Wendy-Bird: 31 days is short. 28 days is shorter.

My online moniker is often “Wendy Bird.” The name is a double reference, first, to Anne Lamott’s famous book on writing (and living) Bird by Bird. Lamott recalls a memory in which her procrastinating brother was immobilized with panic over a bird report he had to write. Her father reassured him that the way to tackle it was to take things “bird by bird,” one by one, step by tiny step….which becomes her theme for the book itself and a metaphor for the creative process at large.

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The other more obvious reference is, of course, to Wendy Darling from Peter Pan, a favorite about the horrible and violent joys of childhood. The Darling trio are described as birds literally flown from the “nest” of the nursery, much to their parent’s sorrow. But Wendy in particular becomes a “Wendy bird” because Tinkerbell is itching to kill her.

Here is the scene and it is worth quoting in full: Continue reading

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Hello 2019: Get Punched in the Mouth

So I know I wrote a 3 part series on 2019 New Years Goals but now that it is actually 2019, I think I need Mike Tyson to roll his eyes at me and say

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” (Mike Tyson). tyson.gif

Meaning, you can do everything “right,” make no mistakes, be approved of by all the “right” people, and then life will go LOL NOPE. Someone needs to update this gif with “life” written on Mike Tyson and “me” written on that guy in white. The important thing isn’t the plan but the resilience to get on with it even after getting punched in the mouth. So that being said…

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Stars

I was asked to mentor a young adult in our family. Oh dear. Don’t they realize that I’m a mess?

This is a first draft of a children’s story that I’m putting up on the internet for the world to laugh at, steal, and make those “uh OH-KAY” faces at.

3 children gazed up at the stars. There! That one! They wanted to go there!

“Would there be creatures there like us?”

“Would that world be better than ours?”

“It would be an adventure!”

The first child filled his eyes and heart with starlight each night. Dreaming, but never daring, he peeked out from his bedroom window with chin in hand. Night after night, moon after moon, he gazed at the distant skies until his boyhood wonder tucked itself away like a precious secret, a hard diamond deep inside himself.

The second child decidedly built a spaceship – the greatest spaceship in the history of mankind. Sparing no expense and effort, she fine tuned the machine down to its very nuts and bolts. But she could make it faster though; she could make it shinier though; she could make it perfect. It became itself a star, with its gleaming finishings, marvelous sparkle, and the awe of everyone around, earthbound and anchored in the workshop.

The third, knowing nothing like a fool, shot into the blackness of the universe long ago in an inferior spaceship and was never seen again.

 

Authenticity is Key. Or why “This Beautiful Fantastic” was a terrible movie.

The British film, This Beautiful Fantastic (2016) ticked off every “twee” magical-realism genre box and subsequently fell flat. This is not because I have snobby qualms about genre conventions. In fact, the movie was a fantastic amalgamation of everything that I tend to like: star-eyed heroines, dreamy narratives about self development, and an aesthetic that might be best described as Goth-Anthropologie Shojo. Take a look:

1. Quirky bookish heroine clearly modeled after Amelie with a dash of Lydia Deetz. Bella is played by porcelain-skinned period-actress Jessica Brown Findlay, in vintage blouses and witchy hats.

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November: Nanowrimo + Snow White

Happy Nanowrimo!

I’ve been away for a while, working on my mental health and uh, burgeoning eating disorder (kidding, sort of). But Autumn is still my most inspiring season and I’ve been happily plugging away behind the scenes.Since Nanowrimo is such a public event though, I’ve crawled out of my cave to make some bold statements about my end of year goals.

Lately I am particularly obsessed with this idea of Snow White hiding in the wood at the dwarves’ cottage. The cottage in the wood is the place where she plays housewife, cooking and baking pies, to her alternate family of little-men-children and animals. So, like all fairy tales from past cultures of gender inequity, this could easily be a disturbing metaphor for domesticity as a way to disempower women, RIGHT?

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The 12 Heroines of Christmas ~ Shizuku

4. Shizuku from Whisper of the Heart

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It seems unfair to write about Shizuku from Whisper of the Heart (耳を澄ませば)(1995) on the same day that I just wrote about Kiki, her much more iconic sister in the Ghibli universe. Shizuku is less flashy, less dramatic, less exciting, and the stakes in her story are lightyears away from death and destruction. But this is all appropriate to her characterization though: she is a nobody that rises to the challenge.

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