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Three for Thursday, Plus Two! (#1)

February 19, 2009
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This week I thought I’d respond to a writing prompt put forth by the LiveJournal community The Friday Five. I did cheat just a little bit, though, by not simply taking the most recent prompt. I searched back a little bit in the archives until I found something I liked from December 26, 2008. But you don’t mind, do you?

 

Books!

  1. Do you enjoy reading?

    Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. Naturally, there are some types of books I like better than others. I have a strong preference for science fiction (did someone say Star Trek?) and fantasy (mmmm, fantasy!), and I do feel a sense of duty to be at least somewhat read up on the so-called classics. When I was in school, I would often get bored with my textbook, and to alleviate that boredom I’d read ahead, often to a part we’d end up not getting to in class. There was just something far more interesting about the part we weren’t doing than the part we were. One thing I do seem to gravitate toward is humor. If an author can tell a good, solid story and make me chuckle every now and then, odds are I’ll get hooked.

  2. What is the first book you remember reading?

    This is asking me to remember back quite a way! I’ve been able to read since I was two years old, which means I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. I know I read a lot of Golden Books, like The Poky Little Puppy, and Beginner Books, like Are You My Mother? And somewhere in there was The Little Engine That Could. But the book I have the clearest, most explicit memory of reading way back when is Amelia Bedelia in early elementary school. It reminds me quite a bit of the story of Epaminondas, a book my grandparents got me when I was a kid.

  3. Who is your favourite author?

    That’s a tough question, because it’s so hard to point to any one author and say, “I like this one more than any other.” It depends so much on any number of factors, both effable and non, and it’s tempting to base it primarily on how many books I’ve read by a given author, but that’s far too facile and somewhat inaccurate and misleading. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say Peter David and Piers Anthony. I first read Peter David in the midst of devouring Star Trek novels. He wrote quite a number of stories featuring the character Q, and I was impressed with his treatment of the characters. He’s very good at injecting humor into situations while preserving characterizations. Then I found his Sir Apropos of Nothing series and found even more of his humor to love. I first read Piers Anthony after groaning at his punny title Split Infinity. It turned out to be a brilliant combination of both science fiction and fantasy that left me wanting more at the end. Imagine my delight when I learned it was actually first of a series!

  4. What is your favourite book?

    The answer to this question changes a lot! I’ve been mildly obsessed with J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series for quite some time now, although not all that long ago I discovered Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and fell into his thrall. I’ve read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and what Alice Found There many, many times, and I even own The Annotated Alice, which is rich with margin notes explaining just about everything. And when I was younger, I would read (multiple times) all the books I could find on Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller.

  5. What is the last book you read and the first you’ll read next?

    Lately, I’ve been reading more than one book at a time. At the moment, I’m in the middle of reading The Mammoth Book of New Comic Fantasy, which is a somewhat thick collection of short stories of the fantasy genre, edited by Mike Ashley. I’m also leafing through The Book of General Ignorance: Everything You Think You Know is Wrong, by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson. I recently finished Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings, which is the first book in his Belgariad series. I also recently finished the first volume of an “Original English-Language Manga” by Adam Warren called Empowered, which is about a female superhero with body-image issues and a supersuit that fails her embarrassingly frequently. This of course means that the next books I plan to read are Queen of Sorcery, which is the second book in Eddings’ Belgariad series, and the second volume of Empowered.

My turn now! I’ll ask five questions and you respond to them. To make it more fun, you don’t even have to tell the truth. You can post your replies here or at your own blog or journal. If you post elsewhere, be sure to link back to this entry.

 

The Name Game

  1. What’s your name? What’s its origin? What does it mean?
  2. Do you like your name? What about your name do you like or dislike?
  3. If you could change your name, what would you change it to? Why?
  4. What’s your favorite name for the opposite sex? What do you like about it?
  5. Have you ever met anyone who, in your opinion, didn’t look the way you imagined one with that name would look? What was the name? What did that person look like? What name do you think would have suited that person better?
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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jaelyn permalink
    February 21, 2009 4:40 pm

    Books!

    Do you enjoy reading?
    I do. I always have. I don’t do as much of it as I used to, in part because I don’t have as much free time, and in part because I don’t enjoy what I’m reading as much as I used to. I blame market forces.

    What is the first book you remember reading?
    What is the first breath you remember taking? :p I still remember my readers in first grade, and they were by far NOT the first books I’d read. One of those readers became a favorite, tho, just because I liked the artwork. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was Tom, Susan and Betty going to visit their Aunt Betty in the big city. Even at that age my sister and I were cracking up adding an extra “t” to Susan’s (I’m sure it was Susan), “My, but that was a fast ride!” Okay, maybe it helps to be a kid. :p

    Who is your favourite author?
    I have three. Stephen King, for his way to inject the mundane and specific into his writing and make it not just something you can relate to but something you *know*; and what’s scarier than having what you know turned on its head? Harlan Ellison, just for the way he makes words his bitch, and remaining unflinching in his intelligence and IQ without making his prose dry, boring, and in need of a dictionary. How he plays it both ways, I still haven’t figured out. Lastly, and for me firstly, John Varley. His sense of story is needle-sharp, his imagination is boundless and unrestrained, and his sense of *people* makes reading his work a joy. And of particular interest to me is his constant handling of gender themes, a subject very important to me, in a manner that surpasses respectful. He creates worlds I’d like to live in.

    What is your favourite book?
    I don’t have one, and I have many favorites.

    What is the last book you read and the first you’ll read next?
    Right now I’m reading a few. Chrissy is my lit-pimp for the moment, so the girls I’m sleeping with are a bit different from my sf/fantasy norm. I’m enjoying it because, well, it’s different! It’s like turning around in a bookstore and going, “Oh, hey, there are books on *this* shelf, too!” Part of you goes “Sqeee!” and part of you goes, “Well, duh.” So I’m reading one about a guy named Greg Mortensen called Three Cups of Tea. It’s supposed to be about this guy who builds a school for poor Middle Eastern kids, but really it’s about a guy who’s obsessed with mountain climbing and can’t maintain relationships with people so he goes he buries himself in projects in the Middle East where his mountains are. And I’m reading a humor piece by Jen Lancaster called Bright Lights, Big Ass, and the stories are fairly amusing but I don’t like the protagonist at all. Most of the humor comes from her being ultraconservative and neurotic, which I don’t think are so much funny as sad. I’m also reading a series of chick-lit superhero (which translates to: author knows very little about the superhero genre)/romance novels by Jennifer Estep, the first of which I’m reading is Karma Girl. I’d like it better if she knew superheroes better and so could make better use of the genre’s conventions and stereotypes, but the major problem I’m having with it is that it’s a romance, and for me, right now’s not a good time for romances. The one I’m reading now that I like best, lest you think I whine about everything, is A Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond, which is what happens to a woman when the little girl she takes to the beach just disappears. It’s hard to read sometimes, being, as you might imagine, bleak and full of anguish, but you really feel what she’s going through, and you feel *for* her, and it’s written so that one word just comes after another, and you’re pulled through this woman’s life. I’m liking that one a lot. What’s next? Probably something from that shopping bag over there. :p

    The Name Game

    What’s your name? What’s its origin? What does it mean?
    My name is Jaelyn. It’s origin is a name list I found on the Net years ago, although now I’m hearing real people with it, both boys and girls. I’ve no idea what it means; at the time it didn’t mean anything, but it may have just been too uncommon to have been researched. Of the dozens of sites I’ve searched, only one suggested a meaning, which is “supplanter” (based on the theory that Jaelyn is a contraction of Jacqueline, which I don’t buy, but the following is really cute, so—), which is both amusing and appropriate, since this name supplanted my original name, the meaning of which was…supplanter. And now we sing the chorus from “Circles”….

    Do you like your name? What about your name do you like or dislike?
    Of course I like my name! That’s why I chose it! Well, that and I didn’t have to change my initials. :p

    If you could change your name, what would you change it to? Why?
    I changed it to Jaelyn, because it’s more feminine than my original name.

    What’s your favorite name for the opposite sex? What do you like about it?
    I always say that I don’t have an opposite sex. 🙂 That said, I have a lot of names I like. I still like Jennifer and Jessica, they were just a little too classic for me to use when the time came for my own name change. I insisted on Elisabeth for my own daughter. I also like Alex as a girl’s name, because the gender-bending makes it sexy and strong. For boys I like James and Jason, and hard, strong names like Rick and Alec (tho I prolly wouldn’t actually name a boy Alec because of the nickname problem in grade school). There are others, but since I’m on the spot, here, of course I can’t think of them.

    Have you ever met anyone who, in your opinion, didn’t look the way you imagined one with that name would look? What was the name? What did that person look like? What name do you think would have suited that person better?
    Those are really good questions, and I wish I could think of an answer for you. Maybe I’m just brainlocked atm. 🙂

  2. March 26, 2009 1:28 pm

    Hey there from a childhood friend (poke, poke!) I’ve been told that Jill (not Jillian, thank you) is Latin for youthful or changeable. I hate my name with a passion because everyone asks me if I have a boyfriend or brother named Jack or where’s my pail of water. After 30 something years, enough already! Well, I’ve always loved the name Philip, I think because I’d always had a crush on one my sister’s classmates named Phil, and I also like the name Daniel because it makes me think of my favorite fraternity brother, and I am getting into the names Jeremy, Kevin and Joe/Joseph because of some favorite coworkers. Oh, you asked if I could change my name…Mom wanted to name me Joy Noel because I was born shortly after Christmas but Dad wouldn’t let her (Grrrr, Dad!) I love Joy Noel, such an awesome name!

    I’ve been reading Harry Potter lately, but also going back to some childhood favorites like The Tattooed Potato and The Secret of Goblin Glen. I have also been getting into Louisa May Alcott’s lesser known stories like Eight Cousins, Under the Lilacs and A Long Fatal Love Chase. The L. Frank Baum stories are awesome too, and I found an antique, out of print book called The Master’s Violin which is a cool love story. I also learned to read at the age of two, so I don’t remember the first thing I ever read, but Mom has a blackmail picture of me as a two year old reading the newspaper on the toilet.

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