Someone on Quora asked for a list of ten things I’ve stopped doing in life. This is mine. Yes, there are ten. I can count.
The world is in turmoil (May the turmoil cause long-lasting change for the better!), my editing is dragging along (May the editing also cause change for the better!), and it’s kinda cold (So, log fire, yay!).
Also, I’m getting older. Don’t be smug–you’re getting older too.
Here it is: What 10 things have you stopped doing in your life?
Wearing a school uniform
Is this even a thing in the US? I don’t know.
In New Zealand, we had to wear a school uniform until our last year of high school.
For girls at my school, that meant in summer a short-sleeved white shirt or polo shirt and a lightweight skirt with two pleats in the front. (No shorter than two inches above the knee!) In winter, a long-sleeved white shirt and ankle-length woolen kilt (scratchy and not that warm). Plus any time an ugly v-neck jersey.
I looked on Pixabay for a picture of school uniforms, but Pixabay seems to think the only uniforms are sports uniforms and sexy costumes that (I hope) are not intended for school.
We’ll skip the picture.
The upsides of a uniform were that you didn’t have to think about what to wear, everyone looked equally stupid, and you stretched your creative muscles coming up with ways to express yourself without going (too far) outside the rules.
I fastened my shoes using rubber bands tied to the laces that went under the arch of the sole. Come to think of it, rubber bands held up my kilt.
You might have guessed I had a thing for rubber bands.
Since I finished school, I stopped wearing a school uniform. I feel so grown up.
Thinking anyone would notice me for being “good”
As a kid, I was a rule-follower. It seemed like the thing to do. I went out of my way to follow all the rules, including ones I’d imagined.
At school I tried to be good because I was shy and that seemed like the best way to get attention without having to do anything scary (like talk).
Did it work?
Not even close.
Being an observant type (not really), I eventually noticed that it was the kids who finished their maths problems first who got to play with the blocks. However good I was, I never got to play with the blocks (and I REALLY wanted to).
So I decided to be good at maths instead. You can see how that worked out.
Giving my characters special eyes
Everyone loves fantasy heros (of any gender) with special eyes. Purple, grass-green, red, slit like a cat’s.
You see a person with eyes like that and you know they’re Special.
I have zero problem with this, until eye colour stands in for actual characterisation.
When I wrote as a kid, my process for coming up with a new main character went like this.
It’ll be a girl, obviously, because girls are better than boys.
What colour hair should she have? I like red hair, but my last MC had red hair and I have to make this one different. The MC before that had black hair. I guess this one’s blond.
I know! I’ll make her really different. I’ll give her curly hair. (My hair is straight, so straight is the default.)
Next, eye colour. It can’t be a boring colour, meaning a colour that could really happen.
So, purple, black, red, orange, or yellow.
Black, red, orange, and yellow are out. They’re only for bad guys and poultry.
So, purple? But my last character had purple eyes, and remember this one has to be different.
I know! What if they were blue or green, but not ordinary blue or green? Bright blue or green that couldn’t possibly be natural.
Also, her two eyes could be different colours (one bright blue and one bright green) or her eyes could change colour, like when she does magic.
This story’s gonna be so cool!
Fun though it was, I eventually used up all the hair and eye colours, so I don’t do this any more.
Judging all houses by whether they have cool places to sit on the roof
You know what’s almost as good to climb as a tree?
Before I was ten, I spent a lot of time playing on the roof. It was steep (exciting but also scary) with lots of inny and outy bits. (And no, I never fell off or even came close.)
But you can only explore your own roof for so long before you start looking at other people’s roofs. (If this sounds like innuendo, I promise it’s not.)
So as I drove through the suburbs I’d look for the houses with the best roofs. Most were boring, some were spectacular.
When I was ten we moved to a house with a less exciting (and flatter) roof.
Sadly, when we bought our current house the coolness (or lack) of the roof didn’t even feature in my decision.
If you’ve been paying attention, you might protest this isn’t ten things. But it’s my blog, and if I say this is a list of ten then it is.
How about you? What have you stopped doing?
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