Words I Wish I’d Written: On Murder

Monkey Typing

“You mean you knew there was going to be a murder before it even happened?” Ribaud said in disbelief. “Didn’t somebody do something?”“Son, around here, you always know about a murder ahead of time,” Parry replied calmly. He drained the rest of his soda in a great swallow. “That don’t mean it’s healthy to mix in another man’s quarrel.”— David Drake, Night & Demons … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Cat Maintenance

Monkey Typing

After we do the washing-up, I get to spend the rest of the evening reading FAQs on cat maintenance on the web. It takes about half an hour to come to the unwelcome realization that they’re almost as complex as home-brew gaming PCs, and have even more failure modes. (When your gaming PC malfunctions it doesn’t stealthily dump core in your shoes.)— Charles Stross, The Rhesus ChartBob Howard, computer geek, comes to terms with owning a cat. … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: The Meds Don’t Need Adjusting

Monkey Typing

I stretched my legs and studied the intricate architecture of the building. It was a remarkably depressing structure considering how much good the Nelsons were trying to accomplish. The building was hideously dark. The walls were thick blocky stone, with carved designs on the edges, and the look was completed by the pair of massive stone gargoyles that sat on the building's roof. "Maybe it's the setting? This place looks more like a haunted castle than an institution dedicated to helping … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Beware of Little Old Ladies!

Monkey Typing

A little old woman came hobbling along, her crooked cane feeling for the cracks between the slick cobblestones. Because she had a black cloak huddled around her and a black cowl over her head— and so seemed a part of the dark fog— one of the merchants almost collided with her in the shadows. He helped her around a slimy puddle and grinned commiseratingly when she complained in a quavering voice about the condition of the street and the manifold dangers to which an old woman was exposed. She went … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Humming

Monkey Typing

Miss Hisselpenny found most of the books in Alexia’s father’s library shameful to read. She covered her ears and hummed whenever Miss Tarabotti even mentioned her papa, but she never hummed so loudly she could not hear what was said.— Gail Carriger, SoullessSouless is what you might call a steampunk paranormal romance novel. I can't precisely recommend it, but it made me laugh despite the plethora of refrigerator moments. I might have more to say about it on another day. … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Angelfood Cake

Monkey Typing

The Mouser made a very small parry in carte so that the thrust of the bravo from the east went past his left side by only a hair’s breath. He instantly riposted. His adversary, desperately springing back, parried in turn in carte. Hardly slowing, the tip of the Mouser’s long, slim sword dropped under that parry with the delicacy of a princess curtsying and then leaped forward and a little upward, the Mouser making an impossibly long-looking lunge for one so small, and went between two scales of t … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: A Serious Mummy Problem

You can't have it, he isn't done with it yet.

Here's something you didn't know about the Incas:Because the royal mummies were not considered dead, their successors obviously could not inherit their wealth. Each Inka’s panaqa retained all of his possessions forever, including his palaces, residences, and shrines; all of his remaining clothes, eating utensils, fingernail parings, and hair clippings; and the tribute from the land he had conquered. In consequence, as Pedro Pizarro realized, “the greater part of the people, treasure, exp … [Read more...]

Word I Wish I’d Written: Sweaters

Monkey Typing

It really was an awful garment, that pullover. It had a queasy zigzag pattern, in many strange, unhappy colors. It looked like something knitted as a present by a colorblind aunt, the sort of thing you wouldn’t dare throw away in case the garbage collectors laughed at you and kicked your trash cans over.— Terry Pratchett, Thud!Now that's an awful sweater! … [Read more...]

Words I Wish I’d Written: Chess

Monkey Typing

Vimes had never got on with any game much more complex than darts. Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could’ve been a republic in a dozen moves.— Terry Pratchett, Thud!Sam Vimes is the commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch; he comes from a long line of "coppers", an … [Read more...]