Writer Who: Versatile Blogger Awarding

As mentioned before, I was nominated for two awards, one of which I posted last week, and this week I get to post about the Versatile Blogger Award.

I know that these aren’t anything to jump up and down about, but once again, it’s the matter of being the new kid in school and getting picked to play kickball. I’m included – yay!

I was nominated by Jenni, of Unload and Unwind. I’m glad I came across her blog, however it happened. I have always enjoyed reading it, and enjoyed the engaging comment conversations we get into. I want to say thanks to her for the nomination, and I will say now that everything I have learned about the Versatile Blogger Award, I have learned from her own nomination.

Seven Random Things About Me:

  1. I hate instant coffee, but I don’t have a coffee pot or French press, so I drink it anyway
  2. I preach against dairy, but I can’t stay away from cheese – I think the best diet in the world is oily roast veg such as artichoke hearts and asparagus, french bread, cheese, grapes and red wine….all to be enjoyed in a park somewhere of course.
  3. I feel really bad if I kill a bug. Especially if I hear the crunch. I genuinely feel guilt at ending that thing’s life (unless it attacks me in some way, in which point it’s survival of the fittest)
  4. I once served Roger Waters when I was a waitress in North Wales. Bear Grills too. And most of the cast from Coronation Street. For being so tiny, Abersoch is a pretty hoppin’ place.
  5. I collect couches. We have four, and are looking for more. We might have a couch problem.
  6. To contradict the last fact about me – I hate collecting things. I’ve hopped from one country to another, over a pretty large ocean, a few times, which has taught me to keep my possessions to a minimum. Books are the exception to the rule.
  7. Caffeine is my number one favorite drug.

I think the next part is that I am meant to link to 15 blogs that I have recently begun to follow…I’m not entirely certain. And then after that I nominate people? Well….I’m going to combine and average. I’ll link/nominate seven total. Yes, that is how this is going to roll.

  • The Incompetent Writer – No that incompetent 😉
  • Zombies Ate My Brain – We share a mutual love of crystals, though whether she’s aware that I have that interest as well is probably unknown. Very fun blog, witty words and musings!
  • College Unbound – a great resource for a returning student like myself
  • Math With Bad Drawings – This blog cracks me up. And it’s educational. Educational cracking 🙂
  • Tenure, She Wrote – I appreciate this blog because it gives me a glimpse into the accomplished academic world, the one I’m trying to get into, eventually.
  • Amature Author – It’s a journey and a process to write a novel, and It’s good to support one another. This is my support to the first-time novelist, and I’m glad to read though her journey.
  • Geeky Book Snob – I started following this blog because I need inspiration to read. I know! I know! It’s terrible – a writer that isn’t reading. For the last few years my main reading has been non-fiction, and it’s hard making the swap into fiction again. I don’t know what to read, and I have commitment issues to books. A blog of a book snob is right up my alley, as that is exactly what I am.

Ok, I think I did everything I was supposed to do for this. Any way, Thank you every one that has been there on the blogging journey!

X-Men and Character Development

I’m sure there are going to be people screaming at me from their computers that I haven’t the slightest idea what I’m talking about  and I will be the first to agree that I absolutely don’t. I did not read the X-Men comics, nor did I watch the show growing up.

I remember when the first (“first”?) X-Men movie came out, and I was excited to see it. While I’ve never been a comic book person, I’ve certainly enjoyed getting to know them via their theatrical display. I remember it so clearly. I was at my friend’s house, and her whole family gathered around to watch it. And at the age of 12, while I was still young enough to attend sleep-overs and debate with my friend the English vs American version of Harry Potter, I was disappointed with the movie.

For years, whenever X-men came up, I just rolled my eyes at it. Oh that. Enjoyed it, did you? I would think with my opinionated, judgemental raise of the eyebrow. I could only see it as some testosterone-driven movie where things blew up and people had magical powers because they were mutants. It was just a mashing of cool tricks allotted to each individual character.

Recently, my boyfriend and I have been on a Marvel kick, going through all the Marvel films and watching them. After already going through Captain America, the Avengers, Iron Man, the Hulk, and so on (this, by the way, is what unemployment does to you), we arrived at X-Men. Reluctantly, I agreed to watch it.

Yes. Still the same.

A mash up of cool tricks coming together to make things explode.

We continued through them all – X-Men 1, 2 and 3 – and I still had no sympathy or enjoyment of any of the characters, the plot line – in fact, the only thing that I did feel something for was Patrick Stewart’s eyebrows. I had no idea they took up so much of his face. It was the one thing I could find focus on, and would just be mesmerized by.

My boyfriend pressed me further to continue the theme. We went on to X-Men Origins.

And there it was.

While the movie went over where Wolverine came from, the battle between him and his brother, the development of his invincibility – I was intrigued by the story. At long last! I found enjoyment in something X-Men related!

I put it down to it’s beginning taking place in the 19th century, as I quite enjoy historical fiction. That must have been it. Of course, that was what had peaked my interest, and by some magical formula, the story managed to keep my attention.

Last night’s film was X-Men: First Class.

Again, I really enjoyed it – more than Origins even.

What on earth was it that set these two films a part from the first three? Why did I find myself actually caring what happened to the characters?

That was just it – the characters.

In the first three movies there was hardly any character development whatsoever. Whatsherface was already married to Cyclops, and an automatic love triangle came out of nowhere with no time for it to develop, as well as a rivalry between Wolverine and Cyclops. The viewers were just supposed to know the twisted relationship between Charles and Eric from the get-go, and so on. There was a slight background – such as how Rogue’s abilities were discovered and how they got to the school, but not too much. While she was also the one they spent most of the beginning of the film following and giving a past to, she was not that important of a character.

There was no hero’s journey. Part of what makes a story engaging is the reader discovering along with the character. The viewer need to be able to relate, on some level, with the character to feel as though they are making the journey as well.

In the film I watched last night, you follow the development of Charles, of Eric, of Mistique – some of which is fairly important to be able to understand the first three movies made. But most importantly, the viewer begins to understand the complexities of their relationship – how Magnito got the idea that mutants were the better men, how Charles believe every individual – mutant or not – had the ability to be the better man.

These films were prime examples to me of the importance of character development in a story, and whatsmore – the how of character development. It made me realize things that should not be skipped over, how to make the characters more engaging – or relatable, and how you can create a character that people love to hate.


And I Say Nay, Nature!

I’m sore from gardening. That means I’m doing it right. Currently our back yard is pretty destroyed, chunks of tree everywhere, blackberry bushes previously, neatly  wrapping around living tall things, now slumped lifelessly across the yard. Tortured stocks of demonicphoto 2 – I have no idea what the hell they are, but they’re prickly as all hell with fuchsia flowers – gouged from the earth by their stubborn, desperate roots, tossed into what will be the goat-food pile.

The ivy won’t even know what hit it when we get to it.

And now, I am finally sore. Woman vs nature, a battle I hoped never to engage in. I am nature’s ally, but I have to put my foot down and say –

“No more! This is my backyard and together my boyfriend and I shall enjoy it! daffodils shall be planted instead of your spiny fuschia flowers, and we shall delight in a lawn of chamomile, thyme and lemon balm, so each step shall omit soothing perfumes, and bumble bees shall seek their honey in this oasis in the flat farm lands of Skagit County. No more, nature, shall you dictate what goes on in the soil of this spot, for it is our time now.”

And Nature, in all her beauty and glory, will nod her head in acknowledgement. She knows how to share. She learned it in kindergarten, you see. She will understand, take a step to the side, and lend her healing, green hands when asked. And she shall know, that there is no need for her thorny anger here.

And now, the rain has stopped and the sun is coming out. Perhaps I should go and work in the garden.

photo 1

photo 3

My boyfriend, hard at work

photo 5 photo 7photo 6 photo 8
photo 9 photo 10 photo 11 photo 12 photo 13 photo 14 photo 15