A City of Many Colors

It’s funny how quickly time passes, especially when you get older. Here we are, headed back to New Orleans yet again! (It’ll be the fourth time for me!) Apparently, it’s going to be an adventure getting down there; tropical storm Cindy made landfall yesterday and the system is headed up here to Ohio. We’ll see if our plane gets delayed or not. Hopefully it won’t be cancelled!

Earlier I had a gent who was replacing my windshield wipers ask me what I love most about New Orleans. I always have trouble pinning down something specific in answer to those questions, but I would say, simply, I love the vibes. As a country gal with a back-door Catholic upbringing, I am not all I seem. I’m always pushing myself, headed on the next adventure; I embrace my eccentric spirit wholly, and, I like to think, people like that about me. I am myself.

And that is what New Orleans is; she is herself, there is no other way to describe her. She embraces the creepy and weird, the adventurous, the musical, the artistic, the mystical, and makes no apologies about what experiences you may have. She is colorful, extreme, fantastical, and a city with her own thing going. I love every bit of her!

This year, I’ll absolutely explore my usual haunts: Cafe Du Monde–BEIGNETS!– Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the Houses of Voodoo, and even the plantations! (It’s been a  while since I’ve been to Oak Alley. I’d like to go back!) I’ll also explore some new locations: Kermit’s Treme Mother-In-Law Lounge, recommended to me by Dustin Pari, is definitely on my list. I also want to catch a cemetery tour and see Marie Laveau’s tomb. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now.

We’ll see what adventures I go on this time around. I’m sure, though, that it’ll be a fun, relaxing experience, as it has been the past four times! I do adore you, New Orleans.

Sincerely, as I prep for my departure, I am praying for those affected by tropical storm Cindy. May all souls in turmoil find strength, may you be blessed in your rebuilding. And may all those who have passed too soon find their ways to Heaven.

See you guys in a few weeks!

Your turn: What are some of your favorite locations/things about New Orleans? Comment below!

Let’s Go To The Movies!

Ah, the most wonderful time of the year! Well, for most people, not necessarily for me, the constantly-overheated workaholic! Ha! But, I digress, I do enjoy walking outdoors, gardening, going to New Orleans (which is hilarious given my discomfort in heated environments), and, of course, the summer movies and TV shows! 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man Tell No Tales and Wonder Woman have already premiered in theaters, so I’ve separated the trailers from the rest of the list:

Let me tell you, each of these movies were phenomenal in their own ways! I will admit I had some issues with Pirates, only, really, because they used Captain Jack as a comic relief instead of the eccentric hero he is. (You know, the line that’s drawn in the series: “Is Jack really lucky or really smart?”) BUT I completely, entirely, adore that they are continuing Will and Elizabeth’s story-line! I’m really hoping for a sixth installment!

Honestly, Guardians has been my most favorite thus far; I was thoroughly entertained and laughing throughout the movie! Especially at Drax! His straightforward phrases were perfectly timed and had me rolling in my chair!

Below are the movies I am looking forward to most this summer, with quick summaries as to why I’m looking forward to them. Of course, they’re not all the films premiering, but they are the ones that fit my taste and will have me first in line to catch a showing! Let me know in the comments which movies you’re looking forward to!

June 9 – The Mummy

I really am looking forward to this rendition, directed by Alex Kurtzman and starring Tom Cruise. The movie follow Cruise’s character, Nick Morton, a soldier, who somehow unearths a female mummy named Ahmanet, who proceeds to stalk him. Honestly there are so many things to be excited about. Honestly, there are so many things for me to be excited about with this movie!

First, Tom Cruise. I will always admire him; he does his own stunts, which truly is a feat given that he’s in action movies! Second, Sofia Boutella as Ahmanet. Lordy I love her in the trailer! I know I’m going to love her in the movie! (I’m also intrigued to see how they treat the Egyptian goddess’s mythology; will it be fictionalize or close to the established legends?) And third, of course, I know Alex Kurtzman to be the writer for Transformers, Sleepy Hollow, the J.J. Abrams’s Star Treks, and The Amazing Spider-Man. This will be the first movie I’ve seen directed by him, so I’m looking forward to what he can do!

June 23 – Transformers: The Last Knight

Speaking of Transformers, I CANNOT EVEN EXPLAIN HOW MANY FEELS I HAVE ABOUT THIS MOVIE AND IT’S NOT EVEN OUT YET! 

Ok. Now that I have that off my chest.

Honestly, I already know I’m going to have so much anguish about this movie. In part due to a fanfiction series I’ve been writing about Optimus and his human mate and I’m already having plot bunnies with how tortured they’re both going to be about this. I’m also praying to God that they don’t kill Optimus again. Remember that sixth sense I talk about, being a writer and movie geek? Yeah. I have a bad feeling about this movie and our beloved Autobot leader.

Still excited to see it though! (It will have to be delayed since I’ll be in New Orleans the weekend it premieres! AGH!)

June 30 – Despicable Me 3

I will always, always, always be excited to see my little joyful yellow Minions and their boss, Gru, get into trouble! Bonus: apparently Gru has a brother and wants to go on an evil adventure with him and his family! However, being the romantic sap I am, I’m just thrilled about seeing Gru, the girls, and Lucy Wilde further their development!

And for the Minions to steal the show!

August 7 – Spider-Man: Homecoming

Ok, guys. Don’t hate me for saying this: Spider-Man: Homecoming is the movie I am least excited for on this list. *holds up hands* NOW WAIT! Just because I’ve said that, it doesn’t mean I’m not excited to see it! Please, I’m always running to the theater for the latest Marvel movie!

Honestly, I haven’t given Tom Holland as Spider-Man much thought. Frankly, my heart is still mourning Andrew Garfield and his sass, and it probably always will. But, if anything is to be learned from the trailers and Spidey’s moment in Captain America: Civil War, I feel like I’ll enjoy Holland very much.

August 28 – The Dark Tower

Now this movie I know virtually nothing about. I have The Dark Tower and am hoping to read the first novel, at least, before this premieres. But, first, it’s Stephen King. It’s one of King’s most beloved stories. (My uncle, a man of great taste, is super thrilled for this adaptation.) And, second, Idris Elba. Need I say more?


Again, let me know in the comments which summer movies you’re most excited for, whether they’re ones on this list or others! And don’t forget, fangirls and fanboys, about the Fear The Walking Dead season three premiere, tonight at 9PM on AMC!

Happy Mother’s Day 2017!

Spring has sprung, summer is almost here, and Mother’s day is upon us! I hope all you mothers out there have a splendid holiday with your loved ones full of adoration, joy, and relaxation!

For that matter, I hope my mom, who I adore with all my heart, has a wonderful day too! Thank you, momma, for birthday me into this world and nurturing me into the woman I am today! I hope that, one day, I can successfully pass your wisdom onto my own young ones! For now, I hope you have a blessed day and it makes you smile!

Furthermore, I hope that Jensen Ackles gif above made all of you grin and gave some joy to you on this Sunday!

May you all enjoy your day! You deserve it!

Thank you, Moana! (You’re welcome)

DAMN IT–I have an ear worm in my head.

Personally, I blame Dustin Pari for this; he has been bopping around Twitter with pictures of Maui saying “You’re welcome.” Naturally, since I had yet to watch Moana, I decided to finally make time and view the acclaimed movie.

It. Did. Not. Disappoint!

And, now, as it happens with movies that you really, really love, I’m obsessed with how the movie was made and the Polynesian culture that weaved throughout the plot. (In fact, I purchased a Hawaiian legend book the other day at work.)

Legitimately, I have been singing “You’re Welcome” from Moana on repeat for a good week now. Darn you, Lin-Manuel Miranda and your catchy lyrics! I mean, I don’t know for sure who was responsible for the song–I know Lin, Mark Mancina, and Opetaia Foa’i all worked together on the Moana soundtrack and give them ALL the points–but “You’re Welcome” and “Shiny” both seem up Lin’s alley.

Also, I am in love with “We Know The Way.” There are so many beautiful feelings that swarm into me whenever I hear that song. It makes me dream of exploration, yes, but, also, the part inside me that appreciates spirituality, history, lineage, and respects nature adores it!

I especially get chills at the part of the song where they sing:

“We are explorers reading every sign.
We tell the stories of our elders in a never-ending chain.”

Here’s an official link to part of the song, so you can join me in the chills, whether you’ve see Moana or not (because even out of context it’s a gorgeous song):

I also give all the props to John Lasseter and the Moana creators; they wanted to respect the Polynesian culture and history, so they did a five year research excursion to talk with locals in the South Pacific. Bonus: they actually hired locals to fact check them, and even invited them back to Disney to approve the film.

This is how you make a movie!

Here’s an article in Vanity Fair that talks more about this story:
How Pacific Islanders Helped Disney’s Moana Find Its Way
(There’s also a documentary about this on Moana’s bonus features, which is where I learned of the development.)

In turn, Moana has, as excellently told stories do, inspired me in my own stories. (Note: I am not talking about plagiarism. I know I don’t have to say that, but I want to make that clear.) The rich mythology, scenery, and character development has made me reflect on my skills as a writer and given me the urge to match Moana’s quality in my own writing.

The same thing happened with American Gods and Anansi Boys, which I fell in love with about a month ago. (I talk about it in my post: “Current Status: In Love With American Gods.“)

Here’s the amazing thing about well-crafted stories: they make you want to be a better writer. They raise the bar of what you thought was possible, and set the target higher, causing you to push your development as a creator into different areas. Some of which you didn’t think needed worked on, but, after seeing another reach so far, you realized you needed to do better.

It’s not an ego-related thing. It’s not putting yourself down. It’s just looking at another story and saying: “Yes. I can do that. I can reach that level. I know I can.”

So, yet again, I have been inspired to push myself as an artist; to reach the quality that my heroes and role models have accomplished before me. It’s a simple strength exercise game.

I look forward to what comes from this!

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American Gods Premieres Tonight!

I cannot wait!

I CANNOT wait!

caaaannooooot waiiiiiit!!! 

Seriously guys, I am ready to jump back down this rabbit hole; I loved reading American Gods a few months back, and cannot wait to see what they do visually with the story! My mind is buzzing, my body IS FREAKING READY!

freaking-out

Especially to see Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney! That’s going to be a lot of fun! His character in Law and Order SVU gave me chills! (Disclaimer: the chills that are associated with the writing and portrayal of a character, not what said character did.)

… and Orlando Jones as Mr. Nancy, Ian McShane as Wednesday,  Ricky Whittle as Shadow, Crispin Glover, Kristen Chenoweth, Yetide Badaki–you get the picture.

This is going to be an amazingly wild ride!

Check out the official Starz trailer for American Gods:

And don’t forget to catch the premiere of American Gods on Starz at 9PM (ET)!

Happy Easter 2017!

Wow! It is true what they say: the older you get, the faster it goes. I realize, on this Easter weekend, that we’ve thankfully, finally, had warmer weather for a good couple weeks now. It seems just like yesterday we were grumbling, stuck in a limbo of vicious dips and upturns in the Ohio weather; one day it was 70 degrees and sunny, the next 30 degrees and snow.

(This is not an abnormality in Ohio’s climate, but it is annoying when you’re looking forward to storing away your heavy winter coat, only to bring it back out! And it always seems a long time until it stops!)

Ah, but bygones are bygones and now, it seems, I can finally say spring is upon us! The flowers arm blooming, thunderstorms threaten, and the temperature is, thankfully, remaining stubbornly above 50 degrees.

It’s not that I don’t like winter, but that I look forward to enjoying nature; taking walks, observing the natural rebirth of trees, flower, animals. (Even if my allergies suffer from it, hah!) And I also look forward to the natural rebirth–the ability for change, second chances–on my own life.

This spring I have a lot going on: travels, finishing my novel, and prepping for my bookkeeping course, as well as keeping up with my online platforms. (I definitely want to get back into a weekly content release schedule!) It’s truly going to be a busy few months, but I’m looking forward to it.

But first, I’m going to enjoy spending my Easter weekend with my family, and thanking God for all the blessings He sends my way. Most important, thank you Lord for saving us from death!

I hope you all out there have an excellent Easter holiday (if you celebrate it, otherwise I hope you have a wonderful weekend and blessed sunday).

See you in the next post!

Love, Katie.

Current Status: In Love with American Gods

Oh my good lord I am in love with American Gods!

Well, ok, let’s be frank here: it doesn’t take much to get me excited about Neil Gaiman. I know I’ve exclaimed my love for Josh Gates on this blog in the past; Gaiman is my author version. Meaning, he’s my most favorite author. Hands down.

Gaiman’s always surprising me in each new story that I read–and making me chuckle at some of the descriptions he weaves together. His characters are always colorful and unique, generally with some element of sass and innocence thrown in. (I adore sass!)

Furthermore, his plot catches me by surprise, especially the endings, which is a hard thing thing to do anymore. And his world-building is so phenomenally complex.

Basically me, after I finish a Gaiman story:

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But American Gods!

American Gods takes it to a whole new level!

I mean, I finished American Gods last week and I’m still obsessed with it! In fact, I am currently blasting my way through Anansi Boys because I want to soak in so much more of this world Neil Gaiman has created.

One of the biggest reasons I’m so intrigued by American Gods is because it takes world cultures and mythology and places them in a universe where gods and supernatural beings really exist. Those kinds of stories are always huge draws for me.

In fact, my own novel series operates on a similar kind of platform; one where angels, ghosts, and other beings walk freely among us. (Although the difference with my series is that these entities are free to be themselves, while in American Gods, the gods are incognito.)

Another thing I love about American Gods is how delightfully gritty it is. I adore gritty, no-holds kind of stories. James Patterson, Stephen King, the later Harry Potter books, The Hunger Games. The stories that chill you right down to the core. The ones that get right down to the primal nature of things, where there’s truly nothing to hold back.

Side note: I realized this the other day when the boyfriend and I were talking about whether American Gods or Anansi Boys were our favorites. He enjoys storylines that are goofier and less lurid, while I like reading and writing darker things. With exceptions, of course. (His “job” as my editor is going to be very challenging! *snerk snerk*)

All in all, I absolutely recommend American Gods. Whether you enjoy fantasy or more “realistic” narratives, the book fits all types of people’s interests. I’m not surprised it’s a bestseller.

Just, be warned, it’s an adult book. There’s a character called Bilquis who, well…

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You get the idea.

For a more visual feel, catch the Starz trailer for American Gods (premiering April 30th):

I cannot wait for more Mad Sweeney!!! 

Another side note: I love how involved the cast and crew have been with Neil’s story. It’s always really cool to see those who are adapting the work make an effort to include the creator in some way.

Take care, fangirls and fanboys.

Remember: it doesn’t matter if people agree with your views or not, you just need to be yourself, express your passions, and be respectful and love one another. BE. YOU!

Writer. Fangirl. Wonderer.

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