Posts Tagged With: gangnam style

A (Relatively) Pain-Free Introduction to K-Pop

I know, I know, this blog is supposed to be about writing. Piffle, I say! Actually, I don’t say that, because a huge part of my writing “technique”, such as it is, is listening to and being inspired by music … and the musical genre that’s had its claws gripped around my heart for a few years now is none other than Korean pop music!

Stop running for the hills, people, it’s not as terrifying as you think. For example, think of Gangnam Style — not a half bad song when you think about it, even though they overplayed it quite horrendously.

What I have for you today, friends, are five K-Pop songs that will introduce you to the genre without making you cringe and try to valiantly contain your tears. I’ll explain why they’re amusing/interesting/awesome, as well as give you a one sentence run-down of what the song’s actually about, since it’ll be in … you know … Korean. Onwards and upwards!

#1: The first K-Pop song I ever heard

… was a cute song called “We’re With You” by the unbearably adorable girl group Kara. It’s about Kara explaining to the boy(s) they’re interested in that they love him and want to be with him tomorrow and (hopefully) all the tomorrows after that. Feel free to sing along to the “Shake it, shake it, baby” and “Bounce, bounce” parts. No one will judge you. Unless you’re in a public place. Then I’d suggest keeping your voice down.

#2: Possibly the most famous K-Pop song ever (besides Gangnam Style)

… is a song by Girl’s Generation, a huge girl group consisting of approximately seven bazillion members. The song is called “Gee”, and it’s about the girls falling in love for the first time and being really overwhelmed and excited about it. Best sing-along moment = “Gee, gee, gee, gee, baby, baby, baby. Gee, gee, gee, gee, baby, baby, baby”. (Note: actual song starts at 0:21)

#3: Time to get post-apocalyptic, semi-nude, and funky

… with Big Bang’s “Fantastic Baby”. This is pretty much one of my favorite songs ever. It’s catchy and rockin’ and awesome. It’s about … well, basically they want you to dance and have a kick-a** time. Best sing-along lines = “Wow, fantastic baby. DANCE! I wanna dance, dance, dance, da-da-dance” and “Boomshakalaka. Boomshakalaka. Boom-boomshakalaka.”

#4: Hopping back to the girl groups, we find four fierce females destroying stuff

… in 2NE1’s (pronounced “twenty one”) hit single “I Am the Best”. It’s about them being the best. There’s no English in the song, but it does feature a girl in skin-tight leather and spikes walking a standard poodle down a runway, so … yeah, it’s pretty phenomenal. For the chorus, what they’re saying is “nay-gah chay challah-gah”, which means “I am the best”.

#5: Last but not least, a rather bizarre and highly addictive rap song

… called “Knock Out”, by Big Bang rappers G-Dragon and TOP. TOP is the bleached-hair guy, and G-Dragon is … well, the other guy. Similar to song #4, it’s about them being awesome and the best, and how all the ladies want them and the guys want to be them. Look out for the gratuitous use of the Playboy bunny symbol, which G-Dragon and TOP have adopted as their symbol for some reason. For anyone wondering what the heck they’re singing in the chorus, they’re saying “bunk-ee-guy-oh”, which means “knock out”. This is used both to reference how you’ll be knocked out by the rappers’ awesomeness, and also referring to how insanely attractive the girl they’re singing about is.

And that wraps up today’s (relatively) pain-free introduction to K-Pop! All the groups mentioned above are extremely popular in Korea, so feel free to name-drop them at your next social gathering and watch how impressed everyone is. In all honesty, they probably won’t know what you’re talking about … but that doesn’t mean you can’t respond to something they say with, “Wow, fantastic baby” and then start laughing hysterically while they eye you warily and edge away.

Categories: Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Overcoming Writer’s Block (Oppa Whiteboard Style!)

If you didn’t get the song reference in the title, shame on you. Go watch this video right now.

Back? Good. Let’s move on to today’s topic …

Overcoming Writer’s Block (Oppa Whiteboard Style!)

This is a very simple technique for overcoming writer’s block. Simply follow these 10 easy steps, and you too can push past that pesky block and write the next NY Times best-seller!

  1. Buy whiteboard markers and an eraser. Don’t use old, gooky ones that you found shoved in the back of your closet. They’ll konk out halfway and then you’ll feel silly, won’t you?
  2. Sneak into your local college/university. If you don’t have a local college/university, a high school will do in a pinch.
  3. Locate a classroom with a big whiteboard. You want to find a whiteboard at least fifteen feet across, giving you lots of writing space. Smaller is okay, but you’ll have to write smaller as a result — I don’t know if you’ve tried writing small on a whiteboard, but it’s rather difficult.
  4. Check for security cameras. Unless you have permission to be in there, in which case shame on you. The instructions specifically state for you to sneak into a school, not stroll in like you own the place. Go back to Step 1 and try again.
  5. De-lid those whiteboard markers and start writing. Use lots of arrows and circles — basically, you want to use as much ink as humanly possible and completely fill that fifteen foot whiteboard with writing.
  6. Step back and admire your creation. Hopefully this process provided you with at least a few insights about your story. If not, at least it was fun!
  7. Snap some pics with your smartphone so you can actually remember what you wrote. If you didn’t bring your smartphone … sigh. Back to Step 1 with you!
  8. Erase the evidence. The last thing you want is some bleary-eyed Engineering student to wander in at 8 a.m., realize they’re looking at the plot for the next NY Times best-seller, and steal it for themselves. Trust no one!
  9. Book it, baby. You probably tripped an alarm on the way in, so you might want to vacate the scene before you get arrested.
  10. Collapse on your sofa and celebrate your successful brainstorming session with a beverage of your choice. I recommend ginger tea, especially if your stomach is feeling a bit upset from all this law-breaking and general tomfoolery.

Disclaimer: If you get arrested, don’t come crying to me. You should have known better than to listen to the internet. Trust no one!

 

Semi-related video of the day:

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

I broke 100,000 words! Happy day!

It’s official — Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight into It is now under 100,000 words. I believe it’s sitting nicely at 99,300-ish, and we’re not even done editing yet.

We’re on chapter 32 of 44, so I’m guessing the final word count will be somewhere around 95k. That’s still a very decent length for a YA novel, and the writing is getting much better and tighter as a result, so I’m really happy that we decided to do this final round of editing.

At the current editing pace, we (my editor/mother and I) should be done the shortening/revisions by the end of September. Then I’ll send out the new and improved book to a handful of select readers (aka people who can promise to read the book in a week), fix whatever (hopefully!) minor issues they find, and then send it off for copy-editing.

The other upside of getting the book under 100k words is that the copy editing will cost less. 100k words = $2200. 95k words = $2090. That’s about a hundred dollars in savings, which is good by me! I’m all for saving money. Then again, who isn’t?

In other news, I have a stack of self-published novels on my hard drive that I need to read and review. I keep meaning to get started on them, but I always seem to get distracted. Last week I had a legitimate excuse — I was temping for a telecommunications company — but now I don’t really have any reason not to get started on the reading/reviewing.

My next hurdle will be to decide which book to read first. Should I go by the date each book was sent to me, or by how much I want to read the book? Hmm …

In other, other news, I’m headed to Washington with my mother this week for a mini-vacation before winter starts. That’s the nice thing about having a flex-time job — vacation is very easy to book, since I don’t have to request time off or reschedule shifts. On the downside, I’m really bad at flex-time work, because I procrastinate like nobody’s business. Ah well. Anyway, I’m really excited for Washington. I’ve been once before, when I was about twelve or thirteen, and I remember that it was really awesome. I’m probably going to hit up the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, etc.

I’ll try to take pictures, but no promises.

Random picture of the day:

True love, Japan style
source: http://i.imgur.com/yA7Up.jpg

Categories: Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Help! How should I title my chapters?

Jedi Armen, my teddy bear protector, bearer of the One Ring of Power. He’s very fierce.

Since I’m apparently incapable of making up my own mind, I pose this question to you: how should I title my chapters?

Here are the options:

Option #1

Chapter 27

Option #2

27

Option #3

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Recall that Imminent Danger is a YA sci-fi/romance book. I don’t know if that’s relevant. I’m personally leaning towards Option #2 (just the number), because I spend most of my life these days shortening my manuscript so I’m going through a minimalist phase.

But my book stopped being a dictatorship a long time ago, so time for democracy to get its say:

Feeling multicultural? Check out this ridiculous K-Pop video:

That’s all she wrote. Have a kick-bottom Wednesday, amigos.

Categories: Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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