(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 of 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?

 

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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.

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Vlogging #atozchallenge2017

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

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

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

INTRO/OUTRO

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

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

TOPICS

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

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

I definitely appreciate that.

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

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

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

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

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

If you want to see what I mean…

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

SCRIPTED CONTENTS

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

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

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

So, for your viewing pleasure…

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

V is for “Vlogging”

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

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

 

 

Did you hear about the…? #atozchallenge2017

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

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

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

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

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

What is the purpose of urban fiction? It is…

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

A scene from the Japanese film Ringu

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

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

 

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

U is for “Urban Legend”

 

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

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

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

“TREACHERY” #atozchallenge2017

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

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

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

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

TREACHERY

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

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

…Or so you think.

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

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

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

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

Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

 

HAPPY POETRY MONTH STILL!!!

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

 

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

T is for “Treachery”

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

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

Songs and Short Stories #atozchallenge2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adrian by Jewel

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

At Seventeen by Janis Ian

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

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

How Come, How Long by Babyface and Stevie Wonder

Luka by Suzanne Vega

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

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

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

 

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

S is for both “Songs” and “Stories”

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

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

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.