Why a Boston girl doesn’t want to be called a Yankee!

After my love affair with the movie American Sniper, I decided to pick up the book. I am the type of person that if I watch a movie and there is a book it was made after, I need to read the book. And vice versa. This was no exception. But as I begin to get to the heart of the book one thing has really started to irritate me.

The amount of times I am reminded that I am a “Yankee.”

Now I realize that the definition of the word itself does not mean it is derogatory. In fact the author of the book is really just referring to northerners when he uses the word. He mostly uses it to explain things he doesn’t think northerners would understand.

The definition of the word is, anyone from the US by someone outside the US or anyone from the north by anyone from the south.

But lets start with the first reason I do not like this word. Should we start with the song Yankee Doodle Dandy?

As a kid I thought this song was a lot of fun. But looking at the lyrics a little more it is pretty clear that the song was not praising the yankees at all.

“A-riding on a pony”:

a pony?!?! So what the Yankee is either a child and can’t ride a real horse or he is just an idiot.

“and with the girls be handy!” :

This of course could mean be a handy man, but somehow I think this is a more sexual reference…

I am pretty sure this song was intended to make fun of the Yankees and given that it was written by the British I am pretty sure I am not wrong.

Now for the obvious reason a Boston girl does not want to be called a Yankee:

Yes the New York Yankees! As a die hard Red Sox fan the sight of that symbol alone makes me bubble up with anger. They are the team we love to hate. And the word Yankee absolutely makes my blood boil thanks to them.

So the next time you want to call a Boston girl a Yankee remember that New Yorkers are Yankees (self-proclaimed) and Bostonians are Bostonians. Lets leave the derogatory meanings from the past in the past?

Now that, that is off my chest I can continue reading!


Meet Christopher De Voss: Writer for Zombie Survival Crew

One thing I absolutely love about blogging is being exposed to new people. In the blogosphere you can meet all types of people who get a chance to do interesting things.

One thing my blogging buds might not know about me is I love Zombies. I am obsessed with the Walking Dead, I have seen most Zombie movies on the shelf and I am pretty sure I am a chick you would want with you if a Zombie Appocalypse hit.

In my blogging travels I ran across one of the writers for the “Zombie Survival Crew” and I just couldn’t pass up the chance to interview him and share with you what he had to say:

Interview with Christopher De Voss:


For those who don’t know, what is the general premise of “Zombie Survival Crew?”


The ZSC is a web site/club started by Juliette Terzieff. They specialize in, obviously, tips on surviving a zombie apocalypse. They highlight a lot of TV Shows, Podcasts, Writers, and Artists of the genera. There are a lot of actors and directors that are part of the crew from such shows as The Walking Dead, True Blood, and The Dead Zone. You will have to go to the web site to see the whole list.

How did you get involved in this project?


The ZSC put a request on their web site. Members from all over submitted their stories and poems, and luckily they thought mine was good enough to publish. I was a little nervous because I inject a lot of humor into my zombie fiction, but they seemed to like it. This is the second book of collected Zombie stories published by the Crew.
What was it like working with cast members from the Walking Dead? Which ones particularly were involved?


Unfortunately I did not get to work directly with any cast members of the Walking Dead. However, I have been promised to meet Michael Rooker, so I’m excited about that. Michael Rooker was involved with the book I’m in, and the ZSC helped published IronE Singleton’s (T-Dog) autobiography.


Michael Rooker

I see from the website there is now a Zombie Survival Crew that members can join. What types of tips and tricks to members learn if they join this crew?


You learn everything from how to pack a zombie survival bag, to what to eat, weaponology, and of course how to survive. There is also all sorts of literature, artwork, and merchandise on the web site. Basically something for every zombie enthusiast and it’s free to join. You will be assigned a brigade. I’m in the red brigade, let me know of you’re a fellow redder.

Red Brigade

I perused your blog a little bit and noticed on top of Zombie posts you actually have humor blog topics. What projects beyond Zombie Survival crew have you/ are you working on?


As with every blogger I’m working on a book, but it’s not about zombies. It’s just my ramblings, much like my blog. I have worked for other web sites such as TMRZoo.com and TheWaitersRevenge.com. In addition I was part of an improv/sketch group called Left Of Center. The biggest claim to fame of the group was being booed off the stage while opening for Leon Redbone. Before all of that I worked for a corporation that opened restaurants in the midwest area.

Leon Redbone


Has blogging helped in any way shape your writing career? Any tips to any bloggers who are themselves trying to get published?


You blog because you like too. Don’t expect it to be a way to make a living. Just do it because you want/love too. Some of the talented writers are out there blogging, just doing it because. The blogging community is also a really great place to learn and hone your craft. Plus you can get great tips and support from other bloggers. I’m not saying there isn’t an opportunity to get published, just don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t happen. Just do it because you want to. There are places where you can self publish both digitally and in book form, such as CreateSpace. I have had blogger friends get published, so there is opportunity out there.
Please add anything you think might be interesting about the book, zombies or related matter.

When it comes to zombie fiction, I really like the short story format, and this book is such a collection. My story is about a group of Zombie Trackers. One team is successful and the other team is frustrated. As with all my stuff, I try to make it light and fun as well as horrific. You can read more of me here: chrisdevoss.wordpress.com. If you like apocalyptic stories minus zombies, check out my series with David Stewart. (greenwalledtower.wordpress.com) I’m also on Twitter (@chrisdevoss) and Facebook. Yes, I’m the king of shameless self

Bloggers have you had a chance to check this book out? If not its available on Amazon now!
If you were to contribute to the next book what Zombie Survival tips would you give readers?

“The Help”- The discussion I was afraid to have…

So my mom and I run a book club. We meet once a month and discuss the book the club has chosen. This month the book club book was “The Help”. We all met up first to catch the movie so we could include the movie adaptation in our discussion. I have to say that this book definitely drew out one of the most interesting discussions we have had since the book club started. We talked about everything from gender discrimination, racism , civil rights, parenting, and a whole myriad of other topics. However, the discussion I was too afraid to really bring up is whether or not the character of Hilly was a sympathetic character.]

Don’t get me wrong, the topic of her came up. The opinion seemed to be the same across the board, she was a good mother but a horrible person. But, I am not all that sure. I want to preface this by saying that I do not agree with her views in any way and I am in no way trying to defend her character or defend the characters of those like her, I am more or less trying to understand the reason why someone would be the way she was.

For someone who didn’t read the book, I want to make clear who Hilly really was. Hilly was your typical Stepford wife. She was the head of her ladies league, she was in control of pretty much every aspect of her life and her town, she was your prom queen, head cheerleader or whatever other girl you and your friends wanted to be like growing up. One blogger describes her as follows:

“this character never really changes throughout the book. In the first chapter she’s set up as the villain and maintains that persona throughout the novel. What she does learn is that “Johnny” (Celia’s husband. Celia is the character Stockett called a red neck in a UK interview) never fell as hard for her as she apparently did for him. If evil had a name it would be Hilly. Her character is one of the weakest in terms of character development in the novel.”

Heres where my opinion differs, while I agree that Hillys campaign to separate the races is disgusting and wrong, for her time she was actually doing what many felt was right. Reading the book from a modern day point of view it is easy to view her as pure evil because we do not agree with her. Now, we understand that we are all just people and the lines that were drawn was foolish and cruel. But at the time this book took place, many people still felt these lines were needed. Many people still felt there was a difference between the races. It may have not been cruelty in their eyes but just ignorance. We need to remember that this is how they were brought up and although what they believed was wrong, they didn’t know that. Remember, for a time many people felt the world was square, does that make those people stupid?


One thing we all agreed on was Hilly was a good mom. Actually, one of the only good moms in the book. Could this have been the author’s way of trying to show that even the people who were unable to see the good in the impending change could still be good people?


One scenario our book club vaguely glossed over was that of Yule May. Yule May was Hilly’s maid. Yule May asked for a loan and Hilly said no and her reason was, “That a true Christian don’t give in charity to those who is well and able. Say it’s kinder to let them learn to work things out themselves” Yule May ends up stealing a ring and going to jail for it. Although I wanted to hate Hilly for this I was left with a nagging question. Would I go to my boss for a loan for something so personal? And even if I would if he said no would I turn to stealing? Both answers was a definitive no for me. Although this may seem cruel what happened to Yule May I think the reader needs to remember that she was Yule May’s boss not her friend. Even though Yule May’s intentions were pure she did break the law.

The movie did a good job portraying Hilly as the villain, but movies are much more cut and dry than books. I think that while Hilly was the type of person who needed to be educated on the need for change I don’t think she was a purely evil person. I think Hilly was 100 % a product of her society and bought into all that she had learned growing up. I don’t think she saw the problem with the way things were and she was more focused on her own power and popularity that the need for change was not on her list of priorities.

So I turn to you bloggers, what did you think of the character of Hilly Holbrook, was she pure evil? If you didn’t read the book what do you think of the type of character she represents?


Casting my book!

One thing I have not mentioned on here is the book I am struggling to write. For awhile I had serious motivation to write this book and make some serious progress. However, life got in the way and the book has taken a back seat. Surfing blogs the last couple weeks I noticed that a lot of people had presented lists of their characters and who they would be “cast” as. I thought this might be a good way to get my head back in the book and make some more progress. I only want to introduce a few characters right now but I am hoping this will be a good motivator:

Jess: She is my main character, the book is told through her point of view. She is a journalist covering plenty of local stories. The plot thickens when a murder happens in town and Jess has an invested interest in pursing the murderer. Jess is strong, defiant, confident, manipulative and cold. She is a loner and has very few personal contacts. If I were to cast Jess this is a the girl I would chose:

Casting Jess Take 2

The eyes could cut through anyone and you can tell this girl knows how to get what she wants.

Jason: This guy is the other main character in the book. This guy is a perfect mental match for Jess. The manipulative games she plays he plays right back. He is slick, smart, manipulative, coy and cunning. He seems like just your average guy on the outside but really he is so much more:

I cannot picture anyone else playing Jason. Sawyer from Lost has the boy next store look but the facial expressions to show that there is so much more going on.


Randy: Jess’s only friend. The boy who tries to win Jess’s heart again and again but is really only used as her confidant. The man she turns to when things go wrong. The man who she uses to get leverage in difficult situations. He is soft, impressionable, loving, caring, weak, and doe eyed in love.

Joseph- Gordon Levitt has the innocent face that this character needs. However, I chose him because this actor also has the ability to have a strong side when the situation calls for it. Randy will need to step up for Jess and become more than the innocent doe eyed friend she counts.


There are of course many more characters I would love to share but I am not ready to give anything away from the plot. This however has gotten my mind turning about the characters and hopefully will allow some progress.

So, bloggers have any of you cast the characters of your books? Who would you have as your main character and why?


Why We Broke Up

One thing I have gotten back into lately is reading. The book I most recently finished was “Why We Broke Up” by Daniel Handler. The book basically goes through the relationship of a guy and a girl using items as ways to remember different stories. Each item solicits a story that ends up explaining why they broke up. The book is written as if the girl is writing a letter to the boy who at the end of the book she gives him with all the stuff that reminds her of him. This really seemed to me to be a great way to get closure. So I decided I would try to do this for a past relationship of mine that ended a bit messy and I really haven’t been able to quite get out of my head. Now since this is a blog and not a book I didn’t pick a thousand items and they wont be long stories but here is my short version of “Why We Broke Up”

Up DrawingThis was a drawing you did for me very soon after we got together the second time. The first movie we ever saw together was “Up” and the first time we were together I asked you to draw me a picture from it because we said that we would have that kind of relationship. The movie was special to us and it meant the world to me. However, the first time we were together this drawing never was completed because you left me before you had a chance to draw it. So after a year break and we got back together this was one of the first drawings you did for me. The drawing was special because you hid messages to me throughout the drawing. Messages I didn’t find until long after you were gone. Messages included “My First My Middle Your Last” (, “I will never leave you again (was this a joke?) “I love you”. Also see that crow and butterfly on that drawing? That wasn’t from the movie but rather your reference to our song, “The Crow and the Butterfly” by Shinedown. Looking back maybe I should have known something would go wrong. Our movie and song together both represented relationships that had ended. In the movie they were apart because of death, the song they broke up. How didn’t I see this coming? But it is safe to say this is one of the reasons we broke up.

This was a Christmas List I started when we were together the second time. The only stuff written down is the stuff that we bought while we were together. Notice how its your family on that list and that the list is extra short? That is because in the three times we were together we never once spent a Christmas together. However, I liked to plan ahead and when I did think of shopping for Christmas even though it was summertime- it was you who came first. I made sure you had a gift to give your mom even though I was never there to give it to her with you. Each relationship we had always started right around March as the weather started warming up and always died out before the summer ended. We had what they would call a summer romance- for three summers in a row. It seems as the weather got colder- so did your feet. This should have been a sign to me that you would have never made it down the aisle- if the weather gave you cold feet- a wedding aisle would have given your feet frost bite.

Finally, the ring that I thought really meant you were in it to stay. This ring was  a combination of a ring that was given to me when I was only eighteen and then another ring put together. I loved the vintage, unique feel of this ring. But this ring never quite made it on my finger. You did propose to me I have to give you that. However, you proposed to me with a promise ring. That promise ring did not make this list because that ring is not why we broke up- that ring is why we stayed together. You picked that ring out for my yourself, without me knowing, at a shop I had never even heard of. You brought me to a gazebo in a park (just like our first date) and got down on one knee and promised me we would be together forever. It was an amazing moment. However, this ring here I picked out. I dragged you to the store and set you up on a payment plan for it. I put it under my name and even helped pay for it on the months you needed help. But it was something we were doing together. We made a day trip out of the times we went to make payments on it. And we even managed to pay it off while being together. I thought this meant something. However, you didn’t propose right away- you wanted to find the right moment. And this is why we broke up. The right moment wasn’t there  not because you hesitated to make it perfect- you hesitated because you still weren’t quite sure.

The signs were there my love. We should have seen them in the moments that we shared. But those moments are encapsulated in the items that are left behind and this is why I will never forget you. Although this is the story of why we broke up- these items also tell me stories of why we were together.