Versatile Blogger Award: Some Thoughts on Worthy Womanhood

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By the Two Trees of Valinor! It’s another blog award! This one from Proverbs31teen. Thank you so much, dear!

Apparently this one is simple. Seven random facts. And then nominate other bloggers. ;-) Someone should start one of these awards where the acceptance post has to have a newly-written short story or something. :-P Just for variety. I AM NOT STARTING ONE, THOUGH. Goodness, no. I already awarded to everyone I can think of in very recent history… that, and my awardees probably all have lives of their own and procrastinate on these nearly as much as I do. :-P

Now, because I realized I had never looked up the verse behind Proverbs31teen’s username, I decided to do so today. (The other reason why I didn’t know already is because I am notoriously bad at remembering verse numbers. I’m better at noticing background material than verse numbers.) Proverbs chapter 31 is the last chapter in the book of Proverbs. Specifically, it is the advice Lemuel, king of Massa, was given by his mother and recorded for readers of the future. She begins by warning him against reckless actions (such as drinking,) because he is his people’s hope, and calling on him to stand up for his people and help the needy. Then she proceeds to tell him what the ideal of womanhood is.

When one finds a worthy wife, her worth is far beyond pearls.

Her husband entrusts his life safely to her; in her he has a worthy prize.

She goes on to say that the ideal woman is diligent and hardworking, does her duties well, is pure and honest, and does not go in for idle pleasure. Which makes us girls think, wow, what standards! and ask ourselves if we are living up to them.

To everyone who reads this, I have a challenge. This challenge is to look up Proverbs Chapter 31 and break down your favorite female characters to see if they measure up. Does Katniss Everdeen ever stop to ask if she’s being diligent? Did Cinderella use her new-found affluence to aid the impoverished? Did Rapunzel try to make Eugene better? What about Belle? What is this “something more” that she wants, really?

However, you must bear in mind that this applies not only to married women, but unmarried ones as well. Also, you really have to read in between the lines to understand it fully. Today, we talk more plainly than the various writers who put pen to paper under divine inspiration to make up the bible did. Rather than saying exactly what they mean, they use imagery as metaphor. Thus, a “lamp burning brightly after dusk” means that the lady of the house is still keeping busy, no matter how late the hour she stays up to. And the fact that “Her husband sits at the gates of the city with the elders” means not just that he’s influential or works actively with the others in the city council, but that his wife encourages him to aim high and supports him in his endeavors and even tries to make him better by her own efforts. (Which is undeservedly resented, these backward days.)

A quick caveat: I read the chapter in the New American Bible and it… well, it just seems incomplete. (Yes, I do despise this particular translation. Grrr.)

And now, for the actual award stuff!

  1. I do occasionally swear by the Two Trees of Valinor. (If you do not know what that is, then you really need to read The Silmarillion.)
  2. Most people I know tell me “you think too much!” every once in a while, despite the fact that I think it put my IQ in the gifted range…
  3. I have a tendency to ramble on posts. (Hence the fact that this is not just a simple acceptance post.
  4. I can’t find my headband. Thus, my hair is in my face.
  5. I love hot cereal, but I love muffins even more.
  6. Right now, my biggest concern is getting my spot in the Orientation Days for college… though, thanks to bureaucracy, it looks like I will be missing out. Thank you to whoever had that bright idea that required all this Social Security/federal loan/paperwork stuff!
  7. My second biggest concern is finding a part time job. :’-(

Yes, my life sucks right now. It would be nice if someone could invent the next-generation version of Turbo Tax to help people get in their schooling paperwork on time.

Now, I would like to nominate Robyn Hood because she is a wonderful blogger and honestly, I can’t think of anyone else who I haven’t just nominated… :’-(

Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

Theoretic Science: Pandemics and Nuclear Warfare: How to Prepare for a Zombie Apocalypse

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Warning: This post is intended for humor and pseudo-scientific postulation purposes ONLY. The author neither endorses a belief in zombies, nor does she believe herself. Neither does the author intend to attack believers in the Voodoo religion; she intends merely to cast light on a historical religious practice that she believes unethical. She apologizes in advance for her very Western, Christian, white-middle-class-American tendencies and narrow worldview. The following post’s practical value is only in preparedness for worldwide epidemics, natural disasters, and nuclear threats. Thank you for your attention.

She also apologizes for speaking about herself in third person for two whole paragraphs. Haha, she does love bold-face font…

Good, now that we’ve got that out of the way, here we go. (You can find the first two posts of the Theoretic Science series here and here.

I am known far and wide for being both a nerd and a geek, with a tendency to over-think magic systems, theoretic technology, etc. And I tend to have thoughts that other people don’t ever seem to think. It is most emphatically not my fault. I read too much fiction, maybe.

Anyway, one of my more celebrated exploits occurred not because I thought it was “cool”, but because I was volunteering for summer camps at a local nature center. Basically, I dressed up as a zombie to help out with a summer camp. The idea was to study ethnobotany (basically, the traditional uses of plants in medicine, arts and crafts, and food), wilderness survival, emergency response, disaster recovery, that sort of thing. Don’t worry, no one went too wild with it! But there was a pizza party at the end… just saying. :-P

But while I was there, I mentioned to some of the other volunteers (as we got flour put in our hair) that if we were actually a threat, then bug spray, of all things, would be among the campers’ best weapons.

“Don’t you mean zombie repellent?” another volunteer asked.

I said, “No, I mean bug spray.”

(Yes, for those who were wondering, they did manage to “cure” us. The cure was jewelweed pounded in water. Which also works for poison ivy, incidentally… But not diluted.

I was rather uncomfortable, actually, afterwards. I had hid and lain down on a nettle. Ouch. And the face paint was sticky and greasy and not very pleasant to wear.)

Fast forward several weeks. I posted about geek fandomery, and made a mention of the same thought, adding a note about iodine supplements as well. (I didn’t make that up myself. That one is from my volunteer supervisor, actually.) Several people expressed interest in the comments. So, this is my answer.

Zombies originated in the Voodoo religion of Haiti. Basically, they were the mindless servants (sometimes they are actually re-animated corpses; sometimes they are living people who, Voodoo practitioners believe, have had their souls stolen) of anyone who had the know-how to either reanimate zombie servants for themselves or turn living people into zombies. No one believes in the reanimated zombies any more, but it is true that living people were drugged to fake their deaths, then drugged again to keep their minds and intellects from resurfacing, so they could not just walk away from their slavery. (In the third book of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, SPOILER ALERT something similar occurs. END SPOILERS) However, even if the drugs were to stop, very few people, sadly, ever had a chance to return to their homes and families, due to brain damage and memory loss caused by the drugs–in extreme cases, the withdrawal of said drugs could lead to death. (Addicted to what kills you, this is more common than you would like to believe for your peace of mind.)

So much for reality. Now we go to the popular culture side of things. (Yes, I just called pop culture unrealistic. Live with it.)

In popular culture, zombies and the zombie apocalypse are a big thing. In popular culture, though, zombieism is not caused by some machinating Voodoo priest or priestess… We can’t have that! Goodness, no! It’s not politically correct! (Even Disney didn’t dare, they had to level out their precious dark sorcerer by putting in a benevolent one as well.) So, instead, zombieism in popular culture is more like a plague, or is caused by some other meddling with either the human genome or some so-called “miracle serum” or something. (See Norman Osborne. Yoikes.) However, whatever incarnation we’re talking about, normally zombies can transform normal people into zombies by biting them, scratching them, etc. So far so good. The plague doesn’t spread by air. Possibly you could catch it by drinking contaminated water or contact with bodily fluids, but think about it. If there are zombies (which can’t feel pain) out there, they’re going to get bitten by mosquitoes if they still have any circulatory fluids in them. They won’t be slapping the mosquitoes. And then those mosquitoes will become plague carriers, and you won’t just have to defend yourself from zombie bites, you’ll have to protect yourself from zombie mosquito bites, too! Whether the mosquitoes themselves become zombiefied or not, bug spray is still your best friend, since I doubt that a zombie mosquito has any less brains than a non-zombie mosquito. Instinct is still there, probably. Keep the mosquitoes off. Defend yourself from the plague.

(In real life, malaria spreads when mosquitoes bite, too, so in the case of a real pandemic of ANY sort, if there are mosquitoes around, stockpile bug spray and protect yourself. I don’t know if HIV/AIDS can spread from mosquito bites–research in this department seems woefully inadequate–but it could be possible, I suppose, provided the AIDS part didn’t strike the mosquitoes before they could bite another person.)

Now, about the iodine supplements.

If your hypothetical zombie apocalypse is not caused directly by human meddling, but instead becomes widespread due to a nuclear blast (and believe me, most nuclear blasts that have actually occurred, though powerful, have been limited to one area, unlike in fiction,) your best defense against zombieism is to probably keep yourself uncontaminated by radiation. In nature, iodine quickly absorbs a lot of radiation. The human body requires iodine to help regulate the function of the thyroid gland, if I am correct. (That’s why they add it to table salt, to prevent iodine deficiency.) Now, of course, iodine is toxic when consumed in large amounts (as are lots of other things!), but in small doses it’s necessary to keep you healthy. You can absorb natural iodine from the food you eat, but if you don’t need iodine, you won’t absorb it as quickly, protecting you from the radiation-toxic natural iodine. Thus, carefully stored iodine supplements become your best defense in a fallout zone. There are other strategies as well to protect you from stray radiation–look up the research, it’s fascinating–but I just thought I’d mention this one, just because. (All credit goes to my volunteer supervisor for this section. Well, I did the writing. Credit for the idea, that is.)

Hopefully this helps you in your disaster preparedness and such, and gave you some food for thought. (Zombies are unrealistic, really. Unless you happen to be a necromancer and a horrible person. If you are, please don’t comment unless you want a barrage of replies shouting you down in a sadly narrow-minded and politically incorrect manner.) Thanks for reading, and God bless you all! Indiscriminately. :-P

Archivist of Selay’uu’s Journal: Welcome to Camelot

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Yesterday (Tuesday) was exciting! Exciting, complex, and busy, as a matter of fact. And I’ve only just begun my internship. If every day is like today, I will never be bored while I’m in Camelot.

Early in the morning, I got up and went to say my last goodbyes to my favorite people. Though I’ll be in and out of the chateau fairly frequently, this is probably the last good talk I’ll have with them in a while. Faramir, being the gallant person he is, offered to carry my suitcase down from my room for me. I’ve never been able to really say no to him, so I let him do it. It seemed to make him happy, and I could tell his wife approved, so I guess it’s a win-win situation all around.

We got to the war room (which is one of the names we call the experiment room; the others are, in no particular order, the testing place, the disaster area, the mess-which-it-is-forbidden-to-clean, and that-which-shall-not-be-named, among others.) It’s a huge, long room that seems to extend the whole length of the house, in the old section of the house that has not been built over in centuries. There are a few doors along the sides, each leading into a different room. It may have been used for a hallway once, or it may have been a gallery of some sort, and there’s evidence in a few places of demolished interior walls, but now it’s just called the experiment room. It is the one room in which we are allowed to do anything we like, anything at all, so long as it doesn’t hurt another person. It’s not a lab, so you’re free to safely blow stuff up there. (I’ve had to practice my magic and Force talents there, since they can be unintentionally destructive.) It’s a great place to perform unpredictable experiments. It’s the one place where paintball wars and indoor archery tournaments and other tournaments, the kind where we partner up and ride at the ring on our partners’ shoulders, are permitted, and sometimes we even strip long pieces of the wallpaper off, when we’re in bad moods. One time, Iris and I painted it all zebra stripes and then blamed Horace. Good times… Anyway, it’s also the only place indoors where we are permitted to begin tessering procedures, or to portal into other worlds, except in the case of invasion or emergency (such as the Harry Potter fiasco.) Pfft, what am I saying? An invasion is practically an emergency! If the Harry Potter lot break too many walls, then we could end up with a broken space-time continuum, or the barrier between matter and energy could be destroyed, which would force a rapid leap forward in intellectual evolution for the human race to survive at all. (Complex Doctor Who stuff, ask Iris.)

There was no hitch in portaling to Camelot. I found myself in Albion, a few miles out from Camelot. I could see the city’s spires in the distance. I began to head toward the city; before I could get far, Merlin, who had probably been waiting, came out to meet me, and we headed back towards Camelot together. The country surrounding Camelot is picturesque in the extreme. The deciduous forests are interspersed with pine and spruce; the terrain is somewhat rocky, but nothing I’m not accustomed to, what with all the hiking I do.

Camelot is a busy city, and it’s not nearly as dirty or squalid as some people seem to think that it should be. The people are welcoming (most of the time,) and when we walked by there was nobody in the stocks (I’m sure all of my readers wanted to know about that!)

Anyway, Merlin introduced me to Gaius. (He’s a nice man, he only pretends to be cantankerous.) And then, we all got down to work. At least, we tried to…

We were in the middle of reading the treatise on the origins of magic and the history of magic theory when Merlin was called away. Arthur was going to have him clean up the stables, and I sort-of just trailed after him. It was sort-of my fault what happened next, as well.

I startled Merlin. And he blew up the stables accidentally by accident. (Sir Leon was not too happy about that.)

It just happened that there was cake for desert at lunch. They brought in five big ones–everyone just happened to be eating lunch at the same time, together… and I blew up a cake in the Prat’s face accidentally on purpose. (This time, Sir Leon was amused.)

Then Merlin and I went back to studying. Gaius had some wisdom to offer (he told us that to be a knight is not the only honorable calling), and I pranked Kilgarrah with a typo turkey, and got to visit Balinor, and it was just epic! ^_^ I’m writing about it all in my journal–I will post about it as soon as I can get a decent Internet connection. Hopefully I will be able to post without having to use the free Wi-Fi at the tavern where Merlin never goes. Well, if Merlin and I can get my service to work, I shouldn’t have to.

[Archivist's note: Tonight I'm posting from in Gwen's room. She doesn't--technically--have Wi-Fi, but for some reason this is a mobile sweet spot. Thanks for reading, all!]

Teens Can Write, Too!: Accidental Self-Insertion?

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Hello, everyone! I’m taking part in the Teens Can Write, Too! Blog Chain once again. Why? Because it’s fun to connect with other bloggers, that’s why!

This month’s prompt is, “Which characters are you most like?” Well, that’s easy. The calculating, logical ones who don’t really “get” emotions. (Yes, really.) It’s seriously freaky, because people like Obi-Wan and Sherlock could be my alter egos. For some reason, though, girls like this are rare… it’s almost like there’s a stereotype that keeps people from writing girls like this. Unequal representation, I say!

More and more, though, I keep finding that the people I’m really most like (at least in my own work) are the villains. Don’t get me wrong, my own personal goals could not be farther from the villains I love to write. I don’t go around in my spare time planning world domination, or plotting how to turn my friends to the Dark Side (nope, no Palpatine for me, thanks!), or just randomly bumping people off. That’s not me.

I think it’s easiest to identify with people like us, which is why there is such variety in character types (put the Doctor, Obi-Wan, Jack Frost, Sherlock, Anakin, and Doctor Watson in a room together and what do you see?). But more and more, I find that my heroes tend to share only facets of my personality and develop minds and personalities all their own. I think that there must be something of the actor in a writer, something that allows them to take on the role of these characters and play them to the best advantage. It’s a rare ability–and perhaps, becoming rarer–to step into somebody else’s shoes, know how they think and act, and then walk a mile in those shoes. But I believe it can be developed–in the interest of compassion, people should take up creative writing as a hobby!

Villains, though, though painful to write, can be frighteningly easy to portray… basically, all you have to do for a villain is to summon up your selfish side, think of the times you hurt someone, and then transfer your self-hate to the villain on your paper. Though villains are characters too, they are mostly characters who slip where the heroes hold firm, and though we hate them for it, it makes them so horribly, frighteningly human, that sometimes it’s hard not to try to make your villain too sympathetic… (Forgive the rambling. I have the flu at the moment.)

I think that we can write because we are both the heroes and the villains of our own stories. It depends on the point of view of the outsider watching, really.

But as to the prompt itself (sorry for the long ramble that you didn’t ask for and probably didn’t want to read), the characters I think I’m most like (apart from the villains), would have to be the ones whom no one sees or can quite understand without some kind of shared intuition, also the ones who are unusually intelligent (though I don’t think I am myself; my IQ test came back as just “gifted”, nothing more. I just know better ways of thought, I guess?) Thus, I identify very closely with characters who tend to be more intelligent, or think differently than the people around them. Characters like Charles Wallace Murry…

This is not my mental image of Charles Wallace.

If only we could still call on Asa Butterfield for this one. Gah. I HEREBY DISOWN THIS MOVIE AND DESIRE FOR A BETTER ONE TO BE MADE.

Sherlock…

Whoops, what happened here... I need to ask Doctor Watson for help, obviously, since you can't see this picture.

Okay, not so much with this one, but I have been known to randomly make deductions about people.

Hornblower…

Yes, this is one fandom I will admit to...

I just had to pick the one with this expression. D’awwwwwwww!

(For those who do not know Mr. Hornblower [and I pity thee!], he’s a British naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars and later, and is known for risky but brilliant strategies. I also identify with him because he consistently self-depreciates in his own mind, and I know just how that feels.)

And last but not least, Obi-Wan (and not just because he’s a misunderstood intellectual–I think I posted about that here… but because of the amount of grief he had to put up with from Anakin and other people besides. He’s sort of the older brother character in Star Wars, and I’m the oldest sibling, and I certainly can relate to all the nonsense he had to put up with.)

Yes, I do think this is funny. Erin's blog is broken. Hmph.

Yes, Rosalie, I borrowed your image. MWHAHAHAHAHA.

But there are other characters, too… Merlin, because, well, social awkwardness… need I say more?

For some reason, I can't embed this the other way... what's wrong with it...

Poor Merlin. The Master of Awkward. (Don’t we all feel like this sometimes?!)

Will from Ranger’s Apprentice!

Yes, I know this is certainly someone’s fan art… sawry….

I think I identify with Will because his coming of age story is very much one that we all understand… And I think I have the same sense of humor… Anyone else getting the feeling of deja vu?

No, I couldn’t pick just one. This is awesome fan art. Seriously. (And it doesn’t look like it’s copycatted from Lord of the Rings… wheeeee! ;-P)

Speaking of Lord of the Rings

Sam is down-to-earth and loyal, and though I’m not really like Sam when it’s the down-to-earth bit, but I try to support my friends the same way he supports Frodo.

Teehee….

The main reason I’m putting this here is because I love the relationship development between Hiccup and his father, but the other reason is because I share Hiccup’s curiosity and eagerness to learn. Maybe not so much his inventiveness and willingness to accept and create new traditions, but still.

Okay, I know I should probably include some girls in here… grrr…

Marguerite Blakeney!

Because! (Actually, this is probably the one female character whom I am most like. She’s bright and intelligent and clever and tries to fix her mistakes and she gets to work with her husband saving lives!!! Okay, I’ll admit it. Percy and Marguerite is my real OTP.)

Ahsoka Tano!!!

“Snips” is the queen of sarcasm, and she’s a teenager who’s a Jedi and growing up in a war and totally gets teenager problems! Seriously. If Marguerite is my grown-up side, then Ahsoka is my teenaged, sassy, warrior-maiden side.

Padme!

Of course I picked one from the Clone Wars!

Yes, Padme, purple is your color. (I still hate this dress, though.)

Like Obi-Wan, she had to put up with a ridiculous amount of grief, because Anakin is an idiot. (I don’t actually blame her for thinking that she might be able to change that… Whoopsie, unintentional Merlin quote…) I admire Padme because she’s courageous and willing to stand up for things other people don’t stand up for. But like the rest of us, she’s human and makes wrong decisions. And she’s actually a mature person. (Anyone else feel like something was missing from Revenge of the Sith?)

Mary Morstan Watson!!!!

I never did get a good look at this dress…

Talk about strong female characters! Mrs. Watson could quite literally wipe the floor with several of the guys in Sherlock. (I’m not specifying who, though…) Former CIA, assassin… And a lady who makes mistakes, but still tries to rectify them. (Noticing a pattern here?)

And last but not least, Tigress!

Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda II (deliberately taking them as one piece here) was a boon. Not only did it have a better plot than a bunch of other recent movies, it also had female leads (Viper, as well as Tigress) who were strong without overwhelming the male characters (which is a problem, in my opinion, equal to the lack of strong female leads in the first place!), funny without making racy jokes (TAKE THAT, SEXISM!), and, especially in Tigress’ case, had a strong character arc and were good at giving relationship advice, besides! (Added to that, the sequel actually lived up to–and even surpassed–the first movie. Will DreamWorks’ next KFP movie live up to its predecessors? Only time will tell…)

Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post!

5th – http:// semilegacy.blogspot.com/

6th – http://thelittleenginethatcouldnt.wordpress.com/

7th – http://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/

8th – http://sammitalk.wordpress.com/

9th – http://musingsfromnevillesnavel.wordpress.com/

10th – http://irisbloomsblog.wordpress.com/

11th – http://www.brookeharrison.com/

12th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/

13th – http://uniquelyanonymous.wordpress.com/

14th – http://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/

15th – http://novelexemplar.wordpress.com/

16th – http://nutfreenerd.wordpress.com/

17th – http://unikkelyfe.wordpress.com/

18th – http://writers-place-for-you.blogspot.de/

19th – http://roomble.wordpress.com/

20th – https://taratherese.wordpress.com/

21st – http://thependanttrilogy.wordpress.com/

22nd – http://freeasagirlwithwings.wordpress.com/

23rd – http://butterfliesoftheimagination.wordpress.com/

24th – http://theweirdystation.wordpress.com/

25th – http://teenageink.wordpress.com/

26th – http://www.adventuringthroughpages.wordpress.com/

27th – http://randommorbidinsanity.blogspot.com/

28th – http://missalexandrinabrant.wordpress.com/

29th – http://dynamicramblings.wordpress.com/

and http://thelonglifeofalifelongfangirl.wordpress.com/

30th – http://fantasiesofapockethuman.blogspot.com/

and http://www.turtlesinmysoup.blogspot.com/

31st – http://theedfiles.blogspot.com/

and http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain)

Sunshine Award, Iteration Two

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Once more, I have been awarded the Sunshine Award, this time by Robyn Hoode. Thanks, Robyn!

Now, to answer the questions…

1.What is your earliest memory? I think it is either going to the local Pumpkin Patch with my brother (who was a baby at the time) or demanding that my mother tell me a story.

2. What’s your favorite color? Green. And burgundy. But mostly green… dark forest green. ;-)

3. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, I think the best gift I was ever given was two of the five books in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet. (The books were A Wind in the Door and A Swiftly Tilting Planet.) Though I didn’t know it back then, those same books would spring-board both my fantasy and science fiction writing forward and help develop my imagination. Other than that, it was probably the time I received a camping stove toy as a child, or when I got the Lord of the Rings trilogy (though that was more of a reward for completing schoolwork on time.)

4. Who is your current (living) favorite author? Oh, wow. This is hard… Back before the late Brian Jacques passed away, I would have said him right off the bat… but I think that it’s really a tie between Dee Henderson (suspense/Christian/romance is her specialty; I mostly read it for the Christian and suspense bit :-P ) and John Flanagan at the moment… *murmurs softly* Most of my favorite authors are dead… *hangs head*

5. Whatcha readin’ now? Right now? I’m working my way through the Ranger’s Apprentice series, and re-reading the books by Madeleine L’Engle mentioned above. ;-) Also, for new reading… lots and lots of non-fiction. :-S

Now, for my questions…

  1. What is your favorite writing spot?
  2. Tea or coffee?
  3. Do you prefer to write at a certain time or in a certain kind of weather? (Shut up, Iris, I know you do…. That was the Halt moment of the day, by the way. ;-P )
  4. Do you have a hard time coming up with these questions, too?
  5. Are there any plants on the deck at the moment? (If so, what kind?)

And I hereby nominate Tara Therese, since she gave me the Scribbler Award and I really enjoy her blogging! :-)

I would like to nominate PinkDoughnuts15, because her(?) posts make me laugh, and honestly, I have been there so many times.

Miko, because of short stories and general creepiness. :-P And very good advice to boot. And she’s in college too!

IcedMocha34, because there was a push back when I first began blogging, and she gave it to me. :-)

Erin, over at Laughing at Live Dragons, because Dragons!!!

I was going to nominate some other people, but now I can’t remember who they were. Besides, I don’t want to throw a second nomination at people I just nominated already… I’m sorry. I would like to apologize to everyone who would have received a blog award but for Erin’s memory blankness. (There’s always next time, right???)

Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

Truly Geek Fandoms

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Erin is back for another rant about fandoms!

This is not actually about what you normally think when you hear the word “fandom”, though. It’s actually more of a closed-circuit phenomenon, really…

What am I talking about? (Have I lost my readers already? Oh, dear. Your pardon, readers all.)

Basically, this is the most stereotyped fandoms out there that I’m talking about. Drum roll, please–

I’m talking about fandoms that are better known as “school subjects,” “study projects,” and “general education courses.”

Now, I know you’re all thinking, “Whaaaat? is Erin nuts?” I can assure you… well, actually I can’t. :-P But anyways, no, I do know what I’m talking about.

I’m passionate about theoretic science, partly through my interest in science fiction. (Which is why I think that vampires are lazy and if a zombie apocalypse does really happen, your biggest survival tool will be bug spray, you will need to take carefully-stored-and-preserved iodine supplements, and mosquitoes will be your biggest enemy. I may explain why in another post.)

Iris is passionate about American history. (So am I, for that matter. In fact, I’m passionate about most history!) And aren’t we all passionate about literature and media? Don’t we all get into arguments about bias in the media? And don’t most fandoms originate in books? We’re also passionate about culture, sociology, and psychology. Not to mention that Iris and I are advocates of algebra.

Basically, I’m saying that we need to redefine the word “fandom” and re-think the use of the word “geek.” Even someone who self-professedly “doesn’t like to think” can be a geek. Even someone who isn’t permanently heart-broken by the end of The Lord of the Rings can be in a fandom. All of us have the potential for intellectualism. Why don’t we delete the stereotypes surrounding it and just embrace it?

Just some thoughts for back to school. ;-)

The Scribbler Award

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I was awarded this one the same day as the Sunshine Award, but I decided to space them out a bit. ;-) I was awarded by Tara Therese; thanks, Tara! :-)

So, the rules are to link to your favorite writing blog, share your favorite writing tip, or do both, and then pass the award along to up to five more people. (I’m doing both.) My best hint for writing would have to be to do it with a friend. It helps. My other favorite tip is that you should never, never, trust a typo turkey, no matter how many interesting names the misspellings crank out. Sooner or later it WILL betray you… Mostly kidding. Really, I think that when you’re telling a story, you should know your characters. (Sometimes it helps to get friends and roleplay random, even mundane, things as your characters. Even when you don’t think they’re getting it right, it helps; you’ll know where the pitfalls are and how to avoid them. Maybe even have conversations with your characters in your head… which is how Selay’uu got started, by the way.) It’s the characters who drive the story and keep your readers reading. They’re there. Use them to the best advantage. Know them well. Be true to your characters, and they will never betray you.

Since I awarded five people yesterday, I’m going to try nominating five different people today, so the awards get spread around more. Sound fair? :-)

And now, I wish to nominate:

Proverbs31teen, because superheros and Bible trivia at one site and writing stuff at another! ;-D Though technically, as this is a writing award, I suppose I’ll notify her at her writing blog… :-P

PorterGirl, because I haven’t ever nominated her before.

Professor V.J. Duke, because of punchiness and dadblamery! X-D

Sarah, because she posts awesome lists!

Bessie Lark (whose blog is now read by invitation only, so maybe you’ll be able to ask her permission in the comments? ;-) ), because she’s an awesome writer and knows how I feel when I complain about an unruly muse (hers ships Kiliel, while she doesn’t–Kysherin ships Obidala, and I don’t, mainly because except in certain majorly alternate universes it’s pretty unrealistic to me. Besides, I like writing Obi-Wan for the character, not for any romance or shipping. ;-) My OTP, for those who are wondering, is most likely Arthur/Gwen in BBC Merlin, because they’re adorable and so sweet together, and Gwen knows how to put Arthur in his place when he’s being obnoxious! X-P)

Congratulations, everyone. :-D

Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

Pirates and Writers and Bedsocks, Oh My!: The Sunshine Award

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You should be seeing a big bright happy picture here, but you're not. Scotty is on it already.

I hope you are having a bright and happy day. Because this is a bright and happy picture. And I finally figured out how to insert a picture into a post without downloading it onto my computer! Yay me!

Anyway, Proverbs31teen has awarded me with the Sunshine Blog Award. Which is rather unexpected, ’cause the only award I’ve ever received before was the Liebster. (Four or five times, now. I’ve lost count. :-P) For this one, the rules are rather simple. Five facts about you, answering five questions, setting up five more questions, and nominating five other bloggers. From what I can tell, you don’t have to really nominate people with a certain number or less or more than a certain number of followers for this one, so this should be much easier. *crosses fingers, hoping she didn’t just jinx herself*

First of all, the five facts:

  1. I snarked above, but unless your computer is not functioning correctly you probably can’t see it. MWAHAHAHAHAH.
  2. Apparently my sense of humor is somewhat impaired; my dad thinks Who Framed Roger Rabbit is hilarious and I don’t even find it remotely funny. (All joking aside, if you don’t want your childhood permanently ruined and your innocence prematurely stolen, do not watch that movie! It is evil incarnate!)
  3. Hot dogs, bratwurst, and fish fillets all taste different when eaten on a bun. Which raises the question, how much of the taste of your hot dog is the actual hot dog, and how much of it is the disgusting stuff they bake into the bun (and in the hot dog, too, if you bought the cheap ones)?
  4. Apparently you have to send your information into this college’s website several times before it accepts you… *sigh*
  5. As you can probably tell, my life is defined by job searching and college prep at this point.

And now, to answer the five questions…

  1. You’ve got one day left of your life. What would you want to do? I think I would like to go to Mass with all my friends, and maybe meet a few of the people I know on the Internet whom I’ve never met in real life, and spend the rest of the day with my family.
  2. Pirates or ninjas, and why? I’m told this is a “thing” now… I’m going with Sherlock on this one. Pirates, I think. Mainly because I mostly don’t know about ninjas, except that they make really popular Halloween costumes, and my only experience of ninjas is really from “Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu” (GO ZANE!), which is probably kind of sad, come to think of it… Besides, on the side of the pirates, I’m a big fan of Robert Louis Stevenson.
  3. If you were turned into one of the Avengers, which one would you be most like? Some people I’ve talked to said Captain America. Others said Bruce Banner. I have never seen the Avengers movie, so I don’t really know.
  4. What are your top three favorite Bible characters, and why? Oooh, John the Baptist, Moses, and Paul. (Our Lord TOTALLY goes without saying! And the actual apostles!!!) I’m sticking with more “secondary” characters, though, because, well, these people didn’t get much hype compared to the main players. Anyway, all three of them were amazing men who were rather outspoken but very courageous, and each had a message to get out. Moses is awesome because he’s a prefigurement of Christ, John got beheaded for telling Herod “no, you can’t marry your brother’s wife!” (and he also was preparing the world for Christ’s coming!), and Paul was a tireless preacher of the Gospel. (What is it with me and people who were beheaded? *smacks head against wall* Smooth, Erin, real smooth…)
  5. (I’m going to be evil, too) What is your favorite book? Do you mean right-now-favorite, long-time favorites, or all-time favorites? (I have a lot…) Of course, the Bible goes without saying. ;-) For all-time favorites (drum roll, please!) it’s a tie between C.S. Lewis’ The Last Battle and Lord of the Rings. I love The Last Battle for its beauty, apocalyptic feel, the resonances with the Book of Revelation (or Apocalypse, which is a totally better name in my opinion!) For shortness’ sake, though, I normally just say “LOTR FOREVAR!” and leave it at that. Probably ’cause LotR has about ten times as many pages… Long-time favorites? All the Sherlock Holmes books, Baroness Emma Orczy’s The Scarlet Pimpernel and its sequels (and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, because I can’t very well forget Sydney Carton when we’re in the French Revolution, can I?!),  Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons books, Brian Jacques’ Redwall (and Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, which probably would top this list if I were seriously counting,) C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy and Chronicles of Narnia (in fact, anything by Lewis), Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet (I think that I like Madeleine L’Engle’s stuff because it reminded me of Lewis, and I have always loved Lewis), and the works of G.A. Henty (though sometimes I just want to re-write the endings because it would have been TOTALLY better with a different happily-ever-after GAH!). For my right-now-absolute-favorite? John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series. (YAY GILAN! AND HALT! AND WILL!!!) What can I say? I couldn’t live without books…

Finally, for my five questions:

  1. If you had to choose between the Doctor, Sherlock, Merlin, Luke Skywalker, Matthias, Jim Hawkins, and Sir Percy Blakeney to go on an unexpected and otherwise completely unpredictable adventure with, who would you choose?
  2. Who would you be more likely to say “You’re weird!” (complete with exclamation point) to: Obi-Wan, Anakin, Sherlock, Watson, the Doctor, Merlin, or Halt? (If you would be most likely to say “You’re weird!” to Halt, then you have my undying respect. Either you are very brave, or just plain crazy.)
  3. Do you wear socks to sleep in? (You’d better bet your fluffy bedsocks you do, young’un, wot?!)
  4. What is the best plot you’ve ever had that originated in a dream? (Yes, a sleeping dream. Daydreams don’t qualify. Sorry, Sir Percy.)
  5. Have you ever been to Boston in the fall?

And now, I hereby wish to nominate:

Iris, because she’s awesome and encouraging and clever and reckless and everything a best friend forever should be!

Liam, because I couldn’t hit him with any Liebster awards. >:-D (If you were wondering about exactly how many times I’ve received the Liebster award, now, it’s four.)

Rachel Carrerra, because her work is amazing!

Shiekiah, because she deserves it and has written amazing stuff and draws amazing art and I really wanted to say thank-you-for-the-awesome-Bound-to-the-Flame-commissions ;-)

Coruscantbookshelf (aka Rosalie), because she got me started blogging in the first place. :-)

Thanks for reading this post all the way to the end. Thanks for nominating me, Proverbs31teen! Have a great day, everyone, and God Bless!

Archivist of Selay’uu’s Journal: Goodbye Party

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My proposal to study in Camelot was accepted! I am so excited. I can’t wait until I get to go! As I write this, it’s Monday (which means that my proposal was approved in one day. That’s quick work for Mistress El’ye, especially considering that she had to contact Merlin, Gwen, Gaius, and Arthur in order to check things through. I had expected to wait at least a week for her to get back to me.) However, it probably won’t be posted until later this week, as there have been a few issues with the internet in the Selay’uu mansion. (The most commonly suspected culprit is Anakin; however, I’m inclined to disagree. He’s affected by the loss of internet the same as the rest of us, and he’s too addicted to posting his Angry Birds high scores on Facebook to actually consider destroying our internet connection. Personally, I think it’s probably the fault of Morgarath and Morgoth, who have also been torturing us with the similarity of their names, and Vilu Daskar. Obi-Wan is working with Quinlan, Sherlock, John and Lestrade to covertly investigate. The perpetrators will probably be put to a punishment so awful they will never ever dare to cross the Council again. Also, the punishment is said to be unspeakable, which is a bit of a paradox, isn’t it?)

Anyway, I can leave as soon as I’m packed, provided that Obi-Wan, or possibly Scotty, can get me over there, but I’m planning on taking the rest of today to say goodbye to all my friends after I pack, and then leave early tomorrow. There’s even an element of uncertainty, because Obi-Wan says that while he’s fairly sure he can get me to Camelot, within a few miles of the city, I may end up anywhere in the realm and have to make my way to the city on my own. Of course, being the reckless adventurer I am, this is only making it all the more exciting for me!

Frodo and Sam, being the sweet people they are, planned a whole farewell party in the courtyard. Pippin turned up rather shamefacedly, apologetically replacing the cake, which he had shared with friends last night by mistake. Will came, and Tug came as well, which Halt found rather annoying. Everyone else thought that the pony was good company, though, and Tug was given an inordinate number of apples over the course of the evening. Every time we gave him one, though, Tug would just give Halt this knowing look, which most of us found hilarious. Halt took it all in his stride. It’s pretty much common knowledge that he is secretly amused by his apprentice’s antics, and occasionally–occasionally–this extends to his apprentice’s pony. I carried away the prize at chalk drawing, narrowly–surprisingly enough, it was Halt who was giving me a run for my money. Also, I think Gilan and Xanatos must be related. I mean, they act nearly exactly alike. Though I think Halt would say, “The world can only bear one of you, Gilan.” Anyway, all of my original characters were there, except that Klis was missing (again.) She needs rescuing so often, it’s not even funny.

And then I realized that for some reason, Captain Kirk had my cell phone. I had to go retrieve it. (Doctor McCoy was quite the help, there.) On second thoughts, it was probably Anakin who left it in his room, and I’m just being too harsh a judge. Still, I risked my life in there… I kid you not. Unlike the dinky little room you see on the Enterprise, there is neither rhyme nor reason to this room. Seriously. It’s like Iris’ mind, times five exponential. Or the room she was living in for the last year or so before she moved, only worse. (For those of you who have never seen Iris’ room, it was right under the eaves and already half-way in use as an attic, for storage. There wasn’t even room for an actual bed–she just put a mattress on the floor and a comforter on top of that and called it good. A certain distance over, there wasn’t enough room for me to stand up straight. And it was like a maze, with the bookshelves and boxes and all.) I suppose Kirk thinks it’s orderly, but honestly? I’m a practical sort of girl. I don’t do mess. Unless it’s my laptop or next manuscript in there, next time, I am never risking going in there again. And if I ever have to go in there again, I’m getting an official reprimand for the Captain. I don’t care what they say about bedrooms being a reflection on their owners. There is no way Kirk’s head is that crowded!

The Mad Tea Party, Old College-style

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With heartfelt thanks to PorterGirl for the loan of her characters, Charles Dickens because Sydney Carton is awesome, and apologies to Lewis Carroll for mangling his dialogue and mistreatment of a scene from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The Mad Tea Party

                For some reason, the sky was mauve. It wasn’t even sunset. The sky was just… mauve. The roses were chartreuse, giving the Queen of Hearts something else to scream about. And the lilies were electric blue. (As anyone who has gardened or studied horticulture much at all can attest, certain flowers are not ever naturally blue. You can see at once how strange this was.)

Deputy Head Porter admired the gardens as she passed. It wasn’t every day that you saw chartreuse roses and electric-blue lilies, though lime-colored zinnias were becoming more common. She ducked under an abnormally tall sunflower with bright red petals and nodding faces and came to the gate in the hedge. The gate led to a path, which led up to a charming little house, with a tree growing next to it. And under the tree stood a huge dining room table, on the grass. Curiously, Deputy Head Porter pushed the gate open.

Senior Tutor, Junior Bursar, and the Dean were all seated, scrunched together, at one end. As soon as he saw her, Junior Bursar thumped on the table with a large spoon, bellowing, “No room! No room!” The Dean was too busy trying to keep his toothpick-and-card tower from collapsing due to Junior Bursar’s enthusiastic table-thumping to say much, and Senior Tutor, who, Deputy Head Porter thought, must be more than a little deaf, was asleep.

“Do you ever talk at less than a bellow, old boy?” the Dean asked. Junior Bursar ignored it.

“There is plenty of room,” Deputy Head Porter said firmly and sat down a few seats away from the others.

“Have some wine,” the Dean said, absentmindedly, as he added turrets, battlements, and a cornice to his tower.

“I don’t see any wine,” Deputy Head Porter replied, staring at the other end of the table. There was one other person at the table; she had missed the fourth person before, due to the other’s position hidden by the hedge. The fourth person at the table was dressed like Sydney Carton, complete with cravat and a damp towel wound around her head like a turban. Stranger still, though, was the fact that she had a partially unfolded card table set up around herself like a screen. She was scribbling away busily.

“Don’t mind me,” this strange apparition said. “I’m not important.”

“Would you like some tea?” Deputy Head Porter said, politely.

“Oh, yes, please,” the stranger said. Deputy Head Porter began to prepare a mug for her.

“There isn’t any wine,” said Senior Tutor sleepily. (1) Junior Bursar snorted.

“What is the velocity of an unladen swallow?” he asked. (2)

“It is in direct proportion to the wind direction and momentum and indirect to the number of minutes the swallow has been flying,” said Miss Sydney Carton. “Why is a raven like a writing desk?”

“You’ve spilled ink on both,” retorted Junior Bursar.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat,” Senior Tutor interjected sleepily.

“Is he drunk?” asked Miss Sydney, who apparently was spending less of her attention on her writing than she had been before. (1)

“No,” said Deputy Head Porter, with solid conviction. Sydney flicked a rock at the carafe full of pink lemonade, toppling it over and drenching Senior Tutor.

“Eh, what?” said Senior Tutor, before collapsing back into dreamland. The Dean completed his tower, and Deputy Head Porter obligingly took a picture of it with her cell phone. Sydney flicked another rock at the tower, which for some reason, did not collapse. Then she threw her pen at it. It stuck there, leaking ink over the playing cards. Everyone promptly forgot about it.

“What a dull bunch of layabouts you are,” the Dean said, staring purposefully around the table. Vindictively, Junior Bursar squeezed lemon into his tea. The Dean didn’t notice. “What was happening before?”

“Nothing,” said Sydney Carton.

“Let’s play a game, then,” said the Dean. “Deputy Head Porter, what would you like to play?”

“Truth or Dare,” Deputy Head Porter said, feeling adventurous. Sydney Carton coughed, though whether to disguise a chuckle or her own surprise may never be known.

“Miss Carton,” the Dean said, “would you like to go first?”

“All right,” said Sydney. “Truth.”

“Do you ever stop writing?” Junior Bursar interposed, before anyone else could speak. Sydney leaped to her feet and hurled her card table off the dining table with a loud bang. It disappeared in a flash and puff of smoke, and Sydney snarled an imprecation at no one in particular.

Startled momentarily awake, Senior Tutor asked, “are you really a mathematical genius?” Sydney sat back down and sighed, smoothing her trousers out.

“We may as well make the rule that Truth answers a question from the field, so long as any question—but not all questions—may be refused, but everyone must agree on a Dare,” she said, much calmer now.

“Was it Junior Bursar who made the card table disappear?” Deputy Head Porter asked.

“Have you ever won a game of chess,” the Dean said, thoughtfully. Sydney grimaced.

“No, no chess victories,” she said. “Junior Bursar did not make the card table disappear; that was my doing. It was an accident!” she protested. No one contradicted, but no one particularly believed her. “As to being good at math, yes, well, according to the tests. But after a point, it’s all a muddle, and I lose interest.” She fixed Junior Bursar with a stern eye. “As to writing, no, in fact, I don’t ever stop writing. It’s addictive.” She leaned slightly back in her chair. “Your turn, Junior Bursar.” However, Junior Bursar seemed to be distracted. He had pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and was staring at it, hitting various icons and then holding it up to his ear. Deputy Head Porter looked at him oddly.

“Is there a problem, sir?” she asked.

“I suppose,” he snapped. “What day is it?”

“It’s the fourth.”

“Two days slow,” the Dean marveled, looking over his shoulder. “Whatever have you done to that poor mobile, Junior Bursar?”

“Senior Tutor is asleep again,” Junior Bursar commented with interest.

“Red herring,” snapped Sydney impatiently, at the exact same time as the Dean. “Jinx! You owe me a soda!” Sydney shouted. (3) Everyone ignored her.

“Wait. It says the exact same time as it did five minutes ago,” the Dean noted. “It’s stopped.”

“That’s impossible, it’s a mobile,” said Junior Bursar.

“Maybe it’s broken,” said Deputy Head Porter, helpfully.

“My watch broke once,” remarked Sydney. “It’s always six o’clock now.” Satisfied with her witticism, she stood up and recited her party piece.

Twinkle, twinkle, little bat,

How I wonder what you’re at.

Up above the world you fly,

Like a tea tray in the sky! (4)

                Suddenly, the gate flew open and in marched Lewis Carroll himself. “Are you enjoying yourselves?” he asked, cheerfully.

“Very much,” said Deputy Head Porter politely. Sydney busied herself with her pencil, as her pen was still stuck to the Dean’s card tower.

“Good,” Mr. Carroll said. He glanced at Sydney. “Charles Dickens is looking for you, you know. You’re going to catch it when he finds you!” With that, Mr. Carroll left.

“Hasn’t anyone heard of cosplay?” Miss Sydney grumbled, as the others leaned back, aghast. Lost for words, the Dean picked up his cup and tried to sip at his—now overly sour—tea.

The mad tea party dissolved in absolute chaos a moment later.

Footnotes

  1. See “The Committee for the Prevention of Drunken Behavior.”
  2. I have never seen Monty Python. I just thought this quote was hilarious.
  3. This is something my dear friend Iris says when we say the same thing at the exact same moment.
  4. This one is actually a bit more complex. To quote “Lewis Carroll: Photographer”, by Helmut Gernsheim, Chanticleer, 1949 (found in “The Annotated Alice,” annotations by Martin Gardener, W.W. Norton & Co., New York, 2000,) “At Christ Church the usually staid don relaxed in the company of little visitors to his large suite of rooms—a veritable children’s paradise. There was a wonderful array of dolls and toys, a distorting mirror, a clockwork bear, and a flying bat made by him. This latter was the cause of much embarrassment when, on a hot summer afternoon, after circling the room several times, it suddenly flew out of the window and landed on a tea-tray which a college servant was just carrying across Tom Quad. Startled by this strange apparition, he dropped the tray with a great clatter.” Frequent readers of Secret Diary of PorterGirl will catch the reference, and why I included this particular piece of trivia.

For those who were wondering, yes, I am the bashful, impatient, ridiculous Sydney Carton cosplayer. It wasn’t an intentional self-insert. At first, it was actually supposed to be Lewis Carroll himself in the fourth chair, but then the card table made an appearance (and eventually disappearance) and it turned out to be me… Aslan save us all. (Does it count as Mary Sue-ness if the self-portrayal is deprecatingly honest?)

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