The Fingers Behind the Fish - Your Questions Answered.
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Your answers to the AMA!

The Fingers Behind the Fish - Your Questions Answered.

Arright, it has been about 24 hours, give or take a tea break, and therefore it is time to have a look at what you've been demanding from me. I will answer them in the order they were asked (nearly) just so I don't miss any out. Some will have longer answers than others just because of the nature of the question.

First up was Rowace: Quos libros commendas? - What books do I recommend, eh? Well, depending on your age there are various ones, but I'll just put down 5 of those I think are easily accessible from twelve and up. 1) Mortal Engines - Philip Reeve. Kid's books, but they are my absolute favourite. A fantastic world and

complicated characters, a real adventure story. 2) His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (fair warning if you're religious, these are very anti-God) most people know this series, I think the more you read it the better it is. 3) The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien, again, everyone knows it. Really the only high fantasy I like, and if you're really committed there is the Silmarillion which is very hard.

4) Perfume - Patrick Süskind, it is disturbing, gross, violent, and bizarre. Need I say more? (more adult) 5) The Satyricon - Gaius Petronius. This is very adult. It is a Roman comedy (perhaps the first book ever written!) about a gay man with erectile dysfunction and his lover running about the known world...

I also recommend anything by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman who are my inspiration. If you want to understand the English, read them. Next, Perwickbay who decided to be a smart arse. hvað væri hugsjón morgunmat þinn? I take this to mean what is my ideal breakfast. To that I say

ensku ensku. If that yields strange results, blame them. How ever, my ideal is not what I have because I don't think consuming my weeks worth of calories in one meal is a good idea. Normally I have an unsweetened grapefruit. Stevewaldrop decided to double dip on the question front. Cheeky.

When it comes to reading, what genres do you prefer? Ok, despite the books I recommended, comedy and fantasy aren't really my favourites. I prefer dystonpia (but not Y.A. dystopia, no happy endings for me thank you!), science-fiction, murder mysteries, and psychological thrillers. I also like to read scientific papers, especially where the scientists are being

incredibly polite to each other, but also incredibly rude. Perhaps that answer answers your second question - Do you know your MBTI type and has that had an effect on your writing? Caveat: I ran the internet test a few times over a long time period, I am not clinically assessed. Apparently, I am an INTJ-T

and to the uninitiated that means I balance between scientific and artistic, resulting in a erratic neurotisism. Does it affect my writing? Probably. You tell me! What I read does, and that fits the bill of an INTJ reader I suppose... But I never let the Myers-Briggs type define me (mainly because I have the one no one wants :P )

Cuculater plumped for a deceptively hard question. I had to really ponder on this one. What is your favorite accent? Eeeeeeeeeh. I'm on a knife edge between valley Welsh and Polish. Probably Welsh, even if I have no idea what is being said to me. (Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - lovely town)

Sherlocktardis and Skye asked something pretty similar (hobbies), but one for the blobfish, and one for not. Guys. Why. Ok ok, the blobfish likes thinking up puns. Hence, the blob has no friends, fishy or otherwise. What does the non-fish enjoy? Long distance running, hikes through glorious British rain, visiting stately homes, and people watching. I also collect fossils, interesting bits of granite (all that I can

find), rare coins that are in circulation, and feathers. Seeing as we are with you Skye, I don't keep myself grounded at all. I don't need to because I am actually very insecure and never believe I have done enough to be any good (INTJ-T trait :P ). Now Boblong. Bob, Bob, Bob. Why you gotta be blowing my cover hmm? Is being a blobfish

akin to my Bobby Sunshine? Let us be sisters and not twins. Yes, in actuality I am not a boneless floating pustule (I am merely a boneless pustule). I chose the fish so as not to detract from my work. What I write is not what I feel, and therefore I do not consider the 'me' bit important. Hence, the character. It is more to reduce implicit bias than anything. Also, I get to be a fish which is kind of fun. Also also, I will

remain the fish because I think the fish works well. Badwriter, tough, none of your dirty dirty salamander talk. Boblong, not sure if the resistor question is addressed to me, but no I have no need of resistors. Electrocution is pleasurable in every definable way. Give me that high current. Mmmmm...

Stadarooni, who is my favourite playwright other than Shakespeare? What's the point of a favourite then I ask! Fine. Hmph. I may have to be a bit basic and go with George Bernard Shaw. However, the adaptation of Susan Hill's 'The Woman in Black' is a right cracker of a show. But I will not flirt with the rules, she is an author not a playwright.

And finally, Neutralfleur. Last but certainly not least - you wish for me to answer a small essay. How important do you think accessibility of meaning is? by this i mean: should one have to work hard to “solve” the poem? (40 marks available) Let us first address the inaccessible. If one has written utter gibberish that no one understands, then it probably should be re-done. Yes, I know

artistic expression and all that, but there is a limit. This is not the same as surreal poems, those can be appreciated for their incomprehensibility. Second, should a poet limit themselves to appeal to the masses. A similar question is should we teach Shakespeare in schools if the kids don't get it? I'll answer the first by way of the second. If the kids don't get Shakespeare, the teacher is a

poor teacher. Yes, there are nuances and naughty jokes that won't be picked up by everyone, but on some level everyone should be able to understand his work - it is on the nature of being human, is it not? The same can be said of 'most' poetry, even if you just get the top layer - (so the plot, let's say) if you can only get that - the poet may not have written a masterpiece, but to a greater or lesser extent,

they've achieved their aim. But that top layer kinda has to be understandable, or it is just too awkward. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule. Poems designed around a hidden meaning, riddles etc, but as long as they are demonstrable and evidenced, then there is accessibility. Everyone should have the opportunity to understand

poetry, not everyone will understand poetry. And that is ok. I love referenes and hidden meanings in poetry (what I call the crunchy bits), but they shouldn't determine the overall emotion of the poem. If it's a sad poem, it should be sad regardless of whether or not I know the origins of a character - consider Tennyson's 'The Lady of Shallot', Lancelot is

a materialistic fool in the poem, as he is in the original legends, but you do not need to read the legends (which you should anyway) to pick that up, only the poem. All of that was probably superfluous drivel that could have been better laid out, but forgive me, I have not written an English essay in a long time.

Thank you all for your questions! I hope I have answered them sufficiently, and not bored you (the cardinal sin!). Have a lovely rest of your day/night/whatever. Here, the sun is shining and the daffodils are out to say hello!

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