Thought of the Moment

Top Ten Thursday: A Song of Ice and Fire Characters

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I’ve been sort of missing these past few days, but in my defense I had valid reasons. Got a new job and who knew that a job involved preparing and working? The other reason why I could not get to post this yesterday was because my internet was having a tantrum. So instead of torturing myself I decided to leave this for the next day, and to make up for it I’ll be posting a second TTT feature as well (sometime later today).

For this first one, we’re going with A Song of Ice and Fire Characters (I’m using the books and not the show because I’m not entirely happy with the direction the show’s taking and some of my favorite book characters aren’t as great on the screen). I will only be providing images and quotes without any commentaries so that I do not give away any spoilers to the character arcs. The reasons why they’re picked in the listed order is because of how well written the characters were or how enjoyable their chapters were.


10. Samwell Tarly

“Sam thought of all the trials that he and Gilly suffered, Craster’s Keep and the death of the Old Bear, snow and ice and freezing winds, days and days and days of walking, the wights at Whitetree, Coldhands and the tree of ravens, the Wall, the Wall, the Wall, the Black Gate beneath the earth. What had it all been for? No happy choices and no happy endings.” ~ Sam’s thoughts.


9. Ser Barristan Selmy (Barristan the Bold)

“Have no fear, sers, your king is safe… no thanks to you. Even now, I could cut through the five of you as easy as a dagger cuts cheese. If you would serve under the Kingslayer, not a one of you is fit to wear the white. Here, boy. Melt it down and add it to the others, if you like. It will do you more good than the swords in the hands of these five. Perhaps Lord Stannis will chance to sit on it when he takes your throne.” ~ Barristan on his forced retirement as a Kingsguard.


8. Cersei Lannister

“I am a lioness. I will not cringe for them.” ~ Cersei’s thoughts.

7. Sandor Clegane (The Hound)

“Spare me your empty little compliments, girl . . . and your ser’s. I am no knight. I spit on them and their vows. My brother is a knight.” ~ Sandor to Sansa Stark

6. Arya Stark

“A long time ago, she remembered her father saying that when the cold wind blows the lone wolf dies but the pack survives. He had it all backwards. Arya, the lone wolf, still lived, but the wolves of the pack had been taken and slain and skinned.” ~ Arya’s thoughts.

5. Theon Greyjoy (Reek)

“Only a fool humbles himself when the world is so full of men eager to do that job for him.” ~ Theon to Asha Greyjoy (disguised under an alias)

4. Brienne (Brienne the Beauty)

“All my life men like you’ve sneered at me, and all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.” ~ Brienne to Jaime Lannister.

3. Davos Seaworth

“I am a man. I am kind to my wife, but I have known other women. I have tried to be a father to my sons, to help make them a place in this world. Aye, I’ve broken laws, but I never felt evil until tonight. I would say my parts are mixed, m’lady. Good and bad.” ~ Davos to Melisandre

2. Tyrion Lannister (The Imp)

“My mind is my weapon. My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer and I have my mind… and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge. That’s why I read so much, Jon Snow.” ~ Tyrion to Jon Snow

1. Jaime Lannister (The Kingslayer)

“He felt a bone-deep ache in his phantom fingers. I’ve lost a hand, a father, a son, a sister, and a lover, and soon enough I will lose a brother. And yet they keep telling me House Lannister has won this war.” ~ Jaime’s thoughts.

30 Days of NaNoWriMo

As I mentioned in the Camp NaNoWriMo Winner post, I’m still missing the last 8 days in my 30 days writing adventure (see 7 Days, 14 Days, and 22 Days of NaNoWriMo for the previous days). Well, here they are!

  • Day #23: If you pretend you’ve just started writing, would it become easier?

The main issue with WriMo, at least for myself, is how the whole thing become excruciating the longer you’re doing. The start is easier because you’re excited, you have an idea you feel great about, it feels like sunshine and rainbows. But as you dwell deeper and deeper into the story and spend more and more time writing, you feel the need to put it aside. Yet the whole point is not to do that, so whatcha gonna do?

  • Day #24: Just 1 week left… Which sounds like torture, considering I’ve been doing this for 3 weeks.

It. Does. Not. Get. Better. You’d think being near the end and reaching your goal should give you the mythical boost you so need right about now. Maybe you’re too far away from the end? Yeah, last-minute boosts are more like your thing, but you can’t really complete the 30K words on the last day.

  • Day #25: Mercy, mercy! Just shoot me already.

Chinese water torture has nothing on monthly writing months. I feel like Dolores Umbridge’s sitting next to me, chuckling at the sight of horror I’m in while attempting to catch up with my word count. Except the word count’s not my issue, but the inability to move beyond some plot points. The failure to continue writing the story I wanted to tell.

  • Day #26: What was I supposed to be writing about?

By now my brain has probably gone into retirement and I’m more zombie than human. I can’t think, I can’t function, but we’ve got just a few days left and somehow I’m still typing. I say typing because I’m not sure the stuff that’s coming up on the screen can be considered writing.

  • Day #27: If no one wants to shoot me, I’ll just start breaking stuff.

If you believe I’m joking, that’s some serious wishful thinking. When you spend a month doing heavy writing you start feeling like the Hulk. Enraged, full with strength you want to throw around at any chance you find. Starting from the not-so-lovely place you used for writing in the first place.

  • Day #28: Don’t stop the music writing. 

Maybe if you drink another bucket of coffee and stay up all night you’ll get ahead of your goal in a single day. Or maybe you’ll put yourself in a coma and sleep through next year’s writing months. Both options sound appealing so you give it a go.

  • Day #29: I CAN FREAKING DO THIS!!

Since validation can ultimately be done on the last day at latest, the 30th is never that important for me. My goal is being prepared for that day, so that I’m not frantically trying to come up with crap just to finish the whole event before the last minute clocks out. It also lets me enjoy that last day with joy and gratitude while looking back at what I’ve accomplished in the previous days. However, it also means that I’m one day short in the month and that my 29th day is always a witch with a B. The only way to get through such a day, is to remain hopeful and keep yourself motivated.

  • Day #30: Best month ever!

[Yes, I’m using an Obama gif for this] IT’S OOOOOVER!! Okay that thought makes me sad about it, but I can just glance at what I’ve written and it puts a smile on my face (that’s when I’m reading stuff from the early days, the writing from the last couple days make me want to hug the desk with my face). If I wasn’t tired I’d be jumping up and down with joy the whole day. It’s profound happiness, makes you wonder what other accomplishments feel like this.

As I said in a previous post, congrats to both those who did and didn’t manage to complete their Camp NaNoWriMo goals. Just remember that once you recharge the batteries you should tie yourself to the chair once again (for writing, not for kinky business).Strike while the iron is hot, don’t make your writing any harder by letting the idea fly away.

The North Remembers

LadySansa

“Foes and false friends are all around me, Lord Davos. They infest my city like roaches, and at night I feel them crawling over me.” The fat man’s fingers coiled into a fist, and all his chins trembled. “My son Wendel came to the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder’s bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with his friends. And they murdered him. Murdered, I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter…but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer’s farce is almost done. My son is home.

The screenshots are from Season 5 Episode 3 of Game of Thrones. Quote is Wyman Manderly talking to Davos Seaworth in A Dance With Dragon, the fifth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series. I felt it was a matching quote, chances are I won’t see the quote played out in the show so might as well relate it to what we get.

Camp NaNoWriMo Winner

Camp NaNo Winner Banner

I guess this is where a photo of my writing pens in flexing pose would go. Or a photo of my keyboard flexing, or whatever the equivalent of a writer’s biceps flexing would be. But maybe that lovely banner up there is just enough to get the point across. My goal for 2015’s Camp NaNoWriMo was 30,000 words. Understandably that might not feel like a big deal and it’s obviously almost half of what the traditional NaNoWriMo is. Yet, for anyone who has been following my weekly updates on the matter (7 Days, 14 Days, 22 Days, and a recap of the last week will probably follow tomorrow when hopefully my brain is more cooperative), it should be fairly clear that April is a ridiculously busy month for me.

Not only are there a lot of holidays (which contrary to what one might expect, take away your free time instead of giving you more), there’s a also my birthday, my volunteering as moderator at four different places, some job hunting, and a lot more I’m unable to list at the moment (mostly because my brain is trying to erase any knowledge of them so I’ll never think about them). On top of all that there might have been traces of a social life. That’s mainly why I went for 30K instead of 50K, which I knew wasn’t going to happen. And I’m not using that as an excuse, it’s more of a clarifier.

Everyone who has attempted NaNoWriMo of any form does not need excuses for how bad they’ve done. It’s not a job and it’s not for anyone else but yourself. It’s a personal project based on a hobby and when all is said and done the only thing that matters is that one is satisfied with their own final result. That being said, I’m ecstatic about my own results. Not solely because I’ve managed to write the freaking 30K I promised myself I’ll reach by the end of the month, but because I’m impressed with the story so far. Yep, so far, it’s not actually done yet. In fact, t might be a long while before it’s completed. While I’ve managed to write roughly 1000 words every day for 30 days, I cannot keep up that pace throughout the whole year — while I may act like it at times, I’m not a robot. Though that’d be pretty cool.

Anyway, it’s been a long day for me and I feel I’ve had enough of words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs for now. I should get a proper rest and probably do some catching up with the TV shows I follow. I do hope all of you are enjoying your week, and for everyone else who manages to hit their Camp NaNoWriMo target, congratulations (and late congrats to all those who did so in the past several days)! To those who attempted but didn’t quite hit the mark, even bigger congratulations! You’ve done your best, tested the waters, explored the grounds, yada yada — it should help you accomplish your goal on your next run. Merlin knows we all fail, definitely more frequently than we win, so don’t let that discourage you and keep working. Rome wasn’t built in a day, even though you’re certainly free to try.

I’m off to do a victory dance and cuddle with my bed.

Mine’s not as good but you get the point.

Reader Problems Book Tag

I’m tired, sore, and ridiculously cranky. This translates to I’m not in the condition to write nor create anything out of thin air. Instead, I’m stealing another tag from Story and Somnomancy, and yes, it’s another book-ish one.

THE QUESTIONS

1) You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?

I can easily cut down the number based on what I’m planning to read next. I usually (sort of) know what I’m looking to read and if I can divide those books by genre the list should get way shorter. If I want to get super technical I can also do a selection based on how big a book is — if I know I don’t have the time to commit to a large book, I reach for the ones with less pages.

But I imagine at the end of all of it I’ll just pick something randomly. I have less trouble picking a book to read, I have more trouble getting through my TBR.

2) You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you quit or commit?

I rarely drop a book for good. If I find it extremely dull I will likely just put a bookmark and leave it for another time. And by another time I mean some unknown point in the future when my brain goes “Hey, remember a while ago you were reading that book you didn’t quite like? I wanna give it another go.”

3) The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, yet so far away on your Goodreads Reading Challenge. Do you quit or commit?

This has already happened and I’ll be honest here, I quit. The thing is, if I had the time I would have devoured the books I’ve decided to read in that year. Plus, “the end of the year is nearing” is a period which tends to be rather busy for me, no matter what year it is. I know my strengths just as I’m aware of my weakness, I wouldn’t be able to do it (unless I had a magical item such as a Timeturner, which conveniently lets me go back in time and catch up).

4) The covers of a series you love DO. NOT. MATCH. How do you cope?

Ugh. Why would you put that thought in my head? I would most likely try to avoid the issue as long as I can, and separate the books on my shelf to avoid that horror show in my brain whenever I glance at it. Eventually, when the wallet allows it, I’d buy a set with matching covers and give away the old ones.

5) Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings?

This rarely happens as most of the folks around here aren’t particularly fond of books. Didn’t you know, not reading is cool on the streets? It’s the worst plague humanity has seen in its existence, a fear and shame of books. Not to diminish the damage done by plagues in history, but I think this one will be the end of us.

Anyway, should this scenario take place, I have a number of online friends with whom I rant/complain about such things.

6) You’re reading a book and you’re about to start crying in public. How do you deal?

I don’t see that happening. I don’t read in public, the furthest I would take a book from my home is our yard. The only case where it could happen is if I was on the beach, but then it’s super easy — sunglass! Duh. SUNGLASSES!

7) A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you re-read the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find the synopsis on Goodreads? Cry in frustration?

I would say that it depends on how much time I have available. I’d prefer re-reading the book, but if the odds are against me and I cannot make that happen, I would likely just look up synopsis online. Or, even better, if there’s an audio book of the same, I might just put that to play in the background while I’m doing another task.

8) You do not want ANYONE borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people nope when they ask?

I’d just straight-out tell them I’m clingy about my books and I cannot in good conscience borrow them to anyone due to fear of not getting them back or even worse, have them returned in a butchered state. You ruin my books, you be damn sure I’ll be haunting you in your dreams. Okay I may leave out the last part, I forgot we were aiming for a polite tone.

9) You’ve picked up and put down five books in the past month. How do you get over your slump?

I’d resort to munching on TV Shows or playing video games. Whenever I hit a hard time with anything, I know I just need an unhealthy dose of “bad entertainment” (tv, video games, vines, cat videos, etc.). Afterward it’s like someone has hit the reboot button and I’m back to functioning normally.

10) There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

Depends on the money I can spare. Yes, deep down I’ll probably want to buy them all and maybe even buy myself a large library while I’m at it. Both so I can have a place for them and so I can read with peace and quiet. But in reality I know I’ll just make a list of all of them and then see how many I can cross off that list. Whatever I’m unable to buy at that time will eventually find itself on a future book shopping list.

11) After you’ve bought the new books you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf until you actually read them?

Some don’t make it to the shelf as I get to them right away, others are still sitting on the shelf and waiting their turn. Hey, I’ll get to the poor books right after someone makes my day last 25 hours. Not that I don’t want even more hours than that, but I’ll be fair and settle at 25.

THE TAG-EES

I’m tagging anyone reading this. Mostly because, as mentioned at the beginning, I’m in no state or mood to come up with lists of names. Plus, ain’t it more fun when we can all chime in on a topic?

22 Days of NaNoWriMo

What comes after 7 Days of NaNoWriMo and 14 Days of NaNoWriMo? Well of course, 21 days! Except apparently I can’t math and just now I realized 4×7=28 while I’m aiming at 30, so I’ll be doing 8 days for the last two weeks. I do sincerely hope that anyone else attempting Camp NaNoWriMo is making great progress and their story is getting along well!

  • Day #15: We’re JUST HALFWAY through the month?!

Usually you’d be the first person to look on the bright say and think “hey you’ve made it through half of it!” but you’re so tired all you can think is “ugh I have to do this for the same amount of time I’ve been doing it till now” and that’s a painful thought.

  • Day #16: Remain calm, don’t panic, and keep writing. Okay, maybe panic a little but definitely keep writing.

Pushing yourself to do something every single day, no matter what it is, is going to be troublesome. And the best way to get through any problem is to keep your head cold and keep trying.

  • Day #17: The weekend starts today, you can do this if you put your mind to it, right?

Just think of the wonderful feeling once you’re done, that majestic sensation should keep you motivated! There’s still time even if you’ve fallen behind. No plan was ever straightforward, they all have their setbacks so you just have to go beyond yours.

  • Day #18: Who am I kidding, if I was using my brain I wasn’t even going to start this in the first place.

At this point you realize you’re fighting against every little atom in your whole body whenever you attempt to sit down and write. Any motivation and hope you gave yourself the previous day have already left the premises before you woke up. It’s like there’s an evil Santa visiting you every night and stealing all your positive thoughts so you’re forced to regain them on your own every morning. Or is this all just a game and you’re always restarted to the first level?

  • Day #19: Argh where did my weekend go?!

Does the whole world turn against you whenever you decide to do this? Because it sure feels that way. At this point you’re not even sad, more like frustrated and angry and you want to go set things on fire (but not really).

  • Day #20: Another freaking Monday… I’ve had it with this thing.

The more you try to push yourself away from it, the harder it hits you when you finally come back to it. No matter what you’ve started writing, you’ll have to finish it.

  • Day #21: Okay, ten more days and you’re done. Kind of… Just keep writing dammit.

If a head could fall from one’s shoulders due to stress and frustration, you’re fairly sure yours would be rolling on the floor right now. But thankfully that could only happen in fiction. Which reminds you… What are you doing and why aren’t you freaking writing?!

  • Day #22: Just 1 week left! Okay, almost. But almost is good enough, right? Right?!

You’re nowhere near as smug as Matthew McConaughey, but you feel you should be. Both because of what you’ve written so far and because you’re almost close to the finish line. Give yourself some credit, because others likely won’t do that. The best way to reassure yourself you can make it through this month is if you look back at what you’ve managed to do so far.

The Noble Order of Time

                  Art by VirginIron on DeviantArt


At a round table sit three highly skilled knights,

Their weapons, although different, are often intertwined.

The first knight carries a heavy broad axe,

With a slow swing but extraordinarily strong.

The second knight carries a longsword,

He has a lighter swing but his reach is quite long.

The third knight carries a fencing sword,

Which has a pointy sharp end that can do no wrong.

Sometimes their hits are as high as they can go,

Other times they deal the lowest possible blow.

When the weapons clash with each other,

You can see parries, or blocks if you’d rather.

Yet no matter the striking they do among themselves,

The mighty knights are just people’s hard-working elves.

Night and day we make them fight as slaves,

As they count the time to our inescapable graves.

It’s not all that dark, black and sad, though,

Their battle brings as much lightness as there is in snow.

For when their battle keeps going on all the time,

We try to do some goodness for all the past crime.

Yet in a peculiar way the biggest crime in all of this,

Is by watching their battle, everything else we miss.