If you fall, you will make many children unhappy.

The first thing we learn about Christmas, is that there is a rather large (possibly just big-boned though, if he’s anything like Obelix), generous old man who has nothing better to do at the end of a year than to give children toys (not that we’re objecting). Now, I’m not exactly sure if his ability to get into people’s houses could be considered a quirk or not, but let’s not think too much about that. Let us think instead, about St. Nick/Santa’s character. For example, he is a jolly old man who might or might not employ his house-entering talents (heaven forbid Santa be accused of breaking and entering) for burglary on all days other than Christmas Eve.

I am supporting this theory with the knowledge that when you’re a kid, and your house has no chimney and you start panicking about him missing your house, your parents tell you that he either magics himself through the mail slot, warps into the house, is given a spare key (or he could just be an expert at lock picking) or any variation of those stories. And for those who do have the chimney, has anyone ever wondered how exactly he manages to get inside those ultra tiny ones? I mean come on! He has to get inside, wiggle his way down to the fireplace (which he can only hope isn’t burning), then actually manage to climb out of the fireplace and hope no one is going to throw a Campbell’s Soup can at him.* Then, he has to squirm his way back up the chimney, pop out the top like a cork out of a bottle, dust all the soot off his clothes and out of his beard, and then jump in the sleigh so he can go to another house and do it again. How does he get this done in just one night?

Of course, the post wasn’t originally going to feature so much Christmasy content, it was going to be about character quirks. Here are a few examples of good quirks (in my opinion):

  1. King Bumi’s eye twitch and snorting laugh (he’s from Avatar: The Last Airbender)
  2. A person’s head moving slightly from side to side and their tongue darting out every time their brain-cage starts moving the other way (it would be even better if that tongue happened to be slitted)
  3. Sketching in midair to think things out, and tapping on an imaginary keyboard while talking

Those are just three examples of what I think would make brilliant character quirks. Honestly, those are cool ones. Another one I considered was a character compulsively going up to people and telling them “You look nice,” or “Your hair is lovely,” or “Your eyes are gorgeous!” or “Love your makeup” etc. However, depending on the character’s personality, this might just be annoying rather than flattering. ^^’

Another character quirk (in my opinion) would be using obscure words to convey how happy they are. And I think that’s about all I have to say on this subject, so there’s my two cents. :P Also, before this post is over, I was just wondering what sorts of quirks you readers find interesting in characters? Like what sorts of quirks you like in a character, what sorts you don’t like, what sorts border on superpowers…. whatever. To repeat what I said earlier, what sorts of quirks you readers find interesting in characters.

As You WishAs You Wish by Jackson Pearce

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How to describe “As You Wish”? In one word, it is stupendous!

In another… outstanding!

In yet another, it’s outrageous (but only because Viola actually got mad at Jinn in the movie theatre). Using more than one particular word though? Give me a minute to tap my chin and attempt to look thoughtful.

Now, when I found out about Jackson Pearce (I still forget how that happened exactly but I don’t particularly care) I had mislaid my library card. So seeing as I couldn’t read her books, I watched her online videos. Not only do they make me laugh but they also impart wisdom on occasion. So when I found “Sisters Red” in my local bookstore when I went there for my birthday this year, I got it and read it and loved it! Two Little Red Riding Hoods running around waving a “Kill the Werewolves!” banner (okay I exaggerate, just one did that). Who wouldn’t be interested in this literary jewel? Yesterday morning for Christmas I unwrapped “As You Wish” and immediately started screaming!

Why? Because I had been looking for it forever … (maybe not forever but since I found out about Jackson Pearce a short while ago) and read that it was about a genie and a girl falling in love and that most certainly sounds fantastic to me. For some unknown reason, I seemed to think it would be like “Sisters Red”. It’s a good thing time machines haven’t been invented yet because if they had been, I’d have gone back to give my past self a kick in the pants. With “Sisters Red” I was hooked pretty-much immediately but “As You Wish” started with me feeling curious about the first sentence. By the end of the first paragraph, I was laughing as was my Aunt, my Grandmother, my Mom, and basically anyone else I showed it to. I couldn’t really read during the visit but I did manage to get one hundred and eighty pages in before my sister and my Mom mainly finished with what they wanted to say to our Christmas company. In those first hundred and eighty pages, I found that not only is “As You Wish” drastically different (what with the whole absence of any one-eyed sisters in red capes running around trying to kill characters) but I loved it even more than “Sisters Red” which I had not thought humanly possible. Even though I have never been in a situation that Viola has been in, I connected with her quite well with most of my internal dialogue during the book being “oh you poor girl, come here, let me give you a hug then let’s go out for some hot chocolate with whipped cream”.

Of course, I did have my moments where I got upset with Viola but if I told you those parts this would be a review containing spoilers, so let’s switch to Jinn. Otherworldly Jinn. Handsome Jinn. Mouthwateringly gorgeous Jinn… before I go on with the titles and possibly embarrass myself if I haven’t already, I should probably take an axe to that particular branch of this review. Jinn was not (to me at least) your typical love interest character. I mean sure, the genies you usually read about are either lamp-bound, stuck in some other world where they’re all the same and they love annoying magicians (think Bartimaeus) or other such stereotypes. Bartimaeus did create what Disney didn’t with what I thought of genies but I think Jackson Pearce replaced Disney so Bartimaeus is now balancing against Jinn. Jinn is funny and impatient to head home but even better…he is a florist! Or rather, someone who works for the florist. The way his friendship with Viola and Lawrence developed and how his feelings for Viola grew, were very well written. I find myself wishing that I had just so happened to sidle into the book and knock Viola into a cupboard so I could get a kiss from Jinn or something while his eyes were conveniently closed so he wouldn’t notice the switch.

The plot, the execution of the plot, the character growth and the overall moral theme was coupled with my previously monumental respect and admiration for Jackson Pearce and it skyrocketed into one of the tallest buildings in my head after completing this book!

All I can say is that I fervently hope there will be a sequel and that seeing as I have loved these two books, I can’t wait to see what her next book, “The Damn Historical Novel” turns out to be like.

Oh Jackson, let’s do lunch!

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Chuck Norris does not use spell check. If he happens to misspell a word, Oxford will simply change the actual spelling of it.

Christmas morning is the day where spelling errors are seemingly acceptable because no one else is paying attention to what you are doing. Everyone is much too busy adoring/reading/touching or figuring out how long the presents are going to last. I will probably end up in the reading category if I get any of the books I have wished for on my list. Seeing as this will probably be posted automatically before I’m awake, since I can never seem to get to sleep immediately on Christmas Eve and it happens for me much later. I still don’t know what I’ve gotten exactly. However, yours truly is probably bouncing up and down in excitement at the thought that I’m finally getting to know just what the heck has been wrapped and taunting me until the big unveil.

Let us all take a moment to hope that we all got some form of candy (and for writers, let us hope your stockings got filled with chocolate and coffee to fuel your sudden writing fevers).

Seeing as you probably want to get to your family members so that you can enjoy Christmas, let us end the post here so that you may do so.

A very warm “Merry Christmas!” to all who celebrate it!

To those who celebrate other holidays, may your’s be just as joyous! I wish you all the very best of everything life has to offer.

When I wrote the post on how she terrorized my poached egg, I remembered a very short story I had written for school revolving around the Baked Alaska she made in the ancient times where cavemen roamed the earth and she had to contend with dragons in her oven if she wanted to actually bake anything. This time is also known as the birth of her blog, which some people seem to believe actually happened in the twenty-first century (how ludicrous). So I decided that it would be a perfect reblogging opportunity, and crawled through the dusty archives (a.k.a. simply put “baked alaska” in the search enginge) and finally found it under miles of dust. I probably won’t stop sneezing for a year, so you had better appreciate the effort. :P It’s also from the days where I mainly ran the blog Chaos of LCD & KenKaniff, which later became & Co.

While You Wait: A Tale of Baked Alaska This entry is a contribution from my sister (she has her own blog, co-run, called Chaos of LCD & Kenkaniff), who had to choose a natural disaster to write about for an assignment for class and she chose the one she knows best: me when experimenting in the kitchen. She wrote it around the time I was making baked Alaska. Hope you enjoy. A nat … Read More

via ♥ Z’s Cup of Tea

Oh my word! It's Santa's dissatisfied cat Mr. Fluffykins!

So we all know that the Christmas holiday is supposed to be a time of utter joy to all beings (excluding the cat, obviously) and yet for me it is a nightmare.

If you actually believed that little lie, you are now obligated to buy me a bar of chocolate! It must be milk chocolate or white chocolate and if it has a filling, everyone knows caramel is the only way to go.

To get on to the actual post though…

Happy Holidays to whatever readers there may be! I seem to be better at writing seasonal fanfictions than writing seasonal blogposts. Woe is me! Unless I want to turn into Mr. Fluffykins *cough*Grumpy-all-the-time*cough* So, ’tis that time of year again (no, not the much-worshiped birthday of myself) and presents are to be bought/made/chosen from the stash of items in my closet and wrapped to be given to other people. Which reminds me: I’ve got to find a button so I can complete a knitting project for one friend and do those completely fingerless gloves for another one … give me a minute to panic!

Now could also be the time to consider starting a story where the main character is having a lovely Christmas and it is completely ruined by a killer robot. Stop looking at me like that, I’m not in a bad mood!

Well, maybe I am in a bit of a mood but I swear it isn’t a bad one! Also, despite the trip to Disneyland having been in part of October and November, I seem to have only been pushed into gear about seriously sitting down and writing a post about the experience now that my sister has done one. Oh no, make that two, though the second one only counts as a half-post seeing as it’s about what food we ate (and she totally forgot that tough-to-chew sausage). Note to Zoe: You are SUCH a foodie. This is said with great affection of course ;)

Sorry but I must go write the post/be moody/be thoughtful/mope about the impossibility of getting any more chocolate peppermint milk this evening/watch the music video for Need You Tonight by INXS (back when they had Michael Hutchence, who is so much better than the new guy in my humble opinion).

Talk to you (all?) soon! :D And I need to get back to checking YA Highway daily. I’m missing all the RTW posts. *sigh*

iTunes Gift Cards

It would probably be… breaking into a candy store and eating as much as I wanted (taking a lot for later), or knocking a row of glass things off a display. Nothing really drastic, seeing as I'd make sure no one got hurt. Of course, another possibility is stealing as many fifty dollar iTunes cards as I can grab. :P

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Just now, guess what? I was enjoying a poached egg with toast that my sister had made (she only made the egg, she couldn’t have made the wheat bread) with a bit of tomato (it would have been half if I’d had my way). Suddenly, guess what I hear? “OOOOHITLOOKSDELICIOUSOOZINGOUT! Sloooowly…” Okay I exaggerated with how she said it, but she DID say those words. We all know Zoe doesn’t overreact over little things like that (“OOOOH MACRO!”) I proceeded to give her a calm look (a.k.a. the what-the-hell-is-up-with-you? look). Then I leaned away from her slowly. She had been looking at my poached egg ever since I sat down to eat it, and I’d just pierced the yolk because she had just said “but EVERYBODY soaks up the bread with the yolk!” and I had said “Well maybe I’m not everybody.” Apparently, I am though, seeing as I did what she said.

And just as she started to seemingly calm down, she suddenly started up again. “But look at it! It’s oozing out so slowly it’s perfect! And then how it congeals upon touching the bread as it cools.” I gave her another calm look and then told her she was freaking me out and reminding me too much of the crazy automaton Patterson in Like Clockwork by Bonnie Dee (sorry if you haven’t read it and you have no idea how Patterson is crazy). From there, she suddenly gets up and I’m thinking “oh joy, I’ll be able to eat my poached egg on toast with tomato in peace!” and then it abruptly changed from such happy thoughts to “oh no, she’s getting out the camera, quick! HIDE THE MEAL!” Unfortunately, I was too late, and she reached me before I could make a decision between high tailing it from the room to scarfing it down quickly. She’s getting to be a good food papparazo, I can’t get away before she arrives with the flash on (Z inserts here that flash is never used in foodography and she doesn’t advocate it). So for the next few seconds, I try to photo bomb the pictures with my index finger to try and show how displeased I am with this (giggling the whole time) and she either has the nerve to push my hand away or tell me to take my other hand out of the picture, which is still holding onto the fork. Or to reposition the camera. By the time she was done, my egg was colder than it had been, and I told her she had to make me another to compensate. This was more of a demand than a request, seeing as I gave her another look, this one not being so calm (it was a get-on-it-NOW-or-I-will-find-a-way-to-do-SOMETHING-to-your-blog).

Z says: How about I teach you to poach your own eggs?

I say: No conversations inside a post that aren’t being recorded from the recent past, and this is not a foodie blog.

As an added note, she also told me the “perfect” temperature for cooking eggs when she was poaching mine, to which I replied that I have absolutely no interest in the perfect temperature, as long as the bloody thing is cooked!

P.S. The photo will probably end up in her Flickr photo stream. And I’ll probably add it just to make a comment.