March in hindsight

2018_March

Dutch Comic Con

I went to Dutch Comic Con and I had a blast! I can really recommend it to anyone, it’s a fun day out especially if you look at different things you can do and experience on DCC. Whether you’re into games, books, movies, television show or comics there is certainly something for everyone out there.

Reading and writing

March was the month in which I’ve finished reading the second book in the Monkeewrench series – Live Bait. I really enjoyed reading it. From the moment I started reading it I was wondering what was going on and I really couldn’t figure it out. Which makes it a good crime novel in my opinion.

Music and songs

I decided to add a new part to my monthly posts. One thing I can say for certain is that I’ve been loving Beth Hart latest album, her collaboration with Joe Bonamassa ‘Black Coffee’! It’s been one of the full albums which has been in my favorite Spotify list ever since the album came out back in January.

However my absolute favorite songs of the past month has been ‘This is me’ both versions of the song are on my Spotify list – the original movie version from The Greatest Showman’ as well as Kesha’s version. Both are beautiful, however I think that the the movie version is much stronger. Keala Settle has a powerful voice and she delivers the song with so much passion. I haven’t seen the movie yet – I really want to see it but I haven’t had the chance – however it is definitely on my to watch list.

Fitness

For a while I have been thinking about changing things around. Part of me was thinking about getting back to running, something which I did a couple of years ago however I the problem was that I had shin splints. A very painful injury which is really hard to get rid off. It comes back and that was what was happening to me. I know that my pain level is pretty high but this was so painful that in the end it made me give up. That was part of the reason why I started doing yoga, I wanted to do a sport and it helped with stress relief of course.

But lately I was feeling restless,  wanted to so something more active. So I decided to sign myself up for the gym. And so far so good, I’ve been going for a couple of weeks now about two or three times a week and things are going really well.

Looking ahead:

  • Pinkpop of course!
  • My birthday is coming up – thirty-six! Ouch!
  • Vacation planning!
  • Camp Nanowrimo has started, I’m not participating but I do love going to those weekly meetings in the Library, it’s so good to see everyone. Even if it is just to talk and have a laugh.
Advertisements

December in hindsight

December_2017

December, the conclusion to another year! The year has been good, all in all very positive year but you can read more about that in a ‘Year in hindsight’ post which will be posted on my blog right before midnight tonight.

December is always a busy month, effectively you have only three weeks of work but you are expected to do the same amount of work you need to do when you work every workday of the month. Intertwined in between those workdays we had Sinterklaas which was really fun. I celebrated it with my friends, we had a blast. I got a gorgeous present made by my best friends son and his dad.

And we had Christmas of course, which I celebrated with my family. For the first time in years my sister and brother in law were with us as well. So that was fun! And we also celebrated it with my grandmother and the extended family.

This past week has been a week off and I took some well deserved rest. I chilled at home with my parents. I went to the movies, I had to go see that last Pitch Perfect movie, I loved it! And there was time to read some books, watch some Netflix shows.

And tonight we’re going to celebrate New Years Eve with a couple of people from our writing group, how cool is that! Who could have guessed that we would now be a group of close friends who celebrate days like this together? Honestly when I started the group I was simply looking for some people who understood what Nanowrimo was about. Today however they’ve become true friends who I can count on when I need them.

Reading and writing

I read a couple of books this month, I finished reading The Circle. A book which gets you thinking about privacy and about what we do in the internet. But the book isn’t all that interesting unfortunately. And to be honest coincidentally a friend of mine borrowed me her blu-ray disk containing the movie. Honestly with a cast that includes Tom Hanks and Emma Watson I had high hopes that they could have made it worth my time. But the movie is definitely wasn’t worth my time. It could have been so much more. A true shame!

The other books I read are Everafter and Nevermore, a supernatural love story about vampires and wereshifters including two awesome women. I really enjoyed reading these books. They are easy to read, not too long and there is a really cool story intertwined. I really want to recommend these books.

Looking ahead:

  • 2018 is about to start, let’s take a look ahead.
  • I want to take another trip, right now I would say Croatia is high on the list but it might also be somewhere else. We’ll see what happens.
  • Pinkpop has some awesome names for this coming edition, though with those awesome names also comes a smaller chance of actually getting tickets. I have to try to get them though – Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters are among them.
  • There are many books which need to read – I want to make sure that the all of those unread books in my apartment get read.
  • I would also like to go to Disneyland Paris, I have been there once before when I was about twelve years old and I think I’m due for another trip to Disneyland. It’s been something that has been on my mind for a while.
  • We’re planning another reunion with the vacation group, Groningen is the plan – like it was in November the one we unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute.

 

My story – Silver Linings

Silver Linings is the working title, I have no idea if this will stick of if I will come up with something else.  Though I think it’s pretty likely that it will change.

First things first, I tried to write this story last year during Nanowrimo. I was looking for a story idea on the forum and I came across this very small idea. I don’t remember who posted it which is a shame and I should have documented it better, but I didn’t.

What if tattoos just randomly appear on a persons skin?
– Nano forum member / 2014

It intrigued me, it was so small and simple. Yet at the same time there was so much behind it, so many ways you could go with that simple basic idea. I instantly liked it and I wanted to see if I could write a story about it.

So I started thinking and I came up with a character – a young woman who has been in my mind for a long time. I never really saw a way to fit her in a story and now it seemed like I found a place for her. I named her Ainsley McCallum, a name which had been playing in my mind for a while.

Last year I had this vague idea of what I wanted to happen, I guess it could be seen as something similar to The Hunger Games, Divergent and other similar books. A girl in her late teens, early twenties who has to fight society to make it a better place. So yeah, in that regard it’s definitively similar. I am a huge fan of The Hunger Games (both the books and the movies) there is no shame in admitting that and writing a story which can be compared to that is not a shame at all. I wasn’t familiar with Divergent however. When I kind of ‘pitched’ my idea to my writer’s group I was quickly told that it sounded a lot like Divergent. That scared me, I didn’t read those books – hardly knew anything about it nor did I see the movies.

So I tried to stay far away from it. Because I didn’t want to ‘steal’ from it. And at the same time I was kind of bummed out because I felt like I really had something going, something interesting. While I know all about The Hunger Games I wasn’t afraid to borrow from that because I knew what to avoid. Eventually I asked for some more advice and someone told me that it might be a good idea to watch the Divergent movies because I could see for myself if my story was similar or not. I did, I watched the first movie and while I liked it I can now tell you 100%that my story is completely different and that I have nothing to worry about. Obviously I was advised by people who didn’t read the books or saw the movies themselves.

The only thing I do want to borrow from The Hunger Games books is the way that Suzanne Collins writes her characters. They are flawed and I love that, Katniss doesn’t make the right choices – she’s being influenced by the situation and people around her, she makes mistakes and fights to correct them to the best of her abilities with varying results. That is in my opinion what makes the characters real and those are the type of characters I want to write. I want Ainsley to be flawed, I want her to make mistakes, hurt the people who care for her the most. Mistrust the people who she should believe and believe in those she can better forget about. I want Ezra to make mistakes and fight to correct them, even if it seems hopeless.

Nanowrimo 2014

I started Nano in November 2014 and I struggled through the story, with each scene I wrote I wondered if I was doing something too similar to popular books and movies. And I was literally writing the most boring story ever. I managed to make it to 50 000 words, just don’t ask me how. When I hit the 50K I instantly stopped writing! I was still building up to who knows what. My story had an introduction freaking longer than the introduction and family lines of all the hobbits in The Hobbit. And the worst thing about it was that literally nothing interesting had happened. Nothing at all. It was as if I blocked myself from writing interesting scenes, I had a huge deal of what I now (in 2015) use as back-story.

Ainsley was a character who I wanted to struggle with life, she was supposedly on the edge of society. Being the victim of Laws who stopped her from being a regular contributing member of society because she didn’t get a sign (tattoo). It’s not something she has any control over, but it’s is something she’s being punished for anyway even if she can’t do anything to change it. How do you fight against something you can’t control? What does she have to do to get control?

Only I forgot something important when I started writing. She wasn’t struggling, not really. She was just having a bad time and didn’t get what she wanted – but that is part of life I guess. Ainsley’s best friend – Ezra Miles and his family were helping her out in a major way. Giving her a home, caring for her and while it might not be easy when your own parents can’t or won’t help you. She really wasn’t really struggling – she had a roof over her head, a warm meal and caring people around her (a surrogate family). So I knew that I was going to have to do something about that. And that is why I stopped writing after I hit 50k, I didn’t know what to do with the story at that time.

Camp Nanowrimo – April 2015

For months I thought about this story – obviously not constantly – but it took a while before I realized what I should do and how to change my story for the better. Then April came around and it was Camp Nano time, my writers group and I decided pretty last minute to sign up. I only signed up for 10k because I was too busy with other things – mainly work. I knew that it would give me  a chance to see if I could get the story going in a different more exciting way. I started writing and right away I knew that I was doing better. I made some decisions that seemed small in the beginning but they had a huge impact on the storyline.

With this new start that I wrote during Camp Nanowrimo I knew that I had a good base to build the rest of the story on. I didn’t add anything new to my story during the summer but in September I started to work on my outline.

Nanowrimo 2015

One of the biggest changes I made was the fact that Ezra Miles was no longer Ainsley’s best friend – in fact I turned him into an enemy. Ezra and Ainsley were in school together, both very competitive. When Ezra turned sixteen, his sign made him an apprentice of the guards while Ainsley never received her sign. Ainsley wants to survive, more than once she’s taken in by the guards which over the years has only increased the tension between the two of them. Ainsley doesn’t trust him, but he might be the person she needs to rely on …. who knows what’ll happen. I haven’t reached that part yet.

At this point I have 50K on this years version. And it is a whole lot more interesting, Ainsley has been caught by the guards, of course Ezra was one of the guards who caught her. She’s been interrogated, humiliated, investigated and put in jail. She escaped from jail and is currently on the run. At this point she ran straight into Ezra who was waiting at a location where someone else send her, supposedly because it would be safe. A place that no one knew about, so what will happen now? Will Ainsley escape from Ezra and find her own path in life or does she have to trust him? And if she does, is it real trust or just so that he might trust her and give her an easier escape? There are so many possibilities to this story now. Not even I know exactly where it will go. But I am very passionate about this version.

To me this sounds a whole lot better than the version I wrote in 2014, and who knows maybe one day you can read for yourself if I succeeded.

 

 

Fifty Shades of Whatever!

fiftyshadesofgrey-movieSo this is kind of going to be like that blog I wrote about The Hunger Games vs. Battle Royale. A lot has been said about the Fifty Shades of Grey, the books and probably even more about the movie (this one and the upcoming movies – which no one has seen yet!). No matter how you put it, there is a lot to say about it. And there is also a lot I can say about it. I personally feel that the people who scream the loudest about the story have probably not read the books nor seen the movie. And that ticks me off, how can you have an opinion about it if you’ve never read it or seen it? I try to read and see things with an open mind, everyone has their own opinion of course but at least make sure what you’re saying is based on what happens and not your general opinion on the topic.

The origin

For me, the way this whole journey started has been quite interesting from the perspective of a fanfiction author at least, because ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was originally a fanfiction story. It’s not that I think that any of my fanfiction stories could be this successful, however you do put a lot of time and effort in it and I guess that everyone somewhere in their hearts hopes to one write that story that’ll change the world. Otherwise why would you put that much effort into learning the art of writing. Fifty Shades of Grey the story was part of the Twilight fandom. Now I am not a member of the Twilight fandom, nor will I ever be. I have not read the books, but I have seen some parts of the movies. Well I tried watching them but I couldn’t get through them. I literally fell asleep – and that never happens to me, never. But since this was a fanfiction story it sparked an interest in me. The fandom had been buzzing for quite a while about this particular story of course back then it was not named Fifty Shades of Grey, but by the time I heard about the original fanfiction story the books were already coming out.  The success was just incredibly overwhelming and fast, the trilogy of books took the world by storm. And there was no way that there would not be movies in the future.

The books

But with great success there are also people who want to complain and bitch about it. With an erotic novel, the ammunition is basically endless. And so are the people who are against it in some way, shape or form. I think of myself as an open-minded person, being bi-sexual I need to be, right? I want to be respected for who I am and not for my sexual preference. So in my opinion I should give other people the same courtesy. If someone feels comfortable with the whole sub/dom thing they should be able to live that way, have sex that way and hurt themselves or the other person for all I care. That is there thing after all, so who am I to judge. As long as both parties are consenting! That is the most important thing – well that and the use of a safe word, I guess. So whether or not this is something you want to experience yourself, it definitely shouldn’t change the way you perceive someone. Besides that there is no one forcing you to read the story or watch the movie either for that matter. If it’s not your cup of tea, take a step back and leave, close the book whatever you need to do. Do it. Anyway like I said, I was curious to read this story since it was originally a alternate universe fanfiction story. One of the few stories which started as fanfiction but ended up as a ‘real‘ book. There are enough fanfiction writers with a huge amount of talent but not many actually make it in the real world as a book selling author – definitely not with this much success. So I read the first book and while it might not be the best book I ever read, it was quite entertaining. Besides that my problem with the quality of the story might be that it was originally written with the characters of Twilight in mind. And since I already stated that I’m not a fan … in fact I am very unimpressed with the acting skills of the main characters. So knowing that they were the base for the main characters in this book. Gave me trouble imagining the things that happened in the book, in my opinion they would never be able to pull it off. Especially not the emotional roller coaster the characters of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele go on.

The movie

So when I heard that the actors were not actually going to be in the movie at all once again my interest was piqued. And then they announced that Jamie Dornan was cast as Christian Grey, he was previously in Once Upon a Time (one of my favorite television shows). So I knew him from that and I really liked his role as the Sheriff Graham/The Huntsman even if it was a rather small performance in the grant scheme of things I thought that he was a very good actor. And no matter what you say he’s proven it in this movie as well. The movie actually came out on Valentines day. Huge groups of women went to the movie to see it. Lots of Ladies Nights were filled with women. Some love it, some don’t. That’s only natural. In the movie only twenty minutes are filled with the actual erotic scenes and in my opinion they were filmed in a very classy way. Of course I do not believe that when you bring out the whips, belts and gags that it’s going to be such a ‘clean and classy scene’. Let’s be honest here, there is no way. Especially not when someone who is just starting with this is involved and has never experienced it before. Of course we can complain about that fact but lets be honest if the scenes had been more brutal (and probably realistic) no one would go and watch it. This book/movie tries to make a bridge between one world and the other. Another part which people complain about is that she has not yet signed the contract which Christian gave her to state soft and hard limits and other important stuff. At first he says that he won’t do anything without that contract signed. But Anastasia keeps putting signing off because she wants to know what she letting herself in with before actually signing it. Eventually Christian gives in but he asks consent before he does anything and she knows the safe words. The best scene in my opinion is the very last one and the most brutal one. Where Anastasia asks Christian to do the worst thing he can do to her because she might never understand what this whole thing is all about without experiencing it first hand. There is so much emotion in that scene – it’s huge! She’s crying and in pain (both physically as well as emotionally) she’s hurt emotionally because apparently this is what Christian likes to see in women. He wants to hurt her for his own pleasure. He makes her count the times he hits her. At the same time he’s also able to see what he’s doing to her and you can see the conflicted emotion in his expression and in his eyes. He’s basically begging her to say the safe word of course he doesn’t say it out loud, nor does she use it. She allows him to finish. Let that be clear, she can use the safe word and it stops immediately. She doesn’t. And when he’s done with what he told her he would do he wants to help her. She tells him to never again touch her, she gets up by her own accord and says to him; ‘Don’t fucking touch me. Is this what you want? Is this what you want to see, do you want to see me like this? This gives you pleasure? Don’t you dare come near me.’ Then she walks away from him, away from the red room.

To me that was an extremely powerful scene and really after seeing this movie I could only do one thing. Grab that second book and start reading it. These actors in my opinion did a great job and I am now curious to see what these other two books, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed have in store.

And that brings this incredibly long post around to what will probably be the next book I’ll be reviewing in the 2015 Reading Challenge.

Casting call

I love writing and the creative process of it. But I’m also a very visual person. After all I am a graphic and multimedia designer by profession. So I cast every story I write. I find it helps me to keep better track of details about a person’s appearance. So for these past couple of days I have been wearing the hat of the casting director in my project.

Casting

I believe that the casting of a movie or a television show can make or break the show. For instance what if Regina (Lana Parrilla) wasn’t so perfect at being the Evil Queen on Once Upon A Time (OUAT)? Well, the show certainly wouldn’t be as good as it is right now. A small change in her expression makes a huge difference, she can be evil one second then turn around and look a her son Henry (Jared Gilmore) and all you can see is love. Pure love. And just in her eyes you can see that she would do anything – and has done everything – to make sure that he´s save. That just shows how incredibly talented she is. But someone had to cast her for that role, someone out there saw that talent in her and used it.

Another incredibly important part in casting is when younger actors need to be cast as the ‘child’ version of an already cast role. A really good example is Snow White/Mary Margaret (Ginnifer Goodwin) on OUAT. In some of the flashbacks she’s a child, the young Snow White is being played by Bailee Madison. Right now she´s fourteen but she´s been on OUAT since the first season. They really do look alike. And for all of those people who say that Ginnifer Goodwin and Jennifer Morrison who play mother and daughter in the show look nothing alike I can recommend you to look for pictures from a couple of years back where both Ginnifer as well as Jennifer had dark long hair. According to themselves they were often mistaken for one another in the press and at parties.

Snowwhite

Or when you´re casting the – ´Oh-my-God!-I-have-a-sibling-I-never-knew-about´ sibling, this is also something which happens in a whole bunch of shows – Grey’s Anatomy anyone? Another good example is the show ´The Fosters´, which is about the Foster family who – yes, you guessed it – foster children. There´s Maya Mitchell who stars as Callie, the girl who thinks she can handle life all on her own but is failing miserably. She´s in youth detention and has a problem with men who lay down the law. So she´s placed (temporarily) in the Foster household with Steph and Leena – who have a son from Steph´s previous marriage and twins who they adopted a couple of years ago. Flash forward to this season (I´m trying to keep this post spoiler-free) we find out that some things weren´t exactly the way she always believed them to be regarding her parents and that she has a sister. And that sister is coincidentally played by none other than Bailee Madison. They have this uncanny-resemblance which you might expect two sisters to have.

This in my eyes is perfect casting! And to be honest I looked up if they weren´t related and judging by the search results I got, I sure as hell wasn´t the only one who wondered about it.

BaileeMadison-MayaMitchell

My casting process

So with all of this in mind I started my casting process.

I take a lot of time when I’m casting my characters, I have a certain idea in my head of what the person should look like and what age they are. And that idea in my head fits a certain type, I guess. So that is what I’ll be looking for. At first I started looking for the men in my story. My first main character is a female, but I felt that so far in all my stories my male characters have been lacking. Probably because my main focus has always been the women, who are often in lesbian relationships. So it’s no real surprise that my ‘men’ have been lacking in the character development department. I want to do it right this time. So that is where I started.

Looking for the perfect people to cast your story is key, especially when you’re casting family members. They have to look alike – enough at least to be brothers in this specific case. But I also want them to be their own person. To have their own identity and their own quirks. If you have pictures of the person you’ve cast you can use them to spot small details like that freckle they have, or a small scar.

I’ve cast my main characters and I have some possibles names for side characters. And yes, I am of course fishing in the same pond which most ‘casting directors’ are fishing in. The current pond of young actors. But the funniest thing happened, I was casting two brothers for my story. And I randomly came across an image of Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It was perfect, there are a lot of pictures of him since he’s been in quite a few new movies. And he’s one of those people who look different in each and every movie. And that is perfect because I needed that. When this particular character starts out he’s going to be a really buff looking ‘guard’ but as the story moves along he’ll goes through a lot of changes … both physical as well as mental.

And by coincidence I also found the perfect candidate for the younger brother. My FMC and some side characters. Interested in my ‘cast’? Take a look at my Pinterest.

Hate in fandoms

Anyone who follows my blogs, previous websites or my tumblr knows that I love television shows, movies and books. And not only that – I’m also one of those people who can completely fall in love with a show or a character. For as long as I can remember I’ve been an active member of different fandoms, often more than one at the same time. And I’m a shipper – for those who don’t know this term let me explain it to you, it basically means that you would really like to see two people in a relationship on that particular show or in that book or movie.

Hate because you ship

Even before I knew what that word meant I was a shipper. But since I started reading fanfiction – and later on started writing it as well I got more and more into the fandoms and the terminology. One thing though that I never got was the hate. I really don’t get that. There is so much hate, in so many different forms. It annoys me to no end that we love the same thing and at the same time express so much hate towards one another, the characters and the actors.

gsrWhy would you hate someone for shipping a certain couple? For the life of me I can’t understand that. I’ve been on the receiving end of the hate a couple of times. In my case some people might say that I brought that upon myself for shipping the ships that I do. I am bisexual, so in any case I’m open-minded in regards to the couples that I like. But I do ship a lot of femmeslash couples and that’s sometimes difficult for people to understand. Because in general most shows stear their public towards a certain male/female couple. For instance Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle on CSI, for years they  gave hints about a relationship between the two. Eventually they even ventured down that road. But my preference always was with Sara Sidle dating Catherine Willows. I could see it, even though I know that a lot of people can’t understand that, and I have to admit that you need to do a lot of reading between the lines but I never had any trouble with that.

Back then as a lesbian or bisexual woman there weren’t many shows or characters who gave us what we were looking for, so part the solution was coming up with our own stories in fanfiction. Nowadays thanks to shows like The L Word, Glee and Grey’s Anatomy there are several shows who give us lesbian, gay or bisexual characters.

It really sucks when you write fanfiction or create fanart and you receive hate because you don’t follow the general idea of what the ship for a show, book or movie should be.

That’s one part of the hate in fandoms that really ticks me off and I can’t be the only one.

Hate between shippers

The second part is the hate between shippers, people who think that they ship the swanqueenOTP (one true pairing) and for some reason whenever they see anyone who doesn’t like that particular ship they see that person as a threat. Also something which I don’t get, you all love the same show, book or movie and the same characters. What does it matter that I ship couples that might not be the most logical or conventional? I don’t think that I’m hurting anyone by shipping Rizzles (Jane Rizzoli & Maura IslesRizzoli & Isles) or Swan Queen (Emma Swan & Regina MillsOnce Upon a Time). But apparently that can be a reason for other people to hate you.

And yes, I am aware that Rizzles (even though the show is really gay) is not meant to be seen as such, a lot of people believe in that ship. And even Sasha Alexander (Maura Isles) seems to have no problem with the idea of Rizzles. It’ll never happen, I know that … most Rizzles shippers known that. The same goes for Swan Queen. rizzlesBut does that mean that I will stop shipping it – No. Of course not. Does that mean that we – Swan Queen shippers – should get hate from for instance Outlaw Queen (Regina Mills & Robin Hood) shippers? No of course not!

The hate seems to be even worse if the show, book or movie in particular steers the public in two opposite directions. For instance The Hunger Games were Katniss is torn between Gale and Peeta. And she isn’t the only one, the fandom is divided as well. Or True Blood were Sookie is constantly torn between the many men in her life.

Why can’t we just be part of a fandom and stay civil to each other? Despite of who we love, or would love to see together on a show? If you don’t like femmeslash or the idea of a certain couple  there is a simple solution – ignore it! If you don’t like a ship move on! It’s not that hard! Is it?

Hate against characters

But the worst kind of fandom hate – in my eyes – is hating a character and therefore hating the person portraying that character. I’m sure it happens in each and every fandom, but let’s focus on one fandom here.

jemilyCriminal Minds, I love that show. I really do. But a lot has happened with this show over the years. A lot of it which has been very publicly fought over and I have been part of that. I was part of the fans who tweeted and retweeted messages to make the network see that the choices they were making were wrong, especially the way they handled everything. A couple of years ago with that whole firing and rehiring AJ Cook and Paget Brewster thing. And for once the fandom worked together to make the network and everyone involved know what we thought of their way of handling things. Which eventually resulted in the rehiring of both AJ Cook and Paget Brewster. But sometimes too much has happened and Paget Brewster unfortunately (yet very understandably) choose leave the show. During this time when the shit hit the fan, CBS hired Rachel Nichols as a replacement for AJ Cook.

First mistake – in my eyes – is that they use the word replace because that is the wrong word specifically in this situation. She was not replacing AJ Cook since that would imply that she was going to be playing Jennifer Jareau and that was not what was going on. They basically traded AJ Cook in for a younger model (harsh but true). They should have used the words ‘Rachel Nichols is joining the show’ sounds less harsh especially when the fandom is in uproar. The whole situation regarding Rachel Nichols was handles so badly that I felt sorry for her. She received so much hate from the fandom for joining the show at that moment in time. On the internet, in comments and blogs and on twitter. There was a lot of pain and sadness going around in the fandom because of everything that happened but that gives you no free pass to hate a woman who didn’t do anything wrong.

Worst thing is that she received even more hate when the episodes that she was in aired. Her role was very badly written – looked to me like a rush job – and they simultaneously decided that they should give Paget Brewster’s character Emily Prentiss more screen time than they had initially intended. Probably partly to soothe the uproar in the fandom. Because we – the fandom – were making it very clear through twitter, blogs and other outlets what we thought of the situation. So Rachel Nichols was screwed before she even started. And then she was fired, thrown aside like a piece of trash in my opinion.

AJ Cook came back, she signed a new deal and she has been part of the Criminal Minds team since that moment. Paget Brewster however was forced to come back, she didn’t want to, that much was obvious. She was done with the show. And who could really blame her, I wouldn’t want to work for people who treated me like crap either. She did another season of Criminal Minds and left again, this time because she wanted to leave.

Jeanne Tripplehorn was added to the cast, she’s a great actress but again the fandom started with the hate because she was replacing Paget Brewster … yes, again that word replacing was used.Jlo

And now Jeanne Tripplehorn is leaving after a short two season stint and it’s Jennifer Love Hewitt who’s receiving hate because she’s joining the show as a new series regular. I personally couldn’t be more surprised by that turn of events, I’d never expected that she would even be considered. She’s a wonderful actress – but I might not be the best judge of that because I’ve seen a lot of shows she has been part of. I religiously watched Party of Five (1994) and the spin off Time of Your Life (1999), Ghost Whisperer (2005) and The Client List (2012). That is a grand total of 250 forty five minute episodes which I have seen that Jennifer Love Hewitt was part of and I enjoyed watching them so I might be a little biased. But I’m looking forward to seeing her step into this new adventure and hope that the fandom will give her a chance. A chance she certainly deserves. Let’s remember that Paget Brewster – who we fought so hard to keep  – actually joined in Season 2 after Lola Glaudini left.

One final sort of fandom hate…

A character is written by a writer, good stories need all kinds of characters. Even bad characters, characters we might hate for their ideas or actions. And those roles need to be portrayed by someone, usually good actors or they wouldn’t be able to pull it off. But really is that a reason to hate the person who portrays that particular character? Of course not! We need them! Imagine, what would Game of Thrones be without characters like Cersei or Joffrey Lannister. But that doesn’t mean that we should hate the person behind the character, it’s kind of sick to ‘hate’ a person because of a role he or she plays.

I’ve hated characters – and that’s fine. You can’t like everyone, certainly not when the roles portrayed are meant to gross you out for one reason or another. An example is Nicholas Brendon, he used to be Xander on Buffy. Many people my age grew up watching that show. Years later he suddenly appeared on Criminal Minds – which we’ve already established is one of my favorite shows – as Penelope Garcia‘s boyfriend in a similar kind of role. A nerdy but very likable character. During that same time he also showed up in another show, Private Practice, were he brutally attacked and raped Charlotte. The role was so different, the brutality of the actions and the way it was filmed creeped me out so much just thinking about it gives me shivers. And even though I had trouble seeing that good guy Kevin on Criminal Minds shortly after I watched those scenes on Private Practice. Those scenes really gave grossed me out, but Nicholas Brendon is not to blame. He played a role. However that doesn’t say anything about the person behind it.

 

In any case, I have been irritated a lot by all of the hate I’ve seen and I really needed to get this off my chest. I didn’t think that it would take almost 2000 words to write this down.

And I really hope that we as fans can find it in our hearts to unite as a fandom, and leave all the hate behind us. In the end we are all fans of the same fandom despite of who we might ship so please let’s keep that in mind.

The Hunger Games vs. Battle Royale

Ever since I received the books for my birthday last year I have loved them! So I couldn’t wait for the movies to come out. I know that a lot of times movies don’t live up to the books but I really love the movies, just as much as I enjoy reading the books. There are just always things in a book which can’t be shown in a movie. And there are always choices which have to be made. It’s a shame that some scenes never show up in a movie because there’s just not enough time. The most important scene which I really missed in the movie was the scene where Katniss meets the fugitives (from District 4 if I remember correctly) in the woods outside of District 12. They show her the cookie with the Mocking Jay print and they tell her about the uprise in other districts as well as the possibility of District 13 being a safe zone. It was the first moment in the book when she was confronted with the situation at hand. The fact that people saw hope in her and in what she did.

I won’t lie about it, I really missed that scene. There were some other things as well and there were some changes but that’s to be expected. I don’t know why but for some reason it doesn’t bother me with this story, I like the books and I like the movies equally.

 Katniss EverdeenBut it has been annoying me that everyone always says that the story is based of off Battle Royale. I personally had never seen that movie, so I couldn’t compare it and I felt that it was not place to say something about if I hadn’t seen it. Well that has changed now, recently I had the chance to borrow the DVD of Battle Royale, so now I can say something about it an I will (better late than never, right?).

Battle Royale was originally a book written by Koushun Takami, he finished the book in 1996 but it was published in 1999, the movie was made in 2000, so in that regard it certainly is earlier than The Hunger Games. The books were published in 2008. The first movie came out 2012 and the second a month ago and I have finally been able to see it. Yes, I know it took me long enough but there were things preventing me from going. Good reasons! I haven’t really been feeling all that well, at the beginning of December I walked around with a trembling muscle underneath my eye for almost to weeks so I figured that it wouldn’t be a good idea to strain my eyes even more by going to the movies. Anyways that doesn’t really matter, that’s not why I’m writing this.

Let’s take a look at the description of the movies;

Battle Royale

Forty-two students, three days, one deserted Island: welcome to Battle Royale. A group of ninth-grade students from a Japanese high school have been forced by legislation to compete in a Battle Royale. The students are each given a bag with a randomly selected weapon and a few rations of food and water and sent off to kill each other in a no-holds-barred (with a few minor rules) game to the death, which means that the students have three days to kill each other until one survives–or they all die. The movie focuses on a few of the students and how they cope. Some decide to play the game like the psychotic Kiriyama or the sexual Mitsuko, while others are trying to find a way to get off the Island without violence. However, as the numbers dwell down lower and lower on an hourly basis, is there any way for Shuya and his classmates to survive?

The Hunger Games

In a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided between 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors while the citizens of Panem are required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives.

I’m only talking about the movies here, since I never read the Battle Royal book. There are certainly similarities, there’s no doubt about that. I would be lying if I said there weren’t similarities. It doesn’t matter if you’re forced to fight till you’re the sole survivor inside an arena or on an island. And neither does it matter if the people you fight against are your classmates or complete strangers when it’s all about survival you do what you have to do to make it out alive. So the base of the story is indeed the same, but the base of a story doesn’t really matter it’s what you do with it that counts.

One thing though, Battle Royale is from 2000 but it looked really crappy … I don’t know why. It really looked bad and I was trying to figure out if they choose that particular style or did movies back in 2000 really look that crappy? And no, I’m not talking about the very visible way in which the kids are killed. That doesn’t bother me at all. I don’t know how to describe it, it was just different that what I’m used to or maybe I’m just to spoiled by popular movies. I felt that if I had never seen that movie I wouldn’t have really missed it.  I guess it’s not really a fair comparison, I have a deep connection with The Hunger Games which I will never have with Battle Royale because of the books. And the movies have a massive Hollywood budget which is not something you can compare to a Japanese movie budget.

But let’s be honest here … Battle Royale is not really that original either because if we look at the base story line doesn’t that make you think of something which was called a form of entertainment many, many centuries ago? Before there were television, movies and in many cases even books? Didn’t we used to have an Arena in Europe called the Colosseum? Didn’t we have gladiators who were forced to step into the Arena and fight till they were released by their own death or by becoming a victor … and this is just one example. So that’s Ancient Rome, but maybe they did similar things in Egypt or in even older times. I honestly don’t know but one thing I do know, Battle Royale nor The Hunger Games are very original stories. So maybe we should just stop the comparisons and watch the movies and read the books and enjoy them for what they are.