bloodyrosemccoy: (Elsa Lets It Go)
Every so often I check just to see if it's shown up yet.

It has.



As far as I can tell, it's using this version, though I think it scans better than she sings it--she seems to rush it a little bit.

One of these days I'll get me some good recording equipment and blast out my sprite version, because I am both an unrepentant Frozen fan and an unrepentant nerd. But for now, you can enjoy it in Classical Latin or Esperanto if you're so inclined. No Klingon yet, but I'm gonna keep watching. You never know.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Elsa Lets It Go)
Okay, I know it's late in the game, but I finally got my notes about my Spritelang Mark II version of "Let It Go" written up, so I figured I'd share it with y'all. Conlangs are for playing with, dangit!

(In case you managed to avoid the Frozen mania storm early this year, here's the song, which is AWESOME. In case you haven't managed to avoid the storm and are fucking SICK of this song, this version may be more helpful.)

Zzosi'be

Exal Xibu e miselao midu
Xavi'be juale
Na majema: ahiv pe
Lav itekoxe'be
Jhoto sueslao pelkef ji progu poko be
Ji vasisevikolsem'be

"Sovidek'tima
Ji xavidek
Kirildek'u'uv poko kekek
Abluvidek
Kim dukzir'tima"
Hei--baz'tima

Zzosi'be
Zzosi'be
Voritvikols'be volo
Zzosi'be
Zzosi'be
Pafubaz'be na helo
Basanuvi'be'po
Ka los'tima
Bzzoso na utase
Hejheubaz'be na misema

Nat diso mali pinot
Siset mulj salahema
Axaxma ka gojhem'poma'be
Baive'poma nat kima

Xatai'be'po
Ka nukkols'be
Dido'be ukanma
bom viske
Nakauvi'be
Kilu kim gra
Be pra

Zzosi'be
Zzosi'be
Nusau'be na konane
Zzosi'be
Zzosi'be
Vilu volo zzolozir'be
Midu be
Bom mulj kibuma
Bzzoso na utase ...

Bikis tale'ben flu siutlao om solage
Uliolue blu'ben ko ikilma triskale
Ji loszon'po'be min uvelutu ikekek
Batvijeo'be nid
Midu vi voritdek

Zzosi'be
Zzosi'be
Ulu'be ko Koko xagen
Zzosi'be
Zzosi'be
Seres hafutlo hiksen
Midu be, bom mulj na orema
Bzzoso na utase
Hejheubaz'be na misema

Translation! )

A few notes:

- I wrote the first version of Luamavan in junior high, and my most extensive non-English experience at the time was with Spanish. As such, I unconsciously incorporated a vaguely Spanish accent into it--the unvoiced stops are never aspirated, /r/ is an alveolar flap, the syllabic stress pattern is the same, all the vowels are classic, etc.

- Another thing that's carried over from my teenage years is the uninformed and frankly stupid English transcription:
1. The /zz/ and /jh/ digraphs. /zz/ is a voiced alveolar trill (equivalent to the Spanish /rr/); /jh/ is its unvoiced counterpart. I came up with them purely because I liked the way those digraphs looked and it made sense in my synesthetic head. I kept them in because fuck you, that's still the case even though I know a little bit more about standard phonemic notation.
2. Yeah, yeah, I know. The damned apostrophes. Actually, these are not random. They appear when a pronoun follows its verb. It's meant to correspond with a punctuation mark in the original Luamavan alphabet.

- /x/ is a [ȝ] sound--like the s in Asia

- /j/ is [dȝ]--basically, the way it sounds in English

- The basic word order is verb-subject-object. As mentioned, pronouns follow verbs with apostrophes, but nouns do not. Word order is particularly important as there are no case inflections (except for a genitive that's an extension of the pronominal affixation).

- Verbs have heavy polysynthetic inflection, though--they have affixes for passivization, negation, conditionality, evidentiality, mood, aspect, and tense, which can make for some monstrous verbs.* Vasisevikolsem'be, "I couldn't be silent," isn't even particularly huge.

- The first version of Luamavan had a copula, but it has since been dropped. While I've done a few languages where there was never really a copula, I like the idea of one where there is evidence that there used to be one. In this case the verbal affixes are breaking into adverbial disjuncts that get tacked onto sentences. So -pe-, the evidential affix for "seem," gets tacked onto the end of na majema: ahiv ("the mountains: empty") to indicate "the mountains seem to be empty." Or "apparently the mountains are empty."


... Anyway. I could go on forever, but mostly I just wanted to get this out. Hope you guys enjoy it!


*I cribbed this bit of polysynthesis loosely from Swahili, but the setup of slots for various affixes, even if the affixes aren't the same, seems to have more in common with Klingon now. I swear I didn't do that on purpose.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Elocution)
Is it bad that I guessed every single entry on this list, and in fact my only problem was that I also had ten more guesses and had to decide which ones they'd leave off?

It's kinda fun to have your hobby be the subject of a Cracked "WTF is WITH these people?" article once in a while.

... Which reminds me. I never posed the Sprite version of "Let It Go", did I? Hmmmm ...

Nerdspam

Apr. 24th, 2014 02:55 am
bloodyrosemccoy: (Elsa Lets It Go)
HAHAHAHAHA I KNEW IT

*checks off "Quenya" box*

*hopes someone will actually sing it this way*

*has absolutely no shame*

Dub Love

Mar. 21st, 2014 09:35 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Elsa Lets It Go)
Aw, yea, have acquired the Frozen DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack. I will now watch Frozen and "Get A Horse" nonstop for roughly the next couple of years.

And why, yes, I am translating Frozen's "Let It Go" into my own conlangs. To, uh, test them out. Yeah, that's it.

Okay, actually, this isn't really new--I've been doing Disney dubs and writing my own lyrics to songs since I was in junior high. And because I am totally fascinated by multilingual Disney songs. I can get lost for hours watching one song in multiple languages,* and I want in on that action! But this is a first for a couple of my newer languages, and I'm having a blast. Can't decide if I prefer the crazy polysynthetic Sprite Language Mark II version or the Modern OGYAFEse fossilized triconsonantal roots** with their esoteric rhymes, but they're both terribly fun to mess with.

Yeah, I know, I'm a nerd. But hey, we nerds know what we like, and there's nothing wrong with that!


*It is an eternal bummer to me that there are no official Swahili dubs. There's a Zulu dub of The Lion King, but that's as close as we get.

**Well, not quite triconsonantal roots, but rather overdone semantic derivations with the same sort of consonant radicals and ... yeah, you stopped caring, didn't you? Having a phenomenally boring hobby is a terrible burden.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Calvin And Uncle Joker)
Well, I want to entertain y'all with my adventures, but frankly so far convalescence has been pretty boring, unless you count the constant stream of bloodcurdling nightmares whenever I do manage to fall asleep. Not sure if that's still leftover anesthetic, the painkillers, some effect of The Healing Process, or just my good old Fukitol dreams ramping it up to 11, but it's making sleep difficult.* The most exciting things to happen while I've been awake are that a fruit finally started forming on my Westward, Ho! pumpkin vine and I managed to put together some irregular verbs for my OGYAFE conlang.

ME: *while French music plays over dinner* I feel bad for saying this, but I really find French aesthetically displeasing.
MOM: I did get that vibe from you.
ME: But French isn't all bad! It gave me a great idea to use in a conlang!
MOM: And what is that?
ME: It will mean nothing to you.
MOM: Try me.
ME: I've decided to cliticize the pronouns in the daughter language!
MOM: ... That does, in fact, mean nothing to me at all.

Other than that it's been video games, audio books, and walking around the garden. When I feel really energetic I'll work on the doll display. I even missed the wildly successful launch of Salt Lake Comic Con--not that this is a real loss to me, as the very idea of a con stresses me out at the best of times.** So life's not very exciting, but then, I guess that's the whole idea.


*And I could do without the nightmares' intensely frustrating relatives, the anxiety dreams where Something Unpleasant has happened--anything from all my dolls falling into gross swampwater to car crashes to accidental murder--and I am thinking, "Wait, this can't be happening! It's got to be a dream!" and then I realize that if it's a dream then I can control it and so I keep trying to turn back time or teleport away from the mess or magic things better and it doesn't work and I'm like "Well, shit, maybe it's NOT a dream!" and I am completely bummed out because that means everything is RUINED.

**My sister was after me to go because they somehow convinced William Fucking Shatner to make an appearance and I should say hi. This is not a good enough reason for me. William Fucking Shatner is like the Joker. He is an awesome character, but I really want him to stay inside the TV, thanks all the same.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Face Falls)
I have finally read through the entire Silmarillion.

Good GOD, that was boring.

It shouldn't be. There was a goddamn fistfight between the Dark Lord and a giant light-eating darkness-spinning spider, which ended when the Dark Lord tag-teamed 75 Balrogs with their flaming whips and swords to drive the monster off. That should be interesting to read. But Tolkien's need to be all high saga narrative style whenever he's writing about Elves makes it mind-numbing.*

Also, his total Mary-Sueing of the entire species of Elves still bugs me. He keeps insisting that they're the fairest and wisest and noblest of races and they could totally beat you at everything and they're the best times infinity, and yet the entire Silmarillion consists of them bashing each other with swords because they have FEELINGS. And they seem to be rather forgetful. Rather than improving their skills, they made all the nicest stuff right at the beginning of time, and then it all got destroyed and they forgot how they did it and so they just sat around making less-awesome things and stabbing each other with complexly-named swords. Tolkien's contention that The Old Ways Are The Best Ways leaves his world unnervingly stagnant.

I do like to entertain myself, though, with the idea that Elves (or at least some of them) are color-blind. This is my explanation for their obsession with white and grey and silver. It's a stupid thing to complain about, but I really do get bugged with the lack of color in their world, so it's fun to think that all the soft grey EVERYTHING is actually riotously colorful. And yes, I know I am full of shit, but dammit I had to do something to get through this thing.

It makes me wonder why the hell The Hobbit is one of my favorite books, when The Silmarillion bores the hell out of me and LotR annoys me with its terrible dialogue, incessant musical numbers, and long bookends of hobbit fuck-aroundery. Maybe Tolkien's just a better writer when he gives up trying to sound magnificent. Or maybe the visions in his head are far cooler than the words he can put to them. But they are impressive visions, so even after all my ranting, I gotta give it to him--the guy's imagination had STYLE.


*Makes me want to reread David Eddings' books, because of his contrasts between the High Fancy Narrative Style and What Our Heroes Really Said--the latter of which is a lot less forsoothy and a lot more grumbly.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Xenofairies)
What I Learned Since The Autumn Equinox:
  • It's a bit painful to win the trust of a shy cat and then have to destroy it again when you have to give her eye medication every few hours.
  • Those profoundly stupid-looking Breathe-Right strips you stick on your nose? They help ENORMOUSLY when you have swollen sinuses.
  • Awesome animator Friz Freleng would concentrate so hard on animating a scene that you could literally set fire to his desk while he was at it and he would not notice. His friends discovered this through several practical experiments.
  • Some gallbladders have really recognizable problems, like gallstones. Others just slowly croak over several years.
  • Trunk or Treat is not reserved for just Utahns.
  • Sharpie makes good pens that don't give me a headache now!
  • Quenya has an extensive case system, but it's also kind of weirdly redundant. Seems Tolkien had trouble making up his mind about a lot of things.
  • If your political party forcibly ejects anyone who demonstrates even an iota of rationality, it will not go well for your crazy-go-nuts party come Election Day.
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is known as the movie that invented the twist ending, but what I didn't know is that it was invented by accident because the studios thought the original untwisted ending was too macabre. Studio execs--messin' with your movies since 1920.
  • It may be sad to leave your cross-town library job, but dang is it a relief not to have to drive that far all the time.
  • When I observed a couple of years ago that Kevin Clash has gone mad with power, I was more right than I knew. (I was talking about the supersaturation of Elmo in everything! I didn't expect THIS! DAMN YOU, KEVIN CLASH)
  • A single episode of Whose Line Is It Anyway? on Youtube exactly equals one medium session of boring WiiFit Free Step. Time flies when everything is hilarious.
  • There may be another unexpected upside to switching narrators in my Doctors! story: my former narrator gets back all the weird characeristics that got in the way when he was narrating! Why didn't I do this sooner?!
  • That butter-and-flour mixture I've enjoyed making for years as the best part of soup-cooking is called a roux.*
  • The ch in "chalcedony" is pronounced as a k.

*I know how to do a lot of things in the kitchen, but I don't know what to call a bunch of them. So years after I've learned something I'll find out there's a word for it. Clearly I need an authoritative 1950's narrator looking over my shoulder at all times.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Triple Nerd Score)
Have spent the evening trying to work out how to incorporate a particular feature of Twitter hashtags into a spoken conlang. I'm not even ON Twitter, and yet the unofficial use of hashtags as self-commentary, editorializing, metadata, references, and stupid jokes FASCINATES me. Makes me almost want to go to grad school just so's I could do a thesis on it, but barring that, it's an interesting conlang exercise. Yes, it's very much a product of its medium--text-based and part of hyperlinks--but it does present some interesting ideas.

Not sure it'll work out, but it'll be fun to try. Perhaps I will call it Hipsterese.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Triple Nerd Score)
I just realized that every conlang I've made so far is pretty much inflectional.

Don't get me wrong--they're COOL inflectional languages. But, y'know, I could stand branching out.

Now I just have to decide if my next one will be isolating or ridiculously polysynthetic. I'm leaning toward polysynthetic. I want to see just how long I can stretch a single word. It's good to have pointless goals.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Triple Nerd Score)
The problem with having a phenomenally boring hobby is that you can't really explain how darn much fun you're having to anyone. "Dude! I just changed a language from the OGYAFE into two daughter languages with the power of SOUND CHANGE! Now I'm going to work on semantic shift!" Yeah, nobody cares.

So, uh, just take my word for it: I am having a pretty good time conlanging over here. That's all you need to know.
bloodyrosemccoy: (I'm Writing)
So I’ve got some core vocabulary for the proto-language I’ve been working on—I’ve been referring to it as Protogyafe, since it’s the ancestor of the language they’ll speak in my Obligatory Giant Young Adult Fantasy Epic. Now I’m moving on to the sound changes to make daughter languages, something I’ve never done with much seriousness before.

Although I’m not sure how “serious” this is, what with the way one of the daughter languages is based on the sounds of stereotpyical caveman talk, which was inspired by the one of the latest episodes of my latest cartoon obsession.* Now I want to try to make languages that sound like other stereotypical fake dialects—maybe go revisit my old Galactic Common language, which was supposed to sound comic-book alien while still being viable. Or maybe I can run Cavetalk through a few more sound changes and make Tazmanian Devil-ese, because that would be hilarious.

Of course, I am doing this as a naming language for the book I’m ALMOST DONE WITH OMG working on. But as always, I’m also getting wonderfully sidetracked. I love writing.


*Yes, “Tri-Stone Area” from, you guessed it, Phineas and Ferb. Oh, god, I could not stop laughing. But one of the things that amused me the most was not really cartoony: the cave talk was more or less thought-out. Yeah, it was a cipher of Caveman English, but it was a pretty consistent one—they actually did seem to have a little glossary of word substitutions, and given how many lines in that show are running gags, it wasn't hard to figure it out.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Breach Hull All Die)
So not too long ago I sent off an application for grad school because why the hell not, and among my linguistics credentials I explained about my conlanging hobby and that I've learned a lot.

Only today does it occur to me that I should've SENT them an outline of one of my conlangs.

Oh, well. Maybe next time.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Default)
What I Learned Since The Autumn Equinox
  • Putting together a bookshelf is surprisingly satisfying.
  • The term for a second, non-gendered pronoun is obviative. (One thing I missed in linguistics class!)
  • My subconscious is a pretty good cook, it turns out.
  • DVD dispenser machines are way more fun than they have any right to be.
  • Disneyland haunts Space Mountain for Halloween, so that you spend the ride getting chased around by a giant orange nebula ghoul. It’s awesome.
  • Epic Mickey is rather scarily true to the layout of Disneyland, except for the magic projector screens that get you from one area to another.
  • Disney sells tea.  And it's really good.  Damn.
  • The Sorcerer’s Apprentice marks the first time Mickey Mouse was drawn with pupils.
  • Newborn babies’ vocal cords are quite a bit higher up in the throat than older infants’, which accounts for their distinctive cries.
  • George Takei has an excellent Facebook page.
  • People had to be taught how to dial telephones back in the day.
  • There is a big damn raincloud IN SPACE. Soaking a huge quasar. Holy shit.
  • Conlang lexical creation is a lot of fun with polyhedral dice.
  • Flat tires make it feel like you’re driving through mush.
  • Synesthetes can apparently "see" their own movements in pitch black better than anyone else.
  • There are some kids who have grown up without knowing about the Muppets. Imagine.
  • I have learned how to correspond actual sheet music to my ocarina fingering, so I no longer need my fingering notation!
  • The Zelda Oracle games can link up even if you don’t have two old Gameboy Colors, with the use of passwords.
  • Garlic should be planted in the fall. D’oh!
  • The cursive handwriting I studied in second grade is the Palmerian script, made by A.N Palmer at the end of the 19th Century.
  • Paranormal procedural shows may have the possibility of being boring as hell, but they can also turn out to be awesome. Fringe!
  • The crazy side effects of sleeping pills are not overstated.
  • Jupiter’s atmosphere is awfully darn reflective!
  • Brinicles.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Triple Nerd Score)
My first conlang has prepostrophes. They're meant to indicate a mark from the language's own writing system, which is used to add inflections to some words. I have considered getting rid of them, but honestly I like them.

It doesn't take much to justify a prepostrophe to me. But then, the same is true of diacritics. It's all in whether they're functional.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Linguist)
I have begun referring to random meaningless apostrophes in fantasy and sci-fi stories as "prepostrophes."

On another note, maybe the more conscientious spec fic conlangers may want to start representing glottal stops with hyphens instead. I know I connect the sound to hyphens far more readily. Howbout you?

Ramblin'

Nov. 13th, 2011 07:44 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
I tellya, it's been a weird week--especially with this chestburster* acting up. Since the Light As A Feather, Stiff As A Board Scan results came back "fuck if we know," I am indeed going to a gastroenterologist next to see if they have a better idea. Till then, Waldo continues to restlessly chew on my liver.

---

OGYAFEland is my latest conlang project. And for once, I'm trying to make a language family by starting with the prototype language--which is way easier than starting with the modern language and going backwards. (Though I did manage to fake it pretty well with Rredŕa--I gave them a good earthy start, for aliens, and the Spacefuture Terms are often derivatives, compounds, or straight-up borrowings--you know, like languages do.) I've had a particular idea for a new language for some time now, and I'm excited to see if it works out.

Also, the morphophonemic system I'm working on means I can play with a really simple and completely superfluous method of word derivation using polyhedral dice. I could always sit down and just come up with words, but I've noticed that when I do that my synesthesia comes up with the same letters for specific meanings in each conlang, so that I usually wind up with some combination of p, n, r, and e for a word meaning "leaves" because those are the green letters, or the red/orange f, d, g, and o for fire words.** Randomizing it with the dice makes it easier to avoid that, and at this point, for this project, a word generator would not work.

Not to mention, I can finally justify buying polyhedral dice when I have never been a tabletop gamer. What? They're fun!

---

So one day in September I decided the hell with it, I should go to grad school, so I took the GRE.*** Somehow a bunch of grad schools found out about this, and dammit my inbox is flooded with academic spam invitations to various schools. At this point it's so obnoxious I am starting to seriously consider midwifery school again.

---

I was supposed to work yesterday. Unfortunately, somewhere between my house and the freeway, my front right tire went, and I quote, "splort." I am not car savvy, so I was in the turn lane for the freeway ramp trying to figure out why my car felt weird when a lady began honking wildly from a couple lanes over.

"Your tire is completely flat!" she yelled. "DON'T GET ON THE FREEWAY."

"That explains a lot," I said. "Thank you, good citizen!"

So instead of getting onto the ramp and therefore winding up with Car Problems On The Freeway, I pulled a U-turn and wound up with Car Problems In The High School Parking Lot--a much better option. I hung out there till Dad and a tiny AAA lady came to my rescue. Could've been a lot worse--although I am not looking forward to finding out how much new tires are going to cost.

---

The latest in Having A Body Is Weird: Did you know you can get charley horses in your eardrum? This time it was Mom who got to learn the hard way. Dude, having a body. It's weird.


*I named it Waldo. Although when I talk to it (who doesn't talk to their chestburster?), I generally address it as "you bastard."

**And don't get me started on how this this is related more to the letter than to the sound--that is a great source of irritation. On the other hand, synesthesia has its own ideas about what an onomatopoeia is, too--not just the colors, but the idea of what, say, a bottle sounds like in essence. It's not just similarly-colored things that wind up with false cognates across my disparate conlangs.

***My party trick is standardized tests. I have never needed to study for them and still have trouble remembering that other people do. This seems to really annoy people, but to be honest, for all their pomp and circumstance, standardized tests measure some very specific useless skills. I just happen to use the gravitas people assign them to my advantage.

Minis!

Jun. 5th, 2011 10:05 pm
bloodyrosemccoy: (Relaxin')
The vegetable garden has met with the approval of Fern, the official Supervisor of the Outsides. She was suspicious at first, as she always is when she catches me in the Outsides, but after keeping a close eye on me for a while she demonstrated her acceptance of the new patch of dirt by rolling around in it, then sitting herself down firmly next to the starter plants waiting to be transferred. I think that’s a good thing.

It would seem that the demon that possesses me in art supply stores has a twin in the garden store. I planted the bought-in-a-fit-of-madness seeds today, and if autumn tarries I will have more pretty vegetables than I know what to do with. I mean, for god’s sake—RAINBOW CORN. How can you turn down goddamn RAINBOW CORN?

Answer: you can’t. I planted some today. Let’s hope this year’s autumn lasts as long as its winter did.

---

I have started using junior readers as conlang translation exercises. I have extremely strong opinions about junior reader books, namely that most of them stink. (A plague upon you, Dick and Jane! Plague, plague, plague. And don’t get me started on the madness that is Dr. Seuss.)

However, you can still find some good ones that actually tell a story, instead of just talking down to kids in the name of reading. Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy is damn cute but is a bit difficult to translate to an alien language, since she likes to toss in French words, and it's not easy to get across that French = fancy. Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books are excellent, though, and honest-to-god make me laugh. And right now I’m loving Dav Pilkey’s Dragon books. I still need to translate a few concepts, but they do help solidify some of the core grammar and vocabulary.

---

Speaking of dragons, I have begun fleshing out dragons for the OGYAFE. There are many approaches to dragonbuilding, but I have decided on one that surprises no one: realism. My mantra shall be WWDAD?—What Would David Attenborough Do? It seems to be working.

---

Book Club has assigned another brick to read: Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. I hadn’t read Sanderson before, but I was already sick of him: he’s a Utah author, and therefore every self-important Utah fantasy nerd feels compelled to share stories proving that Brandon Sanderson is their Close Personal Super Best Friend.*

So imagine my chagrin when I started this book and discovered that it is AWESOME. God damn you, Brandon Sanderson! God damn you and your excellent, toady-attracting writing skills! You are making it very difficult for me to dislike you for something that is out of your hands!

---

Mom’s friend has been our houseguest for a few weeks, on account of her home life suddenly becoming extremely awkward. I haven't mentioned it because I never know how much of it is my story to tell, nor whether it will turn legally awkward if I blurt stuff out, but I must say it has been an interesting experience. It is a little unsettling to hear her talk about how awesome we all are. As Mom says, we seem to be the ones people turn to in times of crisis, like we project steadiness. We find this absolutely hilarious.


*No, I’m not exaggerating: One club meeting consisted entirely of a pissing contest between two members about who had exchanged more emails with him.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Old Spice Onna Horse)
Hey, guys, another interview meme! Meant to jump start me back into life and writing and stuff!

You can comment and I might give you questions, although given my track record with that it may be a while or never before I actually do. Uh, sorry about that. I am trying …

Anyway! [livejournal.com profile] beccastareyes asked me some questions!

1. I don't remember if I've asked this before, but why did you go to Africa?

Short answer: because I was studying Swahili.

Longer answer: lots of reasons. I have always been an anthropology nerd, and so I really wanted to take a look at any place that was not familiar to me—I wanted to get some perspective on human culture, mine and others’. Plus, it would be an adventure.*

I could really have gone anywhere, but I had picked up a book on Kiswahili a few years earlier, and in doing so I learned a bit about the history and culture of the Swahili people. It was fascinating enough that it seemed like a cool place to start.

2. Favorite conlang or conculture project. Or just rambling on whether you can separate the two, or if conlanging is an aspect of conculturing.

I AM SO GLAD YOU ASKED. HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE?

I’ve got a few right now:

Unicorn Riders! )

Big Fluffy Aliens! )

Third, I’m working on the OGYAFEland cultures. On the one side you get the humans of the kingdom Polara, whose society I hope is believable and unique from any cultures here in our world (not to mention the annals of fantasy). On the other you get the sprites, who are shamelessly utopian, because god dammit I don’t care if it’s not fashionable, I am the writer and I get to make a world where things went right.

Highlights from the human side of things are a sense of style like the bastard child of French Renaissance and Streamline Moderne, verb phrase place names (“Roses Climbing”; “Sparks Fall on the Mountain”; “Lion’s Roar Drowning”), a casual animistic belief system with cultural heroes but no gods, a lunisolar calendar, interjections like “Skulls and Shrooms!”, a complex gender spectrum based on beliefs about blood, magic as a high-education trade like medicine or law, and patchwork pants. On the sprite side, you get energy efficience, love of the arts, large cities twined with woodland and meadows, no school, and, naturally, socialism.

3. Is Tamora Pierce worth reading as a grown-up? I read three of the Alanna books as a kid, but it was near the end of my 'sneak into the kids books to grab things' phase. Now, of course, there's Amazon and used books.

YES. (As mentioned on her blog, neither of us is ashamed of the kids’ section—I never was, and she got over it. I truly believe that some of the best writing can be found in juvie and YA sections.)

4. What's the best thing about living in Utah? Given I've spent all of a couple of hours there, enlighten me.

That you can forget about your laundry and leave it in the washing machine overnight and it won’t grow mildew.

Okay, real answer: How orange it is! In Salt Lake you theoretically get all four seasons, which means a lovely bit of variety, but I especially like the aspens and scrubby oaks turning colors in the fall. They make a lovely swishy noise when the wind blows through them, and the air smells GREAT, all crisp and dry and a little bit like leaf and dirt.

Dig:
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And in the south, there’s the orange of red rock, in strange and wonderful buttes and arches and basins. It also smells great there—a soporific combination of sun, iron, and sage.

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You can almost smell it now!

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Oh, and there were dinosaurs.

5. Your LJ says to ask you about your mermaid collection, so a fellow ocean fan is asking.

I’ll be damned! Somebody found the “Things to ask me about” bit!

I’ve always loved mermaids, ever since I was three years old and saw Disney’s The Little Mermaid and loved it.*** I like the variations on merfolk in history and the aesthetic, and—you should know me by now—working out how they could actually live underwater has always appealed to me. (I have worked out several “species” of merfolk; one of my favorites is a fully mammalian species that stole quite a bit from the adaptations of dolphins. Merfolk with blubber!)

So I sort of wound up collecting various mermaid figures and pictures, just because I thought they were interesting. (It started, once again, with Disney: the first mermaid in my collection was a Happy Meal toy Ariel I got soon after seeing the movie.) I’ve built up a sizeable pile of mermaids!

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Sadly, this is the best picture I have of them right now; they’re in storage pending my getting a house with some room to display them. But once it comes out, I’ll even have a few more to add to the mix, including that one crazy clay sculpture of a skelemermaid I got for Xmas one year. So yeah, it’s still growing!


*There was also a little bit of defiance there; people all worried about the whole chronic-depression-dependent-on-pills thing, and I wanted to prove that it wouldn’t hold me back.

**I have books like these for many concultures. I call them my hitchhiker’s guides.

***Not so much love for the original Hans Christian Andersen story. Have you read it? It is LOONY. It’s some kind of codependent psychodrama and has a whole lot of weird theology about whether or not mermaids can acquire an immortal soul. Kind of like an early version of Teen Supernatural Romance.
bloodyrosemccoy: (Planets)
Watchin’ James Cameron’s Giant Epic Collector’s Extended Super Bonus Edition of Avatar, and the goddamn adorable Sigourney Weavertar is showin’ off her school holding a copy* of—I am not making this up—Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. This tells me two things:

1. Public education in Space Futureland is about as awful as it is here and now, if the best books you can get were written almost two hundred years ago, and

2. JAMES CAMERON IS FUCKING SUBTLE, YO.

Also, I continue to be highly pleased by the way a certain breed of geek has gotten interested in the Na’vi language. I usually don’t study other people’s conlangs with an intent to become fluent—too busy studying my own—but it’s a lot of fun to know that some people are.

Other Observations

First, I am trying to figure out what is up with Mo’at’s fancy forked pigtail double-queue. Is that what makes her a special shaman? ("Double nerve-braids! SO INTENSE!")

Second, I wish Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver were the human protagonists. They are the coolest humans, especially with the added stuff you get in this extended edition. Max also should get to do more.

And third, I am glad that they at least gave Selfridge (SUBTLE!!!!) a slight conscience, and didn’t make him a completely amoral company asshole. It’s possibly one of the most complex bits of characterization in the whole movie. And yes, that really isn’t saying much.

By the way, if you’ve got some hours to spare, the Rifftrax for Avatar is one of the best, containing the single funniest line I’ve ever heard. I would tell it to you, but it needs to be in context. Just know that it's right before the banshee-taming bit.


*Presumably one of those big damn copies librarians use for Story Time, since it was Na'vi-sized.

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