Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Hoist the Colors!

The truth is... I've been busy. I've been busy with a million things. We had a huge Summer blow-out party in September. If you're just hearing about it now -- you weren't invited. My daughter turned five and started kindergarten (real school, sniff) that same week. She's been testing that new pair of wings and that keeps a guy pretty busy.

At that party, i handed a copy of my old Beowulf movie script -- which predates the animated Zemeckis/Gaiman movie -- to my friend and fellow blogger, Dan Dorman (see his blog in the list on the left). This got me thinking about returning to fiction writing. Although no words have been put to paper yet, I did start reading a better class of fiction. If you don't see the connection between reading good fiction and writing, you just don't understand the writing process.

Talking to Dan got me in the movie review mood, so that one reason why the life-support I've thrown this blog has been movie news. Movies are safe topics. I haven't had much else to say -- and I promised myself I wouldn't write anything overtly political -- which is the other "easy" blog topic.

I took the family to the Renaissance Festival one weekend. That's always fun.

Why no martial arts posts? The easy answer is that I've been getting my fix by posting on a major martial arts web forum. But I've been wrestling with my martial arts practice over the past few months. I have lots of ideas, but I'm not sure they are well-formed enough to carry a full essay in this space. But I have been training.

By default, and not for my lack of trying to avoid it, I've been mostly responsible for taking a new Bujinkan shodan through his curriculum. This consists of the kata in the final portion of the Tenchijin no Maki. I know there are some out there who are already rolling their eyes about kata training; but this is the curriculum. I've actually found it very enlightening for me and it's been crucial in my re-evaluation of my own practice. I've even... considered teaching on a consistent, regular basis! But my wife will kill me if I do this and don't get paid.

In my own training, I've sought out some cross-training opportunities to improve some specific weak points. There's been a lot of Tae Kwon Do in recent weeks. Bujinkan kicking is rudimentary at best. I won't say a heel stomp kick is useless, but I'm looking to expand the arsenal and improve my kicking mechanics. TKD is one of the premiere kicking arts. It helps that my training partner also enjoys sparring using Kyokushin bare-knuckle rules rather than Olympic TKD rules. I've had some very interesting exchanges. I'd like to be doing more BJJ or try out Judo, but the opportunities haven't been there in the same way. I'm sure their time will come.

As often happens, certain themes emerge in my activities, and for the past six months, the theme has been: Vikings. I decided to start painting my next Warhammer 40K army and chose Space Wolves -- essentially Space Vikings with some werewolf imagery thrown in for good measure. I'm not quite halfway through painting my initial army list. Here are some samples of my work:

An HQ choice; a Rune Priest with plasma pistol.

Another HQ choice: Ulrik the Slayer, a Wolf Priest character.

Part of my first Grey Hunter squad, including a Wolf Guard (second from left with a power sword).

A detail of two converted Grey Hunters.

A full shot of what's complete so far. 28 models, 2 HQ (Rune Priest and Wolf Priest), a pack of Blood Claws, a pack of Grey Hunters, 1 model from the Long Fangs Pack I'm currently painting, and a pack of 5 Fenrisian wolves.

Geeked out yet? I think they're looking pretty good and I'm enjoying the converting and painting opportunities.

Anyway, I've been reading a lot about Vikings to get in the mood and understand the mindset while painting. I recently finished a fantastic translation of Norse mythology. I'm re-reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods and I'm eyeing up the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf (which is not, strictly speaking, about Vikings). Heck, I've even gone so far as to pull plans off the Internet for building a Viking shield from scratch and I'm seriously considering making one.
So... Yeah, I've been busy. And it's going to be busier still with the Holidays coming. I got talked into spending Thanksgiving with my wife's family in Disney World. I've been learning to speak "Mouse" and hide my wallet. There's always something... I'll try to add some new content over the next few months, but...
Look, the bottom line is: if you want good, meaningful blog posts; you have to let the bloggers live their lives and have some material to blog about. I'll be seeing you around.

1 comment:

srb said...

3 out of 5 very clear photos. Appreciate the high resolution which gives an opportunity to see the detail of the work. Very nice.