Otome Tuesdays- Meet the Boys Part 2

Ah, another bishonen-filled Tuesday.  This week we’ll be covering the last of the potential suitors in the game Shall We Date- My Sweet Prince(sans Nagito, as I’m currently playing through him.  I have a feeling once I’ve finished his story-line, I’ll have a post dedicated to him or at least mention him in an upcoming post).  Just as the previously mentioned princes, these four all have personalities that range from playful to excruciatingly obnoxious, but somehow they tug on those heartstrings.  Well, sometimes they do.

jun1) Prince Jun– Ugh, you know I usually enjoy picking the snotty and cold characters, only because they do a complete 180 and redeem themselves in the end.  Jun manages that, but not without making you want to punch him in the face.  Jun is the forceful prince, whom seems to desire the crown more than his other brothers.  He likes to trick the PC, warming her up into thinking he’s a decent fellow, but it’s all an act to gain her favor and get her to bestow him with the bracelet.  Of course he changes.  I mean, this is an Otome game.  Cold exteriors melt into little puddles and we’re left with a somewhat warmer and slightly randy love interest (omg how many characters don’t hint at wanting to do “things” to the PC?).  Jun isn’t simply a cold, manipulating, and sometimes cruel character just for the sake of being so.  Just as Melchiorre, he’s a complex prince that has a purpose for every action he takes.  His reason for the crown is not simply to gain power.  Of the princes, his reasons for taking the crown are valiant, though it takes a while for you to see that.  The ending to Jun’s story is beautiful, just because I dig a guy that’ll do anything to get the girl he loves.

Despite Jun becoming a warmer prince to the PC in the end, his spin-off stories are frustrating.  His old personality seems to pop back up.  Having played through three of his spin-off stories, I can say that if you enjoyed the crueler side of Jun, it’s still there!  The Royal Baby storyline just made me shake my head.  Seriously, someone give that man a computer and teach him to use Bing/Google.

Choose Jun- If you enjoy the cold/cruel type.  Don’t worry, he thaws towards the end and turns out to be a pretty noble character, though in the spin-offs  his demeanor seems to drift back to its old self.

alvah2) Prince Alvah– My goodness, Alvah.  He reminded me of a squirrel on Red Bull.  Alvah is the playful and energetic prince of the lot.  He enjoys recreational sports and showing the PC around town.  Even the PC remarks on how energetic Alvah is and how out of shape she really is, when it comes to keeping up with Alvah.  His very first CG is the image on the right, which was very surprising, as I wasn’t expecting any shirtless CGs.  DO I approve?

6c3

Clearly, she approves!

Like his brother Melchiorre, Alvah does not desire the crown, but desires a friendship with the PC.  He’s very protective of her, which comes in very hand when Jun tries to dig his claws into her.  The only thing I enjoyed about Alvah’s storyline was that he was protective of the PC and that he began “guarding” her at night, which was adorable.  He has his own reasons for not wanting to be king, which were a little confusing.  Honestly, Alvah has been my least favorite of the princes, only because his story just seemed to lack something.  His romance with the PC just seemed a little unnatural, as I didn’t feel there was much chemistry building between the two as the story progressed.  The ending made me facepalm.

Choose Alvah- If you enjoy the protective and energetic type.  His story may be a little lack luster, but if you’re into his personality, you might enjoy it.  Also, shirtless CG.

ivan3) Ivan the Butler– I wasn’t entirely sure how the story would play out for Ivan.  He’s much older than your other love interests and is probably the same age as the PCs father.  Yet the image to the right, is why I decided I had to play him.  Come on, that’s one hot forty year old butler right there.  He criticizes the PC more than is necessary and tends to subtly insult her lack of manners (in reality, she’s doing her best and isn’t all that rude.  It’s a matter of customs and differences that each side needs to understand).  It appears he seems to think little of the PC, but he is curious about her and wishes to know more of her and her culture.  Ivan is also a foreigner, though he does not mention where he is from.  He does little things for the PC which were just awww moments and the scene where they took shelter in the shack. . .too cute and funny.

The ending of Ivan’s story had me flabbergasted, even after the story had finished.  I’m not sure how to feel about Ivan after the story.  In a way, his story was disappointing and I’m almost angry at the PC for being “okay” with what happened.  Personally, if this had been myself, I would not have accepted what occurred and picked one of the princes, even though they were pretty persistent in this story.

Choose Ivan- If you’re into the older and more mature types.  Also if you just want someone that isn’t royalty and puts you on an emotional roller coaster!

Otome Tuesdays- My Sweet Prince: Meet the boys Part 1

princes

Please note!  Spoilers ahead for the following princes: Chezem, Lambert, and Melchiorre.  

I love Otome games.  They are visual novels, meaning you’re reading a story with visual elements added to make the story all the more alluring.  Most games require money to play, unless you play one of the free games.  Even for free, there are limitations and time constraints due to the no-cost aspect of the game.  Often if you hit a checkpoint and are unable to produce the items needed or charm level required to pass through, you may find yourself at a standstill for days or weeks.  Luckily some games offer special events where you can earn currency to turn in for special items during the event or save up some in-game currency like Zeni to purchase checkpoint or avatar items.  As long as you level up skills (like Lessons in My Sweet Prince) and login each day for your login bonus, that will earn you a little more coinage.

My Sweet Prince is one of the first Otome games that I’ve played and is a rather cute game in the Shall We Date series.  You start the game as a young Japanese woman on vacation in a foreign country.  Your terrible luck results in all of your belongings being stolen, but the thief leaves behind a jeweled bracelet and unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), you are now in possession of the bracelet that determines the heir to the kingdom.  Almost immediately you are whisked away to the palace, where the king informs you that because you are in possession of the bracelet, that you must determine whom will be the next king.   A rather daunting task, considering there’s six princes to choose from and each with their own quirks and skeletons in their closet.  Plus they’re all beautiful, so that makes choosing all the more difficult!

I’m on my seventh play-through of the game (five princes, one replay because of a bad ending, and now I’m on Ivan the butler) and so far, I’ve enjoyed each story offered.  I don’t think I could offer an opinion of my favorite prince thus far, but I can give some insight into their varying and sometimes frustrating personalities.  In the end you end up loving them.  Or in the case of some princes, you wish you had picked a different love interest or picked a different route.  The following are in the order I played them and just a brief observation of each and why they were perhaps not the best pics for the playable character.

chezem 1) Prince Chezem– The quiet prince of the lot, he’s an intellectual sort that bides his time with books and devouring knowledge.  He seems to have little interest in people and ignores the PC (Player Character) from the beginning, but because of his interest in Japan, he gradually lets her into his private life and starts to be more open with people.  He was once friends with Falitna, the daughter of the scheming and rather annoying Minister Balam.  Unlike the other princes, Falitna does not appeared to be engaged to Chezem, but merely a friend whom had a misunderstanding as children.  I’m not a fan of Faltina, but this appears to be the only story that she appears remotely friendly to the PC at some point.  After playing through some of the other PCs, it’s nice to see a different and refreshing side of her.

Chezem’s story doesn’t have the varying degrees of complexity some of the other prince’s have, but it is a sweet enough story.  The constant pressure from Balam puts an enormous mount of stress on Chezem.  Due to his mother’s fortune, it seems people only involve themselves to somehow get access to said fortune.  I feel bad for Chezem.  He’s the popular kid on campus, that only has friends due to his wealth and nothing more.  Without that wealth, they would drop him in a heartbeat.  I wasn’t disappointed with my play-through of Chezem, though he wasn’t the most interesting of characters.  His quiet nature sometimes made it difficult to really enjoy him.

Choose Chezem- If you enjoy the quiet and anti-social type, that gradually warms up to the PC.

 

lambert

2) Prince Lambert– Oi, this guy.  If you’re a fan of being being reminded you are just a drab commoner, he’s definitely the prince for you.  He’s rather haughty and spares little time for the PC in the beginning.  Don’t be fooled, despite his attitude, he’s a very dedicated prince and desires the throne to better his country.  After saving him from a rather embarrassing predicament, he begins to warm up to the PC.  There is a very awkward bath scene early on and I must say it had me laughing.  My reaction would have been pretty much the same as the PC.  Unfortunately, as any character in Otome games, he’s clueless to his own feelings and questions why he says/does certain things that pertain to the PC.  Really, Lambert?  You’re so clueless and inexperienced that you can’t tell what your heart is telling you?  It’s almost as irritating as the same line most PCs use in Otome games.  “What’s this feeling in my chest?”  Either your in love or it’s a heart attack.  I’m not sure which I’m hoping for right now.

My first play through was disappointing, as I had made poor choices and ended up with the ending I didn’t desire.  Unfortunately, that’s a drawback of merely picking what you feel is best in these games.  If you want a particular outcome, search for online guides for the prince of your choosing.  After a few unfortunate choices in selected games, I decided to use guides to keep from making the same mistakes again.  Unlike games like Ninja Assassin + and Ninja Love +, the default ending is not a normal one.  You can end up alone.  This is an otome game!  You don’t want to be alone!

I’ve noticed that his personality stays the same in most of the other story-lines and remains critical when it comes to the PC.  Lambert loves timeliness and the PC loves sleeping in.  I cannot offer any insight on Lambert’s spin-offs(besides one or two that I earned during events).  He seemed different in both, more caring towards the PC.  In the spin-offs of other prince’s, I will say he seemed very much the same.

Choose Lambert- If you’re into the prudent and sort of cold type.  He’s similar to Ivan, in that he’s a perfectionist and like Jun, he can be a little mean, but I’d say Ivan is a little more critical (at least in the first few chapters) and Jun is like having a villain that found his way back to the light.

 

Melchiorre_(2)3) Prince Melchiorre– Oh, this playboy.  Every Otome game has one–the hot guy that all the females fawn over.  In the beginning he seemed to me to be a sort of flighty character.  I’ve never really picked one of the womanizing types, cause I generally don’t enjoy those types of story-lines.  He’s one of the few princes that has little to no interest in the crown, due to a secret he’s been harboring since his youth.  His story really surprised me, as I figured he was just a playboy that had little interest in executing authority, but there was much more to Melchiorre.  From the beginning he flirts with the PC, though she’s very shy and often tries to wave off his affections.  It made me wonder how a relationship between the two would ever come to be, but pick the right path and it happens.  Even though he makes passes at the PC, that doesn’t stop his flirtatious manner towards other women.

I was close to crying when I reached the last few chapters, as it played out in a most unexpected but pleasant way.  Unlike the other princes, Melchiorre’s is more personal and shows an emotional connection that was missing from the other princes.  Yes, they’re all brothers, but just how close are they?  How far would they go for each other?  I’d say thus far that Melchiorre’s story was the most interesting, just because of the big revelation in the later chapters and how the PC and the other characters deal with the revelation.  His nonchalant attitude towards the crown is similar to Alvah’s though a tad more playful and justified.  Of the princes whom harbor caution towards taking the throne, Melchiorre’s reasons are the most justified.

Choose Melchiorre- If you love the flirty type.  Also, his story has a interesting and somewhat sad twist, which makes it worth playing.

 

Modernizing Fiction and Emotional Disconnects with Readers

Please note– I know it’s been a god-awful amount of time since my last post.  This has been a topic I’ve wanted to discuss for months and finally have the time to dedicate to writing blog posts again.  It feels like a bit of a rant–I suppose it is.

Lately I’ve found myself very critical of the modern ficition being pumped out into the literary world.  After a few too many books, I began to question if some authors are secretly endorsing products mentioned in their novels.  Ok not really, but have you ever noticed the overwhelming amount of branding there are in some novels?  I can assure you that if you were to flip open any young adult novel at a Barnes and Noble, the main character will at least mention a few labels.  Whether it’s the Levi Jeans they’re wearing or the iPhone in their back pocket, there’s going to be a mention of some major label in there.  I know we want the readers to connect with the protagonist and supporting characters, but really?  Can we not just connect to these characters on a purely human/emotional level?  Do we really need product placement?

I’ve never read a scene and thought to myself “oh yeah I can relate to her disappointment that she received a Hummer rather than a  Porsche.”  It’s the same sort of disconnect you have watching soap operas.  There is no correlation between these characters and your own personal dilemmas.  Their struggles are entirely different than the average viewers.  I’m not the owner of a multi-million dollar fashion house, nor do any of my family have such connections.  I also seem to recall that I haven’t married the same man 14 times and been married to at least six other men.  Sure I’ve suffered heart break, but not in the way these characters have.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m okay with product labeling to a certain degree.  I think in some ways, it is better to just describe items in a creative way, rather than mention labels.  Describe them in fine detail, to allow the reader a sense of how they look visually.  Just telling me it’s a Vera Wang does give me the faintest clue what I should be envisioning and only gives me an idea of the extravagant costs. If that is the purpose of mentioning the brand, that is fine.   Use labels to express a point–not just throw out names because “people will know these labels!”  An author once said something along the lines of “every word should serve a purpose.”  It’s a good practice.

If I were to publish a book now and list off a couple of major brands, who is to say those brands will exist in fifty or one hundred years?  Anyone reading the book that far in the future may have no idea what this label is–for all they know it’s fiction.  No matter the decade a book is written, I want people to connect to it.  Not by superficial brands that hold no real significance.   Not because smart phones are all the rage.  What has happened to characters and people relating by life?  Emotional conflicts?  Understanding and relating to their struggles?  What is your view on product labeling in fiction?  Do you find it acceptable or is it a nuisance?  How often do you use branding in your own work?

The library- a sea of possibility

I don’t know about you, but I have this certain love for public libraries.  Sure, book stores are lovely.  Their books aren’t free though. . .and the stores are rarely quiet.  I could spend an entire day at the library, which I’ve done before many many years ago, when I had the time to spare and not quite so much responsibility.  Now a few hours at the library is a rare gift and one I cherish when given the chance.  Today was one of those rare days, but unfortunately due to someone oversleeping (I’m not going to name any names here. . .me) and my need for nourishment after skipping breakfast, my trip the library lasted a grand total of two hours.  Half an hour of it was spent communicating on Facebook. . .I feel shamed (at least I got that out of the way, right?  RIGHT?!).  So what all did I accomplish today?

Well, my first reason for going to the library was to do some research on Southern forests and plant life.  I realized just recently, as I was writing a scene in the forests (where a great deal of my first book takes place) that I knew very little of forests and the types of trees you would find.  Sure, you can find oak, birch, cedar, and pine, but what else can you find?  What different varieties of each are there?  And which ones commonly grow together?  So I set out to learn all I could, which was a lot, but unfortunately a great deal of that information came from a reference book, so I recorded a little and checked out a couple of other books that give more detail.  There is a plethora of forest information in this bag next to my desk. . .all waiting to be collected and stored in my little thinking box.

Another reason for going, was to enjoy the peace and quiet that I lack at home, even late at night/early mornings.  There is always noise in my house.  Always.  At 2am my brother may be on the Xbox, which means there will be plenty of gun fire, explosions, and giggling.  The noise makes it difficult for me to get any progress done whether on the computer or in my book journal.  I just recently started the book journal, feeling I needed something to help keep my thoughts and notes together.  My computer is full of notes I’ve written over the years, all varying so differently that it was time to have an official book of notes and information.  Today I was able to write down plenty.  Next trip out will be some chapter outlining, as I have made changes and need the notebook to reflect that.

The other reason I set out on a day of fun at the library, was for the books!  No research, just books to read for fun!  Libraries are a sea of possibility and adventure just waiting to be read.  From fiction to non-fiction, there are so many books that it would take you years to read them all.  I always stop at the fiction section and glance over the books.  Sometimes I go look up particular books in the online catalog, but in general I have no idea what I’m looking for and just dive in and find something.  Today I mostly used the catalog (I guess I wasn’t feeling that adventurous) and boy did I end up with quite a few books.  More than I had planned really.  Most were books that have film adaptations now and that I’ve heard are either good or have so much hype that I figured I’d give them a go.  Four out of eight books are fiction novels, while three were books on forests and one on expression in writing.  Lots of fun and interesting things to read.   I shall be making up a list of other books to check out my next trip, which I hope will be soon.

One of the nice things about going to the library in the summer is the lack of teenagers sitting huddled at desks and computers, jabbering on and making more noise than is required.  At the same time, it’s depressing to see so few young folks with interest in books.  The youngest person I saw was a five year old.  Come on, kids!  We gotta get you guys into reading more often!  Put down those tablets!  No no, I know you’re not reading on that thing.  You were just playing Candy Crush.  Put it down and pick up a good book.  There’s plenty out there.  More than you could ever dream of!

SDCC- What news excited this fan girl the most?

As many folks out there on the interwebs, I didn’t have the money to go to a con like SDCC.  It’s a dream that I hope to someday fulfill, but for now I must rely on the wonders of the internet to provide me with coverage. There was plenty of it.  My Youtube subscriptions were spammed with hundreds of videos, with most of them relaying the same information.  That was fun to sort through.  So what were my highlights for SDCC?  The things that got me pumped up?  OMGHEREIWILLTELLYOU!

The Legend of Korra

Promotional Poster

Promotional poster for Book 2 of The Legend of Korra.

I loved Airbender and when I heard they were planning a sequel, I started my internet detective work.  Learning that the avatar to succeed Aang was a girl, I was a little nervous at first.  I didn’t want a bitchy Avatar. . .or sappy one.  She’s strong and has a little of an ego, but I’m starting to suspect that is a trait in most of the avatars (even Aang would get a little of an ego from time to time).  She’s lovable and thankfully, nothing like I was imagining.

We spend book one with Korra as she struggles to learn air bending, experiences her first love, and put a stop to Amon and the Equalists.  The last episode of book one “Endgame” is by far my favorite.  The final scene between Amon and Tarrlok was sad and even I found myself pitying Amon.  It was a very satisfying episode and leaves me with high expectations for book 2.  From what I’ve seen of the trailer and miscellaneous photos across the interwebs, I don’t think book 2 will let us down.

Fans that attended the panel were treated to the first episode of Korra (I’m not jealous or bitter. . .much. . .really) and from the crowd’s reaction, it did not disappoint.  I am eager for book 2 to start, which they announced as coming sometime in September.  As usual, no set date.  That’s becoming a trend in every media.  The style used for the spirit world is very different from the show’s usual style, but looks amazing none the less.  It’s simple yet beautiful, but from what we were told by the panel it wasn’t necessarily easy to create.  How do you go about creating a world from 2-D artwork that has never been made into a vast world?  Props to them for doing such an acceptional job.

Warcraft

Warcraft-logo

Warcraft logo from the game series

Oh Warcraft movie.  Just how long will you tease us with your rumors?  Will you ever grace our curious eyes with your presence?  Or are we to assume that you will never be created and leave a void in our hearts where your hopefully-awesome movie would have been?  Well, it seems the question of whether the film is DoA or in the works is over!  We have a teaser trailer for the movie!  Bad news?  Unless you were at the Legendary Pictures/Warner Brother’s panel at SDCC, you won’t be able to see the trailer.  If you’re curious what took place, there are a few blogs around with descriptions.  Thank you bloggers!  The curiosity would have killed me.

Duncan Jones, the man helming the project, says the trailer served as more of a mood piece, as production won’t begin until early 2014 and a release sometime in 2015.  Still, it came as a shock to everyone that any mention of the film was coming to SDCC.  We’re all use to rumors and disappointing news, which made the trailer a treat.  Whether the trailer will ever make it online I am not sure (as of yet it has no official outlet to be released), but it would be nice to see it someday.  Perhaps when Blizz-Con rolls around we’ll get a peek at it.  Rejoice Warcraft fans, your film was not abandoned!  Now to hope it won’t suck!

Doctor Who

Doctor Who

Doctor Who Logo

Ok, a little honesty here.  I wasn’t looking forward to this panel at first.  Why you ask?  Well, to be perfectly honest I’ve been bummed since hearing of Matt Smith’s departure from his role as The Doctor.  He has played the part magnificently and I’m not ready to see him go.  Watching the panel was another painful reminder that he will soon leave us.  I know we will have an exceptional actor take his place, but it doesn’t help ease the hurt.

If you’re not up to date on your 50th Anniversary news, there are some old faces popping up.  Have you wished David Tennant would return as the Doctor?  Bring back that spiky hair of his and all his Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey business?  Well, you’re partially getting your wish.  Reprising his role as the tenth Doctor, Tennant along with Billie Piper will be appearing in the 50th alongside Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman.  How the two Doctors can meet and interact without causing a time paradox is beyond me.  A lot of the news was pretty much the same as I’ve seen on various sites and Facebook pages, but we did learn that the Daleks will be making an appearance in the special (Big surprise?).

As far as other old Doctors reprising their roles, there has been no word and most have denied any involvement in the project.  Disappointing, but I suppose the BBC thinks we’ve had our fill of past Doctors from the episode “The Name of the Doctor.”  It seems silly considering the inclusion of all the past Doctors would have been more fitting for the anniversary.  There is much speculation about John Hurt’s character.  I won’t go into my own theories, but from the their interaction in the final moments of the episode, the Doctor knew of him and his past, so it’s safe to assume he is not the next incarnation of the Doctor.

Despite the absence of our lovable past Doctors, I’m sure the 50th will be spectacular.  Our final journey with Matt as our adventurous and brilliant Doctor will be the Christmas episode.  I suppose Santa is leaving us a new Doctor under the tree. . .or in the Tardis.  Just as I accepted Matt in the role after Tennant’s departure, I will surely accept whoever comes next and hope they fill the shoes to the best of their ability.  Even though this past season wasn’t nearly as exciting as I had hoped, I still watched faithfully and enjoyed each episode.

If there’s one thing I miss about past series of Doctor Who, it is much of the mystery that was intertwined into the storylines.  It was fun to try and take a guess as to who certain characters were and what part they played in the overall main storyline.  I felt much of that was missed in series seven.  Clara’s identity was about the only mystery we were given and the reveal wasn’t nearly as shocking as I expected, but still cool.  “Nightmare in Silver” had a more David Tennant Doctor’s vibe to me, so I considered it one of my favorites of series 7.  It felt fun and goofy with that sudden change in mood that always comes in a Who episode.  The Doctor’s struggle with the cybernetic implant was marvelous and a highlight of Matt’s acting ability.  I will miss you as the Doctor, Matt.  I hope your career will remain strong!

The Kingkiller Chronicles

I think every fan of books, comics, and games wish that someday their favorite fandom is adapted into a series or movie.  Rarely they are translated well and disappoint their eager fans.  These potentially-great movies/series are often marred by the overzealous creative spin of Hollywood.  Cheap special effects doesn’t help either.  That said, it seems another great book series is set to take it’s turn on screen (in this case, the small screen).  While technically not revealed at SDCC (I could be incorrect, feel free to correct me and I will correct accordingly), Deadline revealed this news at the time of SDCC.  So I felt it was worth a mention, especially if you’re a Kingkiller fan like myself.   While excited, I can’t help but feel a little hesitant towards this project.

If they can pull this off as well as something like Game of Thrones, I will very pleased.  As long as they stick by the books, this could make fans very happy.  I hope any promise that is made to stick as close to the books as possible will not be broken.  Don’t pull a Sam Raimi on us, please(if you don’t get it, you obviously never saw Legend of the Seeker)!  I know there are some out there already making their cast wish list.  I have no one in particular actors that I can picture as our beloved characters.  Only hope that they pick actors that can be transformed into our characters with the help of their talent and good makeup artists.  Special effects are easy enough nowadays.  Anybody can hop into a 3-D program and make something decent.  Don’t go crazy with the budget on FX, guys.  We know you can make good stuff without blowing a huge portion of your budget.  Not that there is much FX to be had for quite a while in the first book.  Make it good, guys.  Make it good.

And now I present my WTF moment of SDCC

Firefly MMO

I’m sure you’re saying to yourself “oh no she didn’t!  Firefly is amazing you crazy woman!    WE SHALL BURN YOU!”  I know I know!  Firefly is amazing, I’ve watched the series and love it.  Here is the reason this made my WTF announcement of SDCC- why did we need an MMO?  You’re yelling at your monitor “but the Firefly universe is vast, crazy, and fun!  We want to explore it!  Don’t you?!” Honestly?  I have very little interest in a Firefly MMO.  While the idea of an MMO based off of the long-missed sci-fi show seems like a great and fun idea, I cannot see myself playing it.  There are so many games out there on the market of the MMO variety, that I can’t see myself getting into it.  Maybe I’ll try it out someday?  There’s a chance, but for now I have little interest in trying out this game.  Bring another movie or even the series back (a girl can wish, can’t she?) and then you’ll have me fan-girling out.

Honorable Mentions

There are some honorable mentions I’ll throw out there, but won’t go into great detail.  OUAT’s spinoff Once Upon a Time in Wonderland made an appearance at SDCC.  I am a fan of OUAT, so I’m looking forward to this new series.  It puts a nice spin on the classic Lewis Caroll stories.  That is one thing I’ve enjoyed about OUAT.  We aren’t given the same stories we read as a kid.  It’s nice to have some surprise and not know whats coming.  The most noteworthy news to come is that Naveen Andrews, whom fans of Lost will know as the actor that played Sayid, will be playing Jafar in the spin-off series.

Batman and Superman in a movie together?  Oh hell yes!  I have yet to see Man of Steel, but I’ve always been a fan of Superman and Batman, so I’m hoping this movie will knock my socks off.  Superhero films tend to be a favorite among movie goers (and in general most do well. . .I didn’t say all).  I can’t wait to see all that caped-fighting action.

Warehouse 13/Defiance are the only things that keep me glued to Syfy.  So naturally I had to watch the panels.  Syfy has become sort of a running joke among science fiction fans.  Some of their original movies are so terrible that you ask yourself if they were meant to be satire and not taken seriously.  I sincerely hope not.  Fan favorites like Stargate and Eureka went the way of the dinosaurs, even though they had a wide fan base and unfortunately Warehouse 13 is following in their footsteps.  I’m very disheartened that Syfy is once again cancelling a show that I adore.  At least they’ll be able to give us more quality programming like Ghost Hunters and Sharknado.  Seriously Syfy, a channel that use to pride itself on showing science fiction programming shows Ghost Hunters?  It seems like you’re adding more paranormal shit every few months.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Thor: The Dark World are coming.  DO YOU HEAR THAT PEOPLE?!  More kick ass fighting and dazzling special effects.  I know there was some mixed feelings about both movie franchises.  Go on any movie review site and you’ll have reviews ranging from “it was the most awesome movie of the summer!” to “it was all action and sucked buckets.”  Guys, it’s a superhero movie.  A movie that mashes up some of our favorite superheros (and the next movie promises a lot more of our favorites!).  It’s like Transformers.  You don’t watch it for the in-depth story.  You watch it to see them kick ass and blow shit up.  Also, awesome moments like this.

avengers-hulk-smashing-loki

My last mention will be Gravity.  Yeah, Gravity.  I was not initially interested in this movie.  One afternoon my brother and I were checking out some trailers on Xbox Video and watched the trailer for this film.  I didn’t really have an interest in it, but after seeing some footage from Comic Con and an interview with Sandra Bullock and Alfonso Cuarón, I suddenly want to see this.  The prospect of being lost out in space with no way to communicate with Earth?  Floating freely with the Earth beneath you and only gravity keeping you from falling through the atmosphere?  I already have goosebumps.  Plus, George Clooney is in it.  That means I HAVE to watch it!

So in all, there was a lot of fun news from SDCC.  Some of it was great news that fans were expecting and some of it caught many off guard, but in a mostly positive way.  Some news was just kind of meh.  In all, I don’t think SDCC disappointed at all and I’m looking forward to what’s coming up in the next couple of years.

And then she fell in love. . .

I remember not being a fan of books as a kid.  Besides Little Women and The Witch of Blackbird Pond, you couldn’t force me to read a book unless there was a prize involved.  English class and I were mortal enemies until one morning when I was fourteen, when one assignment changed everything for me.

Every class was spent reading, filling out worksheets, writing reports, or watching a film based on whatever book we had just finished.  There wasn’t much creativity involved and the books we had read weren’t exactly the most exciting things I had ever read.  A good portion of them were only excerpts from books and didn’t whet my appetite enough to track the full novels down and read them.

It was on that one particular morning that I remember the looks on my classmates faces.  The look of bewilderment as our teacher gave us our new assignment.  She read a a small paragraph that told of a person and a place, and the general mood of the scene.  The character was in their house and sitting in a chair.  Nothing particularly exciting was taking place.  It was was up to us, our duty to make it exciting.  I groaned a little, thinking this was going to be a terrible assignment.  It had been at least three years since I wrote anything and lets face it, fifth grade writing assignments aren’t Shakespearean work.  But I did as she asked.

I sat at my word processor for hours, thinking and typing.  Erasing everything and typing again until I was pleased with what I had written.  One story had consumed my entire night and by the time it was finished I was the happiest girl in the world.  Not because the dreaded assignment was done, but because I had written something I was proud of.

The next day we were to read our work aloud to the class, which I wasn’t thrilled about.  All through middle and high school I was the quiet kid, I didn’t talk in front of people that much.  What if I were to pronounce something wrong in front of everyone?  I was laughed at enough already, no need to add more to things to the pile.  One of my classmates had offered to read it for me, but by the time my turn came class was over and all I could do was hand it in.  Even though it was never read in front of everyone, I was still proud of that story.  Getting an A was the icing on the cake.

Over the next year I started writing fanfiction, terrible fanfiction, but that didn’t hamper my love of writing the fiction I wished were true.  I had no idea it was called fanfiction at the time, all I knew was that I wanted to write my own episodes and sequels to movies because I was unsatisfied with how many of them had ended.  That one little story was like a small rain cloud that had morphed into a harrowing hurricane.  It wasn’t long until I was writing every day and beginning to write my own fictional stories.  Mostly fantasy of course.

I’m sure by now you can tell my grasp of grammar is mediocre at best (at least I type full words online and not talk like a computer sputtering out broken code. . .I cringe when I see people use L33t speak instead of taking the time to type out full words.  Come on guys, you probably spend more time looking to see which key you’re going to hit when you speak L33t.  Train yourself enough and you can type out full words without blinding your fellow internet lurkers and type at lightning speed!) and what I know of writing books is knowledge I’ve gathered from years of reading other’s talented works.  Someday, when my family life has calmed down and I have the money/time to dedicate to it, I hope to take a writing class.  I’ve improved since my days of sitting behind a desk and listening to the teacher prattle on about how the book we were to read was a work of literary genius.  There’s still much room for improvement.  MUCH room. . .a football stadium seems like room enough .

I have a terrible habit that has plagued me for years and I wish I could rid of.  Ever began writing and feel so satisfied with the words on the page, but read over it and start making edits until you’re frustrated?  The story is suddenly a muddled mess and you start finding your own plot holes.  Before you know it, you have paragraphs gone, pages missing, and you start to wonder if you should scrap your current work and start over.  If you knew how many times I’ve done this with one particular story, you would have me admitted to a psych ward.  Yeah, I need serious help.

One of my biggest problems is expectations.  Not just of myself, but the expectations of my some-day potential readers.  I’ve read the words of authors such as George R.R. Martin, Terry Goodkind, Patrick Rothfuss, Dan Brown,  J.K. Rowling, Charlaine Harris, and so many others that it would take me hours to list.  Many of them have followings that are massive and fans that have extremely high expectations.  I will never reach those heights, but I still worry how my work will be perceived.  What if people enjoyed something I write?  What if people hate it?

The authors I’ve mentioned have legions of fans, but also as many haters.  That’s how fandoms work.  Not everyone will love what you love.  Everyone enjoys different things and to expect everyone to love the same things as you is unreasonable.  Hear that K-pop netizens?  Ok randomness aside, it worries me how people will perceive my work.  Will they read my book and think that I’m some uneducated dyslexic wanna-be writer?  Or someone that had a story to tell and did it to the best of her ability?  I hope the latter of course.  I’m kind of both in a way.  Not the uneducated part of course.  Dyslexia gallops rather than runs rampant through my family.

So I want to ask, do you ever feel your writing isn’t good enough?  Fear that people will pick at it until it’s left as nothing but a poor carcass that you feel you wasted your time, blood, sweat, tears, and sanity to create?  How do you combat the feeling that your writing ability and story aren’t good enough?