Sunday, 7 August 2016

The High Ground Places You Climb Were Covered

It's been a big first week...

I feel like Blaugust has taken a lot of effort for me this week, but I also feel like I really got into the swing of it a couple of times and produced some writing that I'm actually pretty pleased with. I've been able to spread my writing a little bit more widely outside of the small group of people that I normally share my online rantings, something that I don't always feel comfortable doing, and have been really encouraged by some of those responses. More importantly, I feel full of enthusiasm to tackle the second week of the challenge that is Blaugust, and enthusiasm is definitely a currency that I'll need to make it through.

As much as I've enjoyed challenging myself and pushing my own boundaries in Blaugust, with some limited success, it's by not means the only or even the best thing about the festival. The best part is undoubtedly being able to enjoy all the good stuff being created by the other Blagustines. As always I've loved getting inside of the heads of some of my friends from home, participating in what I've always thought of as 'Blaugust Prime', but I've also really enjoyed getting alongside some participants in the 'other' two Blaugusts (we're all one big happy family, really), both the MMO gaming community that I think of as 'Blaugust East' and the twitter-based maths teaching group that is #MTBoSBlaugust.

Here's my highlights from the first week of Blaugust 2016:

Blaugust Prime: Conntent

I've followed Connell's art for a long time. When we first met he was 'the Club', the heart and substance of the AUVGA club that I joined at the end of high school. It's a community that I've always valued, and people I met through the club have been partners in some of the most important times in my life, but apart from a few moments here and there, it's always been a group that generally meets on a pretty superficial level, to play games and to forget about the world.

Connell opened our Blaugust with a bang, with a heartfelt post about some of his struggles with depression and how he has to work to keep that particular enemy on the back foot. I'm grateful that from day 1 he set that sort of tone, to help set a standard that we can all be honest, open, and supportive of one another and not be afraid of posting important stuff, both because my Blaugust family are some of my greatest friends and I love hearing about the aspects of their lives that I wouldn't normally have cause to think about in a regular conversation. My own posts have been a little impersonal, but the call to be open is something I hope to come a little closer to answering over the month.

That, and his posts are interspersed with the daily cartoons that are childishly beautiful. I love them, that's all I have to say about that.

Blaugust East: Aywren

What's attracted me to the whole #blaugust scene is the impressive sense of community that the MMO guys have managed to produce. I think there's probably something about the dedication of the kind of people that are attracted to MMOs that causes them to write detailed posts, the take beautiful screenshots and just think more deeply about their games of choice than most other bloggers you see out there.

Two of Aywren's posts have stood out for me this week. The one I've linked about, in which she describes the sense of listlessness that can arise when you've played a game out almost completely, is a good post in and of itself, but what makes it great is the conversation in the comments and the willingness of all the participants to engage and help each other through tight scrapes. The other standout was this one about a little not-so-friendly meta-gaming vendetta, which was just made me giggle.

Blaugust MTBOS: Prime Factorisation

One of the pleasant surprises this year was finding out that the Maths teaching twitter guys are in on the action this Blaugust too. While I mostly find their enthusiasm for laminating slips of brightly-coloured paper a little bewildering, it's great to see a community that are keen to pool resources, help and encourage one another, and more importantly are doing something really important, teaching kids maths (they'd say math,, which puts me typing all these words about board games to shame.

It helps that this particular maths teacher happens to be one of my cousins and another one of the kindred spirits that I've been thinking about so much this week, now off living his new life in the US. I sometimes wonder if my life would be like his if I were just a little bit smarter and had gone into teaching, but it's just nice to see what he's up to and to feel another little thing in common with him with the distance between us.

I leave you today with the traditional weekly passage from the Up Goer God book, an experimental attempt to rewrite the King James Bible using only the most common ten hundred words in the English language.

Beginnings 7

1 And the god said to the man who made the water car, Come you and all your house into the water car; for you have I seen good before me in this age of people.
2 Of every clean animal you will take to you by sevens, the boy and his girl: and of animals that are not clean by two, the boy and his girl.
3 Of flying animals also of the air by sevens, the boy and the girl; to keep babies living upon the face of all the world.
4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the world four tens of days and four tens of nights; and every living thing that I have made will I take from off the face of the world.
5 And the man who made the water car followed all that the god told him.

Photo from Thomas Leuthard used under Creative Commons 2.0
6 And he was six hundred years old when the lots of water was upon the world.
7 And he went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons wives with him, into the water car, because of the lots of water.
8 Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of flying animals, and of every thing that moves quietly upon the world,
9 There went in two and two to him into the water car, the boy and the girl, as God had told the man who made the water car.
10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the lots of water were upon the world.
11 In the year six hundred of the man who made the water car's life, in the second month, day seven and ten day of the month, the same day were all the water ways of the great deep broken up, and the windows of the place where God lives were opened.
12 And the rain was upon the world four tens of days and four tens of nights.
13 In the same day entered the man who made the water car, and his first son, and his second son, and his third son, the sons of him, and his wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the water car;
14 They, and every animal after his kind, and all the food animals after their kind, and every quietly moving thing that moves quietly upon the world after his kind, and every flying animal after his kind, every flying animal of every sort.
15 And they went in to him into the water car, two and two of all kinds, where in is the breath of life.
16 And they that went in, went in boy and girl of all kinds, as God had told him: and the god shut him in.
17 And the lots of water was four tens of days upon the world; and the waters went up, and carried up the water car, and it was lift up above the world.
18 And the waters continued, and were raised a lot upon the world; and the water car went upon the face of the waters.
19 And the waters continued a lot upon the world; and all the high ground places you climb, that were under the whole sky, were covered.
20 Five and ten fingers to arm joins up did the waters continue; and the high ground places you climb were covered.
21 And all bodies died that moved upon the world, both of flying animal, and of food animal, and of animal, and of every quietly moving thing that moves quietly upon the world, and every man:
22 All in all those who had in their noses the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
23 And every living thing was killed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and food animal, and the quietly moving things, and the flying animal of the sky; and they were taken from the world: and the man who made the water car only remained living, and they that were with him in the water car.

24 And the waters continued upon the world for as many days as there used to be animals that you could keep in balls in the small-computer game named after those animals and the color red or blue (if you ignore the one you could not find without breaking the game).

Blaugust Writing Prompts
1) What have been your favourite Blaugust posts so far?
2) What do you really want to write about but can't work out how to frame?
3) What subject do you love that seems to be reader poison?

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