mrissa: (Default)

Today is Monday, and Tim’s Kickstarter is over 75% funded. The funding is the point at which it can happen, though; going over “funded” is still quite a good idea and gives more room for him to develop awesome projects in future.

Saturday is my mother’s sixtieth birthday. Don’t you think my mother should have nice things? I do. Like beautiful photo books. And kooky fantasy stories. She likes things like that!

That’s why for this week, as a special promotional for my mom’s birthday, if you back the Reader: War for the Oaks Kickstarter at the photo book level or higher (that’s $30 or higher), you can let me know and pick your own brand new Carter Hall story. Choose a title (I’ve never written “Carter Hall Returns to the Point” or “Carter Hall’s One Timer” or “Carter Hall and the Broken Blade” or…well, that’s the point, whatever you like), or choose a mythic or folktale element I should incorporate in a new Carter Hall story. I’ll send it to you when it’s finished.

There is no requirement that you have to be listed as a friend of my lj or anything else to participate in this promotional. My email is publicly available: it’s a gmail account at marissalingen.

Originally published at Novel Gazing Redux

mrissa: (winter)
The issue of On Spec containing "Carter Hall and the Motley Lions" is out, and I got my author copies yesterday. I'm still very pleased with it. The issue also contains seven other stories, a poem, and some nonfiction, none of which I've had a chance to read yet--it's on my pile now. But the author copies arrived last night just in time for me to glance over my own story as the Stanley Cup final was finishing up. I call that nice.
mrissa: (Default)
I am not even sure what to say about this week. New stuff, private stuff, other people's private stuff, yet more stuff. And stuff! Data sets: they are kind of hard work even when oneself is the experimental subject.

But! This new book I am working on. It is fun, and it is good for me to be working on a new book.

Also I sent The True Tale of Carter Hall to people who said they were willing to read it, so...that should be off my plate for a bit in favor of the new thing and short stories. Unless the aforementioned volunteers are really really speedy. I didn't do it deliberately so that it would go out on the day the Wild season opened, but on the other hand I have been going around singing the hockey anthem all day long. (ETA: It is not, in fact, Saturday. Oh. So okay then.)

On the other other hand, that's largely because Certain Parties Who Shall Remain [ profile] timprov had "The Guitar" playing on their computer when I went downstairs to say good morning, and I am trying desperately to get it out of my head get it out get it ouuuuuut.
mrissa: (winter)
(Please note: I make this post not for people to air their opinions about abortion, but to talk about how it is when one's fiction runs headlong into something large and fraught outside its intended theme.)

I think I was 14 when I found out that my parents and their best friends, the people I refer to as my "aunt" and "uncle," disagree on abortion politics. (Note: I am not telling you who holds which position because it's none of your business unless they choose to make it so, and because this story is not primarily about them.) Like many teens who are newly engaged with the political discourse, I knew everything, and it was all extremely simple. I remember a long conversation with my mom about how this could be, how they could remain friends with people who differed with them on what I was assured was one of the most vital questions. And my mother had been telling me why they each believed as they did, what in their life experience and philosophy led each to their position. And finally, with more patience than one can really expect of someone who has been dealing with a person who knows absolutely everything about absolutely everything, she said, "Marissa. Our friendship is not based on agreeing with each other on every single thing."

In the nearly two decades since then, I have made friends with all sorts of people who have all sorts of opinions. And in no case has our friendship been based on agreeing with each other on every single thing. Not one.

So I was pretty clear from just after the time when I knew what abortion was that if you named a non-screamy-bomb-throwing position somewhere on the spectrum of reproductive politics in the US, someone I love very much holds it. And I think this is more common than the media would like us to believe. We're told about a deep divide on this issue, and I think that's true, but I think it divides views more than it has to divide people. Of course there are exceptions, some of them extremely painful for the people involved. But disagreement on one political issue or another doesn't have to ruin a human relationship.

Fast forward to a few years ago. I was plotting a book (The True Tale of Carter Hall) around the Tam Lin story. For those of you who don't know the original ballad, a young woman (Janet)--pretty explicitly stated to be a virgin--goes off into the woods and meets up with a knight (Tam Lin) who impregnates her. Her dad notices she's pregnant, and when she goes to talk to the guy in the woods, he tells her that he's about to be sacrificed by the Queen of Air and Darkness. The pregnant woman saves her lover, and they live happily ever after with their freaky magic-touched baby and her extremely confused dad--okay, that last part is my inference.

But you see where this gets to be more of a thing that needs handling when you set it in 2010. (That's not a typo. I don't say so explicitly, but rather than being set in The Vague Nowish, The True Tale of Carter Hall is set in 2010. I don't like The Vague Nowish. It tends to get away from authors.) Pretending that birth control doesn't exist was not on my list of acceptable options; having a Janet and a Tam who just didn't think through using contraception at all...was also not on my list. They aren't teenagers, they're educated people in their early twenties. So they have a condom failure. Fine. Could happen to anyone.

Then, in my version, Janet attempts to find emergency contraception. Various coincidences intervene but also things that are starting to look less coincidental, such that she exits the time window in which emergency contraception is reliable. This is the contraceptive version of the cell phone tower going out of service: it's a plot obstacle you have to overcome to make the thing work in a modern setting.

Here is where things get tricky.

My goal here was to write a fun and interesting book about magic and hockey. My goal was not to write a massive tome about abortion politics and interpersonal relationships in modern-day America (or even modern-day Minnesota). But a lot of the ways I could handle this would have in themselves constituted Making A Statement. My main goal was to be true to the characters and the setting. In Minnesota in 2010, abortion is available to women. Some of you think it's not available enough, some of you think it's too available. But the fact is that it is legally and to some extent practically possible for Janet to get an abortion in Minnesota in 2010, and that variance in attitudes about it is in itself a fact of living in Minnesota in 2010.

And I did not want her to have one unavailable to her in my fictional version of Minnesota in 2010, because that's a serious and non-trivial change even if you do it by implication rather than stating it. I didn't want her to have and keep Jess because I was pretending that this was the only thing anyone in her circumstance could do. Because people in her circumstance do a great many other things. She's just not one of them. I wanted her to have Jess because when she had a minute to think it through, she wanted Jess. I don't think wanted babies have to be planned babies in every single case, though I am in favor of planning one's babies to the extent possible. I knew she was going to have Jess. I wanted to make it clear to readers of all political stripes that she wants to.

Also Janet is not a very political person. I think if you asked her, she would be made uncomfortable by the whole question of reproductive politics and would want to go do something else until you were done talking about it.

So I thought about the rest of the characters. And it turned out that there was one woman who seemed to me like she would look at this person who was pregnant by a boyfriend she'd had for less than a month and would take her aside and offer to take her for an abortion, and there was another woman who seemed to me like the very idea that anyone had suggested it would be horrific and awful to her. Both of these things fit very naturally with the characters, and both of them were things that could be addressed without--I hope--taking up a great deal of emotional time or energy that I really need for other issues in this book, because we are not short on other issues in this book.

So there are no speeches on behalf of the major characters about whether That Is Every Woman's Right or That Would Be Wrong. There's simply Janet saying, in response to the person offering to take her to get an abortion, that she doesn't want that. And the character who finds the very idea horrific realizes that it is not an idea that is relevant to the situation at hand and feels no need to make lengthy speeches or convince anybody not to do something they're already not doing. And these two women are very comparable levels of education, and they're both women, so someone would have to try really hard to read into it that I was making a statement about what Those People Are Like.

And then I went on with my book.

I don't know how to do this better, folks. If you think you do, I'd like to hear about it, or even if you've done something similar with a different issue. I've been thinking about it because I think Cherie Priest had a minefield to get through with the American Civil War and race relations, and in Ganymede I felt like she was doing a lot more of, "Yep, look at us here in this minefield, funny thing that, here's the interesting story over here." So watching the differences in how she handled racism and race relations in her alternate history in different volumes of the same series made me want to talk a bit about what I was doing over here in my own unintended minefield.

Here's what I do know: as a storyteller, I'm not done telling stories to people based on their political position regarding abortion. I'm not done talking to anybody here. I'm particularly not done talking to anybody about magic and hockey. I'm not ready to write any of you off. I am ready to write off readers who can't encounter characters who disagree with them, characters who vary, characters who are imperfect. I have no illusions that I will please everyone. I suspect that whether someone finds one character or another sympathetic will depend in part on their take on this subject; that's fine. I like nearly all my characters in this book, but I understand them. But I think it's good when we can all keep talking and see where we are, and recognize that the other people in a particularly fraught political circumstance are also Minnesotans, or Americans, or fellow human beings, depending.

Here's the other thing I know: books that try to skip over stuff like this tend to annoy me, because they are almost never skipping as wholly as they hope. The way you streamline a world in fiction says something; the stuff you gloss or skip says something. And it needs to be something you're comfortable saying rather than something you've said by accident. This will never be perfect. But I'm a great deal less satisfied with books that stick their fingers in their ears and sing than with books that approximate something imperfectly.

Oh, and one more thing I know: it is very, very important to me as a writer to be true to the characters. That is what we're doing here. If I'm telling you a story that contains assumptions you disagree with, maybe you'll like it and maybe you won't. But if I'm telling you a story where the characters are suddenly acting like badly-carved marionettes, then we have a problem with the main fundamental thing I'm doing. And that's the part that's my job.
mrissa: (question)
People want to answer questions, but no one seems to want to ask them. Except [ profile] timprov! Here are his questions and their answers.

(I will give you one of my secret methods for questions. [ profile] yhlee said she wanted random distractions, so I hit "random entry" on Wikipedia pages to see if they reminded me of anything that might be a coherent question for Yoon but would not feel too directed/non-random for her taste. "How do you feel about Carver County?": not a coherent question for Yoon. "What's the furthest north you've ever been?": coherent question for Yoon.)

1. Does Angela get to blow something up? Pretty please?

Heh. [ profile] timprov is showing off. He has read the recently-finished manuscript of The True Tale of Carter Hall. Angela is Janet's best friend from college. And no, I'm pretty sure she does not get to blow anything up. She's a social worker from Minneapolis! Where is she going to get the stuff to blow stuff up? I mean, if she was a social worker from Thief River who was living in Minneapolis...and anyway, mostly what she's got to go on is Janet's uneasy feelings; I don't even know what she could usefully blow up. That's the problem with dealing with Faerie: it's not where you can blow it up.

Dammit, that's the first line of a Carter story, isn't it: The problem with dealing with Faerie is that it's not where you can blow it up, and all the other solutions are less satisfying. That one is totally on you, Prov.

Also I am not changing Angela's profession so that she is a demolitions expert from Minneapolis instead. Or the kind of landscaper who gets to take out stumps and stuff. I might do a story wherein Carter and Angela have to take out stumps and also fight crime Faerie forces and stuff. If you're nice to me.

2. Am I actually impossible to encourage, or does it just feel like that from in here?

You're, uh. Pretty difficult. I might say impossible if I was good with impossibilities, but you know how I am on that front.

Because I'm uncreative: 3. If money was not a consideration, what would you do/where would you go if you kidnapped Rob for a week? How about Lily? (You're allowed to bring helper-grownups in this scenario.)

I think Rob could have a field day in Washington DC with the Smithsonian and like that, and we could take day trips out into the Virginia countryside to look at plantations and stop at the roadside and things if he got overstimulated in the city. Also it is not so distant from visiting a [ profile] jonsinger, which Rob would also like. I'd want to take Lily somewhere with a lot of flower gardens and good chocolate, so...well, Montreal actually. There are lots of good kids' parks in Montreal even aside from the Jardin Botanique, and she could practice her French and discover where she could usefully know more French, and she could ask [ profile] papersky questions about everything under the sun and [ profile] zorinth would probably argue with some of his mother's answers and Lily would like that. And so would I.

4. I found that The Weepies were pretty much the ideal music for Pt. Reyes. Can you come up with other unexpected music/location combinations?

My most recent music/location combination was entirely predictable: "The End of the World As We Know It" came on the music at the Berkeley Whole Foods, and [ profile] alecaustin and I rocked out and joked that everyone in their 30s in the entire store had just said, "Leonard Bernstein!" in unison. That is not the least bit unpredictable. That is demographic.

I think Josh Ritter on the plains south of here is entirely predictable also.

Now I want to listen to Meg Hutchinson in the fog in California hills, though. I don't know that that counts as unexpected. But I think it would be nice.

5. What's a cool, unboring thing for me to do with a race of semi-intelligent commensals?

Architectural structures from the weird things their partner race does? Or quasi-architectural at least? I don't just say that because I know you like architecturalnessitude.


Aug. 2nd, 2011 01:43 pm
mrissa: (hot chocolate)
I feel like I am finally through a revision logjam, having moved a major plot point substantially forward in the book in question, so hurrah for me, or it, or something. But I don't really want to talk about that.

I want to tell you about ground tomatoes! [ profile] porphyrin gave us a plant of them, and they are now coming ripe. They are the strangest little things. They're the size of a large blueberry perhaps, and they have little papery husks like tomatillos, and I'm hard-pressed to say what they taste like. Not really much like tomatoes, at least not the ones I've had so far. Sort of like a combination of tomatillos and some sort of berries? Perhaps? They're apparently also called husk tomatoes or ground cherries. Anyway, if you get the opportunity, do try these weird little things.

[ profile] markgritter said, "I don't know what we're going to do with them," and my immediate answer was, "Eat them." Although I may try making a salsa fresca with them for on fish also. Hard to say how many we'll get, since we've never grown one before. Then again, a weird chunky puree might also do for a jam tart with them. I am pleased to have a nearby supply, though, particularly as the blueberry bush is not producing much this year.
mrissa: (memories)
Dear Mr. Gabriel,

If you had turned out to be a veteran goblin hunter, I would totally not have been surprised.

Also, I miss you.

Respect and so much gratitude,
mrissa: (memories)
People thank all sorts of friends, family members, and colleagues for all sorts of things in the acknowledgements of their books.

I'm kind of thinking it would be a little gauche to thank a college friend I haven't seen or spoken to in years, with full name, in the form of, "And thanks to C---- S--- for showing me exactly what Tommy Heikkanen sounds like drunk," though.

At one point at that very memorable physics Christmas party, the hosts had run out of cups. They served him his glögg in a measuring cup. And he brought it back to the couch where Heathah and Jen The World's Best Lab Partner and I were sitting, and he said, "It's a cup--that's a cup! Get it?" And then he laughed uproariously.

Tommy Heikkanen is not nearly that happy in this scene. He is a Finnish boy who has just figured out exactly what horrible magical thing caused the death of someone he knew, and he is drinking rather determinedly as a result. (Note: this is not more helpful with magical problems than it is with mundane ones.) But the diction, the diction is just exactly the thing.
mrissa: (reading)
Picked up from [ profile] rushthatspeaks.

The book I am currently reading: Ambrose Bierce, Shadows of Blue and Grey. From Grandpa's collection. Wrenching stuff.

The books I am currently writing: Um. Polish revisions on What We Did to Save the Kingdom. Deeper revisions on The True Tale of Carter Hall. And poking around the edges of the Aesir noir book, which doesn't have a title yet, because I really should get The True Tale out to beta readers before I start anything else, but...y'know...I like writing books...and it's been a long time since I started on a new book...and there is so much shiny....

The book I love most: Seriously. Seriously? No one who likes books enough to answer this meme is going to have their One True Book Love. It is virtually impossible. It may have been virtually impossible since the early 19th century, because how many serious book people are like that? Book I love most, uff da. What a question.

The last book I received as a gift: Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk.
The last book I gave as a gift: Bagthorpes Unlimited by Helen Cresswell. Although I have some ready to give very soon.

The nearest book on my desk: the Bierce. Also my Kindle, which doesn't have someone else's book in progress on it at the moment: I finished the Kindle book I was reading at [ profile] timprov's appointment yesterday, and I haven't started another. I am in the middle of using that to read my own book for revisions, though, so What We Did is apparently equally close.
mrissa: (Default)
So hi. I haven't been posting much lately because I have either a) been doing other things or b) been collapsing after the doing of other things. And sometimes we get too much into "Let me esplain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up," mode around here. So here I am, summing up. state of the Mris, including concerts and vertigo report and who knows what else I'll get to )
mrissa: (and another thing!)
I am extra, extra careful about giving my characters my point of view on comparatively obscure things. For one, it's not always appropriate, and for another, I don't really like having people assume that I mean to use some character or another for a mouthpiece in general just because we agree on a particular point.

So I have thought long and hard, and I am absolutely sure that Carter feels as I do about godparents. It is appropriate and right that he should do so. His world--both the one in which he grew up and the one in which he finds himself now--requires it. Your godparents help give you your name, they help fix your identity to you, they give you a place to stand, somewhere you can move from wherever you will go. Your parents should do all that, too, but it's a big job. Standing with the kid, teaching them what they need to know, taking on all comers: it's more than parents should have to do alone. And it's not just my relationship with my godfather that makes me say this*, and it's not just my relationship with the godkids. It fits with the magic structure of the world Carter lives in.

But it's also in mine, and apparently I need to give fair warning yet again: I don't approve of ignorant prejudices in general. None of us do, or we would call them "sensible notions" instead of "ignorant prejudices." But if you say something ignorantly prejudiced in an area that pertains to one of my godchildren, either them personally or categories they belong to? You should consider yourself lucky if I don't pull the heavens themselves down on your head. That is not what we do, folks, and there's one less person welcome in these parts today than there was yesterday because she apparently forgot it. Do not. Mess. With my godkids. Really serious, people.

So in related but actually Carter-ish news, if he says he doesn't want to say it until he's at the font (because Tommy Heikkanen trained him good) but he knows what he's going to name his son, do those of you who have read some of the stories know what it has to be?

*Like Jessica Lin-Laird, like my own godkids, I have three godparents, two male and one female. I love my other godfather, and I love my godmother. But when I say "my godfather," I always mean Dave. And Jess will always mean Carter when she says "my godfather"; if she means the Puck, she will say his name or "my fairy godfather." Jess is not me, and Carter is not very much like Dave at all. But sometimes you have my godfather, and that is that. I mean. My godfather. You know.
mrissa: (winter)
This is the opening to "Carter Hall on Enemy Ice." Yes, there's more. Lots more. Not all of it is done yet, but some of it is. But this seemed like the obvious stopping point.

Uncle Carter takes Jess trick-or-treating )
mrissa: (thinking)
I was thinking about titles, because I am two discs into watching Last Exile from out of the [ profile] alecaustin-box, and I still don't know why it's called that, and I was wondering how much that would bother people. Discussion of differences in how much it bothers you for TV series vs. book series vs. etc. welcome in comments.

[Poll #1638546]
mrissa: (Default)
Last in the series for now. I may do another of these later. It was fun. But I feel the need to draw the line somewhere.

Have you ever watched "Strange Brew"? It's got hockey, right?

I have, but [ profile] mrissa hasn't. Let's not make her, okay? She's still on about Darby O'Gill and the Little People, even though that was totally not my fault.

What's your comfort food/drink, and why?

I have to confess to being a lasagna man. There's a place here in Bemidji called Tutto Bene, and I've been eating their lasagna for years, but I'll also take Aunt Nancy's, or Janet's gran's, or Janet's, or whoever's, really. Beef, sausage, I'll even eat the broccoli or spinach stuff, although if someone invites you over for lasagna and then there's no meat in it, you wonder whether the phone rang while they were cooking it or something and they forgot. It's a pretty key step if you ask me. That thing Janet did that had carrots in, that was okay but where was the rest of our dinner? That's what I wanted to know. (So I asked her. Maybe not my wisest move.)

As for drinks, I like a cold beer, but on a winter morning there's nothing like hot coffee with cream and sugar, or hot chocolate, and yes, Tam says it's like living with a little kid to have the bag of marshmallows in the house, but whatever, I like 'em.

And finally, [ profile] aedifica asks: So, Carter. If you'd been born on some tropical island or some other place with no hockey rinks, what do you think you'd have done instead of hockey?

I don't know, people are always asking who you'd be if you were someone else completely, and I'm like, but who else is this other guy? What do they do on this tropical island? Because it matters a lot, really. If this hypothetical me is still me and not some tropical island guy with a tropical island family--I mean, are my folks still gone? Do I still have an aunt and uncle? Am I on my own there in the tropics as a little kid? I don't get it. I don't know.

Like, a lot of the places they don't have hockey, if I was still me, I don't know what. I'm big enough for football, but you can't play football all the time like you can play hockey. Just look at the game schedules. One a week, give me a break. It's all start and stop and standing around. That's no way for a kid to do. And basketball, I'm not built for basketball. Maybe in high school up here, sure, I'm tall enough, but seriously? No way. But basketball's one of those games you can play all the time if you're just some kid without much money.

Oh, you know what? Some of those tropical islands they have baseball. And baseball is like hockey where they have guys built like anything, they have the little fast skinny guys and the big guys like me and the guys with legs a million miles long and all that. I bet if I'd been born Dominican, I'd totally play baseball. I don't know what Janet would do, though.

Here's the thing about tropical islands: a lot of guys act like they're moving there when they're done playing, or at least Florida. Not me. I know the fishing is supposed to be great, but I've been helping Uncle Larry with the landscaping business since I was a little kid, and down there in the tropics I can't tell you what's a flower and what's a weed, and that'd really bug me. I know some people just want to go and relax with an umbrella drink and go, "Oooh, pretty flowers," but I like to know what I'm looking at. I like to know whether it'll be helpful to yank that green thing out and leave it set by the planter. I mean, I'm not always helpful. Tam can tell you that. But with plants I kind of am. A lot of people don't know that about me. And down there in the tropics, I'd be just some guy, I wouldn't know any hockey and I wouldn't know any trees and stuff. I'd just blunder around on big feet and step on their little lizards and be useless. Not if I'd been born there, obviously. But it's hard for me to imagine now.
mrissa: (winter)
I had a post where you could--still can, for the rest of today--ask Carter Hall anything. Here are more of the questions and answers:

So what's Janet like, *really*?

Janet? She's like her gran, but faster. I would say, "and better with a stick," but no, I think just faster. Up until now I was not a praying man, despite Granny Laird's best attempts, but I think now I will thank God that Granny Laird was never given a stick. Um.

And moving briefly out of the realm of anonymity, [ profile] pameladean asks: If it's not too personal, why did your father give you away to Janet?

Huh? I don't know what you're talking about. My dad didn't give me shit. Didn't give me to shit. Didn't stick around long enough. As far as I'm concerned, Uncle Larry's my real dad, and the other guy is just the--I don't know. The raw material. And in case you're thinking this is one of the stories where the guy's dad comes back and they have this tearful reunion, you can get that out of your head. He died a long way from here, doing something stupid that had nothing to do with me. I was 19. And honestly it was kind of a relief, knowing I would never have him showing up slapping me on the back and going, "Heh heh, well, water under the bridge, right, kid?" Because that kind of water drowns people. It sure drowned my mom. Aw, hell. I don't want to talk about this.

Janet Laird: I think I know what you're talking about. I can get this one, Carter.

Carter's dad didn't give him to me, Pamela. My dad did.

the rest of how Janet got given Carter )

And also non-anonymously, [ profile] seagrit asks: Carter, do you cross train in the summer? Or is it just hockey, hockey, hockey year round?

Naw, can't be just hockey, hockey, hockey, that's the way to sprain something or tear something or whatever. I lift weights, and I run--although real runners like you would laugh at me--and sometimes I play pickup hoops or whatever with the guys. They like to change stuff up on us. One time Coach made us do yoga. I am not used to that shit. There are bits of you that are not supposed to bend that way. And then they tell you to breathe into your eye sockets or your elbow or whatever? and the weird thing is sometimes you get what they mean? I'm not so sure about that. I'm kind of hoping Coach doesn't get another notion that way. But I'll do it if he says to.
mrissa: (Default)
I had a question meme post, still active, where you can ask Carter Hall anything you like. So now we continue with the quizzing of the fictional hockey player.

What do you do with the hats after a hat-trick?

Me? I'm on defense. If I ever got a hat-trick, I would keep all the damn hats, because that is just not in the cards for me. Hell, if my plus-minus for the game hit 3, I would call it awesome. But I think mostly we give them to charity. I guess. I don't know. Hjalmar the janitor cleans them up, I think. He comes out with a broom, and unless one of the guys wants something special of it, I never think of it again. He and Cindy in the office handle it.

Oh, Tommy Heikkanen says you grab one and wear it inside out on your way out of the game and then the other team can't hex you on the way to your car? Because it's really bulky to turn your parka inside out? Hell if I know. Heikkanen is always on about crap like that, and I used to think he was nuts. Now I think it's even less useful to have somebody who is not nuts and could not get any more cryptic. I mean, it's not like I want him to talk about his feelings. It's not like I want anybody talking about their feelings. But just a little bit more information might not kill us, you know, Heik? Maybe? Sheesh, dude.

Will the Cubs will the World Series (or even the pennant) in this century?

Like, if I got out a turban and went into my Gypsy fortune-teller woowoo routine, Janet would whack me for being ethnically insensitive. So here's what I can tell you: one, I only really care about baseball when the Twins are in a pennant race. I mean, not that I won't catch a game from time to time with my buddies over some wings and some beer. But it's not my sport. I know, I hate the guys who don't know shit about hockey until playoffs and then are all like, "Woooo, Nicholas Backstrom!", and you are like, learn his damn name or shut your damn mouth. But that's how I am with baseball, I guess, except I'm not all, "Woooo, Joseph Mauer!"

But anyway: Cubbies. Here's the other thing I know. Some teams are cursed. Some teams are hexed, some teams made bad deals with magic powers, some teams just can't fight off the crap that's going on in the places where they have to play. Or in order to fight off the crap that's going on, the game gets sacrificed. But nobody knows anything like that about the Cubs. The Cubs are where the universe reasserts itself and says, "Dude, somebody's gotta win and somebody's gotta lose, hexes and magic powers and guiding spells aside. At the end of the day statistics will bite somebody's ass." So far it's been the Cubs'. Half the spare magic in Chicago has gone to trying to fix curses that just aren't there on the Cubbies. It's, like, quantum mechanical or some shit. You know how the lady says it's a long season and you gotta trust it? (I know, I said I'm not a baseball guy. That movie is about sex. I never said I wasn't a sex guy. I mean, damn.) The Cubs gotta listen to that, only, bigger than the season. I hope that helps.

Also, you know what, Cubs fan? There's this thing you know when you play minor league long enough, when you realize that hope is not this bird poem Janet tried to tutor me through in high school. Hope is this thing that shows up with a hammer about two months into the season and beats your heart and then shows up with paddles in the post-season. Because anything can happen then. That's what you know playing in the minor leagues of any sport. And I guess it happens to Cubs fans, too. Your cheerful message of the day, straight from Carter Hall.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if wood were what a queen would want?

Dude. First of all, it is a Gopher, not a woodchuck, and second, if she could get through this by chucking wood at the damn queen's head, don't you think she'd have tried that? This is Bemidji. We are not short on timber here. She still has to go through the hold-fast-fear-not-baby's-father crap, and Janet is going to be one Gopher who is in a bad, bad mood after grabbing that snake-fire-whatever thing. And it's not going to get better if you call her a freakin' woodchuck.
mrissa: (Default)
For those of you who missed it, I had a post wherein you could ask Carter Hall anything. Now we start with the answers.

What's so special about women who wear gold in their hair? As compared, say, to scrunchie wearers?

Okay, I know some people like UND, and some people like Wisconsin. But for my money, Gopher women's hockey is the way to go. Three-time national champions, and can you argue with a program that gave us Natalie Darwitz? You cannot. Nobody on the ice wants to mess with Natalie, male or female, except maybe if their name is Hailey or Haley or Hailee or God knows what. (Memo to Canada: can you name your daughters something else if you are going to let them play the game? It is confusing us down here. Thank you.) Not that Krissy Wendell's any slouch, either, and my money's on Noora Raty and Gigi Marvin down the line. You get that line of gold helmets lined up, and I tell you what, I wouldn't want to play against 'em, and I've got a head of height and I don't want to guess how many pounds on 'em. (I don't want to guess because they will still thump you if you guess wrong.) And, I mean, it was Janet's school. And Janet is, not that she will ever hear me say this, awesome.

Did somebody else mean something else than the maroon and gold? I don't know. Those people are not my problem. That's the gold I know. The girls around here, they're not much for the tiaras. They kind of get crunched under your helmet anyway. But I betcha some of the girls in maroon and gold have scrunchies under them. I don't know about girls' hair stuff, but I bet you can do both. Maybe you should ask Janet about that one. She'd know the difference in, like, ponytail holders and stuff for game days.
mrissa: (question)
It seemed like time for another random question post. But then I thought, no, not for me, I have done enough of those and don't feel like answering people's questions for me.

What would you like to ask Carter Hall? I've included the poll option in case you feel like asking my fictional hockey player anything anonymously, or you can ask in comments if you don't have any need to be anonymous. Keep in mind that Carter will be answering, although I may augment his answers if need be.

[Poll #1614322]

Yes, of course this is silly. That's the point.
mrissa: (themselves)
[ profile] mrissa: Expose Janet to weird shit is my agenda for the first half of this book.
[ profile] timprov: Yes.
[ profile] mrissa: And then the weird shit gets out its trenchcoat and exposes itself to Janet for the second half.
[ profile] timprov: .....
mrissa: (winter)
Dear Carter F.* Hall,

When I said, "You need to give me new chapters from your perspective for this book," I did not actually mean, "It's all right if one of them is approximately CSI: Bemidji."

But I do see that I was insufficiently specific.

Increasingly tough love,
[ profile] mrissa

*His middle name is Lawrence. This is sort of like filing things under H for Toy. Only more frustrated, and less of a Real Genius reference.

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