WoB Talk

February 25, 2013

And That’s How It All Began

Filed under: Rants — Kari Maaren @ 5:35 am

So as some of you know, I’m trying desperately and in vain to get a publisher, any publisher, to take a look at my novel.  This is a soul-destroying process through which many people have gone, so I won’t whine about it here.  I do, however, want to say a little something about the expectations of agents and publishers when it comes to openings:  particularly, the openings of Young Adult novels.

I do recognise that my book’s opening needs work, and I’ll get on that.  However, I’m also wondering if current expectations aren’t a teeny bit restrictive.  I understand why these expectations exist.  An opening, saith the Experts, needs to provide an instant “hook.”  The reader must be drawn immediately into the story.  In the first 250 words or so, the writer must introduce the protagonist and the protagonist’s situation.  The characters should be “in the moment”; there shouldn’t be much, if any, exposition.  Starting with pure dialogue is kind of cheating but is better than starting with a description of the setting, which is boring.  It must be instantly clear to the reader what every element in the opening means; if anything is vague or incomplete, the reader will undoubtedly lose interest and wander away to play video games.

Okay, yes, we live in a culture in which everything must happen NOW.  Our attention spans are fragmented; we consider a five-minute YouTube video too long to watch and complain vociferously when our profs assign us more than one short story to read per week.  I’m wondering, however, if we’re not getting a bit too dictatorial about the whole “If you don’t capture the reader in the first three words, ALL IS LOST” thing.  It wasn’t that long ago that openings were allowed to be gentler, more mysterious, with fewer explosions and less of an expectation that the protagonist’s personality would be laid bare in the first paragraph.

I am thus going to take a look at three openings of well-known children’s novels (from back before YA was a thing, mostly) to see if they pass the 250-word test:  that is, the expectation that after the first 250 words (more or less) of the novel, the reader will be invested in the protagonist and know exactly who all the people, places, and concepts mentioned in those 250 words are.  I’m not saying that the 250-word test is wrong or not at all useful.  Expectations do change over time.  I’m just saying…well, let’s see what happens.

Example 1:  J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (1937):  First 244 Words

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.  Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle.  The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats—the hobbit was fond of visitors.  The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill—The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it—and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another.  No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage.  The best rooms were all on the left-hand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round windows looking over his garden, and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.

This hobbit was a very well-to-do hobbit, and his name was Baggins.

Mythical editor’s comment:  This is all exposition.  Moreover, it’s vague exposition.  What on earth is a hobbit?  I get no sense of what kind of creature this is.  Or is “hobbit” a job description?  You spend two whole paragraphs describing his “hole” (why is he living in a hole?), but you give me very little sense of the hobbit itself; all you really say is that he likes clothes and has a nice house.  You completely lose me with this description, which is without context.  I don’t even know what kind of story this is supposed to be.  It’s only in the very last line that you mention the hobbit’s name.  You’ve given me no reason to read on.

Yes, of course, but:  This may be one of the best-known openings in children’s literature.  It tells us little about Bilbo; it doesn’t even tell us that his name is Bilbo.  It does not plunge us into the story.  Frankly, Tolkien doesn’t begin to set up the initial conflict until three pages in.  However, there’s something to be said for a gentle approach.  The opening contains hints about Bilbo’s personality, and those hints will eventually come to define his approach to his adventure.  We don’t know his name, but we know that he’s a comfort-loving clothing fanatic with multiple pantries.  We know that his house matters to him.  The description of the setting is, in fact, a description of Bilbo; the author just doesn’t come out and say so.

Today, Tolkien would be expected to spice all this up.  An editor would probably suggest that he cut the first three pages altogether and begin with the encounter between Bilbo and Gandalf.  This would undoubtedly be more exciting.  It would also deprive us of that initial hidden description of Bilbo as indistinguishable from his comfortable surroundings.

Example 2:  E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web (1952):  First 266 Words

“Where’s Papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.

“Out to the hoghouse,” replied Mrs. Arable. “Some pigs were born last night.”

“I don’t see why he needs an ax,” continued Fern, who was only eight. “Well,” said her mother, “one of the pigs is a runt. It’s very small and weak, and it will never amount to anything. So your father has decided to do away with it.”

“Do away with it?” shrieked Fern. “You mean kill it? Just because it’s smaller than the others?”

Mrs. Arable put a pitcher of cream on the table. “Don’t yell, Fern!” she said. “Your father is right. The pig would probably die anyway.”

Fern pushed a chair out of the way and ran outdoors. The grass was wet and the earth smelled of springtime. Fern’s sneakers were sopping by the time she caught up with her father.

“Please don’t kill it!” she sobbed. “It’s unfair.”

Mr. Arable stopped walking.

“Fern,” he said gently, “you will have to learn to control yourself.”

“Control myself?” yelled Fern. “This is a matter of life and death, and you talk about controlling myself.” Tears ran down her cheeks and she took hold of the ax and tried to pull it out of her father’s hand.

“Fern,” said Mr. Arable, “I know more about raising a litter of pigs than you do. A weakling makes trouble. Now run along!”

“But it’s unfair,” cried Fern. “The pig couldn’t help being born small, could it? If I had been very small at birth, would you have killed me?”

Mythical editor’s comment:  At first glance, I liked this opening.  You did a good job of putting the reader in the moment; the conflict between Fern and her father was nicely laid out, even if the setting could have been clearer.  However, I was impressed enough that I flipped ahead a few pages, and I was very surprised to see that Fern was not, in fact, the protagonist of this story!  Suddenly, without warning, you switched to the perspective of the pig I had initially thought was just a plot device.  The opening is highly misleading.  A reader expecting a realistic story about a girl growing up on a farm is, as of the second chapter, expected to accept a whole other reality in which animals can talk and a pig is befriended by a spider.  When I moved on past the opening, I felt cheated, and I lost all desire to read on.

Yes, of course, but:  Charlotte’s Web is another children’s classic, and it certainly does contain this abrupt shift in point of view.  Fern returns and is even an important character later on, but the bulk of the story concentrates on Wilbur, her pig, and his life on the farm.  Under present-day rules, this opening would be seen as a “prologue” (i.e., not a proper part of the story) and thus discouraged.  However, beginning with a realistic story about an eight-year-old girl and her compassion for a runty pig allows White to do some pretty essential things.  He sets up the novel as a coming-of-age tale; Fern learns here that life isn’t fair, though sometimes exceptions can be made.  Wilbur will learn both lessons himself later on.  Fern’s changing priorities as she grows are also a major thread of the story; as Wilbur comes of age through his relationship with Charlotte and his hard lesson about letting go of someone who cares for him, Fern is undergoing a parallel coming of age as she spends less time at the farm and more getting interested in boys (yes, okay, the novel was published in 1952).  Fern and Wilbur learn in different ways that things change, not always for the better.

Today, White would be encouraged to drop the first chapter entirely or perhaps to ditch the talking-animals angle and stick with Fern throughout.  Both approaches would take something from the story.  It is quite possible that despite the testimony of generations of readers who first experienced the mourning process vicariously through this book, Charlotte’s Web would be considered unpublishable by current standards.

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997):  First 261 Words

Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.  They were the last people you’d expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn’t hold with such nonsense.

Mr Dursley was the director of a firm called Grunnings, which made drills.  He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large moustache.  Mrs Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours.  The Dursleys had a small son called Dudley and in their opinion there was no finer boy anywhere.

The Dursleys had everything they wanted, but they also had a secret, and their greatest fear was that somebody would discover it.  They didn’t think they could bear it if anyone found out about the Potters.  Mrs Potter was Mrs Dursley’s sister, but they hadn’t met for several years; in fact, Mrs Dursley pretended she didn’t have a sister, because her sister and her good-for-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be.  The Dursleys shuddered to think what the neighbours would say if the Potters arrived in the street.  The Dursleys knew that the Potters had a small son, too, but they had never even seen him.  This boy was another good reason for keeping the Potters away; they didn’t want Dudley mixing with a child like that.

Mythical editor’s comment:  This opening is all exposition.  Show, don’t tell; if you want us to get to know the Dursleys, let us see them interacting with each other.  I’m bewildered by the point of view here.  Are the Dursleys your protagonists?  They don’t seem very likeable.  Is Dudley the main character?  Is the Potter boy?  If you hadn’t sent me the title of your novel, I wouldn’t be able to tell.  A glance through the rest of the chapter demonstrates that you jump from point of view to point of view, throwing a bewildering number of characters at a reader who has no idea who they are.  Then you skip ten years.  You should begin with your protagonist, not tease the reader with the introduction of characters who will soon be relegated to secondary roles.  I’m just too confused to want to read on.

Yes, of course, but:  If you thought I was just bringing up novels written before I was born, think again.  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the book that arguably began the rise of YA fiction as we know it today, starts with a whackload of exposition and is–in its first chapter, at least–written in the slightly condescending tones of J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis, who produced children’s literature back when it had different conventions associated with it.  You might argue that Rowling was just starting out and needed to find her rhythm, and that would be true.  However, though the condescending tone didn’t stick around, the exposition did.  She often started her novels by explaining that Harry Potter was a wizard and outlining, point by point, what that meant.  She continued to like beginning with the point of view of a secondary character as well.  She didn’t call these initial chapters prologues, but that was what they were.

Do I have a problem with any of this?  Hell, no.  The Harry Potter novels work beautifully.  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is essentially writen for eleven-year-olds, and it borrows its tone not just from Tolkien and Lewis but from Roald Dahl and Eva Ibbitson, both of whom have produced wonderful literature for that age group.  Starting with the Dursleys allows Rowling to introduce the Muggle world as the apparent norm, then subvert this norm with her colourful, eccentric wizards.  Harry is not the only one who starts surrounded by the mundane and must make his way into the world of magic; the reader joins him.  Chapter 1 allows us to gain knowledge Harry doesn’t have–knowledge of the existence of wizards–and then wait in delicious anticipation for him to figure out what is going on.

Today, ironically, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone might easily be asked to lose its first chapter, due largely to the increasingly rigid rules that have developed since its publication.  In fact, the film of the book leaves out the bit with the Dursleys and skips to Dumbledore’s first appearance late in Chapter 1.  Chapter 2 is more “in the moment,” it’s true, but the introduction of the Dursleys gives us the essential conflict between the Muggles and the wizards; it’s also quite funny.  A swifter beginning would lead to a less entertaining story.

***

So yes, these examples are more or less arbitrary.  They do, however, demonstrate that there’s more than one way to begin a novel without causing young readers to give up immediately.  All three of these books are still in print, after all.  Sure, the in-the-moment technique is probably the one it’s easiest to get right; that doesn’t mean other techniques are automatically not even worth trying.  For crying out loud, Watership Down begins with a two-page description of rabbits in a field.  And if you haven’t read Watership Down, you need to go do that now.

Publishers exist to sell books.  It’s probably easier, theoretically speaking, to sell books that are exciting from the first sentence onward.  However, by discounting stories that begin more quietly or subtly, we may be losing out.

February 18, 2013

Study Week: An Exercise in Frustration

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 5:50 am

Every term, the university at which I work holds a “Study Week” in which students do not attend classes.  It’s pretty nice for students.  It isn’t quite so nice for instructors.

You see, Study Week follows the fifth week of classes.  There are twelve weeks’ worth of classes per term, meaning that Study Week is more or less in exactly the wrong spot.  Profs who set their midterms for week 5 have only four weeks to work with as far as material is concerned.  Profs who set their midterms for week 6 or 7 can’t mark during Study Week.  I tend to go with Option 1, and therefore, I do mark during Study Week.  It’s very practical, but it’s not very fun.

I haven’t had a Study Week that counts as an actual “break” since I was an MA student.  I usually goof off for the first several days, at which point I realise, with rising panic, that I have 220 midterms to mark in the course of a week and a half.  The pattern is always the same, but do I ever wise up and start marking on the first day of the break?  No, I do not.  That would be far too easy.

I have pledged to start my marking tomorrow.  Of course, tomorrow is a holiday, and I have a lunch outing at noon.  And there’s laundry to get through.  And I should work on Wednesday’s comic.  And I’ve written one of my songs for March now, but I need to think of a concept for a second one as well.  And I should practise the first song.  And I should play my tenor guitar a bit.  And…

Damn you, Study Week.  Damn you to Hades.  I always succumb to your lure.

February 18 – March 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 5:27 am

Let’s have a bit of Casey-induced weirdness, shall we?

February 13, 2013

Webcomic Blind Date

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 3:03 pm

I would never go on a real blind date, but I’m fine with blind dates involving webcomics (and/or literary agents, apparently).  If you would like to comment on my comic-related “blind date” with Rod Salm, do so here.  I’ve pasted the relevant comic and the related song below, mostly because I can.  (I can’t, however, seem to stop the video from appearing directly beneath the comic, no matter how many spaces I leave there.  Sorry about that.)

And she didn't even touch on the fairy tales with necrophilia in them...

 

And here are the lyrics for those of you who need them:

Fairy-Tale Love

I met you beside the fountain
In the woods.  You were a frog.  And then
You taught me how to fill
My sieve with water.  I was grateful.  When
You trailed me home that night,
I was less grateful, but was still okay
Till you forced me to behead you.
Anyway,
The frog corpse in my bed
Was probably a symbol of
Our perfect and romantic
Fairy-tale love.

I had these enchanted horses
That I got pretending to be dumb;
I rode them up a mountain,
And you threw three apples at me.  Some
Might say we didn’t know
Each other very well, but you had breasts,
And I had golden armour:
The prosecution rests.
When I unmasked and showed
My homely face, that roomful of
Great kings and nobles shouted,
“Fairy-tale love!”

You were a hedgehog.
You terrified
Your first wife;
You maimed her.  She died.
You threatened me.
I married you too.
Everyone knows
That’s what you’re supposed to do.
Doesn’t matter what I see.
I’ve heard this is destiny.

I tricked a whole bunch of giants
Into dying at each other’s hands.
The king then gave you to me,
Plus a quite enormous stretch of lands.
You tried to have me killed
Because I wasn’t good enough for you,
But I was really clever,
And I tricked you too.
You still resent me, as
You feel you are too far above
My station.  All will envy
Our fairy-tale love.

I kidnapped you from a tower.
You’re escaping from my mountain lair.
I’m dressed in rotting leather.
You spend all day as a talking bear.
I’m longing for your shoes.
I ran away because I thought you lied.
I got you pregnant
After you died.
It’s satisfying that
We’re called a great example of
A destined and idyllic
Fairy-tale love.

February 11, 2013

The Hierarchy of Snow

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 5:37 am

When it comes to winter, Canadians get a little bit strange.  We take pride in our winteriness.  We collect scarves, tuques, and pairs of mittens.  We brag about cycling in the snow.  Two-inch snowfalls prompt middle-aged women to haul out their cross-country skis and use them to commute to work.  The more snow there is, the more we rejoice.

This attitude tends to lead to what you might call a “hierarchy of snow,” which we may notice only when we leave one place in Canada for another place in Canada.  We get very…regional…about our snow.  The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence; the snow, on the other hand, is always less impressive.  When it comes to winter weather, Canadians shed their stereotypical politeness for outright bragging.

I grew up in Vancouver, which is automatically at the bottom of the hierarchy.  Vancouverites don’t think of their snow as being less, well, snowy than everyone else’s, but living in Toronto has taught me that the rest of the country views Vancouver’s snow with amused contempt.  Everyone who doesn’t live in Vancouver believes that Vancouverites are completely unable to cope with snow.  The story runs as follows:  in Vancouver, it rains for 364 days of the year.  On the 365th, it snows, and the city shuts down because no one in Vancouver is capable of dealing with frozen water falling from the sky.  Vancouverites can’t drive in the snow.  Vancouverites think that an inch of snow is the worst thing ever.  How funny and silly those Vancouverites are!

Of course, the truth is that Vancouver, while quite temperate, does sometimes get a substantial amount of snow.  Vancouverites, who live their lives surrounded by quite tall mountains on which the snow accumulates to a degree that would utterly alarm someone from Toronto, are as capable of driving in the snow as anyone, though they are sometimes defeated by Vancouver’s steep hills.  A Vancouverite’s knowledge of snow acts somewhat like a secret superpower.  Though I hail from the city at the bottom of the hierarchy, I grew up cross-country skiing and snowshoing, and I knew what a tree well was and why it was a bad idea to fall into one by the time I was eight.

Currently, I live in Toronto.  Toronto sees itself as well up in the hierarchy, and consequently, many Torontonians are shocked to learn that the rest of the country regards it as well down in the hierarchy.  Former mayor Mel Lastman didn’t help this general impression by calling in the army during Toronto’s 1999 blizzard.  Only about a week ago, I saw an online comment from a Torontonian who indignantly complained about mockery of Lastman’s decision, even though, in the commenter’s words, Toronto had sustained a “90 cm.” snowfall at the time.  In actual fact, the snowfall was probably no more than about 40 cm., or a foot and a third.  There have been some snowy Toronto winters, but total accumulation rarely goes beyond a foot and a half.  And yes, other Canadians think that Toronto shuts down under such conditions.  As Vancouver is to Toronto, so is Toronto to everybody else, though Torontonians, unlike Vancouverites, often lack mountain-related experience.

I spent Christmas in Prince George this year.  Prince George is in northern British Columbia, and it gets quite a lot of snow.  In fact, when I was there, I never really saw actual pavement, as Prince George sands its roads rather than salting them.  In Prince George, snow tires are a necessity, not a luxury.  Vancouver and Toronto are both full of wimps as far as the people of Prince George are concerned.  Even though I was there for only a week and a half, I find myself inclined to snicker smugly at Toronto’s comparatively teeny snowfalls and balmy temperatures.  The hierarchy of snow sets in quickly.

There are doubtless places further north that regard Prince Georgians as soft.  That’s how it goes in Canada:  everyone’s snow is better than everyone else’s snow.  Just about the only thing everyone agrees about is that even Vancouver is hardier than most of the United States.  And that’s pretty Canadian too.

 

February 4, 2013

Kissing Scene Competition Entry

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 2:56 am

Here is my entry for the Cupid’s Literary Connection Kissing Scene Competition.  I’m in Round 4 of the Blind Speed Dating Contest (in which writers compete to have their work reviewed by agents; only BSDC contestants can enter the Kissing Scene Competition as well).  My BSDC entry, #122, can be found here.  Oh yes…and I’m Kari Maaren.  I don’t believe I actually mention that anywhere on this blog.

Basic set-up:  the novel in which this scene appears (which is not the one I have entered in the BSDC) involves the protagonist, Sam, being caught up in a sadistic game run by a secret society.  She is accompanied by a bike messenger named Mor, who is pulled into the game by accident.  Sam, who is a little too liable to look at the world through the lense of Hollywood films, has just lost and then found Mor again; he has undergone a bit of light torture at the hands of his captors and is on the verge of a breakdown.  At this point in the story, Sam and Mor have known each other for about a day.

The excerpt:

***

I lost a few minutes again at this point.  I guess I was more upset than I thought I was; I remember feeling pretty calm.  My mind caught up with me eventually.  I was stroking Mor’s hair.  If I had been him and had been abandoned as he had been, I probably would have pulled away.

“We have to go,” I said.  “Can you walk?”

He shook his head against my shoulder.

“Mor,” I said, “you have to try.  What did they…?”  No.  “Look…just take deep breaths.  You’re hyperventilating.”

He kept breathing in pants.  I pushed his head back so that he was facing me directly, and I brushed the hair out of his lost green eyes.

“Deep breaths,” I said, and I kissed him.

It was a total cliche.  It was the moment in the generic action film where the protagonists, driven together by circumstances, share a moment that later turns out to foreshadow them being deeply in love.  I knew scenes like that were bullshit, and I didn’t know Mor well enough to be falling deeply in love with him, and yet I still kissed him.  It was the most astonishing kiss.  Boys didn’t exactly shove each other out of the way to get at me, but I’d had two serious boyfriends and a number of more casual encounters, and I was pretty sure I was a pretty good kisser.  Mor was better.  It had to be natural talent; it would have taken at least a hundred years of practice for someone to learn to kiss like that, sweet and tender all at once.  It seemed to be an automatic thing for him to do.  The panting stopped.  I felt my hands going up to his hair again, and I leaned into the kiss.

It ended too soon.  We pulled away together.  Mor’s eyes were closed.  He was breathing more normally now.  “Mor,” I said.

Mor opened his eyes.

“Don’t worry,” I said.  “I’ll never mention this again.”

He nodded.  “I would appreciate that.”

And that was the end of the total cliche.

Prelude to a Kiss

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 2:49 am

So for some reason, I’ve entered a small, lighthearted Internet writing contest that involves posting a kissing scene from some story or other.  I’m obliged to post this scene on this blog; the entry after this one will thus be devoted to me doing so.  However, the current entry constitutes this week’s Rant.  I would therefore like to muse a bit about my attitude towards kissing scenes.

I’ve written a lot of novels (most of which no one will ever see) and a fair number of short stories, plus a towering pile of comics.  How many kissing scenes have I got through in the course of my life?  Well, that would be three.  Two of them are in West of Bathurst, and one of those is a single panel long.  I have created exactly one prose-fiction kissing scene.  It appears in a novel I wrote a few years ago.  The existence of this novel now embarrasses the hell out of me, but I did quite enjoy writing the kissing scene.  There may have been a wee bit of meta in there somewhere.

The longer West of Bathurst kissing scene doesn’t exactly play the trope straight either.  I don’t seem to be able to write a conventional kissing scene, probably because I tend to get rather impatient with such scenes myself.  Some works handle kissing very well and actually make it relevant to the plot, which is always nice.  Others include kissing for the sake of kissing.  If an author is going to spend a page and a half describing a lingering kiss, it needs to have something to do with the story.

On the other hand, I do often wish that I didn’t shy away from writing kissing scenes.  My reaction reminds me of the reaction of a certain actor who was playing a part in a musical a friend and I had written together.  The play contained an “almost-kiss” scene, which is not quite the same thing as a kissing scene.  The two characters needed to lean in towards each other at the end of their duet, then break apart before anything happened.  The female actor simply couldn’t get through this scene.  The almost-kiss embarrassed her.  To cover up her embarrassment, she pretended to be running towards the male actor in slow motion; when we asked her to stop, she just kept squirming away from him in the middle of the scene and declaring that the whole thing made her feel stupid.  We finally persuaded her to be a little less awkward about it, but she never quite got into the spirit of the scene.  I think maybe I’m acting like her when I avoid kissing scenes.  Perhaps I should learn to embrace the power of the Kiss.

As West of Bathurst is a comic, it’s not eligible for the kissing-scene contest.  However, I’ll reproduce the relevant plotline below because I can.  Those of you who read the comic may remember that that particular kiss was hugely relevant to the plot, albeit maybe not in the way you might expect a kiss would be.  At any rate, it was fun to write.  I may not be addicted to kissing scenes, but when I do use them, I am satisfyingly cruel to my characters.

Here is the West of Bathurst kissing scene, which originally ran between September 8th and 19th, 2008:

No one knows why, but the likelihood that the heavens will open and deluge you with pollutant-laden water increases tenfold if the movie you just saw sucked beyond all belief.

Coincidentally, it poured rain today.  I am actually currently sitting in my office, waiting for the damn rain to stop so that I can bike home without becoming covered with mud.  I feel for Marie; I really do.

Oh, damn...now Barbara can't add this conversation to her book-length list of Satan evidence.

Gosh.

Double gosh.

Of course, this is happening at midnight on a residence floor.  Several tired people are really going to hate Marie in the morning.

February 4 – 16, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kari Maaren @ 2:38 am

Once more into the Murder Game breach, my friends, once more.  I find it quite sad to be writing this final year of the comic and realising as I go that this is my last Hallowe’en / Christmas / Winter Ball / Murder Game / etc.  And now I’m all upset again.  I shall go off somewhere and write a Rant about kissing.

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