He should be dead within 30 seconds.
The werewolf heart is about two-thirds the size of a humans. But to shrink, first it has to stop. In other words, he has a heart attack. All the internal organs are smaller. So while he’s having his heart attack, he’s having liver and kidney failure too. And if he stops screaming, it’s not because the pain is dulled — his throat, gullet, and vocal chords are tearing and reforming. He literally can’t make a sound. By now the pituitary gland should be working overtime, flooding his body with endorphins to ease some of the pain. But that, too, has shut down. Anyone else would have died of shock long ago. But it won’t let him.
And that’s the thing I find most remarkable. It drags him through the fire and keeps him alive. And even conscious to endure every second. Nothing like this could just evolve. This is the fingerprint of God. An impossible, lethal curse. Spread by tooth and claw. Victim begets victim, begets victim. It’s so cruel it’s … perfect.
– Being Human, Episode 2
He should be dead within 30 seconds.
I’ve been following Brandon Sanderson’s blog as he works away on the final chapter of the Wheel of Time series. After several years, there is finally official word on when we can expect to see the next volume. And although it’s supposed to be the last book, it looks like it’s going to be split into a trilogy. I find that i’m ok with this. I look forward to as much WoT as possible, and if it takes three more books to do the story justice, then so be it.
Tor Books is proud to announce the November 3rd, 2009 on-sale date for The Gathering Storm, Book Twelve of The Wheel of Time and the first of three volumes that will make up A Memory of Light, the stunning conclusion to Robert Jordan’s beloved and bestselling fantasy series. A Memory of Light, partially written by Jordan and completed by Brandon Sanderson, will be released over a two-year period.Universal Pictures acquired the movie rights to The Wheel of Time in August 2008, and currently plan to adapt The Eye of the World as the first movie.
And a long but enlightening blog post by Mr. Sanderson on the decision to do three books.
It’s been a busy week and lots of interesting things have happened. Here are a few highlights:
First, with halloween and then Gwyneth’s birthday back to back, and my mom visiting, and going to some plays, and parties, etc.., i haven’t had time to breath for a bit and at about 11pm last night (Nov. 1), my wife asks, “weren’t you going to do NANOWRIMO?” … oops. Oh well – i’m screwed now. First day is done and i’m already behind. I even had several chapters outlined and everything. I might still do it a bit for fun, but i’m not going to try to get 50,000 words in the month. I’ll focus instead on getting the first few chapters written and fleshed out really well. See if i can’t describe my setting so vividly that it would make Dicken’s proud.Another thing that’s been eating up a huge portion of my time is my new Android G1 phone. That’s right folks. I couldn’t resist. I ran over to the T-Mobile store on Oct. 22 and ordered myself a new phone. It arrived 2 days later in the mail and i’ve been playing with it ever since. If you’re not sure what the G1 is, you probably don’t really care about cool phones all that much and so no amount of description would really do it justice. You’ll just have to see one in action for yourself. But this is in my opinion the best phone on the planet right now. Totally amazing. I’ve been nothing but happy with it since the moment i turned it on. Oh, and yes – i’ve been spending 1 or 2 or .. 4 hours a day learning the Android SDK and writing programs for it. I’m working on a game right now (you may recall my post from 2-3 weeks back talking about pathfinding algorithms … well, here’s the tie-in) So, one last thing. And for those of you who haven’t read the Harry Potter novels yet, but might some day … just skip the rest of this blog entry. I’ll even put it in black text on a black div so you can’t see it unless you highlight the text. If you want to know what i’m writing about … read on!
I have looked into the nanowrimo.org website. It’s basically a community website where you can sign-up and chat on the forums. You can also upload your manuscript whenver you want and it will give you back a word-count. If you reach 50,000+ words before the month is out, it will let you download a certificate that you can print out.
So, … basically, there’s no big advantage to being a member of the site if you’re not going to be involved in the forums. And i’m not really a forum kind of guy. However, that doesn’t mean i won’t do the contest. It just means i’ll do it on my own terms. Plus, my neighbors want to get together every few days and just sit around with our laptops and talk about what we’re writing and have a little writing fest. I’m sure treats and drinks will be involved!
I read all the rules. You can’t write anything in advance, but you can come up with story ideas and outlines. I’ve got a vauge idea that i want to flesh out. I am going to start on that now. That way i don’t have to waste the first bit of November deciding what i want to write about.
I was at my bookclub meeting last night (up above Sundance resort in Provo canyon), and Gideon brought up Nanowrimo. It’s just shy of two months away. I’ve thought about doing it for the last two years now, but never quite got up the motivation to try. I’ve even got a few “good” ideas floating around in my head. Well – I think they’re good anyway. But they’re longer novels – not something that can just be cranked out in 30 days.Back to book club. We were discussing the wonderful victorian-era adventure novel King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard. Afterwards, one of our members read a passage from the sequel (Allan Quatermain) which really caught my attention. More importantly – it gave me a germ of an idea for a short story! There’s still a lot of different directions i could take it, but hopefully i’ll either settle on one by November, or else the story will decide its own direction when i sit down to start writing. Here’s the quote that sparked my imagination (from the first page or so of chapter 2 – The Black Hand):
At this particular place [Charra, on the Tana River - in Africa] we discovered on a mound, covered up with rank growth and rubbish, two of the most beautiful stone doorways that it is possible to conceive. The carving on them was simply exquisite, and I only regret that we had no means of getting them away. No doubt they had once been the entrances to a palace, of which, however, no traces were now to be seen, though probably its ruins lay under the rising mound.
Gone! quite gone! the way that everything must go. Like the nobles and the ladies who lived within their gates, these cities have had their day, and now they are as Babylon and Nineveh, and as London and Paris will one day be. Nothing may endure. That is the inexorable law. Men and women, empires and cities, thrones, principalities, and powers, mountains, rivers, and unfathomed seas, worlds, spaces, and universes, all have their day, and all must go. In this ruined and forgotten place the moralist may behold a symbol of the universal destiny. For this system of ours allows no room for standing still — nothing can loiter on the road and check the progress of things upwards towards Life, or the rush of things downwards towards Death. The stern policeman Fate moves us and them on, on, uphill and downhill and across the level; there is no resting-place for the weary feet, till at last the abyss swallows us, and from the shores of the Transitory we are hurled into the sea of the Eternal.
Want to know my idea? Read the book
A few nights ago i put a pad of paper and a pen on the nightstand next to my bed and determined that i would write down some of my dreams so that i could recall them the next day. I can’t say for sure, but it seems that they’ve been rather interesting lately. Maybe they’ll give me good ideas for a short story. *shrug*Well, as the night progressed, i woke up a time or two and scribbled something on the pad of paper – i remember this quite clearly. When morning came, i woke up and picked up the pad of paper – eager to see what my subconscious had dreamed up over the course of the night. What grand adventures had I undertaken? My wife gave me a curious look as i cursed the paper held in my hands. Then she started to laugh as i showed her my nights efforts: a big fat blank piece of paper. All those scribbled notes were just imagined! Curse you dream scribe! Update:
Found a great comic that seemed quite pertinent: xkcd – 430
Wow, I read a really great blog entry today. You know it’s going to be a good entry when it starts out mentioning star trek! But then to actually use that as a lead-in to a reflection of ones past, relive life-changing events, and draw strength from them is really great.Unfortunately for most of the rest of the world this is a private blog. It’s probably the most consistently well-written and profound blog that i read (and i read a lot of blogs). It’s a shame that i can’t get an rss feed for it, because i only sporadically check it. I really need to do better and go there more often. I hope that one day my writing is half so good. Until then, i will continue to read, be inspired, and try to find my flute.
As anyone who’s visited my main website knows, i’m a big fan of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. Last year when he passed away, i posted an article that talked about how i had first came across the series, and how i hoped that the final book “will be finished by a worthy author who truly cares about the work and will do it justice.”About three months later, Brandon Sanderson was announced as the author personally picked by Robert Jordan’s wife to pen the final chapter in the WOT saga. I had never heard of Sanderson before, but I looked him up and found that he’s written a few books which have all received high praise. He also seemed to be a fan of the series himself, at which i sighed in relief knowing that the novel was in good hands. Well, it turns out that Sanderson lives about 10 minutes from my house! How cool is that? I found this out when i saw a big sign at our local library announcing a book signing with Brandon Sanderson. I did a double take, made sure it was the Brandon Sanderson of WOT fame, and made plans to attend. All of this was a long introduction to a short report of the event: There were about 50 or 60 people in attendance (hard to say really; there were lots of people with young kids that kept coming and going). He began by doing a book signing. He had copies of all his books available for purchase, and was more than happy to sign pre-existing copies. He also had a preview “proof readers” copy of the 3rd book in his Mistborn series. It looked very cool (although i didn’t read any of it, since i didn’t want to accidentally come across any spoilers). After a half hour or so of signing books, he opened it up to Q&A. Following are some of the questions that I was able to scribble down:
- Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians is available as an audio book through Amazon. You can also email him for a copy if you like.
- When Harriet (Robert Jordan’s wife) was selecting authors for the final WOT novel, she read 100 pages of Sanderson’s Mistborn book, loved it, and called him asking if he’d be interested. (Obviously the answer was an enthusiastic yes!)
- Dreamworks has purchased the rights to do a movie of Alcatraz. He said it’s amazing how much $$$ movie studios throw around like it’s popcorn. There’s also a tentative offer to do a TV Series of Mistborn, but that’s probably not going to happen
- When asked how he gets his ideas, he said that they can come from anywhere. He mentioned that he had an Alcatraz souvenir’s key chain that came with his first car. He was once driving through dense fog and liked how the mist swirled. Sometimes he’ll see someone with interesting characteristics that will end up in a novel. He just always looks for things and they all stick together, and eventually he’s got enough material for a book
- He likes to turn traditional fantasy on its head. “An unlikely hero goes on a quest to destroy the dark lord.” That pretty much sums up 90% of sci-fi and fantasy stories. “Why can’t the dark lord ever win? What if he did?” He loves to take unusual and unconventional twists and turns with his writing.
- When asked about the artwork, he said that he doesn’t get to decide that. He only gets to decide on the words of the novel. He gets to look and can object, but ultimately it’s up to the publisher on the artwork. Mostly he’s been happy, but didn’t like the original cover art of Mistborn. (There was more on this but i’d better not print it here…)
- His deadline for the draft of A Memory of Light is December. The earliest publish date will be in the Summer of 2009, and the latest publish date will be around Christmas 2009. Whatever the date, he will personally be at Waldenbooks at my local mall on opening day giving (well, selling i’m sure) out signed, numbered copies of the book. SWEET; i know where i’ll be that day!
- He mentioned that when he was 15, one of his teachers gave him a copy of a fantasy novel and that sparked his interested in, and love for, the fantasy genre. After the meeting, i asked him what the novel was. He replied that it was Dragon’s Bane, and highly recommended it if i hadn’t read it yet. I’ll put it in my queue.
- Finally, in between some of the Q&A he did a reading of the first chapter of Alcatraz (i’m not sure if it was the first or second book; i haven’t read either). He also did a reading of the 1st chapter of book 3 of Mistborn, but i left before he began since he said there would be major spoilers for anyone who hadn’t read the first two books yet (and i hadn’t, so i left).
All in all, a very enjoyable event. He seems like a nice down to earth guy, and i have every confidence that he’ll do a wonderful job of A Memory of Light.
I was watching an episode of Babylon 5 last night titled “The Parliament of Dreams”. The premise of this particular episode is that aliens from all over the known galaxy are meeting on the Babylon 5 station to have a festival of religious ceremonies. The Centauri throw a big feast with small statues of all their deities on the table watching over them. The Mimbari have a solemn ceremony with bells and chants and little red fruits (which, oddly enough, also doubles as a marriage ceremony). When it comes time for Earth to showcase its major religion, JMS (the shows creator) did something really cool. He had a long line of people representing all of the faiths of earth (including an atheist), showing just how diverse our world is when it comes to religion.
The point I want to make is that it seems most science fiction shows and books depict alien cultures as homogeneous. There’s usually a single world-wide government and one religion (if any). Oh, and everyone dresses the same. The diversity comes from the fact that there are many worlds instead of many different types of people from each world. I think that science fiction writers could take some constructive criticism here and make each of their worlds as diverse culturally, politically, and religiously as is earth today. Combine that with multiple worlds and you really get a dizzying array of interesting material to work with. I realize there’s a lot of room for argument in here. Anyone have any differing opinions?
A talk was given (actually, a series of talks, all related and tied nicely together) in which the title was “Bottle the fireflies”. As a kid growing up in the western United States i had never seen a firefly before. In fact, i didn’t really think they were real. I’d seen them in movies and cartoons, but hey – who can believe anything they see there, right? It wasn’t until i was 19 and selling life insurance back east for two years that i actually saw my first firefly. It was quite a moment. “Wow, those things are REAL?”The title of course is a metaphor for “write in your journal”. Gideon was saying that even though we might not be very interested with the day to day things that occur in our lives, our children might be, and our grandchildren certainly will be. Who wouldn’t love to go read their great great grandfathers journal? And as you think back on your day you might recognize patterns or occurrences that you otherwise would have missed that can give you insight into … whatever you might need insight on. Don’t be afraid to write about bad things as well as good. Life isn’t perfect. Our entries should reflect ourselves – the good and the bad. Our failures and our triumphs. Have you ever read a book where everything is rosy the entire time? BORING. Here are some handy dandy tips for things to look for and write about in your journal aside from the more mundane things like “it was cold; i had cereal for breakfast; the news was depressing”, etc..etc..
- Tender mercies
- Spiritual family moments
- Answers to prayer
- Connections to family
- Showing your humanity
- Learning compassion for ourselves
- A friend coming through
- Moment of conversion
- Memorable visit
- Letter received
- Moment of forgiveness
- Spiritual Moment
- Moved by something (music, movie, play, talk, etc..)
- Time spent with children