Page Four

Writing Curiously

Surprise! I have another Alice themed post for today….Well, kind of anyway.

In the upcoming weeks I will be world-building and plotting to prepare for NaNoWriMo and my massive goal of 100k words, but in the meantime I have been writing short stories to workout my writing muscles a little.

These stories are first drafts, very messy, and I am writing them with no plan at all.

That brings me to the topic for today. While for my NaNovel I am planning every detail of my new fantasy world, for these stories I wanted some freedom and a chance to explore with my characters in the lead instead of the plot.

When I began writing these stories I had no idea where they were going to go (and if I’m being honest I still have no idea) but writing with no plan at all lets the story flow wherever it wants to. After being away from writing for so long it’s a welcome change to the high stress projects that used to drive me away from the page.

fffdf

A little like Alice exploring the rabbit hole I find myself drifting and floating past all kinds of interesting thoughts, possibilities, and scene ideas. My characters speech seems more natural since I’m not trying to force them to get on to the next plot point. Probably the best benefit is that I only know as much as the next sentence, the suspense is still there and the blank pages ahead don’t have any preconceived notions to hold them down.

While I’m definitely going to plan my NaNovel, I think letting creativity run wild like this is probably the best creative break I’ve had as a writer. While I progress through scenes my mind wanders to places I don’t think it would have otherwise discovered had I not fallen down the rabbit hole and enjoyed Wonderland for all it’s worth.

hand-writing-pen-butterfly-animated-gif

What creative tricks have you discovered that helps you in your craft? How do you keep from getting totally burnt out?

Let’s discuss it in the comments!

Page Three

A Very Merry Unbirthday

The past few years celebrations and holidays have been a little rough. Due to circumstances a lot of family traditions and stuff haven’t been able to happen through various holidays and birthdays.

However this August things are looking up, brighter and more hopeful, and to celebrate the birthdays that didn’t get full attention we had an Unbirthday celebration instead. It’s funny because this comes at the same time as the Alice in Wonderland short story I’m writing on Wattpad. I love when things tie together.

ab2f50001ebf3f0e61e39da3ea304837

Yesterday was a peaceful cheerful day, I spent it baking cakes and playing video games with my mom and sister. (We seriously have an addiction.) My father was relaxing watching football while we slayed monsters at our computer desks. In the interest of making it incredibly merry each of us bought a pet on our game that can follow us around and pick up items. (I got a cow!!!!) Everyone also got their own cakes, complete with candles, to celebrate. flyff00017 (2)_LI

The No-Bake Cheesecake I made for my sister she adored, and though the frosting for the chocolate cakes didn’t turn out perfect (just a….slight…miscalculation on my part….) It was still delicious. We stayed up all night playing video games and laughing together and after all that has happened everything felt very bright and merry indeed.

As I made my wish over my little chocolate cake (with very messy frosting) the candles brought back a spark of magic and fun. Those candles are being kept safely on my shelf as I wait to see if an Unbirthday wish will come true and as a reminder that since we have 364 Unbirthdays , we should try to enjoy as many of them as we can.

Page Two

My First Time Eating Kimchi

Okay, I’m just going to start this off by saying I have a very traditionally American palette. While I frequently cook Asian food it’s not always easy to make it 100% authentic because I can’t get all the ingredients I need, so a lot of the Asian food I make turns into Asian/American food instead of just Asian.

Anywho, I was making a big batch of kimbap (Korean seaweed rolls, they look like sushi) like I do fairly often and while I was at the store decided to pick up a jar of kimchi (there is no way I could make it myself, I have seen people make that stuff and those ingredients probably aren’t within 100 mile radius of me). It was a spicy variety, which I pretty much like all spicy foods. However my mouth was not nearly ready for what I was about to taste.

On a side note, I also thought I had an idea of what kimchi would taste like because I eat kimchi ramen so often. I was wrong.

I tried my first bite of kimchi while making the kimbap, I taste a lot when I cook, and at first I liked the kind of sour/pickly/spicy thing it had going on. Key words being ‘at first’.

After making like 20 rolls of kimbap (I always cook enough for an army even though I live in a household of four) I sat down to eat with a little side dish of kimchi and tried another bite.

My first bite must have been too small to get the full impact of the flavors, because the second one just punched me in the mouth. I’m normally the kind of person who likes things bold, but let me tell you, kimchi might be the one thing too bold for me.

The pungent sour smell is more mild than the flavor when you actually take a bite. The caggabe is refreshingly crunchy and there are some flavor notes I detected that I liked a little, like the garlic. But overall the mix of sour, sweet, garlicky, pickled cabbage was something my mouth just could not get used to. It was like eating a totally alien food.

When I’m looking through Instagram food posts and learning about cultures I always try to imagine what the foods taste like that people are eating. Kimchi is a flavor I never could have conceived, and while I can appreciate the boldness of that Korean flavor, I think I’ll stick with my plain old gochujang and leave the kimchi in my ramen instead.

 

One-Sided Love

Hwa-Goon & Gon

One of the dramas I finished most recently was Ruler: Master of the Mask. For me it was one of the most emotional drama experiences I’ve had (besides Fated to Love You starring Jang Hyuk). That was due mainly to the above mentioned characters. Even though Hwa-Goon was the second female lead and Gon was a character who barely spoke more that 4 sentences the entire series their story was the one that grabbed me the most.

For those who haven’t watched the show and are planning to, be warned,  there are spoilers ahead!!

So first some backstory.

Hwa-Goon is the granddaughter of the man who is essentially the most evil power hungry character in the show (I have days of commentary about all of these characters to be honest). Our first encounter with her she is being her sassy self with the queen and proceeds to sneak off to the royal garden that is forbidden to all but the crown prince. Upon seeing his face the penalty is death. The crown prince is in the garden and quickly hides her from the guard checking in on him, thus saving her life and making her fall deeply in love with him. This one sided love lasts until her death.

In order to gain more power for herself to protect the things she loves (namely the crown prince, who her crazy grandfather has determined to kill) she asks for Gon for her birthday. He is the most powerful assassin that her grandfather’s organization has. From this first moment you can tell that he has a deep emotional connection to her, and perhaps always has. Hwa-Goon makes him swear allegiance to only herself, regardless of what her grandfather will do, he agrees to serve her.

In the latter part of the series we see his devotion to her as he goes through beatings without incriminating her in any way, the night he stops her from attending the Crown Prince’s initiation into her grandfather’s organization because he wants to protect her life, and finally his acceptance to help the crown prince on her behalf while she embarks on a mission that will claim her life.

We also see Hwa-goon’s absolute devotion to the crown prince, a man she sees as good and honorable. She throws away any of her own ambition and ideas and does everything in order to help, protect, and save him, ultimately sacrificing her life so he can escape her grandfather’s henchman and return to his rightful place on the throne.

Two of the scenes that stand out the most to me are:

  1. The moment that Hwa-Goon determines to burn down the field of deadly flowers and remove all of her grandfather’s power, thus cutting off everything he loves, the same way he did to her. As she stands in the field of burning flowers with a smile on her face she steals in a single blow all that her grandfather has built, you can’t help but feel moved. She has determined to live her life in her own way and to achieve her own goals. With the help of her loyal Gon-a she is able to do just that. The crown prince is saved, and she dies thinking of him and what she has just accomplished.
  2. The second scene is when Gon is sitting beside her after she has died. Her father comments on his lack of humanity and when her father leaves the room, tears enter Gon’s eyes. A side of himself that no one can see, but perhaps her. (Hwa-Goon must have seen the emotion in his eyes as he looked at her throughout her life.) His last words directly to her, a promise that he will live serving her. In that moment he will not let her death be in vain and he does as he has always done, living his life for someone else. But unlike working in service of her grandfather, this sacrifice is made in love, giving him purpose and determination.

Though both characters had a one-sided love, each loved with all their hearts. Gon knew that Hwa-Goon was satisfied in her death because the person she loved would live on, and he promised to follow her orders until the day he died, resulting in him becoming a palace guard and the man who helped save the crown prince’s true love. Each was devoted to someone other than themselves.

I think it’s that devotion that speaks to me. Hwa-Goon’s determination to live her life as she chose and Gon’s promise that he would fulfill all those things that she had wished for.

To me this love, though tragic, was such a heartwarming and heart wrenching portrayal. I mean these two characters made me cry (I don’t cry at movies or shows except in extreme cases), they inspired me with their ability to overcome the shadows and darkness in their own lives and live in a way that was bright and honorable. They brought needed strength to the crown prince’s team of misfits trying to get the real and rightful king back on the throne.

The fact that these two (who barely got half as much screen time as the rest) made me so emotional is a testament to their acting ability and the fantastic writing. (Also I’m not going to lie, I totally cheered every time Gon came on screen. These two are my favorites ever.) As far as character motivations, yes each of them sometimes did the wrong thing, but that is what makes them so triumphantly human to me.

And if I had to pick a love story for myself, I would hope I would pick one where I would love with all my heart.

 

Page One

So the first objective here is to have more whimsy and fun, instead of this sounding like an essay that is being read in front of the class on a rainy afternoon.

For some reason when I sit down to blog the keys begin typing out their own sort of dreary feeling when inside I’m really hoping for something sincere and warm that will leave you with a smile on your face.

In my opinion the world is very full of serious people who talk seriously about things. As for me, I can link the things that are most important to me to breezy clouds or cotton candy. Instead of being the kind of blogger that writes really serious intellectual things I want to be the kind of blogger that fills your computer screen with something silly and thoughtful.

Blogging has been an interesting concept for a while, but I’ve lacked the ability to really execute it. Either I think too much or too little about what I’m talking about so things get all jumbled. Instead of doing that or spending all my time figuring out how to be an ‘expert’ blogger I’m just going to write and see where it takes me.

As I write this I feel a little under the weather. It’s gray outside and dusty from the wind tossing around my desert scenery. (So much for whimsy and fun right? Lost that notion real quick.)

But despite that there is a huge blessing to be thankful for and I’m typing on it. Blogging without a computer was near impossible, cellphones just don’t convey the same sensation when it comes to writing and it has been a big challenge trying to manage everything on such a little device.

I’m one of those people who name everything, including electronics, so my laptop has been newly dubbed Marcus Aurelius. My favorite Roman name and a by-product of watching gladiator too much. I feel like with a name like that great stuff can’t help but come from his humble keyboard.

Through this ‘Page’ theme I’m hoping to present pages out of my daily life for reading and hopefully for entertainment and discussion. Like I said, I don’t want to be dull or boring when I talk, I want to be bright and entertaining. One day I’ll hopefully be putting all of this into video form on Youtube as well.

So, though this blog is going to be a little messy (and maybe a little wonky too) I hope that you’ll enjoy reading the things I write and we can get to know each other. Thank you for reading Page One.

Aside

Quick Update

I’m about 10k words into my newest novel project.

This story will feature a Japanese heroine trained all her life to be a Samurai. On the eve of a blue moon she is journeying through an enchanted forest and she finds that she is not all the woman she thought she was.

This story kind of came about as an exploration of identity. Everyone wonders who they are and where they fit. I feel that applies to people of all ages, so in this book (and two others) I wanted to explore the coming of age story of a woman learning to fill all the roles she needs to play.

As time goes on and the story progresses I’ll update you guys with word count, character bios, and sneak peaks​ of the story before it’s released. I hope you guys enjoy watching this project grow!