[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Gale Austin McCenry on February 3rd, 2014, 12:43 am

Wait-wait-wait-wait-wait!! Baaack up for just a moment here, Abby.

Is Prim and Katniss' description for the personality test the exact same? O-O'
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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Abstract on February 9th, 2014, 1:49 pm

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I should have mentioned this earlier, but I hadn't realized I'd be so busy over today and yesterday... the explanation for my lack of posting... anything.

My school band is having (and had) two events around this week. One was yesterday, eating up majority of my day with practice and a performance. The day before was mostly practice as well, since we needed to be ready for Friday. However, though the Friday thing was over, it wasn't really a serious performance... that (which is also a competition) is coming on Wednesday, on top of school. Hopefully practice for that wont get in the way of my usual free time for Mizahar, so it's not as much of a panic...

But to throw out some thoughts on Friday...

There were four bands at the thing... I'm not quite sure what it should be called. We played a song, and a composer/music teacher/conductor guy came and worked with us on it. However, the scary thing was the other bands... they were all SOO much bigger. One was at least 100+ people... we had 45. They had FIVE tubas, two double bass(es?), two bassoons, two oboes... all that stuff. One group had seven French horns... v.v I generally find counting the lower range more effective than all the flutes, clarinets, and saxophones. There's always a lot of those.

To compare that to our numbers in the bass area... one tuba, one bari sax, two bass clarinets... three trombones. None of the baritones could come (of which there are two..) All those extra instruments mentioned? None.

It was... intimidating. Especially with the competition coming, we were seriously hoping they wouldn't be participating... but I slightly doubt it. Since the concert-thingie was by invitation, those four bands were probably some of the best in the area... they'd want to compete.

On a band-related note... even though this is REALLY early, I'm going to be away for about a week in April. There's a band trip to NY, which should be very, very fun :D
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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Wanda Endust on February 9th, 2014, 4:01 pm

:lol: You wouldn't happen to live in Georgia would you? Haha, my school takes three concert bands to competition, each about 100 people! It gets a bit hectic, but our marching season is even bigger. :P And we just love intimidating smaller bands, so...

Just remember, concerts are about quality and not quantity. Those bigger bands might come across as more powerful, but it's also harder for them to get the feeling of quiet parts and to get everyone to play on the same beat. I'm sure you guys will do wonderfully!
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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Abstract on February 9th, 2014, 10:23 pm

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Nope... Canada :D

Wow... big bands. We have a pretty large school (1800) but it's very... academically oriented. More people are interested in the sciences, or business, or law, and that sort of thing, rather than music itself, so the numbers are small. My band is one grade, and though there were about 10-ish people missing that day, it was also supplemented with a bunch of people in the lower grade.... so it works out. I don't think any of the bands are too large, anyways...

It was mentioned that with bigger bands, there was a lot more to go wrong, as well :) The word 'expressive' was mentioned a lot. We eventually translated it into 'add dynamics changes and accents where you see fit'. Also, there were a lot of unintentional solos... if one of the first trumpets (of which, I think, there are two) made a mistake... you could hear it. Easily. Nearly an ensemble in that area, but not quite :P

It was fun though. One of the groups picked a VERY good song for a big band, called 'Voice of the Gods'. Long, and utterly epic.
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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Abstract on March 16th, 2014, 4:38 pm

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Skiing


You may or may not have noticed, but I have been doing a lot of skiing this year. A lot... especially compared to earlier years. In total... 5 days. Which is a lot, when you live a few hour's drive from any decent hill, and a good six or seven from an actual mountain. The only place nearby is so small I'd rather call it a toboggan hill rather than anything for skiing or snowboarding...

But I shouldn't complain. Most of the world isn't in any situation to have skiing, so I'm lucky to live where I am. My standards are high, however, as when I was younger I spent three years in Germany... which meant it was easy to get to the alps for some pretty amazing skiing.

Anyways, I've been skiing for a while... since I was four or something, I think. I can't remember. I wouldn't consider myself any kind of expert, but I'm no beginner... except possibly when it comes to jumps and tricks. I like air time... but nothing longer than a second XD

Skiing is fun. It's probably my favorite sport. Okay, it can be cold... but that's why you dress warmly. Expensive? Certainly. Hence why I only go a few times a year... and most of my equipment is hand-me-down. But it's very, very worth it. Going down the hill, well... it's awesome. I don't quite know how to describe it.

..I was sure this would run on longer, but it seemingly hasn't. I was going to describe what it was like to ski, but... I can't seem to put it into words.

Oh well XD

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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Abstract on March 17th, 2014, 10:19 pm

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A friend and I have recently made a sort of deal on presents, this year. For my birthday, I was given a drawing of hers... a beautiful green tiger that now sits on a frame on my wall. For her's... well... I wrote her a story. I'm not too sure about it personally, as the ending is purposefully vague, but maybe too much so. I love the intro, though. Still, she seemed to like it... but demanded a chapter two, even though it was just supposed to be a short story.

Anyways, I've decided to put it here, to see what you guys think. Any criticism, in grammar, plot, or voice, is welcome. It's a good four-pager, but otherwise not too long.

Story Below :
I understand now. I understand so well, I want to laugh and laugh and laugh. Laugh until everyone stares at me like I’m crazy… And I might be, maybe. You can never be quite so sure.

I guess I’ll have to start at the beginning then. Fine. My father: my father was – is – a carpenter, a good one at that. He makes furniture and sculptures, working out of a small shop. Every once in a while he gets a few rich customers, and sells a few good pieces. It was a reliable life, calm, serene, happy. Well… everyone else was. I felt… edgy. Off. People talked about relaxation and calm, while I skittered around like an ‘excited rabbit’ as my mother put it.

Father wanted me to become a carpenter like him. Why not? I would know my teacher, and it was a simple, honest craft, as he put it. Basic. He tried describing to me the contentment and joy of etching words and designs into the soft surface, matching colors and varnishes, and building something with my own two hands. All I saw was… wood. Just wood. And a job that was boring, smelly, messy, and gave me splinters. For some reason he never seemed to get splinters. I always did.

So that was why, when it came time for me to choose where I wanted to apprentice, I didn’t choose carpentry. It wasn’t much of a surprise by then, however, the surprise was my decision. I wanted to be a Shadow-Speaker.

When I first brought up the intention, I created an uproar among my family. Shadow-Speakers were the only common users of magic… and even at that point, they weren’t common. But… they weren’t uncommon either. Just that sort of in between. Everyone else who used the mystic arts was priests and priestesses, having been given the power of the gods. Because of this, some Shadow-Speakers were distrusted for the ‘unnatural’ use of magic… though they weren’t trusted for other reasons as well. More legitimate ones.

The second reason was simple: there had never been a boy Shadow-Speaker. It was silly! All were women, for some reason or another. Some said because all women were more persuasive and subtle… but as if men were not as well. Anyone could be secretive in that way. It was a boundary to leap, but one I didn’t care about. It was what I wanted, after all.

Then came the questions of why. Why why why. They couldn’t seem to stop. Why not carpentry, even though I clearly despised it? I’d prepared myself for this, so had several good arguments of my own. I was always better at talking than fighting, people said. I could talk myself out of any battle… though I knew adults who were better. Those merchants who wheedled money out of unsuspecting shoppers? My role models… though everyone else disliked them for that.

Excuse number one. I like shadows. I hate the summer heat, and instead like being inside, being in the dark. Wasn’t that the most obvious sign? I could sometimes feel shadows moving too, though I didn’t mention that. It scared me a little. Shadow-Speakers were people who found their own shadow, and worked with it as a companion. They had to like the dark.

Excuse number two. I had the perfect mentality. Persuasive, talkative, quiet at times. Contemplative. The one Shadow-Speaker I’d met had been just like that, brooding to herself, and chatting with her shadow. Half the time, they talked with their shadow, it was said. All I knew about the profession was the gossip, though… Shadow-Speakers didn’t talk about themselves. Only a few things were allowed to leak out. Sometimes jobs were unreliable because of that, and they had to travel.

It talked and talked, trying to explain to my folks why I wanted this. Eventually, I had to fall back on my last card. Not any epic idea, however. Just… they couldn’t influence my decision. The whole idea of youth picking their future at 15 was to ensure they knew what they were doing, and understood the options. Other people didn’t pick for them, they couldn’t change it. So I threw that at them, and walked out. Luckily it was the day before my choosing, so I spent the night with a friend, in order to avoid my parents’ disapproving stares.

So my choosing came and went. There were a few gasps and stares when I proposed the idea, but the Shadow-Speaker representative gave me a quick look-over and nodded. I’d never seen her before, and she was a bit intimidating… but I stood straight and gave her a neutral look. I was good at neutral looks. She gave me one in return.

And so went the event. It was tempting to stick my tongue out at my family as I went past, but I pretended not to see them instead. I didn’t need them anymore. I was probably going to regret the bitter dislike in a few days, but for now, I was content to hold a grudge. They’d argued against my choice, and I had proved them wrong. It was a little maliciously disturbing, in retrospect. What had I been thinking? All those negative thoughts… make me shudder.

I was quickly introduced to the woman who would be my tutor for the next few years. Amelia Rowen. She was calm and quiet, a little attractive, though it was obvious she wasn’t trying very hard. She dressed in simple but quality clothes, with a single piece of jewelry… a pair of white opal earrings, dangling gently from the lobes. Her hair was a dark color, nearly black, though I could still distinguish the brown without too much sunlight.

While I observed her, she instantly changed my view of ‘Shadow-Speaker’ and ‘Apprenticeship’ around.

“You’ll not be studying with me too long. Just a week of lessons, in preparation, and you’ll be off to find your shadow then. As long as I find you suitable, of course.” She smirked, just a little, as I gaped. A week? A week of training, before I… what?! It makes sense now, as everything does, but at the time… I was flabbergasted. I quickly regained my composure, however, closing my wide open jaw and calming my stare. She looked almost pleased at the quick reaction.

“A week? That’s… not much time,” I said with slight surprise, managing to hide the shock from earlier. She simply nodded, again smirking… was it at my ignorance? Thinking back… probably. I was so ignorant then. Gods, everyone was. Laughable.

I trailed after her, and she gave me a place to stay, explaining that there was little to teach, until I had my own shadow. She kept hesitating on the word, like she was unused to it. I noticed it, but didn’t think too much on it. Maybe she called them by a different word. Companion? Friend? How could shadows be friends? I was sure I’d learn it later on, however.

It was true that there was little to learn. A bit on shadow mentality, a bit of acting and speech practice for fun, and the history of Shadow-Speakers as a whole. It was painfully vague, however. All so different from my simple and direct family back home. The contempt disappeared after a while, as I’d predicted, and I began to miss them a bit. Mostly because of our bad exit. Maybe I’d say hello after I found my shadow.

As I waited, growing tenser and more worried –or was it excited? – by the day, I found myself wondering about what my shadow would be like. Amelia was so vague, barely telling me anything that I couldn’t quite say. Finally it came though. That seventh day. The day I’d head out into the woods and find… what would I find? I didn’t know. A shadow, obviously. But what kind of shadow? What would it be like? The morning before, I trembled in excitement, despite my slight training in hiding such things.

I was sent out at early dawn, the sun barely peeking over the horizon, creating long deep shadows. Shadows… there were so many. Which would be mine? Or were the shadows we talked about something else? If so, where did they come from. After a week of learning, how could I still have so many questions? They’d all be answered, however. Soon.

I found a quiet little rock by a stream and sat, unsure of what to do. The process hadn’t been explained after ‘enter the forest’, so I decided waiting would be best. Not getting lost would be better. The trickle of water against pebble sent me into a quiet lull, staring blankly at the mossy ground for… how long? I couldn’t say. Ages. It felt like that, at least. It could have been fifteen minutes for all I knew.

And then it came. Not a moving shadow, like I’d expected. Something picking itself up the ground. Nothing like that. Just… a voice. Quiet and wispy, that sounded like it came from everywhere at once.

“Hello,” it said simply, causing me to look up in surprise. There was nothing around me, nothing changing or moving. The shadows were still there, from the rising sun. Did it come from there?

“Hello?” I replied in kind, voice a question.

“Hello.” Was it mocking me? Maybe. Gods, there was so little I knew!

“Are you a shadow?”

“Depends.”

“On what?”

“Your definition of ‘a shadow’”

“What Amelia was talking about.” It felt lame and childish, but what else was I to say? I couldn’t think of any other way to describe it. It probably didn’t even know Amelia… but I was wrong.

“Rowan? Sort of. She knows me as shadow. But the shadows she told you about are off.”

“Off how?” I was confused. I saw myself in third person for a moment, talking to nothing in particular. Did other people see this, when a Shadow-Speaker talked to a shadow? I did catch the lack of ‘a’ in his it’s first statement, however.

“Well, first off, she spoke about them as plural. There she is wrong. There is only one shadow.” I stared. One shadow? Stupid. I could see plenty before me! Each Shadow-Speaker had their own, didn’t they? But… why would it lie? To mess with me? That was too likely a situation, so I took the defensive.

“Riiight. One shadow. That doesn’t make any sense.”

“I always like this part.” It practically giggled. I scowled at nothing, annoyed at the mockery. Slowly, however, something moved. The shadows moved, up along one tree, creating a silhouette as tall as I am on a thick trunk. The silhouette of a large, antlered stag, tall and proud. I glanced behind me to see if there was any such deer, but… I was alone. Except for this shadow, of course.

“All shadows are one. Me. The Shadow-Speakers don’t talk of me… but they all know. They’re all just so good at keeping secrets, you see. And now, I will adopt you. You will become one of mine. All you need is a name…” The voice came from a direction now, from this inky black stag on a trunk. It’s speech sent my mind whirling, accusing it of lying, mocking me, messing with me… but I couldn’t push myself to say anything. A name? Why would I need a name? I had a name. And what did it mean by adopt?

“Anler. I am a stag, and I have antlers. Anler is just a shortened form of antler, since that doesn’t really sound like a name.” He mused, muttering a little. I finally blurted out my confusion.

“I don’t understand,” I complained. It was probably the most honest statement of my life. So the stag explained. And I listened in silence.

And understood.

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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Abstract on March 23rd, 2014, 3:50 pm

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Wow... a year. Today, officially, is the one year 'anniversary' of my first PC, Spirit. When I started, I had a feeling that I'd probably drift away from Mizahar like I did with a lot of things. I didn't think I'd reach a year. When I became a JrST, I didn't believe I'd become a DS. But... look at me now. Wow. One year later... I've done a lot of writing, a lot of posting. My first goal here was to write to eventually improve my English mark. Well... it didn't change. At all... not even a percent. I'm good at creative writing... but not essays XD

So... I succeeded, in a way. I've stuck with something for a full year, a personal thing. I can only think of two other things that have lasted that long. Tai-Kwon-Do... which has also recently reached an anniversary, though for that it's FIVE years. And... playing the Bass Clarinet, about four and a half years. So... wow. Even with games, hobbies, all that other stuff... I drift on and off as my attentions turn to other things. Except for these three things. Writing, a sport, and an instrument. It's a little funny...

Yea XD

---

On a completely unrelated note, I found an amusing coincidence in two of my PC's threads. It's something you could easily over-analyze, if it had been intentional. Oryani started a kind of unintentional-journey over the end of last season and this. The first thread of the trip started as such:

Oryani was in a good mood. Why wouldn't she be?


And the beginning of the closing thread?

Oryani was in a bad mood. How could she not be?


See the connection? But... it makes sense. She starts the trip with something short, on the job, good luck and all. It ends after a series of events that could be considered both incredibly lucky and unlucky. Starts happy... ends grumpy. Very... grumpy. Even when she gets into a decent situation, she has a grudge against... everything. The language, the people, the other people, the horses... anything possible to have a grudge about XD

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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Abstract on March 26th, 2014, 9:18 pm

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Mm... This is a must read. There's a flash comic-manga thing on deviantart that is just... amazing. The story is beautiful, the characters too... but the most beautiful of all... is the art.

Just read the first chapter, here. The story was never finished, sadly, but it's still wonderful and emotional...

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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Abstract on April 4th, 2014, 12:00 am

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I've been fooling around with digital inking/coloring a bit, and finally decided to try my hand at a picture my friend drew me months ago. The final image is below, next to the original paper image. I think it turned out pretty well, for a first try. Th

Warning, Large Image :
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I'm excited to try this again, as ANOTHER friend is now drawing all my characters... then scanning them for me. So... I get to outline and (maybe) color them too!

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[Spirit/Abstract's Scrapbook]Musings of a muser...

Postby Abstract on April 11th, 2014, 11:38 pm

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I'm having a very weird day today... in two parts.

Lets start with the first. I started my day... a little hyper. Vibrating, needing to move, bouncing a little. Not too extreme. It was kind of funny, as it doesn't normally happen, and faded away.

Sadly, an hour later, it came back... worse. By worse I mean WORSE. I couldn't stop my left hand moving without grabbing it, and I couldn't even hold a pen to work or take notes :| I kept dropping it... again... and again... and again. I twitched and bounced around, mentally feeling fine, but my body didn't seem to want to stop moving.

It too faded away, eventually, lucky for me :) I'm still a little...twitchy though. I hope it doesn't happen again >.>

---

And for part two... this is a little more logical. I had to have some fillings put in and cavities removed, so most of my mouth was frozen this after-noon. The top half is... better... but I can't feel my bottom lip. And it's weird... I keep accidentally biting it and my tongue, and not realizing it... because I can't feel anything. Amusingly, the numbness reaches my right ear, and almost to my right temple. My left side is fine, though.

So I feel all funny... my apologies for a lack of any kind of post today, I'm just feeling... off... Hopefully the numbness will fade, though :)
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