"All the world's a stage, and the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts."

- William Shakespeare

Monday, November 7, 2011

out there

Alright, I've got good news and bad news.

Let's start with the bad news first 'cause I'd much rather end on a good note.

The bad news is that I heard back from the agent who'd shown an interest in my book and she said she won't be taking me or my story on right now. Of course, there's an excellent silver lining to this - she gave me some critiques on my story and I actually agreed with all of them. In fact, what she said encouraged me to finally do the thing I've been wanting to do but have been to afraid to actually follow through with... and that is to completely re-write my book. Starting from chapter one, page one.

It's an incredibly daunting task, to be sure, but it's definitely what I want to do. I began writing my book almost three years ago and in those three years I've changed so much in a zillion different ways and my maturing writing style (though my blog is hardly a good example of it) is only one of those changes... though I'll admit, it's the one of greatest prevalence to this situation.

Also - sidenote, part of this decision was borne from a lecture I went to a few months ago where I heard Kelley Armstrong (best-selling author) speak. She said that she wrote her first novel over the course of about seven years, finally thought it was good enough to be submitted to an agent, found an agent and then she and her agent decided it was actually the best idea to scrap what she had and start from scratch. Keeping the characters and the same general story, she went at it and produced what is now Bitten. So I'll be taking a page out of her book (not literally, though I do like her writing). I'm beginning the process again with all the knowledge I've gained over the last three years. Knowledge about writing, stories, drama, etc, but also the knowledge of my own characters. It'll be fun to see them in completely different situations that still tell the same story I set out to write in April of 2009.

Anyway, that's the bad news (with a bit of optimistic flare), so here comes the good news (and the reason for my blog post's vague title).

A short story of mine is going to be published! Although, it's on an online journal dealy, so I like the term 'out there' more than 'published'. Also, I had told myself that on the day I become a published author, I'll be getting the quill tattoo I've been hankering for, but it doesn't feel like the right time yet... thus, 'out there' is all my story is for the time being.

The story will actually be going up tomorrow (November 8, 2011). And the website is Commuter Lit. This is how the site's editor described my story in a nut shell:

"A tap on her shoulder in a grocery store line up, penetrates a young woman’s numbness. Losing Him by new contributor Larissa Benfey."

So... do me a solid and check it out :)

But I think that's it as far as news, good or bad, goes. That rewrite I referred to earlier? I'm already three pages in and have, like, pages and pages of notes, so to say I'm really excited about it would be putting it lightly. I'll keep you updated on that and any other writing slash acting slash modeling fun times that occur in the near future! Although, right now it looks as though I'll be bogged down with school work for the rest of eternity... someone please point out the light at the end of the tunnel! Mine's fading into oblivion!! :P

Okay, I'm going to go now... I'm far too behind in my readings to spend another minute doing anything else!

Keep it real!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

shake, rattle & roll

I don't think my dad realizes that when I walk around the house in a sweater with the hood up, hunched shoulders and the fluffiest slippers you can imagine, it means I'm cold.

But I am.

I'm very cold. And it's becoming a re-occuring theme all of a sudden. Which can only mean one thing...

Winter is upon us.

It's only two months (to the day!) until Christmas. Two. Months. Can you believe it? If I wasn't so cold, I'd be pretty excited. I mean, let's be honest - I've been listening to Christmas carols for a good three weeks now.

Still, as much as I day dream about hot chocolates and glistening sunlight on freshly fallen snow, my mind can't help but reverting back to thinking, "Why can't I feel my toes?!"

And this is me indoors. Which brings me back to my father.

I caught him outside the other day (when I managed to shuffle out of my room in my warmest sweater and pajama pants), just sitting on one of the muskoka chairs on our porch. I asked him what he was doing. "Cooling off," was his only response. The sad thing is, he hadn't come from a run or a work out - he'd just been working at his desk inside. But apparently the 'heat' was too much for him. The same 'heat' that makes me afraid to leave my bed in the morning for fear of frostbite.

Oh, the joys of having a father (aka thermostat controller) with an internal heater!

If you're wondering where I am this winter when you're out having a snowball fight or ice skating or snowboarding... I'll be cuddled up in my bed, too terror-stricken to venture out into the cold hallway and further out into the probably warmer outdoors.

Lucky for me I've got enough movies to last a lifetime and a new bar-fridge in my room, so I can afford to begin hibernating a bit earlier this year! Of course, you won't get rid of me that easily - my computer gets warm enough to roast marshmellows over... which is probably a bad thing, but it sure beats last year's 'middle-of-the-room-garbage-can-fire'! ;)

Keep it real!

Friday, October 21, 2011

good news!

So... I was trying to come up with an eloquent way of relaying this information to the world, but it's past midnight and I'm running on three hours of sleep and way too much chocolate, so my brain just isn't functioning. Therefore, all I can muster are the blunt facts.

Remember how I always drone on and on about being an aspiring writer? How I've written a novel, tried to market it to agents, given up, reworked it, started writing another novel, etc etc? Well, I got some pretty exciting news last week. But let me just rewind a little further so I can fill in any gaps first.

In April of 2009, I started writing a novel. By about October of that same year, I found out about a competition for aspiring writers where the winner walked away with a publishing contract, so I started working on my novel everyday and finished the first draft by December 22, 2009. The competition closed on the 31st, so I literally just made the deadline.

In April of 2010, I found out that I didn't win. Somehow, that wasn't enough to discourage me though.

Fast forward a few more months and my novel was on its fourth draft. I'd let a few people read parts of it and was starting to learn how to take criticism, but - more importantly - I felt it was time to give the idea of getting it published another shot. I found ten different agencies in Toronto and queried each one. By now it was almost the end of the year again, so the fact that I'd lost the competition had lost its sting and I was once again feeling hopeful.

But with the new year came rejection letter after rejection letter and my hopes sunk again.

For a while I chipped away at it, but it was drawing close to the two year anniversary of its beginnings and after two years - especially for a commitment-o-phobe like me - it was becoming more and more difficult to keep the passion alive. So I started working on something new, brushing my first novel off to the side.

Once in a while I'd come back to it and try to make a chapter more interesting or take out some needless adjectives, but as far as I was concerned, I had bigger and better things to worry about. It had served its purpose by sparking the realization that I was interested in writing, so if it did nothing else, that would be enough.

And then May 2011 hit.

I received an email from one of the agents I had queries months earlier saying that the synopsis sounded interesting, so they were requesting the first five chapters. Extactic, I looked at my first five chapters and realized they could be so much better - so I rewrote them and sent them off.

Of course, once I had rewritten the first five chapters, it only stood to reason that I rewrite the rest of them. And that's what I did.

Month after month passed and I hadn't heard anything from the agency who had requested my chapters, but I figured that was okay. I has now on the fifteenth draft of my novel and it was four hundred times better than the first few drafts had been, so even if the agency disappeared into thin air, I'd still be a happy camper.

Now let's jump to October 14th 2011.

I was sitting in my car, parked in the driveway having just come home from a long day at work when I decided to check my email on my (amazingly brilliant) iPhone. My inbox told me that I had an email from the agency I had thought must've just fallen into a black hole since I hadn't heard from them in so long.

I prepared myself for the worst. The, "thank you for sending us your chapters, but I'm afraid this book isn't for us" shpiel I'd gotten so used to reading.

Instead, I saw the most glorious sentence a writer could ever read: "I've read your first five chapters and I'd like to take a look at the rest of your manuscript."

I think I may have squealed. I'm not even joking.

Needless to say, the past few days have been spent making sure my manuscript is the best it could be, and as of last night, the manuscript has been sent off.

So it's back to the waiting game.

But it feels a lot more exciting this time. And a lot less hopeless.

Of course, getting an agent is basically still a part of the first step in the publishing process. If this agency decides to take me and my book on as a client, it still doesn't mean a publishing company will chose to pick it up - and then, of course, the book stores can chose not to put it on their shelves. So there's a long was still to go, but it's really cool that I've made it past rejection alley.

Anyway, I thought I'd mention all this in case anyone's interested in what the journey's like for a story to go from idea to book. If mine ever makes it as far as book, you can bet your bottom that the whole process will be recored on my blog. Beginning, obviously, with today. Though I have been taking you through a lot of the ups and downs in previous blog posts...

But I just realized how long this post is - and the fact that it's one in the morning and I have to work tomorrow - so I'm going to end it there.

Keep it real! :)

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Not so much action. Mostly just talking. But not too much, don't worry. Just check it out!

Oh, and I may have exagerated my editing skills... this hasn't been edited at all.

Aaaand, yeah.

:) Keep it real!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

muay thai!

Have you heard of the new perfume by Chanel called 'Muay Thai'?! It's totally rad, man. I bought, like, five bottles the second they hit the shelves...


This blog is titled 'Muay Thai' because it's about Muay Thai - the real Muay Thai. As in, the mixed martial art that I'm told some people in the UFC are trained in. Oh, and me. Yep - I'm now going to make the list of people trained in Muay Thai. Yesterday was my first class. And can I just say,


My ENTIRE BODY is sore today. Literally. Every. Muscle. Aches. Except maybe my fingers, which is why I'm even able to write this post.

But despite the stiff, ache-y muscles, I am in love.

We started off with a warm up. At least, that's what my instructor called it. I call it 10x more of a work out than I've ever done in my life. Forty-five minutes later (I was sweating buckets), we actually started in on the learning of fun martial art stuff.

To say it was intense would be putting it lightly. When we were doing our boxing stuff (like jab, cross, kick, etc), any time any class member dropped their hands away from their fighting stance, the entire class would have to do ten push ups. I can now say that I've been told to "drop and gimme ten". Which - contrary to most people, I'm sure - is something I've always wanted to hear. :)
So if you see me not sitting for the next few days, it's because it's too painful to move that many muscles at once. And the floor is so bloody far.

And yet next Saturday I'll be driving to my second Muay Thai class with a big fat grin on my face, eager for more.

There's just something about training the body - I find it fascinating. My instructor (his name is Kevin) doesn't make us do push ups and sit ups and crunches and skipping (and everything else under the sun!) because it will give us sweet abs or make us lose ten pounds. He does it to keep us in peak condition so that we can do more. Not look hotter or whatever other reasons people have for losing weight and getting fit. And when I find myself being able to do more, it feels so amazing. Just the fact that I made it through the entire warm up yesterday made me feel fantastic. Because I knew there was absolutely no way I would have been able to get through it if I had tried it a year ago. But since I've been training my body and keeping it healthy, I was able to keep up.

And then there's always the bonus of a certain confidence that accompanies most martial arts. Knowing that I could defend myself if I'm ever in the wrong place at the wrong time? Pretty dern sweet if you ask me.

So yeah. First archery, now Muay Thai. I'm loving all these new discoveries I'm stumbling upon.

Which reminds me.

General public, here is my statement to you: get out there and find something incredible to do! Make discoveries and go on adventures and just DO things. Because you only have one life. And it has so much potential for awesomeness.


I'm still on a bit of a 'work-out high' I think. They're pretty much the best.

Anyway, I'm going to go write a book. So...

Keep it real!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

curiosity killed the cat

And, quite unfortunately, it also killed my afternoon.

Remember that movie bucket list I spoke of oh so long ago? Well, I've been slowly but surely watching the movies from that list, but I'm beginning to think what started out as a fun idea is becoming a bit of a chore. And it's movies we're talking about here! They've never been a chore to me!

It started with Annie Hall a few months ago and culminated in the headache that was Breakfast at Tiffany's just this afternoon. Needless to say, I've made the discovery that I am very much a product of my time. I have very little patience - if I'm going to be staring at a screen for two hours of my day, there'd better be something worthwhile about it.

...Here's my idea of a good basic story: there's a clear beginning, a clear middle and an end. Within that there should be one or two likable characters - maybe even loveable, but I can deal with just liking them. At least one of these characters should have some sort of purpose to their lives and the story as a whole should probably have a conceise point. Sure, call me German, but I do like a little logic to my storytelling.

Annie Hall met none of those criteria.

And, the lingering headache confirms that Breakfast at Tiffany's didn't meet any of 'em either.

I know, I know - they're classics.

But I don't think I care about whether or not it's a classic - just tell me a good story and I'm yours, Hollywood.

I know I haven't dissected any plots in this movie review, but that's because there are no plots to dissect. Which is just hurting me inside. Both Annie Hall and Breakfast at Tiffany's had main characters who were all over the place in all the worst ways and the "plot" was much the same. One thing happened, then another, then another - no connections, no purpose, no nothing but a migraine on my part.

I apologize to everyone who loves the classics, and these two in particular... I know it's just a matter of differing tastes. But please never put me in the same room as either of these movies ever again.

At least Breakfast at Tiffany's had a dashing leading man. I can't say the same for Annie Hall, but I guess that's neither here nor there.

I need to go do something. After spending 2 hours watching nothing happening but pretty people having fun on a movie set... I need to get rid of some of this pent up energy. Apparently when high expectations come crashing down, it makes me a little wired.

I may have to wait a while before I take on the task of watching another "classic". Until then,

Keep it real!

Sunday, July 31, 2011


I just realized it's July 31st and I haven't written a post yet this month! I think it goes without saying that July has just whizzed by and that is probably because I've been having the most fun I've had in years. I mean, lazy days on the beach plus the discovery of the eliptical and spinning classes plus a new fall wardrobe plus Hugh Jackman equals my definition of an awesome summer. I can't believe I've still got another whole month before school starts. Crazier still, I can't believe how excited I am for school to start. It's like my horizon couldn't get any better.

Of course, the one and only pitfall to having such a full (and have I mentioned awesome?) summer is the fact that I haven't really done any writing. With only one year left of university, the fact that I'm not any closer to publishing a book is a bit of a weight on my shoulders right now. It probably shouldn't bother me that much, but it does. But then I'll somehow find an hour of free time, so I'll sit down at my computer, re-read the prologue of Broken Silence and then suddenly find myself watching yet another episode of Vampire Diaries... bad news all around.

But this weekend is a long weekend so I will absolutely, 100% find a chance sometime in the next two days to write at least one chapter in at least one of my projects. For sure.


And also watch Captain America. And maybe Crazy, Stupid, Love. And pick up my parents from the airport... It's going to be a full weekend...

But I think that's about all I've got to say this July 31st. Well, that and listen to this song (watch it too, 'cause that's half the fun). If it doesn't make your summer feel even awesome-r, then my name isn't Winnie the Pooh. Which it is.

Hope you crazies have some incredible long weekends yourselves :D

Keep it real!

Monday, June 27, 2011


For years now - decades even - I've been convinced I couldn't cook. I've bragged about it, complained about it, even blogged about it!

But today I made a discovery that I may forever refer to as life changing.

I can cook.

All these years I thought it was me. It turns out all I needed was new cookware!!

I'm sure none of you believe me. I mean, you've all heard the horror stories - or worse - tasted them. The last time I tried to make an omlette, it ended up looking like this:

Not exactly appetizing, I know. It looks a heck of a lot like messed up scrambled eggs.

But yesterday my friend and I were hanging out and she was giving me some healthy tips (since I'm such a health nut now - and getting nuttier by the day) and one of said tips was to eat protein before bed. Not right before bed, 'cause that's just gross - and counterproductive. But protein in your last meal of the day is apparently a good thing. More specifically, egg whites.

And here's something you might not know about me. I love egg white omlettes. Spinach and cheddar egg white omlettes. But I can only ever get those when I go out for breakfast (which is almost never). Because I didn't think I could cook, remember?

Anyway, skip ahead 24 hours to 8pm this evening when I was digging around my kitchen looking for the rumoured non-stick pan my mother keeps someplace hidden. Due to my awesome sleuthing skills, I found the non-stick pan and poured my concoction of egg whites (which you can apparently buy in supermarkets!! who knew??!) and cheddar (my fridge was all out of spinach and I'd already spent my life savings on the egg whites - I'm a student, what do you expect?) into the pan and stared at it.

I stared at it for a good five minutes. Worrying the whole time that it would burst into flames.

It didn't though.

Eventually my weird, slimy mixture started turning white. Another five minutes and it was almost completely solid.

And here comes the best part!!

Once the entire top of my omlette-to-be had solidified, I started carefully poking at the edges, making sure if I were to flip it, it wouldn't fall apart on me (like every other time I've tried to make an omlette). I then placed my flipper (I may be able to cook, but you can't expect me to know the lingo!) under my eggs and turned it over and it stayed together!!

Long story short - take a look at the final product:

I made that. I made that. I know, it's hard to believe. In fact, many of you may think I'm not telling the truth because of the stark difference between what I ate for dinner tonight and that previous picture of a more pathetic dinner I ate a few months ago. But alas, it's true. I made that glorious looking (and even better tasting) omlette.

Larissa Benfey can cook.

Dude, now I'm beyond convinced that literally anything is possible.

Keep it real!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Write write!! Right?

There's nothing like a writing workshop to get you inspired to pick up that pen and paper (or in my case, computer) again. Don't get me wrong - I've been feeling mighty inspired lately anyway; in fact I find myself almost desperate for the chance to just sit down at my computer and write in longer than four minute increments... But today I went to a writing workshop that made me more than inspired. I think I'm actually feeling pretty optimistic.

The workshop was called "How to Write a Bestseller" and I learned a lot of really valuable information, met a best selling author and signed up for a creative writing class that'll take place in the fall - but none of those things were what really stuck with me.

What I really loved about today was something that happened during a writing exercise. We were given some pretty vague instructions on what our final product needed to accomplish and then were told to just start writing. So I looked around the room, trying to figure out what to write about. I kept thinking, it has to be something gripping, something people will want to read. Murder, mayhem, love... But I kept defaulting to ideas I'm already working on. And I couldn't do that. I knew I needed to make up something new. And suddenly a first line popped into my head. It had nothing to do with vampires, crimelords or valiant heroines... it had to do with a pen. A guy clicking a pen, to be precise. As soon as the first line appeared on the page, it's like everything else just spilled out until I found myself staring at almost two pages of writing.

I love writing exercises for this very reason. You think you've got nothing and then suddenly... you've got an entire scene playing out before your eyes that never used to exist.

Later on, we were asked to read our short scenes aloud to the rest of our table-mates. So I listened to the first lady read her work and it was pretty dern good. I looked down at my sheet and thought, my work is so juvenile next to hers. But it was my turn to read, so I did. And as I read I realized how different my 'voice' was than the lady next to me. Not better or worse - just different. And I think different just might work for me.

I keep reading all these books and try to emulate the way other writers write, but I think it's time to just accept my own style and move on. So I'm not the greatest writer of description - who cares? For some reason I seem to do the whole 'inside the character's head' thing to an extreme degree and focus almost completely on only the present circumstances said character is facing... and maybe nothing's wrong with that.

Of course, publication would really cement these wacky theories of mine - the whole 'my style is my style so just deal with it, world' theory, that is. But what can you do?

Oh yeah. Write. That's what I could do. People aren't too keen on publishing blank pages... so maybe I should hop to it, now that I'm done my random update/rant post.

I'd say 'keep it real!', but I'm actually going to end my post with that scene I wrote today. I'm kinda nervous about sharing it with a bigger audience than just my table-mates, but if I want to be a published author, I should probably get used to a couple more people seeing my work.

So... here it is. (Oh, and keep in mind, it's just supposed to be a scene, not a story...)

   He'd been clicking his pen for seven minutes now. Was is pathetic that I knew that? That I was keeping track? Well, what else was I supposed to do? I couldn't concentrate on anything else but that infernal clicking.
   He knew this was a library, right? I mean, he didn't look like the type to frequent libraries, but everyone had to know that libraries are meant to be quiet - noise-free.
   I glanced up at him again from my spot two tables away. His head was buried in a book; blond, shaggy hair falling into his face. You'd think he was sleeping if it wasn't for the small movement his thumb was making every two and a half seconds. Click... click.. click.
   Okay, I was seriously going to have a mental breakdown if this continued any longer.
   I pushed against my table to slide my chair back, but the legs of it must have caught on something because before I knew it, I was losing my balance and toppling to the floor -- making a hell of a lot more noise than his stupid clicking pen.
   My cheeks were already burning as I glanced around to see if anyone had noticed. Of course everyone's eyes were on me. The librarian at the front desk seemed to look as though she couldn't figure out whether to shush me or come see if I needed help. I'd much prefer the shush. I didn't want to endure further humiliation by suffering through any "are you okay"s.
   "Graceful," a voice suddenly scoffed from behind me and I felt hands being slid under my armpits. I was being hoisted to my feet before I had a chance to even wrench my neck around to see my unwanted rescuer.
   "Thanks, but I didn't need--" I said, turning to face -- Pen Clicker?! He was picking up the fallen chair now so I could only see the sandy mop on top of his head, but it was definitely him - one quick glance at his now unoccupied table confirmed it. I hadn't thought my cheeks could get any hotter, but they suddenly went nuclear.
   He straightened back up as he set my chair in its place. His pale green eyes were taking in my expression as a smile spread across his face.
   I cleared my throat.
   "--I didn't need help up."
   "Right. Because you did such a good job getting out of your seat the first time," he said, smirking.
   I opened my mouth, but snapped it shut again - completely at a loss for how to respond.
   "I'm sorry," he said, still smiling, though lowering his gaze, making his bangs fall back in front of his face. "I guess I should be asking if you're okay."

...yeah. That's all I wrote.

And now I'm going to go. So...

Keep it real!

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Class gets Top Marks

And not just in my books.

I've only heard good things about this movie - and, having already seen it three times, I can definitely vouch for it. X-Men: First Class rocked.

It made a modest $55 million since its opening on Friday and I'm hoping it'll stay in its top box office spot for at least another weekend more. If my movie attendance has anything to do with it, it will.

But enough with the vague compliments - let's get into the gritty details.

I guess I should start by saying that I am a huge X-Men fan. HUGE. So, sure, I probably have a bit of a bias, but I'll try to tone it down a bit. Still, being the big fan that I am, I very much appreciated all the small throw-backs to the previous three films interspersed throughout this one. Ashley Edward Miller and Zach Stentz proved their worth ten times over (they're the screenwriters, by the way). I mean, I actually left the theatre (the first time I watched it) thinking if there was anyone I could meet who worked on this movie, it'd be the screenwriters, because they did such a good job.

Of course, it wasn't just the throw-backs or the incredibly well-written characters - which, let me just say right now - for a comic book movie, these characters have no equal (except maybe Chris Nolan's Batman)... Add the fact that the plot (though a bit jumpy at times) was quite riveting and definitely entertaining and you've got yourself a script that I totally fall in love with.

Oh, and speaking of falling in love, I think it's time I give my two cents on some of the actors who brought these well-written characters to life.

Okay, I'll just come out and admit it. The actor who really caught my attention (and yeah, maybe my fancy too) was none other than Mr. Michael Fassbender - the one who played Erik Lehnsherr (aka Magneto). I thought he was amazing. And no, before you ask, it's not just because of his chisled jaw, leather jacket or sa-weet RayBans. I assure you, my legs go wobbly for a good performance just as much as they do for a good looking guy. So, let's just say I'm glad I was sitting to watch this movie...

Of course, there was Rose Byrne, whom I haven't seen since Troy, but that's just because I don't watch Nick Cage or Jonah Hill movies... Needless to say, I'm glad she's in better movies again. She's very good (in both this movie and another great one - Bridesmaids)!

James McAvoy plays a young Professor X... need I say more? We all know we've loved him since he appeared under a lamppost as Mr. Tumnus.

And one more definitely worth mentioning - Nicholas Hoult. Yep - the kid from About A Boy all growed up and only a year younger than me! When did that happen? He's actually kinda fantastic. In general. But especially in this movie.

If you could materialize two hours of a good time - it would look like a ticket to this movie. No joke and no exaggeration. Everything from the soundtrack to the interesting sets to the action scenes - it was all movie magic. I thoroughly enjoyed myself every time I watched it. So I have no doubt you - whoever you may be (and ps. you totally don't even need to be a superhero/comic book fan to love this movie) - will have a great time too.

Seriously - get out there and watch it!

:) Keep it real!

Monday, May 16, 2011

let go

Growing up, I was that weird kid that went along bike paths and soccer fields picking up snails and putting them out of harm's way. Worms got the same treatment... and pretty much any other critter that didn't know exactly how dangerous a place their prime tanning location was.

This morning I was walking from my car to the front door and I noticed a snail in my path. So, like old times, I bent down to pick it up and put it in a safer place. But this snail seriously didn't budge. I'm almost certain he sprouted hands and clung to his spot for dear life.

I tried to uproot him for a good three or four minutes but eventually gave up, stepped to the other side of the path so not to accidentally squish him and made sure to tell everyone within a ten meter radius to avoid the snail near the flower pot.

And strangely enough, this occurrence sort of mirrors something that's been on my mind for a little while now.

Sometimes I think I'm a lot like that snail. I'll feel something gently tugging at me, urging me to let go of whatever I happen to be clinging to at the time, but I don't wanna. Just ask my parents - I was a very stubborn child. I say 'was' as if that's changed, but, let's face it... it hasn't.

Little did the snail know, the reason why I was trying to uproot him was so I could put him someplace better. He was just focused on the path ahead of him, while I could see the entire street.

That got me thinking... when I feel that gentle nudge to release my kung-foo death grip on things like plans for the future, boy troubles, money and school worries... well, maybe I should try letting go.

I could name a thousand and one experiences I've had when I feel like God is nudging me to let go of my plans because he has something better in mind, but I'll refuse and hold on even tighter. I tell him how much I really like where I think my plan is going - how awesome it'll be when it comes to fruition and then I'll plug my ears and ignore anything he has to say after that.

I could also name a thousand and one experiences I've had when I did let something go, surrender control and find to my astonishment (every time) that God's plan really was better.

So lately I've been asking myself - why do I refuse what I know is best for me? Not only are God's plans better for my life, but they're also better for my sanity. I'm well aware that resistance isn't futile (hello? free will), but it's definitely exhausting. That snail was fighting me the same way I sometimes fight God's hand in my life and it takes so much more energy than just saying, "Okay, you win - where do you want me to go?"

And the best part is that the relief doesn't stop at the surrender - it stays with you. There's a comfort that comes with knowing that you're right where God wants you to be.

The moral of the story is obviously -- don't step on snails. If you didn't get that from everything I've just said, then I don't know what's wrong with you...

Just kidding.

Really, I just wanted to think aloud for a little while and I'm pretty sure I've now accomplished that. So I'm gonna go. (Can you tell I have no idea how to end this post? Can I use my new found surrendering of control 'lifestyle' as an excuse...?)

I'll just end it like this:

Keep it real!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

adventure in the great wide somewhere

I'm officially on summer break. ...Let me just say that again. I'm officially on summer break! Oh man, it feels so good to be able to say that. I seriously never thought this day would come and yet it's actually here! *Sigh* This is nice.

Anyway, over the last few months I haven't been able to do very much besides focus on school so I plan on taking full advantage of the four summer months ahead of me to remedy my adventure fix.

Watch this short video and maybe you'll understand where I'm coming from...

And you wonder why Belle was always my favorite Disney 'princess'. I don't think there was anything about her that I couldn't relate to. She longs for adventures, she loves reading and she didn't just settle for the first guy who showed any interest in her... (but that's another topic altogether).

So, these adventures of which I speak - you may be wondering what they'll be. Or maybe you're not even reading my post anymore because after that clip you just had to go rewatch Beauty and the Beast. I think I'm okay with that. But if you're still with me, I'd like to talk about the adventures I'm most excited to experience this summer - and maybe inspire you to go on a few of your own.

Well, I'm hoping to get back into archery. Like I said, school kinda took over my life for a while there and I haven't picked up my bow since, like, January. So I'm stoked for that. I also plan on taking kickboxing classes because that's something I've been wanting to try for about two years now. Of course, taking classes is nothing like guest starring on Nikita or being the next female super action hero, but it's definitely something. I can't tell you how excited I am about it.

The last 'planned' adventure I have for this summer is a roadtrip to New York City with my closest girlfriends. I've never been to New York City before but I've been wanting to for years. If this roadtrip comes together, I'll be a pretty happy lady.

And I almost forgot! One of my best friends is getting married in August! I'm in the wedding party, so that day (and all the days leading up to it) is definitely going to be a blast. I can't wait!

Other than that, I don't have too many other adventures planned just yet. I don't think I'm going to do any skydiving or stunt car driving like previous summers, but you never know. My weekdays will probably be filled with the daily doctors office routine unless I suddenly publish a best seller or get an agent that actually gets me gigs... but truth be told, I'd be totally fine if neither of those things happened. I like the people I work with and my evenings will be so jam packed with fun stuff that I don't think it'll matter that I'm not currently in the field of work I'd like to be in.

Anyway, those are my summer adventure plans. As always, I'm hoping this summer will totally exceed my expectations -and they usually do. I think it'll be a lot of fun.

But right now I'm going to enjoy my first day off in I don't even know how long by watching an episode or two of Nikita (I've recently become addicted and I can totally justify lounging around today - it's pouring rain outside). :D I don't know what your summer plans are, but I hope you've got an adventure or two thrown in there. Because what's summer without a few epic adventures??

Keep it real!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

another book update

So here's something you probably didn't see coming... Or maybe you did see it coming and you can predict the events in my life better than I can... either way, here's the thing:

I think I'm going to put my book publishing attempts on hold for a little while.

You see, I've got an entire book written - start to finish - emphasis on the 'finish'... But the first chapter is driving me bananas. As far as getting an agent goes, the first chapter is the most important because that's all they ask to see when you send them an example of your work. And my first chapter is a little back-story heavy, no matter how many times I try to fix it. It never jumps right into the action.

In my book's defense (and my defense too, I guess), it's the kind of story that really does need a little back-story because you need to care just a little about my characters before I throw them into the fire. And in this book's case particularly, you need to get to know a few characters before I flip the switch and you find out everything you thought they were was a lie.

Can you see why this thing is causing me so much trouble??

So, like I said, I'm going to put the agent-hunt on hold for a little while and slowly try to come up with something incredible (and sellable - apparently that's even more important than good literature). It's insane to me that I've got about thirty complete chapters that I'm totally happy with, but this first chapter is all I need to work on. Why does it have to work that way?

I guess I should also mention Part 2 of this plan, if you can call it a plan.

I've been working on another book for about a year and a bit now (at a slower pace, since my primary focus has been 'Broken Silence') called Lips of Umbra. And the thing about Lips of Umbra is that I'm well aware of how sellable its content is. Because it's a fantasy novel with a seventeen year old girl as the main character. And hey! she falls in love with a supernatural dude!

Before you laugh out loud at how much of a sell-out I am, please keep in mind this important fact: Twilight did in fact inspire this book, but not in the way you'd think. I wanted to write a book for the Twilight crowd that sneakily (or not so sneakily) promotes things like healthy relationships and the really important stuff, like actually having a personality (and a strong one at that).

Lips of Umbra will be my summer project and when it's finished (which hopefully isn't in the too distant future), I'll market it to agents. If someone picks it up, then I'll be a published author with another book already waiting in the wings. So it sounds like a pretty okay plan to me.

Anyway, I think that's all for book updates right now. Remember those assignments I mentioned in my last post? Yeah... still not done those... So I'll get to them right now... after I eat breakfast...

Keep it real!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

new blog post

That title was the most creative thing I could come up with. Can you tell my brain's been fried? School - I shake my fist at you...

For those of you that haven't heard me complaining about it in person, I have a few assignments due within the next three days that I've barely started. And yes, I'm well aware that blogging about it won't get them done any faster... in fact, I'm pretty sure this'll slow the process down. BUT it's been so long since I last blogged - I just had to write something.

I'll even try to keep this blog educationally focused. ...Is that a thing? I'm going to make it a thing.

According to a blog I just started following five minutes ago, April is National Poetry Month and I happen to be taking a few English literature courses in which I've read a poem or two. So I would like to take this moment to share with you my favorite poem so far. ...Actually, I can't say that in good conscience because I have about eight zillion favorites, many of which were written by Emily Dickinson - someone I didn't even know was a poet (I just knew she was a famous writer) until this year... And I call myself an English major. For shame...

Anyway, this 'favorite' poem is by William Carlos Williams (awesome name, btw) and it's called This is Just to Say.

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

If that's poetry, I like it.

Do you think my prof will count blogging with an 'educational focus' as something worth some marks? That would be awesome if she did because it's not like I'm ever going to finish any of these projects...

I guess I'll get back to them now.

Hey! Did you notice that it's spring outside?! I went for a short walk today (short was all I could afford) and it was glorious. I love this weather. I just thought I'd mention that.


Keep it real!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

fears and phobias

I haven't blogged in a while, eh? I've been feeling too narcissistic lately and I figured blogging would only feed my self-obsessed addictions so I stayed away from it, thinking the world really doesn't need to know about my life. But it's been two weeks and I was reading some other blogs and got inspired.

I read a pretty funny blog (this one to be precise) about childhood fears and I thought, what better way to return to the blogging world than by sharing with everyone what used to (and, in most cases, still does) scare me? 'Cause my imagination is... a little messed up. I think I actually shared all of the same fears as the woman whose blog I read, but here are a few that I came up with when reminiscing about my childhood (that may or may not include up to ten minutes ago)...

1. Going to the bathroom at night - specifically, flushing the toilet. My logic: loud noises make monsters come out.

1a. A closed shower curtain (only at night): a were-wolf could be hiding in the bathtub and I wouldn't know it. Solution: As soon as you walk into the bathroom, open the shower curtain quickly, in a ready-to-run stance.

1b. Turning off the bathroom light at night... because as soon as you turn it off, you're left in total darkness, ie. you're totally vulnerable to monster attacks. Solution: (well, first you have to wait a good two or three minutes after you've flushed the toilet so the monsters have gone back to sleep, and then, turn off the light and make a mad dash for your room.)

2. Sleeping without a blanket. My logic: Monsters can only pull you out of bed when they can see your feet.

3. People crawling at me... yeah, this one's weird... it might explain why I'm afraid of babies... My logic: dangerous animals walk on all fours - as soon as you are on all fours, my imagination will be triggered and I will think of you as a dangerous animal...

4. Getting my eyes poked out: When I was six or seven I watched The Phantom - starring Billy Zane - and there's a scene where someone has something awful happen to their eyes right after taking off their glasses... needless to say, it made me queezy about eyes and wishing for an excuse to wear glasses more often.

5. Swimming in the ocean: Sharks, eels, whales... minnows... knowing that there could be something swimming near me and possibly attacking me is enough to keep me close to shore.

5a. Swimming in lakes: I always imagine the Lock Ness monster swimming around near my feet as soon as I've gone more than ten feet away from the beach.

5b. Swimming in swimming pools: I used to think a shark would come in through that drain thing at the bottom of the deep end, so I'd always keep an eye on it.

5c. Walking near a creek. My logic: Yeah, we don't live in Florida, but I still think that a crocodile will come out and attack me... I've seen Crocodile Dundee too many times...

6. Walking from the car to the front door alone at night: Five feet is enough to get attacked by a crazy person...

6a. Walking from the front door to the car at night *different* - Once I get in the car, I'm afraid a bad guy has somehow gotten in the car and hidden in the back seat and he's just waiting to attack me... also, I lock the doors as soon as I get in, in case the bad guy is waiting to attack me from outside.

6b. The forest across the street from my house (this one is no longer valid because the forest has since been replaced by a giant house) - my older brother used to tell me that ghosts lived in it. I couldn't even look at it from the safety of my bedroom without the risk of having a nightmare or two. The fear later grew to include rapists living in the woods... (though my theories were never supported by facts)

7. Balloons: ...this one I can't explain. I think it's the fact that they can pop at any second and loud noises scare me.

8. Clowns: no explanation necessary, I'm sure.

9. Heights: anything higher than 2 stories and my legs turn to jello. And don't even get me started on staircases!

10. Flying (in airplanes). It may have something to do with heights...

I don't even want to admit to how many more there are... 10 is just scratching the surface. And they say having a wild imagination is a good thing. Ha!

Anyway, I'm going to return to my trying-not-to-be-narcissistic tendencies and end this post before I go on any more rants.

Keep it real!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

lil' sis

So, this post is for my sister, even though I'm not entirely sure she reads my blog. But here I go anyway.

Lil' sis,

There are a lot of people out there that like to tell you to give up on your dreams - to ignore your passions and just take the world as it is.
You'll never stop meeting people like that.

And then there are the people within the industry you dream of being a part of that'll take a little pity on you and just say that it's tough - but if you keep at it, you can make something of yourself.

And then there's SNL who make a video about people getting punched in the face when eating which ends with a zombie dance and the phrase 'Believe in Your Dreams'.

With all these types of people out there, it can be a little tough to stay hopeful - to continue pursuing that dream job whole heartedly.

So can I be the person that you hardly ever meet and say if it's something you love, never give up. I mean, hey - one day you may stop loving it and decide to do something completely different with your life and that's fine. But until that day comes, don't for one second let someone tell you that what you're aiming for is impossible. Because that is the furthest thing from the truth.

I guess this is where personal experience comes in...

As someone who has been holding fast to the same dream for I think eighteen years now, I can't tell you how many people I've met that have told me to give up - to find something new, something easier. But every day that I keep at it, I become a little more experienced, so how can they tell me that it's all for naught?

There's this book that I like to read on occasion - I have to admit, I pick it up more on the days when I feel hopeless and tend to ignore it a bit when I'm doing fine, but somehow I always read exactly what I needed to hear.

I've read that my Father who loves me, he gave me some gifts (I'm not entirely sure what all of them are yet, but I know I've got some)...
And just like any father, he loves the look on my face when I open them. But what he loves even more is the look on my face and the awesome drum solo my heart does when I use them. And the best thing about my Father is that he doesn't give gifts that he knows will just sit on a shelf. He's not the type to give his kid a snowboard when they live in Hawaii. He loves His kids too much to do something like that to them.

But sometimes you may feel like you're the exception - you're the kid he's given a snowboard to and you're standing in the middle of Hawaii. Well, in that case, I think the only thing you can do is be patient. Because if you throw down your board then, you may miss him when he comes around the corner with a ticket to Whistler.

If I had let what people say get to me, I would have given up on my dream ten years ago - the first time someone told me the stats I'm up against.
If I cared about stats, I'd never get behind the wheel of a car and I definitely wouldn't eat anything but celery since almost everything out there causes cancer these days. So do everyone a favor and ignore the stats you're up against, ignore the words said by people who just don't get it, and fight for what you love. Show the world what you're made of. You've got people in your corner and you're tight with the Man Upstairs - that may not necessarily be a recipe for success, but I can tell you that it definitely ain't the recipe for failure.

Okay, pep talk over.

No, wait - one last thing: Go get 'em tiger!

Big sis.

Keep it real.

Friday, February 25, 2011

and the oscar will go to...

As of this moment, the 83rd annual Academy Awards are about 52 hours away, but who's counting? Oh, right - I am. Counting down the hours - check. Watching the movies... not so much. I've seen a decent amount of them. I got two more in over my reading week, but I still feel a bit like I'm having that dream where I show up to school pants-less. It's like the Oscars snuck up on me.

I guess the only important movies I haven't seen (of the nominations) are True Grit, Black Swan and 127 Hours. And, in my defense, I want to see two of the three. (...I don't know what it is about Black Swan that makes me never want to watch it... but I just couldn't care less about it... maybe it's that rumour I heard about girl on girl. I really don't want to pay to see that and then hear people call it cinematic genius...)

Random fact: I've seen all but one of the movies nominated for art direction... but that's one of the awards you use as a bathroom break...

When I was in grade eleven, I took a media course (and it was the best course of my liiifee) and when the Oscars rolled around, we all put down our predictions about who would win what. I got a prize out of it... for having the least amount of correct predictions... so this year I think I'll try it again.

If I had money, I'd put it on Colin Firth for best actor. I'm pretty sure Christian Bale will win for best supporting (which will make me cry a little because it will mean Geoffrey Rush didn't win for his amazing performance in The King's Speech).

Oh! Can I insert here my theory about how to win Academy Awards? Here's the secret: play a real person. And BOOM! You win. History doesn't lie:

Jamie Foxx won for his portrayal of Ray Charles in 2004;
Philip Seymour Hoffman won for Capote, 2005;
Sean Penn - Harvey Milk, 2008;
Nicole Kidman - Virginia Woolf, 2002;
Reese Witherspoon - June Carter Cash, 2005;
Helen Mirren - Queen Elizabeth II, 2006
Sandra Bullock - Leigh Anne Tuohy, 2009.

I could go on and on...

But I won't.

I'll get back to my bets... I mean, predictions...

I haven't seen any of the performances in the best actress category, but I'll take a shot in the dark and say Natalie Portman for the win. As far as supporting actress goes, that's a tight race, seeing as three of the five women were in movies I have seen and they were all fantastic. I'm sure it'll go to one of them (that is, Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter or Melissa Leo).

Toy Story 3 will probably win for best animated feature, but if it wins for best film, there's something wrong with the Academy. I really hope The King's Speech will win for Music (Original Score), but now I'm just getting into the nitty gritty stuff that no one but me and the people who actually worked on the movies care about.

I'm pretty sure the big winners will be The King's Speech, The Fighter, The Social Network and maybe Black Swan. I guess that's what everyone's saying, so I don't sound that smart, I just sound repetitive. But, if I can just stay on this repetitive note for one more second -- I read a short article today about the hosts' plans for the Oscars and James Franco said, and I quote, "A lot of the show will definitely be about bringing in a fresh crop of movie viewers. But also, one of the backbones or arcs of the show is to appreciate the history of film."

Sounds like my kind of show!

So, regardless of the fact that I still don't understand why James Franco and Anne Hathaway are hosting (I have come to accept that fact though, so that's a step in the right direction), and I still haven't seen a few of the movies - I am definitely excited for this year's Academy Awards.

I know a lot of people aren't fans of the Oscars, and don't even get me started about my opinion of the entertainment industry (my opinion in a nutshell: they have waaaay too much money to throw around)... but there's something about the Academy Awards that I just find irresistable. My eyes will be glued to the TV from 7pm to midnight. (And yes, I'm well aware of the fact that the show doesn't officially start until 8:30 - I'll admit, I really like the red carpet interviews. And the gorgeous gowns... and ... yeah - maybe I do a little day dreaming about being there one day...)

I like the idea of rewarding people for having amazing imaginations and an abundance of creativity. It's a little sad that these imaginative and creative people haven't figured out a way to make the ceremony a little more entertaining, but hey - they've been working their butts off all year making great movies, so I guess you can't blame them.

Aaaaanyway... I'm going to stop talking about the Oscars now. Did I mention they were my favourite awards show?

Keep it real!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Does anyone have a breath mint or a stick of gum or something? 'Cause I just midtermed in that trash can over there...

Seriously, I almost feel physically ill after all the BS I just spewed out on paper and handed in to my teacher so she can grade my intelligence (or lack thereof - I haven't gotten my marks back yet, so either could be true at this point).

Not to sound cocky (though every time someone says that, they proceed to say something ridiculously self-praising... and this time isn't any different...) but I think I've actually become a master at the art of pleasing teachers. I've been working at it since kindergarten, so don't feel bad if you're not in the same boat. Plus, you also get called a lot of names over the years like 'keener' and 'teacher's pet', so you should actually be happy about the fact that you're not in the same boat.

Anyway, with my skills as a teacher-pleaser, I've become acutely aware of exactly what teachers need to hear in order for their A+ reflex to kick into gear. Therefore, I'm the a-hole that doesn't do any of the readings but still gets good marks. But as said a-hole, I feel like the education system may be a little bit of a let down. I mean, if I can fly through it getting great marks that don't actually reflect how much I'm learning, what does that tell you about the way things are working?

This whole 'handing in tests and essays' is getting old. It's teaching kids - at least, kids like me - not how to retain information that will someday (so they say) come in handy in everyday life (...I can't wait for the day when my boss at the doctor's office runs to my desk dying to know the definition of a novella...) No - it's teaching kids that if you regurgitate what your prof says in class and pretend you have some sort of an opinion about it, you'll get a good mark.

All that said, I'm not saying getting an education is stupid because I am actually beyond grateful for the opportunity I've been given, the privilege so many people don't get. But what I am saying is that when you learn something, you've learned it. What's the point in proving it by writing some test or essay that just confirms that you were listening in class?

When I take archery, I'm given a bow and some arrows, told a few tips and then pointed in the direction of the target. No test. When I take an acting class, I'm given some lines (sometimes) and put on a stage and then I hear "action!" No essays. When I write a book it either gets published or it doesn't. No "B-". So if university (or education in general) is supposed to be steering us towards 'reality,' then what's with the requirement to spew back information? To prove that we know the stuff? I'd much rather demonstrate my knowledge by simply speaking up in class or trying to write a story that musters up some controversy - taking a page out of Mark Twain's book.

Just, please, no more "we're just wanting to see if you were paying attention" crud, because I'd understand your interest if you actually did something other than give me a pass or fail after I handed in that paper I spent six hours writing. If this education system is really interested in my learning, then they wouldn't stop at grades. Getting a good grade accomplishes nothing but giving me a little self-esteem boost, and getting a bad grade just makes me think less about the class and more about how much I suck.

The best part of this rant is the fact that I come from a long line of teachers...

I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that disagree with me, and maybe this entire post is just craziness spawn from too little sleep and too many midterms, but, for the moment, I stand by my conviction. I never want to write another midterm again.

But I have another take-home midterm due in an hour, so I'd better start working on it. I may need another breath mint after this one too. I'm about to regurgitate a heck of a lot of BS...

Keep it real!

Monday, February 14, 2011


In honor of Valentine's Day, here's a great song by one of my favorite artists. She's got spunk!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Keep it real.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Okay, so I'll admit, I've been a little skeptical of this year's hosts... or, maybe just the one host. I like Franco too much to ever be anything but enamored by him... but that's another post altogether.

Anyway... after seeing some of the promos, I think I might be able to accept these two, even though one of them is Anne Hathaway. If they're planning on having as much fun on the actual night as they do in this clip, their hosting segments may actually be entertaining.

Yet again, I haven't seen most of the nominated films, so I'd better get cracking... Regardless, I'm as excited as ever to watch the show. I think it's all the pretty dresses. What can I say? Shiny things impress me.

Keep it real.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

mission: possible

I went out for breakfast with my best friend yesterday to catch up. We talked about all sorts of things and of course, the inevitable came up: guys. I mean, two single twenty-something girls - the conversation was bound to get there eventually. Something she said stuck with me for the rest of the day and I guess I should put it on paper… or blog post…

I have these high standards… some might call them unrealistic… and she sort of dropped a comment that sounded a bit like this: “I mean, looking for a guy like that is great and all, but in the end, you sort of know it’s not going to happen.”

She didn’t mean to insult me in any way - nor was I insulted. But it just got me thinking, why not? Why am I not allowed to accept the fact that there are only a select few guys I’d ever really want to share my life with? I happen to believe in a God who can do anything. He made five fish and two loaves into a feast for thousands. So why would it be any less possible for him to put two people on earth that match each other perfectly? Neither would be perfect - I’m well aware of that. But it’s definitely not impossible to find the guy that’s right for me. Just like it’s not impossible for a crazy girl from Mississauga to make it big in Hollywood or write the next best seller. (I plan on doing both, btw).

I don’t like the word can’t. Besides growing wings and flying out the window, I’m pretty sure there’s nothing I can’t do. Some things take more effort, more determination and a hell of a lot more time than other things, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do them. Sometimes I don’t think we give ourselves enough credit.

I dunno.. this may just be the dreamer in me talking, but I’m pretty sure when God teams up with humanity, nothing’s impossible.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

cooking with lars

I'm trying this thing called 'healthy eating'... the impulse to do so comes and goes, but i tried to make an omlette for dinner tonight... ('cause apparently eggs are low-carb and low-carb is good?)... the catch is: I can't cook. Seriously. Just look:


Check out the final final product:

Looks reeeeeeal appetizing, right?

...Actually, it was pretty good, despite its poor presentation. Still, I stand firmly by my claim that I cannot cook.

And that's about all that needs to be said in this post. So...

Keep it real!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

i'd like to thank...

I went to a writing seminar today. I've been to a few before and they've been helpful - don't get me wrong - but this one was really good. I think I took about ten pages of notes... only to discover there was a handout... but that's neither here nor there.

I'm not the type of person to take myself seriously... or fully commit to pretty much anything... but after about two years, I think I'm finally ready to say that I'm serious about writing. Yeah, I know. This coming from someone who's already sent out query letters to agents and written, like, fifty drafts of the same novel. Now I'm serious? Well... yeah, I guess.

So what brought this about?

The guest speaker at the workshop, Lynda Simmons, said that if you really want to be a writer, there comes a point where you have to take yourself seriously and - more importantly - you need to surround yourself with a few people that also take you, the writer, seriously.

Well, when she said that, something clicked. You see, two days ago I walked into my bedroom to find a package from amazon.ca (the website is amazon.ca... for those of you that watched Scott Pilgrim, you'll get the reference - at least, you'd better!) and a clipping from a newspaper sitting on my bed. The article spoke of a seminar... you guessed it! The one I just attended today. My mom had seen it in the paper and put it out on my bed, thinking I may find the seminar useful since I'm an aspiring writer.

When I thought about that as Lynda was saying I need to be around people that take me seriously, I realized - I already am. And apparently, that's something that can often be a struggle to find. So maybe it's about time I take this seriously. Maybe it's time I really own up to being a writer. Maybe it's time I don't just say something like, "Well I sorta kinda hope to be doing something that sorta kinda has to do with writing one day when I sorta kinda grow up..." when people ask me what I plan on doing with my English degree.

I want to write novels and short stories. And yeah, I also want to tell stories as an actor, but who knows? Maybe that dream will stay on the back burner for a little longer, because right now, writing is what I'm most passionate about.

So, I'll finish my rewrites of Broken Silence and send it off to a new set of agents in the States (because, side note - Lynda also said that a lot of Canadian agents and publishers look for stuff that's distinctly Canadian and my stuff is anything but)... and I'll see where things go from there.

All that said, I'd like to thank my mom. I know she never really liked the idea of me as an actor (Hollywood has a way of bringing people down and she always worried about all the trouble I'd find for myself if I made it there), but she's definitely embraced this new development and I really appreciate her support. As a whole, my family is pretty great about it, so I know I'm one of the lucky ones.

Anyway, that's all for now... I'm gonna boogie.

Keep it real!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Ugh, I've been dreading this post. I've post-poned writing it for almost a week now.

Remember how I sent my query letter to ten different Toronto literary agents? I've mentioned it enough, so I'd be surprised if you didn't know that little factoid... Well, I just received the tenth and final response on Wednesday.

The fact that I began this post with an 'ugh' as opposed to a 'yay!' should be enough of a clue for you to figure out what the tenth and final response was. Just like the other nine: a big, fat no.

BUT, I'm not as disappointed as you might think.

I mean, sure, it sucks to hear from ten different people that your writing isn't good enough for them to bring to publishers (although most of them worded it in nicer terms), but there's always a silver lining.

For one thing, I've heard a million and one stories about best sellers who couldn't market their books to save their lives. They'd get upwards of thirty rejections and wouldn't let that stop them. Plus, giving up isn't in my DNA so even if it went against all reason, I'd still pick myself up, brush myself off and try again.

Also, with every rejection letter I received, I went back to my novel and worked on it a little more. One agent actually gave me a few suggestions even though they don't usually do that with works that they've rejected. (PS. it was an agent from the bukowski agency - even though I won't be represented by them, I still totally respect them and would recommend them to anyone because of how awesome they've been to me).

I've shaved a couple thousand words off from the beginning of my story so it can get to the action faster and I'm still cutting a few useless bits here and there. It went from almost 108,000 words down to 104,000 words since Wednesday, so I'm already getting excited to send the new version to a new batch of agents to see what they think.

Speaking of, I'm pretty excited about the agents themselves. This time around I'll be sending it to agents in New York. I figure a story about a girl in Boston might have a bigger market in the States anyway. One of the agencies represented Ewan McGregor's book, so I know I'd be in good hands - I just need to make sure my book is ready for their high standards.

Luckily, I don't need to rush. I forgot that you're allowed to take breathers, even when you're aspiring to make something of your life. Granted, my idea of a breather is more of a switching of tracks than a stopping at a station, so to speak. And by that I mean I may just pay more attention to getting an acting agent in the next month or so and get back to the literary agent later. Or, I may do both. Because I'm insane.

This week's forcast: a few sparadic flurries and the definite possibility that I might wear myself too thin. So, as cheesy as it sounds, I'm forcing myself to listen to this song over and over again because it sort of reminds me that no matter how many things I want to do with my life, sometimes I just need to take a step back and remember that all I have is right now, and it's amazing, just the way it is.

Oh, so cheesy.

Keep it real!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

people's choices

So, the People's Choice Awards were on last night and I totally missed them but I'm trying to find a way to watch them online. I already know all the winners, but I still enjoy watching awards shows just for entertainment's sake.

I don't know who these 'people' are that are making the choices as to which actors will walk away with awards, but I definitely don't trust their judgement anymore. Not after I saw the list of winners from last night.

Whenever I see this one holding an award, I know something's wrong.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse took away the most awards of the night. Which makes me want to cry. Because it's so sad that it is what kids call good cinema these days. And Adam Sandler won for best comic actor? Really?! There are more than seven people out there that found Grown Ups hysterical? Geez, it's enough to turn someone off of awards shows altogether.

I really need to find out who these people are that are casting votes. I can't even say that I hope they're all in the 13-18 year old category, because most of the winners last night were so ridiculous, I'd be ashamed to hear that a five year old had made the choice.

But that's enough of my negativity. I sound like such a movie snob... so I guess I should knock my pride down a notch or two by admitting that, no matter how often I claim to hate the franchise, I still own all of the Twilight movies to date. So, really, I can't say a thing about ridiculous choices other people have made.

On that pathetic note, I'll bid thee adieu.

Keep it real!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

delusions, conclusions and resolutions

First things first: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I quite enjoyed 2010, I hope you all did too. It's weird looking back at what my life looked like a year ago today. So much has changed, yet sometimes it seems like nothing has changed at all.

2010 was the year in which I did not act... for the most part. I was in my church's Christmas pageant, but those productions hardly include acting if we're being really honest with ourselves. Anyway, that was only last week so I can still hold to my claim that I haven't done anything acting related for a year. Which meant at about this time last year I gave up my identity and went on a quest to find a new one... or maybe just a deeper aspect to the old one.

Surrendering my biggest dream and practically only identity wasn't something I did easily, but looking back, I can't believe how much that one decision affected possibly the rest of my life. It was an incredible learning experience in so many ways. Not only did I learn that one can't stake their whole identity in something as fleeting as acting, but I also learned how much more there is to life when you let go of control, keep an open mind and try a hand at flying by the seat of your pants. I had experience after experience that led me to believe that God's plans are infinitely more elaborate, fun and perfectly fit for me than I ever thought possible.

Of course, my crazy quest won't end with the ushering in of 2011, especially since now I'll face the challenge of integrating my actor self into everything else I've discovered in the past year. I'm unbelievably excited to see what else God has in store.

I'm not one to make 'new year's resolutions' because the beginning of a new day is just as much motivation as a new year for me, but I've made a resolution recently enough to mention it briefly in here. I already made the mistake of telling my siblings about it and they have been far too regularly (and eagerly) keeping me accountable to it. Mentioning it to even more people will only bring me more grief, I'm sure, but I might as well - accountability can't hurt results, right?

My newest resolution is to stop complaining so much. I don't know if I actually complain more often than the average human being, but I definitely feel like I do and complaining is the most irritating thing in the world to listen to. So to put the people around me out of their misery, I thought I should give it a shot.

... About five minutes into my new year I'd already started in on the complaining... to which my little brother 'kindly' stated, "what was that new year's resolution you made?" and I shut up. And really, what the heck do I have to complain about? I'm just your average student with a part-time job, great friends, a family I love (most days) and a God who's always got my back... I don't know what my life looks like to everyone else, but to me, I couldn't imagine it getting any more perfect than it already is. So the complaining ends now, the anticipation for great things will always be around and (hopefully) in 2011 I will radiate positivity :)

I've been trying to live in a way that doesn't let the circumstances of life get me down. In 2010 I never felt better and I don't know exactly what I'm doing (ever) but whatever it is, I'll be trying to keep it up in 2011.

I never want to write for the sake of writing... so I'm hoping you can take something away from what I have to say, whatever that is. Sure, I want to be heard, I want my opinions to be known by at least some. I always have something to say and I even though sometimes I regret saying it, I hope that my ridiculous rantings, reviews or weird outlooks on life will cause someone to ponder more thoroughly their own.

Thanks for reading my stuff whenever you get a chance and showing your support in so many ways. I'm having a difficult time ending this blog in an uncheesy manner... I think I'll just end the same way I began.

Happy New Years!!

Keep it real.