Sunday, August 30, 2020

Important Announcement:

Hey there! I am now a Knight at Medieval Times and only do writing on the side. If you want to see how we train for battle (and you can too) come visit me, gomknight, on instagram! We have a Knight podcast in the works too, so stay tuned!!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Blue Squire Stage Directions

Big Ring
Collect RINGS that fall from the Rack. Collect LANCE and RINGS from BLUE KNIGHT. Take ALL RINGS BACKSTAGE.

Go to BLUE CORNER. Catch FLAGS from KNIGHTS. Swap necessary FLAGS with YELLOW SQUIRE afterwards. Put FLAGS back.

Retrieve JAVELINS from BLUE CORNER. Hand out to KNIGHTS. WAIT in Blue CORNER. Retrieve JAVELINS from opposite end after GREEN KNIGHT finishes, and PUT AWAY.

Little Ring
Retrieve LANCES from BLUE CORNER and hand out to KNIGHTS. Check for FOOLS in FRONT ROW. WAIT at LITTLE RING RACK, then go to MIDDLE of arena. Bring RACK DOWN if RING comes down, then put it UP after R/Y puts in new RING. Retrieve BLUE and GREEN KNIGHT’S RINGS afterwards. Reroll RINGS with R/Y SQUIRE. EXIT ARENA.

1st fight Small Bola (R/Y, Red)
Pawn: Middle Black. When YELLOW KNIGHT rides by, wait by MIDDLE BLACK RAIL. CARRY RAIL when R/Y KNIGHT passes YOU (nod to signal other SQUIRES). After FIRST PASS grab R/Y LANCE or WOODEN TIPS, then same on SECOND PASS. Carry RAIL back when MC says “DISMOUNT”. Bring MIDDLE BLACK PAWN to GREEN CORNER. Carry any equipment backstage. Go to LIGHT HORSE RAIL.

2nd fight Mace (B/W, Blue)
Pawn: Light horse rail. Run rail on nod. On first pass, reequip B/W KNIGHT with NEW LANCE. On SECOND PASS, wait by the WEAPON RACK. When BLUE KNIGHT falls off of his horse, grab a MANDOBLE. Go to him on the ground to see if he’s okay, then give him the MANDOBLE while taking his HELMET. Bring the HELMET somewhere in GREEN CORNER (give to a SQUIRE if possible). When BLUE KNIGHT dies, B/W KNIGHT will grab BLUE KNIGHT. When the dialogue finishes, B/W KNIGHT will throw BLUE KNIGHT. Go to BLUE KNIGHT’s side on one knee looking down. When BLUE KNIGHT exits, grab his MANDOBLE from the ground and put it back on the wall. Go to HEAVY HORSE RAIL.

3rd fight Ax (Green, Yellow)
Pawn: Heavy horse rail. On first pass, grab YELLOW KNIGHT’S DISCARDED LANCE/TIPS. On SECOND PASS, when the MC says, “HE IS UNHORSED”, run HEAVY HORSE RAIL and HEAVY HORSE HEAD back. Wait by the tunnel for YELLOW HORSE to ride through. Then bring any equipment backstage. Go and wait in RED CORNER.

4th fight Mandoble (Yellow, R/Y)
Sit and wait. After YELLOW KNIGHT dies, wait by RED CORNER LANCE RACK.

5th fight Double Sword (Red, Blue)
Pawn: None. After FIRST PASS, give LANCE to RED KNIGHT then immediately go to the RUNDOWN SHIELD on the opposite wall. When BLUE KNIGHT FALLS, give him the RUNDOWN SHIELD. After the RUNDOWN, when the MC says, “DISMOUNT”, retrieve BLUE KNIGHT’S HELMET and RUNDOWN SHIELD. Put them on the wall then immediately give BLUE KNIGHT DOUBLE ESPADAS. When RED KNIGHT dies, grab a MANDOBLE and wait in R/Y SECTION.

6th fight Sword & Shield (Blue, B/W)
When BLUE KNIGHT throws his ESPADA into the sand, run to him and give him the
MANDOBLE. B/W KNIGHT will run out and there will be a dialogue. When BLUE KNIGHT says, “I ACCEPT”, grab BLUE FIGHT SHIELD and an ESPADA and bring it to BLUE KNIGHT, and take his MANDOBLE. Put it back on the wall. When BLUE KNIGHT dies, take him on your shoulder and take him backstage. Wait by B/W SQUIRE and B/W HORSE.

7th fight Big Bola (B/W, R/Y)
hen B/W SQUIRE runs out with his horse, follow behind. Take B/W KNIGHT’S FIGHT SHIELD and ESPADA, along with the SLAP GLOVE backstage. Once they’re put away backstage, go to RED CORNER and just lend a hand.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Hotdog Squire Stage Directions

Same as Black and White, just at the other side of the arena, and you don't have to take out a poop bucket or pull the javelins out of the target.

1st fight Small Bola (Red, R/Y)
  • Run out with the light horse-head and place it at the 5th (farthest) laser dot. 
  • Arm your knight with lance and shield after Red Squire disarms him. Run the light horse-head rail.
  • Re-arm Red Knight with lance after first pass.
  • After second pass, give your knight the bola hanging beside the lance rack and take his helmet. Also pick up his shield and discarded lance; run them to the wall and run the rail back. Immediately run back to the wall and get your knight's fight shield and present it to him—this will be a full sprint down the arena.
  • After the shield throw, arm your knight with a mandoble from the wall.

2nd fight Mace (Blue, B/W)
  • Take a pawn to the second laser dot as your knight walks back to the tunnel. He will hand you his mandoble as he passes. Put the mandoble in your belt and then put it on the wall after you run the rails.
  • On passes, pick up tips, lances, etc.. 
  • Run the rails on the middle pawn, and then quickly take that pawn to the edge of green corner.
  • Clear what you can, and come back with a pair of fresh lances for blue corner.

3rd fight Ax (Green, Yellow)
  • Again take a pawn to the second laser dot. Run the rails.
  • Collect whatever on first pass. Knight falls on second pass. Run the rails and take the pawn to red corner.
  • Clear the ax and shield when the knights are re-armed during the fight.

4th fight Mandoble (R/Y, Yellow)
  • Take a pawn to the second laser dot at the end of the fight. Your knight may or may not hand you his mandoble as he exits the arena.

5th fight Double Sword (Red, Blue)
  • Once again, take a pawn to the second laser dot. Run the rails. Pick up whatever you can during passes. Run the rails back.
  • Clear your pawn, along with anything else you can carry, and run it all backstage.

6th fight Sword & Shield (B/W, Blue)
  • Wait in green corner near the edge of the net that protects the audience. B/W squire may hand you a broken lance that you can quickly run backstage.
  • Pick up the Blue Knight's kill sword and put it back on the wall. Wait in the same spot as before.

7th fight Bola (R/Y, B/W)
  • When your knight gets knocked off his horse, run back to the green door. As soon as the B/W Knight rides by, run for the back-breaker lance in the middle of the weapon rack. Present it to your knight with point facing opposite the direction of the dais. Now get a mandoble and the r/y fight shield from the wall; present them to him after he is disarmed.
  • Around the time the bola gets thrown, you can head backstage. Grab the R/Y lance and wait with your knights horse.
Championship Ceremony

At the conclusion of the fight, the curtain will open and you will run out with the horse along the red wall, up B/W, and into yellow (don't go too deep). Slow to a walk and bring the horse to the center of the arena—you should be at the edge of the red light. Walk the horse down the center to your knight in the spotlight. He will hand you his sword and jump on the horse. Hand him the the lance, put the sword on the wall, then wait by the door in green corner.

The knight will do a lap around the arena and slow to stop near you. Take the horse and the lance as he dismounts and goes into the crowd. Walk the horse up to the middle of the weapon rack, turn him toward the center, and wait.

Another squire will come out with the champions cape and flag. You will exchange the lance and the flag. After your knight comes back and mounts the horse, hand him the flag with the point facing straight up (as you would a lance). The other knights will be coming out of the tunnel. After the Master of Horse charges out, sprint into the tunnel to meet your fellow squires. Get your banner from B/W squire and run out with them. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Red Squire Stage Directions

Big Ring
Retrieve your knight's lance and rings. Collect rings to give to Blue Squire.

Bring flags to middle of arena and unfurl them. Toss the to Zebra Squire. Pick up any flags the knights drop and toss them to Yellow Squire. Run backstage after the game is complete.

Wait for Green Squire's nod to open the curtain, then chain the curtain. Wait backstage for the duration of the game. While there, you can move the joust shields from the railing to the tractor (leave Red and R/Y shield on the railing). Unhook and close the curtain after the game is done.

Little Ring
Run out and, if necessary, help Zebra Squire set up the pole. Lookout for patrons and staff in the front row. Pick up any rings the knights drop. After the game, let the horses ride by then put the empty cartridges on the wall, take down the pole and return it to its rack. Wait in front of the curtain in case one of the knights drop their favours.

1st Fight Small Bola (R/Y, Red)

  • Run out with the heavy horse-head
  • After all horses ride by, arm your knight with a lance and the joust shield on the rack.
  • Re-arm R/Y Knight with a lance
  • Give your knight the rundown shield after he has been unhorsed
  • After the rundown, take your knight's helmet and shield and set them against the wall. Grab the small ax and red fight shield from the wall; present them to your knight in the spotlight.
  • When shield is thrown, re-arm your knight with a mandoble.
  • Pick up your knight. The other knight will call him in for a handshake, so you can let him go.

2nd fight Mace (B/W, Blue)
  • Set up the heavy horse-head and run out the rail.
  • On the passes grab the broken lances and the shield.
  • Move up a pawn. Run the rails when B/W knight dismounts and return pawn to green corner.
  • Clear whatever you can. 

3rd fight Ax (Green, Yellow)
  • Place a pawn on the fourth laser dot and run out the rails.
  • On first pass, collect the lance. Second pass, run back the rails and grab Yellow's discarded lance, shield, and whatever else you can carry to the backstage.
  • Pick up Green Knight's kill sword and hold onto it. Wait in red corner.

4th fight Mandoble (Yellow, R/Y)
  • Yellow Squire will hand you another espada. After the fight concludes, run the two swords up to yellow corner and stick them in the sand, near the wall.

5th fight Double Sword (Blue, Red)
  • Run the rail to the light horse-head.
  • Re-arm Blue Knight with lance.
  • Take your knight's helmet and give him a fresh lance. Also pick up his discarded lance and shield and stash them near the wall.
  • Quickly run the rail back, then grab the two espadas you stuck in the sand. Run them across the arena to arm your knight in the spotlight.
  • Pick up your knight.

6th fight Sword and Shield (B/W, Blue)
  • Clear the Blue Knight's espada and shield.

7th fight Big Bola (B/W, R.Y)
  • Clear Broken lance and sword
  • Clear Bola and shield
  • Get the kill sword

Zebra Squire Stage Directions

Big Ring
Bring poop bucket to red corner. Get your knight’s lance and rings

Set up the flag rack after each pass. If Red Squire has to grab a fallen flag, then bring the flag with you when you set up.

Stand in green corner near the tunnel. Pull the javelins out of the target. The MC may ask for your opinion on whether it was good or not. Hand three javelins (yellow, black, red) to Yellow Squire after Green Knight leaves the tunnel.

Little Ring
Take the pole off the wall and set it up. Warn anyone standing near the edge of the arena that lances will be coming by. Change the ring cartridges if a knight knocks the ring out. Careful not to put the cartridge in backwards—the ribbon should be facing you. When the knights are finished, take the ring from your knight, swap colours with the other squires, and re-roll the rings back on the cartridges.

1st fight Small Bola (Red, R/Y)
  • Open the curtain, then run out and wait in red corner.
  • Disarm Red Knight. Place lance and shield on racks.
  • Run out the heavy horse-head rail. Retrieve anything nearby on passes. Run the rail back.
  • Take the red shield and lance backstage. Return with two lances for the same rack

2nd fight Mace (B/W, Blue)
  • Wait in red corner
  • Rearm Blue Knight with a lance after first pass.
  • After second pass, immediately run the mace to your knight and take his helmet (he will still be on his horse). Quickly run the heavy horse-head rail back when your knight dismounts.
  • (?) Pick up Blue Knight’s mandoble and put it back on the wall.

3rd fight Ax (Yellow, Green)
  • Take middle pawn. Give the nod to run out the rails.
  • Pick up anything nearby on the only pass, run the rails back on “…unhorsed!”
  • Pick up the ax or anything else you can grab and run it backstage.

4th fight Mandoble (Yellow, R/Y)
  • Grab the kill sword and put it on the wall.

5th fight Double Sword (Red, Blue)
  • Bring third pawn to fourth laser dot. Run the rails.
  • Pick up lance on the first pass; anything else in the vicinity.
  • After you run the rails back, run the pawn and the light horse-head backstage.
  • While backstage, your knight should be on his horse. Arm him with an espada and then a lance

6th fight Sword & Shield (B/W, Blue)
  • Take your knights fight shield off the wall and arm him after he dismounts.
  • (?) Pick up the kill sword and run it backstage.

7th fight Big Bola (R/Y, B/W)
  • Backstage, grab a horse sword and wait with the horse.
  • When the MC says “Black and White Knight, your ambition is a poison that…(or something like that)”, run out to your knight and give him the horse and the sword.
  • Wait near yellow corner, be sure to move up to the R/Y shield after that knight is unhorsed, grab the disarmed horse sword.
  • When your knight dives overhead of the R/Y knight, grab a mandoble from the wall and arm him with it.
  • Pick up your knight after he dies.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Yellow Squire Stage Directions

Big Ring 


Retrieve JAVELINS from YELLOW CORNER. Hand out to KNIGHTS. WAIT in YELLOW CORNER. Retrieve JAVELINS from opposite end after GREEN KNIGHT finishes, and PUT AWAY.

Little Ring 
Retrieve LANCES from YELLOW CORNER and hand out to KNIGHTS. Check for FOOLS in FRONT ROW. Wait at LITTLE RING RACK, then go to MIDDLE of arena. Bring RACK DOWN if RING comes down, then put it UP after B/W puts in new RING. Retrieve YELLOW and RED KNIGHT’S RINGS afterwards. Get JOUST LANCES from YELLOW CORNER and put them in BLUE CORNER. Put SHIELD from BLUE CORNER on TOP LANCE. Re-roll RINGS with B/W SQUIRE. Exit Arena.

Fight One: Small Bola (R/Y, Red)
Pawn: first black.

  • After Yellow Knight rides by, wait by rail. 
  • Retrieve lance or tips on both passes. Run rails back on dismount. 
  • When R/Y knight throws his shield, grab ax, bola, and red shield. Run equipment backstage.

Fight Two: Mace (B/W, Blue)
Pawn: third black.

  • Pickup B/W’s lance after First pass. Shift down to light horse rail. Carry rail back after B/W knight dismounts. Carry equipment backstage. Go back to light horse rail.

Fight Three: Ax (Yellow, Green)
Pawn: Light horse head.

  • First pass, rearm Green Knight with a lance. Second pass, when MC says, “…Unhorsed!”, run the light horse rail to the wall. 
  • Get an espada and yellow shield from the wall OR the large ax (check the board). Give the weapons to the knight and take his helmet. 
  • During the fight, Yellow Knight will push Green Knight with his shield. When this happens, grab his espada from the ground and give it back to him, OR give him a new one if he was using the ax. 
  • When he wins, grab a mandoble from the wall and wait at B/W section. When your knight gestures you over, give him the mandoble and take his espada. Give the espada to the Red Squire. 

Fight Four: Mondoble (Yellow, R/Y)

  • After yellow knight dies, carry him backstage.

Fight Five: Double Sword (Red, Blue)
Pawn: Heavy horse.
Run rail on nod. After FIRST PASS, retrieve RED KNIGHT’S LANCE/TIPS. After SECOND PASS, pickup any extra TIPS (otherwise wait). On the RUNDOWN, retrieve RED KNIGHT’S USED LANCE. When the MC says “DISMOUNT”, run the HEAVY HORSE HEAD and HEAVY HORSE HEAD RAIL back to the wall. Immediately bring HEAVY HORSE HEAD backstage. Then immediately return to RED CORNER. After the fight has concluded, retrieve the THREE ESPADAS that were thrown during the fight. Put them back on their rack. Bring any extra equipment backstage.

Fight Six: Sword and Shield (B/W, Blue)

Backstage—only on the last show of the day—take all shields and weapons from under the board and bring them to the warehouse. Weapons go in their designated spots; shields go next to Damien’s workbench. 

Fight Seven: Big Bola (B/W, R/Y)

  • Grab Broken lance and sword.
  • Grab bola and R/Y shield.
  • Grab the kill sword.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Green Squire Stage Directions

Big Ring
  • Run to the blue section shield with poop bucket; place bucket under shield and scooper under lance rack.
  • Take the Green knight’s lance, remove rings and give to R/Y Squire, set lance on lowest rung of rack.
  • Run to dais to catch knights’ fallen flowers.

Flag Toss
  • Run out to stand beside R/Y Squire and pick up any flags that the knights drop. R/Y sets up the flag stand; toss him the next flag leaning against the wall behind you. First B/W, then red.
  • Run to the dais to catch flowers again.
  • After all winning knights get flowers, peek behind the curtain and nod to the Red Squire. He will open the curtain. Attach the chain around the curtain to keep it from being loose.
  • Go stand in front of the Green section shield.

  • The other squires will hand you the javelins after the knights have thrown them into the target. Jab them in the sand to make two piles for hits and misses. Try to keep the colours on their respective sides if possible.
  • After the Green knight emerges from the tunnel, help the Red Squire unchain the curtain and wait to catch flowers.

Little Ring
  • Run to R/Y Squire; he will hand you a ring to hold (or maybe you have to take it off the wall).
  • Keep an eye out for waitresses or patrons near the edge of the arena. Warn them that lances are coming.
  • Pick up any rings that fall off the bar and attach them to empty ring holders that R/Y squire may hand you. After three knights have passed, quickly place the ring holders on the wall. Unhook the bar and place on the wall. Run backstage and open the curtain when Lord Marshal says, “…East and West!” Close the curtain behind him, then take his horse to its stall.

Joust pres position is third from the right (last open position). Take a big side step to the left when you get to the end. Both Green and Red squires should be shoulder-to-shoulder and lined up as if they were standing together on the stairs in the audience.

1st Fight (Small Bola)
  • Run out the pawn to the fourth laser dot, behind R/Y who has the horse.
  • Take the R/Y knight’s disarms (lance, feather, shield), place on the lance rack, run to 4th position on rails. Wait for 3rd position squire’s signal to run out rails.
  • First pass pick up Red lance, second pass pick up tips.
  • Clear rails on dismount, place pawn near flag stand on Yellow side, clear R/Y knight’s disarms and anything else you can pick up along the way.
2nd fight (Mace)
  • Place 3rd position pawn on laser-dot after Lord Marshal leaves spotlight. Give the nod to run out the rails after Lord Marshal turns his horse away.
  • Pick up tips both passes, maybe pick up shield if it lands nearby.
  • Clear rails on dismount and run pawn to flag stand on blue side.
  • Clear mace and anything you find along the way.

3rd fight (Ax)
  • Stand near red corner, salute your knight and prepare to rearm Yellow knight with lance. You don’t run out pawns or rails this time.
  • First pass: rearm Yellow, then run to pick up Green knight’s ax or sword & shield depending on what the board says they’ll be using that fight.
  • Arm your knight after Yellow’s horse runs by you.
  • Pick up an espada (short sword) from the wall. When Yellow Knight throws his shield, run out and rearm Green with the espada.
  • After Green dies, pick him up and walk him backstage. Immediately run back out to the arena.

4th fight (Mandoble)
  • Pick up any weapons the other squires may have missed. Replenish lance racks if necessary.

5th fight (Double Sword)
  • Place 3rd position pawn on laser-dot after Lord Marshal leaves spotlight. Give the nod to run out the rails after Lord Marshal turns his horse away.
  • First pass, pick up tips. Second pass, pick up tips and blue shield.
  • On dismount, run the rails back and bring the 3rd position pawn backstage with anything else lying at the edges of the arena that you can carry (lances, shields, helmets, maybe even another pawn).

6th fight (Sword and Shield)
  • When the Blue Knight dies he will throw his shield to the wall. Clear it along with a nearby sword sticking in the sand
  • Pick up any swords the other squires may have missed

Final fight (Bola)
  • Clear the broken lance and horse sword
  • Clear the R/Y shield and Bola after it is thrown
  • Clear the kill sword

Final Pres
Give the “Hup!” when the MC starts talking again after he says “…queen of love and beauty.” Give the final “Hup!” when all squires are lined up in front of the tunnel.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Real-life Scooby-Doo Mystery Villains

My second article for Grunge. It's about people who in history who pretended to be ghosts for revenge or financial gain.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Incredible Stories Behind Monuments Built Over Grudges

Hello all,

I've recently begun writing for and my first article is out. You'll read about ancient grudges, warriors, murders, ghosts, and what Sarah Michelle Gellar should have done to defeat the ghost in the movie The Grudge. Click on the link below.

The incredible stories behind monuments built over grudges.

Friday, February 12, 2016

How to get Published at Listverse: Waiting on a Response

Readers often contact me for tips on how to get published at Listverse so I thought I might post some general tips and guidelines, stuff you won't find in the Listverse Style Guide.

Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way. Your article has to be well-written, free of typos, and feature crisp, varied sentences. The shorter the sentence, the better, but too many short sentences and the writing will feel stilted. It's a balance, and the only way to get better is to practice.

Pro-tip: The less editing your list needs, the faster Listverse will respond to you. 

If your list is polished they will publish it so fast it will blister your toes. Many of my lists have been accepted and published within a span of three or four days. These are under ideal conditions, meaning your premise is interesting, your sources are good, and your entries match your premise. Good job.

I've seen a lot of people complaining on Facebook that Listverse is not responding to their submissions. This has happened to me and every Listverse author that I'm aware of, so don't feel too bad. There are a lot of reasons this happens and you can't know them all without being in an editor's head, but I will say that every time there has been a delay in their response — every time — my list has needed some work. And the more work needed, the longer the delay. I've noticed it goes something like this:

  • Some sources need changing (but everything else is good) — a short delay, if any.
  • Some entries need replacing — a bit longer delay, maybe between 3-7 days.
  • The premise needs tweaking — Takes a while to get back to you. May have to send them a reminder email after two weeks and bug them about it. If this is the case, review your list and consider ways you can make it better before you re-submit and send that email.

You may be wondering, "Why is there any delay at all? Don't they respond to each list in the order received?"

No, they don't.

Pro-tip: Listverse does not respond to submissions in the order they are received. 

After I submitted my list on mystical cats, I heard nothing for a week or two. In the meantime my list on pirates had been accepted, published, and paid for. I assumed that there might be something wrong with the cat list so I rethought the premise, submitted a new version, and nudged them to look at it. Alex (an excellent editor) got back to me, said he liked the new premise and asked if I could replace two of the entries. And voila:

10 Strange and Mystical Cats People Believed In

Some of the editors are in college/university, which means that during some months of the year, like during exams, they don't have much time to give feedback to submissions. But they still need to post three lists a day. So the closer your list is to publishable quality, the faster it will be accepted.

Now how exactly do you get a list to publishable quality? Glad you asked.

In the coming posts I'll talk about easy ways to find sources for obscure information. How to link those sources so the editors can find them in mountains of text (which will decrease their response time). How you can take "the same obscure facts that are repeated all over the internet" and present them in new and interesting ways. How to summarize dry histories and make them exciting. And how to tell a story by writing a list.

Any questions so far? Leave a comment. If not, on to the next post (I'll link to the next post when it's available).