- What I Learned at SRU -
A labor of love and collaboration. A character-heavy, sequential, personal expression of growing up as a young adult.“Life happens wherever you are, whether you make it or not.”
What I Learned at SRU is complicated to explain in terms of genre or content. It is a serialized work of young-adult fiction that is essentially an original plot set in contemporary times which uses references and homage to the Avatar series as its foundation. Likewise, many of the primary themes are derived from Avatar, and the likenesses of its characters are directly inspired by the casts of both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. That said, you do not need to have seen either show to understand or appreciate the story. It is this very fact — and the fact that many of the character reinterpretations have become more my own characters than anything else — which has made me decide to eventually convert the entire work into an original series down the road. You can read a FAQ about the story here.
Excuse me while I extract revenge on you.
Okay so, I saw some comments a few times on the post of the Infanta coat that it would make an awesome piece for female Corvo. Considering I have both the coat AND the cosplay, I figured why not. Corvo mask by the beautiful TurnOnRed!
Though personally I think it looks more like something Jessamine would wear — WHICH IS WHY I THINK FEM!CORVO SHOULD JUST BE JESSAMINE RISEN FROM THE DEAD BY THE OUTSIDER TO GET HER BABY BACK.
- H. W. Fowler, Modern English Usage. This seven-hundred-page volume of small type includes every conceivable stylistic point, arranged alphabetically, and written in an informal (but quirky) tone. Some of the entries are specific — several pages on punctuation — while others are general, such as tired clichés. Almost every entry has illustrative quotations from real life. Fowler was qualified for the job, having just compiled the Concise Oxford Dictionary. Yanks may find this classic work unsuitable because of its focus on British English, and much of it has been outdated in the eight decades since its first edition’s completion. Still worth a look. A companion, Modern American Usage by Follett, makes up for some of Fowler’s disadvantages, but lacks the charm of the original.
- Sir Ernest Gowers et al., The Complete Plain Words. Ernest Gowers’s Plain Words is a guide to effective writing from the 1940s for British civil servants. Over the years it has gone through many editions and been changed by many hands. The most recent version, The Complete Plain Words, still shows its focus on British usage and the civil service, but many of its suggestions are excellent. Most of the book is a discussion of common writing problems, with examples of good and bad writing. There is also a long section on specific points of usage, arranged alphabetically.
- George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language.” Orwell’s essay is one of the great works on the plain style. The essay should be available in any popular collection of Orwell’s essays. Read it daily. Keep a copy under your pillow.
- Thomas Pinney, A Short Handbook and Style Sheet. A handy little guide to style, written informally and accessibly. The general sections (on diction, vagueness, wordiness, and so on) are better than those devoted to mechanics. Pinney’s work is refreshingly free of dogmatism of any sort.
- Margaret Shertzer, The Elements of Grammar. Not bad if you’re looking for very specific rules, but not highly recommended as a general guide. It includes things like “Capitalize nouns followed by a capitalized Roman numeral” and the proper spelling of bête noire. Easily available, since it’s often sold with Strunk and White (below).
- Strunk and White, The Elements of Style. The standard high school guide to style, and useful well beyond school. It includes a number of specific rules, dozens of commonly misused words, and bundles of suggestions for improving your style. Available anywhere (now including an on-line version of Strunk’s 1918 edition). Read it. Memorize it. Live it.
- Maxwell Nurnberg, I Always Look Up the Word “Egregious”: A Vocabulary Book for People Who Don’t Need One. A pleasant guide to building vocabulary that never becomes patronizing (the fault of too many books for beginners) or drifts off into utterly useless long words (the fault of too many books for fans of word games). It’s probably too sophisticated for non-native speakers and rank beginners, but will help many others build a more powerful vocabulary.
- The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th ed. Not only a good desk dictionary for providing definitions, but also a handy guide to usage on controversial questions. AHD has a panel of writers who vote on whether certain usages are acceptable.
- Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. It’s not a comprehensive treatise to answer all your questions, and it describes British rather than American practice (well, practise). And the “zero-tolerance” stuff shouldn’t be taken too seriously. But the book’s a hoot, and if you’re curious about the finer points of punctuation, check it out.
Alphas vs. Betas
(view in hi-res)