Representation Matters Pt. II: “But why don’t you make your own characters?!”

Here we go, everybody. I’m thankful that there were bloggers who liked the first blog post in my Representation Matters series on the Ospreyshire blog. I wasn’t sure how people would take to my thoughts and personal experiences, but I’m glad there are those willing to read about them.

Let’s get to part 2 of this series.

I mentioned this in passing, but I remember seeing/hearing this quote which I see as a retort for those who have legitimate gripes with either the lack of (positive) representation or racial stereotypes: “Make your own characters!”. Those same people who say that are those who don’t have to deal with being derogated by their complexion en masse, let’s be honest here. It really shows an entitlement which inadvertently proved that study about TV watching in that previous post right if you really think about it.

Oh, I decided to heed those words, but not for the reasons that they would expect.

Some of you know this, but I have written multiple books. I have covered multiple genres and book formats such as novels, novellas, novelettes, and cell phone novels. One of my goals when I started writing the first Revezia book back in 2014 was to come up with multi-ethnic casts. With that particular series, it deconstructs and inverts so many tropes and cliches associated with fantasy, fairy tales, and one might argue a certain “canon” of sorts. The main character of the first book Terminal Rescue is Shamakani. He’s a black prince who leads a search/rescue operation for various healers in the area, is a talented swordsman, and he has a serious attitude even though he can be too serious at times to his detriment (I’m not going to write a Marty Stu character). In that series alone, I have protagonists of all ethnic groups and walks of life and that’s also the same with Hollandus Landing which is the first part of my cell phone novel series (It’s also free if you want. Just saying.). It was exhilarating creating these characters, but even then, I still had to be respectful. I’m thankful to have grown up in a multiracial city and I’ve talked with my friends to see if something was okay or not when it came to writing characters outside of my ethnic persuasion. This may sound cheesy, but I wanted to have that sense of humanity by having dynamic characters who are a certain ethnicity instead of just having their race define them. Trust me, there’s a difference.

Recently, the character I created who really helped increase my self-esteem a bit is Kasamba from Revezia: Sika Uvira Chronicle and the Revezia Electrum trilogy (Sika Uvira Chronicle is also free). Kasamba is a DIY inventor who can create various gadgets. He’s very intelligent, but also self-loathing and underestimates his own genius. Instead of being some muscle-bound freak, he is on the thinner side and uses his smarts and inventions whenever he is in a bad situation. I gave Kasamba some quirks like being really into indie movies while giving internalized snarky commentary on the state of mainstream films in a wink wink nudge nudge kind of way. His name is actually Tshiluba (a Congolese language) for “To Console” because writing him was a consolation to me and he’s able to do so for others in ways he doesn’t realize. After finding out I was of part Congolese descent, I thought I would incorporate that into this character and even his environment. He’s from a modern city on planet Revezia, has lots of decent technology equivalent to what we have on earth currently, and there’s not an ounce of poverty porn in his hometown! Not everything in Africa looks like mud huts, war zones, jungles, or the Pride Lands, GOT IT?! I’ve never even been to the continent and even I know that.

I guess by me creating my own characters, stories, or even art, this was therapy of sorts for me. I felt empowered by making some wonderful characters that I hope others could appreciate. If one person tells me that they really liked this hero or that hero especially if it’s someone like them, then I’d be beyond blessed. I would encourage you to give it a try even if it’s just a short story or drawing your own original characters if you ever felt that way. Mainstream media wasn’t going to placate me, so I have to take things in my own hands through my fiction, music, poetry, etc.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. What are your thoughts on representation? Have you felt like you had trouble relating to so many fictional characters? How do you discuss the concept of positive representation to others?

Fandom As Idolatry

Cel-created characters and comic strips have become gods
To those begging for heroes in their psychological wanting
Living vicariously through fiction
When it caters to those who look like them (the most)
Schisms erupt between various incorporated sects
There is no reformation in those attempts
Theme songs become worship anthems
Movie quotes become scriptures
Cons become congregations
Regardless if the followers believed in an Elohim or not
The irony is strong for different reasons
Even when it comes to real people, they become deified
Not realizing they would soon prove to be quite mortal in some time
Who knows? Maybe what I’m saying is blasphemous.

Slower Blogging Ahead…

For the month of November, I’m going to be swamped with so many things. There’s work and me participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for posting new content on here or my other blogs, so I won’t be as active as I once was.

In the meantime, you can download my newest single: https://ospreyshire.bandcamp.com/album/diletanttism-end-of-a-decade-single

You can download some books from NoiseTrade: https://books.noisetrade.com/cmbbell

I guess versatility pays off? I’m a recipient of the Versatile Blogger Award!

Versatile Blogger Award

This has been a positive few days for me. Just recently, I was awarded the Versatile Blogger Award from Raistlin0903. Thank you so much, Raistlin! It’s good to know that I’m a quality blogger and versatile in different subjects whether on this blog or my other ones.

Here are the rules for this particular award:

-Display award
-Thank the person who gave this award (and include a link to their blog)
-Share seven things about yourself
-Nominate bloggers of your choice

Without further ado, let’s get this started!

1. Poetry/Lyrics: Since I’m on the main Ospreyshire blog, I might as well talk about it. I’ve been writing poems and lyrics since I was 11. I didn’t actually write “real” songs until I was older. With my current project, I thought it would be an awesome vehicle to get this artform out there but with an avant-garde edge.

2. Multi-Instrumentalist, but what instrument is missing? I’ve been training to be adept at multiple instruments when it comes to songwriting and performing. Interestingly enough, I have never used a guitar for Ospreyshire. This was on purpose. I don’t hate guitars since it’s one of my better instruments, but I wanted to see what I can create without one of the most common instruments out there.

3. Cinema in multiple languages. Yes, some of you know about my film review blog Iridium Eye. I’ve covered movies from six different continents and dozens of countries around the world. It is a fusion of my love for geography and movies as I wanted to escape the Hollywood doldrums. I’ll spare you a list of every country that’s been covered by Iridium Eye so far, but here’s a list of languages that have been spoken in the movies I’ve reviewed so far. English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Mandarin, Persian/Farsi, German, Dutch, Amharic, Kurdish, Turkish, Arabic, Serbian, Afrikaans, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hindi, Hebrew, Italian, Gaelic, Korean, and Danish. That’s not even counting stuff I haven’t reviewed.

4. Reading (whenever I can). I do enjoy a good book. Interesting fact, I’ve been able to read since I was 1 1/2 years old and I’ve enjoyed reading whenever I could. Granted with work, I haven’t been able to as much. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been reading a ton of non-fiction especially in regards to social issues, geography, lesser-known parts about history, and race relations especially with the African-American and Native American experience. It was fascinating learning about all these subjects and I certainly become more “woke” as the cool people say these days.

5. People think I’m extroverted. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The thing is I do work with a lot of people and I’ve had previous experience with public relations and customer service. I do like being around my friends whenever I can, but I’m really introverted. After dealing with a lot of people, I have to decompress whenever I go home. Even then, I just get on my grind by working on various creative projects like music or fiction or coming up with new content for any of my 4 blogs.

6. My first (real) start at fiction was microfiction. I tried writing stories when I was younger, but I am quite disappointed in the concepts I came up with. When I heard about microfiction (stories under 1000 words) a few years ago, I gave it a try. Some of them are on my writing blog such as this one about an invincible superhero having a bad day, a futuristic story involving people looking at social media accounts from the present, or a story involving a snarky dragoness dealing with a delusional knight. It’s a fun form of writing, and I encourage people to give it a try. If you have the TaleHunt app, you can find me @tocsinchronicle. Just sayin’.

7. I used to be a hardcore gamer, especially fighting games. This was actually a thing going on in my life. To be honest, I haven’t been into current games due to other interests taking precedence, but there was a time I was big into video games. Shoot, I still own a Dreamcast to this day. I was into different genres, but my favorite genre was fighting games. Back in my younger days, I could beat people in games like the first two Marvel Vs. Capcom games, Virtua Fighter, some of the Tekken games, King of Fighters, Power Stone, Project Justice (AKA Rival Schools 2), and various Street Fighter games (SFIII: Third Strike was my favorite and the most underrated game in the franchise). That was my jam back then.

Now that I got this out of the way, I hereby nominate the following bloggers…

Moyatorium
Travel Itineraries
The Drabble
Anime Q & A
Bipolar Online Blog
Medieval Otaku
Karandi
AfroSapiophile
Irina
Lunarian Thoughts

Thank you!