When it comes to appreciating the smaller things in life, especially in this time of upheaval, I’m grateful to have such a wide and varied number of interests to get through this pandemic. If you’re able to stay home during this public health crisis to keep yourself and others safe, one of the things you might be wondering about is what do you do to keep yourself busy and sane until it’s all over? In my case I’m glad I’m able to hop from one hobby to the next without ever really getting bored. I’ve talked about writing, gaming, and watching shows to pass the time. Another thing I’ve been doing to keep my mind occupied, and taking a much needed break from the bleak news out there, is reading.
Everyone comes into a new year with the best intentions to do something different about their lives. Make a change or start fresh. But halfway into a month or two, we either procrastinate on the resolutions we swore we would do or the bit of progress we did make gets abandoned before the year even ends. I am certainly guilty of this, like so many others, but you get to a point in your life where you have to decide if the goal you want to achieve is still something you really want deep down inside. I’ve reached that turning point with my writing.
When it comes to reading books I tend to be more old school. I’ve been, for the most part, adamantly against adopting the new technological forms of consuming books. Whether it’s e-books or audio books, I’ve shunned them both in favor of the more traditional way of owning and reading a book. I enjoy the way a book feels in my hands and the smell of the paper when I open it to the first page. You can’t get a similar experience with an e-book and audio book. Just when I thought I would never ever download an e-book or listen to an audio book, I found myself in situations where my own words are coming back to bite me in the ass.
Smartphones are pretty nifty devices. All the conveniences and ease you could ever want is at the touch of your fingertips thanks to the millions of apps out there seeking to make your life that much simpler. Apps are changing the way we do online shopping, ordering food, or even paying for in-store purchases with a quick tap. The tricky part is wading through the overwhelming amount of options users have to find the hidden gems of the pack. One of those standout apps, especially if you’re an avid reader, is the Goodreads app.
The end of junior high and into the start of high school began my love for anime and manga. It was around the time the Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z anime have crossed over into North America and found an audience of young kids discovering, perhaps for the very first time, an entirely different style of animation that came from Japan. Anime and even manga were still pretty new to Americans at the time. The amount of series that arrived over here were few and far between, but the ones that did were the kind that felt as if you had discovered buried treasure. They were just that good. As more anime and manga titles started getting imported for young American kids to find, the more I gradually added to my own personal collection.
I’ve been an avid manga collector ever since they became accessible at bookstores and comic shops. I devoured every shojo manga I could find and always looked for anything that had a good story and memorable characters that stuck with me. But the older I got, the more my collecting tendencies dwindled. The reason mostly stemmed from not having enough money to buy all the books to complete the set. Now that money has sort of become less of an issue, where does a manga collector go from here?
April is my favorite month for a number of reasons. It’s a time when the weather begins to get nicer. Flowers are starting to bloom all around the city. Outdoor events become more frequent. And April happens to be my birthday month! That last one will obviously make me particularly bias towards April being my number one, but there’s a lot of good things happening this month.
It has been a common practice for Hollywood to turn to books for their next great movie project in the last few years. For every Harry Potter or Hunger Games that gets chosen to go from page to screen, you have to wonder if studios really can’t come up with their own ideas without falling back on authors, who are creating and publishing books daily, as their main source for an original story. Sometimes, the books’ movie counterparts wind up being a critical success at the box office, or they flop spectacularly. There’s really no magic formula to predict which adaptation will get a favorable response from audiences. It’s really the luck of the draw. Whether you’re for or against books being turned into films, one good thing to come out of Hollywood’s interest in the written word come to life is getting those same audience members to pick up and read the book the movie is based on, if they haven’t already.
Everyone loves a good mystery. The kind that entices you to figure out the reason or motive behind why someone did what they did. But what if the mystery revolves around a girl who’s already dead, committed suicide a few weeks before, and the only way to understand her reasons for taking her own life is by listening to a series of recorded cassette tapes she left behind? This is the basic premise of Netflix’s latest original series 13 Reasons Why.
We are already in the second month of 2017 and finding plenty of time to do everything I set out to do has been a challenge. I am not off to a great start with the novel writing goal I set for myself this year and will have to figure out how to stay on track with that somehow. Certain other goals have been pushed to the top of my priority list until I can finally get those finished. This doesn’t mean I don’t indulge on the much leisurely side of things and making time for this blog as I go along. Those are very much a necessity for me. I decided to give everyone a taste of what I have been doing behind the scenes and what I hope to continue doing this month.
Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. The smell of pine in the air as trees are being sold on the sidewalks. The lights and decorations brightening up a window display or cozy home. The presence of family and friends as you eat and exchange presents by the Christmas tree. It’s a magical time, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder what it might be like to experience Christmas in my favorite video game or book. In the spirit of the holiday season, I’ve listed a few fictional worlds I wouldn’t mind spending Christmas at.