20 July 2009

Attention span of a gnat on speed

Or, as I like to call it, fannish ADD. I have eleventy million shiny things I like, and each one is my all time favorite shiny thing of the day. Until the next one comes along, of course. I still love my older shiny things, but they're not as interesting as the new thing. Until the new thing is less new and I go back to the old ones (or the next new one.)

So. Tarkan. German-born Turkish pop singer. Makes damn catchy dance tracks, which blend traditional Turkish music and modern western dance rhythms. The top picture on wikipedia isn't very flattering at all, but here are some much nicer pictures. I got 2 of his CDs (Karma and Dudu), and they're stuck in my head, fairly permanently.

A friend of mine, the fabulous Liz, talked about him a few years ago, and I agreed, yeah, he's pretty hot, and that video she linked to was, too, but I never bought anything. Until like a week ago, when I suddenly HAD TO HAVE IT NOW. And thanks to the magic of the internet, I do.

And I've been toying with learning Turkish for a few years now, and I bought a book (for $9) to see how much I can teach myself and how I do at it, without spending the big bucks on Rosetta Stone. Though I suspect I might do that, eventually. I can tell it's going to be hard to get the pronunciations right without a teacher (though pop music can help! Sort of.) Also, the vowel harmony might kill me. I'm just glad Atatürk scrapped the old writing system (based on Arabic letters) and made his own, based on the Roman alphabet. It's pretty, but the wikipedia article made my head spin.

I still plan to do the Goethe Institut, but it's looking more likely that I'll do that in spring, possibly in Dresden, and I'm hoping to spend a week in Berlin in early November, but Ben's trying to talk me out of two international trips in 6 months. (Also, swine flu. I'll see what the pandemic situation looks like this winter before making any decisions on that.)

So, I'm sure y'all are wondering if, or how, this is relevant to my writing. It is, of course! One of the characters in Blue Danube Waltz is a mercenary (sorry, private security personnel). I recycled a name I'd picked for a character in a story I scrapped, about a Turkish family living in Berlin, Atesh. (It's actually spelled with an s-cedille, which is pronounced sh, but a) I can't find it in any keyboard map, and b) my audience would go, "bwuh?", so I'm opting for phonetics.) I was trying to figure out what he looked like, and I thought, "Hmm, he has green eyes." Then my little brain hamster spun on its wheel, and my next thought was, "Ooh, Tarkan has green eyes." And it spiraled downward from there.

(Yes, people of Central Asia can have green eyes. It's about as uncommon as it is among Western Europeans, but it happens.)

One thing I like about writing is that I can indulge my completely random interests in the name of research for a story. It's pretty freakin awesome, if you ask me!

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