Fan Girl Friday: Genie, I’m Gonna Miss You.

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Celebrity deaths don’t normally hit very close to home for me. Don’t get me wrong, when a beloved celebrity passes on I take time to reflect on their work, on their life, and on life in general. It’s always sad … Continue reading 

Writing Wednesday: Inappropriate Moments Your Favorite Kids Books Got Away With

Something I’ve been keeping in my back pocket is that, recently, I applied to write for a web-site. Won’t say which one, but I will say that it’s a pretty cool site. It was up in the air but, ultimately, I didn’t get the position. Which is all right. I mean, yeah, I’m a bit bummed, but I’ll get over it. As much of a cliche as it is to say, writing and rejection really does go hand-in-hand.

But one thing I am particularly bummed with is the future of the sample article I wrote for the site; an audition piece, as it were. I wrote it to show the site what I had to offer. Since I didn’t get picked for the job, that means the article I put several days of hard work into will fall by the wayside. So I figured I’d put it to good use and share it on here with you guys. It’s a bit rambley, but I’m still proud of what I came up with.

Enjoy!

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Fan Girl Friday: Amazing Female Characters pt. 1

I’ve always had an affinity for strong, well-written female characters, and I shouldn’t have to explain why. When I think of amazing females in literature/film/television, I think of Hermione Granger, Ellie Sattler, Eowyn, Korra, Skylar White, Miss Piggy, Buffy Summers, Leslie Knope, Sansa and Arya Stark, Toph, River Tam, Rose Tyler, the entire cast of Orange is the New Black and Orphan Black, and the list goes on and on.

Needless to say, I’m interested in writing about these female characters and what makes them so well-written – covering their strengths and weaknesses; perfections and flaws.

So I thought I’d start with a female character I adore who, well, isn’t exactly well known.

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This is Annie Sawyer. She was played by Lenora Crichlow on the BBC television program, Being Human, and was a central character on the show for the first four series.

Since it’s not a super well known show (which is a shame, because it’s got some damn good writing and some of the best philosophizing I’ve ever seen), I’ll summarize. It’s a show about a vampire (Mitchell), a werewolf (George), and a ghost (Annie) sharing a flat together in the present day, and how they learn to cope (well, most times, fail to cope) with their supernatural powers and try to justify why they’re just as much human as the people around them. It’s funny, suspenseful, gore-filled, heartbreaking, infuriating, and one of the best shows you’ve probably never watched.

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(It’s also currently streaming on Netflix so, really, what’s your excuse for not watching it??)

(Also-also, it’s gonna get a bit spoilery from here on out, so I’ll try to be as vague as possible.)

I really came to love Being Human quite a lot – in case you haven’t noticed – when I discovered it a year and a half ago. I began watching because Aidan Turner, who plays Kili in The Hobbit trilogy, plays Mitchell, but I stuck around for so many other reasons. Like other supernatural shows, such as The Walking Dead and Buffy, the core of this show really comes down to humanity and what makes us, in spite of everything, human.

So. Annie Sawyer. Why am I writing about her?

annie3Without giving too much away, I will say that going into the fourth series of Being Human I wasn’t particularly looking forward to what lay ahead. Due to actors leaving the show, there was a sense of comradeship missing between the three flatmates. I did like the couple new characters they brought in, but it took me a while to time adjust to seeing them around so often.

However, what really made the fourth series work for me was Annie. Well, Annie and Eve. Annie is, in my mind, one of the most well-written characters in television that I’ve ever come across. Sure, George may be my favorite Being Human character by far, but Annie… there’s just always been something about Annie, y’know? And with her whole plot line with Eve, well, it really heightened her role on the show for me. When the fourth series came to its end, I was both disappointed and glad to see her go. While I knew I’d miss her as a character, I also knew it was for the best. I was just quite pleased that her storyline came to a rather beautiful end.

Also? Possibly my favorite George-Annie moment of the entire series:

I just want to take a moment to reminisce about what an amazingly well-crafted character Annie Claire Sawyer was on this show. She was peppy, enthusiastic, optimistic, and happy, despite the heartbreaking way of how she ended up as a ghost. Not only that, but she was trusting, caring, and kind to just about everyone. Was she perfect? Good lord, no. She certainly drove other characters a bit nuts at times, and even George hated her in the first couple episodes. Yes, she could be annoying and over persistent, and yet you couldn’t help but love this girl; the tea-making ghost who saved the world.

annie2Of the original trio, to me, Annie will always be the strongest. She grew so much over the course of her four series; much more than Mitchell and George ever did. At the start she was a mere dead girl, not really sure what to do with herself, but by the end she became a force to be reckoned with, because she was Annie Sawyer and no one was going to mess with her or her friends or take “her fucking baby” (her words, not mine). She became so very strong, not just in her powers as a ghost, but in mind and soul as well. She toughened up and learned how to take care of her own, but at the same time she never lost any of that peppy, happy-go-lucky nature we first saw in her all the way back in episode one.

And compassion. Oh my god, Annie embodied compassion. She just had so much love to give, so much so that she almost couldn’t go through with saving the entire planet because it meant hurting the one she loved most. Yet, it was love that allowed her to do what she had to do. For the love of her friends, for the love of mankind, and for the love of her baby (because, in the end, Eve really was hers, wasn’t she?). She would not let Eve go through the hell of living as the War Child, of watching the world burn around her just because of what she was, which was how Annie made the hardest choice a mother could ever make, and she did it all out of love.

annieMy favorite moment of the entire series is the last shot of Annie at series four’s end. That look that overtakes her face as she opens her door and sees what’s on the other side, oh god, the way she just lights up at the sight of whatever it is tugs at my heartstrings. I’m so glad the creators of Being Human didn’t show us what was waiting behind her door, because, honestly, we as the audience already know what’s there. It’s written all over her face.

As I wrap up this love letter to a truly amazing character, I’ll leave this entry on this one last note: it’s pretty clear to me that George was the brains and Mitchell was the brawn, but Annie?

Annie was the heart.

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Mundane Monday: Summer Bucket List.

Well hello there, world. I’m back.

It’s been twenty-one days since I returned from New Zealand. It’s funny to think that, if I hadn’t come home early and had ridden out my visa until it expired, I’d be leaving New Zealand tomorrow. I can’t help but wonder what I would have accomplished had I stayed those extra twenty-three days. Would I have visited places I missed out on? Would I have gotten to spend more time with the friends I made there? Would I have wished I had come back earlier? These are the questions, folks.

The post-travel depression has subsided considerably, but that’s mainly because I’ve done such a doggone good job keeping myself busy that I haven’t really hadntime to slow down and think about everything I’m missing out on. Of course I miss travel still. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of New Zealand (but that’s partially because every single day someone asks me if I miss it, and that just sends me down the rabbit hole of wanderlust).

On the bright side, my Little Shop of Horrors obsession has bloomed into something beautiful.

That’s my way of saying I bought myself a Venus flytrap.

No one should be surprised. At all.

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“FEED ME, JULIA.” 

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Leaving on a Jetplane: Wishing New Zealand Farewell

It seems right to preface this entry, if anything to apologize for my, yet again, tardiness in updating.

I wrote this entry on the flight home from New Zealand. As of now, I’ve been home for a little over two weeks. For the most part, I’m fine. I’m happy to be home, amongst friends and family, and being back in Portland fills me with glee most days.

But there are days. The days I feared in the entry below. Where all I can feel is sadness and I can’t move from my couch. Days where I question what the hell I’m doing back in the States. Wondering why my feet are now stuck to the ground and unable to run.

Telling you all I’m going to take a break from my blog is laughable, really, cause the last half a year has been nothing but me taking breaks. But I’m hoping sometime in the next two weeks to get back on a schedule. I want to ponder the future of this blog – whether to keep using it as a diary of sorts, promote my writing on here, do fan girl entries, or, most likely, all of the above – and the schedule I’d like to stick to.

So expect more in the future.

But for now, here it is, at long last, my final New Zealand entry.

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Right now I am sitting in seat 53A of an airplane, situated in a window seat and staring out at the beautiful blood orange sunset while listening to “Suddenly Seymour” for my seventh time in a row. I am ignoring the two giggly girls to my right and less successfully ignoring the popping in my ears from the altitude. I am wearing a tank top because whenever I put my jacket on it becomes 100 degrees to my skin. I am wondering why they have not brought us food yet, as I am starving. I am pondering what Rick Moranis is doing with his life. I am ten hours away from home.

This is it. The denial of my departure is dead and gone. I’m no longer in New Zealand. I’m not even in Australia. I’m flying over an ocean that’s black as the evening sky, resisting the urge to stand up in the airplane aisle and scream at all of the flight attendants: “I MADE A MISTAKE. I SHOULD NOT BE HERE. WE HAVE TO GO BACK.”

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Sunday: Wrapping Up My Travels

All right, ladies and gents, dogs and frogs and bears and chickens and whatnots, this entry’s dedicated to covering the last month and a half of my travels. I take off in less than two days now, so being short on time means I gotta cover a lot more than I’d normally take on in an entry.

(Random sidenote: I may or may not have stayed up till 6:30am last night with James Whitehead watching old school Sesame Street clips and behind-the-scenes Muppet stuff, as well as The Great Muppet Caper and Little Shop of Horrors twice (once without commentary and once with). Please assume the jealousy stance to your leisure.)

All right. Forty-two hours left in the country. No time to waste. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get crack-a-lackin’.

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Tuesday: Oh Happy Day.

Well, we’re near the end, folks. Eight more days till I catch my flight. To quote one Ms. Buffy Summers: “These endless days are finally ending in a blaze.” I realize I need to play catch up on here, and I’d really like to before I take off. I’m hoping there will be a slew of updates; WiFi pending, as always.

This blog entry focuses on the two weeks I spent in the Bay of Islands area over a month ago. I’ve been meaning to write it for ages, but found it was almost impossible whenever I’d sit down to type it out.

How can you even begin to put into words possibly the two best weeks you had out of an entire year-long trip?

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Thursday: Lazy in Stratford, Farming in Te Kuiti, and Kittens in Hamilton.

LONG TIME NO SEE, READERS.

So, to no one’s surprise, I’m sure, this blog’s been on a bit of a hiatus. However, this time it hasn’t been out of laziness. The exact opposite! I’ve made my way back up to Paihia, and life’s gotten pretty busy! Making lots of friends and doing a bit of adventuring! I’ll talk more about it in the next entry.

This entry, however, is gonna focus on everything that happened between leaving Tongariro and getting to Paihia. Not a ton has happened, but still enough to warrant sharing.

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Friday: Ten Things You Should Know About the Tongariro Crossing

There are specific portions of my time in New Zealand I hold above all the rest, which can only be described as “moments everyone should experience once in their lifetime.” Those moments include such things as skydiving, visiting Hobbiton, attending Sevens night, and going to Art Deco weekend in Napier. Now, added to that list, is the Tongariro Crossing, which I had the pleasure of completing two Mondays ago.

For those of you who don’t know, the Tongariro Crossing is a nineteen kilometer / twelve mile hike across a lot of mountain ranges, and it’s absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever done.

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Monday: Hitchhiking, Motorcycles, and Rock Walls… oh my!

Remember when I first started this blog back in July and I did such a fabulous job keeping in line with my schedule of posting three times a week (with the rare exception of brief hiatuses due to lack of WiFi)? Yeah, apparently I gotta work on that, seeing as I’ve been back on the road for well over a week now and I haven’t posted once. Whoops.

To be fair, it’s not due to lack of things to write about. It’s cause I’ve been so damn busy, which has been, in and of itself, absolutely wonderful.

Anyway, I’ve been places and have stories to share. So, let’s get to it.

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