The Diana Wynne Jones Experience

Last week I posted the first in this two-post series on How to Read a Diana Wynne Jones Book and What Your Fantastic Journey Along the Way May Look Like, in honor of March Magics (celebrating Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett).

Last week’s was the how, and I now invite you to examine the what.

Part the Second:

What Your Fantastic Journey Along the Way May Look Like

Please note that word: “may.”

May is a word which can mean either (a) one of the 12 months of the year, i.e. as it appears in “May Day” which is May 1st and happens to be the birthday of Michael Fisher from Howl’s Moving Castle, for instance, or (b) “might possibly, perhaps, at certain times or for certain people, or, you know, just generally maybe; so don’t quote me on this because it might be different, dontcha know”. I’m referring, in case there was any doubt, to the latter.

In other words, everyone’s Diana Wynne Jones Experience will vary, naturally, as will the individual journeys of each reader consuming each of her books, which is how it should be.

That being said, here are some basic guidelines of some things you may (there’s that word again…) be likely to find or feel in the course of reading a DWJ book.

a map of Fantasyland from DWJ’s “Tough Guide to Fantasyland” seemed appropriate to put here

A book like you’ve never read before

No matter what you think of the story, or which one it is that you read (despite them all being different than each other) this one’s pretty much a guarantee.

All the humor

These books are funny, I tell you. DWJ has a unique brand of humor in her books which I’m unable to describe, but I absolutely love it, whatever it is.

Mind-bending plot twists

Plot twists, surprises, and reveals, that are entirely mind-boggling and CHANGE EVERYTHING. This often results in the need to immediately re-read the book when you finish. (This is  good sign. It means you’re reading it right.)

Things/animals/items which are not what they seem (and might even be people)

This is a big one. Almost nothing in these books are what they appear to be. Cats and dogs? Eh, they might not be what they seem… A piece of furniture? It could be something else. A character you just met? They could turn out to be totally the opposite of what you thought they were. And that’s one of the most fun things about these books! Possibilities are absolutely endless and keep you on your toes.

Genre? What genre?

Most of these books are hard to pinpoint exactly where they fall in the genre pigeonholes. “Fantasy” is generally the broadest one they fit, but after that… well, you’re on your own. There will be dashes of sci-fi, contemporary, historical/time-travel… and they’re all done in a new way and defy categorization. She has, in effect, created her own genre, which is “Diana Wynne Jones”. (I think we writers could learn from this.)

Multi-worlds, magic, and fantasy like no other

These are self-explanatory. The multi-worlds aren’t always present, but multiple words do feature in more than a few of the books, and are always fascinating. Magic and various fantasy elements usually play key roles in the story and are very original and SO interesting.

Chaos

Nobody does chaos quite like Diana Wynne Jones. She’s excellent at it. Magical chaos, family chaos, just general chaotic explosions of THINGS happening all at once and confusingly and hilariously.

Fascinating character-growth and insight into human nature

Often, these books will feature a young hero or heroine who is being used by some unpleasant acquaintance or relative, for some purpose they don’t understand, and they don’t realize because they’re used to it; they find it out in the course of the story and become their own person, and end up doing the right thing in the end. But the way all of these characters are . . . these books SHOW me things about people, and it’s fascinating and so informative.

The best way to learn things about this confusing thing we call life, is accidentally through awesome fiction. ❤

Families (see Chaos)

You don’t see entire families of characters involved in books much these days, which is a shame. DWJ books often involve not only a hero or heroine but often their entire family… and sometime extended family too. This is not only fun but can be amusing as well, and the dynamics are fabulous.

It may make you want to eat sandwiches

I’ve no idea why, but when the characters eat sandwiches or crumpets or something, it makes me WANT TO EAT SOMETHING LIKE THAT RIGHT AWAY. I have been known to spontaneously make cucumber sandwiches or stop reading just to bake shortbread cookies in the middle of the book. (Note: I don’t cook. Ever. [Well. Hardly ever.] So this is extreme.)

How you feel…

At the beginning:

Well. What a fascinating/unique opening. WHAT am I reading?

In the first third or so:

This book is so… strange… and seemingly random… But I’m hooked anyway! So much strange… This is funny. 😀 What is going on? I’ve never read a book like this; my brain cannot compute, but I’m too busy laughing or wondering where this is headed to notice.

Halfway through:

You may realize at this point that as strange as the beginning started out, you suddenly realize you’re UTTERLY CAPTURED by this book and that everything feels perfectly normal to you and makes perfect sense. And also that you’re entirely attached to the characters and story and don’t want it to end.

During the climactic ending parts:

  • EVERYTHING IS HAPPENING. WHAT.
  • HOW ON EARTH (OR QUITE LIKELY OFF OF IT) IS DIANA WYNNE JONES GOING TO WRAP ALL THESE MESSES UP IN THE LAST TINY FEW PAGES??
  • DON’T END, BOOK, I WANT TO READ YOU FOREVER.
  • PLEASE END BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENNNNS!
  • WUT. PLOT TWIST. O_O

How you feel when it’s over:

  • ALSKJDFLKDJ!!! ❤ Wait… what about…?? WHAT HAPPENED THERE? *mind readjusts* *works out twists* Oh. O_O EEE!! ^_^ But wait… Let me go back…
  • A feeling of joy or elation and a general feeling of extreme well-being toward the book, mixed possibly with confusion on some little point or a feeling that it ended a little two quickly, which instead of causing outright discontent, has a tendency to make you think about the book for hours (and sometimes days) after finishing.
  • I LOVED IT. I need to read it again. NOW. THIS INSTANT.

On that note…

Regarding Re-Reading

Please note that DWJ books are always even better on the second round. You will never catch everything the first time because there are so many layers and twists. The second time will be even richer, since now you know all the plot twists and what everything actually MEANS. It will, of course, lack the wonder of first-time-discovery* but will be full of delightful details and a better understanding/appreciation of it.

*Not always; I’ve sometimes re-read only to discover that I forgot almost entirely about some aspect, and got to re-experience it a second time almost like the first!

So what are you waiting for?

If you’ve never read a book by Diana Wynne Jones, you’d best get started at once so that you can get to that re-reading… (Since one can presumably only re-read a book after one has read it the first time… unless there’s time travel or some sort of magical confusion involved, of course. With DWJ, either option is quite likely.)

With this handy guide to How to Read a Diana Wynne Jones Book at hand, I wish you joy in discovering or re-discovering her works.

(If you need some ideas of where to start, I suggest Howl’s Moving Castle, or glancing at this list of many DWJ books that I’ve read, with some thoughts on each. I’ve also started a DWJ Project page on my book blog which I plan to add to at some point.)

You know what I think we should do now?

I know exactly what we should do.

In the words of a certain charming wizard (in more ways than one) from Howl’s Moving Castle:

“I think we ought to live happily ever after”

So let’s do that, you and I, with our Diana Wynne Jones books. 🙂

As said wizard added, “It should be hair-raising.”

Won’t it just.

I can’t wait. ^_^ I hope you can’t either.

(Thank you for reading. <3)

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How to Read a Diana Wynne Jones Book

In honor of March Magics*, I present you with the first in a set of two posts on The Diana Wynne Jones Experience, otherwise entitled: How to Read a Diana Wynne Jones Book and What Your Fantastic Journey Along the Way May Look Like.

*Previously known as Diana Wynne Jones March, March Magics is held each… March (who knew?) by Kristen @ We Be Reading, celebrating the works of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett.


Part The First:

How To Read a Diana Wynne Jones Book


Step 1:

Find a book by Diana Wynne Jones.

This is, naturally, the only required step. And if you haven’t, you should do so at once.

Options include: finding it

  • at a library
  • at a bookshop
  • at a library sale
  • online
  • borrowing one from a friend

You should exercise discernment if you do the last one, for, depending on the friend, they may (a) be thrilled to lend you the book, since “EVERYONE IN THE WORLD MUST READ THIS BOOK OH MY WORD READ IIIIT!” or (b) it may be their Precious, a hard-won copy wrested from a dragon’s lair, and “NO ONE CAN TOUCH THIS BOOK IT IS THE PRECIOUS DON’T YOU DARE” or (c) a mix of both (which is obviously the most dangerous of all).

In the case of b or c, if you do manage to borrow it, you should be extremely grateful** cautious and return it to them promptly upon reading it, utterly undamaged, or your welfare may be threatened. Dragons hath no fury like a bookworm with damaged lent book that they value above all else, especially by this particular author…

Please also note that most fans of this author are FIERCELY LOYAL. I’ll just… you know… leave that note there in case you don’t “get” the books, to suggest caution in your dealings with said fans, especially if they lent you it. It’s basically the equivalent of lending someone your heart, so do be considerate.

If at this point I have left you with a vague and uneasy impression that DWJ fans are like rather cantankerous dragons who might spout fire at you if you look at them (or their books) the wrong way, then let me direct you toward the book “Dark Lord of Derkholm” which contains a strong-willed and rather grouchy but firm dragon known as Scales, and you will see that we have nothing on him, and therefore you are clearly quite safe.

**I won’t force the “grateful” on you, since I’ve read DWJ’s Eight Days of Luke and therefore know better. (The hero of that book was constantly being told by his nasty relatives that he should be grateful for them “looking after” him. Um… yeah, no.)

Step 2: (optional)

Look at the cover.

At this point, you will probably go: “Erm… that’s an… odd… cover… >.>” and be highly tempted to return the book and/or not get it and/or hide it among your stacks of books so no one can see that you have such a dubious-looking book.

Above all else, DO NOT YIELD TO THIS TEMPTATION.

I REPEAT: DO. NOT.

Do not be fooled. Cover artists notoriously have no clue how to illustrate real works of Fantasy Genius, especially when said books are by Diana Wynne Jones.

Press bravely on to what lies between the pages and your fortitude will be rewarded.

Note: This step is not always there. That is, you may look at the cover and be surprised to find it is an okay and/or beautiful one. This, however, is not as common as I would like, and you must count yourself a fortunate soul if it is the case for you.

DWJ tower

Step 3:

Read the book!***

Preferably in a single day.

(You complete this step, naturally, by opening to page one and reading the first sentence, followed by the next, etc., etc.)

Be warned, reader traveler! Once you embark upon this journey, you may not emerge until the final page falls . . . so see to it that you absolutely do NOT start reading it late/after dinner, especially if it’s one of the lengthier specimens, or you may be liable to be up in the wee hours of the night, not caring a smidgen if you have to get up in a few hours, because you simply must finish, at once!

Also, DO NOT STOP READING IN THE MIDDLE IF IT DOESN’T CATCH YOU RIGHT AWAY. These books can at times be a slow-burn type of adventure, which gets going a little slowly through the middle, and you think a lot of it isn’t related, until suddenly in the last third or so, everything starts coming together at once and HAPPENING. So. Press on! Give it a chance even if you feel like it’s not your thing. By the end, it will likely capture you.

***So, I lied; this is the other required step after Step 1.

This third step, the reading, is the most important, and consequently will be the longest step on this journey.

Which brings us to the second part of this two-post series, namely Part the Second: What Your Fantastic Journey Along the Way May Look Like. (Or, as I’m going to call it, The Diana Wynne Jones Experience, because title length, you know. *nods*)

I’ll be posting that next Monday, so stay tuned!

Feel free to wait on the edge of your seat if you like.

I was going to have it all one post, but I couldn’t help myself running away with this delightfully fun topic — surprise! — so I chopped it in half to spare you readers. 😉

(It’s going to be great fun, believe me. >:D)

Part 2: The Diana Wynne Jones Experience

Beautiful People: Teague’s Childhood

BPTeagueJun2016Childhood

Beautiful People is here again!

(Er… that is… it’s been here for three weeks already and is about to close for the month. I never said I was punctual… *cough*)

This month’s theme for the questions is Childhood! YAY! So I’m doing Teague from The Other Half of Everything. Because.

bp

Beautiful People, the monthly character-questions linkup for writers hosted by Sky @ Further Up and Further In & Cait @ Paper Fury. Join the fun and link up!

I’ve noticed that whenever I answer the questions about the characters, it’s more informative, buuut when the characters answer the questions themselves, it may be way less informative but more fun.

I feel like fun, so I’ve tweaked the questions from “their” to “your”, directed at him, and talked Teague into answering because I told him he could answer in between reading. …I now see that may have been a bad idea.

Anyhow, on with the show!

Teague-ish

Beautiful People: Childhood Edition (June 2016) with Teague

(I’m in bold; Teague is in regular type.)

1. What is your first childhood memory?

*looks up from behind book* *directs a vague stare my way from under eyelids drooped halfway down* Meridian would tell you that I can’t remember what I had for breakfast this morning — which I must admit is entirely true. (Did I have breakfast today? I certainly wouldn’t know.) And you’re asking me about my earliest childhood memory? Well, someone is obviously in for a surprise.

Because you don’t remember?

Because I do, as a matter of fact. *goes back to reading* *looks up again* Right, yes… I distinctly recall, at the age of two or so, falling flat on my face when I tripped over a tussock of grass. Fascinating, I know.

2. What were your best and worst childhood experiences?

*mild sigh* Are we really doing this?

Yes.

Mmm… Best: that really good book I read, the one with the . . .

*gives him a look*

*pauses* What does that look mean? Is it a hint?

It means actual experiences, specifically outside of pages.

A bit picky . . . but all right, adventures with my siblings, then. Worst: Probably the time I got eaten. Nearly. Dragon incident. Not my fault, by the way . . . *trails off because is already reading again*

3. What was your childhood home like?

*long, long pause while Teague continues to read*

Ahem.

*longer pause*

Finally: *Teague glances up* Oh, we’re still doing this, are we? Well. I suppose you could say it was a house. In fact, it was… house-like. Wooden. Painted white. Like Lulin’s hair. *shrug*

4. What’s something that scared you as child?

Oh, the usual, you know: dragons or paper cuts or something. Moving on, then.

Author’s note: His worst fears: losing one of his siblings, and losing his imagination. Um. Let’s just say he doesn’t like to talk about this… >.>

5. Who did you look up to most?

My father, I suspect. And my favorite authors.

6. Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?

This question sounds suspiciously like it came from Meridian… always badgering me about food. I can’t fathom it, exactly. I never have been very into food, to be honest. It’s not something I think about. But I do remember rather disliking cauliflower cheese, and I recall some quite good meat pasties with some sort of grey-ish mushroom-y gravy, as well as being moderately fond of lemon meringue pie.

7. If you had your childhood again, would you change anything?

Nothing. And everything. *tilts head sideways* Would you?

8. What kind of child were you? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Definitely more on the quiet side, with a touch of curiosity, perhaps… I left the wild and devious side of things to Ivan and… others. I never went in for that kind of thing. Of course not. Absurd, really. I don’t know why in the world you would think it, honestly. *sticks nose firmly back in book*

9. What was your relationship to your parents and siblings like?

It was fine, thank you. You said there were ten questions, so what’s the last one? *goes back to reading*

All right, I’ll answer this. When he says “fine” he does mean it — he got along rather well with his whole family. It’s just a complicated question to ask NOW because his relationships “now” are far from “fine”, so it’s not a subject he dwells on.

Teague was always rather independent, if reserved (usually), but his relationship with his parents was a good one… but they’re dead now. He always had a good relationship with his little sister Lulin (not so little now), and that has not changed. She has a mischievous side like Ivan’s, but also a streak of quietness, which means she and Teague often understood each other when the wilder brothers didn’t.

Teague’s relationship with his two brothers is more complicated.

Teague was the quiet leader type role, but his next brother, Errol, of-whom-we-do-not-speak, was very much the dashing charismatic ringleader. Ivan was the reckless mischievous type, and would have followed Errol anywhere, and often did. Teague got along well with Errol — they all did; he was the center of their group, the heart, if you will — but Teague also often tried to temper Errol’s daring schemes with more wisdom.

Teague and Ivan got along okay, usually, though truthfully neither of them paid a ton of attention to each other since there was always Errol between them. Ivan always found Teague a little too cautious, which was boring and stuffy. Teague always thought Ivan was a little too reckless, but it never mattered much because between Errol and Teague’s dual leadership, they all always got out of their scrapes and adventures well enough. Until they didn’t.

Now Errol is dead, and Ivan and Teague are very much not on speaking terms. Lulin’s still on good terms with both of them, but angry with them for the split. Things are a bit… strained, you might say. So as you can imagine, Teague does not like to discuss his relationships to his siblings because they used to be fine, and now they’re… not.

…I told you it was more informative (and longer) but less fun when I answer questions. >.> Back to Teague, now.

10. What did you want to be when you grew up, and what did you actually become?

*arches eyebrows and stares over book at questioner* I beg your pardon, Miss Interviewer, but that is not the correct way to ask things at all. People never grow up. I do wish people would understand this. “What do you want to be when you grow up”, “what are you now that you’re grown up” — nonsense, all of it. *stares vaguely into the middle-distance* It’s not like people hit some magical threshold and floof, they’re “grown up” —

(“Floof”? Really?)

*waves hand slightly* It was the sound that wanted to be made. At any rate, grown-up-ness is never achieved, and we do not “become” something suddenly… it has to happen which is a process… And all that “when” you grow up and “now that” you’re grown up… where does it really get us? It doesn’t, because you must admit those are definite statements of past or future, and all we really have, ever, for a certainty, is the present, the now . . .

*face-palm* Just answer the question.

*blinks mildly* Excuse me?

Fine then. Please.

*little absent shrug of uncaring* If you want to be that way. Don’t blame me if it doesn’t turn out the sort of answer you wanted, with a ludicrous question like that. But I don’t know why you can ask about what I am when I’m grown up, at my age.

You’re twenty-five.

Precisely my point. I’m nobody’s grandfather, exactly. Still a bit young, don’t you think? But all right. *turns an absent dreamy look apparently through his nearest bookcase* Well. I wanted to be a writer and a hero. I’m a little of both, you could say, so I suppose that turned out fairly all right, if you put it in those terms. There’s always room for improvement, though, on both counts.

(I take it back about the “longer” thing.)

***

This concludes Beautiful People June 2016.

Thank you for reading!

*look of minor surprise* Why, you’re welcome. I suppose it is rather rare to find readers these days…

…I was talking to the blog readers, thanking them for reading your rabbit-trail-y answers.

Oh. Well, they’re welcome, too. And I thank them as well. *smiles faintly* *a pause* I am not rabbit-trail-y, by the way. In fact, everything I said was entirely related–

*hastily wraps up post before he can get rabbit-trail-y again*

*yawns* I heard that, you know. And I may very well get offended. *goes back to reading* *adds:* Someday.

Meridian calls from the background: “Unlikely!” *pause* “Now come eat your breakfast, Teague!”

The End.

P.S. Don’t forget that that lovely fan-voted Fantasy Oscar thing the Silmarillion Awards are still underway! Nominations end on July 1st, so if a) you haven’t nominated anyone yet, b) you haven’t nosed around the comments lately to see if there are gems of characters others have nominated who you must second, or c) if you have a friend or three who might enjoy sharing their two cents on favorite fantasy characters, do gallop on over to the posts and join in the fun! Remember that Teague approves of this, because, ya know, Fantasy. 😉

(Not?)Valentines: Teague & Meridian (Beautiful People)

BPvalentines

Beautiful People is a monthly linkup for writers with lovely questions to help figure out our characters, held by Cait and Skyejoin in if you like!

This month’s Beautiful People is out… and this edition is a Valentine’s Day themed one, because character couples. Yayness!

I was trying to figure out who to pick for this… (A lot of the questions don’t seem to fit well with my Silver Forest couples, and I’d have to pick one of the bajillions from that, which sounded like a difficult task…) But I wasn’t sure if I could use Teague and Meridian from The Other Half of  Everything, because they’re not really a “thing”. Yet.

But I do want to figure them out more, so I ended up picking them all the same. (You knew I would…)

They’ll be assisting me in answering the questions. (Ha, like that’s a good idea…)

(For those who don’t know, Teague is a twenty-something year old writer fellow and Meridian is the eighteen-year-old heroine of my story The Other Half of Everything, which is still in snippets-all-over-the-place stage, and a mix of genres: contemporary, possibly in England or some version of it, with world-hopping and fantasy involved.)

OHEbannerfinal2

Now we begin… Let the bickering commence! Bwahaha.

(It’s going to be long. Just a warning.)

If you want the short version, it’s: a) Meridian griped, b) Teague was oblivious, and, c) the author was too amused for her own good.

QUESTIONS

1. How did they first meet?

OHEcoverTeague: Oh, you know. The usual. Eye contact was made (admittedly not much of it), words were said (admittedly I don’t recall all of them). We met because she knocked on my door. I remembered to answer it. She really ought to have been impressed over that, you know, but she wasn’t…

Meridian: I applied to be his housekeeper from the advertisement he had posted. Because I needed the money for college and it was a job which wouldn’t require me to drive anywhere because Gran has the car all the time. Since he lives on the top floor of the big old house I live in one of the apartment-like parts of, it was a simple job, right there, all I had to do was climb the stairs. …Lots of them, but still, just stairs. And I do know how to be a housekeeper because Gran is particular about that sort of thing. *shrug* Of course, if I’d known what would come of it, I would not have applied.

Teague: *for a miracle, hears her remarks — or a least most of them — and grins*

Meridian: *suspiciously* What are smiling about?

Teague: *quickly returns to ordinary vague expression and looks alarmingly innocent* Nothing.

2. What were their first impressions of each other?

Meridian: That he was a lot younger and more goodlooking than he should have been. *realizes how that sounds* I mean… I thought he was going to be an old man! Because of the advertisement and the name and… an elderly man used to live up top and… Anyways, that; and that he was extremely absentminded. And infuriating. Still is, actually.

Deborah: What about you, Teague? What was your first impression of Meridian?

Teague: Er… I’m sure I had one…

Meridian: *shakes head* …Yeah, I know, but if you did, you forgot it. And you kept forgetting my name.

Teague: *throws up his hands* I forget everyone’s names!

Meridian: Make that: you forget everything.

Teague: *twitches an eyebrow with a vaguely dramatic kicked-puppy look* Not true. I remember some things.

Meridian: *challengingly* Like what?

Teague: *makes noncommittal Hmm-ing noises* …Something. I’m sure. I just don’t remember what…

3. How long have they been a couple?

hugDeborah: *elbows both of them out of the way and hastily answers this one* Erm… strictly speaking, they’re not. And… won’t be, officially, for quite awhile. But I don’t care because they’re adorable all the same. I’m answering this one because Meridian would exclaim that they’re not a thing, and Teague would just cluelessly go “hmm?” soo… sometimes the author can be more useful about answering these things… >.>

4. How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?

Teague-ishMeridian: *blinks* Ummm… Did I miss something?

Teague: *tilts head* What’s stress? What’s disagreement? Secrets are the natural way of the universe, or if they aren’t, they ought to be, because people make fusses over things when they learn them, so they shouldn’t until they’re ready. Which they rarely are. “To die would be an awfully big adventure.” *aside to Meridian:* That’s from Peter Pan, by the way. Not that you would know, not being a reader… Judging. In case you didn’t notice.

Meridian: *drops face into hands* *groans:* Can we just have another question please…?

5. List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc… and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)

meridianagainMeridian: He has no food quirks. Or, rather, he has one very enormous one which is this: He quite simply doesn’t food.

Teague: *mildly* Really, Meridian. You and your grammar…

Meridian: Fine! He doesn’t eat. Because he forgets to. Because he’s too busy reading or writing or whatever it is that he does. Which is why I cook. It’s a miracle he didn’t starve to death before he hired me.

Teague: *nods complacently* *then unexpectedly says:* She eats croutons.

Meridian: *sends Teague a startled look* What?

Teague: She likes to eat plain croutons out of the bag instead of putting them on salads. Like chips. And when she’s focusing on something like leaning over a batch of something she’s cooking up, she has a little crease between her eyebrows and impatiently pushes her hair behind one ear with her little finger when her hair gets in the way — actually she does that all the time. And she always flickers a look sideways to the left when she steals a taste of batter or whatever it is, as if checking to make sure nobody sees it, and she likes marshmallows in her coffee even though people think its childish, and you can tell she’s always humming inside her head because of the way she moves to the tune.

Meridian: *blinks very wide eyes* Um…

Teague: *smiles faintly* See? I notice things… sometimes.

Deborah: *beams and squirms and aren’t they adorable asdfgklakjdljljlkd*

6. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?

Meridian: There isn’t one. And even if there was, nobody would care because nobody would know, because I certainly would never admit to liking him… Even if I did. Which I don’t.

Teague: Are we talking about theoretical scenarios, then? Because theoretically, yes, nobody would care enough to disapprove, really… My sister Lulin thinks that anything involving me actually interacting with other humans is a good thing. I can’t imagine why.

Meridian: *curiously tilts her head* What about Ivan?

Teague: *stiffens* *short bark of laughter with almost imperceptible touch of bitterness* He wouldn’t care either. Definitely. No caring. *Teague’s face becomes extremely vague and distant and uncaring as if he’s forgotten the entire thing already*

7. What would be an ideal date? –> evening spent in each other’s company

williamblakequotedoorsDeborah: *surreptitiously changes word from “date” to something less specific, to avoid their suspicious remarks*

Meridian: *wrinkles nose* If it was an ideal evening, it wouldn’t be in his company… but okay, probably we’d be somewhere far away from his books and writing and I’d be playing my violin and instead of being off in his own head, he’d actually be paying attention to me. Not that I can imagine why I’d want him to? But… well, he never does. So. *folds arms*

Teague: If it was ideal, I’d be writing, and she doesn’t care to be around when I’m doing that… Can’t imagine why. But if I wasn’t writing, then there are two options. No, three. 1: we’d go questing together. It might take more than an evening… 2: we’d walk under the stars and talk. 3: we’d sit in my study and she’d read aloud to me one of the books I’ve written.

Meridian: You are vain, you know that?

Teague: Hmm. Of all the things you’ve accused me of being, that one’s never come up before… I must be branching out.

8. What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?

bookpilesMeridian: We’re opposites. Mesh perfectly? *laughs* Nope. I fight a lot, and he… ignores!

Teague: *blinks absently and doesn’t answer* *then seems to wake up momentarily* Wait, you fight a lot…? With who?

Meridian: *rolls eyes* No one, apparently.

Teague: *frowning* How can someone fight when the other person doesn’t respond?

Meridian: *throws up hands* They can’t! That’s why it’s so annoying.

Teague: I don’t know why anyone would want to… *shrugs*

Meridian: He doesn’t even notice when I’m angry at him.

Teague: *blinks* You were angry at me? When?

Meridian: This is what I’m talking about.

Teague: *scribbles a note somewhere because he forgot entirely that he was being interviewed or even talked at, and had a sudden inspiration from a story which demanded his attention*

9. What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?

portalarchwayDeborah: *cough* Editing it again… >.>

Meridian: Best? Um… there haven’t really been any. Worst? Well. That time. *gives Teague a hard stare*

Teague: *protestingly* I thought you would like going there.

Meridian: Well I didn’t.

Teague: *sadly* I observed.

10. Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?

notthatcomplicated

Meridian: I’m his housekeeper, he’s my employer. The end. It’s not a relationship.

Teague: Technically speaking, you do know that that is a relationship, of a sort…

Meridian: Oh, right. He’s not my employer. He’s a dictionary. *glares*

Teague: *blinks mildly* Inaccurate. Dictionaries are boringly factual. I’m a writer, remember?

Meridian: How could I ever forget?

Teague: Precisely. That’s my job. *half grin*

Meridian: As for where we see ourselves in a few years: I see myself, hopefully, studying at university, far from here. Can’t speak for him. Teague? *nudges his shoulder when he appears not to hear*

Teague: Hmm? Oh. Let me think. I see myself…. *trails off with a dreamy absentminded private smile and forgets to say it out loud… unless it was intentional*

Meridian&Teague

Well, there you have it. One of the longest and most off-topic Beautiful Peoples of ever. They kinda ran away with me. Because that’s what they do. 😉 Hope you enjoyed it all the same. 😛

“You’d think no one had ever had a cold before”

Possibly the only good thing about having a cold: remembering that Howl had one, and going back to reread all the snatches of Howl’s Moving Castle where he had a cold.

In the words of Diana Wynne Jones, the author, herself, Howl’s “a man who had head colds like a drama queen.”

It’s glorious. (I love Howl a ton, okay.)

I’m in a constant state of wanting to reread that book. ❤ (Howl’s Moving Castle does after all tie The Lord of the Rings for the honored “favorite book” spot for me…)

feelillhowl

dyingfromneglect

thosearespidershowl

howl quote

And yes, I am indeed using my cold as an excuse to unashamedly fangirl over Howl and make graphics of quotes from my favorite book, why do you ask…?