April 9th, 2005


Personality Test

I'm going to tell you the main thing you can find out from giving a Mrissa a personality test -- any personality test at all, really. If the test itself doesn't give you this information, it's probably pretty worthless, so here goes:

Mrissas hate false dichotomies.

Some personality tests account for this with a "no preference" or "no opinion" option. This is not the same thing. Having no opinion is not the same thing as holding both opinions strongly because the question was phrased stupidly in a way that utterly contradicts one's method of approaching the world.

steve_dash_o was talking about the Myers-Briggs, so it's the one that's immediately coming to mind as frustrating this way, but really the other tests I've seen are bad with it, too. The people who are enthusiastic about these tests tend to say, "Well, pick the one that fits best," or "Go with your first impulse." My first impulse is to stop taking the test, because the options it's asking me to choose between are not real options at all. My second impulse is usually either "Yes, both," or "No, neither." This whole "first impulse" thing assumes that I "really" agree with the premise of the question and am suppressing knowledge of my answer. I don't think that's the case. I think sometimes the question is just wrong.

What I said in Steve's comments was that they end up sounding to me like, "Would you rather have soup or a backrub?" Soup and a backrub are not the same category of thing, and I can't think of any sensible reason why I should ever have to say, "You know, soup on the whole really is better than backrubs are on the whole." And I don't think that the information one gets from trying to force that choice is particularly valuable.

Even among things that are the same kind of thing, I often dig my heels in when asked to pick one. I can decide on a meal at a restaurant faster than most people I know, but I have no delusions that it's the meal, and if the waitbeing was to say, "Surprise! You never get to eat anything else!", I would kick the waitbeing in the shins and run away and make my own food.

I realize that this makes me a totally typical #17, or PDQR, or Late Winter With the Thaw Just Started, or whatever else you use to categorize people. But really, isn't Nitpicky Crank enough of a personality type? Can't I just tell you that's what I am and then we can go on with things?
good mris pic

Week of April 3-9

No nothing in the mail. Nof-fing, as we always used to say. It's the beginning of the month, more or less, so I've gone through and marked which submissions have been out forever and which maybe need a query. I hate querying. "Ummm...so...d'you have a story of mine? And are you gonna read it? Maybe?" It actually does some good once in a blue moon, when it's a market I reasonably trust and something has slipped through the cracks, and then they're the embarrassed ones instead of me, and I feel like I can submit to them again no problem. Mostly it's just no good for anybody, though. I also have given up entirely on a few markets and will have to ship those stories back out somewhere else, if they haven't already been everywhere I'm still willing to send them.

(Market grump omitted here. I just want credit for omitting it.)

markgritter has thrown himself on the unexploded bars to make sure they're not substandard for our company tonight. He is a Hero of the Revolution once again.

The Council of Alphas, as one of my friends in California is calling my alpha readers, are wonderful, wonderful people (and, as I assured said friend, I'm sure they hold all you sub-omegaloids in the highest regard). (Simpsons moment. Never mind.) They are reassuring me that Thermionic Night is not, in fact, the new Eye of Argon, and they're reassuring me that they will have Things To Say. This is the most superior situation possible. If they weren't liking the book at all, that would suck in some very obvious ways. But if they weren't spotting anything in it that they'd like to see fixed, I know it's not perfect, and I'd have to find all the dreadful stuff all by myself before passing it on to the beta readers. And clearly that would suck, too.

Writing novels. It's exactly like being an Olympic gymnast, except that you're allowed to have your friends working a crane to haul your ass over that vault at the crucial moment. Also not so many ripped calluses, so that's all to the good.