Tag Archives: Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Scariest Books I’ve Ever Read

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Drawing of man wearing a business suit and lookign scared
The least scary horror image I could find.

I read a lot of horror before the Covid-19 pandemic began, but that changed as the reality of it sunk in.   Maybe someday I’ll be able to dive back into this genre again?

In the meantime, here are some of the scariest tales I’ve read and my (non-spoiler-y) reasons why I found them so frightening.

Cujo by Stephen King

Why It’s Scary: Rabies is a horribly real disease, and just about everything in this book could actually happen in real life. I was bitten without provocation by a (non-rabid) dog many years ago, so there’s also the added horror of knowing how unpredictable some animals can be.

 

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

Why It’s Scary: The link above will direct you to a free pdf of this tale. It started off so gently that I had no idea what was coming, but the ending made me shudder. I actively look for the good in everyone and assume the best of their intentions, but some can be persuaded to do terrible things under certain circumstances.

 

Annihilation (Southern Reach, #1) by Jeff VanderMeer

Why It’s Scary: These characters entered area X knowing that communication with the outside world would be severed and that the rules of physics and biology in that area were wildly unpredictable at best. I would be terrified to explore a place like that, but it did make for a fantastic book and film.

 

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

Why It’s Scary: Not only is everything in this book entirely possible, similar things have happened to other school/mass shooters before. There’s something about realistic stories that makes them a thousand times more frightening.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: An Odd or Useless Talent

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Photo of mug near flat screen tv that has the word Netflix on it. Watching TV is one of my spouse’s favourite things to do. Over the years, I’ve cultivated the ability to (accidentally) look away from the screen at the exact moment that something important happens that is not noted in the dialogue.

I can’t tell you how many times my spouse has needed to rewind thirty seconds so I can see a mysterious shadowy figure in the background or the note written on a sheet of paper the main character is holding that are important clues for future plot twists.

If there were any way to earn a living from this ability, I’d be a millionaire at bare minimum!

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Required Reading in School – Yay! Or Nay?! Why?

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Blind child reading a braille book I enjoyed most of the required reading in school.Then again, I’ve been a voracious reader my entire life!

Some of the famous writers, poets, and playwrights we studied in school were ones I was already familiar with. For example, William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, and Langston Hughes were all appealing to me.

School introduced me to other storytellers that I hadn’t yet discovered such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, S.E. Hinton, and the person or people who wrote Beowulf. It took a little work to understand them and the cultures that created them, but it was well worth the effort.

I strongly disliked a small percentage of the writers we were assigned to read. A couple of them were dreadfully boring, and others talked about things so beyond my personal experiences that I struggled to relate to them in any way. Out of respect for those individuals, I won’t mention them by name. Not every author will appeal to every reader.

I sympathize with students who felt that way about most or every English class assignment. Yes, expanding young minds is a worthwhile goal, but some works have aged so much that they might be better suited for an adult audience than a preteen or teenage one.

This might veer a little off-topic for today’s post, but I think modern students should still study some classic works. There’s definitely something to be said for being familiar with famous stories that are referenced in so many later paintings, plays, songs, and novels.

However, I also hope that today’s kids and teens will have a chance to read some contemporary authors, too. Not everyone enjoys older writing styles or the themes they explored back then, and there are brilliant storytellers in every generation!

I’d rather encourage students to learn to love reading and to get into the habit of trying new authors, genres, and styles of writing as they come across them.

The classics that might not appeal to them today will still be there when they become adults and have more life experience with which to understand stories from past centuries. Then again, maybe they will be like me and quietly cross a few names off of their reading lists for good!

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Something I Wish Someone Would Invent

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White thought bubbles against a bright pink background I wish someone could invent an app that would get to know the user’s habits, preferences, talents, and interests in depth and without selling to or sharing any of that information with other companies. Instead, users would pay a small monthly fee to keep it going or opt to see ads if they wanted the free version. Companies who wanted to use it to find new customers, employees, or volunteers would pay a larger monthly fee.

We’d start using it by filling out a survey and sharing updates on how we spent our time in many different areas of life.

The app would then start to recommend people, experiences, events, volunteer gigs or maybe even actual job advertisements to us. The more information it had about your likes and dislikes, the better it’s recommendations could be.

For example, if you loved Jazz, it could let you know about any upcoming concerts or festivals within X number of miles or kilometres of your location. You could also opt in if you wanted to make friends or find romantic partners who shared that hobby.  Anyone who was a Jazz musician could receive tips on restaurants or other places that were looking for live musicians, and people or companies who wanted to hire one could do likewise.

There have been multiple times when I heard about something I would have loved to attend or apply to work/volunteer for after the fact. I’ve often wished for a centralized way to be notified about stuff I enjoy doing and meet others who shared those same interests.

If it were moderated correctly, I think it would be a fantastic tool for networking, finding a great job, building communities, making friends, meeting a new life partner, advertising to niche audiences, and so much more.

 

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: What Makes Me LOL

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Here are a few of the things that make me laugh. I hadn’t previously realized just how amusing I find dogs. It’s cool to learn new things about yourself, don’t you think?

A dog walking in a grassy meadow.
This isn’t their dog, but this one is of a similar size and colouring.

A True Story:

One of my neighbours has a little dog who loves people. No matter who you are or what you look like, this dog hopes everyone in our area will stop to say hello and pet him for a moment. (Our neighbours are quite friendly guys who don’t mind it if others pet their dog as long as they know you).

This same little dog dislikes every other dog he meets. He barks ferociously at puppies and senior dogs alike.

It’s hilarious to me to see our furry little neighbour switch from wagging his tale at the nice humans to scaring off any dogs who get too close to him in the blink of an eye. Maybe he wants all of the human attention to himself?

 

 

Three Jokes:

Q. What does a dyslexic, agnostic, insomniac do at night?

A. He stays up wondering if there really is a dog.

 

 

A guy spots a sign outside a house that reads “Talking Dog for Sale.” Intrigued, he walks in.

“So what have you done with your life?” he asks the dog.

“I’ve led a very full life,” says the dog. “I lived in the Alps rescuing avalanche victims. Then I served my country in Iraq. And now I spend my days reading to the residents of a retirement home.”

The guy is flabbergasted. He asks the dog’s owner, “Why on earth would you want to get rid of an incredible dog like that?”

The owner says, “Because he’s a liar! He never did any of that!”

 

 

How does NASA organize a party?

They planet.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: The Best Dish I Cook (and Recipe)

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. The best dish I cook is Lemon Shrimp Scampi. This is a stock photo of a similar shrimp pasta dish. I included it because it features… Read More

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Book I Wish They’d Make Into a Movie or TV Series

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. There are some books like the Neanderthal Parallex trilogy by Robert J. Sawyer that immediately pop into my mind every time one of the blog hops… Read More