so long! extended version

I’ve never understood when people say that a fictional thing (a book, a show, etc.) has changed their lives.

A little over a year ago I wasn’t feeling great. I’d just finished a three year writing course at university, and a combination of essay writing about books I’m mostly not interested in (and ruining the ones that I am) and teachers saying that you have to get your work published in literary journals and apply for competitions because publishers won’t even want to touch your work if they can’t recognise your name. I loathe essays, and I don’t write literary fiction, the only kind of fiction this country seems to be interested in. I was losing the passion for the only thing I’d ever been passionate about, and the one thing I’d ever been half decent at.

Almost ten months ago I was becoming depressed. I couldn’t find a job - in editing, in writing, or even in hospitality or retail - and the government decided that if you want to be getting money for them you either had to be studying full time or applying for 20 jobs a fortnight. I’d only finished studying and there was nothing else that caught my interest, and there’s barely 20 jobs to apply for every two weeks, and that’s with me living in a well populated, urban area (I’d hate to imagine what it’s like for people living out in the country, where there’s five stores and nothing else unless you want to drive for half an hour). And of course coming into this depression was making the heaping amount of anxiety I already have much, much worse.

I was just losing the will to go on as I was, and I was mostly doing it for my friends and family.

At the end of my course I started reading Skulduggery Pleasant and my god, it was the best thing I’d read in three years. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me went to throw the book against the wall (but I’d paid like $20 for that book, so I couldn’t). It made me remember all the reasons I love reading and writing; to illicit such emotion is an amazing skill to have.

This made me feel great about writing, and I began my own novel as part of nanowrimo 2015. As of today I’m in the rewriting process (second draft), and the first draft had approximately 40,000 words; the most I’ve ever written for any project.

But of course we still need to fast forward a bit. There’s this whole, like, six months filled with some kind of depression and some awful anxiety and that one time I had a job for like a month but it made the whole thing worse and let’s skip over that part.

Let’s skip to now. Because of Skulduggery Pleasant I remembered my passion for my life’s craft. And if I’d never started reading that book and writing my novel, I’d never have applied for a screenwriting course at another uni, which we’ve been told is extremely difficult to get into; there’s countless applications every year, and there’s probably about fifty people in the (first year) class; I was part of the mid-year intake, and there’s ten of us, maximum.

Without Skulduggery Pleasant I wouldn’t be writing a novel I adore, or planning another one for this coming nanowrimo. I wouldn’t be planning my own show and slowly tapping away at the pilot, and I wouldn’t be planning two more with a friend I’ve made in this course that I’m enjoying so much more than my other one. I don’t know where I’d be.

I’ve never understood when people say that a fictional work has changed their life but now I do, because Skulduggery Pleasant has legitimately changed mine for the better.

Kitten Day Continues

I’ve just finished a long day so I haven’t had a chance to continue the extended version of Kitten Day. So I’ll do a bit of that now!

Just in case you missed it yesterday I decided to cure my election blues with a day of kitten drawings. I then opened it up to anyone who wanted to join. There was such a surge of participation that I’ve extended “Kitten Day,” to go until the end of the day on Friday. I am in Oregon, so there is still plenty of time to sneak in a kitty drawing and have it re-blogged!

Here are links to my previous posts:



hyman11  asked:

Would you fight Roger Daltrey for a waffle?

It’s been 72 days since the last explosion and 72 days since I had been outside and seen another human being. I’m just a kid. I don’t know anything about nuclear radiation. How long do I wait until the dust settles and I can find the last survivors of my own human race?

I had been keeping safe in an old bomb shelter– well, it was my neighbour’s bomb shelter, but they’re twats, so when those sirens went off, I scrambled down there and locked them out. I wonder what ever happened to them. The undergound bunker had been made in the 1970′s and never used. Everything was perfectly preserved and sealed air tight prior to my arrival, and there wasn’t even a speck of dust to be found. So, for 72 glorious days, I relaxed like a bachelor in a velvet robe and slippers while the rest of humanity got atomic bombs dropped on them. I learned how to make a load of mixed drinks in the mean time with the fully stocked bar. There were history books, records, and Playboy magazines stocked up along with my canned raviolis and powdered milk, all dated from 1970, when the houses in my neighbourhood were built. So don’t blame me for not being eager to rush out and assess the damage. 

But after 72 days, the good food had started to run out. I was really in the mood for waffles, but they hadn’t invented frozen waffles when the bunker was built so I was out of luck. I fixed myself my daily glass of scotch, changed out of my robe and slippers, and braved myself for the outside world. I dressed in a nice jacket in case I saw anyone I knew, and wrapped a bandana around my face like I was a hot teen in a post apocalyptic movie. I opened the bunker doors for the first time in 72 days, and without any grasp of how nuclear radiation poisoning worked, I went outside.

When your world gets attacked by nuclear bombs, it really wipes things out. I was kind of pissed that all the nice outdoor patio furniture I bought got exploded. It took me forever to find a set that matched the siding of my house. And it was really dry so my lips got chapped, and I didn’t have any chapstick. So yeah, my day was going pretty shitty so far.

I wandered down to the neighbourhood grocery store just like the old days, pre-nuclear war. I didn’t see a single soul along the way, which sucked because I read a very interesting article in Playboy’s June 1969 issue and I wanted to talk to someone about it. Anyways, I got to the grocery store, which had been boarded up, and I had to rip the boards down with my bare hands which was really inconvenient. I wandered around the grocery store, deciding what else I wanted to eat in my bunker. 

“Hello? Can I get some damn service over here?” I yelled at the deli counter, but there was only a skeleton to listen to my cries for help. You just don’t get quality customer care like the old days anymore.

I wandered over to the freezer section, which was still up and running perfectly. Some other foods had rotten but the frozen shit lasts forever. I was humming Tainted Love by Soft Cell from their album Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, but the 8 minute long extended version because it is so damn good. I was startled by a rustling out of the corner of my eye. I turned around, positive I had seen someone.

“Who’s there? Come on out, I want to share a story I read in Playboy’s June 1969 issue,” I called out. Slowly, from behind a display of fancy cheeses, an old gremlin man with a mane of curly blond hair emerged. He looked like he had been in a shipwreck cause his clothes were all torn up and shit.

“I….I haven’t seen another human being in 72 days….” the old guy croaked out in a hoarse English accent. 

“Okay, but like, about the article…” I started.

“I thought I was going to go insane. I’m so glad to learn there’s someone else who survived this tragedy…” he came closer to me and I got freaked out cause he smelled kinda weird. I guess when you’re tumblr famous like me you have to get used to fans approaching you at the grocery store (shout out to my 14 followers love you all mwah :*)

“Do I know you? Can I just sign something so you’ll leave me alone?” I said. 

“My name is Roger,” he tried to make peace with me. “Roger Daltrey. I used to be in a band when I was young like you…”

“Roger Daltrey? That name rings a bell,” I pondered aloud. “Say, if you’re British and you used to be in a band, why the hell are you in the suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area (or the GTA for short)?”

“I’ve searched all the grocery stores from sea to shining sea,” the bastard ignored my question and started rambling on like a crazy person. God, old people, am I right? “I know I’m a dying man. But I’m holding on only so my final meal on this earth will be a generic store brand blueberry frozen waffle. It has been the only thing keeping me alive these horrible past few years….”

I stepped in front of the freezer door where the generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles were kept, blocking them from his sight. Those happened to be my favourite too. “Oh gosh, sorry mister, but I haven’t seen any of those in years. Try the Walmart on the other side of town.”

“But I literally just saw you block the generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles from me,” the old man croaked. 

“No, you must be mistaken, there aren’t any generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles here. Have a nice day.” I turned around, and just in case he wasn’t looking, I took the very last box of generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles and stuffed it under my shirt. 

“What the hell? I saw those first, they’re mine,” he cried out. “Come on, let’s at least share them.”

“No thank you,” I said politely, because my mother didn’t raise me in a fucking barn. I tried to walk away but he blocked me, suddenly seeming rabid.

“Give me the generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles,” he growled at me.

“No, I won’t. Get your own generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles,” I yelled at him. 

“I’m trying to get my own generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles but you’re hoarding the last box,” he started to cry.

“I want the damn box of generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles to myself, get out of my face,” I tried to bypass him one last time but he blocked me.

“Fine, thumb wrestle me, and the winner gets the box of generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles,” he convinced me, so I put the box of generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles to the side and grabbed his hand. He called out the numbers and we fought. He played dirty, going right for the knuckle and holding down. But I have a mean older sister, so I know all the tricks in the book. I twisted his wrist and went right for the thumbnail, pushing down so hard I heard a crack in his old man thumb.

“What the hell, man?” the old man started crying.

“Sucks to suck, bitch,” I went to pick up my box of generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles but he snatched them from me! As he started running away, I sassily walked over to the other section of freezers and got a frozen turkey out and threw it at his head. His brain exploded everywhere. I walked over to retrieve my prize and then I realized I had gotten the last box of generic store brand cinnamon frozen waffles instead of generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles! Gosh, I’m so clueless sometimes. :P I went back to the freezer to get a box of generic store brand blueberry frozen waffles when my body seized up, and I promptly died of radiation poisoning. In my last waking moments as I gasped for air on the cold linoleum grocery store floor, I suddenly recognized the man I had fought. Roger Daltrey was the guy from Led Zeppelin, right?