Catching up with Writing 101, Day 7: Give and Take

Writing 101, Day 7: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call! -The Daily Post

Last night I revisited a 90s Hong Kong triad movie called Young and Dangerous, the first in a very successful series. The last time I saw this, I was around 10.  Now that I’m 28, the feelings are quite different.  And I thought to myself how different it felt right now to be watching this. If my 10 year old self and my current self was trying to write a review, this is what it would kind of sound like.

First, lets take a little synopsis.

Young and Dangerous is a 1996 Hong Kong crime film about a group of triad members, detailing their adventures and dangers in a Hong Kong Triad society. –Wikipedia

Me (Ten): Young and Dangerous was not really for me.  It had a lot of fighting and swearing. It was kind of scary because they were all really mean.  I finally know that being part of triad is not so fun.  They are kids who have gone bad. Except the main guy is kind of cute with his long hair.  I just don’t really understand why the Kwan guy kept getting in the way of the main character.

Me (28): There is a lot of violence and a lot of vulgar language, except in the context, this is one way of how to show the triad society and the intense atmosphere.  Its trying to show that even in their world, there is a division of good and bad. Kwan is the bad side because he doesn’t have any morals and Ho Nam is the good side because he has his own principles.  There are stereotypes shown here as to how the triad society really is and at the same time, it also emphasizes on the relationships of brotherhood, righteousness and loyalty which are  all very important to our good characters.

Just a brief little contrast as to the little bit I remember of how I felt when I first saw this.  It is almost 20 years ago so its a little foggy. The difference is that when I was younger, things were more black and white and I didn’t know what certain things meant but now that I’m older, I can watch this and see the grey area and the themes.  Of course, this is just my interpretation and some may see it very much different from me.

Have you revisited any movies from when you were young that makes you feel different about it? Which one is it?

Catching up with Writing 101, Day 6: A Character-Building Experience

Writing 101, Day 6: Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year? Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study. – The Daily Post

Here’s a question for you: How do you determine when you’ve actually met someone? For me, its when I actually interact with them. One of the most interesting people I’ve met this year has to go to very young and new addition to the family.

Living far away from where most of my relatives are, there’s always a sense of distance.  How do you know where to start? Especially when it is with the younger generation (not that I’m that old), it still poses to have a little issue of warming up slowly with them and getting to understand their world.

Watching the kids grow up, I could see in my nephews the replica of their fathers, who are my cousins.  You can see a part of their personalities radiating from their little actions and reactions. One is the little Wang who is the older nephew from my older cousin and while he can’t sit still, you can tell that deep down he has hidden talent, street smarts and a very sociable and womanizing nature.  Maybe it’ll change as he grows up but there is no doubt that he was passed on my cousin’s charms.  Something that is very personable to the public but yet, somehow there’s some that little Wang has for himself.  Watching him play, take care of his little cousin (in our Chinese traditions, more specifically a brother), and even out of the blue initiating with me, I couldn’t help but allow my heart to melt a little despite not truly appreciating his sometimes very bratty ways.

Turn over the spectrum and we have the littlest in the family now.  Little Wang’s younger brother/cousin, Baby Shek, who is not even two years old but has everyone’s attention. His father, the younger brother of little Wang’s brother, has gone through his ups and downs and as we grew up, we’ve also grown apart.  I’ve only ever met his first high school sweetheart and now after a few relationships in between, I meet the woman who becomes his wife and takes very good care of both him and their little one.

Baby Shek says only little words, mostly addressing family members and stating his desires from going to the bathroom, what he wants to play with and what he wants to eat.  Right off the bat, you can tell he has some amazing linguistic skills.  Maybe one day, he’ll pursue the world of translation? Who knows, right? The sky is after all the limit.  Baby Shek’s personality is a lot more direct and looks like his father.

There’s a lovely vibe when you watch little Wang and Baby Shek interact.  The naivety of not having to know more, the simplicity of being happy, the joy of being young and careless and the memories of watching little mini versions of my cousins is a treat.  They remind us that everyday is in fact a beautiful one and bring little sparkles of happiness and lots of laughter to the household. This is a household that now is shared among four generations.  How amazing is that?

Have you met someone this year that’s intrigued you? 

Catching up with Writing 101, Day 5: Be Brief (aka Funtastic 150)

Writing 101 Day 5: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.  Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible. – The Daily Post

The words on the little note scrolls through in my mind as I walk down the street, skimming the address numbers in search for the person that this belongs to.  Similar houses stretched out in front. Uncertain of who was the rightful owner of this piece of paper, it felt right to give it back. When I arrived, I saw flowers beautifully blooming in the bay window.

I went up the stairs and rang the doorbell. Before the echo quieted, footsteps shuffled to the door.  The door opened and staring back was a woman.  

I said, “Hi, I happened to come across a note the other day. I felt like I should bring it back.” I held out the envelope and the woman stepped forward to take it.  Flipping it over, a look of surprise appeared. Her eyes glimmered with tears as she thanked me quickly and closed the door. 

Not as brief as I’d want and nothing special but its perfect for making up for the last two weeks that I skipped for Funtastic 50.  Now that I’m rested from my vacation, I’m ready to get back on track and continue on with the Friday Funtastic Fifty 😉

Catching Up to Writing 101, Day 4: The Serial Killer

Writing 101 Day 4: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more.  Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series. – The Daily Post

We’ve all suffered losses.  Some more than others and at all various degrees.  Maybe we lost someone: a friend, an acquaintance, a relative, a close family member, a pet. Maybe we lost something: a toy, various electronic devices, glasses, our minds? Whatever it is, thats all a loss.  Sometimes, they are voluntary and most times, they probably aren’t.

However, I choose to talk about a completely different loss, one that is somewhat voluntary. The loss of a friend; a choice to let go of certain friends.  Loss results in some sort of despair or heartache/heartbreak.  Whichever could apply.

As I’ve gotten older year by year, it seems that I’m grasping how to see the people around me clearer.  Maybe its my tolerance of manipulation and guilt decreasing by the day or just not wanting to fake it with people that I don’t fully trust or give some value to my life.  Whatever the reason, in the recent past, I’ve made the decision to let a friendship go.  Its in a rather subtle way since its not that I’m not talking to this person but lets say that I’ve come to realization that I’ve let go of all hope.  This person is toxic and causes me to feel guilt, mastered in the art of manipulation (or maybe I’m just easily influenced..whichever) and just constantly makes me feel like utter crap.  Our friendship has somewhat flickered on and off throughout the last few years and I’ve suddenly realized that as much as we do get along.  The entrance of this particular person has caused me to lose a lot of positive because its not injected with regular doses of negative.

Of course, my friend is not completely to be blamed. I’m a person that gets influenced and cares overly about the people around me.  Its something I’ve been used to ever since I can remember.  I try to please others as much as I can, sometimes even if it means tucking away my own desires and feelings. Its how I was brought up.  As I entered the working environment, I’ve become more able to stand up for myself and say what I want especially with the people in my life.  If they are my friends, I don’t need to hide my true feelings or wear a mask and they will accept me for me.

Thinking back, its funny because I could kind of be myself with this person.  Why did I let this go? Its actually very simple. I just don’t think this is working.  How do you stay friends with someone who you don’t trust?

Goodbye, my friend! You are a loss in my life but one that is very much needed even if it will cause me some guilt. Physically, you may not be completely gone from my life but in my heart, you are.

To be continued in part 2 soon! 🙂

Do you have toxic friends in your life? How do you deal with them?

Catching Up to Writing 101, Day 3: Songs/Commit to a Writing Practice

Writing 101, Day 3: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you? Today’s twist: You’ll commit to a writing practice. The frequency and the amount of time you choose to spend today — and moving forward — are up to you, but we recommend a minimum of fifteen uninterrupted minutes per day.The Daily Post

Music is my life.  Its what keeps me going and in many ways, relating to music is something I’ve always been able to do.  Of course, there are certain songs that relate more than others.  I still remember some songs when I was younger and having my crushes and unrequited love and all that jazz.  The sad love songs about how the guy just keeps going away.  I look back and can’t really believe that its been so many years and how pathetic it all seems now.  Thinking about it, everything does happen for a reason, because without that, I would never have fallen in love with music.

Choosing three most important songs may be one of the hardest task so I chose whatever I felt reached out to me the most. Keep in mind I’m an overanalyzing, overthinking and deeply sentimental and emotional person (or at least I’ve grown to be more of the latter two things in the past few years).

1) Broken Angel – Boyce Avenue

Anyone know who Boyce Avenue is? They are a fabulous band formed by three brothers.  I believe they’ve only ever performed Broken Angel at one of the concerts in Montreal and that was THE BEST moment. Broken Angel relates to how I feel about my relationship with my father.  I love him deeply but yet there are some complexity in our relationship up to his death and a lot of it is only slowly being resolved.

2) August Rhapsody (from the movie August Rush)

Purely instrumental with minimal vocals, August Rhapsody is innocent and beautiful.  Its passionate about the replicating the natural sounds and has a peaceful reminder that music is all around us.  It could be because I related to the movie itself that this song resounds more to me (than it might to others) but there isn’t one time that I’m not overwhelmed with calming feelings when I hear this.  Its simple, beautiful and very sweet.

3) Little Moments – Brad Paisley

Country/Rock (or whatever this genre is) is one thats been growing on me.  These songs are always so happy to listen to.  Little Moments is something of a love song between me and my boyfriend.  It talks about little moments that we’ve had especially the getting lost part and not reading a map.  Yeah, signature stuff on our vacations.  Thankfully for the invention of GPS, its occurred less but we always come out of these things laughing and even finding some lovely new places. This song brings me into that happy place of how no matter what goes wrong, at least I know there’s one person I can depend on and he is not only the love of my life but my best friend.

What are the most important songs in your life? Is it because it has a special meaning to you?

Catching Up to Writing 101, Day 2: A Room With A View (Or Just a View)

Writing 101, Day 2: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now? Today’s twist: organize your post around the description of a setting.- The Daily Post

The dry and cracking dirt path which was partially covered by the tall grass surrounding either side stretched out narrowly in front. As the path weaved between trees, branches and twigs, the woods slowly because more bright and green.  Little flowers inhabited it and as I moved forward and lifted my head, I saw the distant high and beautiful waterfall dropping off the side of the mountain.

Trudging through the dirt and climbing over stones, the path approached the foot of the waterfall where there was a wooden bridge to cross over and continue the path.  The water falling straight down rushing downhill quickly caught my attention.  As I followed the water, my gaze caught a beautiful sight looking out over the horizon to see the stretch of rolling green farmland accompanied by the blue sky and distant mountains painting a beautiful palette.

As the path started to become steeper, it become rocky and challenging.  However, after a good struggle, the sound of a familiar rumble, this time closer is the energy boost to quicken the pace.  Stepping out from behind the tree, right by the side of the path, the waterfalls is now right in front.  The quick thundering flow of water swiftly drops from the top.  Spotting a path on the side, I climb to be right next to it.  Stretching out my hands, I could feel the rush of the water run through my fingers.  The mist wet my hair a little.

The rhythm brings a calm oneness with nature all around.  My body relaxes as I watch the water navigate over and around the rocks. The waterfall and its course reminds me that sometimes things will fall into place naturally.  The stress lifts from my shoulders and my heart feels lighter.  Sometimes, the cure for anything is simple and natural.

Catching Up to Writing 101, Day 1: Unlock the Mind

Writing 101, Unlock the Mind: To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write… And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.- The Daily Post

I always take up more than I can manage.  I really wanted to do this Writing 101 but I also had booked my tickets to go on vacation.  When I go on vacation, its all about getting away from the computer to just do the minimum possible and it didn’t help that where I stayed didn’t have accessible internet.  However, I am confident that I can catch up with a little bit of hard work to make sure that I finish what I committed to.

Unlocking my mind is exactly what I want to do.  Starting Days, Nights and Daydreams was exactly that purpose: to reach into my mind and find the creativity.  Obviously, this post doesn’t quite do that but it helps manage my thoughts and initiate my late first steps into the world of Writing 101.

The challenge has been going on and I have all tracked down all the topics and hopefully with possibly two posts for the next two weeks, I’ll be able to get back on track.  Thats the ultimate goal.  I always finish what I start and this won’t be an exception.

Being away also helped clear a lot of brain congestion that been going on.  It has to do with the immense stress and worries from reality and being unable to even focus and find the motivation to compose posts for this and especially for my longer running blog, Tranquil Dreams.  Its time for a change when those moments hit.  It was my first realization on my trip.  Change is never easy but sometimes, there is the leap of faith that has be taken to open up a new world of possibilities.

Every day carries new possibilities.  Somehow, being away brought back some of that courage that I lost.  I found back some of the self-confidence that I had and also came back with a little bit more happiness and contentment.  I feel a bit more back to the old positive self that I fought so hard to keep alive.  Its sad when being positive takes so much energy because its not supposed to.

Stress is a vicious thing.  So is dealing with the harsh truth of money and its effect on human nature.  Things just get really ugly.  On  one hand, I understand but on the other hand, I question whether its right for me if it has become so heavy.  Maybe its just the environment that I need to change.  After all, isn’t that why I’ve heard from some that people like to change jobs every few years?

There is an immense amount of options out there and as I look through it, it may not mean that its easy to find something new but I’m done with sitting around waiting for something to change.  That reminds me of the Chinese folktale about the man waiting for a rabbit to crash into a tree after it happening once before.  We are suppose to take control of our lives to a certain extent even if destiny and fate has its course but sitting around doesn’t make things better.

Its only been 10 minutes and I feel that this post is getting really preachy.  I’m really curious what others have written when they unlock the mind.  I’m not really thinking about what I’m writing since I’m already late and this is really just my way to apologize for starting late.  I’m a perfectionist for the most part and its taking a whole lot of energyto not scroll up and correct what I’ve typed up.  I’m probably missing a words here and there because my fingers don’t type at the pace that my brain releases its words.  Actually, the more I blog the more I realized that I’m a perfectionist.  I’m far from being a great writer but I love casually writing my thoughts.  So far, on my other blog, I’ve realized how fun it is to write reviews, mostly related to movies.

I wonder how many people doing this Writing 101 is involved with the NaNoWriMo.  Its been one of the biggest reasons why I’ve become interested in writing creatively.  I have a lot of thoughts and my imagination is totally out of whack.  Its one of the main reasons why I get so scared from horror movies, even if it deemed to be not all that scary.  It sometimes makes me laugh when I think about it.  All these movies that haunt me comes from my beliefs and then the imagination prolongs the effects.  Its the anticipation and I build up on that intensity and then expectations about what might come next.  Even when I expect and anticipate, some times even the obvious can make me jumpy because I’m already on edge.  Skilled directors, writers cinematographers along with composers and sound effects all team up to build that engaging atmosphere.  Creativity really does come in all forms of art.

It seems that my 20 minutes are slowly approaching and about time also.  Here we go! Writing 101 officially starts and I’ll be playing catch up for the next week or so.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back on track with my normal segments also which I’ve been losing track of also.  Its time to get off Europa and go somewhere else Out of This World and to probably write a Fifty or Hundred or Hundred-Fifty. I’m putting some twists on my own segments also.

My mind is officially unlocked, fellow Writers 101 and readers! Are you ready to check out what else these writing exercises have in store? I’m a bit nervous but I’m ready for the challenge! 🙂