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From character-writing, to zombies, to men who love animals, to angry cats. ♥

If I made a list of things of things that I am not naturally inclined towards, in terms of media/entertainment, that list would most likely consist of zombies, graphic novels, and general television.

That’s not to say I automatically dislike any of these things; just that if a zombie-story or a graphic novel or a TV show is going to really get my attention, it’s got to be damn good.

If there’s one thing I am naturally inclined towards, however, it’s people. Characters.

I’m a character-writer. Plot and setting mean nothing to me if the characters inhabiting that story can’t make me care about it first. And, of course, that transfers over into the stories I consume as a reader/watcher myself.

(For example, let’s take a quick look at Wuthering Heights. Was absolutely blown away by the language, by the prose. Adored the general atmosphere. Wanted, so badly, to love the book itself; it could easily have been one of my all-time favourites. And yet I hated the characters themselves so much that, even despite everything else the book had going for it, I could not care. I wanted to love it, but I was entirely too busy wanting to spew profanity at Heathcliff and Catherine and then beat my own head against the wall. I can easily see why other people love it, but with my character-bias, I cannot. And I’m still disappointed about that one, by the way.)

Give me characters that I love, that I find fascinating, and I will love whatever story or world you throw them in, without question.

Say, for example, you had a television show, based off a series of graphic novels, about zombies. I would not instanteously leap on and love all over this, because nothing about it would be really my ‘thing’.

But if you made me care about the characters, then I would.

Yep. Cue Jacey’s epic love for The Walking Dead. ♥

That show has, in all honesty, some of the best character development I have ever seen. Ever. In any medium. And, of course, I fell in love…even if I probably shouldn’t have.

As I was telling my best friend earlier, in an attempt to sell him on the show as well…

This show made Jacey, Jacey who was raised in Appalachia next-door to neighbours literally called ‘Big Bub’ and ‘Lil Bub’ (no, I am not making this up) and who pointedly escaped to an actual city (ie, ‘not just a bunch of houses scattered around Walmart’) because she is a giant hippie with no patience for that sort of close-minded atmosphere, not only fall in love with but acquire a giant ladyboner for a character who started out the absolute embodiment of Deep-South Trash. Dirty. Classless. Hunter. Acts an epic asshole, in that special sort of way that only Deep-South Trash can be. Everything I ripped my life apart to escape from, essentially.

And yet I adore Daryl Dixon anyway.

The writing and acting in this show are that bloody good.

And if that is not a ringing endorsement, or a testament to my own inclination towards characters above everything else, I do not know what is.

To be fair, however, Norman Reedus, the actor who plays Daryl Dixon, would probably make it easier to love on pretty much anything. The man is awesome, and even spoke out recently against animal-testing!
 
 

“Scores of countries around the world are beating the U.S. to become cruelty-free by banning cosmetics tests on animals,” he writes. “Nobody wants rabbits or guinea-pigs to suffer for our vanity, least of all the animals. Let’s stop their suffering right here, right now. Join me in supporting the Cruelty Free International call to Congress and the FDA to bring an end to animal testing for cosmetics in the U.S.”

 
 
Seriously, if the man is awesome enough to help make even me adore a character who starts off as nothing but Deep-South Trash, listen to him. Check out the website. Take a few seconds out of your day to sign their pledge. It won’t hurt anything, and maybe it can help to stop a lot of other hurt.

And this is maybe the cutest quote I’ve read all week, also courtesy of that article:
 
 

“I’m driving back to Manhattan with a cat in my lap right now,” he told the magazine. “It’s just this fat, black alley cat. My son wanted a black kitten when he was a kid, and I found it in the East Village in some rescue shelter, but it was born in a box and the guy that was getting rid of it was like, ‘You don’t want this cat. This cat’s never gonna love anyone.’ And the first time I saw it, it was like just hissing and scratching everything it saw and now it’s like this big, fat, chill cat.”

 
 
:)

And then there’s the fact that he wants romance between Daryl and another male character.

Thumbs up, sir.

See? I told you he was awesome.
 
 
And the point of this post?

Characters trump everything for me, nothing is sexier than a man who loves animals, and even if you’re also not typically into the whole zombie thing you should really watch The Walking Dead.

(And I may or may not still be bitter that the characters totally ruined Wuthering Heights for me. Ahem.)
 
 
Who are some of your favourite fictional characters?

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Dexter’s Law: Animal abuser registry bill on the table in Florida.

Dear Florida:

DO THIS.

Also, there are not enough FUCK YESes in the world.

Animal abuser registry bill on the table in Florida

This, otherwise known as Dexter’s Law for the tiny black and white kitten beaten with a baseball bat by a woman and her two children to the point of having to be euthanised, really cannot happen soon enough. It should have happened a ridiculously long time ago, and there should never ever be another Dexter and never should have been in the first place.

But the most important thing is that it does happen, and spreads, and becomes commonplace all around the country and hopefully all around the world.

If Dexter’s story (and the thousands more like it) don’t break your damn heart enough as it is, well, use common sense. Would you be comfortable knowing that the sort of people who can bludgeon small defenseless creatures with baseball bats could be living right next door, with you and your family completely unawares?

That is what this bill, and others like it, can help prevent. (I myself once used to live next door to two charming gentlemen who went by the names of ‘Big Bub’ and ‘Lil Bub’ and apparently had quite the fondness for killing neighbourhood cats. Sadly, I am not making this up, and would have sorely loved a law like this then.)

So raise your voice. Take thirty seconds and make yourself heard — because they can’t.

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Hippie posts: The greatest people of the day.

When I idly go about sifting through the news, I typically do not expect to find much of anything positive or inspiring at all.

Tonight, however, managed to prove me rather soundly wrong.

At first, I stumbled across an article called “Lessons from Sharing the Story of My (Possibly) Gay 6-Year-Old Son”, and all I can say is how very very glad I am that this woman is raising a child. If more mothers were like her, this world would be one hell of a less shitty place.

And I wish I could tell all of these kids to keep their heads up. That even if their own parents might not love them the way that they deserve to be loved, there are at least people out there who would. ♥

(That story also reminds me of this wonderful little boy who is forever wandering about the childrens’ department of my store — his parents leave him with nannies, who then turn and dump him into said department and ignore him while instead he latches onto us. The first time I encountered him, he quite sincerely complimented me on my glitter nail polish, and then followed me around asking for books on both Rapunzel and sharks. On one of the most recent times I saw him, he flagged me down to inquire as to how he could go about watching Lady Gaga videos. He is probably all of five, and I sincerely hope that when he gets older, his parents will at least support him in liking whatever and whoever the hell he may like, and not just freak out over the fact their son enjoys glitter and princess and Lady Gaga right alongside his awesome sharks. Hey, doesn’t every parent claim they want a well-rounded child?)

And the second story then somehow made me even happier!

Tom Wargo is the greatest person of the day, indeed.

Tom Wargo is another of those people that the world desperately needs more of — he runs a pet food pantry by the name of Daffy’s. My default emotion is generally just “oh my god I must go scoop up all the homeless animals” anyway, but Daffy’s story sent that emotion right into overdrive, and I cannot thank this man enough for what he does.

(I’ve been on every side of this coin, myself. All of my cats were originally homeless — and for a time I actually ended up homeless with my cats, too. But we found each other and we stayed together and I do not hesitate to say that doing so was the best goddamn decision I ever could have made. ♥ It goes without saying that I want other people to be able to make that decision, too.)

So there you are. A little bit of positivity to help get you through your day. Now go help make things a little bit less shitty yourself. :)

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Writing Market: A Quiet Shelter There Anthology.

If there are two things in this world I love, they are writing and animals. (And caffeine makes three, but that is both a given and not at all relevant to this post.)

And so I come to share a market that is the best of both worlds!

A Quiet Shelter There Anthology, from Hadley Rille Books, will directly benefit an animal shelter, the Friends of Homeless Animals servicing the Washington D.C. metro.

Which means that not only do you have an opportunity to get your writing out there to the world at large, but you can help some very deserving cats and dogs in the process!

Really, what could be better?

(One of my WIPs, I think, would even suit perfectly for this, so I am both doubly excited and even more inspired to get working on the thing!)

Every one of you writers reading this ought to submit something. What’s a few thousand words to help save animals, after all? :)

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Congratulations and compassion.

I am not the first to say it, and I will be far from the last:

Congratulations are in order for Egypt today.

It can’t be said enough.

It can’t be said enough, because words are what got this going. It was words, communication, and the refusal to be stifled that helped set an entire country free.

That’s something we need to remember. The power of words, the power of people, that innate ownership of dignity and rights.

I’m not saying anything new, here, but that’s okay. It’s a mantra we keep in the back of our heads, like humanity’s most basic prayer, but words can lose their power if they’re not shared.

And so Egypt is learning to be loud, and the world is listening. The world is talking.

This is a fucking amazing thing.

And it serves as a reminder for something just as basic and true:

We have a responsibility to raise our voices for those who cannot do so for themselves. Repressed peoples, children, animals — all living creatures deserve to be treated as such.

Which brings me to my second point:

It’s not just the people who are suffering.

When humans wage revolts and wars, animals generally end up on the sidelines. Their masters may now be free, but that doesn’t mean anything to them — their own needs are even simpler.

Food. Water. Shelter. Love.

And these are all things we can help to give to them.

There’s no better way to celebrate rights and freedom than compassion, if you ask me.