In other news, the Third Annual Bad Poetry Party went off well. We ended up crowning David S. as this year's Queen of Cheese, due to the volume and variety of his contributions, some of which he'd written himself. I think it was the ballad about clone-on-clone homicide that won him the construction-paper crown. After several hours of appalling verse (chemistry articles in iambic pentameter, Beatniks gone wrong, sincere fundamentalist Christian devotions saturated with dangling modifiers, Edward Lear and Ogden Nash, and, at long last, our annual set-piece, James McIntyre's "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese"), we turned to prose. The night owls among us made a good start on that classic of misbegotten epic fantasy, Jim Theis's "The Eye of Argon." Although "The Eye of Argon" is chockablock with unintentionally hilarious errors in spelling, grammar, characterization, taste, sense, causality, and anatomy, some of us have begun developing immunity to its powers to amuse. Even the love interest, with her "lithe, opaque nose" could not fell us, though once we used to topple over with giggles at the mere mention of Grignr the Ecordian and the weapons he'd stowed in the "g-string tied around his waist." Nothing for it but to retire "The Eye of Argon" for next year in favor of Travis Tea's Atlanta Nights.
Meanwhile, the reason I haven't yet made good yet on my promise to send scarletbronte a little essay on John Gardner's The Art of Fiction is that I've been pulling together a new chunk of manuscript that's fit for a first viewing by my stalwart beta readers. Vol 1 Pt 2 Chapters 1-5 now exist in rough but contiguous form. Vol 1 Pt 2 Chs 6-10 are still giving me fits, but at least I'm close to having a middle to go with the orphaned beginning and end that resulted when I split the book into 2 volumes. If there's anything of verisimilitude about the battle at sea, you have twoeleven to thank for it.