Tag Archives: PK Stories

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Have You Met Anyone Famous? Who?

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A black squiggly autograph
The Internet says this is supposed to be an autograph.

I’ve never met anyone who is universally famous like Beyoncé or President Obama, so my answer to this question depends on your definition of the term fame and which social circles we may or may not have in common. Here are a few people who are famous in some subcultures that I’ve been in the same room with.

Curtis Hinds

Those of you who have followed my site for a while might remember that I was a preacher’s kid growing up. Curtis was (and still is) well known as a travelling pastor and speaker in certain Protestant circles. I knew him as a family friend who would occasionally come to visit us in the Midwestern portion of the United States or take us out to dinner when we travelled up to Ontario.

He was (and I’m sure still is) a friendly man who always had amusing new stories to share about his travels.

 

Robert J. Sawyer

Robert is one of Canada’s most famous science fiction authors. I’ve blogged about several of his books here like “Calculating God” and the Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy in previous posts.

He sometimes pops up at various literary events and festivals in Toronto. I’ve met him once so far. He was a kind and welcoming man to everyone around him that day, so do say hello if you also enjoy his work and see him around at a bookish event someday.

 

Devon Soltendieck

This one might take a little bit of explaining. Much Music is a tv channel that is like Canada’s version of MTV. Devon was a Much Music host in the 2000s. In the mid-2000s, I was riding the subway when I saw someone who looked really familiar to me. I couldn’t stop staring at him as I tried to figure out why he was so familiar.

“Okay, so how are we related?” I silently asked myself. I had occasionally run into distant cousins and other relatives whom I recognized but whose names did not immediately come to mind when I lived in the United States. Due to this, I assumed it was another case of me seeing a third cousin or something and needing some time to realize we shared recent ancestors.

It was only after I’d arrived back home and turned on the TV that I realized I’d probably seen a famous person instead.

He was facing away from me on the subway, so I hope he didn’t notice me staring at him. I would have politely ignored him if I realized we didn’t actually need to play the “how are we related” game after all. Ha!

 

Person photographing her white dog. That is the sum total of my celebrity experiences. I tend to avoid celebrity culture and take an alternate route if I see paparazzi clogging up a sidewalk here in Toronto, but I hope everyone who is into that sort of stuff has plenty of opportunities to rub elbows with celebrities if they so desire to.

I’m ending this post with a stock photo of someone photographing her dog because the thought of domesticated animals being famous makes me giggle. (Although there are some famous furry friends out there, too).

 

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: What I Thought of Santa as a Kid

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

As I’ve mentioned here before, my parents were pastors when I was a child. Many of our Christmas traditions revolved around the religious aspects of that holiday and the various parties, services, charitable fundraisers, and other events we held at church. It was always a busy season for us!

A black santa claus putting a wrapped presnt in his big, red bagMy family decorated a tree and exchanged a few thoughtful presents each year, but Santa himself was not part of our version of Christmas. My only experiences with him were through seasonal television programs and some traditional works of literature like T’Was The Night Before Christmas.

We didn’t own a TV at all for a while when I was in the prime age group for believing in him, and I was also homeschooled for several years there. Due to these factors, I didn’t know that some other families were so focused on Santa during Christmas until I was older and began spending more time around kids whose families had other traditions.

Sometimes my grandmother would bend the rules a little and give us a few extra presents from Santa or one of the friendly animals on their farm because of how much she loves Christmas.

We always knew they were really from her and Grandpa, of course, so my parents weren’t too fussed about whose name was on the “from” line. My parents taught us to be respectful of other people’s traditions and household rules.

The various legends about Santa amused me, especially when it came to learning about the historical Saint Nicholas and how myths about him and his magical helpers have evolved over time. That made little Lydia wonder if other magical creatures like the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny were also loosely based on real people or events.

When I started attending public school, I vaguely remember classmates talking about what race and ethnicity Santa should be. As far as I was concerned, he could be from any racial or ethnic group.

Appearances don’t matter because Santa was a metaphor for kindness and generosity in my family. We all perform the role of Santa when we notice what others need and quietly work to help them in whatever ways we can throughout the year.

Why I Blog About Multiple Topics

Nine speech bubbles in a variety of shapes and pastel colours.Edited on May 13, 2020 to include two responses to this post: On Blogging and Requiem on Blogging

I’ve been blogging on various sites more or less continuously since I was in college.

It started after I read a friend’s blog and realized I could do that, too.

Several of the blogs I worked on solo or as part of a group of bloggers no longer exist, but PK Stories is an exception to that.

I was a preacher’s kid growing up and spent a few years sharing amusing stories from that part of my childhood. (Please note that I’ve learned a lot about writing, blogging, and storytelling since that site was last active. It’s pretty old).

Blogging has changed quite a bit over the years. The best practices for it these days are generally thought to include picking one topic and only writing about that.

So why don’t I follow that rule? Well, there are a few reasons for that.

Content Fatigue

Image of a puzzle in the shape of the profile of a human head
Actual footage of my thought processes after a couple of years of writing about the same topic every week.

I’ve learned through trial and error that I experience content fatigue on single-topic blogs after about two or three years.

It’s tricky for me to know where to go next after I’ve covered everything I want to say, especially since I dislike recycling posts or repeating myself.

Rather than building a new site from scratch every other year, I now prefer to stick to the same site and bounce around among a few different topics instead.

Kudos to those of you who can blog about the same thing for years or decades.

I admire your constancy, but my creativity eventually struggles under those circumstances.

Overlapping Interests

Blue rectangles and squares that are overlapping each other. There may be some people on this planet whose interests all exist in well-defined bubbles that never intersect with each other, but I’m not one of them.

My fitness posts often reference science fiction or fantasy because I think about topics like Frodo’s long walk to Mordor or what it would really be like to use a Holodeck  for my workouts. (Yes, I will actually write that post one of these days).

Sometimes I need to share childhood stories when I talk about the magic of Halloween so my readers will understand why it’s so important to me.

Yoga is both a workout and an exercise in mindfulness. That still blows my mind and may require a few more posts to fully explore.

So why not talk about all of the fascinating things that move between and connect these seemingly-unrelated topics?

Simple Human Curiosity

A group of human-shaped figures in every colour of the rainbow - brown, orange, yellow, green, red, and more!Look, would I ever tell someone else what to write about on their site? Absolutely not!

But I do quietly love it when bloggers reveal new pieces of their personal lives and interests that may or may not be related to the main topic(s) of their sites.

There’s something delightful and surprising about everyone once you get to know them well enough.

It’s amazing to learn that someone you’ve followed and interacted with for years has this whole other side to them that you’d never would have predicted whether that’s a hobby, interest, or something else entirely.

So one of the other big reasons why I jump between topics is to give my readers a better understanding of who I am as a person. Yes, half or more of my posts are about the science fiction and fantasy genres in any given month because of how passionate I am about them, but those aren’t my only interests by any means.

My hope is that by sharing these parts of myself other bloggers might be encouraged to do the same thing.

How did you all pick the topic(s) for your sites? What made you stick to one topic on your site or include multiple ones on it?

This Isn’t How Earworms Are Supposed to Work

This might come as a surprise to readers who haven’t heard this story yet, but my family didn’t listen to secular music until I was in middle school. Even then it was limited for religious reasons.

We knew a few hymns. We knew a lot about worship music, old folk songs from my parents’ childhoods, and Contemporary Christian music.

We didn’t have cable until I was a preteen. Some years we didn’t own a television at all. Other years we did, but we were limited to the free channels we could pick up with an antenna when the weather was clear. We didn’t have Internet access until I was in high school. Most of the places we lived also weren’t close to any record stores or malls.

It’s hard to imagine that world now. I feel so far removed from it as an adult, but it was all I knew growing up.

When I was old enough to make my own media decisions, I started catching up on the pop culture I’d been completely unaware of as a kid. It happened in a slow, piecemeal fashion. Occasionally I still come across a reference to a celebrity, or a song, or a TV show that most people my age remember but that I do not.

I still hear the religious music of my childhood in my head sometimes. It’s something that I assume happens to everyone, regardless of what kinds of music they like as adults or what they think of the music of their childhood.

Recently I had this song stuck in my head for a few days. The interesting thing about that is that I’ve always thought of earworms as something that mostly happens with songs people hear as children because of the nostalgia factor.

So why is a song that I first heard many years after it was originally released getting stuck in my head in 2015?

This isn’t how earworms are supposed to work!

What assumptions have you made lately that turned out not to be true? What song(s) have gotten stuck in your head recently?

 

 

“I Hate the Devil…”

I’m still recuperating from the “I’m not sick” game, so today’s post will be short and silly.

Growing up I thought the devil was the cause of all of the bad things in the world: bee stings on the bottom of your foot, headaches that appeared out of nowhere, the deaths of small animals.

Now picture a preschool-sized me throwing up into the toilet. It might have been food poisoning or some kind of nasty virus. I no longer remember.  Between heaves  I sat up, looked my mother in the face, and declared, “I hate the devil.”

This was not a joke. I genuinely believed that the devil was the one who’d made my digestive tract curdle into something sour and unpredictable.

How she kept a straight face I’ll never know.

What’s your funniest story about being sick?

 

The Right Way to Grieve

The last two years have seen several deaths in our extended families. I haven’t blogged about any of them until now for many different reasons: my strong preference for privacy in certain areas of my life; I wasn’t sure what to say about them; other topics seemed more pressing. The first person I remember grieving over was my… Read More

Who Should Speak for Pastors’ Kids?

How likely is it that preachers’ kids will lose their faith? Is it any different from the general population? The Barna Group, a Christian polling organization, just published the results of its study of pastors’ children to see whether it was true that ‘those who’ve grown up closest to the church are the quickest to leave it….’… Read More

If You Could Keep Only One Memory What Would It Be?

 If you could keep only one memory what would it be?  Thanksgiving, 1992. All five members of my nuclear family are gathered around the table eating what we consider to be a feast: mashed potatoes, gravy, a meat of some kind ( probably chicken), pie for dessert. There were no doubt other delicious things on… Read More

Personas Aren’t People

The next chapter of After the Storm is taking a little longer to write than I had anticipated, but it will be posted tomorrow evening. Today I’m responding to a blog post about public personas. My golden rule when looking at a celebrity is to ask myself whether or not I would like to be… Read More