I didn't do any writing yet today (or yesterday). I have been trying to finish Sean Russell's "Sea without a Shore." I can blame someone for mentioning it in the backup chat at Forward Motion. :) Sean Russell's mages are certainly very... "mage-y." And yes, I know that's not a real world. They're not simply people who can make neat things happen, they're alien in their nature and often distant from the concerns of humanity. I like that and wouldn't mind working in the "alieness" of mages into my story but don't think making them too alien and distant would entirely work for my story. Maybe the Triad could be like that, or perhaps they could be the opposite and very involved -- that's what makes them dangerous. Also, his system of mages doesn't match what I'm trying to do in my story, with lots of different types of magical systems.