A3Writer: July 2017
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Monday, July 31, 2017

M³ Sinbad: Odyssey Redux

            With Odysseus’s adventure with Polyphemus out of the way, we’re wide open for something really interesting. We’ll segue into Sinbad the Sailor, who is famous for having his own adventures. We’ll skip his first and second voyages, going straight for the third. Why? Simple, we know this story. If you don’t have your own copy of the 1 Nights, you can read Sinbad’s third here.
            Sinbad’s third adventure finds him restless, as usual, and soon shipwrecked, also as usual, on an island. This island is home to an evil giant that will eat the crew. It is up to Sinbad to come up with a cunning plan to blind the giant using to spears after heating them—
            Wait! Come back! No, really, this is the story, and, yes, I know it’s a direct plagiarism of The Odyssey. If this were modern day and Homer were alive, he would be suing . . . well, we don’t know who wrote Sinbad—they weren’t even part of the original Arabian Nights—but Homer would sue somebody.

Friday, July 28, 2017

F³ Final Checks

            Ann and Kimball arrived at the kite hatch. The kite was just a large sail to be deployed when they sailed at a run, or as an emergency sail for the cockpit if the rest of the ship was lost. Ann and Hank had carefully replaced the kite while in the last system, putting in her windsurfing board and sails.
            “We’re at the hatch,” Kimball relayed.
            “Copy,” Flynn said. “opening the hatch.”
            Ann felt the hatch lift under her gloves, and she reached in to grab the hand bar on her mast. It was a single, triangular sail set on a pivot inserted into a board. Everything was made from sailcloth, which caught the wind. Already she could feel the wind threatening to tear the sail and board from her grasp. Only the anchoring line to the ship kept it from flying out into the stars.

Monday, July 24, 2017

M³ Mind Over Might

            The enduring lesson of book 9 is hard to miss: brains over brawn. Yet the pattern for Greek heroes have not emphasized this. Perseus, Theseus, Hercules, Achilles, Agamemnon, and others too numerous to list have all possessed intelligence, but it’s been subsumed behind their battle prowess. Like most fighters in Dungeons & Dragons campaigns, they take up their big-ass swords and proceed to execute their problems.

Friday, July 21, 2017

F³ Tethered

            Ann climbed out of the airlock awkwardly, the mass of the umbilical and extra burden to be accounted for. The first was a tether to the ship, made of thick, strong titanium that was more than secure. The second was a dataline, feeding her HUD with images from the ship’s sensors, relating her position on the ship’s hull, her vital signs, and other minutiae. She needed it since she couldn’t see, at all.
            According to the HUD, they were already sailing at a paltry 11 knots. The sails were full, with no luff to them, but they sailed at a close haul, quite nearly in irons—which would be directly into the wind.
            Flynn’s is starting me off with training wings. Fine, I guess.

Monday, July 17, 2017

M³ Prophesied Fate

            On escape from the cave, Odysseus takes his men and the sheep they escaped with back to his ship, but he doesn’t just leave. That would be too easy. Instead, he starts taunting Polyphemus who is surprisingly good at echo-location and hurls boulders at the departing ship. These hit so closely that the waves threaten to drive the ship back to the island. Odysseus’s men are so freaked that they beg him to stop taunting Polyphemus.
            Odysseus refuses.

Friday, July 14, 2017

F3 Aftermath

            As was typical after a lecture, students came up to ask questions. Usually it was a bare handful, most wanting to know about mundane issues like registration, the syllabus or the online learning management system of the university. And as soon as she answered one of those, the others filed out, having gotten their answer.
            This time, though, many stuck around for something more substantive. One student asked her, “What do you propose we do about Confederate Flags and monuments to Lee?” From her accent, it was clear she was from a Southern state.

Monday, July 10, 2017

M3 Insight to The Problem

            When we last left our heroes, they were trapped in a cave with the dreaded cyclops, Polyphemus! The barbaric giant vowed to feast upon all, including the great Odysseus. Can they escape the peril? Can they hope to defeat such a giant? Can I drop the lame announcer voice?
            Yes. Yes, to all three. The only one of those that was actually a question was the last. There really are no spoilers when it comes to a story recorded over 2,500 years ago.

Friday, July 7, 2017

F3 Carols

            Everywhere the stage was littered with fallen sheet music for the Christmas program. I glanced to the two men keeping me on my feet, and whispered. “Sing.”
            “What?” the man on the left looked at me as if I had gone insane.
            I probably am.
            “Sing.”

Monday, July 3, 2017

M3 What's in A Name?

            One of the more famous parts of the story between Odysseus and Polyphemus is that of the name Odysseus gives the cyclops. This is famously translated as “No man, No one, or Nobody. These are all correct, and the cleverness of this answer comes through, but also paints Polyphemus as a bit a moron. Certainly, he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but the translation doesn’t do anyone any justice.