December 30th, 2004

Two-tailed Cats

Buh. Okay, I read somewhere (can't remember if it was online, or a TimeLife book, or what) about a Japanese myth involving (immortal?) intelligent cats with two tails who seek knowledge, because the more they learn the closer they come to becoming human. But if one of their tails should be cut off, then they're doomed to remain a cat forever.

So, on to my questions: is this, in fact, the jist of the actual myth, or just a bastardization? If it is, or isn't the correct version, could someone point to where I might find the full story?

I've gone cross-eyed searching for any information, whether to confirm or deny the version I read, but so far I've only been able to find information on the Maneki-Neko, Romanian vampire cats, and Ragnarok Online fan sites. o.o

As always, many thanks in advance to those who can help.

life without oil

My novel involves a city struggling to survive several generations after a series of global catastrophes and wars. They're cut off from other urban areas to the point where they think they might be the only people left alive on the face of the planet. There are several villages and small towns relatively close by, so they're able to grow crops, intermittent electricity from a dam that's falling apart, pre-war factories and salvaged equipment. The city is somewhere in southern Ontario, so I can't see them having any sort of access to oil or natural gas besides whatever's stored (and would be in short supply after the fighting and the passage of time.)

Two questions:

1) Is it possible for one or two horses to drag a car effortlessly enough for that to be a regular form of transportation for rich people? I'm pretty sure I saw photos of that sort of thing from the Depression. Would the insides of the car have to be gutted to make it lighter?

2) What kind of homemade bombs can you make without gasoline? (Alcohol is available. And horse manure, presumably.)

(no subject)

These are a bunch of retarded questions about writing in general. And it's going to make me sound like a real novice/beginner/crappy author/no-clue-what-shes-doing/whatever. (can you tell my mood isn't that great right now? ... totally unrelated. nevermind.)

1. when writing in Microsoft word (Times New Roman, 12pt. single space), is the number of pages written there translate to be the same number of pages it would be if it were printed in floppy-back? Should I even worry about it/concern myself with it?
2. does it matter if some chapters are much longer than others?
3. how can I tell if the organization/sequence of events is being handled well (read: written well)?

My basic concern is that I've written a lot of pages here (over 80 in MSWord), I'm on the sixth chapter. And I haven't even gotten the real meat of the plot underway, yet it seems like I've been going on for so long, so I fear I just end up drawing things out too long and having fifty million (read: over a hundred) chapters by the time I finish it (if I ever do). But when I read through my material, it doesn't seem that way-- the pace is reasonable when I'm reading it, but not when I'm looking at it as a whole.

Does that make the slightest bit of sense? I need some reassurance. Is there anyone out there who's actually had a book published before or knows someone who has and can give me a pat on the back or something? :/

[EDIT] Thanks everyone, for your very welcomed, very prompt advice and suggestions. I won't be silly and respond to everyone with the same "Thank you very much!" response, so this is that response. I checked out a bunch of online sources for Standard Manuscript Format as was suggested (I feel like I'm back in highschool english class *dreaddread*), and as several others advised, I'll try to be less critical of the little things the first time through and just finish the story (that's the fun part anyway, right?)
I'm not a part of a writing group, but I have some people I think I can look to for opinions, so I will do that as well.
Thank you for all your generosities and suggestions! [/EDIT]
  • Current Mood: crappy

yet another question.

I have two characters that live on a planet that is currently involved in a political debate that has sparked a civil war. Basically, they are on a side which has no access to high-tech mechanical devices such as bombs, tanks, ect, but are ingenious bio-genetic engineerists, and so have created their "Flying Corps" who are the main attack force, but pilot specifically designed creatures instead of planes.

basically, I was musing about the powers of these creatures - while it being purely fantasy based that they can conjure "icy fire" from their bodies, I was wondering if there is any potently acidic chemical that will mix with liquid nitrogen while still remaining acidic? I hope that made sense.

Also wondering if there is any species of mammal that is able to carry poison inside it's own body without poisoning itself? would they carry it in sacs?

Thanks again.
  • Current Mood: curious

(no subject)

I found this community a few days ago, and am highly impressed all in all. So, here's my first question.

How exactly does one use/wield a katana in battle? Does one use an overhead slashing motion, or does one thrust and cut ala a rapier? All I'm finding via Google is information for RPGs and swordmaking. ^^;

IV to solid foods

Okay, so here's the situation. Guy who's in better than average condition has been put in a situation where he's basically been forced into a coma for quite some time, about 4-6 months. During this time he was also on an addictive drug (so he's got withdrawl to deal with too) and has gone through a good ammount of physical trauma.

At what point, after he's removed from that sitatuon and under proper care, should they start him on liquids as opposed to IV? How long should it take for him to be introduced to solid foods again? Would there be that much difference in his condition if he was kept for closer to a year? does it ever reach a point where more time isn't going to make that much of a difference?

Thanks ^_^
  • Current Mood: curious

Kleptomania/American teenagers

Question 1: Is 'I've got kleptomania' a good way of getting out of shoplifting charges? How would they check into this? If the person was lying, would they be charged with extra offences - and if they were telling the truth, what would the procedure be?

Question 2: Probably a rather strange one, but what kinds of things do American teenagers get up to in their evenings/weekends? (the character in question is a seventeen year old boy.)
  • Current Mood: calm
  • Current Music: Tatu :: I am Your Enemy (Rus)

Magical Hat Weaving

First post here. I finally got the guts to join up after some lurking, and after Google began proving extremely unhelpful.

A character of mine wants to give her mercenary partner a gift for his birthday and has decided on a new hat for him. He wears a "basket" hat-- the kind Asian farmers wore out in the fields to keep the sun off, typically woven from bamboo or maybe straw. So her plan is to get him a new one, only one more "battle-ready", and not tattered.

So my few questions on this: About how long would it take her to weave it herself assuming she's never done it before, but has instruction and has at least a shred of talent for it, and is there any other material than bamboo she could weave it out of to make it stronger? For the last bit, I'm trying think of a way to have an uber bamboo hat without magical enchantments, but magic is more than common in the world, so I can fall back on that if nothing better comes up. I'd just rather not.

Language question...

Heya! I hope this is the right place to ask this:

What would be the Anglicized version of the proper Mandarin Chinese endearment (or any appropriate "street" dialect/slang thereof) for a male lover? Connotations should be more towards "beloved" than "someone you have sex with," though both are applicable. ;)

Right now I have "qingren" (with accents over the vowels that aren't translating thorugh my posting client) but I'm not sure if it's the right connotation or if the language has gender distinctions in writing...
  • Current Mood: curious

(no subject)

Some time ago, I remember reading a legend. I don't remember any of the specifics, just the gist of it. I'd like to know where I came up with it.

This is very vague, so I can understand if no one can help... anyway, the story was about a man who had committed a horrible crime. The higher powers of the story - can't even remember who they were - chose to punish him by sending him down to the land of the dead and chaining him there, to judge the souls of those who had died. He was chained there for eons, never weeping, acting as the overseer of the world of the dead and slowly turning into something inhuman.

Is this a real legend, or was it twisted around for a fantasy book or something? If there is a real legend similar to it, I'd love to learn more about it, and possibly use it in a story - I just want to get it right and not use the legend in an appropriate setting or something.

Thanks much. ^_^