Monday, December 11, 2017

November Wrap-Up

Well November and December have been crazy busy, which is why I'm posting this embarrassingly late (sorry). First off, tech week for the play my brother and I were in ("A Christmas Carol") happened, which is what caused me to not finish NaNoWriMo this year. I still consider 32,000+ words a pretty good accomplishment, though, especially since my classes started getting far busier that month, too. I also tried to juggle four points of view, which didn't work at all, so I think I'll take the two characters I was most drawn to and redo the novel so it focuses on them. Anyways, here are some quotes from what I did write. Then December hit and my whole family came down with a horrible head cold that lasted throughout performances for the play, which meant I barely had the energy to lie on the couch and guzzle tea and honey, let alone finish this wrap-up post.

But enough about that. Let's get on with the fun stuff!

Books I Read

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

3.5/5

This was so fun. Fun and cute and chock full of geeky references. It was right up my alley, totally diverse, and oh so positive. You can't help but feel good after you read it. That being said, something I didn't vibe with as well was how unrealistic the whole thing was. There was some conflict, sure, but everything was roses and the stakes weren't that high. The characters never really had to deal with disappointment for very long, which I find annoying (characters must suffer *cue evil laughter*). The dialogue was also a little weird. Characters would break into uplifting monologues without warning and continue talking like some all-knowing, wise, powerful wizard mentor (if that makes any sense at all) for an entire page. It didn't fit with these nerdy teens I'd come to know and love at all. Not natural. Everything was a little too perfect. But if you're looking for a feel-good book with love and friendship, look no further.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

3.5/5

I went into this book expecting to love every bit of it, and I did, but only for the first hundred-ish pages. It started off so strong. Crowley and Aziraphale were super unique characters with entertaining banter, and then they just . . . disappeared. And all of a sudden I was bouncing back and forth between various characters who seemed to have very little to do with the plot. There were lots of interesting moments, but as a whole, I found it very inconsistent. If it had been a hundred pages shorter and tightened up, I think I might have rated it higher. I'm hoping the adaptation includes lots more of Crowley and Aziraphale, because they were hands down my favorite parts of the book.

Movies I Watched

"Thor: Ragnarok"

4/5

The "Thor" movies have never been my favorite among Marvel's works, but this one was very good (and hilarious). I loved all the quirky side characters (especially Jeff Goldblum's character) and Hulk's appearance, even if Mark Ruffalo himself was hardly in it. The bits I didn't enjoy as much all involved Thor's family drama, which I've always found to be overwrought.

"Loving Vincent"

4/5

What a cool animation style! I thought it would be weird to watch a movie with stop motion oil painting, but it was actually gorgeous and didn't phase me at all after the first ten minutes or so. I watched it right after writing my paper on van Gogh and "Starry Night" for my humanities class, too, so perfect timing there. I only wish the movie could have included more about van Gogh's life rather than just his death, because he was especially fascinating when you learn about his past.

"Sweeney Todd"

3.5/5

This was a good, dark musical, and I definitely want to listen to the OBC album, but Johnny Depp's singing was pretty mediocre for this role. The story was also a little difficult to follow when it came to the characters relationships to each other if you miss even one lyric of the songs (and I missed a lot because of how thick the Cockney accents were. But it was a really unique and "fun" story (if you can call murder and cannibalism fun).

"Justice League"

3.5/5

I was so hyped for this (because Wonder Woman), but alas, I was disappointed. When Wonder Woman was featured, it was great, but otherwise . . . meh. If you're into non-stop action, you'll probably love it, but I found that the special effects were made the first priority while plot and characters fell by the wayside. You only get a glimpse of backstory from all the new characters who could have been amazing if more time was spent fleshing their personalities out. It was pretty good, but had a lot more potential.

"Wonder"

5/5

Loved this! I totally cried like a dozen times, but it captured the heart of the book so well. This is the perfect example of an adaptation done right.


Quotes I Wrote

A good 75% of what I wrote for NaNo was garbage, but I did very much enjoy writing anything involving Sonya, as you will see before.


My stomach lurched with a different kind of nervous nausea. Seven missed texts from Sonya. Sonya never texted me that much, which either meant something was very good or very wrong.
Where are you?
Text me back as soon as you get this.
Eleanor, my friend, my rival in love (talking about Marius, of course, the sexy bastard. I mean, if I were straight--anyways.), where are youuu.
E., consider this an emergency of the greatest kind.
Greatest in the bad sense.
WHERE ARE YOU.
Call me.
-All World's Afraid


Sonya grabbed my shoulders and started spinning me around, like you would with a little kid after you blindfold them for the piƱata. “Um, what are you doing?”
            “Cleansing you! There are all kinds of cleansing rituals for people who say the name of The Play. We’ll just try all of them, and that should do it. Poof! No more superpowers. Okay, we spun you three times, now you have to . . . what else? Oh! Spit over your left shoulder.”
            “What?” I stepped away from her, holding up my hands in case she tried to do something else. “Gross. I’m not doing that.”
            Sonya rolled her eyes. “Fine. We’ll do the other ones, then, and hope for the best. Swear.”
            “Sure, I promise, I’ll do the other ones.”
            “No, swear. Curse, cuss, swear like a sailor. Don’t hold back. No teachers around here.”
             That’s a cleansing ritual?” Wesley asked.
            Ryan squinted at Sonya. “That doesn’t sound very . . . ‘cleansy’ to me.”
            “Got any other ideas?”
            Ryan waved a hand. “Carry on.”
            The others looked at me. I felt my face flush, but didn’t let it stop me as I mumbled, “Shit?”
            Sonya applauded with gusto, as if I’d just delivered an emotional monologue. “Brava, brava!  An excellent choice of words. Encore!” 
-All the World's Afraid


"Oh my gosh, I actually have a tutor now." I dropped my face into my hands. "Ugh, I'm never going to pass chemistry."
            "Well not with that attitude you won't," Eleanor said, and snatched up the bag of Reese's Pieces. "Or with that amount of sugar and chemicals coursing through your body. You need to get a drink of water, take a deep breath, and come back to this with fresh eyes."
            "Or," Sonya said, stealing the bag from Eleanor, a glint in her eyes. "We call it quits now and save homework for tomorrow."
            "Again," Eleanor said as she shook her head at Sonya. "So unhelpful."
            "Gotta say, I agree with drama queen here." I took the bag back from Sonya, shoveling more candy into my mouth. "Let's do the rest of this tomorrow after we've stayed up entirely too late watching 'Supernatural.'"
            Sonya squealed and clapped her hands together. "Can we watch episodes with Charlie, AKA my fictional girlfriend, AKA the love of my life?"
            "Yes!" I responded enthusiastically, at the same time Eleanor furrowed her eyebrows together and said, "Who?"
            Sonya and I gasped simultaneously.
            "You don't know who Charlie is?" Sonya said with incredulity.
            "Charlie Bradbury?" I added. "Hacker extraordinaire?"
            "Love of all things Dungeons and Dragons and Harry Potter?"
            "Queen of the nerds and adorable redhead?"
            Sonya shoved a picture of Felicia Day from her phone into Eleanor's face. "This gorgeous woman?"
            Eleanor adjusted her glasses. "Nope. I didn't realize she was even a character on the show. I only know the main characters. You know, Sam, Dean, um--that angel guy."
            For a second, I thought Sonya's jaw was going to drop to the floor.
            "You've never seen 'Supernatural,' have you?"
            Eleanor pushed her glasses up her nose again. "I mean--bits and pieces."
            "Bits and pieces?" Sonya shrieked.

            "Okay, let's not get too ahead of ourselves here," I said. "This just means we have to start all the way from the good ol' pilot to get our friend Eleanor here caught up on one thrilling, addictive, heartbreakingly beautiful ride of a show."
            "Family drama, brotherly love, all things paranormal," Sonya sighed dreamily.
            "Let's not forget the ruggedly handsome heroes," I added.
            "Or my fictional girlfriend."
-All the World's Afraid


"You could post flyers," Mom said, not seriously. "Start some sort of mutant club."
            I rolled my eyes. "I'm not a mutant, Mom. I'm an emotional telepath. Though it shouldn't take one to guess how I'm feeling right now."
            "Mildly annoyed but mostly amused and not wanting to admit it?" Dad said.
            I fake glared at them both. "Sure. Let's go with that."
-All the World's Afraid


After Kyle's near-forty breakdowns--Neville had started keeping a tally on the back cover of his script--we were finally free to leave rehearsal "to go in search of some focus, which we were all clearly lacking."
            "And it's not even tech week," was the cast's mantra lately.
-All the World's Afraid

Obsessions I Acquired

"Big Little Lies" - After devouring the book, I knew I had to watch the miniseries, even if I had to wait forever for it to be my turn to get the DVD from the library. The show took a lot of liberties (for example, it's set in California instead of Australia, so Nicole Kidman made a valiant effort to hide her accent, even though it still wasn't hidden), but ultimately, it got the story down really well and I had a hard time not watching episodes back to back.

Singing in harmony - I'd done very little of this until being in "A Christmas Carol," where I was put in a group of singers that learned various harmony parts to different songs. It was tons of fun and sounded great! Then during dress rehearsals and performances, a group of girls in our dressing room learned and practiced the harmonies to "Milkshake" (the Riverdale version), which was a super fun tradition. Our stressed out stage manager even enjoyed our impromptu performances during intermission.

Picture of the Month 

Halloween party costumes! From left to right: The ninth Doctor, Captain Jack Harkness, Rose Tyler, and Newt Scamander.
Here are lots of pictures from opening night of "A Christmas Carol." There will be more pictures in December's wrap-up since the performances started at the end of November and went into December!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Scout was fascinated by the dog show on Thanksgiving.

We tied a bow on Scout while decorating.

Take a close look at how our family pictures quickly dissolve into madness.

 
 
 
 
So crazy story. Yes, yes that is in fact Misha Collins, Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, and Mark Sheppard. And yep, that's me, hugging Jensen. For the full convention story, see the next pictures, which is a screenshot from my Facebook page.


How was your November?