I know I said I was busy packing and moving to Halifax, but I just stumbled across this one star review of Hush Hush and I had to share it because it’s so stupid. Here it is:
This book was for my daughter’s summer reading. She is still not done with it but hates reading. I’m sure the book is a good book but just not something that I’m interested in. I really didn’t rate it farely since I haven’t read it.
Who the hell leaves a one star review for a book they admittedly haven’t read and have no intention of reading? She says at the end that she didn’t rate it fairly, which is at least an attempt at sanity, but why on earth would she leave a review at all? Grrrrrrr.
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.
A few wonderful, sunny months ago, Celeste DeWolfe fulfilled one of my big life dreams by creating the first ever Imminent Danger fan art. Now, an anonymous source whose identity must be protected for … well, for his/her own protection … has written the first ever Imminent Danger fanfiction! And it’s awesome!
The link is coming up right below. Fair warning, though — if you haven’t read the book, the fanfic probably won’t make much sense to you. To remedy this problem, I shamelessly suggest clicking the giant book cover to the right of this post and buying/reading the book ASAP!
I spent all morning editing a wedding video for my friends who recently got married (congrats guys!), so I’m once again ludicrously behind on everything — work, writing, editing, blogging, the whole shebang.
Anyway, I ended up putting on one of my favourite songs in the world to chill me out, and it worked, so I thought I would share it with you. Press play, sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy!
Next up in my “Guest Posters Because I’m Too Lazy To Write Posts Myself” series, we have Alex Nader cogitating on the relationship between music and writing. Take it away, Alex!
On Music and Writing
Music is a big part of my day to day life. In the car, at work, pretty much no matter what I’m doing, music is playing. I listen to everything from vintage blues to modern punk rock. Music also inspires a lot of my writing. I even have a playlist of songs to use as inspiration for my novel Beasts of Burdin. (Shameless self promoting? I’m for it.)
The only problem is when I’m writing I can’t listen to music. Something about words in music distracts me. I focus too much on the words and end up not writing a thing. It’s terribly frustrating since I enjoy music so much. Luckily for me, I’ve found solutions.
One of my solutions is a band called 2 Cellos. They cover a variety of pop songs with only, you guessed it, two cellos playing the music. My other solution? A series called the Pickin’ On Series. It’s a compilation of bluegrass bands covering everything from Aerosmith to John Mayer, mostly instrumental. It’s perfect. I made a playlist of the songs I like and now I have music to write to without having to worrying about getting lost in the lyrics.
So you may be asking yourself, who is this guy that’s written these words I’m currently reading? Let me tell you. I’m Alexander Nader. I’ve written a couple books, the best of which is going to be published next April by J. Taylor Publishing.
Beasts of Burdin is a tour de force of ridiculousness. Okay, tour de force is probably a bit of an overstatement, but I really wanted to use the phrase. It’s about Ty Burdin, a retired demon hunter who gets dragged back into his old life of hunting and is drowned in a world of complications because of it. I think it came out pretty good, and if you feel the urge, you should probably follow me at my blog, alexnaderwrites.wordpress.com, for updates. If not there you can find me on Twitter, tweeting about something or other. @AlexNaderWrites.
Unrelated media of the day:
In honour of May the Fourth, (yes, I’m a day late, I’m aware), I present to you:
I don’t have much time to chat today, due to my continued inability to keep up with my work hours. Therefore, I shall share the two new gorgeous pieces of fan art that the incomparable Celeste DeWolfe created for me whilst I was off crusin’, and then I shall share the song I’m currently listening to on repeat, because why not, and then I shall bid you all adieu. So …
RAWR! because 2012 was the Year of the Dragon. Obviously.
I have officially returned from my Christmas vacation. Went home to visit the paternal unit, ate some turkey, watched Modern Family, went shopping on both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (guess which one was busier?), got a Nintendo 3DS so I can play that new Kingdom Hearts game … and now I’ve returned to my apartment, my mother, and to the many hours of cleaning I will need to do in order to prepare for our New Years party tonight.
Anyway, I’m in a reflectory (totally a word) mood since it’s the end of the year, so I thought I’d share my top picks for 2012. And then I have to work, because I’m still behind 14.75 hours for the month of December, and it ends … well, today.
Top Movie of 2012
Dude, it’s the Avengers. How could it not win?
Top Book of 2012
Sequel to The Name of the Wind. Brilliant fantasy novel about a hero in exile recounting his adventures.
Before we get to the super awesome news, I want you to do two things for me:
Find the latest version of your current WIP.
Email it to yourself.
I ask this because I just read this post, in which my blogger friend explains that she lost her manuscript. Lost, as in, her computer crashed, the files have mysteriously disappeared from her flash drive, and the only hard copy she has is about ten revisions back from where she is now. That SUCKS. Seriously. Drop by her blog and wish her luck, because as you can imagine, she’s not exactly thrilled at the moment.
And now … the SUPER AWESOME NEWS!
Well, I think it’s super awesome — and it’s my blog, my rules, so get on the excitement train or get left behind in the dusty wastelands of … not excitement …
Anyway. Remember how I was all psyched and stuff because Imminent Danger won the Editor’s Choice award? Remember how I mentioned that the next award up for grabs is Rising Star? Well …
I WON IT! WOOOOOO!
But Michelle, you ask, what is Rising Star? To which I reply: beats the potatoes out of me. Let me look it up.
Basically, I get a swanky cover design, they give me some sort of marketing direction, I get to stick the Rising Star award sticker on the back of my book, and — here’s the best part — the iUniverse reps will present my books to major retailers. Now, I’m not sure what this entails. I imagine the reps go to book fairs, shove my book into various people’s hands, and say “Look! Book!”. Presumably they will be more eloquent than that (although points to them for rhyming).
So this means they can finally get the book cover design going. I got my friend Paul to do up a cover for me back in May, which I sent to iUniverse. According to my “Publishing Services Associate (PSA)”, they really like the design, but will be basically re-making it with stock photography and something something something I don’t remember.
Anyway, I’m really psyched. So close to publication! Ahhh!
I found this amazing article that lists about a gazillion upcoming short story contests. If you have ever or ever intend to write a short story, you should check out the link, because there are a heckuva lot of lucrative contests upcoming!
NOTE: As always the case when giving away your intellectual property and your money, double check and make sure the contest is legitimate before entering.
Awesome of the day:
FYI, the entire video was done in one take, so the performers basically ran around the house setting themselves up for their next appearance on camera. There was a girl whose sole job was to toss instruments to the performers. There’s a link at the end of the video to the Behind the Scenes video, if you’re interested.
Sometimes when I’m trying to write a particularly emotional scene (sad, happy, romantic, exciting, etc.), I have trouble putting myself in that particular emotional mindset. One of the best ways I’ve found to counter this type of writer’s block is by listening to a song (usually put on endless repeat) that embodies the particular emotion I’m trying to convey.
I’m going to share some of my current favourite emotion-inducing songs with you here, so grab some headphones and enjoy!
“I Am (Record Version” is from the anime Inuyasha. It’s light, cheery, has lots of xylophone and flute, and just makes me smile every time I hear it.
“Let’s Start a Riot” is loud, raucous, and makes me want to riot every time I hear it. Warning: don’t talk to anyone for at least a few minutes after listening to this song. You will feel very pumped up and confrontational, so cool down a bit first.
“First Love” is a Japanese song reminiscing about a girl’s first love. I actually prefer listening to songs in different languages when I’m writing, because lyrics often distract me from what I’m writing. If the lyrics are in a different language, however, it’s much harder to get distracted by them!
“Safe and Sound” is from the Hunger Games soundtrack. Every time I listen to this, I picture a girl sitting alone in an empty room, nostalgically remembering a simpler, happier time.
What about you?
What songs do you listen to when you write? I’m always looking for new music, so please share!!!