“The Many Faces of Ito” is . . . delightful.

The Japanese TV Drama, “The Many Faces of Ito” has it all and then some.

The Many Faces of Ito_Netflix

I binge-watched it when it debuted on Netflix and may mostly re-watch it. Why?

Unrequited love. Misunderstandings. Best Friends Forever Betrayal.

Oh. My. Goodies!

The series is mostly about Rio Yazaki, a jaded rom-com screenwriter who is struggling to make a comeback and a pretentious, self-centered, and obnoxious student who upstages her. Whoever could he be?

Fortunately, Rio isn’t necessarily an innocent by-stander or angel. That would be boring. And Japanese TV Dramas are rarely boring. Rio digs into the lives of four “love-sick” women, pretending to help them, but she’s really “mining” for the golden bits to aid her in writing.

Be Careful of What You SAy
Lol.  😀

I clearly loved watching this movie. If you’re a writer, a reader, a lover, a fighter, a naughty and challenging student, or even a mix of some, or all of the above, you might enjoy watching this series.

 

 

 

Views from (Almost) All Around the World!

Wordpress 2020_Views from Around the World

Hello there. How are you? I’m great! Thank you so much for asking. 😉

For a growing blog like mine, I think it’s an incredibly big and sweet deal when you see visitors from countries other than your own stopping by. 🙂

Heck, even an audience of one is better than one, yes?

So, this is a quick post to say “hello” in your official languages!

Hallo – German

Hello/Bonjour – English/French

Merhaba – Turkish

Hello – English

Moi/Hej- Finnish

Вітаю – Ukrainian

Привет – Russian

Hej – Danish

Sawubona/Molo/Hallo/Hello -Zulu/Xhosa/Afrikaan/English

According to sites like Expatica, the World Atlas, and South Africa Tours and Travel, there are eleven official languages in the country, which makes it the second-largest number of constitutionally recognized languages (second to Bolivia and India)! Wow! Whoa! I didn’t know that. So cool!

Pssst. If Google or Bing steered me wrong, please let me know in the comments! 

 

 

Hyperphantasia or Aphantasia: How Much Does Your Mind’s Eye See?

Hyperphantasia1

Hyperphantasia is the ability for an individual to create highly graphic images in his or her mind’s eye. In other words, some could call it the conjurings or machinations of an “overactive imagination”. Alexander Brennan, the main character in my middle grade novel, MOONSTRUCK, has an overactive imagination.

Moonstruck Cover
Lucid dreaming, aphantasia, and hyperphantasia sometimes intersect.

I didn’t know there was a “scientifically” precise term for this characteristic, until one of my students shared with me his inability to visualize or create mental images. This information struck me in a strange way. Thus, my curiosity drew me to research it.

Aphantasia_LOR

How interesting that there are people who are “blind in the mind” (aphantasia) while readers (like myself) process words on a page into movies in our minds that sometimes the world we envision while reading is incredibly overwhelming that we must take a break from the roller coasting reading or devour the book in one sitting before not knowing what’s going to happen next becomes unbearable and consumes us.

Ironically, this student LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to read, write fiction, and draw pictures. The drawings are often incomplete, but they are decent and he so enjoys it. Hyperphantasia’s opposite is aphantasia.

I need to know if there are other writers and illustrators in the world that possess either hyperphantasia or aphantasia and what it’s like. I wonder if writers that struggle to create their own mental images when reading, write better prose because of the way their mind works. I wonder if something that could be considered a disadvantage is actually the opposite. For instance, my student that identifies as a person with aphantasia often scores perfect scores or high As on his reading assessments. I wonder why that is. It’s so perfectly peculiar! I love it! 😀

Anyway, thank you for stopping by, and feel free to comment and/or share if you think you are either hyperphantasic or aphantasic.

And if you fall somewhere in the middle, please comment and share! 🙂

Peek-a-Boo! My Involvement in The Twisted Towers Book Launch

This is a short break from my blog hiatus.

Recently, one of my fellow authors invited me to help out with an online book launch via Facebook. After I shoved my nervousness aside, I enjoyed every moment of it.

E. Rose Sabin, the author of the newly released, The Twisted Towers, dedicated a lot of pre-planning, planning, time, and energy into the event.

She invited local authors that tag-teamed each other off in order to keep the viewers cozily entertained with games, prizes, and real-time question and answer sessions.

Before the event, authors were asked to answer questions that I found really important for readers and writers.

Here are the questions I was asked to respond to:

1.    Synopsis of your writing career and style including your most current and/or favorite project:

Since I was a kid, I loved making up stories, worlds, and the characters that populated them. From talking cheetahs preaching social justice reform to poachers over the roar of a camp fire, former slaves with supernatural powers that raise the dead to destroy an unjust and racist system, to the birth of twin sons that will turn a theocracy on its head, unique ideas come easy to me, but finding the time to write them is a constant battle. Being a mother, a full-time teacher, (yes, even during the summers) and a wife I have to organize my day to make time for my life as a writer. And when I don’t write, I’m not happy. I write so that I don’t kill . . . my emotions. 😏  When I was a much younger writer, I struggled with submitting my stories for many reasons. A primary one is I didn’t think my work was good enough. I also didn’t think I had a shot when majority of the work being published in the science fiction and fantasy community was by white authors.

Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers says it best: “Books transmit values”. Myers goes on to express, “That books explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books?” Let’s take this train of thought a little further. What is the message when some authors are not represented in the publishing industry? What is the message when stories with nonwhite main characters (and side characters) are written by exclusively white authors. When I noticed that more and more people of color were being published (I will not use the word trend — this is here to stay) I not only took notice, but swallowed my fear, and joined in. Currently, while I’m in between writing two novels — one YA urban fantasy that takes place in the same universe as the Gabriel Lennox series and one adult high fantasy — I draft, revise, edit, and submit short stories, prose, and poems to markets in order to build my writing credentials. I also read and critique other authors’ works. I mentor young writers. My dream is to be traditionally published. So, I’m polishing my work and looking for agents and publishers to send my manuscripts to.

**During my blog hiatus, I won 2nd place in a poetry contest and sold one flash fiction piece. I also won a partial-grant. More on that later. I also had emergency surgery. 😦 

 2.    Can you define Co-op publishing and share with us three lessons learned from your experience with that publishing method?

Co-op publishing is also known as cooperative publishing.

Co-Operative
When Co-op publishing goes well.

Traditional publishing is often viewed as an “I’ve made it” badge of honor for aspiring writers while self-publishing needlessly and unfairly bears a red stain of shame. Co-op publishing is supposed to be a happy median and can work as a middle way between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Basically, when you’re a traditionally published author, your publisher pays you a royalty and you will get a small percentage of royalty statements for each book sold thereafter. Self-publishing is a different animal that I haven’t been able to tame quite yet. I’m in the processing of preparing my vampire novel “Forbidden” for CreateSpace as a paperback. It’s been available as an ebook for at least a year.  And like a creature from the world of Pokémon, self-publishing is still evolving and is often “super effective” for some. For some. Not for all. ::raises hand sheepishly::

The author is the publisher, book manager, marketer — the whole effing enchilada! And that can cost lots of money! In general, the Co-op experience is when authors pay to have their book published and they work with a second-party publisher that guides the dear writer through the entire publishing process. My experience with Booktrope was a little different. I didn’t have to pay to be published. However, there were marketing packages I couldn’t afford and didn’t know they weren’t included in the gig. So, I marketed my book by blogging, tweeting, Facebook posts, etc. Surprisingly, I made more sales to practical strangers when I attended face-to-face book signing events than I did in Virtual Land via social media. Though I won’t go into further juicy details, I will say this: If you choose this route, God forbid your Co-op publisher goes out of business! The experience is like a Charles Dickens’ novel nightmare where you’re now an orphaned author, abandoned and shivering in the biting cold and crying, “Pardon me, sir, may I have a crust a bread?” So, I’m going to keep on Dune Methane (doin’ my thang — I love Hieroglyphics — dee dee dah dah dee dee dane) and excel where I can. 🙂

 3.    What makes the vampire in your story different from other popular vampire characters?

The vampires in my stories possess some traits with the traditional vampires of legend. However, though they are humans tempted with immortality, supernatural powers, they’re  actually pawns in a dark, sinister web of deception, power, and blood lust set in a glittering world that starts in 19th century England. If vampires are real, then they’d be apex predators in the proverbial food chain. But when confronted with the harsh reality that there is something more powerful that feeds off of them their worldview shatters. They must pick up the jagged pieces in order to rebuild and save their world. If they can.

 4.    One piece of advice for aspiring writers and/or a cool fact for your reading audience:

I’ll indulge in a two for one special. First, to all of you inspiring writers: I implore you to “never give up. Never surrender!” Science fiction movie watchers, you might recall that battle cry from the satirical movie Galaxy Quest. And yet, I won’t stop there. Why? Because there will be times when you do indeed give up and when you want to surrender. But don’t let this be a “forever” end game option. Even though there will be times when you will fail (oh, yes, and you will) you only truly fail if you stop writing. And then you’re no longer a writer, but a thinker. And thoughts alone don’t write books.

Now, all of that aside . . . what are you waiting for? Go and get yourself a copy of E. Rose Sabin’s The Twisted Towers! I’ve already read it and am so glad that I have my own copy.

Here’s my take on the novel:

Sabin delivers a breath of fresh air to the fantasy genre with a twisted plot that mirrors the winding setting her compelling characters trek through. A heart-pounding ride from beginning to end.

The best way to thank an author is to:

Feed the Authors
Lolz. Heck, I’d be happy if I could make $20/month. Or $5.00 Or $1.00? 

Still here? 🙂

Now, try here. Or here. And here. 🙂

Thank you for visiting and reading.

100+ Followers! Yay, yay! Hip Hop Hooray!

Thank you to all my followers for helping to inspire me to keep writing every day.

I wasn’t expecting to gain many readers and I like to think I would keep writing anyway. However, having readers to interact with definitely gives me that little extra oomph — so thank you all for that.

Here are links to my most recent followers.

https://tamaradrazic.com/

https://wordscantfathom.wordpress.com/

https://johngrecoauthor.com/

In the future, I’ve been considering posting “Shout Outs” to my most interactive followers. 🙂 Everyone deserves some extrinsic motivation! 😀

Happy Friday everyone!