Friday, March 28, 2014

No More Wonderland?

Well pooh.

This makes me genuinely sad. The show was just starting to get really good - and now we only have one episode left? Since it was originally planned as just one season (sort of a spin off miniseries if you will) I hope it will wrap up nicely. And as the article points out, all of these characters are fair game for future appearances in OUAT.

Still... my husband and I have been watching "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" pretty faithfully since it premiered last fall and have really enjoyed it. We're going to miss Cyrus and Alice - but even more so Will and Ana - on our Friday nights.

I'm not surprised that this show didn't get a bigger following, but it was charming and fun and had some unexpected twists and I would have definitely followed it into future seasons. Unfortunately not enough other viewers agreed. True, you enjoy it most when you get all of the "Wonderland" references, but fans of mother show "Once Upon a Time" were likely disappointed that there weren't more connections between the shows.

Still, I hope that this hasn't scared them off from doing other "one season spin-offs." It would certainly be nice to spend more time following the adventures of characters like Mulan and Ruby. It would work even better if it aired on Sunday nights after OUAT, or on Mondays (similar to how Buffy and Angel lined up, and if you want to know how to make a sister show outlive the mother show...)

EDIT 1/4/2014 - Apparently Will IS crossing over to OUAT. HUZZAH. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

OUAT, Rapunzel, DANGEROUS, and other things.

Ugh. You guys. A Migraine on top of a cold? How is that even fair? *sigh*

On the up side of things, it's going to get REALLY WARM this weekend. Like, almost 60 degrees. For the cold north this is beautiful. (This winter has been the worst in my lifetime in terms of low temperatures. March, however, has been relatively mild).

I didn't have time to write a full review for this week's episode of OUAT, but I didn't have as much to say either.

Okay, I have a mini rant. What was the point of putting in a girl with long hair named Rapunzel who otherwise has no relation to either the traditional fairy tale or even the Disney 'adaptation'? I mean... it was a side plot that didn't really add much to the story. They could have used it to expand some other existing character, or they could have told it using the actual Rapunzel tale... but no, they just threw a long-haired girl in there without giving us any of the things we love about the story (or the character from "Tangled"). Even Ariel was handled better than this.

The one really stellar part of the episode, however, was the dream sequence. Finally seeing Emma in a beautiful princess dress, dancing with her Daddy... wow. I can forgive the problems of the rest of the episode just for this scene, because it was fantastic.

Being sick also gave me plenty of time to read Shannon Hale's new superhero book, "Dangerous" which I greatly enjoyed. She did a good job of making the superhero genre work in novel format, and it was fun and thought-provoking to boot. Plus the science was really cool. And I'm not a science nerd at all, so when I say that, you'll know that it really is cool.

I've also been giving my husband sewing lessons, and he is proving to be a natural. Of course he's so creative and detail oriented that I'm not terribly surprised, even while I tremendously excited! Right now we're working on our cosplays for CONvergence, which I'll be writing about in more detail on the costume blog.

Speaking of writing... I owe my publisher a draft. Please pray that my headache will clear up quickly and I'll be clearheaded and able to write like the wind!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Unexpected Things About Yoga Class

I mentioned the other week that I'd joined a gym, and that's been going well, largely in part to my awesome gym partner, Janny, who drives me to and from the gym each time. She rocks.

Yesterday we decided to check out the Yoga class - well, actually, we'd tried to go last week but class was cancelled that day. Figures.

Anyhow, neither of us had ever attended a yoga class before, but she had an exercise mat, and I borrowed one from my mom, and we gamely carried them in.

The room was dark. I don't know if this is typical of yoga classes, but it was kind of like a dance studio with mirrors on the far sides, yet no viewing windows. The lights were on dim, just enough that you could see what everyone was doing. I suppose this was to make it more relaxing, although it was a bit disconcerting that I couldn't really properly lipread.

It was also really warm. I was in a t-shirt and yoga pants and was just steaming. I suppose this is also a relaxing thing? Definitely wearing shorts and a tank next time!

Finally it was harder than I was expecting. I mean, I know I'm out of shape, but yikes. And today my shoulders feel like I've been through a war. Yay for hot baths.

So anyhow, it was more of a "culture shock" (to borrow the phrase) than I expected, although I'm still not sure if these conditions are typical of yoga classes.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Meeting Shannon Hale

Last night I got to meet Shannon Hale.

She is most famous for her books "The Goose Girl" and "Princess Academy" as well as the film adaptation of her adult novel, "Austenland." She is also the mother of four, and manages to be a prolific writer as well as an awesome mom. I've been a long time reader of her fantastic blog, Squeetus, and was delighted to find out that's she's just as fun and interesting in real life. (Actually, I'll be honest and say that I love her blog even more than her books. It took me awhile to learn to appreciate her writing style, but I have definitely come to enjoy her work more fully with maturity). Since she's doing what I hope to do, (full time writer and mom) and since we share a lot of similar views, I was really excited to get the chance to meet her in person.

Nathan came, and was probably the only male there who was not the father of a
teenage girl. He's my hero.

Her appearance at the Red Balloon Bookshop is part of her book tour promoting her latest book, "Dangerous". It's a superhero novel, and I'm looking forwards to reading it, especially now that I've got my own signed copy!

The little bookshop was absolutely packed. We got there about ten minutes before the start time and were able to get some floor space near the front. Shannon talked for about 45 minutes, mostly about how she developed "Dangerous", the science behind the superpowers, and why she loves writing for teens and creating unique characters. She also gave a really entertaining impression of Wonder Woman fromt he 70's TV show (which I now want to watch). It was a really fascinating talk, and I would highly encourage you to attend any event of hers if you get the chance.

Then she opened up the floor for questions, and I was lucky enough to get one in. Earlier she had mentioned the fact that there are very few superhero novels, and I asked her to expand on that and what some challenges and bonuses were in the novel format, given that we are so used to seeing the power spectacle in full color comics or on the big screen. Shannon explained that she really enjoyed the chance to get into how the powers worked and the characters and motivations.

We waiting in the signing line for about an hour, which I didn't mind because coming in at the end meant that there was less rush and we got a bit more time to chat. Shannon thanked me for my question, and then we chatted a bit about my own superhero novel. She was so kind and genuinely interested in me during those few minutes, it was very encouraging - especially when I saw what she'd written in my book! 

It's always a bit nerve-wracking to meet your role models in person, but Shannon was even more awesome in person. I hope I have the chance to talk with her again someday! 

(And, I'm not going to lie, with our last names being so alphabetically close, it's fully possible our books will end up next to each other on a shelf in a store or library someday and that makes my inner fangirl squeal.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Let's Talk Sappy Facebook Statuses

My friends. Thank you for putting up with our love story.

Now, now, I don't want protests. I know many of you have greatly enjoyed my blogposts and our cute sappy statuses (like the one above... thank you again!). But I know that, when you're single or your own relationship is struggling, no matter how happy you are for someone else, it can be really hard to see their perpetual "fairy tale love story" cropping up all over your newsfeed. (Heck, I'm happily just married and sometimes the profusion of others' sappiness gets to me. And then I tell myself not to call the kettle black).

Guys. If any of you limited the amount of my posts you saw during my engagement, I don't blame you one bit. Nowadays I'm trying to keep the statuses of this sort down, although there is still a "newlywed bliss" thing going around so that's that...

As of right now, there are 16 likes on the status above and it's still growing. I appreciate every one I get. I also appreciate every friend who - maybe can't quite click like - but doesn't unfriend me or remove me from their newsfeed (even though, as I said, I understand if you just have to).

When I was engaged, I let myself be a bit more prolific with these posts for a few reasons:

  • I was going to have a short engagement (6 months)
  • You only get engaged once (usually) and it's worth enjoying
  • Because Nathan had moved from another state, and because our courtship period had been so short, I wanted to give as many of our friends as much opportunity to see what they could of our love, commitment, and suitability for each other.*
*Yes. You can only do so much of this via Facebook. But posting things he did for me, things I appreciated about him, and mutual interests were still informative. Plus, y'know, you can tell a lot from a photo...

Anyhow, yeah, there's a lot of sappiness on Facebook and it really gets to a lot of viewers, particularly the more cynical. All I can say is, when you post sap, do it responsibly and sensitively, and when you read sap, your patience is a gift to your loved ones (even if they don't realize you're giving it).

So once again, thank you for being happy (or patient) and I'm so grateful for your continued interest in my life, which often seems incomprehensible to me.

Monday, March 17, 2014

OUAT 3.13 - "Witch Hunt."

Meg. I'm sorry, you were right. Her dress is purple.
I love how OUAT can sometimes be predictable, and yet still be a charming breath of fresh air. There's just something special about it.

Anyhow, put those predictions on hold and click away if you don't want spoilers, because plenty are coming below!

First we have to acknowledge the really interesting position Henry is in. In contrast to season 1, where he was the only one who knew the truth, he now is the only one (in Storybrooke) who remains in the dark. It's a nice and interesting contrast.

But that's barely the tip of the "interesting" iceberg of this episode.

First off, I was THRILLED to see a proper cameo of Ruby, who I was beginning to despair of ever returning. Also some semi-decent screen time from Dr. Whale and Belle.

But most exciting was Robin's involvement in the story, particularly his connection to Regina. I loved the scene where she saved Roland and then turned the monkey into a stuffed animal for the kid. Robin of course sees through her icy demeanor to the grieving mother below....

In fact, this was a pretty good episode for Regina fans in general, from her pairing up with Emma, to her agony over losing Henry, to the discovery of Zelena's real identity (but okay, we all saw that coming from a mile. Everyone is related. Everyone.)

Not unexpected in the least, but shocking nonetheless in it's execution, is the return of our favorite Rumpelstiltskin... mad and locked away in Zelena's celler.

And who wants to bet that she has some evil scheme planned for Snow and Charming's unborn child?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Married Life, Food and Fantasy

Wow. I've been married almost two months. It's crazy. Being married to Nathan feels so natural and yet also so surreal.

I've been getting used to running my own home. I love it, but it's also a lot of work, which makes my life a little crazy when I'm trying to also run a sewing business and meet a book deadline. Thankfully meal planning has so far been pretty easy. I get the car one day a week and do all my shopping then. I try to test out a new recipe every week or two, so I can keep things interesting without loosing the regular old favorites. Last night my sister was home from college so she came and had supper with us. We decided to make our own spring rolls, which turned out surprisingly well! A bit pricey to get fresh herbs this time of year, but they do go a long way and are so good for us! Also, I was able to order the rice paper wraps off of Amazon so no extra shopping required.

(Nathan and I both posted photos of Spring Roll goodness on Instagram.)

I've also just joined a gym, which both takes up more time and encourages me to get up and get moving earlier in the day. Hopefully regularly working out will help me get on a shorter sleep schedule as well.

And then about that book deadline... I hope I'll have more permanent details to share with you soon! Meanwhile, if you haven't checked out "The Mermaid and the Unicorn" pinterest page recently, you might enjoy stopping by and inspecting my inspiration photos!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Agents of SHIELD gets better and warrants a blog post.

I have to say, Marvel/ABC really excels at marketing. Two weeks after the DVD release of Thor 2, Lady Sif of Asgard descends to Earth to track down the evil sorceress Lorelei with the help of our favorite SHIELD agents. You can't get much better timing than that.

Well, I was in a Thor mood anyhow.

My husband and I have watched this show together since the beginning - okay, faithfully since episode 4. And yes, the first few were shaky. The first half of the season had some really good episodes, but the overarching storyline was less compelling.

(spoilers in second half of post)

Second half of the season? This show is quickly becoming a favorite. It's more interesting, has less predictable turns, more character development (though still not enough) and an expansion into the further Marvel universe. (Mike Peterson's character is getting tied into Deathlok). I'm seriously starting to hope that we'll get some interspace/interrealm travel eventually!

The storytelling and writing is getting better as well. Nathan said tonight; "It feels like I'm watching an actual comic book now, not just a show set in the Marvel Universe."

I have to agree, and I can hardly wait to find out more about Coulson, Skye (is she Alien?), Melinda's role on the ship, and more about the mysterious Clairvoyant and GH325.

Anyhow, if you dropped off before Christmas, I highly encourage you to catch up and give the show another shot now.

Monday, March 10, 2014

OUAT 3.12 - "New York City Serenade"

OUAT is back with a blast, after far too long of a mid-season break. And we're in a bit of a bind this year, because if you didn't watch it as it aired, or if you don't have access via your cable provider, you'll have to either buy it on Amazon or wait for it to hit Hulu next week. Thanks ABC, for that lovely new policy...

Anyhow, spoiler alert. (And THERE WILL BE PICTURES - edits from screencaps taken here.)

I'll admit, I liked Walsh. For the first 3/4ths of the episode I was torn, actually wanting Emma to accept his proposal and stay in New York with Henry. I wanted them to be happy.

Of course, after that creepy reveal, I was quite glad that Emma is smarter than I am.

It was fun to see everyone again (there's the brief shot with Ruby!), the plenthora of new costumes, and of course the long awaited meeting between Regina and Robin. (!!!). I think the show has a great new set-up, without loosing anything that happened before. There's a new mystery and although we can guess at the big picture, there's a lot of details to fill in.

Did anyone else thing it was weird that apparently Aurora and Phillip are living out in a gazebo in the middle of nowhere? Presumably they have a palace (which we saw in their last episode) but I thought it was weird that we didn't see that, just the gazebo which magically provided horses and supplies for everyone.

I did enjoy the pregnancy reveal, which I've been waiting for ever since Snow first mentioned she wanted to get pregnant again. (I actually thought Ginnifer looked pregnant before the official announcement with Josh - not that she was gaining weight yet, she just glowed). And they used it well.

SO glad that everyone remembers their life at least up until a year ago. I couldn't have handled another "let's try to make everyone remember everything" plotline.

I'm not a huge Wizard of Oz or "Wicked" fan, so I'm not ecstatic about the Elphaba reveal, but oh well, evil flying monkeys are always dramatic.

Now... where is Mulan? She's supposed to be with Robin's men, right?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thank you... and a present!

First of all, I want to thank ALL of you who left such thoughtful and encouraging messages on my last post. You all were so gracious and kind and your messages really touched me. Thank you for taking the time to write them - and for reading my long emotion ridden post in the first place!

I hope you all will enjoy a happier announcement - I now have Instagram and have been putting up quite a few photos of some different fun things over the past week. I would love for you to check it out (and maybe give me a follow if that's one of your social media platforms!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mourning the Wedding I didn't have.

Today I woke up crying.

It was a cry I needed to have. One I've been expecting for the past month and a half, and honestly one that my mother is surprised hasn't come sooner. I was mourning the fact that I missed my own wedding.

Oh, I was there. You've all seen the photos. And I experienced the most important bits - Nathan in his tux, Nathan watching me walk down the Aisle, the Ceremony, the Kiss.

And we have beautiful pictures and amazing video that I am so thankful for. So many family and friends have told us that it was an amazing wedding, they had so much fun, it was all so beautiful, they cried during the ceremony, the speeches were fantastic, etc, etc.

I'm so thankful for all of that. Truly. When I woke up from my migraine I spent probably an hour just lying there thinking of all that I was thankful for. All of the amazing people God put into my life who made it all happen.

But today I woke up from a dream that made me realize what I haven't been facing - that I did miss a lot of things that were really important to me and I needed to mourn for them. I missed getting photos with my grandparents and brother. I missed getting photos with my bridesmaids. I missed singing the hymns that Nathan and I picked for the ceremony. I missed getting to hug and greet all of my loved ones who came. I missed getting to celebrate with everyone. I missed my first dance with my husband. I missed my father/daughter dance. And I can never get that back.

Don't get me wrong. I would do it over again that way in a heartbeat to marry Nathan. But going through the photos and picking which ones to print and which ones to share... it's reminded me again of what I've missed - of the photos and memories I'll never have. The reception was gorgeous - but I wasn't there. The conversation was wonderful - but I didn't hear it. I'm not bemoaning a wedding not going exactly to plan - I'm mourning the memories I lost.

I haven't wanted to mourn this because I've wanted to hold on to the good stuff. I've felt that shedding even one tear negates all of the blessings of that day. And it would if I was only sad, going forwards. However I won't be - I'll be thankful and grateful... but I have to work through this first. I have to get to a point where I can go to someone else's wedding and not feel cheated out of my own. Because celebrating a wedding should be joyful, and not mourning my own loss.

I wasn't sure if I should write this post. Would it come off as complaining? Would it be depressing? I came to the conclusion that it was an important thing to share. It's an important part of my life right now, and I think it's important to be clear that my life has it's hard points, so that you understand why I treasure the good ones so much.

And, well, I know I'm not the only Bride ever to go through something like this. Fellow bride, if you're reading this and you didn't get those memories you so wished for... know that you're not alone. Share your thoughts, how you processed. It's a loss like no other, because what can you really compare it to?

For those of you who are now worried about me... yes, I would appreciate your prayers as this will take time to process and I really DO want to process it and not turn bitter. I was very blessed today that my tears came before my husband left for work, and he was very understanding and comforting.