April 27th, 2007


Back, peers and peris

I'm wondering if the fall down the stairs yesterday wasn't worse than I thought at the time. (I had to have conversations -- separately but identically -- with markgritter and timprov about this: "You fell down the stairs???" "It was in my lj entry!" And it was -- yesterday morning I said, "I managed to fall down the stairs with an empty glass in my hand and break neither self nor glass this morning, so who knows what." It was in with the stuff about painting.) Anyway, something is discombobulated, and I suspect that I am blocking out a fair amount of input there. Which is not useful right now -- if it's going to be something that needs attention from the massage place, the chiropractor, or the doctor, I have more time for that attention now than later -- so in a bit I will go be mentally quiet and try to see what's going on in my back. If that makes any sense.

Last night markgritter and I watched Iolanthe on DVD. I thought of lydy because it started with a pop-up book, but it wasn't a good enough pop-up book that I would get her a copy of the DVD for her birthday or anything like that. Gilbert and Sullivan operettas always have twittery bits, but this was twitterier than most. (If you want to get technical, we thought it was overly influenced by Felix Mendelssohn.) Still, we enjoyed it, and markgritter laughed intemperately at a few lines. I have one more on hand, The Sorcerer, by way of research on comic operettas for What We Did to Save the Kingdom -- good excuse, huh? Writing is like that some weeks, an excuse for whatever you're wanting to excuse, really. And since I'd already finished the draft of a short story and stuck words on WWDtStK, it wasn't even the kind of excuse that's a replacement for writing. Just an addition.

There is no fire.

Apparently I have the same problem with typing the word "queue" as Nanny Ogg does with bananananananas. Now I'm sitting here muttering "weeooweeooweeoo" under my breath like a very quiet fire engine. Because I am just that mature.

At least I'm self-entertaining.

Oh, heavens, am I ever that.

Do you have days when you identify just a wee tiny bit too much with Miles Vorkosigan?

Yah. Like that.

Spamming lj for one more question

Say you were reading a novel set in a world other than this one. If you came upon the phrase "dark skin," would you assume that the character would be described as "black" in the US (or possibly "Indian," encompassing various kinds of South Asian as imprecisely as US terminology tends to)? Or would you assume that the character was "white" but with a tan or "olive" complexion? Or would you wait for other cues/clues?

If other cues, would "wiry black hair" sufficiently tip the balance to make you envision someone of similar appearance to sub-Saharan African peoples in this world?

If neither of these would be enough, what could a writer do without comparing her character's skin to food to indicate that general appearance sufficiently for you? Note that the character in question has skin that's dark brown but not so dark that "black" would be an accurate term in a fantasy setting where that term wouldn't come with the cultural baggage it has here -- we only call some fairly pale brown people "black" because of cultural baggage, not because of any proximity to the actual color black! If I tell you someone in a fantasy novel is black-skinned, I want you to see black skin, like Cherryh's atevi.

I ask because it took me most of a Rex Stout novel to realize that the "dark-skinned" young woman character was not, in fact, meant to be African-American, so I suspect that different people are (or at least were!) reading different things into the same words.