Friday, May 30, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - FINITE

This wonderful little sci-fi piece is about the struggle of holding on versus letting go. It uses visuals in a way that's both touching and emotional. According to the Youtube description:

"Nothing lasts forever.

When a relationship is forced to change, how does one come to terms with the past and reconcile? Ultimately, relationships like life simply exist, persist, and endure for a limited period of time."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Link - Freelance Switch

Here's an interesting resource for all you freelance writers out there to exploit--it's called "Freelance Switch".

Not only is this site useful for freelance writers, but it's also geared for helping freelancers in general (e.g. web designers, etc.). It features a job board, forums, a blog, and even an interesting freelance "comic strip". So, in other words, its got everything. The link for this site is right below and, from now on, it'll be featured in the "Links" section of this blog.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When You Shouldn't Write (Part 2)

Greetings all! I apologize for the lack of updates. These past few days I’ve been tied up with fifty billion things and I was out of town for the entire Memorial Day weekend. So without further ado, I’ll get back on track with keeping things up to date.

To start off, I just like to include two more reasons when a writer should stop writing (for the first part of the article see the previous entry). A person should stop writing when:

Writing No Longer Becomes Fulfilling
When you begin to no longer find joy in what you write or even the practice of writing, it might be time to give yourself a break. At some points, the lack of fulfillment could be easily solved with rest or by simply changing the subject matter of what your write. Either way, you’re the judge and there’s no better jury to determine when to recess than yourself.

Writing Becomes All Work and No Play
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. And the same goes with nearly everyone else, even when it doesn’t include writing. Sometimes, you need to put your nose to the grindstone and burn the midnight oil to complete an article. But when you find yourself doing it all the time, it might be time to take a step outside before grabbing the fire ax. Keep studious, but keep yourself at pace with your energy supply. Or else you may not even survive.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When You Shouldn’t Write

Throughout the Internet there are tons of articles and sites that talk about how to motivate yourself to write or how to get into the habit of writing. But the truth is, there are times when even writers have to learn how to put down the pen—when even they need to say to themselves that enough is enough. But when exactly are these times? In fact, when should anyone decide to take a break from writing? Well, here are some examples.

When Writing Gets in the Way of Your Relationships
There are stories of writers who devote themselves so much to their writing that all their relationships shrivel away. From family to friends, they become absolute strangers and hermits to them. Yes, there are times when you need to stay away from the phone and put family time on the side to write, but there are definitely times where family time needs to be family time.

When You Write For the Wrong Reasons
This goes almost in hand with the first reason. If you’re writing to make a living or even to fulfill your dream of getting famous someday, fine. But some people write out of spite, whether to slander people or to purposely be offensive. Some people write to prove they're somehow better than other people (i.e. bragging rights). If you come to a point where you realize that your true reason for writing is something far from wholesome, maybe it’s time to step back and reconsider. Yes, very rarely can our intentions be pure, but when the fault of our motives become way too obvious, especially to the point of obsession, we need to stop ourselves and start looking deep within. All in all, sort out your issues first before coming back to the pen. Because this isn’t just for your own good, but also for the good of your readers.

When You Write Out of an Unhealthy Compulsion
Though this is a very rare case, but some people can find themselves caught in writing compulsively, even to the point of writing down the most unnecessary details of their life. In such cases they may have the rare condition known as hypergraphia, which is associated with temporal lobe changes in epilepsy and mania. For more information regarding this, follow the link below:

Monday, May 19, 2008

StellaScript Blog

Just the other night, I stumbled onto a very interesting writing blog called, "StellaScript".

It's run by Stella Carter and it features writing tips on books, scripts, fiction, etc. It also has some interesting features including occasional poetry and haiku. The link to this site is below:

From now on, this site will be listed under the "Links" section.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - IMMA FIRIN MAH LAZER!!!!

Okay, usually I wouldn't post something like this on the blog, since I reserve movie fillers for things that are thought provoking and artistic. But today, I'm just gonna cut loose and include something a little mindless.

To say the least, its humor is very random and very in line with "Robot Chicken". Some of you may appreciate it, while some of you won't. But, hey...we can't be serious all the time.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Theory of What's Going On in Lost - The Time War

Okay, I know I'm probably not the first to think about this theory regarding what's going on in the Lost TV series (in fact I think this theory's already out there), but here it is:

Theory: The entire series is based on a Time War that's been waging between two different sides from the distant/a possible future.

For those of you who have been keeping up with series, Benjamin Linus and his "Others" compose one side of the war, while Mr. Widmore and his group composes the other.

Evidence for this:
1.) The apparent hints of "teleportation" by Benjamin and the Others (e.g. the Others having the ability to appear out of nowhere, Benjamin waking up in the African desert wearing polar gear, Jacob's cabin "teleporting" here and there, etc.).

2.) The time difference on the Island and the constant theme of time travel being bought up in Desmond's storyline.

3.) The "rules" that apparently are shared between Ben and Mr. Widmore. The rules could be regulations set up to prevent either one from damaging the time stream through killing certain people or altering certain events.

4.) The mysterious old lady in Desmond's trip to the past (early Season 3). Apparently, she knew exactly how every event was "suppose" to happen and what event "shouldn't" happen.

5.) Daniel Faraday's invention--it has the ability to "stick" an "unstick" people from time. Perhaps this device, in combination with his visit to the Island leads to the technology of time/space mastery, which may have triggered the Time War.

6.) Matthew Abaddon telling Locke in the past that he'll meet him once again (he seems to be a minion of Widmore).

7.) Richard Alpert's agelessness. Either he's literally immortal or he's also been separated by time and space for the purpose of the time war.

8.) The Voices -- the voices in the jungle could be echoes from people in the future as they observe the past and decide to intervene.

9.) Aldo (a minor Other) in Season 3 was reading "The History of Time". Though this is a minor clue, I believe it's important.

10.) Jacob's phasing in and out. Jacob could be out of phase from time and space.

11.) The visions of the survivors--they're encrypted communications sent by people in the future to provoke certain people into fulfill particular events for the sake of the time stream.

Possible Reasons for the Time War:
1.) Solving the Venzetti Equation (think I spelled it wrong)

2.) A war that erupted about the use of time. Should the time stream (with the Island being a possible microcosm of it) be exploited for personal gain (Widmore) or be preserved at its natural state at all cost (Jacob)?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Earthquake in China and The Disaster in Myanmar

Though I’ve severely criticized China in the past about their human rights violations and history of religious persecution, I would like to put that all aside for this post. In light of the recent earthquake in China (with a death toll curently approaching 20,000), I’m making a call out to anyone who reads this post and this blog to pray for the victims of and the rescue efforts for this disaster.

Please, pray that things will work out despite the current situation and loss of life. Even for those of you who are not religious, just maybe take a moment to acknowledge the situation. Either way, let it be known that I truly lend my sympathy and that my heart goes out to the nation of China at this time.

Also pray or make a shout out about the situation in Myanmar. From what I've heard the current death toll has surpassed 100,000. Pray for the safety of the survivors and the rescue efforts there.

-The Mad Hermit

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Way of the Jedi Might Not Be the Right Way After All

Though, I don't usually post stuff about news on this site, this recent story is just too hard to pass up.

According to the Associated Press, "A man who dressed up as Darth Vader, wearing a garbage bag for a cape, and assaulted the founders of a group calling itself the Jedi church was given a suspended sentence Tuesday."

The link to the actual news story is here:

Supposedly this Jedi Church, "uses "insight and knowledge" from the films as "a guide to living a better and more worthwhile life."

Well, when a drunk guy dressed up as Darth Vader comes into a building attacking people with a metal crutch, it kinda makes you wonder what they exactly meant by a "worthwhile life". In this case, using a very broad definition, they apparently fulfilled their own teaching.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - Puppet

This animated short film is something that has a bit of everything: pain, disturbance, gentleness, and even some humor. At first it kinda shocks you to the point where you almost want to turn away, but over time it becomes strangely absorbing. According to the Youtube description:

"This animated short film was created in 2006 by American animator Patrick Smith. It is a story about a young man who creates a hand puppet that hurts him in increasingly gruesome and bizarre ways. It is a story of desperation, fear, and an ever-present question: does the puppet have a mind of its own, or does the hand want to control it this way?"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Artist's Showcase - Billy Collin's "Forgetfulness"

I recently found this artful piece over the Youtube sphere. It's an animated "performance" of a poem by former US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. The title of his poem is "Forgetfulness".

The merging of art, poetry, and motion is very masterly done in this animation and I was really drawn into the reality of this work moment by moment. The best thing about this is that this is actually one piece of an animation series done by JWT-NY, meaning that all of the other pieces are scattered throughout Youtube. So feel free to treasure-hunt for them some time. I know I will!


The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Billy Collins

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Shanghai Kiss: The Cover of Shanghai Kiss Can Kiss My _ _ _!

Just a year ago, this independent flick featuring an Asian American actor trying to reconcile himself with his culture was released. Below is the imdb summary for this film:

“A struggling Chinese-American actor, who unwittingly finds himself involved with a high school girl, learns he has inherited his grandmother's home in Shanghai. The American-raised character moves to China in an attempt to connect with his ancestry, leaving behind quite possibly the only girl who has ever loved him.”

Though I never watched this film before, but I read enough about it and saw its trailer to know that, obviously, the central character to this film’s an Asian guy. I mean, I think that’s obvious for anyone. In addition to that, besides Hayden Panettiere, there are a decent number of supporting characters who are also Asian.

But the thing that gets me about this film is this—its cover. Why is the main character featured in the far background (with his face blurred in a side view motion shot) and a supporting character featured in the foreground (perfectly posed in a perfectly clear still image)? I mean who’s really the central character here? Read the summary. Look at the title.

Call me crazy, biased, or over-reacting, but I think all of you know the reason why, just as I do. Keep the scrawny, not too attractive, Asian guy in the back and keep the hot blonde Caucasian girl (who’s not even the main character) WAYYYYY up in the front.

If it’s not a Kung Fu film or a film with an Asian in a stereotypical role, what’s the point of seeing the film? Oh yeah, there’s Hayden Panettiere in it, that’s why! That should get the predominantly Caucasian audiences revved up in their seats. Cause who wants to see an Asian actor break pre-determined stereotypes? Who wants to see an Asian guy not do kung fu, fix a computer, be a gangster, or be a minor FOB character in an American movie? That’ll be insane!!!! It’ll be madness, I tell you, MADNESS!!!

Seriously, although this work, as a film, might be a step up for Asian portrayals in American cinema, its presentation just seems to be real step back for it. True, Hayden’s over-magnified presence on the cover will probably get more people to see it as opposed to having the main character over-magnified, but something really says “keep the Asian man down” about it. What say you?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My Bucket List

While I was helping a friend move, I had some time to think about stuff. Somehow,I got into a discussion about making a Bucket List for myself. Since I'm going to turn 30 in the next several weeks, I figured now's the time to start. Well, once I got a chance to sit down and I wrote it out on a napkin (shown above). Below, is the basic elaborated list in no particular order.

My Bucket List
1.) Go on a cruise. (never been on one)

2.) Visit the West Coast. (never been there)

3.) Visit a tropical beach. (nope, never been there either)

4.) Shoot a gun.

5.) Visit Europe. (yeah, same as above)

6.) See the New Year's ball drop at Time's Square in person.

7.) Visit Japan. Eat some Kobe beef. (visited China, not Japan)

8.) Go snorkling/scuba diving.

9.) Eat a dog!!!! (seriously, you would think I would have covered that during my trip to China)

10.) Go to a wine tasting. (I'm such an uncultured twit)

11.) Go spelunking.

12.) Learn how to fly a plane.

What's your "Bucket List"?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Three Sites On Writing and Freelancing That You Need to Check Out

Today, we have a special treat, here, at "The Mad Hermit".

I ran into three specific blogs that anyone who's interested in writing should check out. From now on these sites will be included under the "Links" section of this blog.

"Caught in the Stream"
This writing blog is wonderful blog that displays the art, the poetry, and the various writings of Francis Scudellari, the founder and maintainer of this site. His work is very stimulating and for those of you who also enjoy abstract art, this is definitely for you!

"Word Strumpet"
This site is run by Charlotte Rains Dixon who's a free-lance writer, novelist, copy writer and a creative writing teacher living in Portland, Oregon. Her blog covers tips on creative writing and it also records her personal experiences and insights from her travels as a constantly growing writer. It's a very wonderful and well-rounded site, overall, and it's definitely worth a look.

"The Freelance Writer Journal!"
The Freelance Writer Journal is a blog that specializes in hints, tips, and articles that "a freelance writer will ever need to make a career out of freelance writing". Overall, this site had somewhat of a long hiatus in updates and has, only recently, began updating on a more regular basis. But, despite this, the site carries some promise in terms of giving good advice for beginner freelancers and it could help them out in terms of avoiding some beginner mistakes.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Web Review of "Shakespeare Online"

Below is a web review of Shakespeare Online.

The link to this site (which will also be in the "Links" section of this blog) is:

Basic Run Down:
- This site is well-organized.
- This site is well-detailed down to the bone.
- It's perfect for both the serious academic and casual reader.
- Its sonnet-tranlation/paraphrasing feature rocks!

5 out of 5 stars!


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