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Category Archives: Oh The Thinks We Think

The choices we make

Decisions-714972Deciding to live in another country is a tough decision. It comes with a price. It’s a decision to leave behind all you ever knew as right, as safe. It’s a decision to be far away from those you grew up with and love. It’s to know not only that you’re now responsible for your own laundry, your own cleaning, your own groceries, your own toilet paper, but also to know that you’re responsible for taking care of yourself when you’re sick, when you’re sad, and when you need to cheer up. You’ll meet new people, that’s true, but it won’t be the same.

Most importantly, to decide to move to a different country by yourself means to accept you’ll always have this voice deep inside of you asking “did I make the right choice?” In good days the voice will be so quiet you’ll forget it’s there. You’ll have moments so full of happiness you’ll think yourself to be a fool for ever wondering if it was right or wrong, and you’ll know in your heart you did the right thing. But there will be bad days, in which the voice will scream so loud you won’t be able to ignore it. You may find yourself stalking your hometown friends on Facebook and even regretting not being there when things happen in their lives. You’ll regret not going to a graduation or to a wedding, not holding someone’s baby in your arms, and not being there to see them attempting to parent said child.

I’ve been living away from home, from my country and the ones I love, for almost 6 years now. It’s been a long journey and things have not turned out as I planned, but for the most part I’m happy with my decision. Sure, there are good and bad days, but the good tends to outweigh the bad. Or so I choose to believe. What other choice do I have? Sit down and regret? Consider what if…? What good will that bring? 

In life we must make choices all the time. And since there’s no way of turning back time to try both decisions first, there’s no way of knowing which one is best. All we can do is trust our guts and hope for the best. After all, all we have is now. So make the best of it. Free yourself from the weight of guilt or regret, and enjoy your choices. Allow yourself to be happy about them, even if they didn’t turn out the way you hoped they would. After all, the choices you make are, at least at the moment you make them, the ones you want.

And when things seem to go wrong, do not waste your energy on what ifs. Allow yourself to say “Oh, well,” smile, and move on.

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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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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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Silver Linings Playbook

Silver_Linings_Playbook_PosterI wanted to watch this movie for so long and today I finally did it. I debated whether or not I should wait and read the book first, but I had the DVD in my hands and just couldn’t resist watching it. Now I definitely want to read the book. Why? Because I want to find out what was changed from the book version.

The actors were great, some of the scenes were very funny, some felt very real, but there were still things I didn’t like so much. Now, if you haven’t seen the movie and doesn’t like spoilers, I suggest you stop reading right about now, because I can’t talk about the things I did or did not like without spoiling it for you. I mean it, I’ll mention things that will spoil the ending and you can’t get mad at me.

Okay, now for those of you who decided to stick with me and read this review, here it goes:

Yes, I did like the movie. Would I watch it again? I’m not sure about that. Yes, it was funny, and yes, it was awesome to see a movie where the main character has bipolar disorder and to see how that affects those around him. However, there were things that, to me, were too hard to believe.

First of all, why is Pat (Bradley Cooper) being so honest and so direct to Tiffany? Having bipolar disorder does not mean you have no social filter. People with bipolar disorder have mood swings, not a need to be direct no matter what. The fact that they made him ask inappropriate questions and make inappropriate comments was something I did not like in the movie. Maybe it was part of his therapy to tell the truth all the time, but that was not mentioned (unless I blinked when that happened) and he was not like that with everyone, so it makes no sense.

Another thing I didn’t like was close to the end, when Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) is hugging Pat and he looks at his (ex)wife, disengages himself from Tiffany’s arms, and walks towards his (ex)wife without saying a word. It doesn’t make sense. If he had said just a “wait” to Tiffany, she’d still have the same reaction, but it would make sense later. Somehow that seemed weak to me.

But all in all, the movie was nice. I liked the songs and the interactions between the characters. I think the actors were very good and that the movie was light and funny. I liked that they cast Jennifer Lawrence to play Tiffany even though they thought she was too young for the part. I liked that they didn’t make them win the dance or get a high score just for being different (although I thought it was a little pushy that the only judge who always gave every couple a score that was lower than all other judges did was the one to give them a higher score). I loved how the truth about the letter was revealed. And I really enjoyed the little jokes here and there.

So yes, I guess I did like the movie. But now I’m very interested in reading the book. I’ve already added to my holds list at the library.

 

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Dealing with negative comments

This is a video created by Vi Hart, and I know that I’ve been posting a lot of videos lately, but I’ve been struggling with writing and trying to make my stories the way I want them to be and the videos help me.

Anyway, this one is about negative comments, and although she’s talking about comments on YouTube, this can be applied to comments on blogs and even on our own work.

So always remember: you have no power over them that they don’t give you, and most importantly, they have no power over you that you don’t give them. You don’t make things for their approval. You make them because it’s in you to create. So create something. And then share it. Because you are capable of more than you realize.

 

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Anya’s Ghost

anyas-ghostHave you read it? I’m not going to lie, I don’t usually read graphic novels. I saw the name Vera Brosgol somewhere, saw she was involved with the film Coraline (as storyboard artist) and was curious, so I looked for her as an author at my library’s website. That’s how I found Anya’s Ghost.

The cover was interesting and so I decided to give it a try. It started out as a story about a girl having a hard time fitting in at high school. Then she skips school and falls down a well. This is the moment you yawn, right? Not really.

Inside the well there’s a skeleton. And the skeleton has a ghost. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the title of the book, of course. But who is this ghost? Is she a friendly ghost? What’s her motivation to do what she’s doing?

I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, so I’ll just say I really enjoyed the book. And don’t try to speed-read it. Take your time and enjoy the pictures, the expressions, the looks, they are all there for a reason.

If you’re curious about the author, you should check out her website: verabee.com.

 

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Why do we write a blog?

Why are blogs so appealing? Why is it so great to write about personal things when we know strangers will read? Why is it so important for us to share private, sometimes even embarrassing thoughts with people we’ve never met before? Do we do it so we won’t feel so alone in the world? Do we do it for the satisfaction of knowing someone else out there can relate to it and that can make us feel less abnormal?

A year ago I started writing in this blog and I honestly hoped I wouldn’t quit. It wasn’t my first blog and I was afraid it would end up forgotten just as the other ones did. So far so good, but it isn’t over yet. It never will be, right? To avoid wanting to quit I did take some precautions. I decided it wouldn’t be too personal, that I wouldn’t reveal too much, and that I would keep it separate from my real life. But what does that all mean? To be honest, that’s up for interpretation.

If you pay attention to what a person writes (or rather to what that person decides to write or not to write) you end up knowing more about that person than you can even imagine. You, all of you, have access to more about my life than people who’ve known me in person for years! You may not realize that but you do. You can imagine how I’d react in a situation or try to imagine what I would or would not say about a certain subject. The fact that you may not know my age or my last name or what I look like does not mean a thing. Or perhaps you’re one of the few ones who do know me in person, in which case, hi! It’s great to see you here!

But I think that more than anything I wanted this space to be a place where I could say (or write) what I wanted without having to worry about who is reading it or whether or not they’d judge me for what I’m writing here. We end up meeting a lot of people we have to deal with in real life and sometimes we don’t have a choice whether or not to let them be a part of it. But in here, online, we have the privilege of not having to do that. If you come here and read my blog is because you want to, not because you have to do it. I probably won’t even know you were here anyway. Well, unless you like a post or leave a comment, of course. And by the way, comments and likes are always welcomed. 😉

Anyway, I just wanted to say it’s been a great journey and I appreciate every single one of your likes and comments. You all make me feel like I belong, like I’m not the only one, and like I’m actually part of a group I truly enjoy being part of. Thank you.

Thank You

 

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