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Showing posts from 2018

My Impression of Survival Family

I recently watched this 2017 Japanese movie called Survival Family, directed by Shinobu Yaguchi. It starred Fumiyo Kohinata, Eri Fukatsu, Yuki Izumisawa, and Wakana Aoi. I watched the movie on my flight back from Tokyo to Toronto, and overall, I enjoyed it.

The story is about Yoshiyuki Suzuki (played by Fumiyo Kohinata), and his family as they try to adapt to living after a nationwide blackout seemed to have occurred with no logical explanation. I found the movie to be interesting in a sense that before the blackout occurs, we see a glimpse of what life is like for the Suzuki family. All of the family members relies on the convenience of technology, whether it is using the elevator, computers, phones, or TVs as an example. The son (played by Yuki Izumisawa) always have music playing on his headphones, and when the blackout occurs, he hears the ambient nature sounds to his surprise that he had never paid attention to in the past. There was another scene where a customer was trying to …

My Impression of Downsizing

I recently watched a 2017 film titled Downsizing, directed by Alexander Payne, written by Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, and starred Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau and Kristen Wiig.

The synopsis of the movie is about Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and Audrey Safranek (Kristen Wiig), who decides to sign up for the "downsizing" procedure as a way to start a new happier life together to get away from the stress of their everyday life in Omaha. The downsizing procedure was discovered by scientists in the movie with their motivation of wanting to decrease humanity's footprint on Earth in an attempt to conserve resources to better the environment. To prevent spoilers, I'll leave the synopsis at this point to not ruin any surprise if you do decide to watch it.

My thoughts about the film was surprising. I honestly didn't have any expectations of the film prior to watching it. I had seen one trailer, and didn't think about it but was intrigued by the premise of …

Flash Fiction #59

Prompt: Tell a story of a new relationship from both people’s perspectives. Here’s the catch: there should be no scenes between the two of them. You can only use descriptions to other characters, diary entries, thoughts, dreams, and anything else that doesn’t involve contact between the two main characters.


Hope you enjoy~!


~~~

I always see her every morning on the bus to school. It was love at first sight. I usually stood opposite of the rear exit door, and every so often, I would take a peek at her sitting in the back row reading a book. On hot summer days, the window would be open slightly to let in the fresh air and I loved her long silky black hair getting brushed around by the breeze. Once or twice, I had a feeling that our eyes established a connection and every day I would try to get the courage to approach her to start up a conversation. However, I could never do it.

Every day, I see a boy looking over in my direction. He would look at me, and then look away before I could l…

Day 5 [Burnaby]

I was up late trying to record something for this secret project that I'm doing with a group online. I was originally hoping it would take at most 30 minutes, but before I knew, it took 2 hours. I was pretty tired afterwards, and passed out when I got to bed. Hopefully, my part in the video is fine as it is. Knowing what you want to do, and coming up with a plan. I wish that I knew exactly the life plan set out. I have a vague idea of what I want, and the next step is figuring out how to get there. The thing is... my motivation can be up and down. Some days I can be really productive and not be phased by anything, while other days, I feel like a potato. Is it a sign that I'm unsure of what I really want, or being comfortable, still lamenting over the past? I honestly don't know. It's just something for me to think through...

Another inspiration for my stories have been from a singer named Kina Grannis. I first heard about her from her acting debut in a web series calle…

Day 4 [Burnaby]

Today we went down to the Quay at New Westminster. It was a cloudy day, but the probability of precipitation was 40% which was in our favour as it didn't rain when we were outside. We walked along the boardwalk, and there was a very tall Tin Soldier statue along the way! That surprised me. We ate lunch at the River Market where there was quite a few number of shops in there like Thai, BBQ, gelato, and Mexican food. I had a pad thai tofu, which was yummy.

Later on in the day, I took a walk in the ravine park near the neighbourhood again and decided to venture a bit deeper on the trail. Along the trail, I didn't see that many people compared to yesterday but I did see someone arrive to go to the tennis courts to play by himself. There was an elderly couple doing laps around the parking lot. While strolling on the trail, I stopped to take in the environment and noticed the birds chirping somewhere. Then the loneliness had set in. I get that sort of feeling when I walk around alon…

Day 3 [Burnaby]

Today, we moved from Fort Moody to a place in Burnaby. It was relatively a short drive, and the place that we are staying at have two artists (sculptures). The wife sculpts smaller items, like cups and plates, while the husband sculpts the bigger pieces like statues. Overall, it's a nice place with all of the basic essentials already in place, which is nice and convenient. Just about 10-15 minutes away by foot, there was a nice park to walk on the trail. The trees all look so tall, and if you stop and listen to nature, you can hear all sorts of things. The wind. The small creek trickling down. There was this particular intersection heading out of the neighbourhood with no lights in our direction. The street that we wanted to turn on was so busy that it didn't really allow us to turn left safely. After the fact, we found out that for the particular intersection, it is recommended to get out of the car and go to press the walking signal to force the lights to turn red for us to …

Day 2 - [Port Moody]

I took a walk around the small town about east from Vancouver. There was about a 3 km trail around Burrard Inlet that linked about 3 parks around the body of water. It was an interesting sight to see patches of the ground in the middle of the inlet with Canadian Geese chilling on them. I suspect that today was a low tide. I saw several joggers and cyclists on the trail, and they were signs saying that it was a Terry Fox Training Route. I haven't seen that name since I was little. Along the trail, I saw a sign of a potential black bear sighting with rules to follow if you unfortunately come across a bear. I had never seen such a sign before on trails that I visited, so it took me for a surprise.

In one of the parks near the pier, there were so many children running around playing. Then I saw groups of about 3 kids with a piece of paper and pen writing something before running off. I assumed that they were doing some kind of treasure hunt, and it reminded me of when I was little whe…

Day 1 [Vancouver]

First day in Vancouver! It's my first time on the West Coast in Canada. The flight from Toronto to Vancouver was no problem, although it was delayed by 20 minutes for takeoff. I didn't know that Air Canada provided free entertainment, especially international movies. There were a couple of Japanese movies that I had put on my to-watch list. One of those movies that I decided to watch on the flight was called The Third Murder.

The movie was written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda (A Little Sister, After the Storm), and starred Masaharu Fukuyama, Koji Yakusho, and Suzu Hirose. Wikipedia has a pretty good synopsis of the movie without spoiling the movie, so here it is: Tomoaki Shigemori is a lawyer tasked with defending a client (Misumi), who faces the death penalty if found guilty, in a murder trial. Misumi has previous convictions for murder and has confessed to the crime, but evidence in the case leads to Shigemori having doubts about what really happened (1).

Overall, I enj…

Updates!

A small update on my writing! After 2 years, I almost put on the final polish for my next short story. It did take quite a while. It has been work on and off, so it's not as if I was working on it straight day after day. I did wish that I could have finished it sooner, but that's okay. The next steps is to finalize the final edits, come up with a synopsis for the story, and figure out a cover design for the ebook.

In my last blog post, I finally reached a small milestone of 100 posts on this blog! I had been thinking of that goal for a long time, and if I was more diligent in updating the blog, I would have gotten to my self-imposed goal much sooner. The short one-shots that I've been writing on this blog has flexed my writing creativity when I felt that I needed some change from my novel or short stories, as well as I enjoy doing some reviews of movies that I liked. Here's to another 100 more (hopefully sooner than the last)! 
I will be travelling across the country t…

Flash Fiction #58

Prompt: You've been ordered to kill someone you've fallen in love with. How did you get into this situation and what will you do next?

Hope you enjoy!

~~~

"Shoot her." The boss told me as he handed me a pistol, and guided my hand to point it at Ashley. She was tied to a chair with rope, unconscious.

My eyes were wide open with shock. I couldn't believe what I just heard. "B-Boss, w-what do you mean? She's our comrade!"

"Not anymore. We found out she has been betraying us all along. She's a spy for the police."

"I don't believe you!" I lowered the pistol a little bit, trying to grasp what was going on. "Are you certain? She has to be set up by someone else."

"It doesn't matter at this point. Even if she wasn't the spy, I need to send a message to keep my image."

Ashley woke up from her slumber, and fidgeted in her seat realising that she was tied up. "What's going on?" She saw the …

Flash Fiction #57

This was something I started to write a couple of months ago, but forgot about it until now. Hope you enjoy this!

~~~

It’s the same thing day in and day out. Wake up, eat, work, and then sleep. People often ask me what I want for my future, but I like my job currently despite the mundane job duties. It’s safe and comfortable. Every time someone asks what I do, I would say “I’m just a dishwasher”, people simply roll their eyes with displeasure at the bottom of the barrel job. I would imagine they were thinking along the lines of “This guy is a wasted potential”.

I enter the restaurant from the back, and wash any dirty dishes that come back from the front throughout the night. I see co-workers come and go, looking for better things elsewhere in the meantime. That was when I met him. A one of a kind guy. He shook my hand with a smile. “I’m Alex, nice to meet you. Have you been working here long?”

“Nice to meet you too. I’m Jackie. To answer your question, five years if I recall correctl…

Flash Fiction #56

I was inspired recently, so hope you enjoy! ^_^

~~~

Sitting alone on the bench in the train terminal station, I had music blasting at full volume while reading a book. I just missed the train, and there wouldn't be another one for another hour or so. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little girl on her knees looking for something on the floor. I ignored her, focusing on the book but eventually took out the headphones when she sighed and slouched on the bench beside me as she looked down.

I lowered the book to my lap and faced the little girl. "What are you trying to find?"

She turned towards me with a surprised look. "I lost my bracelet, but I was sure I dropped it near here. I checked all of the other places, and nothing."

"Have you checked the lost and found? Maybe someone found it and dropped it off there."

Her eyes followed mine to the lost and found a ways away, and I chuckled as I could imagine the light bulb turned on inside her brain when h…

Flash Fiction #55

Writing Prompt - First line: The horse came back alone.

Hope you enjoy~!

~~~

The horse came back alone.

Before noticing the horse running back, Alisa sat near the fireplace in the living room and prayed that Alex would come back safely after going out to investigate the disturbance at their neighbour's home. After hearing something from the outside, Alisa peeked through the window and ran outside in a panic. She steadied the horse by grabbing the reins, and padding it gently. She looked as far out as she could, hoping to see what went wrong. The only question that kept on repeating inside her head was: Where was Alex?

After leading the horse back into the barn and closing it up, she went back into the house trying to figure out what to do next as she paced back and forth. "What would Alex do?"

"I have to go and find him." Alisa stopped and look over at the lantern near the front door. "I'm scared, but I can't simply wait for help like before. I hav…

Flash Fiction #54

Writing Prompt: Have someone looking for something that is lost.

Hope you enjoy!

~~~

Maria ran up and down the street as she stared intensely for the bracelet that she had gotten as a gift. "Where is it? I can't believe I lost it!" She screamed at herself from within. She could feel the rush in the heart beat, and beads of sweat forming on her forehead and back of the neck.

"I'm sure it must be here somewhere. I checked at home, and at school. I couldn't find it anywhere. How can I be so careless?"

Maria cried when she realized the bracelet was lost, and wanted to cry even more while running around. "I can't cry. Tears won't find my bracelet."

When she saw a bracelet near an alleyway, she jumped at it with disappointment. "It's just some junk." She lowered her head at her bad luck, but she got up with renewed enthusiasm unwilling to show defeat.

After walking down the same route from her home to school for thirty minutes…

Flash Fiction #53

Writing Prompt: Make a character cry.

Hope you enjoy!

~~~

Maria jumped up and down, wrapping arms with her teammates as her softball team won the game. "Good job, everyone!"

Her teammates reciprocated the cheerfulness, and celebrated the come back from behind win. Maria noticed Sarah and Taylor coming towards her from the stands, and ran towards them. "Thank you both for coming out! It means a lot to me cheering for us in this type of game."

"No problem. It was really entertaining." Sarah hugged her younger sister, congratulating her.

"That diving catch that you made in the field in the ninth inning was so clutch! I wish I had my camera to take a photo. Good job, Maria." Taylor brushed her hair.

Maria froze for a split second as Taylor was making a mess of her hair. She was glad that she was hiding her face in Sarah's shoulder with that moment, as it started to turn red. She tipped her hat down to try to hide as much of her face as she stepp…