Thursday, May 17, 2007

You Know You're a Real Blogger When ...

You've been tagged. I will take my revenge on Gabriele at a time and place of my choosing, but tribal custom requires participating in the ritual, so eight facts about me - if they're pretty boring, that's because I am.

Since I'm still a noob I'll refrain from tagging five other people - so count your small blessings, Bernita and Carla.

1 - I'm a major traction fan, traction being the somewhat archaic term for urban electric rail transit. When I visit a city with a rail transit system, I always make time to ride it, and I've invented the city of Santa Teresa, California, as a sort of virtual trainset.*

2 - In spite of the above, I haven't lived in a city with rail transit since I was eight. I was born in Cleveland, which has both heavy and light rail (don't ask, or I'll explain at length) - even though we left when I was six, I immediately recognized the system when I saw pictures of it. I mostly grew up in San Diego, but left before the San Diego Trolley was put in.

3 - I was named, in part, for Rick Blaine of "Casablanca." No great distinction - Rick became the usual shortening of Richard at just about that time - but here's looking at you, kid.

4 - My mother bought me A Child's History of the World when I was about seven, and I've been a history junkie ever since.

5 - I am also a political junkie. I was a paid county coordinator for Dukakis in '88 and - with far more gratifying results - for Clinton in '92. However, I intend to keep my politics (mostly) out of this blog, because it annoys me when other blogs get taken over by politics, even when I agree with the blogger's opinions.

6 - As a kid in the early 60s I wanted to be an astronaut. (Big surprise!) I knew I wouldn't be in time for the Moon, but intended to lead the first Mars expedition, which I decided would be in 1989.

7 - I've been fascinated by Henry VIII's ship Mary Rose since I first read about her loss, years before the wreck was found and recovered. Alas, I haven't had a chance to cross the pond to pay her a visit.

8 - My novel-being-hustled, Catherine of Lyonesse, originated as background for a naval wargame - a pseudo 16th c. England just had to have a redheaded Queen. The novel ended up being about a teenaged princess in exile, and both sea battles in the original draft ended up on the cutting-room floor.

(I guess that's cheating: more about my book than me. But the book is more interesting.)

* At least two mystery writers have used a Santa Teresa; Ross Macdonald has frequent references to it, and Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone lives there. Their version is a near-exact doppelganger of Santa Barbara. Mine is another hundred miles up the coast, and considerably larger, in order to plausibly justify its having surviving rail transit lines.


Gabriele Campbell said...

Thank you for playing along.

I'm glad for every blog that doesn't get political. I'm bored by politics and I don't know all the names and details of US politics, nor do I care. I've kicked Making Light off my blogroll for that, though I still read the few non political posts there.

Any chance to get the naval battles back in? I love naval battles (and yes, I do have all Hornblower books :).

Rick said...

Gabriele - Aarrrgggh, you mentioned the precise example I had in mind. I do care about Making Light's issues, and mostly share their take (my shortlived hand-coded political blog attempt was "al-Fubar"), but I hardly go there anymore. When I want to read that sort of thing I go to Daily Kos; I went to Making Light to read other things.

As for the naval battles, alas the sequence of events changed in revision. Truth to be told, much as I loved writing the Battle of Englehead, it made no strategic sense. Why would the Aquitanians invade Lyonesse when they already hold the heiress to the throne? The sensible plan is to oil your way in.

There's a galley fight in the sequel, though.

Kedamono said...

Well, if your a "rail fan", you'll want to visit David Johnson's Trolley fan website:

He has built his own alternate California, as well as a collaboration we did on Isla de California. Enjoy!

Carla said...

Hey, I know the difference between heavy and light rail, at least on this side of the Atlantic. Geek, me?

Maybe you can reuse the naval battle scenes elsewhere. I imagine somebody will have a go at invading Catherine's kingdom sooner or later, after all it happened to at least one other red-haired queen.

Anonymous said...

Ayeup, it's me.

The Aquitanians and Lyonessans fought Englehead because they could. When did common sense and battle lust ever exist in the same universe?

Ah, another Hornblower fan.

Rick said...

Kedamono - thanks for the link! I stumbled onto his site a couple of years ago, but the bookmark got lost in the pile, and I'd just been thinking I ought to see if I could google it up.

Carla - even though it's an invented world, it's a bit like you were saying about traditional tales where people basically know how they're going to end. Redheaded queens are armada magnets, what can you say?

Anita - hi! Well, yes, there is the sheer bloody-mindedness part, isn't there?

Bernita said...

Gratefully, I remain, etc.
I despise politics.Too cult-like.

Anonymous said...

Comment on being a 'rail fan'.

I think there will be a lot more rail in the future. Alternatives to petroleum for running cars & airplanes look likely to be expensive, but we can have all the electricity we want from nuclear fission. So I think electric railways will displace road & air traffic to a considerable extent.