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Hiya guys!  LAST WEEK OF TSRC STARTS TODAY!  We’re at the finish line so keep reading those books and logging those pages!  Our last two missions are Random Word Poetry and Deciphering Canadian English so pop into your local branch and give ’em a try!  You got this!

And don’t forget to sign up for the party, happening a week today at the Bathurst-Clark branch!  After all your hard work this summer you deserve some partying!  And room escaping!

And for one more book list, how about we keep it short and sweet… with a list of short stories.  See what I did there?  Enjoy!

Week of Geek: Some Bit-Part and Lesser-Known Characters

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Hiya Geeklings!  How’re the last weeks of summer going?  Just another couple of weeks for the TSRC.  Keep logging in and don’t forget to sign up for the End of Summer party on the 23rd.

So here’s something interesting to discuss amongst your fandom circles.  Who do you find yourself drawn to more often than not in a movie, book, TV show, etc.?  Is it the protagonist, the main character, the one getting all the focus and drama?  OR is it one of the minor characters, the bit-part players, the ones who tend to hover in the background?

You’d be surprised how often fans can find themselves more focused on a side character.  Despite the creators best efforts to put someone, or a group of people, front and center sometimes someone else will break through for some or a lot of fans.  It can be unexpected, and therefore kind of magical.  And it’s not a new thing.  One really early example is the Fonz pretty much taking over Happy Days even though it was supposed to focus on Richie Cunningham (it was a show from the 70s about teens in the 50s, look it up).  And if those characters get killed off… you may not be all that inclined to keep watching or reading if your favorite character is gone, ammirite?  That’s why you see so many tshirts saying “If Daryl dies, we riot.”

So to get the conversation rolling here’s a few examples of side or lesser known characters I’ve enjoyed…

Reading about Gambit was what got me thinking about this in the first place.  The dude’s super facinating.  A proud Cajun, a thief, a mutant, an orphan, a former Horseman of the Apocalypse, member of many teams, uses playing cards as weapons, massive charmer.  There’s a lot to like there.  Apparently Fox studios is STILL thinking of giving him a solo film, but we’ve yet to see it come to fruition.  One of the biggest problems I had with X-Men Origins: Wolverine (and there were many) was Gambit’s portrayal.  The Cajun accent wasn’t nearly strong enough, amongst other things.

Keeping to Marvel, there’s Agent Coulson, the background character that proved so popular he helped connect the early entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and eventually got his own show and started appearing in the comics.

And gotta give a shout out to Quicksilver.  The Quicksilver in Marvel comics is pretty minor as well, but the version I’m thinking of is from X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse (sorry Quicksilver of Avengers: Age of Ultron).  Portrayed by Evan Peters (who’s a regular on American Horror Story) this version of Quicksilver is fast, funny, quirky and cool and has major scene-stealing moments in both films (set to music).

Switching gears to DC, one of my very favorite villains (though he would call himself a hero) is Sinestro.   He’s been around for a while as a major foil in the Green Lantern universe and is still one of the most complex and interesting characters in DC, in my humble opinion.  And I’m not the only one who thinks so because he ended up getting his own series.

And can’t forget to mention Harley Quinn, the one-off background character in Batman: The Animated Series who became so popular she’s had several comic series and appeared in a movie.  Go Harley!

Though I could talk about this all day, here’s one more; General Hux from The Force Awakens.  Seriously, what’s his deal?  We saw so little of him, yet he was a big enough player to give a key speech during a key moment (I’m not saying what, ’cause spoilers).  Loyal to the First Order, buts heads with Kylo Ren, probably super ambitious and he’s played by the same actor who plays Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films.  Seriously!  More details have emerged about him since the movie came out, but still much we don’t know.  I figured he’d probably be a one-off, but he is back for The Last Jedi, so yay!  Maybe we’ll learn more.

So there’s a few.  Which minor, secondary, or lesser-known characters to you hold in high esteem?  Post away in the comments section or write about them on the Write It page.

Keep reading for the TSRC, and until next time, End of Line.

Week 8 of TSRC – Getting Close to the Finish Line

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We’ve reached our 2nd-to-last week of the Teen Summer Reading Challenge!  Still time to submit those books and get your name in for the draw for a GoPro Hero5.  And we’ve got two new missions to earn further ballots, which involve coloring and Facebook statuses.  Pop into your local branch to give ’em a try!

And don’t forget to sign up for the End of Summer Party!  Those escape rooms are waiting to be unlocked!  We believe in you!

For something different for this week’s reading list, how about a few non-fic books to unlock your full creative powers?  Keep reading!

Why I keep participating in NaNoWriMo even though I always fail

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I’m sure you’ve all noticed that it’s August. Which means that it’s the last month of summer (good news in my book but I know I’m not in the majority here). It means the TSRC party is coming up (BTW have you signed up yet? You really should).

For me, August also means that Camp NaNoWriMo just ended.

If you don’t know what that is, allow me to explain. NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month, proper occurs every November. As the title suggests, the goal is to write a whole novel in one month. Camp NaNoWriMo is an extension of this that takes place in July, but the goal is the same.

People have been extremely successful with NaNoWriMO. I’ve heard E. K. Johnston and Rainbow Rowell (both of whom I love beyond words) praise it and the work they results they achieved while participating. And so I was inspired to try.

To date I have taken part in NaNoWriMo and it’s ilk a total of 4 times. And, as the title of this post implies, I have technically failed a total of 4 times. So… you know… every time I did it.

But come November I will be taking part again. Any here’s why:

It’s an amazing experience regardless of the outcome. I don’t want to get all mushy and clichéd and be all “it’s not the destination that matters but the journey,” but in this case (for me) that’s actually true. So while I never actually reached my goal, I learned a lot and achieved a lot. And at the end of each month I had written a lot, and there was more of my work than there was before. And that’s something.

This year’s Camp NaNoWriMo was the best yet. Yes, I “failed” again. My goal had started at 50,000 words, and I adjusted it to 20,000 halfway through (because 50,000 words in one month is insane and I am an awe of anyone who can achieve that) and still only wrote 10,000.

But at the same time, I wrote 10,000 words of a novel that I’ve been tinkering with for the last 10 years. That’s almost 2 full chapters that a month earlier only existed in my brain. I roughly outlined my entire novel and half of it in detail.

So while technically, I only achieved 50% of my goal, I actually managed so much more! So basically, I no longer think about it in terms of failing. It’s not just about the goal, it’s about the process and the work and the thrill you get while you’re writing.

Now, why have I just spent all this time praising my achievement? Well, because I think everyone who has ever thought about writing anything should try it out. And I know that a lot of you have. There’s time, you have until November to make up your mind. You can write whatever you want. It can be as private or as public as you want. You can keep it in a drawer or publish it on your blog, our Write It blog, on SELF-e or on Wattpad (like me). It’s completely up to you.

As for me, I just wanted to challenge you to take a leap with your writing. And no worries, I’ll remind you when November draws nearer.




TSRC Week 7!

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Hiya guys!  We’re at week 7 of the Teen Summer Reading Challenge!  Just 3 weeks left!  Keep reading those books!  Come into your local branch for new missions!  Sign up to come to the party!  How many exclamation points can I use?!

As per usual I have some recommended reads for ya.  Last week I had a list of books with little to no romance.  If you’re on the opposite end of that spectrum and want all the romance (we try to be equal opportunity around here), these books are for you.  Plus, they’re summer themed, so even better.