[Shahar's Scraps] Non-Sequiters

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The player scrapbooks forum is literally a place for writers to warm-up, brainstorm, keep little scraps of notes, or just post things to encourage themselves and each other. Each player can feel free to create their own thread - one per account - and use them accordingly.

[Shahar's Scraps] Non-Sequiters

Postby Colt on January 18th, 2012, 12:59 am

Scrapbook! Yay! Suppose it'd be a good idea to say exactly who's scrapbook it is, so... roll call.

Shahar Dawnwhisper, Drykas, active
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[Shahar's Scraps] Non-Sequiters

Postby Colt on January 20th, 2012, 9:30 pm

I have read some badly written things. I guess that kind of comes with the territory of RPing, especially since I started out with various casual roleplays that could have nothing but one-liners for pages and pages and pages. Heck, I look at my one work from three or four years ago and I can't help but cringe. So yeah, I'm well acquainted with bad writing.

But y'know those pieces of work that are really bad? As in, so fantastically, divinely, horrifically bad that they are almost masterpieces in and of themselves? I would give such a title to My Immortal, that Harry Potter fanfic that makes any good fan's blood run cold at its mere mention. Horrible, horrible writing. So horrible, in fact, that it's almost surreal in its badness.

I tried to read it once. I really did. I couldn't finish the first chapter, which says a lot since the first chapter is barely a couple paragraphs long. I could feel my IQ dropping the farther I got, so I just dropped it and did my best to never think about it again.

And then I discovered something absolutely wonderful: My Immortal dramatic readings. By all that is good and holy, this is some of the funniest stuff I have ever heard. I would highly suggest the series done by the youtuber TehPogo, since the way the poor performer delivers the words with such complete deadpan snark is unbelievable funny to listen to. Add to that the pictures they use to supplement the story and the annotations as you go along, it's simply amazing. While the fanfiction itself is something I would beg you not to read lest you want your brain to liquify and leak out your ears, the dramatic reading is unbelievably hilarious and I would suggest it to anyone and everyone. It's awesome, with all kinds of crazy shit going down; Dumbledore paints the Great Hall black, Snape gets into a fight with Severus, Ms. Norris and her cat Filch chase students through the halls, it rains and snows at the same time and Voldemort starts a band. It's amazing, it really is.
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[Shahar's Scraps] Non-Sequiters

Postby Colt on February 20th, 2012, 7:47 am

Not-quite-New-Year's resolution:

Shahar will not live his life in a rut! I am a bit ashamed of this, but he has done his fair share of hunting threads, and in almost all of these he is either hunting pheasant or grouse. I think he hunter deer once, but that's still not a lot. For what it's worth, I think that this was due in at least some part to my own confusion on the nature of the Sea of Grass. I had thought that it was like an African savannah, which it is not.

And so I have resolved to put new variety in Shahar's diet! It's now much easier to imagine what the Sea of Grass is like, so here is my custom-made menu, crafted with easy-to-reference examples of Cyphrus' fine roleplaying fare. Other wise known as...

Convenient Animals for People in Cyphrus to Know About


ImagePronghorn
a good, common prey animal
Pretty straightforward, here. They're a bit speedy, but with all that grass you're sure to find a decent hiding spot to sneak up on them. They're herd animals, so you'll have plenty of targets but also plenty of eyes on the lookout for you. Unless you're hunting on a team, you probably won't get more than one before the rest of them take off, two if you're prepared and lucky.









Image
Warthog
good source of meat
Another good prey animal, the warthog likes to flee underground when it gets the chance. Though it's got some good meat, it's hide isn't too attractive--you might be able to sell it to some clothiers, but domestic pigskin is probably going to be preferred. Still, the tusks might make good carving material, but then again I've never tried to carve warthog tusk and so I wouldn't know. Watch out, though; they've been known to have a temper, so it is essential to kill with the first shot.


ImageBadger
fur, trap thief
Though the meat isn't commonly eaten, badger fur is known to ward off cold very well and is softer than olidosapux hair. Badger fur is rather pricey compared to other types, but it is not for their fur that badgers are known for. Notorious trap thieves, many a hunter has arrived to a noose to find that not only is the area trampled with badger prints and their kill gone, but their trap destroyed as well. Considered annoyances that are only useful dead, badgers are usually chased away on sight.
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[Shahar's Scraps] Non-Sequiters

Postby Colt on February 27th, 2012, 5:10 am

Enemy Mine Review

I just watched this movie for the first time in a couple years, and I was just as much astounded as I remember being the first time. Enemy Mine is a 1985 sci-fi movie directed by Wolfgang Peterson that stars Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett.

The film is set from 2093 to 2095 in the deep reaches of space within a far-off solar system, where humans battle fiercely with an alien race known as the Drac for a swath of planets. Quaid plays Willis Davidge, a fighter pilot who, after damaging his ship in a battle with the Drac, lands on a hostile planet ridden with dirt monsters and plagued with meteor storms. When he encounters the very Drac that he had been fighting, hatred is in the air, but the two soon realize that if they want to stay alive on the dangerous world they’ve found themselves in, they have to work together.

I’m sorry, I don’t dare give anything else away or it’d be spoilers. Oh, and another thing: DON’T WATCH THE TRAILER! It’s basically someone explaining the whole movie, so don’t look it up unless you want the movie spoiled.

Unlike a large number of modern sci-fi films, this one isn’t just about guns and blood and beating the living daylights out of people. This one has a meaningful message, and speaks to the heart. It’s both a tear-jerker and a heartwarmer, and I have no idea why it’s gotten such low reviews or why no one seems to know about it. The acting is wonderful, the story is touching, the special effects, while they may not be dazzling, were awesome for something made in ’85. I’m also pretty impressed with the Drac makeup; if any of you saw the remake of Nightmare on Elm St, Freddy Krueger had a severely scarred and burned face. While I adore the actor who played him, I found that he just couldn’t act to his full potential because of his mask, which permitted very little facial movement. In Enemy Mine, this is not the case at all. The Drac mask is a complicated piece of work, with moving little sac things and lots of faceplates around the mouth, but you can still see emotions; the cheeks and eyebrows are somehow unhindered, allowing the actor to smile, grimace, frown, scream, the whole shebang.

Anyway, I’d give it a 7.9 out of 10 stars. I highly suggest this movie, which is watch instantly on Netflix and available on Youtube without the first part. If anyone bored enough to read my scrapbook has seen it, tell me what you think.
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Amelia's Non-Sequiters

Postby Sphinx on August 15th, 2012, 8:15 am

/pops scrapbook cherry

Hello Amelia! My name is Anna, and its a pleasure to meet another writer on this site, even in a sort of roundabout way. Of course, we are all writers here, but it isn't often a writer here submits their own personal work.

Yay!

:D
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Lovely Non-Sequiters

Postby Colt on June 1st, 2013, 5:12 am

Oh noes, I has lost le cherry!
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Lovely Non-Sequiters

Postby Bat on June 7th, 2014, 5:56 am

Alright, so I just got back from watching X-Men: Days of Future Past, and I have to say that the movie was awesome. I was shaking when I came out of the theater because my adrenaline was running so high. Time travel is always a tricky thing to do, especially on the big screen, but I think they did alright with what they had to work with. And if you get confused, just let me say that the time travel in the movie is way less confusing than the time travel in the comics, which they actually had to do more than once just to make it even more confusing. The cast was very well done, and I really hope that Wolverine comes back for more, since Hugh Jackman has made it known that he’s ready to get out of the franchise. That’s the end of what I have to say without spoilers, but I have plenty to say with them if you’ve either seen the movie or don’t care about them.

Warning: severe nerdiness out ahead.

spoilers! :
For one thing, I was very glad that they didn’t pull any punches in regards to the future. In the comics, as well as the animated series, the storyline was supposed to be darker than usual. Problem was, both of those mediums were geared for younger audiences and so they had to exercise a great deal of restraint on what was actually shown. They don’t do any of that here, and show no qualms about piles of dead bodies flopping all over the place, hitting you hard and fast with violence and killing off the good guys in some creatively brutal ways. And I mean really brutal––Iceman dies twice, the first by having his head snapped off and stepped on, Storm gets run through and tossed off a cliff (or was that the Great Wall of China? Couldn’t quite tell where they were) Colossus is literally ripped in half by two sentinels and Bishop explodes, with little bits of body flying everywhere. And since they all have powers, it’s easy to show those deaths without any gore, which the studio took full advantage of.

In terms of emotion, there was a very nice balance between the utter hopelessness of the future and the last chance of the past. The future sequences got you riled up while the past sequences gave you time to catch your breath, while also conveying some very heavy, very emotional scenes.

Speaking of scenes, I’d like to give quick kudos to the Quicksilver sequences. The slow-motion in the Pentagon was beautifully shot and put together, and I know that the actors participating in it suffered to see it made. Well done, since it totally paid off.


Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me talk about what I really want to talk about: the end credits scene. Not sure if you’d count that as spoilers, since it doesn’t have any real impact on the movie, but if it seems like a spoiler to you then skip the entire rest of the post. Y’good? Good.

Oh. My. God.

Move out of the way Trask, Apocalypse is in the house. When I saw those four horsemen, I nearly died. The subtlety, the hints, the… er, wait a minute, is that Apocalypse? Is Apocalypse… female?

… Huh. Can’t really tell, but it’s certainly a far shot from the huge, mountain-shouldered blue and purple Apocalypse I’m used to. Male or female, though, it’s Apocalypse, no doubt about it with the Four Horsemen at the shoulder and whatever he was doing with the Pyramids.

Now, I’ve known about the upcoming Apocalypse movie for some time now, but it’s still a blast to see it hinted at onscreen for the first time. However, before now I’ve mostly been keeping an eye out for casting, story, and all around general news on the project since Apocalypse is such a big part of the X-Men universe, and there is one piece of news that I find particularly interesting.

Gambit has been confirmed to appear in Apocalypse.

Played by Channing Tatum.

My first reaction to this news was “Er… what?” Now let me be clear, I know nothing about Channing Tatum’s career, haven’t seen anything he’s starred in simply because he tends to keep to the more silly, action-oriented movies. Which is fine, as I’m not going to rag on any genre, but that’s generally not my cup of tea. Just looking at him though, it’s really, really difficult to picture him as the Ragin’ Cajun. Channing Tatum is beefy. Like, bodybuilder beefy. Gambit is supposed to be lean, forcing him to rely on cunning rather than strength. That alone made the casting seem like a very, very weird choice, as well as Tatum’s almost unbroken string of hunky, man’s man roles.

However, as I delved into the situation that had led to such a development I discovered some very interesting things. One, Channing Tatum is a Gambit fan. As in, he’s read the comics, knows the stories and Gambit is actually his favorite comic book character. Two, Tatum was born in the South. Not Louisiana, but not too far, either. He visited New Orleans often, and he’s reputed to have a very good Cajun accent. Three, Gambit is Tatum’s dream role. He has been campaigning for this role for a very long time, as he genuinely likes the character and wants to put him on the big screen. There’s even been talk of a standalone movie.

Hmm. This got me thinking… could Channing Tatum actually have a chance? It’s not like we haven’t been surprised before. I mean, Wolverine is one of the most badass characters in Marvel, always tough and gruff with a growl, a cigar and an adamantium sandwich at the ready for anyone that pisses him off. And who did they get to play him?

… an Australian Broadway singer. Er, yeah, there was a lot of head scratching and even anger over that casting. But hey, Hugh Jackman delivered a completely unexpected performance that proved that he was just the right person for the role and carried the franchise for a pretty damn long time.

On top of that, Tatum professes to really like the character and to really want to do him justice. Let’s look at Iron Man, for instance––one of the reasons that Robert Downey Jr. gave such a good performance was that he really wanted the role. He fought hard for it, gave up other roles for it, and when he got it he gave it all he had. He really wanted to be the character, and it looks like Tatum has a similar determination. But is that enough to not only appear in Apocalypse, but to carry his own movie, too?

Now, I really like Gambit. I know people who really like Gambit. I love him with Rogue, I love him on his own, he’s just an all-around fun guy to watch get into trouble and get out of it again. When it comes to reactions, I’ve seen mostly two sides of the spectrum: there are the people that absolutely hate the casting, and then there are those that absolutely love it. As for me, I really want to see Gambit onscreen, but only if he’s done correctly. The idea of a standalone film is thrilling. I’d be elated if there was even a slim chance of Gambit and Rogue’s relationship being done in any degree, since they’ve always been one of my favorite super-couples to watch (well, at least in the old days, now the comics are bleh.) Where all the other love stories were serious and tragic and convoluted, Rogue and Gambit were fun and playful but still genuine, and I’d love to see that done. But the big question is, can Channing Tatum do it? Is he perfect for the role? Is he going to totally destroy it? Do I shake my fist at him or do I stare lovingly and sigh?

In the end, I think I’ll settle for an austere glare. Sure, Channing Tatum is really difficult to picture as Gambit, but how easy is it for you to picture this as Wolverine? And if he can do the accent, that’s a huge plus––it’s difficult to make a Cajun accent sound sexy, and Gambit’s supposed to be one of the sexiest guys on the team, so if that’s done right then I will use my imagination to shake Channing Tatum’s hand. He also obviously wants the role, which can play a big part, too. All in all, I’m willing to give him a chance.

Just one.

I love Gambit. He’s one of my favorite X-men. So you’d better do him right, Mr. Tatum.
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Postby Bat on June 8th, 2014, 5:13 pm

Alright, I don’t usually talk about real life stuff, but this is something that just pisses me off again and again and I’ve decided to write about it, even if nobody reads it.

I’m a blade collector. I have been for years, as I feel like swords and knives and spears and what have you all possess a very unique beauty. It’s a beauty in functionality, in the same way we find beauty in wolves or tigers or sharks. Ask someone who’s favorite animal is an eagle what they like about said animal, and they’ll probably reply somewhere along the lines of “I love their grace, their wings, their color, eyes, yadda yadda.” The thing is, every quality that this person would like about them is a trait the have evolved in order to be more effective at their lives. Namely, kill things and eat them. I like blades in the same way; I find beauty in how effective something is, and I collect them when I can.

As with all collections, once you’ve stepped into the hobby you begin to learn the little tricks and curves, you become able to spot the scams and where you’re most likely to find the best deals. Such was the case for me. Even so, there is one pet peeve of mine that pops up over and over, on the good stuff and the bad stuff, and seems to be a universal method of advertising even when that advertising is false: calling something “razor sharp.”

Holy shit with pork and beans, this pisses me off like you wouldn’t believe. Especially when it isn’t true. I’ve bought things that were advertised as being “razor sharp,” but these were always for other reasons such as material or style of creation. But razor sharpness? Give me a break. Have these people forgotten what the word “razor” means? If you advertise something as razor sharp, then I’d better damn well be able to shave with it, because that’s what the phrase means! And then I open them up, and I discover that they’re nowhere near razor sharp, and once I even found one blunted. Seriously? You blunt your blade and then try to tell me that it’s razor sharp?

And this isn’t just something I’ve seen in advertising, I’ve seen it in roleplay, too. I’ve seen plenty of character sheets that say so-and-so’s sword is razor sharp. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but razor sharpness is not only very difficult to maintain, even on a small blade and nearly impossible on a big one, but you actually don’t want your sword to be razor sharp. Yeah, that’s right, you would never want that keen of an edge on your sword, because a sword’s damage potential relies a lot on its cutting potential. Have you ever felt something that actually is razor sharp? Touch it gently, and you’ll actually find that the edge is soft. One of the little quirks I love about blades.

But on a sword, yes you want your blade to be sharp, but you also want it to be rough. Rough enough that if you touch it gently, you know that any harder and it would be ripping through your flesh. You know how cutlery that’s meant to actually cut is usually scalloped? That’s why. It’s something between that and a saw; there aren’t actually teeth or scallops, but there are tiny, tiny little dips and uneven spots here and there, so when the blade actually passes through flesh, said flesh will catch said spots and more flesh will be ripped and torn, doing far more damage than a razor edge ever could. So yeah, a razor-edged sword is a less effective one.

On top of that, taking a razor edge into a fight is just begging to lose that edge. Hit it against anything hard, and it’s gone; razor edges aren’t meant to be taken into danger. They’re meant to be tools, not weapons, because they can cut precisely and more cleanly than anything else.

So yeah. Stop calling your swords razor sharp unless you both know what that means and actually intend your sword to be that sharp, for whatever reason.
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Postby Colt on August 1st, 2014, 3:02 pm

Why Your Wolf Kelvic Is NOT An Alpha


Warning: dream shattering ahead.

There is a common idea in our culture about how a wolf pack functions. This idea is that there is a dominant wolf that leads the pack and gets first pick of the kill, called an alpha, followed by a second-in-command called the beta, some mid-ranged wolves called gammas and deltas and then an omega or two that are at the bottom.

The thing is, this is wrong.

Yes, scientists have observed wolves acting in this manner is some semblance of a group, but there’s a catch to that: these observations were all made amongst captive wolves in groups of unrelated individuals. But in the wild, a wolf pack isn’t a bunch of unrelated individuals, as a great many field experiments and observations have proven. A wild wolf pack has a single breeding pair and their offspring.

So “alpha” to a wild wolf doesn’t mean “dominant over the others.” It just means “parent.” There may be rough hierarchies as to who’s strong enough to prance on over to the elk and shove their sibling out of the way of the best parts, but there are no “ranks.” There are no betas or deltas or even real omegas. Wolves will not “adopt” unrelated wolves into the pack unless one of the previous alphas die. Offspring will stick around until they grow up, maybe a little bit more so they can see mom and dad raise another litter and get some of their parenting tips before they leave the territory. And on that note, “lone wolves” aren’t particularly stronger than normal ones. If anything, they’re probably weaker, younger and more inexperienced because they’ve left their natal pack and are on their own for the first time. Once they meet a pretty little wolfie of the opposite sex that makes their heart thud, they become mates with him or her. Wolves mate for life unless one partner dies. This pair will then try and scrape out their own territory, where they will have their pups. These pups will grow, learn from their parents and then strike out.

Only once a pair has had pups can they be considered “alphas.” So, has your wolf Kelvic had a baby and are they currently in the process of raising that baby? Then congratulations, you are an alpha. Otherwise, you aren’t.
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Lovely Non-Sequiters

Postby Khida on August 1st, 2014, 4:02 pm

I was reflecting on this very thing last week. I just wasn't motivated enough to post about it. Points to you!
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