Mashiara Sedai

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Everything posted by Mashiara Sedai

  1. IMG E2713

    From the album Fandom Flair

  2. IMG 2664

    From the album Fandom Flair

  3. NaNoWriMo in November

    lol 325 population. What are the odds? Now I need to know who you know. We might be related! My in-laws live there--my dad runs his own mechanic shop, and my mom is one of the owners of Hilltop Fruit Market in Grantsville.
  4. I really don’t know which one I liked best. It’s hard to separate them, as they told the three parts of the story. Something like Harry Potter seems episodic—the different years equal different adventures, with the main plot against Voldemort as a unifying presence. But this feels cohesive, meant to be seen as one, not three.
  5. NaNoWriMo in November

    Really, Sooh? That’s amazing! It’s an actual place. My husband’s from there, and I used it for the setting of my latest book “The Accident Curse.” *lol*
  6. NaNoWriMo in November

    *lol* That is so hilarious! It’s such a tiny place, it seems so weird for anyone to remember it.
  7. Workshops?

    I think just the basics. Symmetry in artwork, how to chose colors that work together, different uses for different paint brushes. Anything at all because I have zero knowledge on the subject. My last art class was in junior high—20 years ago.
  8. NaNoWriMo in November

    I think I’ve decided on an outline to try for NaNo. That’s only if I can finish the one I’m currently working on. I’ve got a submission date of November for it, but I want to finish by the end of October.
  9. Wow! Second half was so much better! I guess the prices had to be assembled, which was boring, but once they all came together it was amazing! I love Sam. I love Sam so much. He was my favorite character! And Frodo! I cried for the last 30-40 minutes. Such a great conclusion to the story!
  10. At the second half and it’s slow going. It’s much more boring than the others so far.
  11. Already seeing lots of Harry and Dumbledore similarities—Gandalf sending Frodo knowing it will kill him, and Dumbledore thinking the same of Harry.
  12. Author Interview: J. Scott Coatsworth

    I was excited to get to speak to J. Scott Coatsworth about his newly released sci-fi novel, The Stark Divide. The book was enjoyable, and I was eager to delve further into what its author had to say. You can read my review of The Stark Divide here. Slight spoilers will follow. Q: The cast of the series is quite diverse, in terms of age, gender, nationality, and sexual orientation. I like that it suggests a uniform front in the future, people willing to work together regardless of their background or lifestyle. Was that a theme you wanted to emphasis? Hmmm, that’s a great question. I’m a fan of golden age sci fi, when things were a little simpler. And while I sometimes like things dark and complicated, sometimes I’m in the mood for Star Trek. I was a Superman fan as a kid - I loved that he was true and strong and good, and for that reason I absolutely HATED Batman vs. Superman. We’r going through such a dark period now that I want to believe, have to believe that at some point, some of us will find a way again to pull together for the common good. So yeah, I guess that does come out in the book. Q: The story also spans the course of 30 years. How difficult was it to storyboard or brainstorm the steps for the evolution of Forever? Can you tell us how far into the future the series will reach? The Stark Divide is actually the second book in the series. The first one was written more than twenty years ago, and was never published. In the current timeline, it would take place a few hundred years after this part of the story. I sent it off around 1995 to ten big publishers - it took a year, but the last rejection came in, and I pretty much gave up writing for almost twenty years. When I came back to writing in 2014, I decided to go back in time and figure out how the world came to be. It started with a novella that eventually became Seedling, the first part of the novel. I’m writing another sci fi series - Skythane - that’s told in a more traditional one story format, so doing The Stark Divide in a three-story epic format has actually been a lot of fun. Each story can stand alone, but they share characters, and allow me to telegraph the story over a long period of time. It’s exciting to see how things shift each time, as a decade or two passes. The current trilogy will cover a hundred years, give or take. But I hope to eventually take it all the way across the stars, to mankind’s new home - maybe 300-400 years in all. Q: Did you find it difficult with these jumps in the timeline? Or was it easy to let the reader conclude the natural steps between without it being shown in the text? I think in most cases it should be easy for readers to fill in the gaps. It’s like getting to fast forward and see if the couple you liked really makes it, or if the world comes through the latest challenges and goes on to grow into something new. It’s one of my favorite things about the story. Q: I love the undertone of religious epiphany throughout the piece. First in Hammond’s realization that AI may have souls, and then in the coincidental episodes that lead to Ana’s metamorphosis. Is this important to the plotline of the story arc, or just a detail of the characters? It’s something I didn’t really plan at first. Initially I was going to have the Church be a villain in the first part of the story, but then it took a turn. One of my best friends is a very religious Catholic, but she’s also one of the most progressive people I know. I’m more on the atheist side, but when I asked her for some help on the confirmation process for the story, it made me think. It’s so easy for me as a gay man to make a villain out of organized religion. Not too much later, my husband decided he wanted to go back to church for the first time in more than twenty-five years - a reaction to the growing strife and negativity we are all living through today. I went with him out of solidarity, and we found a progressive church nearby. These two events made me reconsider religion, and realize that it had a place in any future that would spring forward from our present. So I decided to weave religion into the story, and it’s been a fascinating thing to work with. On a side note, the series title, “Liminal Sky,” came out of a sermon Pastor Matt gave in which he used the word liminal to talk about the people on the edges of society. It was the first time I’d ever heard it, and so I looked it up: Liminal 1. relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process. 2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold. It seemed perfect for the time when everything changes. Q: On that same note, Lex seems to be able to anticipate what may happen. Within your world, is Lex a deity? Or is it more the processing of a supercomputer to analyze logical outcomes? Hmmm, I’d never thought of it that way. Lex is not a deity, though there’s that famous quote from Arthur C. Clarke: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” And I do play more with the themes of religion and heaven in book two, “The Rising Tide,” which I just finished. Q: Andy’s inherited “dipping” seems to be something similar to magic. With this genetic code being passed onto the next generation, will more and more of humanity be able to bend the world around them? Um, yes… and… kinda? There will be a lot more of it in book two, along with reaching and pushing. :P But by the end, things will shift again. That’s all I can say. Q: The ending is bittersweet. Was it depressing to write, thinking of how easily the world could be decimated? Or is there more a focus on the hope that life will always find a way? A little of both? I gotta say, part of me is ready to blow things up and start with a clean slate. We’ve gone so far down some dark roads that I’m not sure there’s a way back. On the other hand, the Obama years showed me what was possible when good people strive for big things, and I still hold out hope that things will change. Or yeah, that life (and mankind) will find a way. You can purchase The Stark Divide in paperback or ebook here. To learn more about J. Scott Coatsworth, check out his website!
  13. Okay, I’m going to get started on the next film today, about 6pm EST. My recollection of this movie is so much less than The Fellowship. We’ll see how it goes!
  14. White Ajah Middle Earth Event - Mashi’s Movie Rewatch: The Two Towers

    I’ve never read the series, so I didn’t pick up on the differences. But I did hate the forced love triangle between Aragorn and the other girl. That’s another trope that’s hard to do correctly, which makes me dread it so much!
  15. Welcome to Mashi's Movie Rewatch: The Fellowship of the Ring! It's been probably eight or nine years since I've watched these films and I thought this would be a great opportunity to view them all again. We'll start with The Fellowship of the Ring, the first in the series. The film originally opened in the US on December 10, 2001, with an extended version released the next year on DVD and VHS (which really dates how long ago the film came out!). For this purpose, I'll be viewing the extended version. I'm going to watch this tomorrow, (Monday the 9th) around 11am EST. I'll post my comments as I'm going through, with things I like, dislike, or anything that stands out to me from my previous viewing. Feel free to watch too, or just add to the discussion if it's all clear in your mind.
  16. Workshops?

    I'd love to do a visual composition course! I'd love to do anything that deals with art style, painting, photo manipulation, etc. I'd also love to teach something, but I'd need to brainstorm what I could talk about....
  17. Amyrlin's boots?

    I LOVE THEM! I want Amyrlin boots.....
  18. White Ajah's Middle Earth Event: GIF wars

    In counter to noodles... let's try this! Cross! Pillow Attack! Oh wait, how do I get this to work again? Cross! Pillow attack!
  19. White Ajah Middle Earth Event - Mashi’s Movie Rewatch: The Two Towers

    Overall, this one was less enjoyable. The battle scenes seemed to go on and on forever. The plot line was still interesting, and it kept me interested throughout the whole thing (except the battle scenes). I like the desperation Frodo is showing, how he’s clearly faking under the power of the Ring. It’s very similar to Rand once the madness begins to fester inside him. I love the parallel!
  20. White Ajah Middle Earth Event - Mashi’s Movie Rewatch: The Two Towers

    Just finished the first disc. I loved the opening with Gandalf battling the balrag as they plummet down the hole. It was so intense! Other than that, I’m enjoying the way the idea evil isn’t so clear cut. Frodo sees something redeemable in Gollum, and that small faith is what helps Gollum remember who he once was. The evil inside him from the ring isn’t permenant. Even the scene where Frodo and Adam are captured shows the depth of the concept of evil. The man (it hasn’t said his name yet) wonders about one of the Wild Men, was he fighting based on misinformation, or was he reallly evil? That complexity is so interesting to me!
  21. White Ajah Middle Earth Event - Mashi’s Movie Rewatch: The Two Towers

    I’m starting The Two Towers. Extended edition runs about three and a half hours. Let’s do this thing!
  22. I wonder why they didn’t run back and help Gandalf. One of them could have easily helped him climb up the ledge. Also, I HATE the trope of believing someone is dead but they’re really not more than any other I’ve read. It’s such a turnoff for me. I don’t want to read another book where someone’s death was just a trick.