A to Z Challenge 2013 – T is for…

~ TED Talks ~

I’m a huge fan of TED Talks. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Guest speakers tackle an array of subjects and present it in a highly informative and entertaining way. I like to call it INFOTAINMENT. I featured one for the Letter O. The only way to truly understand the magnitude of these awesome talks is to take the time and watch them. On average they’re about fifteen to twenty minutes in length and they’re a real eye opener. I have just a sampling of the greatness out there and I hope you enjoy them. I could easily post a commentary for each but there’s just so much brain candy in these vids that I believe they speak for themselves.

Ze Frank’s Web Playroom

Elaine Lui: The Sociology of Gossip

Adora Svitak: What Adults Can Learn From Kids

Amanda Palmer: The Art of Asking

JJ Abrams: The Mystery Box

These conferences are amazing and thanks to the wonderful and mystifying interweb, we have a huge library to watch at a moment’s notice. Just another reason why I love our global community.

Have you watched TED Talks? Do you have any favorites? Some people have posted in the past that if TED was a school, they’d go to it. I know I certainly would. We definitely need more outlets of information such as TED Talks.


TED’s slogan is ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’, and I couldn’t agree more.


Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter



A to Z Challenge 2013 – P is for…


As promised, I must share with you two of my favorite poems to honor National Poetry Month. How about a little Frost and Thomas? And unlike our beloved Kid President, I happen to think that Robert Frost is cool. And it’s thematic, as well. Have a read:


Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

By Robert Frost 

Whose woods these are I think I know.   

His house is in the village though;   

He will not see me stopping here   

To watch his woods fill up with snow.   


My little horse must think it queer   

To stop without a farmhouse near   

Between the woods and frozen lake   

The darkest evening of the year.   


He gives his harness bells a shake   

To ask if there is some mistake.   

The only other sound’s the sweep   

Of easy wind and downy flake.   


The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep, 

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

I’ve accomplished a lot more than I had anticipated I would at this point of the month. I’d like to think that I have taken the road less traveled. Well, maybe it’s well traveled, but I overpacked. Two novels, a blogging challenge, and a Round of Words in 80 Days? I am as much tortured as I am an artist. Masochism aside, I feel accomplished. To quote another great from a previous post: My head is bloody, but unbowed.”  In this case, my fingers are numb, but still attached. It just doesn’t have that same ring to it, methinks.

Whether it’s this writing challenge or my entire writing career, I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of my full potential as a writer and storyteller in this global community. It’s so easy to get sidetracked on the path to publication. Distractions can keep you from your plans. While I don’t want to have blinders on so I can indeed stop and enjoy everything around me from time to time, I need to keep in mind my long-term goals and the importance of achieving them. Many adventures, challenges, and opportunities await before I take my final breath. With that in mind, I write on and move forward.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep.


Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

  By Dylan Thomas


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

You could go throughout your entire life without doing anything significant. Sure, you have a plan and you can see it there in the final hours. That is not to say that you need to make yourself known to the world, famous or infamous. But this is in line with yesterday’s post. How do you want to live your life? Each moment should be savored. Each opportunity taken else it is a waste. But I dare you not to conform. Do not settle. Before the end of it all, make a difference, even if it is just to one other person in the world. Remember the journey as well as the destination.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.


Let me end this poetic post with a bonus that many of you will appreciate. A lyrical genius by the name of Ferris Bueller had this to say:


Today’s theme is brought to you by the letter



T-Minus… We’re on the Precipice, the Calm Before the Storm


STORY ONE: A Love Less Ordinary

The first is a contemporary piece about the Murphy’s Law of relationships. Protagonist’s best friend and roommate kicks her out of her own apartment because she and her deadbeat fiancée (the freeloader who never paid rent) are ready to take the next step.  This on the same day she’s laid off from work. Dodging questions from her mother about her career and love life, she just wants out of her current situation. Unemployed, newly homeless, and desperate for work, she doesn’t realize how lost she is until she ends up working as a live-in nanny for a family that’s just moved to town. At least there’s the cute guy she sees at the deli every Tuesday. Their sandwich banter is something she looks forward to. On this Tuesday, however, after all that happens, she misses her deli run and ends up at some family’s dinner table, hired on the spot, after saving the young son when he ran into the street. Things start to look up until her new employer’s husband walks in, holding a big bag of sandwiches from the deli.

STORY TWO: Hamelin

This one’s a beast to get into. The gist is that it’s a YA Speculative Fiction piece, a riff on fairy tales, hopefully unlike what’s already out there. First off, I’m focusing on a fairy tale that isn’t saturated in the media, at the moment, the Pied Piper. In my story, the Piper is female. In this fairy tale universe, heroes are villains, and vice versa. Aside from characters you may know by name, circumstances are quite different as the story unfolds. Other notable fairy tale characters from classic and contemporary authors alike might make an appearance but in this land, nothing is what it seems.


That’s what I’m writing about in April. Well, the major writing projects for April, that is. Since the Blogging Challenge is thematic, I’ll try to keep it writing related, as much as possible, and hopefully slip in some word count updates. Otherwise, I’ll be keeping everyone apprised of my story progress each Sunday (the day we have off from the blogging challenge).

So, today was a lovely sunny day. Since I live in the vicinity of Raincouver, I don’t trust it. I bet there’s a rain cloud waiting to leap out from behind a tree.

Tomorrow it begins. To borrow from a phrase of an awesometastic program premiering its third season tonight,


And plenty of them, if I can help it.

I suppose this is where I make the choice. Do I stay the course or head back to shore? Heck, I didn’t even know I was on a boat, but here we are. [cue JAWS score]

Was this how Neo felt when given the choice of the red pill or the blue pill?

“You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
Morpheus, The Matrix

As writers, do we not tread the fine line between reality and the real world on a daily basis? Neo was The One. That meant squat in the end… oops. SPOILERS. I will speak of this no more.

What’s my choice?

I swallowed that red pill, bitter taste and all, back when I decided to do this trifecta of writing awesomeness: Camp NaNoWriMo, Savvy Authors April Boot Camp, and the Blogging A to Z Challenge. That pill swirled around my gut and my hand did the T-1000 morph the moment I Tweeted my declaration of the write-a-palooza.

I’m not doing this because I’m a masochist–writers are inherently so. I’m doing this because I know I can. Hundreds of thousands of creative folks know they can, too, or at least they’ll give it a try. We’ll support each other. I’m doing it for the global frenzied encouragement as much as I’m doing it for my own writerly goals. It’s just a matter of how far I’m willing to push my creative self down the rabbit hole.

Care to join me?


(via yassimanga)