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Matt's Random Thoughts

  • mattdg204

I enjoyed the opportunity to meet a writer who more than just writes historical fiction, she has a whole other life of her own.


Fully Booked has its very first major author event for 2024 and it was also free to attend so I jumped on to this opportunity to meet a new author and discover not only what they write about but also how Filipino bookworms react to seeing that author and the energy that these writers share whenever they are out of the writing cave.


The first writer to visit Fully Booked for a major event this year was also an international writer. Ruta Sepetys is well known for writing powerful historical fiction with some of her most popular titles including among others, Between Shades of Grey, Out Of The Easy, I Must Betray You, and Salt To The Sea. Many of her stories deal with many aspects of some of the worst atrocities in human history but it also gives readers a wholesome human aspect that is filled with the power of a love for humanity and a hope for the future generation.


For Ruta, writing historical fiction is not as very easy as what most people think in terms of how much research you have to make in order to make a historically-based story immersive. She has to do even more in order to delve into the scale of the event or the time period. She has to go to many different countries and interviews all kinds of people. For Salt To The Sea which centers around those repressed under the Lithuanian military government, she had to conduct interviews with many of those victims across many platforms. Her visit here to the Philippines not only was to promote her books and meet readers here, but she also as part of an extensive research project for a future novel she is writing about people with leprosy around the world and their many struggles.


The energy Ruta had at the event was very electric and it lit up the entire room filled by some book clubs who came as groups as a show of support for the books. Every minute of the conversation was filled with many great ideas and pearls of wisdom. Sure, writing historical fiction can be a very tough job, especially for people like me who are moved by strong emotions. Her secrets to living a good life despite most of her time living in her writing cave were shared with us the audience, such as listening to some instrumental music or taking some time out in nature were captivating for most of us.


As you can see here, going to these author events are a totally fun experience especially if you want to meet new writers and explore some new book recs, it also gives you a chance to see them in a completely different way. Sometimes you get to see them share some lighthearted stories and have fun with the audience even before the event. The photo you see on top of this post was taken while going around the store. I had a really sweet small conversation with her in which I introduced her to some of the books from the podcasters I loved. She was very delighted that I introduced her to them and had a bit of a nice talk.


I hope you get to experience some events like this in 2024, especially with the Philippine Book Festival is coming up. It is a wonderful chance to meet authors both local and international as well as to discover some great Pinoy reads. It will be happening in April, follow the National Book Development Board - Philippines on their social media channels for more details and announcements. Also follow Fully Booked on social medias for more future author events and how you can join.

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  • mattdg204

This masterpiece of independent animation brings together animated worlds in an unforgettable tale from the roaring 20s.


POV: It's the height of the Prohibition in the heart of the American Deep South. A group of cats, one of which is a master performer whose family belongs to a group of bootleggers, the other being part of a rival gang out to get anyone with a stash of alcohol.


Is this a videogame? Or something that's straight out of Japanese anime that happens to be set in the West during the 1920s? Well. this does sound like one but it really isn,t.


What this really refers to is the premise of the independent animated short film Lackadaisy, based on the webtoon of the same title by Tracy J. Butler.

There are so many things that left me impressed by this short. One of these standouts for me is the artstyle of the animation. The art is for me a major aspect of this film as it really fits into every change in the plot's flow. The film's opening, a love letter to the mighty Missisipi, glows with absolute delight as it carries the charm of heartland culture. However as the plot starts to make a dramatic shift, so does the film's art style. As the intense car chase gets underway, the style changes to drastically to reflect the tension and thrill of the high intensity action sequence.


Perhaps what struck me the most about this film is the fact that Lackadaisy perfectly intertwines the worlds of Japanese and Western animation into what I consider to be a masterpiece in the world of indie toons. This perfectly blends together the magic and emotion of Studio Ghibli and many Japanese animations with the historical feels of popular period pieces such as Bridgerton, the Red Dead Redemption game series, or Spy x Family, as well as the action thriller elements that have become the hallmarks of animes like Jiujitsu Kaisen and Mob Pshyco 100, as well as their Western equivalents such as The Owl House, as there are many exciting twists and turns that pack the entirity of this half hour pilot episode.

Every minute of this is brimming with so much raw emotion and a sense of immersion into the world of Lackadaisy as they come provided with the impressive design of the characters and the setting of this pilot in which Wes Anderson would have loved to discover and explore.


With all these factors in mind, it's very easy for animation aficionados the world over have looked up to Lackadaisy since its initial upload in March. This really is a masterpiece that speaks very dearly to fans of indie animation, which makes it one of the best indie animated projects on Youtube in 2023.


No matter if you are a newcomer to the world of Youtube indie animators, or someone who has followed this Internet animation revolution for the past few years and marvelled at the progress these creators have made, or perhaps someone like me, who crossed over to the world of indie cartoons from mainstream animation whether Japanese or Western, Lacadaisy has everything you'll ever need to begin appreciating Internet indie cartoons.


If you liked this, then definitely give Hazbin Hotel, Helluva Boss, and The Amazing Digital Circus a shot in order to explore more of the wonderful world of YouTube independent animation

You can see more Lackadaisy on these social media pages.


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It is without a doubt that in Asia and the Philippines, on-demand audio has been on the rise with podcasts on every genre carrying real, honest, and unfiltered conversations about every aspect of life in a humorous or stories that captivate you and take you to a whole new dimension of storytelling.


Whatever it is you're into, there are podcasts that can truly make you engaged and bring wholesome on-demand entertainment that moves you and moves with you too. Because that is the true beauty of audio. It's great content that you can listen to while doing whatever your life needs you to do without requiring all of your senses.


And one of the best places to find this new wave of Filipino audio content creators is Anima Podcasts, the podcasting spin-off of the indie filmmaker Anima Productions. They have been at the forefront of the podcasting revolution in the Philippines by taking in an eclectic array of tastemakers in Pinoy podcasting. They even gave listeners a chance to meet the minds behind their fave podcasts and share with this amazing community at the first podcast festival in the country, Hear For It last October 20th at Glorietta Makati.


I have heard a lot about the event on social media and I was very interested in attending as I wanted to explore the world of podcasting in our country, meet some great local audio content creators and discover the power of hearing new podcasts that I have no interest in and never heard of. In short I was curious and wanted to hear what made these shows enjoyable for many people.


Unfortunately I did not attend, but at least I was still kinda curious, so I looked up the podcasters featured at the event and discovered that some of them are actually very interesting and I learned many cool things about life in general from hearing these shows and enjoying every minute of these wholesome conversations.


Here are two of the podcasts I have taken a dive into and enjoyed:


Intulectwalwal with Victor Anastacio


As an influential stand-up comedian, one of the heads behind Comedy Manila, and a talent of GMA Sparkle, Victor Anastacio has so much to say about life and people to talk to. He has a way of getting to know influencers, taking them away from the pre-fabricated social media landscape to share some honest talks about what they do and how they see the world, and a way to interact with his fellow stand-up comedians to share their ups and downs in life and whatever it is on their minds.


This is the pure essence of the podcast. You don't get just a plain old interview, uh-uh. You get a conversation that while often going off-tangent to insert some kind of joke or relating one experience to another, creates an experience that really makes you want to smile all your worries out as Victor and his guests discuss all kinds of crazy things in the world, from politics and conflicts to going on a fitness spree by working out and sweating more often to shave off some weight, then add a little honesty and personal experiences as well as a dash of intellect to create a smart, informative, and enlightening conversation.

Paano Ba 'To: The Podcast


So do you need a little morale boost in your life? Have you listened to the likes of Michelle Obama and Jay Shetty? Are you looking for a different and relatable perspective to help you through any personal personal challenges? Then here's a Pinoy motivational podcast to check out!


After years in the field of showbiz and media broadcasting, Bianca Gonzalez has taken a whole new direction in her life to make herself better, more content, and happier with everything in the world. And that's how she escaped her "panno ba to" moments of being stuck and finding a new life direction.


Blending her personal experiences with interviews with people who have had deep personal struggles, from big name celebrities and influencers to some of her own hard experiences in her personal life, you are sure to learn some new things about self-care, finding the joy in the everyday, and looking for opportunities whenever there are things that are holding you back. It will make you think about what you are going through and make you see setbacks from a whole other perspective to see how they moved forward and it makes you look for ways that you can apply these lessons of the stars to your own life.



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