Posts Tagged With: Disney

Rise of the Isle of the Lost

If a movie is based on a book, the book will always be better.  It’s just a Rule.  So what about when a book is the prequel to a movie?

I always read the book first because it enables me to enjoy both, but I stay away from novelezations at all costs.  Melissa de la Cruz and Descendants managed to find a middle ground: a prequel novel that gave the movie context.  In that way, The Isle of the Lost prepared readers for what came next.  It gave an insight into the characters and their friendship that added layers to the final production.

The movie was a phenomena (despite its gaps in logic).  It was watched by so many people that the second (coming out Friday) is going to air on every channel the Disney corporation owns.  When I heard they were doing another book in between, Return to the Isle of the LostI wasn’t surprised.  I was even excited to see how our heroes fared being, well, the heroes.  And (if you read my post, you know) I hated it because it lacked the darkness and edge that made them Villain Kids.

Rise of the Isle of the Lost did a better job.  It shows Mal’s dark side and dependence on magic as well as the contrast between her and Evie.  It shows Carlos and his terror at the idea of returning to his abusive mother.  It shows Jay’s struggle between rogue and prince as he learns to channel his energy into a new sport instead of thievery.  Basically, if Return to the Isle of the Lost had never existed, this book would be perfect.

It shows every way the Villain Kids have changed and all the ways they haven’t, which is a fine and difficult line to walk in a sequel.

Knowing there were two books between the movies concerned me at first, at the first book (second total) didn’t help.  Reading the new book, however, eased my fears.  The second sets up the movie, especially Mal’s insecurities and Uma’s fury, but ends at a spot where someone could jump in without prior information and still understand what’s going on.

It’s a good book to read if you enjoyed Descendants and are looking forward to its sequel.  Give it a chance.  As sequels go, it’s definitely worthy of the title.

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Love and Work

I love most Disney movies but, if I had to pick a top ten, it would include The Princess and the Frog.  Tiana has a dream all right, but she turns it into a Goal and works her butt off in order to achieve it.  I always liked what her dad said: “You wish on that star, but it can only take you part of the way.  You have to help it out with hard work.”  And she does.

Then, things don’t go exactly as she planned.  She falls in love.  And she has to choose between Naveen and finally getting the thing she’s worked so hard for.

There are a lot of romantic comedies marketed towards grown women that handle this storyline with less grace than this animated feature.  Woman works hard to get what she wants, man comes along and shows her that all work and no play blah blah blah.  Love is more important than life-long goals anyway, right?

But at the beginning of The Princess and the Frog, Tiana has made it.  She should be reaping the rewards of her hard work except someone moved the finish line.  So she does something desperate in order to get what she’s already earned: she kisses the frog.

This is where the storyline deters from a typical story like this.  Tiana does fall in love with Naveen, but only after he learns the value of hard work and after he decides to prioritize her goal as much as she does.  She does choose Naveen over finally seeing her dream come true, but it’s a corrupted version of her dream anyway: a version that requires hurting people she cares about and a literal deal with the devil.  It makes her realize why she’d had this dream to begin with.  And, in the end, Naveen does everything in his power to make her dream come true.  She did choose his safety over the restaurant, but if he had sat at home while she built Tiana’s Place from the ground up, that boy would have been back on the street again.

All that to say, I saw an article this week that said millenials were prioritizing education and careers over marriage like it was a bad thing, but if your spouse isn’t as invested in your future as you are, there’s nothing wrong with wanting more.

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Brain Storm

I have been in a creative rut lately.  Now that I’m coming out of it, it doesn’t seem like such a big deal but when I was in the worst of it, I felt awful.  I was searching for anything that might help.

Enter: Brain Storm by Don Hahn.  I bought it at The Last Bookstore in L.A. last year.  Don Hahn produced The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast.  I still don’t know exactly what a producer does, but he worked for Disney, so I thought he would have something insightful to say.

Halfway through the book, I decided I hated this guy.

Perhaps the problem is that I am not his target audience.  Hahn is writing from his own experiences as a White, Straight, Christian, Neurotypical Male, and treats it as the universal existence.  He quotes a couple dozen men and only two women throughout the book.  He consistently generalizes about men and women in an “us vs. them” fashion.  Likewise he equates “masculine” and “feminine” to sexual orientation, which isn’t how it works.

Most of his advice works in this context.  He suggests taking a day or more to ignore the time and follow your internal clock, which is easier when you’re well-off.  One of his major points is that we are living in a time of prosperity, which should allow for more time to be creative.  This doesn’t take into account the people who are barely getting by, or neurodivergent people who can’t muster up the energy to work the extra hours.  He suggests travel as a way of gaining inspiration.  Don’t get me wrong: it is.  But he works on the presumption that “travel” automatically means going to another country, and that is just not feasible for everyone.

He does have a few good lines, but most of them come from the beginning of the book.  He spends a good hundred pages selling his reader on the idea of creativity and living a creative life.  It’s this section that gives us gems like “If we define creativity simply as ‘imagination directed toward a goal,’ then we all have it.” and “There is strength in boldness, and let’s face it, the alternative–doing nothing–doesn’t sound very satisfying.”

But it’s clear that he spends so long selling his reader because that is his strongest point.  His strongest idea is to prove that anyone can be creative.  This is both true and an important message, but he could have said it in an article instead of in a 300+ page book.  Once you get past the pitch, he runs out of things to say – except the parts that are only relatable if you are also Straight, White, Christian, Neurotypical, and Male.

(Also, I am so PISSED that he started a chapter about God and creativity, a subject I am rather passionate about, with a quote from a child molester.)

While he has a few good points, it’s all stuff you can find on the internet.  If you’re looking for inspiration, skip Brain Storm.

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5 Ways to Make The Most of Your Disney Vacation

There are, as I mentioned, six Disney theme parks in the world, and I have been to three of them.  I won’t tell you how many times I’ve been to Walt Disney World, but I did work there for a while.  At this point, I know what I’m doing.  Here are a few tricks to make your Disney trip easier and more fun.

  1. Plan ahead.  The Disney properties are full of award-winning restaurants.  While you may be able to get reservations when you get there, it will be easier to book in advance.  If you know you want to meet a lot of characters, you can book a character meal and take care of two priorities in one.  It’s also a good idea to look at the maps and list of attractions before you go.  If we hadn’t, we would have missed La Tanière du Dragon at Disneyland Paris.  It’s unique to that park and tucked away; it would have been easy to miss if we hadn’t been looking for it.  Speaking of planning and knowing what you want to do…
  2. Fast passes are your friend.  They work a little differently at each resort.  At Walt Disney World, make the FastPass+ kiosk your first stop.  There are some rides that always have a long wait, but you can tell what’s popular that day and compare it to what you want to ride.  These you can change later if you want to do something different or, on the flip side, you can book them up to 60 days in advance if you’re staying at a Disney hotel.

    At Disneyland, each ride has its own kiosk, so head straight for the one you want most.  Everything is close enough that it won’t be too far out of your way to begin with.  This is one of the ways the app will come in handy.  It can show you wait times for each attraction so you can tell which rides you’ll need the fast passes for.

    You can also get fast passes for the best view at certain shows, which reminds me…

  3. View your day holistically and prepare to stay late at least one night.  Every park has a show of some kind and it usually involves fireworks.  I’m biased: I think everybody needs to see Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios but, honestly, there are no bad shows at Disney, and they’re usually celebrating something.

    Each park also has parades, shows, and character meet-and-greets throughout the day.  Pay attention to the times and prioritize.  You’ve got a lot of options but you can miss them if you don’t time it right.

  4. Get the Park Hopper.  It’s a little more expensive, but trust me.  If you get to a park and realize it’s too crowded, if you have a meal reserved in one but want to start elsewhere, or if you get to your last day and realize there’s something you haven’t done yet, you’re going to be glad you have the option to go back and forth.  It makes scheduling SO much easier.
  5. Pick a couple of things to focus on and just let the rest happen.

    Most of these tips are about planning, which does help ensure you don’t miss out on your must-sees.  But you can also miss out if you aren’t open to possibilities.  There are often performers in the streets or you’ll notice a super short line for something you didn’t think you’d want to ride.  Plan for those things that are most important to you, but leave room for Disney magic.  It’s everywhere and it’s often the parts you don’t expect that you’ll remember most.

There’s not really such a thing as a bad Disney vacation…at least, not that I’ve experienced yet, but these things always make my trips a little less overwhelming.

Have fun at the Happiest Place on Earth, whichever one you decide to visit.

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For the Lovers, the Dreamers, and You.

So ends the dedication in Before You Leap, a “self-improvement” book written by Kermit the Frog, with a little help from Jim Lewis.

(As you can see, we are staying on theme, as the Muppets are something I had no interest in before my four months at Disney World.)

The book actually fits better in the Humor section, though there is some genuine advice for lovers, dreamers, and those aspiring to be either.  Some of my favorites include:

  • “So we put our panic aside-temporarily-and got down to business.” pg. 45. (Technically, something they did and not actual advice, but I think it’s got legs.)
  • “Remember, these are the best years of your life…The heck with everyone else!” pg. 94.
  • “Let time pass and the hurt will go away, though you may walk with a limp.” pg. 111.
  • “It may not be normal, but this is your life, so make yourself at home and go a little crazy too.” pg. 121.
  • “Do your best and treat others well, and I guarantee the best is yet to come.” pg. 122.
  • “First, there are far too many people in the world to please everyone. Second, you won’t meet most of these people in person, so why bother trying? And third, if you’re going to please anyone, make it moi.” pg. 185.
  • “Consider what is most important in life to you and be true to those things.” pg. 186.
  • “Success is believing in yourself, then convincing everyone else that you’re right.” pg. 187.
  • “A spectacular failure is better than a humdrum success.” pg. 209.
  • “…you can’t amaze the world until you first surprise yourself.” pg. 210.

Though gems like these can be applied to your life, you’ll mostly just be laughing as Kermit explains how he navigates through life in Hollywood among his louder, wilder costars and friends.

My main complaint about this book is that they are a few too many jokes at Miss Piggy’s expense.  Clearly the ghostwriter (Lewis) has forgotten some of the finer points of the Muppets’ films, since it’s obvious Kermit loves her too.  He almost figures it out in chapter 12, but since he spends most of the other 17 chapters talking about her like she’s an annoyance to be tolerated, humored, and/or avoided to make life easier, I don’t blame Piggy for socking the frog a couple of times.  I mean, yeesh Kermit.  “Accept and appreciate her” my foot.

Aside from those wince-inducing bits, the writer handles everything else with the heart and good humor Kermit is known for.  He speaks nostalgically about Jim Henson and Sesame Street, giving a firm background for what the character has become.  He also discusses the other Muppets, especially Gonzo and Fozzie, with true affection, make the relationships (and the Muppets themselves) seem more realistic.  The book reminded me why I loved The Muppet Movie so much: it may have been puppets, but the way these wacky characters came together and followed their dreams feels human.  The way they come true is inspiring.

And though Kermit’s dream and journey to it are make-believe, we should remember that Jim Henson’s (and Walt Disney’s for that matter) were very real.  Henson created the Muppets in 1955 and they have a show on ABC 61 years later.  Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary now and, as Walt always said, “It all started with a mouse” 28 years before that.  When you dream and you work at it, there’s no telling where it can go.  It’s a reminder I needed right now, and maybe you do too.  So, for the lovers, the dreamers, and you and me…

“Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on a morning star?
Somebody thought of it, and someone believed it.
Look what it’s done so far…”

Keep looking for your rainbow connection, sweetheart.  You’ll make it eventually.

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My Top 5 Disney World Stories (Well, 4 of them)

I don’t have a single place I call home; I am lucky enough to have three.  There’s my hometown of course.  As much as I complain about it, it’s where my mom lives, where my dad’s buried, and where my bar’s at, not to mention the two closest friends I’ve got.  No matter how far I go, I’ll always come back to it eventually.

My second home has been Chapel Hill.  It’s where I formed so many of the ideas and friendships that shape me now, even if they aren’t still part of my life.  I had a hard time leaving UNC, but I knew it would have been harder if I hadn’t been heading to the other place I consider home: Disney World.

I spent four months working and living there, but it was a home to me before that, before I took the ferry alone, shivering against the breeze coming off the lake, and caught my first look at Cinderella’s castle in three years.  It was the moment I pulled up to the apartment complex and showed my ID to the man at the gate.  “Welcome home,” he said.

I had driven eight hours to get there, crying part of the way.  I cried because I knew how much I would miss my mom, my boyfriend, and Cora.  I knew I wouldn’t stay forever, that I had another home I would go back to, and gladly.  But man, did it feel right to hear that.

This Saturday, I’m flying to California to visit Disneyland for the first time.  I’ve been craving the familiarity of it, but I’m also excited to see what new stories I’ll get to experience while I’m there.

In that spirit, I’ve been thinking of my favorite stories from those four months I spent in Disney World.  I can’t tell you the best one because somebody from the company may hunt me down and kill me—or worse, never hire me again—but here’s the rest of the Top 5 list.

(It’s possible a few of these are also Top Secret, though not AS Top Secret…but you won’t tell on me, will you?)

  • I once overheard a security guard asking a little girl if she knew who his boss was. When she guessed Mickey Mouse, he said, “I don’t know how it works at your house, but Minnie runs the show around here.”
  • One night, after the park was closed, there was an exclusive event for Cast Members where we got to ride the Rock’N’Roller Coaster (basically my favorite ride ever) with the lights on. It’s incredible seeing the difference.  I did it three times.
  • I worked Fantasmic, helping Mickey get into his Sorcerer’s Robes for his big scene. When Maleficent is at her highest point, there’s a moment when the lights go dark.  It’s bad luck for someone not to wave.  Usually Mickey does it but, on my last night, he let me.
  • Also on my last day, I got to test the lift before the show. I was literally on top of the mountain.  The view is spectacular and being so far up with so little holding you back is thrilling.

Honorable mentions to:

  • The time a cute boy working in Epcot’s France Pavilion called me “Princess” in a French accent. (Even a taken, demisexual girl is not totally immune to that; it’s like a Southern boy calling you “darlin’.”)
  • The time I went on a scavenger hunt through Magic Kingdom.
  • The time my cousin (and my whole family) met Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie backstage between Fantasmic shows because I had connections.
  • That time I thought I passed Johnny Depp in the park.
  • Getting to be there when Hollywood Studios celebrated 25 years. Also, being among the first to work with Darth Goofy and the gang.
  • Meeting Belle (yes, again) and discussing books with her. (I recommended Of Mice and Men because it’s what I was reading at the time.)

Walt Disney World is full of stories, and these are just a few of mine.  (If you want some trivia about the park itself, comment and I will respond with one random fact/story each.)  I’m taking all of them with me on this new adventure, and I can’t wait to see what new magic I experience while I’m there.

If you want to make sure you don’t miss a single story, follow me on Snapchat (Wordsmith92) and Twitter.

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On Book Club Thursday, I told you all about my reading of The Isle of the Lost.  Friday, we watched the movie Descendants on Disney Channel.  Spoilers follow.

I’m glad that I read the book.  It seemed like the movie jumped immediately into the story, and having that background was very helpful.  There were several things about the character’s backgrounds that weren’t mentioned in the movie but gave a deeper reading.  For instance, if you had only seen the movie, you may have laughed off the initial interaction shown between Carlos and Cruella, but from reading the book we see just how abusive she is to him.  It makes the moment when he stands up to her (and the moment at the end when he mentions how mad their parents will be) even more powerful.

For a musical, it wasn’t very…musical.  There were only a few songs in the movie, and while they were good, catchy songs, they didn’t do anything for the plot.  They showed good characterization, but some of them seemed redundant rather than moving things forward.  But all of the actors have great voices and the lyrics are thoughtful and either beautiful or amusing depending on the moment.  And the only unoriginal song is a hip hop mix of “Be Our Guest” which left THIS Beauty and the Beast fan flailing.

Besides just singing, the actors could definitely act.  Possibly the most impressive, in hindsight, was Mitchell Hope.  He plays the son of Belle and Beast and has a definite “good guy/prince charming” coloring to him.  And yet, his acting choices are subtle and revealing.  About halfway through the movie, he is put under a love spell by Mal.  His infatuation then is over the top and dramatic.  At the end of the date and moving forward, it seems to be more toned down and more sincere.  By the end of the movie, it is revealed that the change occurred when the spell actually wore off, though this was unknown both to Mal and to the audience.

As for the actual story: It’s mostly predictable as well as having a ton of plot holes in regards to just getting to the start of the movie.  And yet, it’s really great too.  It will make you laugh, it will make you cheer as the villains’ kids learn to be good, and it will break your heart in ways you didn’t imagine.  Also, there is a pretty great twist at the end that I did not see coming.  I love that so much focus is put on Evie being talented and intelligent because her whole life her mother has wanted her to be beautiful and she’s learning that’s not all there is in life.  In fact, all of the kids discover they have certain traits they didn’t realize they had and they are stronger and wiser because of it.  Even Audrey learns to be a little bit empathetic and give the villain kids a chance.

All of that being said, there were a few things I did not like.  They probably should have made a bigger deal about the fact that Mal practically roofied Ben, but it’s a Disney show so sex isn’t a thing meaning sex crimes also can’t be a thing.  They still just called Belle’s husband King Beast!  He had a name before he was cursed into being a Beast guys!  And there still isn’t an identity for the camerawoman in the School of Secrets videos.  (I did DVR the Sunday showing that is supposed to reveal “seven secrets,” so maybe it will come out then.  I’ll watch it as soon as I’m home from Pittsburgh.)  Oh, and, at the end, Mal totally should’ve turned into a dragon for a massive showdown against her mother, especially after it was such a big deal in the book that she had some dragon in her.

So yes.  I will be watching the movie again.  I have already purchased the soundtrack.  And it’s cheesy and predictable and occasionally unbelievable, but you know what?  It’s also magical and heartfelt and beautiful.  Because it’s Disney.  What were you expecting?

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Isle of the Lost

This book does not qualify for my 2015 Book Club Challenge.

Tomorrow, Disney’s Descendants premieres.  I went back and forth on whether or not I would read the prequel, Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz.  In the end, I’m very glad I did.

The Isle of the Lost is a prequel, so its the backstory to the new movie.  At the beginning, Jay, Mal, Evie, and Carlos go to the same school but are not what you call friends.  They want to become better villains in order to please their parents, who constantly think of them as a disappointment.  To this end, they go on a quest to find Maleficent’s scepter, because the barrier blocking magic to the island was broken for just long enough for it and her friend Diablo to awaken.  Meanwhile, in Auradon, Ben is trying to work out what kind of king he wants to be and how he’s going to manage to do it.

Despite the lack of pictures, Cruz paints the location in all of its decrepit glory.  She does the same for her characters, showing their dreams, their weaknesses, and the little things that make them individuals.

Each chapter is told from a different perspective so that, in the end, we hear the story from every side so that we love them all.  By the time they become each other’s friends, they also feel like our friends.  Based solely on seeing Ben’s girlfriend Audrey in his scenes and hearing what is going on the villain kids’ heads, we are forced to begin questioning the difference between good and evil.  This question will play an important role in the movie experience.

My most favorite thing about this book: I love Mal.  But I also love the relationship between Belle and Beast. I hope that is held up in the movie as well.

My least favorite thing about this book: We never hear who the other parents are.  Who knocked up Cruella?  Or Maleficent?  We do hear that they don’t like to talk about them, but we don’t know who they are.  They have to be villains, but which ones?

Who I would most like to recommend this book to: Disney fans, obviously, but also anyone who likes a little bit of bad in their fairy tales.

Where this book sits on my bookshelf:  Between Jurassic Park and Bud, Not Buddy.

A memorable quote: (When the daughter of the Evil Queen, Evie, says her mother doesn’t think she’s pretty enough.)  “Really?  But you’re gorgeous,” Jay said.  “I mean, you’re not my type sweetheart, but you’ve got to know you’re good-looking.”  (Proving that just because someone is not attractive to you personally doesn’t not mean they are not attractive period.)

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Day 4, and Inside Out

Technically, today should be Book Club Thursday, but we’re bucking all the rules this week.  Join me in the world of chaos…

I finally saw Inside Out today.  My mom and sister went without me the other week, so my best friend and I went today.  It was kinda nice since she’s about to go the beach for a week and we won’t get our usual weekly hang time.  But the movie…there are major spoilers to follow.

First things first: I didn’t really like the short “Lava.”  Honestly, it was kind of weird.  And I couldn’t get over how much it bothered me that the female volcano was still styled after conventional standards of feminine beauty.

But then the movie started.  I love Amy Poehler (did you see when I read her memoir?) and her voice was perfect for Joy for the same reason she was so great as Leslie Knope.  It’s basically sunshine in a bottle.  And yet, from the very beginning, you could tell she wasn’t perfect.  That she was willing to push aside everything else in the single-minded pursuit of happiness.

I’m actually having a very difficult time putting my emotions about this movie into actual words and paragraphs, so I’m going to switch to bullet points.

  • Riley’s depression didn’t come from the move, but from her trying to deny her own sadness about the move.
  • Riley’s parents weren’t perfect (her dad putting the foot down, her mom asking her to keep smiling) but they genuinely loved and cared for her.  They were trying their best.  And when they realize they may have approached something the wrong way, they go back and try to do it better.
  • Riley loves hockey.  And at the end, Disgust says there’s a fashion island, not to mention all the unicorns and rainbows and sparkles.  She has her girly traits, but she’s not by definition a “girly girl.”  Because, get this, what people like doesn’t necessarily define them.  (Also, I have a theory about her being gender-fluid, but idk enough about that to put together a thesis.)
  • I was a crying mess during the scene with Bing Bong and Joy trying to get out of the chasm.  When Bing Bong smiles and says “One more try,” and you just know that something is off, but can’t say what, and then he sacrifices himself to save Riley’s chance at happiness…that is a true friend, even if he is imaginary.  And the whole “Take her to the moon” thing…If the whole movie is a symbol of her growing up, that’s the thing that kids turning into adults fear most.  They fear losing all the unrealistic dreams they had as a kid.  And Bing Bong’s death may represent losing that in the “literal” sense, but Joy’s commitment to try shows the stage where young adults decide to pursue slightly more realistic dreams in search of that same feeling of fulfillment.
  • This movie is going to become very important to little kids learning how to understand and process their emotions.  It reminds me of a Maureen Johnson post about her anxiety, where she talks about thinking of anxiety like a little…well, she didn’t say person, she said creature or something, but thinking of these things as little “people” can be helpful for accepting your own feelings, while not letting them overwhelm you.
  • Some of your happiest moments only come because you let sadness in and out first.  Emotions are complicated.  Memories are complicated.  As we saw with the memories that were multiple colors, it’s okay to feel several different ways about a single thing or event.
  • However, it is not okay to put broccoli on pizza.

So yes, I loved it.  Will be watching it again.  Will make my kids watch it when they come.  Am considering getting plushie ones to help work through my own emotions.  It’s important people.

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The Bucket List

Face it: Everybody has one.  Even if that isn’t what they call it, everyone has a bucket list.  It’s the things they would like to do, the things they would regret not doing if they knew they would die tomorrow.  Mine currently has 107 items.  I know.  Lots of things.  These 107 items include career items, like finish writing a novel, hear a song I wrote on the radio, and work on a Disney princess movie (by the way Disney, I already have a story in mind and I am totally available).  There are also some experiences I’d like to have like seeing the Grand Canyon and the Northern Lights and having lunch with Sarah Dessen.  There are some items that are going to take a little more time, like learn to play guitar, take a cross-country road trip, visit every Major League Baseball stadium in America.  And there are the growing up ones, where I want to get married and have and adopt kids.

I wrote them all down.  I came across them the other day, and it’s serving as a really nice reminder.  See, I’m currently living with my mom and working part-time at my local library.  Sometimes I worry that nothing is changing, that on December 31, 2015, I will look back and say, “I am in exactly the same place I was last year.”

But looking over my list, I accomplished several things in 2014.  I drank Irish coffee (in Ireland, of all places), I walked across the London Bridge, I studied at Oxford, and worked at Disney World.  But these were all big things that I mostly only managed because I was still in school.  But I also managed to drink a beer at a Brad Paisley concert while he sang “Alcohol,” which has been kind of a huge dream of mine since I was 18.

I’m currently working on the “finish a novel” thing.  The waltzing, guitar playing, and two-stepping I could learn, if I would just, you know, get started.  Having lunch with Sarah Dessen is going to be a little trickier, but maybe once I’m a published novelist, we can bond over being Tar Heel girls. (In case you haven’t noticed, Sarah Dessen is my favorite writer of all time.  It’s why she gets so many mentions.)  Some of the items are big and are going to take more resources than I have right now.  But some of them aren’t and I could do before the end of 2015.

And I think, if I didn’t finish them, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.  The “traveling to every MLB stadium in America” one was my dad’s, and I want to do it because he didn’t get to.  So maybe, when I’m gone, someone who loves me will find my list and start working on the rest.

The point is to take advance of every opportunity you’ve got, but also to work towards what you have to make happen yourself.  It’s a balance.

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