Story Embers: Six Practical Steps for Developing Consistent Writing Habits

May 20, 2019

Guess what's hard?

If you said fending off plot bunnies, writing by osmosis, or managing your writing time, YOU ARE CORRECT! ;D

And today the stellar Maddie Morrow and I have co-written an article for Story Embers, talking about some practical ways to better manage your writing time. It was super fun to work together on this article and share our thoughts on the topic (I learned quite a bit from her!), so I hope it's helpful to y'all as well!

(someday a day shall come when we learn how to write by osmosis and make plot-bunny repellent, but it is not this day)

image not mine

One of the most common tips writers hear is “Just write.” Though that’s a true sentiment, it’s also deceptively simple. How are you supposed to write amid school, family, jobs, sports, church functions, and other activities?

First and foremost, you must want time to write. Otherwise you’ll never rally the motivation to incorporate it into your schedule. Second, you need to experiment with different tactics to see which ones help you fit writing into your busy life. Together the two of us ladies have compiled a list that describes how to achieve writing productivity while balancing other obligations.

Read the rest of the article on STORY EMBERS 

~ Savannah Grace

happy reading!

Captain Marvel Movie Review

May 11, 2019

I'll admit - I was pretty skeptical about Captain Marvel when I first heard about the movie. No, scratch that - I was pretty skeptical about Captain Marvel when I first heard about her in general. So when I (finally) went to go see her movie, I went with low expectations and an open mind.

Want to hear what my opinions are after seeing it?

(p.s. I wrote this whole review well BEFORE Endgame came out, so there will be no Endgame spoilers in it) 

4 Stars 

Like I said, I went into the movie with low expectations. This far in the game, Marvel should NOT be bringing in a new character to be a cop-out of sorts in Endgame. And honestly, I almost want to give it less stars because of that? But WITHOUT thinking about Endgame, and considering this just another Marvel movie...I have to say, Captain Marvel was pretty good XD.

- The setting was amazing! I loved the 90's vibe. I wasn't so into the space-stuff at the beginning of the movie (which is probably why Guardians of the Galaxy isn't totally my thing), but once Carol fell to earth and started working with Nick and figuring out her past? Yeah, I LOVED IT. The older setting was tons of fun.

- Talos and the skrulls. WEIRD, I KNOW. As villains I hated them (duh), but the minute they were standing in Maria's backyard and Talos says "we just want a home" I was immediately thinking (since I was still skeptical of him at that point) PLEASE BE A GOOD GUY, PLEASE BE GOOD. And then when he finds his family later? I was basically melting into a happy puddle of "YES". Needless to say - yeah, I liked the skrulls XD. I Wish we'd gotten to know more about them!

- Baby Nick. Was absolutely. The best part. Of this movie. Honestly, I didn't even recognize him in the trailer until my friend told me that's who it was? Because he looks so different? And yet, in the movie, he's still very NICK, just a younger kind of Nick. I'm glad they had the same actor play him, because I don't think anyone else could have pulled it off, ha. The movie wouldn't have been even half as good without him. HE WAS SO FUN. (I just hated the part about how he lost his eye) (because it was the epitome of stupid) (and we don't speak of it) (*zips lips*) (it was also fun to see baby Coulson ;D)     

- "I have nothing to prove to you". <------ One of my favorite scenes in the WHOLE movie. I hate it when the bad guy in a movie is like "hey, fight me hand-to-hand and don't use your epic power! Because! You'll! Prove! That! You're! Stronger!" I mean, geez - if you have an epic power, use it, don't let the baddie tell you that using it makes you weaker somehow. Anyways - when Carol just up and smashed him anyways, I wanted to shout "YAS, GIRL" in the middle of the theater. And then I wanted to yell it even more when she walked up to him and said "I have nothing to prove to you" XD. Because I've always wanted a scene like this to happen (because LOGIC)! And I greatly enjoyed when Captain Marvel fulfilled that wish.

- Carol. Pre-watchung-the-movie, I didn't know how much I was going to like Carol, honestly. I was worried she'd be flat, or shallow, or that Marvel would use her to try and push a feminist agenda. BUT! But! She didn't feel like that at all! While Carol did fall a little flat now and then, I actually really liked her more than I thought I would. Her sass was just awesome ("I could have sworn I put it in there"), and she was so perfectly stubborn XD. While she wasn't a perfect main character by any means (I mean, she's being held up to Cap and Stark here in the realm of Marvel MCs, and can anyone actually beat them?) I'm glad to say that I very much enjoyed her and her movie. Asking if I liked her powers is a different story, but as for Carol herself--yeah, she gets a yes from me. A worthy addition to Marvel's MCs.       

- Project Avengers Initiative. That part at the end of the movie where Nick is typing out the Protect Initiative? And then sees the word "Avenger" on the side of Carol's plane? And then changes what he was typing, but the camera never shows it? SO MUCH YES. I love how the directors just knew that everyone would know what Fury was typing, they didn't even have to show it. So much yes to the Avengers Initiative. 

- The Stan Lee tribute. The movie was worth it for that alone. (and the Stan Lee cameo is, as usual, just perfect)

- The villains. Oh, geez. I could go on for a long time about how much I disliked the villain/s. First of all, there was too many of them. There was the Skrulls, then there was the Kree, then there was Ronan - you never had time to really fear one of the villains before another one was showing up. And then the villains weren't ever actually very powerful? The Skrulls turned out to be good. Carol beat her trainer without batting an eye. Ronan kind of just...walked away. I want to really fear for the main character, not know that everything's going to be just peachy! I'll probably do a post about this at some point, because I have a LOT to say about the villains in Captain Marvel XD.

- They never called her Captain Marvel? Not exactly a dislike...I just found it strange? The entire movie is called Captain Marvel, but by the end of the movie, I didn't feel like that's who Carol was. I actually wasn't really sure who she was--they honestly could have titled her anything. Captain Marvel didn't make as much sense for her as, say, Captain America makes sense for Steve. It was weird. But it is what it is *shrugs*.  

- Untied threads! Confusion! Unanswered questions! WHEE. Yeah, this too. Plenty of this. There were multiple threads at the end of the movie that never got tied up---i.e. Who is the Intelligence? Why is he/she important? How does he/she affect the Kree?---there was a bit of confusion, and a lot of questions that it raised but never answered. Like, if Nick was already contemplating the Avengers initiative in 1990s, why did it take him so long to find the first person (Stark) to recruit for it? There was also the question of why on EARTH did Nick wait to call Captain Marvel until Endgame? Why not Sokovia? Why not New York? Why not Winter Soldier, even? Lots of things that could have been done better, and that left Captain Marvel feeling like a last-minute addition to the Marvel universe.

- Deus Ex Machina. I thought before, and I still think, that Carol is definitely a Deus Ex Machina character for Endgame. I don't like it. So I was doubly annoyed when there was some Deus Ex Machina going on at the end of Captain Marvel--I mean, her powers came when she realized she was strong and took that thing off her neck. Why on earth didn't she do that early? That neck-thing seemed awfully easy to pop off. She could have done it years ago. And then her powers were so incredibly strong that the villains didn't even matter anymore. It definitely felt...lacking. Like she didn't fight for it enough, and that it could have happened way early. Most certainly could have been handled differently.

- It tried to steal some of the Avengers' thunder. Until this movie, it seemed like Iron Man, Cap, and the rest were the first people of their kind that Fury had ever dealt with. Why didn't he ever mention Captain Marvel? Or the Kree? Or any of the other things that happened? In all the other Marvel movies we're made to think that, oh cool, here's this new weird thing that the Avengers and SHIELD are going to have to deal with --- only to have Captain Marvel reveal to us that some of it was actually old news. It just felt a little like the movie was trying to steal some of the Avengers' thunder. (It didn't work though.) (Because nothing can steal the thunder from the Avengers XD.) 

- However, the language and content weren't that bad. Which was great. I would rank it somewhere around Thor in the matter of language and content, I think. Actually, this movie can pretty well be described as a mashup of Thor and GotG. Huh. Didn't think about that until just now XD. 

Despite the amount of bashing I'm willing to give Captain Marvel, I mostly bash it because of how it affects the Marvel universe as a whole, not because of the movie itself (though I do still have some bones to pick with it). As a standalone, Captain Marvel was a good movie that I greatly enjoyed, and I'm glad I went to see it. Carol was a great (and very interesting!) character who I really loved, Nick Fury was awesome and hilarious, and it definitely raised some questions for the fate of Endgame. Captain Marvel is absolutely worth seeing before April 26th (aka The End of an Era and the Day we Die of Feels).
And there are my (many, many) thoughts on Captain Marvel! I might do a "Writing Lessons We Can Learn from Captain Marvel" post sometime soon, because trust me, I still have more to say ;D. I'm really glad I went to see this movie, it was definitely worth it and it did manage to surprise me. I liked it more than I thought I would! If you're waffling over whether or not to go and see Captain Marvel, just go for it--seriously! And do it before Endgame...because it's kind of essential :D. It might surprise you, too!

Keep being epic, my friends! <3   

~ Savannah Grace 

have you seen Captain Marvel yet?
what are your thoughts on this movie?