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Mashiara Sedai

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  1. It's two months and two days till JordanCon (but who's counting?) so I'm here to feature another author in this years anthology, Become Legend: Rosemary Williams with her submission "Urban Planning." First, can you tell us about your writing? Is this your first published work? It is! Unlike a lot of writers, I had no idea I was going to be one when I was young. The closest I came was online roleplaying when MUSHes were still a big thing. (Though as it turns out, it’s a really good way to get a solid percentage of your Million Words of Crap out of your system.) Then there I was, in my late 30s and minding my own voracious reader business, when I had just finished a particular book by my current favorite author and then there was an audible *pop!* and a new gear abruptly engaged in my brain. Suddenly I wanted to put new characters in and play around in the sandbox with new plots and characters and what was happening to me? I’ve been toying around with fan fiction for a few years to try to shake out some of my rookie writer mistakes, and I’m now to the point where I feel competent enough to write my own original work. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, which is thanks in very large part to my editor, Debra Dixon. She was amazingly helpful and kind to my poor newbie writer's soul. Where does your story fall on the speculative fiction scale? It’s comic horror with enough connection to urban fantasy that I could take future stories with these characters in that direction pretty seamlessly. What excited you the most with writing this story? It was just gloriously weird and fun to write, and it gave me a chance to showcase some of my hometown of Kansas City. If you find yourself reading and going, “Wait, is that a real thing she’s referencing?” the answer is probably yes. Are there any themes you want readers to get a sense of? I wouldn’t really call this an attempt at highbrow literature - it’s a fun romp, and I hope people enjoy reading it. Writing a decent story that clocked in under 7,500 words was quite enough of a challenge for me. But as I mentioned earlier, I have ideas for writing future stories with these characters, and have planted a few seeds of greater depth that will have time to germinate and grow as I improve my skills. Is there a specific inspirational source you used for this story? So, as you probably know, the anthology theme this involves legends. This story is based on an urban legend - albeit one I made up and have fun with joking about with my friends - that the all of the weird-shaped intersections in Kansas City are designed that way to hide mysterious eldritch glyphs that are keeping a giant monster asleep beneath the city. If you like the story, you should find a moment to thank your fellow JordanConner Mark Lindberg for his part in inspiring me to write it. I had shared a picture on Facebook that supported my silly theory and blathered away about it, when he replied with, “So when do I get to read this story?” This was about two weeks from the anthology deadline. If he hadn’t made that little push, I might not have gathered my wits quickly enough to get it written in time. What else would you like to say to your readers? Thank you! Please be kind to my massive case of imposter syndrome; I’m still half-convinced I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. Don’t be afraid to say hi to me at the con! And remember: the Mistcorn loves you. The Mistcorn loves all. Thank you, Rosemary, for talking with me today. The JordanCon 2020 anthology Become Legend is available for pre-order until March 25th. You can purchase it on JordanCon’s website.
  2. Welcome back to another edition of Community Round-Up where I’ll be sharing interesting things that have happened this week in the Wheel of Time fandom and the larger sci-fi/fantasy community. First off, Madeleine Madden—who plays Egwene—updated her Instagram page with various photos of her and other cast members. Josha Stardowski—Rand—took center stage with images of him increasingly more tipsy. They made their rounds through the community and have already begun to generate memes. Why isn't the wisdom stopping this woolheaded behavior? Speaking of memes, I’d like to highlight one of the many Wheel of Time related subreddit forums: Wetlander Humor. I’m a huge fan of memes and this forum did not disappoint. Here are a few of the better ones I saw this week. It’s been five years since the Wheel of Time television pilot “Winter Dragon” appeared randomly at 3am on FX. For those who don’t recall this little piece of fandom lore, you can read the details here. Many people in the Screw You All, I Love Wheel of Time Facebook group were reminiscing about this strange event and discussing if it was the will of the Light or the Dark One. Daniel Greene—a major news staple in the WoT fandom and the fantasy genre in general—released a hilarious look at Wheel of Time through vines. Which picture of Josha was your favorite? Be sure to let us know in the comments. View full news item
  3. Welcome back to another edition of Community Round-Up where I’ll be sharing interesting things that have happened this week in the Wheel of Time fandom and the larger sci-fi/fantasy community. First off, Madeleine Madden—who plays Egwene—updated her Instagram page with various photos of her and other cast members. Josha Stardowski—Rand—took center stage with images of him increasingly more tipsy. They made their rounds through the community and have already begun to generate memes. Why isn't the wisdom stopping this woolheaded behavior? Speaking of memes, I’d like to highlight one of the many Wheel of Time related subreddit forums: Wetlander Humor. I’m a huge fan of memes and this forum did not disappoint. Here are a few of the better ones I saw this week. It’s been five years since the Wheel of Time television pilot “Winter Dragon” appeared randomly at 3am on FX. For those who don’t recall this little piece of fandom lore, you can read the details here. Many people in the Screw You All, I Love Wheel of Time Facebook group were reminiscing about this strange event and discussing if it was the will of the Light or the Dark One. Daniel Greene—a major news staple in the WoT fandom and the fantasy genre in general—released a hilarious look at Wheel of Time through vines. Which picture of Josha was your favorite? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
  4. I love memes. I think they're an excellent form of entertainment. As a math teacher, I end each lesson with a (school appropriate) math meme. Some of them the kids don't get, but most of them they laugh at. I love it! If you have some favorite memes, please share them with us!
  5. Last year, JordanCon started what I hope will be a timeless tradition: it asked members, past and present, to submit short stories for an anthology, with all proceeds going to the JordanCon charity of choice. This year, the tradition did continue with Become Legend: The JordanCon 2020 Anthology. This is a great way for writers to reach an audience of typically like-minded individuals. Leading up to JordanCon (which is April 17th through the 19th), I want to highlight some of the amazing authors who have contributed to this year’s anthology. First up is a returning author, P Andrew Floyd with his story entitled “Hipshot.” Can you start by telling us a little about your story for this year’s anthology? “Hipshot” takes place in an alternate America where just after the Civil War a giant meteorite struck the Dakota Territories, leaving pieces of itself all over the world. Old west metal smiths turned the pieces of that meteorite into weapons that can be used for various magical purposes. Though, mostly folk just use them to shoot each other. Hipshot is a “hexslinger” who just wants to get her cargo cross country to San Francisco. Unfortunately, the magic space rock had another side effect – it woke up long forgotten magical creatures from hibernation and she may just have to fight her way through a horde of orcs to finish her job. Since this is your second year being featured in the anthology, can you tell us any helpful hints you learned last year that you applied to your story this year? I got lucky. I had written this story before the anthology theme was announced and it ended up being a perfect fit. I actually tried to write another short to fit the theme and make it more personal to JordanCon, but I ended up shelving it about halfway through because it wasn’t working. It felt way too forced. So, I guess for me what I learned was I need to write to write and if I have something that fits a theme, great! If not, there’s always next time. But that’s just how I work personally. You survived last year’s JordanCon Anthology signing sessions. And, you came back for a second helping. How was your experience attending JordanCon as an author? It was definitely a roller coaster! (I love roller coasters, btw!) I had a lot of fun while at the same time being really nervous. There was a lot of me thinking, “No one’s gonna want my signature or talk about my story. Why would they?” And then being ecstatic when I was proven wrong, and then feeling nervous again when I worried they’d regret their decision, then realizing that’s silly because no one’s going to think that over an autograph. But I met a lot of cool people both in and out of the book and I got to do one of my favorite things: talk about my writing! Last year, your story “Doorbuster” was jokingly called “suburban fantasy.” Is your addition this year similar, like within the same world or series? Or did you go a completely different route? I went a totally different route, actually. I was inspired by a character from a Magimart Universe (Doorbuster) story, though. There was a woman who struck me as a modern day gunslinger. I had envisioned this spell casting maneuver for her that was basically like quick drawing guns, but instead of pulling out weapons, she would swipe her fingers across a foci hanging at her hips then fire off blasts of energy from “finger guns.” I thought it would look both awesome and hilarious. But I ended up deciding it didn’t fully fit the magic system I had created. So… I did what any sane writer would do and built up an entire new world around that concept. The world that was born from it ended up being very outside my wheelhouse, but I ran with it after deciding a challenge would be a good thing. With a few exceptions, I’ve never been a huge fan of Westerns. Also, I typically like writing light, humorous stories that focus on character over action. “Hipshot” is an alternate history Weird West with a serious tone and a decent amount of complex action sequences that were super frustrating to write and edit (I’ll have to raise a glass at Con to my editor, Venesa Giunta for dealing with me to get those perfected!). But despite all that, I’m extremely happy with the results. When I was lucky enough to talk to you about the anthology last year you said, “…keep an eye out for me. I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to see my words in a printed book, and I’m not going to stop until it happens again and again.” It seems it became a prophecy! What other works have you been dabbling in this year? Now, prophecy is totally in my wheelhouse! I’m so happy to be in the second anthology and that my words came true because of that. Though, the original meaning behind that statement was born from a bit of naïveté. I was always planning on submitting to anthology two, but my goal was to have something else in the works in between. I had been querying for maybe two months at that point and I was under the impression that if I were to get an agent I would know for sure yes or no by the end of the year. Like, I think I actually thought six months would be enough time to know if that was going to happen. Ha! Little did I know that publishing is THE slowest industry in existence. I am *still* querying over a year later and I am also waiting on multiple full and partial requests from agents. Since then, I did write “Hipshot,” but a lot of my 2019 revolved around my novel. Querying, but also editing. Early last year I won a contest called RevPit and got the chance to work with professional editor Jeni Chappelle to do several passes of my novel to help strengthen it for querying. I took the advice from that and made the best draft I could. Currently I’m working on a new Sci-Fi novel I’m excited about and brainstorming a few short stories that have been tickling the back of my head. And, hey, maybe one of those will be in Anthology 3! Is there anything else you’d like to say to your readers? If you missed last year’s anthology, you can read “Doorbuster” at my website here. I also have the first chapter from the novel I’ve been querying up. Also, also, still keep an eye out for me. Publishing may be slow, but I’m still doing the thing and I’ll at least be trying out for the anthology again next year! Thanks P. Andrew Floyd for talking with me today! The JordanCon anthology can be pre-ordered from now until March 25th. After that, only a few copies will be available for purchase at the convention. Make sure to get yours ordered now! Find out more details at JordanCon’s website! View full news item
  6. Last year, JordanCon started what I hope will be a timeless tradition: it asked members, past and present, to submit short stories for an anthology, with all proceeds going to the JordanCon charity of choice. This year, the tradition did continue with Become Legend: The JordanCon 2020 Anthology. This is a great way for writers to reach an audience of typically like-minded individuals. Leading up to JordanCon (which is April 17th through the 19th), I want to highlight some of the amazing authors who have contributed to this year’s anthology. First up is a returning author, P Andrew Floyd with his story entitled “Hipshot.” Can you start by telling us a little about your story for this year’s anthology? “Hipshot” takes place in an alternate America where just after the Civil War a giant meteorite struck the Dakota Territories, leaving pieces of itself all over the world. Old west metal smiths turned the pieces of that meteorite into weapons that can be used for various magical purposes. Though, mostly folk just use them to shoot each other. Hipshot is a “hexslinger” who just wants to get her cargo cross country to San Francisco. Unfortunately, the magic space rock had another side effect – it woke up long forgotten magical creatures from hibernation and she may just have to fight her way through a horde of orcs to finish her job. Since this is your second year being featured in the anthology, can you tell us any helpful hints you learned last year that you applied to your story this year? I got lucky. I had written this story before the anthology theme was announced and it ended up being a perfect fit. I actually tried to write another short to fit the theme and make it more personal to JordanCon, but I ended up shelving it about halfway through because it wasn’t working. It felt way too forced. So, I guess for me what I learned was I need to write to write and if I have something that fits a theme, great! If not, there’s always next time. But that’s just how I work personally. You survived last year’s JordanCon Anthology signing sessions. And, you came back for a second helping. How was your experience attending JordanCon as an author? It was definitely a roller coaster! (I love roller coasters, btw!) I had a lot of fun while at the same time being really nervous. There was a lot of me thinking, “No one’s gonna want my signature or talk about my story. Why would they?” And then being ecstatic when I was proven wrong, and then feeling nervous again when I worried they’d regret their decision, then realizing that’s silly because no one’s going to think that over an autograph. But I met a lot of cool people both in and out of the book and I got to do one of my favorite things: talk about my writing! Last year, your story “Doorbuster” was jokingly called “suburban fantasy.” Is your addition this year similar, like within the same world or series? Or did you go a completely different route? I went a totally different route, actually. I was inspired by a character from a Magimart Universe (Doorbuster) story, though. There was a woman who struck me as a modern day gunslinger. I had envisioned this spell casting maneuver for her that was basically like quick drawing guns, but instead of pulling out weapons, she would swipe her fingers across a foci hanging at her hips then fire off blasts of energy from “finger guns.” I thought it would look both awesome and hilarious. But I ended up deciding it didn’t fully fit the magic system I had created. So… I did what any sane writer would do and built up an entire new world around that concept. The world that was born from it ended up being very outside my wheelhouse, but I ran with it after deciding a challenge would be a good thing. With a few exceptions, I’ve never been a huge fan of Westerns. Also, I typically like writing light, humorous stories that focus on character over action. “Hipshot” is an alternate history Weird West with a serious tone and a decent amount of complex action sequences that were super frustrating to write and edit (I’ll have to raise a glass at Con to my editor, Venesa Giunta for dealing with me to get those perfected!). But despite all that, I’m extremely happy with the results. When I was lucky enough to talk to you about the anthology last year you said, “…keep an eye out for me. I’ve gotten a taste of what it’s like to see my words in a printed book, and I’m not going to stop until it happens again and again.” It seems it became a prophecy! What other works have you been dabbling in this year? Now, prophecy is totally in my wheelhouse! I’m so happy to be in the second anthology and that my words came true because of that. Though, the original meaning behind that statement was born from a bit of naïveté. I was always planning on submitting to anthology two, but my goal was to have something else in the works in between. I had been querying for maybe two months at that point and I was under the impression that if I were to get an agent I would know for sure yes or no by the end of the year. Like, I think I actually thought six months would be enough time to know if that was going to happen. Ha! Little did I know that publishing is THE slowest industry in existence. I am *still* querying over a year later and I am also waiting on multiple full and partial requests from agents. Since then, I did write “Hipshot,” but a lot of my 2019 revolved around my novel. Querying, but also editing. Early last year I won a contest called RevPit and got the chance to work with professional editor Jeni Chappelle to do several passes of my novel to help strengthen it for querying. I took the advice from that and made the best draft I could. Currently I’m working on a new Sci-Fi novel I’m excited about and brainstorming a few short stories that have been tickling the back of my head. And, hey, maybe one of those will be in Anthology 3! Is there anything else you’d like to say to your readers? If you missed last year’s anthology, you can read “Doorbuster” at my website here. I also have the first chapter from the novel I’ve been querying up. Also, also, still keep an eye out for me. Publishing may be slow, but I’m still doing the thing and I’ll at least be trying out for the anthology again next year! Thanks P. Andrew Floyd for talking with me today! The JordanCon anthology can be pre-ordered from now until March 25th. After that, only a few copies will be available for purchase at the convention. Make sure to get yours ordered now! Find out more details at JordanCon’s website!
  7. Happy Groundhog Day to those who celebrate! This will be a place to see some of the top news items pertaining to The Wheel of Time, as well as memes, fan art, idle speculation about the show and casting, and anything else within our sci-fi/fantasy community. February is Black History Month in the United States. To kick it off, our friend and JordanCon guest, Gerald Coleman had a fantastic summary of speculative fiction by black authors. Rather than list the well known within the genre, Gerald dives deep and gives a thoughtful list of lesser known writers. Gerald writes: You can read Gerald’s summary of each book on his website. On the fanart side of the community, I stumbled up several amazing works by Gal Or. The representation of Shaidar Logoth is incredible, and as the show draws ever closer, the cursed city is going to be an interesting place to visit. This event is so important to the character development of Mat, I hope we get a satisfying rendition of its creepy eyes and dark shadows. You can see more of Gal Or’s artwork here. For news with the show, we had a large batch of casting announcements over the past few weeks. Many of them came about with the actors holding scripts. (You can check out Dragonmount’s coverage of these announcements here and here.) One I saw of Josha Stardowski (who is playing Rand) and Marcus Rutherford (who is playing Perrin) really pulled at my heartstrings! (Photo from Wheel of Time News on Twitter) It’s easy to get caught up in the adventure the three ta’veren get pulled into. But at the start of the story, our heroes are best friends! They have twenty years of history between them before Moiraine comes and collects them. The two of them together in this picture captures the feeling of best friends to me. I can see how amazing their on-screen chemistry will be. For anyone in need of a humor fix, there’s a fantastic Facebook group called The Wheel of Time Shai’tan Posting, a private group, but one you can join. As you can tell from the name, this group has the worst (and best) meme in existence. This definitely isn’t a group for everyone. But if you like your humor a bit dark or sometimes borderline inappropriate, this group is for you! Here’s a few of the milder memes. There’s plenty of Wheel of Time content going around! This is a great time to be a fan! That concludes this Community Round-Up. Have you read any of the books on Gerald’s list? Are you sensing the good vibes between Rand and Perrin? Don't you agree "DangerGingers" is the perfect name for the Aiel? Let us know in the comments. View full news item
  8. Happy Groundhog Day to those who celebrate! This will be a place to see some of the top news items pertaining to The Wheel of Time, as well as memes, fan art, idle speculation about the show and casting, and anything else within our sci-fi/fantasy community. February is Black History Month in the United States. To kick it off, our friend and JordanCon guest, Gerald Coleman had a fantastic summary of speculative fiction by black authors. Rather than list the well known within the genre, Gerald dives deep and gives a thoughtful list of lesser known writers. Gerald writes: You can read Gerald’s summary of each book on his website. On the fanart side of the community, I stumbled up several amazing works by Gal Or. The representation of Shaidar Logoth is incredible, and as the show draws ever closer, the cursed city is going to be an interesting place to visit. This event is so important to the character development of Mat, I hope we get a satisfying rendition of its creepy eyes and dark shadows. You can see more of Gal Or’s artwork here. For news with the show, we had a large batch of casting announcements over the past few weeks. Many of them came about with the actors holding scripts. (You can check out Dragonmount’s coverage of these announcements here and here.) One I saw of Josha Stardowski (who is playing Rand) and Marcus Rutherford (who is playing Perrin) really pulled at my heartstrings! (Photo from Wheel of Time News on Twitter) It’s easy to get caught up in the adventure the three ta’veren get pulled into. But at the start of the story, our heroes are best friends! They have twenty years of history between them before Moiraine comes and collects them. The two of them together in this picture captures the feeling of best friends to me. I can see how amazing their on-screen chemistry will be. For anyone in need of a humor fix, there’s a fantastic Facebook group called The Wheel of Time Shai’tan Posting, a private group, but one you can join. As you can tell from the name, this group has the worst (and best) meme in existence. This definitely isn’t a group for everyone. But if you like your humor a bit dark or sometimes borderline inappropriate, this group is for you! Here’s a few of the milder memes. There’s plenty of Wheel of Time content going around! This is a great time to be a fan! That concludes this Community Round-Up. Have you read any of the books on Gerald’s list? Are you sensing the good vibes between Rand and Perrin? Don't you agree "DangerGingers" is the perfect name for the Aiel? Let us know in the comments.
  9. Mashiara ~ First Reasoner I don't mind it, but I do love the candy!
  10. Here are your fabulous siggies: First Place: @Ryrin 2nd Place: @Dar'Jen Ab Owain 3rd Place: @JamesBrown
  11. And this concludes our Good Luck Trivia game! The winner was: Ryrin! With Dar'Jen taking 2nd, and JamesBrown taking 3rd! Siggies to be awarded soon! Thanks for playing!
  12. Nope, nope, and nope! Good guesses, though! Yes, yes, and yes! Great job, Ry!
  13. This one's making my heart beat fast! ❤️
  14. 13. This pope is the patron saint of soccer. 14. In this country, a ladybug is considered good luck if it lands on a woman's hand. 15. In Denmark, people save these to throw at their friends' doors on New Years Eve to bring good luck.
  15. Yes, no, and no (it's actually the name of a specific Kami, I believe). +1 for Dar'Jen! Yes, but point goes to Dar'Jen, Yes, and No! One point for you, Ry!
  16. For those of you who don't know, my husband is a film professor at ASU. His love for movies runs deep, and it does inspire a little in me. I've grown to love movies more since meeting him, but I'll never have the same love and appreciation for film as he does. *shrugs* When he found out I wanted to participate in a film themed challenge, he demanded that he get to pick the movie I watch each month. So without further adieu, I present my report. Stalker (1979) Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky Country of origin: Soviet Union In a post-apocalyptic world, there exists a place called the Zone. It was created when a meteor struck this unnamed city in Russia. People started disappearing. Children were born mutated. Eventually, the government banned entry into the Zone. The main character--who is unnamed as well--is a Stalker, a person who sneaks people across the border into the Zone. It's said within the Zone is a Room that grants your inner most desires. The Stalker's been caught before, and just finished up his five year jail sentence. When his wife realizes he means to go back inside, she's angry at him for abandoning her and their mutated daughter (called Monkey). The Stalker still continues with his plans. He meets up with the Writer and the Professor--both having separate reasons for wishing to get into the Zone. Once inside the Zone, the dull browns and grays and oranges of the outside world change into the normal greens and blues of a healthy, thriving place. The Stalker warns his traveling companions about the dangers of the Zone. It kills people who don't follow the rules. You can't leave by the same way you entered. You can't enter the Room from straight on, you have to circle around from the back. When the Writer tires to go forward to the Room, he's warned verbally by some unseen voice. The two travelers frequently refuse to heed the Stalker's advice, and get closer and closer to death--or so he claims. The movie was WEIRD. Very artsy. I don't have a damn clue what the point of the movie was, or what the director's ultimate message was. These things go way over my head. But I was able to see there were themes of faith, and lack of it. Themes of perseverance, and giving up. The ending was confusing and even my husband couldn't explain it to my satisfaction. Still, it was interesting to see the muted, dull colors of their "normal" world change to the beautiful scenery with the Zone. A really interesting way to show the division between the two spaces. I think the ending was happy, and I guess that's what I look for most in the movie. It was interesting and kept my interest, but I don't think I'd ever want to watch it again.
  17. If anyone is interested in Chinese Zodiac themed siggies, I've got you covered!
  18. 10. This Chinese custom of furniture arranging can lead to good luck in and out of the home. Feng shui 11. In Australia, the Aborigines think this creature is good luck because it brings rain. Frogs 12. This deity is called the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese folklore.
  19. Yes, yes, yes! Good job Dar'Jen! You swept that round! +3 points! Nope! Nope, YES (But I already awarded the point on this one), and YES! Good job, Ryrin! One point for you! Technically correct on one and two, but I already awarded points. YES on three! You are a superstar! Another point for you! Yes, I guess that's true as well, but I was looking for clover, and coin was the more specific answer to #9.
  20. Beautiful! Hi Ryrin! Thanks for joining in the festivities! I love that dragon dance!
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