Tuesday, February 12, 2019

12 Fictional Romances Designed to Make You Go "Awww"

I love a good romance in just about any medium (novels, TV shows, musicals, movies, etc.), but I tend to be very picky about the ones I enjoy at a surface level and the ones I love. My OTPs, the ones I read copious amounts of fan-fiction about and shriek about on Twitter and Goodreads, are those truly special romances. Let's take a look at some of my favorites this Valentine's Day season.

(***Minor spoilers ahead if you haven't read some of these books/watched these shows***)

1. The Doctor/Rose


Anyone who's been following my blog for a while knows how deep my love goes for this ship. The second season of the "New Who" series may have corny special effects and some level of cheesy plotlines, but the Doctor and Rose were the heart of the story. There's a reason why Whovians are willing to look past said corny special effects and cheesy plotlines; because those two characters were perfect (both on their own and for each other).

2. Cress/Thorne


Cress is adorable, awkward, and shy and Thorne is the king of pickup lines and arrogance that somehow comes off as endearing. I don't know why I love these kinds of pairings as much as I do, but they work. I shipped this coupling more than any other in the Lunar Chronicles.

3. Monty/Percy


Here's another case of endearing arrogance, against all odds. Monty and Percy were great as a friendship, too, which is a key factor for well-written romances. They had undeniable chemistry throughout the entire story. And there aren't many people who would put up with Monty's questionable antics, so for that reason alone, Percy was perfect for him.


4. Cath/Levi


As far as fluffy college romances go, I'm not sure anything can top Fangirl. An introverted fan-fiction author and an extroverted barista is a match made in heaven. Levi could supply Cath with coffee and Cath read Levi stories. It's a win-win.

5. Lilac/Tarver


Gotta love the enemies-to-lovers trope. This book (and pairing) isn't talked about nearly enough and I don't understand why, because it was so good. Poor, underrated treasures. This was one of the first sci-fi books that kept my attention the whole way through. Two sworn enemies trapped on a deserted planet? You can imagine how great the tension was.

6. Simon/Blue


Your heart has to be made of stone to not find this pairing pretty dang adorable. I have ridiculous text exchanges with my friends all the time, so I can totally relate to their e-mails where they bond over things such as Oreos and Harry Potter. Their story is one of my favorite rom-coms.


7. Jesper/Wylan


Here's another instance of the shy cinnamon roll and the blustering charmer falling for each other and it being absolutely perfect. Really, all of the ships in this series were great in different ways, but these two stole my heart.


8. Beck/August


Logic pretty much dictates that this withdrawn, somewhat prickly, horribly abused boy would never go for a girl made of sunshine and cake and pure energy, because she is just so much to take, but this friendship/relationship defies logic. And they're adorable. I love Beck's sass and August's passion for just about everything.


9. Castle/Beckett


This whole television series was built upon murder, meta humor, and a will-they-won't-they romance. It hit just about every trope in the book and I'm trash for it all. I had such an obsession with this show, mostly because of Castle and Beckett's relationship. Castle does his best to annoy her, Beckett rolls her eyes a lot, they solve a lot of murders, and everyone in the show ships them. It's fantastic.

10. Jane/Michael


I know people have a lot of strong feelings about the love triangle in this show, but I always came back to this coupling. It has way less drama and way more fun. Michael's more of a boy-next-door type of guy. He's funny, dorky, and makes Jane take herself less seriously. It's so sweet.

11. Jake/Amy


Yet another pairing that really shouldn't work, but somehow does. Jake is an absolute dork, kind of a slob, and takes nothing seriously. Amy's uptight, orderly, and takes everything seriously. But if you put the two of them together, you get the perfect blend of each. One of my favorite parts of their evolving relationship was watching Amy get Jake hooked on Harry Potter. So funny.


12. Jess/Nick


These two are kind of a mess, but it's an adorable mess. Above all else, they're really good friends who have a ton of goofy fun together. They find all of the other's quirks absolutely endearing when not everyone would, which shows how well they're made for each other.

What are your favorite fictional pairings? Leave a comment!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Miscast (The Musical Theatre Roles I'd Love to Play if I Weren't Who I Am)

I love miscast cabarets, or any miscast performances in general. A miscast performance is someone singing/performing as a character they would probably never be able to play otherwise because they're male/female, too tall/short, too young/old, etc. This provides the opportunity for awesome performances that people wouldn't normally get to see. And in both writing and theatre, I'm all about genderbent retellings, so this seemed like the perfect topic of discussion. These are just a few musical theatre roles I'd love to play if I had the opportunity:

Roger from "Rent"


"One Song Glory" is arguably one of the best "I want" songs, and definitely one of the strongest songs in the "Rent" soundtrack. Roger just gets all the coolest songs in the show: "Rent," "Another Day," "Without You," "What You Own," "Your Eyes," etc. When I was first learning about this musical, it was everything Roger sang that pulled me in, so I feel like he was my gateway drug to "Rent," in a sense.


Evan from "Dear Evan Hansen"


Evan is onstage for almost the entirety of the show, which means he definitely gets some of the coolest songs. Plus, what a great role to explore being both funny and full of emotional depth. Honestly, though, I think I'd be satisfied with playing any of the guys that get to do "Sincerely, Me."

Angelica from "Hamilton"


I don't see Angelica every being played by a white woman since such a huge part of "Hamilton" is giving actors of color the chance to shine onstage and tell history in a new and exciting way. And I would never want to take that role away from someone. But would I take the opportunity to perform "Satisfied" at a cabaret or something? Absolutely.

Ogie from"Waitress"


He's hilarious and high energy, he dances, and he sings the most absurd love songs I have ever heard. I would have a blast playing this crowd favorite. I mean, what other role gets to clog onstage and compare being in love to pieces of furniture?

Shakespeare from "Something Rotten!"


I guess you can give me any role Adam Pascal has ever played, and I probably want to play that role, too. "Hard to Be the Bard" was basically written for me as both a writer and a theatre geek. He's funny and pompous in the same way that Gaston is, except Shakespeare is played more as a ridiculous pretty boy in this show. It would be so much fun.

Any of the kids in "Finding Neverland"


If I were a young British boy, I'd love to play one of the Llewelyn Davies' boys in "Finding Neverland." That whole cast looks like they're having so much fun in every song. "We Own the Night" seems like an especially exciting number.

Lumière from "Beauty and the Beast"


Who wouldn't want to be a French candlestick? He and Cogsworth are the heart of the comedy in this musical, and "Be Our Guest" is such a big, classic number. I would love the chance to play him. "Beauty and the Beast" is one of my favorite shows in general, so I think I'd have fun in any role, really.

What role would you want to play if you were to be "miscast?" Leave a comment!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

January Wrap-Up

Books I Read


In addition to all of these books, I also reread The Hunger Games. I'd been in the mood for a reread for a while now and I finally took the plunge by ignoring every other book on my TBR (which is out of control again). I was both surprised by how much I remembered and how much I'd forgotten, considering I read it at least five times in the span of just a couple years back in 2012/2013.


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35231460-dear-evan-hansen

5/5

I expected to love this and I did! When I'm particularly obsessed with a Broadway show, I read every interview/article/fun fact I can get my hands on about the actors and writers. Reading the annotations in the script was probably my favorite part of this book. The photos were beautiful, too. And the interviews were fascinating. So I pretty much just loved the whole thing.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37880094-the-lady-s-guide-to-petticoats-and-piracy

4/5

I liked this a lot, but I was a little disappointed in terms of how much I loved Gentleman's Guide. A lot of the quick pacing, wit, humor, and fun was lost here. That makes some sense, since this is from Felicity's POV, and she's a much more serious character than Monty, but it still didn't have that same spark. I did appreciate how well Mackenzi Lee was able to make a historical fiction novel super feminist. The whole cast of characters showed so many different versions of what a woman can be, even back in the 1700s. And there was a giant, adorable dog (who does not die!), so that made everything exponentially better. (Also, Felicity is asexual! That term is not explicitly used since it didn't exist back then, but the author has confirmed it.)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28096541-the-nowhere-girls

3.5/5

This is a very timely book, considering how the #MeToo movement has taken off, and it deals with so many aspects of sexual assault in a sensitive and thoughtful way. I got justifiably angry. I felt fear, sadness, pity, and rage many, many times. That being said, I think the author definitely set out to send a message rather than tell a story, so the characters and plot suffered a little for that. Some aspects of the plot struck me as unrealistic and while the blurb of the book seemed to suggest that the story would be about three characters, the author painted a larger picture by including snippets from many different characters. It made it hard to keep track of who was who and what exactly was going on at some points. I think story might have been better had she truly only focused on the main three. Either that, or the messages she told in this book might have been better suited for non-fiction instead of trying to be preachy while masking the themes with a halfhearted story. "Important message" books like The Hate U Give, Long Way Down, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, and If I Was Your Girl did this better. I was more invested in those stories, when it came to pure entertainment. (If anyone has read this book and has more experience/knowledge on the subject, too, I'd be curious to know if the autism rep was any good!)

Movies I Watched

3.5/5

What a bizarre, but thoroughly entertaining movie! I was definitely intrigued the whole time, even if there was a long stretch in the middle where I felt like I had no clue what was happening or how to follow the story. It's not told in a completely linear (or lucid) manner, so that contributed to some of the confusion. I got it by the end, but I'm warning you now, you have to pay close attention in order to understand what's going on! The concept is really neat and deals with some interesting ethical dilemmas. I think I would have liked it even more if I'd enjoyed the characters. Joel was kind of boring and lacked a personality and Clementine was definitely a pure manic pixie dream girl. She was all kinds of problematic. But Kate Winslet can definitely act. Even if I didn't like her character, I was fascinated by her.

Quotes I Wrote


No quotes to report this month! I am deep into rewrites, so most of my time has gone to trying to piece together a new outline for one of my rough drafts so I can actually clean up my story.

This is an accurate representation of my perception of my productivity versus how much is actually getting done.

Obsessions I Acquired

Dodie's "Human" album - I. Love. Dodie. Her new album is fantastic, as I expected! I've loved her song "She" for years, but this is the first time she's released it on Spotify, so now I can finally include it on all the playlists I've wanted to put it on for ages. It's fabulous.

 

Pictures of the Month

Max and I performed at the Hershey Area Playhouse's 20th Anniversary Cabaret. I had a blast! In addition to the opening and closing numbers, I got to perform in "Matchmaker" from "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Stepsisters' Lament" from "Cinderella." I felt like such a fancy, professional performer singing at a cocktail party!
Katie was my stepsister for "Stepsisters' Lament."
You can tell we really got into character. xD
My brother turned 16, which is bonkers!
Went to see a bunch of friends in a fun cabaret at their school.
The cheering section.
You just can't make cookies without tasting the dough first.
Went to a friend's "Friends" themed birthday party where we met a bunch of her friends (see what I did there?).
Max and I auditioned for "Mary Poppins Jr.," which is my final junior production before I've aged out of them completely! *bittersweet sniff* We destressed afterwards by getting ice cream with friends (who also auditioned).
For Max's 16th birthday party, he had a 20s-themed murder mystery. I love how many people dressed up!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The "Charlotte's Web" cast was invited to perform a portion of the show at an elementary school, since that's the book their class was reading together. It was so much fun! I loved hearing the kids laugh and get so into the show. It was a completely different kind of energy than your typical theatre audience.
My friend TJ took me to another dance at his school. It was tons of fun, especially since I know several of the kids there from a couple years of attending dances, shows, and performing together at community theaters.
 
 
Post-dance selfie.
Not entirely sure you'll be able to read the text in this picture, even with it blown up, so I'll caption it, too! In "Mary Poppins Jr.," I've been cast as many, many people! I'm Katie Nanna, the Cathedral Nun (which is a somewhat made up character that will sing a solo in "Feed the Birds"), a bank clerk, a "Step In Time" dance member (I'll dance in that number as well as several other numbers), and a member of the adult ensemble (which means when I'm not dancing in the big numbers, I'm singing in them!). I was hoping to get either Mary Poppins or Winnifred when I auditioned, but I think having all of these different roles is going to be a different kind of fun. I love keeping busy during a show. I've never had a prominent dancing role before, and now I get to be a part of "Step In Time"??? It's going to be a blast.

My dad and brother don't like eggs, so when my mom and I are home alone, we have "egg nights," which means we make some sort of egg recipe and watch a movie together. This month we made a Mexican quiche and watched "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N4EFV10?fbclid=IwAR0ZAs_Ucx9aAvLU8Jke8iUA0SFtKxwMMQVBIus-nsgBX1vC7a0bvgnyQOs
Happy second book birthday to INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLIGHT! Two years ago today, I published my first book of poetry. You can get it as an ebook for just 99 cents! Click on the photo to link over. Here's a blurb about it:
"Civil rights, people who smile at strangers, and the fear of public speaking are just a few of the topics tackled in this book. With four sections of diverse poems, Instructions For Flight is Kate I. Foley’s debut poetry collection."
And a snippet from a review, which you can read here:
"Her poetry collection is not extremely long but it is important and powerful. My favourite poem of the collection would have to be the namesake, Instructions for Flight. This poem is all about mental health and stepping out and becoming who you are (spreading your wings, you could say). Again, Kate used metaphor and simile so effectively I could almost taste the poem as I read it. It conveys a message of hope that I think anyone who has ever doubted themselves needs to read. It is inspiring and resonating, poignant and deep. Reading it felt like remaking yourself and becoming something magical and worth it."
Time for Scout pictures!! My mom captioned this photo "Mad-Eye Poochie."
Scout cuddled up to me one morning while I was reading and drinking my coffee.
Pouting because the rest of her humans had left the house to run errands.
This series of pictures shows her slow realization to the fact that Max had woken up and was coming into the room to say hi to her.
"Is that a human I like?"
"It is!!! Kate, that's my human!!!"
"HELLO HUMAN GOOD MORNING I'M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU."

"RUB MY BELLY, HUMAN."

How was your January?