Saturday, February 9, 2013

It's A Small World...

I've mentioned that I wanted to do a short post on how small our worlds were when we were younger. I think I've finally pulled my thoughts together enough to make sense of it. I apologize in advance if I didn't accomplish that ;-)

Do you remember that feeling - the world was at your fingertips, there were no thousands of miles or oceans away from you and your dreams? Do you remember thinking one actor was the same actor in everything. That every face you saw and thought you knew, had to be someone in your family or from your school? There was no way it was a stranger...

I'd forgotten that until recently. When my mother told my children a story about my "so cute" days of kindergarten.

The Story: a friend of mine was out for one whole week of kindergarten. Toward the end of the week when no one had mentioned her absence, I started getting worried. Before I went into full-on hyperventilating mode, I asked the teacher what had happened to my dear friend. She had been gone for-EVER. The teacher patted my head and in the most soothing voice said, "Oh, honey. She's at Disney World." 
That was the best thing I could have heard. She wasn't hurt, or sick, or even far away. Everyone knew what Disney World was, and more importantly: where it was. Disney World was that big castle that we passed sometimes on important trips. I'd seen it before, just not up close.

Here's the "so cute" part. I don't live in Florida, lovely reader. I live in Southwest VA. And in my youth moms and dads didn't drive all around town and into different cities/counties, unless it was necessary. Therefore, I didn't go into a certain area of the city often. And when I did, there was this grand (Disney World Castle Huge to little 5 year old me), gorgeous Catholic church. Which I always thought was Disney World.

Exhibit Faux Disney World:

So, it's not all fairy tales and princesses like the real Disney World, but it was just far enough out of my small world to be the exotic, real deal.

Anyhow, this childhood story got me thinking about fictional stories and creating those phenomenal worlds that millions of readers clammer to read. Think of your favorite escapism stories. I'd bet they're based on huge worlds filled with secrets and well developed characters - all while existing in the small confines of the main characters bubble of space. Even when the main characters go off on an adventure it always exists within their small world. And it usually involves secrets only they know about - secrets into this bigger world.

Just a thought for all my writer friends out there: Make your story as huge as it can be, in your characters close-to-home space. Excitement paired with the relatability factor will pull readers in every time. 

I hope this makes sense. If you have any thoughts to add feel free to leave them in the comments. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Throwback Movie Tuesdays

Hi, all!

As I said in the first Throwback Movie post: The amount of time during my childhood that was dedicated to watching Teen Witch on a loop speaks volumes about me as a lover of story (which, by the way, was not easy with VHS, kids. I mean I had to invest in a VHS rewinder that was separate from my VHS player so that it wouldn't wear out the gears on the... NEVERMIND).

Anyhow, I kept coming back to the amount of time I spent engrossed in story during my formative years. It would not be a stretch for me to say that movies raised me: cheesy movies, great movies, bad movies - you name it and I watched it (probably).

So, I decided to start posting the movies that I grew up with, along with some reasons why I fancied them. Feel free to share thoughts or stories about your own viewing of particular titles, as I list them. Oh, and feel free to recommend movies for me to cover - I very well may have seen them, no matter how cheesy or bad or obscure.

P.s. I like my stories (books, movies, TV shows, plays... you get the point) with: some cheese factor, romance, and a little dysfunction. And remember, it's all subjective, so I understand if my recommendations aren't your cup of tea. 

(also, in the last post I mentioned that I wanted to blog about how small our worlds once were as kids. That short post will be coming up this week!)

Now, let's look at:

She Fought Alone

I cannot watch this opening clip without going straight back to my sophomore year of high school. And I love when a story encapsulates time and memory that way; like an unforgettably distinct smell.

Why I loved this movie:

1. Small town. Football. Done!
2. The Blues Travelers. *drops mic*
3. High school hierarchy. Including The Crew. Oh, were there ever Crews in my small town school. (one in which the 'members' - read 3 guys - burned the web of skin between their thumb and first finger with the metal top of a HOT lighter. Yeah... Maybe that's why they didn't have a bigger Crew?!)
4. An homage to Stephen King's Carrie!
5. When approaching the subject matter, I appreciated seeing a female lead who was ready for consensual sex, protection was involved, and she was confident in pursuing her guy (albeit, she suffers from a little bit of showboating to try and 'keep him' or 'living up to The Crew' afterward, but still, it was nice to see a female lead be comfortable with her sexuality).
6. Expressing Ethan's reasons for taking up for his friend. We often want to find one person to blame, and the guy she was interested in is immediately the go to - after all he shared a moment with her. He should stand up for her, or be damned! Yet, that's not usually the case because we all have our own stories full of struggle. I enjoyed them exploring why he doesn't know what to believe at first. Guys have feelings too (even if they come across as nonchalant, or insensitive).
7. It scared the hell out of me. Yes, I like it for this reason. It let me know (I'll agree, in a preachy-monday-night-movie, true-story way of the 90s, still the point was valid) that no matter how prepared and confident you are in your sexual decisions, others will still attack what they were afraid of - i.e. a girl that isn't afraid to expose the dirty secrets of this small town. It was shockingly easy for the entire town to believe the innocence of the rapist because Caitlin, the main character, was 'That Girl'; a slut.
8. That ending! Ah, part of my die-hard romantic side wants a different ending (no spoilers peeps!) - and you'll know what I mean when you watch it - but, the part of me that roots for badass female leads understands the ending.

Okay, lovelies, who has watched She Fought Alone? Have a favorite part and want to share? Any thoughts on the bygone era of Monday Night TV Movies?