rant

Another month...

Posted .

So I haven't quite really updated this page in a while...

And it's not for a lack of trying. Holidays can be fun like that. But it's been a damn long time since I've had something resembling free time. Hopefully, once things get settled and evened out, I can relax into a strong routine and do what I'm supposed. Like write. And update this blog.

And wonder why the hell no one is signing up for the KneeQuickie. C'mon, guys! It's right there. It's not broken. It works perfectly fine.

Harumph.

Domain Master

Neek
penguindeskjob

SPACEPERANTO

Posted .

Or, better known as LANGUAGES... IN... SPACE!

Alright. Alright. Settle down there. Do I got my scotch? Yeah, I got my scotch. Good. Good.

So I've been working on something. For a story I've been dragging my feet on. Can't really flex my writing muscles without also pumping my worldbuilding pec juices. If it's not coming up with fictitious geographies, it's making up languages.

And for this project, I've been especially lazy.

For this story, project titled Beneath the Blue Pale (aka, Moonbarred), a novel about a young woman going on vacation at what can best be described as an oil refinery and quarry, except it's a moon. Where she finds love, intrigue and answers. Some of them, to questions she didn't even ask.

But we'll talk about that later.

For the setting, I needed languages. Real languages. Things to bring breath into place names. Our heroine, Tessa M. Prosiri, is a native of Montarzejo, the Mountain Planet. Though she grew up speaking Polish, the nature of Montarzejo (and the rest of the human-habited worlds) is a multilingual, multicultural Pollockesque hell.

So, of course, people default to lingua francas when they can. And I'm working on three. Three languages spoken by people, people in space. You could call them space languages. SPACELANGS!!!

There're three: Spaceperanto, Spaceskrit, and Spacitic. If you know anything of languages, you can sorta guess what this is all about.

Spaceperanto: Esperanto. Spaceskrit: Sanskrit. And Spacitic: Arab. Or close enough on the last two. Spaceskrit is an Indo-Iranian style IAL (international auxiliary language, not international anime language. That's Japanese), that's a simplified and reduced form of Proto-Indo-European. Spacitic is the reduced, consumable form of Semitic languages, in the same vein that Esperanto is a reduction sauce of European languages.

Now.

What's so great about Spaceperanto? And why wouldn't Esperanto work?

Because, as much as I find Esperanto to be a fun little language, and I love its goals and aims, it's not that great of a language overall. It sounds funny. It doesn't match up to what we learn about certain European languages (you mean, adjectives end in -a and nouns in -o? bona amiko sounds silly!) So I made some stylistic changes from Esperanto, as well as plugged it with my innovations.

The problem, so far as I see it, with making whole languages for a story is that it seems to be a self-serving process. Very few people will truly appreciate the work the same you do. You can make a 100%, accurate and realistic language... yet no one is probably going to learn it. The success of Klingon and Quenya, among others, is based not on the novelty, the Europeaness, or some other ephemeral quality that we can ascribe, but the popularity of the work.

If people like it enough, they'll make an effort. But that's not entirely true, either. I remember when I discovered Zompist's Verdurian. That language still has me in perpetual awe, and by today's conlanging standards, is rife with tired tropes and retired cliches. But it's the carefulness of the language, the attention, the narrative around it that holds me.

And most other conlangs are absent that.

So while I can post a grammar of that language on this blog (or at the very least, just the changelog from Esperanto), it doesn't seem right. There's no discussion that I can make from it.

So just know. When the story's out there. There's going to be some weird phrases. And there'll be a place where you can figure it out if that's your bag.

Domain Master

Neek
penguindeskjob

Gatekeeping Writing

Posted .

Back at it again with another blog-post.

So some shitsheet blog posted a quasi-advertisement on the Writing subreddit. Here, I'll give you the overview of my thoughts on the subject: Shitsheet Example 1. Don't click the article link. I'd rather not contribute to egocentricism and giving into this guy's idea that his methodologies of marketing his blog actually works. Or at least, don't contribute it.

So here's the gist of it: "Write every day! I've been doing that for two years, and see how I'm successful I am!" Which, successful, in this case is spamming subreddits to try to get blog hits (and thereby, ad revenue for my blog). I also published a book (but I won't talk about it, the process of writing about it, or the work involved.) DAE high school english suck?" That's the basis of it.

The idea is to motivate people to write, yeah? Well, telling them to write ought to work! Like, tell anxious people to stop worrying. Or tell sick people to get better. Or tell assholes to be nice. That'll work. And sure, sure, you might go on and say, "But Neek! He's posting it on a community of writers!" And the advice is still pointless.

He's not telling people to write everyday. He's telling them that if they want to call themselves writers, write every day. To leave those that don't feeling like they don't belong, all based around some arbitrary distinction. We call this gatekeeping -- and it's some hefty bullshittery right there.

Want to be a writer? Produce. Don't write everyday. Don't write when you have free time. Sometimes, cat videos are good for the human soul. Just, when the mood strikes you, write something and share it.

Don't go around thinking that publication is the end goal. Most of us, who write, won't be able to quit our day jobs. But is that why we do it? No. We do it because we have ideas to share. We want to communicate our experiences. We want to write stories about gallivanting knights sent on errant errands. So don't think that, "I want to be a writer," is answered with the answer: "Go write!" Because volume's not the point. And telling people who aren't inclined to get off their ass to get off their ass is missing the point by miles.

You don't cure depression by being happy, and if you're hesitant to start writing, take it slow. Draw it out. Talk it out. Jot down ideas or explore fiction that shares your ideas and motivates the imagination. Then do a 180 and watch some shitty romcom and drink a beer.

Because that's what I'm doing.

And when the mood strikes me, I'll write. I just don't need some numbnuts on the internet telling me that I'm not a writer because I don't make social situations, in which I'm weird already, already weirder by sneaking away to write.

And I don't need to post this blog as a side-show to a low-effort post where I invigorate highschoolers and college freshman by telling them the establishment has conspired, in their secret faculty cabal, to eliminate free-thought by teaching standards and technical communication skills.

So don't be like that guy.

No one likes that guy.

Thank you.

I'm out for now.

Domain Master

Neek
penguindeskjob

Monthly check-in

Posted .

Well, it's been a month.

In that time, I think I made one FB post on the KneeQuickie page and it attracted like, no one. There have been zero new users to the KQ as well. I'm still working, still in the military. Went to the field this past weekend, froze my toes off and made coffee with a hand-grinder, percolator, and a sterno stove. Sternos suck, going to definitely upgrade.

But we also did something amazing. We, as in we Americans, elected a new President. Every four years, this comes up, and every four years the rhetoric becomes weirder and weirder as new issues crop up around us.

This election's anxiety: Trump's a second-rate Mussolini impersonator who attracts flies to that carcass he calls hair, and Hillary's going to open borders to Mexico and enact Shakira Law or whatever. Personally, I was looking forward to Shakira Law. Hip perjury ought to be a felony, but I didnt' see Trump making any stand on that platform.

Domain Master

Neek
penguindeskjob

Podcasts

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Alright, one more for the road: There's a podcast I've been listening to, the Roundtable Podcast (http://www.roundtablepodcast.com/). I strongly recommend you listen to it.

It's a basic show in its premise: A writer has brewed a broth, but it needs more cooks. But it's a literary broth, and the number of cooks are just right, not too many. The writer pitches their outline and characters, and they dig in, tearing it apart, weeding out the bad parts, try to explore on other aspects that were missed. You get the idea.

Now I'll be honest and take a little aside, I had an idea for a similar podcast. But it's taking short pitches and working them into full stories with a cohost and maybe a few guests, and it wasn't going to be serious. This one, though, is serious. What came of that, probably like all other projects, I know not.

Back from the aside, what's great about the show isn't the pitches. To be fair, describing a story in an outline format seems to suck its soul out. What follows in each episode, though, voids me of apathy like taco bell voids me of cheap, greasy tacos: I get excited about the story when they start delving in, and bring the story's ideas out in a central light with suggestions and spins. It makes me excited about writing, which while I've been doing it on and off, I've seen more as a chore as of late.

So if you want something good to listen to, listen to it. Also the host, Dave Robison, another Tennessean as far as I can gather, probably makes an amazing DM too.

Domain Master

Neek
penguindeskjob