blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
I'm handing today's Blog Challenge question--"What is the thing you most wish you were great at?"--to Jaynes from Sword and Chant. He wishes, more than anything, that he could be a great leader rather than a feared warrior.

His father, Maradek, first earned his country's respect leading his tribe to repel the invasion of warriors known for their brutality and skill. Then, after he succeeded his mother as chieftain of the tribe and ruler of the country, he conquered a neighboring land, believing it the best way to protect his own people.

Thirty years after, Jaynes is facing the consequences of that conquering and occupation. But he doesn't know how to negotiate or compromise with the enemy chieftains. He doesn't know how to deal with people he doesn't like--enemy or ally--and he doesn't like to be wrong. He does a great job directing those who agree with him. He has no idea how to convince those who don't.

Worst of all, Jaynes knows he's failing, and he knows people are dying because of it. Since force seems to solve the problem in the short term, he falls back on it when his attempts to actually lead collapse. And that causes more problems.

And Jaynes knows that, too.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
Today's post-prompt asks what sort of animal I would be.

First of all, I am an animal, using the broadest definition of the term.

I don't think I'd make a very good other-kind-of-animal, though. Wild pack animals are cool, but the whole groveling-for-alpha part doesn't appeal. The thought of being a marine animal creeps me out because I don't much like the open water. I'd never choose to be a little mammal because, you know, Food Chain. The longterm outlook for larger mammals seems to be not so great. We're not even going to touch the topic of reptiles; they're pretty cool, but I wouldn't want to live in one.

A horse? No, I don't want to live life fearing the Horse-Eating-Fill-In-The-Blank. Cat? Nope. Elephant! No, scratch that. Being a smart, emotional creature hounded by little animals that shout and carry guns would be awful. I'd end up going on a rampage.

Perhaps I'm overthinking this.

So... maybe a dog? Yes. A pack animal, but usually not in a canine pack. Something big but sweet with protective instincts and decent manners.

Aha. A Newfoundland. Also known as Nana in Peter Pan. That'll work.

I'll just ignore the drool issue.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
From the 30-Day Blog Challenge…

Five weaknesses, eh? Frankly, I don’t like this one very much. What if my archenemies are reading, and are suddenly inspired to orchestrate my destruction?

Gah. Very well. Weaknesses.

First weakness that comes to mind: food. Remember Five Fonts of Happiness and my chatter about food? Yeah. I have to work hard to keep myself from eating to excess. It isn’t a matter of using food as a response to stress or emotion. I love food. I love consuming food. When I was in my most intense period of karate training, one of my favorite benefits was the ability to eat four or five full meals a day without an ounce of weight gain. I don’t mean little snack-y meals. I mean having chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, salad and pie at four in the afternoon, then chowing down on pasta, meatballs, salad, breadsticks and ice cream at nine at night.

Then there’s my temper. Every year, that becomes less and less of a weakness, but it’s still there. Mostly it’s my outward and visible reactions that have improved. On the inside, I still feel that same surge, that same feeling of expansion, as if the anger is a physical thing pressing out against my ribs and skull. If my anger is over something that happens to and/or threatens a family member or close friend, I have to do a bunch of self-talk to remain focused.

Tied into that is my pride, and that weakness becomes readily apparent whenever I face a physical challenge in front of witnesses. It’s been four or five years since I’ve sat a horse for more than an hour, but it you invited me to ride all day, I’d jump at the chance then grit my teeth into a smile when I dismounted at the end of the day. I’ll spar until I’m ready to pass out if my opponent is still going. I’ll keep going long past the point when I should cry uncle, then spend however-many-days pretending my body doesn’t feel as if it’s been tumbled down a cliff and rubbed raw with rock salt.

I also suffer from clutter-blindness. My home is clean—I have this weird thing about clean floors and counters–but ohmigosh the clutter would drive my neat-tidy friends into insanity. From June to August, I can walk past a stack of sweaters destined to be stored for the summer with nary a blink. The Christmas wreath from my front door is, I’ve just noticed, is still sitting on a little used chair in my dining room. Alas, my son seems to have acquired clutter-blindness as well, so keeping such things under control in this house is an ongoing battle.

Lastly, I can be extremely lazy. Really. Were it not necessary I run like crazy to make ends meet, I’d train a little karate, write my stories, do a little gardening, then hire somebody to take care of everything else. Now and then, I seem to believe I’ve already hired that person. Alas, reality soon blunders in when I open the kitchen cupboard and realize every bowl is still sitting in the dishwasher.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
Today the 30-day blog challenge is to describe a typical day from my life.

I do not have typical days.

The best and the worst thing about being self-employed in three different fields--karate, wellness, writing--while also homeschooling a teenager is that no two consecutive days will be alike. Toss in a sister who works as a flight attendant while parenting my little nephews, parents who love to spend time with extended family, and two crazy-sweet dogs, and it is guaranteed days will be interesting in the ancient proverb sense.

Let's take today, for instance.

Up at eight in the morn (because I suck at early rising) to get laundry rolling and hoe the garden before it gets to muggy. By nine, the garden has been weeded, laundry is well underway, breakfast has been eaten by human and canine residents, and I've settled in to answer wellness emails while Dev works through his assignments in algebra and economics. We talk about Doctor Who somewhere in there. At a few minutes after eleven, Dev and I head out the door, with Dev driving. (We're trying to figure out how to get the time for his driving test in before the end of the month.)

Dev sees his econ/algebra teacher for two hours. In that time, I run to the printing shop to pick up karate-related stuff, then see a karate student at his own factory to provide a private lesson on kata and kicks. We finish ten minutes late, which means I barely make it back to the teacher's office in time. But the teacher is also running late, so all's good. I return phone calls while I wait: a client looking for info on digestive enzymes, the mechanic trying to schedule what might be an all-day job for my car, someone seeking information on karate classes.

By the time we return home, it's a little after two. The dogs dance on their back legs as if we've been gone forever and threatened to never return. Fortunately, the Lab didn't find any unattended food items to devour, and the Bull-Boxer-Rotty didn't tear up anything in his crate, so their greetings were well-received. We indulge in many minutes of playing with the dogs because it makes the entire day better for all involved.

Then came the midday ninety minutes with Dev, when we make something quick and easy for lunch before sitting down to watch one of the nighttime shows we record to watch together. Today was the most recent episode of Falling Skies. I ate a Sloppy Joe and salad. Dev had the Moo Shu left over from last night and a banana.

After the show, we chatted for a bit before Dev had to start his government assignment and I had to be out the door. I reached the dojo just five minutes ahead of both my instructor and my sparring partner. Fifteen minutes of kata work and forty-five minutes of sparring followed. Less than five minutes after the end of practice, I bowed beginning students on the mat for the first class of the evening. Four hours later, around nine, I bowed my last students off the mat. In between, I taught some students a new kata, others a new throw, then worked as both teacher and uki for an hour of multiple-attacker self-defense.

Upon arriving home, a shower--quick and cold--was the second order of business. The first was to hug Dev. Since Dev is working on a Minecraft something or other video and chatting with his international friends, I am left to my own devices: more answering of email, petting the crazy sweet dogs, and writing this post. By eleven, I'll be settled enough to get some fiction in before my eyes begin to cross. By midnight, I'll curl up in bed with my yet-nameless Kindle, and read until I fall asleep somewhere around one in the morn.

And that's about as typical as it gets around here. Tomorrow I'll teach karate again in the evening, and Dev and I will still spend our midday time together, but everything else will be different.

That midday time is most precious to me. Because Dev and I often work evenings, we can't have dinner together very often. Instead, lunch is our time.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
Why, yes, I did lose two days of my life to clients, karate training, and a dog show. I could stress out about falling behind, or I could simply go forward. I'm in a go-forward sort of mood.

So. A few of my pet peeves—those petty day-to-day things that I just can't help but complain about even though I know my complaining is completely unproductive.

Read more... )

Little things, all of them, but that's what peeves are. The really big issues--bullying, child raising, health care and so forth--fall into a category far beyond what "peeve" could encompass.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
I have never been more embarrassed than on the night my parents had to fetch their fifteen-year-old daughter from the county jail at three in the morning.

There were four of us--three girls, and the boy with the car. They met me at the bottom of my driveway. I'd crawled out my window after tucking blankets over a bunch of pillows in my bed.

I was the youngest and the newest in the group, having just moved to the small town a few months before, and had already earned a reputation for being a good little nerd. The drama class had a running tally of how many times I cussed; it took weeks and weeks to hit double digits. So when the opportunity came up to sneak out of my house on a school night to drive around town with friends, I jumped at it.

It wouldn't have been a problem... except the group had brought other things along for fun. Not beer, not pot, not coke. Soap flakes and eggs. The soap flakes we dumped into the town fountain. The eggs we used to vandalize cars. I remember swinging between the shame of doing something wrong, exhilaration of being free to do it, and gut-shivering fear of being caught. The last won out, and I eventually just sat in the back seat, trying to come up with a cool-sounding reason I should be taken home right away.

We pulled out of the last parking lot, all of our eggs splattered on targets, and had gone about half a block before red and blue lights appeared behind us. The cop pulled us over because the driver hadn't turned on his headlights. He asked for each of our names, and walked back to the car to run a routine check on the driver. I thought my eyeballs were going to explode from the terror of waiting for that cop to come back, and all the while my friends are telling me to stay cool because no one had mentioned eggs or soap flakes. At worst, they reported, the cop would follow us back home. Maybe tell our folks, but probably not.

The cop came back to the driver, gave him his license, and told us to get home because it was after curfew.

Then he shined the light into the backseat area one more time, and noticed the empty egg cartons. A quick turn through the parking lot behind us turned up the cartons' missing contents. We were taken to the county jail, where the girls were locked in the jail's single cell and the boy was handcuffed to a chair in the lobby. Our parents were called. It felt as if hours passed before we were let out of that cell and handed over.

My best friend, who was not part of this fiasco, lived just up the street, and she usually drove me to and from school. Her father was a Highway Patrol officer. When he saw me the next day, he shouted, "Hey, jailbird, did you have scrambled eggs for breakfast?"

I couldn't look my parents in the eye for days.

But I couldn't help smiling when I passed the town fountain, filled with mounds of frothy bubbles that rose tall above the water, spilled over the sides, and slid along brick walkways of the main street.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
The first ten minutes I spent thinking about this question had me putting on the Pouty Face of Thought. Then I realized just how simple the answer is.

I am defined by who calls me a friend.

That's not the same as those who depend upon me or those whom I call friend. It's the people who ask me to be around them on any occasion, the ones who want to share thoughts and experiences with me, the ones who trust me--and the ones with whom I want to do and share the same. These folks might have less or more education, politics to my right or my left, and head-shaking confusion over what I like and don't like.

But they believe we share the same human values. They'd trust me with their children or aging parents as I'd trust them with mine. And if we disagree, with do so happily because we are of the same mind on how to respect disagreements.

It's said that character is what you are when no one is looking. I believe friendship is what you remain when you're absent, and what you become as the friendship grows. Family might define our youth, but friendship distinguishes our legacy.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
More on the 30-Day Challenge...

Benkil from Sword and Chant is one of my most favorite characters. Without getting into spoilers for the novel, I can tell you he was once little more than an average warrior from an average tribe of Calligar--able to sit a horse with a grace, handle edged weapons to give more damage than he received, and loyal to his tribesmen, his chieftain, and his Iyah. But Benkil succumbed to the Chant--the exiled god of sacrifice and unfulfilled dreams--and believed the Chant's promises of eternal life. So the Chant molded Benkil into an assassin of exceptional skill and ruthless intent. But the Chant didn't take Benkil's awareness of self (or his doubts and fears and hopes), and left Benkil with the constant reminders that he chose to become the killer that he is.

Benkil's primary passion is for living. For surviving. More than anything, his drive to survive will make all manner of actions, circumstances, and shames acceptable. It is his greatest fault. The Chant has yet to find the action or deprivation that would make Benkil prefer death over existence. "The vibration snagged on old memories of torment and indulgence, pulled out the remembrance of the day he'd agreed to be the Chant's tool because life--survival at any cost--had seemed a better choice than death. Such was the vice of youth."

Benkil's next passion is for expertise. It isn't enough to do something right. He wants to do better than expectation, better than everyone else. It doesn't matter if the Chant is his only witness. It also doesn't matter if his expertise is the result of the god's tampering. So long as Benkil can feel the velvet ease of a dagger slash perfectly delivered, the smooth flow of turning an embrace into a headlock, the reverberation of a punch that comes all the way from heel, he's pleased. "He could outrace the swiftest pony to ever run the steppes, shatter walls of stone with the timbre of his voice, make warriors slash their own throats with the rhythm of his chants—by all the gods, he could fly."

Benkil also has a deep passion for sensory indulgences, though his recent circumstances have provided him only rough living in a stony alcove while dining on roots and snakes. If he were to walk into a grand festival, the first thing he would mark--in detail--would be the food and drink laid out for feasting. He doesn't merely bathe; he experiences the rub of cloth on skin, the warm-to-cool sensation as water slides away, the lassitude of soothed muscles. When the Chant wishes to convince Benkil of his next role, the Chant knows to use sensation rather than words. "...blood that washed down his cheeks, filled his open mouth, flowed over his tongue and gums as sun-warmed honey, infused and enwrapped him with swaths of gold-washed crimson..."

It's those passions--which seem so average when named simply as life survival, expertise, and comfortable living--that the Chant used to... "convince" Benkil to be the god's own thrall and, eventually, immortal assassin.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
This should have gone up last night. Alas, I got carried away with gardening and yardwork yesterday and thus spent the evening trying to ignore the spasms in my back.

Vegetable gardening is not my dream job, even though I do enjoy it and its results.

I cannot choose a single “job.” I’ve never been the single-career track type. I enjoy and take satisfaction in many things. I don’t have a single favorite, but two.

Writing would, of course, be a significant part of the mix. I love storytelling. Were I able to devote more time to those endeavors, I’d love to experiment with scripts as well as novels and short stories. As the coming year unfolds, time for writing will become easier to come by mostly because I’ll no longer be driving my son all over the place day after day.

Teaching must be part of it as well. Whether it’s at the dojo or at a conference, I love sharing information, watching the student’s process of understanding, and hearing of successes that come when the new knowledge is put to work. Teaching changes people. That’s a remarkable evolution to watch and be party to.

My goal over the next three years is to establish a working base that combines the two. I think I can make it happen.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
The next question up on the 30-Day List is, "What is the hardest thing you have ever experienced?" Like the enduring-pain question, I have an unsettling number of experiences vying for the Number One slot. I could even say, "I endured life from 2008 to 2011, and it was the hardest thing I've ever done." So I'm going to look beyond an individual experience and instead name a process.

The hardest thing I've done is accept, without reservation or qualification, that my life is my fault.

Understand that when I say "fault," I'm not making a judgment about whether I'm a good person or a bad person. I'm not dismissing the wrongful actions of others, taking on an undue burden, ignoring natural disasters and political/social policies, or battering my psyche with self-loathing.

I'm saying I make choices, and all choices have consequences.

It's a difficult belief to internalize because we are well-trained to equate individual fault with failure of the individual. And since we are most comfortable when only one party is at fault--and most relieved when that party is not us--taking on fault feels tantamount to condoning the hurtful behavior of others. Taking on fault, we are taught, means no one else is to blame, that we asked for bad things to happen, that we called down a catastrophe, that we deserved it.

No.

It's not about the other person or the event or the circumstance. It's not about right or wrong, victim or perpetrator, reward or punishment. It's all about me. It's all about my power, my ability, my decisions, and my future. Accepting fault means I can reflect on what happened with an eye to avoiding it in the future.

Fault is power. If it's my fault, then it's within my power to change, accept, understand and overcome. If it's my fault, I have the ability to make a different decision. If it's my fault, I can determine what choices will lead to a different outcome. I can't edit and revise my past, but I can damn well chose the verbs and prepositions I'll use in my life's next chapter.

Fault is not the end of the process of judgment. It is the beginning of the process of change,

Once I internalize that, I cease thinking of what the other person/entity/circumstance should have done differently--something I have no control over--and ceased feeling so deeply hurt and angry--emotions natural in the short term but debilitating if clasped too long. The feelings of embarrassment, inferiority and self-anger still come up, but they don't hang around. They're part of the process that takes me from the hurt of failure to the hope of trying again (this time with more knowledge).

And I forget all of the above often enough that I must choose to re-learn the same process and acceptance over and over. I certainly don't walk through life with this in my forethoughts every moment, and I still forget to bite my sharp tongue when my emotions run high. I have, however, decided those incidents are all my fault not because I can go from zero to self-righteous in three heartbeats, but because I keep looking for moral racetracks where I can reach such reactionary speeds.

But here's the coolest thing: When everything goes right, that's my fault, too. I take as much responsibility for the good things in my life as I do for the bad. Did a stranger hate my book and say so in public? Yes, and it's my fault. Did a stranger love my book and say so in public? Yes, and it's my fault.

Alas, accepting "fault" for good and bad is considered quite the unpopular practice in some circles, leaving folks feeling as if they can neither avoid the horrid nor gather the pleasant. I absolutely reject those beliefs.

Every choice results in a consequence. Every consequence teaches a lesson. Every lesson gives me a new choice. But it only works if I accept the power and importance of fault.

And learning that--let alone remembering and practicing it--was and continues to be the hardest experience of my life.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
Mmm... Chinese food...

Ahem.

Five things that make me happy. Very well.

First, that mention of Chinese food by [livejournal.com profile] spaceintheway does indeed make me happy. Mentioning Italian, Asian, Middle Eastern, American, Indian and European food makes me happy, too. I love food. I adore food. I don't consider myself a foodie, or a great cook, or even a discerning eater. But taste and scent and texture—and sharing that experience with others—is a great joy. I remember the immense pleasure of eating fresh cilantro atop carne asada for the first time. I can recall the sweet tang of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, tossed with feta and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. My mouth waters over what I was served at an Indian restaurant in Salt Lake City, though I can't tell you what it was called. The fried green tomatoes and chutney I ate in Charleston were a delight. Tarragon chicken. Burgers and onion rings. Cannelloni con asparagi. Moo shu. Noodles with butter, garlic and oregano. Sweet corn. Beef barley stew. Cheesecake. Naan. Fried mushrooms. Hummus. French fries. Marinara. Steaks. Oh, yes, steaks. Food makes me smile from the inside out.

Unless it involves fish, and then I really don't want anything to do with it.

Wow, that was a really long paragraph. I guess I'm serious about that food thing.

Second, my son makes me happy. Not in that general I-love-my-kid way, but in specific ways. He has a sharp wit, and isn't afraid to use it. He isn't afraid to make stupid jokes, either, if the opportunity seems right. When he heard the recent Doctor Who news, he told me that, on a scale from one to ten, his bummer feelings rated an eleven. "Get it, Mom? The Eleventh?" Yes, my child, I got it. But what makes me smile most about that is... My son loves Doctor Who! On the more serious side, his maturity makes me happy. His assumption that women are of course his equals makes me happy. His willingness to work, his growing ability to talk through problems and feelings and fears, his devotion to friends and family, his courage in the face of bigotry—all these things make me happy.

Third, training karate makes me happy. I like knowing I'm strong. I like sparring and self-defense, and working to be better at both. Every now and then I have a moment when I can't believe I'm doing what I'm doing. When I realize I'm in my forties, throwing and being thrown by teenagers and young men, and I'm less winded than they are. I did a very un-sensei-like happy dance on the mat last week, when I performed a few moves in kata properly for the first time after weeks and weeks of trying. It's joyful, that moment when every part of the body suddenly understands what the brain has been trying to achieve.

Fourth, I find great happiness in teaching. Whether I'm teaching karate, wellness and nutrition, basic writing skills or fundamental cooking tasks, passing along knowledge is one of my greatest joys. With cooking, it's seeing people realize the empowerment of transforming basic ingredients into a fulfilling meal. With writing, it's enjoying the beauty of story emerging as talent is honed by craft. With wellness and nutrition, it's watching people move out of illness and into the power of self-responsibility and hope. With karate, it's seeing children develop the confidence, respect, and honor that comes from hard work and achievement, and adults uncover the poise and conviction that comes from taking risks and not giving up. I love watching people straighten their shoulders, lift their chins and say, "I can do that!"

Lastly, creativity brings me joy. Developing an entire world--from the broad boundaries of geography to the details of textile fibers--is a delight. Sharing a story, bit by bit, with an audience is awesome. Acting, which I haven't done for years, was a thrill unlike anything else I've done in life. Directing live theater brought a sensation equal in pleasure, but deeper in satisfaction. In fact, directing was like a combination of writing and teaching. Yes, I controlled the parameters for the actors, but once the show opened, the actors had to take what direction I'd given them and make it their own.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
My characters are specifically barred from being subjects of this answer. If I let them have their way, they'd do nothing but blather on about how many horrible things I subject them to for the purpose of the story. That they'd be right is entirely beside the point.

I considered this question for a bit (and found it a little unsettling to realize I had numerous instances to compare and contrast), but concluded that the most accurate answer is also the one most expected, unto the point of cliché, for a mother.

Childbirth.

Cut for those uninterested in a birthing tale... )

Crossposted here.

For more 30-Day Challenge fun, check out [livejournal.com profile] spaceintheway. And if you want to jump in, feel free to start at any point, or just answer the questions that interest you.

3 Fears

Jun. 4th, 2013 01:32 pm
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
Considering the last few years, I've had my fill of thinking about, analyzing, and experiencing my own fears. So instead, I'm going to give you three fears of one of my favorite characters from Sand of Bone.

Shella is a Blade in her early fifties. Her entire identity is enwrapped in her work: the training and guidance of young Blade-hopefuls. Her most apparent fears change over the course of the novel, just as the day-to-day fears we wrestle with shift from year to year depending upon outer circumstances. But, as with most of us, it's the underlying (sometimes unacknowledged) fears that drive our decisions in the midst of crisis These are the fears that motivate us when there is little externally to fear, that quietly alter our choices when we think we're making logic-based determinations.

Shella fears letting people down. This comes out as taking on an unreasonable level of responsibility for the Blade-hopefuls under her watch. Who have ever been under her watch. If one of her hopefuls is killed in a skirmish ten years after leaving her training arena, Shella will try to figure out what she failed to teach or what she taught incorrectly. This fear drives her so strongly, she'd rather place herself in deadly danger than face life with that sort of failure in her memory.

Shella fears being a fool. Despite her accomplishments and outward confidence, she has said and done very stupid things in front of a great many people—things that prevent her from being fully respected despite her skill level. Now she's constantly on alert for anything that might mislead her, that might be intended as an insult, that might be setting her up for failure.

Shella fears being irrelevant. She didn't become a Blade for the sole reason of serving SheyKhala. She wanted to be acknowledged and recognized for her skills, and Blade-training was one of the best means available to her. Even so, she wasn't satisfied to be the best fighter. She made it a point to follow a path that made her increasingly valuable, and one that ensured her name would be remembered through the hopefuls she taught. She surrounded herself with the best--people who would push her and challenge her to be better. Her lover first caught her attention because others started speaking of him as one day becoming an outstanding commander. (He kept her attention, though, by being a remarkable man.)
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)
When I was ten years old, three of my bedroom walls were painted bright pink. The fourth wall was wallpapered with something meant to look like a patchwork quilt of pink, blue, yellow and green patterned squares bordered with white rick-rack. I thought it was the most beautiful bedroom ever.

My favorite scent is night-blooming jasmine, followed closely by fresh lilac, followed closely by the dusty scent of pine trees in high, dry summer.

I don't collect tea cup sets, but my grandmother did. Thus I have about two dozen lovely tea cups and saucers.

Sometimes I crave stuffed mushrooms of the sort made by a restaurant outside San Luis Obispo that's changed too many times to have the same menu. The mushrooms were stuffed with cream cheese and green chilies, broiled in butter, and served surrounded with cubes of warm, soft sourdough bread. I've tried to recreate it home—it sounds so simple!—but it's not quite the same.

I performed with a show choir my freshman year of high school.

I much prefer hardwood or tile floors over carpeting, though nice rugs are certainly nice on a winter's morning.

My father used to call me Baby Flamingo and carry me through the house on "flamingo rides" before bed. To this day, my little sister picks up the odd flamingo gift for me now and then, the most recent being a Christmas stocking bearing a flamingo in a Santa hat.

I do not like to swim.

The first year I lived on the farm, I had to help fight a sudden brush fire on the property. It was enough of a crisis that I ran out of my house to help while still wearing slippers. I couldn't find a shovel, so grabbed a plastic rake. It was a relatively small and slow-moving fire, but determined to take the hill from us. By the time we stopped it, my rake had melted down to a nub and my charred slippers were falling off my feet.

I once had to see a doctor because I'd badly sprained my wrist during a scene in Antigone. I had been wearing handcuffs at the time of injury. That was fun to explain to the nursing staff.
blairmacg: (FeatherFlow)

At this particular moment, doing a 30-day blog challenge sounds enjoyable. I figured I’d better mention it in public before that sense of enjoyment slipped away.

So: Beginning Monday, June 3, I’ll start on the questions below. Any and all are free to play along!

But… There is a wee catch for those playing along. If you’re a writer, relate one of every five answers to one of your characters or worldbuilding aspects in a past, present or future story. If you’re a reader, relate one of every five answers to some aspect of a story you’ve read. Since many of us are both, feel free to choose either one or both as the fancy strikes you. Note that it doesn’t have to be every fifth answer. It just needs to be at least one of every five answers. If you want to do it for all thirty, you will have thirty most impressive entries!

Here’s the list:

Read more... )

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