All posts by TheTigerOfMalteseKind

Back from “Vacation”

Well, that was some long weekend. I was hoping to take advantage of that little window to work hard on my thesis project, and I’m happy to announce that I did. Though, the word ‘hard’ would be up for debate. A lot of interesting developments have occurred. For one thing, the ending to my story has now changed. I have completely revised the final “act”, and shortened its length tremendously. I came to the realization that the ending I had in mind would require an entire new act to reach, which was actually my original plan; creating a 4-act story as an attempt to break the norm of 3-act story structure. It looks like I’m back to following the traditional route though. One of the major reasoning behind it, and an obvious one, was the time limitation. I should probably use the term ‘limitation’ loosely here, as I am the one who limits the time at hand. Perhaps I could’ve had the time needed if I managed it better, but then again, as one of the themes within the story, it was perhaps “not meant to be”. The character arcs are still intact. They still reach the points I had intended, it’s the road getting there that has changed. The biggest sacrifice in the story was unfortunately the villains. They’re sadly no longer fleshed out, instead they serve as symbols that represents the worst side of each main character. The story is now ends at Chapter 32. Depending on how I continue to revise it, I may have to add one or two more chapters to it. Including the three additional interlude chapters, the total amount will probably end up around 36 or 37 chapters. Can I push it to 40? If it serves the story, then why not? We’ll see.

In terms of its presentation, the Flipbook idea is unfortunately out of the window. Every single “free” application that I’ve managed to find is simply a trial version that requires me to register, otherwise (an annoying) watermark is placed on the file. It may not necessarily be a big deal for the final submission, but for some reason, it still bothers me. It seems like the digital distribution field has become extremely competitive among companies and they all try to take a piece of the pie, so to speak. The entire process feels like making a deal with a real publisher in real life. Once to register and use their application, then the distribution “rights” belongs to them. I don’t feel like I’m just there yet. I’ll be looking into another method that I had thought of, that is the digital comic book reader (CBR). It’s a much easier application to work with. The downside is the limitation of customization. I do not know if it is possible to view GIF files on them, but if it is, then it’d be a perfect way to present the story in a digital form. Not that I’m planing on creating animations, no time for that obviously, but as a means to create subtle effects on pages to enhance the viewing experience. That is something that I need to do research on more.

Speaking of research… No, I have not done much for the Lit Review. I was completely focused on writing the story. I really think it paid off as I believe that I should be done with it by the end of this upcoming weekend. Then I can dedicate myself to writing the Lit Review, and putting everything together for the final submission the following week. Yes, we’ve only got two full weeks before it’s due. Am I feeling anxiety? Not anymore, I’m happy to say. I now have a clear-cut road map to follow to reach “the end”: This week’s objective is finishing up the rest of my story; the next week is going to be reserved for final Lit Review; and the final week is going to involve putting everything into a neat “package” to hand it off. I also do not expect any surprising obstacles… hopefully. Should I cross my fingers just in case? Then again, it could jinx my luck, so… never mind. I’ll probably be writing one final blog post to reflect on how this particular process has been like, but until then… I wish the best of luck to my peers.

Another Week Goes By

A new blog post… already? The time really goes by quick. I still remember the summer time as if it were yesterday. The time can be your best friend or the worst enemy… depending on how it feels that day, I guess.

Anyways, I probably should offer an update on my progress. Frankly, I haven’t been able to do much for my thesis this past week. It was quite busy with inventory at the book store I work at, and the exhaustion, however slight it may be, made me reluctant to do any writing. Though, I did do some. I’m very close to Chapter 30, which was the goal for… last week. Yes, sadly I’m a little behind “schedule”. Then again, I’ve got the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend to continue to work on it (Beyond Chapter 30, that is). One thing that I’ve decided to do, which I should mention here, is keeping this particular portion of the story (Chapters 23 – 30) in reserve or WIP. The reason is because I’m not quite sure if the ending portion of the story is going to end just as the way I had imagined before I started working on the project. I’ve mentioned this before, but it may be important do so again: The story, as it develops itself, tends to take its own life, so to speak. Sometimes, the story threads or the character developments do not go the way one might expect. So, it may be difficult to reach the point of destination that was in planing. Moreover, the limited amount of time left before the due date, leaves me very little room to wiggle around and experiment with what I have in hand. I was actually contemplating of implementing abstract aspects into it but I should probably restrain myself from going too crazy at this point. Perhaps during the revision stage (after the submission) that I might go a bit experimental towards the end of the story. For the time being, restrain and focus shall prevail. I’ll probably will submit everything I write pass Act 2 as Act 3 portion of the overall story in the end, even though the Act play was no longer part of the plan. Whatever works, right?

Last week, I mentioned that I was searching for a software that would allow me to create a digital book, which is the form that I intent on submitting my project. I didn’t have much luck finding what I needed then, but after taking the suggestion of using ‘open source’ into consideration, I was able find a free software called Boxoft, which is another PDF converter. I didn’t play with it too much but based on what I’ve seen, it’s very easy to use. It has a very intuitive interface. I need to do some more trial runs to determine if this is indeed the software I go with for the final submission, but so far it seems to be the one. It’s quite funny reading some of the articles dedicated to flipbook softwares. They all mention the transitional phase that we’re all going through right now, and the future is nothing but digital. They even make it “clear” that if your company isn’t using a digital flipbook to market itself, then you’re falling behind. It’s a good thing that I’ve discovered this thing early on, otherwise my company would’ve gone bankrupt. Oh, wait. I do not own a company. Majority of the examples shown on each article, or even the promotional website of each software, focus on marketing aspect of the tool; creating digital magazines or catalog. I seem to be going in a quite the different direction with it. I’m even more curios now about how the end result of this project is going to look like. Well, I guess I won’t have to wait too long for it as the end of the semester is almost here… dang.

Finally, the progress on my lit review is… still slow. The good news, though, is that I’ve managed to find the PDF of Liz Reene’s book, The Astrology of Fate. I do not know if it contains the entire book (probably not) but it seems to contain a lot of information that would undoubtedly be useful for me. I just need to find the time to read it now. I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to utilize that little window of time this upcoming week, so I can feel like I’m back on track. I’ll definitely be offering an update on it soon.

Until next time.

Flipping Through the Pages

Well, we are in mid-November now, and there is nothing that signals the coming end of a project than receiving the due date for it. I have one full month (and a few days) left to work on the story. I haven’t made it into the final “strides” of the “race” just yet, but it’s really close. I can actually see the “finish line”.

I’ve begun to look in to some of the available applications online that I could use to present my work. My idea, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, was creating a digital flipbook. There appears to be a lot of websites that provide applications that create flipbooks by converting PDF files. Each one seems to have its own set of customization options, which is good. Though, I’d be lying if I’ve said that I had no concerns whatsoever. The first concern of mine consists of the requirement of purchase for the full version of the application, which I’m not fully convinced that it’s worth it for now. Every website that I’ve managed to find, even the Top 10 Free lists, only includes link to Free Trial version of the application that seems to leave watermark on the pages, which I honestly do not want. I appreciate the company that designed the program but I do not feel the need to promote them. Or perhaps, they’d be promoting me? Speaking of, my second concern is about the copyright issue. Before digging into this whole Flipbook land, I had a slight trepidation on whether the available applications were going to allow me to play with certain ideas that I had for the presentation or not. The little did I know that the real concern was actually with the Terms and Conditions Agreement of the usage of the application. I haven’t had a chance to read every single one but some of these agreements allude to the fact that they share a claim on the product once you use their program which is not too hot for me. Unless I actually manage to find a (truly) free application with more fair(?) terms, I might actually go with the suggestion of creating a simple proof of concept, basically creating a few pages based on the prologue of the story, and submit the rest of it in a Word document. In case you’re wondering what a digital Flipbook looks like, there are some samples on this website, right here: There might be some compatibility issues with the browser. In that case, you might want to try it on another one. It looks neat though, doesn’t it? I have to admit, checking out all this design applications made me want to go back to the art aspect of the project and continue to do some drawings for it. Once I finish writing the portion of the story that I’m currently working on, I might actually focus on that for a while. Why not? A little change of pace can help… even though the time is of the essence.

Since we’re on the topic, I guess a little bit of update on the writing aspect is expected. I’m happy to say that I’m almost done. Obviously not done by the overall story (I wish) but reaching the goal that I had set for myself, which was getting to Chapter 30. I feel like I need one final boost of energy-filled and inspirational writing day to finish it all. If only I could create one for myself on a whim. It’s not very fun to put words on a document with utmost reluctancy. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: “If you’re going to do something, then do it right.” I don’t want to write for the sake of writing something. The result is never on par with my expectations. Still, I’m quite certain that I’ll be able to finish it by due date. Ironically, I’ve begun to worry about something else now. It’s no longer the completion of the project but rather completing it in a satisfying way that concerns me. I’m getting the feeling that the final portion of the story is going to feel a bit rushed. I’m basically trading one concern for another, it seems. As I’ve talked about it in one of my previous blog posts, the story sometimes takes on its own life and new things that were not expected come to fruition, which in turn prolongs the process. There are always new developments in the story that I find myself working on, and they may (or may not) alter some of the outcomes that I had planned for the characters, which could also change the ending in a way. If I had more time to work on it —which is certainly the classic excuse of every writer out there, I could flesh out certain aspects in more… breathable space, so to speak. Of course, just because the story needs to be completed by a certain date does not mean that I’ll be abandoning it once I get my grade. I have every intention of expanding and revising it, even after I graduate. I’m just not so sure about how I personally might feel about the version I submit as my thesis. Then again, it might end up being (much) better than I fear. We’ll see when we get there… by December 20th… only a month away… Oh, no!!!

Do I Get to Choose?

Here we are with another post. I’m happy to reveal that there was some progress made. It’s not much but I’m just glad that the week was not simply wasted.

Sadly, the two books that I mentioned in my previous post ended up being somewhat inconvenient for me. At least, one of them lacks the amount of contribution that I had expected while the other one has the potential but it may take a long time to decipher. The book, The Disordered Mind, apparently consists of issues relating to Autism or Schizophrenia. You might say, “Well, duh! That’s the title…” but I recall reading on the back of the book that it also touches on the consciousness of the mind, which directly relates to my thesis. Although it is true that the book indeed touches on that aspect, it is only the very last chapter of the book. So, it’s not much to go with. As for the other book, The Soul of an Octopus, it seems to be more in line with what I’m working on but the way the book is written, which is admittedly quite fascinating, makes it seem time consuming for me. The author, Sy Montgomery, seems to be using the octopus as a… what do you really call it? Like, a MacGuffin in a movie script. If you don’t know what that means, it’s simply “an object, device, or event that is necessary to the plot and the motivation of the characters, but insignificant, unimportant, or irrelevant in itself” —thank you wikipedia. Of course, no offense to the poor octopus, but it’s only there to serve the study that is presented. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find the time to go over it at some point. Will it be before the semester ends? No promises there.

Interestingly, there was an article that got lost on me. I mentioned it in one of my previous blog posts but for some reason I’ve completely forgotten about it. Determining One’s Fate – A Delineation of Nietzsche’s Conception of Free Will by Nel Grillaert is the article in question. I say “in question” because I’m not convinced that the entirety of that article is necessarily useful for the thesis. I know it’s pretty much pick-and-choose when it comes to the research aspect of the thesis at this point; little bit of this, little bit of that… basically whatever works, but the literature review is something that I need to eventually complete and this “method” seems to be working for now. The mentioned article examines the difference between two distinct perspectives on the concept of fate: free will versus determinism. The author asks the question —which is clearly the thesis of the article— that goes: “Are humans endowed with a free will, which enables them to act according to their own choices and purposes, independently of any external factor, and are they therefore fully responsible for the acts they commit? Or are humans rather determined, implying that they do not bear ultimate responsibility for their actions?” It definitely sounds… deep —I don’t know what else to call it. The interesting factor that I’d like to highlight here is the responsibility of an individual. I do not believe that I have ever considered that particular aspect until now. I had always been too occupied with the versus of the two perspectives that the responsibility factor was almost nonexistent in my mind. It does make sense though. If you believe in an external intervention in one’s destiny, then the responsibility, or rather the consequence, of that person’s actions becomes forfeit. Of course, I’m not a philosopher. And, I do not intent on examining this “issue” from that point of view, but rather from a literary one. What makes it a more compelling story for the reader? If I were to create a story in which the characters are being “played” by a divine force or being, would that make those characters less impactful or relatable since they are free of the responsibility? Or, is it better to show that their choices, with free will, not only affect others but themselves with consequences to follow? My utterly “professional” response to that is simply: “Hmmm…”

Since we’re on the story, I’ve decided to ignore the Acts, and simply keep track of it with the chapter count instead. We’re in November now, and the deadline is fast approaching. The Acts were simply there for me to keep up with some semblance of a schedule so I wouldn’t feel lost but I figured that setting up an Act goal could unnecessarily prolong the progress at this point. If I can finish writing the story up to Chapter 30 by next weekend, then my final goal would be to reach Chapter 40 by mid-December. I think I’d be content with that, and it’s easy to follow. I do not know if I’m necessarily going to have time to do a thorough revision on some parts of the story, but at least I should have it “complete” in a presentable form by the due date. The end of the semester is really closing in on us. Is it time to panic yet? Perhaps later. Then again, a little bit of pressure could be the key ingredient that I need to force myself even more and get everything done on time.

Also, speaking of forgotten things for the lit review, I don’t know why but I’ve completely missed the book The Astrology of Fate by Liz Greene. I guess, I was focusing too much on one theme and unintentionally ignoring the other(s). Writing a chapter in the story that specifically inherits that theme probably brought me back to this one. I should also mention that I seem to be unlucky when it comes to getting books to read for research. They either end up being inconvenient, sold out (the case with The Soul of an Octopus), or discontinued for me to get my hands on. Perhaps “some external powers that be” do not wish me to have them? *wink wink* So, it’s not my responsibility, right? That’s actually a good way to end this blog post right here. I’ll do my best to look into that book by Liz Greene with hopes that a useful book will be there for me to study. And of course, I’ll continue to write my story —which I guess goes without saying… or typing?

Until next time.


Grillaert, N. (2006). Determining one’s fate: A delineation of Nietzsche’s conception of free will. Journal of Nietzsche Studies, 31, 42–60.


Just a Couple of Thoughts

I have been using the term “brief” to describe some of my previous blogs but I think this is going to be the shortest one. I expect that we’ll have a short class this week, so I guess it’ll be quite fitting.

The story is progressing at a steady pace. There is not a lot of information that I can share at the moment. One interesting development that occurred since last week actually involves the language that I’m using in the story. Would that be the correct term here, ‘language’? This may be a bit difficult to describe but I’ll try my best anyway. Recently, I had a chance to watch an animated (short?) film online. It’s called The Selfish Giant (Link: Apparently, it’s based on a famous children’s book by the same name. It sounded somewhat familiar but I’m not quite sure if I’ve ever read it or not. Regardless, it was not necessarily the story itself that caught my attention —granted it’s really good one, but rather the look and feel of that animated film. It reminded me of old Rankin and Bass movies, particularly the animated Hobbit film (which I adore). It has a very interesting style and esthetics, texture and color, that gives off that… I don’t know, magic? Childhood wonder? If you watch it, you’d know what I’m talking about. For some reason, this certain aspect reminded me of something that I’ve tackled during a presentation project from last year, and it was in my Writing Literature for Children class. Talk about ‘quite fitting’. In that presentation, I mentioned how language could be “tweaked” in order to make the feelings more tangible. I remember referring to an article called The Sound of Writing, which was written by Michael Lydon (Link: In it, he talked about how a writer can musicalize the language he/she is using. So, I began to wonder after watching that animated film I’ve mentioned, if I can musicalize the story that I’m working on by adding “texture” and “color” to its language. I’ll probably need to design lists of adjectives in specific categories to utilize and experiment with to see if that intention is possible. I know it all sounds too methodical, but then again art sometime requires a certain method, right? I’m interested to see the result. Obviously, this would be more fitting for the revisions, but in order to save me some time, I might as well begin to experiment with it moving forward.

Was that too brief? Well, that’s pretty much it from me this week. In terms of the research aspect, I’m sad to announce that I’ve stopped with my chase for that book I kept mentioning in my previous posts, as it seems that it’ll cost me a pretty penny to acquire it. The good news though is that I’ve found a couple of new books “to chase”. One particular book is called The Disordered Mind, by Eric Kandel, and the other is called The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness —which sounds very, very interesting, by Sy Montgomery. I’ll probably talk about those at some point, after purchasing and having time to read them of course. Until then, I’ll be busy over here… working on my story.

Delving Back into the Analysis

Is it the (long awaited) research reporting time? I hope not, because I haven’t done much…

For the past two or three blog posts, I was missing the much needed research/lit review aspect and I was feeling a bit out of touch in that arena. Besides reading a few articles, I haven’t had the chance to dig too deep into the themes that were going to be relevant in my story. Fortunately, I was able to do… some stuff for this week.

Firstly, I should mention that I was finally able to look up the book that I was referencing (or rather simply mentioning) in my previous posts. Sadly, the book was unavailable at the store where I work at, and it was also unavailable to order from the online service, which makes me think that, for some reason, it is discontinued. There is still the possibility of me ordering it from an online store (such as ebay), but I feel bummed out that I won’t get to use my employee discount. If you’re wondering why it matters so much… Well, I just wanna feel special, dang it!

On more serious note, I was at least able to go through the book that was landed to me, which I believe I had mentioned before. An interesting book called African Rhythm and African Sensibility, by John Miller Chernoff, was something that I think I really needed. Admittedly, I haven’t read the whole book —I’m the best student there is, I know. However, what I have read already offered me much to work with. Within the first couple of pages, I’ve stumbled upon a great quote: “…music is beyond rational understanding: it is too close to the basic mysterious and contradictions of existence; it touches and conveys realities for which words or logic are inadequate…”, pg.2. This was apparently a reference to known philosopher Nietzsche, whom I must admit that I’m not too familiar with —I do love what he’s saying though. Music is often described as “food for soul” by many people, and I believe the reason behind that sentiment has something to do with the limitations of language when it comes to conveying certain (and true) emotions. We tend to resort to applying metaphorical speech when words with pre-existing definitions fail us, which is possibly the closest one can get to music in language,but even then the transference of complex emotions is at question. Thus, the concept of music offers something unique to play with, especially in a written story.

I probably need to offer some context as to why this concept was very interesting to me, in terms of its relation to my thesis. I tend to neglect (on purpose) giving away a lot, or if any, plot points of my story in these blog posts. It is to avoid spoilers, as well as dealing with copyrights and whatnot. Though, I guess I have to make an exception for this particular case. In the story that I’m working on, the characters perform… something —that I’ll keep a secret, and they are able to “see” the experiences of other characters who lived in the past. I wanted to add an element of mystery and intrigue to this fictional process, and my peers in the class (once again, I thank them very much) suggested that I add a musical element to it, which I thought was a fantastic idea. So, this particular book was the perfect thing to study for. Another favorite quote of mine from it is this: “Rhythm is the most perceptible and the least material thing.”, pg.23, which is exactly what I intend to interject into the story: rhythm.

That might’ve actually sounded more epic (and perhaps pretentious?) than I had intended. No, I do not plan on reinventing literature… obviously. I simply hope to interject another layer of interest and enjoyment through, shall we say, world-building. Writing around the characters with this perspective, and how certain rhythms affect them within the story, could not only flesh them out in a better sense but also introduce something for the readers to contemplate and interpret. The author Chernoff mentions in his book that “The most important gap for the participant-observer…is not between what he sees and what is there, but between his experience and how he is going to communicate it.”, pg.11. This is the element that I’d personally like to play with. Having fictional characters engage in a fictional ritual, and how they relate to it, can also serve as a some sort of analogy for the readers as they’d be engaging themselves in this fictional world with other-worldly setting. Can it be done? Absolutely. Can I do it? Well… that’s the challenge of it all, is it not? The point of the thesis is to show “what’ya got!” and as I’ve mentioned in my previous blog post, I like a good challenge. So, here’s hoping that something satisfactory will come out of all this.

I guess that is it for now. As I’ve stated earlier, I was only able to go through certain portion of the book. Hence, not a lot of in-depth analysis. But, this is more than enough for me to go on. I’ll do my best to check up on a few more research articles whenever I get the chance, but for the time being, I should get back into the story itself. Act 3, here we go!
Chernoff, J. M. (1979). African Rhythm and African Sensibility: Aesthetics and Social Action in African Musical Idioms. The University of Chicago Press.

Sticking with Another Brief One

“Remember when I said that [insert whatever was promised in previous post]? I lied!” – Terry Meena the Third

Did you get the reference? No? Dang… I might be getting old.

Well, I’ve got some good news and a bad one. I guess I should start with the bad one and get it out of the way. Sadly, I was not able to get into the research mode as I had hoped. So, I won’t be able to share much in this post, or any for that matter. That was whole reason for that silly start on this post, to ease the blow a little I guess. Did it work? Oh, well. I still have the book that my classmate, Jeanne, trusted me with (and I promise to keep it safe) for at least another week, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to go over it this week, especially now that I have quite the spare time, which I’ll get to in a minute. I also managed to find a couple of more interesting articles to go over. They’re relativly short, so it won’t be too much of a burden (hopefully).

Now onto the good news. I’ve finally completed Act 2 of the story. Man, it really feels great to be able to say that. It’s over! Well, at least for now. Until I began to dread my time limitations for the next act. A couple of things that I’ve “discovered” (re-discovered?) this past week, that I should mention, include my method of writing, or rather the strategy of how to approach it, and once again the implementation of themes. Let’s actually get into that first. I had been concerning myself over how to implement the themes that I wanted to… well, implement, into the story. As I finished Act 2, I realized that all my worries were naught. As in, I do not need to do anything specific to accomplish what I need, the themes basically implement themselves, as long as I’m conscious of them while writing. I just wish that everything else in life were that easy. Then again, perhaps that’d a bit too steal, right? You need a little bit of challange every once in a while. What am I saying? I love challanges.

Anyways, the other so-called “discovery” was in relation with relocating, the strategy to boost creativity. I’ve mentioned in my previous post that the approach, or the strategy, or whatever you wish to call it, was becoming less effective somehow. Again, I came to the realization that it’s not necessarily the relocation, it’s the campus. It’s too crowded. During the summer time, when we had that (awesome) Writer’s Retreat course, the campus was quite empty, and I could just find anywhere to sit and enjoy myself writing. Now, I need to find a space and it’s really difficult. The library is always full until around the evening. The Starbucks is also full. Even some of the chairs and desks randomly placed on faculty floors are often taken. That unfortunately causes me to lose inspration and the will. So, in the end, after waiting for someone to leave so I can take their spot, I could not bring myself to get into “the zone”. However, I manage to find a comfortable spot right away, I’m good to go. With my computer in front of me, and a cup a coffee to boost by the side… Let’s go! Or, at least that’s my theory for now. I could be totally wrong, and what I claimed last week, having assimilated into the whole thing, might turned out to be true after all. Let’s hope not.

Is that everything? You know I’m begining to feel as if I’m repeating myself. I really miss quotations and citations (oddly enough), so I’m hoping that I’ll get some research stuff done for the eventual Lit Review. The fingers… no, I refuse to say it!

Almost to the Finish Line

Dang it! I wanted to use that title for the final blog post. Wait, have I actually used this title before in another class? Hmm…

I guess this is going to be another progress update. I wish I could say that the Act 2 of the story was complete but it seems like I need a few more days. Though I’m not bummed at all because the delay was not caused by time restraints but rather by making change in narrative. As in, I decided to change a certain portion of the story because I managed to come up with a better, more exciting, alternative for it. Should I spoil it here? I probably had mentioned before that I do not follow a linear path when it comes to writing. I imagine “scenes” and write them down, only to fill the gaps later. At least, that’s the simplest way that I can describe my writing method at the moment. Sometimes, this fill-in-the-gap portion of the story is pretty straightforward but this time around I had to make changes for a better result, which ended up consuming more time obviously. You know what they say: “Quality over quantity.” Thus, sacrificing more time was no brainer.

Another thing that I should mention is the implementation of the themes into the story. I mentioned this before, in previous blog post, but I was not absolutely sure how to approach it. It was more of a “thinking-out-loud” kind of thing —not so different than what I’m doing now actually. However, I believe I’ve got the answer(s) for it now. The first theme in question was the disassociation one. I think I can manage to make it clear by focusing on the perspective of one individual character who is experiencing this “phenomenon”. I also need to revise, and add, certain things into Act 1 in order to show how this affects the character. For example, writing a ritual scene or some sort of custom that the group of characters follow or abide by. Over the course of the story, the individual character changes his perspective, stops to follow others, and begins to “see things” that they cannot. Of course, this is extremely vague description of it. I was not able to do much researching this past couple of weeks to offer a better explanation but I hope it was (somewhat) clear. The other theme in question was the patterns that determine fate or destiny. I believe that this is something that should be clear by the end of the story instead of now. As in, something that the reader can put together in his/her head in hindsight once the narration is complete. Examination of the patterns of events or character decisions within the story, so to speak.

There is still much to do (if it weren’t clear already) for my thesis but I’m in a pretty good mood because I’ve got a “map” to follow. I should to emphasize though, I need a better discipline in order to overcome time management issues. Sadly, being present on campus does not really help anymore. I figured that relocating was a prefect way to “recharge” my creative mind to do some good writing but it seems as if that certain method is running its course. I do not know whether it’s due to me assimilating to it or what, but I started to feel tired and reluctant to write when I make my way over to library, or another location on campus. I merely do some typing, read random articles on internet (basically killing time), grab something to eat, and then go home. It’s very productive, I know. At the moment, my plan for the next act of the story is going to be writing summaries of each chapter down and then “play connect-the-dot”. It’s a more simplified and faster approach to my usual way but it could actually help me with time management. Is it safe to say that it’d be an experimental one? Either way, I hope it works out.

Well, I guess that’s enough of a progress update. There is really not much to say for the time being. I should be back in research mode by next week. So, I’ll hopefully be able to write down some “interesting” things in my next blog post. For whatever reason, I still haven’t checked to see if the book I needed was available at the book store I work at. It might have been something to do with the Comic Con promotion going on in the store. My mind was always on those graphic novels which were being displayed by the storefront. Now that I’ve got the books I wanted to get (at a good discount), I can finally shift my attention to the task at hand and get the book I really need for my thesis. Still, I should probably make a note of it and put it in my wallet, just in case some other distraction gets in the way.

Simply Checking In

Unfortunately, I do not have much to share this time around. It’s funny that I kept referring to my previous posts as “brief” but I think this is going to be the shortest one yet.

The only thing that I should mention here is that I’m in full-steam-ahead mode. I really need to get the Act 2 of the story done before next week, or by the end of next week at latest. It’s strange that when I have the entirety of the story (this particular portion at least) and I just need to put it on paper, it feels like “labor” work. I just need to put the hours in and get it done. It’s still fun though. You can think of it as working at a place that you actually like. The problem is, as always, the time limitations.

On a more positive note, I have made an interesting discovery in my story. It turns out that there is an interesting theme is at play which I was not fully aware of, and it just dawned on me. I remember discussing its possible implementation within the story back during Writer’s Retreat course but I was not completely sure that I could do it (justice). Well, it seems like that theme is better implemented than the other ones that I touched upon previously. I still feel like I’m playing a little close to the chest with that one, so I won’t delve into it here. Maybe in the future, when it’s completely fleshed out and clear.

What else? I’m not sure what to say, really. Since I’m going to focus on strictly the writing this (and possibly next) week, I won’t have time to read any new articles for the research part. Those poor articles… They just need someone to read them but nobody has got the time for it [shakes head]. The joking aside, I’m quite certain that I’ll be able to dig back in once the more important writing aspect is complete. I’m also excited about the suggestion of my peers about musical patterns and how it could be something to “play with” within the story. That requires some research though, on my part. So, it’s something (quite interesting) for later.

Here’s hoping to write a very positive blog post for next week.

Hello, what’s your emergency?

Sorry, it’s the wrong number.

Here we are, with another blog post. Not a lot has changed since the last one, so this might also be a another brief one. Most of my time simply spent on looking up articles that I could use for the project, and of course writing the story. I do have a little worry, but I’ll get back to it later. Firstly, let me quickly touch on the research aspect.

During my quest of article hunting, I have found an interesting one about medical advancement —well, the ‘advancement’ part would probably be up for debate. It may not necessarily be what I needed for a literature review, but it is quite intriguing nonetheless. Apparently, a group of researchers in Japan were able to create a computer system that utilized algorithm to determine the risk of death that an emergency caller had. The first thing that probably comes to mind after reading something like that is: “Now, why heck would you develop something like that?”, and the second: “Do they utilize this thing over here as well?” I’m somewhat reluctant to do a quick research on that as I am unsure whether I need to know the answer or not. I can’t really imagine a scenario in which the person who calls in for emergency gets to be greeted by an automated message, something like: “Thank you for calling the emergency line. We hope that your emergency gets treated well. It is our duty to disclaim that this call is being recorded for research purposes. Please hold…” Thankfully, I’ve never had to make such a call to find out —and I hope I never do. The point that I should probably focus on here is the aspect of this research that shows how an outcome is determined. It’s the analysis of patterns. The mentioned algorithm apparently categorizes the callers by “the severity of their condition” and “the time of the emergency call with the actual patients’ condition upon arrival at the hospital emergency department.” They also add the arrival time of the ambulance to the scene and possible delays into the mix to determine an accurate outcome. It’s absolutely fascinating as to how a mere two or three variables are adequate to determine “the future” occurrence with apparent “over 80% sensitivity” —which is also quite scary.

This particular article made it easier for me to connect the two disciplinary points of view that I had mentioned in my previous post, which I do not believe that I was able to properly articulate. The mathematical and astrological perspectives on fate are both reliant on pattern determination. As in, they both attempt to categorize individuals and calculate their behaviors based on variables that define them. One concern that does occur to me, as I continue to do research on this topic, is the execution of this theme within my story. Perhaps not really a concern, but more of a matter of figuring out how. I am unsure as to how to make it clear to the reader that is the theme I am going with. I do not believe having characters talk about their perception of fate in middle of ongoing story would be the right idea. In fact, that would probably be considered too on the nose. Yet, if I make it too subtle, I’m afraid it would be completely fly over the head of the reader. I need time to figure out the perfect balance of implementing its presence within the story, without making it too obvious or too subtle.

Speaking of the story, and concerns, I should address that I’m beginning to get little —just a little— worried about the timetable of this project. I was sincerely confident that I could finish up Act 2 of the story by the end of this month. I guess, that was a bit premature on my part. As I transfer everything I had written down on pieces of paper to the computer, I’m beginning to realize that they are not as fleshed out as I had in my mind. I need to add more details and descriptions to make things clear, or clearer, for the reader. I might have to “sacrifice” an additional week from upcoming month for this particular section of the story. That will probably delay Act 3 “a bit” but I believe I can still manage. On the optimistic side, I’ll be having the second half of next week all to myself. If I do manage to transfer a huge chunk of the story over to the computer, with the necessary additions, during this small period, I’ll get back into my confident mood pretty quick, I’m sure. I would say “fingers-crossed” but I think I had already used that phrase in my previous two posts, so for the purpose of remaining original, I will hesitate to do so here —even though I just did.

I do not know if there is anything else to say at this point, besides mentioning that there are some other articles I have found but didn’t have time to read just yet. Such as this one: Determining One’s Fate – A Delineation of Nietzsche’s Conception of Free Will (Although I do not know if it directly relates to my theme). I keep forgetting to check to see if the books that I mentioned in previous post are available at the bookstore I’m working at. I might actually be able to order them off of Amazon but I’d prefer to use my employee discount if possible. Should I have mentioned that here? Oh, well.

Until the next blog post.

BioMed Central. (2009). Calling It In: New Emergency Medical Service System May Predict Caller’s Fate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from