Tag Archives: Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Books Set in Ontario

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.

Most people immediately think of Toronto when they hear the word Ontario. I love my city, but today I wanted to highlight the province as a whole. There are great books set in every part of it, so I have a lot to say this week!

Wenjack by Joseph Boyden and Kent Monkman book cover. Images on cover are of common Ontario wildlife like rabbits and otters.

Wenjack by Joseph Boyden and Kent Monkman

Where It’s Set: A fictionalized version of Kenora. (If you’re not familiar with our geography, think a remote corner of Northern Ontario near Woodland Caribou Provincial Park).

What It’s About: The story of Chani Wenjack, an Ojibwe boy who ran away from a  North Ontario residential school in an attempt to go home to his family. Chani was a real child, but some parts of the plot were fictionalized.

The Short-Wave Mystery (Hardy Boys, #24) by Franklin W. Dixon book cover. Image on cover is of one boy looking into a log cabin through its window while another boy crouches on the snow behind him.

The Short-Wave Mystery (Hardy Boys, #24) by Franklin W. Dixon

Where It’s Set: A fictional body of water called White Bear River near Hudson’s Bay, a real place in Northern Ontario.

What It’s About: The Hardy Boys figuring out who stole a collection of stuffed animals from an estate sale.

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery book cover. Image on cover is of two lovers walking in a rose garden.

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Where It’s Set: The fictional town of Deerwood, located in the Muskoka region in Central Ontario. Deerwood is based on the real city of Bala.

What It’s About: A young, single woman who was diagnosed with a fatal heart condition. Knowing that she only had about a year to live, she decided to escape her controlling family and find happiness wherever she can with the time she had left. This is my all-time favourite Montgomery novel, and it is much more cheerful than it might seem.

Whatever Happened to Mary Janeway?- A Home Child Story by Mary Pettit book cover. Image on cover is of a Victorian girl's photograph superimposed onto a black and white photo of London, Ontario

Whatever Happened to Mary Janeway?: A Home Child Story by Mary Pettit

Where It’s Set: Hamilton (southwest of Toronto).

What It’s About: This is a fictional story of a teenage girl who was sent to London, Ontario (which also southwest of Toronto) as part of the Home Child Program. She was so dissatisfied with her placement that she ran away from it!

If you’re not familiar with this bit of Canadian history, The Home Child program was a precursor to modern foster care and adoption in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Children in English orphanages were sent to Canada (and Australia) to be looked after by families there and taught the life skills and trades they’d need to know to be self-sufficient as adults. Some children were adopted into loving homes through it, but others were treated as free labour…or worse.

Cat's Eye  by Margaret Atwood book cover. Image on cover is of a hooded figure holding a glowing blue orb levitating above a bridge while snow falls on bare tree branches.

Cat’s Eye  by Margaret Atwood

Where It’s Set: Toronto

What It’s About: A controversial painter who returns home to confront her past and understand how those experiences shaped her art.

After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara book cover. Image on cover is of a hand holding a branch filled with cherry blossoms.

After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara

Where It’s Set: Toronto

What It’s About: An elderly woman suffering from dementia who goes missing one day, her adult daughter’s frantic search for her, and the family secrets that are revealed along the way.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: How I’d Fare in a Zombie Apocalypse

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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.

Hands clutching tree trunks menacingly. The rest of the people's bodies are standing behind the trunks out of view. This is one of those topics I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about.

On the helpful side, I’m young, intelligent, healthy, and physically fit. There are very few foods I dislike, so I’d eat the canned lima beans or whatever else it is that others can’t or won’t eat.  I have shot a gun before, and my current fitness regime includes plenty of cardio and weightlifting every week. My understanding of first aid is basic but solid. I’d easily be able to outrun slow zombies or come up with a creative escape plan if the fast ones tried to break into my home.

On the unhelpful side, my milk allergy could make it hard to find safe food for me to eat after some time has passed. A lot of shelf stable food has some form of dairy in it unless we’re looking at plain cans of beans or dry pasta. I’m also short, petite, and not-at-all what anyone would call intimidating. And while I have a shot guns before, hitting targets reliably isn’t something I’d count as one of my skills.

I think I’d survive well in the short term. Whether I made it longterm would depend on if I could link up with people whose strengths complimented my weaknesses. Maybe they could do the shooting and the heavier hand-to-hand combat and I could scavenge for more food and bandage up any wounds other people received?

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Villain That I Wish Could Be Redeemed and Why

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This week’s topic was tricky for me because I’m not a huge fan of redemption arcs in most cases. Too often they’re used to brush terrible choices under the rug due to the villain having a sad or tragic backstory. I’ve known plenty of people who have similar histories but who have consciously chosen to break those patterns and live gentle, good lives.

So it irritates me a little bit when a villain is given a pass for choosing to inflict the pain they felt onto new victims. There are so many other ways to create well-rounded characters in my opinion that don’t make the assumption that experiencing X somehow makes it okay for you do it to someone else.

And yet I must stick to the topic at hand and answer Long and Short Review’s question. 😉

Trunchbull saying "I'll be watching you. All of you."

Therefore, I’m going to with Agatha Trunchbull from Roald Dahl’s Matilda. She was the headmistress of the school Matilda attended, and yet she truly seemed to hate her job and children in general.

Given that this book was written in 1988 but could have been set a few decades before that, I wonder if Trunchbull ended up in teaching because women weren’t welcomed in the career that would have actually fit her.

This isn’t an excuse for the way she treated her students or employees at all. She was a horrible administrator who should have been fired years earlier.

But I do wonder if her gender and severe lack of patience with children set her up for failure, especially after a couple of decades of being trapped in a job that was such an awful fit for her personality and interests.

It would have been nice to have that closure for her. Maybe she became a kinder and happier person after she was (rightfully) forced to leave Matilda’s school? What do you all think?

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favourite Holiday of the Year and Why

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A Halloween drawing that includes the phrase "Trick or Treat," a black cat, two pumpkins, a spider, and an owl sitting in a tree.Halloween is by far my favourite holiday of the year for the following reasons:

There Is Assorted Candy. I only eat candy occasionally, but when I do I like to have a nibble of this and then a nibble of that. The bags of assorted candy sold for people to give out to trick or treaters are perfect for getting small bites of several different treats instead of having to eat an entire bar or single serving bag of something at once.

It Includes No Family Obligations. The relatives I’d love to see for Thanksgiving or Christmas live nearly two thousand miles away from us. The wonderful thing about Halloween is that there’s no tradition of getting together with anyone for a big meal to celebrate it, so I don’t have to miss anyone when this holiday rolls around. I can simply enjoy the festivities.

You Can Be Anyone You Wish to Be. It’s been far too long since I dressed up for Halloween, but I love the idea of everyone getting to be whoever they want to be on that day. If you can imagine it, you can be it on this one special day!

It Demystifies Death. Many of us are reticent to talk about death the rest of the year for totally understandable reasons. While I’m not a fan of the gory or gross aspects of Halloween, I do like the fact that it brings this topic out in the open and maybe makes it a little less frightening to think about when it comes to practical things like writing a will or planning who will look after your kids/pets/estate after you’re gone.

A pumpkin-shaped tin filled with candy corn. There are other pieces of tin sitting on the table next to it that look like the carved-out eyes and mouth of a pumpkin. Halloween Films Are Creative and Unsentimental. No offence to anyone who likes sentimental films, they’re simply not my cup of tea.

I usually prefer stories that tap into other parts of the human experience whether that’s joy for Halloween films written for kids or surprise and apprehension for the more adult-oriented stuff.

Candy Corn. Yes, I saved my most controversial reason for last. I love this stuff and look forward to it becoming available again every autumn. How many of you feel the same way about it?

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Reasons Why I Stopped Reading a Series I Loved

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.

I deeply enjoyed Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon, so it came as a surprise to me when I failed to finish the rest of that series.

Open book on a red surface. The problem with the sequels to me was how repetitive they were. Types of characters, conflicts, and even certain sorts of plot twists from the Mists of Avalon were recycled so often in the later books that I lost interest.

It would have made sense for some of these things to be repeated give the time period and how slowly society changed. Reusing the same sorts of characters was less understandable to me, especially when it came to priestesses who over-estimated their powers and/or influence on others and men who consistently ignored good advice due to the gender of the person giving it.

So I stopped reading this series. I’m still glad I read The Mists of Avalon, though, and always keep my eyes open for other books that tell traditional myths, legends, and stories from new perspectives.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Characters I’d Invite to a Dinner Party

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. I chose all of these characters for one reason: they’d be fabulous dinner companions. Any one of them would be filled with interesting anecdotes about their… Read More

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Topics I Could Give an Impromptu Speech On

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. I could give impromptu speeches on any of these topics. Navigating the Canadian Immigration System. I’d discuss everything from filling out the many pages of paperwork… Read More

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Favourite Things to Do in the Spring

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. I’ve been looking forward to this prompt for weeks. Spring is my favourite season, and it’s the nicest time of year in Ontario in my opinion!… Read More