What’s Going On?

It’s probably just right to give you updates on things that’s been going on in my life. The last time I gave an update was way back in December 2020.

Basically, we’ve been busy surviving the pandemic like everyone else.

I just happened to re-read the other day what I wrote back in 2017, too. I was saying that people called 2016 as the worst year ever. I now think, Nope, we spoke too soon. To be honest, I don’t even remember most of what made it the worst then.

The years starting from 2020 till now are officially the WORST YEARS EVER. I’d like to say “so far” but I really don’t wish for things to get even worse than the worst. We lost so many people to the pandemic. Probably every one of us here knows of someone who succumbed to COVID19. I lost a childhood friend myself last September.

It’s not just COVID19 that is the problem.

Wars hurt people. My own sister-in-law still can’t go home from Lebanon due to bombings, violence, unrest, and the unbelievably high inflation. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine War is devastating and horrible. Anyone who doesn’t think so needs to look deeply into her/himself. Meanwhile, ransomware is a very big threat. Cybersecurity is in jeopardy all over the world…

img_20141031_183958

Image belongs to me (‘Cause, DUH, that’s me)

I don’t really need to list down everything to remind you of all the depressing things. Just saying we’re all in the same boat, basically. And as they say, it’s okay not to be okay sometimes.

Let’s Get Personal

Let me go back to talking about myself now since this is supposed to be my personal updates.

The past year was not that eventful for me/us until September. Like I said, I lost a childhood friend to COVID. This was the same editor-friend I mentioned before in a post. I wasn’t her closest friend IMG_20201210_032908but due to circumstances, I kind of became one of the point persons when people wanted to know what happened or what plans there were. This is a story that I will write about in the future.

Another news shook the family in November. It’s not anything near devastating, really. That doesn’t make it okay either. To be honest, I already typed it down here. I decided to delete it, however. It’s not something to be proud of and tell everybody about. I’m not posting pictures on social media for my own peace of mind, for now. That will only invite questions that I don’t want to answer over and over, or questions that I will be forced to answer because I’m not a liar.

I’m not in the mood to explain to people. Sure, should anybody asks, I’m not going to deny it. I’m just not going to spread the news around either. Besides, it’s not exactly my own story to tell. I’m simply part of the story, whether I like it or not. It’s an added responsibility for me, by default.

On to Lighter News!

I’d rather talk about recent goings-on in my life that have to do with writing and blogging.

Me at my table

#NaNoPoblao2021. DONE!!! I didn’t finish on time, but I finished. That’s what’s important. The purpose was to blog more and I did. All the posts are listed on the NaNoPoblano 2021 page now. I do need a new challenge to force me to get going. Well, May is a special month so I’ll think of something.

I really wanted to join this year’s A to Z Challenge. I just knew it was something I would not be able to complete. So I’ll content myself with checking out posts whenever I have the chance. I did join the challenges in previous years. I am especially proud of my #AtoZChallenge 2017 entries.

Blog Changes. They may not be noticeable but I’ve been doing some “physical” changes on the blog.

Challenge Box

For one, the CHALLENGE BOX is now easily visible since it is included as a button in the navigation bar. It is not anymore in the BLOG BANK > BLOG LINKS dropdown sub-menu. I wanted to make BLOG BANK the landing page like it was some years back. This version of the WordPress theme won’t let me. I’ll keep trying.

HangoutsHANGOUTS replaced a sidebar section. I decided to make the links to my social media accounts more visible, too. The number zero at the end of every link annoys me, though. I don’t know what that is and I don’t think that I’d like to show it even if I knew what that is. Right now, I am not able to delete the zeroes.

I will continue making changes here or there.

Reading Blogs. I just restarted doing this a little bit more regularly (HOPEFULLY). I’ve been reading posts through the Reader. I am also visiting the blogs/sites of bloggers whom I’ve become pals with through the years. I plan to check on other bloggers who I’ve also connected with somewhat in the past. It makes me sad to know that I’ve lost connection with them. But it’s really hard to catch up when you’re busy and/or your community grows.

A few years ago, I created a spreadsheet where I tried to list every blogger I followed and who followed me. I wanted to repay people for those times they decided to check out my blog, comment and, especially, follow. I wanted to connect by following or following back those that interested me (it didn’t really matter if they followed me or not).

I soon realized that doing that isn’t easy for a slightly OC person. It was tedious! So now, I’ve decided to just wing it and visit everyone whenever I can.

The Veerledom. While it seemed I stopped visiting the blog, I actually kept coming back even before November. I kept/keep referring to and editing my post on theater thespian and ballerina Veerle Casteleyn. I have been updating it due to stuff that I’m finding through research. This is all in relation to the Facebook fan page I made, The Veerledom.

Veerledom cover photo 2

Yes, I’m a fan girl. Don’t tell me you’ve never been a fan of anyone. And even if others question you (no one’s questioned me, by the way), probably asking Why him, Why her, you stay a fan. Because sometimes, being a fan is just something you feel and have to express. I’m pretty sure most of us know the feeling.

I do also like other artists who are more well-known. They don’t really need more fan sites and pages than they already have. Veerle have those, too. I still chose to make her a page because of a very specific reason: We still don’t know much about her.

A lot of the pages dedicated to her say the same things. And a lot of them are simply focused on admiring her looks and/or loving her as the popular character she portrayed on film. That’s not fair to her. So I created a page to show that she is more than a pretty face and more than the character. Also, the page should serve as a resource place for “Veerleans”.

Volunteer Reviewer. I recently got invited as a book reviewer. I got invited because supposedly, the one who emailed me said she liked my reviews. I kind of asked if she’s read any of them. I didn’t expect to be amused by her answer, let’s just put it at that.

The site is very legit so I applied as a reviewer (that’s required even if you got invited). It’s not a job. just something to do because I like it and, well, free books! Don’t want to pass that up. I’m trying to be a good reader again, that’s my main goal.

The thing is I think I messed up my application because they thought I applied as a professional offering services. It was my fault, really. They were following up and I explained my side. But now, I don’t know if I made it clear that I applied as a volunteer reviewer. I am anxiously awaiting their new response.

I’ve been doing several other things but they are not concrete stuff.  I’ll just have to save those updates for another day when I’m ready.

How about you? What have I missed about you?

March 2018/2019 & April 2017/2018/2019 RECAPS #MonthlyRecap

Last April was A to Z Challenge season once again! So happy for those who were able to participate. Meanwhile, I’m sad that I was not one of them. I wanted to join very badly, in fact, I already had a theme in mind. Thinking things through, I realized that with stuff that were (and are) going on in my life, I might not be able to participate much at all. Rather than disappoint myself further, I decided to skip it. I’m sad and relieved at the same time!

That said, on to business.

I have prepared a two-in-one monthly recap, the reason being that I should have done the March 2018 and 2019 recap last month. The draft stayed as draft for weeks. I’ve been having technical problems, honestly. Don’t get me started on how unfair I felt life was so let’s just do this!

RECAP!!!

Here’s the recap of my March 2018/2019 andApril 2017/2018/2019:

Blog-wise:

March 2018

Hash potatoes!!!

I just checked my list and I am honestly now annoyed…I only posted once last year!

All Hash-days — NONE!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * t u m b l e w e e d * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If there’s a ghost town, consider this a ghost blog. Pffft…

#AnythingDay (see Woe is Me )

I really should not be annoyed at myself, considering my circumstances. But it’s that initial emotional reaction, you know? I really am BUMMED big time. That’s not anymore initial, but you understand.

March 2019

#WhatsupWednesday (see For Real, This is a Test) – It’s really a more personal post that I maybe should not count, but it’s posted so…

#AnythingDay (see “Pagpapatawad” (Forgiveness) )

I was cooking up a #FeatureFriday idea, but the “research” required more time from me. It’s still coming, though.

April 2017

I did not care much about hash potatoes in April. My focus was on something else. I participated in the A to Z Challenge back in 2017. It was actually a very productive month. However, it is always the Holy Week days that throw me off. So 2017 was no exception. I was unable to finish on time. In fact, I still have not finished the whole alphabet! I did try in some other months.

First,…

#AnythingDay (see A show of support for blogging’s annual marathon and How to Apply as a Graphic Designer)

 

Now, below are my posts from back in April 2017. My theme: “Writing”. They are listed in descending order, from latest to oldest.

DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE…?

“TREACHERY”

SONGS AND SHORT STORIES

THE TRUTH IN YOUR MAKE-BELIEVE

LIFE AS THEY SAID IT

BEAST-MODE POETRY

ODE THINGS

WHAT’S IN A NOM?

AS LOVELY AS A TREE

I NOT STUPID (A REVIEW)

THE HAIKU

GRRRR-RAMMAR!!!

“WHICH FICTIONAL CHARACTER THAT YOU CREATED IS YOUR FAVORITE, AND WHY?”

MARK YOUR WORDS!

WHY DIALOGUE IS IMPORTANT

CONTENTS WITH ALL THE FEELS

“HOW DO YOU PERSONALLY DEAL WITH WRITER’S BLOCK?”

HOW TO SPELL THE ANCIENT FILIPINO WAY

I was almost proud except I was not able to finish 😦

April 2018

It wasn’t hard searching for last year’s post. They weren’t a lot.

(post-)#MondayMemoirs (see “I miss Perspective”)

#WhatsupWednesday (see Let Us All Rise! )

April 2019

This wasn’t hard either.

#ThursdayTips (see How to Make a (Boxed) Ninja Turtle Costume and 6 Reasons a Vlogger is Not Popular)

 

I will have to end this recap here. I will not promise anything except that I will try to be more active. That said, I just want to enjoy life, basically. Who doesn’t?

February 2018/2019 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

Welcome back, peeps! More importantly, welcome back to me! This is me trying to get back into the blogging jive. So since I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest time, this is a good time as any to restart this thing.

I checked my posts history and — gasp! —  the last recap I posted was my March 2017 one! That’s two years ago! I never realized that it would take me that long! Why did I keep putting it off??? But since we’re now here, it’s time to get back into doing it.

RECAP!!!

This is going to be the norm for me every month: Since it’s now March, I am supposed to be posting a recap of February. And since I missed it last year, I’m doing both February 2018 and 2019 recaps. Next month, it’s going to be recaps of March 2018 and 2019. But wait, there’s more! Literally! Next will be the start of the “threesomes” — April 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Don’t worry. Considering how seldom I posted, my posts would probably be not too long (‘cept maybe April 2017 when I last joined the A to Z Challenge).

Here’s a recap of my February 2018:

Blog-wise:

(1) Hash potatoes!!!

#MondayReviews (none)

#TuesdayToons (see Write! Write!)

#TuesdayTunes (none)

#TVTuesday (none)

#AskWednesday (none)

#WhatsupWednesday (see Busy is the Word)

#ThursdayTips (none)

#FeatureFriday (none)

#FridayFlashdance (none)

#AnythingDay (see Versatile Blogger ) –  Any day could be about anything.

Judging from my results, I was not exactly that active at all. However, I did get to post stuff so it’s not bad either.

(2) My Trending StoriesWhat trending stories??? I must admit, I lost a lot of interest after encountering problems with their site over and over. But it’s never out of my mind. I plan to come back. But I need to be active here first. As far as blogging is concerned, this is my priority.

Here’s a recap of my February 2019:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * t u m b l e w e e d * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ * * * ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yup, that pretty much sums up what I did last month.

Social Media Reach-out:

I will repeat what I said the last time, because it is still true.

“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 great shout-out to all of you!

Meanwhile, I mentioned and even posted about my new “endeavor”, which is vlogging. I am currently trying to get back after more than two months of forced hiatus (laptop problems). The good news is I have acquired a new cellphone that should help me make things easier and be more creative. Hopefully. Don’t worry, though, folks. Blogging is still my main squeeze 🙂

Fiction/Story- and Poetry-writing:

Nada. Honestly disappointed with myself.

Both of my wedding ninangs (godmothers — there really shouldn’t be any “s” there as the Filipino language does not add it to change a singular word to plural) actually PM’d me a poetry competition. I haven’t checked. I will try to check later.

As for stories, through work, I found Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor last year. I realized I could use them for my works. I am very much partial to the latter, though. Will edit those I’ve done and will use the editors for future pieces.

Literature:

bakokak-gerry-alanguilan

“Bakokak” written by Gerry Alanguilan, illustrated by Kevin Ray Valentino

No book-reading happened whatsoever last month (but not sure about February 2018). Well, okay, I think I did read comic books. That counts.

Personal:

  • I have mellowed down when it comes to Wish 107.5 FM. That’s because they have, too. I mean they have expanded in the US, which is a great idea, but as far as artists that shake me, so to speak, no one’s really gotten my attention. I do plan on giving those “new” artists they feature a chance one of these days.
  • Quora recently suffered hack attacks. My account was one of those that suffered. They did sort of give me back copies of my posts, but my old account is lost. I am getting lazy just thinking about trying to start over. I don’t even really know how to get them all posted again considering that a lot of what I did was to comment on others’ posts. They’re not my posts, know what I mean?
  • Because of the new cellphone, I finally…
    1. got to play Plants vs. Zombies
    2. got to play an updated/leveled-up Temple Run
    3. was able to play Fruit Ninja whenever I wanted to (the first and only time prior that I played it was on a big screen at the arcade)
    4. found Wordscapes that got me hooked for a while (I still play it regularly, just not in that addicted-mode…Happy to say that I’m already doing Level 1132 as of this writing), and
    5. found Empires & Puzzles, which is my main game at the moment.

So officially, I am now a (quite) amateur semi-online gamer. Meanwhile, Soda Crush and other word games have taken a backseat.

 

And that ends this February — er, these Februaries(???) — recap. Watch out for March! I mean, you know, just sayin’ 🙂

It’s sooo Lit!!! #atozchallenge2017

***NOTE: As explained in my last post, I was going to finish last year’s A to Z Challenge. Here is my letter “L”.

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Literature. I cannot write about the topic of Writing without writing about literature. That would probably be some form of blasphemy…

What is Literature to you?

When I was young, I used to think that “literature” was exclusively used to refer to stories or novels. I don’t know now how I learned more, but it was probably when I encountered the term “related literature”. I was a bit surprised that anything written (well, at least those with some value) can be considered literature.

According to the Ancient History of Encyclopedia,…

Literature (from the Latin Littera meaning ‘letters’ and referring to an acquaintance with the written word) is the written work of a specific culture, sub-culture, religion, philosophy or the study of such written work which may appear in poetry or in prose.”

Based on this, it is either poetry and prose.

Dictionary.com explains it much clearer in the definitions it has provided. Literature is defined as:

  • written works, especially those considered of superior or lasting artistic merit
  • books and writings published on a particular subject
  • leaflets and other printed matter used to advertise products or give advice

That last part was the kind of information that most surprised me when I learned about it. Leaflets and advertisements were far from my mind. That was mainly because whenever I thought of the word before, I thought of value and merit, especially artistic merit.

“Certain forms of writing, however, are universally regarded as belonging to literature as an art. Individual attempts within these forms are said to succeed if they possess something called artistic merit and to fail if they do not.” (Britannica.com)

That was how most of us were brought up. It was so old-school that even anything that’s not artsy was generally disregarded as literature, no matter how valuable the information it contained.

“Literature is a form of human expression. But not everything expressed in words—even when organized and written down—is counted as literature. Those writings that are primarily informative—technical, scholarly, journalistic—would be excluded from the rank of literature by most, though not all, critics.” (Britannica.com)

Anybody can be a critic, but it does not necessarily make him right. If anything, this kind of thinking was developed during the times when people were concerned more about social strata and social snobbery. We put the word “literature” in a box — No, this is just you, Lit. You can’t be some leaflet or thing that anyone just thought he’d write and call Lit. The nerve!

Today, we have become open to accepting the more modern definition of the word. Still, there are critics that cannot be persuaded. Me? I have broaden my own definition:

Literature is a valuable written work that is artistic and/or informative and has merit to, at least, one individual.”

You say toh-mah-toh, I say toe-may-toe. Basically, it all boils down to the person appreciating it.

How do YOU define literature?

 

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I could have written more about it, but I fought off my tendency to write long posts to keep you interested. I hope you liked it and share your own thoughts in the comments below.

L is for “Literature”

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

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.