Browse the Garden

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Book Challenge Day 7: Most underrated book

Mara Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Javis McGraw

I read this book in middle school, and it is on my reread list. I'm surprised that it isn't very popular, and it's not found in most bookstores these days. I feel like this book could inspire an amazing film. The Egyptian history, spirited heroine and mysterious love interest make this story charming, but the double spy story and the politics make this novel interesting. Mara is a great protagonist and her allies and enemies depend on which path she chooses to follow in the end. All of Egypt lies in the hands of a slave girl from Menfe, transformed into an interpreter and double spy for the two political parties of Egypt. Who claims the throne will depend on who Mara decides to work for in the end. 
If this book had more recognition, I feel like it would be an instant classic and a wonderful film. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Austenland: A movie review

When one discovers that they have a particular obsession with Jane Austen novels, and an infatuation with the fictional character of William Darcy, it may be time to find a solution. For the rich, bored and clever woman, there is Austenland, a wonderous place filled with grand estates, a proper wardrobe and plenty of good looking men to partake with in witty conversation and dancing.  But for Jane Hayes, the world of Austen is a part of her identity, and she delights in dressing up, drinking tea and spending Saturday date nights with the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. 
Once her friend voices her opinion on this obsession with William Darcy, Jane forms a deal in which she will quit the fantasy after one last visit to the world of an Austenite. If she can look beyond the fantasy, Jane must remove William Darcy from her life all together. 
With this deal ever present in her mind, Jane encounters the world of Austenland, and she must discover the difference between reality and fantasy. 
If one enjoys the novels of Jane Austen, as well as the films that retell these charming stories, one will find Austenland amusing, clever and a good form of entertainment. From the exaggerated obession of Miss Hayes to the delightful quips related to the eighteen hundreds, this film is sure to communicate that feeling that fans of Austen know well from her stories. 
Will Jane conquer this humilating obsession? Will she find what she truly wants? The answer to these questions await you in Austenland.

I give this film a charming row of five fake pheseants.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Book Challenge Day 6: A book that makes you sad

I have read many bittersweet stories, but the one that hits me the most is Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.
 I have always been a kid at heart, and a fan of Peter and Wendy. 
It's not only sad that Peter doesn't go with Wendy, but also that he forgets her. That forgetfulness becomes an emptiness, and Peter becomes a wanderer.
Another scene that makes me sad is when Peter returns to take Wendy's daughter away. The realization that Peter feels betrayed by Wendy growing up strikes a chord in my heart, and I pity him. No matter how much Wendy tries to explain the world to him, Peter Pan refuses to be a part of the world. Instead he remains alone, with only fading memories to comfort him. He even forgets Tinker Bell, and that moment makes him truly helpless.
For some reason the fact that Peter is frozen in childhood makes this story magical and bittersweet. Forgetting people and always craving a place to belong, Peter goes from adventure to adventure, but he can't use the wisdom that comes with looking back on the past. He is made of the present, fleeting and fragile. He is a lonely character, and a tragic hero. 
I still love Peter Pan as a novel, play and wonderful tale, but the ending of this story always makes me sad. I feel sorry for Peter, and Wendy. 

The Disney Find Your Voice Contest

If you love to sing, you should enter this contest! My mom emailed it to me and I finally decided to go for it! It has no age limit. You get to sing a Disney song from The Little Mermaid, and you get to shine for 60 seconds. 

Check it out!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book Challenge Day 5: A book that makes you happy

Whenever I feel down, or upset, there are two books I usually turn to. One of them is Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, and the other is Penelope by Marilyn Kaye. 
Not only do I love the story of someone breaking free of negativity and low self esteem, I love the fact that the character breaks their own curse and rises above their misery. 
Resse Witherspoon has a powerful introduction to this story. She says, "I've been all over the world and met so many people, and I've come to discover that each and every one of us has insecurities. Young or old, short or tall, we all have something we wish we could change about ourselves. Sometimes we let those insecurities define who we are and get in the way of all the great things we could accomplish. Penelope teaches us to rise above our fears, to embrace the things that make us unique, and to celebrate our individuality."
Long before I read Penelope, I already knew that I had a curse. My negative attitude haunted me, and yes it still does at times. I have this curse of being terrified when anything good happens. I always expect something horrible to follow, and I literally wait until it does. I have never been an optimist on so many levels. 
Just like going to Disney, I feel so thankful that I decided to pick up this book, just before Borders went out of business, and give it a try. Even though I had long given up on the possibility of things actually working out in real life. 
This book opened my eyes, and I read it as a reminder to hope and believe in something more. Something happy, real and true. Penelope was the story that finally convinced me to pursue my dreams, and it taught me that breaking free from the past is not a bad thing. 
Penelope does the unthinkable in her own fairytale. She breaks her own curse! She doesn't wait around for Prince Charming. She stops listening to the negative words that surround her and decides to go out into the world and discover who she wants to be. She becomes her own hero, and once she breaks away from the curse, nothing can stop her from living the life she's always wanted!
So whenever I feel down, depressed, angry or frustrated with life, I read this book to remind myself that the only one preventing me from my own happiness is me. 
If I take the leap, brave the unknown and start to actually believe I'm capable of good things, maybe even that I do deserve to be happy, I can become the hero in my own story. I can, and will break my own curse.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Book Challenge Day 4: Favorite Book of Your Favorite Series

Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark

I love the first two books of this series, but the first one is my favorite. I loved the Stonecutter's Tale, the spooky rides after dark and the creepy rhymes of Maleficent. When I first discovered this book, I had returned from the Disney College Program, and I missed the atmosphere of the Disney Parks and all that they stood for. I picked this book up, and I was back in my second home. The epic battle of good and evil, the diseny trivia, and the endearing characters made this book a favorite on my book shelf and a reread every year or half year since. When I go back to the parks, I will look for the Kingdom Keepers quests and imagine that five kids saved the park from Malificent and saved the world with The Stonecutter's Quil. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Book Challenge Day 3: Your favorite series

The Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson

There are so many reasons why I love this series. Not only does it put me back in my second home, The Disney Parks, but it is also an epic adventure with the most feared Disney villains. The first book introduced me to the Stonecutter's tale, which I had never heard before. The second book took place in the park where I used to work, Animal Kingdom and taught me the original story behind the scariest villain in Fantasia. With each book I learn more about the Disney parks, the Disney characters and conquering fear. The powerful themes and the clever characters will stay with me for a long time. Kingdom Keepers has the spirit of Disney, the structure of adventure and the important lessons that heroes teach us with each story we learn. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book Challenge Day 2: A book that you've read more than 3 times

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

I still remember how I was introduced to this book. A friend from High School told me about it, just before the Hayo Miazaki film came out to American theatres. I read the back, opened the first page and couldn't put the book down. I honestly can't even count how many times I've read this book. It has everything: adventure, humor, romance and of course the classic elements of a coming of age story. Sophie is an amazing protagonist, and Howl is one of the silliest and charming characters that I have read in fantasy literature. Just like Sophie, you grow to love him as the story progresses, learning the difference between the rumors and who Howl actually is. The sequels to this book are comical and magical. Castle in the Air seems inspired by the Middle East, while House of Many Doors seems to be a silly children's adventure. Of the series, this is my favorite book, and the one that I could relate to the most. It has a powerful message that involves believing in what you can do, and learning who you truly are. Sophie discovers that she is more than a Hatter's daughter, and more than a house maid. She becomes a hero, or heroine, who discovers that she can not only break her own curse, but save the people she cares for with courage and confidence. 
I have definately read this book more than three times. It is one of my favorite rereads.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie review

It's been a while since I read the books in this series, but watching the movie refreshed my memory on the major events and story. As a whole, I enjoyed this movie, and recommend it to fans of the book series by Cassandra Clare. It will probably be confusing for people who haven't read the books, but there is plenty of humor and action to make the movie enjoyable for movie only goers. 
In terms of similarity to the book, this movie did a great job staying true to the spirit of the story, complicated characters and the epic quest Clary takes on. Some of the background history wasn't explained that might or might not have mattered to the film's story. The history of the Clave is talked about briefly, but the mechanics of the institution were not as clear. For instance, they never explained the witch light, or the pacts that the Clave made with downworlders that shouldn't be broken. A sequence of important events happen, one after the other that can feel overwhelming at times, but Simon has a comical role of adding clever commentary that amuses the viewer. 
(My favorite was "Oh great. The werewolves are here to save us. . . I can't believe I just said that.")
Coming from a person who doesn't like Jace, the actor warmed me to his character. He is charming and complicated at the same time. The Jace of the film is less cold than the Jace of the books, from what I remember. I'm also glad that they gave Simon some heroic roles because he is actually a really cool character, especially in book two. Magnus Bane was, of course, amazing and I like the way Luke was portrayed.
My only dissappointment was the absence of Brother Zachariah, my favorite character of the entire series as a whole. 
To sum it up, this movie is fun, witty, exciting and very close to the book. If you love the Shadow Hunters, you should see it!

Heartsong for the day: Hall of Fame by the Script

This is a powerful song that motivates me to reach for the stars. It's amazing what believing in yourself can do :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Peter and the Starcatcher: a review

(Official still of Peter and the Starcatcher)

I had the wonderful opportunity to watch Peter and the Starcatcher this evening in Downtown Denver. Being a fan of the series written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, I knew what I remembered from the novel, and what was told during the event at the Tattered Cover: the play had a pace, and everything had to be timed perfectly. I also knew that the play was set up to help you feel like a kid again, encouraging you to use your imagination. 
I enjoyed this play very much. The plot stays true to the novel's important events, and has a balance between clever dialogue, charming presentations and the serious events of the story. 
I must admit that I felt nostalgia while watching this play. When I worked at the Disney Parks, I often went to watch their shows and noticed that balance between the story and the modern day humor. I felt like this play did a good job appealing to an audience of all ages, and the creative actors deserved the standing ovation they got after their performance. 
Peter Pan's story is timeless in itself, but the story of Molly and Peter is something special that tugs at your heart and recreates that moment when a person realizes that they must make a decision between staying a child or growing up. 
I highly recommend this play to Peter Pan lovers, Disney fans and people of all ages. There really is something in this play for everyone. Whether it's the heartwarming story, clever comedy or the imaginative tricks that create the illusions for the audience, Peter and the Starcatcher is an entertaining and charming way to spend some time in Neverland.

(Me Disneybounding as Peter Pan for the event)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Book Challenge Day 1: The Best book you read this year

I have two:

This book was amazing! From the detailed world to the complex characters, Dune was my best Fantasy/ SciFi read of the year! The novel taught me a lot about world building, and creating a history for a story. It was a philosophical epic with a compelling main character. Watching Paul become Muad'ib, the reader begins to wonder about the history of religion, power and politics in the world. How one idea can snowball into something far larger than the person who began it. 
The point of view is also fascinating and goes from one stream of consciousness into the next. 


This book was beautiful and charming. I found a new YA author to read when I discovered it. Not only does this book have very real and funny characters, it has a powerful message about life. What it means to live, love and cherish the important moments and the people you meet. The story is deep in an emotional way, and it reads like a true story told from a teenager's journal. The main character had a voice similar to a Sarah Dessen heroine and the story was a slice of life. With some of the best YA quotes, this book is one to be read again and again. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Outside Looking In

No one sees the world exactly the same way. We all have our boundaries, beliefs and routines. But how do you know when a routine is bad? Or when your beliefs are jaded? 
We've been this way since who knows how long. Always outsiders, and always worried about what "normal" people thought of us as we crossed the streets, went to the store and even tried to go on vacation. 
We know not everyone accepts our situations. It's not exactly easy to hide disgust, shame and snobbery, but people apparently think they can hide it from us. I grew up knowing that we were not the normal ones. I had never had a normal life. I never reacted to things normally. I was always different. And different was something to be ashamed of. 
My situation was certainly "different" and abnormal. It still is to this day. My reactions, and at times my actions would not be considered to belong in my generation. 
I've always felt outside looking in. I carry a burden, that could be better or worse than the people around me, but it's extremely difficult to hide it. I'm not good at handling all the inner choas within a circumstance that most people have no problem over. I don't have a sanctuary. I don't believe that I can rely on people. It's a matter of time before I wake up and force the ugly reality. 
This has been my life since I can remember. 
Maybe when I was little and young things were different. But now, the older I get, the bigger the rift becomes between me and what should be a sanctuary. I'm told so many different things about what to do. Run away. Suck it up. Ignore it. All these pieces of advice come from various sources and they help only a little. 
Maybe the problem is that people don't see this. They don't see the constant chaos. The bristling air where one wrong comment, one wrong word can start a hurricane that crushes my hope and my faith that things will get better. Acting is one thing, but keeping a constant face is another. 
So I have been an outsider, looking in at the people who laugh, smile, say nice things and can actually enjoy vacations, family reunions and any other lovely ocassion. 
I feel like I'm banging against a glass wall, wondering why I can't be there. Receiving support and kindness. Not carrying a burden that cannot be handled in one giant venting session.
Is it really my outlook on the world? Have I become that jaded?
Sure I have dreams, and I pursue them like no tommorow, but do I have the foundation to build those dreams on? 
Why carry this burden? Why even hide how I feel about it? Why try to pretend that I fit in to a constant world of subtext that involves a fantasy I can't even see? 
So where do I belong?
Do I belong always standing at the glass wall, admiring others' lives and not understanding why mine can't be similar? Will I have to sacrifice something important to break free of this constant stress?
It's very difficult to watch people have fun in life, and wonder how they can accomplish it. 
Sometimes I wonder, "Does it take strength to find happiness?"
Is it an effortless habit, result of circumstances or a stroke of luck to not have a constant cloud of stress around you? 
Of course. Life is not fair. That is clear as day. 
My problems are real, and no matter how much they want me to pretend they aren't, I can't shove them in a drawer. But where can I put them? Half my problems have no solution. Some of them are truths that I have to accept. Some are habits I am trying to change. What use is negativity all the time? Wouldn't it be pitiful to live that way? Is that even living? Expecting the worst and never believing that happiness is around the corner? 
I'll admit that I have lived that way for years. But not anymore. Now I want to hope. I want to dream. I want to laugh, have fun. I want to believe that things will get better. 
I'm tired of being the outsider always looking in.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

I found a book challenge!

Why? This will probably be the most difficult challenge I have ever done. 

To quote Danielle from Ever After about books:
"I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens."
Well starting tomorrow, here goes nothing!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wasted Energy

The sad truth is that I have spent the majority of my life wasting time and energy on people who will not even waste time or energy on me. They won't listen, won't understand and absolutely refuse to face the truth that they have shoved at me for more years than I would ever admit. So I'm done. 
There is no point in worrying, caring and even getting angry at the unfairness of my situation, and the fact I talk to brick walls. So I have decided to put my energy in far more important things. Pursuing my dreams, learning how to be myself and discovering where I belong. 
Maybe if I take the energy I waste everyday (worrying about the future, worrying about people who  don't worry about me, getting angry at the injustice of my situation, and being terrified of the result of their actions) and use that energy to get out of this situation, and find a people that don't drain me dry, I will be a happier person.  
It's funny how protecting yourself, especially from reality and having to accept things that other people refuse to acknowledge  becomes a difficult obstacle. But the people who tell you that clearly don't care about you. Wouldn't they want you to protect yourself? To be happy? To feel safe?
So I'm clearly on my own in this situation, and I have no choice but to accept it and move on. Well fine. 
From now on, I will focus on the things I care about, and the people that actually care. Listening, trying to understand and actually caring are important details to notice when forming friendships and consulting family. If it's not there, move on.

Friday, August 16, 2013

For Haley

I know you're watching over me.
Bringing me luck and love.
Sweet Guardian Angel.
Animal Guardian from above.
We still miss you,
and we love you with all our hearts.
Through all the treats and laughter
You've been the sweetest dog
from the start. 

Love you Haley!
Our Hale Bop Comet.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Ridley Pearson & Rick Elice - Peter and the Starcatcher signing event

I had the amazing honor to meet both Ridley Pearson and Rick Elice today at the Tattered Cover at the 16th street mall in Denver. It was really neat to hear them talk about the play, and what it was like to create a script from a novel as well as the process of sharing a story and transferring it to another form of media. I was really nervous bringing my Kingdom Keeper book, but I actually talked with Ridley Pearson about the series and the Disney Parks for a while. 
Listening to successful writers is an inspiring experience, and it reminds you to never give up on your dreams. Since I have done both script writing and novel writing, it was really neat to have two people in the industry talk about the different mediums and how they work. The event itself was entertaining and rewarding, giving me a new perspective on story telling, character building and the world of both author and screenwriter. 
I also had the honor of taking a picture with Ridley Pearson after the book signing. 
All in all, it was one of the best days of my life! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

If I wasn't afraid . . .

If I wasn't afraid, I'd make a song album
Allow myself to fall in love
Go to South Korea now instead of later
Go to Disney World
Find the person I have had a crush on since Disneyland and tell him so
Run away
Travel the country
Travel the world
Publish my stories 
Sing on stage again
Get to know people from all over the world
Say what's on my mind
Take a road trip to anywhere
Audition for a musical
Promote my writing
Write in Venice
Write in Greece
Write in South Korea
Write in Japan
Go on a cruise
Indulge in a crazy shopping spree
Learn to dance
Face my past
Look forward to my future
Have kids
Be who I want to be
Learn to play the violin
Learn to play the piano
Talk to my role models 
Meet as many people as possible
Create powerful memories
Be a social butterfly for a day
Take a long hike
Swim in the ocean
Create a Tv show
Write a play
Write for Disney
Be an optimist
Be impulsive for a day
Live a fairytale
Have a Disney wedding
Write for the Lizzie Bennet Diaries team
Try acting
Go back to school
Take a backpacking tour of Europe
Find true love
Make a cosplay photo shoot 
Become a voice actor
Be a youtube star
Put a single on itunes
Start a fundraiser
Live out of a suitcase for a month
Visit the most spiritual places on Earth
Attend a Tanabata Festival
Attend a real Cherry Blossom Festival
Meet a Kpop star
Talk to someone in Korean
Talk to someone in Japanese
Learn Greek
Learn to surf in Hawaii

If I were fearless
I'd live adventurously
One day, I will do these things
As long as I believe
and conquer my fears
one day at a time

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Celestial Bridge

The Water Goddess watched the bridge from her garden. Soah, the Water God's bride knew this bridge well. When she first crossed it, she was a human afraid that she would soon face death. Now she stood tall in divine robes, watching the mist that carried the incense of the temple's offerings. 
Sometimes she looked down at the water and whispered her family's name, watching them live their lives, proud of her sacrifice. Time was not as fast in the Celestial realm. Soah knew that her husband Haebeck wouldn't understand that it was hard to leave humanity. He had always been immortal, not caring or worrying about time. But Soah remembered rushing to the market for early deals, hurrying home before the night came or counting the seconds before it was dinner time. 
The palace was beautiful, but now and then Soah would miss her life as a normal human. Although she loved the Water God dearly, there was much to learn about becoming an immortal. She remembered stories about humans wanting to become divine. Never would she have guessed that one day she would go on that journey. 
It was times like this, with a hazy fog and beautiful lotus flowers, that Soah knew the price for divinity. Haebeck would remind her of her decision once he returned. They would sail on the Milky Way, visit the moon and journey beyond the sea of clouds and rain. She would meet more gods, and learn who to trust and who to be wary of. She would hear humans, especially from her village, asking for blessings.  
For now, Soah would watch the world from her garden, wishing Haebeck to return safely. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ripples in Time

The rain falls.

Pit pat. Pit pat.

I listen with weary ears, wondering about the world. Wondering if people leave prints on each other's hearts like ripples in the rain. The strange effect that one drop makes as it lands in a rainstorm. Are we all raindrops looking for a place to land? Do we choose where we land, or is that left up to fate? Of course you can't do nothing. Life rewards those who act upon their dreams and goals. But the things that matter, life and love. Can we just let things happen? Go with the flow? Is it okay to just be for a while. Not worrying where you are, or who you'll be with in the future. Or whether someone will appear in your future who has been in your past? 

The thunder rumbles.

A soft roar that echoes in the gray sky. 

Maybe it's best to just allow things to happen. To believe that if something is meant to be it will be. Shall I leave the world up to the rain, and let the drops fall where they may? What good is worry if I can't control what happens? What good is frustration if there is nothing I can do. Celebrating what is now should be important, even when it is not where you want to be. And maybe people cope with the deeper questions by allowing the world to work its wonders. 

Perhaps I should just allow the raindrops to create ripples in time.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Blackfriars Bridge - A Jem and Tessa playlist

I think I should let this playlist speak for itself.
It captures moments throughout the epic battle of shadow hunters:
Jem's fatal choice
Tessa's story
Lots of violin
The past
The future

Enjoy :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

For fans of Jem and Tessa

If you love Jem and Tessa from The Infernal Devices, this heartwarming video is a must see!

One of the most beautiful relationships in YA lit that I've read!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

When you're hurt . . .

When you're hurt
embrace it
accept it
learn form it
believe the hurt will pass
understand that it is a part of life

It could be anything:
a word
a sentence
a phrase
a memory
a regret
a feeling

When you're hurt
allow yourself
the truth
that you have been.

Don't run from it.
Don't ignore it.
Don't assume that it isn't true.
Don't try to hide it.
Just accept that 
the one that can heal you
is you.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Korea Day Colorado and the Kpop contest!

My friend and I went to the Korea Day Colorado festival and had a blast. It was a fun event, held in the Infinity Park Event Center. They gave out free cups of noodles, and offered free samples. We even sampled a Korean wine. It was a lot of fun to watch the Taekwondo demonstrations which were done to music, including the soundtrack for Pirates of the Carribean and the music from the Korean drama Kingdoms of the Four Winds. After Taekwondo, a music demonstration of traditional drums and drum dancing was shown.
After the traditional music, it was time for the Kpop contest hosted by KBS (A Korean Drama Station!)
Many of the performers danced to some well known Kpop songs and one even sang! It was cool listening to some of my favorite Kpop songs played on a loud speaker system. After the contest, a well known Colorado Korean band performed called the Appa Band. They had some good songs, and people started dancing. 
All in all it was a fun experience, and I was proud of much Korean I managed to recognize and understand. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Lightning Returns theory

Because I have one.
Warning: Spoilers from FFXIII and FFXIII 2 

So I just completed Final Fantasy XIII 2, and during the annoying (intense) boss fight that ends the game, I actually paid attention to dialogue (instead of wanting to throw my game control at the TV screen like last time) and discovered that Serah hints at her death several times. She also tells Noel "Thank You" before dying. So my first theory is that Serah knew she was going to die once the Yuel incarnations told her she was like them. 
Because Serah had a vison of the future, she died, but because she is like Yuel, in my opinion, that is proof that she is Yuel, or at least has part of her soul.
Now, Lighting is shown at the very end of the sequence, after Cauis cheats by forcing Noel to stab the heart of Etro. 
There are many theories that Lighting will replace Etro, and I agree, but I also disagree with them. Lighting becomes Etro's protector at the beginning of the game, and she watches the world from Valhalla. In my opinion, it is posible that Lighting, like Cauis gained a small piece of Etro, and that piece allows her to collect souls in the third game. 
Also, Light didn't die at the end of FFXIII 2. She turned to crystal, which means that a FalCie might be behind this. 
Now, to back up, I have a theory about Cauis. Cauis is immortal, and he has watched over Yuel for centuries. Because he was once a human guardian, becoming immortal probably drove him mad, and caused him to go looking for a way to prevent Yuel from dying and being reborn. 
We all assume, and it's hard not to, that he is the main bad guy of FFXIII 2. But where did he get the idea of warping time itself? My guess is that a FalCie or God told him. He might have made a deal with this God to warp the entire timeline and create the world that is now Nova Crystallia. We know that there are three "Makers" or Gods in the mythology behind the FFXIII world. One of these Gods, must be behind Cauis's insanity and his sucessful plot. 
Bhunivelze is possibly the culprit. But there's another story we have yet to know about.
Snow's. Snow becomes a Lcie again, for a different FalCie. We also know that he has gone mad, granted with immortalitty and he is broken because Serah, the one person he swore to protect, died. But what deal did he make? It is possible that Snow, like Lighting has become a pawn of the Gods as well. While he created fragments at different locations and different times, he may have been helping the destruction of the timeline the entire time, thinking he was going to bring Lightning back and keep Serah safe. Clearly, that didn't happen. And we only see him twice in the main story line of the game, where he clearly has his own agenda.
Now we bring in Hope, who has been searching for the original Lcie gang since they disappeared. He changed the future, found a way to go to the future without becoming a Lcie again and he managed to create an entire world for humans. He is also immortal.
Hope and Lightning both appear to no longer be human and it is confirmed that they are servants of Bhunivelze. By his actions alone,  Hope practically became a God and defied rules of the timeline, going to these extremes to bring back the people he missed. Lightning swore to protect the realm of Valhalla  and gained the godlike power of seeing everything, at all times, and summoning the eidolons for her battle. 
Many people say they believe that Bhunivelze is going to be a boss fight in Lightning Returns, and I agree. If you consider the mythology, it's not so far fetched. 
We still don't know which of the Gods was evil, and which was good. Like the beginning of FFXIII we are given a story, and then close to the conclusion of the game, that story is turned on its head. I see this pattern in Lighting Returns already, just within the most recent trailer. 
It's clear that Lighting and Hope believe that they are helping the souls of the world, which we want to believe because they are the main characters. It is also clear that there are many prophecies, once again foreshadowing that the Lcie chosen will become pawns of the gods. Noel was tricked into the same thing when he fought Cauis. 
But before we go further, we need to talk about Serah again. and the mysterious character Lumina looks very similar to her.
Serah has been confirmed to be like Yuel, and based on what is revealed in FFXIII 2 I believe that she IS Yuel. In other words, she is Yuel's original soul reincarnated.  This theory alone confirms two things. One, that Lighting is walking into a trap. Two, Lightning has replaced Etro entirely. 
Etro and Yuel are connected. So are Lightning and Serah. 
It is already confirmed that there was more to the reason the original Lcie were chosen, and it was probably the same reason that the Falcie tried to make a giant human sacrifice. To awaken the Maker. Now, if Bhunivelze is the Maker, then the Maker was awakened once Noel/Cauis destroyed Etro's heart. Now he needs pawns to replace the gods he created. So the battle between Snow and Lightning, and even the prophecy that Noel believes that Lighting will destroy the world are both events in the battle between the three main gods. 
One other thing that might be a little farfetched, but possibly it will make sense. 
Lightning must guide souls to the next world. And the next world is beyond Valhalla. It could very well be that Etro and Bhunivelze's mother are still alive, within that next world, manipulating events to bring about the world they want and be granted more power. 

So my predictions of the next game are as follows:

Lightning is a goddess now.
Hope is practically a god.
Lumina is Serah's soul mixed with Bhunivelze's mother.
The new world is where they will meet the Maker.
Snow is the pawn of one god while Lightning is the pawn of another.
Noel didn't kill Etro completely, because Lightning replaced Etro and possibly contains a manifestation of her.
The final boss fight will be a god, or the Maker himself.
Cauis has been the pawn of this god, or Cauis is this god.
The entire world of Nova Crystallia is actually the world of the dead, which is why any souls lost will be lost forever.
Bhunivelze's mom will still be alive.
There will be a happy ending (This was confirmed)
The chosen Lcie will become the next cycle of Falcie or gods.
Each Lcie plays an important role in the prophecy and the battle of power between the gods.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

On fear and life

It's funny how fear can prevent you from living. The fear of dying. The fear of getting hurt. The fear of being alone. Even the fear of public speaking has made people terrified to make their voice known.
But the thing about fear is that it's a self made cage.
If you're always afraid of something, will you ever believe you can overcome it? If you always worry about the end of something, have you ever truly begun? If you focus on the negative outcome, can you enjoy the positive outcome? If you never trust anyone, can you truly appreciate those that you can trust?
What is living anyway? Many people have their own definitions of it, and even the media presents life in a way where if you're not doing something others expect of you, you feel pressured to do so.
So how do you stop something that you started? Can you truly rise above your fear and begin to learn about what you CAN do?
Fear often stops people from appreciating wonderful moments in life.
Instead of being proud that they spoke out in front of others, some people build up the moment in their head, and waste most of their day before the speech with worry, doubt and of course fear.
I do this. All the time. When I'm not worrying about a negative outcome, I'm focused on everything I could have fixed or changed. When I'm not doing that, I'm on the defense, always ready with my shield if a dragon comes along to burn me to a crisp. Dragons have a different definition to me than most people. Some of the dragons I watch out for are miracles to others. Some of them don't even appear frightening or threatening to people. Especially my own generation it seems.
It's times like these, when I realize how painfully strange I can be within people of my own age group, that I feel lonely and sad.
Every now and then, I fantasize that I am just like them. Not facing any of the fears that I have. Not worrying about all the lame things I worry about.
So I have to make a decision, where I am fighting my own mind.
Is it really that scary?
Do I even have time or energy to waste on this?
And how much have I wasted already?
Even these questions frustrate me to the point where I feel like I've wasted my life. A life that many people tell me has only just begun.
Maybe it's selfish, but I feel like I haven't experienced the same things that most people have already.
I have a whole list of "normal" every day and every life occurrences that I have never done.
So I feel so strange, listening to people my age talk about things that I don't even know about. Some people tell me I'm not missing much. Others tell me that I need to start living.
It hurts, hearing that.
Start living. As if I haven't done anything to be proud of. I have nothing to brag about at family reunions that matters to most people. Nothing to say about middle school or high school.  Nothing!
But I have my writing. My memories with friends and family. My songs. My goals and dreams.
I guess this is what you would call career minded, but it's not always what it's cracked up to be. Apparently people have told me this is true of relationships as well.
Not all it's cracked up to be. Isn't everything that way? Nothing goes exactly the way you expect it to. That's life? Right?

So I write to put my voice out there. I read to learn more about the world. I sing for the pure enjoyment of singing. And I observe to learn more about life. What it really is, and what really matters as I live it. Maybe this understanding of what really matters, and what I have done will help me overcome the fear that prevents me from adding things to the list. If I've truly never lived my life, then maybe I should start living. Whatever that means.