beboots: (Elizabeth)
 My eyes are starting to get sore, and I swear that my nimble fingers must have typed tens of thousands of words in this past month, but I'm nearing the end game. 

I've just almost-not-quite-but-still-nearly finished my four-way book review for my 400-level History of American Women's course. Huzzah! Over 1,050 pages of reading went into that book review (I now know far too much about the roles women played during the Second World War, especially Rosie the Riveter types), not to mention all of the writing and stress and sticky notes. I've just completed going over it, making sure I've cited everything properly, and wrote my conclusion. Mostly. I think it still needs a few more sentences; I like my conclusions to all but reach out and slap the reader in the face with its magnificence. That sounds problematic, but, uh, I like my papers to have a bit of "oomph" at the end. If you end on a strong note, the reader (AKA my teacher who is giving me a grade on it) will put it down and go "yep, that's A material". If you end on a weak note, it's just as bad as having a typo in your introductory paragraph: not good, dude. :P 

So that one is due this Thursday, in two days, but I'm right on track.

It's the paper due a week from today that I'm quietly worrying about. I can expand upon the document analysis I wrote earlier in the semester for the same class, so I technically have like three pages of it written, and I have been doing a lot of reading and note-taking for it... I just have to actually sit down and write the darn thing. It will get done soon. Hopefully. Probably tomorrow, and definitely this weekend. 

As for the other endeavours of the month... NANOWRIMO. See for yourself: 

I hit 50k (well, 51,060 words) on November 21st, and I've written only about 3,000 words since then. Shame on me. I also degenerated after about a week into writing fanfiction to make up my wordcount. My original characters were flat, you see, and my plot needed a huge overhaul and... it was too  much to do this month, what with everything else going on. So I wrote huge chunks of two Temeraire fanfics, and a significant amount of a Harry Potter fic that I've been meaning to write for a while. The premises/summaries are as follows:

The Tides of War
In a naval battle with the French, Laurence is presumed killed but actually captured, and Temeraire, thinking his beloved captain is dead, joins the British Aerial Corps anyway get revenge upon the French. Misunderstandings, epic escapes, and hurt-comfort scenes abound.

The Tswana, despite their barbaric and backward reputation amongst the supposedly enlightened, Christian Europeans, did have the right idea when it came to reincarnation by way of dragons. (AKA the "executed Laurence comes back as a dragon" story)

No Tentative Title (Redemption? Something like that?)
Draco may be an arrogant, selfish little git, but even he has principles. When Voldemort kills his parents, well, he’s going to do something about it. Timetravel fic.

More on these at a later date, hopefully over Christmas break! I will edit the crap out of these and get something posted soon...
beboots: (Civil war lithograph)
 My facebook status this morning read "in contemplating the pile of books sitting next to my desk, ready to be poured over for three separate papers including a 50 page thesis, I have had the sudden urge to flee the house. >_> Instead, I remain here, trapped and weighed down by several large hardcover books. Besides, they're in between me and the door. D: "

Almost all yesterday and today (granted, it's only 2:30 in the afternoon as I write this, but I began working both days before 9 o'clock in the morning), I've been chugging steadily away at my homework. Mostly readings. This is the first chance I've really had to start working my way through the research for my papers. 

I took out a whole whack of books about a month ago from the Rutherford library (taking full advantage of my extended library privileges now that I'm in my fourth year in the honour's programme), but they've just been sitting in my room as I've been distracted by things like midterms and Spooktacular volunteering. To be fair, there may be a connection between zombies and gangrene and thus Civil War medicine, but whatever. 

Anyway, a few days ago, I stacked the books I have out by category (AKA which paper they're to be skimmed through for), and as I got an e-mail reminding me that half a dozen of them are due within a handful of days, I began working on them first. I have a growing pile of books next to my school bag that are ready to be returned to the library. I feel like I'm getting stuff done! ... At least in my scholastic life. :P

I'm actually writing this because I just finished writing a rough, 2,000 word outline for my honour's thesis on innovations in medicine made during the American Civil War. Hopefully my research supervisor will like it and have lots of helpful suggestions (but not enough of them for me to feel like this isn't a solid base), so I can then use it as a template for my 50 page thesis. I'm getting excited about my topic again! ... But also slightly intimidated by the amount of readings I have to do, because I also spent an hour and a half trolling through the library databases adding things to my bibliography and my "to read" list. Lots of short documents have been digitized and are available for free online, though, which is a plus!

In other news... I'm doing National Novel Writing Month again this year! I'm not nearly as happy with it, though, as I was at this point in the last three years I've done it. My characters seem flat, and I'm having a lot of trouble writing action. Not like fight scenes, but just ACTION, like moving from one space to another. Told from the first person POV, my main character just seems to want to THINK all of the time. She's too perceptive! Stop it! D: 

I think that I bit off more than I can chew, and didn't do nearly enough planning, despite the fact that this is the first year I've even tried to create character profiles for everyone. I think that I should have thought of an entirely different novel set during the Civil War era so that I can use a lot of the research I've been doing for university. :P I may actually have to drop this plotline and make up my wordcount by writing out some fanfic I've been meaning to write for a while... Probably a Temeraire piece, so I actually have fun writing this month, possibly an Avatar: the Last Airbender one. Right now, I don't think that my novel will be going anywhere without significant overhaul, and while I'll cast my eyes upon what I've written so far again throughout the month, and I WILL try to add to it, I don't think that it's conducive to my stress levels (or my writing ability) to grit my teeth and type out something that clearly isn't working... 

Yeah, so that's the decision that I've made, for now, I think. I still need reassurance that I've made the right decision, though. :(

Also, here, see how I'm doing! 

beboots: (Default)
... were seized and feasted on at once.
-Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

As some of you may have noticed, I have been participating in NaNoWriMo the last few days! Things have been hectic, as I have been trying to get ahead in my wordcount so that I can slack of (out of necessity) later on, so I can write some of my scholarly papers... Here is a wordcount widget indicating my progress!

At the time of writing, my wordcount is 25,563 words. Yes, I have just hit the midway point, 25k. On the fifth day. Yes, I have surprised even myself. And it's actually good-quality stuff! .... well, in my subjective opinion, I have improved my writing style over the last two Novembers. :)

Come in to my lair... let me tell you of my novel... )

A painting of Archangel Raphael by an artist who did a series of abstract painings of archangels.

(and oh god I have seen so much religious art in the last week during the course of my research on the characters of Michael and Raphael... Some of it good, a lot of it bad. But I really love the subtety of the above painting - because angels aren't just men with wings - they are impressions, actions, and light.)
beboots: (Default)
(quote by Cleolinda, whose parodies are awesome...)

Nanowrimo update: Okay, so I either write really hardcore and go way beyond my novel's wordcount goal each day, or write next to nothing. D: It's really bad. Perhaps it's because I have lots of homework and midterms and now exams to do...? D: 'Tis a flimsy excuse, is it not? But I think that I'm still on track to hit 50k by November 31st... with any luck, anyway. Come to me, my muses! D:

Also, I'm very glad that Cassidy agreed to be my wordcount rival this year. She has kept me afloat. You rock, my dear! :D

Also, I saw Twilight on Friday night. :3 I still maintain my position that the series is far too popular for it's apparent quality, but I admit that I enjoyed the movie. l felt that it was a good adaption, and I actually found myself liking characters that I was neutral to before - I actually like Bella now! That, and her father, Charlie. That scene directly prior to where Bella brought in Edward to introduce himself formally... the click of the shotgun, then "Bring him in"... XD Also, even though Jasper had only a very small role... he was awesome. Just his... pained look. XD I also didn't mind Emmett or Rosalie, whom I actually actively disliked in the books, but were pretty cool in the movie. Plus, everyone, and especially Carisle, was gorgeous. Seriously. Including the bad guys, who were actively hot. Also, Jacob was a sweetie. :) I don't want him to turn into an asshole as in the books! ;_;

Also, if you're following what I'm saying, read these parodies! You will be very amused, I assure you. :3

On another matter... you know that meteor that was seen a few days ago over Alberta and Saskatchewan? I witnessed it. It was pretty darn cool, I've got to say, although it kind of made me panick at the time.  I was driving to the bus station in the evening (I was going to meet some friends in downtown Edmonton, and it's easier to do park'n'ride than try to do transfers), and I was about to turn left when I saw this massive bright light in the distance, kind of angling downwards to the right. It looked really, really close, and I actually thought that something was landing in the field to the right of the road (I've since learned that it was probably much further away). But it was like in flames... you know those shots of rockets taking off, with the flames and smoke billowing out after it? It was like that, only heading downwards. It light up quite a bit of the sky, but only for about five seconds. I nearly caused an accident because I braked in the middle of my turn. I thought "I should call somebody", because I thought that it was a plane going down or something, but I had no idea who I should call. The police? An ambulance? A firetruck? Or what?
Then I got to the bus stop and asked the other people waiting there if they'd seen it, and one guy said "yeah, I saw a firework going off". I thought, well, it was going downwards, but I guess it could have been a firework... I didn't know what it was until I read the paper the next morning (it was on the front page). Crazy stuff, man....

Now, I really should get back on writing that Canadian History paper... D:
beboots: (Default)
Exert from the preface to Laclos's "Les Liasons Dangereuses", known in English as "Dangerous Liasons". Rough translation: "Persons with delicate taste will be disgusted by the simple and false style of some of these (letters)." (and this is how I introduce my Nanowrimo post. XD )

Anyway, "Les Liasons Dangereuses" is incredibly interestingly written, actually: essentially, it's a series of letters that the author, Laclos, has claimed to have found, and just rearranged into their proper order, as he explains in his introduction. However, in the following preface, the editor of the book claims that they can't possibly be true, because people don't really act in such horrible fashions to each other. So essentially, the reader is left to figure out for oneself if people are actually too mean to exist in real life, or if it is indeed possible for people to act this way and thus the letters are truth... There was apparently (according to my french teacher in Lille) lots of debate when it first came out as to whether or not they were real letters or not, but... XD Anyway, we know now that Laclos wrote everything: not just the letters, but the introduction AND the preface (the one supposedly written by his editor), all as a part of the style of the book. XD Brilliant!

Anyway, I'm currently writing my own novel. At the time of my writing of this post, I've hit just over 10,000 words, but I'm nowhere near my daily wordcount goal (1,667 words).

To the newcomers to my journal... "A novel? What the heck are you doing that for? D: What brought this on?" Well, check this out: That should explain everything... but for those too lazy to follow the link, essentially I've pledge to write a 50,000 word novel in one month, or I fail at life. :3 I succeeded last year at about 60k, so I know that it can be done! It's super fun, and really helped my writing style. This year, my novel is about vampires, and is tentatively titled "How the Undead Figure Out Life".

Also, my laptop, Sargon, is working out very nicely so far. Yay for Windows XP! :D

Here is a widget, so you may keep track of my wordcount status. :3 I shall hopefully post exerts later on in the month, when I get some really good ones... I've only just worked my way past "exposition exposition exposition" and "the main characters have met each other" phases.

(please tell me, guys, if that shows up, because it's not showing up for me... D: )
beboots: (Default)

"So what's new with Beboots?"  You may be wondering, if you too aren't bogged down by schoolwork. Why, I shall inform ye! (Also, everyone on facebook, check out your language options - alongside English (UK) there's English (pirate). So awesome...) Anyway....

First of all, I'm writing this on the oldschool family computer. Why? Because my laptop has died... for a second time. I mean, it was freezing up for a day or two, then gave me the bluescreen of death, then "repaired" itself, then went back to freezing... so it's in the shop. I'm told it has like several viruses. But... I probably won't lose anything. Just as well, because I've been paranoid ever since it died a few months ago and so everything's backed up anyway. Take heed, all you readers: back up your files! Especially those essays that you're working on!

Speaking of essays... I got my essay on Cardinal Wolsey back: B-. Not bad, but not as good as I was hoping. It was mostly little errors that bogged me down. A satisfactory essay, but not a stellar one. But since I hated every minute of writing that thing, i guess that's to be expected. Anyway, I'm working on a new one for that class, which is on witchcraft (that's a quote of it you see, up there), and so is automatically way more interesting than Cardinal Wolsey could ever be.

I have not yet caught any of the various illnesses flying around campus yet, and I remain hopeful that I still won't have by the time that midterm month is over. I can dream, can't I?

Also, I get much less time to work on things this month than anticipated. Why? Because Superstore is no longer going on strike. ;_;

Here's the deal... )

So... there you have it, I suppose. I'm dissapointed we didn't go on strike - I could have used the free time to study for midterms and write papers... and my novel, actually. :D I can't wait for Nanowrimo! On the forums, we were writing 15 word summaries for our novels. Mine for this November is the following:

"Two vampires (an extremely old child and a mildly depressed former accountant) figure out life."

How does that sound?

beboots: (Ninja Vash Drunk)
 Bierce, Ambrose, The Devil's Dictionary. (The snarkiest book I've read in ages.)

It's snowing outside again. ;_; I'm on summer vacation, and yet it looks more like February outside. At least it's sort of melting... kind of, not really. ;_; When will I be able to bike once more...?

Yes, I've finally finished writing the next chapter of Rise of the Jinchuuriki! ... and it's like 6,000 words long. D: My time participating in National Novel Writing Month was not wasted. I wrote most of it in the last week. Speed writing for the win! :D

Yay, ninja kindergarten! )

Chapter Six: Game Start

It was rainy all day. It was the kind of light rainfall that wouldn’t be bad in short bursts, but instead lasted for incredibly long amounts of time, pervading everything with a persistent and unpleasantly cold dampness. Konoha was a beautiful village in the sunlight, but in the gloom and mist of the rain, the place took on the appearance of a washed-out old photograph.

The weather made things more than five feet away difficult to discern from the greyness of the background. This could make anybody feel depressed. It had the added effect of making the ninja inhabitants of the village feel paranoid.

Naruto, for one, was jealous of Gaara. The bastard was probably sunning himself in the wonderful desert weather. The blond grumbled curses a six-year-old shouldn’t know under his breath to himself as he jogged back towards his apartment under an old umbrella with two tines bent out of shape. At least the thing didn’t have any holes, which was more than he could say about the roof of his apartment...

Naruto wished he could use some chakra to blur to get to his apartment faster, but he knew that Gaara would never let him live it down if he was revealed to be from the future because he didn’t want to get wet. Well, perhaps that was being unfair. Gaara wasn’t the kind of person to gloat. Stare in hidden amusement? Yes. Chuckle in the depths of his mind, where only the Shukaku could hear him? Perhaps. But he would never gloat out loud. It was almost worse, that way: knowing that Gaara may be laughing at you (or not) but being unable to point and go “hey, that was mean!” He couldn’t exactly ask his friend and peer to stop doing nothing.

Finally arriving in his apartment, Naruto shook some persistent raindrops from his pathetic-looking umbrella before placing it in a chipped flower vase that he used as an improvised umbrella stand.

“All right, ramen!” He crowed to himself as he crossed the room to his kitchen corner (one room apartments were useful in that respect, at least: everything was conveniently all together).

With a flourish, Naruto removed one of two dozen cups of instant ramen from his shopping bag and placed it almost reverently on the counter. His haul had been a challenge to acquire, as usual. His success this time had been in part due to three cans of paint, a length of rope, a towering but fragile display of canned nuts, a bunshin to distract the store manager, and a strategic henge. Even so, he had nearly been found out at the end. He would have to be careful not to go to that store again very soon. Luckily, he had managed to purchase a decent amount of ramen – food of gods and future Hokage. Not only was it cheap and delicious, it also kept very well. A long shelf life was very useful, especially when he didn’t know when he would next have a successful shopping trip, which were always few and far between.

As he prepared his supper, he noticed several muted chakra signatures alight on the roof. ANBU, most likely: several of them, trying to mask their chakra. They were probably there to watch him. He continued nonchalantly making his supper, giving no indication that he knew that they were there. He wouldn’t be expected to know. He knew that they were probably there under the orders of the Hokage.

When he had come into office, he had sorted through some of the old paperwork and old files that they had on himself, just to see what the Sandaime and the Godaime had been up to. That had been how he had discovered that he had actually had a rotating guard of ANBU watching over him since he had been very young, even past the point that he had become a genin. Naruto had gathered that they were a compromise, of sorts, between the Hokage and the council of Konoha. The Kyuubi brat wasn’t to be trusted, and so was watched as an enemy would be. It made him sad in a hollow sort of way, the feeling of not being trusted. He had felt it less as he had grown to become a trusted village leader. Now he had to get used to it again.

But back to the issue at hand: what to do about the watching ANBU. Well, Naruto thought, logically, pouring his boiling water over his cup ramen, What would Gaara do in this situation? Besides kill them? Or smother and subdue them with sand? Or go up onto the roof, acting for all the world like he went up there all the time, and stare at them, blankly, like they were crazy, until they went away?

In the end, Naruto decided on just the opposite of such things. Sure, Gaara was his friend, but the guy wasn’t exactly known for his mastery of social niceties.

“So… how come you aren’t in the academy?” Temari asked, apparently uneasy with nothing but the sandwiches, the table and the serious silence between them.

Gaara chewed on his mouthful of sandwich quietly for a moment, swallowed, and replied in his usual monotone, “I’m too young.”

“But you’re six, aren’t you? There are some six-year-olds in the youngest class. Some five-year-olds too.”

Gaara shrugged. He was a demon brat who could already take down any shinobi assassins that they could throw at him. They weren’t about to teach a failed weapon with clearly ambivalent loyalties to Suna how to be more deadly. The first time around, he had learned by instinct, watching others, and later, from a petrified Baki, his jounin “sensei” and handler.

“That’s just silly. You should ask fa- um, somebody to get you in.” She paused, awkwardly, and then added: “It’s really fun! My teacher says that maybe Kankuro and me can graduate soon.” Gaara knew that she had been about to tell him to ask their father, but had then realized that wait, their father didn’t seem to like any of them, and so wouldn’t be doing them any favours anytime soon.

So Gaara shrugged once again.

Temari turned her attention back to her sandwich, and Gaara frowned, internally. Talking to this Temari was more difficult than he would have thought it would have been. What did children talk about, amongst themselves, with no adults present? He couldn’t remember. Maybe he had never known in the first place.

He continued to eat his sandwich in the uneasy silence. Temari avoided his gaze, staring down at her crumb-spotted plate. There was an innocuous smear of peanut butter on her chin. Gaara couldn’t remember ever seeing his sister look so young before. She practically radiated naïveté. It was almost unnerving, to know that this little girl would grow to become one of the strongest and most deadly kunoichi that the Sand had ever known.

But then again, he supposed that he, the demon of Suna, looked just as “cute” at the moment, although he probably looked less naïve, even now. He was certain that the “look” didn’t suit him.

Temari, having finished staring at her empty plate, stood up from the table and took her dishes to the sink.

Gaara could think of nothing to say, so he decided upon a strategic retreat.

His chair scraped against the sandy floor as he stood up (sand pervaded everything in the desert, be it buildings, clothing, or even food). Gaara walked towards the door, and his sand followed. Temari didn’t watch her little brother go.

He paused in the doorway. “Temari.”

His sister looked up all of a sudden, nearly dropping the plate into the sink. “Um, yes?” Wariness was a good thing to cultivate in young ninja. Gaara approved. Cautious shinobi invariably lived longer than bull-headed ones… with the possible exception of a certain blond future Hokage that he knew (but then again, the ability to heal fatal wounds with demonic chakra was always a useful trick.)

Gaara met her eyes. “Thank you for the sandwich.” And then he was gone.

Naruto had peripherally monitored the few movements of his ANBU watchers all throughout his dinner. He didn’t envy them, sitting out there in the cold and the wet, while he ate his hot and awesomely delicious cup ramen.

Naruto had once heard of a custom from a place so far away the country could have just been made up. People believed in little gods or fairies or demons or something, and they would put offerings in little dishes to leave out at night to ask for their protection, or maybe just so they would pass their houses by.

After a moment’s thought that night, Naruto put some of his still warm ramen (leftover from his eleventh bowl) in a sealable container, and put it out on the windowsill. He was careful to lock the window afterwards, even though it would be useless against any ANBU that decided to come looking for more food. Naruto seriously doubted whether any of them would even touch it – they were probably too paranoid and afraid of poisons – but it made him feel better that the ANBU who were forced to watch him had the option of something warm to eat.

Besides, it might be his Kakashi-sensei out there.

He wasn’t surprised when he got up the next morning, though, to find that there was an untouched bowl of cold ramen sitting outside his windowsill, dripping with rainwater.

It was probably for the best. He would have actually been worried if the ANBU watching him had been green enough to accept food from the subject that they were supposed to be monitoring. Still, Naruto supposed if the ANBU grated on his nerves too much, he could always just be really, really irritating, which would make his watchers less likely to pay close attention to him… although, if they were good ANBU, they likely wouldn’t fall for such a simple trick.

The house was quiet. Temari had gone to bed hours ago, and it was still just a little bit too early even for ninja-in-training and their chuunin caretaker to be up. Gaara was always up, though. After Temari had gone back to sleep, Gaara had crept into the kitchen once more and had washed the dishes, just as he had promised himself earlier. This task proved difficult when he realised that, humiliatingly enough, he was actually too short to reach the sink. He had to drag a chair to the counter to get at the water tap.

Washing the dishes took all of ten minutes, which then left him wondering what to do. He normally didn’t have to worry about finding things to occupy himself; there was usually an endless array of things requiring the Kazekage’s attention. It was bizarre to find himself with nothing pressing to attend to.

In the end, Gaara decided to go outside and walk the streets, and watch as his village woke up.

The sun had only barely risen, so it was still chilly. The desert wouldn’t take on its characteristic heat until the sun had been up for a few hours. Already, despite the cold, there were a few people awake. There were ninja on guard duty were just returning from their night shifts, their replacements already up and about. The bakers had already been up for hours, and were only just now taking their wares out of the oven. Gaara passed by one of these bakeries just as an assistant – a middle-aged civilian woman with strong-looking arms – was putting a tray of breakfast muffins in the window. She looked startled to see so young a child out alone, so early in the morning, but she didn’t seem to recognize him. Gaara gave her a short nod, one that would hopefully be interpreted as friendly, and continued on, away from the delicious smell of freshly-baked pastries. He didn’t remember that specific bakery from his time, but then again, civilian businesses came and went often. Some people were more suited to life in a shinobi village than others, after all.

As he wandered the sandy streets, as silent as any slow-moving sand dune, Gaara became aware of the raucous sound of children’s laughter. Then, as he drew closer, he could hear the sound of something hitting pavement, and then, running feet. The former Kazekage slowly rounded the corner of the building closest to the sound of the voices. There, lay a courtyard where four children were playing ball. A lonely swing set was set up to one side. It was to this structure that Gaara made his way. He sat down on the swing, still unnoticed, and observed as the children played their game. After a few minutes of watching the children’s interactions in silence, he was beginning to divine the rules of the game that they were playing. There were no teams; all four seemed to be playing for themselves. The goal of the game didn’t seem to be to simply catch the ball, but to avoid having one of the other three get it. However, it seemed that one wasn’t allowed to hold the ball for longer than three footsteps. Kicking the ball out of reach of the others seemed to be the preferred method of handling. Occasionally, one would be declared “out”, usually after missing a catch, causing the ball to go out of bounds. Being “out” seemed to entail sitting on the side of the playing field for a minute, and being unable to handle the ball. Gaara didn’t know if this was supposed to be a well-known game, or simply one whose rules were made up as these four children played it.

Suddenly, a stray kick caused the ball to go wide. It bounced off of a pillar at an odd angle, and finally came to rest on a ledge a story or so up one of the buildings that composed the square.

“Aww, man!” one of the kids exclaimed in disgust.

“What should we do?” one of the others asked.

Gaara felt strange. There was something… oddly familiar about this situation. He supposed it was just because it was a typical childhood scene, one that he had only ever seen from afar. Just days before he had gone back in time, in fact, he had watched a similar group of kids play a different game of ball, watching from the Kazekage’s tower. That must be it.

Gaara glanced at the children, who were scuffling their feet and each demanding of the others to do something about getting the ball back.

Gaara probably could have just climbed up there, clinging to the wall with chakra. A kid with good chakra control was much less threatening than the Demon of Suna. But Gaara had gotten into the habit of using his sand to handle things out of reach over the years, whether they be dropped objects, a scroll he needed from across the room, or even light taps to get the attention of people. He hardly even thought about it anymore. His sand just moved. Such was the case now. A wisp of sand detached itself from the piles that lay in ever-present drifts in the Hidden Village of Sand, and threaded itself through the air to deftly knock the ball off of the ledge. It fell in a slow arc directly into Gaara’s outstretched hands.‑­

The eyes of the children followed the ball’s progress. Gaara stepped forward and gravely deposited the ball into the slack hands of the closest child. This seemed to snap the kid out of his trance.

“It’s Gaara!” That child screamed, dropping the ball and immediately beginning to run away. This, of course, set the rest of them off, and they all scattered away from the demon-child in their midst.

“Wait!” Gaara called out impulsively, and his sand shot out to stop them instinctively. With a sudden jolt of déjà vu, the former Kazekage realized just exactly where this was going: children screaming in pain, a defiant Yashamaru trying to calm he, the out of control demon, down, and the injured children rejecting the demon’s help. With a violent hand gesture, he reigned his sand in before it could do more than graze the ankle of the boy with the funny-looking, spiked black hair. The kid only screamed more loudly as he fled.

Moments later, the courtyard was empty of all but Gaara and his sand. The desert wind whistled, blowing a small plume of sand along the ground in front of the redhead’s feet. He made no noise; he was certain that if he listened hard enough, he would still be able to hear the sounds of screaming and the pounding of running feet as the children fled. He was a kage-level ninja (mentally, anyway), and he probably could have chased them down and forced them to listen – or play – with him, but Gaara doubted that such actions would endear him to them overmuch.

This was definitely going to be harder than anticipated.

…He had never liked children much, anyway.

Gaara let a small sigh escape from his emotionless façade, and turned to walk back to his apartment. He retraced his steps, the early-morning sun shining directly into his eyes, making him next to blind. He passed by the bakery he had seen earlier; the window display was already half-empty of muffins. He walked on.

As his apartment came into view, Gaara came to a sudden realization: he was feeling sorry for himself! This thought was so potent that it stopped him in his tracks for a brief moment. He couldn't walk down the path of self-pity. That would get him nowhere. He remembered distinctly that whenever insults had gotten too vicious, and the assassination attempts had gotten too frequent, Naruto had one thing to say to him: “Feeling sorry for yourself will get you nowhere. Stop it.” And then Naruto would slap him upside the head, and Gaara would let him.

Gaara looked up at his family’s apartment, gaze hardening. He couldn’t let a few screaming children and a murderous uncle get in the way of him achieving his goal. He would just have to try harder, and that was that.

Naruto had rediscovered the fun in being a child. Well, sort of: it was more a case of “discovering” in the first place than “rediscovering”. He was no longer tentative: he refused to back down and go away to play elsewhere under the demanding glares of parents. He used sheer charm to convince children that he was a fun kid to play with. And it worked… and he found that he was enjoying himself. They didn’t seem to care that he didn’t know the rules of their games very well, and were all too happy to teach him. He was also still enjoying the novelty of being young again.

Of course, he had the added challenge of subterfuge, but that just made his “game” all the more engaging. Trying to get around ANBU members was a very nice training exercise, made all the more useful because he couldn’t properly train around them. (His mind was limited by his body. He was still only capable of what a child was capable of, despite his memories of the contrary.) They had probably been informed about his bunshin-making abilities, but Naruto faked being unskilled with them. Oftentimes, if he needed to go places and didn’t want the ANBU to follow (places like, say, forbidden sections of the Hokage’s library, or maybe just to the washroom without having the niggling feeling that someone was watching his every move), he would make a few sloppy bunshins and send those off as decoys for the ANBU, all the while making other bunshins on the sly to run off in secret to the training fields. The ANBU weren’t aware, of course, of his sheer stamina when it came to bunshins. They seemed to think that four or five was his limit (this would already be spectacular for a jounin-level ninja, let alone one with hardly any ninja training), and Naruto was happy to keep it that way. He often sent them off on childish pranks – which were all the more easy to do because of the extra pairs of hands he could create – which again blurred his purpose to his watchers. Naruto wanted them to dismiss him as a child… for now, anyway.

Still, the ANBU weren’t trained to be sloppy, and Naruto had to be careful… which was again a part of the fun. There was something about fooling the elite members of one’s village time and time again that made one feel… proud. In a sinister, giggling madly to oneself kind of way.

It was during the first week of the second month after he had returned to the past when Naruto received his first letter from Gaara, carried by a disgruntled and tired but normal-looking Suna messenger hawk. The boy fed it some leftover bacon and sent it on its way with his thanks. It wouldn’t do to be impolite to their means of communication. He then turned his attention to the missive that Gaara had sent him.

It was a simple message: “Got free sugared bun and a smile from the new baker on Central Street.” Naruto grinned.

The game was on.

The “kyuubi-brat-watch” shift started to become more interesting for the ANBU after that.

If nothing else, the ANBU were kept on their toes – was the demon luring the children of the village to their deaths? Or was he just lulling them into a false sense of security through overly enthusiastic companionship?

Kakashi narrowed his mismatched eyes from behind his masks, watching from a hidden location in the canopy of a tree across the courtyard in which the Kyuubi brat was “playing”. The ANBU agent with the crow mask on the branch beside him flicked his hands to sign out a message to him: ‘What is the beast doing?’ Kakashi conceded the point. What was the kid doing? Especially with all of those children in a circle? And why were they singing gibberish. What was this “stella ella ola?” Was this some sort of demonic trick?

The gray-haired ANBU vowed to watch the brat more closely from now on.

(Sometimes, training children to be killing machines has a downside – without a childhood, how can they discern hidden threats from children’s games? Paranoia must have healthy limits.)

“You seem happier, lately.” The Hokage noted in one of the boy’s regimented visits to his office.

“Yes, well, I figured that there’s really no point in moping and being sad, right? It’s not going to get me anywhere. So I may as well do things to make me happy. Does that make sense?”

The Hokage smiled around his pipe. “It does indeed, Naruto.”

The eighty-seven-year-old boy smiled back.

The boy deliberately shied away from people that he remembered even decades later as being particularly abusive towards him. Naruto made the movements even more obvious when he sensed the muted chakra signatures of his ANBU guards following closely behind him.

He did his best to look like the downtrodden orphan – who still had hope – as he could. He wasn’t above using the “cuteness” of his younger body to good use. He was well aware of how differently people reacted when confronted with such things as women and children in distress. There had been a non-perverted reason for inventing the Sexy no Jutsu, after all. What could be more disarming than a hysterical naked woman? That technique had been incredibly well-known and had been growing in popularity even half a century after its inception. For several decades, it was even taught among ANBU ‑­

initiates as a new forbidden technique, to use in battle when all else failed and the operative needed the element of surprise. And the Sexy no Jutsu was incredibly surprising. It had been designed to be so.

Unfortunately, he probably couldn’t reveal his famed (and infamous) technique just yet. It would still be considered much too advanced to have been invented by someone his age. He’d likely have to wait a few more years yet, mores the pity.

He had other things to focus on, at any rate, like his classes. Naruto didn’t realize that he was already enrolled in the academy until an ANBU had dragged him to class after his second day of skipping. He’d thought he was too young to be in class, but then again, he was still kind of unsure of the exact date. Naruto made a mental note to himself to pick up a newspaper. He couldn’t exactly turn to one of his classmates (none of whom he really recognized) and ask them for the day, month and year. He thought it strange that he actually couldn’t name anybody in his class, and he only remembered halfway through his first day back that he had failed the genin exam three times the first time around. This was probably his original “graduating” class.

After two weeks, he was proven wrong when he was transferred into Iruka-sensei’s class.

Naruto was, for lack of a better word, nervous. Currently, he was sitting in the back of the classroom, head on his arms, which were folded and resting on top of his desk. He was waiting for Iruka-sensei to show up. Naruto had arrived early, for once; he didn’t want to make a worse impression than he already had. He was sitting in the back, strategically, so that he could observe his classmates but avoid their attention.

He vaguely remembered his new classmates’ faces… They certainly looked different without wrinkles—or puberty. Sakura’s hair was distinctive enough, and Kiba’s Inuzuka clan face markings weren’t entirely subtle either. It was strange to think of these children as his friends and companions. Well, technically, they weren’t yet. He was going to have to work on that.

Just then, the door to the classroom burst open and in walked Iruka-sensei. Naruto looked up, hoping that this meeting would be different, and it would be the same old Iruka who bought him ramen and listened as he bitched about Kakashi-sensei and Sasuke-teme and gave him advice on how to talk to Sakura and understood when he said that he was going to become Hokage and you better believe it… and his heart plummeted when he saw the stormy expression on the man’s face. He should have known not to be optimistic in this case. Naruto watched as Iruka glanced around the classroom, before the man’s gaze settled on him, in the last row in the back.

Iruka’s eyes narrowed. Naruto gave a small smile. Iruka’s eyes narrowed further. Naruto sank down in his seat, wanting to hide, but knowing that he couldn’t. He had to face this. That didn’t stop him from almost sighing in relief when Iruka turned his attention to the blackboard and began writing down the day’s lesson-plan.

Naruto could see that Iruka’s knuckles were white around his grip on the chalk. His teacher snapped the piece of chalk twice as he wrote.

“Henge!” Iruka barked, turning to face the class and resolutely avoiding looking up into the final row, where a certain demon-child was sitting. “An illusion in which shinobi can take on the appearance of something that they are not.” Naruto caught the emphasis. “As academy students, you will learn the basics of this technique, enough to be able to take on the appearance of one of your classmates, or even me. Some of you will never learn more than this.” Iruka was outright glaring at Naruto, now. Yes, that was most definitely his ‘super-scary angry face’. “To graduate from the academy, you must be able to hold the henge for at least five minutes. More experienced ninja can hold it for days. Some can even make themselves invisible, to an extent.” Naruto wished that he could become invisible. “Any questions?” Iruka-sensei asked.

Everyone in the classroom was silent. No one dared to ask a question and perhaps have Iruka’s wrath transferred to them.‑­

“Recognizing when someone else is using a henge is also an invaluable technique.” Iruka-sensei’s eyes flashed. “Uzumaki.”

Naruto sat up straight as many of the students eyes fell upon the stranger in their midst for the first time. “Yes… sir?” It was best to be polite.

Iruka’s eyes narrowed further. “How would you determine if someone is using a henge?” Naruto knew that academy student weren’t expected to know this. He knew that for sure, because he had overhauled the academy curriculum himself to include it. He knew the signs, of course – little idiosyncrasies, like shadows where there should be light, a slightly different shade of haircolour on a close friend – that helped to determine if something was an illusion – but he couldn’t exactly say so.

He wasn’t supposed to know. He was dead-last Naruto, after all. “I don’t know, sir.”

Iruka made a dismissive noise, as if to say ‘of course the demon wouldn’t want to reveal its secrets.’

“Well, then: what is the exact difference between a henge and lower forms of genjutsu?” Naruto had only learned that distinction after two years in the field as a jounin. It honestly didn’t matter overmuch, as both were dispelled in the same manner. “I don’t know, sir.” Iruka made another dismissive noise.

Naruto could tell by some of the students’ murmurings that his definitely wasn’t normal behaviour from their sensei. Somehow, this didn’t make him feel all that better about his situation. Naruto understood what Iruka was doing; he was trying to demoralize him, make him slip up, or perhaps just get upset enough to leave the academy.

Maybe it was a fluke, last time, that Iruka-sensei liked me… Naruto thought, despondently, slouching further down behind his desk. He could tell that this was only going to be the start of things.

The final school bell at the end of the day had never been a more welcome sound.

Naruto was very sad to have lost his senior discount in many stores. However, he found that a young and cute body was almost as good. If he slapped some mud onto his cheeks and hair, people were hard-pressed to identify him as the demon child, and if he put on the right pathetically hungry face, the kind of face that screamed “I am an orphan! Feed me! Give me a hug!”, sometimes people actually did, if they didn’t realize who he was.

It was nice to feel a little bit loved, or at least not unwanted, for once. Naruto was resolutely avoiding thinking about the academy and its related… tensions.

Today was a beautiful day for a walk. There were many citizens of Konoha who apparently had the same thought as he, as the streets were lively with the bustle of people. Naruto stopped to admire some pastries in the window of a shop, trying to figure out if the shopkeeper liked him enough yet to give him one for free... or at least not sell him one at an extortionary price. In the reflection of the glass, Naruto spotted a pair of dark-haired brothers, the elder carrying the younger. How sweet.

He focussed more of his attention on the pair when he spotted the Uchiha clan symbol emblazoned on the back of the kid’s shirt. With a blink, he realized that it was Sasuke. He almost hadn’t recognized him, as he was both young and happy. He supposed, then, that the one carrying him had to be… Itachi.

The older Uchiha was speaking to the younger with a small smile: a rarity among that family of angst-buckets. In response, the little Sasuke actually laughed. It was… bizarre. Almost surreal.

Sasuke was… actually happy.

Naruto turned to walk on with a smile. It truly was a wonderful day.

Suddenly, a thought struck Naruto, stopping him in his tracks with its intensity.

Oh, shit. What was he going to do about Itachi?

Author’s Note: Yes, what is Naruto going to be doing about Itachi? Find out next time…! :D

“There are some six-year-olds in the youngest class. Some five-year-olds too.” Was I the only one that thought “yay, ninja kindergarten!” at this line? Probably. D: I am such a dork.‑­

Oh, and did anybody catch the Harry Potter reference(s)? There was also a “Howl’s Moving Castle” reference, but I myself didn’t realize until my sister pointed it out. Cookies to those who can correctly identify them!

Next Chapter: Changing Tactics

beboots: (Default)
Neil Gaiman (who is my fantasy author overlord).

So I'd like to all wish you a HAPPY (belated) NEW YEAR! :D You guys all rock.

What's up with me at the moment? Well, I'm still slowly ploughing through writing my nanowrimo novel, "Winged". I've only written like 5,000 words since the end of November, though. D: I have been editing what I do have a little bit, though, which is good. I've also been working on fanfiction, most notably "Alchemy's Child" (a Fullmetal Alchmist X Harry Potter crossover) and "Rise of the Jinchuuriki" (a Naruto fic in which Gaara and Naruto go back in time to when they were six for the hell of it and race to become Kazekage and Hokage respectively). If you're interested, go read them at my profile, here: And don't forget to review!

My Christmas went very well. :) I got many books, blank journals, a few DVDs and CDs, a really nice sweater, and loads of chocolate. :) I'm quite pleased with my "haul". I also feel really clever, because my sister didn't make a list, but I got her two awesome gifts that she wouldn't even have thought to ask for (the newest Miyazaki film, "Tales of Earthsea" and the sountrack to her favourite Korean soap opera, "the Palace", which she didn't even know existed).

My family and I also went down to Jasper to go skiing in Marmot Basin for two days. My little brother was snowboarding, my dad was skiing, and Danielle and I were on snowblades. I only fell twice, and both incidents were while I was going down black diamonds, so I don't feel too embarrassed. Did you guys know that there's a little knitting store just off of the downtown street in Jasper? :D I stocked up on yarn there; it was awesome.

I've also been taking in-car driving lessons. D: It has been making me so anxious! I did do two lessons in one day on Wednesday (four hours of driving in downtown Edmonton, an hour and a half of which overlapped with rush hour!) so I'm improving, but my nerves aren't. D: I haven't gotten in an accident yet, which is a plus!

Work has been... fine. I took two extra shifts this week as a favour to my boss, who is in BC skiing this week. Everyone else in my department (Home & Garden at Superstore, in case you were wondering) is either on vacation or getting their wisdom teeth pulled. There are only four other people in my department besides me, though. I went in extra early on Wednesday (I worked 7am-noon, but I had to get up at 5:30 to walk to work), to put out the shipment of bouquet flowers... which didn't arrive, because the schedule was screwed up due to new year's eve. D: I was like "fine, whatever, I'll do stock, I get paid anyway". So I had my second extra shift today, and wouldn't you know it? Wednesday's stock arrived today, along with today's stock (both large shipments, a pallet and a half each of flowers stacked higher than myself) in addition to four big bins of tropical plants that weren't supposed to arrive until tomorrow. And they ALL had to be put out today, because you can't leave live plants in the backroom. They also all had to be watered, provided that they were in pots. D: I ended up staying an extra hour to get it all done. It was hectic, and stressful. I only put one pallet of tropicals out because only one would fit in the aisle - it filled it all nearly up. The box really was packed solid with plants. D: I hope my boss appreciates me...

Oh, and for all that I complain a lot, I'm actually a rather contented person. I am happy, not suicidal. Don't worry! Life doesn't get me down. :) I have too much stuff to do.

In any case, I'm excited for next semester! As of today, I'm signed up for the second half of English 111, Japanese 150 (which I'm pumped for), a history course entitled "China and the West", History as a Discipline (required for history majors like me) and a Classics course - which is kind of random, but I'm taking it with a friend who's a classics major and the spiffy thing is it counts towards my history major... so it's all good.

I wish you all a happy new year! :D Best of luck to you all!
beboots: (O RLY?)
Chinese proverb
I wanted to put as my quote "Puella rēginam vīdit, cui melem dedit", but I figured that no-one would know what it meant. It means "The girl saw the queen, to whom she gave a badger". I love my Latin teacher - he comes up with the most awesome sentences. Our worksheets frequently have little instructions that make me giggle, like, for instance, "Translate the following lines into whatever language you think appropriate." :3 He also likes to include the Latin names of obscure animals, like porcupines, orang-utangs, etc. :D It's awesome!
In any case, I'm doing well.
It was two days ago that that happened - Friday. I ended up writing like 4k in one day. XD Rock! My storyline is only about 1/3 of the way through, though, so I'll be continuing to write for a while now. I'll post a quick exert at the end of this post as well.
I just finished an 11 page essay for my East Asian history class. It was sort of an amalgamation of two essay topics, but really neither, but there's an option to just make up our own topic, so I think I'm fine... I finally thought of a title like five minutes before I printed it off: "From Egg to Cloth: The Impact of Sericulture Upon Historical China". I worked really hard on it. I must have spent like a total of 30 hours on the blasted thing... a few of my points are still weak, but since it was my first research essay, I'm just glad that I've included enough information to support my thesis. My friend Leah says that my writing has a tone that's too pretensious. "But I like my "thus"es and "oft-cited"s!" D:
I only had about five minutes to rejoice the completion of that piece of work before I had to move on to my French homework and my Latin sentence translation, both of which took far longer to finish than anticipated. "Wheelock's Latin", the textbook that we had to translate from, is pretty funny, though. It doesn't intend to be. The first edition was written in the late 1940s, early 50s, so all of the sentences are moral lessons telling us that war is bad. XD It's actually pretty hilarious! Here are some exerts: "What type of harmful crimes destroyed those two states" and "Without brave men doing good deeds, we can never have peace."
In addition, the Lolita meetup at West Ed a few weeks ago was pure awesomeness. :3 My outfit is still incomplete - I need a good winter jacket (ordered) and I need to find some good lace stockings (the ones I'm knitting are taking too long), a cute thing to go in my hair and perhaps a parasol. I feel like an idiot for not having a full-shot photo taken of me alone, though. I love my skirt, but I have no good shots of it! It really shows off my tiny waist. I have one of those figures that people in Victorian England were trying to emulate - skinny, but only around the waist (ie, decent sized chest and hips). With the strings around my viscerae pulled tight, I really do have a wasp-waist, but not a freakish one. :3 I'll have uploaded some photos up on deviantart after I've finished posting this. Go here:

And here's another exert from my novel! In this scene, Tithonus, our intrepid winged boy-king (who's incognito at the moment, and goes by the name "Cricket" among these mercenaries) has just watched the rest of the men in the group he's with launch themselves off of a cliff to get into the air (they call all fly, as they are all "Kin" and all have wings). Tithonus hasn't flown since he broke his wing when he was six or so, and is sort of panicking. Burdock and Tenebris are the two men that fished him out of the river a few days earlier.


He then noticed that they were the last three still remaining on firm, solid ground, and it suddenly became all that much harder to remain calm.
Tenebris and Burdock exchanged a suspicious-looking glance with each other before turning to ‘Cricket’ with a look on their faces that had the boy scrambling backwards instinctively without really knowing why.
He was too slow, however, and was grabbed by his upper arms and almost before he realized what had occurred, was literally thrown over the edge of the cliff. All he could hear over the screaming of the wind whistling by his ears was the suddenly far-away voice of Burdock:
“Just flap your wings, Cricket! And don’t panic!”
Tithonus panicked.
Chapter Fourteen
Advice is least heeded when most needed.
~American proverb
His most gracious majesty, King Tithonus, ruler over all Italium and her provinces, protector of her colonies, son of the late and eminent King Augustus the Great, and lord over us all fell like a stone through the air above Le Forêt.
He would have been screaming in sheer terror had he been able to gather the breath to do so. Instead, he was falling through the air with a silent look of terror on his face, which would have been quite comical if it hadn’t been genuine fear.
Some indiscernible shape wooshed past him and yelled: “Flap your wings, for pity’s sake! Cricket!” Only later would Tithonus realize that it had been Tenebris.
Perhaps it was those almost-lost instincts that once again immerged to save him. Regardless, it was due to that shouting that broke Tithonus from his all-consuming fear of the ground that was coming closer holy –
Cricket flapped.
It was mad flapping, as was the last time he had tried this endeavor. It was inelegant (very much so), but effective. The boy found his fall slowing, then almost stopping.
He was flying.
Well, gliding and losing ever more feathers by the second, but … he wasn’t about to die. Rejoice!
He then discovered that to his surprise, he had somehow kept a hold of his lone possession at the moment – his bedroll. Perhaps that had something to do with the reflexive death grip his hands had on it.
A shadow fell across his face, and he managed to look up. Before, he’d been quite fixated on the ground (still looking tapestry-like, but no longer so innocently), especially now that he was no-longer approaching it at break-neck speeds. But he managed to tear his gaze from that which had nearly killed him – what would have been the sudden crunch at the end of his free fall – to look up. Circling above him were eight winged dots, outlined starkly against the light blue sky. They looked so … graceful. They were truly beings of the sky, these Kin mercenaries.
Tithonus felt small, young and almost painfully clumsy. He was a mere fledgling of the skies, not yet a ruler of it, as they were. Why, they were hardly even flapping, but gliding, skillfully taking advantage of what the wind and sky had to offer. The boy didn’t feel comfortable enough to stop his mad wing-movements just yet. Why, he was even gaining altitude – maybe. It was hard to tell, with so few areal landmarks. The ground seemed a little smaller, though, and the other Kin seemed closer. One of his green feathers drifted by his face as it was carried on the current of the wind to destinations unknown. There was a sheer feeling of space up here. The wind was cold but uplifting against his face, ruffling through his hair as a parent would.
Or, rather, as a parent probably would, because if you’ll recall, dear readers, our intrepid boy-king doesn’t have a whole lot of experience with his own parents to judge properly.
“Shit, you weren’t kidding when you said you couldn’t fly, were you?” Came the voice of Burdock from his upper left, oddly distorted by the wind. Tithonus managed a frantic shake of his head in the negative, in time with the crazed movements of his wings as he kept himself aloft.
Tenebris’ cream-coloured wings swung into view below him, stroking powerfully, as he, too, felt the need to comment. “Yeah, sorry about that. We just thought you were nervous about jumping off a cliff. It’s a surprisingly easy way to get into the air, but many haven’t even tried it before and have to be, well, convinced. You understand, right?”
Understand? They’d almost killed him! But he supposed it had worked – he was flying. It was thrilling once some of the sheer terror had worn off. His right wing ached a bit, but then again, both ached pleasantly with exertion. He supposed it would only get worse the longer that he stayed in the air, though.
The boy would definitely be more wary around these two from now on, in any case. ‘Cricket’ had learned his lesson regarding Burdock and Tenebris: approach with caution, avoid when possible.
“Oi! Are you coming, or not?” A voice from up above wafted down. “The boss wants us in formation! Unless our new recruit isn’t up for it?”
“Of course he’s up for it!” Burdock answered for ‘Cricket’ with obvious challenge in his voice, swinging upwards. Tithonus wasn’t so sure himself, but he made obvious efforts to follow.
beboots: (Buddha Lime)
son of the late and eminent King Augustus the Great, and lord over us all, resisted the urge to fidget." Winged, by Lauren M----

Yay for National Novel Writing month (ha! Linked: )

I am rather enjoying National Novel Writing Month. It's rather hellish, considering I have many other things I have to be writing for apprently moe valid reasons (ie, university classes), but if nothing else, it's been an exercise in time management. :) And I can already tell that my writing has improved. It's all good! :D

In case I haven't told you already, my novel involves a boy-king in a pseudo European monarchy. And he has wings. :3 Here's an exert:

"The window itself wasn’t an unexplained, random phenomenon. Why had it exploded, one might ask? In fact, it likely had something to do with the person climbing through the shattered remains of the glass in the newly-made hole in his wall. Now this man did not have the appearance of a gentleman, as the others in this story thus far introduced did. In fact, one could perhaps describe him in one word as a “blackguard”. One could also use the terms “scruffy”, “mean-looking”, “unshaven”, “wearing an unjustifiable amount of black leather” and generally “nasty”.
Now, appearances can be deceiving. For all we know at this point, this could indeed be a simple misunderstanding. One that is difficult to explain, of course, but it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with excuses. What if this man were to simply bow and apologize profusely, claiming that his window-washing uniform had been in the wash and that he’d been forced to wear old clothes from his younger, wilder days, and that he’d simply been carrying out his duties (dutifully, as it was nighttime, if you will remember), when he had slipped and fallen through the window, breaking it. That would have been a bit of a stretch; and in this case entirely unbelievable as he was now drawing a rather rusty sword. Oh dear. What shall our king do?
Tithonus had by this time whirled around, and had caught sight of this man (who was in all likelihood probably not a window-washer) and had come to the conclusion that was probably more accurate than the one inscribed above: this man was an assassin of some sort. With a rather nasty sword. And a murderous intent in his eyes. King Tithonus swallow nervously, eyes darting about for anything he could perhaps use as a weapon. There was nothing, really. He supposed he could upturn the heavy writing desk on the man, but that was assuming he himself was strong enough to do so, and with his slight form he was very doubtful.
The blackguard approached, slowly, boots crunching on glass, unspeaking. The king squeaked and backpedalled, until he was completely backed up against his chiffonier. His hands scrabbled against the wood as the man in black approached. Suddenly, his hands came in contact with something portable: the heavy lead seal of office. He brought it in front of his body, with the full intent of doing something with it. Perhaps he’d throw it at the man’s head. If he had had any sense of aim, this may have perhaps worked. But King Tithonus, if nothing else, was aware of his faults: his aim was horrible. That was why he used falcons for hunting, not archery. It was so horrible it was downright pitiful.
While he was thinking on just what his plan of action was (the boy-king was rather indecisive in situations such as these), the man was entering possible king-skewering range. Thinking of nothing else to do, Tithonus swung the hand fisted around the seal wildly in front of him, hoping to perhaps deflect the sword, or maybe even confuse his attacker enough so that the man would just laugh at him long enough to stop attacking so that he have enough time to think of another plan."
beboots: (Spread teh light!)
write a comparative study of any part of the Silk Road that fascinates you.
~the topic I'm writing on for my History 280 research essay.

Urgent homework update:

REJOICE! FOR I HAVE FOUND MY THESIS! I'm incredibly happy. :3 I've been agonizing over what topic I should pick for my research essay for East Asian history, and once I'd sort of decided upon one (the above) I still had no idea for my thesis. It's not due until November 18th or something like that, but this month is going to be busy enough without this piece of writing to research for... and it always takes longer to find things when you really don't know what you're looking for.

I've decided on a course of action. My thesis/opening paragraph will be something along the lines of: "Unlike other once-valuable and rare but now easily acquired trade-items such as spices, silk remains a luxury good even today. The production of silk, a Chinese monopoly for (two?) millennia, invariably accompanied Chinese influence along with their silks. Thus, the silk trade was an integral part of the spread of Chinese culture throughout East Asia and even beyond…" (This be very rough, by the way. I'm still unsure of the phrasing). But I have a starting point! :D Now I've just got to figure out how to navigate the University's libraries...

I also have to finish writing a book review for my other history class, but I've written my introductory paragraph and planned out the rest. I'm just rereading the book (it's only 150 pages or so long) to search for examples to back up my points and to refine my argument. It's also not due until around the 17th of November, so I have time. So it goes.

I'm also exceedingly happy to report that I don't have to write THREE papers to be due in the span of two days in November. I've discovered that my English assignment can be either an essay ON sonnets, or a sonnet itself. As in, an original work. :3 I'm going to go for it! I haven't written poetry in ages, but I'm sure I can work it into my November novel somehow.

Oh, and another thing. I've been keeping up with my French and Latin assignments (mercifully, we haven't yet been assigned any essays in these two classes, and I think it's going to stay that way, woohoo!). So I'm staying afloat in my homework situation. :3 I'm also probably going to include some of my Latin translation homework into my novel. I'll have my main character, who will have a classical education, conveniently do his Latin homework, which will be lovely for boosting my wordcount, and may bonus as symbolism/foreshadowing.

I've alluded to this before, but I'm doing National Novel Writing Month. I'm very excited for it! :D I may or may not post exerts of my novel on Livejournal in the ensuing month of November. Be prepared for some crazy novel-writing schenanigans! But I won't write too much on here, as it will detract from my writing time for my novel. It is to be entitled "Winged". Here's my profile:

I also went to the Edmonton National Novel Writing Month Chapter's kick-off party last Friday. :3 I met some very cool people there, and now I'm more excited than ever for NaNoWriMo! Oh, and Neil Gaiman, my favorite author of all time, is one of the professional authors cheerleading us this year. :D So awesome!

And I suppose that's sufficient enough of an update! :3 So... if anybody has random information/links/books they'd like to pimp on the subject of Silk/Chinese silk trade/so forth, please post and tell me! Also, if you're also doing NaNoWriMo, please buddy me on the website. :3 I like to feel popular. Also, if you come accross any attention-grabbing quizzes (like the one I posted last month, the "Which Historical Lunatic are you?" quiz), please link them! I may need distractions soon....
beboots: (Buddha Lime)
in front of a group of real live humans in their own post code. I was on a mission…
~A History of the NaNoWriMo

So I've gone over the deep end. I've decided to participate in the National Novel Writing Month thing this November. Darn you, my dearest Cassidy, for introducing this to me! D:
I'll have to juggle my University workload quite a bit to push out a 50,000 word novel in the month that I'll likely have the most papers, but I think it'll be good for me.

A trial by fire, if you will, of my writing. >:3

At the moment, all I have "in the works" are a few fanfictions, which have done wonders for my writing style (and ego: THANK YOU REVIEWERS!!!), but I realize that I have a long way to go. I must refine my writing style. And you know what they say: practice makes perfect. At worst, all I'll write is a measly 10,000 words, cry, then go back to my University papers. At best, I'll have the foundations of a novel and/or writing style that will make me famous. A personal goal of mine is to write a book so good that people will write fanfiction about it.

What I have going for me: I've been writing fanfiction since I discovered way back in 2003. I'd also rather that no-one actually look at my work from anything earlier than 2005, thank you very much. So I do have SOME practice.

Also? I have a very good Word-Per-Minute count. That means I can type FAST! XD Which will count for a lot in a contest of quantity over quality. Plus, I tend to waffle a lot in my writing style (my English 111 teacher says I need to work on my "consicion" - out damned spot, I say, out! D: ), which isn't exactly a detriment in this sort of writing contest. :3

I am going to look over the plot and character outlines I have written out in My Documents. I am debating between using two right now: one with an immortal (and extremely old) "child" vampire, and another involving a boy-king with wings. The former has more history laid out, but I think I need to take more history courses to have the detailed backstory it deserves. Also, I have more characters thought out for the vampire one. However, I have more inspiration for the boy-king one.... plus, c'mon, people with wings! XD It has more plot, too, although I haven't even thought of a true name for the main character yet. And the plot is very vague... although the same could be said of both. I think I'll have to start planning a bit more.... although, I worry that if I plan things out too much, I'll get stuck later on. Writers Block is suicide in NaNoWriMo. :P

But it will be interesting, at the very least. Wish me luck in November! Prepare to read more posts on my exciting writing schenanigans!


beboots: (Default)

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