Friday, 5 July 2013

Summer Inspiration: Our first adventure in which I eat vomit and laugh about it!

This isn't going to be my usual "inspiration for writing" blog post. With both my kids out of school for the summer, my available writing time has decreased. So for the next couple of months we're going to goof around and do fun stuff that we don't usually get to do during the rest of the year. 

Yesterday we started by going to the Ontario Science Centre.  (Yes, at some point I will explain the title of this blog post!)

"Game On 2.0" is the exhibit of choice this summer. Our Science Centre has a huge room which has been turned into a maze filled with arcade, video and computer games.  There are over 150 of them!  And they are all playable.

My nine year old loved the Mario Bros and a monkey game. My twelve year old and I spent ages playing various Zelda games. I relived my university years by playing Space Invader. Oh, how I loved that game! I saw Donkey Kong, Pong, Pac-Man, Tomb Raider, Doom to name a few. For a complete list of games, follow this link:

Somehow, we managed to spend more than three hours in this massive room and it felt like only a couple of minutes elapsed.  (Be patient, reader, I am getting to the vomit!)

Exhausted and foot-sore we limped our way to the gift shop. You know, to buy something to remember our visit.  Like a video game. Or a t-shirt. Or maybe a science book. (I'm getting to the title!) *sigh* A piggy bank that "shrinks" money came home with us. Totally exemplifies our day, right?

The other thing that came home was a box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans. (You can see where this is heading, can't you?)

The Jelly Belly Candy Company have been making these for a while.  I've even tried them before but it was only the standard sort of flavours: mint, licorice, apple, lemon.

They've added a couple of new flavours: blackpepper, dirt, earthworms earwax and vomit.  Yes. You read that correctly: Vomit.

Being totally a kid at heart, I immediately got into the taste-testing hosted by my 9 year old. I tried the vomit one.  At first, I was thinking, no, it can't be, it only tastes this way because I'd read the box.  I was wrong.


I don't think I've ever laughed so hard while spitting and gagging at the same time.

I was a little bit more cautious with the next ones. But yes, I tried them all. (Boogers is pretty gross, in case you wanted to know.) We tried Banana, Blackpepper, Booger, Candyfloss, Cinnamon, Dirt, Earthworm, Earwax, Greenapple, Sausage, Soap, Tutti-fruitti and Vomit, of course.

The back of the box lists all the available flavours but unfortunately we didn't get all of them. We missed out on Blueberry, Cherry, Grass, Marshmallow, RottenEgg, Lemon and Watermelon.  I'm hoping we get those in our next box.

To check out the other blogs in the Thursday’s Children blog hop, please follow the link below:

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

This old dog learns some new tricks

A weekly blog hop where writers share their inspirations. Please join us!

A weekly blog hop where writers share their inspirations. Please join us!

After playing around most of last week, destressing after my daughter's birthday parties and playing around with her new toys and crafts, this week was time to get back to work with frequent pauses to admire my daughter's new nail polish. Yes, these are MY toes. The jellybean colours were just too tempting!

I’ve gone back to a different WIP this week-- the practice
screenplay that I started for a course last fall.  So I get to play
around with Final Draft, the new-to-me screenplay writing
software recommended by my teacher.

Oh, my.  I’d forgotten just how much I love, love, love exploring new software!  I’ve spent so much time on Word and Firefox over the past decade that I know most of their capabilities and there are no surprises left.  I used to learn new software all the time when I worked outside of the home (ie. prechildren!).  Our office was always upgrading.  It was a challenge I loved, getting proficient as quickly as possible.

By the time I finished the screenplay writing course I realized I liked creating stories in a visual medium, so I indulged and bought Final Draft 8 to make the process easier.  

So not only am I now high on the endorphin rush of a new storyline percolating up in my mind, new characters vying for screentime, I also get the fun of playing around and seeing what this software can do.  

Yes, I'm totally geeking out, reading the manual and wandering through the menus. The writing life doesn’t get much better than this!

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Real People as Inspiration

A recent conversation with my sister went something like this:
Me: Yes, this character is named after you.  But at least I didn’t kill you this time.
Her: No, you dropped a great big tree on me instead.

For some reason, I’ve been writing my younger sister into a lot of stories recently.  The poor thing has been killed in a plane crash, drowned in a puddle, and succumbed to cancer. She’s died as an infant, a young girl, a teenager on the cusp of adulthood and as a mother.  I’ve killed her so often that she’s developing a complex over my apparent desire for her death.

But that’s not what it’s all about.  It’s kind of a compliment how often she shows up.  She inspires me to write characters that I care about, that my MC will care about and my readers will cry over.  When she died of cancer in recent short story, I cried so hard that I was typing blindly.  I still haven’t been able to finish the plane crash scene, it actually hurts to read those lines.  They are far too realistic, so believable that they terrify me.  I don’t actually want her to die: she’s one of my closest friends and confidantes and I hope she knows how much I like her and love her. 

But she inspires me to write the very best death scenes and my MC’s grief-stricken reactions are exactly how terrible I would feel if she truly passed away.  And as a writer, I can’t afford to miss out on what produces strong emotions.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and dig her out from under the tree I dropped on her.  And come up with her next fictional death scene.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Thursday's Children

Unexpectedly Inspiring

The best inspiration comes when least expected.

Finding a fort in the woods.

A coffee spill in the shape of an emu.


(Be gentle with your comments, this is my first blog!)