Writing the Dream

Don’t be disgusted with, or despise abandoned or rejected stories. They are your training wheels: they are educational tools. That piece of fiction you wrote off as rubbish will push you to conceive something stronger. That novel that was rejected by an agent for not having an exciting opening will encourage you to create punchier first chapters until someone says “yes”.

Keep on writing. Keep on polishing. Keep on dreaming.

 

 

 

Featured Image by Rostislav Kralik.

 

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Disparue/The Disappearance Episodes 5 and 6 – Analysis

Episode 5

Well now we know. Poor Rose Morel is the one who has to discover Lea’s corpse in the water. And boy is it a grim sight. I must applaud her for her environmental consciousness though. Molina and Camille’s superior orders them to prioritise documents for the prosecutor, disparue-24however Molina asserts that informing the Morel family is more important, and Camille confirms that with a glare for their superior’s lack of sensitivity. I don’t
know if that’s trying to suggest that all higher-ups in any industry are chiefly concerned with paper pushing and number work; it certainly is the case here. The real professionalism is led by the leaders on the ground; Molina and Camille are the disparue-25real leaders here. Molina’s put in a strange position where he has to have both policeman and father hats on. He comforts a traumatised Rose, offering to take her home. Camille steps in and says that she can both take her home and watch over her.

Molina only has to appear at the door and Julien knows Lea’s been found dead. His reaction and the score make this and the following scenes difficult to watch. Little Zoe is forced to witness her parents break down. There is no dialogue, just soundtrack. It’s truly sad. There is a montage of others finding out about her death and we find ourselves peering for any sign that one of them is the murderer. All are upset; doesn’t mean that they are upset about her death but the circumstances around it. Regret. We can only wait. If you think the news is hard to watch, Lea’s parents at the morgue is the most emotionally-scarring scene. Camille and Molina are really struggling to hold it together. Julien asks to spend some time alone with his daughter. He is clearly distraught by her body, but is it to mourn her properly or ask for secret forgiveness? Later on the immediate family convenes in the kitchen and all of them just collapse into shared grief. Again, the most sympathy goes towards Zoe who is too young to be able to witness and handle this. As soon as the news hits, where does Chris go? That’s right: straight to Romain. It smacks of suspicion. Girl your cousin has just been found in the most gruesome circumstances and you’re sniffing around her ex again? Hm.

Meanwhile, Molina’s ex-wife turns up in light of what happens to her daughter, and her reasoning is rather annoying (it also gives away why they separated). She blames Molina himself for Rose being exposed to the darker undercurrents of society – don’t they live in Lyon too? So even if she weren’t with her father, chances are she still could’ve encountered Lea or at least been affected by her from afar. I’m not convinced, former Mrs Molina. Luckily Rose fires back that she had no problem dumping her on her own father when she pleased. Molina defends his ex lightly, to do the right thing obviously, but also because he secretly wants Rose to stay. They’ve just started bonding. With the discovery of the body, our favourite forensic scientist with a monster crush on Molina. There’s a strange silent communication between her and Camille. Is Camille egging her on to flirt with Molina or giving her another warning? Oh God it’s like secondary school: Molina puts a hand on forensic lady’s shoulder and you just know she’s falling hard.

Now her form tutor/French teacher Mathias Tellier comes under the light. This proves another moral tale: even if you’re telling the truth and you are passionate about your subjects, don’t have access to the pupils outside of the school environment. His reasoning behind using an alias is suspicious as well. He apparently uses on so that the pupils don’t feel that they’re talking to a teacher. Yeah . . . no. That’s complete – you get the picture. Tellier heaps praise on the woman that Lea became. That goes beyond discussing literature. As it turns out, Lea was not the first pupil he developed a relationship with; Molina and Camille visit one of his previous schools and the headteacher informs him that they had to fire him to avoid a statutory rape prosecution.  Well that explains everything. He ended up marrying the last student he seduced. Her parents are oddly fine with it all. This region is extremely bizarre.

Molina and Camille receive news that can only solidify Lea in the Wild Child Hall of Fame. She was pregnant at the time of death. All the men in her life are DNA tested to find out who the father was and whether they were the cause of her death-by-brick. Molina is explicit in his wish for none of them to find out these bits of information. Knowledge of a pregnancy would change the game and not for the better. They need to monitor all suspects for slip-ups. Especially where the brick is concerned. Whoever did it wouldn’t know that they police now have this specific information and accidentally mention it. Molina’s scan of everyone at the wake confirms that one or two of them are excellent actors. Jean’s hurry to get rid of Nick before he tells Julien something basically means Jean stinks of fish. Nick’s moves are going to cost him dearly.


Episode 6

So creepy obsessed Nick offed himself apparently, leaving a suicide note typed into his iPad. A new age of crime. It seems like Molina and Camille are going along with this.  The writers are throwing us off again. Louvin, their overlord, turns up (as does Rose) to talk to Molina; Camille’s expression when he’s there is worthy of being a display picture/gif on OhNoTheyDidn’t. She doesn’t have to say a word to express her dislike of Louvin. She isn’t wrong. Their supervisor is pushing for this case to close before any loose ends are tied up. How did this man get this job, again? Was probably given the promotion after a table and a glass of wine. Rose is basically our middlewoman regarding what is going on with the characters of Camille and Molina. She decides to observe Camille whilst stuffing her face with a sandwich. Questions begin with: how long have you been in the force? 7 years. Do you have a boyfriend? I haven’t had one for 3 months *ex calls her mobile*. Are you sleeping with my dad? Wait – WHAT?? Did she actually just go there? YES. Because not only is Rose a teenager, she’s direct – takes after her father. Tastily delivered, might I add; Rose delivers that particular question like the cat with the cream. Camille is understandably flustered. She tells Rose: even if she were, she wouldn’t tell her. They’re bonding already.

The Molina family has already accepted the outcome. Florence curses him, and then decides to press on with Zoe’s birthday party. Which is a good idea, because focusing on the one daughter they have left will both help them come to terms with Lea’s death and protect her innocence as well. Chris is still taking care of her and acting as surrogate sister. Speaking of Chris, girl has finally managed to get Romain to show something towards her. When they meet in the cemetery, they express each other’s loss before passionately kissing. Well, they do a lot more than that if you catch my drift. Romain can’t quite . . . finish, for picturing Lea. Freud would be extremely pleased by this.

Anddd we’re back to the flirting. Enter girl-with-a-crush, Miss Forensic Scientist who’s been making eyes at Molina throughout the whole series. Camille (not bitchily nor welcomingly) points out that she could’ve emailed the results of the Morel case rather than turn up. The exchange only proves that there are holes in the case, what with the credit card being found far away from the body, especially as they aren’t able to find Dead Nick’s fingerprints anywhere but his tablet. Molina thanks her, and forensic lady casts a satisfactory/smug look at Camille. Camille looks at her back. Oh it’s ON. After the lady leaves, the look screams that she’ll murder her. There could be a Dexteresque spin-off in the making here. The best added layer of humour is Molina’s lack of awareness that both ladies are fighting over him. Or, he does know, and is merely choosing to remain focused on the case in front of him. Oh wait a minute, his eyes flicker up to hers in a “what are you doing?” Some fanservice is going on here, and I for one am cackling like a Disney villain. We’re given another morsel with Molina giving Camille a questioning look when she responds rather flustered to her phone buzzing (it’s the ex again). Because let’s be honest: we need something to drag Molina’s attention away from his brooding. Flags clearly aren’t doing the trick. Let’s throw an actual ex-boyfriend in there. As if by magic, said ex is conjured! He appears like a lovelorn stalker in the parking area of the police station, calling out to her before she gets in the car with Molina. Camille’s look says: now? Why now? Why did you pick this particular moment when I’ve been calling you all those times to get your s***. Fan service shot of Molina looking on with interest. Camille gives the ex the line ‘Did you think I’d come running?’ to make us all punch the air. Girl’s got standards. Ex’s parting shot? Giving the threat in the form of Molina, a threatening stare. Where has this happened before . . . ? Molina gets all cheeky and asks if Camille wanted to get rid of him or the bags, when she says she should’ve gotten rid ages ago. Oh Molina, you rascal.

They finally do a u-bend on the suspicion of Nick after the coroner’s report. Someone wanted him out of the way because he knew who killed Lea. Well duh. But that’s not the big reveal. Florence aborted her child when she found out about Julien’s affair. This family’s getting more and more unhinged. After revealing this hefty information, Florence descends even further into self-destruct mode. She goes on a sort-of date with a colleague. Rose did a Lea and went behind her parents’ back, getting her belly pierced without either knowing. Great job, Rose. It’s infected now. The naughty girl also used her dad’s credit card to pay for it. Molina’s really getting to understand Lea at the moment.

The Morel family are finally waking up to the idea of Chris replacing Lea. Thomas is exceptionally offended that she’s wearing Lea’s top. Florence tries her best to be diplomatic. The only person who’s pleased by the void being filled is Zoe. They’re not going to tell her “no” because she’s a child and it’s her birthday.

Why “Punjabi Sentence Builder” by Team Indic is One of the Best Punjabi Resources Out There (Book Review)

htlp-project-indic

Punjabi Sentence Builder, Team Indic (ebook). Available from: http://howtolearnpunjabi.com/ .

Approximately 90-100 million people speak or know the Punjabi language, yet its lack of business or cultural power means there is little interest outside of the Indian/Pakistani diaspora, and the fact that it’s a tonal language doesn’t help with the appeal.

There are plenty materials on Punjabi, however most if not all are designed for the children of Punjabi-speaking immigrants on the assumption that Punjabi is their first language. Now, the generations are evolving and becoming more rooted to their countries of birth; there is nothing wrong with this, it is perfectly natural to want to belong. I can emphasise this as a child of Punjabi-speaking parents. Unfortunately, being fed a daily diet of English makes it quite difficult to assume a grasp of Punjabi. It’s no use just consuming a language: you need to know the why to be able to use it properly. It’s especially more challenging if the languages share little in common.

how-to-learn-punjabi

Punjabi Sentence Builder is, quite frankly, a saviour. Not only does it break things down easily and concisely, it enforces retention through daily exercises and timetables to ensure you stick to them! There are also flash cards that can be printed out for daily immersion.

The book is designed to help you from an English point of view. It endeavours to help you understand how Punjabi sentences are constructed and slowly builds up your ability.

There is a little qualm. Just a little one. The ebook is thin (if the concept is possible); it’s a sinfully quick read. I found myself disappointed that it didn’t have more content, since it was so effective. If Team Indic were to create a second volume, I would happily purchase it (provided it’s a little longer).

[You can’t see this but there is an insane amount to elbow-nudging happening right now].

RebelCaptain a.k.a. Why I’m Emotionally Ruined by Star Wars Rogue One (Spoilers)

[Re the featured image: don’t they look like a couple there?]

Almost a week after viewing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and I still haven’t gotten over the ending of the standalone film in the Star Wars franchise. RebelCaptain is the explosive ship name for Jyn Erso and Captain Cassian Andor, that is steadily accumulating libations in the name through fanfiction and fanvids. In changing the ending, Disney has snatched away a happy (for once) ending and has chosen to devastate us – it’s not enough that we were forced to watch Alderaan blow up in A New Hope – with the death of the ship.

Jyn and Cassian’s scenes together are so intriguing. One is impulsive, the other is methodical. One is a girl of action, the other observes until the opportune moment. When they clash, not only are their scenes emotionally-charged, there’s also another sort of heat. Even K2-SO picks up on it when he comments on Cassian allowing Jyn to have a blaster. Jyn and Cassian’s lingering looks morph into giddy excitement for the sh**-bomb they’re about to drop on the Empire, and we joined in on the anticipation. Why wouldn’t we? Both have been screwed over by The Man and want justice; now that they’re over the adjustment period, they’re ready to do it as a team.

Alas, the fans have spoken, and RebelCaptain lives once more in our minds and on our screens. Like Hell we’re going to accept that the two are dead. Nope. Absolutely not. Why should we? You can’t make them all cute and adorable and fighting alongside each other like a true power couple to then have them meet their end before they’ve even had a chance to be a couple!

rogue-one Doesn’t this look like a family to you?? Papa, Mama, sassy teenager.

I don’t buy this: they couldn’t survive because they would have to have their absence explained in the Original Trilogy. Firstly: it was decided last minute that Leia would be Luke’s twin sister. Not a lot used to make sense in Star Wars; things just happened. Secondly: Jyn’s father retired (hid) as a farmer when he was done being Empire Scientist. Jyn and Cassian could’ve decided that their purpose was complete: plans were delivered to kick start the end of the Empire and Jyn had reconciled with her father in a way. I could see them retired somewhere. That’s not being a dreamy, stupid fan. That’s a reasonable conclusion. Thus, fanfiction to the rescue.

Don’t tell me to let go I’LL NEVER LET GO.

Star Wars Rogue One (No Spoilers)

Everyone likes a rebellion, don’t they?

I viewed Rogue One believing certain aspects of the storyline, costuming, locales and particular scenes (grenade porn, anyone?) relate to elements of the world today. Freedom fighting or terrorism? Science and technology or ethics? These binaries were certainly appreciated and prevented the film from being a pointless action film reliant on CGI and action sequences. I can safely say that the global mood at the moment is gloomy, unsure and weary, with only those benefitting right now prancing around on a high. The very first Star Wars film achieved nationwide success based on word of mouth before heavy marketing campaigns and social media existed, then creating enough stir to capture the rest of the world. It also helped that the US population was discontent with the war in Vietnam and demonstrated that throughout the 1970s. It may be Christmas 2016, however we’re currently witnessing tragic waves from Syria and other areas of the Middle East which were conjured in my mind when I watched rebels fighting against the Empire. Having said that, the conflict in the Middle East is far more faceted and difficult to draw the lines. Of course, a film doesn’t need to be released during major conflict, and viewers don’t need to bring their own “baggage” if you will, to enjoy it.

Disney has the unenviable task of simultaneously appeasing original Star Wars fans and drawing modern children into the franchise, so they went to great lengths (as did The Force Awakens) to emphasise Rogue One’s link to the Original Trilogy. The Force is maintained as a vital theme, with Donnie Yen’s character Chirrut Îmwe filling the void of Yoda by providing Jedi-related wisdom. Every perilous narrative needs a grounding character who provides serenity in the chaos. Robots still exhibit quirkiness and know it all. Alan Tudyk’s comedic timing as K-2SO was perfect. C3PO can’t be the only sassy (mouthy) android in the galaxy; K-2SO is quite obstinate at times, yet he has more warmth. Yavin 4 comes out of retirement, as does the Death Star. There are some departures from the original films we all love. A sweeping, urgent John Williams soundtrack is noticeably absent, and with little opportunity to emotionally connect with the characters a powerful soundtrack can assist in forcing a few restrained tears. Additionally, there’s less cutesiness in Rogue One that Star Wars usually leans towards to counter the peril. Rogue One is dark, possibly darker than Empire and Force Awakens.

I’ve read a complaint that there wasn’t enough chemistry between Felicity Jones and Diego Luna. I certainly noticed chemistry, only once the plot had developed mid-way. It’s important to remember that their characters exist in uncertain times. They are both guarded and occupied with their own goals: one to rebel against the Empire and the other to locate her father and feel like she has some family in the galaxy. They have to be closed off to each other because they’ve experienced such cr** in their lives respectively that they’re hardly going to start making eyes at each other within minutes of meeting. Any overspilling romantic feeling would overcast the plot; they have a mission and their thoughts centre around it. When the two characters overcome their clashing, they warm to each other and that’s when the lingering looks and charged energy commences. Not every opposites-attract couple are going to be like Han and Leia, and I appreciate the way they handled the pairing.

Problems: the beginning jumps from one location to another which makes the pacing chaotic. The exposition is the most important moment in the film as it makes or breaks audience reception. It takes a while to understand what the hell is going on, especially jerking us away from attaching ourselves to the characters and their individual situations. I do wonder if a novice screenwriter would’ve gotten away with that when soliciting an agent. Rogue One eventually calms down and we’re afforded the chance to get to know characters, but still at some distance. I’m not sure what the purpose of Forrest Whittaker’s character was (apart from his relation to Jyn). I’m also not quite satisfied with the ending: I feel like they were trying to avoid accusations of predictability, yet I still felt like a bit of a presant needed to be thrown my way. Maybe I’m a romantic/too soft; the bittersweet ending was leaning a little heavier on the bitter side.

Alan Tudyk as K-2SO steals the show. Reception of his character was far superior to any other human character. The audience loved him and he provided much-needed humour in such a dark film.

Stray Observations:

  • Someone came into the screening room as a Jawa. You can’t beat that.
  • I feel like I’ve been weaned on the 20th Century Fox logo. I expected it at the opening and it was greatly missed. Although: the opening shot felt like it was harking to the opening shot of A New Hope, so you’re immediately sucked back into the Star Wars universe.
  • In the press and promotion of Rogue One, the cast seems so tight knit, more so than TFA (I feel). They’re just like a family; perhaps because Rogue One is an indie film.
  • God bless Donnie Yen. He was a breath of fresh air; his action sequences rescued the film when it felt like the characters weren’t developed enough at that stage or the scene was floundering. Did it feel like I was watching a Kung Fu film? Hells yeah. Is that a bad thing? Absolutely not.
  • Diego Luna: you’ve earned yourself a new fan.
  • Peter Cushing. Carrie Fisher. That is all.
  • Darth Vader.See above point.
  • Audio. Audio. Audio. Please don’t elevate sound effects and space battles whilst allowing dialogue to be so muted. The actors were at times difficult to understand and I only found out about some of the names when I went onto Wikipedia after the screening. Not great when you’re trying to relate to them.
  • What I was thinking throughout the climax: I can’t wait to see this in Lego.
  • THAT ENDING WITH THE LIGHTSABRE THOUGH (I did promise not to spoil).

Improving Your Conversational Italian – Italian – learning article

Italki has some tips on how to beat that locked tongue feeling and get speaking. When you’re learning Italian and developing the language, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of information. In this article things are broken down into direct points to remind you that simple sentences go a long way for a beginner.

Source: Improving Your Conversational Italian – Italian – learning article

Speak Foreign Languages Fast: A Self-study Guide For Beginners – english learning article – italki

Here are 5 steps aimed at boosting your speaking confidence. No matter whether you’re a beginner or a long time learner, these tips are bound to help you! – English learning article

Source: Speak Foreign Languages Fast: A Self-study Guide For Beginners – english learning article – italki