Wednesday, January 26. 2011
Someone yelled raucously. Something slammed into the wall outside. Ipsilon’s carefully poised quill jerked sideways. Ipsilon stared at the blot of ink now coating his latest work. He very calmly wiped the quill and put it to one side. The yelling was constant now, accompanied by a thumping. Ipsilon strapped his rapier around his waist. It completed his image of a gentleman and had been well worth the gnome artificer’s extortionate price. Utterly calm, he stepped out of the cabin. A pie hit him in the face.
“Hurray for custard!” cheered Smomag.
He began dancing on the table, oblivious to the carnage. The galley was a torrential, stinking mess thoroughly encrusted with stains. From a laddered hole high above came the only light; goblins could see in the dark anyway. One of the galley's walls were splintered, rocks poking through the wood. The current food fight was only worsening matters. Yaltzin lay on the ground, wrestling a wolf. The thumping sound was from him beating the beast with a metal tray. All that could be seen of Scraps were two flailing legs sticking out of a barrel of prawn.
Continue reading "Goblins Deux"
Monday, January 24. 2011
Work is life. It certainly takes up much of it.
In the period I was jobless I was useless. I could not compose a love letter or bring myself to shoot a man. It was surprising how much it hollowed me and how much I regained when employment came. Indeed my best work came after a job offer. When that listless fog burned away, my empty soul filled with fire once more. I am if not defined by work then at least focused by it. What am I doing now that caused such epiphanies though?
Now, let's not go crazy here. It's nothing to the religious undertaking of IT Support. It's neither as glamorous as the Army, nor as visceral as parkour. I don't even deal with clients anymore, denied my secret desire to help people.
However it has aspects of all of these. It's about what works, it's fighting a neverending war, it's solving problems and with my programming for blind accessibility it makes things better for people who'll never see it. Forgive the joke.
Most of all though, work makes me live. Living leaves me distracted. Only when distracted can I focus. Only when focused can I write.
Life is good. Life is write.
Thursday, January 20. 2011
This one is machine and nerve, and has its mind concluded.
Meter is one of the basic methods of establishing rhythm in poetry. When used effectively lines linger in the mind long after they have been read. The above example is trochaic heptameter. Count the syllables in each line, notice where the stresses fall in each word pair. You can perceive the flow of the words by more than just the repitition. The entire composition feels rhythmic.
Of course once you do that it becomes easier to notice the cheat words. Specificially the but. It's an easy way to fill out syllables and match the lines. If you replaced the but with only you'd retain the meaning but lose the flow completely due to being one syllable over.
The type of rhyming used above is called trochaic heptameter by the way. Which means seven feet of trochaic syllable pairs. I have no idea why meter is measured in feet, unless someone was being ironic. Most people would at least know iambic pentameter from Shakespeare.
So why the digression? Well, meter in verse is one of those things I love but never use. Pretty much anything I write is free verse, you know, where you're all radical and defying those stuffy professors because you can't think of anything that rhymes with licorice. It seems a waste to not experiment but when I look at all the misuse -such as the example above- I'm probably better off.
And digressing from the digression, I know more about French rhythmic structure than Irish. This is a woeful condition which I cannot find any information on. Anyone know where to find instruction on writing poetry as Gaeilge?
Friday, January 14. 2011
“Alright, rank up and present for inspection!”
Ipsilon finished strapping his helmet on as the soldiers formed a line. He turned smartly and marched down the docks, inspecting them in passing. It was a less than impressive bunch. For a start each of them was no taller than four feet high. Goblin soldiers had a hard time being intimidating.
Firstly there was Scraps clad in charms and filthy animal skins. He hopped from foot to foot chanting. Beside him sat a wolf bigger than he was. The beast gave Ipsilon a growl. It was probably smarter than its master.
Second up lounged Yaltzin, who predictably made an obscene gesture. Yaltzin claimed to have actual sailing experience. However Yaltzin also claimed he owned an arrow with Ipsilon’s name on it, an impossibility considering Yaltzin couldn't read.
Finally stood Smomag. Poor deluded Smomag, whose contribution to goblinkind was to be sick on it. Currently he was busy throwing up because the dock 'makes me sea-sick’.
Ipsilon had read about pirates being composed of motley crews of lunatics. He reckoned they were ahead of the curve.
Continue reading "Little Monsters"
Thursday, January 13. 2011
Deshaun jerked awake. A crackling fire greeted him. Its cheerful flame burnt away the nightmare. A blurry figure poked the flames. Deshaun shuddered, trying to clear his vision. There was an old man sitting by the fire.
“Wait, where am I?”
“Oh, you're awake again,” the old man said cheerfully.
Deshaun stumbled to his feet. A crumpled bedroll lay beneath him. Why was he outside? He felt itchy all over. There was a sense of trees but his vision blurred and he had to sit down again.
“What have you done peasant?”
“Sorry about the mess, your lordship. I scolded her good for it,”
Her. Deshaun remembered a girl. She'd led him out of the manor.
“My father will find you,” The words sounded hollow out here.
The old man grinned and stoked the fire. “You hungry?”
“I feel sick,”
Deshaun took one staggering step and the world seemed to twist away.
Deshuan jerked awake. His head felt clearer this time. He was lying on the bedroll neatly yet the old man hadn't moved.
“Scarce a minute, sir,”
“What's wrong with me?”
The old man tutted. “Too much drink. You young people,”
Deshaun tried to stand but settled for sitting cross-legged. His legs felt shaky. He was still itchy and picking at his clothes he realised he was in clothes not his own.
“What are you doing with me?”
The old man rolled his eyes, supping from a mug. “Whole lotta questions aren't you? You can call me Gundrea if you like,”
Continue reading "Dusty Pimpernel 3"
Tuesday, January 11. 2011
An Eala bán
She glides across the lake
like a god walking on water
Her reflection wavers
yearning to be as lovely
I dared to close once
In truth I sought to trap her
A hiss warned me off
In a flurry of feathers beaten
This bird's not for keeping
The cat in church
He lazed upon a bible
A king undeniable
We thought to shoo him away
But God bade him stay
Raven, omen of doom
Chicken, always clucking
Starling, blink and its gone
Boobie, good for an eyeful
Pigeon, so long as you've food
Swan, safe from a distance
Peace between Men
He called Christ but a man
I called the prophet but a monster
She called us both fools
and we found something to agree on
A sky of blue and orange contrast
A sky of blue and orange contrast
I saw the other morning
That was when I knew
Life is but a game
So when a car came careening
I pressed X to not die
Sunday, January 9. 2011
Sunday, January 2. 2011
Let's see... how was my gaming for 2010?
Bioshock, is a given. It was strongly themed and well put together. Yes when you get right down to it you had an FPS with a few character and item building aspects but the themes allowed it to transcend its weaknesses and earn a place in our heart.
Arkham Asylum, I am the night. Regardless of its Press X to continue gameplay Arkham Asylum brought everything that Batman should be to life.
Portal, Another FPS with excellent theme and story. However Portal goes one step further and makes its gameplay incredible as well. First Physics Shooter indeed.
Dark Corners of the Earth Lovecraft personified. Of course the fact that they're just retelling the stories in an interactive format gives them the edge here.
Starcraft 2 There's a lot of glitz and glamor to the game and the execution of the campaign is quite interesting. There's a whole RPG side to it in talking to your people and developing your forces. However behind all that is the actual gameplay which is, frankly, an embarassment. Its like playing a second expansion to Starcraft with some new units. The prettied up graphics do nothing to hide a game that's living in the 90s. The writing with exception for a few bright spots was cringeworthy.
Civilization V, Not impressive thus far. Admittedly Civ IV wasn't great until the mods came out but so far it plays akin to Civ III, another civ title that didn't impress me.
Lugaru, My god it's hard. That's not a negative but the surprising dearth of storyline is. Its really just a series of fights loosely tied together. I have yet to plow through them all. Interesting fight mechanics though.
Monday, December 20. 2010
It's probably a little late but while I try to keep abreast of hack events the scale of this one went right under the bow. Gawker was hacked and has had most of its userbase with their e-mails and passwords published online. Their source code was also looted rendering them insecure to the max. Apparently the hackers who cracked their security have been sitting on all of this data for a month.
If you have any accounts with gawker or gawker affiliates(kotaku, lifehacker) use this widget to check if your e-mail is one of the ones published. If you're even more paranoid look for the public torrent out there containing the full list. If you are or feel you may be at risk start changing your passwords for all your accounts.
In opinion I have no particular sympathies for either side. Gawker has been arrogantly disparaging ebaums for months. As for /b/, no comment.
Friday, December 17. 2010
Since I was asked about the blog again I thought I’d take the time to talk about the direction the Devpit is going in (while expressing my annoyance that people are more interested in the fact that I have a blog than any of its actual content).
The Devpit is not a soapbox or a journal, regardless of my distractions. The Devpit was created as a writer's aid, specifically to aid me in writing. Before the Devpit I wrote only in occasional bursts that ended up half-finished or deleted. Thanks to the Devpit I now have deadlines. I try to update at least once a week with an entry. But more importantly I write on a near daily basis now, churning out ideas and developing them with incredible alacrity compared to two years ago.
This brings me to my next point. The pieces put up here are nearly always first drafts. I'm still learning how to revise work. In addition I’m not sure if I should publish revisions on the Devpit. It's bad enough you have to read bad work without having to read it again.
This brings me to my next point. While at the beginning what to write was near formless I now have plans. The forums are home to some of these plans, giving storyline overviews and fleshing out the often confusing arrangement on the blog. Triumvirate in particular has exploded from its humble beginnings thanks to the support and contributions of an anonymous contributor.
So, in summary, the road ahead is still a rough outline but the goal of good writing is taking shape.
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