Happy (Belated) International Haiku Day

Happy (Belated) International Haiku Day, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Haiku, poetry, free books, entropy
Photo by Akshar Daveud83cudf3b on Pexels.com

International Haiku Day was 17 April, which unfortunately coincided with Easter this year. Figuring that most of my readers would be otherwise occupied, I decided to extend the poetry appreciation an extra week and post about International Haiku Day today instead.

Haiku is some of my favourite poetry to write (and read). In my experience, being forced to limit yourself to a small number of words or syllables is one of the best exercises in creativity (and let’s face it, there are longer works that feel like mostly filler).

What kind of poetry do you enjoy reading/writing? Share in the comments…

Entropy

Withered petals, dry,

crumbling. Just ashes and dust.

You are forgotten. 

Aspasía S. Bissas

Poetry not your thing? Check out my fiction…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Find out more about International Haiku Day: https://thehaikufoundation.org/events/international-haiku-poetry-day/

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

🧿

End of an Era

End of an Era, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Livejournal, Friendster, MySpace, social media, the web.
Photo by Monoar Rahman on Pexels.com

Were any of you on LiveJournal? LJ was social media before social media, back in the pre-Zuckerberg days of Friendster and MySpace (remember those?) People would friend one another and write journal entries about anything and everything. Once posted, friends (or the public, if you wanted) could read and comment on your entries. You could also join communities to discuss specific topics with other like-minded users.

I loved LiveJournal. Your posts could be as long or short as you liked. I posted everything from random updates, to recipes, photos of my cats and garden, and memes and quizzes (so many). Posts showed up in your feed in chronological order as they were uploaded, not in the order chosen by some obscure algorithm based on post engagement and black magic (and you couldn’t pay to boost your posts, either). If there were ads, they were unobtrusive enough that I don’t remember them.

End of an Era, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Livejournal, Friendster, MySpace, social media, the web.
Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Unfortunately, a brand new type of social media came along and I, along with most other people, jumped on board. Twitter and Facebook were fun. There were games, there were multiple kinds of engagement (Likes! Retweets! Poking!), and they were easier. Who had time to read and write page-long entries when you could enjoy 140-character witticisms? I never thought about algorithms or information gathering or any of the potential negative consequences of these platforms that are now a depressing reality. By the time I realized that LiveJournal was better, everyone had left it. The site is still there but, from what I can tell, it’s much less active, and has also made some changes to be more like the other guys. Going back is pointless.

I spent the last few days copying and pasting my old LiveJournal entries into a Word document (because of course there was no easy way to download them), and then I deleted my account. I really should have done it years ago, but it still was a sad moment. Much as I wish it wasn’t the case, it’s the end of an era: an official conclusion to when the internet was still a tool and not a monster.

I started on LiveJournal in 2003 and was active until 2007. I tried again in 2010/2011, but it was too late by then. My entries amounted to 160,321 words, which is equivalent to two decent novels (and why I went to the trouble of saving it all).

For fun, I thought I’d also share a meme from one of my early entries. Feel free to revive it, either on your own blog or in the comments below. For the record, I have since added Douglas Coupland to my shelves 🙂

September 30th, 2003

07:35 am: Fun with authors…
Instructions: Take one list of authors, remove those whose efforts do not grace your shelves and bring the list up to ten by adding some more that do. Bold indicates newly-added authors.

Cherie Priest
Douglas Coupland
The Dalai Lama
Terry Pratchett
Neil Gaiman
JRR Tolkien
Douglas Adams
Edith Wharton
Charles De Lint
J.K. Rowling
Vladimir Nabokov
Joseph Campbell
Margaret Laurence

Current Mood:

enthused

Current Music: The Chieftains, Celtic Wedding

(It was also nice to be able to add your Current Music and Current Mood. You could customize the mood icons too: I opted for goth girl. The one for feeling sick was a gif where she alternated between her usual look and having blonde hair and bright clothes.)

What sites do you miss from back in the day? Share in the comments…

Do yourself a favour and spend some time with a book instead of social media: download one of mine now…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

My New Podcast

My New Podcast, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com, Spotify, podcast

I’ve decided to go for it and give podcasting a try! To start I’ll be sharing my blog posts in podcast form, but in time I hope to expand to talk about all things books, writing, and vampires (I may even share some of my fiction). Go ahead and give the first episode a listen and let me know what you think…

(You can also follow this link directly to my channel and listen there.)

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

A Lesson in Education

A lesson on education, blog post, aspasia s. bissas, lessons, classes, school, learning, language, french, greek, home schooling, unschooling, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Kate Graur on Pexels.com

I had an unusual linguistic upbringing. Growing up, I heard mostly Greek at home (I spoke a mix of Greek and English). I also lived in a French province for the first nine years of my life. When I started school, it was at an English school, with French lessons starting in grade 1 (we eventually moved to an anglophone province, and I continued taking French until I graduated). My mom taught me the basics in Greek, and I had a very small amount of Greek school on weekends (I don’t think it amounted to a full year).

I never heard French at home, except when flipping past the French channels on TV. I never had anyone to speak French with outside of classes, and I only occasionally read anything in French. But I heard Greek constantly, spoke it often, and read and wrote it occasionally. I’d have conversations all the time with older relatives (granted, they did most of the talking, but I still felt I had a solid grasp of Greek). If anyone asked I would have said I was fluent in Greek and knew some French.

Then I decided to take lessons.

a lesson in education, blog post, aspasia s. bissas. classes, lessons, school, learning, homeschooling, unschooling, french, languages, france, greek, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

I had a language learning app taking up space on my phone, so I finally decided to give it a try to see if it was worth hanging on to. I chose French as the language to learn since I’d been wanting to improve my skills for a while. The app starts off by testing you to see how much you know. I breezed through the test and got to skip ahead to more advanced lessons. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I remembered and how easy much of it was (that said– keeping track of the gender of words and then adjusting all the words in a sentence accordingly is exhausting).

L’homme est canadien (the man is Canadian)
La femme est canadienne (the woman is Canadian)
Les hommes sont canadiens (the men are Canadian)
Les femmes sont canadiennes (the women are Canadian)*

 

(*These aren’t even the most complicated examples– wait until you need to start describing inanimate objects…)

It was great to find out that I wasn’t as bad at French as I thought. And since it was going so well, I decided I’d might as well improve my Greek while I was at it.

Considering Greek is technically my first language (I started picking up English as a toddler), that initial test was not as easy as I expected. Unlike with French, I did not get to skip ahead to more advanced lessons. I discovered I didn’t even know some basics– my vocabulary and spelling are much worse than I realized (but at least my conjugation is good).

After a few minutes on the app, I realized I knew only some Greek and quite a bit more French than I’d assumed. Not what I expected.

It turns out the formal French lessons that I had in school made an impression that’s stuck with me decades later. Meanwhile, learning Greek mostly by “osmosis” let me down. There’s something positive to be said about rote learning and formal education, after all.

My years of absorbing Greek haven’t totally gone to waste. The knowledge I’ve picked up has definitely made the app lessons easier (I’m seriously impressed by anyone who can learn this language from scratch). Since starting the lessons, however, I’ve already seen a major improvement, especially in spelling, vocabulary, and reading. I’m probably only up to an Elementary School level of proficiency so far,  but I finally feel that I’m getting a real grasp on the language I’ve known all my life.

A lesson in education, blog post, aspasia s. bissas, french, greek, france, greece, school, classes, learning, rote memorization, homeschooling, unschooling, formal education, aspasiasbissas.com
Photo by Josiah Lewis on Pexels.com

As someone who’s always been more inclined to learn on my own rather than take a class, this has been eye opening. It’s amazing the difference that actual lessons can make. I’m excited to keep using the app, not only to keep learning French and Greek, but also to expand on my two years of high-school Spanish, and– hopefully– to learn a new language or two. The next time I’m tempted to learn something new, I think I’m going to find a class to take instead of assuming I can figure it out myself.

How about you– have you taken any classes lately, or are there any you want to take? Share in the comments…

Find out what I can do with language (including a bit of French) by getting my books 🙂

Love Lies Bleeding by Aspasia S. Bissas, Blood Magic by Aspasia S. Bissas, Tooth & Claw by Aspasia S. Bissas, books, free books, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, gothic, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer a good paperback to an ebook, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

 

%d bloggers like this: