Blog Update – Portfolio’d! (Update Entry #5)

The update is slowly moving forward. Here’s where the list stands:

  • Recorded, edited, and uploaded all of the missing translation recordings;
  • These recordings will be edited at some point over the next four days. I’ll probably edit them the same day that I sit down to edit the newest Telos AM podcast.

  • Created and posted a hyperlinked portfolio page on these blogs;
  • All the citations are up. I now just need to get them all hyperlinked and work out how to improve the appearance of this page.

  • Sent out two short stories to magazines;
  • Magazine lists still need to be compiled, but I’m confident that my stories are ready.

  • Outlined the next 10 chapters for the fantasy novel I’m writing;
  • I still need to read the rest of what I’ve written to date. However, inspired by the great Writing Excuses podcast, I’ve decided to outline the entirety of this novel before going forward with writing it.

  • Completed five of those chapters;
  • The plan is still outstanding, so the same can be said of these chapters.

  • Completed the next act (four scenes) of an audio drama I’m working on;
  • No progress yet.

  • Created a Commissions page (accessible through every blog) to accept new commissions.
  • This is the next thing that will be crossed off the list.

Come Friday this blog will be home to a double header: the next blog update, and my look for the likeable in This Means War.

Plus, if you want to read some of my writing on video games, check out my examiner page.

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Blog Break Purpose (Update Entry #4)

Working on something other than this blog has reminded me why I wanted to pause my regular updates in the first place.

One of my reasons was to make these blogs more coherent, and the other was to bring writing fiction back into my routine. Somewhere in the mix, I forgot that I am a writer and not a PR guy or social media wizard. So, this is the revised to-do list that has things directly related to these two purposes in mind:

  • Recorded, edited, and uploaded all of the missing translation recordings;
  • These recordings still need to be edited. I’m slowly psyching myself up to tackle this.

  • Created and posted a hyperlinked portfolio page on these blogs;
  • All citations will be up over the next two days, and at that point I’ll add this as a blog page. Every citation will be hyperlinked by the weekend.

  • Sent out two short stories to magazines;
  • After my current work is done I’m going to pull out my copy of The Short Story and Novel Writer’s Market, pick the ten best venues for each story I’ll be sending, and then I’ll send them. This is still likely to be the last thing from this list to get finished.

  • Outlined the next 10 chapters for the fantasy novel I’m writing;
  • I’ve read some of what I’d written and, aside from being a little ashamed of my younger self (ah, what a difference a year can make!), I’ve got a plan percolating. I’d previously guessed this step would be done for today, but alas, it has not. Still, this item is the most likely to be crossed off the list come Wednesday.

  • Completed five of those chapters;
  • The plan is still outstanding, so the same can be said of these chapters.

  • Completed the next act (four scenes) of an audio drama I’m working on;
  • No progress yet.

  • Created a Commissions page (accessible through every blog) to accept new commissions.
  • Since my two previous commissions have been completed, I have no reason to not set up this page. Expect it over the next two days.

Check back here on Wednesday for the to-do list’s current status. Check back on Friday for my search for the salient in This Means War. Oh, and, if you want to see some of my non-Blogger-hosted writing, check out my video game blog over at Examiner.com.
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Blog Break Paused (Update Entry #3)

My writing work has picked up over the past two days, and so I haven’t had time to make any further progress on the blog updates.

However, over the next two days I will be making time to tackle a task or two from the to-do list.

Check back here then for a progress report. Also, if you haven’t already, track down and watch This Means War, the final film for this year’s All-Request August.

Blog Break Progressing (Update Entry #2)

The blog update has picked up a bit over the last two days, but so has my non-blog work. As a result, the to-do list has seen steady progress but less than I’d expected. As of tonight here is where each task stands:

  • Recorded, edited, and uploaded all of the missing translation recordings;
  • All of the outstanding recordings are now finished and just need to be edited and posted.

  • Created and posted a hyperlinked portfolio page on these blogs;
  • I’m in the middle of completing the entries for the portfolio – about 1/3 are finished and almost all of them are hyperlinked.

  • Made all of the titles of entries uniform across both blogs;
  • Sent out two short stories to magazines;
  • I have the short stories chosen, and just need to send them. However, this task might be the last to be finished since I still need to organize a list of prospects.

  • Created a central, personal blog on tumblr;
  • I now have a tumblr account, but it isn’t yet set up as a blog page. Expect more on this front soon.

  • Created a Facebook Writer/Author page;
  • I now have a Facebook Writer’s page, but it’s still something of a blank slate. You can find it here.

  • Outlined the next 10 chapters for the fantasy novel I’m writing;
  • I’ve peeked at what I have written so far, but since I haven’t done anything outside of world building for months, I need to re-read it more closely. This should be completed by Monday at the latest.

  • Completed five of those chapters;
  • Since the plan still needs writing, these chapters aren’t anywhere near being written just yet.

  • Completed the next act (four scenes) of an audio drama I’m working on;
  • No progress yet.

  • Completed my two outstanding commissions;
  • Both of these have been completed and just need to be shown to the people who’ve requested them. Since I’ve done all I can with them (for now), I’ve crossed them off this list.

  • Created a Commissions page (accessible through every blog) to accept new commissions.
  • The draft is still sitting, just as it was on Tuesday.

Check back here on Saturday for the to-do list’s current status.

And, of course, be sure to catch tomorrow’s All-Request August movie review over at A Glass Darkly. I’ll be looking for the likeable in the TV miniseries Earthsea!

Plus, for some of my writing that’s not hosted on Blogger, check out my video game blog over at Examiner.com.

Blog Break Progress (Update Entry #1)

So far the to-do list has been going slowly. However, as of tonight here is where each task stands:

  • Recorded, edited, and uploaded all of the missing translation recordings;
  • All of the Beowulf passages that have “{Forthcoming}” where their recordings should be are one step closer to having them there. I’ve finished recording all of them and now just need to edit and post them. I still need to record “O Fortuna.”

  • Created and posted a hyperlinked portfolio page on these blogs;
  • I’ve planned out how I’m going to do this, but haven’t enacted the plan yet.

  • Made all of the titles of entries uniform across both blogs;
  • This task has been completed.

  • Sent out two short stories to magazines;
  • I have two short stories that I’ve sent off to recent contests (unsuccessfully, alas), but that I’m going to edit and then send.

  • Created a central, personal blog on tumblr;
  • This has been planned out, but hasn’t yet been executed.

  • Created a Facebook Writer/Author page;
  • No progress yet.

  • Outlined the next 10 chapters for the fantasy novel I’m writing;
  • No progress on this, directly, but I have been struck with some world-building ideas of late.

  • Completed five of those chapters;
  • See the above.

  • Completed the next act (four scenes) of an audio drama I’m working on;
  • No progress yet.

  • Completed my two outstanding commissions;
  • No progress yet beyond a rough draft and a rough idea.

  • Created a Commissions page (accessible through every blog) to accept new commissions.
  • I have this in draft form, and will be looking it over once I’ve finished those two commissions.

Check back here for more updates as they come, I plan to post them here bi-daily. Even if that might seem a bit counter-productive.

Also, don’t miss part four of All-Request August over at my writing/editorial/review blog A Glass Darkly. It’ll feature a look at the TV miniseries Earthsea.

Why the Blog Break? (Update Entry #0)

My taking a break from these blogs is nothing new. I’ve done it before a few times but, since each of those breaks has been motivated by an unfulfilled desire to tidy things up and to post new pages, I’ve decided to stop regular updates to both this blog and A Glass Darkly until I’ve:

  • Recorded, edited, and uploaded all of the missing translation recordings;
  • Created and posted a hyperlinked portfolio page on these blogs;
  • Made all of the titles of entries uniform across both blogs;
  • Sent out two short stories to magazines;
  • Created a central, personal blog on tumblr;
  • Created a Facebook Writer/Author page;
  • Outlined the next 10 chapters for the fantasy novel I’m writing;
  • Completed five of those chapters;
  • Completed the next act (four scenes) of an audio drama I’m working on;
  • Completed my two outstanding commissions;
  • Created a Commissions page (accessible through every blog) to accept new commissions.

I might not be regularly updating these blogs for the next week or two, but I want it to be clear that, despite more than half of the list being indirectly related to my blogs, these blogs (and those reading them) haven’t been forgotten. So, as I complete each of these tasks, I’ll post an update explaining how the process as a whole is coming along.

Plus, because they’re often the most anticipated and the most fun to put together, I’ll continue to post my weekly movie redemptions/condemnations while I work on these various tasks.

That said, watch this space for updates on my progress, and for this Friday’s attempt to redeem the TV mini-series Earthsea over at A Glass Darkly.

The Emptiness of All that Gold [ll.2771b-82] (Old English)

Abstract
Translation
Recordings
The Hoard’s Sheer Immensity
The Golden Power
Closing

{The immensity of the Lost Underworld in Earthbound is just like that of the hoard: identity erasing. Image found on flyingomelette.com.}

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Abstract

The dragon is dwelled on, while Wiglaf wanders through the hoard.

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Translation

&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp”None of that sight there
was for the serpent, when the blade carried him off.
Then, I have heard, the hoard in the barrow, ancient
work of giants, was ransacked by one man, he loaded
his lap with drinking vessels and dishes of his own
choosing, the standard he also took, brightest of banners.
The sword earlier had injured – the blade was iron – that
of the aged lord, that was the treasure’s guardian for
a long time, terrifying fire brought
hot from the hoard, fiercely willing in
the middle of the night, until he a violent death died.”
(Beowulf ll.2771b-82)

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Recordings

Old English:

{Forthcoming}

Modern English:

{Forthcoming}

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The Hoard’s Sheer Immensity

Already it’s been mentioned how Wiglaf is not referred to by name for some time after this point, but here the poet/scribe takes this lack of identity to a strange place.

Instead of referring to Wiglaf via synecdoche with a piece of a warrior’s equipment, or calling him a “thane” or “fighter,” the poet/scribe simply calls Wiglaf “one man” (“ānne mannan” (l.2774)).

The effect of this pronoun and its adjective is immense.

However, this immensity doesn’t come from the alienation that the poet/scribe subjects Wiglaf to, but rather from the sheer size of the hoard that the poet/scribe’s making Wiglaf suddenly so small implies. Don’t forget that because of that shining banner everything is now illuminated, so we can liken this part of the poem to a long panning shot that might be used in movies to show a suddenly-broken-into, vast treasure chamber in an ancient temple or tomb.

Yet, it’s curious that the poet/scribe describes the immensity of the hoard in this way, especially since there’s so much build up to it.

We hear about it when the thief stumbles into it (ll.2283-4), again when Beowulf and his thanes head to the barrow (ll.2412-3), and then again in Beowulf’s command to Wiglaf (ll.2745-6).

Plus, any Anglo-Saxon would have been practically salivating at the prospect of finding so much treasure all in one spot – becoming instantly wealthy and instantaneously being able to exercise huge influence over others through gifts, thereby shoring up his or her own reputation and social network so that they would be more secure than gold alone would allow.

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The Golden Power

In fact, it’s exactly within the gold-giving culture of the Anglo Saxons that we can find another reason for the poet/scribe’s describing the hoard as he does.

Rather than focus on how much there is, the poet/scribe has described the hoard through a kind of lack. It’s big and immense, but it’s the sort of thing that you can lose yourself in – even if you’re a loyal thane who’s already pledged your very being to help your lord in his dying moments.

And this is what makes the dragon’s hoard so dreadful. It’s big, it’s vast, it’s unwieldy.

No one could use that much gold for social reasons, and the temptation to fall into self-indulgence (as Heremod does in the story Hrothgar tells Beowulf (ll.1709-1722)) is practically irresistible. If there is a curse on the gold, that is the curse: to be instantly given so much that you don’t know what to do with yourself so you revert to an animalistic state.

Some have even theorized that the survivor who sings the “Lay of the Last Survivor” (ll.2247–66) somehow became the dragon: The last of his kind pining away over the treasure that could not buy back the lives of his fallen people or return them to their former glory.

This might also explain why the dragon is so prominently featured in this passage, despite his being long since dead. As Beowulf’s wishes have taken over Wiglaf’s identity, now the dragon’s identity, the miserly lord of plenty, threatens to do the same. Yet ultimately Wiglaf resists, for the poet/scribe sings that the dragon “a violent death died” (“hē morðre swealt” (l.2782)) to round out Wiglaf’s time in the hoard.

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Closing

Next week, this blog will be on break. I’ve fallen too far behind in the recordings to keep heading onwards and since I finished “O Fortuna” this week, I want to give myself time to catch up before moving onto my next Latin text.

In the meantime be sure to check my past entries and recordings, and if you like what you read and hear, feel free to support my efforts here!

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