Seven of my Interests hand-picked by ladybrick:
American Sign Language
Exactly what it sounds like: a language of hand signs (and facial markers) used by the American Deaf community. [ASL is derived from French Sign Language--if you watch Dear Frankie, you can see British Sign, and it's quite different.] I first became interested in ASL when I read a children's biography of Helen Keller (I think I was...8?); the idea of being able to communicate without hearing fascinated me. I taught myself the alphabet, so I could spell with my fingers; took classes at my town's junior college; and both spoke and (clumsily) signed my high school graduation speech. I'm not fluent, nor have I ever really grasped the grammatical principles of ASL, but I still find the language fascinating. I often spell things to myself for emphasis, I use my fingers to help me remember long strings of numbers (like PIN codes), and my roommates mock me because I randomly call them things with my hands. Someday, I'd like to take more classes and become truly fluent--it's hard to retrain the brain to accept language in a visual/kinetic form rather than aurally.
Author of quite a few Star Trek tie-in novels...really good ones. That's where I first discovered her. Then I realized she'd written the Young Wizards series, and proceeded to go and plow through them all. Excellent YA fantasy, with a lot of theology and fascinating ideas mixed in with the magic and adventure. I recommend (nearly) everything she's ever written.
The Invisible Man is an action/adventure spy drama (sorta) that aired on SciFi in 2000-2002. Darien Fawkes (Vincent Ventresca) is a thief who's just been caught. His scientist brother gets him a pardon in exchange for his participation as a government guinea pig for an invisibility project. Needless to say, things go south. Darien ends up with a gland in his head which secretes "Quicksilver" that turns him invisible; but the stuff is a toxin. When it builds up in his system, he goes crazy--and the Agency who funded the project owns the counteragent he needs to stay sane. So he becomes their invisible agent. My first large fannish project was in this fandom: I still participate in The Invisible Man Virtual Seasons.
Actually, L.I.C.C., or the League of Intergalactic Cosmic Champions. :-) This was a pretty silly action/adventure superhero RPG I participated in a few years ago. You can see an image of my main character (Artsy-Fartsy) in my default icon. Artsy had amazing artistic skills, superspeed, and minor levitation--she fought by turning her enemies to living artwork. Also, her hair and eyes changed color with her emotions (she's happy in the icon).
From Hebrew; a Jewish term for a particular type of scriptural inquiry or exposition. Wikipedia gets nicely technical about the whole thing, but I use it mostly to mean exposition of scripture through storytelling. Bible fan fiction, if you will. I've written 4 pieces of midrash myself, all centering around John during the arrest, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.
Star Wars Extended Universe
Everything related to Star Wars that is not the films themselves--particularly, the novels written in that universe by various authors. I'm particularly interested in the continuing saga of Luke, Leia, Han, and the Solo children in the years after Return of the Jedi. Some of the novels are horrible (The Courtship of Princess Leia; the one Vonda McIntyre wrote), and some of them are really great (I, Jedi; Traitor; and I devoured the Young Jedi series when I was in high school).
A writer with a great knack for creating compelling, believable characters. I avoided him for a while, because I'm not all that into horror, but then a friend convinced me to read The Green Mile, which blew me away, and then I read The Stand, and The Dead Zone, which I've re-read multiple times now. I'll probably never read all his work (I tried Carrie and couldn't get more than a chapter or two into it), but I respect and admire him a great deal.