Book Reviews, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Spotlight Saturday, The Blind Reviewer, Writing

Inspiration and Copyright Infringement – How Fine Is The Line?

Should I be getting myself one of those copyright notices too? Hmmmmm. Interesting discussion to be had here.

Linda G. Hill

There are, arguably, seven basic plots. I won’t list them here, but you can find them if you click this link: The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories by Christopher Booker. All seven can be said to result from real life inspiration. While fiction can take these inspirations to incredible heights, the ideas begin from somewhere.

So we have inspiration, yes?

It was brought to my attention this morning that there has been a lawsuit taken up by Sherrilyn Kenyon, bestselling author of the Dark-Hunter paranormal romance series, accusing Cassandra Clare, bestselling author of Mortal Instruments and the Shadowhunter series, of copyright infringement. (Read the article here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/feb/10/sherrilyn-kenyon-sues-cassandra-clare-for-wilfully-copying-her-novels )

In this particular case, it seems to me a clear case of copying: if you read the exhibit (click here) given in the lawsuit, the infinite monkey theorem comes to mind as the only other possible explanation, particularly when…

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Blogging, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Interviews, Memoir and Reflections, Spotlight Sunday, TGIF, The Insightful Wanderer, Travel

Steps and Strides, #SingleStrides #LoIsInDaBl

In honour of Valentine’s Day being only two days from now, a very special edition of

BLOG LOVE,

with a writer, adventurerer, and blogger I’ve interviewed here once before.

I just thought there is no better place than today’s

#FridayBlogLove

to re-introduce:

SINGLE STRIDES

If you are looking for travel, she’s got it. If you’re looking for reflections on love, heartbreak, and starting over again – it’s all there, in one place.

WHY THE BEST THING YOU CAN BE IN LIFE IS DREADFULLY AFRAID

Sonya writes things that reach the heart of the matter. Her words often touch a nerve in me that makes me sit up and take notice of the world around me, of my own self, to become more aware of my surroundings.

She helped me through a hard time. I found her blog at the exact right moment. She writes about how to learn to love yourself, as well as be prepared when other kinds of love come along, and on this Valentine’s Day weekend I wanted to showcase the kind of love of oneself this fabulous writer is advocating.

Also, you can check out my earlier interview with her from last year:

SPOTLIGHT SUNDAY: SINGLE STRIDES

One Step at a Time – Jordin Sparks

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Hotel Nostalgia At The Falls, #TBT #LoIsInDaBl

NIAGARA FALLS AT NIGHT

Just take a listen to that roar!

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I live only a few hours from

Visit Niagara

and I love it. I could write and write and write about why I love it so.

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I went to Niagara Falls, Canada, all the time when I was growing up, with family and friends.

I’ve been there on a rainy day in the green of spring, on a blisteringly hot day of summer, during a crisp and beautiful weekend during autumn, and the blustery cold of winter too. In any season in Canada I would happily return to where my heart lies.

It has been called the Honeymoon Capital. I spent a Valentine’s weekend of my own, there in February that had its own memorable charm.

I’ve ticked off items from my bucket list more than once and I plan to tick off many more yet still.

Feel the Vibrations – Touching Landscapes

Some complain of how commercial and touristy its become, but I don’t let that bother me. Of course it is a wonder to behold and people from all around the world flock to see it. I can’t and don’t blame them for that.

Just in my last visit there I met visitors from China and Zimbabwe alone, but the countries represented standing at that railing are numerous and varied.

I am one awfully proud Canadian who, once I place my hand on that rail and my feet on the rock ledge overlooking Niagara, I never want to leave.

Niagara on the Lake – if you love wine, you will love the atmosphere of peace and tranquility in that town.

I recommend a nighttime ride on the big ferris wheel that gives you the best views of the lights on Niagara Falls waters.

Niagara Sky Wheel

There is no place like it in the world. Go and go soon. Not to be missed.

As much as I am obsessed with travel, have places like Ireland where I’ve been and love or Hawaii where I love to dream of visiting, Niagara Falls will always be my spot. I can honestly say I “LOVE” Niagara Falls and always will.

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/us-officials-plan-to-temporarily-turn-off-niagara-falls/62781

For this week –

#LoIsInDaBl for 11Feb16 ~ Buildings we love

– I couldn’t think of any building I love more than this place that could never be contained inside walls, but in Niagara Falls there is one building I love so very much.

http://cairncroft.com/

It’s not the fanciest hotel in Niagara Falls or anywhere else for that matter. It’s not the most luxurious of accommodations for a vacation, but it’s where I am at my happiest.

It should be called Hotel Nostalgia. It has a grouping of rooms, two levels of them, all facing out into a tropical indoor courtyard. There is soft music playing all the time. The pool is warm and the sky lights let in all kinds of light from above and outside.

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This was the newest generation of my family, making memories of this very special place.

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I was so excited to get to take my niece and nephews there. My whole family spent the weekend there together, and something I thought was gone forever, we all got to enjoy together one more time.

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Happy Birthday To Me: Cupcakes and Violins, #WordlessWednesday #LoIsInDaBl

This,

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY,

is in honour of February birthdays: my oma (1921-2010), my brother, myself, and brother-in-law next week.

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Not to mention numerous other cousins, aunts, uncles, and family members.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

This is the year I learn to play the violin. This song sounds like a good place to start.

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Beyond the Reach, #MindfulMonday #LoIsInDaBl

“You’re twenty…something years old. It’s time to get over birthdays.”

–Don Draper, Mad Men

Oh really Don? I will be thirty-two.

:-)

On what was practically my Birthday Eve I could not sleep. I was finding it hard to turn off my brain long enough to drift off. I went from watching Friends, to Stephen Fry Live: More Fool Me, to Mad Men. I had so many thoughts swirling around in my head, so much inspiration in the words and lessons and themes, and I wanted to say everything, right then and there, but my body and also my mind craved rest and a few hours of reprieve from the onslaught.

I wondered if all the modern conveniences of things like NetFlix actually make it worse for insomniacs like myself. As much as I enjoyed all three of these distractions, I kept thinking about what it means to grow ever older with each passing year, with all the modern connections and conveniences at our collective fingertips.

Don’t know if you are familiar with Mad Men, but Don and Peggy are in the office, after hours, mostly alone. In my opinion, upon re-watching this particular episode, it seems to me to be the most pivotal turning point of their relationship, both professional and personal. It’s brilliant really, in all of its stripped-down rawness.

It’s easy to watch a show about what life was like in the 60s, to look at my own life fifty years later.

The whole episode is based, like many of them are, around an actual true historical event that took place, in this case being some all important boxing match, not unlike Super Bowl 50 of 2016 that just took place.

And then, as I first listened to the NetFlix special, the one-man show put on by the brilliant Stephen Fry, for the 2014 release of his memoir, I thought still more about time, reflection,

and MINDFULNESS.

Fry is a brilliant brilliant man. He is full of stories of his eventful life. Some made me laugh and some made me think. I did not grow up in Britain and thus I had no clue about his fame with another well-known and talented Brit, in the 80s and 90s, as I was a Canadian child who did not see British television programming all that often.

My first intro to one half of this dynamic duo was Hugh Laurie in his role in the early 2000s, as the perpetually grouchy and complicated Dr. Gregory House.

Then I learned of my favourite Harry Potter audio books being narrated, over in the UK, by someone named Stephen Fry.

Fry has stories to tell, about his long-time friendship and career with Hugh, one memorable New Year’s Day tea with Prince Charles (Charlie) and Princess Diana, and his childhood and discovery of the work of Oscar Wilde.

His time working on The Hobbit movies in New Zealand with Peter Jackson and his connection to Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling make him someone of great interest to me already, but also because his knowledge of literature and his gift for linguistics and storytelling make him a man I am to be in awe of.

He begins his one-man show by going through a list of countries that showed him on screens in their cinemas, offering up some little anecdote or story of each country as he goes along. He speaks with sagacity of how the world is connected today, in ways both he and Wilde never could have imagined, and how we’re all so different yet the same all at once. I can’t help but to love him for his creativity and his genius. I want to listen to his words of wisdom and know I, too, will be alright.

I want to not let each passing birthday make me bitter or hard. I want to take Don Draper’s words and put them in the proper perspective, although the episode I reference here includes moments of pure disgustingness, with a business/personal rival attempting to defecate on his desk and even after Don proceeds to vomit horribly, from all the liquor he consumes throughout the show. These moments juxtapose nicely with those of deep, honest truth and sadness between the characters.

Don tells Peggy: “No use crying over fish in the sea.”

At one point Peggy (on turning twenty-six) is told by a colleague’s wife that “twenty-six is still “very” young), as the wife is referring to Peggy’s still good chances that she can find a man, settle down, and have a baby, but is that what Peggy wants?

It made me think about the phrase, most common for women of multiple generations now: having it all.

I don’t have it all. You might even say I don’t have any of it (husband/children/career) at this time. Not by a long shot. What are we supposed to want, at what age, and how do we learn to live with what we may never get?

Men don’t have to deal with this in the same way as women have and continue to have to. I don’t have to face some of the things Fry has had to face, but I feel I understand what it’s like to feel different in some way. I hope to use language and literature to help me in some of the same ways Fry has used it during his lifetime, to help make sense of the biggest parts of life, things I can hardly fathom otherwise.

To believe in something bigger than ourselves is to be mindful.

And thus I present the App I have found, that I love, that helps me stay grateful and mindful, that I have been using to keep track of songs and lyrics for Love Is In Da Blog and for my own love of music.

“Shazam!”

It allows you to take a couple seconds of a recording of any song you come across in your daily wanderings and it will tell you exactly who is singing/performing. Next it keeps a record of any of these songs, which has allowed me to return to so much music I love, anytime I want. It’s a right handy little thing.

Try Everything – Shakira

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Fetching, Love Starved, and Dangerous #SongLyrics #LyricSunday #LoIsInDaBl

“You cannot quit me so quickly.”

“The space between…the wicked lies we tell, and hope to keep…safe from the pain.”

“But will I hold you again?”

“These fickle, fuddled words confuse me…like will it rain today?”

Okay, well I suppose you get Dave’s picture. Talk of “twisted games” and the rest…well, check it out for yourself, if you aren’t yet familiar with this song. His word play is excellent in it.

Sunday and it’s time for my favourite thing:

#LoIsInDaBl ~7Feb16 ~ Lyric Sunday

I love love love

LYRICS.

It’s a small world because she writes about Five For Fighting,

just whom I spoke about in my post from yesterday.

Today though, I want to speak specifically about pop songs. You know them. They’re catchy, snappy, and they get stuck in your head. That’s what they are meant to do.

But are they good for us? Or do they encourage unhealthy expectations about love?

What’s the use of a love song, a pop tune, just like a mushy romantic movie, if not to make us all think our love lives should look similar? That our relationships should either soar just as high or crash and burn just as superbly?

As you can probably tell, I have thought a lot about this over the last fifteen years or so.

I’ve always loved song lyrics, but I’m not a kid anymore. I try to find the wisdom hidden in between those lines, as a young woman who was figuring out love and now, as a slightly older one, still figuring.

Taylor Swift comes to mind, and she has ever since I first heard her earliest offering that went from the country music scene, crossing over to the pop world, where I am more often to be found.

Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”

It was a Romeo and Julietesque tale, not very modern, mature, or realistic. She was just a kid when it came out and then we all watched her grow and go through many relationships, in the spotlight and through her lyrics.

And then there came the one about breaking up, making up, and breaking up again.

Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

“LIKE EVER!”

It all sounds like a bit of a joke, the language is that of a young person who doesn’t know what they want.

Games. False hope.

Does this sort of thing make most girls think there’s still hope, does it encourage a belief that if they just believe, then maybe just maybe? That when there’s drama, longing, and never quite stopping means it’s right or real or meant to last forever?

Does moving on become more challenging with these pop stars as models for love and relationships, when they themselves are just figuring things out as they go along too?

I ask all this about lyrics and I’m not even able to see the visual imagery in the music videos, all the stuff that young girls are exposed to, over and over again in the media.

“Life’s a game. Wanna play?”

Sounds like a line from Child’s Play, that creepy movie about the evil doll.

Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”

Lots of people play games, some more than others. Talk of being young and reckless. We’re all reckless at one time, but being reckless with someone else’s feelings is just plain mean. We’ve all got to grow up sometime.

“Boys only want love if it’s torture. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

I guess I felt this, wishing I’d been warned beforehand, but only during more of my lost and angry moments.

Because I know drama is often a part of people’s lives, in love, but it’s not just one gender or the other.

“Cause you know I love the players, and you love the game.”

“Rose garden filled with thorns,” love the imagery Swift.

“So it’s gonna be forever, or it’s gonna go down in flames. You can tell me when it’s over, if the high was worth the pain.”

Was it all worth it in the end?

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Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Spotlight Saturday

The Preludes to Assaults

Tide is rising.

Jane Eaton Hamilton

Feel free to share.

#gomeshi #ibelievelucy #IStandWithLucy #BillCosby #hairextensions #truthmatters #rapeculture #cndjustice

Jian Gomeshi, you [redacted]. I don’t know you very well, but I know this: one night in early 2004, after I’d been awarded a writing prize in Ottawa, you followed me to a side room annexed to the main hall, where I’d gone to get away from the crowds, and while my (then) wife was in the bathroom or off getting another drink, I’m not sure, you put your hand on me. That hand. One of the very hands that is being discussed in court this week. You closed the distance between us and you massaged my shoulder/neck while talking to me about how I needed to relieve the stress of my big win. Eventually my (then) wife returned, you dropped your hand (that hand), and we chatted politely while you bashed the Rockies, BC and, in particular…

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