Unfortunately, these changes also mean that I will no longer have this thing so ironically termed "free time". I generally think "I'm leaving BZP" announcements are silly, so let me be clear that I'm not leaving BZP, silly. I expect I'll be around till the bitter end, be it by fire, or water, or gigantic aquatic moons to the cranium, or the slow dwindling of age. I'll be around, but for the foreseeable future, I'll be entering a deeper level of lurk than usual (if that's possible?), so that's one thing that will change.
But enough of that. You might notice the title of this entry. It has nothing at all to do with my online activity. Actually, it refers to the status of what is perhaps the biggest project I've ever undertaken on BZP: A Matoran Dictionary. It's finished. Or, at least, it's as finished as it'll ever be, which is pretty darned close to finished, if I do say so.
What does that mean? It means that, as of now, the Matoran Dictionary contains an entry and an etymology (sometimes multiple etymologies) for every Bionicle name/term that can reliably be considered Matoran in origin. By my estimate, that's close to 85-90% of all Bionicle names/terms in existence. This includes every official "canon" name/term (Tahu, Kopaka, etc...all the way down to the awfulness of Vultraz), as well as technically non-canon names from various media (including the numerous Matoran names scattered throughout MNOG and MNOGII).
The total number of entries, you ask? By my count, about 832. Of those 832 entries, roughly 48% are full Bionicle names/terms (e.g., tahu, kopaka, etc.) while another 45% are authentic subcomponents of those names/terms (e.g., ta "elemental fire", huw "activity"; ko "elemental ice", paka "strength", etc.). The remaining ~7% are "new" terms that I have fabricated out of those subcomponents (e.g., gamadu "jungle tree", from ga "elemental water" and madu "tree"). In total,the dictionary has expanded to three volumes, which I will be posting in succession relatively soon. Yay.
This has been a massive undertaking, and I've probably spent more brainpower on it than is healthy over the past seven or eight years, but even so, it's nice to be able to sit back and say "There. It's done. Whew." For those of you who have been interested, thank you for your interest. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
1. Write for the FFM - There's a Bionicle category and an Off Topic Culture category every other day. That means there's something for Bionicle fan-fiction writers and for normal people too! (=P) By entering, you support writing on BZP, and you might just win something for it.
2. Read the entries - It's a Flash Fiction Marathon, so these things are pretty short. Really, it's amazing what some writers can cram into 750 words. I mean, that's the challenge, right? Sure it is. And reading these entries goes right along with #3:
3. Vote in the polls - This is probably the most important thing to emphasize. It's no fun when a story wins by a single vote out of four votes total. That's just statistics. No one likes statistics. Well, not in a writing contest, at least. Statistics is pretty cool...But I digress.
If you're as convinced as I am at this point, then I'll simply direct you on where to go:
- As of now, the current FFM theme is "The Mask" for OTC (entry period closes tonight, 11:59PM PST)
- As of now, two polls from previous themes are open for voting:
-- "Character Story" polls #1, #2, #3 for OTC (also closes tonight, 11:59PM PST)
-- "Find the Power" polls #1, #2, #3 for Bionicle (closes tomorrow night, 11:59PM PST)
Now go forth, and be awesome.
With this in mind, I’m considering making this an actual regular thing, possibly weekly or twice-weekly, with smaller, more focused amounts of information per entry, rather than the info-dumps I’ve been doing. Already I know that I have enough content for at least another ten to twelve short(er) entries, possibly twice that, depending on how things are paced. It sounds like a lot. . .but there are a lot of words in Bionicle.
But beyond that, the reason for this interim entry is actually to ask something of you. Yes, you--the reader. I see you there, lurking. Answer me this: What do you think? Are you burnt out yet? I know I’m not, but we’ll see. Do you enjoy these entries? It’s not often that I ask for comments, mostly because I know some people may read, but don’t have much to respond beyond “I (don’t) like X”. That’s the nature of the topic, of course, but even so, I’d certainly like to know. Sometimes I imagine I’m talking to myself. It’s good practice, I suppose. Talking. . .
I’d also like to ask if you, the reader, have any “requests”. Are there any particular Matoran words/names/whatevers that you’d like to see translated? If so, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll attempt to incorporate any requests into future entries.
Finally, to make sure this entry isn’t entirely self-serving, I’d like to highlight two (not so) recent topics that are also aimed at putting flesh on the bones of the Matoran language:
Conjecture on Matoran (language) morphology, by QuestionMark -- topic (sadly) dead as of Feb.27. (Received bonesiii’s “Key to Nongu” Award)
Dual Matrix's Ultimate Guide to Matoran, by Dual Matrix -- topic still living as of April 7.
I don’t frequent S&T much anymore, but if I did. . .I suppose I would've been more informed. As it is, I only discovered the existence of these topics last week. There are a lot of great and creative ideas here, so take a look! One distinction between the approach to the Matoran language exhibited in these topics and the approach I’ve taken here has to do with “canonicity”: as realistic visions of the Matoran language, these topics attempt to translate words within the fairly strict guidelines of the canon Bionicle storyline. In contrast, in this blog I have been very free in my translations, decomposing words into smaller and smaller units, affected by regular (but completely invented) phonological processes, and heavily paraphrasing “canon” translations in order to derive consistent meanings across words and morphemes that, on the surface, might seem drastically removed from each other (much as is the case in human language). For that reason, posting any of this as an official “theory” was, unfortunately, never really an option. But that’s okay. I applaud the efforts of those represented in the topics above and encourage you to peruse them for your own personal fulfillment (or amusement). It’s fun stuff. Terribly fun, you have to admit. . .And I think I’ll end it on that note. I look forward to your (possible) replies.
There it is. Title: "Once Whole."
Any and all comments/critiques are welcome.
Regarding the Flash Fiction Marathon (which is still ongoing, btw--enter here or vote here), I'm excited to see such a large influx of entries for this contest. Over 20 in just the first round! Go BZP library-folks.
Also, 'tis (edit: 'twas) my birthday. Thanks for the well-wishings people.
But beware: there is this thing in the rules called a Word Limit. It is an infuriating thing, since I am convinced that I cannot tell a really good story under 600 words. But that's stylistic...I guess I'd prefer flash-fiction based on a time-limit, but that'd be impossible to regulate for a contest.
Oh well, I did manage to whip up an entry, after failing to check the Word Limit (grr) on my first attempt and hitting 1300 words before I knew what was happening. That'll end up in the SS forum sometime soon, I suppose. Silly me. >.<
The reasons for why I was 'gone' include (first and foremost) an interstate move; before that, a major increase in college work (finishing a thesis is harrrd; also, presenting papers at an international linguistics conference is both fun and terrifying), ultimately leading up to (dun dun dun!) graduating with my Master of Arts in Linguistics. You may now address me as Master.
Now, on to the PhD!
But wait, no. I forgot--I'm taking a break from school for a year. Wow, this is different. Free time...at least until I find another decent job. Whew...
Yeah, so that's what's going on with me. I's back.
"Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a blog-hole, and that means comfort."
A Short Bio of the...Author?
=ll=The author of this blog currently resides in the rather dry, bare, sandy climate of the southwest United States. He is a graduate student and Teaching Associate at his university, currently working toward a Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics.
His primary interests include such -ologies as mythology, philology, etymology, syntax, and phonology, along with a healthy passion for historical linguistics binding all these bewildering fields together. Some less academic hobbies include reading classical literature and mythology, high and epic fantasy, science fiction, and the occasional Tolkien biography, as well as attempting (and mostly failing) to write fiction modeled after these genres. His taste in music ranges from classical arrangements to modern film scores (especially when there is not much difference between the two).
In addition to these things, he also harbors the deep-set enjoyment of the Bionicle sets and storyline essential to any hapless LEGO geek who has made the decision to become a member of the BZPower community. Without it, he obviously wouldn't be here writing this, and you wouldn't be reading it. This fact is, in part, what inspired his lasting interest in the art of pixeling, a skill that he apparently isn't all that bad at, although you might never know it, seeing as his severe lack of motivation and excess of procrastination usually prevents him from producing anything much at all.
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= Some Writings =
Unknowledge [Review] - (Epic) Finalist in Epics Contest #7: Murder Mysteries. Unknowledge centers around the mysterious death of Toa Moihu and ensuing investigation by Toa Ros, interwoven with the quest to uncover the reality behind the dark nature of the Dedh-See Scroll. Ultimately, the truth that Ros discovers and is forced to confront may be darker than anyone could have imagined.
Judgement [Review] - (Epic) Judgement opens with a death sentence pronounced upon Toa Jor, watch-Toa of Metru Nui. It then follows the events leading up to this shocking scene, with the arrival of Toa Jovan, bearing grave news concerning the fate of the universe itself, as well as a plan to stop it.
Windows Through the Void [Review] - (Epic) Windows is a serial inspired by the old online serials of Bioniclestory.com. Serial 1 follows Takanuva, Toa of Light, as he journeys across the void to a world of dark trees and night, only to find that he must accomplish another task before his original quest can be completed.
The Time - (SS) A semi-mythic account of the origin of Avan, the first Matoran, in the Time Before Time--the Time of the Great Beings.
Despair - (SS) 1st Place winner of the 2010 Library Summer Olympics (SS category). "Despair" is a prequel to the epic Unknowledge, beginning with the arrival of a mysterious Toa in the city of Moa, deep within the Waste. His motives are unknown, as the nature of the dark Kanohi he wears. But the subsequent arrival of Toa Ros soon sets things in motion, leading up to an epic confrontation between hope and despair.
Dust - (SS) The Dark Hunter Devastator returns to Karzahni, his native land. He must find the Matoran called the Builder and retrieve a stolen tablet, but along the way his encounters with the crazed, broken Matoran and the dreaded Karzahni himself provide him with a sliver of new perspective in this land of dust and living death.
A Storm is Coming - (SS) Entrant in the (now stalled) Lesovikk's Hiatus contest. It tells the tale of Toa Lesovikk's three-day battle with a Rock Lion in a strange land where it never rains and the encounter he has there with the castaway Toa Jovan. Can Lesovikk find the strength to finish his task, or will the memories of his past defeat him? A storm is about to break.
Remember [Archive] - (SS) The Mountains of the Matoran are a strange place, but even stranger are the discoveries to be made within them. Two Agori venture deep into the heart of the mountains, and soon their plight becomes a struggle for survival as they try to escape the strange corridors of this dark place. But at the end of their journey lies a revelation more shocking than they could ever have imagined.
The Coming of the Toa - (SS) 3rd place Judges' Choice winner of Short Stories Contest #8. A glimpse into an alternate history of Bionicle, where something has gone terribly wrong. Kua seeks to discover what it is that the Matoran have lost, the darkness in their past. But can even he resist the power of the darkness that lies beneath?
The End - (SS) Nga-Ro has waited for so long in the darkness and cold of the ruined city. He has forgotten much. But now...even he must find the strength to resist the darkness of death and remember his duty. For the end has come...
The Sight - (SS) 1st place winner in the 2012 Flash Fiction Marathon (Visions Category).
The Power - (SS) 1st place winner of the 2012 Library Summer Olympics: Artistic Gymnastics Reimagine (Bionicle category).
Once Whole - (SS)
Hue #1471 - (SS)
Looming - (SS)
Static [Review] - (Co-authored Epic, OTC) Gold medalist in the 2012 Library Summer Olympics: Epics Unlimited Prompt Relay. Co-authored with Grant-Sud Rises, Velox, and Legolover-361.
Ever Up - (SS, OTC)
Long Day - (SS, OTC)
Beyond the Ridge of Tears - (SS, OTC)
The Trumpet Sounds - (SS, Blog)
- short story
- the end
- matoran language
- Language and Etymology
- a great menace of despair
- content block update
- if the shoe fits...
- marketing ploys
- And if this entry gets no comments I suppose the next survey will be about posting in blogs
- life recap
- Short Stories Contest 8
- these tags are so awesome
- and all that
- pathetic art
- peace on earth
- once whole
- but hey