Monday, February 24, 2014

Calling all Peeps! I need help!

I don't usually do posts like these, but I really do have some issues I would like some outside input on.

I'm getting close to beginning the rough draft of Story D. I've outlined a lot more than usual because I don't want to have the problem I'm currently working on with 'Hail Frost' (jumbled story and plot twists due to NaNoWriMo deadlines), so it's taken me nearly a month to outline and plan everything nicely, while still giving me plenty of room for improvising.

I just have a few questions that I need answered by different people. I know what I believe about each of these questions (except number 5, as you'll see), but I'm interested in your opinion. If you have the time, I would really appreciate it if you could answer at least one of the questions in the comment section. :)

1. Where do you think racism comes from? How does it happen?

2. What do you think is the best way to try to get rid of racism? (Speeches, just waiting it out, politics, etc.)

3. What gives more liability to racism: Christianity, other religions, or evolution? (Like, which one makes it easier to rationalize being a racist)

4. My pastor made an interesting point in church the other day. He said that many white people say they want a multi-cultural church, but really all they want is people of different skin tones to act like white people. They want a multi-colored church, not multi-cultural. Do you think this is true of churches or not? (I don't know about entire churches, but I found myself convicted. I've NEVER been a racist, but I found that quietly thinking other people were "odd" because they worship a differently than I do is in itself a form of racism or pride.)

5. This one is for any Northern peeps reading this. The novel I am working on is a fantasy and one of the countries is based on the South. I'm quite Southern, so I've just infused that into the country and it is very dynamic and interesting. However, there is another country based on the North, but I ran into a slight problem....I know next to nothing about the North! So if y'all could tell me a bit about it, I would be happier than a ladybug taking a bath in the Mississippi on a hot summer day. Ahem.

In all seriousness, what are some quirks or mannerisms that you have? What type of food do you like in general? How is wording different? (e.g. "y'all" and "you guys") Do you think you dress differently than Southerners or about the same? How do you feel about Southern people? (Be honest, I promise I won't get offended! :P) What do you think of the weather? What would you say are some of the best and worst things about the North? Any other tidbits or info you could share would be awesome! I get frustrated when the South is portrayed inaccurately, and I would hate to be the cause of the same frustration to someone else.

Thank you so much! Y'all are awesome!

*And no, this is NOT a fantasy about the War Between the States. It's based on cowboy westerns which have a lot of different types of Americans because they were all moving west. The real reason I invented the Southern country was because Dacey-Ellis displayed very Southern tendencies and diction, so I thought I should be fair and make a Northern country too. :)


  1. Heavy questions.

    I'm gonna cop-out and focus on question #5. :) I don't know if any of this will be helpful for your story, but here's a random list of things off the top of my head. :) In no particular order.

    Please understand that none of this is meant as a slam against Southerners. I've learned a lot from both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, and a lot of the differences are simply cultural. For every positive thing about Northern culture, there is an equal and somewhat opposite positive about Southern culture).

    Northerners 101: (Okay, really, more like Northern-Mid-Westerners 101)

    We say "you guys" rather than "y'all" and we don't ever say "might could" or "ain't."

    We say "pop" instead of "soda" or "coke"

    Swimsuits don't start appearing in stores until March or April.

    Dress is fairly similar, with a few notable exceptions. 1) Summer-wear is not so "layer-friendly" tank tops and tees are usually made of a bit thicker material, because nobody wants to wear more than one layer in 75+ degree weather. 2) Winter-wear is likewise made out of thicker materials, and most sweaters one buys in the North can never comfortably be worn in the South, because it never gets cold enough to do so without dying of heat-stroke. 3) We wear socks with our sandals (not between-the-toe sandals, though that happens, too) but with casual sandals like these: The first time I did this in the Fall, several people called me a "loony Northerner."

    We identify with the Northern side of things when it came to the Civil War (and we call it the "Civil War" not the "War of Northern Aggression") LOL

    We're less open to talking to random strangers, though we're very friendly for the most part once we get to know someone. People don't just say "hi" to each other in the park or as they pass each other on a walk, and nobody will ask you what you ordered in a restaurant because they think it looks good.

    Northerners are more reserved with strangers, but also less formal. We don't say "sir" or "ma'am" - unless we're being sarcastic.

    A lot more towns and roads are named "Lincoln" in the North.

    We prefer lakes to the ocean... because we don't like the taste of saltwater, or the idea of getting stung by a jellyfish or eaten by a shark (and Lake Michigan is big enough that there's not much of a view difference between it and an Ocean).

    40 degrees is perfectly acceptable play-outside-in shorts weather.

    BBQ is all molasses-based, and that vinegar stuff is gross.

    Tornadoes are no big deal.

    Corn fields. Corn fields everywhere.

    Getting stuck on a 2-lane road behind a large tractor going 15 mph is commonplace, and nothing worth getting upset about... there's nothin' you can do about it.

    Riding around in the back of a pick-up truck is a normal, daily occurrence. Even if you live close to a city. Most people own a pick-up truck. Most people with a pick-up truck, also own a snow-plow attachment for it.

    Everyone owns a snow-shovel and an ice-scraper. Probably more than one of each.

    LOTS more road-work. And it lasts from March-October, because November-February weather is so extremely rough on the roads.

    College sports are not as big of a deal as the major leagues.

    We are far less likely to give up in adverse situations. Northerners (Mid-Westerners, moreso) tend to take a "put your heads down, grit your teeth, and keep going... no matter how much snow is on the ground."

  2. It's interesting, how there are a lot of similarities... and yet, the cultures are completely different. I still experience moments of culture-shock upon occasion. :) Not as much as the first 2 years I lived here... but still, every now and then, something just totally takes me off-guard.


      All of this is super cool and awesome. There's a lot more similarities than I was expecting. I bet us Southerners are either rather annoying or rather hilarious when we freak out over our annual half-inch of snow! XD

      I'm definitely going to be using these! I have one character in particular who sounds a lot like this. I can totally see him quietly chuckling as the Southern-esque members of the town freak out over a light snow. He'd probably be the only one in the town with a proper shovel...

      See! You've officially inspired me! I'm gonna finish this comment so I can go write my ideas down...

      Thank you sooo much! :D

    2. Yay! Glad I could be helpful! And, you're welcome. :)

    3. Oh, thought of a few more.

      Yards in the northern-midwest are WAY bigger. Most people have at least half an acre, if not more, because land is cheaper.

      Houses are more siding, you see lots more cedar, way less brick. Oh, and nobody PAINTS their brick, because that's just silly. :)

      Most people have basements. (Far less mold problems)

      Cockroaches exist, I'm sure... but I'd never seen one before I moved South... and every time I see one it makes me want to flee back North.

  3. Neat! A story based on cowboy westerns! LOVE.

    1. Thanks! I can't wait to write it! :)

  4. I can't stay. I got a bit kidnapped but I had to escape long enough to........YOU KILLED COAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOW COULD YOU!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!??!

    That is all. For now

    1. Hehe...I don't suppose saying 'sorry' will fix anything? *sheepish*

  5. We live in Southern California, and I'm not sure if that counts as the North or the South! :) Ha ha :D

    Ruth Newton

    1. Hmm...I'm not sure! I guess it could be considered 'western'...maybe? Lol, I've never thought about it before. :D

  6. Well, I know that here people definitely like to be more casual. Most teenagers wear jeans and a hoodie. Some people like to wear sandals pretty much everywhere, but lots of people wear boots during fall/winter. I don’t know if Southerners like to follow fashion trends, but you see some of the trends rubbing off on SoCal residents.

    Yards are so small that people get together and play at the local park :)

    Temperatures in SoCal don’t change very drastically. You can pretty much go the whole year wearing a hoodie or a sweater (except for the occasional times when it gets hot (85-90) or cold (45-55). And even then most like to stick with their hoodies :D

    In’n’Out Burger. Sums up Southern California cuisine. At least the most popular and well known part.

    Since this is the home of Hollywood, we see billboards everywhere for pretty much every movie to hit the theaters :) Big difference from when we lived in Colorado where we saw an occasional movie poster.

    I can’t seem to think of anything else right now. Maybe later… I hoped this helped a little.
    Ruth Newton

    1. Wow! This is all so fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

      I'm so glad I asked about life in the North. I'm getting to learn all kinds of things about the different types of peeps in the US.

      YES. Southerners, perhaps, pay too much attention to fashion trends, especially if you live near a major city like Atlanta or Charleston. Here in Raleigh, it's not quite so prominent, though it is still there. It's also nice because you don't have to be a specific kind of person to be "fashionable". You can be goth, hipster, country, whatever, as long as you do it with style. Weird, I suppose, but I kinda like it.

      It's interesting to learn that is it not always hot in Cali. It sounds rather nice!

      I can definitely use this! Thanks again for sharing! If you think of more, I'd love to hear about it! :)