Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Technology "Cool" Gap

For me, not all technology is equally cool. What do I mean by that? In this case, “cool” is all about whether I want to know more about the technology and find it interesting to learn about. And some things are simply cooler than others.

For example, on a “cool” scale from 1 to 10, my smartphone would get a 6 and my refrigerator probably a 2 or 3. (Which doesn't mean I appreciate the fridge any less seeing as I would rather go without my phone for a week than without my fridge.) In my head, technology has a whole range of cool.

In thinking about that I started comparing technologies I think of as cool versus those I don't. So I decided to do a rough graph of average technology cool factor by era:

Clearly time period plays a huge role. Ancient Baghdad Battery? Totally cool! Modern batteries? Eh. On the other hand, the average for modern technology is probably around 5 to 7, but for future tech? Well, I only have two words: flying cars!

But you can see that the least cool time period, for me, is the Industrial Revolution. Now why is that? Is it a gender conditioning thing? Girls aren't supposed to like trains and gears and pistons and all that? Is it brainwashing from reading Lord of the Rings at an early age? Trees good! Factories bad! Is it the fact that we always studied that time period at the end of the school year when all I wanted was to be out for the summer? Or is it just the idea of all that dirt and smoke and grease? Ick, ick, ick!

Whatever the reason, that time period has a clear “cool” gap. And it has a major effect on my literary preferences. Because of the cool gap, I prefer reading science fiction set in the ancient past or far future. Because of the cool gap, I'm not a big fan of steampunk. Give me some well-designed ancient tech or future tech, though, and you have my full attention. Because of the cool gap, my next book will be set on a clipper ship instead of a steamship.

Does anybody else have a cool gap? Where is yours? What technology do you find interesting or boring?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Firefly Fields

“When I grow up,” I used to think, “I want to be an astronomer.”

Back then I thought astronomy meant staying up all night developing a killer crick in my neck from keeping my head tilted back so far my mouth couldn't close. I thought it meant looking through telescopes whenever I wanted, like the powerful amateur telescope my granddad bought for all of us, or even better, like the one at the observatory an hour away.

Where I grew up, I could always see the stars on a clear night. Even when the moon was full, no other light got in the way. And when the moon wasn't full, the whole sky was cluttered with tangled strings of glowing beads. Sometimes I saw the milky way. Then I'd look down around me at the fields speckled with fireflies and think some of the stars had fallen just for me.

Those wide fields were my retreat any time the world grew too heavy. I'd walk outside, sometimes barefoot in my pajamas, and take a deep breath as I tilted my chin up. The stars may look small from earth, but they're not; they're huge and massive and have a lot more gravity than earth. When I needed it, that gravity would pull at me too, and all the things sitting heavily on my shoulders would be pulled away, into the sky. I'd be left with nothing but me and a sense of contentment.

But then sometimes I'd see a shooting star, and instead of making a wish I'd remember that our galaxy isn't so very empty. A tremor would go through me at the thought of a chunk of rock hurtling through the sky straight toward me. So I'd race back into the house, not because it was safer but because I could turn the lights on and forget how big the universe really is.

Here in the suburbs, I can't see the stars so well. I can't see the milky way or the fireflies, and the only gravity I feel is earth's. When I remember the open fields, I remember that I miss them.

But I can close my eyes and pretend I see the stars against my lids. I can go back to visit from time to time and see the stars again for real. And when I can't do that I can listen to this song and think about those nights in the firefly fields.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Recent Reads

Recently finished:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver – This book was pretty much exactly what I was expecting it to be: intense, beautiful and heartbreaking. I read the second half of it certain that any minute I would turn a page and something disastrous would happen. There wasn't any surprise to it for me, but it was a good book. If you aren't sick of dystopian stories yet and you're willing to read something heavy, you might appreciate this book.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre – Generally zombie books aren't really my thing, but the Freaks as they're called in this book didn't bother me... probably because the story wasn't really about them so much as about the main characters. (Actually, I think my problem with zombies is that often zombie stories are depressing and the few human survivors are rapidly dwindling and have no hope.) Enclave turned out to be a brighter-than-expected adventure.

Currently reading:

Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard – I'm not all that far into it yet, so I don't quite know what I think of it. Mandarin herself is interesting. The verdict is still out on the other characters.

Extraordinary by Nancy Werlin – I got this without realizing it was supposed to be a follow-up to another book, but so far it has read as a stand-alone. I'm finding myself drawn into it more than I thought I would be.

Vikings, the North Atlantic Saga by William W. Fitzhugh and Elizabeth I. Ward – My current nonfiction research book. Viking research is altogether too much fun. But I'll probably talk about that more in the next couple weeks, so for now let's just say I'm entertained.

What have you been reading lately?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where are the Superheroes?

Do you have a favorite superhero?

Sometimes my favorite is Superman, but that's probably because Lois and Clark was one of the only TV shows I watched when I was younger. (I even had two teddy bears named Clark and Kent.)

My actual favorites are the X-Men. I think it's because I love how all the different mutant powers are like puzzle pieces, and in order to solve a conflict they all have to fit together.

My husband and I went to see the latest X-Men movie a week and a half ago and I thought it was fantastic. Now granted, I'm an action movie girl. I like watching things blow up. (A fact I finally realized when watching Live Free or Die Hard, a movie epitomized by the quote: “You just killed a helicopter with a car!” “I was out of bullets.” It's completely over-the-top, and I love it.) But I think X-Men: First Class is a good movie, not just a good action movie.

Well anyway, watching that and watching The Invisible Man as I mentioned on Monday got me thinking about superpowers and superheroes. And I got to wondering... are there really any superheroes in books?

I keep going over and over this, and I can't seem to think of any. (And I'm not talking about random people with mysterious powers. I mean full-scale, masked, caped superheroes.) They seem to be confined to comic books and television. Why not books?

Now maybe I just blanked on novel-form superheroes, or maybe I haven't read any and you guys know of some? If you do, I'd love to hear what you come up with. But if I'm right and there are no superheroes in novels, I'm curious as to why. Is there a reason comic book superheroes don't work well in novels?

Maybe there is. Maybe certain superpowers are more impressive in a visual context. Maybe there's a different expectation of how much suspension of reality is too much in books versus comic books. Maybe the kinds of conflicts typical in superhero stories just don't fit in a standard novel-length book. Or maybe it's something else altogether.

What do you think?

Monday, June 20, 2011

To Catch a Thief

How many of you use Hulu? I'm a big fan of it. Between that and Netflix I'm pretty much set for TV for a long time to come.

One of my favorite things about both is that I can watch shows that I never knew existed back when they were actually airing. I've found a lot of great shows this way, most recently The Invisible Man (2000-2002 series).

Now I don't know if any of you have even heard of this show, much less seen it. I didn't know anything about it until it came up on my Hulu recommendations. So I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying it, particularly the chemistry between the cast members. The show is about a thief who has been caught and is given the chance at a free get-out-of-jail card if he is willing to be the subject of a government test.

Watching it got me thinking about just how many movies and TV shows have a thief as the main character. Makes sense—characters need flaws, and of all the acts that'll get a person on the wrong side of the law, thievery is perhaps the least offensive. So here's a list of some of my favorite TV thieves.

Darien Fawkes (The Invisible Man)

As thieves go, he's not the best. He got caught because he let compassion get in the way. He's not really such a bad guy, which is often the point of main-character thieves. But he does have a lot of tricks up his sleeve, and the invisibility adds a whole new layer of potential to the mix.

"By the way, I want my tombstone to say, 'Too late, he's already dead.' You know, just in case more people show up wanting to screw my life over." - Darien Fawkes

Why he works:

Darien is funny, and humor always gets points. He likes to pretend he's tough, but he's a major softy. And he's got a knack for getting out of trouble. I think what really makes him work, though, is how well he plays off the people around him. He's just the kind of guy that you'd want to work with.

Flynn Rider (Tangled)

The number one comment when this movie came out was how much everyone loved Flynn Rider. I was no exception—I thought he was fantastic. (The whole movie was great.) He's one of the few animated characters that transcends the animation and becomes almost real.

Flynn: "You can't tell anyone about this, okay? It could ruin my whole reputation."
Rapunzel: "Ah, we wouldn't want that."
Flynn: "Well, a fake reputation is all a man has."

Why he works:

It's the smolder. Or maybe the writing. Or the fabulous animation. Or Zachary Levi's inherent awesomeness coming through. Actually... it's probably a combination of all of them. And if the final scenes of the movie don't make you melt, then you have no heart.

Neal Caffrey (White Collar)

If I had to be the victim of a theft, this is the guy I'd want robbing me. He's just so charismatic that the whole sting of the crime would disappear. Plus, he has really good taste; if he was stealing something from me, I'd take it as a compliment.

Peter Burke: "This could work."
Neal: "All we need is a bad cop."
Peter: "I can do bad cop."
Neal: "I've seen you do mildly irritated cop."

Why he works:

Again, it's all about the charm. But in Neal Caffrey's case, there's a whole lot of skill involved as well. I love watching people who are really good at what they do, and Neal is an expert. This show works for me because all the characters are brilliant in their fields, and I enjoy seeing them work together to pull off complex cons.

Who are your favorite thieves?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Recommendation: The Shifter

In Nya's world, a healer can stitch up a wound and pull its pain out of the affected body and into her own. Healers draw out the hurt, carry it, and then store it in a substance called pynvium—a non-renewable resource mined from the mountains. For the right coin, any injury can disappear; healers can heal any hurt.

Well... most healers, that is. But Nya isn't like most healers. When she pulls the pain out of a person, she only has one option: to shift it into someone else. Pynvium doesn't work for her. And that's a problem, because without it, Nya can't be a real healer. She can't find work, she can't help people, and worst of all, if anyone ever finds out she's a shifter she'll be carted off and forced to cause harm.

But now her sister has disappeared, the Healers' League has stopped taking patients, and a mysterious man is tailing her around the city. Nya is the only one with a chance of setting things right, and she might just have to use her terrible power to do so.

Janice Hardy's The Shifter is an incredibly fun read. I absolutely loved it. I've read a lot of heavy books lately, so this one had just the right tone to put me back in balance. It's not all rainbows and sunshine, of course—Nya struggles with some very hard decisions—but it's an adventure that left me with a smile.

The ideas behind the book really worked. The “about the author” at the end mentions “the darker side of healing,” which I think is an absolutely brilliant concept. Janice Hardy takes that idea and continuously pokes and prods it. She puts Nya into a lot of situations that don't have an obvious right or wrong solution. I really appreciated the ethical questions that came up in this book.

I also loved reading about Nya's world. I didn't find any flaws in the internal consistency, and I was impressed with how the main idea had an impact on more than one aspect of society. Healers don't just take the place of physicians. The ability to heal during war and the competition for the pynvium resource set up a complex political environment.

Though I say this about almost every book I like, it's no less true here: I enjoyed the characters. Nya is very likable. The secondary characters, both allies and villains, add some nice variety to the story. There wasn't a single one that I wished would just disappear. I also liked that there's a hint of possible romance, but that it's playing out slowly. I can see what each of the characters appreciates in the other, so it's a rewarding relationship.

All in all, I'd say this is a very good book for anyone who likes fantasy, and probably even for those who don't tend to read it. I know I'm looking forward to the next in the series!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Love/Hate of Exercise

This is how it happened:

Hubby: I need to exercise more. My current workout schedule is not doing enough.

Me (far too smug for my own good): I is exercise already! ROAR!

Hubby: Yes, and you look hot too. I want to be just like you.

Me: *preens*

Cameo of hubby's dad: Hey, son, check out this new exercise program your stepmother and I are doing.

Hubby: Hey, Audrey, check out this new exercise program my dad is doing. *Hint, hint.*

Me: Exercise with company in the evening instead of exercising alone during the day? This proposition... IS ACCEPTABLE.

(Events may or may not have transpired in precisely this manner.)

So last week we started our new workout program. Now I've done lots of different kinds of exercise. Growing up I did ballet for years and years. I've tried both home exercise programs and working out regularly at the gym, and I've been pretty successful with all the different regimens I've attempted.

But no matter how many different kinds of exercise I do, or how many muscles I build, every time I start a new workout I find muscles I never knew existed. And by “find” I mean “yikes, that aaaaaaches.”

The funny thing this time is that I did a very bad job of predicting which muscles would be sore. I was certain my abs would be protesting, and if not those then surely my arms. But my calf muscles? Never would have guessed, especially after all the jogging and biking I've done.

Well anyway, doing this new program got me thinking about all the things I love and hate about exercise. Here are a few:

-I love the idea of improving my body.
-I hate how long it takes to build muscles or even to drop a single pound.

-I love the feeling of being in shape and having a healthy metabolism.
-I hate that staying in shape requires continued maintenance with no hope of ever being finished.

-I love discarding all the clothes that are now too baggy for me.
-I hate that my body shape will always be quirky and difficult to find clothes for no matter what weight I am.

-I love the feeling of slightly sore muscles that means I got a good workout.
-I hate overworking my muscles by accident.

-I love being able to tell the doctor that I exercise several hours a week and know that I'm not fudging the truth even a little bit.
-I hate that exercising means those hours can't go toward doing something else instead.

But most of all I love that I've developed the habit of doing something really positive for myself.

How do you feel about exercise? And do you have this kind of love/hate relationship with anything in your life?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Perfect Days

Today is a perfectly beautiful day.

I know... talking about the weather is rather banal, but some moments are simply too exquisite not to mention.

The air smells entirely pleasant, like someone put down a giant adhesive and then ripped it off, carrying all the bad smells away on the sticky side. The sun is shining on my toes at a soothing 75 degrees. And the wind...

Oh, how I love the wind.

People say that we associate memories with smells, and that may well be true, but I know for myself some of the strongest memories are attached to days exactly like this. [Riding home on the bus with my eyes fluttering closed and my heart so full that it's pushing up the corners of my mouth. Walking across campus with Emily and I say, “Look, they cut the grass,” and she says, “Yeah, I heard the smell.” Sitting outside with a book and wondering how I could possibly be so blessed as to have this life.] So each time a day like this comes, it's even better than the last, because it holds all the memories of the past perfect days.

(Following my stream of consciousness: everyone probably gets deja vu, but have you ever had the opposite? Instead of “I've seen this before,” have you ever thought “I'm going to see this again”? That happened to me once. I was lying on the floor of my bedroom, going through a calming exercise, and suddenly had this odd feeling that I was going to be there again.)

Well, I think it's clear that we're not going to get much more rational sense out of me for a while. I'm too immobilized by the way the grass is swaying outside my window...

I hope wherever you are your day is even half as amazing as mine.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fluke Friday

Hey everybody, I'm in the middle of several books right now, but I don't have a particular recommendation for this week.  So... time to turn the Friday recommendation on its head: what books have you read and loved lately?  I'm looking for some new suggestions!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Math Stories

Thinking about game theory on Monday got my mind whirling about math for the first time in a while. I've probably mentioned before that I was a math major in college. For a long, long time math was my greatest interest. I loved the logic of it and the fact that every problem always had a correct answer. I loved its elegance and I loved that mathematical truth could usually be known with certainty.

Eventually I came to the conclusion that math wasn't my final destination. Much as I still love it, I never regretted making the change to writing. But I've always found a lot of beauty in math, and since I know so many people don't see it I want to talk about math from a story perspective.


Ever hear of Evariste Galois? I won't be surprised if you haven't. He was a brilliant mathematician of the early 19th century, but he died at a very early age after being wounded in a duel. The reasons for the duel aren't entirely clear, but evidence suggests it had something to do with a girl.

How about Carl Friedrich Gauss? There's a famous anecdote about Gauss as a young boy. His teacher asked him to find the sum of all whole numbers from 1 to 100, thinking the task would take a long time to complete. Within seconds Gauss had the answer.

Surely you've heard of Isaac Newton. But do you know about Gottfried Leibniz? Did you know there was a huge plagiarism scandal over which of the two men invented calculus? Today they are both credited with coming up with it simultaneously, but in the early 18th century the question sparked a bitter controversy. (By the way, Leibniz's notation is the one we use today.)

The history of mathematics is full of quirky people and dramatic events, many of which are fascinating to study. And I bet I wouldn't have to search very hard to find a mathematical story worth telling. Why? Because despite the pure logic of mathematics, it was developed by very human people, and human stories are universal. So if you're ever looking for a new character idea, consider browsing through a list of famous mathematicians for inspiration.


As a child one of my favorite mysteries was Fermat's Last Theorem. If you already know about it, forgive me for explaining to those who don't.

Everybody who has taken Geometry should be familiar with the Pythagorean Theorem: a² + b² = c², where a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of a right triangle (c being the hypotenuse).

So here's the question: what if you change the equation to a + b = c, where n is a whole number greater than 2? That is, if a, b and c aren't squared but are instead, say, cubed, or taken to the fourth power, can you ever find a solution to the equation?

Pierre de Fermat (a mathematician living in the first half of the 17th century) said no. At his death, his son found the following written in a book and referring to the fact that the equation had no solution: “I have a truly marvelous demonstration of this proposition which this margin is too narrow to contain.”

But what was his proof? Nobody knows! It was never found. And for a few hundred years, nobody was able to prove that the theorem was true. Only within the past fifteen years did one man (Andrew Wiles) and a 100-page proof finally lay the question to rest.

But surely Fermat's proof wasn't 100 pages long! So did he really have a proof? And if he did, what was it? It's still a mystery!

And it's not the only mathematical mystery. So if you've got writer's block and you're looking for something new to stimulate your mind, try delving into a math mystery for a while.


You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but I'm still always amazed when I find that things in the real world come back to mathematics. There's something almost magical about how math just fits everywhere.

In fact, I wrote a story once about math and magic and music and the embodiments of Hope and Peace and other such ideas. I called it Fugue. It was a NaNoWriMo story and had almost no research, and a lot of the math was just hand waving because I didn't go through all of it rigorously, but it was a lot of fun and I liked the idea.

I already know what I'll be writing for the next couple years at least, but maybe some day in the future I'll work on another book with math in it. In the meantime, if you're looking for some interesting people to help you get rid of any lingering anger toward math, I'd point you in the direction of Martin Gardner and Vi Hart. They make math pretty irresistible.

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's All Fun and Games Blogfest

I've never done a blogfest before, but I saw this one today and loved the topic enough to add my post to the mix.

One of the great things about games is their variety. We sure have a lot of options! Board games, card games, video games, pen and paper games, strategy games, etc. So picking three favorites is a challenge!

But over time I get pretty bored of most games. I've come to find that the games I like the least are the ones that have either no strategy at all (like the card game War—how mind-numbing) or a strategy that is easy to figure out and doesn't change much from game to game (like Tic Tac Toe for an extreme example). Basically, the longer it takes me to get my game theory on and figure out the strategy that is most likely to win every time, the longer I enjoy the game.

So here are my three favorite categories of games and my top picks in each:

1. Computer Games

Okay, this is a really huge category, and maybe I'm cheating by counting it as a single game type. Oh well. The games that I've spent the most time playing over the years are Civilization 4 (and 5 for the first time last weekend), the Sims 3, and various MMOs (yep, I got caught in the quicksand of World of Warcraft for a while).

My top pick, though, is Portal/Portal 2. While certainly not the game I've spent the most time playing, it's the one that I found to be most fascinating. The only downside: the turrets! I do not like being shot at! No, thank you! But even that I think I got over by the end. They're very cute after all.

2. Games with Complex Strategies

For me these are really difficult to find. Sometimes I'll think I've got one, only to lose interest after just a few times playing. Ticket to Ride was one that I enjoyed for a while and then suddenly got really sick of. I tend to have a little more luck with card games like Hearts or Spades (or maybe even Bridge if I knew anyone who'd want to play). A friend introduced me to Dominion a few months ago, which I think might last for a while because each game is so different from the last, though even that will get old.

My top pick: very difficult to say since I don't really have a favorite right now, but if I had to pick I'd go with Dungeonquest. Another friend owns this game, and of the few times I've played I've only made it out of the dungeon alive once. It's fun because it's so unpredictable and so difficult to win.

3. Content Creation Games

Now these are my absolute favorites. Tabletop RPGs would fall into this category, but while I do love group story-telling, these aren't the only content creation games out there. One of my first favorites was “the Dictionary game” as we called it, but I think most people know it as Balderdash. A more recent favorite is “Telephone Pictionary.” For those who have never played it, it combines the descent into nonsense that is “Telephone” with the not-so-artistic drawings of “Pictionary,” resulting in chaotic hilarity.

My top pick: The Game of Things. This game has gotten more laughs than any other I've played. It's a “who said what” game like Balderdash but with far less serious responses.


Being that I am the kind of person who analyzes everything—after all, I do come from a family that will discuss the finer points of anything hypothetical, regardless of how ridiculous (and we've been known to debate the pros and cons of using the vomit comet to aerate wine)—I've done some thinking about the different games that I enjoy playing, and I've started designing my own game. It's a combination board game and content creation game. If I finish it by the next time I get together with all my cousins I'll test it out on them, and if they like it I may post more about it later. Of course, it's not exactly my highest priority, so whether it actually gets finished remains to be seen.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Recommendation: Incarceron

The trouble with books that have truly unique concepts is that often the online summaries of these books don't give a very good picture of what they're really all about. For me this was the problem with Catherine Fisher's Incarceron. I kept hearing the title, and I knew it was about a prison, but I didn't really have a clear idea of what the book would be like.

Fortunately I picked it up anyway, and I enjoyed the whole story. It was a very interesting book.

Incarceron is indeed a prison, but it's not like any prison that any of us have ever seen. It's like a whole world, so large no one could visit all of it in a single lifetime, with cities and societies, wind and rain, tunnels and secret doors. All it's lacking are the stars. No one can get out; no one even knows where the boundaries are. And everywhere Incarceron watches its inmates through tiny red eyes. Sometimes it even talks to them.

Claudia is the daughter of Incarceron's warden. She's heard the stories of Incarceron, how it was formed as an experiment, a perfect place where society's criminals could learn to live in peace. She envies the inmates, because her own life is nowhere close to peaceful. In her world, everyone is forced to live “in the past,” in a Victorian society where Protocol governs everything and technologies that could save lives are illegal. She was bred to marry the son of the Queen, a lazy, disingenuous boy whom she hates, and now her wedding is imminent.

Finn has been an inmate of Incarceron for three years, and the prison is far from paradise. It's dirty, the people are anything but trustworthy, and Incarceron is running out of organic materials to create new life, resulting in halfmen and animals with wires running through their flesh. Finn has had to join a gang of marauders in order to survive. He can't remember anything before he woke up in a prison cell three years ago, though sometimes he has flashes of what might be memory before seizures take over. He wants to escape, but only one person in all of Incarceron's long history ever managed to figure out how, and he never came back.

The very first chapter of the book grabbed me right away, and then the rest of the book had enough unexpected twists to keep me guessing right up to the end. The plot was so unlike anything else I'd ever read, and I truly enjoyed following it through every turn. The complexity of the plot is the real highlight of this book.

The writing and characters aren't bad either. I enjoyed both points of view equally and was never disappointed to be switching from one to the other. Each had plenty of tension and carried its weight.

But the true gold is in the “Whoa! Hold on. What just happened?” moments. I applaud anyone who manages to figure out the twists before they happen, because I certainly didn't. (Well, except for the really obvious one, but I don't think that was meant to be much of a surprise.) I was really glad I had the sequel ready to read immediately, because I would NOT have wanted to have to wait months or even weeks to find out what happened next. (And just so you know, Sapphique was a terrific book too.)

So go! Read! And tell me what you think when you're done.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cat Hats

A typical conversation* during a fellowship dinner at my church:

Thing 1 (our Kids' Pastor) to me: What you need to do is write a book with silly but easy-to-make costumes, so that when you do book signings you can secretly be laughing at all the people who come to the signings looking like complete idiots.

Thing 2 (his wife): Ooooh, like cat hat costumes! Only with real cats. Absolute mayhem would ensue.

Thing 1 (sarcastically): Bookstores would love you.

I was highly amused, but after the dinner I forgot the conversation and went on with my life. Then the next day the following showed up on my Facebook page:

Thing 2: We've got it! The story premise is that a kid writes messages to the sewer people, seals them in little tubes and flushes them. The sewer people are the ones who will have the costumes. Costumes which will have cat hats. LIVE cat hats. You should TOTALLY write this story for Thing 1. He will be soooo happy.

Red Fish**: It needs a twist. Like, at the end, you find out that the little boy is a cat hat.

Blue Fish**: PLEASE make the sewer people talk with a funny accent... A blend of Pirate and Indonesian... And the leader has a bright purple trench coat with feathered lapels... His catch phrase should be “Down here, there is no 3 second rule...”

Thing 2: Ooo! And goggles.*** All the cool underground/steampunk/lost society people wear welding goggles.

Thing 1: Ok, so the enemy of the sewer people should be origami monsters that have been brought to life by gamma rays. The sewer people have the advantage because the water makes the origami soggy, but are also at a disadvantage because the cats they wear on their heads are afraid of paper. We could make a lot of marketing money selling college ruled diy origami monsters...

At this point I was well beyond just “amused.” I love people who have quirky creativity like this. They make life a lot more interesting.

Have you ever had a really silly story idea like this, either of your own making or “gifted” from someone else?

* I can't actually remember which of them said what, but you get the general idea.

** Other Facebook friends from church.

*** I'm of the opinion that they should be swimming goggles.