Monday, May 2, 2016

A Variety of Various Things

Today I’m doing something different.

I’m sorry.

Actually, it’s finals week for me, which means I’m super busy. In addition, I was nominated for a pair of… hm, whatever they’re called. Like chain emails for bloggers.
I tend to ignore chain emails (well, I used to… I don’t get them anymore because it’s not 2006), but I figured I go ahead and do these two: “The Liebester Award” and the “Top Ten Villains tag”. I was nominated for both by Rebekah Eddy [link below]. Usually you do one of these per post, but I’m a rebel so I’m doing both today.

The Liebester Award

According to the rules:
Link back to the person who tagged you.
Answer their 11 questions.
Tag up to ll bloggers.
Ask them 11 questions.
Let them know you've tagged them.

So here we go:

1: What inspires you most in your writing and/or blogging?
Honestly… my brain. When it comes to blogging, I usually blog about things I’ve personally struggled with and/or overcome in writing. Then my own writing is usually inspired by my own random thoughts and late night observations about life and stories.

2: What's your biggest pet peeve?
Probably… logical fallacies and misinformation in arguments. Like recently I saw a “controversial” post which was attempting to be clever and overbearing, but it was founded on a completely untrue statement that then unraveled every clever thing about it.
Don’t do misinformation, folks. And don’t do logical fallacies.

3: Who has had the biggest impact on your life?
To avoid the cliché, I’m going to veer away from the parents (who no doubt have had the greatest impact) and choose… my theatre director/teacher/mentor. She’s inspired and encouraged me to expand myself and my talents for many years, and probably will for years to come.

4: What's the earliest memory you have?
An interesting fact: any memory you supposedly have from before the age of three is probably not a true memory.
As for me… I remember – faintly – 9/11/2001, but as a young child my emotions of the day are not as… strong, as those who were older on that day.

5: Unicorns or Pegasi?
Pegasi. Well… that was easy I guess. 
6: Hamburgers or hot dogs?
Hamburgers. I mean… why not hamburgers?

7: Do you think eagles, falcons, or hawks are more cool?
I see a lot of falcons and hawks where I live, and a lot of eagles, but I must say… golden eagles are among the most imposing and majestic creatures you’ll ever see. So eagles, I guess.

8: Scotland or Ireland?
Ye want me te cheoose?
Eh, fine ah’ll do it. I guess… Ireland.
Because Irish people.

9: Dragons or griffins?
Dragons. I’d explain, but… just imagine all the cliché reasons to like dragons, and that’s what I would say.

10: Sushi or oatmeal?
Oatmeal, I guess. I’m not a fan of fish or oatmeal, so this is a lose-lose for me.

11: Are you a Morning Bird or a Night Owl?
Morning Bird, no question. I like getting up early, and I like morning.

So I guess that’s over.
As for nominations, I’m going to nominate people at the end for either-or, because I’m lazy. Meanwhile, the 11 questions:
1. If you were a penguin, how would you penguin?
2. Which author(s) have influenced you most?
3. Favorite music artist?
4. What politician amuses you most?
5. Favorite science?
6. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you hate math?
7. Lions, tigers, or bears?
8. Marvel or DC?
9. Coffee or Tea?
10. Favorite painting?
11. Do you have an excerpt of your first writing to share?

Top Ten Villains Tag


And for this one:
1. Post the button. (That one just above the rules)
2. Thank the blogger who tagged you. (well thanks Rebekah)
3. List your top ten favorite villains and why you chose them(they can be from movies or books).
4. Tag ten other bloggers. (As many or as few as you like)

All right, let’s get to this (and hey, I can relate this to writing). In no particular order:

1. Denth (Brandon Sanderson, Warbreaker)
This fellow isn’t the main villain, but he’s still one of my favorite characters in the book. He’s a mercenary that takes ever cliché ever and dumps it in the trash, only to pull it back out and try it on before throwing it back in again.

2. Bellatrix Lestrange (J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter)
You’ll probably notice, but a lot of the villains on this list are minor villains. Including the first two.
But Bellatrix… she just has this aura about her and this tendency toward being almost cliché in her evilness and “craziness” while remaining awfully unique.

3. Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov (Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment)
Yes, Rodion is the main character. But he is, in some ways, a villain. And it haunts him. Fyodor writes him so well, his guilt so well, it carries the whole story (literally).

4. Saruman (J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings)
You’ll often hear about the epitome of evil, Sauron, or the dreadful wraiths of Morgul, even the sniveling wretches Wormtongue Gollum, and most certainly the demon of the ancient world, the Balrog. And if you’re listening to a true Tolkien fan, you’ll hear about Morgoth, Angoliant, and a host of other fantastic villains.
But I want to talk about Saruman. See, this fellow was good. In fact, he was so good that few ever questioned his loyalty to the cause of men and elves and valar until the last moment. He used to go to Fangorn, to talk to the trees and to listen to them.
Then… then he saw a horrid future; a future where Sauron won and all the earth was transformed. He found it so inevitable that it swayed him away from his friends. His betrayal was so cutting, so deep and dangerous, it made even Gandalf quake in his gray suede shoes.
That is a good villain.

5. The Forsaken/Chosen (Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time series). Yes, their name sounds cliché. But he kind of started it, so he can get away with it.
These is a group of thirteen men and women who forsake the light to ally themselves with the Dark One in the age of legends. They were cast into his prison and left to rot. Give or take a few thousand years later, as the events of the series unfold into a classic story of good against ultimate evil, they escape to hatch new plots and sway new kingdoms to their will.
Now, the actual books can get dry at times, and I’m fairly certain that he could have condensed the thirteen books into eight if he had tried a bit harder, but this group of vile people is written so well. They’re all so EVIL, but they’re also so HUMAN.

6. Professor Moriarty (Sir Arthur Conon Doyle)
A lot of people know this fellow as the slightly creepy and more than clever young chap from the BBC’s series Sherlock, and that’s a good version of him to know.
But he’s also a fantastic villain in the books, and in other versions of Sherlock. No matter which version of him you know, he’s portrayed excellently as his own person – but also, in a strange way, a piece of Sherlock.
Sir Doyle did it first, so he gets the credit, but I’ve yet to meet a Moriarty I didn’t appreciate.

7. President Snow (Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games)
This guy is kind of creepy.
But he’s also portrayed as very human - a very corrupt human. I appreciated the way that the movies humanized him, especially with his granddaughter.
He’s still creepy. And he still makes me grimace when I think of him.

8. King George (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton)
Hamilton is a Broadway musical about (you guessed it) Alexander Hamilton, and it’s probably one of the best musicals you could ever see and/or listen to. The music is fantastic, the story is artful (even the few historical inaccuracies are pardonable because it’s for the sake of the story and they’re slight… and eve despite the villainizing of Jefferson).
There are several characters you could see as villains – Aaron Burr [the guy shoots the main character after all], Thomas Jefferson, and King George.
But this last one… I dunno, he’s just fantastic. His songs make me want to smile whenever I listen to them, and it’s just fantastic. I mean fantastic.

9. The Weeping Angels (Doctor Who)
Doctor Who has some of the most interesting villains, including some of the most hilarious villains that somehow manage to be intimidating at the same time (AKA Daleks).
But some, some are absolutely terrifying. Mainly, the Weeping Angels. Now I realize they’ve sort of… gone downhill in the last few times they’ve made appearances, but their first few episodes (especially Blink) were so scary.
I’m not easily scared – horror movies have… nothing on me – but the Weeping Angels are good.

10. Szeth son-son Vallano (Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Arhives series)
This fellow, who I don’t want to describe too much because spoilers, is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever read. His beliefs and actions and the internal conflict within him are fantastic and the way he’s written is just as amazing. He’s an assassin who weeps as he kills.

Well… I guess that’s it. Now to tag people.
To you people I tag, feel free to do… both, one, neither, whatever.
Treat it like a chain email: only pass on the ones you find a little amusing…

Sarah Elizabeth at Living Aesthetically
Brandon at WoodlandQuill
Dee Dee Aethelwyne at Faerytales and Fantasy 
Vera Aisling at Shadows in the Corner
Myris Stelmer at stelmersbookshelf
The cat-fellow from this place
Bloke Landson at gobtwirling

Related Posts:
… none, really

Featured Post:
Rebekah Eddy’s blog


  1. This was fun to read! Thanks for doing them! :) Hey, it's always good to do something different, right?? ;)

    1. haha, indeed
      Actually, it's a sort of segway into something I'm going to be starting in July, so now I've got a good excuse for the thing coming soon. ;)