I love fantasy stories. I had to make a choice early in my life as to whether I’d be a sci-fi buff or a fantasy geek, and Conan the Barbarian beat Star Wars for the primacy of my heart (sorry, Christian). I do love sci-fi as well, but I think most people lean a bit one way or the other, and I for one lean towards the Ian McKellan in a wizard hat versus the Patrick Stewart in a onesie. My own writing has generally geared towards fantasy (the other times it’s horror, or a mashup like Troius – one day I’ll do this post about horror writers), so I decided I would list my favorite fantasy authors of all time, those folks who have been influential and aspirational to me not only as a writer but as a human being.
The original intent for this post was very different. It was entitled “5 Things That Make Me Mind-Numbingly Furious” and I was planning on writing it because I was in a foul mood for a variety of reasons. I felt tired and petulant and my inner child was drumming his heels on the floor and screaming at the top of his lungs about how life was unfair and throwing breakfast around and the rest of the conclave that makes up the ownership of my brain wanted to beat the living shit out of him, although they were on the verge of conceding that life really is pretty goddamn unfair and the wailing toddler was making a lot of sense and maybe the only solution was to lash out at everyone and everything and maybe mix in a little turd-throwing and so on until one part of my brain was like “Hey, let’s write a blog post about shit that makes us honest-to-fucking-god pissed, not fake pissed” and the rest of me was like “good idea” and so I wrote the preamble and was about to list the things when I stopped and realized that maybe, just maybe, thinking about things that actually make me mad would probably do the opposite thing of making me less mad and only more mad and it probably wouldn’t be funny so my Inner Adult finally put his coffee cup down, told everyone to shut the fuck up, table the blog idea, and just fucking think about something else before Inner Adult took Inner Gaggle of Whiners to the woodshed and tanned some asses.
Side note: If you want to wake up angry, watch “Too Big to Fail” just before going to bed. It’ll take an effort to resist waking up, getting into your car, driving to New York, and indiscriminately driving up and down the sidewalk on Wall Street in an attempt to rid the world of “bankers” one thump-reverse-thump-drive-thump-reverse-for-good-measure-thump-and-what-the-hell-one-last-time-thump-reverse-better-be-sure-thump at a time. Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, short story more succinctly put – I didn’t write that post.
Instead, it was suggested by a nightingale near-and-dear to me that instead of frothy anger blog, try writing “5 Things That Make Me Smile-Til-My-Face-Hurts Happy”. After blinking several times as my brain tried to process the concept of “happy” mixed with “my blog” I decided to give it a shot. So here we go – 5 things that make me happy as shit on a day where I’d normally rant about the inconsistency of hotel waffles.
I know, I know – this is new to me too.
A few years ago, I gave out awards in random categories for the following reason:
…Coming up with a top ten list has to be the easiest writing job in the world. Jot down ten things, come up with superficial reasons for their inclusion, and then explain how blatantly wrong you are as just “a way to get people talking about it.” It’s the ultimate mail-it-in, who-gives-a-shit approach to writing.
So I am TOTALLY in!
I followed it up with the Second Annual Aravan Awards for 2011, then didn’t do one for 2012 or 2013 because my life fell completely to shit and it took me a while to climb back out of it. But now I have, so it’s time to dust off the formulaic and simplistic content generating machine…
THE THIRD SOMETIMES-ANNUAL ARAVAN AWARDS!!!!
What are the Aravan Awards, you probably didn’t ask? I’ll tell you anyway! The Aravan Awards are completely arbitrary awards in arbitrary categories that I give out for arbitrary reasons. For example, the 2010 Aravan Award for Best Movie I Watched in 2010 went to Pulp Fiction, which did not come out in 2010 and I’d seen years previously but happened to rewatch it in 2010 and it was better than anything I saw that year. So you know what you’re in for. Plus, the awards are arbitrary because I don’t always remember what year something happened, so it’s kind’ve a grab bag of Shit That Happened At Some Point. Bear with me. The Aravan part of the awards name comes from the pseudonym I originally used here until I published my first book and changed the blog over to my real name (OR IS IT?!?!) and I’ve stuck with it because Tradition. And now you can’t un-know any of that useless information.
Anyway, on to the cheap shitty statuettes!
A blast from the past that I felt like re-running instead of generating new content because I am exhausted in every conceivable way but I wanted to put something out there. This little piece is essentially the protagonist of Waiting on the Dead, a novel I’ve been Waiting to Finish since I lost the ability to be that guy for a while but I’m hoping to recapture that voice so I can finish it and get that monkey off my back. Anyway, consider this an introduction to The Waiter.
Originally posted on Me and My Shovel:
That short story idea I mentioned? I carved some time today to bang it out.
There’s a lot to hate about the world today. I mean, between the lack of electricity, horrendous snarls of traffic from abandoned cars, the total absence of a friendly face, and hordes of disgusting rotting cannibalistic walking corpses – let’s face it, there isn’t much to be happy about. Unless you count being alive in the face of all this, which is sort of a mixed curse and a blessing when all is said and done.
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The male side of the sexuality equation, and one that I plan on offering my own personal perspective on. Consider that a warning for those who’d rather not know more about me than they already do.
Originally posted on whimsy and warpaint:
I think it’s impossible to start a discussion about male sexuality without prefacing it with the following:
1. I’m a woman. I cannot know the male experience, but I do my best to empathize with the stories and observations I witness and that have been volunteered to me. I expect some people will disagree with what I have to say, but if you do so, please don’t do it on the basis that I’m not a guy so I couldn’t know. I am happy to be proven wrong if the argument is persuasive, but that argument just isn’t. We cool?
2. Traditional notions of masculinity feed directly, and indirectly, into male sexuality. Traits that society deems acceptable for traditionally masculine men to have include strength, power, courage, confidence, independence, assertiveness/aggression, and, last but not least, lust. I know that this list is by no means exhaustive, but, just so you understand…
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I think this is important, because it ties into many of the things I feel and think, as well as tying into the things I touched on in my feminism post. There is a part 2 coming that I plan to elaborate on in a post of my own, from my own perspective.
Originally posted on whimsy and warpaint:
Disclaimer: if you don’t want to hear about my sex life, skip the first big paragraph. It’s just for context.
Ok, here we go.
I am a sexually-active 25 year-old woman. Over the last 10 years, I have had sex in relationships, outside of relationships, with men, with women, with people that meant the world to me, and people that I downright didn’t like or didn’t care about at all. I’ve had boring vanilla sex and transcendently awesome vanilla sex. I’ve had kinky sex that didn’t do a damn thing for me and kinky sex that has completely changed my views on life. I’m friends with virgins, porn stars, submissives, dominants, and people who blush at the mention of 50 Shades of Grey. I’ve examined sex from romantic, psychological, physical, and social viewpoints. I’m not quite a sexpert, but I do consider myself somewhat of a sex nerd. I’m just pretty into sex as a thing…
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Since I don’t have any opinions on hotly-contested topics I wanted to express – today, anyway – I thought I’d fall back on an old thing I used to do, five brief blurbs about something that I find interesting or annoying or happening or some kind of ing. Here are those five things for today:
1. I saw BBC’s Sherlock for the first time this past weekend. I’d heard a lot about it from people – well, mostly about how people of all sexes want to carry Benedict Cumberbatch’s babies – but I’d never gotten a chance (well, actually, I’d never carved out the space for it) to see the show before. I thought it was a great show, with an excellent cast doing an amazing job of putting Sherlock in the modern day without losing the Holmesy feel. BC (even I have my limits on how much I want to type) and Martin Freeman absolutely sparkle in their interactions and make a script full of superb dialogue really crackle like a mouthful of locusts. Moriarty, Lestrade, Irene Adler – they all put a different spin on the classic characters and really shine, but none more so than Moriarty (played by Andrew Scott), who makes both the funniest and scariest villain I’ve seen in a long time – he is just flat-out crazy and awesome. So if you have missed this obscure series (it’s only won several Emmys, BAFTAs, and Golden Globes and is the most-watched drama series in the UK and insured international stardom for BC – it’s been flying well under the radar and you’ve probably never heard of it), I’d recommend you give it a whirl. And unlike those people who expect you to watch the entirety of The Wire and Dexter and the Sopranos and Parks and Recreation and Scandal and etc and so forth – watching all of it would take you just one longish Saturday binge.