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Monthly Archives: September 2010

An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life: My Life, Explained

The following blog post was retrieved from a server going out of service. Given the time that has elapsed since these posts were originally published, they are being reprinted here for your reading pleasure.

Originally Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 at 7:22pm

Yesterday, Amanda asked me to tell her about my life, so here it is, in all its boring glory…

Last year when I finished high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was 17 years old with no ambition. Dad wanted me to take time off, travel the world. Mom wanted me to go to business school. All I knew was that I wanted to live in Toronto. I’d grown up in the country and I’d had enough of it.

During Grade 11, this guy Brian and I dated for like 6 months. There was no tragic ending to the romance. We just faded apart, but we stayed friends, sort of. Since moving to Toronto, I haven’t actually talked to him. He went to Queen’s University in Kingston last year and didn’t go home for the summer. No big loss, I guess. But his parents now know my parents and when they found out I wanted to move to Toronto, they offered me a room in a condo they own. Brian’s brother, Dave, was living there while at school and wanted a roommate. So I moved in and got a job as a teller at a bank out in the ‘burbs. Mom liked the idea that although I wasn’t in school, I was working in Finance (yes with a capital “F”) so she bought me a car (a used car — we’re not that rich).

Dave’s the ultimate in cool. He’s the anti-Gail. He always has fun. He dresses in the latest fashions, knows the latest music, and only has sex with the hottest of the hotties. I can’t give you examples because I have no idea about any of this kind of stuff. I’ll just let you fill in the details.

Anyway, when I moved in, I had one request: no tricks in the apartment, which means Dave’s not home much. You see, he likes sex but doesn’t have a boyfriend (yes, he’s gay). I like sex too (who doesn’t?), but I don’t like it enough to bother with one-night stands.

I rarely go out with Dave. For one I’m still too young — only 18. I have to wait until November before I can legally drink. But even if I could, I wouldn’t go. I hate dance music. Plus, the smoke in bars gives me a splitting headache (I’m looking forward to a smoking ban everywhere).

So, that’s my boring life in a nutshell. And that’s why I have a fairy life-coach, I guess.

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Posted by on September 30, 2010 in An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life, Online Fiction

 

An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life: How I Met Amanda, My Fairy Lifecoach

The following blog post was retrieved from a server going out of service. Given the time that has elapsed since these posts were originally published, they are being reprinted here for your reading pleasure.

Originally Posted: Monday September 29, 2003 at 6:45pm

My day started off normal enough — get up, go to work, return home, hang up my roommate’s three jackets and two hoodies he’d decided not to wear, put my lunch things in the dishwasher, then into the living room to check next week’s comic book releases online.

And then normality ended.

From the doorway into the living room I saw something light brown and furry curled up on the couch. After a moment I realized that it was a rabbit — and not a cute little Beatrix Potter bunny either — I mean a Watership Down wild rabbit. In my apartment!

It must have sensed my presence because its head and ears popped up and it launched itself off the couch. Mid-leap it transformed into a woman who landed gracefully on the carpet on the far side of the coffee table.

“Hi Gail,” she said and smoothed out her dress.

She probably expected a response of some sort — maybe a scream, a gibbering breakdown, or maybe some Hollywood style one-liner that showed her just how cool and with-it I am. Instead, I just stared, wowed by how totally gorgeous she was. Tall, at least six feet, with long wavy red hair and cleavage I’d kill for. If I had a body like that, I might actually enjoy shopping.

“Anyway,” she said. “I’m Amanda, your fairy life-coach. I’ve been assigned to help you get a life.”

“Fairy… life… coach…” I said trying to make sense of the words. I knew the meaning of each one but they just didn’t want to go together.

“Godmothers are so last millennium,” she explained.

“You’re a fairy godmother? Like a real fairy?” Holy crap!

“Yes, but without the wings. They’re out of fashion these days, which totally makes me happy. Do you know how hard it is to alter a dress to fit a pair of wings? Even with magic to help!”

I let that statement flow over me. I was still focused on her first one.

“You’ve been assigned to me? Like a social work case?” I tried to picture Cinderella’s fairy godmother standing in line waiting to get her next client. It didn’t happen. I got nothing.

“Sorry, this is a bit much to absorb.” I grabbed hold of the one thing I could understand — her reason for appearing before me. “I need help?” I asked.

“Honey, your life is a void. Big time boring.”

She wasn’t wrong there.

“Okay, so do you wave a magic wand or something and poof, I’m more interesting?”

“No, that wouldn’t last. We need to work more slowly than that.”

She then stepped forward, licked her fingers and smeared them across my forehead. I leapt back and rubbed the spot dry.

“Ew!”

“Sorry,” she said, “but it either that or a kiss and I thought you’d like the kiss less.”

“Well, yeah. But why’d you do it?”

“To enhance your memory.”

“That will make my life more interesting?”

“No. It’ll help you write your blog better.”

“My what?”

“Your blog. You know, a web log.” She reached into a bag my newly enhanced memory confirmed hadn’t been there a moment before and pulled out a small booklet. “Here, read this and then write about how you just met me. Tomorrow tell me about your life and then we’ll get properly started on October 1st. It’s always good to start at number one, don’t you think?”

She gave me a full-toothed smile and I was almost blinded by the brilliance of her teeth. I wondered if she used magic to look so beautiful.

“Anyway, gotta run,” she continued. “Good luck with the blog set up and I’ll see you in a few days.”

She blew a kiss in my direction then turned back into a rabbit and hopped out of existence, literally. I was tempted to disbelieve what I’d just seen, but the rabbit-to-woman-and-back-to-rabbit transformation was hard to ignore. Plus my life does need some help. My social life is totally flatlining.

So here I am. I’ve followed the instructions on how to set up a blog, but I have no idea how this will make my life less boring, hence the name The Boring Blog.

Comments (1)

Good start, Gail. I like the title. Believe me; you’ll know what to write about. Write each day and you’ll do great, okay? Kisses! Amanda.

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2010 in An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life, Online Fiction

 

The Weekly YA Roundup

I love my Kindle. It’s like having a bookstore in my hand. I know that nothing compares to the feel of a book in your hand and all those titles and colorful covers staring at you, but living in Spain I don’t have that option. If I want to browse English-language books, I have to do it online.

Each week I go to Amazon and pull up the new releases for YA fantasy in Kindle format and download samples of everything that’s come out in the past week. I then read them all (to a greater or lesser degree) then decide which (if any) I would actually want to buy. I have a one book a week limit budget-wise, so I’m pretty picky about what I’ll spend my money on.

This week I downloaded:

  • Wildwing by Emily Whitman: Nicely written, but I’ve read this story too many times already – poor smart girl who’s tormented by the rich and popular gets sent to work somewhere that she think will be horrible only to get caught up in some otherworldly adventure. If I were just starting out in fantasy I’d likely read it, but not after having read so many like it. Next!
  • Nevermore by Lisa Desrochers: Privileged girl with a “sheet of blond hair” whines about having to a) do homework and b) work with someone she either hates or loves. I don’t know which because I told her to stop kvetching and get a life. I know that self-absorbed teenaged girls are all the rage in YA, but I just can’t get into them. Next!
  • Personal Demons by Kelly Creagh: Opening line: “If there’s a Hell on Earth, it’s high school.” It might be catchy for someone else but my head hurts with being hit with the metaphor anvil. Next!
  • The Amaranth Experiment by Julie Berry: Cinderella opening and after a prologue that’s there to tell us what the main character has lost we’re thrown right into the middle of a lonely girl being mistreated by her aunt. Unfortunately nothing in the prologue or the intro makes me care. The situation itself isn’t enough. Next!
  • The Captive Flame: Brotherhood of the Griffon Book I by Richard Lee Byers: Tough girl meets dragon. Can’t put my finger on why I passed so quickly with this one but I think it’s because the writing feels overblown. Intuition says no, so… Next!
  • Wired by Robin Wasserman: The second sample I read all the way through (the other being Wildwing). Interesting concept – dead girl gets placed in robot body then agrees to let her body be used for creepy reality TV shenanigans – and I would be tempted to buy it but the main character’s apathy turned me off so no. Next!
  • Zombies vs. Unicorns by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier: Since I’m a fan of neither zombies or unicorns… Next!

Oh wait, there are no more. Oh well, that means I go back to the third book in Michelle Sagara’s Chronicles of the Elantra series: Cast in Secret.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2010 in Book Reviews

 

Mini Book Review: Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde

Since it’s Jasper Fforde I’m a little biased. If I ever met the man I’d probably go all starstruck and start babbling, crying or just stand there frozen like a complete idiot.

I love this man’s work. From his Thursday Next series to the Nursery Crimes. His imagination is outstanding and he makes me laugh, cry, get indignant, or whatever in just the right spots.

Now he has a new series starting with the book Shades of Grey about a distopian world of colourblind people. Sound strange? It is, but infinitely believable. This man has the ability to take the utterly absurd and make it credible.

So, what does that mean for me as a reviewer? Yup, you got it in one. I’m giving this book full marks. Since I read it on my Kindle, I didn’t actually read the back of the book blurb so I had no context for the book. I just dove right in.

Fforde drops us in the middle of his new world without any background or explanation. We pick it up as it goes along. And that’s fine. The journey of discovery of how this brave new world works is an even greater pleasure than the story itself.

In a typical book review, I’m supposed to tell you what the book is about but since the greatest pleasure I received in reading it was figuring that out, I’m not going to tell you.

I will say that the story is a coming-of-age tale and although the characters are twenty years old, they feel more like teenagers as the culture they live in treats them like children, even once they become adults. The protagonist learns to not just accept what’s in front of him and learns that doing the right thing for everyone might mean doing the wrong thing to some.

But Fforde does this without preaching and while entertaining us from the beginning to end. All while crafting one of the strangest futures I have ever visited.

Highly recommendable. Check it out (yes, that’s an Amazon affiliate link…)

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2010 in Book Reviews

 

Where’s Alex?

I’m over at my new site – AlexWorld. Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

A Writer Reveals Himself…

So, here I am, opening up my writing and my life to the world.

Some of you here might have already “met” me through my old blog Someday Syndrome. This site is going to be wildly different from the that one (as you can see by the design!). Here at AlexWorld, you’ll get free online fiction, snippets of other projects I’m working on, general silliness about my life as well as thoughts on pop culture (because honestly, who can resist commenting on pop culture?).

The fiction starts next Tuesday with a serialized blog project and the silliness will start whenever life makes me laugh. As for pop culture commenting, that starts right now with a link to the song of the year for me. I heard about it from the Spanish music blog Wonderhits and it rocks (do people still say “rocks” or do I sound like an old guy?).

Anyway, enjoy it…

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2010 in General Babblery