telophase: (Kitsune shrine in Arashiyama in Kyoto)
OK, yeah, this minor coincidence won't mean much to those of you not privy to the majority of posts on the fragments of a dream tag.* However, when I was walking to the small, scary elevator to go up to the staff break room, I spotted a book titled The Magic of Cranes on the quarto shelves. Drawing closer, as I currently have an interest in cranes for The Thing Wot I Am Not Writing, I noticed it was shelved next to math books. I figured it was therefore cranes as in engineering cranes, or possibly an obscure mathematical concept I was not familiar with, but on the basis that any book on whatever types of cranes titled The Magic Of... was worth looking at, I took it out.

Nope, no math, birds. It's not even mis-shelved: the book is mis-cataloged. Looking up the call number, I see that's cataloged as Mathematics, with a further sub-classification as Geometry, Trigonometry, Topology. (QA 696. It should be QL 696: Zoology -- Birds.)

I can't help but think that Someone is Telling Me Something. I notified the cataloging department, but also said I wanted to check it out and asked if I could bring it in to them after I read it. :D

ETA: They emailed back and said to bring it up and they'd get it back to me ASAP, so I took it up.

* The vast majority of you. The locked posts are full of story notes for The Thing Wot I Am Not Writing, and there's just a few people on it for idea-noodling purposes. We're not having Seekrit LJ Parties without you, I promise.


Jan. 29th, 2008 02:02 pm
telophase: (Kitsune shrine in Arashiyama)
If I stay here, I know what will happen. If I go with you, I don't know what will happen.

... I had this dream the other night. But this post isn't about the dream, but about something spurred by the dream. Read more... )


Oct. 8th, 2007 01:35 pm
telophase: (Near - que?)
* All Knowledge Is Contained In Livejournal.

Does anyone here happen to know of any books about the An Lu-shan/An Shi Rebellion of 755-763 AD that destabilized the Tang dynasty? I've got my hands on the book cited in the Wikipedia article about it (E. G. Pulleyblank, The Background of the Rebellion of An Lu-Shan, London: Oxford University Press (1955)), but it actually stops three years before the rebellion itself, with the author's hopes that a second volume would be published. Er.

Or, if not books about the rebellion itself, books that contain a chapter or so on it?
telophase: (Near - que?)
My head is full of foxes. Also, the major drawback to reading all these books on Asian fox spirits is that the authors keep mentioning these wonderful stories, which are all in books written in languages I can't read.

In Alien Kind: Foxes and Late Imperial Chinese Narrative, which I'm reading totally out of order, the author mentions that Chinese foxes often threw roof-tiles at people when haunting houses, from which she extrapolates that falling roof tiles were a common problem in Chinese houses. :) (and also mentions that roofs are liminal spaces, boundaries between the outside and inside.)

What I find fascinating is the commonalities between Western and Eastern things - houses haunted by foxes often have the same phenomena as poltergeists in Europe, and mediums could be either possessed by foxes or hold seances in which people and things behaved in ways that would have been completely familiar to any turn-of-the-last-century Spiritualist medium.
telophase: (Asoka - shimmy!)
(That should technically be "shamanka," if we're using the term properly to mean a female shaman.)

Anyway, here's a paragraph from The Fox and the Jewel, a book about the worship of Inari in Japan and the relationship sacred foxes have with the deity. This is from the chapter about the priests and shamans involved with Inari worship, and the differences between them and their approaches--there tend to be strict gender divisions between the two, with men becoming priests and women becoming shamans. This is an account of one ritual/ceremony/what-have-you performed by a shaman.

Read more... )


Sep. 24th, 2007 11:27 am
telophase: (goku - yap yap yap)
This was SUPPOSED to be a short answer to [ profile] chomiji's question below, originally asked here, but it turned into a huge, rambling essay looking at a particular type of character and why I like that type, so I'm posting it in a new entry. Hopefully it'll spur some discussion. :D my current default icon is so appropriate right now.

[ profile] chomiji: Why do people like Gin, anyway? He gives me the creeps ... always has, even before we found out what he was really like.

Good question - especially because he hits a whole lot of my narrative hot buttons. :D So I've been trying to work out, exactly, what it is about him* that I like. Read more... )
telophase: (Mushishi - to see the unseen)
I find it somewhat odd that when I write, I seem to do it better with a male viewpoint character than a female. The stories in my head often have female protagonists, but if I pin it down in writing*, or try to make it into something more than just a personal daydream/fantasy, it twists around to view the woman from the outside. I think it's because when it's internal and personal, I'm putting myself into her place, but when it's trying to become an external story with a character distinct from me, I have to distance myself from her.

Note that in the fragments of a dream thing, it ended up from the man's POV, even though the dream and the overall story in me head is from her POV. I didn't even notice that until I typed it out and re-read it.** It's going to be interesting if this thing grows, because so far from what I understand, it needs to be her story and her POV, and I know more about her than him.*** Hm.

* Which I technically rarely do; I actually write in my head far more than on paper. For "writing", maybe you should be reading "composing".

** It's also in present tense, which I hate reading, but which helps me when writing to quell the internal editor somehow. I don't pretend to understand why. If I incorporated it into a larger piece, I'd push it into past tense, most likely.

*** I know enough to know jsut the edges of why you should be disturbed, rather than charmed, by the off-balance stuff in that snippet. XD But I do like the way that conversation took on two levels of meaning, without me intending it to.

(I'm reading Jane Yolen's book of essays on writing, Take Joy, at the ref desk right now, which is why I'm maundering on about the creative process.)
telophase: (Mushishi - to see the unseen)
I think I need to go to bed earlier, mostly because it's in those moments between waking and sleeping that I get stories; the times when I'm lying there dozing, still sort of dreaming , or at least mulling my dreams in my head, but my conscious brain is just awake enough to direct them, or apply logic, or to fill in some gaps, but not awake enough to poke holes in it. That's where I've had the three dreams associated with the fragments of a dream post. If I go to bed earlier, I ought to be able to do that *and* have less sleep debt. (ETA: The problem here is that I'm also a night person - and my artistic side does its best work between 9 PM and 2 AM. Hrmph.)

I tend to wake up about 5:30ish, since I think the mild sedative effect of the Strattera I take at bedtime wears off about then. I don't mind too much - except when I'm running a big sleep debt - since that's the time when I can usually induce that dreamy-dozy state and sometimes come up with something. (Didn't happen this morning since my brain was preoccupied with other images, but I'm sure it'll happen again soon.) And then I shape it more in my head when I wake up more and am driving to work - obviously I can't pay full attention to the thing in my head as I'm driving, so I think the internal editor is less concerned with the words and story and more concerned with not dying in a fiery crash. That fragment was written in my head on the way to work, and then I posted it before I logged into my work email.

I'm also at a quandary point in that 'fragments of a dream' thing - I sort of want to post notes that I know about it - having an audience somehow makes me more likely to work on something - but I don't know if it'll survive it yet. :/
telophase: (Mushishi - night moves)

"Careful," he murmers in her ear, his strong hands covering hers on the hilt of his sword. "That's my soul you're holding."

"Oh," she says. "That makes sense. That's why it feels like you."


"Off-balance. Like standing on shifting sand. I have to hold on to something when you're close by, to keep from falling over."


Later, much, much later, when he wakes up one morning and she is gone, along with the sword, he does not much mind. She can't lose herself, not completely. He's got her feathered robe.

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