Names of the Week

I spend a lot of time choosing names for my characters.

I can spend hours browsing different websites looking at the top names for different countries, searching up the meanings of less common names, and seeing what names people have invented.

As a result, I’m going to be posting four names along with some info about them every Friday! I tried this a couple years ago and really enjoyed it so I decided to continue and this year, each month has a theme surrounding the names.

For January, all the names chosen are of Italian Origin (or at least one of the origins of the name is Italian).

Now, without further ado, here are the first Names of the Week of 2018!


Alternate Spelling: Clarisa; Clairissa
Nickname: Clara
Pronunciation: Clare-iss-ah
Origin: Italy
Meaning: Brilliant; Bright
Well-Known Clarissas: Clarissa Dalloway (Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf), Clarissa Harlowe (Clarissa; or, the History of a Young Lady, Samuel Richardson), Clarissa ‘Clary’ Fray (The Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare), Clarissa ‘Clara’ Harlowe Barton (Found of Red Cross), Clarissa Eshuis (New Zealand Field Hockey Player)
*Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie (English Novelist)*


Pronunciation: em-ee-lee-o
Origin: Italy
Meaning: To Strive or Excel or Rival
Well-Known Emilios: Emilio Rivera (Actor), Emilio Estevez (Actor), Emilio Pucci (Designer)


Nickname: Enzo
Pronunciation: lore-en-zo
Origin: Italy
Meaning: Laurel
Well-Known Lorenzos: Lorenzo Belli (“Haunting Ground”), Lorenzo Brino (Actor), Lorenzo Botero (Colombian Photographer), Lorenzo Ferrero (Italian Composer), Lorenzo Costa (Italian Painter), Lorenzo James Henrie (Actor)


Alternate Spelling: Salvator
Nickname: Sal
Pronunciation: sal-vah-tor
Origin: Italy
Meaning: Saviour
Well-Known Salvatores: Salvatore ‘Sal’ Paradise (On the Road, Jack Kerouac), Salvatore (The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco), Salvatore Cantori (The Orphan on Ellis Island, Elvira Woodruff), Salvatore ‘Sal’ Romano (Mad Men), Salvatore Quasimodo (Italian Poet)

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January 2018 Book Releases


One thing I like doing is browsing the ‘upcoming releases’ for books and films. It gets me really excited to see the names of authors I love publishing books and see names I’ve never heard of coming out with something really interesting.

Here are some new book releases, from both favourite authors and new, that are coming out this month:

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, Rachel Lynn Solomon

Twins who couldn’t be more different, Adina and Tovah are eighteen years old and on their own paths in life. One is going into music, the other into medicine; one turns to religion in tough times, the other delibertably goes against it.

The only theing they have in common is a test: to see if either of them have Huntingtons, a degenerative genetic disorder that has turned that mother into a shell. The twins are torn even farther apart when one tests positive and the other negative. Will they be able to salvage a relationship and have a future?

Release Date: January 2nd

Buy it on Amazon

As You Wish, Chelsea Sedoti

In the small town of Madison, wishes come true. Every person gets a wish, but these wishes don’t always have the best results. Eldon has seen the results of these wishes and knows that everything doesn’t always work out. Despite the wishes coming true, Eldon realizes they might not be the solution or the way to find happiness.

Release Date: January 2nd

Buy it on Amazon

Meet Cute, Various Authors

A series of short stories by today’s favourite young adult authors, each story tells of a first meeting. From meeting through the internet to meeting on the subway, each story has a different emotion to it, but is no less real.

Release Date: January 2nd

Buy it on Amazon

Love, Hate, & Other Filters, Samira Ahmed

Maya Aziz is living in three worlds: the first is her parent’s world; the second is her own; the third is the real world. In one she is the perfect Indian daughter; in the second she is living her dreams and doing what she loves. In the third the world is a scary place where a crime that takes place far, far away from where she is still results in people she’s known all her life being taken over by fear and hatred.

Release Date: January 16th

Buy it on Amazon

Let’s Talk About Love, Claire Kann

Alice’s summer is looking to be perfect. She’s got friends, food, TV, and is going to be working just enough to pay her rent. But she’s also newly single and, despite having no plans of dating, things take an unexpected turn when she meets Takumi. Will she take the chance or not risk it?

Release Date: January 23rd

Buy it on Amazon

Still Me, Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark finds herself in some very different cercumstances in, Still Me. Socializing with New York’s high society, working a new job for a rich family, and torn between two completely different worlds – her own and the one she’s in now.

Release Date: January 30th

Buy it on Amazon

The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert

After the death of her grandmother, the author of a book of dark fairy tales, Alice’s bad luck goes from bad to worse. Her mother is kidnapped and the only way to save her is to team up with one of her classmates who just so happens to be a superfan of Alice’s grandmother. Together they will travel to her grandmother’s estate – The Hazel Wood – and to a supernatural world that is a lot more real than Alice knew.

Release Date: January 30th

Buy it on Amazon

Keeper, Kim Chance

Lainey is a sixteen-year-old girl intent on focusing on her studies. All that changes however when she learns she is a witch, more specifically – A Keeper. Like her mother before her, Lainey can use the power of a powerful spell book, The Grimoire. But before she can use this power, she must first get the book back as it has been stolen by a warlock intent on getting it’s power. Lainey’s simple life is turned upside as she embarks on an adventure to get back the book.

Release Date: January 30th

Buy it on Amazon

These are just a few of the books coming out in January. For more information on each book, click on the title to be taken to the Goodreads page where you can read a longer summary.

Are any of these on your reading list? Which ones are you going to check out?

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RIP Rob Stewart


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



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

Fellowship of the Ring.jpg

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.

Kiwi 2.jpg

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

Goodnight Mommy.jpg

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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