Author Archives: miguelalex888

About miguelalex888

Yes, this is my journey to become a full-fledged writer, and I hope that my little ramblings on the work, avoiding the minefields of procrastination, and trying to find a voice, are helpful for others that may be in a similar situation.

Final Project Blog & Goodbye!

My final blog is not on the page  with the rest of yours, for what I can only assume is blind and misguided hatred from Professor Bielecki (just kidding!).

So here’s a little link in case any of you wanted to check it out (and to make sure there is physical proof, that yes, I did finish my project):

http://aspiringwriterstoday.wordpress.com/

It’s about trying to be a writer, not by waiting for wild inspiration to strike your hands and magically produce a novel/poem, but by working hard and writing for hours every day.

Funny story, I was just looking at my New Year’s resolutions a few days ago and realized that making a writing blog was one of them.

GOAL COMPLETED.

(Now if I could just learn French and Japanese in the next 20 days, I would have completed ALL my resolutions!)

I am actually going to keep updating my blog for the long foreseeable future. I’ve been pretty active in the Blogosphere (yes, that’s a thing) for the past week. I’ve met some wonderful writers and aspiring writers — from single fathers, depressed teenagers, loving mothers, and just plain insane (in the good way) people…from all over the world (seriously, like 20% of my views are coming from India!) There are people trying to make a poem everyday, people trying to pump out 300 short fiction pieces, people exploring gender relations through medieval fantasy shorts, and this guy that makes short science fiction pieces, but from the perspective of unlikely background characters.

I’ve even met some people trying to work with the exact same genres I do, and it is just great to be able to read and comment on each other’s work!

Closing words; I am really bad with faces, but it was a fun class! Wish you all happy holidays/winter break/winter solstice/time period at the end of year!

PS. I just felt I needed one last PS.

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Julia’s Podcast

Julia took a creative approach to her podcast. Instead of just starting to talk and getting to the topic, she presented herself and the podcast as a newscast. Her audio excerpts were presented as actual conversations between herself and the source.

I though it was a pretty cool way to go about it.

As for the actual issue — I think cyber bullying is such a big problem today. And I think part of the problem is that we haven’t even established good guidelines to stop bullying in physical reality…much less in the digital playground. There is this weird sense that what happens in the digital somehow doesn’t count in reality…and that’s dangerous.

It was surreal to see 13 and 12 year old’s dealing with such large issues.

Lily’s Podcast

network

I really enjoyed Lily’s podcast on digital leadership! In it she talks of how to become an important figure in social media. We often hear of our “digital footprint”, our “stamp” on the internet…what people get when they try to look for you in the internet. Usually people think of that as something negative. You know those red cups on your tagged photos on facebook…or that really, really embarrassing tweet you sent on a weekend you can’t even remember.

Lily, instead, talks of how you can become a figure on the internet by how you present yourself. By focusing on a specific area, putting lots of time on the work needed, not giving up…and being an original that can lead others. In that way, the internet is not somewhere where your image is ruined, but where you can actually create a positive image that others can look up to.

Saving the planet from climate change…with nuclear power.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists/

To some people this sounds crazy, but funnily enough it isn’t.

I mean what the hell is environmentally friendly about nuclear energy and the nuclear waste it creates?

Hold on, let me charge my iPhone.

Hold on, let me charge my iPhone.

Well, as a matter of fact, scientists are claiming it to be a much better alternative than the average coal power plant.

BUT MIGUEL WHAT ABOUT THE RADIATIONSS.

Well, yeah, there’s that. But with proper safety protocols, we can properly store the waste and minimize the dangers of a meltdown.

And that’s absolutely nothing when you can compare it to the dangers of the metric tons of gases being pumped into the atmosphere by coal plants. And those, we can’t store.

Nuclear power is more efficient and affordable. From almost every logistical standpoint, they are a better choice than coal.

BUT MIGUEL WHAT ABOUT THE RADIATIONSS

Yes, that’s dangerous. We had the thing with Fukishima, right? Well did you guys know about the other nuclear reactor, closer to the epicenter of the earthquake…that did NOT get screwed up?

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2012/08/how_tenacity_a_wall_saved_a_ja.html

Why? Well, you see, the designer felt that bureaucrats were “human trash” and fought to get the seawall of the reactor built 5 times higher than regulation required.

Yes, there is danger. But we can totally handle those dangers. (Gotta update those regulations)

You don’t stop driving because you can crash, you put on a seat-belt, make sure your air-bag works, and don’t start speeding, texting, drinking, etc.

BUT MIGUEL WHAT ABOUT THE RADIATIONSS

…okay.

Let’s go back a little.

What’s so scary about a nuclear power plant?

The word “nuclear” probably jumps up at people and we start thinking of large scale energy explosions.

But how about we take another look at how power plants operate:

A coal power plant? You burn coal, boil water with the heat, and the steam spins a turbine that generates electricity.

A nuclear power plant? You use nuclear energy, boil water with the heat, and the steam spins a turbine that generates electricity.

You're boiling water.

You’re boiling water. Boiling. Water.

Nothing magical about it.

BUT MIGUEL WHAT ABOUT THE RADIATIONS

OKAY WHAT’S YOUR GREAT IDEA?

Let the use of carbon fuels ruin the environment and die out in a few decades?

Cause I wouldn’t be down for that.

We could build an army of windmills and solar panels…but that would be such a much larger project than building a few nuclear power plants (remember, they are more efficient at energy creation!)

And there’s that whole argument that, right now, the creation/assembly of materials for windmills and solar panels being so harmful to the environment that it takes years for them to break even in what they save us from.

I’m sure those options will have their play in the future, I like them too. But for now, let’s be rational human beings and agree that nuclear power is probably the cleanest, most affordable, and doable way of getting our energy without totally wrecking the planet.

PS. Go green! URANIUM GREEN.

Final Blog is up: Aspiring Writers of the 21st Century

http://aspiringwriterstoday.wordpress.com/

The main purpose of my blog will be to sort of document and explore ways in which you can be a writer today, based on my own experiences.

I’d like to talk about things like self-publishing with ebooks, networking to find an audience, general writing tips I’ve come across, NaNoWriMo (which I am currently taking part in, with 45, 893 words WOOT!!!), finding that night-time inspiration, avoiding procrastination, etc, etc.

Maybe showcase some poetry and short fiction.

The only thing is that I’m a total amateur writer myself, so I don’t see what kind of position I have to give tips…but the learning process might be useful to others, so I hope I can work with it from that angle.

Now that I think about it, I would actually like to work on this blog after the class is over too.

PS. I have absolutely no posts or content in the blog right now, so don’t actually click the link.

Powerful video. Paralyzed man uses robots to interact with the world.

Paralyzed by a stroke, Henry Evans uses a telepresence robot to take the stage — and show how new robotics, tweaked and personalized by a group called Robots for Humanity, help him live his life. He shows off a nimble little quadrotor drone, created by a team led by Chad Jenkins, that gives him the ability to navigate space — to once again look around a garden, stroll a campus.

Humanized robots…that don’t serve as separate entity taking over for us, but serve as an extension of ourselves.

Another arm, another eye, another way to move around and experience the world.

That’s the future.

PS. I had not realized how far we had gotten with remote controlled machines…pleasant surprise there!

I want to go to Antarctica.

Time for something a little personal.

I want to go to Antarctica.

Antarctica

Antarctica, note all the ice.

Not like take a stupid tourist ferry. Like I legitimately want to stay in a cramped research base in the middle of freezing nowhere for a long period of time.

Why?

I don’t know. It looks cool (no pun intended). It looks so alien and uninviting, monochrome and barren…but I feel like I could really get inspired by a prolonged stay there.

The closest thing we have to the edge of the world.

Anyways, what does this have to do with a writing blog?

Well there is actually a few positions each year on the Antarctic bases for writers and artists through this program:

http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503518&org=PLR&from=home

Stay in the middle of ice.

Get inspired.

Produce work.

Simple.

I’d like to do it sometime, when I’m a bit older and more settled. It’s a goal/dream. (I also have more normal destinations, like…the other continents and their tourist traps)

I think it’s nice that there are opportunities like this, I mean it certainly isn’t the first thing you think of when you think of a writer. You can also get a certification for teaching English and get sent around small countries as a teacher.

Last year, I grabbed a flyer recruiting such people for China, but never thought really seriously about it.

But it’s good to keep in the back of your mind that there are chances like this available.

PS. Emperor Penguins are my favorite animal, but that’s only 20% of the reason I’d like to go Antarctica.