My Christmas and New Year

Hello for the second time today.

Since I had a hard time around my computer until a few days ago, I couldn’t write a thing about my Christmas or anything else. So I’m gonna write it now.

Christmas is spent all together, when it’s possible. and so my sister Sara, who I already mention a few times already, came to visit us for Christmas. She arrived just the twentieth, Wednesday, arriving to Enniskillen and then being picked up by us.

There’s nothing much to say about her stay at our home, except that I loved it. I didn’t even realize how much I missed her until I had her in our house again… Even if that meant I had to sleep in the same room as my brother, something that is becoming nothing short of a nightmare for me, and him too.

For Christmas we have the tradition of gifting only books. So, on Christmas day, we all receive our books and then passed the whole day reading them! And the day after. And the one after that.

The twenty-nineth, Sara parted from us to get back to Glasgow. We brought her all the way to Belfast, where she took the ferry. According to her report, she arrived home at ten pm: poor girl. (Or rather poor woman, because my sister is a grown woman, now, halfway through her twentieth year of Life).

As for New Year… nothing to say. Really. We passed it in the most common way ever. I stayed up until late as usual to greet the New Year, but I wrote and programmed all the time after my parents went to bed and as soon as the New Year had arrived, I greeted it quickly and went to bed too.

However, just yesterday a blackout happened, cutting electricity off fifty thousands houses. We were hit, too, and we dined at candle’s light. Romantic, but effective. Then we had a walk outside, in the darkness and wind (130 km/h, the news said). At 10:40, three hours and forty minutes after the start of the blackout, our house got the light back. We had placed bets on the time when the electricity would have returned, but unfortunately I chose to bet the range 11-12, while my brother chose 10:30-11:30, and so won the bet.

Now I’d better get going, because I’m at the public library and -after I bothered him for a quarter of hour about having to go home- now my brother is basically pulling me out.

«When you are in the darkness, even the faintest light of the smallest candle looks like a wildfire». D. Lovallo, while looking out of the window during a blackout.

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My book, chapter five, six and seven

Hello everyone!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I have changed my computer, from an Asus with Windows 8 to a Lenovo with Windows 10, so I’ve encountered a few problems. And that’s why I couldn’t update all this time: until Sunday, I couldn’t even connect to the WiFi. How annoying. For me and for everyone following this blog.

And so I wanted to apologize, and as proof of my good intentions, I’m going to update three chapters today. One as routine, one for Christmas and one for New Year.

Here they are:

Chapter 0005

Chapter 0006

Chapter 0007

Enjoy my work. And sorry again for the terrible delay.

Dragontongue – Vlakha’khoak

12/05/2017

And I’m back to posting. I chose to keep a small gap between the chapters of my book (and, for the interested ones, the eleventh is completed. Though it will be a while before I post it). But this does not mean I have to keep distance between other posts.

I’m right now trying to sort out the mess I did with my blog by adding tags. I never used them before and I will probably mess up, but with time maybe things will get clearer to me and I will finally be able to make mine appears like a normal blog.

However, I said I was going to write a post about Dragontongue. And I will, no matter what. More or less…

But I’ve got something big for you. Tonight, I may have found myself. Do not misunderstand me: I did not reach enlightenment. But I might have just discovered something from the past. Something from maybe eight or ten years ago. That being said, I’m still the boy who runs this blog: teasing, kind, smart and -as many says- handsome. It’s unlucky this is just kinda my virtual diary.

No more joking, though, because this is gonna be a hard post. Maybe harder than all the others. But I’m optimist. And with that, let’s dwell into Dragontongue.

The title also contains the word Vlakha’khoak: that’s Dragontongue, and it’s pronounced “vlaka”-little pause-“koas”. Literally, it really means Dragontongue.

So, I promised normal life sentences. Very well, then here you are. In italic there will be the right pronounce (not all the letters are pronounced the same). Between parenthesis there will be the exact translation.

 

What’s your name? → Xal’ekh wer hiena? Xalek uer hiiena? (who are you?)

My name’s … → Hiena vi … Hiiena vi … (I am …)

How old are you? → Kin’kher mekh’ern wer khola? Sinker mekern uer kola? (Which age do you have?)

I’m … years old. → Khola vi … theowilakh. Kola vi … feovilak (I have … years)

How are you? → Vakhz wer neava? Vakz uer neava? (How do you live?)

I’m fine, and you? → Kheran, val wer? Keran, val uer? (good, and you?)

Not bad. → Na narekh. Naa narek (not bad)

Bad. → Narekh. Narek (bad)

Awful. → Nier narekh. Nier narek (black bad)

General farewells → Hienaot al lekiah oak oth Vlakha wiea weran. Hiienaot al lesiaah oas of vlaka viea ueran (be the soul of a Dragon with you)

Hello! → Theen! Feen (hello!)

 

Also, I promised informal sentences. Well, this is a much widen range of possibilities, so I’ll just choose the two extremes that’ll come to my mind.

 

Die! → Elveanaor! Elveanaor (imperative of to die)

I love you. → Elysa vi weran. Elisa vi ueran (I love you)

 

Unfortunately, I’m a bit tired now, so those last sentences aren’t the best ones ever, but I’m still building my language, and this makes for many difficulties when creating new words. It harder than it looks!

Until the next post,

at my own writing service, David.

«Creating a word isn’t that difficult. Knowing why that word is written that way, that’s the hard part». D. L., while explaining Dragontongue.

Arcane Glyphs

11/29/2017

Recently, while I was writing the tenth chapter of my book, I had been struck by a sudden thought. Since in the book’s world English isn’t the only language -but just the most spoken-, I invented a language called Dragontongue. Grammar rules, letters and dictionary were needed.

For the former and the latter, I created them without many difficulties. But the letters?

The problem is that Dragontongue’s letters are glyphs, or some kind of runes, as someone could see them, and so I needed special letters.

And so, the problem was born. I could have used GIMP 2 (GNU Image Manipulation Program), which I have, but I wanted more.

I wanted to be able to write in my language. To write, read and compile files in my language. Files that no one else would have been able to read (actually not true, since someone could just open my laptop and look at the grammar rules).

The problem? There’s no such thing as Dragontongue in Windows Fonts. Not in Mac’s. I thought of using GIMP nonetheless, but then my decision and dedication (and a good bit of stubbornness, yes) won over me.

I searched for Font creating programs, and I found BitFontMaker2 (BFM2), a nice little online free font creator. But BFM2’s font grid was too imprecise. Pixel far too big for me. So I downloaded FontForge (FF), an offline free open source advanced font creator. And my life changed. (not really, but it felt so).

FF gave me the tools to replace BFM2 roughly made font with precise lines and points. It was so god-damned good to finally have my font… but as everyone knows, satisfaction can easily pull us into the next step. The next step was creating a parchment-writing version of the said font.

Again, I dived into action and in two days I had my four functional fonts (FFF? Am I serious?) saved in TrueTypeFont format (.ttf, Windows’s base format).

Then again, satisfaction pulled me on. And that’s when it became damnation. I wanted a slender handwriting for one of my character (if someone’s been reading the chapters, I can tell I’m talking about Nakhov). And I already used Coronet. Also, Coronet tends to be far too small, with uppercases far too tall.

I asked my sister, that is studying calligraphy, to write me the characters I wanted to copy on my computer. Then, one at a time, I re-drew them on FontForge. It was a long, boring, difficult, precise work. But most of all it was annoying.

In other three days, I had my font. And I’m using it. But… it’s not over yet. The font is just a try and I’m already modifying it to make it more readable and nicer to see.

And I can bet I’ll do a god-damned good job. It’s not overconfidence. It’s the fact I’m following precise steps for each letter. Widening, adjusting, connecting… It can’t go wrong.

And I will have my new font.

To anyone interested, probably my next post will be on Dragontongue. Some grammar rules, some basic sentences and things like that. In no time, you’ll be able to say “what’s your name?”, “how old are you?” and “how are you?” perfectly. Or maybe you’ll prefer to learn informal sentences “die!” or “I love you”… Nobody will know before trying!

Hienaot al lekiah oak oth Vlakha wiea wer!

«In life, at some point, we face an obstacle we can’t jump over, and neither walk around», said the town sage to his disciples.

«Then what are you teaching us?», asked a young man, disappointed. «If we can’t jump over it, then what can we do».

«Because I can teach you how to build a ladder».

My book

10/22/2017 (I shifted to the English date format)

No new except for one: from now on I will probably publish some chapters of my book here. Since I don’t want to disappoint anyone, I already warn all the readers of a few facts:

  1. I’m fifteen and I’m Italian, so please go easy on me.

  2. I won’t publish chapters regularly.

  3. I can’t promise I will finish my book.

  4. But most important, I’m proud of my work.

That being said, I will attach my chapters as pdf files in order to keep them exactly as I wrote them.

And here is the first one.

Chapter 0001

A job?

21/10/2017

I’m currently writing from the public library, so probably this chapter will be short.

Settled and comfy, I’m now shifting to the GoMAD (“Get Moving And Do something”) modality.

I haven’t received the confirmation letter for volunteering from the County Council, so in that there’s no new.

But my life isn’t going to make me rest. I’ve send a request for a job at InfiniteTouch, the most important agency of computer science in my area. The answer was extremely kind.

Even after I explained the fact I won’t turn sixteen until February, they told me not to worry and required me some skills I will need to know to work with them. My reply was quite simple: don’t worry about skills, I can learn whatever you what. I got three to four months until February.

Some time later, InfiniteTouch accepted my reply, telling me to publish a couple of Android applications on Google Play so for them to know what I’m up to, and to develop a simple back end (this means a database) in Laravel 5.x, a framework in PHP.

The bigger issue: Android Studio, that I downloaded, is causing me lots of trouble because it seems I need almost constant access to Internet. And other big problems like not letting me run any kind of app.

Luckily, I downloaded a plug-in for Eclipse IDE, and so I’m trying to program some applications in Eclipse with Java.

Second important new: my best friend Viola (another homeschooler currently in Scotland with her sister) will come to visit us on 30th of October, and she’s going to stay here for a week or so.

This means she’ll pass Halloween with us. The question is: will she survive this?

She’ll find out in ten days. Also because she will probably help me with my Halloween costume.

Until newer news, I’m going to bang my head against Android Studio over and over, until either it or my head will break.

I hope my head will be spared this.

Meanwhile, I picked up writing again. I’m considering the possibility to publish it on WattPad or on this very blog. I’ll come up with something.

It would seem the library is going to get used to me, with all the work I’m going to do here. Let’s hope the staff takes this well.

Trying to stop ourselves in our life is like trying to stop the wind: useless effort. Life goes on no matter what we do. That’s why we always have to go onward, and never try to stall ourselves.

Home!

07/10/2017

Finally we found a home! Well, not exactly now: almost three weeks ago…

It’s a three-bedrooms house, on two floors connected by a stair (that little Cesco loved at once). There’s a kitchen so large we are currently using it as dining room too. And, marvel of marvels, there are THREE bathrooms! We couldn’t believe it, after two month in a camper van. It was pure blissful joy. It’s strange to write so poetically on bathrooms, but the strangest thing is that it doesn’t feel strange at all.

A few days ago, I send a letter to the County Council to volunteer in the public library. They haven’t answered. Yet. I hope they will say kinda “yeah, okay, it’s fine. Just get moving”. Right now, I’m writing in the library for the first day in a busy week. Together with Cesco, also Simone required me his part of my time, and it was big. Now I freed myself for a while. Until the library closes.

The 21th of September, our first day back in a house, was also the exact end of the second month in the camper van. Two months, folks. And we survived!

And we all got a shower, as you folks can imagine!

Maybe next time I’ll be writing about how it is volunteering. I think we’re almost settled: objective completed! Next one: survive the shift back to normal. Usual normal. Boring normal. Awful normal. So extremely wanted normal.

Until next time, I’ll try to survive!

«Wouldn’t you like a life of adventure?», the disciple asked the wise man.

«No», he said. «I like the huge, difficult, long adventure of Life, that is so incredibly wonderful in Her normality»