Thursday, October 1, 2009

A Year in the Making, Day 31

One month wasn't enough - welcome to A Year in the Making! The challenge - make and blog about 365 items in 365 days, beginning with the Make N Tell challenge which was started on September 1st, and ending on August 31st, 2010.

To date, 30 days down, 49 items completed. So 335 days and 316 items to go!

There will be the occasional missed days in the year to come, as heavens forbid I actually go on vacation! But part of the challenge is to not let this blog sit idle for weeks at a time, as I have in the past.

Today, two items about which to blog. The first is a piece I began months ago that just wasn't working out. With a little retooling, and the addition of the silver connectors, it finally ended up like I'd been picturing.

The second, another piece with a story:

Occam’s Dagger

Eugenia Cordwraith was saddled with the family business when her father suffered a stroke. Unsure of herself and her business acumen, and also at a disadvantage because of her gender, she overcompensated in manner and managed to keep the business running at first through bluster and a show of temper and force. There was a period of adjustment, but after the first year or so things settled, except the profits were not as she was expecting. They had three ships and a regular business transporting goods and people, but somehow there was never as much coin as there should be. She tasked one of the accountants to investigate, and after several weeks he told her that in all probability, someone was guilty of helping themselves to the family’s money. Eugenia emphatically denied this could be the reason, as all of their employees had been with them for years and were practically family! But the accountant insisted this must be the case, and quoted in his response the theory of Occam’s Razor. Now Eugenia had been only an average student, and was rather resentful of those to whom learning had come more easily, and with the stresses of the past months her temper, never steady, had become even more apt to flare. The unfortunate accountant’s rather condescending tones set her off, and she interrupted him in mid-syllable by pricking the tip of his nose with her dagger’s tip.

“Do you know what this is, Mr. Fancy Numbers?” she asked him in her most menacing tone. He gulped and, realizing a headshake was not at that point the best of ideas, gave her a mumble that was probably a “No, Ma’am.” “This,” she replied, “is Occam’s Dagger. He started using it when people began using his theory as cover to excuse their deficiencies. As you have had weeks to investigate and this is the best theory you can fabricate, I suggest you remove yourself from my sight quickly, before I decide to apply the point of Occam’s Dagger to your posterior!” With a frightened squeak, the accountant ran out, and Eugenia set upon the investigation herself. Several more weeks passed, and she was chagrined to discover that indeed the poor accountant had been right. The money was disappearing, and with a little arm-twisting and brandishing of her now named Occam’s Dagger, she determined that the captain of their flagship, who was disgruntled that he himself had not been placed in charge of the business and now had to take orders from a woman, had been over-reporting docking fees and under-reporting what he was charging passengers. This time, she did plant her dagger in his posterior, chasing him off the deck of his ship and into the arms of the waiting authorities. She located her hapless former accountant, and after calming him and assuring him that she was not going to threaten him with sharp pointy objects again, entreated him to return at a higher rate of pay. He consented after a long pause, asking that as another condition of his rehire that she leave her dagger outside whenever she visited his cubicle in the future.

The story made the rounds of the docks, and an intrepid craftsman, hearing of it, began selling necklaces inspired by the tale from his stall just outside the docks district. Fashioned with pearls, and having a stylized point as a pendant, Occam’s Dagger necklaces rapidly became quite popular. Of course, Eugenia just as rapidly learned of his endeavours, and very soon after, to his alarm, he discovered the famed lady waiting outside his stall when he arrived to open for business one morning, tapping her so-named dagger against the palm of her hand. She suggested to him, with menace veiled but looming, that it had been rather unwise of him to profit from her name and reputation without consulting her. He agreed, and offered her in way of apology one of his necklaces. She allowed that was an acceptable downpayment, but that if he wished to consider selling them a portion of his profits from such sales should come to her. Wishing to keep his dignity intact, he agreed, but had the genius to ask that if they made this arrangement, that he would be the only one allowed to do so. Thus his success was secured, and the legend of Occam’s Dagger and the businesslady Eugenia grew, to both their benefits and reputations.

1 comment:

cccraftstudio said...

Just awesome! You are my hero for taking this challenge to a year!