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Showing posts from September, 2013

Ramblings about fictional characters

I’ve been thinking about what makes me fall in love with a fictional (literary, film, or television) character. Critics bat around terms like “realistic,” “complex,” and “multi-dimensional.” I would say that the latter two traits are definitely important to me. But “realistic?” I’m actually not so sure.
Critics have praised the characters of the Hunger Games trilogy as realistic. I’ve seen reviews praising other popular genre works—Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones, even the anime series Attack on Titan—as having characters that are engaging because they’re “realistic.” Bullshit. Katniss Everdeen and her friends are compelling, flawed, and complex. But “realistic?” Katniss and her friends are layered, but they’re also smarter, stronger, braver, more badass, and also better looking than any ordinary people out there.
Maybe the term I’m trying to refute isn’t “realistic.” Maybe it’s actually “ordinary.” Katniss and her friends are not ordinary. The most beloved characters of genre (and…

What I want

As I left my girls in the bathtub tonight, the older one, "bean-girl," was telling the younger, "Legume," a story. Something about mermaids and jelly doughnuts.

I passed by the bathroom a few times as I put away laundry and took care of small tasks. I heard Legume enthuse, "That's a really good story!"

I heard bean-girl say modestly, "No, it really isn't. It's just a mix of things."

The next time I passed by the bathroom, I heard a squawk and ruckus. "Mom!" bean-girl cried. "Legume is being crazy! She pinched my ear!"

I sighed. "Why did you pinch, Legume? That's not nice."

"Because she won't tell me the rest of the story!" Legume pouted.

After their bath, Legume chased bean-girl around the house, demanding to hear the rest of the story. "I can't tell the rest because I don't know what happens next!" bean-girl said, giggling and running as Legume threatened to pinch he…

Hello, world

Well. The weather has been playing with us; it's been in the 80s this week, and the kids think it's summer as they play out in the yard, begging to stay out until the sun goes down. But it's nearly mid-September, and they're finishing their second week of school. New friends, new classes, and lots of new experiences both in and out of the classroom.

Changes for me, too.

And with those changes a new blog as well. September, someone recently said in the part of the blogosphere I visit, is a great time for re-sets.

For those who have followed me from my old blog. . . thank you. There will be a shift of focus in this new blog. Since I'm not a research scientist anymore I won't, obviously, be blogging about the world of hands-on research science. I'm trying to make a go of it as a freelance biomedical writer and editor, but I probably won't talk (too) much about that here. (I may eventually launch a separate website for more science-y posts).

This will be m…