Monthly Archives: December 2017

the damned – on wattpad

Music pounded throughout the streets, coming from the nightclub. Four teens rushed through these same streets, giggling.

“Guys!” One shrieked, laughing. She pointed towards a dark building covered in graffiti, every window boarded up. “Let’s go exploring.”

The boys whopped in agreement, but one teen disagreed, falling behind. “I don’t know guys, it’s creepy in there. I don’t want to get caught.”

“Come on Jenny,” one boy nudged her shoulder with a bottle. “Have another drink, it’ll give you courage.”

She took the bottle, taking a long swig, squinting her eyes from the burn of the alcohol. “No seriously, Haley that’s dangerous if we get caught in there…”

“We won’t!” Haley laughed, drinking a darker liquid. “Derek, give her some more, she needs to start having fun!”

Jenny rolled her eyes, gazing at the other boy. He had his arms draped around Haley. “Kyle, do you want to go in there?”

Kyle shrugged, his eyes were glossy. “I don’t see why not.”

Derek pulled Jenny towards him, “come on, don’t be a wimp.” Leaning down he began to kiss her neck.

Jenny closed her eyes, sighing. “Okay, fine.”

“Yes!” Haley shouted.

“Let’s hope they have a bed in there, huh?” Derek whispered in Jenny’s ear. Goosebumps rose on her skin, she took another swig from the bottle, it burned less this time.

The group ran to the side of the building, the boys ripped at the thin wood that laid in front of a window, while the girls searched for a rock heavy enough to break the glass. The sound of the glass shattering could hardly be heard over the loud music coming from a few buildings over. One by one they climbed inside.

Hello everyone! Sorry I’ve been so MIA… school really kicked my butt this semester. Lately, I’ve been feeling really unmotivated and frankly, unhappy. I’m just incredibly tired and burnt out. However, I could feel myself growing frustrated with the lack of writing projects collecting virtual dust on my computer. As much as I love the mini pieces I’ve written for this blog, I want to start beginning attention back to the larger pieces I started years ago.

I’ve decided to breathe some life back into my old ‘Wattpad’ account, and I will be posting this old/new project ‘The Damned’ on it. Hopefully, I can discipline myself to update frequently.

The piece you’ve read above is a little preview of the story, and I’d love if you checked out the full version on my Wattpad account linked below! Thanks 🙂

– Maddi Wilson

Maddi Wilson’s Wattpad accountThe Damned

You can only be as okay as you actually are.

I spent a lot of time chastising myself for feeling the wrong way.

“This is ridiculous, you’re overreacting.”

“You said, it was okay, so you really have no reason to be upset.”

“You’re not getting anything done feeling this way, grow up and act like a fucking adult.”

The voices in my head are not very kind. I imagine, it’s that way for a scary number of people. Lately, I’ve been really trying to grin through some tough times and be okay. And sometimes, I am. I can laugh and enjoy being around people and feel good about myself, but that doesn’t last, and when those feelings drop into self-loathing, insecurity, depression and anxiety, I have a lot of trouble being kind to myself for switching off. If I was fine yesterday, I should be fine today.

I think I’m starting to come to terms about how unrealistic that is. I put on a brave face while talking myself down all the time, but I’m starting to think that’s not so healthy.Well, I know it’s not healthy, but I think I might try doing something about it.

I also feel guilty, because this blog has had a lot of negativity to it lately, and I feel like that gives off the wrong impression of who I am, or that I’m looking for attention or people to check on me. I put my feelings out there because I know I can connect with other people. Having something resonate to someone in a deep way is a huge deal for me. And if it’s negative? I must continue to tell myself “so what?”, hard though it may be to hear. I’m in a bad place, maybe other people who are also in a bad place can find comfort in that. I don’t know. I don’t pretend to anymore.

It’s hard this time of year because there’s a lot to be done. School, work, Christmas, but I think acknowledging my pain, and almost embracing it, might be the only way to get through it all.

I’m not okay, so I guess maybe I’ll stop saying I am.

The end of the community

The community standards I would set for interacting with my website would reflect the overall satirical tone of my content, while still ticking off the basic things which I will not allow.
I would format my guidelines similarly to those of BookRiots; short, simple, and to the point.
Firstly, I would clearly state that any threats or hate speech in the comments section, be it sexist, racist, homophobic, etc, would not be tolerated. Father down I would clarify that I was the one with the final say on what would be retracted.
I would create this rule for the safety of others enjoying my blog, and for my own safety. As “the dark side of Guardian comments” reading points out, most harassment and online abuse is directed at women, and I’m already aware that if my audience grew I might be targeted.
However, I would be extremely careful interacting with people o my blog, as I would interact with comments as Fysh, and would not want to take away from the surreality of the website. I would make sure to include more ridiculous rules, such as any threat involving the boiling of mutant pigeon bones will result in immediate expulsion! to keep up the facade.

If anyone wished to contact me as Zoe, I would have a submissions or contact spot on the blog.

Bangladesh.

As a hobbyist photographer and as an international student who hails from Bangladesh (no we’re not in India. We are a completely different and independent country for any of you who are wondering) where the weather is tropical all year round, the roads congested with traffic, where time never stands still and every single moment of the day is rush hour, I often used to fall in the trap of thinking there is perhaps nothing much to photograph back home in Bangladesh, that perhaps all the beauty in the world lies in Canada. Oh how wrong I was. Back in May 2016 I had the opportunity to go back home for a couple of weeks. It was AFTER I had developed an obsession for photography so armed with my shiny DSLR I was ready to take on the streets and sceneries of Bangladesh. One of the most intriguing things I realized is that in the capital city of Dhaka where I come from, there is hardly a sight which will beg you to get photographed. No. You need to look for chances, create your own photographs in your mind and then execute them. In this article I present to you some of the pictures I captured on my trip back to Bangladesh. I hope you enjoy them!

ESSAY #2 How I curated a new product and online presence

The online image can be interpreted as how others interact and perceive the value you provide for them. It is a summation of the content that you post online, and the persona that you express across various platforms. This essay will explore my experience in how I have created relevant content for my audience pertaining to an online media persona that I have developed through my studies in Publishing101.

Before entering Publishing101, my main social media pages were Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. Across these platforms, I shared content I created (mostly personal media), without considering the impacts or optics on my audiences. I entered Publishing101 with the intentions to gain more engagements on my social media accounts to promote my choreography. However, I discovered instead, a new persona, an online image brand that I now enjoy developing.

I started off Publishing101 slow but steadily. I submitted both required course contents and personal branding content on the blog. I established that my main driver of audience interest was to instigate conversation from the stories I tell. I wanted to share something that people can talk about and relate to. Thus, I concluded that my audience was of a person who enjoys storytelling and online literature. This started my initial blog post on “How to get curved by Twitter girls.” Since this post was new and interesting, my friends discovered this post through social media and commented and direct messaged me their thoughts. The engagement did not last long however. I had less people read about “Part 2” of the story and it made me consider what other possible ways were there to engage a larger audience.

My blog revolves around storytelling, so it is a reasonable to assume that it is a form of literature. I needed to understand how the business of literature manifests online, so I can better perceive my audience needs and create content accordingly. Richard Nash defines that content “is the swirl and gurgle of idea and style in the expression of stories and concepts—the conversation, polemic, narrative force that goes on within and between texts, within and between people as they write, revise, discover, and respond to those texts.” (Nash, 2013) This extrapolates the idea that content can be a combination of different media forms. With the Publishing101 “Remix” project underway, I seized the opportunity to combine the two things that I love, Call of Duty and storytelling. These two mediums are two opposite platforms with their own unique points of interest. Call of Duty is videogame from a first-person shooter perspective that does not claim any narrative objective. Whereas, the stories that I tell, narrates and depicts social instances of my past. By combining these two, I created a product that was effectively engaging and surprisingly interesting. My first remixed video, “how I got a $500 Noise Complaint Ticket,” was the beta test for my new product. I shared the video on all my social media sites and the engagement and responses were just as high, or higher than my first original story post. This indicated that I was heading in the correct direction. Furthermore, Google analytics portrayed my audience demographic to be of those within North America mostly, which allowed me to gain insight on the culture type of who my audience was.

On the next video, I applied the feedback and adjusted my game volume, narration approach, and tone style to satisfy my audience needs. However, I also wanted to extend the capacity of this new product I developed. I began a new YouTube channel and Instagram handle specifically dedicated towards this content. I wanted to “develop [my] brand, curate an audience, and create content that is successfully geared towards [a] demographic” (Lindsay, 2014). The title of the channel on both platforms is called “Storytime with Kevin.” I specifically chose YouTube and Instagram because of their own unique value propositions.

YouTube lets their consumers “indulge in YouTube binges” (Lindsay, 2014) which means that consumers can watch as many videos without breaks or interruptions. I wanted that possibility for my channel because this will give the public the opportunity and choice of how much of my content they wish to receive. They are given the deciding power on whether it is one video that satisfies their curiosity or four or more videos.

Instagram on the other hand, caters to the millennial or generation Y demographic. “Generation Y is the first generation that has been growing up with internet and for them, mobile phones and social media highly involved in their normal social life” ( Johansson & Wallsbeck, 2014) So this demographic pertains and responds to “Innovation, autonomy, collaboration, flexibility…” (Daskal, 2016) Instagram being one of the top social media platforms to employ these values, I wanted my content shared and targeted to these individuals. Instagram accounts “bring their unique identities and values to life through captivating imagery and a focus on their respective communities,” ( Johansson & Wallsbeck, 2014) which is why starting an account can better allow me to drive up engagement and mark up impressions.

Having established both accounts, I now have a handful of followers on Instagram with a growing number of views. I currently do not have any comments on my blog, but I do have some on the new Instagram page. In the future, I intend to record and document my publishing process and share my thoughts and opinions on the blog. However, I truly believe pushing content through social media is a much more effective means of reaching people.

This newly curated product is something I enjoy doing and I am extremely grateful for Publishing101 for aiding me in its discovery. My online presence will polish and develop as I grow and understand more about myself, so the content value that I produce will indefinitely transpire to become something remarkable in the future.

 

References

Johansson, U., & Wallsbeck, F. E. (2014). Instagram Marketing – When brands want to reach Generation Y with their communication. The International Marketing Programme, 19.

Daskal, L. (2016, June 16). The Secret on How to Motivate Millennials. Retrieved from INC: https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/the-secret-on-how-to-motivate-millennials.html

Lindsay, K. (2014, December 26). UNPOPULAR OPINION: These YouTube Authors are Ruining the Publishing Industry. Retrieved from XOJane: https://www.xojane.com/issues/zoella-girl-online-youtube-authors

Nash, R. (2013, March 7). What Is the Business of Literature? Retrieved from VQR: http://www.vqronline.org/articles/what-business-literature

 

 

 

The Method Behind The Madness – part 1

So after my previous post, I realized that instead of just writing technical jibber jabber, what would really help my audience is a part by part explanation of a photo, and I decided to choose tis photo in particular because it contains some basic techniques as well as some advanced methods which might seem difficult at first but really once I tell you how it’s done, literally anyone can take such photos! So here goes nothing.

I was walking the streets of Granville a few weeks back, minding my own business, just my camera and tripod and a remote shutter in my backpack in what had to be one of the rarest rain-less nights in recent Vancouver history when I stumbled upon this famous street and my mind instantly started forming a photograph. The setting was perfect: Old, brick buildings, long, unique streetlights, neon signs lighting up the roadside, cars wheezing by. All that was left was to execute it. One of the things I wanted to experiment with was getting light trails in my picture. In layman’s terms, a light trail is when there is a moving light source in the frame and you leave the shutter open long enough for the camera to capture the moving light as a trail, rather than stationery light. Basically think of it like this: If there are cars moving, and the car’s headlights/tail lights are on, and you leave the shutter open long enough, the final image will appear as a trail of light. The cool trail of light you see on the road in the picture above is exactly that: Lights from cars! So the first thing I knew I needed to do was leave the shutter open long enough for 2 reasons: 1. to get light trails and 2. It was night and hence dark, apart from the neon lights so I wanted to make the image a bit brighter. So I set a shutter speed of 20 seconds, which meant as soon as I pressed the shutter, it would be open for 20 seconds before capturing the image. The second thing I wanted to do was keep my image as clean as possible, which meant using the lowest possible ISO. In this image I used a long shutter speed so it allowed me to escape using an ISO of 100. So far so good. The third thing I wanted to do was since it’s a cityscape and not a portrait, I wanted the viewers to experience all the details in the image so I needed to make the image as sharp as possible, which meant using a high f-stop, so I used an f-stop of 11.0. This, combined with the 25 second shutter speed and ISO 100, gave me the image above. AND ONE VERY IMPORTANT THING TO NOTE WHILE TAKING LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOS: THE.CAMERA.CAN.NEVER.MOVE. It is CRUCIAL that while the shutter is open, the camera remain absolutely still otherwise the image will get blurry. VERY blurry. So that was the image, and then I took it home and did some light retouching and the above image is what I ended up with!

*I’ll leave a link here for those who are interested in getting into and understanding long exposure photography:

Process Post #11: Community Guidelines

Community guidelines for the comment section will be listed below.

There is no toleration for the following:

  1. Malicious Speech/Harassment
  2. Gendered insults of any kind in comments
  3. Promoting products or services
  4. Sharing illegal content
  5. Promotion or Glorification of Self-Harm.
  6. Deceptive or Fraudulent Links.
  7. Confusion or Impersonation
  8. Spam
  9. Personal attacks or threats on community members
  10. Defamation of othersAll users who do not abide by these rules will be blocked.

Process Post #10: Google Analytics

Google analytics is an excellent tool to determine where the demographic of your audience is coming from. In the overview section under the audience tab, it gives you values on the number of sessions, users, page views, and bounce rate. This data can be useful to determine what type of materials your audience enjoys reading, and then you can later use this information to prioritize or make changes accordingly.

Knowing how visitors locate your website is essential to marketing and branching out your site. You can push views or impressions through social media sources or for paid advertisement, but when you can use google analytics to clearly see which impression stream is greatest, you can cater more input towards that marketing stream.

My site primarily receives its audience through my social media. I would post my “story” blog posts onto my Facebook page and have people see my content through that. Google analytics tell me both how many people come from Facebook and how much they actually read. Upon knowing which media stream generates the most views, you can further begin generating ideas on how to grow your platform.

For example, if Instagram is a providing a large portion of engagements, perhaps, mobile marketing is the direction to proceed. Then you can look into alternatives such as snapchat or Instagram sponsorships to fully utilize google analytics capabilities.

Google analytics is an excellent tool for new blogs and it is a ideal for recognizing your website’s growth and engagements.

Pre-departure Thoughts

February 5-7, 2017

What’s it like to leave everything I’ve known and loved for almost half a year on my own? I had gotten my acceptance letter to go on exchange at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia a few months ago and was finally leaving. There was a heavy mixture of excitement and nervousness the days leading up to my departure. Even when I was saying goodbye to some of the most important people in my life, it was only starting to hit me then that I was leaving for a while… It felt odd to utter sentimental words of a farewell because although I knew I would miss them, how was it possible to mean those words completely when I couldn’t even believe that I was leaving.

When I got to the airport and was ready to leave, it wasn’t easy saying goodbye to my parents without choking on my words. I was already missing going home to them with warmly cooked food ready on the table, having them listen to me talk all about my day, and open arms to embrace me in a hug. I also received a call from my sister and a friend before I boarded the plane, and it was comforting to chat with them during my last few moments in Canada. During the first half of my flight, I sat by the window, two seats away from a huge Super Bowl fan who exploded into cheers on the quiet plane ride at random moments and a seat away from a woman who had her earphones plugged in and a book in her hand during the entire flight. Tired from staying up until 6am the night (or morning) before with last minute packing, I slept through my flight from Vancouver to Los Angeles, staring down at the snow-covered Vancouver and then at the endless sky of blue in between fluttering eyelids – the views were beautiful. Walking from one building to the other to get through customs on my own was an experience in itself. I was surrounded by people of diverse culture and ethnicity – devout monks, nervous Chinese families, hippies in silver hair and unique wear, groups of black people, and CBCs like me. I wish I could have stayed in LA to explore some more, and I wondered where everyone was going. My neighbours during the second half of my flight from LA to Australia were an elderly woman traveling with her husband and also a soon-to-be international graduate student from Mexico. I slept for half the time and then watched one and a half movies – The Great Gatsby (which I absolutely loved!) and Interstellar. The plane ride was enjoyable. I was bursting with curiosity to find out what the other side of the hemisphere looks like! Yet, it also felt like the longest plane ride ever. I’ve been on longer plane rides before and I didn’t even have enough time to finish my second movie, but perhaps the thought of being faraway from home made the distance feel further… Holding a cup of apple juice in my hand and a glass of wine in hers, the Mexican girl and I toasted to studying abroad in a new country with expectancy and smiles, and before I knew it, I was looking out onto a wide, open field of yellow grass and scattered Eucalyptus trees.

Dear Australia, you have been my dream since the beginning of my post-secondary years. I’m here – with mixed emotions of fear, excitement, anxiety, and anticipation – but I’m finally here. Here’s to five months of adventure in a country that will become my home soon.

Looking, but never finding

    

I feel like I’m always looking for something to satisfy me, whether it’s in friendships, relationships, success, or those three themselves. Sometimes it seems as though they are never enough though.

It can be a painful feeling, trying to make what is intangible be tangible, or of not being able to grasp a solid answer to questions I have about life. Ultimately, everyone is searching for something that would fill that void in their lives, that would make their identities be whole, or that would give them a sense of purpose in this world and while some people give up and think they will never find it, others become complacent with what they find. I don’t think we know exactly what we’re looking for either. We pretend we know what it is, but we don’t. If we are all finding ways to be happy, how come we’re still not happy? How come we’re not satisfied?

 

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is that we were made for another world.” – C.S. Lewis

Self Care Sunday (Thursday?) #6 – Have a Cup Of Tea

Fist and for most, I apologize for my extended absence. I explain this a little more in depth my very fist “Lets Talk” post.  And yes, I know that its technically a Thursday, but I figured that I owed you guys a self care tip.

One of the simplest ways to take care of yourself is to just take a second, relax, and have a hot cup of tea (or coffee, but I don’t do caffein). Theres something extremely calming about putting on the kettle and steeping a cup of tea, especially when its in my favourite mug .Which so happens to be any of the mugs from Indigo Books.

But I especially love this “Tea Freak” mug!

Tea Freak Mug

In my favourite mug, I love to steep peppermint tea . I appreciate the fact that it can calm my stomach (because I definitely need that when I’m anxious). I drink it mostly though because it’s caffine free and I love the taste of it. At this point I’m pretty sure I’m made of 90% peppermint tea. In a day I’ll have minimum one, sometime more like three or four teas, it really depends where my stress level is, and how close I am to a Starbucks.

So my tip this week? Take a break, put on the kettle, and make yourself some tea.

And yes, there will be a self care Sunday post up this Sunday!

What are you doing this Sunday to take care of yourself? Whatever you end up doing, post it on Instagram with #selfcaresunday and make sure you tag me @jordananne76 so I can see it! maybe you’ll even be featured on my #selfcaresunday page!

The post Self Care Sunday (Thursday?) #6 – Have a Cup Of Tea appeared first on Makeup Your Mind.