath “No, no, no, no, no!” and “Don’t do it!  Don’t you dare do it!”  (At which point my brother leaned over and told me he agreed with me 100%.)  Unfortunately, they didn’t listen to me about that scene, and it pretty much wrecked the entire movie for me.  Aside from that, it’s the first movie in this new wave of connected DC movies that is actually, you know, a well made, competent movie with a script that actually plays like a single, proper draft, and features a cast of characters you can actually like, as opposed to a few likable characters surrounded by a sea of “meh.”  And it strikes me as hilariously ironic that they shifted the time period from WWII to WWI in order to avoid comparisons to Captain America, and yet they still had a Captain named Steve (played by a guy named Chris) who gathered together a small crew of interesting and multi-cultural buddies to help him fight the Germans, and I don’t want to go into spoilers, but there was an aspect of the climax that was rolling out the red carpet for the comparisons they wanted so much to avoid.

But none of that is what I want to talk about.

What I want to talk about is the astonishingly awful mutilation of Greek mythology.  (So, yes, feel free to dismiss this post as the whining of a mythology geek.  I really don’t care what anyone else thinks of me.)

Now, it’s not that I went in expecting the mythology to be handled with anything resembling accuracy.  I’ve seen a lot of episodes of the animated Justice League show that was on Cartoon Network…uh…whenever that was (I’m thinking early 2000s?), and my brother and father are both hugely into comic books, so I’ve heard a lot on the subject from them.  So I knew already that Ares was Wonder Woman’s biggest foe (and always had been), and that the reboot changed her very cool origin of a statue brought to life to the hyper-boring origin of being a daughter of Zeus.  So I knew what I was going to see was not going to be anything even remotely accurate to the myths or the personalities of the gods described therein.  But I wasn’t expecting anything this mutilated.

Very early in the picture (definitely in the first ten minutes), the child Diana is told a bedtime story about the gods and the duty of the Amazons by her mother, Hippolyte.  Given that it was so early in the picture, I feel like I can discuss it at great length without it being considered a spoiler, but just in case anyone feels differently, I’ll put it on the other side of the “Read More” tag.

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MLM No “B” – Dialog Tags

Published June 5, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

A post I read recently covered the notion of the way writers use dialog tags in their fiction.  Mostly, it was advice.  And it set me to thinking, regarding how I use them.

The advice in the post was pretty much the standard advice I’d heard everywhere.  “Said” and “asked” slip under the reader’s radar, identifying without intruding.  Some writers avoid them since they’re dull, yet this is supposed to drag down the finished product.

And perhaps it does.  Doesn’t change the fact that it’s dead dull actually writing “said” over and over and over again with no use of alternate tags.  No matter what it does for the eventual reader, not using “said” all the time makes the actual act of writing more fun.

Anyway, when I was writing over the weekend, so soon after seeing that post, I paid attention to what I was doing.  (And my writing is mostly dialog, so there was a lot to pay attention to!)  I try to put in a plain “said” at least every third or fourth tag.  (I’m not counting “asked” at all, since there aren’t too many other words you can use that actually make sense in its place.  Most of the alternatives just come off as ludicrous.)  The rest of the tags are usually words that give a little more information, though I pretty much never follow up those other tags with adver– uh, that has the letter I can’t use today, so let’s just call them “-ly” words.  Anyway, I almost never use those with anything other than “said” or “asked,” and I try to go easy on “-ly” words anyway, since everyone’s always saying not to use them.

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MLM No “A” – “One Month Behind”

Published May 29, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

try to follow everyone’s blogs.  (Well, not everyone, but…y’know…lots of folks.)

But then I got sick.  Didn’t feel up to keeping up with it.  Plus I’d gotten in the custom of checking out blogs during lunch at work.

Only when I got better, I got my work week cut down, too.  Now I’m pretty much just there on weekends.

Consequently, I’m one full month behind.

I suck.

(So does this post.)


 

Yureya

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My Tiny Joy

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Klein's Other Toys

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BINARYTHIS

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Kicky Resin

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(>°~°)><(°~°<)

A'Cloth the World

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The Social Historian

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medievalbooks

Erik Kwakkel blogging about medieval manuscripts

Sara Letourneau's Official Website & Blog

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Zounds, Alack, and By My Troth

A tragical-comical-historical-pastoral webcomic by Ben Sawyer

Project Doll House

never too old to play with dolls

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A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

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Jacqui Murray's

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Names beyond the Top 100, from many nations and eras

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Memoirs of a Time Here-After

the writings, musings, and photography of a dream smith

Taking a Walk Through History

Walking back in time to discover the origins of every historical route on earth

SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE

ΕΥΔΟΞΑ ΑΓΝΩΣΤΑ ΚΑΤΑΓΕΛΑΣΤΑ

Pullips and Junk

We're all mad about Pullips here!

mycupofteaminiatures

Handmade miniatures

Dutch Fashion Doll World

A Dutch Barbie collector in Holland

Confessions of a Doll Collectors Daughter

Reviews and News From the Doll World

It's a Britta Bottle!

Small Stories of a Twenty-Something Adventuring Through Life

DataTater

It's all small stuff.

The Photographicalist

Preserving the photographical perspective

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.