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It’s Novel Writing Time!!!

I read to live and I live to read. That's my circle of life.

“I read to live and I live to read. That’s my circle of life.”

Greetings Fellow BookNerds

First off, I hope everyone had a happy Halloween. I was impressed with some of the costumes I saw this year, although per usual there were many slutty cats and sexy devils wandering about. I’ve always seen Halloween as a chance for me to be a bit different, to push my creativity beyond the typical costumes you see everywhere. My first year of university, I went as the 4th doctor from Dr. Who, and then it was River from Firefly, and then last year it was Anara – also from Firefly – although most people just assumed I was dressed as a Medieval princess. This year, I really got into the online anime series RWBY, and thought to myself that I could definitely pull off the Blake Belladonna look. Sadly only one person got the reference, so I settled for being called a ninja cat ^_^

Ready to fight some Grim!

Ready to fight some Grim!           

With Halloween coming to an end, it is now that time of year is upon us once again; a time to brush the cobwebs off the creative center of our brains and get those fingers typing faster than they ever typed before. That’s right, it’s National Novel Writing Month, and if you’ve had an idea clinging to the back of your mind for what seems like forever, this is a perfect opportunity to finally put that idea into writing. For those of you unfamiliar with the whole idea behind Nanowrimo, it’s basically a self motivating writing competition, the ultimate goal being to complete a 50,000 word story by the end of the month. Participants are encouraged to put aside their usual writing habits, like editing and re-writing everything until it comes out perfect. The point of this competition is just to get the idea down, and to leave all of the nitpicking and detail ironing until after the month is up.

This is my third year competing, and I can honestly say that it is one of the things I look forward to the most every year, right after Halloween and Comiccon. Ever since grade school, I’ve always had stories bouncing around inside my head, struggling to break free from the confines of my skull. The first time I finished writing one of my stories was in grade eight. It was a fantasy novel about a wild white stallion that was captured by poachers, and then rescued by a young girl, who took the horse in, and eventually discovered that the horse was actually a unicorn. I was really into unicorns, dragons and pretty much anything related to magic and fantasy back then, no doubt influenced by my love of Harry Potter. The story itself was only about 50 pages long, but that was the longest thing I had ever written that wasn’t for school, which made me very proud of myself.

There is so much joy to be found in both reading and writing stories, which is why one day I hope I can finish one of my novels and experience the thrill of having others read and critique it, and discuss with their friends the things they both hate and love about it. Until that day comes, I’ll just have to keep writing whenever I can.

That’s all for today. Enjoy the crisp colours of fall, and as always, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd 

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Celebrating Canada’s Gold and My 100 BookNerds!!!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I have never EVER liked watching hockey. For those of you I have managed to offend with that simple little sentence, I apologize, but I have just never had any interest in watching televised sports. I had a ball when I saw my first live Blue Jays game (pun intended), but that’s about the extent of it. However, I went so far as to set my alarm for 6:30 in the morning, just to make sure I was awake and alert for when the big game between Canada and Sweden started, and that’s saying something from a girl who rarely wakes up before 8 in the morning for anything! That game had me on the edge of my seat, and now that it’s over, I’m tempted to see what’s happening on the other sports channels 🙂 A big shout out to both the women’s and men’s Canadian hockey teams; you have made us very proud today!

Men's Hockey 2014 Winners   Women's Hockey 2014 Winners

I would also like to give a big shout out to all of my wonderful, amazing, super-fantastic, epitome-of-awesome followers! My blog has reached 100 followers, and the reason this makes me so happy is because this is the first blog I have ever started and stuck with, and I never expected to get more than maybe a dozen or so people to read it. Now, I have over 10,000 views and 100 fabulous BookNerds! A big thank you to each and every one of you, and should you ever have suggestions of things you would like to see on my blog, or if you have your own book news and reviews you would like to share, you can leave a message on my blog’s facebook page or in the comments of this post. 

100follower

I’ll be heading back to Ottawa tomorrow, and hopefully my return to Canada’s Capital will provide me with inspirations for many more posts to come. Until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Happy Halloween!

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

I bid you all a wonderful All Hallows Eve, and in light of the coming evening of festivities and merriment, I thought I would provide a brief insight into the history of this annual celebration, followed by a tail of horror written by yours truly. Enjoy ^_^

Halloween: A History

The night of All Hallows Eve is among our older and more colorful traditions, going back at least 2000 years. The Celtics are recorded in our history as being among the first to have participated in the celebration, although the context in which it was celebrated differs greatly from today’s festivities. The Celts were big into worship, giving praise to the Gods that possessed a controlling power over the many different elements of life, and in some cases the elements of death. Samhain, lord of the dead and the winter season, was believed to come out on the night of October 31st call forth the souls of the dead, forcing them to take on the shape of animals as they wandered the Earth. Huge fires would be lit in order to stengthen the power of the Sun God, in the hopes that he would be able to fend off Samhain until the new day began at midnight, at which time they would begin to worship the lord of death again as they prepare not only for the new year, but also for the coming of the six months of cold. From that fire which was used to appease the Sun God, each and every household would receive an ember, which they would use to ward keep the evil spirits at bay throughout the new year.

The tradition and significance of the night has changed since then, altered by the unique superstitions, beliefs and culture of the people who came after them. The Romans, for instance, wanted to change it to All Saints Day, a day to honor those saints who did not have a day to be honored. Not long after that, Witchcraft became highly prevalent, eventually turning the holiday into the Night of the Witch, reverting it back to some of its more traditional roots of demons and mysticism. Since then, it became a night known for its superstitious beliefs, taking on the name of All Hallows Even, or ‘Halloween’ for short. Of course, this is only one piece of Halloween’s history, and it may differ greatly depending on who you ask. Either way, it’s plain to see that this holiday has taken on a much different meaning, focusing more on getting consumers to buy costumes, candy, and spend the night going door to door with friends and family. Still, that does not make our traditions any less significant.

After looking into the history of Halloween, I felt inspired to start my own traditions, one of which has been to dress up as a different character from the series Firefly every year. Okay, it’s not so much a tradition as it is having no other ideas of what to be, but I view it as a tradition nonetheless. Another tradition, which I have decided to start as of today, is to write a short Halloween story and share it with all of you wonderful booknerds. So, in light of this new tradition, here is a piece of a horror story I had begun to write many a year ago, but which terrified me so much while writing it that I was forced to set down my pen and leave it as it is. Of course, this was many years ago, so I doubt that it’s as scary as I remember, but I thought I would let you guys be the judge of that ^_^

Halloween Horror Story

By BookNerd

The woods were still, not a creature stirred among the brambles.
The ground was bathed in darkness, making it difficult for the men to see their footing. Their torches were growing dim as the oils ran dry, but it was enough to light the fear on their faces.

“I think we may have taken a wrong turn, Krom,” his voice shook as he gripped the sleeve of his partner, who looked equally as fearful. “I don’t recognize a stick or stone in these parts.”

“I think you may be right Mirkum,” he stopped, squinting his eyes to try and penetrate the darkness. The baldness of his head shimmered in the firelight, illuminating the beads of sweat that trickled down his face. “None of this looks right.”

“Sh-should we turn around?” Mirkum tugged on Krom’s arm, emphasizing his feelings of unease. His eyes were wide with terror, giving him the appearance of a scared puppy. The sounds he uttered mimicked his appearance, but Krom ignored his whimpers and kept moving forwards. Not wanting to be left alone, Mirkum tightened his grip on his friends’ shirt and followed in his deep footsteps. Having taken a fairly muddy trail, it wasn’t too difficult.

The moons rays were cut off by the thick layer of clouds that drifted lazily through the sky, creating an even darker atmosphere that did nothing to comfort the two lost men. They moved on, stumbling on roots and twigs that stuck up from odd places, and it was only their longing to get back home that kept them from staying face down in the mud.

“You know, I do believe that I was the one that pointed out that going through the forest was a bad idea,” said Mirkum, speaking at almost a shout as he fell slightly behind due to a snagging branch. “But no, you wanted to take the short cut so we wouldn’t miss out on the village celebration. Well guess what? According to the sky, we missed the celebration hours ago, and if we had just gone around the forest, we would have long since gone back to our houses and –”.

“Okay!” Krom stopped dead in his tracks, and almost as suddenly stumbled forward as Mirkum collided into his back. He spun around, his face an inch away from Mirkum’s as he spat out his frustration. “I get it, I made a mistake, and now we’re stuck paying the price. Now, if you want to get out of here by morning, I suggest that you stitch your lips and follow me!” Without another word, Krom began to make his way through the mud once more, the squelching from his shoes being the only sound that filled the silent air.

“Didn’t have to be so harsh,” Mirkum muttered indignantly as he continued to follow. It wasn’t long, however, before Mirkum began to start up another one-sided conversation.

“You know, I don’t know why they don’t just build a road that leads directly through here. I mean, it’s just so much quicker and convenient, you know? It’s like I’ve been saying for years, Krom, that the townspeople need to be taken into consideration whenever Lord Goroban decides to make another Law. I don’t even remember the last time Goroban even came down to the village to see how we were doing! He just ignores us as if we’re some kind of irritating pest that will go away if you leave it alone.”

“I share a similar problem,” Krom mumbled to himself, trying to hear over his friends complaints. It was then that he noticed that the trees were becoming denser, allowing what little light their was in the sky to filter through the leaves. Relief swept through him, but it was a relief short lived. There was something eerie that made him shiver.

“What’s wrong Krom?” said Mirkum, nearly running into Krom once more as he stopped. This time, Mirkum maneuvered around him, placing himself on Kroms’ left in order to see what was making him freeze up. “What did you –?”

“Shush!” Krom held up a hand to keep Mirkum quiet as he tried to listen to a sound he wasn’t sure existed. They waited, holding their breath. Krom was in the motion of taking a step forward when the sound of rustling leaves echoed through the trees. Mirkum jumped back, nearly choking Krom as he grabbed his vest collar. Krom did not see anything move, but there was no doubt in his mind that there was something else in the forest with them.

“Do you think it’s a beast of some kind?” Mirkum whispered, digging his fingers into Krom’s shoulder as they moved forward again. This time, they had only managed to take a couple steps before another rustling sound was heard. This time, they could see one of the trees swaying. There was no breeze to speak of, and the tree was not moving of its own accord.

“My guess is as good as yours,” Krom gulped, holding what was left of the embers burning within his torch to see what was up ahead. Unfortunately, the flame only lasted long enough for them to reach a small clearing before flickering and dying. Dropping his torch, he yanked the wooden instrument out of Mirkum’s hand, raising it high above his head. The clearing was void of all life, excluding the few saplings that were struggling to free themselves from the soil and become like their surrounding brethrens.

“I don’t like this Krom,” Mirkum’s voice was beginning to shake with fear once more as they took a step forward into the clearing. As his foot made contact with the soft soil, the sound of a child’s laughter echoed around them. They turned around, thinking instinctively that it had come from behind, but there was no one there. He would have assumed it be his imagination playing tricks on him, but Mirkum appeared to have heard it to. There is no way they both could have had the same illusion. Then, the laughter came back, and when they turned their heads back around, they jumped back from what they saw.

Sitting on the ground, legs crossed and her hair gold and curly, was a little girl playing with her doll. Her face was hidden by the shadow that fell over her face as she looked down at the little doll clasped within her hands. She was stroking the doll like you would a tamed animal, and as the two men moved closer to get a better look, the little girl began to sing. Krom and Mirkum stopped to listen;

“Red yellow green blue,

This is a song that’s just for you.

Green blue red yellow,

Sing it to a pretty fellow.

Tic toc, watch the clock,

Sitting on a curly lock.

Blue green yellow red,

When this song is sung. . .”

The girl gave a little laugh as she paused, her hand freezing in the motion of stroking the dolls curly black hair. The two men stared in horror as the girl raised her face, her features lit by the torchlight. It was not the face of any normal human child, for where eyes were meant to be, there were only empty sockets lined with pulsing veins. There was a flat stretch of skin over the place where her nose was supposed to be, and her mouth! It resembled the mouth of a snake when it dislocates its jaw to feast upon a rodent. Where teeth should be, there were hundreds of pointed fangs, and her face was the colour of a rotting corpse left out in the sun for too long.

As her upper and lower jaw met, an evil smile played across her face and she opened her mouth to finish the song. As she spoke, blood trickled from the corners of her mouth, dripping onto the ground without making a sound.

“When the song is sung,

You’ll all be dead!”

Krom could not move, no matter how many times Mirkum hissed in his ear. The sight of such a monster was enough to make a man feel as if he’d turned to stone. The only muscle that seemed to work was his eye lids, which kept blinking as if it would make the horrifying creature disappear. The creature continued to smile, blood now pouring from her eyes and ears. Both Krom and Mirkum looked down; the blood was flowing like a little stream, right between their legs. The torchlight was reflected in the blood, shimmering like the lake at sunset.

“Please, let’s get out of here,” Mirkum hissed, urgently tugging on Krom’s vest to make him listen. “Pl-please, while we still can.”

“Going so soon?” The voice that came from the creature now was much deeper, not like a child’s at all. It sounded as if two voices were speaking at the same time from a single mouth, making the creature seem more intimidating. “I thought you would want to play with me.” Krom finally snapped out of his trance and took a step back, taking care not to make any sudden movements that might put them both in danger.

“I-I’m sorry, b-but we h-have to get going,” Krom stuttered, trying to look away from the things distorted features. “I-it’s getting late.”

“I don’t like it when people are scared of me,” it spoke with the savage defiance of a child that’s not having things go their way. When she spoke next, her voice reverted back to the sound of a little girl and along with it, so did her features. She became rosy cheeked, blue eyed, and complete with a cute button nose. Krom looked down at his feet again, and was unnerved to see that the blood had vanished. “Now will you play with me?”

“I really don’t think that’s a good idea,” Mirkum whispered, but he obviously wasn’t quiet enough. He began to choke, gasping for air as he fell to the ground, his hands groping at his throat. Within seconds, his face had turned from blue to white, and he exhaled his last breath.

“Oh my God, y-you killed him!” Krom dropped to his knees, laying his hands upon the chest of his best friend as his eyes brimmed with tears.

“He didn’t want to play with me,” she said, looking completely undisturbed by what had just happened. She went back to stroking her doll.

“W-what the hell are you?” Krom rose to his feet, keeping as much distance between himself and the girl as possible without making her feel betrayed.

“You ask me no questions, I tell you no lies,” was her only response, which simply resulted in angering Krom further.

“Whatever the hell you are, I’m not going to let you spread your evil any further!” Reaching up, he snapped off a thick tree branch, holding it in front of him like a sword. To Krom’s surprise, the girl simply giggled.

“You’re funny, I like you,” she gently set her doll onto the ground and looked up at Krom with a cheery smile, showing her startlingly white teeth. “It’s too bad that I’m not allowed to be your friend anymore.” Bowing her head back down, Krom was able to sneak another glance at the body lying at his feet. It was only now that he truly regretted not having listened to his friend. Why did he have to be so stubborn?

Looking up, he saw that the girl still had her face focused upon the ground. This was his only chance, and he took it. Turning on the spot, Krom made a run for it through the trees. Curses flew from his mouth as the branches tore his shirt in several places. He didn’t stop to think, he just kept running. The only thing he focused on was the thought of getting home to his wife and crawling into bed with her. This comforted him, but not enough to remove the image of the creature from the forefront of his mind.

Sadly, he never did make it to that cozy bed with the woman he loved.

He could just make out the edge of the forest, the lights of the village houses visible at the top of the hill, when something snagged at his foot. Turning over, he watched with a yelp as the earth seemed to come alive beneath his feet. Vines wrapped around his limbs, cutting off the flow of blood to his heart. As he let out a scream for help, another vine shot out from beneath him and wound itself around his mouth, muffling his voice.

“I told you we could no longer be friends,” came the little girl’s voice, echoing in his ears. Krom tried to struggle free, but the vines would not loosen their grip. He screamed into the vine as he felt something pierce through his chest. Opening his eyes, he could see one of the thick vines sticking right through him, dripping with his own blood. He could barely catch his breath. The pain made him throw up, but the vine binding his mouth would not allow the fluids to escape, so it simply oozed all over his face. Feeling his life slowly seep away, he also became aware of the dirt rising above his head. The vines dragged him into the Earth, and the last thing he saw was the smiling face of a little blond girl, waving at him with the arm of her little doll. . .

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Cheers,

BookNerd

Making a Movie for Everyone: Is It Possible?

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Today’s post is going to be a little different, mostly because I will be making a rather odd request. As most of you are aware, I am currently enrolled in the communications program at the University of Ottawa, studying in the hopes of one day becoming an accomplished journalist. In the meantime, however, I’m simply trying to get through all of my courses more or less unscathed, and to do that I am going to require a little bit of assistance.

One of the courses I am taking is called Audience Research, which is exactly what it sounds like. Myself, along with a group of my classmates, have been given the task of constructing a movie that will please all audience demographics, a seemingly impossible task but one which we are determined to accomplish. In order to do this, we have put together a 10 question survey which touches on all aspects of a film, the data from which will allow us to determine what the majority of the audience looks for in a movie, and apply that to our research. This is where all of you lovely booknerds come in. Below, I will provide a link to the survey, and all you have to do is take no more than 10 minutes out of your reading time to go through it and answer the questions as best you can.

Here is the link so you can get started:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/SZCRF5C

 

As much as I would love to provide an award or some other kind of incentive, all I can give you guys is my eternal gratitude in assisting me with what will hopefully be an A+ report. Hopefully the joy which comes with committing a good deed will be enough to satisfy all of you as well. As I said, it won’t take you very long to fill it out, and I will be indebted to you all. Should you like to make any requests regarding potential blog topics, or need assistance with assignments of a similar nature, just leave a note in the comments and I will do my best to oblige.

Also, in the spirit of Halloween, I will be posting tomorrow as well. I will be sharing a snippet of a horror story I had begun to write many years ago, which I found to be so terrifying that I could not continue writing it. It’s probably not as scary as I remember it, but I would love to share it anyway, along with a quick history lesson on why it is throngs of children and adults alike will be disguising themselves as zombies, vampires and sexy nurses tomorrow night. Until then, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd

My First Trip to Comiccon …

nerdfighters rules Hello Fellow BookNerds!

Before regaling you all with the tales and images of my first experience at Ottawa Comiccon, here are some other news headliners that came up over the weekend:

Toronto-Maple-Leafs-vs-Boston-Bruins Last night was a crucial game for the Leafs, for their continuation was dependent upon their victory against Boston. Fortunately, the pressure improved instead of impeding their game play, and they managed to snatch a 2-1 win. Tonight at 7pm, we will get the chance to watch them face off against the Bruins yet again, only this time it will be on Boston’s home turf. We might just get to see them climb out of the rut they’ve been stuck in, and witness the hoisting of the cup by their hands instead of the other team.

Boston-Red-Sox-vs-Toronto-Blue-Jays After all the money they put into the team, the Toronto Blue Jays have finally shown that the money was not going to waste. They creamed the Boston Red Sox 12-4, and it doesn’t look like the winning will stop there. Tuesday, with the return of suspended player Melky Cabrera to the team, will be facing off against the Giants.

helicoptercrashHonolulu295 A helicopter suddenly lost power and crashed into a busy street in Honolulu last Wednesday, thankfully resulting in no fatalities, although a certain parked car might say otherwise. It was a small helicopter which was being used to take photographs. If it had been a full sized one, then this may have turned into a very different story …

abc_jodi_arias_trial_thg_130206_wg Just a few days ago, Jodi Arias was convicted of having committed pre-meditated first-degree murder, but people are still waiting with baited breath to hear whether she will be exposed to the death penalty, or a slightly more lenient sentence of life imprisonment. 

tamerlan-tsarnaev-grave-1 One of the suspects of the Boston Bombing, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was buried last week in central Virginia, much to the displeasure of people living near the burial site. Most of them are upset because no one consulted them before the burial took place, while others fear who might be stopping by to pay their respects. His brother, Dzhokhar, is in police custody, charged with the use of a ‘weapon of mass destruction’.

This is just some of what was headlining the news over the weekend, but the biggest story for me right now is what took place in Ottawa during that weekend…

My First Trip to Comiccon…

I traveled up to Ottawa by train Friday afternoon, along with my sister, our bags hoisted over our shoulders and Comiccon tickets packed away safely inside them. After four hours of rain spattered windows and crying babies, we entered the capital of Canada and hailed down the first taxi in sight to take us the rest of the way to our hotel. Our lodgings were quite lovely, and the beds were so comfortable that after half a day of traveling, we dropped off to sleep almost immediately.

We rose bright and early Saturday morning, knowing full well that the lineup was going to be ridiculous: and we were right. We got there just before 10am, which was a mistake since we had general admission passes, and therefore wouldn’t be let in until 11am. Only the VIP’s were being let in early, which meant an hour of waiting under the tents with a thousand other people for us. Fortunately, we got to catch a glimpse of the amazing costumes we would get to see once we were actually inside.

DSC02045  DSC02093

Tired, slightly damp and legs aching from standing for over an hour, as soon as we passed through the front doors it all went away and I couldn’t stop smiling. I had been waiting for this all semester, and now that the day had finally come, I could hardly believe I was there! I only had a moment to bask in the excitement before I was swept away by the horde of people behind me. As we walked through the exhibit doors, I made sure I had my camera at the ready; I did not want to miss a moment of this.

The highlight of this trip came to me after standing in yet another line, but the wait was well worth it when I found myself in the same room as Nathan Fillion and Jewel Staite. Unfortunately, I was unable to take any photos, seeing as cameras were strictly forbidden during this panel, but trust me when I say it was among the top ten greatest moments of my life. I had come to convince myself that celebrities only existed on television or in photographs, and that I would never be able to witness their existence with my own two eyes. That changed yesterday. Granted, it was from the back of a very large room, but I could see and hear them, and that was good enough for me.

After that, we spent the rest of the day weaving our way through Creepers and Bounty Hunters, only stopping long enough to refuel ourselves at Tim Horton’s before continuing on. At 4pm, we found ourselves in yet another line up, only this time we had the sense to be one of the first ones there so we didn’t have to worry about squinting just to see. To my great pleasure, cameras were indeed allowed this time, and I got some pretty good footage of non other than Nicholas Brendon from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Criminal Minds.

DSC02109 DSC02101

He definitely had his wit about him as he took to the stage and had the crowd laughing and cheering from start to finish. It was actually the end of his Q & A session which made me smile the most, and the video below should give you a pretty good idea as to why:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nhj2ZyGIis

After taking a few more pictures, we finally decided to call it a day. I would have loved nothing more than to spend the entire weekend at Comiccon, but all good things must come to an end. Still, my final thoughts on this event is that it was well worth the money, planning and waiting, and I look forward to going again next year.

That’s all for today. If you would like to see more photos, you can visit “The World In Writing” facebook page, or if you want to see the more professionally taken photographs, visit the Ottawa Comiccon facebook page instead. I would also love to hear about your experience at this years Comiccon: was it everything you were expecting? Better? Not worth all the hype?  Share your thoughts in the comments below, and until next time, happy reading!

Cheers,

BookNerd