Friday, April 30, 2010

Post #1 of 3 Last JordanCon Things

By Linda

At the Con, I was surprised when Alan of Team Jordan asked a question of me, rather than the other way.

Alan: This is something I’ve been wanting to know and have been trying to get confirmed or not: is it true that Australians eat fruit sandwiches?

Me, feeling like Aviendha meeting the Sea Folk, but in NO way claiming to look like her, alas: ???

Alan: You know...pineapple, banana...

Me, oh that fruit!: Yes, it’s quite true. When I was at high school grated cheddar cheese and pineapple sandwiches were popular in the school canteen. My mother still eats banana sandwiches. Neither are common these days though.

And I think he’s going to try the banana sandwich at least, because he asked how to make one. So, in the interest of education, even potentially dangerous education, here are the instructions:

Banana sandwich: Use sandwich loaf. Butter the two slices of bread to your taste. Slice the banana diagonally to get long elipses about half cm/quarter inch thick and place on a slice. If you have a really sweet tooth you can sweeten it further with a little sugar (not usually done). Add top slice. Eat straight away because the banana oxidises rapidly.

Cheese and pineapple sandwich: Butter the slices of bread, grate the cheddar cheese. Open a tin (or can, whatever you call it) of crushed pineapple and drain thoroughly. Assemble a layer of cheese and then pineapple on the bread. Put top slice on. Again, it has to be eaten promptly, because the pineapple will make the sandwich soggy after a while, and soggy sandwiches are an abomination. It tastes sweet, salty and sour all at the same time.

Monday, April 26, 2010

JordanCon Report

By Linda

First up, I want to thank the JordanCon team for letting me be a panelist. It was an honour.

All the sessions I attended, including the ones at which I was a panelist, had strong audience participation with thoughtful observations and questions.

The JordanCon schedule offered much to choose from, resulting in some unfortunate clashes at times. For instance, Brandon Sanderson’s book signing coincided with the Future of the Franchise session. Which to attend??

At the opening ceremony Theoryland took over by arresting Jason of Dragonmount for crimes against WOT fandom (falsely claiming to have thrown his Magic the Gathering card game against Brandon). Having staged his coup, Matt Hatch got to the business of welcoming us all, and introducing the guests.

On my first panel, which was about Real World Influences with Alan and Maria of Team Jordan and Aubree and Rachel of JordanCon team, I picked up a couple of new sources of names. Much interesting stuff was discussed about the non-European sources used and also about WOT costume. Alan and Maria noted how things RJ had seen would turn up later in the books: for instance, the olive groves of Altara were originally seen on a Mediterranean holiday.

The Loony Theories were impressively loony, believe me. The top 3 contenders were: “Cadsuane is Moiraine”, ”Min is being manipulated by Moridin” and “The Finns are aliens and the Tower of Ghenjei is a spaceship”. The Cadsuane theory was voted looniest despite spirited attempts to tamper with the voting by devotees of the evil Min theory.

All participants at the Minor Characters session were agreed that RJ’s minor characters were not mere backdrops or props but had independent lives of their own and underwent character development. Someone asked for a definition of a minor character and Maria said it was one that was absent for more than one consecutive book. Many minor characters were discussed - from Uno to Teslyn - but of course they were only the tip of the iceberg.

Future Books: The main series and the Encyclopedia will be completed and then Harriet will decide if she wants the prequel novels written - one about Tam’s experiences as a soldier and finding Rand, and one about Moiraine’s hunt for the Dragon Reborn and how she arrived in the nick of time in the Two Rivers - with Tam's adventures just before finding Rand and one with Moraine and Lan just before they arrive in the Two Rivers in the nick of time – or the later novel about Mat and Tuon in Seanchan. If the novels are written, Brandon will be the writer to keep the voice consistent.

The book signing: Brandon signed books he had written, and Harriet books she had edited. Due to having to travel light I didn’t bring any books with me, so I got the complimentary WOT map and JordanCon program signed by both Brandon and Harriet. Terez waited until the end and got her entire collection of the books signed.

Websites: Jason Denzel and Jennifer Liang of Dragonmount, Matt Hatch of Theoryland, Melissa Craib of Tarvalon, Bob Kluttz of EncyWot and myself were panellists. It was astonishing how many long-lasting WOT websites were born in 1998-9. Dragonmount and Theoryland were first, but the others all followed thick and fast. Wotmania too was created in that year, and though it closed last year, this blog was a rebirthing of its FAQ and Wotboard re-through posts. We had our first birthday last month on the Ides of March.

Mat and Perrin: I really enjoyed this session on the two essential supporters of Rand, and was honoured to be on the panel with Maria and Jakob. Rand is number one, but then so was Lews Therin, and look what happened to him. Like a tripod, the three ta'veren will support the world and the battle against the Shadow:

He shall hold a blade of light in his hand and the three shall be as one.

- The Gathering Storm, Reading the Commentary.

All aspects of Mat and Perrin were discussed – strengths, weaknesses and contributions to the plot. Alas, I had to leave this excellent discussion early to catch a plane.

Towers of Midnight: The JordanCon program included a preliminary Towers of Midnight cover by Daryl Sweet of two men watching a third scratch a triangle on a white wall with a brown blade...partially obscured by a black bar containing the words “Cover not final”. The Tower of Ghenjei mission! There were errors on the cover: Mat had a red headband, as though he was a siswai’aman, instead of his trademark hat, there was only one white haired man, instead of two (;)) and the inscribed triangle was pointing in the wrong direction.

I was surprised they chose a spoilerish cover when the identity of third person to rescue Moiraine is not confirmed in any previous book. But it will certainly make fans eager.

Regarding the Towers of Midnight schedule, Brandon Sanderson twittered today:

I am revising a chapter of TofM while I wait for my assistant to bring me papers to grade. Deadline to get the book in has been set: Aug 17.

There is a post on the blog Forums here listing all Q&As that I heard or have discovered.

Costuming: The excellent costuming track ensured there were many costume enthusiasts at the Con. Or maybe it was the other way :). I had a great time exchanging information and discussing costume history and construction with fellow crafty folk. I brought my WOT embroideries with me too and they contain some embroidery materials rarely seen in the US. So I will be emailing a couple of embroiderers with links to sources of materials when I return home. The Society of Creative Anachronism recognised a kindred spirit in me and suggested I join. I’m sure it would be fun, but I do so many activities already!

The costuming culminated in the Homecoming Dance, where there were many terrific outfits, some very original and detailed, notably the Nym, Trolloc and Myrddraal.

I'm so glad I came; I had a blast. Everyone made me feel so welcome. If you are thinking of going to JordanCon next year, I can thoroughly recommend it.

Friday, April 23, 2010

JordanCon Eve

By Linda

Having fun in Atlanta! The weather is good, the people are welcoming. Well worth the agony of the 20 hour flight and 31 hours with no sleep.

Last night I had dinner with Brandon, Harriet and Maria and the other wonderful people making major contributions to JordanCon who were able to attend. Since the Con is yet to start proper we didn't talk much WOT. It's true. It was more of a meeting or reunion.

Brandon did talk about the way he works though, especially regarding writing WOT. He stressed that he doesn't know the minutiae of the series like RJ did. Nor does Brandon store the details of any of the worlds he writes about in his head, he prefers the computer. He leaves his headspace free to concentrate on the writing and the characters’ personalities and motivations. For WOT, Brandon learns what he needs to write sections of the series, writes them and moves on to the next sections. That’s how he works. The WOT world isn’t his world and would take a lot of study to master all the details, and that would delay the books.

What RJ could do and did do, answering all sorts of questions about details on the spot, was precious and irreplaceable. Moreover RJ had a lot of information about the series written down, but a lot more was in his head.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New article Released: Origins of the Place Names

By Linda

An article on the possible sources of all place names, current and historic, Origin of the Place Names, is now published on the Thirteenth Depository. An analysis of the origins of the names is included.

While the less important place names are usually the same as, or very similar to, actual real world place names or occasionally personal names, places that are the sites of important events past or present often have interesting allusions. Caemlyn, Maldon, Arafel and Maradon are good examples.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Some News

By Linda

First up, here are the answers to Old Salt's difficult quiz that I posted yesterday: 1 c, 2 b, 3 a, 4 d, 5 e, 6 b, 7 b, 8 d, 9 a, 10 d

Monday I will be posting a new article on the Origin of the Place Names.

After that, I leave for JordanCon, so there will be a lull in posting while I am in (long!) transit- and recovering afterwards. However, I will be posting reports during the Con on the doings and the wonderful people there.

I've posted a thread on the Forum for suggestions of interesting questions to be asked of Team Jordan as time, and their busy schedules, permit.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Difficult Quiz

Old Salt also cooked up a difficult quiz for the New York booksigning.

1) What is the name of the Aiel grub that is sweet and crunchy and has been compared to an apple?
a) Gara b) Jegal c) Motai d) Carfar e) Dornat

2) Moiraine frequently wears a blue stone in the middle of her forehead. What is it called?
a) Ki’sain b) Keseira c) Cueran d) Hadori e) Miyora

3) Who has invented hang gliding at Rand’s Cairhien Academy?
a) Maryl Harke b) Marvin Poel c) Rian Anhara d) Niko Tokama d) Myriam Copan

4) Which is NOT a Sea Folk Vessel class?
a) Darter b) Soarer c) Skimmer d) Sculler e) Raker

5) Aethan Dor are an Aiel Society. What is the common translation of their name?
a) Mountain Dancers b) Night Spears c) Thunder Walkers d) True Bloods e) Red Shields

6) Tam taught Rand a concentration technique he called “the flame and the void” What do the Malkeri call it?
a) the Oneness b) Ko’di c) N’tari d) the Stillness e) Tcheran

7) What is the title of the Yellow Ajah head?
a) Head Clerk b) First Weaver c) Highest d) First Selector e) First Reasoner

8) One of Mat’s favorite meals is an Ebou Dari dish called Gilded Fish. What real world fish would it mostly resemble?
a) Stripped Bass b) Red Snapper c) Sword Fish d) Sole e) Mackerel

9) The Hills of Absher are in what country?
a) Andor b) Altara c) Cairhien d) Murandy e) Arad Doman

10) Which one of these countries is NOT a member of the Compact of 10 Nations?
a) Eharon b) Safer c) Jaramide d) Shiota e) Aelgar

Here are the answers to Old Salt's Goldilocks quiz that I posted yesterday: 1 c, 2 d, 3 b, 4 e, 5 b, 6 c, 7 a, 8 d, 9 c, 10 b

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The ‘Goldilocks’ Quiz, Not too Hard, Not too Easy :D

Old Salt was a Stormleader at the NY book signing and devised this quiz for that celebrated occasion. Since there's only a bit over a week to JordanCon I thought I'd post it here to get us in the mood. I'll post the answers on Friday.

1) Elyas Manchera is a Warder. Who holds his bond?
a) Kaylin Yokata b) Marith Jaen c) Rina Hafden d) Jala Bandevin e) Kera Harella

2) Min had a vision about Sarene Nemdahl, what was it?
a) raven tattoo b) a dark aura c) found a library d) love affair e) rays of silver and blue

3) Who was the first Queen of Andor?
a) Seta Zarby b) Ishara Maravaile c) Cemaile Sorenthane d) Esmara Getares e) Geritte Mayel

4) What is the largest Sea Folk Island?
a) Dantora b) Somera c) Cantorin d) Jafar e) Tremalking

5) Marin al’Vere is a good cook. What is she especially famous for?
a) Hot Cakes b) Bread c) Stew d) Roast Lamb e) Barley and mutton soup

6) Mandarb is the name of Lan’s horse. What does his name mean?
a) Lance b) Faithful friend c) Blade d) Swift flyer e) Warrior

7) Who was the founder of the White Cloaks?
a) Lothair Mantelar b) Balwen Yulener c) Jaric Monderan d) Narasin Bhuran e) Tevan Aerwin

8) What was the name of the Wave Dancer’s Windfinder?
a) Sanine din Ryal b) Dorile din Eiran c) Nestelle din Sakura d) Jorin din Jubai e) Malin din Toral

9) According to Rand’s travel through the glass column ter’angreal, who was the first Maiden of the Spear?
a) Rhea b) Kirin c) Morin d) Norla e) Maigran

10) Setalle Anan is an ex Aes Sedai. What was her name as an Aes Sedai?
a) Turanna Norill b) Martine Janata c) Aeldra Najaf d) Marith Riven
e) Ferane Neheran

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Part 2 of Costume in the Wheel of Time

By Linda

Today I've posted the section on Aes Sedai modes of dress to the WOT Costume article. This means slashes, shawls and rings! Descriptions of the apparel of novices, Accepted and Warders are included.

Monday, April 12, 2010

New Article Released: Character Names Parallels - L

By Linda

The article on possible sources for character names starting with L has been published in the Reference Library. There are a few big names in this article: present characters such as Lan and Logain, and historic ones such as Lews Therin (who arguably has the most complex name of all WOT characters), Laman Damodred, Lothair Mantelar and Luthair Paendrag.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New article Released: Costume in the Wheel of Time

By Linda

Today I'm posting the introduction to a series on Costume in the Wheel of Time, illustrated and augmented from the one I wrote for Wotmania's FAQ.

Each nation will be added alphabetically (and gradually!), starting with the Age of Legends. Those trans-epoch beings the Forsaken will have their own section at the end of the series, since they are no longer true Second Agers, having adopted the mode of dress of the Third Age to a greater or lesser degree. They'll be the finale, if you like!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Article Released : Matter of Britain 2 - An Arthurian Who's Who

A new article is now available in the Reference Library: Matter of Britain 2: An Arthurian Who's Who. Matter of Britain 1 was about the many, often profound Arthurian Myth Parallels in the series: the Goddess of Sovereignty and her champions and the Healing of the Land, the Dolorous Stroke, the Fisher King, and the Grail and other Hallows objects.

The Who's Who is a really fun tour through those characters with Arthurian parallels and was written by Marcia (known as MJJ Sedai on Wotmania) in 2005. Aviendha, Egwene, Lan, Moiraine, Gawyn, Thom and more are all there. Rand himself, along with Artur Hawkwing and Luthair Paendrag, was discussed in Matter of Britain 1: Arthurian Myth Parallels. Each character wrestles with the same issues as their Arthurian counterparts, but the outcome is quite different due to Jordan's little twists, just as each Age is different when it comes around again even though it is the same Age...

Monday, April 5, 2010

New Article Released: Character Names Parallels - K

By Linda

The article on possible sources for character names starting with K has been published in the Reference Library. Rand's mother, Kari al'Thor is the main entry but there are also some Aes Sedai, such as Kiruna Nachiman.

On Wednesday I will publish an Arthurian Who's Who written by Marcia, and on Friday, commence another series of articles.

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Article Released: Character Names Parallels - J

By Linda

The article on possible sources for character names starting with J has been published in the Reference Library. Jahar Narishma and Jain Farstrider have some interesting real world parallels, as does Rand's ancestor Jonai. One of Birgitte's former lives might have been Joan of Arc.

I take this opportunity to wish you all a happy Easter.