Crash Landing On You “사랑의 불시착”

When it comes to writing a series review, I usually don’t write one unless it’s already finished. So I am making this as an exception.



Crash Landing On You “사랑의 불시착” is a romantic comedy series starring Son Ye Jin 손예진  as a Heiress, Yoon Seri 윤세리 and Hyun Bin 휸빈 as North Korean Officer, Ri Jeong Hyeok 리정역. Written by Park Ji-Eun and Directed by Lee Jeong Hyo.

The korean drama series is about Yoon Seri who had a paragliding accident and landed on North Korea. She met Captain Ri and he helped hide her. Eventually, they fall in love with each other. The series is very different from korean dramas we’ve seen most of the time.

What do I love about the show?

1) A love story between star-crossed lovers. This is a very old writing technique but still works.

In the series, Yoon Seri is from South Korea, while Capt. Ri Jeong Hyeok is from North Korea. It’s a set up that truly makes people curious and it is a perfect set up for a drama series.


2) The location: Some of the scenes were taken from Switzerland which plays a big part on the lives of the characters and the story.






3) One of my deciding factor in liking a series or a movie and the most important for me is the chemistry. I saw the interview and the trailer and noticed how good the chemistry of the main actors are. I am very picky when it comes to chemistry of the main leads.


The main actors worked together before. They made the movie, The Negotiation 협상.



I don’t like to watch typical chemistry of couples you see all the time on tv or actors who had dated each other in the past.

Because so many casting directors are thinking that since they dated each other, they already have the familiarity and chemistry. Those kind of chemistry bores me because it doesn’t surprise me anymore.

I already know what to expect from them as oppose to actors who’s got an effective chemistry despite starting as a perfect strangers. That is special, rare, and beautiful.

There are so many typical couples like that on tv and movies. Be it Asian, Western or Filipino.

What they didn’t know is that there are people who’s got a really good chemistry and a rare connection. It’s not something you can establish just like that by dating each other or spending time together. Some people just have it and some just don’t.

So those people who gets to find that one of a kind chemistry and rare connection are so lucky. My advice is to keep your eyes and mind open. Make sure to take care and keep that person in your life. And you will reach your potential, become the best version of yourself, and feel complete. Anyway, I’m not sure if the main actors are like that. I am just making a point so bear with me. I don’t mean you need to date that person. Some of them are strangers and some of them are close family members or relatives.

Now, after seeing 8 episodes, I love the chemistry of all the casts, not just the main leads, but the second leads as well, and also the other characters. All of them blend so perfectly for the story. Whoever casted them, they’ve really done a great job. I enjoy watching all of them, and their antics.

4) The series truly has an interesting plotline and it looks very promising. I’ve never watched other korean dramas with the same plotline. I think other fans have seen other dramas with similar plot though based on their comments.

It is very funny, and I didn’t expect it too. 정말 재미있어요! ㅋㅋㅋ I’ve never laughed so hard for a korean drama before. Alright, I guess it rivals Hwayugi because it’s very funny too. Then again, like I said, it’s a very different from other dramas.

Just like any korean drama, it starts out light then it slowly builds up, then it becomes heavy. We are now after all in the middle of the series. It’s suppose to have 16 episodes. 어머! That’s too short. Even Hwayugi has 20 episodes and fans are still eagerly waiting for a season 2.

5) This is a show that started with good ratings and for every episode, it keeps getting better. Fans are obsessed with it.

Fans believe that the drama, Crash Landing On You save 2019 after other korean dramas Hotel Del Luna “호텔 델 루나” , Vagabond “배가본드”, When the Camellia Blooms “동백꿏 필  무렵” and more. Because a lot of people, doesn’t like the way those have ended. 


I am truly estatic I ended the year by watching this. And I am looking forward to a happy ending. So I can stay, I am starting this year right.

5) Soundtrack – As of now, there are only 4 soundtracks released and they are all very good and catchy songs. They reflect the story, the characters, and the moments very well. The scenes really gets to me when the music starts to play.

6) Safety, Security, and Promotion. I mentioned this cause they had to stop shooting for a while because of the bad weather.

I also noticed how they take good care of their actors especially when rumors of the main leads are dating or have broken up. It didn’t take them months to shut down the rumors. So I can see that the actors are very secure with their agencies or their corresponding agencies or companies they work for.

I love how they’ve got trailers, interviews, photoshoots, and behind the scenes photos and videos of the series, and the actors. It’s so unlike what happened from the 화유기 days.

This is a series, where they almost got everything right. But then again, we are only just in the middle of the episodes. So I’ll be in the look out for the success and failures on the next 8 episodes.


What I don’t like about the show?

1) This is hard. So for now, the only thing I don’t like about the series is it has only 16 episodes. But you know what they say. Perfection are always brief.

Tune in again on my next review of 사랑의 불시착, once it is finished.

In the mean time, come support me again on my review of Korean Drama series, Love With Flaws “하자있는 인간들” starring Oh Yeon Seo and Ahn Jae Hyun. This drama is a perfect drama to write about, to show how people get it wrong when it comes to life, and relationships.

I wasn’t planning on writing one, but I had an epiphany the other day that I can analyze and explain the human condition effectively through this series since they’ve shown so much about how traumas affect us and our prejudices as a person. It is going to be a very effective learning journey for all of us.

The Negotiation “협상”

After 화유기, I’ve completed one korean drama, and started two new korean dramas that are still ongoing. One of them is Crash Landing On You “사랑의 불시착” starring Hyun Bin 현빈 and Son Yejin 손여진. Their new drama is really good as well as the plotline of the story which I will talk about in the next few days.

With that in mind, I was curious to see where they started, so I decided to watch the movie where they first worked together, The Negotiation.

S P O I L E R A L E R T

It was very interesting cause their characters acted most of the time on different locations. They only communicated through an online video call.

Why?

In the movie, Hyun Bin portrayed the a character, Tae Min Go, who is an industrious gang member, arms dealer, hostage taker, and more. While Son Yejin, played Ha Chae Yoon, compassionate and smart, an Inspector and expert Negotiator in the Seoul Police Department who had studied from the US.

First reaction, it was like a culture shock for me considering I just came in from watching their drama series, a romantic comedy, where their characters will fall for each other. Their characters are so warm and funny and have a glaring difference.

The movie started with a couple who taken hostage. It made me laugh a bit that the hostage takers were played by Filipino actors or extras, imagine my surprise.

Anyway, Inspector Ha was called in from vacation and went in inside the hostage situation without any means of protecting herself. Since, she’s an expert, you think it will be fine, but in my opinion, her superior made the wrong call from the start. He should have given her a chance to negotiate properly. The hostages were killed eventually.

Inspector Ha gave her resignation and was rejected, but she was called in again to another hostage taking situation and was supposed to engage only through online video call. Here she meets, hostage taker charismatic Min Tae Gu.

I apologize but I won’t tell the whole story. You can watch it on different korean websites and I highly recommend it.

It is very intense, thrilling, and full of suspense. The chemistry between Son Yejin and Hyun Bin is superb even though they were only talking through the monitors.

The movie didn’t start out light like most korean drama series, a few minutes into the movie and you are already lured into suspense and adrenaline rush.

Sure, the movie has its own calming scenes to let you breath but once the scenes gets serious, it always shock you. It is very unpredictable. So this is for the movie goers who wants to be surprise by the outcome.

What I absolutely love about the movie is how they connected the mini plots to each other. I didn’t see that coming and I like that a lot. ㅋㅋㅋ

I also love the writing and plotting technique. I remember that technique from my theater workshop but it was applied to the movie in reverse. In the technique, you will let the audience know a secret, but the important character doesn’t know it which creates great tension.

In the movie, it was only one character who knows something. As the movie moves forward, the characters and the audience slowly catches on to what really happened.

In situations like this, the rapport that forms between people like them always astounds me especially because they are in different sides of right and wrong. I truly commend working people like them. 대박! So kudos to the actors who played their parts so well.

At the same time, it is raw and emotional. I love how in the end that I find myself emphathizing with the hostage taker, Min Tae Gu. He is not exactly the villain of the movie but he is in a way.

Ha Chae Yoon’s character is fierce, and confident. She is such a spitfire!

The Negotiation GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The movie is completely fictional but reflects the society in Korea. In real life, complicated situations don’t always end up like this but in the movie, somehow, there’s a little bit of justice.

I am very entertained with this movie but be warned that it is not a very light hearted drama.

For my next blog, tune in about what I think to korean drama series, 사랑의 불시착 “Crash Landing On You” starring the same actors.

Hwayugi: A Korean Odyssey “화유기”

Hello 안녕, I know it’s been a long time since I wrote a blog post.

I’m very happy and excited to be back today cause we’re going to tackle about relationship differently through a review.

  • S * P * O * I * L * E * R ********* A * L * E * R * T

Hwayugi 화유기 (A Korean Odyssey is a South Korean fantasy television series starring Lee Seung-gi, Cha Seung-won, Oh Yeon-seo, Lee Hong-gi and Jang Gwang. Written by the Hong sisters, the drama is a modern spin-off of the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West. It aired on tvN starting December 23, 2017, every Saturday and Sunday at 21:00 (KST)

I saw this series and fell for it immediately because of its fantasy theme and ghost fighting scenes. However, I kept watching it for different reasons.

What I love about the show:

1) A love story between characters who is not a match made in heaven.

In the series, Seon Mi thought she found a love bell. When it rings, it means you found your match made from heaven.

However on episode 15, she found out it was a death bell. It rung cause she and Son Oh Gong have ill-fate: one of them must kill each other.

Growing up, we are all used to the idea of having a happy ending with the right one. However, in this series, they show us a couple who learned to love each other unconditionally, who is not a match made in heaven or someone less compatible.

So instead I emphasized that to have a long lasting relationship, it needs a foundation of friendship, commitment, and transparency or open communication.

I love the plotline of their love story because it teaches people that they can make their relationship work and they can change their fate even if. And in the series, Jin Seon Mi and Son Oh Gong did change their fate somehow.

2) Jin Seon Mi’s character, who can seee spirits, ghosts, and more. Her story is personal and familiar to me. I just love her tenacity to live and fight for what’s right. I appreciate her character growth in the series and she still did her job regardless.

3) Son Oh Gong’s character is always one of the reason why I’m drawn to certain stories, series, and movies. He is a well-crafted, complicated character. An arrogant monkey king who learned to care, to love, and to be human. It’s always those complicated people that someone tends to love once you get to know them.

4) Well-created and loved characters. I’m not just talking about the main characters but I practically love everyone on the series. They all captured my heart and have grown attach to them.

I personally care for all those characters and have cried with them through their loss, pain, and grief and have celebrated with them through their happiness and victories.

5) Chemistry between the actors are superb. In this show, majority of the actors have worked together before in other series. So the chemistry definitely worked wonders.

The actors Lee Seung Gi and Oh Yeon Seo has a really great natural chemistry. I’ve been watching Korean Dramas for 15 years and I’ve never seen a chemistry like theirs with other Korean actors.

If season #HwayugiSeason2 happens, it would be a big mistake to pair them up with other people due to reincarnation. It’s just unacceptable. Better forget that season 2.

Of course, thanks to the actors’ compatible personalities (I guess that’s cheating when they’re playing someone who weren’t a match made in heaven), work ethics, professionalism, and hard work.

They just truly know how to make it work on screen. Their chemistry, connection, and compatibility is so palpable. It is very rare. if I am a casting director, he should take advantage of that and not let it go. Not making them work together again is very premature and mediocre. 😘

I’ve got to say chemistry is just a catalyst of a relationship but it’s not a reason to get together. It is so easy to create with someone. You can even have chemistry with a killer, or a psychopath. Then again, chemistry is so easy to create or even fake.

So if they are going to create a show and you want a successful partnership like theirs, you should put two people together like them always. A typical chemistry, is lame, boring, and overrated but not these actors. Their skills, talent, values,

6) I love the whole Hwayugi soundtrack. I’ve never watched a korean drama where I love all the songs except for this.

7) Storyline/ Plot/ Twists. At first it started light, funny, and mysterious and then as we get deeper into the story, it gradually became darker and serious. There are so many moments in the story that surprised me. The way they’ve set up the world in Hwayugi is so effective and so when the plot twists appeared it worked well in the story. They we’re smoothly done.

What I don’t like is not all about the series.

1) Unsafe Set for actors and staff and irresponsibility of those who are accountable.

I truly don’t want to get into this but I have to.

One of the staff who was hanging the chandelier, fell and was paralyzed. It is truly such a horrible and unfortunate event.

Because they’ve truly change the life of this person for the worse.

What truly upsets is the way they’ve handled this incident. It is somehow similar to what happen here in my country recently.

I don’t blame the actors, I blame the production and the management. I don’t hate them but one family will live with the consequences of their mistake for the rest of their life.

2) Cliffhanger Ending. I’ve seen most of the work of the Hong sisters. And this one has a cliffhanger ending. I’m so disappointed with the ending because of all the korean dramas I’ve watched, this is my favorite.

Other korean dramas compared to Hwayugi are The Lonely and Great God – Goblin and Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo.

Goblin and Scarlet Heart are great series and are very popular as well. It is much loved by the fans just like Hwayugi. But Goblin wasn’t able to hold my attention and I was too busy in the hospital to catch all the Scarlet Heart episodes.

But since all ended in an open ending. I guess one cliffhanger is more than enough for me.

It’s been 2 years since Hwayugi ended and a lot of us, the fans, are not over it. We really want a season 2. Even the Hwayugi petition is still alive. I just signed it 2 months ago and when I got back to it, over a thousand was added.

Season 2 should truly happen and they should level up the writing and the criteria especially if they’re also airing the series interntionally.

If they borrowed this from Journey to the West, they could certainly borrow from Greek Mythology or create their own and add the story as well of the samjang-like person who is protected and loved as well by her guardian.

Another thing is when I am studying writing, we were taught that a cliffhanger is fine but doing it all the time, is disrespectful and an insult to the viewers or readers.

Majority of Korean Dramas have cliffhanger or open endings. It is probably part of their culture.

3) Similarities with other korean dramas.

There are certain shots, and little details I’ve noticed that is similar to other korean dramas. I truly wish they’ve changed it or they should have done the scene differently.

So that’s my review for this one of a kind korean drama. I highly recommend it. It’s so worth it. You won’t regret watching it.

An Interview with Elizabeth A. Lance

Elizabeth A. Lance is a young adult paranormal, regency, contemporary romance, and steam punk author. Her works are The Regency Collection (series of short novellas), The Agents for the Crown Series (A Regency Romantic Suspense series), The Soul Mates Series (A YA Paranormal Romance Series), and The Goddess of Love Series (Mostly contemporary with a hint of Greek Mythology).  If you click her name, it will lead you to her amazon page. To know more about her work and where to contact her, you will find her networking sites below. She would love to hear from her fans.

I gathered Miss Elizabeth as quite accommodating, kind, fun, and cool person and I really love her attitude in writing which inspires me with my writing too.  Read her answers to get to know her more.

QUESTIONS

CL: If there’s something you want your readers to know about you, what would it be?

Hi! I’m Elizabeth. I met my soul mate the summer before my high school senior year in 1988. We were married three and a half years later and have been together ever since. Relationships,  even those with your soul mate, take work. Over the years we’ve discovered that communication is the key. And to never go to bed angry. My relationship with my husband is one of the reasons I write soul mate romances. I truly believe that there is someone out there for everyone.

CL: How did you come up with the idea for your Soul Mates Series?

My Soul Mates Series came about while I was working in an elementary school. Twilight Breaking Dawn had just come out and all of the Fifth and Sixth graders were reading it. (Okay, so was I 😁) Anyway, one of the young men in the sixth grade class and I were discussing the story and he made the comment, “I wish someone would write a story like this with a guy as the main character.”

Now, I had been writing for years, mostly historical romance, and had attempted to go the traditional publishing route, but hadn’t gotten my foot in the door, quite yet. It was also right around the time Amazon started there breakthrough novel contest. I had entered one of my Regency romances and made it to the top hundred. It gave me more confidence in my writing, so when he said that, it hit me…hey, I can do that, and from there Max Fergus came to life.

CL: How did you choose the title of your books? 

Book one of Soul Mates is called Scent. I didn’t actually have a title when I started writing,  but scent was very important in the story, when Max finally meets Anna, her natural, wild scent envelops Max and it is what woke his inner shifter, like calling him home.

Book two, Bewitched was so named because Tony finds himself completely under Jillian’s spell, and she is a Sorceress, so it was fitting.

Book three, Magic breaks from the Male perspective and is Abbey Fergus’ story and takes place many years after book two. Unlike her brother Max, Abbey learned early on that she had magic, but it was important to show how that effected her, which is why the story is told from her point of view.

Book four, Hunger takes us back to the Male perspective with James, who is a Lycan. I named it Hunger, because James has an appetite for a lot of things, so seemed appropriate.

There is a short story to go along with Soul Mates Hunger, called Soul Mates Origins: Lycan Legends. In Hunger, James tells a shortened version of the story of how the Lycans came into being. Origins gives the real story.

Book five, which I am currently writing and hope to have published by the end of the year, is called Fire. It is Thomas` story. Thomas is a fire-breathing Dragon shifter. In Fire you will get a better feel for the Never Never, and the Goblin Realm, and you will see a return of the Queen of Air and Darkness, as well as the introduction of other Fae rulers.

Books six and seven are of course not written yet, but I do have names for them. Book six is called Rose, and will be from Max and Anna’s daughter Roses (like her father, Rose is both shifter and Fae) perspective, and book seven will be called Ice, and is Talriktugs (Rik, the bear shifter from Alaska, for those keeping track) point of view.

CL: Are any of your characters based on someone you know? How did you come up with them? 

Max and Anna are loosely based on my husband and myself. Brandon,  my darling husband, is blond-haired and blue eyed, and athletic, while he didn’t play football in high school, I do have pictures of him as a kid, from when he played and my imagination filled in the rest. I, of course, am not Canadian, and only have a little bit of French ancestry in me, but I took three and a half years of French in high school and I’ve always loved the language, so Anna, got me with a twist 😁. The relationship between Anna and Max is very much like my husband’s and mine. We had an instant connection and talked about marriage the first night we went out. From that night on we were practically inseparable. We rarely argue, but of course every relationship has hard times, we just try to resolve those conflicts quickly and do our best not to focus on those, but on the positive. You don’t really see a lot of conflict between Anna and Max, maybe a little bit in the beginning because of jealousy,  but they deal with it quickly and it melts away, because they continue to communicate. They are partners and their minds and souls are attuned to each other.

Rose, who you briefly meet in book three, and again in book four, is loosely based on our daughter. Very similar personalities between them, both are sassy and smart.

James, book 4 hero, is very loosely based on our son, funny, sarcastic, fiercely loyal, loves to eat… yeah that’s our boy 😃

Gareth, the Goblin King ( book three, Magic and book five, Fire) is of course highly influenced by the late, great David Bowie 😍 and Beast Boy from Teen Titans 🤩

The rest are probably composites of many people I’ve met, know or want to know.

CL: Who is your favorite character in your book and why? 

Oh gosh, don’t ask me that! That is like asking me to choose a favorite child or Book! But if you twist my arm, it’s gotta be Max… hello, based on my favorite person in the world, so yeah, but James and Rose are right up there too, for obvious reasons 😉 And, ok… Gareth, the Goblin King… because, well… he’s  the Goblin King!

CL: Describe your writing process.

I don’t write from an outline, I just have a basic idea of what the story is about. I am what some authors refer to as a by the seat of her pants writer. I  never know exactly what is going to happen, I just start typing and it happens. Of course, this means I don’t just sit down and write things out in one quick go. More like erratic spurts of creativity. So it takes me a bit to get books out. Bewitched was actually the fastest book I’ve ever written and that is because I was doing Nanowritmo that year, and was completely insane for a month! My family walked on eggshells and kept me supplied with chocolate, but it’s not an adventure I’d like to repeat, so I take my time writing now. The family is much happier that way. 😃

CL: Who are some of the authors who have influenced you? 

When I first started writing,  I was inspired by Laura Matthews,  Anita Mills, Georgette Heyer and Victoria Holt who also wrote as Philippa Gregory (I think I spelled that correctly, forgive me if I didn’t,  it’s been 30 plus years since I read her work) I fell in love with the Regency and Victorian Eras because of them. They write/wrote strong heroines and heroes, and scenes that are/were very visual. I wanted to do that too, so I strive for that in each book I write.

By the time Harry Potter and Twilight came out, I had kids and I was working with tweens and teens. So I’d have to credit J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyers for influencing me to write paranormal stories.

Other influences would include Gail Carringer (Regency, Victorian Steampunk), Janet Evonovich, and Laurell K. Hamilton.

I would also love to include some of the Indie authors who inspire me, and amaze me, Sarah Hall and Nicole Thorn coauthor some of the best stories I’ve ever read; Skye Knizley’s stories always include strong heroines and lots of action, which I love! Faith Marlow, who writes a twist on Dracula’s love life, is another inspiration. And Shyla Colt who writes hot MC romance is one of my favorite indulgences. Oh, and Bryan Tann and Kindra Sowder, fantastic apocalyptic futuristic writers, I love their work too. Oh, and L.A. Johnson’s Syfy is funny and quirky and just leaves me grinning like a crazy person. And funny, and quirky takes me to Marianna Thorn and her Skyler Wolfe mystery series oh she makes me laugh so much!

There are so many writers out there that I love and adore, I could spend all day on this! Through my career as a writer and editor I have been lucky enough to work with and read some awesome talent. If you want more reading suggestions, I can probably direct you to some fantastic talent in just about every genre. 😀

CL: What made you want to become an Author?

I have been an avid reader since I discovered Ramona Quimby in first grade. I was the girl in school who always had her head in the clouds and her nose in a book. I discovered my love for writing and telling my own stories in ninth grade English class with a creative writing project that let my imagination soar. Once I had a taste of it, I never wanted to stop.

CL: What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?

Read. Read Everything. And study sentence structure, trust me, it’s important. Notice the details in everything, not just books, but life. Study conversations and how people phrase things, and habits, and dialects. Research, learn new things, be inspired, stay positive and don’t pay attention to the critics, because they will try to suppress your creativity. Be You. Write what you know, and if it’s something you don’t know, then learn it. Most of all, have fun with it. Take joy in it. If you do, it will show in your work, and leave your readers with a smile.

What would you like to say to your readers?

Thank you. Thank you for reading, for enjoying the worlds I create, for gushing over my favorite characters, and for wanting more. I write because it makes me happy, having you love what I write, is beyond words incredibly humbling. I am forever grateful to you all.

CL: That concludes our interview. 

EL: Where you can find me and my books:

http://smarturl.it/ElizabethALance

http://elizabethannelance.wixsite.com/elizabethannelance

http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethAnneLance

Twitter @ElizabethALance

 

An Author Interview with Mika Jolie

Mika Jolie is a Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit and Contemporary Romance Author from New Jersey with her husband and their two children. Her other interests are gardening, hiking with a camera slung on her shoulder, and knitting.

She is a woman with a passion for life.

Her published works were The Scale, Need You Now, and Tattooed Hearts called the Martha’s Way series.

Here’s my interview with Mika below.

CL: How did you come up with the idea for Minka?

Minka is actually based on several events that occurred in my life. One was a conversation I overheard in the gym between two very thin women complaining about their weight and there’s one of my closest friends who had a long battle with her weight.

CL: How did you choose the title?

(Laughs) Well, The Scale makes sense. I know it’s not a typical romance title, but The Scale fit. I was actually asked to change it by someone and I said no.

CL: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

There’s a piece of me in each one of them. I don’t know if I can say favorite, but I can say who is more like me and that would be Lily.

CL: Describe your writing process.

I have an admission, I can’t start a story until I have the title. Weird, I know. Then I need to understand my characters, their personalities. Once I have those two, I can start writing.

CL: Who are some authors who have influenced you?

I have an eclectic taste. Anita Shreve and Truman Capote are two of my favorite authors. I have a thing for Bella Andre as well, Nora Roberts, Maya Angelou. So many.

CL: What made you want to become an Author?

I’ve been writing for a very long time. I’ve always loved books. I just love bringing characters to life and have a reader connect with one of my stories.

CL: What advice would you give to other aspiring writers?

Stay true to yourself and don’t be generic.

CL: Thank you.

Mika: Thanks so much for the questions.

Where to get information and to follow her: Website, Facebook, and Twitter

30 Things I Wish I’d Known 14 Years Ago

I’ve been planning to write this post for a long time and I dreaded writing it too. I can’t believe I’m writing this post now because it would mean I’m past the age of 30. For me being over 30 means – being an adult, I should have accomplishments and I should be equipped with experiences and hardships that will help me solve problems or get through challenges in the future.

Why did I fear writing this post?

Because I made a lot of plans that I told myself I want to accomplish before I turn 31. Those plans didn’t work out the way I planned them, but I’m okay, and at least I’m on the right track now. I’m only listening to my own drum. I’m doing what I should have done five years ago. All these years, I gathered experiences, and hardships that taught me a lot and made me grow to the person I am now.

So here are the things I learned for 30 years that I wish I’d known before I got into college.

1) Decide for yourself or they will. I learned this the hard way. I learned it when it’s already too late and I’ve wasted already more than ten years of my life. This is very  heartbreaking for me and you have no idea how many times I’ve beat myself up for this. When I was younger I told myself, I will let my parents decide for me, but I will not let them interfere with myself. Eck! Wrong! Big mistake! I know myself better than my parents, I shouldn’t have let them decide my career for me. I should have listened to my heart desires than consider what they want for me. You need to decide for yourself, or you will have regrets, and you won’t be happy with your life.

2) Control your life. It won’t be easy I’m sure, but as you grow older you become equipped to handle more problems. De-clutter your life with things you don’t want and need, so you can focus on your goal such as becoming a doctor, or a screenwriter. Don’t do other things that won’t serve your goal and your purpose.

3) Build your dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs. I will apply this to my experience back in 2011. I should have focused on completing that story I entered in the Nanowrimo writing competition after assisting my cousin with her thesis. That heartbreak paralyze me and triggered the dark side of me. One thing I’ll always remember and look back on because on that day is I also found the people who sees my dream as important as oppose to people who don’t. My cousin, she deserves what she’s got in her life because she’s determined, hardworking, and she didn’t give up on her dreams. While I gave up on that writing competition when one of my Aunts told me that what my cousin is doing is important.

4) Surround yourself with positive kind people. It all goes without saying that negative people, attracts negative things, and everything they will tell you is that you can’t do this, you can’t do that, for a number of reasons. They may know the odds, and the statistics, but they don’t know you, they don’t know the core of your heart, the degree of your passion, the depths of your soul, and the extent of your will.

5) Be kind. You can never go wrong with kindness. We all have our own crosses to bear. We’re all going through something hard. Receiving some act of kindness can lessen that burden at some point, and at some point. Or it could mean the world to someone who is on a breaking point.

6) Families don’t hold you back, they lift you up. Family doesn’t always have to be blood. So keep those people around you who lifts you up and supports you and loves you at your ugliest and crappiest time. And ignore those who are just there for you when you’re in the highest and happiest point of your life.

7) Forgive seventy times seven. If you live your life being angry, you can never move forward. It’s like living everyday with a body full of poison. Your interaction with other people, with your job and how you see life is also affected by that poison. You will hurt other people, you might make mistakes on your job, and you will never get to enjoy life because of your views. However, if your body, mind, heart and soul is clear. You will have good relationships, you will perform well on your job, and you will get to enjoy life.

8) The most important relationship you have in life is the relationship you have with yourself. ~Diane von Furstenberg. The fact is I’ve wasted some years of my life being a victim of bullying and being a pushover. The bullying, I didn’t fought any of them because I thought those people are a waste of my time, but I should have defended myself at some point. As for being a pushover, I should have been more firm and assertive of what I wanted in life. I should have taken care of myself, my wants and needs. My professor once told us in our Ethics class, “You are your own best friend.” So listen to that inner voice or your inner goddess (haha..), and do what you need to do.

9) You can never figure out who you are, and you can never reach your potential, if you don’t leave your hometown. I’ve always wished, I worked harder to fly away and spread my wings, like that song Break Away by Kelly Clarkson. I know for sure now, that I’ll be more useful and productive, if I leave the current life I’m living for good. I’ve been here for the past 30 years and it ain’t productive and great at all. The people I’ve known had spread their wings and are having the time of their life.

10) Everyone makes mistakes, but learn from them, then let go. This is one of my weakest. It’s always hard for me to let go of my mistakes. I often punish myself for my mistakes like I don’t deserve to be happy or even celebrate my birthday because I’m such a loser, and I made so many mistakes. Well, I realized that my mistakes won’t define my whole life and I do remember and know for sure that I’ve done more good things in my life. It’s just that in our world, families and friends, even strangers remember and focus more on your mistakes more than the good things you’ve done.

11) We all don’t know everything. This is a very good advice for me because I tend to be a know-it-all most of the time. I’ve learned along the way that I should never share my opinion if nobody asked it and vice versa. If I don’t ask you, don’t tell me. Instead learn to listen. Listening will help you learn and understand more the situation and the people around you.

12) You cannot be right all the time. This is a very big part of my personality. I always want to be right, but I am just not right all the time. And it’s okay. Being wrong sometimes, it’s an opportunity to learn something new.

13) Being an adult means not having the last word. Remember all those petty debates and arguments you had with someone? Avoid them, and let them have the last word. A birthday is our physical age. There is a term called mental age. You can never win an argument with someone who’s got a different mental age as you. Why? Because that younger person is also not equipped yet with experiences, and understanding that will make them grow and mature. They are just not equipped yet to understand you. If they are older than you, you are just not equipped yet to understand them. So don’t do it, it’s a waste of time. Our physical age is different with our mental age.

14) Never change anyone to become like you. We are unique people. This came from Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). Memories, words, and thoughts means differently to us. We have our own truth, upbringing, and world view. So never force your experience, your truth, your way, your belief on anyone. We can only inspire, and motivate, but don’t impose. Don’t be self-centered and say that your way is the best way and the mature way. It’s just not. It’s a fact of life that we have our own ways always, but of course, we do collaborate with other people from time to time.

15) Don’t be afraid to be yourself, to be different, and to be weird. I am such a late bloomer because I was so afraid to be myself. I mean there were times, I could be myself, but I have more experiences of hiding myself because I’m afraid my family won’t approve and I will get bullied in school. Being myself, being different and being weird is very hard for me. Expressing myself is very hard for me. Because I’ve been bullied most of my life and there were a lot of moments at home where I showed my true self, and it was frowned upon by my parents. One of the reasons why I prefer to be alone.

16) Be open minded. This is like a continuation of #14. Each of us have our own point of view or world view, and perspective. We should be respectful of other people’s perspective. Being able to understand and have more perspective than yours is a path to enlightenment and more ways to solve problems and go through challenges.

17) Family over money or your job always. I have a dream, but I’ve always promised myself that I will make time for family because I don’t want to miss the important moments. I love the idea of doing my dream for the rest of my life, but I can also be a full time mom. I heard from a close friend in college before that they hate the idea of giving up their work to become a mother. First and foremost, giving up work doesn’t always mean forever. Those children will grow, and you have to go back to work again or you can do both. I know a lot of people doing both and are great in it.

18) Focus your mind on what’s important and you will get your goal, your dream. Our brain has a delete button to clear our minds, clean it and make it easier for us to function or use our brain. It’s like gardening. If you think more of what’s important to you like your job or your dream, it will get enough water and oxygen, and the ones you don’t think about or use less, are the weeds that our brain will clean. So if you focus your mind on getting revenge on someone rather than your studies or your job, well, now you know why you failed or why you lost that job.

19) Have true friends rather than having a goal of 10,000 Twitter and Instagram followers. True friends are the ones who were there for you through thickness and thin. The ones who listen and give you advice, and vice versa. And most of all the ones who helps you become a better person, the best version of yourself, and the ones who helps and teaches you to grow. I will always choose to have one true friend rather than have a hundred fake friends.

 20) Don’t be a victim of circumstances. Whatever bad happened to you, don’t play the victim for the rest of your life. Pick yourself up, dust yourself, take control of your life and move forward to the life that you want and the goal you want to attain. This is also one advice that I needed to be knock over my head a thousand times before I finally got it. Maybe I still need to knock myself with this sometime.

21) Have boundaries. This is something I should have learned ever since I was a little girl. If you don’t have boundaries, people will take advantage of you. If you don’t have boundaries, you’ll end up focusing on others’ need other than yourself.

22) Learn to say “No”. You need to say no, and understand that you don’t have any obligation or responsibility to say yes to them. Saying no, means you have something on your plate, and other people should respect and understand that. In real life, no means no. Besides the last thing you want is blaming someone else for what you did because you said yes to them even if you don’t mean it. Saying no is not an offense to them as well. You won’t lose friends by saying no. If you lose them, they’re not real friends in the first place.

23) Admit you’re wrong and live the consequences. If you’re the kind of kid who was raised to blame other people or their situation, stop it right now and understand this. You make your own decisions, so be responsible enough to live the consequences and don’t blame others. This is unproductive. It will destroy your sensibility, credibility and your relationship with other people.

24) No matter how much you love your job, have time for family and friends. These last few days, I just told myself that I want to give all my time to writing. Then I flashback to the 2012 movie. The author in the movie lost his wife and his children because he’s too busy with his writing. So I changed my belief to that first sentence. Never lose those relationships and if you don’t have one, make some friends. Your job is important, but your family is more important.

25) Have your time alone. A lot of people don’t understand this and mistook it for being snobbish, being selfish, being choosy with friends and more. I have a friend who used to think that being alone makes you look pathetic. I told her being alone, allows me to do what I want to do, have great ideas, and to recharge myself. Having a time alone is an opportunity for a reality check, meditation, spiritual enlightenment, and a chance to listen to our inner voice. It is a chance to grow. Check out this TED talk. I’m an introvert. I think a lot. I contemplate. Most important of all, I meditate. I listen and observe people. I can enjoy quality time with friends and family, but my time alone is very important to me. In our time now, especially with the social media and the millenials, being alone equates to being an out cast and not part of a cool group. So what?

26) Live with the best version of yourself. I’ve met a lot of fangirls and boys who worships those actors like their Gods. I’m a fangirl too but I never said I want to be Scully, Tauriel, Tracy Strauss, Gretchen Lowell,or Zelena (Women I’ve like from books, shows and movies). Instead, I said I want to be like them. They are strong, beautiful, smart, powerful, influential, sweet, and caring and yet badass at the same time (except Gretchen Lowell). My life doesn’t depend on them and it shouldn’t. They are my inspiration and motivation to become the best version of myself and to pursue my calling. Live for you and not for those actors. That’s how life is meant to be.

27) Love is a choice. Growing up, I’ve romanticize love so much. If you read my blog it’s quite obvious how I’m such a hopeless romantic. I believe in chemistry, compatibility, lovemap, and more but yes love is a choice. Our relationship starts, ends, and lasts as a choice. We don’t just choose someone because of chemistry, it’s a matter of life and death, compatibility, and because of our lovemap. We choose the person we think and believe is the right one for us. A relationship will end or will last if we choose to stay.

28) Don’t wait for the perfect moment, take the moment and make it perfect. I was always the opposite of this quote and I’ve realized that my belief is wrong. If I keep waiting for the perfect moment, life, chances, opportunities and people will pass me by.

29) Approach everything with childish enthusiasm. We live in such a fast-paced life that we don’t have time to enjoy the little things like a sunrise, a sunset, or a blooming flower. We need to enjoy each day and live in the moment. You don’t know when you’re going to have that moment again. This is one of my favorite moments from Under the Tuscan Sun. “Never lose your childish enthusiasm and things will come your way.”

30) Give yourself a break. As a child, I always believed that being an adult is being serious all the time. All work and no play. Now as an adult, I realized that we need our childishness to last being an adult. According to a research, a person who doesn’t take a vacation gets burn out and becomes less productive to the company. While a person who goes on a vacation, will come back to the company fresh, full of ideas and more productive to the company. If we take our lives so seriously all the time, we might get committed. Trust me, I’ve had my moments..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Myth of Hades and Persephone

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When I was young, I’ve been reading and watching about Greek Mythology. However, it was only in grade school, that I encountered the story about Hades and Persephone. I love the fact that they stayed loyal to each other no matter what.

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PERSEPHONE was the goddess queen of the underworld, wife of the god Haides (Hades). She was also the goddess of spring growth, who was worshipped alongside her mother Demeter in the Eleusinian Mysteries. This agricultural-based cult promised its initiates passage to a blessed afterlife.

Persephone was titled Kore (Core) (the Maiden) as the goddess of spring’s bounty. The name Persephone means murder or to destroy and in other references the one who eats the light.

In other myths, Persephone appears exclusively as the queen of the underworld, receiving the likes of Herakles and Orpheus at her court.

Persephone was usually depicted as a young goddess holding sheafs of grain and a flaming torch. Sometimes she was shown in the company of her mother Demeter, and the hero Triptolemos, the teacher of agriculture. At other times she appears enthroned beside Haides.

Persephone’s Personality

Persephone is extroverted, curious, joyful, bright and sees the goodness in everyone. She can empathize with others easily. She is loving, caring, but feisty, strong and firm at the same time. She is also well-behaved due to Demeter’s strict upbringing. She is innocent and somehow wise beyond her age. She is elegant, confident and a formidable woman. She can see and understand things that surprises the Gods and Goddesses around her. Through her marriage with Hades, she became more confident and a woman of strength. Hades eventually became friend, her motivator, her anchor and her pillar of strength.

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HAIDES (Hades) was the king of the underworld and god of the dead. He presided over funeral rites and defended the right of the dead to due burial. Haides was also the god of the hidden wealth of the earth, from the fertile soil with nourished the seed-grain, to the mined wealth of gold, silver and other metals.

Haides was depicted as a dark-bearded, regal god. He was depicted as either Aidoneus, enthroned in the underworld, holding a bird-tipped sceptre, or as Plouton (Pluton), the giver of wealth, pouring fertility from a cornucopia. The Romans named him Dis, or Pluto, the Latin form of his Greek title Plouton, “the Lord of Riches.”

He is also known as Zeus Melichios and Snake God. It is due to this moniker (Zeus Melichios) that made others believed Zues had children with Persephone. It was said that Hades ravished Persephone under the guise of the snake and where she gave birth to twins Melinoe (Goddess of Ghosts, daughter of Hades and Persephone) and Zagreus (God of hunting and rebirth, son of Hades and Persephone). Makaria (Goddess of blessed death, daughter of Hades and Persephone) is another child of Hades with Persephone. Then there’s Ploutus, which is said to be Hades or Zeus son, but some sources say that he is the son of Demeter and Persephone’s younger brother. There isn’t enough information about him though.

Hades Personality

Hades is introverted, calm, cool, collected, confident, and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He likes being feared by others and has a morbid personality. He is strict when it comes to the souls in the underworld. He is handsome, dark, brooding and mysterious. He doesn’t like the other souls bypassing their punishments while other souls are paying for their sins. He doesn’t like breaking the natural order of things such as life and death. After marrying Persephone, her influence made him a god that benefited the mortals. She brightened up his life and the underworld. Mortals began to see him as a giver of grain, minerals, and other necessities produced from the earth.

How did Hades fell in love with Persephone?

Before Hades and Persephone fell in love, the fates Cloho, Lachesis and Atropos threaded Hades and Persephone lives together. 

Here’s how Hades fell in love:

Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. 363 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :

“Tyrannus [Haides] had left his dark domains to and fro, drawn in his chariot and sable steeds, inspected the foundations of the isle [of Sicily]. His survey done, and no point found to fail, he put his fears aside; when, as he roamed, Erycina [Venus-Aphrodite], from her mountain throne, saw him and clasped her swift-winged son, and said : ‘Cupido [Eros], my child, my warrior, my power, take those sure shafts with which you conquer all, and shoot your speedy arrows to the heart of the great god to whom the last lot fell when the three realms were draw. Your majesty subdues the gods of heaven and even Jove [Zeus], subdues the Gods of the Sea and him, even him, [Poseidon] who rules the Gods of the Sea. Why should Tartara (Hell) lag behind? Why not there too extend your mother’s empire and your own? The third part of the world’s at stake, while we in heaven (so long-suffering!) are despised–my power grows less, and less the power of Amor [Eros]. Do you not see how Pallas [Athena] and Diana [Artemis], queen of the chase, have both deserted me? And Ceres'[Demeter’s] daughter [Persephone], if we suffer it, will stay a virgin too–her hope’s the same. So for the sake of our joint sovereignty, if that can touch your pride, unite in love that goddess [Persephone] and her uncle [Haides].’ So she spoke. Then Cupido, guided by his mother, opened his quiver and of all his thousand arrows selected one, the sharpest and the surest, the arrow most obedient to the bow, and bent the pliant horn against his knee and shot the barbed shaft deep in Dis’ [Haides’] heart.

The myth of Hades and Persephone also has different versions. The one below is close to my greek mythology book at home and other references.

In this one Demeter was present when Persephone was kidnapped by God Hades but was tricked by Zeus and Hades.

That morning when Demeter descended on Earth with her daughter Persephone , she left her to play with the sea nymphs called Nereids and the Naiads who were the freshwater nymphs of the lakes, springs and rivers.

Demeter went to supervise her bountiful crops. As Persephone engaged in play and with the rest of the group, her attention fell upon the potently fragrant valley nearby and she couldn’t take her eyes of the yellow flower narcissus. She called upon her playmates to accompany her, but they couldn’t possibly go with her as leaving the side of their water bodies would result in their death.

The flower Narcissus was planted there by Gaia, who was following the orders of Zeus. The goal was to enchant Persephone and attract her, away from her guides.

So, Persephone danced her way to the garden alone and tried to pluck the narcissus from the bosom of Gaia. It drained her energies as the narcissus only came out after a lot of pulling. But suddenly, to her utter fright, she saw the tiny hole from which she had drawn out the flower shaft, began to rapid grow in size until it started to resemble a mighty enormous chasm.

From this came the vigorous galloping sounds of multiple horses and such sudden happenings only froze the frail beauty to her feet. Out of all her friends only the naiad Cyane tried to rescue the crying Persephone but she was no match for the powerful Hades. Bereaving her friend’s kidnap, Cyane melted into a pool of tears and formed the river Cyane at the spot.

Persephone’s mother, Demeter, begged her brother Hades to allow Persephone to come back to the livings, denoting that the young Persephone was not supposed to live in the underworld. Hades consulted with Zeus and they both decided to allow Persephone to live on earth for six months each year, while the rest of the time she would be on his side in the Underworld.

Band Persephone is associated with the coming of Spring and Winter: When Persephone comes to the Earth, it’s springtime. When she descends to Hades, it is winter.

WHAT HADES OFFERED PERSEPHONE IN THE UNDERWORLD ACCORDING TO THE HOMERIC HYMN TO DEMETER

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360 “Go, Persephone, to your mother, the one with the dark robe.

Have a kindly disposition and thûmos in your breast.

Do not be too upset, excessively so.

I will not be an unseemly husband to you, in the company of the immortals.

I am the brother of Zeus the Father. If you are here,

365 you will be queen of everything that lives and moves about,

and you will have the greatest tîmai in the company of the immortals.

Those who violate dikê will get punishment for all days to come

—those who do not supplicate your menos with sacrifice,

performing the rituals in a reverent way, executing perfectly the offerings that are due.”

370 So he spoke. And high-minded Persephone rejoiced.

Hades abducted Persephone but this is how he treated her in the Underworld. She was well taken cared of, she is Hades’ equal in power and made her the respected Queen of the Underworld. Hades treated her as an adult contrary to the sheltered life Demeter gave her. Demeter is overprotective with Persephone to the point that she forbids her to explore so much but Persephone has a very curious personality. Even as she aged, Demeter had dressed her as a child making sure to keep her in her side.

Persephone was afraid of Hades but slowly those fears diminished because was the only who with the opportunity to see Hades’ soft side. She got to know him and found that he is sincere with his love to her, he is patient and he treats her as her equal. He waited on her hand and foot and treated her as an adult woman to be cared and wanted which made her appreciate and fall in love with him.

As Hades gave her the pomegranate seeds, she was fully aware that anyone who eats the food of the underworld should stay they there even a Goddess. She ate six seeds knowing she was bounding herself to him. For she was intrigued of being a queen and she enjoyed her freedom from her mother and position as a queen. She realized that the underworld, the souls, the other Gods and especially Hades needs her, needs her light. Still, she misses her mother and her previous life. As an adult woman she accepted and embraced her fate. Considering the fact, that yes she lived a sheltered life but through Demeter’s over protectiveness of her that she taught Persephone everything to make sure she will be careful.

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME?

Persephone may have been afraid the first few days, but her experience wasn’t enough to psychologically trauma her and made her desperate to the point of thinking that Hades is her only way to live. She may be innocent and naive, but she’s strong and defiant or resilient as a Goddess. Surprisingly, there was a mutual attraction between them and they have a peaceful relationship. They are very open to each other.

Hades offered her position, power and riches which she refused at first. She changed her mind days after when she realized that she could no longer be under her mother’s shadow and she could do a lot of things as the Queen of the Underworld.

At first, when Hades offered her to eat, she refused for she knew from the start that eating in the underworld will bound her to him which is why she punished him by not eating anything for days. She only ate at the supposedly last day in the Underworld before Hermes could her back. In fact, it was Hermes who gave Hades the idea. Hades told Persephone, “If you love me, you will remember me by eating this (handing her the pomegranate.”

She ate the seeds one by one, telling him at the same, “(I love you)very much, very, very much.”

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Below is somewhat close version to the original. There are so many versions and spin-offs that people are not aware of the real story.

Who are the women in Hades life and who are the men in Persephone’s life?

According to Servius: Leuce, a nymph, is Hades first love. He abducted her and when she died, he turned her to a Poplar tree in Elysium also known as sacred crown (Poplar leaves). Poplar leaves is also sacred to Persephone. A reason was never shared.

According to Oppian, Minthe, also a nymph, fell in love with Hades. In the past, she would always seduce Hades. However when she heard about the abduction of Persephone and that she became the Queen of the Underworld, she was so jealous and boasted that she was more beautiful than Persephone and that she could never please Hades. He will eventually go back to her. It invoked the wrath of Demeter and especially Persephone, thinking no one else should share Hades’ bed but her. She was so jealous and angry for seducing her husband. She stomped Minthe and she was turned to a Mint plant. There is another version of this.

In return, this is what Hades did to one of Persephone’s suitor. Another person who took an interest in Persephone is Primithous. He brought his friend, Theseus, to the Underworld and announce his intentions to abduct Persephone and make her his wife. Hades already knew of his plans. He prepared them a feast and asked them to take a seat on the chair of forgetfulness. And the chair entwined with their flesh. Theseus was rescued by Heracles (Hercules), but Hades kept Primithous in the Underworld as punishment for planning to take what’s his. Another version of this is Primithous was able to leave the Underworld after so many years.

Now Adonis is a different story. Aphrodite gave the baby under Persephone’s care. She felt maternal to the child. When Adonis grew up, Persephone refused to give him up for she treats him as his son, and Aphrodite was in love with Adonis. There was an argument between them and Zeus solved it by ordering Adonis to spend one third of his time in the Underworld, one third with Aphrodite and he can do whatever he wants on the other one third. Hades treated Adonis as his son too. The arrangement didn’t well with Ares, Aphrodite’s other lover. Out of jealousy, he created a boar while Adonis was hunting. He was killed and Aphrodite was distraught. In other versions, Persephone fell for Adonis charms too.

That concludes what I know about Hades and Persephone. I’ve changed my mind with regards to Hades and Zelena. I love them but I love Hades and Persephone story more because they have a better relationship and Hades wasn’t portrayed as a villain. Hades might also have a sour or snobbish personality at first, but Persephone was raised with all the love she could get. She was sensible, well-rounded and she didn’t have any issues to fix. Which is why she was able to change Hades, but not Zelena. I was really hoping that the Once Upon A Time writers had given Hades and Zelena a happy ending.