November 23rd, 2003

SD Fub

Writing Course

In the past lesson, we did an exercise with portraying the order of events. We were given eight sections:

A: A king and queen live happily together for 12.5 years;
B: On monday, the queen dies;
C: On tuesday, the king is overcome with sadness;
D: On wednesday, the queen is burried;
E: On thursday, the king doesn't feel well at all;
F: On friday, the king is admitted to the hospital;
G: On saturday, the king feels (against all odds) much better;
H: On sunday, the king dies unexpectedly.

Luc and me had to cooperate on a 'in medias res' story, with the order DABCEFGH. We had lots of fun writing it. Well, Luc wrote it (you will notice more adjectives and sentences consisting of only a noun phrase), but I acted as 'creative consultant': providing the storyline and filling in the details. When it was time to read it aloud, I couldn't keep a straight face, because the prose is so... 'elevated' while the events are pretty down-to-earth.

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The discussion during the writing was pretty funny: "OK, so what is the queen's name?" "Esmeralda, of course" "OK... And the king?" "Ludwig!" "OK, so Ludwig is walking the dogs..." "Corgi's!" "Hmmm?" "They must be corgi's! Kings and queens have corgi's, not just any old breed of dog." "OK, so he was walking the corgi's... What were their names?" "Pim, Pam and Pet!" "OK..."
I think we made a good team, but our styles are too different to allow for really cooperative writing.

During the homework session, it turned out that people didn't really pay much attention to the whole Mythos 'sauce' that I had carefully applied to my story. It was said that it was just like a 'krimi', because of the detectives. No demon-summoning high priest would ride around in a Rolls, and while Lord Peter's insanity did come across, he was dismissed as an ordinary thug.
I have learned not to argue with my readers: if they don't find the 'message' or 'clou' of the piece, then obviously I haven't described it clearly enough. I don't think a mere thug would succeed in summoning a Dark Young, but there you go -- perhaps the Mythos stuff caused a 'cognitive disconnect', so that the reviewer didn't really pick up on that aspect of the story.

Perhaps I have overdone it, which would suck, because that means I have to choose more mundane subjects.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused


Saturday we had been married for exactly three months. klik had to work, and she had completely forgotten about it. She is always complaining about how I'm not romantic and stuff, but this time she was a bad as I normally am.

So I took the bicycle to the city center and bought a small, leatherbound book ('photo-album') that she had been drooling over for some time. When she got back, I gave her the present, and she was really pleased. 8)
Later in the afternoon, we went to the Dukenburg shopping center to get a present for Martijn's new house, and she gave me Shaolin Soccer in return (well, she didn't bring her wallet, so I still had to pay for it. But since half of my money is also hers, it works out. ;) which we watched that evening.
Still a kick-ass movie, and klik liked it very much.

I spent some time working with the Nullsoft Scriptable Install System to create a more appealing setup for SkyAmp. In the end, I succeeded, but it took me a lot of time. The documentation isn't that clear..
And I started on the WinAmp-integration. That should produce something interesting soon. Meanwhile, if any of you people who tried it out have any comments, please let me know!
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased
SD Fub

Finished series: Stellvia of the Universe

Saturday evening, we finished watching Stellvia of the Universe, a 26 episode science fiction series.
The basic premise of the series is that some 200 years ago, an electromagnetic shockwave hit Earth, nearly destroying everything. The shockwave came from a star going supernova -- and a second wave (and this time it'll contain matter as well). Mankind starts building "Foundations", large space stations, to prepare for the Second Wave. This is called the Big Mission.

Main character is Katase Shima, a girl who is going to Foundation II: Stellvia, to study there as a prep student. Apparently she had a big fight with her mother about it (so they don't really say goodbye). She meets various other prep students and turns out to be an ace programmer but a horrible pilot.
It's another 'coming of age' story, set in a school in space. It had undertones of a science-fiction version of Hogwarts: different instructors for (sometimes very practical) subjects like piloting, teachers who are not that strict, and the whole society of students that sorts out its own problems. There's humor and drama, and by the time the Big Mission is about to begin, you're thoroughly hooked to the plot.
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Good points:
- Character designs;
- Integration of the CGI with the cell-animation;
- High production standards;
- Music;
- Most of the plot is pretty exciting.
Bad points:
- Some of the plot drags;
- Loose threads in the plot;
- The students solve all the problems for the teachers -- in my time, the teacher were better at their subjects than the students, but perhaps that's just me.

Overall, I'll give it an 7.5.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused

SkyAmp 1.0 released!

I've just released SkyAmp 1.0. Changes to SkyAmp 0.9:
- Now plays the songs in WinAmp (instead of just making a playlist);
- (Almost) everything has tooltips. Don't know what a particular thing does? Let your mouse hover over it for a while and a short help-text is displayed;
- Spiffy new NSIS-based install.

Play around with it, and let me know if there's anything you want added! I'll update the webpages some other time...
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished