Monday, February 28, 2011

Okay, so I lied...

But not about the fruit...
Vegetarian, piscetarian, gluten free – these dietary anomalies get intimidating names, but fruit-free? Freak seems to about cover it. I don’t mind the endless explaining and shoulder shrugging (“yep, just born this way I guess”), but having a label for it really would make my life easier.

And not about the broccoli...

I do eat that. Good for the brain. Anti-carcinogenic. And it’s actually not too bad (especially sprinkled with celery salt or crispy chicken).

And not about dissecting menus...
I learned to do that the hard way. A menu declaring “chocolate brownie” proved hideously evasive when said brownie arrived draped in berry coulis (ew). This foul drizzle rendered my brownie inedible (and if you don’t think so, see if any vegetarian will eat a salad with “beef coulis”).

Waiters are always AWESOME. In their absolute professionalism / morbid curiosity they listen to me work my crazy and then rescue me from whatever cherry-on-the-top or apple-sauce-on-the-side threatens my meal. The trick is never to assume that they have to help (because they don’t) and to always be super grateful (which I am).

The lie?

Tomato. Yep, technically it’s a fruit. So I don’t eat it.
Actually, I feel yucky that I even wrote it*.

Zan and Margo - it was so great to hear from people who are / know someone similarly afflicted – if anyone has a word for this thing, I’d love to know. We could get t-shirts :)

*Luckily, chocolate will fix me :)

Keep kicking ass!

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Kryptonite

I don’t eat fruit. Can’t won’t don’t do it.

And I keep this a secret. Why? Try telling people you hate kittens. Or ice cream. There’s the blank stare, the doubt, “but what about strawberries?” Yes. I hate strawberries. I won’t go near pear, I detest banana. Even sweet little guavas. Even perfectly proportioned peaches. Even that innocuous avocado wobbling on the counter top, fuliguline and faltering. Even that glistening apple cut crisp with a blade. Vomit.

Hey, I don’t mind rabbit-food: I’ll eat carrots, broccoli and tomato. I’ll even drink juice to keep the scurvy at bay, but fruit? Something -everything- inside me screams “don’t do it!”

Oh, they can bloviate on the “goodness” and “healthiness” of fruit, but I know that is not true. Not for me.  Would you question a vegetarian? (“Oh go on, I’ll scrape the meat off...”) Would you tease or trick them? (“Ha, we’ll sneak  some meat in...”) This is my socially unacceptable phobia. My horror. My kryptonite.

And I must stay strong in the face of doubt. Persistent and unyielding.

Because while it means annoying waiters with endless menu dissection (“are you sure it doesn’t have fruit in / on / around / beside it?”)... it is all worth it for one of my favorite things in the whole world: a triple-deckered, whipped-cream-wearing, chopped-nut-sprinkle-dusted, wafer-sporting, utterly fruitless, chocolate hot fudge sundae (as big as my head).

...After :)

Okay...I’ll admit it, something here isn’t strictly true... Can you guess?

Answer: here

First Crusader Challenge
300 words or less:

• one secret
• one lie
• one interesting quirk
• one annoying habit
• one of your best character traits, and
• one of your favourite things in the whole world.

And must include the random words, “bloviate,” “fuliguline,” “rabbit,” and “blade”.

Keep kicking ass!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What did you call me??!

Do your characters come to you in vivid multi-color: likes, looks and intentions at the ready? Or do you create a bio? Hack away bit by bit until personalities and peculiarities reveal themselves? And what about the name?

It’s like naming a baby. Only harder. Because if your baby hates their name they can always grow up and change it. A child can use something else, abbreviate, or get a fake ID. Eventually, they might forgive you. But if you give your character the wrong name? It will stare out at you from the pages of your book forever (no pressure :)).

One of my MCs is named after the 18 year old entrepreneur, Poppy King. I played with other names, but this one just “fit”. I like the idea of names being special or meaningful, but sometimes it really is like the character exists without you.

Do you name your characters after favorite people, pets, songs or items? Do you start looking for people to punish, or to pay back? (Your school bully becomes an extra, your favorite teacher? A heroine...)

So, what are some of your character’s names, and how did you pick them? 

Keep kicking ass!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Helvarial Shenanigans

Think you know your Arial from your Helvetica?
Twenty Helvetica company logos redone in Arial... can you tell the difference?

Obvious? Ridiculous? Take the quiz!

(I got 15/20 :))

Keep kicking ass!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Building an Army

Every plot for world domination needs an army! Whether it’s your agent, your readers, or friends and family – building an army is all about finding people who can support you. When you have people on your side (in your corner, at your back…) it means support if you stumble and celebrations when you win!

Life as a writer / blogger can be as isolating as it is awesome. But thanks to the Internet, the whole world is just a click (or three) away. This month, Rachael Harrie is kicking off another Crusade – connecting aspiring authors and bloggers. It's a way for us to join forces, make new friends, build our platforms and grow together. Smart, fun, effective... brilliant!

I love it! I’m in! :)

Keep kicking ass!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crayon Magic

Check out these intricate crayon sculptures from Diem Chau: 
...And I thought crayons were just for eating!

Everything is possible!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Anatomy of a Moodle Quiz

Jumping off track…

I’ve been looking everywhere for a super-straightforward breakdown / script for an embedded answers (cloze) multi-choice Moodle quiz. Now that I’ve got it, I thought I’d share for any frustrated Moodlers passing by :)

Here’s the breakdown:

Your quiz is kicked off by the question as text.
{ goes at the start of each each set of possible answers.
MULTICHOICE:  sets the quiz up as (you guessed it :)) multi-choice. Other options include: SHORT ANSWER, NUMERICAL etc.
= goes before the correct answer.
# goes before the feedback that the learner will see if they select this answer.
~ goes between possible answers.
} goes at the end of each set of possible answers.

The number after the { is how many marks the answer is worth (they should add up to the total marks available for this question).

Add in your text at the end (or between the } and {symbols), and it will look like this:

{1:MULTICHOICE:Wrong answer#Feedback for this wrong answer~Another wrong answer#Feedback for the other wrong answer~=Correct answer#Feedback for correct answer~%50%Answer that gives half the credit#Feedback for half-credit answer}
–sample from Moodle Help.

This one worked for me (phew!), but if you find any errors let me know and I’ll change it for anyone else searching :)

Right, jumping back on track...

Keep kicking ass!