Monday 27 January 2014

My Thoughts on the 56th Grammy Awards

For the first time in over a decade now, I didn't watch the Grammy Awards telecast live. But I did follow its proceedings online, and I have since watched the live performances and several choice highlights too. So all in all, I think I have a firm grasp of what went down in the Staples Center last night.

All that said, I can categorically declare this year's Grammys to be my favorite one thus far. And in case you haven't figured out why, it has a lot to do with the two guys in robot helmets pictured above. Daft Punk made music history last night by becoming the first electronic act to take home Album of the Year.

Not only did the French electronic duo win top honor, they also took home Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their song Get Lucky, and Best Dance/Electronica Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical, for Random Access Memories. In total, they won all five categories they had been contending for.

But it wasn't all Daft Punk last night. The 17-year-old New Zealand native, Lorde, won Song of the Year for Royals; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won awards for Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for their song Thrift Shop, as well as Best Rap Album for their album, The Heist; while Pharrell Williams took home Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.

As for the other main attraction of the evening, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Imagine Dragons and others all gave stellar performances. Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams took the stage with legends Stevie Wonder and Nile Rodgers. Another standout was Pink, who performed Try and Just Give Me a Reason, with her signature high-wire acrobatics. You would think that the whole circus act routine would be old by now, but no. Instead, she never fails to impress.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

IWSG: Goals and Resolution for 2014

First off, Happy New Year everyone! Secondly, it's time for another round of Insecure Writer's Support Group posting. The IWSG was started by Alex. J. Cavanaugh. The group posts every first Wednesday of a new month (with a few exceptions like today). In these posts, members express their writerly insecurities, or provide much needed encouragement, or both.

Right. Today being the first IWSG posting of 2014, I'll be going over my goals and resolutions for the new year. I've been setting such goals since I started blogging three years ago. But last year, I was unable to meet any of my goals (save one) due to certain key changes that took place in my life. So for me, 2014 is all about finding that crucial balance. That said, the following are my goals for 2014:

Goal #1: Be Happy (no matter what)
I am moving this goal to number one this year because of that temptation to neglect it in pursuit of my other goals. So, once again, whether I become the next J.K. Rowling or not, and my series is adapted into a six-movie blockbuster franchise or not, I'll be sure to keep a smile on my face through it all, come rain, come shine.

Goal #2: Write
I am still in the middle of Proxies, a science fiction serial I've been working on since 1998, believe it or not. It's high time I gave the story the attention it deserves, especially since it is one that is ripe with so much potential, and that I am pretty excited about. And once that is done, I'll need to keep those creative juices flowing by delving into other worlds that are just waiting to be delved into.

Goal #3: Publish
Last year, I did very little to expand my virtual shelf space. And my overall visibility (not to mention book sales) ended up suffering the consequences. With that in mind, my ultimate goal as a writer is to come up with stories that are not only worth telling, but worth reading too, and to make those stories available to their target audience in the shortest time possible.

Goal #4: Market
I know I said something along this line last year, and ended up doing absolutely nothing about it. So once again, I must accept the fact that I'll need to take a more proactive approach in helping my books find their target audience, rather than leave everything to chance. It is getting increasingly harder for self-published writers to break out. Some form of promotion is needed to get noticed, now more than ever.

So there you have it, my goals and resolutions for 2014. I hope by the end of the year, I'll be looking back and checking everything I just outlined off my checklist. But whatever happens between the next 12 months, I'll be sure to give it my best shot, but never at the expense of living life to its fullest. After all, in the words of Tallahassee, we must never forget to "enjoy the little things."