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I never mind dragons
I can haz dwagons?
when people say wall-e is a he >_>
when people say eva is a she <_<
when people assign genders based on human social codes to robots who dont even know what gender is >_> <_<
::sigh:: Arram’s family doesn’t understand him. They don’t see why he can’t just mend his friendship with Ozorne and go back to Carthak.
When I was nine my school library books lived on metal framed bookcases on castors in the corner of the english classroom, and there was no up-to-date list of what was there, or what was currently loaned out, nevermind anything to tell me what books might be similar to other things I liked. I picked up The Girl Who Rides Like A Man because there was a horse on the cover, and I will never have the words to express how much that chance encounter with a book has ended up meaning to my life. I read Lioness Rampant, then In The Hand Of The Goddess, before I finally found Alanna: The First Adventure and joined up the pieces in my brain. Then I read them again. Now that I knew that the fantasy genre existed, I started trying to write fantasy.
I was eleven (I think) and on holiday when I first saw The Immortals, all four volumes, on a shelf in a bookshop. I hadn’t known they existed, because my school library didn’t have them. I got them all for my next birthday. If I was actually a writer, instead of just a reader, I might be able to convey the feeling of nostalgia and intense gratitude that’s washing over me right now. I haven’t unpacked from moving yet, but I just went and unpacked them so I could hold them and look at them before I finish writing this. (My moving boxes aren’t properly organised and labeled, but I knew exactly where to find these.)
I changed schools. Bought myself the Circle Of Magic one by one. Finally got my own copies of Song of the Lioness, was always a little upset that only one was the same edition as the ones I’d first found in my old school’s library.
Years passed. With Protector Of The Small, for the first time, I had to wait between books but I was able to look up release dates and count down. Kel’s story made no less of an impact on my mind for having to arrive there over years rather than weeks. The effects on my mental landscape have been just as profound. I read The Circle Opens over the same time period, and loved it, but some part of me just can’t forgive Emelan for not being Tortall. I love them, and I’ve come to love them more on re-reading, but Tortall was… it’s home in a way that Emelan isn’t.
Liking fantasy lead me to SFnF, and to LARP. Forks in the road.
I got older. My copies of Trickster’s Queen and The Will Of The Empress were bribes from a boyfriend in a hot mess of a collapsing relationship in a hot mess of a collapsing life. At least I had Aly and Sandry and Daja, Tris and Briar to keep me company through it. I read Terrier squinting between barely-opened pages so that I wouldn’t crack the spine and give away to my fuck-buddy-meal-ticket’s housemate that I was reading her books while she was out. I couldn’t afford my own books right then. I couldn’t afford a place to live.
Things got better, and worse. When I read Bloodhound I had a place to live, but I never left it. That year I set foot outdoors eleven times in twelve months. By the time I got Mastiff as a christmas present I was a lot better, but I had to stay up all night to read it so I could pack it away to be stored while I went back to living out of my car, because it’s not just making the rent it’s coming up with a deposit and convincing a landlord that you’ll be able to make rent, and most landlords just state in the listing “No DSS”. Benefits claimants aren’t people. Melting Stones was my favourite of the Circle Universe books to date. "I never said the first steps on the road to becoming a destroyer wouldn’t hurt."
And now, somehow, it’s 2014. Definitely the future. I have a place to live again. I go outside. I still can’t write for shit, but I have a larp character to nurture and love and live vicariously through, and when I write his downtimes and make his decisions I find the words and the magic that I need in Daja’s books, The Fire In The Forging and Cold Fire, but when I’m playing him that line from Melting Stones comes into my head more often than not, because the problem with being one of the heroes in an ongoing interactive story is that you get to make a lot of terrible mistakes, and the Age of Iron ref team love to confront us with the consequences of our decisions.
Rambling again. Sorry.
It’s 2014, and I search for books on Amazon, not on freestanding shelves that threaten to fall over. It’s 2014, and… and soon I’ll get to go back to Tortall, and not just to Tortall, but to Numair (even if it was before he used that name). I get to go home. I’m not crying, honest.
Authors are gods. They create worlds, and their worlds shape minds and alter the course of lives. I can’t say whether for better or worse, but it doesn’t matter. I can say that without Alanna, Daine, Numair, Myles, Raoul, Kel, Neal, Lalasa, Daja, Sandry, Tris, Briar, Lark, Rosethorn, Evvy, Kethlun, Aly, Nawat, Beka I wouldn’t be here today. Someone might be walking around in this body, but whoever they were, they wouldn’t be the same person at all.
Parents create one or two or six children and then hate them for being the wrong ones. Authors shape one or two or six or a hundred or ten thousand lives, and they never even know.
Authors are gods. But they’re also human beings with Tumblr accounts.
Twenty years ago, I didn’t know there was any more of Tortall than Alanna, and I had no idea how to find out. Now posts about Arram show up on my dashboard.
I completely lied about not crying.
Now I’m crying too.
when the supporting cast is more interesting than the main character of a series
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