Here, There be a Writer

Friday, June 23, 2017

Update June 2017

You know, I started this blog is 2012 and it is 2017. My how time flies!

So, Dear Readers, I don't want you to think I have forgotten you. My life has certainly been busy, if not interesting, between  theatre, writing, and life in general. I will say that my plans for this blog have change much. Where I once blogged about books, movies, music, and pop culture, I find now a bit of a barren landscape, something like Siberia, or maybe the deserts of Kazakhstan.

Kazakh Desertscape
I'm currently writing a podcast, with the intent to record it and put it out into the world. So, much of my writing/editing time is wrapped up in this. It's very exciting; and it is also the first project in a LONG while I have been passionate about. There are also my children's books. I have two completed stories, I just need to figure out how I am going to fund them. These are to two major projects I have planned to work n this year. And since I've taken the summer off (and likely into the Fall) of theatre, well, I now have the time to devote to them.

On a personal front, I am the happiest I have been in a year. I can't say that every day is perfect, but I have found myself and continue to find myself on this journey of life. I've been published in a local anthology, played First Witch in Macbeth, and I've started jogging and taking better care of my health. Those are just a few things to point out.

I have also learned that to be strong means to stand proud, to help others, make great (or not so great) art, to not live in shadows, to not lean so heavily on others, but also to ask for help when you need it. I am building my own Mythology out of these lessons! By telling my stories, both my own stories and the stories in my head. It is very freeing and rewarding, and yet painful. I'm enjoying the ride.

I likely will post update from time to time here. Also, I will continue to write pieces about nerd stuff, books and movies, and other important type matters. It won't be every week, but I do enjoying sharing my world with you. Keep checking back for updates!

As always, Dear Readers, be good to each other and help make the world a little bit better.

Pop Quiz of the Post:
What is one thing you remember from growing up that has left an impact on you?
Mine is the book A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. It's story resonates a truth about struggles and learning to cope with the demons you may be battling. Oh, and space travel to other planets is awesome by Tesseracts!

4-D cube or Tesseract

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Flash Fiction: Brainstorming

It's been a while, Dear Readers, somewhere between theatre and snow I haven't been as dutiful with posted. I need to change that. That where this post comes in. I need to write some, not only to keep in practice, but it's what we writer do, and next month is the A to Z challenge, and while I have been focusing on submitting my completed work, and revising a select few pieces to go into the submission rotation (of rejection letter. you know what I mean). I also have a big sooper sekrit project that I have been working on developing. More on that at a another post.

In the mean time, Dear Readers, here is a little piece I whipped up for a group I am part of, #writestuff's monthly writing prompt, created by Tamara Woods (check her out!). Spring having returned, mostly, and the muse trying to break out of her frozen winter encasement I thought I would whip out a piece of flash fiction. So, remember, that this is the rough draft, I want to go back and polish it up some. I have a few projects I am currently working on and trying to limit creating new stories that might distract from them. But for now, I present a story about something writers often face, Brainstorming...

The voice echoed across the sunshine streaming in through the windows.

“I remember the journey that took me into the heart of Chicago. It wasn’t the grandest of adventures, after all I was only sixteen.”

The voice began again, only this time preceded by a click.

“Remember that trip into Chicago? I do.” Emphatic and articulate, the voice spoke of riding the El Trains around the perimeter of Chicago base. “I was only sixteen, but it felt like a whole different world.” The click resounded and the whirling on rewinding tape. The old and wrinkled hands fumbled across the cassette recorder for the stop button, which had rubbed off most of the lettering on the machine, yet still worked perfectly.

“It was the year of my sixteenth year….” the voice stopped but didn’t stop the recorder, “In the sixteenth year of my life, I traveled the first time. I left my home and my family to find something that I was looking for…” Click! The voice sighed deeply, setting down the recorder, and glanced it’s pale blue eyes out the window.

She was an older woman, hands trembled slightly, but grasped a hold of a nearby pencil and began writing on a small notepad. “Maybe it’s time to try the old way,” she said, stopping to glanced back out the window. The sky was blue without any cloud cover, but the wind blew, and the women knew it was a cold wind. “”Why am I trying to write about Chicago?” she said, glancing across her small single room apartment.

It was packed tightly with bookshelves and a small fold out couch. She scanned across the shelves, unsure and frowning, “The must have left,” she said. Picking up the pencil, she scribbled some words, a name, and several places. “Chicago? I have never been to chicago...well, once when I was younger, and on a layover when I had to run across O’Hare Airport to catch my next flight…” Her eyes squinting in the dim light of the apartment, and her gaze fell across of row of books.

“Ah, yes...I remember these...Must be why I have Chicago on the brain.” Laughing the woman stood up and strode across the room’s width to the shelf in question and pull off a greyish blue tinted book. “Ah, Tris, somehow you remind me more of myself than the others,” she said sweeping her arm across the shelves of books and manuscripts. “But your story is NOT mine,” and she wagged a finger at the book. The pages were old and slightly faded, as it had been many years since the woman had opened these pages. She leaned in and inhaled.

“Ah, that’s the stuff that brings me to life,” and a sudden snap of the book brought her out of her revelry. “Maybe I should try something different, after all I will not be successful if I don’t at least write.” She carefully placed the book back on the shelf, sliding it between a thick volume of Poe’s writings, a greenish grey one,  an orangey red one, and a thin book with a dragon printed on the side. “What is it he said?” Her hands trailed over a small globe, spinning it and blurring the colours in a rainbow of flurries across the globe’s imagery sky. “Write what you know?”

Her footsteps echoed quietly on the carpet of her flat and the sound of a nearby train rumbled into her meager space. The cup on the desk rattled, along with countless dragon knick knacks. She smiled, thinking about the day she moved out here. Her hands grasped ahold of the old mug, it was clipped and the handled had been re-glued at least three times, but it was her oldest cup she owned, and the one that survived the move out here.

“I remember when I had only one coffee cup, and one plate, and one bowl.” Laughing, she glanced around, “Now I have plenty! And more than enough for a different cup,” she said and looked at the mug and the fade pictures of her as Bottom the Ass; Mrs. Sowerberry, the Undertaker Wife; and Mrs. Elbert Cook Jr. “Those were the days,” she smiled and glanced out the window. Her view included a small flower box filled with flowers and a small tomato plant. “Maybe this hand I’ll get some tomatoes.”

The clock chimed the hour, and the woman set down the cup and returned to her chair. While not so stiff from age, she moved much more slowly than she did when she moved in some twenty years ago, “I need to get started, or I’ll never make deadline.” Picking up the pencil, and pulling out a larger notepad, the woman began scratching out words, “You know, sometimes it is worth it to get stuck in Chicago, even if it was only for an hour, sometimes the best adventures happen in your twenties, and still others are sweeter in your forties. This one is about adventure though, about taking chances, and pulling a sword out of a barn door at three in the morning.

“Ha! That’s pull them in…” she chuckled to herself, “Just enough truth, and a whole lot of adventure…” she said to herself, glancing back over at the shelf with the globe. “I can have just as many adventures as you, Tris, some even better…” Her pencil scratching across the page. The world building itself and her coffee cooled and the afternoon passed into evening.

Dear Readers, leave me a comment about the story (what did you like, or not like), or how your brainstorm ideas for stories, and what kind of muse do you follow (or how you get inspired).,,

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Update on Progress / Prose: Winter Tunnel

Wandering down a tunnel, cold and damp. The mud squelches and echoes around me. It feels like I am in a huge cavern, but I know its a tunnel, and I have been walking for a long time.

from MorgueFile

My feet feel heavy as I lift them up and out of the mud, only to be draw back in the quagmire of the muddy recesses. I don't like being here, but here is where I am. It wasn't always this way. I remember back when the sunshine existed and I was warm. 

That was July, I believe.

I got sidetracked while traveling. That happens sometimes. But never like this, with tunnels and darkness. I wish that I could get back into the sunlight, but it feels like months, or eons away.



I start humming a little song, something that I don't remember, but I am walking a little faster. In time. In beat.




And suddenly I don;t realize that I am in a dark, damp, and cold tunnel, because I am singing, "...rise to the fear, face the inner dark, and the light will.." I sing, getting lost in the melody. When I look up, I see the light, a much larger circle, though still in the distance. 

Maybe it's not so far away, I think, skipping along the muddy roadway.

Dear Readers, sometimes I get so caught up in the daily, in the tunnel, that i forget I am on a journey. Winter, as I spoke of before is so hard, hard for a lot of people, me included. Once again I found myself in the middle of a dark tunnel, but this time I refused to stay there. I have to fight. I have to walk. Because if I don't then I won't get out of the tunnel. I have been outside of the tunnel before, and I will return there again, but right now I need to walk, one step at a time.

In the mean time, I am beginning my journey to published author. First, I just got word that one of my two poems were chosen for a local anthology of poems on Gender and Sexuality, titled "Gender Truths". There's a reading next month and this will be in physical print. This is REALLY exciting!

So, now I have to work on getting these pieces of fiction published. I have chosen four short works that I have revised and sent out to beta readers, and then revised some more. Now it's time to start submitting them. There are in a great place, ripe for submitting. Maybe I will need to revised and/or more, but at this time it's time to try another round submissions. If I don't get my name out there, how will anyone know who I am. Right?

Other business, I recent had a Sooper Sekrit Project that I had been working on. It's time to admit what I have be doing. I last month I write on my own, four Welcome to Night Vale scripts. It is my current obsession, and am going to be seeing them live in April. SQUEEEEEE! Anyway, when I started writing these scripts I hadn't thought much beyond finishing them. Well, there are done. And I went and submitted them (afterward I checked the website FAQ). I don't know if Jeffrey and Joseph will read them, but I did what I set out to do. In the mean time I have posted them to my Deviatart Page for fans to enjoy, and I plan to do a table read with my Night Valian friends this spring.

Also, I have two children's books that I am going to get published somehow, either this year, or later and maybe self-publish if it doesn't go through the regular means. I am working on that, nd as it involves business stuff, I m taking it slow. But, it's only February 9th and I am a (NOW) a thrice published poetry (the last two were on calendars).

Yup, that is going to be my 2017, editing, revising, and submitting, maybe a little writing to keep the juices flowing.

What have you been up to, Dear Readers?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Choose Your Own Adventure: Quest for the Holy Grail of Muses or Creativity Grail

It's story time, Dear Readers!

Once Upon a Time it was February. The first of February, a Wednesday (okay, some of this is based on truth), the middle of week. The barely covered grass  boasts green brown, stunt grass, and little else. It is a very boring, sad sight.

That's how I am feeling.

They say that the third week in January is the worst part of winter, especially here in the northern wastes. Okay, that's an embellishment, but as my friend Jack often says about where he grew up in a little town North of Corning, NY, it is the great northern snow wastes (or something like that). I will have to pay royalties to Jack now. Great!

Well, anyhow, it's the first of February, and honestly January, while it's rough and utterly disgusting. Trust me, I have lived in New York State for thirty seven years, and in most of that time, well January is SHITE! Utter crapastically shite! The cold, the wind, the snow, and the bleakness that rules everything. It's bad! This means, Dear Readers, that if you are not engaged in a hobby, job, or some mundane task, then you are forced to try to figure winter out. Often it is too cold, windy, or light out to do much of anything. And many of you, myself including suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, in possibly additionally other mental type disorders.

So, I am currently in a battle, Dear Readers!

Truth, I suffer from fear of complacency, and actual complacency. If I am not currently doing something, I don't do anything, and then am left feeling terrible about my lack of productivity.

It's like I'm on a quest for the Holy Grail of Muses, or the Golden Calf of Creativity, and while on this quest I decide that staying in bed and binge watching She-Ra is a better option.

No don't get me wrong. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu are all great, but there is always this nagging little faerie (think Navi fro Zelda) yelling at me with high-pitched shrieks.

I'm on this quest and I find myself facing the Lazy Beast of Netflixia, a far away, and that loves to attack innocent travelers. Well, on this first of February I met this beast and it my attempt to slay it, found me at the mercy of my bed, warm blankets, and two sleeping Beasts snoozing next to me. I have put down my sword and pressed the button,

Three hours later I was still in the familiar lands of My Bed, and the sleeping Beasts are gone. I pick up the mantle of intrepid traveler, adventurer, and continue to seek the Grail of Muses. Further down I find a kindly gentleman with a pack of books. He agreed to sell me a magical tome. After a moment of bantering I now have a tome of literature and make my way to the nearest tavern where I am greeted with a cheerful smile and a hot cup of stimulate. There is another hour wasted, and I have in a cold half drunken cup of stimulate and no Grail.

You can see where this is going, right, Dear Readers?

I picked myself up and fill my satchel full of supplies and leave the tavern. Again going out into the frigid cold, the deadened landscape to seek my query. Only I am left wandering the well worn paths seeking clues to what I am looking for. What am I looking form? I don't even anymore.

Yes, there is a point, Dear Readers...

I wander down into the valley. There is a familiarity to the land, and I can't help feeling that maybe this is what I was looking for before. There are many buildings in the village, but I find the one place that I have always know, always gone to, and relied on. It is a tavern, but this time as I am walking up to the front door, the overhead sign  depicting a chalice of steaming liquid, I open the door and it's warm and the familiar smell of caffeine and baked goods. I have come home. The sleeping beasts are far from here, the charlatan's pedaling easy answers stay away. And I sit down only to realize that I had the Grail with me the whole time. Before I know it, I have a story sitting in front of me.

See, Dear Readers, there was a plot to this story. Simply, I know what works when I am feeling like I'm in a rut, or the Winter Blues are attacking. Sometimes you just need to take that moment to see why you are not happy, and then do it. Thus doesn't mean that I will always feel this productive. Some days are really hard, and my life is VERY different than what it was a year ago. What worked before, may not always works, but if I don't try, if I don't make an effort, then I won't know.

Winter sucks, especially here in the Great Northern Snowy Wastes, but it doesn't have to take me out everyday. I can battle it and win. Sometimes I give in and binge watch She-Ra or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But other times, especially when I don't go into work because it is slow and there is nothing for me to do, I do need to go on quests for the Creative Grail, because otherwise I might not have written this blog post / story from you now.

What I do~~~
I love to read books. I just finished a re-read of The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen, working on finishing the Inkheart series (halfway through Inkdeath). I do community theatre and have lines to learn for a show that goes up at the end of April. Also, I am working on getting published this year.

Leave me a comment about what you do to beat the Winter Blues. How do you fight the sleeping beasts or the charlatans of Netflixia? Or if you need a lazy day, because you've been extremely busy, what do you do to relax and unwind?

Monday, January 9, 2017

2016 Movie Review

This is the first year (2016, I mean) that I have seen a good chunk of the movies released. As a rule, I used to not want to spend the money on a movie ticket, but with new Star Wars movies, live action Disney remakes, and actual content within movies, I have decided that this was a silly rule.

Now, I set aside money for 1 movie per week, as long as there are decent movie to see. I still don't like movies with stupid concepts and certain actors are not favourites, but with that being said, I was pleasantly surprised by the movies that I did see.

This will be an impartial list, as I didn't see everything, but I did stretch my theatrical muscles on this and watched two horror movies. Oddly enough, they were more about plot and character than scaring. So, Dear Readers, without ado, my list of Cindy's 2016's movie picks....

First the Honourable Mentions:
     1. The Shallows: So, shark movies. Yeah. Shark movies! Nothing can compare to Roy Scheider in Jaws, but, honestly, Blake Lively was so convincing that I really felt for her. The story was present and well told. There is little gore, mostly from the nasty nip Lively receives from her shark buddy. For a strictly one person (with a few side characters) movie, it holds up really well, as entertaining and quality storytelling.

     2. Ouija: Origin of Evil. Okay, so I didn't know that there was a previously made Ouija movie (2014) and that this movie was a prequel. I enjoyed the movie, even with the jump scares, because the story focus more on the characters, which is something important. Also, the depiction of the 1960's were really spot on, costumes, cars, set location. The house used was gorgeous! I am only slightly curious about seeing the 2014 Ouija, simply because there is a connection to characters, but because Origin of Evil was so well done I am not sure I want it ruined. It nothing else it was a good spooky movie with wonderful characters.

3. Office Xmas Party: This is a stupid movie, but it is a AMAZING stupid movie. In the vein of Bad Moms, but with MUCH MORE SWEARING! So, I once said I disliked stupid humour movies. I lied (like the Doctor does). I actually like movies with that brand of silly and/or stupid humor, where you may be left scratching your head, but also laughing really hard. Jennifer Aniston is hands down the best part of this movie. She can totally play cold-hearted bitch and own it!! Kate McKinnon is just adorbs as the crazy HR lady.

The List:
      1. Ghostbusters: Answer the Call - This was a feel good movie. I enjoyed the SNL actors, the cameos, and the spirit with which the movie was made. Ha! I'm keeping that pun in, Dear Readers.

      2. Finding Dory - There is something special about movies that cater to the adults just a little more. Dory is a great movie for all ages, but the subtext woven into the story just make me happy.

      3. The Danish Girl - I knew so little of Eddie Redmayne prior to this movie. Okay, except for that Les Miserables musical, but that is for another time and rant. In a world where the LGBTQ community is active and present now more than ever, its nice to see how some early transgender folks dealt with life and coping with the world. Yeah and Eddie looks damn fine in a dress too!

      4. Rouge One - A solid reminder that Star Wars is NOT a terrible franchise. It's a fill and vibrant world, and there are those who still care about its place in the universe. A darker and more cynical view of the empire, it has it right, as it is before the shot went down in A New Hope. For that I applaud you.  Oh, and Alan Tudyk, you are my new favourite!!

      5. Fantastic Beasts... - I like the Harry Potter universe. I have read all the books (okay not Cursed Child, yet). I was just glad that it appealed to everyone, whether a fans of the Potter-Verse or not. That and Eddie. ;-)

      6. Moana - Okay...gonna say it! Lin Manuel Miranda. There! The story is strong, the animation stellar, and the music gorgeous. Also, I wrote a full review about it, Moana Review.

      7. Zootopia - A really strong movie with an amazing message. Kudos to Disney for promoting something so strong as unity within the real world issues that we face today.

      8. Time Chasers (Rifftrax) - I love Rifftrax. If you don't know what they are, go now to their website: You won't regret it. From the minds of the members of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (MSK3K), Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy bring you riff of your favourite main stream movies and old school educational short films. An mp3 track to play along with the movie of your choice and BOOM joke, comedy, and commentary on the strangest of topics.

      9. Bad Moms - Real life problems mixed with the absurdness of mom's running wild.  Strong performances from Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell.

      10. The Jungle Book - Disney, live animals (well, CGI animals), and a mostly non-musical version of the classic. It is darker and gritty, but there is more plot and character that make it holds it  own.

Other movies I saw:
        *Pete's Dragon - Another remake, well, not a remake. It is more like a re-imagining of the original idea. I was SOOOOO hesitant on watching this. I grew up on the original. I knew it and the songs like nobody, well outside of a few close friends who need it a little better.
        *Secret Life of Pets - just freakin' cute.
        *Passengers - space adventure story with J-Law.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The 5 Most Annoying or Tasteless Christmas Songs

Note (updated 12/19/2016): I had previously posted about terrible Christmas Song HERE. It's funny to note that 4 out of the 5 are the same. It's proof that some songs are just terrible, or at least overly played. I am glad that I looked a little harder to find some new terrors for you, Dear Readers. Also, I have decided that Do They Know its Christmas needs to get moved. I still loathe Christmas Shoes, but Do They Know? is becoming the worst Christmas song in my book.

So, have you ever listened to the radio from Thanksgiving to New Years (varies a little from place to place)? What are the songs that crawl into your ears as the worst, annoying, and / or tasteless of the holiday set? I have a desk job, and have a little Lennox-Sound radio that plays me music to while away the hours. I think I got it in the eighties. The tape deck doesn't work, and the purple is faded to a sandy brown, but I can still listen to those classics and not so classic holiday tunes.

My purple wonder! Shiny stickers and all...
Most of these songs get regular airplay on my radio station of choices, which mean you have probably heard one or more of these, unless you do not have a radio, or chose to not listen to said radio. Some of these songs are truly ear-worms!

Note: Links are only for the brave and not feint of heart, except for the Patton Oswalt link!!

Enjoy! :-)

Honourable Mentions: Jingle Bells - Frank Sinatra (J-I-N-G-L-E Bells), Santa Baby (any version is annoying, some artists that have covered it include Eartha Kitt, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, and even Michael Buble have covered this), and Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer (Elmo & Patsy).

These songs why I don't hate them directly, one is mildly to moderately annoying when you hear it looped while walking around a Wal-Mart, and trust me, this has happened. I felt like I was in the movie Groundhog Day, but during Christmas. The other is just kinda tacky and self-absorbed. There's a bit of kitsch with Santa Baby, but version like the Madonna version seem to make my skin crawl. And sometimes, ever once in a while the stupid need visual aids and gets made into a Christmas special . Definitely NOT kidding here!

5. Santa Claus Has Got the Aids - Tiny Tim

I only learned of this while looking up potential candidates for this list. I listened to it for you, and it is thew weirdest song I have heard. Click the link if you are curious. Tiny Tim, the master of tip-toeing thru the tulips wrote and sings this one. I'm thinking there was a motive for writing this song, but I just don't know. It's upbeat and borders on jollity. It makes it a little creepy with Tim's light-hearted take of the AIDS epidemic (before it became one). I have never heard this on the radio, ever!

There. Are. No. Words.

4. All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth - Spike Jones and His City Slickers

Written in 30 minutes by a music teacher, Donald Yetter Gardner in 1944, because over half of his class were missing one or more of their front teeth. Recorded by many groups and artists including The Chipmunks, Danny Kaye and the Andrew Sisters, Ray Stevens, George Strait,  Nat King Cole, The Three Stooges,  Count Von Count, and RuPaul.

3. Daddy, Please Don't Get Drunk This Christmas - John Denver

I cannot find much about this song. The songwriter is Bill Dannoff, the creator of Starland Vocal Band, and writer of their ONE BIG HIT, Afternoon Delight. He also penned Daddy, Please Don't Get Drunk... He worked and toured with John Denver, which is how this song probably got onto the roster for Denver's, Rocky Mountain Christmas Special. It's another link in the chain of overly sad to depressing Christmas about bad behavior during the holidays. I do get it, that the holidays, they are hard for some people, but I prefer to focus on the happy, joyous spirit of the holidays, not the sad, depressing parts. Also covered by Alan Jackson and The Decemberists.

2. Christmas Shoes - Newsong

The top most annoying Christmas Song goes to that song. That song about the damn shoes and hard luck children. This is a really for me to go Bah Humbug. I'm serious, Dear Readers. The only reason I can even say the name of this song is because of Patton Oswalt's bit on Christmas Shoes, and then someone animated it. Check it out here----> Patton Oswalt's Christmas Shoes. Also, I need to point out that this song was made into a Hallmark Made-for-TV movie with Rob Lowe. Even worst, there are TWO, count 'em two, sequels (I haven't watched them!

1. Do That Know It's Christmas Time? - Band-Aid, Barenaked Ladies, Glee

What do you get when you combine a bunch of A-list artists and the continent of Africa? A really self-righteous song about how sad the folks of Africa are, and ultimately how lucky those in first world countries are. If I seem bitter, it because I don't feel that message about helping others came across sincere. I know that aim was to inform the people of the world about the plight of Ethiopia and raise money (and oh, did it), but it just comes across uppity. Boy George was almost not part if the track as he was flown over to England last minute, due to a busy Culture Club tour. The song has been recorded four times and covered by the Barenaked Ladies and Glee and it never gets any better. The tone is really wrong, and I cannot get past it.

Remember, this list is subjective. I would love to hear from all of you about which Christmas / Holidays songs drive you crazy, are over played, or just plain tasteless. Have a Wonder Holiday season! Blessings to you and yours!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Moana: A Brief Review!

There are few movies that strike a chord within me, especially in Disney movies, in such a way that I am happy to live on this planet. Okay, that's a strange statement, yes. First, it's not that I don't love Disney movies, but after watching Moana, I felt a surge of pride that the stories they are telling are worthy to tell.

Maui and Moana
See I grew up with Disney movies. There were the ones that I was constantly watching, like Robin Hood, The Jungle Book, Dumbo, and Cinderella. These are the stories of my youth, but they were the most powerful told stories. This isn't a slam against the animators on these movies. They were good movies, but there came a time when you wanted something powerful. It wasn't until Beauty and the Beast, that came out in 1991, that I saw Disney trying to tell stories with a purpose. The Little Mermaid was a fantastic movie and is the beginning of what many have dubbed 'The Disney Renaissance', but it wasn't until Beauty and the Beast that something sparked.

Not every modern Disney sparks my soul and promotes strong feminine roll models, or tell a thrilling and/or beauty story, but recently Disney has found it's stride. Brave, a story about a strong willed girl and her mother and finding yourself (not really a love story), Frozen, a story about sisterly love more than romantic love, and finding yourself, and now, Moana, a story of finding your place and not falling into the rolls that have been carved out for us, thus, finding yourself. These are stories that I love, and that I want my nieces and all children to have access to. They are also becoming strong contenders to be called the new classics (at least in my universe).

In the last few years there has been more stories featuring stories and legends from different cultures. I think that is great! The Grimm's fairy tales, of olden days are find, but that it is important to see the story that shape ALL of us. This is a main reason that Moana has become my new favourite story.

Moana, the stories of a pacific islander girl, who challenges her world and defies the rules by traveling across the barrier reef, searching for Maui, the demi-god who stole the heart of Tafiti (the mother goddess that created all of the lands of the ocean), and therefore began to tear the world apart. Moana, has to brave the dangers of the open sea and those within herself to reunite Tafiti with her heart. Kinda a dual life lesson there, eh Disney?

And then you have music written by Lin Manuel Miranda, the creator of Hamilton, a American Musical. Music in a movie can make a story more profound, and the song, We Know the Way, is about as profound as you can get, telling the story of Moana's heritage and her peoples travels to discover new lands; and there's How Far I'll Go, sung by Moana, yearning for something more, feeling just a little out of place, much is the way that Belle (Reprise) calls out Belle's desire for something greater.

How Far I'll Go

I've been standing at the edge of the water
Long as I can remember
Never really knowing why
I wish I could be the perfect daughter
But I come back to the water
No matter how hard I try...

I can talk about each of these songs and great length, but the point is that the songwriters knew what they were doing in building a story with music and words, from the love of a Gramma Tala to her granddaughter, and your pride within yourself, Moana to her people. Even the Shiny song, with the David Bowie-esque Crab pulls at your core. Although, it is less about personal growth and just a bad ass song.

Moana is a worthy addition to the Disney pantheon, and is definitely NOT A PRINCESS! She is a girl, designed to look like a girl, and voiced/sung by an ACTUAL 16 year old Hawaiian teenager. There are so many things that Disney got right. Also, Hei-Hei the chicken is voiced by Alan Tudyk (from Firefly). Hear the fan girl/fan boy squeeing (you're welcome, Sara)!!

If you get a chance to see Moana, please do. It is worth the watch!