Monthly update: March 2018

Hello, visitors! How are you? Well, I hope!

Before I begin: this is not an April’s Fools post. Just in case.

As promised, I’m here with a quick update on my monthly writing goals. 

This month was a little more irregular than most, as I have been very busy and also away from home for a few days on a trip with the parents (check my previous post for details on that), but it was actually a pretty decent one.

March goal: 31,000 words (to the original plan of 1,000 words per day)

Words written in March: 43,416. I’m not putting in an average, as my daily writing varies wildly, and I haven’t written anything at all on the 29th, last day I was out of town.

Well… I guess that’s it. It wasn’t really much for today, but it’s Sunday, it’s 9 PM, and… I’m lazy. I’ll do better next weekend (or maybe I’m lying because it’s April’s Fools).

Many blessings, and see you on the next post!

 

Finally back home

Hello, visitors! How are you all? Well, I hope!

I’m extremely happy to announce that I’m back home! Now, don’t get me wrong – traveling is great, and this particular one was a lovely trip. But even seeing a new place and staying at a beautiful hotel… there is no place like home.

With that out of the way, I thought I’d quickly sum up the experience before moving on to more interesting themes, because why not, right?

Monday, the 26th

I’ve worked normally on Monday, as we were traveling late at night (cheaper and we get more time in the actual place, since we’re already there in the early morning), and then my dad picked me up so we could all get a cab out of their home. 

When we got to the airport, it looked pretty sad and dull, even though it was around nine something – our flight was scheduled to a bit later than eleven. We hung out, ate, and just… strolled there until boarding, as there wasn’t much to do or see.

The flight was short and peaceful. I confess I was really stressed because I was seated by a stranger and there was a lady with a baby not too far away from me. The baby did cry a little during take off, but she managed to calm him down, and we had a pretty quiet flight.

Tuesday, the 27th

We got to the airport in Porto Seguro at about 47 past midnight, and there was someone from the travel agency waiting for us already. He let us know we had gotten upgraded to a different, better hotel, at no cost. Dad and I didn’t mind it, as we’re pretty easy going. Mom, though, started complaining right away and complained all the way to the (lovely) hotel and, in the room, all the way up until we finally settled down and got to bed at about 2 in the morning.

20180327_081334A picture of our hotel, taken from the breakfast table

After we got a good night’s sleep, we got up and went to have breakfast before taking a city tour. We had a meeting with a guide from the agency to schedule our other plans for the days we would be there, and then off we went. 

We got a lot of history on how the place was founded, visited historical buildings, and all that good stuff. I won’t go into detail here, otherwise I’d spend three days typing this post. Maybe I’ll do it in the future, time allowing it.

20180327_123658Picture taken during the city tour

After the tour ended, we went back to the hotel and left only to have dinner and explore our surroundings,  before getting back in to rest for the second day of activities.

Wednesday, the 28th

On Wednesday, we took a trip to Arraial D’Ajuda, a district within the city of Porto Seguro. The trip consisted of three parts – a visit to Taípe Beach (note: Taípe is an indigenous word that means turtle, as the beach is known for being frequented by many sea turtles, both in the water and on land to lay their eggs), lunch on the beach, and then a visit to the village of Arraial D’Ajuda itself.

20180328_110128

Taípe Beach

A bit of history. Local tradition says there was a time a long time ago when the village was suffering from a shortage in drinking water. A lumberjack who worked around the area found something on his way to work. It was an image of Nossa Senhora D’Ajuda (Our lady the helper, in free translation). He took it home, put it in a drawer and went to sleep. In the morning, he went to the drawer and the image was gone. Since he had to go to work, he didn’t spend too  much time looking around and left. Lo and behold, the image was at the same time he had originally found it. He took it again, and the same thing happened the next day. He then figured out that the saint wanted to stay where she was, and a chapel was built there. And, during the process of building it, they found clean water not too far from the place. Of course, I can’t claim it’s true – or not -, but this is the general idea behind the current name of the village.

20180328_143724The small village of Arraial D’Ajuda (feat. my parents)

20180328_143837Behind the church, where people tie those ribbons and pray for a ‘grace’, something they really want to see happen in their lives

After visiting the village, we went home to prepare for the last – and, in my opinion, best – of our days in there.

Thursday, the 29th

On our last day in Porto Seguro. The first part of the trip was a visit to an indigenous village. The people who live there are the Pataxó, and they were extremely welcoming. Sadly, I didn’t really take pictures, as I was too involved in learning about their culture and participating in the activities – face painting, dancing, listening to lectures and participating in some sports, such as throwing the tacape (a kind of spear used for hunting) and going on a tug-of-war match with the local ladies, which we obviously lost, but had a lot of fun – to stay glued to my phone.

After the activities, we tried fish they roast inside a palm – which was delicious, by the way -, and then went down for lunch (the reservation is up a very steep hill, but 100% worth the hike up there).

Lunch was at a Brazilian steak house, and excellent, though I just nibbled on some meat, as I wasn’t feeling well. Still worth it, and it was covered by our package (except for drinks and dessert, but we didn’t really spend a lot on those).

After lunch, we went to the Discovery Memorial, where we heard about when the Portuguese came to Brazil, then saw replica of paintings, Portuguese tiles and maps, and then we visit a replica of a caravela, the kind of ship they have brought here.

20180329_145056Replica of the caravela

After visiting the replica of the caravela and hearing a little about how things worked in there – how they slept, and how they disposed of their waste, etc, we went down to a replica of an indigenous home, called an oca, where there are some utensils, pictured below. I apologize if any of the pictures is not too good, as they (and all other pictures here) were taken on my phone.

20180329_14534620180329_14535720180329_145406

20180329_14542520180329_14541220180329_145420Pictures taken of the utensils made and used by local natives

After this visitation, we went back to the hotel, and, as we were all too tired to go out, had dinner in the hotel and waited to come home.

So, that’s the end of the long and amazing saga of me taking three days off of work to travel with my parents.

It was tiring as hell. My legs still hurt. My right arm hurts from the tug of war. My right leg is scraped from being dragged on the floor.

And I loved every bit of it.

Many blessings, and see you on the next post!

Becoming a weekend blogger

Hello, visitors!

How are you all? Well, I hope!

I’m just dropping by here to announce a quick change before I ride off into the sunset for a few days away from my laptop!

I know I haven’t been really consistent in my posting schedule, and it sucks. Life has been very busy lately, and I only have time to breathe over the weekend. Therefore, this will be my new posting schedule. I will try for one post per weekend now, but maybe I can even do two, if I have the time.

Once I have a better schedule, or a little more free time, I will definitely revise that.

Many blessings, and see you when I get back home!

The headless mule

headless-mule
Headless Mule (I do not own the image, if you do and would like me to remove it, please do contact me)

Hello, visitors! How are you? Well, I hope!

Today I come here, once again, to talk about random matters. I also come here with a slight change to the theme. I’m not sure I’ll keep it as it is yet, but, for now, this new color scheme will be staying. I’m more than open to suggestions if you’d like to share them, thank you!

With that out of the way, let us move on to the theme I’ve set for today’s post, shall we?

The headless mule, or mula sem cabeça in Portuguese, is a creature of the Brazilian folklore.

She – yes, it’s a she – could be placed in the category of cursed creatures, just like the werewolf (which I will probably be discussing in the future). 

Her curse derives from the sin of being a mistress to a priest (a Catholic priest, bound by the Church to celibacy). According to the myth, the woman who commits this sin becomes cursed, and changes into the creature, sometimes from Thursday sunset to to Friday sunrise, or, in some places, during the full moon.

It is said she will run through seven crossroads during her time as the beast, or spend the entire night as such, and that she will turn into her other form much in the same way the werewolf does (I will definitely be touching the Brazilian legends regarding werewolves in a future post). 

To break the curse, one has to either remove her harness or wound her badly enough to draw blood. She will then turn back into her human form, and remain a regular woman as long as the person who has broken the curse lives in the same area. Should the person move away, the woman will again become the cursed creature. An alleged way of preventing the curse is for the lover (the priest) to curse his mistress seven times before Mass.

Alternative versions:

There is one version that says that the woman who loses her virginity before marriage becomes a headless mule.

Another version claims the headless mule was a queen who used to leave her home at nights, and come back hours later. One night, her husband followed her to see where she was going, and found her at the local cemetery, eating the dead body of a child. Once she was found out, she let out a terrifying scream and morphed into the monster.

The legend of the headless mule is very old. The first written reports date from the Middle Ages, and, even then, it held much of the original ideas I have presented above, with only slight changes here and there, mostly due to the the legend being passed from place to place. Unlike other legends, I have yet to hear someone currently saying they have seen it. It still remains very interesting, and a part of our very rich folklore.

Some researchers say the origin of the legend – which has never been confirmed – comes straight from the Catholic Church itself, as a means of controlling the believers and putting the fear of a terrible fate in their hearts should they sin against the established rules. This has been unconfirmed, though, mostly due to it being a very old myth and originally passed down through word of mouth, to the point where its origin was lost in time.

Well, I guess I have said enough for now about this bit of folklore, haven’t I? If there are any questions you have, please do post them in the comments, and I’ll be happy to answer!

Many blessings, and see you on the next post!

Projects for 2018

Hello, visitors! How are you? Everyone doing well, I hope!

Today I come here, again, to talk about random stuff. More properly, random stuff related to writing.

Writing is one of my passions, as well as reading, and you can be sure there will be a lot of writing talk around the blog. Hopefully, I will be able to offer some value as well as my musings.

Being an avid researcher, I have tons of links I consider interesting, and I will be sharing them with you all, as long as I have had the time to go through them – as I just dump them on my bookmarks and forget about them – and select the best ones.

On the point of writing, either solo, for the blog, or for my collaborative writing partners (I will write more on that in the future), I plan on writing 365,000 words by the end of this year.

It does sound like a big project – at a thousand words per day for every day of the year -, and it is. There are days in which I manage to write more, and others in which I can write less, or even not at all. So, I guess we’ll see whether or not I’ll be able to finish my goal at the end of the year.

As at the end of February, I had gotten to 67,674 words – 32,706 in January, and 34,968 in February -, which has put me ahead of the projected 59,000 I should have by then. Hopefully, I’ll be able to keep ahead throughout the year. I will definitely update at the end of every month and see how well I’m going.

Now, as for more direct talk about my projects. I have many of them, to be honest. I’m not sure how well I’ll be able to figure things out and actually make things work, as I work full time, run some collaborative writing sites, and just have other stuff to do in life. But hey, I’ll never succeed if I don’t try, right?

For the blog, to be honest, I don’t really have a specific plan. I’ll post pretty much whatever I feel like posting, and as often as I can. I’m hoping I’ll post for the blog at least once a week, and maybe more, as I plan on posting here whenever I don’t have anything more pressing to write – like a post for one of my partners, or something for my solo writing.

For my projects with partners, well… I basically plan on writing whatever they want to explore. Some of my partners are long-term ones, and we have such a good rapport we don’t even need to actually do any plotting. We just start off with an idea, and let our creativity lead us. With others, I have to do a little more plotting. It’s all good, it takes time to create that deep connection.

As for my solo projects – which will probably end up here on the blog too -, I plan on trying to step out of my comfort zone. I want to explore uncomfortable themes – adultery, crime, some heavier themes -, and also to try and write around some random prompts or randomly generated plots. Basically, I want to try less control and more freedom. Let us see how good I’ll be, and how successful these projects will be in the end.

You’ll all be kept posted, definitely.

Well, I guess I’ve rambled on enough for a day, haven’t I? Yes, I definitely have, but I really wanted to post something today, so there you are.

Thank you for dropping by! If you have any projects of your own or random ideas you’d like to share with me, please let me know in the comments!

Many blessings, and see you on the next post!

Hello, world!

Hello, person who’s stumbled upon this blog! How are you? Well, I hope!

Welcome to this little corner of the internet where you’ve probably come to by taking a wrong turn or opening the wrong door. But hey, you’re here already, why not stay for a while? I promise I don’t bite.

Are you comfortable? Good.

I’m Jay, nice to meet you. This place here is just a little space for me to enjoy myself and waste a little bit of time whenever the writing bug bites me – which happens pretty often, I must admit.

In here, I’ll share random musings, some creative writing, small plot blurbs, links, images, ramblings about stuff nobody wants to know about… you know, the usual things people post when they have a blog they had no business creating in the first place. All that fun stuff.

If you’re interested in seeing what dumb thing I have decided to post about this time, feel free to follow the blog! I’ll try to post here at least once a week!

Other than that, thank you for dropping  by!

Many blessings, and see you on the next post!