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this might be an absinthe day

First things first. As promised, here's my schedule for Dragon*Con '04 (a complete program can be downloaded at the Dragon*Con website):

Friday, Sept. 3
5:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"Welcome to the Journey"

7 p.m. (Greenbriar)
Writer's track
"Connecting the Dots"

Saturday, Sept. 4
2:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"Seeing is Writing: The Visionary Author"

5:30 p.m. (Greenbriar)
Writer's track
"Staying Afloat in an Ever-Changing Market"

7:00 p.m. (Williams)
Dragon Readings
Reading from Murder of Angels

8:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"Theft or Flattery: The Truth About Fan Fiction"

10 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"The Beautiful and the Dangerous: Vampires in Fiction" (because there always has to be a frelling vampire panel)

Sunday, Sept. 5 (note: on Saturday, the part of Caitlín will be played by Nar'eth)
2:30 p.m. (Bonn; Marriott)
Signing

5:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
Reading (probably a short story)

11:30 p.m. (Fairlie)
Gothic Journeys track
"Fangs, Fear, and Gore: Horror Literature and the Occult"

Monday, Sept. 6
1 p.m. (Greenbriar)
Writer's track
"Characters That Leap Off the Page"

4 p.m. (Greenbriar)
Writer's track
"The Future of Fantastic Fiction"

Unless otherwise noted, all locations (Greenbriar, Fairlie, etc.) are in the Hyatt. I'll be signing books (and selling books) after the readings.

Yesterday, I wrote 669 words on "Bradbury Weather" and finally escaped the Interminable Scene in which I was mired. Sure, there's a little tar on my feet, but at least the sabre-tooths didn't get me. I'm finding that one of the most vexing things about first-person narrative is the fact that, in the end, it's all dialogue. I don't know if a lot of readers (or even writers, even those who habitually use f-p narration) have ever stopped to consider this. Normally, I tend to think of a story I write as occurring in two sorts of Voice: 1) the author's voice, i.e., mine (what might be called style) and 2) the many distinct voices of the characters. However, in f-p, every word of the story is being spoken (written, same difference) by the central character, who also happens to be the narrator. When other characters speak, it's only the main character's recollection of their speech. So, there's never any escape from that dominating voice, which needs to remain "in character" throughout. At almost 7,000 words, I've reached a point with "Bradbury Weather" where I'm probably going to have to stop and read back over everything to be sure that the narration hasn't difted "out of character." This would not, of course, be a concern with third-person narration.

There wasn't much else to yesterday. I cooked a huge pot of chili, with tequila, lime, and porta bellas, and made quacamole. Spooky and I wasted most of the evening on Morrowind. Venting frustration and hostility, I went on a killing spree at the Dren Plantation and escaped with four bottles of skooma and the first volume of The Vampires of Vvarndenfell. I fled to Vivec to unload my booty. When an Ordinator tried to arrest me for the crimes at the plantation, I paid my fine (36 gp). Then I discovered he'd taken both the skooma and the book, so I picked a fight with him, resisted a second arrest, and killed him. I stole his very expensive armour and headed back to my room in Ald-Ruhn. A return trip to Vivic and numerous encounters with guards seem to indicate I'll not be held accountable for his death. Sweet. Then I took new orders from the Fighter's Guild in Ald-Ruhn and proceeded north on foot, walking all the way to Sheogorad to find a killer (that is, another killer besides myself) and his gang hiding out in Sargon and bring them to "justice." I have to admit, though the animation sucks and the game is devouring my sad, little life, I'm delighted with the moral ambiguities of Morrowind's. It has D&D beat, in that respect.

At 2:45 a.m., I made myself stop playing and go the hell to bed, where I lay awake awhile thinking about "Bradbury Weather." It's a good sign, when I lie awake thinking about a story. I lay there thinking that there ought to be zepplins on my Mars of the future, that zeps will be the primary mode of long-distance travel. I'm not sure how practical that is, but it's enormously satisfying from an aesthetic standpoint, which, of course, is ultimately what really matters.

I'm tempted to start a tirade on this thing with the French government forbidding Muslim women to wear head scarves in public schools (today's news pollution) and how much French and American fascism have in common, but what's the frelling point?

Comments

( 11 comments — Have your say! )
(Deleted comment)
brokensymmetry
Aug. 30th, 2004 06:35 pm (UTC)
I'd think zepplins would be an excellent mode of transport on Mars, given the lower gravity and thinner air

The lower gravity does works in zepplins' favor, but unfortunately the thin atmosphere works against them. The amount of lift you get is related to the volume of the craft and the difference between the density outside and the density inside. Zepplins on Mars are still reasonable, they'd just need to be larger, or thin rigid shells around around absolute vacuum, or very hot, or... there are probably other possibilities.

I do think, although I'm not sure, that zepplins would work much better than planes or jets or other things that require forward motion in order to provide lift.

And anyway, yeah, zepplins are drad.
sleepycyan
Aug. 30th, 2004 06:10 pm (UTC)
The banning of hijab in public institutions is ridiculous. They are trying to integrate Muslims more seamlessly into French society, but all that they are really succeeding in doing is pushing an already marginalized group of people further into the fringes. It's a shame.
blu_muse
Aug. 30th, 2004 06:24 pm (UTC)
AGREED
What ever happened to tolerance and celebrating diversity? I cannot believe more people are not upset over it.
wishlish
Aug. 30th, 2004 09:28 pm (UTC)
Re: AGREED
People aren't as outraged because of the ridiculous response from a militant Islamic group, which was to hold two French journalists hostage. And the ban doesn't specifically target Muslims; no religious garb if any kind- Christian crosses, Jewish headgear, anything- can be worn. The idea is to break down cliques in schools and bring students of all walks of life together. I don't agree with France's decision at all, but it's relatively easy to see why people are currently preoccupied with the lives of the two hostages (this group has killed a hostage before).

Personally, I'm shocked about Laura Bush's statement in Time this week that "there have been millions of terrible ads against my husband". Um, er, last time I checked, a million was...a lot more than the number of ads for or against Dubya. And this woman was a librarian! Argylebargle...

growingreybyday
Aug. 31st, 2004 08:23 am (UTC)
Advice for Morrowind
Find the Morag Tong... it's the assassain guild.. they are a little tough to join, but oh so fun... especially if you like getting paid to carry out executions... just a little advice from a Morrowind veteran... :)
greygirlbeast
Aug. 31st, 2004 02:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Advice for Morrowind
Find the Morag Tong... it's the assassain guild

I tried that for a time, finding them, running willy-nilly about Vivec. Turns out I need to be able to pick a lock to reach them (right?), and, so far, I've no lock picking skills.
setsuled
Aug. 31st, 2004 10:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Advice for Morrowind
Turns out I need to be able to pick a lock to reach them (right?), and, so far, I've no lock picking skills.

Yeah, the lock level of the trap door that leads to their headquarters is 90, I think. If you want to raise your lock picking skills, there's some people in the Thieves' Guild who can teach you--and sell you lockpicks. If you have a master's lockpick, you might not even need to have 100 in security to pick the 90, although I'm not quite sure how high you would then need it.

The master security trainer guy is a high elf living, as it happens, two doors down from your house (former home of the pillow lady). He won't train you unless you're a high enough rank in the Thieves' Guild, though. I'd recommend doing a few missions for the guild and getting to a sufficient rank--the ability to pick locks never stops being useful.

Another method of lock picking you might try is a spell. Go to the Mages' Guild, buy Ondusi's Open Door from someone, then find someone with the option of Spellmaking. Ondusi's Open Door only picks locks up to level 40, so you have to make a spell that'll open at least a 90. When you do, it uses surprisingly little magic points.
growingreybyday
Sep. 1st, 2004 06:07 am (UTC)
Re: Advice for Morrowind
Either raise the lock picking ability or track down a "Scroll of the Unhinging" that can open level 100 lock...

Which can be found in the Televani vault in Vivec... To find a way in there... pick a fight...

Good luck
setsuled
Aug. 31st, 2004 11:04 am (UTC)
Venting frustration and hostility, I went on a killing spree

One of the biggest changes Morrowind made in my life is having days that end just like that--I decide, frell it, and kill everyone. Or as many people as I can.

at the Dren Plantation

Well, they're slave owners, so it's not so bad.

escaped with four bottles of skooma and the first volume of The Vampires of Vvarndenfell.

When you come across Vampires of Vvardenfell volume II, do yourself a favour and hold onto it. There seem to be several quests from different factions that involve getting ahold of that book.

When an Ordinator tried to arrest me for the crimes at the plantation, I paid my fine (36 gp).

That's always been a big source of amusement for me; kill somebody? That'll be 36gp. But steal an ebony cuirass? You will die! (bounties exceeding a few thousand become death warrents. Bounties for theft reflect the value of the stolen goods and since an ebony cuirass is worth several thousand . . .)

I'm delighted with the moral ambiguities

It really made me realise how much designers of other games subtly impose their morality on the player. Morrowind is certainly refreshing.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 31st, 2004 02:28 pm (UTC)
When you come across Vampires of Vvardenfell volume II, do yourself a favour and hold onto it.

I have it.

Oh, and I got an ebony currass last night, all legal like.

setsuled
Aug. 31st, 2004 10:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I got an ebony currass last night, all legal like.

That's one of the best cuirass's in the game. It'd be very unlikely to find any that're better--I know there're five Daedric cuirass's in the game but I only know where one of them is and, to get it, you'd have to kill a guy who has to do with the game's main plot. Which I don't know if you'd wanna disrupt.

Then there's the Lord's Mail cuirass and the Dragonbone cuirass, both of which are super secret, so I won't spoil it for you . . .

If you try to sell the ebony cuirass which, by the way, is what I would do in your position, you'd only get full price for it by following the somewhat tedious scamp merchant process I laid out for you earlier . . .
( 11 comments — Have your say! )