Once upon a time there was a girl who discovered that if she played a certain tune on a jade flute, she could summon up jade gnomes, a peculiar, harmless, but rather creepy looking spirit of the underground. The fact is that many of us have talents like this, but generally never discover them due to lack of opportunity, since one can go one's entire life without playing a jade flute, or discovering that one can speak the language of ground sloths, or turning fruitcake into solid tungsten by singing Sinatra tunes to it under a quarter moon.
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If I may bend your ear for a moment, I like Terry Pratchett. I like footnotes. I like footnotes even when they are not as entertaining as a Pratchett footnote, even when they are in the middle of a book on evolutionary biology and briefly explain the Red Queen hypothesis or the fate of the Stephen's Island Wren or how many bunnies can dance on the back of Australia. Footnotes fill me with a very mild glee. The endnote simply does not compare.
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Okay. Morality in a nutshell. Don't hurt people if you can avoid it. Don't steal stuff unless you're starving or it's really, really important. Work hard. Pay your bills. Try to help others. Always double-check your math if there are explosives involved. If you screwed it up, you need to see it gets fixed. And don't eat anything that talks. If it doesn't fall under one of those categories, just do the best you can.
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Trolls have a longstanding animosity for goats-"Who's that trip-tapping across my bridge!?"-and this led me to think that perhaps trolls are related to goats, since it seems a lot more plausible to me that your relatives would make you insane than some random hooved mammal, however ecologically destructive it might be. What if trolls evolved from goats? Or, no, better yet, what if goats evolved from trolls? Or were domesticated from trolls by human shepherds? And the trolls despise their domesticated cousins as a disgrace to the once-proud troll race, (much as I assume wolves would despise Chihuahuas if they ever gave them much thought) and eat them at every opportunity.
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Once upon a time, there was a little creature that was rather small and rather wicked and it lived all alone in the woods. The little creature lived in a little den, at the bottom of a little ravine, filled with not-at-all little brambles and on the edge of a forest that could only be described as really freakin' huge.
I don't know why people don't paint more warthogs. Warthogs are fantastic. They have the most marvelous faces, like cracked mud with tusks. And the eyelashes! Like many otherwise hideous animals, they have truly spectacular eyelashes. But nooo, it's always the charismatic mammals, like foxes and wolves and tigers. Have you ever smelled a fox? Believe me, the warthog produces a light, airy fragrance suitable for the home or office compared to a fox. Um. What was I saying again?
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Air and Water can just swirl around being swirly, and Fire is just kind of aggressive, but my gut feeling is that Earth needs to work for a living. Earth has stuff to be doing. Earth is busy. Earth is solid and responsible and works hard. Earth is reliable. Earth is the designated driver of the elements and will always come over and feed the cat when you're out of town.
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If I do manage to come up with a scheme [to naming], however, I stick to it, which is why my cats are named after gods-Loki and Athena, who are, respectively, absolutely straightforward and affectionate, and dumber than dirt. I learned my lesson. I will name my next cat 'Satan' or 'Marduk' or something, thereby ensuring a kind, gentle beast who treats my upholstery like a shrine.
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The minute I sit down and think 'Okay, this must be KID SAFE!' my Muse develops Tourrette's and goes to lunch with Clive Barker, and my mind plunges into the gutter and I draw an appalling blank on anything that is not violent, gory, profanity laden, or depraved. So I think the only way I can ever do kid's books if I plan not to do kid's books. If that makes any sense.
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