Christmas Time is Here [re-direct to idobi]

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been listening to Christmas music since late November. I even wrote a mini piece for idobi about one of my favourite Christmas songs – and one of the best covers! Click here to read more about Family Force 5’s cover of the Vince Guaraldi classic, “Christmas Time is Here”!

charlie brown christmas

More Like NaNo-NoGo

I’ve failed. Failed to complete NaNoWriMo, even though you’d think I’d have it under control, it being my third year and all (you can read my success stories here and here).

Alas, it was not meant to be.

I was determined to finish a manuscript, and I got stuck and couldn’t get unstuck. Partly because I know next-to-nothing about British law enforcement and sports, and guess what my WIP is about? BRITISH LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SPORTS. So I was constantly pausing to research, and therefore only hit 29,000 words. My other problem is that I like talking about the characters, but I sometimes ignore the plot. My bad.

Plus I wrote 13654320 other things for this blog and Mind the Gap, and spent the rest of my time job-hunting, grumbling about job-hunting, decorating for Christmas, sleeping, and, I don’t know, probably eating.

food sleep

Instead of dwelling on my failure, I’m using this as a learning experience and I know that I will have to better manage my time next year. And, as a positive, I’ll be home for half of December, so I can work on my manuscript then (hopefully)!

I do think, however, that I wrote 50,000 words this month anyway (just not in my WIP!). The following is a list of posts I published in November:


Library of Souls review
5 Seconds of Summer mini-review
TTT: Book to Movie Adaptations
Book Blitz: Sugar Skulls
Anne & Henry review
Blog Tour: Every Word
The Real Neat Blog Award
Andrew McMahon concert review
The Universe Versus Alex Woods review
A Thousand Nights review


WCW: Lynn Gunn
Every series review
Why We Love Neil Gaiman
Orphan Black season one review
Tea-riffic Recommendations
Why We Love Andrew McMahon
NaNoWriMo (ironically, I didn’t follow my own advice!)
Soulless review
Why We Love Harry Potter
Community season five review
Holiday Music
Don Broco


Friday Night Lites review

And here’s a list of upcoming posts (written but not yet published) that I’ve been working on, since I’m going to London next week and won’t be home to write them! You can click the links now, but they won’t be live until the date listed in parentheses.


TTT: Top Ten Books of 2015 (Dec 15)


Victor Frankenstein review (Dec 2)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Dec 4)
All I Want For Christmas (Dec 5)
My Favourite Christmas/Holiday Episodes (Dec 8)
London (Dec 10)
Holiday Movies (Dec 12)
All Time Low (Dec 14)
WCW: Emma Stone (Dec 16)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone/Days of Blood and Starlight review (Dec 18)
Celebrating the Holidays (Dec 19)
How I Met Your Mother season nine (Dec 22)
Best of 2015 (Dec 26)

You could also maybe sign up for the Mind the Gap newsletter (on our homepage), so that you can keep up with these posts every week (but only if you want to!).


My Christmas Letter to All Time Low/You Me At Six
Un(Covered): Christmas Time is Here
Un(Covered): Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

For anyone who participated in NaNoWriMo, how did it go? And for the rest of you: how was your November?

12 Days of a POP PUNK Christmas


I’m a little excited. Which is why I broke out this fun song that I just discovered a few weeks ago.

It’s pretty self-explanatory: this is “12 Days of Christmas” POP PUNK style (aka the best kind of style).

I haven’t watched the rest of this guy (Jarrod Alonge)’s videos yet, but if they’re half as entertaining as this, then it’s going to be a treat!

For those of you who don’t feel like watching the whole video, a POP PUNK Christmas list goes like this:

12 broken hearts

11 anchor tats

10 pics of Parker [Cannon, singer of The Story So Far]

9 cardboard signs

8 tumblr notes

7 vinyl records

6 flannel shirts

5 large pizzas

4 pairs of Vans

3 cans of tea

2 snapback hats

and a pair of skinny khakis

Kinda makes you want to start a circle pit at your family dinner, doesn’t it?

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

I have no idea how I didn’t know this existed until sometime in early November, but this is my new favourite Christmas song.

I have said many times that I flippin’ worship Panic! at the Disco, so when I (belatedly) learned about this, I was over the moon. Brendon’s voice is unbelievable here, and if he decided to make an entire Christmas album, I would buy it so fast.

PS. So, I originally wrote this post about a month ago (sometimes I write things in advance so I don’t have to scramble to come up with a topic last minute), and since then, I wrote another, completely different paragraph about this exact same song for – check out our fun list of 10 Christmas covers!

December first, I’m in a foreign state, I’m running late

The best way to kick off December is with a rousing rendition of The Maine’s classic song, “Ho Ho Hopefully”.

This video makes me laugh. Oh, John and his red pants.

It’s one of my favourite Christmas songs. It’s so dang cute and is essentially a feel-good holiday movie condensed into a four minute song. I mean, with lyrics like “we go together like the winter and a sweater”, how can you not smile until your cheeks hurt?

For more The Maine Christmas-y goodness, check out their 2008 holiday EP, …And a Happy New Year.

Christmas time is here…

On today, the eve of Christmas Eve, I want to talk about CHRISTMAS MUSIC. Because I LOVE Christmas music!

I decided to pick 5 of my favourite Christmas songs (I didn’t repeat any artists, because if I allowed myself to repeat artists, I’d end up writing a post that says: “LISTEN TO FAMILY FORCE 5’S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT IN ITS ENTIRETY. YOU’RE WELCOME.”).

So here it is (this was so difficult to choose just 5!)

“Fool’s Holiday” – All Time Low

The first time I heard it, my heart grew 3 times its normal size. It’s incredible. Every time I hear it, I have to stop what I’m doing and sing along at the top of my voice, play air guitar, and whip my hair back and forth. If you like this, check out ATL’s other holiday song (from 2011), “Merry Christmas, Kiss My Ass“.

“Ho Ho Hopefully” – The Maine

 IT’S PERFECTION. JOHN O’CALLAGHAN LOOKS SO YOUNG BUT HE’S STILL SO CUTE. Their entire Christmas EP is adorable, but this song is my favourite!

“Carol of the Bells” – Family Force 5

Impossible to pick a favourite off of FF5’s Christmas Pageant album. It was a battle between this, “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas” (for which Ro and I have an epic interpretive dance that may or may not involve sliding across the living room floor and a lot of jazz hands).

“Santa Baby” – Madonna

One of my all time favourite Christmas songs. It never gets old. The Michael Buble version is pretty spectacular too.

“Mile High Christmas” – Breathe Carolina

Because who doesn’t want to make like Kyle and scream “PRESENTS! LET’S OPEN THIS SHIT UP” on Christmas morning?

BONUS: “Winter Passing” – The Academy Is…

It’s not specifically a “Christmas” song, but it’s wintery and he mentions the holidays and it’s just one of those songs that make you want to curl up under a blanket with a mug of tea and a single tear running down your face. For me, anyway.

For (pop)punk fans, make sure you look up the two holiday albums from Fearless Records: 2011’s (digital-only) ‘Tis the Season to be Fearless and 2013’s Punk Goes Christmas.  There’s also the aforementioned Christmas Pageant (2009) by Family Force 5 and the …And a Happy New Year EP (2008) from The Maine, plus the somewhat heart-wrenching-because-it-was-one-of-the-first-songs-he-wrote/recorded-after-his-cancer-treatment song, “The Lights and Buzz” from Andrew McMahon (released as a Jack’s Mannequin song) (I’m tearing up just thinking about the “it’s good to be alive” lyric).

There are so many songs and so many versions, I couldn’t list all of the ones I love without this post going on for days! But it’s almost Christmas, and I have work to do and cookies to eat, so…