Monday, 30 April 2012

A-Z: Zephyrus, the gentle wind.

I end on a highly geeky note with the Greek Anemoi; Boreas, Notus, Zephyrus and Eurus, the 4 winged guardians of wind. Zephyrus, or just Zephyr (Greek: Ζέφυρος, Zéphuros, "the west wind"), in Latin Favonius, is the Greek god of the west wind. The gentlest of the winds, Zephyrus is known as the fructifying wind, the messenger of spring. It was thought that Zephyrus lived in a cave in Thrace.
Zephyrus was reported as having several wives in different stories. He was said to be the husband of his sister Iris, the goddess of the rainbow. He abducted another of his sisters, the goddess Chloris, and gave her the domain of flowers. With Chloris, he fathered Carpus ("fruit"). He is said to have vied for Chloris's love with his brother Boreas, eventually winning her devotion. Additionally, with yet another sister and lover, the harpyPodarge (also known as Celaeno), Zephyrus was said to be the father of Balius and XanthusAchilles' horses.
One of the surviving myths in which Zephyrus features most prominently is that of Hyacinth. Hyacinth was a very handsome and athletic Spartan prince. Zephyrus fell in love with him and courted him, and so did Apollo. The two competed for the boy's love, but he chose Apollo, driving Zephyrus mad with jealousy. Later, catching Apollo and Hyacinth throwing a discus, Zephyrus blew a gust of wind at them, striking the boy in the head with the falling discus. When Hyacinth died, Apollo created the hyacinth flower from his blood.[2]
In the story of Cupid and Psyche, Zephyrus served Cupid by transporting Psyche to his cave.


Zephyrus' Roman equivalent was Favonius, who held dominion over plants and flowers. The name Favonius, which meant "favorable", was also a common Roman name.

Yet again taken from Wikipedia, I thought it would serve well as the last blog post of the challenge. It feels like the gentle winds of the west have been breezing through blog land this last month, inspiring some and extinguishing others. It has been a wild ride folks and you have all been a part of it!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sunday is lazy day

Except for all the work that I need to do. But in between all the editing I have been commisened to do I still have a bit of time to surf the interwebs.

Is the daily deviant. Check her stuff out and tell me you are not awestruck and inspired by it? I wish I could draw like that, but someone like her comes once a lifetime I reckon.

Saturday, 28 April 2012


My discussion topic for today is which genres of fiction are generally portrayed as less worthy literature. First though a little anecdote. This is a true story no matter how cheesy it sounds:  
When I was a little girl and sitting on my grandfather's knee on Christmas eve and he asked me what I wanted most for Christmas my instant answer was to ask for a typewriter. My dad laughed at this and asked me what on earth I wanted something like that for and I answered that real writers had typewriters. My dad (who passed away some time ago) was not the most supportive admirer of the creative crafts and shrugged me off with the following words: Don't ever do anything to do with creativity for a living as you will die young and poor. Of course I did what any other sensible child would and started crying, inwardly believing his words to be the true wisdom of an adult. Admittingly I never really had a good relationship with him after that but moved ever closer to my new foster family and my granddad who just for some reason always seemed to get me better than any other person on this planet. When I turned 16 and moved away from home my grandfather was there by my side packing boxes and helping me assemble my new furniture and as I sat in a half empty apartment that first night on my own feeling a bit sorry for myself and wanting to go back to my grans house and just stay there if anything just to avoid the smell of burnt food, I heard a knock on the door and outside was a delivery man who apologized for knocking on my door so late, but the person who had ordered the delivery had insisted that it was sent out that day and so he had stayed an extra hour to make sure that it got there. I signed for the box feeling very adult and a bit flabbergasted as he was good-looking and well, I was a 16-year old geeky looking girl who hoped he had not seen any marvel posters in the back-ground when I opened the door.
In the box was a brand new computer with a note that simply read: I know it is not a typewriter, but it will have to do. Just write anything you want. I recognized my grandfather's handwriting and realized that after all those years he had managed to remember the look of utter disappointment on my face while I sat crying on his knee.
I still have the computer although it is an antique by modern standards now. As if it is blessed with some special kind of love it still works, even now after 10 years. As a trusty companion it has outlived both my beloved grandfather and my father, it has suffered moving apartments a multitude of times and being thrown at exes in rage. It might run the oldest version of windows you will ever find on a laptop and weigh a ton, but it will never be thrown out!
So what was the purpose of this story? I often get people asking me to try and define what genre of books I tend to write and every time that little note of write anything you want, pops back in to my head. I have worked on romance novels, none-fiction books on Shakespeare and many other things, I have written fantasy, sci-fi, I tried my luck at a western but never quite got my head around it, but the fact of the matter is that I have never even thought that one of these genres was worth less than any other. It seems that many other people disagree with me on this topic. Through different writing and reading groups I have found that there is a general tendency for admiring everyday fiction and look down on romance novels and the like, judging them as light literature. Maybe people are forgetting that even a romance novel writer has to have a certain amount of skill to be popular enough to sell books and that even writer like that spends many hours drafting, writing, pitching etc.  So next time you shrug at someone or point fingers (you know who you are) because they are only a romance novel writer or can never write anything "serious" remember that inside of them they have a small boy or girl who wants to know that their work is still worth something even if it doesn't bring in the big bucks or wins a fancy reward!

Friday, 27 April 2012

A-Z: ToXic

I know it is technically cheating, but we don't make use of the letter X in the danish alphabet and I am already feeling pretty handicapped as it with all these weird end of alphabet letters that we either don't have or don't use.

Here is an article from Wiki on Danish language:

Here is one on the alphabet in particular:

My headline should probably be expanded on a bit. I have just finished reading Maria Snyder's Yelena Sultana series and not to put anyone off but as far as young adult goes it was not the best I have read. Here is what the caption says about the first book, Poison Study (Hence toxic):

About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She'll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly's Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can't control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren't so clear…

Whereas the premise for the story is really good and the first book is a very entertaining read it is one of those series that you end up wishing had just stopped after the first installment because it gets weirder and weirder and not in a good sense. Anyway, if you are in the mood for some YA fantasy then try the first book, but do consider yourself warned. 

A-Z: W a little late

My W stands for World of Warcraft and yet another character back-ground that I started writing about but never finished. It was supposed to be the story of a young girl who expectantly is given a path that she was not quite expecting. Her teacher is a rough roguish kind of man who has killed almost as many as he has broken hearts and who has found a way to communicate with her through dreamworlds by tapping into unknown and quite dangerous magic.
I never wrote more than a chapter of her story as I stopped playing the character all together, but I imagine that it would have made quite a nice coming of age novel if it had been completed. Hopefully for the none WoWers following this blog it will still make sense. As with other stuff I have posted this story is not edited nor has it seen any public sharing at any point.

The story of Jinni:
The dream.
The night was cool and quiet. The only sound heard in Darnassus was the walking of the sentinels as they patrolled the streets.
But somewhere the moon fell on a young nightelf, who in her dreams could not find peace. The same dream almost every night for the last year. Since she had been sent to the temple of Elune by her father.
First it started of peacefully, her dream self was playing in her room with a doll of some sort, but the dream always changed character after a while. Men and women screaming, a door that flew open and a man who told her to get in the closet and hide. She had a sense that he was someone important to her, maybe a relative.
From the closet her dream self had a view through a crack to everything going on. Another man, she did not know entered the room. But this man was different, there was something frightening and yet beautiful about him. He was graceful as he sliced the other man’s throat. Her dream self gasped and the killer turned around. Those eyes as he searched the room, had some magical in them, she could not explain. She was sure that he knew she was there, but he didn’t do anything about it. A shiver ran through her young body. He just smiled, with a smear of blood across his face. And then he was gone.
Jinni awoke, heart thumbing hard in her chest. The moon that fell in the room brought her back to reality. Why this man and why now? She got up and put on her shoes and a shawl. Again she would spend the night by the altar of Elune seeking answer to questions which she didn’t want to carry. She walked cross the path in the moonlit town of Darnassus and sighed. She had long been a woman, but still had no purpose in life. Her father had sent her here in hopes that maybe priesthood would suit her, but she had soon given up and distanced herself from the daily work of the other priestesses. She now cooked and cleaned for them and they treated her as one of their own, telling her that Elune eventually gives everyone a path, but she did not believe them.
She entered the temple and saw to her astonishment that she wasn’t alone this night. At the altar sat a lady, younger than herself. She was the one that the high priestess had warned her about. She had taken her faith in her own hands, divorced an unfaithful husband and found another father for her child, a human Paladin. Disgrace was what the High Priestess had said. And yet she had been given a chance to redeem herself. They had cut of her hair and made her start over, but not once had Jinni heard her complain. They had even taken her child away and forbidden her to see her lover again, but the young nightelf still had a smile on her face and did all the unwanted chores without ever saying anything.
She looked up as Jinni sat down by the altar.
“Another sleepless night Miss Jinniye?” Jinni winced, only her father and the High Priestess insisted on calling her by her full name.
“Please, it’s just Jinni” The younger woman nodded and smiled. They sat there in silence for a while, both praying in their own way.
“You know it helps to talk about it Jinni, I know that you are down here every night.” Jinni looked at her puzzled.
“Every time a baby cries I think it’s my Moradae and I have to get up. I have often seen you walking towards the temple. Now please tell me what is on your mind.” Jinni sighed and looked at her hands. Maybe the priestess was right, maybe she would understand.
“I have this dream, a dream about a family being murdered and I feel like it’s a past that I have been a part off. Like some distant memory from another life, but that’s impossible. My family is safe and I’m sure my father would have told me if I had been witness to such a thing. “
“Have you talked to your father about this dream? Maybe he can explain it for you.” Jinni blushed and looked away.
“I sense there is more, something you are not telling me.”
“There is a man, the killer. There is something about him I cannot tell, like he is still out there waiting for me and I’m not sure that it is a bad thing. I mean he obviously killed that family, but in my dream when he looked at me, I sensed something else. A sense of warmth and love that he is not able to let out.”
The priestess looked a bit paler than usual, but still looked at Jinni.
“I knew a man like that once. He was a killer, but at the same time a friend. He did things, unforgivable things, but yet he still has a place in my heart.” The priestess got up and looked at the altar without really looking at it. 
“You need to talk to your father about it. Maybe Elune is showing you your path at last. It might be that this man needs your help, just as you need him. You must find him, I am sure of that.” Jinni arose as well and dusted herself off. She had the feeling that the conversation was over. She bowed to the priestess and left the temple, a little wiser on her path.

Priestess Anáwiel looked after the nightelf. She had recognized something in this young girl that she had carried herself not long ago. A determination to find her fate and pursue it. She sighed, embracing herself. There had been something else in the girl, something that stirred Anás memory and she wished she could remember what. She would write to her mother about. Maybe the wise older lady would have all the answers.  

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


I almost forgot this because my day has been generally stressful and I should have posted this yesterday under U. I must confess to have the hugest crush on Mrs. Amanda Fucking Palmer and her Ukulele. I am on her mailing list and found myself at 4 in the morning getting a notice on my phone telling me that I had an email from her. Now I had been out to a party the night before and was in that middle-ground of being drunk and sleepy, but my head was still buzzing from the love I had felt all night from my friends. So I opened the mail and listened to her new song and I cried a little, I laughed a lot and I just loved it. The message was pure as only she could tell it and made me want to learn even more than before to play the Ukulele. I give you the Ukulele song for your enjoyment:

A-Z: Vikings.

As some people might have figured out by now I am from Denmark which by most people is mainly known for Bacon, Carlsberg and Vikings... (And as the capital of Ikea by most of the Americans I have met)
Alright so here goes:
Bacon! First off it seems that we export all our good bacon to England and keep all the shite stuff for ourselves. When we go on holiday to visit my loving mother-in-law she enjoys making bacon-butties for me with loads of nice crispy meatful bacon and although she buys one of the cheapest brands she can find, it still tastes loads better than the crap we can get at home and get this... it is all danish bacon.
Carlsberg: So every other nation in the world seems to enjoy this liquid, I on the other hand do not. Carlsberg is for me what Stella Antois is for brits, something moderately cheap that I associate with terrible family parties and have friends that still insist on buying because it is cheap enough to get drunk on, but not quite as bad as the stuff you buy in Lidl or Aldi.
Vikings: Now I don't know why it is generally believed that all danish men are 6.2 tall and blond (Maybe watching too many movies) but that is really not the case. I guess every country has that one thing that everyone always associates them with and which can drive you absolutely mental when you go abroad. Vikings are that thing for me. Now I feel the need to educate some of those people reading this who might be lead to think that me and my family are all big burly people who eat mushrooms and go berserk at any given time. (although it would make the family parties that much more fun)
I am 5.5, my sister is 5.3... My brother might be 6 foot but he is as skinny as a stick and is as likely to be able to survive a battle situation as I am to ever buy a Bacardi breezer. Here are some more misconceptions taken from Wiki that should set some thing straight for you.

Common misconceptions concerning the Vikings

Horned helmets

Apart from two or three representations of (ritual) helmets – with protrusions that may be either stylised ravens, snakes or horns – no depiction of Viking Age warriors' helmets, and no preserved helmet, has horns. In fact, the formal close-quarters style of Viking combat (either in shield walls or aboard "ship islands") would have made horned helmets cumbersome and hazardous to the warrior's own side.
Therefore historians believe that Viking warriors did not use horned helmets, but whether or not such helmets were used in Scandinavian culture for other, ritual purposes remains unproven. The general misconception that Viking warriors wore horned helmets was partly promulgated by the 19th century enthusiasts of Götiska Förbundet, founded in 1811 in Stockholm, Sweden. They promoted the use of Norse mythology as the subject of high art and other ethnological and moral aims.
The Vikings were often depicted with winged helmets and in other clothing taken from Classical antiquity, especially in depictions of Norse gods. This was done in order to legitimise the Vikings and their mythology by associating it with the Classical world which had long been idealised in European culture.
The latter-day mythos created by national romantic ideas blended the Viking Age with aspects of the Nordic Bronze Age some 2,000 years earlier. Horned helmets from the Bronze Age were shown in petroglyphs and appeared in archaeological finds (see Bohuslän and Vikso helmets). They were probably used for ceremonial purposes.[52]
Cartoons like Hägar the Horrible and Vicky the Viking, and sports uniforms such as those of the Minnesota Vikings and Canberra Raiders football teams have perpetuated the mythic cliché of the horned helmet.
Viking helmets were conical, made from hard leather with wood and metallic reinforcement for regular troops. The iron helmet with mask and chain mail was for the chieftains, based on the previous Vendel-age helmets from central Sweden. The only true Viking helmet found is that fromGjermundbu in Norway. This helmet is made of iron and has been dated to the 10th century.

Use of skulls as drinking vessels

The use of human skulls as drinking vessels—another common motif in popular pictorial representations of the Vikings—is also ahistorical. The rise of this legend can be traced to Ole Worm's Runer seu Danica literatura antiquissima (1636), in which Danish warriors drinking ór bjúgviðum hausa[from the curved branches of skulls, i.e. from horns] were rendered as drinking ex craniis eorum quos ceciderunt [from the skulls of those whom they had slain]. The skull-cup allegation may also have some history in relation with other Germanic tribes and Eurasian nomads, such as the Scythiansand Pechenegs, and the vivid example of the Lombard Alboin, made notorious by Paul the Deacon's History.
There may also be some confusion between "skull" and the Norse/Icelandic word for a drinking cup, skál. This is a common toast in Scandinavian countries.


The image of wild-haired, dirty savages sometimes associated with the Vikings in popular culture[clarification needed] is a distorted picture of reality.[1] Non-Scandinavian Christians are responsible for most surviving accounts of the Vikings and, consequently, a strong possibility for bias exists. This attitude is likely attributed to Christian misunderstandings regarding paganism. Viking tendencies were often misreported and the work of Adam of Bremen, among others, told largely disputable tales of Viking savagery and uncleanliness.[53]
The Anglo-Danes were considered excessively clean by their Anglo-Saxon neighbours, due to their custom of bathing every Saturday and combing their hair often. To this day, Saturday is referred to as laugardagur / laurdag / lørdag / lördag, "washing day" in the Scandinavian languages. Icelanders were known to use natural hot springs as baths, and there is a strong sauna/bathing culture in Scandinavia to this day.
As for the Vikings in the east, Ibn Rustah notes their cleanliness in carrying clean clothes, whereas Ibn Fadlan is disgusted by all of the men sharing the same, used vessel to wash their faces and blow their noses in the morning. Ibn Fadlan's disgust is possibly because of the contrast to thepersonal hygiene particular to the Muslim world at the time, such as running water and clean vessels. While the example intended to convey his disgust about certain customs of the Rus', at the same time it recorded that they did wash every morning.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A tiny blog post

Is all I have to say.


Okay so sometimes life catches up with you a bit and you don't have time to make a long blog after work. I should save this for my wikipedia blog post coming up some day, but I might as well share my little dirty secret now. I love Wiki and can spend hours just clicking on the next entry, sometimes filling up my whole browser bar with things I find interesting. Sometimes these Wiki searches can bring out the most wonderful and inspiring information. This is where the US comes in (don't worry I will stop babbling soon). I was reading an article about communism and that again lead me to BBC and a very weird news article:

About Lana Peters aka  Svetlana Alliluyeva, Stalin's only daughter. 

The stuff below is from 

GettyWith her father
One of history's greatest monsters had a kid who not only survived into the 21st century, but was living in Wisconsin, of all places. Wisconsin. Can you imagine going out to your dairy farm to harvest your cheese crop and finding out your little old lady neighbor was the daughter of a man responsible for the murders of up to 20 million people? How do you even process that? Do you just drop your cheese harvest and run? Do you try to make like you don't know, but accidentally drop the phrase "Uncle Joe, Slaughterer of Millions" in everyday conversation? No one has written a guideline on the situation, so we don't know.
As for Svetlana herself, she was plagued with daddy issues from the start, as you can imagine. Her dad abused her mom, who died of a "burst appendix," which might be Soviet code for "suicide and/or murdered by Joseph Stalin." Her dad exiled her first boyfriend to the Arctic Circle, refused to meet her first husband and arranged her marriage to her second husband, which lasted 10 years.
It was after marriage two dissolved that things got really interesting for Svetlana. She met and fell in love with an Indian Communist, whom she was not allowed to marry, presumably because her father's ghost was still pulling her love-life strings. Nevertheless, after her boyfriend's death she was allowed to travel to India to scatter his ashes in the Ganges. Aaaaaand pop into the U.S. embassy to apply for political asylum in America.
So in 1967, the daughter of one of the architects of Soviet communism denounced the regime and fled to the U.S. Then she met Frank Lloyd Wright's apprentice, who had once been married to Frank Lloyd Wright's daughter, also named Svetlana. So naturally Svetlana Stalin and the former son-in-law of Frank Lloyd Wright married -- and that was how Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva became known as Lana Peters.
Now after reading all this I started at once to write a story in my mind about Lana fleeing the Soviet for completely different reasons. It had something to do with Rasputin's magical abilities being transferred to this small girl and her father being scared of her as the first and only thing he had ever feared in his life. Of course being a lazy author I never sat down and wrote it but it is still there brewing away in the back of my mind. Eventually I will get it done I am sure!

Monday, 23 April 2012

A-Z: Two, as in chapter two

Chapter two of my WIP is called The Time and Space Consortium. It is based on a dream I had about being in the Tartis and flying around with a black woman doctor. It is possibly one of the weirdest dreams I have ever had, the chapter did not come out quite as weird, it will be weirded up in the final version I think. So same warning as my last post of this size; This is an unedited version written during NaNoWrimo a month where the experts say you shouldn't edit so I didn't. Hope you enjoy it and blog on comrades!

Chapter 2. The Time and Space Consortium:

It was pink and his head hurt. He felt like he was floating in air, but not like he was falling. He had watched a program on Discovery about out of body experiences and guessed that this was what it must feel like. His dreamlike state was interrupted by a large blipping noise and his body fell face down onto a hard surface smashing his glasses in the process. With a blurry vision he looked on in astonishment as a pink room seemed to materialise around him. He couldn’t quite make out the details but laying there on the floor it seemed like the walls were covered with buttons of various sizes and shapes. As he stretched his hands out to retrieve his glasses he noticed that the floor he was lying on was in fact not hard, but made of some kind of synthetic fluffy pink fibre.
“Sorry about the rough ride. It is always hard the first couple of times.” The little man had landed safely on his feet and was now checking buttons and pulling levers that had appeared on the ceiling. He seemed oddly in place in the pink room and Maz acknowledged that he might the one who didn’t fit in. Not that he had ever felt like he fit in on earth.
Earth! Emma! What had happened to them all?
The blipping noise went away and the little man picked up the glasses and looked them over.
“Very interesting...” He turned them over several times like they were an object of great fascination.
Maz struggled to sit upright, but in the end he managed.
“Can I have them back please? I can’t really see without them.” The little man looked at him quizzically.
“They help you see? Oh dear, well that can’t do!” He pulled a device from his pocket that looked very much like a remote control and without asking for permission he pointed it at Maz and pressed a button. Maz felt his eyes rolling around in their sockets and his head felt like it was turning into jelly, but then the heat went away and he could see perfectly.
“Amazing! What did you do to me?” The little man shook his head.
“There is no time to explain the details to you, but I rearranged some of your brain cells.”
“You...” Maz felt close to throwing up again and looked around for some water.
“Liquid!” A tiny voice cried out. Maz looked around for anything that could have possibly uttered those words, but there was no one here but him and the little man. Two chairs and a table appeared. On the table, cups were materialising and plates. Maz groaned as he got up, but managed to stumble all the way to the table and sit down to...
“Toast and tea?” The little man nodded.
“A little bird told me that this is the most common thing to serve in the early hours of the days where you come from.”
“A little bird?”
“Yes he is a parakeet actually, if you want specifics.” Maz started to eat his toast. The little man sat down.
“See, a long time ago the Intergalactic council for Humanoids decided that it would be far better for us if our better judgement lived outside of us. That way it would always be independent. So I have Parakeet Pete who lives in my hat. Actually earth was scheduled for something similar, but then wars broke out and you were kind of forgotten. Guess it comes with being one of the outer rim planets, never quite got around to it I’m afraid.“  Something inside the man’s hat chirped and he nodded.
“Actually he would like to know why you earth-dwellers insist on stuffing birds in cages.” The bird chirped again and Maz shrugged.
“Alright all animals then, jeeps Louise you are asking a lot of a humanoid with such limited brain-function. No offense,” he looked at Maz’s head and Maz felt an eerie cold hand squeezing his brain, “you are remarkable fascinating creatures to study but it always puzzles me that you manage to get through your pitiful short lives with the little use you have of your brain. Does it make you happier to live such short lives because you are in fact the humanoid equivalent of a very stupid space-monkey drone whose only function is to sit around and wait for the signal to press the big banana shaped button that will destroy a planet?”
“Wait, space-monkeys are blowing up planets? What kind of a sick joke is this?”
“Joke, no joke I can assure you. They tried every other shape but the banana was the only thing that would keep them occupied.” 
 Maz nodded like he had understood it all, but it was all rather baffling to him and he was pretty sure that even though the toast was excellent this was all just an evil nightmare and he would soon wake up on a bench still hung over. The little man sniffed the tea and wrinkled his nose. He pulled out a pot of Bovril and poured some hot water in a cup. He noticed that Maz was staring at him.
“I have quite acquired a taste for it when I was down there. And Marmite, but my studies tell me that you either hate it or love it. And judging from your facial expression,” Maz had made a face of utter disgust at the thought of the hideous spread, “you are one of the haters. More for me I guess!” Maz took another bite of his Marmite free toast and sipped his tea as if he was trying to maintain the sweet memory of it for a while.
“Anyway, enough with the chitchat. Time for formal introductions Mr. Anderson! I am Professor, Darwin Willard, Chief Inspector specialized in Humanoid Intergalactic Space Travels, for the Time and Space Consortium. We are kind of the janitors of time, we fix things when they break and maintain the universe as it is written out in the great time-line.”
Maz swallowed the last piece of toast.
“I am Maz Aldrich, uhm... I work at ASDA. And right now I am rather confused to why you kidnapped me of all people.”
The Professor opened up his orange book and it blipped back at him.

“To tell you that I would have to kill you Mr. Aldrich.” The little man laughed but Maz did not find it very amusing.
“No I am serious. I would have to kill you. You see everything is mapped out according to Time and Space liminality and a whole lot of other things and we Professors only know our little part of the whole operation. Imagine if you will that we are one puzzle piece out of a billion set puzzle. Does that make you feel better?”
“Not really.”
“Good! I suppose you are eager to start work as soon as possible?” Willard got up and headed for a panel of buttons.
“Hold on, you haven’t actually told me what it is, you suppose I will be doing for you. I take it that you are not wanting me to fill up the tinned goods aisle?” Professor Willard spun around, looking quite amused.
“Oh it’s elemental Mr Aldrich. I have received permission to send a hero through time and space to put together a team that can save earth from being eradicated. You are the hero, I provide the travel opportunities.”
“And how will I know who I am supposed to bring back with me?”
“Oh you will know. Trust me, it is quite intuitive.”
“And what if I can’t find the right person?” The Professor looked puzzled, as if this was not a possibility in his head.
“Failure is not an option Mr. Aldrich. If you do not retrieve the person you are sent there to fetch there will be no getting back to this ship.” Maz felt his stomach turn.
“So... what you are saying is that I will get stuck in God knows where if I can’t find a random person to bring with me back?” The Professor was in the process of plugging him into a machine by placing electrodes on his arms and face.
“Nothing is random Mr. Aldrich, it is all pre-destined. The people you are saving will not be missed, they should not be missed. You are not to interfere with the time-line, only to remove those who do not fit in.”
“And what happens...”
“Failure is not an option! You have three days to return to place of descent and then the portal will close. Do not be late. Time travel is expensive and I do not want to send someone down to pick you up.” The machine started blinking and pulsing, Maz felt himself go rigid with anticipation of the time travel.
“Where will you send me?”
“Oh past, present, future. Just bring me some good warriors where ever you end up!”
“Oh one more thing.” The Professor handed him a bag and Maz willed himself not to rip the wires off and get as far away as possible.
“Good luck!”
Maz felt the ground disappear from underneath his feet again and then he was blinded by a great orange light. When he woke up it was dark and something was moving next to him. Something big!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A short blog-post

To say that I have signed up for which is an online course through the University of Michigan. I have read plenty of articles by this guy during my years at Uni and he is a brilliant scientist. They offer a vary of courses in many different subjects, they are free and you are able to follow them when you have time. Take a look, there might be something for you as well.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

A-Z: Sci-fy

Wow three blogs in three days, that must be a record for me. Thanks to Mr Mark K I might actually dive into this whole blog universe thing again for good. So today for my A-Z I have chosen to share, for the first time I might add, the first chapter of my other WIP which is currently stuck on 60k pages and has been so pretty much since NaNoWriMo where it was first conceived. I would like to add that there might grammatical errors or spelling mistakes in what I am sharing with you as it has not yet been through first edit. Maybe it will give you an insight into some of my actual work that is not in short-story form, I might lose some readers and gain some but here goes.
I think what little introduction I need to give is the following: It is a sci-fy story set around our time. The overall theme of the book can probably best be described as Hitchhiker's Guide meets Dr.Who with a decent sprinkling of something very New Weird. The whole idea came to me as I was walking home from a party in the middle of the night, fog was concealing everything but the road in front of me and in my dream-like state I heard fireworks so off in the distant. This was at 4 am I would like to add, on a Wednesday (It was summer vacation so don't judge) in the outskirts of Copenhagen. All I could see was the distorted colors of the fireworks going off in the distance that seemed to linger on in the fog and that was when fireworks went off in my head. What if we really are not alone in the universe? And can you assume that just because there might be alien races out there that they are necessarily more intelligent than us? And most importantly, what color does interstellar travel really have? I present to you the preliminary first chapter of The Day they Descended:

Chapter 1. Maz:

Who can really say how it began? Was it hidden in the signs of deterioration of the earth or in the nature of human beings? If we could have predicted how much we had been wrong about the universe, would we ever have dreamt of venturing into it? But this story is not about the beginnings of space travel, nor is it meant as a discussion about the rights and wrongs about the ideas we had back then. It is simply a story of a man, a girl and a number of other people that seem less important than these two, but will provide good fillers, who would shape the destiny of the planet earth and its decedents.

To tell the story, we must start at the beginning; we must go before the human race became an endangered species and before the people of this story even knew what their faith would be. This story starts with a man named Maz Aldrich.
Maz Aldrich was overall an unhappy sort of man. He was middle aged, divorced, lived alone with his cat and his goldfish in a small apartment, in a largish city in England. His involvement in our story begins a Friday night at around 2 am. Maz had been to a party, a high school reunion to be precise and having been faced with a large number of successful people, whom he had formally been at school with, he had early on in the evening decided that the only way to get through it, would be to get dead drunk. So he did. No one recognized him anyway and the alcohol was free after all. Maz had always thought that the best form of alcohol, or anything else for that matter, was the free sort. When the party had ended he had staggered on to the nearest pub, well technically he had tagged along with a larger group of former class mates and now CEOs, directors and otherwise successful business men. The alcohol here had also been free or rather someone had shouted down to him as he rested on the floor having a hard time keeping his balance on the bar chair, if he wanted a drink. He had nodded and beer had been offered. The others seemed to make a game out of sitting on the floor, so here he was chatting up some blonde rather sassy lady who kept calling him Dickie, when suddenly out of the blue a man dressed in a most peculiar outfit showed up. It was not close to Halloween or Bonfire night and yet this man seemed to be wearing a form of costume only seen in sci-fi movies. His suit looked like sort of a mixture between a jester and a dentist. It was brightly coloured and small bells rang when he walked. He was wearing a bowler hat which really stood out from the rest of his costume. But this was not the weirdest thing about him. His hair was carrot coloured with all kinds of things woven into it and his eyes were an eerie shade of purple. He didn't seem to blink and Maz found his eyes watering by just looking at him. What was this little odd creature doing here? Maz found that he was not the only one looking at the man, if it indeed was a man. He seemed to be young for a man, but old for a boy, yet he had no beard or signs of stubble. The man smiled a white smile and seemed oblivious to the fact that almost every person in the room had now seized their talking and just stood around starring.

"Hello everyone," the man said,” I am looking for a hero!" The silence was intense and Maz had a strange feeling of being in a dream or just being more drunk that he had ever been.
"No heroes?" The man smiled even more. A few people around him backed away and shook their heads in disbelief. But still no one answered.
"I am almost certain that the person I am looking for is supposed to be in this room," he said. Apparently he didn't notice that no one was answering him, so he continued in the same tone:
"I will be quite miffed to have come all this way and not find him, I tell you. Time travel is not only unpleasant for the traveller, but also for the government funds!" Maz caught himself thinking about the kind of government this little man was referring to and his drunken conclusion was, that the man must have escaped from some sort of mental institution where he believed himself to be from another time. Yes this must be the most plausible explanation. Maz took a big sip of his drink. Maybe that would restore normality for a while.
The man removed his hat and scratched his orange head of hair. He pulled out a pink clipboard and a fuzzy pen that you would normally associate with teenage girls writing in diaries. Maz was sure he saw some sort of small animal crawling around on the man’s head, but tried not to make an outcry. These people might be dangerous after all, he reminded himself. He snickered a bit at the thought of a country, where everyone was dressed like the little man with small animals running wild in their hair. Strangely enough he imagined that these small creatures in some way or another controlled their humans. He touched his own hair, just to make sure that nothing was living there at least, then he looked at his feet and the floor moving. When he raised his head again, the little man was starring right at him.
"Umhm," he said and walked straight over to Maz. Maz slided as close to the bar as he could and attempted to hide behind an empty barstool just out of precaution, but too late, the man had set his eerie stare directly on him. Around him people started talking again and soon the music was back on. 
"You sir, might just be the one I am looking for." Maz laughed hoarsely.
"You... you think I am this hero you are looking for? Puddle worms, I have never heard such a stupid thing in my life!"
Of course this is what Maz wanted to say, but drunk as he was half of the words came out as gibberish instead. Funnily enough the little man seemed to understand this gibberish. He looked Maz over and smiled wide.
"Oh heroes come in many shapes and forms, as you will soon find out. No doubt you are in for a surprise in that sense."
"Undoubtedly" Maz answered, "what, you really think you can con me into this make belief world of yours? Is this candid camera or something?" Maz began looking around after the cameras, but people around him already seemed oblivious to his existence.
"It is quite urgent that I bring you up to date with the situation friend. In only an hour or so, things will get really serious. Like mindboggling serious and if you are to save the earth and the universe as we know it, we must act quickly." Maz stared at him, then he said:
"Will you excuse me for a moment?" The man nodded slowly, but Maz got the impression that he didn't really understand the meaning of a moment. Maz could feel his stomach turning and at that moment he thought of nothing else, but to get outside and go home. Sod these people he barely knew and who didn't give a horses behind if he was there or not, this evening had not turned out quite as he had hoped. He waved goodbye to the sassy blonde, who was already in deep conversation with some other guy and took his jacket from the hanger by the door. He looked around, just to make sure that the man wasn't following him, but he seemed content with standing there and waiting for him.
The air was crisp and cool, but Maz didn't mind. The walk home might clear his mind and give him some sense of the madness he had witnessed tonight. He had walked only a few minutes, when he felt someone approaching fast from behind. He looked over his shoulder and saw to his amazement, the little man speeding towards him. Around him everything was quiet, the lights from all the apartment buildings were out and on his left side, the field where the circus and the giant flee marked would set up their tents, was dark and deserted. In the distance he could sense the lights from the big city, but he couldn't focus on them. At that moment, when he heard those footsteps drawing nearer, he realised that he was all alone, and no one would hear him scream if the little man decided to get violent.
"Please, Mister Anderson, you have to listen to me!" The little man had finally caught up with him.
"How do you know my name?"
"It says so on your nametag." He pointed at the plastic nametag, which Maz had forgotten to take off when he left the party. Maz sighed; he had never been one for confrontations and hardly had it in his heart to tell the little man that his name was in fact Aldrich, but someone had stuck this to his chest earlier in the evening.  
"Look, I don't know what you think you are getting out of me..."
"I have already told you Mister Anderson."
"Please call me Maz... Mr. Anderson is from some movie." He struggled to remember what movie it was from, but he highly doubted that this man lived in this world enough to know it even if he did remember the title.
"Alright Mr Maz, I have already told you in brief what you are needed for. I need a hero to help me save the earth, humankind and the universe as we know it."
Maz was about to answer when he heard loud cracking noises, that sounded like fireworks. But nothing showed up on the sky. The little man started fiddling with something in his belt.
"Oh noes, they are here already!"
"What, who... what?" Maz stared into the black sky, that hang over them and then he saw them. Slowly but surely, lights the shape of a projector came closer and closer. Maz stared in disbelief. He had seen fancy hotels and clubs drawing attention by doing this, but those always came with a stripe of light and these seemed to originate from the sky.
"What are those things?" The man sighed.
"I am not sure you would believe me, if I told you."
"Try me..." Maz kept staring at the sky, as the lights came closer and closer and grew in size.
"Well they are ships from a fleet of humanoids that inhabit a planet not too different from yours, only bigger. They have come to colonize the earth as their own planet was running out of resources. So far as I understand, they thought the earth looked green and cosy and well humankind are not the brightest light bulbs in the galactic universe, so it seemed an easy target. Are you with me so far?" Maz nodded sagely. This was all a dream, in a moment he would awake with a terrible headache and a bad taste in his mouth from all the cheese doodles he had eaten at the party.
"There is only one problem though." Maz stared at the man in disbelief.
"Oh right, only one problem... Hmm I wonder what that could be. Maybe the fact that there is a freaking alien invasion happening and no one saw it coming?" The man shook his head.
"No, no. That is the least of our problems. You see, the problem with the ships are, that they are too large to land and hanging over the earth like this, they will block out the sun and moon and possibly a lot of rain. The earth will die you see and with it, all human kind. That is why I came looking for you!"
A loud clanging sound emerged from the ship hanging above them.
"Hear that? That’s the ships making ready for phase one, scaring the human beings into giving them their planet."
"And how to they plan on doing that?" Maz had to shout to make himself heard. The little man screamed back at him.
"Oh that’s the easy part, they will annihilate around two thirds of the human population. Just to set the standard." Maz was suddenly aware that his mouth was open and he at that moment much resembled his goldfish.
"We have to go! Grab a hold of this." The man held out a strange orange book that had no markings on the cover, but seemed to be alive in some way.
"Put your hand on the book... This might sting a bit!" Maz slowly put his hand on the book. Had he only stayed at home this evening, this would have never happened. He would have been at home with his nice TV, a microwave pizza and the picture of his daughter Emma would have been staring down at him, making him feel guilty about not calling her more often or taking the time to listen to her teenage problems. This was his last thought before the world around him started contracting and swirling and everything went bright pink.