thoughts about kung fu panda

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i undestand this comes as a shock to you. how could i be more random and out of the blue? still, i’ve been meaning to write more reflections about the movies i’ve watched, an action i refused, for some reason, to do long ago. i guess i thought that the world didn’t need my opinion. a stupid thought that you should never ponder about.

kung fu panda 3 has just been recently released. a child’s movie, one with a happy ending to apparently “mask the harsh realities of the world”. people like to say that, don’t they? when a story ends with a smile, these people raise their eyebrows and declare, “unrealistic.” to be honest, i don’t think it that way. is happiness really that impossible, something to roll our eyes at when stories present it to us? i know that everything doesn’t end happily. nevertheless, i do think it’s a nice message to, not only kids but adults, that happiness is attainable. it is something, as one movie* stated, you pursue.

currently, there are three movies in this series. i’d like to talk more about the first and the third.

Kung Fu Panda brought tears to my eyes, especially Kung Fu Panda the first. when (spoilers) Po was rejected by the heroes he looked up on and the master destined to train him, i was holding back my tears. you can see the immense disappointment and loss of self esteem in his chubby face. the ones he dreamed meeting, ones supposed to be the model of humility and respect, denied him because of his lack of “skills”. as a human, i know how it feels like to be “less”, although not as extreme as po’s. you know you can do it and you’re trying but people can’t seem to see it. the absence of support and faith of the people around you weigh you down. it is difficult to push past this level and all those who succeed, i greatly admire.

po is my favorite of the bunch, followed closely by Master Oogway. the humble are far greater than the most skilled. i guess you can say humility is somehow wisdom, for those two are the hardest titles to claim. to be humble and to be wise are what i strive for in life. and seeing it in po and Master Oogway, i am just in awe.


i like the “do your best, don’t quit, hard work will pay off” movies, wherein the protagonist decides to do something he/she is so passionate about. this is evident plenty of movies. (i guess it’s one of the most used tropes and overdone messages a form of art can deliver but i like this so much better than the “true love” thing) i always get so inspired to write when i see it. the passion and dedication, not to mention perseverance and determination of someone doesn’t only benefit them, it also affects those around them. when someone so enthusiastic about something, i can’t help but feel excited back. these movies remind me, weirdly, of writing, even if it doesn’t have to do anything with it. they remind me that talent is useful but passion and the drive to do it is much more enriching.

in every Kung Fu Panda movie i’ve watched, the concept of “self” is always discussed. po likes to ask, “who am i?” and it is a monster of a question most people would ask themselves for years. most avoid it. as for me, i’m not sure i can respond it that confidently but i have a inkling to what the answer is.

i recommend Kung Fu Panda to anyone who wants to watch a light comedy yet still discover deep realizations, as what i have experienced.

thank you for reading!

*Pursuit of Happiness (2006)
*pictures not mine

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a deserted land

for five months, i had disappeared. my blog was deserted. it was a wasteland of old reviews, wrap ups, abandoned. the two recent posts, a interview with an author, was missing so much passion and dedication present in previous articles. it was written for the sake of getting it done, so it could also count as a nonexistent post. there were no pings in emails indicating i had published.  i had not pressed the button to create a new post for a long time. the wordpress even changed layout while i was gone

don’t worry, there’s a huge chance none of you noticed this. i know this as a fact. still, what matters is i noticed it and it did bother me. blogging, i found, is something very dear to my heart. the reason why i avoided it was because i disliked the way i did it. i’ve realized that i was publishing things i did not like doing. blogging was not fun for me nor was it rewarding. this year, i plan to make it fun, to write about topics i’m genuinely interested in. i long to voice out my opinion, even if no one can hear me.

i want to publish more things here and especially since school has finished, i would hopefully get more things done. i wish to write more here. so look forward to more posts and a change in blogging style, appearance and name soon. i’d want this blog to reflect me, not a person i tried to be.

thank you for reading! 

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interview with author lindsay ferguson

a brief background

Lindsay has been immersing herself in stories since her childhood days of sneaking a flashlight into her room14290813 and staying up reading The Babysitters Club series way past her bedtime, writing spinoffs of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, and imagining herself in fascinating, far-off places. She still dreams of traveling the world one day, and finds getting lost in a good book almost as absorbing as penning her own stories and experiencing them unfold. A Communication graduate from the University of Utah, she worked as a PR and marketing writer for a computer software company for several years and has contributed feature lifestyle articles to various media outlets. When she felt the itch to attempt novel writing a fascination with history created a natural inclination toward historical fiction, with a romantic flare, of course. She lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City with her husband and four children. By the Stars is her first novel.

Source: Goodreads

the interview

1. What is your most favourite book?
Tough question! I have a hard time picking a very favorite book. There are many genres I enjoy so it’s hard to compare and I find my favorite books vary during different phases of my life. So, to help narrow it down, I’ll go with my favorite book I’ve read in the past year – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. Such an excellent read! 

2. What advice can you give to those who are just beginning writing? 

I would say don’t let yourself get overwhelmed with the end when you’re at the beginning. If you have an idea just start getting the words down on paper. Take it one step at a time, one chapter at a time, and you will slowly get further into your project. I do think it’s wise to have an outline to guide you, but from there just let yourself write and see where it takes you, and sooner than you think you’ll have a good chunk of your book complete. Also, enjoy the process! Writing is the fun part. Don’t try to rush to the end too quickly because soon you’ll be wishing you could go back to that fun creative stage again :).

3. If you could rewrite one book, what would it be? 

This is also a tricky question. A book just popped into my head, so I’m going to go with it. The Giver by Lois Lowry. I loved this book growing up. Looking back, I think it was probably the first book I ever read that really made me think. I’m not saying I’d rewrite this book because it needs to be rewritten – I think it’s brilliant! I’m saying this book because I would love to go back and experience the creative process the author went through when she wrote it. So, I guess I’m saying I’d like to be placed in her shoes while she wrote it :). 

4. Where did you get the inspiration or idea of writing By the Stars? 

The idea for By the Stars came about because of a visit I had with the man the book is inspired by. I had always wanted to write a novel and had a fascination with history, especially the WWII era, and I am always a sucker for a good love story. I was lucky enough to visit with this man and hear his incredible story of love, war and hope, and instantly fell in love with it. On my drive home that day the thought entered my mind that his story could make a great basis for a novel. I was a bit intimidated by the idea in the beginning because my goal to write a novel was more of a far-off one, but I felt so compelled by the story and couldn’t get the idea out of my head, so I began working on it. 

5. Writing is a path of hardships. Describe one time where you reached the lowest point of your journey and how you overcame it. 
I’d say probably when I finished the manuscript and I began looking into what to do next. I started sending out query letters about my novel to agents. I had no connections, knowing literally no one on the publishing industry or book agent world, and was getting zero responses. I began getting pretty discouraged that nothing would come of the novel. But then I started hearing about how some of the local publishers in my area had good reputations, and that I could try sending them a manuscript without an agent. I decided to give it a try. I was pregnant with my twins at the time and ended up having a crazy pregnancy with the babies coming early soon after I submitted the manuscript. I got an offer email from Cedar Fort when my twins were a few months old and it almost felt surreal, like it came out of nowhere and from a different life! I had almost given up on my book, or at least decided to shelf it for awhile and revisit it later because I didn’t feel I had the time or energy to continue grasping at straws toward getting published. I’m so glad that email came and that I’m able to see By the Stars published and share it with others now!

6. What do you do in your spare time? 

Honestly, spare time is hard to come by these days! My twins are one years old and I have two school-aged children, so most of my spare time lately has been spent toward this book. But, in the rare moments that I do have some down time, I do the cliche thing most authors will probably give for the answer to this question – I like to read! I also like to watch TV and movies (if I can stay awake for them), and I like to bake cupcakes with my six year old daughter.

6. What part in By the Stars you hated and loved the most? 

I’ve really had to think on this one! Can I give two parts I hated? (Maybe a weird request from the author, haha). Although I really enjoyed writing this scene, I hated having to have Cal and Kate separate when he left for the war. Not only because he was leaving, but because of the way they parted. It was hard to experience them being pulled apart and to write about poor Cal’s heart breaking. He’s just such a good guy! But, it was also kind of fun to write the drama of that scene, so although a part of me hated it, a part of me really enjoyed it as well! There are a few things I wrote about during Cal’s time serving in the war that were really hard to put to paper. The hardest thing about this was that all of the experiences he had while serving in the war actually happened, so that made it all the more difficult to experience through writing. I don’t want to give anything away, but what happens to one of Cal’s closest friends in the last battle scene was really sad, and I hated having to write it. On a lighter note, as for the part of the book I loved the most – I really enjoyed writing the scene where Kate teaches Cal to dance at the Coconut Grove ballroom in Salt Lake. It was such fun to write!  I could just feel his clumsiness trying to learn, Kate’s confidence and personality seeping through, while also having so much chemistry between the two of them. And, their banter through it all. I love banter! 

by the stars

By the Stars is a historical fiction book with romance. Based on a true story, it is, as one reader stated, full of emotion, miracles, love and hope. The summary in Goodreads goes:

When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he’s loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. Spirited and independent, Kate keeps a guarded heart due to a painful past, and Cal wants nothing more than to gain her trust. But World War II soon cuts their time far too short, and Cal prepares to part from her – possibly for good. After he’s gone, what Kate does next changes everything.

In the suffocating jungles of the Philippines Cal encounters the chilling life of a soldier and deadly battles of war. With Kate’s memory willing him on, Cal must put his trust in God to survive if he hopes to ever return to her. Inspired by a true story, By the Stars is a romance that stands the test of time and the most intense obstacles. 

If you are into stories of love blossoming even during periods of pain and struggle, check this book out. 

thank you for reading and um, bye!

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interview with author aaron blaylock

hello readers of mine! i understand that my last blog entry was dated october of last year. i guess you deserve an explanation. i’ll try to make a blog post about that soon. instead, we are now interviewing the author of The Land of Look Behind, Aaron Blaylock.

a brief background

Born and raised in Arizona, Aaron is proud to call the desert home. He came of age in the suburbs of Sacramento, California and as a missionary in Jamaica, where 7769270he fell in love with the people and their culture, but he has always been drawn back to the valley of the sun.

He married his childhood crush, and the girl of his dreams, in 2001. Together they are raising four beautiful and rambunctious children. He worked as a freelance sports reporter for The Arizona Republic for nearly ten years, combining his love of writing and sports. In his storytelling he draws heavily on his love of history, adventure, his faith, and his own life experiences.

Source: Goodreads

the interview

1. What are your three most favorite books?
Picking just three is hard and I’m sure to leave out books I love but as I read the question three books came to mind.  First, I love The Adventure of Huckleberrry Finn.  I just love Mark Twain and his two most iconic stories, to me at least, are highly re-readable.  Then I’d probably have to pick a Harry Potter book since I love that series so much, probably the Goblet of Fire as that has so much of what I enjoyed about young Harry’s story.  Third, I’ll throw in one of the last books I finished The Martian.  It was so different and compelling and yet so much fun to read.  That’s quite a feat considering it’s about a man trying not to die alone on Mars.  Shoot, I just realized I didn’t pick a Tolkien or a Dan Brown book.  Dang it.  Picking just three is tough and I didn’t even include The Land of Look Behind.  Is it uncool to pick your own book?  Probably is.  😉

2. Why did you decide to write this story?

This is a passion that has grown over the years.  I was introduced to the culture and history of Jamaica as I lived and served on the island as a missionary.  I love Jamaica and her people so much and found the history fascinating.  When I returned home I studied more about it and wanted to tell their story.  The idea of this modern day adventure as a means of sharing so much of what I loved really thrilled me and I am so happy I finally got to tell it.

3. Which scene did you most have fun writing and why?

Probably when Gideon, Todd and Bigga first meet Tara.  The idea of her character actually came about after I started writing the book and I couldn’t wait to get to their interactions.  Her strength and charm was something that these boys had yet to deal with on their adventure and really changed the whole group dynamic in a fun way.

4. Why did you focus on Jamaican history?

There is so much to draw from in the island’s history, I really haven’t even scratched the surface.  I found these stories entertaining and knew that the vast majority of people would be unfamiliar with them.  Plus there are so many holes found in the history books and it’s fun to be able to make up the details.

5. Describe your writing journey in making this book.
It started as a pure adventure story.  I wanted to tell a contemporary tale of adventure in our time with a historical context.  As the story unfolded, however, the historical narrative became more crucial to the story until they were equal partners in their shared journey.  That was only able to happen through the symbols borrowed from ancient times.  They brought a depth and meaning to the story that I didn’t initially plan for.

6. If you were a historical figure, who would you be and why?
I don’t know.  My first thought is I’d probably want to be a king or a Pharaoh or something because for everybody else life was pretty rough.  I enjoy the modern comforts of life today so it’s hard to romanticize how they really lived when I sit down and think about it.  If I were to allow myself to romanticize the past and forget the rigger of everyday life I’d probably pick someone from the old west.  I love Wyatt Earp but I wouldn’t want to have to fight for my life all the time.  I’d probably pick Porter Rockwell because he was a faithful and loyal friend and also a tough son of a gun who lived life on his terms.


the land of look behind

The Land of Look Behind is a historical fiction book, set predominantly in Jamaica. It was just published last month, on the 9th. There are two perspectives, one in present day and the other, centuries ago. The summary in Goodreads goes:

When Gideon discovers a mysterious drawing tucked in an old journal he returns to his mission area in Jamaica with dreams of finding a legendary treasure. Some would kill to keep the treasure secret. This thrilling adventure takes you deep into Jamaica’s treacherous cockpit country and back in time for a spine-tingling mystery you won’t be able to put down.

If you like action, history, adventure and relationships blended into one, check this book out.

thank you for reading and um, bye!

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The Man Booker Prize 2015

so as you might have known, the man booker prize winner for 2015 (that was a mouthful) was announced.

congratulations marlon james!

he won from his book “A Brief History of Seven Killings” (which you can check here in GR). i haven’t read his book but I BADLY WANT TO. i sadly haven’t read much books about Jamaican culture or its history (yes i am very ashamed) and that’s one of the reasons why i want to read this.
actually, i want to read everything in the longlist, shortlist whatever. i want all the books and i want them read. but unfortunately, who doesn’t have money? this girl!
if you want to see the nominees, just checkhere.if you’re too lazy to click on the link, here’s a picture from their website.


Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 8.07.31 PMshortlist

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 8.07.39 PM

so yeah. those were the nominees and that was the winner. so again,>congratulations marlon james and  all the nominees! 

another thing: i’ve been watching some BookTube lately and seen these two videos. one of them is by Ariel and the other is by Leena. i never really thought about the Man Booker Prize or Literary Prizes in general (which made me feel stupid and overwhelmed by these people’s intelligence) and these ideas are worth thinking about. so watch these people. thank me later.

these two lovely ladies offer valid points. what takes a book to be great anyway? what is the point of literary prizes? and more questions like that to come.

so that was my post! thank you for reading and um, bye!

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in which the month ends // september + august 2015


here’s an up to date wrap up. proud of me yet?
i didn’t write an august wrap up for a couple of invalid reasons (procrastination, mostly) and for a couple of valid ones (exhaustion, school, family).
unfortunately, i didn’t remember anything in august except it was a month of  “doing nothing” for me. i was far away from my usual goals, didn’t do my habits and my progress in writing my novel was shorter than my pinky finger. i’m not sure how this happened but it did.
come september, i still have those negative habits with me. after my birthday (sept 17 anyone??) and MIBF (my post is coming up soon!) i decided to go back to my usual habits and then i became productive again. yaaaaay!
anyway, enough talking. here’s what happened in august and september!

in which i show you the books

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in which i show you a detailed version

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki // Adult Fiction, Culture: Japan (review)
long story short: before our main character kills herself, she plans to write about her Buddhist grandmother
rating: (4.5)
Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan // Adult Magical Realism (review)
long story short: a guy finds this bookstore and the books there are magical
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore & David Lloyd // Graphic Novel
long story short: in an alternate universe, England was taken over by fascism.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Cristie // Adult Crime
long story short: 10 people are in an island, one by one, they are killed
rating:  (4.5)
The Humans by Matt Haig // Adult Science Fiction
long story short: an alien comes to Earth for an important mission. although, he has to disguise as a human. soon, he learns why humans are such beautiful and terrible creatures.
Escape From Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey from North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden // Nonfiction (review)
long story short: a story about a North Korean who flees his country
Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan & John Rocco (illustrator) // Greek Mythology, Middle Grade
long story short: a funny guy tells you the greek myths in an understandable way
rating: (3.5)

in which i blogged

4 POSTS EACH MONTH HELL YEAH (although most were scheduled BUTS STILL)

in which there are random topics

okay, maybe i went overboard with the Syrian problems but GUYS! that picture of the Syrian boy really made my heart shatter into a million pieces.

thank you for reading and um, bye!

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