Friday, July 28, 2006 - 11:30 AM
When it flows, it flows - 1400 words last night, six of this week's seven pages, in a few short hours. I love it when that happens.
Hope you enjoy this week's post, and let me be the first to say: welcome back to Under City!
The War Mice, Inc.
Thursday, July 27, 2006 - 1:40 PM
Some friends of mine in Washington, D.C., have put together an interesting little adventure: they've started The War Mice, a group of folks interested in doing... stuff: everything from drive-by water-balloonings to complicated pranks involving careful choreography. They're looking for an interesting mix of "world-saving" and "amusing-prank" type stuff, and they've got operatives (read: friends) all over the East Coast and elsewhere. So if you've got any wild ideas you want pulled off, drop them a line. I know these kids, and they're a lot of fun, so wrack your brains and come up with something cool for them.
I also quietly debuted a new fan-art page last week, with little thumb-nails you can click and stuff. As with all my amateure coding adventures, I'm pretty proud of it, so have a look and then tell me it rules. Up on that page is a couple of new sketches from fan-art powerhouse Michellethemit, including one of the twisted night-elf who welcomes Horse to Teldrassil.
My mother, a regular reader (hi mom!), has put in a special request for a picture of Tamilin the hippogryph in flight. So if you've got the itch to put pen to paper or mouse to pad, why wouldn't you want to make my mom happy? hmmmm??
An almost random idea (not mine)
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 - 6:15 PM
Forum regular Cangjku is coming down to the last few days of his WoW account's life, and had the cool idea of getting people that wanted to together on the test realm (you can copy your character over here) and run an instance or do some PvP or just get drunk somewhere. Cangjku's thread on the subject is here, so you should wander over and party down.
Story - Chapter 12
Monday, July 24, 2006 - 8:30 PM
I give you Chapter Twelve, completed. The cliffhanger in yesterday's post was big and dramatic, everyone agreed, but it wasn't the cliffhanger I wanted. For my money, what you see about a minute later is much, much scarier.
(If you've already read yesterday's post, the two and a half pages I added begin roughly here.)
edit: the link was borked for a while. I forgot to re-upload a file after I updated the constraints in it. yeahhhh. Anyway, click again, mes petites fromages.
Two dollars short?...
Sunday, July 23, 2006 - 9:45 AM
Hey all. Clearly I missed my Saturday deadline, sorry about that. I still haven't got all of what I intended to post yesterday written, but I have got most of it. I'm gonna hold off from posting it on the site proper until the entire chapter (all of chapter 12) is finished. However, since about 70% of it is in final-draft form, I'll go ahead and post that up on this post's Discussion thread. If you want to read it very slightly pre-release, have a go. I'm gonna warn you ahead of time, though, there's a nasty cliffhanger. If you don't like cliffhangers, wait another day or two for me to get the rest finished.
A day late, a dollar short
Thursday, July 20, 2006 - 3:45 PM
Due to a rough week (yeah, they worked me to the bone on my birthweek), a bunch of business I had to take care of during the work-week (because only crazy people work weekends) and a much-much-much-needed party tonight, I'll be posting this week's story Saturday instead of tomorrow. Even though it'll be late, it should be an exciting post.
As always, if you want to get Albatrosbits updates as soon as I post them, you can sign up for the super-OMG-convenient mailing list.
Happy Birthday to Abits.com (and me!)
Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 4:50 PM
One year ago, starting today and lasting through to the 18th, I sat down at my comptuer with a copy of Microsoft Frontpage and designed myself a website. Some of you folks may remember how it looked back then - yellow and white, with a tiny little albatross line-drawing at the top - the one that's still on the Home button on my forum. Each page was its own HTML file, and so editing anything was an arduous process. Still, having my own site and my own forum was an awesome step up from my previous home on the forum of another Murloc site (which has since gone under), and this site has been building an awesome community ever since.
It's also my birthday on Monday the 17th. Some folks put up Amazon wishlists and such (Matt Boyd over there got broccoli from his once), but there's not a lot in the world that I really want that's wrappable. So unless someone feels like buying me world peace or a mountain bike (or fan art!), your well-wishes and continued support are great.
I got a really sweet e-mail from a fan about a week ago wondering how he could support the site, since he didn't have a credit card and so couldn't donate. I'm not allowed to suggest clicking on ads (although if you see something that's interesting, you should of course have a look), but that's not the best way anyway - I told him that the best thing you can possibly do to support me is to spread the word. Tell people that there's a website sitting here on these good free internets with hours and hours of time-killing story on it, and tell them if you like it. In my fancy site-admin stats page thinger, I see clicks coming in every day from every web e-mail site out there, and those are my favorite clicks - people telling other people that there's something they might like. I appreciate everything you are all doing for my little web-novel experiment here, and I hope you all keep up the good work: if you do, I promise I will.
So happy birthday to the AlbatrosBits.com community.
p.s. If you're one of my once-a-week folks, this week's story's link is one post down.
That Pirate Movie
Wednesday, July 12, 2006 - 5:30 PM
I went to see the new Pirates movie Monday evening. It was a blast - the showing we wanted was sold out, so we got the next one, two and a half hours later. We went outside the mall and climbed a cliff... I bought some new dvds... some skittles... and then, because one of our friends had gone to the book store and picked up Jonathan Livingston Seagull, an easy-read classic about a high-flying seagull turned messiah that I'd always meant to read but had never gotten around to, we sat on the ground in the mall and had story time. If you've never read it and you want a short, quirky, allegorical introduction to Buddhism, I recommend grabbing a copy and setting aside a couple of hours.
Anyway... Pirates 2. It felt a little too long. The quips weren't quite as clever as in Pirates 1. The effects were near flawless, but not as flat-out cool as in the first one. The acting was actually better this time out (Orlando Bloom successfully portrays emotions!), but the movie's crowning performance - Depp's - felt very slightly more stilted than the first time out. Maybe because this time we knew it was coming.
The plot, though... the plot was stellar. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I thought that each character - and there were myriad characters - was, if not complex (though several were), at least perfectly formulated. The plot flowed from the characters. When someone betrays someone for something, it's not just a machination to make the movie go on (bladder-bustingly) longer: it's because it's what they would do in that situation. From a writer's perspective, the plot was - and I want to emphasize this - well-crafted. It was extraordinarily intricate, possibly enough to lose people. I heard complaints to that effect on the car-ride home. But if you manage to keep your head on straight and follow all the threads, all the threads make sense - a rarity in Hollywood's race for the lowest common denominator. Again, whatever you might think of the movie as a whole, from a writer's perspective, it was an intricate, well-crafted story, and for a writer, that made the movie a delight.
Happy (U.S.) Independence Day!
Tuesday, July 4, 2006 - 6:10 PM
A bunch of years ago today, a bunch of white guys in a really hot room in Pennsylvania signed a piece of paper that said that they were no longer citizens of England. We celebrate this monumentous occasion by roasting weiners, shooting off fireworks and paying special attention to the American flag - long may she wave! My favorite Fourth fact: on this day in 1776, King George III wrote in his diary, "Nothing of importance happened today."
I'm miles away from photoshop, so unfortunately I haven't got a fireworks bird for you. But fan-art page regular Michellethemit did doodle a little doodle of myself, hard at work -
- which I thought I'd share with the Abits dot com community at large. That's what I actually look like, too.