Wednesday, August 3, 2016

July Wrap-Up

Books I Read

America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart

4/5

I've been learning a ton about our government system, especially with the upcoming election, so this book was a hilarious and entertaining way to get a lot of info in a sarcastic tone. So sarcastic, in fact, that there were a few times I wasn't entirely sure whether he was joking or being literal. I love every video I've seen with Jon Stewart, so it was no surprise I liked this. The occasional commentary from Samantha Bee about how Canadians do things or the funny flow charts were great, too. (Although I was more than a little disturbed at the photo-shopped supreme court justices . . . who were naked and used as either paper dolls or a "match the supreme court justice to their clothes." I can't quite remember. I think I've blocked it from my mind.)

Starflight by Melissa Landers

4/5

I haven't been this excited about a sci-fi book since I read The Lunar Chronicles. It has a slow-burn, "I-hate-you-no-wait-I-think-I-might-love-you" sort of These Broken Stars type romance. But it also has plenty of action. I was never bored. There were pirates and heists and chases through space. It reminded me a lot of "Firefly." All of the characters were great and the writing was snarky. All in all, a fast and highly recommended read.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

3.5/5

A friend of mine called this "a ghost story without an actual ghost," which is the perfect way to do it. I loved the fact that the narrator of the book is never given a name. It's done well so it isn't confusing, but leaves you wanting to know. The beginning of the book is really slow, but the payoff is worth it. I haven't read many gothic novels, but I enjoyed this one. I had lots of theories going into it that I was very surprised about.

Movies I Watched

"Like Crazy"

4/5

Great Indie film with an awesome cast that mostly focuses on two characters, an exchange student from England and an American carpenter. It's a very untraditional love story with an ending I'm still not sure how to feel about! But I loved it.

"Zootopia"

4/5

This was super cute and creative. It handled a lot of issues we see today without being preachy. I liked getting to see a fun animated film be able to have the feeling of a tame "Castle" episode.

"Ghostbusters"

3/5

Kind of cheesy and over the top, but that's how the original "Ghostbusters" was, too. It was a nice change to see an all female cast be able to kick ass in jumpsuits rather than a skintight leather getup. It definitely passed the Bechdel test. I'm always a big fan of Kate McKinnon's mannerisms, too.

"Sing Street"

5/5

This was SO. GOOD. All I wanted to do after watching it was move to Ireland and write music. The whole soundtrack is great (and catchy) and the movie was really funny. I especially loved how they handled the ending.

"Jurassic Park"

3/5

Now I can finally say I've seen Jurassic Park. The effects were great for a movie made in 1993, and it definitely didn't lack in action and excitement. Not the greatest movie if you're looking for awesome characters or a complicated story, but it was fun.

"Jurassic Park: The Lost World"

3/5

See above. ^

"Jurassic Park 3"

3/5

See above. ^

Quotes I Wrote

At the latest writer's camp I went to, my friend Dana and I performed this piece I wrote as a script for my final reading. I was Person 1, she was Person 2.

Decision Making


Person 1: "Do we dare?"

Person 2: "How can we?"

Person 1: "We probably shouldn't."

Person 2: *after some contemplation* "Then again, it's just so easy to do it . . ."

Person 1: "You know we'll regret it later."

Person 2: "Or it'll be totally worth it."

Person 1: "We can't."

Person 2: "Yes we can."

Person 1: "But no."

Person 2: "But yes!"

Person 1: "How--"

Person 2: "Just go with me here."

Person 1: "What if someone catches us?"

Person 2: "Who's going to catch us?"

Person 1: "Everyone?"

Person 2: "We need to talk about a little something called having faith in us."

Person 1: "I need to rethink my life choices."

Person 2: "It's too late for us."

Person 1: "For you, maybe."

Person 2: "Hey!"

Person 1: "You know I love you, you melodious mushroom."

Person 2: "I love you, too."

Person 1: "So what's the plan?"

Person 2: "Let's not over think it. Just pick a plan of attack and stick with it."

Person 1: "This goes against everything my New Year's resolutions stand for."

Person 2: "Shh, you'll thank me later."

Person 1: "Pretty sure I won't."

Person 2: "Don't chicken out when we're so close."

Person 1: "Close to what? Eternal regret?"

Person 2: "We're not robbing a bank."

Person 1: "We can't compare our serious decisions to robbing a bank. Our actions define us. This is an important moment right here." * pauses * "Are we going with the Chips Ahoy or the Oreos?"

Person 2: "Both. Always both."

Person 1: "Sprint to the self-checkout counter."

Person 2: "We'll earn these cookies." 

This next section is the beginning of a short story I wrote at the same camp about Faye, a demon, and Nathaniel, an angel, and how neither feel as if they fit in their respective kingdoms.
 

She was born from fire and broken hearts. He was born from lullabies and spring breezes. Both looked the part, neither felt it. She looked up from her destruction with a smirk on her face, but her eyes held the truth. He looked down from his cloud with a humble smile, but ached for the wildness he'd been denied.
            Stranger things had happened in these two planes, worlds apart, but those tales tended to be swept under the rug. Hidden from prying eyes. Very hush hush. These two souls demanded to be heard in the years to come. They would not go quietly into their futures. They gripped it with relentless strength and ripped it free from societal expectations.
            And so on an unassuming December night, like twins separated before birth, Nathaniel and Faye came into the world. 
-Heaven and Hell (a working title)

"Why don't you just take me to your mistress so she can let my friends go."
    "Yes, let's," he said as he straightened up, wiped away a few specks of blood from the corner of his mouth. Another high-pitched shriek traveled from one of the upper floors to the one Lila and Richard were on. He smirked. "That's her now, I believe."
    Lila frowned at him as he pressed a button for the elevator. "The one screaming?"
    He gave her the look of a child who'd been given free reign of a candy story. "The one causing the screams."
    The elevator dinged and the doors slid open to admit them. Richard let Lila go ahead of her, though she felt tingles on the back of her neck that had nothing to do with her magic as he watched her enter. He followed, pressed a button for a few floors up, and the two waited as they rose higher.
    "You wouldn't recognize me from your past forays into the dark side," Richard said after several seconds of silence. "I'm a recent demon. Just performed the ritual a few months ago. New hire."
    Lila couldn't figure out for the life of her why he spoke to her like they were distantly related cousins, but she was having none of it. "Ah, so you're the overeager henchman. Got it. You do realize people like you are the ones they use for bait and as sacrifices, right?"
    He sputtered as the doors open, and she took her chance to push past him as if she owned the place.
-'Til the Last Star Dies 

Obsessions I Acquired

"In the Heights." Another Lin-Manuel Miranda musical! I definitely like "Hamilton" better, but this one has a fun story with a good cast of characters. The music is very catchy and unique. There's even a full version you can watch on YouTube pretty good cast considering it wasn't the original!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - OMG it's so good. I'm 3 parts in out of the 4. It feels exactly like coming home after being away for a long time. I love the surprising directions it's taken. I have no clue what's going to happen, but every plot twist has snuck up on me so far. I'll probably have it finished by the end of the day.

Picture of the Month 

(From left to right, top to bottom) Anna Marie, Sam, Kat, Peyton, me, Dana, and Sarah. We all had a blast at writer's camp.
The seven of us trying to be "hipster" when really we're all just a bunch of fangirls who kill off too many of our characters.
Mikey and Charlie came out to visit again. So much fun. It was nonstop laughter.
Can you figure out whose limbs are whose?
Mikey and me at my local library.

Rafflecopter Winner

Thank to everyone who entered my Rafflecopter giveaway for a free e-book of Fauxpocalypse! :) Congratulations to the winner, Jimmy!

A little side note, this post is my 500th! Crazy, right? How was your July?

4 People Made Me Happy By Commenting! :D:

Boquinha said...

Ahhhhhhhh, there's so much I love about this post. First off, I love these wrap-up posts anyway, probably because I love to hear what you're doing and see more of the personal stuff about YOU! Second, I love your book and movie reviews and I love that I've read/watched some of those with you AND that you've enjoyed some on your own AND that you've enjoyed a bunch with friends. Balance! :) Third, I really got a kick out of you and Dana performing your piece. Brilliant! Fourth, Heaven and Hell? I LOVE IT!! I love that first paragraph!! Such beautiful writing. Just excellent! Fifth, I like how in "'Til The Last Star Dies," it felt gruesome and scary (horror! Yuck!) and then Lila opens her mouth and gets sassy and it brings some much-needed tension breaking to the scene. Sixth (I think. I've lost count.), I love when you share your obsessions with me. Going to TWO Harry Potter parties in a row this past weekend was so much fun! Really! I know I was feeling overwhelmed going into a busy weekend, but I really enjoyed myself at both and love seeing you and Max enjoy fandoms together. :) Seventh (yes, I have a lot to say), looooooooooooooooove the pictures!! I hadn't seen that awesome one of the 7 of you and I love, love, love it! And I love that Mikey and Charlie had such a great trip even if I'm always filled with the inevitable mommy post-guilt of, "Oh, I hope they had fun and did all the things they wanted to do and that I did enough to help . . . ". I have issues. Ahem. Eighth, yay for Jimmy!! And ninth, (and hopefully I'm not forgetting anything), Congratulations on 500 posts!! I recently hit 1,000 (and I'm even more past that), but I missed it somehow. :P Go figure. I LOVE YOU!!

Boquinha said...

PHEW! Can you imagine if I'd written all that and it had glitched and what if I had to recreate it!?! (Because of that very worry, I had copied it, so it's all good). Even if there IS robot discrimination on your blog . . . (it's okay; I'm not a robot). <3

Rain said...

Rebecca's a Gothic novel? I love a good Gothic novel! To the library! ;)
I'm looking forward to reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I'm still trying to work out whether I should buy it or just wait for the library to get it in...
Uh. I HATED Like Crazy, but I seem to be the minority. Everyone else who's seen it seems to like it. Then again, I'm really not a romance person. :)

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha

Thank you! :)

First off: These are some of my favorite posts to write, so win-win!

Second: I always love to see what other people think of books and movies I've read and watched, even if it's an opposite opinion. Knowing the story, it's interesting to see different perspectives.

Third: Hehe, I actually had a lot of fun practicing it with her.

Fourth: Thank you! It's one of the short stories I'm proudest of. I'm super close to the characters, so that helps a lot.

Fifth: That's the exact kind of tone I'm going for, so I'm glad it comes through! It's definitely a dark story, but I couldn't leave it like that without any sense of relief. Lila's sass (especially with Jordan) is one of my favorite parts to write.

Sixth: Oh my gosh, those parties were so fun. And the book was amazing! Get ready for my review of it at the end of the month.

Seventh: I'm glad I've been making more of an effort to take pictures, because I love posting them later! They've been coming out really well.

Eighth: Congratulations to you, too! Here's to another thousand! I love you, too. :)

@Rain

Ha ha, you'll have to let me know what you think! Or maybe I'll see it on your blog. ;)

Somehow I have the feeling that you won't want to wait that long . . .

Was it just the romance that turned you off or something else, too? Now I'm curious!