authors, baroness emma orczy, bbc sherlock, brian jacques, captain america: the first avenger, catholic culture, catholicism, christian fiction, christianity, creative writing, dee henderson, disney, dynamic characters, editing, editor, fantasy, frozen, generations, invented religions, jorge luis borges, living life with passion, loyalties, macguffins, magic realism, marvel, novels, o'malley series, paranormal, redwall, religious themes, roman catholic, sherlock holmes, sir arthur conan doyle, spiritual, star wars, story dynamics, story tools, supernatural, t.h. white, the avengers, the scarlet pimpernel, the sword in the stone, uncommon heroes series, urban fantasy, world building, writing
I thought that I would not be doing TCWT again. I’m almost too old to do it. But I decided to come back at least one last time. So, here you go.
The prompt was “What do you think is commonly done well in literature? Done poorly?” I think it depends on the author and genre as much as anything else. Some things are well-done in one genre and horrific in another, or okay in one and marvelous in another.
Religious themes. A character’s religion, how they practice it, if they really live their faith, if they even practice what they preach at all, is a marvelous tool in character development whether you are religious or not. I have never been able to understand why some people neglect it. A character’s beliefs, including their religious persuasion, tells us quite a bit about that character. (This is why, if someone leaves the religion space on their character sheet blank, I often have headcanons about their beliefs.) Some books where this is done well: Dee Henderson’s “Uncommon Heroes” and “O’Malley” series (among the only romance I actually read). Living what you preach is a sign of sincerity, honesty, and sometimes even of courage. Often, it takes courage to say more than “non-denominational” on your forms, and the thing is, these characters don’t overtly try to convert others. It is the way they live that makes others think, “Wow. I wish I had what they have.” A book where this is done poorly: Many books (sadly) in the Christian fiction genre. (Oftentimes, Christian fiction is like romance; you have to be extremely choosy to find the good stuff.)
Religious themes in general: If a character actually lives what they preach, then religious themes in the plot itself are generally a given. Normally, you won’t run into actual angels or demons “on-set”, but the forces of evil vs. the good guys will probably happen. I very much prefer the sort of stories with a fallible main character, who falls and fails and then gets up again and apologizes for it (or, sometimes, doesn’t apologize and then sees the error of his ways.) Everything else just feels like another Christian fiction forgettable Mary Sue.
I also like to see slightly-different versions of real-world religions in stories (such as the world where Christianity developed slightly different, though all the teachings are still the same, the practices are different; some practices never evolved, while some that don’t exist in the real world did.)
Magic Realism. Now and again, I love a good story with spiritual/supernatural themes in the magical realism style, where it’s all strongly realist and then seamlessly in comes a bit of the supernatural. I love it when the plot twist throws me off, but when I look back into the rest of the book, I can see how it was subtly setting it up the whole time. Sadly, many “paranormal” stories tend to be “paranormal” throughout, without any magic realism. For me, it’s not urban fantasy if they don’t have the urban before they have the fantasy. Otherwise, it’s just fantasy.
A few notes on urban fantasy: I have read a couple of very good dystopian/urban fantasy novels where the story was very well-written. One of the biggest shockers, in my opinion, is when something that’s out of our normal experience happens and the characters treat it like a normal occurrence, because in their world, it is normal.
Items with character and/or significance. Now and again, there will be a MacGuffin that really ties everything together; it doesn’t even matter what the MacGuffin is, it is the significance that goes along with it. For instance, in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, it was Padme’s charm that Anakin gave her when they were both very young. (I swear, Attack of the Clones would have been so much better if at some point, Padme had slipped the japor snippet out of the collar of her dress and said quietly, “I still have the amulet you gave me.” I would be shipping Anidala so much harder than I do now, trust me.) In my novel Loyalties, it is the multi-generational hand-me-down amulet, the symbol of a master’s care for his apprentice, which is worn hidden in the French braid across the back of an apprentice’s head (or, alternatively, depending on the circumstances, hung on its ribbon around their neck,) that ties the generations together, as it is passed down from Rynnar to Winter (who tries, upon his leaving active service as a Ranger, to return it, but Rynnar refuses to accept it), and later from Winter to his apprentice Elían, and is constantly there to remind Winter of Rynnar, even in Rynnar’s absence, during the first book. (I’m certainly praying to the Muse that I end up doing it right.)
Martin the Warrior’s sword, in the Redwall series, is a recurring object that serves to both tie the series together, and to remind everyone of Redwall’s first Champion. Another example would be Sir Percy Blakeney’s “pimpernel” signet ring in the Scarlet Pimpernel books (which, though not recurring, was key to the first book–was that a spoiler? I hope not…)
Items that get left behind. In my opinion, many authors these days tend to forget about this. Things get broken and left behind. Things are not overly important, and things should not be overly important to the characters. For instance, someone can and will lose their arrows or throwing knives (which, believe it or not, is a loss that was, in the past, a very hard one, since both were very valuable, especially arrows, which were hard and time-consuming to make by hand and thereby expensive. There will be times when someone rips their shirt or goes swimming and loses it. For some reason, authors these days seem too often to ignore these instances.
On the other hand, a character losing something with sentimental value can be a very emotional moment. It can be the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. Or it can illustrate that at this point, the character doesn’t even care any more, or is just grateful that they got out of there alive. Martin the Warrior loses his father’s sword, which Tsarmina snaps in half, pushing him into vowing vengeance on the wildcat, as it was the only thing he had left to remember Luke by. Someone’s horse dies, and it’s a very emotional moment. Beaumont the hound in The Sword in the Stone (book, not the movie.)
Or, someone escapes a burning building to find that they left their old notebook behind. When the other character offers sympathy, the first just says, “It’s all right. It was only a notebook. I’m just glad we both got out alive.” Or even, “I don’t need it any more,” illustrating a dynamic moment in a character’s journey. Moments like these are a tool that is sometimes sadly neglected. People tend to forget that in a prior era, people would attach value to things using a different methodology than we do today. They would keep things because they were valuable or hard to replace, not because of sentiment, quite so much. In realistic historical fantasy, this is sometimes a stumbling block, though not always. (Kristoff losing his sleigh in Frozen could have been done so much better. At least they weren’t afraid to have people lose their gear in the movie.)
Use of small cues. This is a big one. Some people nowadays seem to want everything to be blatantly obvious and to avoid the search for small meanings and symbolism. This is the reason why some people hate character movies and characters like Obi-Wan Kenobi; they don’t see anything past the not-really-action of the movies or the character’s quiet, unassuming exterior. Forsaking dynamic characters for the sake of flash, some people end up creating Mary Sues.
However, I believe there are authors out there who do this really well (Brian Sanderson, Liam? I think I got that impression,) using small character cues, such as a slight movement, a nervous habit (such as fiddling with one’s sleeves) that recurs throughout the book, and tiny facial expressions that are left open for the readers to interpret to subtly build well-rounded, fleshed-out, dynamic characters. After a while, the reader becomes familiar with a repeated movement (“oh, Halt’s up to something; there’s the eyebrow!” “He’s reaching for his cuffs, even though he’s wearing a short-sleeved shirt. Poor kid.”) and learns to associate it with certain moods or actions. After a while, if you’ve seen The First Avenger, you get to recognize Steve Rogers’ nervous half-smile and distinguish it from his awkward smile, his stage smile, and the genuine article in Avengers. (Did anyone else notice how eerily similar Coulson’s non-offensive “I’m not a threat or even important to the plot at all; take no notice of me” half-smile is to Steve’s awkward smile? Since we know Steve better than we know Coulson, this tiny little fact, whether intentional brilliance on the part of Joss Whedon and whatsisname who plays Coulson or happy serendipity, tells us loads about Coulson as a character.)
Excessive stage drama queens. Basically, some characters just draw attention to themselves when they shouldn’t, detracting from the plot and being blatantly obvious (“don’t be obvious!”–>Moriarty’s best advice ever!), so much so that it’s sickening. This is just annoying. If it fits into the plot and the character, all well and good; it works! (This is why we actually can like Tony Stark.) But if not, then… then what’s the point? Seriously. All you have is an over-made-up actor who can’t even recite his lines properly. BORING. *shoots the wall* Sickening.
For me, most of what annoys me is blatantly obvious or lacking when it should be there. Of course, my pet peeves will be different from other people’s, but I think that all authors should try to improve their work based around these issues.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this listing of things I think are well-done but could be improved in fiction, thanks for reading and God bless you, as always, and don’t forget to drop by the other blogs on the chain through the rest of January! 😉
7th – https://erinkenobi2893.wordpress.com/ (you are here) and http://nasrielsfanfics.wordpress.com/ (this would be Rosalie; I still need to read her post so now I’m done with mine I’m heading over to do that.)
11th – http://kirabudge.weebly.com/
29th – http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain.)
(Hey, look! Rosalie and I share a day! Awesome. ^_^)
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Hello, everyone! I don’t think anyone has done this one yet, so here we go. 😉
I will try not to do too many musicals–I am rating these movies for instrumentals or choral pieces which aren’t intended as “songs” sung by the characters to the audience. I may or may not decide to write up a Most Memorable Musicals list at some point in the future. Or I might just hand that one off to my good friend Iris. Hmmm, now there’s a thought… ;-P
Sadly, this list will have to be limited to movies I have seen…
Honorable Mention: Rise of the Guardians. Though I’ve heard this movie bashed for its “forgettable” soundtrack, the sounds of the movie did complement the story very well, highlighting its wonder-filled and hopeful aspect. For sheer enchantment, I’d rank it higher on my list than Frozen, but its soundtrack, while imaginative and beautiful, is somewhat predictable. Memorable? Yes. But mostly because of the association with the characters.
EDIT: On second thoughts, I have to add the “Fivel” movies An American Tail and Fivel Goes West to this list, under the honorable mentions clause. Why are there so many animated movies on this list anyway? *sigh*
10. Frozen. Yes, this one only made the lowest ranking on this list. (So what?) I know you Frozen lovers out there are probably mad at me for this, but first and foremost, it’s a musical, and its biggest strength is in its big musical numbers (not the best thing for a musical, which should be able to back up its musical numbers with instrumental tracks, like The Prince of Egypt does.)
9. Brave. This one is on the list because Celtic music. I have no other explanation. (Also, it’s a mom and daughter story, though I would have loved to see them take more time with Merida and Elinor’s relationship, maybe even have them show a little more remorse for losing their tempers with one another… yeah. If I had written Brave, things would have probably had a lot more drama and a lot less angst and rebellion, which might–might–have made a better story.)
8. The Lion King. Yeah, I know there are haters out there, but while the songs/musical numbers aren’t my favorite songs of all time, I do love this movie’s instrumental soundtrack. (How sad is it when one is reduced to watching Disney movies for the soundtracks only?)
7. Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers. These two ranked about equal on my list (except The First Avenger gets slightly more kudos than The Avengers, mainly due to its amazing theme pieces, but I couldn’t leave The Avengers out either…) The First Avenger was a triumph. It had a lovely vintage/retro feel to it. It was historically accurate without being corny or biased against the age it simulated. WWII technology was pushed without looking like something out of a pulp sci-fi novel. As a war movie, it is sympathetic and watchable. As a superhero movie, it’s a triumph, with a better plot and storytelling than Thor and (don’t bash me, Iron Man fans!) more heart than Iron Man. And it has a soundtrack to match.
The sounds of the movie tended more toward unobtrusive than loud or invasive, which makes it sound typical of its era. The main theme has a patriotic, triumphant sound without being stereotyped. And, perhaps most incredible of all, the composers and filmmakers knew when to leave a scene quiet (the ambiguous, ominous sense just before the train scene? Brought on by an absence of music.)
The Avengers had a good soundtrack as well. It sounds like a spy movie. It also sounds like a superhero movie. It has an alien invasion, but it doesn’t sound like an alien invasion movie, which was a good choice–portals rather than spaceships cuts new ground, after all. The sense of deep menace at points in the movie was amazingly well done. (COULSON!!!)
6. The Prince of Egypt. This movie has one of the most haunting soundtracks I have ever heard. The songs are pretty good, too, but in general… the way themes were used puts this on my list of all-time-favorite movies.
5. The Lord of the Rings. Howard Shore is on my permanent list of composers whose work to check out continuously. Not only did his theme for the Uruk-hai stick in all of our heads, but the background pieces he worked on instilled fear, or hinted at joy. Shore did an incredible job with the main themes, making minor themes into major ones or playing them slower and faster, re-mixing them brilliantly into something that was familiar but at the same time new.
4. The War of the Vendee. This movie is the Holy Grail of Christian indie movies. With a cast of all homeschooled children (not one actor above high school age, I believe), beautiful writing, incredible visuals, and marvelous acting, this movie is the sort of movie that all indie movies should be. The composer (whose name I can’t remember right now–bah!) is a protege of John Williams and in the music community is considered to be the next John Williams. There’s a story behind this–the director, Jim Morlino, met the composer, who was interested in Mr. Morlino’s work and said that he would love to provide the music for their next movie. So there you have it–one of the best soundtracks ever.
3. Star Wars. Even people who haven’t seen the movies know the soundtracks. Really. Who doesn’t occasionally hum the Imperial March at their dad (or the President, who probably thinks it’s funny too)? And who doesn’t know the theme music? (John Williams, we laud thee.)
2. Rigoletto. This one probably goes out to a limited audience. It’s a sort-of musical distributed by Feature Films for Families, with a relatively small fandom. It earned its spot on this list because though it is a musical, the instrumental parts are pure enchantment. If you haven’t seen it go check it out; I recommend it very highly. Especially this track.
1. How to Train Your Dragon, both the original and sequel. How to Train Your Dragon was perhaps the most ear-enchanting movie of the year it came out. Its soundtrack, unlike some of the other soundtracks I’ve heard, did not sound remotely like a rip-off of something else. This soundtrack brought the island of Berk to life, evoking soaring feelings to match the soaring of a dragon’s wings. I don’t know about anyone else, but I expected the soundtrack of the sequel to be more of the same.
It was not.
It went far beyond that.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 took the soundtrack from the original and played with it so it read as the same and yet new, original, and unexpected. Parts of it are deeply touching, while others carry an incredible thrill. None of HTTYD 2 disappointed at all, but the soundtrack has to be right up there alongside Dreamworks’ greatest triumphs.
So there you have it, my Top Ten Memorable Movie soundtracks. Do you agree? Disagree? Are there movies I’ve missed putting on this list that should have gotten better treatment (such as Disney movies that, again, I don’t really care for and only watch for the music)?
Anyway, thanks for reading and God Bless!
No, not the flippin’ movie.
Because while ice can be beautiful, it is generally a symbol of death, or evil. After all, someone with a frozen heart=a villain. (Which is where Frozen gets crazy confused.)
Standing frozen in the doorway
Each breath seems to take more strength than I have
Keep on breathing
Don’t think. Try to move
Breathless as it strikes again and again
And I’m powerless
Rearing up with outstretched claws from the dark
And takes me
Back into the darkness
Demons bleed out from the edges of the sky
Like blood on snow
Thin threads of red through ice
And seize whatever they can reach.
I want to scream
My voice is gone
And I still can’t cry.
Nothing but the crack of stone
And splintering of ice.
I wait for dawn
But it won’t save me.
The ice always wins in the end.
Guess who… teehee… I’m on a poetry kick, it seems. ;-P
authors, awards, bbc sherlock, blogging, c.s. lewis, catholic culture, christianity, chronicles of narnia, diamond, disney, dreamworks, frozen, guitar, j.r.r. tolkien, lord of the rings, madeleine l'engle, music, owl city, rise of the guardians, star wars, the last battle, the lion king, thomas jefferson, writer, writing
Hey, there’s not actually a picture for this one? Hmmm… 😛
Instead, you can enjoy looking at my beloved dog (who passed away a few years ago… :’-( )
Okay, so Miko over at The Legendary Miko nominated me for this one. Thank you so much! 🙂
And apparently, this is a new award, and I’m the third recipient in the chain! Exciting! 😀
Okay, now to review the rules…
1) You must make a post to show your award on your main blog.
2) You must tag the person who nominated you in your post.
3) You must nominate all of your best buddies, and those whom you want to become best buddies with, who, to your knowledge, have not been nominated, for this award.
4) You must ask your buddies at least 15 questions on your post.
5) You must answer all of the questions your buddies ask you. On your post.
On to the questions!
1) What is your favorite TV show? I’m Sherlocked. No more to say. 😛
2) First song that pops into your head right now? “Fireflies” by Owl City. (My sister is a big fan.)
3) What are three guilty pleasures of yours? Fanfiction (technically), hot cocoa (I can’t often seem to actually finish a full mug), and reading C.S. Lewis when I’m supposed to be reading Faulkner (honestly, I need to find a new short story!)
4) Chipotle, Subway, Taco Bell, or McDonald’s? I’m going with Subway. I’ve never been to Taco Bell, and I’ve only ever had a hot cocoa at McDonalds. I got tired of Subway back in January, but that’s that. It’s been a while.
5) What is one thing that not many know about you? Well, Iris was surprised to learn that I play guitar. Other than that, I don’t advertise that I write much, except online. Since that’s the exception, though, and everyone here knows that I write, I don’t think anyone on here knows that I like to carve toy daggers out of wood. (I should post some pictures of them some time…)
6) If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor? Fictional or real-life? Well, for fictional characters, I’d love to have Obi-Wan or Qui-Gon as my mentor, though it would also be awesome to be mentored by Doctor John Watson. 😉 And real life mentors… Thomas Jefferson and my history professor at the private college I used to attend. *sniffle*
7) If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? Ironic, I just got this question on another blog award… If I could really change my name, I’d like to change my universe as well… does that count? 😛
8) Where’s Waldo? Up in a tree. He’s in time-out and I won’t let him down… Never mind. 😛 (Who’s Waldo?)
9) What is your ideal boyfriend/girlfriend? Yikes. What a question… My ideal boyfriend will be a Christian, chivalrous, and kind. Other than that, well, I suppose I’ll have to wait to meet him. 😉
10) What color socks are you wearing? At the moment? No socks. Soon? Probably tan or gray. Wool is the best!
11) Blue or Black pens? Both! You see, I write with blue pens on even-numbered days, and black ones on the odd… Just kidding. I like to write with black and then do the primary edits in blue before typing everything up, tweaking as I go. (I like to print final drafts in purple. Unfortunately they don’t let you do that in college. :-S )
12) What’s the best book you ever read? The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Runners up: Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet, Tolkien’s Smith of Wooton Major and Leaf by Niggle, and Lewis’ Space Trilogy. (Just finished them and I’m in heaven!!! I should totally review them!!!)
13) What would you choose to be your last meal? I don’t care what it would be, so long as it wasn’t cream of wheat, and was with friends.
14) If you were given the option to choose your death, how would you die? I would prefer to die defending my friends and/or my country. (Though I doubt that’s exactly what you wanted…) I wouldn’t care about the nonsense “go out in a blaze of glory” so long as I was doing that. (I’m not Eowyn, in case you were under the delusion that I am. 😛 )
15) What is one thing you wish you’d never heard/learned? Certain non-canon couples… Ugh. (That’s not the only thing I wish I’d never heard about, but you only asked for one! ;-P)
Here we go with my questions:
- If society was clipped up Divergent-style and you had to pick a faction, which of these factions would you choose: Truth Seekers (scholars, archaeologists and explorers), Protectors (military and police forces), Aristocracy (leaders and rulers), or Underworld (spies, black-ops units)?
- Are you more like Sherlock or Mycroft Holmes? (Be honest and objective! :-P)
- For the library aficionados, what book do you not own that you would like to read again?
- If you could re-write any pop culture catchphrase, which one would you re-write and what would it mean in its new form? 😉
- What’s your number one underdeveloped character in a published work? (I mean, who is your favorite character that you wish the author had developed more?)
- Frozen or Rise of the Guardians? Why?
- Tangled or Brave? Why?
- Do you prefer birdwatching or stargazing? Why?
- Favorite Lion King character and song!
- When you’re about to leave the house, what’s the first thing you grab?
- Do you prefer the forest, mountains, or ocean?
- Do you sing in the shower?
- Gardening or fiber crafts (sewing, knitting, embroidery, crochet) or sports? Favorite sport?
- Do you have a particular official spot where you hang out with friends? (Mine was the library in my hometown. Now it looks like being Barnes&Noble, since it’s close to the university…)
- Apples, oranges, grapes, or strawberries?
And now, I hereby nominate (in no particular order):
Iris, partly because she’s awesome and partly because I miss her.
Sarahtps, because awesome lists and fun photography. 😉
Proverbs31teen, because of Superhero Sundays. 😀 (She was the one who REALLY got me started on the Avengers!)
IcedMocha34, because she’s awesome and totally deserves it. 🙂
Roo, because I know her on Nanowrimo and she’s awesome. 😉
Andrew, whom I also know from Nano. 😛
FrenziedMythology, again from Nano, better known as Gandalf or the Panda of Awesomeness. 😛
C.N. Goodhue, aka Cedric of Chessington, who I first knew on the Lego Star Wars Creations gallery and who I’ve been having some trouble staying in contact with… :-S
Truthwillwin1. All of us need a bit more political incorrectness in our lives. 😉
Robyn Hoode, because… well, Minions for one thing. ;-P I just got nominated by her for another award, too. 😛
Professor V.J. Duke, for punchiness and dadblamery.
Sheikah, for her beautiful artwork.
Coruscantbookshelf (aka Rosalie), because she got me started blogging in the first place. 😉
Erin of Laughing at Live Dragons (we have to differentiate here, for obvious reasons. 😛 )
Eric, because Lord of the Rings! *happy sigh*
Wow. That’s a lot of people. 😛 But I was restricted on the other one by the fact that I couldn’t nominate boys for it. 😛 (It says “Sisterhood” right in the award name! 😛 )
Anyway, thanks for reading, congrats to the nominees, and God Bless! 😉
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I have been awarded the Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award by Robyn Hoode of Spiral Bound… Thank you, Robyn! 🙂
Okay, the rules are to show the icon on your blog, answer questions, make up new questions, nominate bloggers, and notify them of the nomination. (It isn’t exactly fair to them if you expect them to just read your blog and see, “Oh, I got nominated!” A lot of us are really busy people, so it takes a while for us to get back and realize that we were nominated, if you don’t comment on our blogs to tell us. PLEASE NOTE: I am NOT pointing fingers at anyone. I’m just making an observation about something, because the last two times I got nominated no one commented to tell me that I had been. Don’t worry about forgetting if you did nominate me and don’t remember if you notified me or not, because you probably did, but if you haven’t seen your award up on this blog please comment and tell me and I’ll do my best to respond to the nominations in a timely manner. 😉 Don’t loose any sleep about it, just do your best to notify people of nominations, and no one will hate you if you forget, and the whole world will go a lot smoother. 😉 )
1. What is your favorite musical? Ooh, hard to say. I’m bouncing between Prince of Egypt, Singing in the Rain, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. 😉 Partly because the latter was the first and only real musical I’ve seen live. 😉
2. If you could guest star in any TV show, which show and who would you be? Any TV show? Including ones that have stopped running? Well, I have a lot, but I’ll have to pick three… BBC’s Merlin as an assassin sent to kill Arthur but who instead winds up siding with Merlin against a bigger threat (no romance, because that’s overdone!), Star Wars: The Clone Wars and/or Star Wars: Rebels as a Jedi (or maybe a Mandalorian, just because 🙂 ). I’d also like to be on BBC Sherlock, but I have no idea what I’d be doing there. 😛
3. Do you have a favorite number? I don’t know… Nine seems like a nice round number. For some reason, twenty-seven doesn’t seem nearly as perfect. But I also like the smaller prime numbers, just because they’re interesting…
4. What is your favorite thing about autumn? I don’t know. Probably the beautiful color of the leaves (and jumping in the piles). Or the hot beverages–wassail (spiced hot apple cider) is the best!
5. What’s your favorite girly thing to do with your sister/female cousin/best friend? Umm… I don’t know. Sewing projects. Sitting down to watch a movie and then discuss it. (I know. Not very girly.) Roleplaying. (As a boy, occasionally–so again, not very girly!)
6. Best movie you’ve seen this year? So far? At the moment, I rather think that that would be Captain America: The First Avenger. I haven’t seen many movies for the first time this year, and I was rather underwhelmed by Frozen, after all those stupid spoilers.
7. If you had to change your name, what would you change it to? Wow… I don’t know. I might change it to Erin (as Erin is not on my birth certificate, if you were wondering :-P) I don’t really plan on saying here what I would like to use as a pseudonym, as that could be–could be–personal information. As to why I go by Erin online, it’s a long story. 😉 If you want to hear it, I suppose I could post about that… which should tell you just how bored I am and how low I am inspiration-wise.
8. How do you feel about chick-flicks? Not much into them. Don’t know much about them. That’s all.
9. GIFs? I like them, but I don’t use them much. (Oh well!) The first time I encountered a gif was over on the Merlin Wiki back in 2013, and I was a bit amazed at first–it’s a moving picture (minus the sound), after all!
10. Favorite female author? I know I’m probably going to have a bunch of angry people on my hands, but Madeleine L’Engle is my absolute favorite female author. Baroness Orczy is a close runner-up. I also like Dee Henderson and Irene Hannon. I haven’t been quite as “in” to Louisa May Alcott as some others… yeah. Rather limited, I know.
Now, for my questions!
- How many times in a day do you look things up online, on average?
- What is the strangest thing you have ever said to anyone?
- Since my dad is having us watch The Avengers and all the movies leading up to them… who’s your favorite Avenger? 😉
- Which Avenger are you most like, in your opinion? In your friends’ opinions?
- If you had to pick one–just one–fictional character to be caught with in the middle of a natural disaster (or a nuclear war, take your pick) who would you choose?
- Oddest thing you’ve sung in the shower?
- What is the biggest thing you’ve had malfunction about your account or blog? (Mine is the elusive “like” button which I have often complained about.)
- Favorite kind of fruit?
- What book/movie/poem/short story has made the biggest impact on you lately?
- And, last but not least, what was the funniest thing you read recently? Please share! 😉
Okay, so now I need to nominate people… let’s see…
Tara Therese (check out her new… well, relatively new, site! 😉 )
Miko (because she just nominated me, and so I can’t nominate her back on the other award reception post I’m working on.)
PinkDoughnuts15, because Winnie the Pooh, and relatability as well. 😉
Rachel Carerra, because awesome stories!
Portergirl, even though she might not accept the nomination, just to point more people to her awesome blog! 😉
Rayne Speryll of Writing in Rivendell, just because. 😉
I was probably going to nominate a bunch of other people, but oh well… I can’t remember half of who I wanted to nominate. *sigh* I’m trying to nominate mostly people whom I haven’t before, but one day after I receive the award myself, everything goes out the window. As I said, oh well. 😛
absent parent syndrome, aps, c.s. lewis, characters, controversy, courageous, creativity, disney, frozen, morality, oocs, out of character syndrome, spontaneous expedient character defamation syndrome, star wars, story dynamics, veggietales, writing
In which Erin delivers her totally-not-offensive run-down of the hit movie…
Okay, I fibbed. This will probably be offensive, though it’s not intended to be. It just depends on how the readers take it. (Please don’t be offended, readers mine. I’m just trying to be totally honest with you.)
A couple of weeks ago, I saw Disney’s hit movie Frozen. Those of you who are fairly conversant with me will remember how I said that I was very upset because I missed out on the “experience” of Frozen, per se; I had received so many spoilers (from generally well-meaning quarters, but also from trolls [not the small round rolling love experts, but the mean Internet entities,]) that by the time I saw the movie, there was nothing left to spoil. Sure, the movie was a good movie, but I would have enjoyed it a whole chunk more if I hadn’t had it spoiled for me.
That much said, even though I love a few things about the movie, there were a few things that bother me. But just to be polite, I’ll mention the things I loved about Frozen first.
- It’s about two sisters, their relationship, and family.
- It involves the sisters becoming closer and their familial bonds becoming tighter (though not quite a la Courageous, which by the way is a fantastic movie and you should REALLY SEE IT if you get the chance!)
- It’s the first Disney movie to be honest about early mornings. (Check out Anna’s bed-head!)
- It’s the first Disney movie to give young women the message that the first guy to catch their eye may not always be Mr. Right.
- Eight words: “You can’t just marry someone you just met!”
“Wait, what?!” Disney’s actually telling someone to wait for the banns?! *LE GASP!*
- Anna actually believes in true love. (You’d be surprised how many Disney “heroines” say they do, but their actions say otherwise…) And FYI, true love is not love at first sight. It’s the kind of love that grows on you, that steps forward and says “I love this person even though they are horrible and egotistic and snappy in the mornings” and sends you swooning to the floor and sweeps you off your feet. It’s the sort of love that is a decision that becomes a miracle. It doesn’t have to be between spouses or lovers. Siblings can find it too. To quote the Veggietales (which is TOTALLY more quotable than Disney!) movie Duke and the Great Pie War, “True love’s the kind of love that puts others first.” (I love Duke and the Great Pie War too–not only was it the story of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz with the spotlight on Boaz, which we don’t really see that much, but it had a story featuring baby Moses and ten-year-old Miriam back to back with it. Pure gold.)
- Though Anna and Elsa have their falling-outs, they still make up in the end. (It was fear, not anger, that drove Elsa away.)
- Anna is the true hero of Frozen. Let me say that again: Anna is the true hero of Frozen.
When I heard the songs from the movie (completely out of context), Elsa sounded like a selfish, pettish little pest, while Anna sounded like the naive, sweet person (the classic Disney princess stereotype.) And when I saw the movie, I could identify with Elsa’s angst, but I completely fell in love with Anna. Though it was hard to respect her when she fell in love with Hans, her off-balance moments and spunky, eager, cheerful demeanor more than made up for that. (Get the idea I love Anna much?) Also, Anna is a Christ figure. Like Christ, she has to suffer for her sister’s sins even though she is entirely innocent (except if you want to blame her for being deceived by Hans, who is a much better actor than even Palpatine, really, so you people who love Anakin Skywalker and want to make excuses for him… YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE if you hate Anna over her naivety.) Also like Christ, she ends up saving her sister’s life, upon which Elsa, like Peter, begins to sob… over her “denial” of Anna and their wasted time. Sorry, Elsa. Your ice powers may be visually stunning, but your kid sister TOTALLY has you beat on this count.
Now for the things I didn’t like.
- Absent parents/parents with bad philosophy. Why does Disney (all of popular culture, in fact) have this vicious tendency to pick on parents?! GAH. They deserve our respect for what they do for us! This is just so annoying.
- Teenaged rebel princesses. BOTH of them. (Not only historically inaccurate, but
- Also, there is the fact that there may be a more insidious message to the absent/bad parenthood dynamic. “Conceal, don’t feel”? This sounds eerily similar to the statements anti-Christian propaganda attributes (often falsely) to Christianity. (Yes, I called it propaganda. Live with it.) People think that Christians want to tie people down, to force down their “natural impulses” and live a perverted, repressed life. No. That is not what Christianity is at all. Read C.S. Lewis, for heaven’s sake! He argues it totally better than I ever could. Moving on…
- Song lyrics.
GAH. This is the number one thing that disturbs me about this movie.While I loved “Frozen Heart” (OHMYGOODNESS IT JUST FORESHADOWED THE WHOLE MOVIE IN ONE SONG I LOVE YOU BRILLIANT WRITERS!!!), and the sweetness of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” and the adorable “In Summer” (and Olaf was a marvelous foil without being ridiculous, by the way! Also, he was more than just a plot device! He made a place for himself, and he is the sweetest thing!), “Let it Go”, which is probably the one most popular song from the film, had a part that had me torn between being disturbed and feeling sick. Here it is:
that perfect girl is gone
No right, no wrong, no rules for me; I’m free!
- SINCE WHEN DOES DISNEY CHANNEL JOHN LENNON?! (yes, I am aware of the pun. *pokes Disney Channel with a stick* die, you…)
- Does anyone else see the problem with this? Apparently, it’s a bad thing to try to be perfect (though having a “perfect image” is, actually, a problem, in my opinion), rules are also bad, and the second line just reeks of moral relativism. (Yes, I do have a problem with that! There is absolute right and wrong!)
Poor Disney. They have the same problem with lyrics and/or lines that Revenge of the Sith did: “Only a Sith deals in absolutes”? There’s a cringe-worthy rhetorical trap right there, and it totally ripped-off Obi-Wan, whose tenure as a Jedi and a character was otherwise absolutely shining. Of course Obi-Wan Kenobi believes in absolute right and wrong! Look at his actions, for the love of the Force!!! He has been wronged too many times in his life to believe that there is no such thing as moral absolutes (since he doesn’t have the throw-up-your-hands victim mentality that would be the only other option in this, I believe that this is safe to assume.) Seriously, Star Wars would be better served if we clipped this line entirely and put subtitles on it instead, claimed the audio was broken, and attributed that what Obi-Wan really said was “I am not your enemy, Anakin.” That speaks better to both the audience and the character. (In fact, when I eventually do see the movie, I will be mentally substituting that for the sickening rhetorical and out-of-character trap that we see above.) The line that was used can’t help but jar, and it ruins the pacing of the scene, making Obi-Wan seem to preach when it seems more in line for him to say something personal which brings a moral conclusion (leading by example, anyone?) to the character as well.
(Most fans agree–sometimes Lucas doesn’t really know what’s best for the franchise.)
Okay, there’s my rants on why Frozen (and Star Wars too) is flawed. Please don’t send me hate mail for ruining your childhood fantasy/favorite movie for you. (MWAHAHAHA–ahem. 😛 )
Thanks for reading, have a great day, and may God bless you! 🙂
A couple of days ago, I was walking past Obi-Wan’s room on my way to the breakfast room, which was empty, to meet with Gervaise in order to get to work on his story. However, as I drew level with his room, I spotted Ventress standing outside it, shouting through the keyhole. Instantly intrigued, I ducked into one of the conveniently-placed curtained alcoves that are scattered all over the old house. Frankly, with those things in place, I’m surprised there are any secrets left in the House of Selay’uu at all.
I had arrived too late to witness Ventress’ initial arrival and shouts through the keyhole, but now I could hear Obi-Wan’s reply quite clearly, despite the fact that there was a door, a hallway’s worth of open space, a former Sith, and a curtain between us. “Go away, Ventress! I’m busy!”
“Oh, come on!” Ventress growled, at her most sultry (and, most irritating, for both me and Obi-Wan,) I thought. Was she trying to ask him out? I stuffed my hand in my mouth to stifle the giggles. If she was, she’d have to beat Morgana to it–and besides, Obi-Wan didn’t date people that I knew of, and I could not imagine him dating anyone at any rate. “What’s so important? What are you doing in there? Not washing up, I hope?” There was a loud bang and a sharp clatter as something hit the door and Ventress jumped backwards in an attempt to not get jarred. Obi-Wan had thrown something–a pewter mug, perhaps. Maybe even the self-same one he normally kept his pens in. I inwardly grinned. Testy. This was going to be a show to remember.
“I’m listening to Vivaldi! Clear off!” Obi-Wan shouted back. Ventress growled again, really grumpy now.
“You need to learn to make better excuses, Obi-Wan dear.”
“You scarcely know me, Ventress. That wasn’t an excuse. Go boil your head.”
No matter what else Ventress said or did, short of cutting the door open (which would have gotten her confined to her own room, sans either lightsaber and stripped of the Force by the order of the Council), Obi-Wan would not make any further reply to her shouts, and at last Ventress lost interest and wandered off. Suddenly remembering my own appointment, I hurried off as well. I was late, but Gervaise didn’t complain.
Later, as I passed Ventress on the way to bed, I added insult to her injury by humming “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” rather conspicuously. Ahhh… life in the House of Selay’uu.
animals, baronness emma orczy, bbc merlin, bbc sherlock, brian jacques, cats, cute babies, despicable me, disney, dreamworks, frozen, humor, j.r.r. tolkien, lord of the rings, pixar, redwall, star wars, superheroes, the scarlet pimpernel, turtles
about me, award, bbc merlin, brave, disney, frozen, j.r.r. tolkien, long rants, lord of the rings, more boring stuff about me, pixar, rambling musings, things that i didn't particularly think would be very interesting, wreck-it ralph
Hey, look, guys! I finally got around to answering that third Liebster nomination! Yay me!
For those who only just dropped by, I was nominated by both coruscantbookshelf and Shiekah at once. (Or rather, coruscantbookshelf nominated both myself and Sheikah, and then Sheikah got to it first and nominated me again. :-P) So, this was my third nomination in May but I’ve been insanely busy and only just got around to it.
Okay, so I was nominated by IcedMocha34 this time. Here goes…
1) What is the one thing about yourself you like best? Well… that’s hard to say. As a matter of fact, I know the things I don’t like about myself better than the ones which I do. Thinking about it… I think that my best ability is to recognize when I am wrong.
2) What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about? Lots of things. Social injustice is probably the least serious on the list. Oddly enough, death is not on it. I can laugh at death. I can not laugh, however, at the Final Judgement or Hell. Things like politics are serious, but I normally express my opinion by making fun of certain ideas.
3) Which song always makes you sad? Happy? Feel like dancing? The first song that makes me cry that comes to mind is “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof, and the second would have to be “Butterfly Kisses.” One happy song is “Now and For Always” from the Lord of the Rings musical. (Yes, there is a musical! It’s probably my favorite music of all time, and it’s not as bad as you might think, though, naturally, it’s not Howard Shore.) It is so bittersweet and beautiful it always brings me a mile. Then there’s “You’ll Be In My Heart” from Tarzan. My best dancing song is also from the Lord of the Rings musical: “Cat and Moon.” It’s hilarious, and a whole lot of fun. Then there’s “The Road Goes On,” from the same musical, “Fireflies” by Owl City, and anything by Heather Dale (especially “Mordred’s Lullaby”, which I am actually choreographing a dance to.)
4) What’s one of your favorite habits you have? Lighting candles as I write. I write fantasy, so lighting candles helps me get into contact with those fantasy worlds better. It’s uplifting, as well.
5) Who is your hero and why? I think my hero–not counting fictional characters–would have to be Mother Theresa. She was so compassionate! Close runners-up are all the enlisted men in the military. Remember our troops! Because freedom isn’t free!!!
6) Would you kill an innocent person if you thought it might mean saving a dozen other people? I don’t think I would. I’ve read too many stories and seen too many movies where a morally ambiguous act such as that causes horrible repercussions. (Case in point: Merlin’s distrust of Mordred, who didn’t turn evil until his girlfriend died, which was partially Merlin’s fault, in the BBC show Merlin.) I wouldn’t mistreat for something that they might do, that had not happened yet. I mean, some of my more hard-core, ruthless characters might do it if they were in those circumstances, but I would not.
7) Would you rather be hated or forgotten? I think I’d rather be hated. Maybe it’s my thing for needing attention. Besides, in the practical world, I don’t think that if I keep on doing my best to be a good person, I can’t be hated by everyone!
8) If someone were to make a movie about your life, who would you hope would play you? Oh. Yikes. Well, if I was a boy, I’d say Paul Schofield, but since I’m a girl… oooh… maybe Kate Blanchett? Or… well, Katie McGrath looks most like me… but I think that the person best suited to play me would actually be whoever played Calhoun from Wreck-it Ralph, or whoever it is plays Bo-Katan in the Clone Wars, or the actress who plays Adi Gallia on the same show. (I can’t remember any of their names, sorry.) “Calhoun” seems like a versatile actor, even though I’ve only seen her playing the hard-core sergeant; so do all the others. I don’t know, really.
9) What flavor gummy bear is your favorite? So there are easy questions on this list… ;-P Lemon.
10) What is “the usual” when you go to Starbucks? I don’t go to Starbucks… but the closest thing would have to be hot cocoa.
11) Why do you write and how does it make you feel when you’re scribbling furiously in your favorite notebook with your favorite pen? I write because it helps me to stay sane. I write because I enjoy it. I write because I have stories to tell. I write because I have to. (Was that a question? :-P)
All right, now for eleven facts about me:
1. I love, love, love Merlin! Everything Merlin! And young Mordred is adorable!
2. I watched Frozen last night and LOVED IT!, but except for the scene where Hans’ sword breaks toward the end of the movie nothing impressed me too much because everyone was so hell-bent on giving me spoilers. (Darn you, pop culture.) It wasn’t that fresh and real and new as it would have been if it had been like “Wreck-it Ralph” and I could’ve avoided all the hype. So one of the movies I was most looking forward to seeing was ruined by the fact that I had heard so much about it. (So, *Jedi Mind Trick* You will not give me spoilers about the Hobbit movies. I’m hoping to actually enjoy those.)
3. I hate spoilers. I hate people who don’t alert before they give spoilers even more.
4. This puts my younger sister Jewel on the list of people whom I am currently mad at because she was “in” on all the hype and searching all the songs on YouTube. It would’ve been better if I could have kept it down to “Let it Go”, but instead I’d heard ALL the songs before and it was almost dull as a result.
5. I am probably going to go cry, read Tolkien, and watch Merlin clips on YouTube to try and compensate for my extreme disappointment.
6. I probably won’t write a critique of Frozen for a while, until I’ve seen it a couple more times.
7. My baby sister is currently sitting under my chair and trying to lick my feet. Ewww.
8. For some reason, I don’t like anything cherry flavored, or bright red. Duller reds look less artificial. Real cherries, though… mmm.
9. I am allergic to bananas, cantaloupe, and blueberries, unless they are in baked goods. (Bananas and blueberries, of course. Really, who would eat cantaloupe in baked goods!?) This makes buffets awkward for me. I am also allergic to popcorn.
10. I don’t particularly like root beer. Perhaps the cherry-flavoring and root beer dislike is genetic?
11. I should have done this much earlier.
Now, for my eleven questions:
1. Why do you blog? (It’s always on there, and who am I to break tradition?)
2. What do you think of every night to help you go to sleep?
3. What sorts of movies do you dislike? (And don’t just say violent, gory ones, since that’s a given. Or should be.)
4. Do you still keep your imaginary friends around? (Most writers say yes.) If so, what are they like?
5. Do you have imaginary friends who seem to have lives and minds of their own? What are their personalities like?
6. Do you have imaginary friends who sit around and comment as you write? What are their names?
7. Do you have a designated “Muse”? (I have Kysherin.)
8. What outside forces and events have had the greatest impact on your outlook?
9. Do you have a place (or activity) that helps you think better? When, what, and where?
10. What are your favorite songs to work to?
11. What is the worst attack of plot bunnies you’ve ever had?
I hereby nominate coruscantbookshelf and Shiekah (again) because it’s not a tag-back if someone else tagged you in the interim (Hah!), and evenstararwen2 because she’s sweet and I love her blog about her adventures with her brothers–I always laugh so hard when I hear about Elladan and Elrohir’s antics!–and her father. Oh, and I have an extra question for her:
12. Why does everyone always call Elladan and Elrohir in that order? Is Elladan older?
Thanks for reading my boring post about myself, everyone, and I hope you enjoyed it–as far as something that’s about me and not by me can be enjoyable. ;-P Oh, and for those who were wondering… I have 103 followers now. Yaaaay!