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NaNoWriMo: What is it?

Put the ice queens, princesses, witches, monsters, pirates, Doctors, and whatever other costume the kids wore away.  Halloween is almost ove...

Friday, October 31, 2014

NaNoWriMo: What is it?

Put the ice queens, princesses, witches, monsters, pirates, Doctors, and whatever other costume the kids wore away.  Halloween is almost over and now it's time to get ready to perform a phenomenal feat.

At exactly midnight, several people of varying ages around the world will stop with a majority of the rest of the world with one goal in mind - to write fifty thousand(50,000) words by midnight on November 30.  They only have from the moment Halloween is officially ended to write or type up the story they've chosen to focus on.  Why?  Because everyone has a story to tell and the world can always use another novel.  

So a nonprofit organization was created and titled National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short.  The goal of the organization is to inspire and motivate writers to complete a 50,000 word "novel" in thirty days.  There is no cost to try and in joining their website there's no telling how many writing buddies you may make if you go to write-ins and follow the virtual ones.

Since writing is such a solitary occupation and can often take the place or at least interfere with real life, this organized yet flexible way to connect with writers around the globe is pretty awesome.  For more information on NaNoWriMo itself, check out their website.  Otherwise, I will now inform on what few plans I have involving NaNoWriMo for the month of November.  

You can check out my page and add me as a writing buddy if you so choose for more detailed information.  So far I have a general idea that was inspired by the duet of Joliene done by two members of Team Gwen on the Voice.  Then, as I was walking to do some shopping, I started thinking about how envious we all are which lent itself to further aiding me in planning the story out.  My biggest issue is likely not losing all these ideas when they hit during NaNoWriMo what with Thanksgiving and birthdays and work and getting ready for winter and the rest of its holidays.  Don't worry though.

I've committed myself to complete this story even if I don't have names for my characters or a title for the novel and am conspicuously missing a cover image for same said novel.  In fact, I picked up a Caliber brand Memo Pad complete with pen at CVS for only $5 and made certain I have a recording device on my phone.  

Every Sunday I plan to type up a "NaNo Update."  This means there will be five.  There likely won't be much in the way of information on the first one.  I will, however, inform on general story breakthroughs (the character based off the song, whom I've been referring to as Joliene, has claimed that that is "so totally not my name in any way shape or form" which in a way is a good thing since I hope my niece by the same name doesn't become a man- or woman-eater!) as well as if interesting events occurred during write-ins.  Hopefully these blogs will help keep me on track!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hallow-WHAT? Why Halloween is loved by all, or at least most...

Halloween.  All Hallow's Eve.  Samhain.  All of them occur on October 31.  They are all based or happen to be a celebration of the dead.  Samhain is the Wiccan New Year's Eve.  The end of the previous year.  A start of the dead season.  All Hallow's Eve later became Halloween thanks to making it easier to say.

Why is it so popular though?  The month of October becomes a tribute to the scary, creepy, and unholy.  Things that go bump in the night become the stars of the month and if you can terrify your friends - bonus points!  It's the only time you really get away with terrifying complete strangers.  It's the only time that you can expect to have nightmares after getting candy.

Speaking of candy, that's only the best thing about it for the kids.  Well, maybe not all of them, however, houses don't just give out candy.  They give away toys, cereal, school supplies, rings, apples, caramel apples, and the list continues.  It's not always the small stuff either.  Sometimes they give away the really big candy bars, you know, the share size packages that you only find at the gas station and your mom, dad, or other parental/guardian unit refused.  Yep, those are handed out to the kids.

These kids and sometimes (usually) their parents (because who wants to disappoint their young by refusing this fun pastime?) are dressed in some costume.  Now an episode of So Weird? from the Disney Channel (back when they actually played the series) actually had a town that did this every Halloween because of a pact with the local dead.  All the Phillips gang had to do to keep from being taken to the "other side" for the next year was dress like they were dead.  They disguised themselves as the dead.  Some kids will use Halloween to dress as their favorite TV character (this year, we expect to see a lot of Frozen related costumes.)  Adults indulge their inner child and in some cases inner kink.

Either way they get to play dress up.  They get loads of candy.  If done well enough, Halloween will scare the shit out Trick-or-Treaters.  This brings me to a thought that actually has started to tick me off more and more every year.  Yes not everyone wants to be scared.  Yes there are going to be those who don't decorate their homes for the scarefest that is what makes Halloween in my opinion so great.  I live in America.  I've heard of or read several who are claiming that folks decorating their homes with gravestones is too scary.  They seem to believe that Halloween is a night for playing politically correct(PC) dress up and getting free candy for children in middle school or younger.

These people seem to believe that sexy costumes are perfectly fine, but gross or scary is against the rules.  (I must reiterate though that most of these instances related are based on hearsay and I may have what they meant to have relayed in their words incorrect.)

To these people, I suggest that for the month of October, perhaps you should hibernate at home.  Halloween is a holiday I have looked forward to since I was a kid living in South Carolina.  That does not mean that I want you to destroy the main reason I love it - to get the living shit scared out of me.

To wrap this up, for all of you going out to Trick-or-Treat for Halloween, be safe as you try to be scared and get your bags full of sweets.  Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Envy, Pity, and Why?

I've always been envious of others.  I freely admit that I succumb regularly to this sin.  I won't however do anything towards freeing myself of those envies.

My older sister was a straight-A student.  All of my siblings were more popular.  My brother was a boy.  Other girls' hair didn't tangle as quickly.  One of my sisters was a blonde.  Those I call friends were always more open than I or had family members that actually cared about them.  Others were more athletic.  They had better stories to tell or juicy gossip to entrance others with.  They knew exactly what they wanted in life.  They were better looking.  They had better brains.  They had a defined talent.

Then, between Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood(FMAB) and Criminal Minds, I realized something: everyone is envious of something.  We grow up in a society where we are told to be happy with ourselves but can see those whom we look up to long for the hairstyle of someone else.  We are taught that being of a certain look will automatically make one better socially or targeted for social homicide.  Being smart wasn't always so great.

As a matter of fact, even during the nineties early two thousands, being so into a piece of fiction like Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Supernatural, or Sherlock made one the perfect target for bullies.  But we are informed that it's okay to be whom we are even if it is some overzealous stalking fan who may eventually kill.  We are taught that going to the extreme of killing someone is wrong.  Sometimes, as an adult, I envy today's children.

They will likely not be raised to Sabrina, the Teenage Witch; Matlock; Diagnosis Murder; or Power Rangers the way I had been.  But the teasing and dissing of what they enjoy won't be as bad either.  They'll easily find others who enjoy the same things as them due to social media online, but they'll lose that face-to-face interaction that brings about local book clubs and coffee dates(though I despise coffee!)  Children of today's world aren't raised with the story lines we had.  The shows for younger children seem almost above intelligence for their age, and then for the teens, below intelligence levels.

With how we've become severely"do not offend" and "keep things politically correct (PC)" at least in America, it seems our entertainment is taking it to one extreme or the other, and that's not always a good thing.  It just feels as though things aren't the same, and while that's good, on the whole I am not as envious of the next generation as I had thought.

Sure they've got awesome paraphernalia for their fandoms and more ways than ever to keep themselves entertained, but now the corporations are able to connect all of the ways you keep information electronically which makes it a hell of a lot easier to target a person for identity theft.  I've already seen instances in folks my own age trying and failing to do the simple math problems like 29-14 that we had drilled in our heads so much that we could answer thirty of them in a minute without a problem.  They can't walk on their own even down the street for fear of the various types of human predators instead of animal and if they want to stay at a friend's?  Forget it unless they have all manner of ways to immediately be reached by the parents/guardians.  Yes they might have a more tolerant future, but what kind of future is it when they've become slaves to their electronics?  They may not know what a picnic is or enjoy a walk in the woods listening to the lake it surrounds.  They might not be able to enjoy a trail ride or swim freely at the beach.  It's for those reasons that I don't envy them.  Because one day, there might not be parks to walk through, beaches to sun on, or woods to wander, I actually pity them.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Facebook Friends, Requests, and Games

A friend of mine has had her Facebook account for several years now.  She opened one after receiving requests from other friends to join them.  She also had a MySpace account at the time.  Mind you, she wasn't on either regularly back then because she found other things more interesting than playing some random game or poking friends.

Yes, Facebook got its start as a gaming platform.  All those friend requests to play one game or another?  That was how Facebook began.  Between Vampires vs. Werewolves, before Twilight and Pirates vs. Ninjas to Vampire Wars and Farm Town, some members have been playing their games and sending said requests to friends since before they were able to leave more than short messages on a friend's wall.

Why did I start ranting about this particular subject?   My friend regularly plays certain games.  She also regularly ignores her notifications and game requests unless she decides she wants the headache of trying to deal with thousands of requests.  Some games are easier to keep from sending requests to friends who don't play the game than others, but it's actually relatively easy to keep from seeing said requests...It's called Hide All Posts From [enter name of game here.]

She just happened to be going through her wall posts, something she rarely does or ever really did.  One of her friends wrote a post "threatening" to remove friends who keep sending her game requests.  She then asked if said friend forgot that Facebook started out as games, not a media outlet for the depressing shit that keeps appearing on walls or for fandoms to reach out globally to each other.

While it started out as a gaming platform, it has changed.  Events and news stories are commonly pushing aside the games and it seems as though even though the games want to try to keep relevant they demand too many friends that play the same game and expect players to spend a majority of time playing the game.  If someone spends more time removing friends because of game requests than taking the time to remove said game from their accepted notifications list, then perhaps they aren't spending enough time in the real world catching up on other things.

What do you think?  Should someone be removed from a friends list just because ssaid friend is receiving game requests from them?