These Are Among My Favorite Things…

These Are Among My Favorite Things…

…To buy, at least.

At the risk of making this a too materialistic, too consumeristic post, I WILL say, in my defense, that most girls could use a little retail therapy, especially if they’ve just wrapped up with a very stressful finals week. Now, I know what many of you are thinking,

What’s she talking about?! I thought she was already done with all her finals and everything!!

Well, yes. That I am. BUT (key word here), many of you guys (or rather, gals) are just wrapping up finals, and I’m sure you could appreciate all the retail therapy in the world right now, am I right?!

shoppinggif

So, in the instance of you having NOT heard, there is this lovely little store online called, “Etsy”. It’s basically a crafting, and/or fangirly version of eBay, if you will– and it has almost EVERYTHING you could hope or dream for on it. I’ll share with you guys some of my favorite items on there, then some of the specific Etsy stores that I simply ADORE.

DivergentNecklace

Divergent fans, look no further. Find it from this shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/217954598/these-three-birds-necklace-ii-divergent

How ’bout an adorable bike basket for running errands in town, or for just carrying your water bottle (and may some snacks) as you hit the trails this summer?

Bikebasket

Find this baby here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/480024769/natural-wicker-bike-basket

Did you know you can actually buy professionally made foods from Etsy, too? (always check the reviews first, to be safe, though) I actually really like Turkish Delight, particularly rosewater-flavored. Reminds me of/gets me in the mood to read or watch the “Chronicles of Narnia”!

TurkishDelight

This shop makes all kinds of flavors too, so it doesn’t even have to be rosewater-flavored (if that’s not your thing): https://www.etsy.com/listing/103865681/rose-flavored-turkish-delight

This is probably one of my favorite things on Etsy: a semi-do-it-yourself-pearl-kit. You buy a vacuum-sealed oyster with a pearl in it, and pick which pearl cage for the necklace that you want– there’s lots of variety, from a Cinderella carriage, to a rose, to a seashell or even a skull! I loved that the pearl color was a surprise (I think mine’s cream), and plan on getting my little cousin one for her birthday, since she too is a June baby.

Pearlkit

Find out more here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/476060633/pick-a-pearl-oyster-kit-freshwater-pearl

Love bath bombs? I’ve just the thing:

bathbomb

There’s much, much more where that came from (RustyTiramisu specializes in them! Even Pokemon ones!! Squeeeeee): https://www.etsy.com/listing/287750863/passionfruit-rose-with-rose-petal-bath

Who doesn’t love fairies/pixies?

fairynecklace

Find it here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/240514564/fairy-necklace-fantasy-necklace-sterling

Now, this little guy is a bit pricey, but if you save up enough, I guarantee he’ll be worth your moola…

plushHobbes

Yes, that is a plush Hobbes. Yes, he is the childhood toy you’ve always wanted. And yes, he’s waiting for you to take him home (I actually chose the slightly more expensive one to put on here, because the slightly less expensive one– still $90– is made out of felt, and looks a LOT stiffer– less cuddly. But if  you’d like to look at that one, too: https://www.etsy.com/listing/159045516/stuffed-hobbes ). Find your favorite “fictional” tiger here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/58101500/hobbes-tiger-plush-doll-version

Now, for some of my all-time favorite Etsy stores!

My biggest weakness on Etsy, by far and wide, is all the crazy-awesome bookish-based stuff they have on there, based directly off stories and characters. Introducing…

Novelly Yours

These peeps actually have their own separate candle store online (surprise, surprise), but they also have an Etsy store. Bookish candles are VERY “in” right now, in the literacy world (I mean, I know of SEVERAL other stores that also do it, including Meraki Candles, FlicktheWick, BurningPagesCandles, Fictional Flames, etc, etc, etc.), but Novelly Yours is definitely considered one of the best. Just look at their “Lunar Chronicles” candles:

candles1

They also include a slew of non-series specific candles including, “Villainous,” “Currently Reading,” “Shipping It,” “Plot Twist,” “Book Boyfriend,” and so much more! Find this and more: https://www.etsy.com/listing/290928427/the-lunar-chronicles-collection-2oz-soy

Speaking of bookish candles…

candles2

Photo of Narnia candle

(BTW, can you SAY, #bookstagram?)

I know I should probably post ONLY one bookish candle shop on here, but can’t help it– I love this shop, Bookworm Candles and Crafts, so much. They do ship specialty candles, candles based on specific characters, feelings in certain books, and even places/events. They do both candles and wax melts, sometimes simple jewelry and bookmarks (that you could probably make yourself), and used to even do body soap/butter (which I still have my Genya one… 😥 ). https://www.etsy.com/listing/533182225/book-vs-movie-candle-range-chronicles-of?ref=listing-shop-header-2

ReadandWonder specializes in bookish, well, bookmarks. BUT these are not just any bookmarks. They can be magnetic little characters from your fave stories, or fave book quotes. Behold the adorableness that is the chibi Grisha character cast:

readandwonder

Photo of ReadandWonder’s magnetic chibi bookmarks; left to right: Nikolai, Mal, Alina before Merzost, the Darkling, and Alina after Merzost. 

No, I am not squealing because of the adorableness of all the characters, except for Mal. Mal can go take a hike.

Next up, another personal fave, Bookish Sugar Scrubs! This 16 year old Etsier has a very good head for business, and, as you can probably guess by her title, she specializes in sugar scrubs based on bookish feels, characters, ships. Currently, though, she is also doing a CUSTOM sugar scrub thing (you can pick any of the scents listed), as well as the BLISS boxes (this June pre-order box’s theme is Disney magic, and is supposed to have a scrub in it inspired by Stitch!)! Get them while they last; because it won’t be long before she runs out! The custom and regular scrubs are actually pretty affordable, usually only $6-7.

bookishsugarscrubs

Photo of “Dripping Moonlight”– “Caraval” inspired sugar scrub

Find ’em here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/bookishsugarscrubs?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Speaking of bookish spa and cosmetic items, look no further than “Stardust Cosmetics”. Originally set up under a different name, she changed it to include not only book-inspired nail polish, but also (VERY soon in the future, but not currently) eyeshadows! She’s currently having a special on nail polishes, a two for $12 special, when they’re normally $6.50 each!

stardustcos

Photo of “Heartrender,” a Grisha and Six of Crows inspired polish

Find ’em here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StardustCos?ref=pr_faveshops

I am also a fan of the Etsy store Bookified, which legit sells you LETTERS FROM YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS (no, I am not making this up! You could get a letter from, say, Edmund Pevensie, Harry Potter, or even Peeta!). The only bad news is, right now she’s taking a temporary break to go to a huge Book Con, BEA. But I’ll post on here as SOON as she reopens! She is fantastic; you wouldn’t regret buying from her! (I’ve previously ordered a Darkling letter from her, and anxiously await my second.)

Onto other shops that I absolutely love, they are mostly geekery– namely, Pokemon-based things But still.

My first geeky shop is the Resinators. As their name implies, they can make plastic-y amulet-like jewelry– namely, Pokemon evolutionary stone jewelry. Including glow-in-the-dark thunderstone necklaces.

waterstone

Did I mention the glow-in-the-dark-thunderstone necklaces??

thunderstone

Find these babies here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Resinators?ref=listing-shop2-all-items-count#items

While most well-known for her Poke plushies, Renchanshop also does quality plush work on the likes of characters from “Steven Universe,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Ouran Host Club,” “Sailor Moon,” and much more in the anime/cosplay department. Known for quality work, Ren’s merch is a tad pricey, but the quality AND the large size of her products (which, depending on each said product, may or may not be posable and even 1-2 feet or so tall). Only real complaint is the sticker eyes, though got lucky with Karisse, my giant shiny plush Zoroark– hers are embroidered. Here are only a few objects of her impressive handiwork:

Did I mention… she also does SHINY Pokes? 😉

Renchan4

Take THAT, GameFreak and Pokemoncenter.com! Find these not-so-little beauties here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Renchanshop/items

Sew Me a River is a shop with a pretty similar concept to Ren, but slightly less expensive. The primary downside is that they limit shinies. But they often feature some Pokes that Ren doesn’t, and that the pokemoncenter.com will unlikely have in their store, such as Whimsicott:

SewMeARiver1

You obviously don’t have to be a genius to know good quality work when you see it, eh? Other elusive Pokemon plushies they sell: Goodra, Omanyte, Froslass, Furrett, Kabuto, Jumpluff, etc. They ALSO sell (and they should patent this idea, seriously):

SewMeARiver2

SLOWPOKE TAILS THEY’RE IN LEAGUE WITH TEAM ROCKET GUUUUYYYYSSSS….

JK, JK… But really, you can buy these things, as is or ON A KEYCHAIN (because everyone knows Slowpoke tails make driving in the rain to Slowpoke Well 100 x’s better 😉 ). Find it all here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/SewMeARiver/items

If you’re still banking on the cash, and some of these prices still make you squirm, (especially with Poke plushies nowadays), tell ya what: Fluctorissia. That way, it won’t eat you out of house and home, and if you just want a cute, floppy, cuddly lil Poke buddy, well, that’s where I bought Evelette (I had Fluctorissia make the ear slightly shorter, though). She also does the occasional Digimon, too.

Fluctorissia1

Find this cutie pie and more here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Fluctorissia?ref=pr_faveshops

Lastly, TadingCardValhalla: “Where Heroes are Reborn.” Their slogan says it all: They take trading cards of ANY kind (Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Digimon, Naruto, you name it), and make them into necklaces, bracelets, or keychains. It’s where I got my very lovely N heart necklace… ❤

TCV1

Beautiful, are they not? https://www.etsy.com/shop/TradingCardValhalla/items?ref=pr_faveshops&section_id=11656731

Honorable Etsy Mention That Is No Longer on Etsy, But has an Online Store of Their Own:

BehindthePages. I’d direct you guys to her website, too, but again, she, like Bookified, is taking a short break til Monday to get restocked. Her motto is to go beyond the boundaries of keeping fictional friends (and boyfriends 😉 ) fictional. She has a range of products, bookmarks, posters, perfumes, body soaps, lotions, and lip balms. My ONLY problem with her products is that the wording advertises it to be a bit more sensual than should ACTUALLY be considered; me, I just like the idea of either smelling like my fave fictional characters, or, as in the case of the Darkling, kissing them. Her site is http://www.behindthepagesstore.com, which, remember, won’t be open til Monday. But oh, I can’t wait til it does!

Do YOU have a favorite online store, either indie or on Etsy? What is it, and why do you love it?

________________

Image Credit: https://giphy.com/gifs/sassy-shaytards-shopping-4MK7g7Q27nzag

 

Correspondence from… Ginger

Correspondence from… Ginger

Greetings all,

I am Ginger, Olivia’s lovely Vulpix friend. As my good acquaintance whom I sometimes very much regard as a sister, Eikon, has previously stated, I will occasionally be filling in every once and a while on here, when necessary. And it would seem that my input is desperately needed.

Since Eikon has given a previous introduction about herself, and presumably told you a bit about me, I will spare most details, save for that I do not like getting wet– particularly in a body of water, or in the rain– and I utterly loathe getting dirty. I always make it a policy to clean myself, or to get Olivia to clean me, directly before and after every battle I partake in. Some may call it a weakness of mine; let them laugh. There was worse weaknesses and fears in the world; for instance, Olivia fears tornadoes and other comparably large natural disasters (tidal waves, etc), in addition to hypnosis and dating. I cannot say with full confidence that I fault her for any of these things; it’s her more minor fear of trying new foods that I find a little ludicrous. Certainly, I am picky about some foods and how they are prepared, but really? She is the pickiest human, when it comes to food, that I have ever met. But I’m not here to just discuss her, oh no.

In addition to being clean, there are actually quite a few things I am rather fond of, that I seriously doubt Eikon revealed to you. I love being brushed; the gentle strokes of the soft bristles themselves are like being caressed; I know Olivia feels the same way when someone she trusts washes, strokes, brushes, or does her hair. My favorite food is cream, melted ice cream is also lovely, although I have a fondness for some spicy foods and good country fried steak if I can get it. I refuse to eat beans, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, cabbage, or carrots. I am not a rabbit, and am not an Eevee, like dear Evelette. I am not opposed to wearing ribbons around my neck, particularly if they are a pale gold, emerald green, sapphire blue, or turquoise.

While Eikon may tell you a lot of things, she certainly does not cover everything that has been happening in our lives lately– although, with some, I rather say I cannot blame her, as rough, boyish and uncivilized as she is. For instance, she neglected to mention that, shortly after our arrival home, Olivia, wonderful girl she is, set about preparing an “End of the School Year Mary Kay Spa Party” for her closest friends, and even her sweet cousin was invited. We had such a lovely time; the sugar scrubs and paw rubs in the nice, warm bath (and I normally do not like water) were quite comfortably relaxing. If I had been a human, I think I too should have been very thrilled to have tried some more cosmetics, but as a Vulpix, I do not think they would have gone very well with my rich, gingery fur. I think Olivia was initially worried about her cousin mingling with the rest, since she did not know them particularly well, but she blended in quite fabulously. Even I could have told her she had naught to worry about.

Another thing Eikon conveniently forgot to mention was that Olivia’s youngest brother is graduating from homeschool high school quite soon– he would have graduated much sooner, since he had accumulated so many credits already, but her parents held him back– and so he was forced to talk college credits from a local community college, similar to what Olivia did her first year, only he had more of a head start. Perhaps it was good that they did so; he has much yet to learn, and is really quite the arrogant one. One the other side, if he enters college officially with that much prior knowledge and skill, he will have the skills to perhaps back a few of his boasts. But, only time will tell what will occur…

Well, I must be off for now… Farewell!

Yours,

Ginger

_______________________

Image Credit: http://www.game-art-hq.com/103264/037-vulpix-used-fireblast-and-inferno/

“How Far I’ll Let It Go”: A Reviewing Contrast of Both “Frozen” and “Moana”

What do “Frozen” and “Moana” have in common, you might say? They’re about almost completely different things, in literally ENTIRELY different settings!

Well, there is one MAJOR element they DO share: They are both INCREDIBLY hyped. As in, hyped beyond the imagination, so much that it can be immensely annoying to non-fans. Which is why I’m here to do a little comparison-contrast today. Let’s see how the two teams, “Team Frozen,” and “Team Moana” respectively, line up when it comes to:

Story

Culture

Sidekicks

Music

Villains

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS! ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

First, let’s begin with story:

“Frozen”: A girl with magical ice powers is locked away from society, and is terrified of showing everyone what she can do. Meanwhile, her lonely kid sis longs to reconnect with her, but due to her being consistently shut out, makes her easy prey for the true bad guy of the movie, who proposes to her on the spot. Later, things go horribly wrong as said older sis with magical ice powers reveals said powers under stressful pressure and in refusing said younger sis’s request to marry said bad guy (who they don’t realize is a bad guy until the very end). So, long story short, older sis runs off to the wilderness to live alone so she can’t hurt anyone anymore, but in the process accidentally lets off her powers on FULL steam ahead, effectively freezing over EVERYTHING in the land. Younger sis treks off to find her sis and bring her back, accompanied by eccentric guy, a fairly intelligent reindeer, and an obnoxiously goofy snowman that everyone but me seems to adore (for the record, I was on Christoph’s side when he said he was gonna tell said obnoxious snowman that he would melt in summer time). They succeed in bringing the older sis back after a few mishaps, unveil and defeat said bad guy, and have a typical, la-de-da happy ending. My story rating: 6 out of 10. A bit predictable, fairly unoriginal, and probably would’ve been better had they stuck closer to the original “Snow Queen” script (bonus in going with the latter idea: No Olaughs.).

elsagif

“Moana”: A young island girl turned village chieftaness feels called to the ocean, but never really knows why. Her eccentric grandmother shows her that her islander people were once voyagers, but that all changed when a “demigod,” Maui, stole this ancient heart artifact thingy, which destroyed their main goddess thingy, and a terrible volcano demon monster started to terrorize the ocean, destroying islands and vegetation in its wake. In fact, it is this need for her people’s survival, along with the fact that the ocean chose her specifically to restore the heart thingy, that sets her on her own journey to hunt out Maui himself– the latter who, as it turns out, can’t do diddly squat without his precious hook. They have a run-in with a treasure collecting giant crab to find said hook, then set off to defeat the volcano beast of death– which actually turns out to be the aforementioned goddess of greenery and vegetation, only without her heart. With it restored, she in turn restores all life lost, from vegetation to Maui’s hook (which got totally fried in their fight). Moana then shows her people that there’s no need to be afraid of the ocean any longer, and they all return to their voyager roots, with her at the command. My story rating: 5.5 out of ten. I don’t know what exactly, but this story lacked something in the plotline, SEVERELY. Although, in fairness, I think that happens when you’re on a raft thingy for days with little provisions, a grumpy “demigod,” and essentially nothing going on. I did like Moana’s character, spunk and gumption though– brownie points for that.

moanagif

Culture:

“Frozen”: According to numerous sources, the setting of “Frozen” was heavily inspired by Scandinavia. It mimics their clothing, their building structures and even maypoles. My culture rating: 7 out of 10. 

“Moana”: Based on the Polynesian islands in Oceania, the film also hit some New Zealander spots– specifically with the tattoos both islanders and Maui receive. The filmmakers did some research on islanders, as well as Polynesian and even New Zealander mythology and history. Additionally, Maui is briefly seen performing a very short-lived haka, or intimidating New Zealander war dance (that I fully appreciated, seeing as I’ve a New Zealander friend from college who actually did his one presentation on Maori language and culture, including the haka, briefly even mentioning this film as he did so.), during the face-off with the volcano demon thingy. My culture rating: 7 out of 10. 

mauihaka

Sidekicks:

“Frozen”: In both movies, there are two sidekicks. In “Frozen,” those sidekicks are Sven and Olaugh… oh, sorry, meant Olaf. Personally, I like Sven much better (he’s cuter and more intelligent, for one thing), but hey, if people want to super hype Olaf, go for it– just be aware that make people like me like him even less than we already do. Anywho, Sven proves pivotal in getting our heroes to the right place at the right time, whereas Olaf, who supposedly is normally “comic relief,” aids a badly in-need-of-aid Anna. I may not like Olaf, but at least he does something important. My sidekick rating: 5 out of 10. 

olafgif

(If only. If only.)

“Moana”: Two main sidekicks here are Hei hei the rooster and the porkchop (OK, OK, the piggy. You PETA people, sheesh.). They’re both essentially just Moana’s pets, and, I’ll be honest– they don’t do a whole lot for the story, sadly. The piggy, Mua, encourages Moana to go into the ocean, but is even more discouraged and frightened than she when that turns into an epic fail, and almost gets them both killed.  Hei hei, on the other hand, seems even less intelligent than Odie from Garfield (which is saying something), and only really reacts if it thinks it can eat something (even if it’s not edible– like a rock or the ancient artifact) or if its out in the middle of the ocean, practically alone. Annnnddd…. cue panic mode:

heiheiscream

Not saying it’s not funny, I am saying the rooster’s eyeballs probably take up like 90% of his lil noggin, and thus leave very, very little room for brains. Brains to help them out even remotely on their quest. Kudos for trying to be funny, though (was more successful than Olaugh, that’s for sure). My sidekick rating: 3.5 out of 10. 

Music:

“Frozen”: I personally think that “For the First Time in Forever,” is the even remotely decent song in the whole film. Just me, personally. Don’t even TALK to me about… you know… THAT song…. *runs off gagging* My music rating: 1.5 out of 10. 

“Moana”: “You’re Welcome” was majorly cliche (not to mention extremely narcissistic); even the giant, treasure-hoarding crab’s song was better than that. But Moana’s “How Far I’ll Go,” was terrific and beautiful, full of determination and inspiration. And, OK, I’ll admit that I’m biased– Alessia Cara did a FABULOUS remake job on it. My music rating: 6 out of 10. 

moanagif2

Villains:

“Frozen”: OK, OK, “Frozen” may have won this one. May. Namely because there was an actual villain-villain to deal with, a classic Machiavellian. BUT they did need to work on make him a LITTLE more subtle. Yes, he was pretty subtle, and I would say that caught most off guard (to be fair to the franchise overall, I was warned in advance by a then kindergartner, a first-grader, and a second-grader, BEFORE I saw it. But that’s besides the point. I think I still would’ve at least been suspicious; no one goes THAT far into a movie without at least an indicator of who the bad guy is.) But for a total surprise, cue out motives. Sounds counterintuitive, I know, but hear me out. If they did that, no one would suspect, because he SEEMINGLY has no motives for doing what he does– just a gallant, gentlemanly figure trying to help out. Of course, NOT playing the “I’m the youngest out of several brothers,” card might make it slightly harder to win over the ladies. But on the other hand… maybe NOT.

Hanspunch

(That was a haymaker hook punch, BTW… a punch only really thrown on either street fights or boxing matches. Not really a proper punch.)

My villain rating is… 6 out of 10.

“Moana”: Saddens me to say this, but “Moana” actually fell a bit short in this department, considering the only real threats were a giant packrat of a crab, animated coconuts, and a humongous lava beast– the latter, the main  antagonist known as Te Ka, turning out to be the earth “goddess” from earlier. Shaaammmmeee, beating up on someone who isn’t really a bad guy but just is missing her heart and wants to make things right again. Shaaammmmee. That for the most part means we’re basically villain-less. For the most part.

transformationgif

My villain rating: 2 out of 10. Namely because of the coconut guys. 

Annnndddd our totals are “Frozen” with 25.5 points, and “Moana” with 23 points. Ooooo, so close, but sadly, “Frozen” heads a bit with slightly better concepts in both the villainy and story departments than “Moana.” However, “Frozen” still falls flat on its face for lack of originality in some areas, and coming up short in the music department.

svengif

On the the other hand, had they made “Moana’s” plot more thrilling and engaging, given Hua the porker and Hei Hei more to do than just be adorably funny, and given us a TRUE villain, it DEFINITELY would have beaten “Frozen,” hands down. I mean, let’s be honest– the animation in and of itself already outdoes “Frozen’s”. Off to a good start.

Moanahighfive

Have you watched “Moana” and “Frozen”? What did you think?

__________________________

Image Credits:

https://www.tumblr.com/search/oc:%20te%20fiti

https://www.tumblr.com/search/anna%20punches%20hans

Moana GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

https://ohmy.disney.com/news/2013/11/20/our-favorite-gifs-from-the-frozen-clips/

Moana GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Moana GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

https://www.tumblr.com/search/artist:haka

https://tenor.com/view/frozen-olaf-impaled-hurt-oh-gif-4693646

https://www.tumblr.com/search/heihei.

http://screenrant.com/moana-frozen-box-office-prediction/

 

 

No Matter How Small… or Big

Ever watched or read, Horton Hears a Who!  ?

For those who might not necessarily have grown up with Dr.Seuss, or not seen the movie, it’s about an elephant named Horton (but of course), who, with his spectacular hearing, detects the faintest cry of someone very, very small on a tiny speck, which he rescues on a flower, and tries to get to a safe location before the small people and their world is destroyed.

Now, I don’t know about you, but the message of the story carried more than just your average pro-life meaning to it. No, this was much, much bigger:

This was about God, Himself.

Think about it. We go about our daily Christian lives, talking about God, and praying to Him, but we are surrounded by people who often doubt He’s even there. So when we pray, for instance, some may think we look like we’re only talking to ourselves, or worse, like Horton and his “speck,” that we’re crazy and basically just talking aloud to thin air.

But God doesn’t call us to doubt; he calls us to have faith in Him, to have faith in a plan that’s so much bigger than we are. As Horton says in the movie, what if WE’RE the small ones, and there’s Someone bigger out there? However, even the mayor of Whoville (the tiny people on the Speck) initially doubts Horton’s claims, until he sees proof for himself; even then, if he goes around telling others, he risks looking like a fool, because everyone’s already wrapped up in their pleasant, self-serving, complacent little lives, and it’s too much to ask them to believe the truth. Believing in the truth, the EXTRAORDINARY truth, removes their comfort, their security blanket, if you will. Beginning to sound familiar?

Things get even more intense when Horton is captured by an angry horde of animals, lead by the snooty kangaroo villain, who basically rules the jungle of Noo. The kangaroo gives Horton his options: He can either deny that there are such a thing as little people, and everything goes back to normal, or face the music– with both him and the speck with tiny people on it both getting demolished. Now, I know what some of you might be thinking, “Heck, easy choice; I’d deny it, but wouldn’t really admit that I still believe it, and that way they’ll leave me alone so I can get the speck and its inhabitants up to Mount Nool, so everyone’s happy.” And yet, Horton chooses not to. He chooses, instead, to stand his ground, and risk everything. But why?

If we look at this biblically, I would say it could be very well compared with being persecuted for our faith as believers. Often, though not always, the persecutors will demand of the persecutees that we deny our faith, openly, in front of them– deny Jesus, deny God’s real, deny everything that is truth at its core.

John, one of Jesus’s dearest disciples and friends, writes to us in 1 John 2: 21-24 (NIV): “I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist– denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. As for you, see what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father.”

Ouch.

Suddenly, things get a little more serious. Still life and death, but in a more serious fashion. Even if we denied outwardly, but believed inwardly, we would leave the situation perhaps physically unharmed, but deeply spiritually maimed, mentally tainted, and emotionally scarred– with the knowledge that we outright denied not only the One Who very generously saved us from our ucky sins, but also our very Creator. This is seriously convicting stuff, and even if Horton wasn’t denying his Maker, he’d at least be denying a serious truth outright, which would probably haunt him for the rest of his life (I mean, he IS an elephant, and elephants DO have excellent memories, so it’s not like it’d be easy to forget or anything…).

Even though Horton Hears a Who! is obviously fiction, it proves a very valid point: Truth IS Truth, whether you can physically see it, or not. You can deny it. You can claim that there are many so-called “truths,” based on differing perspectives. But you cannot alter the One Truth, the Real Truth, the Truth that is the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Spirit. You cannot change the fact that Jesus died on the cross (a historically documented FACT), and that His tomb alone, when contrasted with all other religious leaders/founders, was EMPTY, and remains so. You cannot alter the Truth of what God is doing here on Earth, and the fact that we are all characters in a bigger story– FAR bigger than any of us could EVER ask or imagine.

Before I close out, I’ll leave you guys with a final thought (and no, in saying this, I am not referring to cults, terrorists, etc.):

Why, realistically, would anyone be WILLING to die for a LIE?

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29 (NIV)

___________________________

Image Credit: https://drafthouse.com/show/kids-camp-dr.-seuss-horton-hears-a-who

 

 

Letters from Eikon: FREEDOM?

Hey y’all,

Hey, don’t look at me funny. I know, I know, it’s been a while– AGAIN– but in my defense, Livva was too busy with finals to keep on MY bushy lil tail, so here we are. A couple weeks late, as per usual. (Hey, I go late with STYLE. A female Zorua’s gotta have class and sass, y’know what I’m sayin’?)

Anyways, so much has happened since last time I chattered your ears off. Livva was super-duper stressed a couple weeks ago, with school and everything else (and I sometimes still wonder if it keeps haunting her, but hey), but we made good time of it, and she got everything she needed done, I guess.

Oh oh oh and the weekend before we went to the zoo!!! THE FREAKING, FLIPPING ZOO!!! (To which I have never been.) I was kinda sad to see all those poor, unlucky little creatures all caged up instead of roaming free like Yours Truly, but not just anyone can be in my fur, hehehe… Anyways, I was really, really tempted to go and even let some animals loose, including a clouded leopard and even a lion (What? The poor guy looked so BORED, can’t say I’d blame him, with nothing to do all day but lounge around a cage watching ignorant little upstarts making faces at you… It’d get under MY fur, too…), but Livva found out and stopped me last minute. Reminded me of my promise to behave if I came along. To which I very reluctantly sighed and gave in. But hey, at least I got to hit the background tour with her. I got to lick a giraffe’s nose, up close and personal, snuck some of the fish that they were feeding the polar bears (don’t tell Livva, though), and even got to bump noses/paws with the latters (Livva could’ve throttled me by that point. Hehehe…). They’re pretty chill creatures, if ya catch ma drift. 😉

Livva says that even though we’re home now, she doesn’t want to completely STAY at home 24/7, or she’d go mad. I’m in complete agreement; I’d go loony too if I was shut up in an asylum all day long with practically nothing to do, no where to go, nothing to see. So she’s made it her mission that, every once a week, she’s gonna get outta the house to go someplace, and take us with her (thank heavens.).

Anyways, now that we’re back home, Livva says both she and I have no excuse NOT to write. Humph. As if. SHE can write all she wants for her blog thingy on here, for her internship thingy, and even for her study thingy with her adviser, but she is NOT making me do all the dirty work this summer. No sirree, three whole months is just too DANG FREAKING LOOOONNNGGG.

Cue me buttering up to Ginger, Karisse, and even Evvy, asking if they could swap out for me occasionally. They’re all my teammates, my Poke-sisters, after all, couldn’t they help out a sister? But nope, Karisse said I needed to learn how to be responsible, even for a Zorua; I reminded her that she too was once so, but her reply was something stupid like, “Blah, blah… I know, and that’s why I want you to do this… blah, blah…” Made almost no sense whatsoever, but clearly she wasn’t gonna go for it. So I turned to sweet, endearing, naive lil Evvy. Don’t get me wrong, I like Evvy… she’s just too sweet and almost too easy to prank. Plus, she’s even more sensitive than Livva, which is saying something, so I can’t really get away with pranking her unless I want that dam to burst. But, knowing how sweet and upbeat she could be, I politely asked if she could fill in for me. Her answer, “I don’t know… I mean, I really don’t…”

Me: “Whaddya mean, you don’t know?! How can you not know if you can do something?!”

Her: “Well, it’s not that I don’t wanna help… it’s that I CAN’T; I dunno how to write…” *licks front paw nervously, then looks up at me anxiously through one floppy ear*

Me: *sighs and pawpalms* “Well, that’s fine. Just fine. Forget I asked.”

Her: “Sowwee….”

Welp, you can clearly see how THAT turned out. So, instead, I turned to my last resort Poke-sista: Ginger. Ging and I have been known to butt heads on numerous occasions; I like to get down and messy, she’s a Miss Prim, Neat and Proper; Imma tomboy, she’s girly and into fashion and stuff; I’d bite Livva if she’d try to put a ribbon on me, Ging fusses if she’s not “properly” groomed and brushed and “ribbonified”. Good grief, she was the LAST Poke I wanted to ask. But I did, outta desperation. And I was shocked almost outta my fur when she said,

“Good, I knew you’d see reason enough to ask me eventually.”

What the heck’s THAT supposed to mean?! But whatever. I’ve found a sometimes substitute; that’s ALL that matters now. And she can yap about whatever girly, prissy things she wants; I could really care less. Just as long as Livva doesn’t find out, and she doesn’t make ME look bad. But anywhooo…

Sayanara, people!

— Eikon

____________________

Image Credit:

http://generalcirno.deviantart.com/art/Shiny-Zoura-Pixel-Art-188847712

The Incident

The Incident

This is a part of a story idea I’m test-running currently. I’ve decided against actually putting the full story on here– at least, for now– since I want to actually publish it, eventually. BUT I did want to give you guys a taste, just a little teaser of the prologue, before asking what you think of it, if it’s any good or anything. This story is entirely unrelated to my “Junk Collector” series, or my special aforementioned pet series that I will also not be posting on here. It is a part of an entirely different story, a story all of its own– a couple of ideas I’d like to play with. In short, I want to plan a sort of story that is similar to, in some ways, Marissa Meyer’s “Lunar Chronicles,” albeit NOT with fairy tales, but with something else, yet staying true to the truths in that “something else”. My own neat little twist on a classic, and this is only the prologue. Feel free to tell me what you think!

_______________________

“You can do it, can’t you?”

The young boy froze as the man’s equally icy tone came within hearing range. He knelt, further curling into a ball at the base of his father’s desk, hoping to remain hidden. Secret. Safe. Sneaking inside had been no easy feat; he’d nearly been caught one time too many, but he was silent, stealthy as a shadow. All the boys at the academy he went to knew where their fathers worked, were often proud of that fact. His best friend even had a grandfather that was a world-renown researcher. His had been the odd one out. He was lucky his father, who was currently seated at said desk, had not acknowledged his presence; the boy knew one thing, and one thing only: He was not supposed to be here.

The question of why was a complete mystery to him. But, perhaps now…

Shifting ever so slightly, the small boy managed to snag a glimpse of another lab coat clad scientist, back to them, talking with the man. The man with the stone-cold voice. The latter was tall, with a black suit and neatly combed dark brown hair, with coffee eyes that were as dark as his voice, his demeanor.

“It-It’s not that we can’t do it,” the boy heard the scientist say, and with a slight jolt he realized it was someone he knew: Dr. Isaiah Maple. “It’s more of a question of… of ethics, rather than ability or scien–”

“Ethics?” The black-suited man gave out a cold chuckle. “Are you saying you believe we’re paying you for the research on simple-minded ethics? Or do you not realize what’s at stake, here?” The boy heard a soft click, and he knew. He knew that sound, had heard it all too many times at the academy, during practice sessions.

It was the sound of a poke ball being dislodged from a belt.

The black suited man’s fingers encircled an orb half white, half red, about the size of a golf ball, but the boy knew that one click of the singular button in the orb’s center would enlarge it to the size of an orange. Two would release the deadly power it contained inside, enough to seriously harm or even kill. The man’s fingers lightly stroked the orb’s surface. “I am a fairly tolerant man, Dr. Maple, but the one thing I will not, and cannot, under any circumstances, tolerate is insubordination. Surely you were aware of that when you agreed to be a part of this pivotal project?” The man raised an eyebrow, regarding his companion carefully, as if he were a chess opponent, and was waiting for his next move. One click echoed faintly around the room. The boy sat stiller than the statues that adorned the lab. Why doesn’t father do anything? His father, above him, seemed only occupied by his computer monitor in front of him, completely ignoring the nearby scenario.

Dr. Maple gasped, backing slightly away. “I- I meant no disrespect, sir,” he stammered. “I only meant…”

“Can you do it or not?” The man’s cold and calculating voice had suddenly gone more lax, cooler. But it had not lost its dangerous edge. “One simple question that requires one simple answer, doctor.”

The boy saw Dr. Maple suddenly stiffen, as if a rod had been shoved down his narrow back. He couldn’t read the scientist’s face due to his position, but the he appeared more confident suddenly. “It’s not that I can’t do it– that would be the easy way out. It’s more of… I won’t do it. It is one thing to collect samples for research, to do fieldwork and collect information for you. What you’re talking about now is corrupting and mutating that research– literally– to create something else entirely. Something beyond our comprehension, beyond what any man should be allowed to create. You’ve passed the boundaries of ethics and science into an unknown and forbidden realm, and for what? Profit? Or something else?” Dr. Maple’s body quivered as he spoke, and the boy wondered if it was from defiance of orders, or fear– or both. “So, my answer is no. I will collect data, certainly. I will analyze results of that data. But I refuse to corrupt and mutate what is beyond human limitations. It is unnatural, inhuman, and immoral.” He folded his arms firmly across his chest, and the boy saw him wait with baited breath for this intimidating man’s response.

The man’s cold, dark eyes narrowed, appraising him; in one instant, his index finger lowered so rapidly the boy was certain that it would hit the ball’s button faster than he could blink. But then, it stopped. Hovering only slightly less than a millimeter above the button’s surface. Dr. Maple tensed, as if waiting for rebuke, punishment, a beating. The man slowly reattached the poke ball to his belt, beneath his suit coat. “I will give you one last warning, Maple: Do not defy me again, or you will pay the price. Do as you are ordered, and this incident will be conveniently… forgotten.” Then the man smiled, a cruel, casual little smile, like the kind the boy had only seen in his worst nightmares. The kind that suggested you were about to be ripped to pieces, no matter what you did. “That is all, doctor.” The man in the black suit calmly turned and walked out the door.

_____________________________

Image Credit:

http://www.hermanmiller.com/solutions/healthcare/applications/laboratory.html

Over The Moon with”The Lunar Chronicles”

Over The Moon with”The Lunar Chronicles”

 

I’ve been meaning to post on here (eventually) about my newest love for a newer, non-Grisha-Trilogy book series, but haven’t really had the time… until now.

Enter the Lunar Chronicles. Dun dun dun duuuuunnnnn….

For those not in the know, “The Lunar Chronicles” is the series you want to delve into if you like fairy tales, “Once Upon A Time,” “Star Wars,” or just fantasy. Think SW meets the Grimm Brothers a la Terminator.

Now, while the idea of crime-fighting cyborgs GENERALLY doesn’t appeal to someone like yours truly, I will say I made the exception. Just this once, for this FANTASTIC series (besides, it’s portrayed in a manner very similar to extremely handy prosthetics.  I think I’ll live.). Not too long ago, I finished the series with hungry bravado, before finals even started, but unfortunately, have not begun to write said review until afterwards (Because busyness. I apologize profusely.). That being said, the read was worth it. And reviewing it tonight will be worth me forgoing and sacrificing the Taekwondo forms I was going to practice for exercise tonight(because, let’s be honest, I haven’t been practicing consistently for a week… :/ oh well, guess there’s always tomorrow… I have the whole danged week, after all…).

So anyways, enough chit chat; let’s get to the nitty gritty!

Pros/ What was done well:

  1. The Characters and Characterization. I seriously love what Marissa Meyer does here; she basically takes a classic fairy tale, puts her own spin on it, AND still has elements that causes it to remain true to the original stories. And if you look for the character parallels, you WILL find them. (i.e., Aimery Park= Queen’s Mirror; Jacin the royal guard= the huntsman in “Snow White,” etc.) If you look for storyline parallels, they are usually there, in some way, shape or form. But I also love what she did with all the characters. Cinderella= Cinder, the spunky, sassy cyborg mechanic who is (spoiler alert) the long-lost Lunar princess. The Big, Bad Wolf= semi-mutated human-wolf hybrid former soldier who went rogue, for the sake of his love, who happens to be Little Red’s counterpart. Rapunzel= expert and extra adorable hacker shell girl who has spent too much time in her satellite hovering around Earth, and little actual time in the real world. Her crush, Thorne, literally pilots a ship called the Rampion (another name for the plant called, “rapunzel”.). Snow White= an extremely kind princess, who is kind to the point that it literally costs her her sanity. Literally. In fact, the last one reminds me a LOT of Luna Lovegood, in a good, charming way. 🙂rampioncrew
  2. The SHIPS. Oh GOSH. THE FREAKING, FLIPPING SHIPS. Sooooooo many freaking ships, and while ordinarily this would bother me, Meyer pulls it off pretty well. They don’t obstruct the plot all that much; they contribute to it. Almost everyone is paired with SOMEONE suited for them and their story/situation, and none of the ships bother me (unless you count the possibly shipping Sir Hayle with Levana in Fairest. 😛 ). My fave ship is probably Kainder (Prince Kai + Cinder); they’re both royalties with the weight of nations upon their shoulders– I love it how they can connect and easily relate to each other, how Cinder doesn’t have to manipulate him to get him to like her, like some Lunars would. It’s adorable, almost as adorable as Cress. cress1
  3. I find the amount of “Star Wars” references almost… disturbing. Disturbingly GOOD, that is. Meyer herself admitted that Thorne and his beloved ship are (obviously) based off of Han Solo and the Millenium Falcon, Iko is kind of inspired by R2-D2, plus, we have some intergalatic political matters, and glamours (her own version of a “Jedi Mind Trick”) underway. So instead of “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for,” it becomes, “these aren’t the wanted criminals who are trying to take down the Lunar Queen that you’re looking for”. Add a touch of Panem fashion to some of the aristocratic Lunars’ fashion statements, and BAM! Brilliance. (OK, OK, I’m geek-biased… sue me. LOL)
  4. The sympathy for Levana does NOT ECLIPSE HER VILLAINY!!! First off, BRAVO. This is a very, very difficult thing to pull off, even for talented authors. I cannot honestly express this enough: give a little too much in the “sympathy” department, and people are going to feel sorry for them to the point of perhaps even defending the villain’s cruel actions, which you do not want. On the other hand, a boring, “mwa-ha-ha” villain often dulls the plot; complexity adds interest. Meyer does this pretty well; Levana is given something of a sympathetic backstory, having neglectful parents who were assassinated when she was young, along with an abusive older sister. BUT she chooses, from then on out, to make bad choices, purposely– and, with each bad choice, transforms her into a crueler person. From murdering her beloved so she could form a political alliance, to trying to kill her own niece to keep her throne, Levana has a beautiful glamour, and is vicious, with the right amount of an interesting story to keep the pages turning. I rarely hear voices of sympathy or defense of her actions from fans, it’s done so well. You, Ms. Meyer, get the medal of the evening. *applause*levana
  5. Research. Meyer obviously did extensive research on certain things in her books, whether it was mechanics, survival-based, etc. Not every author does this, and does it well; some people make stuff up without really looking into anything. But yeah, it goes to show you, a lot of research really pays off in the end.

Cons/ What could have been done better:

Honestly, not a whole lot, so I’m not even really going to make a list on this one. There were maybe one or two minor things in the storyline that either bothered me a tiny bit, or weren’t super believable. One such thing, for instance, was Winter and Scarlet winning the mutant soldiers to their side so quickly. I get that they were on a time crunch, Meyer was on a time crunch/deadline, but it felt slightly rushed at the least. At least give it more time to develop, like Wolf and Scarlet’s relationship, which started to blossom after at least several days, not just a few hours. I also never really got why the whole “Peony chip” thing held so much significance, since it was just tossed away in the Benoit field later and kind of forgotten. (I mean, I got WHY they showed what Peony meant to Cinder, and the fact of what the chips were being used for, but since both are so important, I would assume it wouldn’t be tossed aside so meaninglessly like that, without much thought afterwards.)

Overall, my rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars. I’m a tough rater, so kudos to whoever makes it to 4+ stars. 🙂 These books and series are usually ones that have earned it, and “The Lunar Chronicles definitely has.

___________________________

Image Credits:

http://maybeicantbesaved.tumblr.com/Books