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  1. I'm retiring this mirror blog, after the launch of my new website. I'm pretty sure very few people actually followed this mirror. My new blog is right on my new site's front page, and it has a new RSS feed. You can also get more frequent updates from me on Twitter and Facebook.


  2. Shard of Thought
    Latest Entry

    Happy Mother's Day! Here's Arabella and Wendy from Masquerade. It was supposed to be Fadran's birthday gift - that's when I started on it - but, ah... I got a little distracted, obviously. :P I'm SUPER happy with how it turned out. 

    IMG_1928.jpg.20815b957cfe2d140a2fc222d293a592.jpg

  3. ccstat
    Latest Entry

    Welcome to my liveblog of Rhythm of War! Index post here. Beware of spoilers.

    Chapter 40 (In For All)
    Epigraph: So (in Sazed’s opinion) it sounds like we have an Ati situation here, where Rayse is merely a personality overlay on the destructive will of Odium. “It’s been thousands of years. Rayse isn’t going to stick to his personal goals that long. He’s been subsumed.”

    I am really worried about how many of the soldiers are going to die now that Navani gave them orders and there’s no functional mechanism to relay a surrender/retreat/stand down order. 

    The little crisis of “what title do I give someone who got promoted despite being darkeyed” is fun. Such a tiny thing to derail you during your pep talk about fighting an invading force.

    “Halls above” --I’m pretty sure we’ve seen that formulation before, but I’m noting it just in case.

    Navani is getting reasonable advice from her military captains, which is encouraging. I’m glad they’re not all yes men and that they’re not all bloodthirstily stubborn. But Navani is decisive, choosing the all-in plan.

    “By the blood of our fathers” -- again, this is similar to one we saw in Words of Radiance, but I’m not sure it’s identical. Added to the swears list.

    You know, I just realized that Raboniel is the researcher. Sure she does more torture and soul extration stuff, but that’s uncomfortably close to Navani’s fabrial expertise. I am eager for (but kind of dreading) the face off between the two of them. It’s a really fitting matchup and will draw out some interesting themes. Raboniel has centuries of experience, a proven will and penchant for cruelty. She also has options of personal violence that are not open to Navani, which gives her the choice to sidestep the engineering and esotricism if it looks like she’s losing that battle.

    Teofil is earning his promotion here. Also, “Anyone worth his stormlight” feels awkward. Have we heard this phrase before?

    Oh, that’s bad news. I was expecting there to be more non-Radiant shardbearers to shore up the defenses. Turns out there was only one and he already got taken out by the invaders. “May the Almighty accept his soul to the eternal battlefield” indeed. Not that it’s a particularly comforting wish for a non-Alethi.

    I’m glad Nightblood isn’t an option. That would have gone poorly for everybody. Good thinking Teofil, but for those of us with metaknowledge, that’s a really, really bad plan.

    “A small twinkle of light, like a starspren” she says. That hits quite a bit differently after seeing the majestic creature in shadesmar.

    Quote

    “Those ancient Radiants gave up their oaths because they worried they had too much power.”

    Wow, that is a very different take than any we have heard so far. It’s a clever spot for Brandon to slip it in, too, since nearly all readers will be focused on the conflict at hand. I’m no exception, and won’t spend much time theory crafting this or trying to extrapolate / reinterpret what we know of the Recreance yet. Still, this strikes me as a profoundly significant line that will give us important insight into Roshar’s history.

    Quote

    Honor’s Truest Surge, the Surge of Binding and Oaths.

    Not gonna lie, that’s a mouthful. Still, it’s an interesting data point. The Fused don’t acknowledge the tenth surge exists, and they can’t suppress it through whatever they did with voidlight. I’m not sure how the surge stuff all works in the realmatic sense with Honor and Cultivation both contributing (and with the magic of Roshar predating the Shattering) but it’s looking more and more that the Bondsmiths command a surge uniquely associated with Honor (and perhaps uniquely antithetical to Odium). 

    The significance of that surge still working is a bit lost on me, since even if it does govern the process of forming a nahel bond that won’t be useful at this point (unless the Sibling is immune somehow, and Navani gets to become a Bondsmith). I don’t expect that to be the way this plays out, but I’m not sure how that surge will be part of the solution.
     

  4. AonEne
    Latest Entry

    I don't know why I made this entry. I wonder what its lifespan will be before blogs are killed. Chaos, Paleo, if you see this, I apologize for my randomness :D 

  5. Small updates to the timeline published tonight: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zq5bJoKE83ggDCjH43i1hZi0CIpB2iAx7v37zQPVFK0/edit#gid=856252766

    Changelog:

    • Added crude spoiler filter for References sheet. (So if you set the book filter on the Timeline sheet it will hide the events here as well. But note that it's not discriminatory about where sources come from, so people picky about spoilers should not rely on this.)
       
    • Updated Instructions sheet.
       
    • Fixed bug with calculation on multi-interval events. These are generally events which don't have a clear date... but I know they happen before one thing and after another. Rather than setting some manual value to place it between the two, I reference both events and have my database put it in the middle of the two. That way, if one of them gets altered later the dependent event will shift accordingly. My placement of the date previously took some of the error ranges into account, but I ran into an odd case where lopsided error and a small difference between the two referenced events was causing the "middle" event to be placed before the first. Whoops. It now just averages the two reference dates and lets the error fill in as needed on either side.
       
    • Fixed discrepancy with Dalinar and Taravangian's visits to the Valley. This is a tricky one, and the most interesting change I've made. The previous version had some weird issues regarding these events. It involves RoW spoilers:
      Spoiler

      In Taravangian's first interlude in RoW he mentions that the "day of brilliance" was "seven years gone". I took this to mean it happened "over 7 years ago". Unfortunately this not only placed the event before my previously assumed Taravangian-Nightwatcher visit, but it also put the Diagram's creation before Dalinar visited the Valley. So... wrong because he needed to see Cultivation first, and wrong because we know Dalinar was the first human to get a visit from Cultivation in centuries. (according to her, during his visit)

      I first decided that my previous assumption for Taravangian was wrong. It was based on an Oathbringer ch 34 quote about Taravangian having a strange illness 5 years back. I loosely tied this to his visit to the Valley. I've now decided it probably refers to the time after the creation of the Diagram. (He was probably in seclusion for a bit as they figured out what to do with the Diagram and how to deal with Taravangian's condition moving forward.) It also fits (barely) with the next assumption I made...

      ...Which was that "seven years gone" can reasonably mean as little as 6.5 years. So if you take the "five years ago" reference as 5.5 years and the "seven years ago" reference as 6.5 years, there's just BARELY some overlap. I'm not sure what the official timeline has to say about all of this, but I'm going to assume the Diagram was created in that little window. That's my best guess.

      I also bumped the date of Dalinar's visit 2.5 months earlier, keeping it within the range of error I had allowed. (The event was "5.5 years ago" from the end of Oathbringer, so I've shifted it to be 5.75 years ago, with error adjusted to allow no more than that and as little as 5.25 years ago.) There were two reasons for this. The first is that I had is visit just a few weeks prior to the creation of the Diagram, and that just plain doesn't look right. The logic of the numbers makes sense, and the error ranges allowed more reasonable dates... but it just looks wrong on the timeline. Dalinar had to have visited earlier (and the Diagram was maybe created just a bit later). Adding to this, however, was the Eshonai flashback marking the arrival of the Alethi on the Shattered Plains. They arrive at the end of 1168 month 4 according to that flashback. And that's a good bit of time. Four whole months to gather their armies and march to the Shattered Plains (which are NOT very far from Alethkar) seems very reasonable. Dalinar was SUPPOSED to be arriving before the main armies (before his fake hold-up). There's no way he didn't make it to the Valley until month 7 of that year. The rest of the Alethi wouldn't just be wondering why Dalinar got held up. They'd be wondering if he was still alive. :rolleyes: Shifting his visit back to month 5 still seems a little odd, but it's better at least.

    • Fixed Cord's birthday. I had placed her a bit older according to a Dawnshard quote, but someone noted that Oathbringer sneakily puts her as about 16.
       
    • Added Gift's birthday. Someone else noted that Gift and Cord are twins, so knowing one birthday also gives the other's.
       
    • Removed an event placing the Dawnshard finale in early 1175. Dawnshard happens late in 1174, so I think this is a very clear error. Probably a consequence of Dawnshard being written after RoW. I've added to the typo thread in case Dragonsteel missed it: https://www.17thshard.com/forum/topic/93207-rhythm-of-war-typo-thread/?do=findComment&comment=1198400
       
    • Removed a duplicate event from RoW. Interlude I-2 was showing up twice, on separate dates. I worked through the references I had and picked the better ones to leave just one event.
       
    • Aaaaaand... probably some other small stuff that I forgot to make a record of. ;)
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    “Feel better” is something we’ve gotten used to saying to sick people. The meaning is clear: you are sick, and I hope you feel better.

    Let’s consider, for a moment, the implications of that phrase.

    ”Feel better” implies that one isn’t already feeling his best—and yet, aren’t we all feeling less than our best at all times? What would it even feel like to feel “best”? Would we even know? I don’t imagine such a thing is possible.

    Knowing that nobody is feeling his or her best should really give us freedom to be more flexible with that phrase. If nobody is feeling “best”, then it stands to reason that “feel better” is a universally applicable phrase.

    So I hope you feel better, friends—however you’re feeling now. 

  6. Social Media Total: 100% (2211/2211)
    Theoryland Review: 84% (997/1184)
    Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397)

    Quote

    It'll be clear by September,

    So, turns out it was not clear by September. And it's not really clear by October, either. Such is life. But do have enough free time to get back on top of WoBs; Arcanum is completely up to date on the latest stuff, Theoryland review is well on its way to being done (I expect it will be completely done by the time Rhythm of War comes out), and I'm planning to use some of my eventual downtime to churn through the Events and Signings review by the end of the calendar year, if not sooner.

    In terms of the Theoryland review, I've got about fifteen WoBs so far I'm on the fence about; kinda vague or very slightly useful stuff that were initially excluded, and which I may or may not put into Miscellaneous events. They're mostly sentence-length excerpts from interviews that are mostly canned answers, and I need to do a little bit of work to see if we've got their topics covered sufficiently well. So you may see a little bump of really old stuff heading into Arcanum, soon.

    I'm intrigued to see how the release party events will go, in terms of work required. Previous signing tours would have quite a bit of audio, like 30-40 hours worth in total, but a very small fraction of that would be actual WoBs. But this format will encourage questions more so than a live signing; it's not like half the livestream "questions" will be "wow it's such an honor to meet you" like a real signing line would be. So the actual transcription work may take a lot longer.

    I'm excited to get this review completely done and be able to personally vouch for Arcanum to be comprehensive as possible. If you told me in 2017 that I'd still be working on this in 2020, I'd be like "wow what a slacker I turned out to be," which is kind of true. I'm looking forward to coming up with some new projects for myself once it's done, for sure. But for the time being, gotta finish up the old stuff, and the Rhythm of War release is a pretty good soft target for that. Don't think I'll make it, but that's okay. I'll have it done for sure by Stormlight Five.

  7. Here's a fun thing! On a whim, I decided to pull up my old Alleyverse scripts. They're.... baaaaaaad.

    Well, I mean, they're not terrible. Some of them are downright better than they have any right to be. Most of them are just plain half-baked or full of exposition or slightly nonsensical. Given it was my first set of scripts that I ever attempted, though, I guess they're good?

    They tend to get better over time, too, with the first three or so being really rough. Then 6 is actually pretty decent, though 7 lapses a bit into melodrama at a point. Don't ever get too cute, kids. 

    I didn't finish the series for a few reasons. One was some real-life obligations that ended up interrupting me; other projects became relatively more important, and I really didn't just have the time or mental energy. The series was also somewhat ballooning; my original plan of 10 episodes had already been extended to 12, and I was definitely thinking about needing to split it down further into 13. Given how I write, it probably would've just gotten longer and longer as I found my voice and the complexity of the whole thing had to be covered more and more.

    The show was also coming head-on to some pretty thorny questions that were... rather beyond the scope of a sequence of 20-page scripts. (The question of theology is trivial and is therefore left as an exercise to the reader. No, probably not.) I wasn't comfortable talking about those, at least not without a lot more discussion and being a much better writer.

    Finally, I knew the whole thing would need to get rewritten from the ground-up if I wanted it to be any good. So, bleh. The adaptation also significantly altered a few characters in a way that I later was less okay with; Drako in particular was significantly changed which I'm really no longer happy about. Mace was too, but Archer gave me the okay for that. (They're the best.) And Stenson was weird but I guess technically in the scope of creative liberty?

    Still! There's some really good moments in here. I'm basically still a fan of all of Episode 6 (a slightly off-base reference notwithstanding... young me, you are an idiot). Plus some other moments... where Stenson gets taken to the center of the city... and some I never got round to writing, where Caer [spoilers]. So, not entirely unsalvageable if someone is pretty brave.

    I'm going to try, at least, to find my plans for the future episodes. Or attempt to remember them. I remember some of it actually being pretty nice in my head.


    The whole thing is, basically, a very very loose adaptation of the first era. Emphasis on very. And loose. And adaptation.

    In addition, I took out all the explicitly fanfictiony stuff that is just 'here is thing from another work!' I always felt that the cool bits of the Alleyverse weren't the stolen magic systems or whatever, but the entirely original stuff; the 'lore', if you will. Some of it translated really well (some of the magic systems, for instance), and some of it didn't. The Warhammer issue kind of plagues Drako's character in a way that I still can't quite deal with in my head.

    I'm linking the whole sequence, warts and all. I didn't do anything to correct any mistakes (of which there are several, some I'm pretty sure were added by other people). Spelling or vocab or otherwise. Plus there's an alternate version of the first episode that I think I wrote to send to someone.

    https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/142kzRuyKWMkoZuX9JEhTWMXPM3EaUiR5?usp=sharing All seven episodes.

    I had plans for a second series, too, based on the second era, with a very weird structure to accommodate the... scattered source material. But that was always more tentative.


    In the case you don't have time to read everything, here's a particularly interesting bit I found at the bottom of the very first doc. Modern comments in []. 

    This is the bit where I talk about what I did, what’s been changed, etc.

    My priorities for the adaptation go as follows (from most to least important):

    • Take out anything derivative
    • Tell a good story
    • Be faithful to the original

    Meta’s Three Laws of FFRP Adaptation.

    As a result, things have been changed.

    The most obvious: all the Sanderson stuff is taken out. Aons aren’t called aons, Elsecalling is a little different, all sorts of things. The Ghostbloods are called the Gilded Rose instead. Things like that. (Anything in bold still needs to be changed.)

    • Rashan and Caer are actually two different characters. (Hopefully that was obvious.) [This was for Plot reasons, as I recall. The original character does feel like two people shoved into one.]
    • Mace and Caer are friends. (Mace and Rashan will have a relationship closer to what happened during SDW.) [Don't quite remember why I worked it out like this but I'm pretty sure it was just so everything engineered together properly. Same as for previous.]
    • Drako and Storm are very different to their original counterparts. [You don't say.]
    • The Ghostblood split will be legitimate. [Because, uh, the plot literally makes no sense otherwise. I'm serious. What actually happened was mental.]

    Beyond that, all the major events will still take place. (Some actually happened in the pilot, or at least [sic] referred to briefly.)

    I’m thinking about moving Rhaizen’s assassination scene ahead of the meeting. It would start in media res, and all the other scenes would remain where they are. 

    Thoughts?

    Is the worldbuilding set up well? Is it accessible enough? Obviously there is still a big learning curve.

    I still don’t think the characters are distinct enough. Not a problem for Traceria, or Kalmar - with 16 (!) speaking roles it’s impossible to have everyone distinct - but it is something that needs to be tooled. [Did I really think you couldn't write 16 distinct characters? Like, at all? Hmmm.]

    The music reference is just a reference. Best-case scenario, someone would compose original music for the series. [Past me, you are an idiot.]

    Anyway. This was fun-slash-painful-slash-interesting to look at. Hopefully you enjoy reading!

    More content plausibly coming whenever, and implausibly coming soon.

  8. Here's less of a review of FMAB, but more of a character analysis on 3 of the show's most interesting protagonists. I would say, if you haven't watched this show, and want to go in entirely blind, there are some very mild general spoilers (Nothing specific). You have been forewarned.

    Spoiler

     

    Wyn Talks Anime:

    Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Unorthodox Character Motivations

     

     

    When we discuss our favorite franchises or well beloved stories, we often point to things like good worldbuilding, streamlined plot, or powerful themes. But one thing that we consistently point to and continue to discuss even years after a story concludes are the characters. It would come as no surprise to anyone somewhat versed in fan discourse that two of the greatest contributors to these discussions are a character’s motivations and their character arcs. Within genre fiction, we often have archetypes for these sorts of things such as the ‘chosen one’ archetype common in early and middle era fantasy fiction. Now within manga, and to an extent anime, there is a genre called the Shonen manga, (literally meaning “Boy’s comic”) which often features a young male protagonist on a journey to ‘be the best/most powerful.’ Popular examples of typical modern shonen protagonists include Naruto, from the manga/anime of the same name; Deku, from My Hero Academia; and Goku, from Dragonball Z. However, within this world of shonen protagonists, a few stand out for their unorthodox motivations, Notably Edward Elric, Ling Yao, and Roy Mustang from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.

    Edward Elric conforms to the Shonen Protagonist standards in many ways. He’s a young adolescent male with a unique affinity for his world’s magic system (alchemy), and a very single-minded goal. It is this goal and motivation that makes him so unique though- Edward Elric is attempting to atone. Edward Elric comes from somewhat standard anime origins, he has an absentee father (though at least, unlike some, he actually factors into the story), and has a somewhat idyllic childhood until the death of his mother. Ed, like any young child (age 11 at this point) is utterly distraught by this turn of events, and it leads him and his brother Alphonse on a dark path, where they break alchemy’s greatest rule. They attempt to resurrect their dead mother. This of course goes horribly wrong, and leads to Ed losing an arm and a leg, and his brother’s soul trapped inside an empty suit of armor. The events of this story begin several years after this point, with Ed and Al on a journey to discover the secrets of the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary alchemic concoction that might allow them to return to their original forms. 

    Atonement is not a motivation one sees very often for a main protagonist, particularly in anime. But part of what makes Ed so fascinating, is more than just his motivation, but the arc his character undergoes. How do you balance your desire to atone, with your own moral sensibilities? Which one outweighs the other? How often do you see a protagonist, particularly in a shonen, have their goals and what they want to attain actually challenged, and for good reason? How often is a protagonist shown that they’re going about this the wrong way? Edward Elric gets his beliefs challenged at every turn, whether it be his distrust of religion, or his faith in science, even his faith in alchemy. Of course this ends up entangling the protagonists in a plot that they must fight their way through, as is standard in shonen. The growth Ed goes through both due to his own internal struggle, and his quest to unravel the mystery of the Homunculi are huge contributors to what makes his arc so excellent.

    However, Edward Elric is not the only character with complex motivations in FMAB. He stands alongside perhaps one of my favorite characters in all anime- Roy Mustang. Roy Mustang is one of Fullmetal Alchemist’s primary side characters, and functions early in the show as a mentor for the Elrics as they navigate the intricacies of the “State Alchemists.” However he fairly quickly becomes a character in his own right, with one of the coolest alchemic abilities in the whole show (The ability to change air to fire). His motivations are a unique twist upon the shonen trope of ‘rising to the top’, by portraying Mustang as a jaded idealist, who has the desire to politically advance in order to once again, atone for past actions of both himself, and the whole military of Amestris. However, while a noble goal, Mustang is regularly shown to be willing to do more questionable things to achieve his aims than Edward. A point of reference for this would be the questionable morality/legality of his actions near the show’s conclusion. And it is a powerful heart wrenching moment once the protagonists and the viewers realize what achieving this goal will cost Mustang personally. Never before have I felt such sudden shifts in emotion regarding a character in a fictional work, as the audience can go from rooting for Mustang, to simply watching in horror in the space of a single episode. (Those of you who have seen the show will have some points of reference to what I’m referring to.) Yet despite all of this, Mustang remains a likeable character, with a noble goal.

    Ling Yao, on the other hand, takes morally grey to an insane level. Ling is a foreigner, from the superpower country of Xing, which is noted to lie just east of Amestris. He is one of the Emperor’s many children, who have been dispatched with a single goal- to find a source of immortality for the Emperor- With a promise of heirship for whomever should succeed. Ling’s character is defined by this ambition, and this desire. From the start, Ling is portrayed as a character who will go to whichever side will help him achieve his goals, and he certainly does not disappoint in that regard. He fills the role of a character much like Hondo Ohnaka in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Ling Yao is never really on anyone’s side, except his own. In this way he defies many of the expectations of a ‘rival/sidekick’ character. To compare him to perhaps the most applicable modern example of this archetype, Katsuki Bakugou from My Hero Academia. Bakugou spends much of the early show as a rival/antagonist for the main protagonist, Deku, yet he never feels as morally unpredictable as Ling Yao. Ling flits between sides in a way that the viewer understands, yet is continually surprising. And yet, despite the greyness of his character, he never stops feeling like a protagonist. 

    Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood is full of characters with complex, unorthodox motivations compared to the standard for shonen manga, and for animated shows as a whole, whether they’re a 14 year old alchemist, a determined mechanic, an ambitious soldier, or two young heirs competing for the throne of a foreign land. There is a reason why Hiromu Arakawa’s manga and it’s 2nd adaptation are so well loved, and much of that can be attributed to characters who go above and beyond what the genre dictates, like Edward Elric, Ling Yao, and Roy Mustang

     

  9. Hey, so sometimes you post a theory and I comment on it, seemingly trying to dismantle it or saying I like it but then pointing out its faults.

    I understand how it might look and why you might find it annoying but please remember that just because I'm commenting on it and not simply saying that I agree with it doesn't have to mean that I'm opposing the theory. Just because I'm against it doesn't mean I'm trying to dismantle it. And absolutely none of them mean I'm trying to attack you personally.

    I will likely be putting your theory through the ringer but that doesn't mean I'm opposing it, otherwise I wouldn't also be providing corroborating evidences & support or put in my own observations to try to fill in the gaps, which you'll notice I often do. Most often, I'm just musing on the theories posted, commenting both on its strengths & weaknesses. If I'm commenting that's most likely because I'm enjoying thinking on your theory!

    We're all just trying to have some fun talking about the things we like here. Don't take it so seriously!

    I also often point out typos, which I understand can be annoying but they just kinda bug me! But okay, okay I'll stop. But I would prefer it if you spell things correctly in the Title Posts. I'm not talking about normal English words, we're not all native English speakers, mistakes happen, it's fine. I'm talking about the fantasy terms, I know this seems really weird, but the thing is that if you use a misspelling in the title, that just makes it harder to find your topic in the future unless I remember exactly how you spelled it. That being said, I won't bug you about it.

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    Ok so, this is being written as I'm listening to Revolver, which I must say is somewhat of a shift from their earlier work. Everything before it was somewhat similar, but not in a bad way. For some reason, certain songs reminded me of surf guitar instrumentals which I will occasionally listen to when I'm not in the mood for my usual playlist or my soundtrack music playlist. But I digress. Now, I've not listened to the Beatles much before this point (I know, I'm a heretic) but I definitely prefer Revolver over Rubber Soul. Both are good, but I like most songs on Revolver more so than on Rubber soul. 

    More to come (maybe)

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    Zelly
    Latest Entry

    Update #1: 

    What's good! Well, I'm good at getting enough sleep and drinking water.   My lunches and dinners were prepped, calorie counted, filling, and delicious, so yay. :D

    What's...so-so! So some exercise has been accomplished.  One strength workout and one yoga workout (yoga is crazy ya'll, I had sore muscles I didn't know existed). And went running!

    What's not so good! There is junk food everywhere. :o  Helped out at church Sunday night, they provided pizza for dinner. Only had one slice and no dessert, so I was okay with it.  Went to work on Monday, they had a potluck lunch.  I shouldn't have even gone to the room where it was, I had no reason to go there.  I told myself I was only going to look (my own lies are so ridiculous, why do I believe them???).   Didn't do too bad, had a few cheese cubes and veggies.  Then today.  Today there were boxes of free donuts at work. :(  I broke bad, ate not one, but two.  *mad at self :angry:*

  10. The Aquaman trailer that dropped a couple of days ago was great. I really, really, really look forward to this movie. The casting looks great, and I like a lot of the visuals (some of them feels unpolished though, so I hope James Wan uses the time he has got left before release to its fullest). 

    I wish we could see more of the villains though. I think both Orm and Black Manta has got potential and would love to see a bit more of them. I like what we have gotten on both Arthur and Mera though, so I have faith in that the movie will deliver on the other characters as well. 

    So, I think DC might have another good movie here, which hopefully makes them happy. Their universe won’t be in less of a mess though: what they need is good structure, and Aquaman, no matter how good, or how many sharks he throws, can help them there. 

    Linn to the trailer, if anyone missed it, or just wants to see it again:

     

  11. LUNA
    Latest Entry

    Prompt: A Genie offers you one wish, and you modestly wish to have a very productive 2017. The genie misunderstands, and for the rest of your life, every 20:17 you become impossibly productive for just 60 seconds.

     

     

    “Well, it was a nice day.” You kiss your sweetheart gently on the forehead and sigh as the last remaining seconds of 20:16 tick away. “See you at 8:18,” you say. 

    Then it happens. Every ounce of fatigue or hunger leaves your body. The face of your beloved is perfectly still, their expression exactly the same. The ticking of the clock on the wall has stopped. Once again, it’s 20:17. 

    You stretch your arms and walk to the table with the homework for the three doctorates you’re working on. The work is mentally stimulating and enjoyable, but it’s finished far too quickly. You check your pocket watch and see that not even one hundredth of a second has passed. 

    You knew it was too soon to be able to see any movement on the watch, but you can never quite help yourself from looking early on every 20:17. Time to move on. 

    You clean your home, do your budget, then go outside and fix a noise that your car was making earlier that afternoon. (Oh how you already miss afternoons.) Then you go back inside, boot up your computer (which magically speeds up to keep pace with you as long as you’re in contact with it) and check for any new orders. 

    You’ve set up a website for the small business you started called “Magic Elf Services.” People in your area can pay a modest fee on your site to have different tasks and odd jobs done by “The Magic Elf” at 8:17pm every day. It was a little slow to get started, but word has spread and these days you have a steady stream of clients. 

    The money that comes in from the business is nice, but you’re mostly grateful that it gives you a clear list of things to do. You print off your updated list of clients, step outside, and start making your way through the neighborhood with your to-do list. 

    There’s the apartments down your street where several neighbors have hired you to tidy up, do the dishes, and mop the floors. You do the windows too, just to see if they notice. There’s the large house across town that paid the “Magic Elf” to clean out the gutters. After the first dozen jobs are done, you manage to stop looking at your pocket watch. 

    As near as you’ve been able to determine in the past, 20:17 seems to last for approximately one normal year. But it’s not exact. For one thing, it’s hard to keep track of “time” when everything but you has crawled to an almost total standstill. For another thing, time seems to move differently depending on how “productive” your behavior is. One time you tried to spend all of 20:17 sitting at home in your pajamas, but that was getting you nowhere, so you eventually gave up and got busy. (Though you defiantly stayed in your pajamas the whole time.) 

    During 20:17 your body doesn’t get tired, hungry, sick, or injured. You’re essentially tireless and immortal for the duration of the “minute.” So sleeping or eating away your boredom has never really worked for you. 

    One of the houses on your list forgot to follow the instructions and leave a key for you to get in. At first you figure you’ll just send them an email telling them to pay more attention and that you’ll do the job tomorrow. Then you decide to go home, get your locksmith tools, and come back. 

    After finishing up all the jobs on your list, you go into several other homes and small businesses in the area, performing tasks you hope they’ll find helpful, and leaving a hand-painted business card at each one. (The business cards don’t contain your real name just in case somebody thinks “The Magic Elf” should be subject to breaking and entering laws.) 

    Speaking of laws, you head down to the local police station to pick up your case file. You’ve been in contact with a detective who’s been investigating corruption within their department, and your ability to investigate unseen and get in almost anywhere between the ticks of the clock has proven invaluable. You see that they’ve also added five missing person cases to your file this evening, which certainly raises your interest in the job. 

    You make your way through town gathering evidence, and start making your way to the outskirts of town. Since you happen to be out that way (and you’ve already solved three of the five missing person cases) you decide to swing by the stone castle you’re building and do some more work there. 

    The castle walls stand about 20 feet right now, but you know they’ll be much higher when you’re done. You’re far from any roads and pretty safely tucked away, so for now it’s your little secret. You’ve been excavating and moving all the rock yourself, which has been much easier than you first expected since your body doesn’t get tired or sore. You’ve also got a nice system of tunnels going underneath the castle, and you dig and build more of that network for a while. 

    All that time spent underground has left you feeling rather lonely, so you walk back home to see the face of your sweetheart. Their facial expression has moved ever so slightly since you last saw them, which is a comfort to you. Looking at them gets your imagination going and makes you dream up a story you’d like to tell, so you sit on your couch, plug in your laptop, and write a book. 

    After you finish editing the last chapter for the third time, you finally allow yourself to look at your pocket watch again. Three seconds have officially passed so far. 

    It’s gonna be a long 20:17. 

  12. LUNA
    Latest Entry

    I can really appreciate rainy days.
    Sometimes the sun is too harsh
    Or the snow too bitter.
    Give me days where the clouds,
              like my eyes,
    Are overcast and the fog,
              like my shoulders,
    Hang low.
    Something about bleak colors
    Cold earth, speckled windshields,
    That I embody.
    Melancholy
    Sympathizing with 
    Worms drowning in puddles
    Lacking the energy to save them.
    Empty bottles kicked beneath feet
    Only to be forgotten and left
    Sinking in the mud
    Indifferent to life and death.
    On days like these
    I imagine Mother Nature as
    A girl in a hoodie
    Walking through puddles
    Headphones in
    Music too loud
    And probably a coffee in hand
    Not to warm or wake her
    But because caffeine is a drug
    Required to keep herself moving.
    On days like these
    Stillness is equal to death
    Physical or mental
    the lines blurred
    Not unlike the horizon in the fog.
    On days like these
    I can’t tell Mother Nature and myself
    Apart.

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    Something for me to throw stuff in I guess. Eep. I didn't know I could do this. This might be a bad idea.

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    yurisses
    Latest Entry

    This blog will have things that have already been explored by others but which I need to lay out for myself. Or potentially new ideas which I need to refine (and check if others have not yet theorised on) before posting on the forums.

    TLR uses Lerasium for Feruchemy:

    1. No answer to whether TLR and Hoid use Lerasium for Feruchemy

    2. TLR did not eat a Lerasium bead

    3. However, he did take a Lerasium bead for himself

    Conclusion: The Lord Ruler either uses Lerasium for Feruchemy or some other unclear purpose.

    ...what happened to that Lerasium bead?! Was it lost forever in the corpse of The Lord Ruler?

    Hoid's use of Lerasium:

    1. Hoid’s bead was—He originally got it because he wanted to be an Allomancer.

    2. BS suggests Lerasium can grant the power of many shards (though he could also simply say that Hoid has the power of Preservation)

    3. It rewrites your spiritual DNA, and there are ways to do really cool things with lerasium that I don't see how anyone would know. Were most Mistborn to just burn it, it would rewrite their genetic code to increase their power as an Allomancer.

    4. Lerasium has Feruchemical and Hemalurgical powers.

    5. "Let me first assure you that the element is quite safe. I have found a good home for it. I protect its safety like I protect my own skin, you might say." This suggests that Hoid keeps the Lerasium inside his body, either for Feruchemical purposes or as a spike. However, Hoid is very bad at hurting people, suggesting Feruchemy. Furthermore, this WoB says outright that Hoid does not have Hemalurgy.

    Conclusion: Hoid seems to use the Lerasium for Feruchemy, but it's likely something more complicated is going on.

    Important WoB explaining Compounding and the role of metals in Allomancy (And another one) (Another)

    1. Allomancy is drawing Investiture into your (damaged) soul.

    2. The metals are a filter. For example, burning Tin means drawing Investiture from Preservation or Ruin (in the case of Atium), and Tin turns the Investiture into sensory enhancement.

    3. Compounding is drawing Investiture into your soul and turning it into a nonstandard (non-Allomantic) type of power, by changing a metal's "signature" via feruchemically charging it.

    4. Feruchemy is a zero-sum internal magic, Allomancy is a net-gain external magic. Compounding is using the net-gain Allomancy, but turning Investiture into Feruchemical powers rather than standard Allomantic powers.

    5. The final step of Compounding is (usually) storing the net-gain, superboosted attribute into another metalmind.

    6. Standard Feruchemy stores an attribute given by the user into a metalmind. With this final step, Compounding stores an attribute provided by Preservation/Ruin into a metalmind.

    7. The Lord Ruler turned Atium into an Atiummind, storing a small amount of youth in it, then used the Atiummind, drawing Investiture from Ruin's body and turning it into youth rather than foresight. A small bead used right can return someone to childhood. He stored the youth that he didn't have to provide into Atiumminds and then had to constantly draw from them in order not to die. When Vin deprived him of his atiumminds, he aged dramatically (1000 years old) and died.

    Burning atium

    When Allomancers burn Atium, they are not drawing power from Preservation (or are they...?) but from Ruin's body, i.e. the Atium itself. Does it suggest that Allomantic strength with regard to Atium is independent from how much Preservation is in your sDNA / how strong your connection to Preservation is / how much Lerasium you ate in your life? Does it have more to do with the volume of Atium you're burning? Does a stronger connection to Ruin increase how much power you can get from an Atium bead?

    In other words: if you Hemalurgically steal someone's ability to burn Atium, is the ability really weakened? This has to do with whether Atium Allomancy is really end-positive and of Preservation in some way (in which case the ability would be weakened), or whether it's strictly of Ruin (and end-negative somehow), and more power is considered a "loss" (in which case the ability would be... strengthened?).

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    blog-0329341001406819586.png*I don't mean this post to be a request, just an expression of my thoughts as a fan who's fired up about any Brandon Sanderson material.*

    Maybe 3 times a week I go to BrandonSanderson.com with nothing else in mind but checking on the progress bars in his site header. I think it's one of the coolest things an author can do (especially considering the genre's writing habits) to post on the progress of each book. Recognizing that their existence is a gift in itself - I think those progress bars should be updated more frequently and emphasized for the sake of marketing Brandon's talents.

    For many authors, progress bars would be.... minimally helpful. Not many authors have as much in the works as Mr. Sanderson, and on top of the workload, Brandon has been writing series after series that just sink their hooks into my mind in a way that not many others accomplish. At the end of each book, I am left with a raw hunger for the next, and those progress bars are like the scent of a juicy steak grilling just for me.

    What I really mean to be saying (instead of just making myself physically hungry) is that I think those progress bars have huge potential. How many times have I read someone online say, for example "A new Dresden Files book is out?! How did I not know that?!" By going to that site, I know exactly what's coming down the pipe and have a good idea of when to expect it. That keeps me excited throughout the dry period when I stop following other series until I see the cover in a B&N storefront window. Progress bars keep fans hyped! Knowledgeable fans have got to be good for book sales, right?

    Brandon deserves that hype. He writes like a ravenous animal, or some kind of machine that just churns out fantasy brilliance. Whether he is a fearsome force of nature or a fantasy Awesome-o, his writing speed is well recognized at every update of those progress bars. He's got a good reputation because of that speed (which is really time spent) and could probably benefit from making that better known.

    It might also help this fansite to post a reflection of those progress bars in a similar fashion. Members who frequent 17thShard can tell you that one of the most recurring topics/posts is along the lines of "when is the next ____ coming out?" or "Is Brandon writing ____ or ____ next?" I imagine some Google searches lead new fans here before they ever get to Brandonsanderson.com, so it could actually be doing Brandon a favor to have them represented here as well.

    I recognize potential consequences though. The quality of writing should be considered first and foremost, and having to hit an unofficial "progress bar deadline" to meet fan expectations could cause some stress. Speaking from experience though, I know fans on this site at least are very patient and understanding (though hungry, as I noted).

    TL;DR - The progress bars on Brandon's site, if updated more frequently and presented in the right places, could be an excellent marketing tool to keep fans excited and up to date while showcasing his particular, genre-defying talents.

  13. Critiquing Submissions

    Please don't send your critiques by email--replying to all means that everybody gets a ton of email each week, while replying individually makes it impossible to have a group discussion about the submitter's work. Instead, come to the Reading Excuses forums here and post your critiques in the appropriate threads.

    How Often Do I Need to Critique?

    We don't ask that you read every submission every week, or even that you read one submission every week. As a minimum, we request that you do one critique of another's work for every chapter you submit. Of course, the more critiques you can provide the better--but we realize that everyone is busy and that a good critique takes time.

    If you want to critique a current submission but haven't read that person's previous submissions on the same project--for example, if you want to critique Chapter 3 of a novel and you haven't read Chapters 1 and 2--we don't require you to read those first two chapters first. That's why we ask people to provide the brief summary mentioned in the submission guidelines. A summary is no replacement for reading the actual chapters, though, so do keep that in mind when critiquing later chapters in a work.

    If you want to read Chapters 1 and 2 but didn't join the group until the author submitted Chapter 3, just email that author and ask for the earlier chapters. Usually, people are pretty good about providing that (though of course no one should feel obligated to do so!), especially if it means they're getting a critique out of it. wink.gif

    Critiquing Guidelines
    :

    At some point in the future, I would like to get a more thorough guide to critiquing on here, one that will offer some tips both on critiquing others' work and dealing with critiques in your own work. I'm not sure when I'll be able to make that happen, though, so in the meantime I'll quote from the more general guidelines on the TWG archives:

    Be fair (not nice). Don't be nasty, but do say what you think. And don't apologize every time you offer a criticism. Say what's working exceptionally well as well as what isn't working at all. If something isn't working, tell us why. Sometimes it's best to let the author figure out what to do. Sometimes specific suggestions help, but don't try to write someone's story for them. Don't spend too much time critiquing grammar, punctuation, etcetera (unless the author asks for it). Focus on the big things.

    You get what you give. If you skimp on critiquing our stuff, we'll skimp on yours. We realize that not everyone will be able to critique everybody's submission every time. That's fine. We do think it's reasonable for everyone to critique at least one manuscript for every one they submit. Beyond that, do your level best to give as many critiques as you can without killing yourself over it.

    Also, there's a great podcast you could listen to on the subject of writing groups. We heartily recommend it.

    Sharing Work From RE
    :

    Don't.

    All work submitted to RE, of course, remains the property of the original author and is protected by copyright law. You may not, under any circumstances excepting the explicit permission of the authors, re-post or otherwise share material that is submitted to this group. Anyone who shares another author's work without that author's explicit permission will be removed from the group's mailing list.

    Source: Welcome to Reading Excuses

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    Last night I finally finished the book and I was blown away. That was an excellent read and I am left extremely satisfied. I'm going to stop the review right there because I have lots of comments and questions that will sum up my thoughts, so I don't want to repeat myself. This blog is going to be where I keep track of my WoR questions as well as just general comments on the book, the series, and the 17th Shard website itself.

    SPOILERS! Yes, they will be in this blog. Don't read past here if you haven't finished the book entirely.

    17th Shard Stuff

    As long as we are on the topic, I feel like throwing out a reminder to members of the 17th Shard that including that huge spoiler tag on all of your posts is not necessary. In the Stormlight Archive board you are supposed to put spoilers under a spoiler tag. In the Words of Radiance board, you never have to type the word "Spoilers!" Ever. That subforum even includes a description that if you are reading the content you are expected to have read or there is no pity for you. Every other topic in there right now has a big spoiler tag for no reason and I find it supremely frustrating, hahaha. But I recognize it is with good intentions, attempting to help out your peers. Just wanted to clarify.

    Anyway, Words of Radiance. It was incredible. I am increasingly impressed with Brandon Sanderson's writing ability. I've always been a big fan of planning and interweaving all plot points - a characteristic that is fundamental to his writing style - but in this book I was most impressed with the pacing of the story than anything else. It reminded me a lot of the ending of Memory of Light, but I think this one turned out better. It was a lot more synchronized.

    I have another suggestion for members of the site, and mostly the site admins. I think we need to reevaluate and put into words what is "appropriate" for members to say on this site. I am mostly talking about swear words. I have seen members chastised for using swear words in their topics and posts, and I think it is a little bit overzealous. Obviously the site admins make the rules and there is no arguing with them, but if you consider that this site is based on the writings of an author who uses some of those words in his books... The people reading these posts have seen the words before. I think that the site should use those writings as precedent. For example, many of the stronger words are substituted for local cuss words in a clear attempt to keep things decent. However "damnation" is used plainly in the book a few times, so I don't think it should be looked down upon if members on the site use the word. This isn't an urgent problem with the site at all, but I do think it should be considered.

    Remaining Conflicts

    The ending of the book was great, but it did leave me feeling like we had solved nearly every single problem.

    -The Parshendii seem to be pretty dead.

    -Sadeas is dead.

    -Our main characters have gotten over their fears and outted themselves as KR and the organization has been refounded.

    -We have someone in a stable relationship (haha kinda) with the Ghostbloods.

    -The Assassin in White is no more. He has been reborn and we are not yet sure what will come of it. He'll not have his Surgebinding abilities anymore, but he is running around with a Herald and Nightblood, so who knows.

    -Urithiru has been found.

    So like... all of those were really 2 book problems. Still on the docket:

    -The Everstorm is going to be transforming the parshmen into Voidbringers. That is a biggie, obviously, but it is a fresh problem. I big one intended to occur after we had some KR, and it wasn't really around before the very end of the book.

    -Nalan and new Szeth. We have seen Nalan killing Surgebinders, but Szeth seems to be under the impression that the only way he is not going to kill himself is to right his wrongs or at least be a better man. Let's hope that doesn't involve him picking up Nalan's whacked out sense of justice (yeah... it will).

    -The Diagram and that whole plot.

    The Diagram

    OK, I'm going to get into quick notes on the Diagram.

    -Mr. T makes it when he is brilliant and it seems to be working fairly well but we already know it isn't near perfect because of the 7 factions comment he makes and because he couldn't have really known about Kaladin being there for Dalinar and he really wanted Dalinar dead. Unless he suspected that somehow, but that could be an excuse for literally any event that occurs, so I'm not going to use it.

    -Current Members of that entire unit, the Sons of Honor: Gavilar, Restares, Amaram, Taravangian, Graves and his team including Moash. I might be leaving some out, but dang that is a lot of big hitters so far. Some of them may not even know they are working with the others, but I believe at least the big names do based off of all of Graves comments.

    - I am crazy intrigued by the idea of the Diagram and Taravangian's abilities. It is a such a fun plot device.

    Individual Characters

    Brandon fixed something in this book that pleases me greatly: I like many of the characters much more. Some of the more irritating traits have been honed, bringing authenticity and originality to characters where I viewed it previously as an obnoxious character flaw.

    Shallan - I liked much more in this book. She had several of those elements in the Way of Kings that came across as obnoxious. Her attempts at humor and wit were more frequent in this book, but didn't feel nearly as forced. Massive credit went her way (and Brandon's way) in this book when she was able to gain some backbone and embrace her strength as a woman/adult/human being/whatever but not become bull-headed and arrogant. I went through most of the Wheel of Time books really disliking the female characters because once they all embrace the same strength, they immediately become overly stubborn and unhelpful in nearly every situation. Something that should be a triumph for the characters ends up setting them back an aggravating amount of the time. The scene when Shallan works through Kaladin's problems in the chasm - agreeing not to get upset and to maintain a level of understanding - that was a big moment for her in my eyes. She is also able to admit that she can be wrong - proven while looking for the Oathgate and having parts of her map wrong - which is another trait I am grateful for. It is refreshing. Of course it helps that she is a little more active in this book, what with all the sneaking and disguising, but that really didn't play as much of a role as her drastic improvement in attitude.

    Adolin- I also had no interest in Adolin as a character before this book. The snotty/spoiled trait was far too accentuated in the first book in my opinion (though I guess seeing him grow does feel good). Surprisingly, he kept his head and made good decisions through most of this book. Another example of a character being proven wrong, accepting their faults and actually changing for the better. As much as I am happy for his changes and general increase in likeability as the book progresses, the Sadeas murder has me a little confused. I cheered a little bit, but it was really distracting that he could do that and still be up for a position as a KR. I only know this because Brandon said some Orders would be cool with it and applaud the move (he mentioned Dustbringers I know). Meanwhile Kaladin's spren literally dies just considering letting a murder happen. I understand I guess that it directly goes against protecting for Kaladin, but how does any KR get away with actual murder after saying the first Ideal? Journey before destination would kind of screw with that move, wouldn't it? Maybe different interpretations, I suppose, but that kind of makes the first Ideal seem weak to me.

    Kaladin - Still my favorite. Love that he got out of his moody phase. The entire plot felt a lot like Rand's ordeal in WoT, and while it came sooner, I felt very similar when Kaladin got over it and got happy again. Syl is still the best, too. I was walking around my house and felt really anxious and worried for some reason, and after thinking on it for a while, I realized it was because the night before I had stopped reading during Part 4 where Syl is still missing and considered dead. It gave me stress throughout the next day and I didn't even know it, hahaha. They are a good team and I'm glad to see that Brandon is going to make them work for it, because Kaladin is very clearly his favorite, and I don't want him to be too overpowered. The scene where he gets Syl back and says the next Ideal might be the most memorable in the entire book for me. It was great. Also the Shardspear/changing Shardblade form had me fist pump in the air like a madman. What a great way to give the fans what they want (because he made us want it so bad, I understand) and do it quickly. It feels like all of the KR just gained some Green Lantern abilities in my mind, and I'm all for it. Can't wait to see what his return to Hearthstone is like.

    Dalinar - He was in the running for my favorite character but he fell just barely behind Kaladin, though he did a great job in this book too. I like that he keeps his cool and is always fair. I know some people wouldn't agree there, but he makes all the decisions I would and doesn't bully people when they make a stand for what they believe in. Kaladin and Shallan stand up to him multiple times - hell, even standard bridgemen do - and he respects their needs without bulldozing them using his station as an excuse to have things go his way. Makes him very likeable. Bonus that he is given credit for being very clever a couple of times - a feat I don't think he accomplished in the first book. Love the scene where he is just like "Hey guys, what do I have to do if I want to go bond God as my spren?" and then just goes up and says 2 Ideals like he's reading cheat codes from a magazine."Cool, yeah, it went well, I'm a KR now. *Stormlight sucking*"

    Renarin - Still could not care less about this kid. I saw a thread arguing why his decisions make sense and why this and that. "Oh he is secretive by nature! Oh if you look at it in this frame of mind..!" I'm aware that he has a mental problem somewhere, but it doesn't change the fact that he has been overall unhelpful and generally annoying in every scene yet, except for when he was helpful with proving Dalinar's sanity (one idea voiced) and when he pep talks Adolin (twice). Every other time I have found him distracting at best. If we don't see a lot deeper into his mind soon, I hope we see a lot less of him.

    Jasnah - She's great. My hope is that the whole "she's always right" deal doesn't get out of hand. I like a character who can keep things moving, and she seems to be a few steps ahead of the game, but I don't want everyone to rely on her too much. I would like to call that at some point she is going to figure out pieces of the Diagram before they happen and totally blindside Mr.T at some point, who is going to have a new respect for her when she works around the god he thinks he was on that day.

    Theories

    I was right on a few, I think. I called that the Shin had the Honorblades hidden away, I called (though I found many did) that Szeth had an Honorblade, and I don't have 100% proof, but I'm almost certain now that the other chart is a Voidbinding chart and the symbols are the spren that activate specific forms. Pretty happy with those. Haven't looked back yet at what else, but those I can recall.

    - I'll lay one down, as written above, that Jasnah will out-maneuver the Diagram at some point.

    Random

    Here is something I noticed and wasn't particularly happy with: multiple characters gain abilities in this book and then just completely stop utilizing them. Kaladin learns how to stick people to walls and then he doesn't use it once in combat or anything like that. Shallan learns how to Soulcast, acknowledges that Jasnah is gone and she is going to try to learn herself, and then never tries. What is with that? I was really hoping that those would come into play somewhere. Shallan Soulcasts the boat, but that is like chapter 7. Then never again. I would have appreciated some use (even over-use) of the ability before another takes over entirely.

    I would like to give a shout-out to the members of 17th Shard that really see through the smaller details in these stories. I've read Warbreaker and I would never have guessed that Vasher is Zahel. I noted that he was probably a worldhopper (ever since Wheel of Time I have looked for characters that speak in unusual ways), but I would never have put all of it together on my own. I am a little dense in those ways. Maybe it also has something to do with my hunger for the main points of the story, but still. That is only one example of the great catches I see on here every day, and you are doing the rest of us a favor by sharing.

    I'm going to keep writing as I reread and stuff, but I figured I'd give it a good start at least. Feel free to comment if you bother reading this. It is meant for my organization mostly, but if anybody feels like my opinion is worth their time, lemme know!

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    Claincy
    Latest Entry

    Preamble

    Firstly, I was somewhat surprised, but very happy, to know that some people read the last entry I posted :) Thankyou.

    So, for anyone who isn't aware, Shelldry is a game in the world of the mistborn series. It is mentioned a couple of times at most, but from when it is mentioned we can gather that it is some form of gambling card game. Partly to play with my MAG groups and partly just for the fun of it I decided to create a version of shelldry. It isn't complete yet so everything here is subject to change. The rules have gone through several iterations and the card backs have been designed so some significant progress has been made on it. I currently hope to complete it within the next fortnight.

    I wanted the game to be heavily set in the mistborn world, as a result it is based around the 10 allomantic metals that were known in the time of the final empire and their relative value and connections to eachother.

    I know that both skaa and nobles play Shelldry and many skaa wouldn't know about allomancy. However I decided for this that it was perfectly possible that the nobility created the game and that the skaa adopted it even though most don't understand the significance of the metals and sets. :)

    How to Play

    The game is played with a set of 34 cards, 4 copies of each of the physical and mental metals, 1 gold and 1 atium. The game is, in basics, vaguely similar to Texas Hold'em poker. As such the best sets are of 4 and the different values of hands are based on metal pairs.

    The hands, in increasing value:

    -no set

    -2 of a kind (eg, 2 iron)

    -metal/alloy pair (eg. iron and steel)

    -2 * 2 of a kind. (eg 2 iron and 2 brass)

    -metal/alloy pair and a 2 of a kind (eg. iron, steel, and 2 brass)

    -3 of a kind

    -2 of the same metal/alloy pair (eg, 2 iron, 2 steel)

    -4 of a kind

    -2 pairs, one from mental, one from physical (eg, iron, steel, zinc, brass)

    -full set, physical or mental (aka, iron, steel, tin, pewter OR zinc, brass, copper, bronze)

    -gold and atium pair. (Special case)

    Atium and gold act differently to the others. A gold/atium pair wins the pot (explained later) and ends the game, but neither gold nor atium is involved in any other set. Instead, atium and gold act as tiebreakers. If you and another opponent both have the same value set, for example if you both have a metal/alloy pair, and you have atium, you win the tie. On the flipside if you have gold, you lose the tie. This reflects atium and gold's allomantic values ;) (Or at least how valuable they are considered by most mistborn, to all you gold lovers out there.)

    In Shelldry there are two distinct pools of clips/boxings. There is the current betting pool which contains all the bets from the current round and there is the pot. The pot gradually increases in size throughout the game and nothing is taken out of it till the end.

    How each round works:

    -Each player is dealt 2 cards, then, starting with the player to the left of the dealer, each player has to choose to stick with their cards, or to pay the minimum bet (lets say 1 clip for now) into the pot to discard them face-down and draw 2 replacement cards.

    -Each player is dealt a third card.

    -Each player (in turn) chooses an amount to bet of at least the minimum bet, they do not have to match previous bets. These bets stay in front of the player and are collectively called the "betting pool".

    -A final card is flipped face up in the centre of the table. Each player can make sets from the cards in their hand and this card.

    -Each player (in turn) chooses one of 3 options:

    1. Fold, and take back half their bet rounded down. The remainder stays in the betting pool.

    2. Stand. (No changes to their bet.)

    3. Double Down. Provided the player has enough clips/boxings remaining they can double their bet, increasing the betting pool.

    -All players who didn't fold reveal their hands and the player with the best set wins the round. They take back their bet and an equal amount from the betting pool. If there is not enough in the betting pool to match their bet they take however much there is. They do not take from the pot to make the difference.

    -Any remaining clips/boxings in the betting pool are added to the pot.

    -The cards are shuffled, the player to the left of the dealer becomes the new dealer and a new round begins.

    In the case of a tie, if one of the players has atium, they win the tie. If one has gold, they lose it. If that doesn't resolve a tie a player who formed their set completely from their hand wins the tie.

    If that still doesn't determine a victor the round is a tie and the players who are tied take back their bets and then split the remainder of the betting pool evenly between them, with the caveat that each player, like normal, cannot receive more than they bet. Any clips/boxings that they would otherwise receive from the split are added to the pot as is any extra that cannot be evenly split between the tied players.

    -The game ends when a player reveals a gold/atium pair during scoring (including the case where they have one of them in hand and the other is the centre card), that player wins the round and takes the pot.

    Rounds in Shelldry should go a little faster than normal poker rounds while still allowing for some bluffing and psychological play.

    Gold and atium make for an interesting risk-taking dynamic. If you get gold on the initial draw do you hold on to it in the hopes that atium will come up, sacrificing your chance to get a set of 4, reducing your chance of a decent set AND causing you to lose ties? Very risky. Atium is a safer, though still risky, choice as while it makes you win ties, it still prevents you from getting a set of 4 and reduces your chance of gaining a good set. A player who starts with one in their hand has to decide if the potential reward is worth the risk ;)

    An option for resolving things if the game has to end before an atium/gold pair surfaces is to deal a final round with no betting. The winner of that round takes the pot, split the pot if there is a tie.

    The most recent modifications to these rules are yet to be tested so changes may well still occur.

    The Cards

    The easiest way to play is simply to take a standard deck of cards, take out all of the cards for the numbers 1 through 8, 1 jack card and 1 king card. Then:

    1/ace = iron

    2 = steel

    3 = tin

    4 = pewter

    5 = zinc

    6 = brass

    7 = copper

    8 = bronze

    Jack = gold

    King = atium

    This is what I have been using during testing, however while this is functional it would be much nicer to have proper cards, so I have been working on designing them.

    I figured it would be cool to have a table of the 10 then known allomantic metals on the back of the cards, both for visual use and as an easy reference chart. Partly due to this the cards I have designed thus far will be round, however as I know that round cards are much harder to print properly and cut out I also plan to put the table on to the back of more regular sized cards for those who prefer them. Circular cards are cooler for this, but normal cards are far more practical ;)

    I then ran into a problem in that there isn't any table for just the 10 metals known during the final empire. This is where a friend of mine, nard, (he has an account on steel ministry but not here) helped me out. He took the table from "The Hero of ages"

    blogentry-0-0-78011100-1392639852_thumb.

    He then used photoshop to cut off the bottom part, then took the top part and copied it down to make a full circle. He then covered over all the unwanted symbols and most of the inner lines to create something looking like this:

    blogentry-0-0-89765700-1392640046_thumb.

    At the time he then just roughly sketched in the remaining symbols. Coming back to working on the card-back now I decided that the sketched in symbols really wouldn't do the trick. Instead I traced out the gold and atium symbols from the full allomantic chart, shrunk them to the size I wanted and used them. Atium initially gave me a bit of trouble as it was too dark a grey and kept blending in with the background. I ended up adjusting the contrast and brightness to make it a much whiter colour that stands out better on the card (and is actually closer to how I always imagined atium anyway ;) ).

    That left the internal metal symbols. I could take them from the initial chart but they would be white and would look strange and asymmetrical on this new chart. I considered doing as I had with gold and atium and taking them from the full allomantic chart. However, I rather liked how the existing symbols fit with the background and how they contrasted with the new atium and gold symbols. In the end I took the symbols from the Hero of ages chart and simply inverted the colours on them then adjusted the brightness/contrast as necessary and stuck them in. I am quite pleased with the final result.

    blogentry-0-0-14740900-1392640594_thumb.

    Closing Thoughts

    Creating shelldry has been a lot of fun. I will hopefully finalize the rules and create the cards in the next two weeks before I go back to Uni. When I do I'll share it in the Creator's corner and upload the files for the cards so anyone who wishes to can print them off. I worry that the gameplay may be slightly suboptimal due to my desire to base it so much on the allomantic metals but I think I managed a decent balance in the end. I don't actually gamble real money with this and I wouldn't recommend anyone doing so , it is just for fun :) The most I do is sometimes I play it with my MAG players where they are using their ingame (regenerating) resources to try to temporarily get more or to gain secrets from the "informant" they are gambling with :)

    As an aside.

    I will be starting another campaign of the MAG over on steelministry.com hopefully in the next 2 weeks. It will be a multiple crew "cops and robbers" type campaign where there is a skaa crew (or perhaps 2 separate crews depending on the number of players I get) who are trying to pull a certain job, and a ministry crew trying to hunt them down. I have enough players to run it already, but I am looking for a couple more, so if you are interested just toss me a pm or create an account on steelministry and chime in to say you are interested.

    Thankyou for reading, and if you have any thoughts, comments, criticisms or ideas please feel free to comment and let me know :)

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    https://soundcloud.com/chris-king-128/brandon-sanderson-interview

    https://soundcloud.com/chris-king-128/brandon-sanderson-interview-2

    This is an interview I did with Brandon on the 24th of September. Thank you to Weiry for transcribing the audio into a text format.

    So the first one we have here is: We’ve seen some hints of the over-arching cosmere story arc, what was the inspiration behind that originally?

    I had an idea for a book when I was fifteen, just getting into fantasy novels--just getting into meaning, reading everything I could get my hands on and diving in face first--and I developed that idea over the next few years. I started writing and realized I was just no good as a writer yet. Which was okay, it wasn’t a big deal to me. I realized it was beyond my ability to approach, it was a vast, enormous story. Years later when I was writing Elantris I thought “Well let’s just pretend I wrote that book and it was awesome and it’s the prelude to what’s going on here.” That expanded into something much larger and much greater. I’ve mentioned before, part of my inspiration for this was the fact that one of my favorite writers, Asimov, later decided to connect two of his main story universes, the Robot books and the Foundation books. It was really cool when he did it and I felt what would happen if I started doing something like this from the get go. I’ve known several authors who do it at the end of their careers--well I guess Stephen King’s not even at the end of his career, in the middle of his career--saying let me tie a bunch of these things together. What if I seeded all of this from the get go and use this story, this awesome story, that I wasn’t able to write when I was younger as a foundation for it

    Next one we have is on a similar note: When you reach the end of the cosmere will there be something else? Or do you feel this will take most of your writing career to achieve?

    Yah, I think this kind of the Story of my writing career. Now, who knows. As I plotted it--right around mid-mistborn series time--I came out with thirty-six books, of which I’ve done what five or six? more than that...

    Three, four, five, six, seven...

    Seven. I think there is plenty of time so ask me in thirty years.

    This one’s kind of similar: When or if you reach the end of that, were you planning on expanding more or were you going to get done with what you had planned and be done with it.

    That’s really a ask me in thirty years sort of thing. I want to see if I can’t get this whole thing done. I want to do it in-- There’s this sort of tension to it, in that I view this as-- the arc is my life’s work. But at the same time I don’t want to be belaboring it. There are cool things going on that I want to get to and I want to tell people about. And so there’s this push and pull inside of me, wanting to do this. We will see.

    Are there any eventual plans for release of things like Way of Kings Prime or the old version of Dragonsteel after the new version is released?

    Once there are no more spoilers in those books I’ll do what I have done with things like White Sand and whatnot, that if people write me-- Mistborn Prime is a good example. There’s no real spoilers in Mistborn Prime if you’ve read the trilogy. It’s not a very good book but you can read it and kind of understand the history of where the story came from. So I’ll do the same thing with those books.

    How and when are you planning on releasing Sixth of the Dusk, the cosmere short story you wrote for Writing Excuses?

    Once the entire Writing Excuses team have finished their stories-- If you’re not familiar we did this thing were each brainstormed a story on air and then we went and wrote them and now we are doing revisions on them. Well, Mary went and I wrote ours, Dan and Howard didn’t write theirs, but they’re catching up. Once they are all done, we will release them together in an anthology. We will do, the workshopping episodes that we did, we workshopped each others stories, and you’ll be able to on Writing Excuses read the rough draft, because that will be included in the anthology, listen to the episode where we workshop it and then read the final draft, which will be in the anthology and get the whole-- see what we changed and things like that.

    Here we move to more clarification type questions or different questions along those lines. Rather than more over-arching questions. We’ve got here: When are we going to see a mechanical way to use the Metallic Arts?

    Once the technology is appropriately caught up and once I feel like it’s right. It’s going to be a little while.

    We’ve actually had a conversation on the forums about using lurchers and coinshots in a way to power a train of sorts. (Brandon starts making interested? sounds) It has inspired some interesting conversations.

    Will ‘Southern Scadrians have their own series? Or will they just be something mentioned in the next mistborn trilogies? Does anything major take place…

    We will have to see. Originally they did not have a series but it will depend on how much time I spend deviating with interesting side-stories before I jump up into the second trilogy. Because by the second trilogy, this has all been discovered and its a different world. I have loosely plotted a smaller series visiting the southern continent.

    This, I’m unsure of what exactly is being talked about because I have not been reading the forum: What happens when a Pulser is burning Cadmium and in a speed bubble? She'd be burning her Cadmium 20x faster than usual--so far as her bubble and those in it were concerned--and her slow bubble would extend far outside the area made "normal" by the effects of the speed bubble, so where does all that extra energy go?

    Um… Send me that one in writing and let me run it through Peter who is my physicist.

    We’ll do that.

    And maybe run the math through Eric. He’s probably asking that one.

    [[Official answer is that they would cancel each other out. The fact that one bubble is larger than the other may cause a ring around them which would be affected by the larger of the two.]]

    That was actually-- I think it was Windrunner on the forum. I might be wrong [Transcriber note: Yes, you are. How could you forget Kurkistan?] I think that’s who it was though.

    He’s supposed to ask me the hard Way of Kings questions, not the hard Mistborn questions.

    Yah, we’ve got a couple of those a little farther down here but most of these are mostly clarification.

    Does mechanical Feruchemy draw from the user or the machine?

    Let’s see if I can phrase this correctly. Feruchemy-- I don’t want you to guess everything I’m going to do, then the books won’t be interesting for you in the future-- When I’m approaching using them mechanically I’m trying to keep to the core principles of the magic as much as possible.

    Is burning atium related to Scadrian worldhopping?

    (laughter) That’s a good question, the answer is no.

    A lot of people wanted clarification on weight in regards to Pushing and Pulling, whether it has a direct correlation to the power or if its just something people say because generally someone heavier is going to push--

    Right, right. It’s more-- the whole-- If you really dig down into it, and I’ve talked about this before, the whole mass, weight, push, and pull thing gets a little tricky when-- particularly when you through Feruchemy into the mix-- Are we changing mass? Or are we changing what the earth pulling upon you is… Generally understand that most people who are talking about this are not talking in scientific terms, they are speaking in colloquialisms.

    This is the last one here we have from Mistborn: Did the Lord Ruler use lerasium to gain his super allomantic abilities or did he grant that to himself with the Well’s power? If he used the bead, does he count as one of the nine original allomancers that Sazed mentions?

    Excellent question. He did not use the bead… In all of this he granted himself basically, he rebuilt himself to be extremely powerful and he did not use one of the beads.

    Now we are going to move more to some questions on Sel: Would it be easy for a Forger who'd once almost lost her arm (freak guillotine accident) to make a stamp to lose it temporarily, or would it require some more involved Forging than "my arm actually got cut off that one time"?

    No, and-- The more plausible something is the easier the Forging is definitely.

    Is there a way to reverse the Shaod?

    Um... (long silence) There is a way to do basically anything.

    So it’s kind of a RAFO? Will we ever find--

    No that’s not what they asked, they asked if there is a way. Yes there is but how reasonable a way that is is very--

    Especially with the Lake where they can release themselves in.

    Is Resealing a subset of Forging, or a separate system like Bloodsealing is?

    Um… (another long silence) I’m trying to remember what I decided-- I was building all of this on a fourteen hour plane flight keep in mind-- I believe it is… Let’s go ahead and PAFO that one. I need to go to my notes. I can give you a tentative “I believe it is the same system and not a cousin system” but at the end of the day I kind of had to go to my notes and work things out. There was lots of wiggle room built into the Elantris magic system but I have to know what I decided.

    There are only a few more: Did seons exist when the Aonic peoples discovered Elantris?

    When the Aonic peoples discovered Elantris… did seons exist… Okay let me go back to my timeline (long silence) It kind of means you have to define what you mean by Aonic. The problem is if you dig back too far in history its kind of like asking “what’s a german?” You know what I mean? [Transcriber’s note: Curses! I should have clarified that…]

    Because the Aons are based upon Elantris itself and so they don’t become Aonic until they are writing the Aons.

    And Aonic is also-- you are talking about the people and so its like are the Normans Brits? Or are they Vikings? Or are they Frenchman?

    Why don’t we phrase it as the people of Sel when they discovered Elantris.

    No, no, that’s getting, okay-- (long silence) Let’s go ahead and RAFO that one, just because the history of Elantris is very interesting to the cosmere. When people are starting to get an inkling of that.

    Odium was there once upon a time.

    Yah… And the question of who built Elantris and how they built Elantris. What’s going on with the Elantrians back then and things like this. So let’s just RAFO that.

    What year did the Reod occur in the Elantrian calender?

    Let’s go ahead and-- oh boy, Elantrian calendar… Is this Windy? [Transcriber’s note: Nope, Mwahaha]

    I don’t remember who asked this one, I don’t have their names written down here.

    I don’t have my wiki on me, I’m not going--[[He was RAFO'ing this so we moved on]]

    Okay, and is the word Hoed based off an Aon and if so which one?

    Yes, it is. It would be Hoe… no Oed, O-E-D

    And here is the last one for Sel: Does Shu-Keseg predate the splintering of Devotion and Dominion?

    No, I don’t believe it does.

    We only have one here from Nalthis, this one’s a little bit tricky. Can you store Breath in metal without the Eighth Heightening? Just put it there without awakening, just to hide the Breath.

    Can you hide Breath… Yes you can hide Breath in things.

    Metal in particular, without the Eighth Heightening. (talking over each other to explain question)

    I would say yes you could.

    What are some characteristics of and how many other wordhoppers are there that we have seen excluding Hoid, Demoux, and Galladon.

    You gave me really good wiggle room on that one. Obviously the other person with Galladon and Demoux.

    Right, the one from a future book.

    His characteristics are… What is he like? Some people have read his book so they know what he’s like…

    Which book is he from?

    He’s from White Sand.

    Okay, that’s one I have but have not gotten to.

    It’s only mediocre so don’t worry about it. Let’s see what other worldhoppers I want to give you clues about… (long silence) There’s a Terriswoman running around, if you keep your eyes open.

    I have to reread it, everything.

    Who else do I want to talk about… Words of Radiance has a couple good ones, that will be pretty obvious.

    When do you plan on releasing the Way of Kings annotations?

    I’ve only written about a quarter of them. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will take me a few years just because its taken me three and a half years to get the second book out. So I feel a burden to get the books going before I do side things like this. My life got a whole lot more busy with the Wheel of Time than it used to be. Which has cut out some of my side-projects like this but I would like to do them eventually.

    Why can Rock see Syl?

    Ooh, good question, why do you think Rock can see Syl?

    My personal theory here is because his people have such a strong belief and reverence in them it allows him to see them for that reason because his belief creates some sort of cognitive or spiritual pressure which allows them--

    He would agree with that philosophy. I would say, usually when something like that happens there is also something physiological going on.

    And this is one of my side theories that I espouse here. Is that kind of similar to the reason why there are no spren in Shinovar is because the people there so disbelieve them that it creates a negative pressure that keeps them from physical manifestation?

    Good question.

    Would Rock be able to see the Cryptics?

    Would Rock be able to see a Cryptic? That is a good question, you will have to see.

    Is Shallash the daughter of Jezrien?

    Umm… Oh, yes, she is his daughter.

    Two more questions here: Do bigger gems store more stormlight for longer than smaller gems? So a broam would hold it for twenty hours where a chip might hold it for six hours or something.

    The cut of the gem and how flawless the gem is has more to do with how long the stormlight stays than size.

    And the last one we have here is: Is it possible to use a soulstamp to give shardplate life or at least achieve a robotic status?

    Wow, it is really, really hard to invest things that have already been invested. Let’s just say that, it is really hard to do that. Part of the reason why it is difficult for instance to push or pull on something that is inside of somebody because the investiture is interfering and you would have that similar problem doing anything to shardplate with any of the magics.

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    About once a week I think of an idea for a story. Here's a list of some of my favorites that I'd love to develop

    1. Billions of years in the future humans have conquered death. In fact, they have done everything that they could ever think of. The biggest problem is boredom. Every idea has been fleshed out. Every invention has been invented. How does a race of people exist if there is nothing left to do?

    2. A sect of magical beings have dedicated their lives to pouring energy into a globe of heat and power. No one outside of the sect knows of the globe. The sect has been dedicated to this effort for so long all but the highest priest remembers its original purpose. But the high priest knows he cannot do what his predecessors have left him.

    3. Children are born with a power to alter the molecular structure of objects around them. They are dangerous if not kept calm and happy. The more cognitive and aware they become, the more the power diminishes. Newborns can make objects explode their molecules, breaking covelant bonds in their toys or in their mother's hand, making the birthing process extremely dangerous and most mothers opt for dosing their infants during birth. Toddlers "play" with their ability. Pre-teens can pretty much only agitate air molecules to push or pull on objects, making them fly across a room. Adults can hardly make a cup budge sitting on a table.

    Let me know if you'd like to do a writing exercise using one of these ideas. I'll join in.

  14. firstRainbowRose
    Latest Entry

    Fblthp is a creature featured on a couple of the "Magic: The Gathering" cards. (Totally Lost and Doorkeeper). He's very cute, and I fell in love with him pretty much from the first time I saw a picture. So, I decided to crochet one!

    fblthp.jpg

    Do instructions in [brackets] in one stitch

    FINGERS (make 4)

    1: Magic ring 3

    2: sc around

    3: sc, in, sc

    4: inc, sc, inc, sc

    5-6: sc around

    THUMBS (make 2)

    1: magic ring 3

    2: sc around

    3: inc, sc, inc

    4: sc around

    5: sc, inc, sc, inc, sc

    6: sc around

    Sew fingers and thumbs together on inside.

    ARMS

    1: (start in finger loops) sc around (I got 15 scs)

    2-4: sc around

    5: sc, dec around

    6-13: sc around

    14: sc, inc around

    15-22: sc around

    TOES (make 4)

    1: magic ring 3

    2: sc around

    3: inc around

    4-5: sc around

    FEET

    1: Magic Ring 6

    2: increase

    3: sc, inc, sc, [sc, hdc], hdc, [sc, sl], [sl, sc], hdc, [hdc,sc], sc, inc, sc

    4: sc, sc, inc, sc, sc, [hdc inc], [hdc inc], sc, sl, sl, sc, [hdc inc], sc, inc, sc, sc, sc

    5: (backloops only) sc around

    6: 6 sc, 4 hdc, 1 sc, 2 sl, 1 sc, 4 hdc, 6 sc

    7: repeat row 6

    8: 6 sc, 2 dec, 4 sc, 2 dc, 6 sc

    9: 4 sc, 2 dec, 4 sc, 2 dc, 4 sc

    10-25: sc around

    BODY

    1: magic ring 6

    2-9: increase

    10-16: sc around

    17: increase (8 sc, inc)

    18-20: sc around

    21: increase (9 sc, inc)

    22-28: sc around

    29-30: decrease around (9 sc, dec)

    31: 7 sc, dec, 10 sc, dec, 12 sc, dec, 10 sc, dec, 7 sc

    32: 7 sc, dec, 8 sc, dec, 12 sc, dec, 8 sc, dec, 7 sc

    33: 7 sc, dec, 6 sc, dec, 12 sc, dec, 6 sc, dec, 7 sc

    34: 7 sc, dec, 4 sc, dec, 12 sc, dec, 4 sc, dec, 7 sc

    35: 7 sc, dec, 2 sc, dec, 12 sc, dec, 2 sc, dec, 7 sc

    36: 7 sc, 2 dec, 12 sc, 2 dec, 7 sc

    37-40: sc around

    41: 3 sc, dec

    42: 2 sc, dec

    43: 1 sc, dec

    44: dec around

    EYE

    1: (with black) Magic ring 6

    2: (with green) increase around

    3: sl, [2 sc], hdc, [2 dc], hdc, [2 sc], sl, [2 sc], hdc, [2 dc], hdc, [2 sc]

    EARS (make 2)

    Note: this is worked back and forth

    1: chain 6

    2: sc across

    3: 4 sc, dec

    4: dec, 3 sc

    5: 2 sc, dec

    6: dec, sc

    7: dec

    8: sc

    TAIL

    1: magic ring 3

    2: sc around

    3: inc, sc, inc

    4: sc around

    5: inc, sc, inc, sc, inc

    6: sc around

    7: inc, 6 sc, inc

    8: sc around

    SPIKES (make 3)

    1: magic ring 3

    2: inc, sc, inc

    3: sc, inc, sc, inc, sc

    MOUTH

    *note: I hooked into the body to create the first row of the mouth*

    1: 3 sc, drop row, 7 sc, go up row, 3 sc

    2-5: sc across

    Sew everything together.

    fblthp_close.jpg

    As before, I suck at making patterns, so if you have any questions feel free to ask!