Random Acts of Entropy — Gopher Tuna!!

One of my friends posted this video to Facebook the other day, and I seriously nearly wet my pants when I watched it.  Ok, it wasn’t nearly.  I did wet my pants a little bit. Oh, fine.  A lot.

 

 

I’ve heard this song a million times in different movie soundtracks, etc. including that cute little movie starting the guinea pigs known as G Force, and while I always tried to guess at the lyrics, I never came up with anything quite so clever.  I mean seriously.  Octopus. Give him boots.

After I stopped laughing, I decided to take the high road and look up what the lyrics really were.  Of course, I don’t speak latin, so thanks to that ever-present font of knowledge known as Wikipedia, I found a translation, side by side:

O Fortuna velut luna statu variabilis, semper crescis aut decrescis; vita detestabilis nunc obdurat et tunc curat ludo mentis aciem, egestatem, potestatem dissolvit ut glaciem.
Sors immanis et inanis, rota tu volubilis, status malus, vana salus semper dissolubilis, obumbrata et velata michi quoque niteris; nunc per ludum dorsum nudum fero tui sceleris.
Sors salutis et virtutis michi nunc contraria, est affectus et defectus semper in angaria. Hac in hora sine mora corde pulsum tangite; quod per sortem sternit fortem, mecum omnes plangite!

O Fortune, just like the moon thou art variable, always dost thou wax and wane. Detestable life, first dost thou mistreat us, and then, whimsically, thou heedest our desires. As the sun melts the ice, so dost thou dissolve both poverty and power.
Monstrous and empty fate, thou, turning wheel, art mean, voiding good health at thy will. Veiled in obscurity, thou dost attack me also. To thy cruel pleasure I bare my back.
Thou dost withdraw my health and virtue; thou dost threaten my emotion and weakness with torture. At this hour, therefore, let us pluck the strings without delay. Let us mourn together, for fate crushes the brave.[3]

It turns out the lyrics to this bad boy is from a medieval gothic poem, and was set to music by German composer Carl Orff in the mid 1930’s.

Does anyone but me think the translation sounds way too much like being a writer addressing the muse?!

If you need to clean your brain after the animated version, here you go:

http://youtu.be/GD3VsesSBsw

A lovely classical rendition.

But I dare  you:  Listen to this song ever again without hearing Gopher Tuna and thinking of an Octopus in Boots heading to North Korea.

And if you can successfully go through the next 48 hours without this song playing on your mental loop:

Please!  For the love of God, leave a comment in the comment section and tell me how you did it!  It won’t go away!  Help me!

Gopher Tuna!  Suck Juice from Moose!

Row 80 Round 2 Goals

The last round wasn’t so good for me, but I’ve learned that life has ebb and flow, so I’m just putting the last round down to an ebb tide, right?  ( I think that’s the right phrase, being landlocked in Kansas I don’t get much ocean exposure!)

I’m going to keep it simple this time and focus on a three-pronged approach to my goals, and focus on me as a writer a little bit more.

I found a copy of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way at Bookaholic the other day, and since I’ve been feeling blocked creatively for the last, oh say, 30 plus years, it seemed worth a shot.  The book is a twelve week program for getting un-blocked and tapping into your creativity, and a Row 80 is about 12 weeks, so seemed pretty coinkydinky to me!

1.  I will work through the lessons one week at a time, and do all the homeworks involved with it.

I am also going to get serious about some diet and excercise this round.  I did the Body for  Life program several years ago and had excellent results.  I got lazy and distracted and let some things go (my middle, butt and thighs!) but it’s time, for reasons I won’t get into here, to get serious about taking care of myself.  And a Body for Life challenge lasts 12 weeks, so I’m surrounded by coinkydinks!

2.  I will commit to my clean eating and exercise plan for the entire twelve weeks.

And the writing?  It’s time to put up or shut up, and get busy writing an ugly, messy, imperfect little draft of my idea that sits and chews on my brain stem all day long.  First drafts are supposed to be ugly, messy and imperfect so I’m giving myself permission to make puke stains on the page.

3.  I will write a rough draft of my novel.  This draft will be more like a very long synopsis, but at least it will be words on the page.

So how many of you are Rocking the Row this go-round?  Chime in and lets hang out together!

Magical March book review– Game of Thrones

Well.

I’m rather at a loss for how to sum up this book.  I finished it in a sleep deprived binge Friday into Saturday morning, and as soon as I have an opportunity to, I’m going to re-read it.

Game of Thrones is a book you don’t simply read.  It is a book you experience.  From the opening prologue through the stunning conclusion, you get sucked in and dragged along for a ride you aren’t sure you really want to be on, but you can’t manage to get off of.  You find yourself seeing things coming, and trying to shout a warning to the characters to JUST FREAKING STOP RIGHT THERE! But they can’t hear you.  Or don’t want to listen.

Martin does a brilliant job of creating complex, believable characters with strong motivations who are usually their own worst enemy, as we all are in real life.  And, as many of you well know, he isn’t afraid to treat them badly.  Very badly.  And because you come to see yourself mirrored in them, it hurts when things go wrong for them or when they do stupid, stupid things.  Just like life.  A happily ever after is not a given.

SPOILER ALERT

 

 

 

 

 

Because of my stupendous ability to be a spoiler magnet, and HBO’s ability to give me free service at exactly the wrong time, I knew Eddard Stark would meet an untimely end.  What I didn’t realize until reading the book was that his demise was a direct result of his own failings, his own ability to completely underestimate Cersi Lannister.  And dude, she warned him!  Multiple times.  I tried to also, but apparently he couldn’t hear me either.

I have a friend who is a major Martin junkie, and she told me that a lot of people who watched the HBO series were outraged when ol’ Ned got done in.  Apparently they hadn’t read the books.  But I think part of the problem was that they mistook Ned for the protagonist, which he is not.  In a story as complex with as many story lines as this one, it’s hard to pull out just one main protag, but at least in this first book, it’s definitely Cersi.  The protagonist drives the story, and Cersi is definitely the driving force here.

The other great thing about Martin’s writing , for writers, is that he presents a clinic on story tension with every paragraph of this book.   Every word serves to create micro tension, and as much craft as there is in every paragraph, I can see why it takes him so long to write the next damn book.  He also does a brilliant job of writing in different POV, and yet giving you enough that you realize what the POV character doesn’t.  Example:  Sansa.  All I’m going to say about her is that her choices led her to where she is and I really can’t feel sorry for her.  And plucky little Arya.  I’m afraid to get too attached to her, but it’s tough.

Anyway,  Game of Thrones is definitely not casual reading, but it’s great reading.  Experience it for yourself.  But…

I warn you…

Photo courtesy of Better Book Titles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will read all the rest of the books, and as long as it takes me I may be caught up by the next time he releases a book, say in five years or so.

* Bummer.  Apparently I didn’t get this posted in time for it to count for the Magical March challenge.  I didn’t remember seeing a deadline, but oh, well.  My bad.  So I won’t get my sorceress button.  Maybe next year.

Magical March Challenge book review — A Gift of Magic by Lynn Kurland

Magical March Challenge

Magical March!

I read this book at the beginning of the month, but my schedule has been so eratic this month, I just now am getting around to posting about it.  Sorry!

Gift of Magic by Lynn Kurland is the third book in the second trilogy in the Nine Kingdoms series.  Yes, that’s a lot of math and yes, that will be the last math I’ll subject you to.

Gift of Magic

Gift of Magic is a sweet romance, and the characters are definitely enjoyable. I think the plot was not quite as strong as the first trilogy, there didn’t seem to be quite as much conflict.  But hey, it didn’t promise to be Game of Thrones, did it now? ;o)

Honestly though, I did enjoy the book.  It was a great light read.  Kurland has created a detailed fantasy world, with complex backstory and several systems of magic.  Her story bible for the Nine Kingdoms must weigh a ton!  Hardcore fantasy fans will likely be disappointed because she doesn’t go into as much depgh with the magic as a true fantasy, but romance fans will enjoy emensely. I recommend it for a great, light romantic read, but you should definietly check out the first series too!

Have a great day, everyone!

Row 80 Round 1 Final Check in

Well.

This wasn’t exactly the greatest 80 days for me, for a variety of reasons.  But, coming up soon is another challenge, another round, and another chance to set goals and get back on that horse.

Only those that never ride, never fall.

Falling sucks, but it does teach you a bit of respect and gives you a chance to re-evaluate things and pick a different strategy.

Oops.

Ouch.

Mommy!

After you get the dirt out of your teeth.

I’ll see you all in the next Round of Row 80.

Back in the saddle again!

ROW 80 Check In

*blink, blink*  Wow, that light is bright.   *sneezes*  Sorry about all that dust, peeps.

It’s been way too long since I touched base with my goals.

I seemed to sprain something this last month.  I had been pushing myself harder and harder, at least mentally, and I think I suffered from sort of a writing related training injury,  sprained my muse or something like that.  So, much as we hate it, the only solution for a sprain is to rest it until it heals up, and then take it easy until it’s back to full strength.

In the last month, however, while I was “resting” I did complete an article for publication that a magazine had requested, something that they will even pay me real money for!  No beads or trinkets, actual cash that I can use to buy books groceries with, and that ain’t nuthin.

March is looking to be a very busy month.  I’m putting on a workshop in April, and it’s up to me to write the book that goes with it.  I entered another reading challenge, this time committing to read 5 books over at The Roof Beam Reader’s Magical March challenge.  Oh, and my dumb ass signed up for three online writing workshops. What was that I said about taking it easy until things heal?  Monkey don’t learn.

But I have learned a bit about myself recently, and about pacing.  I’ve almost figured out how to make it all work without losing it and sitting in the corner crying and eating crayons.  I actually got that article completed on time and didn’t bite anyone in the process!  So, it’s time to try my speshul new pacing skills out on what I’m calling my Madness March.  (hmm, why does that phrase sound vaguely familiar?)

My goals for the next check in period between March 1 and March 7:

1.  Complete outline for workshop book.

2. Read two of the easier reads on my Magical March list.  (I’m saving Game of Thrones for later in case I decide I can’t live without knowing What Happens Next.)

3.  Get a jump on the writing class homework so I don’t get left behind and play catch up.  Complete any assignments within 3 days.

4. Continue to stretch my daily word count to between 800 and 1200.  Any form of writing except emails and blog replies counts.  Blog posts, homework, book outline, all are on the good list.

5.  Finish synopsis of my novel and figure out what the next step is there.

6.  Make it back around the blog o sphere and check in with my peeps, who hopefully haven’t forgotten me!  Comment on three blogs every day for the next week.

Well, that should do it for me.  How is everyone else doing?  I’ve seen several of you rocking it, good on you!

Take care and check in if you get a chance!

Row 80 Check In

Short and sweet this week:  I’ve been in the middle of preparing our taxes.  Gak.

1)  I backed off of my word count goal so I could devote all my angst and energy to  numbers.  I’m back to 1200 daily for the week and so far so good.

2)   I joined a TOPS club near the zoo so I can weigh in and have a little consistent accountability.  I can tell myself that my scale is stupid and not working and a bleeping piece of crap, but I can’t say that to the cute little old lady recording the weigh ins.  Not cool.

3)  Got the first book read in the TBR pile challenge, and I need to write a review.  However, this challenge does not seem to have stopped me buying new books.  Of course books are to a writer like chocolate is to a stressed out pre-menopausal woman…not that I would know anything about that!

4) Been making the blog luv rounds, slowly but steadily.  Met some cool new people who have some cool books out…see # 3!

How is everyone else doing?  Are you getting in the rhythm after the holidays?

Take care and check in when you can!