The Viking Secret Diaries: Rites of Passage

with apologies to Cassandra Clare and Michael Hirst

The Diary of Ragnar Lothbrok

Day 1

Survived battle. Destroyed all my enemies singlehanded. Lost sword plunging it into opponent’s sternum.  Damn. Was favorite sword.

Day 2

Taught Bjorn how to use sword and shield. Planning to take him to the Thing tomorrow. Lagertha says he’s too young. If she had her way he’d still be in diapers. Women.

Day 4

Rollo failed to see the genius in my plan to sail west. I’ll show him. I’ll show them all.

Day 6

This kid. I don’t even know. First he doesn’t vote for beheading, then he didn’t want to throw apples at the guilty. Have a bad feeling he’s going to cause trouble one of these days. Still, he got his arm ring from the Earl and his kiss from Siggy. He is a man now. And getting more action than I’m going to see. Dammit, why did I promise Lagertha?

Oh, yeah. She’ll cut my balls off if I try anything.

Day 7

The Seer said we should sail west so I’m taking Bjorn to see Floki. Wonder how to explain that Floki is a pervy tree-fancier…

…no, wait, that tree-groping did a pretty good job of it for me. Thanks, Floki.

Day 8

Rollo showed up just in time for dinner. Going to rope him into sailing west with me and Floki.

Day 9

I’m sailing.  I’M SAILING!

Still not Earl.

The Diary of Rollo

Day 1

Survived battle. Ragnar claims he destroyed his enemies singlehanded. That braggart wouldn’t have survived five minutes without my help.

Day 4

Nephew Bjorn old enough to go drinking and whoring now. Score. I needed a new wingman.

Dear brother Ragnar is on about sailing west on the open ocean. Something about a wooden wheel with a pin in it and a magic rock. Whatever he’s been smoking, I want some.

Day 6

I gotta hand it to Ragnar, he isn’t afraid to start shit with the Earl. Even if he still thinks we should sail west.

Day 8

Lagertha’s got a bug up her ass just because I said she used to be a shield maiden. I haven’t seen her use a shield lately so what’s the big deal? She didn’t seem impressed with tales of my conquests in town, either. Why won’t she let me show her how I handle my sword?

The Diary of Earl Haraldson

Day 6

I love a good beheading. Fuck that guy and his ZZ Top beard.

Fuck Ragnar too, with his newfangled ideas about sailing west. My ships, my raid, my decision. I am the Earl… this can’t possibly go wrong.

The Diary of Lagertha Lothbrok

Day 2

Ragnar gets to go out and destroy his enemies while I am stuck stabbing eels for dinner. Came home to find him preparing Bjorn to pledge loyalty to the Earl. Bjorn too young but my dear husband insists. Men.

Politely asked Ragnar not to screw any other women while he’s in Kattegat. He agreed. He knows I’d cut his balls off if he tried anything.

Day 3

Was teaching Gyda how to weave when two assholes showed up at my door looking to get laid. I beat, burned and stabbed them, then threw them out the door.  I’ve got skills they’ve never seen.

Day 8

Ragnar’s back. Finally got laid. Totally not telling him I kicked two guys’ asses while he was off drinking with Rollo.

Why is it every time Ragnar leaves, some scumbag tries to put the moves on me? I mean, I know I’ve got it going on, but really? My pig of a brother-in-law? Please. I have standards.

The Five Stages of Spec Pilot Writing

  1. YAY! New idea! *gazes raptly at shiny new idea*
  2. SHIT! This is exactly like [series that lasted four episodes] + [movie that tanked] x [pilot a more powerful writer than you’ll ever be couldn’t get made] ÷ [webseries that parodies your serious topic]
  3. Hmmm, what if I did THIS instead of THAT?
  5. Well, shit. Guess I have to write it now, don’t I. *retreats into writing cave*

[Steps 6-infinity: Write ten pages in thirty minutes. Tear hair, gnash teeth, rend garments. Pull all-nighter to finish. Do a victory dance. Send draft out for feedback. Revise. Rinse, lather, repeat.]

The Legend of Van Guy

The story I am about to tell is absolutely true.  No names have been used because I no longer remember the fellow’s name.  He is merely Van Guy, now and evermore.

Once upon a time, I had the bright idea to go to a “lock and key” party.  Which is not as kinky as it sounds.  You’re just assigned a lock [for women] or a key [for men] and you go around the room trying to find the person whose key or lock fits yours [obvious metaphor is painfully obvious] – after which you trade in your lock and key for raffle tickets.  One of my coworkers had met her significant other at one of these events, so I thought, what the hell, it’s worth a shot.

my type

My type.

At the particular event I went to, trying locks and keys wasn’t an icebreaker so much as a “doesn’t fit? okay, moving on” competitive thing.  I chatted with a couple of other women, but that was about it.  Until this one guy wanted to stop and talk.  He wasn’t my usual type at all, but what the hell, right?  He was drinking what looked like a lemon drop instead of a beer, which struck me as an unusual choice for a blond hippie-lumberjack type wearing a hand-knit toque, so my curiosity was reasonably piqued.  I figured he must be a hipster.

He was pleasant enough to talk to, as far as small talk goes anyway, and I figured there wasn’t any reason why I shouldn’t have lunch or coffee with him, so I gave him my number.  Which I regretted doing not two minutes later, when he revealed his secret.  He had said that he was visiting LA from Portland, where he ran a landscaping business, to see if he wanted to move down here — so I assumed he was staying with friends.

not my type

Not my type.

You know what happens when you assume, don’t you?  You get blindsided with the news that this fellow is not, in fact, visiting friends, but is living in a van down by the river.  Or, down by Venice Beach, but same principle, right?  He then went on to detail his dream of purchasing a larger van and installing a bed in the back of it.  Which, you know… it’s not just the whole “If this van’s a-rockin’, don’t come a-knockin'” thing that bothered me, it’s the fact that he thought this was something worth sharing with someone he just met at a singles event.  Are there female van enthusiasts who would be like “HELL YEAH, baby, let’s go!”? Was he hoping to find a woman to take pity on him so he could crash with her instead of living in his van?  These are the great unanswered questions of the ages.

Some of you may be thinking that it couldn’t get any worse.  Sadly, you would be wrong.  He went on to detail his adventures driving from Portland to LA in his van, which included the oh-so-shocking sight of “a white man with a sign asking for money at a freeway onramp” and “a Mexican guy” and “a Chinese guy” stopping to give the man some money.  Yep.  Behold the hippie lumberjack van-driving racist.  It was around that time that I made my excuses and escaped to find the other women I had been talking to — both of whom were equally horrified and baffled as to how Van Guy would think that was an anecdote worth repeating.

Sadly, I didn’t meet anyone else at the event, and I headed home hoping that Van Guy had gotten the hint when I completely avoided him for the rest of the evening, but nope.  He called me not once but TWICE in the following days.  I deleted his voicemails unlistened-to, and fortunately he didn’t persist.  I don’t know what happened to Van Guy, but I imagine him driving all along the West Coast, seeking a Van Girl to join him on his adventures.  Godspeed, Van Guy, and thank you for giving me a truly excellent “WTF” story to add to my repertoire.