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The New York Times was first published on this day in 1851. How important is print news to you? Does the internet render circulation obsolete, or will print never die?
Print is a way of life. E-books just don't cut it.

Writer's Block: Six-Word Story

Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” He is believed to have called it his greatest literary work ever. Can you write a story in six words?
 From Eroica With Love Rules OK

I've always wanted to write that somewhere.
Right, so today sucks. Dragged out of bed at 6:00 in the morning, and somehow, we're still expected to be cheerful? Yeah, friggin' right. No need to mention that last night my sisters started on a huge bitch fest, starting with Pa and somehow ending with me, so that all relations are tense, and my two other little sisters, with no idea what's wrong, but some vague idea that something just is, are bumbling around without any notion of what to say or do. Everyone sleeping in my room last night is in a black mood. Like I said, it's tense.

And it might not be if it weren't for my dad. He won't stop nagging, for God's sakes. Yesterday he came into our room and started on us in a low whisper, on and on and on about how unorganized we were, and insinuating how absolutely fucking lucky we were to even be graced by his presence on this trip. Not that he came out and said it; he already thinks that we should be thinking it every time we see him. He won't shut up about how neat this house is, the house we're staying in, and our house at home isn't so neat, is it? And why would that be- perhaps it's because all of you don't care to keep it clean. And how hard we must make our mom work, shouldn't we feel sorry for her? And aren't we failures, not being able to drive, so that she has to drive bloody all the time. 

In the first place, I didn't want to come on this stupid trip. I wanted to stay at home, go to work, and wake up whenever I bloody please and do my own things without someone telling me of another way to do it better. And then everyone started working on me, saying that I was being ungrateful and I should at least try to enjoy it. Well, pouncing a trip to Vancouver on me and telling me to enjoy and desperately insisting without much conviction that this trip is going to be fun, and that it'll be a change from whatever I do might be something that I would like to decide for myself. I know that this might sound ungrateful, but I didn't ask for any of this. Somewhere in the world, there's a little child craving horribly to go to Vancouver and stay in cheap-assed hotels (motels, actually) and be yelled at by their father and put down everytime they actually have fun, but that child is not, and will not be me.

Even the fact that we went to the Vancouver Pride Parade isn't helping now. The rainbow flags are striking an odd note in this room. No one's saying anything that needs to be said. This sucks. I hate family vacations.

Travesties and Other Such Crap

The Eroica community is a pretty good community as things go. There's not a lot of crap that goes around there, people are usually pretty good at giving  concrit. Unlike all the other places, the Harry Potter community as an example, you can actually find some good stuff without trawling through mounds of things you might not be interested in. And that's not slandering the HP comm at all; they're really diverse, and I admire them for that. But the Eroica comm has people who can write well, or draw well, or at least see beyond their nose. You might not see their point of view, but nothing in there particularly makes you want to shout: WTF?!

That is, until you see this fic. I trust that I am expressing my personal opinion here, really sorry that I'm offending someone, but this thing is disgusting. I don't see how the author bothered to study the fandom at all, or at least fail to see that there are some serious problems with the way she interpretes the actions in From Eroica With Love.

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I mean, honest to god, what the freakin hell were you thinking when you wrote this thing? What were you on? Sugar, stupidity and Disney Princesses with floor length hair and crescent moon birthmarks? 

Eroica Pics

I've been sleeping at five in the morning these days, due to excessive entertaiment brought on by both the demon box, commonly known as a television, and my computer. Here are some Eroica pics that I've managed to scrounge out through some rather obscure sites. 

 

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Eroica Drafts

mprice requested that I help her proofread the Eroica Volume 1, and  I'm sorry that it took so long for me to get her the results. However, just in case that my mail didn't get to her (and I'm sure it didn't ,because I got a failure notice)I'll post them up here as well. Don't mind if my LJ cut doesn't work. I hate these things.

First Entry

We have entered an ultimate low here, ladies and gentlemen. My exams are over, and I  somehow have less time than ever, because I am working. I have one free day from work everyweek, and yet I'm bored. My life seems to be, at this point, a supremely (or not)complex paradox. And it's not a very nice boredom, the sort that inspires wonderful ways of putting one out of misery, but the sort where you sit and stare.

Creative juices are not flowing. I am not, in general, a very creative person to begin with, and any sort of fiction you might see flotaing around this wall of memories are likely either not to be mine, or not to be continued, because I am not very focused either. But if I cannot draw little stick figures getting eaten, or write about little stick figures getting eaten, then my life seems at this point very meaningless.

I suppose I could read, but my stock consists at this point of only that terrifyingly amusing barrister of law, one Horace Rumpole of the Bailey, by John Mortimer. It's an oxymoronical kind of book, if such a word exists. The author and character were or are, respectively barristers with a singular distaste for law, which makes everything so much more interesting. I would enjoy them immensely at this point, having nothing else to do, but I have also read the trial of Oscar Wilde, which sort of ruins everything by making one wonder how much the losing side suffers into being forced to submit to what we might call justice now, and our future descendants might call tyranny. It's worth a wonder.

If I do not want to read books, I might read, I suppose fanfiction, or manga. The latter is far more interesting to examine, being the foundation of fanfiction. But Canon Nazis are very irritating, and I suspect I am fast becoming one. My fandom can be referred to in the singular, the interest consisting of merely one manga, that being From Eroica With Love or Eroica Yori Ai Wo Komete. The mangaka is Aoike Yasuko, born in Yamaguchi,in the Shimonoseki prefect (or perhaps I have them mixed up. Mangakas, unlike manga, do not interest me muchly) and the manga in question had been running for about 34 years. I shall attempt to summarize in the following:

The story follows the path of Dorian Red Gloria, Earl of Gloria, and also known as Eroica, the Prince of Thieves. Dorian, blonde, often pointed out as strikingly beautiful and very gifted at stealing is one of those terribly classy thieves, but his interest do not lie in the monetary factor of the game. Instead, he is a virtuoso at recognizing the value and beauty of art, and regards stealing as his duty to pay homage to great works. Usually, they are depictions of young male beauties, either demure or teasingly sexual. Dorian is flamboyantly homosexual, and his tastes in paintings usually reflect his preference in lovers. Dorian has a personal policy of getting what he wants, without exception, and until he meets Caesar Gabriel and his other two sidekicks, everything is going along just spiffy.

I will punctuate this summary here to say- DO NOT READ VOLUME 1 FIRST IF YOU RESEMBLE EVEN VERY SLIGHTLY AN INTELLIGENT PERSON. The Terrible Trio make their appearance in the aforesaid volume, and since they are gotten rid of after the first two stories, you may save yourself the pain you might receive by banging your head against a desk. It's not that volume one is a bad volume, in fact, it's one of my favourites, but reading it first would be a mistake. I was lucky, and picked up volume eight first. But, to continue-

Caesar Gabriel is an absolutely ravishing genius, who, at eighteen, is the Professor of a London University, and can play every single musical instrument with skill enough to shame Mozart and is also psychic. He meets Dorian at a party where the latter is planning a lucrative heist (impressive names such as the Louvre and the Tate Gallery are on his list) and Dorian immediately takes Caesar to his fancy, promptly kidnapping the boy at their next meeting. Caesar faints, screams, cries, and does, in fact, everything that a wussy uke would do. His friends attempt to break him out, and all he does is choke over his sobs. In the end, Dorian concedes to let Caesar go, apparently in the goodness of his heart. I am of the opinion that he could see a future with this fainting ninny to be somewhat trying. Caesar returns to his university, and the last you see of him in that story is a picture of him crying (again), and you find out that he is in love with the Earl.

In the next story, Major Klaus Heinz von dem Eberbach, related to the German branch of the Hapburgs, is introduced to us as a NATO operative with a long line of successes. He is, in every, the opposite of Caesar Gabriel- he's dark-haired and strong, he's rude and terrifyingly efficient, and he thinks that art is for fops and everyone else is an idiot. He meets Dorian as he starts another mission, when Dorian is viewing the Eberbach collection. They immediately start insulting each other, at first very politely, then later on not quite as much. Dorian succeeds in unnerving the Major by making passes at him, and the Major unashamedly makes some Philistinian comments regarding art, designed to annoy Dorian. The Major, who thinks himself heterosexual, has a distinctly catty side to him; he also comments on Dorian's clothing scathingly.

Dorian, who isn't used to being snubbed or disliked, makes plans to maliciously get on the Major's (now dubbed his nemesis and ultimate enemy) nerves, by stealing a painting that the Major refused to sell to him. Meanwhile, the nemesis plays an unwittingly effective move- he has been ordered to abduct Caesar Gabriel, for his psychic powers, and does so. The fainting ninny doesn't catch on until much later, despite the warnings he receives, and can conceive of no way to escape. Dorian offers to trade painting for idiot, an offer the Major refuses. Dorian then kidnaps Caesar Gabriel back, and an incensed Major gives chase in a tank. They get stranded on an island, since the Major tank is breaks the bridge, and Dorian refuses to shoot his enemy, reason being that he 'hates the sight of blood'. Instead, he shoots the radio, so that the Major cannot call for help.

Caesar Gabriel further complicates matters by threatening to catch pneumonia, and he faints, conveniently leaving our two heroes to save his life. The Major takes off his coat at Dorian's insistence, making some snarky comments about the wimp that is Caesar Gabriel, and the Earl concedes several points. Then he tells the Major to come closer, so that they can warm up Caesar more effectively. The Major refuses to touch Dorian, but settles down with his arms over Caesar to sulk.

You would expect Dorian to begin conversation, but the real catalyst here is the Major, who thinks the silence is unnerving. Dorian volunteers to sing a love ballad, but the Major apparently can't stand them. He sings a song identified as the 'Panzer Marsch'. Dorian regards him for a moment in something likening to wonder, and in that moment, immediately switches attention from Caesar Gabriel to the Major, holding the opinion that the Major is infinitely more interesting. A rescue team later descends on them, after the two agree to a truce. One will also point out that before, the Major does not touch Dorian. However, after he sings and professes a love for the beauty of steel, which Dorian also realizes to an extent, he hugs Dorian closer to him. When he is returned to his men, the Major dons his professional mask once again, and takes Caesar along with him at the Earl's insistence, since there is only space for two more in the NATO helicopter. As they are about to leave, Dorian comments that the tank is actually rather likeable, and the Major delivers the famous last words, "Make sure a thief doesn't take it then. Though I doubt anyone would be interested."

Of course, Dorian promptly steals the tank, which begin a story of espionage, hilarious gay advaces and intricate heists. The KGB come later on, and the CIA ,and each time, Aoike Yasuko pens amusings comics about crazy terrorist attempts, sometimes involving underwear and horrifying prejudices every national security group has concerning their counterparts. There are missions gone awry because Eroica is involved, and heists that have to be abandones due to the not-so-subtle tread of the Major. But whatever it is, From Eroica With Love will remain always and forever, one of the best shojo mangas I have ever had the luck to pick up.

And that will conclude this post.