Philosophy By Christy

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April Session

July session


There are many struggles in life, but for me, sometimes it's finding the words to place onto the page. Writing is away to create new worlds, explore, and experience so many different emotions. Only by reading do we learn not only to write but certain stories will change us through out our lives.

*Image above: The Pleiades
*Header Image found from The Matrix of Gallifrey FB Page

September 2016
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In Defense Of The Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Script Book

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (Image from vanity fair.com)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (Image from vanity fair.com)

Beware: This post will include SPOILERS of the script book near the end. 

I’ve seen and heard many reviews/commentaries ranging from positive, negative, and somewhat in between about the script book, Harry Potter and Cursed Child. My reading experience leans towards the positive, and it was hard to understand why there was so much negative critique of the script book. I’m not saying that the script is perfect. It could have been delayed a bit to tweak the script from previews, so readers could read the official version now being performed. This script we were given was the one they used for previews, so they felt confident about what this script includes. Therefore we should give this script a chance, and I believe it is worth reading. Even though I enjoyed the script, I believe that this story is something that needs to be seen. Hopefully they will record the play with the original cast, and make it available through cinemas and/or television. And also record a dramatic audio book with the original cast.

This script should be read differently as opposed to the seven novels we’re familiar with. First, it must be looked at part of a whole. The script does not include what the actors/actresses put into their characters, the set and costume designs, and the whole immersive experience of the theatre performance. It does help to look at the behind the scenes videos and images the production has provided on their website. This helps imagine how this play would be performed while reading the play. Many fans read the script, I believe, with really high expectations. It is somewhat expected since we have had much time to ponder what would happen after the Deathly Hallows epilogue, and our great love for the book series. The script though somewhat a continuation of the book series should be seen as an extra short story. A short story has a different focus than what a novel would. It is also a limited format. By looking at the themes, and what the story is trying to present, we can fully experience the play as much as possible to how it was intended. We should remember when looking at the script this quote from Poppy Miller, who plays Ginny, “The characters are older now, they’re ours to fill but with this fantastic backstory.” With all of this in mind, I’ll now focus on some of the important aspects from the script.

The story focuses on the psychological weaved into fantasy and a bit of comedy. The past is brought back to the present more than just through time turners. Even though Harry has had time to deal with the trauma of his past, there will be things that will trigger and come to the surface. Albus Potter is greatly affected by his father’s distance more than he realizes at first. As well, Harry doesn’t quite understand why parenting his son Albus is different than his other kids. They both realize at the end, as as do we, that they are more similar than they quite realize. This realization stems from Albus’s friendship with Scorpius. This friendship greatly affects Albus’s experience in Hogwarts, more than just being sorted into Slytherin. First because Albus helps Scorpius deal with bullying from the rumors that he’s the son of Voldemort, and ends up affected by the bullying as well since he’s sorted outside of what is expected. This struggle causes both boys to drift away from the rest of students because the treatment that they are both different from the rest. We also see that Scorpius’s relationship with his father is distant as well because of Draco’s upbringing, but most of all the lost of Astoria Malfoy. So the boys learn to rely on themselves, and made it easier for Delphi’s persuasion to change time. Albus and Scorpius, as well as many of the characters, had to travel through time to deal with the past, grow, and strengthen several relationships: friendship, father-son, and for the couples, Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione.

The second part of the script was stronger than the first because it was where we began to see where the story was going. The story focuses on the importance of friendship and family, and ultimately love, as always. I think that Delphi without love was made to believe that she was the daughter of Voldemort. She wanted to escape from being an orphan. She is the cursed child. She is the one in the design that we see on the cover. There has been some assumption that the child looks like a boy, but I think they purposely made the child look like they could be either gender so we wouldn’t know who the cursed child was. Delphi’s upbringing, and the rumors, were designed to bring Voldemort back. Delphi’s first name was foreshowing to her character. From what I know of mythology, the oracles of Delphi in Greece were not trustworthy and willing to shape prophesies for their own ends. It also seems clever that her name also comes from a constellation, very much like those in the Black/Malfoy family. In the same night sky of July 31st, there are constellations Delphinus, Draco, and Scorpius, almost or exactly like some of the notable characters in the play. Even in the night sky, there is a distance between Draco, and Scorpius, and you can find one above the other. As an Astronomy nerd, and English scholar, these little things excite me, and makes me realize how much astronomy affects the series. Most notably with Dumbledore’s death, but also within the play where Bane directs Harry unsuccessfully on the path that there was something affecting Albus.

The more I think about the script, the more I love it. I believe that J.K. Rowling left the play open to interpretation. So fans can interpret the story how they want. J.K. Rowling let Jack Thorne play in her world, but I think she had a large, even larger than the Harry Potter movies, influence on the story. They both allowed input from the director, John Tiffany, and as they mention at the end of the script (and the behind the scene videos) input from the cast themselves. This story was a group effort towards creation, but we also have a part in creating the story by finding what the play means to us, and most of all, enjoy the magic of the story. What I connected to the most with this story was the friendship between Albus and Scorpius. They reminded me that there are friends, and friendships, you and the world can’t live without. The present period of the story changed not only when these characters made changes, but when they were separated. It proves that friendship makes an impact larger than we could ever realize. Even though they did make a mess of things, their friendship ended up making things better at the end. Those who believe that some characters aren’t in canon, might have forgotten that characters aren’t perfect, they grow, and are affected by their life experiences. The women in the play are the strongest characters, they direct the other characters, and many of them provide strength in difficult times. There is so much that can be discussed about the play, and so much that are positives about the play, you just have to give the story a chance. I recommend re-reading the script. It’s even better the second time around. And I bet it gets better with every re-read, just like the previous books. I agree with what my cousin said after reading the script, “Every Harry Potter book is worth reading.” Always.

Contemporary Dystopian

Dystopian

Dystopian – an imagined place where everything seems extremely unpleasant, or environmentally degraded.  (photo by io9.com)

I’ve read some, but not all dystopian novels. I’ve read Utopia by Thomas Moore. You have to have a bit of an idea of what an Utopian society is to really know what Dystopian is. With Utopia, it explores a fictional island society and looks at its religious, social and political customs. This gives a chance to explore a society that seems perfect, but it’s there to truly critique our own society, where ever it may be in time and space. Dystopian is the opposite, but not completely. We see a society of full of the extremes, but gives enough space to critique our own society as well. It isn’t all that simple. Why are we gravitated to this kind of literature in the first place? Since I’m more familiar with contemporary dystopian, I’ll answer the question with it. The horrible moment of 9/11, I believe, greatly influenced dystopian literature. The new texts became more than a critique of society, but also a way to deal with postmillennial anxieties.

This is why young people, as well as adults, are drawn to these kind of texts. News media, as good intending it may be in certain aspects, has increased our anxieties of the world around us, as well as opened our eyes to more negative aspects of our society. The Hunger Games and the Divergent series are some of the most notable for contemporary. There is also Battle Royale, that is a Japanese novel, which seems to be a precursor to The Hunger Games. There is also the horror dystopian novel, Bird Box, that hits home exactly what our anxieties come from (media/real world), and how we deal with them (confront the labyrinth). We feel unsafe, and we find refuge in these texts because it reminds us that we don’t have it as bad as it could be. Reading these texts gives us distance as well to explore while knowing we’re seemingly safe where we are. It’s somewhat like a travel narrative through our exploration of these fictional societies, but it’s more like a labyrinth or a maze.

The labyrinth in western culture has become to represent confusion within society, and the desire to search for self, meaning, or to feel safe. It also a form of development, this is why it calls out to young people, but also to ourselves, since we continue to struggle growing towards our potential. Ultimately reading these texts becomes a rite of passage. We are able to observe a system and find its flaws to help “beat the game.” We look to this literature to help us deal, but also to overcome more than one opponent, and navigate more than one labyrinth. No matter how you feel about the former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, he tapped into something that has been building within these contemporary novels. Our desire for revolution, but most of all, change social injustice. We need dystopians more than ever now with the current election, and politics. Where candidates are tapping into our anxieties, as well as our hopeful desires for a better world, towards their end goal of winning the election. We need literature to find ourselves, and decide how we will make the best decision(s) to improve our world.

testing

Yet a labyrinth originally was seen as a single route with twists and turns that isn’t meant to be difficult to navigate. There is only one path, one entrance and one exit. The only way one can safely enter is to have a tie to the entrance that will lead you back to the exit. With this in mind, the end goal isn’t the destination, but the journey. Exactly what these novels provide a journey for us to experience. At the same time, we have a maze, that is confusing and paths may lead to dead-ends. This is a puzzle that can be changed to different levels of difficulty and complexity. Mazes are used to see spatial awareness and sometimes intelligence. The Testing series uses both versions of a labyrinth, as well as the maze. As you can see from the first novel cover, mazes are large focus for the series. Without giving too much away, this series gives a different kind of critique of society, presenting the flaws of standardized testing in an extreme dystopian world. This society uses tests to determine who is qualified to lead the country. The series becomes a labyrinth the complex journey, while the characters confront not only labyrinths but also mazes to find out what they can do to survive, but also “beat the game,” what can they do to make their world change to be better.

We desire to read these texts, but also to write them. It’s a labyrinth and a maze at the same time. We want to provide these journeys to others, but also to ourself to find out our potential as well as explore how we can change our society, but most of all make aware of what could lead towards a dystopian society to prevent it from happening. Or are we already in a dystopian world finding our way out of it? It’s all really up to us, the readers and the writers.

 

The Magic of Being The Author

Notebook:Journal

I know it’s been awhile. Somethings just become priority over the rest some times. This week I finally have had some time to relax after a stressful semester of grad school. On Wednesday, I got a chance to do some creative writing with my best friend Tabitha. We pulled out our journals to write. It’s been raining and for me, it feels like the perfect weather to be more creative. Obviously you can’t wait for the perfect weather, or inspiration to strike, but it’s good to take advantage of moments that might be fruitful. It helps to get ideas flowing when you’ve got some prompts to springboard from. I have two books from The Pocket Muse series that are filled with prompts, images, and tips to help get you started. We picked out prompts for each other, and set the timer, and sprint to create a few flash fiction. It was a nice way to push ourselves to write, as well as explore different ideas that we might have not explored previously. Yesterday was the first National Notebook Day, it made me reflect on my experience with journaling the day before. They say that writing by hand can be better than on the computer. I’m not picky. I enjoy writing either way. It was nice to write after awhile with pen and paper. The journal and pen I used is above. It’s been a good reminder that sometimes it helps to get away from the technology for awhile, and write more organically. It’s a bit different when you have to revise though. It does seem to work better to revise and edit on the computer. Even then, it helps to print out your work, read it out loud, and take notes on paper to get a better version of your work.

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Henry on ABC’s Once Upon A Time

Even though the experience with writing, may not be as magical as Henry’s on Once Upon A Time. His story of being an author proves how much writing can make a difference. Not only for those who read our work, but also for ourselves. We can create worlds, characters, and situations that become like magic. We can imagine more of what seems to be impossible, and make what we desire possible. We can explore what needs to change, and what we can do to make that change. We can learn about ourselves, and others. Our writing is powerful, and we have to learn when to weld it. At the same time, we must let the characters lead us to transcribe their stories. Writing isn’t easy. It isn’t something we can do in our sleep. We have to work hard, but also motivate ourselves to write and revise. Even though life is crazy, we should follow what Natalie Goldberg says, “There is no excuse. If you want to write, write. This is your life, you are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait. Make time now.” I want to make time, because I want to be a writer.

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Peggy Carter and Daniel Sousa (Marvel’s Agent Carter)

As a writer, you have to remember the reader. What will be the proper ending for a story? Did you show your characters grow towards what they hoped and desired? It’s hard to be a writer when you, yourself, are also a reader. You may want all your characters to have the perfect Hollywood ending, but sometimes, that might not happen. When characters get a good ending, you treasure it because there is such hardships in life already. At the same time, some endings need to happen because that is how life is. Things can not go on forever.

CASTLE - "Crossfire" - With their best lead in hand, Castle and Beckett are ready to take on LokSat. But an unforeseen twist puts their case - and their lives - in jeopardy, on the season finale of "Castle," MONDAY, MAY 16 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. "Crossfire" (ABC/Byron Cohen) NATHAN FILLION, STANA KATIC

CASTLE (ABC) – Richard Castle and Kate Beckett-Castle

When it’s a good story, it never truly ends. We continue to imagine what will happen to the characters. No matter if we’re the writer, or the reader, we still can hold the power of being the author. We just have to accept it, and use it every day of our lives. Sometimes we have to fight to get our happy endings, and when we do, it’s worth while. Always.

castle-series-finale-time-jump-3-kids

2016: Be More Open-Minded

Clara Oswald (Doctor Who, BBC America, Series 9)

Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald (Doctor Who, BBC America, Series 9)

Open-minded (adjective): having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments. 

“I try never to understand. It’s called an open mind.” – The Doctor

As an English scholar, I feel studying literature has given me a chance to explore, and to be more receptive. Yet I’m always conflicted. Even though I love being a Catholic, I’ve grown to realize that there are issues in life aren’t easy to pick one side or another one. I want to follow God, and have compassion for everyone, no matter what they believe in or stand for. I feel like some times society pushes us in ways that we must decide to be on one side, and not the designated other side. Why do we have to pick? I think it’s more important to focus on what we share, than what divides us, yet both need to be discussed so that everyone gets their voice heard and is valued.

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara Oswald [Doctor Who, BBC America]

The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara Oswald [Doctor Who, BBC America]

When I started grad school, I became more interested in Feminism, especially because of Emma Watson (who played Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies). For a long while before, I felt unsure about what Feminism was about and supporting it. Through Emma’s work with UN Women & HeForShe (check out the new and improved website), she has made me realize that Feminism is ultimately about equality and that both genders need to work together to accomplish this.

Emma Watson

Emma Watson

Equality doesn’t mean that we are all the same, but that we all have equal rights and opportunities. Everyone should have the opportunity to study what they are interested in, work towards having careers in which ever field they want to pursue, and should be able to be paid well. Another organization, GirlsRising, promotes education for girls all around the world, and spreads awareness that many girls sadly don’t have the opportunity to go to school.

GIRL MEETS WORLD - "Girl Meets STEM"

Rowan Blanchard as Riley Matthews and Corey Fogelmanis as Farkle Minkus (GIRL MEETS WORLD – “Girl Meets STEM”)

On the latest episode of Girl Meets World, Girl Meets STEM, the main character Riley realizes that science shouldn’t be something that the boys study and the girls just assist. She stands up for the girls to show that we should question the world around us, and not let things just go by. Riley loves science and wants to grow to be better at it. Her long time friend, Farkle, ends up realizing he isn’t giving Riley the opportunity to grow, and motivate her to explore her interests, especially in science. When they work together in science class, they succeed. Even though this episode is about promoting STEM subjects to girls, as well as Feminism, it isn’t the most important aspect. Riley’s mom, Topanga, brings it up when talking to Riley and her female classmates, “Don’t talk yourself out of pursuing something because your afraid of how it’s gonna make you look. What you need to know is don’t let anyone get in the way of pursuing your growth and curiosity no matter what you wanna do.” We shouldn’t let fear get in the way of our exploration, no matter what we do, and not matter what our age.

GIRL MEETS WORLD - "Girl Meets STEM"

GIRL MEETS WORLD – “Girl Meets STEM”

So what does this have to do with being a writer? We have to be open-minded to new ideas and experiences. It’s tough in our world, but we have to do it. Otherwise, we don’t realize what’s really happening around us. We have an important job to do. Share our voices, thoughts, and stories to make others critically think and motivate each other towards striving our full potential. How can we do this? First by reading, watching, listening outside your comfort zone. Second, exploring what you’re interested in, even if you don’t feel confident in your abilities. Third, decide on your immediate and long-term goals for yourself. Fourth, writing what ever you’re drawn to, but also looking towards inclusion of unfamiliar along with the familiar. I was brought to bring up this because I feel it’s really important at this time for both genders to realize what’s going on around them, and working towards doing our part to improving the world in any way that we can, while still striving towards what we hope to accomplish with our lives.

If you’re looking for inspiration, I would recommend exploring the shows and organizations I’ve already mentioned, but also: the completed web series Classic Alice (if you haven’t already) and the book club created by Emma Watson, Our Shared Self. As well as the new Sherlock special, The Abominable Bride (no spoilers, but it’s worth re-watching multiple times to get all the details of this incredible story). The web series explores Alice’s journey in living life according to classic literature, but grows to realize how important making her own decisions. This recommendation is two fold, it first will inspire you to push towards reading books outside of your comfort zone, and then hopefully inspire you to reach for your own dreams. Second, the series is a great way to see how characters and a story plays out in our ever growing modern world. The show goes from telling the story on film, to giving their characters their own twitter accounts and podcasts, etc to create an interactive experience that makes the viewer not only learn more about the characters but also critically think about the story.

The feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf, was recently created, and Emma hopes it will be a way to have an open discussion about though-provoking and empowering literature. The first book is ‘My Life on the Road’ by Gloria Steinem. This turns to the last point of this post, I don’t want to get stuck in my ways that I’m not open to new ideas. Even though Feminism brings forth issues that what the Catholic Church says is contrary to their teaching of what our values should be, I don’t want to close off hearing what someone else has to say. I’ve been taught that we should listen to all sides. I’ve also been taught to have mercy and compassion. I think they all are needed to have a better future. I’m already receptive, but I hope to be more receptive to new books from this book club, as well as the books I study in the semester ahead and in the future. I want read & explore more about science because like Riley, I love science, and sadly don’t explore it as much as I used to. I want to continue exploring and creating new adventures, on and off the page, and not be afraid to take chances. I also hope the same for you. May this year be filled with inspiration and opportunities.

Kate Hackett as Alice Rackham and Tony Noto as Andrew Prichard (Classic Alice)

Kate Hackett as Alice Rackham and Tony Noto as Andrew Prichard (Classic Alice)

Christmas Magic

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J.K. Rowling, WB)

Many of the great Christmas stories come down to one thing. They make us believe anything is possible in Christmas. We have hope that some thing wonderful will come. No matter what you believe, we all have hopes and dreams for something this holiday season. It isn’t the typical Christmas list. It’s that deep down one thing you truly want. Some what like when Harry Potter looks into the Mirror of Erised. He sees his family. This season isn’t only about getting something special, but also sharing of oneself with others. What ever it may be, your talent, an unique gift and/or just spending time with people you care about. Make this Christmas a little special for someone or several people. If it’s tough to do so, take some time to think about your favorite moment of the holidays past, and just maybe something might inspire you. If not, maybe think about what might make someone smile.

This might bring you towards writing your own Christmas story. Or maybe your own, might inspire someone else. Let’s enjoy the holiday season by making stories on and off the page. We just have to prioritize our time to make sure we have fun, while still finishing everything we need to complete. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful new year. Don’t forget to keep writing. We can’t get any where, if we don’t try. All you need to do is show your passion. It will all work out in the end. One more thing, tell those who you care about that they mean the world to you. There are some people that come into your life, and they change it for the better. So when you get a second chance, never take that for granted. Always.

Tips on Drawing on Inspiration to Write



Hello! You’ve arrived at the next stop of the Brazen Blog Tour. I’m excited to celebrate the release of the final book in the GILDED series written by Christina Farley. For those who are interested in learning more about writing inspiration, or just curious to see how the GILDED series was inspired, you will enjoy reading this interview with my friend Christina Farley. I really appreciate the opportunity for my blog to be part of the this amazing book release celebration. I can’t wait to delve into Jae’s story once again, and see what Christina writes next. If you have arrived to this blog post and have no idea what the GILDED series is about, I recommend reading this wonderful fantasy series with a contemporary look at Korean mythology. If you’re a fan of Rick Riordan’s YA novels, you’ll find a familiar yet unique story with Christina’s series that will make you curious to learn more about Korean culture and myths. Also a strong female lead that inspires readers of all ages that they can do the impossible. After the interview, you will find all the information you need to enter into the special giveaway.


To learn more about this series, visit the Gilded Series websiteWatch GILDED’s book trailer here!

Be sure to pick up the letter for this stop at the end of this post to earn extra points in the Kindle Fire or $50 Amazon gift card giveaway! Collect all the letters during the blog tour to spell out the secret message to earn more points.


About the Book:

Find it: Amazon | B&N | Goodreads | Indie

Tips on Drawing on Inspiration to Write



Interview:


1.     Where do you draw inspiration for your writing? How do you find ideas for your stories?

   


Photo taken at Mont Saint Michel

Every story that I’ve written so far stems from my travels. I love to travel and I find so much inspiration in it. Whenever I go on a trip I make sure I bring with me a journal. I make every attempt I can to make notes of the architecture, the dress of the people, the way they interact with each other, their tone of voice. I make sure I visit as many museums of history and culture as I can so I can learn about that area’s past and discover what made them to be who they are today.
Here’s a video I made about tackling writer’s block:


2.    What drew you to create the GILDED series? What surprised you the most when you wrote the series? What is your favorite scene from each of the books?


It was the Korean myths and the Korean culture that really sparked my interest in writing the Gilded series. When I came across the myth of Haemosu and Princess Yuhwa, I was completely riveted about the what if’s of that myth and what happened next. I originally hadn’t expected it to be a series, just a standalone but as I started revising GILDED, I realized there was SO MUCH MORE to this series. So I kept writing!
Here’s a video clip where I talk about the inspiration of GILDED.
I’m a sucker for writing fight scenes. So my favorite scene in the series is the last two chapters of BRAZEN. I was completely inspired when writing it. I remember not being able to type fast enough to tell the story that was unraveling in my mind.


3.    How did the process go to publish your series?


It wasn’t an easy journey, that’s for sure! I started out writing to fulfill one check mark on my bucket list. But once I started writing, I was hooked! So I started off writing for magazines, writing short stories and articles.
Then I took a class with Jill Santopolo and learned how to write a young adult novel. I wrote a lot of books! But when I started writing GILDED, I knew deep down inside that this was the one and I told myself I’d do anything and everything to get it published.
So I revised heavily and then sought out an agent. I got three agent’s who offered representation and choose Jeff Ourvan. We went out on sub a few months later (after revisions) and sold five months later to Skyscape/Amazon Children’s.
This video pretty much sums it up!



4.    What is the most memorable reader/fan interaction?

I’ve had so many memorable moments. But going on an author tour to Korea was incredibly impactful. Not only did I get to return to the roots of Jae Hwa’s story, but it was so neat talking to students. One high school boy at Chadwick International came up to me and said, “I’m Korean-American, a black belt in tae kwon do, and I’m from California. Jae Hwa’s story is so much like mine. Thank you for writing this book.”
I was like WOW!!!
And then I got to meet a 7th grader from Seoul Foreign School (the school that’s in the books) and her name is Jae Hwa Lee!!! How crazy is that?
Such an amazing experience. You can watch my video here that reflects on the trip.





About the Author:


CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the Gilded series, a YA contemporary fantasy series set in Korea. GILDED was nominated for Korea’s 2014 Morning Calm, Ohio’s 2015 Buckeye award, and the Tome’s It List. As a child, she loved to explore, which later inspired her to jump on a plane and travel the world. Christina’s adventures sparked her to write stories, infusing the real world with fantasy. Currently she writes from home in Clermont, FL with her husband and two sons—that is until the travel itch whisks her off to a new unknown.

Find
Christina Here:


The Giveaway:


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To celebrate the release of BRAZEN, Christina is giving away a Kindle Fire (US only) and a $50 Amazon gift card (international). The letter for this stop is SCollect all the letters from the blog tour to earn more points!

Let Creativity Flow

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Art teacher congratulates Maya on her work – Girl Meets Creativity (Disney, Girl Meets World)

“When do you stop being able to think creatively?” said Maya (Girl Meets Creativity)

Everything around us is creative. I personally believe we can’t live without it. Sadly, there are many who think creativity, especially the arts, aren’t as important as such math and science. I’ve always thought all the subjects that I have had in school were important. They give me an opportunity to explore the world around me, may it be past, present or future. Recently I’ve been drawn to get back into photography (check out my Instagram), the arts in general, and even trying out an Adult Coloring Book. Reminding myself what I love about being creative, reminds me how important it is for people, especially kids, to realize the value of having a creative outlet. We all have our own talents, and we might not be Vincent Van Gogh, but we need Art to express ourselves, and understand the world around us. Also a way to forget our worries and troubles, and fall into a different world, just like you would if you read a book. You have to tap into your imagination. You have to map the way you see the world.

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Vincent and the Doctor (BBC Doctor Who)

Tell me a story or tell yourself the story, but what is important is that you tell it. If we didn’t try to create and imagine, we would have some incredible inventions, art and even finally having the opportunity to photograph Pluto. “Creativity feeds science and science feeds creativity,” said Farkle Minkus (Girl Meets Creativity). We all are unique, and we all have something to say. We don’t have to tell the story in painting, we can voice it in song or capture it in a photograph. We can imagine something new, or look at something a different way. Forget if you think it might have been done before. It’s possible, but you’ll do it differently.

“It seems to me there’s so much more to the world than the average eye is allowed to see. I believe, if you look hard, there are more wonders in this universe than you could ever have dreamt of,” said Vincent Van Gogh (Vincent and the Doctor). We have to look for the creativity around us, and let it inspire us. We can’t let it slip away because of the every day struggles in our lives, but actually let creativity help us get through those struggles. The curator in the episode of Doctor Who, Vincent and the Doctor, mentioned about Van Gogh, “He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before.” It can be our pain, struggle, or someone else’s but sometimes we need that to push ourselves to dig deeper and imagine farther.

“The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant,” said the Doctor (Vincent and the Doctor). We also have to remind ourselves of the good in this world. This gives us hope, just like the Arts. We can see that creativity can make us happy, but it can frustrate us too, because we want to show the world the best of ourselves. Always attempt to see where your imagination might go, and do what makes you happy. Even if that means making ten million purple cats.

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Girl Meets Creativity (Disney, Girl Meets World)

P.S. My blog will be part of my friend Christina Farley‘s Brazen Blog Tour. Keep a look out for a special blog post on October 5th. I’m very excited to be part of this.

Experiencing ‘Walden’

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Photo by Christy

  “The earth has music for those who listen.” – George Santayana

 It’s important some times to stop what you’re doing, and go explore the nature around you. I usually don’t have much need of persuasion to go out into nature, but some times because I’m worried about life, I forget that God has created this amazing beauty for me to enjoy.

As I mentioned previously, I’ve been reading Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, in preparation for the comps exams (basically exit exams for the Masters program), but also because of the web series, Classic Alice. I’ve mentioned this web series before, but I’m very excited for the upcoming new episodes that will start June 9th. So far I know they plan to cover Walden. This web series is a bit different to other literary web series in the fact that they cover more than one classic story. Yet like others, they take a modern twist. What excites me about this amazing web series is the fact that they really promote the reading of classic literature, and find new creative ways to imagine these texts while also creating a unique story. The reason is that they are able take some aspect, or several from the text, and advance the characters stories. The main character literally grows from experiencing these classic texts. When I found out that Classic Alice was planning to cover Walden, I was so excited that my best friend Tabitha couldn’t believe it. She actually didn’t like the novel when she had to read it for class, but then again, she had a tough class to begin with. The reason why I was excited was because the show would be covering a book that I would need to know for the comps exams. So in a way, they are kind of helping me study. Now that I’ve read half way, I kind of see what my best friend was talking about, but at the same time, see why it’s so important for Classic Alice to cover this text. Why? Because it’s not a story per say, but an account of someone’s experience with nature and life. This can seem for some as “dry” because they are used to an interesting narrative with plot that affects the characters and they grow as the story evolves. This text has a different purpose, it’s more personal. The author intends to explain how much nature has impacted him, for others to also go out and explore. He wants personal change for the reader, as well as give us a better appreciation for the nature around us.

Like Alice Rackham, from Classic Alice, who makes life decisions from classic texts. I decided after reading part of the text that I would go explore nature with Tabitha. Don’t worry, I’ll finish the text soon. Anyways, this past Tuesday we went to my favorite beach location, and to a local duck pond. Besides enjoying my time with my friend and taking pictures, I was determined to look at the nature through Thoreau’s perspective. Obviously it’s not going to be the same as his since he lived out there for a period of time, and didn’t have technology with him. As well as being basically on his own most of the time. A way to help you understand his perspective, I’ll let you know two of his best quotes from the text:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” “We need the tonic of wildness… At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough nature.” 

This made me look at nature differently. God created the world around us, most importantly nature. We can’t ever forget that. By reminding ourselves of this amazing beauty, should be something we help share with others. We need to do our part to protect the environment for everyone. The only way we can do that is to know what we’re fighting for. At the same time, when you’re out there exploring nature, you’re also exploring yourself. Leave everything of worry behind, and remember who you really are. Yes, it’s just a beach and just a pond with ducks, but if we look at it closely we can see art, wonder, happiness, life, and remind us what’s truly important in our lives.

Earlier this year and recently, I’ve been inspired to write a bit of fanfiction thanks to some of the shows I’ve been watching. It’s not likely I’ll stop any time soon. Besides that, I’ve been recently inspired to write about nature. I haven’t yet, but hope to do so soon (possibly poetry). I think it’s come from reading Walden, as well as exploration of nature this past week with my best friend as well as with my family. This has also reminded me of two professors I used to have that were really drawn to writing about their experiences with nature that they wrote journals, poems & stories. From what I can tell so far from Classic Alice, Alice is inspired to write more as well from her experiences. Which is amazing how much a character, though different, can be similar when you take a simple step as seeing a text from a different perspective.

If you haven’t seen Classic Alice yet, I recommend doing so. From what I’ve experienced of the show so far, it has inspired and given me a new perspective on how to experience literature. If you have, re-watch now before the new episodes start. It’s worth watching, and especially reading along. Additionally, the series is interactive online through trans-media aspects by story telling via Twitter, Tumblr, & podcasting, along with the episodes on YouTube. I can’t wait to see what other books they end up covering this season. I hope you’ll experience the amazing ride along with me.

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Photo by Christy

All it takes is one person

Marvel's Daredevil (Netflix)

Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix)

“It’s funny how your life can change/And turn around on a dime/Yeah it can take you down the darkest lane/Then lead you into better times…” – Daughtry, ‘Utopia.’

The way the world is, it’s hard to imagine how much one person can do to make a difference. Every day, we all make an impact some how. We all have the power within ourselves to do good, but we have to strive to do it. Obviously we can’t be superheroes, but we can be heroes. We’ve all got talents, strengths and weaknesses. But it’s really up to each one of us to learn and grow to make those aspects the best part of ourselves. Not just for us, but everyone you could ever affect. As a Catholic, I believe God gave all of us gifts that need to be shared.

Thursday night, I started to watch Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix. I had heard much about it, and that I would like it, especially because the main character is Catholic. I had seen a previous retelling of Daredevil as a movie, so I wasn’t sure at first how the show would be like. Now that I’ve seen the whole first season, I have to say that this show is much better. Even with all the talk, the one thing that pushed me to start watching was that I noticed a friend of mine, Evan, on Facebook was tagged to a Catholic post that was being shared about the show. At the moment, I have been talking to him more after going to his band‘s show. This also inspired a bit of my last blog post too about taking chances.

Anyways, this show reminded me about how one person can make an impact in you’re own way with your talents. For example, Evan might not realize how much his presence, personality, kindness, and talents impacts the people he interacts with. From what I can tell his personality makes people happy. The only reason I know that is because he brings a bright smile to my face. I like to support my friends’ endeavors because I believe that’s what good friends do and because it makes them happy, which ends up making me happy. It’s a also special plus when the action inspires me in some way. I hadn’t been to the place that Evan’s band played in a long while because of a friendship I had to let go of. I’m glad I didn’t let my past stop me from going because his band is fantastic, and filled with potential. Even though going reminded me a bit of the past, it also reminded me that I can make new happy memories as long as I’m open to them. The way I’ve been feeling lately, I’m so inspired to write creatively. I keep waiting for the right story to come along, but really I just need to start.

The past shapes us, but it doesn’t define us. We make our story, with the help of God of course, and all of our stories are weaved together. We all have a chance to be happy, it’s our choices that affect that. Many things can make us happy, but at the end, it’s really up to us, as with everything with do with our lives. Obviously not every action we do will be a large wave, or even be noticeable, but being aware of it every day, being thankful for what we have, and trying our best can push us to do more. Some times we need just one person, that God brings in our lives, that inspires us to be brave. Everything else will fall into place.

“If we make the new world/Then we’ve got a story to tell/Will we stand together/Or just get torn apart/This is utopia/Let’s make a brand new start.”  

We don’t have forever

Photo by Christy

Photo by Christy

As much as I would love to talk about the TV show, Forever, I will not (but I really recommend watching this amazing show & signing this petition). Clearly as other posts on my blog, I’m inspired to write with a theme in mind. It happens that this theme is inspired by the show. So it kind of all works out. Though it also is a bit inspired by the reading I’ve been doing lately, partly for the Comps exams plus Classic Alice (Thoreau’s Walden) & for enjoyment (Rick Riordan’s The Blood of Olympus). Plus recent life experiences. Anyways, all these things have brought me to a continued realization that I should live in the moment and take chances. Unlike Dr. Henry Morgan, we don’t live forever. Yet we can learn from him.

Yes, some memories are precious and we need to hang on to them. but Emily Dickinson wrote ‘Forever is composed of nows’ and she’s right. If we root ourselves too deeply in the past we’ll miss what’s right in front of us.

Sometimes, so we don’t get hurt, we quickly think of all that wouldn’t work instead of taking a chance. You really never know where that chance might lead. So it’s best to be open to possibilities, take chances, and hope for the best. It simple but difficult at times. This also applies with the uncertainty of investing too much of ourselves in a project, or a relationship, that might not turn out like we hope. I find that in some instances I can be spontaneous and confident, but when I have doubt, I’m more likely to be hesitant towards what ever it may be. Those are the times when I need just a little push of reassurance.

I never ride a bike because I have a fear of falling and getting hurt. This explains a lot really. I don’t want to get hurt. I don’t want to fail. Yet some how I’m still able to drive even after car accidents. We all have a similar fear. Most of the time it’s good because it helps protect us, but most of the time it can close us off from great opportunities. Sometimes it isn’t fear at all, but an uncertainty of how people will respond. We all have our best intentions, but we let these feelings get in the way, as well as forgetting or not quite realizing what’s around us.

If I hadn’t had reassurance from family and friends, along with great feedback from professors/editors, about my essay “Mentoring in the Wizarding World: Dumbledore & His Literary Ancestors” maybe those feelings might have taken control and I may have never completed the project that soon will be published. If hadn’t closed a door to my past, and decided to go to graduate school, I might have not been inspired to write the essay in the first place. So many factors, but it’s clear that when I really want to accomplish something I can achieve it. Yet I’m unsure what lies ahead. Sure I’ve got plans to apply for PhD programs, but who knows if I get accepted. There is still stuff left I need to do before getting on that train if it arrives. I know now that I’m not afraid to get on that train, and head towards a new chapter in my life. Just as we can’t stay too much in the past, we also can’t ponder too much about the future.

I still have classes, Comps exams, and applying to PhD programs this year. I can’t lose focus, but at the same time, I need to remind myself to enjoy what I have right now. I’m always thankful to God for my life, family, friends, and everything. Yet I’m constantly reminded that I do have a habit of staying in my comfort zone. Not that it’s all bad because there are also great opportunities and happiness that lie there too, but I don’t want to miss what’s right in front of me and any opportunities that might arise or that I could create through my actions. Sometimes all it takes is making that first step is: going to a certain event (such as seeing a friend’s band), starting up a conversation, writing that first sentence, inviting people, finding something new to read/watch/listen, delving into a new relationship or maybe being completely silent and observe the world. After you make that step it makes you see the world from a new perspective, makes you realize that new happy experiences can happen in familiar places, and/or do something special. There are plenty of things that I need & want to do. Some aspects of my life that I really want to accomplish. All I can do is try to schedule, prioritize, make an initiative and work towards what is really important. Afterwards, let it be in God’s hands. Also I need to remember to not feel too guilty if I don’t get what I want done each day.

Even though I’m on break from grad school at the moment before my next class starts in July, I hope to accomplish a bit more, especially in relation to writing creatively. I must look at all the opportunities available to me continuously, and not let insecurity hold me back, so that way I don’t close a door too soon. Dr. Henry Morgan (who has a pocket-watch) made me look at my great-grandfather’s watch (shown above) in a new and special way. It’s something I’ve seen most of my life as a family heirloom, but never quite thought about what experiences my great-grandfather had with the watch and why it was of value to him. Most of all, it’s a stark reminder how we value time and the past. We want to hold the past and time in our hands because we don’t want to lose what’s most precious to us &/or get hurt, but if we hold too long and stop we may not see what happens now and the potential that lies in the future.