Dani’s Birthday 2014
Today is Dani’s Birthday!!! In honor of that, I let fans ask him questions on my Facebook page and Dani has answered! If you have a question of your own, feel free to ask!
Jocelyn S asks: Where do you see yourself in ten years? Are you and Char getting married anytime soon? (If so, can I come to the wedding? LOL ) How old are you? Why do you play so many pranks? Especially on Thomas? What’s your favorite prank you ever pulled? How does it feel to be under water? Does it feel as natural as breathing air?
Dani: Probably about where I am now. Things seem to be going pretty good. Married by then maybe, we’ll see. I can’t decide if it’s creepy a total stranger wants to come to my wedding but…okay? I’m 86 now. Pranks, why not? My brother and I were always playing pranks on each other when I was growing up. What can I say, he was a bad influence. And Tom is a great target. Plus, believe it or not, he does have a good sense of humor about it. He usually gets me back pretty good too. I don’t even know if I can name a favorite prank, there have been some good ones. The best are the ones that take a while, you know? So someone’s guard is down and then suddenly, prank! Boy, you’re full of questions, okay, under water. I imagine it feels quite a bit like a human snorkeling, except that whole I can breathe thing going on. There’s a really weird second when my lungs fill with water, that nobody ever really gets used to. Then, I’m fine. Just like breathing air! Although I do periodically inhale floating stuff by mistake. That usually hurts.
Cheree C asks: Can you explain the language, Panthalassish to us a bit?
Dani: Sure. I’m told it sounds complicated to someone who doesn’t speak it, but then I guess most languages are like that. It’s music-based. In fact, we don’t have an alphabet, if you want to write Panth you have to actually write out notes on a staff. And it’s not just a single stream of notes, it’s multiple notes at once. Like how you play two different parts of the same song on the piano with each hand. It can be ‘dumbed’ down into a more simplistic melody, but where’s the fun in that? It carries underwater, so we can talk anywhere. And, as an added advantage, we can talk out in public with non-magics around and just sound like we’re whistling. That is, if we speak in a register which humans can even hear.
Delphina asks: You know me, I want to know all about future wedding plans. I’m sure your mom does too
Dani: Oh god. What is with you people and my love life? My future wedding plans are: get a nice suit, round up some friends, tie the knot, throw a big party. The actual planning is going to be done by my mother. I have a feeling I’ll have very little say in what actually happens. It will probably get very involved and tedious. She nearly tripled what Pike was planning on spending on his.
Lynn S asks: If you could choose to spend your birthday with anyone and anywhere, with whom and where would you spend it? What was the last great prank you pulled? Will you and Char get married?
Dani: Honestly, I think I’m pretty easy to please. As long as I spend my birthday with good friends, I’m happy. Hell, I’d probably be happy just getting to spend the day alone with Char too. Birthday’s get a little less involved when you’ve had over eighty. The last great prank I pulled… I’m currently in the middle of a great one. I’m enrolled in an online class Pike is teaching and I’ve been sending him a series of increasingly ridiculous emails. By the end of the semester he’s going to think he has seriously unhinged student who is madly in love with him and stalking him. It’s going to be awesome. My grand finale is going to be pictures of his house. Yes, yes we will get married eventually. Do you people bother Tom with this?
Jennifer B asks: Do you think Char might want to share another exclusive story with us for Dani’s birthday?? Pretty pleaseeeee? To add to Lynn’s question… what was the last great prank pulled on you and who was responsible?
Dani: Wait what, he’s sharing stories about me? Oh god. Where is it? Last prank pulled on me? I don’t know who it is. SOMEONE is mailing me fish. Like, boxes of freaking live fish. Zebra Danios, in fact, it’s almost creepy. And they’re sending them to my office. The mail room probably thinks I’m insane. I had to buy an aquarium to put the damn things in. I have absolutely no idea who’s doing it, it’s been a month. I am going to kill somebody.
Lauren H asks: Is there a fresh water/salt water difference? As in, are there subsets of nereids or sirens that need one or the other, or is it just a personal preference?
Dani: Nope, it’s entirely personal preference. I can tell a difference in what I’m in, but I don’t particularly care one way or the other. I’m not a fan of extremely salty water. And I’ll always have a weak spot for the water around Greece – yes, I can tell.
Crystal B asks: Any little steam monsters in Dani and Char’s future?! And what is it about Char, after a long life and many men, that convinced Dani that this was more permanent? How do the different bodies of water interact with water elementals? Salt/fresh/brackish, etc.
Dani: Ember is more than enough for now, thank you very much. Maybe in the far distant future. As for Char… first, there haven’t been that many men! I’ve only ever been serious with a couple, Char included. But why fix what’s not broken? He gets me, he loves me. More importantly, he’s put up with a lot of shit from me over the years. And I love him. We still have a great time together. It’d be crazy to break up and give this up in case there’s somebody else out there. We’re happy together. And on to water! They don’t really affect us, exactly. We can tell the difference. Stagnant or dirty water will make us sick if we hang out. Then again, if you’ve got some nasty water with a bunch of dead fish in it or something, you’re just asking for trouble if you go swimming there. Now, internally our chemistry will change based on what we’re in. Going for a brief swim in salt water isn’t going to change much, but spend a few hours or days in it and we’ll actually absorb enough to alter ourselves from fresh to salt water. No real consequences or side effects to that. We’ll just ‘be’ salt water until we get out and spend an extended period of time in fresh. Then, we’ll gradually change to fresh water again.
And that’s it! Thanks to everyone who asked a question to help celebrate Dani’s birthday! You’re more than welcome to wish him happy birthday or pick his brain some more in the comments! If you don’t know who Dani is (gasp!) you can meet him in Semester Aboard and then you can get a look at his past in the adult novel, Danio’s Prelude.