Vlog #2: It’s Complicated

This week I finally recorded and uploaded my second Youtube video!

I talk about It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd, which is a fantastic book on social media and youth culture.  Check out my commentary down below!

I’m still learning this whole video business, so if you have any kind of feedback, please let me know!

Have a great start to the week and Happy Easter!

Sincerely yours,

Albert

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News, Announcements and Cookies

Hello everyone!

It has been really quiet on this blog for quite a while and I’m sorry for my sudden and inexplicable silence. However, it isn’t as inexplicable as it seems as I’ve been really busy in the last two months since my last post.

The biggest and most time-consuming project was the launch of Mirage Boulevard. You might ask: “What is Mirage Boulevard?”

Mirage Boulevard

Mirage Boulevard (mirageboulevard.com) is the new website my friend Oliver Aeschimann (oaesch) and I started. It’s a German language online magazine focused on bringing you high quality reviews and articles on the world of movies, television and literature. Thanks to the help of our friends we have been able to push out content on a fairly regular basis. Please check it out!

A few days ago, “An Elusive Hero” was able to celebrate its first birthday! I want to thank all visitors who have read my posts so far.

This leads me to the announcement hinted at in the title: Thanks to the new project mentioned above and a wonderful new job in the world of online marketing, I’ve decided to narrow down the scope of this blog.

In the future, I’ll focus on my fiction writing here and hope to bring you new chapters of “An Elusive Hero” on a regular basis in the near future. For that, I’ll be relaunching this blog in the next few months including updating the design and functionality of it all. Stay tuned!

My normal commentary on pop culture and television will fully move to my YouTube Channel, where I hope to publish videos on a regular basis as summer and spring approaches.

I haven’t thought about the future of my posts on Switzerland and Zurich in depth yet. Either they’ll make an occasional appearance here or maybe I’ll outsource them completely to another platform.

As you can see, a lot of exciting changes and reboots are planned, so keep on visiting. And like I promised in the title, here is a delicious batch of cookies. (I also wanted to check out the new embed feature of getty images)

Embed from Getty Images

Hope to talk to you all soon!

Sincerely yours,
Albert

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope 2014 finds you in good health and good spirits and wish all of you the best of luck in the new year.

As for this blog, the new year bring new opportunities and new challenges. For that reason, some things are going to be changing on “An Elusive Hero”.

First of all, starting next week, I’ll be switching my posting dates to Tuesday and Thursday.

On Tuesdays, I will mostly post about Switzerland and anything of interest.

Thursdays will be reserved for my fiction writing and the continuation of my story, “An Elusive Hero”.

Changing the schedule from three times to two times a week gives me the chance to focus on writing longer and higher-quality texts. This year, I’m expecting to write more about interesting journeys within Switzerland and again have extensive coverage of the Zurich Film Festival and other high profile events in the country. As for “An Elusive Hero”, the story, this is the year I’ll hopefully be able to bring it to a fitting conclusion.

I really enjoyed making my last video and hope to publish vlogs on a regular basis in 2014. My vlog will focus on books, so my writing on that topic will probably decline. Please check out my YouTube channel and subscribe to stay updated!

Also, I’m working on a German language project with a friend, which is due to launch early this year. Even with a reduced schedule on my blog, I’ll be able to write and do something I love on various outlets throughout the Internet.

I want to thank everyone who read “An Elusive Hero” in 2013 again and hope to see you again in 2014!

Happy New Year!

Sincerely yours,
Albert

An Elusive Hero in 2013 (Recap)

As 2013 ends tomorrow, I’d like to wrap up the year with a short review of my posts this year.

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has followed and read my posts since I started writing on “An Elusive Hero” in March. The feedback and support I’ve received has been invaluable for me to improve. Wednesday will look forward to the plans for 2014. But until then, let’s recap some of the most interesting posts from this year.

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Obsession of the week: Writing

Welcome back to the first installment of Obsession of the week!

Today’s topic is writing. Why writing? Well, I recently started writing again and  I’ve been devouring books in a faster than usual pace the last few weeks.

I grew up with a mother who prides herself in being a writer/scholar and with a father who always encouraged me to read anything from the daily newspaper to classic novels. Reading quickly became one of my favorite pastimes. The characters from my favorite books became constant companions sitting just a few meters away. Books challenged my way of thinking, reinforced my feelings about things or simply made me laugh. And they still do.

My favorite first sentence is from Nick Hornby’s great book “Fever pitch”: “I fell in love with football as I was later to fall in love with women: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring with it.”
This is not only exactly how I feel about football, but also how I feel about stories and literature. Naturally, the next step on my path was to start writing on my own.

I started writing in German at the age of 13, using the world of the PC RPG “Gothic” as a backdrop for the story of my awesome archer character. I posted stories with friends to a forum regularly for five years, eventually branching out into Harry Potter fan fiction and short stories for persons dear to me. But after graduating high school I suddenly stopped as other interests took over my life.

During my unhappy time in the corporate world the thought of writing came back to me. I realized how much I missed it. But getting back was more difficult than anticipated. While ideas come easily to me, sitting down and actually typing out words requires a lot of effort and willpower. As a chronic procrastinator, starting is the most challenging step. A few weeks ago my thoughts were scrambling all over the place. I decided to focus and to write a story to distract myself. The result is “An elusive hero”.  After putting the first chapter to paper, I was able to anchor my thoughts. But continuing proved to be almost as difficult as beginning. However, I found a solution: thanks to the rigorous schedule put out yesterday (see here), I have an incentive to write as much and as well as possible. But why do I write?

I’ve always been a firm believer in making the world a better place. One way to improve the world is to make the actual world a better place by i.e inventing new technology, saving lives as a doctor or bringing peace to war-torn countries. But another way is to provide an escape from the real world for a few hours. This gives readers (also movie-goers and gamers) time recharge their batteries and to get inspired to face the uphill battles in their lives. Or it simply gives them a reason to smile. Books can change the way you view the world and make the sun shine brighter. Words are one form of magic. An author may put down ideas on paper, but it is the reader who brings them to life in her or his mind. Great stories take you in and stay with you forever. I’m still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts.

Writing is an incredible experience. Yes, it can be frustrating to type out your thoughts and find that the words don’t really match the words in your head (the main reason I’m still on Chapter 1). But it gives you the ability to create characters you’ve always wanted to meet (or avoid), to craft dialogues full of wit (or sorrow) or to conjure entire worlds just by a stroke of your pen or keyboard.
Developing a story and seeing it’s content find its way onscreen or on paper is an exhilarating journey. I spent a lot of my childhood playing with friends (real and imagined) pretending to be a superhero, James Bond or multi-million dollar mogul. Writing takes me back to those days of fun and freedom.

There are a lot of ways to start writing as a hobby. All you need to start is a computer and a word processing program. Or a notebook and a sturdy pen. Personally, I’ve never attended a writing class but it definitely is on my bucket list. To ease into the process of storytelling, you can use an existing world or IP by participating in forum RPGs or by posting fan fiction. The characters and some of the traits are given, so you can focus on the description of what you want to happen to them. I only recently gathered enough confidence to establish a world of my own. When it comes to non-fiction writing, a good idea is to start with things you feel passionate about. Sharing your texts is by no means a must. But I believe that by giving your thoughts and stories to the world, you can only improve your skills and stories. Someone will enjoy what they’re reading. And bringing a bit of pleasure to a stranger is never wrong. I can only encourage you to do it and find out if you find pleasure in writing.

So, now you know what I’m obsessing about this week: Writing. Feel free to share your thoughts on writing or to show some of your works in the comment section!

I’m also very grateful for any feedback in the comments, via e-mail or on twitter @AlbertGubler! See you Friday.

Sincerely yours,

Albert

PS: For anyone interested in my older stories in German, feel free to check out “Tagebuch eines Schattens” (the last story I wrote before stopping).

Welcome.

Welcome to my blog “An elusive hero”.

A few weeks ago I posted the first chapter in the story “An elusive hero”. Thank you to everyone who has read the piece and given me valuable feedback on how to improve it. I’m editing “Chapter 2” at the moment as I am not very enthralled with the quality of my writing so far. I promise to have it ready by the end of the week (more on this below).

During he last six weeks I have thought long and hard about the direction I want to take this blog in. I’ve been in love with writing fiction since playing the RPG “Gothic” at the age of 13. But I am also interested in a wide array of things including but not limited to literature, film, gaming and travel. My appreciation for the creative minds behind books and movies knows no bounds. And the sight of the beauty of nature and architecture seldom fail to take my breath away.  That is why I decided to combine my interests to share them with you. The last few weeks have been used to come up with a strict writing schedule. Without further ado, these are the segments I will be posting from tomorrow on.

Monday: Mountains… and more

Every Monday I will write about the most beautiful or interesting places I’ve visited recently. At first, you’ll hopefully learn something about the beautiful country I live in – Switzerland. Most people think Switzerland is defined by cheese, chocolate, mountains and watches. All of which are present in extraordinary quality all over the country. But Switzerland also has a rich history of defying authority and fierce independence. And the alps are not the only beautiful spots around. I’d like show you the less obvious facets of Swiss culture and nature.

Wednesday: Obsession of the week

This blog is here to share my thoughts and interests with the world and to give myself an outlet for my writing. So on Wednesdays, you’ll  find a post about a skill, game, book, movie or random object I’m obsessing about. Feel free to agree or disagree with me. The first post will be online tomorrow.

Friday: An elusive hero

I didn’t start this blog with a welcome post, but with the first chapter of a story which I’ve wanted to write for years. Slowly but surely it is coming together. You can follow the footsteps of our young hero finding his path in the world unknown to him every Friday starting this week with chapter 2.

So these will be the regular segments of my blog “An elusive hero” and I hope you will continue to read. If you think this interests you, please subscribe! Publishing this strict schedule will help me be accountable for missing out on any of the deadlines. I’m very grateful for any feedback you have on my writing and topics, so please connect with me by e-mail or on twitter @AlbertGubler !

See you tomorrow and sincerely yours,

Albert