17 Jan 2018

The Last Jedi: A Review

Be prepared for a plethora of SPOILERS, gifs, and just general fangirling.

I just want to state that I have been a Star Wars fan for an exorbitant amount of time. Since I think six or seven. I grew up with it, I feel like this is relevant because the opinions seem really split on this movie.

Which I don't get, but anyway...

I LOVED IT!!!!

I should probably explain why. I will attempt to. I liked The Force Awakens, I thought it was really good, and I enjoyed all the new characters. I was also one of those fans who thought it had a lot of similarities to A New Hope. I didn't think that was a bad thing. I remember ragging on Kylo Ren a bit, but for the most part I enjoyed it.

I still loved the original trilogy best, but it was in my opinion better than the prequels.

I thought this one was going to be fairly predictable, I thought it would play it safe like the last one. Keeping with everyone's theories, I thought Rey was going to be a Skywalker. She was going to train with Luke and her and Fin would walk into the double sunset.

I was wrong, thank goodness, after seeing the trailer. I hoped that they would take a different route. It did, one I honestly would never have expected Star Wars to take.

They bring Rey( the hero) and Kylo Ren (the villain) together via force bond.

Which leads me to the first thing I loved about this movie.

 You might be thinking, so what? Why is that such a big deal?

It's a big deal!



Hear me out. This was a good move for so many reasons. It forced them to interact, to have a simple conversation, to stop fighting. It forced them to be vulnerable... laughing at my overuse of the word force.


This is something they have never done in the other movies. It works! Even people that didn't like this movie on a whole, found the scenes between Rey and Kylo compelling.

This leads to the first thing I really loved about this movie

Rey and Kylo's relationship

I always thought they had a connection, even in the Force Awakens. Since this is Star Wars, I thought they might be siblings. After the Last Jedi, I am fairly certain that is not the way they are going.


There is definitely an attraction there ( enough romantic tension that you could cut it with a knife) along with a struggle. Kylo is fighting his pull to the light, and Rey is fighting her pull to the dark. What a beautiful mess they make. Kylo is trying to bring Rey to the dark side, and she is trying to bring back Ben Solo.


I love that we get to see them both in a completely different light than in the first film. We get to see their pain and loneliness. I honestly could write a whole review just about these two, I am controlling myself, be proud.  Daisy Ridely and Adam Driver did amazing with these characters, and they have great chemistry.

 I am complete trash for this paring, they make up my entire Instagram feed.





I told my sister I was trying to tone down my love for these two for this review. I don't want to sound like a pyshco fangirl freak. To which she laughed hysterically.

You gotta love supportive siblings.

I can't leave this section without addressing my favorite moments. Most of which happened in the Snoke's Throne room.

-When the first force connection happens and Kylo Ren sock slides into the corridor looking for Rey. It was unexpected and hilarious. 



- Rey calling him a monster and him agreeing, my poor emo trashbag.

- The fact that the force connection happens randomly, cue embarrassed Rey and shirtless Kylo.

-Basically every conversation they have in those moments.

- Kylo looking murderous while Snoke tortures Rey


-Kylo slicing Snoke in half and saving Rey. 

- Kylo telling Rey 'that she is nothing, from nothing, but not to him.' cue me internally screaming.

- Kylo saying please, after asking Rey to rule the galaxy with him. 

-Them fighting together was mesmerizing. 


- When Rey learns that Luke was going to kill Ben. (also her fighting Luke after, was awesome.)

-The last scene, the look he gives her is so sad and broken.




Okay now that I got that out onto the other great things and then the few things I disliked.


Yoda


They brought back muppet, Yoda, and he was brilliant. Missed him, was never a fan of the CGI Yoda.


 Luke
 

So a lot of people are upset about the film's treatment of Luke, I'm not one of them. I thought he was both entertaining and relatable. He messed up, he isolated himself. He's human in this one. I also love that they left the moment where Rey was giving him the light saber as a huge cliffhanger. Love that he just hucks it behind him, how many fanboys cried.  Luke was done in this movie, and I was here for it.

I also like the parallel of how all the Jedi master's seem to end up in the same spot. Obi-wan and Yoda both kinda let themselves go.

He does redeem himself in the end, and I think he got a fitting send off. His reunion with Leia was beautiful.

Leia

This is Carrie Fisher's last Star Wars movie, and I would be lying if I said I wasn't emotional about that. I love our Space Princess. She was brilliant in this as expected, all of her parts seemed to have a heaviness, because you know she isn't here anymore.

Her daughter was in it a lot more and it was cool to see her rocking the space buns and carrying on her mother's legacy.
 
 Honorable mentions include Finn and Phasma's fight. Hux getting force thrown. Poe doing his usual thing and blowing things up.

 Now onto the things I wasn't a huge fan of.

-Luke milking that weird cow thing, I don't know what that was but... Gross!

-The whole casino planet thing didn't really move the plot forward. I like Finn, but it seemed unnecessary. 

-BB-8 driving that walker thing was just too much

-Leia using the force to pull herself back from space, doesn't fit with what we have seen of the force so far. (Glad it lengthened her time in the movie though)

-Commander Holo's plan that didn't need to be secret ( caused way too many problems) 

- Finn and Rose's rushed romance thing. I think I would like Rose more without that in there. 


All in all it was an awesome movie my favorite of 2017. It beat out Thor Ragnarok for me. I just really like where they are going with this. Can't wait for episode 9. 




 




 





















3 Jan 2018

The Highlights

This New Years, I had my first taste of champagne. I wanted to try it mainly because it was a bit of a fixture in my Snow White retelling. So I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate finishing that.

It was a disappointment, it doesn't taste how it looks. Granted it was cheap champagne. It tasted a lot like how this year went. What started as light and full of promise left me with an acrid after taste.

Not that there weren't great things about this year, but it was a difficult one for me. Every time I thought I had worked through something, I found myself worse off then before. I did a lot of healing mentally, but then I end up reverting back to bad habits.

I don't want to focus on that, I much rather talk about all the good things that happened this year.

*cough* Reylo


I am obsessed, I already started a painting.

I will cover that in another post. Maybe one dedicated to movies and tv, because there was a slew of good movies this year.

 There was also  a lot of highlights this year.

1. Meeting Skinner from the X-files, (which I know I mentioned in another post.) I actually got to talk to him for close to an hour. It was awesome, also the new season is out today and I am freaking out.

2. Did Inktober, and actually succeeded!

3. I wrote a 20,000 word retelling for the Roogle Wood Press Contest!

4. I did a lot of art, like a lot...

5. I drank exorbitant amounts of tea and coffee

6. I went dairy and wheat free

7. Lost 10 pounds

8.  Finished a lot of things that I couldn't finish for years

9. Saw my prayers get answered

10. Had a lot of late nights with good friends

11.  Laughed until my stomach hurt, cried too.

12. Learned so many life lessons and then forgot them, because that's life.

13. Realized I am surrounded by amazing supportive people.

14. Got some supplements for my anxiety and depression

15. Ate a lot of amazing food

16.  Realized I have a best friend who truly knows me, and who will always be there for me.

17. Made decisions then changed my mind about said decisions.

All in all it was a full year, lots of ups and downs. I still have no idea what I am doing, and I am running away from responsibility like Peter Pan.

Faith, trust, and pixie dust, it works guys.





  









20 Dec 2017

Writing Anxiety

So I sent my submission in for the Roogle Wood Press contest. I was going to wait until the twentieth, I was going to let all my feedback trickle in and then send it. I instead fixed the edits I had gotten and read it out loud to myself chopped it down to size and with a quick prayer sent it off.

I felt confident, like maybe I had done enough. I had worked on this story for seven months, I had developed this grungy circus that is part of a dark fae world. The characters had all shown their motivations, weaknesses, and strengths.

More feedback trickled in the next day, some readers thought the romance was a bit sudden. I didn't get any major criticisms, all of the edits were things that I had already fixed thanks to the lovely Alexa  who has been going over my story with a fine toothed comb.

I started doubting myself.

I'm still doubting myself. Maybe I should have rewritten certain parts, maybe I shouldn't have ended with a kiss. That was something I agonized over, it's cliche, it's cheesy, it's everything I hate. I went with my gut, with what the characters would do. Also, I am the last person who should be writing a kissing scene. Cringing just thinking about it.

I hope I did enough. I hope my love for this story and characters comes across on the page. I don't want it to be flat and cliched.

As I was reading it back to myself, certain parts hit me hard. The parts that I inadvertently took from my own life. Those parts feel raw and real to me. It's scary to let people read it, and judge it. I had amazing beta readers by the way, they were so supportive and helped shaped this story. 

I'm just a tea and anxiety fueled bean right now. So sorry for this mess of a blog post.

On a completely unrelated note I saw The Last Jedi!!!!!

I will post a review, but I freaking loved it.

Did I become complete Kylo Ren trash. Possibly...










13 Dec 2017

Character 101

I have been wanting to do this post for a while. I just finished my retelling for the Roogle Wood Press contest and I am working on getting the edits done.

It's harder then it sounds, because at this point I want to set my manuscript on fire.
Hopefully with some polishing, I will be able to send it off with confidence, fingers crossed.


I have been getting varied feedback on my story. It's nice to get different opinions on it. The one constant bit of praise I have been receiving is for my characters.

I'm glad that people enjoy them as much as do. They're all a bunch of hellions. 

I want to say, I don't think or claim to know much about writing. All my experience comes from being an avid reader and writing as a hobby for twelve years. I am an amateur, I just thought I would give my opinion on what makes a character come to life, and what makes one flat.

1. Description Dumping.

I feel like everyone already knows about info-dumping. It's one of the big writing no-nos. I don't think I've heard anyone mention this. This one is going to take some explaining and maybe some examples.

For starters, just know I love description and I use and perhaps overuse it. You do need description. You do have to describe your characters for your readers. It's all in the execution, how and when you do it. I for one hate when I open a book and on the first page the author feels the need to describe the character in excruciating detail. Down to their slightly crooked nose. It drives me nuts, especially when we are in that character's pov.

You might be thinking, isn't that a good thing. You want the reader to know what your characters look like.I know, I used to do the exact same thing. The day I started treating my characters like actual people was when my writing improved dramatically. I for one have never woken up and acknowledged that, I was of average size, with large brown eyes, and long chestnut colored hair. I don't acknowledge it because I am already well aware of the fact.  So is your character.

I might however notice deep bags under my eyes and a film on my teeth from forgetting to brush the night before.It's okay to hold details back. Your readers will fill in the blanks if you guide them enough. In 'The Raven Boys' Meggie Stiefvater doesn't give you a complete description of Blue and she is the main character, we get most of what we know her to look like from Gansey's pov.

Use other characters to sneak in bits about your character, but make sure you don't over do it. Think of what runs through your head when looking at another person. It usually isn't poetic and gooey.



2. Telling us what your character is.

This one might bug me more than the first one. I see this way to often even in popular best selling books. Never tell us your character is brave, smart, beautiful, courageous, cool, intelligent, evil... etc. The second you say it, er write it. I can't take it seriously. I won't believe it, especially if the character's actions contradict it. You can have a different character imply things about your character, but never tell us. Show us.

I was reading 'Stalking Prince Dracula' we are constantly told by the character and others how clever she is.

She is not.

(Cringing because I probably do this all the time)



3. Superficial characters 

On to my third and final point. Because I could honestly rant about this for hours, and I needed to stop myself somewhere. You know those character worksheets that people fill out with things like your characters favorite color, birthday, and favorite food. Scrap it!





Okay, let me explain. These are fine things to know about your character, they are. They just don't matter in the grand scheme of things. They also turn your character into a bunch of facts on a piece of paper. Don't do that, it's okay to not know everything about them. Treat them like people, they have layers, emotions, and heart.


Focus on establishing their voice, their quirks, and mannerisms. That's what will make them stand out. Also let them be human, let them be awkward, make dumb mistakes. Sometimes they won't know the reason they are behaving in a certain way. You don't have to explain their every move.

Rant over, I now realize this was for me. I have victimized myself.



6 Dec 2017

Burned Out

I know I only post once a week, and usually I  try to always have a post scheduled. Life has been throwing me for a loop. So here is a song, that I seem to be relating to.



 Dodie writes the most relatable and beautiful music.

28 Nov 2017

Falling Snow Snippets


I usually post way more snippets when I'm doing a contest. I have found myself strapped for time, but since I didn't have a post planned and I am working on the final chapter.I thought it would be fun to comb through the document for my favorite bits.


I snapped up, thick strands of black hair plastered to my face. I peeled them away and flipped around on the taut cords that formed the net. The speaker was standing in the shadows. I recognized his cocky stance and my initial panic quelled. It was just Chayse.  -Snow


It was an odd thing to say, but he was an odd boy. He dressed like a vagabond, even though his mother owned the circus. Clunky black boots, paired with an oversized and ratty, fur lined coat. A full collar cut around his sharp features.
He smiled crookedly, a Cheshire cat smile. That combined with his mess of tawny locks and flashing green eyes made him look almost vicious in the torchlight. - Snow





I glared at him, he knew he was playing with fire, but he was a boy who didn’t seem to burn. -Snow




Mother was beautiful, even I couldn’t dispute it. High, sharp cheekbones paired with vibrant, glowing skin. She only looked to be in her mid thirties which was a far cry from her true age. The price of it was more than I could stomach. It made her beauty grotesque, dead even. - Chayse




Her frosty eyes were clear as she took in her flawless complexion with a critical eye. She picked her way through her assortment of beauty products and jewelry.  The silver canisters caught the light, shimmering amongst the crystal perfume bottles. I always wanted to take a couple of the more valuable items to a local pawnshop; I would probably get a nice sum. -Chayse


She smiled and turned to me. “One cannot trust a charmer like you not to lie. I raised you to be far too good at it.”
I smirked; stretching out on the soft cushions. “Never.” I wondered if she could see the deception in my eyes. I wondered if she hated me, like I hated her.- Chayse




I shook out my hair and dried the ends with the towel, as I set about removing the half washed off makeup. The water was actually helpful for that.  There was a boudoir for this task, so in the dim light with a dirty mirror, I rubbed at the pools of black under my eyes.
“So there is a girl, underneath all that.” A voice spoke from behind me. It was unmistakably male.-Snow




I made a sad face; that wasn’t all that hard to express at that moment. The crowd laughed, enjoying the clumsy clown getting its comeuppance. I stalked off stage, miserable and dripping. - Snow


He seemed unbothered, “fortunately for you, I know the owner. I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me taking a look around.”

He looked completely out of place in our dingy surroundings. An immaculately tailored suit, complete with shined shoes, he made an impression. The look on his face showed that he was well aware of it.- Snow





“Chayse, old boy.”  The cultured tone was mocking. He seemed to wear the word “haughty.” His suit was perfectly cut and probably made of silk woven by fae weavers.  He held a lit cigarette in his hand, and it was the only thing that seemed uncouth about him. He took a quick drag and seemed to take in my rumpled appearance. -Chayse



I pulled off my leather gloves with my teeth, and placed them in the ridiculous top hat. The costume was a glitzy atrocity that mother had made.  She had chosen red, circus colors, the color of blood. I hated it in all its garish glory. I shed it at the first opportunity. Mother liked her things to be presentable and shiny. I made a point to be anything else.- Chayse



It looked magical; it was magic and I was tired of it.  The cheap glamour to cover the broken bodies and blood spilled to create it. Mother cocking her head in a laugh, gold lips parted over too white of teeth. Her eyes lined to look like a cheetah’s, her gold painted lids a sharp contrast to the black. She looked fierce and ready to devour. - Chayse


So those were a bit random, and the fonts are all different. It's a mess, but so is my mental state. Also published this post early. Sorry about that.