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 …
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.
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.You can almost smell it now!
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!
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.