16 December 2011

Under maintenance

Mithril Wisdom is undergoing some scheduled maintenance. I'll be back with a new look and some new things in the New Year. Until then, here's a little something to annoy the masses:

15 December 2011

Taking a Christmas break

I know that I haven't been around the past few weeks, and for that I apologise. It's made me realise that I need to get a little bit more serious with this blog. After 2 years, I think it's time to up the ante a little bit and see what it's capable of. With that in mind, I'll be offline until the New Year, when I hope to return with a new look for the blog, some new features and making some good headway on the TBR pile. 2012 will be that year, I hope.

I wish you all  a very Merry Christmas and an awesome New Year. Stay safe and be happy. Christmas is coming ...

9 December 2011

In which I get hit repeatedly with a blade

Last week, I finally found a historical re-enactment group that runs close to where I live. I've been looking for a few years, but they've always been in the far flung corners of Wales (and I don't drive). Then I stumbled across Cardiff Castle Garrison - a Medieval re-enactment group that recreates life and battle in mid 14th Century Britain.

I went to one of their group socials last week, appropriately set in a pub called The Rummers Tavern that sits opposite Cardiff Castle. Everyone in the group was friendly and welcoming, and I got along with them pretty quickly (I think wearing a T-Shirt for viking-metal band Turisas served as a good ice-breaker!)

 They invited me to join their combat training session last night (sadly I joined as the Winter term was ending, so there's no more until after the New Year) and it was immense fun. As a newcomer a.k.a 'squishie', I was given basic combat training with a wooden sword, protective glove for my sword arm and a basic helmet.

I was put through my paces by one of the instructors, learning the seven basic sword swings and corresponding defence blocks. I was told I had picked it up quite quickly so I did some 'attack and response' sparring with one of the other newbies there.

It was only a 90 minute session, but I loved every minute of it. I quickly realised that I have virtually no grip in my sword arm. After about an hour I was unable to properly swing the sword, so I'll need to work on that over Christmas. I also need to judge what kind of attack is coming my way before I start to block, as more than once I took a sword to the shoulder.

I can't wait to go again. It is a fantastic group with a great bunch of people. I've been told that in the New Year I'll be doing spearwall training, and I have to make my own 14th-Century clothing. Bring it on!

7 December 2011

Cutting the mustard - Insecure Writer's Suport Group

This is the last post for 2011 for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. For those of your who don't know, the IWSG is a chance for writer's to get off their chest their worries, insecurities and problems when it comes to writing, and also get some support in the process.

We meet on the first Wednesday of every month over coffee (metaphorical coffee). Take a look at some other participants on the bloglist below, and sign up if you're interested!

There are many things that stop me from actually writing something - procrastination is the biggest one, not having much time to do so is another. But the thing that I think is mostly holding me back?

Not thinking I'll be good enough to write something of value.

I've read quite a few books since I started this blog; mostly good, some awful. There are some truly talented authors out there who have that innate gift of storytelling. How am I to match up to that calibre? I have buckets of imagination, but do I have any real talent?  I'm both untrained and untested, so I'm very much the rookie with big aspirations.

The only real way that I'll ever find out is to write something and see what happens. Last week, I wrote a pantomime for my team at work and I received unanimously positive feedback from it (though they might have just been polite). I think what I need to do for 2012 is to submit short stories to competitions, write a lot of flash fiction, and take part in collaborative writing projects (and get onto a creative writing course or writing group) to bolster both my ability and confidence. Watch this space, let's see how I go.

What do you do when you have those nagging moments of self-doubt in your ability that freeze up your writing? What's the best way to overcome it?

Be sure to check out some of the other participants below, and if you're tweeting about it, use the hashtag  #IWSG to let others know.

5 December 2011

Movie trailer - Chronicle (2012)

 Three high school friends gain superpowers after making an incredible discovery. Soon, though, they find their lives spinning out of control and their bond tested as they embrace their darker sides. 

This movie is still in the teaser stages, but it's got a similar excitement/hype that followed Cloverfield and Super 8 in its mystery. I like the use of the 'found footage' with traditional filming techniques. I also like the darker tone to the whole 'gaining super powers' story.

Chronicle is due to hit cinemas in 2012.

Do you like this darker tone? What would you want to see in a new superhero movie?

4 December 2011

Mithril Wisdom turns 2!

It's odd to think that it was two years ago today that I decided to set up Mithril Wisdom as a way of getting through an ever increasing pile of fantasy books. Fast forward two years and I've got an even bigger pile of books, courtesy of the authors and publishers who have generously though me as deserving enough to review them. My thanks go out to all of you.

I've been missing in action for a little while, so I'll bring you up to speed:
  • I've been playing an awful lot of Skyrim. That game devours your time and your soul alike. And I'm loving every minute of it.
  • I'm now writing mini-reviews in my work's in-house magazine. They are small, 150 word reviews of books on management, personal development etc. This means that my fiction reviewing will be a lot thinner on the ground from now on.
  • I wrote a pantomime for a team building day at work. It was a 15 minute play and I got full creative control of the script. It was a hell of a lot of fun and I'd love to do it again.
Though reading/reviewing fantasy novels was the reason I started up this blog, I know that they'll be a lot more infrequent from now on. There will still be fantasy reviews, though.  

What would you like to see instead? Video game reviews? Comic reviews? More posts about fantasy in music?

I'd love to get some feedback on what you think works and doesn't. I mean it - complete honesty is what I'm after, no matter how good/bad it may be. I can take it.

My biggest thanks also goes out to you guys for reading, commenting, reposting and generally sticking around for the past two years. You are the best friends I've never met!