Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

It's my most favourite day of the year. I wait 364 days this singular most precious day. No other event or holiday holds a candle to Halloween.

Those who get it. Get it. Those who don't. I feel sorry for them.

Here are 20 reasons why I live for Halloween and it is hands down the best holiday ever:

1. Horror movies
2. Dressing up
3. Fall leaves
4. Pumpkin carving
5. Witches, ghouls, ghosties, vampires, werewolves
6. Skulls
7. Spooky music
8. Trick or Treating
9. Decorations are skulls, bats, spiders and rats - inexpensive and amazing
10. Talking to strangers is not only okay, it's encouraged.
11. There is no gift giving on Halloween
12. Fun for everyone, old and young ... well, except those weirdos who think it's Satan's work
13. Candy
14. People embrace the scary stuff
15. Halloween specials for your favourite shows rule
16. It isn't an emotional occasion
17. You can go a whole day without anyone knowing who you are
18. Orange and yellow are finally a favourite colour
19. Dressing pets up in costumes
20. You don't have to spend time with friends and family, but you want to

Today, I am a happy girl.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why I Don't 'Like' You

When I say I don't 'like' you, I'm not taking about your face or clothes, the morals you have or your outlook on life. I'm talking about Facebook. A little while ago, I stopped 'liking' things on the old Face-Place. There were a couple of reasons as to why, but the main one is how lazy it seemed to be getting. I realized no one was really taking the time to interact with others anymore and, when I looked at my feed, there were hundreds of posts with a couple of  likes and no comments on them.

This brought me to the question - where is the social part of all this networking?

People were posting, but no one was responding. A little put off, I started thinking about how everyone was living in the moment, but no one was paying attention. Here we are with instant access to one another, hundreds of posts from our nearest and dearest being created every single day, but no one is actually interested in what's being said. Or, if they are, they certainly aren't vocalizing it. Instead of commenting, people were pressing the like button and walking away - myself included.

This is when I got to thinking - did everyone actually like what they were liking?

The answer is, in my humblest opinion, no. I certainly didn't. In fact, I didn't like or hate a vast amount of the stuff I was hitting the thumbs-up for. For the most part, I straddled the line of indifference. Sure, there were one or two posts I enjoyed and connected with, but when I sat back and started taking notice of what people were posting the majority of it appeared to be nothing more than a distraction. Fluff. Unimportant noise. Nonsense.

Please don't take this as me looking down on your posts. Everyone loves a good bit of fluff now and again, but too much of it can seriously get in the way of your focus, drive and production. I mean, I'd click on a link and find myself in a YouTube vortex of music and prank videos, or on the never-ending chain of quirky blogs or reading up on what the cast of Bring It On looks like today. Things no one needs to know.

So, why was I liking all this crap? For some, I wanted to stay connected to the person posting. Like it was a way of saying 'Hey, I'm still here. I'm paying attention'. In other instances, I accidentally hit it and felt rude to remove my like. And then there were those times when I 'liked' something just for the sake of liking it. Oh, you made that lasagna from scratch, let me like it so your hard work doesn't go to waste. Strange, right?

Well, I stopped 'liking' things. Actually, I started boycotting the 'like' function altogether. There were a good couple of months where I didn't 'like' a single thing. To be honest, it was liberating. I didn't feel as if I HAD to like things anymore. I figured if I didn't have the desire to write a few words (any words) then it wasn't worth a like. And so I started commenting. Some of those comments actually started conversations. They were my opinions and, while they might not all have been profound or noteworthy, they came from me. I was taking the time to actually interact with the people Facebook considered my friends. It didn't matter that sometimes I only wrote one word like 'cute' or 'awesome' because it meant more than an arbitrary like. At least my brain it did.

Social media is a confounding place. I want people to know I am paying attention, listening, and caring. I'm not 'liking' something simply because someone I knew posted it or because I thought the picture on the article was funny. If you're on my friends list and I 'like' something you wrote or posted, then you deserve a couple words from me. At least, that's how I see it. There are all these people running around with hundreds of friends and not interacting with any of them. And that's the kicker, isn't it? We can't possibly keep up with all these people and yet we keep accepting more 'friend requests'. Baffling, right?

It's why the internet can feel so lonely at times.

In the end, what does this all mean? What does it mean if I like you? What does it mean if I don't?

Nothing. Not really. I mean, it might have been my cat walking across my keyboard. Or maybe I think you're super special and we should hold hands and skip.

Just wait for my comment.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

Welcome to Wordy Wednesday, where we learn and love together. Today you are in for a special treat with our word selection. Not only is there a fantastic dinosaur tie-in, but we delve into the Greek dictionary as we explore origins! As we all know, the Greek make everything more fun. If only I had some horrifying mythology to share with you. Sadly, I don't.

The word: Brontide

Definition: A low muffled rumbling, similar to distant thunder, and is often heard along coastlines and over lakes. Some think the noise to be caused by earth tremors.

Enter, the Greeks. The root of the word is in fact of Greek origin, bronte meaning 'thunder' and the suffix 'id' which translates to 'offspring of'. Therefore, brontide means thunders offspring, or a sort of kin to the grumbling we hear before lightning strikes. Interestingly enough, brontosaurus shares the the same root. Exploring this a little more, the meaning of 'saurus' is lizard. Now put it together and what do you have? Bibbidi bobbidi boo!

If you nothing else, you've learned the proper term for one of the most popular dinosaurs. Thunder Lizard.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Three Pictures

Feeling lazy, so here are three pictures I took this past weekend. 

They sum up my life pretty well. 

Monday, October 27, 2014


Last week was difficult.

In the face of tragedy, we often focus on the darkness, and forget there is light too. Light in those who tried to help. Light in those who worked to save lives and end hate. Light in the words shared. The  prayers said. And the tears shed. There is light, even when darkness creeps in. There is light in those who were grief-stricken by these terrible events - and they are the majority. 

Don't forget that. There is more light than darkness in this world.

Today I am putting good vibrations into the world. Sending love to the four corners. And hoping for less tragedy and even more acts of love this week.

"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today." ― Thích Nhất Hạnhprayers

Sunday, October 26, 2014

That Sunday

Where you insist you're going to spend the day writing and creating something brilliant, then get caught in a vortex of cleaning.

Five hours later, you sit down and are too tired to type, let alone be creative.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my father's birthday. He is turning another year older, but he swore at me when I suggested it was seventy. I gave him a call this morning but I figured he wasn't up yet, so I left a message. My dad used to be a notorious early riser, especially on the weekends. He loved going to flea markets and garage sales. I often went with him. He used to try to make me haggle. Oh, how I hated haggling. At eight years of age, the last thing I wanted to do was try and barter with someone over their crappy second hand stuff. To this day, I still won't try to get an unsuspecting elderly person to lower their price. 

In this way, I am not like my father. He is the Master Haggler. 

How am I like my Daddy-O? 

Well, I certainly am a unique combination of both my parents, but the hot headed tendencies come from my dad - not to mention this off beat sense of humour you might have picked up on. My passion for making myself laugh? Yeah, you can thank my dad for that as well. I am a sarcastic wise-cracking beast with a stubborn streak to rival that of a toddler. And, if you took a long hard look at the two of us, you'd probably notice we have the same nose and scowl. Let us not forget my ability to curse. 'Fuck' is by far one of my most favourite words and I know my father shares a love for it. And this sweet tooth? Thanks, Dad. 

The truth is, I am very much like my father. And I miss him immensely. He lives up in the mountains, a ferry ride and five hour drive away from me, but there are no excuses for not seeing him. It's scary to think it's been two years - possibly more. This is a hard fact to swallow considering we used to have dinner every week when I lived in the city and he commuted down for work, and he always kept me in supply of quarters for the laundry machines in my apartment buildings. Sure, there were tough times growing up. We had our pains and father-daughter battles. But in the end, he's my friend. He makes me laugh, even though I'm unsure if it is intentional, and he's always there to answer my questions, granted it might come a little later than intended. And he would definitely be my lifeline if I was ever on a game show. 

For the most part, he's never really given me a hard time - I mean, not since I moved out of his house. He never had much to say about the nautical obsession, old man pants, uniform shirts, blue hair, tattoos, piercings, or anything else I've dabbled in. Then again, my older siblings pretty much ensured I could never surprise my parents with anything. But my dad, he's always been there. This funny man with a white-hot temper but an undeniably big heart, has always helped when I needed it, and even when I didn't.

To this day, I know he's on my side. He's a member of my team. Back up, if you will. Always there with an ill-timed joke or awkward hug. It's pretty amazing to exist in the world with the knowledge that my father has my back and you know what? It makes going through life a little bit easier. 

So, Happy Birthday to Daddy-O! Love you lots and hope we get to see each other soon. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

When Bad Things Happen

It's easy to be angry. To throw accusations. Call names. Tear people apart. It's easy to judge. And to want to hurt the people who have caused such pain. It's easy to condemn an entire religion. Race. Sex. Creed. Easy to hate. To hate what we don't understand. To hate what we don't like. Hate what hurts us. What scares us. To hate what is different. And what we cannot control.

It's hard to love in times such as these. In a world such as this. Harder to have understanding in the face of grief. To nod our heads but open our hearts. To show compassion. Be guided by empathy. Sympathy. Have forgiveness for others. To not understand, but not be blinded by that confusion and frustration. To move with love instead of hate.

My thought is that happy, well-adjusted, healthy people don't shoot other people. The unhappy, unhealthy, displaced and broken people do. And those are the ones that need love the most. Even if that leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

We move forward with love. Backwards with hate.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Not Even An Aunt

Sometimes I read the comments on articles. Not often,  mind you. Because I can't stand the stupid and, if you haven't noticed, there is a lot of stupid out there. Take a look at the comment section on Facebook or on news columns and you will always see some sexist, racist, homophobic doofuses spouting off their sexist, racist, homophobic beliefs. And well, I simply don't have any room for these types of people in my life. Even more, it is frustrating when I see how accepted these idiotic ideologies are. 

The thing is, you can't change stupid. They don't want to learn and grow and be better people. 

Another reason I don't  delve into the comment section on YouTube or Facebook is because improper grammar  and net speak gives me an instant headache. But sometimes, when I'm  feeling particularly adventurous, I'll  scroll down. I'll see what people have to say. 

And sometimes I  strike comedy gold. Unintentional comedy gold, but comedy gold nonetheless. 

Well, I should hope not! 

But what about uncles? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Wet Wordy Wednesday

The sound of the rain on the roof and windows is one of the most soothing sounds. Outside, the weather is wicked, and I love how the trees bend and sway, as if they are dancing with each other. Last night, the storm raged so fiercely the boughs from trees snapped and fell, pine cones pelted the house, and the dogs went a little mad.

People complain about the rain. The miserable weather. But I love it. I like it when Mother Nature makes a point of reminding us how powerful she is. I feel small and fragile in this sort of weather. It dwarfs me. And as I drove home this evening and the ocean crashed on the left side of the road and my windshield wipers worked overtime to keep up with the sheets of rain, I felt at peace and insignificant.

And that's my word for today: Insignificant

When I tell people I feel insignificant, they take it as a bad thing. Baffling to me, especially because it is something that quells the rather defeating idea that I have to be something, or make a difference. In reality, most people don't make an impression on the world. We are lucky if we make an impression on a handful of individuals, to think we are going to do it on a global scale seems a bit egotistical.

So, what's so comforting about insignificance? It isn't being small, unnoticeable, or knowing your life isn't really even a blip on the radar. That no matter what you do, it doesn't really matter. Nothing really matters. The reassurance comes from knowing there is something bigger than you at work. Now, I know that sounds like I am speaking of God, and if that resonates with you, then take from it that. But it is more than God and faith. It is the Earth. The wondrous nature of beings. Animals. Trees. Rain. Mountains. Rivers. Oceans. Space. Time. Existence.

There is a bigger picture.

It's when you stand on the edge of the cliff and stare into the distance, seeing how the ocean meets the sky and there is this moment of 'wow'. Where you take a deep breath, your stomach flips, and for a split second, you are nothing but a glimmer in a sparkling moment of time. That swell of emotion and overwhelming knowledge that you are not alone, you will never be alone, and that the simple act of being alone is a figment of an overactive imagination.

That's what insignificance feels like to me. Rainstorms remind me of this - as does the limitless depth of the ocean and ever expanding universe. Then there is the calm after the storm that reminds you everything will be okay. Eventually. And that we are the universe and the universe is us.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Naughty Dreams

Sexy dreams always startle me. I wake up in a panic and, for a split second, worry I've done something wrong. These provocative dreams don't happen often but when they do, I'm always taken by surprise, which is kind of hilarious because everyone knows I have a filthy imagination. One might actually assume they happen more often than they do. Well, they don't. In fact, if my dream world had a flavour it'd be vanilla.  

Isn't it weird what the subconscious serves up? It's as if during the day, I work to keep it in check, but at night it roams unexplored lands. Last night's supporting role was played by Chris Hemsworth, a surprise guest to say the least. A lady never kisses and tells, so I won't scare you with the details, but I must say, the man was very giving. If you know what I mean. Here's where I wink at you. Honestly, he was so generous that I awoke with a fierce desire to watch all his movies and become his number one fan. Don't worry, I won't. The man's fan base is obviously quite substantial and he doesn't need me making Mrs. Hemsworth t-shirts and trying to take a selfie with him while he's at Starbucks. Besides, I suspect the ladies after his heart can be quite aggressive and wouldn't be very appreciative to learn my affection for the man is based entirely on a tryst we had in the deep, dark caverns of my mind.  

And that's the kicker. I've never had a 'thing' for Mr. Hemsworth. In truth, he never really crossed my radar. I mean, I'm not blind - obviously the Thor is attractive. But he's a different kind of pretty. A muscular, long blonde hair pretty. Don't get me wrong, I can certainly appreciate a nice set of arms but I've always been more attracted to the impish smile and quirky haircut type of fellas. I think the only time I stopped to really considered him was when I was trying to riddle out why Loki and Thor had different accents in the Avengers.  

Naughty dreams aren't something you should over think. It's best to chalk them up as a pleasant experience and go about life as usual. Just between the two of us, I'm actually relieved it was Chris Hemsworth and not one of my co-workers. Sure, they're lovely ladies, but I don't want to make my work environment any more awkward than it already is. Besides, they don't want to see me naked.  

Chris seemed okay with it, though.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Quirky Horror

Perhaps the term 'quirky horror' seems contradictory, except it's out there, but the selection isn't exactly extensive. It's a new genre and often masquerades as humours horror. If you're looking to delve in and want to have a chuckle and a cringe, some of the more popular films in this gradually expanding category are Zombieland, Shaun of the Dead, Fido, and Tucker and Dale Vs Evil. An older selection of titles would be Little Shop of Horrors, Young Frankenstein and pretty much anything Tim Burton has made.

Last night I indulged in a flick called Odd Thomas. It's been on my radar for a long time but every time I said, "I'd watch Odd Thomas" the Sidekick just grunted and moved onto other movies in the Netflix catalogue. Finally, he succumbed. And I was pleasantly surprised. When it comes to new horror, you don't really know what you're in for. Sometimes it's gory, sometimes it's campy, sometimes it's scary, sometimes it's silly, but most of the time it's bad. There have been very few movies in the last couple years I've been impressed with.

Odd Thomas. Pretty awesome.

Straight off the bat, I love the kid who plays Odd Thomas - Anton Yelchin - he's simply likable. The first movie he was memorable in was Charlie Bartlett and, even though it is embarrassing to admit, I developed a bit of a crush on him. What can I say, I'm a sucker for interesting voices and curly hair. Don't start calling me a cradle robber, it's a harmless affection. Anyhow, I recently watched him in the remake of Fright Night, which wasn't bad, although I don't know how I feel about Colin Farrell. He's a bit of a weirdo.

There is much to like about Odd Thomas. The narrative isn't annoying like it is in many other movies and right from the opening scene it had my attention. You are given the necessary details about what makes Odd Thomas so odd, some rather inconvenient powers handed down to him by his mother, and the story unfolds with him encountering a dead girl and helping catch the man who murdered her.

Other than seeing dead people, having dreams that come true, and seeing these creatures about town that no one else sees, Odd lives a fairly normal life. He rents a small apartment, works at a restaurant, has an adorable girlfriend (who is a bit annoying, I will admit), and his father is a police officer, who is played by the wonderful Willem Dafoe. The writing is quirky, the relationships are enjoyable, there are enough jumpy moments and tension for it to maintain the thrillerish qualities a horror movie needs, and it has a lot of laughs.

Totally worth watching. I am surprised it got such a low rating on the IMDB, but then I never trust those ratings anyhow. People usually don't know what they are talking about. Except me, of course. Even more brilliant, I just found out this is based on a Dean Koontz book. One I must purchase immediately!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Squatty Potty - A Crappy Post

There are days you learn things you will never truly understand, even though it makes sense. This week I have learned about the Squatty Potty. What is this? you might ask. Well, simply put, it's a contraption to help you defecate. I stumbled upon it because I follow an Instagram account about good foods and bad foods. Last week, they did a special seven day picture-a-thon of ways to resolve constipation. Now, I don't have such a problem, just one of the advantages of having a plant-based diet and drinking lots of water. Not that anyone needs to know about my regularity.

The point is, the pictures were in my feed and, when I came across the Squatty Potty, I paused.

Totally reasonable, right? 

The science behind it is sound, I suppose. With your knees elevated, your hips align with your colon, thus mimicking a squatting position. While sitting bends the colon, squatting properly actually opens the colon and allows you to evacuate more waste. (Side note, this is really hard to write without using words like shit, shitting, and cop a squat). Anyhow, I figure this is what is what the cavemen used to do, right? Neanderthals didn't have toilets. They squatted in the bush. So, in theory, this makes total sense. 

And in other cultures it's common to squat. There are even toilets built right into the floor that you squat over. But the advertisements for the Squatty Potty are straight up ridiculous and, as someone who just stumbled upon this newfangled way of pooping, it's a bit startling. Except, I think I'm just out of the poop loop. On Facebook, the Squatty Potty has 17, 787 likes! And the helpfulness of the elimination station (as they call it) is spreading rapidly. It was even on Dr. Oz! There are two options, a plastic one and the fabulous bamboo one depicted above, and come in seven or nine inches tall. Fun fecaling for the whole family! But they have other amazing things to offer on their website too, like a fresh water bidet and Smooth Move - a colon cleanser. In fact, you can even buy this delightful t-shirt: 

Anyhow, if you are looking for a way to relieve hemorrhoids, IBS, constipation, bloating or any bladder problems, why not pick a toilet stool up? (Toilet stool? Heh. Funny.) The plastic one is only twenty bucks, but the bamboo, which is much nicer, will run you around sixty. Don't wait, learn how to poo like a pro today!!

You're welcome.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Writing Journey

Sometimes when I am uncertain what I should be working on, what deserves my attention most, I reread all my first chapters. There are many of them. So many I don't want to count. And they are terrible. Well, not all of them. The one I am currently reading isn't half bad. Still, it feels as if I am drowning in first chapters and that is defeating. Even worse, most of my chapter ones don't have endings. A lot of them aren't finished. I suppose I can seek comfort in that. Perhaps I can simply call those ideas instead of chapters.

Ideas I have yet to invest time, energy, and love into.

I know a lot of writers. By a lot, I mean most of the people on my Facebook page. Almost all of them are people I've picked up along my writing journey. Now, I've been writing my whole life, but I don't actually consider my birth the beginning of my writing journey. I consider the year I finished Seeking Eleanor to be the actual beginning of my journey. The moment I actually started learning what it takes to write a book and be an author.

The year was 2004. I actually can't recall when I completed her for certain. I was working at Yellow Pages and letting Rebs read it chapter by chapter. We shared a cubicle wall. It was friendship at first rude interruption. She was super encouraging. I doubt the book would have been completed if not for her. This is why I promised her an assistant job if I ever hit it rich and famous. We all make promises we probably won't ever have the chance to keep.

Once Seeking Eleanor was done, I grew as a writer. I'd say flourished, but that is deceiving. Makes it sound far too easy. As if a little water and sunshine and, just like that, I became this wonderful writing flower. Wisteria. In reality, it was a struggle. There was so much I needed to know, like the rules, so I could make the conscious decision to toss them out the window. I've never been a rules girls. In the following months, and subsequently years, that followed, I perfected tense, learned about character arcs, figured out saving the cat, overused wordle, and recognized my lust for adverbs. Oh, and I have yet to plot a book out.

It's been a long road. Sometimes I think I should be farther along. You know, it's been almost ten years, and I don't have that traditional publishing contract. I'm not being paid to write. And most people don't know who I am. I'm a nobody. Chances are I will remain a nobody for the remainder of my life, and that's okay. The struggle is part of the fun, right? In the end, the self doubts and uncertainty doesn't matter. In the end, the publishing contract doesn't matter. In the end, not being paid to write wicked words doesn't matter.

Because I still love writing. And I think that's what counts.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kickstarter For One And All!

Here's a little something that's been bothering me these days: Kickstarter (or GoFundMe or IndieGoGo). "But why?" you might ask. How can I possibly have a problem with these amazing crowd-funding sites where projects that might not have the ability to flourish are given the chance for fresh air, food and attention. Well, I have my reasons, which are vast and not very complex.

For those who don’t know what Kickstarter is, it’s a place where people seek funding for projects they have. Think of it like the Dragon’s Den. People show up with their ideas, create an amount of money they will need to make their dream come true, and other friendly individuals get so amped up over the project they decide to give money. In theory, it’s amazing – after all it did give us the Veronica Mars movie – except, theory doesn't keep us warm at night.

Everyone And Their Uncle Carl

These days everyone and their Uncle Carl seems to have a Kickstarter account - this means everyone and their Uncle Carl have their hands out. Every day, we are inundated with requests to ‘fund’ other people's projects, as if we ourselves don’t have projects that need funding – or, you know, bills in need of being paid. I can’t possibly keep up with the amount of people I know who have their very own Kickstarter going right this minute and they all want me to contribute, to support them, to give them money. And, let me tell you, money is the last thing I have to offer. Quantity reigns supreme and quality is taking a direct hit. There are so many people with projects in need of funding and I suspect a lot of the good ones are being over-shadowed by the abundance of crappy ones. Things that might actually be amazing are falling into the doomed pit of failed Kickstarter projects.

The Idea Machine

Now, think about all those projects, all those people, all those hands out. Then consider the likelihood of every single one of those people and projects being worthy of funding. Statistics and common sense tell us there will be a plethora of terrible ideas in the Kickstarter machine. Just because you have an ingenious thought at four in the morning after smoking a doobie and eating a bag of Doritos doesn't mean it needs to be made into reality. In fact, if marijuana cigarettes and chips are instrumental parts in the decision to open your Kickstarter account and take the plunge – stop. Do not proceed to go. You are not to collect two hundred dollars. In fact, go to jail. 

The world we live in these days is all about the hippie ideology that everyone is special and everyone deserves a trophy. This is wrong. Some people aren't cut out for building a company, piloting a project, or even coming up with unique ideas worthy of funding, support, or a second glance.  

Just A Thought

A lot of the people creating their projects don’t actually think them through. They guess. They scribble down a couple numbers and think they *might* be able to make it work, but they have no real idea. Sure, some sit down and take it seriously. They do their research. They crunch the numbers. Create graphs. Flow charts. A business plan. But they are few and far between. Most average human beings don’t have a clue how much time, energy and money go into making (good) movies, publishing (good) books, creating (good) prototypes for new helmets or starting a (good) pirate radio station. Notice how I added ‘good’ in there? Well, that’s the ticket, isn’t it?

The idea, project, book, movie, song doesn't have to be good. Look at self publishing. There are so many people out there self pubbing subpar books, not taking the time to hire an editor to catch all their atrocious typos and grammar mistakes, getting their friends to slap together unprofessional overs, not formatting properly. What happens if those people decide to turn around and make a movie based off their novel they sold thirty-two copies of? Well, they will create a Kickstarter and ask you for funds. Think of all the low quality work littering Amazon making it harder for the good and even great books to break the surface. Realistically, a movie isn't a good idea. Neither are t-shirts or bubble gum.

Starting a new endeavour is harder than most people assume. Sure, Pump Up The Volume made starting a radio station look easy, but that equipment is expensive, and we all don’t have the tantalizing voice Christian Slater does! All jokes aside, I might want to make an independent film about being a chubby vegan, but that doesn't mean I understand the first thing about doing it and, let’s say on the off chance I’m going to go ahead with this idea I seriously just made up, I’d have to learn a lot. I mean, a lot! And figure out a way to do it in a way that hasn't actually been done a million times before. 

It’s almost as though people think that if they raise the money then magicians and professionals will come out of the woodwork to help. This is not the case. And the very real truth is, even if you do manage to raise the funds, you will most likely run out of money before you are finished.

Yes, there are instances when it works out, like the aforementioned Veronica Mars movie and Amanda Palmer raising a million dollars to record a new album. But the people involved in those projects are, in fact, gurus in the industries . This isn't NEW to them. They KNOW what they are doing. In the end, you are asking people to give you their money so you can try something new. Don’t you think it’s your responsibility to understand the ups and downs of the industry you are trying to dive into so you can provide at least a half assed guarantee?

But This Is My Hard Earned Money

Here's the thing ... the money in my bank account is mine. I earned it. I worked hard for it. And I don’t want to give it to you. In fact, I don’t actually have this money at all. Sure, I earned it. It’s in my bank account, but I have bills to pay, rent cheques that can’t bounce, hydro and internet to keep up with. I have a car to drive. Food to buy. Pets to feed. Who the hell are you to ask me to give you money? Look, I don’t mind helping you out by buying your book, renting your movie, downloading (legally) your music, or purchasing your newfangled idea when it hits the shelves, but I have no intention of giving you money in order for you to write your books, make your movies, record your songs, or develop your prototype for a calorie burning gum. Sorry, but I’m not sorry.

Laziness Begets Laziness

We are a lazy generation. Back in the olden days, if you wanted money for a business, or project, you went to the bank, networked with financial backers, or contacted business you thought would benefit from what you’re trying to do. Also, you would use your own money. *GASP* What a novel idea, huh? To financially back yourself. But I guess this was way too hard. It required you to actually take a risk. Now people go online and create a Kickstarter, GoFundMe or IndieGoGo and send the link to five hundred of their closest friends and family members. From there, they harass people. On top of asking for money, they want you to share, like, blog and retweet their little old project to let your friends and family know they are accepting donations.

There is no risk these days. No one to hold these people accountable. You might be waiting for your perk for the rest of your life. Even if a project raises enough money, or even surpasses the amount needed, there is no real way to police the other side. And what happens when the creator shrugs their shoulders and says, “Sorry, it didn't work out.” No, you won’t get your money back.

In The End

What these sites really provide is an escape from responsibility and hard work. If the project/company/business/idea you created in Kickstarter fails, you kick the rocks at your feet and move on to your next marijuana nacho chip mind fart. Battling with your blood, bones and working three jobs to succeed isn't going to factor into your game plan when you didn't foot the bill anyhow.  In many ways, these resources are suffering from the same issues Amazon does. Too many people. Not enough care and consideration. And a lot of people not producing a quality product. Asking people for money is asking people for money. Calling it an investment is a bit ridiculous. Furthermore, the last time I checked no one ACTUALLY has any money, therefore, asking them for funding is kind of rude. Don’t you think?

Hey, I am all about everyone’s dreams coming true, but in this overpopulated world, it just isn't feasible for every single one to be brought to fruition. Let’s be honest, some dreams need to be stomped on, burned, and fed to rabid raccoons. Not to burst bubbles.

Don’t be mistaken. I don’t HATE these ‘fund me’ resources. I think they are great, especially for starving artists or people who have seriously been down and out on their luck. But, like always, moderation is the key to success. Frankly put, most people aren't capable of seeing their ideas through. There are countless projects started that should have come out as farts instead of ideas.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


That clown is gonna give me nightmares. I mean, really? We are two episodes in and I will be happy if I never see him again, especially after his great mouth reveal. Um. Pass.

And did anyone see this?

You don't have to read the article, not all of it. The title says it all. Real life clowns are enraged American Horror Story is perpetuating the 'clowns are evil' myth. As if creepy clowns only came into creation with the airing of Freakshow, the fourth and freaky season of AHS. 

To prove my point, here are some friendly retro clowns from days gone past. Just tell me they aren't heart stopping, cower inducing, monster under the bed material. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

I look forward to these days. The days where we can learn together or, at the very least, revel in our shared nerdiness. In fact, the other day I decided to start a board on Pinterest dedicated to words I love. There are only two pins on it, but I promise to be diligent about keeping up with the learning and sharing. Isn't that what life is about anyhow? Learning and sharing.

The word: Abominable

Here's an interesting tidbit of information, I actually noticed the wonderful way in which the word 'abominable' rolls off the tongue while reading up on the Abominable Snowman, otherwise known as the Yeti. The Abominable Snowman is an apish creature taller than humans and is thought to inhabit the mountainous regions of Nepal and Tibet. Our scientific community regards the Yeti as legend, giving the lack of evidence, but it remains the most popular subject of cryptozoology (which is the pseudoscience involving searching for animals that have not been proven to exist, like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.) Cryptozoologists call the Abominable Snowman a cryptid, which is a creature or plant whose existence has been suggested but not proven or documented by science. So, basically, the stuff legends and myths are made of. 

Cryptozoology is another interesting word, coming from the Greek word 'kryptos - meaning hidden - and zoology which literally means the study of hidden animals. 

Let's circle back to abominable. An English word which came from the Latin word 'abominabilis'. It was once believed abominable meant inhuman or beastly and was actually spelled 'abhominable' until the late 17th century. Today we use it to describe loathsome behaviour or anything detestable. The example the online dictionary gave was 'an abominable cup of tea', which actually gave me a laugh. In my humble opinion, unless the tea was made from urine the word abominable seems a bit strong to describe a cuppa.

This week you are to use the word 'abominable' causally in a sentence and see if anyone remarks on it.

Proof the Abominable Snowman exists? 
Or just weird impression in the snow. 
You decide. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

American Horror Story - Coven

This Thanksgiving weekend I binge watched American Horror Story - Coven. When everyone is giving thanks and being grateful, I'm sitting in my recliner knitting and indulging in some grade A depravity.

Now, at first, my general impression of Coven was ... less than stellar. I was like, really? I mean, really? There were all these teenagers running around being teenagery with their angsty feelings and persnickety attitudes, being silly and it all seemed to be a bit too teeny-boppery for this cynical old bat (meaning me). Okay, before you get all uppity about my snap judgement, let me amend this by saying, I actually ended up enjoying this season more than the other two! So, there, you totally don't have to jump down my throat.

I knew not to give up on Coven until I'd watched at least three episodes. From past experience, I had learned AHS rolls out the red carpet slowly and its hooks sink in just as fast. Then, all of a sudden, you're knee deep in the fourth episode and excited to find out what happens next. The same thing happened with Asylum and the first season, which I just learned is now being called 'Murder House', so I didn't walk away. I battled through the 'this feels a bit too high school' vibes and made it to the really good stuff.

Don't get me wrong. The third season is totally worth watching all the way through, but I did feel it was targeted towards a younger demographic. This could have been because half of the cast was, in fact, hormonal youth, or the fact the young women are sent to Miss Robichaux's Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies - doesn't the name alone sound like a popular YA novel in which the main character discovers she holds the power of the world in her smooth baby hands? And I also felt this season, like the others, stuck to the trend of tipping its hat to those without a voice - misfits, women, and the mentally unstable.

While this season certainly seems to touch on controversial issues such as race and women in power, I believe it did so without actually developing an opinion of it. Their are a number of strong female characters throughout but all of them are either naive, foolish, or complete jerks - some a combination of these traits - which means there isn't really anyone you're truly rooting for. Honestly, half the cast could die and you wouldn't even care - which might be intentional considering how body counts stack up with this program. Don't get me wrong, there are some undeniably lovable characters, like Kyle - the unintentional monster (played by that oh so cute Evan Peters - or Misty Day - the Stevie Nicks obsessed swamp witch - and Myrtle Snow - an always second best member of the council with a desire for revenge - all of which are wonderfully weird and totally endearing. Still, it's abundantly clear that men take a backseat in this season and of the three main male leads all of them are pretty much there to serve the ladies. This isn't a complaint, simply something I noticed and, I can't lie, was a bit refreshing.

Yes, Coven was more toned down than the first two seasons, but there was less to guess at and it wrapped everything up in a nice package. The plot line felt developed and not thrown together and, for the first time, I didn't think they were working hard to 'push the envelope' which is actually one of my pet peeves with horror shows. Sometimes people think these sorts of programs and movies need to be gory to be good, but that isn't the case. Don't be mistaken, there is plenty of blood and 'what the eff' moments, like the Axe-Man, Madame LaLaurie's chamber of horrors and the utterly disturbing nature of Spalding.

The only thing I could have done without is the second musical appearance of Stevie Nicks. A bit too weird and 'why is this happening' for me.  If you have reservations about how 'good' American Horror Story is, take it from me, it's weird and wonderful.

And Kathy Bates needs to be in more things. She's magnificent.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Some people might not know Canadian Thanksgiving takes place in October. In fact, today's the day, though most people have their big dinner on the Sunday, not the Monday. We're doing it tonight. It's just the five of us, the four boys and I - Mr. Sidekick, Oliver, Dixon and Bruce. Small and perfect. It'd be nice to have a bit of family around, but it's three o'clock and I don't have to spend all day in the kitchen for just the two of us - an added bonus of keeping it intimate. And I made our dessert yesterday, an apple-cranberry crisp. Turned out wonderfully and allows us to have dessert two nights in a row. It's the little things in life.

Thanksgiving was originally a time to give thanks for a prosperous bounty for the harvest. These days, it's an opportunity to gather with the ones we love and, ideally, reflect on what we are grateful for. Americans have Thanksgiving in November but has been rendered pointless by Black Friday - the most greedy of all days, where people purchase things they don't need right after being thankful for the things they do. Then people ask me why I'm not a fan of Christmas, as if they haven't noticed it's degraded into a consumer driven gimme-gimme fest.

That's why I am happy Thanksgiving takes place in October here, the most perfect of all months. Even the torrential downpour can't get my spirits down. In fact, it lifts them up. I have candles lit, knitting to do, and boys to cuddle. My hair is a mess. My clothes are comfortable. There are no judgments here. And I'm happy. But this is just a regular Monday. Pretty much the same as last Monday, and the one before that, expect there's going to be stuffing. Stuffing doth make an occasion special. Still, I try to be grateful every day, at least over something. The scent of the woods in the morning. The sound of the ocean. Good conversations. Lush bath bombs. Vegan treats. Turning yarn into wearable items. Collecting seashells. Fuzzy bearded kisses. Helping others. Showing acts of kindness. Working hard. Writing words. Sipping teas. Hot baths. Cool beds. New dresses. Scarves.

And the list goes on.

Some of us need a day to remind us of what we have. And some of us are reminded every day of it.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hockey Season

So, I'm not a huge fan of hockey. I know this goes against everything Canadians stand for, but sports just aren't my thing. There will never be a time in my life that I get excited to watch a sporting event, unless they somehow end up figuring out a way to make Quidditch our National sport, which is never going to happen because they have yet to create flying brooms.

Interestingly enough, the Sidekick loves hockey, and my ex does as well. This means I actually know a fair bit about the sport. Not because I've read up on it to have something in common with my partners, God no, but because when you live with someone who loves the sport, you're going to end up getting sucked into watching it. A lot. I mean, sometimes there are three games in a week. Don't even get me started on the playoff schedule - something I didn't have to worry about last year because Vancouver's team sucked so bad they didn't even make it close to winning their division. I also learn not just by watching, but being talked at.

Oh, the stories I am told. Whether I am writing, reading, taking a bath, knitting. It doesn't matter. My Sidekick has some tidbit of information he needs to tell someone and, since only the two of us live in the house, I end up being his hockey buddy. The other night he even told me he knows I don't care about a word he's saying but he can't stop sharing with me. And I do listen ... sometimes. Most of the time I'm preoccupied so I only catch snippets of what he's said, usually the tail end. This makes me feel a bit like a bad person, but then I think, this man keeps watching a show I don't like and talking to me about it. Kind of his own fault. Besides, I don't constantly talk to him about things he has no interest in, like types of knitting stitches or The Mindy Project.  But hey, it makes the Sidekick happy and that's what really matters, right? Let him have his hockey!

Except, there are two types of hockey fans in Vancouver. The fair-weather hockey fans and the die-hards. The ones who watch the games when the Canucks are doing well and those who tune in to every single game and grow more disenchanted as the season goes on. The latter seem to maintain the hope the Canucks will pull it out of the bag like a bundle of magicians at the last possible moment. They usually don't. This can make for a displeasing home life. I like the Sidekick to remain cautiously optimistic. When it comes to me, I can get through a game of hockey a week with a smile on my face, but three is a bit much.

At least I have something to be thankful for this season. Roberto Luongo has been traded. This means I don't have to watch him choke when the pressure is turned on. How did fans stand behind their goalie when he couldn't function when the going got tough? Then he was made captain. Really? A goalie that's a captain. I can't think of anything dumber.

Anyway, now we have Ryan Miller and the team is looking really good. Last night's game was one to get the fans excited. It actually went to a shoot out and because they finally have a goalie who doesn't seize up with fear when a puck comes near him, they actually won. (Granted, Miller did let in four goals) But the fans will remain hopeful. That's two wins this season in a row. So, hockey season is back and I envision having more free time to write and keep my voodoo up to snuff.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Zestful Cranberry Muffins

On the tenth day of October, I shall pause the horror-festing, to bring you my latest recipe. These sweet, tangy, deliciously refreshing muffins will test your resolve when you say you'll only have one. They are still fresh from the oven and, as I type this, the Sidekick is on his third. For the record, his stomach and lack of willpower always amazes me. Not that he needs to worry. The man has a metabolism that would rival that of a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird (which reportedly eat 1.5 to 3 times their weight in nectar and insects a day). I am jealous. My metabolism is akin to a blue whale's, as you can tell by these thighs of mine.

As you know, everything I bake is vegan. I am under the impression most any baking can be just as delicious without animal products. It's kind of a life mission for me to prove vegan doesn't mean dry, dense and disgusting. These muffins are moist, fluffy and delectable. Trust me. I have no reason to lie to you. Now, I shall make with the recipe.

Zestful Cranberry Muffins 

Makes 12

Preheat oven 375


2 Cups - Flour
3/4 Cup - Sugar (I used unrefined)
2 Tsp - Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp - Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp - Salt
1/2 Cup - Coconut Oil (melted, of course)
1/2 Cup - Orange Juice
1/2 Cup - Coconut Beverage
1 Tsp - Vanilla (or more) 
1/4 Tsp - Almond Extract 
Zest of 1 Clementine 
1 Cup - Cranberries

1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. 

2. In saucepan, heat orange juice and coconut beverage until just a bit warm. This will prevent the coconut oil from hardening when you add the cold liquids to it, which is exactly what I did. It created clumps in my batter. Rookie mistake, right? Well, I learned from it, because I ended up having to heat up my batter to melt the clumps before I could bake the freaking muffins! 

3. Combine liquids to dry ingredients, then add in vanilla, almond extract and zest of the clementine. Mix until smooth. I actually thought I over mixed and the muffins weren't going to turn out, but I was wrong. They are beautiful. 

4. Fold in cranberries - you can chop them, or leave them whole. I did half and half. 

5. Scoop into lightly greased muffin tin and sprinkle the tops with sugar. 

Now, be forewarned, the sugar sprinkling kind of backfired for me. I thought the granules would be intact on top and be like pretty gems. This wasn't the case. In fact, they sunk into the batter and crystallized, which kind of make the muffins look a bit odd, like ripply, but turned out to be wondrous on the taste buds. So, do it. 

6. Bake in over for 20-25 minutes, until they are lightly browned on top. Then scoop them out with a spoon and place on a cooling rack. Don't let them cool. Eat them. Eat them all! 

Here are some pictures of these most delicious muffins. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wrong Turn

Last night, I watched a throwback film from 2003 called Wrong Turn. To be honest, it was better than I remembered it to be. I mean, the beginning is strong and it delivers exactly what you think it will - young college kids dying in gorerrific fashions. Eliza Dushku was in it. Do you remember her? She was in Bring It On and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show. She was super popular there for a bit, but I can't honestly say what she's been in since. Kind of fell off the radar, much like a lot of the actresses from those late nineties and early 2000 horror films. Oh, it also has Jeremy Sisto in it. You might recall him from Clueless and Suicide Kings, but he was also in a great horror flick called May - it's wonderfully twisted and totally worth your time.

Now, while Wrong Turn wasn't bad, you've seen it before. Good looking people meet creepy people in woods and, no spoilers here, die. Think of it as a combination of Texas Chainsaw, The Hills Have Eyes and Deliverance all rolled into one. You don't realize this until you're finished watching it though. But while it's playing you maintain a sense of enjoyment and there are plenty of jump in your seat moments. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it's good, but it certainly is an homage to those seventies horror flicks we know and love.

During the entire film I was obsessing over the male lead. I couldn't for the life of me figure out where I'd seen him before. My brain kept telling me it was Karev from Grey's Anatomy, even though I knew it wasn't. I was like, "Shut up, Brain. You don't know what you're talking about." At around four in the morning, I woke from a dead sleep and remembered what he was from .Dexter. He played Quinn. Whew. So glad I figured that out.

What I am having troubles comprehending is that there are six more Wrong Turn movies. SIX. And none of the five following the first one even made it into the theatres. Horror films are remade more often than any other genre AND they have the most amount of sequels done. At six, wrong turn isn't even close to being in the same realm as the Friday The 13th franchise, which is actually at twelve movies. But this is Wrong Turn, a blip of the silver screen, not even usually given a second thought when it comes to horror movie nights. I mean, the only reason I even picked it was because I was trying to find a movie I hadn't watched in the last two horror fests. Last year, I watched sixty-four movies for horror fest, which means there are at least a hundred other movies I would have thought of first.

And still, Wrong Turn has five sequels!

Boggles my poor wee brain.

Don't worry, these two flawless folk live. Of course. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Informed Not Frenzied

A lot of people are talking about Ebola. It's everywhere - on television, in newspapers (yes, they still exist), trending on Twitter, and popping up in news feeds all across Facebook. Except while suburban housewives the world over are freaking out about a epidemic in the United States and clicking share as fast as their fingers will allow, the facts are falling to the wayside and being replaced by panic.

By this point, we should all know how the Ebola virus is spread. Through feces (that's poop!), blood, saliva, sweat and urine. It is not airborne, though if someone with Ebola sneezes in front of you, then it is travelling through the air and some of their saliva could very well get in your mouth. Also, if you are in Africa, do your best to avoid 'bush meat', which is wild animals found in the jungle, often dead carcasses of bats, monkeys, and porcupines. While 'bush meat' sounds gross to us - after all, who just eats a dead carcass they find in the forest? - many people in the Congo rely on this sort of food for survival. 

Now, why is an epidemic highly unlikely in North America or Europe? Here are five reasons why you don't have to be so afraid: 

1. Knowledge. For the most part, we know the symptoms (fever, diarrhea, muscle pain, vomiting, unusual bruising, swelling of genitals, internal and external bleeding) and understand the seriousness of reporting to medical personal if they are experiencing them. This might seem like a grade school point, but our media is a lot different than a third world countries - meaning we actually have media - and spreading of this knowledge is easy here. It isn't there. People who are sick aren't being quarantined and a lot aren't even going to the hospital. 

2. Containment. We understand it is necessary to contain the infected and treat them. This is another fact residents in places like Liberia and Sudan don't understand. These places have suffered great tragedies, often at the hands of their government, therefore they don't trust what they are being told. The lack of trust between the people, medical practitioners and the government are making it impossible to contain the virus. People are breaking into the hospitals and trying to free their family members and friends. All of it seems crazy, but a lack of communication and trust is the underlying cause of why this virus is spreading to rapidly. 

3. Equipment. They don't have the same equipment or facilities in West Africa as they do in big cities like London and New York, or British Columbia. We have isolation rooms that are designed for bio-containment where there is specialized care and different drugs. In order to end the epidemic in West Africa, they would need to isolate at least 70% of patients and right now, in Liberia, that number is only at 18%. You don't need a medical degree to figure out if you want a virus to stop spreading you need to limit the amount of people carriers come in contact with. 

4. Cleanliness. We live very different lives from those in West Africa. There are things we know and have that we take for granted, like sanitation and having a yard. We have fences and walls, not just a curtain separating us from our neighbours. Things like washing our hands and not throwing our waste into the street. Not eating the corpses of dead animals we find. Keeping our distance from people who are sick. What we take for granted and understand to be common knowledge hasn't travelled all over the world.   

5. Dealing with the deceased. A massive factor in the spreading of the Ebola virus has been the handling of corpses. Some of you might pause when you read that and think, what the hell is she talking about? I am guessing you didn't know people were breaking into the hospitals and stealing the bodies of their deceased family members. Many practices around religion and death in West Africa actually involves close contact with the body of those who have died. Hugging is a huge part of religious worshipping in both Liberia and Sierra Leone, as is rituals for preparation of the body for burial, including washing, touching and kissing. These are things most of us wouldn't dream of doing, especially if we knew the person was infected with a contagious and incurable virus. Professionals have been trying to convey how the treatment of dead relatives can put people at risk, but it is a message that doesn't seem to be getting across. 

In conclusion, poor sanitation and huge cultural differences are a massive part of why West Africa has suffered so greatly. Wrap those two factors up with overcrowding, lack of equipment, and hugging and kissing your dead and you pretty much have yourself an epidemic. Yes, it's a concern health professionals are getting sick, not because they will spread it to everyone else, but because they are the ones we turn to for guidance and to set an example. Still, it's as simple as taking your gloves off in the wrong order or wiping down a surface with a contaminated towel. Mistakes happen, even though we would like them not to in this case. Nurses, doctors and nursing assistants are human, after all, and fallible. They are the ones who need to be taking this situation seriously, handling it quickly, and following all safety precautions, so it's a little worrisome when you hear reports of faulty protective gear and subpar health codes in hospitals when it is closer to home. 

The most important thing you can do is be informed and not succumb to the fear. If you come in contact with someone who has Ebola, or you suspect has Ebola, or you have the symptoms I've listed above, seek help. The earlier the treatment, the better the chances. But don't get in a panic induced frenzy because there was a case in Dallas and a couple in Spain. Wash your hands. Try not to handle blood, feces or the dead. And be diligent about your own health and cleanliness. 

Oh, yeah, don't eat bush meat. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wordy Wednesday - On Wednesday

And we are back to our regular scheduled programming! Whew! Wipe that sweat from your brow. Hopefully I won't make another mistake - I say with a wry smile, since making mistakes are kind of a part of my whole shtick. Did you know Wednesdays are almost my favourite day of the week? Truth! They are only trumped by Saturdays, which is kind of unfair because it's the last day before my weekends start. This 'wordy' feature is kind of awesome, if I do say so myself.

Today's word comes with a story.

The word: Omnipresent 

It's origin is Medieval Latin, which is sort of awesome all in itself, and the definition is a widespread and all-knowing presence (kind of like God and Santa). It's an interesting idea,isn't it? To be all places at one time. If we apply this 'all knowingness' to writing then we will be heading in the direction to the reason why I like this word so much.

A long time ago, I think it was 2004, or maybe earlier, I joined a writing website and uploaded a couple chapters of the first novel I ever wrote - Seeking Eleanor. I did this for a couple of reasons, mostly because I wanted to be a better writer, but also to see if I had any chops at all. The thing about writing a book, anyone can do it, but that doesn't mean they are actually any good at. Sure, you can put a sentence together and it could be grammatically gorgeous only to come up short when it comes to the art of yarn spinning. (Not talking about knitting here, but the way in which wonderful writers weave words together to form paragraphs that keep you up at night) Now, I always thought Eleanor was a beautiful girl, but her original condition is a little embarrassing to admit and, when I think back on it, I cannot believe I allowed strangers to read her. After all these years, she's undergone many changes, rewrites and edits have morphed her into a much more appealing novel.

In the beginning, on this writerly website, my little book was noticed and rapidly moved up the ranks, which I can openly admit gave my a boost of confidence. Except, there was a fair bit of debate circling her. Obviously, she needed work, the amount of adverbs were atrocious and the tense was a little mixed up in parts, but those things were easy to fix. The point of view was another thing all together. I distinctly remember a man named JayG who left a comment about how there was way too much head-hopping going on in the narrative.


I didn't know what this meant. After all, I was a green writer who only wanted to tell tales and had never concerned herself with reading up on structure and format, or any of those other things that are (or so I feel) secondary to voice. So, like any good writer, I looked it up because I wanted to learn and get better and grow and, maybe one day, be able to sell a book to a publisher and make a modest income off of writing.

Head hopping is when the author jumps between characters in the narrative, changing their voice as they do so, telling what one person is thinking only to flip to what another is feeling. All the while maintaining multiple character voices. This can, of course, be muchly confusing. A thread sparked a debate in the forum, led my me actually, because I wanted to know if my voice was changing throughout. Was I head-hopping? Or was there a different term for what I was doing?

For the majority of readers, the voice wasn't changing, which meant it wasn't head hopping but an omnipresent (or third person omniscient) point of view. Meaning, the voice was the author/narrator's, not a character from the novel, who knew what everyone was thinking, feeling and doing. All seeing. All and powerful. Kind of like Oz. Authors are kind of godly when writing a book, aren't there? I mean, a little, right?

What I find most interesting is that the third person omniscient point of view used to be more commonly used, by Jane Austen, Tolstoy and Tolkien (to name a few), but over time this preferred way of writing has fallen to the wayside. Nowadays, limited third person and first person POVs are hugely popular due to their ability to create a more personal connection between the characters and the readers. I myself always enjoyed the omnipresent way of writing because it allowed you to see into  each character.

One day, when Seeking Eleanor is published and available for readers to fall in love with, I imagine there will be people out there who will say, "I remember when she had an omnipresent POV and was riddled with adverbs." That's right, I changed the entire book. Why? Because I felt there was a distance between the reader and the story going on. Besides, I wanted to develop Eleanor and Devon's voices, to bring them to life, and make them believable. I suppose if I was a truly gifted writer I would have been able to do this while maintaining the omnipresent narrative.

It seems strange to love a word for the role it once played in your first novel. Well, the reason I have such an affection is because I learned something from it. And isn't that why we are all here? To learn and grow, and be better, even the things we do for fun.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wordy Wednesday - On Tuesday

So, last week, I forgot it was Wednesday and bypassed my feature of Wordy Wednesday. Well, you're in for a treat this week because you're getting a Wordy Wednesday on Tuesday and Wednesday. It's double the wordy fun! Here it is, last week's word (because it was October 1st) had a terrifying theme, a spooky sound, and paranormal pronunciation. Actually, I just wanted to have some spine-chilling alliteration.

The Word: Cadaverous 

Don't think I only picked cadaverous because it reminds me of Harry Potter and the
Killing Curse. Okay, it had a little bit to do with it. Alright, a lot to do with it. But, come on, Avada Kedavra! Anyone who thinks the second part of the curse has nothing to do with cadavers is seriously delusional. Instead of delving into the wonderful Ministry of Magic and breaking down the Unforgivable curses, I'm going to hold myself together, only to binge watch the Potter films over the next couple days. Getting back to the point, this wasn't the only reason I picked the word.

Sure, every time I say it I imagine I'm a wizard and fighting evil, but that doesn't negate the fact it has a might pleasant way of slipping off the tongue. If the word 'cadaverous' was a creature, it'd be a snake, because there's a distinct hissing sound at the end of it, something I carry out a second or two longer than necessary.

The definition is impeccable as well. Cadaverous - resembling a corpse, imagine ashen, gaunt, skinny. and pale. It can be a smell, as well, a deathlike stench, the unmistakable odour of rotting flesh. Of course, the word comes from Latin - cadaverosus - which is even more Voldemorty - and is derived from 'corpse'. An excellent way of describing someone, can you imagine if Snow White had been characterized as such? It might have painted the whole fairy-tale in a very different light.

Some cadaverous people would be Sweeny Todd, Frankenstein and, of course, Lurch, from the Addams Family.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Horror TV

If you're looking for a horror program this October, one to make you cringe or, at the very least, say, "What the hell is going on?" I have a few suggestions for you.


It's creepy. It's kooky. It's all together gross, really. The two main actors in this, Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, really bring their characters to life. While, yes, it certainly is terrifying and suspenseful, it's also weird, like an art school student went to town on it. Maybe that's why it's so captivating. Even though you know what's going on, you still don't know what's going on.You may have red the books and seen the movies, but this show is guaranteed to draw you in, then you will be awaiting the next season the edge of your seat like the rest of us. Beautifully written, wonderfully acted, I promise you won't be disappointed.

And could someone please help Will Graham?

Bates Motel

Hey, I was skeptical and wasn't sure what to expect too. The thing about Bates Motel is, it probably shouldn't work. It takes place pre-Psycho, obviously, and features a very young Norman Bates. While I don't really liked it when remakes or sequels delve too deeply into the minds of the characters (think Rob Zombie's Halloween, which I loathed) Bates Motel is an exception. It develops the uncomfortable mother-son relationship we knew obviously existed before Norma died and Norman's psyche broke. Once again, the acting is phenomenal.

American Horror Story

Pretty much the only show that constantly has me saying 'What Da Fuq'. No matter what I think is happening, I really haven't a clue. There are too many twists and turns to keep track of, so I with a shocked expression on my face and ask things like, "What the hell is going on here?" And the opening credits of season two really freak me out. One of the most awesome facets of this program is the recurring cast members who play different roles each season. A brand new story line each year, sign me up. Keeps things interesting. Also, it has that Evan Peters in it, who is just a living doll, and the mother from Six Feed Under, who I always loved (another tv show you need to invest time in if you already haven't.)

I am currently watching Asylum, but will definitely be partaking in Coven next.

Hemlock Grove

This is a new addition to the television programming cue and I have to say, I haven't the foggiest idea of what is happening. A werewolf, a cyborg-ish girl with one big eye, dead bodies, immaculate conception, and a weird science lab brings together an ensemble cast of oddballs for what? No clue. But I am drawn in to keep watching. I only hope the end result with be worth it. So, fingers crossed someone doesn't wake up and the whole show was a dream. This is a Netflix special which means you can binge watch all the season in one fell swoop, much like The Killing (also, another fabulous show).

Now, do you have horror television you'd recommend to me? 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Freddy's Revenge

As it turns out, I hadn't actually watched Nightmare On Elm Street #2. The original is, obviously, a classic, but the follow up is a bit confounding. It's called Freddy's Revenge, but I'm not too sure where the revenge part comes into play. Like, I can't even be certain who Freddy is reaping revenge on. After all, not one character from the first movie actually appears in this follow-up.

Here's a brief rundown of the plot. New kid in town Jesse is living in Nancy's old house (five years after Johnny Depp died), sleeping in her old room, and soon is visited by her old pal Freddy. Except, in this one, Fred isn't only causing kids to have sleepless nights, he's trying to take over Jesse's body. Why? I'm not sure. And I can't really give you much more, since it isn't explained or developed very well. In fact, all I can surmise is the film was only created to ride on the coattails of the first Elm Street and cash in on the success of the leading man with knives for fingers.

It isn't all bad. There are some gory scenes, though a shockingly low body count, and some great one-liners. The issue is, it isn't clear what's going on. Furthermore, the lead character is so annoying all you want is to watch him die from the get-go. Sounds mean, doesn't it? But he's incredibly whiny! And can't seem to pull the trigger with his girlfriend. I get it, it's hard enough being the new guy in town without having Freddy Kruger's tongue make an appearance when you're kissing your girlfriend.

If there is one redeemable part of this locomotive that runs off the rails, it's the parents. They are delightfully old and think Jesse is on drugs (how cliched!). At one point, the father says, "Jesse doesn't need a psychiatrist, he needs a methadone clinic."

After I watched the movie, I took a look online to see if I missed something important (like the entire plot) and found myself knee deep in articles talking about the homoeroticness of the film, another thing I happened to miss. Apparently, people consider the movie to have a bisexual theme and that Jesse manifested Freddy in response to repressing his homosexuality. If that isn't a reason to come out of the closet, I don't know what is! All jokes aside, I think people dig too deeply into the 'meaning' of things. Sometimes there isn't anything beneath the surface. Personally, I don't think the movie intentionally had homosexual themes, even if that's how it seemed in the end.

Tons of laughs, for sure, but it's definitely one of the most confusing horror movies of the eighties.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Black Death

It has not been a rip roaring start to Horror Fest. Last year I created a most awesome schedule, something I decided not to do this year because I wanted the freedom of changing my mind. The issue with having freedom - it's harder to make a decision. Instead of knowing what I am going to watch, I'm left to my own devices, which means scrolling through Netflix, wasting time on IMDB, and flicking through all the movies I actually own until something strikes my fancy. Problem is, my fancy is unusually picky this year.

Last night's movie of choice? Black Death.

Sounds promising, no? Well, I thought so. Who doesn't want to watch a movie about whether the bubonic plague is God's punishment? The secondary plot is one where devout Christians (one a Monk!) journey to a seemingly immune town that is shrouded in tales of necromancy and dark forces. Apparently, they are going to capture the ringleader and take him back to the Bishop, or some such tale. I can't be certain because I kept getting distracted by Sean Bean and dreaming of his Eddard Stark days.

Oh, yeah, Eddard Stark is in this. And true to Sean Bean roles, he doesn't exactly meet a happy ending. You know who else is in this? Melisandre, the red woman, also from Game of the Thrones. Carice van Houten. And it seems as though she also is suffering from a bit of typecasting because she seriously frowns on God in this one. Not the old Gods, but 'the' God. The big guy in the sky. She also seems to have some of her priestess powers, since she's raising the dead and all. This might have been the woman the Eagles were singing about. (A joke about the song Witchy Woman)

So, Black Death did have a few things going for it. The plot wasn't necessarily a terrible one. There were some choice actors. Except, once they got to the town, the whole thing sort of fell apart. Sure, there are some excellent gore scenes, including a man being torn apart at the limbs, but for the most part it lacked reasoning. For a movie centring around faith, it actually tiptoed around the serious questions it could have explored, including the reasoning behind this town blindly following Melisandre. The reasoning behind it? Because she was there. Not a fulfilling answer, to say the least.

Should you watch this? Why not. It is entertaining to a degree, just don't expect to walk away understanding it. Neither the religious zealots or pagans have many redeeming qualities and the one character they do take the time to flesh out (the monk) is more two dimensional than three. And not to give anything away, but the big plot twist is - there is no plot twist.

The tagline on the poster made me laugh - Journey into hell. More like, journey into meh. This is not a horror movie, no matter what IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes says.