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Love is Great!

Love_heart_uidaodjsdsew

A couple months ago I was hanging out at my Mother-in-law’s place and we were talking about a wedding video Ben and I were going to make for Ben’s cousin and my Mother-in-law looks at me all serious-like and says ‘do you even care about romance?’.  She really thought I wasn’t a romantic and it made me laugh.  I’m not really into super white weddings and traditional (boring) stuff like that, but I love love.  I really do.

Ben and I met in a forest, in the dead of the night, foam swords clutched tightly in our hands. We were at a Live Action Role Playing game and I had gone there to find love.  When I was searching for Ben I worked my ass off to find love.  I went on on a million dates (and rejected all of them) and I refused to settle for anything less than true love.  Ben tells me when he first saw my bleach blonde hair that night in the forest it was like a beacon, drawing him home.  I still get shivers thinking about it.  At the end of the weekend in good heroic knightly fashion Ben ‘gave me his sword’.  Two weeks later he moved in and we haven’t been apart ever since.  Love is fucking awesome.

I love love so much in fact that stories without it don’t really do it for me.  The love story doesn’t have to be a main storyline or anything, but if it’s not there I get kind of bored and my attention wanders.

Hell I love love so much I even wrote a Harlequin once.  It was the story of a woman named Kara.  Kara’s husband cheated on her (and hit her) and she had to take off to England to escape (because why not?).  She met some guy there and they fell in love but she didn’t know his secret and unfortunately neither did I (I think he might have been a prince or something), which was the reason I stopped writing 25,000 words in.  I didn’t know the plot and I also didn’t know what to do after they had sex.  It was a failed effort and I tried it when I like 20 years old or something, but it was fun because it was love.

I’ve heard people say that love isn’t important in a story and that makes me laugh.  I think people have a perception that love isn’t serious enough sometimes, or that it’s somehow frivolous.  Love is anything but frivolous though.  It’s about as serious as it gets because for most people I’ve ever met it is something they either strive to find or lament that they don’t have.  It’s a chemical preoccupation, an emotional drug, an absolute wonder.  The world loves love even if they don’t want to admit it.

We can scoff at romance novels and romantic comedies all we want, but who among us doesn’t smile (even just a little) when there’s a love twist thrown into the plot?  Who doesn’t cheer for the kiss that finally happens, or the hot sex we all saw coming from the beginning?

So I take this Valentine’s Day to say loud and proud that I love love and there is nothing better in the world than a sweet and wonderful love story.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone, I hope the cupid’s arrow finds you whoever and wherever you are!

Bonus: The word of the day on dictionary.com is ‘Schatzi’ which means darling or sweetheart!

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My (not so) secret hobbies

This is a post for www.writesofluid.com’s blog writing challenge.  One blog post a day for all of June!  Check it out at the website or on twitter: @sofluid or #wpad!

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I’m not a crafty person.

I can barely sew, I can’t draw and I can’t even cut in a straight line.  I don’t have the patience to knit, I can’t fold very well (although Ben and I once folded a thousand paper cranes – half of mine looked like turkeys) and I don’t have a mind for music.

We play Mythic from time to time (a free association role playing game) and I’ve been known to LARP (Live Action Role Play), but as of right now I don’t do either with enough frequency to call it a hobby.

So really, when it came to the question of my ‘secret hobby’ for today’s post, I had little to offer up from the depths.  Right now I work a lot, write a lot, make videos and watch TV when we can fit it in.  But none of those things are hobbies particularly, so what would I call my hobbies?

The first is walking.  I love walking.  I love walking because it often leads to adventuring.  When I was traveling I hitchhiked a lot and the thing about hitchhiking is that it’s hard to do it in the city.  So I’d get dropped off at one end of a city and then I’d have to walk to the other end to keep on going.  With a heavy traveling pack, this was not the most fun, but it fostered a love for walking that I still carry with me.  When you’re walking you get to see things you never would have in a car or on the transit.  It forces you to look around at the world and offers you the opportunity to take a different path.  I’ve always loved the idea of a walkabout and sometimes the most liberating thing in the world is to just pick a direction and walk.  Walking allows you to think and breathe and explore.  Ben and I walk whenever we can and our most recent claim to fame is walking straight across the city from the Beaches to Etobicoke.  25km in 5 hours.  We learned we walk 5km an hour, very satisfying.

The second is fashion.  I don’t mean to say I am some sort of Dolche & Gabanna wearing fashionista.  Goodness no.  Like walking, I like fashion because it allows me to take a different path.  When I was a kid my Mom dressed me.  I was made to wear these flowery, lacy atrocities that still make me shudder to this day, but occasionally she’d put me in something cool.  My overalls in kindergarten, my Peter Pan outfit in grade three, once I had shoes that had a pocket in the tongue and I was in heaven (I would put pennies in the pocket and call it treasure).  I remember my fashion liberation well, it was grade seven and I went downtown for school and lucky for me, my school was right beside kensington market.  From there it was vintage tops and rainbow tights.  I discovered sparkles and ox blood doc martins and hair dye.  My graduation dress in grade 8 was a bright blue number and I dyed my hair a shocking orange to accompany it.  From there my love for cool clothes grew.  Now I have wings on my shoes, a bin full of striped tights and tutus and a handful of adorable dresses which I refer to as ‘clown chic’.  My inspirations are the circus and the world of fairies and the names of my favorite clothing stores involve the word ‘fairy’ or ‘cyber’.

I guess there’s a theme to the things I like: liberation.  I like being free to think and act and do what I want.  I like making choices for myself and forging my own path.  So whether on foot or in fashion I would definitely say my not so secret hobby is being free.

What about you?  What do you love?

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The Fourth Wall

ImageI love the idea of breaking the fourth wall.  I’m pretty sure my love for it started out with Star Trek TNG when the hologram of Moriarty broke the fourth wall and realized he was a hologram.  My love then simmered and grew until I was re-introduced to the concept by a couple of friends I used to have.  They made games in which some of the characters broke the fourth wall and I was hooked.  I fell in love with ARG’s (and ultimately fell back out of love with them) because they contained concepts that were potentially fourth wall breaking.  I then continued my search and discovered Deadpool, She Hulk and (even more mind-blowing) I read Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder.

Now whatever I write and whatever games I play I find myself leaning towards breaking the fourth wall.  Naturally, as I have loved the concept since I was a child (when I stood for the TNG theme song as though it were the national anthem) I have had a lot of time to ponder my obsession with it.  So what is it that is so tantalizing about it?  What makes it so alluring and mysterious and fabulous?  It’s enlightenment.

We can’t break the fourth wall of our own reality, no matter how many psychotropic drugs we ingest, no matter how much yoga or prayer or meditation we do.  Sure, we can become wise and believe all sorts of things about the nature of reality, but I am of the mind that we can’t truly KNOW.  Not yet at least.  So this means I will never be able to see the door of the holodeck appear and realize I’m just a hologram.  I can’t step out of my story and look back at the pages and realize I was just a series of words strung together into sentences.  I can’t joke about the fact that I am drawn onto a comic page or bust through one page onto another in a blinding green rage.  I can’t break the fourth wall, I can’t achieve the kind of enlightenment that answers all the questions that are constantly burning on humanities lips.  At least not unless I am completely religious or spiritual (in the kind of way that allows you to feel as though you are enlightened and have all the answers).  I am neither.

I used to believe in something, crystals, homeopathy, world connectivity and energy healing, but even then I couldn’t touch what our fourth-wall-breaking counterparts in literature, TV and games get to touch.  Granted, once they discover the fact that they are a character in some form of entertainment they wind up exactly where I am, but for that moment they get to have an understanding about their reality that it is likely I will never be able to achieve.  So I write about it.  I strive for it in games and prose and seek it out in the media I consume.  I want to feel the wonder of that moment, time and time again where a character gets to break the fourth wall and access a greater understanding of their reality.  I want to be enlightened, even if it is only in fiction.

Here’s a poem I wrote with the help of Ben  It’s about a character in a LARP we played called Epoch.  The character was the Goblin King (yes the David Bowie version) and he broke the fourth wall from time to time.  The poem is about him doing just that, digging a tunnel and hitting the fourth wall, behind which he sees the gamers packing up the in-game town (Carreg Wynn) at the end of the weekend and heading home.

The Secret of the Goblin King

Once there lived a lithe Goblin King,
who recumbently wore a gold crown and ring.
In his house on the moon he kept secrets so great,
that upon his shoulders he bore a great weight.

One day our fine king was digging a path,
from his glittering throne room straight into his bath.
When he got there he thought of more to and fro.
But then he decided that on he would go.

He was digging and digging forever it seemed,
until he struck upon something that seemed like a dream.
A wall that was made not of brick, stone or stuffing,
A wall that, it seemed, was just made out of nothing.

He peered through this wall of nothing at all,
he peered from up high and yet did not fall.
Through this clear hindrance he saw such a sight,
that was so very shocking he had quite a fright!

He saw the all folk of the town Carreg Wynn
all doing strange things but they didn’t see him!
They rolled into town in large metal creatures,
all clad in weird grab with alien features!

Into these beasts they packed up the town,
and before he could sneeze the whole town was torn down!
It was a sight to behold, bare glebe and inn,
and he couldn’t believe it was still Carreg Wynn.

He paced back and forth unsure what to do,
so he dug some more holes, and they were weird too!
Some led to strange rooms where the folk now resided,
Doing odd things that just seemed misguided.

Through that wall he saw what he’d never before,
tall spires, high fliers, new people galore!
The sights wore him down and he just couldn’t cope,
so he crawled down the hole and slept on the slope.

The king finally awoke and climbed into his room,
he built a door on the hole to keep secrets entombed.
He stuffed the whole lot of it into his pocket,
then promptly returned to his busy docket.

So our goblin king, with gold crown and ring,
has secrets concealed beneath his wing!
And should anyone learn of this wondrous door,
into it’s depths they’d yearn to explore!