Why the hell are you a writer?

Who inspired you to write, to dabble into the crazy, uncertain, beautiful world of the writer? For some of you maybe it was an inspirational quote,  a poem or a novel you were forced to read in elementary school. For some, it may have been a painting or a writer in their lives.

I know that for me it was a teacher I had for Gr. 11 English. That was probably one of the most essential courses I had taken in not only high school but in my education as a writer. We read King Lear, Death of a Salesman, Of Mice and Men and Lord of the Flies. She made the writing of dead men come to life. I hadn’t been exposed to writing the way I was in that class. I had never felt so much emotion while reading a literary work as I did while reading King Lear. So thank you Ms Solet- Louis for the gift I will never return but hopefully always re-gift.

Enough of me. Find what made you write so whenever you feel like it isn’t worth it you can return to that text, person or place and regain that wonder of writing. Writing is a journey, we’re always trying to move forward with our tales, venturing into unexplored places, but don’t fear the venture backwards. Don’t fear the backwords journey.

What, who, or where makes you write, paint, sculpt, compose and read?



Was Your English Lit Teacher Wrong About Symbolism?

This post is like a word for word transcript of the dialogue going on in mind. Every writer, aspiring or seasoned, needs to read this.

101 Books

You always wondered if your college lit professor was just making crap up.

Turns out, maybe they were.

This article from The Paris Review offers a revealing take by many famous authors on how much symbolism played a part in their work.

Their comments were prompted by a letter from a 16-year-old Bruce McCallister in 1963. He was tired of the constant find-the-symbolism game in English class, so he took it upon himself to ask them what the big deal was with symbolism.

He mailed a simple four-question survey to more than 150 novelists. About half of them responded. The responses were varied, but most of the authors seemed to think symbolism is overanalyzed. Their comments were awesome:

The survey included the following questions:

View original post 628 more words

A Woman’s Place

When is discussing the rights of women going to be off the table?

Women shouldn’t be in universities. School, education and knowledge are rights reserved for males. Men should be in classrooms, they should have the right to exercise this superiority over women in any educational setting. Universities and colleges, up until the early 1900, were exclusively for men. Allowing women to enter school hasn’t had positive results for society. What contributions have women made in medicine, education, the arts and society? What women of note are making a substantial change in the world today? Clearly, women should know their place – in the home – where they can contribute most. Leave education to men who are obviously more capable and competent in the matter. Women should return to their rightful places, and situations like these are encouraging the return of women to their natural place.

Who are women to demand equal pay in a work setting?

Who are women to demand respect from their peers and colleagues?

Who are women to take it upon themselves to be educated?

Who are women to rise above the limiting circumstances they are placed in?

Who are women to dare to be more intelligent, successful and aware than men?

Who are women to choose not to bear children?

Who are women to think and make decisions themselves, not seeking approval from others?

Who are women to be “Strong”?

Who are women to be weak?

Who are women to demand society pay for the injustices done to their race?

Who are women to be comfortable in their skin, their uniquely large, skinny, curvy, boney, pale, dark, bumpy, smooth bodies?

Who are women to demand the right as humans to simply exist?

Who are women to be?

These are just some of the conventional, misogynistic values being reinforced by cases like this. A student taking an online course at York University claims that for religious reasons he cannot meet up with his group (which contains females) in public to do a group project. He asked to be exempt from the project, but the professor J. Paul Grayson, denied his request. When the case was brought to York’s administration, they overruled the Professor Grayson, granting the student exemption from the assignment.

Now, everyone has their own religious beliefs and is entitled to them. Religion is a personal, private matter and no one should have to reconcile or compromise their beliefs. In Canada, everyone has the freedom to express and practice the religion of their choice. However, in a public setting such as a university in which it is explicitly understood to be a public institution, you cannot expect personal, private beliefs that infringe upon the rights of others to be upheld.

I’m sorry for some men who are unaware of this inconvenient truth, but any job you are likely get, in almost any country, will involve you working with, over or under women. I’m sorry. I don’t know why, but women don’t seem to be satisfied with marginalization anymore. For some odd, unimaginable reason, they want to be treated as humans.

Making exceptions for this one student doesn’t promote religious respect; it perpetuates ignorance and allows women to be forever discriminated against in society, work and school. If the injustice were racist or homophobic in nature, I doubt the Dean would have been so quick to hand out sanctions. If anything, the university should have looked into the religious belief that inhibited the student’s participation in the assignment. The religion of the student wasn’t disclosed, but any religious belief that undermines the value of another human being should be scrutinized. As I said, religion is a private, personal matter. People will believe what they want to believe, whether it is in their best interest or not. However, nobody, regardless of their sex, religion, race, sexual orientation, education or birth has the right to demand others comply with these beliefs.

This unfortunate event has offended people internationally. The professor who stood his ground is being commended, and the university that has for decades proclaimed equality and female education has been condemned. Discussion is good; outrage an appropriate response to this injustice. But when is discussing the rights of women going to be off the table?

This is not an attack on religion or men in general. If this injustice is to be rectified, we need to overlook cosmetic differences between men and women and see that we are fundamentally the same. We are human.

Substitute “Jew” with women, homosexuals or any group of people that have experienced discrimination and the injustices felt by Shylock as a human are the same.

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.

(3.1. 56–61)

Should York have granted these sanctions? Is this discriminatory against the female students in the group? Are women still secondary citizens though make up half the world’s population? Lastly, have you experienced any discrimination or injustice yourself?

They told me nothing

You took me to your favourite place

To see the tree they cut down ten years before your birth.

Our fingers traced its history

We brushed our hands back in time through centuries

Memories are mapped out by lines we’ll trace;

Ashen faces in cold breeze

Tell me a piece of your history.

Speak in words you’ve picked up

As you walked through life alone

Shrugging off the dust and memory,

You ran out into the night

To see what it means to be free

Of the shackles and the dreams.

Summer evening breeze blew –

They will come for you

Standing on the cliff face

We are the last people.

At the end of the night,

In the cold morning light

They will come

The birds are mocking me, calling out your name

They pull me back.

All of your flaws lie hand in hand deep beneath the ground

Dig them up, leave a path to trace

I see in the shapes of the morning we’ve cast out

I see them sinking in, it crept up on you, crawling underneath your skin.

Oh, I hear you calling, but what is there to gain?

I won’t show my face.

They licked the walls, all that we’ve amassed – stubs, tops, backs, diaries –

Shattered into ash.

Tenderly, they turned to dust all that I adore

Many days fell away with nothing to show,

It’s been cold for years.

Oh, I read the words you used.

They told me nothing.

I wrote this poem using someone else’s words. Not one word was thought up by me. What I did do was take the lyrics from Bastille‘s album Bad Blood and rearrange the words to make this poem. There is at least one line from every song on the album in this poem. I thought it would be cool to reconfigure Bastille’s songs into a poetic narrative poem. Really, I’m just highlighting the creativity and lyricism already present in the songs. I wonder what it would sound like played…

I’m thinking about making this a feature on my blog. You should check out the album. My favourites are:

Daniel In The Den


Things We Lost In The Fire

and Overjoyed (I prefer the a cappella version)

Sherlock Season Three, Episode 1: A hooker in training

Network: BBC One

Air date: Britain: January 1st, 2014,

PBS: January 19th, 2014

Creator: Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss

Mrs. Hudson: What’s his name?

John: It’s a woman.

Mrs. Hudson: A woman?

John: Yes, of course it’s a woman.

Mrs. Hudson: You really have moved on, haven’t you?

John: Mrs. Hudson, how many times… Sherlock was not my boyfriend.

Mrs. Hudson: Live and let live, that’s my motto.

John: Listen to me: I am not gay!

Overview: This is most definitely a spoiler post. But wait, don’t click off! If you’re looking for a general, friendly overview of “The Empty Hearse” you can check out my spoiler free post on Sherlock Season 3: What’s all the hype for?

So now that everyone has legally been able to watch the season premiere of Sherlock, let’s have a look.

Background: “Sherlock” is based on the mystery stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The BBC One crime drama is set in a modern London, though it incorporates some of Conan’s most notable characters: Moriarty and Irene Adler (I love saying her name) to name a few. In the modern adaptation Sherlock Holmes is still a detective with an abnormal sense of observation and deduction. The show teases with the relationship between Sherlock and his sidekick John Watson, hinting at something more than their professional partnership.

What’s New?: The editing for this episode was painfully amazing. The scenes between Sherlock with his clients and John with his patients were so well written, as if they were speaking from a single script. The transitions between as they worked was flawless, merging the two men into one fluid person.

Multiple theories are proposed by various characters as to how Sherlock was able to fake his death. The theories were creative, seeming quite feasible with Sherlock’s reaches and homeless network. When I saw Sherlock sitting beside Moriarty on the roof I was confused. Then the two leaned in towards each other and I was very confused.

Moriarty is alive? Moriarty and Sherlock are kissing? Sherlock betrayed John?

The bullet through Moriarty’s head was final, yet I couldn’t help hoping the villain lived.

Other than that, there really wasn’t anything significantly different about “The Empty Hearse,” though Sherlock and Watson do get physical (the swings and head butts were well deserved), and Watson becomes engaged.

Final Thoughts: I enjoyed the episode, it was like being reunited with an old friend after a two year separation. Both sides are eagerly waiting, trying to anticipate how they’ll be received. However, like in any relationship, after the hugs and kisses have finished and the smiles have faded, you realize just how much the other person has changed. Some changes you smile at, and others you cringe and pull away from.

Please, do not expect me to believe that a major terrorist organization planning to blow up an iconic building in London, who goes through the trouble of meeting in an unused tube, is going to put an off switch on their unattended bomb. It would have made more sense and been more believable if Sherlock had found a way to unwire the bomb.

After the initial bewilderment fades, you recognize the traits, mannerisms and quirks that hold unchanged. Sherlock is still quirky, touching, enraging, and visually dazzling, and for that the last two episodes deserve a watch.

Was this a successful return for Sherlock? How do you think Sherlock pulled off faking his death? Will you be watching the last two episodes? Or have you already watched them because you are British or have illegal connections we won’t probe?

Free Time?

Is free time actually time to do whatever you want, or just time you’re not paid to do what others want?

I am doing it again. I stop, removing my fingers from the keyboard. I had just finished planning my day for the week. It was a strange, surreal moment. I had done similar things before, organizing and planning my day. But this time was different. This time I  realized how stupid I am.

How many times have I “planned out” my day, in order to make sure it was well “spent?” Spending a day? When you think about it, the concept of spending a day is absurd. The concept of planning a day may be even more so.

Capitalism has infested my vocabulary. The jargon of the workplace has infected my thoughts. My “free time” is influenced by my work habits. Is free time actually time to do whatever you want, or just time you’re not paid to do what others want?

I can’t escape the demand to prioritize, organize and mechanize. Though I may not be at school or work right now, my mind is psychologically wired to be in work mode, simply because that’s what it’s most used to. I can’t simply relax because I am not working or at school, nor do I suppose anyone can. Capitalism stains, and no matter how hard we may try to wash it, some dirty residue remains.

Thanks Weekly Writing Challenge for messing up my week. What the heck am I going to do now?

Some other cool posts that may trigger deep thoughts. Reader be warned.

  1. Lunch | The Magic Black Book
  2. Random Bits of Conversation Overheard Over Time | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  3. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | Finding Life
  4. My Darling | Broken Light: A Photography Collective
  5. DP Challenge Weekly Writing Challenge: Staring Off Into Space | Sabethville
  6. A veteran’s fondest memory | From One Crazy Life To Another
  7. Knowledge Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  8. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | khaula mazhar
  9. Weekly DP Challenge – Lunch posts | Its all about a bit of this and that.
  10. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Posts | The Solidarity Ramblings Of A Wisdom Seeker
  11. Lunch: Fantasy Vs. Reality | Write Through Life
  12. Lunch Day One/Weekly Writing Challenge | standinginthestorm
  13. Blue Monday | Stories from aside
  14. Today I’ll defer to the dog | Life is Unfolding
  15. Lunch, Day 1: Too Quiet « there’s this book i’m reading.
  16. Lunch Break, Day 1: The Distant Banana | Stealing All the Sevens
  17. DPchallenge: Lunch break…or not | Mindful Digressions
  18. Weekly Writing Challenge: Lunch Post | lifethoughtenergy
  19. Daily Post Challenge: Lunch Posts | Flooding August
  20. Lunchtime | Living and Lovin

Bloggers, I Choose You!

Liebster Awards

This is, sadly, not a Pokemon post. Sometime during the day I was nominated for an award I’d never heard of by Martha Ann Kennedy. Thanks Martha, it’s nice to know you think The Backwords is award worthy. I haven’t checked out the full rules for the award, but I have a general idea of what I need to do. It’s a great way to build your WordPress community. I don’t know what the prize actually is, but hey, I don’t mind entering. Here we go!

Here are the rules for the Liebster Awards:

1. Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them.
2. Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
3. Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers                                                                                             4. Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.                                                                                                                                              5. Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

Martha’s Questions:

1)What inspired you to begin writing a blog? I really just wanted a space to write and think outside of school, friends and home. It seemed like the right thing to do, especially since I want to write for a living. My blog forced me to write consistently, I need that regularity.

2) What is the difference between writing for yourself and writing for others? I don’t really think there is a difference, for me at least. When I write I aim to please myself first. I write for myself, because if I’m not satisfied with my work I can’t expect anyone else to be.

3) What do you like most to write about? I like to write most about psychological, political and social issues. I originally set out to cover television, film, books, art and music on this blog, but I couldn’t ignore my inquisitive side.

4) If you think there is a downside to keeping a public blog, what is it? Huh. I guess the only downside, which is also a positive, is that anyone can read your blog.

5) Where would you travel if time and money were no object? I’d travel to Germany. There is so much history and culture in that small country. It’s one thing to study history and another to be immersed in it. Also, I love how German tastes. That came out wrong. I mean the language, I love speaking it.

6) What genre do you like most to read? I like reading texts that blur the genre lines, but I tend to read more literary works.

7) What genre do you like most to write? I think I like to write fantastic literature the most. Why can’t fantasy be just as real as literal, naturalistic texts?

8) Looking at your audience, are they your age peers? If no, what age demographic are they? I don’t know how old my audience is. Based on my green age of nineteen, I’d say that the majority of my audience is older than me.

9) What is your favorite part of the day? Going to sleep.

10) What was/is your favorite age? Why? (I liked being 12 because I was old enough to be free but not old enough to be responsible for myself). That’s a good question. My favourite age would have to be eighteen. I stopped caring about my age then.

I choose you:











Now, here is some extra writing for you fantastic bloggers:

1) Do you believe everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions? Why or why not.

2) If every book in the world were to be burned tomorrow, what one book would you save?

3) Do you think popular books are popular because they are good or because they are marketable?

4) If you could spend one day with one dead author who would it be? Why?

5) Wat’s more important to you, page views or followers?

6) What irks you about other people’s writing?

7) Do you always watch a movie after you’ve read the book it’s based on?

8) Is a university or college degree really worth the trouble?

9) What’s your favourite place to write from?

10) If you knew the next book you read would be your last, what would you read?