Saturday, March 12, 2011

MARCH MADNESS: Edward Elric vs Azula

Azula versus Edward Elric

Ink: I feel really about about Ed losing this fight. But he totally would.

Words: The difference isn't skill. It's ruthlessness.

Words: Ed has a definite aversion to killing.

Words: Whereas Azula lives and breathes ruthlessness.

Words: The second Ed gets her trapped, she defaults to Blowing Crap Up.

Ink: And let's not forget--Azula likes lightening. And metal is a conductor.

(Not to mention, Winry would kill him for getting his wiring screwed up.)

Ink: Ouch.

Words: Double ouch.

Ink: Double ouch indeed.

Words: Ed wouldn't know what had hit him.

Ink: Although I'm sure that sparring with Roy would have prepared him for fighting in the midst of fire, which I'm sure a lot of real badasses wouldn't be prepared for.

Words: Hmm, fair point.

Words: But not lightning.

Ink: Definitely not.

Words: Azula could hit him anywhere on the body and it would bounce at least twice before finally leaving.

Words: And Azula's known for NASTY exit wounds.

Words: And entry wounds.

Words: And...wounds.

Ink: Azula's just known for bringing the pain.

Ink: In any way possible.

Words: The only chance Ed would have is if Azula called him "short."

Words: But even then, she's used to beating the pants off Zuko, who I'm sure she's driven to homicidal rage.

Words: Ed would beat her up because she would TOTALLY insult him.

Ink: Azula is good at driving people into homicidal rage, I'm sure she can handle it.

Words: It is, after all, one of her greatest talents.

Ink: Alchemy probably wouldn't even faze her--she's dealt with Earthbenders.

Words: Even if she didn't one-shot him, Ed would start trying to analyze her lightning attack, and that would be it.

Words: Azula's got this one in the bag.

Ink: Azula has this one wrapped up.

Ink: Sorry, Ed.

Ink: we still love you.

Words: We do!

Words: Even if you're...

Words: ..

Words: ..

Ink: don't say it!

Words: -short-.

Words ducks and covers.

Ink: you'd better run.

Saturday, March 05, 2011


Nick versus V

Words: In one corner: Nick Ryves, demon-person and Knife Nut extraordinaire.

(If his killer looks don’t get to you, his killer blades probably will.)

Ink: In the other: a deeply-thoughtful anarchist who likes reading, old movies, and dynamite.

Ink: And Tchaikovsky.

(Tchaikovsky is to this man what soap is to Fight Club.)

Words: V's got culture going for him, but culture doesn't mean much against knives.

Words: V fights mostly with ideas, which Nick doesn't care for.

Words: Also, when you think about it, Nick is an as-yet-undetermined reservoir of raw power.

Ink: Nick can conjure up storms.

Words: I don't think V can compete with that.

Ink: I think they'd have a wicked-awesome knife fight, and then Nick would skewer him with a sword.

Words: Well-played, V, but you can't take this one.

Ink: Better luck with the British Government.

Ink: This is a tangent, but I do wonder how Nick would respond to music. Music is pre-lingual in some senses, but it's also deeply emotional, which Nick is not.

Words: That does raise an interesting question. I think he wouldn't see the point.

Words: ...but I would pay so much money to see that knife fight.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

MARCH MADNESS: Dobby vs. Bartimaeus


Words and I talked it over, and we decided that Dobby, although he's pretty good at taking out Death Eaters, just wouldn't have the combat experience to deal with Bartimaeus.

Words: Dobby's great and all, but he's WOEFULLY outclassed.

Words: Woefully.

Ink: Poor guy.

Words: Sadface. Ah well.

Ink: I wish Bartimaeus would go easy on him because he's awesome.

Ink: But I don't think he would.

Words: Nope. They'd bond over slavery, though.

Ink: That would be pretty cute. Alright, Bartimaeus wins!

He's an awesome elf, but elves ain't got nothin' on djinn. Although Bartimaeus and Dobby are oddly alike in their social awareness, but I think Dobby's campaigning for better elf rights was ultimately more successful. Politics, yes, combat, no. Sorry, Dobby. Better luck next time!

(Only 5,000 years of hardcore slavery could make you

capable of doing anything other than hugging this elf.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011


Words and I are excited to present a new feature for this month: March Madness! We'll be pitting sixteen characters from our favorite books, movies, and TV shows against each other all this month, discussing the various characters, and after four rounds, picking a winner. The characters are from just about every 'verse imaginable, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding a familiar face. If you're a little fuzzy on how this is going to work, so are we, but stick with us.

On the left side of our bracket, we have the magical characters, the alchemists, the benders, the geniuses, and anybody who's flat-out superhuman:
Bartimaeus from the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud
Dobby from Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Nick Ryves from the Demon's Lexicon and sequels by Sarah Rees Brennan
V from V for Vendetta
Octavian Nothing from the Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by MT Anderson
River Tam from Firefly
Azula of the Fire Nation from Avatar: the Last Airbender
Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist

On the right side of bracket, we have:
Eugenides from the Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner
Wesley from the Princess Bride
Domnovoi Butler from the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Zoe Alleyene from Firefly (I didn't know that Zoe had a last name either.)
Ursa of the Fire Nation from Avatar: the Last Airbender
Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling (I know she's a witch, but she snuck into this bracket, or, more likely, cursed some poor Muggle off of it)
Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory

The first round will be determined on who we think would win in a fight--brute strength. The second round will be determined by the contestants' finesse, trickery, or sneakiness. The third is a battle of wit, and the final round will be based entirely on style points.

Let's be clear, though--we're not advising that you bet money on any of this (and we have no idea how you'd collect bets if you did), but feel free to collect bragging rights when your pick advances to the next round. Sit back, check out the bracket, pick a favorite, and enjoy the game!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How To Be Badass (By Professor Nick Ryves)

Face it. You are never going to be badass if you think that you can learn the necessary skills on some blog run by unpublished wannabes. Badasses are born, not made. But I guess I can give you a few tips to get you through your next pathetic office power struggle or meeting with your ex-spouse's lawyer or whatever you people without real problems do in your spare time.

1) Cop an attitude. The world's best ass-kicking can be undone by an apology. Don't be nice. This is the real world, not kindergarten. Mr. Roberts isn't going to give you a gold star for not hurting Elmo's feelings or whatever. (See, look, I just did it.) Having a conscience is what prevents my brother Alan from fully embracing the badass he was born to be. You can be a nice guy, or you can be a badass. No mercy.

2) Have weapons. Personally, I prefer blades--when fighting magicians and demands, you can't go wrong with a good sword. However, knives aren't practical in some situations (like American airports) and anytime you use a sword, you have to expect an amount of good-natured ribbing from family and friends about compensating for something. If you're awesome like me, you'll just cut them to ribbons, but if you're not quite as cool as me, you're probably better off with a lethal instrument that attracts a little less Freudian analysis.

3) Be a man, man. Even if you're a woman.

4) Practice. Nobody ever became badass without hard work. And let's face it (Jamie, I'm looking at you), getting into shape is just the tip on the iceberg. If you don't have dangerous enemies tracking your every move and just want to get a leg up in your fantasy football club, I guess you don't need to spend a lot of time at target practice or learning to identify demon marks, but a little basic combat training never goes awry. Just remember--watching UFC is fun, but there's no substitute for the real thing.

5) No fear. Any time you spend being afraid is just time you could have spent sharpening your weapons.

Well, that's about it. If you want to hear more from me (and be honest, how could you not?), you can check me out at . I understand she's on a mission to make the world a little more badass one book at a time. Me, I don't trust books, but, hey, it's worth a shot.

[transcribed with great reluctance by Mae Crawford]

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

A (Writing) Exercise in Desperation

11:33 AM. Polish off second cup of coffee. If I leave now I'll get there earlier than yesterday. Means I'll wait longer before they get out, but I'll be farther ahead in the line. Fine by me.

11:45 AM. Forgot that this road leads back from lunch to the largest single employer in Georgia. My advantage over yesterday is totally shot.

11:48 AM. Moody is clear and I make an easy left onto 96. Maybe I've beat the rush.

12:00 PM. Stop driving perfectly on a line of cars at least a quarter mile from the school.

12:01 PM. Cars fill all visible road behind me. State Road 96 is now a parking lot.

12:10 PM. Ten-minute mark. Realize that thought process resembles apocalyptic log.

12:11 PM. See woman walk by toward the school. Wonder where her car is.

12:13 PM. Regretting that second cup of coffee.

12:14 PM. Several cars pull out of the line and turn around. The majority of us have nowhere else to go.

12:16 PM. Gentleman jogs pas the car. Heat haze makes me think that cars ahead of me are moving. Just a cruel mirage.

12:17 PM. Girl and her little sister walk toward school. Their mom must have stayed in her air-conditioned car.

12:18 PM. Really regretting that second cup of coffee.

12:19 PM. Playlist ended. Can't be bothered to find new tunes.

12:21 PM. Moved twelve feet forward. Saw first woman walk back with happy daughter.

12:22 PM. Movement becoming more frequent. Still not in sight of school.

12:23 PM. Catch glimpse of highlighter-yellow-vested traffic cop. Second gentleman walks back. Daughter as tall as he is.

12:24 PM. Gentleman gives truck driver behind me directions. Truck skirts around me and bypasses the madness.

12:25 PM. In sight of school. Moving frequently. Memorizing log entries for later transcription.

12:26 PM. Intensely regretting that second cup of coffee.

12:27 PM. See cars pulled over in grass on side of road, drivers walking. Tempting, but it's prohibitively hot and I'm a wuss.

12:29 PM. Aforementioned grass-car is under the impression that she can make a left back onto this road. Due to the mercy of strangers she somehow succeeds.

12:30 PM. Kid rides by on bike, wondering what in the world is going on. I'm right there with you, kid.

12:31 PM. World has turned sufficiently that my window arm is now in the shade. Small mercies.

12:33 PM. Realization hits that the school has consolidated its two pickup lines into one for the day. WHY?! is unclear.

12:34 PM. Hope I turned off the coffee pot. Try not to think about coffee.

12:35 PM. Highlighter cop's job really sucks.

12:36 PM. Regretting every cup of coffee I've ever had.

12:40 PM. Turn on J-Rock, sing along, and headbob so that the woman in front of me who keeps looking in her rearview will wonder what I'm doing.

12:42 PM. See more grass-cars. Tempted again, but I'm so close now.

12:44 PM. Enter the school parking lot. Pass by king of the highlighter cops.

12:45 PM. Reach the point at which I stopped driving at noon yesterday.

12:46 PM. Can't quite bring self to regret discovery of coffee bean.

12:50 PM. Spot a parking monitor huddling in a rare patch of shade. Lucky guy.

12:56 PM. Pickup successful. First order of business: find a bathroom.

12:59 PM. Can't get back onto 96 from Flash Foods. Take an alternate route home. Have an adventure.

1:37 PM. Arrive home. Confirm that I did, in fact, turn off the coffee pot.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Names, Part 3

Some final thoughts on names, naming, and the dangers therein.

[Words] When naming fictional people, we've noticed that it's easy to lift names light-fingered from anyone who's standing too close. Naming characters after people you know can be a fun diversion (Ink's taken requests before, when friends found out she was writing a book and, in one case, wanted a villain named after him), but it poses obvious hazards.

[Ink] I don't think I've ever named a major character after somebody, but a couple of times I've named a character and realized that I know somebody by that name. The FMC in my urban fantasy series is named Kate. I know so many Katherines, Catherines, Kathryns, Kaitlyns, and Katies it's not funny. I have two cousins named Katie and three good friends named some variation of Kate. I actually kinda hope they all think that they're the namesake.

I also recently realized that I named a ruthless Old West bankrobber the same name as the wonderful, cool, amazing lady who ran the youth group at my school. In my defense, Kelly was a boy's name in the 1800's. I hope she never finds out.

One time, I named a character Jordan, just on a lark. Then I realized the girl who sat behind me in Spanish class was also named Jordan. We usually didn't talk that much, but after naming the character that, we got to be friends. It was kind of weird, but cool.