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1. Armed security guard
2. Proofreader & Editor
4. Martial arts instructor
Four movies I've watched more than once:
1. Three (& Four) Musketeers
2. The Wind & The Lion
Four places I have lived:
2. North Hollywood
Four TV shows that I watched:
1. Lost In Space
2. Star Trek
3. L.A. Law
4. Night Court
Four places I have been:
four people who e-mail me:
4. None of the above
four people I wish would email me:
2. George Lucas
3. Neil Gaiman
4. Greer Ilene Gilman
four of my favorite foods:
1. Bloody red flesh
2. The right omelette
3. ...Is this supposed to be nutritious or sensual?
4. Is IPA a food group?
four places I would rather be right now:
1. With herself.
2. Here, about six hundred years ago.
4. Toledo (Spain, not Ohio)
four things I am looking forward to in the next year:
1. good health
2. financial reorganisation
3. better organisation in general
4. getting a book finished and sold
four people who should take this survey:
1. Wasting my time isn't enough for you, eh?
2. How old were you in 1989?
Is this a trick question or something?
3. Were you a Toys R' Us kid?
Didn't exist yet; I remember when the first ads came out, thinking they couldn't spell.
4. Did you watch Transformers?
I remember seeing the comic book. I don't remember opening it.
5. Did you see E.T. on the big screen?
Yes, exactly once: and hated it. Cheap, emotionally manipulative trash, aimed at making all adults seem like saps or villains and all kids seem free and wonderful.
6. Did you own a Lite Bright?
A, um, what?
7. Who is your Favorite Golden Girl?
I haven't date a lot of blondes, so that would have to be Lysandwr. If this is about '80s pop media, I was doing my best to ignore those by then.
8. When someone says " Who you gonna call? " You think?
Ghostbusters! Where else do you get Dr. Strange crossed with the Firesign Theater?
9. What was your favorite toy?
Swords, bows and guns. The English language. No change there.
10. Did you have a Hyper-color shirt?
If black is a hyper-colour, I had it.
11. Did you listen to New Kids on the Block
I vaguely remember that there was such a band.
12. 'Forever Young'- Alphaville or Rod Stewert?
I absolutely detest Rod Stewart and always have, so without knowing the song or recognising Alphaville (aside from the French film), I'd probably still pick them.
13. Freddy or Jason?
Never saw either one. No use for the genre. I always want to see the equivalent of Dr. Strange walk into those stories and stuff the monster-boys back into hell.
14. Did you have a Swatch Watch?
Not a prayer.
15. USA for Africa or Band-Aid?
16. Ferris Bueller's Day Off or Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure?
Oh, Bill and Ted. Even though it was originally supposed to be an adaptation of _The Phantom Tollbooth_, at least that film was making fun of its own stupidity. "Ferris" was stupid without meaning to be, and has always struck me as self-indulgent pretentious proto-yuppie self-aggrandisement besides.
17. Star Wars Toys or GI Joe?
I never went in for Joe even in the '60s, and I was a little old for Star Wars toys.
18. Did you ever play MASH?
Watched it with some regularity; played it...? How and why? (No, don't tell me.)
19. The Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles?
A toss-up. Didn't think either was that good, though I remember enjoying them both at the time. Tastes great, less filling.
20. Did you have a crazy hairstyle?
Well, it was long... Still is, come to that.
21. What was your first bike?
An Indian. Rode that thing for more than ten years.
22. Name one thing you still own from your childhood?
A carved wooden knife and pistol that a nice old neighbour made me, back in the '60s. Quite a few books. No scant number of comics. My interests.
23. Did you have a Cabbage Patch Kid?
Not on a bet.
24. Madonna or Cyndi Lauper?
25. Night Court or Cosby Show?
Night Court. No question at all.
26. Did you watch Miami Vice?
Only when the pertinent ex-wife insisted. I enjoyed the episode Tim Truman did the music on.
27. Tight Roll your pants or Parachute Pants?
I've been tucking my pants into my boots since 1975 or so.
28. Did you own a Trapper Keeper?
29. Atari or Commodore 64?
I smiled indulgently when both came out... and kept practising martial arts.
30. Did you play Pac-Man?
Ref. previous response.
31. Which was better: the Goonies or Stand By Me?
Never saw Goonies; impressed in spite of myself by "Stand By Me."
32. Say Anything or Better Off-Dead?
33. What movie scared you the most?
Rollerball (the original): once I saw it in a rep house where the audience in the theatre was indistinguishable from the bloodthirsty audience in the film. Walked out quite stunned and very spooked.
The Ruling Class would be another candidate.
34. Did you try to dance like Michael Jackson?
No, I was too busy trying to kick like Jackie Chan.
35. Rolling Stone said U2 was the band of the 80's, who was the band of the 80's?
Silly Wizard. Kate Bush. Maybe Jethro Tull, though that wasn't their best decade. Horslips and Carmen had split up by then, and all Genesis' and Yes' good music was behind them.
36. Do you remember the founding members of Depeche Mode?
I barely remember Depeche Mode at all.
37. Wham! or George Michael?
I once saw a George Michael video. It couldn't be him.
38. Oingo Boingo or Talking Heads?
Talking Heads. I've disliked Oingo Boingo since they were the Mystic Knights, playing college dances. Elfman's soundtracks all sound the same even now.
39. Blue Monday; 1980 version or 1988 version?
I presume these are films?
40. Back to the Future or Indiana Jones?
I never much liked either of those dogs. Jones could have been delightful, in theory, but the scripts and the execution of the films sucked raw runny eggs. I'll go with Dragonslayer.
Wolf blood rising again
these days, and tonight
tonight I howled in the dying
sun’s red eye
and loped home smooth and sure
across summer’s stubbled fields
all too conscious of keen, keen teeth.
Is it you, Loki, watching from the wings?
Just a clever trick of yours, one more black joke-
A little slapstick for the gods:
But the old man with his one grim eye
Can’t recognise your satire when he sees it;
He only smiles privately at his own cold ironies
(Though the matched ravens bowing & bobbing,
Cawing over his shoulder from atop the high-backed throne:
Don’t you ever get the feeling
That only Thought and Memory
Ever quite catch all your punch-lines?):
While the burly red-beard’s shifting on his bench
Between the rapes and battles,
Keeping a weather eye out for the wench that bears the mead.
Trickster- do I spy Your hand at work here? Deceit, conceit, a fine show of illusion
That’s caught us and convinced us all,
Little player-shadows, puppets wrought of elm and ash,
Substantial in the long run
As a bridge made out of rainbow?
All part of the jest, all- too subtle alike for us
And for your twilight audience.
Is that chill down my back Your hushed half-giant laughter?
-And when the curtain falls,
Is it the end, or merely intermission? Do we earn some kind of curtain call?
Are we on stage again tomorrow night, to play the show once more?
-And when the curtain falls,
Is it you, Loki, laughing from the wings?
I decided to beat myself to that punch, and write the damn book myself. That way, at least I wouldn't sound so whiny.
Now Ellen Kushner has done _Swordspoint_ and _The Privilege of the Sword_, both excellent books, but (fortunately) neither one is even close to what I wanted to accomplish.
So I started a story that wouldn't work. Got about fifteen chapters done before another sword teacher gave me the "Are you crazy?" lecture. See, I'd based the teacher on myself, not unreasonably - me crossed with my first teacher, in fact (a Special Forces survivor from the Viet Nam days). And on much the same logic, I'd based my female lead on my girlfriend - now my wife - Kimberly. It was a pair of personalities I knew well enough to be pretty sure I could do them justice.
Problem is, I naively assumed I could control their chemistry. Instead, I found myself with a forty-something sword teacher getting involved with a teen student. Not hopelessly out of place in England ca. 1540... but not too good in the 21st century, if I want any more young women's parents to feel safe sending their daughters to me to learn the sword. Additionally, since I started the book, I've begun teaching a fair number of teens - some 200 of them over the past three years. I have come to love some of the young women very deeply indeed... but I can't really imagine being involved with any of them. It's not that kind of affection. At 52, it's no insult to these young women to say that they seem very much like children. So I have a few very precious surrogate nieces, and the relationship I'm trying to capture now is more along that line. A story less often told, and a healthier one.
So at present I'm tearing the book back down to the roots and starting over - to my intense annoyance and frustration. My only consolation is that I'm pretty sure the result will be a better book, more cleanly focussed on my original themes (study, revenge, teacher-student relationships, and tolerance) and historical threads (international styles of swordplay, actual Cornish/Devon fairy traditions and pagan-Christian conflicts).
The problems I was having with structure are another issue.
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