Gower, The Journeyman Scrivener

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11/12/2019 9:01 PM

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Notorious Marauder Exemplar



"He was slightly less unfun"

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Earning 100 Points Earning 500 Points Earning 1,000 Points Earning 2,000 Points Having 3 Storygame(s) Featured Rated 98.2% of all Stories Given by mizal on 10/11/2019 - For your exceptional games and articles, many forum contributions, and disturbing sweetness and light. (Sorry about McAllen, it wasn’t our idea either.) Given by Will11 on 10/12/2019 - For your excellent stories and many worthwhile contributions to the site :)


Featured Story Kelly Unicornstrider and Friends (1982-1985) Super Quiz

A comprehensive quiz + bonus fan faction about the the underrated cult classic show "Kelly Unicornstrider and Friends" (1982-1985). Questions range from really easy to really difficult.

Featured Story Private Game for Natalie

I think putting this on "publish" makes it so only we can see this. It's just for us, sweetie. I made it to celebrate our anniversary and remember some special intimate moments together over the years in an interesting way as a present for you.

I hope you love it, Natalie, as much as I love you!

(Of course if there's any admin looking at this, or if I messed up, don't read this, because it's got private things in it.)

Featured Story Sabbatical Report Presentation

This is my required report to the full faculty in accordance with the rules noted in the Faculty Handbook (version 15.1, as of October 2017)

Sixteen Words

"Personally I can only read 16 words in one go before words stop working," wrote Mizal.


This game has sixteen words per path.  Not counting "The End."  So you can play quickly.


When reviewing, please use precisely sixteen words.   That should be plenty for your suggestions and observations.


Note this challenge connected with this game:  Write the Last Page!

Articles Written

Basic Sentence Structure: Additive Sentences
Comma Use and Additive Sentences with lots of examples

Cumulative Sentences, Part 1
An introduction to the sophisticated and elegant cumulative sentence style.

Dialogue Punctuation
This is a brief discussion of how to punctuate dialogue in US and UK English. It also notes a few rules for quotation mark use in general.

Relative Sentences
A lecture on how to write relative sentences using restrictive and non-restrictive clauses.

Semicolons and Advanced Additive Sentences
This article explains how to use semicolons to create new types of additive sentences. It includes the plain semicolon and semicolons with transition words.

Recent Posts

Gower's Office Hours on 11/12/2019 6:48:14 PM

This is a style question rather than a grammar question, so I imagine different style guides answer this question differently.  Looking at the various style guides I have, I find that there's no particular preference indicated, and it strikes me that there are two different situations you'd encounter this.

First is a + or - indicating a positive or negative number.  I don't think you'd want the "-" and the "3" on different lines if you want to write "-3"--so common sense suggests you have to boot that minus sign to after the line break.

But in x^3 - 5x^2 + 2x + 8 I would be pretty unhappy with


- 5x^2 + 2x +8


So I hereby declare that for formulae the operation sign stays on the first line.

Tally Ho, Chapter Seven on 11/11/2019 3:51:47 PM

I turn to Rory, attending to his needs.

"I am certainly going to need to be braced with a beverage before facing the assembled crowd in the parlor," Rory says, sinking into a chair in the foyer.

You produce a steaming cup of tea on a tray, next to a croissant and the morning paper. "I believe this was what you requested," you say.

"Y-yes!" Rory looks delighted and takes a long draught of the delightfully smoky Lapsang souchong tea you have presented to him—Rory's favorite. Mopsie looks at the croissant covetously, and Rory breaks off a cousinly corner of it for her, and then another.

"I didn't even see you fetch this, Pennyworth. That was well done."

"Tish-tosh, sir. It is my practice to ensure that your needs are well taken care of. Think nothing of it."

"It must be very distracting to try to serve Rory when I am here looking so fetching," Mopsie says to you, sounding miffed that you have not praised her yet. "There is a certain dazzling effect."

"Yes, very nice indeed, Mopsie."


You and Rory allow yourselves to be herded into the parlor, where Frankincense, Haze, Col. Firesnuff, and a very flustered-looking Aunt Primrose sit on various chairs and divans. Mopsie follows close behind you and plops down on the piano bench. Col. Firesnuff is reading the newspaper aloud to nobody and pointing to an article about some gang of delinquent children called the Ragamuffins who live on a nearby river island and appear to eat nothing but bread. "And that is why this country needs someone like me in office," he concludes smugly, folding the newspaper and nodding.

"I think it's terrible," says Frankincense, quietly.

Carlington stands at attention next to Regina Wilhelmina just right of Aunt Primrose.

"Everyone here, then?" says Inspector Ambrose. You turn to see him perched on a tall stool, up on a raised dais at the back of the parlor, overlooking everyone else. Two burly police officers flank him.

"Why don't you go search the rooms for those stolen peacocks now that everyone is here?" Inspector Ambrose says to his police escort. Rory turns to look at you, aghast.

"Yes, sir," the officers say, and they start to head for the exit.

You simply mustn't allow them to find Galatea, Sanchi-San, and Orlando in Rory's room!

Options flash through your mind. You could run out of the room, beating them there, remove the birds, and hide them elsewhere. That would be simple and effective, but surely Inspector Ambrose would notice you exiting and make him rather suspicious.

You might quietly mislead the officers so they find themselves wandering through the east wing for a while. That would buy you some time, but they might realize later that you were being deceitful.

Best of all would be for Aunt Primrose to insist that tea be served to the officers. But that would require you to convince her that social niceties are important even in a time when her prize peacocks have gone missing, which might be difficult and fluster her further.

1. I appeal to Aunt Primrose's sense of gracious hospitality: "Mrs. Patterson, surely these officers would like a cup of tea before getting to work."

2. I direct the officers in the wrong direction to the guest rooms with a cunning lie.

3. I bolt out of the parlor and beat the officers to Rory's room.


Tally Ho, Chapter Seven on 11/10/2019 6:17:19 AM

"In point of fact, I must intercede here. Mr. Wintermint did not bring the peacocks in here. The situation is mysterious to us."

"That's right," Rory says. "While I would love to take credit for this, ah, marvelous deed, I cannot."

"You…didn't do it? Is this modesty?"

"I'm afraid not," you say. "You may trust me. We were both quite surprised this morning."

"Oh." Frankincense's face falls. "Then I did not misjudge you completely. You are the man that I thought you were.  I mentioned to you more than once that I wished you to do something about those birds.  So you did not do this."

"I wouldn't go that far about my being the man you think I am.  And I don't recall you telling me to do something about those birds," Rory says. "If you are referring to our discussion of last night where you went on and on about those blasted birds, then, yes, I suppose, perhaps that is...well, dash it, Frankincense.  I don't want to have it out again.   I thought there were a few points where you might have judged me just a tad harshly."

"I am…very disappointed," Frankincense says. "But I don't want to argue.  Good morning."

"Good morning," you say.

At precisely this moment, you hear a commotion in the hallway. You peek out of Rory's door and hear Carlington calling, in a resonant baritone, that all of the guests ought to come down to the parlor.

"This is far from the way Aunt Primrose usually does things," says Rory. "Usually she allots several hours in the morning for lolling about and then a late and large meal. She is not one for rousting her guests out of bed at the crack of…what time is it, Pennyworth?"

"Half past nine, sir."

You can hear Carlington's voice on the second floor now, knocking on doors, and escorting guests outside.

"I wonder what the unusual urgency is," Rory says. "Probably some soufflé that must be served at once."

The peacocks screech as you depart. "We'll be back," you say.

"Be good," says Rory. "Pennyworth, after breakfast, we really must put those birds back where they belong. They have already untidied my bedclothes."

"Right after breakfast," you say.

You lock up the door to the Wintermint GHQ and head downstairs, where a grim-faced footman points you towards the parlor. Mopsie is standing near the door to the parlor, adjusting her hair in the mirror. Aunt Primrose's help is rushing to and fro, looking far busier than typical for this time of day.

1. "Good morning, Mopsie. You are looking rather smart this morning."

2. "What is all this commotion about?" I ask a passing servant.

3. I turn to Rory, attending to his needs.


Tally Ho, Chapter Seven on 11/9/2019 9:10:12 AM

"I would be more than happy to assist you in creating an appropriate token of affection."

"Excellent, excellent!" says Rory. "Because it seems like a great deal of energy. Perhaps I could commission one from you, and I could, you know, sign off on it. Like in that Cyrano play we were forced to go to by Auntie."

"It didn't work out so well in that particular case, if you recall. Then again, I believe you fell asleep during Act I," you remind him.

"Yes, yes, sporting," Rory says, not listening to you one bit. "Won't she be delighted? When all this excitement is over, we'll find something appropriate. I think that is what is done."

"Good morning, Rory," comes Frankincense's voice, sounding quite chirpy. She knocks on Rory's door and starts to turn the knob. "Are you in? I've been knocking, and I heard talking, and your door is ajar, so I thought I would…"

Frankincense steps in and sees the birds standing on Rory's bed. She puts both hands to her mouth.

"Good…good morning, Frankincense," says Rory.

"I cannot believe that you did this for me," Frankincense says to Rory.

"How's that?" Rory says.

"You knew that I longed to have those poor birds free. And you took it upon yourself to free them, when everyone else turned away. You are a hero, Rory Wintermint. You risked—indeed, still risk—a lengthy prison sentence in order to give me the gift I most desire. Thank you, Rory. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Rory, I love you even better than ever, if such a thing is possible. There may have been moments when I doubted your seriousness—your commitment to our joining together as one. But now I realize what I meant to you. Never before—never—has anyone made such a gesture for me. I have often felt as if nobody understood me, that I fight the good fight alone. Now I see in you a partner. Someone to struggle with, to go through privations with, and, if necessary, to face the gallows together in the service of truth and justice. You are one in a million, Rory. My father thought I was insane to choose you. He will have to eat those words."

Rory opens his mouth to reply and leaves it open, as if hoping that the correct response will fly out of its own accord.

"I could not be more pleased to be engaged to you, Rory."

1. "In point of fact, I must intercede here. Mr. Wintermint did not bring the peacocks in here. The situation is mysterious to us."

2. "I, of course, was responsible for bringing the peacocks into the room. Not Mr. Wintermint."

3. "Yes, Mr. Wintermint accomplished great deeds last night. I personally witnessed his heroism in getting the peacocks here."

Risk My Attention (CYStia: Land of Freedom) on 11/8/2019 2:44:17 PM

1.  Unpublish Kite Runner Project

2.05 rating after three days, more than ten ratings.

Risk My Attention (CYStia: Land of Freedom) on 11/7/2019 7:29:10 PM

1.  Unpublish Cult Status

Dead links.

Risk My Attention (CYStia: Land of Freedom) on 11/7/2019 7:26:06 PM

Is it plagiarism, or just taking the theme of an existing story?  I don't see its text word-for-word anywhere in my cursory google search.

Risk My Attention (CYStia: Land of Freedom) on 11/7/2019 9:14:59 AM

1.  Unpublish Try to Escape School

After three days, score is in the 1s.

Tally Ho, Chapter Seven on 11/7/2019 5:55:50 AM

"To be perfectly honest with you, sir, I am not, in fact, getting dressed. In point of fact I am dealing with some birds at the moment. Could you assist me?"

"It is a bit hard to hear you through this door," Rory says. "But it sounded like you said…"

"I did!" you say. "Can you give me a hand?"

Rory opens the door and leaps in, as if rushing into combat.

The peacocks startle at Rory's entrance and dart around him, into Rory's room, eager to explore someplace new.

"Good heavens," Rory cries. "You were not kidding or exaggerating. I do appreciate your blunt honesty. But why are Auntie's peacocks in your room? What are you doing with them? Where are my croissants? I don't know which question is more important."

"I haven't the faintest idea, sir. Regarding the peacocks."

Rory looks around the room, as if a solution might somehow present itself.

"Do you have any particular instructions regarding these birds, sir?" you ask.

Rory looks at you with an expression that wavers between amusement and confusion before deciding not to worry about it anymore. "I'll assume you have things taken care of in the avian department. I leave it in your capable hands."

"I will sort the situation out, sir."

"Good, good."

"How did Mopsie's scheme—your, ah, mock theft—at the Mudwasps' estate proceed last night? Successful, I hope?" you ask.

"It could not have been less successful. Oh, I stole the loot all right. But then the actual Light-Fingered Lou showed up and lifted the stolen goods from me as I was trying to make my escape. So in the end, all I did was make things a touch easier for Light-Fingered Lou. Aunt Primrose was apoplectic. Ultimately, it was a complete bust. You probably could have done something magnificent, had you been there. What did you end up doing last night? Probably you turned in and had a decent night's sleep."

"Well, sir…"

"Hold on a moment." He goes to the window and flings it open, taking a deep breath of cool morning air. "Bracing, that's the word for it. I do enjoy some cool air. Ah."

"What is on your mind, sir?"

Rory does a few toe-touches and stretches. "What a beautiful day, Pennyworth. The sun is shining, the trees are bursting with color, and the birds are…"

"…are in your bed at the moment, sir."

"Well, yes," Rory says. "Some of them. A minor inconvenience that we shall have to deal with. But the larger point still holds. What a marvelous day to be alive."

"What is the cause of this exuberant mood, sir?"

"I had the most lovely dreams about Frankincense, that's all. I was thinking about how marvelous it will be when we are wed. Before, Pennyworth, I doubted. I saw through a glass darkly, as it were. But now my eyes are open. I would like to compose a poem to her at once or write a song, or do something with terra-cotta." He makes a complex motion with his hands.

1. I would advise to you 'play it cool,' sir, as young folks are prone to saying these days."

2. "I would be more than happy to assist you in creating an appropriate token of affection."

3. "I cannot help sensing a certain ambivalence beneath your exuberant exterior, sir."



Risk My Attention (CYStia: Land of Freedom) on 11/6/2019 4:51:26 PM

1.  Unpublish The House Down the Street

Game has dead pages.