I Thought My Voice Was Too Small

Even in these four years of consistent blogging as well as an extension of my spoken word/musical moniker, I didn’t expect to have an impact even if it wasn’t overreaching.

I am still quite small in this microcosm and thought my voice would match the lack of height.

Perhaps my voice was bigger when I see and hear responses.

Replies from around the world have given me solace.

Inspiration takes wing for those covering multiple topics.

Maybe they soared like the ospreys in my moniker.

Maybe I spoke louder than I thought.

Then again, everything sounds louder when one has been silenced for so long.

Some positive things despite the insanity of the world: African travel vlogs, traditional Burundian drumming, and Hikaru no Go song covers

 

I know things are still very intense in this world. I’m not ignoring them at all. This is just a slight change of pace. I had some rough emotional moments earlier this week, but I’m better now. It’s been amazing by getting some encouragement from offline and online friends recently. Here are some things that I thought were fascinating recently.

 


I’ve been getting into Miss Trudy’s videos a lot over the past few weeks. Miss Trudy is a Kenyan YouTuber who makes travel videos mainly of different African countries. I checked out some of her videos on Sierra Leone and Liberia among other countries and I was astounded by the beauty of those nations. That’s the Africa they NEVER show you especially in the West. Here’s one of her videos where she’s in Freetown (the capital and largest city). Also, did you know Freetown was actually created by freed African slaves from America, the Caribbean, England, and Canada? I thought that was very fascinating.

Burundi has been one country I didn’t pay too much attention to, but I have to thank Miss Trudy as well as Dr. Y. for exposing me to more things about that country. One cultural tradition in that country is their drum corps. These drummers carry on a legacy dating back centuries when Burundi was a kingdom. The drummers would play for the king and they had their own unique rhythms. This was wonderful and I even picked up the live album of the Drummers of Burundi on Bandcamp where they played at Real World Records which is owned by Peter Gabriel.

I got back into the anime and manga series Hikaru no Go this year. It was one of my favorite series during my high school years, and after rediscovering it, HNG still holds up. Seriously, if you think all anime is nothing but martial arts ultraviolence, collectable monsters, or hentai, then please rethink your priorities. I found a cover of the 2nd opening theme “I’ll Be the One” by HAL that was performed by this Thai singer named MindaRyn. I thought she did a great job at singing this song. This was almost as good as the original in my opinion.

Besides all of that, I’ve been having some thoughts about what to post, but I’m debating about having it here or on my other blogs involving different topics.

Hope you all are doing well today.

Some things that made me smile a bit very recently

I’ve been feeling anxious and sometimes depressed over the past few days, but there have been some little things to make me a bit better. This isn’t some major post, but just some things that I found to be interesting.

Snarky Puppy:

I heard of this band when I binge watched/listened some Tiny Desk Concerts while doing some online work. They are certainly talented and I’ve been checking out more of their music recently. Fans of jazz, funk, jam bands or just instrumental music in general should definitely check them out. I’m also going to reference a certain meme…Snarky Puppy isn’t a real puppy. Bonus points if you know that reference.

Cameo:

Some of you know I’ve been on a bit of a funk trip recently. I’ve known about Cameo for a long time even though they were big before I was born. Yes, I only knew them for “Word Up” for the longest time, but I realized that they have so many other good songs or how some R&B and rap songs that came out during my childhood sampled their music. Listening to this song did spark a memory because the “strawberry, raspberry…” line was sampled in Mariah Carey’s song “Loverboy” back in the early 00s. However, I prefer the original version of  “Candy”.

TK Cooper Vs. Chuck Mambo in a social distancing pro wrestling match:

The indie pro wrestling scene has been hurting due to the virus, so some of them are doing funny and creative things with their talents. Exhibit A: The Social Distancing Match. Samoan-New Zealander wrestler TK Cooper and British wrestler Chuck Mambo have a YouTube show and tag team called Escaping the Midcard. Since they can’t be in an arena let alone be less than 6 feet apart, they choreographed a match in their respective homes by themselves and edited the footage to make it look like they’re hitting each other. The results are hilarious! Also, Eddie Dennis makes a cameo. It’s not meant to be serious, but I’m sure people might find it to be at least a little bit funny.

I hope you’re doing okay, everyone!

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?

My Reasons Why

My Reasons Why

This was a huge delay, but I need to make this post.

The wonderful Kimchisama created this award tag called My Reasons Why. This was innovative and something that can spread positivity around. I can certainly use some more substantive positivity, to be honest. Thanks, Kimchisama! I was honored when you nominated me and when you specifically mentioned how we had great conversations about different things on her blog.

Here are the rules for My Reasons Why:

1. Mention the person who nominated you

2. List 13 reasons why you keep going/living (This is borrowed from the book but I’m taking it the opposite direction).

3. Nominate 10 or more people to give their reasons why.

4. Use the picture that Kimchisama created as seen in this article.

Here we go!

1. My literary projects: When I got into writing stories 4 years ago, I realized that I had so much untapped creative potential. I finally got to release some of my books.

2. The Ospreyshire Project: This current spoken word/avant-garde music project I’ve been working on for 2 years has been a great creative progression.

3. My family: I’m glad that they support me and have helped me out.

4. My friends I still talk with: I’m glad to have some good friends who still want to reach out. Since I don’t have social media, this is huge and it lets me know who my real pals are.

5. Independent and foreign cinema: I’m glad there’s quality movies outside of Hollywood. That and I get to review them. Hee hee hee…

6. Books: I’m able to read things even if it’s mainly non-fiction.

7. Learning: Despite having a degree, I had to know that learning doesn’t end. That and I want to teach others about what I know.

8. Open-minded people: It’s amazing seeing people who actually care about others.

9. Miso soup: Okay, this is a superficial one, but I can’t say no to that soup especially on the rare occasions where I have Japanese food. Hahaha!

10. Being certified to teach adults: This was very unexpected, but I was able to get certified last December.

11. Geography: I enjoy learning about other countries and cultures.

12: The blogging community: I tackle tons of topics with all of my pages. It’s a miracle there are people actually interested in what I have to say.

13: My newfound assertiveness: I was always an internalizer, but blogging helped me express my feelings with people online and real life more often.

I hereby nominate the following:

The Zone of Nerders
Jenn
Xena
AfroSapiophile
Brandon Knoll
Elleguyence
Joshua Stamper
Madekesiworld
Mechanical Anime Reviews
Joshua Hedlund

Korisa’s Significant List Trailer

Some of you may have remembered me mentioning my friend Korisa a while ago. Yesterday, she started a YouTube channel where she’s doing a project called The Significant List. It’s a really cool idea and I want you to hear it from her in this video. I’m stoked that this project is going to be a reality. Also, I did the ukulele music at the end of the video. Seriously, please check out Korisa Madayag’s work.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXg4DuBIS7DeNU-4dVWomQA

https://vimeo.com/kmad