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Things and stuff and silence.

It’s a secret (c) Paul Brunskill

I’ve come into my blog about six times this week to try to write something.

It hasn’t worked.

Part of this is because there are actually some fun things happening and I can’t talk about any of them until they’re finalized, but I want to, so I’d rather say nothing. Part of this is because between work and trying to write and May always being a busy month in my life, my brain is kind of cracked. I don’t have anything left to say here!

Hence the silence.

The problem is, I still have nothing to say! Instead, I decided I’m overdue for a roundup of awesome articles. Below are links to some of the articles I’ve enjoyed in past weeks.

And last, but not least, from, because, yes: 

Sing revision update #3

Progress is being made! And I finally know for sure that it’s progress in the right direction! Woohoo!

I have to go back and rework a section of this new draft, but that’s okay! Because I get to keep most of what I wrote and that makes me happy. 😀

Also, just in case you didn’t know this already, beginnings are HARD. Like, seriously. Extremely difficult. Like, climbing Everest difficult. It seems as though I’m getting closer to the top of this particular mountain, but I won’t know for sure until I stand up there and plant my flag in the snow.


In the meantime, here! Go visit and let them entertain you while I try to make my brain stop sending smoke out my ears…

What I had meant to say was…

So, I was going to tell you about yesterday, but then I realized I can’t tell you about part of it and shouldn’t tell the internet about the other part… When I tried to think of something else to talk about my brain kind of went lsg;l jadlfkbn adK:hg apeojgra:LDFHgjarltgszhiouo? Because, yeah… that’s about as much brain power as I have left right now.

Five days of fourteen-hour workdays will do that to a brain. Even a good one.  😉

HOWEVER, I promise that I will have good news to share very soon! And, although I may not be around much next week, I will try to post something interesting at least once.

In the meantime, MORE FROM CRACKED.COM! (Come on, you knew it was coming)

Have a good weekend, lovelies!

A Very Merry Unbirthday To YOU!

I swear I had something quasi important I wanted to post today… but for the life of me I can’t remember what it was! So, instead, I wish you all a very merry unbirthday! And also bring you another one of my posts brought to you by Go read these articles! I enjoyed them:

There you go. Enjoy your weekend!

To keep you entertained this weekend. :)

As predicted, my schedule this week will be SO INCREDIBLY WONKY. To amuse you and appease my own non-posting guilt, I decided to leave you with entertainment while I’m gone. And so I present to you, my recent favorites from Some of them are useful for writing, others are just awesome. Enjoy!

Stories can control minds. No, seriously.

(c) Andrew Schmidt

Movies, television, and books all present stories to an audience. Obviously. That much is kind of a given, right? But what we forget is that stories have always been used as a teaching tool. Myths, legends, and (please don’t kill me) religion were all developed in story form to make them more memorable, to give them a beginning and a middle and an end for people to hang onto, and for crowd control, aka mind control. Stories were used for centuries (and still are used) to impart wisdom, lessons, and history and even though we’ve kind of lost that tradition in a sense–at least in modern American culture–stories still teach us things whether we want them to or not. They shape the way we see the world and sometimes work to point us all in the same direction. Whether we realize it or not.

Why am I talking about stories and mind control? Blame Again.

A couple of days ago I found an article on their website called 5 Ways You Don’t Realize Movies Are Controlling Your Brain. Have I commented yet on the fact that the Cracked writers are not only hilarious but blindingly intelligent? I’m kind of in awe of them. But, anyway, not the point. The point is this article and the very valid incredibly interesting points it made about pop culture and the way the general population (especially my generation and all that have come after it) have been influenced by it. Most of us in ways we’ll never realize. One of the points the author David Wong makes is this:

You’ve seen Braveheart, right? You know that’s based on a historical event — the movie makes it clear that Mel Gibson’s character, William Wallace, was a real guy who really lived in Scotland back in the horse and castle days. You also know that Hollywood spiced things up for the movie — the real Wallace probably never assassinated a dude and then jumped his horse off a balcony in slow motion.

So if you don’t mind, just quickly tell me which parts were fiction. Without looking it up.

Like the evil king they were fighting — was he a real historical figure, too? What about Wallace’s palooka friend, Hamish? Or the crazy Irish sidekick? Were those real guys? That part where Mel Gibson’s main ally (Robert the Bruce) betrayed him and sided with the English in that big battle (aka the turning point of the entire story)– did that really happen? What about the bit at the end, where Wallace has sex with that princess, revealing that the future king of England would actually be Mel Gibson’s son? That’s the most historically important thing in the whole film, surely that was true, right?

You don’t know, do you? But who cares, right? It’s not like that impacts your life at all. It’s just historical trivia. OK, now consider this: After Jaws hit theaters, we nearly drove sharks to extinction with feverish hunting, to the point that their populations may never recover.

 “Oookaaay,” you may be saying to yourself. “Interesting. But are you for or against this whole mind control theory?”

I’m neither. Or maybe both. It doesn’t matter. The lesson I’m trying to pull out of this convoluted post is that authors need to do two things: use this truth to their advantage and be careful not to abuse it.
In the article, David makes another point, one that references another article on Cracked: 7 Bullshit Police Myths Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies). Did you know you do not have a legal right to a phone call if you get arrested. The police do not have to give you a phone call if they have a reason not to. Any reason. Want to know why you thought otherwise (unless you have cops or lawyers in your family)? Because movies and TV uses this line so often most people assume it’s true. David explains:

Now take this one step further, and think about how many other aspects of your life you’ve only experienced via Hollywood. If you’re from a rural area, how do you know what it’s like to live in the city? Or vice versa? If you’ve never been to Paris, where does your mental image of it come from? Some of you reading this very article loved The Sopranos because its depiction of the mob was so much more “realistic” than all those stylized movies that came before it. How do you know it’s more realistic? What are you comparing it to? All those real mobsters who come over at Thanksgiving?

The reality is that vast piles of facts that you have crammed into your brain basement were picked up from pop culture, and for the most part, you don’t realize that’s where the information came from. This is called source amnesia, and I’ve talked about it before — you know that giraffes sleep standing up, but you’ve long forgotten whether you heard that fact in school or in a tour at the zoo, or saw it in a cartoon. Either way, you will treat that fact as true until something comes along to counter it — this is the entire reason MythBusters is still on the air.

As an ex-psychology geek, any article that correctly references things like source amnesia makes me a little giddy, but this article brilliantly brought home both the joys and the perils of writing a book and sending it out into the universe. It’s wonderful because we can play on the perceptions of the masses and give ourselves more creative leeway to make our stories more interesting, dynamic, heart-wrenching, action-packed, whatever. However, we are responsible for the images and information we put out into the world. Even if we can’t control how one particular person interprets what we write, we have to be at least aware of the messages most people will see in the stories we present. If you play your part right, the messages will blend and people won’t quite know where fact ends and fiction begins. Then you two will have played a part in the mind control of the globe.

Sounds fun, right? 🙂

This post is a cop out. Just saying.

I have a lot on my plate and a lot on my mind (ALL GOOD THINGS, just in case you were wondering) and so this post is totally going to be a cop out where I entertain you with articles I didn’t write. Once again, I direct your attention to, those internet geniuses of comedy:

5 Movies Made Possible By Characters Who Suck At Their Jobs
The 5 Stupidest Things Ever Done With Borders (NOT the bookstore… though they could probably do an article on that, too.)
The 5 Most Terrifying Ways Doctors Went Crazy On The Job
6 Mind Blowing Things People Built In Their Backyards
5 Reasons Why Some People Love Cars So Damn Much
The Bizarrely Specific Haircut of Popular Paperback Writers
8 Ridiculous Animal Myths You Probably Believe
5 Ways To Trick Your Body Into Being More Awesome
The 5 Most Insane Childbirth Stories Of All Time
The 6 Most Important Sci-Fi Ideas (Were Invented By A Hack)


Funnytime: Everyone Needs To Giggle

I have a lot of things I need to get done today, but I really wanted to post something… luckily I found a compromise! It’s been a while since I’ve done a article roundup, so here are a few I’ve enjoyed recently. As always, there’s a PG13 warning on everything from Cracked. These people have hilariously awesome potty mouths 🙂

5 Prejudices That Video Games Can’t Seem To Get Over
5 Things Modern Kids Don’t Understand About Being A “Nerd”
5 Iconic Buildings That Were Barely Saved From Destruction
The 4 Weirdest Lessons 80s Movies Really Wanted To Teach Us
The 5 Most Terrifying Ways Your Brain Can Turn On You
6 Movies That Predicted Disasters With Eerie Accuracy