Underworld: Awakening

Somehow I’ve never seen this movie.

At 16 minutes in, I think to myself: you know what this movie needs? A totally unnecessary love triangle.

c20 minutes in: the love triangle may have just gone out the window.

Vampires with flashlights.

Nope, back again.

This movie should have been left in my childhood.

Mara

Mara and the Trolls is free on Kindle for the next few days.

I’m working on sequels. If I could get anything going, I’d appreciate it: reviews, stars, anything that shows the book isn’t falling into the void.

Mhoram’s Test

My favorite singular book used to be the Illearth War by Donaldson. It might still be, but it’s very grim and I don’t have the stomach for that much any more. It’s the second of a trilogy, the first being Lord Foul’s Bane, which is okay. The third, The Power That Preserves, is exceptional but not quite as good as the Illearth War.

There’s a duplicated bit in the second and third where one character, Mhoram, uses some special supplies to get to the fight instead of using them for the fight. The basic premise is the good army/people have an ordeal before them, and they’re on the edge of losing due to being worn down. The ordeals aren’t climactic battles, but tests of endurance, will, and morale. Mhoram uses and uses-up his magic stuff to get the people through. The fact that he doesn’t have a lot and comes out with less is significant.

I wonder about that a lot. The book is dramatic, and everything works out (sorta). In the real world, you often need your special stuff to get through great conflicts. What’s more, Donaldson writes with a lot of rule-of-cool, and it’s not like he inventories the special supplies ahead of time. Mhoram has enough to use them, and if plot required more, he’d have more. Reality does not afford that luxury.

But ordeals, tests of will and morale, conflicts that must be overcome by endurance instead of defeating an adversary, are highly real-world phenomena. They happen a lot. How much of your invaluable resources do you burn in the moment and how much do you save for later? You have to get to later, but people don’t have willpower points or hit-point tracks. We don’t really know what we can take, and crude, sloppy, and slippery as real endurance tests are, we don’t really have the option of budgeting too carefully. We just don’t know.

Grading

Writing constructive negative criticism has got to be one of the most difficult things to do.

The recipients will say, “Just be nice!”

But there’s no nice way to tell someone to add page numbers. There are not-mean ways to do it, but ultimately, if the assignment says page numbers, page numbers have got to be added. It’s a functional operation with little regard for the person on the other end.

People don’t like taking criticism that disregards their person-hood.

But like, it’s a page number. What can I say? ‘I know you feel like you should have gotten an A, but I feel like papers without page numbers lose two points, which puts you at a B.’

How do you have that conversation nicely?

Jokes aside, idk. I try.

Websites

I wish the Autopian would hire some people that aren’t angry all the time. Like Stef Schrader. DT and MS are both pretty good, but I generally don’t read MH, PG, or JT anymore.