Why Hades is Actually the Best Disney Villain

Maleficent, the movie that Disney nerds far and wide have been anticipating for months is finally here.  I have not yet seen the movie, but its release, of course, has got me thinking about Disney Villains.  From what I’ve heard about the movie, it explores the backstory the self-proclaimed Mistress of All Evil and includes a lot of CGI.

In the spirit of celebrating Evil Disney Characters, I thought I’d pay a little tribute to my favorite Disney Villain of all time, Hades, Lord of the Dead.

This guy is just the best.  True, I have a slight bias because I’m also a huge fan of Greek Mythology, but even if I didn’t, Hades would still be one of my favorites.  From his awesome fiery blue hair to his sassy sense of humor to his tendency to call everybody “Babe,” Hades just rules.  And he knows it.

If you need any more reasons to be Team Hades, look at the facts.  This guy is a god.  That means he can’t die.  He can’t be defeated.  EVER.  Yeah, at the end of Hercules, we see him being flushed away in the River Styx, but he’s immortal.  He runs the Underworld.  And mortals are always going to die.  He might hit a few bumps in the road, but he’s going to have the last laugh in the end.

Also, his hatred of his brother, Zeus, is totally justified.  True, in the original myth, Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon drew lots for their roles, but in the Disney movie, Hades is assigned to the Underworld by Zeus.  What a lousy gig!  Not only does he have to deal with all those dead people, he has to be bossed around by his baby brother?!  Yes, Zeus is the youngest of the five children of Kronos and Rhea.  Not only is Zeus Hades’ little brother, he’s also absolutely terrible at what he does.  He is he the ruler of all the Gods, the God of the entire Universe, and he can’t even keep track of his own kid?  Come on. Seriously, that guy is a tool.  Hades, you deserve to be the King of Olympus.

Don’t even get me started on how all the other jack-wagon gods treat him.  They treat this poor guy like he’s got some kind of disease!  It’s not his fault that he’s the Lord of the Dead and that death happens to be the one thing that mortals fear above all else!  He’s just playing the hand he was dealt… BY ZEUS.

Just because Hades is the best Disney Villain, however, doesn’t mean he’s alone on his pedestal.  There are other Disney Villains who are (almost) just as totally awesome.

Scar, for example, is a close second in my book.  Not only is he voiced by the agelessly sexy Jeremy Irons, he also gets the best song in the history of Disney Villainness.  “Be Prepared” is so sinister and yet so catchy, you can’t help but root for him, even though you hate him for plotting to kill Mufasa.  Mufasa, unlike Zeus, was actually the best King ever.

Since we’re on the topic of Villains that are Also Big Cats, let’s talk about Shere Khan.

I love this guy!  Growing up, I never understood why he was the bad guy.  Yeah, he tried to attack Mowgli, but he’s a tiger!  Tigers aren’t supposed to be tame.  They’re supposed to be regal and ferocious and wild.  We’d all be disappointed if he was Mowgli’s friend like Bagheera.  I mean, I love Bagheera too, but he’s nowhere near as cool as Shere Khan.  In fact, Bagheera is kind of a stick-in-the-mud, which I think Baloo might even point out at one point.

You know who’s not a stick-in-the-mud though?  Gaston.

Yes, he’s a jerk who borders on misogynistic, but when you think about it, Belle is literally the only person in the entire village who doesn’t like Gaston and, as they all keenly point out, she’s kind of weird.  The townspeople even sing an entire song about how great he is!  And if we’re being honest, the Beast isn’t really any less of a jerk.  Heck, he was turned into a BEAST because he was a spoiled brat.  I don’t see any enchantresses showing up to turn Gaston into an animal.

Speaking of enchanters…

Jafar is pretty darn evil, and he’s pretty darn good at it.  For a little while, he actually gets everything he set out to achieve.  He even gets a kiss from Jasmine, which is farther than any other Villain has ever gotten (true, Hans was engaged to Anna, but he never got to be King.  Besides, my sister and I aren’t ENTIRELY convinced he’s all evil… but that’s a whole other post).  He also gets the best sidekick ever in Iago, the snarky parrot.  No, Sultan, he doesn’t want the stupid cracker.  You’re not a very good ruler either.  Or a very good Dad for that matter.  Who keeps their kid under house arrest for 16 years?  I’m surprised she hadn’t tried to run away before you started forcing all those men on her.

Taking it back a few generations, we have the greatest Disney Villain that Neverland has ever known, Captain Hook.

He’s nowhere near attractive like Colin O’Donoghue’s sexy pirate, but the classic Hook is still a pretty cool villain.  He’s got a great ship, a kickin’ outfit, and really, who can blame him for wanting to shoot Peter Pan?  He chopped his hand off and fed it to a freaking crocodile!  Besides, Peter Pan is kind of a twerp.

Finally, the award for my favorite Disney Villain in recent years goes to the Shadow Man, Dr. Facilier.

This guy is just cool, if you ignore the fact that he’s a total schemer and sells his soul to the creepy shadow demons just to earn a few extra bucks.  But seriously, he’s got the top hat, he’s got the cane, and he’s got the snazzy jacket.  And he’s got a great voice (the incomparable Keith David).  No arguments, this guy has got style.  And if we’re being honest, Prince Naveen was kind of an easy target.  I’d probably try to scam him too if I was a Villain.

The. End.

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#YesAllWomen

I make it a point to never present myself as a victim.  I make my own choices, I take the cards that I have been dealt in my life, and I try my best to play them as well as I can.  I know that on blogs like these, the ones that we use to try to get our names or books or photography out there, a certain level of anonymity and aloofness is a good thing.  Here, on my blog, I am a bright, spunky, somewhat off-beat yet optimistic young author.  I love Harry Potter and Benedict Cumberbatch and I like writing ghost stories.  I try to present the very best of myself on this blog.  The heavy stuff, the stuff that gets me down or that weighs on my mind, I normally don’t discuss on here, because, in a way, it’s better not to acknowledge them.  After all, this blog is about trying to spread the word about my books, not the heavy stuff.

However, this #YesAllWomen movement has got me thinking.  Maybe it’s okay to be open about the personal stuff, the serious stuff, every once in a while.  In past trending topics, I haven’t had a whole lot to contribute.  This time, I just might have a few things to say.

I’ve never been what one would call a hardcore feminist.  Do I believe in equal rights for all in spite of gender, race, or orientation?  Of course.  But do I still like it when guys hold doors for me?  Duh.  I don’t like misogyny, but I don’t have a problem with little girls wearing pink or idolizing Cinderella.  If a little girl (or boy for that matter) would rather be a Princess than a scientist, well then let the kid dream! But then again, this isn’t really a discussion about feminism.  This is a discussion about what it’s like to be a woman in a society in which being a woman isn’t always safe.

I’ve never felt safe walking by myself at night.  It’s just a fact.  And it’s always been my normal.  Whenever I have to walk somewhere alone after dark, I always call someone to talk to until I reach my destination.  Always.  I walk with my keys in hand.  I’m constantly glancing around to make sure no one is following me or watching me.  Overactive imagination?  Paranoia?  Perhaps.  But when I was in grad school, a young girl was attacked on my campus one night.  Her throat was slit.  She was alone.  It happens in real life.  It’s not just a scary story.

I’m one of the lucky ones.  I’ve never been attacked.  I’ve never been raped.

I have been harassed.  It was terrifying, but it’s not something I talk about very often, because, to be honest, I’m ashamed of it.  It embarrasses me.  I tell myself, “Oh, it’s not a big deal.  Nothing happened.  You got out fine.  Besides, it makes you sound like a slut.”

How messed up is that?  I was cornered by a man that I don’t know, who was twice my size, who touched my hair and my shoulder and told me to come back with him to his hotel room, and yet I’m the one who ends up feeling like it was my fault, that I’m the sleazy one because of it.  It’s just something that’s been engraved in our minds.  He didn’t do anything wrong.  It must have been something I was doing, or I did, and I don’t want people to find out about it or else they’ll think I’m dirty somehow.  If these are the thoughts that come from being unwillingly cornered, I can’t even imagine what other young women who have been raped or attacked feel.

I do believe that most men are good.  I don’t blame them.  I love all the guys I know and I know I can trust them.  I’m not sure how men feel walking to their cars at night, if they ever feel apprehensive or that they have to run or talk to someone on the phone in order to feel safe.  But that’s just how it is for us.

Love to all.

I Do, Augustus. I Do.

Yesterday, my sister and I attended a pre-screening of The Fault in Our Stars.  It was everything I hoped it would be.  Funny, quirky, romantic, and best of all, it stayed as true to the book as a film adaptation really can.

This was the kind of event where just because you made an email reservation, it didn’t guarantee you a spot in the theater, so my sister and I decided to get there three hours early.  This was a wise decision.

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There was already a line forming, but fortunately, we got there early enough to wait inside.  Before long, the line was out the door and curving around the building.  Needless to say, this was not our first pre-screening/early release.  We’ve been to several midnight releases, including most of the Harry Potter movies, Catching Fire, and The Hobbit.  It’s fun to be a nerd.

Thankfully, we both came prepared for a three-hour wait.

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About an hour before the movie was due to start, they began letting a few people in at a time to choose their seats.  My sister and I were fortunate enough to get seats right in the middle of the theater.

The movie, needless to say, was phenomenal.  Definitely worth the three hour wait.  I always get nervous with book-to-movie adaptations, especially when it’s a book I really love and that I’ve treasured, because they very rarely completely satisfying.  There are always little disappointments.  “Oh, they left out this character or this line or this scene.”

There were a few scenes that were noticeably left out that I would have loved to see, but for the most part, it was an excellent adaptation.  I loved Amsterdam.  I loved Willem Dafoe as Peter Van Houten.  I loved Shailene and Ansel.  Oh my gosh, I love Ansel.  He’s adorable!  And wow, can he act!  In the scene where he tells Hazel… well, I won’t spoil it if you haven’t read the book, but most fans will know which scene I’m talking about.  Oh my goodness, he broke my heart.  That’s when the tears began and they didn’t stop until the end of the movie.

The tears began to fall the way you fall asleep… slowly and then all at once.

I thought they would stop once the credits began rolling, but of course “All of the Stars” by Ed Sheeran is the first song you hear and oh my gosh, that just made me cry harder!  It’s such an amazing and beautiful song.  They lyrics give me chills every time.

“So can you see the stars over Amsterdam?”

So beautiful and it hurts so much.

One of the best parts of the night, however, was when the staff went around and gave everyone over 21 a glass of sparkling champagne, the same drink that Hazel and Gus drink on their date in Amsterdam.  Now, I do not like champagne, or anything bubbly or fizzy.  Carbonation stings my mouth and throat and I do not like that.  However, I was not about to pass up the opportunity to share that moment with two of my favorite fictional characters.

The book, the movie, the story… it’s just a beautiful work of art.  A beautiful work of human nature.  I really want to read the story of the girl who inspired it, This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Grace Earl.

If you haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars, I highly recommend it, especially if you plan on seeing the movie.  Even if you don’t plan on seeing the movie, it’s just such an amazing book.  Nothing I say will ever do it justice.

The Bee Story

Yesterday was very busy and today is going to be very busy, but I do not want to ignore my blog for two days straight.  I really don’t have very much to say, so I thought I’d tell a story instead.  It’s a short story, but it’s one that makes me laugh every time.  I was not there to experience it.  My friend told it to me.  

Basically, she knew this guy.  I don’t remember his name, so let’s just call him Doug.  Doug was having a terrible day, and he was telling everyone about his terrible day.  Just as he was listing off every terrible thing that had happened to him, “I failed this test and then I spilled my lunch and then my girlfriend broke up with me…” a bee flew up his shorts and stung him on the butt.  

I’m not sure what the moral of this story is, but I do feel very sorry for Doug, whoever he is.  I hope his life has vastly improved since that fateful bee sting.     

The end. 

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Quick Monday Update

Hello, all.  

Just a quick update for today.  This morning, I received the PCN for Between Worlds.  Having secured the ISBN and barcode also, things are really starting to come together!  I’ve spent most of the day beginning to format the manuscript for publication, and let me tell you, it is taking a while.  Formatting always takes a while.  

So now, on the grand journey to publication, all I’m really missing is a summary for the back of the book (I’m TERRIBLE at those, by the way), and the cover itself.  I’ve been in communication with my cover designer, and I’m REALLY hoping I’ll be able to share the front cover with you all on June 1!  

In the mean time, I have added Between Worlds to GoodReads, but it’s not really all that impressive because it is lacking A) a summary and B) a cover.  But oh well.  At least it’s there.  

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22095545-between-worlds

Have a pleasant evening, all! 

Godzilla: A Very Girly Review

Okay, so I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  I’m a girl.  I like girly things like Disney Princesses, kittens, and Nicholas Sparks novels. I’m not really into manicures or shopping, but as far as movies and books go, I am 100% girly girl.

That being said, my sister, who is home from college for the summer, really wanted to see Godzilla.  I’m not opposed to a summer blockbuster action flick, but I’d be lying if I said it would be something I’d be lining up to see if someone else hadn’t suggested it.  The Fault in Our Stars on the other hand… I already have reservations for a pre-screening and I will be camped out for hours to make sure I get those seats.  See the difference?

Anyway, my sister likes destruction and she likes summer blockbusters and she LOVES Bryan Cranston, so she really really wanted to see Godzilla.

I do not have much experience with the worlds most infamous giant lizard.  In fact, I’ve only seen one Godzilla movie in my life, the 1998 production with Matthew Broderick.  I thought it was a pretty decent movie.  Now, do I remember most of it?  No.  All I really remember is Godzilla was just looking for a place to lay her eggs.  Then her babies hatched, the humans blew them up, and Godzilla came back and was all sad and nuzzling her dead babies and it made me cry.  And Matthew Broderick was in it.

That’s just kind of how action movies work in my head.  Giant lizard destroys stuff.  Sad dead babies.  Guy who plays Simba.

I actually remember the plot of the new Godzilla, so while it’s fresh on my mind, I thought I’d do a little review/commentary.  Please keep in mind that I am not a very experienced reviewer and that I think I’m really funny.  Also, if you have not seen the new Godzilla and do not want spoilers, please do not continue reading, or if you do, proceed with caution.

*Note* These thoughts are not in any particular order.  Just thoughts I had throughout the movie.  Most of them had to do with comparing the new Godzilla with my scattered memories of the 1998 one.  Enjoy.

Thoughts on Godzilla

* The opening credits are really cool.  I don’t remember the other movie’s opening credits, so +1 to the new version.

* Juliette Binoche is in this?!  Yay!  I love her!

* Juliette Binoche is already dead?  Boo.  I like the other movie better.

* That guy (older Ford) looks way too young to have a five-year-old kid.

* And his wife really looks like an Olsen twin.

* Bryan Cranston, you are the best part of this movie so far.

* This looks like a zombie movie.

* I wish there were zombies in this movie.

* OMG the Godzilla egg is hatching!

* WTF that’s Godzilla?

* Why is Godzilla a giant flying bug thing?

* Oh, that’s not Godzilla.

* Bryan Cranston is DEAD?!  Why am I watching this movie?

* I don’t even know what’s happening with this bug thing.

* Holy cow, the wife is Elizabeth Olsen!  Mary-Kate and Ashely’s little sister!  What the heck!

* She’s too young to have a five-year-old.

* Oh okay, there’s the real Godzilla.

* That makes a lot more sense.

* Though this Godzilla is kind of fat.

* And he has a really tiny head.

* He’s kind of disproportional.

* I like the old Godzilla better.

* He looks like a dinosaur.

* I wish this was Jurassic Park.

* Ew, gross, now there are TWO of those giant bug things.

* EW THE NEW ONE HAS EGGS OMG.

* So now these giant mutant nuclear-radiation-eating bug monsters are traveling across the world to spawn.

* And Godzilla is rising up out the sea to eat them.  Because that’s what he eats.

* So really none of these creatures are evil.  They’re just all acting on their natural instincts.

* Still, they’re wreaking havoc, which is going to be a HUGE mess to clean up.

* I still can’t believe the wife is Elizabeth Olsen.

* I feel so old.

* The bug mutant monsters really seem to love each other.

* That’s kind of cute.

* Why do their eggs glow?

* WTF why does Godzilla breathe radioactive blue fire?!

* Can all the Godzillas do that?

* Is Godzilla secretly a dragon?

* I wish he was a dragon.  I love dragons.

* It’s kind of sweet that the Mom mutant bug monster is so sad that her eggs died, but I’m not entirely convinced that it’s the kind of creature that would care about her offspring.  Do most bugs care for their larvae?  Or whatever?

* I feel like they spawn just to continue on with the species, not out of any sort of affection for their kids.  That might just be my interpretation, however.

* I’m also really not convinced that Godzilla and Ford share a special moment.  Godzilla is just trying to eat the bug monsters.  That’s what he does to survive.  He’s not trying to act heroic and save the citizens of the world from the evil moths or whatever.  He doesn’t care.

Confessions and Stereotypes

Whenever I meet a new person and tell them that I’m a writer, that I write novels, they invariably say something along the lines of, “Wow… you have a lot of patience!  Wow, you must be dedicated.  Oh man, you must be smart.”  

All of those are great assumptions, but I always feel like sort of a faker, because the truth is I just like writing stories.  It’s not something I do because I have this amazing sense of self-discipline or I’m just super jazzed about conjunctions and prepositions (to be honest… I’m not sure I know what those are).  It’s something I do because I enjoy it, because I would actually be miserable if I didn’t get the stories in my head out on paper.  

That’s not to say I’m not smart (kind of) or dedicated.  I’m very dedicated to what I do.  But I have like, zero patience for a lot of what it involves.  I’m terrible at grammar, which is probably the most humiliating part.  I don’t want people to read my grammar errors that I post here on this blog or on my Twitter and think, “Oh, she’s dumb.  She must be a terrible writer.”  I think I’m actually a pretty decent writer.  I love my stories and my characters.  I’m just not great at the technicalities.  But hey, that’s why my editors are such an important part of my life!  They are brilliant.    

I don’t write because I have something to prove.  I write because it’s fun and because I have found more joy and meaning in the books that I’ve read throughout my life than pretty much anywhere else.  I hope one day, I can pass that gift along.  

 

 

Pictures and New Reviews

Hi, everyone!

I wanted to share the pictures from my session last week with outstanding DFW photographer, Kaylynn Krieg!

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This is one of my favorite pictures from the shoot, and the one I’m using for all my accounts.  There’s a different one I love that I’ll be using for my picture in the back of the new book, but I’ll share that one later.  For now, I just wanted to post the link to Kaylynn’s website, not only to show off my pictures (I do like them a lot though!), but to let you see her other work.

http://www.kaylynnkrieg.com

You can also like her page on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/kaylynnkriegphotography

Her style is so beautiful, so soft and natural.  That’s what always drew me to her photographs and why I asked her to do my new head shots.

I’m also excited to announce that Cemetery Tours is up to 41 great reviews on Amazon!  I just need 9 more by July 1 to reach my goal!

Newest reviews include…

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I’ve also recently posted a review for my friend, James William Peercy’s book, The Wall Outside.  You can find the review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/739981165

That’s all for now, I guess!  Back to work on Between Worlds!

Talk to y’all soon!