Thoughts On “The Neverending Story” By Michael Ende

the neverending story

“If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger–

If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early–

If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless–

If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won’t understand what Bastian did next.”

I am behind on my book reviews. I actually read Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story way back at the beginning of August and REALLY REALLY wanted to talk about it right away, but other posts took precedence.

But now I’m going to talk about it. And I’m SO EXCITED.

I’d like to say that I read The Neverending Story for some deep, meaningful reason, but honestly? I read it because it was quoted multiple times in Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart, another wonderful fantasy book. I loved those excerpts, and thought that maybe, just maybe, the whole book would be just as those quotes.

And it was.

The Neverending Story is the tale of a young boy (named Bastian Balthazar Bux) and his adventures in a land called Fantastica. And if you’re anything like me, you won’t even want to read the book after that last sentence. I was super-excited for this book but less than five pages into it, I was already like, “WHY AM I EVEN READING THIS? IT SOUNDS RIDICULOUS. I SHOULD JUST STOP RIGHT NOW.”

Don’t.

Because it gets better. Some of the names may be a little silly, but the rest of the book is totally worth it. The premise, in particular, is great. I can see why Funke quoted it so much in her own works; it’s very similar in concept to Inkheart but it was written much earlier. In Inkheart one can read characters out of books – in The Neverending Story, Bastian reads himself into a book.

The interconnected stories are brilliant, too. Bastian travels in and out of many others’ stories, and each one is wildly different from the next, but together they’re all connected by one boy.

And the quotes! Oh, the quotes. They’re wonderful. I posted my favorite at the beginning of this post, but there are loads more. Pretty quotes, happy quotes, sad quotes, profound quotes.

My favorites are all about reading. And stories. And I think that’s why I love this book so much, actually. It’s a love letter to books. It’s about a boy who is so captivated by a story that he literally loses himself in it. It’s about connecting with characters and feeling like they’re your best friends and missing them once you have finished the story.

I read The Neverending Story for… well, not much of a reason, really. But I’m really glad that I did, because I think I just discovered a new favorite book. And if you read it, then you might too.

Rating: 4/5

Posted in Books and Reading!, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amy & Rory; Kissing For Science; And Time-Traveling, Crime-Fighting, Interspecies Lesbians

Good morning! Today I’m going to talk about “Deep Breath,” the latest Doctor Who episode… again. I know I already discussed it on Thursday, but I have A LOT OF THOUGHTS about fiction, all right?

I have a bunch of thoughts bouncing around in my mind at the moment, so I’ll split this post into multiple little sections in order to keep it somewhat coherent. Time for some Roman numerals!

I.

 I love cute fictional couples. I don’t want romantic subplots in every story, but… if said subplot is cute and well-written, then I will probably love it. I will probably go, “Awww, that couple is so adorable!” and sigh happily and hug the book/TV out of sheer joy and just generally act like the mega-dork that I am.

This process will repeat each time that particular fictional couple does anything remotely affectionate. Hugging, kissing, holding hands… fighting monsters? Yeah, probably. (What’s more romantic than saving the world together?)

II.

There are many cute couples in Doctor Who and they usually fight monsters together, and now you can imagine how I react to that.

One day, I will show up at your doorstep and introduce myself and my girlfriend this way. Bonus points if killer snowmen are on the prowl when we meet.

One day, I will show up at your doorstep and introduce myself and my girlfriend this way. Bonus points if killer snowmen are on the prowl when we meet.

My favorite from the show? These two dorks. Vastra and Jenny.

Actually, that’s not quite true. My favorites are Vastra & Jenny and Nine & Rose. But the latter isn’t really relevant to this post because those two haven’t been around since series one…

Anyway. They’re adorable. They’re very affectionate with one another. They kick alien butt and solves crimes in Victorian London. And yeah, they kissed in “Deep Breath.” Finally. It only took five episodes, two series, and three years for that to happen.

(I’m noticing a pattern here, what about you? Nine & Rose had one kiss and when it happened I was like IT’S ABOUT TIME and yay. And I swear that last sentence’s time pun was unintentional. I’m so sorry.)

[Insert happy sighing here]

III.

Some people weren’t quite so happy about that kiss, though. This article, in particular, caused me fits of giggles thanks to quotes such as the following: “The BBC seem [sic] to want to become a porn channel.”

I’m probably going to get some really weird blog search terms now that I mentioned the word “porn,” aren’t it? Oh, dear. Anyway. Back to that complaint. I will answer it sarcastically, in fact:

Kissing? On Doctor Who? How ridiculous. NOTHING LIKE THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED BEFORE ON THE SHOW! In fact, I have provided a collection of images below to show you just that.

My current facial expression matches the Doctor's in the central image: "Uh, guys? Are you almost done? How about now?"

My current facial expression matches the Doctor’s in the central image: “Uh, guys? Are you almost done? How about now?”

…oh, wait. Silly me. There’s a lot of kissing on this show!

Let’s face it, Amy and Rory were basically connected at the mouth. I could’ve included more pictures of those two, but I ran out of room on the collage. People get weirdly upset by things on children’s shows (or in children’s books).

IV.

Things that happened in “Deep Breath” that would upset children more than two lesbians kissing:

  • Organ harvesting
  • A hot-air balloon made out of human skin
  • The plucking-his-eyes-out scene
  • Did I mention the skin balloon?!
  • The half-faced droid was impaled on Big Ben
  • SKIN BALLOON
  • Vastra eats the criminals she catches and that’s just weird, even if it does keep those people from hurting others again
Why would you want a boyfriend when you could have a sword-fighting wife who is also a ninja detective?

Why would you want a boyfriend when you could have a sword-fighting wife who is also a ninja detective?

V.

And last but not least, I would like to talk about a weird occurrence in Doctor Who, or in New Who at least. Every so often, one character kisses another because SCIENCE. It’s kind of ridiculous and funny all at once.

Observe:

  • Nine & Rose: “I’m not kissing you, I’m transferring the time vortex energy from me to you. (And then I’ll explode into flames and regenerate.)”
  • Ten & Martha: “I’m not kissing you, I’m transferring my DNA.”
  • River & Eleven: “I’m not kissing you, I’m slowly killing you with my poison lipstick.”
  • River & Eleven: “I’m not kissing you, I’m transferring my remaining Time Lady regenerations to you because you’re dying and I’m having sudden regrets about trying to kill you with my poison lipstick.”
  • Vastra & Jenny: “I’m not kissing you, I’m transferring air because you can’t breathe and if you do, the droids will find you and probably RIP OUT YOUR GUTS.”

And now I have no idea how to end this post. I fail at everything. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Posted in LGBTQ+, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Senior Year Saturday: My First Week In Review

senior year saturdayWelcome to Senior Year Saturday, my newest regular feature! Essentially, I talk about any and all things related to my final year of high school, from homework and extracurriculars to updates on college planning and thoughts on graduation. And more! (Such as that dreaded feeling known as “senioritis.”) Enjoy!

So I know I said earlier that I wouldn’t post Senior Year Saturday stuff each and every week – and that’s still true. Even if if seems otherwise, because look! Another SYS post just a week after the first!

But that’s only because I have a lot of ideas at the moment…

Anyway. I thought it might be fun to look at what I did during my first week back at school. Again, this won’t be a weekly thing, but the first week is always kind of weird, so why not talk about it? Here are some of the things I did, both academic and nonacademic.

  • On Monday, I blogged about my last first day of school.
  • My mom took a photo of me on my “last first day” and I realized that twelfth-grade!me is really not that much taller than kindergarten!me.
  • I became overly excited about my astronomy class because star stuff is really really really cool.
  • That evening, I saw the Doctor Who premiere at the movie theater and it was incredibly geeky – I hadn’t seen that many people dressed in costumes since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows‘ opening days a few years ago.
  • On Tuesday, I attended my first Spanish 201 class.
  • I already feel like Hermione Granger in that class because when the teacher asks questions, I’m one of the few students who raises their hand and is almost always right
  • But at the same time, I’m slightly terrified that as time goes on I won’t do so well in that subject because CONJUGATING IS HARD.
  • I read and analyzed “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving and… neither one was nearly as boring as I’d expected?
  • Also on Tuesday: I asked if any of my fellow Whovian bloggers would like to co-write reviews of the series eight episodes and YOU PEOPLE ARE AMAZING – I didn’t expect so many responses! I now have people to review each and every episode with me! Thanks!
  • Finally, on Tuesday night my brother and I co-wrote a review of the first Doctor Who episode and it was so much fun! I didn’t think Quentin would even agree because writing isn’t usually his thing, but he did and it was a ton of fun and now I want to write something with him again.
  • I watched six half-hour economics lectures in two days and that subject is… also not as boring as I thought it would be. Yay?
  • On Wednesday I blogged about, among other things, the A B See Photo Challenge – I needed suggestions for the letter X. Well, my readers were very helpful, so thank you once again! I chose a theme (X Marks The Spot) and am currently in the process of taking photos for that post.
  • On Thursday, I rejoiced in the fact that I have to attend a college class (Spanish 201) only two days a week – my brother attends class four days a week. Eugh.
  • I am very glad that this year, finding my classroom was easy. In years past I’ve gotten kind of lost… I’m directionally challenged.
  • I also freaked out a bit that day because HOLY COW I AM A SENIOR NOW WHEN DID THAT EVEN HAPPEN?!
  • [Insert studious Engie noises here ("Hmm...") as I completed nearly all of that week's assignments by Thursday]
  • Oh, and on Thursday I also posted that c0-review of “Deep Breath” (…and unlike with the links above, I’m posting this one here just to see if I can get more comments on that post because I WANT TO FANGIRL WITH YOU but only three people have commented!).
  • On Friday, I did the only assignment I had left, the one I’d been putting off all week: statistics. And it actually wasn’t as boring as I’d thought. (I’m noticing a pattern here; how about you?) My stat textbook is kind of fun to read, really.
  • I blogged about seven books I’d read lately.
  • To end the week, my family had a picnic at the beach that ended much earlier than expected because it started raining.
  • I realized that adjusting to the school year’s schedule will take some time – after I finished my 4-H projects and my part-time summer job ended, there was very little for me to do. I spent most of August either reading or writing. I wish I could keep doing that ALL THE TIME, but I can’t, because school. So. I need to work on being motivated.
  • And last but not least: I know I said this earlier, but I just wanted to remind you that this post-a-day thing ends September first. I’d love to blog more, but to do so would be to neglect my schoolwork…

What did you do this week?

Posted in Homeschooling, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Seven Mini Book Reviews

I’ve read a lot of books lately. If I posted individual reviews for each and every one of them, the next few weeks’ posts would be nothing but book reviews, and that would be boring. So I’m reusing an idea from an earlier post – mini book reviews! Enjoy!

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Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

My parents kept telling me how good this book was, so finally I read it. And they were right!

To me, the most memorable aspect of Unbroken is its basis in fact. This is a true story. The “main character,” Louie Zamperini, really did compete in the Olympics. And survived a plane crash into the ocean. And survived for forty-seven days on a raft. And survived months and months spent in a Japanese POW camp. (And lived for close to one hundred years. He died just a few months ago.)

It’s just stunning, how much he experienced in one lifetime.

Rating: 3.5/5

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Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender

Rrrrgh. This book. I wish its insides were as good as its outsides: In other words, it had a gorgeous, candy-colored cover, and… not much inside. The novel is about a modern-day girl who finds herself haunted by the ghost of Marie Antoinette. Sounds interesting, right?

Er. Maybe if the characters hadn’t been so shallow. Maybe if the ending hadn’t felt so abrupt and weak. Not recommended.

Rating: 2/5

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Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin by Anthony Horowitz

I’m so conflicted about this book! I loved the previous books in the Alex Rider series, but in the end I think this one was just too different from its predecessors for my taste.

All nine earlier novels told the story of Alex Rider, a teen spy. Russian Roulette told the story of Yassen Gregorovich, an assassin and one of Alex’s first enemies. I found Yassen fascinating in the earlier books and was excited to read another story about him, but… I don’t know. This book wasn’t bad, but something was missing. I think I’d been reading about Alex for so long that to read about anyone else in his universe just felt weird.

Rating: 3/5

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Harry, A History by Melissa Anelli

This is, as stated by the title, the history of the Harry Potter books from their beginnings in the 1990s to about 2007 – written by a woman who was really, really involved in the fandom and even created a website for it, The Leaky Cauldron.

I’m not even a huge fan of the series anymore, but… I totally understand being utterly fascinated by a story, so I enjoyed the author’s unabashed geekiness. This could be a really fun book to read at the same time as Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, which is a fictional account of the experiences of a major fan – and is actually loosely based on the Harry Potter fandom, to boot.

Rating: 4/5

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I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai

I LOVE HER WRITING STYLE. Malala Yousafzai is extremely eloquent, but she also manages to write as if she were just casually talking to you. Not too fancy, not too chatty. I thought I would enjoy the book for its story, not for its writing. Well, I enjoyed it for both.

I really loved reading about the relationship between Malala and her father. He encouraged her so much when she was a little girl, and eventually they began doing activist work together, and it’s just really cool.

Rating: 3.5/5

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This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

This book is over three hundred pages long. I read it in slightly under three-quarters of an hour.

It’s a graphic novel, if you were wondering.

And it has BEAUTIFUL ART. I love the Tamaki’s artistic style, and their experimentation with different panel sizes and page lay-outs. And I really like the coloring of the pictures, too – they’re not black and white. They’re blueish-purple and white.

But what about the story? Um. Well, it’s about the friendship between two girls, and it’s sweet, but… um. I felt that it didn’t really go anywhere. There wasn’t much of a resolution. It’s nice if you like slice-of-life stories, but might fall a bit short if you don’t.

Rating: 3/5

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The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy

The third book in the hilarious Skulduggery Pleasant series! As usual, the story amused me, and yet I felt there was something missing. It seemed like I was merely waiting for the next book in the series, and I wasn’t very much interested in The Faceless Ones‘ new characters.

Still, it wasn’t bad for a short read. Its writing style is ridiculously simple and I spent maybe two hours, tops, reading it – even though it’s almost four hundred pages in length.

I’m anxious to read the next books in the series, but neither of the local libraries have copies of the sequels! [Worried look] Rrrgh.

Rating: 3/5

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If you’ve read any of the books listed above, what was your opinion of them? And what have you read lately?

P.S. I am currently reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Captain America: Winter Soldier by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting. After that, I plan to read Fan Art by Sarah Tregay and Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson.

Posted in Books and Reading!, Harry Potter, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

DOCTOR WHO Series Eight Review: “Deep Breath” (Co-written With My Brother)

Welcome to the first of many Doctor Who series eight reviews! I plan to review each and every episode – but not on my own. I thought it would be more fun (for my readers and myself) to co-author the reviews with various Whovian bloggers.

Today, I’m talking about the first episode, “Deep Breath,” with my younger brother, known here as Quentin. He has a blog, but I don’t think he’d want me to share the link with you, because he uses his real name there. So. Without further ado, I’ll introduce Quentin and then move on to the post proper.

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Meet Quentin! He’s kind of sarcastic. He’s a year younger than Engie. The two of them hardly ever agree about ANYTHING Doctor Who-related (except that Martha Jones is awesome), so let’s see if they can agree about anything today… and if they can make it through this discussion without exterminating each other.

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Warning: Spoilers ahead!

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Engie: Hello there! As promised, today my brother and I are co-reviewing “Deep Breath,” the latest Doctor Who episode. Say hello, Quentin.

Quentin: Hello.

Engie: I’m the clever one, he’s the potato one.

Quentin: I’ll take that as a compliment.

Engie: Whatever. Anyway, I’ve never done this before, so bear with me here. Um. Let’s see, where should we start? How about TWELVE?

Quentin: How about… you should go first.

Engie: Fine. Um. Well. Is it too early in the series to say that I ALREADY LOVE HIM?! Not, like, in a snoggy way, though. That would be weird. But he’s sarcastic! And more serious! And SCOTTISH.

Quentin: His acting was good, although it’s too early to tell what this Doctor’s personality will be. He still seems to have many of Smith’s characteristics.

The-Doctor-Peter-Capaldi-and-the-Half-Face-Man-Peter-Ferdinando-in-DEEP-BREATHEngie: Honestly, I didn’t notice that. But maybe that’s because I’m still in that weird “this is not the Doctor!” phase. Like, I KNOW he’s the Doctor and I’m glad that we have a new one, but I’m always slightly befuddled whenever the Doctor gets a new face. I know it’s the same guy, but I can’t connect Eleven’s hyperactivity with this old guy’s face. If that makes any sense.

Quentin: You sound like Clara.

Engie: I do not want the Doctor as a boyfriend! And anyway, I would make a much more interesting protagonist than her. Let’s talk about Clara next, by the way.

Quentin: Now that she isn’t a plot device, there’s more room for her to grow as a character. Jenna Coleman’s acting was good in this episode, but then it is always is (despite what you say). The scene where Strax hit her in the face with the Times was very satisfying, though.

Engie: I KNOW, RIGHT?! No, but really. I do think Coleman is a good actress, when her character has interesting story arcs. Most of the time I think she’s a boring plot-device, but I feel like she actually stood up for herself and developed a personality and…. stuff.

Quentin: However, I didn’t like Vastra, Jenny, and Strax’s appearance in the episode so much. At this point they’re just in there for the occasional bit of slapstick humor and aren’t actually interesting.

Engie: I… do think I liked them better in “The Name of the Doctor.” Maybe. I’m not sure. But overall this episode was better. Anyway. I actually really, really like those three. They make me laugh, Vastra & Jenny are cute together (and oh my god I have SUCH A CRUSH on both of them it’s so awkward), Strax is a total dork, et cetera. But mostly? I like Clara better whenever she’s with them. She’s not so boring. Yay for Victorian Clara!

Quentin: Yay.

Engie: You don’t have to sound so excited, you know.

Quentin: But what about the other characters? I thought that the return of the clockwork droids was interesting, great villains that haven’t appeared so many times that you get bored of them. Especially since it wasn’t immediately obvious that they were related to the droids from the SS Madame de Pompadour.

deep breath1Engie: …usually I think that Steven Moffat recycles his good ideas too often, to the point where they’re not cool anymore, but honestly? I thought he did a nice job this time. Because you’re right – the droids haven’t appeared so many times. We’ve only seen them once before, during “The Girl in the Fireplace” waaaay back in series two, and I really liked the parallels between that episode and this new episode.

Quentin: They changed enough so that it’s not like watching the same episode over again; now the droids are trying to repair themselves instead of their ship.

Engie: Speaking of repairing themselves… THE SKIN BALLOON! EEEEEEW!

Quentin: OK, that part was stupid. What’s wrong with fabric, like a normal balloon? I thought the comparison with the Ship of Theseus was clever, though.

Engie: I… actually did not catch that reference. I might have been too busy being grossed out, though. And this is an abrupt change of subject, but: Do you have a favorite quote from the episode? I already know mine. This episode had loads of good quotes.

Quentin:

INSPECTOR: “It’s just laid an egg!”

VASTRA: “It dropped a blue box marked ‘Police’ out of its mouth. Your grasp of biology troubles me.”

Engie: I do love that quote. I’m going to say that every time you complain about dissecting things for biology this school year, since I’ve already taken that class. Ha  ha. Anyway, my favorite quote from “Deep Breath” is:

VASTRA: “Hmm… spontaneous combustion…”

JENNY: “Is that like love at first sight?”

Quentin: Now, how about the new intro? I rather like the music; it’s sort of reminiscent of the older intros: a bit more electronic, less orchestral. The visuals are a nice change as well, finally something other than the time vortex.

Engie: OH MY GOD. That intro was perfect. I saw this fan-made intro, oh gosh, several months ago, and it was fantastic (as Nine would say). And then… the real intro used some of the same concepts and pretty art! Just look at the two intros together! The fan-made one comes first, FYI.

Quentin: That’s not surprising, considering the creator of the fan-made trailer was hired by the BBC as a “creative consultant.”

Engie: Seriously? That’s cool. And they should – that was much, much better than any of the other fan-made trailers I saw. I would be such a happy little nerd if someone hired me for that job based on something I did as just a fan.

Quentin: So now that we’ve covered the very beginning, how about the ending? Any speculation on who the character at the end is? We already know that she’s very likely a returning villain.

Engie: I’ve seen theories that Missy, that new lady, is the Rani. I’ll admit that I’m not entirely sure who the Rani is (I haven’t seen very much Classic Who, all right?) but I know that she’s a villain. I also read a really wild theory about how Missy is, like, helping the Master. Or something. Personally, while I think the Master is an interesting villain, we’ve seen enough of him for now. I want to see some different bad guy!

Quentin: Every time a new antagonist is introduced, people think they’re the Master, so I wouldn’t place much stock in those theories. Rani would be interesting, but probably too old and not significant enough to make a major reappearance.

Engie: I think Strax is the Master.

Quentin: That seems likely. As Wikipedia says, “Delgado’s portrayal of the Master was a suave, charming, and sociopathic individual, able to be polite and murderous at almost the same time.”

Engie: Please tell me you don’t use Wikipedia as a source for, like, real writing. Reports and stuff. Strax wouldn’t use Wikipedia in his field reports!

Quentin: So, any final comments? Personally, I liked that the episode was slower-paced than some of the recent ones, which gave it time to actually stop and explain, or to have dramatic moments instead of racing around to the next big thing.

Engie: Indeed. It was a really loooong episode, but if that story had been the length of a normal episode, there would’ve been no time for character development. And long funny scenes in which Twelve is VERY SCOTTISH. And stuff.

Quentin: In general, it was a decent episode. I don’t think it was the best first episode for a new Doctor, though.

Engie: Same here… and did we just actually agree on something Doctor Who-related?! I think we did!

Quentin: You agreed. I had no part in this strange process you call agreement.

Engie: Then prepare to die, human scum!

Quentin: EXTERMINATE!

Engie: Aaaaaand on that note, I think we should end our little chat.

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What’s YOUR opinion on “Deep Breath?” And did you like this new reviewing style? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. Keep your eyes peeled for another “Deep Breath” analysis post later this week… I have a lot of thoughts about it, all right?

Posted in Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

The Letter X + Queer Graphic Novels + Teenage Blogger Central

Three things have been on my mind lately, and I wanted to share them with you!

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I’m only three letters away from completing the A B See Photo Challenge… but I don’t have any ideas for the next post! Do you have any suggestions for a theme beginning with the letter X?

P.S. I’d prefer suggestions for broad themes, if possible. I mean, sure, xylophone starts with X, but… I’m not taking five pictures of xylophones because that would be boring!

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Does anyone know of some good graphic novels with LGBTQ+ characters and/or themes? I know that Marvel Comics has some good stories in that genre, and I’ll certainly look for them at the library, but what others have you read and enjoyed?

I’m asking because I really like reading graphic novels but… where are all the queer characters?! I haven’t found any so far, and it makes me disappointed.

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The other day, I found a website called Teenage Blogger Central and it is SUPER AWESOME. It’s basically a directory of blogs written by teens, and as long as you meet the age requirements, you can add your blog to the list. And that list is looooong – my blog ended up being #264!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I really like the site and thought some of my readers might as well. It’s fun to scroll through the lists and stumble across wonderful blogs that I wouldn’t have otherwise found. Also, I’m really loving all the variety in those blogs. Some have a definite theme; others are more like mine, and talk about anything and everything.

Go check it out!

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I, um, don’t really know how to end this post, so… have a nice day? And I’d really appreciate it if you answered the questions I asked in this post!

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Collaborative Reviews Of “Doctor Who,” Series Eight + In The Forest Of Titles And Theories

Today’s post is all about Doctor Who! More specifically, the brand-new eighth series. It is kind of a long post, so if you only read part of it, read the next section… because it’s slightly more important to me than fangirling over titles. But only slightly.

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A couple of days ago, I decided that I’d like to review each series eight episode.

Yesterday, I had a better idea: What if I reviewed the episodes with other people?

I’ve successfully convinced my brother to review the first episode, “Deep Breath,” with me, and now I’m looking for a few other people. If you’re a Whovian and a blogger (preferably someone I know fairly well – it would be a little weird to co-write with total strangers) and you’d be interested in reviewing collaboratively, let me know in the comments! I do already have a few people in mind and will message them on Facebook (or leave a comment on their blogs, if we’re not Facebook friends) later today to see if they’re interested.

How would we cowrite the reviews? I’m thinking of simply using Facebook instant-messaging, then writing up the transcript of that for the post. That could be a lot of fun, and it’s the format I’m aiming for, anyway: One person would write a little, then the other would write a couple of sentences, and so on and so forth. And I’d write it up as lines of dialogue, as if we were having a conversation.

Another option is to use Google Docs, because then we can edit a document at the same time. Let me know what you think.

What types of posts could we write? Anything and everything. All the posts would be reviews, but after that I don’t really have any specifications. We can write short posts, long posts, silly posts, serious posts, top ten lists, whatever. We can talk about most of the episode (my brother and I will do that) or only one aspect of the story. And I’m happy to take suggestions for post ideas.

I look to writing these collaborative reviews, if anyone is indeed interested! I got the idea from Cait and Mime @ Notebook Sisters – they often discuss books, movies, et cetera together and it’s always fun to read about what they agree and disagree about.

P.S. If multiple people are interested, how do we decide who reviews which episode? Truth be told, I have no idea. Call dibs on a particular episode if you’d like, but as you can see below… we’re given only vague clues as to what happens in each one, so maybe just pick whatever.

(Edit: Actually, there’s one more thing – if you pick the eleventh episode, make sure you have time to write a review for the twelfth as well. I think it would make sense to write with the same person/people, since together those episodes form one story.)

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I have an odd interest: Unusual titles! I love stumbling across beautiful, mysterious, or just plain odd titles – for books, chapters, movies, whatever.

Blame it on J.K. Rowling. I really admire her talent for creating interesting chapter titles that make me excited to read more; I may not love her books quite as much as I used to but that aspect of them still amazes me.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that the other day, I found the Doctor Who series eight episode titles listed on Wikipedia and I LOVE THEM. For a lot of reasons, but one of the biggest is that only one starts with, “the.” I get tired of titles that are “the _____,” especially since the THREE most recent Doctor Who episodes have all been titled “The _____ of the Doctor.”

Prepare yourself for fangirling and a LOT of theorizing, based on what may or may not be tiny clues hidden within the titles… let’s see how well I predict what happens in each episode!

Warning: Spoilers ahead, kind of! Don’t read the rest of this post if you’d rather be surprised about each and every episode!

1: “Deep Breath”

Honestly, I think I like this title just because it’s a nice change from “The ____ of the Doctor.” Also, I have NO IDEA what it’s referring to – and I like that mystery! (Note: I’m writing this post on 8/21, so the episode hasn’t aired yet.)

2: “Into the Dalek”

Hmm, I wonder who the villains of this episode will be.

All kidding aside, what does this mean, exactly? Will the main characters journey inside a huge Dalek? Are they going into an area infested by Daleks? Is someone going to literally become a Dalek once again, à la Oswin Oswald in “Asylum of the Daleks?”

3: “Robot of Sherwood”

This sounds ridiculous, but it did make me laugh, so I’ll give it points for that. Sherwood as in Sherwood Forest? As in Robin Hood? Who knows?

4: “Listen”

I’m having quite a lot of fun with my theorizing, so I’m going to go out on a limb here and posit a really wild theory: I bet this is a creepy episode. No, really. Think about it. Wouldn’t it be creepy if Clara and the Doctor thought they were alone, and then one of them says, “Wait, listen!” and then WEIRD STUFF HAPPENS?

…my other theory is that this episode is somehow related to music, but that’s not quite as scary, is it?

5: “Time Heist”

I love love love how strange this title is – how can one steal time?

So, I like it for that reason, and because I think it supports my theory that Captain Jack Harkness will return to the show, at least for one episode. I mean, he’s a con man and Time Agent, or was. A time heist sounds like something he’d attempt, right?

(If you don’t already know my theory: Jack met John Frobisher – who was played by Peter Capaldi, the current Doctor – in series three of Torchwood. I wondered if maybe they’d bring Jack back for a while as part of their explanation about why Twelve’s likeness has appeared multiple times in the Whoniverse.)

6: “The Caretaker”

At first I thought this episode might feature Tom Baker (who played the Fourth Doctor)!

…and then I realized that his character from The Day of the Doctor is the CURATOR, not the Caretaker. I think.

7: “Kill the Moon”

So at first I went OOH THIS IS COOL because, like, how can you kill the moon? It sounds kind of dramatic and serious.

And then I remembered this scene:

Well, then. I would be happy even if this episode was ridiculous instead of serious, because Strax is the greatest.

8: “Mummy on the Orient Express”

Oh, dear. This episode sounds absolutely ridiculous.

…bring it on.

Also, does the Poirot reference mean there will be another Agatha-Christie-themed episode?!

9: “Flatline”

I’m sorry if this is morbid, but all I can think of here is DEATH. When a person’s heart stops beating and the monitor-machine-thing stops beeping to indicate they’re alive, isn’t that called flatlining?

Maybe this is a sad episode? I don’t know.

10: “In the Forest of the Night”

If this isn’t a Rowling title, then I don’t know what is. I LOVE beautiful, fantastical titles. There aren’t really any clues to be found here, other than that a forest will presumably feature in the episode, but I’m happy to just imagine something fantastical and awesome.

11, 12: “Dark Water” and “Death in Heaven”

 Aaaaaand following right on the heels of #10 are two more episodes with neat titles! I particularly like “Death in Heaven” because of its contradictions – you go to heaven once you’re already dead, right? (Well… I don’t believe any of that, personally, but I’m getting off topic here. I’m discussing it from a literary point of view, rather than a religious one, I guess.)

Maybe a character dies in a wonderful place, an absolute paradise that they say is just like heaven. That could be a very sad episode. I don’t know. I’m just casting random theories into the void, and quite honestly I’m probably way off the mark and then you’ll all laugh at me once the series has finished.

(Edit, 6/26: At the end of “Deep Breath,” that lady said, “Welcome to heaven.” Did she mean that metaphorically, or is there literally a place called Heaven in the Whoniverse? I mean, there was a town called Christmas. Anything could happen, right? She’s already been set up as a possible villain, so will the Doctor meet her there?)

Anyway. The most important issue here is, of course, who’s dying? I really hope it’s not Twelve, because one series is far too short for any Doctor.

There’s another possibility, though. Jenna Coleman, the actress who plays Clara Oswald, has said she’s leaving after the Christmas special, so maybe her character will die. Except… I’m not sure that “Death in Heaven” is the Christmas special. If my calculations are correct, this series will end a few weeks before Christmas. I mean, there’s a chance Clara will die/otherwise disappear from the plot before Christmas (I am probably a bad person for saying this, but: THAT WOULD BE GREAT) but then again, she might not.

Also, apparently the series eight finale will (SPOILERS) feature Cybermen (END SPOILERS).

P.S. I find it interesting that this series, there’s only one two-part story! Usually there are one or two more…

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What do you think of all my wild theories? If you have any predictions of your own, I’d love to hear them!

Oh, and one more thing: Feel free to laugh at me throughout series eight, because without a doubt, at least one of my predictions will later be proved wrong. Hilariously, ridiculously wrong.

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