wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I thought it was going to be an actual recent genre, but no, it's what I think of as magical realism, but perhaps the ship has sailed with interstitial. If you want to write her about it, the information is here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128823435&sc=fb&cc=fp#genre

I don't know all that much about the interstitial movement, so if you want to pop over there with links and so forth, it might be good.

She's talking about Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker, Under Heaven or The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay, and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

I really thought the latter was simply fantasy, if indeed a kind of historical fantasy that mines an era we've rarely seen and written in a particular tone, and without the romantic overtones that HF sometimes has.

Anyway, the comments are rather dumb so far, including the person who thinks that a book titled The Lotus Eaters is engaging in plagiarism (I sincerely hope that person is in secondary school).
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (muramatsu-writing-me)
Some of the best advice in Writing Your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day boils down to how to expect the unexpected. Basically, she argues that by not doing work today, when you can do work and you're not sick and there are no emergencies, you're setting yourself up to be derailed later by an unavoidable emergency. And then you'll say "Oh, I couldn't help it; it was unavoidable; how could I have known?" And that's certainly true to an extent, but when you have a huge project like a thesis or a dissertation (or a novel), you also have a kind of obligation to yourself to get work done on free-and-clear days so that you aren't caught flat-footed on unimaginable emergency days. It's just so hard to imagine anything going wrong on days like today, but in the last year I've known people to have been blindsided by major medical problems like diabetic ketoacidosis and aneurysms, but even a round of gastroenteritis ("stomach flu") or a bad cold or a twisted ankle can throw off a deadline a little or a lot--and for that matter so can spilling water on your laptop (BEEN THERE) or having your car suddenly quit working (DITTO) or having to replace your microwave or needing to help your friend move or having to find a new job or tons of small things adding up. So while you couldn't have prevented the emergency from occurring, you could have gotten yourself ahead enough on non-emergency days to lessen the impact of the emergency (obviously in some cases more than others).

The problem is acting on this. Sigh.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I'm amused by how basically every name places in Luxembourg, LOL. Guess it wouldn't take much! It'd be nice to have approximate total numbers for a name, too, rather than just the percentage.

Anyway, it's very useful for coming up with a typical first name for a character if you've thought of a last name. :)

(previously mentioned name thingie)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Here's an interesting post from [livejournal.com profile] pinyin_news: Taiwanese [family] names: a frequency list. Chen is SO common that it accounts for nearly 11% of all surnames in Taiwan, which is the equivalent of adding up the 32 most common surnames in the US (namely Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown, Davis, Miller, Wilson, Moore, Taylor, Anderson, Thomas, Jackson, White, Harris, Martin, Thompson, Garcia, Martinez, Robinson, Clark, Rodriguez, Lewis, Lee, Walker, Hall, Allen, Young, Hernandez, King, Wright, and Lopez).

With the Taiwanese list, you've got 50% of all surnames just among Chen, Lin, Huang, Chang, Li/Lee, Wang, Wu, Liu, and Tsai. As the writer points out, memorize the Mandarin pronunciations and tones of those names, and you've doing pretty well already.

Smith apparently accounts for only about 1% of US surnames. Jones, which is often paired with Smith in the common imagination, is even less. As a kid with the surname Smith I often wondered why I rarely ran into any Joneses, but now I know. We just have a vast pool of surnames in the US, and even the top contenders aren't really all that frequent in terms of the number of people you run into in a day. In addition, even the British and European origin surnames are somewhat geographically distributed here, depending on what regions people emigrated from originally.

It really behooves writers to pay attention to this kind of thing. I mean, I don't think every character should have a blah name, but for background characters it really lends verisimilitude if their names ring true for readers from that country--or better yet, that region.

Looking at the list should also point out how neglected Hispanic/Latino characters are in US-set fiction and film. (It should also be kept in mind that the other names may very well be either black or white, as well as other less predictable situations such as that of my friend Wesley W. Walker, who is half Taiwanese. Just another reason why you shouldn't write the default as white.) Of course, the distribution will vary according to local characteristics: I'm sure that in Fremont Lee/Li (the various Asian forms), Ng, and Singh are probably up there--and here Spanish surnames may very well be Filipino rather than Central or South American (or, you know, Spanish).
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I made the first rambly post to the writing filter. If I still have failed to put you on, or if you've changed your mind and want on, let me know!

Don't expect anything well organized or coherent...
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (ukiyoe-unknown-writing-me)
I have fiction ideas in my head again. But this time with details. (Though I'm a little worried I can't picture my main character yet.) So I think I should try to write it, and with that in mind, I'd like to know if anyone wants to volunteer to let me talk about this with you, get feedback, discuss ideas, etc. etc. It's an urban fantasy or supernatural investigation kind of thing, send partly in Japan, and get this--not all the characters are white (or Japanese) or straight (gah!). In fact, I think our two main characters are one lesbian Japanese butler cafe host(ess)/amateur mangaka and one bisexual female white (?) American translator. The first supporting character who has announced herself is a black/Taiwanese-American English teacher who's really into kimono (and I know she's straight because she already told me about her Japanese boyfriend :P). It takes place in some weird little Japanese town that I get to make up, Kyoto and a few other places, and the San Francisco Bay Area. If it sounds cheesy already ... sorry, you won't want to sign up below.

[Poll #1229849]

I was going to wait till people were back from Comic-Con, but a) I'm just going to sign up [livejournal.com profile] hoshizora without asking him, because I'm reading his cool work-in-progress and this will give him a reason to feel better about his writing, and b) the rest of the cool kids are probably not interested.

EDIT: Uh...I thought polls let you see who voted how? WTF? It's not working. When I click on View Answers it shows the percentages and says "No Answer" at the top. I can't find out who voted yes! (And there's more than one of you! Excitement!) Is it my cold talking?

EDIT: Lame, this is a "known issue" and will be fixed in LJ's next code release. :P Workaround: open answers in new tab. Hrm.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Sequels tell what happened after the main story, prequels tell what happened before it ... what about a story that takes place during the same time as the main story?

EDIT: Parallel? That's what Wikipedia suggests...Don't know if anyone uses it.

For writers

Jan. 7th, 2008 05:41 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Some of you writers might be interested in checking out RedRoom.com, if you haven't already heard about it. It's supposed to be a place for authors of varying degrees of fame to connect with readers and other writers, and to serve as a reference on writers. I read an article about it on SFGate.com and I don't have a good feel for how "exclusive" they're trying to be (and the website is not transparent about their selection process). But they may be genre-friendly, because their founder and CEO wrote the upcoming Huntress: Year One graphic novel. So you'd think they wouldn't be too genre-averse.

I don't know if it's going to take off or not, but I know promotion is scary and annoying and important for most writers, so I thought I'd pass it along.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
My first Sequential Tart interview, with writer Nathan Long, is up. I hate to go read it because I know I'll find typos or things I should have done better. [livejournal.com profile] nathan_long was a great sport for agreeing to be my guinea pig.

Anyway, it's done! And now that I have one up, it's time to start working on doing some others.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (ghibli-wtf-me)
For starters, it starred Viggo Mortensen, and while I like/respect him as an actor and person, I'm not a fangirl of his like many of you are. So I wasn't even all excited that he showed up playing a character in my dream.

Secondly, it was some kind of supernatural-tinged western. I don't really seek out supernatural-tinged westerns in any form--not games, books, or movies.

Thirdly, it had an excellent plot seed in it THAT STILL MADE SENSE WHEN I WOKE UP AND THOUGHT ABOUT IT.

This would all be fine and dandy if, you know, I could write fiction. Oh, I think I have a few minor skills and I can turn out a vignette or two, but I can't actually write a story. It's like wanting to be a portraitist and having a great sense of color, but no anatomy or perspective or layout skills.

Hrmph.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
...you're willing to be interviewed by me via e-mail for SequentialTart.com's Culture Vulture column. I'm not guaranteeing anything, but I'm going to propose to ST that I start doing some author interviews. :) This would just involved some e-mailed questions, a few of which may relate to comics in some form (it is OK if you don't read or like comics; we'll either take some other angle or skip it altogether).

Your works need to be in print or otherwise available somehow.

Leave a comment or e-mail me if you wouldn't mind being a potential interviewee. :)

(Non-fiction is OK if it's somehow pop-culture-related and you've managed to get published. For that matter, if you take a look at ST and think "Hmm, I do stuff their readers might want to read about, but [livejournal.com profile] wintersweet didn't mention what I do!" then ping me about that, too!)

Oh, and as for the food-related manga thing? Thesis took over; didn't manage to do it. But I saved all of your comments so that maybe I can write it in the future.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kogura_shinobu-EH?!-me)
Dear Boing Boing, I think you mean "What the hell is wrong with certain WRITERS?" Link goes to post about bestiality case, in which the human is described as "having sex with" the animal. Sorry--as with rape cases, child sexual abuse, etc., the offender should NOT be described as "having sex with" the victim. The offender assaulted the victim, who had no say in the matter. Sex is a two-way act, and bizarre dolphin stories aside, these kinds of incidents are one-way. Writers need to be very cautious with their language; while we all know the literal definition of the phrase may apply here, the connotation is of consensuality and mutual participation.

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wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
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