One of the highlights of the A to Z Challenge included visiting Jamie Gibbs at Mithril Wisdom every day. A fantasy and metal dude, Jamie’s theme just rocked! So I asked him to join us today and give us a little insight…
I've been listening to power and folk metal since I was 17, and it's given me a lost of inspiration in my writing. There's a whole lot of imagery in the music of that genre that other musical styles can't reach, but it's pretty niche and doesn't get a whole lot of recognition. It's very similar to fantasy as a literary genre - it tends to get sneered at by 'more established' genres but it's got such huge potential in terms of imagery and imagination.
Ooo, don't make me choose! *quickly rilfes through A-Z posts*. That's a really hard one to nail down. I'm going to go for my M is for Mithril post (before anyone says anything, my blog's name did not influence the decision at all). The song is Durnir's Forge by Dragonland. The song itself is pretty badass (a hero venturing into the bowels of a dwarf fortress to gain the help of the dwarf king in order to overthrow an evil tyrant? What's not to love) but the entire album is amazing.
What usually grips me most of all about these kinds of albums is that I can perfectly imagine them being performed on the stage, like a rock opera/heavy metal musical. That's when you know you've struck gold, and this album Under the Grey Banner has all those qualities.
You mentioned science fiction once or twice – think you might want to tackle science fiction and metal music next year?
Sci-fi would be pretty sweet; there's definitely a good number of sci-fi inspired power metal songs out there (like one called Ironhead about an alien cowboy robot. It can get pretty crazy). The genre can go to some pretty dark places though, so maybe a sci-fi/horror theme is on the cards. People seemed to get a kick out of the fantasy songs, so it's possible!
Oh boy, I suppose this is confession time. I've never actually played D&D. I played the kids version years ago, but real D&D I've never touched. I've always wanted to try it out, and I'm a big Warhammer geek as a way of compensating. Right now, though, Skyrim is taking up most of my life. I tend to opt for assassins when I play video games and mages in any other kind of RPG. Hurling fireballs at unsuspecting folk is definitely the way to go.
What do you blog about the other eleven months of the year?
I do my best to whittle down the massive pile of books on my to be read shelf, and I like to share the things I find online that tickle my geek bones. I've recently started writing fiction again, so expect to see more of that and some writing tips and tricks I find along the way.
There's a long story involving beer, a jacuzzi, grenades, a 7 day ban from Egypt and a schizophrenic geologist, but I don't want to bore the readers with that.
I didn't find any mummies, sadly, but I did help uncover a burial chamber in Luxor. I was lucky enough to be part of the team that helped excavate the tomb at the time (and my camera was the only one to hand when they broke in, so I got all the photos!) Getting into the burial chamber did involve belly crawling through a narrow gap filled with limestone chips and a 40 foot drop on the ricketiest ladder known to humankind. It was totally worth it, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Not as much as I'd like :) She's much more eclectic than me when it comes to music so she's more tolerant of my musical tastes than I am of hers. She's just as big a geek as I am, though, and almost as big a fantasy fan too (I'm hoping she's not reading this!). She takes more from the music side of things than the imagery, so I need to wear her down a little more before she likes some of the weird bands I show her.
Jamie, you rock!
Co-host Ninja Captain Alex is the author of CassaStar and CassaFire and his blog can be found HERE
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Jamie Gibbs from Mithril Wisdom is no stranger to the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. In this guest post Jamie provides some excellent Challenge wisdom that may alleviate some stress come April.
A to Z Blogging - How to wing it in style
It’s certainly no secret that I rarely prepare for blog-type events. I’m usually the one frantically hitting that “Publish’ button mere seconds before each deadline (and on one occasion, several days after it). I enjoy the spontaneity of winging it and the thrill of the unexpected when I blog with little planning. However, writing by the seat of your pants does not mean you should walk into the A to Z Challenge blind. A small amount of planning can go a very long way. Here’s a few tips to wing it without making a fool of yourself.
● Know your theme
Even if your theme is to have no theme, make sure you know the general feel of the posts that you’ll write. Things will be a lot easier when you’re sitting at your keyboard, struggling to find that elusive ‘Q’ topic, if you know that whatever the ‘Q’ is, it needs to be in the realm of, say, Aztec gods (and the answer, of course, would be Quetzalcoatl).
● Prep each day with one word
You have two whole months until the Challenge starts, so grab a pen and paper, and write the alphabet. Go on, do it, don’t be shy. I’ll wait. I’ll just busy myself thinking about dragons.
Right, done that? Awesome. Now think about a single word to go with each letter (sticking with your theme). I hope you left enough room next to each letter to write the word itself. I probably should have mentioned that earlier. Hmm . . .
It may take some time, but using those single words will make your posts so much quicker to write each day. Even if you still haven’t thought of any for the elusive ‘Q’ by the time April rolls around, you’ll have 25 less posts to worry about because of your list.
● Read around. Read widely. Read everything!
The A to Z Challenge is about community above all else. There are hundred of awesome bloggers who are participating, and it would be a shame for you to miss out. Don’t just read the blogs you know, or those who comment on your posts. Don’t just focus on the blogs that are similar to your own. You’ll be surprised how much inspiration you’ll get from reading outside of your comfort zone. Even better, you’ll meet new friends along the way. Everyone’s a winner!
Good luck to all of you, and extra good luck to my fellow winging bloggers. I look forward to seeing you blogging by the seat of your pants - and doing it in style.