Thursday, November 24, 2011

Canada at its Most Beautiful

Did you know that Canada is the most beautiful country in the world? It really is. When I was a teenager, my dad used to watch X-Files and I used to turn up my nose haughtily – he always spoiled the ending. It was filmed in B.C. If you don’t believe me that Canada is the most beautiful country – watch X-Files. It’ll turn you into a believer. They film the Pacific Ocean through the eyes of the Beautiful British Columbian coast. Then there’s the Rocky Mountains, the Foot hills, Vancouver’s China Town, the forests – everything. Except that it isn’t just X-Files. Half the movies I watch have a big thank-you to the government of whatever Canadian province for their cooperation. Do they even make movies in the States anymore?

The thing is - Canada is cold. From November to April Canada is pretty much uninhabitable. American relatives come up here and they freeze their little bums because frankly – you’ve never felt anything like this before. Unless you are from Alaska and even then – the prairies are a different matter than the coast. The wind swoops down off the mountains. It could take the skin off your bones. Personally, I’ve lived here all my life and there is no sensation I can recall with more vividness then when that biting west wind scrapes and blows snowflakes across my cheeks in the darkness – I open my eyes and everything looks like snowflake obsidian – I feel completely alive. That first breath in is like love – like death – like that indescribable moment when you first meet yourself.

Somehow, when the temperature drops, things become clearer. You’re driving down a narrow highway leading to nowhere and the last sign you saw said, “Wilderness crossing next 97 kilometers’. But the sky is lit up like Iris’ cloak because the northern lights are so bright. The Milky Way looks eternal and the ice floating in the North Saskatchewan River looks like enormous moonstones floating downstream.

However, I can understand those American kids in my own backwards way. I go down to visit the mid-western States in summer and I feel like I’m going to lose my frickin’ mind it’s so hot. I’m standing there and I notice I’m sweating. I never sweat. It gets hot here in summer, but I don’t have A/C in my house (nor do I need it). I even remember the first time I had sweat on my back. It was 18 and I was carrying a backpack. I was so repulsed; I had to go take a shower.

I feel this way because I'm accustomed to cold weather. Winter is coming here and the snow is already on the ground. I should feel saddened that summer is over and dark days are ahead. Instead, I feel a part of myself come alive again. Like I said – it’s like love. It’s Canada.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pink as Pinkie Pie Pony

It doesn’t matter what I watch – I always try to take a second to see what I think of the plot structure, the characters and the general premise of a story. I’m also not proud. I’ll give the same consideration to a kids’ cartoons as a Korean drama as classical literature. I would like to take this opportunity to say that the new My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is extremely entertaining.

One of the other things I like to do when I watch something with equal plot sharing among characters is a habit left over from my childhood. I like to try to figure out which of the characters I am most like. It comes from years of playing pretend with the other little girls who lived on my block. For your information I’m Sailor Mars and Belle (from Beauty and the Beast), but that was before my personality came into play. I couldn’t rest until I figured out which house I belonged to in Harry Potter. I’m a Slytherin. So, for entertainment, and because I was strapped to the couch by a sad toddler, I figured out which pony I would be. Here are my choices:

Twilight Sparkle - is a total Ravenclaw. I don’t know how else to describe her since she’s a scholar who is studying magic.

Rarity – is a fashion designer who loves jewels and has pretty hair. Now, those of you who know me know that I have a serious gem fetish. So, this was a close one. She’s probably a Slytherin, too.

Fluttershy – is a Hufflepuff. Actually, she’s a winged pony who’s afraid to fly. She likes to take care of animals.

Rainbow Dash – she’s a Gryffindor. She’s one those athletic types. I’ve seen those before. I am even friends with a few of them. They like to comment on my Tyrannosaurus Rex arms and have a good giggle. I can scarcely deny them. Typing doesn’t gain anyone muscle mass.

Apple Jack – she’s a Hufflepuff … probably. Might be a close call with Gryffindor (BTW Word has an autocorrect to make sure you spell Gryffindor correctly … teehee). Anyhoo – she’s an apple farmer with a Texan accent. She’s too cute.

Pinkie Pie – she’s got ADD. I’m not saying I have ADD, but I am saying that after a good long think – I decided she was my gal. She was raised on a rock farm – where they harvested rocks. If you went to my home town – you’d understand the similarity. Pinkie’s purpose in life is to try to make other people feel happy by inviting them to parties and trying to make them laugh in an effort to contrast her dull beginnings. She’s also crazy. It’s so adorable.

**And as a side note if I’m not mistaken – there’s an episode where they show her throwing up into a bucket. I love that show.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Apple Tree Isn't an Orchard

I have a thirty seven year-old apple tree on my property. When I was viewing the house, I looked into the backyard and beheld this beautiful tree with pretty little green apples sticking out like gooseberries and I thought, ‘Doesn’t that look like one of the trees in the garden of Eden?’ Little did I realize that it was the tree that made everybody die.

The previous owners let the apples fall on the ground, so they got wormy. That Fall I had to pick up thousands of these little, tiny, miniscule, puny, midget apples off the ground and I couldn’t even use them for anything! Then, even though I had originally fallen in love with the shape of this tree, I got out the pruning hooks and hacked this tree to, what I felt was, bits. I had never pruned a tree before, but I took off every branch I thought it could spare.

I felt cruel. It wasn’t the tree’s fault it was wormy … really wormy.

This spring, I was doing dishes and looked out my kitchen window to see my apple tree as white a tree from heaven. The panic rose up in my throat. No. NO! NONONONONONONONONO! I ran outside in a feverish haze. NOOOO! I had other plans that day, but I had put everything on hold to hack those evil branches off before they became fruit that was rotten before it hit the ground. I must have looked like a monster. Pretty white apple blossoms and I was chopping them off by the sleeve.

It’s really disheartening to have to cut almost all the branches off a tree only to know that you’ll have to do it year in and year out for the rest of its life. My neighbor keeps offering me his chain saw to take the whole thing down in one blow. Can you see me with a chain saw? Although everyone knows how much I like power drills. Come on – honk if you liked the power drills in my book Rose Red.

Anyway, in the end, even though I covered my grass with decapitated tree limbs – I came out the victor. Total victory. Seriously, because I was ruthless with the pruning shears, the tree had fewer apples on it. This meant that the apples were bigger. Good. And then, when I noticed I had a little friend who liked to eat them off the ground, I resolved to pick all of them and toss them in the trash. With a ladder, I got the whole thing done in one hour. Very good.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Alias

Lately, as I’ve worked to promote my novel, I have gone through hundreds of aliases searching out my fans, and in the process I started having opinions on aliases. Finally, I have come to one conclusion: if your name could be printed on the hind end of a My Little Pony – you’re good to go.

You might think I’m kidding, but just look at my name – Sapphirefly. It’s not that different from the new pony Fluttershy’s name … okay it’s pretty different. Anyway, I’d like to pull up some of my favourite fan names and show you what cool ponies they’d make.

DreamFlight – Doesn’t that totally sound like Star Catcher? I see a pony with a light blue coat, a white and yellow mane. She’d have wings and her cutie mark (the insignia on her flank) would be a white cloud with a couple shining feathers sticking out for wings. Personality: mellow.

Ember-Angel – This would be another winged one. She’d have a light orange body with a yellow and scarlet mane (easy on the scarlet). She’d have a golden bow and arrow on her bottom. Personality: matchmaker.

Sherrabelle – This gal would be a unicorn with a white coat and a gold mane with white and green highlights. Her cutie mark would be an emerald vine with yellow bells growing out of it that goes all the way down to her hoofs. I know you don’t see that kind of a bum patch on any of the My Little Ponies on TV or in stores, but if you go on deviantart.com and search for rogue My Little Ponies – they do that sort of thing all the time. Truly, I didn’t even think My Little Ponies were that cool until I saw what some of those crazy gals do once they strip the ponies of all their paint. Personality – like Share Bear.

Starlight Rose – Cream coloured coat, two-tone red mane and tail, blue eyes and blue hoofs. Her cutie mark would be a red rose crossing a blue rose and she could have some stars glittering around the outskirts to make it sparkle. No horn and no wings. Personality: like a whip.

Ethereal Corrosion – And you thought I was going to do this without getting all goth on you? Right. The gothic ones are the best part. What do you think I’m admiring over there on deviantart? Anyway, the creepy pony. As far as I’m concerned they could all be creepy ponies and I’d still smile and think, ‘It’s so great that they make shows like Ruby Gloom.” So, this pony would have a navy coat and her white hair would always fall over one eye. No horn and no wings. Her mark would be a spider web with diamonds in it and she would sing.

Well, that was completely ridiculous and totally fun. Thanks FANS!