Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cosplay Wish List

In this post I am going to be dumping my plans for cosplays, or cosplays I really want to make or finish.

Coming up I will be posting my experience at Comic Con, and about our awesome costumes. I am going as Elsaba, a combination of Elphaba and Elsa, and my mom made a killer Idris dress.

I also have some cool historical cosplays, a Clara Oswald cosplay, and a fantasy warrior person cosplay that I'll be sure to post about.

But for now, here's what I very much want to do.


Genderbends:

Fem!Mad Hatter

I want to go crazy with this. I love the look of the dress above, and I definitely could go crazy at the thrift store to make it.

Fem!Han Solo


Would this not be adorable? I recently re-watched the Star Wars movies, and realized just how much I love them.And Han Solo. Yes please.


Fem!Henry Morgan


Forever has easily become of of my favorite shows, and Henry Morgan is such a lovable character. I'd love to have fun with coats and scarves and go all out with this. I already have the greatest vest.

Fem!Castiel


I have the coat and dress. I just need some killer wings for this costume.

Fem!Winter Soldier


I want to do this one so bad. I could totally pull off the hair and I just think this would be so fun.





Original/Inspired:



Renaissance Faerie!


I desperately want to go all out and have fun with this, making a super cute gypsy-like fairy.


Steampunk Disney


Whether it's Ariel, Tink, or Belle, I think Steampunk disney princesses are some stellar costumes, and definitely on my costume to make list.



Exact:

Anna's Coranation Dress


This one would be intense, but I love how swirly it is. I look forward to going crazy with it.


Assassins Creed or Skyrim


It's very challenging to find one that's not low cut and mini skirt-ified, but I am determined that one day I will have a kick butt but fiercely feminine costume from one of these games.


Or Portal. That too,


Red or Cinderella from Into the Woods


Both of these costumes would be so fun to wear. Cinderella's would be quiet intense but so gorgeous when complete. And it's also an excuse to go around singing. Not that I ever needed one before.



And those are my favorites so far! Let me know down below what you are wanting to cosplay as in the future.

Friday, March 20, 2015

5 Ways to Get a Lot of Writing Done.

If you are one of my close writing friends, there is a good chance you're laughing at me.

And you're probably saying, "Mariesa. Let's be real. You complain to me every day about not wanting to write. Do you really think you're the right one to make a post about writing a lot?"

Yes, I am a lazy person and the stress of NaNo is one of the sole reasons I ever finish anything. But, through NaNo and recent discoveries, I have found 5 simple ways to get a lot of writing done in a small amount of time. And because of a few tips and things I've started doing, I have got a lot of writing done.

And I'm here to share.





1: Set aside time 

Another that I passed over on writing advice posts, because it's so obvious. Duh! But recently, now that I've been ambitious and started writing whole novels during school year and not relying on NaNoWriMo...I've realized that I am pretty busy.

I have school, chores, more school, and I want to read a lot too. Writing was always shoved away and that is just sad.

If you love writing and want to pursue it....then you are a writer. And writers need to respect their work. It's not complicated. You don't have to say "Oh I am going to write at 8 to 9 EVERY MORNING,"

I have tried that and once I failed I forget about it and go back to laziness.

But when you wake up, plan your day in your head. If you know you have heavy school or work all day, don't stress over writing. But if you know you'll be free in the evening, don't leave it open ended. It's easy to put off school to nighttime when you know you have time.

Tell yourself you're going to finish your school at a certain time, then read for an hour or two, then work on your story. It's a simple plan but it really helps.




2: Know what you're doing

I'm not an outliner. I thought I wasn't, at least. I just poured stuff onto the paper and called it writing.

Recently, though, I have discovered that light outlines are so helpful. I have a list by my paper with the basic things I want to happen in a chapter. I've found that while writing I switch a lot around or add things.

Without that outline, I tend to get frustrated at not knowing what to do next, and then I just watch youtube videos. Mini outlines like that are so helpful. Know what you're doing in a chapter. It will help.




3: The Drabble Method

This is a method I recently discovered. And well, I wrote 5k yesterday which is more than I have written in a long time because of it.

For those of you who don't know, a drabble is both a noun and verb, meaning a 100 word or so story or piece of fluff. Usually, you drabble with friends. You pick a prompt, and you write about 100 words. And you'd be surprised at how fast the 100 words go.

Last night when I was close to tears at how behind my goal I was, I tried it. I made a list of  "prompts" that weren't really prompts, but what needed to happen. It looked like this:

Talking
S's Story
S's Story
S's Story
T talks some
C come home
Mother scene
Barn scene

I considered doing actual drabble prompts, but that was too open ended for me. I needed someone, in this case myself, to tell me exactly what to do. 100 words each. That's easy! But when you have 20 drabbles, that's 2,000 words.

Here is how I did it, and this worked best. Open a new document, and start your first Drabble. It's a lot easier to track where you are when there's nothing else on the document. When you're done, copy it into your story, then clear to separate document and continue like that.

So I sat down, knowing a 100 word long talking scene would be easy. Well that talking scene ended up being 200 and the scene where Sol tells his story ended up being 500.

I kept going. And before I knew it I had written 3k, and caught up in any way I was behind. I slept very happily.

I really love this method because if my prompt is a small moment, it almost forces me to spend a little bit more time with the point of the scene, and add more to the dialogue and emotion, which made my writing better as well.

I highly recommend this method. I will certainly be doing it for a while.



4:The Building Method

This is a method to use with friends.

During NaNo last year, the lovely Emma and Sam and I were video chatting almost every day. By the end of the month we were done with writing.

Until one of us, I don't remember who, scolded all of us and told us to go write 10 words. Yeah, we could do 10 words. So we wrote 10 words, and shared them.

Then we told each other to go write 20 words. And it kept building.

It's a bit slower, but it was so insanely helpful for getting us out of slow parts. Recently, we've using other methods.

Anyone who didn't have as much writing to do would go draw some fan art for our stories, or write some cute fluff, or find some amazing fanfic for a book. And that was our motivation.

Let me tell you, someone saying they just wrote fanfic for your own novel but you can't read it until you write 200 words...it's very motivating.

So...get some friends. Find some friends. And have at it.




5: You have to write bad writing in order to get good writing

Ah, NaNo.

Writing 50k in a month. Basically, you are going to write crap. Or, what Sam calls it: Crap-fic. basically you need a few more words and you got nothing so you write scenes where characters steal goats and eat potatoes.

I kid you not. I wrote a scene in my NaNo 2013 when a evil dwarf made my main character wash a basket of never ending potatoes.

I had a scene where my two characters get into a pun war. Another scene where people die for no reasons. I actually added a snarky character just so I could have banter that would boost my word count. Granted, now Ellery is everyone favorite character...but my point remains.

First drafts suck. People always say this and yet I see others including me tear themselves down because they think they're do good and I'm sorry but that's rubbish.

Like, really? Everyone starts somewhere. Everyone has crappy NaNoWriMos and first drafts. That's what life is. But writing is amazing and you shouldn't give it up.

You have to write bad writing in order to get good writing,

So the most important thing to remember if you want to write a lot is to remember it ain't gonna be pretty. And laughing over the crazy with friends makes it a little bit better.



And those are my 5 methods that have worked for me. I hope they help you. Keep writing!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy Ever After? 15 Messages in Into the Woods



Anyone who knows me well knows I am obsessed with musicals and Broadway, so there's a chance a lot of people will read the title of this post and think I'm biased.

And yes, I really love this movie. A lot. But that's because actors and actresses and songs. I know it's imperfect, but I really think this is an important Disney movie for people to watch, and today I'm going to break down the lessons and important things in this movie.

There's been a lot of parental discussion around this movie. A lot of people have said they don't want their kids watching it because it doesn't have happy endings all around, and that's what Disney generally is about. When kids are taught these lessons is debatable, but I still feel like there are important lessons in this movie. Granted, I am not a mother. This post is full of my own opinions as a teenager.


*SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT* You've been warned. Many death and plot twists revealed. Go watch the movie!




1-Even Flowers have their dangers




There's quite a bit dealing with male species in this movie. First off, The Wolf.

In the original play, the scene with Wolf and Red wasn't very subtle. It very clearly dealt with the serious nature of this story. Honestly, the scene was plain uncomfortable. And the costume was...anatomically correct. 
 In the movie I feel like it was done a little more tastefully, with some good teaching points for kids. They very clearly used the obvious example of him opening his coat and showing candy and sweets. We know that Red liked sweets, and this was a good example of evil people using things kids like to trick them.

Another interesting part is the Prince. In the original play the actor who played Cinderella's prince also played the role of the Wolf. This was some really great symbolism to show that sometimes....men are just dangerous, even if they're dressed up all nice and seem charming.

In her song "I Know Thing's Now", Red perfectly sums this up in the line "Even flowers have their dangers," Things seem pretty and perfectly safe....but everything in the world including the prettiest things have their dangers.




2-Scary is exciting, but nice is different than good-


After the Baker frees Red from the wolf, she breaks into her little self-explanation song, "I know things now", This is the song where anyone who didn't catch the innuendos in "Hello Little Girl," figure out what this whole relationship is dealing with.


"He showed me things many beautiful things
That I hadn't thought to explore"
"....And he made me feel excited, well, excited and scared,"

Yeah. In the movie it's easier to miss, but looking back at the song you can really see the subjects dealt with here. I know that a lot of parents don't really want to teach their kids this type of lessons so soon, but personally I feel like our world is in that state where we really can't wait too long to teach our kids about the dangers in these situations. Sure, we don't have to dump all this scary info on kids so soon, but it's important to teach some information. I feel like movies are a really good way to do that. 

At the end of I Know Things Now, Red says "... and though scary is exciting, nice is different than good." That really sums it up well. Scary can be exciting. As said in the last point, really pretty things can seem good. But there's a level of caution you should have in every strange situation. Nice people aren't always good.




3-It's nice to know a lot. And a little bit...not

The very last line of I Know Things Now goes: "Isn't it nice to know a lot? And a little bit...not,"

This is another very relate-able line. Think about being a kid. When I was young, every conversation that was told in whispers drove me insane. When people told me that they'd explain when I was older, I'd get angry. I wanted to know. I wanted to know everything.

Now that I'm older....well gosh. I wish I could be a kid again. It is nice to know a lot, but really it's nice to have that stretch of time where you don't.

This is also explored in Jacks song "Giants in the sky"




"And it's then that you miss
All the things you've known
And the world you've left
And the little you own-"

"...The roof, the house and the world you never thought to explore.
And you think of all of the things you've seen,
And you wish that you could live in between,
And you're back again,
Only different than before,"

Sometimes you want for really great things, like adventure. But then sometimes you find yourself in that adventure (not always as crazy as a castle in the sky, of course), when you realize that there's adventures waiting for you at home, in the simple life. That you miss the things that are familiar and the places you 'never thought to explore'.




4- People aren't always what they seem-



Stay With Me is one of the most heart breaking songs in the movie.


For the people who went into the theater with no knowledge of the story, the Witch is evil to them. For the first part of the movie she comes across as the usual Witch character. Stay With Me changes all of that.

While many of the things she does in this movie are bad, you can see in this movie and other parts that she truly cares for Rapunzel. She's not locking her away for no reason. She has a real attachment for her, but ends up showing it to her all the wrong way, by growing possessive.

Streep's performance really brought this to life at the line "Don't you know what's out there in the world?" you can really see the pain on her face. I never realized how much I wanted to know about the Witch's past until Meryl Streep's performance.

And this really shows how much people are different than you think. The line at the end of the movie in No One Is Alone goes "Witches can be right, Giants can be good," and that goes with the theme that people aren't always what the cut out to be. Princes aren't always charming. Witches aren't always bad.

The whole "Mothers are more caring than they seem" lesson is also shown in Jack's mother, who starts out seeming rough, but is very clearly caring. You can see it every time she touches him that she really cares about the boy.




5-Beauty 

Another aspect Meryl rocked as the witch was the obsession with beauty. In Stay With Me, the witch quickly uses what she thinks to be so to sort of guilt trip Rapunzel into staying.


"I am old, I am ugly, you are ashamed of me,"

During the scene where the spell doesn't work, the witch curls up into a ball with tears in her eyes. You can really see there how badly she wants to be beautiful. Whether it's because she wants it just to be pretty, or so Rapunzel will not be ashamed, you can see that beauty is her main goal.




6-It takes two

"It Takes Two" is the adorable duet between the Baker and his wife. Throughout the whole movie he's been pushing her away, but this is the song where they sing about how they've changed in the woods. While kids have no marriages to relate this song to, it still has some good messages. I speak from experience when I say how easy it is the want to do everything on your own. It's a good message, reminded people that sometimes it does take two to finish something you started. 

It's good to remind yourself that it's okay to ask for help. It's okay to
need help. There's nothing wrong with doing it on your own but sometimes...you really need to let others in.

It takes one
To begin, but then once
You've begun,
It takes two of you.
It's no fun,
But what needs to be done
You can do
When there's two of you.




7-People make mistakes-

When I first discovered this play after the original teaser came out, I was hooked. I listened to the original soundtrack obsessively, but it took a while to really get the stories behind the songs. When I realize that the song "Any Moment" was about Prince Charming seducing the Bakers wife I was shocked and partly horrified. What sort of fairy tale was this? Cinderella's prince betraying him? And going after a married woman? 

The whole movie I was dreading that scene. Was it going to be awkward? Why would they do this? The scene was done tastefully, but I was still pretty sure a lot of people we're going to be upset about this. And yet that scene went so well with the themes of the movie. It tied in perfectly the ending notes of people making mistakes and happy endings not always being what you think they're going to be.

I do agree that parents should definitely know about this bit before taking their kids to see it. I'm sure many parents don't want their kids perfect fairy tale fantasies being crushed. But I still think this is an important message. Not only does it show that there will be temptations in life, but it ties in well with the other messages of first loves not always being true and how no one is perfect. 


Because no one in this movie is perfect. The Witch was cruel to her daughter. The Baker pushed away his wife at times. Jack's mother was harsh, Cinderella's step-family were cruel, and the Prince was unfaithful. Disney movie have always been full of perfect people. Prince Charming was....charming.Sleeping Beauty was perfectly beautiful and docile. Everyone had few faults. I greatly appreciated the realism of this movie. Disney really needed more realistic characters, and their live action movies they've been making have done a really good job of that.

People aren't what they seem. No one ever stopped to think about that maybe Maleficent wasn't evil. That maybe Prince Charming was Charming but not sincere. These are ways of thinking that people should get early on, so they don't continue in their lives assuming everyone is what they seem to be on the outside.




8-If life were made of moments than you'd never know you had one

One of my favorite songs in the musical is the song the Baker's Wife sings after she has a fling with the Prince. Moments in the Wood is her song of inner-monologue, walking through the crazy thing that just happened. 

Oh. if life were made of moments,
Even now and then a bad one-!
But if life were only moments,
Then you'd never know you had one.

Can we just talk about how relate-able this is? If life were made of all the good moments then you'd never realize a moment was good. This is such an important message for everyone and one I want to tell so many people. If life didn't have all those super sucky things that happen...you'd never ever realize it when you were having a good moment. Those good moments are contrast the bad and that's what makes them good. One of my favorite inspiring messages is "You have to fight through some of the worst days of your life to get to the best,"

That. That is so important. 




9-Not all choices that seem right are good


One of my favorite moments of the movie is the scene right after the Witch turns into a tar pit when the characters remaining are staring out and they say one after the other "Maybe I shouldn't have attended the ball," "Maybe I shouldn't have stolen from the giant," "Maybe I shouldn't have strayed from path,"
And that's life. Life is full of moments of "Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda,"

Life is completely full of those moments where you wonder what you could have done differently. And that's so important to know. Not every choice you make is a good one. Sometimes you mess up. And that's what life is.









10-Not all first loves are true

The romance between Cinderella and Charming was quick...and over quickly as well. I really like this story line, because of the truth. Every girl ever has at some pointed wanted to meet their prince Charming. And most girls have loved someone only to realize they weren't the right one. Young girls are watching movies with princesses who've never let their tower fall in love and marry the first person they meet. Granted, those stories are sweet and cute...but they aren't true. This story line is important because there's a lot of people in the world who need to know that not every perfect person you meet is going to be the right one for you.




11-You are not alone. No one is alone

And now for my favorite song of the movie. This song is one I listen to so much and it makes me smile every time.
At this point in the movie, both Jack and Red are orphans. Cinderella has lost her prince, the witch has lost her daughter and her life, and the Baker has lost his wife. (This is some fairy tale, huh?) So, at this point everyone is alone.

Loneliness sometimes can be one of the most underrated problems in the teen world. Sometimes people don't realize just how much loneliness hurts. Loneliness can tear apart someone. And loneliness is everywhere. Everyone is lonely at some point, but sometimes people feel lonlier than they are.


Sometimes I wish I could tell the whole world that no one is alone. Even if you feel like it there's always going to be someone looking out for you. There's going to be someone on your side, someone who will help you.  Even when people leave. Even when no one is around you and you feel lost things will be alright.

Just remember:
Someone is on your side
...Someone else is not
While we're seeing our side
...Maybe we forgot: they are not alone.
No one is alone.
Hard to see the light now.
Just don't let it go
Things will come out right now.
We can make it so.
Someone is on your side
No one is alone.




12-Sometimes people leave you

This ties in perfectly with the last one. In the finale of the movie, the Baker's wife sings to the grieving Baker these words.


Sometimes people leave you
halfway through the wood.
Do not let it grieve you,
No one leaves for good.
You are not alone.
No one is alone.

And it rings with so much truth. People always leave. When I was younger I had a happy little world with all my friends and I was certain that they'd never leave.

I'm almost 16 now. People close to me have died, I've had to struggle through friends growing apart from me, and families I was getting close to moving away. It's not always death, or family members passing away. Sometimes you don't even realize someone means a lot to you until they're gone. Sometimes you start wondering if it was you, and if there was anything you could have done differently.Into the Woods is so full of real messages, and this is one of them. People? They don't always stick around. 




13-You effect people by what you say and do-

The directors ended the movie not in the fun and upbeat reprise of the opening, but with the gorgeous song "Children will Listen," 

Careful the things you say
Children will listen
Careful you do them too
Children will see
And learn
Guide them, but step away
Children will glisten
Tamper with what is true
And children will turn
If just to be free
Careful before you say
"Listen to me"
Children will listen

Also, before all of this happens the cast sing a upbeat song "Your fault," where they tie together everything they did and how the giant attack was a certain character's fault. In that song you see how every decisions the characters made caused the tragic things to happen.

These two songs are very different in feel but both have the same underlying message. Everything you say and do will affect people. Children/people will listen to what you say. 
 



14-Not everyone gets a happy ending, but sometimes the happy ending is different than you though it would be-


Throughout this post, it's been pretty clear that this movie is far from the ordinary Disney movie or fairy tale. People die, princes are unfaithful, some couples are together and some aren't. Characters end up alone and hurt.

And yet it still has that tinge of hope. The movie ends with everyone sitting around the mourning baker who tells his now motherless child and the remaining characters the story of how it all happened. Everyone has lost someone at that point, and yet it still is a somewhat happy ending.

Because they're not all alone. They've messed up and been through so much but they're strong characters and they've found their happiness in other means. 

Sometimes happy endings aren't what you think they're going to be. Sometimes you don't have your happy ending in the arms of a handsome prince or with the wife and your child. Sometimes winning a battle takes things from you, and many people are left hurt.




15- There are always wolves

In the song that ends the original play and is played during the credits, there's some great final themes.

Though it's fearful,
Though it's deep, though it's dark
And though you may lose the path,
Though you may encounter wolves,
You can't just act,
You have to listen.
You can't just act,
You have to think.
There are always wolves,
There are always spells,
There are always beans,
Or a giant dwells there.


Every step you take in life you're going to run into wolves or problems. In the end, this movie is giving the same message over and over in various ways,

Life is full of messes and moments and mistakes but all of it can be overcome. 

That's cannot be said enough. You can't allow yourself to go through the motions of life. You have a chance to live and wish and do so much.


This whole overly mushy post is basically telling you how much I love this movie.

Nothing is really all perfectly happy in the end. It's the most realistic Disney movie I have seen. And through the whole thing there's messages that need to be said over and over again. Not just the practical ones, like not talking to strangers, but the one's that can make a big difference in someone's life and happiness. 


 Happy endings come in many ways. Let the moments go, but don't forget them for a moment. People make mistakes. Be careful what you wish for. No one is alone.








I wish




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Doctor Who Cosplays- Finished and In Process



Doctor Who is a very important part of my life. When I first discovered it, it was around the time I discovered cosplay.

TARDIS DRESS:


Planning Stage:


I don't have a whole lot of photos of the process,but it was pretty straight forward. We used a basic dress pattern, using fabric and embroidery for the windows and panels.



The sign my mom made by printing it onto fabric and dying it slightly brown, then sewing it on like a pocket. The words Police Box were made out of iron on letters and the Public Call words were painted on.



Finish product:


The only other cosplays doctor who related I have going on are a sort of Ten and Eleven fem cosplay. Both of these coats can be paired with a simple dress and they look super adorable.


Also in my collection of doctor who supplies, I have the closest I could find to a Clara skirt and a Amy Pond sweater, both of which took me forever to track down for a cheap amount. I am going to be doing a full on Clara cosplay this summer which I shall post pics of.





Tuesday, March 3, 2015

January+February Favorites

excuse the crappy picture I had no creativity at all today and pic monkey was being dumb


Wow. So I haven't done a favorite post in far too long. So I'm just going to combines the last two months into one lovely little post. Woot.

It's been a pretty fun last few months! I've read some really good books, re-did my room, met some amazing authors, planned for summer some more, and all sorts of exciting stuffs.

So let's get into it. Because my favorites are important and everyone definitely needs to know.

Books:



Shouldn't be suprsing for anyone who knows me. I. Love. This. Book. Clicky title to see review. 




Beautifulllll.





IT'S SO GOOD. And freaky. You can find more of her comics here.


The others are obvious, Blue Lily, which is Book three in the raven cycle, but I'm not going to include it because it doesn't count. Because honestly it goes without saying that it'd be a favorite.


Music:



Guys it's really good. Like. Really. Good. Go listen. Now. My top five are:





Fall Out Boy will always be my favorite, of course, but really. This album is great.

Top five:





My friend showed me this soundtrack and I've been in love ever since. I have yet to watch the movie, but let me just say how good this soundtrack is. I love it. A lot.

Top five:

also I Suppose That Was a Prayer but this one is mainly talking. Just. The music.




Stunning. That is all. My favorite is Stay and Mountains
Hans Zimmer will never cease to amaze me.

Random Song Favorites:


Youtube Favorites

This is the cutest short ever, guys. Ever. 



COUGH COUGH. I like this.

Also I have been obsessed with theseee videos. Because WICKED. If you like Wicked, just watch them.

I've also been obsessed with spoken word poetry. Here's a good start:



And my top three:






Wow. This post is getting long. I'll try and wrap it up.

Movies:


*cries softly in corner*.

This movie had my favorite things.
1: A lottttt of feelings
2: Made me cry
3: Good characters
4: Strong females
5: Crazy weird plot
6: Amazing soundtrack

It was so good. So so good.



Then of course I finally jumped on the pitch perfect bandwagon. Ahhhh I love this so much. The Music. And the feelings. IT MAKES ME SO HAPPY. More of my favorite things.

1: Humor
2: Singing
3: Big otp
4: Favorite actresses


Pretty sure that's it! That was a long post, wasn't it. See you next month! Or, at the pace I'm going, in two months.

Oh, and seeing how this is addressing things that happen this month...let me just say....

The dress is white and gold.