It’s Friday. The Traditional Day of Memes.
Once upon a time, Friday was the day for the Friday Five. Or Five on Friday. Or something similarly catchy. I’ll refrain from trying to link to anything in specific. I’ve noticed that unless I’m referring to something having to do with book blogging, finding a variety of link-ups, blog hops, or weekly memes is…weirdly rare these days.
Yes, yes, I know: All the knitters are on Ravelry, the Costumers are on YouTube, and the era of communities built on any form of writing other than micro are in the past.
Nevertheless, I shall scream defiantly into The Cavernous Void the war cry of “Suck it!” and continue as if it were still 2005.
I think I will do three little(ish) linkedy-dos because even though the advertisement said, “You get two“, I’m feeing generous.
Friday Favourites is hosted by Kibby of Something of the Book. This week’s topic is Favourite Magic Wielders. As I’m not much of an Epic Fantasy reader, my answers may seem…well…
typical common predictable.
What? I can’t have a villain in the list? The Stand, for all its now-problematic scenes, is still a favourite, and Flagg is also the antagonist of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. The first time I met Flagg, however, was in Eyes of the Dragon. My parents were probably relieved that King had ventured into Fantasy, as their little girl read an awful lot of horror for a pre-teen.
In Eyes of the Dragon, Flagg is the Court Magician to King Roland of Delain. Wanting to destroy the Kingdom, Flagg manages to dismantle the royal family piece by piece. He arranges the death of the Queen in childbirth, then later the King. He manages to have the heir to the throne imprisioned, and influences the younger son to do his bidding.
And it literally would have worked if not for those meddling kids. Honestly, Eyes of the Dragon is a wonderful introduction to the pervasive, relentless evil that is Flagg.
Professor McGonagall teaches transfiguration, changes into a cat and takes absolutely no guff from anyone. Including the Headmaster of Hogwarts. Possibly the best thing about McGonagall is that she’s played in the movies by Dame Maggie Smith, a woman who is the absolute epitome of the no-nonsense British alpha female.
McGonagall’s manner is crisp, her speech clipped. Her wry tone often gently chides Harry and Ron, leaving the actual scolding for more grievous offences (or Professor Snape). Movie McGonagall also has a plaid deerstalker witches hat. I need to make me one of those…
The Great-Elf. Mithrandir. The old man in the wood. To be very truthful, he’s the male version of McGonagall, just with more action scenes.
No, don’t bother commenting to tell me how wrong I am in that opinion. If I ask him nicely, the Husbeast will do that for you. Think of the all the pixels you can save.
There seems to be something about magic that brings out the curmudgeon. Gandalf has it. Dumbledore has it. McGonagall…I’m having trouble recalling my Terry Brooks and David Eddings, but I’m pretty sure the magic grumpster trope features in there. Pratchett’s Unseen University is just chock-full of ’em.
Maybe I just really want my Magic Grumpy Old Men crossover with Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart in wizard form reprising Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau’s roles. But in the world of magic.
Oh, you knew it was coming. Jim Butcher’s sarcastic hardboiled wizard detective is probably on most lists compiled by women. Not because he’s smooth, sexy and debonair, but because he’s a screwup and he knows it.
When Dresden is narrated by James Marsters, we can pretend to forget the fact that he’s a walking dumbarse, and believe he’s actually smooth, sexy and debonair. Isn’t fiction wonderful?
Yes, I know there are a lot of folks who have issues with the series. I’ve seen opinions on everything from a lack of diversity, to poor treatment of women, to the centering of white maleness. I’ve also seen some folks say it’s too violent and others that it’s not grimdark enough for their tastes.
And then there are others who just get bored and wander away.
All those opinions are valid. I just find it entertaining potato-chip reading. Their publishing schedule is well-enough spaced to allow me to fit in a bunch literary SFF books, so I don’t see it as a problem.
I mean…we know sweets are bad for you, but we’re not switching to broccoli for dessert anytime soon, right?
Miles Singer, Witchmark:
This one is a little out of left field, but I do have a soft spot for the magic users of C. L. Polk‘s Kingston Cycle series. I’m not going to spoil the story, but at the beginning Miles is a former army doctor keeping his magic ability a strict secret. He has a job he loves, working in a veteran’s hospital, but has just been told he has to discharge a set amount of patients to make room for soldiers coming back from the front. While he’s stewing over this complication, an emergency patient is rushed in. On the edge of death, the patient – a witch – recognizes the marks of witchcraft on Miles and tasks him with finding his murderer.
What unfolds from there is a story of a man regaining his magic and his family in a country on the edge of a metaphysical disaster of, well, gaussian proportions.
The Friday Five
I’m really impressed this
tag meme hop linkup prompt is still running. As the site says, it’s been ongoing since 2006. This week’s prompt is Vessels.
What does your favourite mug look like?
How lucky that I should have a picture available!
With a typical dinner out, how many glasses of water do you drink?
Probably two to three. One of the drawbacks of being raised by a person with a sweet tooth is that you tend to gravitate to soft drinks.
What’s something for which you recently used a paper cup, other than to hold a beverage?
Brushing my teeth. Yes, I know, I’m evil. I also re-use the cup. We’ve experimented with glassware, but the water is rather hard and tends to leave a residue if forgotten in the bathroom for too long.
How confidently do you pour a drink into a tumbler with your non-dominant hand?
Fairly? Sometimes using my left hand helps me to concentrate. Comes from years of playing piano. I found that I could let my right hand noodle away with a melody, but my left bore watching. So when I really need to concentrate, I use my left.
What’s going to be your holy grail for this weekend?
Holy Grail as in thing I want most? Sleep. Our cat likes to wake me up around 4am, which means I sleep very shallowly until I’m forced out of bed by other noises in the house/room.
Holy Grail as in thing to cart stuff around in? I have a crocheted purse project, but it’s not going to be finished anytime soon. Definitely not this weekend.
Cool Stuff Friday
Jim C. Hines makes a wee list of cool things he’s found & shares them on Friday. In solidarity and companionship with him, here are a few cool things I found this week:
Twin Peaks Actually Explained: If you like the ambiguity of Twin Peaks at all, you’ll avoid this video at all costs. That said, if you really want to do a deep-dive on how to think like David Lynch, and you have four and a half hours free? You may just find this video enlightening.
Reharmonizing Hello: Adam Neely’s arrangement of Adele’s Hello. He gives a fabulous behind-the-scenes look at the song, from arrangement to execution, before showing the full performance. The arrangement is an awesome fusion of jazz chords and 80’s sounds: Bamboo pipe a la Zamfir, Horn section to rival Chicago, a killer sax solo, a string section, and a singer with amazing pipes. Do give it a listen and give Mr. Neely your Youtube click monies. 🙂
Mr. Blue Sky covered by Pomplamoose: Support your
local indie bands, folks. I’ve been enjoying Pomplamoose’s odd brand of awesome for a couple of months now. The Husbeast and our Cee are totally over me dropping the occasional Pomplamoose cover into our Discord while playing WoW Classic. You can hear them roll their eyes. I just keep grooving.
Winter is coming: You can tell cool weather is on its way when knitalongs on Ravelry start counting down to Yule. In the “Hot Right Now” category: Knitvent 2019 (a set of 6 patterns released in the lead-up to Xmas), Wooly Wormhead’s Mystery Hat-A-Long, and Stephen West’s Starflake, a Mystery Shawl KAL. I can’t say I’ll be joining in on the festivities. I still have 3.75 socks to knit for Yule, and the Phoenix blanket to work on.