Questions from Nimiriel

asked.

1. Do you have a favorite vacation spot? If so, where is it, and why?

2. If you had to recommend three authors to someone who professed that they didn't like to read, which three would you recommend?

3. Some people say that the first character one creates on a MUSH (or for any roleplaying game) is an extension of self, that someone is playing themselves, though perhaps in a more idealistic fashion (better looking, smarter, etc). Would you agree or disagree with that statement?

4. You've mentioned a lot of fun places to shop in the past, do you have an absolute favorite among all of them? Where?

5. You asked this of me, so it doesn't seem fair to turn the question around, but I am genuinely curious. :) Why do you journal/LJ/blog?

1. Do you have a favorite vacation spot? If so, where is it, and why?
I'm such a city person, that my favorite vacation activity is to visit new cities, and explore. I loved the time we spent in France last Christmas for just this reason (we're hoping to make a trip to England within the next year, as well), but Portland is the city I loved – from the vintage hotel with live jazz and a tunnel to the symphony hall (formerly used for smuggling liquor during Prohibition), to Powell's and the Saturday Market, I completely fell in love with Portland, OR. Away from cities, I'm a beach person – so anyplace sunny and sandy is lovely. Pt. Reyes has some amazing b&b's, and I love the forests so close to the coastline. And where my parents live, near La Paz, BCS, Mexico, is amazing as well – and the water's WARM.

2. If you had to recommend three authors to someone who professed that they didn't like to read, which three would you recommend?
1) Stephen King, because his work has been translated into so many movies and miniseries that he'd be somewhat familiar. Also, I love the way he uses this homespun style to suck you into his stories, and then, once you've bought into the wonderful images of childhood or Americana or whatever, you open a door and face Death. Also, even though his books tend to be long, they're fast-paced.
2) Tom Clancy, for many similar reasons, and in addition, because he's a great storyteller – I mean, if someone like me can enjoy his books, anyone can.
3) Willa Cather (kidding, although I'm probably the only person around who read My Antonia because I wanted to, not because I had to.) Seriously, my third choice is Madeleine L'Engle – and not just because I remember reading A Wrinkle in Time when I was eight. Her straight fiction is every bit as compelling as her science fiction /fantasy, and her style is clean and neat. One of my favorite novels of hers is Certain Women, which is about fathers and daughters and theatre and the life of King David, as well. Great book. Her Crosswicks Journals are also interesting.

3. Some people say that the first character one creates on a MUSH (or for any roleplaying game) is an extension of self, that someone is playing themselves, though perhaps in a more idealistic fashion (better looking, smarter, etc). Would you agree or disagree with that statement?

I'd argue that, to some degree, all of our characters are extensions of ourselves, but some are closer than others. As to the first? My experience has been that this is fairly accurate, and it makes sense. Just as in writing classes they admonish you to “write what you know,” it's easiest to “play what you know,” and basically Pernize yourself, or at least your favorite aspects of yourself. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. Am I guilty of it? Probably, but neither Chaia nor Zai are my first characters. Chaia has my eyes, because I get so tired of all these blue-eyed blondes, but she's so patient, and basically nice, and I'm really NOT. Zai has my height, but she's bouncier than I'll ever be, and has no fear (and anything that seems like fear is strictly her player's). I find that I do find myself playing petite characters, because I'm so used to looking UP to meet people's eyes that playing TALL is hard for me. And then, for me, MUSH is acting not writing, so I guess I approach it differently than the people who see it as storytelling.

4. You've mentioned a lot of fun places to shop in the past, do you have an absolute favorite among all of them? Where?
Yes. My all-time favorite store in LIFE is in South Dakota: Zandbroz. It's an old-fashioned variety store, but upscale, with cedar floors, and a soda fountain/espresso bar, and a performance space in the back, and it saved SoDak for me. They sell everything from really nice pens to funky retro tin toys, and carry an eclectic selection of books, focussing on small press, bestsellers, and local authors. I've often fantasized about translating such a store to California (in fact, I'd love to buy the old Burbank theatre and turn that into a bistro/variety store/performing space) but I /so/ don't have that kind of cash, just the dreams of someone who comes from a long line of entrepreneurs.

My other favorite place to shop is Cost Plus, as you know if you've ever been in my house: My glasses (the tumblers, not the stemware), a lot of my placemats and napkins, candles, knickknacks, tea, chocolate, /stuff/ is from there.

And then, I haunt bookstores and stationery stores, as well. I'm anti-Wal-Mart, and K-Marts make me cringe, but I like Marshall's for Shoes, and Target because it's a good place to get that one small household thing you always need – lawn furniture, microwaves, a bagel-toaster, etc. Besides, Marshall's is related to Marshall Fields, and I believe Target is part of Dayton/Hudson, so it's not like they're not selling good stuff.

5. You asked this of me, so it doesn't seem fair to turn the question around, but I am genuinely curious. :) Why do you journal/LJ/blog?
I've started and given up on more paper journals than anyone can count, really, and while I love writing letters longhand, the act of keeping a paper diary doesn't really appeal to me. I think better at the keyboard (which is why I have wireless net access for my laptop, so I can drag it into bed, and sit and type), and it's easier to edit, though I don't. I got into online journalling because a friend of mine introduced me to Open Diary about a week before I created Zai, when I was taking time off work, and I was hooked instantly. I can babble to my heart's content, and people REACT. YAY. Maybe it's the surpressed performer in me, but I love that there's feedback, and I like commenting, but I've stopped doing that with LJ folk, because I'm never sure if comments are truly welcome.

My other reason, one I've ignored recently, is writing practice. I love words. I love stringing them together to form essays and observations. As with any other skill, if you don't keep doing it, you become rusty, so this gives me the impetus to not get rusty.

And then, there's the whole community thing. I'm basically very shy until I warm up to people – it takes me a while to do that, and while I know that a lot of it has to do with having attended something like ten different schools between kindergarten and the end of high school, and ALWAYS being the new kid. I learned how to be on the fringes of groups, without really being in the clique, but I lost the skill for making fast friends really quickly. The RL friends I've kept through various moves, are mostly male, also, and it's only since I began the OD/LJ/blog thing that I've really experienced being part of a community of other women my own age.

And finally, I began the personal blog site because it's ALWAYS up, and I control it, and when I want family or friends to read something, it's easier to do that, than to deal with them wading through LJ or OD where we have friend-locks and such.

And hey, sorry if these answers are totally nonsensical, but it's almost 4:30 in the morning. And on that note, I'm going back to bed :)

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Questions from Nimiriel by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.