Friday, May 31, 2013

Dream Interpretation: Dolphins and Easter Egg Hunts

I ate Papa John's pizza last night. It's nothing out of the ordinary that would make me dream of such things like dolphins and Easter egg hunts especially together in one night. But that's what I dreamt about.

For the Easter egg hunt, it wasn't me formally looking with a basket. The eggs just popped up and then I opened a closet and there were three Easter baskets filled with fake grass, plastic eggs and candy. When looking up the meaning it says that seeing bright colored eggs symbolizes a happy event.


The past two months have been rough. Not full of that many happy events. But I feel like June is the month that it will turn around. Better things on the horizon. I believe I will find true joy in June.

The same website also says to dream of an egg hunt signified relaxation and positive life events. More good news! I will soon find the happiness I'm seeking. Huge sigh of relief.

The second part of my dream I'm getting ready to eat a ham sandwich and I lose my sandwich in the lake as well as my shoes. I jump in to swim after both and midway to the other side I see dolphins. They are friendly and passing through. I keep swimming make it to the other side and recover both my sandwich (so odd) and shoes. As I get back in the water to swim back, a dolphin comes up beside me so I can "get a ride."

Dolphins symbolize spiritual guidance, intellect and emotional trust. "The dream is usually an inspirational one, encouraging you to utilize your mind to its capacity and move upward in life. Alternatively, it suggests that a line of communication has been established between the conscious and subconscious aspects of yourself. Dolphins represent your willingness and ability to explore and navigate through your emotions. To dream that you are riding a dolphin represents your optimism and social altruism."

So two strongly positive, odd dreams blended together to give me one positive subconscious message. I will take it. Even if dreams mean nothing, which I don't think is true, it still is my subconscious. And it's refreshing that in the midst of chaos that inside I know that it is only temporary. Sometimes whether it's kooky dreams or fortune tellers or horoscopes, sometimes having a sign, a message from the universe tell you that you have something big to look forward to is the only hope you need.

So maybe April and May weren't the best. They weren't the worst either. But June - June, I embrace you.

50/50 Challenge: Movie #31

Movie #31 - Now You See Me

I'm seeing a whopping 4 new movies next week! So excited! At this rate, I'll get to 100 by the end of the year.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

50/50 Challenge Update

Traveling by plane is the best time to read. Usually, I alternate between reading and napping and then the flight goes by much more quickly. On a recent trip back home from a wedding of a college friend, I finished reading "Defending Jacob." The story is about a teenage boy who has been charged for murder and his assistant district attorney father who believes in his innocence. It's complicated and filled with a lot of holes in my opinion, but maybe that's on purpose. Near the end of the story there a few twists that were a bit predictable, but it was an intense novel nonetheless. I was disappointed in the ending because it didn't seem to get wrapped up. There was a lot going on and a lot of loose ends.

Also, since my last challenge update I've seen quite a few movies I nearly forgot to count for the challenge! Earlier this month I went to an "Iron Man" marathon. They showed all three of the series plus "The Avengers." I had never seen "Iron Man 2" and enjoyed them all but think the first is still my favorite. During this marathon, some lady behind me kept kicking my chair. The worst.

Then came "The Great Gatsby" which is Baz Luhrmann's over-the-top, fantastical, beautifully made version of the Fitzgerald classic. Soundtracked by Jay-Z (amazing!) and given gorgeous costumes, it was a pop culture dream come true to watch this film. I like the theatrics of it all and it definitely made me want to go back and reread the novel.

I saw "The Iceman" on one of the hottest days of the year in a theatre that didn't have air conditioning so a pleasant experience it really wasn't. Ironically, the movie is based on a true story about a killer who sets some of his victims on ice. It's a little slow moving, but an interesting bit of history.

I watched "Star Trek" (J.J. Abrams version) four days before seeing "Star Trek Into Darkness" which I actually really ended up liking. I'm not a Trekkie or anything, but I get it. It's entertaining. The characters are interesting. That's a big step for me, since Sci-Fi especially Star Trek isn't really my thing.

"The Hangover Part III" and "The Fast & Furious 6" were two movies I was looking forward to seeing this summer and both of which I have review scheduled for publication tomorrow morning. I LOVE "The Fast and Furious" franchise. I don't care how ridiculous it is. I love them.

The movie scene is finally starting to pick up the pace after a very dismal start in 2013. This summer is full of must sees.

I think getting to my movie goal will be no problem, and I keep slowly inching away at those books. Nearly halfway through the year, I still have some time left!

Book #12: Defending Jacob by William Landay

Movie #23: Iron Man 2
Movie #24: Iron Man 3
Movie #25: The Great Gatsby
Movie #26: The Iceman
Movie #27: Star Trek
Movie #28: Star Trek Into Darkness
Movie #29: The Hangover Part III
Movie #30: The Fast & Furious 6

Saturday, May 11, 2013

50/50 Challenge: #11 - Traveling with Pomegranates

Traveling with Pomegranates is a mother/daughter traveling memoir by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor. One of my favorites parts about this book is that it talks a lot about Greece. Greece is number one on my list of places to travel and to read descriptions of different places and hear about other's experiences made me want to visit even more.

The book itself takes a lot of different turns and goes down a lot of different paths: family, depression, marriage, travel. It's hard to really find a cohesive part to the story. It is heartfelt and introspective but just as it starts to delve into the personal details, it pulls back. There are a lot of questions of why but it's probably because it is so personal that at times we see only the surface of things.

Sue Monk Kidd is probably most famous for The Secret Life of Bees which I need to go back and read. Getting ready to travel next weekend which is the perfect time to get some reading done. Book 11 is done and I still have a chance to reach that goal.

Book #11: Traveling with Pomegranates

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Returning to Learning

When I was in third grade, I remember writing poems about horses. I also wrote stories about ghosts and kids being haunted. That's a subject that still fascinates me to this day. In fourth or fifth grade, I remember writing a short story very similar to that of "The Baby-Sitters Club." A teacher of mine laminated that story for me and turned it into an actual book. It was complete with mostly copied ideas from books I had read and really awful drawings.

Also, in fifth grade, my parents divorced. A close friend of our family's gave me a journal. I had had a diary previously, one with a lock and entries that actually began "Dear Diary." But a journal felt different. I wrote in the journal nearly every day and I kept a journal every year after up until only a few years ago. Looking back on the journals, I feel like I was going through a really rough time. Not so much just due to my parents' divorce, but also due to the fact that teenage years and my early 20s were kind of a rocky time. It can be for anyone.

Someone told me I should keep the journals, but most of them are filled with fluff. What boy did I have a crush on last week? Would I win the spelling bee? And then later, What was I going to do with my life? And still, more about boys. I threw most of those journals away. I did keep a few, but the rest weren't worth saving. I can't imagine them ever being read in the future and shedding any light into the kind of person I was or the kind of lessons other people could learn from. I was just a kid. I just liked to write.

In college, I continued writing and pursued a Creative Writing degree. This was after I started in Journalism; after switching briefly to Pre-Law, and then finally accepting that if Creative Writing was an option, then it was a choice meant for me. I studied poetry, British authors, American authors, how to write a short story, how to write an essay. Those classes were some of the best times of my life. Maybe except the Brit Lit section. Man, can those writers drone on! But I had a very clear focus. Most of my writing classes required only a writing portfolio as an end project. There was no mid-term or final test. Your writing was to determine your grade worth.

In all the classes I took, I never thought to take a screenwriting class. I never wanted to be a screenwriter. I still don't. I still want to be a novelist, but lately, I thought it wouldn't hurt to understand the crafting a screenplay. It wouldn't hurt to continue learning. Taking a class would be expensive, so the first step into my "returning to learning" is to check out books from the library. These books are entitled: "Screenwriting for Dummies" and "The Idiot's Guide to Screenwriting." Couldn't hurt, right?

Oh, and I have verbally signed on to join a team of creatives for a film festival this summer. It's called the 48-Hour Film Festival, which means that yes, we have 48 hours in which to write and produce a short film. I am the writer. Every writer says that you are supposed to take out time each day to just write. I write every day, but it hasn't been for a bigger project for a long time. But I can feel my creativity being ignited and that need to write for me is something which has never left.

If I'm going to be a novelist, it'd help if I actually wrote a novel. If I'm going to learn how to be a screenwriter, it'd help to start at the basics. It's pretty exciting being a writer. You can start and stop whenever you want. Today, what you write might be truly awful, but tomorrow, you always get the chance to edit it.

50/50 Challenge: I Made Double Digits!

Finally, I reached 10 books! I only have 40 left for the rest of the year to reach the goal, which seems like a daunting task but not altogether impossible. For my 10th book of the challenge, I read the latest from one of my favorite authors - Jodi Picoult. The first book I ever read by her was "Nineteen Minutes" a book about a school shooting and I cried and cried and cried.

If you've never read any of Picoult's book, she is a writer who tells a story from different perspectives. Her stories are usually based around one key, heavy issue. I've liked some books more than others and unfortunately, with her last two books both the one I just read - "The Storyteller" and before that "Lone Wolf" - well, let me just say, they weren't my favorites. It pains me to say that because I adore her writing! I've seen her speak three times now and I think she is great, but maybe just the topics of the last two weren't my cup of tea?

"The Storyteller" is the story of a reclusive woman is a baker and her story is interwoven with an old man who asks her to assist in his death. Of course, it is more complicated than my very simplistic synopsis, but I felt the story was a bit hard to follow because also included a fictional tale (fiction within fiction) that I had trouble going back and forth between voices.

However, Jodi Picoult still remains one of my favorite writers and I will read every book she plans to publish. Which according to her is once about every nine months. That is a gift! To be able to produce well though out, well-written novels year after year is truly remarkable. Newbies to her work, I recommend "Nineteen Minutes" and "Perfect Match."

I have several books lined up for summer. It is going to be one of very heavy reading.

Book #10: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult