a fangirl’s salute to the Lord of All Fandoms: Christopher Lee

I was supposed to blog about anything #PrideMonth related for a few more weeks, but I want (well, need) to interrupt it for a much called for farewell to Christopher Lee. To most Middle Earth fans like me, he gave life to Saruman – the white wizard who turned to Sauron when he feared the battle for good is lost. He was the man who gladly admitted to reading Lord Of The Rings once a year, and who vowed that if there ever was a movie made of them, that he would volunteer for any role.

He willingly accepted the label of a fan.

It’s reassuring that in a world where ‘fangirls’ are getting a bad rep, there are still people like him (known and respected at that) who would raise his hand and say he’s a fan proudly. To our younger readers and lovers of new world made true my books or movies, let legacy remind you to never fear to show how much you love something. There’s no shame in that.

#PrideMonth entry 1: my best friend

Five years ago (in uni), I was blessed with the most amazing debate partner anyone could ask for, and he’s still one of my best friends. Everyday, I’m grateful that he is who he is and that I got to meet him. If there was anyone to discriminate against him – call him names, deprive him of rights, belittle him, I will not sit idly, and watch. I’ll make sure they (whoever they are) understand that no one deserves to be treated that way. As much as I can logically argue for rights, I would admit that LGBT, in particular, is a personal cause for me. When I hear people say that gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry or adopt kids, they’re saying that my best friend who, for the past tumultuous six years of my life, has been a rock and a supporter, is not good enough to reaffirm his love for another or build a family just because of his sexual preference. That, I cannot stand. Who you are and who you choose to love is not reason to be treated with any less dignity than any other person. You deserve to be seen as an equal because you are. 

#HappyPrideMonth

It’s time to strip and don the colors of the rainbow, people. It’s Pride Month! 

Every single one of my avid readers already knows that I’m a massive supporter of anything LGBT. I’ve talked about it on previous posts, written literature about it, even put up photos that signify my support for it (links below). If I could, I would wear a shirt that says ‘LGBT rights is human rights’ everywhere I went, but I don’t think my clients would appreciate me walking up a business meeting in a graphic tee.

BYE OUT THERE

But I do wanna celebrate this amazingly colorful month with you guys so I decided that I’m declaring this blogging month as an ‘All Pride Month’. It simply means daily posts (yes, yes it’s a huge responsibility) about anything pride-related – pictures, twitter trends, Youtuber features, movie recommendations, readings lists (paperback and Wattpad) and my usual opinions entries.

I want to make this as interactive as possible, so if there’s anything you want me want me to feature in the coming days, you can comment below or email them to me. Oh, and if you wanna show your support as well, feel free to make my rainbow header yours too.

That’s all for today, guys. Happy Pride Month!

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Graphics by: Rye Lee

Links (previous entries on LGBT): 

wattpad welcome

Most of you guys know that I’ve been writing for awhile. Although I’ve been querying and working to get published on paperback (like most writers are), I do have to thank one social media site that has made putting my work out there possible. So I thought I’d give back by recommending some books which have inspired me write and whose authors I thought were inspirational.

I would still do my unpopular opinion entries (where I take stances on all things- recent or not), tips for travel, bucket lists, YouTuber features and movie and paperback recos. This will simply be an addition to that. You never know, you might find your favorite stories amidst the shelves upon shelves of Wattpad’s virtual library.

stacked: monthly book picks

True to my ever dorky self, I keep a list of books to watch out for every month. I have slight tendency to go haywire in a bookshop because of the need to purchase everything I get my hands on.

Does that happen to anyone else or is that just me?

If it happens to you too, then this list might help. These are books you can check out first so you don’t get lost in the sea of perfection that is books. If not, then these may be books you wanna start with. They’re all fun reads with a certain degree of social significance. Although all of them are already available, I’m aware that some books stores may not carry them yet, so you might want to check online to get them (e.g Amazan, Goodreads, etc). Anyway, onto the list.

1. The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis

If you’ve read any of Tregillis’ work, then you must be expecting a lot (like me, obviously). The first thing I read of his was the Milkweed Triptych where the retelling of the second World War was so vivid and believable; I could almost imagine British warlocks and Nazi super soldiers being introduced into history textbooks. After that, I just got every single book he wrote, and he has never failed to deliver the same amount creativity and intrigue since. I would go so far as saying that he’s one of my favorites from this genre.

At the core of The Mechanical, which is a new imagery for steam punk, is the age-old question of determinism versus one’s free will and how it relates to artificial intelligence. Despite the complexity of that, it’s told in a very engaging context where ‘clakkers’, mechanical men, are powered by alchemy to protect and defend the Brasswork Throne – now, the only superpower. Trust me, even if this isn’t usually a genre you go for, this book is a worthy read. It delves into a lot of different topics which I think you’ll enjoy.

2. Find Me by Laura van den Berg

It’s for the scifi-loving book lovers who gravitate towards strong female leads and a steady dose of mystery. The book chronicles Joy’s life after she discover she’s immune from an Alzheimer’s-like pandemic that wipes out most of the population and how she makes sense of the world by studying survivors of that disease.

3. The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi

If you follow me on twitter, you would know that I’ve been raving about this book for awhile. The humorous and quirky writing style that Amanda took was so strategic and appropriate in delivering a stance on a very prominent social issue (that you all know I feel strongly about), the concept of beauty.

The book is about two friends, one ‘objectively’ beautiful and the other not (for lack of a better word), who attempt to make the people around them see who they truly are. Here’s the catch: they do it while masking their appearances. It’s a light and funny read with an undertone that persuades you to question your personal identity and how other people see it and shape it.

4. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Much to my dismay, I have not read this book yet, but my recommendation is based on the massive postive reviews it got and the summary I was sent to read. I’m definitely getting a copy soon though. Also, I’ve supported ALL the books this author wrote which includes Never Let Me Go.

Personally, I loved the intimacy of the relationship between Axl and Beatrice as they remember their past and see how much effect it has on their future. I’ll definitely tell you on a different post if the book holds true to the summary I got.

5. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Faudet’s writing style and content is definitely not for everyone. There has been polarized views on the ‘dirty’ aspect of it. Personally, I thought it was sensual, but delivered with a certain degree of sophistication and humor that reads Faudet all the way.

I could keep describing this book to you and how it must have looked when I read this while walking around, shopping with a few friends, but I’d much rather leave you with quote that I think underlines how he was able to deliver a book that a lot of readers can keep referencing back to.

“She was a curious girl who loved the smell of old books, chasing butterflies and touching herself under the covers.”

So those are the books that are breaking my bank – okay, maybe just some of them. I tried to give you as much diversity as I could to cover everyone’s preferences. If you want more entries like this, you can email me or comment below. You know I love talking about my favorite books so if you enjoy reading about them too, I’d love to make more.

Also, there will be a massive announcement on the post after this so stay tuned – especially my fellow book geeks. You’ll love it.

beach blues

Summers around the world vary, clearly. Don’t worry I won’t dork out this post by subtly discussing seasonal differences all over the world (although it’s very tempting). For me though, as soon as you can walk outside in one layer of clothes without feeling like you’re about to become the next flavor or Ben and Jerry’s, it’s summer! Which means that right about now, I’m having those urges to frequent the beach or go on hikes or even book a spontaneous international flight (to Bali, maybe).

Are you having the same thoughts? Tell me all about it on the comments below. I’m planning to write another summer bucket list and must tries. Do you guys have anything in mind? To be honest, I wanna be super active and try new things this summer like water sports (surfing, wakeboarding)

1-Misibis Bay

or go on an unplanned road trip to somewhere I’ve never been before

and try local delicacies I’ve never seen or heard before (good luck tummy).

Whatever my summer plans (or the lack thereof) are, my goal is to live it and enjoy it. Come try it with me? *wink*

weight for me

Get it? Weight? Forgive me, my very patient readers, I feel unusually punny this morning.

I was still young when I first discovered the social standards of what’s an “acceptable body type”. Even then, it perplexed me. How can there be a standard for bodies when there are at least 7 billion people in the world, with obviously very different frames and figures? What’s even more confusing is the decreasing number on the scale that’s religiously celebrated by TV ads, magazines and fashion shows—soon enough in the streets of cities and the hide outs of far flung towns too.

Body image is both a personal and a social concept. Much of how we objectify beauty  is caused by the culture we live in. Beauty in an African town, not yet reached by the claws of New York runways, may be an exquisite, dark-skinned lady with a short, curly hair and hefty womb, ideal for child-rearing. In Japan, it could be captivating doll eyes and a petite frame, emphasized by a bright eye make-up and pastel, baby doll dresses. In fashion week, it’s a size zero, thigh-gapped, perfectly-sculpted, 5’7 and above model walking down the runway for some of the biggest names in the industry.

What’s my point there? That even in a very superficial and judgmental society,  beauty is and always will be relative.

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This isn’t the part where I say, well be unhealthy and and raise you middle finger in mock salute to those who eat greens. That’s not my intention.

If the world gets to set standards on beauty, so can you. Make it personal; make it about you. Embrace your curves, your slim figure, your bum, your muscles—everything about you. If you still wanna lose some weight, fine. Go for it! Before you do that though, make sure you love yourself first because if you’re counting on loving yourself when you’ve lost all the weight, it might not work. Often, body image issues aren’t even physical. It’s what you see, not what really is.

girl

I want you to look in the mirror and see someone beautiful.

I hope you’ll step on that scale and love yourself whatever number it shows.

I beg that you walk in any store and ask for your size confidently, not caring if it’s in one or two digits.

I pray that you’ll be happy with who you are, proud that you’re beautiful in every single way.