Month: October 2014

Let them Eat Candy

So I just got finished with volleyball and I was talking to one of the moms and she expressed her concern about her kids trick or treating and eating too much candy.  Not that I have any experience to back up giving advice on parenting but since she asked me for it I told her:

“Let your kid have the best day of their lives, best weekend in fact, and then next week they can be back to restricted candy”

This kind of goes along with my opinion about kids and movies.  I wrote about it in my piece Content, Content, Content. Kids are impressionable but sometimes we overdue it, we worry too much.  (Again, I know easy for me to say with no kids.  I get it!).

All I know is that I went for blocks trick or treating and got a pillowcase full of candy and so did most of my friends.  We ate tons of candy for a couple of days and then before too long our stash would be thrown out or given away.

But the memory of kid excess, imagination and fun, lasted.  In fact, by forcing the religion of clean eating on our children we can do more damage than a couple days of candy.  We make food too big a deal instead of simply a fun, silly part of life.  Instead of acknowledging it’s pleasurable qualities we demonize food and make a child feel guilty for something they should not feel guilty about.  It’s not good!

I really like how the Washington Post’s piece of the same name says it:

“It might be better to assume that, when it comes to candy — and much else — children are people, too. Instead of treating kids as fragile, helpless, stupid creatures who will perish if we don’t swaddle them in layers of social and emotional padding, we could treat them the way adults like to be treated: as intelligent beings with a strong drive for autonomy and respect.

Kids need our wisdom and our knowledge. They need to learn from us what good food looks and tastes like, and how to take care of their bodies. They need to understand media and advertising’s power to persuade and distort. But we should give them the freedom to learn to be themselves.”

I was totally that kid who needed to be respected and allowed to make my own choices whenever possible, so I relate to what she was saying.

Also, did you know the idea that sugar makes kids hyper is a myth? Science News said:

“Sugar doesn’t change kids’ behavior, a double-blind research study found way back in 1994. A sugary diet didn’t affect behavior or cognitive skills, the researchers report. Sugar does change one important thing, though: parents’ expectations. After hearing that their children had just consumed a big sugar fix, parents were more likely to say their child was hyperactive, even when the big sugar fix was a placebo, another study found.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons not to feed your kids a bunch of sugar, but fear of a little crazed sugar monster isn’t one of them”.

So let your kids be kids.  Don’t try to give out dried fruit or something lame like that.  They will be ok.  Kids aren’t stupid.  They need their little moments of abandon and glee just like the rest of us but with a little nudging and encouragement that is a moment to remember not an everyday occurrence.

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My View on Disney Princesses and Feminism

Just wanted to share with you guys my piece on Disney Princesses that I wrote for the Disney blog. It focuses a lot on teaching femininity and gender stereotypes to our children. A princess is not by its nature bad. Just like an alien, king, mutant, wizard can be bad or good depending on what the story does with it. Anyway, if it’s your thing enjoy!

Reviewing All 56 Disney Animated Films And More!

This post is another little interruption from my reviews to answer a question I’ve gotten from friends and on social media.  I clearly have issues with female Disney characters who only exist to make bug eyes at boys and have them fall instantly in love with them- or instant love as I have coined it.  The end of the Jungle Book makes me nuts.  The girl fox, Vixey in Fox and the Hound I hated especially because Tod was acting like a real idiot and she hears a song and goes right back to the old batting the eyes…

vixey

These characters annoy me because they are only there as a love object and that is it. It’s like the Disney equivalent of porn.  Just look at me and you are hooked, hypnotized by my feminine wiles…

jungle book She sings about cooking and cleaning, bats her eyes and…

mowgli and Mowgli is hooked…

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Scary Movies for Wimps

I did this video for my youtube channel and I thought you guys would enjoy it. I am a horror movie wimp but there are still a few movies I can watch on Halloween. What are some of your favorites? Have you seen any of my selections?

Reviewing All 56 Disney Animated Films And More!

I did this video for my youtube channel and I thought you guys would enjoy it.  I am a horror movie wimp but there are still a few movies I can watch on Halloween.  What are some of your favorites?  Have you seen any of my selections?

scary movies

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Nanowrimo Coming Up

nanowrimo1Hey guys!  So Nanowrimo is coming up on Saturday! I have come up with what I think will be a solid concept for my story about a woman who has never fallen in love.  I’m really excited to get writing!

I’m curious for your suggestions about how I can best use the blog while writing? Would you guys like to read little sections?  Would you like if I posted about writing and the process of Nanowrimo?  I only have so much time so I’m not promising anything but I am sure I can pump out a few posts?

I could do different exercises or character sketches to give you an idea of wha tI am writing about (and help me while I’m at it).  Would that be fun for you? Or should I just occasionally post about other things not related to Nanowrimo during November (like Thanksgiving and other events going on).  Maybe you guys don’t have any interest in Nanowrimo and my progress. Let me know!

I’d be curious to know how many of my readers are participating.  Please share.  I’d love to hear about your concepts and genres you will be working in.

Thanks in advance for the support and if anyone is interested in guest posting on either of my blogs I’d love it! Happy Nanowrimo!

Nanowrimo Snowflake Technique

snowflake

STEP 1 ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY

A woman who has never fallen in love finally looses it when watching her twin sister get divorced for the 2nd time and helping her last single best friend plan her wedding.

STEP 2 ONE PARAGRAPH PLOT 

Julie is 40. In fact, she had celebrated the big 40 with her best friend Claire just last Friday.  Today she is standing in front of Claire at ‘Gowns by Tracie’ and looking at her 40 year old face in the mirror beside the most hideous fuchsia number she’d ever seen.  You think being single and bridesmaid as many times as Clair had she would have some mercy on her friend but it seemed more revenge than mercy, and Julie was asked to pay the price.  Sigh…It seemed to be Julie’s role in life cheering on her friends while their lives got interesting and she had the same old, same old. Right now Julie’s sister Lisa was going through her second divorce and she called her at all hours of the day.  Why anyone would call her for advice she would never know.  The truth is she has a secret. Julie is 40 and has never fallen in love.  Never even been kissed.  She hasn’t been twitterpated or excited over a guy.  She hasn’t had her heart broken.  She hasn’t even held hands with a guy.  Why? She has no idea except it seems to be her calling to watch others from the sidelines.

STEP 3 DEVELOP CHARACTERS

Julie- 40 year old woman, never fallen in love, hard worker, perhaps even workaholic, likes control which means romance drives her nuts, practical but also a dreamer.  She has a twin sister who is very demanding, critical and a mess with her life.  Wants to support everyone but having a hard time.

Claire- Julie’s best friend and the last of their group to get married except Julie.  She’s lost in wedding plans as it is finally her dream come true.  She worries about Julie but everything has happened very fast. She’s scared of all the change but feels like she can’t talk to Julie about her worries.

Lisa- Julie’s sister and twin. A mess with relationships.  Can’t keep a job and her kids are a challenge.  Jealous of her sister always having things together. Feels Julie judges her.

Mom and Dad- Supportive parents but tend to forget Julie and give all the attention to their kids with grandkids.

Other siblings?

Boss? Coworkers?

Julie and Claire’s group of married girlfriends

Love interest? New friend like in My Best Friends Wedding she doesn’t end up with anyone.

STEP 4 PLOT SUMMARY

The story will kind of be as if Julie is a pot of water and as the pressure and heat increase Julie will get more stressed until it boils over.  Eventually she will have to reconcile her life and the expectations she had for it.  Meanwhile there will be Claire’s wedding and all that goes into putting that together.  Julie and Lisa have to deal with their envy of each other. Don’t want everything to end with a tidy bow.  Should be still challenges, unknowns but some peace and comfort for the future.

There are other steps but I will wait to do those another day.

So that’s a start.  Would love your thoughts and suggestions.  Cant’ say I will take all of them but I know it will be helpful as I put it all together.

Those are some initial thoughts at least!

Brainstorming Techniques?

BRAINSTORMING_METHODS-283x300I need some help you guys!  I am getting ready for Nanowrimo and I have the idea for a character but I’m not sure what I want to happen to her.  I want to write a book about a woman who never falls in love and how she deals with that.  I don’t want her to fall in love because I feel like that would be a cop out.  I want it to be a unique story.

But what would be a good story?  I’ve thought she could lose her job.  She could have a group of ‘lonely hearts club’ or other group of friends.  I saw a thing on food network about these widows that meant ever week and made perogies.  I thought I could tell that story but I don’t think I would do an old lady very well so it would be 30’s or 40’s.

Anyway, I’m just curious for your suggestions and what you do when you need to brainstorm for ideas? Fellow writers help!

This Nanowrimo is going to be different because I don’t have a concrete plan like I’ve had the last 2 years.  We will see how it goes.  I have a back up idea if this doesn’t work.

So help!  Need ideas.  What could happen to her that wouldn’t be a cliche but would be interesting to read about?

Also is anyone interested in guest blogging for me as I work on my book on either of my blogs?

Final Disney Rankings

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http://wp.me/p4VRGy-wi I finished my initial project and have posted my rankings of the Disney Canon worst to best. Enjoy and please add your comments! Thanks!

Here’s the list first to worst but check out the link to see links and short explanations of why I rated where.

1 Beauty and the Beast
2 The Little Mermaid
3 Cinderella
4 Tangled
5 Fantasia
6 Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
7 101 Dalmatians
8 Frozen
9 The Jungle Book
10 Sleeping Beauty
11 Alice in Wonderland
12 Dumbo
13 Lion King
14 Mulan
15 Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs
16 Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad
17 Rescuers Down Under
18 Great Mouse Detective
19 Aladdin
20 Emperor’s New Groove
21 Atlantis: The Lost Empire
22 Lady and the Tramp
23 Robin Hood
24 Pinocchio
25 Melody Time
26 Tarzan
27 Hercules
28 Winnie the Pooh
29 Lilo and Stitch
30 Bambi
31 Peter Pan
32 Princess and the Frog
33 Fox and the Hound
34 Wreck-It Ralph
35 Treasure Planet
36 Meet the Robinsons
37 Saludos Amigos
38 The Black Cauldron
39 Make Mine Music
40 Oliver and Company
41 Bolt
42 Sword and the Stone
43 Fantasia 2000
44 Hunchback of Notre Dame
45 Pocahontas
46 Fun and Fancy Free
47 The Aristocats
48 The Rescuers
49 Three Cabelleros
50 Home on the Range
51 Brother Bear
52 Chicken Little
53 Dinosaur