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Category Archives: Furiously Happy

Learning the craft

2756494307_4018808b1b_oI’ve been taking creative writing classes and enrolling in creative writing workshops for the past two years and I can say they have changed me. One professor in particular has been a huge part of it. Before taking his workshop I could read all kinds of books and I was fine. Now I feel like my way of looking into things has changed. Every book I open, every story I read, is different. I see things I had never noticed before. I see little flaws in technique that I wouldn’t be able to identify before. I see what could be done to improve the flow of a story and what is stalling it. And although I might not always agree with his point of view, I am thankful for all he has taught me.

I’ve recently read 1Q84 and my reaction to it was not what I expected. Thank you to my professor I paid attention to details in this book I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ll talk more about it later, in a separate post, but all I say is that my opinion is influenced by all I’ve learned in the past few years.

Learning about writing has changed me. It has made me aware of how to approach it and what I need to do to improve my own writing. It has made me a better writer. And I can’t wait to learn even more.

Photo credit: Nic McPhee

 

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Bad Habits

I just got back yesterday from another amazing SBL weekend in Madison, and I couldn’t be happier. It was great! Better than great, it was amazing! Not only because of the music and of meeting again with old friends, but also because of the news one I met.

Coming back was the hardest part. Saying ‘goodbye’ is too hard, so we just say ‘see you soon’ and pray that ‘soon’ won’t take too long.

Then on my way back home from the airport I started listening to Johnson‘s album Bad Habits and I just couldn’t stop smiling. Anyway, here’s one of my favorites. But I do recommend you go check out his website and full album–you can get it from either Amazon or iTunes, although Amazon is cheaper.

Enjoy!

 

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The Smell of Books

I once got a book from the library that had such a strong smell I couldn’t stand holding it so close to me. It smelled of cigarettes or something. I assumed the person who read it before me was smoking while reading it, and that’s how it got such a smell. It was so strong I couldn’t even read the book, and I had to return it to the library. That was the only book that I ever had a problem with concerning the smell of it. But it did make me wary of library books and I avoid smelling them since then.

Today, however, I couldn’t resist it. I’ve been reading 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami, and I got to a part that says:

“Still sitting on the floor, Aomame closed her eyes. She pressed her nose against the pages of the book, inhaling its smells–the smell of the paper, the smell of the ink. She quietly gave herself up to its flow, listening hard for the sound of Tengo’s heart.” (p.546)

After reading that I brought the book closer to me and inhaled its smells. I had to. Then I pressed the open book against my chest and thought of the hands that had touched it before me. I thought of how many people, upon reading the same paragraph, would have brought the book to their noses to smell it. I thought of how many more will do it in the future. I wondered if the book would carry along a smell of me that will mix with the smell of all its readers. A smell no human can smell, but that only books know about.

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(Book Sniffer by shieldsink)

 

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Why and how to blog

I constantly see blogs talking about how many viewers they have or how many clicks they got on a certain post or day. I also see the number of likes and comments they get and sometimes it amazes me. Then I come to my humble blog and see my single-digit comments and likes and my double-digit views and you know what? I love it!

Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to interact with more people through my blog, of course. But it’s so much fun when I see that someone liked or commented on what I wrote/posted that I don’t really care how many people did it. Most people will read a blog post and move on, not even leaving their mark in here. And it’s okay. Maybe they didn’t like what I said, maybe it didn’t matter to them as much, or maybe it did.

Maybe, just maybe, what they saw here, be it a post, a video, a review, did make an impression, did make them think. And that, to me, is more important than whether or not they say something to me. I guess that’s the reason why I have this blog, as a way to communicate with people I don’t yet know, and I like it. No, scratch that, I love it!

I’m now thinking of a poem I love by Emily Dickinson that I already talked about way back when I first started this blog. I guess, to me, if I can reach one person, only one, it won’t be in vain. We can’t change the whole world, but we can (and should) try. And the way to do that is by reaching one person and doing one small thing.

Here’s a video by Vi Hart that talks about reaching people and how to do it. I think it has the message I’m trying to convey. Don’t stress over the numbers of views/comments/likes. Do what you want to do because that is the message you want to send. And if you reach one person, great! That means you’re doing it right.

 

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Walk on the Wild Side

Why am I only know getting to know about this?

Anyway, last night I spent hours watching the Walk on the Wild Side videos and laughing. This is a compilation of excerpts taken from the BBC One show Funny Talking Animals – Walk On The Wild Side and pieced together by DJ Shamrock for comedic effect.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Furiously Happy, Movie Time

 

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Easter with a touch of childhood memories.

When I was little Easter was a fun time. I remember following the Easter bunny’s paw prints around the house to find the place where he (you can’t call him it) had hidden my basket. The basket would always have a big chocolate egg. And by that I mean one of those:

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Just a few examples of Easter eggs.

You can find them everywhere in Brazil (yes, I grew up there) and you find them hanging from the ceiling (or a support over your head) in grocery stores. All you have to do is pick the one (or ones) you want and grab them as if you were getting fruit from a tree.

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Easter eggs are expensive, but walking into a supermarket and see all the eggs hanging above your head is priceless.

And if you have never seen the inside of one, they look kind of like this:

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This is a homemade one. Yes, you can get homemade ones and they are simply delicious!

Of course the contents of the eggs differ from one egg to the next, but they are all hollow with candies (and sometimes also toys) inside. The chocolate on the outside of the egg also changes, matching the candy they are based on (some have peanuts mixed with the chocolate, some are white chocolate, etc.).

But they were not the only thing in my basket. There were also smaller eggs and a chocolate bunny. I always got a chocolate bunny. Maybe because when I was little someone stole my bunny, a chocolate one, so my mom decided to give me one every year to compensate. Who knows, the point is, it was magical.

But one thing was even more magical. The decorated egg shells. My mom would start collecting eggshells weeks (maybe months) before Easter  It was a tough job to get them ready. She’d break just a little piece at the bottom of the eggshell, just enough to get the egg out. Then she’d wash the eggshells, let them dry, and store them in an egg carton. Later she’d make sugar peanuts (or Easter peanuts, as we’d call them) and put them inside the eggshells. She’d use a tiny cupcake liner to cover the whole and keep the peanuts inside. Then she’d decorate the shells using watercolors and a paintbrush.

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My mom’s ones had cupcake liners under them instead of egg holders, but they looked just like these ones.

Can we just take a moment to admire the artwork on those? I have to say I admire my mom’s dedication in using a tiny paintbrush to make the tiny details on the eggs. Nowadays with sharpies it would be a much easier job. Yay for that, right?

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Here you can see the peanuts inside and the cupcake liners.

And now I’m a bit nostalgic. Gee, I wonder why, right?

How was Easter for you growing up? What things are part of your fondest memories?

Oh, yeah, and HAPPY EASTER, EVERYONE! Hope the Easter bunny leaves you a bunch of good moments to turn into sweet memories one day.

 

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A wine tasting dance with a handsome stranger

I just had the most restful night ever. I can’t even remember the last time I had such a good night of sleep with such vivid dreams.

The first dream I remember was in a theater. There was going to be a play there in a few minutes, and we were going from backstage to the stage and to the part were the seats are. I can’t remember who was the man with me, but I know we were together. Once we reached the steps going down he pulled me to him and said something. It was a silly conversation and I won’t bother you with it, but it was nice.

Then we were in a restaurant. I have a feeling we were in Italy, for some reason. I can’t be sure, but I know for sure it was not here or anywhere I’ve ever been. There was a man, probably the same from the theater but I could see him a little better now. He had dark hair, a beautiful smile, and a nice chin. I know, I know, most people couldn’t care less about chins but I like them. Anyway, we were standing next to his table where there were several people, mostly women. He grabbed a bottle of wine, a special wine, and poured me a glass. He handed me the glass and I saw women looking at him as if they wanted him. I didn’t feel like they were jealous of me, but that they certainly wanted him and his attention. I remember laughing. He started dancing with me and I told him to slow down so I could drink the wine and that I had to smell it first. And I can still remember how good the wine tasted.

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Cheers to good dreams and strangers making us smile!
(photo by CityRover Media – http://www.cityrover.com)

 

 

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