Friday, 13 November 2015

Harmless Queries: How Is Music Inspiring Us?

There's this song. I can't take it off my mind. I keep listening to it on repeat. I'm listening to it right now, as I write these words. 

There is something so weird about it. When I hear it, it's just like I'm transported to some other place. Maybe a beach in Rio at dusk, near a bonfire. Feeling the beat of the song pulsing through me as I move to it's rhythm, hands outstretched toward the sky, bare feet stomping on the warm sand. 

It sets my imagination ablaze. I'm feeling the music, becoming it. It reminds me of reading a book. You open it and instantly get lost in a foreign world. This song is like that. I'm here, typing on my PC and at the same time, I'm far away.  

I'm so inspired by this song.

Quimey Neuquen, José Larralde (Chancha via Circuito)

What song can't you take off your mind?

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Book Review: Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

There are two things you should be aware of, before I start saying anything about this book:
1. Though I love the Joe Wright movie, I haven't enjoyed the original book because of the writing.
2. I absolutely hate zombies, therefore I usually don't read zombie books.

Now, the reason I decided to read this book was actually because of the movie trailer. I had seen this title a few times before, but given my dislike for zombies I hadn't tried it. But have you seen the trailer?

I have to admit I was intrigued! I hadn't imagined that the zombie addition would result in a kickass Lizzy Bennet! So I decided to give it a try. And it was worth it!

Adding the supernatural element in the exact Jane Austen writing style, was brilliant to say the least. I had the good fortune of trying the audiobook, and was rewarded by the excellent english accent combined with all the properness of the english speech of that time. There were times I would laugh out loud, and times I would feel satisfied from the small changes in the original story. And though mr. Darcy is something in the terms of "perfect" for me, this new zombie-fighting Darcy was even better!

I know some people who love classic books may be a bit offended by this alteration, but I believe it has blown a fresh breath in a piece of literature that has been transcripted in many different ways and POVs. I read it with an open mind and enjoyed every bit of it.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Harmless Queries: Dreaming As Inspiration?

Well if this stands, my heart has some pretty weird wishes!

I had this dream yesterday night. It was actually like my usuals: a little fantasy, a little badass and a lot of adventure. I love having these dreams. They are my window to uncharted worlds and possibilities and when I wake up, I'm so excited I want to write them down so I won't forget them because I'm sure I will use them in my writing at some point, you know?

Yeah...well, you know how this goes. I start writing it down and there is no actual connection to what I was dreaming, so I start underlining things that don't make sense and put big question marks above them. Or cross them out and fill the rest of the line's space with possible alternatives or I just use the same old word "something" where I don't know how to fill in the blanks!

Now you will tell me that it is no good trying to make my dreams a solid story idea and I'll tell you that you are right. But it is a great excersise for brainstorming! Because everytime you hit a part that makes no sense, you fill it in with anything that comes to mind at the time because you're in a hurry to write the dream down. Otherwise you will just forget it!

So write your dreams down. Even if you never use them as story elements, you will have developed an idea as much as you can in a very short timeframe. And you will have a nice piece for working on when you are at the known-to-all writer's block. All you need now is a dream journal and a good night's (or day's) sleep!

Did you have a dream that you were sure would be a great story?

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Harmless Queries: The Joy of Buying Books

Do you ever get that blissful feeling when buying a book? The one that makes your heart puff up and your lips pick up in a stupid smile? It's funny how a bunch of papers held together by some threads can make us feel. But it's more than that, isn't it?

It's the smell of paper and the smooth dust-jackets and the beautiful covers that mark the beginning of an adventure! When you hold a book in your hands it's almost wispering about the great times you're going to have together. It's a suble promise for an escape from reality that will return you safely home when it's over. And you will never be the same person again.

I love my books. We have this special relationship where they take me with them in their worlds and I, in return, make sure they are kept safe in mine. And every now and then (maybe more often than you might think) I add new ones on the shelves, so they will not get lonely. 

Here is my new addition! This book order arrived a couple days ago and I was too excited and just had to share it with you!

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Art Release: Yukiko and Buruu

When you read a book does a scene ever stick in your mind? I mean really stick in there! And whatever you do, even after you finish the book, you just can't shake it off. It's there, behind your eyelids, demanding not to be forgotten. It wants you to breathe life into it. To mark the outlines and let it live on a piece of paper.

Well, this happens to me all the time. My imagination paints the picture in my head when I read a book and it won't leave me alone until I gather my pencils and start drawing. And it's such a relief when the sketch is done. I feel like I can breathe again.

Here are a couple of sketches from the last book I read. "Stormdancer" by Jay Kristoff had some inspiring scenes and Yukiko and Buruu were very fierce in their demand, so  I did my best to get them right. I hope you like them!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Book Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff (The Lotus War #1)

Rating 2.5*/5

It could have been a 4* book if it weren't for the elaborate descriptions. Man, did Jay Kristoff had his images set in his mind! But you see, the truth is I didn't need to know what shapes the smoke took from Hideo's pipe. I also didn't need to know about the illustrations on the palace walls, or just how iridecent the Shogan's robes were. I didn't need to know any of those things! They didn't help me paint the picture in my mind. They just put a leash on my imagination.

What they also did, was make me phase out while listening to the audiobook. I couldn't help it! The descriptions were just soooo loooong and pointless! I missed things all the time and by the time I realized it, I wouldn't know who was speaking or what they were talking about! So I would have to rewind and listen again! It took me twice the time it would have normally taken me to finish this.

What is more, the change of POVs didn't help me keep my mind on the story. And I'm talking about all the POVs that had no immediate concern on the MC. They were distracting and annoying. We could have stick with Yukiko's POV in the book. And perhaps with some insight in her father's and Kin's thoughts. Everything else could be mentioned in some other way through the story.

The best part though is at the end of the pick scene, where there is no mention of a major character even though they are in the scene. It's like they no longer exist!

Now,you will see all this rampling above and wonder "Why didn't you rate with 1* then?"

Why? Why? I'll tell you why.


Ok, it's not only that. The truth is I really liked the setting and the world building. I liked these red landscapes, the blood lotus and the people with googles and handkerchiefs covering their mouths. The fanatics with clockwork "skins" and the Book of Ten Thousand Days. Most of all, I liked the bond between Yukiko and Buruu that unfolded right in front of our eyes, transforming into something powerful and magnificent.

You see, that's the thing. The idea had great potential but the writing style didn't give it wings.

Oh! Did I mention the amazing cover????

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Harmless Queries: Why Do We Like Stories?

What would we be like, if there were no stories ever told? Where  would we find inspiration? The urge to be better than we already are? Would we hold the same ideals if they were not passed on to us through stories? Would we be less afraid of the dark if we had never met the hideous monsters of legends? Would we not wait for the prince in shining armor if no fairytale ever suggested he exists? I think not.

Stories aren't just a way of entertainment, as many people think. Stories are living, breathing things. They change shape depending on the person who's reading them and they ignite different things in every one of us. Stories taunt us, make us think and rethink and understand. They bind us to their truth, to the things we interpret from them. Stories teach us who we could be, what we are capable of. They help us travel not only this world, but many more. They open our eyes to new concepts and ideas. Stories liberate us.

Do you like stories? I bet you do! I mean, how can't you? They're the ultimate high.