Movies My Daughter Has Watched: Quick Review

Here are some movies my daughter has been obsessed with.

Secret Life of Pets. Cute jokes about pets, but by the 500th viewing you start to realize that the plot makes little sense and you can’t understand how the characters move around. What is the rabbit’s actual goal? How did that guinea pig stuck in the vents make it into a different building? Why didn’t Katie properly introduce two strange dogs before leaving them alone together for what has to be the longest workday I’ve ever seen? According to my toddler, though, this movie has everything: it has dogs, it’s got, well…more dogs. She is in. To. It.

Trolls. I’m going to admit — I enjoyed this. I liked the songs, I liked that everything looks like it’s made out of felt, I even liked the crazy story. It was just fun. There’s been no big demand from miss baby, though, so we haven’t rewatched yet.

Image result for trolls on netflix

Mary and the Witch’s Flower. Baby’s first anime! I wanted to watch it, and I put it on thinking she’d ignore it. Instead she pointed excitedly at the screen whenever a cat or some other animal showed up, and in between seemed like she was actually watching the movie. Mama’s little girl is an anime fan; guess the apple really doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Image result for mary and the witch's flower cat

Moana. Songs: check. Beautiful water: check. Adorable pig: double check. My daughter claps when the end title slams on the screen, as if in appreciation, and she’s made a enough lilting sounds during the musical numbers to convince me she’s trying to sing.

Writing Updates 11/13/14: NaNoWriMo (What Else?)

NaNoWriMoSo, obviously NaNoWriMo has been keeping me a bit busy over the last couple of weeks. I got off to a slow start with it partly due to a wedding I was in the first weekend, but I pushed myself to go beyond the daily minimum when I can, and as of last night I was a full day ahead! I’m going to lose some of that lead today and tomorrow, I think (stupid job) but it’s nice to have that buffer, so I won’t be scrambling too much if I have a couple of bad days in a row.

I have been working on my other novel that’s in its first draft stage still, though minimally, with only a few more pages added in the notebook. I want to keep poking at it through the month, though, since I really love the idea I came up with for that one, and I don’t want to lose my motivation and momentum with it.

On The Fandom Post, my contribution to the 10 Years Later anime series was put up. I wrote about the anime Beck (or Mongolian Chop Squad, as it’s also known), a show I really enjoyed when the DVDs were coming out, all the way back when I was in college. Take a look to see what I thought about rewatching it, or look at the other Ten Years Later posts.

Writers, what have you been working on?

Writing Updates: Reviews and Shorts

Let’s quit dwelling and whining for a moment and look at what’s going right.

Thanks to a new anime season, I’ve been getting a lot of episode reviews done lately. Even though I told myself I wouldn’t do it, I put my name down for two series, Wake Up, Girls! and Silver Spoon Season 2 (click the links for my most recent review). While Silver Spoon was a given since I reviewed the entire last season, Wake Up, Girls! caught my interest, and even though it’s not as good as the other show it’s been fun to analyze it each week.

Pink by Kyoko Okazaki
Pink by Kyoko Okazaki

I’ve also been getting some manga reviews done, though not as much. My most recent one is Pink by Kyoko Okazaki. This was an odd story, and I had a difficult time with the review. But, I think this might be the best one I’ve written recently, partly because I’ve been trying very hard to practice the art of Not Spoiling Anything when I write up reviews. I think I succeeded?

For writing-writing, I finished rehashing an old manuscript, and I’m letting it ferment for a little while before printing it out and doing some heavy edits (I’m also out of printer ink, so I gotta wait to get more of that, too). Meanwhile, I’ve been working on a few short stories, which range in doneness from fine tuning to a typo-ridden mess. One, a fantasy-ish story, I’ve sent out a couple times, and though it’s been rejected, I got a very encouraging personal rejection from a big fantasy magazine, which made me more happy than disappointed.

Also, my mad querying dash of the other day may have paid off. We’ll find out…

Writing Updates – Misshapen Rough Drafts

  • Yesterday I finished handwriting a rough draft of another middle grade novel. I was really bipolar on this story, having days where I loved it and thought that it was a great idea I could really work with once I got it typed up, and others where I thought I was so stupid for even thinking to write a story like this and I dreamed of dropping it in the toilet or lighting it on fire and just pretending I’d never even made the attempt. (So, I had a normal reaction, then?) I got a little manic while I was writing the ending; I just wanted to get it out, so I wrote several pages as fast as I could, my nose half an inch from the page while I did it. I got most of the plot I’d imagined in those pages, but none of the emotion, so I kind of hate them, and had to stop myself from just rewriting one line over and over again. I want to get at least part of this typed up soon, since I have a couple people in mind that I’d like to show it to for advice on both story and facts, but I need to not look at it for a couple of weeks.
  • I’m typing up another short story that I hope to send to my critique group when my turn comes again. I only hate it about 20% of the time, so I’m feeling pretty good about this one.
  • I’ve gotten a few articles done for Fandom Post, including a review of the latest Avatar: the Last Airbender comic. I’m not as proud of this one as of my last two reviews of these comics, since I think I rushed myself due to being a little behind on my reviewing, so be warned the review is a little more spoilery than I normally like to do. I have finished the last episode of Silver Spoon, which was a great show, but I don’t plan on doing another simulcast, or at least not two at once, for a little while, so hopefully I can just catch up on all the manga I have.

Writin Updates: Creative Screenwriting, More on Fandom Post

Nothing Can Possibly Go WrongI didn’t want to write this until my article was actually posted, since I’m paranoid about jinxing myself, but now I feel safe doing it. A couple months ago I signed up to write for the relaunched, on the web Creative Screenwriting, and a couple weeks ago my first article was published online, my interview with artist Faith Erin Hicks. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I really like Faith Erin Hicks, so even though this interview took place over email, I was really excited to have a chance to ask her questions and write about her. I have another one that I’m currently writing, and I may have another interview lined up. I’ve only just started, and as with anything I’m stressing  myself out, but I’m really excited.

I also realize I haven’t been mentioning what I’ve been posting on The Fandom Post recently. Mostly, it’s been reviews for episodes of anime, Mushibugyo and Silver Spoon, but there’s also the newest Avatar: The Last Airbender comic. I won’t link to everything I’ve posted, but click the link and look at my backlog if you’re interested.

Links: Comic Book Distractions

I have quite a bit of work to get done today, so I keep meaning to turn off the internet. Then I check my Twitter stream, and see everyone posting really interesting articles today. I’d get mad at them for being so distracting, but it’s all just too great.

On Publisher’s Weekly, Josie Leavitt talks about Contemporary Books I Wish I’d Read as a Kid. I did read Harry Potter as a kid, though an older one, and I didn’t stumble upon Golden Compass until I was a bit older. I do wish that everything by Kate DiCamillo had existed when I was in the age group – not that I don’t get immense enjoyment out of her books now.

Melinda Beasi brings up the Best Comics Poll that was recently taken at Hooded Utilitarian (I missed it) and talks about why “best of” polls don’t work, but still gives her list of favorite comics on Manga Bookshelf. She also links us over to Hooded Utilitarian so we can see Shaenon Garrity’s Lady List. It’s an interesting list that includes both stuff I’ve read and also books I’ve never heard of, but I’m most excited to see that Garrity listed Persepolis, on of the greatest graphic novels I’ve ever read.

David Welsh talked about the Diamond Comics Previews for October and reminded me just how expensive that month will be. A lot of nice comics are coming out, not least of which is Princess Knight, an Osamu Tezuka manga I’ve been waiting to read since I learned it existed.

And here’s the final thing I encountered today, not about books, but about stigmatizing anime fans. The Washington Post apparently wrote an article about how anime conventions are a hotbed for pedophiles, and Otaku in Review picked it apart, wonderfully.

So, yeah, that work I was going to do…

What to Do at Anime Boston

This year marks Anime Boston‘s ninth year, and also the ninth year I’ve been going to anime conventions.While I’m not trembling with excitement like I once was, I’m still glad to be going back.

In past years I’ve flipped my head over voice actor panels and autographs, but I’m not as excited with those things anymore (I can only listen to Greg Ayres talk about how he became a voice actor so many times, really). But there are only a couple of industry panels, and neither of them are for manga companies. So, what am I supposed to do? I’ve been perusing the schedule, and I think I’ve mapped out a few things I want to at least poke my head in on. Read More »

New Anime Review! :: More Blog Title Ideas

Shiki Episode 3
Suite 101 Review for Shiki Episode 3

I put up a review of episode 3 of the anime Shiki. Gosh, this show is boring. I keep hoping that it will get more exciting, but it’s not happening. I’ll probably watch up to episode 5, either because I’m optimistic or because I like torturing myself for some reason.

A new comic came in from DC today, and Digital Manga put up a bunch of new review material on eManga, so I’ll have plenty of things to read/write about this week. ‘Cept I’m working every day, so we’ll see how much gets done.

I’ve thought of a few more blog name ideas for my Reader blog, and will now shove them in your face: Babbling Bookworm, Besotted Bookworm, The Besotted Bibliophile. (I enjoy alliteration.) I looked on Amazon for books on reading, for inspiration, and wound up putting 4 more books on my Wishlist. Sigh.

I might have another writing thing set up. Not 100% positive yet. I’ll let you all (what, 5 of you?) know when I find out.

Suite 101 Articles

I’ve started to get into a better pattern of writing my creative stuff. I also think I’ve about finished editing Becky–for now. I almost just want it published so I won’t be worrying over it any more.

I got quite a few more Suite 101 articles written over the past week:

I got a few more article ideas from going to Anime Boston, so hopefully I get to writing those out today.

More Articles-It’s Been a Prolific Week

I’ve got another several Suite 101 articles up — I’ve been on a roll!

Dragon Ball Z Kai Anime to Air on Nicktoons TV, Ristorante Paradiso Published by VIZ Media, Finding Free and Legal Manga, VIZ Anime Interactive Streaming Site Launched, Anime Dubs Announced by Sentai Filmworks, Final Volume of Pluto Manga Released April 6th, Rosario + Vampire Season II Debuts April 6 and Review – Hisashi Tenmyouya Samurai Nouveau.

The review was hard to write, since it was a documentary. I don’t watch too many documentaries, so I wasn’t quite sure how to approach it. I actually wound up writing it twice, but I think the final result came out okay. So far my most popular article out of that group is the one on DBZ Kai; people are just really excited about that I guess.