“WHERE WHITE CROWS DWELL”

I can’t help but reblog this (I may have reblogged this already before). I am very sad with what’s been happening to the world right now. Well, this past years. It seems there are people who are hell-bent on making things, well, hell for everyone, and ironically, it’s usually for the sake of religion supposedly…I don’t want to write about it anymore because it will just drain me. So this will be “it”.

The End Justifies the Journey

When it comes to stating my views, I can be a very passionate person. You can get a glimpse of that once in a while from my Facebook account, if we’re buddies. But lately, I have been trying to not say anything. The ISIS executions, the Charlie Hebdo incident, and now, the Fallen 44.

I so have my opinions on them but I have refrained from saying anything because it is not going to solve anything. I do not anymore want to spread the negativity further. What we need is to pray to whoever is our personal god for peace.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO HATE RELIGIOUS HATE!

HATE ANY KIND OF BIGOTRY AND INTOLERANCE!

But let us SPREAD THE LOVE.

This is my first post for February. In observance of its significance, I am posting things in relation to love this month. I start with this poem I wrote maybe…

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March 2017 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

I missed doing my March 2017 recap. To be honest, it feels so long ago now that I can’t even remember the stuff I wrote about. My revisiting the posts now will take me back, definitely. From what I know, I was really hyped up for the then-upcoming A to Z Challenge. I hardly really checked out Facebook even.

Here’s a recap of my March 2017:

Blog-wise:

(1) Hash potatoes!!!

#MondayMemoirs (none)

#MondayReviews (none)

#TuesdayTunes (see Wishes and Songs Part 1)

#TVTuesday (none)

#AskWednesday (see “As writers, have you ever had ideas only to find out later that others beat you to them? What were they?”)

#WhatsupWednesday (see The Guy Google)

#ThursdayTips (none)

#FeatureFriday (see The BRF and New Society with its New Technologies)

#FridayFlashdance (none)

#AnythingDay (see JAMIE PART 4: DEAR JAMIEThe A-to-Z Challenge theme Reveal 2017 and JAMIE PART 5: JAMIE AND THE GOSSIP BOYS)  –  Any day could be about anything.

Judging from my results, I was semi-active, which was better than hardly active or, worse, inactive. I was gearing up for April anyway.

(3) My Trending Stories. I still put it off because of certain hindrances, but I decided to finally restart it sometime in May (which is NOW).

(4) A to Z ChallengeWait till I’m done.

Social Media Reach-out:

 

I’m getting followers slowly but steadily, at least. I don’t really expect to get many, I’m just surprised there are those who decide to FOLLOW me on Facebook (even Twitter, which still confuses me at times) when they don’t really know me personally. It’s so nice to get followers who think that what I post are interesting enough.

A few months back, I started sending thank-you messages to FB followers. Unfortunately, it could be so time-consuming that I had to stop. What I normally do when I have the time is to visit bloggers who decide to follow my blog. I get email notifications everytime, so I just filter to see followers and go from there.

I’ve been somehow more active than I’ve ever been on Twitter (just a tad more). And, oh, I should give special shout-outs to both Annette (@YouAreTheExpert) and Debbie (@DebbieDogLady). Whenever I post anything here, it gets posted on their Twitter pages. That’s free promotion for me through RSS Feed-ing. Thank you, ladies 🙂

Fiction/Story- and Poetry-writing:

Restarted being a bit more active. See, I posted two Jamie Tales shorts (see #AnythingDay).

Literature:

No book-reading happened whatsoever. I am so ashamed.

Personal:

  • I have become a Wish 107.5 FM fanatic, ergo, my #TuesdayTunes post. It honestly helped me overcome a sort of tough time then. Music is great therapy.
  • I have become an active Quora adviser, but I am very curious why 98% of questions I am asked has to do with handling relationships. I suddenly feel like a relationship guru. But I suppose, the key is to put myself in their shoes.
  • I declared self-imposed hiatus on Facebook and was away for more than two weeks, I think. It was due to a mix of avoiding things/people that make me feel a bit depressed and trying to write more.

 

Your thoughts? 😉

AbsoLOOTly Geeking Out for Dream Crate #AskWednesday

Thar’s gold in them treasure chests!!! And I’m gon’ get all of ’em treasures!!! Grrrrrrroaarr!!!!

…Oops. Pardon me. I was just channeling my inner pirate and got carried away. Well, who wouldn’t be carried away when you have the chance to get everything in your dream loot? RRaaarrr!!! Move over, Jack Sparrow!!! It’s my party and I’ll loot as much as I want to.

As for you, my readers, you probably are already wondering if you should click on Exit or the Back button and leave me with my hallucinations. No need, guys. I am just excited because I am (maybe) a step closer to getting the BEST. LOOT. EVER. And this is no hallucination. I am talking about LOOT CRATE‘s Dream Crate project.

Loot Crate is a monthly subscription service especially meant for the geeks, gamers and pop culture fanatics. Each crate is a mystery box full of various items based around a theme and You (a.k.a. The Geek) get to receive this box and every thing in it.

“No matter what you geek out about, Loot Crate™ has a monthly subscription box for you! Exclusive collectibles, apparel and gear delivered to your door.” 

Epic wins. Every month. Why not? I want my “epic mystery box of ridiculously cool surprises”, if it isn’t obvious. Therefore, I have decided to take part in a Loot Crate project.

It’s called the DREAM CRATE Project, which should allow me, ze geek, to hypothetically put together my own creatively themed dream crate. I can select whatever I want to see in my box and go over-the-top loot crazy! The funnest part is I am given 100% reign over the kind of items in my crate.

I may or may not get my wishes, most probably not all, but there’s no harm in trying, right? If I do get to win with the theme, that would be one of the most awesome surprises. I might even post the great unboxing right on YouTube if I can get a nice camera and get over my camera ‘fright’. Now, since May is my special month, may the stars align and the force be with me.

Eclectic Dreams

I took time posting because I took time deciding on a theme. Then I took time doing research (I am Research Girl, so naturally…). My theme, I decided, is going to be a mish-mash of the various stuff that interest me, pretty much like what my whole blog is about, which is eclectic. Now, one big reason this took long was exactly this reason…I didn’t know which idea to throw away!!!

I’m calling this theme “The EclecticPop Dreams Crate”. It’s for those who don’t really want to be tied to just one theme because really, there are so many cool stuff out there. I’ve taken the challenge and decided to follow their advice: to have fun, be creative, and go as over the top as possible. If this is not over the top, then I don’t know what is. I listed down A LOT, but that’s because I want to have more chances. “If they don’t have this item, maybe they’ll have the other one,” know what I mean?

So, without further ado, let’s get down to business. Geek, ON! (Oh, and if you see asterisks, that means I reeeeeaally want them).

Reads

In my monthly recaps, I had to make a poll asking people which they would suggest for me to read next, Game of Thrones or The Hunger Games?  It was a tie. I am hardly an e-book reader because I really prefer the sight, smell and feel of real books. For my dream crate, I’d like the whole set(s) of either or both book series. Woohoo!

The Game of Thrones book series

The Hunger Games trilogy

KATHY REICHS 17 Books

To complete my library request, though, this BONES fangirl is requesting a whole set of Kathy ReichsBrennan forensics series. That should keep this wannabe-squint busy.

I do need to complete my Harry Potter books. I would love it if I could get Books 3, 6 & 7.

And while we’re at it, as a special request, I would like another COMPLETE set of this. I would like to be able to pay it forward and donate the set to a library. (Loot Crate is free to add more kids’ books if they want to *wink!*)

Last, I definitely would appreciate it if I get the comics issues of The Walking Dead. PLEEAAAASSSEEEE.

Ergo, just so we’re clear on it, I wish for the…

  • Game of Thrones complete book set
  • Hunger Games whole trilogy set
  • **Harry Potter Books 3, 6 & 7
  • **Harry Potter complete book set
  • **The Walking Dead comics edition, all issues

Music and Musicals

My wishes:

  • **The CATS The Musical DVD
  • **The WICKED Musical libretto and/or a signed Broadway script (Please, gimme Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth!)
  • the Pentatonix debut EP PTX Volume 1

CATS The Musical poster featuring my fave Jemimah (Veerle Casteleyn)

One of various signed scripts for WICKED The Musical

The internationally famous a capella quintet Pentatonix

 

Videos

No explanations needed. I wish for Complete season DVDs, from the first-ever episode of the first season(s) to the last or latest episode of the last or latest season(s) of any of these (all maybe? ha ha!!!), and then some:

  • **BONES
  • **CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (a.k.a. CSI: Las Vegas, the original)
  • **NCIS (the original)
  • The Best of Abby DVD
  • Pysch
  • MacGyver (Surprise!!! Well, in the ’80s, it was pop culture. Of course, I’m referring to the old one)
  • **The Walking Dead (TWD) (Yes, I’ve seen all seasons and now, I want ALL)
  • **Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG) remastered series set The Full Journey
  • Star Trek: The Compendium Blu-Ray

I love whodunnits especially when they’re funny like Psych

MacGyver: Nothing like an old-fashioned adventure that teaches you to use common sense and be resourceful, especially if your life depends on it!

More Memorabilia & Collectibles

Oh, this is my favorite part. I loooove memorabilia/collectibles. My brain is going haywire just thinking of everything!!!

  • **PREFERRED: Action figures.

1. From TWD’s ShopTheWalkingDead.com (in order of preference):

Daryl Dixon Resin Statue

a. I want the detailed McFarlane Collector Edition solo action figures, but I definitely would LOVE to have any of these first: **Daryl Dixon Resin Statue 1 and **Statue 2, **Daryl with new bike, **Negan and Glenn Delux Boxed Set, Rick on horse. I wanted a good Carol figure, but *insert sad face here*

Daryl and the Wolves

b.There’s a whole Eaglemoss collection of TWD figures. It would be great to see 12 of the main characters on the collector’s model display. My priority is to have these characters, at least: Rick, Daryl, Carol, Glenn, Michonne, Carl, Maggie, Walker Merle (to hit two birds with one stone – a main character and a walker rep), Sasha, Hershel, Shane, Lori (if any).

c. If the above items are not possible, then I’ll settle for Funko Pop stuff, but none of those short-hair Daryl ones and Young Carl, though. Don’t forget Carol!!!

d. **Carol stickers from RedBubble.com, like Match Made in Hell. Hey, Carol’s my most fave–she’s the new Daryl.

e. Michonne Sixth Scale Figure

2. **Assorted: Various ST characters (Spock, Capt. Kirk, Lt. Sulu, Capt. Picard, Cmdr. Riker, Counselor Troi, Data, Worf, Geordi La Forge, Tasha Yar, Q, Guinan, Capt. Sisko, Quark, Kira Nerys, Jadzia Dax, Odo, Capt. Janeway, Tuvok, B’elanna Torres, Seven of Nine)

  • **Any signed episode script(s) (but preferably Pilot script) of BONES, Buffy TVS, Charmed, CSI, NCIS, Psych, The Walking Dead, Xena: Warrior Princess…Honestly, I’m getting mental block right now.

Abby Sciuto‘s famous caffeinated fixer-upper

***BONUS!!! If Loot Crate could give me various Pokemon stuffed toys, I am donating them to underprivileged kids.

Star Trek‘s famous Starship Enterprise

BONES Cast-signed Photo Autograph Reprint

Baby Groot (Guardians of the Galaxy) Funko Pop Collection

Apparel

Okay, last but not the least, wearables!!! Nothing screams “FAAANNN!!!” like apparel that feature your fave shows, movies, artists, and sports/teams. I have here a list of apparels I’m interested in. Again, they’re a lot not because I expect to get a lot (though that would be nice), but because I want to give them lots of options. American sizes tend to be bigger, but sometimes, they tend to be small as well, so given my size, I’m not going to assume I’d be a small.

 

Alright! I think I’ve covered everything. I know it’s long, but hey, I’m given the chance so I’m taking the opportunity to let them know what I want. I think it’s a great theme because it would be nice to get a dose of all your favorite stuff once in a while, don’t you agree? I am just embracing my geek and, well, it’s a giant hug *insert giant wink here*.

How about you? Create your own dream crate and let’s see who gets the best presents from the lootfairies!

 

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Well, April’s over (my A to Z Challenge isn’t yet), but I squeezed this one in. I’m back to my hash potatoes and today, it’s #AskWednesday day. I was asked, “What would you like to see in your dream crate?” Above is my loooong reply.

Man, it was hard not to write down EVERYTHING I want. But I didn’t want to be greedy. I did include some requests so that I could pay it forward. If I win the crate theme, that would be awesome. If I don’t, too bad, but I’d still be happy I did my list just the same 🙂

Thanks, Loot Crate!!!

Vlogging #atozchallenge2017

Vlog is the new blog. Well, at least, an off-shoot. Like it or not, it is most probably here to stay, if not take on a much newer form. After all, there was a time that vlogging was considered almost synonymous to doing podcasts until distinctions were made. YouTube became all the more popular. There are a few other platforms for this purpose, but no one can argue that YouTube takes much of the cake. Just count the people who have become viral and famous.

“Vlogging”, for the still uninitiated, is short for video blogging. Why not? “Blogging” is just short for web logging, so the principle is the same. Actually, if we were to be strict about it, it should be video logging, but probably no one except me cares. Vlogging is basically posting about something through a different medium, through the audio-visual form. Often, it’s a selfie kind of thing. Basically, you vlog/blog to share yourself and things to the world. It could be for fun and expression, for sharing relevant information, and/or for business-related purposes.

Much of the vlogging we see are done impromptu, in real-time. This is not to say, however, that it does not involve any writing. Not really. After all, there are more than one kind of vlogs. Many of them do incorporate writing. Let me mention my own observations.

INTRO/OUTRO

Most YouTube channels I’ve visited have created their own intros and outros. Well, a lot of them are simple–could even be so simple like just the unimaginative “Hi”–but there are those who have taken time to create spiels to use on a regular basis. They create their unique, hopefully recall-worthy introductions and farewell spiels.

As an example, the reactions channel HugKnucklesTV has its own intro and own outro (starts at 17:27)

TOPICS

If there are travel bloggers, food critics, life hack gurus, product reviewers, and others who love to blog, there are also similar people who choose video as their medium or (literally) channel of communication. Therefore, they don’t just pick up a camera and hit on the record button. The better ones plan well what they want to show.

BuzzFeed likes to create different types of videos that inform, entertain or both. This one is a tips video which contents are based on what the adviser says onscreen.

I definitely appreciate that.

One of my fave kinds of vids to watch lately, however, are mukbangs. Believe me, until more than a month ago, I think, I never knew what a mukbang was. It is…

“…a uniquely Korean trend of people getting paid to eat large meals in front of a webcam for a live-streaming broadcast. Mukbang is a portmanteau word that combines the Korean word for ‘eat’ (muok-da) with the word for ‘broadcast’ (bang song).” (QZ.com)

These days, a mukbang means a food review (in line with the reaction videos trend) and does not necessarily mean a reviewer/reactor gets paid for it. Well, usually. I like watching  Maximum Munchies, which reaction video for a fastfood chain I shared in Contents with All the Feels.

One of the best mukbang channels worth watching, though, is The Thien Le Eating Show. Others have said it and I am going to say it: I never thought I’d watch a whole video just to see someone EAT!!! Wow, that guy could really eat for a whole family! Without gaining weight, too, it seems! (He did explain how he stays slim)

It’s not just about the amount of food he consumes in one seating, it’s the way he eats that makes you love him. Oh, how he loves his food. Believe me, you don’t want to be watching him way past midnight with no food around to grab. Avoid the torture.

If you want to see what I mean…

Sometimes, he does a “cookbang”. Which is great because my sister and I used to watch cooking shows when I was a kid. Of course, I love Thien most for featuring Filipino food (I’m biased much!!!). And, of course, here’s a sample of his “cookbang” (just so we all can watch him eat, he he).

SCRIPTED CONTENTS

There are really lots of scripted vlog posts out there. It should not be a surprise. But rather than just go all “gung ho” and shoot, they plan their actual contents. It’s not all-visuals. Sometimes, even much research is done to come up with a credible vlog post.

For instance, here’s a how-to video that still involved writing pre-shoot and behind the scenes, for sure:

Two very good examples of scripted vids are those from the ERB or EpicRapBattles channel of Epic Lloyd and Nice Peter, who are not afraid to spoof themselves, and Whitney Avalon‘s channel that brings the Princess Rap Battles, some parody songs and comedy shorts. I have shared various samples from them before, but who’s counting?

So, for your viewing pleasure…

Artists vs. Turtles! (This would have been really epic if they made it longer and added more raps, but…)

This next one is not a rap battle, but I love that Whitney does original songs (like the Anna Song), she’s got a nice voice, and it’s about comic con!

What amazes me is the amount of time, effort, even ingenuity they bring to create their videos. First, they actually create original rap battles, and I am pretty sure some can take an amount of research as well. Second, the actors are generally actually very capable rap artists. Third, they use elaborate settings and effects for presentations that are often TV- or movie-worthy…Don’t tell me those do not take an awful lot of writing.

When we say script, though, what immediately comes to mind is dialogue. There are really funny “real-life” skits like the next ones (they do have some things to promote at the end, so feel free to ignore). Tripp and Tyler do comedy skits so well. Yes, so well that I couldn’t decide which one of three vids to leave out. So guess what.

 

All these are just a few samples of thousands of videos that make it on our screens. If you have worthy vlogs to share, just let us know 😉

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April is gone and I am obviously not done with my letters. Why is something I’ll reserve in my reflections post. So right now, I’ll concentrate on finishing the challenge.

V is for “Vlogging”

This piece serves as my Letter V post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

For my previous posts, kindly visit my A to Z Challenge 2017 page.

 

 

Did you hear about the…? #atozchallenge2017

Did you hear about that couple who went to a hotel and slept overnight over a dead girl’s body stuck in the bed’s box spring? How about the funhouse mummy that turned out to be a real corpse that had traveled here and there for decades? Do you know anything about the Red Room? Please don’t even Google it, or else…!!!

Urban Legends. Life just isn’t fun enough for people, right?

An urban legend, being a legend, is a kind of folklore. The difference from the regular legend, though, is it’s based on pop culture. In other words, it’s modern-day folklore. That’s where the “urban” comes from–to differentiate it from the age-old legends, not necessarily to say it just happens in urban places. The term was first recorded in 1968.

It is called by other names: urban myth, popular legend, contemporary legend, urban tale. But to tweak Shakespeare’s words, a legend, by any other name, would still be fiction. Well, mostly.

It is said that while urban legends may be a figment of people’s imagination, some of them are not exactly that totally made-up.  They are based on supposedly real stories, passed on by people to other people until many start to believe them. And many of these urban legends are passed on through writings, including through media. In the age of the millennials, the reach of these tales has widened.

What is the purpose of urban fiction? It is…

a modern story of obscure origin and with little or no supporting evidence that spreads spontaneously in varying forms and often   has elements of humor, moralizing, or horror.” (Dictionary.com)

A scene from the Japanese film Ringu

Often, the idea is to scare people, which Hollywood took advantage of. Films of popular and not-so-popular urban legends have been  made. Films of supposed ones that weren’t really have also been made. Why, even a movie is entitled Urban Legend , leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that it’s meant to be suspenseful and scary. There was the film The Blair Witch Project that was fiction, inspired by various documentaries on paranormal phenomena. Ringu was specifically based on actual records of actual people also.

Fiction or not, urban legends are here to stay and even multiply. It is up to us to decide which is true, which is not, and if they actually matter.

 

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Any urban legends you can share? The comments section is just below to serve you 🙂

U is for “Urban Legend”

 

This piece serves as my Letter U post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

Truth? I had a hard time thinking of a topic for the U post that it took me days. I thought I’d just post my missing letters, but no, I wanted to do it forward. Then I encountered a few problems, but those, I will discuss in the reflections post once I am done.

For my previous posts, kindly visit my A to Z Challenge 2017 page.

“TREACHERY” #atozchallenge2017

I realized that though this is Poetry Month, I haven’t really shared any new poem of my own save from the very short ode that wasn’t really an ode. Now this is not exactly new, but I have not yet shared it here. Now a little background…

A lot of my poems have a contemplative feel, but many do have a sad, wounded, if not angry feel to them. That is because they are often unintentionally based on my experiences and on stuff that make me sad. For some reason, I seem to be inspired to write out my feelings more in poetry form when some things bother me. This annoys me a bit, truthfully, but I am what I am.

So with this poem I wrote years ago, you can very much guess what “inspired” me. As for the backstory, it is mine to keep. Let’s just say that much earlier on, I knew already she was not to be trusted: she already betrayed two people and even my confidence once. I just did not see the next time coming. Pathological traitors are like that. She got me into trouble, so to speak, so she could save her own behind.

You know, I’d like to say I have forgiven this person, but I would be lying. I have a long way to go on the path I am trying to take.

TREACHERY

What treachery is this?
A betrayal that has no name.

You speak in riddles
but mostly in silence,
yet speak with praises
and feigned friendship
in the same breath.
Your lies and your secrets
and my seeming ignorance
blend perfectly well
in a murky, filthy brew…

…Or so you think.

I have long-ago recognized the stench
seeping from your very skin.
I have long-ago recognized my anger
and hatred for your deceit.

Do you think I am such a fool
to ever believe you?
Do you think I am so blind
not to see through you?

Ah. Maybe not. Still, you try,
hoping, praying (to what god?).
You may have won the battle,
but I will someday win the war.

What treachery is this?
I ask in anger.
Oh, but betrayal
does have a name—YOU.

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

 

HAPPY POETRY MONTH STILL!!!

If you want to read more of my poems, you can find them at the POETRY NOOK.

 

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I hope you liked what you read. As said, there are more at the POETRY NOOK.

T is for “Treachery”

This piece serves as my Letter T post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

Will link to my A to Z Challenge 2017 page soon. 😉

Songs and Short Stories #atozchallenge2017

We all love music. Maybe we differ in preferences, maybe some of us aren’t good singers. Nevertheless, I would like to think that no one purposely hates songs.

Given that the storytelling for the whole Sound of Music (SOM) film is quite accurate, Captain Von Trapp did not want to hear singing in his house until Maria arrived. However, it wasn’t that he hated songs–the widower who wasn’t through grieving just did not want to be reminded of his first wife. I am not really talking about SOM here, though. I’m just saying that no, no one gets away from music.

Songs and short stories, that’s what I’d really like to talk about. Rather, songs that tell stories. These are stuff that have always captured my heart, especially the ones that make me feel things.

I love that aside from enjoying the melodies, I am made to contemplate on the lyrics of the songs. There are many songs that we like to listen to because they sound good, or because we can dance to the tunes. But once in a while, we are given the opportunity to listen to good stories, too. Sure, most songs have stories; not all are written well enough. I’m all for well-written songs.

Please do mind that I have only included those that I have heard myself (in case you’re looking for other samples that you know of), songs that come to mind for now.  They are songs I like for various reasons. They maybe old, ranging from way before I was born to maybe the early 90s. They maybe simple stories, sad ones, maybe kind of autobiographical, many have social relevance. The genres differ also, so if you are not a fan of a genre, do give the song a chance, anyway.

Now, this is not rocket science, so I won’t explain further. If you need to understand more, I’ll let the songs I shared below to explain to you. I honestly have much more in mind, like Killing Me Softly, originally by Lori Lieberman and then by Carole King, and which is about singer Don McLean. Still, ten songs for this post will suffice for now.

They are in alphabetical order, by the way…ENJOY REALLY LISTENING WITH YOUR HEARTS!!!

Adrian by Jewel

American Pie by Don McLean (wow, I never realized this song is more than eight minutes!)

At Seventeen by Janis Ian

Hazard by Richard Marx…So who do you think killed Mary…?)

Don’t Cry, Joni  by Conway Twitty and daughter Joni Lee

How Come, How Long by Babyface and Stevie Wonder

Luka by Suzanne Vega

People Everyday by Arrested Development…A lot of their songs have social relevance, like Mr. Wendal and Tennessee.

Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega…Let’s admit it, it’s quite catchy 😉

Waterfalls by TLC…Very relevant song from my fave girl group. Check out Unpretty, also very relevant.

 

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I’m sure you have more to add. Come on, share below and let’s talk!

S is for both “Songs” and “Stories”

This piece serves as my Letter S post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

I am creating a page for my A to Z Challenge 2017 posts. Wait for it 😉

How to Apply as a Graphic Designer

Just something non-A to Z related, but I think it’s important to share. If you’re an aspiring graphic designer, read this and you can thank Jonas Diego for it afterwards 🙂

HotDamnIt

We are told “not to judge a book by it’s cover” but we do it all the time, none the less.

I am the Studio Manager for the Creatives Department of the Ladbrokes Coral Group in Manila, responsible for the provision of creative services including overseeing the delivery and execution of creative requests across the business globally. Last week I posted a call out for Graphic Artists in my Facebook account, asking those interested to send their resume and portfolio to my email address. To date, I’ve received over 300 applications (and they’re still coming) but I’ve shortlisted only 40 people out of this number.

Don’t get me wrong: a lot of those submissions were impressive bodies of work.

The problem however, was that a big chunk of those applications were not packaged professionally enough. Believe me when I say that how you put together your submissions greatly affects your…

View original post 575 more words

The Truth in Your Make-believe #atozchallenge2017

Many people, I believe, think that writing fiction is all about the imagination. After all, you cannot write a fictional story without making up something that did not really happen. That’s creative writing, So they’re right, right?

NOT SO MUCH. The fact about creating fiction is you add truth to the make-believe.

Sure, imagination is the major tool to use, but even make-believe needs to be somewhat, well, believable. Say you are working on a science fiction story. Do you simply say the aliens have arrived and then every person or thing on earth starts to float or elevate and you just leave it at that? I think not.

“The world of your story must have its own internal logic, rules and constraints.” (Writers & Artists)

You do not simply assume that readers will assume for themselves that the loss of gravitational pull is mainly due to the alien invasion. Maybe some won’t mind, those who are in it for the sole entertainment. But there are the thinking audience/readers who would mind, whom you could lose as readers because of that. There has to be some kind of scientific way to explain how the aliens do it somehow.

Since we’re on the subject of aliens, anyway, I am reminded of a movie I saw a long time ago, and which book version I got to own and read. It’s called Enemy Mine by Barry B. Longyear.

In it is an alien nicknamed Jerry, who we naturally assume as male based on appearance, voice (in the film), and how the Narrator begins telling the story. Then the earthling (Narrator) Willis Davidge gets a shocking surprise when Jerry announces he/she/it is pregnant. The alien soon gives birth.

Now the writer may had known about asexual reproduction from way back gradeschool, but if he hadn’t, then research certainly helped him use the concept and make the scenario logical enough. If he just left it to readers/viewers to figure out the gender of the alien–and whether hanky-panky between two inter-galactic species was involved–then the readers would most probably be lost. And the writer would have probably lost his patrons.

“Research is the elixir that reinvigorates your storyline, opens your chapters, and liberates you when you’ve written yourself into a suffocating closet. It makes you an expert in things you know diddley about, and elevates you from a wannabee to an author.” (Writers Write)

Ever wondered how Michael Crichton‘s Jurassic Park would have fared if he hadn’t done research to somehow make readers take into consideration the possibility of dinosaurs in the modern world?

It’s good to make your readers think. However, if it involves neglect on your part to provide more details, that’s where you’re doing it wrong. And we are not talking about sci-fi alone.

Historical fiction definitely requires research that maybe incorporated in your story to make it seem more credible and plausible. You cannot write about the early ’40s without mentioning anything about WWII, no matter how brief. Certainly, you cannot write about WWII itself based on assumptions or hearsay only. You need to add a few hard facts.

Detective stories nowadays seem more interesting when writers include what happens in a crime lab, for instance, or how certain test results lead to solving the mystery. Your detective cannot send the skull of a Jane/John Doe’s severed head to the lab and then have him say later, “Oh, s/he’s been identified as this person or that” without explaining how it is possible through examining dental records. Not all readers may get it.

Meanwhile, well-researched information can help explain how the past can lead someone down the psycho-killer path in suspense-thrillers. Even in fantasy, this could come in handy. If you want to write about creatures in the area where your setting is, research won’t hurt unless you are creating a whole new fictional beast.

All I’m saying is, while there is no limit to the imagination, research can help fuel that imagination and make readers believe you or, at least, your capability as a writer.

“Research, factual accuracy, lays the base for plausible fiction, for it actually enables suspension of disbelief in readers by building their trust.” (The Center for Fiction)

I am not talking about bombarding them with facts after facts to the point of information overload. I’m not talking about spoon-feeding your readers, either. They, too, need to make use of their own imagination. In fact, the main reason people read fiction is it allows them to use this often-neglected ability to imagine in the real world.

The main role of the writer is to tell the story and guide the reader.

“Thorough research instills in the writer enough knowledge to give her real confidence in her material—the kind of confidence that releases her from a need to show off or twist her plots, and frees her to finally sit down and write.” (The Center for Fiction)

 

Do not underestimate the power of research. Consider this advice the next time you write your fiction.

 

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What is your opinion on this? Does research matter? Let’s talk!

R is for “Research”

This piece serves as my Letter R post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.

I am creating a page for my A to Z Challenge 2017 posts. Wait for it 😉

A show of support for blogging’s annual marathon

Something A to Z Challenge-related, but not exactly an A to Z post…Okay, I confused you. But do read on 🙂

ROAMIN' GNOMIALS

I’ll let you in on a little secret: A lot of professional journalists feel pretty snooty about bloggers. I know because I used to be one. In fact, I probably would have created a blog much sooner if not for the fact that for the longest time, I didn’t want to be associated with “amateurs.”

With a bit of understanding, journalists (and retired journalists) might be excused for the hostility.

  • Most journalists went to school to learn to do what they do, while many bloggers went to school and learned to do something different … something that probably pays better.
  • Journalists view writing as their career, their milk and bread, while most bloggers view writing as a hobby.
  • Journalists wrongly view bloggers’ hobby as something that helped put them out of a job. The truth is a lot more complicated than that.

While I am disgusted by some of the…

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