Sing it wth me! Second verse!

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me . . . .

Yep, that’s right: the release date for my fifth book and the anniversary of my birth ended up back-to-back this year.

I’m going to steal a page from (I think) Cat Valente, and sink not into the WOE IS ME I’M THIRTY MY LIFE IS OOOOOOOOOVER idiocy modern pop culture insists is the proper response, but rather say, woot! I’ve reached level 30! In other words, treat this as a thing to be celebrated. I have increased in experience; I have more skills on my character sheet, and in a few days I’ll be taking a new feat that I think will be very fun indeed.

Longtime readers of this journal know I have a tradition of staving off any possible bad mood by making an “egotism post” on my birthday, listing everything cool I’ve achieved in the last year, without hedging or qualification or mention of things I didn’t quite pull off. (Sparked by a year in which my birthday was kind of a shitty day overall.) I thought about doing that again this year — maybe a “lifetime retrospective” version, rather than just the past twelve months — but you know, I think I’d rather re-purpose a meme from a while back, and solicit flattery from the internets instead. So in the comments, tell me what cool things I’ve done —

— with one condition.

I want them to be hilariously, outrageously false.

Make stuff up. The more over-the-top, the better. Remind me that I once stole the Seven Stones of Power from the Seven Dragon Guardians to re-assemble the Necklace of Immortality and save the Star-Eyed Empress from the creeping poison of the Lord of Doom. Or whatever. And because of the pairing with Book Day — not to mention the outpouring of book love on yesterday’s post; I’ll be getting back to you guys in comments there soon, but it’s been fabulous reading, keep it up — and inspired by Laura Anne Gilman’s own birthday book giveaway, I will send one random commenter, not one of my books, but one of the books I love beyond all reason. Possibly this will be Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, which is the book that turned me into a writer. Possibly it will be Tam Lin by Pamela Dean, which had a formative influence on the first novel I ever finished writing. Possibly it will be The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett, the only author to turn me so green with envy I basically can’t write for a few hours after reading her stuff. Or something else, maybe. I haven’t decided yet; I’ll see what the winner is interested in. But I think sharing a book I adore is a dandy way to celebrate my thirtieth birthday.

Along with a tasty Japanese lunch, some light reading, a wander in the sunshine, and absolutely no work today. So I’m off to enjoy that. Ta!

0 Responses to “Sing it wth me! Second verse!”

  1. nojojojo

    Happy birthday, happy Launch Day, and congrats on building that space elevator to low-earth orbit in order to perfect your orbital space launcher so that the world will soon bow down before your benevolent might!

    • Marie Brennan

      I will indeed be the most benevolent of dictators. Kittens for everyone! (Except the allergic, who can have plush kitten toys instead. See, I’m benevolent.)

  2. jadegirl

    I have to admit I was more than a little impressed by the ease with which you corralled 350 squirrels to squeakchitter Handel’s Messiah during your last appearance at Carnegie Hall. Getting them home on the subway? Even more impressive.

    Happy Birthday, and I look forward to seeing your squirrel chorus tackle Mozart.

    Tam Lin is one of my all time favorites, too.

    • Marie Brennan

      What can I say? I’ve always loved The Messiah, since the days when my family went to a Messiah-sing every Christmas.

      Thanks!

  3. sartorias

    Have a great birthday!

  4. stormsdotter

    Happy birthday! I can’t wait to see the pictures of you climbing Mount Everest in full armor!

    (One of my co-workers is a marathon runner. i told her that if I ever ran a marathon, I’d do it in chainmail because I’m a LARPer and nothing counts unless you’re in armor.) (My chain shirt is only three pounds.)

    • Marie Brennan

      You should totally run a marathon in chain. Because it’s HARD-CORE, YO.

      • stormsdotter

        …but I’m writing a book, and that’s been coming before my gym time. Then again, my job contract runs out next month, and I’ll have all this free time in the winter and I need to loose weight. H’mmm.

  5. aulus_poliutos

    Happy Birthday to You. Or should I sing in German, Zum Geburtstag viel Glรผck, zum Geburtstag viel Glรผck …. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I felt like you when I turned 30, it was more an achievement. But I’m 48 now and not so sure if I really want to celebrate the 50 in October 2011. I so don’t feel like 48. Fortunately don’t look it, either. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. gracious_anne

    Happy Birthday!

    And thanks for going back in time and finding my glasses in the Nautilus(they are my spiffy pair),I’m kinda blind without them.

      • oneminutemonkey

        And I meant to add that I am right there in my absolute love of Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin and Diana Wynne Jones’ Fire and Hemlock. There are REASONS why I love the ballad of Tam Lin in most all of its many variations, and those two fueled it.

        Mercedes Lackey’s Knight of Ghosts and Shadows series, along with Darrell Schweitzer’s Tom O’Bedlam’s Night Out, likewise fueled my love for the Mad Tom O’ Bedlam series of verses.

        And of course, Ellen Kushner’s Thomas the Rhymer introduced me to True Thomas. Thus completing the trifecta of Thomas Ballads That Are Awesome. Someday I’ll even finish the idea I have in the back of my mind that wraps all three into one sparkly container.

        Harpy Bath Day. And never forget that it was you who time-punched the Last Dangerous Visions out of existence, after Harlan Ellison dared doubt your genius.

        • Marie Brennan

          Yeah, I picked up Dean because of Jones, and have been obsessed with “Tam Lin” since childhood.

          I have a Tom O’Bedlam story I wrote earlier this year — “Mad Maudlin” — which is a Bad Draft, but maybe I’ll be able to go back and make it work later on. (Short version: written from the pov of a doctor on a psych ward, dealing with a crazy woman who (he thinks) identifies with the speaker in “Tom O’Bedlam.” Fantasy ensues.)

          And never forget that it was you who time-punched the Last Dangerous Visions out of existence, after Harlan Ellison dared doubt your genius.

          *o/*

        • elizaeffect

          Oh man, I forgot about the time-punch, that was amazing. This comment wins everything forever.

  7. tchernabyelo

    Happy Birthday.

    And I’m so glad you wrote the six-book sequel to the Lymond saga, featuring his and Philippa’s offspring. To think they said it couldn’t (or was that shouldn’t?) be done!!!

    (Yes, another inveterate Dunnett fan here)

    • Marie Brennan

      <headsplode>

      Oh man. While I was in London, my brain tried to suggest I should write a crossover fic about a twentieth-century descendant of Lymond’s going to work for Neil Burnside as a Sandbagger. I pointed out to my brain that any such story should have dialogue so sharp you bleed just by looking at the page, and that I am NOT CAPABLE OF THIS . . . but the platonic ideal of that story, while unproducable by anyone short of a genetically-engineered Dunnet/Mackintosh hybrid, would be THE MOST AMAZING THING EVAR.

  8. aliettedb

    Happy birthday!
    I loved the way you handled the guided tours to 19th-Century London (to say nothing of your brilliant use of the time machine).

  9. prosewitch

    So that time when we were going to chat and catch up in the hot tub at this past ICFA? I totally did not expect it to turn into an epic absinthe shoot-off between the literary and anthropological schools on approaches to the fantastic. It was even better when you arm-wrestled the entire staff of the Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts and worked out a new taxonomy for classifying folklore in the fantastic by combining ballet terminology with a LARP-inspired rules system. And that was before we ditched Orlando for the border! I still have the tequila-stained napkin that you signed for me.

  10. d_c_m

    I remember well that as sweat decorated your brow like glittering diamonds you lifted the IMU up and rotated it 13 degrees to better catch the sunlight.

    It’s a day I’ll never forget. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Oh and AMEN about enjoying being thirty!!! My life certainly improved.

    • Marie Brennan

      <basks in the sun>

      My life is going pretty well at the moment, but I wouldn’t say no to it getting even better in the next decade.

  11. moonandserpent

    Seriously? Need I remind you how you wrote a novel in the snow just outside of a secret Tibetan monastery? A novel so awesome that the Dali Lama ordered it tattooed, one word at a time, on his secret order of ninja monks.

    • clodfobble

      Please. I’m shocked that no one has mentioned your brood of 8 perfect offspring. Prodigies one and all, and not an unkind word among them. Nevermind the birthing hips that has required, your corporal contributions to the worlds of math, science, literature, medicine, music, art, diplomacy, and conservation will never be forgotten. The fact that you presciently named them all after their future accomplishments is just icing on the cake.

    • Marie Brennan

      I forget about it because I’m trying to block out how damn COLD I was while writing that thing.

      It was worth it in the end, though.

  12. akashiver

    Remember that time you cloned yourself and then sent your clone into the future? And then weird convolutions happened with alternate universes and offspring who never actually existed? Then do you remember your past-future self revealing Kyle was secretly an alien reptile who’d gone back in time to set this all up?

    I don’t. So thanks for screwin’ up the universe, yo.

    Happy Birthday.

    • Marie Brennan

      Well, once I knew he was an alien reptile, I felt weird about eating his brownies. And I reeeeeeally like the brownies, so. Had to make sure none of that ever happened.

      Mmmm, brownies. ๐Ÿ™‚

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