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October 2013

Story Props in my Purse

The other day I was rummaging around in my purse and cut my finger. Not usually one to carry sharp objects amongst the semi-organized mess that is my pocket-book (somehow, that only sounds right when my mother calls it that), I spread the compartment open to see what had bitten me. Then, I laughed. Inside was a round saw-blade, about the size of the palm of my hand. I pulled it out and shook my head. "There's a blog post for ya," I said.
I'd obtained the blade from a garbage can full of scrap metal that was being discarded at the diamond-tool factory where I'm employed. As bemused co-workers looked on, I popped it into my purse, then proceeded to the punch cards, happy to have discovered the toothy blade. Why? Because I recognized it. It's the business end of a Helvarik pogari, otherwise known in Korl Prime as a whipsaw.
Not the kind of whipsaw people use to cut down or to cut up large trees, though. The pogari is a weapon. One I invented and gave to my protagonist, Nala, to use throughout the third act of Fate's Apology. Oh, sure, I could've given her my universe's version of a gun. But there's already enough firepower in the story to blow a hole through a battleship. With one exception in a short scene, I don't even let my other protagonist, Rey, sport one because shooting the crap out of people is too easy. I wanted something different, exotic, and close-range. Something small that could be wielded with a fair amount of accuracy in the short period of time that she has to master it. The pogari, a Helvarik melee weapon, fits the bill. Already, she's found it useful for things other than cutting flesh to the bone. Indeed, if I'd given her a gun, she'd be dead and the story would be over.
Inventing technical stuff isn't my strongest talent, so it helps when I can actually see something similar to what I have in mind. I'm not about to locate an actual pogari anywhere any time soon, but stumbling upon a facsimile of its blade was a fun find. I added it to my collection of real objects which represent things that my mind created. Maybe the weapon wouldn't truly work in real life the way I imagine, but after drawing blood just by pawing for my keys, I can tell you I wouldn't want that spinning blade headed for my face.

Now, if only I could stumble upon a handful of jinari gems and some spiderbreathweave...

Blogging My Gigs

When part of the reason I never have time to blog is because I'm preparing for gigs, rehearsing for gigs, singing at gigs, and—whenever I can squeeze in the spare time—living my life and writing Fate's Apology, I might as well use the all-mighty gig as a blog post, eh? Sure, it's posted on my music page. But let's put the web site to use and make it do double duty. After all, it's not like I have to pay it overtime.

So what's my next gig? It's a guitar/bass duet with my fellow Shaare Zion Congregation choirister, Hélène Engel. We've been rehearsing for weeks to prepare a show at a little Montreal bistro/launderette (yes, believe it or not) called Bistro Mousse-Café on 2522 Beaubien Est. We're thrilled that it's actually on a weekend, falling on a Saturday night at 9:00pm. From our repertoire of Jewish songs from all over the world, we've chosen the best of the best in order to entertain our audience for one hour. Woohoo!
I like that after so many years of neglect, I'm once again playing my bass in front of audiences now and then. It's been a long come-back, and not without it's drawbacks. Getting a nice little weekend gig like this is one of the things that makes it all worth while, and I hope those of you who might actually be hanging out within driving distance of our wonderful city will consider coming out and filling a seat!
Hélène Engel Abby Geiger Mousse-Café