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Summer 2017

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Honestly, I have a whole pile of half-finished articles sitting on my hard drive, but for some reason I’m having a hard time finishing anything. Motivation is hard to come by.

I figured I’d take a chapter out of someone else’s book and just write some short thoughts on various things I’ve been thinking of.
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Ten 2017 Must-Read Books

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Top 10 Books I’m excited to see come out in 2017 (with a couple of honorary mentions because there are so many good ones!)

Just as a note, I feel I should mention that not all books I want to read are on this list. There are some books that I have omitted that I probably will read that I left out for various reasons. For example, eventually I will want to read Ships of the Dead (Magnus Chase #3) by Rick Riordan, but I haven’t actually read the Hammer of Thor so I decided it probably wasn’t proper to include it on this list, even though I am still relatively excited that it’s coming out.

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NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month)

This last November (and October…and September…and maybe August) I have been really slacking on this website. I really don’t have much of an excuse for August and September except for the all to common “I was busy.” However, in October and November I had (somewhat) of a legitimate excuse. This year I decided to participate in the National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) so for the second half of October I spent it deciding what story I wanted to pursue and planning it out. Then in November I started writing.

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NaNoWriMo started in 1999 with 21 participants. Since then the event has been steadily growing until this year which had more than 430,000 participants! It’s a pretty simple concept: for the month of November you need to write at least 50,000 words that cumulates into some sort of story. Basically, you speed write a short novel. It’s quite a challenging task and I’ve never done it before so I figured why not try it.

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At first, I figured it wouldn’t be that bad. I mean 1667 words a day doesn’t sound that hard. On the first few days the words just flowed. I did my 1667 words and then some. Of course, after about 4 days of that it all came to a screeching halt. After the opening scenes the story just sort of stopped. In all my planning I only really got the skeleton of the story together. I had all the big scenes planned, but I realized I never finalized the bridges that linked the scenes together. I slugged through the first 10,000 words. I kept hoping that once I reached a certain point in the story it would start flowing again. Well, I kept holding out hope and it never came. At the end of 30 days I ended up with the slim 13,530 words. Quite an impressive amount for me, but a colossal failure for the challenge. Even though I wasn’t able to successfully complete NaNoWriMo I did learn a lot.

nanowrimoFor starters, writing a book is hard! I mean, I always knew that it was hard but now I have a tiny glimpse of how authors actually work. I know it’s a bit presumptuous, but on a slight level I can sort of understand the troubles authors can go through writing their stories. The worst book I’ve ever read was still better than the drivel I wrote.

Which brings me to my second point, I thought about sharing what my story is about but, in the end, I’ve decided against it. I’ve had this story idea for quite some time, but it was always just sort of a fleeting idea. The basic summary has always been the same, only the filling has changed. My story ideas and the way I write reveals my inner most thoughts and the way I think. I let my readers see the world as I see it. It’s somewhat of an intimate experience. That’s what happens when I read other people’s work (for the most part). I would imagine it’s not like this for all writers, but for me that’s how it is. I’m a bit wary of people reading my story and judging it, especially in it’s unfinished state. Having someone reading my story is basically sharing a part of myself.

nano_2015_bannerBottom line, participating in NaNoWriMo was a wonderful experience. I didn’t finish but I certainly don’t intend to give up now! It may take a few months (or probably more), but I will continue until I hopefully finish. I hope that one day, maybe when the story is finished, I will be confidant enough to at least share what the story is about and maybe the whole story in and of itself. It may not be any good, and it probably won’t be publishing worthy, but that won’t change the fact that it’s mine. And next November maybe I try again with a different story and hopefully be able to complete the challenge!

Disney Descendants 2

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Information released so far (from ohmy.disney.com):

Release: Summer of 2017

Written by: Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott

Director, Executive Producer, Choreographer: Kenny Ortega

The summary to date:

The story deepens in the music-driven sequel to the global smash hit “Descendants,” as the teenage sons and daughters of Disney’s most infamous villains — Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay (also known as Villain Kids or VKs) — try to find their place in idyllic Auradon. When the pressure to be royally perfect becomes too much for Mal, she returns to her rotten roots on the Isle of the Lost where her archenemy Uma, the daughter of Ursula, has taken her spot as self-proclaimed queen of the run-down town.  Uma, still resentful over not being selected by Ben to go to Auradon Prep with the other Villain Kids, stirs her pirate gang including Captain Hook’s son Harry and Gaston’s son Gil, to break the barrier between the Isle of the Lost and Auradon, and unleash all the villains imprisoned on the Isle, once and for all.

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The Secret Life of Pets 2 Announced

TSLOP_Banner_01Before The Secret Life of Pets has even finished it’s run in the regular theaters, Illumination has already announced the sequel and it’s release date (July 13, 2018). If you follow my blog you already know what I thought about the first movie. I just wasn’t the biggest fan even though critics and audiences seemed to like it and give it positive reviews. The Secret Life of Pets got a 75% “certified fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has grossed (as of August 8. 2016) $502.9 million worldwide.

Even though I didn’t really like The Secret Life of Pets, I haven’t completely disregarded the sequel. In fact for the Despicable Me franchise I actually liked the sequel more than the original, so it’s completely possible that I will like this sequel more than the original. Though, I actually really liked the original Despicable Me in the first place, while I wasn’t a big fan of The Secret Life of Pets so this sequel is going to have to be like 100x better for me to enjoy it. They haven’t released any sort of summary about what the movie would be about, but it probably will be some sort of variation of this movie with wittier lines, a more cohesive story, and better character development.

I wish this was how I was awaiting the sequel.

I wish this was how I was awaiting the sequel.

Apparently Illumination believes that The Secret Life of Pets is successful enough to constitute a new franchise around it, making it the second from Illumination after Despicable Me. Illumination was founded in 2007 and it’s first movie, Despicable Me, was released in 2010. I remember in 2010 walking through my mall there were HUGE posters of the characters hanging from the ceiling, there were McDonalds Despicable Me toys, and the commercials were airing all the time. Everywhere I turned there was something Despicable Me related! There was no way that you could miss that the movie was coming ouslice_despicable_me_logo_01t. All that marketing payed off because the studio grossed $543.1 million on a $69 million budget. For a studio’s first film it really became extremely successful with the second film grossing $970.8 million and the Minions spinoff grossing $1.159 billion.  I wonder will The Secrets Life of Pets franchise be as successful? Honestly, I don’t think so but I also didn’t think the original movie was very good and most people seem to disagree with me so who knows? I’ll probably keep an eye on this franchise out of curiosity, but I don’t see myself participating much in the consumer craze.

Yu-Gi-Oh! and the Millennium Pack

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Sometimes nostalgia hits me hard.

When Yugioh first came out I adored the show and it’s various tie-ins. Yes, I know the show was cheesy. Yes, the concept was a bit wack—people in that world take a child’s card game way too seriously. Nonetheless, I loved it. I even bought some of the game boy advance games and started collecting the cards to build my own deck. Sure, my deck wouldn’t win a duel with a pro guy, but it was serviceable. I remember my first ever Yugioh card; I found it in the parking lot of a local high school. The card was Castle Wall and it was bent, had a few small tears, and a large crease down the middle like it had been folded in half, but I decided to keep it all the same. It was the first card in my collection and it still remains my favorite. Sixteen years ago when Yugioh Gx came out, I stopped collecting the cards but I still watched the show sporadically. Then there was that whole fiasco with 4Kids not dubbing the last season, instead skipping to Yugioh 5D’s. I was disappointed, but I switched and watched the first two or three episodes and I didn’t really like them so that was the end of my Yugioh fandom…until yesterday.

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S.C.O.O.B.

scooby2_1996628cRelease Date: September 21, 2018

Director: Tony Cervone (Space Jam, The Looney Tunes Show, Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated)

Producers: Charles Roven (Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed), Richard Suckle (Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed), Allison Abbate (The Iron Giant, The Lego Movie)

Written by: Matt Lieberman (Dr. Doolittle: Tail to the Chief)

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I’m under construction! Again!

For those of you reading, sorry about the mess!

Due to difficulties with with the previous website I had (mainly that it would go down constantly and it eventually was so bad that the site was hardly ever up and running properly and I was still paying for it!) I have deleted the old website and relaunched it.

I exported all the files I had on the old site, but unfortunately the handy-dandy export function doesn’t export anything aside from the posts, pages, tags, and comments. Unfortunately that means that all pictures and media files I’ve used along with the special features my website used to have (the goodreads bookshelf mostly) are all gone 🙁

So basically, I have to redo all of that. I can’t say I’m too thrilled and it’s going to take me a long time but hopefully I will be able to do it! I’m also hoping that the problem of the website going down constantly will go away since I’ve completely relaunched on a completely new droplet.

Thanks for continuing to read even through all of this! I hope the awful lack of pictures isn’t too off-putting, but I promise to fix it as soon as I can!

 

Christine

Update! The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase

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The unofficial (obviously) cover.

Recently, I published an article about the books that I am most excited for in 2016 (see it here).

The first book on the list was The Candymakers and the Great Chocolate Chase by Wendy Mass. In my article I started that the release date was unknown and there was not official summary but obviously I didn’t do my research well enough because there was a summary and release date set for it. It looks like the book will be released August 2, 2016. I was hoping for an early release date than that (April or May), but at least there is a concrete release date to get excited about! After reading the summary provided by the publisher (see below) I am even more excited to read this book!

Now that the book can be pre-ordered, you bet I will order it now!

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