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Question from An Inquisitive Fan  on 12/7/2012 | comment | 4 likes

Dear Laura,
     Why did you decide to join Survivor: Arctic?
- An Inquisitive Fan

Dear An Inquisitive Fan,
     All will be revealed in my upcoming, bestselling journal, so you'll just have to wait and see. [nwink] Although I am curious to know if the phenomenon called 'Iced Tea' truly exists in the chilly climes of Survivor Island, or whether it's just plain myth, handed down for centuries in the frosty annals of legend...
- Laura
Question from Albian Hand  on 12/7/2012 | comment | 2 likes

Dear Laura,
     My Norns keep leaving the shower turned on and walking away! While the steam provides ideal growing conditions for shitake mushrooms, my hot water bill is MASSIVE. I had to sell a cheese vendor to pay the last one!!! I've had several talks with them, but they don't seem to be getting the message. Thought about turning off the water, but then they would smell horrible (and the Grendels even worse!) so I don't really want to do that. Have you got any other ideas? Please write back soon,
- Albian Hand

Dear Albian Hand,
     Your Norns are clearly taking advantage of the amenities and walking their wet paw prints all over you. They need to learn a thing or two about not taking things for granted, otherwise you'll soon run out of cheese vendors with no money left to buy new ones! Round them up when it's next time for a shower and spray them with water from the hose. Repeat this process each day until the lesson is learnt. Luckily for your purposes, ice cold water is free and in plentiful supply, but let's not tell them that. [nsmirk]
- Laura
Question from Thoughtful Hand  on 11/22/2012 | comment | 2 likes

Dear Laura,
     Have you ever noticed the silver laptop/box in the C2 incubator area? I've begun studying it and have found that it always says the same messages: "Look, come, eat, fruit, food". After much thinking, using all five of my brains (what do you Norns think these fingers are for?) I deducted that the Shee pictured on-screen must have figured out that he left Creatures behind! He's trying to get them to come back to his ship by luring him with food! Isn't he?
- Thoughtful Hand

Dear Thoughtful Hand,
     Why, you are quite the little puzzle boffin aren't you? You could well be onto something; the Shee may have indeed left messages around for curious young Norns to find. Say, have you discovered the secret of the Gene Splicer, or met the elusive sea monster, Borland, yet? If so I can see why the Shee has peaked your interest. An investigatory mind (or five!) can only be a good thing. Perhaps uncovering the story behind the Doozer's song might help you towards solving the mystery, the Shee statue to a far lesser extent. [nwink] There are many secrets to unlock, so good luck and keep up the good work... Not that you really need it with all that brain power!
- Laura
Question from Tailless  on 11/17/2012 | comment | 7 likes

Dear Laura,
     Being an Ettin, I am without a tail, but I want one so bad! Do you know where I could get one?
- Tailless

Dear Tailless,
     Perhaps you should first consider why you want to have a tail. It may be true that Norns flaunt their tails, however it is highly unusual for an Ettin to possess one, and rightly so. In truth, tails are not all they're cracked up to be. Indeed there are times where I envy you! Just imagine not being able to sit comfortably on a chair, or having your bratty little siblings pulling at it because they're bored. [nangry] If that doesn't put you off then I suppose I can recommend a few substitutes: foxgloves, bluebells, carrots, all of these would make good temporary tails with the aid of some sticky tape. Personally, I'd opt for a carrot; at least then you'd have a handy snack if it ever became too annoying!
- Laura
Question from A Confused Norn  on 11/11/2012 | comment | 1 like

Dear Laura,
     There is a strange, strange visitor that has been hanging out with us Norns lately. He's ugly and green, and reminds us a lot of a Grendel... Yet he looks and smells like a Norn! He even tastes like a Norn, thanks to a daring act on the part of Ludo, our resident species taste expert. Is it safe to talk with him? Or this some trickery that might result in him tasting us?
- A Confused Norn

Dear A Confused Norn,
     It's true, I've also heard of these visitors lately. Why, just this morning I was yawning over my breakfast tea, when I overheard the Hand muttering feverishly with excitement about Norns with Grendel heads, and Grendels with Norn heads! [noddeye] At first I thought I was still dreaming, but if you've seen them too... It's definitely better to be safe than sorry where strangers are concerned, but perhaps you can put some of the Hand's technology to good use. Rather than risking another Norn's wellbeing to determine whether the newcomer is friendly, you could try using the Video Cassette Recorder to leave them a welcoming message, and hopefully start a conversation? Surely this way you can gauge their intentions without putting yourselves in any sticky situations!
- Laura
Question from Verbose Beowulf Norn  on 11/8/2012 | comment | 4 likes

Dear Laura,
     Can you tell me how to reprogram the learning machine? I promise I won't add in any swear words or anti-Hand diatribes...
- Verbose Beowulf Norn

Dear Verbose Beowulf Norn,
     Given the circumstances, I think I'd be more worried about anti-Grendel diatribes, but anyway! [nsmirk] An Ettin once told me that the blue wire needed to be crossed with the red wire... or was it the yellow wire? Better find a handy engineer among your friends to handle the details, preferably an Ettin! If you aren't being exactly honest about your intentions, at least then you'll have someone else to take the blame! You could well end up teaching the others a load of gibberish, and I'm sure the Hand wouldn't be too pleased with that outcome.
- Laura
Question from A Ma---Exmly Clever Ettin  on 11/7/2012 | comment | 2 likes

Dear Laura,
     A grave injustice has been perpetrated against my species. Ettins have been made out to be thieves, yet has anyone taken the time to understand why we need all that machinery? We have a grand plan to put all those gadgets together one day and create the best piece of machinery known to Creatures! Ha ha ha! Yet we constantly find ourselves ridiculed for our stockpiles. What say you on this subject? Shouldn't Ettins be supported in our quest for machinery dominance?
- A Ma---Exmly Clever Ettin

Dear A Ma---Exmly Clever Ettin,
     While, of course, it's not nice of any creature to make fun of another, or be called bad names, it has to be said that no one ever saw you do anything with the gadgets you collected. Where is this "best piece of machinery known to Creatures!" that you so eloquently describe? I also couldn't help but notice that the gadgets collected by some Ettins weren't rightfully theirs, either. Sometimes they're even hooked up to bigger contraptions, providing food for the local community, until an Ettin comes along and just takes the gadget without even asking! [nquestion] If you want to get rid of the social stigma of being kleptomaniac hoarders, you'll have to reach out to your fellow Ark dwellers and involve them in your plans. Let them know what you're up to, show them some prototypes, blueprints, or even PowerPoint presentations! But perhaps most importantly, ask before you take a gadget! Always make sure the gadget that caught your eye doesn't belong to anyone. And if it does, perhaps they'll let you borrow it if you ask nicely!
- Laura
Question from Rock n Rollin' to Nothin'  on 11/4/2012 | comment | 2 likes

Dear Laura,
     I am a Grendel. To put it mildly, I have been shunned from society in Albia. The Hand seems to think I'm some evil, nasty monster out to eat every Norn I can see. In my solitude, I've come to appreciate music immensely. The only problem is that I can only seem to make it to the pianola for a short song before the Hand chases me back up the tree. I have plenty of food, but how is a musical Grendel supposed to survive with only the same short song every now and then? Are there other forms of music in Albia?
- Rock n Rollin' to Nothin'

Dear Rock n Rollin' to Nothin',
     It's a shame that you're seen as such a threat; any Grendel who appreciates music as much as you do must be a peaceful, friendly soul. [nsmile] Before you seek out another tune, gently ask the Hand if it has the Grendel Friendly COB injected. It might not be your fault that you seem so nasty! Finding other musical sources in Albia can be a challenge, but it sounds like you're ready for anything! Pack up a honeypot and a few pieces of cheese, and try to make your way to the island. I've heard nothing but rave reviews about the beats coming from the radio on the beach! You might also like to journey under the sea and discover the passageway leading to the music room, where sounds and songs of all types await your ears. And if the Hand still gives you an evil stare (because Hands really can do that!), invite the Norns to form a band with you. No one can break up the harmony of creatures in chorus! [ngeek]
- Laura
Question from Can't Feel the Love  on 11/4/2012 | comment | 3 likes

Dear Laura,
     I can't take it much longer! Ever since a new pair of Norns were brought to my world, they can't stop saying "me love you" over and over again! The rest of us Norns have no idea why these two must constantly express this sentiment! We're getting ready to employ a Grendel to take care of business... Or would you suggest something a little less drastic?
- Can't Feel the Love

Dear Can't Feel the Love,
     Hiring Grendel thugs really isn't advisable, since their rates are costly (unless you can really afford to pay an emotional price with the unhatched egg of your first-born child... [ngrimace]) but you may be able to shock them out of their infatuated stupor on your own. You just need to be inventive. For instance, a bucket of cold water can be very effective in extinguishing the flame of romance, if launched from an overhead treehouse. Just be sure to make a very hasty retreat, since such interruptions can frustrate the recipients, and not everyone has the gift of camouflage that we Treehugger Norns possess!
- Laura
Question from An Accidental Cannibal  on 11/4/2012 | comment | 4 likes

Dear Laura,
     My friends and I were eating carrots in the Norn Meso, when we realized, to our horror, that there were little beings crawling all over the carrot patch! We were mortified, and are pretty sure we ate a few of these things. Can't complain too much... They were tasty! But from a moral standpoint, what happened? My best friend thinks we ate some rare breed of Norn, but someone else thinks the carrots just had a bad case of potato bugs. I tried explaining that carrots usually don't get attacked by POTATO bugs... So is my life. Do you have any ideas or advice for us?
- An Accidental Cannibal

Dear An Accidental Cannibal,
     While there are indeed very small breeds of creatures, such as the Micro Ettins or Nano Norns, it's also possible that your carrot patch got invaded by the Albian Carrot Beetle. They're like potato bugs, but for carrots instead. To make sure you haven't become a cannibal, we can refer to the 'Accidental Cannibalism and You' guide (I'm sure the Hand will have a copy stashed somewhere!), which says the first thing you must do is "check if your meal is sentient". This might be a tricky question when regarding us Norns, but go ahead and give the little critters on the carrot patch a friendly wave. If they wave back, you're in trouble and should probably switch to a diet of tubas instead. [ndoh]
- Laura

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