Thursday, 18 February 2016

My Thoughts on the 58th Grammy Awards

The 58th Grammy Awards were held on Monday. This broke the tradition from previous years where the ceremony was always held on a Sunday. Once again, I was not able to watch the live telecast, due to timezone differences, but I have scanned through a recording of it to get a feel for what went down.

Kendrick Lamar had the most nominations going into the show, with 11 nominations including Album of the Year for his critically-acclaimed album, To Pimp A Butterfly. He was followed by Taylor Swift and The Weekend with 7 nominations apiece. All three artists were vying for Album of the Year, but it was Taylor Swift that eventually took home the award for her hit album, 1989.

Other notable wins include Skrillex and Diplo for their collaborative effort, Jack Ü. The duo won Best Electronic Album as well as Best Dance/Electronic Recording for my favorite song from 2015, Where Are Ü Now. The Weeknd won Best R&B Performance for his song, Earned It (50 Shades of Grey), as well as Best Urban Contemporary Album for his album, Beauty Behind the Madness.

Kendrick Lamar cleaned out in the Rap categories, eventually winning 5 Grammys, the most by any artist for the evening. He also gave a powerful performance of his songs, The Blacker the Berry and Alright. This was in sharp contrast to Pitbull, who closed the ceremony with one of the weakest closing performances in recent memory.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

IWSG: Goals and Resolutions for 2016

It's the first Wednesday of the month, and time for members of the Insecure Writer's Support Group to share their writerly insecurities. The group was started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, and those interested in joining in can visit for more information.

Today, I would like to share with the group my goals and resolutions (read: plans) for the year. The fact that this post is coming in a full month into the year serves as an indication of how strapped for time I have been. The combination of a full-time job and studying for a masters degree at the same time is a lot more demanding than I had imagined.

As such, it is high time I find a way to get things under control. So going with that train of thought, my goals for the year are as follows:

Goal #1: Get Organized

I need to start organizing my activities in such a way that I'll be able to allocate enough time for work, school and writing. I've never been one to come up with a strict day-to-day schedule of tasks, not to talk of actually following one, but it seems that is the only way to keep your head above water in this life. So this year, or what's left of it anyways, I am going to start prioritizing my activities. The starting point is ensuring that my work stays in the office. Once that is achieved, I can allocate what I have left of my time to school and writing-related activities.

Goal #2: Leverage Exposure

As most of you already know, my short story would be appearing in the upcoming IWSG Anthology. This would mark the first time that I am working with a small press. We recently completed first round edits, and my fellow authors and I are currently talking promotional tactics. Promotion has never been one of my strong suits, but I am hoping to learn from those in the group with more experience. I also plan on using the opportunity to gain more eyeballs on my existing work, and to possibly have new work by the time the Anthology is released.

Goal # 3: Be Happy (No Matter What)

Last but not least is the all-important need to find unconditional happiness. My year is already off to a great start, with my short story winning a place in the IWSG Anthology, so it is just a matter of keeping the ball rolling. But even if things went south all of a sudden, I need to stay grounded by reminding myself why I enjoy doing the things I do.

And speaking of the things I enjoy doing, I won't be doing the A-Z Challenge this year it seems, mainly because I'll be having exams that month, and I wouldn't be able to allocate enough time for writing posts and visiting other blogs. But I should still be participating in a lesser capacity if I can help it. I'll fill you in with more details as soon as I have them.