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Gregory Lynn
17,760 followers -
I write stuff. Maybe you'll like it.
I write stuff. Maybe you'll like it.

17,760 followers
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If you're not familiar with #SaturdayScenes, it's a thing started over on the Plus by a Mr. John Ward (he paid me to say that) to encourage writers to share scenes from something they're writing so we can all spend our saturdays reading stuff instead of doing chores or shopping or boring stuff.

This week’s scene is the opening to this week’s episode of my Oliver Black e-mail serial. For context, at the end of last week’s episode, Oliver got the crap beaten out of him.



When he got to his feet, Oliver spat a wad of bloody spittle onto the cobblestones. He wiped the remnants from his chin with the back of his hand and looked around.

He saw a vaguely humanoid, mostly brownish shape heading in his direction. He turned and went the other way.

He heard footsteps following him. He walked faster.

“Wait,” a voice said.

He walked faster.

“I need to talk to you.”

He walked faster.

The footsteps came faster, and Oliver left the alley and turned to make his way back to the rooftops. He felt a hand on his shoulder and turned quickly, aiming a punch at the mostly brownish, vaguely humanoid head.

It didn’t step back so much as it leaned out of the way, letting Oliver’s punch whoosh past, hitting nothing.

“What?” Oliver spat when he’d regained control.

The mostly brownish, vaguely humanoid shape turned out to be a girl in brownish clothes with hair the color of mud.

“I need to talk to you,” she said.

“Go away.” Oliver said, and turned to leave.

“It’s important,” she said.

Oliver ignored her.

“I can help you keep safe.”

Oliver walked away.

“You won’t make it on your own.”

Oliver walked faster.

“You need my help.”

Oliver ran.

___________________

#SaturdayScenes #SaturdayScenesFantasy


Spoiler Alert! Oliver is in the uh, initial stages of turning into one of those snarktastic fantasy thieves we all love. If you'd like to watch him make the transition, you'll want to subscribe to the Oliver Black E-Mail Serial which, if the name doesn't give it away, is distributed weekly by e-mail.

You can sign up at

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This is a shame. The big crossover this season was the best episode Arrow had in I don't even know how how long, and the episodes of Legends and Flash were, if not the best, one of the best of the season.

Supergirl, not so much, but it was barely a crossover.

The Black Lightning Series Won't Be Part of the Arrowverse, and That's a Big Mistake

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It's long past time, dudes, long past.

It's time to return to Jim Henson's groundbreaking world. 'The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance' is coming to Netflix. http://bit.ly/2qWIwL0

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If you're not familiar with #SaturdayScenes, it's a thing started over on the Plus by a Mr. John Ward to encourage writers to share scenes from something they're writing so we can all spend our Saturdays reading stuff instead of doing chores or shopping or boring stuff.



That said, my scene this week is from the rebooted version of Oliver Black Season One, Episode One in which Oliver gets frisky but not in the Happy Days sense.

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Outdoor time the next day was as troublesome as ever. The other boys were just as aware of the special treatment Oliver received as Oliver was. Being removed from class to visit with church officials is not something that could be kept secret. Oliver saw the visits as a trial, but the other boys just saw someone being treated differently and took that as their cue to do the same.

“Who’s that you were meeting with, Oliver?” one shouted at him.

Oliver ignored him. He was too busy scanning the yard for escape opportunities. There were none. The fence was climbable, but not quickly. Any of the sisters could cross the yard and clamp their hand on him before he made it over. If the sisters were all inside, it would be easy but the boys were never let out without several of the sisters to monitor them. “Well that won’t work,” he muttered to himself.

“What’s that you say?” the same boy asked. It was Elphren and as Oliver’s attention returned to the here and now, he realized that Elphren wasn’t the only one looking at him.

“I asked you what you said,” Elphren said in one of those artificially calm voices that drip with barely restrained violence.

Oliver sighed. Elphren slept in the next bunk and sat next to Oliver at meals and in classes. He was always the first to notice when Oliver was doing something other than what the other boys did. Worse, he resented the difference.

Elphren didn’t see that the meetings with church officials were a nightmare. He didn’t see that whatever special treatment Oliver received came with heightened expectations. If Oliver was forgiven for breaking some of the lesser rules, he was also held to higher standards in class and out.

Oliver sighed and lifted his voice so it could be heard by all the boys, “I didn’t say anything. I asked if you’d managed to get through the night without wetting the bed again.”

Most of the boys laughed. Some pointed. Elphren and those few boys who had decided it was safer to be his friend than his enemy kept quiet. “What. Was. That?” Elphren muttered.

Oliver took it all in with one glance. The glint in his eye. The clenched fist. The hangers on closing in. A smile lept to his face as he made a decision. If a fight was inevitable, it would be better fought on his terms.

“I said you pissed the bed last night. And the night before. And the night before that. And the night before that.”

Elphren’s face reddened with every syllable and by the end, Elphren had crossed half the distance to Oliver. Oliver waited until just the right moment then, stepping forward to get all his strength behind him, he punched Elphren square in the nose.

Elphren fell, rolled over, and curled up into a ball, blood slipping through the hands covering his nose. Oliver turned and hailed one of the nuns. “Sister Alys, come quick, Elphren’s hurt himself!”

In short order, three of the sisters were on the scene. Sister Alys was tending to Elphren. Sister Maybelle was shooing away the onlookers, and Sister Gelia was questioning the witnesses.

“What happened?” she asked.

“It was an accident,” Oliver said, “he was running and tripped over something. He landed face first and when he rolled over he was bleeding badly. That’s when I called for Sister Alys.”

“That’s not—” Elphren began, but Sister Alys shushed him immediately.

“Did anyone else see what happened?”

Three of the boys spoke up, echoing what Oliver had said. Elphren, being the prickly sort, had few real friends.

Elphren was sitting up when they were done. He glanced at his cronies and shook his head slightly. He turned to Oliver and gave him a glower that returned all the ill-will Oliver had directed his way earlier.

Oliver allowed a half a grin to slip onto his face.
_________

I've got a little spoiler for your. Oliver's going to become one of those supremely skilled wisecracking thieves Fantasy is known for. If you want to see it happen, drop by http://bit.ly/2pz9BSj and sign up to get every episode right in your inbox every Thursday.
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You know how sometimes when you reach out to pick up your glasses, you stick your greasy ass thumb right in the middle of the lens?

If no, then you can exit now.

Else, you can explain how the data I have collected over the past twenty-frikkin' years says i have done this 105% of the goddamn time.

105%!

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I don’t usually watch the CW superhero shows the day they air, so I was watching with some skepticism as the accolades rolled in for the Flash’s musical episode Tuesday night. The Twitterverse loved “Duet” and parts of it implied that it was the best musical episode ever. I’ve seen “Once More With Feeling” from Buffy too many times to take that at face value but then I saw the episode.

It was so much fun. It’s precisely the kind of we-don’t-take-ourselves-too-seriously fun that makes the Flash so much fun. It knows that everything from the premise of the show to the characters and plots of the show are completely ridiculous so it amps them all up to eleven and just has fun with it.

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I once literally won a game of this on the first move by remembering something from Huckleberry Finn.

It was a beautiful moment.

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Today’s scene comes from the third episode of my exclusive e-mail serial Oliver Black.

#SaturdayScenes #SaturdayScenesFantasy

“Hot roasted nuts, one copper a husk!” yelled one.

“Smoked fish, just outta the smoker!” shouted another.

“Meat-pies!” shouted a third, causing me to jump a little, and seek him out with with my eyes. He turned out to be a she—or at least a she-looking person. She was as tall as a pole-axe and looked to be made of nothing but straight lines and edges.

I dodged between two men in laborer’s garb to get away from her just in case. That’s when I heard another cry cut through the din. “Ignore the kababble, get a kabobble from Kabibble!”

I snorted a laugh, but couldn’t resist hunting out the source of the cry. When I found him, I stood agog. He was taller and darker than any man I’d ever seen and whenever he came to a pause in his hawking, his mouth curled up into a smile as if it were the natural resting point of his face.

“Sir,” I asked, straining to be heard, “what’s a kababble?”

He looked down at me, and if anything, his grin grew a bit wider. “What’s a kababble?” he asked, and spread his arms “All of this is a kababble. This magnificent, unrelenting horde of humanity is a kababble.”

I gave him a little hairy eyeball, convinced he was just playing games with the word “babble.”

“What’s a Kabibble, then?”

He pounded his chest with an open palm. “I am a Kabibble! It’s my name, see, Kevlar Kabibble at your service.” He bowed to me as he said this last part and I couldn’t help but smile back at him.

When he straightened up, he looked at me as if he were expecting another question, but I refused to ask it.
He laughed and answered it anyway. “This is a kabobble,” he said, picking up what appeared to be a stick with several chunks of cooked meat on it.

“Meat on a stick?” I asked, incredulous.

“Oh, not just meat on a stick, but the finest meat anywhere, slowly roasted with a secret recipe of the best herbs. I tell you truth now, nobody in the city eats better than those who eat Kabibble’s kabobbles. Not the Duke. Not the Archimandrite. Nobody!” and with this last part, he stood up straighter, and puffed out his chest proudly.

I gave in. “And how much would a poor orphan expect to pay for such a meal?” I asked.

He looked me up and down closely as if the price he would charge depended on what he thought I could pay. Then in a low voice he said, “Two coppers, young sir.”

I had to laugh. I knew what I looked like and as sure as peaches are poison, I couldn’t look like I had two coppers. Nevertheless, I reached down, took off my left shoe, removed the two coppers I’d hidden there the night before, and deposited them in the man’s hand.

He looked at them askance, though whether that was because he thought they might be counterfeit or because they had been in my shoe, I couldn’t tell. After a few heartbeats, he just laughed, put the coins in a pouch at his belt, and handed me some meat on a stick.

I shook my head looking at it, but took a bite and as I chewed, I lost whatever reservations I’d had about the man and his kabobble. I walked and chewed and chewed and walked, and by the time I’d chewed and swallowed the last bit, I decided that as far as I was concerned, every meal should be served on a stick.

I smiled, thinking that meat on a stick was why I’d left the orphanage—not that I’d known it existed, but the nuns would never have served meat on a stick. The High Mother wouldn’t have allowed it.

Allowed.

Merely thinking the word brought me back to the reality. If this boss of petty pilferers wouldn’t allow me to—but wait. The squarish man, what did she call him? Hench? He hadn’t said anything about begging or pilfering, merely begging or pilfering without permission. While the notion of getting permission to do something was antithetical to my entire nature, opening up a path to an income by trading a bit of freedom was a deal I felt worth making.

And with that, a plan formed in my head.
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When your learning how to write fiction, one of the things you're told to remember is that everyone is the hero of their own story. Your Big Bad Villain doesn't think he's doing evil. The waitress who drops off a cup of coffee isn't simply a tool to heighten tension by interjecting a pause in a conversation.

They're both real people with real histories and you should know them before you write.

I've been thinking of this off and on in relation to real life events for the past few years and the death of Tigers owner Mike Ilitch has put some focus on it.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love baseball in general, and the Boston Red Sox in particular. Everyone who knows anything about sports knows that much of the country thinks of the Patriots as villains. It's less known, but there's a sizable chunk of non-Yankee baseball fans who think the Sox are a villain in much the way the Yankees are. (Brief aside to those folks--if you say the Sox are just like the Yankees, you are lacking a sense of perspective and should ask the Great Lord Google to educate you about the competitive balance tax, who has paid it, and how much)

There is another sense in which the Red Sox are villains, and it concerns the 2013 season. In 2013 the Sox were coming off a last place finish that was presaged by a monumental collapse in the last month of 2011. The Tigers were coming off 0-4 loss in the World Series. Everyone knew that the Tigers were desperately trying to win a Series before Mike Ilitch died.

We know the story of the 2013 Red Sox. Most Red Sox fans who are old enough to have a sense of perspective will rate the 2013 World Series as the second most enjoyable World Series win in their lifetime. Some will rank it first. We know the story. Not much expected, a bunch of new additions that were good but not great. The bombing of the Boston Marathon.

The Red Sox and the Tigers were clearly the two best teams in the AL that season and the ALCS was epic. The Tigers won game 1 1-0 and they were leading 5-1 in the late innings of game 2 when David Ortiz had an iconic David Ortiz moment and tied the game. The Red Sox won game 3 1-0 and eventually the series, going on to win the World Series in an epic tilt against the Cardinals.

The Tigers lost the Division Series in 2014 and didn't make the post season in either 2015 or 2016. If the story you're writing is about The Tigers and their quest for their first World Series title since 1984 and the urgency of doing it before Mike Ilitch dies, well, the Sox are the villain the piece.

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Ashoka Tano is by far the most interesting character in Clone Wars and a movie about her story would make a gazillion dollars. Maybe two gazillion.

Plus, you know, it would be a great movie.

Rosario Dawson Down To Play Ahsoka Tano In a Star Wars Film
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