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Re: Euro 2016 My husband is Portuguese.  Here is the conversation we had two weeks ago:

Him: We need to talk.
Me: About?
Him: About the Euro Cup.
Me: What about it?
Him: Well, you see I'm going to need to commit some time to that. So...good luck with everything.

June 28, 2016, 01:09:05 PM
Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story? I have four books I re-read regularly:

Lord of the Rings
The Once and Future King
The Brothers Karamazov
War and Peace

Here is what they have in common that I love:

* Omniscient narration with personality.

* Great characters and complex relationships between the characters.

* A strong sense of place and setting with rich descriptions.

* Moral complexity and emotional realism.  Yes, that includes Tolkien.  Too many authors today think that being dark and "edgy" = moral complexity.  Nope.

* Joy and beauty: the flight of the wild geese in Once and Future King, Sam dancing under his new tree at the end of Lord of the Rings, Natasha's shawl dance in War and Peace, the last page in Brothers Karamazov... some of my favorite moments in fiction ever.  Modern fiction is often lacking *joy*.  More joy please. 

I also find myself going back frequently to books by Ursula K Le Guin and Michael Chabon.

September 02, 2016, 10:45:25 AM
Re: What is your favorite thing about your favorite story?
I love Eddings' irreverent japery, even as I laugh and shake my head at the rest of what he does. And so on.

Eddings used to be one of my regular re-reads, too.  There is a lot that is imperfect about his books, but his books were *fun*.  He the first writer that literally kept me up all night when I was a kid.

September 03, 2016, 10:00:18 PM
Re: A Rant on Haters and the Fools in the Way Boooo, haters.

September 03, 2016, 10:11:50 PM
Re: A Rant on Haters and the Fools in the Way Boooo, haters.

September 03, 2016, 10:14:13 PM
Re: If you were a kid in an unknown fantasy land? Depends on the child.

My four year old is a friend to all living things, and would go skipping off with Voldemort. 

My two and half year old would tell Santa Claus with a bag full of kittens to F off.  Whenever I take her to the grocery store she gives all the "Strangers" her full b-face.  An old lady at Whole Foods once said: "Your baby is so cute, but why is she so angry?"

The few people who have earned the trust of #2 have done so by very patiently letting her come to them, on her own, and by talking to her and taking her seriously as little individual.  You can't baby talk with her; you have to treat her like a "big girl."  Then - maybe - you will get her trust.

Develop your child character first, then think about how that particular child would develop trust.

September 07, 2016, 08:23:09 PM
Re: Thoughts at the close of my first year of writing TV TROPESSSSSS.  YASSS.

And comparing tropes to legos is the win for the day, because I love both tropes AND legos.

I love the idea of a personal wiki, Cupiscent.  I keep a lot of my world building in my head, but I enjoy trying to write it down and systemize it.

And patience is certainly a key for me; I've been writing since I was 10 and writing seriously, while paying attention to craft, since I was 29, so I've certainly taken my time (I'm 36).  My current WIP grew out of stories and characters I started writing when I was in middle school, but only in the past few years have I really felt that I finally got a handle on my world and main story.

The biggest thing that pushed my story to mature was really listening to critical feedback and accepting that I needed to "kill my darlings" and not make excuses for flaws in craft or characters that were too passive, balanced with a dose of courage and confidence in what I want to do with the story. 

September 09, 2016, 03:38:00 AM
Re: Which novel got you into reading,which author would you like to thank

Marguerite Henry, who wrote Mistyof Chincoteague about a wild horse on an island off the U.S. Atlantic coast. Mom read it aloud to us three boys. It was my first experience with "chapter books."

Ohhhh, I grew up on a small Morgan farm and had every Marguerite Henry book EVER. 

I can't remember the author that first got me into reading, though Henry, Dahl, and CS Lewis certainly come to mind as memorable early reading experiences.

But when it comes to specifically fantasy - David Eddings, all the way.  One of my best friends loaned me The Diamond Throne when I was 11 and I literally sat on my tack trunk until way after dark, wrapped in a horse blanket with my poor little mare, Polly, "cooling off" in the cross ties while I finished.  I promptly went to the library the next day to get the sequel.  I burned through everything he wrote that year.

I didn't read Tolkien and Le Guin until I was a little older - they really introduced me into the majesty and beauty that fantasy is capable of.

But boy, David Eddings was so much fun to read.

September 10, 2016, 09:23:23 PM
Re: Sources of Story-telling Enrichment Oh, boy, over the years...

* Archtypes: Marie-Louise Von Franz, and also Paul Evdokimov, a theologian who was my focus in graduate school, and who delved pretty deep into Jungian waters as well.

* Fairy Tale Theorists: Bruno Bettleheim, Marina Warner, Jack Zipes.  Vladimir Propp's Morphology of the Folktale has been particularly influential to the structure of my WIP.

* Original source folklore: Grimm, yes, but I also really value Swedish Folk Tales by Bauer and Lundbergh, Russian Magic Tales from Pushkin to Platanov from Penguin Classics, Russian Fairy Tales by Afanasyev, and Howard Schwartz's books on Jewish Mythology.  The colored fairy tale books compiled by Andrew Lang.  And the Eddas, of course.

* Essays: Ursula K Le Guin's essays were foundational for the way I look at fantasy, the way I write, and my worldview in general.  Of particular influence are "From Elfland to Pougkeepsie", the "Bryn Mawr Commencement Address," and "Woman/ Wilderness." 

* Children's Literature: There are a few deliberate Shout Outs to Maurice Sendak , Astrid Lindgren, and Elsa Beskow in my WIP.  And reading children's literature aloud I think is great for developing prose because there is just so much reveling in the language and so little adult inhibition.

And TV Tropes.  Lots of TV Tropes.

September 15, 2016, 12:07:07 PM
Re: A rant on "Balance"
this seems like an appropriate time to quote heinlein.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Sounds like my day, except the cooking tasty meals part.  Nope, nope. 

That said, I think life experience isn't everything,  but it is something.  I still have the stuff I wrote when I was 16 and so much of it is … ugh. 

My writing and general worldview is so, so much different now that I'm an adult with "Life Experience."

On the other hand, though, I think the challenge writers face as adults is keeping that lack of inhibition alive.  When I was a teenager so, so much of what I wrote was crap but occasionally it would be shot through with awesome and it was creative.  At that age you just go with your bad self, for hours, banging your head away to your tunes and writing 20 pages a night, ignoring your parents and the still underdeveloped little voice of self criticism.  As an adult you are constantly interrupted by Responsibilities and the voice of Doubt.  There is something to be said for the brainfires of youth.

September 16, 2016, 03:25:17 PM