This is a blog post…I think…? I don’t even know what this is but it has colours! HOORAY! Colours are the best! This title is LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG: A blog post by a 22 year old kid who hasn’t slept in a while and is sick and had to do exam and is now done school hahahahahaaaaaa…pizza.

Just finished my exam…gah. This cold is really starting to get on my nerves. I could barely think straight and unfortunately I had to be that jerk who sniffles and coughs every other minute. Yikes…I’m just glad it’s over.

That’s it for this semester. I can work on MY stuff again. No more teachers, no more books…oh right I’m pretty much a teacher now huh. Guess I can’t say that. I can barely remember how that saying goes.

There are these really awesome mugs at Chapters right now that are for teachers and I really want one, but like I’m just starting teachers college. I mean…I’m a teacher in training right? I can totally have a mug. I taught singing lessons before…and I do tutoring and stuff. I’m basically a teacher already. I think I should get a mug for my graduation present. This is a hint. You know who you are. Graduation. Mug. Chapters. The one I held up and shoved in your face and was like “YOU SHOULD TELL YOUR PARENTS TO BUY ME THIS” even though we have the same parents. I mean YOU kid. It is your duty to make sure I get that mug okay? Don’t fail me friend…or you will be demoted back to normal sibling status.

Everyone else reading can ignore that…ha…ha…ha….I haven’t slept properly in like two weeks and had to wake up early this morning for my exam even though I couldn’t sleep all night. I think I’ll have lunch and go to bed now. This post is just getting sloppy eh?

Oh no my inner Canadian has been unleashed! EHHHHHHH!

I have problems….I think this stupid cold thingy is messing with my brain or something. I’m laughing waaaaay too much. This is how I type when I’m talking to my buddies. I don’t have many friends actually. My best friends consist of my siblings and my six year old niece. I’m very popular…with elementary schoolers. I’m the teacher that draws stuff. Cats, people, cars, pizza…I’m that teacher. They think I’m lying that I’m not a famous artist. I’ve never won an art competition. My sister did. Twice. She writes comics. She’s a cool kid. She might be 10% cooler than me which is hard to admit…but I’m really nerdy and spend my time eating cereal and watching cartoons…while she watches people livestream stuff. Livestreaming is cool I guess…but people always stream when I’m in class for some reason. Least the people I care to watch. I’m totally almost a full fledged adult cause I can cook for myself…like real food…like I can make steak and potatoes and stuff….and I know how to clean stuff both properly and the cheat way that you clean when your parents are suddenly dropping by…and I do laundry good and I can like buy groceries and stuff. I’m like almost an adult. I just don’t want to be that adult like yet. Like being an adult is so much work. Like I’m not supposed to start every sentence with like. And I can start sentences with and because that’s bad grammar but you know what I have a degree thingy now that says I know how to read and write good so HA! I can start sentences with and and but and all the three letter words of disapproval that would’ve gotten me really bad marks if someone was marking them and stuff. And I can say STUFF! WOO! School is over. SCHOOL IS DONE…and…and guess what? GUESS WHAT!

I have pizza.


Um…so the author of this blog has totally lost their marbles…and will be needing a mental break for like the next 24 hours before…as in they should eat, sleep and get their sanity back for the rest of the day. This is what happens when you’re over stressed and then the stressful stuff is finally over.

–R (the still sane portion…the other half of me…my alter ego…yah they left the moment they remembered that they made pizza last night and have leftovers)

Why is everything so colourful…?

Okay. Bye.

My Extraordinary Professor

My professor has asked that we write about a phrase that entered our hearts and resonated with us. He wants us to be honest and personal with our choice…and yet I can’t seem to pick out a single phrase. The phrases I’ve been reciting aloud I don’t know if they have any particular meaning to me…although I understand the context behind them.  I’m sure something will come to me by the end of the night.

I love the freedom my professor has given us to explore the text for ourselves, and find our own meaning. I love that he wants us to succeed, and that he cares about each individual student. I’ve never had a teacher this extraordinary before. One that is both passionate about what they’re teaching, and also passionate about what and how the students are learning.

I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to have him as my professor two years in a row (going for a third). He makes me enjoy coming to school, fall in love with the texts we’re reading, and he’s taught me a lot about what it means to be a great teacher and a great story teller. I wish that everyone was as lucky as I am to have a teacher like this.

I’ll write something that he’ll be proud of. I want to do my best work, not only because he expects it from me but because he believes in my ability to do so.

Thank you for all of your encouragement sir.

— R.

End of the School Year

The school year is coming to an end. It feels like September was last week, and I was this slightly nervous kid worried about making friends.

This year I have been blessed with many great new friendships, amazing professors and an endless amount of laughter. I’m looking forward to next year and all the excitement and adventure it will bring.

Although school ending is a little bitter-sweet, I am looking forward to going home to see my family and friends.

I’ll be working on a pretty big project this summer, and when its done I’ll let you all know what that is. I’m extremely pumped about this…still slightly shocked but I’m definitely excited. So updates on that will be happening once I’m finished exams and have all the details ironed out.

I’m still plowing through two more assignments, but after Wednesday I’ll be finished, and will have more time to be creative, read my books and blog, and do all that fun stuff that I’ve had to put aside for a couple of weeks. Of course I have exams I need to study for but personally, I already feel well prepared for those. I love writing exams. Other people think they’re stressful and I see them as a chance to show myself (and my teachers) everything I’ve learned throughout the year and to put that knowledge to the test. Perhaps its because I’m working towards becoming a teacher myself? I don’t really think about grades when I work on an assignment, I mainly think about how much effort I’m putting into my work and if I’m producing something of good quality. Yah, weird I know…but I just don’t let grades define how I think about myself. A number does not define my self-worth and it does not define my intelligence. Sure, I get bummed out when I do a poor job on an assignment but I usually know if I haven’t done my best work and therefore take it as a learning opportunity. For example if I write an essay the night before its due, I don’t expect a 90%. If I procrastinated and put it off until the last possible minute, then it is my own fault and I need to learn not to do that again.

Well, that’s enough teacher-talk…or student-speak. I like alliteration.

Anyway, I just wanted to share how I’m feeling right now with school ending and with this absolutely fantastic project that I’m doing the last week of April.

All the best!

— R.

Fourteen Pgs. of Character Notes…And Writing Tips for Detailing Characters!

Fourteen pages of character notes. Wow. I don’t know how that happened but I’m glad it did.

I always try to give as much depth and detail to my characters as I can. I believe that the more I invest in a character, the more attached I will become and that attachment is what makes that character seem more real (that’s a lot of mores). Its great because my characters go from being an idea to becoming like a close, life-long friend (until you know…that scene where they get silenced by the pen aka they die).

It’s a fun process honestly, even though I’ll admit it takes time. Despite the time it takes to do it is a lot more fun than just naming a character and throwing them into your story. A name is only a fraction of a person, there are many other things that make us who we are.

A lot of the time I like to draw pictures of my characters: the facial expressions they might make in different scenario’s, what clothing they might wear, what their hair looks like, their height, the colour of their eyes.

It can be really helpful, but of course I know that not everyone likes to draw. What I used to do on my drawings was create a list beside my character. The list usually looked like…

  1. Name: Bob Robert Bobbinlee
  2. Age: 22
  3. Likes: cows, cats, cookies and cake
  4. Dislikes: anything that doesn’t start with the letter C (is for cookie)
  5. Family: Mama Bobbetta, Father Bobert, Juliettabobo Boblee, Bobafett
  6. Friends: Cookie Monster, Elmo, Pinkie Pie and Ash Ketchum (yes I was talking to my 4 year old niece recently…any watching Pokémon)

What I’ve begun doing now is creating this same list in a table on Microsoft word.

Its pretty easy to do, you just go to insert, then click table…etc.

So now I keep my images and my charts separate, giving me more room to add written details about my characters. This is especially helpful when I have side characters. Usually I don’t know the personality of a side character. Some times I might just have some character who until named is called “Book Store Clerk.” The first thing I like to do is to draw this character out (or imagine what they might look like), then I take that image and I create a detailed character chart, similar to the list above but in chart form…and because it isn’t on the same page as my drawing I can add even more detail.

Using the same example from above:

Name Bob Robert Bobbinlee
Age 22
Appearance Hair: Crimson

Eyes: Crimson

Height: Average

Special Features: Tattoo of the letter C

Personality Hot-headed, sweet-tooth, perfectionist, crazy about cats and cows, creative, incredible cook
Family Mother: Bobbetta

Father: Bobert

Siblings: Juliettabobo, Boblee and Bobafett

Friends Cookie Monster, Elmo, Pinkie Pie and Ash Ketchum

 

Partner (or partners for them playa’s) Cloe Ver
Pet Cactus the Cat and Carver the Cow
Hobbies Reading, eating and baking cookies and cake, chillin’ like a villain with his squad…I mean crew.

 

Occupation/Education Book Store Clerk

 

Fears The letter Z…because he isn’t sure if it should be Zed or Zee even though he’s Canadian. He just…doesn’t know.

 

Dreams Publish a Children’s Cook Book

See, its that simple, and even though some of these details won’t end up being in you story, they are details that are significant to who your character really is. Once you know this much about your character they begin to take on a life of their own, and as an author I have to say that is one of my favourite things that happen while I’m writing.

Whether you like to draw or not, this is a method that I highly recommend. It’s easy to set up and once you get going it can be a lot of fun. Before you know it you’ve got fourteen pages of characters and this amazingly long chart!

Also, if you are a tech-savvy person you can even scan a drawing of your character and place the image into the appearance box on the table. I’ve never done this but I’m definitely going to give it a try. The idea just came to mind.


 

I hope that this post was helpful!

If you’ve never tried to do this sort of detailing with your characters I highly recommend it. Its both fun and rewarding.

If you have any different ways of detailing and developing characters (or you’ve written a post with another writing tip) feel free to share in the comment section. I’m sure, myself and many people would appreciate it!

Happy writing everyone!

— R.

 

Now I Enjoy School

It’s weird…I actually look forward to learning now that I’m in university.

Back in Elementary and High School I felt that learning certain things was a chore…although I went out of my way to gain knowledge on all sorts of subjects. I didn’t like school.

Now I enjoy school. I enjoy class. I enjoy studying different subjects, taking in new information. I enjoy my professors, our teacher assistants, my classmates.

School now is a wonderful place…and I can feel myself beginning to grow more and more as time goes by.

I love this school.

Work, Work, Work…

Lately it feels like all I do is go to work and sleep the moment I get home. I enjoy working (most days) and I don’t want to complain but it’s a lot. Some days are really good and other days I can’t wait to go home and relax. It depends on the mood of my managers that day.

If they’re not snapping at us we’re all feeling good by the end of our shifts. I don’t want to go home complaining to my family about a bad day at work. I’d rather talk about how much fun it was, the people I got to interact with and the stuff I got to do.

Obviously this isn’t my dream job but I have to do this kind of stuff until I get to that point. I work so that I don’t have to settle. Sometimes life forces you to do things that you may not like until you can do something that you love.

I figure, it’s a summer job I might as well make the best of it and take a deep breath on those odd days where my managers are snapping at me. Personally, I work much better when you use a kind and constructive tone. I’m not one to talk back to someone of authority (unless they’re out of line) because they snapped at me for something but seriously? I’d appreciate it if they could learn to relax. If you’re going around stressing out over everything and stomping your feet, not only do your employees notice but so do you customers. If you put your employees into that same bad mood, you’ll put your customers in a bad mood.

Also, it looks really bad on your company when you snap at your employees in front of a customer.

I was going to go into more detail about the managers at my work but…I realized that it probably isn’t the best idea. I mean yah I use a pen name and it’s not like any of you guys know where I work but still. It just doesn’t feel right. I don’t talk about work on facebook so I’m not going to rant about it on here. Besides I don’t want to disrespect anyone, even if they did get on my nerves a couple of times. I have no right to do that.

Anyway, works been busy…and occasionally it’s a bit stressful. Honestly, I’m still trying to get my editing done. I’m just tired all the time. I don’t know why. I’m going to bed after I post this. I just hate not updating you guys every few days.

Okay I need to get to bed…I keep yawning. I’ve been tired since 7 o’clock this morning.

I seriously need to work on my novel though.

Oh yah!

Happy Birthday to my cousin!

We’re exactly 9 months and 1 day apart…he’s older. Anyways happy birthday man! Hope you’ve been having a blast in Europe…you lucky duck.

Wish I was in Europe right now…. or at least Nova Scotia. I really want to travel around Canada. I’ve been as far as Quebec. One of my favourite books take place in Nova Scotia. It’s a sad story but…I don’t know, something about it was heart warming…touchy feely stuff. I don’t know how to describe it. I just enjoyed reading it. I’ve read it like three times. I even redrew the cover. There are a few novels that are based in Canada that I really enjoy. Yes, I’ve read Anne of Green Gables. Watch the shows too. I think I watch more Canadian shows versus the books.

Murdoch is my show, don’tcha know.

God, why am I such a nerd?

Okay bye! I start rambling when I’m tired or hyper…never eat pork chops before bed. Oh no…oh no…she didn’t. I think my mom gave away my stuffed piglet from when I was like a baby and like my nana and I fixed it up because it’s belly button came off and….and I love that piglet…I named it Pinky because I’m so original…and also because I had this bear, rattle that was actually my sisters but I kind of jacked it…I named that Pinky and then that disappeared…and oh no…oh God please no….

…I have an attachment to certain old toys. I want to share them with my kids that’s all…except I don’t know how to explain this to my future spouse. I guess I’ll figure it out when the time comes…or they could just open up my bedroom closet and find a bunch of novels that I’ve written, stuffed animals and a mess of clothes.

I need to clean my room…seriously. Like I was going to clean it in April. Then my parents kept giving me all these clothes that I washed…and most of them are winter clothes and…like…now I have no room for anything. I should’ve just moved into my brother room two years ago like my dad said but I got attached to my room because it has green walls and messed up heating and a broken window and…smells like weird. My room has this smell…it smells like someone squirted lemon juice in here actually.

I hate the smell of dry shampoo…

Okay operation find my piglet…never mind. I have a feeling that I’m not going to find him. He’s lost… there goes another piece of my childhood. Actually maybe he’s with my nieces toys in the play pen….brb….no sign.  Maybe my mom hasn’t given away that bag of toys yet. Or my piglet is seriously gone. My mom just throws stuff out without even asking people. She doesn’t consider peoples feelings or anything she’s just like “Oh junk. Better get rid of it.” however some of that junk has significance to the rest of us mom! She’s not a very sentimental person. She could improve on that… I wouldn’t throw out her purse because I thought it was junk. Bad example but she doesn’t hold onto anything but her wedding accessory thingys. Like the gloves and what not.

Oh yah it’s wedding season…. Wedding season.

Man, someone in my family needs to get married. I have all these older cousins and they’re all like “Oh…maybe not right now.” I want to go to a wedding. If they don’t get married before I do, they’ll lose it. I know this for a fact. I want to get married young though, so…it’s totally possible. Kind of need to find someone first. I’ve been looking but not making any real progress. I’m not really sure how this flirting thing works. I’ve never dated…. the closest thing I’ve had to a romantic relationship was 10th grade when my friend and I had a thing but they kind got taken by someone else…and we didn’t talk for 2 years for no reason at all. They just cut me off…and it hurt. Only heart break I’ve had. Woo! Favourite year of high school though. I grew a lot.

Ugh…I gotta pay rent soon.

This is so long…I’m not even really talking about anything except my life. Here guys, here’s my life story. Enjoy!

If you get to the end of this, leave a comment because like…wow. That is some serious dedication. When you read something, you finish it.

Well it’s late. My stomachs settled. My heads full of thoughts and yep…I have to work this weekend…like I do every weekend.

I’m going to go curl into a ball and drool on my pillow while I sleep….never used to drool. Before I smiled in my sleep, now I drool and dream about…a lot of things. During my nap I dreamt about work, and how I got a discount on everything. And my donut became an oreo ice cream sandwich…and my pizza was cold.

My work doesn’t sell donuts or pizza…so when I woke up I was like “Wait a second!”

I hate dreaming about work. It’s like…I wanna dream about happiness and sunshine not being late for work or ordering food! I don’t want to dream about being at school… honestly I sometimes enjoy those dreams where I’m on a date with someone. I know how to flirt in my dreams. I’m such a player when I’m in dreamland…in reality I just try not to say something stupid and try not to blush.

The other day this really good looking person came into my work and I had to take their order…and I got flustered.

I also noticed that I read numbers backwards a lot. I don’t know why…I’m not going to say anything to my parents about it though. It’s not really a big deal. I used to write my name backwards all the time. I’m left handed so…I guess maybe that’s why. It’s why I find it easy to go back and forth between reading a manga and a novel. It’s also why I smudge most of my drawings… I wonder if this could be the reason why I struggled with math in elementary school? Honestly, I just…did things differently and the way I did it was “wrong.” I used to point out patterns and I’d find really weird things in the question and point it out versus giving the actual answer…. either I honestly didn’t know what I was doing or I was like a super genius.

I also never showed my work. So in high school I started to draw and write my work. Then I got like 80’s in math….and then I got really bad teachers.

Dear Grade 9 math teacher, you were the most amazing math teacher I have ever had. You taught me that everyone learns things differently, and that when we walk people through our answers, it helps them to understand our thinking better. Also, you let me and my friends eat in your class because you were pregnant. Plus you were super funny and the only math teacher I ever understood.

Thank you for existing.

–R.

Lol…she really was a great teacher. High school was full of great teachers. Universities got them too.

Okay night….sorry for such a long post. I just think a lot.

I totally wrote an epic postery today. I’m sorry…I’m a nerd. I’ll stop now.

Grading Rant

Hey everyone, today I thought I’d just go on a little rant about those people who give you 69%, or 79% or 89% instead of just rounding it up to a higher grade.

I’m sure that I’m not the only person who is annoyed by this. It’s like, there’s a big difference between getting say  69% on a test versus getting 70%. 69% is still a C whereas if you get 70% that is a B and if you seriously need that higher grade to boost your average then you want that extra mark.

The other thing is that when you do get 69% rather than 70% on something they don’t explain why. It’s like, “Okay so you say that I understand but I just needed to go into further detail? Alright…well I had perfect spelling, I sourced one thing wrong and I had all of this other stuff right…so why didn’t you just give me 70%?”

It happens all the time and it’s frustrating. I’ve had it happen mainly with essays, where I’ll get like 79% and wonder why they didn’t just give me an 80%?

The year is coming to an end…this is my last week of school (university). So I figured a school related rant post would be acceptable.

It’s just so annoying…this needs to be fixed.

Props to my awesome TA who gave me a bonus mark for drawing a dinosaur on my quiz. That made my day.

Reading Plays for School

Back in elementary school and high school (primary and secondary), whenever we would read a play, we would read it aloud and act it out.

Last semester, when I started university, we read two plays, which our professor had playing on the screen for us. We would read along. Sometimes he would read each passage two us. The entire time we read the plays together. He said, “Plays are meant to be heard and seen, not just read.” He told us of the importance of acting out the play and explained that it was the only way one could be impacted by the play.

Even this semester, our professors tell us that the best way to understand a play is to read it aloud. They say that it is easier to hear the characters voice that way…however in our lectures and seminars we rarely read anything aloud. Why? Because everyone thinks that we students do not want to.

Yes there are people who loathe the idea of reading aloud in front of the class…especially if they have to act. However there are people who do enjoy it. So why not have those people perform a scene then have the rest of the students discuss it? It’s a win, win for everybody. We would all benefit, as the actors would be in character, therefore understanding the play that way and the audience would get an understanding of the play by watching it.

It’s so odd not actually reading anything aloud to one another or acting things out. My first year is practically over and though I’ve enjoyed all of my classes, I feel as though we should either have some sort of way to properly approach plays, or not even bother studying them. I mean, what’s the point of simply opening up a play and reading the dialogue? I’m almost positive that a lot of people pop it open and only read the dialogue. They don’t really care about the stage directions. Why do they matter if they’re not acting it out? It’s just extra reading to do, and when you’ve got 4 other books to read on top of that the play seems pointless.

If the play is interactive (as it was meant to be), then people take more interest in it and maybe I’m just being bias here but I think they enjoy it more.

You should not and cannot simply read the lines of a play. It has to be approached the way it was meant to be performed. If it isn’t done that way then there’s absolutely no point in reading it at all. It is impossible for people to completely understand a play by just skimming the dialogue.

Well, that’s my little rant for the day but I’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Feel free to answer one or all of those questions in your comments.

Do you agree or disagree? Are plays just a pain in the but to study period (whether performed or simply read)? What was your favourite play to study in school?

Why Do We Learn Some Things as Fact Versus Fiction?

I started thinking about this while reviewing for my exam: why is it that we learn about things that we know to be fictional as though it were fact?

It’s just a bit strange. A good example of this is how in the fourth grade we read stories about medieval characters such a Joan D’Arc (Joan of Arc), who we all know to be a real person and I recall doing my medieval persons illustration of Robin Hood. I also remember that the reading I had said something along the lines of (this was like 11 years ago), “It is unknown is Robin Hood is merely a fictional character or not.” However we learned about this guy as though he were an actually person, true to life.

Maybe it’s just me. I’m not sure if anyone else has ever thought about this. I’ve thought about it while learning different types of theories back in high school. I kept thinking to myself, “Why are we learning theories when they haven’t been proven?”

Now, I believed in Santa Claus for a long time, even when others told me he wasn’t real and even more than him, I believed in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. Red is my favourite colour…and so his song was my favourite of them all. Plus you get to say that Santa wears underwear. I mean what kid doesn’t want to sing something hilarious like that?

I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason we learn about things that are fictional is so that we can take something out of these stories and theories, not actually take them as straight 100% fact. I got here by thinking about the nursery rhymes and Grimm’s fairy tales that we hear as children. Those were meant to tell us about events, and to warn us of different things. Little Red Riding Hood (here I go with red again), is about not trusting strangers with personal information. Jack and Jill is about King Louis XVI of France and his wife Marie Antoinette getting beheaded. La Belle et Le Bête (Beauty and the Beast) is about not judging others based on appearances. If your mother simply said to you, “Jimmy, don’t judge a book by its cover.” then you probably would reply with the good old, “Okaaaaay mom.” and walk away. However, if your mother told you this horrific tale of how a little girl and her grandmother were eaten by a wolf because the little girl told the wolf where her grandmother lives…you would probably never say more than a polite “Hello” to a stranger.