Blog Design Review for “Your Move”

Blog Title

1, What might this signify?

This title is more of a challenge rather than just a simple blog title. With this title, I tell the readers, “Okay. Here’s my writing in all its glory or mess. Now respond to it.” I’ve had blogs before (I’m actually running another blog other than this one) and I’m well aware that readership makes or breaks a blog. Besides, how are you going to improve if you don’t invite people to critique what you do? That thought process was definitely present when coming up with “Your Move”.

2. In what category would you place this blog title?

I would definitely place this blog title under “cultural allusion”. It actually references my favorite card game anime (Japanese animation) franchise – “Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters” (not chess, as previously discussed in a class once. I don’t even understand chess). The characters will say this phrase to their opponents to challenge them to react to what just happened in a card game-based duel (e.g. summoning their ace monster, having just pulled off an amazing combo). Since Yu-Gi-Oh! has had a huge impact on my life, including my writing life, I felt obligated to reference it in my blog title.

Blog Design

1. Describe it.

I’m pretty picky with blog designs, even if I’m only limited to the free version. After much searching, I decided on “Hemingway Rewritten”. I actually made a lot of changes to it, since I like playing around with blog designs. I uploaded a picture that I took myself as the header image. I took the picture when I visited the Kyoto International Museum in Japan. There was an exhibit dedicated to former manga artist Tsuchida Seiki who had passed away quite recently and just how prolific he was as a manga writer. They had 18,000 pages of his original work on the ceiling, on the floor, and on the walls; there were so many pages that they couldn’t all fit on the ceiling, the floor, or the walls, so they had at least three stacks of the pages. Since I’m a writer and have written many, many drafts of ideas for stories, I could relate; which is why I put an image of the exhibit as the header.

I also changed the background to light pink because pink is my favorite color. I chose light pink in particular so that people could actually read the text. I had the background as hot pink before, but it was hard to read.

2. How readable is it?

I think it’s readable. I put in a lot of work to make sure it was readable.

Image of Writerly Self

1.Yes/No. If yes, describe it.

I do have an image that represents my writerly self, but because of my blog layout, no one can see it unless I comment on a post of theirs. It’s a picture of me squatting on the ground with one hand on it for support and pointing at a sign that says “Kyoto International Manga Museum Entrance”. I also have an excited expression on my face.

2. Where is it located?

As I mentioned before, the image of my writerly self is hard to find on my blog unless I comment on other people’s posts on their blogs.

3. What might it signify?

Because I strongly identify as a writer, specifically a creative writer, I always find writing to be an exciting adventure rather than a boring chore that has to be done in order to pass a class (although, 10+ page research papers ten pages are a huge exception to this sentiment). Whenever I have the time to just sit down and write something and I actually do write it, I’m always overcome with this feeling of joy because I always think, “Woah. I’m writing. I’m writing something that sounds cool. Woah. This is awesome!” In short, the image signifies the excitement I have when I think about writing and when I actually do write.

Shall we play with words? (Blog Title Explanation)

The course blog title “Shall we play with words?” is a cultural allusion to the 1983 film War Games. After watching a clip from the movie, I would imagine that this title signifies how playing with words is like playing these games; it starts off simple enough: words after words with various punctuation in between to form complete sentences. As someone continues to write, the process becomes more intense; at times, writing itself can spiral out of control in that some words and ideas that shouldn’t be in the piece of writing find their way there. Only until after the writer stops working on the piece does this game between the mind and the writer stop.

“A funny thing about Robinson Crusoe . . .” [Farther Away]

A funny thing about Yu-Gi-Oh! is how in 18 years of the franchise being around, no one questions the prominence of playing a card game to solving problems in the actual shows or books. There have been – sure – moments when people tried to solve issues by actually harming the other person physically (i.e. guns, traps, or a nice classic punch to the face) or just giving five minute speeches. There have been episodes where a card game wasn’t a factor in deciding something important. There have even been episodes where card games haven’t been played at all (although those are really rare). But the questioning of the prevalence of card games in society is noticeably absent  (The franchise’s most astounding detail just might be how seriously card games are taken). Although the characters sometimes admonish other characters for being too excited while playing card games, everyone unanimously accepts the role card games has on this ever evolving world.

“The heights of the island were still in cloud . . . ” [Farther Away]

The height of the creek was still high, but I was hoping that the water would soon recede into the Gulf of Mexico. As well as I could tell from the GPS on my phone, I needed to go through Brightwater – the neighborhood from mine and across my neighborhood –  in order to avoid the deep puddles that blocked not only the sidewalk to the path elevated by hill next to Oyster Creek but the path itself. I was cheered by the fact that the path in Brightwater didn’t have many large puddles (or so people had told me), but, almost as soon as I’d left my house, it started to rain exponentially again. Even after spending time to acquire rain gear, such as an umbrella and an obnoxiously yellow and blue rain jacket, for the trek, visibility dropped to a few hundred feet, and I began to stop every ten minutes to make sure I didn’t lose any of my belongings so the tale of Hansel and Gretel didn’t repeat with me. I had to face downward so the downpour of the rain wouldn’t impair my vision to the point where I couldn’t see what was in front of me. For a while, I held to a trail marked by dead grass, but the ground soon became too muddy and scarred with truck tire tracks and the streets became too flooded for me to be sure I was still on the path.

“I was awakened in the night . . .” [Farther Away]

I was awakened from my nap in the night by the sound of heavy rain beating against the windows in the game room. The rain sounded like tiny golf balls hitting against the wall constantly at a quick pace. I went to my room and tried to sleep with all the pillows over my head, but I could still hear the tapping of the rain – possibly hail – on the windows looking into my room. When the weather transformed from a dark and vicious hailstorm to a cloudy, gray, and eerie silence, I walked out of my room and glanced through the window to see what had become of the creek outside. There had been so much rain that the creek had risen substantially; it looked as though it could flood the path that separated the houses and the creek. I trotted down the stairs and went outside to assess the damage the weather might have caused. There were puddles that had formed on the front porch and the sidewalk and I even saw a couple of stray cats walking around, clearly unhappy in their drenched conditions.