Thursday, April 21, 2016

My Thoughts on Belle


The year is 1769.
Britain is a colonial empire and a slave trading capital.

When I saw Belle on Netflix, I thought it looked like a rather interesting story. I don't see very many Period Dramas about those who do not have light skin.

Belle is about Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsey, the biracial illegitimate daughter of a British naval officer and an African slave. Her father lost track of her until he found her again in the slums and took her home. She only really knew him for a few hours before he had to go back to sea, and he died out there before ever coming back.

Belle is full of themes about racial inequality, about how the colour of your skin, way back then, placed you in a class of respect no matter what your social class was. If you were white, you were fine. But if you were black, or even half-black, you were dirt. Because blacks were slaves.

But Dido wasn't a slave. Her father had money, he was wealthy, and she inherited it all when he passed away.

In the beginning, the Murrays and her new aunt were a little shocked and didn't know how to really go about this since Dido was the bi-product of an extremely sinful act and she wasn't white. But what I loved was that they grew to love her in a way that she was a member of the family.

I loved how accurate the film was to the time period and the fact that Dido eventually found the love of her life. I also loved how Dido was a real person, even though she's been hidden by time. Thankfully, she sat still enough to have her picture painted, so we know what she looks like to an extent.

I found it very interesting how Belle took place around the time of the Zong massacre - where a British captain and crew threw the entire quantity of slaves off the ship and let them drown because the drinking water was running low and the slaves were "diseased". The slaves were diseased because they were packed too closely together, and the ship passed by eight ports where they could have gotten water. According to history, the captain and crew did this in hopes of claiming insurance money on the slaves, which would amount to more than what they would have gotten for sick slaves. But thankfully, it was ruled that the insurance companies pay nothing to the Zong crew and it was thought to be one of the events that eventually lead to the outlawing of slavery all-together.

I'm also glad Dido didn't choose to marry the rich guy. His family was really only seeking after her money, anyway.

It was a relatively satisfying movie, and it helped remind me what society had to go through to get to where we are today.

The conversation that stuck with me...

William Murray (Dido's great-uncle): "This is not about Miss Lindsey."
John Davinier: "Of course it is! It's about all of us! ...It's about everything. ...Everything that's important!"
William Murray: "Mr. Davinier, ... the world is a devastating place. You must protect your emotions if you wish to prevent matters of law and...love from devastating you."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Thoughts on The Princess Bride

It's been a while since I've watched this movie, and suffice to say, I really wasn't in the mood to watch a romantic-comedy. I was more in the mood for just a romance. But oh well.

The main characters of this film are Buttercup and Wesley (the farm boy). How Wesley met Buttercup is simple: he met her when he signed up to be her farm hand (not shown in the film, obviously happened before the beginning of the film). Buttercup loved nothing more to order him around when she wasn't riding her horse around her property or doing whatever she did with her farm that she could do without Wesley's help.

The film is rather quite vague about the early events of their relationship, but what I do like is that it does make it clear that their attraction with one another wasn't instantaneous. Wesley was the first one to fall in love, and I guess that it was apparent enough that Buttercup knew, but I feel that she didn't immediately reciprocate. In fact, as it shows, Buttercup doesn't realized she's fallen for Wesley until Wesley leaves to go and "seek his fortune", since he had nothing for Buttercup. He wanted to marry her, but he needed the money.

Unfortunately, during his boat-ride to wherever he was going to find work, the ship he was on was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, and he was seemingly lost at sea. Buttercup learned of this, and fell into a great depression.

Now, I know this doesn't sound like much of a comedy - yet - but this is because this movie, and the book it was adapted from, were very well done. In various writing curriculum I've gone through, The Princess Bride has been mentioned at least once due to its beautifully-done plot. If this movie started out as a comedy right from the get-go, I believe it wouldn't be as much of a cult-classic as it is regarded as today.

What I like most about this film is the fact that it is different from the average movie-adaption. Instead of dumping us right into the world of the story, it starts out in the "real world". There's a young boy (not named), and he's down with a bad cold or the flu. There's only so many comics or 8-bit video games one can play before they become utterly and all-consumingly bored. His grandfather comes over with an early-Christmas present in hand, knowing exactly how to break his grandson's boredom, even though the boy might not be so willing to sit and listen to what he might think is a "sappy love-story".

I loved how Wesley looked as the Dread Pirate Roberts/The Man in Black (I have something for men with British accents wearing bandit masks, apparently).

The only thing I didn't like about the movie is that the grandson used Jesus' name in vain (like, was that exactly necessary?!), and the fact that Inigo used the b-word while fighting the six-fingered count at the end of the film.

And why, oh why, did I keep hearing the word "indigo" instead of "Inigo"?? Their accents kept making me insert a "D" into the name!

Despite all that, these are my two most favourite quotes:

Shortly after Wesley saved Buttercup after she was kidnapped:

"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something."

And when Inigo was fighting the six-fingered count:
"My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!"

Monday, April 18, 2016

Everything's Okay at 20k

Once again I found myself lowering my total NaNoWriMo word-count. It has come to rest for the rest of the month at 20 000 words, because my month has been too busy for my original word counts of 25k and 30k.

Honestly, I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't going to make it to 30k. But I understand also that my family needs me and my brain can't stay focused enough to go the whole way. I'm a slow writer, and sometimes pressure doesn't work.

I'm going to skip Camp NaNo in July so that I can focus on other things. I need to get ready for college, and that means saving any money I can. I also need to focus on losing weight so that I can enter in to college without having to worry about how I look all that hard - and by then I should have THM down pat.

Writing may slow so that I can find time to read (I need to finish The Reluctant Duchess before May 1st so that I may review it and send the review off to Bethany House Publishers). I have so many novels in my To Be Read pile that it's ridiculous! And I didn't a request a novel for review in May because none of the novels they presented to me were of any interest to me. So May is open for whatever novel I choose to read.

I need to finish reading the last book in The Dragons of Starlight novel series by Brian Davis so I can move on. I have several ebooks I would like to crack open, such as The Secret of Pembrooke Park or The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen, or A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan, or Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

I should also crack open The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hobbit, or Murder on the Orient Express so I can review another classic for the Back to the Classics 2016 Reading Challenge I'm in.

There's so much I want to do, but so little time, lol!

Well, I better get back to writing. I've got laundry to fold and change over as well.

P.S. Maybe I should devote time to learning German and French on top of all this...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Star Trek - Green Lantern: The Spectrum War

Star Trek - Green Lantern: The Spectrum War (Star Trek reboot movies; Green Lantern comics). Mike Johnson; Angel Hernandez; Alejandro Sanchez. Based on the movies directed by J.J. Abrams; based on the comics published by DC Comics. 2016. IDW/DC Comics. Pages: 140. [Source: Bought]

The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise meets the Green Lantern Corps for the first time in an all-new adventure that spans the cosmos! Kirk and Spock make a most unusual discovery on a lost world... igniting events that will change the fate of empires!
- back cover

~~~~

There is something about crossovers that tickles me pink (for a lack of better turn of phrase). Ever since my mom and dad introduced me to the Star Trek reboot movie in 2013 (shortly before its sequel, Into Darkness, came out in theaters), I've been an avid fan - despite the fact that this version of Kirk sleeps with a different girl whenever he has a chance to have shore leave. Which I can. Not. Stand.

Anyway, I waited patiently for the day where they would collect and bind all six issues of this story arc into one book so I could go and buy it. I find that it's just too pricey for me to go and buy every issue digitally. I almost have to pay the same amount for a digital copy as I would to get a physical one! And this omnibus edition (wow, new word for me), is gorgeous. And sleek. And sports that awesome new comic and/or book smell every time I open it.

And yes, I got it yesterday when I went to the city.

This is new for me, reviewing a comic book. I've never reviewed one before.

What really caught my eye about this crossover series was the fact that I'm both a Star Trek and a Green Lantern fan, so much so that I created a half Romulan, half human fan character and a human Green Lantern (her superhero name at the moment is "Girl Lantern"). I've drawn pictures of them both, but the images are lost on my flash drive somewhere.

But to get to the review - I just need to explain one more thing...

In the Green Lantern universe, emotions are personified. Someone at DC took the idea and ran with it I guess. And each emotion has a colour.

Green - will
Violet - love
Blue - hope
Indigo - compassion
Red - hate
Orange - greed
Yellow - fear

But in this comic, it incorporates two more colours...

Black - death
White - life

Life and death aren't exactly emotions, though, but I haven't followed the comics at all, so I have really no idea what's going on with those. The only Green Lantern "experiance" I've got is through Green Lantern: The Animated Series

The art that makes up this comic is exquisite - the characters look like the actors who portrayed them. They look realistic, to the point that if they stepped off the page and into my bedroom, they would look like real people and not cartoons. I enjoyed it immensely, and the colours were so bright and wonderful. The fluidity of the characters on the page looked realistic and not goofy (like a certain other Star Trek series I know... *cough*Star Trek: The Next Generation - Doctor Who crossover*cough**cough*watercolour comic?!?!*cough*)

The only qualms I have with the comic is that Lt. Uhura uses the Lord's name in vain when she is presented with her pink ring. There also may be a few uses of h***, and maybe even d**n. And the pink lantern/Star Sapphire's suit was so tight, and the pale star on the chest of her suit made me think for a moment that she was on the verge of baring it all - until I compared the colour of the suit to her face's skin tone. Then it was a false alarm. Oh, and if any of you don't like seeing reanimated corpses, well, this may not be the comic for you...

Other than that, it's a pretty good afternoon read. I don't want to say anything more, lest I spoil it for you if you haven't had the chance to read it. Right now you can purchase it from Indigo.ca for $22.76 Canadian. And it's obviously cheaper on the IDW or comixology app.

Now, I will leave you. But before I go, here is my favourite art that can be found at the back of the comic:


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Just a Pause

Camp NaNoWriMo April 2016 has now been going on for 14 days. Coffee and several Trim Healthy Mama-worthy treats have kept me going, and I can't believe how clear my mind has been! Thank goodness I was able to get through the "withdrawl" stage of the plan before I had to crack down on writing!

If been hitting a bit of a stall with my novel, so I thought I would talk about what's going on in my novel for a bit.

Well, when I began my NaNo novel project on the first of this month, I was going to write about a girl who came across a manor in the middle of the Ontario countryside and found out there was something timey-wimey about the place. But then I realized that I was horribly ill-prepared for it.

So I changed my mind and began to write a novel with themes referencing to World War II and the Holocaust, but set in a futuristic scene.  I'm enjoying it immensely, but I've hit a bit of a snag and the expected word-count of the day. Oh well, I'll just have to keep plugging on.

Right now, my novel is titled "Winter", and it takes place on a planet in a binary planet system called Desrosiers (pronounced: des-rosy-air, I think...). Its sister planet is Amsel, and its parent star is Miaplacidus - a star you can't see in the Northern Hemisphere (oh yes, it's real).

I got the name Desrosiers from the French last name meaning "of the rose gardens", so Desrosiers is the "Planet of the rose gardens". For indeed, Desrosiers is supposed to have some of the most beautiful rose gardens in the known galaxy, which is unfortunate, since the Miaplacidian government has decided to shut the Miaplacidian System away from the galaxy due to what they consider a national crisis - which is not really a crisis at all since they're basically hunting those with superpowers and arresting them because three rogue superhumans decided to attack the Prime Minister.

There's a lot more that I have to worldbuild about this story, so my NaNo might be nothing more than a skeleton-story until after. Yay.

Thank's for reading. I often find that if I write about the story, sometimes I find hidden gems that would allow me to pick up and continue on :)

Period Drama Challenge

Old-Fashioned Charm
Hosted by Miss Laurie of Old-FashionedCharm (sign up)
The Period Dramas I Will Watch:
I'll start with 5 - I may watch more. But I'm in a bunch of other challenges, and since I am trying to write a complete novel, and I am trying to up the amount of novels I want read...well...I'll have to see :3

David Brainerd Quotes

This coming week, I'll be writing a short paper and an 8-minute presentation on the Life and Diary of David Brainerd.  The book is a bio...