Uncertainty, the Future, & More

Well, hi guys. How’s it going? I’m sorry I haven’t posted in months since the Biannual Bibliothon, but I just wanted to stop by because I think I owe it to my readers to let you guys know what’s going on in my life.

I had decided to stop blogging altogether.

Yup. I had barely any time to blog at all last year and I just wasn’t really in the mood to continue on. I wasn’t keeping up with my pace, the majority of what I read was comics online which are hard to track for reading and reviewing purposes, and I was just dealing with a lot of mental and emotional stress, which I still am.

Let me break it down for you:

  • My mom has early onset dementia. She was diagnosed almost two years ago with it and my husband and I have been living with my parents since. We are… not happy here. Our mental, physical, and emotional well-beings have had such a strain put on them that we find it very hard to enjoy anything that we used to anymore. For me, one of those things is reading physical books. I had no problem reading comics because they’re images and short dialogues, so it was easy to handle for my brain. But actual books? Unless I was hooked it was near impossible.
    • In case you are wondering: some days are better than others for my mom. My dad is handling it in his own way. I am handling it my own way. My husband is, too. Just one day at a time because that’s literally all we can do.
    • The next point will explain this one more as to why we haven’t done this but, my husband and I need to move out. We need a space of our own to be able to make a living for ourselves. It’s very hard to do that here, and now we live almost an hour away from where we work where before we were 10-15 min away. It makes a huge difference.
    • The result of this has made me very tired and unable to bring myself to do anything these days.
  • I’ve been taking an online course to become TEFL certified. This means I’m becoming certified to teach English as a second language. My goal is to teach in South Korea by the end of this year, 2018. I’ve got my six hours of teaching time left of my practicum before I can turn in my paperwork and become officially certified.
    • Now, with this, there’s a whole new level of stress. I would love to teach in the EPIK program in South Korea, which is public school teaching. There’s a ton of great benefits for teachers and all of that, which is great. But, there’s a snag: I can get an E-2 visa for teaching, but my husband, who I would bring with me, would have to get a spousal visa and under said visa he would legally be not allowed to work. That’s fine, whatever. Contracts are usually for a year anyway unless I like it there and want to stay longer and maybe he can get a different visa, I don’t know.
    • Anyway, this is its own headache. The fact that I’d have a dependent lessens my chances of being hired. It doesn’t mean I won’t be – there’s still a potential that I will be – but it still makes it harder, and then I don’t know that I’d qualify for all of the benefits. So. Yeah.
    • I am trying my best to be optimistic, but the closer I get to completing my certificate and actually applying to the recruiter, the more nervous and worried I get.
  • I tried to focus on art last year, which was great! I was creating a lot, but it kind of… faded away the last few months. I’m finding that I get frustrated in the sketch stage, even when I know it’ll be better later on. Oh well. I’ll work on that.
  • I still would love to be a published author and share my stories with the world, but… *sigh* the book and publishing world have been on FIRE lately and now everything is just very intimidating. If I don’t include enough of this I’m a bad person, if I include too much of that I’m a bad author, like… it’s so intimidating nowadays. I think it’s great, 10000000% amazing, that people are fighting to be seen and heard in their stories. But if I am comfortable writing my characters the way they appear in my head, and that offends someone, then I end up the bad guy? I don’t know, guys, it’s just so scary now. I know I shouldn’t look at it that way, but that’s just how my mind perceives it.

So yeah, those have been some of the big stressors in my life and it’s just been one shit year, let me tell you… Of course there were good times and good things that happened and stuff, but I need to share these things with you.

This brings me to my next point:

I do miss blogging.

Part of me does miss blogging and reading like crazy and diving into these worlds and having these open discussions with people and seeing book hauls and tags and discussions and just the joy that reading once brought, including blogging.

But after last year I had decided that I wasn’t going to do this anymore. I was just going to stop posting and let the views and conversations fade away, because what else could I do? Like I said before: I don’t have the time or energy to be as active as I once was, and I miss doing it.

I miss talking to you guys and sharing thoughts on books and doing reviews, tags, side posts, etc. It was all fun and it was such a big part of my life for the last few years.

I don’t know that I’m going to keep blogging, though.

Like I said: I do and I don’t. I want to share my reviews on books and have discussions and do all of these things again, but with so much uncertainty for my future (and my husband’s), I just don’t know if I can.

I know I can just post whenever I can, even if it’s months from now, but I don’t want you guys to think I’ve fallen off of the grid. When that time comes, I will do a proper goodbye, but for now?

For now, I think I want to keep going.

I haven’t come to a definite conclusion yet, but I do still want to share with you all. I want to read actual novels, not just comics, and dive back into the worlds I loved before. I still have books I need to finish that came out last year that I was anticipating, and books I started the year before that that I need to finish. It’s crazy, really.

So for now… I’m going to stay.

For now, I’ll keep going. Maybe this will spark what I needed back into my life. Maybe this will really help me to see what it is that I was missing. I don’t know, but I hope this helps.

I want to keep a kind of schedule? Maybe that will help me, I’m not sure. So, here’s what I’m thinking:

  • I’ll post once a week on Thursday to start. I have Wednesdays off and it’ll give me a good amount of time to get in some reading and other things to be able to prepare a post for Thursday morning (like what I’m doing now).
  • If I am able to get a flow back into my groove, then I will start to also post on Mondays so it’ll be twice a week. I think that will definitely be doable. If I want to post more in a week, I will. It’s my blog after all, so I can do what I want lol

I’m going to try that for now and see how it works for me.

Thank you all for being so supportive over the years, for reading my content, talking to me, and just being a great community. You’re all amazing and I wish you the best in all that you do.

Advertisements

Let’s Talk | Shadowhunters 1×01 – Pilot

shadowhunters

Source: Shadowhunters TV

The first episode of Shadowhunters premiered on Tuesday, January 12, and since I don’t have cable I wasn’t able to watch it until tonight (mostly because I forgot episodes can play online, derp). It’s a whole new revamp for Cassandra Clare‘s The Mortal Instruments series and I was highly anticipating it, as were many other people. I did see the seven minute preview when it first came out, and now that I watched the episode I wanted to talk a little bit about it.

So here are my thoughts and feels on season one episode one of the series:

The episode starts off with a little bit of a teaser as to the demons and the Shaowhunters, specifically Jace, Isabelle, and Alec. They’re hunting a demon that can change its appearance when it runs into another being and even though it changes its form about three times before entering Club Pandemonium, the Shadowhunters are still able to track it.

We get flashback scenes from eight hours before the time Jace runs into Clary, as well as ten years prior before everything started to become real in Clary’s world. I think that these parts were important to include because not only do we get a little bit of background into the characters, but we also get to see more about what is going on and why things are happening the way they are.

Now Clary just turned eighteen and so she wants to celebrate with her best friend, Simon, but her mom, Jocelyn, wants to talk to her about the Shadow World and the Downworlders and so much more, but Clary just wants to go have fun with her friend.

We get thrown around a bit as Jocelyn struggles to tell Clary what’s happening, about the fight with the demon and how Clary witnesses it, and how her mom sends her through a portal to Luke’s location and how Jocelyn is going to fight with some Circle members.

Confused yet? If you’re not a reader of the series, you probably have no idea what some of the terms I stated even mean. And I think that’s part of the reason why this first episode was a little bit of an info dump. They wanted you to understand the significance of the Mortal Cup, who the Shadowhunters are, why Clary can see them and others can’t, etc.

And I also think that was partially a downfall for the first episode. I honestly thought that the acting could have gone a little smoother, but it wasn’t that it was bad; it was cheesy during some parts, but also very witty in others.

I think that Dominic Sherwood, who plays Jace, did a good job of embodying Jace’s personality: strong, defensive, and a bit egotistical. He does ask a few questions in a way that Jace from the book would have asked them, which made me laugh out loud, literally. So while I appreciated his humor during those parts, other parts I felt that he was just trying too hard. Like dude, loosen up a little! Use some more emotion and stuff.

Katherine McNamara, who plays Clary, was actually my favorite person of the episode. I think that she’s doing a wonderful job playing Clary and that she really showed who she was: smart, loyal, and free. Of course, she was confused a lot of the episode given what was going on, but it was understandable.

Emeraude Toubia, who plays Isabelle, was also a convincing Isabelle: sexy, playful, sarcastic, a little pushy. She didn’t talk much in the episode, but I could see that she will do well to play this kickass heroine. She also has good chemistry with the actor who plays Alec.

Alberto Rosende, who plays Simon, was a good Simon: goofy, in love with Clary, and kind of a hot mess. And let’s all admit it: Simon was a hot mess at the beginning. But I’m sure that he’ll do a better job as the season progresses. He was in a few scenes, but I definitely want to see more.

Matthew Daddario, who plays Alec, was just like the book version of him: stoic, a great fighter, and a complainer. I think that he makes a great Alec and I’m interested in seeing his interactions with the group as the season continues, especially when it comes to Magnus.

Harry Shum Jr, who plays Magnus, did a good job embodying the High Warlock of Brooklyn. Though I was hoping for more scenes with him, he actually didn’t really make an appearance early on in the first book, so I was excited to see him at all in the first episode. But he did play an important role in the early part of Clary’s life, so it was good to see him in more than one scene. Also, he owns Club Pandemonium in the show, so that was a twist.

Isaiah Mustafa, who plays Luke, was actually kind of the cheesiest one of the bunch. Honestly, I was hoping for different lines or maybe different acting. Though I have confidence that he’ll definitely do better as the season progresses, I’m just not convinced yet that this is the Luke who I came to love. But again, it’s one episode, he might just surprise me.

Alan Van Sprang, who plays our villain Valentine, didn’t make much of an appearance, but I know from watching him in another series, Reign, that Van Sprang makes a great villain. And he’s already shown the ruthlessness of Valentine by killing off one of his men in this episode, so yay! A good baddie! I mean, a bad baddie, but a good actor… You know what I’m saying.

Maxin Roy, who plays Jocelyn, also did a good job of portraying Clary’s mom: fiercely protective, guilty of not sharing the secrets of the Shadow World with Clary, and a good fighter. Of course, we didn’t know of how good of her fighting abilities until later in the book series, but still it was cool to see her kick some butt.

Overall, I thought that the acting was okay at best, but it’s only the first episode and I think that some of these actors are relatively new to the spotlight, especially with one as big as the Mortal Instruments fanbase. I’d give the acting a 7/10 stars.

The CGI in the episode was decent, but not up to par with how I would have wanted to see it. Though, to be fair, it’s really hard to imagine a demon and what exactly it would do in a given situation, or even look like. Though the four mouth thing? Yeah, that’s got to stop. Give it some variety! Not every demon looks the same. I think that the effects on the eyes for Magnus were the coolest, as well as the warlock swirling blue magic, but otherwise it has yet to impress me. Also, not thrilled with the seraph blades, sorry. I’d give it a 5/10 stars for CGI.

As far as the storyline goes: yes, it follows the book, but not in a very streamline way. I mean, there are lots of elements from the first book that took place that were definitely shown, but there were a few things that were different, too. As with any show or movie, they will take liberties, but as far as adaptations go I’d give it a good 7.5/10 stars for adaptation.

Overall, I’m giving the first episode of the Shadowhunters series a 6.5/10 stars. I wasn’t totally in love, but there was still plenty there for me to want to see more because my inner fangirl is being fed as we speak. I only hope that it gets better from here, that the acting improves, and that the story doesn’t stray too far from the books.

Let’s Talk Shadowhunters

I meant to do a lot more posts than just this one and the first one I did, but oh well!

So we have the full cast of Shadowhunters, the TV show that’ll take place on ABC Family starting in 2016 of Cassandra Clare‘s The Mortal Instruments series, and I couldn’t be more excited! We’ve had updates from the very beginning on who was being cast as who, photos of the shoots, fun photos by the cast, and so much more. They’re taking the fans into consideration during this whole process and I, for one, couldn’t be happier.

Well, I could if the show started to air now, but that’s not going to happen.

Anyway, let’s talk about the rest of the cast!

Katherine McNamara as Clary Fray

katherinemcnama

Our main heroine was cast and I think she was definitely the biggest concern for a lot of fans. I’ve seen her act in the Disney Channel movie Girl vs Monster and I thought she did pretty well as a “villain” type, but I think she’ll be able to do so much better as a hero. She is a natural red head, but she was blond beforehand so she did have to have it dyed back, and I frankly think she really looks the part of Clary. We’ve seen photos from the set and from what I’ve seen so far she looks promising as our main girl.

Matthew Daddario as Alec Lightwood

Matthew_Daddario

Okay, I’m still getting used to him being Alec, and I’m sure he’ll do a good job, but there’s just something about him that doesn’t fit for me. BUT ANYWAY. I’ve seen some screenshots and a few scenes where we can hear him talk or act and I think he’ll make a good Alec: quiet, yet protective, and always trying to be the logical one. I haven’t seen anything he’s been in, but I’m still interested to see how he plays our underrated hero.

Isaiah Mustafa as Luke Garroway

isaiahmustafa

I love that Luke is being played as a person of color. Seriously. This excites me. We don’t have many descriptions of what Luke actually looks like other than his scruffy beard and wild hair, so I mean, Mustafa has the beard part down! So it works! I don’t think I’ve seen any of the movies he’s acted in, but I think he’s going to make a great Luke. From the pictures I’ve seen, he’s a big goofball, which fits.

Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus Bane

harryshumjr

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXCITED I AM FOR THIS. I’ve seen a bunch of the films and TV shows Shum has been in and OMG I CAN’T WAIT. He’s a great actor with a great set of moves, for one thing. Plus he obviously looks the part because Magnus is at least half-Asian. I’ve seen pictures of him as Magnus, with makeup and everything, and I think he’ll play a magnificent warlock.

Alan Van Sprang as Valentine Morgenstern

alanvansprang

As I’ve seen him act in Reign, I know that he plays a good villain. He’s got the right look for one and I think that he’ll do Valentine justice for sure. Sure, he doesn’t have the same golden locks that Valentine has (or at least what I pictured him to have), but I do think he looks the part of a strong, slightly crazed, man who has made everyone’s life a living hell. Don’t you think?

Maxim Roy as Jocelyn Fray

maximroy

Hey, it’s Clary’s mom! And let me tell you, the actresses are adorable together. Though she’ll be absent for most of the series, I’m sure, I think she still has a lot of potential and I’m interested to see how she acts on camera with Katherine, to see if they have chemistry as mother and daughter and whatnot.

And then we have a few other characters who were given actors including: Jon Cor as Hodge (as George Takei would say: oh myyy); David Castro as Raphael Santiago, the resident vampire; Kaitlyn Leeb as Camielle Belcourt, the very powerful, lovely vampire; and Jade Hassoune as Meliorn, the Seelie Queen’s loyal faerie knight.

I’m excited for this cast, and I love that the director, McG, always shares photos and updates with the fans because, well, what director does that?

From what I’ve seen so far the show looks promising and I really hope that all of this hype and whatnot doesn’t let the fans down.

Also, Entertainment Weekly dropped this article giving us AND EXCLUSIVE LOOK with more pictures into the show and OMG I DIED.

Are you excited for the show? What are your thoughts so far? Do you think they’ll do it justice or will it flop? Let me know your thoughts!