Friday, 2 April 2010

Year of the Tiger

According to the Chinese zodiac, this is the Year of the Tiger. I first became interested in the Chinese animal years while helping Katherine write her (as yet unpublished) YA romance "Red Moon Rising", which tells of a turbulent love triangle between the young Genghis Khan, his blood brother Jamukha, and his sweetheart Borte. That story happened in twelfth century Mongolia, but the Year of the Tiger is traditionally a year of dramatic change prone to unusual weather conditions, communication problems and international crises. Already there’s been weird weather, annoying things happening with my author’s broadband connection, and in the UK it’s an election year. This year may bring great success to daring tigers but possible disaster to others – so if you’re not a tiger, the Muse advises you to find a safe place and stay there until next spring, when the Chinese year changes into the much gentler Rabbit.

Fortunately, a Tiger year only comes around once in every twelve, the other eleven being Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat, and Ox... and at this point I expect you’re wondering why I’m blogging about a zodiac that includes a dragon but ignores unicorns? Time for another of my author’s little secrets. Yes, you’ve guessed it - Katherine was born in a Tiger year. So you might THINK she’s a big pussycat with interesting orange stripes in her hair, and it’s true she spends a lot of her time dozing in the sun with a book in her paws or playing with the plastic mouse attached to her computer. But if you poke her, make sure you’ve got your running shoes on because tigers are dangerous if you irritate them. I can show you the scratches.

Which animal are you? Use the chart below to check your birth year. (Note the Chinese new year starts on the date shown for that year, so if you were born in January or February you might be the previous animal… sorry it’s a bit complicated, but I didn’t make the rules.)

TIGER: 1962(5 Feb), 1974(23 Jan), 1986(9 Feb), 1998(28 Jan)
RABBIT: 1963(25 Jan), 1975(11 Feb), 1987(29 Jan), 1999(6 Feb)
DRAGON: 1964(13 Feb), 1976(31 Jan), 1988(17 Feb), 2000(5 Feb)
SNAKE: 1965(2 Feb), 1977(18 Feb), 1989(6 Feb), 2001(24 Jan)
HORSE: 1966(21 Jan), 1978(7 Feb), 1990(27 Jan), 2002(12 Feb)
SHEEP: 1967(9 Feb), 1979(28 Jan), 1991(15 Feb), 2003(1 Feb)
MONKEY: 1968(30 Jan), 1980(16 Feb), 1992(4 Feb), 2004(22 Jan)
ROOSTER: 1969(17 Feb), 1981(5 Feb), 1993(23 Jan), 2005(8 Feb)
DOG: 1970(6 Feb), 1982(25 Jan), 1994(10 Feb), 2006(29 Jan)
PIG: 1971(27 Jan), 1983(13 Feb), 1995(31 Jan), 2007(18 Feb)
RAT: 1972(16 Jan), 1984(2 Feb), 1996(19 Feb)
OX: 1973(3 Feb), 1985(20 Feb), 1997(8 Feb)

If you’re older than my author, then you’re obviously quite clever enough to work your animal out for yourself. If you were born after 2007 and you’re reading this blog, let the Muse know and I’ll send you a stuffed animal to play with instead.

So what I have been up to while my author tortures her computer mouse with her velvety tiger-paws? Well, I trotted over to Technorati and claimed my blog. The secret code is JPZCC39MD9WH. Don’t ask me what this means, but apparently without it they won’t believe a unicorn writes this blog. What do you mean, YOU don’t believe a unicorn writes this blog? The cheek of some humans! Better watch it, or I’ll be round your house with my horn right after I’ve finished talking to certain authors about that fantasy survey…

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