Leaving New York City

On the last day of our trip to New York City for BookCon, we decided to walk down a few blocks from our hotel to go explore Times Square. It’s one thing to see it during the New Years parties every year, but it’s entirely different getting to see it in person during the day.

Times Square is huge and towers over you. I felt dwarfed there from all the skyscrapers and enormous posters and signs. It’s also not really meant for cars either. It’s way easier to get around on foot than it is to drive. The screens were absolutely everywhere. It seemed like every wall had an LED screen on it, and there were a ton of theaters. More than I ever expected.

We also saw a person asking for volunteers to see the Daily Show for free and if we hadn’t been flying out that evening, we would have totally done it!

Overall it was an incredible experience, and I’m happy to be able to share it with you! Check out the video of our last day in New York as we make our way down the bustling sidewalks of Times Square, enjoy a Pride drink at the Hard Rock Cafe, and pop into the Disney store!

The Promise of the Pantheon

Have you guys seen the Gods of Egypt trailer? If so, then you’re probably just as confused about how it reflects ancient Egyptian mythology as I am. If not, then here you go:

Now my first reaction was at how white the actors were for this film. This is ancient Egypt, right? In fact, an article on that topic was the first hit when I did a Google search for the film just now. My second reaction was, wait, are those supposed to be Egyptian gods? And that shield is breaking in slow-motion, right?

The only main woman I saw wasn’t even willing to do anything herself. She just wanted to convince the male protagonist to do it instead. Coming from a land where you had awesome ladies like Cleopatra, Nefertiti, and the goddess Isis, I kind of expected a more interesting female character, even if she isn’t the main protagonist. Yes, I haven’t seen the film yet of course, but so far it’s ticking a lot of boxes for me that make me want to avoid it.

I expected more from a film that was supposed to focus on the Gods of Egypt, or at least ancient Egypt. I guess I’ve been spoiled by the awesome stories covered over at HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast such as Under the Pyramids starring Houdini and The Mummy’s Foot. Sure they’re both kind of ridiculous stories in a way, but they still have at least some respect for the original culture and lore.

One of the best comparisons I’ve read for this film came from a CinemaBlend article:

Basically what we have here is the recent Clash of the Titans remake with the serial numbers filed off and the geography changed to Egypt in order to change the names of the characters.

Bingo. That’s what this movie feels like, and that makes me sad. The ancient Egyptian pantheon has so many interesting stories and unique characters that there are endless entertaining tales that could be spun regarding them. Just reading over Isis’s Wikipedia page gives plenty of interesting ideas, like how she creates a golden phallus for her dead husband. That’s true dedication there.

So my sister and I came up with a challenge. I told her that if she wants to see more interesting stories with the Egyptian gods in them, then we need to write them ourselves. So that’s what we’re going to do.

We have until the end of the year to each write a short story (doesn’t have to be anything long) that includes one of the many gods. Personally I’m leaning toward Thoth, and it’ll likely include something horrific, because why not? He’s always been one of my favorites. Did you know they used to mummify ibises in his honor? They found a ton of these guys (estimated at 1.5 million) in one of the catacombs.

Anybody else wish there were more interesting ancient Egyptian stories around?

Drabble: Diverted Flight

Prompt: Diverted Flight

Into the trees, you crash and spin
the limbs cut ribbons into your skin.
You claw at the branches, your fingers rubbed bare
but there’s nothing to grab onto but air.

#

The ground rushes toward you at impossible speed
bright roses greet you, immune to your needs.
Their blood-red blossoms bow and sway
already prepared for your inevitable grave.

#

A sharp pain pulls against your chest
bones snap and your lungs protest
Your fall has ended but the pain only spreads
too late it comes, and you’re filled with dread.

#

Your parachute caught up high in the trees
You’ll soon be a dead man swaying in the breeze.
Saved from a fall that was sure to kill
The ground won’t finish you, but dehydration will.

#

You reach for your dagger to cut yourself free
but frown as your vision blurs; you can barely see
A few broken ribs are the least of your fears
regret fills you as you realize this is real.

#

A voice in the distance sparks up some hope
but your breath cannot seem to escape your throat.
Something slick slips silently from your fingertips,
the knife hits the earth, a curse on your lips.

#

They’re searching for you, down far below
but you can already feel yourself letting go
A gust of wind, and you’re lost in the trees,
and all because of a poorly timed breeze.

#

The knife will be found long before the body;
the fool who leaped without researching his hobby.

###


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Originally posted on Typetrigger. Fiction in 300 words or less. Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.


Drabble: At the peak

Prompt: At the peak

At the peak we turn around and stare down into the white valley. At the top of the world, nothing looks real. You don’t feel like you’ve conquered a mountain, instead you glimpse into an alien world. The mountain groans as snow shifts and wind howls, like an old man who has particular distaste for visitors.

You feel uncomfortable in your body and are painfully aware that you don’t belong here. Your breathing is heavy. The air is too thin, a kind way of saying that anything that needs oxygen to survive will have trouble at these heights. Even the birds aren’t foolish enough to fly this high. Your limbs are numb from the cold, and you haven’t slept properly for close to a week.

Here at the top of the world, the highest altitude on the planet, the smallest weakness can lead to death. Never had a heart problem before? The mountain will test that. Think you packed enough provisions? The mountain will test that too. Being physically prepared isn’t just a recommendation, it’s necessary for survival.

After a thirty minute rest, it’s back down again.  Don’t worry, old man mountain, we won’t be long. Let us admire your beauty before we return to our world, the world we tend to take for granted.

Originally posted on Typetrigger. Fiction in 300 words or less.
Please pardon typos or grammatical errors. See sidebar for copyright information.

A Fitting Finale

It sure does feel good to get a story completed. Sure, it’s a short story, not a novel-length piece or anything, but it’s a nice feeling. Especially when you get it completed on your self-imposed deadline.

Despite becoming an aunt this month and spending far too much time at the hospital. Despite getting sick this last week unexpectedly. Despite a thousand other roadblocks that tried to get in my way, I still finished it. *Throws confetti!*

Of course, I did write a wee bit over the limit. Um… something like 1,000+ words over the limit. This is going to require some serious editing skills when I go through, but that’s okay! That’s something to worry about tomorrow, am I right?

This is a time for celebratory brownies. 🙂

Oh and the title of this piece is still kind of up in the air. I’ll probably figure it out for certain as I go through the edits.

Title: The Scorn of a Sorceress
Deadline: June 1st – DEADLINE MET!
Deadline for Contest: June 30th
Contest Link: 2014 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award
New words written:
5/31 – 1,107
Present total word count: 9,139 (Oops! For the record, the limit is 8,000 words.)

Thing accomplished in fiction: A finale fitting the love of a fierce mercenary and an evil sorceress.

Next up: Edits, edits, edits. Though this story will need to cool for a bit so I can look at it fresh. I didn’t know precisely what direction it was going when I first started writing, so the cutting room will likely be a bloody mess by the time I’m done. It’s a good think I don’t have a weak heart.

Commentary: Now if you’ll excuse me, there are some brownies demanding my attention.