This is Serious Stuff: A (Possibly Pretentious) Study in Magnetic Poetry

Ages upon ages ago, my mom and my brother went to Baltimore and while he got tickets to some stupid baseball game, I got EDGAR ALLAN POETRY.

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I actually have no problem with baseball, but this is cool, okay?

And finally, after a stressful move and a few train transfers , I finally have a fridge I’m proud of sticking ’em on!

So like any good nerd, I immediately sorted them into parts of speech. But some words could be a couple of different things and some were only sometimes used in that way and also I kinda forgot about prepositions for a full ten minutes.

It quickly became an amorphous blob of 19th-century-ness on the kitchen counter.

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My one rule for this is that I could only use every word (or word bit) the once. So things got less comprehensible as time went on.

First, up I did the sensible thing and tried to do as much of “Don’t Stop Believin” as I could which was one line.

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It’s a lot more sinister out of context, come to think…

I write one about Twinefold, where if it wasn’t full of fun-loving-slash-murderous faeries and pretty, pretty Deaglan, it’d be terrifying and depressing probably.

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This is another weird Faehunter one but spoilers. And I got the ‘Nevermore’ in there clutch.

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This one’s for the character of my new sci-fi project and has probably the last clever thing I’ve got with the mourning/morning play on words. Savor this, friends. It gets only worse from here. Also, got the “quoth” in there. Respect.

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cre·pus·cu·lar
/krəˈpəskyələr/
adjective
of, resembling, or relating to twilight.
I learned a new word today! Clearly this is a learning experience for us all and not something you’d find in the back of a highschooler’s notebook.

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This one is supposed to be about Hopper and the Tuann from In the House of Souls but also yeesh to the max, man.

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So they threw an “Amontillado” in there because it’s the Notorious E.A.P. so of course there is. So I “wrote” about death and partying and stuff? They loved that kinda thing in the Victorian times and there was a Disney movie about it so this poem must be deep and cool.

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I was running dangerously low on words here so I tried to make it rhythmic and cool and hoped no one would notice.

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Odin? I guess?

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Ooga ooga death comes for us all but love will save us.

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For best results, toss your word salad before serving then apply your meaning-dressing.

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And alas, the sad little orphans. Would you donate $100 a day to Save the Suffixes to change a life?

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(you now inexplicably hear sad piano music in the distance)

You and Your Writer: A Guide To Your New Friend

Today we have a guest post from the lovely Mae McKinnon!

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So you have yourself an author. Now what?

There are many types of authors. In fact, there are as many different types of authors are there are people being authors and then some, because, being creative beings, they’re quite capable of seeing a different point of view, or two, or ten, all at once, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Some require more attentive care, while others, like weeds, will flourish everywhere and anywhere, including where you least expect them.

After many years of studying this elusive creature – the author – I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some attributes that are shared, to a greater or lesser extent, across the field

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Approaching

If your author is staring vaguely ahead, making “hmm” noises in random places in your conversation or has managed to finally fish their pen out from between three notebooks, a jar of phoenix oil, two crumpled up ticket stubs and a shopping list last seen in 2001, leave them alone or they might be prone to biting. Better yet, bring them another cup of something hot and some nibbles and tiptoe gently away.

Interruptions

Unexpected interruptions are amongst the five highest reasons why you might see your author begin to amass blankets, books and walls in an effort to create a writing den where the world stays firmly on the other side of the walls.

Questions and statements such as “you said you’d be finished three hours ago!”, “what d’you say we go to the beach tomorrow?” and “did you see where I put my wallet?” are highly discouraged and will often illicit a gruff response which should not be taken personally.

“Excuse me, I think your leg is on fire!” will receive the same response, but there are times when you must brave your author’s personal space for their sake.

Distractions

Seemingly random cries of “SHINY!” or “PRECIOUSS!” is a good indicator that you have acquired a fantasy author. These are easily distracted *and* completely absorbed in their work. This isn’t a contradiction. In fact, it’s perfectly natural and just means that your author is hard at work and it’s *not* an invitation to interrupt with questions about what they want for dinner.

Editing

It’s important to supply your author with a good editor in addition to their normal diet. This will reduce the amount of being woken up in the middle of the night by your trusted companion having nightmares about commas and fanged grammar sites chasing them. It also contributes to a glossy coat, reduces stress and gives your author someone to talk to that understands what they actually mean compared to what they’re saying.

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Bookshops

Bookshops, especially well-stocked larger stores or small second-hand shops designed as a maze built out of books in various stages of falling apart, are excellent if you need to park your author somewhere for several hours.

Warning: You may have trouble retrieving your author again.

 

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Four-Legged Strategies

If you’ve got four legs, fur, and are known to go meow, woof, whuff or eeep, you will already be an expert in how to best distract, comfort and confuse your author. For best result, we encourage you to place yourself where you can achieve maximum amount of disruption to your author’s writing while obviously still having their best interest at heart.

Sitting on the keyboard has been called the ultimate strategy but should only be attempted when you know that your author has not hit the save button yet.

 

Curious Habits:

Include:

  •  Staring vaguely into space.
  •  Building up a small collection of hot tea or coffee next to them and only remembering said beverage when it’s grown cold.
  •  Forgetting to eat. This is a frequent occurrence, especially if your author is drafting, editing or writing. Please feed your author regularly after midnight for best result.
  •  Walking into things. The more stationary the better.
  •  Talking to themselves, characters, plants, pets, furniture or, should all other intelligible conversation be exhausted, to other human beings.
  •  Attraction to the nocturnal (steaks rather than stakes will keep your author healthy).

And last, some nuggets of wisdom gathered by our trusty field operatives…

DO’S

  •  Encourage your author with words, their favourite cookie and scratches behind their ears when they’ve finished that manuscript/draft/paragraph.
  •  Make sure there are plenty of your author’s favourite pens, papers, treats and toys at home.
  •  Be ready with a hug or five when your author is feeling dejected. Rejections has been known to hit many authors very hard, but some days even just waking up will have a similar effect.

DON’TS

  •  Ask what your author’s book is about or how it’s going or go “gosh, I haven’t seen you in three years, didn’t you use to scribble back in the day?” unless you’re prepared for the consequences.
  •  Bring your author to social gatherings without ample warning and an escape route planned in advance.
  •  Forget to feed or exercise your author regularly.

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Remember, an author is for life, not just for Christmas!

 

i8uNnm96_400x400Mae McKinnon is a fantasy and Sci-fi author and, is a rather peculiar creature herself. This is a tag she wears proudly. She’s got a penchant for dragons, and really, really wishes she could send her Muse to obedience training. When not busy being dictated to be her characters or tearing her hair out at their latest antics, she enjoys crafting, painting, and reading and a whole lot of other things ending in –ing.

She is the author of many titles, including: Academia Draconia, The Damsel and the Dragon, High Fyelds: A New beginning and High Fyelds: The Big Race as well as You’re a dragon – a gamebook

You can find her collection Amazon and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Where Are They Now? Classic Children’s Book Characters’ Modern Lives

There are some real classics in children’s literature, stories and books that have been passed down for generations. But those fictional kids can’t be little forever, right?

So here’s what they’re doing with their lives:

Please note: This is all purely speculation and as such, I did not include characters like Meg Murray and Anne (of Green Gables) as most of their lives are already spelled all the way out. Feel free to point yourself towards Wikipedia if you feel like having your heart ripped out.

Peter Thatcher

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Age Then: 10
Publication Date: 1972
Age Now: 56

These books have been updated a few times over the years, although they can’t seem to get rid of the bellhop minor character, I guess it’s really hard to push elevator buttons when you live on the Upper East Side. Either way, I’m going by original publication date.

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the chronicles of one kid who just wants a normal life in a family with a turtle-swallowing, obsessive, eccentric little brother who makes an ordinary existence impossible.

After getting a useless Graphic Design degree from some college upstate, Pete’s dad gets him a job at his ad agency where he outshines his papa because he “gets the kids”. He goes on to marry Sheila (the Great) and they have three kids who get on the Honor Roll and stuff. He dreams of retirement in a decade and is secretly planning on buying himself a convertible as a present to himself where he can blast Blue Oyster Cult without anyone nagging.

Fern Arable

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Age Then: 8
Publication Date: 1952
Age Now: 74

Fern was a weird kid. She had maybe one human friend her own age and also thought she could talk to pigs and spiders. I guess that’s what happens when you’re an only child on a farm in a state shaped like a square.

While the kids and grandkids loved their Disney Princess lady who insisted she could speak swine, later they all came to realize that Grandmama Fern is insane. It’s become a bit of a family sport to see who can get her to tear up about the spiders first. There’s also been a decades-long argument about naming a kid after Wilbur. She’s holding out for that Terrific pig.

Madeline

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Age Then: 7
Publication Date: 1939
Age Now: 86

Don’t let the prim and proper French-ness and the fancy hat fool you, Madeline was a wild child. She yelled at tigers when they annoyed her. She adopted stray dogs when she felt like it. She made the future psychopath Spanish kid next door think “Wow, I should really mellow out.” If she wasn’t sent to a boarding school with math-inclined nuns, she would have become a pirate and taken over a small island nation.

And even at 86, Maddie is rocking. it. She skydives. She owns a hanglider. She’s planning to be the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest. And this is after she took off for the circus (she ran with gypsies in one of those books!), saved an entire platoon in the war as a teenager single-handedly, and invented numerous sick skateboarding moves. Although she strangely has a habit of breaking into rhyme…

Matilda Wormwood

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Age Then: 5-and-a-Half
Publication Date: 1988
Age Now: 35-ish

Matilda was an odd child, not only because she read the entire local library at age four but also because she’s got superpowers.

So in the summer of 1993, a mysterious owl flies into the window of Miss Honey and Matilda carrying a letter from a mysterious school with a funny name somewhere in the mountains of Scotland.

Matilda is sorted into Ravenclaw, becomes the Prefect in her second year (because once an overachiever, always an overachiever) and graduated despite the kids two years older than her trying to get the rest of them killed.

She goes back to teach in the Muggle system and uses her scary brain nonverbal magic to get her kids in line.

Alexander

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Age Then: 7 probably
Publication Date: 1972
Age Now: 53

Alexander was having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day. And he swore he was moving to Australia.

So figuring his whiny kid needed a little escapism from his jerk brothers who beat him up all the time (seriously, why did the parents never step in those parts?), hippy-dippy Frodo Lives Dad slips Alex a copy of The Hobbit which launches a life of fanboyism.

Working as a lowly PA and fluffy-microphone-holding guy in LA finally netted him a dream job on the set of Fellowship in New Zealand where he married a beautiful Kiwi woman and he’s almost developed the accent.

He still threatens to move to Australia when things go sideways, but this time he does it in Sindarin.

What do you think of these predictions?
Any favorites that didn’t make the list?
Leave a comment!