Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Story of the Day

Let me tell you a story....

I'm a freelance ghostwriter, earning a little extra here and there. In this course of work, I know the rates and I also know I am being paid the minimum (for my country's rate). Everyone says so, I know so, full stop.

So when one of my clients asked for an 800 word article for 12 bucks, that's really underpaid. I kindly replied and refused the job (in which I had to let my mom read my email first, to make sure I didn't sound cocky or anything of that sort).

Later, I got a reply where my client called me 'not flexible' to her rates, AND 'choosy'.

Well, I'm a freelancer, I can be choosy, and there's a difference between 'not flexible' and being taken forgranted.

I would have replied that, but my mom gave me a better reply. She said, "Tell her that you are thankful for her advice and you will take it to heart."

I did as she said, because I didn't want to offend the client, even though I know my rights. Er, hello, I'm freelancing, I have every right to turn down a job for whatever reason. And the full time career I want is being an author, not a ghostwriter.

After that, I got a reply. She asked me to write the article in 500 words for my usual rate. Wow, what do you have of that?

I'm not going to talk bad about my client, so you be the judge. But honestly, I have no idea why she's so upset when I turned her down. If she wants a long term relationship (as she mentioned), then she should just accept that I don't want to do that job, and leave it as it is instead of calling me choosy or not flexible.

This is business, I'm not her permanent employee, and as my mom said, both parties have a say. Just like how she doesn't give me a writing job every month, I don't have to do every single one of the jobs she gives me.

But you know what, I'll let it slide.

The lesson I learnt was to be nice, no matter what people say. I mean, whats the point of offending people. I'm young and you never know how word might get around. It is always best to stay quiet and keep your reputation clean instead of saying something wrong and tarnishing it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The birth of a conversation

The spark of a friendly conversation on a 'A Game of Thrones' casting video on Youtube.

This might contain spoilers.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Is Tumblr a blog?

Without being able to reply or comment on random posts without having to re-blog makes it fall short of a blog. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Wheres the fun at defending your own post when someone decides to ruin it for you, when there's no reply button?

Some people want to get away from criticism when they remove the 'ask' section, making it impossible for one to contact them. Might be they also fear that they have offended too many people by trashing people's posts, instead of having a friendly discussion.

I guess, Tumblr is a place for you to say anything without having to deal with the consequences of saying it. That's why it is such a great place to rant! And put GIFS! And then call that blogging!

I have a Tumblr account btw, but I won't be giving a link. My account is doing what a Tumblr account should be doing; being re-blogged and criticized without a chance to speak against it.

But, those dumb re-blogs from fearful accounts with no 'ask' section should be water under the bridge now.

I'm just not a fan of Tumblr. Fullstop.

I'm only using it to post my thoughts on A Song of Ice and Fire as I read through the series. (Even that, people love re-blogging with negativity.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Why I love Owl City

I don't have friends who love Owl City as much as I do, or at least I don't know of any. Most of my friends actually make fun of me for liking Owl City. They don't think its... 'music'? I don't know. They just don't like the stuff Adam Young has made.

Honestly, I think he makes awesome music. I love every song he has ever produced. And unlike other singers or bands that I listen to (Rascal Flatts & Taylor Swift, to name a few), I don't like everything they release in their latest album. I like them, but not everything they have created makes me want more.

Adam Young/ Owl City has been my favorite for a very long time, and he will remain my favorite. If I ever get the chance to meet him, that would be so awesome!

Besides his music, I also think he is a brilliant writer. I once stumbled upon a blog post he wrote where he stringed his words so amazingly, I thought he could write a novel! Of course, one would have noticed his style of writing in his songs by now, and they have the oddest yet most interesting descriptions.

'Blow your backbone to bits'? What a sight! That line was in 'Galaxy'. That song also holds a lot more meaning than mere beats.

I guess it is safe to say Adam Young is a poet. And I admire his quirky way of writing.

Why I love Owl City? Well, who else can write interestingly strange lyrics to piece with his unique music, if not Adam Young.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Little Bit About Monsters

Monsters have a weird way of living. They are very much like you and me, nice, friendly and sweet, until they reach a point where they evolve. 

During this evolving stage, which happens once in their life, they have radical mood swings. One moment, they are as sweet as puppy dogs, and the next, their terabyte of a memory starts vomiting all the things they hate about you.

Monsters should be carefully dealt with in this period. Saying one wrong thing can lead to a destruction of a long streak of peaceful silence you thought you had. 

They also have the tendency to turn their mistakes into your mistakes, making you the monster instead. On top of that, monsters also love comparing you with other humans, whom they think are like you but worst. They often point out that you might end up like them, all screwed up and slimy. 

You try to be nice to the monsters, you feed them, play with them and for the sake of not being chased out by them, you put up with them. Unfortunately, monsters have selective memory and only recalls the time you mess up and fail in your attempt to please them. 

Tell you what, if they want you gone, you best be gone. Nothing good comes with battling and pleasing a monster at the same time. After all, they can always creep from under your bed and strangle you in the night. (I'm just joking... no really. But just be careful.)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sick Tom

A couple of days ago, Tom wasn't feeling so well. He had been making noises on and off and it was starting to worry me.

So yesterday, I brought him to get checked, but when we arrived he refused to show the doctor what the problem was. I was pretty upset with him because he worried me and I really needed him to get better. Since there was nothing to be diagnosed, I took him home.

Once we came home, Tom did not make another single sound, until today! I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but maybe my dad was right; Tom just wanted to go out for a while.

He did give me scare though and I thought he was going to die at one point.

Tom, oh Tom, why do you have to be like that. I can't blame him much anyways, I have had him for three years and three years is considered old for a laptop, right?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Banned Shows...

... I had a few when I was a kid.

When I was around 10, my mom banned me from watching Dark Angel and Charmed. But, my dad never stopped me when I sat beside him and watched them on TV. It was a good thing that my mom always went to bed early, but it was a bad thing that those shows were only on TV past 10 p.m.

The fact that I was unable to watch all the episodes made me love these series' even more! I actually ended up playing as a Charmed One with my friends in primary school. We would walk around fighting demons and befriending them. Everyone involved were either a demon, my sisters (Phoebe and Prue; Paige never existed then) or a white lighter. Till today, those who played along with me still remember what we used to do during recess. Oh, how I miss those days!

And...rrm.. I might even have a book of shadows. An incomplete one cause my mom told me to destroy it while I was still copying the contents from a friend's book. (This shows how important it is for parents to educate instead of banning something. Back then, I didn't understand why it was not good.)

Besides Charmed, I was also in love with Dark Angel. The whole idea of genetically enhanced children with  neat bar codes on the back of their necks, just made me want to be one of them! I would imagine to be one of those kids, and some people around me which I thought cool, were also 'special'. This only happened in my head and my own world of make belief, because I didn't have friends who watched this series as well.

Now you're probably wondering, why were these banned? Charmed had witchcraft and Dark Angel had bar codes. Does bar codes and the devil's mark ring a bell?

I grew up in a Christian family and it's pretty normal for parents to be protective. My mom did ban me from Harry Potter as well, but I never cared, cause even though I wasn't allowed to buy the books, I still read them and loved them.

I understand where my mom was coming from though. But when I was a child, my imagination was the most important thing to me (Still is actually), and without being explained to on why it was banned, it didn't stop me. 

I know that many Christian families these days still ban Harry Potter and a bunch of other fantasy and science fiction shows, but personally, I think that banning won't help much. Once your child grows older, they'll just find other means to watch or read those you banned. I think that instead of banning something, explain why you do not think it is good, or, embark on the show and book together with your child. That way, if something does not seem right, there's always room to help your child understand.

Today, even though those shows were banned, I have managed to watch every episode. Yes, I know witchcraft is wrong, and no, dark angel has nothing to do with the devil's mark, but those two shows did not change my beliefs and faith at all. 

It's a good thing I knew how to differentiate reality and fiction, or not I would be one of those kids who actually think they can cast a spell on a friend with a spell from Harry Potter (Something like that actually came out in the newspapers.)

Personally, I would rather embark on a show/ book with my children rather than just saying 'No, because I say so.' There isn't much point in that because children are getting smarter. And why would I want to box up my children's imagination when I can be there to share it with them?

I'm no parenting expert, but I'm writing from my own childhood experiences. If only my parents would play along with me, I would have so much more fun (and protection at the same time).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Song of Ice and Fire

The first time I heard about this series was before the TV series came out. I was actually looking for a book with a medieval fantasy setting, just to see how authors write, because I was planning on a book that was set in that universe. Posting a question on Facebook led to a reply from a friend who suggested the series.

I actually googled it and gotten an e-book copy of A Game of Thrones. The 90's cover was not at all impressive but I attempted the book anyways. (I admit, i'm a judge-a-book-by-its-cover kind of a reader.)

Honestly, the introduction was really hard to get through. I decided to drop the book all together when the start was not very interesting. Then, the TV series came out and I had no idea it was based on that book series. I completely forgotten the title... that's why I saw no connection. 

After watching the first season, I decided to try again. The introduction failed me once more. Long and unfriendly names with heavily stringed sentences were not helping. Note, I have never read an adult novel until this one. Young adult novels were easy and light, hence, I was very used to that. 

So, unable to get through it again, I decided to not try. 

But a couple of months after season 2 ended, I wanted to give the book another shot. I really wanted to know what happened and why zombies were showing up! So, after getting another e-book copy, I skipped the intro and went straight to the next. I was not going to let it ruin the book for me again. (That sounds stupid, but it is true.)

I rushed through book 1, because it felt like a replay of the series. But towards the middle of book 2, I realized how small things were changed in the series, which made it more interesting.

I'm currently on book 3, and we all know that after A Game of Thrones, the series never really followed the books. It was rather close but not very. I prefer the books over the TV series of course, as characters and plots had much more depth, but I have to thank the TV series for making me want to read the books.

I actually bought all 5 of the books and I'm determined to finish them all (since I have already paid around RM35 for each of them. That's about RM175, excluding the discounts I got which actually saved me close to 50% of the entire cost). 

Where am I getting at? 

I just want to say its a good series, with well sewn plots and well built characters. You should pick it up if you want to dive into this 'magical' world of war, love, deception and magic.

It has adult content (duh), with minimal profanities but quite a number of obscenity. So, you best be ready. 

But, hey, that aside, it is one good twisting tale!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ticking off my plans!

I wrote a post in August on my plans, so here I am, checking off what I've done!

I plan:

1) to send my self published book to publishing houses after I graduate. (If you know contacts of publishing houses, do leave it in the comments below.)

CHECK ☑ I already sent in The Dreamer to two publishing houses. I'm still waiting for a reply :)

2) to do a video when I hit 900 subs on my official writers blog.

UNCHECKED ☐ I didn't have time to do it. Maybe when I hit 1k subs? Or when something awesome happens :)

3) to go on vacation after I grad and write my second book.

UNCHECKED ☐ I still have 2 more days of uni left!

4) to make enough money and have a website next year.

UNCHECKED ☐ I'm making some money but my priority now is a new laptop. So a website might have to wait for a while.

5) to make my final film project for my degree a good one, so people can use it to spread awareness.

CHECK ☑ It will be up on youtube soon. Along with my new mini series called 'The Lucrative Business' on my official writers blog.

6) to increase my client base in ghostwriting.

UNCHECKED ☐ I still only have 2 clients.

7) to graduate on top of the class. (I know this may sound nerdy but it would be an accomplishment for me.)

UNCHECKED ☐ I don't know yet. Refer to number 3.

8) to tick each of this off once they are done, so that I will do what I have planned to do.

CHECK and UNCHECKED. Not everything has been ticked off... yet.

Also, how do you increase the number of fans on your fan page? I wonder...

I have no idea, Jeyna. Maybe get published?