Wrong Questions

What else is power for, except to fall
And warp the natural order to my will?
From lakes I'd make a moat; from stones a wall.
Hearts, chain with love and hate, to hold them still.

What else are words, except a way to lie?
I name the need, then think the deed is done;
I call my half-attempted work a "try",
Then ask for hands to hold the tools I shun.

What else is choice, except excuse for pain?
"Here sacrifice yourself, and win renown!"
"Turn back? You'll fade. Go on? You'll strive in vain."
"Choose which to lose: your heart, or head, or crown."

What else is life, except continued breath?

It's only everything that isn't death.

ROW80 Week 4: Checkpoint

(other ROW80 participants)

I read (and blogged about) two books this week, putting my reading back on schedule.

And while I didn’t get any short stories written, I’m otherwise happy with the five evenings’ worth of writing I got done.

Lastly, I looked at the last house on my list. I’ve now got two good candidates, which I need to choose between before I go any further towards buying one.

Good luck and happy writing!

Books with Patterns

I read two books this week: The Wise Man’s Fear (by Patrick Rothfuss), and Thraxas at the Races (by Martin Scott). By coincidence, they’re both second books of trilogies.

I actually started The Wise Man’s Fear some time ago, but I set it aside half-way through, and only recently got back to it. Because of that, I had to go back and re-read the beginning to understand what was going on.

As a result, I noticed a lot of repeated events.

Many of these have a kind of symmetry — situations from early on re-occur with roles reversed. In general, these gave me the impression that Kvothe was becoming wiser and more experienced, although a few of them cut against the trend.

Thraxas at the Races uses references of a different kind: things the narrator tells us are unlikely keep happening anyway. This didn’t make much sense until I realised they were hinting at his false assumptions.

I’m not sure which approach I prefer more. The Wise Man’s Fear definitely made a bigger impact on me, and I’ve always liked the symbolism of reversed reflections; but I imagine both of these could be effective techniques.

Good luck and happy writing!

ROW80 Week 3: Lull

(other ROW80 participants)

This has been an acceptable week for writing: four evenings in all, including one finished short story and one that ended up wanting to be a longer piece.

That’s one evening and one story shy of my goals, so there’s some room to improve yet.

My other goals are in a bit of a lull. I’m catching up on reading, but I haven’t finished any more books since last week.

House-wise, all I’ve done is arrange the next one I’m looking at. This one is my last candidate; after this I’ll need to decide between them.

Good luck and happy writing!

The Observer

The six picked out by fate, and also I
Rode forth to make the final sacrifice.
From fair Cardell, to wicked Darralye,
And into demons' grasp, as was the price.

The fop of Darralye, and I his scribe
Left town at dawn, against a clear command.
We crossed a continent to find the tribe
Who knew the truth of what had reached his hand.

The matron of the tribe described to me
What must be done: her highest holy spell
Read out upon the shore of every sea —
The only way to save the six who fell.

The deed was done, and Darralye destroyed;
Its demon-folk and I, claimed by the void.