2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 5,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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NaNoWriMo: Halfway Point!

nanowrimo-logo

We’re half way through NaNoWriMo! How are you all doing so far?

I’m doing something a little different for NaNo this year. I’m not working on a new novel, I’m using this month to finally finish rewriting Brave Young Boys.

So far it’s not working so well.

I sort of went through a period (basically the whole month of October) in which I hardly did any writing. I wanted to write, but at the same time I just didn’t feel like it. Do you ever have those times?

Then I recently started a new job which has given me less time to write (hence why I’ve been so absent lately), but I’m definitely feeling more like I want to write so it’s sort of balancing itself out.

I’m getting caught up on reviews, fanfiction, blog posts, and am working on NaNoWriMo!

I’m determined to finish this novel by the end of this year, preferably, by the end of this month.

Let me know how you’re doing with NaNoWriMo so far!

Are you struggling? Pulling ahead?

Do you have periods where you feel like writing, but also don’t feel like writing?

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Friday November 13, 2015

Pray for the World

Friday November 13, 2015 is a day that no one is ever going to forget.

Over a hundred people were killed in Paris yesterday in a horrific attack that took place all over what is usually called the City of Love.

It is a tragedy. It is something that will change, not just Paris, but the entire world. So many people lost their lives and my heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims.

My heart also goes out to the people of Beirut, Lebanon who also suffered a horrific attack recently. The bombings happened on Thursday and everyone is still reeling from the nightmare they faced. I can’t imagine what it must have been like.

Unfortunately it doesn’t end there. Japan was hit with a major earthquake and tsunami and I think most people probably know that Mexico was recently hit with an earthquake and a hurricane. Both these places have suffered horribly and once again I can’t imagine what they’re going through.

And finally, though it is just as awful as all the others, Baghdad, like Beirut, was hit with several suicide bombings. The people are shaken, but from what I hear are standing strong.

The media doesn’t cover all of these with as great detail as the others so a lot of what I learn about these tragic events I learn online.

From what I understand the people are standing strong in all of these places. They’re scared and don’t know what might be coming next, but they’re standing together to show that this won’t tear them apart.

There is nothing anyone in the world can do that can really help take away that pain, but I hope the people of Paris, Baghdad, Beirut, Japan, and Mexico know that the rest of the world is with them. We are all thinking of you and praying for you and we will do whatever we can to help you get through this.

#PrayForParis

#PrayForJapan

#PrayForMexico

#PrayForBeirut

#PrayForBaghdad

#PrayForTheWorld

Supernatural Names of the Week

Anna

Female
Alternate Spelling: Ana
Pronunciation: an-uh; ah-na
Origin: Hebrew; England
Meaning: Favour of Grace
Well-Known Annas: Anna Milton (Supernatural), Anna Karenina (Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy), Anna Watson (The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins), Anna Oliphant (Anna & The French Kiss, Stephanie Perkins), Anna Fitzgerald (My Sister’s Keeper, Jodi Picoult), Anna (Frozen), Anna Kendrick (Actress), Anna Paquin (Actress), Anna Trebunskaya (Ballroom Dancer), Anna McPartlin (Novelist)

Ash

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Ashe
Pronunciation: ash
Origin: England
Meaning: From the Ash Tree
Well-Known Ashs: Ash (Supernatural), Ash Fisher (Black City, Elizabeth Richard), Ash Matthews (Mindbender, Veronica Slemp), Ash Ketchum (Pokemon), Ashley ‘Ash’ Baron-Cohen (Filmmaker)

Balthazar

Male
Pronunciation: Bal-thuh-zar
Origin: Phoenician
Meaning: Baal Protects the King
Well-Known Balthazars: Balthazar (Supernatural), Balthazar (Character in various Shakespeare plays), Balthazar (Novel by Lawrence Durell), Balthazar Getty (Actor)

Bobby

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Bobbi
Nickname: Bob
Pronunciation: bah-bee
Origin: America
Meaning: From Robert
Well-Known Bobbys: Bobby Singer (Supernatural), Robert ‘Bobby’ Pendragon (Pendragon, D.J. MacHale), Bobby Drake (X-Men), Bobbi Morse (Marvel), Bobby McFerrin (Singer), Bobby Lockwood (Model), Bobby Robson (Football Player)

Chuck

Male
Pronunciation: chuh-ck
Origin: American; French
Meaning: Form of Charles; Free ManWell-Known Chucks: Chuck Shurley (Supernatural), Chuck Bass (Gossip Girl), Chuck Lorre (Writer and Director), Chuck Jones (Animator)

Ellen

Female
Pronunciation: eh-len
Origin: England
Meaning: Light
Well-Known Ellens: Ellen Harvelle (Supernatural), Ellen Foster (Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons), Ellen (Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, Louise Rennison), Ellen Rosen (Number the Stars, Lois Lowry), Ellen Degeneres (Comedian), Ellen Page (Actress), Ellen White (Author), Ellen Lupton (Graphic Designer)

Jo

Male
Alternate Spelling: Joe
Pronunciation: Jo
Origin: England
Meaning: From Joseph
Well-Known Jos: Jo Harvelle (Supernatural), Josephine ‘Jo’ march (Little Women, Louisa May Alcott), Joe Hardy (Hardy Boys, Franklin W. Dixon), Jo Qesem Ayela Aleh (Olympic Sailor), Jo Frost (Nanny), Joe Sugg (Youtuber), Joe Hill (Author), Joe Jonas (Musician)

Ruby

Female
Pronunciation: roo-bee
Origin: England
Meaning: Jewel
Well-Known Rubys: Ruby (Supernatural), Ruby Daly (The Darkest Minds, Alexandra Brackens), Ruby Gillis (Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery), Ruby (Once Upon a Time), Ruby Florene Murray (Singer), Ruby Ferguson (Children’s Author), Ruby Aldridge (Supermodel)

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The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire, Dan and Phil

TABINOF

The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire aka TABINOF aka the book that is now tied with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as being my favourite book of all time.

TABINOF is the story of Dan and Phil aka Dan Howell and Phil Lester aka danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil.

I have a few books written by Youtubers and even more on my list of books I need to get. However, this one is definitely my favourite. I’ve watched Dan and Phil longer than any other Youtuber and even though I’ve never met them in person, it feels like I have because they’ve been there (or their videos have) during major times in my life.

I remember exactly where I was and what time it was when I first saw this video:

I was at the public library at four in the afternoon because I was part of a volunteer program and I was waiting for my reading buddy to show up when I got an email to say Dan had uploaded a video called ‘?’. Of course I had to watch it right then and there and it was all I could do to not scream out loud.

I got home and the first thing I did was preorder it off their website. It was kind of expensive because I live in Canada and they’re shipping from the UK, but it didn’t matter because in a few months time I would have Dan and Phil’s official book in my hands.

You would all be correct in assuming that I got some very strange looks when I went to the mailbox and found it in there. I practically ran home and opened it to find the book, a bookmark, and Dan and Phil pixel people stickers. Once again the only time I’ve been this excited to get a book was with the final Harry Potter.

I stayed up until three in the morning reading it and I regret nothing. If the final Harry Potter novel didn’t exist this would undoubtedly be my favourite book. However, Harry Potter is a thing so the two shall remained tied.

But what is TABINOF? I’ve been going on and on and how I bought it and how amazing it is and yet I haven’t said why it’s so amazing. Well I’m not going to go into great detail about the things in the book because that would be a spoiler and Dan and Phil specifically asked people to try and not spoil things because some people don’t have the book yet.

That being said, if you really don’t want to know anything about the book then you should really stop reading NOW. If you don’t want to see any spoilers STOP READING! Watch this video instead of Dan and Phil talking about the book and tour.

Alright, any spoilers from here on out are your own fault.

This book is so Dan and Phil. Reading it just felt like I was watching one of their videos or their livestreams. It’s a really good thing I was home alone when I was reading it because I was literally laughing out loud. The book is written like a back and forth conversation with each line labeled as being Dan or Phil saying it.

All I could hear as I’m reading the back and forth was “tone down the bantz” and it just made me lauigh more. The pictures in the book are amazing. They included pictures of themselves as babies (adorable), in their school uniforms (wow), and a whole bunch of pictures none of us have ever seen before (I was freaking out).

There’s a page featuring text messages back and forth between the two and they are absolutely hilarious! I actually to take breaks between reading each of them because I couldn’t stop laughing. There’s one in particular that I laughed for literally five minutes. I won’t tell you what it said, but I will tell you it involved wasps.

I took the “Which Dan and Phil (or Phil and Dan) Dining Chair Are You?” Quiz and it turns out I am the grey chair. Yeah, I can get on board with that.

One of the most highly anticipated things people have been waiting for in the book is the story of what really happened in Vegas. Ah, the infamous Vegas Video. Dan and Phil went to Vegas for Dan’s birthday and they vlogged a whole bunch of stuff, but the footage was lost when Dan’s hard drive stopped working.

So they wrote about it in the book. And let me tell you, you’re not even ready. I was not prepared for the Vegas Story. I was so excited to finally read it and let me tell you, it’s a rollercoaster from start to finish!

TABINOF is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. I’ve already shown it to friends and family members and they just look at me like I’m crazy while I show them all the pictures and things in it. Undoubtedly they’re wondering what I’m doing with my life freaking out over these two guys in dinosaur and lion onesies.

I’m especially excited because Dan and Phil are actually on tour right now. At the moment they’re only touring the UK, but they’ve talked about going to other countries so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll come to Canada.

If have read the book then make sure you check out the ‘Making Of’ video below!

I seriously recommend buying TABINOF. If you’re a fan of Dan and Phil I guarantee you’ll love it and even if you’re not a fan of Youtubers I still suggest you buy it. You can do what Dan and Phil said by sniffing it (I can confirm it smells like a book) and then using it as a coaster.

Though please don’t tell me if you use it as a coaster, mine hasn’t even gone on the coffee table, it’s only been on soft surfaces so far.

Have you read TABINOF? What did you think? Let me down below, but remember, no spoilers!

Dan & Phil Shop

Preorder TABINOF at danandphilbook.com

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Torcon 2015: Friday!

Torcon is finally here! Oh my goodness I feel like I have been waiting for this weekend forever and now it’s here!

This is the first time I’ve been to Torcon for a full weekend. I’ve gone for the past two years, but only ever went on the Saturday because it’s always been too expensive. This year it was still expensive, but the show’s been on for ten years and I decided to splash out a little bit and go for the whole weekend.

I’ve been really good about not splashing out anymore on any merchandise and I’m hoping to keep it that way. The way things are looking tomorrow I may not be entirely successful, but we shall see.

Alright, so I was a little late getting to the convention today so Richard Speight Jr. (who is MC-ing the whole event) was already on stage. However, I was there in plenty of time to see all the panelists.

The first one up was Alaina Huffman (Abbadon)!

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Alaina was a little minute addition to the guest list after Ruth Connell unfortunately had to cancel. However, I’m so glad Alaina was here! She’s amazing and hilarious and she’s Canadian!

It was really funny because every time someone would answer a question she would give them candy. Richard Speight Jr. made the joke I think many of us were thinking which is that taking candy from strangers doesn’t matter when you’re at a Supernatural convention.

Something I really liked about Alaina’s panel was that she talked about women’s roles (or lack thereof) on TV and how women need to be given more roles. Yes! I am so glad she mentioned this especially at such a huge event for a huge show. It’s absolutely amazing and completely true.

Next up was Osric Chau (Kevin Tran) who spent a lot of time talking about Cosplay. For anyone who doesn’t know, Osric cosplays a lot and you can find tons of amazing photos of him in so many phenomenal costumes online! Seriously, Google it.

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He was completely hilarious and talked a bit about how he’d like to see Kevin come back. Maybe Kevin could come back as a ghost, after all, ghosts can’t die again, right? Has he even seen the show?! Of courses ghosts die again, and it’s normally Sam and Dean who kill them! His reaction when he learned this was hilarious and it really was a great panel.

These panels were followed by the Supernatural Yes/No Trivia Game which was hilarious because by the time they got down to the final two people, it lasted forever! Both contestants gave the same answer as the other over and over again and often times they were both wrong! It was so funny.

One the Yes/No Quiz was over it was back to the panels and up next was Gil McKinney (Henry Winchester)!

Alright, so I’m a huge fan of Supernatural (obviously), but I’m also a huge fan of Once Upon A Time and I didn’t know that Gil McKinney plays Prince Eric on OUAT.

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I had no idea! Looking back now I’m smacking myself in the forehead for not realizing it. It definitely makes rewatching OUAT all the more exciting now.

Something else I learned at this panel is that Gil McKinney is an amazing singer! Seriously fantastic. Go look him up on Youtube I guarantee there are tons of videos of him singing and you will not be disappointed.

I took a couple videos at karaoke, but I’m betting you can find some better quality ones on Youtube than what I got on my phone.

Gil McKinney is also the reason I may end up spending money this weekend as I’m considering buying a photo op with him. If I don’t do it this year then I’ll probably have to come back and do it next year cause he’s amazing and getting a photo would be awesome.

The final panelist was Erica Carroll (Hannah) who also talked about women’s roles on TV. One thing she brought up about this in regards to Supernatural was the relationship between Hannah and Cas which she didn’t like too much.

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She said it was very easy to go that route and you know what, she’s right. You have a popular male character on the show and bring in a badass female character to work with him, it’s really easy to put them together and suddenly she just turns into a love interest.

I’m really glad that’s not what happened with Hannah and I’m definitely hoping we’ll see more of Erica Carroll in the new season!

Something else I learned during her panel is that in the episode with her naked scene? Not actually her. Yup, she said she made a choice and she stood by her choice and I think that’s amazing.

They needed a naked back for that scene and she didn’t want it to be hers and I give her major kudos for that.

Lena Headey did something similar in the most recent season finale of Game of Thrones. We see all of Cersei Lannister completely naked, but we’re not seeing Lena Headey who opted not to get naked.

Huge kudos to all the women who choose not to get naked on screen and you know what? Huge kudos to the women who do get naked on screen.

Kudos to the women on screen. Erica and Alaina are right, there isn’t enough of you so I give you props for getting out there and being badass no matter what you do.

The final event of the night was the karaoke party (not spelt kareoke which is what I did all night) and this was great. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go originally cause I’d already gone back to my hotel, but I’m so glad I did cause it was so much fun.

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There were so many people there and so many of the actors got up and sang. Richard, Rob, and Matt were dressed as the Three Amigos while Kathryn Newton (Claire Novak) came dressed as Sailor Moon and she was completely rocking the look.

From “Bad Blood” to “Lighters” to a lot of Bon Jovi, it was one of the best nights of my life.

There’s still two more days of Torcon left and plenty more to see and do. Hopefully I won’t spent too much money, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing everybody on Saturday and then Jared and Jensen on Sunday! This is the first time I’ll be seeing them at a convention so I’m super excited!

Were you a Friday Person at Torcon? If you were I’d love to hear what you think!

If not I’d love to hear what you think anyway! Let me down below your thoughts on Supernatural, conventions, if you’ve been to a con in the past, or maybe just about the meaning of life. Whatever you want!

I’ll be posting soon about Day 2!

Also, I’m hoping that if I attend again next year I’ll have a proper camera and can take some better photos than the ones I got on my phone as my phone isn’t crazy about the bright lights they point at the stage. A lot of the pictures turned out either out of focus or, if they were in focus, the people were glowing. I got some good Saturday shots because some of the people like Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins wander through the audience which means they turn the lights back on. Yay! This means pictures turn out looking like people! Woohoo!

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Names of the Week

Andrea

Female
Nickname: Andy; Andie
Pronunciation: An-dree-uh
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Brave
Well-Known Andreas: Andrea (Yesterday’s Child, Barbara Wood), Andrea (The Walking Dead), Andrea ‘Andie’ McPhee (Dawson‘s Creek), Andrea ‘Andy’ McNally (Rookie Blue), Andrea Joy ‘AJ’ Cook (Actress), Andrea Russett (Youtuber)

Carol

Female
Alternate Spelling: Carole
Pronunciation: Care-uhl
Origin: French
Meaning: Song of Happiness
Well-Known Carols: Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics), Carol Peletier (The Walking Dead), Carol Ross (ER), Carol Baldwin (Coronation Street), Carol Higgins Clark (Novelist), Carol Ann Sheilds (Novelist)

Glenn

Male
Alternate Spelling: Glen
Pronunciation: Glen
Origin: Celtic
Meaning: From the Wooded Valley
Well-Known Glenns: Glenn Rhee (The Walking Dead), Glenn Masters (Star of Babylon, Barbara Wood), Glenn Danzig (“The Misfits”), Glenn Worf (Country Music Bassist), Glenn Lee Beck (American TV Host)

Hershel

Male
Pronunciation: Her-shul
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: Deer
Well-Known Hershels: Hershel Greene (The Walking Dead), Hershel Agasa (“Case Closed”), Hershel McGriff (NASCAR Driver), Hershel Layton (“Professor Layton”

Judith

Female
Nickname: Judy; Jude
Pronunciation: Joo-dith
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: He Will be Praised
Well-Known Judiths: Judith Grimes (The Walking Dead), Judith Miller (American Journalist), Judith Butler (American Philosopher), Judith Shakespeare (Daughter of William Shakespeare)

Lizzie

Female
Alternate Spelling:
Nickname: Liz
Pronunciation: lih-zee
Origin: Isreal
Meaning: Form of Elizabeth
Well-Known Lizzies: Lizzie Samuels (The Walking Dead), Lizzie McGuire (Lizzie McGuire), Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen), Lizzie Lakely (Emmerdale), Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Lillian Marvelly (New Zealand Singer-Songwriter), Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Mickery (British Writer)

Merle

Male
Pronunciation: Merle
Origin: England; France
Meaning: Blackbird
Well-Known Merles: Merle Dixon (The Walking Dead), Merle Haggard (Country Singer), Merle Evans (Circus Band Conductor)

Mika

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Micah
Pronunciation: mee-kuh; my-kuh
Origin: Isreal
Meaning: Humble
Well-Known Mikas: Mika Samuels (The Walking Dead), Mika Grainger (Waterloo Road), Mika Boorem (American Actress), Mika Abdalla (American Actress), Mika Brzezinski (TV Host and Journalist), Mika (Singer)

Morgan

Unisex
Pronunciation: mor-guhn
Origin: Celtic
Meaning: By the Sea
Well-Known Morgans: Morgan Jones (The Walking Dead), Morgan le Fay ‘Morgana’ (King Arthur Legend), Morgan Flynn (“The Sims 3”), Morgan York (American Actress), Morgan Freeman (American Actor)

Rick

Male
Nickname: Ricky
Pronunciation: rik
Origin: England
Meaning: Brave Ruler; Diminutive of Richard
Well-Known Ricks: Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead), Rick Blaine (Casablanca), Rick (“Portal”), Rick Riordan (American Author), Rick Springfield (Australian Singer)

Sasha

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Sacha
Pronunciation: Sah-shuh
Origin: Greece
Meaning: Defender of Mankind; Diminutive of Alexander (Russia)
Well-Known Sashas: Sasha (The Walking Dead), Sasha (Absolute Friends, John le Carre), Sasha Braus (Attack on Titan), Sasha Filippov (Enemy at the Gates), Sasha Issenberg (American Author), Sasha Skenderika (Bosnian Poet)

Shane

Unisex
Pronunciation: Shane
Origin: Ireland
Meaning: Gift From God
Well-Known Shanes: Shane Walsh (The Walking Dead), Shane Collins (Morganville Vampire, Rachel Caine), Shane McCutcheon (The L Word), Shane Botwin (Weeds), Shane Edward Smeltz (New Zealand Footballer), Shane Dawson (Youtuber)

Tara

Female
Pronunciation: tar-uh
Origin: Gaelic
Meaning: Tower; Hillside
Well-Known Taras: Tara Chambler (The Walking Dead), Tara Duncan (Tara Duncan, Sophia Audouin-Mamikoian), Tara Brennan (13 Gifts, Wendy Mass), Tara James (Chrissa Stands Strong), Tara Knowles (Sons of Anarchy), Tara Reid (American Actress), Tara Gilesbie (Apparently an Infamous Fanfiction Author)

Tyreese

Male
Alternate Spelling: Tyreece; Tyrese; Tyrees
Nickname: Ty; Reese
Pronunciation: Ty-reese
Origin: America
Meaning: Enthusiastic
Well-Known Tyreeses: Tyreese (The Walking Dead), Prince Tyreese (Dirt), Tyrese Darnell Gibson (American Singer), Tyrees Allen (American Actor)

The Walking Dead returns tomorrow and I decided to celebrate with some Walking Dead names! I’ve also been celebrating quite a bit over on my other blog with a Top 10 Favourite Episodes countdown which you can find here!

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