December 31, 2009

The Best of 2009, Life Edition

    I don't remember this month that well, to be honest. lol.

     Writer's Week 2009
     Dicken's Fest
     Santa Monica with Jessica

       Nerdfighter Gathering in Huntington Beach

     Epik High Concert with Jessica
     Santa Monica, Roscoe's, and Build-A-Bear with Leslie
     Emma's Birthday weekend at the Beach and Disneyland
     Natalie's Sweet Sixteen
     Started Working for Playful Beginnings
     Changed major to Psychology
     Started Clinical Care Extender

     Went to the Getty Museum with Jessica (I think) 
     Went to California Adventure with Jessica
     Monster DLP Weekend

     Comic Con!
     Family Reunion Weekend!
       Summer school =(

      Gospel Brunch for Mother's Birthday
       Started working for Mad Science again
     Charlize graduates from Playful Beginnings
     21st Birthday!
     Mom turns 55!
     Maya Angelou comes to UCR

       Hank Green Concert/ Glendale Nerdfighter Gathering with Amanda
       Visit Jessica
       Thanksgiving with Ms. Roxanne
       Saw Precious three times

        Car gets painted
        Christmas with Ms. Rene
        Get new cell phone
        Went to go see The Princess and the Frog
        Festival of Lights/Happy Hour with Aneesah
        Ice Skating/Happy Hour with Leslie
        Went to Happy Hour with Jessica
        Went to see The Princess and the Frog (again) and Sherlock Holmes

The EPIC Book Survey of 2009

I set out to read 50 books this year, but I only got to 30, which I can live with because I've read some really awesome books this year. So here it goes: 

  • Most imaginative: A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
  • Funniest: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  • Edgiest contemporary: Burned by Ellen Hopkins
  • Creepiest SF/dystopia: I started 1984 by George Orwell but didn't get a chance to finish, but it makes the list.
  • Most evocative historical: A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (does this count)
  • Best love story: Boy meets Boy by David Levithan. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

  • Most hilarious: Radar wearing a confederate t-shirt and all the Black Santas in Paper Towns by John Green
  • Scariest: When Melinda has to confront her attacker in Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Most disturbing: Susie Salmon is raped and murdered in The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • Steamiest: Love Scene between Pattyn and Evan from Burned by Ellen Hopkins
  • Most exciting: Christopher's travels in the train station and on the train in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Biggest tear-jerker: The last half of Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • Best plot twist/revelation (no spoilers!!) : Hannah's reason why Clay is on her list in Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

  • Best couple: Gemma and Kartik from The Gemma Doyle Series by Libba Bray
  • Who you'd want as your best friend(s): Pudge, The Colonel, Takumi, Lara, and Alaska from Looking for Alaska by John Green 
  • Who you fell in love with: Jacob from New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (yeah I'll admit it, hated the book though)
  • Worst (best?) villain: George Harvey from The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • Best character twist (who you loved, then hated, or vice versa): Margo Roth Spieglman from Paper Towns by John Green. Hannah Baker from Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher 
  • Best character name: Scarlett Martin from Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
  • Worst character names: N/A, I think everyone had pretty standard names.
  • Favorite all-around kickass female: Avery from The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson, Alaska from Looking for Alaska by John Green, Elvia from Highwire Moon by Susan Straight and Gemma Doyle for the Gemma Doyle Series by Libba Bray
  • Favorite all-around kickass male: Kartik from the Gemma Doyle Series and Roiben from The Ironside Series by Holly Black

  • Best book cover: Realm of Possibility by David Levithan
  • Best title: Highwire Moon by Susan Straight, The Far Sweet Thing by Libba Bray
  • Most memorable voice: The characters from Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn
  • Most memorable first line: "The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle" by Q from Paper Towns by John Green
  • Best setting: Europe from 13 Little Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
  • Most beautiful writing: Ellen Hopkins and David Levithan

  • Will any of the books you've read in 2009 make your life list of Favorite Books? Yes indeedy. My Top Five off the top of my head.
  • Looking for Alaska
  • The Bermudez Triangle
  • The Key to The Golden Firebird 
  • Thirteen Reasons Why
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

December 22, 2009

About Me

The Short-ish Version:  21 years old. I like to write. I play three instruments: Tenor Saxophone, Trumpet, and Piano. I like to cook. I like to read YA and fantasy novels. I'm a nerdfighter, which means I'm made of awesome. I love to laugh. I've had many jobs; most of them dealing with teaching children. I live in California, splitting my time between my apartment near my college and my home in the desert with my mom, my cat, and my dog. When I grow up I want to be a Nurse Practitioner specializing in autism and a world famous author.

The Long Version: I grew up in a small desert town on the way to Vegas. I had an interesting upbringing. I was raised by a single parent mother who went above and beyond her call of duty, more than most two parent households. Since I had to entertain myself most of the times, I made up wild stories and acted them out with my stuffed animals.

I started writing before I was seven years old, but my most memorable story was a story I wrote in second grade called "Cool Dog" (which was just a rehashing of Oliver and Company only with all dogs). In fourth grade, my language arts teacher required us to write a story every week (I really don't remember how often). He'd give us a prompt and we wrote about it. Many of my stories were about talking puppies and kitties. In fifth and sixth grade I wrote two books called "Blaze" and "Blaze 2: Kalahari's Adventure" about... you guessed it, talking animals.
The only thing I remember in middle school is having braces, being teased, fights, playing the trumpet in band, making my English teacher cry, and being in love with our trombone player only because he liked Dragonball Z. I also met some of the best friends that I could ever have. The main ones being T, A(who I had met and talked with but didn't become close until 9th grade), and Maringa/Lili. The other good thing is that I started liking Japanese animation and I think the people I met that have the same common interest shaped my life-- some for better and some for worse. 

I went onto high school where I met U in my English class.  I always got in trouble in that class for snide remarks, reading, or writing Inuyasha fan fiction with my friends. High school was spent ditching class, playing music, and writing/brainstorming stories. I learned that sometimes you have to do things your own way. During high school, some friendships grew stronger, others fell by the wayside but my closest friends and my writing always stayed constant.

We all graduated from high school and most of us went our separate ways. I started UC Riverside and took my first creative writing class the fall of my freshman year. It was an interesting class, but as I took more and more classes, I figured, "Hey, I'm pretty good at this thing." and decided to make it my minor. I was a neuroscience major at the time and could never find a good balance between science and writing, so I never declared it. The spring quarter of my third year, I changed my major to psychology and I am looking forward to declaring my creative writing double major in a couple weeks officially a creative writing double major. I hope to graduate with my B.A. Degree in Psychology and Creative Writing in the Fall 2010 and I have no idea where my life is going after that.

That's why I feel my life is just one big adventure. I hope you'll travel this journey with me. =)

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Date Started: December 22, 2009
Date Finished: December 22, 2009 

Summary: Hannah Baker committed suicide two weeks ago and has sent out thirteen tapes to those who played a role in her death. One of them is Clay Jensen, who loved Hannah from afar, but never had the chance to tell her so. As he is listening to Hannah's tapes from beyond the grave, he learns secrets about people and secrets about events that lead to Hannah's untimely death.

Likes: Holy crap. My mind was racing with all kinds of thoughts and situations that could be going on. I kept thinking that Clay was the reason, that he did some type of awful thing to her like rape or something else. I set out only to read a few pages, but I was hooked. It's a haunting glimpse about what might go through someone's head as they plot their own death. A part of me was thinking that Hannah was selfish for blaming everyone else, then you read further down and you feel sorry for her because she saw death as the only escape for her life. Then you get mad because she had opportunities to reach out and didn't take them. Then you get sad because other people had the change to help but didn't. I like that this story always keeps you guessing and wondering what drove this girl her death. At first all the pieces don't add up and like most great novels, the pieces come together in the end. The ending isn't satisfying, but it's a start as a way that Clay makes amends for his role in Hannah's death. The weaving of the tapes narratives and Clay's narratives were an interesting story telling hook that sets it apart from other novels about suicide.

Dislikes: I don't think there was too much I didn't like. In my mind, I keep wondering do high school students really do things like that. I was a nerd, so I stayed clear of it. Obviously they do happen (when you read the novel you'll see what I mean). It seems that each generations kids are growing up faster and younger. It's a little bit scary.

Overall: This story like many of the other stories that I've read this year makes you think, wow, could something I have done in the past affect someone's future? Like a simple act of kindness or a rude remark. It really really makes you think about events that take place and how life may have been different had they not taken place or if you yourself would have reacted differently. It makes you want to treat everyone with at least an ounce of dignity because you can never honestly know what is going on in the lives of others. 

December 21, 2009

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Date Started: December 21, 2009
Date Finished: December 21, 2009

Summary:  Melinda Sordino is an outcast because she called the police and broke up a wild party. She had her reasons for calling the police, but she must keep them a secret. As a result of the incident that occurred at the party, Melinda is silent and doesn't speak. She is failing school, ditching class, her parents are fighting and inattentive, and her friends have deserted her. Melinda only has her art class to look forward to and her assignment is to spend the year with artistic works centered around the word given to her by her teacher. Melinda's word is "tree". When the past comes to haunt her, will Melinda be able to speak up for herself and protect her friends?

Likes: Even though Melinda doesn't speak much, her inner thoughts are amazing to read. I found myself chuckling and laughing at the way she perceives the world. I felt myself crying when she recounts the incident at the party. The author has made Melinda an intelligent and witty character who doesn't wallow in her sorrow. It is obvious that the inicident has messed her up pretty bad. She doesn't have any friends, people push her and bump into her at the halls. Melinda doesn't dwell on it though, which makes this book great to read. She doesn't mope around the entire book and when she does mope, it's not unwarranted or annoying. It is how she interacts with others and how she shuts down when things go wrong or remind her of that terrible event that makes the story interesting to read. When she comes to the terms with the incident, we watch her journey for being a pushover for her new "friend" Heather to finally standing up for herself and saving countless others by speaking up.

Dislikes: The ending was a little weird. It was believable, but it seemed out of place. Andy's character didn't seem real to me, just an archetype of a good looking guy that girls are supposed to fear. I wish there had been some way to get a more human side of him and to make him a fully rounded character, but since the story is in Melinda's point of view, we rightfully see him as the villain. I can understand why we don't get that aspect of the story, but I still wish as a reader I could see a glimpse of something that makes Andy more fully rounded.

Overall:  I loved this book. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and I was totally invested in Melinda's story and her journey through healing. Very few books can elicit that response in me, so I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. I just thought it was going to be about a emo girl trying to get over a bad event, but dwelling and complaining about everything. I am very glad that book wasn't written that way and I hope to read more books from Laurie Halse Anderson.

Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Date Started: December 12, 2009
Date Finished: December 19, 2009

Summary: Paul is a homosexual boy living in a town where things like heterosexual/heterosexual/transsexual do not matter. He is getting over a rough break up with his ex-boyfriend Kyle, who is confused about his sexuality. Paul is also falling in love with the new boy in town, Noah, an artist and photographer. After a misunderstanding, Paul has to find a way to make things right with his friends, his ex-boyfriend, and his new found love, Noah.

Likes: I liked the characters the most. They felt believable and flawed, but entertaining to read about as well. I liked this little slice of Heaven that Levithan created with his story. It's not really necessary to write a story about a boy coming out to his parents, that's a different story for a different time and I'm glad that the author didn't focus too much on this aspect. I like that author doesn't make Christian people crazy and intolerant as most books tend to do. He made them believable. The author recognizes how hard it is for someone to go against their belief system while embracing something that deviates from it. The author didn't vilify Tony's parents, as the character himself points out, that his parents still love him and are trying to rectify between a set of beliefs and their son. The author makes no judgments on the parents nor does he make any judgments on anyone else in the story. He doesn't get preachy about it, though he does get a bit sentimental about it, he just states that as it is. Levithan's novel is about love, in all its forms.

Dislikes: It took me some time to get used to Levithan's writing style (even though I had read it in his previous books(Nick and Norah and Naomi and Ely) with Rachel Cohn). In my mind, I kept thinking that "No teenager I know talks like that", but once the plot started to kick in, those thoughts became less and less and my main concerns were with the characters. There wasn't much that I disliked with this novel. It's not even that I disliked Levithan's writing style, because it's very poetic, it just takes some getting used to. The ending was a bit too cheesy in my opinion, fitting, clever, cute, but still cheesy.

Overall: The saddest thing about this book is that it's fiction. Can you imagine a world where people were just people, there were no labels? If we could choose our own labels as Paul states. That's one thing I love about Levithan's books is that it doesn't rely on those labels and when it does, it breaks those labels and puts something new on it. When I read this story, I didn't feel like the characters were made gay just for the sake of telling a story about gay boy love. I imagined that it could be a boy and boy, a girl and a boy, and a girl and a girl. This story was about love, losing it, gaining it, and accepting it in all its many forms.

Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn

Date Started: November 30, 2009
Date Finished: December 5, 2009

Summary: Dogeaters is a novel about the colonialism and imperialism in the Philippines. The story is told through the point of view of many different characters, most notable the characters Rio, a girl growing up in privileged family, Joey, a homosexual DJ at a local club, Romeo, a man obsessed with stardom, Baby Alacran, a girl who doesn't met the standards of beauty in her family, and Daisy Avila, a beauty queen turned into a soldier in guerilla warfare. The story is told through several decades and is a social commentary on how imperialism affects other nations.   

Likes: I like all the different narratives that the author tells the story through. It shows me, as a writer, that it can be done and it can be done quite well. I never got confused as to who was talking whether the part be in third person or first person. My favorite characters, Joey and Daisy, had the most compelling stories. I like that my teacher assigned this book in class, because I probably would have never heard of it or bothered to pick it up in a library. The class was on comparative literature of the post-colonial age and I think this story shows the horrors of imperialism as it relates to another culture. The people in the higher classes are so concerned with themselves and appealing to their European and American counterparts that are almost oblivious to their nations plight, which speaks multitudes on how imperialism on another culture and within itself keeps the masses ignorant to the corruption that is going on in their own backyards, so to speak.

Dislikes:  I wish that the author would have chosen Daisy Avila as her central character instead of Rio. Daisy's story was more compelling than Rio's, who hardly had a story of her own to tell. The ending with Pucha, Rio's cousin, was odd and a little bit hard to understand whether Rio was telling the truth or if we should believe Pucha, considering all that had been said about her by other characters.

Overall: I liked this book. The teacher made a wise decision when choosing this book. I'm not sure I would have liked this book had I read it in a different context outside of class. I might have liked it for it's literary merit as far as telling a story through multiple points of view and switching between third vs. first person point of view as well. I think since I read it for class, I like it for both its artistic merit as well as its social commentary. They both can be separated in most stories, but I believe they go hand-in-hand in this story. Did I mention I got in A- in this class.

Infinite Alice (WiP)

The Apple Tree Bakery has fallen on hard times ever since Alessandra Morales' mother left. Her father spiraled into the dark world of drinking and gambling. Her older sister, Magdalena, has taken over the family bakery and has become a stern and matronly businesswoman, not the fun-loving sister Alessandra remembers. Her other sister, Veronica, is obsessed with being married to a rich man to escape the poor town of Acapella. Her only friend is Noah, the delivery boy, and even he's too absorbed with his job and his bike to notice her. Alessandra knows she's too old to dream, she's sixteen for goddess sakes, but she can't help it. Dreaming is the only way to get through the day.

Despite her dreaming, Alessandra can't help but notice the strange black cat that only eats bread, cream, and rum sitting on her doorstep. She also can't help but notice this cat has somehow transformed into a handsome man named Ches Kitenger or that there is a flying pirate ship waiting outside of her window. The woman commanding the ship tells Alessandra that she's late for an important date. For Alessandra, this story seems exactly like a dream, but a journey through the strange world of Atheria and its seedy underground prove that fact is far stranger than fiction.

INFINITE ALICE is a steampunk fantasy novel for young adults inspired by Alice in Wonderland set in the early Lunar Years of Atheria.

First Draft------ Finished by February 2010
          20 Chapters

First Draft Critiques------ March 2010

Second Draft Revision-----April 2010

Second Draft Critiques------June 2010
Final Revision

Query Agents-----Mid June 2010

December 20, 2009

The Princess and The Frog- After

The Princess and the Frog is a typical Disney princess movie and I loved it. I didn't love it initially though because I was watching through an adult lens of the "why" and "how", but once I found my inner kid through listening to the soundtrack and daydreaming about the movie and thinking about Ne-Yo's "Never Knew I Needed" playing at my wedding, I fell in love with it.

If critics dwell on race and stereotypes, they have missed the point of the movie entirely. Foundas, the writer of the article that had me so upset in the first place states that they didn't cover race and Jim Crow laws at all. All the racial stuff was subtle. One of the most powerful scenes in my opinion was when Eudora, Tiana's mother, and Tiana get on the trolley back to their home. In the background they are passing by the old plantation style homes and overtime the neighborhood gets increasingly less rich and finally to little cabins where Tiana and her family live. Also when something happens to Tiana's loan, one of the loan officers states "Someone of your background would be happy where she is" or something to that nature. The movie says it twice, once in real time, and once in a flashback. I don't think there needs to be anymore than that. This is a kid's movie after all. We don't need to be beat over the head with race and Jim Crow. Not to say that we shouldn't pretend that it didn't exist, but we shouldn't dwell on it.

Off-topic: We also shouldn't use movies to teach our children and we have to give kids more credit. Sure kids are impressionable, but most kids aren't idiots. They know between fantasy and reality. Kids will learn about Jim Crow in school. They may have questions and that's when you explain that Tiana's story is a fantasy story, but it wasn't impossible for a similar situation to happen. Parents can go find success stories of people like Fredrick Douglass and the like. If anything this movie should be a gateway, not an absolute truth.

Anyway, back to the subject...

All and all I'm quite happy with the movie. I will admit that movie does have stereotypes but those are perpetuated through animals like fireflies and alligators. I don't think Prince Naveen's race matters because of his personality. At the beginning of the movie, he's a lazy, carefree playboy looking to marry a rich girl and get her money. Can you imagine if they had given him a definable race? Can you imagine how many people would be offended? Especially if they had made him black? That would definitely be a stereotype that would probably kill an already "racial sensitive" (it's not really, but people are making a big deal out of it) movie.

Can this movie save 2-D animation? I'm not sure. I don't think Disney should stop making CGI movies. That's what selling. However, to compete with these movies they'll have to be marketable. Disney is running out of fairytales to reimagine. I think to save 2-D animation, they have to captialize on what makes Disney movies so memorable. Fresh plots and music. They have to come up with plots to rival Pixar and Dreamworks (luckily they are in cohoots with Pixar or they'd be screwed).

To save 2-D animation or at least bring it back into the public again, Disney (or any company for that matter) needs to have characters that are multicultural, stunning visuals, and fresh plots. Thankfully that have John Lasseter and his team, who are pretty innovative as far as plots go. They have the stunning visuals, as long as they don't use the visuals to make up for a suck ass story. Multicultural characters? I think this movie proves that Disney can handle it. Back in the 1990's, Disney did their research pretty well and didn't half ass their movies. I think if they can get back to those times, they can possibly bring back 2-D animation. I wouldn't mind them releasing a movie every 5 years either, just as long as they made movies for theatre and not direct to DVD.

So I enjoyed the movie, the soundtrack, and I'm actively and patiently waiting for the next 2-D tale. =)

December 13, 2009

Diligent December

First A.M.Harte wrote her post, but she stole it from Merrilee, who stole it from Owl and Sparrow. Anyway, it's just a list of things to do as far as stories are concerned. I'm going to post a work in progress thing and then a detailed deadline list on separate posts. I love making lists, (obviously, if it's not a blog post on here, it's a list.). Lists are cool, aren't they?





It's All Relative
Book One


13/20 Episodes
(50+ episodes)
March 2010

Infinite Alice


Character Devlp.
January 2010

Welcome to
YA Romance





YA Romance (new adult)
Prose Poetry



Against Giants

Historical Fiction

Short Story

December 2009

Ms. Desena

Magic Realism(?)

Short Story


December 2009

December 11, 2009

The Princess and The Frog- Before

This post had me a bit apprehensive about the Princess and the Frog. The author,Scott Foundas, states that story runs rampant with stereotypes. The article basically reflects that the story doesn't combat the Jim Crow laws that were created in the south. Since I have yet to see the movie, I can only speak on what I want the movie to be and hopefully what I expect to see when I go see this movie on the 12 with my mom's sorority.

I think Disney has taken on an ambitious project with creating an African-American princess and returning to 2-D. The last couple big premieres were basically flops. Treasure Planet, while going overboard on scenery porn, didn't really hit me the way most disney movies do. In fact, I fell asleep. I'm not sure what it was missing. I haven't seen any 2-D movies in theatres since the Emperor's New Groove and while I love the movie, I would have liked to get my mother's money back and possibly spent it on something tangible.

The Disney Princess franchise capitalizes on two marketable things, fairy tales and music. If you can find a fairytale that is accessible enough and still can be retold in a way that makes it somewhat fresh you have half of a good story. If you can have catchy songs that kids can sing to drive their parents crazy, their parents eventually get it stuck in their heads, and next thing you know you have an entire generation still singing songs from movies like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and more.

With the Princess and the Frog, I'm expecting a cute story about love and good catchy music. I'm more excited about Disney's return to 2-D because when Enchanted came out, I went ape-shit over the animation and remembered why I loved Disney movies in the first place. I hope the art of 2-D animation never leaves, but they are going to have to amp it up with innovative storylines to compete with CG movies.

The story takes place in the Jazz Age and Foundas states "Whatever the year, we are firmly in the grips of "separate but equal"—a reality the movie barely acknowledges." This is an interesting point, but have we ever known Disney to be historically accurate? I think Disney should make more of a push to be historically accurate and I think they tried by making Tiana originally a girl named Maddy who worked as a maid. That's not bad is it? I don't think so. That's probably very accurate. But apparently the watchdog group that Foundas mentions had them change the character into a girl named Tiana, because this is 2009 after all. I think I know the reason why the story is not as historically accurate as Foundas probably wants though.

So let's say that the movie was historically accurate. Tiana and Naveen go through the whole ordeal in the bayou and then can't be together because he's lighter than she is. Naveen goes after Charlotte a "very white, very blonde, and very rich BFF" of Tiana, but she can't be with him because we don't know what he ethnically(he's probably Creole). So in the end, Tiana can't acheive anything because she's black and a woman and Naveen is probably lynched because he went after a white woman.

I don't think we can put Tiana in any other time period other than the Jazz Age.  We couldn't put Tiana too far back because she'd either be a slave or be in Africa(Lion King?). We couldn't put Tiana in the 1950's-1970's because that was a radical time for America in all aspects and not the setting for a Disney Princess. We couldn't put her in this day and age because we'd lose that old world charm that the Disney Princess movies have. Where else could we put Tiana but the Jazz Age, accuracy aside, it was a time of freedom and innovation and even though Jim Crow laws were in place, some people still thrived and I think that was what the creators of the movie wanted to grasp at.

Foundas states "that Disney's first black "princess" lives in a world where the ceiling on black ambition is firmly set at the service industries." What exactly is wrong with this? I mean in this day and age, we know that isn't true. I see the point that Foundas is trying to make that showing a Disney Princess as wanting to be a food service worker might inspire girls to settle for something like that. I don't know exactly, but from what I gather so far, Tiana wants to be a chef and open her own restaurant. Given the laws of the land, that might be a far-fetched dream in that day and age. I have yet to see the movie, so I'm not so sure how far this goes or how it's handled. I don't see how owning your own business could tell girls that they have to settle for anything. If your dream is to own your own restaurant, what is wrong with that? Having a dream in an age like that, the fact that we've come so far that girls can dream up anything they want to be, is what Disney is trying to accomplish. Hell, we've seen a Mermaid become a human, a Beast become a man, why can't we see a girl wanting to own her own business a restaurant?

I'll probably write a review on my impressions of the movie after I see the movie. I'm excited because I love 2D animation. My impression now based on this review, I'd say that keeping true to the Disney tradition is what Disney should stick to doing. I don't want a movie that isn't supposed to be political to touch on the horrors of the south. There are other movies for that and I don't believe The Princess and the Frog should be that movie.

As for accuracy, I think they could touch on it a bit but not dwell on it. I haven't seen the movie yet, but based on this review it's hinted at but not explicitly said. Good, I think it should stay this way. We all know that fairy tales don't exist and we know that some talking frogs didn't go through a wild tour of the bayou. That's not what the movie is supposed to be about. I don't want to be beaten over the head with "You can't do that because you're black." or "You can't do this because you're a woman." or even worse, "You can't do this and that because you're a black woman". I and many others, experience this everyday, why would we want to watch this in a movie. A Disney Movie of all things. A Disney Princess movie above allt hat. The crux of the new Disney Princess franchise is love, independence, and reaching your dreams (which explain all of the numerous Cinderella sequels of her being more proactive) and if Tiana doesn't achieve this, whether she be any ethnicity, then Disney hasn't stuck to it's tradition.

I remember the days of playing Disney Princesses, someone wanted to be Belle, someone else wanted to be Ariel, and I had to choose Jasmine (who's a pretty kick ass Disney Princess to be honest). I wasn't sad about it, but I did notice that it was rather odd that they didn't have a Black Disney Princess. I think if Disney wants the Princess Franchise to be even more successful, they need to represent girls of all races and ethnicities and backgrounds and personalities. I think so far, the fact that Tiana is in their ranks and is not a "is she a princess or isn't she a princess" (like Mulan or Pocahontas), is a step in the right direction.

December 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo: An Epic and Beautiful Fail

NaNoWriMo was an epic fail this year for me and I'm okay with that. For those who don't know (because I realize that I just assume everyone knows everything about me.), NaNoWriMo is a type of contest to see if one could write 50,000 words in 30 days. A lot of people can do it and congrats to the people who did. A lot of people can't do it and that's okay because sometimes life gets in the way and you have to set your priorities. Or sometimes the muse just doesn't show up and you're stuck writing the same chapter over and over again, trying to get it to work. I know that it was like that for me.

Something was holding me back from finishing, a bad case of writer's block or something. In my last few posts I have all these delusions of grandeur and bigger things, but I can't do anything with those dreams without having the story written. So what's preventing me from getting the story written? I don't know. Fear of failure? Fear of success? Fear of not writing again? I don't know, but what I do know is that I have to make it past it. I need to keep writing. Writing anything.

Why was this an epic fail? Because I didn't even make it 8,000 words. I'm okay with that because the beautiful part of this failure is that it sparked some evaluation and new ideas, ideas I wish I would have gotten at the beginnings on the month, but new ideas nonetheless.

One of the things I learned in NaNoWriMo is how much people push to see the things they want done get done. I also learned that it's okay to fail because you learn from your mistakes. I will use December as my own NaNoWriMo and work on several ideas that have been brewing in me since the beginning of this week.


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