Category Archives: am writing

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!

giphy

 

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.

100th Reflection: Good Remains in Chaos

Once upon a time, there was a twenty-three year old girl who had a cloud of technicolor dreams circling her head. She gazed at the blues, purples, reds, and golds, and as they swirled faster, her heart was encouraged. She laughed and raced down the campus steps, the doors opened to the freshly graduated girl, and she embraced the world, ready to share her dreams with it.

In case you haven’t guessed, that girl was me.

In 2011, I graduated from Otterbein University with a degree in Creative Writing, ready to share my stories with the world. And guess what? Within a year, I was professionally writing! It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, but it was a good stepping stone.

My true dream, however, was to be a novelist. And one of my favorite TV shows expressed exactly how I wanted my life to look:

In fact, I do actually want to be a mystery writer. Psychological thrillers and paranormal fantasies are my genres!

Life itself is a tricky thing; it can, at times, be synonymous with change, and chaos can be their little bundle of joy. That’s how it’s been off and on since 2011. For personal reasons, it’s been difficult–especially these past few months–to find time to write, let alone do other things I love (watching TV, going to movies, traveling), hence why I haven’t blogged since Easter.

Honestly, it can be challenging at times. I never imagined being in this situation five years since I graduated. But that’s how change works: it hits you right between the eyes, when you least expect it, and can be a good thing.

Take Castle’s unexpected cancellation, for example. About a month ago, over on Deadline.com, it was announced that Stana Katic and Tamala Jones were not coming back to season 9. I was among the Castle fans who was adamantly against this decision (I mean, who wouldn’t be? There’s no Caskett without Beckett!) Thankfully ABC decided to cancel the show instead of watching it go down the proverbial Primetime toilet and Caskett fans got to see Beckett and Castle live on.

For me, change reminds me of the realistic value of balancing my dreams with the reality I’m placed in. Yes, it might be excruciatingly hard at times, but I still wouldn’t change the part I must play here at home. I’m as stubborn about supporting my family as much as I am about becoming a novelist. I do believe that both will play out for the better, even if this tumultuous period seems to be clearing at an agonizing pace.

In any case, I still excited for the future; to see what it brings me and my family. I’m anxious to finish my first novel, get it seen by an agent and published. I’m anticipating a peaceful future for my family and I (really it can’t get here soon enough!). I’m curious to see what Andrew Marlowe (creator of Castle) comes up with next.

But those are distant, general futures. What I need to remind myself is to enjoy the stepping stones that bring those futures along, one day at a time.  I need to be happy that I am able to write and produce YouTube videos again. I need to see the blessing in the lesson of time management. And I need to see the good in every moment here at the house, even during the bad times; there is always good!

Change happens. Life moves on. Impermanence spins the world into focus. Thank you, God, for the ability to endure, to adapt. Thank you for the gifts and lessons that life brings. And thank you for the joy that Castle has brought to so many lives.

Blessings to writers everywhere, the Castle cast and crew, and all souls that are going through hard times. It will get better. You just have to keep moving; one step, one word, after another.

rick-typing-o

 

 

 

Recap: James Jones, Deer, and Supernatural —

oh-my-takei

Ohhh this weekend has been — well, it wasn’t the worst. It was just busy! (Hence why I’m doing my weekend recap today) I was trying to get the first 50 pages of my manuscript edited for the James Jones Fellowship (that offers $10,000 to 1st prize) deadline on March 15th… all in the midst of a busy retail weekend.

It’s not surprising that I didn’t get it done.

HOWEVER — oh OF COURSE it’s raining. Hold on, I need to get my dogs in.

*insert 10 minutes of elevator music*

— Anyways, what was I saying? Or right. *clears throat*

HOWEVER, I did do a lot of work on my manuscript that DESPERATELY needed done. Probably the main reason of my slow editing: I’ve decided to change my 3rd person POV to 1st person.

Example: changing

“Angel went for a walk in the woods and saw two squirrels dancing around a tree”

to

“I decided to go for a walk in the woods today. It was a sunny, warm December morning and I hadn’t been out for a few days now — not since school let out and my finals were done. I laughed as two squirrels skipped around me and danced up a tree. I was perfectly content.”

It just FEELS so much better to change POVs. That and it’s popular in YA fiction right now so…

That was the main event of the past week. I’ve churned out a new blog post, two Fangirlish articles and a YouTube video in the midst of all of that writing. I’d say I’m baaaack! Hah. I absolutely love (and have missed) my craft!

Check out the articles and video below:

Monday, March 9, 2015 — Weekend Recap: With A Great Birthday, Comes New Plans


Tuesday, March 10, 2015 — Supernatural: Season 10 “A Look Ahead” 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015 — A Suprise Visit From The Deer!


Monday, March 16, 2015 — Jared Padalecki “Always Keep Fighting” 

OH! And for those who missed my last post, I worked on a new “upload schedule” for all things interweb-wise. (For this blog, Fangirlish, Morty’s Stories/Transformers Fanfic, and YouTube)

Check it out:

SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES

I’m going to try and keep to it as much as possible, so there’s regular content.

Thank you guys for visiting/reading! I will see you in the next adventure!

NaNoWriMo

So this month’s challenge is NaNoWriMo (aka “National Novel Writing Month”). For those not in the writing know, NaNoWriMo’s rules are very simple: write 50,000 new words from November 1 to 30th.

Which is a pretty daunting task.

Unless you have the wonderful luxury to lock yourself away for the entire month. Then, heck, 50,000 words can be done in two weeks!

With the holiday season coming up, and retail getting busier, it’s been challenging. But I’ve set myself my own goal: writing 10,000 – 20,000 new words in The Moonlit Path by November 30th. Which is kind of not following the rules… but… hey. I need to finish it. And the goal’s not completely horrible. Currently, I’m at 5,000 words. Which isn’t bad AT ALL.

But I also hope to edit my book by then.

And be sending it to that agent that is still interested in it.

Heh.

But I can do it! It’s possible!

Click below for Pep Talks from Authors Neil Gaiman and Veronica Roth. They’re really cool. Whether you’re a writer or not, they’re uplifting to read.

Neil Gaiman: http://nanowrimo.org/pep-talks/neil-gaiman

Veronica Roth: http://nanowrimo.org/pep-talks/veronica-roth

Anyone participating in NaNo? Either writing a new manuscript or continuing one? Any questions? Or comments? Comment below!