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Multi Medium Recommendations to get Through the Quarantine

As we’re all struggling with uncertainty about the future and in some cases, a lot more free time (or just a need to escape this reality). I have compiled a list of multiple medium suggestions organized by genre to watch/listen/read that I have enjoyed the past few years.

Fuzzy Good Vibes

Cartoons:

Steven Universe

A kid show that has a huge adult following as the themes about growing up and dealing with emotions and hardship are very relatable. Steven is half human living with three Crystal Gems- aliens who fought with his mother to keep the earth from being destroyed by the Diamond Authority. Steven is trying to figure out his new gem powers, if his mom was really the hero everyone says she was, and how to keep everyone together and safe from corrupted gems and other threats. There are a lot of very emotional and real moments, but a lot of wacky ones to balance it out.

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Watch on: Cartoonnetwork, thewatchcartoononline.tv

Star vs the Forces of Evil

Star is a zany princess of Mewni who has just been given her birthright- an all powerful magic wand. Her parents send her to earth to learn to control her powers/not destroy their dimension. Also a tale about growing up and friendship with a whole lot of wackiness and charm along the way. Starts off as very much a kids show but the lore and lessons about love and responsibility quickly come in to make this very enjoyable for adults too.

Watch on: Hulu, Cartoonnetwork.com, thewatchcartoononline.tv

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Kipo: And the Age of Wonder Beasts

In a post apocalyptic world where humans hide from giant mutant animals, Kipo finds herself on the surface for the first time and with the help of new friends tries to find her dad.

Watch on: Netflix

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Over the Garden Wall

This show has a darker side, but still fun. I love it so much and Greg is my baby. Two brothers find themselves in a strange land with talking animals and are trying to find their way home.

Watch on: Cartoonnetwork, thewatchcartoononline.tv

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Hilda

Hilda is a young girl enchanted by the magical wilderness she lives in filled with all sorts of amazing creatures. Beautiful art and good feels plots about friendship and getting along with said creatures.

Watch on: Netflix

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Infinity Train

Tulip is struggling with her parents’ divorce and find herself on a train with endless cars with endless possibilities with a robot and talking corgi. She has to learn about herself and deal with her feelings in order to find her way home.

Watch on: Cartoonnetwork, thewatchcartoononline.tv

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Movies:

Spirited Away

During her family’s move to the suburbs, 10-year-old Chihiro wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts. She has to navigate this strange world and help those she finds there to get her parents back.

Watch on: thewatchcartoononline.tv

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Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki is a young witch leaving home for the first time on her broom trying to figure out where she fits in.

Watch on: thewatchcartoononline.tv

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Castle in the Sky

A young boy stumbles into a mysterious girl who floats down from the sky. The girl, Sheeta, was chased by pirates, army and government secret agents. In saving her life, they begin a high flying adventure that goes through all sorts of flying machines, eventually searching for Sheeta’s identity in a floating castle of a lost civilization.

Watch on: thewatchcartoononline.tv

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Howl’s Moving Castle

A love story between an 18-year-old girl named Sophie, cursed by a witch into an old woman’s body, and a magician named Howl. Under the curse, Sophie sets out to seek her fortune, which takes her to Howl’s strange moving castle.

Watch on: thewatchcartoononline.tv

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Ponyo

This is the cutest thing ever! Ponyo is a fish daughter of a scientist and an ocean goddess who is curious about the world and meets a little human boy she becomes instant friend with. It reminds of of the Little Mermaid, but with 5 years olds who want to be best friends so less ‘girl gives up life to be with guy she’s seen from a distance’.

Watch on: thewatchcartoononline.tv

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Ferngully

Fairies need to stop their forest home being torn down. Good way to start your kids caring about the environment!

Watch on: thewatchcartoononline.tv, Netflix

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Song of the Sea

A little boy’s mother is a selkie and left to go back to the sea after the birth of his little sister. Now his mute sister is being drawn back to the sea too. A heartwarming tale of family, sibling rivalry, with the celtic magic of selkies thrown in.

Watch on: thewatchcartoononline.tv, Netflix

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Reality Shows

Making It

If you like crafting or consider yourself artsy this is the show for you! Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman bring together crafters to compete and ‘Make It’ although this elimination show has to be the most wholesome one I have seen. The artists all help each other out and it is less stressful as it’s not about the competition, it’s about having a good time and making something that’s never existed before! Two seasons are on Hulu.

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Queer Eye

If you haven’t heard of Queer Eye you have been living under a rock. Netflix’s revival of the 90s show where gay men makeover straight men is a well deserved hit. The Fab 5 make over the look, lifestyle, and mindset of all kinds of people and focus on bringing out their inner self rather than getting them to change. It is incredibly heartwarming and a few episodes have caused me to shed some tears. A great pick to remind yourself of the importance of self care, especially right now.

Watch on: Netflix

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Podcasts

The Two Princes

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An incredibly adorable podcast where a full cast tells the story of two princes from opposing kingdoms trying to save their lands from an enchanted forest and eventually fall in love. The audio medium does not diminish the storytelling as there is a full range of sound effects and the characters relay what they see in a natural way.

Youtube

Vet Ranch

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Vets give dogs and cats (and the occasional other critter) life saving surgery so they are more adoptable and won’t be euthanized. They really show the journey from when they first come in to running around in their new forever home. This got me through the days after the 2016 election, and hopefully it will cheer some folks now. They do have censored and non-censored videos for people who are interested in veterinary surgery vs the more squeamish.

Hope For Paws

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Similar to Vet Ranch, Hope For Paws tells the story of rescue dogs and their journey, but told from the guys who go out on the street to pick them up. It’s incredible to see that side of the rescue and even more so how much the dogs change from being in survival mode and terrified to loving on their new family.

Kitten Lady

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More of a cat person? Kitten Lady cares for rescue kittens until they are old and well enough to be adopted.

Video Games

Stardew Valley

I thought a video game about farming sounded boring too, but with getting to know the towns people & their stories and fighting monsters in the mines for gems, this game has a lot to offer.

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A Good Laugh

TV

Bob’s Burgers

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NOT a kids show. Bob and his family run a burger restaurant and have a lot of zany misadventures that sometimes include short musical numbers. Wholesome with adult humor galore.

Watch on: Hulu

Parks and Recreation

The Office style of storytelling, but better and with feminism. Leslie Knope is a ball of optimism constantly biting off more than she can chew to improve her local government, while her coworkers try to get by with the bare minimum. I have watched it through about three times in the last five years and it is still gold.

Watch on: Netflix, Hulu

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Golden Girls

A heart warming comedy about 4 older woman living together and ripping on each other a lot, but always coming together in the end.

Watch on: Hulu

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Key & Peele

Two mixed guys do comedy sketches largely focused around race. It’s hilarious and while I don’t understand the occasional reference but I still really enjoy it as a white woman and have learned some things from it.

Watch on: Hulu

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Angie Tribeca

Love Rishida Jones from Parks and Rec and making fun of cop shows? This is for you. Tons of unique humor poking fun of everything about television.

Watch on: Hulu

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Movies

Booksmart

The straight edged valedictorians find out that their partying classmates got into Ivy Leagues too. They decide to have their first/last night of fun the night before graduation and go to a party.

Watch on: Hulu

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Adventure

TV

The Witcher

The Witcher follows the story of Geralt of Rivia, a solitary monster hunter, who struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than monsters and beasts. His fate is intertwined with Ciri, a princess with a strange power, and Yennifer, an enchantress who regrets what she gave up for her powers. If you enjoyed Game of Thrones before it got bad, you’ll love this!

Watch on: Netflix

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The Dragon Prince

The creators of Avatar the Last Airbender try their hand at a kids fantasy show. There is an endless rivalry between dragons, elves and other naturally magical creatures and humans, who must kill magical creatures to have access to magic. Two human princes and an elf girl sent to assassinate them discover that the egg of the Dragon Prince is still alive and journey to bring it back to its’ mother. A great mix of comedy and serious moments about friendship, tolerance, and growing up.

Watch on: Netflix

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A Series of Unfortunate Events

Based on the best selling children’s series (and doing a much better job than the original movie), this show follows the plight of three orphans trying to discover what secrets their parents kept from them as the insidious and wacky megalomaniac Count Olaf tries again and again to steal their fortune. If you like dark/gothic and wacky, you’ll eat it up. I’d recommend the books too but you don’t necessarily need to read first.

Watch on: Netflix

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Anne With An “E”

I loved Anne of Green Gables growing up, and this show paid homage to the original books while adding great expansion for a modern audience. The additions of topics such as race, sexuality, and Native American reeducation schools were great and didn’t feel out of place. I just love Anne’s outlook on the magic of life and the world around you and it’s a much needed feeling right now.

Watch on: Netflix

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Movies

Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse

This movie did so many cool things for animation, and it’s just downright a great movie. I’ve always liked Spiderman as a hero because he actually struggles, but having a black Spiderman gave the story a whole new dimension (pun intended).

Watch on: Netflix

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Pan’s Labyrinth

In 1944 Falangist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she’s a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again. I love the dark magical realism and the question of if this is real or if this is an imagined world to help the main character deal with the scary events around her. This has a lot of spooky imagery and a pretty grisly scene, so tread carefully.

Watch on: Netflix

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Books

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Loosely based on the Rumplestilskin myth, Novik weaves an incredible tale about a Jewish moneylender’s daughter turning ‘silver to gold’ through her smarts who attracts the attention of a greedy king of winter. A truly magical tale spun out of words about love and found families.

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The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Starless Sea is a love letter to books and readers, a masterpiece of stories within a story where fables of pirates and princesses converge with the saga of Zachary Ezra Rawlins, the son of a fortune teller. He finds a book that mentions him, and the time he didn’t open a door and thus didn’t begin his adventure. Not yet. Now he must unlock the mysteries and get his second shot at adventure.

It seems disjointed at first but everything comes together!

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Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, a God, nor viciously alluring like her mother, a nymph. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. It’s like Wicked for the Odyssey in a way. It tells Circe’s side of the story but keeps close to the original myths. If you love Greek mythology this covers a lot, and is written by an expert in the subject!

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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? This book is a fast paced adventure that keeps you turning pages to figure out the answers to more and more questions. Beautifully written and the hearing thoughts writing was well done.

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Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia

Tuesday Mooney is a loner. She keeps to herself, begrudgingly socializes, and spends much of her time watching old Twin Peaks and X-Files DVDs. But when Vincent Pryce, Boston’s most eccentric billionaire, dies—leaving behind an epic treasure hunt through the city, with clues inspired by his hero, Edgar Allan Poe—Tuesday’s adventure finally begins. Described as a love letter to the city of Boston, it was so cool reading about clues in these locations I pass every day. But really, it is a book about friendship and finding love of life after loss.

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Graphics Novels

Saga by Brian Vaughan

A sci fi space opera depicting two lovers from long-warring extraterrestrial races, Alana and Marko, fleeing authorities from both sides of a galactic war as they struggle to care for their newborn daughter, Hazel, who occasionally narrates the series. Definitely rated R, but oh so wonderful.

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Paper Girls by Brian Vaughan

In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time (it’s time travel, get it?). Suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide in this smash-hit series about nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood.

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The Runaways by Brian Vaughan

The series features a group of teenagers who discover that their parents are part of an evil crime organization known as “Pride”. They Run Away, discover their own hidden abilities, and vow to stop their parents.

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Ms. Marvel by G Willow Wilson

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? I love love love that we get a muslim woman superhero and I enjoyed learning a bit about Muslim culture and what it’s like to grow up as a Muslim American in between the fight scenes.

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Podcasts

The Adventure Zone

Three brothers and their dad play D&D and high adventure and comedy ensue. I recommend starting with Balance and listening chronologically.

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Dungeons and Daddies

Friends play D&D (NOT a BSDM podcast) as four dads flung into the forgotten realms who must rescue their kids. So so funny, so many bad dad jokes. Laughter guaranteed.

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Thrillers

TV

Dark

If Stranger Things was German and, well, DARKER, you would get this show. If you enjoy time travel mind fucks this is the show for you. I recommend watching in the original German with subtitles, and whatever you do DON’T LOOK UP ANYTHING!!

Watch on: Netflix

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Orphan Black

Sarah sees a woman kill herself- but the woman looks just like her! She soon finds out there are more, they are all clones, someone’s experiment, and they are being killed off. Intense episodes with mysteries and cliff-hangers episode after episode. The incredible Tatianna Maslany plays all the clones and showcases nurture over nature in all their varying personalities.

Watch on: Amazon Prime, Xfinity

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Movies

Snow Piercer

The remnants of humanity are stuck on a train as the rest of the world is a frozen wasteland. The folks in the last car eat rations and provide manual labor while those in the front enjoy luxuries and pampering. They decide to revolt and see what is really going on. Excellent commentary on classism and also features Chris Evans. Warning: gets pretty violent and gory.

Watch on: Netflix

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Drama

TV

Little Fires Everywhere

“Little Fires Everywhere” follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. Highly recommend this portrayal of race and class issues in the 90s, and what it means to be a good mother. Elena’s white feminism can be vomit-inducing at times, but it’s a great portrayal of why that’s wrong. Please watch so I can complain about Elena to someone.

Watch on: Hulu

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Jane the Virgin

A virgin becomes pregnant after an artificial insemination mix up. Now she has to figure out how to tell her fiance. Twist: the father is her boss who she once had a crush on and there are still sparks. Based on a Venezuelan telenovela, this show is goofy with tons of twists and turns, with a lot of sobering touching moments about love, family, and the struggles of being Latina in the US. This is one of the best shows I have ever seen and will make you laugh hysterically and tear up in the same episode.

Watch on: Netflix

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Atypical

Sam is a high school student with autism and the show follows him, his parents, and his sister and how they are impacted and come together as Sam struggles with love, high school dances, and applying for college. I cannot express how much I love this show. One of the best portrayals of autism I’ve seen.

Watch on: Netflix

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Dear White People

An American comedy-drama television show on Netflix inspired by a radio show of the same name, that follows several black college students at an Ivy League institution, touching on issues surrounding modern American race relations. It definitely opened my eyes to a lot of issues I was not aware of.

Watch on: Netflix

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GLOW

Based on a real women’s wrestling show from the 80s, women tired of playing secretaries and girlfriends find their power in playing crazy characters on a new all women’s wrestling show.

Watch on: Netflix

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Mrs. America

Feminists battle housewives over the ratification of the Equal Rights Act in the 70s. Featuring a stellar cast portraying women like Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem. Did you know a black woman ran a pretty successful presidential campaign? Uzo Aduba plays Shirley Chisholm, who seems to have been left out of my history textbooks (which were almost certainly written by white men). Educate yourself to the feminist movement and enjoy the drama as Cate Blanchett’s character Phyllis Schlafly fights against rights that she could most certainly benefit from as a woman trying to be a mother and have a political career and education.

Watch on: Hulu

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Other Books:

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

In 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man’s guilt. For on San Pedro, memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo’s wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched. If you love mysteries, court dramas, love stories, and are interested in history surrounding Japanese internment camps, this is the read for you.

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The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar, and part of an epic mystery.

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The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness

One night, George Duncan is woken by a noise in his garden. Impossibly, a great white crane has tumbled to earth, shot through its wing by an arrow. George helps the bird, and from the moment he watches it fly off, his life is transformed.

The next day, a kind but enigmatic woman walks into George’s shop. Suddenly a new world opens up for George, and one night she starts to tell him the most extraordinary story.

Wise, romantic, magical and funny, The Crane Wife is a hymn to the creative imagination and a celebration of the disruptive and redemptive power of love. I love this take on the Crane Wife mythology that has such a love for art.

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Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She has the chance to finally make her own TV show happen and has to work. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts…

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

 

I love this love story so much. I recommend for all ages. It asks such interesting questions about love and timing.

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Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn’t stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book – he thinks he’s made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor… never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you’re young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

This book really shows what a first love feels like, so serious and all consuming.

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Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

The book opens with Molly, a modern day orphan aging out of the system. As she struggles with this and being a teen, she meets elderly widow Vivian, also an orphan, but her story starts when her family immigrated to America from Ireland, and she became one of many orphans on a train with a hard life ahead. The story jumps back and forth between the two narratives and in the modern day Molly tries to help Vivian find closure while she helps her. I loved reading this and it made me feel more connected to my Irish roots.

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common (besides being named after famous dead men). But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. Yes this blurb is super vague, but this book is an experience that is hard to describe and there are some reveals best not spoiled.

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writing

Summer 2017 Quarterly Goals

Hello again friends, it’s certainly been a while. This past quarter has been especially rough for me, and I’ll tell you right now I did not ‘win’ this quarter. I had a rough end of the school year, and now things are still tough as I’m just into limbo trying to get a job unsure of what my next chapter in life is. It’s made it really difficult for me to be productive or write with the stress and anxiety of it all.

I’m hoping having a new set of quarterly goals will help.

But first for the heck of it let’s go over how I did last quarter:

  1. Write 10,000 words of novel- not even close.
  2. Have 5 critique partners- this was a bad goal- wait til done w/ first draft self!
  3. Finish Beta reading- there was a whole issue where she forgot to send me more
  4. Have 200 twitter followers– Boom! More than doubled this!
  5. Start youtube channel with Daniela!-We’re doing this very soon! Look out!
  6. Take promotional photos for said channelWe did this!
  7. Do more makeup art for instagram-didn’t do 😦
  8. GRADUATE COLLEGE D:yup
  9. Talk to someone at career center-lol nah
  10. Apply to 50+ jobs– definitely did more than this haha
  11. Get a job… –sadly no 😦 plz hire me
  12. Read 5 books- only read 3 :/
  13. Start doing something physical for health- I’m not gonna count it
  14.  Go on a dateyup! Still no bf though…
  15. Make treasurer survival guide for next treasurer– did the thing

So that’s 6/15- 2 shy of completing half the goals. Some of these were unrealistic so I’ll try to correct that for this quarter.

And now, my summer 2017 goals:

  1. Write 10,000 words
  2. Start youtube channel with Daniela!
  3. Post regularly to this blog
  4. Have 700 twitter followers
  5. Get a job!
  6. Keep being vegetarian!
  7. Learn some new vegan and vegetarian recipes
  8. Do something physical for health
  9. Finish setting up author website
  10. Do some sort of creative project
  11. Go on some sort of outing once a week
  12. Apply to 50 more jobs
  13. Get someone to write music for Wizard of Cloz
  14. Finish Wizard of Cloz

Thank you all for being so understanding and wish me luck on my goals!

marketing

Networking Isn’t so Dreadful After All

Networking. I used to always dread that word. It meant a bunch of people pretending to care about each other just to get a job, or a favor, or whatever.

Now that I’ve begun to network as a writer, I see it totally differently. I LOVE talking to other authors and listening to what they have to say. We’re so trapped in this solitary activity that it’s just so nice to hear about other people going through the same things.

Plus I am legitimately interested in what other people are writing about, there are some awesome ideas out there! Other creative types are definitely the people I jive with the most. It’s cool to talk about random hypothetical scenarios with them mid conversation. They don’t think I’m wasting my time spending so much of it writing.

A few weeks ago, I hosted a writers retreat and had authors and publishers come to speak. I was amazed at how close I got with these people over the course of the day. The were so friendly and willing to give advice, and despite the age difference (and professional difference) I felt like they saw me as an equal.

Last night I participated in Kim Chance’s #Chance2Connect on twitter for the first time and was amazed at how friendly everyone was. All types of writers all at different stages in the writing process came together to meet, give advice, and complain about our shared writing woes. I even found a couple potential critique partners!

I highly recommend looking into opportunities like this and putting yourself out there as a writer. It’s scary at first, but so rewarding!

Let me know in the comments if there are online groups or other hashtags you use to connect with other writers!

writing advice

Spring 2017 Quarterly Goals

It’s that time of year again!

Let’s review how I did on my winter goals:

1. Write at least 7,000 words of pirate novel

Soooo close. About 1,000 words off 😦

2. finish first draft of chapters 2-4 of pirate novel and send out for feedback

Nope, still need to finish 3 and write 4

3. start a writing blog (OH HEY)

Obviously, a strong success

4. start a youtube channel

Not quite, but this is happening soon!

5. do yoga most days of the week

Started out strong… stopped about a month in

6. clean off my desk and use it

HA

7. stay on top of classes (this means at least a C in tough classes, at least a B in easier ones)

Doing this in most, but unfortunately can’t quite count as a win 😦

8. plan and get speakers for the writing retreat

Done!

9. keep up with treasurer duties for theater club

Yup!

10. finish USG requests for theater club

Done and done

11. go to the career center and talk to someone(s) there

I kinda tried…

12. ask people to be references

Yes!

13. apply to 10+ jobs

Did wayyy more than this

14. direct a successful play

Si!

15. go on a date 😉

Surprisingly…. actually did this. Didn’t end up working out, but hey I’m getting out there

16. hold at least 1 fundraiser per club

Mhm!

17. fix schedule

And yes!

 

For those keeping track that is 10/17 completed, so that is a success for the quarter. It doesn’t feel like it because I considered these all things I really had to do, but I’m trying not to beat myself up about it too much.

And now my spring goals:

  1. Write 10,000 words of novel
  2. Have 5 critique partners
  3. Finish Beta reading
  4. Have 200 twitter followers
  5. Start youtube channel with Daniela!
  6. Take promotional photos for said channel
  7. Do more makeup art for instagram
  8. GRADUATE COLLEGE D:
  9. Talk to someone at career center
  10. Apply to 50+ jobs
  11. Get a job…
  12. Read 5 books
  13. Start doing something physical for health
  14.  Go on a date
  15. Make treasurer survival guide for next treasurer

Aaaaah graduation is scary and getting a job is scary but one way or another I’ll make it through. Comment below with your goals!

writing

Adventures in Beta Reading

Hello again readers and writers, I’ve been away from the blog for a while because it’s my last semester as an undergrad and my focus needs to be with school right now, but also I’ve taken up the commitment of being a beta reader!

Beta readers are readers who give you feedback on your novel before you publish it so you can make sure readers are reacting to it as intended.

Why beta read if I should be focusing on my novel? Well once I finish my first few drafts, I’m going to send it out to beta readers, and I figured, what better way to learn about the process than to become one myself?

I’ve definitely learned a lot from this experience, and I’ll definitely have more sympathy towards my future betas as a result.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

•Make sure you only choose betas who like the genre you are writing in

If a beta reader doesn’t like what they’re reading, it’s going to be a slow and grueling process to read your material, and even more so to answer questions about it. Make sure your betas are invested when selecting!

•Busy schedules don’t make for good betas

I fall into this category. I’m not always the best beta reader because my weeks are always hectic, and I often don’t feel like answering questions in my free time because it feels like work. Make sure your betas have open enough schedules to commit to this- beta reading is more work than just reading.

•Keep your questions concise and clear

After a beta finishes a chapter, authors have questions prepared for them to answer. Make sure these allow for the beta to write a lot of feedback, but don’t give them super long questions or too many! This will make them stress and not look forward to reading the next chapter and doing it all over again. Ask what you need to know, no more.

•Make sure you expectations are clear

Whether it’s time limits to read, or how you want them to answer questions, make sure the expectations you give are clear. A lot of people don’t know what beta reading entails. ESPECIALLY make clear that you want them to be completely honest. If they didn’t like the chapter, it’s far more harmful for you to lie about it than to just tell the truth. You are giving the writer an opportunity to correct their mistakes, which is what they wanted you for!

 

Overall I have enjoyed beta reading, but I can appreciate the amount of work it is now and hopefully this will help me to create a better relationship with my future betas.

 

If you are interested in beta reading an adventure historical fiction about a gang of female pirates, let me know in the comments! It’ll be a while before it’s ready, but I’d love to know if some of you have interest.

Happy writing!

poetry, writing

Attempting a Slam Poem

I’ve been very inspired by slam poetry lately. Maybe it’s because I’m performing in The Vagina Monologues, but there’s something so beautiful about just getting your feelings out there without worrying about rhyming or sounding good, but saying what’s on your mind and getting a point across. So, here are some feelings:

Since the day we are born

Somehow it leaks into our heads

That we have a place

That we need to change

To be more like her, now her

But never her.

Never speak out of turn

Or your mind

Never put on weight

Never show how smart you are

Never outdo a man

His ego is too fragile

And somehow that’s my problem

Because his feelings, his pleasure

Will always come before mine

 

Well like Michael Jackson

All I want to say

Is that they don’t really care about us

They want us to take off

All of our hair that isn’t on our head

Put on uncomfortable lingerie

It’s not sexy if I don’t feel sexy

It’s not okay unless I say so

It’s my body, not yours, NEVER yours

You have the privilege to touch it if I say so

I am so much stronger than you will ever be

Because I have had to deal with this bullshit

Day in an day out

I have had to overcome a world that said I should hate my body

That I shouldn’t be me

Well I am me

I’m all I have

And slowly but surely

I am coming to love me

And finding people

Who love me for me

Because they’re the only ones who deserve

To have me in their lives

 

writing, writing advice

Why Raising the Stakes is so Important in Your Story

Ever been reading a story and had a thought like ‘where is this even going?’, ‘I’m so bored right now, when is it going to pick up?’, or ‘this plot is predictable’?

Yeah, you want to avoid this at all costs in your story. And it all comes down to constantly raising the stakes. What do I mean by that? I mean adding more drama, more twists and setbacks, more for the character to lose should they fail. Let’s consider an example:

 Jane Doe searches for the hidden oasis to find herself and her beliefs.

Sounds okay, but needs some sprucing up (aka higher stakes) let’s try something else:

Jane Doe searches for the oasis, hoping to find her beliefs after her people were made slaves.

Backstory is better. Still needs more though.

Jane searches for the Oasis, a place that may hold the key to freeing her enslaved people and reconfirm her beliefs.

Now we’ve got a story. It could still be better though:

Jane escapes from a labor camp to find the Oasis, the one place that may hold the key to bargaining for the freedom of her people. But the king has sent talented assasins after her and the mythical oasis is said to vanish for years after appearing for a week.

Now we’ve got a deadline and enemies to fight, two key stakes that most stories should include. Every story can always use some raised stakes, consider where yours is lacking so it never drags!

writing, writing advice

Should White People Write POC Characters?

There are a lot of different opinions on this matter. There is the issue of white people not understanding what it’s like to be a person of color. How can they write a meaningful experience correctly if they haven’t experienced it themselves? And what about how some people will use diversity simply to attract a wider audience and gain approval?

Regardless, my answer to this question is yes. We NEED POC in stories, especially after recent events. Banning immigrants and prejudice against Muslims all comes from a lack of understanding. Perhaps if more people were telling their stories, their voices would be heard. As a white person, you have the privilege of being more likely to be listened to, so use that power to further the narrative of those who are not being heard.

As writers, it is our job to get our readers to understand a new point of view. The world is made up of a lot of different people. It is only realistic to include them all, and it is extremely unnecessary. There is so much underrepresentation in all forms of media, and this creates the idea that white people are more desirable and important. How many white guy meets white girl stories have you seen? Enough for it to get normalize in your head. Interracial romances or just a POC lead in general are so rare that works are applauded for ‘deciding to go in that direction’. There are so many interesting stories out there, why stick to just one small part of the population? Why ignore this whole history and turmoil when you could be actively making a difference? Some people may be upset at your portrayal of POC, it’s going to happen. But at least you are being more true to the real world and aren’t whitewashing your story.

If all your characters are white for no reason, check yourself. Think of how many people need to see someone like themselves being brave, and clever and finding the strength to make the world a better place. We have a multicolored world out there, let’s write about it.

writing, writing advice

Improve Your Writing With Acting Exercises

Being an actor has made me a better writer. Having to learn how to get into another person’s head and act like them physically is immensely helpful for trying to get into so many character’s heads when writing a story.

I’m going to share with you a visualization exercise that I do to help me. Close your eyes as you do each paragraph and imagine seeing everything through your character’s eyes.

Visualization:

You wake up. Are you in a bed? A make shift bed? The ground? If you reach your hand out what texture do you feel?

You sit up. Are you in a room? Outside? What sounds do you hear?

Now you stand up. Is this easy, or difficult? Are you excited for the day, nervous, uncaring? Why is that?

What sort of morning routine do you do now? If you have the option to change clothes, what will you wear? What do wish you had to wear?

Now you walk over to a mirror, or lake or some sort of reflective surface. What do you look like? How do you feel about the way you look? Is there something you want to change? How do you feel about yourself as a person?

Now what does your character have to do today? What are they looking forward to? What are they dreading? What do they wish they were doing?

You step outside of where ever you are- what does the world around you look like? What is the weather like? Are there people or animals nearby? What is your reaction to them? Is there anyone you hope to run into? Anyone you hope to avoid? What reaction do you have to this world-does it calm you, make you tense, afraid, determined, excited about life?

Let this all sink in and realize what in this moment you want more than anything. What if your goal in life, your dream for yourself? How are you going to accomplish it?

I hope this helps everyone- happy writing!

marketing, writing, writing advice

How to Not Get Overwhelmed by Social Media When Marketing Yourself and Your Book

So I’ve recently hopped on the blogger train and have been researching ways to market my book. Spoiler alert, 80% of them involve a strong social media presence.      -_-

Social media has never been my strong suit, I enjoy reading articles people share and frequent facebook a lot, but I had never had a twitter, got too distracted by tumblr, and was too scared of reddit.

Now thanks to the marketing advice I’ve dove back into all of the above and more. Needless to say I have felt overwhelmed at times, and have had to work not to let social media take over my life. Here’s some tips:

1.Set aside an hour or so for social media marketing a day.

That’s it. Cut yourself off, just like setting aside writing time helps you write more, setting yourself a limit to social media can help you get back to writing.

2.Remember, what is your goal here, to be big on twitter, or to write an awesome book?

Marketing won’t get you very far without a great product to back it up, so as frustrating as it can be, make writing your priority!

3.Don’t get too obsessed with your stats, they’ll come in time.

We’ve all been there, refreshing and refreshing wondering why your views are going down or why so and so has more than you. It’s great that you are trying to figure out how to market yourself more effectively, but sometimes these things just happen. If you keep consistently posting high quality content, the views will come.

4.If you don’t like it, don’t force it.

If a certain platform isn’t for you, then just don’t use it. Below I’ll detail how you can still use sites you don’t like minimally.

Twitter: Set your blog up so that it posts to twitter, and that can be it! I would also follow some up and coming writers in the same place you are so you can support each other.

Tumblr: It’s easy to get sucked into tumblr for hours. Likewise, you could make your Tumblr page just about your blog, or just about posting poetry or artwork you do or whatever. It’s a great platform for creativity, and there are a ton of poets and writers on there with awesome content to follow. If you like reblogging, make sure to really set a time limit for this!

Reddit: Reddit is a scary place and people aren’t always the nicest there, but it’s a great place to post your blog posts to get more exposure, or ask questions in subreddits

Facebook: You can just set up an author page and post updates when they happen with your book, no need to dedicate too much time to this!

Author Website: I recommend wix.com because it is user friendly, has tons of customization options, and you can do it for free or upgrade to get your own web link when the time is write.

 

I hope this was helpful to y’all, happy writing!