Trip to the City Mall

I went to the mall with my brother a few days ago. Not my local mall, one out in the actual city. It’s huge. And they had a LUSH. Naturally, I can’t help but buy stuff. I also decided to bring a few books with me to the mall. And no backpack. What was I thinking? Basically, I ended up carrying some rather weighty bags as well as my coat (I picked up some tea there and got very warm).

All in all, we had a good time just wandering around and checking out random shops. I had intended to check out the T&T supermarket they had there, but then decided against it since I’m not planning on making anything special in the near future. And I was getting tired.

In my continued infinite wisdom, I also chose to go without my orthotics for the excursion. Imagine how my legs felt standing for 8 hours at work the next day. Can you say shin splints?

I would just like to go on record by saying that ginger and oolong tea together is one of the most amazing things ever. If you’re going to be in a David’s Tea in the near future, grab yourself a cup of “The Skinny”. It’s organic and delicious.

This is another post with no real point to it. I just felt like sharing. That’s all for now

~TTFN

Homemade Tastes best

Happy hearts day, everyone! I hope you and your significant other have had a good one. And for those of you are single, I hope you enjoyed your day of celebrating with single friends the joys of being single and not having to share your B&J’s ice cream.

Now, I’m not much of a Valentine’s enthusiast myself, being single and not seeing the point of having a specific day to appreciate your significant other, but I always relish an excuse to make treats for my co-workers.

Because it’s the great day of chocolates and roses, I decided to try my hand at making a chocolate recipe I found on youtube about a year or so back. It’s super simple and really really good (especially if you like dark chocolate). You can take a look at it here.

This is what the finished product looked like after my second attempt.

This is what the finished product looked like after my second attempt.

I more or less followed the recipe shown, but instead of the alcohol I added cinnamon, honey, and vanilla. Don’t ask me for the amounts because I did not measure. They turned out really good. Smooth and delicate, and they really melt in your mouth. I’d definitely recommend giving the recipe a try.

In other news, I saw a downy woodpecker in my yard yesterday. I don’t know why, but seeing birds in my yard other than the usual thrushes, chickadees, and sparrows gets me really excited. I was bouncing up and down like a little kid the entire time. They’re really little birds, too. Doesn’t he remind you of Woody Woodpecker a bit?

Downy Woodpecker chowing down at the suet feeder. Isn't he cute!

Downy Woodpecker chowing down at the suet feeder. Isn’t he cute!

Good Behaviour and the Mask of the Internet

Last month I stumbled upon an amazing site called Tapastic (okay, was more guided than stumbled, but you get the idea). It’s a pretty cool online platform for people to post their comics for free, and it’s free to read the comics too, with the option of financially supporting your favourite artists if you so wish. I’ve had a lot of fun reading the various quirky and fascinating stories and journals that the site has to offer.

Speaking of the more journal-ish comics, I’ve noticed one topic coming up in a lot of them, the idea that as soon as one of your relatives follows your work, you can’t put up anything inappropriate. I get the idea behind this belief, we don’t want the people closest to us to think badly of us. But then why do we feel it’s okay for total strangers to see our more ugly sides?

I bring this up because I find it odd how this is almost exactly opposite from how we act in public; we show only those closest to us our true selves while strangers get the prim and proper photoshopped version. Just what is it about the internet that seems to compel us to act differently from how we would in public? Is it the sheer anonymity of it, the knowledge that even if people do scorn you for it, you will never be there to see them do it? Or is it the idea that there are people who will secretly agree with you and enjoy that less than perfect side of yourself that you keep hidden from even your closest friends?

The internet is a funny place full of extremes. We get the people who fully support everything they like, the people who pretend to disapprove of such things in public but secretly enjoy them, and the people, the trolls, who go out hating anything and everything for whatever reason they can come up with, or none at all.

As soon as we know that anonymity is stripped away, we’re suddenly on our best behaviour again. It’s almost as if we don’t see people on the internet as real human beings unless we personally know them in real life. Those people posting things that we would publicly shame get encouragement from random strangers like it’s just a book or a movie, something there purely for our enjoyment and of no real consequence.

And so my question to you, dear readers, is this: would you be willing to show your online content, all of it, with a member of your family? If not, why?  The internet is a fascinating tool that both allows us to be and hide our true selves. Is your true self something that you are ashamed of, or something that you choose to lay bare before those you love?

Inky Breadcrumbs and the Forgotten Magic of Writing by Hand

I stumbled across this post during a late night spurt of boredom spent browsing what was new in the Freshly Pressed section of WordPress. It’s a lovely little look at the ways we writers work our magic and how we tend to overlook our most important tools in the modern era of today.
I actually felt this resonate with me a bit, and reminds me of how one of my own novels started out. We were going to Tofino for a few days during the summer about a year ago (if my memory actually serves me this time) and I had this familiar niggling feeling in the back of my mind that is a story in the works just begging, screaming to be written. The thing is, I’d decided that I didn’t want to bring my laptop with me for the trip so I could enjoy it properly. Fortunately, my brother and I had purchased a set of three blank notebooks a few months before. And so I decided to write the story by hand. I actually wrote quite a bit in the notebook before I finally had to transfer it to the computer in order to collaborate with my friends (they’d agreed to help me with minor editing and to make a few characters).
I definitely would not recommend writing a novel by hand, or if you do, at least do it double-spaced. It’s very difficult to go back and make major revisions on full pages.
There is a certain beauty to a page full of hand-written notes, I find. I keep a notebook now to collect my little most random thoughts and ideas, hopes for the future, and concepts for new stories or essential informations to add to any of my current stories-in-progress.
Anyway, take a look at what this person has to say. I can almost guarantee you’ll start thinking about your hands a little differently afterwards.

EJB Writing Studio

Photo by Erin J. Bernard Photo by Erin J. Bernard

Hey, writer! When was the last time you took a good look at your own hands? I mean, a really, really good long look?

Sure, they’re fluttering in and out of the periphery of vision over the course of any average day, assisting in the picking up and setting down of life’s dull and delightful objects. But, most often, their task feels secondary – to hold up for inspection the things you’ve deemed far more fascinating: smartphones, babies, books, burritos.

There’s little incentive to notice them. And this strikes me as odd. So do it now. Have a good, long gander. What do you see? Look carefully: your hands are miraculous, surprising, ordinary, and, for my money, entirely underappreciated.

You’re in good retroactive company. I’m first writing this by hand, in fact, down here in Mexico, though by the time it reaches its final destination…

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