In order to actually vote in this poll, please go here.

What do you think J. K. Rowling’s new adult book will be about?

● About a struggling lower-middle-class British couple & the horrible child under their stairs (johnmcusick tweet).
● About 600 pages, give or take a few hundred.
● A story exploring the angst of a middle-aged author trying to come up with a new and different story after an initial huge success.
● A retelling of the Dracula story from the point of view of his phletbotomist.
● About a group of teachers at a posh British school who suspect their pupils may not be quite ordinary.
● The story of a detective named Phillip, um, Harlowe who finds this mysterious bird statue called the Maltese, um, Goose, and there’s this woman who betrays him and stuff.
● A scholar’s discovery of an earth-shattering secret kept in France for millennia: foie gras is people!
● About a ragtag band of misfits infiltrating Hitler’s Germany in order to do something involving a lot of explosions.
● Some stuff about grown up men and women and working and getting married and having babies and probably sex.
● No, it’s not about any of that. I think it’s about… (please answer in comments).
● Ticky thinks you’re just making all this stuff up.
● Other.

Which one of these news items did you click on first?

# Obama takes executive action to help veterans find work
# Police, family at odds as Ariz. girl remains missing Photos
# Herman Cain leads latest GOP polls His unusual campaign
# Navy sailor’s death raises questions of suicide or murder
# Fla. authorities seize giant Lego man that washed up on beach
# Texas rapist appears to target sorority alumnae
# Man stuck in park baby swing for 9 hours- L.A. Times

In order to actually vote in this poll, please go here.

I’m going mostly for performers who started out in the 1960s, although some of these had careers that lasted (and have lasted) much longer. Some of these are pretty obscure, others were huge in their day.  It is by no means a comprehensive list.

You don’t have to answer the age question, below (or any of them, really), but I am trying to get a sense of the demographics.  It’s an over 30/under 30 question, no specific ages required. And I’m sorry for lumping the geography into such large areas, but this poll was getting freakishly long.

Which ancient rock bands/performers have you heard of?

  • The Beatles
  • The Rolling Stones
  • The Doors
  • Jefferson Starship
  • The Lovin’ Spoonful
  • The Young Rascals
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Country Joe and the Fish
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • The Stone Ponies
  • Janice Joplin
  • The Byrds
  • The Yardbirds
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Gerry and the Pacemakers
  • The Dave Clark Five
  • Pink Floyd
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • Herman’s Hermits
  • Freddy and the Dreamers
  • Manfred Mann
  • The Moody Blues
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Cream
  • Procol Harum
  • The Walker Brothers
  • Buffalo Springfield
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • The Hollies
  • The Electric Prunes
  • Hey! You forgot my favorite which I’ll mention in the comments.
  • You mean, like, these people were real living human beings?

How old are you?

  • I am over 30.
  • I am under 30.

Where are you from?

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Central America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • South Asia
  • Middle East
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Africa
  • The Caribbean
  • The Pacific Islands
  • Other

In books, that is.

You can actually participate in this poll by going here.

How much smut do you want in your books?
None. It’s embarrassing.
None. Smut in books is leading to the downfall of civilizastion.
None because…oh, I’ll tell you in the comments.
Really, shouldn’t we be judging this on a case by case basis?
A little’s okay as long as it isn’t too graphic.
A little’s okay as long as it isn’t anatomically correct.
A little’s okay as long as it advances the story.
A little’s okay because…oh, I’ll tell you in the comments.
I mean, smut is not the only determinant of a book’s quality.
Fairly explicit is okay, but not pornography.
Fairly explicit is okay as long as it advances the story.
Fairly explicit is okay as long as it is H-O-T.
Fairly explicit is okay because…oh, I’ll tell you in the comments.
Authors should put whatever smut they feel comfortable with.
Bring it on! The more smut the better! The more descriptive the better!
Bring it on! I don’t care if it advances the story.
Bring it on because…oh, oh, oh, I’ll tell you in the comments.
It may not be to my taste, but I don’t have to read it.
Ticky is blushing right now.
Other (I’ll tell you in the comments).

Eternity rags

The Missed Rapture had me wondering about all those people suddenly sucked up into eternity in a massive come-as-you-are party. Imagine some of the embarrassing outfits or lack thereof. So I wondered, if given your druthers about it…

You can comment here, or take the poll at my LiveJournal blog.

If you could choose one outfit to wear for eternity, what would it be?

    My prom/wedding dress/tuxedo.
    Jeans and a T-shirt.
    Business attire.
    A micro-mini and stilletto heels.
    Leather from head to toe.
    I don’t care, as long as it was size six or under and I fit into it.
    My uniform.
    Camo and commando.
    Nothing. I want to be all-natural.
    Ticky doesn’t care for otherworldly questions.
    Other (which I will discuss in the comments).

I know it would smell as sweet by any other name, but I’m wondering what kind of symbolism, if any, has worked its way into your psyche?

You can comment here, or take the poll at my LiveJournal blog.

What does a red rose symbolize to you?

  • It’s a symbol of love, beauty, and romance, and an ingredient in love potions.
  • It’s kind of generic.  It can mean anything.
  • It’s a symbol of purity.
  • It’s a flower.
  • It’s a symbol of the Virgin Mary and of Christian martyrs.
  • It’s a symbol of the goddesses Isis and Aprhrodite (Venus).
  • It’s been overused as a symbol.
  • It’s been used so much because it brings with it layers of meaning that speak to many people.
  • It’s a symbol of womanhood.
  • It’s pretty!
  • It’s a girl thing.
  • It’s a guy thing.
  • It’s a symbol of keeping secrets, “sub rosa.”
  • A red rose held in the hand is a symbol of socialism or social democracy, and many labor parties.
  • It’s the national flower of England, the United States, and of England Rugby.
  • In some pagan mythologies, wild roses were a ward against the dead and the undead.
  • It is the symbol of silence.
  • It is the symbol of Adam and Eve’s disgrace after the Fall.
  • It has symbolized all these things and more at one time and place or another.
  • Ticky doesn’t know but wouldn’t mind having a bouquet of them.
  • Something else which I’ll discuss in the comments.

You can leave a comment here, or take the poll on my Livejournal blog.

Picture this: a long shot of a carnival, all brightly lit against the darkness, glowing in the background. A tall, well-built man with auburn hair stands in the foreground with his back to “the camera.” He wears a white 30s-vintage shirt and black gaberdine pants with suspenders. Perhaps he wears a bowler hat, perhaps a fedora. In one hand, he holds a hammer; in the other, he holds a rose. No wait, he holds the hammer and the rose in the same hand. Then what’s the other hand doing? And a bowler? Seriously? Fedoras? Aren’t those too Indiana Jones? Oh wait, this is a period piece set in the 30s? Maybe that might make a difference…

What’s he holding and wearing?

  • I like the hammer in one hand, the rose in the other.
  • I like the hammer and the rose in one hand. You don’t need the other hand to be doing anything.
  • I don’t mind bowlers.
  • I like fedoras better.
  • Haven’t fedoras been done to death?
  • Bowlers make me think of Laurel and Hardy.
  • Bowlers make me think of Magritte.
  • But seriously, the hammer in one hand, the rose in the other.
  • I ain’t kidding: the hammer and rose in one hand.
  • Something else which I’ll talk about in the comments.

You can comment here, or to actually check off answers in this poll, please visit my Livejournal blog.

I’m trying to get outside my own head here to see what other people might do given a certain set of circumstances. I know what I’ve written, but I can’t help thinking it needs a reality check. I seriously want to know what people might do in these situations.

Here’s the situation, Part 1: You’ve just met someone, but the chemistry is terrific, and everything you learn about him/her is terrific, and you come to believe in his/her sincerity, sensitivity, and many other endearing qualities. Even though it’s only been a few days, you think you might be falling in love. Then someone you don’t know sends an email saying there are things about this person you don’t know and should know. Almost no one knows you’ve been dating, so how did this person know? They direct you to a website where you can learn more about this. Do you…? 

Part 1.
  • Click through immediately to see what this is all about.
  • Some other thing I’ll discuss in the comments.

Here’s the situation, Part 2: Let’s say you click through and check out the website. It thoroughly trashes your Potential Beloved’s reputation. But the stuff it’s talking about happened many years ago when your PB was only fifteen. Let’s say you yourself got up to some really crazy stuff when you were fifteen, too. Let’s further say you have real issues with deception. PB’s shady past involves sexual pecadiloes and dishonest, if not quite fraudulent, behavior. As far as you can tell, he/she has led an exemplary life since. Do you…?
Part 2.
  • Decide that everybody gets up to crazy stuff when they’re fifteen and dismiss it out of hand.
  • Decide to have a serious talk with your PB, but trust his/her explanation of the situation.
  • Decide you’re not going to have anymore to do with PB unless PB proves her/himself worthy of further trust.
  • Confront PB, but take time alone to think things through, and never feel quite the same.
  • Confront PB, take time alone to think things through, then cave like a girly man and run after him/her.
  • Get a new plot twist because this one ain’t cutting it.
  • Write your own damned novel.
  • Some other thing I’ll discuss in the comments.

To actually participate in this poll, you’ll have to visit my LiveJournal blog.

Inspired by The Onion.

● A romantic dinner for two with my sweetie.
● Come home from work, soak my aching feet, and fall asleep in my chair while watching Castle.
● A romantic dinner with the spouse and kids.
● Self-flagellation and meditating on the sins of the weary world.
● Prezzies! Lots of prezzies!
● Decorating the house with a Halloween theme.
● Receiving a handmade card from my kid(s).
● Listening to the lonely ticking of the clock in an empty, silent room.
● Making handmade cards with my kid(s).
● Candy! Lots of candy!
● Celebrating the beheading and martyrdom of St. Valentine.
● Handing out those little Valentines cards and Sweetarts.
● Cupcakes! Lots of cupcakes!
● Ticky doesn’t believe in celebrating love only one day of the year.
● Other.

To actually participate in this poll, you can go to my Livejournal blog.

Are writers always selling somebody out, telling the family secrets and passing it off as fiction, portraying someone they’ve known as a jerk to get revenge, or otherwise Spilling the Beans?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Spilling the beans.
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All

Are writers always selling somebody out?

● I think that’s more true of literary fiction than genre fiction.
● Sure. Writers always have hidden agendas. They just tell people it’s all made up.
● No. It’s all just fiction, part of the creative process.
● Too much personal history in fiction is so transparent no one will buy it/want to read it.
● Unless you make it really salacious and it’s well-written.
● Or just really salacious sometimes.
● Sometimes it’s disguised personal business, sometimes it’s all made up.
● Good fiction always has a grain of truth in it so people can relate to it.
● But the art in fiction comes in making it universal rather than deeply personal.
● Whether it’s personal or not most readers assume it’s personal.
● Ticky never did mind about the little things.
● Other.

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