Friday, 30 October 2015

The Villain Test (part 1)

(In this post, I'll mostly be talking about villains (which is a certain type of antagonist) but The Villain Rule can be applied to any antagonist.) 

We all know that there are a lot of villains out there that majorly suck. (It's gotten to the point where I want to gorge my eyes out whenever I see a particularly cliché villain.) You know the type. They live in dark castles/caves/other top secret lairs, have disfigurements or other scary physical features, plot against the hero while wearing dark, dramatic clothing and want to destroy or rule the world for pretty much no reason. They also enjoy kidnapping the movie's Pretty Love Interest and monologuing so the hero can save the day while foiling the bad guy's stupid plan. 

Granted, Nero from Star Trek (2009) doesn't kidnap the love
interest but he lives in a big scary spaceship, wears dark,
scary clothes, has scary tattoos, wants nothing more than to
destroy the world for revenge... Source

These bad guys make me want to cry. 

Antagonists could be so cool! People who think differently to others are really interesting to explore, and villains are a prime example of this. Who else would be crazy enough to do something that's morally wrong? Do they even think it's wrong? If they know it's wrong then how are they justifying it? Do they need a justification? Do they like doing something evil? Bad guys are just so interesting, but, in my opinion, they're never given the characterization they deserve. They're usually reduced to plotting some evil plot in their evil lair with their evil clothes because evil. A lot of the time, this is because the writers either a) couldn't be bothered to do some proper characterization, b) needed something to drive the plot or c) thought that going with the "pure evil" or "evil because of one tragic thing in antagonist's past" thing was good enough. 


If you go with this, your story is going to suffer. When I say "The Dark Knight" one of the first things you think of is the Joker. Why? Because he was a villain who rocked. Moriarty in Sherlock. Loki. Magneto. These weren't bad guys. They were characters and people loved them. (Can I just take a second to say how awesome Magneto is? He's a bad guy who actually makes some sense, while occasionally Professor X gets it wrong. Sure, his goal of destroying all humans is kinda evil, but he's just looking out for his people. And besides, humans started it!) 



Magneto is just so darn cool. Source.

At this point, I'd like to introduce part one of my Villain Test. This was inspired by Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor 2: The Dark World. Basically, it goes along these lines:

If you can swap your antagonist for another from another story (especially one of your own) and have no effect on the story, then you're doing it wrong.

Let's use Marvel as an example (because Marvel is still pretty cool, even if most of their antagonists only exist to drive the plot). 

Source

Exhibit A: Ronan, the Plot Driver. In Guardians of the Galaxy, Ronan wants to destroy Xandar because his grandfather and his father were killed by Xandarians. I would tell you more than that, but I don't know much else. I know he's evil because he lives in a big, dark, scary spaceship and he kills an innocent good guy within the first minute of being introduced. Yeah, if that didn't quite hit home the point that he was the bad guy, he then kills a bunch of people in a different spaceship who had nothing to do with the fight between Ronan and the good guys. 


E
xhibit B: Malekith, the Plot Driver. Malekith is the antagonist in Thor 2: The Dark World and he wants to bring the universe back into darkness. Why? Oh, um, stop talking and enjoy the explosions. Later, he wants to destroy the universe and get revenge on Thor. Once again, he lives in a big, dark, scary spaceship and kills his own people within the first minute of being introduced. Once again, if that didn't quite hit home the point that he was the bad guy, he also kills a semi-important character. 

In case you weren't seeing the similarities, they were both introduced as "evil", then their characters were left alone because look! Handsome heroes! Pretty girls! Explosions! Science! Fighting! 

Both of these characters would fail The Villain Test because they could swap movies and nothing would happen to the plot. This is an extreme case, of course, because they're both aliens in the same universe so they're bound to have similarities. However, excluding that fact, if you look at their personalities and motivations they're exactly the same. Sure, slightly different circumstances. But they're both driven to kill innocent people because of revenge. 


If you have an antagonist in your story that could be swapped with a bad guy from another story without any major plot repercussions, then something's wrong. This is especially true if you have written more than one book and all or any of your villains could be changed out for each other. 


This isn't terribly hard to fix. Spend some time with your villain. Discover his/her past, and all of it. Not just "Lizzy's parents were killed by the good guy's team when she was five and now she wants to kill the good guy", but everything. Does she get along with her aunt that she was sent to live with? Did she want to become a musician because it reminded her of her parents? Does she do well in school? Did someone break her heart? Is she an introvert or an extrovert? 


Next week, I'll reveal part 2 of The Villain Test which will be super fun because I love blabbering about villains. (Except when my villains fail the test. *sigh* Back to the drawing board.) Who are your favourite villains? Do your bad guys fail or pass part one of The Villain Test? 

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

On being asked if I'm American

I wrote a post not too long ago about the questions I hate being asked the most. One of those was whether or not I was American (and thanks to my accent, I get asked that quite a lot). That got me wondering why I don't love being asked that, hence the following ramblings. 

I have nothing against Americans. The US has great shopping and movies and food and music and history and people. Americans have always been lovely to us and we've travelled quite a bit around the States because it really is a beautiful country. We used to go down to Seattle every summer and watch a Mariners game (and strangely enough it was a lot of fun, despite the fact that I don't get baseball (at all)). 

So why don't I like being asked if I'm American? 

I think it's because some people lump Canada and the US in the same country. They're right beside each other, the people have similar beliefs, political systems, weather and culture so I suppose it's totally understandable. But we are separate countries. Someone has even asked if Canada was just a big city inside America. (?!?!?!) 

I think in some ways that Canada has always been considered to be inferior to the US, too. I remember when we bought a bunch of fighter jets and Mom said it was to keep up with the US. We have less famous actors, singers and athletes. The Americans revolted while the Canadians dug deeper into their pockets for more tax money. Search up "Canadian military memes" on Google. Sad stuff. And I realize Canada isn't inferior and that both countries are great for different reasons, but it's always in the back of my mind for some reason. 

So I think the reason why I don't always like being asked if I'm from the States is because in my mind, I'm hearing that Canada isn't important enough to be called its own country. 

I realize it's a bit insane of me. 

Ok, a LOT insane. 

It's this totally irrational thought that I haven't quite dug out of my head yet. When I'm asked if I'm American I'm hearing "well, the only country in North America with that accent is America and that other insignificant country so I should ask if she's American." I'm not trying to distance myself from the US because I don't like them (and I assume that's what most people think when I say I'm not American? They always apologize after.) When I say that I'm not actually American, I'm Canadian, I'm trying to say that we matter too and that I'm proud to be from Canada. 

I realize it's irrational of me and I am in turn stereotyping Australians on their stereotypes and geography skills (which isn't cool). Up until now, though, I hadn't realized why I don't like being asked if I'm American. Now that I know, I realize it's time for me to stop stereotyping others and allow myself to relax a little. I'm over thinking the situation when it's nowhere near as complicated as I'm making it out to be. It's something I have to work on and let go. 

So to the Australians who have asked me if I am American: no, I am not. I appreciate you asking and I'm sorry if I've ever snapped at you. I will try harder to not stereotype in the future. 

To all Americans: keep being awesome. 

To all Canadians: thanks for sharing such an awesome country with me. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Movie reviews: Pan, Tomorrowland, The Martian

So basically I've been watching a lot of movies lately, hence the triple reviews. (And I somehow managed to miss Tuesday's post, so I send my virtual appologies.) 

Pan
Source

This is the prequel to Disney's Peter Pan where Peter must defeat Blackbeard and save Neverland. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Yes, it is a kids movie so it went a bit light on the violence (the Neverland natives exploded into a puff of coloured powder when killed, for example) and there weren't exactly a whole lot of dark themes going on, but it was a great adventure. Neverland felt like a real, living, breathing place that's just out of reach, a place that can only be visited in our dreams. I loved the characters, how they each struggled with stuff and how we got some history on Peter and Hook. My only real complaint was the Chosen One cliché. Wouldn't it be a whole lot more interesting if the character chose to save people instead of being force into it? Just sayin'. Overall, though, it's a fantastic adventure through half-forgotten dreams. 

Tomorrowland


Source

Based on the rollercoaster in Disney World, the story follows a teenage girl and an older dude who embark on a journey to another dimension, Tomorrowland, in order to save the world. I really, really, really wanted to love this movie. And there was so much potential! The characters were great, the acting was awesome, the world building was so cool, the themes were amazing... and the plot was super hard to follow. I know, it's a Disney movie. The plot shouldn't be really hard to follow, but I have so many questions! 

***SPOILERS***

Why would you deport a kid who created a machine who can tell the future at age 11? (He lost hope, yeah, whatever, but the leader dude lost hope too!) Why didn't anyone tell anyone else about Tomorrowland? (I actually looked it up and there's a whole sequel that explains it, but you shouldn't have to look it up to understand the plot.) Why are the robots trying to kill everyone? Why didn't Casey do anything when the whole time everyone was telling her that only she could save everyone? Can we get any history on Tomorrowland at all? 

***END SPOILERS***

It was cute, funny, had a great message and had an awesome tone/setting but I just got really confused. I'm wondering if it was me being stupid, but there's so much stuff that was unexplained that I couldn't help but walk away disappointed. 

The Martian


Source

A team of astronauts leave Mars during a storm, only to leave Mark Watney behind after believing he was injured and killed. The trailer led me to believe that it would be seriously intense like Gravity, but it was actually pretty funny. There were a couple of intense moments but for the most part it was pretty calm and just focused on Watney's struggle to survive. There were funny moments, some great science and it was awesome how strong Watney was through the whole thing. (He never gave up and he was super positive through the whole thing.) I think it could have delved into his mental state a little more; we got a few glimpses here and there but we could have seen more. Beyond that, it was a great movie.

Has anyone seen any of these movies? Did you enjoy them? Dislike them? Mixed feelings? Comment below! 

Friday, 16 October 2015

Beautiful Books linkup

Cait is doing a linkup for NaNoWriMo books, and even though I'm not doing NaNo I thought it'd be fun to talk about my WIP. So I get to answer questions about me! Yay! (And I've changed the questions slightly because I've already written the thing.) 

1. How did you come up with the idea for your novel, and how long have you worked on the story?
I was reading Terry Prachett's Diskworld series and liked how a) death was personified and b) he was hilarious. I'm also a fan of The Book Thief so those two books really got me into the personification of death. It kinda just snowballed from there, I guess. I've been working on this for a long time; late 2013 maybe? 

2. Why were you excited to write this novel?
Sarcasm, sacrifice and scythes, basically. I really wanted to do another version of death; what if he was just this guy who had a particularly demanding day job? What if he hated his job? What if he was friends with a musician with a pink streak in her hair? After I started writing it, I really grew to love the protagonist, Zoe, so that was pretty awesome too. 

3. What is your novel about, and what is the title?
The title is Zoe + Death, BFFs. It's a story about Zoe and Death (who are best friends, in case you didn't pick that up) who have to save Zoe's mom and the universe at the same time. There's guitars and minion-like employees and uniforms, too. 

4. Sum up your characters in one word each. 
Zoe: awesome (it happens to be her favourite word, too).
Death: haunted (he has a bit of baggage from his job). 

5. Which character(s) were your favourite to write? Tell us about them! 
I adored writing Zoe. In my first manuscript (The Creature of the Night; if you want there's a blurb on my writing page) the voice was very formal and serious, so with this book I let my inner stereotypical teenager out (For example, "dude, that was awesome!"). She wants to be a musician, she hates school, she has a pink streak in her hair and she's fiercely loyal to her mom and Death. She will (and does) go to then end of the earth to save the people she cares about. Zoe's also pretty selfish, she doesn't care what anyone else thinks and she knows how to have fun with her friends. 

6. What is your protagonist’s goal, and what stands in the way?
Zoe needs to bring her mom back to life after she dies. Except there's this rip in the universe, so Death's employees are all on strike and trying to either kill or capture them. Plus the police are looking for Zoe because she's an orphan on the loose and she isn't exactly a law-abiding citizen. Then Death starts breaking down because his job sucks. It's a wonderful spiralling mess. 

7. Where is your novel set? 
Florida. Which was fun (sarcasm) because I haven't been to Florida for years, so my setting descriptions probably suck.

8. What is the most important relationship your character has?
Zoe's most important relationship is her friendship with Death. They are best pals and probably could have been siblings. They argue, they annoy each other to death and they would gladly sacrifice everything they have for the other. 

9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
Zoe is a pretty selfish human being, so she has to figure that out. Is she willing to give up what she needs the most to avoid the apocalypse? Where does she sit on the scale of importance? She also has to learn that she can't keep her feelings bottled up because she tends to just shove her emotions aside. It works for a little bit, but then everything kind of explodes in her face. Death is her friend, and she needs to learn to communicate with him (and vice versa.) 

10. What themes are in your book? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
A big theme in Zoe + Death, BFFs is sacrifice. Zoe and Death continually sacrifice something for something else, whether it's a choice between saving one person or the other, one person or the universe, yourself or someone else. Would you sacrifice yourself for the universe, even if it leaves the world and your friends vulnerable? Is one life more valuable than another, and if you had to choose who would you give up? 

Another theme is the inevitability of death. It's constantly chasing Zoe and Death and they have to face it (and make some sacrifices.) Is it worth it to try to outrun or even fight death? Does death always catch up in the end? 

I would want my readers to feel drained but happy at the end. There's a lot of hard stuff that goes on for my poor characters, after all, death isn't an easy subject. I know when I'm working on it, I feel like death is inevitable but if we live life to the fullest (and friends are a huge part of that) then we can meet death head on and be awesome people while we do it. I feel like that and I know my characters get the message, so I'm hoping that bleeds out into my readers, too. 

***

Well, that was fun! Thanks for reading and if you did the linkup make sure you tell me in the comments so I can go check it out. If you didn't do the linkup, then tell me about your WIP anyways. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Bonus Post: Tag of Randomocity

I get to try something new today! (*confetti*) 


I was tagged by RM Lutz at The Book Hound (thank you very much, RM! (and you should check out her blog, too)). 

Ok, I have to answer some (quite random) questions and give two truths and a lie about myself, and all you lovely jabberwockies can guess which is which down in the comments. 

Two truths and a lie: 
-I've been to France
-I'm a huge Beatles fan
-I used to play badminton

And the questions: 

What is one food that you can (and do) eat mountains of food because you love it so? 

Chocolate, hot chocolate, chocolate milk. Yeah. I think I'm addicted. 

If you were a traveler without roots, would your home be a train car, hot air balloon, a boat, or just a pack on your back? Or maybe another option?

A backpack, definitely a backpack. I was seriously considering a hot air balloon, but then you have to find somewhere to tether it down and it would just be a whole lot of work. With a backpack, you can carry everything with you and go wherever and not have to worry about a huge hot air balloon. 

Name a celebrity you wish you could spend one day with.

Any of my favourite authors. Eoin Colfer, if I was super lucky. (CAN I JUST SAY THAT THE ARTEMIS FOWL MOVIE NOW HAS A DIRECTOR AND IT'S TOO AWESOME ARTY IS MY FAVOURITE SERIES EVER HOW HAVE I NOT TALKED ABOUT THIS YET???) 

What fictional character's house would you like to have as your own?

Hmmm, Cair Paravel from Narnia, Manderly from Rebecca, Hogwarts from Harry Potter, Bag End from Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit and the Leviathan from Leviathan

I'm not too sure how many of these count as houses, but whatever. 

And I've put a lot of thought into this. (I'm still waiting for my Hogwarts letter, just saying.) 

If you could take a class in anything, what would it be? 

Real life classes: geography (I didn't have any more room in my timetable), self-defence, Life 101 (how to change a tire, how to rent an apartment, etc.), a writing class, a book class (basically where you read books and talk about them, but for school) and a current events class. 

Non-real life classes: how to become a wizard, Jedi, Ranger (LOTR), airman (Leviathan) or pirate (Peter Pan). (Because why not?) 

Name a childhood obsession.

Books, the ocean, movies, music, Artemis Fowl. My interests haven't really changed a lot. 

What do you think would be an awesome theme for a party?

Star Wars or Harry Potter. How could would that be? (May I also just point out that STAR WARS 7 TRAILER IS AMAZING AND I'M SO EXCITED!!!) 

Have you ever been involved in any clubs or groups?

Interact, soccer, futsal (indoor soccer), writing group and sound tech (we run assemblies and cultural nights by doing sound checks and getting the mikes working. It's more exciting than it sounds). 

What's something that you have to buy all the time that you wish you didn't have to? (Nothing unique, like movies or books.)

School supplies. I always seem to be running out of school supplies like whiteout or pens that actually work. 

What park would you choose to visit?

Disney. I don't really care where. I realise it sounds uncultured and a little lame, but come on. It's Disney. I haven't been to Euro Disney but I've been to Tokyo Disney and both Disneys in the US and it was awesome. 

***

Well, that was fun! I hereby tag Aimee and Liz  Make sure you guess the one lie down in the comments! 

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Things I love about snow


1) It sets the mood for Christmas
2) It tastes all fresh and cold and exciting
3) It makes you feel calm
4) It allows you to wear winter fashion
5) Snowmen
6) It covers up the dirt
7) You can dig tunnels in the pile on your front lawn with your siblings
8) Snow angels
9) Skiing and snowboarding with friends and family
10) You can jump from high places and land safe
11) It can take your breath away in more ways than one
12) You can make igloos in your backyard
13) Snowball fights
14) You get hot chocolate after playing outside in the snow
15) You can tag along with your dad when he snowplows a path to school and stand in the raining snow
16) You can burrow down underneath its blankets and feel like a cozy polar bear
17) You can slip down the slides at school and build up a snow pile as you go along
18) It lands on your hair and makes you feel like a snow princess
19) Sledding at the hill near the parking lot of your old school
20) You can make steps out of snow to help you climb onto your fence to ambush siblings

Friday, 9 October 2015

The danger of the genre stamp

I went into this whole writing thing as a science fiction writer. I read a lot of sci-fi, watched a lot of sci-fi and enjoyed most sci-fi. It stood to reason that I would write in the genre I enjoyed consuming.

And it was quite a bit of fun. I typed a lot and this thing called a book happened, and there was sunshine, rainbows, butterflies and free chocolate. (Because free chocolate is the best thing ever.)

For my next book, I stuck with science fiction because I had already stamped my forehead with the sci-fi stamp. ((Metaphorically, of course.) That particular stamp is very cool. It's 3D and revolves and opens a spaceship door to escape into the next galaxy and <insert sci-fi babble here>.)



My novel wasn't nearly as hardcore sci-fi as Star Wars,
but I think it was still sci-fi. *shrugs* Anyways, it's a good excuse
to put a Star Wars poster in.


But then. Oh, the horror.

It turned into a sci-fi fantasy novel.

I was very confused, as you could imagine. I was a science fiction writer! I was the creator of evil experiments, gadgets and secret organizations! I did not write fantasy!

After several days of panicking, I made myself breathe. It was a sci-fi fantasy novel. There was still some sci-fi in there, no need to panic.

So obviously for my next novel I dived head first into the high fantasy genre, and I'm okay with that.
But how did this strange genre jumping thing happen? More importantly, is it okay? (And most importantly, will there still be free chocolate?)

Well, how it happened was pretty easy to answer. They were different stories. One story had to be a sci-fi and the other had to be a mix, and the last one had to be a high fantasy. There was no other way for me to tell my story with the characters without writing in those genres. It was in the name of art, and I'm cool with that.

Is this genre jumping alright, though? You hear lots of advice about keeping to a single genre so you don't confuse your reader. After all, if your favourite author writes historical romance then it's going to be a bit of a surprise if you pick up their newest book to find it's set on Saturn where the last remains of humanity must defend themselves from invading space bugs.

For some reason, the Internet is short of images involving a
desperate last stand against invading space bugs on Saturn.
Spidey's filling in for it, don't you worry. 

The thing is, though, that if you stick with the same genre then that stamp on your forehead is going to dig into your skull and start defining you. You'll be known for writing one particular genre, and the longer you write the same thing the harder it'll be to escape. (And may I point out that it's okay to keep writing the same thing, but if you want a break then it'll be harder to do so. Not only will your readers get upset, but you'll probably have a hard time adjusting, too.)

What's a writer to do, then? I would suggest trying different genres, even if you're not too sure about it. I had no clue how to write a high fantasy (and it probably shows in my writing) but I'm learning something. And I'm enjoying it.

There are only two conditions. One, don't write in a genre you don't like. I'm sure you're awesome, but you probably won't be good at something you dislike. Two, keep your style and voice. Without them you're floating in a vast, endless ocean with no life raft. (Not a past time I'd recommend.)

(And to answer the chocolate question, yes, there probably will still be free chocolate. And on a side note, maybe not all of your readers will appreciate your new direction. Some will, though, and you might pick up new readers. (And on another side note, my next genre to try out is contemporary, because why not?))

If you keep expanding your horizons, pushing the limits, taking risks, you'll find your writing will improve. And even if it's a total failure, you've learned something. In my book, that's not a failure.

Why would we want to box ourselves in a tiny corner of the universe when there's whole galaxies to explore? I challenge you to wipe your genre stamp off your forehead and replace it with a writer's stamp. Get out there and explore!


Have you ever genre jumped? Did you enjoy it or would you rather not repeat the experience? Comment below!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Questions I hate being asked

Just as a disclaimer for all you jabberwockies out there, if you've asked me any of these questions before I (probably) won't come at you with a sledgehammer. Promise. I will, however, ask that if you're going to ask one of these questions - which I'll usually answer without a problem - that you at least word it differently or put a spin on it. Seriously, I get asked these questions a lot. And it gets very repetitive. (And as a bonus, I've now answered all the questions! So now I suppose I can just refer people to this post...) 

1) Where's your accent from?
Well, my accent is from me, but I'm from Canada. I don't like this question because a) it's badly worded and b) because it reminds me that I stick out as soon as I open my mouth. While it's nice to have an automatic conversation starter, especially if I've just met someone new, having the same conversation again and again gets pretty old. 



2) Are you American? 
This is a variation of question one that I get asked quite often. I get that it can be super difficult to tell Canadian/American accents apart, especially if it's a "typical" American accent. I personally can't tell them apart either and I don't usually mind getting called American, but when you get called American ten times in a row it gets tiring. There is nothing you can do to avoid it except asking an open-ended question, like "Where are you from?". So if I snap at you for calling me American, I'm sorry, but it's probably about the tenth time I've been called American. 

3) Don't you know there's snakes and spiders and crocodiles in Australia? 
You'd be surprised how often I was asked this before we moved. My general response was "Nooooo, what? When did that happen? It's not like Australia is known for having really dangerous and scary animals or anything. I had no idea." Plus, I could never figure out what people were hoping to achieve with this question. Were they trying to stop me from moving for some reason? Were they trying to make me even more apprehensive than I already was? Were they confirming their own fears? WHAT DO YOU WANT? 



4) Why are you moving?/Why did you move? 
I seriously don't like this question because I don't know the answer. I usually jokingly say it was because of the cold, and we all laugh and move on. My family and I have had this discussion many times, and we still can't put it into one complete reason. Yes, it was partly because of the weather, which was depressing and freezing and generally not awesome. But it was also to see the world, to have an adventure. It was getting away from the small-town mentality (I was born here, and I'm gonna die here!), it was spending time in a country that we loved, it was making new memories, it was meeting new friends. And, to be honest, God wanted us to come here and that reason was the hardest to pin down. Why did He want us here? I don't know. Maybe I will one day. But He wanted us here, so He put that desire in our hearts and here we are. 

You trying answering that in one or two sentences. 

5) Do you like Canada or Australia better? 
Seriously? How am I supposed to answer that one? Of course, I'm assuming the person asking is wanting us to like their country better. This usually has undertones of "Where are you planning to live the rest of your life?", which is also a stupid question because I don't have my life planned out that far into the future. Besides, if I say that I like either country better someone is going to be offended. Sometimes I want to say something stupid, like "Oh, I hate it in Australia. The people are awful. I'm moving back the first chance I get", or "Canada is terrible. I'm never going back" or even "Nah, they both suck. I'm moving to France" just to surprise people. 



This question is kind of like question four. I have no idea which one I like better. Individual aspects can be evaluated (Canadian food is better, but you can't beat Australian weather) but the whole country? I love them both. (My life is a giant love triangle. It often sucks.) Besides, this is a question that I've struggled with for the past three years, and I've come up with a decision; I've better start saving now, because there's going to be quite a few plane rides in my future. I can't chose one or the other, because both of them have become such a huge part of my life that it would be like choosing between two parts of myself. 

6) Do you know Justin Bieber? 
I kid you not. I have been asked this at least three times, which, considering the question, is an awful lot. My sister once had one or two girls convinced that his igloo was next to ours, but we were homeless in the summer because our igloos melted. Seriously. 100% true. Do not ask me this. Or, if you want, feel free to. It always gives me something to laugh about later. 

7) Was it cold in Canada? 
This is similar to the snakes and spiders question. No, duh. Canada is cold in the winter. It is also warm in the summer. Surprise! Just like most other places in the world. 



8) It's what season in Australia/Canada? Your school years are different? Really? When did this happen? 
The reason why I get annoyed with this is because I often tell people the answer more than once. Imagine you have ten people asking the question (which I don't mind answering). Then, imagine them all forgetting and asking again. Not fun. Besides, people with a basic understanding of science and how the earth spins on its axis should know that we have opposite seasons. Sure, the school year thing can be confusing but I don't enjoy explaining it 100 times (I covered that topic here). So please, if you've already asked, please try to remember the answer. 

And that's about it! My top eight most hated questions that I get asked all the time. Are there any questions you hate getting asked? 

Friday, 2 October 2015

Writerly things I'm addicted to

Before I get started, has everyone taken the Appreciate an Artist Week Challenge? Yes? Good. Moving on.

***

I've said it before and I'll say it again, writers are weird. We do weird stuff like write for hours and hours because we can, and our best friends are imaginary. (Well, mine are, anyways. No judging!)

Then again, my journey to becoming a writer started with me being a reader, so I'm blaming a lot of the following weirdness on the fact that I'm first and foremost a reader.

I'm addicted to quite a bit of weird stuff (including lists and the following).

Scarves - I know. What? Where did this one come from? It's partly because I take French, and I have it set in my mind that the French wear scarves, but it's also because I have this idea that authors wear scarves as well. Yeah, I don't get it. But I do have a nice collection of scarves (that I can't wear. Because Queensland.) 


Ladders - Another weird one. (I warned you, didn't I?) This one's from Beauty and the Beast, where Belle's singing in the library and she rolls across the shelves while standing on that slidey ladder thing. I was in love instantly. (Forget the prince. Who needs a prince when you have a library?) Recently, because my bookshelf is too tall, I got a ladder that has a permanent place beside my bookshelf. It's not slidey, but it's too amazing to complain about. (I get to climb up my ladder like a librarian! How cool is that?!?!?!)


This has been my fantasy for years. *sighs*

Notebooks - Ever since I started journaling, I've fallen in love with notebooks. Seriously, I just can't say no. I have notebooks that I'm afraid to write in because they're just too beautiful (including a Harry Potter one where the cover is the school uniform and a leather one, both of which are gorgeous). Yeah, I need to start avoiding that section in Chapters.

Books - Well, this one's a given.

Chocolate - Oh. My. Goodness. I love chocolate. Dark chocolate, raspberry chocolate, chocolate milk, milk chocolate, I love it all! There's something awesome about sitting down to read with a bar of chocolate beside you. Who needs to rule the world when there's chocolate? (On a side note, I'd be the worst hero in the world. I'd stand up to the villain and be like "Dude! Not cool!" and he'd give me books and chocolate and I would l be his best friend.)

Armchairs - To sit down in a big comfy armchair in front of the roaring fire with a bar of chocolate while wearing a scarf and reading your favourite book... Heaven.


Do you agree with anything in my list? What are the writerly things you're addicted to?