Contest for ARC

Posted: September 20th, 2011 under contest.

Unable to decide which of the suggestions was best (sorry, all) I’ve fallen back on my own inadequate store of ideas and plucked out the one on top, which bears an unfortunate resemblance in some ways to last year’s.

Pick a character.   For the purpose of this game, characters will look the same and be the same size and have the same basic personality.  Now translate that character to 2011, and put her or him in a particular location (where?) and occupation (what?) with a hobby (what?)   Pretend, for the purpose of the contest, that these books have never been written, so (for instance) Paks-in-2011 can’t have as a hobby playing Paks-in-the-books at conventions.   The juxtaposition of character, place, occupation, and hobby can be “appropriate” or “humorous.”  It’s up to you.   I think we’d all enjoy seeing how you connect the character’s personality to the new occupation and hobby–so you don’t have to limit yourself to just listing the variables.  Play.  Show off your imagination.

Because next week is going to be super busy for me, you will have until midnight Saturday, October 1 (a date easy to remember) to make your entry.  As before, all entries will be given a number and the winner drawn through a random number thingie-whopper.


  • Comment by Caryn — September 21, 2011 @ 1:24 am


    Stammel, now a Gunnery Sergeant in the Canadian Royal Marines, serving with the peace keepers in Libya. His hobby? Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All of his soldiers know of Buffy and get to watch the DVDs when they have downtime.

  • Comment by Joanna — September 21, 2011 @ 6:18 am


    Arvid, still a kind of thief, would probably fit into the modern world of computer hacking. Kind of the same, although I don’t think there’s anything as organized as a guild. Maybe he would start one.

    As for location, I think that would vary, due to the illegal nature of his work. He’d want to be somewhere there’s a good internet connection, but so many places have free wifi now that he could work from almost anywhere.

    In light of events in Fin Panir, I considered caving as a hobby for Arvid. He didn’t seem to enjoy that experience, though, so I settled on amateur antiquarian instead. He might not steal artifacts in the modern world, but he’d still be interested in them.

  • Comment by Jeff Foley — September 21, 2011 @ 7:57 am


    Dorrin Verrakai finds herself the unexpected governor of Mississippi, the poorest of the United States with the highest poverty rate (21%), the lowest median income ($37k), and the 7th highest unemployment rate in the country, as well as being hit by Katrina. [Sadly, those stats are all true, according to a recent WSJ report.] With a previous governor was convicted of embezzling and mismanaging the state, Dorrin was swept up in a populist movement to replace him, based on her distinguished military record, her almost forgotten roots in Mississippi after leaving for the armed forces as a teenager, her charismatic leadership, her proven management skills… and her uncanny ability to occasionally persuade a tough opponent. Her hobbies include horseback riding and camping, but she’s also been known to entertain and delight her friends, staff, and visitors with her prestidigitation by doing brief magic shows in small gatherings. There are some who say she’s destined for something greater, maybe President some day, but she brushes off those who would wish to crown her, claiming that she’s got enough to worry about turning around the economy of Mississippi.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 21, 2011 @ 8:18 am


    Oh, I love these! (I should have mentioned that if you want to enter more than once, only the first entry per person will be put in the pile.)

  • Comment by Jeff Foley — September 21, 2011 @ 8:41 am


    Yay! Glad you like them. Let me try another.

    Alured the Black is a tribal leader/warlord in Afghanistan. Over the last few decades he’s successfully persuaded various superpowers to grant him funding and weapons, including first the former Soviet Union, later the United States, and even at some point contributions from India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, the former government of Iraq, Egypt… he is adept at playing all sides against each other. Currently he’s consolidating his power and becoming a force to be reckoned with in the new Afghanistan, even demanding a place within the new government. Others, including folks in Russia and the U.S., have been reluctant to grant him any legal authority beyond the “street” authority he already has.

    You don’t want to know his hobbies. Suffice it to say the victims of his hobbies have not lived to tell about it.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 21, 2011 @ 12:11 pm


    I have to do one myself: Flessinathlin, the Lady of the Ladysforest…her regal stature and astounding beauty, coupled with her charisma, make her a natural for movies (or a runway model, but that’s another idea.) Her hobbies, showcased in magazine articles include bonsai (“I love trees, but have no place to grow the full-sized ones”) and repairing woodwinds for her friends. She’s especially good with oboes.

  • Comment by Annabel (Mrs Redboots) — September 21, 2011 @ 12:27 pm


    No, no, no – Dorrin Verrakai is living in the heart of the English countryside, in one of the great English country houses, which she uses all her powers to maintain in traditional style. Her main hobby is falconry, and she often gives demonstrations to schools and other groups around the country, but she also enjoys folk-dancing and is a keen member of a local Morris troupe.

  • Comment by Jenn — September 21, 2011 @ 1:46 pm


    Estil Halveric is living on the shores of Hatchet Lake in northern Canada where she and her family run a lodge for outdoors men. She spends the on season in the multihatted position of hostess, guide and small (really small) aircraft pilot(did I mention there are no roads?)she also indulges in bow hunting. In the off season her hobby is wood carving. Which have made thousands of dollars for wetland conservation at DU fundraisers.

  • Comment by Annabel (Mrs Redboots) — September 21, 2011 @ 2:41 pm


    Aliam Halveric has retired, along with Estil, to the South of France where the climate suits them. They have a wide circle of friends, both on and off-line, and spend a great deal of time socialising with other expatriates. They are also keenly interested in genealogy, a hobby they “caught” from their friend the Count of Andressat, who now lives in southern Spain, where he spends most of his time running a genealogy website.

  • Comment by Annabel (Mrs Redboots) — September 21, 2011 @ 2:58 pm


    Kolya Misteria is growing apples in Somerset, producing an organic dry cider which is rather more alcoholic than most people realise! She is a prominent campaigner for a disability rights organisation, and a keen member of her local WI (Women’s Institute).

    Arianya is, of course, a Bishop; she lives in a Cathedal city somewhere (probably not the UK, as we don’t have women bishops yet) and grows roses.

    Elis of Pargun finally fulfilled her childhood dream, and runs a livery stables in Sussex with her civil partner; they are lucky enough to live near a town with an ice rink, and both play for their local hockey team.

  • Comment by Zainab — September 21, 2011 @ 4:20 pm


    Master Oakhollow is a Park Ranger at Olympic National Park in Washington state. He has been offered the position of Park Manager in the past, but did not take it as he wanted to be able to continue spending most of his time in the forest. His main duties at the park are planting new trees and working to maintain the health of the existing trees. He also does some teaching of student groups about the different types of trees in the park and the importance of the trees for the ecosystem. As a hobby he has taken up horseback riding, and he enjoys riding with his few friends on the many beautiful equestrian trails found in the area.

  • Comment by iphinome — September 21, 2011 @ 5:40 pm


    Barranyi, professor of women’s studies at Smith College has recently drawn a lot of heat from right wing pundits for her newest book _Slavery and Rape: A Five-Thousand Year History of Traditional Marriage_. Rush Limbaugh called it a piece of radical leftist social engineering and an attack on our closely held western tradition of female submissiveness.

    Glenn Beck merely foamed at the mouth while screaming “Nazis Nazis Nazis!”

    President Phelan, her one time rugby coach, couldn’t be reached for comment. In fact very little has been heard from the White house these days ever since speaker Harlan Verrakai made claims that Phelan’s birth certificate is a forgery and the president is actually a Kenyan bastard.

  • Comment by Naomi — September 22, 2011 @ 4:48 am


    Master Oakhallow is on a six month working vacation at the Eden Project in Cornwall. He has revolultionised beekeeping practices in the county. Many would like to have his skill with birds who seem to be quite tame around him, but all he does is smile when questioned and move on to the next task. He will be leaving on a world tour to collect seeds for the world seed bank project. His hobby in the very little free time he has is knitting warm scarves for his friends.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 22, 2011 @ 8:53 am


    Zainab: What do you think Oakhallow’s first name would be? I can imagine Oakhallow as a last name (maybe) but after all that’s his Kuakkgani name, and not the name he was born with. Make up a name for him, either a first name or both first and last.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 22, 2011 @ 8:54 am


    iphinome: Barranyi needs a last name. Her first name is clearly foreign (take a guess) so her last name should be of non-British origin too. If she grew up with a patronymic, I’m sure she’s dumped it and changed her name…have fun.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 22, 2011 @ 8:56 am


    Naomi, you, too, can give Oakhallow a first name. Oakhallow sounds like an English name, so his first name might be English–or maybe his mother had a thing for Elvis Presley or the Beatles. Ringo Oakhallow? Only if you like it.

  • Comment by Gareth — September 22, 2011 @ 9:08 am


    To Annabel (Mrs Redboots – Point of information – Sussex doesn’t have any ice rinks or hockey teams – make it Surrey and it works…

    Siger manages the Patriots – still despairs at the slowness of the apprentices and gives them a drubbing when necessary, but his training methods and skilful blend of modern formation fighting and tactics continues to defy the opposition. He still find it hard to believe that mercenaries are paid so much these days.

    Hobbies Member of the Society for Creative Anachronism

  • Comment by Zainab — September 22, 2011 @ 10:48 am


    As a first name for Master Oakhollow, I like Argus, which has the meaning of vigilant guardian.

  • Comment by Rob — September 22, 2011 @ 11:03 am


    Dorrin Verrakai retired from the Army in 2010, and returned home to find that she has become an instant celebrity and won the local elections as the county commissioner of her small county in northern Wyoming.

    Her current hobby is playing Magic The Gathering the card game. The people playing the game have tapered off over the years, but those that do, Dorrin included, are obsessed with it. She is currently ranked in the top ten in the region but she is facing some stiff competition.

  • Comment by Annabel (Mrs Redboots) — September 22, 2011 @ 11:26 am


    To Gareth: I know it doesn’t! I live in hope of a rink in Brighton again one of these days, though…. and maybe they are living somewhere like Midhurst or Petworth, which is not that far from Guildford.

  • Comment by RichardB — September 22, 2011 @ 2:30 pm


    Luap is hard at work on a biography of Woody Guthrie in which “This Land Is Your Land” is interpreted as a clarion call for the expropriation of property by the military-industrial complex on behalf of the individual.

    His hobbies include playing Risk and Monopoly over the Internet.

  • Comment by Dave Ring — September 22, 2011 @ 4:55 pm


    The last time I ran into Master Oakhallow, he was working and living in San Francisco as an urban rooftop gardener supplying several locavore restaurants and farmers’ markets. His hobby is trying to convince climate deniers via patient argument and subversive poetry. His first name, like his arm, he left with his tree.

  • Comment by iphinome — September 22, 2011 @ 7:01 pm


    I almost called her Stephanie Barranyi but okay.

    Barrayni a diminutive for Baran Chyornyi, black sheep/ram, her parents named her for her dark hair, Andrіyenko. And if you had a name that hard to type especially in the Cyrillic alphabet you’d probably have a chip on your shoulder too.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 22, 2011 @ 11:58 pm


    RichardB: OK, I have to admit I laughed aloud (croaking with the cold I have now, but it was intended as a laugh!) at this one. Luap doing a biography of Woody Guthrie…with that slant…oh, YES! SO Luapian.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 22, 2011 @ 11:59 pm


    And overall…and in spite of the miserable cold that has horrible gooey stuff shoved in between my functional neurons (the only explanation for how much of it there is) I am SO enjoying the ideas you people have come up with.

  • Comment by Naomi — September 23, 2011 @ 3:53 am


    Dear Elizabeth
    Master Oakhallow’s original name was Roger Ponsonby-Smallpiece, no wonder he changed it! his private and preferred name is Gereint.

    Annabel – I remember when they knocked down the old icerink and stupidly refused to make it about 3 ft longer so they could have icehocky games (I’m originally from Hove!)

    I could imagine Dorrin’s preferred heir being an icehocky player in his spare time…

  • Comment by Naomi — September 23, 2011 @ 3:55 am


    OOps, forgot, hope the cold gets better Ellizabeth, hope you have Olbas oil availale in the States, nice long sniff clears the old nasal passages!

  • Comment by Louise — September 23, 2011 @ 4:05 am


    Dear Elizabeth,

    Hope you feel better soon! You could try the oldfashioned steam with chammile and eucalyptus, it clears sinusses something fierce.

    On the let pretend end …

    Prince Camwyn of Tsaia’s name is Prince Harry of Wales of course! He did a lot of silly things in the past but now that his brother is king after their father died unexpectedly and their grandmother the queen passed away he has become much more responsible, having served in the armed forces and trying to support his brother in the present troubled times when people discuss the need for the expense of a royal family. His hobby is polo playing.

  • Comment by Jenn — September 23, 2011 @ 7:47 am


    Second go. Even though I know it doesn’t count

    Selis grew up in the slums of San Salvatore in the 1980’s. He survived the death squads through a miracle of which he seldom speaks. He found himself on the door step of an orphanage and was taken in by Las Hermanitas de Maria. For the first time he found himself in an environment where he was not afraid. He thrived in it. Eventually he became a Capuchin. He spends his life working with the street children. When not working he can be found at his bedside praying for those he serves or in the street kicking a ball around with them. Selis is loved by the poor and respected by the wealthy who support him greatly in his work. He most well known by the name Padre Conejo.

    His proudest moment recently occurred when Pedro (one of the first boys he helped)opened a mechanic garage and now helps employ some of the teenage boys under Padre Conjo’s care.

    Hobbies: He doesn’t have time for hobbies.

    Selis is my favorite background character.

  • Comment by iphinome — September 23, 2011 @ 8:15 am


    Already entered so posting for fun.

    In the 1960s Girlando “Gird” D’Orsi, the son of Italian immigrants worked on his family’s small farm in western Iowa. After two convictions for bootlegging Gird started staging poorly attended anti-government
    protests. Finally pushed over the edge when the farm was lost due to a combination of emanate domain and back taxes, Gird joined in with some of the more radical members of Students for a Democratic Society. Still wanted by the FBI for his involvement in the 1968 bombing of the first national bank of Des Moines that killed a night watchman. Gird remains in hiding to this day.

    Given his advanced age hospitals around the country are advised to be wary of any old men wearing Che Guevara tee-shirts and smelling faintly of cows and moonshine. Gird’s only known hobby is attempting to destroy his liver with copious amount of alcohol.

    He is still considered dangerous.

  • Comment by Vikki — September 23, 2011 @ 12:46 pm


    Gwennothlin Marrakai is at the Air Force Academy training to be a fighter pilot. In her spare time, she plays a squire at Renaissance Festivals.

  • Comment by Zunni — September 23, 2011 @ 4:09 pm


    Ardhiel is a professional musician, known both for his skill with a variety of instruments and the clarity and beauty of his voice. Credited by Rolling Stone as “bringing traditional folk-music into a meaningful contemporary idiom”, Ardhiel is described by musical critics as “seeking audiences, not fame”. The now-famous photograph of Ardhiel as he appeared on the Rolling Stone cover did rocket him into fame; he was described as being “so beautiful it’s almost inhuman”. His current location is unknown – friends say he is alive and well, living close to nature and making the music he loves.

  • Comment by Cindy — September 23, 2011 @ 7:11 pm


    Arian is a member of the Secret Service and spends much of her time guarding the U.S. President. In her free time she enjoys horseback riding and archery. She has a secret crush on President Phelan.

  • Comment by Corinne — September 24, 2011 @ 12:42 am


    Piter (Paulinmary) is the night manager for the Holiday Inn in Katy. During the day, he sells odd/mismatched shoes online. A percentage of all sales goes to the local VA. He has very little time for hobbies.

  • Comment by Jenn — September 24, 2011 @ 9:09 am


    As super tempting as this is I am afraid I would be of little help as I excel in knitting and not in English compostion. Which is odd since I have always loved reading.

    I will however pray that you have the right people as alpha readers to help you.

    Happy Reading!

  • Comment by Adam Baker — September 24, 2011 @ 12:43 pm


    I think Im going to pick Jos Hebbinford as my person.

    I would say he’s the owner & manager of a large hotel in some large east coast US City (Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, etc). He’s very good at directing his employees to give the best possible service to his customers & he’s loved by all his employees.

    For a hobby, I would say he would be into growing roses & other decorative plants, something the exact opposite of the stresses and hassles of running a large successful & very busy hotel.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — September 25, 2011 @ 4:44 pm


    Mal “Bunyon” Argonist lives and works in northern Minnesota along the fringes of the BWCA working as a successful logger and builder of thoroughly modern, yet rustic log homes for wealthy patrons looking for such lodgings either as second homes or retirement ones in Minnesota’s “lake country”.

    Mal enjoys playing the part of Paul Bunyon in the local town festival able to take down any tree faster than all the other competitors with his trusty axe. (He prefers that implement to a modern chain saw, though he uses them when fulfilling client orders.) Mal used to win the drinking contest that used to take place at the festival, but that competition has been nixed by the local sheriff some years back as promoting drinking and driving. Though he still goes out patronizes a number of the local establishments.

  • Comment by Genko — September 26, 2011 @ 12:00 pm


    Oh, this is so much fun! I can’t think of any, but will see what maybe percolates. Love everyone’s entries, and thanks for the terrific idea.

  • Comment by june — September 26, 2011 @ 7:07 pm


    Kolya has come to Joplin Mo. to replant trees around the town. When Kolya saw the miles of bark stripped trees that would not survive the winter, she called in “EVERYONE” to come help. With all the help we have had in the last several months Kolya has slipped in very silently and the horn blowing by the elves has been heard around the world.

    We the residents have been thankfull to all the elves and veteran’s that came from the call. We see them daily still, just like most fiction, there has been the good, the bad, the ugly and the thankfulness that we are still here to appreciate all.

  • Comment by iphinome — September 26, 2011 @ 8:31 pm


    Third verse, same as the first.

    Gabriel Siniava is basking in the praise of fans and critics alike for his portrayal of Dr Frank N’ Furter in the recent revival of the Rockey Horror Show. The waiting list for tickets to see the West End production is already six months long and growing, everyone it seems wants to see the Honeycat perform.

    Backstage things aren’t as wonderful, with stories of tirades and politicking. Quotes one crew member, “That bitchy queen made Scarlett Johanson cry and then had the nerve to insult her shoes. Those were pretty shoes, and her bag? Fabulous!”

    Known as a war gaming enthusiast in his spare time, Siniava can be found playing Warhammer 40000 and laughing maniacally at the fictional carnage he creates.

  • Comment by Kristin — September 28, 2011 @ 8:40 pm


    Hanlin Orenalt is the new Afghan ambassador to the U.S. She is known for her cunning method of using blunt speaking to disarm her opponents at the negotiating table. While she may look like a harmless sweet old lady, no one who has met her can doubt her intelligence and fierce will. Her hobbies include sailing, fine embroidery, and research into herbal poisons.

  • Comment by Abigail Miller — September 29, 2011 @ 1:19 pm


    I thought the idea of Camwyn as Prince Harry was great! But I visualized him as a student at Selwyn School, the small private school here at which I used to teach, and from which his older brother Mikeli recently graduated.

    The boys are orphans with a group of crusty guardians, all on the board of the family corporation, in which Mikeli is now expected to take an active interest. Camwyn would rather not, actually.

    He suffers somewhat at school, among some faculty at least, by comparison with his elder brother. Mikeli was diligent in his studies, especially history and social studies, and had high marks. Camwyn shines best on the soccer field. He is one of those students over whom good teachers tear their hair, trying to figure out how to inspire the intelligence that is there but not being expressed.

    His hobbies include horsemanship (an extra offered by the school), videogames, and manga and anime.

  • Comment by Abbie — September 29, 2011 @ 5:13 pm


    Gunnery Sergeant Erik Seiger is an respected icon of the First Recruit Training Battalion, Bravo Company at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island. Known for his extensive skill at weaponry and fighting styles, he has trained scores of recruits and turned them into skilled warriors. With the urging for them to “be faster” and “you must be better”, he prepares them for the many dangers a premier fighting force must face. He treasures his students as if they were his own children and listens with pride when they return and tell him of their deployments.

    While the Corps and the recruits take up most of his time, he enjoys wood carving and playing poker with his fellow NCO’s.

  • Comment by Eowyn — September 30, 2011 @ 2:53 pm


    A young woman named Patricia grew up in the more traditional areas of South Carolina. Her parents were farmers and expected her to marry another farmer and keep it all in the family. Unfortunately (for them), they allowed her to go off to college where she met people who enjoyed variations of recreating the past. She decided that she LOVED playing with swords and rapiers and enthusiastically started entering the competitions. She quickly earns the nickname “Packs” since her sword packs a serious punch. She decides to change it to Paks within the SCA since it looks more period that way.

    When she was 22 (having just graduated from college with a duel major of Political Science and History Education) she earned her Knighthood in the SCA. Her parents expected her to come home and fit into their community but having spread her wings a bit, she knew that their life wasn’t hers. She decided to move to a town just outside of Atlanta and start teaching History with a focus on the politics that led to things being the way they were AND how politics drive what is taught in many arenas.

    In her spare time, she continues being active in the SCA, she trains the younger fighters and is dreaming of earning the crown for herself through combat. She has many friends and enjoys spinning tales with them and debating everything from the meaning of life to the best way to cook over an open fire.

  • Comment by Lindsay — September 30, 2011 @ 3:12 pm


    Geraint Chalvers, the merchant who suggested a new port on the river. He was a minor official in New Orleans but after Katrina he was given a chance to show his ability and rose to be a major go-between of the city and the state. He deals with both rebuilding the city and also when and how the levees should be built or changed. Not much time for hobbies but he is very fond of old maps and journals describing travels.

  • Comment by iphinome — September 30, 2011 @ 7:28 pm


    @Eowyn Patricia sounds like she’d get around with my friend Dorthy.

    Dorthy Paksenarrion grew up in staunchly conservative rural Colorado. She was always looking forward to the day she could leave home thinking it would probably be when she left for college. But in early summer now long after finishing high school she got her chance.

    Then Senator Phelan had won his party’s nomination for president and was holding a campaign rally in Denver. Dorthy attended and knew what she had to do. Despite the disapproval of her parents, she managed to get herself hired on as a very low level very low paid staff aid for that “marxist communist fascist.” Dorthy was free.

    She traveled on campaign with Phelan all over the country learning how the poor were really treated and come November, if you watch the tapes of his acceptance speech, just before he takes the stage you can on the left side of the screen see Dorthy with a couple of other staffers dancing along to Phelan’s campaign song, Stan Bush’s “The Touch”. She didn’t get a job in the White House but still Paksenarrion likes to think she had a hand in getting Phelan to his proper place in the White House.

    With a letter of recommendation anyone would envy, Dorthy started college only a semester late. She’s currently the Captain of the NYU fencing team and majoring in pre-law.

    Dorthy plans to one day attend law school and spend a long career as a lawyer for the ACLU helping to defend the rights of oppressed people around the county. Whole she got her start in a political campaign she doesn’t feel the drive to ever hold office herself.

    “Helping people is like a calling for me.” she says, “I don’t think I’d ever be suited to governing.”

    In the evenings when she’s not studying, Dorthy sits around reading books about Jenne D’Arc, writing My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic and discussing theology with her roommate Hannah (known as Canna along fraternity row for reasons I don’t care to speculate about.)

  • Comment by Richard — September 30, 2011 @ 9:07 pm


    Visla Vaskronin, head of a Ukraine-based multi-national TV and newspaper group, now lives in the Cayman Islands (so his tax returns claim). His hobbies are buying up five-star hotels in cities he visits frequently, and bringing libel actions against anyone who identifies him with “Black” Alured (a Somali emigrant, full name unknown), or who wonders how he got his start-up capital.

  • Comment by Bridgett — September 30, 2011 @ 9:58 pm


    Dorthan picked out a tune on the banjo, smiling as Rahel put another log on the fire. Though the modern conveniences had made their way to his little corner of West Virginia, Dorthan still appreciated the smokey scent of an honest, hardwood fire. It was warmer somehow, and the crackling and popping sounds were far pleasanter than the droning hum of forced air heating.

    “Are you coming to bed?” Rahel asked as she made her way toward the bedroom.

    “In a moment,” he said, yawning. He put the banjo in it’s stand and then, as he did each night, he turned on the computer and pulled up a search engine. He typed his daughter’s name and hit return. He filtered the results by date and sighed. Nothing new. He shut down the computer and followed Rahel to bed. Maybe tomorrow…

  • Comment by Richard — October 1, 2011 @ 6:00 pm


    Enjoying all these entries, it strikes me that more of us here are Brits than I suspected.

    #30: Iphinome, you out-do us all in imagination. Did “Gird” really bomb the Des Moines bank? or was he framed by the true perpetrators?

    #28: Jenn, you’ve lost me with “Selis”, unless Aris has become jumbled up with Seli in your memories.

    For the fun of it, some unused ideas of mine:

    If Stammel is in Libya (#1) then so too is Paks, reporting for CNN (a job entailing living out of a suitcase for weeks). Her previous assignment was covering the Japanese tsunami disaster. Her hobbies are triathlon racing and foreign languages.

    Arvid is a lawyer in New York City, where he loves going to the opera. The firm in which he is a senior partner specialises in civil actions; most of his own recent courtroom appearances have been defending small firms from overly-imaginative personal injury claims (for example, a young man caught on a YouTube clip prancing about in the crowd at a rock music festival three months after filing that a white-water rafting accident had confined him to a wheel-chair for life).

    Call me a cynic, but I’m having trouble buying the idea of Kieri being US President. In Britain at least, his uncomprising insistence on his party abiding in full by every one of its election pledges would make him totally unfit for any government office.

    No; brought up in a Catholic-run Dublin orphanage – and what happened there to make him now an avid reader of Richard Dawkins? sorry if that distresses you Elizabeth, but he is – Kieri Phelan was at Newcastle United Football Club (that’s soccer to you Americans) so long, as player and then manager, that his move to manage the Welsh national side surprised even the few who remember he started his career with a couple of junior years at Swansea. After his wife’s and their children’s death in a horrific car crash he quit his hobby of golf for many years – she had been a professional lady golfer – and has only recently started playing it again.

    Gwenno Marrakai: how about snowboarder-cross for a hobby?

  • Comment by Caryn — October 1, 2011 @ 11:55 pm


    Bridgett, I love that one. Thank you.

  • Comment by Richard — October 2, 2011 @ 1:49 am


    Second thoughts: it is the Canadian national soccer team that Kieri is the new manager of. (I’ve just confirmed through Google and Wikipedia that there is one.) He is struggling hard to learn French.

  • Comment by iphinome — October 2, 2011 @ 3:27 am



    It might have been difficult for President Phelan to be elected under normal circumstances but over on this side of the pond we’ve had a rough decade. President Varthos left office under a cloud of suspicion. If he hadn’t had that sudden heart attack shortly after leaving office I’m sure he’d have been indited for complicity in the actions of Somali pirates and for covering up for their bombing of the Vatta tower.

    Not to mention the other party has become so extreme, they make pilgrimages to the Heinlein presidential library to announce their candidacies and yet at the same time Heinlein could have never reached the level of ideological purity they’re demanding these days. It pushes them pretty far out of the mainstream.

    People may have worried that America wasn’t ready for a ginger president bur we were and for that I’m proud.

    Now let’s address your question about Gird. The FBI doesn’t know which member of the group actually set the bomb but they’re sure Gird was involved in the planning sessions and possibly helped get the materials to make the bomb though his underground connections.

  • Comment by Jenn — October 2, 2011 @ 7:40 am



    Selis is a character from the short story “Those Who Walk in Darkness” There is a link to it in one of the OLD blogs.

    Selis was the boy whipped by the Liartian priest and witnessed her torture. It was his “conversion”. He found his way to a grange and was healed physically and spiritually.

    When Elizabeth placed the story in public domain, I printed it out and placed in my copy of the Deed at its proper place.

  • Comment by Jenn — October 2, 2011 @ 7:41 am



    Your Gird sounds like Larry Finklestein from “Dharma and Greg”

  • Comment by iphinome — October 2, 2011 @ 6:25 pm


    @Jenn I apologize for my failure to accurately describe 2011 Gird. I was not trying for comic relief.

  • Comment by Richard — October 4, 2011 @ 3:34 pm



    Thanks for some more fun. Comic no, humourous yes, and I love your entries for it. When I commented on your 2011 Gird I should have added “(no need to answer that)”. After all, I remember how Paksworld Gird was “involved” when that Sier’s son tried to assassinate his father.

    I didn’t doubt your Phelan’s ability to win the Presidential race, so much as wonder where he found the backing to enter it in the first place. Since to both parties’ insiders he would be “not one of us”. Though Paksworld Phelan did put together that coalition against Siniava. I hope 2011 Phelan hasn’t made any rash promises to give one of his cabinet appointees a free hand. But since you’ve just mentioned his hair, how could anyone take seriously Speaker Verrakai’s idea of a ginger Kenyan? (Get out of that one if you can!)

  • Comment by iphinome — October 4, 2011 @ 6:00 pm


    @Richard in reverse order.

    Speaker Verrakai and reality have filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences. Anyone who could believe the president is secretly foreign born is a few tensquads short of a cohort.

    Phelan has always been ambitious, he was popular with the voters, charismatic, sporty as a former rugby coach, a sitting senator. The party fell in line when he won the nomination. They wanted the win, they got it.

    I tend to think Gird was used because of his farming history and links to other farmer types. He could get high nitrogen fertilizer. In my head I can see them discussing options and Gird’s reluctance, I can see the others agreeing not to try and blow up the bank. When Gird leaves the room I can see them deciding to go ahead with it anyway. Then a couple days later an explosive filled trashcan takes a chunk out of the front of the building and a night guard.

  • Comment by Richard — October 5, 2011 @ 11:56 am


    Why am I still coming up with ideas so late?

    Dattur Atkvin is a traffic warden in Manchester, from where it is easy for him to go pot-holing at weekends. In case the business is done differenty in the States, perhaps I should explain that traffic wardens in Britain are local council (or sub-contractor) employees whose sole apparent function is to raise revenue by issuing penalty tickets for parking violations. They are famous for a strict “no leeway, no excuses” policy and risk being social outcasts.

  • Comment by Richard — October 7, 2011 @ 6:39 am


    Back to 2011 Paks. She took up rock-climbing in college. With friends Vic Stone and Arlene Gariepy she even has a first climb to her credit: a route variation they’ve called Wideawake on Honeycat Ridge, one of their club’s private – figuratively speaking – mountains.

    Now she knows there are more important things than the fun of it to risk her life for. To old climbing partners she can always offer the excuse that she never knows in advance when she’ll have free time. (That makes entering triathlons chancey too but they do give her something to keep in training for.)

  • Comment by Richard — October 7, 2011 @ 8:08 am


    Paks is legally Pakse Niagara, from somewhere in Saskatchewan. A German-born ancestor changed his surname in 1914 in a show of patriotism towards his adopted country. Her first name she lengthened in childhood as a private fantasy. In her teens of course all the boys started calling her “Viagra” (to her face only when they had safety in numbers) so (equally of course) when she left home she took a pseudonym – choosing Dorthansdotter because it sounds vaguely Viking to suit her height and colour.

    I think it is time I stopped playing.

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 7, 2011 @ 8:56 am


    I dunno…I’m still enjoying this. The discussion doesn’t have to end with the contest.

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 7, 2011 @ 8:59 am


    I am finally climbing out of the multiple holes and have gone over the contest entries several times to be sure I’m not leaving anyone out and not counting multiple entries (or my own!). This was a delightful “conversation” and I thank all those who entered for an ARC and all those who went right on dreaming up ever more interesting modern careers and hobbies for characters. Love the “love” given to minor as well as major characters. (And Dattur as a traffic warden…!!!) Am even now pondering which random number generator to turn loose on the results. (No, I can’t pick my favorite. You guys are too good and I have too many favorites.)

  • Comment by Jenn — October 7, 2011 @ 12:10 pm



    I am impressed with your knowledge of Canada during WWI. Name changes were not limited to people either. Towns quickly changed names also. That is how Prussia SK became Leader SK.

    In the USA it was the same with Italians during WWII and that is how we lost the Giuseppe to Joseph.

  • Comment by Mau — October 17, 2011 @ 11:56 am


    I tripped across this too late, but I still want to add in my antics. :)

    Sevri from Brewersbridge is now working part-time at a Starbucks, saving money during the last few months before she can go off to university. Although she wanders around looking like a punk (piercings and dyed hair), she volunteers at the local animal shelter. Her hobbies include karate and writing angsty poetry.

  • Comment by elizabeth — October 17, 2011 @ 12:49 pm


    I like that…I can just see her…now in my imagination it’s sort of a burgundy streak in her hair–or were you thinking blue or green? Dreads or braids or a spiky ‘do?

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