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Monday, June 29, 2015

Inside Out: A Movie Reveiw

Last night I saw an imaginative, honest film about the world of emotions, Inside Out. 
It will be difficult to review this title without using spoilers, but I will try. 
Riley is an eleven year old girl: bright, goofy and caring. She has five emotions who take care of her: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. Each emotion cares for Riley in their own way by activating the consul in her mind, but Joy has been there from the beginning. Joy is in charge, and most of Riley's memories involve Joy, including the very first memory Riley had when she was born. Then there's Sadness. Sadness is not very happy, and Joy likes happy. Whenever Sadness creeps in, Joy tries to push her out. But Sadness is an emotion, and she has a purpose, just like Fear, Disgust, Anger and Joy. In Riley's head, her emotions tie to specific memories, which create thoughts, ideas and actions. But Joy barely allows Sadness to affect Riley, and the problem begins when Sadness tries to run the show. 
Since Riley turned eleven, Joy has been in control of her core memories, the memories that make Riley who she is. Each core memory creates an island of Riley's complex personality and helps Riley live from day to day, solving problems and creating actions. 
Sadness tries to touch a core memory, and Joy panics. 
That emotion surrounds the core memory, and Riley begins to cry. As Joy and Sadness try to control the core memories, Riley embarrasses herself on her first day of school. 
Joy and Sadness get sucked in the memory tube, and they are thrown into a pile of memories, all organized in the long term part of Riley's brain. 
Without Joy or Sadness, Riley's emotions go out of balance and chaos ensues. As Joy and Sadness try to return to the headquarters, where the emotions live, they must learn to work together and find a way to keep Riley healthy and happy. 
But the longer Joy and Sadness are away from the consul, the weirder Riley begins to act, and the more strange her actions become. After all, the only emotions at the consul are Disgust, Fear and Anger. 

This movie was amazing. From the way emotions are portrayed to work, and the fact that Riley's head is not the only head we enter. We see glimpses of the way her mother and father organize their emotions, and we learn that each consul is different, with a different emotion in charge. These emotions are a team who work together, and each functions in a way that keeps Riley happy. As the movie takes us through Riley's head, from imagination land to the subconscious, we see Riley learn to cope with moving to a new school, and trying to stay happy for her parents. But sometimes you need to express emotions that are neglected in order to move on. 
I give this movie five out of five imaginary friends. It's a story within a story about learning, growing and adapting to change. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Jurassic World: A Movie Review (Slight Spoilers)

I'll be honest, it's been a long time since I've seen Jurassic Park, but I do have the book, and I'm currently reading it. 
Jurassic World had some elements of the original film for everyone to appreciate: the iconic door opening scene, the great music score and the dinosaur chasing scenes. There was even a character played by Jake Johnson who wore Jurassic Park merchandise and one area reminiscent of the first film. 
The story was interesting, considering the themes of family, work and humility. 
The special effects were amazing and there were definitely some hair-raising moments. 
Chris Pratt's character Owen was awesome, and he really knew how to be the leader of a raptor pack. I was also impressed with Bryce Dallas Howard's character Claire. She comes up with an awesome solution to the problem and she does it all in high heels! I was especially charmed by the two boys Zach and Gray played by Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins. Their teamwork and talent got them through the scarest walk in the woods 65 million years ago. 
There were a few plot holes that involved major points in the story. The kids say they want to stay with Owen, but they say this after witnessing Claire saving him, and they haven't seen Owen do anything yet. Maybe a scene was deleted? 
We don't really know the bad guy's plan, and there appear to be two bad guys. We only see one bad guy about 3 times in the film, and it is never really revealed what he created or why. The other bad guy appears pretty crazy from the begining, but his motive is never revealed either. 

Spoiler alert: Everything was pretty cool, except the way they handled the big bad monster. My argument is it was too smart to be made just from animals. We don't really find out all the animals that it was created from, and the moment that opportunity arrives is cut short by a gruesome scene. My theory is that it was definitely made with some human or ape  DNA, because the actions it performed involved dexterity and planning. 
There were some really cool quotes:

"The key to a happy life is to accept you are never actually in control." - Masrani

"It's not about control. It's a relationship based on respect."- Owen 

"Monster is a relative term. To a canary a cat is a monster. We're just used to being the cat."- Dr. Wu

"Don't worry. It's gonna be just like taking a walk in the woods . . . 65 million years ago." - Owen

"Are they safe?"- Gray
"No. They're not." - Owen

All in all, I give the movie four out of five dinosaur figurines. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Like Father Like Daughter

To celebrate Father's Day, I'd like to tell you where my love of stories started: my Dad. 
When I was little, my Dad would read to me, and he was always there to help me with homework. He introduced me to great works of literature, like The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time. When I was ten, I brought Harry Potter home, and it got to the point that Dad would finish reading the books before I did! We loved talking about the books and making up theories for the next release. He also introduced me to Marvel comics and the Magic card game. We would play Magic together and Dad would answer my questions about The Xmen, Spider Man and Doctor Strange. 
As I got older, he recommended epic stories to read like The Lord of Rings, Dune and Ender's Game. We talked about the detail and the well written plots of those stories. Today, Dad and I talk about writing, and we still recommend books to each other. Reading, writing and talking about stories with my Daddy are some of my favorite memories. 
I'm so proud of him for publishing his first novel, and I'm so grateful that we share this hobby. 

(My Dad also introduced me to video games ^_^)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

An Inspirational Presentation

I know that everyone is excited about the Final Fantasy VII remake and Kingdom Hearts 3. Believe me, I am too ^_^ 
But the introduction to Unravel caught my attention. It is very heartfelt and inspirational. It's a small studio, debuting their work in the form of a creative and clever video game. 
It's an honest presentation, and you can tell that Martin Sahlin is so excited to share his work with the world. 
He's nervous, because who wouldn't be? But, he's also excited to be there, presenting his ideas. 
It's a beautiful reminder to never give up on your dreams. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Magical and mystical

I have heard much about the Outlander series, especially from the Tattered Cover Bookstore. Mom and I decided to start the TV series, and I was impressed.
This scene in particular, the Druid Dance is so beautiful.
The story itself is very interesting, and although the show is a bit gory (some 17th century medical and torture scenes) it's an amazing adventure and enticing historical drama.
The story starts in the 1940s, in Scotland, where Claire and her husband Frank are on their second honeymoon, celebrating the end of World War II. But ties to the mystical and historical soon unfurl, and Claire is sent on an adventure she could never have imagined, leading her to make difficult and life-changing decisions.
Thrown into Scotland in 1743, and taken in by the MacKenzie clan, Claire must decide how to survive the historic events that tie to her husband's ancestor, and a man named Jamie Fraser.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Overcoming fear

I have many fears. Some I have conquered, especially in the last two years, but there is one fear, possibly very common, that I still have trouble with.
This fear is deep, going back years ago, even to elementary school, but being a writer, and an optimist, I believe that I will be able to conquer it.
Fear is something that every protagonist must face in stories, from fairytales to novels and movies to T.V. shows. Especially in video games.
Fear can be this obstacle that shows up and challenges you before you're ready.
But, you are always ready, because fear can teach you about yourself, and once you conquer fear, you feel like you can do anything.
I'm working on conquering this fear. And in researching how to overcome fear, I came across this video.
Olympia LePoint is an inspiration. She conquered her fear and learned from it.
She has three steps in reprograming the brain to overcome fear.
The first two are easy, but the last step is the most difficult. Taking action.
This is a powerful speech about believing in yourself, and not letting obstacles prevent you from achieving your goals.
It may take some time, but I will conquer this fear, and one day, I'll look back and be proud of how far I have come.

Monday, June 8, 2015


 It is a song to the soul.
Magic in the real 
And at times confusing world.
Great heroes and heroines go on
 Incredible journeys that reflect the
Noble spirit craving for
Thoughts that humanity enjoys through
 Inspiration of fantasy
On the winding path,

Friday, June 5, 2015

One step at a time

It's ironic how trapped you feel when you have everywhere to go. 
You're so paralyzed by the decision, that you might as well have not made that decision at all. 
You're so lost in the "what ifs" and the "why nots." It's hard to listen to your heart. It's difficult to hear what its saying. 
Some things feel like be all end all. Some things are easier to push away. And somethings are simply what you believe to be the way things are. It's . . . complicated. Life always is. Life is never this straightforward fairytale or simple fable. You have to untangle the webs of plot twists, confusion and subtext. 
You have to make sense of the ups and downs, loss and gains, choices and risks. 
It's not supposed to be easy or simple. It's life. 
But life can be your own canvas, and you can paint whatever you want on it. You can collect all your happy memories and your accomplishments, and create a work of art on your own. 
Of course, not all difficult times are bad. Some make you who you are. Some give you the motivation to move forward. 
Sometimes failure is the only way to learn. 
Sometimes I forget, how complex and collaborative life can be. 
I've been so used to relying on myself for everything, that I've forgotten, it's okay to rely on other people. 
This is a lesson I fail to learn over and over again, but maybe this time, I'll get it right. Maybe this time I'll have the courage to listen to my heart and take that leap. 
Life is a series of small steps turning into a journey. It's okay to break down. It's okay to be lost, just as long as you keep going. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A Funny Fairytale

A few years ago, I posted this short story. 
Today I decided to launch it on Wattpad. ^_^
This story was fun to write, and I may write more, depending on how it is recieved. 
I'm working on a collection of poetry now. 

The original post for this story is here: 

You can read it on Wattpad here: 

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Moment of Heart and Soul

This garden was perfect. Among the many gifts that my father gave my mother, this was my favorite. A secret garden, only for the royal family. A perfect getaway from all the crazy suitors, the expectations, the rules. The attention I never asked for. 
Sometimes he was here, and we would talk. 
He was the one man who did not treat me like livestock. 
He asked after my health, my happiness, and we talked of many things. 
It was a nice friendship, and one that I could rely on whenever the events became too crazy. 
I never asked him why he was never at the palace. A part of me didn't want him there, standing among the countless men who sized me up and determined my worth by staring at my appearance. 
It was frustrating, and a typical occurance after I had turned sixteen. 
I had even been called, "Aphrodite" by several, which I doubt the goddess would have approved of. 
It was for that reason that I stayed away from her temple. 
I stayed away from most public places, finding comfort and seeking sanctuary among the flowers and trees that my father had planted for my mother all those years ago. 
It was here that I had met him, so it became my favorite place. The place where no one could find me, and everyone knew where I was at the same time. 
Today, the sun was still out, and a lovely swan was floating along the water. When I walked to the edge of my path, the swan stopped and made a soft sound, as if to ask me why I had wandered out here, yet again. 
But then it continued swiming, and it soon left my sight as I found my favorite rock to admire the calming ripples that the elegant creature created. 
Right on schedule, I saw him, and he laughed at my slight jump. 
It was true that I was scared easliy. I had good reason to avoid the many stalkers and unwanted admirers. It had become a habit to look over my shoulder. 
"Hello." I said with a smile. This one was always welcome. 
"I noticed that you had slipped away." he said as he joined me, watching the swan come back around the corner. Now I had no doubt that the bird was watching me. 
"Were you there?" I asked. 
"No." he said, and he shrugged slightly. "It's not interesting enough to me." 
"It seems wrong, doesn't it." I said with a sigh. "Can't I choose my own suitor?" 
"The thing about love," the man said, "is that it shows up when you least expect it." 
"I wasn't talking about love." I said with a sigh. "I'm talking about this process to find a husband." 
"Which love has nothing to do with?" the man asked. 
"I don't know." I said, watching the swan as it came closer to the edge of the pond. "I only know that love shouldn't be forced." 
He didn't say anything for a moment. Then he reached out to the swan. 
"I've heard that you believe in love. Is this true?" he asked. 
"Who doesn't?" I asked, staring at him. 
"More people than you would guess." the man said, staring at the giant bird.  
"Really?" I asked. "That seems hard to believe." 
"Love is hardly what people expect." he said. 
"But isn't that what makes it wonderful?" I asked. 
He stopped petting the swan and stared at me. 
"So it is true." he said with a smile. 
"I just asked a question." I said. "It was merely . . ."
"You don't need to explain yourself." he said. 
"So why are you here?" I asked, trying to change the subject. 
"I came here to see you." he replied, "because I need to know. Do you believe in love? The god of Love?" 
I stared at the water, deep in thought. Why this sudden change of topic?
"Well, I certainly don't resent him the way you believe that people do." I said. "I just simply believe that Love, like most things happens for a reason." 
"And what is that reason?" he asked. 
"Well." I said, staring at the swan, "I suppose that reason is beauty." 
"Beauty?" he asked, "Like Aphrodite?" 
"Well, she is the goddess of Love, not me." I  answered, remembering my horrid nickname. 
"I am aware," he said with a chuckle.
"What's so funny?" I asked. 
"Nothing," he said automatically. 
"Well, anyway, I believe love to be the most beautiful thing in the world." I said. 
He turned to me. 
"Then you are naive." he said. 
"Perhaps." I said with a shrug, "But I don't think the god of Love is such a cruel deity." 
"What do you think of him?" he asked. 
"I think that he is amazing, because he has the ability to change people's lives for the better." I said. 
The man was silent. I waited for a loud laugh or a witty comeback, but I was greeted with stunned silence. 
I finally looked at him, and he was looking straight at me, as if Cupid's arrow had struck him.
"What?" I asked. "What did I say?" 
He smiled and said, "I think the God of Love would be honored to hear you say that." 
"Or he'd be incredibly offended, like Aphrodite has been rumored to be." I said with a laugh. 
"Aphrodite does not understand the same level of love that Cupid does." the man said seriously. 
"And how would you know that?" I asked. 
The swan honked, and we were both startled. 
"I should go." I said, but the man was still staring. 
"Well, anyway." I said, "Good evening." 
He bowed slightly, which made me giggle as I rounded the corner. 
This was a feeling that I had never felt before. Something I couldn't describe. 
I decided to run, because I was late for my music lesson, and my father would not be happy. But as I ran, I wondered. Could my life have just changed for the better? Could Cupid have finally answered my wish?