“Cinderella” Movie

First off, this can’t possibly contain spoilers because it’s Cinderella and we all know what happens.

I’ll admit, the commercials for this movie made me not want to see it because they were made very bland and never showed the best parts. The movie started off very Pride and Prejudice-y with a touch of whimsy. When the stepmother and stepsisters arrived, I wanted to know where the hell they got their fashion sense. Here was Cinderella and her father (kind of) wearing normal clothing for that period and then the stepfamily arrives looking like rich people from the Hunger Games. That threw me for a loop. Then we finally get a view of the royalty and such, but same thing. What the heck are they wearing?! At least Cinderella’s dress was beautiful yet more traditional. That’s probably why everyone else was staring at her and loathed her. She was the only one with a solid-colored dress without Candy Crush throw up on it.

Helena Bonham-Carter did an awesome job in the few moments she was on screen as the fairy godmother. She managed to get out several laughs and kept her dark, pleasantly creepy demeanor.

All in all, this is a film I recommend to everyone with kids and I give it 5-stars for the new little twists. Seriously, though, they need help with their clothes.

Ten Favorite Words

This strange question was asked of me a while back: “What are your ten favorite words?” This is like asking what my favorite book is. An extremely hard question because there are so many books in the world that I love. So I’ll do the best I can in narrowing this down.

  1. Verdant (adj): 1. Green with vegetation; covered with green growth. 2. Green in hue. 3. Lacking experience or sophistication; naïve.
  2. Turmoil (noun): 1. A state of extreme confusion or agitation; commotion or tumult.
  3. Reminisce (verb): 1. To think about or tell of past experiences or events.
  4. Opaque (adj): 1. Impenetrable by light; neither transparent nor translucent. 2. Not reflecting light; having no luster. 3. Impenetrable by a form of radiant energy other than visible light. 4. So obscure as to be unintelligible. 5. Mentally obtuse; dense. (Noun) Something that is opaque, especially an opaque pigment used to darken parts of a photographic print or negative.
  5. Nonchalant (adj): 1. Casually unconcerned or indifferent.
  6. Mesmerizing (verb): 1. To spellbind; enthrall. 2. To hypnotize.
  7. Imperative (adj): 1. Necessary or urgent. 2. Expressing a command or plea; peremptory. 3. Of, relating to, or constituting the mood that expresses a command or request. (Noun) 1. A rule, principle, or need that requires or compels certain action. 2. A command; an order. 3. The imperative mood.
  8. Elusive (adj): 1. Tending to elude capture, perception, comprehension, or memory. 2. Difficult to define or describe.
  9. Blatantly (adj): 1. Totally or offensively conspicuous or obtrustive. 2. Unpleasantly loud and noisy.
  10. Belligerently (adj): 1. Inclined or eager to fight; hostile or aggressive. 2. Of, pertaining to, or engaged in warfare. (Noun) 1. One that is hostile or aggressive, especially one that is engaged in war.

“Write What You Know”

I’ve been asked if I agree with the adage “write what you know.” I absolutely don’t believe this. First of all, as writers, we feel the need to bring to life characters and worlds that readers will fall in love with. We don’t actually know these characters or live in these worlds. Writing what we know would be incredibly boring after the first book. As writers, we have the freedom to craft whatever we want. Why would we limit it to what we already know? Look at Science Fiction stories for example. Humans aren’t traveling through space and living on various planets with trade routes, different spaceships, and amazing holographic technology. Those ideas came from the mind of writers who envisioned that. Maybe it’ll be possible in the very far future, but it isn’t known. The writers created all of those planets, spaceships, and gadgets. So don’t write only what you know. Experiment. Always ask what if and let your imagination take you from there.

Writing Resources I Use

Almost six years ago now, I created a Fantasy Writers group on Facebook to give online writers a safe haven online. There are a lot of groups filled with spam and bullies so it was easier to make a fresh start. Because it was such a huge success, I’ve made two subgroups of it that focus around World-Building and the Technical Aspects of publishing rather than the vague group of Fantasy Writers. My friend also has a very successful group on Facebook that I’ll share here with you. All of these are on Facebook so if you don’t have an account, do not be despaired. At some point, I will come up with other online resources that don’t require memberships.

Fantasy Writers – https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefantasywriters/

Fantasy Writers: World-Building – https://www.facebook.com/groups/fantasywritersworldbuilding/

Fantasy Writers: Technical Aspects – https://www.facebook.com/groups/fantasywriterstechnicalaspects/

Writers Around The World – https://www.facebook.com/groups/WritersAroundTheWorld/

My Writing Inspiration

Another very common question I get asked is “where do you get your writing inspiration from?” The answer to that is from everything. Everything around me can trigger a story idea at any point in time, that’s what makes it so intriguing. It could be the way the kitchen knife is positioned precariously on the counter, a spelling error in a line of the book I’m reading, or the way the swaying branches of the trees create long-fingered shadows in the crystalline pool water. There is inspiration everywhere and in every single thing. There are some days when you’re either feeling sick or out of it that you have to look a lot harder than that but it’s still there! I also get it from the usual places; other books, television, nature parks, etc.

Inspiration for My Characters

I constantly get asked “where do you find inspiration for your characters?” I look around me at the people that I know and the people that will pass briefly through my life. I observe what traits they have and take note of what I can tell from their personalities just by looking at them. Eventually, those things seep into the character creation that I do for each story. I want to make the characters realistic with similar issues that everyone in real life has so that readers will want to cheer them on or cry with them. The characters are what makes the heart of the story so you have to give them heart.

My Five Biggest Distractions from Writing

Everyone has major distractions from writing and you may end up seeing most or all of them in my own list.

1. Facebook – This is definitely my worst distraction from writing because in my mind, I justify roaming the online site to chat with my fellow authors, to check in on my writing groups, and to see what my fans are thinking about on the author page. Then I get distracted by the sunken ship article, a cat playing tag with a turtle, and a Husky puppy howling at a leaf. In the end, it’s a major distraction that I should, in my right mind, cut myself off from.

2. TV – The television is definitely another distraction. My family almost always has it on and even when I leave the room, I can still hear it and become distracted. It always draws my eye when I’m in the room and the two-seconds usually turns into two hours in a few blinks. By the time I get back to writing, I completely forgot about the plot and what I wanted to happen next.

3. Blogging – Worrying about blogging three times a week has been distracting from writing because I’m busy trying to come up with a topic for the blog that I neglect the story I’m currently working on. But have to keep up that networking!

4. Family – They are always there, always wanting something, and always interrupting. Those of you that have them will completely understand this. They always constantly wonder why the hell you chose writing as something to pursue and continuously try to convince you that it isn’t a real job.

5. Other Books – When I’m not writing, I’m reading. Sometimes I miss my writing deadlines because I’m trying really hard to finish reading a series of books in my spare time. My priorities around books will always be off-kilter.

Three Authors That Inspire Me

We all have someone that inspires us to improve ourselves and set goals to accomplish. I read extensively so to pick only three authors that inspire me is really difficult but let’s get started.

R.A. Salvatore – I am obsessed with his books. The characters are amazingly developed, the settings are perfectly vivid, and the plots keep you glued to the book until its finished then scrambling for the next one. I hope that I can write even half as well as he can in my writing future.

Mercedes Lackey teamed up with James Mallory – I have read books by only Mercedes Lackey and by only James Mallory and found I really like them. But when these two authors team up to write, I fall head over heels in love with their stories. Their Obsidian Trilogy is one of my favorite trilogies, right up there with even J.R.R. Tolkien. Something amazing happens when these two create worlds full of vibrant characters together that draws me in like a magnet and I hope to accomplish as much with my own readers.

Cornelia Funke – All of her stories are fresh and exciting. I love how her books draw in all ages of readers, albeit mostly being children books. There are always twists and turns that you never see coming in any of her books, no matter how many you’ve read, and you’re always left wanting more. I hope to bring equally refreshing new stories to the world as she does with her own.

How I Develop Writing Ideas

As more people in my community learn that I’m a writer, I keep getting the same questions asked of me. I thought I would take the time to answer them all one by one here since most of them now follow me here.

So here’s the first one: How do you develop writing ideas?

I don’t sit down and try to come up with an idea to write. I wait until it hits me, which is extremely often and slightly annoying when I have other projects going on. I ended up having so many ideas and too many unfinished projects that I started to keep a Word document specifically for listing ideas with descriptions. This makes sure that I don’t lose the idea or the mindset that I had for writing it when I finally get back to it.

There are planners and there are pantzers. I’m a pantzer because I just sit down and write. There is no planning involved until 2/3rds of the book is written and I want to make sure that all of the loose ends to subplots are tied together. This is how it has always been for me. Stay tuned for more questions that I will answer about my writing.

The Box Trolls Movie

After all of the hype about the movie from tons of commercials shown daily, I thought it was going to be a more interesting movie. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still adorable! But it was very bland to what we’re used to seeing in a kid movie. It wasn’t dramatic enough and we didn’t care about the characters enough for starters. The villains were gross but not intimidating enough to the main character and yet, the characters all acted like it was a huge deal. And what was with the cheese-tasting thing? That whole aspect just didn’t fit into the movie. I’d give this movie a three-star because their idea started off good but they didn’t pull it together enough to make an excellent movie.