... is NOT where you'll find the answers today. You'll find them lower down in this post.
I trust you all had a splendid Christmas and a dandy New Year, and that Santa brought you everything you'd hoped for. Nice to see you back. It's a brand new year, already up and running, and it's going to be a big one. Any year that starts 1/1/11 has got auspicious written all over it. I'm raring to go. There are some things happening this year (or potentially happening) that I can't wait to get my teeth into and my hands on.
My New Year's Resolution? Well, thanks for asking. It's to write a thousand words every day. EVERY day, for 365 days. No matter what else I do. So days when I'm working it's going to be a thousand words PLUS whatever I'm working on. On days when I'm not working, it's going to be a thousand words anyway. We'll see how that goes. I think it's going to be an interesting experiment for a year.
What are your New Year's resolutions? Any interesting ones? Anyone got any good resolutions you think I should adopt? And did anyone hear or read any truly great cracker jokes over the season?
Odd things happen at this time of year. I suppose it's because the Christmas season is so full of traditions and superstitions. I was reading a book about seasonal traditions and I noticed a piece about Bible dipping, which was to take a copy of the Bible (either just before or just after midnight on the 31st) and literally dip into it. Whatever your right index finger ended up on, that word or passage would tell you something about the future in the year ahead. Apparently, in the 'Olden Days' (not to be confused with the 'Days of Yore', as I understand it), staunch Christians would get around the superstitious, fortune-telling-ish aspects of this practice by reassuring themselves the Bible was A Good Book and therefore could not lie.
So I tried it early on New Year's Day. I got something about "peacefully settling things" which was nice. But I got it from Judges (and my name means "the Lord is Judge"), and the passage was from a long chapter about Gilead.
Go, as they say, figure.
Let's do those answers, shall we?
The Primary Clone's Reasonably Difficult 12 Days of Christmas Quiz
1. The Major who looked after Cadet Gaunt was called Tanhause (First and Only etc)
2. Finnigan Rapunzel Sinister and Ramone Algonquin Winnebago Dexter (his middle names commemorate, respectively, the site of his conception and the place of his birth).
3. The Spheres of Longing. It's Ibram Gaunt's favourite book.
4. Previous Mournival members include: Keyshen, Minos, Berabaddon, Litus, Syrakul, Deradaeddon, Karaddon, Janipur and Hastur Sejanus.
5. Quasar is Wendall Vaughn, Silver Surfer is Norrin Radd, Gladiator is Kallark, Beta Ray Bill is Simon Walters and Ronan the Accuser is... Ronan the Accuser.
6. Feth is from Tanith (Gaunt), funt is from Downlode (Sinister Dexter), sprock is from the future DC Universe (Legion of Superheroes), hjolda is from Fenris (Prospero Burns etc), gak is from Verghast (Gaunt), and flark is from Marvel Cosmic.
8. Kingdom's hero is Gene the Hackman. He, and all the other aux, were named after 'stars'.
9. [spoiler alert!] Misty Knight... and the Puppet master.
11. "Santa baby, put a sabre under the tree..."
12. This year's Ditmar award was won by the wonderful Slights, by Kaaron Warren. I heartily recommend it to everyone.The 2010 Best Novel Hugo was shared between China Mieville's The City & The City and Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl.
There. How did you do?
Some very splendid entries for the Thirteenth Question. Several made me laugh out loud. I think I've picked three winners, and provided you've followed the rules and sent me an email to the site with your name, address and the suggestion you posted (not too late to do that if you've already posted an answer, BTW), then I will be in touch with you very soon to send you something suitably wonderful.
Happy New Year!