Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Top 10 Reasons I Wrote "He Who Watches"

1. I wanted an excuse to use the Papyrus font in Word.

    Matthew Carpenter at is by no means alone when he writes:
Papyrus is the king of bad fonts. Equal parts childish, kitschy and irritating...Papyrus isn’t bad because it is overused: it’s bad because it just doesn’t look good. Kitschy, cheap and vile.
     How could I resist!

2. I wanted to use the Papyrus page background in Word.
    Love > Fear. Kitsch > Class.

3. I was inspired reading about the city in Egypt: Faiyum, Phiom, Shedet, Arsinoë or Crocodilopolis
    As you can imagine, just the name itself hooked me.

4.  I bought a used book on Egyptology for my kid, and like all the best presents for one's kid, I borrowed it back and read: "Sobek, the crocodile god, was known as 'He Who Watches'; Bast or Bastet, the cat goddess, was known as 'She Who Scratches'."

5. At night, with my wife snoring beside me, no light in the room but the glow of my laptop, I saw Kom El Shoqafa The Catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa  on Wikipedia:
The necropolis consists of a series of Alexandrian tombs, statues and archaeological objects of the Pharaonic funeral cult with Hellenistic and early Imperial Roman influences. Due to the time period, many of the features of the catacombs of Kom El Shoqafa merge Roman, Greek and Egyptian cultural points; some statues are Egyptian in style, yet bear Roman clothes and hair style...
I had misremembered the name for a while thereafter as "Mother of Shards", but "Mound of Shards" is still a fine name.  Kom El Shoqafa - "Mound of Shards"-  is called this because the trinclinum funebrae (three-couch funeral room) in which people holding funerals and commemorative feasts in the underground necropolis would smash the amphorae of wine and food plates they had brought with them and just leave the terra cotta shards to accumulate on the floor.

6.  I resolved to not write about Old Kingdom Ancient Egypt, but to write about Late Ptolemaic Egypt, when Macedonian/Greek-descended Cleopatra was courting Julius Caesar of the up-and-coming Romans and certain cities in Egypt were home to overlapping traditional Egyptian and Hellenistic Greek cultures.

7.  I saw a "hobo nickel" carved into a Death's Head image.  I had to make these into "Charon's Obolus" kinds of coins in what I wrote.

8. As described by Tony Perottet, the religious spoiling rotten of crocodiles in Crocodilopolis, but also their gilded cage vulnerability.  Tourists/pilgrims, say Tony, would visit these tame crocodiles in Antiquity and demand the chance to feed them, even if the crocs weren't hungry.  They had filed+ down claws and jeweled bracelets around their limbs and tail.

9. Tony's great book in general: Route 66AD AKA Pagan Holiday  It has been reviewed as "Bill Bryson meets 'Gladiator'" + I highly, highly recommend it.

10. Vodka which comes in glass skull bottles.  I saw it at Yarmo's.  I wanted to drink it and then have an ominous bottle I could write into an adventure, as well as a real-life LARP prop from which my friends could drink in the game, in parallel with their characters drinking an in-game potion, if they dared!

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