Monday, March 01, 2010

Round in Circles


An illumination in a more traditional style.


A weekend of going round in circles. But the circles were golden!

I realize that admitting this fact is enough to have my citizenship revoked, but... I didn't watch all the hockey game last night. Couldn't.

Could. Not. Watch.

Heart flipping faster than the puck over the blue line, I avoided cardiac arrest by switching channels to Will Smith and I, Robot at crucial moments. Sometimes, long, long moments.

I'm sure there are writing lessons in there somewhere. Stakes, tension, powerful enemies, Oh Noes...but I'm too limp to construe them.


Have noticed a lot of urban fantasy covers feature a female with a sharp, pointy thing in her belt.

I like it.

Handy things, knives. Bit of a stealth weapon in some cases, an I-can-carve-your-carcass-from-arsehole-to-appetite image in others. Close and personal.

And while an AK-27 or a neat Sig Sauer might be more efficient, I don't think any other weapon evokes dangerous and deadly quite as well as a blade. Daggers, sabers and swords arouse the archtypal in a way a machine-made weapon does not, and as such are appropriate to a genre that relies on myth and legend for part of its appeal.

Not quite so fond of the prevalence of tribal tattooes that take up an excessive amount of body scape. For me, less is more in that department.

What is your view?

28 comments:

SzélsőFa said...

luddites rejoice :)
jokes aside, i'd too, prefer a really brave heroine with a smart dagger, a short, pointy knife, something definitely shorter than her forearm...
one day i might read, or write about her ^^^

(if that was your question :)

Dave F. said...

The hockey game last night had a consolation prize in that Sid Crosby plays for the Penguins and lives with Mario Lemieux in this area. My Niece's son (15 y/o) plays hockey and has met Crosby.

It was an excellent game and game that you watch between fingers, screaming and yelling and running around the house. And I'm a diehard baseball fan.

As for weapons, daggers are feminine and pistols, revolvers, and the like are masculine.

Bernita said...

I hope you do write her, SzelsoFa!

A terrific game, Dave.It was not that I wanted the Yanks to lose,but that I wanted Canada to win, and I was so afraid they'd blow it against such a great team.

Funny about the gender thing.

StarvingWriteNow said...

yes, knives are more personal, and you've got to know what you're doing and get up mighty close to use them.

thanks for the good wishes. am going to the dr. today.

BernardL said...

The key to using a knife in close quarters combat is to not allow your enemy sight of the knife until you use it. A woman can take out a man with any handgun if he wanders in too close, brandishing a gun he is not using while she thrusts without warning with a knife he never saw.

raine said...

Congrats to the Canucks. It only seemed right that they should win. Something positive should come out of having all that cold weather!

I like UF, and approve of the knife in the belt accessory. Am getting a little weary of all the covers featuring heroines with swords, huge daggers, and enormous stakes, if only because there are so MANY of them--and barely a shadow of the poor hero somewhere in the background.

And generally I'm fond of tats, but have seen a bit of overkill with them, yes.

Bernita said...

Relieved that you are going, SWN.It's laid you low too long. Let me know, please?

Right, Bernard!
Not a weapon to threaten with, mostly, unless one is skilled.

Certainly makes for powerful images, Raine!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm with you. Guns are so much more deadly but knives are scarier.

Bernita said...

A way to a man's heart is right through his stomach, Charles!

Whirlochre said...

When I wield a stick of celery etched with a single skull motif, none may touch me.

Rest of the time, I'm a pushover.

Gabriele C. said...

As usual, I'm going against the flow. Clodia, one of the female characters in A Land Unconquered who accompanies her brothers into the summer camp as some of the officers' families did, gets a dagger from her brother to use to save her honour when the army realises they have been ambushed. A very Roman way of thinking. And no, she's not going to suddenly develop into an UF heroine and stabbing Germans. ;)

Peter Dudley said...

Knives are more elegant than axes. The brutality of axes gives me the heebie-jeebies. A knife is more intimate because unlike with a gun (or even a bow), you can't distance yourself from the injury, except possibly with a thrown knife. But an axe represents all the intimacy of a knife with all the brutality of a necktie caught in a gravel grinding machine.

I missed the hockey because I was playing games with boy scouts in the park on a 70 degree sunny day. Congrats to the Canadian team!

Bernita said...

I can see you now, Whirl.
Hellery in the skullery.

Very Roman indeed, Gabriele.

"a 70 degree sunny day."
Peter, you really know how to hurt.

I suppose weight has something to do with it.
One of my favourite heroines promptly cuts her leg open when she tries to learn axe wielding.

laughingwolf said...

nothing like cold, rolled steel; a fave is a tanto, superb japanese craftsmanship...

how bout a silencer for your bow? :O lol

i did not watch a single olympic event, just got updates on cbc radio-1

Bernita said...

Watching the Games was not good for the heart rate, LW!

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I don't genderise my weaponry. Archwardens carry swords in my current WIP, but the evil Bishop can fight with a sword as well. People no longer have masses of bullets via large scale manufacturing in Boulder 2065. They have some, but a handy sword at your hip doesn't run out of ammo. And everyone, everyone, carries a knife on their belt, so much so they'd only surrender it under extreme duress.

I used to have a butterfly knife (still got it somewhere) when I was in SCA. Ate with it, cut fabric and ropes, popped beer cans open, and it kept my fingers busy when I was bored at tourneys.

Bernita said...

I'm not inclined to genderize weaponry either, Betsy, which is why I really like covers with females with big honking swords and such.

I have a neat little CRKT AutoLawks for ...um...domestic use.

hampshireflyer said...

There aren't enough bows in urban fantasy!

I suppose they're hard to hide under a black leather bum-freezer...

Bernita said...

Not pictured on covers at any rate, Alex.
Versions of Diana may have made appearances within stories however, considering the popularity of Greek myths.

writtenwyrdd said...

I love the tattoos, but think that every cover shouldn't have the same elements. You've likely seen some of those funny you tube videos that show how similar covers are?

Anyhow, the prevalence of knives or swords or similar is a bit ho hum with it being so common these days. Perhaps it is me being cynical, but the edged weapons on covers usually makes me wonder if they could possibly use the thing properly, or my eyes roll at how they are worn (as depicted, not necessarily as written.)

Dave F. said...

Just for fun about the hockey game. I would guess that lots of others watched the way you did. At least, lots of others watched the game.

U.S.-Canada most-watched hockey game in 30 years
Monday, March 01, 2010
By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Olympic gold-medal game Sunday, in which Penguins center Sidney Crosby scored in overtime to give Canada a 3-2 win over the United States, was the most-watched hockey game since the U.S. beat Finland for the gold medal in 1980, the "Miracle on Ice" Olympics.
The game drew an average of 27.6 million viewers, according to NBC, which aired the game from Vancouver. That's 10.5 million more than watched the same matchup in the 2002 gold-medal game in Salt Lake City.
NBC said the viewership topped that of the 2010 Grammy Awards, the 2010 Rose Bowl, Game 4 (the most watched) of the 2009 World Series, the 2009 NCAA basketball championship, Game 4 (the most watched) of the 2009 NBA final, the 2010 Daytona 500 and the final day of 2009 Masters golf championship.
In terms of local markets, Pittsburgh was second to Buffalo in viewership. United States goaltender Ryan Miller plays for the Buffalo Sabres.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10060/1039504-100.stm#ixzz0gznn84BA

Natasha Fondren said...

I LOVE tattoos. And blades. :-)

And I think there is a lesson in that. Take Avatar. I saw it twice, because the first time I didn't like it as much as everyone else did. The second time, I was just as confused.

The problem, for me, is that the last hour is so darn stressful, that I actually forget the story. I lose track of it. For me, the action actually fractured the story, broke it.

Although, it could also be that each time I got a huge headache from the 3D glasses.

I loved it in theory. I really did.

Bernita said...

I suppose they are similar because such covers have proved popular w/readers, Written, but I agree.
Always gives me a jolt (in practical terms) when I see a naked blade worn with no sheath in sight.

Interesting, Dave, thank you.
Seems in excess of 15 million Canadians watched the game as well.I found coverage on about 4 different channels.

Bernita said...

Funny. A comment from Natasha shows on my gmail but not on the blog.
Anyway, she reacted to Avatar the same way I reacted to the hockey game.

jason evans said...

I go for the predator stare.

Bernita said...

Aka "Eyes of Death, Jason?
The don't-mess-with-me-or-I'll-hand-you-your-ass expression?
Works for me.

Lana Gramlich said...

I saw a comedian once who said something perfect; "Nice tribal tattoo...Chad."
Knives are definitely a more personal weapon--you have to get your hands dirty in a more literal sense. One can shoot someone from across the street, but to knife 'em, you gotta be ON 'em.

Bernita said...

"but to knife 'em, you gotta be ON 'em."

Yep, Lana. Intimate.