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I will be posting new thoughts, ideas, questions or stories here, from time to time. Keep checking back to see what’s new!

Coronation Street and Storytelling

Posted by on Mar 19, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Coronation Street and Storytelling

I guess I admire storytellers. Shocker, eh? If you’re a writer, I would hope that’s a prerequisite, because you won’t get very good learnings from yourself. I’ve been a reader for my entire literate life, and if you have too, we could probably buy each other one of those giant bowl lattes and talk about books until the caffeine buzz would eventually make us forget about literature and investigate good landing ground for somersaults. Date time and place, that’s all I need, my friend.

But what we often forget about are stories from movies and TV. Yes, we love books, and those are our guilty pleasures, but when we’re too tired to do anything else, where can we be found? In front of the good ‘ol TV. And if it’s 7:30pm in our house, you’ll find us in front of Coronation Street.

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Before I met my husband I had never seen this show. But then we started hanging out, I became a regular visitor at his cottage, and we started being semi hung over on Sunday mornings. I soon discovered that hung over Sunday mornings are best spent on the couch in front of the TV, and when you’re up north and you only get one TV station, guess what’s on? Coronation Street. Phil was already aware of the characters because he has tons of British relatives who love it, and before I knew it, I was hooked.

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I was watching it again tonight, and I paused to marvel at what a lame show it actually is. Everyone who watches it knows that it’s lame. You can’t watch an episode that’s primarily about whether or not Chesney will get to keep his dog without knowing that this program is lame.

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But at the same time, fans will defend the show’s merits until they bad accent themselves hoarse. So I wondered tonight – what is it about this stupid show?

And do you know what it is? It’s the characters. When you have strong, believable characters, you can have lame story lines. Dry story lines.  Norris can contemplate whether or not to share a trailer with someone. Roy can fret about not being able to find good help in his sandwich shop. Because we love Norris and Roy, even though they’re both extremely annoying. And of course, there is plenty of baby mama love triangle drama at the same time with others on the show. But once you’re invested in the characters, the plot only needs brief twists to keep you going. And when the characters shift – actors quit, or whatever – you wonder if you’ll keep watching. But you do (though not quite enough that you hate to miss an episode). The writers do a good job of keeping you invested.

I hope I’ll keep you invested. In me, not in Coronation Street, although as I’ve mentioned, that’s good too.

Question – what characters in programs, movies, and books keep you tuning in?

Playlists

Posted by on Feb 19, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Playlists

Okay, here comes a call for help.

Don’t click to something else. You’re my only hope. Yes, there are two giant hair buns above my ears right now and I’m leaning down to click the “off” switch for the 3D help video because even though it’s the future, wireless controllers haven’t been invented yet. I need a new workout playlist. I was going to share the one I’m dealing with right now, but as I started to type it out I realized you might judge me horribly. It’s not bad, in my opinion. It’s a bit of a hodge-podge, and you would definitely think I was a loser for the pop songs on it.  But the songs are nothing if not motivational. There are a fair number of angry songs, too. I find that when you’re out of breath and frustrated, angry can be good.  Okay, so you’re probably saying, “But how do I know what you like? How could I possibly be a successful DJ for you, when you might think that Elton John is the bomb?” Well, I’m very open minded musically, so you don’t need to worry. But I’ll give you this little bit of help. Here’s my favourite on the list, which is the best. workout. song. ever.

Mr. Hurricane – Beast

If you could suggest any songs even remotely at this song’s “level,” I promise I’ll be your friend for life. I’d offer prizes if I had any money of my own, but I don’t. And I won’t even judge if you suggest the best. pop. song. ever. I might even already love it.

XOXO

Ann

PS Get ready to download my book! I am mere days away from finally publishing.

PPS Thanks Chandrakantha.com for the groovy image.

More reading, less shooting

Posted by on Feb 3, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

More reading, less shooting

Today I’m writing from our cottage in the middle of a freezing cold snowy winter wonderland. Our cottage isn’t winterized, meaning we (“we,” as in my husband) chop a hole in the ice on the lake and carry up water for the toilet and for doing dishes. We start a fire in the wood stove and use that for heat, along with a little help from small baseboard heaters. Rustic, but cozy. Later today I’ll be cross-country skiing across the lake – far superior to a treadmill for exercise. The isolation does slightly give me the creeps, though. Ever read “Gerald’s Game,” by Stephen King? I’m not a card-carrying member of the King fanclub, but that’s one of my favourite books. Terrifying.

What I’m reading

I’ve been reading more YA lately, partly because I’m about to publish a YA book and I want to better appreciate the genre. And I’m always willing to read anything, so why not YA? I haven’t been disappointed. I finished “Code Name Verity,” – great work of historical fiction that I mentioned in my previous post. Next I picked up “The Giver.” You might have heard of that book already, because it seems everyone has but me. It’s a dystopian novel about a future where society forces equality in an attempt to eliminate pain. Of course, there are some difficult side effects to imposing this structure. The characters are strong, and there’s enough drama to make the book hard to put down. Definitely worth checking out. And the third book I grabbed that I finished in about an hour was “Highly Inappropriate Tales for Young People,” by Douglas Coupland and Graham Roumieu. Douglas Coupland is one of my favourite authors, and this collection of short stories reminded me why I’m a fan. Hilarious and creative – a very easy, entertaining read.

What I’m writing

Still editing, editing, editing my novel, “Girl Reinvented.” Helen Witkowski (graphic artist) and Kasia Niton (visual artist) have nearly finished designing the cover, and I’m very happy with it. I’m nearly ready to publish… Keep an eye out for my book near the end of this month!

What I’m thinking – deep thoughts

What’s with everyone defending guns? Someone on Facebook shared a story where a guy was kicked out of Home Depot because they don’t allow firearms. He had proudly been wearing his “piece,” on his belt, in one of those states where you’re allowed to do that. I would have thought the comments on that post would have been lots of “You go, Home Depot!” but of course the majority were, “I’m never shopping there again. Ridiculous policy.” FYI, guns kill people, and the more there are, the more likely it is that people will die.

I found an interesting thread on gun ownership here http://tinyurl.com/aydmexf where many Europeans commented. Here’s one comment I liked:

Riderboy: I’ll just throw this out there, does it ever bother you guys that as a free people you are not allowed to own firearms like we can in the States?

Fisker (Denmark): No. I do enough shooting at work (Army). I don’t need to spend my free time on it too, I don’t get that much of a kick out of it (except for when I shoot the MG3, but I don’t even think it’s possible to get a permit for such weapons anyway  )

AFAIK it is extremely hard to get a weapons permit if you are not a hunter.
A colleague who has been in the Army for over 10 years, who has a completely clean record, had to go through a lot of bureaucracy (took him 6 months) to get a permit for a Glock. Not sure if he ever made it through to the permit to buy ammo for it, or simply gave up.

Also there is problem of actually using a gun for self defence. Remember a case of a home owner being convicted of (involuntary) manslaughter for killing a burglar with his legal and registered gun. It’s not as simple as in the States.

I don’t feel unsafe on the street. I take comfort in the fact that a shooting incident (even just shots fired, without hitting anyone) are so rare (except for a few tough areas in a couple of cities) that they make national headlines and prime time tv coverage

What I’m thinking – lighter thoughts

This is going to make me sound very hippie-like, especially after I’ve just shared my opinions on firearms, but I’m going to say it anyway. Holding hands in mittens is aaawwwright.

Welcome to 2013!

Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Welcome to 2013!

Here we are starting a new year, and here I am starting a new blog. I have to admit that I’ve procrastinated writing this for some time now. I find that the Internet is noisy, and I’d rather not add to it with useless chatter. But I do want new friends. And I want new friends who read. So I’m going to keep my blog focused, and my entries brief, but I hope this will be an inspirational space where readers can connect and share thoughts and ideas. Welcome!

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