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WWW. LPSTRIBLING.COM – Switching to the Dark Side…and a bit on writing


image3-e1409390803599

I’ve been writing on my own blog since somewhere around 2008, though WordPress has been the carrier of that writing since somewhere around 2010, I guess. In that time I’ve been able to get a couple of poems and a short story out there, but more importantly I’ve been fortunate enough to have all of you out there reading at least something that I’ve written. This is extraordinarily meaningful to me.

Writing is a very scary activity; many of us either don’t understand this, or we forget. I’m speaking of course from the standpoint of someone who stands by choice in front of many people, metaphorically, of course. I guess what I mean is it’s always easier to be part of the crowd than apart from it. It’s easier to be a student in the classroom than the teacher. It’s easier to point the finger than to have the fingers pointed at you… it’s easy to be a critic.

When one writes, especially on a public platform, one is choosing to enter into a world of judgment – a very lonely world of judgment. Whether good or bad, the judgment is real. One is choosing to take on work for which there is no real support. There are no cheerleaders here. There are no badges, no leveling up, no trophies. There’s no tax break, no insurance benefits, no discounts, no free t-shirts, no extra credit. There are no deadlines except those you set for yourself, and there usually aren’t any raises. In fact, when you look around, you can spot all the reasons in the world NOT to write, and you have to make the daily drive through all of the countless reasons your mind comes up with to distract you from the task.

dog-humping-legYou may even have a dog, but odds are it’s already gotten used to what you do there, and none of that includes petting it, giving treats, taking it for walks or agreeing to let it hump your lower leg into oblivion.

When you tell people that you write, most tend to quietly snort, scoff, or give that look of dismissal, or if you’re brazen enough to call yourself a writer in conversation, they may even want to test it out.

“Really?” they ask. “What do you write?”

“Science fiction and fantasy,” you may say.

“Ahh,” they say, or “Mm hmm.”

Writing, in all honesty, is most probably the loneliest task I’ve chosen. One which only a fellow writer can understand.

…well, wait. Let me back up. ‘Lonely’ carries too negative a meaning. It’s too woe-is-me. Fuck that. Autonomous is better.

DO OVER!

Writing is the most autonomous task I’ve ever taken on. And let’s put it into perspective – no, most of the time people aren’t cheering you on, but it’s not their fault. People are used to cheering on athletes, football players, or track stars, or golfers (which I cannot believe. C’mon, you’re cheering for people wear Polo shirts and walk casually across finely mowed lawns). Most people have no concept of how grueling the writerly life is, how much of a grind, how much of a push it really is.

And the dog? Well, can you blame him? It’s a dog. If you’re not petting it, giving it food, or providing a means of furry foreplay, what good are you?

Writers, if they know anything at all, are aware of all the judgmental potential that awaits them. We’re going to write stuff, and some of you may agree, some of you may not. Most of you won’t care. Some of you will enjoy my words, some of you will not. Most of you won’t care. The average reader out there will say, “They’re just words. What can you possibly say that can piss people off?”

Others know better. The sounds of our words provide the audible impressions of ourselves to others. Wars are started over words. People lose jobs over words. People are killed, arson is committed, shots are fired, and nations are bombed over words. By that same token wounds are mended, hearts are healed, and rejuvenation is possible…because of words.

But if you’re still with me, willing to wade through the palimpsest and the drivel I sneeze out there into the digital ether, then please know that I am grateful for it; I am glad. And if you’ve read this far, you’ve honored me and I thank you.

I’ve moved digital spaces; I’ve gained a new parking space, so to speak – one which seems to suit me better. I’m still customizing, of course, so we’ll have to be patient. As Billy Shakespeare said, “How poor are they that have not patience? What wound did ever heal but by degrees?” (Othello: Act II. Scene III).

Here – the address of my new space: www.lpstribling.com

Come one, come all. Subscribe. Read. Post. Ask questions. Bring the dog.

Again, for all your support and your continued friendship, my heartfelt thanks.

-LP

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The Kingkiller Chronicles – another literary victim


University

Why does everything that’s literarily of good quality have to go to the big screen?

WHY!?

I was just checking Reddit and found out that Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles is under production on FOX – the same wonderful company that completely decimated all of the dreamy potential Firefly had.

If you enjoy fantasy and have never read The Name of the Wind, the first book in the series, you are missing out on some great fantasy.

Sadly, if you wait long enough, you don’t have to really put in the effort to read it. You can just sit there, shove buttered popcorn in your face, and get the whole thing delivered to you, service of the American media.

I know everyone is into the whole Game of Thrones thing on television, but the books are where it started, and I know that George has made and probably continues to make a butt-ton of cash with it, but I can’t help feeling that the very essence of the magic of it is gone, that it’s been destroyed. I’m talking about Harry Potter, Misery, Shogun, The Lord of the Rings for God’s sake.

By the same token, I don’t give a shit about The Hunger Games (I mean Battle Royale was already done, and that story was the best it could be) or 50 Shades of Suck. Have I read it? No. I haven’t. I won’t. But you know what? All that stuff can go right ahead and sell out to the screen vamps all they want. I’m talking about literature that has placed a stamp of quality and admiration upon the genre.

Call me petty, I guess. There will be those voices out there who say things like, ‘Why not take it to the screen so more people will enjoy it?’ Well, why don’t more people just make their way to a library instead of going on Netflix? I’m not knocking movies, t.v., or the screen itself here. I’m knocking the media for sucking up all stories that are of good quality from the literature circles (past and present) and shoving them in front of the nation so as to encourage more comfort, laziness, and distraction.

Or you can just make an Angelina Jolie movie out of Beowulf.

Movies, Anime, some (SOME) t.v. is great. But if it’s good; if it’s respected in the genre, in the community, then keep the format as it is.

Money can contaminate. This is of the biggest examples in present-day society.

Here’s to reading.

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The Language Brew


Language and Art

Some see language as a tool of pragmatism. Something that will, much like the first car you get (or didn’t get, or wished you had) in college, help them get from point A to point B. I can see that. Makes sense. You have to get through the day, talking with all the people you need to talk to.

I never really thought about it that way, but when it comes to language I guess I’m much more romantically oriented than that. There’s a glorious and exquisite art that comes along with language, I believe. Words are not just as the pragmatist views them, a selection of banal curvy blots which are bandied about to pick some sociolinguistic padlocks. They’re purposeful and meaningful. They’re beautiful in their shape, and collectively, in their form.

Language, in all its lithe sensuous ways, is an active and invisible omnipresence without which we would be still, I dare say, trudging through the noisome muddy filth of the Middle Ages, wondering how we managed to show up in this god-abandoned reality. It is, I would argue, principally because of language, in all its agile beauty, that humanity has produced the civilized social corpus it has. Our transportation, our gastronomic blessings, our clothing, our games, our humor, the wonder of our kind, has largely language to thank.

Daily we can hear everything from the philistine “fuck you” to the comfy and linguistically aromatic “How do you do?” Brusque, rough, and rude, the hifalutin, the rich, the aristocratic, all intermingle within a wonderfully language-seductive brew.

<<shakes head>>

I’m very happy to be even a mote of this sweet puzzling glue which ties us all to one another. What a wonderful thing.

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My 500th Post!


Just getting started.
Just getting started.

Whaaa!?

So, somehow I’ve been on this thing for the gods know how long, and have 500 posts (501 with this one). I’m blessed.

Thank you to all of you out there who follow me and read all of the drivel I tend to jot down  in my day-to-day life. There’s a smattering of all of it, I know. I toss out a bit of everything and just want to share some of my interests and musings of my life. And to know that there are some of you out there who read any or (even more laughable) all of what I write is, on my end, inspirational, moving. It’s heart-warming, really, to know that you read what I write.

Thank you for sharing, and in reading what I share. Thank you for choosing to run your eyes across these palimpsests I call entries; thank you for commenting; thank you for agreeing, and disagreeing; and thank you for coming back.

To my friends, and those who have chosen to subscribe to my blog, to follow me even though we have never personally shared space upon a unified path, you have my many thanks and good regard.

Here’s to just getting started.

-lp

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The Wizards’ Plan


The Wizard’s Plan

By

L.P. Stribling

The-Wizard-S

They’re the ones to blame,
Singing in silent voices, making the world rain,
They parade in the daytime, take flight at night,
They watch us when we sleep, and sleep not themselves.

Violet robes, long noses, wild hats, peaking above us all,
They carry staves, of course, what wizard would be
without one? And they read, you see? Read, read, endlessly.
Spells, or songs (although those are mostly for the bards),
Incantations, curses, and give no care,
Unaware, perhaps, of right and wrong.

Yet we’re the ones who suffer, aren’t we?
We bare the brunt of their frivolity, their unbidden wizardry.
They are the voices in our heads,
The man in the moon,
The mischief under our beds,
And the men behind the Rune Witches.

I can provide one reason upon another,
Hoping that you’ll understand,
But you’ll never look past my own responsibility,
When I know the truth,
It’s all a part of the Wizards’ plan.

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I’ve never read Game of Thrones


The Game of Thrones
The Game of Thrones

I’ve never read Game of Thrones.

I know.

Right now my fellow geekdom planet out there is perhaps reacting the same way. Something like, “What do you mean you’ve never read Game of Thrones? It’s the most epic (and I use that word only because the majority of the fantasy/sci-fi geeks out there use it, though I’m a purist linguist asshole and wouldn’t use that word in that way because, well, let’s stay on topic, shall we?*) story ever!”

It’s all good though, right? Because I’m probably following along with the television series on HBO. But, yeah, I’m kind of not doing that either.

And I’m trying to dodge the stares that my community is giving me and am ready for them to ask me to show them my true fantasy/sci-fi-geek card. They were out of cards last time I went, so..seriously.

But with regard to the topic, I confess, I am not like the rest of my geeky compatriots in that I cannot begin reading a series until it is finished. Here’s why.

 

A few years back I read Rothfuss’s Name of the Wind (from here on to be referred to as NoTW), which, if you’re the one guy or gal out there who has not read it, please allow me to be one more fervid vote that you do. A stupendous book. I burned through it, buzzed, chopped, even sambaed through that giddy fantasy goodness. I was ready for the next book.

I remember spending a couple of days jumping online to see when the next book was going to come out. I could wait.

So I waited…and waited….and waited…..and (damn dude, c’mon) waited.

You know what I’m talking about.

So I went on blogs to find out what was going on with this next book and when it would come out. I went to Pat’s blog and, cut to the point, he answered a question from a fan that was similar to what I was asking myself (and I paraphrase) –

Q: “What if it’s been so long between books that we forget what happened?”

Pat’s A: Well, I guess you’ll just have to read it again. (in so many words).

 

“What a dick!” I thought. That was it; “F*ck this guy! (PLEASE READ ON – THIS IS NOT AT ALL HOW I FEEL ABOUT PAT….Pat, you know this!) ” I’m never reading

any of his bullsh*t again.

The point is, I felt that I was basically jaded with this hype about who this dude was and I loved him, but he didn’t have the 2nd book out at the time and, what’s more, he told me to wait. It was a different time in my life and I felt pretty pissed off with what he was doing to me.

 

I decided that was it. I wasn’t reading any incomplete series again. Before I go on, it should be noted that I believe Pat to be the man – the man is a f&cking sorcerer when it comes to craft and the artistry of writing. I love the guy. Again that was a different time and I’m not going to use this post to go thorugh my feelings.

 

The point is, I cannot read series that are not yet complete, nor can I watch the corresponding television shows – why? Because 99% of the time, the book’s better than the film adaptation. I’m a literary person – love language and words.

 

A while back I was listening to a Writing Excuses episode when, somewhere toward at the back half of the cast, Howard spoke up and mentioned that an author wouldn’t want to do something or other (I don’t recall now what the cast was discussing) because it might spoil something for those who are waiting for the series to be complete before they pick up the books (It was something like that; again, I don’t remember the cast or conversation topic).

I thought, “WOOT! Yep (raised hand in the air for all to see) this guy; right here. I totally get it. I do that sh*t all the time.” And then he said…

“Yeah, there are actually people out there who do not start reading until the whole series is written.” I believe I actually heard some echoes of “Huh?” and “Really?” from the background.

I thought. “SO!?” I had no idea at that point that A. it was a big deal, and B. why wasn’t other people following my sound logic?

 

The point is, there’s a reason why I wait until a series is finished before I begin. Authors who write long series of books have (I presume) a plan, but it takes a while to manifest that plan, especially when it comes in the form of literature. But, reading a book is words is faster than writing it, and if I’m the reader and I enjoy the book, I’m going to want to keep reading. I don’t want to get into it, get a stiffy, and then have the book just end without a happy ending.

 

I want to get what I paid for!  (…assuming I actually paid, that is).

 

Books are great on their own; don’t get me wrong. But, that’s if they’re a stand-alone book. If it’s part of a series – the logical thing (not that you have to follow logic – many read Sanderson’s The Way of Kings knowing that there are another proposed nine books. NINE!)

 

Reading – it takes patience. JUST WAIT! It’s worth it.

 

 

 

*Actually, with regard to scope, Game of Thrones can actually be described as epic because, well, let’s just stay focused.

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Page or Screen – a personal policy


Keeping calm
Keeping calm

I have this policy. It’s more of a personal preference, really, but, either way, I’m usually pretty good about following through. The premise is straightforward enough – do not watch the cinematic rendition of an already established literary piece before first reading the piece itself. In lay terms – don’t watch the movie before reading the book.

This is in no way a disparagement of the film industry, of course, but the grounds of which certainly merit elaboration.

Let’s face it – as a species, we’re suckers for stories. Every day, hour, microsecond (someone could argue that), we’re engaged in some sort of story. It could be anything from reading about the latest restaurant review to writing an e-mail to a friend agreeing to meet for dinner. Whatever it is, talking or listening, at some degree, whether we’re cognizant of it or not, we’re all storytellers – chefs serving anecdotal entrées (be it entertaining or strictly informative) using our special ingredients of fact and fiction. Stories of love, hate, fear, and loathing, no matter the case, we love it; we eat it up. Yet, without trying to sound too judgmental, we’re also a wee bit averse to more effort than necessary (FINE PRINT: yes, I just said that you were lazy). So, given the choice between film or font, we would usually prefer to recline in front of a 30’ X 70’ screen and get fat on fake-buttered popcorn and nibbles and bits of sugary goodies.

There’s no need to state the obvious here – as a population, we read less than ever before. I’m not talking about the malarkey online statements that aver that we read more than ever before, because reading e-mail, Tumblr, or Amazon receipts ad nauseum doesn’t quite constitute reading.

You know what I mean by reading, right? I mean real fucking reading. Reading books, not e-readers, not bullshit iPods/Pads/Pamphlets or whatever other type of pocket screens you carry around (books and games for me are like Church and State – keep ‘em separate). I’m talking about reading for pleasure, reading something that you love.

Why?

Because that’s the “real” story. I use quotation marks here because it’s my own definition of real. The real story are the ones that each of us sees in our own heads. What did Harry Potter look like in your mind before you saw Daniel Radcliffe play him? What about Hermione?

Exactly. They were your own, just the way that you saw them. They were perfect.

I read the books first for different reasons. I could create a list of those reasons, but this is prose, not a grocery list, and I’d rather not allow my thoughts to be bullet points.

Text, in as many advantages as it has, comes with the requirement of effort on the part of the ‘to be entertained.’ The entertainer, on the one hand, certainly has to put in the effort to provide the entertainment, the product. It’s sort of like the soda jerk who makes the viscous, but highly-addictive milkshake for you, the customer. The idea is that you will probably enjoy the product, however, you will have to extend your arm, grasp the low-quality, but visibly catchy paper/plastic cup, raise it to your sweet little sugar pouting lips and suck like a porn star. That’s how we, the customer (after having paid for our product) acquire the value of said product. Now, compare that to reading.

We (the humans) buy the book, to get all the joy of the book into our bodies, it’s not like we can just snap a USB cord into it and slip the opposing end into our brain’s pleasure center. Doesn’t work that way. We have to run our eyes over every single word beginning after the first cover and going all the way to the back cover…and that usually takes longer than the porn suck.

If only there were a more expeditious way.

 

Enter FILM, Stage Right.

 

The motion picture – humanity’s answer to the “full” story in a small fraction of the time it takes to read a book.

Short and sweet – now (finally!) we don’t have to spend days or weeks or (yes) even months reading this bullshit and having to trudge through the ultra boring bits about the main character’s love life and how they really feel about the guy and their emotions or the work, all for the sake of ‘character development.’ Now I can finally watch Tolkien’s classics without having to read all that prolonged trash about him describing a branch on a tree in a forest full of Orcs, or Ents, or ugly things. Yes! The Movie! Finally! My prayers have been ans-

Hold up.

You may feel like your prayers were answered, but (and you’ll never believe me) you’re missing all the glory of the written word. If you watch the movies all the time and never read, you’ll be missing how much better the book is compared to the movie. Now, if you’re just plain impatient, well I can’t help you, although I do believe there are certain people within certain professions who may be of service. But, I’m imploring you not to just do it out of your love of things that blow up, or colors or beautiful people (though I’m not saying you should deny yourself of such pleasures – they’re wonderful; they are. But this is simply my own commentary on watching movies before reading the work in text).

 

Okay, where am I going with this.

 

Here’s where I’m going. The long (Tolkien version of the) story is that (for whatever reason) I chose to watch the film rendition of a story that was already in text. Mistake No. 1. I really wanted to have read the story before the movie came out (just like I did with Harry Potter), but for some reason I didn’t, and now that I’ve watched the film, I have picked up the book and am finding it exceedingly difficult to read it.

 

WHY?!

 

Because I already know what happens! That’s why. So, guess what I have to do. Well, let’s start with guess what I can’t do right now – I can’t really enjoy and savor the book the same way. It’s not like I’ll be up until the wee hours of the morning waiting to see what happens when everyone finds out that the butler’s really a herm. I already know the story. It’s almost as if it’s cheating, almost as if I’m cheating myself.

So, back to what I have to do – I have to wait until I forget the entire story and then go back to the book.

Well, lessons learned for next time, I suppose.

Look, for me a book can take at least a week (two if I have a job – which, at the moment, thankfully…), but a  movie takes a couple of hours. Why not just read the book, enjoy it, lap it up, savor it and all that, and then, when you’re ready for a nice evening out, reward yourself with the movie. You’ll find exactly how different they are – as you have heard or experienced, perhaps, yourself.

Go ahead – stop reading this right now and look up how books sales have changed in the past 50 years.

Just a thought, but makes sense to me.

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Read much?


A while back, I posted a poll with a question on reading. I asked all the fine folk out there how many books they read a month. Most said that they read somewhere between ZERO and THREE books a month. I thought that was pretty good. Well, not bad if your toward the THREE range, but rather abysmal if you’re closer to ZERO. Every time I become engaged in a conversation about reading, I usually say that as a people (not so much as a nation or as even a continent, but as a people) we’re not reading nearly as much as we’re used to. Then, someone, without fail, will bring up the idea that we’re actually reading the most we’ve ever read – the issue is that what we’re reading is not what I’m thinking of when I consider “reading.” That is, we’re reading all kinds of Internet trash, which is mostly written at a lower level than what we used to be reading.

I’ll agree with that.

The way we’re reading is also different. We’re not reading with a degree of patience in silence, any more. We’re reading in short blurbs and blips. We don’t want to take the time to read because (well, among other reasons), we’re afraid that we’ll be missing something somewhere else. There’s so much out there nowadays. It besieges us and, is it any wonder that we feel overwhelmed. It’s similar to the feeling we get when we’re driving down a dark road in the middle of the night and all of a sudden, three cars begin to close in on you from behind. No, they don’t have their brights on, but you know how technology and the automotive industry is? They have those headlights that are just those kind that look bright no matter where they are or what they’re doing. Their lights always look extraordinarily bright. So, I’m presuming we all know that feeling. How do we feel? We were just enjoying our smooth drive at our own pace and these race cars came up on us out of nowhere and started making us feel that we had to rush. Well, shit. Okay. I’ll rush.

It’s too bad. We’ve been rushed to read faster, which makes for lower comprehension. Well, I’m urging all of you to not do that. I’m urging you to read and to keep reading. You shouldn’t even need to ask what you should read. Read what you would have read when you were 14 or 15. What do you like? Do you like adventure, romance, action, literary, fiction, non-fiction, horror, mystery – it doesn’t matter! Just read. Now, don’t read something WAY below your level all the time. That is, I don’t think you would benefit all that much from reading books for 5-year olds with any sort of consistency, but expand yourself. Read a little bit of everything if you’d like. But read what you want. That’s the main thing.

Me? I’m reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. It’s once that I never thought I would read, or if I did, it wouldn’t have been until later in life. But how often can we really say we’re waiting. That’s bullshit – something to make the ego feel better. We all know the truth in that. We can say what we’re “GONNA” do until our eyes fill up with the yellow water of the lie. There is no “I’m gonna”, there’s only either “I’m doing” or “I’m not doing.”

Whatever you want to do, read, read, and read while you’re doing it. Keep reading and keep creating. That’s it.

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Studying what I Love


We started off talking about Bilbo Baggins today and the Lord of the Rings. It was something that I think has been one of my favorite classes. I’ve taken several classes in linguistics and pedagogy, but never a class on a Fantasy book. Well, I’ve done several of the online Brandon Sanderson classes, which have all been fantastic. But I’ve never been able to be in class reading one of my favorite books.
There are those out there who say that if you haven’t read the entire LoR trilogy, you’re not really a fan. Well, bah humbug to them, because dammit I am a fan, and I’m not a fan because of the movies. I’m a fan because I love the lore of it all, I love the adventure, the journey, the quest, the magic, the frilly banter and eloquence of Gandalf the Grey and all of the other beautiful bits that come along from existing within Middle Earth (Today I saw it written ‘Middle earth’, with the lowercase ‘e.’ Is that right?).
The day was great. There are only six students in all taking this lovely three-week course (can you believe that?), and they were all very much into it, asking questions, presenting opinions, contributing. What a lovely bunch of kids we had – I love when they group aren’t forced that they have to be there. It’s not like some of the language courses (my gosh, to put someone through a language course who does not want to be there – what cruel dealings we give one another) where the students are forced to take a language. It’s basically a very long and focused elective – you elect to take the class. What a concept!
But that was that. Anyway, the schedule is just as simple as ever, and it starts off with something called ‘no homework.’ Does it get any better? We get to class, read a few hours, take a two-hour lunch, read The Hobbit a few more hours and then go home – with no homework.
It’s exquisite; there’s just no other term.
We just started the whole thing today and it was, as I’ve elucidated in the above, very nice.
We started off the day today discussing all of the ins and outs of the Hero and his/her journey, as described by Joseph Conrad, most succinctly in his opus, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. It’s not something I’ve ever personally read, but I do get some of the references. Conrad, as one of our team paraphrased today, says that if one were to amass all of the stories of mankind up to this point, one would find that they all follow a very similar pattern. They include things like a hero/protagonist, villain/antagonist, an ordinary world, a mentor, an ally, etc. Now, those are all their own words, of course, and each of them has specific meanings which separate them from the others, and again, I’m not quoting anything here. I’m just paraphrasing…paraphrasing what Rick paraphrased. An interesting concept, all the same.          Perhaps I should bring in a copy or two of the Conrad book and we can look at some different quotations or segments from it.
Fantasy literature has changed. We were able to discuss that briefly. I was actually talking about this with my brother several nights ago. He was saying how back in Tolkien’s day, fantasy (as he created and mastered it – the LoR is a pillar of almost all of modern fantasy today, one could argue) was more black and white. There was a good guy and a bad guy, and it was a very simple visual from the starting point to the finishing point. Today, with wondrous stories like George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, it’s not all that clear cut. There are people backstabbing others, there’s betrayal, there’s schemes and machinations for one party to dominate over another. It’s much more in-your-face, much more cutthroat than it was back in Tolkien’s LoR days. Not to say that the older ones are outdated and, by today’s standards, of poor quality – good heavens, no. It’s just more that taste, rhythm, and the arc of modern-day entertainment has changed.
What else is there?
Not much.
The point is that this is me getting out the fact that today was superb. I spent my working day talking about something that I adore and have adored since I was quite young. I personally didn’t get into the reading game of fantasy until I was in my early twenties, but I was always into the lore, the world, the, well, for lack of a better word, the fantasy of it all.
Back to work tomorrow, starting from page 8. Let’s see how good it does to turn Gandalf away. Just as I remember. Ohh, this is getting good.

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One Piece – Vol. 31


I’ve been into Anime and Manga (English: Graphic novels) since I’ve spent a protracted period in Japan. If you’ve never been, it’s a country that’s magical and one I would recommend any day of the year. You just have to go. At least once. Even before we went to Japan, Kerrie kind of got me hooked on them by getting me the first volume of a Manga called Monster, which ended up being something like 18 volumes long. She just said that she thought it looked good and that she thought I would like it so, voilá. And like it I did. I read all of the volumes that were out at the time and had to wait impatiently for the final two volumes to arrive. 

    But since then, I’ve jumped into an entirely new chasm of graphic novel – one considered, at least as fans are concerned a bottomless pit. The title of this one is One Piece, and there are currently over 70 volumes in the story.Image It’s all about a kid who wants to become king of the Pirates and gathers his own makeshift crew of ruffians and comedians to take on whatever the unknown world of pirates and fantasy thugs has to offer. A wondrous world of fantasy, and tooney slapstick surrealism that makes you fall in love with it. It’s a great adventure. There is also a cartoon out, but I’ve long been a fan of reading the original work before going to the film adaptation.

    I’m off to read Volume 31 – The 8th Book of the Skypeia arc…if that means anything to you…nah, probably not. And then to bed. 

You don’t have to start on the long ones. Pick up the first copy of a series that’s only eight or ten books long. They take just a couple hours to finish and, when done well, they’re worth it.

Night all. Sweet Pirate dreams to me.