Three Things meme

There’s been a meme going around where people give you three random things to talk about. Mine, from Larry Hammer, are:

1) Feathers

The “swan” thing goes back a long way, and stems from the fact that people who know German but not Swiss German often think my legal last name has something to do with swans. Possibly that’s why the family coat of arms has swans on it? Anyway, I didn’t want my website to be because at the time I expected to go into academia, studying science fiction and fantasy, and I wanted a site that could serve for both purposes. (In fact, the first incarnation of it had two distinct halves, one for each part of my work.) My thoughts drifted to swans, and then the phrase “Swan Tower” popped into my head, and it sounded good.

As for swans themselves, I like how they’re beautiful and elegant and can break your leg with their wings. I played a swan pooka several times in a Changeling game, but she was more the dream of a swan than the physical reality of one; if I were doing it now, I might try to stat her in a way that reflects the dichotomy.

Also, my husband is allergic to feathers.

2) Polyhedra

Thanks to RPGs, I interact with a much wider range of these than most people do. 😛 d4s are caltrops (don’t drop them on the floor); d6s are kind of boring; d8s rarely seem to get used; d10s are fun to arrange in different patterns while I’m listening to someone else’s scene; d20s really like to roll off whatever surface I’m using, so when I’m playing Pathfinder I roll in a shallow dish instead of on a book or table. Alas for the poor d12, used even less often than d8s; a friend of mine once swore they were going to design an RPG that used nothing but d12s. We also own some weird things, like d2s from the PolyHero Dice Kickstarter campaigns, or a single giant d30.

I find it fascinating that there are d20-shaped artifacts from (I think) ancient Rome, that we’re not sure what they were used for.

3) Angst

I try to avoid this? On the whole I tend to be fairly level-headed, so while I can get stressed or depressed about things, there have only been a few times in my life that I’d characterize as angsty — and adolescence mostly wasn’t one of them, for which I’m eternally grateful.

Having said that, I often go on kicks of listening to thoroughly angsty music, and can have a lot of fun with this in stories, whether I’m reading them, writing them, or playing them in an RPG. Twisting the knife is fun . . . as long as it’s in a fictional person’s flesh.

If anybody wants to give me three more, I can do more of these posts — though depending on how many I get, no guarantees that I’ll make it through them all.

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