Sunshine Blogger Award Thingamabob

I’ve been nominated for this before, but I’ve never thought of doing it because I’m normally not one to follow chains. But, since work has been a doozy lately and I have no major post ideas, AND because I was nominated by Extra Life and I really admire that particular blog, I decided to do this challenge today anyways!

The rules for this challenge are as follows:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog (though you don’t really have to thank me, it’s just a courtesy, I think).
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you when they tagged you.
  • Nominate 11 other blogs for the challenge and provide 11 new questions for them.
  • List the rules of the challenge in your post and provide the logo.

All of which I have done.

So let’s get started with the questions Extra Life asked me!

Have you ever been involved in an emergency situation (e.g. a burning building/an earthquake)?

Yep! I suffered through the Easter Quake of 2010. I do live in southern California, so it was a massive 7.2 rumble that destroyed a lot of stuff in the house, especially in the kitchen. If I recall, my novelty glass Lord of the Rings goblet got shattered. And when I stupidly picked it up to stroke it with regret, I cut my index finger, shook it, and splattered blood all over the kitchen. It looked like a low-key murder scene.

What is the worst film you’ve ever seen in theaters?

Well, anybody who knows me knows I love bad movies. So calling it the “worst” film is just another way of calling it the best film for me. But, if I’m trying to be objective, I’d say the worst film I saw in theaters was this experimental film I saw at a film festival. I don’t know what it was called, but it was a fifteen-minute long short comprised entirely of footage at a dump. That was it.

What is the best film you’ve ever seen in theaters?

Watchmen. Again, I know it’s not objectively the best film I’ve ever seen, but subjectively it is. I had the greatest time. I went to go midnight-premiere it, and there were only like fifteen people in the theater, but you could tell they were all Watchmen fans. One guy was even dressed like homeless Rorschach, complete with “The end is nigh” sign.

What is the strangest method by which you discovered a work you enjoy?

Definitely walking into my high school’s video game club. That’s how I truly discovered Halo and my love for the series.

What do you feel is the greatest compilation of collected works in your collection (of games/films/music/books/etc.)?

Funnily enough, I think I have a great collection of books based on the Halo video game series. I make it a point to stop by that section every time I go to a bookstore, so I always keep it updated. I’m really proud of it.

Have you ever re-experienced a work you enjoyed a long time ago only to determine it has not aged well?

Oh, Tron. The original. I used to have a minor low-key crush on Tron as a child (and on Littlefoot from The Land Before Time), and I remember thinking that he looked so epic whenever he did his “program moves.” Now, I just see a guy in a white unitard with flashing lights throwing a frisbee. I still love the movie though.

Have you ever re-experienced a work you hated (or were indifferent towards) a long time ago only to warm up to it?

Oh my god, Assassin’s Creed II. I never played the first game, but I picked up the second because I knew it was a classic. Right out of the gate, the controls fucked with my mind! I just couldn’t initially grasp the idea that the buttons changed functions depending on whether Ezio was standing, running, or climbing. I got so frustrated with it at first, I put the game down and didn’t pick it up again for a while. Eventually, when I did revisit it, I learned to work with the controls, and I enjoyed the game immensely.

What is your favorite opening theme to a television show?

Game of Thrones! I could listen to that theme for hours! I think it should go down in history as one of the best opening themes to a television show.

Excluding Western comic books, what series with a single, ongoing narrative do you feel has (or had) gone on for far too long? In other words, I’m not counting shows or other forms of media with entirely self-contained episodes such as The Simpsons or anthological works such as The Twilight Zone with this question.

This is a hard one, because I don’t go for series that I know have a long ongoing narrative unless I feel like it’s worth it. I guess it would have to be Grey’s Anatomy. I used to watch it with my sister, and after that plane crashed and killed off one of my favorite characters, I realized that no way in hell could I continue watching this farce. I mean, how many bomb scares, viral outbreaks, storm wrecks, active shooters, plane crashes, wedding crashes, walk-outs, mergers, and financial difficulties could one hospital go through before they shut the place down?

Have you ever been invested in a series only to be heartbroken when it was cut short with no resolution?

Firefly! I mean, I guess we got the movie, but that series was so cool, I wish it could have gone on longer.

Do you prefer hardcover or paperback books?

I like to point at words when I read, and I have to admit, hardcover books make it easier to point while the book rests on a table. But I do like the affordability of paperback. So…both!

So here are my questions for the bloggers that I’m going to tag!

  1. Have you ever hated a food intensely only to like it later on? If so, what?
  2. What books do you like that have yet to be turned into a movie?
  3. If you could pick any animal to have as a pet (and let’s assume that it is willing and well-trained), what would it be? Yes, it can be a fantasy creature.
  4. What is your go-to TV show when you just want to put something on in the background?
  5. What movie can you quote from the most?
  6. If you had a morning with absolutely nothing demanding your attention, what would you love to be doing?
  7. What locations have you traveled to that you would love to go back to?
  8. If you were a video game character, what type of game would you love to be the star in? (A platformer, first-person shooter, RTS, etc.)
  9. What is your absolute favorite thing about blogging?
  10. If you had to pick a chair, the floor, or a bed to read on, which would it be?
  11. Have you ever had a dream about flying, or is this something you’ve never experienced?

Here are the blogging peeps I’m tagging. No pressure on you guys to do this. God knows I’ve ignored these things before too.

AF7KQ

Stories I’ve Never Told

The Hannie Corner

The Corvid Review

Fed’s Life

Nintendobound

from famine to feast

the orang-utan librarian

Strange Girl Gaming

Mr. Panda’s Video Game Reviews

TotesAndreya

Advertisements

I Can’t Keep Up with My Writing!

I recently got a new job (in addition to other jobs I have), and it’s really cut into the time I have available on any given day. That means it has become quite a hassle trying to keep up with the blogging schedule I set for myself when I first started.

Even with my ability to schedule posts ahead of time, it’s been pretty stressful. I feel anxious about the blog if I don’t have at least three posts in the queue.

Because of that, I’ve been tossing the idea of changing up my blogging schedule. Currently, I publish a post once every four days. That might not seem like a lot, but with my own personal writing and the slew of writing jobs I have, it’s really piling up.

So I’ve been thinking of changing my schedule to publishing once a week.

There’s a large part of me that doesn’t want to do this. It feels like giving up. Or at the very least giving in. And while I might be a plushy pushover in every other aspect of my life, my dedication to writing has been the one part that I’ve been steadfastly dedicated to. Changing my schedule feels like I’m bowing down under pressure. It’s…personally irksome.

However, there’s another part of me that really wants to just ease the load that is currently on my figurative shoulders.

And, as anyone who knows me should know, I’m incredibly indecisive. It’s one of my major character flaws. (And, according to The Good Place, being this indecisive could potentially send me to the Bad Place. So yikes.) I can’t make this decision easily or quickly. I’m puzzling over it, pulling my hair out wondering what to do.

One way to solve this issue would be to pose the question to complete strangers. Right?

So what do you say? Should I put the pedal to the metal and stick to the original schedule I set for myself? Or should I rein in my blogging and publish a post once a week instead?

How To Get Away with Loathing Your Own Writing

Is it just me, or does anyone else absolutely hate the way they write?

It’s kind of like hearing your own voice for the first time. When you speak and you hear your voice coming out of your mouth, you start thinking that it sounds a certain way. It’s all a lie though. When you hear your voice in a recording, it sounds completely different.

Side note: I hate the sound of my voice. I think it sounds murky and dumb. I sound like I have marbles stuck in my cheeks 24/7.

The same concept applies to writing. When you first spill your words onto a page, it feels fantastic. The fast, free-flowing quality of writing contributes to this sensation. As your words fall into place, why shouldn’t you think that they make perfect sense?

Then comes the time when you reread what you’ve written, and gasp, it’s a nightmare! It’s like cringing yourself to death. Your sentences sound stupid, your word choice is lame, and your voice sounds whiny and immature.

I can’t even begin to tell you how often I’ve felt this way. (Well, actually, I can begin to tell you, technically speaking. That’s what this post is about. Telling you guys how much I hate my writing.)

I’m a fairly neurotic proofreader, so I reread everything I write in order to catch my mistakes. Catch these mistakes I do, and I also catch sight of my godawful, crappy writing.

And the truly sucky thing is that no matter how many times I revise a piece, I am never satisfied with the end result. I can only ever be marginally okay with what I get.

My sister is the one person who bolsters my spirits when it comes to my writing. She is my self-confidence.

Side note: She was pissed when she found out I named my blog The Below Average Blog. I thought that was a neat and unassuming name for something as potentially pretentious as a blog. She thought I was being down on myself for no reason.

But I have come to accept the fact that disliking my writing is a bit of a boon to me. I’ve said it countless times (to myself, in my head, and maybe on this blog a few times). Hating my writing pushes me to try and improve it (key word being “try”).

So if you, too, hate the way you write, just remember two things:

1) Your writing probably isn’t as bad as you think it is. Your self-loathing and self-deprecatory nature just makes anything that comes out of you look terrible. Odds are, given how many people exist on our planet, someone could read your writing and like it.

2) Hating your writing should only make it better. Unless you start spiraling into a depression. Though I have learned from books and TV shows that writers being depressed and alcoholics is a common enough thing, so at least you won’t be alone.

Then again, I’m a nobody writer with zero credentials to my name and therefore absolutely no credibility when it comes to giving writing advice, so maybe you shouldn’t listen to me.

We Halt Your Regular Programming…

So, as some of you guys may or may not know, Game of Thrones officially starts this coming Sunday. Lately, I’ve been debating with myself on whether or not to devote entire posts to each episode as they come out.

The cons of this scenario all have to do with scheduling. I normally write my posts in advance and then set them to be published every four days. This way, I can write a bunch of posts during my free time, allowing me some breathing room when other work has me feeling hectic.

If I decided to do a weekly Game of Thrones review, for about the next month, my scheduling would be out of whack. I could either write my regular posts, scheduling them in advance, in addition to the Game of Thrones posts, or I could forego my regular posts in favor of the GoT ones once a week.

So basically, I’d either be overworked or lazy.

Honestly, I still haven’t decided what I’m going to do. But fuck it all. This is my bloggy thing, and I can do what I want with it.

Fair warning, my friends. Expect SPOILER-FILLED reviews for the final season of Game of Thrones in the next few weeks. You’ll figure out if I kept up with my other posts in the future, I guess. 😉

But rest assured, once Game of Thrones is over, I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled posts.

The Dubious Pleasure of Poetry

I have a love/hate relationship with poetry.

Let’s start with why I hate it.

The medium hasn’t always called to me. It’s always felt like the abstract expressionism of the literary world. (For those of you who don’t know, I have an abiding dislike for abstract expressionism. I can’t understand what those blocks of color have to do with art. There is no meaning behind a rectangle.) At times, poems can be beautiful. However, sometimes poems are just nonsense.

I once had to do an analysis on Emily Dickinson’s “I heard a Fly buzz–when I died,” and it was the strangest assignment I ever had. It’s a short poem, full of statements that I couldn’t understand, and themes made inscrutable by blunt words. I have since grown to appreciate the meaning the poem must have had for Dickinson, but when I was young, all I could think was, “What the actual fuck is this?”

I’ve tried my hand at writing poems, but I don’t think I’m any good. (For my latest Below Average attempt, check out this post over here!) I second-guess myself whenever I write anything that seems the least bit artsy-fartsy. Plus, I hate to come across as whiny, and I think poems have the tendency to bring that out in me. Poems are a great way to express yourself, but I’d hate for mine to turn into petulant, pre-teen-Amanda diary entries.

Now, let’s talk about why I love poems.

I adore the way my lips can form around succulent verses. Poems can be collections of the best, least-used words in your language. I don’t need to have rhymes everywhere, but a well-turned phrase gets my poetry boner going.

And I love mirroring that kind of word choice in poems of my own. I like gathering my favorite words together in a basket and then sprinkling them around the field that is a pen and paper.

Oof. I sound hoity-toity, don’t I?

My two, all-time favorite poems are “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver and “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot. If you haven’t read them, I’ve included links that should take you straight to them.

I’ve been puzzling over whether to include poetry in this blog (since I had so much fun making my last one), but I’m still undecided.

What do you guys think? Should I give it a whirl? Or should I leave that hippie-dippie, touchy-feely stuff out of this blog?