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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Inspired by the Movie ‘Chronicle’

 

 

Just last week, I found myself huddled in the dark and watching the sci-fi movie Chronicle, which came out this May. The movie itself had an awesome concept – three teenagers stumble into a hole and make a discovery that gives them telekinetic abilities and changes their lives forever. It’s a great idea, but the execution wasn’t the best (I hear the film ‘In Time’ with Justin Timberlake suffered the same fate). Still, if you like everyday people becoming ‘super people,’ it’s definitely worth renting for a few bucks. I will warn you, though, it is shot from the first person camera angle (like Cloverfield). If you can get around both those things, I think it’s a decent hour and a half movie.

Anyways…

One of the conversations the characters had has been bouncing around in my brain for days now. While developing their powers, one of them mentions their abilities are like a muscle; they have to work it out gradually to make it grow stronger, but not to overwork it or they risk only hurting themselves.

As I sat on my couch and plugged numbers into Web Sudoku, I realized the idea can be applied to writing as well. While some people say it’s good to write every day, one must take writing advice as they would a dieting regime: you have to find something that works for you. Writing five hundred words every day religiously may work for you. It may also drain you and make writing a chore if you’re forcing yourself.

My suggestion? Start out small. A word, a list, or a sentence is just as acceptable as a paragraph or a page or two if that’s all your muses are throwing at you (or if they aren’t throwing at all). Don’t beat yourself up too badly if you have a few days where nothing comes to you; taking a break every once in a while to let your brain and creativity rest can do just as much good.

[Image Credit: Wikipedia.com]
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Finding licensed images

I guess we could say it’s common knowledge that we should not use someone’s work without their consent. However, what are the rules for using images found on the internet? If someone puts an image on the internet and I find it through a search engine, doesn’t it mean it’s okay to use it? Doesn’t it mean the author is already allowing you to use the image if it’s online for all to see?

No. It’s not okay to share or alter any images on the internet unless you have permission for it. You have to either use images that were approved by their creators for sharing (or altering, if that’s what you’re looking for) or pay to use the image. Nice, huh?

Anyway, I’ve been reading about it since yesterday and I’ve collected a bunch of info. Basically if you use the Creative Commons Search you’re safe. You type what you’re looking for in the search box, check the boxes for commercial purposes and/or modify them (if necessary) and choose which library or search engine you’d like to get your image from. I’ve been using Flickr and Google Images to find options for my past posts (yep, I’ve been updating them since yesterday, trying to change them all to licensed images).

If you want to understand a little more about how this all works, you should read Meghan Ward’s Where to Get Photos For Your Blog. Ward teaches blogging and social media classes at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, so she knows what she’s talking about.

Another good post on the subject is Susan Gunelius’s How to Find and Source Images for Your Blog. Gunelius also gives you a list of other places where you can get your images.

And remember: you should always give credit to the creator of the image. Always.

[Image credit: Marta St▲rbucks]

 

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Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

Hello, all.

This is J.B. and I’m glad to be here, saying (hopefully) helpful, inspiring things and whatnot. I figured I’d start out with something easy. So for now, I’ll just talk a bit about Emily Giffin’s novel Something Borrowed, since I just finished it a few days ago. I knew about its movie adaptation first, which had the same title and its “iconic” ring on the cover. There were a few changes from the book to the movie, but from what I can tell, it’s just to make characters easier to understand without knowing all that extra background info you get from the book.

Although I felt it was overall a pretty good novel – the characters are believable, the sex scenes are classy enough and don’t remind you of a cheap romance novel from Wal-Mart, and it has its highly amusing moments – I probably won’t pick up the second book, Something Blue. I was far more interested in knowing how the story’s crisis would come to a conclusion than I was in the journey for a good while. Though I would love to tell you that it’s the best thing since sliced bread, I don’t like lying (most of the time, anyway). If you like chick lit and you like being in the mind of an underdog with a bossy friend you’d like to backhand, go ahead and pick it up. But if you’re only mildly interested, go and rent the movie. If you want to know more about the characters, pick up the book from Half Priced Books or Amazon (like I did, to save a few bucks 😀 ).

[Image credit: Wikipedia.com]

 

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New contributor!

Welcome

Welcome!

I’ve been talking to a friend (J.B.) about the possibility of having some posts written by her here. We’re always discussing books, authors, and writing (including, of course, our own writing, our own stories). Today she finally agree to be a contributor here. I know she’ll have some interesting reviews and such in the near future, so keep your eyes open.

Welcome, J.B.!

 

 

 

[Image credit: ButterflySha]

 

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Dog-tired after a long day

Today was… Well… You know when you suddenly realize you need to pee so bad you don’t think you’ll make it to the bathroom, then you wonder how could you not know you had to pee, and then you realize it was because you barely had time to consider the possibility? Yep, that was today. At some point during the day I sat down and had a few gulps of diet coke and realized my throat even hurt from drinking it. Yep, I was that thirsty that I had to drink it so fast it even hurt.

Anyhow… It was a great day, nonetheless. Right now I’m so tired I’m not even that hungry. I am, and I know it. Last time I ate was over seven hours ago, so of course I’m hungry by now. But I’m just so tired… I’m thinking of the possibilities and trying to decide which one will require less energy to prepare. That’s indeed very sad. Or funny. One or the other, I’m not sure, I’m too tired to decide anything right now.

Dog-tired. Yep, that seems about right.

Bob Hope once said “You never get tired unless you stop and take time for it.” Maybe that was my mistake, to sit down and allow myself feel tired. But gosh darn it, I am going to take time today to just feel tired. And you know what? I think sometimes it feels pretty good to feel tired after a long day of work.

[Image credit: Greg Westfall]

 

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Translation: not as easy as it looks

Translation is the process of translating words or text from one language into another. It’s a written or spoken rendering of the meaning of a word, speech, book, or other text, in another language. It sounds pretty simple, right?

But translation is much more than that. It’s not only translating words, but communicating the meaning of a word using an equivalent in another language. Some words are easy, right? Colors, for example. Black will always be black, green will always be green, and blue will always be blue. Right? Not really.

How about feeling blue? The person is not blue per se, but we do associate the color blue with the way the person is feeling. And how about the expression green with envy? You probably can even imagine someone’s face getting green in this case, but is this the same in other languages? How about if you heard someone saying purple with envy? Would that sound right to you? Well, it is the equivalent to green with envy in Portuguese.

Translating a text (any type of text) requires a great deal of knowledge and adaptation. The translator has to adapt the sentence and use the meaning of the words or expressions, not their literal translation. Context is another thing to pay attention to. Have you ever tried to use free online translators? They do help, but unless you have at least some knowledge of both languages, you have to be careful, or you could end up offending someone by accident.

When in doubt, ask for help.

 

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To be a writer

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”
― Ernest Hemingway

 

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