About Me

Who are you? In real life, I mean?
I am a seventeen-year-old American girl, and I live in the Middle East.

WHERE in the Middle East?
You’ll have to meet me in real life to find out.

What are your names?
Alison – my real first name (my last name shall remain a secret)
sheesania – the handle I generally use on the Internet
AlisonTheAdmin – for use on websites where I am the administrator and wish to rub it in
Anyason Asaabha (or Anyason) – my name in my first imaginary language, Kwywa
Alisonne Gialif (or Alisonne) – my name in another language, Lesturne (however, Gialif isn’t Lesturne; it stands for “God is Awesome, Linux is Fun”)
Seakitty – another username
AlisonTheSeakitty – another username
Natty Natty – my name in Seakitty Language

What do you do for school?
I’ve been homeschooled with Sonlight for most of my life, but I also went to a kindergarten and a public school in the country I was living in until I was 6, and I went to public school in America for a few months when I was 9. I do really enjoy homeschooling, and hopefully this website will convince you of its success.

How many countries have you been to?
About 15, not counting countries where I’ve only been to the airport. Most of these countries are in the Middle East or Europe, though. In fact, I’ve never been south of the Equator. But I’ve never spent a whole year in one country, either.

What languages do you speak?
English, a bit of Arabic and some Seakitty Language (a language my sister and I made up that really is not complex enough to be called a language). I also know how to say “hello”, “goodbye” and “where’s the bathroom?” in Pig Latin and Openglopish.

What’s your favorite website? (Besides this one, of course.)
Wikipedia, probably, but I also love SlashdotSuper User (and really the whole Stack Exchange network), AmazonMarioWiki, TVTropesRavelry, and Goodreads. Plus a slew of obscure forums related to made-up languages and the like.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m not sure, but I’d love to do work that involves both computers and linguistics – maybe writing programs to help in linguistic research and analysis. I’d also love to write fiction on the side, but I’m quite sure that there’s no way I could make my main income from that. Oh, and if there is any way at all that I could make a job from creating imaginary worlds, I would be all over it.

What makes you happy?
Interacting with fun people and doing fun things with them. Joyfully obsessing over flawed but delightful things, like a cheesy video game or a book with awkward writing. Fixing a computer problem (though it’s always frustrating at first). Playing games like Settlers of Catan or Puerto Rico or Pitch. Reading a good book. Traveling. Finding an easter egg in a program or Wii game. (Did you know that you can fly around in a UFO in We Ski?) Going to Christian conferences with lots of worship and prayer and Bible study.

What makes you mad?
A bad argument for something I think is true.

Who do you admire?
Jesus, my father, Bartolomé de Las Casas and Louis Pasteur, among others.

What are those pictures in your header?
I have the header in the left sidebar set to randomly pick and show one of these pictures that have to do with me and my interests:

cropped-IMG_1052-800.jpgThe ziggarut at Ur that I visited.

cropped-IMG_1051-800.jpgMy mother at the ziggarut, wearing hijab and abaya.

cropped-Website_5-800.jpgArtsy shot of a lace shawl I knit.

cropped-20150913_124137-800.jpgMy family has a whiteboard in our kitchen where we put up Bible verses and other things worth looking at every time we eat, such as the name of one of Brandon Sanderson’s most awesome characters.

cropped-VFD-insignia-1.pngThe eye insignia from A Series of Unfortunate Events. You’ll have to read the books to find out what it stands for.

cropped-Our-palm-tree.jpgThe palm tree in my yard.

cropped-Sugar-cookie-Lenses-4-800.jpgMe in a hijab with a glasses-shaped cookie. (I’m a Christian, but I wear the hijab sometimes to show respect for the Muslim culture I live in.) My sister and I made cookies in shapes related to our favorite Brandon Sanderson series – Aon cookies for Elantris, Steel Alphabet cookies for Mistborn, and these Lense cookies for Alcatraz.

cropped-SMG2AllPowerStars1.jpgThis is an image that’s sent to your Wii Message Board once you’ve 100% completed Super Mario Galaxy 2, showing all 242 Power Stars that you’ve gotten. My sister and I are proud recipients of this message and wish we were better photo editors so we could make this picture good enough quality to put on a T-shirt.

cropped-sig-5.jpgThe signature, in Tą script, of the protagonist of my unfinished novel And Then We Can Finish The Story. His name (Tasavai Bamiet) and its pronunciation are key elements in the novel.

cropped-Bridge-Four.pngThe symbol of Bridge Four from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. Still looks like the emblem of Saudi Arabia to me.

cropped-Line_Of_Pillars-800.jpgAn associate of mine remedying erosion at Roman ruins I visited in Turkey.

cropped-Nastasia.pngNastasia, my favorite character from my favorite video game, Super Paper Mario. I love her so much that I came up with an awesome theory about Nastasia that really should be canon.

cropped-Elantris-32.jpgMy sister finishing Elantris with Brandon Sanderson’s serious face peeking out at her. The composition and lighting of this picture just happened to turn out especially nicely.

cropped-Sheep-800.jpgCute sheep! (Because I’m a knitter.)

cropped-conlang_flag.pngThe conlangers’ flag, portraying the Tower of Babel.

cropped-20150910_114016-8001.jpgWell, Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance was sitting out on the same table as a bunch of Playmobil stuff, including this heart-shaped balloon, and this photo just happened…


cropped-IMG_5921-8001.jpgMy sister face…palming? Booking? Facebooking? Well, hitting herself with The Well of Ascension because Brandon Sanderson just pulled off a crazy twist that she had no idea was coming.

cropped-IMG_5039-800.jpgA rendition in Playmobil of Lemony Snicket reaching for a sugar bowl at a café and then collapsing into despair, an incident from A Series of Unfortunate Events.

cropped-IMG_0165-800.jpgA pretty picture I took when I had an opportunity to experiment with a fancy camera.

cropped-Dramatic-fingers-on-book-shot-1-800.jpgA photo from when I had just read the brilliant ending of part four of The Hero of Ages by (who else?) Brandon Sanderson, and felt like taking a dramatic fingers-on-book shot.

cropped-Mario.pngIts-a me, Paper Mario! From my favorite game, Super Paper Mario.

cropped-20150803_194451-800.jpgA photo I took on a plane flight. If you think you’ve seen enough beautiful sunsets in your life, just try looking at one while you’re a few thousand feet in the air.

cropped-Days-Until_1-800.jpgSorry, more Brandon-Sanderson-related stuff. This is a countdown to reading The Hero of Ages that my sister and I did.

cropped-Self-Portrait-1-1800.jpgMe with a selection of my favorite books as of September 2014. (It’s a bit outdated now.) From top to bottom: Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, Nothing but the Truth by Avi, The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, Super Paper Mario (fine, not a book, but a favorite creative work of mine), Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, The Language Construction Kit by Mark Rosenfelder, Describing morphosyntax by Thomas Payne, The Fallacy Detective by Nathaniel and Hans Bluedorn, The Writing Revolution by Amalia Gnanadesikan, The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, The Complete Alcatraz by (wait for it) Brandon Sanderson, Head First Java by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates, Vogue Knitting (which is just a book about knitting technique, not about vogue knitting per se), and finally the ESV Study Bible.

cropped-20150907_084308.jpgNames of characters from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive written in the International Phonetic Alphabet, demonstrating different possible pronunciations.

cropped-20150516_080725.jpgA view from the train/shuttle/whatever fancy name they gave it between terminals at the Frankfurt airport. This is from the first time I flew by myself.

cropped-Avatar1.jpgMy favorite shot from a scene in Playmobil of Lemony Snicket running away from an angry mob (another incident mentioned in A Series of Unfortunate Events). Yes, he is showing his face, but don’t you love that pitchfork in the background?

Kaladin and ShallanA combination of the symbols of the Windrunners and Lightweavers, two types of magic users from Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I put them together because, much to my embarrassment, I really ship the main Windrunner and Lightweaver together. Curse you, Brandon Sanderson, I never ship couples like that.

What on earth is this “&c” that you keep using?
It means “etc.” The ampersand originally meant “et” (Latin for “and”) and so instead of bothering to write three whole letters for “etc” you’d abbreviate the “et” and just write “&c.” For some reason people nowadays write the three whole letters instead, but I, for one, think ampersands look cool and prefer to write it “&c.”

You use so many big words, you sound awfully pompous.
Apologies, dear reader, but I’m afraid that’s just the way I naturally talk! I read a lot, I enjoy words, and I go for days only talking to my parents and my sister, who also reads profusely and enjoys words. The result is that my sister and I both have a sort of weird ingrown English dialect involving many obscure words as well as words from Seakitty Language.

You keep using British expressions! Are you really American?
Yes, yes, trust me! I just read a lot of British books, so blame my homeschool curriculum that’s full of Usborne publications, not me.

How can I contact you?
You can use my email, which is a secret, so I wish you luck with that, or you can comment, or you can contact me here.

Where else can I find you on the Internet?
I have a post about that here.

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