A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

A Book is a Book: Literary Vs. Commercial

Hello everyone,

What do you see in the picture? Books, right? A book means someone (the author) is trying to give you a message. Trying to transport you to a different place, time, or simply to make you see your own world in a different point of view. The whole purpose of a book is simply to give you a message, to make you think critically, or to make you stop thinking about your daily life, and just drown within its pages. The same for a movie, play, music, painting, or any form of art that triggers something inside you.

But I was astonished to discover over the weekend, while I was taking a self-publishing course, that here in Brazil some books are not considered Literature because they are more commercial or because their writing style isn’t as refined as others. I felt like these types of books were underestimated, as if they weren’t as good or valued as the others.

I always thought we had one Young-Adult genre, where all the sub-genres derived from, however, we have a Literary YA, and a commercial YA. (The names are different in Portuguese but won’t change the meaning of what I’m saying.) So where does this in-between commercial YA lies? Why Brazilians are not publishing Young-Adult novels that are not so refined (but still sends you a message clearly), and are more commercial? Most of the books we consume here are Young-Adult novels that come from English speaking countries, however, we ourselves are not writing them.

Doesn’t a book still have the same value even if it’s simply entertaining, and not didactic or refined, or stylistic more polished? I believe that books, no matter what genre, should all have the same value, because they are all trying to teach you something, entertain you, or make you feel something. The more rules we put on how books should look like, the fewer people will read it, because they will stay within one category. A book is supposed to make you feel fun, silly, courageous, strong, vulnerable, and intelligent. Just like we have different moods and tastes, so should books. Yes, some people think that YA books are silly or for teenagers, but they still make me feel good. Isn’t that the whole point of reading something? Having a good time?

If we want to stop complaining that the new generation doesn’t read that many books, why don’t we stop discriminating books in the first place? If it makes you feel happy, whole, and overall satisfied that is all that matters.

Don’t give up reading,

Fernanda.

Poem Moment

Poem Moment

I was going through my journal and found an old poem I wrote two years ago. It made me realize how some things might seem that will destroy you as if you wouldn’t be able to pass through it. But then, time passes and you are okay, and whole again. We need to remember that we don’t need to put our faith or happiness on people. They should be part of it and grow from it, but they shouldn’t be the source of it. We need to learn how to be complete on our own, so people will come and share their “complete” with you, and more and more will be added to who you are.

With that being said, I am sharing the poem I wrote, because even if it’s not a part of who I am anymore, it was a part of me for quite some time. Some people might see themselves in the poem, or recognize the feelings they are having. So, for those who do I say, “It’s okay, you will get through whatever is haunting your soul, and it won’t kill you. It will make you stronger.”

Unnamed Poem:

To say okay, when you are not okay

To smile, when you want to cry

To pretend you don’t care, when you do

It’s all a mask, it’s all a lie

It’s a cry for help that you are failing to see

I’m hurting inside, how can it be?

That you neglect me when I’m near

Don’t try to find me when I disappear

But if I do, would you miss me?

Or shed a tear and move on quickly

When I would break if you ever left me. 

 

I didn’t break. I’m still here, and so are all of you.

Love,

Fernanda.

13 Reasons Why Review

13 Reasons Why Review

For quite a while, I’ve been deciding whether or not I should post this review of the TV show: 13 Reasons Why.

Some of you may know that the opinions on the show have been pretty controversial, so here goes my personal opinion:

I agree the show has flaws since it doesn’t teach people how to help someone that has been experiencing depression and suicidal thoughts. And yes, the show does romanticize the suicide theme, however, that’s what most shows and movies do: Breaking Bad with the drug business, How To Get Away With Murder with crimes, Beauty and the Beast with Stockholm Syndrome, and so on.

Despite all of this, I actually enjoyed the show. I experienced bullying myself from the age of eight till the age of fourteen, and like Hannah, I felt lost, alone, and misunderstood. Also, just like Hannah, my bullies didn’t see what they were doing as mean and disrespectful, and some may even be reading me right now, and still not realize that what they did was hurtful. Unlike Hannah, I didn’t experience things as mean or belittling, because at a young age the jokes and cruelties were more childish. Thankfully, I always had great support from my mother, who knew everything that was happening, and who supported me and fought for me. Looking back, I know I have changed so much, and I also learned that tougher things in life exist, and somehow my strength was built from it.

With that being said, I am still against bullying, because, while some people might grow from it, others might be crushed from it. We are different people, and we react differently to situations, so people can’t expect that everyone will move on and brush it off. So, I think the importance of the show is to teach people how little things they do matter, and how a joke, a rumor, or name callings can be damaging to others.

The show also approaches a very sensitive and taboo subject: rape, which is extremely important to discuss, since a high number of women—being a teenager or an older woman—experiences it, and feels judged, dirty, and a victim marked by the tragedy. 13 Reasons Why shows the extent of the problem and really shocks its viewers with the violence that it is, so people will understand that it’s not a subject that can be ignored.

For people who want to see it, I suggest you do it carefully. For those in a healthy state of mind watching it can be a learning experience, but to those who are going through depression, the show might shock you in a way that won’t be helpful. If you are struggling with something, I encourage you to seek help. Even if only one person is by your side that’s all the strength you need. Also, you are stronger than you think, and you are not alone.

Taking a Risk

Taking a Risk

Okay, so have you ever had a project that you felt like it was your baby?

That was my book to me. I worked on it on the course of two years, writing it up till four AM, with my headphones on and the whole world off. The funny thing is, the writing was the easiest part. After you write a book, you have to go back and edit it, fixing all grammar, spelling or story mistakes you can find. I probably read my book about ten times during the editing period, and after each person who read it gave me feedbacks, I would go back and fix it some more.

My final draft doesn’t look anything like the first. I’ve changed so many things until I thought it was the best way I could tell that story. I was twenty-one years old when I started, and now at twenty-six I finally had the guts to self-publish it. You know what’s scarier than putting your work out there? Is having someone review it.

Let me tell you, I was terrified of receiving feedback because as I said, this project was so close to my heart that I just wanted people to love it as much as I do. However, we have to let go of that fear and take a risk, because people should know about your work.

I’ve received my first review this week, and for me, it was really helpful. I had some critiques, but they were well structured and clear, which will help me write my next book. When you know your weaknesses, you know where you need to pay more attention to. Even more so, I could see someone else–from outside my own social circle–read, enjoy, connect, and identify with my characters, and that for me is the most gratifying part of this job. All I ever wanted was to tell a story people wanted to hear (or read in this case).

For a girl who speaks English as a second language, to be able to write an entire book in English, and have it published, is something to be proud of. So, if you have a project you are passionate about, but you are not sure people will like it, you should take a risk, like I did, and show it to the world. Like I once heard on a TV show a long time ago, if my art can touch at least one person then I am happy enough.

Take a risk,

Fernanda

 

 

Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block

Hello peeps,

It’s funny how easily we can get caught in the rush of life and forget to work on our personal projects, isn’t it?

Every week I set for myself the goal of sitting and working on my blog, and every week something else came up, something that it would be more important or more urgent, or let’s be honest, I was just tired and didn’t want to think. Who hasn’t felt that way, right?

Also, lately I haven’t been in touch with my creative side. In other words, I’ve been feeling a massive writer’s block, and haven’t been able to shake that feeling off.

I keep saying to myself, “don’t worry, you will write when you feel creative again.” But that just doesn’t happen. You know why? Because writing is a craft. It’s like a muscle that you have to keep exercising to get stronger, even on those days that you feel lazy and not wanting to go to the gym. So the best way to push past this block is to get back at exercising my writing muscle, which is what brings me here today.

I just need to remember to be patient with myself, because the strength and ability won’t come right away. So, today I just wanted to tell you that it’s okay to sometimes feel blocked, or uninspired, or set your personal projects aside for a while. As long as you don’t get stuck in that loop and don’t put yourself together to pull you out of it.

Take a breath, accept that these things happen, but don’t get used to the feeling, work your way back to focusing on you and your goals. And don’t forget, be patient.

Much love,

Fernanda

1/4 of a Century

1/4 of a Century

Hello guys,

So on April 18th, I turned 25, which means I’m one-quarter of a century old. That’s right, I’m not on my early twenties anymore.

But, I’m glad I’m aging because I have been learning and growing so much, and like I always say, change is good.

For this special age, I’ve decided to create a bucket list of 25 things I must do on the year of my 25th birthday.

I’ve written down a wide range of things, from doing hang-gliding to learning how to drive a stick shift, to getting a tattoo. So far I have seven things completed, but I still have many more to finish.

It’s been fun so far, and the best part is that I’ve shared my list with my friends, so not only they help me complete my list, but also I have a commitment of finishing it because other people besides me know about my challenge.

I’ve been reading a book called The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey, and he discusses how in order to be trusted we need to trust ourselves. And sometimes we mine our own trust by setting up goals and not accomplishing them, like for example when we set the alarm earlier to go workout but we wake up, turn it off, and just go back to sleep. This small act is making ourselves less trustworthy, and even worse, is making us stop trusting ourselves.

So, I encourage you to try doing the same thing. You know those things you always wanted to do but was always too lazy, too busy, or just forgot to do it? Write them down now and challenge yourself to complete them. See it as a mission and set a date for you to complete your list.

I bet you will feel more accomplished and empowered just like I have been feeling.

Peace always,

Fernanda

“The One and Only” Girl

“The One and Only” Girl

Hi guys,

 

I’ve written many poems in my life but never had the courage to show or post it for anyone to see, so in my new mantra of trying new things and taking risks, I’ve decided to share this little one.

It started coming to shape in my head in one of my many walks from the airplane to the baggage claim, while I was listening to Teddy Geiger’s song “For You I Will” and it sort of just came to life. Little by little I breathed more soul into it, and I was able to finish it tonight. So I hope you enjoy it and that maybe it touches you like it touched me.

“The Only One” Girl

By Artemis Moon

I’m the girl in a music video,

the one who walks around with distant eyes and a distracted smile.

A thousand worlds inhabit her mind,

but she can’t seem to fit into the one she lives in.

I’m the girl who people say should experience more of life,

but who, perhaps, just feels and sees life from a different perspective than everyone else.

I’m the girl in a portrait,

frozen in space and time as if she doesn’t belong here,

or there, or anywhere.

I’m the girl in an adventure book,

strong and fierce, but not quite real,

not quite tangible, and somehow quite damaged.

I’m the girl whose eyes can scare you,

because they carry the weight of all the expectations her mouth can’t pronounce.

I’m the girl that tries to pretend she doesn’t believe in love,

but who secretly hurts with how the world seems to have forgotten all about the magic of it.

I’m the girl that cries alone in her bedroom about her loss,

but who you will see smiling and pretending to be okay,

because she refuses to look weak.

I’m the girl who feels as if she wasn’t good enough,

when you were more than enough for her.

As if she lacked a secret ingredient,

always blend, always overlooked.

I’m this girl,

I’m that girl,

I’m any girl,

But I’m never “the one and only” girl.