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What I did on my holidays... - Words in the Heroes' Tongue
I have a variable-sword. I urge calm.
What I did on my holidays...

Happy birthday to sammywol

First here's a rec; ffutures is writing a BtVS/Harry Potter crossover, incorporating Season 8 and Deathly Hallows canon, and is doing an absolutely marvellous job of balancing the two ‘verses. Delightful stuff. Fourteen chapters completed so far. Dead Trouble.

Last weekend I was at the Writercon UK Midi-Meet. I had a great time. It was wonderful to meet in real life my friends from on-line; and people who I hadn’t known before turned out to be delightful also.

I did two presentations. My talk about fight scenes was flawed, I’m afraid; I hadn’t been feeling well in the week leading up to the trip and, as a result, I hadn’t done as much preparation as I should have done. My original intention had been to write the whole thing down in detail so that I could read it out prior to the event and time the result. curiouswombat said that she thought this would make it into a very dry lecture and persuaded me to abandon that plan. I shouldn’t have listened to her; working from only very sketchy notes meant that I had no idea of how long it would take, and it was too easy for me to be distracted. I spent far too long on one little side issue and omitted three points altogether. It seemed to go down reasonably well anyway but I know that it could have been better.

For the Drabble workshop I gave a very brief talk, showed a few examples of my points, and then filled in the rest of the time by forcing everyone to write drabbles.

I wrote a drabble beforehand to use as an illustration of one of my points. It didn’t quite come off, alas, because I had expected people to have heard of a particular small town in Norway and it turned out that most of the attendees hadn’t. The town in question is extremely tiny, with a population of only 352, but it is quite famous anyway – although not as famous as I’d thought – and people from all over the world go there and make a point of sending postcards home. Another strike against the drabble was that a quote from a recent blockbuster movie turned out not to be as widely known as I had been led to believe. I’m posting it here anyway; some of you might like it, although it’s definitely not one of my best.

It’s one of a strange sub-set of Buffyverse fics in which Buffy and Spike, sometimes accompanied by one or more other Scoobies, visit the Scandinavian Arctic. Despite the obscurity of the subject I’ve read at least 4 examples of the genre (although they may be the only 4 examples!). This is 100 words (of course), rating PG for mild swearing.

Snow Patrol

“It’s not like we’re even out in the wilds,” Buffy complained. “Trondheim’s only about twenty miles away and that’s a city, right?”

“Can’t see twenty sodding feet in this blizzard,” Spike pointed out. “We’re bloody well lost. Might have to spend the night out here with nothing to eat. Bugger.”

“Lighten up, guys,” Dawn put in. “I see a road sign thataway and, hey, buildings and lights and things. It’s probably Stjørdal.”

Spike peered through the snowflakes and read the sign. “Nah, ‘s not Stjørdal, Nibblet,” he told her, “but at least it’s a town. Tonight we dine in Hell.”

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15 comments or speak 2 me
From: beer_good_foamy Date: August 15th, 2007 09:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I thought it was funny as... heck.

At least they're lucky they were in Norway and not Austria, because Spike and Dawn in Fucking would just be... wrong.
just_sue From: just_sue Date: August 15th, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
just_sue From: just_sue Date: August 15th, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know having to explain a punch line is never good, but reading this again after a few day, and knowing what it means, makes all the difference. I can't promise that I'll ever be able to pronounce Stjørdal, but I can certainly say Hell...and now know exactly where it is! *hugs* xxx
bogwitch From: bogwitch Date: August 15th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
If it's any consolation, your fight scenes talk was the one I took the most notes on.
sammywol From: sammywol Date: August 15th, 2007 10:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the good wishes! Loved the Drabble - but then I sm a fan of the Nordic Arctic in general.

Professionally speaking I would always advise against the reading lecture aloud tactic but the art fo writing good notes takes a bit of learning, timing being the toughest element. I think practice is the key though. I have a colleague who used to write out every word of his lectures, including jokes and fake ad libs, and now, seven years latewr, goes in with one index card of points. However, he has his timings for each point down ruthlessly at this stage.
gillo From: gillo Date: August 15th, 2007 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think curiouswombat was right about not reading aloud from a script - that would have been stilted at best. As it was, you were interesting, held everyone's attention and covered a lot of ground, even if it wasn't quite what you'd planned. The Iron Duke was right about interrupted plans: "Tie a knot and go on."

I enjoyed both of your sessions very much. I think the best bits for all of us were the relaxed chatting though.
brunettepet From: brunettepet Date: August 15th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was delightful, and the punchline worked for me.
ffutures From: ffutures Date: August 15th, 2007 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ummm.. can't honestly say it particularly works for me, perhaps because I spotted the punch line coming (you've used the name in another story)
ffutures From: ffutures Date: August 15th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, and thanks for the rec!
zanthinegirl From: zanthinegirl Date: August 16th, 2007 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
Cute! Odd how many countries named a town "Hell" when you stop an think about it though!
xwingace From: xwingace Date: August 16th, 2007 07:51 am (UTC) (Link)
'Hell' in German means, approximately, 'bright'. Hell is 'Hölle'. I can very well imagine that 'Hell' in Norwegian doesn't mean hell either...

xwingace From: xwingace Date: August 16th, 2007 07:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, yes, and here in NL there's a town/city called Helmond. 'Hel' means hell, 'mond' means mouth...

camkin From: camkin Date: August 16th, 2007 11:51 am (UTC) (Link)
never heard of the town before, but i got it once i read that last line.
i was amused. :D
ozma914 From: ozma914 Date: August 18th, 2007 10:29 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, *I* got the drabble!

I'm with you on preparing and timing when it comes to giving presentations. I've found it's very important not to read word for word from a prepared text, but it's also a great idea to practice and have notes with keywords, so everything's covered. I'd fall apart if I had to go before an audience cold, with no prep work.
cbtreks From: cbtreks Date: October 7th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
And if they ever find themselves sight-seeing in Michigan, they may end up with a sense of deja-vu. There's a Hell there, as well.
15 comments or speak 2 me