RIP Rob Stewart

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Today I attended the funeral for Rob Stewart.

Rob was an environmentalist and filmmaker with a passion for sharks and a unique ability to make other people care about the same things he did.

The first time I heard of Rob Stewart was back in ninth grade when my science teacher showed the class Sharkwater. It completely changed my world.

I was lucky enough to get to meet Rob once at a screening for his second film, Revolution. I was about fifteen at the time and beyond terrified to speak to him. How often do we get to meet someone we idolized and looked up to?

Despite my nerves, Rob was incredibly nice. He spoke to me for a few minutes, signed my copy of his book, and took a photo with me. It’s a moment in my life I’ve never forgotten and will cherish even more now.

When I heard the news Rob had gone missing I thought it had to be a joke. One of those horrible hoaxes you hear about on Facebook or Twitter. But then I realized it was his own page that had posted and it wasn’t a joke.

For those three days I constantly checked Facebook, the news, anywhere I could to see any updates about what was going on. I hoped beyond hope that he would be found safe.

When the news came on Friday that he had been found I was heartbroken. It didn’t feel real. I just couldn’t believe that this man who had had so much affect on the world and who still had so much left to do, was suddenly gone.

My heart goes out to his parents, sister, the rest of his family, and his friends.

It also goes out to everyone who admired Rob and all the work he did to affect change.

I would also like to thank his family for opening his funeral to the public. Being given the chance to hear everyone speak of him and say goodbye was something I didn’t think I would have the chance to do and it meant more than they will ever know.

Rest in Peace Rob Stewart

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1979-2017

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Life Update

Do you ever get so overwhelmed by how far behind you are and how much work you have to do that you just don’t do it? And then you get even further behind and it stresses you out more so you just continue to avoid it and this horrible cycle continues.

That has been my life for several months now. I don’t mean I’ve been sitting around doing nothing all the time. Quite the opposite actually. I’ve been working a lot since Christmas and when I’m not at work I’m at home desperately trying to get things done.

I’ve been writing blog posts and book/film reviews; I’ve been working on fanfiction chapters; and I’ve been making progress on my book. But I think all of you can relate when I say there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Seriously, sometimes it feels like I never stop and yet it never feels like I actually got anything done.

I used to get a couple posts done or a couple chapters written and I’d start to get back into my routine of posting regularly, but then I’d fall out of it again and it was like starting back at square one.

So, since I’ve been MIA for quite a while now I figured I’d post a quick update just so anyone who reads this blog doesn’t think I’ve fallen off the face of the Earth.

I am very excited for things coming up later this year. I’m attending Fan Expo and the Supernatural Convention again and I will be blogging about those. I’m desperately waiting for Fan Expo to post it’s schedule so I can start making arrangements and figuring out if I’m going to be getting any photos or autographs this year (let’s face it, I probably will).

I will definitely be returning to the blogosphere and the fanfiction world. I can’t say exactly when just because I don’t want to make any promises or guarantees and then not stick to them.

Other than that my life right now consists of working, reading, and, as of today, playing Pokemon GO. I’m sure downloading this game will be absolutely no help in my trying to get back to writing on a regular basis. However, I think it will help with the lack of exercise I get (or rather, don’t get).

So, thank you to any followers of this blog for your patience. I look forward to rejoining you regularly very soon!

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Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, 2001

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December 19, 2001
Dir. Peter Jackson
Prod. Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Tim Sanders
Genre: Epic High Fantasy
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Sean Bean, Ian Holm, Andy Serkis

I love Lord of the Rings. The whole series is amazing and it’s definitely what kicked off my love for New Zealand.

I’ve seen the first film in the trilogy more times than I can count and think it’s absolutely brilliant. I recently bought the extended edition (finally) and have really enjoyed seeing all the behind the scenes stuff that went into making the film.

If I were to ask you to name a film (or several) that you thought was truly great I’m sure everyone would have a different answer. However, I don’t think anyone can deny that Fellowship of the Ring is definitely on that list.

Fellowship brings together an intriguing plot, fascinating characters, and a beautiful landscape and creates what is probably one of the best films of all time.

The film follows Frodo Baggins, a hobbit from The Shire, as he embarks on a quest to destroy an all powerful ring. A ring that could bring an end to Middle Earth if it fell into the wrong hands. With the help of several companies along the way, Frodo takes great steps on his journey to saving all of Middle Earth.

Now, as I mentioned before Lord of the Rings is full of interesting characters and in this first film we meet the original ‘fellowship’: Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin, Gandalf, Aragorn, Boromir, Legolas, and Gimli.

All of these characters are very different and not only do they each bring something unique to the fellowship, but they bring something unique to the screen that makes the film all the more enjoyable.

On the surface each character appears very simple, Frodo is the hero, Sam the loyal companion, Merry and Pippin the comic relief, Aragorn the warrior, and Boromir the traitor. But they are all so much more than that. Each character, from Gimli to Gandalf, offers comedic moments and heart wrenching moments; moments where you admire their bravery and moments where you want to slap them for their stupidity (you know who I’m talking about).

However, even at their lowest moments you can’t help wanting these characters to succeed. Maybe not at everything they attempt to do (like, you know, stealing the ring from Frodo), but at most things. You want to see what happens next, where these characters are going, what they’re going to encounter.

And what they encounter is a whole lot of adventure and a whole lot of beauty as they travel across Middle Earth aka New Zealand.

Over the years my dream destination has changed drastically. As a child of course I wanted to go to Disney World. Then as I got older I wanted to go to England and Scotland, two places my family comes from.

Well now I’ve been to Disney World and I’d still love to go to England Scotland one day, for many years now I’ve wanted nothing more than to go to New Zealand. And Lord of the Rings played a big part in that.

Fellowship was my first memorable view of New Zealand and every time I watch the film and the ones that follow I desperately want to walk the same paths the fellowship follows over mountains and trails.

 New Zealand is Middle Earth, it is magical and mysterious and full of creatures that don’t exist anywhere else.

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Fellowship of the Ring is a cinematic masterpiece. Not only does it contain all the things required to make a good film (interesting plot, characters, etc.), but it also contains something that keeps the audience completely entranced. I don’t quite know how to describe it, but anyone who has watched Lord of the Rings will know what I’m talking about.

There’s just something about these films, and Fellowship in particular, that keeps you watching over and over again.

Near the start of this review I called this film one of the best films of all time and I stand by that statement. There are many films that could fall into that category, but for all the reasons stated above and many more, I think you can see why Fellowship belongs there.

What do you think of Fellowship of the Ring? Which character is your favourite?

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Goodnight Mommy (Ich Seh Ich Seh), 2015

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January 8, 2015
Dir. Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala
Prod. Ulrich Seidl
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Starring: Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, Lukas Schwarz

****WARNING: Major spoilers for Goodnight Mommy, if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want to know what happens, STOP READING!****

When I first saw the trailer for this movie I thought it looked creepy, but not terrifying. That was definitely part of the reason I was willing to watch it. While it wasn’t terrifying (at least I didn’t think so, thankfully), it definitely messed with my head and had some majorly scary bits.

Goodnight Mommy (original title: Ich Seh Ich Seh) is a psychological thriller from Austria. Starring Susanne Wuest, Elias Schwarz, and Lukas Schwarz, this film does a lot with very little. You will be cringing at certain points all while marvelling at how beautiful the overall film is.

After returning home from getting cosmetic surgery, Lukas and Elias’s mother is different. They’re not sure how or why, but they’re convinced she’s not really their mother. Now the boys must work together to figure out the truth and what the truth is is a twist you won’t see coming.

This was a great film. I’m not one for scary movies, but like I said before, this one didn’t look too bad. It looked creepy, but not like it would have me cowering in the corner of the room with all the lights on. I definitely jumped at a few points, cringed at several more. There were a few times I had to close my eyes and mute the film because it was either gross or super uncomfortable (I’ll explain why in a minute).

Overall though I really enjoyed it. The acting was great, I know some people said they called the ending, but I definitely wasn’t expecting it, and it was really just a beautiful film. Not everything, obviously, as there were cockroaches and gross things involved, but the house was beautiful, the entire setting was just amazing to look at.

This film doesn’t have a lot of dialogue and there are many scenes where it’s completely silent, but it’s not an awkward or uncomfortable silence like what you might get in some films, Goodnight Mommy is just… quiet. And it’s nice. It gives you a chance to take in the scene.

You know how with some films there’s so much going on that you can watch it 100 times and still notice new things by the 101 time you watch it? Goodnight Mommy has three main actors and the silence allows you to take in everything. It’s definitely a film you’d need to see more than once to fully understand it, but your eyes aren’t darting back and forth trying to see everything.

I think the worst (best) part of the film is that it relaxes you with how beautiful it all is and then swoops in to mess with your head.

I have to give seriously high praise to Elias and Lukas Schwarz who play the boys in the film. They had to do some seriously messed up stuff and they played their characters so perfectly. Elias at the end was just breaking my heart and the way they interacted with each other and their mother through the whole film was perfect.

Some of the things they had to do, well, let’s just say there’s no way I could ever have done that. These boys will have you questioning their sanity and your own until the credits roll. And if I’m being totally honest, you’ll still be questioning even after.

I’ve never been a huge fan of foreign films before simply because I don’t want to have to sit and read subtitles for the whole thing. The only thing I normally will sit and read subtitles for is anime and even then the episodes are only a half hour.

However, as soon as I saw the preview for Goodnight Mommy I knew I had to see this film and I’m so glad I did. It’s such a great movie and it’s definitely turned me on to seeing more foreign films, especially creepy ones.

Goodnight Mommy is the perfect film for all horror movie fans, but may not be great for those with weak stomachs. I seriously recommend seeing this movie, I can assure you that you won’t regret it.

Have you seen Goodnight Mommy? If so let me know what you thought!

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R.I.P. Alan Rickman

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This morning I woke up to the news that Alan Rickman had passed away.

Now, fourteen days into 2016 and the world has been hit by one celebrity death after another. Everyone is affected differently and everyone is hit differently.

This one hit me hard.

Alan Rickman was a major part of my childhood. He was Professor Snape. He is Professor Snape.

He brought to life this character we hated and loved and loved to hate and hated to love. He delivered some of the most iconic lines in Harry Potter and delivered them in a way (and at a pace) that we will never forget.

Alan Rickman was a brilliant actor in everything he did. My heart goes out to his friends, his family, and his fans who are feeling this loss today.

Thank you Alan Rickman, for all the work you did over the years and for giving us the best Professor Snape there ever could have been.

You will be remembered. Always.

R.I.P.

January 2016 Book Releases

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This Is Where It Ends, Marieke Nijkamp

This is Where It Ends

The start of a new school year can be an exciting time, but for one student it was a time for revenge. Told from the perspectives of four people, Nijkamp’s novel tells the story of a fight for survival when one student starts shooting.

 

Release Date: January 5, 2016

Buy This Is Where It Ends on Amazon

Passenger, Alexandra Bracken

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Etta Spencer is a violin prodigy who inherits a legacy she didn’t know she had. Nicholas Carter is living his life free from the Ironwoods, a powerful and dangerous family. However, the two are soon thrust together on a journey to stop a secret object from falling into the Ironwood’s hands.

Release Date: January 5, 2016

 

Buy Passenger on Amazon

Bookishly Ever After, Isabel Bandeira

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Phoebe Martin lives in a world of books and would give anything if the real world would resemble her favourite stories. When she finds out the hottest clarinettist, Dev, might have a crush on her, Phoebe tries to become just like the heroines in her books so that he’ll really fall for her.

 

Release Date: January 12, 2016

Buy Bookishly Ever After on Amazon

The Love That Split the World, Emily Henry

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In her debut novel, Emily Henry tells the story of Natalie, a girl whose life is turned upside when the world suddenly starts to appear wrong. It is then that Natalie is told by a mysterious being that she must save “him”. The next night, Natalie meets Beau and it’s as the entire world disappears all together.

 

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Buy The Love That Split the World on Amazon

The Siren, Kiera Cass

The Siren

From New York Times best selling author, Kiera Cass, comes a fantasy novel about a young girl, Kahlen, forced to live her life as a Siren in order to repay a debt. However, when Kahlen falls in love with a human, she must choose between following the rules of the Ocean and following her heart.

 

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Buy The Siren on Amazon

Shallow Graves, Kali Wallace

Shallow Graves

In this first novel from Kali Wallace, Breezy Lin is a seventeen year old girl who wakes up a year after she died. She has no idea who killed her or why, but what she does know is that she can now sense those with a murderous past. Breezy must use this to delve into the darkness of the world and find some answers as to what exactly happened to her.

 

Release Date: January 26, 2016

Buy Shallow Graves on Amazon

Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday season whatever you may have celebrated and I know it’s only the second, but I hope you’re all having a wonderful 2016 so far!

I took a brief break from blogging for a little while at the end of the 2015, why? I got a job. Yes, unfortunately being an unpublished writer doesn’t make much (any) money, but I got a job over the Christmas season working in retail.

The best part? It’s one of my favourite stores (no it’s not a bookstore) and they’re keeping me! Apparently I did an okay job over the Christmas season because even though it’s over now they’re still keeping me on. I’m very excited about this, but I’m also very excited to get back to blogging, fanfiction writing, and novel writing!

Even though I’ll still be working, with the holidays over my hours won’t be as crazy which means I’ll have more time to write and work on blog posts and I’m incredibly excited to get back into it!

I look forward to an awesome and crazy 2016 with you all!

*Also, the rest of the months will have more books listed. For some reason it was a struggle to find books being released this month and then when I went on Amazon a lot of the ones I did find were only available for the Kindle*

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