Inspired by Clowns and Dolls

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hate clowns and dolls. If I actually encountered those clown ‘pranks’ that were all the rage last year, I would break down in a mess and cry — or alternatively turn on my fight response and attempt to beat the shit out of the clown, all 55kg of me.

When Wattpad’s Short Story account held a contest on a Halloween-themed story, I knew I had to write this: the endeavour of my dear father working a few weeks in Beijing and then bringing back an ‘expensive, beautiful’ clown doll. Basically, the embodiment of my worst nightmare. He knew I hated dolls and clowns. And yet he still did it.

And when I broke it in every way I could to get him to throw it away, including gouging out an eye, scribbling on its cheeks, snapping its limbs, all he did was lament at my destruction and inability to appreciate pretty things, fix it, and leave it in my room. Again. And again.

My dad also felt that dolls were sentient. He had a doll called Luciana of which he was very fond. It stood at about three feet and had a perpetual creepy doll smile. He’s had it for over twenty years. Why he thought it was a good idea to buy an allegedly-sentient, creepy-ass clown doll that embodies everything that terrifies your daughter still confuses me to this day.

And so this story, ‘The Clown Doll from Beijing‘ was born. The sentient dolls that my father believed in, coupled with my own terrors.

No, I still haven’t forgiven my dad for doing this shit to me.

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Medical Bullshit in TV (Part 6)

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Featuring: The Vampire Diaries (no spoilers) Season 7 Episode 13

Now, I’m no OBGYN but I’ve done my student placements so if I turn out to be outrageously wrong/uninformed, please let me know.

Woman in labour, ECG monitor attached.

Twins in her uterus. Beneath the mother’s ECG monitor readings are two more normal, perfect ECG readings meant to reflect the babies. But the twins are in her uterus. Which begs the question: how the HELL did the doctors attach the ECG leads onto the babies when they’re still inside the intact amniotic sac inside the uterus?

…you CAN’T.

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Film Review: Bridget Jones’s Baby

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I liked a bit of Bridget Jones back when the first two films came out: they were funny, horrifically cringeworthy, and altogether a lighthearted comedy that could be enjoyed with girlfriends over cups of tea. I’m usually over-critical of the blundering, dimwitted Jones, and yet at the same time I do enjoy watching it. Complex love-hate relationship. BJ3 didn’t disappoint.

First things first: what has Renee Zellwegger done to her face??? No amount of dieting can give her straight enough eyebrows to beat a spirit level and a forehead that can’t move. She was so pretty in the previous films!

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Medical Bullshit in TV (Part 5)

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Featuring: The Vampire Diaries (no spoilers) Season 6 Episode 14

Regarding end of life care…

Why is the obs machine still attached to the patient if they’re reaching end of life? What are you going to do if their blood pressure drops — cannulate them and give them fluids? What are you going to do if their oxygen levels drop — give them a chest x-ray? Start antibiotics which won’t work because they’re dying and their immune system is more or less unresponsive?

This is why we stop observations, blood tests, needles etc. (syringe drivers not included) when we know someone is dying, because unnecessary interventions are unnecessary and distressing for someone who is dying. The beeping machine, the squeeze from the blood pressure cuff — all of that is distressing and we can do nothing to fix abnormal numbers IN SOMEONE WHO IS GOING TO DIE. It just makes the end more stressful, precious family time interrupted, and extra unnecessary work for staff.

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Film Review: Logan

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I’m a big fan of X-men and Marvel. I love super powers. Heck, one of my novels was basically inspired by X-men crossed into power rangers. So when Logan came out, I was very excited.

“Logan” takes the story on quite a different tone to the previous ones: no mass extermination, no victims of feat and discrimination, and actually almost zero supernatural powers save Logan’s regeneration and the ailing Xavier’s seizure-related psychic attacks until the kids came in at the very end. The CGI and imaginative ways the superpowers are used are some of the winning aspects of the series so on that aspect, I’m quite disappointed.

Contains spoilers, duh.

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Plagiarism and Wattpad

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There have been some issues in the context of safety of my work and others on Wattpad. From a few Wattpad friends on Facebook, it’s come to my attention that there has been a site (or multiple sites) for the past year that have allowed internet users the ability to download stories onto their own computer — pdf, word doc, epub — whatever the format. This means anyone can download anyone’s stories — yours, mine, any Wattpadder’s — slap their own names on it, and upload it as their own content. Change a few character and place names, and they can publish it and get money — and you’ll likely never know as it’ll be harder for you to find it on random Googling. The aforementioned site has been going on for a year and allegedly Wattpad has done nothing to get it taken down.

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There are likely other sites and downloads as we speak. You may have noticed several ambassadors and Wattpad-owned accounts sending out messages regarding what Wattpad is doing to ensure our stories are safe. This is likely what the messages are about.

From Wattpad:

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I’m no techie, but I’m a doctor and I know over-simplified language that are open to interpretation when I see it. This is too vague for any comfort. I also leverage available technology, policy, and legal solutions to bring you this news. I take screenshots and post it on a blog. Woopie-doo.

Godhand has a book with further details. You can find it in her “REMOVED” book . There are other Wattpadders who have expressed similar concerns and have taken similar action, like my good friends JessicaBFry and EliseNoble. Jess has also kindly posted on her account details regarding plagiarism and how one can protect one’s work from it. Wattpad has yet to address this plagiarising site specifically.

What it means for me is I do not wish any of my work to end up being stolen, especially as I have no current intentions to make money from my work. I want my work to be free. I want my work to be accessible on my terms. I want your feedback and support. I do not want other people to get paid for my hard work.

What it means for you is that my works will no longer be up in their entirety on Wattpad. Rest assured; I will continue to post stories on here for the foreseeable future, but works will not be available in their entirety on Wattpad — they will, however, be available fully on the Radish app, and will remain free/on freemium (which means the work becomes free after 1 week there). This helps reduce the risk of people downloading my full stories and monetising my hard work and tears until this issue is sorted, if ever.

I’m not the first Wattpadder to do this, nor will I be the last. Am I overreacting? Whining too much? Ungrateful? Perhaps, but it’s not changing the fact that my and countless others’ works can be plagiarised. Until this issue is sorted, this will be how I will continue to provide my stories for free… as this is just one step short of taking down all of my works as others have already done or are already doing.

Thank you for your understanding. Have you any experiences regarding this? What are your thoughts?

Wattpad Spotlight: The Clown Game

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Book promotion! “The Clown Game” by DriveInHorrorshow

Okay so clowns creep me the heck out and this book drove that fear in even more. Creepy clowns, a game you can’t win, and your life (or at least body bits) at stake…

Ugh, my mouth went dry just talking about it. But check it out if you want a good spook.

You stand to win big if you dare to play in this poker game. But you might not leave in one piece…

Are you a follower of mine and want your book or someone else’s book advertised? Post on my wall or PM me!

Read this book? Tell me your thoughts!