Freelancers and Cunning Linguists

The second half of summer was very productive for myself and Beneath Ceaseless Skies.  “When Averly Fell From the Sky” appeared in BCS 103, in print and podcast. The podcast is awesome; narrated for us by a British writer, very earthy in tone and inflection, like Christian Bale’s real voice.  “To the Gods of Time and Engines, a Gift” was reprinted in the steampunk anthology Ceaseless Steam (available on Amazon Kindle, shameless plug).  Good stuff all around.  Ongoing thanks, Scott.

Our drama with Comic-Con came to a happy resolution.  Navigating the black market proved once again to be successful; we bought Kelly’s pass from a local San Diego girl who was not able to attend.  She was a sweetheart and I’m glad she made a profit from the deal.  So for the next five days Kelly posed as a young Asian woman on staff with Guardian Press.  The Asian part was tricky, but my naturally-blond wife pulled it off with confident aplomb.  And what does it say about Comic-Con when the only reliable way to get in is to do so under the radar?  I’ll leave that to minds much nerdier than mine to ponder.

So I meet a LARP developer representing an outfit up north; he’s looking to hire a freelance to help them create six unique languages for the characters and races in their new game.  The writer would fine tune what they’ve already done: vocabulary, accents, and phrasing; make it all sound exotic yet convincingly real.  Wow, says I.  Sign me up.  I’ve done this before and have a good ear for it.  They send me the file containing the core vocabulary for the six languages.  I eagerly open the file and find–gibberish.  Random sounds and strings of letters that bear no relationship to one another, nor is there any pattern that makes one language distinct from the others.  Wow, says I again.  It’s a mess.  It’s… hmm.  It’s a challenge, I’ll give them that.  Ultimately nothing came of it; I hyped the guy into a frenzy one too many times and he stopped returning my emails. That’s fine. It was fun while it lasted and gives me terrific fodder for panel discussions on “What Not to Do”.

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