Posts Tagged With: Saskatoon

NaNoWriMo Countdown – 4: What To Write…



This is me when NaNoWriMo is four days away and I have no idea what to write.

Yes. Here we are. It is October the 28th, 2014. A Tuesday, if you care.

It snowed all day yesterday, but was too warm for any of it to stick around. Today was equally drab. But, you’re not here to read about the weather in Saskatoon…are you?

Oh, you are. Okay. Well, last February (don’t quote me, I could be TERRIBLY wrong) or at some point in the last year or two, Saskatoon reached so low a temperature that, for a day, it was literally the COLDEST place on Earth. Colder than the Arctic, colder than the Antarctic and, with most certainty, colder than India (am I right, Shaun, or am I right?)

Seriously, though. You’re not here to read about Saskatchewan weather. You’re here because the title of this post mentions NaNoWriMo and you want to read something novel. (hahahahahah haha ha)

Do you know why Canadians are so prone to talking about the weather? It’s because weather patterns are unpredictable. You never know what to expect, or when to expect it. Change is so sudden, that weather is actually the most riveting discourse one can have (mostly).

But I digress.

Seriously. Let’s talk NaNo.


Do you see why I generally have no idea what to write for NaNo? It’s because instead of actually thinking about NaNo, I think about the weather. And the way my pinky has such trouble typing. And that cracked nail on my third toe. And…

Yeah. I may have ADHD. No, I really don’t. More like an aversion to planning. And thinking ahead.

So, when it comes to WHAT I’M WRITING for NaNoWriMo…it can change at a moment’s notice.

Right now, I think I’ll write the newest addition to my Demonria series, Saints of the Silence. This will be book number five for all of you who haven’t taken the time to check me out on NaNo and see that I wrote the first four books for previous NaNos (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 – to be PRECISE).

I’m not really sure what point this post serves, except to say that NaNoWriMo happens in four days. Or three (technically) if you’re a picky jerk.


Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve written such a useless post. But this gets at the hardest part about NaNo – it’s choosing an idea that will carry you through the entire month. It’s creating a story that can keep you motivated to reach that 50,000 word mark.

If you’re like me, you’ll understand that the problem is not coming up with one idea but, rather, choosing one out of the plethora of ideas stored away in your head – not to mention all the new ones that pop up each day unexpectedly.

So, while I think I’ll be writing Demonria: Saints of the Silence, I really can’t say FOR SURE until November 1st. Call me crazy, but it works. (This is the part where I could brag about my eight consecutive ‘wins’ of NaNo, but I won’t.)

Anyway, you already know NaNo is approaching. And I’m guessing you didn’t gain any value in life from this post. So why not turn the tables and give me something to sink my teeth into?

Tell me, dear reader and enthusiast writer, what are you writing this year? Because, while I have a tendency to make everything about me (and really it should be), even I have to admit that NaNoWriMo is about writers everywhere. I am just a teeny brushstroke in that masterpiece. (I’d like to apologize for my modesty. It won’t happen again.)

Cheers to everyone writing this November. Good luck. You can do it.

And, to all of you who won’t do NaNo because you “haven’t had time to think of an idea and plan,” consider me and then reconsider NaNo. If I can sit and ramble about nothing and still manage to keep your attention until the end of this post, surely you can write a little, teeny 50,000-word novel in 30 days.

Embrace the chaos.

Until Next,


P.S. This is tots my 300th post here. I can’t believe I’ve posted 300 things. I also can’t believe I just said ‘tots’.

Categories: Just Another Day, Life, Nanowrimo, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Bookends Of My Life – 12: It Is Kind Of A Funny Story

It's kind of a funny storyI saw this book online when I was looking for something entirely different (Star Trek). Normally, I read science fiction and fantasy and many books like this one above just pass me right by.

There was something different about this particular book, though. Everything about it – from the cover, the snappy title of It’s Kind of a Funny Story, and the authors name, Ned Vizzini – seemed to be calling out my name. Where normally I would’ve just kept looking for that Star Trek novel, I decided to take a closer look at this ‘mysterious’ book with the city map in someone’s head on the cover.

That’s when I found out that this was the book that that movie about Zach Galifianakis in a mental hospital was based off. I’d never seen the movie, and heard only dismal things about it, yet I decided to ignore them all.

I read the little preview on the back of book to discover this was a book about a teenager who suffers from depression and goes to a mental hospital as a result. What intrigued me more was the fact that the author, Mr. Ned Vizzini, also suffered from depression and he had actually spent some time in a mental hospital – just weeks before he wrote this novel – this was also in the book’s description.

I made a mental note of the cover, the title and the author and set out to find this book.

There are two major bookstores in Saskatoon (along with a lot of smaller ones that are all affiliated with Indigo/Chapters). I checked with them first, but their computer system told the lady at the counter who told me that none of the their stores in the whole city had any copies of this book, but they could order one. I told her to hold off on that because I had one other bookstore to check out.

And there it was, tucked away in a corner, behind the newest John Green book. I almost missed it. It was the only copy they had. Possibly the only copy for sale at the moment in the entire city.

With my new purchase, I returned home and started to read. I have ton say, this book was hilarious. It was charming. It was endearing. It was sweet. It was everything. And that’s saying a lot because I usually don’t read stuff like this.

The first line of the book is: “It’s hard to talk when you want to kill yourself”

That line pretty much sets up the rest of the book, except it’s all done in a humourous context. I definitely agree with the review on the book that says: “A book about depression that’s not the least bit depressing.”

About halfway through the book – because I was loving it so much – I decided I would look up the author to see what else he has written, so that I can look out for it next time I’m at a bookstore.

That’s when my world flipped upside down.

I’m wondering now if this wasn’t the reason I was drawn to this book so much.

It turns out that Mr. Ned Vizzini committed suicide. He jumped off a building on December 19, 2013.

My birthday.

I cannot explain that feeling I got when I read that. I’m pretty sure my whole body got covered in goosebumps. It made the book about a depressed teenager who wanted to jump off a bridge a little less funny, but it was still worth the read.

A friend told me that maybe I was meant to find this book and read it.

And I can’t help but think that I was.

Anyway, that’s my ‘funny story’. If you want a charming read that will make you laugh but also make you think, pick up It’s Kind of a  Funny Story. Don’t watch the movie. The book is much better.


RIP Ned Vizzini. I’ve said a prayer for your wife and son.

Thanks for reading,

Till Next,


Categories: Bookends Of My Life, Life | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Day 3: When Hell Freezes Over

For those of you in my time zone, or close to it, we’re just beginning Day 3 of NaNoWriMo. It’s 9:00 am, the sun is not shining and outside looks like the North Pole (but I’m too much of cranky nutcase to be Santa Claus). The only good thing about all of this snow is that it fills in all the potholes on the road – this is a big deal because Saskatoon has more potholes and bumps in the road than straight, flat road. Which is ironic because Saskatchewan is so flat that you can watch your dog run away for three days.

Anyways, I have no new piece of writing to post today either. If you’re really all that interested, I should have something in the next few days. I just don’t have much time to edit anything because I’m participating in this tiny little thing called NaNoWriMo. You may not have heard of it….it’s not like it’s been in my blog ten times and I really didn’t have about four posts dedicated to just NaNoWriMo, so don’t feel bad if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Now, I named this post “When Hell Freezes Over”, because when I look outside that’s what I see. It’s only November! I mean, granted if it got any warmer my igloo would melt, but do we really need all this snow? Believe it or not but sled dogs go much faster when there is not a foot of snow to plough through. Can you believe this, eh?

Just for your benefit, the freezing cold and lots of snow part is true. The rest? Well, if you believe that, you should go…….how about just look at a map.

So NaNoWriMo is really happening, we’re already at Day 3. By the end of Day 2 I was at around 9.5k, but I feel like it’s almost time to start falling behind. I work all day today and tomorrow, so won’t have much time to write. And there’s this little exam I have Monday, and another one on Wednesday. And an essay due Wednesday and another one on Friday and the list goes on and on. Sufficed to say, I started strong but I can totally feel it going downhill from here. Of course, I could be writing my novel right now instead of this post, but that would be practical.

And, actually, when I’m not writing I find I’m doing anything but studying. Good ol’ procrastination…we’ve been good buddies for a while now. Like, I’m starting to get addicted to Twitter, I’ve been all over the NaNoWriMo forums and I even offer my parents to help with dishes – just so we’re clear, that never happens. I guess I could clean my room….when you end up having to walk across clothes to get out, I think it’s getting pretty bad. Or, instead of all this crap I could just write. But sometimes that is a challenge. I know what’s going to happen next in my novel, but I stopped writing at midnight last night because I just couldn’t write anymore. If I had the energy of a horny rabbit I could probably go all night – that is, write all night.

So, I’ve got to get some real work done now. Unfortunately I’m talking about this garbage they make you do in school. It’s not fair. I pay so much money for them to give me work? It’s like paying to have a full time job! Anyway, that’s my rant. I’ve got to get cracking so I can finish this stuff before I go to work so that when I get home tonight I can just write.

How’s NaNo going for you guys? Anything exciting going on in your novels? Are you already at that point, like me, where you feel you need to take a break and not think about your novel for a a solid couple hours?

Thanks for reading.

Till Next,


Categories: Family, Life, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

When You’re Too Old For Trick-Or-Treating…

So I have no new writing developments to post today either. I’ve just been spending all my time trying to make sure I’m ahead in schoolwork so I can prepare for NaNoWriMo this Thursday! I edited the next bit of Perspective and will be posting that tomorrow – on Halloween, oooooh! Also planned for tomorrow is a post of another horror story I wrote – you can check out the first one here. I could have posted it today, but tomorrow is Halloween so you have to wait till then. This is me assuming you actually are sitting in anticipation for this story. If you’re not, you should either A) humour me, or B) get the hell off my blog – but not literally, because I do like me some page views.

Now that I’ve had my little bout of rudeness, I’ll try to play nice for the rest of this post. No guarantees, though. I am the child of my parents, after all, and my mother did tell her Grade 1 teacher to ‘f*** off’, so you’ll just have bear with me. Don’t be too insulted if it happens to you.

Anyways, I’ve been trying to figure out something worthwhile to say tonight, but my thoughts keep thinking about Halloween. Yes, it’s tomorrow. Be excited.

I’m not really excited, though, because I get to spend my Halloween doing homework and handing out candy to all those cute little children in their cute little costumes. It may be hard to believe, but I used to be one of those cute little children and not some stuck-up, self-righteous university student. That was then and this is now. You’re just going to have to take me as I am.

The last time I went trick-or-treating was Grade 8, I believe. Those were the good days… All that candy, the sugar highs and the seemingly endless night of running around freezing your little butt offs. Yes, in Saskatoon it’s usually quite cold and sometimes, like this year, there is even snow on the ground. That, I think, was the worst part because you always had to have a costume two sizes too big so that you could fit your winter coat underneath. Then, no matter how much you wanted to look like the real Superman, football player or alien invader, you always just ended up looking like a little, fat pseudo version of the real thing. But you still got to run around and get a whole pillowcase full of candy, so it was well worth the trepidation.

It’s the excitement about Halloween that made it so great. For my family, we didn’t have a lot of money, so we only had the bare essentials growing up. The only times, I mean the ONLY times, we ever got candy was Easter, Halloween, Christmas and, as to be expected, Grandma’s house. So, for us, Halloween was a big thing.

I think it was really special for me because most of my costumes were homemade (except my Superman costume when I was 5), so I got to watch my mom make them and, in most cases, help make them too. Although, how much I actually helped is in question. I was probably more of a creative consultant. I already mentioned some of my costumes, but I also got to be a wizard, Robin (from Batman and Robin), a character from a story I wrote (so no one had a clue who I was) and several others which I honestly can’t remember anymore. Guess they weren’t very good costumes.

I spent my high school Halloweens attending parties – which was great fun and everything, but the free candy was so much better. Last year I had a night class that happened to be on Halloween, so that was kind of drag. So, this year will be the first year I’ll have to hand out the candy to other kids. I’m not going to lie, I do get a little jealous, but it’s nice because I get to reminisce about the ‘good old days’. They’re the ‘good old days’ because, nowadays I have to deal with all this ‘real life’ stuff, which means I have to try and be a little mature and responsible.

So, thanks for reading. Please comment if you feel the need to share your own Halloween story or your favourite costume. I promise I’ll respond with kind words (but I can’t guarantee I won’t make fun of your favourite costume off this blog…. ;)). Well, that’s about all I’ve got patience for. Time to get back to studying. Damn Latin exam tomorrow!

Thanks for reading!

Till Next,


Categories: Family, Life, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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