Discovering the Beauty and Simplicity of Haiku: A Guide for Beginners

Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry that has gained worldwide popularity for its simplicity and elegance. It consists of just three lines, with a strict syllable pattern of 5-7-5 syllables per line. Despite its small size, a haiku can convey powerful emotions, deep thoughts, and vivid images.

Photo by Yuma Kim

Haiku originated in Japan in the 17th century as a part of the “hokku”, which was the opening verse of a collaborative poetry form called “renga”. Over time, the hokku became more popular on its own and evolved into what we now recognize as haiku. The first recognized haiku poet was Matsuo Basho, who lived in the late 1600s and is considered one of the greatest haiku poets of all time.

Haiku traditionally focuses on nature, capturing a moment in time and a sense of the seasons. The best haikus evoke a clear image or feeling and often use sensory details, such as sights, sounds, or smells, to create a connection between the reader and the subject of the poem. The final line of a haiku often includes a “cutting word” that provides a sudden turn or shift in thought, adding depth to the poem.

Photo and Haiku by Poppy Thomas Hill

In its traditional form, haiku is written in Japanese, using seasonal references and a strict syllable pattern. However, modern haiku has evolved and expanded to include poems written in other languages and subjects beyond nature. Some contemporary haiku poets may also play with the syllable pattern, using fewer or more syllables per line.

Haiku has gained popularity around the world as a form of poetry that is easy to write and appreciate. Many people enjoy writing haikus as a form of self-expression and as a way to connect with nature and their own emotions. Haiku has also been used as a tool for meditation, mindfulness, and stress relief.

Haiku continues to evolve and adapt, with new forms and styles emerging all the time. However, its core elements remain the same: a focus on nature, a strict syllable pattern, and a desire to capture a moment in time and evoke a strong emotional response.

Photo and Haiku by Poppy Thomas Hill

In conclusion, a haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that has stood the test of time and continues to be popular and relevant today. Its simplicity and elegance make it accessible to poets and readers of all levels, while its focus on nature and the emotions it evokes make it a powerful tool for self-expression and mindfulness. Whether you are a seasoned poet or someone just looking to try your hand at writing, haiku is a wonderful form of poetry to explore. Stay tuned for a short overview of “Renga” coming soon on this blog!


Les couleurs de la nuit…

A fascinating story in French by a good friend 🙂


Ce fut un magnifique samedi  pour un mois de Juillet.  Un soleil bien installé dans le ciel, brillait sur notre bicolore.  Qu’importe le vent qui soulevait la poussière, qu’importe la chaleur époustouflante, qu’importe le black-out présent 24/7  et on s’en fiche pas mal de la politicaillerie.  Rien ne peut remplacer la gaieté et la chaleur d’une famille.  Ceci est valable pour tous les pays du monde !

Nous étions à la maison. Arvin se trouvait dans l’arrière-cour et il jouait avec Anniah et Kervin, nos deux enfants.  Je me trouvais dans ma pièce adorée, la cuisine, pour préparer le fameux « konsonmen kabrit » ; un mets que mon petit peuple apprécie et c’était avec plaisir que je me mettais dans tous mes états.  Il fallait le réussir !

Puisque le black-out se trouve désormais dans notre quotidien, des stratégies s’imposent.  J’ai acheté un backup.  Je n’ai qu’à brancher mon portable, et vive la musique ! …

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Top favorite movies

Where the magic begins!

Here of 15 of my favorite movies ever, in no particular order. Most of these I saw at the movies at a young age, so their impact was much more significant than if I had seen them on the silver screen.

  1. Back to the Future: This iconic 1985 film follows teenager Marty McFly as he accidentally travels back in time to 1955, where he must ensure his parents fall in love in order to secure his own existence. The film’s clever plot, endearing characters, and exploration of the butterfly effect have made it a beloved classic. As one of the first films I consciously remember seeing in a movie theater, it is also where my love for Sci-Fi was born.
  2. The Lord of the Rings (trilogy): This epic fantasy film series, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels, follows hobbit Frodo Baggins as he sets out to destroy the One Ring and defeat the Dark Lord Sauron. The films are praised for their stunning special effects, intricate world-building, and memorable performances. In making these films, Peter Jackson almost EXACTLY reproduced what I envisioned when I had read the novels. It was truly as if my imagination came to life through the works of another human being. I cannot recount HOW many times I have seen this trilogy both in and out of theaters; and also in their different versions.
  3. Goonies: This classic adventure film from 1985 follows a group of friends, known as the Goonies, as they search for a legendary treasure to save their homes from being demolished. The movie has become a cult classic, celebrated for its sense of fun, friendship, and nostalgia. Much like Back to the Future, Goonies was a big movie in my childhood. It resonated at the time due to having child protagonists on an exciting adventure grounded more in reality than pure fantasy films. Plus, it made me want to get braces without actually needing any. Go see the movie to know why 🙂
  4. Time Bandits: This 1981 fantasy-adventure film, directed by Terry Gilliam, follows a young boy who is transported through time by a group of dwarves who are using a map that allows them to travel through time to steal treasure. The film is praised for its imaginative storyline, comedic elements, and impressive visual effects. The film was a commercial success and was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Original Screenplay and Best Art Direction. Thus far, it is easy to guess that my favorites are as old as I am (or older). They are also very focused on an adventurous exploration of space, time or both. It’s important to note that so many decades before Inception, Time Bandits was my first experience with an open-ended film…more on that later!
  5. Big: This 1988 comedy film stars Tom Hanks as a young boy who wishes to be “big” and wakes up as an adult. The movie is considered a classic for its humor, heartwarming story, and Hanks’ charming performance. Simply describing the movie automatically brings back many memories and many wishes of wanting to be “big”. Little did we know as children that being big brings so much more trouble than we could imagine.
  6. Radio Flyer: This movie tells the story of two brothers who use their imagination to escape their stepfather’s abuse and neglect. The film is praised for its solid performances and ability to tackle complex and emotional subject matter with sensitivity and grace. As a teenager, this movie was very relatable. Growing up in a country filled with so many issues didn’t make family life any easier on top of everything. Escaping into our imagination was how we would cope with it all…just like in Radio Flyer.
  7. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: The second film in the Star Wars saga, this 1980 film follows Luke, Leia, and Han as they are pursued by Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire. Considered one of the greatest sequels ever made, the film is praised for its darker tone, more profound character development, and iconic reveal of Darth Vader as Luke’s father. The best fantasy film that so happens to take place in space. Your opinion may be different, but that’s OK; to each their own.
  8. Soldier (Kurt Russell): A science fiction film that follows a highly skilled soldier who is discarded by his superiors and sent to a desolate planet, where he must fight against a group of genetically enhanced soldiers to be superior in every way. The film is praised for its intense action sequences, Kurt Russell’s strong performance, and its exploration of the nature of humanity.
  9. Iron Man: This 2008 film is the first installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; it follows billionaire Tony Stark as he creates a powerful suit of armor to fight against criminals and terrorists. The film is credited with launching the MCU and starting the superhero film craze. It is praised for its charismatic lead performance, thrilling action, and smartly-written script. With the right budget and technology available, this film was what the DC movie “Steel”, with Shaq in the titular role, wanted to be. Could the DCEU have been different if Steel had come out around the same time? We’ll never know!
  10. Inception: This 2010 film, directed by Christopher Nolan, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a professional thief who enters the dreams of others to steal their secrets. The film is praised for its mind-bending plot, stunning action sequences, and top-notch performances. This brings us to the parallel I made earlier with Time Bandits! The ending of Time Bandits is thought-provoking and open to interpretation. The film’s ending leaves it open to debate whether the events that occurred throughout the movie were real or just a figment of the protagonist’s imagination. This type of ending is called an open ending; it allows the audience to come up with their own interpretation of the events and leaves it open to interpretation. Inception, which was released 21 years after Time Bandits, also has a similar open-ended ending, where the audience is left to question whether the entire plot we just witnessed was just in the character’s mind or even simply an interpretation of what really took place in reality. Time Bandits and Inception both have mind-bending and thought-provoking endings, making them great examples of the use of open-ended endings in film.
  11. The Prestige: This 2006 film is a period piece directed by Christopher Nolan; it follows the rivalry between two stage magicians in late 19th-century London. The film is praised for its intricate plot, strong performances, and themes of obsession and sacrifice. And on with go with the next movie from the SAME year and theme…
  12. The Illusionist: This 2006 film is a period piece set in Austria in the early 1900s; it follows the story of a magician and his love for a duchess. The film is praised for its stunning animation, exploration of the relationship between reality and illusion, and emotional depth. I could have easily included Now You See Me and its sequel here, but these two movies marked me more. Now You See Me tries to explain its tricks, but these two make it more “magical,” and one of them, which I will not point out, veers into fantasy at some point. Watch them both and find out…
  13. The Matrix: This 1999 science fiction film stars Keanu Reeves as Neo, a hacker who discovers that the world is a simulated reality controlled by sentient machines. The film is praised for its groundbreaking special effects, exploration of existential themes, and stylish action sequences. I don’t imagine anyone here has never seen this movie. If that is the case, go watch it. NOW.
  14. Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The 1991 sequel to the classic 1984 film, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, follows the cyborg Terminator as he is sent back in time to protect a young John Connor from a more advanced Terminator. The film is praised for its action sequences, its exploration of the nature of humanity, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s iconic performance as the Terminator. I absolutely loved Terminator 2 – it was a cinematic masterpiece that left a lasting impression on me. The action, special effects, and story were all top-notch and made for an unforgettable experience, especially viewing it in a theater as a teenager.
  15. Everything Everywhere All at Once is a 2022 American absurdist science fiction comedy-drama film written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The plot centers on a Chinese-American immigrant (played by Michelle Yeoh) who, while being audited by the IRS, discovers that she must connect with parallel universe versions of herself to prevent a powerful being from destroying the multiverse. The film combines different genres and themes like existentialism, generational trauma, nihilism, ADHD, and Asian-American identity. The movie has been well received by critics and audiences and has been nominated for several awards, including Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice awards. Michelle Yeoh won the Golden Globe for Best Actress with this role. She is also nominated for the upcoming Oscars! It is truly a heartwarming experience meriting at least one viewing if only for the performances of this fantastic cast. They drive forward a story that was already quite excellent into the stratosphere. In a period where “multiverses” are the rage in movies, this movie is a beacon for what can be done with the idea in just *one* film.

How to Maximize Meditation to Relieve Stress (A beginner’s guide)

Life in this era has become more complex. A lot is happening worldwide, and everyone is trying to catch up. In a bid to stay abreast with the vicissitudes of life, our health gets threatened. Sometimes, our health could get threatened without us being aware. When this happens, stress sets in.

Stress is simply your body’s reaction to changes that affect you. These changes could be emotional, physical, or even psychological. One of the most effective methods of managing stress is meditation.

This article discusses meditation, what happens to the brain when you meditate, how to achieve the maximum result and the challenges you may encounter in meditation.

What is Meditation?

Contrary to popular belief, meditation does not involve keeping your mind empty so that you don’t think about anything. Meditation is not like that; in fact, quite the opposite. A person can achieve a state of calmness both mentally and emotionally through the practice of meditation. This is done by practicing paying attention and being aware. Focusing on a particular thing could be a part of this training. It may seem a bit difficult for someone who has not done this before.

What Happens to Your Brain When You Meditate?

1. Areas of Your Brain That Strengthen Memory and Attention Are Further Developed

Neural connections are how the brain functions. As you repeatedly perform an action, the neural pathway leading to it is strengthened, making it easier for you to access. For instance, when someone first learns to play the guitar, everything appears to be complicated. However, if he persists for about 3 years, he will eventually master it and find it simple. Simply put, it’s because that brain pathway has been established. When you meditate, the same thing takes place. The brain’s learning, memory, and self-awareness pathways evolve over time.

2. Meditation Relaxes Your Sympathetic Nervous System

The fight-or-flight system is another name for this nervous system. The brain is unable to decide whether to fight or run when you are in a dangerous situation. Stress hormones are released whenever there is an apparent threat. A person is said to be stressed when this happens frequently.

You activate the parasympathetic nervous system while meditating, turning off the sympathetic nervous system. Meditation can therefore help lower stress.

The Basic Ways of Meditating Are:

– Observing Your Thoughts

Contrary to popular belief, this approach does things a little differently by allowing thoughts to pass through your mind. Here’s what you do in place of forcing your mind to be empty of all thoughts: As the thoughts arise, tag them and then release them. For example, you might be in the middle of your meditation when you realize that you have only one day left to finish the project you were given. Instead of breaking out in a panic and saying, “I need to go and get back to work, so I don’t fail,” simply label it and continue your journey.

– Focusing on Your Breath

This one is influenced by Buddhist custom. It simply entails paying attention to your breath. You already have something to fixate on when you focus on your breath. Your focus should be on breathing in and out while doing this.

– Body Scanning

Here, as the name suggests, you scan your body. You merely shift your focus from mental thoughts to each individual part of your body, one at a time. Up until you’re finished, you move from one area of your body to another. You can begin by concentrating on one side of your face, then work your way up to your head before moving back down until you have focused on every part of your body. You’ll notice that each time you scan down a specific area of the body, you become aware of sensations that could be pleasant or unpleasant.

You should combine all three of these techniques in order to get the best results while meditating. You must be aware of your thoughts, your breathing, and, eventually, your entire body. You shouldn’t start by scanning your body because it might distract you. Later, you can proceed to that. You should practice concentration, contemplation, and meditation.

The Following Factors Must be Considered as They Will Play a Role in Helping You Achieve the Maximum Result

The first thing to think about is time when beginning a meditation routine and how to make the most of it to reduce stress. You have to be prepared to make the time. It’s not necessary to set out for an hour or two when you set a time. It might only take five or ten minutes, and you can add on from there. The capacity to learn is another crucial element. At different times in our lives, we all pick up new skills. You won’t be able to make any real progress if you don’t acknowledge that you are still a learner in this area.

1. Setting Out Time

A timer could be used for this. It is simpler to do it while using a timer. Although most people meditate in the morning and evening, if you’re just starting out, you can meditate by yourself in the morning. It is crucial to remember that setting aside time each day for meditation can have a significant impact. This is so that when the designated time arrives, your body begins to signal that it’s time to meditate. Over time, your body and mind will align with the designated time.

Just take it one minute at a time when you feel ready to extend the time. Be patient, and don’t rush. The key to this process is not to think about it too much.

In the event that you do not reach your goal, you must learn to be patient with yourself. It’s important to treat yourself nicely. You should celebrate your achievement and all the positive things that come from it, but when you are done, get back to work on improving yourself.

2. A Good Place

Finding a suitable location and making the time to meditate are both crucial. You require a quiet area free from disturbances. A room with every amenity may not be necessary. Just a peaceful area will do. You can keep your mind still by doing this.

3. Warm-up

Like when you start exercising, you might need to warm up before you start. Yoga poses could be used to warm up. Note that this is not necessary.

4. Positioning

The posture you adopt before starting to meditate is crucial. Simply be at ease while sitting on the ground, a chair, a table, etc. The idea is to stand up straight with your spine in a neutral position. This enables proper energy circulation and an even distribution of your body’s weight.

Additionally, you have the option to raise your hands or place them on the floor or on your lap. You can choose whichever feels most comfortable to you. You must feel at ease before you can practice effectively.

5. Your Breath

You may need some practice to get the hang of focusing on your breath, but here’s where to start. Keep your eyes closed and remain in your chosen position. As you take your breaths, think about them. Avoid making any changes to your breathing pattern as much as you can. Use your entire diaphragm, and let it be natural. Just breathe normally, without going too quickly or slowly. You might want to up it once you start to get the hang of it, but don’t!

If it will help you focus, you can decide to keep track of how many breaths you take. Simply labeling thoughts as they arise will allow you to let them go without building on them. When you find yourself drifting, stop yourself right away and start counting your breaths again. It might take some time to accomplish all of this, but with practice, you get better.

6. End of Practice

Don’t just fly off after your meditation session is over. Spend some time thinking about how you felt before starting your meditation and how you felt afterward. Stretch out gradually before standing up.

Challenges You May Encounter

You might have trouble as a beginner trying to meditate to reduce stress. It’s important to remember that everything is a process, and things get better over time. Everyone who practices proper meditation now did not begin by doing so; instead, they all ran into difficulties. Several of these difficulties include:

– Sleep

The same region of the brain that is activated just before falling asleep is also activated during meditation (especially in the beginning phase). By meditating in an unfavorable setting, you can avoid falling asleep. For instance, you can sit while you meditate rather than lying down (which may be tempting). You don’t have to meditate in your bedroom; you can do it somewhere else. Try meditating while keeping your eyes open as well. The first few times you try to meditate while keeping your eyes open will be challenging, but it gets easier with practice. In addition, you can mix it up and try meditating while walking or sitting in a chair.

– Doubt

You would occasionally wonder if you were acting morally or if you were just wasting your time. This is due to the fact that, almost like with anything that begins, changes don’t become apparent right away. You can be confident that you are acting appropriately as long as you continue to meditate. With time, the outcome will speak for itself.


One of the best practices you can use in this day and age when we are constantly being bombarded with activities is to make the most of meditation to reduce stress. One of the natural ways to reduce stress is through meditation; if done correctly, it can help you lead a happy and healthy life.


If there is any huge trend, growth, and wide acceptance ever recorded in any digital asset within the shortest time, that would be NFT!

NFTs seem to be everywhere!

Though the first NFT was created back in 2014, which was a short video clip of artwork. The video was created by Jennifer McCoy, and the video was turned into NFT by her husband, Kevin McCoy and Anil Dash. It was later sold for $1.47m in June 2021.

The buying frenzy of digital assets has since increased and has been on the rage!


NFT means non-fungible tokens. NFTs are simply digital artwork and assets; they are cryptographic tokens that exist on the blockchain. Each unit of NFTs has its unique data and represents a unique asset that cannot be interchanged or duplicated. An NFT can be a complete digital asset such as an audio or game file, an image, a gif, and digital art or can be token versions of real-world assets like real estate, house, land, and jewelry.

The primary use cases of the new digital assets are proof of authenticity and ownership.


Whatever thing has value is only valuable because people believe it is valuable. The value of non-fungible tokens stemmed from their uniqueness, scarcity, and the general value ascribed to them. The value of NFTs, like other valuable items, is assigned by people, which is not inherent to the thing. The price of an NFT art is set by the owner selling it. However, the price changes in response to the demand and supply of the market.

Owning a digital collection of art is cool as the idea of ​​owning an original work is attractive and a sign of social status. This practically defines Veblen goods. In addition, NFTs are also purchased to resell when the value increases and can be sold for more money, just like physical art. Non-fungible tokens allow collectors to take advantage of all the perks of owning a physical work of art. But with an added benefit: their collection can be shared freely over the Internet without limitations. They can therefore accumulate more value as they grow.

At first, it may seem that if the free circulation of the work is allowed online, which can be seen by anyone, screenshotted, or even downloaded, no one will want to have the original. However, if you think about it, much of our society is driven by status. If having a particular original work gives you status, many people will be willing to pay for it. There must be thousands and thousands of copies of mythical paintings by Picasso or Van Gogh. However, millionaires are still willing to spend millions of euros for the original. The value of an NFT increases based on its popularity which may equal its demand, limited unit, and value ascribed to it.

The previous CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, sold his first tweet on Twitter as an NFT for $2.9 million in March last year. The tweet is only 5 words and was tweeted back in 2006! Mike Winklemann, a famous digital artist, sold one of his works as an NFT for $69.3m in 2021. An NFT named “the merge” was bought by 28,983 collectors for $91.8m.

NFTs can be viewed online by anyone, screenshotted, or maybe downloaded. Still, the owner only has the original item with built-in authentication.

The original use cases of NFTs are to help the artist and digital creators monetize their work by selling it and gaining royalties whenever the digital asset is resold. However, the use cases of the new digital assets have since grown and do not seem to be at their peak yet. The primary main use case of NFTs now is to authenticate. Digital creators and companies in different industries have adopted NFTs to ensure the authenticity of products that customers or consumers buy. For example, Nike uploads a digital version of the product a customer buys on the customer’s virtual locker named “Cryptokick,” solving its authentication problems. The new technology can also be adopted in the food and medical sector to track the producer, the ingredients used in making the product, and its journey from the manufacturer through the shipment process.

The unique tokens are also used in the entertainment industry as a receipt of payment, to purchase collectibles on an online store, and to show support by fans to their favorite artists and celebrities. For example, fans of a football team, music artists, public figures, etc., can support their favorite without being physically present at an event. Music concerts can also sell tickets and give fans a digital gift.

For example, the National Basketball Association (BNA) introduced the “NBA Top Shot.” It’s an online marketplace where fans can purchase different moments from their favorite player, match, or team.

The real estate industry has also adopted NFT. It is used to provide rental services, proof of real estate asset ownership, transfer land deeds, and keep track of changes in the property’s value.

Buyers of real estate properties can now know everything about the properties they want to buy, starting from when they were first built. Virtual real estate properties can also now be sold as non-fungible tokens.

NFT has also helped store medical records and verify the identity of people without compromise. An example of this use case is a non-fungible token birth certificate issued to newborns by healthcare providers.

Intellectual property and patent rights have never been safer. Artists, inventors, and digital creators can use NFT tokens to prove or protect the ownership of any innovation, invention, creation, or content.

The unique tokens are also a suitable way of representing academic credentials by academic institutions. For example, educational institutions can use NFT to prove the class of degree earned by students, their attendance, tuition payment records, and other important information. This is thanks to the unalterability of the base record on the blockchain.

The NFT technology has been adopted in the gaming, transportation, and finance industries and used to exercise voting rights, ticketing, and tracking artwork.

The estimate market capitalization of NFT is $12,152,088,770, the sales volume (24 hours) is $23,021,382 and the total sales (24 hours) is $26, 910 as at 05:35pm 04/06/2022 (source:

Celebrities, international companies, famous artists, footballers, social media companies, and sports associations have adopted the new technology. However, they are still embracing digital assets and the latest crypto technology. Some of them are Adidas, Samsung, Nike, Coca-cola, Dolce & Gabanna, MAC, Facebook, Instagram, Snoop Dog, Charles Hoskinson, and David Beckham.

NFT tokens are bought and sold online through different markets. The most famous places to buy and sell digital arts are, Rarible, Foundation, and Binance.

Despite the current many uses and applications of NFT, the potential of the new crypto technology may not even be at the optimum.


The popularity of NFTs is growing, and the use cases also keep increasing. However, some NFT applications may not be so practical or popular in the future. Nevertheless, given the issues of authenticity, ownership, and scarcity of art and collectibles that they are solving, the technology is here to stay.

Since the NFT industry is still new and just like every other investment, precaution needs to be overserved. However, investing small amounts in good digital asset collections to try out the potential may not be a bad idea.


A stranger in a strange country.

To some extent, many people have never live out the particular aspect of teenage angst whereby one feels foregin to everything and everyone.

Bodies changing, hormonal awakening and all that. We’ve been through it…Have we come out of it?

When your mind thinks in a language and your people in another, when your tongue craves tastes that others shy away from, and in your ears echo songs of the world but not of *your* world…

What does that make you?

Foreign in your being, among your peers;

Foreign by birth, among your species;

Where are you a citizen of?

What Makes A Great Western RPG?

If there has been one genre that has captivated gaming audiences more than any other in the last decade, it is the RPG genre. We have seen some of the most genuinely staggering adventures delivered to our screens by very talented western developers. Each presents unique quirks, art styles, mechanics and narratives that make them stand out within a very saturated field. That’s right, there are hundreds of AA and AAA RPG titles made every year, but only a handful get their time in the spotlight.

Not every game can be a Breath of the Wild, an Elder Scrolls or The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. However, there is a particular formula that makes a successful RPG game. While that may not be too clear from the outside looking in, we aim to delve deep into the phenomenon and find out what makes these games so popular. So, without further delay, here is our guide as to what makes an excellent western RPG.

#1 – An Expansive, Detailed World

First and foremost, you need a setting that is conducive to the RPG title. This means you need a unique environment rich in lore, visually appealing, full of exciting characters, fauna, wildlife, different cultures, biomes, and groups that underline the world’s population’s most essential morals and beliefs. It’s about making the world feel like a complete escape from our own yet giving it enough similarities that we can still find relativity with our real-world ideas and opinions.

Take Fallout New Vegas as an example, a post-Apocalyptic world full of mutants and ghouls. Yet, at its core, this is a world that has left and right-wing political parties fighting for control of the state of Nevada, much like modern-day America. So, in short, make the fantasy detailed, unique, and relatable.

#2 – Emergent Gameplay

The second point relates to emergent gameplay, which for those unaware, means gameplay that will differ from player to player. If you are playing a role-playing game, you crave those moments that you can clip and share with your friends. An odd glitch, a moment that defies physics, an NPC mishap. Anything that makes the experience different from other players. Arguably, western RPGs do this better than any other genre. Their enormous scope allows for many different approaches, enables players to make different decisions and ultimately, has them live with the consequences of their decision. Without this, it’s a rather hollow experience, so a good western RPG needs alternative choices and consequences.

#3 – The Freedom to Role Play

Another aspect of a good western RPG is the ability to play your own way. You can play the main story, prioritize side quests, simply wander aimlessly, or you could sack off the whole potentially world-ending plot and become a chicken farmer. No matter what the player’s desire is, the game must allow for this eventuality.

Compare Fallout 4 and Red Dead Redemption II, for example. While it is hailed as one of the best RPGS of its time, this is a shortcoming. Almost every quest has one set method for completion and in terms of the time in-between. Aside from building your settlement, there are few grounds for role-playing. Whereas in RDR2, you can approach the quests in some ways, you get graded on your approach and in the lulls in between, you can hunt, fish, upgrade your camp, rob, steal and generally cause chaos. In short, RPGs need to allow for roleplay, plain and simple.

#4 – A Strong Progression System

One of the critical components to a western RPG that keeps players engaged long-term is a cohesive leveling and progression system. This system needs to help you build the character you want, give you new skills that allow you to manipulate the in-game world with ease, open up new areas and mechanical possibilities to the player. Plus, all this info needs to weave together seamlessly and inform the player very clearly. So, the UI needs to be on point.

One of the best examples of excellent progression systems would be Disco Elysium. It allows you to gradually build your character’s personality and uncover a mystery as you progress. Or on the flip side, games like Horizon Zero Dawn and the Middle Earth series do a great job of offering more mechanical options to the player, giving them a heightened sense of power.

#5 – Varied Gameplay Mechanics

Then to ride on the coattails of the last point, the mechanics and gameplay within these titles need to be varied, ever progressing and most importantly, fun. This means that players should be constantly given new quests, game modes, combat skills, weapons, loot, vehicles, be continuously challenged with new enemies and bosses. Plus, the game should be balanced so that one play style isn’t inherently better than another. We are looking at you, Skyrim, with your indulgence for stealth archers.

One of the best examples of constantly progressing game mechanics that keep the game feeling fresh is Stardew Valley. This relaxing and straightforward RPG (though neither a western RPG nor a JRPG) utilizes simple farming game mechanics. However, as the game progresses, even up to three or four years into your campaign, new mechanics and content are hurled your way. Showcasing that even with limited scope, you can still provide gameplay that evolves as you play.

So that is our breakdown of what makes a western RPG successful. What do you make of our list? Do you think that we left out any key components? What is your favorite western RPG of all time? Let us know in the comments section below and as always, thank you for reading.

Musical Poetry

The Relation Between Written Poetry and Music

Written poetry is one of the most musical of all literary forms. Poetry depends upon sounds, rhythm, silences, and criteria beyond the content to create its effect. In history, poetry was always performed with music and poetry and music have never been separate entities. However, what is the interconnection between poetry and music?

What is The Interconnection Between Poetry and Music?

Poetry and music are clearly two different types of art, but they both make most people feel the same way. The impact on people is dependent on the type of personality and the past experiences they made. Poetry shares a particular message, idea, or feeling. The choice of words and context significantly impacts the message communicated from the poet to the reader.

Also, the way the words are read plays an essential role in getting the message across. The mood and the connotation have a significant impact too. This comes in tone, rhythm styles, cadence, alliteration, repetition, assonance, and many more. All of the previous are qualities very similar to music. Poets of social protest tend to use music alongside their work because the use of music tends to achieve a bigger audience and ensures that their message is heard.

Poetry is received and processed by the right hemisphere of the brain, just like music. That’s why poetry can leave you speechless and touch your heart. Regular texts instead are received and processed by the left hemisphere of the brain. The human voice has pitch and volume. The sound we make have duration, and all the variables are present in music and in speech. Thought does not arise before speech or song but in parallel with it. You can start speaking a sentence without knowing how you will end it. Thinking proceeds in parallel with expression.

In history, ballads and folk songs have been written and sung as a part of the traditions and cultures of many countries. Poems often inspire a song or vice versa, and both are born from within another. So, poetry and music are strongly connected. The philosopher Nietzsche had the concept that music and poetry were unified in the past. In his theory, each of the two art forms lost something when they developed along separate tracks.

The poem must be read aloud to reveal the meaning of the poem. The voice, expression, pauses, lilt have much meaning within. That’s why many poets nowadays record their poems to music and release it as an audio file.


When you start looking at poetry the same way you look at music, you will get the urge to read poems just as you listen to certain music. Words are more powerful than we think, and they can hurt people, uplift them, and genuinely sing their ways into their hearts.

“Truly fine poetry must be read aloud… Poetry always remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. It remembers that it was first song.” — Jorge Luis Borges.

Choices – End

Part 4

Casey felt himself falling through a dark hole again. He wasn’t sure he could take more of this. He believed he would puke or pass out at any moment. But then, that only happened in real life. He didn’t know was real or wasn’t again. It was all a stretch, and everything merged into one another. This time, it was fast, and everything around him swirled. Keeping his vision was difficult, not that he could see anything as darkness took over everything. He was tired in every sense of the word. He needed to feel something solid, not this abyss that eroded his senses and left him useless. There were no walls to feel. It felt as if he was going through a portal often talked about in children magic storybooks. At last, his request was granted, but not in the kindest way.

Casey fell against the desk, bumping into it with his side. The pain shot up through his side. He struggled with his balance until he found a suitable place to sit on the floor. He was in the office, and he was grateful to be. A place he would have abhorred felt like home to him. His brain felt foggy as he struggled to come to terms with what had taken place in the office. The office clock showed that everything had happened in the space of thirty minutes. Thankfully, no one had come inside to see what was going on during those periods. They would have been shocked because he didn’t know what happened himself.

The chirping birds by the window provided a momentary distraction for him, slowly bringing him back into reality and a consciousness of his environment. He felt a stab of jealousy as he looked at the creatures flapping their wings. They weren’t only free; they also had no cause to worry. The birds weren’t bothered about where to sleep or what to wear. They didn’t have to think about the right clothes to wear. They were beautifully created, and nature served them.

Slowly, he considered his life and what had put him in his present situation. The wads of notes drew his gaze like a magnet. He was in a precarious condition. Many things could go wrong if he took the money. The police could be hot on his chase in a matter of days if the money was either the building owner’s or had been reported stolen. He could become a fugitive for real. But then, he knew that what he had just seen was a picture of what his life would be if he decided to escape with the money or left it. The police chase would be a small price to pay for the exotic lifestyle he had seen.

Casey was no seer or prophet. He never believed in such things and would gladly bear the title of being the least religious person in the entire universe. But now, his belief was being threatened and put to test.

On the other hand, he could go without the money, which was the honorable thing to do, but he was tired of the kind of life he lived. What he had seen was worse compared to how he lived at the moment. He wished to have a family, go for cocktails, have expensive dinners, drive luxurious cars, and have people at his beck and call. Who didn’t want that kind of life? He didn’t only desire it; he deserved it as well. It was his right. Casey felt a kind of righteous anger go through him. It wasn’t fair that only a small percentage of society lived the kind of life he had seen. What should he call that- a trance or a vision? Nobody deserved to be poor, especially him. He worked as hard as everyone else, always ensuring that he gave his clients the utmost satisfaction in every job. But then, humans were wicked and merciless. For instance, he had slaved his butt off in the trance, and the client had deemed it fit to pay him meaningless wages.

Now, he would chart the course of his life. Casey recognized that he had a rare opportunity. He wasn’t ready to let it slip through his fingers because of one honorable deed that no one would acknowledge. He would think about the price to pay later. Now, whatever he decided to do with the money would determine how he ended up in society. Which one would it be: Casey, the pauper, or Casey, the billionaire? He knew the one he would choose. The sound of billions caused his stomach to knot, but it was a welcomed reaction. He refused to be at the rung of the ladder any longer. Those at the top should wait for him because they were having a new member. Once he reached that point, there was no going back.

His mind was made up. However, he still had some things to do. He stood up from the floor, finished his cleaning, and wiped the soiled table. His client must be satisfied, so much that he would be the last suspect. Then, he picked up the wads one after the other, knowing he was being melodramatic about the whole thing. The smell of money was intoxicating. It wafted through his nose and pooled in his brain. He got another black bag to repack the notes. Folding the bag well so that it looked small, he tucked it into his jacket. Of course, he felt odd, probably because it was, but Casey banked on a successful operation. He packed his tools and stealthily walked out of the office. He knew no one would pay attention to the cleaning man who walked oddly because there wasn’t a time when he didn’t walk or behave oddly to people. Poverty always made someone look strange. Now, he was bidding it farewell. It had characterized his life enough. The world would witness the transformation that only money could bring. He smiled into the darkness around him, the desire for survival overriding the need to be morally upright.

Choices – Part 3

Part 3

Casey gasped for breath. He felt himself choking as he tried to regain his sense of place and direction. It was happening again- the shift

Everything around him went dark again. He was returning home after the usual stressful routine of each day. The atmosphere matched his emotions and state of mind. The night was dreary and had a mournful feeling to it. Casey trudged along the path, dragging his tired derriere behind him. His body was drenched in a mixture of sweat and the rain that refused to let up. It was all so great! (He thought sarcastically). He should go home, but he would only go and drown himself in sorrow. He was afraid to be by himself during this time. He didn’t trust what he could do.

Casey wasn’t only tired; he was very angry. Left to his weary bones, he would have packed it up and ended everything, but his anger fueled his motions. He walked on familiar terrain, so, his legs carried out an automated function, while his brain focused on the grey areas in his life. Speaking of the grey areas, he had many of them. He found it hard to understand why people chose to be heartless and difficult. He had done a cleaning service, which wasn’t unusual, but the client had done him a great disservice. He had gotten only a stipend compared to the enormous job he had executed.

Casey eventually stopped in front of a rickety building that was his destination. His usual clique was there, each man with his problem. They hardly talked about such depressing things when they were sober. However, once alcohol took its course, their tongues loosened up. He drew out a stool and requested for a bottle of beer with a glass. He didn’t have money, but he could show some class. Using the glass, instead of drinking from the bottle, was a way of depicting that he wasn’t a low-life many assumed he was. He was only unfortunate to have the shorter end of the stick in life. There was no rush as each man cradled his bottle or glass, as the case may be, like a baby.

In for a little fun or insult, depending on how the guy took it, Casey placed his legs on the table. Those legs needed to stretch. Almost as he had guessed, his motions didn’t sit well with the bartender who ordered him to take his filthy legs away from the table. As if that wasn’t enough, he followed his statement with ear-deafening expletives and insults. Casey only grinned at him. He that is on the ground needs not to fear any fall.

The night soon wore away with Casey taking his time with his precious bottles. He tackled them one after the other, but he wasn’t drunk. It would take more than a few green bottles to get him knocked. When he was satisfied, he paid for his drinks, followed by curses and insults as the bartender graciously reminded him of his debt. He would sort those ones out once he had the cash. They knew he was going nowhere, at least, not anytime soon.

He trekked the distance to his house, covering it in no time even though he was only partly functional. He didn’t stay anywhere fancy. A mirthless laugh formed in his throat as the thought of what fancy meant crossed his mind. People like him were not cut out for anything fanciful in life. They only managed with whatever was available, which at times, was nothing. His apartment consisted of a tiny room with an adjoining kitchen. He was glad to be unmarried. At least, he didn’t have to share the small room with a wife and some tiny urchins who never remained small for a long time. He kept a chair and table somewhere for reading, which wasn’t often. During those times, he found a convenient way to fold his bed to provide the necessary space. Once he was done, and it was sleep-time, the chair and table would go back to their original positions.

Casey wasn’t a man with many regrets. Of course, he could have made some better choices in his life, but he had no regrets. His philosophy was that whatever would be, would be. However, starting from this day, he had a regret. He must have lost his mind for not taking those wads of money. He wasn’t only a poor bloke; he was a coward as well. Now, he had to live with the punishment of not taking the money. His punishment was remaining in penury. The one day that his cleaning job had fetched him a great fortune, he had blown it all by leaving the treasure behind. Who on earth made such gullible decisions if not him? He could have rewritten his life’s history and left the pauper category for life, but here he was, entering his apartment like a spy.

Sure enough, the source for his misery and anguish waited at the top of his steps. He was the reason why he crept inside like a robber on a plantation farm. His landlord couldn’t have chosen another time to conduct whatever business he had with him. The morning was there for Pete’s sake, but the other man looked unfazed. He stood against the railing. Casey knew that the relaxed position was only a decoy. His landlord was always tensed about everything, especially when it had to do with his rent. And dealing with someone like him, the man would be double-tensed. Casey couldn’t remember the last time he paid. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to pay, he simply didn’t have the means. He felt a rush of anger again as he thought about the money he had seen. What a waste!

Casey anticipated the man’s move. Sure enough, the landlord pulled him aside to remind him of his gross irresponsibility and his growing bills. He promised to do something about it by the end of the month. Of course, the other man didn’t believe him.