Thursday, January 12, 2012
Man I love the “rules” you put behind all this! I’ve never seen anything like it. Are the characters self-aware of all this or is it all unspoken between them?

Shucks, thank you! c:

The characters are aware of whether or not they are a muse or notion, yes, kind of similarly to how we are aware of someone’s ethnicity - kind of. It’s the only close example I can think to equate it to. There are some people who aren’t exactly sure what kind of notion or muse they are since it can get pretty vague (take Mona, for example, who is the story’s best example of someone who doesn’t know exactly what she is good at or what kind of notion she is, since she seems to have no definitive skills or tendencies) but they do usually know which side of the divide they are on between the two.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

angiebeast asked: 7 for Mona--I'd be interested to know if anything annoys her at all, haha. And 33 and 34.

7.) What are Mona’s pet peeves?

Believe it or not, she does have ‘em! Mona hates drama-mongering - people who try to make a big deal out of everything, especially if it involves getting people to lash out against each other or take sides - she really doesn’t do well with conflict. People who breathe loudly through their mouth. She also hates that squeaky sound that styrofoam makes.

33.) What holidays are celebrated here?

I am so happy that someone asked this. :D The imagination space most definitely does have holidays, but much like their weather, some of it coincides with the collective moods of those down on the physical plane. To try and, contrary to the trend, NOT make this too much of a rambling text wall like so many of my other answers (I am so sorry you guys, I swear.. I just don’t have inquisitive audiences very much and I get carried away! <3) I will just TELL you what the holidays are and what they celebrate! Hearth (which is about the only one that is not for accomplishments or self-betterment but instead honors family and friends, and tends to include LARGE but private gatherings, gift-giving and potlucks), Ascension (normally actually occurs on one season out of imagination plane’s three season cycle, when a representative comes down from the next plane to welcome audience with select citizens - there is ALWAYS a parade on the day-of and lots of congratulatory parties leading up to this one), Enrichment Appreciation (a day given to remember those that have willingly and selflessly given up their time in imagination space to be rerouted down to the physical plane in order to inhabit a human as a kind of “special energy” until they have achieved enough positivity to be reborn on the next plane up… sometimes people barbecue or spend time in the outdoors, while other more somber types will lay flowers and other tokens of affection in the front courtyards of Planar Descension Stations), and Muse’s Day (it’s like Mother’s or Father’s Day but… well, you get the idea).

34.) Are there any important political standards or practices?

There is a court system and also a monetary system in place that is regulated by a government of sorts (with its main offices in New Causal) but I would be straight-up lying to you if I said I had it all fully nailed down into place. I really just know the basics! There is a democratic government in place where citizens of any of the three cities can vote representatives into office to help manage things like construction and maintenance, public transportation, criminal justice (they do have a police force to make sure DECENCY is upheld, even if violent crime is very rare), etc. Representing in public office is about the best thing you can do for yourself next to ascendency, so there are lots of high-ranking notions helping make tough decisions in New Causal. c:

miniyuna asked: Story Elements: #17! :D

17.) Do you have a “pitch” worked out for this project? If so, let’s hear it! If not, there is no time like the present to come up with one…

Hahahahaha. Mini. With the tough questions! I guess… I probably have two pitches. There is the long pitch, and the short pitch! The long pitch is: “This story takes place between three cities in the imagination space, on a planar level that is above Earth but a lot like it - but don’t worry so much about that, the more important thing going on that you should know is that this is about a girl who is trying to figure out what to do with her life, and wondering if there is something out there that she will not only be GOOD at, but that will make her happy. This is like a children’s book - full of easy-to-relate-to situations and problems - that was written for teens and twenty-somethings - so also full of hipsters, zany pop culture and confusing relationships.” The short pitch is: “This is post-high school Breakfast Club with a surrealist twist.”

closetextrovert asked: 2 (for Bea), 18, 29, and 35!

2.) Does Bea have any siblings?

Bea has, in fact, 5 siblings! She has an older brother named Emmanuel, two younger brothers named Elijah and Edmund, and two younger sisters named Vanessa and Annabella. All of them are different music muses. The Warden household was very noisy musical!

18.) Are there any authors, artists, stories or other elements that have offered inspirations for this story?

I have the answer to this one right here! c:

29.) Is the environment a character in-and-of-itself in this story, or is it inconsequential as far as the focus of character relationships goes?

This is a tough question, since in a way, it’s a bit of both! I would say yes, being that each one is representing a plane in the same way each character is representing an inspiration kind of does make them a character. Each of the three cities that the story covers (Ether Bay, Santa Astra and New Causal) all have specific traits, values and overall attitudes that differ from the other. On the other hand, the fact that the cities are all unique and possessing their own flair and providing the necessary setting for this PARTICULAR cast doesn’t, I think, have any bearing on the character’s relationships or the main narrative. Man, I hope that makes sense to say it that way! :c

35.) How about religious or spiritual beliefs?

There aren’t really any spiritual beliefs, per se, but there are a few different spiritual ones! I know I keep rambling about ascendency - here is how that works. Trust me, it does tie in! There is a type of building that would be considered very similar to a city hall in Santa Astra and New Causal that is called a Planar Ascension Station. It’s where you go to register births and deaths, enroll into school, and a smattering of other paperwork-related mundanities (not a word, bear with me), but also a place where, on specially designated days, a representative from the next set of planes up (ones that are even higher than New Causal and not visitable by those from imagination or mental space) will come down, name those that have qualified for “higher education”, and grant audience with the previous nominees. During audience, you are allowed ONE question - any question you want EXCEPT “What happens when you go to the next plane up?” or any clever attempt to weasel your way around this question while basically asking the same thing. You CAN, however, ask to ASCEND to the next plane, and that is kind of the idea. It’s such a great honor to ascend, like fifteen college graduations plus six retirements, that very few ever use their audience for anything else! It’s traditional that way. VEERING BACK to the actual question - there are, of course, many different spiritual theories about what MIGHT happen once you go up there! Some think you become able to influence all forms of life however you see fit, as well as create new ones. Some think you gain full knowledge of the universe, the meaning behind all things. Some think you become a more COMPLETE muse once you ascend, someone who is able to control the entire creative process in a person. Some think it’s probably a lot like the current imagination space but with all-day happy hour. Aaaaaand so-on and hence-forth!

deepredroom asked: You want some questions??? Here's your DAMN questions! 1, 15, 18 and 27!

I did ask for it, didn’t I! D:

1.) Tell a bit about a main protagonist and a main antagonist? If your story doesn’t really have “good guys and bad guys”, tell about two characters with opposing viewpoints!

Hum! Well, I can tell you about Sam and Toby…! They’re both protagonists but have opposing viewpoints. Sam is of the mind-set that you must be diligent towards improving your skills, and that you will be rewarded for this by moving up in the world, with the ultimate goal being ascendency! If you make it to the next plane, you have achieved all that you could hope to do, and it won’t matter what your relationships with others are, since they cannot ultimately bring you any success - it is what he thinks helps someone reach their stage of content. Toby on the other hand is camped on the other side of the fence - happiness isn’t always about your successes. Sometimes it’s about knowing the right people, enjoying yourself, or even just having a really great sandwich. It doesn’t take a skill-set to be fulfilled, in his eyes - it just takes the right mindset and acceptance of one’s self.

15.) How long have you been working on this story?

I really started first thinking about it in September 2010, and it’s been developing since then. I have probably spent more time on it than it really needs to be drafted, but it never hurt to have a little polish, right? c:

18.) Are there any authors, artists, stories or other elements that have offered inspirations for this story?

Anything I do is always at least partially inspired by a quote of Alan Moore’s that, broken down for posterity, says a story should be enjoyable for people who simply want to jump in and read it at face-value, but still include content that can be researched and deepened for those who want something a little more! Some of my other inspirations for Muse Mentor are the visual styles of most Hayao Miyazaki films, the Our Lady Peace album “Gravity” (I don’t care if anyone thinks the album is a sell-out for OLP or anything else - settle down, hipsters), and really, my own experiences watching people transition from their late teens to mid-20’s. Becoming a grown-up.

27.) Does social hierarchy play a huge role, i.e. cliques, clubs, clans, or other specific groupings or separations of people?

You are very astute for asking this - it does indeed play a huge role! SORRY IN ADVANCE for text wall, oh my God. There are basically two MAIN types of people in the story, and it all trickles down from there. There are muses, and there are notions. Most people are notions, that is to say, a random impulse or feeling that anyone can experience. They run the gamut from jealousy (Ashley) to bad impulses (Ace) to self-motivation (Toby) - it’s almost limitless! However, for those who are muses, this means they are a specific TYPE of impulse that allows people to express themselves, often creatively! There are main types like art, writing, music and artisan, and then they can get broken down from there (drawing, painting, sculpture and photography are just a few of the sub-categories for an art muse, for example!). Just to give another specific example, Esteban is a writing muse, but specifically represents solitary dedication. He is what might make a writer choose to stay in and draft a few more chapters rather than hit the town. Muses are regarded as a much more desirable role in society than a notion, since they are the only ones who can (in a way) leave an actual tangible impression on the physical plane - if you help inspire a human to paint a picture, invent a special recipe or strum a ballad, it’s much more substantial than being the suspicious nature that makes them go through their husband’s phone to see if he has been texting his secretary. I could go on, but I think I will stuff it for another day, haha.

Thanks for the questions! c:

fidzyo asked: Also number 22!! 8D

22.) Do you have a favorite place in this world? It can, again, be a city, country, specific building, or anything else!

You know, I think that I do, haha. I really like Ether Bay, which is the city on the next plane down from Santa Astra (where the story MAINLY takes place). The etheric plane (what Ether Bay is representative of) is meant to be a type of matter that we cannot see, but that can exist within the physical plane - think of it as like auras and spirits. Ether Bay is renowned for the most beautiful skylines and (slightly chilly!) shores, dotted with curiosity shops and poppies. While the buildings are very simple (lots of cape cod and colonial), there is a kind of simple, homespun charm in THIS city that I don’t think is really there in Santa Astra or New Causal. It feels much more comfy! I took lots of inspiration for Ether Bay from time spent in Monterey and Half-Moon Bay.

fidzyo asked: Hmmmmm lets see.... Numero 2 with Esteban!!! 8D (of course) and number 9?

I can always count on Fidz for the Esteban questions. <3

2.) Does Esteban have any siblings?

He does, in fact! Esteban has an older brother named Javier who lives in New Causal. The two don’t get along very well - that’s not to say that they fight, but Javier has always been very work-oriented and simply does not speak with his family often. Being that Esteban pursued writing and academia and Javier pursued management and organization work, the two have some pretty significant differences in what makes them happy.

9.) Can you list some traits you have in common with your cast? How about things that are completely different?

I am really of the mind-set that just about any character you write probably has at least a bit of you in there, even if it’s a very well-hidden part or something INCREDIBLY tiny or insignificant! Mona genuinely likes people (even against her best interests) and you know? I do, too. I can’t help it. No matter how many times I have been let down by people and really WANTED to write off the entire lot as scumbags, I just can’t! I think people are pretty incredible. We also both tend to be more critical of ourselves than anyone else. However, while Mona is a social butterfly, I have more in common with Esteban in that I like to observe people from a distance, and tend to keep to myself as much as I can. I’m asocial by choice. Sometimes I can be judgmental, as well. It’s not a nice habit. :c I don’t want this question to ramble on for too long and bore the pants off you guys, but Addy is actually the character I have the most in common with (nurturer type, emotionally invested, self-deprecating, toggles between proud and hateful of own work… etc. etc.) and I am also someone who likes to listen to others, like Toby. As for some stuff that is WHOLLY different, I lack the amiable go-to-it!ness of characters like Mona and Addy, find it impossible to be as laid back and composed as Bea, am not even a quarter of the cynic that Esteban is, and the application of manipulation that someone like Ashley can employ seems so slimy to me. I also have a tough time depending on others to keep myself afloat even when I really SHOULD, probably, which is an effortless affair for Ace.

thetroglodyte asked: Then let's start at the beginning, shall we: 1?

The beginning is a good place to start! c: I answered 1 for Mona and Ashley over yonder, but the great thing about this question is I can answer it as many times as needed with different characters!

1.) Tell a bit about a main protagonist and a main antagonist? If your story doesn’t really have “good guys and bad guys”, tell about two characters with opposing viewpoints!

Esteban is certainly a main protagonist, and I suppose the next closest thing to an antagonist would be Ace, although it’s kind of an odd circumstance. Ace isn’t really a bad person, and she is not actively trying to foil anyone else in the cast.. it’s just that she conducts herself a little differently, and it tends to throw a wrench in things. But let’s start with Esteban, who is an odd duck of a protagonist, anyway - he is not very social at all, and is a loner by nature, but not the enigmatic “cool” type of loner. He finds most other people to be shallow or judgmental (making HIMSELF judgmental in turn without realizing it) and thus tends to not bother, at all. While he is very intelligent and is naturally inclined to be studious and work hard towards his goals, he is a lonely person who keeps secretly hoping to be proven wrong about his preconceptions of others. He is actually TECHNICALLY the person the story is named after - The Muse Mentor. Being an accomplished writer muse who is up for ascendency (we’ll talk about that later), means he is considered very successful. Ace is rambunctious and loud, completely the OPPOSITE of judgmental - she doesn’t really care much what someone else does or how they do it so long as they stay out of her way and don’t impose on her. This is interesting, considering she herself imposes on others constantly, needing couches to crash on, five bucks to borrow, “just one more” drink, and good alibis. Ace is similar to Mona in that she isn’t a muse - she represents another type of inspiration that can exist in the imagination space; a bad impulse. If I told you any more about either of them, I’d probably be spoiling my story, so let’s leave it there! :D

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

thetroglodyte asked: 13!!

13.) This might seem an odd question, but are there any colors you affiliate with certain characters?

Mmmmost definitely! %D Mona I always think of peach or yellow. Esteban is warm gray. Bea is gold tones! Ashley is red. Black for Ace, pale pink for Addy, cobalt blue for Sam. I know nobody knows much about Toby from my character-lineup sketch, just yet, but pine green.

frankrmb asked: 1) and 12) Addy and Mona of course ;D

1.) Tell a bit about a main protagonist and a main antagonist? If your story doesn’t really have “good guys and bad guys”, tell about two characters with opposing viewpoints!

The mainest-of-main protagonists is really Mona, although Esteban can also hold that title. I guess the most aptly-labeled antagonist would be Ashley, although I am of the mindset that there aren’t really heroes or villains in this story - although an antagonist isn’t really the same thing as a villain, anyway, I suppose… ANYWAY you didn’t come here for tangents, you want answers! Mona is a friendly but unaccomplished girl who wants to try and figure out what she is meant to do with her life. Her view of the world through rose-colored glasses is both her best and worst quality - it allows her to see the good in things while sometimes missing the truth. She is incredibly naive, but sincere and earnest (if not easily discouraged). Ashley, on the other hand, is sociable but not necessarily friendly. While very intelligent, her goals are mostly possession instead of enrichment - relationships (while of paramount importance to her) are more accessories than responsibilities.

12.) Describe the relationship between Addy and Mona? If it’s very spoiler-y, just tell what you can!

Addy views Mona as that “kid sister” figure that everyone wants but can rarely actually find - someone younger than you who needs guidance and will graciously accept it! She can also be a bit of a mother hen to Mona for this reason, wanting to make sure no one disheartens her from her newfound pursuits. Mona really adores Addy’s enthusiasm and warmth, as both are outwardly positive people, but sometimes Mona finds herself feeling sorry for her. This is all I dare say! c: