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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Year in Review

This year was filled with lessons, reflections and choices. 
I began the year with my friends in South Korea, norebanging- (karaoke) and finishing my project for my trilogy. 
In January I finished my trilogy- plot wise. 

In Feburary I celebrated Lunar New Year at the Gold Buddha Temple.
I made a wish... 

 and I saw Hong Kong Disneyland! 
I reflected on my life so far at the Lotus statue: 
In March, I focused on my new story based on Cupid and Psyche- I visited a beautiful Buddhist private school with my friend Whitney and drew inspiration for my Korean Fairytale story: 
In April, I explored Jeju island! 
And I saw my favorite flowers: Cherry Blossoms around South Korea! 

In May, I become an Agent of Shield! 

 And I reflected on my experience teaching English in South Korea: 

In June, I visited my friend Becca

 explored San Francisco, 

and I went to Disneyland for their 60th anniversary courtesy of my friend Becca :) 

In July, I went to the Dragon Boat festival: 
Began researching butterflies . . .
And my friend Kim came to visit! We went to a cool Mythology exhibit! 

In August, I did a lot of soul searching, and writing.

September came with many changes . . . 

I lost someone very dear to me . . . 

My Uncle Huey, who loved great stories, comic book heroes, and his daughter Jamie. 

October was a soul searching month as well . . . 

I met some cool people . . . 

I landed a job close to my home away from home: 

I witnessed a beautiful wedding for someone I've known all my life: 

In November I started a new life in a new place: 

Faced some dragons. 

And in December I found the force again . . .

I learned a lot about gratitude

Saw some beautiful things. And hope to be more grateful for each day I have. 

For the new year: 

My resolutions are

1. Publish my novel
2. Practice more gratitude
3. Listen to my heart
4. Never give up
5. Keep Moving Forward

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Girl Meets World

This show is amazing, and this video captures the heart, imagination and the spirit of it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: a spoiler free review

Okay, I'm going to do my best not to post spoilers, but I will say this is probably the best Star Wars movie I have seen! 
I guess Rey and Finnn made the movie for me, and I enjoyed their introduction to the characters we all know and love from previous films. 
I went to the film with a great audience, and we all cheered once we saw a familiar face. 

In terms of script, this movie was written so well. I haven't seen this kind of writing from Hollywood in a long time, and I believe it did justice to the orginal three. (Episodes VI, V and VI) 
The foreshadowing, the dialogue. It felt like we had returned to the world of a galaxy far far away. 

It was wonderful to see Star Wars on the big screen again, and I love the new characters, they're fun, relatable and I'm excited to see their legacies unfold. 

BB8 was also adorable! 

Okay, in terms of the older character's stories, I thought they were written very well. The antagonist had a little background story, but I'm sure we will learn the reason behind their choices in the next films. I feel like the writers wanted to keep up the suspense until they dropped the twist, that I found to be believable. 

In terms of another big secret that is later revealed, I have all kinds of theories, and I'm curious how that character will confront their long built fear. Fear is the path to the dark side after all. 

In terms of character, I loved Rey, Finn and Poe. They were a great addition to the story, as the consequences of the previous generation fall on their shoulders. In terms of feminine roles, Rey's role was amazing! And I loved Finn's origin story. It's so exciting to see a character come to life and relate to the audience so easily, and I imagine that was not an easy process for the story department. 

All in all, the force was strong with this film, and I can't wait to see what will happen next! 

Five out of five blue lightsabers! 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Jane Austen!

It's that time of year again, Jane Austen's birthday!

Jane Austen's storytelling has inspired various stories for years! 

The most recent tribute I've seen for Austen was in the TV show Girl Meets World: 

The Riley and Maya, in all their confusion over what happened in Texas, relate to the story Sense and Sensibility.

 "What is essential to the situation, my dear Maya, is to host a ball. A grand ball, a New Year’s Eve Ball. We shall invite all the eligible gentlemen of good (….) standing in the village." - Riley
This episode was so well written, and it foreshadowed possible events in their lives. 

In my opinion: Riley related to Marianne. Her crush on Lucas mirrors the affection that Marianne
 feels for Willoughby. The simple fact that she was only in love with the idea of him. And what about Farkle you ask? Why was he so hell bent on exposing her secret? 

Farkle relates to Colonel Brandon who is always there for Marianne, but she doesn't see that until Willoughby breaks her heart.  
Now, what about Maya? Maya relates to Elinor, who hides her true feelings for Edward for a long time. It's been obvious that Maya has tried to hide her feelings for Lucas since the beginning of the show. 

I loved the shout out to Jane Austen in this episode, and I thought the parallel was well done. 
Austen's works are timeless. 

Some of my favorite adaptions are of course the BBC Pride and Prejudicce: 

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: 

And Emma Approved: 

Happy Austen Day Everyone! ^_^

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Update on Star Light and Reflections

I realize I haven't blogged in a while. I've been crazy busy with closing schedules during one of the busiest times of year, but I have a plan. 
I'm currently editing Star Light, and after seven years of writing this triliogy, I'm going to publish it in Feburary and attend a writing event where I can connect with writers around the USA. 
This has been a long term goal, so I've been nervous, but you never know until you try. 
I'm so grateful to be where I am, and I'm going to keep learning, writing and finally living to keep the inspiration alive. 
Typically I write before I start work, and once this book is published, I'll be editing the sequel, but I'm excited to announce that it will be published soon. I haven't dropped off of the face of the world, I promise. I'm just hard at work, and hopefully I'll have something amazing to show you guys soon ^_^ 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Good Dinosaur: A Movie Review (SPOILERS)

Today I saw The Good Dinosaur, knowing that the animation would be stunning. It was a beautiful journey through detailed landscapes that looked real. Only the characters seemed to be animated. 

Now, before I talk about The Good Dinosaur, I have to talk about what is probably my favorite Pixar Short: Sanjay's Super Team! 

This short was amazing, and now that I know about Hindu Mythology, I loved the way they portrayed the three deities. This short was a great tribute to the merge of two generations, and the power of the imagination. It's the best short I've seen this year!

Anyway, on the the main topic: The Good Dinosaur

It's difficult to review this movie without spoilers, because the story is fantastic, but the way they conveyed the story was a little strange for the story they were trying to tell. 


The main theme of this movie was facing your fear, and the journey helps you conquer it, and achieve what you didn't believe you could.

Here's one of my favorite scenes: 

This was what I liked about the story of the movie. They did a great job focusing on what it is like to live in fear, and how that can hinder your perspective. 

That said, I don't recommend this movie to any children under 12 or 10 years old. It's quite scary, and intentionally so. That's one of the things they did really well through Arlo's point of view. You live through his fear, and you follow his journey as he slowly reaches the conclusion he needs to confront it. 
Spot's character is basically an endearing puppy, and a great way for Arlo to gain a different perspective of the world around him. 

Now, the story itself is a great story, with many good messages. The problem with the film is that they try to tell this western themed, coming of age, boy loves his dog story with Dinosaurs and cave men. It was a bit strange to understand the plausability of the world, but if it was an actual western story (without dinosaurs) I think it would reach the audience in a more effective way. 

I would give it four out of five marks, because the story is well written- just badly planned and strangely conveyed. The animation is beautiful, and once you move past the plausiablity of the film, you can see the heart and the message that it's trying to convey. 
And it's a beautiful message.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Carousel- a short story

My father surprised me this morning by publishing a short story we wrote together. 
It's about life and meaning, and I hope you enjoy it. 

You can find the story here: 

I am honored to be an official author now! ^_^

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What if?

This year, I am a Municipal Liasson for NANOWRIMO. With this title comes much responsibility. My job is to inspire and encourage people to write, so most of my posts might focus on writing and inspiration this week and next month. 
"What if?" is a great question to ask before starting a story. It ties you to the theme, and maybe even the character growth in your story. 
The most recent story I finished writing- in rough draft form- answered a "what if?" 
This question is not only important in writing, but in art, designing, builiding, problem solving and even decision making. Sometimes the "what if?" is a risk. Other times it's a wish. 
Wherever the "what if" takes you is half of the fun in writing a story. The other half is finding the answer. 

There are quite a few stories I love with "what if?" questions. 

What if adventure was just outside your doorstep?

What if Cinderella was cursed to obey her every demand? 

What if you had what you were looking for all along? 

What if every book was actually a recording of real events in another world? 

What if . . .?  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Muzzled the musical

Ashley Clemments and Mary Kate Wiles mentioned that Muzzled would be released soon, and now it's finally here!
From the description on youtube:
"In the Royal Kingdom of Serenadia, singing is power. Our hero Malfalia
The story and songs are creative and fun. It's a neat idea, and so well performed.
I had to share it because it's a cool project, and hopefully they'll make a season 2.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On Time Travel (Possible Spoilers)

In honor of Back to the Future day, I've decided to reflect on time travel.
What would it be like to go back or forward in time? 
Besides Back to the Future, this phenomenon has been explored in several movies, books and tv shows. 
The idea that time is a fragile line that should not be altered is the theme of the short story "A Sound of Thunder" by Ray Bradbury. 

In the story, a hunter named Eckles goes back in time to hunt a dinosaur, and he changes the time stream with one action that snowballs into a catastrophic future. 
It is possible that "the butterfly effect" theory came from a moment in the story where Eckles steps on a butterfly, and the time he once knew becomes something completely different. 

Harry Potter had an interesting take on the consequences of time travel, and what rules should be followed for a person (or wizard) to stay sane. He was allowed to go back in time to save lives, as long as he stayed out of sight.  
But he wouldn't have been alive if he hadn't gone back in time. 
In the third book, Harry saves himself, believing that he was saved by someone else. In the time stream, because Harry didn't see who saved him, he was protected from the bizarre event of meeting another version of himself. 

Sailor Moon also does this when she goes to the future, and saves not only her future self, but her future child. Naoko breaks all the rules when her future and present self speak, but they don't talk for long. Usagi's daughter, however, constantly talks of her life in the future while she is in the past, and she possibly influences the events that she believes happend just by speaking them. 

This idea was also explored in Meet the Robinsons, but with a positive effect. Because Lewis sees his future, and meets his future self, he is able to let go of his doubt and stop living in the past. Because Lewis saw how bright his future was, and how easily he could influence it, he started his journey to the future by moving forward instead of looking back. 

Doctor Who plays with time travel constantly, but there are rules that the doctor must follow in order to keep time from changing too drastically. There are always consequences to the Doctor's actions. 
Here's a fun theory they played with in a recent episode: 

That's the appeal of the show, and the character of the Doctor. He can go anywhere, and he has the power to do anything along the timestream, as long as he doesn't alter history in a bad way. 

Mr. Peabody and Sherman had a lot of fun messing with time. Sherman learned history by actually seeing it, and meeting the people who made it happen. 

One writing prompt I did, in a college writing class was to write a letter to my past self. It's strange, because that letter will never be seen by my past self, but in writing that letter, I realized just how much I had changed, and how I had stayed the same. 
If someone could mess with time, they have this crazy power to change anything. They could change major historic events, but the consequence could be devastating. They could change their own decisions, but then they may not be the same person. 
I have never written a story that messes with time, but it is interesting to entertain the idea. 
What would it be like? 

I think it would be intimidating. If you could change anything, and create whatever you wanted, you are closer to a god than a human. 
But it's also a huge responsibility. you must keep track of events and make sure that you don't alter history or how life is supposed to go. 
But how is life supposed to go? Is that something we have invented due to past experiences? Or is it a future prediction we have yet to reach?

Disney entertained the idea in Tommorowland that ideas themselves have the power to create the future, and the more positively we think, the more amazing and positive the future will be. I think there is some truth to that, at least in terms of an individual. 
If you don't believe that you can do something, then you won't. You will make excuses, you will allow fear to hold you back, or maybe its just something you don't want to do, so you don't, and naturally it doesn't happen. 
But if you believe you can do something, then you start to try. You may fail, try again and if you don't give up, you will accomplish it. Goals, dreams and wishes come true when they are persued. But they are only persued if you believe it is possible. 
No, it's not rocket science, but it is one of the most common morals and lessons in time travel stories. Events happen, but it is up to us to decide the meaning in them. One event may be forgotten, while another could live on forever, remembered as a holiday or an important moment in history.
The time that matters most is now. Because what we do today is a step toward the future, whatever that future might be.