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The Bibliotheca



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The Year in Review: Reading

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Dec 31 2012 · 98 views

In checking my notes I found, rather to my disappointment, that I have read little over twenty novels in the past year. Not a very significant number at all, and not a very satisfying one, but there you go. Nothing can be done about it now! The past cannot be changed. But that is the point of this reflection, is it not? Evaluating the past to better plan for the future.
 
To Kill a Mockingbird is easily the best novel I've read this year. I believe I already reviewed it some months ago in early October. The vitality, realism and warmth of her characters and story are such as to be irrefragibly lauded, and to leave the reader wishing Harper Lee had not started and ended her career in the same novel, though it is certainly a more than respectable accomplishment for one writer.
 
Free Air was one of the first books I read this year and I loved it. I saw some of myself and my life in the characters and the story, which is always one of the reasons any reader likes a book. Moreover, this is one of the sweetest, most charming romances I have ever read. Sinclair Lewis's style is engaging, his portrayals of the characters and emotions vivid and even poignant. I am not unemotional but I am stoic, and am not easily moved to laughter, nor to tears, and it is one of the greatest comments I can pay an author that he moved me to both.
 
Now, this may sound strange to you, but Tarzan of the Apes was highly redolent of Free Air for me. The latter was was written in 1919 while Tarzan itself was written in 1914, and thus they share a not dissimilar era. But their real resemblance is in the romantic story. It was very touching, even heartbreaking. Otherwise this story has some of the most thrilling action that can be found in literature of more than a hundred years in antiquity, in the midst of beautiful descriptions of the jungle, its denizens, and its enchantments. The depths of the psyche it explores are fascinating, as well. The worst I can say is that Burroughs was no stedfast believer in the writing precept "show don't tell," which at times would have done him much good, while at others he embraced it, while at others still he defied it.
 
I will more briefly recapsulate some of the other highlights of my literary sallies this year. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, was another romance that touched me; Warriors: Omen of the Stars: The Last Hope by Erin Hunter was the epic conclusion to a series I have been following for five, six, possibly seven years; The Bat by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood is a brilliant mystery; The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L. Sayers, . Lastly, The Secret of Chimneys, written by the inestimable Agatha Christie, an authoress nonpareil in the mystery genre, was another brilliant work that stepped, not without keeping its roots firmly planted, out of the traditional detective fiction genre into adventure thriller territory.
 
 
Regrets! Do I have regrets? Further, I should say; apart from the paltry number of works of fiction I have read in the past year. Are there books I wish I had not read? Yes. The Film Mystery by Arthur B. Reeve, and both A Taste for Death and The Black Tower by P.D. James are stains in my memory that will always remind me how not to write detective fiction. It is a genre of the highest standards and the most honorable traditions; and though in modern days it has been deeply tainted, the heart that lies in the Golden Age shall always continue to beat in my own chest and in those of mystery readers and writers like myself. The Golden Age glows with such a resplendent luminosity as will never be dulled or extinguished! 
 
 
And before I conclude this entry, here's a list of some of the best short stories I've read on BZP this year:
 

Special

The Son Becomes the Father

Depression

Clockwork

Black Diamonds

 
Thanks to these authors, and to all the authors of BZP who make it such a great writing community! Moreover, thanks to the BZPower staff, for your recent gift of Off Topic Culture. All of you make the BZP libraries a great place to write.
 
Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:
 


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Polychromatic Frowns

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Nov 25 2012 · 221 views
Short Story
Those crazy Ambagers are at their writing-off again. This theme was "Rainbow."

Polychromatic Frowns


Rainbows make me want to cry.

Surely you’ve seen one. Surely you’ve seen how dreary they are. They’re big frowns plastered across the sky. And their bright colors are incongruently cheerful. It doesn’t make sense. It’s illogical. Irrationality in nature makes me want to weep.

The frown itself is bad enough. It makes me want to frown. But the colors mock my woes and make me want to cry. It’s like the rainbow is frowning at me, and then pretends to be cheerful just to make me feel my own grief more keenly.

A rainbow is like a sad clown. Full of color, but woeful in disposition. It only makes it all the sadder, and even a bit scary, now, because we’re talking about clowns. Clowns are terrifying. Be honest, you’re afraid of them, too. But that’s another topic entirely.

Just the other day, for instance, I was walking along a path through a meadow. Well, that goes without saying, I suppose; I wasn’t skipping along the path. Nobody really skips. Except Dorothy. And if I drove along the path I would have given a lot of people heart attacks. If you’re the sadistic sort, you might do that; but I’m not, and I didn’t. I might have been riding along the path, of course, but I don’t know how to ride a bicycle, and I never ride anything with a mind of its own.

So I was walking along this path. The ground was wet and muddy after the rain and it was dirtying my shoes and splashing all over my nice clean clothes. I hate mud, too, but that’s another story.

I was walking along this path because I didn’t like walking through the tall grasses which always make me itch, and I can’t stand the smell of flowers, and all the bugs disturb me, and of course there could always be snakes. And you never know what could be lurking in those verdant trees, like cats or angry birds or ballerinas. Ballerinas are possibly even more frightening than clowns or bugs. In fact, they probably are.

As I say, I was walking along this path. I wasn’t feeling very happy, which I might have been, if I hadn’t been feeling so sad. It’s hard to be happy when you’re very sad. You can be cheerful when you’re just a little sad, but when you’re grievous it’s hard to be even cheerful, and you can never be happy when you’re sad, of course.

Where was I? That’s right, I was walking along the path, because I don’t like walking through the meadow; and I wasn’t feeling happy, because I was feeling sad; and I looked up. I was looking down most of the way, but it’s hard to see where you’re going when you look down, so I looked up. And I saw a rainbow. It was vividly colorful and wearing an obdurately melancholy moue.

And it made me sad.


Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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Dialect: Yea or Nay?

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Oct 17 2012 · 180 views

Simple question. When you're reading a book, how do you feel about accent? What do you like to see, and what do you dislike? Do you prefer to be free from the occasional phonetic spellings? I'd like to hear your thoughts. Or perhaps, "I'd like to heah yore though's."

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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The Hardest Path

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Oct 16 2012 · 130 views

The detritus of an Ambage write-off isn't always pretty. The theme was "pathfinding," a forecast of the contest. I this day wrote my two entries and submitted them. Though by the rules of the contest I am permitted a third, I rejected this story due to a lack of love for it that, if you read it, will be understandable.

That said, I did in a small way enjoy writing it; though it was a bittersweet feeling as would accompany any writing taking place in the constraints of fifteen minutes is wont to be.

That all said, here is the refuse, the poorly executed forerunner of my The Extra Mile:


The Hardest Path


The stars were bright that night. I don’t think they’ve ever been brighter. It’s funny. The whole evening had been that way.

The twilight had been more golden than I had ever seen it. It gilded everything it touched, glimmering on the drops from the afternoon’s rain. The humidity in the air was warm and caressing, nothing less.

And the rays of the sun as they touched the skies, lending its tinctures to the clouds in varying shades, can only be described by one word: magical.

Even her eyes that night glowed with a sheen that transcended her consuetudinary effervescence.

Ironic. When I felt at my worst, the world is at its best.

When I felt in the depths of despair, the world around me was in the heights of glory.

Even when the tears hung on her lashes like the last raindrops hung from the leaves of the trees; even when her face was as moist as the sodden earth; even when she could hardly keep her voice level, she was smiling at me.

That smile. She always smiled. Always. I’ll never forget it. That memory will be all that remains to keep me company.

She told me it was over. She told me that friendship was no longer possible, the way she felt . . . and the way she knew I felt.

But she told me she wasn’t ready for anything more. And in my heart I knew that I wasn’t, either.

And now I’m lost. And alone. And waiting, and searching. Perusing the profundity of my broken heart and my wounded soul.

Time. It can be an impasse as substantial as any other. Incorporeal or not, it’s more insuperable than most, for there is only one way to overcome it.

Let it pass. Let it go by.

It’s a mire. It’s daunting. But I have to trudge me way through. I have to wait.

How could I do anything else? It’s all I can do for her, now. I always swore I would do everything; how could I turn back now?

When I made the pledge with but God as my witness, I had no idea the task she would require of me would be as hard as this. But I’ll find my way through. I have to.

I love her. How can I do anything else?

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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Ambage Fortnightly Flash Fiction Contest

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Oct 16 2012 · 105 views
Pathfinding

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Is it your purpose to express yourself? Do you want to bring form to thought? Or are you just bored?

Then why not pit your pencil against your fellow writers (or become a fellow writer if you are not!) and join the second Ambage Fortnightly Flash Fiction Contest? Come create with us, and discover meaning in experience!


To dispense with the infomercial talk, the theme is "Pathfinding." Personally I have several ideas, and one of them may just involve a young boy wandering in the woods with a stuffed tiger. But don't worry, the other is deeper. Given that the entry limit is three stories, I might just write both.

And if you ask me, it's almost too easy to connect Pathfinding to Nighthawks. But personally I prefer my other story concepts.

What are yours?

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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Writing Agenda

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Oct 05 2012 · 168 views

I compiled a list to keep me on track of all my projects that pertain to writing, and I thought I'd share it.


On BZP:
- Co-host the Ambage
- Keep up with SSCC reviews
- A long list of "to-reads"
- Plan and write Nothing Destined with AZBlue and Tekulo
- Post The Last Avatar

Elsewhere:
- Write a series of mystery puzzles
- Script a comic series for an artist
- Collaborate on a tongue-in-cheek article on gaming
- Write an article on detective fiction
- Coordinate a writing club

In Life:
- Revise my recently finished mystery novel
- Maintain an 800-words-a-day minimum writing the sequel to the aforementioned
- Convince a friend to let me read her creative writing class works
- Critique same
- Otherwise continue convincing said friend to embrace the gift I have noticed previously in her writings


And by the way, Tekulo, sorry for the delay in my brainstorming response. But here you have my list of excuses. XD I'll reply soon, I prom--well, hope. :P



Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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Nuile's Ambage Achievements

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Oct 02 2012 · 146 views

Here I've compiled my list of achievements:

Into the Sky(pe)! - Participate in a Skype Write Off (5 Points)
Passion

Manuscript Kiddie Pool - Post a short story. (10 Points)
In the Jungle

I Bet You Think You're Funny - Post a comedy. (10 Points)
A Game of Ponies

The Typewriter is Dead - Post a compiled total of 10 works across all forums. (25 Points)
In the Jungle, Karzahni's Locker, Stellar Quest: The Black Gate Opens, Gold and Silver Remembrances, Jungle Beauty, Jungle Rhythm, Lhii and the Hunters of the Dark, The Necrofinch, Mirror, Heritable Honor.

Lyrical Genius - Write a substantial songfic. (10 Points)
Gold and Silver Remembrances

Heartbreaker - Write a substantial romance. (10 Points)
Lighthearted

Vague Subject Matter - Post a story in Completely Off Topic. (10 Points)
Broad Focus Lens - Post 5 stories in Completely Off Topic (30 Points)
Forget-Me-Not Hill, The Right Path, Doctor Who?, The Chimera, Feel Good

Critical Thinking - Substantially review a short story. (10 Points)
The Golden Age

Generalized Words - Review a story in Completely Off Topic. (10 Points)
Inside

Bring in the Specialists - Make a request from the SSCC. (5 Points)
Repeat Customer - Make more than one request from the ECC or SSCC. (15 Points)

Gold and Silver Remembrances, I am the Jungle

A Lovely Contestant - Participate in an official BZP Writing contest. (10 Points)
The Twilight Game

Point Total: 160 points (Novice Novelist)
One Review Token

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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Twinkle, Twinkle

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Sep 23 2012 · 110 views

This is the result of my first Ambage Write-off. Just managed to finish in the fifteen minutes allotted.

Theme: Passion


Twinkle, Twinkle


The fading sunlight shimmered on her dancing hair, turning her raven-black head to an aureole to frame her cordate, angelic face.

I swung my short legs off the edge of the bench as we leaned back, laughing at the joke I had just told.

“Patt,” she giggled, “you’re such a dork.”

I grinned. “But I’m an amusing dork.”

She tossed her head, and the hair danced even more. “So you say.”

“You’re the one who laughed.”

“I only giggled.”

“You were amused.”

“Oh, shut up.”

We swung our legs in synchronization as the sun continued to sink. The gently blowing breeze was growing in strength and lessening in temperature, carrying night in on black wings.

She raised a hand to point at the first star that appeared. “Look! I love it when the first star appears, don’t you?”

I nodded. “It’s like—like a promise. Of the coming night.”

Her head bobbed eagerly. “Most people wish on it, but my mom says that’s stupid. She says it doesn’t grant wishes; it keeps promises.”

“How so?”

“Like you were saying. It’s a promise of things to come.”

I looked up. “So . . . it keeps promises?”

“Yup! You make it a promise and it keeps it for you. So then you have to come through on it. So you can only make promises you truly believe in.”

My head was on its side, regarding the star with a sudden interest. I had never heard it put that way before.

“It’s magical,” she went on. “Stars have always been seen as magical.”

“I’ve never heard it put like this, though,” I said. “But it’s a beautiful way.”

“Do you want to make a promise on it?” she asked.

“Yeah. Like—like—oh, I don’t know. I’ll promise that I’ll never give up on my dreams! I’ll always write! Someday, someday I’ll write a novel.”

“Well, that’s a boring promise.”

“I believe in it.”

“But it needs to be something that you need it to believe in. It can’t be something easy.”

“Well—like what?”

“Something dramatic. Like you’ll—you’ll never tell a lie.”

“But that’s impossible.”

“Well . . .” She bit her lip, considering. “Okay. I’ve got it! Let’s make a promise together!”

“Together?”

“Yeah! We’ll promise each other that we’ll never be apart, and that we’ll always be friends!”

“But what if--”

“Promise!” she snapped.

“Okay, I promise!” I conceded. Then I added, more slowly, “And let’s promise—that when we are apart—because we will be, someday—that we’ll always be thinking of each other.”

“Yeah!”

“I swear it.”

“Me too. I promise.”

And she smiled at me. And I smiled back. And we went back to our stargazing, as more heavenly luminaries began to show their faces. As enough began to appear, we started pointing out constellations.

I watched her eyes light up at the sight of each one. I watched her lips curve at their shapes in that way that always made me happier than I could ever understand. And I promised, silently, I’ll always be with you; we’ll always be friends; and someday . . . when the time is right . . . we’ll be more.

Opinions--positive, negative or optimistic--are welcome, and appreciated, as always.

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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A New Star in the Skype

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Sep 08 2012 · 148 views

Yes, I'm complacent; and yes . . .



NUILE JOINED SKYPE


Big, bold letters, as promised, Aderia. To Ambage letters at large, I hope to see you all soon and enjoy a few write-offs. In the near future I'll also be hosting as occasioned. I'm looking forward to it!

I'll see you tonight, if I can get that infernal "loading" wheel to stop spinning eternally. . . .

Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:




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Wordsmiths, Assemble!

Posted by Nuile the Paracosmic Tulpa , in Wordsmithery Aug 22 2012 · 351 views

Tekulo, AZBlue and I will here be brainstorming ideas and discussing details for the upcoming epic we will be collaborating on. Therefore the comments included herein will contain spoilers. YE BE WARNED.



Posted Image



Team logo. What do you think? Huh? Huh?



Spoiler




Sincerely, Nuile: Lunatic Wordsmith :smilemirunu:








Dramatis Personae

Nuile

A young man with his feet on the ground and his head in the sky, and an inclination to implement the occasional headstand.



Nuile, Wordsmith

Penman of a number of BIONICLE and Neopets short stories, as well as three epics, based respectively on the aforementiond and Avatar: The Last Airbender. This writer has also penned a full-length mystery novel, a work in progress pending final revisions and publication.

More than that, the BZPower League of Authors was his brainchild, which he has developed into the Ambage with the help of Velox, Cederak and 55555. This refuge and practice arena for writers is open to all with a penchant for the literary arts.



Nuile, Bibliophile

For him to select a favorite book, or a favorite writer, would be impossible. But of the latter, he most admires Dame Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harper Lee, C.S. Lewis, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Sinclair Lewis. Favorite books he includes in this chart:

To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

The Moonstone (Collins)

Murder on the Orient Express, Death in the Clouds, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Clocks (Christie)

The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Lost World (Doyle)

Out of the Silent Planet (C.S. Lewis)

Free Air (Sinclair Lewis)

The Bat (Hopwood and Rinehart)

The Nine Tailors (Sayers)



Nuile, Cinéaste

This fellow thinks the world begins and ends with Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Before its birth, however, he confesses that Sam Raimi and David Koepp's Spider-Man, Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer's Batman Begins, the Indiana Jones series, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins were films more than worthy of watching.



Nuile, Television Viewer

The Dick Van Dyke Show by far surpasses any television show produced prior or hence. Father Knows Best, Leave it to Beaver and The Andy Griffith Show are excellent series from a similar time frame. MacGyver is hard to beat. Diagnosis Murder, Monk and Murder, She Wrote are his favorite mystery series. In animation he most enjoys Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel; Batman: The Animated Series alongside Batman Beyond and The Batman; Phineas and Ferb, one of the most creatively funny cartoons he has ever seen.



Nuile, Cuisinier

Asian and Italian foods may be his enthusiasms, but he's not above a juicy burger or a spicy taco. As far as his own cooking, he oft gets more adventurous than his family appreciates, though when he behaves he can conjure a reason for your taste buds to celebrate. By far his favorite meal: Thanksgiving 2011, consisting of Paula Dean's Indian Succotash, Grean Bean Casserole, Orange Corn Bread, Bacon Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Coconut Biscuits, and Mashed Cauliflower and Potatoes.



Nuile, Musicologist

He pleads guilty to sheer ignorance, unworthy even of being called an amateur in this department. But dramatic scores and profound lyrics top his charts. The Impossible Dream from The Man of La Mancha and I Can Go the Distance as performed by Michael Bolton are cited as his two favorite songs, amidst much of Celtic Thunder's work.



Nuile, Gamer

Disney's Epic Mickey, the Kingdom Hearts series, and the Pokémon series are the only video games he considers worthy of notation.



Nuile, Sportsman

As fast on his feet as he is between the ears, he enjoys games of muscle and of strategy. Physically, he likes most to play football; but nothing beats a game of chess in his book.

The Art of Writing

It is my belief that a writer should be above human emotions, desires, vices, flaws; a writer should be almost superhuman, something like a monk. However, like monks, this is not an attribute that comes naturally, rather an ability that must be worked at.

More tangibly, one of the most important characteristics a writer can possess is tenacity. An artist's life is never an easy one. An artist presents themself to the world, and ineluctably there will be critics alongside the fans. But anyone who knows real love won't let it be quelled by what others think. Never give up, never despond. So maybe nobody's perfect; I'm not, and I never will be. But an artist, like a monk, is one who always strives to improve her- or himself, who never ceases to reach for the unreachable. Every amelioration is an achievement. And every day a writer achieves something merely by writing, for every word written is a word toward amelioration. If you are good, you can always be better; if you are great, you can always be greater.

What matters most for writers is that they take pride in their own own work. Ultimately your biggest fan and your biggest critic is yourself, and that's who you have to please the most. No artist truly passionate about their art does what they do for someone's approval or just to get paid. At the heart of every artist is a person who does what they do because they love to do it. I'm an artist; I'm a writer. I don't stop trying to get better, I don't stop striving for perfection--but I enjoy every step of the amelioration process, I appreciate every improvement, and I am always happy with where I am, yet always be eager about where I'm going. Writing is a journey with no destination. Writing is a quest without end. Writing is spiritual nomadism.

And it's not easy. It's frought with difficulty, trouble, disappointment, and grief--but a journey without end gives its reward not in the destination but in every step of the path.

Yet I have not even touched upon just what a writer is; which is because a writer, simply put, is everything. A writer is an artist, but also a psychologist, and a logician, a philosopher, a scientist, an adventurer, an inventor, a politician, a magician, and multitudinous others. A writer is everything because they write about everything. "Write what you know"; that's not the rule I live by. "Know what you write," that's my creed. Writers know a little about everything, and everything about a little. And when they don't know . . . they read!

That's a writer's life. It's the kind of life I love. It's a wonderful gift. A writer's life is the kind of life I live and always will live. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

December 2014

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Quotations

"The problem with putting two and two together, is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two." - Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett)

 
 


 
 

"Virtue is the truest nobility." - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

 
 


 
 

"Our greatest foes, and whom we must chiefly combat, are within." - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

 
 


 
 

"We derive our vitality from our store of madness." - E. M. Ciran

 
 


 
 

"Cultivate a superiority to reason and see how you pare the claws of all the sensible people when they try to scratch you for your own good!" - Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone

 
 


 
 

"Though knowledge and logic may not always steer you right, faith and wisdom will never fail." - Me, Stellar Quest

 
 

"I'm like an old golf ball--I've had all the white paint knocked off me long ago. Life can whack me about now and it can't leave a mark. But a sportin' risk, young fellah, that's the salt of existence. Then it's worth livin' again. We're all gettin' a deal too soft and dull and comfy. Give me the great wastelands and the wide spaces, with a gun in my fist and somethin' to look for that's worth findin'." - Lord John Roxton, The Lost World, (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

 
 


 


 
 
 

"Why does man create? Is it man's purpose on earth to express himself, to bring form to thought, and to discover meaning in experience? . . . Or is it just something to do when he's bored?" - Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

 
 


 
 

"Sometimes I think books are the only friends worth having." - Susie Derkins, Calvin and Hobbes

 
 


 
 

"Mother Nature never shocks me." - Melvin Coolie
"It sure must've shocked your father and mother!" - Buddy Sorrell, The Dick Van Dyke Show

 
 


 
 

"Hey, I know what that is! That's one of those old creamation urns, they put the ashes inside." - Rob Petrie
"Ugh! I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those." - Buddy Sorrell, The Dick Van Dyke Show

 
 


 
 

"I wish I was one of those Danish doctors." - Rob Petrie
"How would that help?" - Laura Petrie
"Well, it wouldn't, except I'd be in Denmark instead of here." Rob Petrie, The Dick Van Dyke Show

 
 


 
 

"What's the big deal? Lots of people have insomnia, and you don't see them losing any sleep over it!" - Grandpa, The Munsters

 
 


 
 

"Anyone who sees a psychiatrist ought to have their head examined!" - Darrin Stevens, Bewitched

 
 


 


[9:26:46 PM] Aimee: it is so adorable how authors have favorite authors
[9:27:25 PM] Andrew P: You're an author. You have favorite authors. =P
[9:27:39 PM] Aimee: yes and i get to talk to them on skype all day

- A Geste of the Ambage Chat
 

Awards

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Some random air-head decided to be pompous and condescending and "honor" me with his approbation. I guess there's a pride of some sort in being recognized by the mentally unsound. It makes me feel special--or weird, one of those two. Thanks, Tekulo!