Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Dangers of 'Hot' Food

One day during a sermon at my old church, the pastor told a rather amusing story. When he first came to the United States as an exchange student and was learning English, one day there was an event at which tacos were being served.

Hard corn shell tacos with beef, lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese

Naturally, he had to try these, and was putting lots of sauce on his tacos. The others kept warning him, "It's hot, it's hot," but he dismissed the warnings, thinking they meant high-temperature, not spice.
He didn't elaborate much on the outcome, but I can imagine he found out the truth quickly when he took a bite. I have a cartoonish mental image of him breathing fire, eyes bugging out.

Bottle of Tabasco pepper hot sauce

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Problem With Dystopian Fiction

I've read a few books or book series that involve a dystopian society. It occurred to me one day that of these books, I've pretty much been dissatisfied with every one. Sure, sometimes they can be really interesting, but at the end of the story, I'm not happy.
After thinking about this awhile, I finally came to the reasons why dystopian fiction stories so often fail to impress me. This blog post will be describing a few well-known stories, so beware of spoilers ahead.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Airport Falcons

My father was an airline mechanic for many years, and had a great many stories of things that happened at his workplace.
One such example was the bird problem at the airport. The city birds were a nuisance, and finally the workers at the airport decided to get some recorded calls of birds of prey and play it over the outside speakers, in order to scare them off.
However, what they didn't know was that some of the sounds on the recording were mating calls. Cue a lonely bird, single and looking for love. A peregrine falcon appeared at the airport, and was likely confused as to where its potential mate might be.

Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in flight.

So now, in addition to the menacing sounds of predators, the airport had an actual raptor hanging out there. Eventually, a second one appeared at the airport, and now there was a breeding pair. And hunting pair, too. And in coastal California, it had plenty of seagulls, pigeons, and other such prey to feast on. The runways and parking lots were less safe now that two deadly creatures were patrolling the area, and helping themselves to the occasional wing or drumstick.
Unfortunately, someone later shot one of the falcons and killed it. The man who did it was fined for his action. I think Dad said the remaining falcon eventually disappeared, perhaps flying off in search of a new territory and mate.
But for a while, Dad and the others had the entertainment of watching the peregrines fly around and hunt the other birds populating the area. All because the airport inadvertently summoned some feathered pest control.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

It Is Well With My Soul

Not long ago, I wrote this.

In the song ‘It Is Well With My Soul’, there’s the verse “When sorrows like sea billows roll”. And that pretty much describes my feelings.
“Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well with my soul’”. But often I have trouble with that. Because I don’t feel like things are well. I feel like my soul is aching, hurting, has a big gaping wound in it that weeps and bleeds.

Then a few days later, I saw this post by Reagan Colbert.

It’s not about being well. We may be unwell in our minds, hearts, feelings, bodies, or situations. Everything around us & in us may not be well, but by God's grace we're able to say, amidst the turmoil, that it's still well with our souls.

It's like a reminder that no matter how heavy my heart may be, even when the pain, the sadness, and the grief seem overwhelming at times, not all is lost. At times I feel like I'm shattered into at least a thousand pieces, but here I am, still functioning.
Maybe my heart is wounded and bleeding. Maybe I'm going through a rough time where I don't know what I'm doing, who I am, where I'm going with my life. Maybe this is a transition period and it's hard. But I'm not utterly desolate.

And God is there, through all of it. He's there to pick up the pieces. He's there to bring me wisdom and comfort, to offer His hand when I'm at my lowest. Through Him, I can find rest and refuge and strength, if only I stop and look for it.
Family and friends are there. So many people are there. At times, I find the thing I want or need when I'm not even looking for it. Even when things are hard, there's that ray of light, that way out of the darkness. And God finds a way of pulling me out from the misery.

So as I write this tonight, I'd like to take a moment to thank God for all that He's done for me, the people and the things He's brought to me. And I pray that I don't forget it, don't get sidetracked from it. When things are hard, sometimes all you look at is that pain. But Psalm 121 says, "I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of the heavens and the earth." I just pray I can remember that, and focus on that, and not be lost within the depths of my pain and sorrow.
It's a reminder to anyone, really. No matter how bad things get, no matter how hard it might seem, there's always hope, there's always someone there. Healing takes time. Change takes time. But even though it feels a million miles away, sometimes you just need to have faith, just cling to the promise of tomorrow and the grace of God. Because in the darkest hour, He will never leave or forsake you. Not now, not for all eternity. And that should be our source of comfort, to know that we don't walk alone, that God provides. All we need is faith the size of a mustard seed, and mountains will move.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Being Left-Handed

Ah, the realm of the left-handed humans, the southpaws, the awesome. The people who use the correct hand for tasks like holding a pencil, hammering a nail, petting a cute dog, and playing an instrument. I don't know what all those other people are thinking. I keep telling Mom she's doing things wrong, but she insists on using her right hand...
Anyway, here are a few realities, both good and bad, of being left-handed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Real-Life Animal Crossovers

We're familiar with creatures that look like a cross between two or more animals. Griffins, for example, look like they're part lion, part eagle. Today, however, we're going to discuss some real-life creatures that seem like hybrids.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How To Drive Like a Doofus

We've all seen them. The people who make mistakes in driving, or do something monumentally absurd or inconsiderate. And you just want to give these people a big hug... around the throat. But then again, sometimes we make mistakes too, ones worthy of facepalming or awkward tales to tell your family and friends. Today, we celebrate the goofs and the outright wrongs associated with operating a vehicle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

A Letter to the World

Dear World,

I'd like to apologize for the many tasks I've been putting off. I wish I had a reason like "I've been busy," but that's not really the case. It's a general lack of motivation, a feeling of apathy. And maybe that sounds like a cop-out, a lame excuse. But honestly, I'm just in that stage where I don't have the will to do half the stuff I ought to be. I procrastinate almost everything.

Do that book series review? Nope.
Finish various tasks I've promised people? Nope.
Write chapter twenty-six? Nope.
Get anything productive done at all? Nope.

In fact, I can't even get things done outside of writing and internet. I say, "Hmm, I need to clean the bathroom." Then dust continues to build up on the counters. I notice the floor is dirty. But it's apparently easier to live in filth than to sweep.
On a related note, don't look too closely at my room. There's hair, dirt, and dust on the floors. Clothes bought weeks ago sit in their plastic shopping bags, tags and stickers still on them. One drawer is a jumbled mess I can't be bothered to organize and put away properly.
In fact, don't look at anything, except maybe the ceiling. Don't ask about my computer, finally brought out of the storage unit, but still packed in the box. Don't ask when I'll get a desk to put it on. Don't ask about the weeds outside I say I'll pull. Don't ask about anything.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Realities of Body-Swapping

Most of us have probably encountered books, plays, TV shows, or movies involving characters somehow switching bodies. Perhaps one of the more well-known stories is found in Disney's 'Freaky Friday' movies. Today, we'll discuss some of the uncomfortable realities of body-swapping, including those often less focused on.

Scene from 2003 Disney film 'Freaky Friday' with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis.
"I'm old!" "I beg your pardon?"

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How To Survive a Horror or Action Movie

Most of us have seen some sort of action or horror film. Whether serious or spoof, serious or not, most of us know at least a bit about them. Based on observations of various movies, both believable and campy, here are some tips on how to increase your chance of survival in horror or action movies.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

NaNoWriMon 2018

Every November, NaNoWriMo (short for National Novel Writing Month) challenges people to write a novel in a month, with a goal of 50,000 words to reach. I never manage to write that many words, but it's a good incentive to try writing as much as possible.
Last year, I decided to do something new. I'd seen people on the forums with a Pokemon in their signature representing their word count. It looked interesting, so I clicked on the link, and was sent to a lovely webpage allowing me to create my very own NaNoWriMon. They gain 'experience' as your word count increases, and if they're a Pokemon that's part of an evolution chain, they'll evolve into their different forms if you gain enough words over the month.

NaNo signature- 'You're the only North Star I will follow this far.' -Owl City. Below, NaNoWriMon named Nova

Once NaNo starts and my word count begins to grow, my egg will hatch, and I'll have a beautiful new Pokemon to raise.
Below is Nova.

Meowmocha's NaNoWriMon- charmeleon

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

How To Put Furniture Together

So you've bought a desk, entertainment center, or other piece of furniture, which comes in a box and requires assembly! Congratulations, you've just won a free trip to Mordor.
Below are some stages typical of the building process.

'Domestic incident' turns out to be couple struggling with Ikea furniture

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Misconceptions About Writing

Writing. The big exciting thing that some people do to create epic stories. But it seems this job is sometimes loaded with mysticism, with unrealistic expectations or beliefs. In this week's blog post, we'll be exploring some common myths about writing.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Don't Do That

As a child, I was certain that the yard-duties' catchphrase was "You'll crack your head open!" For example, if the kids on the school playground were dismounting from the swings by jumping off while high in the air, you were sure to hear, "Don't do that, you could crack your head open!"
Such a phrase has the potential to bring vivid imagery to mind. Imagine your skull neatly split open, exposing the complex folds of the brain. Despite all the adults' warnings, however, guess what the kids kept doing? The same things they were told not to do, of course.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

How To Portray Grief in Writing

Today's blog post is going to be about a tricky concept to write. Grief, the thing we inflict on our characters. Or in some cases, we procrastinate killing off that one guy so we don't crush the main character. But I'm not doing that at all, this is just an example, really! (is avoiding Eroendia)
So how do you portray this, and make it realistic? What are some things to do, or to avoid? In this post, I hope to tackle some of these questions.
Note that everyone grieves differently, reacts to situations in different ways. No one's life and personality is exactly the same as another's.
For more information about the grieving process, also consult my earlier posts, 'Stages of Grief' and 'Reality of Grief'.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Stages of Grief

During the grieving process, you may go through phases of feeling unmotivated, frustrated, or other such emotions and feelings. Because the whole grief-comes-in-waves thing wasn't enough. This list doesn't exactly follow the five stages of grief, or even the seven stages; it's somewhat of a modified version. 
Now, everyone grieves differently, so the process will vary. A person won't necessarily go through these in the order I've written them, or do them one at a time. They can hit multiple things at once, and wield the negativity with great... uh, disaster.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Reality of Grief

There are things you don't realize about grief until you're actually going through it. Some people might imagine grief solely on what they see in things like TV shows, movies, and novels. In some of these stories, the characters completely falls apart. In others, the loss doesn't get focused on as much, perhaps in fear of distracting from the main plot.
Today, however, we're not going to focus on the portrayal of grief; rather, we're going to discuss some of the realities, the grim facts of the grieving process.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Second-Hand Stores

We went to Goodwill a while ago, and I saw some curious things for sale. It got me thinking, what other interesting or crazy things have people found at second-hand stores? So I began my research.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Signs You Should Do Laundry

There are two kinds of people in this world when it comes to doing chores: those who get it done, and those who avoid it as long as possible. For the second group, it begs the question: when should you finally start? Or rather, what are signs that you absolutely have to? For today's post, we'll be discussing when you need to deal with the dirty laundry.

Zits comic strip- Huge pile of laundry extending several feet out of washer. 'What do you do when there's no room for the detergent?'
'Zits' comic strip

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

'Get To Know Me (Writer's Edition)' Questionnaire

One of the bloggers I follow, Deborah Kelty, recently posted something on her blog, and invited others to consider themselves tagged if they wanted to follow suit. So without further ado, here are my own answers to these questions.

The rules:
1. Link back to the person who created the tag. (Savannah Grace
2. Thank the person who tagged you. (Deborah Kelty)
3. Tag 11 bloggers. (Consider yourself tagged if interested in doing this)

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Extravagant Weddings

I was reading a book recently, and at the end, they gave you sort of an epilogue with the young girl now grown and about to marry. Her wedding gown was described as having a ten-foot train.
Now, some people read about a ten-foot train and think, "Oh, that's so cool." I read it and think, "Why? It drags over the ground, gets dirty, can be tripped on or get caught on stuff, and it's really unnecessary."

Society seems to have the mindset that when you get married, you have to go all out and buy extravagant, overdone, overpriced stuff. A wedding ceremony is all about going broke and spending the first twenty years of your marriage paying off the debt. I bet half the reason wedding stuff is so expensive is the evils of companies. They hype it up (aka hike up the prices) to be this super-awesome thing you MAJORLY splurge on. It's like how designer labels are more pricey because you're paying for a name brand.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

How to Address an Animal

When we see an adorable, furry creature, our hearts melt. We pet them and tell them how much we adore them. In some cases, an affected person may even produce baby talk. Today, we'll be listing a few ways that animals might be addressed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Reality of Shaving

Every commercial for razors is a lie. The adverts depict a beautiful, smiling woman effortlessly sliding a razor over their perfect, smooth legs. They claim shaving is effortless with their product, that there's no irritation and you get a perfect shave every time within three strokes of the miracle blades.
The reality, however, is much different. If they wanted an accurate depiction of shaving, they should show uneven Kevlar hair, and a woman running the razor over it four thousand times with limited success. Her frustration grows, her skin begs for mercy. Towards the end, she's screaming in agony and her tortured flesh is irritated beyond belief. The perfect model then throws the razor out a window and vows never to shave again.
Note the aftermath, in which the skin may be sensitive for days after this horror. Oh, and the victim's underarms have stubble of at least thirty different lengths, looking more like a molting chicken than the hairless pipe dream companies often falsely advertise.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Cool House Features

Let's face it, we've all dreamed about cool stuff we'd like to have in our future home. Whether it's a huge mansion, a house made of chocolate, or located in the middle of nowhere amidst a lush green forest, we each have our thoughts on what makes the ideal place to live. In this post, we'll discuss some features that every dream house should have.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Weird Words

The English language is filled with interesting or unusual words. Whether they're fun to say, or the spelling and pronunciation rules just don't match up. Then again, the English language conflicts with the rules of the English language, so who am I to bring this up?
Speaking of which, I have a theory about that. One day a bunch of linguists got together for a meeting, and said, "Hey, let's make this as confusing and nonsensical as humanly possible! We'll come up with conflicting rules, words that don't mean what they look like they mean, and an abundance of silent letters!"
Below is a compilation of some of these words.

A commonly used language has a spelling system so bad, spelling words correctly is a broadcasted competition.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Simple Revisions

The problem with writing a story is... you end up doing a lot of editing later. This is even more true if you do things like I do, writing a bunch of story and then actually doing world-building and research. Ah, the joy of setting yourself up for editing, failure, and pain. And after all that, even more revision!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Binge-Listening To Music

Many have heard of binge-watching a TV show. But what about binge-listening to a song or music artist? This got me thinking: what if they actually had to perform their songs whenever you clicked on the file or YouTube video? During these times, the poor musicians would suffer greatly as they had to perform an eight-hour concert or sing the same song a thousand times within a brief period.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Trying a New Church

My mother and I decided we would try out different churches, find one that we liked. There was a Baptist church nearby, so we figured we'd start there.
Upon arrival, a man gave us a brief greeting and handed each of us a pamphlet. We walked into the sanctuary and looked for a place to sit, and a minute or two later, the service began.
A man talked a bit and gave an opening prayer before we sang a couple of hymns. Rather than a projector showing the lyrics, we were told to turn to so-and-so number in the hymnals. Different from other churches I've been to, but it's simple enough to turn to a specific number. There didn't seem to be anyone leading the singing, whereas at other churches, you often have a person or two on stage with microphones. In this case, there was just an older woman playing piano as the congregation sang.

Back of a pew, with Bible and a hymnal on either side of it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Prescriptions For Writers

Some of us may be aware that writers have a great number of conditions, including writer's insanity, writer's block, an obsessive nature, and violent reactions to typos. But not to fear, folks! There are treatments available which can treat some of the things writers experience!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Twilight Saga Brain Drain

Just about everyone has heard of the 'Twilight' saga by Stephanie Meyer. And just about everyone has an opinion of it, whether positive or negative.
This Wednesday, we're going to explore an interesting aspect of the series. Now, a lot of books have technically covered this, and the ways an ability can be misused, but the 'Twilight' saga provides some good examples (plus it's the series that was in my head to begin with), so we're focusing on it.
Now, on to what I'm prattling on about. In the series, vampires are immortal beings, and they have superhuman strength and speed, along with heightened senses. Their mental abilities are also enhanced, so they can think and learn quickly, and they never have to sleep. An ability or personality trait is magnified when they become immortal; in example, Edward Cullen can read minds, and Esme Cullen has a strong ability to love.
Sounds pretty cool, right? Except for that powerful bloodlust, I mean. But let's explore how the vampires in 'Twilight' use their abilities.

'Twilight' saga novels

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Procrastination in Writers

Why it takes so long for writers to finish things, explained.

  1. Avoid opening manuscript.
  2. Invent any and every excuse to procrastinate. You have to check social media. You want to hear this song one more time.
  3. Load file, then see that plot point you're afraid won't work out well.
  4. Hide on Twitter.
  5. Work on outline, then reach the scene where horrible things happen to the main character.
  6. Feel bad because he's so miserable.
  7. Waste an hour on Twitter.
  8. Waste another hour on Twitter.
  9. Waste your whole life on Twitter.
  10. Get no books written.
  11. Die unpublished.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Reasons Not To Get Out of Bed

There are morning people, and then there are people who appreciate the softness of a good mattress, the warm snuggly feeling of being enveloped by blankets, the bliss of a nice pillow. Below are some good excuses reasons not to leave that wondrous, luxurious thing.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Envelope

A friend of ours got a huge envelope in the mail from medical insurance. She feared opening it, worried there were huge forms that would take forty years to fill out. Finally, she couldn't take it any more. She had to know, and so she opened the dread object.

Two-inch-thick package

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

'Book Habit and Currently Reading' Questionnaire

I have been tagged again in a post! About eight hundred years ago, Deborah Kelty wrote a Q&A blog post, and invited me to do the same. I then started this post, couldn't think of great answers for some of the questions, and left it sitting in my drafts. And now I finally made myself finish, so here we go. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Excuses To Avoid Rewriting

We love writing (sometimes), but don't always enjoy rewriting. In fact, I've been putting off rewriting book one for a long while now. Below are some prime examples of why we avoid starting that new draft.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

How To Make a Doctor's Appointment

Many of us have made an appointment with the doctor, dentist, or other such thing in the past. And with some of these, you have to suffer through automated services that take forever to finish talking, being put on hold, or aggravating questions. Below are step-by-step directions illustrating the frustrating process of making a simple doctor's appointment.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Grocery Shopping

After seeing #ThoughtsWhileGroceryShopping trending on Twitter awhile ago, I thought I'd create a post to describe the average shopping experience. I think we can relate to at least some of these, especially the age-old problems of shopping carts that don't steer well, or shopping while hungry.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

My Energy Level At Night

Late one night, I was sitting there on the computer, and procrastinating actually going to sleep. You know, my routine most evenings. Finally, I thought, "You know it's one in the morning. I really ought to go to bed."
As I shut down the laptop and dragged myself to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I had an hypothetical situation running through my brain. "Shouldn't you be tired? It's so late! Aren't you exhausted?"

In reality, however, my brain was still in total Awake Mode. An amusing song I recently found on YouTube was running through my head, and as I began brushing my teeth, I couldn't resist moving around. So there I was at one a.m., dancing around in the bathroom while an energetic song about coffee ran through my head.
So no, imaginary person, I wasn't sleepy.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Medieval Torture- Castle Edition

When looking at places from centuries ago, there seems to be a recurring theme. For example, I was reading articles and looking at pictures of old castles, and found some excellent Death Stairs. These delightful creations are often steep, narrow, or just really long.

Steep, narrow, spiral staircase of misery
Conwy Castle in Wales, built in late 1200s.

And that got me thinking. In old stories, they talk about knights being strong and swift, not easily tiring. Well, they'd have to be, in order to survive going up and down those stairs all the time. One could get an excellent workout just going through the castle.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Curse of the Dowels

My mother and I went to the store awhile back and decided we would buy a TV stand and a desk. Seems simple and harmless enough, right?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Totem Pole of Control in Writing

I imagine plenty of people think the story is the writer's. Nothing happens in the story unless the writer wants it that way. However, that's definitely not what happens. No, the characters yank the story from your hands, then run off with it and do whatever they jolly well please.
While reading an issue of Writer's Digest recently, I saw a great example of this. There was an author who, when signing books, would often write, "I'm sorry about Page 194. I tried to talk her out of it." And he insisted that was really the case; he wanted the story to go one way, but the character did something totally different.
So what is this 'totem pole' described in the title, and what does it consist of? Well, allow me to explain. And no, I'm not winning, as I'll soon discuss.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Conversations With My Brain

In case you thought my only problem was characters, I'm here today to tell you, nope, it's not. In fact, my brain seems to be a wealth of randomness, especially when it comes to blurting crazy things out. Below are a few things dedicated to my insane brain.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Double Jeopardy

My friend and her mother had just moved into a new house, and one night they decided to play the Jeopardy video game. They were having quite a time, until a knock sounded on the front door. They answered it, and to their surprise, a police officer was there. He said there was a report of hearing yelling from the house.
"No, we were just playing a game. Everything's fine." her mother said in confusion.
Once the police officer made sure there was nothing wrong and had left, she turned to my friend. "Were we really being that loud?"
Later on, they found out that the landlord's wife was hearing their frustrated shouts at the game, and had become concerned enough to call someone to check it out. Not at all awkward... 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Realities of World-building

I imagine there's lot of people who think world-building is a simple process. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. In fact, it's often more like trying to get somewhere by running in a hamster wheel, or walking up an escalator that's moving down.
Why is it this difficult? Well, the plot keeps changing, the setting keeps changing, the characters are disagreeing with you, the research you did blew your plans to smithereens, and a rubellius fire-drake set fire to your carefully-compiled notes.
Below are a few examples of why I'm not done world-building yet.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Signs Your Characters Are Stalking You

As we delve into our stories, our setting, our world-building, we sometimes find ourselves discovering things related to our stories when we're not even searching for them.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Precipitation Theory

So at one point, I lived in California, aka the state that's on fire. And for those who don't know, California was going through a drought for a while. Rain, what's rain? Oh yeah, it was that thing I liked when I was a kid. Anyway, we didn't get nearly enough rain, so that was fun. (Not.)

So one day, I was looking at the forum of a writing group I'm in, and someone in England was complaining about the rain. Not just rain, but endless water that was flooding areas. I pointed out the irony of it all: here I was in a drought, and she's drowning. Jokingly, I said, "Hey, perhaps you could bring that excess water my way." Her reply was along the lines of 'I wish'.
That winter, it rained. And rained, and rained. There was one month where it rained the majority of the days. Perhaps one of the reasons this sticks in my mind is because we were having problems with our phone lines whenever it rained, and no matter how often we complained, it did not get fixed, or they would replace the wrong thing, etc. But I digress. So at one point later on, I wrote to her, "Hey, thanks for bringing those rain clouds over here!"
And it wasn't just California, either. In in another state, other family members of mine were in the Land of Eternal Snow. For a while, my second cousins had more snow days than school days. Being in love with snow, I was definitely envious.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

How Not To Write Romance

At one point or another, we've all encountered stories involving romance. Whether a book, TV show, movie, song, or other format, romance is a recurring theme in stories. In this time, we've seen those that do romance well, and those that don't. In today's post, I plan to discuss things that sometimes aggravate people in romance stories. Not that some of these can be well-written, but in many cases, these have been overdone, overdramatized, or in another way are executed poorly. (As a warning, some of these will deal with PG-13 subjects.)
For purposes of avoiding spoilers or having people storm the castle with pitchforks because I didn't enjoy the story, I'm not going to mention many titles or author names in this post. But I think we can all relate to, or even recall examples of, some of these aggravations. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Gelert and the Tramp

Gelert and the Tramp? It should be 'Lady and the Tramp', right?
Well, not today. This Wednesday's post focuses on the parallels between 'Lady and the Tramp', and an old Celtic legend involving a dog named Gelert.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Perfect First Date

My mother and father went out on their first date. They were planning to go to the movie theaters. My father, who was a sci-fi fan, wanted to see the 'Star Wars' movie, which had just come out at the time. Mom wasn't sure, because her sister had seen it and said she wasn't that impressed by it. But Dad really wanted to go, so that's what they did.
Upon reaching the movie theater, my father realized he forgot his wallet. So Mom ended up having to pay for both of their tickets, for a movie she wasn't sure she even wanted to see. They then entered the theater, and sat down to watch the film.
And then, after all of this, guess what? Neither of them even liked the movie. Poor Mom, who was just as disappointed as she thought she would be. And poor Dad, who was so excited to see 'Star Wars', and then was so unimpressed by it.
Mom never let him forget their disastrous date, either. "Hey, remember when we went to that movie I didn't want to see, and then I had to pay for both of the tickets?" Ah, yes, good memories.
(If you don't believe teasing is a thing in our family, ask my friend how I still remind her of the time she fell asleep while we were on the phone.)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

When Characters Interrupt

Trying to write a short story, an old legend involving a war between two brothers of a royal family, and then a character for another time and place came marching in.

"A lot of these stories have likely been romanticised. People may have talked differently back then, but I doubt these stories include all of the facts, the details of who they really were. They make it sound as though the characters were always well-spoken, or portray them as always knowing what to do and what to say. In reality, there's a good chance that perfect conversation actually included debate and disagreement, and not everything was as eloquently phrased.
And those stories about everyone being beautiful or fair? Rubbish. The real queen is fat and stout, and always offends people with her short temper. The real king is argumentative and stubborn as a mule, and the real prince doesn't even follow people's expectations of him.
So if you want a realistic recounting of history, tell the story as it really happened, not just putting words in everyone's mouths. Perhaps it makes our forerunners look better, but I, for one, don't want to be remembered as some mollycoddling woman who just sat back and let everything happen as it may, and didn't stand up to take action when it was needed. It's the people who do things that change the world, not the tittering girls who are eager to please and have no opinion of their own.
And if my behaviour makes people view me as unladylike, then that's none of my concern. Maybe not everyone likes what I have to say or agrees with my choices, but that's nothing new. No one's been universally liked. And sometimes, people need to hear what they don't want to. It's the uncomfortable truths that need to be addressed; they're certainly not going to go away on their own by being ignored."

Er, thank you, Joseline, for your input. And yes, I do know that not everything is filled with eloquent speech or the perfect things to say. (Between you and the Alsterian royals, I'm very much aware of this.)

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Star Trek: Voyager Intro

We're all familiar with that opening line of 'Star Trek' or 'Star Trek: Next Generation': "Space, the final frontier". Now, there isn't actually any dialogue in the intro of 'Star Trek: Voyager', only the awesome-sounding theme music, but there should be. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the new introductory lines for 'Voyager'.

Starship Voyager traversing space
Not exactly a fun cruise ship.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Beren and Lúthien

Stories are populated with romance stories, featuring characters we love and want to see together. Memorable classics like Romeo and Juliet (Romeo and Juliet play), Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre), Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice). Newer stories like Bella and Edward (Twilight saga), Four and Tris (Divergent series), Katniss and Peeta (Hunger Games trilogy), Ratha and Thakur (Books of the Named series).
But today I'm here to address an epic romance which is lesser known than some of the above tales. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Beren and Lúthien.

Beren and Lúthien standing in a forest
'Beren and Lúthien' by Marilena Mexi

Saturday, February 10, 2018


So I came up with an excellent new product, a delicious brand of candy. What are these products, you might ask, and what's so great about them? Well, I'll tell you.

Jaw-breaker candy, assorted sizes

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Kitten of Mass Destruction

Pay no attention to that cute face or tiny stature. She's a threat to all things fragile.
I'm talking about that little brown tabby, the kitten I was looking after while her owners were away. She's more destructive than the 400 lb Rottweiler she shares her home with. They say cats are graceful, but clearly she hasn't learned to harness that magic yet.
So sit down, and allow me to spin you a yarn about the kitten of mass destruction.

Brown tabby cat curled up on armchair

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

American Football

Ah, football. The iconic sport played by many people. But what is this sport, and what does it consist of? And why on Earth is it even called football? Today, we'll explore the innermost secrets of this game, and its surprising history.

Ye olde football

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Dog Clock

Ever find that the animal actually knows better than you do? Below is a conversation I had with a chihuahua a while ago.

Dog:  (sits in front of human and stares up at her)
Me:  You want to come up on my lap? (reaches down)
Dog:  (backs away)
Me:  Okay, fine. (ignores her and turns towards computer)
Dog:  Yap!
Me:  Then come over here! (reaches for dog again)
Dog:  (evades me)
Me:  Fine. I'm ignoring you.
Dog:  Yap! Grumble...
Me:  What is your problem, dog?
Dog: (thinking) It's treat time, you fool! Can't you tell time?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Serious Fantasy Characters

A young writer walks into a chaotic room filled with immature people laughing, trading witty banter, rough-housing, and throwing things.
"All right, guys, listen up. Hey, guys." the writer shouts.
The chaos continues, and she is forced to duck a flying toy.
The noise stops, and an unusual silence falls over the room as they stare at her.
"Okay, listen up. I want you all to be serious for a few minutes. There's a serious scene coming up, and it's important that you behave during it."
Everyone nods and murmurs agreement, too afraid of the cranky writer to dare offending her. After all, they remember what happened to some of the more unfortunate characters. 
"Good." the writer says. "Commence scene!"

Sunday, January 14, 2018

How to Design a Home

So we agonize over the perfect things for our home. What will look good? What things will be super-cool, epically awesome, infinitely memorable...
Anyway, to help you with your decision-making, here are some ideas for decorating.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

How to Tell if You're a Computer Addict

We spend a lot of time glued to screens. Whether TV, computer, or phone, we are obsessed with the little glowing rectangles and squares. In this post, I've included a list of warning signs that an individual may spend too much time in front of a computer.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

How To Create Titles

So I found this image awhile back, and realized I've been writing titles wrong all this time.

words in here ghghg hg hgh ghg hgh ghg. WORDS words words words words words

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Return From Hiatus

Okay, technically I returned from hiatus awhile ago. But it doesn't change the fact that I disappeared for a full month. Yes, a month.