The Joys and Pains of a Foreigner

Have you ever gotten frustrated by an obstacle which seemed small at first, but you can’t figure how to go about it?

That is exactly how I feel right now.

When one is a foreigner living abroad, it appears that the immigration service finds every excuse to not let us thrive and advance professionally. It’s so annoying… 

Background story: As many of you know, I am a foreign student schooling in Spain. Up till now, I didn’t have any necessity to find a job (financially speaking).  But as I’m growing older, I want to acquire some professional experience and, why not, make some extra bucks.

Look. I am fluent in 3 foreign languages. Also, my CV is overloaded with qualifications, trainings and extracurricular certifications… I have the required skills wanted for the jobs in my field and I’ve received offers from institutions who really wanted to work with me. But… 

My only hindrance is a freaking piece of paper: let’s call it the “Immigration’s green light”, a.k.a a work permit. The funny thing is, to get the work permit from them, I need a contract from a company. And to get the contract from a company, I need a work permit. In summary: They’re freaking toying with us, right?

There are small part-time jobs like tutoring or cleaning, etc which don’t need papers, but they don’t pay enough to make a decent living. So, except you’re from the European Union, the rest of us have to go through “the Overseas Aliens’ Transit Regulation”. (Excuse my language, I probably lost it out of annoyance, haha). Based on the absence of that sheet of paper, (even as a highly educated noncitizen) you are either forced to leave, or to stay in the country and not amount to much, or to sweat it (and buckets) before you can become anything substantial.

Because of that “system”, today was another failed interview for me. You know, that feeling when you’re in love with someone but the family is against you… Something like that. Worst thing, I woke up with a back pain today so I’ve been walking half-bent like a crab. Great… Awesome day…(sarcasm). I’ve chosen the title “Joys and Pains of a foreigner” because I didn’t want to scare you guys… And also because I decided to take all this positively.

By the way, when I’m feeling nostalgic or downcast, I like to play on Youtube some old songs from my childhood, or my favourite K-drama OSTs. Skillet also does the deal… When I got back home after the interview, I felt so deflated. I listened to “Saint Seya’s” opening theme and “Cat’s Eyes”, “Jayce et les Conquérants de la Lumière”, “Nicky Larson”, “Ken le Survivant”, “Sankukai”, amongst others (links below). Not only the lyrics are so corny, but the melody and the bad visual quality make me laugh so hard. And the reactions in the comment section are hilarious… Especially, the video for “Sankukai” is an antic…

Those songs from old mangas are full of warm memories. They remind me of when I was carefree and living comfortably in my family nest. Now I’m an adult living alone abroad and paying bills… Hehe (sarcastic laughter).

Anyway. My New Year resolution was to not be pessimistic. Where there is a will, there is a way. I must keep fighting for my future and to accomplish my goals. May God help us all.

Any expat friend here who can relate? You can comment below, I’d be more than glad to hear from you! 

Aside from that; maybe you’re reading this and you’re going through another type of difficulty. I’d like to share these encouraging words with you too. Whatever it is, let’s not give up! Let’s keep it up, let’s keep trying! We will knock until we get the right doors to open. Just like the lyrics say in “Jayce et les Conquérants de la Lumière”, “Si tu ne perds pas la foi, tu trouveras la voie.” (If you do not lose faith, you will find the way).

By the away, tomorrow in Zaragoza we celebrate San Valero, the holiday that I previously mentioned in the post on my New Year’s wishes. I’m thinking about writing a short article about it (with my personal quirk touch, without fault). Stay tuned!

Warms regards,

Nuna Blomevi.

The enchantment of Storytelling: A magic charm to move hearts

The links to the resources mentioned in this post are available at the end of the page.

Some stories are born when someone sincerely pours his/her heart out, and some others are craftfully edited to manipulate.

Some months ago, as I was on the job hunt, I made some peculiar findings. I was looking for vacancies related to translation, content writing and copywriting. Then I came across an interesting term called “storytelling”. Let’s look at it from these two aspects: its use and its purpose as well as its functions.

1- Use

In a certain way, it is a writing technique used to make a story sound sensational and more stirring than it originally is (or should be). With a great dose  of embellishment and a touch of exaggeration, the purpose is that the said narrative should be able to shake the most unmovable rocky heart.

Fine! That’s great stuff. I should apply it to my novels to make them more exciting”, I said to myself. I did some further research to know more about the methods applied. In the course of that, I discovered that not everyone has candid goals as I do. I somewhat knew that storytelling is utilized a lot in marketing and advertising (if you noticed, some ads just don’t make any sense); however, I was horrified to learn that it is widely used in politics to create effective electoral campaigns. My excitement immediately melted away like butter. Funny enough, the opposite word for “story” is “truth”…

This is dangerous”, I thought. “If we fall for a well-written scenario and we vote for its candidate, we might actually put that person into power based on a convincing show.” No wonder the world is at it is. If the candidate is a good person, what a relief. If not, the country is doomed…

People are not people… It’s recommended to not believe everything that we hear or that we think we see. We don’t know what happens inside their homes, in their private lives. We only see what TV and the Internet grace us with. And if they are corrupt but powerful enough to cover things up, we might only get to find out about their evil deeds a hundred years later when journalists record a documentary about it (or reveal the innocent ones who had been framed.) . Some writers and movie producers also try to warn us through books, series and TV shows when they cannot warn us directly. One of my favorite quotes is from Virginia Woolf: “Fiction here is likely to contain more truth than fact”. It represents so well the main characteristic of our modern era, where it’s hard to distinguish genuineness from manipulation. Our world’s characteristic has always been “a bit of truth, a bit of fiction”. It’s hard to tell what’s what.

The laws that rule our countries and daily lives are passed by a small group of people in a small room, and they come out to tell us what was decided. The only power that we have is to choose who goes inside that small room (for those who don’t live under a dictatorship, of course). We elect them after meticulously scanning their words, lives and portfolios through their campaigns and speeches. We put faith in their promises, hoping they’ll improve our countries and therefore make our lives better. Electoral campaigns have now become like courtship between lovers: “If you marry me, I promise I’ll make you happy. I will never make you cry.”(Well, experienced people know that nothing is more unsure).

Frankly speaking, we can’t really choose wisely even if we’d like to. It would be convenient if there could exist an instrument to measure sincerity… A sincerometer? (Goodness… I said that word randomly, but I googled and it does exist, though that machine hasn’t been invented yet).

2- Purpose and functions

The main intent for storytelling is to exert an influence on and / or to suscite a certain reaction in the reader (interestingly, the word “influence” etymologically means a power or a flow that can change someone’s behaviour or destiny). Of course, there are other goals as well. Let’s look at each one.

  • On this earth, human beings are not eternal. Be it through literature, music or graphic art, we pass down the legacy of our lives from generation to generation. Coming to think of it, we are able to create a certain sense or eternity by remaining in history.

Remembrance. It might be faint in comparison, but it is the ultimate form of immortality that we humans have reached. When we pass away, we will not be present to witness how well-remembered we are or if we are not forgotten. Nonetheless, we don’t want to leave this earth without at least having the comforting feeling that someone we left behind will think about. As many people as possible, the better. It’s one of the reasons why we perpetuate stories. And the best of all the stories we leave behind is the story of how we lived.

  • Another reason is that we tell stories to leave traces of things we cannot or do not want to say openly.
  • Lastly, elaborate brainpowers use stories to subtly change people’s minds. While some have good intentions, some of them can be dangerous…  I was reminded of Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf”. We all know the disastrous consequences that it provoked. Just the thought of it made me shiver… And wonder: did he change people’s minds, or did his writings make stronger the secret convictions they already had in their hearts unconsciously? Both he and his followers had the firm conviction that they were in the right, even though their beliefs brought a bloodshed. Ironically, when I searched the book on Google just this week, 80% of those who read it like it… which implies that after all that happened, there are still people who agree with him today. 80%… By the way, why is his book still being sold freely up till now?

That is how powerful someone’s influence can be. On how many occasions did we change opinions because TV or social media said so? Or buy something we didn’t plan to? Or come to like / dislike something we didn’t before?

Even more, we are thinking creatures and talking creatures, so it is impossible to live in society without exchanging points of view with others. Our convictions are made or broken everyday. Emotions and intentions are invisible forces imprinted in all that we see, hear, or what we say or do. And they hold a tremendous power of influence.  Our bodies are static, but thoughts and ideas are dynamic and constantly shifting, causing societies to mutate. And the more powerful someone is, the more their opinion prevails over the rest and leads them to dominate other people.

In previous centuries, we used to complain that we were subject to obscurantism and we fought hard to break free. Nowadays, artificial intelligence, advertisements and algorithms dominate our lives and dictate our behaviour. Probably, it’s just the methods that are different…

Leaving the socio-political scene and coming back to literature , I am personally not fond of works that contain a lot of gore, violence or nudity, both as a reader and now as an author myself. The amusing detail is that they are usually classified as “adult content” (seems to imply human nature gets worse as we grow old).  I’m not criticizing preferences here, but only expressing opinions.

Whether it is from sincerity or manipulation, no text is effectless. Like little magic spells, they will suscitate either hate or admiration (just to name a few emotions). Be careful of what you set your eyes on, and what you expose your heart to. And if you write, may your works bring good influence unto humanity. As an aspiring writer myself, I feel the weight of that responsibility. I hope my writings bring out good.

Forever overthinking, forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

Storytelling

1- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storytelling  some of its purposes: Using narrative to manage conflicts/ Using narrative to interpret the past and shape the future/ Using narrative in the reasoning process

2- https://vilmanunez.com/que-es-storytelling/

3- 4 P’s of Storytelling: People, Place, Plot and Purpose. https://vimeo.com/blog/post/storytelling-the-stillmotion-way-part-1/

4-https://www.harvardbusiness.org/insight/telling-stories-how-leaders-can-influence-teach-and-inspire/

Commentary on Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own”.

1-  https://www.sparknotes.com/lit/roomofonesown/themes/

2-https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/811265-at-any-rate-when-a-subject-is-highly-controversial

Age of enlightenment vs obscurantism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

Etymology and origins of the word ‘influence”

1- https://www.universalis.fr/encyclopedie/influence/

2- https://dicocitations.lemonde.fr/definition_littre/14523/Influence.php

3- https://www.etymonline.com/word/influence

Spanish Wishes for the New Year

Corner The Talking Brain Puerto Venecia

Finally!

The end-of- year celebrations are over. I get to have my first real day off since the holidays started. As an expat living alone abroad, I originally planned to spend the festivities by myself, but I got so many invitations that I went here and there, celebrating from house to house. Instead of spanning as “The Grinch” or “Home Alone”, my holiday season became “All I want for Christmas is you”. I tell you, it’s important to extend one’s social circle.

Until yesterday, I socialized, laughed my lungs out, slept, tv-binged and food-binged. (Now I am praying for discipline to go on an “effective” diet). I am not a difficult individual to satisfy. Including clothes and expensive perfumes (hehe), I find joy in these little pleasures in life. And personally, after going through certain bitter experiences, I have learnt to laugh and enjoy good moments while I can. 

In Spain, Christmas is not over until the 6th of January. From Nochebuena (24th Dec.), Navidad (25th Dec.), Nochevieja (31stDec.), Año Nuevo (1st Jan.), to Reyes Magos (6th Jan.)…  Spaniards commemorate “Los Reyes Magos”, the visit of the Three Wise Men to Jesus. Here, it’s also the day children receive their gifts. (Yesterday, I was at a get-together with some friends and we exchanged presents. I received a new bag, yay!).

Every excuse is a good reason to celebrate in this country. I heard that 29th January is also a holiday, “San Valero”. It even falls on Friday, bless God. Then we have 5th March, Easter, 1st May and many more all year long…. What a nice country to live in! They are the best at balancing work and rest. I’ve lost track of what we celebrate and why, I’m just happy to stay home or hang out. By the way, I  share videos about life in Spain on my Youtube channel. Please pay a visit, like and subscribe. Gracias! (I also created a special page on this website where I publish pictures of all the countries I’ve visited. (Click here to view Travel Gallery).

Oops… My bad. I got excited and forgot the main reason for this post…

Happy New Year, dear CTTBies! Health, Success, Happiness, Peace, etc. Amen, amen…

Ok, I will skip the usual protocol wishes, I’m sure you’ve already heard them a lot . Pardon my crudeness, you know I’m brutally honest and pessim… uh, uh, realistic. 

2021… We’re not sure what you will bring, but we are ready to take you on (since we’re already exist in this harsh world, we don’t have a choice but to keep going anyway, hehe). We are strong, we will bend but not break. There will be annoying days, but there will also be bright days. You might pick on us, but we won’t mind you. We will go through it and carry on with our lives. We will be firm until our very last breath, as we see you and other years pass by. That’s life. And we are humans, the strongest, ever-adapting creatures on planet earth. We always find a way out of the maze once we set our minds to it. And as long as there is food, housing and our loved ones with us, we can bear through anything. (My personal form of self-encouragment).

New year, bring it on! Maybe I should take that out, let’s not challenge the Universe.

On behalf of Corner and I; we want to thank every one of you who take their time to visit our blog and read our posts. We also want to express our gratitude to all of our followers. Thank you for accompanying us on this journey! We are grateful for your time, attention and affection. Thank you!

Happy New Year! Feliz Año Nuevo! 

 Besos,

Nuna and Corner Blomevi. 

Change that one thing you don’t like about yourself: New Year’s resolutions

29th Dec. Recap. 

2021, 2021, we’re eager to see you. Like escaping a sinister maze, we’re running away from 2020 with the hope that you’ll be a better year…

I have always been amazed by that thing called hope. Even in the worst situations, we unconsciously believe that one day the bad season will end and that things will change. As one of our basic instincts for survival, hope is a powerful defense mechanism that keeps us going in life in spite of the daily difficulties we may face.

Funny enough, I suck at “hoping”. I have an extremely pessimistic personality that constantly imagines the worst case scenarios. Contrary to those super positive people who have a smile on their faces all the time, I have to make a HUGE, conscious, monstrous effort to avoid drowning into negativity.

As I paid attention to my life, I realized this. Every single bad event that I imagined would happen came to pass. Just like Job said in the Bible, “the things that I feared the most came unto me” (NPV: Nuna’s Personal Version, hehe). That’s when I began to be afraid of myself…. And of my pessimistic mind with gloomy imaginations that seemed to attract unfortunate events. 

Of course, it’s not just because you imagine something that it will happen. In the same way, it’s not because you’ve not thought about it that it won’t happen.  Our world doesn’t operate on fixed rules, and there are thousands of variables that influence every second of our existence. What’s bound to happen will happen anyway.  However, let’s not add fuel to the fire and make it worse with negative perspectives. If bad things can happen on their own, don’t make your life more obscure by worrying about what could occur to make your life miserable. At least, in your mind, try to dream about nice things. It might not make you control the Universe as you wish; but believe me, it will make your existence a whole lot sweeter. 

Life is difficult? Yes. But depending on your attitude, you’re one step away from making it better or bitter. Let’s call it “the improvement mindset”.

Challenge for the new year 2021: “Change one thing about yourself”. This year, it’s not only about going to the gym or learning a new skill. It’s about a change in attitude. Yelling, cursing, complaining, gossiping, backbiting, overworrying, we all have that little thing which we know could make a difference if we could just get rid of it. Are you ready?

As for me, this is my resolution: I’m going to change my life by changing my perspective. 

Warm regards from a fellow life warrior!

Forever overthinking, forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

A Grinchy Christmas: overcoming loss and celebrating life again

A sweet and sour post, specially dedicated to lonely souls.

18/12/2020, a life recap.

As I was walking on the street today, I stopped at a traffic light to cross the road. I raised my head and looked around. Crowded shops, busy people, our town was bubbling. The queues waiting to enter stores or restaurants were endless. Pandemic or not, life must go on, it seems. I thought people might find it difficult to celebrate 2020’s festivities. Due to the Covid-19, we’re all a bit grinchy this year, but I guess human beings are good at adapting.

This year I really thought hard about how to celebrate Christmas. It’s not the first time I’ll be alone, but this year the feeling is different. I am ready for it.

When I looked at the happy people on the street, I thought: “Christmas is supposed to be a happy occasion, but it’s not always the case for everyone. There are some people somewhere who aren’t going through their best moment right now”.

Christmas celebrations made me reflect on the stages of life; it took me some years back.

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed the end-of-year celebrations. The gifts, the food, the cozy home atmosphere… Just like any child, I totally loved it. That’s the magic Christmas has, that special time of the year that we spend with the ones we love the most. A sacred period. It’s our society’s designated time to cut our hectic world some slack.

Well, it’s not exactly true every year. I remember, after that peaceful period of my childhood years, my family faced a stormy period due to one of our members’ serious illness. Then, the following end-of years, we faced death, the parting of a loved one. I was just a teen back then…

That’s when my feelings towards Christmas changed. “Arrrgh… It’s this time of the year, again. I hate Christmas so much! And all the new year festivities or what not. I wished the year would end quickly.” Hearing carols got on my nerves and decorations made my eyes itch. The allergy was severe…. I put extra effort in hiding in my room until the Christmas season was over and people stopped bothering me with their celebrations.

Many years have gone by, and our mourning has passed. We will never forget the hard memories, nor forget those who left us to a better world. Nonetheless, our hearts have healed since and we are stronger to continue the journey of life. After the tears, the living must go on living, they say.

Because of those past wounds, I always have on my mind people who have time during the Christmas season and New year. Whether it’s sickness, death, or any other difficult circumstance, my heart goes to them. Like a magic spark that flies in the wind, I hope my thoughts and sympathy can reach them. Like in cartoons, let us all gather some warmth and transmit it to them in these days, so that they receive the strength to make it through and come out victorious and stronger. Yes, the nightmare will end. Let’s say a prayer and light a candle for them. I’m sure people did it for my family too.

Back then, I cried so much that it felt like I was shedding tears of blood. I cried till my lacrimal glands emptied; my eyes got so stiff from the dryness. In those days, when people used to tell me that tomorrow would be a better day and that my tears would dry up one day, I was too torn to believe it. “Yeah, right. They’re just saying whatever to comfort me.” I hurt so much that I thought I would die too. When the pain pierces your heart through and through, it’s hard to believe.

Now I believe it. And I am more mature to smile at the future, no matter what happens.

I have survived my painful past, and I have grown into a beautiful adult. And now, I like Christmas again. Today, I was jumping on the streets like a deer, going from shop to shop and my eyes enlarged, all frenzy looking at the items. Gosh, everything was so nice and the stores smelled so good (I went to buy cosmetics). Oh, the divine fragrances! My lungs were so blessed today. Every woman has a shopping weakness; mine is expensive perfumes or similar scented products, aka exotic shower gels, shampoos, detergents or hand washes. (I bought three different hand washes today…)

Truthfully, as an expat living alone abroad, away from all family, I dread this year’s celebration a bit. (Last year I was sick with a bad flu so I wasn’t really in the state to worry about parties…). In past years it was harder, but I’m getting used to it now and I think I can pull it off. I used to get invited by friends to join their family celebrations, or  I “located” other friends who live alone like me and organize joint celebrations. This year I’ll skip. I’m in a “Home Alone” mood. I just feel like staying home. I’m going to break that everlasting law that says that we have to be agglutinated for Christmas. I just want good food this year…

Plot twist: I got invited by some friends last minute, and I couldn’t resist, Haha… I’ll be home alone only on the 24th on Christmas eve…

I’m planning to pamper me and spend lavishly on getting myself good food and nice gifts. I didn’t feel like decorating this year, so my house is as bare as it’s been all year long. I wanted to buy a little Christmas tree but I got lazy. I’m a foodie, so I’m going to invest in that instead. (There’s a particular Japanese menu that I’ve been targeting for these past weeks). There’s no issue in life that good food doesn’t solve.

I’m already planning the menu. I got inspired by Korean Mukbang videos on Youtube, so I’m thinking of organizing a virtual dinner with my family back in my country. (We did it for my birthday and it was great).

I guess I’m giving alternatives/  ideas to people who’ll be spending Christmas alone like me. I hope they are helpful. Hang in there. All depression,shoo! Be gone! Haha. Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.

Will I hate Christmas again in the future? I don’t know. If you love Christmas, I can relate with you. If you don’t love Christmas, I also relate with you. I have come to learn that it is not a celebration with a fixed pattern based on the sparkly, merry, ideal image that society has drawn for us. Christmas is different every year. Christmas is what you make of it personally. Your Christmas is you.

Others may be unaware of what you are going through, or they may be pushing you to celebrate as a way to forget your loss. Your Christmas doesn’t have to be happy because theirs is. Ride the tides, mourn, until you feel confident to smile again without having to fake it.

Bend, but do not break. Survive your loss, and let’s meet on the other side.

A grinchy Christmas to you!

Warm regards from a fellow life warrior. Forever overthinking, forever meditating,

Nuna Blomevi.

P.S.: I prepared a special song for you. Enjoy!💋

Fighting against the odds: compete with yourself and win

Today’s meditations led me to this topic: fighting against circumstances.

We all have something that holds us back or stops us from getting to where we want to be or achieving certain desired results.

Personally, I mentally listed all the characteristics that, in my environment and my context, might not be in my favor. The perspective looks sinister. “I am a foreigner living in another country. My skin color demarcates me from others on the spot. No matter what I do, I remain an alien. Even more, though I have learnt the local language and fully adapted to the local cultures, the absence of the corresponding legal documents makes me unrecognised as part of the natives. I will always be ‘the one who came from another place’.

I am from a very small nation that many here do not even know exist. I went to a great school in the land where I come from, but since my nation is not known, my Cum Laude degree does not count. My physical features, my foreign name, my age, they all stand against me on my CV. Where the natives have it hard to get a job, I have to make a triple effort with no guarantee of success. In spite of my academic achievements and professional experiences, I never get chosen. I rather get discriminated against and at occasions people look down on me. When I am wronged because of my origins, many at times I cannot say anything, again because I am not from here and do not have any power in this foreign land.”

It’s easy to drown in discouragement and accept failure. “That’s how things are. That’s how the world works”. Yes, I could say that. It’s true that certain things don’t change no matter how hard we try and bump our heads against the wall.

Still, I want to give life my best shot. When I die, I will close my eyes without regrets and know that I have done my best. In case I don’t make it, I will still be remembered as the one who did all she could. Or maybe, things will work out for me. Why not?

This year, I did all sorts of crazy stuff I never imagined I would do as the risk-free and  highly “will-it-work”,“take-your-time”, “are-you-sure”, “did-you-think-through” person that I am. I started a blog, started a business, created a YouTube channel. At the last minute, I went back on my decision to return to my country where I planned to live a comfortable life with my family. Instead, I recently submitted my candidacy as a student representative in my university.  Part of me is saying: “You must be out of your mind! What have you gotten yourself into?” while the other part says: “Well done! It will take time and effort, but it will work. You won’t regret it!”. Truthfully, there are days where I just want to silence both voices and quietly go on with my life. I don’t know how things will turn out, but I’m glad I did something noteworthy with my existence. It will remain a special memory.

I don’t know what your limitations are. I don’t know what wall you are facing. Tonight, I want to give someone a bit of courage as we all strive and work hard to walk through this life with our heads lifted. Little by little, with wisdom and of course, integrity, let’s break free from what holds us down, step by step, and walk towards achieving our dreams. Yes, you failed before and might fail again. Keep trying. Yes, nobody cheers for you. Encourage yourself.  (And let me tell you a secret: I also got some encouragement from above). God has his ways of bringing us support, as well as the positive words we need to hear. He shows us the right path to follow and roots for us everyday.

Think about that great person you admire or that celebrity you’re jealous of. Do you think they had nothing holding them back? I’m pretty sure they were in the same situation as you and me: the roundabout of “all or nothing”, the turning point of “make or break”. I wonder what fear they left behind and what small steps they took in the past that converted them into legends today.

Is something keeping you from moving forward? There are different ways of dealing with an obstacle: either you remove it, or if you can’t, you go around it. Or if it’s very big, you keep on knocking and scratching it until it crumbles down. Think outside of the box, or create your own. What can you do to make the best out of what you have, and use your circumstances to your advantage?

December is, for me, a key month that represents both a start and an end. At some few days to the closing of the year, what big decision will you take that will propel you to the next level? The access to your success is within your reach. Will you let life pass you by?

I hope you take your leap of faith.

Farewell and see you in my next post!

Nuna Blomevi.

Black Heroes: Character artwork for the miniseries “Three Expats and A Winter”

Hola CTTBies,

I hope you’re doing well!

Not so bad on my side. Except that winter is starting here in Spain and I’m not so excited about it. I hate the cold weather … Anyway, it doesn’t cut down my enthusiasm! Now, let’s get to the topic.

Except for my diary “A Writer Behind The Scenes”, I plan to have all my stories illustrated. Although I select and design the traits and physical features of the protagonists, I’m a terrible drawer. I use an app to create a simulation, then I ask a friend of mine to complete the drawings for me.

Today I wanted to share with you the characters I created for the miniseries “Three Expats and A Winter”. I’ve heard a lot that there were not enough black heroes, or drawings of African characters that people of black lineage could relate with. I agree as well. The main protagonists (Johnny, Martins and Malaika) each portray a different aspect of situations faced by people of color. In the future, I’ll design more characters to go with the episodes. I hope to not only raise awareness, but also to generate a positive impact that will bring out a positive change.

The complete Season 1 is uploaded on this website (click here to read).

First sketching

First poster

Second sketching

Second poster

Take good care, and see you in my next post!

Nuna Blomevi.

It’s a birthday post!😊😉

Hola CTTBies!

Wow… Today is my birthday, and as part of the celebration I would like to say a very big thank you to all of you!

Thanks for joining me in my beginnings as a blogger. It’s a special feeling to know that through this platform I can connect with so many special people from around the world!

We may be a few celebrating now, but next time, may we be thousands and thousands!

Gracias otra vez, y un abrazo fuerte! Warm regards,

Nuna.

P.S.: Now, it’s time for some cake and good food!

I was born to be a great person; I shall not disappoint that expectation. – Nuna Blomevi

Circumstances, Background and Intentions: the fine line between good and evil


Reference Book: “Unescorted”, by Nuna Blomevi. 2020 © All Rights Reserved.

Warning: This post tackles delicate issues. May cause difficult memories to resurface or triggers in people sensitive to the topic or with traumas.

Mercy… Lately I’ve been choosing very sensitive topics. Less K-drama talks, more serious content. I’m getting more ideas for the blog as I edit my books. Currently under rewriting, my novel Unescorted principally spans over two stages: the heroine’s teenage years and her beginnings as a young adult. Centered on her life in school and her interactions with other people as she grows up, I address in the plot certain issues that plague our modern society: bullying, emotional abuse, peer pressure, sexual harassment and loneliness.
Being a great fan of psychology, I like researching the possible reasons behind people’s actions. “What kind of thoughts were they having? What logic did they process to end up doing what they did”? Of course, having a background reason or a rational explanation doesn’t excuse wrong actions (between good and evil, we all have a choice to make). However, analyzing thought patterns may help in understanding or correcting certain behaviours. I’m not an expert yet, so I will leave the rest to the specialists…  For now, I am applying the knowledge acquired to build the background of my characters. Still, the social problems I mentioned above occur so often in real life. It made me reflect quite a lot…
Here are some aspects I considered while writing Unescorted (read the excerpt here). They are based on some common contexts perceived from different perspectives:

Case 1

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“X” is a quiet person and a homebody. He/she is not into parties and loud activities. He/she’d rather read a book instead of hitting the dance floor. “Y” perceives “X”’s behaviour as “not normal”, boring, too reserved or not cool, and constantly seeks to drag him / her along when he/she goes to have fun. What is the fine line between being nosy, invasive or being  genuinely caring? Should his/her intentions be interpreted as wanting to improve “X”’s social life, or is he/she being forceful?

      “X”’s response could be:

“I should go once, maybe I’ll like it”.
“‘Y” is getting on my nerves, I’ll just go so that he/she stops bothering me”.
“I don’t want to go, but I don’t have the courage to tell “Y”. I feel intimidated.”

Case 2

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As a guy, “W” seeks to show confidence when flirting. When making a move on a girl, he relies on the “signs” she seems to transmit to deduce if it’s a green light or a red light. (How she smiles, strokes her hair, or how she looks at him). “Should I get closer?”, “Will touching her make her feel attracted to me?”, “Is her ‘no’ a real ‘no’ or is she playing hard to get?”; “‘M’s girlfriend kept rejecting him at first but she ended up falling for him. Should I insist with this girl? Maybe she’s just being shy. I like her and I want to her to be mine.” He may get these four responses from his love interest depending on the case:

Possible reactions from Girl “Z”:

“I like this guy. How should I let him know? Maybe I should try to get closer”.
“I don’t like him… Or maybe I like him a little bit? I said no, but I actually meant yes. I don’t want him to think I’m easy.”
“Let me play with him a little and see how it goes.”
“I don’t like him at all. I’ll tell him to get lost.”

Now here come the questions. This is not about judging between right or wrong, between good and evil. Moreover, there is an infinity of variables to be taken into account. The mood, the venue, the context, the relationship between the protagonists…

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All of them probably have their own way of thinking which will determine their decision.  “X” may cede to “Y” and follow him/her to a party. Whether he continues to go or not is his/her choice. Does that make him/her a pushover? Or: he may also stand his/her grounds and not go at all. Does that make him/her antisocial, inflexible or stuck-up?

“Y” may choose to keep insisting, and become pushy or nosy. Or, he/she may choose to respect “X”’s decision and let him/her be.  

Based on his “interpretations” of those supposed “signs”, “W”’s choice to keep pursuing a girl may turn him into a pervert, a jerk or get him the girl he wants if she finally says yes. What is the limit between flirting and sexual harassment? Depending on her response, he may get slapped, leave the girl disgusted, or get himself a girlfriend. It is his responsibility to know when to stop and not impose himself if she said no.
From one scenario to another, we wonder: how will the story end? I’m sure there are various answers crossing our minds. Beyond the novel’s context, these are situations we’ve heard of or that we faced in real life. I didn’t mention more serious scenarios because they are too delicate. “Why did “XY” murder “YZ”?” or, “why did “XY” mistreat “YZ” ?” Maybe I’ll write about them in the future if I start a thriller…

Nowadays, literature, movies, art etc provide a lot of backstories to explain the reasons behind the characters’ actions. The new tendency is “why the villain became a villain”. It’s not bad. But it made me recall certain court rulings that used the same principle. You might have also thought of one that marked you… Based on how the circumstances of the crime were explained, the law was used to a certain advantage. Some assaillants were said to have had “a moment of weakness” or to suffer sequels from a troubled past. Their victims “happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time” or were said to have somewhat triggered the criminal. However, the culprits didn’t suffer from any serious pathology except that “they were not themselves” or “they lost it for a minute”. That lapse was enough to destroy someone’s life. The victim is already hurt, but also blames his/herself from not having been able to escape. The feeling is even worse if there is no sign of repentance or if justice was never made.

Understanding circumstances or intentions behind actions may be good, but too much explanation shouldn’t cloud common sense. The facts can’t be changed: someone wronged another person. The person who was wronged wants things to be corrected, not explained. No matter how many turns the story is given.

Real life isn’t a novel, so it’s important to think through. And read between the lines. “How should I react in this situation?”, “Why am I doing this?”, “Is what I am doing hurtful to me or to another person in any way?”. Tick, Tock, count to three (at least). Let the heart express loud enough the intentions behind the actions. It may be time to hold back, or time to flee. Depending on our position and circumstances, (whether we are in X, Y, W or Z’s shoes) these golden rules might be helpful while considering our next move: “Don’t do to others what you wouldn’t like to be done to you” or “I don’t feel comfortable with this person, and I think this is a good time to run away”.

My original topic for this post was “Peer Pressure / Sexual Harassment: When your ‘no’ is forced to become a ‘yes’.” As I was typing, I felt like I should go deeper and deeper, and I got us into this meditation on good, evil and choices. Maybe that’s how strong the influence of intentions is.

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Chekhov’s gun, Harry Potter’s magic, Grimm’s longevity and Freud’s science

The magic literary sauce

Recently I have been researching writing techniques to spice up my novels. I’ve always said: if you want to become grand like your references who are successful, follow the steps that they took to get where they are. Apply the tips that worked for them and avoid the mistakes they commited. Our lives are too short to waste time experimenting. As I mentioned in one of the chapters of my diary “A Writer Behind The Scenes”, becoming a great author is not based only on talent, but comes by being humble to learn. (It’s also applicable in any other field). I love this quote from Cindy Trimm: “Your attitude determines your altitude”.

So far I’ve come across these great ingredients:

  • Chekhov’s gun

Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.

I discovered this concept by chance while I was watching some short writing tutorials on Youtube (links at the end of the page) so I searched it on Wikipedia (read more on Chekhov’s gun.)

It has helped me to be more selective. Sometimes as an author, there is so much one wants to say; but it’s also important to learn how to appropriately transmit the relevant information to the readers, not just a word salad we understand ourselves.  I’m learning to avoid unnecessary details, but also to maintain a certain consistency in my plots.

  • Harry Potter’s magic and Grimm’s longevity

I am a great fan of Harry Potter… I completely devoured the story, the creativity is brilliant and the concept is innovative. I also love tales, especially those written by the Grimm brothers. They’ve accompanied me throughout my childhood until now. Aside from the fantasy component that I’m greatly fond of (which turned into my favourite genre as the years went by), I started to consider their tales from a more mature point of view. What made them transcend time, overcome the blackhole of oblivion and leave a steady legacy for 200 years? Their biography is so rich, I’m just starting to learn.

Now that I intend to take writing seriously, I am evolving from being an ardent fan/ reader to becoming a disciple.  I hope my own stories (Tales of Dreamland for example) will benefit from this admirable heritage.

Check the link I read: “What made Harry Potter so successful

  • Freud’s science

I am interested in Psychology as a science, so I do a lot of research on that field. In literature, I am a great fan of psychology novels, webtoons, series, korean dramas etc, whether it’s the main component or it’s combined with other genres.… “It’s okay, that’s love”, “Dr Frost”, “Yumi’s Cells”, “It’s Ok To Not Be Okay” etc… Any story that talks about how thoughts are processed or how the mind functions is my cup of tea. Although the title may suggest so, I don’t focus on Freud only but I research on the whole field in general. I just chose his name because he’s one of the most famous pionners.

As a writer, it’s a necessary ingredient that I add to my plots (my novel Unescorted is full of psychological allusions). It helps me define the characters’ traits and therefore make the story more understandable. It also helps to engage the audience in empathizing or relating with them, therefore making the plot more captivating. More importantly, I don’t want my stories to be only for entertainment or to pass time. Through them, I wish to raise awareness, transmit healing and cause my readers to reflect.

I hope you enjoyed these tips! What were your favourites, and why? And which other ones would you suggest? Let me know in the comments below!