♦ Just before the holiday break, I took the official Myers-Briggs Type Indicator through our Career Services office. Many years ago, I’d taken an online version and scored as an INFJ (Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Judging), and the characteristics seemed like a pretty accurate description (I’m pretty sure I read this page, and on another page the INFJ was described as “The Counselor,” which also seemed fairly accurate). So I was surprised when the results came back and I tested as an INTJ (Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging), but the description was too spot-on to deny:
Have original minds and great drive for implementing their ideas and achieving their goals. Quickly see patterns in external events and develop long-range explanatory perspectives. When committed, organize a job and carry it through. Skeptical and independent, have high standards of competence and performance—for themselves and others.
You can find that description and the other fifteen personality types here. What I thought was most interesting was how my colleague Linda, who went over the results with me, talked about how understanding personality types really helps with communication—how do I receive information as an INTJ and how do I convey information effectively to other personality types. Interesting stuff!
♦ A few posts reflecting about fantasy have popped up lately that I found interesting food for thought about the genre (nothing spellbindingly new, but I always like reading about the genre):
John H. Stevens, “My Year of Bellowing about Fantastika,” at SF Signal
…I do write fantasy in part because it allows me to speak about longing and connection. But I also write fantasy because it allows me to describe the world we actually live in—a world which can be profoundly alienating, which is at its core fantastical. And it allows me to imagine a world that is different from the one we live in—because imagining different worlds may be the only way we can actually understand and change our own.
And here’s the part from Goss’s second post that I particularly liked:
Fantasy is dangerous because it is inherently subversive. To depart from reality is to question it as reality – to imagine alternatives. And that’s why I write it. Because it seems to me that much of what passes for reality is in fact an illusion, which often functions to maintain certain hierarchies and structures of power. I don’t think of these things when I write a story. Then, all I think about is story. But the underlying ideas and motives are there.
♦ If you’re looking for some fine post-holiday reading, why not check out issue 14 of Scheherezade’s Bequest over at Cabinet des Fees?
♦ Some posts about writing you might enjoy:
I enjoyed C.A. Belmond’s article, “Writer’s Wednesday: 5 Lies They Tell You about Writing,” which I found via Elizabeth Hand on Facebook. She debunks each of the following misleading ideas young writers are often fed: 1. Write what you know; 2. Descriptions are passé. Brand names are cool; 3. Fiction is a lie; 4. Literary fiction equals literature (and is therefore superior to genre fiction); 5. “Hey, writers are entertainers. I’m not trying to be Tolstoy.”
Chuck Wendig may describe his writing posts as “booze-soaked, profanity-laden shotgun blast[s] of dubious writing advice,” but his 25 Things Writers Should Know about Rejection is anything but dubious.
This Wondermark cartoon by David Malki!, “The Tyranny of Quality,” cracked me up (click the link to see the “punchline” when you hover the cursor over the cartoon):
♦ The blog Hey Oscar Wilde! It’s Clobberin’ Time “is an extension of a personal art collection of various artists interpreting their favourite literary figure/author/character.” I’m not sure how I missed this blog before, but it’s pretty fun. You’ll find lots of different kinds of art and subjects on Hey Oscar Wilde!—go check it out after looking at the samples below!
♦ Over at her blog The Kissed Mouth, Kirsty Stonell Walker has a great discussion on the painting below, At the First Touch of Winter, Summer Fades Away (1897) by Valentine Cameron Prinsep (click below image to make bigger). I’m pretty familiar with Victorian painting, but I’d never seen At the First Touch of Winter before. Great, great stuff.
♦ The tumblr Awesome People Hanging Out Together is exactly as described: photographs of awesome people just hanging out together.
♦ The very talented paper artist Su Blackwell did the set design work for a production of The Snow Queen, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, at the Rose Theatre, Kingston upon Thames. Enchanting, as ever. Check the link for more pictures.
though I also really like Wonder Woman Flies over Themiscyra
♦ Fun for the whole family: Jeff Gurwood‘s made Indyanimation, “a stop motion animated, shot for shot remake of the most exciting six minutes in film history—the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark!” Via.