Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: Frozen

Happy Monday! I am here to cure your case of the Mondays with the trailer for the Disney film Frozen. It is coming out this Thanksgiving, just in time to for the Wilson family tradition of going to the movies the night before we stuff ourselves silly (Who am I kidding, my kids don’t eat anything). It looks fun, silly, and brings little girls another heroine that they can look up to.

Frozen is the tale of Anna (Kristen Bell) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) trying to save their land from a never ending winter. Anna’s sister Elsa (Idina Menzel) is the Snow Queen and is responsible for the cold. Along the way Anna and Kristoff meet Snowman Olaf (Josh Gad) and go on an adventure that none of them could predict.

At first glance Anna looks like princess Rapunzel from Disney’s 2010 Tangled with Kristoff being a stand in for Flynn Rider. There is a sidekick reindeer with a lot of personality and the colors are interchangeable with Rapunzel’s homeland. But I underestimated Tangled when it came out the Wednesday before Thanksgiving three years ago and I couldn’t have been more surprised. It was funny, sweet, and yes, it even made me cry. Disney has a higher batting average than most movie studios so I expect that the kiddos will enjoy Frozen at the very least. And if hubby and I do also, all the better.

Blu-Ray or Theater: As stated above, Wilson family tradition stipulates that we will be at the drive in on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your week!

Posted in Bookworm

Fiction Friday: Eleanor and Park

A suggestion was made to me that I might want to start reviewing books. I read at least two books a month and don’t feel like myself unless I have a book on my person at all times. The idea made sense and it pushes me to write more (practice, practice, practice).

Today’s book is called Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. It is a young adult novel about two teenage outsiders who fall in love in the midst of child abuse (hers) and peer pressure (his). It is set in Omaha, Nebraska in 1986. It has been compared to a John Hughes film and that point couldn’t be more spot on. The dialogue between the teenagers feels so real and the emotions comes effortlessly. Nothing ever feels put upon. I grew up in the 80s and was 11 in 1986. The music she references (The Smiths, New Order, and Joy Division)were too cool for my preteen years but once I hit high school there was nobody cooler than Morrissey and Johnny Marr (my junior year winter formal date looked just like Morrissey-true story). Eleanor at one point is talking to Park on the phone on the floor of her deadbeat Dad’s apartment. She is browsing Dad’s collection of records. Rowell creates such a picture in my head that I could smell the records, the incense, and even the marijuana. The terror and subsequent dread that comes with riding the bus to and from school flooded me with memories. I only wish I had found young love on the bus like the frizzy red headed girl and her punk rock Asian boyfriend (they are definitely not your stereotypical beautiful/dashing heroine/hero).

Eleanor and Park is my new The Fault in Our Stars. It is filled with sweet awkwardness. I was having an inner battle between wanting to read the book slowly so it would never end and wanting to finish it quickly so I could return it to the library so somebody else could experience the joy of reading it. It even has a Star Wars reference for goodness sake. I am still working on my young adult novel and I can now say that Eleanor and Park is the book I strive to write.

A message to the idiots who banned this book in Minnesota: Censorship doesn’t solve anything. It only breeds ignorance. So STOP IT.

Posted in Good Things

Mmmmmm…..October

October is my favorite month of the year. It brings the smell of the changing season, holiday decorations, an excuse to watch anything scary (YAY!), and It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. A lot of people are refreshed and woken up with Spring and the blooming flowers. I gobble up October and go “nom nom nom nom nom” the entire month.

Southern Californians don’t really get to experience seasons. We get heat during the summer and maybe rain in the winter. Jackets are usually not a requirement when a hoodie will do. Flip flops can be worn year around. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I am grateful for the weather and it is one of the reasons I love living here. But I do live for that moment around late September that carries throughout October when the air changes. It’s a bit cooler in the morning and at night. If it’s cool enough, you can smell fires coming from chimneys. The moisture in the air carries the smell of wet grass, like it has just been cut. When I step outside that first day, I take a deep breath and savor it as much as my morning coffee. It gives me hope and excitement, reminding me of what the next few months have in store.

Earlier this month I was driving in downtown Riverside and the kids started shouting with excitement from the backseat. When I looked to my right I could see a store’s display window lit up with pumpkins, brooms, and hay. Orange and black dominated the merchandise and twinkling lights highlighted it all. When we went to Target a few days later, the back left hand corner of the store showed the remains of back to school supplies and the beginning of Halloween costumes, candy, house ware decorations, pumpkin carving kits, and anything else they can stick a witch or goblin on and sell it. I am even looking forward to seeing the “pumpkin patches” pop up along side the freeways that have inflatable slides, bounce houses, pony rides, and yes, even pumpkins for sale. I don’t need the reminder of the coming festivities but I love them all nonetheless.

It’s no secret that I enjoy scary movies. And when I say scary movie, I don’t mean let’s see how many different ways we can torture, maim, and then finally end somebody’s life scary. That’s gross and disturbing. I want to watch a horror film where I am sitting on the couch with my arms and legs as one, a ball of tension, and my eyes ¾ of the way closed because I am too terrified to have them at 100%. There are many on the watch list this year but aren’t limited to: You’re Next, The Conjuring, Evil Dead 2, and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. The best part? I am so exhausted at the end of a scary movie, I count it as a workout.

To balance out the tension and darkness that comes with being frightened, we watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I grew up watching it every year before Halloween and to be able to share it with Curls and Red fills me with such happiness. From Lucy and her evil football to Sally and her adoration of her beloved Linus, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is a tradition that I will keep long after my kids are too cool to watch.

October is a new beginning for me. The subtle weather changes, signs of the holidays, and films and shows to remind us what time of the year it is, are things I love about this Fall month. And my most favorite thing of all? These:

PUNKINS
Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: Nebraska

For today’s movie trailer, Nebraska, one word came to mind as I previewed this holiday movie: DIFFERENT. Nebraska is the story of Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) and his claim that he needs to travel to Nebraska from Montana to claim the million dollars that he has won. Holding him back is his son David (Will Forte) and his wife Kate (June Squibb). They both don’t believe he has truly won the money. When word gets around town of his winnings, the townspeople decide they all want a piece.

There are a few things that attracted me to this film. One is that it is directed by Alexander Payne. Payne has directed two Oscar winning films, Sideways and The Descendants. Two is that the film was shot in black and white. Bruce Dern is the third reason. Dern has been in Hollywood for years but has been absent of late. He is good at being the crotchety old man (Big Love) and a villainous town owner (Diggstown). He won the award for best actor at this year’s Cannes Film Festival for Nebraska.

Nebraska may not be everybody’s cup of tea but I for one am willing to take a chance on a movie that stands out from the typical holiday fare.  

Blu-Ray or Theater:  If I am lucky enough to have this showing near me, I will definitely be watching it in the theater. If not, I will be counting down the days until it’s Blu-Ray release.

Have a super week!  

Posted in Word Therapy

READ ME. Pretty please. with sugar on top.

I have been writing my blog since the beginning of this year. I have consistently done at least two posts a week.  I have talked about my family, my love of movies and geekdom, and my journey as a writer. As I near my 100th post and 110 followers, I decided it was time to make this blog even better.
Every time one of my posts is published, I am informed by email. When somebody comments on the post, I am notified. Same goes for when somebody starts following my blog or even just likes it on Facebook. These are all stats that are available to me. I have always had them in the back of my mind, slowly needling me. These stats tell me, “You should be writing more of this and less of this.” My friends and family may want to hear about my Mama Adventures, but the stats show that these stories get a small amount of views. And I understand that. I follow many Mommy bloggers and competing with writers that are way more talented and experienced than I when it comes to the hilarity of raising children (Dooce and The Bloggess come to mind) is daunting. And as much as I love my Movie Trailer Mondays, I know that they really are just for me. I indulge my movie geek every week, hoping that others will like the trailer, but the numbers don’t lie. I won’t entirely give up on going with my gut when I sit down to write a story, but my instincts right now are telling me that to become a better writer and to achieve being successful, I need to give the peeps what they want.
So my part is writing more about my writing. But, dear readers, I need your help. And I am going to be greedy and ask for two things. One, I need to know what your favorite posts of mine are and what you like to read about it. Two, and this is a BIG one, I need you to pimp my blog out. Tell your friends, your family, your favorite Target checker (yes, I have one), your local librarian, and your coworkers. Hell, just share my posts on your Facebook and we are square. Part of being a blogger is selling myself and I am not to proud to beg. And with that, I give you this…..

Let me know what your favorite post has been. I’m really not looking for an ego stroke (although that is a side benefit). I truly do want to get better and I need your help. And thank you, thank you, thank you for reading. There are many things you can do with your time and choosing to be a part of my world humbles me.

Posted in Pop Culture

Movie Trailer Monday: Escape From Tomorrow

Escape from Tomorrow is a different kind of film, to say the least. Randy Moore shot his movie at Disney World last year about a guy who meets up with two girls while on vacation. What he failed to do while making the movie is get permission from the Big Mouse himself. He got a lot of press coverage when this fact was discovered and needless to say Disney was not happy.

Now that the first trailer has arrived, we see what all the hoopla is about. And during the one minute plus I can tell you that it doesn’t amount to much. It looks like an old Twilight Zone episode gone wrong. Moore is obviously not a fan of the Disney product and thought maybe he would be exposing all parents’ nightmare of a trip to one of the parks with his “art”. But what I think it does is just show that he is a little off his rocker and gives press to a company that so does not need it.

But why don’t you be the judge…

Blu-Ray or Theater:  I might watch it once it is on TBS or TNT on a Saturday afternoon. But not before then.

Have an amazing seven days!

Posted in Word Therapy

Learning, Inspiration, Pushing Through, and Slutty Stories

All summer long I would try to sit down and write every day. “1000 words,” I said. “I can do it,” I would tell myself. But more often than not, I wouldn’t. Either I would be interrupted by Curls and Red, I would busy myself doing something else, or the voices in my head would tell me nothing good would come from it. Now that a new school year is here, I feel a new sense of purpose and hope to overcome the obstacles that keep preventing me from finishing my book. I plan to do some homework alongside my Curls, utilize inspiration, push through, and just say “NO” to the Slutty Stories (yes, they are a thing).

I didn’t go to school for writing. I have written my whole life but never bothered to consider majoring in it (but the four other majors I considered were important enough apparently). Now that I want to take this seriously, I feel like a deer in headlights. I wrote as a movie critic for HDFest for five years but I can’t even call that writing. I received the book Word Painting last year for Christmas, read a couple of chapters, and then tucked it away into my closet to collect dust with my copies of Twilight and Hunger Games. My intention is to read a chapter every day, complete the assignments, and improve my writing.

I read a lot this summer. I read books that ranged from young adult fantasy (Scarlet by Marissa Mayer) to comedy nonfiction (Bossypants by Tina Fey). I soaked up all that I could and called it my “research.” These authors are my teachers. Some teach me the good, others teach me the bad. And my favorite teacher this summer was Neil Gaiman. He is a God in the world of Geekdom and yet I had never read one of his books (but I love the movie Coraline, which is based on one of his books). His newest release is called The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It is a short story, less than 200 pages. But what I got out of it is something I will never be able to measure. I have never witnessed his style of writing before and now that I have, I want to get my hands on everything that he has authored. The story is fantasy, horror, coming of age, and love story all rolled into one. It cannot be placed in one genre. The imagery made me suck in my breath and the metaphors made me cry. I want to place a copy of this book into everybody that I love’s hands so they can have the same joy I experienced. Reading it has shown me that I need to open my mind even more and step out of my box to become a better writer.

Forcing myself to sit down and write is not my strong suit. I am the queen of procrastination and I can think of about 10 other things I could be doing when I am supposed to be writing. One of the bloggers I read pinned an article on Pinterest recently that stated in order to be successful with writing, you have to treat it like a job. Well, DUH. You have to do it every day. You have to make the time. Don’t give up. Put in the hours. It will only benefit you. And it really is that simple. So when I tell myself it really is okay to clean out the fridge instead of writing that next paragraph, my inner writer has to push back. The refrigerator can wait. My best selling novel cannot.

Slutty stories is a concept I stumbled upon while reading Rachel Hawkins’ blog (author of Hex Hall). She tells the story of writing her first book and how when she hits a wall, a better and easier story starts to whisper sweet nothings into her ear. And once I read that and started writing my book, the slutty stories started knocking on my door. It usually starts with me waking up early in the morning and having a fabulous idea for a book. When I roll over to jot down my thoughts in my notebook, I realize it’s not there. My notebook is all the way in the kitchen. As in, way too far for me to get up and retrieve it. I tell myself I will remember the idea in a couple of hours when I get up. And when that time comes, what happens?? I have forgotten my next great book and what it’s supposed to be about, which haunts me for the rest of the day. This just happened last week. I woke up at 630 am with a cool children’s story (in my humble mind). Notebook is still in the kitchen. Rather than take the logical route I start repeating the story to myself. The characters and what they look like. Who they are. Where they come from. I keep doing this until I fall back asleep. And the funny thing is, it worked. I write everything I remember (minus a detail or two) and set the story aside. Now it won’t be needling me to consider it rather than waiting til I am done with my not-as-good current story. Take that slutty stories. Now march yourself back to the back of my writer’s mind and wait your turn.

With all this laid out before me, there is no reason why I can’t finish my book by the end of the year. Word Painting will help me with creating my world, inspiration will expand my mind, willpower will get me through the rough spots, and a writing pad by my bed will keep the slutty stories at bay. And once again, I will put one word in front of another.  

Just Do It