The Space Between Us

Hi, friends!

Wow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I’m sorry.  That was a semi-conscious decision.  There’s just been so much negativity in our world and on TV and on social media and emotions have been running so high that, for my own sanity, I had to take a step back.

January was a pretty big month.  I turned 29.  I got some work done.  I’m in the middle of writing the fourth Boy Band book called Spotlight.  And I’m working on a new standalone book as well!  And let me tell you, I’m having so much fun.


I’ve also seen a few wonderful movies in the past few months.  The first of which was Moana.  I love Disney.  I love the ocean.  Naturally, I loved Moana.  But God, that movie made me bawl.  I’m not kidding you.  I was weeping.  The last Disney movie to make me cry like that was The Lion King.

Then there was Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. 



Oh my God.

I didn’t write a review for this movie because I literally have nothing to say other than it’s perfect.  Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is a perfect movie.  Everything about it is perfect.  Everything.

Newt is perfect.

The Niffler is perfect.

The score is perfect.

The costumes are perfect.

The magic is perfect.

Colin Farrell is perfect.

The subtle Harry Potter references are perfect.

Jakweenie is perfect.


I could go on forever about how much I love this movie and the cast and the fact that it’s so much better than the eight Harry Potter movies (not books) and all my fan conspiracy theories and my borderline unhealthy love for Colin Farrell… But I’ll spare you.  Just know that I have never been more blissfully enraptured by a movie before and I doubt I will be again.

Well, at least until the second installment.

All that being said, I do have a new movie review for you, one in which I am not quite so emotionally invested as Disney or Harry Potter.

I’ve been wanting to see The Space Between Us since I first saw the trailer.  It looked exactly like my kind of sci-fi movie: a sappy teenage flick with a love story and a road trip.  The reviews weren’t exactly love letters.  Several critics pointed out that the science, the physics, the math, the technology was all ludicrous.  It could never work.  But you know what?  As a writer and as a movie-goer, I don’t go to see movies for their mathematical or scientific accuracy.  I go to be entertained.  I go for a story.  And come on.  It’s fiction.  I know this kid didn’t actually grow up on Mars.  I know I have to suspend belief for a while if I’m going to go see a movie like this.  Besides, as a person with a very, very basic understanding of physics and space travel and technology and what-not… I’m not going to know the difference.

I mean, my grandfather probably would have known the difference.  But I bet he also would have thought it was a cute story.  So whatever.

However, after reading all the negative reviews, I’ll admit that I second-guessed my eagerness to see the movie.  But then I read a review that called it “Nicholas Sparks type garbage” and I knew then that I would enjoy it.  For those of you who don’t know me, Nicholas Sparks type garbage is totally my kind of garbage.

So, without further ado…

Thoughts on The Space Between Us


  • You couldn’t pay me enough to go into space.
  • Of course they’d call this colony in the middle of dusty nowhere East Texas.
  • Why is Gary Oldman kind of hot as an old space geek?
  • He wasn’t even hot as Sirius Black. And Sirius Black is supposed to be hot.
  • Okay, I’m glad this kid grew up with other people.  For some reason, I was really concerned that he grew up on Mars alone.
  • Ugh Britt Robertson. I can’t stand her. I don’t know why. I’m sure she’s a lovely person. But as an actress, she’s like the human embodiment of nails on a chalkboard to me.
  • Also, she was born in 1990 and she’s playing a 17-year-old.
  • Oh look, she’s playing a song she wrote on the piano to show us how deep and vulnerable she is.
  • Gag me.
  • Gardener going through his post-puberty-rebellious stage on Mars.
  • BD Wong, why aren’t you taking care of your dinosaurs?
  • Somehow, surrogate space mom persuades BD Wong that bringing this kid back to Earth is a good idea despite his enlarged heart and brittle bones.
  • I’m actually really happy that Gardener gets to go to Earth but I’m already stressed out because I’ve seen the previews and I know his heart isn’t going to survive.
  • Stressful Martian kids.
  • Okay, Gardener is actually adorable.  Talking with that old homeless guy.  He’s so awkward and sweet.  I love him.
  • That guy on the bus is pretty much everyone in the entire world when strangers attempt to strike up conversations.
  • Gardener walking awkwardly into school.  God, he’s so cute.
  • Ugh, Britt Robertson, you’re such a little brat.
  • Tulsa.  What kind of a weird name is Tulsa?  I don’t even care that that’s the city she was abandoned in or whatever.  Sadly, I don’t even care that she was abandoned because she’s just that annoying.
  • Gardener walking into class and being adorable.  Can’t we just have a whole movie of him being awkward?  It would be much better without Tulsa’s tragic backstory.  Maybe I’d feel more sorry for her if the beautiful foster daughter who seems edgy on the outside but is actually loving with a beautiful spirit on the inside wasn’t SO overdone.  And often, so poorly executed.
  • Okay, I know I said that I was going to suspend disbelief going into this movie, but that was for the Mars stuff.  I don’t, for one second, believe this chick knows how to fly an old crop-duster plane.  No way.
  • Oh yeah, teenagers survive small aircraft crashes all the time.
  • Wow, these kids get away with a LOT of grand theft auto.
  • Tulsa sure does put up with a lot of weird from a boy she technically just met.  I mean, I know they’ve been Skype buddies for a while.  But still.
  • Oh my God, Gardener’s reaction to seeing the horse is so cute.  I just want a whole movie of this.
  • Ugh, Tulsa’s back at the piano again.  Writers, take note.  There are far less cheesy ways to communicate that a character is deep and beautiful and sees the world in a different way and blah, blah, blah.
  • Gardener’s health is still stressing me out.
  • I love this song by James Bay. “Need the Sun to Break.” It’s one of my new favorites.
  • Okay, I think we all knew that ending was coming.
  • I’m happy Gary Oldman got his dream.  I don’t know why anyone would want to live on Mars though.  It really doesn’t seem all that great.  Just a lot of red dust.
  • It would be fun to weigh less though.

Overall, The Space Between Us is a really cute movie.  I’d definitely see it again.  Don’t let the critics discourage you.  Of course, it’s no Fantastic Beasts, but let’s be honest, what is?


A Paper Review

After reading the internationally acclaimed bestseller, The Fault in Our Stars, I decided I was going to read every single book John Green had ever written.  I read Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines.  Both were pretty okay, though I noticed several similarities between all three books.  But I’d heard that, besides TFIOSPaper Towns was one of the best, so I saved it for last.

I didn’t like it.  In fact, I kind of hated it.

I don’t publicize this fact very often because SO many people love Paper Towns and SO many people love John Green.  I’m one of them!  John Green is great!  He’s smart, he’s hilarious, he wrote one of my very favorite books.

But God, do I hate Paper Towns.

I don’t really want to go off on a long, preachy rant about everything that I hated, so I’ll try to summarize my feelings as best as I can.

  • Don’t care about what happens to the characters.
  • Margo Roth Spieglemeyer or whatever her last name is a selfish, superior, manipulative bi-yatch and I’m really glad she disappeared halfway through the book.
  • That being said, I think Q is a pathetic excuse for a character and I have no idea why he’s so obsessed with her.
  • Radar is great, but their other friend, Ben, is the most annoying character in the history of fiction.  He’s gross, he’s sexist, he objectifies women in the sleaziest way… This character literally sends shudders of disgust down my spine.  Every time he utters the words “honey-bunny” I want to kick something.
  • This book is literally about Q pining for Margo.
  • So bored.
  • Ridiculously close to not finishing this book.
  • Oh road trip.  This is almost interesting.
  • Margo should have turned out to be a serial killer.  That would have been a great ending.

So yeah, those are my thoughts on the book.  Needless to say, I was less than enthusiastic when I found out they were making it into a movie.  I really didn’t think I would see it, at least not in the theater.  I may have watched it once it hit On-Demand.  But my sister and her best friend really wanted to see it and since they’re both leaving to go back to school soon, I decided to go with them.

I went into the movie thinking I would hate it.  I admit it.  I went in with a lousy attitude because of how much I hated the book.  The movie, it turns out, is actually entertaining.  I was pleasantly surprised.  True, everything I hated about the book, I still hated about the movie, but at least the movie made me laugh.

So, true to my old review form, here are my thoughts on Paper Towns:

  • Not even five minutes into this movie and I’m already sick of hearing about Margo Roth Swampmonster.
  • If my kid found a dead body, I would send him/her to counseling.  Margo probably have used it.
  • Can’t tell if Cara Delevingne is a really awkward actress or if I just hate the character so much that every time she speaks, I cringe.  Possibly both.
  • Margo is making fun of Q because he has goals?  Because he has ambition?  That is so wrong on so many levels.  Goals and ambitions are GOOD things to have!  I’ve always had ambitions.  True, you should strive to be happy while you are achieving those goals, but come ON.  It’s good to have dreams, kids.  Don’t believe the Margo Roth Spillfiggle in your life.
  • Also breaking into people’s houses is not edgy or cool.  It’s against the law.  Don’t do it.
  • For a movie that’s not airing on Lifetime, Paper Towns sure has a lot of slow-motion sequences.
  • Nat Wolff, I don’t know what it is, but something about your face makes me want to punch you.  I’m sure you’re a nice person, and I’m sorry I feel that way, but I do.
  • Okay, so the movie version of Ben isn’t quite as disgusting or sexist or perverse as the book version.  Actually, the actor playing him is hilarious, even though he kind of looks like he’s twelve.  If he hadn’t been playing this character that I hate so much, I’d probably love him.
  • Radar is still amazing.  Great casting.  I laughed out loud at the black Santas.
  • Ditching school to visit decrepit old buildings.  Yeah, that’s a smart idea.  Although I don’t believe none of these kids have ever missed school a day in their lives.  Everyone catches the flu sometimes.
  • Again, people, do not look up to the Margo Roth Spawnmeisters in your life.  School is important.  School is cool.
  • Something about a party.  Ben needs to be neutered.
  • Q is letting his stupid infatuation with Margo turn him into a jerk who yells at his friends because they’re not as obsessed with her as he is.  Jerk.
  • Did anyone actually throw parties like this in high school?  Seriously, you see them in movies and TV shows all the time but I’ve never actually heard of one happening.  Maybe it’s because I was in band in high school.  I don’t know.
  • Oh my God, Ben, Q, and Radar drunkenly singing the Pokemon theme song at the top of their lungs just redeemed this whole movie.
  • Road trip time!  The only part of the book I actually liked.
  • Radar and Angela are so cute.  And way to tell him not to be afraid of you and to actually treat you like a person, girl! Preach!
  • Poor Radar.  This whole trip.  Poor Radar.  Laughing out loud.
  • I think Q should be going for Lacey, not Margo. She’s actually a nice person. She cares. Fairly certain she’s asking Ben to Prom out of pity.
  • Radar and Angela are too cute.
  • Q, just listen to your friends.  Margo isn’t there.  She’s a bi-yatch.  Forget her.  She literally doesn’t care about any of you.  Don’t be a jerk to them just because the girl you like is a terrible person.
  • Also, why do these kids keep acting like the end of high school is the end of their whole lives?  They’re like, “Oh, this is it.  We’re going to go away and never see each other again.”  I don’t know about any of y’all, but I’m still really good friends with the people I was really good friends with in high school.  Yeah, we all went to college but there is such a thing as long-distance friendships.
  • Margo, I still hate you.  You’re not deep.  You’re just selfish.  Get lost and stay lost.
  • Again with the whole last week of high school nostalgia.  By my last week of high school, my friends and I were all like, “YEAH!  GRADUATION!  LET’S GO!”  I loved my high school and I still love and admire my teachers.  In fact, I’m still in touch with most of them.  I had the best high school experience a kid could ask for.  But I was SO ready to graduate.
  • Q, go become a doctor.  Get married.  Buy a house.  Have kids.  That doesn’t make you a paper person.  Those are all very good things.  Love is important.  Family is important.  Anyone who tells you otherwise… Well… Is probably Margo Roth Spaghettiman.

Double Feature at the Drive-In

Last night, one of my lifelong dreams came true.  I finally got to see a movie at the drive-in!  And wouldn’t you know it, it turned out to be a double feature!  Two movies for six bucks?  Why doesn’t everyone go to the drive-in all the time?

Well, bugs and rain and really disgusting food, but I’ll get to that later.

All in all, my first experience at the drive-in was super amazingly fun.  I went with a group of my best friends, we set out a blanket, watched the sunset, and laughed about the disgusting food that I ordered.

10502056_10205846984587435_4605611715916185608_n 11429822_10205844723650913_6500425511389329001_n

As you all may know, sometimes when I go see movies, I like to write reviews.  Not like, actual reviews because I don’t have that kind of depth or patience.  But my own personal thoughts about the movie.  For example:

Before I talk about the movies, however, I want to tell you a little more about the drive-in itself.

It is so cool, y’all.  It’s like taking a step back through time.  It’s also set in a wide open field under the stars.  I love being outside, so this was was totally my ideal setting.


After we parked and set up our blankets, we headed over to the refreshment stand.  I hadn’t eaten dinner, so I ordered a hot dog and some fries.

Big.  Mistake.

The fries were fine but that hot dog?  I’m fairly certain it was just cooked Play Dough.  I’m not kidding you.  It was a weird neon fuchsia color and it felt like plastic.  It also had these weird cooked plastic blisters on it (gross, I know), and when we broke it apart to see what it looked like inside, it was white.  I’m telling you, no part of that hot dog used to be alive.  I have no idea what kind of “mystery meat” nastiness it was, but it was not a real animal.  Needless to say, as someone with a near-crippling phobia of being sick to my stomach, I tossed that plastic piece of grossness into the grass.  I knew I’d made the right decision when even the ants left it alone.

Long story short, if I had eaten it, I’d probably be dead.

Unlike their fake animal byproducts, however, their popcorn was high quality.  Good thing, too, because I ended up not having dinner.


The experience itself of watching a movie outside is, altogether, awesome.  True, our speakers didn’t work and we had to use the car’s radio, but that’s what you usually do at the drive-in anyway.  Aside from that minor hiccup, I loved sitting out under the sunset, enjoying the summer breeze, and watching movies with my friends. It was simply magical.


Now.  For the good part.  The movies themselves.

The first movie featured was Disney’s Tomorrowland.  This was not a movie I had planned on seeing.  But since it was Disney and it was a double feature and I was with friends who wanted to see it, I was happy to give it a shot.  It wasn’t a bad movie, but to be totally honest with you, I’m still not entirely sure what it was about.

So, in the spirit of previous movie reviews, here are my thoughts on Tomorrowland in no particular order.



Thoughts on Tomorrowland


* Yay Disney! I love Disney!

* For some reason, seeing George Clooney in a kids’ movie is really awkward.

* This is not the World’s Fair.  This is Disney World.  Do not even try to pretend.


* Creepy little girl. Is she a vampire? I bet she’s a vampire.

* The It’s a Small World ride. Come on, Disney. You know you’re not fooling anyone.

* I’d be SO mad if some chick I barely knew tricked me into going to a future filled with scary robots.  I don’t like robots.

* I love this flying sequence.  I wish I could fly.

* I’m still not entirely sure when this movie is supposed to be set.

* Casey, I don’t know why, but I really don’t care about what you’re trying to do.

* Okay, I recognize this whole cornfield sequence from the commercials. It’s pretty much the only scene I kind of understand.

* Is anyone’s little brother actually that smart?  Especially at that age?  What is this kid, five?

* Creepy vampire girl is back.

* The lady in this Disney-Is-Totally-Rubbing-The-Fact-That-They-Own-Star-Wars-Now-In-Our-Faces store is dressed like an odd combination of Princess Leia and Ms. Frizzle.  I’m confused.

* I bet she and her husband smoke a lot of pot.

* Oh no they don’t!  They’re robots!

* This movie is doing very bad things for my robot phobia.

* Are people out on the street not noticing all these explosions?

* OMG the creepy little girl is a robot too!  I knew she was something weird.

* Bathroom break. Also need popcorn since hot dog turned out to not be actual food.

* Casey has managed to break into George Clooney’s house and I’m very afraid there will be some weird I-Used-To-Have-A-Crush-On-You-When-We-Were-Kids-Even-Though-You’re-A-Robot tension between him and the creepy vampire robot girl.

* Eiffel Tower is actually a rocket.  Okay.

* I love how absolutely no one is freaking out about this.  They’re all just taking pictures of it on their iPhones.  If it were me, I’d probably be peeing my pants or something.

* Yay Hugh Laurie is back!  I love him and his sexy accent and Mr. Fine Wine good looks.  Although I’m fairly certain he’s the bad guy and I’m not supposed to like him.

* Actually no, I take that back.  I think the real antagonist here is the human condition.  See, I can be deep too.

* Spacey, sci-fi, robot stuff. Not really holding my attention.  Going to check social media.

* Hugh Laurie giving speech in his sexy accent about how we need to save butterflies and bees. I approve. Yet somehow, he’s still the bad guy. I can tell because his outfit is just too badass for a protagonist.

* More spacey sci-fi stuff.  Disney is really milking the Star Wars thing for all it’s worth.

* Beach?  I like beaches.  Let’s stay on the beach.  Also, why are there so few trees in the future?  See, this is why I’d never want to live there.  I like trees.

* HUGH LAURIE NO!  Why is it always your leg?!

* I KNEW IT!  George Clooney and that creepy robot girl are having a moment!  This is so awkward!

* Robot girl turned out to be a bomb.  This is kind of disturbing.

* Reunion Tower just crushed Hugh Laurie.  Very sad.  He was the only character I really connected with.

* I think I just watched a very long infomercial for innovation.  That’s not a bad thing.  I’m a big fan of creativity and thinking outside the box.  But still.

So yeah, that was Tomorrowland in a nutshell.  It was okay.  Probably not one I’ll watch again.  Robots just aren’t my thing.  I much prefer dinosaurs.  Which is why I was super stoked to see the next movie in the double feature…


Like the rest of the world, I’ve been itching to see the long-awaited fourth installment in the Jurassic Park saga.  I absolutely love the first movie.  I’ve seen it at least a thousand times and can quote it like nobody’s business.  The second and third?  Eh, they’re okay.  But I was expecting big things for this fourth movie.  For the most part, it did not disappoint.  I only say that because as good as it was, nothing can live up to the first one.  It puts forth a decent effort, however.

Again.  Spoilers.  You have been warmed.

Thoughts on Jurassic World


* Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs.  Bring me dinosaurs!

* I didn’t know Judy Greer was in this movie.

* Ah, her kid is such a little NERD. Look at all his dinosaurs and space stuff. So cute.

* Older kid pouting because he has to leave his girlfriend for a WHOLE weekend to go see dinosaurs. Wow Zach, your life sucks.  Poor you.

* Though to be honest, if I were their mother, I would not let my kids go to an island full of dinosaurs alone.  I probably wouldn’t let them go period.

* Return to Jurassic Park sequence + Original Score = All the Chills


* Bryce Dallas Howard is their aunt?  That’s so cool.  I like her.  Especially because this isn’t the first movie where she and Judy Greer have played sisters.  M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village anyone?

* Her character in this movie, however, seems like kind of a flake.

* Oh yeah, there he is.  Chris Pratt.  Hello, handsome.  I’ve heard good things about you.

* OMG he’s training the velociraptors!  WHY is that cute?!  Are raptors supposed to be cute?  Or is just because he’s their trainer?!

* I want a trained velociraptor.

* Evil guy who wants to use the dinosaurs for warfare.  I bet you’re gonna die.

* That raptor trying to get at the dweeby guy through the bars. Is that Blue?  Or Delta?  Or maybe Charlie?

* Is it weird that the raptors remind me of my cat?


* Dumb kids ditching their babysitter.  You’re gonna get eaten.

* Dinosaur eats a shark.  Where’d they get the shark?

* Super genetically enhanced hybrid T-Rex.  There is no way this will end badly.

* Oh hello hunky Chris Pratt at your rugged, outdoorsman bungalow.  I like that rugged, outdoorsman shirt you’re wearing.

* Bryce Dallas Howard, no! Don’t make him change! Why would you do that?

* Oh look at that.  Your mutant escaped.  #Fail

* And now your dumb nephews are out there all alone with the escaped mutant. #DoubleFail

* Jimmy Fallon is in this movie? LOL

* I guess they’re still “sparing no expense.”

* Guys go out to try to control this escaped super dinoaur and of course, they all die.  Honestly, who would sign up for this job?!  Does it come with really awesome benefits that you never get to use because you don’t live long enough to actually take advantage of them?

* I hope BD Wong doesn’t die.  He’s the voice of Captain Shang in Mulan.  And Howard Weinstein.

* Children.  No.  Do not go off-road in a park full of dinosaurs.  Especially after you KNOW that something has gone wrong and all the rides are supposed to be shut down.  Are you stupid?  You must be stupid.

* I kind of hope the older one gets eaten.  He’s too stupid to survive on this island.  Survival of the fittest.

* He probably won’t though.  Hollywood and all that.

* Mutant dinosaur with lots of teeth.  There is no way they will survive this encounter.  And yet, they do.

* No!  No, don’t let that sweet brachiosaurus die!  No, this is too sad!  I don’t like this.  😥

* That mutant dinosaur is a douchebag.

* Kids find the old Jurassic Park.  The Dinosaurs of the World sign.  The piano music in the background.  I feel like this movie is designed to feed on our generation’s nostalgia.  And it’s working.

* Good thing this movie also has a genius little brother who somehow knows how to fix a car that stopped working at least ten years before he was born.

* Pterodactyls on the loose. Do they eat people?

* Somehow, I feel like this is all those kids’ faults.  I don’t know why.  I just blame them.

* It turns out yes, Pterodactyls do eat people.  At least the big ones anyway.

* Hold up.  Does that Pterodactyl have a Tyrannosaurus head?  What the heck is that?!  Is that another mutant? Are they cross-breeding now?

* Oops.  There goes the babysitter.

* Dumb kids finally reuniting with their hella lucky aunt who just got to make out with Chris Pratt. 

* Tech guy, you’d do better with the ladies if you shaved off that creepy mustache.

Note: Throughout all of this, it started raining so we retreated back to the cars.  I was alone with my friend and her boyfriend.  They were in the front seats so I sat in the back, but I’m too tall and couldn’t see the movie from the backseat.  So I sat down on the floor in between the back seat and front seat.  Oddly enough, it’s a lot more comfortable than you’d think it’d be.  I couldn’t help but wonder how weird it must have looked though.  At first glance, it looks like two cute people on a date.  Then, after a second glance, you see this third person’s head creeping down in the shadows, just peaking out in between them.  That’s how I felt. 

* Chris Pratt is the Velociraptor’s Alpha.  That’s hot.

* Thanks to this movie, I will settle for nothing less than a man who can ride a motorcycle and herd velociraptors.

* I might be single for a while.


* I don’t like this movie!  It’s sad!

* Bryce Dallas Howard lighting up a flair and getting the T-Rex to chase her, I can accept.  But Bryce Dallas Howard lighting up a flair and getting the T-Rex to chase her in those heels?  I’m sorry, this movie is far too unrealistic.



* It’s the ultimate T-Rex showdown.  I also like how the T-Rex and Blue the Raptor seem to have a mutual respect and understanding that they have to work together to kill the mutant.

* HA!  The giant water dinosaur saved the day!  That was awesome!

* Okay, now that mutant is dead, there’s still the whole issue of having a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Velociraptor loose in the park.  I feel like you just solved one problem by creating another.

* Oh.  The T-Rex and Raptor have achieved a higher sense of understanding and go back home on their own.  That’s convenient.

* You know, I still don’t understand why any of these people think that dinosaurs are a good idea.  Except the baby brachiosaurus.  That is the best idea in the history of ever.

* And the movie ends, as usual, with T-Rex lording over her territory.

All in all, good movie.  I will definitely see it again.  Not as good as the first by any means, but you know, what is?  That movie is a classic, a cinematic masterpiece.  Nothing will ever live up to it.  But this movie comes awfully close.


Dallas Comic Con is this weekend.  This will be my first time there, both as a fan and as a guest author.  I’m super, super excited about it, but I also have NO idea what to expect.  I think I’m set as far as wardrobe goes (I’m not dressing up like a character, but as always, I am going to try to dress nice and like I’m totally qualified to write ghost stories), but I’m still a little uncertain as to what my table should look like.  In the spirit of aesthetics and consumerism, I decided to visit an antique store.

I didn’t really find anything that I thought would go well with my table, but my sister and I did venture into the very back of the store, and the moment we set foot there, we both decided it was totally haunted.  Here are some of the pictures that I took in an attempt to capture the spooky atmosphere.

IMG_4182 IMG_4184 IMG_4185 IMG_4187 IMG_4188 IMG_4191 IMG_4192 IMG_4193 IMG_4195 IMG_4196IMG_4199 IMG_4200 IMG_4201 IMG_4203 IMG_4204 IMG_4205 IMG_4206 IMG_4207 IMG_4208 IMG_4209 IMG_4210 IMG_4211 IMG_4212 IMG_4213 IMG_4214 IMG_4215 IMG_4216 IMG_4218 IMG_4220 IMG_4223 IMG_4225 IMG_4227 IMG_4228 IMG_4229 IMG_4231 IMG_4233 IMG_4236 IMG_4237 IMG_4238 IMG_4239

Okay, so I took way more pictures than I thought I did.  But it was a really cool store!

In other news, yesterday the weather was awful, so my sister, a friend, and I decided to watch that terrible movie adaptation of an even more terrible book.  You know, the one that’s supposed to be really kinky.

Yes, I’m talking about Fifty Shades of Grey.  And yes, I drank a lot of wine.


I went into this movie thinking that I would be laughing and rolling my eyes at how awful it was.  I expected it to have a mediocre script with mediocre acting.  But overall, I thought I would at least be a little shocked and scandalized.  Sadly, I was none of the above.

Y’all.  This movie is boring.  I was so surprised at how bored I was the entire time.  It wasn’t even so bad that it was funny.  It was just dull.  I didn’t care what happened to anyone (except the cute guy who worked in the hardware store, but we never saw him again after his glorious first appearance – sad).  What made it worse was that I found myself hoping something weird and crazy would happen just to make the six bucks I spent worth it.  But no.  Nothing.  Just a crazy rich control freak (with an apparently super pointless business because I have no idea what he actually does) obsessed with a girl with the personality of a dust mite (I swear, this girl could win the lottery and she’d still be like, “Meh”) and sometimes he spanks her.

Hello!  This movie was rated “R?”  Why?  Because they said the F word a few times?  Maybe years of watching crime dramas and cult documentaries has desensitized me or something, because this movie was just two hours of lame.  Also, I am sick to death of the female protagonists with the personality of a wet paper towel falling head over heals for the angsty tortured guy who’s “so bad for them” while completely ignoring the sweet, cute, happy, funny, down-to-earth guys that would make much better boyfriends.  Christian Grey doesn’t like going to movies or out to dinner?  Forget you, pal.  You sound like the worst date ever.

Oh, and you’re a stalker too.

Anyway, there’s my Fifty Shades rant.  If you’re still reading this, I applaud you.

Enjoy the rest of your evenings, everyone!

A Dream is a Wish

So, I know I said I wouldn’t be posting at all today, but I got out of jury duty at 11.  Seriously, it was so uneventful.  I sat for three hours in this enormous room and reread Mockingjay for three hours.  It was so boring, in fact, that it does not deserve its own blog post.  But you know, when it comes to jury duty, I’m okay with boring.  My number wasn’t even called.  Never had to go back.  I will take it.

That’s why, instead of writing about the three hours I spent doing absolutely nothing, I’m going to write about the new Cinderella movie coming out next month.

Y’all, it looks AMAZING.

Now, I didn’t see Disney’s first fairy tale brought to life, Maleficent, for a few reasons.  First of all, I heard there was a lot of CGI battles and those bore me.  Second, I don’t like the idea of trying to redeem the self-proclaimed Mistress of all Evil.  That was part of what made her such a great villain in the original. She was so evil that she threatened to kill this kid just because her parents snubbed her.  That’s EVIL.  I don’t like that they tried to make goofy King Stefan the bad guy or make it seem like Maleficent really loved Aurora.  Sorry, that just doesn’t work for me.  But onto Cinderella.

This movie looks awesome.  First off, there’s no CGI or crazy battles.  That’s an automatic plus for me.  Second, the previews are absolutely gorgeous.  Colorful, magical, amazing costumes, scenery, set designs… If nothing else, this will be a very aesthetically pleasing movie.  The music in the previews is incredible as well.  I get chills every time I watch the trailer (and I’ve watched it several times).  It looks that good.

For another thing, it features an all-star cast.  I was excited enough to see Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter) as the Fairy Godmother and Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) as Lady Tremaine, the evil step-mother.  But then I realized that Rob Stark (Richard Madden) is Prince Charming (he’s also SCOTTISH) and I thought my inner fangirl might actually keel over from all the amazing.  What finally did her in, however, was finding out that Derek Jacobi, AKA the BBC’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, AKA the greatest Shakespearian actor of modern times, if not all history, is playing the King.  I cannot handle the greatness.  I actually cannot.

As if all of that wasn’t enough of a reason to completely freak out over this movie, it’s directed by Kenneth Branagh.  Not only another phenomenal Shakespearian actor (he played Hamlet in a film adaptation which also starred – wouldn’t you know it – Derek Jacobi as Claudius!), Mr. Branagh is also known in the Potterverse as the one and only GILDEROY LOCKHART.  I’m telling y’all, I really don’t think my fangirl heart can take much more.

So, there you have it.  My list of reasons why I am absolutely ecstatic about Disney’s latest cinematic masterpiece, and I do truly believe this will be a masterpiece.

My Guide to the Perfect Sick Day

For about the past two weeks, I feel like I’ve been going, going, going.  This is usually a good thing.  I always prefer to be active and to have something to do than to have absolutely nothing to do.  

Throughout the past few days, however, everything seems to have caught up with me.  I’ve been absolutely drained of energy (hey… maybe there’s a ghost around!  Ha ha ha… Cemetery Tours humor) and on top of it all now, I just really, really don’t feel good.  I don’t think I’m actually sick, just run down.  However, I don’t want to treat my poor body like it’s not sick because it’s obviously not feeling its best for a reason.  

To be totally honest, I haven’t had a real sick day in a while because… well… I don’t really get sick anymore (knock on wood).  I used to get sick ALL the time with upper respiratory infections.  I finally got fed up with it near the beginning of 2013 and I decided to see an allergist.  As it turns out, I am allergic to everything that grows except, get this, mountain cedar.  Go figure.  The one thing that everyone in the world is allergic to is the one thing I can sniff all day long and not sneeze one little bit.  

Sick days are still as un-fun as they were the last time I was sick, more than a year ago, but there are ways of making them slightly more enjoyable.  

Guilty Pleasure Movie Marathon

You know those movies that you’re ashamed to own and even more ashamed to admit you love?  Watch them all.  Go for it.  You want to binge-watch Twilight?  Go ahead.  Nicholas Sparks movies? Start with The Notebook.  Yeah, people might judge but you’re sick and you should do what you want to do.  Especially if it takes your mind off how awful you feel.  My favorite sick movie is the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  Not sure why.  It’s just the first movie I turn to when I’m not feeling myself.  

Comfort Food

Baked potatoes with lots of butter, Ramen noodles, ice cream, warm french bread, soup, I could go on forever.  Delicious and soothing comfort food is definitely one of the best parts of not feeling well.  Unless, of course, you can’t keep it down, in which case, I do now want to see you, I do not want to talk to you, I do not even want to acknowledge your existence.  Stay away from me.


Now, I love pajamas even when I’m not sick, but I can never ever justify staying in them all day unless I’m not feeling good.  I usually go for my special, extra-comfy Christmas pajama pants, a tank top or comfy t-shirt, and my fluffy Bath and Body Words bathrobe.  Sooo cozy.

Camping Out on the Sick Couch

When I’m sick, I transfer my entire world to the living room couch.  It’s crucial that the ailing body remain as close to food and to the television as possible.  The couch is usually that ideal central spot.  Take your pillows, your blankets, your tissues or whatever medicine you might be requiring, a heating pad… Anything and everything to ease your suffering.  

A Big Glass of Ice Water 

Or any beverage of your choice, but water is my favorite.  It’s a good idea to stay hydrated even when you’re healthy, but it’s extra important when you’re sick.  Some of you may prefer something with a little extra kick, like tea or Gatorade.  

A Pet

Unlike most animals, my kitty is not a very empathetic creature.  Except when I’m sick.  Somehow, whenever I’m not feeling very good, she always seems to sense it and she comes over to sit on me.  Granted, this usually turns out to be more of an inconvenience than a comforting gesture, but it’s the thought that counts.  At least I know she loves me.  

A Good Book

When I’m sick, I tend to reread my favorite books.  This usually comes down to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban or A Ring of Endless Light.  I’ve read Azkaban so many times that the middle portion of the book is no longer attached to the spine.  If I open it up, a big chunk of the body of the book just falls out.  But it’s always worth it. 

On that note, if you’re in need of a good book, I recommend Cemetery Tours.  And even if you’re not, it would make me feel better.

Talk to you all later! 

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.


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.


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.

Hello Friends

I feel like it’s been a while.  Life is busy.  A little stressful.  But good overall.

On Saturday, I fulfilled one of my admittedly odd lifelong ambitions.  I went to the movie theater by myself.  Again, I know it’s weird, but for some reason, I’ve always wanted to experience seeing a movie just with myself.  I decided to go see Divergent.  It was really good.  For the most part, it stayed true to the book, though it was definitely watered down.  For once, I was strangely okay with that.  Maybe because I’ve only read through the series once and I’m not quite as emotionally invested in it as I am in Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.  It could also be because Veronica Roth’s books are long and very intricately detailed.  I’ll probably have to read through the trilogy again before the next movie comes out because I don’t really remember all that happened, especially in the second one.

One recently announced book-to-movie adaptation that I probably will not be seeing, however, is The Giver. I might change my mind as the release date draws nearer, but from what I’ve seen in the trailer… I’m just not interested.  Nothing I saw in that trailer even remotely resembles the utter magic that the book held for me the first time I read it in middle school and every time I reread it after.  That book is a masterpiece and one that really impacted me as a reader and, consequentially, as a writer.  I’ll be curious to find out what other fans of the book think of it.

I also saw the new Hobbit movie again.  I still think there are too many orcs, too may elves, and not enough Bilbo and the Dwarves. But what do I know?

On the book front, I finished reading The Amazing Crystal by Gerald Lizee.


I’m not a sci-fi reader, but I really enjoyed it!  I posted reviews on both Amazon and GoodReads, but I thought I’d share it here too.

Here’s the deal. I do not read a whole lot of science fiction. In fact, I could probably count on one hand the number of Sci-Fi books I’ve actually read and enjoyed. Add The Amazing Crystal by Gerald Lizee to that list.

Set in a futuristic society, protagonist Lydia receives an amulet from her grandfather, who has gone into hiding our of fear that he may be robbed or kidnapped. This amulet, it turns out, possesses the ability to communicate with whom it chooses and influence the world around it.

Something I loved and that makes The Amazing Crystal very unique is that it plays out like an action show, with episodes instead of chapters. This makes for a fun and fast-paced read with no slow spots in the narrative. The descriptions are vivid and yet, Mr. Lizee tells the story in such a way that even those of us who’ve spent more of our time in the worlds of romance and fantasy will understand and enjoy.

Congratulations and 5 stars to Gerald Lizee. I look forward to reading his future works!

The next book that I’m reading and reviewing is The Calling by Louise G. White.  It’s a fantasy and it looks right up my alley!  I’m really looking forward to reading it!


Finally, I’m about two chapters in to my newest manuscript!  While the sequel to Cemetery Tours is in the editors’ hands, I’m enjoying having something new to engage me.  It’s really excited about the story, and even though it hasn’t been in my head very long, just since January, it’s already better developed than ideas that have been brewing for years.  It’s kind of funny how the brain works like that.

Well, that’s about all I’ve got for today!  Talk to you all tomorrow!


Apocalypse Graduation

Hello again, all.

I just found out that a friend of mine (and fellow author and blogger), Toni, is producing a short film!  You can check out her blog here:

Anyway, this a film that she is producing with her friends and fellow University students and they are planning to submit it to various film festivals and host a live screening.  It’s called Apocalypse Graduation and it’s about my favorite monsters (or the monsters that scare me the most)… ZOMBIES!

Here is the link to their KickStarter page.  Even if you can’t donate, please share the video and help out your fellow author, artist, scriptwriter, and filmmaker.

If the link, for whatever reason, isn’t working, here’s a the information that you’ll find on the page.

“Apocalypse Graduation is the story of two University students who are ambushed while studying in the library.

Apocalypse Graduation is a short film created by Matthew Tse (Director) and Toni Wiltshire (Producer/Scriptwriter). We have a first draft of our script finished, and can’t wait to get started on production!

Together, we are putting together a cast and crew of fellow students and intend to submit our final film to several film festivals.

Our film has a unique edge on most other zombie films: it’s packed with sarcasm, humour, relatable characters and NO ROMANCE. So many films – not just those with zombies – have the underlying (or even prominent) theme of romance, and we wanted to make a film without any of that. It’s just two friends who are trying not to get killed.

Apocalypse Graduation is the story of James Kirk and Clara Jenkins, who are ambushed by zombies while studying at the University library. They have to fight their way out and then survive their new zombie infested world. They have been friends since the start of University, having met at a gaming society. The only slight problem with them being apocalypse partners is the small issue of procreation – Clara is gay, and James can’t see Clara as anything more than a friend – even when faced with the threat of extinction.

As well as aiming to submit our films to several film festivals, we’re also hoping to have a screening in Lincoln (MORE DETAILS TO COME).







Print onto CD/DVDs

We have our script, but we need your help to get our film made! We want to create it to a professional standard, making it a debut film to be proud of.


We are Media Production students at the University of Lincoln, UK, and we are beyond excited to create this professional short film.

Matthew Tse has been studying Media Production for almost three years, and has worked on several short films as part of his college course, but would like to expand and make his own project outside of education. He has also been commissioned to create videos to advertise martial arts groups and was a camera operator for a documentary video about the Olympic torch passing through Peterborough.

Toni Wiltshire comes from an English, Psychology and Sociology background, and is currently going through the motions of self-publishing her first book. Toni’s interest in media lies in script writing and producing, so this opportunity to do both is an exciting prospect for her awesome organisation skills and budding writing abilities.

The two have been hypothesising about this film since November 2013, both wanting to make a zombie film that was both kick ass and realistic.

We intend to shoot the film in March/April 2014, and have post-production finished by May so that we can distribute by June 2014. If there are any delays, you guys will be the first to know!

Likely delays could be caused by the zombie apocalypse not actually happening, Toni killing Matt, or an increase in University work. We will try and make these issues as avoidable as possible, but if something is thrown into the works and causes a delay, we will of course let you know here!

We can’t wait to get started on this film and be able to share the finished product with you guys!

Please remember no donation is too small, anything and everything is greatly appreciated and you’ll be the cause of us feeling warm and happy inside.”

Thank you all!