A Poetry Workbook For You & Translators’ Annual Conference

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Hello, everyone!

I have such important stuff to tell you.

We’d better start now, then!

Annual Conference and Continuing Education Day

I went to the OTTIAQ’s (Quebec in Canada’s professional translators’ association) annual conference and continuing education day last weekend! It was fabulous, inspiring, and motivational. I learned a lot to help me in my future career and simply about the translation world. It might have been exhausting, but it was well worth it.

Plus, it sounds as though I might have found a few freelance job opportunities too. I met four great women (including two students, just like me!) and we are staying in touch. Networking in your own field can be truly amazing.

For the first time in my life, I saw I was not alone in my little corner of the world, loving languages so much it hurts and makes me fly high at the same time. There are others where I am! I got to talk with them, listen to them, to our shared passion.

It was both uplifting and eye-opening.

Find what you love, folks. And do it.

Want a Workbook? I’ll Make One!

I’ve been thinking about creating a workbook for you guys for a while now… Since my poem was published (read it here) on Selcouth Station, it made me realize poetry is something I do very well! There isn’t enough poetry guides or help in the world for it and I figured I could give you some tips, tricks, and guidelines to write poetry.

So, how about a poetry workbook, fellows?!

I’m still outlining everything, but I learned how to use the tools to make it. Let’s say I’m getting closer to the final product. It’ll have information, my own tips and tricks, examples, and exercises (of course!) to get you going at producing your own masterpieces!

Should I make a poetry workbook that focuses on delivering emotions or how to tell a micro-story within its lines? Or perhaps just about poetry in general?

Also, what would you like to see covered in its pages?

Please leave your answers below!

I love discussing with you, ladies and gents.

 

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An Amusing Writing Technique (Characterization)

Hello, ladies and gents!

Here’s the fun writing technique I promised you a few days ago: the characters’ letters to you.

It is that forthright, I’m not joking.

I was inspired to try such a technique after reading the chapter entitled ”Out from the Dust: Creating Characters” from Colum McCann’s Letters to a Young Writer.

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The author recommends we write a letter to each of our MCs (protagonists and antagonists) asking them ”Why don’t I know you?”. A loud bell resounded in my mind.

Indeed, what if I had a go at that seemingly amusing technique? I was in a tight spot where I needed to get closer to my characters in my Heaven’s Army series (particularly Hope, Fesdriel, Anick and Lucifer). Otherwise, I would continue to be stuck and just plain forsake writing their story. Plus, it sounded too fun to miss out on such an attempt.

So, I sat down with a pen and a sheet of paper and I asked that question (”Why don’t I know you?”) to Hope, my MC. I kid you not my hand moved almost on its own;  there were so many words in my head and they all needed to be put on the page! In less than two paragraphs I’d already learned three things I didn’t know about him!

It was riveting and fascinating!

But wait: it gets even better. Yes!

I wondered with alarm if this would help me with Lucifer… I was afraid yet curious. I’d never been close to my Lucifer for diverse reasons (notably because I’m quite a believer, so it doesn’t sit well with me… but my book needs him so I do too!). In other words, I never bonded with him like with my other characters. Does that make sense? Anyhow, I told myself the best thing I had to do was at least try.

Nothing came at first.

A week passed… Then, at midnight right when NaNoWriMo began, I swear to God the answers to my questions for Lucifer flooded me!

Overwhelmed, I couldn’t even think straight or do anything (like write Nightshade: The Death Stone, my NaNo novel this year). Thus, I opened K.M. Weiland’s Outlining software (amazing, by the way!) and clicked on Lucifer’s interview page (which was blank), then the magic happened.

I asked him three questions.

Cross my heart and hope to die but he answered all of them in a fierce and genuine manner. It was so beautiful I could have cried with glee. For once, I was connecting with that important character! Now, I have material to work with and I understand him much better (it’s still scary, but so fun!).

Break away and it. Break the mold and cross that fourth wall. Ask them on paper as though they were in front of you – or that you were them talking to you – and let their answers flow.

It’ll be worth your time. You might not use everything, but I assure you that you’ll know them in better details and perhaps look at them in another light. Either way, you’ll win.

Why not try that writing technique after all?

Go on, have fun and let me know in the comments how it went for you!

I’d love to hear your experience, dears.

See you next post!

 

Lady Mechanika: La dama de la muerte: A Review

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Goodreads

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Indigo

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Genre: Comics, Steampunk and Fantasy

Pages: 88

ISBN: 9780996603065

*I received an ARC of this book through Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review*

Lady Mechanika arrives into Santa Catrina, a small village, during the Día de los Muertos festival after suffering a loss. The Jinetes, horseback-riders from the world of the dead, come to the village to collect their offerings. Lady Mechanika then decides to act to save the villagers.

By Joe Benitez

 

What struck me first was how gorgeous all the artworks are! In fact, they are jaw-dropping with the flamboyant colours and numerous details in their clothes, build, bodies, and objects. I really enjoyed how all the acts’ titles (even the main title) are in Spanish—now that speaks of culture and experience! Because, if you don’t know, the Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico, where the people speak Spanish. Did I say acts? Yes, I did. Instead of chapters, acts divide the whole book, just like a play, a movie, or most stories for that matter (depending on the technique used, there can be from 3 to 6 or 7 of them in a novel).

Moreover, the characters’ clothes and makeup are sensational. Wow! They even serve the story which is doubly amazing. The panels are dynamic (sometimes we even get a glimpse from Lady Mechanika’s point of view under her big hat). Fun times, I’m telling you! Last note about the graphic aspect of Lady Mechanika is how the panels’ borders are made of pipes and gears which really make for a steampunk feel to it! The background has got scratches like used paper, which feels old too… A subtle but great touch!

Now, what about the story? The beginning is intriguing and jumps right into the subject. It doesn’t wait around. Instead, it sets the tone for the rest of the story and is creepy enough while being stunning. It also sets up the setting and the events quite early on and this comic does it quite nicely. You’d have to be blind to miss the information! The story itself is exciting and starts drastically, mixing folk tales with the Lady Mechanika’s invented story. The use of children as important characters in the story impressed me—it is rare but exquisite and fun when it happens! As for the other characters, they are all different and lovely in their own ways. But most noticeable, they all have their own agendas, stories, thoughts, and everything else that makes them unique. It is enjoyable to see them all mix and react to each other!

It’s hard to feel for Lady Mechanika, the main character, at the beginning, but the more I read the more lovable she became. After all, she’s courageous, a trait I respect. Moreover, we get to see a bit of her backstory, which helps us understand more about where she comes from and why she’s so different. Mostly for people who don’t read Lady Mechanika (like me) and thus don’t know her well over several comics.

On top of that, I found it to be culturally respectful of Mexico and El Día de los Muertos. The author and artist really made La dama de la muerte a pleasure to dive into. I felt like I was there, sucked into these magnificent pages and trying to do good alongside Lady Mechanika. It was insightful, that’s for sure. The emotions are well-portrayed. We can identify them without any problem.  The action is thrilling and nice in terms of visual. I’m not one who likes fight scenes much in comics, but I can say those are entertaining.

The story is intriguing and sometimes misleading (a real treat!) as the plot unfolds. I admit it emotionally destroyed me (I cried, yes), but it was SO good! The ending… Awww, what can I say about the ending? I loved it! It’s such a surprise even I couldn’t see coming (and I usually detect all the major twists in a story).

There is only one negative point and I think it’s somewhat big. Let’s say the villagers’ reaction to the tragedy befalling them is… strange to say the least. I didn’t find it realistic, but it was cute and soothing—if not comforting.

I give this comic a rating of 5 out of 5 despite the negative point because I had such a wonderful time reading it. Seriously, it is well-done and impressive. I have fond memories of this book and I am certain I’ll keep them for a long, long time… Why? Because I will buy and read Lady Mechanika’s other comics! I am a fan now.

If you want to learn more about Joe Benitez, creator and artist of this gorgeous comic as well as the series Lady Mechanika, do head over to his Web site.

Many Good Updates And NaNoWriMo (Will You Join Me?)

Hello, folks!

I’ve got a few good updates.

Let’s go through them, shan’t we?

I’ve renewed my Writing.com account so it’s kind of a personal commitment to my writing journey. Thus, my writing portfolio stays online for everyone to enjoy. At least for another year.

New ideas for my main novel Heaven’s Army: Down to Earth hit me like bright flashes last week. Needless to say I wrote them all down! I have been tweaking them and working on the story’s timeline and plot surrounding these fantastic ideas. It’s coming together beautifully, guys and gals!

Moreover, I’ve been working on two short stories (for fun) and a few poems for my collection of poems.

I’ve also worked a bit on Arsonphobia (mostly the plot and the characters’ backgrounds).

Just so you know, I have been juggling a lot of projects lately and it’s become overwhelming to the breaking point. So I had to decide which ones I would focus on. Of course, I chose Down to Earth as my main novel and sweet Nightshade: The Death Stone as my sideline. Those are my biggest projects. I’m not saying I won’t add information to Arsonphobia or write more short stories, but they’re not my main works for now, that’s all. As for the collection of poems, it’s part of the most important ones, too.

Many events have been happening in my life (all at the same time, as usual), which made me re-think my career plans. In the end, I have decided to have a go at translation (like I was supposed to from the start) whilst still teaching English and Italian as second languages on the side. I’ll also try, once I receive my Bachelor’s degree, to get the English teacher position at the college in my region. If I do get it, well, I know exactly what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life (happily too and without putting writing aside either!).

Moreover, I learned and tried a new technique for character-building and it’s working pretty nicely. In fact, it’s awesome! I’ll tell you more about it on Friday. It’s really worth a shot.

Also, who knew? I am doing NaNoWriMo this year! Call me crazy for I probably am. Here’s my sweetie page: Nightshade: The Death Stone (NaNoWriMo Page)

I decided to enter with Nightshade this time around because even though Down to Earth is my main focus, I won Camp NaNoWriMo with the latter so I couldn’t enter and win twice with the same novel, right? I also love Nightshade with every fibre of my being, so it was the logical choice. And a right one at that feeling-wise!

I hope to see you on the NaNo site (please go ahead and add me as your buddy). The more the merrier in this crazy ride!

Last thing but not least, I’ll post two reviews in the next two weeks. So, you’ll get to read my recommandations (they are very good books!).

Thank you for reading as always and see you next post, lovelies!

The Queen of Justice – My First Published Poem

 

Hello everyone!

Today I have the most wonderful writing news to share with you!

You have been diligent and adventurous companions on my writing journey for years now. I have shared with you poems, short stories, and excerpts from my novels, my hopes and dreams as well as my temporary setbacks. I have always let you know when I participated in contests, classes, workshops, and the likes.

Though it seemed I wasn’t making much progress, today I haven been proven wrong. Why?

I have the pleasure of announcing to you, dear fellow adventurers, that I am finally published!

Yes!

As of today, my poem The Queen of Justice is published on the lovely Selcouth Station Web site. Simply click here to read it (it’s free!) – I really hope you enjoy it!

Don’t forget to browse the site afterwards for there are other interesting pieces on there too.

Now, here’s that poem’s funny backstory: I started writing it in French over a year ago. Yep, that’s right. About two weeks ago, I stumbled on it again and I found the inspiration to finish writing it! I wrote a line here… then a line there… and I swear I was lying in bed and I just couldn’t stop writing it in my head! However, I was too tired to actually get up… so I took my phone off my nighttable and I wrote all of it on the tiny screen! But, ladies and gents, am I glad I did.

I have been aware of the Selcouth Station Web site for months due to my sometimes discussing with the team on Twitter (they’re very kind and amusing!). I thought: ”Hey, why don’t I translate this kickass poem into English and try to get published on Selcouth Station?!” I had high hopes because, in my opinion, it is my best poem yet. I wanted them to say yes so much!

Thank you Selcouth Station for publishing my poem, thank you!

I am so proud and I hope you guys and gals see the progress I’ve made. I might be as fast as a snail, but I am getting there. Thank you, fellow adventurers, for supporting me.

Again, if you wish to read my poem, here it is: The Queen of Justice.

Did you enjoy it?

If so, why?

What emotions did it invoke in you?

If not, why?

Thank you for reading, as always.

See you next post, sweethearts!

 

All Good News (When Does That Even Happen?! Party!)

Hello, dear adventurers!

I’ve got a few updates for you.

Okay, here goes:

Poetry and Book Reviewing

During the night (I’m a nightowl, you see), I finished a poem that’s been sitting in my drawer for over a year! The thing is… it’s in French. Mind you, it’s a beautiful language! But I was thinking: ”Hey, maybe I could translate it into English and submit it to an online platform/magazine?” And so, of course, I agreed to my idea. Let’s hope translation doesn’t ruin it.

On a side note, it must be said that winter book reviews is are coming. It’ll be quite eclectic, I’m telling you!

Writing Craft

Moreover, I recently found Mur Lafferty’s I Should Be Writing podcast and said I had no money to buy her book… which is true, but I bought it anyway!

Here it is:

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(This picture can also be found on my Instagram account.)

Once I’m done reading and reviewing it, I will create a new category on my blog titled ”Writing Craft Books & Resources”. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to explain what it will consist of now, aren’t I?

To Own or Not to Own?

I need your opinion: I’m thinking of monetizing my blog through owning a domain (the name of my blog would stay the same, only without the .wordpress.com in it; it would simply be .com) and becoming an Affiliate to writing and books products. What do you guys and gals say?

Your opinion matters since you’re my readers.

My Writing News

As for my writing problematic (which can be read here), I’ve decided (let’s hope I stick to it!) to write and finish Down to Earth (Heaven’s Army pentalogy) and the Arsonphobia series.

Yay for me!

Also, I’m onto finishing a few short stories and posting some of them on my blog whilst I’ll submit to online magazines/platforms with others. How fun is that?!

Unfortunately, even this blog post has to end. But I’ll leave you (only for the next few days, mind you!) on a positive note.

Here’s a bit of backstory to the positive note:

Two days ago, I pampered myself and put some makeup on and a nice shirt (all in my favourite colour!) and played around with my camera. One picture really stood out: I thought I looked beautiful in it.

So, here I am:

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See you next post, lovelies!

A Discovery of Writing Wealth

Hello, fellow adventurers!

Yesterday, I was looking for more information about the writing craft. Perhaps I was hoping to find a book that wasn’t so expensive or a few online articles from trusted sources… but I hadn’t expected to stumble upon podcasts.

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Now, I knew what a podcast was and I doubted listening to celebrities talk about their life and such would help me improve. What I did not know was that I had listened to the wrong podcasts a few years ago!

Let me explain: I thought podcasts were only by celebrities (from the music industry, the movie industry, etc.) and book reviewers. Why would I want to listen to that? I mean, it’s good if you like this stuff as podcasts, but I don’t. I was looking for something to help me improve my writing craft.

The first writing podcast I found is I Should Be Writing (ISBW) by Mur Lafferty. Since I don’t have the money right now to buy her book I Should Be Writing: A Writer’s Workshop, I figured I could glean some information via her podcast.

And it did not disappoint!

So, of course, I opened iTunes and subscribed. Then, I looked up other writing podcasts. Just so you know, it felt like bliss because I had just found that podcasts could actually teach you important stuff instead of just wasting your precious time!

Here are the two other writing podcasts I found that are worth subscribing to:

They have a wealth of information and tips on the writing craft and also how to be an indie author in our years. I encourage you to at least try them.

Go on, listen to one episode and see for yourself!

Did you know about writing podcasts?

If so, which ones do you like to listen to?

If not, what other free writing resources do you use?

See you next post, lovelies!