Question meme!

This is from wordweaverlynn. I’m a sucker for the “getting to know people” memes. As she says:

1. Leave me a casual comment of no particular significance, like a lyric to your current favorite song, your favorite kind of sandwich, or maybe your favorite game. Any remark, meaningless or not.

2. I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.

3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.


She has asked me the following:

1. How did you acquire your interest in barbering large Asian ungulates? (I think yaks are ungulates.) Seriously, what is “shaving yaks”?

Yak shaving is quite well-described here, but in my own words, it’s the process of opening a matryoshka doll of tasks, none of which can be completed until the core is found and resolved. Yak shaving is common during the revision process, where in order to fix a story’s ending, you have to fix the beginning, then the middle, then the mid-beginning, then the title, then the beginning again before you understand how to fix the end correctly.

2. What does your dream house look like, and where is it located?

My dream house is sunny and light. It has open space, is sparsely furnished, and has plenty of room to dance in. It has a large and well-arranged kitchen. It maintains a well-regulated temperature and has a dark cold basement for my husband to escape to when he needs Introvert Time (something I rarely require). It is currently located in my fantasies, and I’m hoping it materializes into the Elemental Plane of the San Francisco Bay Area for a reasonable price in about 5 years when we’re ready to buy. I also want a hypo-allergenic cat, good health insurance, and a bejeweled pony.

3. Do you believe in love at first sight? how about hate or antipathy/

I believe that the human mind can detect subtle behavioral signals on a subconscious level. This means that often we can’t explain how we know something, but there’s an underlying cause which we don’t recognize. In other words, we can pick up a surprising amount of information about someone else in a short encounter.

Love and hate are broad umbrella terms, and I think it’s accurate to say that I believe in some kinds of love and hate at first sight, but the most pervasive and lingering kinds take time to build.

4. What qualities do you look for in a good game master?

I’m going to answer this question plus a variation on it. I’ve always been a better game master than player. I’d like to think I’m a good GM, based on responses from dozens (hundreds?) of players I’ve had in my games. Much like relationships, there’s multiple good ways to GM, as long as both GM and players are on the same page and want similar things. Things I look for in a GM: creativity, storytelling skills, and willingness to make sacrifices for the Good of the Story. Things I strive for as a GM: spontaneity, originality, and giving the players what they want FROM the game but making them struggle for what they want IN the game. I’m a good GM for people who like wild creativity and a poor GM for people who want tactics and numbercrunching.

As an interesting side note, I wouldn’t necessarily be a perfect GM for myself. What I want from a GM is not necessarily what I provide.

5. Can you translate Mahna mahna! (do-doo, de-do-doo)?

Yes. It’s the dull roar of the masses crushing the spirited individual. It translates, simply put, to: “Our society cannot comprehend your ideals. Please, cease troubling us with them. If you persist in forcing them upon us, you will have to leave our society and call a frog from a phone booth.” See for yourself.

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