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Monday, April 02, 2007

I'm a quiz addict, how about you?

We’ve all been there - flicking through the glossy pages of women’s magazines at the supermarket check-out, in the doctor’s waiting room, or hiding under the bedclothes with a pen and a flashlight, reading the ubiquitous sex quiz pages with headers like The Top Ten Ways to Keep Your Man.

An addict to filling out forms of any kind, I have filled out sooooo many of these quizzes over my lifetime without ever really wondering who wrote them, or what kind of education and background the creator must have had before dolling out such essential relationship advice. They could be psychologists, franticly overworked editors, or sixteen year old interns for all we know.

Or they could be like Abbey Parrish, the heroine in my latest novel, and my very first Modern Extra Sensual, GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS. Abbey doesn’t have one single clue how to get a man much less what to do with him when she ultimately does get him!

Yet somehow her advice resonates. Perhaps it's all about collective experience. Or the way we can all see in our daily stars how that kernel of advice might actually relate to our lives. A need for solidarity, to know we're not alone in feeling out of place, out of time, and on the verge of never being able to find someone to love.

Next time I head down to the supermarket, and flick through a magazine I wonder which question will speak to me, and head me off on a tangent I was simply waiting for the right prod to head along any old how.

How about you? Have you ever read something in your stars or an advice column that was like a lightbulb moment? Do you think such random things can really change a person's course in life?

8 comments:

Mona said...

Hi Ally,

I don't really believe in these things. Though I like very much to read the features of a character based on his sign. I find that very interesting.
I like to take the consequences for my actions based on my own thinking. So if the advice went bad I wouldn't really regret that I gave my head up and listened to someone else

Ally Blake said...

Mona, I've certainly used that device before. Sometimes characters in my head so readily fit into a particular star sign or enneagram, and it helps ground me as a writer - the parameters within which a character would naturally act.

Great point!

Ally

Angie-la said...

Hi all! I was checking out Anna Campbell's site (due to all the positive buzz about her debut novel!) and saw your link, so I thought I'd drop in and comment. One can never have too many blogs to follow, yes?? :0)

I do some quizzes just for fun, to see if they are in any way accurate. Most are not. every once in a while I read my horoscope, just for fun and it has been spot on a time or two, but not enough to make a true believer out of me. I think you more or less make your own destiny and advice columns and horoscopes are more entertaining than life altering. At least for me, anyway. Although i do enjoy a good fortune cookie and some of those have been eerily accurate!

ellie said...

I normally do not pay attention to those quizzes or stars. It is entertaining to read them from time to time to see how accurate they are though. Just for interest sake I do it.

liz said...

Hm...I guess from time to time I like to fill up these quizzes (personality, career, etc), and the horoscope and stuff...but I think I mostly do it for entertainment as well.

Liz

diane said...

I don't follow those particular stars or quizzes but it is fun to try it just to see how close it can be to the individual.

pearl said...

I rarely if ever pay attention to the signs since they do not have the accuracy.

bamabelle said...

I enjoy the quizzes, but just for fun. I cannot say that I've ever had any sort of epiphany after doing one. As far as star signs,it is fun to see that so many of the characteristics fit. I can see how it could be useful for creating a profile for a fictional character.