1. Cruel to be kind. At some point in the story, someone is going to do something that seems appalling, inexcusable, even unforgivable. They may well be hated for it. And then, somewhere down the line, you're going to find out something about that character that turns the whole thing around and makes everybody feel like crap for misjudging them. (I blame Dorothy Dunnett.)

  2. God exists. Deal. Which is not to say that the characters are always pleased with this arrangement, or even believe it to be true; and even those who do believe are apt to struggle mightily with doubt, anger and confusion. Faith is a challenge, not a crutch. I've even thought out the theological implications of my worldbuilding, though you're unlikely to find those particular philosophical ruminations in the text -- I hate preachy fiction.

  3. Guy power. The heroine may have any number of female friends, but her closest friend is male. He may not be destined to be her love interest, but he will probably have at least a slight crush on her, which can make things complicated or even dangerous. Still, he's not a bad guy.

  4. Hair, and plenty of it. Silky, feathery, tousled or sleek; straight as a waterfall, or tumbling about in curls; gripped in agony, tossed in impatience, or caressed in some tender moment. It will flop boyishly into the hero's eyes, or feather around his ears and the nape of his neck. No significant character will appear onstage without their hair receiving some description, even if it's only the color.

  5. Love is NOT blind. In fact, it's often acutely aware of the beloved's shortcomings, but committed to loving him or her anyway. Anything less is just infatuation, and therefore fails at romance.

  6. Sacrifice. More specifically, self-sacrifice. Someone has to give up something that means a great deal to them, for the sake of someone else who may or may not appreciate it. It's going to be scary, and it's going to hurt, and it may seem like the end of everything to that character. But until they screw up their courage and take that step, nothing will be resolved.

  7. Semicolons. They're all over the place; I can't get enough of the things. Also, there are colons: and many a dramatic em-dash at the end of paragraphs--

  8. Sexual Tension. Subtle for the most part, but it's always going to be there, even in my MG novels. I don't do explicit sex scenes, or even much sex at all, but the UST will always be with us.

  9. Tea. It cures all ills, soothes all sorrows. It may also be hurled across the room when someone is in a temper, or used as a precursor to romance. Other beverages need not apply.

  10. You don't have to be rich. My characters tend to be supremely unconcerned about money, even if they don't have a whole lot of it. Having food and raiment, they are therewith content. Even the villains are unlikely to be motivated by simple greed.

Crossposted from [livejournal.com profile] fangs_fur_fey, where it is the Meme That Ate The Community.
Needing something to cheer me up after the horrible train wreck of FBOFW these last few days (Lynn Johnson, you have two days to pull this storyline out of the toilet. I am not optimistic), I turned to my f-list. And [livejournal.com profile] superversive, bless him, came through:

I had already read (or watched) all the really seminal English-language fantasy works of [1977], except for The Sword of Shannara. I have therefore been plodding through that distinctive if not distinguished work. It is actually a very good sort of book to read while one is sick and depressed, because it reconciles one to the brevity of life and makes death a happier prospect than it seemed before. In Heaven there are no such books, and in Hell all books will burn.

He promises to write a more detailed review soon. I confess that after suffering through the first two Shannara books (otherwise known as Brooks Does Tolkien and Brooks Does Donaldson), I am rather looking forward to it.


Yesterday I got my brand-new glasses -- lovely pink metallic frames that suit me better than any pair of glasses I've worn in the past ten years. Unfortunately, there was a pinwheel-like smudge in the centre of both lenses, which no amount of rubbing could remove. After suffering through a couple of hours of frustration and eyestrain, I ended up turning around and driving back to the optometrist's to return them. They confessed that they had made a mistake and offered to replace them, but now I have to wait another week to wear my bootiful new eyeglasses with the updated prescription again. Alas.


Remember how a couple of weeks ago I mentioned getting migraine auras without the migraine? Well, on the weekend I got the migraine without the aura. My first migraine, and all I can say is OW. I really hope this is an isolated incident, because there's nothing like blinding pain and nausea to put the kibosh on your creative energies.


In other news, I watched "Words and Deeds" (House) yesterday and actually quite liked it -- not that it didn't have its logistical flaws, and not that the behavior of all the characters was perfectly consistent with their behavior in the past, but I didn't think it was the Worst Episode Ever, or even close to it.

This is why I have come to the conclusion that I am happier out of fandom than in it. Not that I mind hearing what my closest friends think of the shows and books I enjoy, or discussing our opinions even when we disagree; but on the whole I prefer to make up my own mind about whether I like something or not, and not have it spoiled for me by people insisting that it stinks. I offer a belated bow to [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63, who has long been wiser than I in such matters.


Got an e-mail today from Agent #2, telling me she'd received my ms. Thanks to Canada Post's parcel tracking system I knew that already, but it was nice to get a personal note to that effect. She says she's hoping to get to the book by mid-March.

I have a feeling that March is going to be The Month for my writing career, in a lot of ways. Could be good, could be bad, but something is definitely going to happen around that time.


And finally, I have tagged all my old entries up to June 2005. Go me!
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] lizbee by way of everybody else:

Go here and look through random quotes until you find 5 that you think reflect who you are or what you believe. Repost in your journal.

1. The unexamined life is not worth living.
- Socrates (469 BC - 399 BC)

2. I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities.
- Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)

3. There are two modes of establishing our reputation: to be praised by honest men, and to be abused by rogues. It is best, however, to secure the former, because it will invariably be accompanied by the latter.
- Charles Caleb Colton (1780 - 1832)

4. The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 - 1896)

5. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
- The Bible (Philippians 1:21)

And now I'm off to work on Chapter Ten...


Apr. 25th, 2006 10:10 am
rj_anderson: (Default)
Which Biblical Villain Are You? )

Hey! Silly Internet personality tests are not supposed to be convicting.

*skulks off in shame*
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63:

How many times has someone on your friends list posted about something and you were really confused, but you didn't want to ask because you knew you SHOULD know? How many times have you felt guilty asking a close LJ friend a question that should be obvious?

Well, here's your chance.

If you've missed a few things, missed an entry and are confused, ask me anything. Even something EXTREMELY basic, like where I live! I'm not allowed to get even slightly irritated at any of the questions - we've all missed things before.

So there you have it.
This is a mega-cool idea for a meme, although like [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63 (from whom I gacked it just now) I think I'm going to have a hard time answering it for anybody else. Still:

Pretend for a minute that the only contact you have ever had with me is through my fic. We've never exchanged LJ comments or emails, never hung out in chat or on IM, never talked on the phone or met each other at a convention, none of that stuff. The only thing you know about me is the kind of fic I write. Based on the way I write my characters, and the way they speak, think, and behave, what does that say to you about what kind of person I am, my attitudes and opinions about real-life issues?

And speaking of fic, I just finished the last chapter of "Galatea" today and it's off to the beta-readers, so I hope to have it up here in another couple of days. Yay!
It's everywhere by now, but I gacked this particular version from [livejournal.com profile] npkedit:

Go to Wikipedia and look up your birthday (excluding the year). List three neat facts, two births and two deaths in your journal, including the year.

March 23

Neat Facts:

1801 - Tsar Paul I of Russia is struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael Palace.
1839 - First recorded use of "OK" as an abbreviation for "oll korrect" in the Boston Morning Post.
1989 - A 1,000-foot diameter Near-Earth asteroid misses the Earth by 400,000 miles.

1429 - Margaret of Anjou, queen of Henry VI of England (d. 1482)
1912 - Wernher von Braun, German-born physicist and engineer (d. 1977)

1754 - Johann Jakob Wettstein, Swiss theologian (b. 1693)
1964 - Peter Lorre, Hungarian-born actor (b. 1904)

Considering that I know about eight people who share my birthday (one of them my sister-in-law, another the son of my next-door neighbour), the results of this meme were surprisingly... not that interesting. Though I do feel sorry for Tsar Paul, because ouch.
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] infiniteviking:

Step 1: Put iTunes/your music program of choice on random.
Step 2: Post the first line from the first 25 songs that play, no matter how embarrassing the song.
Step 3: Post and let everyone you know guess what song and artist the lines come from.
Step 4: Strike out the songs when someone guesses correctly.

1: No skipping songs because they're embarrassing! (Unless they're just music/a movie)
2: Looking them up on Google or any other search engine is cheating!

Hoo boy, good luck getting these ones... )

Seriously, the majority of these are so obscure that I will be shocked, I tell you, shocked, if anyone gets more than three. In fact I am so sure that nobody will guess three answers that are not all by the same artist, that I promise to write a ficlet for the fandom/character of your choice (assuming it's a fandom I know about) for anyone who does. That's without Googling, remember...
Or... not so much. But anyway:

[livejournal.com profile] synaesthete7's LiveJournal popularity rating is 5.34/10.
[livejournal.com profile] synaesthete7 is more popular than 99.88% of all LiveJournal users.
[livejournal.com profile] synaesthete7 is more popular than 90.7% of their mutual friends.

How popular are you?
LJ Popularity created by [livejournal.com profile] thehumangame.

Whatever that means.
Am I prescient or what? A mere 24 hours or so after my last post, say hello to the Nohari Window. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] infiniteviking for spotting the tactfully hidden link.

I have often said (yes, really) that one of my greatest fears is that I have some obnoxious character trait/flaw that I'm personally unaware of and that people are too polite to tell me. Well, now's your chance to speak up!

My Nohari Window

Use a pseudonym if you're worried I'll get huffy on you. Though really, the worst that could happen is that I drop you a line to inquire anxiously what I did/said that gave you that impression and how I might be able to avoid making the same mistake in future.* I have my share of flaws, but I am seldom violent or hostile.

*unfolds lawn chair, munches on a molasses cookie*

* Assuming it’s something I feel I ought to correct, that is. It might not be, because I’m just that arrogant (which is, sadly, not on the list. Though smug is, which I’m sure at least some of you will find useful).
Preliminary results from my Johari Window indicate that most people agree I am intelligent and religious, but nobody knows my Sooper Sekrit Powers of being generally well-organized and also quite silly. I have a colossal Blind Spot, but my friends seem to think I am loving and witty, which is very kind of them. I am, however, running low in the Unknown category, which suggests that I may have taken the phrase "all things to all men" a bit too seriously.

It is cool how the developer keeps adding new features to the Window every day, but surely that can only last so long. Eventually, I suspect, he will get bored of tinkering with the functionality and start putting in more descriptors for the input page, such as smelly, tiresome, and fat-headed. Then LJ will asplode with people getting mad at their friends list for telling them what they really think of them. Won’t that be fun!
Note: The subject line of this post should be delivered by Paul McGann emoting at top volume in an inexplicably dark, rainy, and smashed-up wing of a hospital. Thank you.

*is sad Doctor Who geek*

Anyway, I gacked this from [livejournal.com profile] dragonpaws 'cos it's neat, and theoretically allows you to see the difference between how others perceive you and how you perceive/present yourself:

My Johari Window

Go forth and slander flatter describe me in five or six clicks.

ETA: The server at kevan.org is insufficiently robust to handle all the new traffic, it seems. Oh,well.
I never thought I would have to post an explanation of why I don't swear, but in the last few months the issue has come up in a number of different contexts, and I've realized a lot of people either don't have a clue about what's going on in my head, or have jumped to the wrong conclusion about it.

Here, then, is the simple truth of the matter. )

Of course, this is just in case you actually give a crap care what I think. If you don't, then... as you were.
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] kateorman and the Gaia Dream Creator, it's me on a Sunday morning!

I totally have that jacket, too. Only it's got way more buttons and has funky lacing up the sides.

Alas, they didn't have any head coverings, [livejournal.com profile] cesario, and I keep forgetting to take a picture when I have one on, so you'll have to wait a little longer to see what it looks like...
Having been tagged by Cheryl and seen both her answers and [livejournal.com profile] melissa_tlc's, I figure I might as well knuckle down and do it too...

Meme, Myself, and I )

5 people tagged to do this meme: Off the top of my head I'll say [livejournal.com profile] lizbee, [livejournal.com profile] rose_in_shadow, [livejournal.com profile] penwiper26, [livejournal.com profile] cesario, and [livejournal.com profile] lydaclunas, but really, anyone would be cool.
Gacked from [livejournal.com profile] cesario, and posted in the vain hope that answering it may stir some deep-buried ember of creativity to life again, it's:

Ask me a question about my writing. Any story, or no particular story, general or specific, addressed to me or one of my characters. And then if you're a writer post this in your own journal.
OK, so there haven't been any rumours. (Unless you're reading my blog, in which case you have good reason to wonder if I've curled up my toes and am just getting greener and fuzzier by the day.)

But in case you were wondering why I haven't been on IM much, or written the next chapter of my latest Sweiss story "A Man of His Word" or the promised sequel to my non-fluffy H/G fic "Endings and Beginnings" (or, if you're really a sucker for punishment, you could ask what happened to "The Artifact" or even "Incarnations", but I'd really rather you didn't, because it's just too embarrassing that I can't seem to finish crossovers), let me tell you what's going on in my life this month:
  • I have a half-hour concert on Sunday night. Eight songs. And my singing partner and I still need at least one more practice. (We also need a name for our duo, because it's pretty clunky always being billed by our full names, but it's too late to change the flyer or the signage for this particular concert now.)

  • I have to get our church choir into shape for a concert at the end of August, including learning a couple of new songs and putting together a piece for a trio. I started coding the trio song into Noteworthy Composer last night, so I could break it up and make MIDI files of the various parts for us to learn -- and then the power went off and I lost the entire alto part. Wah!

  • We are in the process of deciding (probably this week) whether we're going to build a house. Which means lots of discussion and looking at diagrams and talking to the builder, etc., etc.

  • I'm betaing [livejournal.com profile] yahtzee63's latest epic, which is wonderful and I don't begrudge the time a bit, but if I want to get it done I need to stay away from other online distractions as much as possible. (Unfortunately I'm not doing such a good job of that, as you can tell.)

  • There's going to be a bunch of graphic design work coming in soon, which I will then have to find time to do, in between keeping up with various domestic chores and looking after my two preschoolers.

  • I'm waiting on a formal reply from Ye Editor at Major Publishing House about my YA fantasy novel Knife (which, by the way, is kind of a sucky title -- I'm leaning toward calling it Hunter now, with the prospective sequel to be called Seeker, but maybe that's lame too, I dunno). I'm told that said letter will probably come in before the end of the month, and will contain details of some revisions she'd like me to make. That sounds good, doesn't it? Maybe? I hope? O_o

  • I have to get my act together and write a proper outline for my presentation at Convention Alley at the end of the month, plus I'm going to be helping place various bits of artwork and advertisements into the convention program as needed. And then, of course, the convention itself takes place from July 30 - August 1st.

  • [livejournal.com profile] avarill and [livejournal.com profile] lydaclunas are coming to visit the last week of July. Whee! I can't wait. But my brother and his wife and their little boy are also coming early that week, and I'll want to spend at least a little time with them. So you can pretty much write me off for the last week of this month and the beginning of the next...

  • And I just know I've left some more stuff out of this list.

    Anyway, this is just for those of you who might otherwise be inclined to worry that there's something wrong, because I haven't replied to your comments or your e-mails or shown up to talk to you on IM. Now you know where I'm at, you can stop worrying, and I shall stop neglecting my maternal responsibilities and go play a game with my kids...


    Apr. 15th, 2004 08:41 am
    rj_anderson: (Snape by Jereeza)
    Gacked from, well, practically everybody on my flist. I was going to do [livejournal.com profile] lizbee's, but then I couldn't find her version of the original meme post, just the answers she posted to it this morning. So here's my version, anyway:

    Leave a comment to this post and ask me three questions -- no more, no less. They may be personal, philosophical, or just plain silly. As much as it is in my power to do so, I will answer them fully and truthfully.

    Depending on the question, you might want to be sitting down for that "fully" part. :)

    Apropos of nothing, he says his name is William I need to make some new icons. But I'm also supposed to do a commercial web page for a friend's business, write the outline for my Snape presentation, answer a bunch of backlogged e-mails, and mail out care packages of the latest three Alias episodes on CD to [livejournal.com profile] avarill and my brother Pete.

    And I have a nagging feeling there's some other Important Thing I've Forgotten. Possibly it involves cleaning the house...
    Gacked from just about everybody.

    If you call me... )

    Boy, I have a lot of names...
    Gacked from... erm, I can't remember. Sorry.

    If my livejournal was a fandom.... )

    I'm sure there will be some amusing answers to this...

    ETA: I have just realized what this meme means, and how it is rather less interesting than the idea I had in mind (though it did yield a couple of giggleworthy answers). What I really meant was not "What if my life were a fandom?" but "What if there were a fandom based exclusively on my personal tastes and interests?" If that makes any sense...


    rj_anderson: (Default)

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