Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Five: Bad Habits

The last Friday Five of the month is about bad habits. I think my top bad habit is smoking. I've cut back a lot, but I'm still sparking up about ½ a pack a day. The second bad habit is biting my nails. I usually list this as my worst habit but I think it comes in 2nd to smoking. At any rate, it is a nervous habit. The third bad habit I have is cluttering things up. I tend to collect things in piles before I go on huge purges where I throw almost everything away. Fourth is speaking to and about my cats as if they were Human Beings with the ability to understand English and respond similarly. Let me see... 5th is probably procrastination. I wrote about that in two Friday Fives last month though so I feel like I'm slightly cheating on this one. Meh, that's what I got.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Thrift: Making Halloween Costumes

Halloween in coming up and thrift stores are where it's at for costumes! Long before Lady Gaga donned her famous bubble outfit, I had my own version. I used balloons instead of bubbles, but the fact remains that I did it before she did. Yes, I had on clown makeup and an orange clown-fro and a black shirt/pants combo, but I was six so give me a break. I remember my mom making that outfit out of a dollar store bag of balloons, clothes that I already had, and a fancy clown makeup kit (that is where she got the wig of course).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: WJAR International Airport

Today's random Wikipedia page is Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. For some reason, I feel like I have written about another airport at some point during these random Wiki links. This airport is initialed as YWG in airport talk and so I'll use that for the rest of this blog. I'm seriously not typing that entire name or all of the initials out if I don't have to.

YWG is an airport in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It is reportedly the 8th busiest airport in Canada for passengers and 12th busiest for aircrafts. This airport serves Calm Air, Cargojet, Kivalliq Air, Perimeter Airlines, Purolator, Air Canada Jazz, and Westjet. It is the only airport in the entire Manitoba province so it is open 24-7.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Tale: The Frog Prince

The last Tuesday Tale for this month, and for the next several months, is The Frog Prince. In this tale, a spoiled princess befriends a frog. Many versions of the tale relate that this friendship only began after the princess dropped a golden ball into his pond and the frog agreed to retrieve the ball in exchange for her friendship. The tale goes on to the frog transforming into a handsome prince after a) spending a night on the princess's pillow; b) receiving a kiss from the princess; or c) when the princess slams him against a wall in disgust. Take your pick. It is one of the three in the many different incarnations of this story.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Monday Mood: Boredom

Ah a lighter Monday Mood. Good deal. Today is about boredom. Boredom is described as an emotion resulting from a lack of work or interest in the surroundings. There are three types of boredom.

  • ·         Times when we are prevented from doing something we want to do
  • ·         Times when we are forced to do something we don't want to do
  • ·         Times when we are unable to engage with the current activity/surrounds

While chronic and severe boredom is related to depression, it can also be a symptom of attention issues, especially in children. If your child is experiencing boredom in the classroom and getting into trouble as a result, it might be something to mention to your family physician. Your child might exceed the current needed skill set in the classroom (think Gifted) or they might be missing key skills related to the lesson (think Specific Learning Disabilities). They might have an attention issue that can be treated with an appropriate combination of behavior modification, therapy, and medication.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Sales: National Comic Book Day (Maybe?)

I had a great idea for today's Sunday Sale but then I realized I had the information waaaay wrong so I am not going to use it. I will file it away for future reference though. Instead, I will share some Geekdom with you. On the first Saturday of May each year, Geeks across the US, Canada, and in many other countries celebrate Free Comic Book Day. Participating retailers give out at least 1 free comic book to every single customer that comes into their stores. Seriously, all you have to do is show up and they will give you a free specially selected comic title. Check the site for more information.

Now, you might be wondering why I'm talking up a May event in September. Well, today has interesting significance for comics as well... maybe. Not that it is officially recognized by the government or the comic-Gods, but I've heard about it from more than one person and even found a website listing. Remember that "weird September holidays" link from earlier in the month? If you look at September 25th, it lists today as National Comic Book Day.

The event is marked by sharing a comic book with someone else. Buy a copy of a title for yourself and one for a friend. Read an old favorite and loan it to your friend to do the same. Trade titles amongst your friends and acquaintances. This website even mentions that "some stores are rumored to offer free comic books on this day." That is definitely not verified by any major source to my knowledge.

Even if it isn't a "real" comic holiday, celebrate it anyway. Comics are an awesome tool to bond with your kids, relive your childhood, and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday un-Solicitations: Creative Writing for Dummies

Remember last week's Saturday Solicitation about a The Everything X Book? Today's Solicitations post is about another book of that ilk: Creative Writing for Dummies by Maggie Hamand. Yes, the people that made up all those crib notes for the high schoolers and college kids that were too lazy to read Hamlet and MacBeth have written a guide for creative writing. That just offends me for some reason. I'm about to get on my soapbox so stay with me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Five: Why I Participate in NaNoWriMo

I wrote a reminder about National Novel Writing Month for this week's Sunday Sales. I figured it was fitting to devote my Friday Five for this week to NaNoWriMo as well. As a reminder, if you aren't interested in the NaNo and loathe hearing about it, you are probably going to hate me through October and November because that is ALL I'll be working on. Yup. I'm planning to give NaNo tips each day of October and a writing prompt for each day of November. I will be around but I will be working in a dedicated manner that doesn't involve a lot of social media. Sorry in advance for some of you. On to my list.

Top 5 reasons I participate in NaNoWriMo:

Before my first NaNo, I had never completed a single novel idea. I would write an introduction, maybe come up with an awesome character, or just create a good plot. And then I did nothing else with it. The first NaNo I did (in 2009) was incredible in that it forced me to sit and focus on one thing for a certain span of time.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thursday Thrift: Flea Markets

A quick Thursday Thrift today! One great place to make some incredible thrift finds is the local flea markets or swap meet. These are the places where multiple "vendors" get a space to sell their wares to a crowd. My parents used to drag me to the flea market every Saturday and I. Hated. It. I love flea markets now, but back then, it was the biggest waste of my time. Hey, I was an adolescent... I didn't know how cool it actually was to go thrifting yet.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Dragonrider (comic villain)

An interesting random Wikipedia page showed up today. I pulled up the page for Marvel Comics's Atlantean villain, Dragonrider.

This villain was introduced in 1984's Sub-Mariner 4-issue limited series and appeared in issues #1, 2, and 4. This female (yes, I thought by the name that it would be male for some reason) character was created by J.M. DeMatteis and Bob Budiansky. According to the wiki stub, Dragonrider didn't appear again until New Thunderbolts #1-5 in 2005.

Dragonrider was a soldier in the Atlantean army who became a political dissident after seeing the poor remaining poor while the were rich becoming richer. She and a group of rebels sought out magic artifacts to buff themselves up. Dragonrider found a mystic conch shell that gave her control over sea creatures and mutated a sea eel into a dragon. When the resident superhero, Namor, was out of town, Dragonrider led her dragon in an assault against Atlantis. Namor returned in time to capture Dragonrider and arrested her for her crimes, turning a blind eye to her claims of disparate economics in the process. When she was freed, she sought out Namor and fought him again.

Later, she joined At'La'Tique or "Fury of the Sea", a religious organization, and became a member of the aquatic terrorist group Fathom Five. She worked with At'La'Tique and her Fathom Five cohorts in an effort to kill all surface dwelling life forms. The plans were thwarted by the New Thunderbolts when they attacked New York City. Dragonrider and rest of the Fathom Five were arrested and imprisoned following this attack.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Tales: Doctor Know-all

Today's Tuesday Tale is Doctor Know-all

A peasant, Crabbe, saw the food a doctor ate and asked the physician how he could become a doctor too. The doctor told him to buy an ABC book with a rooster on the front, sell his ox and cart for doctor's equipment and clothing, and then advertise himself as "Doctor Know-all."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Mood: Sorrow

This is another heavy Monday Mood. I'm keeping this one short. It is about Sorrow.
Sorrow is an emotion that is more than sadness and borders on resignation. It is closely related to regret, which I covered last week.

Writer Alexander Faulkner Shand related sorrow to be the result of an interruption of an impulse (his theory connected sadness, fear, anger, and joy as primary emotions). In Shand's view, the results of sorrow are split between clinging to the object of sorrow and seeking to repair damage to the object that caused the sorrow. He related sorrow as the root of pity. Psychologist William McDougal disagreed with Shand and cited Shand's own admission that sorrow came from those four simpler emotions. McDougal supported his theory with grief, a form of sorrow that does not include an impulse to repair any injury. Additionally, he reasoned that sorrow contains emotional pain while pity does not and thusly stated that sorrow is not the root of pity.

To me, sorrow is emotional suffering due to grief and regret. Mourning the peaceful death of a loved one is an example of sorrow. While an unexpected death (such as that of a child) might cause one to cling to the expired life, a peaceful passing of an aged relative is generally looked upon as a blessing. Mourning in each situation is different and I would call the former anguish while the latter would be sorrow.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Sales: NaNoWriMo

Today's Sunday Sale is getting a jump on one of my favorite things: National Novel Writing Month. It is time to commit to participating in the insanity, think about what you will be writing, and begin planning out a daily schedule for November (really, it will save you so much time). Go to and sign up. October and November will be devoted to the NaNo here so if you hate the idea, you might want to avoid this blog for all of October and November.

During those two months, all dailies will be put on hold. October will feature tons of information on how to plan ahead for the NaNo, including articles to read, general NaNo information for the newbies, and a semi-strict suggested timeline of events that will make your life so much easier in November. I know that the NaNo will be a month away at that point, but I will be very busy finishing my 2nd NaNo project (so that I can start the 3rd) for 2011. November is the month. I will be writing every day and will be fairly inactive on all social media during the month. I will probably Tweet word counts at the end of the night. I have a writing prompt for every day of the month that some folks might find interesting or helpful in getting writing going for the day. Other than that, unless something huge happens in the world, I will be in my own fictional world waging war and playing with faeries.

I hope you will be participating! I strongly urge you to sign up and check out your local forum now. Many/most regions host a kick-off party in mid-October and they announce the time/date/location as soon as the details can be nailed down. My region usually has a group discussion of the kick-off in mid-September with the kick-off party scheduled in mid-October. The kick-off party is a great place (especially for new NaNoers) to meet other participants, get questions answered by the Municipal Liaisons, and get inspired.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday un-Solicitations: The Everything Creative Writing Book

The next two Saturday Solicitations are about some books that I don't necessarily advocate people picking up, but felt the urge to review them anyways. Today's book is The Everything Creative Writing Book by Wendy Burt-Thomas. It is one of those books that supposedly has everything (like the title says) that you need to know on a particular subject. I have read several of these books and my opinion has been the same each time: While informative, the books are overly broad, covering a very wide range of topics within one generic umbrella topic.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Five: Favorite Fantasy Creatures

Just a short list today for Friday Five: My favorite fantasy creatures. I don't really have time to get into the specifics but I am a fantasy author so each one shouldn't need to be explained. First, my absolute favorite are the fae. All shapeshifters (including Weres) are 2nd. Dragons are 3rd. 4th is Cerberus. And 5th is the Fates (a.k.a. Moirae/Parcae/Norns). Sorry this is so short today. Busy, busy day!

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Thrift: Humane Society Thrift Stores

I have written about thrift stores that benefit recovering drug addicts, work programs, and counseling for struggling families. What I haven't touched on is thrift stores that benefit the furry (or scaled, feathered, etc.) members of our society. The Human Society of the United States (here) is the "nation's largest animal protection organization." They are our animal advocates, working tirelessly to create, change, or overturn laws pertaining to critters, work (often in conjunction with police) to investigate alleged animal cruelty, reform industry ideas (fur is bad), and rescue animals through their sanctuaries, emergency centers, wildlife centers, and clinics. The Human Society is often called for emergency rescues in cases of neglect and/or abuse.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Avenue Émile Zola

I got a French page for today's random Wikipedia page. Avenue Émile Zola is a "line 10" subway station on the Paris Métro. The station opened in 1913 as part of the original "line 8" between Charles Michels and Opéra. I am assuming those are street names? In 1937, "line 10" was extended from Duroc to La Motte-Picquet-Grenelle and the original "line 8" portion was moved to "line 10" between La Motte-Picquet-Grenelle and Porte d'Auteil. This move included Avenue Émile Zola.

I just checked and those are not street names, but they are the names of stations along the lines. Apparently there are 16 different lines in the Parisian subway system. Avenue Émile Zola was named after the French writer and political dissident Émile Zola (this guy openly disliked Napoleon III even after the guy made himself Emperor of France. Ballsy fella.) The page has a few photos and a map of the subway route too.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Tales: The Clever Little Tailor

Tuesday Tales time again. In The Clever Little Tailor, the Brothers Grimm introduce a persnickety princess and her suitors.

The princess posed a riddle to her suitors and found that none of them could answer it. She sent them away. Three tailors came to replace the suitors. Two were smart and skilled and the third was known to be useless. The first two tailors scoffed at the little tailor and told him not to bother wooing the princess. The little tailor went anyway. The princess asked them what two colors were her hairs. The 1st said black and white. The 2nd said brown and red. The 3rd said gold and silver. The 3rd tailor was correct.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My family is awesome!

So I'm still technically "away" right now due to some unforeseen events and may continue my "away" status for an unknown ETA. It sucks. But, there has been some silver linings to these dark clouds.

I went to visit my Mom and Dad for a few days before my brother got married. The wedding was fun. The morning after I arrived here, my Grandma (Mom's mom) made me pot roast. *drool* That was so awesome. It is my favorite homemade food. Then the next night, she made me meatloaf, my 2nd favorite homemade food. It was awesome too. My Grandma is amazing. She always makes me my favorite foods, if Mom doesn't beat her to it, when I come to visit. I love her so much!

Needless to say, I'm having a good time. I miss my cats but I enjoy visiting my family.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3

Monday Mood: Regret

Regret is one of those emotions that no one really wants to experience, but is pretty much unavoidable. It is a feeling of sadness, shame, guilt, etc. after events that the person wishes they would not have done. "Sorry" is the most often used expression of regret. It can relate to action or inaction.

Regret is linked to several phenomena. Buyer's remorse is a financial regret of impulse purchasing. Survivor guilt is a mental illness that is found in the survivors of catastrophes in which they feel shame or guilt for having survived when others did not. Existential regret has to do with a wish to change the past in situations of failure to make competent choices or acting against one's values.

A simple explanation of regret is recognizing a past mistake. One of my favorite quotes from writer Mercedes Lackey is: "If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world." Playwright Jonathan Larson wrote "forget regret, or life is yours to miss" in his musical Rent. To me, that means that by focusing too much on the "what ifs" of the past, you can miss out on what life has to offer right now and will result in nothing but heartache. Both quotes are very powerful representations of regret.

I try to live my life with a policy of no regrets. That is really difficult to do, more so as I get older. I try to make good choices in all ventures, live by my morals and values, and avoid "what if" moments. I'm not perfect at it, but it has worked out pretty well for me so far. What about you?

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Never Forget

Today is a pivotal milestone in US History. Today we are marking the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and an attempted attack of the White House or Capital Building.

For those too young to remember 9/11, here is a summary. On September 11, 2001, 4 planes were hijacked by al-Qaeda suicide bombers. Two of those planes crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. One plane hit the Pentagon building. A fourth plane was headed either for the White House or the Capital Building in D.C. but the attack was thwarted when passengers attempted to retake control of the airliner. Instead of hitting whatever target, that plane went down in a field in Pennsylvania. There were no survivors on any of the four planes. The Twin Towers collapsed hours after they were hit, killing more people in the process that had been trapped in the buildings. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks, including over 400 fire fighters, police officers, paramedics, and EMTs that were the part of the first responders to the Towers. Over 70 countries lost at least one citizen in the attack and a huge majority of deaths were civilians.

3 years after the attack, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for these heinous acts. They cited a bunch of bullshit motivations for it... basically they said the US was messing in their affairs and they didn't like it. Stupid. The results of the attack were the War on Terror, invasion of Afghanistan, and the enacting of the USA Patriot Act. It was just a few months ago that bin Laden was located and killed in a firefight with US soldiers in Pakistan. 10 years. It took 10 freaking years to find him. His body was unceremoniously dumped at sea by US forces to avoid a terrorist shrine, even though such a burial is pretty much a big eff you to his traditions.

In the aftermath of 9/11, we got the Homeland Security Act (which created the Department of Homeland Security) and the USA Patriot Act. Hate crimes against Muslims, Middle Eastern descendants, southeast Asians, and Sikhs spiked exponentially in the US. The US invaded Iraq in 2003 and executed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in 2006 in a failed bid to locate weapons of mass destruction.

10 years after 9/11, we are still trying to rebuild and recover from the attacks. The Pentagon was repaired within a year but the degrading economy has forced development of the Twin Towers area to delay rebuilding by as late as 2036. Memorials have been built at the Twin Tower site and the Pentagon. Memorial building at the Twin Towers site continues today. A temporary memorial for the victims that died in Pennsylvania is slated to be removed and replaced by a permanent memorial today on the 10th anniversary.

This is going to be a hard day for many people. Try to keep that in mind as you go about your day. Remember the victims and honor their memories. Participate in memorial events if you are so inclined. They are happening everywhere today. Today is a day to reach out to your fellow man in solidarity and remembrance. Make it so.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Solicitations: Writing Down the Bones

Today's Saturday Solicitations is about Writing Down the Bones. Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg is 171 pages of writing notes, Zen philosophy, and personal journal.

According to the Amazon review, Goldberg associates good writing with, of all things, good sex: keep your hand moving, lose control, and don't think (those 3 rules are listed on page 8 of the 1986 version). She writes that "writers are great lovers" in the section Writing is a Communal Act. She goes on to say "writing is the act of discovery" in A Big Topic: Eroticism. I don't think mentioning sex two or three times over 170+ pages merits such a review, but maybe that is just me.

I really enjoyed Writing Down the Bones the 2nd time I started reading it. It is nonfiction, which I of course have issues reading. The 1st time I started reading it, I didn't get passed the Introduction. Yet, it remained on my bookshelf for years until I picked it up again last year. I've [fully] read it now for the 3rd time. Goldberg does so much more than write about sex... That Amazon review is irritating me right now. The review from The School Library Journal is a much better and a more honest review. It is on the same page as the Amazon one linked above.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Friday Five: Favorite Holidays

I'm not sure why I have holidays on my mind right now. It serves for a good Friday Five though. My top five holidays:

Easter. I am not particularly religious and I don't claim affiliation with any specific denomination, group, council, sect, whathaveyou. Easter is my favorite holiday though for one specific reason. As a child, I didn't spend much time with my natural father's family (long story for another time). I missed a lot of holidays with them, but I always spent Easter with my Grandma. And Easter was almost as exciting as Christmas for me as a kid.

As an adult, I hold Easter above Christmas specifically for the memories I have of my grandmother. Easter egg hunting, the "treasure" blanket, and salami roll ups always jump at me. The "treasure" blanket is memorable because Grandma had many, many grand kids and so was not able to buy a lot of stuff for us. At Easter, she set out a number of toys and trinkets (Slinky's, water guns, play dough, etc.) and then would draw a name from a hat. Each kid was listed in the hat a certain number of times based on how many things she got for the blanket. 

It was one of the most awesome experiences of my childhood... the thrill of wondering if my name was going to be called next, planning out what I would choose and alternates in case my choice was snatched up by someone else, and the general euphoria of sitting around with a dozen other children doing the exact same thing. It was awesome.

Click the jump for the other 4!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Thursday Thrift: Celebrities Thrift Shop Too!

I found a couple interesting articles about celebrities that are proud thrifters. This article lists Barbara freaking Streisand (yes, THE Barbara), Tracy Ulman (the chick somewhat responsible for The Simpsons), Mandy Moore, Drew Barrymore, Winona Ryder, Chloe Sevigny, Sharon Stone, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, and Rachel Zoe as celebrities that are known for vintage fashion in one way or another. Read the article... it is pretty great. It has links to a lot of information on these celebrithrifters that I didn't know. Did you know that Sharon Stone frequently buys from a designer that repurposes vintage cashmere and other vintage materials in her clothing line?

This blog adds a few other celebrities to the list: Daryl Hannah, Kylie Minogue and Zac Efron. Pretty cool huh? Do you know of any other celebrities that are known for thrift shopping? Let me know in the comments below (links appreciated)!

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Wednesday Wiki: Pixar's Characters

The random Wikipedia page of the day is the list of Pixar's major and recurring animated characters that appear in their films and movie shorts. The list is set up in ABC order with each group set up in its own table. There are no I, X, Y, or Z characters listed and so there are no tables for these letters. Each table includes some really neat information. First, you get the name of the character (many of the characters have a related linked page too). Then you get the name of the original voice actor for the part and a link to the actor's page. The third column lists the character's debut movie with yet again, more links. There are some easily recognizable names just in the first few tables: Eric Bana, Peter O'Toole, Tim Allen, Ed Asner, Jennifer Tilly, Christopher Plummer, and Janeane Garofalo show up within the first 3 tables (A-C).

Pretty neat page here. I love Pixar films. Some of the original 40-ish members of the Pixar group were involved in the making of one of my absolute favorite animated films, The Brave Little Toaster, back in 1987 which is pretty much my version of Toy Story (on in this case "Appliance Story").

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tuesday Tales: The Blue Light

All of the Tuesday Tales this month are from the Brothers Grimm. That was not intentional. I just looked at the list and saw it.

Today's Tale is The Blue Light. A soldier, recently discharged from the King's service, finds the home of a witch on his journey away from the castle. In return for a night of lodging, the soldier agrees to spade the witch's garden the next day. It takes him so long that he must stay another night. In return, he chops wood. This also takes so long that he is forced to spend a third night. In exchange, he agrees to climb into the well and get the witch's blue light. He figures out that he will be trapped once he hands it over to her so he keeps the light. The witch leaves him in the well anyways.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Monday Mood: Affection

Today's Monday Mood is a variation on the theme of Love. Affection is a type of love that amounts to more than friendship. Whereas love can cover possessions, pets, friends, family, and so on, affection is pertaining to how one would feel about another human being in a generally non-sensual way (sensual affection is more akin to passion).

Psychologists have split opinions on measuring affection. Some feel that it can be divided into two groups (pleasure and displeasure). This measure of affection is defective in that it doesn't take into account the degree of affection one can feel for different pleasures. Others divide it into three groups of related positive and negatives (pleasure and displeasure, tension and relaxation, excitement and depression). Henry Murray, an American psychologist, developed a list of five affection needs that unconsciously play a major role in personality development. His list was: affiliation, nurturance, play, rejection, and succorance (I had to look that one up... it means being helped or protected by others).

Pet names are a simple example of affection. My parents still call me "Sis" instead of using my name. Using the terms "babe" or "sweetheart" for a lover is a pet name. Going vastly beyond how a parent may feel affection for their child, we have PDA. Kids are regularly reprimanded in US schools for Public Display of Affection (PDA) such as holding hands, hugging, and kissing. Such PDA is also common in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Europe. However, in Latin America, teenagers take PDA a lot further in public parks (kissing, petting, and even oral sex in full view of other park patrons with multiple partners). In South Africa, PDA is illegal for anyone under 16. In India, they still uphold a strict no PDA law from the 1800's to this day that can result in jail time or fines. In Pakistan, PDA is a criminal offence and anyone caught must submit their marriage certificate for a reduced sentence or face criminal prosecution.

Do you have a unique pet name that you use for your child or lover? I've heard some weird ones but I'd love to hear more. Let me hear it in the comments below.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Sunday Sales: Paramore

I've been listening to Paramore for a while now. They are one of my favorite bands, and I could listen to lead singer Haley Williams for hours. After some group revisions, Paramore is currently made of Williams, Jeremy Davis on bass, and Taylor York on guitar. Brothers Josh and Zac Farro split ways with the band in 2010 amid some controversy. But I digress.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Saturday Solicitations: The Elements of Style

All of the Saturday Solicitations this month are about writing. To start the month off, we have The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. This is a very small book but it is remarkable. The first edition was written by Strunk in 1918. He privately published the 40-ish page book for use at Cornell University. Since 1918, it has been revised and republished many times but the core of Strunk's work is still there. White, a former student of Strunk's, revised The Elements of Style in 1959. The resulting expansion and modernization of "the little book" became informally known as Strunk & White.

I first learned of Strunk & White when I started writing for National Novel Writing Month in 2009. I don't recall any high school or college English teacher bringing it up or listing it on the suggested reading lists. I'm not really sure why. In my opinion, it should be one of the single most used texts in any composition class. I have the 4th edition paperback from 2000 and it has become incredibly worn in just a couple years. I have seen multiple "big name" writers tout the awesomeness that is this book but for my life I can't remember who.
The 4th edition is 105 pages long plus a 2.5 page Table of Contents, 2 page Foreword by Roger Angell (White's stepson), and 6 page Introduction from White. The font is small and there is a lot of information crammed inside, but it is really good information. 

Like me, many writers were not English majors in college and it has been years since high school English. The first section of this book is Elementary Rules of Usage. There are 11 rules. The other sections are Elementary Principles of Composition, A Few Matters of Form, Words and Expressions Commonly Misused, and An Approach to Style. Also, an afterword, glossary, and index start at page 87. Most writing rules are fairly timeless so I don't consider my 11 year old book to be outdated like modern text books. I could definitely use an updated Words and Expressions Commonly Misused, but I think that is more due to the evolution or rather the decline of the English language. I blame texting and all of the internet for this.

I highly recommend this little book to anyone that likes writing but has issues with editing. If you can commit the contents to memory, then editing will be much less of a nightmare.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Friday, September 02, 2011

Friday Five: My top 5 Writers

September is a crazy month apparently. There are so many month-long and daily holidays. Don't believe me? Check this list. And that is just a list of the weird ones. One that I liked was "Be Kind to Editors and Writers" Month. Sending a special shout-out and ILY message to my wonderful editor, Booksteve! Also, International Square Dance Month is just awesome, but that is a whole 'nother story that I'm just not going to get into.

In honor of BKEW month, today's Friday Five is my favorite writers. I made a list of my favorite series back in June. If you don't remember it, go here. My list of favorite authors is a little different.

1. Garth Nix. This is one of those "duh" things around here. I love this guy. He is fab. Everything he writes is fab. Also, he is Australian so he has an accent.

2. Neil Gaiman. I did not list Neil on my favorite series list because he doesn't really write in a series per say. However, he has written several books that I personally own and have read multiple times. Good Omens and Coraline come to mind. He is solely responsible for the awesomeness of Robert Di Nero dancing in a dress in Stardust. I say that because he wrote the book that the movie was based upon. He is very vocal on Twitter. I follow him on both my official Twitter and my celebristalking account. He also has an English accent.

3. Carolyn Keene. Yes, I realize that Carolyn Keene is a pseudonym for a revolving collective of ghostwriters but it still stands. I found my love of reading in Nancy Drew as a kid. There really isn't much more to say about that.

4. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis tie for 4th place in my list. Some people might flame me for saying so, but in my opinion, they are very similar writers. They were good friends that worked together, wrote together (they were members of the Inklings), and achieved much notoriety within the fantasy genre. Tolkien is considered the "father" of modern high fantasy and was ranked #6 in Forbe's 2008 list of "50 Greatest British Writers since 1945." Lewis came in at #11 on the same list. The article "On Fairy-Stories" that I wrote about in my first Tuesday Tale is arguably my favorite Tolkien piece, although I do love the Middle-earth stories. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia is #2 on my favorite series list. As a standalone story, I really enjoyed Lewis's The Screwtape Letters as well.

5. I rated the two above me together so I could include George Orwell in my list. Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm are two of the best books ever. Seriously, the Modern Library ranked 1984 at 13 and Animal Farm at 31 out of the top 100 English-language Novels of the 20th century. These books challenged modern thinking, showed the incredible pitfalls of ignorance, and coined some vernacular that is still used today (like the term Big Brother). The fact that 1984 has been banned or challenged many, many times speaks volumes of its influence. It is at the top of the list of Wikipedia's most commonly challenged books of 1990-1999. I'm not sure if that list is in order of the most challenges or not (it doesn't say).

Side note: I want to belong to an exclusive writing group that has an awesome name like the Inklings.

Love is love, no matter the back story. <3 DS

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Thursday Thrift: What is DIY?

I really admire do it yourself (DIY) type people that can take on a project of building, modifying, or repairing something themselves. Growing up, I watched my brother and other family members build several decks for family houses. My dad made himself a pair of saw horses one year. My mom can take a room and redecorate it without the help of a professional, magazines, or other input. Since moving out on my own, I have been forced to be a bit of a DIY'er. When the line running into my toilet sprung a leak, I couldn't afford a plumber so I had to replace it myself. It was a simple fix once I figured out what to do and found the parts to do it with. I have replaced the dryer tube that runs outside, helped my dad replace the floor, light fixtures, and trim in my living room, and have become somewhat of a whiz when it comes to basic car maintenance. I'm no stranger to getting my hands dirty, but taking on actual DIY projects for fun is not me. That is a problem considering I love finding stuff at the thrift stores for my house.