Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Final Letters from Not-Yet-Of Troy

 Today is the last day to push your wordcount past 50,000 words to join the ranks of NaNoWriMo Winners! A few words of advice before we hit the final letters for the Not-Yet-Of Troy series!1) Double check and make sure your timezone is correct! Because of daylight savings, you might be an hour ahead of yourself if you didn’t correct your timezone after you started! This could mean that instead of having until midnight to verify, you only get until 11pm. Which leads me to my next point–2) Verify EARLY! Do everything in your power to get yourself verified before 11pm local (or earlier if you can swing it!). The Word Counter for the NaNoWriMo site may shave some wordage off your word processor’s count, and you will want time to be able to recoup those numbers before midnight! Also, there is usually a rush to validate at the last minute which slows down the site– don’t let yourself be timed out and lose the win after all your hard work!3) Pat yourself on the back for making it this far! Whether you got to 50K or not, you answered the challenge to write a novel, and that’s something to be proud of. If you didn’t quite make it to 50K this year, you can always try again  next November! And I hear that NaNoWriMo is trying to put together a year round program, too–assuming they make their donation goals. (Previous Letters: Helen to Pollux, Pollux to Helen, Letters from the Kings, Helen to Theseus, Theseus to Helen, Letters Between Theseus and Pirithous, Letters Between Helen and Menelaus.)  Now, the last letters– From Theseus to Helen, and from Helen to Pollux. […]

By |November 30th, 2009|MyBlog|5 Comments|

Take a trip down the rabbit hole into Dust Bunny Land

 Dust Bunnies by Mandy are creepy, cute, stuffed bunnies. All bunnies are hand made, and are made to order. There are a few standard designs (White Rabbit, Dot, and Living Dead Bunny) as well as speical designs like a Were-bunny made with fake fur, a Fairy Bunny with satin wings, and Roller Derby themed […]

By |November 28th, 2009|MyBlog|2 Comments|

Three Wolf Moon

 I’ve largely kept quiet about the Twilight saga, mostly because I haven’t read the books. I tried, once, but as it went along I found it difficult to enjoy for a number of reasons. Now, I’m not saying anything against Twi-hards, and I’m not saying Ms. Meyer set out to make abusive twats seem […]

By |November 27th, 2009|MyBlog|1 Comment|

Letters between Helen and Menelaus, Another Not-Yet-Of Troy Story

Previous Letters: Helen to Pollux, Pollux to Helen, Letters from the Kings, Helen to Theseus, Theseus to Helen, Letters between Theseus and Pirithous.  When I began writing Helen, I was certain that she loved Menelaus. Part of the history and the myth is that Menelaus and Agamemnon spent some time in Sparta/Lacedaemon during their youth, after a usurper took the throne of Mycenae. Tyndareus helped them to reclaim it. Later, Tyndareus marries both his daughters to these Sons of Atreus– Helen to Menelaus, and Clytemnestra to Agamemnon– which made me wonder exactly what kind of relationship Tyndareus had with these men.  Was it just that Agamemnon was so powerful a neighbor? Or could it have been something more? A relationship between Tyndareus and these orphaned boys that was like a father to his sons? And if Tyndareus cared for them, brought them into his home, helped them to reclaim their own city, might not Menelaus and Agamemnon have had relationships with Tyndareus’s children too? That would certainly have an affect on any marriages arranged, and I was certain that Helen must have been relieved, even pleased, to be married to a man who had been a friend and brother to her in her youth, rather than some stranger twice her age who only wanted her for her beauty.Unless of course there was some mitigating factor– like a foreknowledge of what was coming. If Helen knew that marrying Menelaus would result in such a terrible war, how would that affect her relationship to him? And if Tyndareus loved Menelaus as a son, would he listen to the warning Helen brought him? Helen, just a girl, and with only dreams to back up her argument, probably would not have swayed her father if he was determined to make Menelaus his son in marriage as well as friendship.  This is the warning Helen gives Theseus in the earlier letters, telling him that if he wants her as his bride, he must act immediately, and ultimately I believe it is what convinces him to abduct her, though he could not have known who Helen was meant for.But Menelaus knew. And watching Helen become friendly with Theseus, a son of Poseidon, and a great hero, could not have been easy on his ego. Menelaus was not a king, nor could he claim any divine heritage. He was just a man. And in comparison and competition with Theseus, how confident could he really be about his chances? […]

By |November 27th, 2009|MyBlog|2 Comments|

Monk Is Ending. A Media Trend Is Not.

 In case you’ve been living on Mars for a few years (in which case, I hope I can rent out your place), Monk is that TV series often presented with the tagline “Obsessive.  Compulsive.  Detective.”  It’s about a police officer with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder which was aggravated when his wife was murdered.  It’s won many awards and has a decent fan base.    One might think that a series bringing obsessive-compulsive disorder to light would be seen as a step forward as far as mental health is concerned.  In this case, the opinions are mixed.  Monk’s OCD is compounded by a large number of severe phobias.  But often, the thought process associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder is what allows him to succeed where others have failed!  That’s good!  Right?  …..right?  Maybe not.  […]

By |November 26th, 2009|MyBlog|2 Comments|

Letters Between Theseus and Pirithous, Another Not-Yet-Of Troy Story

 Previous Letters:Helen to Pollux, Pollux to Helen, Letters from the Kings, Helen to Theseus, Theseus to Helen. Theseus has his own very rich mythology. His own challenges and adventures. He is in many ways the Athenian version of Heracles, right down to his divine heritage and the trials he faces. A parallel hero.  I hadn’t realized at all until I started doing the research that Heracles and Theseus were contemporaries and were known to team up, nevermind that they were also contemporaries (relatively speaking) of Helen.  There’s so little source material for his abduction of Helen (and it varies widely). Just a line here or there that he made off with her, and then her brothers took her back. It’s almost an absentminded recollection. “Oh yeah, well, you know Theseus, always making off with some pretty girl or another, it’s hardly worth noting. And there was no lasting harm.” Of course, that’s the greatest place to start when you want to write fiction– finding something that hasn’t really been explored in great detail, and seeing where it leads. It was the perfect opening!  Neither Theseus nor Heracles made it to the Trojan War, but they almost certainly witnessed the events leading up to that point… Well, witness maybe is too strong a word. Theseus was trapped in the underworld for a while, and Heracles had to go fish him out. Both of them, however, had sons who fought against Troy. So who is this Pirithous? He’s a fellow Demi-god and king. A son of Zeus! By all appearances, he’s one of Theseus’s closest friends. Close enough that when Pirithous proposed a trip to Hades to kidnap Persephone, Theseus had no qualms about helping him out. To repay a similar kindness, perhaps? […]

By |November 25th, 2009|MyBlog|0 Comments|
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    What You See is What You Get: A Review of Free* Website Builders

What You See is What You Get: A Review of Free* Website Builders

           *May not be as advertised.  May not be free.  May promise badgers.               Hi!  How are you on this fine weekend! Monday.  Or whatever day I’ve caught you on.  You see, I’ve lost track, and I blame the world of WYSIWYG programs.      WYSIWYG has become a popular, if long, abbreviated way of advertising for click-and-drag website builders.  WYSIWYG programs (which I’ll now call WisWigs, because I can)  are meant for us poor sections of the population whose brains tend to dribble out of their ears the moment someone tries to show us the glorious ways of .html, .xtml, Java, or the rest of the long list of ways to code a website lately.               Now, I’m sure some of you are going, “But DeadCat!  HTML coding is so easy.  Let me show you!”               What, you really do want to see my brains dribble out of my ears?  I assure you, it isn’t pretty.  It smells funny, too.  […]

By |November 24th, 2009|MyBlog|2 Comments|

A Letter from Theseus to Helen, Another Not-Yet-Of Troy Story

 To change things up, I’m starting with the letter today! (previous letters: Helen to Pollux, Pollux to Helen, Letters From the Kings, Helen to Theseus) Lovely Helen,With all my being I struggle between granting you this gift, granting myself this gift, and doing what must be done for the good of my people. What you ask may well provoke a war, and though I confess to wanting you for my own, I would not wish to betray the trust of my people this way.Helen, you are but a child yet. If your father does not heed your warnings, perhaps it is with good reason. Perhaps he has information which you are not privy to? Your brothers, too, are good men. If they believed you to be in the path of harm, nothing would stop them from protecting you with all their strength. I do not know what causes you such anxiety for your kinsmen, but I am keen to listen. While I can not promise to give you what you ask, I would meet with you and hear your concerns. If your reason is sound, I will not dismiss it, Helen. That much I can and will  promise you, whether or not you become my wife.If it is to be done, it is best done in secret. You may trust I will reveal your request to no one, though if your worries are founded on any truth I can present to Tyndareus upon your behalf, I would be happy to do so. Only a fool would refuse to listen to his equal in rank and dignity. Your Servant,Theseus, King of Athens […]

By |November 23rd, 2009|MyBlog|8 Comments|

More Bizarro Book Titles for Free Download

 Well, friends and neighbors, because last week’s giveaway of Shatnerquake was such ahuge success. To celebrate the awesome response, Eraserhead Press is giving away five more bizarro books! Now available for free download are: Ass Goblins of Auschwitz by Cameron PierceSuper Fetus by Adam PepperSausagey Santa by Carlton Mellick IIIThe Bizarro Starter Kit (orange)The Bizarro […]

By |November 22nd, 2009|MyBlog|0 Comments|

A Letter from Helen to Theseus, Another Not-Yet-Of Troy Story

 Missed one? In order: Helen to Pollux, Pollux to Helen, Letters from the Kings. In working with the myths surrounding the Trojan War, there are some definite challenges. For starters, no two accounts of Helen’s life and story are the same. This also applies to Theseus, Paris, Menelaus, Agamemnon, and every other major player within the story. The reason for this is that these myths come from an oral tradition, and over time it would have been natural for them to shift and alter slightly between regions. People from Athens would talk Theseus up, because he was one of their founding fathers. People from Sparta might want to portray Helen as stolen, rather than an adulteress, to save her honor. They also might make Paris out as a coward, to emphasize his dishonor. The sources we have available to us today can’t even agree on the reason for the start of the Trojan War. There’s the story of the goddesses, Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, competing for the title of “Fairest” with Paris as the judge, and at first glance, it seems like the simplest answer. Paris chose Aphrodite, and she gave him Helen as a prize, offending the other two goddesses and causing them to turn against Troy– of course there was the little matter of Helen already being married to Menelaus, and he would have to go get her, but Aphrodite had no problem assisting him with that or making it sound like a good idea.  If you continue reading, there are other forces at work behind the goddesses and their vanity. According to Hesiod and the Cypria Fragments, the entire war was planned by Zeus as a way to destroy the race of demi-gods (children of the gods with mortals) and lighten the earth of men. Now, historically, not long after the rough dates we have for the Trojan War, the Mycenaean empire collapsed. Isn’t it convenient then, that the Greeks had a myth to explain the widespread destruction that cast them back into a dark age?  Personally, I find the contradicting accounts and stories to be exciting and interesting. For my writing purposes, it allows me to sift through the different pieces and put it all together in a unique way. It gives me a lot of freedom to work. Creative license, if you will. Which brings us to today’s letter from Helen to Theseus. […]

By |November 20th, 2009|MyBlog|4 Comments|