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…
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 but 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.
#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.
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.
HANGOUTS 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.
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?
This gallery contains 16 photos.
This is a great opportunity for all the writers out there waiting to be published! Check out what Dan Alatorre offers together with some friends 🙂
Well, despite me saying last week that I wasn’t planning on joining Quora, I went ahead and actually started answering and answering questions! And I decided to join because I realized what it could do for my blogging, for #AskWednesday, for instance. It’s easier to interview this way. You will usually get immediate feedback.
So I posted my first and so-far-only question:
“As writers, have you ever had ideas only to find out later that others beat you to them? What were they?”
I kind of knew there would be yes answers, but I thought it would be interesting to find out writers’ personal experiences. Well, so far, I’ve only had several replies (I’m popular like that), from four published authors, but they are good answers.
First, we have Jesse Frankel a.k.a. J.S. Frankel, a Young Adult Fantasy writer. His works include Twisted, Star Maps, Picture (Im)perfect, The Catnip series, and The Nightmare Crew trilogy.
Mr. Frankel went on to enumerate his novels and describe what they are about, to emphasize his point (click on the image to read them). I am admittedly an adult who enjoys YA literature, so I think these are quite interesting, based on the backgrounds he gave.
Lastly, he said, “Now, are any of those ideas new or revolutionary? Nope, it’s the way you write about the characters and the situations that makes them special.”
To this, I agree. No one has complete intellectual rights over an idea unless it is very unique, which is, as implied, very rare. And until you’ve had it recorded in audio or print or some other way, you’ll have nothing to prove it’s yours.
Next is a short but sweet answer from Crissy Moss, author of Witch’s Sacrifice, Small Bites, and many novels and short stories.
I realized that’s true. I mean I’ve known it before, but this really emphasizes it. I told her, “Yes, you’re right! Even before Shakespeare ever thought of R&J, folk lores were already rich in many love stories resembling R&J’s. So in that respect, even William’s story isn’t so unique…”
Elaine Calloway follows. She is the best-selling author of the Southern Ghosts series. I’m posting her whole reply.
Good insight about being aware that you’re idea is not unique. And I think that’s the challenge, to still make it your own by adding in your own unique treatment and twists. She also mentioned about writing prompts, which a lot of blogger-writers are all too familiar with. Her example sure is interesting. And I love what she said at the end!
Note to Self: Read on those 7 plots…
Now, I saved this for last. I really love her specific answer! Classic!
Deborah Ross a.k.a Deborah Wheeler wrote the sci-fi novels Jadium and Northlight, various short stories, the Sword & Sorceress and Darkover anthologies, The Seven-Petaled Shield, and many others. I’m posting the complete answer as well.My reply: “Your account about someone having a very similar story is quite interesting. I mean, who would think anyone else would have a similar idea about a mother-daughter-octopi relationship??? I can imagine that you probably felt like a pale of icy-cold water hit you when you heard the editor. I do hope he didn’t think you stole somebody else’s idea…”
I certainly would hate it if anyone accuses me of stealing ideas! I do love the last bit that she said. I guess that’s really the mature way to handle it.
So, did you like this one? Many more to come! And how about you, fellow-writers, can you share some information from your own experiences?
In my line of work, I’ve already read much about blogging and have written stuff and tips about it as well. I have to say I don’t exactly follow them all, but that is because I have a different focus or different agenda, plus I am not that bothered about gaining a huge following, not yet anyway, Maybe someday, I’ll have more time and decide to be more active. That said, I think this post and tips from WordPress.com should work for anyone who is serious enough to be one of the best bloggers out there in the blogosphere. Congratulations to those whose names and blogs are mentioned. 🙂
Some of the best blogging advice we hear is from you. On Discover, we publish interviews and profiles of bloggers around the world, who also impart their own tips on how they’ve gotten the most out of WordPress.com. If you’ve missed these interviews, not to worry — we’ve compiled some of the best bits of blogging wisdom here.
Join communities that sustain your interests.
When you start to click around, follow blogs, and fill your Reader with posts to read, you’ll discover that WordPress.com is full of many smaller communities. For example, some participate in black and white photo challenges led by blogger Cee, while others join our multimedia Discover Challenges, hosted every Tuesday.
Novelist Claire Fuller credits two communities on WordPress.com for supporting and influencing her: Friday Fictioneers, a group of bloggers that writes a weekly 100-word story inspired by a photograph (hosted on the blog of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields), and The Prime Writers, a…
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NOTE: This was written pre-WordPress…
The other night, Dr. Positive Jekyll made this decision:
Once again, I will delve in the art of letting go. Hard, true, but necessary.
Sometimes, letting go does not only mean setting others free. Sometimes, it means setting yourself free. For what good is holding on when you know the inevitable? That eventually, it is you who will slip and fall to your own demise? I know that if I keep holding on now, the suffering would be much greater than I make myself believe at times.
So now, I let go, while my wings are still unclipped, free to fly to somewhere unknown and unfamiliar. Why not? It’s a live-and-learn process. I live, therefore, I learn, and I welcome the wisdom it brings. Obstacles will abound, but the rewards are always greater after the rain. There is gold at the end of the rainbow, for me to take, to feel, to taste.
Even leprechauns need to let go at times.
All I could do was doodle and write words like “What am I?”, “Sh*t happens”, “Stupid idiot”, and “Freaky”… Hello, Miss Negative Hyde.
Some days, I feel like a different person. It’s like, you’d like to keep being Miss Jekyll, but Miss Hyde just decides to show up when she feels like it, especially when she’s mad. My husband calls it “going Incredible Hulk.” He warns our naughty and rowdy kids, “You’d better do what she says or she’ll go Incredible Hulk on you again.” No one wants to see me mad. You wouldn’t.
Anyway, this post is brought to you by the letter “P” for “Personality”.
OH, NO, STOP RIGHT THERE!
Oh, no, stop right there!
`Cause you’re not getting anywhere
lay off me, get off my back,
take a hike and don’t come back.
Oh, no, stop right there!
Yeah, you may like me, I don’t care
please take your hands off of me,
turn around and leave me be.
Oh, no, stop right there!
No, we won’t ever be a pair
contraries to what you think,
you should really see a shrink.
No, no, no, stop right there!
Ask no questions, oh, don’t you dare
for I could really blow my top,
prepare to be karate-chopped!
Copyright © J. Gi Federizo
Written: June 29, 2002
This poem is brought to you by the letter “O”…
And here you thought I forgot, eh? 🙂
There was an article I read on how good web developers should be. Based on the stuff the author wrote and considering that some visitors like myself were not as technology-savvy as he was, he did seem very credible about the subject.
A good web developer, he explained, should know this program, that software, most social media, and so on and so forth. He kept enumerating the must-bes and must-knows. He was an expert, nobody was about to contest that. Until he said that one needs to know English and, to emphasize, followed it up with “Did you born in the USA, UK, …….?” Uh, what? Say that again?
I paused and after a moment of comprehension, laughed. He definitely meant “Were you born…”
Considering how grammatically incorrect many of his statements were, I just knew he wasn’t kidding. It wasn’t for me to laugh at someone’s broken English. I laughed at the irony in what that particular non-native English speaker said. If he didn’t seem credible enough doing the technogab, my faith in him as an expert would have died.
Let that be our lesson. The first rule in writing is to write what you know – all of us writers, I suppose, have been made aware of that. Evidently, he could use more practice to sharpen his communication skills. It’s not about the English, really. That was circumstantial. It should have been about knowing his targeted audience, his medium, what to write and how to write about it.
If you want to give the impression that you are experienced in certain fields, go ahead, share your knowledge. But know when to draw the line. Do not claim to know something you obviously are not good at. The least you can do is to have a field expert check your work before you click on “publish”.
You don’t just talk the talk, know what I mean?
What’s NEW??? Well, I’ve become shameless. I’ve got a shameless plug, that is. This is something new that I am trying out, new in the sense that I’ve only done this now.
I feel awkward calling it “Fan Page,” but that’s what Facebook generally calls its pages, particularly those accounts owned by individuals.
“A fan page is the only way for entities like businesses, organizations, celebrities, and political figures to represent themselves on Facebook.” (Heyo Blog)
Reading it makes me feel more awkward as I am not sure to which category I should belong, if I should even have such an account. But then again, it’s a personal choice. And if I believe I am a writer in my heart, then I should claim it. Why should we always limit our choices in life?
I do love this description much better as it “covers” me:
“Creating a Facebook fan page is an amazing way to promote your business, build awareness for a cause, gather support for your band, or to advertise in a number of other ways.” (wikiHow)
This should give me more motivation to write, plus I will be able reach a bigger number of audience. I doubt that I’ll have that much actual fans, I am not delusional, but just having a few would be very cool for me already.
That said, we go to the shameless part — Please LIKE my fan page!!! It would mean so much to me….Thank you, guys, you’re so kind 🙂
Meanwhile, if you are wondering whether opening such an account is for you when you already have an account, this might help: Personal Page vs. Fan Page.
I hadn’t the time and resources to continue the A-to-Z Challenge until now. This is my “N” post, N for “New”.
Do you have a fan page? Why not show to us? Just add the link to the comments so I can approve your posting the link.
“M” is for Musicals. Yes, I am a musicals enthusiast, if you don’t know me yet. I like to watch musicals on TV, film and stage. I only get to watch actual musicals once or twice a year due to either budget (many that I’d like to see tend to be costly for someone like me) or venue (they don’t normally show in places near me). When I do get to watch, I normally try to purchase playbills. I may forget about buying other souvenirs, but never the playbills! That’s where you get to know more about a production, its cast, etc.
And because I’ve been in a Broadway-mood lately due to my recent post, I would like to share to any musicals fans out there the full film version of the French “Romeo and Juliet: from Hate to Love” musical that stars Damien Sargue and Cecilia Cara.
“Roméo et Juliette: de la Haine à l’Amour is a French musical based on William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, with music and lyrics by Gérard Presgurvic. It premiered in Paris on January 19, 2001…Since then, the musical has been performed in Verona, Rome, Canada, Antwerp, London, Amsterdam, Budapest, Szeged, Moscow, Vienna, Bucharest, Seoul, Pusan (South Korea), Taipei, Monterrey, Japan and Shanghai and has been translated into several languages, including Flemish, Italian, Hungarian, Russian, English, German, Spanish, Romanian, Japanese, and Korean.” (WikiPedia)
This is one of only two full film versions I viewed online. I really like this one — the voices (although Juliette sounds more mature for a girl supposedly around 14, but this is theater and she has a nice voice anyway), the costumes, most of the acting. The other version I saw, which I won’t say whose, I did not like at all. It looked like something performed in school rather than professional theater, and the acting! There are just no words! A few songs in and I gave up. It was hard watching them, really. Meanwhile, when it comes to the singing, I am also very partial to the voices of the Belgian cast. I don’t think there is any full online version of theirs, professionally filmed or otherwise, but I have the recording, as shared by another theater enthusiast.
Oh, let me share that there is a whole site dedicated to the R&J musical created by my fellow-Veerle fan, VeerleBub. Check out the Romeo + Juliet the Musicals Website. It’s not the musical’s official site, but it’s rather informative and a bit comprehensive, even including translations. I liked visiting there during my R&J fever years ago. Unfortunately, it’s not updated anymore and the owner lost the rights to the original domain, it seems. Think I’ll go contact her again if I can.
Anyway, here’s the film version I promised. As always, ENJOY!