Posts Tagged ‘various ramblings’

Could it possibly be that His penis got diseases from a Chumash tribe is the greatest line in the history of musical theater?

Think about it.

~ Ian

(Joss Whedon, et al., “Walk Through the Fire”)

  1. Vincent and Jules (Pulp Fiction)
  2. Aang and Bumi (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
  3. Sam Vimes and Nanny Ogg (Discworld)
  4. Aziraphale and Crowley (Good Omens)
  5. Fred and Illyria (Angel)
  6. Matt Wiggins and Tim Sevenhuysen (LoadingReadyRun)
  7. Link and Sheik (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
  8. Edward Elric and Colonel Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist)
  9. Vlad Taltos and Loiosh (Vlad Taltos series)
  10. Jerry Cornelius and Colonel Pyat (Michael Moorcock’s multiverse)
  11. Princess Zelda and Midna (Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)
  12. Noodle and Russell (Gorillaz)
  13. Secret Moblin and Neil (Legend of Neil)
  14. Jayne and Vera (Firefly)
  15. Lone Star and Lord Helmet (Spaceballs)
  16. Belkar Bitterleaf and Haley Starshine (Order of the Stick)
  17. Ender and Bean (Ender’s Game)
  18. Shawn and Gus (Psych)
  19. Auri and Kvothe (Kingkiller Chronicles)
  20. Justin and George (El Goonish Shive)
  21. Kirk and Gorn (Star Trek)
  22. Arya and Joffrey (A Song of Ice and Fire)
  23. Lije Bailey and R. Daneel (Asimov’s Robots series)
  24. God and T-Rex (Dinosaur Comics)
  25. Xander and Dawn (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Oh, wait. That last one actually happened.

What the fuck, BtVS Season Eight writers?

~ Ian

Normally, my dreams aren’t very interesting.

But lately, I’ve been having nightmares. And not the usual, I’m-in-a-public-place-with-no-pants kind. I mean full blown journeys into the surreal realm of terror. I’m talking about being trapped in a coffin of rotating knives, or having my skin slowly rot off my face and peel away to reveal gray and putrid flesh underneath. If this were a N.K. Jemisin novel, I’d be gushing dreambile. I’m talking real nightmares, dreams with sharp razorblade teeth.

You must understand. I’m not complaining.

Actually, it’s awesome.

I’m a fantasy writer. Dreams are literally the stuff that fantasy is made of. And because my tastes tend towards the darker side of fantasy, it’s even better. Occasionally I’ve had story ideas or worldbuilding come through in my dreams. Having nightmares– really scary nightmares– is like winning the lottery on Christmas. I wake up from these dreams with adrenaline flowing through me and a big smile on my face. It’s a great feeling, like my brain is giving me a key to into Jung’s shadow. I embrace the horror, and it fuels me.

Am I supposed to be scared by them? Eh. I’m not one of those idiot fantasy fans that the snobs in the Great Literary Circle Jerk think the genre is made entirely up of. I know the difference between fiction and fact, between dream and reality.

But dreams are important, and nightmares doubly so.

So come on, brain. Show me terror. Let me gaze into the ever-burning eye of Hell. Bring me to the edge of death and sanity. I’ll let the darkness flow through me, and turn it into an engine that powers writing like I’ve never done before.

Do your worst.

~ Ian

(Dream Theater, “Octavarium”)

May I just say how delighted I was to learn the etymologies of the word “hoser”?

It’s such an incredibly Canadian word (basically meaning “loser”), and it has the most Canadian etymology of any word I can think of.

Basically: the losers of hockey games, back in the days when hockey was played on frozen lakes and rivers, had to hose off the ice in order to make it all smooth again. IT IS A CANADIAN SLANG WORD THAT COMES DIRECTLY FROM HOCKEY. YOU CANNOT GET MORE CANADIAN THAN THAT.

Now if only we could throw in poutine, Rush, and Scott Pilgrim into the mix, I think that there would be a singularity of Canucktitude.

Ojalá que tu sabado sea excelente,

~ Ian

So, after I turned in my Phonology final today, I headed to the Stevenson coffee shop to take a nap, as is my wont.

I dozed off for about fifteen minutes. When I woke up, the coffee shop was playing a Pandora station that was basically a Top 40 station– if the year were 1998. They had it all– Destiny’s Child, Chumbawumba, Britney Spears, and other spectacular examples of late-nineties badness.

For a moment, I panicked. My mind was not making of the thinkings particularly well (I repeat: I’d just woken up), and because of that, I thought that I had spontaneously traveled through time fifteen years into the past. 

I turned to a nearby citizen, and trying not to sound too crazy, I cried, “wHAt yEar iS It?????” So, I pretty much failed spectacularly.

She gave me a puzzled look. “2013,” she said.

“Oh,” I replied. “Good.”

Satisfied that I had not gone all Billy Pilgrim, I went back to sleep, where I had a dream in which the full lineups of N*Sync, the Backstreet Boys, and One Direction did the Gangnam Style dance to Eiffel 65’s “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”.

Pity me, netizens, for I have seen the true face of horror.

I’ma go soak my brain in shoegazer and alt metal to get the stains out.

~ Ian

That date being: The day that I started on my first post-Lotus project. 

I don’t feel like talking about it that much, in case it all crashes and burns, but it’s a YA novel that deals with the Norse Gods, rock and roll, and all kinds of different things. And it’s very different from Lotus, in a way that I’ll talk to you about later. 

But yes. You heard it from me first.

The amount of writing that I did on the first day? 3,066 words. And I still had time to do homework, go to class, and fill out a job application.

Not going to lie to you guys: I feel like a complete BOSS.

~ Ian

Are the Foo Fighters so named because they fight using foo as weapons, or are they engaged in a constant struggle against foo?

~ Ian

on naming

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

Names are important. Every reader of fantasy novels knows this. And place names are also important, as I pointed out in one of the first posts I did on this blog.

But what’s more important is what place names reveal about the history of the land. The Danelaw as a political entity may be a thousand years dead, but it still exists, in the hundreds of Norse place names scattered around northern England.

With that being said, the place names in America are so chaotic that they’re almost schizophrenic.

Behind my childhood home was a creek. The creek was called Meder Creek (a Scandinavian name), and it flowed through a gully called Arroyo Seco (a Spanish name). Across the street from my house was another gully, which contained a creek called Moore Creek (English name). Both creeks flow to the Monterey Bay (another Spanish name), which is part of the Pacific Ocean (Latin name). There’s a nature preserve called the Pogonip (Costanoan name) which borders Henry Cowell Redwoods (Scottish name). You can find other Scottish names by driving up Highway 9 (Felton, Ben Lomond), and there’s dozens of Spanish names within an hour’s drive (Pasatiempo, Loma Prieta, Los Gatos, Gilroy, San Jose). And this is just within an hour’s drive of my house.

California has a stereotype of having towns with Spanish names. While this is true in some respects, it’s only really true in a narrow belt along the coast, beginning at Santa Rosa and extending south to the Mexican border– probably about ten percent of California’s area. This is because this is where the Franciscans established missions, and it helps that California’s most populous cities are located within this belt (Los Angeles, San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco, Pasadena, etc.). But when you look around the state, there’s so many more names than that.

In the Central Valley (English name), there are the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers (Spanish names), but also the Tuolumne (Yokutsan) and Mokelumne (Miwok), as well as the American River (which sounds English, but in fact has a Latin name). And scattered around California, there are towns with names like Anaheim (German), Sebastopol (Russian), South Lake Tahoe (Washo), and Eureka (Greek). The names reflect California. Although I hate the term “melting pot”, it’s appropriate, although I’d describe us more as a gigantic multi-cuisine pizza.

So, your assignment for today: Look at the names in the place where you live. If you live in New York City, try to find Dutch names (Stuyvesant, Bowery) or Algonquian ones (Manhattan). If you’re in New England, find out something about the English towns that your cities are named after (Boston, Salem, Hartford, Concord)– or just find French names in Vermont. People in Spain could examine Arabic or Moorish names of your hometowns, Australians can find out about the Aboriginal words that went into names of suburbs of Sydney, and those of you (if any) in Scotland could find the Gaelic roots of your local place names.

History is all around you, in the words that you use. You just have to look for it.

~ Ian

I’ve found that whenever I see the word “tumbler” written in text, meaning a small glass with a rounded bottom that is easily knocked over and is usually used for drinking liquor, I find that my mind declares, “That’s wrong,” and “corrects” the typo to “tumblr”.

…I think I spend too much time on the Internet.

~ Ian





Yes. It really is almost done. And that’s why I haven’t been blogging much lately. Because all my creative energy is going into my book, blah blah blah, if you read my lame blog regularly you already know.

Okay. Spasm attack over.

Cool thing for Wednesday begun:

Why don’t you check out the graphic novel Shards: Tales from the Ruin Nation by Alex Steacy? I found this work because Alex is a regular at Canadian funny farm LoadingReadyRun, but I didn’t know that he was also a talented writer and artist. It’s quite good: a collection of short stories set in the same universe, each one illustrated by a different talented student artist. Makes me want to go write some comics, myself.

Best of all, it’s ABSOLUTELY FREE, on Alex’s website. So why don’t you go over there and check it out? It will literally cost you nothing, and you can read a cool thing. There is literally no downside to that.

Unless you hate comics, or something.

Which, you know, you might. But that’s neither here nor there.

~ Ian

*Blaaaarhahahahghghgh is so totally a word. I don’t care what WordPress’s spellcheck says.