December 29th, 2010


Post: Pretty Princess? I'd rather be a sorceress.

So seanan_mcguire has a post lamenting the rise of princesses (at the expense of queens) in media. She says "I don't get it. When did we decide we'd rather have prettiness and pearls than power? When did we decide that our little girls needed to be put in holding patterns, unable to take the throne of self-determination, but too elevated to play in the mud and get their hands dirty?"

One commenter, spitphyre, responded, "I'd rather be a Queen or a Goddess. thank you. Not spoiled, not lazy, but someone people have to answer to."

I was inspired to reply with the following:
I've always been fascinated by dark sorceresses, myself. Not necessarily evil, but they don't take shit from anyone and they live by their own rules. So naturally my favorite fantasy character in my writing is a dark sorceress. And, in my intense hatred for stereotypes and labels, Lyria Spellspinner defies easy categorization. She's fiercely loyal to, and protective of, her family, and wary of outsiders, but can make friends easily when she tries to. She seeks to become a Goddess, and she can be terrifying at times, but she is usually an ethical person.

I do my damnedest to make her True Neutral. And while the current setting resembles renaissance Europe with a magic-based industrial revolution occurring, Lyria herself is from a land and people very different, a land with similarities to Africa. (Pre-european conquest Africa, that is.) I am very proud of this character. I've been play-acting dark sorceresses ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper, so it totally made sense.

What I love the most about the character is, she writes herself. One day, I was thinking back on this old fantasy storyverse I had. I had only the vaguest memory of a dark sorceress character I'd had in my "playing pretend" version of that 'verse (it's a very old storyverse), and there she popped up in my mind, almost complete, and completely unapologetic for any of it, which is so awesome. I just had to fill in some details, start going through her history. And she's got this nice air of mystery. She won't let me reveal, in the stories, more than hints of certain things that I already know. She is probably the most cooperative character I've ever had, in the sense that she looks right at me and says, "Alright, forget this rubbish about you being in charge. *I* am in charge. You're just the scribe." I love it!
Yes, from a young age, I was always playing the role of superheroes, sorceresses, even Gods and Goddesses. Or very capable normal mortals, like sea captains. If I played a character who got captured, they always found a way to escape on their own.

But yeah, villains have long fascinated me. Dark sorceresses, dark mages, villainous mutants, and so on. For a while, my favorite game to play was what eventually evolved into the Lyria/Playground of the Gods storyverse, with these twin Gods who were actually one God split in half by Good/Evil lines. The good Xavier always won in the end, but DAMN it was fun playing the evil Xaviyi (hey, I know the name sucks. I was a kid. Kids sometimes have sucky names for characters). Especially since every time I played it, the story got more and more epic. Man, there were flying castles, Xaviyi kept trying to destroy the universes, so on. And I think my favorite twist in the tale was when, after this one time that Xavier defeated his "twin," he turned Xaviyi mortal and locked all his powers into this hawk-headed cane (which my parents had given me as a gift). But Xaviyi escaped and managed to get a hold of the cane. At first, he was only powerful as long as he held the cane. Eventually it evolved to where he got his powers back, and kept a spare set of powers in the cane. The cane eventually became alive, and totally devoted to him. Villains get all the cool stuff!

And for all that she's the protagonist and True Neutral, Lyria is a villain in some senses as well. She ignores any laws she disagrees with, and while she has an ethical system, she doesn't always follow it. She has committed atrocities, atrocities fueled by rage; when she gets really pissed off, her whole personality changes, and she does things she is later extremely remorseful for.

So yeah, I never really got into the whole "princess" thing. Nor did I care for princes. Who wants to be royalty when you can harness the powers of magic? Where would Prince Arthur be without Merlin? We all know where the *real* power is. :-)

Crossposted from

Cloudberry Crunch Cereal and other strange ideas.

I was at IKEA a few days ago and got a few things. One, some lingonberry/cranberry oat crisp cookies that are so good I have to hide them from myself to keep from inhaling them. Also I got a jar of gooseberry preserves and a jar of cloudberry preserves, to try them. Haven't tried them yet, but already my mind gave me strange ideas for cereals, dunno how well they'd sell: Cloudberry Crunch Cereal, Gooseberry Hallow Cereal, and Lingonberry/Cranberry Puffs.

Crossposted from

Ehk pahtwii foht jiijiinahr. (A prayer for health.)

Since I have a slight cold, I decided to write a prayer in Trai'Pahg'Nan'Nog, something I do a lot of, since I adopted the Traipahni religion of Yahgahn as my own. Due to limitations of extant vocabulary, but working with the flexibility of the language, this is a good example of how the language works, and how an incomplete knowledge of the language can still get you by.

Sahn-ah'iik Jiijiinis veh Alorno, Ahnai flo Kriiah Taykwiiah, ah'iik moiul'duun'zaen thiiah jiijiinahr tahdjah. Ah'iik sohlohrt zaen-maak ehm thiiah da-nykyah-gwebahr-maik yiniiku. Ah'iik oy thiiah nykyah-gwebahr hii'glorng la piik fii-taykay'yah da-bahzah-moiulainas. Ah'iik moiul'dahk la da-nykyah'gweb'moiulj-maik seh thiiah somaik, hii'glorng-kez la da-fii'ahn'kwiinj flo thiiah somaik. Thiiah somaik bain vwonylk, thiin toik sehk thiiah Ahn'Kwiinj foht la noh’hkwii-maak seh la da-bahzah-moiulainas. Uuj Kriiah Zahvahshah, Jiijiinis veh Alorno, veh uuj thiiah zahvahshah, thiin rahk ziz'zik hohrihg-kez egtah grehn tók. Sahn-kia, Koh Soh La Kohrain.


Much-please Jiijiinis and Alorno,1 Holy in Your Splendor,2 please strengthen my [good health].3 Please give strength to my [white blood cells]. Please help my blood destroy the little ugly sick-makers. Please clean the [blood vessels] of my body, destroying the (things not wanted)4 in my body. My body is mine, I call with my Will for the banishment of the sick-makers. By Your Power, Jiijiinis and Alorno, and by my power, I know it is happening as we speak. Many-thanks, You Are The All.

Part of the challenge in writing this is I haven't come up with a word for "cell" (as in white blood cell) or "germ," etc, yet. So I had to improvise. And I like how it turned out. :-) It was a pleasant surprise to find "fii'ahn'kwiinj," meaning "a thing not wanted" in my list of TPNN words; it is a perfect fit. (Actually, in the file, it's "fii'ehl'ahn'kwiinj," but the ehl can be dropped, since the word is derived from "fii'ehl," meaning "the opposite of" and "ahn'kwiinj," meaning "Will." Something opposed to your Will is not wanted, hence the translation "a thing not wanted."

As to "little ugly sick-makers," the word "moiulainas" (from "da-bahzah-moiulainas" in the prayer) is actually "creator." Closest word I have in TPNN to "maker."

1 = Jiijiinis: Deity of Health. Alorno: Deity of Healing.

2 = I have a standard format for prayers. [Name], oh [Name], Holy in Your Splendor. [Content/supplication]. Many-thanks, You Are The All. (I do it this way because "Conversations With God" by Neale Donald Walsch says that the most effective prayer is a prayer of gratitude for what you know will happen. And it works very well for me.)

3 = Brackets indicate non-literal translation. Literal translation of "jiijiinahr tahdjah" is actually "health good." Literal translation of "da-nykyah-gwebahr-maik yiniik" is "plural-life-water-thing white." Also, "da-nykyah'gweb'moiulj-maik" is literally "plural-life'water'area-thing"; it is related to "gweb'moiulj-maik," the word for "a channel of water."

4 = Parentheses indicate literal translation is the best translation.

Crossposted from
Hermione not amused

*Sigh* Always with the skimpy, sexy, useless armor.

I'm watching a Superman/Batman crossover cartoon, and this one scene has female warriors in the standard "skimpy, sexy armor" bullshit. It's really stupid. Can't they make armor sexy without making it useless?

I tell ya, I don't stand for that bullshit in my own writing. Lyria's private army is composed of both males and females, and they all wear essentially the same armor: full-body adamantium armor. Sure, it's not sexy in a feminine sense, but it's effective.

Crossposted from