The X-word #atozchallenge2017

Here’s a prompt: Write something using an English word that starts with an X. If you were given this prompt, what would you write about?

Oh, wait, this is already a prompt…

“Xylophone”. I think that’s really the first, easiest and, sometimes, the only word that immediately comes to mind when thinking about an English term that starts with the letter X. Which usually does not help when playing Scrabble (considering the number of letters, unless you are to add “xylo” to “phone”…genius!). Well, include “xerox”, too. It was technically not really a word but a brand for a popular photocopying machine employing xerography (hey, another X-word!). It is now a noun that is accepted in the English dictionary.

So now, I’m mad. I’m not in the mood to write about xylophones or xerox. What to do?

X Problems

Obviously, it need not be said that there’s a reason there’s only one letter X tile in Scrabble. It is hard to find a word that starts with it, even if you cheat! Usually, you just use it as a filler to complete longer-letter words. Or you squeeze it in-between gaps when you have nothing else to score with, for words like:

  • “ax”/“axe”
  • “max”/”pax”
  • “taxi”
  • “hex”
  • “sexy”
  • “text”
  • “jinx”
  • “nix”
  • “ox”,
  • “foxy”

…Can you think of more?

You can’t even use it as a one-letter word like “a” and “I”.  Unless you use it:

  • to represent an unknown quantity or variable
  • as the multiply sign when counting on paper or board
  • as the Roman numeral for 10
  • to refer to the female chromosome
  • when signing a love letter with a kiss
  • to mark a spot
  • to make a “NO” gesture
  • to cross out something or remove
  • to indicate that something is incorrect
  • to make the sign of the cross when you’re scared
  • as code for that infamous party drug (…Just don’t, okay?)

Yes, the letter X is pretty versatile, but it is still not a word. It even needs a default spelling, the “ex-” prefix, just to function as a way to cross out something (or someone!) or emphasize the past: “Ex-boyfriend” or “ex-partner” (although one can simply say “My ex”), “ex-senator”, “ex-athlete”. You get the idea.

But whether to cross out something, imply an interaction, or mean the opposite of “in”– It. Doesn’t. Work. You shouldn’t really write “x-girlfriend”, “x-husband”, “xchange”, “xhale” or “xhume”, right? Maybe not unless you’re texting.

Some X-samples

So, can the letter X be more essential in our lives? I guess so, yeah.

Basically, X is used around the world:

  • for People’s Names
    • Xavier, Xander, Xeno
    • Xia, Xiomara
    • Xena (probably first coined for the popular show and now kids are named after her)
    • Malcolm X (the name Malcolm Little decided to use)
  • to Name Places (Did you know that NO country starts with the letter X?)
    • Xiamen City (and many more cities in China)
    • Xi (a river in China)
    • Xochimilco (in Mexico)
    • Xanadu, which is not just a romance/musical

Quick Trivia: In the Philippines, road authorities put up signs that said “Ped Xing”. Like most people confused by it, I first thought that Ped Xing was a Chinese-Filipino the street we were on was named after. But why were the same signs put up at various places…? It turned out it meant “Pedestrian Crossing”!!! Pffft…Communication gap. At least, they’ve done measures now to let the public know.

  • as Popular Terms
    • Generation X a.k.a. Gen X
    • X-rated
  • for Popular Media
    • X-Men
    • The X Factor
    • The X-Files
    • Triple X or xXx

 

Oh, my. I still don’t know what to write about. I am so clueless! What should my topic be, what should I write about, what–Oh, wait. I think I just wrote it. What the X!..,Well, what d’ya know?!!

 

***********************************************************

Earlier this year, I think I mentioned several times that I would finish my A to Z Challenge 2017. Honestly, things would always get in the way that I couldn’t do it. Then last time, I said it again and meant it. But guess why I couldn’t immediately continue…The letter X was the problem! I wanted to list down topics so that when I began, I wouldn’t have to stop again and I’d just go on till I reached letter Z.

For the life of me, I couldn’t think of an X-word connected to writing that I could write about! I really had to put things off until I posted my teacher-parents post. I still did not know what to write about back then. Fortunately, inspiration struck me and now, here it is. I dare say it was worth my long wait!

X is for “X”

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

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

Advertisements

Let Contents Do the Talking #atozchallenge2017

You are a wise person with a business to run. Naturally, you have done your research like a good businessman does. Based on findings, you realize that in order to expand the business, you’ll have to up the ante some more and level-up. Information technology is here to stay and you’ll do wisely not to be left behind, right? So you get a web developer and a web designer who create an attractive, fully functional and easily navigable website for you.

Website, check.

And then what to write? Since information is available right there at the office, content development is done in-house. Your people know the business, they have a clear understanding of what it is about. Who better to write about your business? Therefore, you delegate a content writer for the site right from your own team.

Contents, check. How hard can writing be?

Letting Your Home Grow

All those done, finally, you are ready to launch into cyberspace…Oops! Not so fast, hold your horses! While it seems you may have done things correctly, you just might want to backtrack a little bit and check if indeed, you’ve decided on everything wisely.

The most important parts of a website are not really the “physical” aspects, though they, too, are of great importance. After all, without them, how can searchers find you? Web developers and designers provide all the foundations and structures for your site.

As they say, however, a house is not a home. It’s what’s in it that makes it a home. An empty house is not a home; a cluttered house is, well, simply embarrassing, to say the least. For a website, it’s the contents that really breathe life into it. Just how much life depends largely on the quality of the contents. That is where you might want to focus your attention on.

Let your home grow. Feed it with the right nutrition, not junk. Knowing the details of your company and what it offers is just half of the requirements to ensure quality content. It takes more than knowing what to write, but how to write it.

A good, professional Web Content Writer knows that. She has been trained for it. It’s not just words and constructing sentences for her, but a lot of experience and know-how. Content writing takes more than typing. It involves research beyond existing resources, knowing more about how web development works. Also, a big factor in any business’ success today is good, clean SEO—this, she has learned and practices.

Getting Visitors to Stay

Competition in cyberspace is fierce. You want to be the business that captures searchers’ attention immediately and keep them glued to your site until they decide to avail of your offer. People’s attention span can only last a few seconds, that is the whole truth of it.

An attractive, fully functional and easily navigable website is practically useless if it sends searchers away with missing, low-quality or useless information. If they don’t find what they’re looking for or anything interesting, they either click the Back button or exit. Either way, they leave. You don’t want that. Don’t sweep the welcome rug off their feet.

How confident are you that you or your employees can write well enough to keep searchers glued to your site? Can your people get your business to the top of search engines’ first-page results? Do they have the proper skills that an actual content writer does? No?

You’ve already taken a risk, so risk more away! A web content writer is who you need, just like most businesses today. If you haven’t yet, this is the time to add one to your team. Remember, house walls can’t talk; it’s those inside the house who do.

 

************************************************************

This is still the continuation of my A to Z Challenge. Last post, I was on the letter “M”. Why the jump to “W”? That’s because the pieces for the letters “N” to “V” have long been posted. The explanation is simple: When I was doing the challenge last year, I skipped letters. I did not finish the whole thing so I have decided to do it and not quit.

As for the writeup itself, just like some other stuff that I did for work, this was also a guest blogging venture. The deal was the article provider would get exposure but the publisher got exclusive rights to the unique article. No money involved. This one, the guest blogging services site owner reserved for her own site (I was actually thrilled!). There’s a story about this, but to make the story short, her site was down for years already and is now removed. I found her new site and could not find the article ANYWHERE. Now, Google found it on another site that isn’t supposed to have it and is not even mentioning me as the writer. Some guy is supposed to be the writer of this bogus page. The article is truncated, leaving a “Click here to read more” message, but the link just actually redirects to various suspicious sites that change every time you click on the same link!

Needless to say, it’s high-time we take back what is ours.

W is for “Web Content Writer”

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

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

Remembering My First Teachers (A Daughter’s Memoirs) #MondayMemoirs #atozchallenge2017

Note: It was supposed to be a simple Facebook post about Teachers’ Day/Month, but their memories inspired me. The first is the English translation, followed by the original, which I admit is better. I realized it would be great to use it as my “M” word for the A to Z Challenge I was finishing since I’ve had “memoirs” in my head for a long while now.
************************************************************

“Respect the teachers that awaken minds, for while we owe our lives to our parents, we owe our humanity to our teachers.” (Gregoria de Jesus) — Just my translation. Credits go to Project Saysay

I had teachers for parents. I never knew of anything else they did for work except be educators. Teaching had always been their profession long before I was born. My father only had to stop teaching when he suffered a mild stroke. It affected his brain, causing the short-term memory loss. He became more temperamental, yet he could be jolly and quite the joker as well. He became more expressive. He could be difficult, too, his maturity having somewhat returned to the level of a younger man’s. There came a point when it seemed I gained a teenage brother that I had to often reprimand for being annoying and difficult.

Despite that, my father still knew who was the parent and who was the child, especially when I had to be reminded that I was still the child. His brows would meet and he’d sternly say my name as a warning. That was the father I knew: just one look and my sister and I would sit and shut up.

My mother had to stop teaching much later due to her ailments — she decided to file for an early retirement. She had always been sickly even when I was little. I remember a time that I, being a child, unintentionally hurt her feelings. Having learned a big word, I said that she was just being a hypochondriac. This really hurt her feelings and I immediately felt bad and regretted it. I could not say sorry at all.

From then on, however, I did not look at her ailments as simply nothing. And it made me admire her more for despite everything that she was going through, my mother was still able to work hard and guide her students, including other people around her.

They taught and helped so many.

A lot of my father’s students got along well with him, some became his friends, and many learned how to plant/garden, build stuff (I only remember that the subject was called “Shop”), and be good at sports, particularly in volleyball.

I will never forget the almost-weekly volleyball games at our barangay school every Saturday or Sunday. He would simply dribble the ball on the still-newly cemented road and its sounds would echo. Soon, those who wanted to join would arrive one by one, be they current students or past students, whatever the age.

Meanwhile, my mother had so many children, those she helped not just in learning math (geometry, trigonometry) but in their personal lives. There were those who found the right path again through her after getting lost. We heard of these stories from the various former students who went to pay their last respects during her wake. She would sometimes give money to kids who had no allowance. Other times, she would visit the parents of kids with school problems or who were usually absent. On many Saturdays, too, she chose to be at the school to prepare various things for the days ahead.

They said she was strict, but she was also a joy and a dear friend. I knew that, I saw that, I felt that. And while I felt somewhat jealous of them, I didn’t harbor ill feelings because even then, I knew of how good a person she was.

…My apologies. I felt like sharing these memories with you since this is the time to pay tribute to our teachers. I would like to salute the two people who were my first teachers. They were not perfect, but they were the first to teach me what it means to be human. I have not yet surpassed or achieved what they did, but they will serve as my inspiration. Most of all, they are the reason that I’m alive and why I am here.

This also pays tribute to them whose leaving has been a real loss to those of us that they loved and that love them still.

A SALUTE TO ALL OUR BELOVED TEACHERS!!!

Now, the Facebook post:

Naging guro ang mga magulang ko. Lumaki akong walang ibang alam kundi guro sila. Ipinanganak ako na iyon na ang kanilang hanap-buhay.

Natigil lamang ang aking ama sa pagtuturo noong siya’y magka-mild stroke. Naapektuhan nito ang utak niya, na naging sanhi ng kanyang short-term memory loss. Naging mas madaling uminit ang ulo, pero mas masayahin at maloko rin. Mas ‘expressive’. Mas matigas din ang ulo, sapagka’t mistula siyang bumalik sa panahong siya’y binata o binatilyo. Dumating ang panahon na tila nagkaroon ako ng lalaking kapatid na madalas pagsabihan sa kakulitan at katigasan ng ulo.

Gayunpaman, alam pa rin niya kung sino ang magulang at sino ang anak, lalo na kapag nakakalimutan kong anak pa rin nga pala ako. Titingin siya ng nakakunot-noo at mariing sasabihin ang pangalan ko bilang babala. Ganoon ang dating ama na kilala ko: isang tingin pa lamang ay tumatahimik na ako at ang ate ko.

Ang aking ina naman ay tumigil dahilan sa kanyang mga sakit — nagpasya siyang mag-retiro nang mas maaga. Bata pa ako ay sakitin na siya. Naroong bilang bata, nasaktan ko ang damdamin niya. Minsan, palibhasa ay natuto ng isang salitang malalim, nasambit ko na ‘hypochondriac’ lang siya. Dinamdam niya ito nang labis at pagkatapos na pagkatapos ay pinagsisihan ko ito. Hindi ko nagawang humingi ng tawad.

Nguni’t mula noon, hindi ko na ipinagwalang-bahala ang kanyang mga karamdaman. Kaya’t ako’y napahanga rin niya sapagka’t bagama’t may mga karamdamang dinadala, nagawa pa rin niyang maging masipag at umalalay sa kanyang mga mag-aaral, pati na rin sa ibang tao sa paligid.

Marami silang naturuan at natulungan.

Marami sa mga mag-aaral ng aking ama ang kanyang naging kabiruan, mayroong ibang naging kaibigan, at marami ang natutong magtanim, bumuo ng mga bagay (“Shop” lang ang alam kong tawag sa asignaturang ‘yon noon), at maging magaling sa larangan ng palakasan, partikular na sa volleyball.

Di ko malilimutan ang halos linggo-linggong paglalaro nila ng volleyball sa paaralan ng barangay tuwing Sabado o Linggo. Patatalbugin lamang ang bola sa noo’y bago pa ring sementadong daan at aalingawngaw ang tunog nito. Maya-maya ay magsisidating ang nais makisali, mga kasalukuyang mag-aaral man o dating mag-aaral, anuman ang edad.

Ang aking ina naman ay maraming naging anak, mga natulungan di lang sa pag-aaral ng matematika (geometry, trigonometry) kundi sa personal na buhay. May ilan na natutong bumalik mula sa lumihis na daan. Nalaman namin ito mula sa maraming dumalaw upang makiramay sa kanyang paglisan. Naroong bigyan niya ng perang baon ang mag-aaral niya. Naroong puntahan ang mga magulang ng ibang nagka-suliranin sa pag-aaral o kaya’y madalas lumiban sa klase. Naroong kahit Sabado ay pinili niyang pumasok upang gumawa ng mga dapat ihanda para sa mga susunod na araw.

Sabi nila, kahit siya ay naging istrikto, naging masayahin at kaibigan nila siya. Alam ko iyon, nakita ko, nadama ko. At kahit na may lihim akong tampo dala ng selos, di ko ito itinanim sa sarili ko sapagka’t noon pa man, batid ko ang kanyang kabutihan ng loob.

…Pasensya na. Naisip ko lang ibahagi ang mga ito sapagka’t ngayon ay panahon ng pagpupugay para sa mga guro. Nagpupugay din ako sa dalawang una kong naging mga guro. Bagama’t di perpekto, sila and unang nagturo sa akin ng pagpapakatao. Hindi ko pa nahihigitan o naaabot man lamang ang nagawa nila, pero sila ang magsisilbing inspirasyon ko. Higit sa lahat, sila ang dahilan ng aking pagiging tao at kung bakit ako naririto.

Ibinahagi ko na rin ito bilang pagpupugay sa kanila na ang paglisan ay tunay na kawalan sa aming kanilang minahal at sa kanila’y nagmamahal.

PAGPUPUGAY PARA SA LAHAT NG MAHAL NATING MGA GURO!!!

************************************************************

Have you thanked your teachers yet?

M is for “Memoirs”

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

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

I’ve missed you, WP and A-Z!

Yep, that’s right. But I’m back! All I can say is every day, I wanted to write here.  My only comfort was I was writing for work and liked seeing my stuff published even without a by-line. I don’t think I’ve ever written as many articles as I have until now. I’m just sorry I can’t link to those pages from my portfolio blog.

My articles list spreadsheet is looking better and better, though. The thing is, I’m not done collating my past works especially those from back in the day (okay, I feel so old now talking like that). So that portfolio blog still seems empty. It isn’t, not really. I will be doing some actual posting there, too, soon.

I did especially feel the pressure to blog last April when I knew other writer-bloggers had been participating in the A to Z Challenge. It was torture.

I knew long before that I couldn’t participate this year. I knew I wouldn’t have much time due to several factors, so I didn’t even try. Too bad ’cause I really enjoyed last year’s A to Z Challenge. My only problem then was Holy Week fell in April. It affected my personal writing schedule. Long story short, I skipped my L and M then was unable to do W to Z.

I came to a decision as early as last February: I am going to complete last year’s A to Z. I could’ve done it last April but thought it would not be fair to those participating this year. Even though I am no power blogger, I felt that that would still be like stealing attention from those who truly deserved it for the hard work they were putting in.

Now that April’s gone, however, May is going to be my writing pal. Next week, I’ll be posting for a week to make up for the missing letters. I think that’s fair enough, right? After all, the point is to write and be productive. Then maybe, I’ll go backwards and complete those I left in the years 2015 and 2014 in the next weeks or months. Nothing definite yet about that second plan.

That’s not my only announcement. I will be bringing back my #MonthlyRecaps. Early last year, I unintentionally suddenly stopped my recaps. That was very foolish. My new idea will take care of that. Each post is going to be like a two-in-one thing. What’s that? You’ll see. Also, I’ll continue my mini-TV reviews like Thrones, Faerie Tales, Serial Killers, Zombies and Science, Space, Elementary, my dear Lizzie. They were supposed to be a quarterly thing, but obviously, I’m way behind.

Frankly, I have various ideas I should get back to. You’ll know them when things actually “restart”. Right now, the other things that keep me interested are, as you probably have already guessed, watching TV series and playing Soda Crush (so sue me).

Just finished the latest seasons of Game of Thrones, The Good Place, and Once Upon A Time. Before that, I finished the first season of Star Trek: Discovery and all the seasons of NCIS that Netflix could offer in the meantime. So I’ll be waiting for quite awhile for all the new episodes to be available. I was watching Sherlock, but my access is temporarily interrupted *sigh*

Also, a few nights ago, I watched the series finale of Lost. I think I’m gonna do a longer review of it and of Dexter, but I’ll do something a bit different than the usual. I am currently only watching Season 2 of Big Bang Theory (serves as my backup show whenever I can’t watch others online) and just started with Grimm the other night. I did get to watch Charmed on iFlix, but they only have the first season and nothing else. Netflix doesn’t have it at all.

So you see, there’s really a lot for me to catch up on. Read me next time, alright? And share YOU, too!

(Not My) Interview with Kathy Reichs #AskWednesday #atozchallenge2017

As I am typing this now, I just clicked on a subscription confirmation link sent to me through email. The link for what? Well, I just signed myself up for inclusion in author Kathy Reichs‘ mailing list, that’s what.

Kathy Reichs is really the reason I restarted my Maya story (although I still have to work more on that). Or maybe the more appropriate word is “cause”, not “reason”. You see, my story had been sitting around for years because several things discouraged me and I did not know how to proceed. I could, but the mere thought that it would probably just look like another Filipino story due to elements very similar to many others’ works discouraged me. I wanted something different.

Then I met BONES. If you’re not familiar with it, it was one of those earlier forensic science TV shows. Kathy created and produced the show. It ran for 12 seasons, but recently ended for good, sadly (yet, who really knows?). Now, I’ve always loved sci-fi and other science-related shows, plus I’m a sucker for adventure and detective stories. So. when those interests collided, BOOM! Bones got me so hooked!

It took me a while to learn that the show was based on a novel written by an author named Kathy Reichs. Google did its thing and I learned that Author Kathy is actually Doctor Kathy, forensic anthropologist extraordinaire. Of course, I was so impressed. I mean, since she knew her stuff, then surely, the science in her book (and the shows) was more real than fictional. And that’s when it hit me. I realized what I wanted for Maya.

It was not going to be just a fantasy-paranormal thing. I was going to add more mystery and throw in forensic science as well! I mean, currently, in the local setting, no one has done anything like that yet. If someone comes up with one in the future, remember, I thought of it first. If it’s very similar to my idea, s/he and I will need to talk.

It’s science-meets-paranormal and they don’t have to overshadow each other. Kathy caused me to do a kind of story overhaul to fit my idea. I was going to make a better version of Maya. I went back to previous drafts, totally changed several parts, and continued. I changed scenes, added characters, improved characterization, began doing research (I need to be credible after all). Well, the story is far from done, but I am working on it. I have Kathy to thank for it…

Now that that little background story is over, I am sharing an early interview with her that I found online. In fact, it’s posted on her own website. It talks about why and how she started writing, her main character Dr. Temperance Brennan, and what she thought of the show.

Kathy Reichs Interview

“I just thought the time was right for a strong female heroine and for forensic science…I started ‘Dejá Dead’ in 1994. I had made full professor at the university so I was free to do whatever I wanted to do and I had just worked on a serial murder case which had some pretty intriguing elements to it, so I thought I would give it a shot. I thought it might bring my science to a wider audience.”

I was part of that wider audience, thankfully. If my request to receive the entire Brennan book series in my Dream Crate isn’t proof enough that I’m a fan, I don’t know how else to show it.

Has any writer/author ever influenced a story you wrote?

 

*****************************************************************

This post hits two birds with one stone. It’s a post for #AskWednesday, and it’s a post for the A to Z Challenge. Yes, April is gone, but as promised, I am going to finish the challenge, starting with this letter I skipped:

K is for “Kathy Reichs”

This piece serves as my Letter K post for the A to Z Challenge 2017. I am currently catching up with other A to Z participants. I owe them that, first of all. Second, I do want to connect.

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

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 😉

*****************************************************************

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.

 

*****************************************************************

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.

The A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal 2017 #atozchallenge2017

I’m back joining the annual A to Z Challenge! Hopefully, I finish on time this time.

Well, today is Theme Reveal Day so I am revealing my very unique, never-before-thought-of theme and it’s called…

“WRITING”

Gotcha 😉

More specifically, I will be posting stuff that are writing-related. I know it’s far from unique, but I thought that writing about writing should help inspire me, right? It could actually be about anything, so let’s brace ourselves. It may include Q&As with writers/authors, short stories and poems, writer features, anything writing-related that interests me, and hopefully, interests you.

This is my third time to join. For A to Z 2014, the theme was “STUFF THAT INTEREST ME”. For A to Z 2015, the theme was “MYSELF”, meaning things related to me. I didn’t exactly join last year because I took care of 2015’s challenge all year-round (something happened in 2015 and 2016 and I had to take a lot of rest). If you’ve followed me enough, you know what it was.

Now, for A to Z 2017, I have admitted in my monthly recaps that I changed themes several times. “WRITING” is actually Plan D. I had more challenging topics, but I had to be more realistic. With work and the absence of my own laptop, what was obviously not going to be easy was really turning out to be something much more difficult, with a schedule that would be extremely hard to follow. Plan A was great, though, and I think I’ll make it a kind of regular thing instead.

I plan to post or schedule my posts sometime between 11p.m. to 11:59p.m. (a.m. here). That’s to give me time to catch up for the day if ever I have not scheduled anything.

Anyway, I hope that this set this year would be quite interesting and informative. I hope whoever lands on my pages will appreciate whatever I have to offer. So, A to Z readers, see you April!!!

*************************************************

UPDATE: Because I am able to post earlier, I decided to not stick with the 11p.m. to 11:59p.m. thing and just schedule posts the earliest possible.

“OH, NO, STOP RIGHT THERE!” #atozchallenge2015

OH, NO, STOP RIGHT THERE!

Oh, no, stop right there!
`Cause you’re not getting anywhere
lay off me, get off my back,
take a hike and don’t come back.
Oh, no, stop right there!
Yeah, you may like me, I don’t care
please take your hands off of me,
turn around and leave me be.
Oh, no, stop right there!
No, we won’t ever be a pair
contraries to what you think,
you should really see a shrink.

No, no, no, stop right there!
Ask no questions, oh, don’t you dare
for I could really blow my top,
prepare to be karate-chopped!

 

Copyright © J. Gi Federizo
Written: June 29, 2002

******************************************************

This poem is brought to you by the letter “O”…

O (1)

And here you thought I forgot, eh? 🙂

The A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal #atozchallenge

After almost two days of going offline, I was surprised to find that I got 43 hourly views yesterday. I don’t know what really spiked the stats up, but who’s complaining? Definitely not me. That may not be big enough a number for power bloggers, but that’s quite big already for this simple blogger. I do know that in the coming days, the views will go up for sure and I hope viewers will not just view but stay as followers.

April is just around the corner, which goes to say that it’s time, once again, for the A to Z Challenge! Based on experience, joining has a lot of advantage, particularly, one can gain more followers just by participating. Again, I have signed up for the challenge and considering that I will be staying home the entire month of April, I really just might finish all letters on time. That’s enough motivation for me. Added bonus is I will get to practice my writing more, which is very important for writers like myself.

On a really more personal note, I see this as therapeutic for me as I go through this current phase in my life. I believe in healing oneself by learning to move on. It is not to forget, rather to cope.

That said, it is time to reveal my theme for this year — MYSELF. I don’t want to go far, or pretend to be an expert on specific topics, or be OC again and spend too much time doing research on whatever ideas I can think of. I’d like to share “ME”. For me as a writer, it’s important to share myself to my audience. They’re not going to be profound stuff (though I can’t promise none will be), but just tidbits of what makes me, Me. People in mylife, favorite things, stories, poetry, experiences maybe…I say maybe because I’m still in the process of writing down my ideas per letter. Maybe you’ll like my posts, maybe you’ll say, “Nah.” Hopefully, you’ll want to go back and stay as my new online buddies.

Thanks, guys, and keep on blogging!!!