“Tag!” or “Timeout to Catch Up”

Ah, Tag – when a young man’s fancy turns and flees… Back in the day when kids had nothing better to do than chase each other around all day, that’s what they did: Run to avoiding getting caught, in regular Tag. Run to avoid getting shot in Laser Tag. Run until a sorcerous touch from the almighty It rooted them to the spot in Freeze Tag. Run, run, as fast as they could, like so many gingerbread dudes. …Or, if you’d rather stay in your seat, there’s always Blog Tag.

            Here, according to my buddy Ben over at Storymultiverse, is how you play.

1. You must post the rules. (…which I now so do.)

2. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and then create ten new questions to ask the people that you have tagged.

3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.

4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

            Now, what Ben did (and I thought this was a neat way to go about it) was, instead of tagging a specific eleven people, he just said, “If you’re reading this, you can play!” Therefore, my fellow bloggers and blog-less readers alike, you are one and all invited to join in the “getting to know you” fun! By the power of It vested in me, I’ll start by answering the questions sent my way.

1. Who are some of the biggest influences on your writing and… 2. Why? (Can be authors, family members, your pet, etc.)

            I probably owe a great deal to my mother, whose certifiably-insane sense of humor seems to have proven somewhat genetic. And I’ve spent much of my life honing my quips, experimenting with complicated plot lines, and stretching the limits of my imagination in original role-playing games with my sister. Let’s see, who else can I blame?…

            On the Wilderhark side of things, I should probably give a shout-out to E.D. Baker, author of “The Frog Princess” and its subsequent series; I never so badly wanted to write a fairytale prince until after meeting her Eadric. Huge thanks to Robin McKinley’s “Outlaws of Sherwood” and the Bristol Renaissance Faire for driving me to create “The Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale”. And Tirzah and Lute… you know what you’ve done.

3. What is one of the best blog posts that you’ve read?

            Oh, gosh – memory, are you up to this?… Well, okay, I’ll go easy on me and keep this recent. You don’t mind if I invoke the name of Rachel Aaron again, do you? Good. ‘Cause if you’ve got goals and shiny dreams, writerly or otherwise, then hey, you should read this.

            I also really enjoyed this piece about shape-shifters in fantasy by Fabulous Realms, the House of Happy’s tribute to summer, and a little snapshot of a short story from My Other Book is a Tolstoy (also a grand source of poetry), just to spread the kudos around.

4. Name five of your favorite movies. They don’t have to be the top five, just five that you would put on that list of favorites.

            “The Phantom of the Opera” (the one with Gerard Butler ‘n’ ‘em) – I love the music, it was visually stunning, and… I love the music. (For the sake of three, I justify. Plus I truly do love the music double. Bravo, Andrew Lloyd Webber.)

Gettin’ all ‘90s TV, up in here. That’s Steve/Aladdin’s voice in the upper-right corner.

            “Aladdin” (Disney, of course) – THE movie of my childhood. I watched all three movies and the TV series; I owned the action figures; D.J’s. boyfriend, Steve, on “Full House” got that much cooler once I realized he was Aladdin’s voice. I couldn’t decide who I wanted to be more: Jasmine, because she got Aladdin, or Aladdin himself, because he was da man. Given the choice today, it’d still be a toss-up.

            “Kung Fu Panda” – Hilarious, gorgeously animated, and Hans Zimmer did the music (‘nough said).

            “The Emperor’s New Groove” (Disney again; this list could have so easily become all Disney, all the time) – Silliness at its finest. Please ignore the sequel.

            “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” (Andrew Lloyd Webber again. Yay! – now my list is like a palindrome! *happy dance of symmetry*) – Donny Osmond as Joseph was a treat, and his brothers were so individualistically zany, and the whole thing was in song, so it was a breeze to memorize from start to finish. Cue me up – I’ll sing “Canaan Days” right now.

5. Name five of your favorite books. (Same as before.)

            I’ve made considerable mention of my recent obsession with Eli Monpress, so let’s just count the omnibus as “one” and move on from there. What books haven’t I ranted about, yet?…

            Well, in that same spirit of consolidation, we’ll count the “Bonemender” trilogy by Holly Bennett at “two”. She wrote some wonderful elves; some pretty cool humans, too.

            And there’s “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield. A bit creepier and more mature than I usually go for, but quite gripping.

            I’ll open a can of controversy by freely admitting that I like Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series. (I’ve always been Team Emmett, if that makes any difference to anyone.)

            As for number five… arrgh, this is killing me. I don’t know which to choose!

            “When in doubt,” Lute advises, “pick a book with me in it.”

            Um, I wasn’t aware that was the rule, but okay. “Ballad”s sequel, then.

* * *

            Phew! That last question just took it out of me (the stress on readers asked to pick their fave reads is substantial!), and this blog post is running long enough as it is. So tell you what, folks: We’ll cut my end of the Q+A off here, and pick it back up another time. In the meanwhile, here are my first five questions for you!

1. What is the best or most horrifying dream you can remember having ever had, and what made it so great or awful?

2. Name a [humanly possible] talent you don’t have, but wish you did.

3. If you couldn’t have the name you’ve got, what would you like to be called?

4. Which musical instrument(s) do you most enjoy listening to?

5. If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what would you most lament?

            What say you?! You can leave your response as a comment, or link to them on your blog or what have you; answer any or all, but not none! …Unless you call “olly olly oxen free”.

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 19

Psalm 19. Isaiah 40: 13-15a, 27-28; 45:22-23

            A chess game? With you? I wouldn’t presume.

You crafted the pieces. You founded the moves.

The board’s of your making, as, too, are the rules.

And I, at my most cunning, would still look a fool.

            You know every gambit there is, and besides,

You know which I’ll select well before I decide.

Even were I to team up with the world’s top minds,

You’re more than a match for all of mankind.

            You’d let us play on, thinking we’re all so sly –

Thinking we can outwit you, if we artfully try;

A trick with a bishop, a stunt with a knight,

Our opponent our pawn, if we play it just right.

            And so we’d proceed with our self-perceived guile,

You looking on from above us, the while.

And deep down we know, though we sometimes pretend,

That there’s only one way this great chess came can end.

            You’re simply too smart, and we’re simply too small.

No use in our going against you at all.

I lay my piece down as, one day, all will do –

Every one of us bowed to the king. Game to you.