Conflict in Books

I hear often enough that without conflict, there is no story. That a story without conflict is just a boring series of events. But when I read, I prefer either a short conflict, something that I’ll read the resolution to before I have to set the book aside to go back to life, or light conflict, that you know the character can make it through. I’m guessing this puts me in the minority.

But here’s the thing — reading is my escape. There’s plenty of conflict in movies, the news, and my own life to last me ten lifetimes. To escape from that, I want something different. Let me say, I’m specifically referring to fiction here. Obviously, I don’t expect non-fiction to lack conflict or to be anything other than truth.

I appreciate a book where it’s obvious from page one that there will be a happy ending. It means I can just lose myself in a stable, happy story. I can also work with a story with conflict that gives you frequent highs to get you through the lows.

But when the main character, or any character you can become emotionally invested in, is hit by problem after problem, it’s depressing. Where is the escape in that? What’s the point in a book that makes you feel worse by the time you finish it than you did when you started it?

What’re your thoughts on conflict in books? Like it? Love it? Let me know.

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Time Travel

I came across a fun writing prompt the other day. The question posed was: If you could travel back to any era, would you and which one?

My immediate thought was, “Yes, of course,” but as I thought about it, I realized there were some qualifiers.

  1. Can I come back?
  2. How long would I have to stay?
  3. Would the visit be observation only, or could I interact with the people?
  4. How well would I be prepared for the era I visited?
  5. Can I visit more than one era?
  6. What social position would I hold during my visit?
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Is Comedy “Getting Hard”?

On Saturday, I went to a comedy show. I don’t intend to mention any names in this post, as that’s not the point of this post.

I found it interesting that every performer, the openers and headliner alike, spoke some form of “comedy’s getting hard because people are more sensitive” near the beginning of their act.

Of the openers, two were received very well, and one received a lukewarm response. Thinking about the show later, I realized something crucial.

Let me pause for a moment to say I’m well aware I’m no comedian. I can’t refute comedians’ assessment that comedy is getting harder. What I can offer, however, is an outsider’s perspective of the situation.

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Necronyms

This post is a cross between genealogy research and random thoughts. As I’ve been delving back into my genealogy research, I’ve come across an increasing amount of uses of necronyms.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a necronym is a reference to, or name of, a person who has died. In this case, I’m referring to naming a child after a dead sibling. Thinking in terms of modern-day expectations, necronyms seem a little insensitive, almost like parents are simply replacing their child. However, I found reference in one of the articles I read to naming conventions and traditions. For example, there were traditions that dictated parents name their eldest son after his paternal grandfather. So if that son were to die, the next son born would be given the same name. 

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What House Are You In?

Way back when Pottermore first launched, I took advantage of the early registration and eagerly anticipated my Sorting. Back then, if I recall correctly, the quiz was long and in depth.

Being younger, sillier, and considerably less comfortable with who I am, I was disappointed to find myself in Ravenclaw. Why, I don’t know. It was certainly the best fit for me at the time. But I wanted to be in Gryffindor; house of Hermione, Minerva, and Lily.

Some years later, when the newest iteration of Pottermore launched, I got re-sorted. Why not, right? Imagine my surprise when this time I turned out to be a Slytherin. I’d expected to be a Ravenclaw again, but Slytherin does make sense.

Today, I consider myself a Slytherclaw. I have more Slytherin gear as it tends to be easier to find, but I do have Ravenclaw pajama pants.

My question to you is, if you’ve sorted yourself more than once and gotten different results, which do you go with? What house do you consider yourself to be part of? Let me know in the comments.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what brought this to mind, my office is having a jersey day, and I thought it would be funny to wear a Quidditch jersey. Of course, then the question is, which house should I represent?

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Ralph Breaks the Internet

I got to see Ralph Breaks the Internet (RBtI) on Sunday. It was a great movie, totally living up to the expectations generated by the first one.

Spoiler-Free Zone

While watching it, I couldn’t help but notice how much social commentary there was within it. I don’t know if I’ve somehow missed it in previous movies, or if it’s just more prominent in RBtI. From Yesss’s words on the internet comment sections, to the way people are represented via their avatars, there are a bunch of eye-opening moments that make you stop and think for a second.

The adult jokes and the self-deprecating humor were other welcome additions that helped make RBtI feel less like a kid’s movie and more like a movie for anyone. I’m really looking forward to watching this one again later.

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Bohemian Rhapsody

I finally got to see Bohemian Rhapsody on Thanksgiving. I loved it. It was a fabulous movie.

I’m not exactly a Queen “fan”. There’s plenty of their music I’ve never heard (proven to me by several songs played during the movie). But I enjoy the music of their I’ve heard, and I’ve watched several Queen/Freddie Mercury documentaries. From those, I know that Bohemian Rhapsody took some artistic license with history, but I suppose that’s to be expected.

However, in my opinion, the movie did a great job of portraying the different sides and evolution of Freddie’s character.

The best part of Bohemian Rhapsody is undoubtedly the Live Aid performance. I had chills throughout the scene. My arm hair was quite literally standing on end the entire time.

My feelings toward the movie may be unique or fairly normal, but I left the theater feeling inspired. I wanted to follow “movie Freddie’s” example of wearing what I like, rather than what I “should”. I wanted to pursue my ambitions, follow my passions, and just be myself, regardless of society’s feelings and expectations.

Here’s hoping that inspiration will last and help me on my journey to become my best, most unadulterated, self.

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Crimes of Grindelwald

I saw Crimes of Grindelwald (CoG) this past Sunday. It was an interesting movie. I liked it enough that I couldn’t find a good place to duck out to the bathroom. TMI, I know, but it makes my point. That said, buckle in, grab a snack, because this one’s going to be long.

Spoiler-Free Zone

I left the theater in shock (for lack of a better word) over some of what was revealed. Hence the delay in this post. I kept turning over everything the movie had thrown at me, and I was left with way more questions than answers.

But now, I’ve processed the movie as much as I can for the moment. There’s a lot I won’t understand or know until future installments, but that’s OK. After all, this is only part 2 of 5. But JK has a lot of explaining to do.

There were far less “fantastic beasts” in this one, which was a bit sad for me, but the Kelpie was absolutely gorgeous, the Zouwu was adorable, and the baby Nifflers were too cute for words and didn’t get enough screen time.

I hope at some point we’ll get the whole story behind the Leta Lestrange/Scamander Brothers relationship, as there’s clearly some major backstory there.

That’s just about everything I have to say that’s spoiler free. If you aren’t OK with spoilers, it’s time for you to stop reading. If, however, you’re OK with them, or have already seen CoG, then click the button below to read the rest of this.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Romances

As I play through Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I’ve got to give Ubisoft kudos for the opportunity to have several types of romantic relationships.

For those who aren’t familiar with Odyssey, you can play as either of brother/sister duo Alexios and Kassandra. While playing, you have the opportunity to romance men and women, regardless of who you choose to play as. You also have the option to, ahem, have some fun *wink wink* with more than one person at a time.

I’ve got to knock off a couple “cool points”, though, because these romantic interludes tend to be “fade-to-black” moments. Not every one fades to black. Sometimes you get a time lapse video of what’s happening during your fun. But the general idea is the same.

Granted, I haven’t progressed very far in the game, so perhaps some of the romances I have yet to come across give you more than just playful banter.

After all, if we can slaughter people and watch their blood splatter your chosen character and the land, there’s no reason not to include a bit of sexy time, even if only a bit of a makeout session.

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Strange Happenings

Something odd happened the other day. A bit after publishing my Troubles with Torrid post and sharing it to Instagram, I got a notification that Torrid had liked one of my posts. I had a momentary “Bet that was a mistake” thought, then promptly forgot it and went about my day.

Something called it to mind again the next day, so I checked to see if Torrid hand unliked my post yet.

Sure enough, no sign of Torrid liking the post. However, I checked if the notification was still in my “heart” section because it would make for an interesting blog post.

Screenshots showing Torrid's verified Instagram account liked my photo

Well, the notification was still there, but the post that Torrid liked was a vacation photo from September 24. Whoever liked the post would have had to scroll back 37 rows to find it.

It’s cool that Torrid liked one of my photos, but it’s not Torrid related, it’s not fashion related, it isn’t even plus-size or body positivity related.

So, if anyone has any suggestions as to why Torrid would randomly like one of my semi-old photos on the day after I shared my post complaining about them, please let me know. I can’t come up with a plausible reason.

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