Korean Culture

Coffee Prince: a TV show recommendation

5 out of 5 stars.

So, if you know me or have followed the blog for long, you know I love Kdrama.  What is that?  It’s South Korean TV shows — usually romantic, usually funny, usually dramatic.  This show is one of those, and this is my new Favorite Kdrama.  That’s right, Coffee Prince beats out My Lovely Kim Sam Soon. (Read more…)

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The Good, the Bad, and the Weird: a film recommendation


5 out of 5 stars.

I love this movie — and yes, I realize I usually review books, but I want to spread the word about how SUPERFANTASTIC this movie is.  So…  Onwards.

The story is set in 1930s Manchuria.  The Bad is searching for a special treasure map that the Japanese want.  The Good is a bounty hunter searching for the Bad.  And the Weird, well…  He’s just there.  He accidentally steals the treasure map, though, so now the Bad is hunting the Weird while the Good is still hunting the Bad. (Read more…)

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More lessons from Korean Television

Kim Sam-Soon: just another K-drama to add to my addiction list…

K-drama, a.k.a. Korean soap operas, dramatic series, and romantic comedy series, are the only form of TV I’ve been watching of late…  Pretty much since I moved to Germany since Arirang is one of our only channels in English (along with Russia Today, Aljazeera, China Central Television, and Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai), I end up watching more than the average American’s share of Korean TV.

As I’ve said before: I love it. (Read more…)

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Reigniting the Writing Flame

Oh, how the time flies when you’re stuck with family.  You blink and suddenly realize you’ve done nothing for two weeks but eat, argue, and return Christmas presents.  Not to mention, all that writing flow and inspiration you had so carefully honed, and maintained has now flown off with Santa Claus.

That’s why today’s post is about getting back on track when life has interfered.  It about what do with all those pages that had been writing themselves but are now followed by terrifying blankness.

What to do?  What to do?  If you’re like me, there’s a moment of panic followed by forceful procrastination.  I’ve read two books, watched half of season 1 of Mary Tyler Moore (thanks, sis, for the fab X-mas gift), and filled my Kung-fu fix for the next three months.  All in an attempt not to work.  All in the last four days.

Let’s take a deep breath and do this together.  We can get back into our Writing Flow, and here’s how: (Read more…)

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Writing inspiration: too much advice

9 days until Christmas!

Too many cooks spoil the broth.

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by all the experts, by all the blogs meant to help us, or by all the workshops with different (and perhaps contradictory) approaches to writing that you sit paralyzed at your keyboard?  You’re certain that your WIP has committed every fatal sin listed by the experts, or you’re terrified that whatever does come from you fingertips can never meet up to all these expectations. (Read more…)

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Writing flow

Writer's flow: not so different from an ice flow

A bit more on inspiration today since it’s just been One of Those Days.  But, it’s been an Awesome One of those Days.

After over a month of outlining and research, I finally started writing last week.  I’m pumping out two scenes per day (that’s, like, 2500 words), and it feels great!  I’m inspired. (Read more…)

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Lessons from the Soaps

Heaven's Fate, South Korean soap opera

Lately, I’ve been following a Korean soap opera called “Heaven’s Fate” or (in Korean) 왕꽃 선녀님.  It’s melodramatic, borderline absurd, and highly entertaining.

Interestingly enough, I’ve managed to see some writing tactics in action–aspects in storytelling that apply both to written fiction and TV drama.  Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Conflict, conflict, conflict!  If it’s easy for the main character to get from Point A to Point B, then where’s the story?  Cho-won, the MC of Heaven’s Fate, is possessed by spirits and can see ghosts.  If it this was easy to cure or she figured out how to beat the possession right away, then the series would only last a handful of episodes.  Instead, the creators put a thousand different hiccups in her way and manage to drag it out for 150 episodes! (Read more…)

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Best 13 Cold-weather Reads

Okay, so during the cold months of the year, I tend to read certain kinds of books.  Books with snow/ice, books with dark settings and mysterious elements, or books that make me laugh.  I’m a fantasy/sci-fi/classics reader, so that’s what my top 13 books consist of.

1. Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke.  Best book for cold-weather.  It’s so dark and moody, filled with mystery and magic.  I love this book.  Despite the 800+ pages, I’ve read it four times and listened to the audiobook.  Who can compete with the man with the thistle-down hair?  Or the Raven King?  Just thinking about the Raven King gives me chills.

strangeandnorell

2. Persuasion by Jane Austen.  Really, any Jane Austen is good cold-weather reading.  My friend, Jessica, re-reads Pride and Prejudice every year over Christmas.

3. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper.  Another moody, magical piece.  This was written in the 70s for young adults, and I love the terrifying power of the Dark.  The book is based on Celtic and Norse mythology. (Read more…)

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