Sherlock Holmes, of course, is a fictional creation—but, for a long time, the sleuth’s fans thought that his preferred method of hand-to-hand combat was fictional too. In the original Arthur Conan Doyle story The Adventure of the Empty House, Holmes returns from what readers had thought was his death at the end of The Final Problem; he explains to Watson that, contrary to public perception, he didn’t met his end in the treacherous Reichenbach Falls.
Dear Hotmail. You suck for changing everything to Outlook.
It’s ugly and I hate it.
If I had known that closing my e-mail and reopening it mere moments later to have it changed to Outlook, I would have kept it up forever.
.. This is me being unhappy with changes as abrupt as this, like when the TARDIS turned into a sci-fi terminal from a mish-mash of organic everything.
I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but for now it looks boring and ugly and I DIDN’T CHOOSE THIS!
Sincerely, me. (And probably others)
P.S. You suck for making it so that we can’t respond to your “By the way we’re changing everything neener-neener thhhhhbbbt” message. You’re smart because you’d be getting a bunch of complaints (I dare you to look up “How to change back from Outlook” ), but… You just suck.
It’s not that the thing is awesome, more that the thing is going to happen.
My Torchwood fanfiction ‘And I Wake Up‘ (which has now reached 50k!) has a somewhat steady readership, and you can probably find it in the comments, but someone asked me if they could make it into a podfic.
A podfic, if you’re wondering and don’t want to click the link I’ve so generously offered you, is an audiobook. Generally pronounced “Pod Fick” (Pod like the pod people, or three peas in a pod, and Fick like You’re putting on a British accent and trying to say ‘thick’, or fick like the beginning of fickle or like Fiction which is where the shortening comes from), it’s the meme-ish version of what you’d be able to get from a library.
It’s a weird thing, but I say this as someone who genuinely enjoys reading words on a page, multiple pages for an even better experience, and the idea of someone being like “Well, I really liked the beginning, but can’t I just lie back and listen to it being read to me instead?”…
Well it’s a strange one.
I don’t know why they want to do it, but it’s flattering as hell.
It’d be like getting fan art, and even if it isn’t particularly great, the vain peacock that you try to hide behind modesty perks its head up and preens.
Also, yes I like Batman.
I AM BATMAN.
So I don’t know how this’ll work out, It might end up being crap, all my spelling mistakes might come out in words, but you know what?
I’m going to listen to that.
I’m going to download it, and listen to someone else read out my story.
I’m also going to be linking to it when even one PART of it is done, and you know what? SO MANY MORE PEOPLE WILL HAVE ‘READ’ MY STORY AFTER THIS GETS OUT.
I don’t care if the person narrating has the most out-of-my-mind odd voice, this stuff will be on my iTunes, hell, IT’S GONNA BE ON MY PHONE.
I’m going to ruin all sense of anonymity and post this stuff on facebook.
Because YES I’m a vain peacock, and, speaking from experience, the people who say that being this excited over something as small as this, I know the feeling.
Don’t be jealous I know you want to be as happy as I am right now because I haven’t been this weirdly happy since…
Well, I think since I was so determined to believe that Santa was real. (Or maybe since Lexy made the post about it I’m linking you all to, read it and her blog because she’s amazing), or maybe when it was my turn to be the Easter Bunny (Bulk Barn didn’t know what hit it).
Thing is, I’m genuinely happy, and I don’t even know entirely what I’m happy about.
I’m just enjoying the feeling.
Whether you read my stories or not, if you’ll be listening to my story or not, someone liked my (Now 50, 000 word long) story enough that they wanted to express it outside of a review, and it’s fantastic.
And, if my blurb about being happy about a podfic didn’t brighten your day, here’s the story behind this last picture:
Yesterday my mom posted a picture on Facebook of my 5 year old brother Sam wearing a pair of shoes he picked out for his first day of preschool.
She explained to him in the store that they were really made for girls. Sam then told her that he didn’t care and that “ninjas can wear pink shoes too.”
Sam went to preschool and got several compliments on his new shoes. Not one kid said anything negative toward him about it.
However, my mom received about 20 comments on the photo from various family members saying how “wrong” it is and how “things like this will affect him socially” and, put most eloquently by my great aunt, “that shit will turn him gay.”*
My mom then deleted the photo and told Sam that he can wear whatever he wants to preschool, that it’s his decision. If he wants to wear pink shoes, he can wear pink shoes.
Sam then explained to her that he didn’t like them because they were pink, he liked them because they were “made out of zebras” and zebras are his favorite animal
What does it say about society when a group of adults could stand to take a lesson in humanity from a class of preschoolers?
This was from a facebook post that’s made its way through the internet, and HERE is a more in-depth bit of info on it
I’m pretty experienced with Mooching, both being the Mooch-er and being the Mooching target.
Hell, my best friend from High school mooched off of me all the time.
She did it well.
I know how to do it well.
And you may be wondering what exactly I mean by doing it well.
I don’t mean she’s good at getting all my food/drink from me, because THAT’S not Mooching well. THAT is being irritating. That is being a Mooch >:(
What I am, is a Mooch
To Mooch well you have to be happy with getting a small amount. If you get too greedy, no one will be willing to give you any of their snacks, they won’t be willing to share with you.
People mirror other people’s attitudes too much to be able to share well with a greedy person, and while you may be able to get away with it one or two times, if you’re consistently greedy, no one will want to share with you.
Kasia and I are fine with mooching small amounts, we’re the best kind of Moochers; the kind that gets jokingly referred to as Moochers, but don’t have anyone getting annoyed at us for it.
One thing you learn when Mooching, is that there’s always some sort of equality. It’s symbiotic.
I let Kasia Mooch off of me, and she lets me do the same. With others, They let me mooch off of them, and I let them complain about their problem(s), and do my best to help if I can. Or some other kind of equalling action is taken.
Now that I’m older and legal, one example is between Meghan and I. I let her drink my Rum, and She lets me drink her Vodka. She’s more of a vodka drinker, and I’m a rum drinker, so it works out well to mooch off of each other.
It’s a trade.
But there are some who go beyond being a Bad Mooch.
A regular Bad Mooch is a Moocher who takes way too much. They take enough that it could be considered just giving the person something, and that involves key phrases like “paying me back” or “Buy me one later” or “Owe Me One”
These are not things that are said in regards to Mooching. These are things said in favours and borrowing, in Mooching it’s so little it’s not even said, it’s an unwritten code, a secret handshake, an inside joke of sorts. So when a Mooching incident gets into that sort of territory, it’s irritating.
It’s what makes them a bad Mooch.
What makes them a worse Mooch can be one or both of two things:
1) They Mooch expensive things.
2) How they go about Mooching.
Mooching expensive things is bad form. It’s like someone gets a slice of $15 cake and you eat most of it. If you’re not in the least bit remorseful about it, or are cocky about it, it’s more than irritating, it’s something that gets you put into “That Annoying Person” category in people’s minds.
That’s right. People’s. Not just the person you Mooched off of.
Because when you’re in the Annoying Person category, it means people complain about you to others. People you never even met now have preconceived notions about you and your character.
There is one such person in THAT category for me, and it’s gotten to the point that I get pissed off when even thinking about her.
For the record, I didn’t much like her that much in the first place. She doesn’t really have much of a personality (in that she really doesn’t even try to contribute to any conversation, and is the kind of person that when you get them a present for their birthday, you just get them some sort of generic chocolate, because you have no clue what the hell they even like), and never initiates any sort of hang-out or activity. I mentioned her in my post about skating HERE, she’s the one who walks on ice.
Sometimes it feels like she just sort of latched onto us and just never let go.
The few things I have gotten from her is that she really doesn’t drink.
She said this in a different way than my sister does.
My sister says it because she doesn’t like drinking. She’s the sort who says ‘yuck’ when offered any sort of alcoholic beverage, and it’s been a life choice for her that I accept even if I don’t understand it.
Melissa says “I don’t drink” while eyeing my Bacardi Breezer with some curiosity.
So I was like “You know what? You want to some? If you don’t like it I can finish it.” And she tried it, liked it, and that was that.
I’m okay with sharing alcohol. I don’t like drinking alone, and it is a pretty social thing. Eleanor, who does drink, drinks wine, and doesn’t get as drunk as either Meghan or I, but she has fun with it.
One time, it was decided that because we had the time and the lessening of work to do it, we were going to have a drinking night. We didn’t actually call it a drinking night but that’s pretty much what it was. Other nights were less planned, but they were on days when classes wouldn’t be a problem.
So, since I was going to the nearest LCBO on a day when I didn’t have classes, I asked Meghan, Eleanor, and Melissa if they wanted anything. If I’m remembering correctly, Eleanor wanted me to grab her a Girls Night Out (a weird wine, and I’m not really a wine drinker, but to each their own), and I’m pretty sure Meghan wanted me to grab her more Vodka, and maybe something else, but this was a while ago.
Melissa said “Oh, no thanks, I’ll just have whatever you’re getting.”
… well, no, that’s not actually how this works.
Alcohol can get expensive.
I enjoy liquor and mixed drinks, so I was planning on getting a few Breezers, some spiced rum to go in Coke Zero, some Disaronno to mix with Orange Juice, and more apple juice to go with the Fireball I already had.
In case you’re underage or don’t buy alcohol much, straight liquor is expensive, and already mixed drinks are pretty cheap comparatively. Liquor is expensive like this because it’s expected that it’ll last you a while, it’s expected that it’ll be mixed, and it just makes sense when already-mixed drinks are one-night deals.
So when I ask if anyone wants me to grab them something, well after I’ve let everyone try sips and glasses of what I like and have had during other drinking nights, I expect that they’re going to give some sort of yea or nay, yea meaning that when I bring out the receipt they’ll be paying me back, nay meaning they’re bringing their own.
Because you don’t need to be drunk to enjoy yourself on drinking nights.
So when Melissa says that she’ll just have what I’m having, I’m thinking that, okay, you know what? Perhaps she’s just planning on sipping tonight. I can spare orange juice and a shot of Disaronno, I can spare a Breezer.
But I was mistaken. This was not the case.
Because when I say that I’m okay with sharing alcohol, I don’t mean that I’m okay with being treated like an open bar.
Melissa drank about 3/4 of my Disaronno, a great deal of my mixed-drinks, a third of what was left in my still pretty full Fireball, and then also had quite a bit of Eleanor’s wine.
“I don’t drink” is something she still says.
Another thing she said that particular night, was “Wow that’s lot of alcohol,” and from anyone else, I would expect that that’s an expression similar to saying “wow were going to get dunk tonight!” or at least that something like that would be the subtext.
When she said it, the subtext was
“…You’re an alcoholic.”
This is an irritating thing, especially after she’s drunk so much of my booze.
This is an especially irritating thing when, after drinking so much of my booze, she doesn’t even think to pay me back for all the alcohol she’s drunk.
Because, at the very least (and this is being generous), she’s had about $50 of alcohol from me.
To be more realistic, it’s somewhere between $70 and $80.
So, in case you’ve missed it (or else are now thinking I’ve now decided to only talk about alcohol), Melissa has 1) mooched quite a bit off of me without reciprocating in some way, 2) has mooched an expensive thing, 3) has Mooched while affecting an annoying holier-than-thou attitude, and 4) has been doing 1-3 while not even being that fun to be around.
She is firmly in that Annoying Person category I was talking about.
So right now I’m back in Ottawa, and tonight I’m going to be hanging out with Eleanor (who has made the decision herself to be roommates with Melissa–I don’t actually know if she’s ever been annoyed with her before…), and Melissa… and trying my best not to let this annoyance show.
So that’ll be fun.
Don’t be a bad Mooch, or else you might annoy someone who has a blog.
Everyone gets ideas, it’s a fact.
Everyone gets persistent ideas as well.
You know the ones, the ones with cattle prods. With Taser in hand.
Sometimes the cattle prods are red-hot at the ends, as they want to brand you with themselves.
But it’s an idea that you can’t let go of, even as it pokes and prods at you, wanting your attention, wanting you to do something about it, wanting you to –hey, why haven’t you dropped everything yet? What’s up with that? This idea is so much more interesting than what you’re doing now, or what you need to do later, that it’s amazing you haven’t imploded from the need to move onto this amazing idea yet.
What is wrong with you?
The idea will poke and prod until you do something about it, it will continuously remind you that you have a duty to it every time you stop for a moment, let your mind wander…
Why haven’t you done anything about this idea yet?
Are you stupid?
But, because you have something that NEEDS to get done, that idea will have to wait.
It has to, because it came to you not when you had time, but when you were reading something, or perhaps doing something important, or getting ready to go to bed after working fo the entire day and the idea finally catches up to you…
And then doesn’t let go.
These ideas are funny like that
But, no matter what you’re doing, until you have done something about this idea–no matter what, exactly it is an idea about–you will be poked, prodded, sometimes bashed over the head, so that you are either mildly distracted from what you need to do, or else you are blinking and shaking your head from disorientation from this new abusive relationship you have with this part of your psyche, asking “pardon?” and hoping no one will notice you weren’t paying the least bit attention to this thing that NEEDS your attention
Of course, this idea you have also NEEDS your attention, doesn’t it?
Because you know that it’s an idea that needs to be explored, it may even be something that you will eventually actually NEED to get to, and you don’t want to lose this at-the-moment unwanted passion and unwilling enthusiasm, that what’s grabbing your attention will not be done nearly as well if you don’t get to it while you’re THIS interested.
And there is this fearful need to get it done, because there are a few things that run through your mind, and most of them are what-if’s
What if you just finish what you’re doing, and come back to it? Will that work?
What if I forget this amazing idea? (Note: his happens a lot right before you’re going to bed)
What if after I’m done this important thing, I’ve lost the enthusiasm? Then it won’t be nearly as good…
All these things will run through your mind at one point or another, and more, and it adds fuel to the fire of any anxiety you’ve already experienced thus far.
With me it’s usually story ideas, and I end up telling Lexy a lot of them (she does this in kind, though lately it’s been for her amazing short stories), and one term for these ideas you might have heard about is that you’ve gotten a ‘Plot Bunny’
It’s rather clever since the ideas are usually little fuzzy things bouncing around in your mind, sometimes breeding with other bunnies in the vast landscape of your imagination, and creating new, sometimes more developed plot bunnies.
This is usually what I imagine a plot bunny would be like:
Cue yeah? And writer cat is good for me too, since a great deal of what happens is that I get so focused on one idea, and sometimes get distracted, or focus on a different plot bunny and ignore the others I’ve already started working on. It’s a bit like a cat who’s really interested in the game you’ve been playing, but then between one swipe and the next the claws are out and they’re entirely disinterested in that bit of string that’s held their attention so long.
But these ideas, these plot bunnies that kick and shout and generally screw with your mind until they die or you give up, it’s like something went horribly wrong.
Possibly in a way that can be salvaged, but it’s like adding a buzz saw and ninja stars to a plot bunny.
No, wait. It’s like the plot bunnies have gone rabid.
They’re going crazy in your mind, frothing at the mouth, and you can’t not pay attention to that, can you?
It seems like it could be cute or scary or something from Monty Python, like something that could be in your dreams or nightmares, and in any case something difficult to put aside.
I feel like I experience this quite a lot, so here’s some things that at least help. It’s not a lot, but it means that these plot bunnies can sometimes be saved, rather than end up being put down like Ol’ Yeller.
I write things down.
I have probably a dozen or so word documents with a few ideas for stories written down inside of them, little bits and things that seem brilliant and are flashing and shrieking in my ear as something brilliant (or heartbreaking, there are quite a few plot bunnies that are on a mission to have me bawling my eyes out), so I write them down. If I can spare some time to write out a few paragraphs (even if they aren’t coherent, or in a proper story-telling kind of format), I’ll do that and just write out the other scenes around it… Mind you, if you do this you must have patience, because you may or may not be the kind of person who wants to post something immediately, or get to an idea quickly, but more times than not it’s best to write out what needs writing rather than jumping to this amazing scene that’s only amazing because YOU (the author) know all the back story and linking things for it.
I experienced this with my Torchwood story, when I jumped ahead to a part of the story I already knew would be happening, and had at least a chapter finished… only I knew I had at least another scene to write (at the VERY least, and that would be skimping on important detail), so the few reviews I got complaining about me not updating quick enough (which is equally flattering and annoying, by the way), or people asking if I’ve abandoned the story (NO. Each chapter is at least 10k, and I write ALL of the next chapter, don’t you DARE give up on me you weak-willed readers! Have courage to click the ‘subscribe to story’ button!), can get really frustrating, and I know none of them believe me when I say that I wrote ahead. That I’m not done THIS chapter because I was busy working on the next.
The Love-Hate relationship to writing fanfiction…
Another thing I do is talk about it.
Lexy is a fantastic sounding board. I personally hate calling someone a ‘sounding board’, sounds quite a bit like I’m just using someone, but it’s true.
I can talk to her about stories and plot ideas I’ve had bouncing in my head, and being able to talk about my ideas aloud sometimes help me solidify one idea or another. Sometimes I can get away with just talking aloud, but hearing feedback and seeing Lexy’s expressions and opinions really helps.
Most computers have some sort of webcam as well, and I’ve tried filming myself talking about a story idea to even see my own expressions, because watching it helps me figure out where I’m unsure. You don’t realize how much you express when you’re talking until you’re watching it.
This also helps out when you’re working on a story/idea already, and helps you get new perspectives. Dwelling on a story long enough sometimes dulls the story for you, yourself, as the author. It’s like the 20th time you’ve seen a movie, as you’ve already looked over all the hidden meanings, you know all the back stories, there are no more surprises, no more twists, and you think way too ahead.
So yeah, talking. It works.
It also forces you from your writing cave
And the last thing…
Well, It’s something I’ve been thinking of doing, so it isn’t something I KNOW works. I know there’s a possibility it may work though.
You could make a forum and adopt out your plot Bunnies.
I have a lot of ideas rumbling about in my head, and before I start writing a story I’m usually feeling it out for months before I start seriously writing it, so some plot bunnies get neglected.
So why not give out prompts? You could do it with one word prompts, and their definitions, or you could write out a small summary for your plot bunny, you could post a paragraph that you’ve written down, you could give bits and pieces and scenarios from plot bunnies and see where others take them.
If you make a request for someone to link their project back to you, then you can even read it, and you know that one quote…
If you don’t, it goes something like
“If there’s a story you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, get to writing it”
Something like that. It’s what got me into regularly writing my own things.
But back to turning part of your imagination into a sort of foster home for Plot Bunnies (Rabid or otherwise, and remember that you can always pick them back up again later when you have the time and inclination)… well, you really don’t have to, but it’s something to consider.
What use are YOU getting out of them, hmm? What if you have an idea, a newborn Plot Bunny, but don’t have any plans on actually writing it? What if you just enjoy the idea hopping around your head? Well, you could foster it out and then you could READ the story someone else makes out of it.
You could hate it, you could love it… but it’s maybe gotten someone else to start writing, so that’s good
These tips work pretty well for other kinds of ideas, too, I’d imagine. An idea for a drawing you don’t have time for? Doodle it. Write down colours, just do a thumbnail drawing and come back to it. Have an idea for a poem? Keep sticky notes with you, or a note pad, and write it down as it comes. Edits are for later, and you might not have the rhythm for it later. Or what about a sculpture, or a carving, or something else that would be three-dimensional? Draw it out. A rough sketch to get the idea out, jot down the specifics, things not obvious in the drawing.
These ideas are rabid in your thoughts because they’re GOOD ideas. They may need refining, some other details figured out, but they’re distracting you because you can do something with this.
The Plot Bunnies and Business Bunnies and Doodle Rabbits and other furry creature ideas DON’T have to be a problem. Even if you’re in a rush, taking a half-hour break to jot down some notes can only help, since it means you won’t be (as) distracted when you go back to work.
How do YOU deal with your Rabid Plot Bunnies?
I mean, we’ve had such a good relationship so far, and now….
Let’s just say I’m worried.
Today I’m in Ottawa, having taken a 6pm flight from Halifax, and I’ll be here for a few days before taking a train to Toronto.
Before my flight, though, I had to finish up packing, shower (By the way, if you’re going to be travelling, SHOWER BEFORE HAND. Sincerely, Someone Who May End Up Sitting Next To You In The Future), and I managed to finish that a little after 3.
I did Siobhan’s dishes since I had the time, and then looked up the best route to take to get to the Halifax Airport.
I put Siobhan’s street as the ‘from’ and got the address of Halifax’s Airport, clicked for the best route via busses since it would be cheaper, and…
Sorry, we don’t have transit schedule data for a trip from Siobhan’s Address, Halifax, NS to Bell Blvd, Enfield, NS B2T 1K2 at the time and date you specified.
Get driving directions from Siobhan’s Address, Halifax, NS toBell Blvd, Enfield, NS B2T 1K2.
… Sorry, what?
Google, what are you saying? There’s a bus route FROM Halifax Airport, I know that because I checked it out when I first got here, and now you’re saying there isn’t?
…Are you Lying to me?
How could you?
Google is a horrible Liar
Reversing the to/from did nothing as well, Google playing dumb with me (like THAT would work, really…), and I was getting frustrated.
I did get help from a different source, and took the bus part way there, but I still had to call a cab for the rest of the trip.
But really… How did I get to this point?
Is Google angry at me for some reason? Have we lost that spark that was once between us?
You know there are problems when lies are brought into a relationship…
Especially bold-faced OBVIOUS lies like that.
Anyone want to offer relationship advice?
I just found this:
It’s very clever, but I was thinking, what about for me?
When I was little we had two cats, one creme with orange tips to his ears and tail (Eric), and a sort of purplish grey cat with a black face, ears, tail, legs,feet…
Yeah. Now we have this guy.
So I decided perhaps it would also make sense if I were to adjust this to a Fluffy Pale Dog Analogy…
To set the scene, you’re out with your fluffy pale dog, enjoying the snow as it falls, and you’re letting him romp around in the snow…
PHILOSOPHY is sort of like, while on this walk, your dog (Let’s call him Gwynn) bounds off into the surrounding wooded area, and you lose sight of him. You can hear him though, and try spotting him by following the sounds.
METAPHYSICS is like if, on your walk, Gwynn runs over to the other side of a hill and is out of sight, and you call for him because you can’t hear him anymore. Then, when you go to follow where you last saw him go (and you’re sure he isn’t there anymore, as you’ve already called his name in varying tones of excitement and command), there is movement from the corner of your eye, and you can feel low in your heart that what comes back isn’t going to be your fluffy dog, but a slicked down dog who has found something to roll in…
(That thing was dead and half melted despite the snow)
THEOLOGY is like losing sight of Gwynn, and calling for him, and you see movement, and out from the scraggly underbrush comes–! An entirely different dog.
What? That’s not Gwynn!
SCIENCE is like getting tired of calling for Gwynn, he’s obviously found something interesting to sniff and/or roll in, so you start running, treats in hand. Surprise, surprise, Gwynn comes, and is more likely to come back again, because he knows you’re packin’ that dried liver he loves so much.
Yeah. Just a bit of fun Maybe I’ll add more pictures to this later.