A new year, a new plan.

Well, it’s a new year. Time to dust off the blog and see what I can do. I’ve been absent for the most part for this past year. Time to explain myself.

It took me several months to figure out what my problem has been in the lack of writing. I haven’t written anything over the past year other than a handful of posts and a short story that was published in an anthology. The problem? Lethargy. The cause?

As some of you know I have fibromyalgia or what is more commonly known as chronic pain along with chronic fatigue. I don’t know from one minute to the next what’s going to happen. Well, my medications were increased a while back and increased again. It turns out those medications cause something called lethargy. I call it energy killer.

I have all these ides but as soon as I start to go and put them into words I feel exhausted. This year I’m going to get my old habits back and write, write, and write some more. Sounds like a good idea, but then there is the how of doing it. My first thing is to participate in my haiku challenge each week. Who can’t come up with three lines of poetry, right?

Second, I’ll be plotting a six book series of YA Fantasy/Realism.

Third, I’ll work on two books of YA I’ve already written to get them in publishing worthy state.

Fourth, I’ll start submitting that Romance novel I’ve written. I’ll take my time and not kill myself by doing the over submitting like a lot of us tend to do. Do a few a month, wait for reactions, then do some more.

Fifth, well, the fifth is a secret, but I have some writing ideas.

All of these are things I’ve been planning for a long time, but now they are out there for the world to see. Maybe that will get me to actually doing something about them.

Oh yeah, and I have to read books for reviews on the LWI site. Can’t forget that. I’m tired already.

Now if I can overcome the medications I’ll be good. Wish me luck.

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Writing Tip: Using Youtube.

You ever wanted to make a song or video on youtube loop or repeat and play over and over? Maybe you found a full length album or a movie or something?

I received my email notice of Jen’s Pen Den’s Music Monday about Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood song. I didn’t have a chance to visit the post at the time but I was on youtube for something and Taylor Swift’s name came up and that made me think of the email so I looked up the song. I’ve read the post now. 🙂 (If you want to see the video, click the blue link above and visit Jen’s blog post. Saw no reason to mention her post and then put the video here. Kind of would seem like a jerk thing, you know?)

Awesome song and even better video. Even if you are like a total Swiftie Hater you will love the video to this and the song itself has an attitude. I read the story behind it on wikipedia and oh yeah. Awesome. The video also has a lot of stars in it like Selena Gomez, Zendeya, and Cindy Crawford. No, not a modeling thing, a serious action movie.

I’ve been working on a short story and needed a song to capture a certain feel, well this one was it. But having to stop and make the song start over again each time sort of breaks the train of thought, the flow of my writing. Thus, the search for how to make the song loop.

Here is the YouTube Tip for Tuesday.

When you look at the URL for the song, let’s make up something like

http://www.youtube.com/taytayswiftkickbuttie (which is not a real link so don’t click it.)

To make that loop you would simply type the word repeat after youtube.

That means it would now look like

http://www.youtuberepeat.com/taytayswiftkickbuttie

That will take you to listenonrepeat.com. The song/video will then play on loop until you make it stop.

Simple, easy, and now you can write and keep grooving or jazzercise to your favorite 80s song over and over again.

That’s it for the day.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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Apartheid and Publishers: The bane of South African Comic Creators.

Researching South African Graphic Literature history has been an interesting adventure. A big think I discovered is a great deal of the comics were photo comics early on. Actors would be in the positions of what Americans and Europeans would normally see as drawn panels. Text balloons would then be inserted.

There are rare examples of illustrated comics, and I’ll mention those as I discover them. Yes, I write as I discover as opposed to research then writing. You get to ride along with me as I get excited or disappointed, depending on what I find.

For instance, here is the first illustrated book I found.

mm1Mighty Man. This was Soweto’s version of Superman. Sounds like a good idea, right? The book was about a black policeman who is shot, then healed by some beings from beneath the earth and given powers. All good so far. But the point of the book was to have the blacks during apartheid basically subliminally, from an early age, given the thoughts that going against the rules of the white government was wrong, they should stay in their place, there should be no guns owned by blacks, and it just keeps going.

Back up stories were about local folklore and sports figures. Any efforts by the Americans involved in the creation were slapped down. They worked for the company and did the book. Even when not agreeing with what the books overall message was.1In truth the book was more a propaganda and advertising scheme.

fairest-tb-2I also found a great writer in Lauren Beukes.2 A writer of novels and and TV scripts. Her selection to write Fairest3 for Vertigo4, and imprint of DC Comics says a lot. Fairest is a spinoff of Fables, a highly acclaimed series. Fairest is about the women of fairy tales set in different situations and with actual lives. These aren’t fairy tales.

Beukes arc in the series, The Hidden Kingdom, deals with Rapunzel traveling to Tokyo to take care of a mystery from her past.

Next I stumbled upon a piece by Nobhongo Gxolo who speaks with a couple of South African creators.5 First there was Moray Rhoda, illustrator, designer, and writer. One piece comic fans may have heard of is Velocity, a Graphic Novel anthology with contributing creators. He shares a frustration with another up and coming creator, Loyiso Mkize, illustrator and writer of Kwezi, about a 19 year old cocky guy who suddenly has powers and how he handles it.

velocitykwezi

The frustration they have is distribution. Local publishers don’t want to invest, not seeing the potential local home grown comics have. Most books are Indie Books in South Africa with any mass published being from the US or Europe. Local creators have more interest from places like US who get what is being done and see the talent of the artists.

“The artwork is definitely international level, but the storytelling is not there”~Rhoda

The artwork gains attention across the ocean, much like many other countries, but the writing is the problem.

“There’s also the fact that as I got older I learned to appreciate the role of superheroes in young people’s minds: positive, encouraging and inspiring.”~Mkize

Comic strips, humorous and adventure were ongoing from the early 20th Century onward. I don’t mention the names here because I honestly am not certain how appropriate some might be considering the way the government segregated society so harshly.

When I begin a more comprehensive series I will include all that I find, but for now enjoy what we have here today. Talent. A lot of it, but with no local publisher support.

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References

Return To Mighty Man
1 http://southafricancomicbooks.blogspot.com/2011/10/sowetos-super-man-mighty-man-and-mid.html

Return To Lauren Beukes
2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lauren_Beukes
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairest_%28comics%29
4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertigo_%28DC_Comics%29

Return To Rhoda and Mkize
5 http://mg.co.za/article/2015-02-27-return-of-the-african-superhero
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