Not exactly the Olympic Games…

(Sometimes, irony not only catches fire but then floats up into the sky and drifts away…)

I’ll just give you the short(ish) version:

A few people in the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) decided they wanted to take up fencing/rapier combat, so my brother, as the local marshal (person in charge of SCAdian immitation-medieval-combat activities and such), has to be able to train them. This means he also has to have his own gear — fencing sword, face mask, etc. — in keeping with the regulations in the SCA Rapier Combat Handbook. (Tangent: These people desperately need someone to copyedit/proofread their official publications, not only on a Society-wide level but also at “kingdom” and small-chapter levels.) This means he’s making himself a “fencing doublet” that looks like the style of coat worn in eastern Europe in the late 1400s/earliest 1500s. (Grace offered to make the coat for him, but he wants to do it himself. She is, however, drawing the pattern for the coat — he could probably do that himself, too, but… Well, there would be jokes. More so than there are already, I mean. And Paul says, “Sometimes Grendel doesn’t like being compared to the other guy.” *shrug*)

SCAdian fencing is not like modern fencing, by the way (which is why the title for this post works even if you don’t know the work of fiction it’s from); there’s far less moving in a straight line and trying to stab a hundred times as rapidly as possible, and a lot more actually moving while both attacking and defending. (In our opinion, typical modern fencing — like what’s done in the Olympics and such now — is ridiculous.) I imagine the name Talhoffer is going to be mentioned a lot while my brother is teaching other people how to fight using blunted blades. (Hans Talhoffer wrote a book on fencing and such back in the 1400s. Given C. Grendel’s time period and whatnot, it makes perfect sense that this persona would be familiar with the same fighting styles and techniques.)

Y’know what the really scary thing is about SCAdian fencing? I could do it, too… The trouble I have with my legs wouldn’t interfere. And since a face mask is worn while doing it… *evil not-sinister-twin grin* I mean, people are acustomed at this point to my identical twin fighting with either hand, so there’s no way to tell for certain whether the guy in the fencing mask is left- or right-handed. (I’d wear dark blue, though, instead of dark green. *wonders if ‘viewpoint shift’ would include improved skill with a fencing sword* …Wow, this post went places I wasn’t intending! I should stop comparing C. Grendel to “the other guy,” yeah? Since I don’t like it when anyone does that to me, with a different fictional person? ‘Wait a minute! Gianni is Grendel’s twin? I didn’t even know he had a twin!’ Like that. Except not us.)



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The latest report from “Tulgeywood”

I typed part of this back in earliest July. For those of you who are missing the “kitten updates” posts and such, at least this one is (mostly) about kitties.

About the title of this post: Paul has¬†started addressing Smudge as Jabberwock, because she burbles around the house all the time. “The teeth that bite, the claws that catch… the meow that keeps me awake at night!” And since in the famous poem, the Jabberwock goes burbling through the tulgey wood… Eh. It makes sense to me, anyway.

Topics WordPress thinks I should be interested in today: craft beer, motivation, and zombies. Feel free to use those words as a writing prompt; I’m sure you can think of some way to connect them. ūüôā

My cat¬†Tabitha’s children (Una/Floofycat, Mr. Tip/Doodlecat, Ashley/Greybaby, and Harmony/IttyBitty) turned nine yesterday, so for the birthday celebration, all the cats had a treat: shredded chicken mixed with pumpkin puree. Floofycat wouldn’t eat that — she doesn’t like tuna, either, or yogurt, or anything else the other cats love — so I gave her a generous pinch of catnip instead. She partook of that the way she always does: she rolled in it and then groomed it out of her fur. Meanwhile, all seven of the other cats¬† stood around plates on the floor and ate together, with no hissing or shoving or trying to deny food to the new cats, Smudge and Logan. Smudge ate from the same plate as Ashley, and Logan and IttyBitty (smallest cat no more!) shared a plate.









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A funny thing happened on my way to leave copyediting forever…

This is part of how the last few weeks have been for me:

I got an email message recently from someone who’d read my blog profile and described it as “interesting and witty.” Cool. Better yet, that comment about my profile was from an author looking for someone to edit their manuscript, and since I seemed like an interesting and witty individual, in addition to having amazing grammar-ninja skills…

So as I’m typing this post, I’m taking a short break from the first read-through of a rather long (more than 150K words) sci-fi manuscript. Taking a break is not “slacking off” or showing a poor work ethic, I should point out; it’s avoiding sensory overload, because one way my synesthesia manefests is in giving “motion” to sentences, just as it gives “texture” and “shape” to words, so reading isn’t a “passive” activity for me. Also, the manuscript is sci-fi, which means a lot of ideas, descriptions of settings and characters, etc., and because I pay attention to what I read… Yep. Sensory overload, unless I’m careful. Good thing I enjoy “surfing” the leading edge of that overload — as long as I can keep myself from getting overwhelmed by the wave, it’s big fun. (So many interesting and even funny — my sense of humor is mostly based on interconnections/coincidence, rather than the embarrassment/misfortune-of-others pattern that seems to be predominant in allistic humor — things pop up when I’m “surfing” the information-overload wave.)

This email message came at just the right time, too. I’d been feeling discouraged, because ever since I “unmasked” as autistic, it seems as if a lot of people who used to see me as a reliable (and entertaining) source for advice about copyediting-related stuff (or even someone worth hiring as a copyeditor) have decided that I lack even basic competence in these things, Because Autism.

It sort of goes like this:

Allistic (non-autistic) person: People with autism can’t use words right, they aren’t good at communicating and they take everything sooooo literally.

Me: You’re mistaken. I’m autistic, and I’m better at ‘using words’ than the majority of people, no matter what their neurology. I’m also rather good with metaphors and anaologies… and no one can say I can’t use sarcasm.

Allistic person: Yeah I used to think you knew a lot about grammar plus I liked your sarcasm but since you have autism you must not be as smart or funny or sarcastic as I thought, you are literal all the time and you shouldn’t act like you know grammar because you don’t.

Me (thinking): What just happened?

So having another editing job now is really good; it’s proof that not everyone thinks I’m incapable of doing what they openly admit to seeing me do all the time.

(Also, something that came out of a disagreement with a well-educated idjit on some internet forum — someone who insists that punctuation is all about “when the voice goes up” — has developed into an idea for a blog post/article about how abelist that notion is: Are people who cannot hear, or people who don’t vocalize, innately incapable of learning how to use punctuation in written English? After all, they don’t have that ‘Use a comma any place where your voice goes up when you read aloud’ thing to guide them… It’s almost as if we ought to be teaching punctuation usage based on meaning instead of breaths or voice lifts. Whodathunkit? *rolls eyes* Maybe I’ll end up writing an article for The Aspergian after all, instead of just copyediting ones written by other people.)

And then there was another “achievement” unlocked, one I really could have done without: I am now officially (because a Real Person said so) an “arrogant aspie.”

Y’see, I have been daring to… offer advice on grammar and punctuation (and sometimes art and science and history and literature) here on my blog, as if I think I know a damn thing about any of this stuff. I’ve been going around acting as if I’m not completely ignorant, illiterate, and unable to understand words! (*shock! horror!*) I’ve even dared to suggest that sometimes a Real Person makes a minor error in punctuation or something, and that I know how to correct such an error; I act as if I know better than some Real People do how many dots should be used in an ellipsis. (Spoiler: It’s not two.) I’ve implied elsewhere on this blog that Real People who write fiction may want to pay me real money for checking and possibly correcting their grammar; I’ve implied that I have a skill that’s worth being paid for, when everyone knows that arrogant aspies like me are incapable of knowing or doing anything useful.

I’m probably ugly, too, according to the Real Person who informed me of these flaws in my (mostly nonexistent) personality, and can’t get laid because I’m an ugly arrogant aspie that no one wants to have sex with.

(Fun fact: For someone who’s asexual, ‘No one wants to have sex with you’ isn’t the terrible, life-is-meaningless-now thing some people assume it is. It’s a little bit like telling someone who really doesn’t like coffee, ‘No one would ever share their coffee with you.’ Um… okay. Thanks! I appreciate your implied promise never to shove a cup of coffee at me and then get all hurt-feelings at me when I turn it down.)

Sorry. I didn’t intend this post to turn dark/angry, when I first started typing… I truly am pleased to have more editing work to do, and so far I’m enjoying it. And at least the idjits and their nonsense give me one more thing to write about here, right?

And don’t worry: I’m not going to quit being a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I don’t think I could, actually. You’ll have to wait a bit longer for more grammar rants and kitten photos and whatnot, though, because I have a long sci-fi novel to edit… and I’m gonna enjoy doing so.









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Another day, another kitten photo.

This is what Logan was doing a few days ago:

The tools and stuff are there because Paul was helping one of the other Creative Anachronists make armor the day before. The box of rivets was left near the window, right where Logan likes to sit in the morning sunshine, and you know how cats are. 

Although barely three months old, Logan is making excellent progress in learning how to be a house cat. He even had his first “pedicure” — front claws trimmed — not long ago, and he took it better than the older cats who’ve been doing it for years. Such a laid-back little kitten… except when there’s string/shoe laces to attack, or a synthetic rodent to kick around the floor, or food to be eaten. Because, y’know, kitten.



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“No context for you.” :-)

Some things are just… funny, especially when seen without context. Although, of course, I tend to provide that context anyway… unless doing so is dangerous, and then I’ll still provide the context, but hide it under so much additional information that no one will notice.

This one’s slightly relevant, in a very past-tense sort of way, to something my clone-sibling is working on. And yes, I emphasized the first-person pronoun deliberately¬† in the previous sentence: I wouldn’t want Paul to be mistaken for anyone else’s clone-sibling, y’know? (*shakes head at irony*)

Heard that yesterday morning, when my clone-sibling was talking about a conversation he’d had with a co-worker (or cow-orker?) a few weeks ago. The co-worker/cow-orker didn’t know rebooting the Barracuda (computer security thing) was even an option, despite this individual being the IT person and thus the resident “expert” on such matters.



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Perhaps the best response to spammers is to laugh at them.

What do you think? Is it okay to make fun of spammers who leave ridiculous comments on one’s blog? ‘Cause I could do that — they’ve given me so much to work with…


“Ave Betty, in the beginning a Roman Catholic prayer, Ave Karen, was actually based on bibllical scripture: Lenny 1:28.”

(I apologize if you were drinking something while reading that and ended up snorting your beverage out your nose.)


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Asking for a (fictional) friend…

Seriously, what do you think?

Yes, this is another “Who knows what weirdness lurks in the minds of sci-fi writers?” situation. Characters will probably be arguing about it for a long time… but I want to know if you, O reader of my blog, agree with me (and with the “creature”), or if you agree with my clone-sibling (and with the parent of the mad scientist).



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