Monday, November 26, 2012


Here is a post I decided to do for fun. I like to call it "things that I would do if I had infinite money and resources at my disposal, after having donated a bunch to charities and causes and stuff". They are in no particular order and they all go under the assumption that my money pool would never run dry, for whatever reason.

1. I would buy or create a video game company. And with that company, because I would be boss, I would sit in on all meetings and offer input. Then I would also get one of the teams to create Thread for me.

2. I would open a publishing house that publishes, publicizes and distributes books directed at niche markets that may not otherwise have publishers, or that publishers may overlook due to their lack of global marketability.

3. Build a large-scale blanket fort.

4. Open a no-kill cat shelter and pay all the employees to take care of the cats. It would have an on-site vet who could spay and neuter them, as well as treat them for any illnesses.

5. I would build a castle. A big one. And I would have it designed full of (safe) booby traps and puzzles, locked doors and boss rooms. You would pay $100 to go into this castle to go through and "beat" it. It would, of course, have a Zelda theme with an entirely immersing environment filled with sounds and enemies. Each person attending would be given a wooden sword and a green tunic to wear. All of the walls would be one-way, and the other side would be filled with spectators who would pay a small admission fee each to watch the hero perform his/her duties. The wall is only one way so the hero will not be distracted by spectators.  After going through the boss battle, the hero would follow an underground tunnel that would lead to a building behind the castle that would contain a restaurant and gift shop. At that time, the hero would be applauded by the spectators as she/he appeared. It would be awesome.

6. Re-design parts of my house to look just like the Forest Temple from Ocarina of Time. What?

7. Open a cafe.

8. Hire someone to help me deal with all these new facets of my life. Because I'm sure you can understand I'd need a little organisation after all this chaos.

How about you? Feel free to be as selfish about it as you like. Daydreams are healthy, after all, and it makes for a good creative outlet. Have some fun with it. Let me know in the comments!

A quick update, also. The event in the Moncton Library went swimmingly! We had a great turn out and it was a lot of fun. Thanks to the Library for inviting me; I had a blast. I hit 50K on my NaNo later that evening, also, and completed the novel for a successful third installment in my trilogy. Now to edit, and write the scenes I skipped.

A final update: I've been published in Germination's first issue in 22 years. I have an essay/prose poem within, and have a couple of copies for sale for $15 each. You can use the PayPal link on the side and give me your address, and I will send you a copy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Of shopping carts and cups of coffee

It seems I have a lot of adventures while walking to work.

Tuesday morning, I had taken my usual stop in to a local cafe to fill up my travel mug with hot coffee. This happens nearly every morning on my way in because the coffee is good and it has the double feature of waking me up and keeping me warm on a chilly morning. Not that you need to know why, of course. Lots of people like a coffee in the morning.

I walked my usual route until I got to the grocery store parking lot, where I typically cut through to get to the sidewalk. In front of me was a man pushing a pair of shopping carts back toward the parking lot. He stopped a few feet ahead of me, and I went to walk around him, when he started to shout something. Since I had my headphones on, I couldn't immediately hear him. I slid them off and asked him to repeat himself.

Perhaps that was my first mistake. I always assume that if people are talking to me, I should listen, because it's the polite thing to do and because I typically think they're talking to me for a good reason. Every time this has happened I have been proven otherwise, but I don't dare stop for fear I end up missing an emergency and someone dies or something because I couldn't be bothered to make eye contact with a stranger.

"All young people are good for is walking down the streets with their cups of coffee, talking on their cell phones and stealing shopping carts!" he shouted. I was a bit taken aback, and I didn't respond immediately. I wasn't sure if he was trying to make a point toward me specifically, as I had just taken a sip from my cup. Before I could formulate anything better to say, I came up with "Okay". "People like YOU!" he shouted again, throwing his hands up in disgust and walking off. Against my better judgment, I replied again, this time saying "Actually, I'm on my way to work. Have a nice day".

How dare he judge me like that? I thought as I stalked off. I know I should have let it slide. Clearly it wasn't intended to be a slight against me personally--he was just in a bad mood and I happened to be walking by at the time. I did take it personally, though. Not because he meant it against me, but because he would have said that to any person who looked "young".

I'm in my late twenties now, but I have a bit of a baby face, so I'm often mistaken for someone much younger. I feel that both my own generation and the next, the one people refer to as "today's kids", get far too much flack and not nearly enough credit. Generalism is rampant and it's a big problem. Society seems to want to paint us with labels enough as it is, and generalisation only brings us that much farther away from the truth. The truth is that regardless of what people may say about "kids" having "no respect", I have seen (and worked with) so many of these kids who not only have respect, but an incredible work ethic. I have been in many positions in the last four years of my life, among them supervisor and manager, and I have watched these  "kids" work harder than I have in some ways.

These labels are an excuse. Why do those kids steal shopping carts? Because that's just what young people do. Forget the fact that most young people do not steal shopping carts--this is a fact because if most young people did steal shopping carts, there would be virtually none left--and think that perhaps those that do are doing so for a reason. That reason may not be directly related to shopping carts in general. Think of that what you will.

This unfounded negative talk about "young people"--these broad, sweeping generalisations--fall under one very ugly word: ageism. It's not only annoying, it's wrong. Think about the "young person" you just accused of being lazy. Do you know them? Have you seen them work, or have you seen them hanging out with their friends on what is probably their free time? I know a number of high school students who juggle their every day school lives with a part time job and still manage to find time to spend with their friends, hanging out and doing whatever they please. Just because you happen to see them in that brief off moment, that doesn't mean it's what they're always doing. And what makes you so important that you feel you can judge someone based on what less than five minutes of their time is telling you?

Ageism goes both ways and there is certainly no debating that! I have merely been on the receiving end multiple times, so I'm speaking from my own perspective.

Perhaps all of this seems like common sense to you, but I see  it too often to know that it isn't common sense for everyone. I would urge you to please think before you start rapidly throwing about accusations based on something as silly as age. The person you're talking to is a human, too.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Get your write on!

This is a quick, NaNoWriMo-induced post. I don't want typing this to take up too much of my word count.

I didn't do NaNo last year, and I just wanted to briefly talk about how good it is to be back! My word count is plugging along nicely--as of writing this, I'm at 36,070 words.

Next year, I plan on attempting all of NaNo in a span of two weeks. In 2014, it will be one. And in 2015, supposing I'm still at the same job, I plan on trying the 24-hour challenge and going for all 50,000 words in one shot. Just to see if I can.

How are you doing with NaNo? If you need a little word count boost, don't forget that I'll be at the Moncton Public Library doing a write-in with this year's Moncton ML and some other NaNo fans. Come on by! We'll have sprints and maybe some prompts to help get your count up there.

Parts of my novel this year are very meta, and I've made a few references to some of my other works and works-in-progress. One of them isn't even something I've done anything with yet!

Talk to you all soon. Let me know how your NaNo's going!