Podcast or vlog? Take your pick as I talk about some of my favorite books this year
We humans know lots of things. Do we act on them?
If we did, I wouldn’t be writing this article.
Ages ago—or maybe it was only a year ago—I listened to a podcast laying out how evil Enneagram is. I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
I love music. I listen to it as I write. I find songs for characters. I listen to it on the way to work. I find a song I love and listen to it twenty times in the next three days.
When I sat down in February and scheduled three months’ worth of blog posts, I thought by the time I wrote this post that I’d be getting ready to leave.
I’m a walking contradiction.
A paradox in a pair of shoes.
in a plodding mortal frame.
bound with bones.
chained with fear.
weaving dreams of air.
My mind wanders among the clouds
but my feet are fastened
to the earth
Mapping foggy, crooked streets.
Boots measure weary step
by weary step,
Far behind my racing thoughts.
My chest aches
for what I can’t…
Ash and dust in the wind
Tears from the sky,
water and starlight,
Paradox in paradox.
Trickling past with
each grain of mortal sand.
For when one day,
the way shines clear
the light undimmed,
will be the end.
Say you’re a Legend Seeker. Say again you’ve strayed too near a portal and have been sucked into one of the far realms you’ve only viewed though ink and parchment. Firstly, to be honest, you’ve only a 1 in 10 chance of surviving the first five minutes because, despite the supposed randomness of the portals’ times and positions, many of them have developed a nasty habit of landing first-time leapers into the middle of a battle or into a peaceful looking situation which is about to explode into an assassination or ambush.
Still, if you survive long enough to exchange introductions, you might have a chance at living out the natural extent of your life. To improve your odds, here are a collection of handy tips I’ve gathered from my own first realm leaper, Kirin the Quillblade.
Read carefully. They could very well save your life or at least lessen embarrassing incidences in your hosting realm.
- Learning your past isn’t what you thought it was or may not be a good thing; if your past has been hidden, it’s normally for a good reason. Something along the lines of ‘you’ll die if you don’t keep this information secret’ or ‘you really don’t want to know’.
- Of course, you really do what to know once you’ve discovered the mystery. Sometimes the mystery is to protect you. Sometimes to protect those around you. Don’t get too excited.
- Especially because there are a very small number of princes and prophesied deliverers, and a much great list of waifs and pitied orphans. Make sure you’re ready for the truth before demanding it of your elders.
- And, since you’re sure to demand information no matter what warnings are given you, do it subtlety. Because, on the off chance that your past is important, it’s probably been hidden due to surrounding enemies. It will do you no good if they discover your identity and kill you thanks to your inquires before you learn the danger you are in.
- Finally, whatever you learn or don’t learn about your past, don’t let it define you. It’s up to you to make your own life; your actions are not dependent on your past…well, unless there is a prophecy, but even then you’d better make your actions count. Rarely do prophecies mean what one thinks they mean…but that’s a topic for another day.
- Beware coming between a dragon and his horde. And never, ever, take even the smallest fragment from it. Whether the beast collects gold, gems, stones, or even broken weapons, they know each piece and whatever you take will be missed!
- Though only few dragons still talk, several understand human speech and the majority of dragons are very smart. They also tend to be sensitive about names so call them by their full titles and don’t, I repeat, do not, call them monsters or beasts if you value your limbs. As for the category of lizard; say that word and it will probably be the last thing you ever utter.
- Never assume anything. Color, sight, size, and intelligence shift drastically from dragon to dragon. Some are mounts. Some pull carts. In other realms, they are their own lords. Treat them with distant respect until you know where they stand in the social powers of the realm and land you are in.
- If you’re offered a special position on your first dragon hunt, refuse immediately. Some cultures enjoy breaking in the unwary by placing them as bait for the dragon before moving into ambush.
- If you see a dragon in the wild, keep your weapons concealed and remain still. Most dragons will ignore you. If they approach, hold out your hands to show you are peaceful. If they don’t kill you instantly, then you’re safe unless you offend them. If they are after your blood…well, I bid you a fond goodbye. You’ll need plenty of training, a magical weapon, or a good deal of luck and the element of surprise to take down a dragon on your own.
- Not all magic is equal: determine what power has gone into giving your blade its qualities, how long it will last, and what terms and conditions apply to its use.
- Confirm the quality of your blade. A sword which can pierce dragon scales is all very well, but if it breaks when in combat with a mere human enemy, you may want to buy elsewhere.
- Weigh the usefulness of the blade’s power with the dangers it may present. A sword which glows in an enemy’s presence could be useful. It could also be a signpost, revealing you when you’d prefer to stay hidden.
- Beware old men carrying marvelous blades and offering cryptic futures. If they try to sell you the blade, they’re after your gold. If they try to give you the blade, it means it’s probably stolen and you’ll end up with an arrow in the chest or a sword in the gut before the day is out.
- Finally, don’t ever, ever lay all your plans on a magical blade. They are notoriously unreliable and have a great tendency to be stolen, mislaid, or stuck in stones.
Any fantasy tips of your own? And any categories you’d like me to question Kirin about next time if we do this again?
One thing I didn’t expect when I came to the DR was that less than a month after arriving, I’d be locked down on campus due to quarantine and the coronavirus. Life doesn’t tend to do what I expect.
I am a ridiculous person.
Me at my first waterfall: let’s get as close as I can before I even explore anything else. Mossy, slippery rocks? No problem. Possibility of snakes? Eh…I’ll be fine. Probably.
Me being told to practice communicating in Spanish by using Google translate to ask the kitchen ladies for another pillowcase: waits two and a half days before I venture the three-minute walk to actually do it.
As a child, my father often told me ‘people are important too.’
To be fair, he still reminds me from time to time.
I know people are important, don’t get me wrong. But people can’t be categorized on a list and checked off when done while I move on to the next thing. Hence, sometimes, I tend to…umm *coughs* forget about them.