The Night Circus – Yeah, Okay.


I’ve just finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I have mixed feelings about this one.

Normally, you’d find me rattling off the praise for the novel first off, but there’s something that truly had me struggling with this novel. The execution of the actual sentences was poor. So many times I had to stop and re-read a sentence or two because I honestly did not understand what Morgenstern was trying to convey. Many of the sentences were wordy and unnecessarily long. I’ve always found that great writing conveys exactly what is meant to be conveyed in as few words as possible. Yes, I know that we embellish and add words for flourish and style, but Morgenstern’s sentence structures felt fumbled and in disarray rather than stylistic.

That being said, I did enjoy the story as a whole, even though I felt that the organization of her multiple perspective structure could have used some more work. Some pieces didn’t seem to fit in the flow of things, others seemed obsolete nearing the end and didn’t need to be there.

However, despite all these technical flaws the story itself was well thought out. The characters were rich and vibrant, while the challenge surrounding the circus is what kept me reading.

My favourite characters, which will likely be everyone’s favourite characters, were Poppet and Widgets. Their mixture of brilliance and innocence made them so enchanting. Plus, I just love red-heads.

The concept of the circus itself was wonderful and well described. Each tent had it’s own individual personality that resinated well on the page. I found when I was reading the descriptions of each tent that I fumbled far less over the sentence structure.

My final verdict for this novel would be to read it, only for the general story idea, rather than the execution of it. I’m, of course, very picky when it comes to the execution of an idea and for me it needs to be done well so that I can immerse myself in a novel without tripping over awkward sentences. But, unlike me, a lot of people won’t notice these things that grind my gears.

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It’s Where I Want To Go


I was just going through my Reader, reading up on all the lovely blogs I follow, when I came across a post on a wonderful blog, writing in the water. It is titled, I knew I was a writer when…

This inspired me to tell my own story. Why did I ever decide that writing was what I wanted to do? I’ve been wracking my brain trying to pinpoint that moment where I said to myself “I want to be a writer when I grow up,” and like mapelba of writing in the water, I don’t think there was a single moment. It’s just something that’s always been there. It was just made clear when I hit adolescence.

I remember when I was five years old and I couldn’t even print properly yet. I took one of my school notebooks, the yellow paperbound ones, with the larger margins and the dotted line in the middle so you knew where to place your lower case letters and upper case letters, and I wrote a story. The funny thing is that I remember writing it, I remember it was about a chick on a farm. I remember I spelt chick as “chik.” How do I remember this?

Either way, I’ve always loved stories, telling them, reading them, and so on. I can never pass up a good story, in any medium.

Stories transport you to another place, they take you by the hand and bring you into a Neverland of infinite possibilities. As a child, this is how I ran away. I ran into the pages of books to escape whatever it was I couldn’t or didn’t want to handle. It’s a bad habit that I still partake in.

I never had a bad childhood, it was good a lot of the time. But, nothing is perfect. There were fights, punishments, tantrums, and silences. But in stories the good guys always won, the guy always got the girl, and everyone was always smiling by the end.

I remember realizing that I could make these stories too. My childhood best friend always got upset with me when I fell asleep first during our sleepovers. She had trouble sleeping, so she always asked me to tell her a story until she fell asleep. Now, these were no masterpieces of course, but they did their job. So in a sense, I’ve always been a story teller.

I still run into pages of books. I run into stories because they make me feel like a human being, if that makes any sense. They bring out a side of me that makes me realize how much of a person I am. But I’m still hiding in these pages, hiding from whatever it is I don’t want to do, see, or be.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love my life. I have a loving family, amazing friends who care about me, the ability to get a higher education, a lovely kitten, and an almost romantic life. But who wants to do the dishes when you can sore of into the skies or solve a mystery or discover the meaning of life.

I became a story teller but I’ve always been an escape artist.

Part I


I hear them. They’re coming again. Their empty steps, they’re tepid groans that replace the comforting inhale of the living. They’re always coming. I thought this time we had covered more ground, I thought we had more time.

I tighten the laces on my knee high army boots, as I fling my feet over the side of the cot. I slip my small, double barrel shot gun into the make-shift holster on the outside of my right leg. I swing my four inch knife into my belt and load my hand guns into their holsters which hang next to my ribs. Nothing fits right these days, we don’t have much of a choice.

I hear the soft groan and realize they haven’t smelt us yet, at least that’s how we think they find us. Personal hygiene is somewhat of a luxury now. Even I have trouble coping with the smell. But the senses weaken when you die, they need to be close to smell us. This time we’re in a bunker, the smell must not be getting through. It would seem that they just wandered in, perfect.

Once I’ve equipped my arsenal I wake the others. No need to rush if they haven’t found us yet. First I wake Sal, he always takes longer than anyone to rouse. I shake the aging man’s shoulder, “Sal,” I say in a whisper. The man groans and brushes a hand along his uneven, knife-cut beard but doesn’t wake. I shake him harder and speak directly into his ear. “Sal, get up. Sal, it’s migration.”

Sal’s eyes open in a panic, he scrambles to get to his feet causing the cot to squeak. The absent minded groaning which alerted me to their presence turns and is directed our way. I grab Sal by the mouth and arm squeezing until I’m about to draw blood. Sal froze.

“We haven’t been found yet,” I say. “But they’re here. So keep your panicking to yourself and get your shit together. I’ll wake Gia.”

As Sal makes attempts at quietly packing his things I walk over to Gia’s cot. I stroke her shoulder. She opens her eyes with a soft moan of annoyance.

“Gia, it’s migration.”

The fourteen year old girl looks down at the floor and sighs as her dark hair falls over her face. I back away as she flings he sneakered feet over the side of her cot and beings to pack her backpack.

I swing my green army duffle over my head, hanging it from my back. Sal fills his old hiker’s pack and clicks the straps into place across his chest, rifle at the ready. Gia tightens the straps of her backpack, pocketing her switchblade and loading her hand gun. Sal was skeptical about giving a fourteen year old girl a gun, but after a few lessons with makeshift ammunition her shot has become quite accurate.

The slow shuffle and groan of the dead came from the front entrance of the bunker. We dawn our usual formation, me in the lead, Gia behind me, and Sal bringing up the rear. I lead the other two to the back door of the bunker, which is proceeded by a narrow stair case. At the top of the stairs the doors out are directly above us. The doors are thick steel and it takes me nearly all my strength to dislodge them. I’m going to have to use all my strength to throw them open, causing a substantial amount of noise. Not knowing exactly what awaits us on the other side of the door makes this a terrible escape route, but the alternative is waisting ammunition we don’t have and most certainly risking our lives. There isn’t much time to think about it, I hear the shuffling feet behind us find purpose and quicken, they’ve caught our scent.

Friday’s Misadventure


So, ladies and gentlemen, I had myself a almost movie misadventure last night.

I was headed off downtown with my dear friend (who will be known from here on in as Chickadee) to watch her younger brother preform in an artistic show case for youth held by Art Quake. I’m all dolled up, wearing a comfortable yet cute cotton black dress and these lovely wedge heals that I had purchased weeks before but I did not have the chance to wear them until last night. I felt very feminine and lovely, which is rare for me.

So, we set out down the hill from Chickadee’s house to the skytrain. Now, I’m not much one for walking in heals, but I managed with only a few mis-steps that caused a slight tumble, and only ever on my right leg (the one with my bad ankle, go figure). As we approach the skytrain I hear the heal of my shoe dragging on the the ground, but I’m not dragging my feet, I’m lifting them with a little more vigour than normal to keep up with Chickadee and avoid a face plant. I look down, and my heal IS dragging on the ground because low and behold the wedge part of my show has detached at the heal from the part wrapped around my foot! 

This kind of thing NEVER happens in real life?! At least, that was my first thought. I felt like a girl in a really bad chick flick! I was waiting for a random modern-day prince charming to come out of the wood work and carry me to the nearest shoe repair, pay for the repairs and then take me out for a drink. But, no such luck.

So, Chickadee and I have a bit of a giggle over the absurdity of this shoe-dilemma. I shuffle onto the skytrain and as we need to transfer trains, at the transfer station there is a Shopper’s Drug Mart. Salvation! I shuffle on in and we buy some krazy-glue. This has to work right! I tell the cashier what it’s for and almost ominously she says, “That’s probably not going to work.” Chickadee and I dismiss her and continue back into the skytrain station and glue my shoe back together. Success! I may have glued it on a little crooked, but hey, I saved my cute shoes. So, we get on our second train and I am relieved that I wont have to worry about my shoe any longer!

Or, so I thought. As we’re making out way to the venue for the show, I trip and feel utterly stupid for not being able to walk in heals (because all women should be able to right?). But oh no, it wasn’t me. The shoe whose heal only came off has now lost the entire wedge bottom! I curse, and sit myself down in the middle of the downtown sidewalk, in a dress and begin to glue my shoe back together again.

I’m fed up. Now, begins the emergency shop for shoes. This I have never had to do. Shoe shopping was always because I wanted shoes, not because I needed shoes. I feel so terrible for detouring out night, and that Chickadee has to be dragged along on this ridiculous errand.

Luckily, it’s summertime and shoe stores are open late. We walk into the first shoe store and I go through 4 pairs before I find the ones that are to be the salvation of my night. I figured if I have to buy shoes, they may as well be ones I’ll wear again and that match my dress. (Yes, I’m girly some of the time, sorry gentlemen readers.)

This, is the end of my misadventure. But it was an interesting experience. This things always seem like something that would only happen in a bad comedy. Well folks, it’s apparently a real life occurrence! Surprisingly, I got through all of this with a good sense of humour about the whole thing. I think that that is, in part, due to Chickadee who is good company and never gets upset over life.

The morals of my misadventure? Expect the unexpected. Art imitates life. A good friend goes a long way. Shoes today, gone tomorrow.

Hats off to my cliches.

How Comical.


Do you remember the newspaper funnies? Those quippy little cartoons that we read as kids while our parents read the paper? I do, and I’ve noticed that they’re still around. But I never pick up a paper anymore. If I want the news all I have to do is read my facebook newsfeed. Without a doubt everyone will be commenting on the latest news, so why bother with the paper?

This could get me going on a whole shpeel about how paper publications are slowly sinking into the abyss of  former technologies. But I digress.

I’ve become intoxicated by web-comics. My ex-boyfriend (who from here on will be referred to as “Flannel”) got me into them. In the winter when I was held captive in my own bed by pneumonia I went on a hunt for web-comics. I spent hours upon hours reading comics until my eyes were completely blood-shot from my computer screen. I’ve since toned down my need for panel lives, but I still hold two in high esteem.

The first, which is the first and only web-comic that Flannel introduced me to is Questionable Content. I began reading this comic over two years ago, which is a far shorter time then comic creator Jeph Jacques has been writing it. I spent weeks, count ’em weeks, catching up. Now, Jeph has written over 2000 strips. Kudos to you Jeph.

The QC cast is a bunch of twenty-something hippster-type people with personalities ranging from coy to dysfunctional to just purely entertaining. These characters are extremely relatable, they remind me that everyone’s got their own shit to deal with. I’ve personally fallen in love with every character that Jeph has introduced me to (I even kind of have a crush on Martin). If you look at the world through the scope of QC you tend to categorize people through the characters, I know I do. I find myself thinking “What a Marigold.” or “How Pintsize of you!” I consider myself to be a gentler-type Faye. One of my best friends (who will from here on be referred to as “Cindy-Lou”) reminded me of Hannelore, without all the neuroses .

I urge you, if you have to yet experienced the humorous, drama-filled, life-affirming wonder that is QC do so.

QC is not my only animated love affair. Jeph, in all his wisdom, led me to Girls with Slingshots, another addiction of mine. I stumbled across one of Jeph’s many links when he mentioned Danielle Corsetto’s comic in his comments about his own comic of the day. Well, finding Jeph to have a nack about comics I decided to take his advice and check out the Girls. 

GwS has two main characters, Hazel “The Lush” Tellington, and Jamie “The Rack” McJack. These two are supported by an amazing cast. Hazel is a screw-up most of the time, and Jamie couldn’t be more extraverted if she were constantly on ecstasy. I love these girls.

I spent another few weeks catching up on GwS and loved every minute of it. Danielle has yet to hit 1500 strips, but is fast approaching it. Her light-hearted approach to sex as a natural, common, and at times humours thing is what caught me in the first place. Danielle has little reservations in the “shock” department, she tells it like it is, but in a fun up-beat way. Her personality and the personalities of her characters are fantastic! I would totally be BFFs (I use this acronym in a tongue in cheek sort of way) with her if I could. But, sadly I’m just a lowly fan girl.

GwS is another comic I strongly urge you to immerse yourself in. When you’re feeling low, GwS, no matter the topic always makes you smile.

These are two love-affairs I happily share with you. Jeph and Danielle get five gold stars in my books, and baked goods if I could provide them with such, but muffins don’t tend to travel well via mail.