Things That Cheer Me Up

Between the election and some particularly terrible personal stuff that’s been going on, it’s been a rather craptastic couple of weeks. I haven’t had the time to get all of my writing and house chores/baby prep done, but when I have moments I find myself lying sideways on the bed, staring at the wall. But even as I sink into these moods that range between heart-twisting sadness and an echoing emptiness, there are some things that cheer me up and lift me out.Read More »

Animated Distractions: Peridot, “An Effort to Understand”

The majority of Steven Universe spends time with only three gems — Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. As Steven’s trio of moms, they’ve taught Steven not just about being a Gem, but also about love, bravery, and loyalty. And Steven, in turn, has helped them understand friendship, persistence, and heartache — basically, helping them to be a little more human.

Because, despite their vibrant emotions (and tendency to break into song) the Crystal Gems are aliens, and they had to learn, and understand, and change things about themselves in order to exist on Earth.

Peridot RainEnter Peridot, the newest “Crystal Gem,” as she says with a kind of manic sarcasm. She’s been stranded on a planet she didn’t even want to come to, amongst people she’s been told are traitors to their kind. She has faith in her superiors and a deep belief in the system she was born and raised in, a system that denounces everything the Crystal Gems have ever done.

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Weekly Finds: Fangirl-y Excitement

Am I talking about Steven Universe too much? I don’t think so (obviously), though you probably do. At Comicon last month they showed an extended version of the new opening. It’s got more solos by the Gems, and shows little Steven growing up, as well as a shadowy figure… (YELLOW DIAMOND?!?) Is it part of an upcoming episode? Just something wonderful the Rebecca Sugar team made? I don’t know. I DO know that I love all the screaming fans in the background.

Through talking about food in her book, Rainbow Rowell reminded everyone on Twitter that Carry On, the fanfiction of the made up HP-esque Simon Snow fantasy series written by her fictional character in Fangirl, is coming out in a few weeks. I got really excited and now it’s on hold for me.


Do you remember: I have a new blog? Well, I wrote a couple of actual posts, so please go check them out! I failed this week, but I’m trying to make that at least a once-a-week thing.

What have you found this week?

Weekly Finds

You might know I’m planning a Disney World trip this fall, so I’m excited that the Epcot Food and Wine Festival menu has been released. I’m done planning park days and dining reservations, so now I have something else to obsess over while I wait to plan Fast Passes!

Steven Universe had another Steven Bomb (five days of episodes) this week. Ugh, you guys, this show is so good, I can’t even. This is my face the whole time:

Steven Universe Pearl "Cry for Help"

A recent Stuff Mom Never Told You episode focused on Judy Blume and her books. It got me wanting to read her books again, so while I wait for my name to come up on the list for her new adult book In the Unlikely Event I’m reading some of her kids books. Some I’ve read before (Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret) others I don’t think I ever got to (The Pain and the Great One). Maybe I’ll have some posts about them soon.

What got you excited this week?

Book (and Cartoon) Thoughts: Teen Fantasy and Crystal Gems

Some varying thoughts on things I love that have been pinging in my head.

I’ve been reading a lot of great teen fantasy lately. I loved Cinder and it’s sequel Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, and I’m just waiting to finish up a couple other half-read things before I dive into the copy of Cress sitting tantalizingly in my Nook. The other day I finished Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch, and I could hardly handle how much I enjoyed that (I’ll have a mini review of it, likely next week).

I went into a Books-a-Million for the first time yesterday, realizing that’s what took over a Borders I used to go to when I was in college. It partly reminded me how much I miss Borders, but also got me thrilled by how big of a graphic novel section they have (not to mention the area of just nerdy merchandise). It was a little messy, and a little sparse, but I’m hoping that’s just because it was the middle of the week and they were organizing.

As for cartoons, there was a big reveal episode of Gravity Falls, and now I just want to know when the next episode airs.

Steven Universe, Pearl, Rose's Scabbard
I need one of these hugs.

Cartoon Network has been playing Steven Universe episodes all week, though their way-too-early airtime means I have to wait a day, putting me a day behind. They’re drawing into the end of the season, which means the plot is getting heavy, but Rebecca Sugar and her team are revealing more and more about the characters, who they really are, and how the loss of Steven’s mother a long time ago affects them all differently. And oh man, the Pearl episode, Rose’s Scabbard? I need to watch that a hundred times. Basically I end each episode in a state of extreme emotion, so I may have a heart attack before this whole thing’s done. (I might need to write another big post on this show.)

Really, what an age to be an adult who loves books and cartoons made for children.

Weekly Finds: Internet Comics and TV Cartoons

The latest story arc on Octopus Pie ended this week. It’s been a pretty emotional one, which I truly need to go back and reread, but I can’t get over how good Meredith Gran at conveying complex emotions with her drawings, and sometimes a little bit of dialogue. The last page of the arc is particularly wonderful, showing, I think, pretty well how someone can get better and worse as they struggle to get over something.

pantyhoseAnd another comic: I read this one last week on Boumeries, but I still think about how very true to my own personal life it is.

I was also very excited about this past week’s batch of cartoons on Cartoon Network. Of the three that I actively watch — Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Regular Show — they all had interesting growths in character and plot. We got to see Princess Bubblegum try and teach herself to chill out on Adventure time, which grows from a personal revelation in another recent episode, and Regular Show tied off a story arc that took a close look at how complicated relationships can be, especially for a kid’s show.

Steven Universe got me very excited, though. I’ve pointed out how much I love this show before, but a big event at the end of the episode shows how the plot is deepening, making the deceptively simple show more fantastically complicated than it already is.

Me, waiting for the next Steven Universe episode.
Me, waiting for the next Steven Universe episode.

Animated Distractions: Steven Universe

When Cartoon Network started showing commercials for a cartoon featuring three lady warriors last year, I was certainly intrigued. With unique character designs and an art style not really similar to anything else on television, I thought, This could be great! Then a pudgy kid talking about a cheeseburger backpack ruined it for me. Here we go–another cartoon with a stupid main male character overshadowing the others. I should have had no hope. But then, two things sat me down for the premiere. First was the showrunner, not only an ex-Adventure Time team member (who wrote the best songs* and storyboarded some of my favorite episodes), but also the first woman to create a Cartoon Network show, Rebecca Sugar. Number two? A single line Steven and his dad said in the longer preview: “If every pork chop were perfect…” “…we wouldn’t have hot dogs!”


So I sat through the premiere episodes, “Gem Glow” and “Laser Light Cannon”, and all the things that piqued my interest before hand — female characters, goofy lines — were there in wonderful full force and the scenes were beautiful, the backgrounds with a light, pinkish hue.. Every second fixed my eyes more firmly on the screen. And then, the Cookie Cat Rap happened.

Yeah. This is my kind of show.Read More »

Animated Distractions: I Love Cartoons

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you’ve figured out that I like comics. Possibly you’ve also used your deductive prowess to realize: I also freaking love cartoons.

Bee and PuppycatI think the only time in my life when I wasn’t watching cartoons was somewhere in that awkward 11-13 year old stage, when I thought that I wasn’t supposed to anymore. I got over that pretty quickly. Then I found anime, and after that there was no hope really that most of my television viewing would be of the non-live action variety.

So, as an adult, I constantly watch animated shows. Not just the Adult Swim variety, but the things shown on the regular Cartoon Network/Nickelodeon blocks. And while I enjoy a great deal of what gets made even today, there are some that I’m simply obsessed with, those that I find so impressive that I’m thrilled with the creativity of people and inspired in my own work. Since cartoons have and always will influenced me, I feel like even on a blog about writing and books there’s room to talk about them.

I’ll ramble on specifically about different shows and movies in the future, but for now, here are some cartoons that are currently just making my life better:

  • Adventure Time. So weird, so crazy, yet so. Emotional.

    Adenture Time Marceline and Ice King
    This episode blew my mind.
  • Bee and Puppycat. You can really tell Natasha Allegri likes Sailor Moon. In a good way.
  • Steven Universe. Adorable kid saves the world with some kick-butt ladies. Yes.
  • Avatar: The Legend of Korra. Not as fantastic as the last series, but still, fantastic.
  • …and others that I won’t pass up if I happen to catch it, like Clarence, Wander Over Yonder, My Little Pony, and Gravity Falls.

Do you watch cartoons? Is there anything that influences you creatively? What other cartoons should I watch?