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? 😉

“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 😉

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 have 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 😉

Life as They Said It #atozchallenge2017

What makes a written work great is that it gives meaning to the reader. The best books and literary pieces often have us thinking, questioning, wondering, enlightened. Not surprisingly, many of what have been written and said get shared to others countless times. They can be very logical or philosophical, with a lot of wisdom, becoming mantras to many especially during hard times.

It is with pleasure that I share some of the best life quotes from authors, poets and their written works.

ENJOY!!!

From Tao Te Ching. This is a personal fave and my motto in life because it covers everything

Sure does! From Tao Te Ching

From The Art of War

From Letter to My Daughter

I know this, but I am not sure if it’s from a work, an interview, or a conversation she had with someone. Please enlighten me

From Anna Karerina

From The Shawshank Redemption

From Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

From Anne of Green Gables

From Brothers Karamazov. I had always known this as a popular saying. Never knew it was an actual quote…

 

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Sorry, I was late. Excuse not so valid. I do hope you liked today’s (er, supposedly yesterday’s) post. Can you add more to this? Comment below!!!

Q is for “Quotes”

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

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

Beast-mode Poetry #atozchallenge2017

I owe much of my love for poetry to a certain TV series and actor Ron Perlman. Seriously.

In 1987, the series Beauty and the Beast (BATB) starring Ron and Linda Hamilton started airing. However, it did not immediately reach our shores, so to speak. Exactly when I saw it, I do not remember, although my guess would be in 1989. But its impact on me has lived with me since then.

It was a beautiful show and much of what made it beautiful to me, at least, was the premise of a “beast” with a golden voice always waxing poetic. He was a well-read creature always reading such lovely poems! And that voice!

Yes, that voice is forever embedded in my memory. That’s especially because when I reached college, someone introduced me to BATB’s Of Love and Hope official soundtrack. OF COURSE, I just had to borrow and listen to it. I did until I decided to have my own copy. Oh, bliss!!!

Ron really did justice to the poems. I fell in love with the poems. I hardly even remember the music, in fact, I often skipped the music to get to the poems! They were made more beautiful by his deep and romantic voice, romantic in the more sentimental way. I cannot read/recite any of those poems without being on “beast-mode” and reading them his way.

So if anyone ever notices why I watch some movies because Ron’s in it, it’s because I have somehow made him a friend.

If you miss the show and the poems, or would like to know what I am talking about, I have taken the liberty of finding videos for you where Vincent recites Cummings, Frost, Rilke and others. I tried to post them in an order based on what I most love, but there were those I could not decide on. So let’s just say they are in random order.

But first, the most popular audio from the show. This was the show’s theme song, The First Time I Loved Forever (sung by Liza Angelle). In-between parts are readings of excerpts from e. e. cummingssomewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond. The whole poem follows the video. BTW, the list is not complete as I could not find vids of the others.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron)

Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost

Longing by Matthew Arnold

I Arise from Dreams of Thee by Percy Bysshe Shelley

This is the Creature by Rainier Maria Rilke

You, Darkness by Rainier Maria Rilke

That’s it. For sure, you loved them! I am virtually hugging Ron right now :>

And now, as bonus, we have here e. e. cummings actually doing a reading of his poem 🙂

HAPPY POETRY MONTH!!!

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Love poetry? Let us know what you thought of this! Which is your favorite BATB poem? Just drop a comment or two below.

P is for “Poetry”

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

I am creating a page for my A to Z Challenge 2017 posts. Meanwhile, to check for my past posts, kindly check out As Lovely as a Tree. Not for any other reason except that’s where I last listed down my post titles.

 

Ode Things #atozchallenge2017

I believe that many have already encountered the word “ode”, but how many do know what it means? To define it simply, an ode is a lyric poem, or a poem meant to be sung. That was what I knew of it in high school. I became fascinated with the concept of it, so I wrote a very short one:

When I’m Gone

When I’m gone…

You may cry or grieve

Or look back to where the tears have been.

And when the crying is done

And the grief has gone,

Simply remember me

And smile…

For I’ll take that smile with me

…When I’m gone.

I have always been a sentimental soul, so it is no wonder I made this sentimental ode. It was actually inspired by quotes from Michael Landon and Michael Mills.

What is Ode, Really

I realize now I most probably broke a lot of the rules for writing an ode. Actual dictionaries define the ode as the following:

Merriam-Webster: “a lyric poem usually marked by exaltation of feeling and style, varying length of line, and complexity of stanza forms”

Oxford: “1. A lyric poem, typically one in the form of an address to a particular subject, written in varied or irregular metre 1.1. A classical poem of a kind originally meant to be sung”

Vocabulary.com: “a lyric poem with complex stanza forms”

Dictionary.com: “1. a lyric poem typically of elaborate or irregular metrical form and expressive of exalted or enthusiastic emotion 2. (originally) a poem intended to be sung”

At least, I got that last one right.

To further explain,…

“‘Ode’ comes from the Greek aeidein, meaning to sing or chant, and belongs to the long and varied tradition of lyric poetry. Originally accompanied by music and dance, and later reserved by the Romantic poets to convey their strongest sentiments, the ode can be generalized as a formal address to an event, a person, or a thing not present.” (Poets.org)

Or simply put,…

“An ode is a form of lyric poetry — expressing emotion — and it’s usually addressed to someone or something, or it represents the poet’s musings on that person or thing…” (Vocabulary.com)

The Ode Ones

The ode’s stanza forms vary. The Poetry Foundation website tries to explain these the easiest way possible (the quotes are from their page, the links aren’t mostly):

  1. The Greek or Pindaric ode – “celebrates athletic victories” (I am suddenly reminded of Whitney Houston’s One Moment in Time)
  2. Horatian ode – “written in quatrains in a more philosophical, contemplative manner”
  3. Sapphic ode – “consists of quatrains,…unrhyming but with a strict meter.”
  4. English Romantic ode“vary in stanza form. They often address an intense emotion at the onset of a personal crisis…or celebrate an object or image that leads to revelation.”

There are various examples of odes. The poet that seems to be mentioned most is John Keats. Below is an excerpt from one of the odes he is famous for (if not the weirdest one). Click on the image to read the whole ode and even listen to the audio.

More examples can be found HERE and HERE (10 Most Famous Odes by Renowned Poets).

Now that you know what an ode is, I hope this has inspired you to try writing one yourself.

 

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If you have written your own ode, do share! Maybe add an audio along with it? 😉

O is for “Ode”

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

I am creating a page for my A to Z Challenge 2017 posts. Meanwhile, for now, to check for my past posts, kindly check out As Lovely as a Tree.

What’s in a Nom? #atozchallenge2017

What’s in a nom? In a nom de plume, to be exact? Apparently, it could be any thing or any reason, depending on the one who owns it.

Nom de plume, which is of French origin, is a pseudonym. An alias, if you want to be more clear about it, only it is often used by writers. Plume, after all, is French for “a long, soft feather”, which we know was the primary material used in writing with ink in olden times, when ballpoint pens did not exist yet. In other words, a nom de plume is a pen name that a writer prefers to be known by in relation to specific works he’s done. It is his literary double.

Merriam-Webster.com: “a name used by a writer instead of the writer’s real name”

OxfordDictionaries.com: An assumed name used by a writer instead of their real name; a pen-name.”

Dictionary.com: an invented name under which an author writes.”

The Origin of Nom de Plume

According to Oxford, its origin is this: “Early 19th century: formed in English from French words, to render the sense ‘pen name’, on the pattern of nom de guerre”, which meant “war name” or an assumed name in combat.

This reminds me of our 1896 Philippine Revolution heroes back when the natives were fighting for the country’s freedom from Spain. Our two main movers of the revolution: Andres Bonifacio, better known as the Supremo, used Agap-ito Bagumbayan, while Jose Rizal, who is known in parts of Europe today, used Laong-Laan. They had contradicting approaches in starting the revolution, but both men were after the same thing: Freedom. Bonifacio preferred battles through combat, Rizal used “the pen is mightier than the sword” approach instead.

I owe a lot to both men, but I dare say that, in a way, the pen was mightier as it was Rizal’s work that brought more fire to Bonifacio’s heart.

The Stories Behind the Pen Names

There are many writers, famous or not, who use(d) pen names.

I know, for instance, that Mark Twain was the actual nom de plume of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (good thing ’cause his second name keeps reminding me of leghorn chicken), who wrote the popular Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn series. “Mark twain” is a riverboat term that means “two fathoms (12 ft.) in depth”–mark means measure, twain means two.

“Before Clemens became well known as a writer, he held a variety of odd jobs including piloting a steamboat up and down the Mississippi River. He was licensed as a steamboat pilot in 1859 and worked on the river…His experiences along the river helped him come up with his pen name.” (America’s Library)

As to why he chose to use the name:

“I was a fresh new journalist, and needed a nom de guerre; so I confiscated the ancient mariner’s discarded one, and have done my best to make it remain what it was in his hands–a sign and symbol and warrant that whatever is found in its company may be gambled on as being the petrified truth; how I have succeeded, it would not be modest in me to say.” (ThoughtCo.)

He was out to make a name for himself, and did he!

I suspect that most writers up to now do this, too, for the name recall. I do not know if mine works, but I certainly hope so. I have explained the whys behind mine (and some other past pseudonyms) in What’s in a Name?

Basically, I wanted it different and short enough. It is simply, technically, a variant of my real name–J for Jennifer (that is the opposite of being different, ergo, just the initial), Gi for my actual nickname, and Federizo that is my maiden last name. Maybe I am like L. M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series, who wasn’t really so keen on her given name:

“Like Anne, Montgomery was particular about the spelling of names. She was named Lucy after her grandmother and Maud after Queen Victoria’s daughter, Princess Alice Maud Mary. She wrote in her journal, ‘I never liked Lucy as a name. I always liked Maud—spelled not ‘with an e’ if you please.’ ” (Mental Floss)

Well, I am lucky I am in a world where women are now more easily accepted in various fields such as writing. Many female wordsmiths in the old days had to choose to hide behind masculine pen names so they could have equal opportunities in being read and heard. Imagine, sisters Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë had to be Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, respectively, to be published.

But who am I kidding? There is still that certain amount of readers’ discrimination in the literary world where gender is concerned. That is why J. K. Rowling of the Harry Potter fame, much like others like her, chose to use her initials. She was writing in a genre where the men dominated. At least, it is still her name. Sometimes, some women authors pick unisex sounding names to play it safe.

Some do have distinctively male or female names. That is because some names have become so popular that book series have become  collective works of various ghost writers. One very good example is Carolyn Keene, “she” who created Nancy Drew. If you were to check for her timeline, you would find that at a certain point, it would be already impossible for her to have written all the stories. Also, it came to light that Carolyn Keene was an actual pseudonym used by the original user, Mildred Wirt Benson. The light came through a legal-rights related lawsuit that would finally give credit to Benson.

What’s in a Nom?

To sum it up, there are various reasons why writers choose to use noms de plume.

“A pen name may be used to make the author’s name more distinctive, to disguise his or her gender, to distance an author from some or all of his or her previous works, to protect the author from retribution for his or her writings, to combine more than one author into a single author, or for any of a number of reasons related to the marketing or aesthetic presentation of the work. The author’s name may be known only to the publisher, or may come to be common knowledge.” (Wikipedia)

While a name sure does its job, too, I still conclude that it’s the work that makes the name.

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Hope you got something from this. Would you rather choose a pen name over your real one? Let us know why or why not below. 🙂

I’m jumping the letters to keep up, but I will make sure I post the “missing” ones as well. Keep reading, guys!

N is for “Nom de Plume”

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

I am creating a page for my A to Z Challenge 2017 posts. Meanwhile, to check for my past posts, kindly check out As Lovely as a Tree.

As Lovely as a Tree #atozchallenge2017

The poet Alfred Joyce Kilmer

Aside from little children who may not have heard it yet in school, I think no fan of English poetry has never heard of American poet  Joyce Kilmer‘s Trees. It may not have been the first English poem I ever encountered, but I remember being officially introduced to the English poetry in school through it. I remember being fascinated by the words and the imagery. I had hoped that one day, I could write something as simple yet beautiful as Trees.

Some critics hated the simplicity and sentimentality in his works, even inspiring parodies like Song of the Open Road by Ogden Nash. However, it is these same qualities that have endeared his most famous work to many.

Alfred Joyce Kilmer was a journalist, literary critic, lecturer, and editor. But he was best-known, perhaps, as a prolific writer and poet who loved to write about nature and beauty, even of his religious faith, all as evidenced by…

Trees

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Having had his poem published in Poetry magazine in August 1913, it sealed his fate as one of the great poets of his time. He published Trees and Other Poems the year after, and went on to write more until he died in a battlefield in July 1918, hit by a sniper’s bullet.

 

 

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This post is still in observance of Poetry Month.

Finally, better connection again! Will have a lot of catching up to do! Keep visiting, guys! Oh, and I will visit you, guys, as well, that’s for sure 🙂

J is for “Joyce Kilmer”

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

If you’re interested:

A for Alibata – How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way

B for Block – “How do you personally deal with writer’s block?”

C for Contents – Contents with all the Feels

D for Dialogue – Why Dialogue is Important

E for Edit – Mark Your Words!

F for Fictional Characters – “Which fictional character that you created is your favorite, and why?”

G for Grammar – GRRRR-rammar!!!

H for Haiku – The Haiku

I for I Not Stupid – I Not Stupid (A Review)

“I Not Stupid” #atozchallenge2017

NOTE: This was written years back.

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I Not Stupid (A Review)

Jack Neo‘s I Not Stupid is a film which digs into Singapore’s flawed educational system and how it affects society

More than a month ago, my eyes got all puffy again and I blamed Jack Neo for it. If a law was ever passed against making women cry using movies, he would be in death row by now.

Of course, as you can gather from my reaction, I am actually starting to love Neo (just don’t remind me about his Liang Po Po slapstick). After watching Homerun, here was another Neo flick that had my tears streaming down my face uncontrollably – I Not Stupid (I.N.S.) or Xiǎohái Bù Bèn. Clever devil. Even his title screams with comic irony.

Compared to the first film aforementioned, I.N.S. is another Singaporean political and, more specifically, social satire. The treatment, however, is more direct though not literal. Without ever having to guess, one would not need to read any background on Singapore to realize that the film is satirical.

The whole movie is full of similes and metaphors – mostly directly injected in dialogue – that pertain to the country’s government and its people. For around two hours, we are given a peek, a good peek, at one of Asia’s well-known nations. At the same time, neighboring countries may recognize a thing or two about Singapore that resemble(s) a thing or two about themselves.

Strictly speaking, the story is about and narrated by Terry (Huang Po-Ju), a little rich boy who could be so obedient to an annoying fault. Actually, the story revolves not only around Terry, but also around poor toughie Boon Hock (Joshua Ang) and misunderstood artist Kok Pin (Shawn Lee). Well, around them and their parents, to be more exact.

The adults have their own sub-plots that cannot be simply ignored. Each of the boys belongs to section EM3 where all the kids perceived as lazy, troublesome and dumb always end up and are considered hopeless future adults. The parents, on the other hand, basically play the part of society and government. Special focus is on Singaporean education, both in school and in society.

As a satire, I found I.N.S. simple, direct, and effective in communicating the message. As a non-Singaporean, I cannot, in all honesty agree with all of Neo’s opinions. I cannot, simply because I have never met a Singaporean in the flesh, been to Singapore, personally talked to anyone who has, or discussed the country with online buddies. But as far as freedom of speech is concerned, through the use of a powerful medium, I say, yes, Neo conveyed his message very well. In fact, right at the start, he made it clear through the narration.

However, it wasn’t the “underlying” content that got to me. It was Kok Pin and his mother that made me cry.  I was doing fine until Kok Pin got up the building and…I should have known it would be about family again or I would have bought some tissue! As for funny moments, even if it was supposed to be comedy, there wasn’t a lot to laugh at, literally or not. At least I didn’t find much of the story funny. Sorry.

i-not-stupid

The kids who aren’t really stupid

I.N.S. is a brave, intelligent film done in-your-face.  It was created not to confuse but rather inform the audience and perhaps, serve as a wake-up call. It is not a stab (in fact, there is an “appreciative” comment near the end regarding “mothers”) but rather, just a prick to remind the government to do what is proper and right when it comes to educating its people. No need to beat around the bush. After all, we not stupid.

Therefore, I highly recommend this movie. Not as powerful as I found Homerun, but still a very commendable piece. I can’t wait to see another one of Jack’s Neo-isms. This guy is not to be missed. After all, he most definitely not stupid!

 

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I know I am late. I will reserve the explanation once the challenge is done through the insights. The short of it is I don’t feel well, my laptop is slow, it’s super-hot here, and it’s currently Holy Week.

I do hope you liked my post. I thought I’d share this review I wrote years ago. Once in a while, I do reviews, so if you’re interested in reading more, they’re at my CRITIC’S CORNER.

I is for, well, “I”

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

If you’re interested:

A for Alibata – How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way

B for Block – “How do you personally deal with writer’s block?”

C for Contents – Contents with all the Feels

D for Dialogue – Why Dialogue is Important

E for Edit – Mark Your Words!

F for Fictional Characters – “Which fictional character that you created is your favorite, and why?”

G for Grammar – GRRRR-rammar!!!

H is for Haiku – The Haiku