Hello friends! I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend. Summer has begun in earnest here in Utah with lots of sun and high temperatures. I thought it would … Continue reading Happy Beginning of Summer
Little Women has always held a special place in my heart. It was the first big novel I ever remember reading. I was 9 or 10, and I cried my … Continue reading Little Women PBS 2018 Adaptation Review
I am very excited because today is a special anniversary for this blog. I have officially been blogging on smilingldsgirl.com for 10 years! I can hardly believe it. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was quitting my job and trying to figure out what to do next. It was such a strange, surreal time for me, and I needed an outlet to express my feelings. A blog seemed like the perfect solution and it has been such a blessing in my life.
I have been able to work through very tough times (I have even vented on occasion). I have shared the joyous times. I have gone through phases and diets and started my separate movie blog http://54disneyreviews.com and then my youtube channel. My time may be more divided now than it was originally, but I still love and value this blog. It gives me an outlet to share my heart and just talk about the silly things that come into my brain (that is what I promised in the header after all: my silly thoughts on life!).
I feel like you have all gotten to know the real me on this blog. You know my tastes, beliefs, opinions, interests, weaknesses, strengths and even my politics on occasion. I am so grateful for every last comment and like and for anyone who has taken the time to read my silly thoughts. There is nothing that brightens my day more than when I write something and it touches someone or makes them smile.
Thank you so much for the last 10 years and let’s have 10 more! Sure love you all!
This month for book club we are reading a novel called Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta and once again like most fantasy novels I am struggling. My whole life I have never enjoyed fantasy novels or movies as much as most people do. Some are so good they have won me over as an adult- Lord of the Rings and Wrinkle in Time come to mind, but most I find deadly dull. And it’s so strange because most people get lost in all the imagination and creative world building where I am just dying. It makes me wonder why?
Even as a little girl I preferred books like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women over Lord of the Rings or Redwall. The only genre I dislike more than fantasy are dystopians which sometimes are an off-shoot of fantasy. One exception is The Giver because that is really about a person and his coming to understand who he is and what it means to be human.
I remember a few years ago everyone was super into Goose Girl by Shannon Hale and I found it very slow and stretched out. It seemed to me a simple fairytale had been expanded well beyond where it should have been. Maybe my problem with fantasy is that I’m not the most imaginative reader in the world. So where other people are envisioning Hogwarts or Middle Earth I’m waiting for the story to start. Movies are better because we can forgo all that nonsense by seeing the images and get right to the story and characters (but honestly many fantasy movies are tough for me to get through such as The Hobbit movies KMN).
I like the Lord of the Rings movies because they have a clear moral goal of destroying the ring and the characters are compelling. I like half of the Harry Potter movies (3, 4, 5 and 7) and the rest bore me. I like Time Bandits because it’s funny and weird. I like fairytales because they are usually romantic and have good music (which brings up a good point that women in fantasy are usually pretty lame and the romance is weak). Most fantasy stories have really bland characters that don’t interest me and so no matter how cool the world building is or fun the dragons are I can’t engage.
People act like I am really missing out on Game of Thrones because I chose to not watch it for its content but I know I would not like it. I know it even kills off its characters rather mercilessly which I would not enjoy as I get very attached to characters. Last year I read the first Dark Tower novel and I enjoyed that because the Man in Black and the Gunslinger were pretty engaging characters. I have been meaning to read more of them. The movie was terrible and turned them into total caricatures with a script that was very sloppy. I also was very disappointed in the recent movie version of A Wrinkle in Time that took a character driven story and made it muddled and preachy.
The last fantasy movie I can think of that I really loved is 2015’s Song of the Sea. This is a beautiful movie about a young boy grieving his mother who goes on a quest with magic and the lore of the selkie to help save his sister. It’s perfect! (Watch my review here) I also love both book and movie of Watership Down but that’s more of an allegory than fantasy in my opinion.
It’s just a strange thing when something that seemingly has so much excitement and creativity is so dull for me. What do you think about fantasy novels and movies? What am I missing? Do any of you feel that way?
So April has almost come and gone and it has been a jammed packed month. The Hallmarkies podcast has been doing great and we currently have a whole bunch of interviews and podcasts stored up ready to be played over the next month or so (or if one of us gets sick). Doing all this prep work, while still producing 2 shows a week (regular episode and tv recap) has been a bit overwhelming but very satisfying. I have also been keeping up my personal channel and had some great interviews/discussions and reviews on there.
As I was looking over the month it occurred to me amongst all the busyness very little of it was with in-person human contact. There are things I did alone like go see Hamilton so at least I was out of the house but with actual people it is pretty sparse:
I saw Ready Player One with Amber and then again with my book club friends (I missed book club this month because I didn’t have time to read it).
I saw Isle of Dogs with my friend Phaedra and that was a delight (both movie and time with friend).
I had Easter with my parents, grandma and brother.
I went to see Camelot with my parents and two of my friends were in it.
I attended study group for church (and church)
And that’s it! The rest including my job were all online. But oddly I do not feel malnourished or socially bereft. In fact, quite the reverse. In just the last week I will have done 5 podcasts including an interview with friends from Israel and Australia. I think it is pretty cool! I also posted to my movie blog and to rotoscopers.com and contributed to other social media posts.
I don’t know. What do you think? What is the right balance of in-person interactions with online? I know mine will never be close to equal but I at least try and make an effort to get outside and see friends in-person. It’s tough but I do the best I can.
Unless you have been living under a rock you have no doubt heard of the Broadway phenomenon that is Hamilton. Written by Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton debuted on Broadway in … Continue reading Hamilton Theater Review
Happy Easter friends! I hope you are having a lovely time with your family and friends. Not only is Easter a great candy holiday (seconded only to Halloween) but it … Continue reading Happy Easter and New Prophet and Apostles