Member Spotlight #15: Ask LicoriceAllsorts anything

Ⓐaron

Factiō Rēpūblicāna dēlenda est.
AKA
The Man, V
#1
This is a new thing we're doing where we give a specific member a thread for a week in which they can share whatever information they want about themselves, then answer whatever questions the public asks them. It's sort of an expansion on the "Let's get to know each other" thread by, well, giving one member the spotlight. More information on the concept can be found here.

This week's participant is [member=625]LicoriceAllsorts[/member], who has elected to share the following information:
History graduate, divorced mother of two almost-grown boys, I've lived in Canada, the UK, and various African countries (Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda) and travelled to every continent except Australia. I work full-time as an English teacher in a girls' school and spend my free time writing fanfic, travelling, cooking, reading, worrying about my kids, playing video games and caring for my blind diabetic incontinent dog who has been, for the last eight years, my co-parent. I like all animals, including spiders; I hate housework and mostly just don't do it; I have stroked the mane of a dead lion; I make wonderful chocolate mousse; I love to climb trees; there are some grammatical errors that make me want to kill.

I wish communism actually worked.
Feel free to ask whatever you'd like. This thread will be up for approximately a week before we move onto our next participant. :monster:
 

Octo

KULT OF KERMITU
AKA
Octo, Octorawk, Clarky Cat, Kissmammal2000
#2
Given you hate housework, how bad has it got? Do you end up with matter in the sink like Withnail and I? (like I do 85% of the time :monster: )

What was the first videogame you ever played/how old were you when you started playing games?


What is your greatest love about the FFVII fandom? (the fandom, not FFVII itself)

Biggest hate?


Advice you've given/will give to your sons?

From a parental point of view, are you optimistic about the future of humanity?

You can live anywhere in FFVII's gaia - where do you choose?

As above only Middle Earth?

Top 5 bands (or albums or songs if you'd prefer)?
 

Dawnbreaker

~Heiress of Her Will~
AKA
Warrior of Light, Daryl Falchion, Dragonsoul, Dawnbreaker, Amy Pond, Cheryl Tunt
#3
What, in particular, appeals to you about fanfiction? Why do you write it? What are some of your favourite stories...written by you, or by others?
 
#4
What's the one thing that interested you most when learning about history?

What is the most fond memory you have of each place around the world you visited?

What do you imagine would be the most fond memory of visiting Australia? :awesome:

What's your favourite dish to cook?

Is the girl's school you teach at remotely similar to representations of such in film and TV, etc? :P

If you had a deadly spider in your house, would you a) kill it, 2) go to the fuss of removing it, or iii) leave it be? and why?

Because you don't do housework, is your home a biohazard? (similar to Octo's question, but different :P).

Have I made any grammatical errors that I should be in fear of my life for? Can you name the grammatical errors you speak of?

What kind of communism do you wish worked?
 
#5
Given you hate housework, how bad has it got? Do you end up with matter in the sink like Withnail and I? (like I do 85% of the time :monster: )
Occasionally, yes. I do try to keep the kitchens and bathrooms clean and neat. Everywhere else it's a pile of dusty clutter. That's why my kids taught themselves to do their own laundry early on. But I subscribe to this motto: "A house undusted is not as sad as a life unlived."

What was the first videogame you ever played/how old were you when you started playing games?
Oh, I played space invaders and Pac-Man, but the first computer game proper I played, that came on a disk that you inserted into your disk drive was "Spooky Castle"; I bought it on sale in Schipol Airport for my kids who were then really tiny, 4 and 2 I think. We were living in Africa and didn't have a lot of entertainment. It took us a year to finish it and sometimes I had to invite a seven year old of my acquaintance over to show me how to kill the bosses.

What is your greatest love about the FFVII fandom? (the fandom, not FFVII itself)
The camaraderie of the Turk fans. And the way that we, for the most part, all respect each other's head canons and can enjoy different interpretations of the same character.

Biggest hate?
Okay, what follows isn't really a hate per se, because I think everybody is entitled to interpret works of fiction through the lens of their own experience. But it does bug me when people insist that the view through their lens is the correct one. Bringing real world - okay, tbh, American - race issues into FFVII also really bugs me (as you know). The game is about a lot of real world issues, but I'm pretty sure the designers were not interested in exploring themes of American race relations. It's fine, in fact it's great, if you're American and want to use the game as a way to understand your own culture better. But don't insist that everybody should see it the same way. The world is a big place.

Advice you've given/will give to your sons?
1. Toilets don't clean themselves
2. Never ignore a brown envelope; it will only come back with Final Demand stamped all over it
3. if you can't afford it, don't buy it
4. If you work in a job that fulfills you, being rich no longer seems like such an important goal
5. Always be yourself, and make friends with the people who like you just as you are.

From a parental point of view, are you optimistic about the future of humanity?
Hugely. Not just as a parent, but as a teacher of teenagers. I don't think I would feel as hopeful as I do about life if I didn't get to spend my days with these young people. They are so full of drive and passion and commitment.

You can live anywhere in FFVII's gaia - where do you choose?
Oh, this is a tough one. I love industrial cities but I also love remote countryside and mountains. Probably in a secluded cottage in the mountains behind Junon, where I get all my heating from a wood stove and my water from a spring. And then when I need city life I'll just drive into Junon and stay overnight in a fancy hotel.

As above only Middle Earth?
Do I have to pick one? Can't I just roam from place to place like Gandalf?

I thought about all the different locations, and they all have something to recommend them, but in the end, if I had to settle down, I think I'd plump for the bucolic idyll of The Shire. Lovely food and lots of long walks.

Top 5 bands (or albums or songs if you'd prefer)?
These change all the time.

Jeremy Fisher (Canadian singer/songwriter)
Walk Off the Earth (can't get enough of them)
The Soweto String Quartet
Emmerson (Sierra Leonean artist)
Queen

When I want to listen to music that fosters writing, I like Bob Dylan or Vivaldi.

My two favourite musicals are Hair and A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum.
 
#6
What's the one thing that interested you most when learning about history?
The universal human experience: how human beings have always been more or less the same in all times and all places, but also always a little bit different from each other too.

What is the most fond memory you have of each place around the world you visited?
This is actually impossible to answer. It was an interesting question, because it made me realize I cherish all my memories equally, the bad times as much as the good ones.

A lot of my favourite memories have to do with my children, and one of my very favourite is the time we took our car to the car wash in Njombe in Tanzania, which is a town a day's drive from the coast. The car wash was, in fact, the local river. I drove the car into the river and the car wash guy started to clean it, and after a couple of minutes my kids started to help him, and a couple of minutes later they were stripped down to their underwear, soaking wet, and gloriously happy, scrubbing away at the dirty tyres. That was a wonderful day.

What do you imagine would be the most fond memory of visiting Australia? :awesome:
The stunning landscapes and the wonderful wealth of insect life. I used to be a total insectophobe but living in Africa made me fascinated by them. I'd rather go on a safari to see ants and spiders than lions.

Also, I would adore to hug a koala, for obvious reasons. Although I'm told they suffer terribly from venereal diseases.

What's your favourite dish to cook?
Roast chicken with roast potatoes and parsnips.

Is the girl's school you teach at remotely similar to representations of such in film and TV, etc? :P
Nope. On the whole, girls in all girls schools are somewhat nicer to each other than girls in mixed schools, because there aren 't any cocks strutting around to set the hen-house a-flutter. I would describe them as looking rather slovenly; the girls regularly come to school with their hair unbrushed and their faces unwashed because, honestly, if there are no guys around, who cares? They are very serious about their studies, very academically ambitious. A lot of them are on financial assistance. I think absolutely the best thing about a single-sex school is that girls can really be whoever they were meant to be: every role in the school, from jock to class clown, is filled by girls. When else are they ever going to get a chance to play Javert and Jean Valjean, or Shrek, or Hamlet?

Of course a lot of them are very wealthy and pampered, but they don't really understand that they are; to them, it's normality. Nearly all of them are extremely generous and passionate about making the world a better place - even if they do rather take it for granted that they will get a car on their sixteenth birthday.

If you had a deadly spider in your house, would you a) kill it, 2) go to the fuss of removing it, or iii) leave it be? and why?
Definitely not kill it! probably watch it for a while, then, since we have no deadly spiders in Canada, I'd call the local council and they would send their experts to remove it and take it to the zoo.

Because you don't do housework, is your home a biohazard? (similar to Octo's question, but different :P).
No - although we probably do eat food that other people would throw out, like chicken that's been stored in the oven for two days because there was no room in the fridge. We never get sick, though. Anything that involves cleanliness is dealt with promptly. It's the tidiness I can't be arsed with.

Have I made any grammatical errors that I should be in fear of my life for? Can you name the grammatical errors you speak of?
OMG. One time this man who's very famous locally for his wealth and philanthropy came to look around our school with his two daughters, and when I was introduced to him as the English teacher he said, "Oh, I'd better watch what I say around you, you'll be correcting all my grammar mistakes," and I SO wanted to say to him, "Buddy, I don't correct anybody's grammar unless they pay me to do so."

I learnt a long time ago that nobody likes a smart-arse, so even when grammatical mistakes make me cringe inside I keep my mouth shut. I will even, at my head's request, alter documents I've written to include the grammatical errors she's edited in. I have better things to do with my time than fight that fight.

What kind of communism do you wish worked?
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. But human beings are so greedy and lazy.

@Dawnbreaker - that question requires a lot of thought. I'll get back to you.
 

Fangu

Great Old One
#7
When are you gonna start writing XII fic? :monsters:

How many chapters are DIPOTP? (I'm seeing chapters posted and I'm waiting for DING DING DONE)

Yeah I make horrible questions
 

Keveh Kins

Pun Enthusiast
#8
Who are your preferred party members in FF7 and why?

You've mentioned a few times that you aren't a fan of Genesis as a character, could you elaborate on what it is about him you find off putting?...Y'know, other than everything :wacky:

Was there any particular reason why you moved shop so much, or was it just a desire to wander the world and see new things?

Aside from 7, what FF games are you a fan of?

Any game series outside of Final Fantasy that you're into?

You've just had an amazing savoury dinner, what do you get for dessert, if anything?

Of the entire cast of the Compilation of Final Fantasy 7, who do you think you would get along with best where they a real person?
 

Octo

KULT OF KERMITU
AKA
Octo, Octorawk, Clarky Cat, Kissmammal2000
#9
I just googled Spooky Castle, looks really hard. And the sound effects from the skeletons are really unnerving :lol:

Do you have a favorite non-Durin line dwarf? If so why?

Favourite tv show/s as a child?

You've mentioned you want to learn to draw 'properly'....when? WHEN damn you!?

How do you manage to stay so grounded/ level headed?

Do you ever faff about with makeup and clothes?
 

Octo

KULT OF KERMITU
AKA
Octo, Octorawk, Clarky Cat, Kissmammal2000
#10
Double poast

Do you have a favourite mug?

When writing fiction do you rely on handwritten notes?

Do you do character sheets/bios?
 

Dawnbreaker

~Heiress of Her Will~
AKA
Warrior of Light, Daryl Falchion, Dragonsoul, Dawnbreaker, Amy Pond, Cheryl Tunt
#11
What's it like being a mother? Any funny stories you can recall about your boys when they were growing up? What things do they do to make you proud...and drive you crazy? :P
 
#12
Can you describe the taste of a parsnip for a person who has never eaten one?

What is your favourite thing to have for breakfast?

What is your favourite thing to have for lunch?

What is your favourite nut and/or legume?

What food don't you like?
 
#13
When are you gonna start writing XII fic? :monsters:
The Muse has never inspired me with any ideas for FFXII fic except one about Fran and homesickness.

How many chapters are DIPOTP? (I'm seeing chapters posted and I'm waiting for DING DING DONE)
I'm sorry I know I've fallen behind on my posting schedule, I have work and a family and I'm a perfectionists even though I can't get it perfect. Also... just so tired so much of the time.
 
#14
I just googled Spooky Castle, looks really hard. And the sound effects from the skeletons are really unnerving :lol:
It felt incredibly hard at the time. Steep learning curve!

Do you have a favorite non-Durin line dwarf? If so why?
Not yet.

Favourite tv show/s as a child?
Dr Who. Any wildlife programs.
I absolutely hated Tom and Jerry and Scooby Doo.

You've mentioned you want to learn to draw 'properly'....when? WHEN damn you!?
I was supposed to go to life drawing classes once a week this term but so far I've been too busy. People envy teachers their long holidays, but I can tell you, I work at least every night and every weekend, grading and planning, plus all the chaperonage I have to do and clubs I run - lots of debate tournaments are held all day Saturday.

How do you manage to stay so grounded/ level headed?
I think I had a good upbringing from a level headed mother and father who always encouraged me to be myself and gave me lots of space to pursue my interests. Once when I did rather poorly on an important exam I didn't want to tell them, and when I finally did fss up, their response was, "Good heavens, dear, you're not a performing seal." I grew up secure in my own self-worth, despite going through some hard times at school. Also I think being a teacher teaches you to be calm and patient and to forget about your own ego.

Do you ever faff about with makeup and clothes?
I used to love doing that. Now I just throw on whatever is least wrinkled. I'm fortunate in that I've managed to establish my identity at work as a kind of crazy woman bohemian free spirit, so I can get away with wearing just about anything. I want to cut my hair short and dye it a subtle shade of green but my boys won't let me.

The other thing is these days I get more pleasure out of spending my money on my kids than I do out of spending it on myself.
 
#15
Double poast

Do you have a favourite mug?
Yes it says "Brewing for Britain" and has Union Jack bunting all round the rim.

When writing fiction do you rely on handwritten notes?
I very occasionally make notes for actual, whole sentences that I want to use and am afraid to forget. If desperate, I write them on the back of my hand with a sharpie. But mostly I keep it all in my head.

Do you do character sheets/bios?
No. And if you were to ask me what Tseng's favourite colour is or to describe Rude's most traumatic childhood memory, I could't do it. I can only imagine the stuff that is relevant to the story I'm telling, and so I can only really come up with background detail in the context of a story. Everything's on a "need to know" basis!
 
#16
What's it like being a mother? Any funny stories you can recall about your boys when they were growing up? What things do they do to make you proud...and drive you crazy? :P
Oh, I could write a book!

I am one of those people who knew for an absolute fact that I never wanted to be a mother and never wanted to have kids. Then I accidentally became pregnant, and I even thought about not going through with it, but my husband was very keen, so we did go ahead, and then the baby was born with an undiagnosed chromosomal abnormality "incompatible with life" as the doctors like to put it, and she only lived three weeks. On top of all the terrible grief, I felt terribly guilty, as if it was my fault for not having wanted her enough at first. I went on very quickly to have two more babies.

Motherhood has been an absolute revelation to me. I am not someone who says "Oh, you'll change your mind when you have one," to people who say they don't want kids, but what I do know is that if I had stuck with my original resolution to live childless I would have missed out on the greatest joy and the greatest adventure of my life. Because the thing about kids, your own kids, is they're not those "kids" you see trailing around after their parents in IKEA, throwing tantrums, snot rolling down their lips, noisy and dirty... I mean they are all those things, but they're people. They're your people, your family. They're just so cool and interesting and fun to be around. Watching they grow up and evolve into the people they're going to be is the most fascinating thing in the world.

Also now that my boys are teens, practically men, I can say that I have really been blessed with them, because we've mostly managed to avoid butting heads through the worst of adolescence. I think maybe this is because I don't sweat the small stuff, like I don't nag them to clean their room (which would be hypocritical of me anyway). They have worked hard at school and done very well. They are kind to animals and very considerate to their grandma.

My oldest son was an incredibly beautiful baby. I can say this because so many people told me so. I used to get stopped by random strangers wanting to take his picture. He was extremely thin (and still is) and had huge brown eyes and a faraway soulful expression and big ears - he looked like an elf baby thinking longingly of the sea.

Nowadays he's quite hairy.

Number One cried all the time (literally) as a baby, and so when the second one came along and was a quiet, contented little thing, we thought he must be a bit of a simpleton. "Poor number two," we used to say, "He's not quite all there." Then when he was three he started showing us that he could do all the math problems his brother was tackling in kindergarten, and we realized he wasn't backwards after all, quite the opposite in fact.

After that I stopped making assumptions about my kids and just let them get on with it.
 
#18
How come you don't spell liquorice with a Q? Is that a regional, ideological, or metaphysical distinction?

Is there a book being sold somewhere with your name on it? (on the title page, not in a 'property of' sense)
 
#19
Even Antarctica? =O Did you get to meet penguins?
Not Antarctica (it used to be on my bucket list, but I've decided maybe tourism is harmful for Antarctica and it should just be left as pristine as possible) but I have seen penguins in the wild: once in Chile (they were swimming beside our ferry like dolphins, hoping for fish gubbins, I think) and once at Boulders Beach in South Africa, where you could "swim with the penguins" - only the water was way too cold to swim!
 

Airling

Ninja-Fairy-Jedi-Princess
#21
Have you ever collected anything?

Do you play any instruments?

What's the weirdest thing you have eaten in all your travels?

I'm going to milk you for awesome travel stories!:awesome:
 

Octo

KULT OF KERMITU
AKA
Octo, Octorawk, Clarky Cat, Kissmammal2000
#22
Kiss, Marry (OR long term relationship if you'd prefer) Shag: Tseng, Rufus, Reno

?
 
#23
Have you ever collected anything?
FFVII Play Arts figures and merchandise.
Lovers.

Do you play any instruments?
Piano, very badly.
My singing is not too bad.

What's the weirdest thing you have eaten in all your travels?
Mopani worm.

I've also eaten grasshoppers, which they sell on the street in Uganda in paper cones, like popcorn or peanuts - actually, it's just the grasshopper abdomens, fried in oil. But since the grasshoppers were tasty, they weren't as weird as the worm, which was like eating an eraser.
 
#25
Can you describe (at least) one trait/ability of yours that you cherish and (at least) one ability that you wish you had?


The question is intentionally broad and if you choose to speak about realms of the intellect or of emotions (or both) is up to you. =)
I am good at focusing heavily on one small thing/subject/task but I suck at multi-tasking. Give me the power of multi-tasking and I'll conquer the world.
 
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