The Road to a Healthier Me

I recently purchased some new running shoes and exercise clothes, so I’m ready to get moving. When you work sitting at a desk all day, 5 days a week, 40+ hours a week, it’s not exactly the healthiest way to spend your time, but when you need the cash, you do what needs to be done. Nonetheless, I’m trying to get into a routine where I can exercise after work on my treadmill. I’m not really into the gym scene. I’m shy and don’t do crowds. At all. That’s one panic attack I’d rather avoid. That and I’m klutzy and the furthest thing from coordinated.

Anyway, the point is that I’m trying to put together some playlists that will motivate me. Since I want to learn Korean, I want to stick to Korean music. I’m a major newbie when it comes to k-pop. I know a lot of the big acts and some of the songs they’re famous for, but that’s about it If it helps, I listen to FT Island a lot but that’s as far as my Korean journey has taken me.

That said, I’m working on a playlist with EXO songs. I’m not really into hip-hop and r&b, so my personal preference is to avoid music in those genres if I can. I can tolerate in small doses, but it’s not my cup of tea.

So, any suggestions? What k-pop acts make you want to get up and move? I’m trying to be really open-minded here, so I’m open to any and all suggestions.

Novel Writing: Initial Research & A Poll

Don’t get too excited because I don’t make any kind of promises, but I’m in the very beginning stages of planning a novel inspired by k-dramas. Research is very important to me. So before I really delve deep into potential plots or characters, I wanted to take things back to the basics and ask the questions that you’d all know best. I’m just testing out the waters and seeing where things may lead. Please be aware that this is not a sure thing at this stage, but I want to prepare accordingly and see if this is something I could pull off. Any good story needs a solid foundation, so before I go ahead and get any big ideas, I just want to put a couple of ‘feeler’ questions out there. And here is the first:

When it comes to a k-drama, what makes it a k-drama for you? Besides the characters being Korean and speaking language, what quintessential elements do you expect to see? And to add onto that, I added a poll where you can selective your favorite k-drama cliches/tropes.

I’m aware there are many tropes out there, but as I don’t really have a solid idea to even start writing yet, my goal was to reach out to all of the lovely people that know best: my fellow k-drama readers! So, what do you say? Help a girl out? My k-drama of choices are rom com’s, so I’m more partial to writing a rom com novel, but absolutely nothing is set in stone yet.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated! Hope everyone is having a good week. I’m just getting back into my groove after suffering for six days with the flu from hell.

K-Love Official Cover Reveal!

If there’s one thing you do today, you must check this out. It will make your year just like it did for me.

Devon & Cornwall

gridley-girls3

The day is finally here!

You might have gotten pranked one or two times today, but we mean what we say when we are really, truly showing you our OFFICIAL COVER!

Our cover designer over at Kaye Photography did an incredible job putting this together for us! We had so much fun getting sneak peeks during the photo shoot, and then bouncing around ideas for the graphic design of the cover.

We wanted it to look fun and flirty, with a hint of “Korean drama” essence so it would be familiar to K-fans.

And of course, we want to hear your thoughts!

Without further ado, we present to you…

K-Love!

K-Love Tablet and Books

And here’s a bigger version:

klove3Final2

We just love how it turned out, and think it will look fantastic on bookshelves! What do you think? Are you excited to read more about it?

We will be sharing the “back cover blurb”…

View original post 52 more words

Camp Nano, Lemons, and the Hong Sisters

When life gives you lemons, you —

Okay, I’ll shut my trap before I incite a bunch of random, overused proverbs. I will say that I’ve been pretty bummed with the new k-dramas lately. I went into details about that on my last post, and I promise I’m not going there today. Instead, I thought I’d spend a little time talking about dramas and real life.

I work full time for a logistics company. The past six months have been nothing short of a living hell due to circumstances beyond my control at work. It isn’t anything I’ve done wrong, but I’ve had to take on the mother load of responsibility out of nowhere. Thank goodness a sense of normalcy is returning to my work life or I was heading towards a mental and physical breakdown from the lack of sleep and the amount of stress I was going through. That in turn has made me crave lighter, fluffier dramas to help calm and relax me. Coming home to constant migraines and a defeatist attitude hasn’t been my finest hour, but I muddled through with the aid of some great dramas. I constantly thank the drama gods for giving me Shopping King Louis when it did because it aired at a time when I needed it most.

As I’m loving every minute of Strong Woman Do Boong Soon, it’s also tough to wait a week for new episodes. I’ve never been the most patient person, so that’s why I decided to backtrack and try out an older Hong Sisters drama — My Girlfriend is a Gumiho. I’m having so much fun with it because I covet all things the Hong Sisters pen. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but gosh darn it, their dramas make me happy and Gumiho has me excited like the first time I watched My Girl. I’m feeling so energized and happy. I’m already up to episode six and OMO… Lee Seung Gi and and Shin Min Ah are so damn cute together. I can’t even formulate words to explain just how cute they are.

(Couldn’t resist a gif of Nick when he was writing his Zombie novel on New Girl.) 😂😂😂

And that brings me to my last topic: Camp Nano. Yep, I’m a writer. (And I use the term ‘writer’ loosely as it’s been strictly a hobby since my early teen years. In the early 2000’s, I used to post a lot of a website called FictionPress.) Next to reading and k-dramas, writing is one of my favorite things to do. I haven’t done camp nano and regular nanowrimo in years, so I figured it was time to get myself back on the wagon again and write something with a little k-drama flair. K-drama tropes, here I come! Because, let’s face it, k-dramas really are my biggest inspiration these days and I’d be lost without them.

 

Drama Roundup: What I’m Currently Watching & More

2017 has been an interesting year for k-dramas, but I find myself stuck in a bit of a rut. Lately, there hasn’t been much that I’ve loved. Voice was excellent and My Shy Boss was a decent watch, but I just can’t seem to find the right k-drama to fill my strange, seemingly endless void. I’m a sucker for an upbeat romantic comedy. Yep, you guessed it. I’m a hopeless romantic. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. There are plenty of other dramas I enjoy without the romantic element (like Voice), but I generally stick to the styles I love; there are always exceptions to that, though.

Nonetheless, I’m having a really, really tough time finding a new drama to love. There has been one major exception, which I list below. But other than that, nothing is wowing me, guys. There are usually 2-3 dramas that I watch in every cycle, but I’m down to one. Yep, one is the loneliest number. The only advantage of having nothing new to watch is that I have an insanely long list of older k-dramas I’ve been meaning to watch. Maybe this is a sign from the k-drama gods telling me to ignore the current mediocre offerings and do what I do best: binge-watch a completed drama.

At this point, I’m open to recommendations. And it doesn’t have to be strictly Korean dramas as I do occasionally watch Taiwanese, Thai, and Filipino dramas as well.

K-Dramas: 

Strong Woman Do Bong Soon: Sometimes you don’t realize how much you need a fun drama until you start watching it. I have to admit that I initially wasn’t sold on the premise of the show. To say that I’m sick to death of the super hero/super power genre is putting it lightly. Surprisingly, I gave it a shot and I was hooked by episode 3. There’s just something about the Korean style of dramas that manages to make me like the dramas I least expect. Also, can we please talk about the fact that Ji Soo needs to nab a leading role soon? Poor guy always seems to be sidelined as the second male lead and I definitely think he has enough charisma and acting ability to carry a drama. (Drama gods, are you listening?) I digress, I’m not feeling second lead syndrome here, I’m just thinking that I’d really love to see Ji Soo flourish in a leading role one of these days. Nonetheless, I am loving Park Bo Young and Park Hyung Sik to pieces together as they have such a fun, earnest, effortless chemistry together. And the height difference between them. Omo. This drama has become my guilty pleasure. It’s generally so upbeat, fun, and quirky that it takes me back to all the lovely and great feelings I had when I was watching Shopping King Louis last year. I can’t give this one enough thumbs up. In fact, as I’m typing this, I’m about to start episode 10.

~*~

 

Any drama suggestions? Mostly everything I’ve watched until this point is listed here. I’m open to any and all suggestions.

I’m holding out hope that something will catch my eye. Everything else that’s new on Viki and DramaFever hasn’t caught my attention at all. And I’ve had enough of workplace dramas for a while, so Radiant Office is out with a resounding no. Sorry Ha Suk Jin, maybe another time!

K-Movie Recommedation: ‘Train To Busan’

If you’re still in the throes of despair after having to say goodbye to Goblin and Gong Yoo, I have some great news to ease your pain. While going through Netflix, I discovered that Train To Busan is available to watch. Score! I saw this movie last year and thought it was excellent and top notch. If you’re a fan of the zombie genre, I give Train To Busan high marks for a great story, great production value, and great acting!

It was a blockbuster hit last year that also helped reinvigorate Gong Yoo’s acting career. If you have Netflix, this is a must watch movie. You can watch it here. One of these days, I will get around to re-watching this one so that I can do a proper review or at least put together a 10 reasons post. In the meantime, I’m working on another post this weekend to recommend some other Korean movies I’ve enjoyed and where you can watch them. While we all love to binge-watch an excellent drama, sometimes we just don’t have the time to do it. K-movies are a perfect solution to this problem.

Tip: If you’re a bit edgy about horror/zombie movies, you may want to avoid watching this one at night while you’re alone. You’ve been fairly warned. 

Seo In Guk ‘Best of the Best’ K-Drama Roundup

Well, I’m pretty devastated that we’re losing yet another 1987 (my birth year as well!) actor: Seo In Guk. (Why does it always seem like your favorites are all going at the same time?)  The adorable and charming singer/actor, will be signing up for his mandatory enlistment on March 28th. And cue the cry heard around the world. (That’s mine if you haven’t figured that out already.) It’ll be a long two years without him as I’ve really taken a shining to In Guk in the past two years.

So in an effort to honor his work until he returns to us on the small screen again, I’ve put together a post with my top three favorite dramas of his. They’re all a little different, so I hope you can all find something to watch and enjoy. Also, they’re not listed in any particular order. Not going to pick favorites between these three. It’ll be messy and you don’t want me to go there.

Note: I’ve only included dramas I’ve personally watched and re-watched. 

Shopping King Louis – Seo In Guk plays the quirky and fashionable Louis. He’s been raised in a very sheltered environment at his grandmother’s behest. Due to his upbringing, Louis doesn’t really have much of a life, so all of his energy is spent shopping — hence the title ‘Shopping King.’ One day, he ends up in an accident that causes him to lose his memory: retrograde amnesia. The story really begins when he meets the strong, determined, hard working and kind Bok Shil who takes Louis in. Together, the two help each other. It’s mostly cute and quirky, but there are some nice serious moments that shine in this series. If you’re looking for something more uplifting, this is your drama. You can read my spoilery overview of Shopping King Louis here.

High School King – This was my very first time watching Seo In Guk. It tells the story of an eighteen-year-old high school senior who is a star ice hockey player. One day, Min Hyuk’s brother convinces him to masquerade as his older brother at the company he’s just got a job at. I always love roles where actors play double duty with two characters as it really shows off their acting abilities. Like Shopping KingHigh School King has a lighter, quirky element to it. Min Hyuk also struggles to be in two places at once, which is comedic as we watch him run back and forth. The only thing that will be hit or miss in this drama is the romance between our leads. I won’t go into details, but there are two camps: too uncomfortable to ship or two adorable not to ship.

I Remember You / Hello Monster – If you’re watching Voice or you’re just a fan of a good crime/police drama, I Remember You is a standout drama for Seo In Guk. It’s darker; it’s definitely gritty. The themes and general darker tones are much more on point with the likings of Voice, but don’t let that deter you. The acting is phenomenal and memorable here. And while the content isn’t for the faint of heart, we do get a broody and intelligent Seo In Guk if that helps. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Park Bo Gum is in this, but I promise his character is much, much different from Moonlight Drawn By Clouds. Here are a few posts about I Remember You: here, here, and here.

And there you have it! Seo In Guk’s done some great work in the past few years. I don’t think there’s anything I’ve watched of his that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. When he leaves, I will be watching Squad 38 to bring me comfort. And who knows? Maybe this summer I’ll binge watch these three beauties with my bestie so that I get her hooked on another one of my favs. Sound like a plan?

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching ‘Voice’

  1. This is not your typical crime drama. Instead, the content in Voice is much, much darker as we’re dealing with various states of psychological disorders. The characters committing crimes cause various states of emotion.
  2. The connections. A lot of the time, I feel like I’m playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon (also known as Six Degrees of Separation). There’s definitely corruption going on, and I find it intriguing as I try to piece together everyone’s connections.
  3. Jang Hyuk is a rock star here. Whether it’s his one-of-a-kind laugh from Fated To Love You or his brilliant performance as an unfeeling surgeon in Beautiful Mind, this is one actor I look forward to watching as he breathes so much life and dimension to his characters. Voice has been mind blowing and one of the most satisfying things of this drama so far is seeing Moo Jin Hyuk better himself and rise up from the traumas of his path. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of Jang Hyuk, I find him to be excellent and convincing here.
  4. A killer soundtrack. These two songs are a masterpiece and I’m playing them heavy on repeat. The one by Yuna Kim particularly gives me shivers whenever I listen to it — especially when it’s playing during a really intense/important moment during the series.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctfL6O5zsNs
  5. Lee Ha Na has been the biggest surprise for me. While she wasn’t my first pick for Kwon Joo, she does a convincing job and has a good reportoire with Jang Hyuk.
  6. The stories. There is one central plot that carries throughout this series. Between that, we do get to see the Golden Time Team in action and working together on other cases. Sometimes they’re related to our central plot and sometimes they’re not.
  7. If you like your police/crime dramas to adopt a case-of-the-week style (think I Remember You [aka Hello Monster]), Voice will have a similar feel.
  8. We have a unique concept for this crime drama. Our main character is a voice profiler who works for the 112 Emergency Call Center (Korea’s version of America’s 911 Emergency Call Center). Her ability to hear things that others can’t adds an interesting dimension to this series.
  9. All around the board, the acting is solid. Whether the character is around for only one episode or is recurring (but not a main character), their stories are still strong and the acting behind it makes this series more chilling.
  10. Each episode is a whopping 70 some odd minutes. It’s a good length as some of the stories bleed into another episode and we actually have a decent amount of time to explore stories, characters, and arcs. Plus, this gives a more time to flesh out the crimes and our central plot. It may sound like a lot, but the longer episodes fit the format of Voice very well.

K-Drama: ‘The Sound of Your Heart’ Coming to Netflix

If you’re a fan of Lee Kwang Soo, the adorable giraffe and BFF to Song Joong Ki, you’ll be able to see him in the web drama The Sound of Your Heart. This drama, based on a webtoon, aired last year on Naver TV Cast. It is not available on Viki or DramaFever. In an interesting turn of events, The Sound of Your Heart (all ten episodes) will be available on Netflix on February 24th. It is being called a Netflix Original Series, so this breeds the question: is Netflix getting in on the k-drama game? The answer isn’t clear or definite, but it’s certainly worth thinking about as Netflix continues to grow and provide more original content.

(I apologize if this is old news to anyone. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not on top of anything that goes on with Netflix, but I thought the information was worth sharing!)

Lately, I’ve noticed that there are more k-dramas available than ever on Netflix. I don’t have numbers or proof to back myself, but k-dramas must be generating a lot of hits on Netflix. (That’s my hunch.) Either that or they took a chance on something different. (And something different is certainly something Netflix excels at.) But, generally speaking, I’m not the biggest fan of Netflix Original Series as I find a lot of them weird and hard to get into, but I’m actually looking forward to this one.

P.S. Don’t forgot to click the link above. For 2018, Netflix is turning Love Alarm (a graphic novel by Chon Kye Young) into a live action drama as well. Here’s the actual press release from Netflix. I can’t wait to see how Love Alarm does next year. Any chance to have more choices of k-dramas is a chance I won’t let pass on be. And ever since I lost my grandfathered Netflix price, I’ve been wondering if paying $10.79 a month is worth it since I spend most of my drama watching on Viki or DramaFever. I may have just found a good incentive to stick around a little longer. Let’s see what you’ve got, Netflix! 

K-Drama: ‘Voice’ Episode 1 – 2 Overview

I am so sorry for being away for a short while again. Real life has been a bit complicated and work has been zapping away any of my creativity. So, I thought I’d talk a bit about the week and finally post my thoughts on the first two episodes of Voice. I’m all caught up now, but I didn’t want this to go to waste and sit in my drafts for months before trashing it. So, please enjoy!

That said, a quick review of my week.

I went to the optometrist and my vision sucks. It got worse by two steps. Since my job is starring at a computer screen and analyzing things, I’m not all that surprised. On a bright note, I did invest in a cute pair of glasses. I wear contacts full time and my optometrist suggested it would be a good idea to give my eyes a break at night. So, I conceded. Although, my bank account wasn’t very happy about it. Nonetheless, I will show you what my glasses look like when they’re ready to pick up. They are super cute! After that, it snowed pretty heavily that night. The next day, the plow trucks didn’t clear our roads until I had missed over half a day of work. Oh well. Safety first! Thank goodness for paid days off. I scrambled all day Friday trying to catch up with my work, but I never did. Of course, that’s just the nature of the beast. I’ll get back on track next week if I’m not overwhelmed with being given more projects that other people don’t want to do.

I’m feeling very burnt out, so I haven’t been posting as I didn’t want to post garbage. I also live with my ailing grandparents and help take care of them/help with the bills. It’s been a lot more stressful than usual the past few weeks, but it just wouldn’t be my life if things ever went smoothly. You just learn to adjust to the chaos. It certainly keeps life interesting — that’s for sure.

But one more bit of news before we get into Voice! I have Progressive auto insurance and I had a very successful six month run using snap shot (a device that tracks your driving habits). My insurance, at renewal, will be $96 cheaper. I liked my previous auto insurance company, but Progressive has been so good to me with a cheaper quote and opportunities to earn discounts that I’d never go back.

Sorry for the random, boring real life rant. Click on the link below to dive right into my thoughts on Voice.

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