When you live and grew up in Charlotte, NC

A few days ago, I did talk about what about it means to grew up to mean about North Carolina. Now, that it me actually talk about the city I actually grew up and still currently grew up with in- it is Charlotte. When I grew up in Charlotte:

  1. Strange weather- well, it can rain in one area while being dry in another, etc. Just in North Carolina, the weather does not seem to corporate with the seasons
  2. You have to rely on Blumenthal Performing Arts- there are multiple Blumenthal Theaters. I have been to Belk Theater and Ovens Auditorium.
  3. Well, Blumenthal is not the only place to see a show- it can be the Children’s Theatre, Central Piedmont Community College (whose shows feel more than community college productions)…..among some others. I know this because I saw musicals at CPCC and Children’s Theatre, and heard about the others.
  4. There are independent bookstores
  5. There are independent coffee shops
  6. There are close-by mountains and beaches
  7. There are close by places to visit- Asheville, Blowing Rock, Hendersonville…..
  8. You can go to malls
  9. You can even go to the movies
  10. If you love sports, you can watch a Panther’s Game or Knight’s Game
  11. You can just spend time at the library
  12. We are known as The Queen’s City

What about you, what do know about your city?

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Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter- Friends

I did once mention that those who love Harry Potter will also love the Lord of the Rings series. Both have a number of parallels. One of the many parallels comes from Frodo and Harry Potter’s best friends. What is in common between Sam, Ron, and Hermione?

Spoilers:

Okay- would Frodo have made it to Mordor without Sam? In addition, would Harry have defeated Voldemort without Ron and Hermione? Here’s what I think- I do not think that would be possible. In both cases- they had to depend on their best friends. Frodo had to destroy that one ring and Harry had to destroy the horcruxes in order to destroy the dark lords.

Here was the challenge with the ring and the horcruxes. The ring can easily corrupt and weaken the ringbearer. The horcrux can easily corrupt as well-the other challenge is where to even find them and figuring out how to destroy them. There are multiple horcruxes to destroy.

Both Harry and Frodo wanted to do this challenge alone, but Sam, Ron, and Hermione would not allow it. They knew there was no way Frodo and Harry would not easily do it alone. Throughout the Harry Potter series, Ron and Hermione stayed loyal to Harry- they were with him every step of the way. Harry, Ron, and Hermione had to do more than just destroy the horcruxes- sometimes it meant going down the trap door or going into the Chamber of Secrets to destroy the monster snake or when Umbridge wasn’t going to teach them Defense the Dark Arts do it instead- so when something happens, they were always there. Their hardest task though was destroying the horcruxes.

Frodo really did not want Sam to be with him after Fellowship of the Ring. He wanted to continue on the Quest alone. Sam would not allow it. Sam was with Frodo every step of the way.

Disney Writing Tag

Well, a day ago Chelsea R. H. did the Disney Writing Tag. Well, I love both Disney and Writing. Let’s see what I can come up with.

1. ALADDIN — Poof! A genie appears and is willing to grant you ONE wish to fix your current WIP. What do you wish for?  Hmmmm. So much, So much. Maybe fix big picture problems- then all I would left to do is grammar. 

2. LION KING — If you had to retell a Shakespearean play using animals as the main characters, which play would you choose and which animals? I do not know which play. I do know what animals, and they are The Fairy Frogs. Fairy Frogs are naturally gifted in the arts. So, the performers would be on stage. There are those naturally gifted in carpentry, etc… So, they literally can put together an entire production. 

3. POCAHONTAS — Have you ever pulled inspiration for a story from history, and what was it? No, I have not. 

4. SNOW WHITE — What was the very first story you ever wrote?  I do not think so. The first stories I even brought up are those I said to my parents. I never even wrote those down. 

5. MULAN — Who is the strongest character you’ve ever written and what made them strong? My strongest character out of the 13 I have created? I believe it might be Marge. She is only 12 years old, and the younger cousin of Sarge. She once felt like an outsider and did feel misunderstood all because she was related to Sarge. Marge is Sarge’s easiest target because her father is loving unlike his father, who is unloving and abusive. She was about 8.5 when Sarge started mistreating her. Despite the pain he left her, Marge eventually stood up to Sarge. She was truly the only toad, who knew just how awful Graysloup was. She knew just how lonely and broken all of the toads were- that was caused by how Sarge treated them. All she wanted was for someone to show her compassion and to have a friend. That was why she was glad Sparkle entered her life. Throughout the book, you see her standing up to her cousin- even though each time, he would still mistreat her. 

6. STAR WARS — If you had to live in one of the worlds or setting you’ve created, which would it be and why? That’s easy. I only created one world, which is The Cattail Forest. Found within The Cattail Forest is Fairy Creek and Graysloup. Of those two setting, it would be Fairy Creek I would love to visit. It is where the Fairy Frogs live. and that is where the strongest culture is. Fairy Creek has amazing weather, and you can clearly see just how gifted they are in the arts (from the painted pebbles to the Gazebo to the treehouses to the bridges, etc). Graysloup is not that appealing- so why would I want to go there? So, Fairy Creek it is. 

7. ANTHEMS — Which Disney song(s) would you put on your writing playlist? This is always a tough answer. 

8. RETELLINGS — Which fairytale movie would you want to retell? I honestly have no idea. I have two more story ideas, and both of them are not retellings. 

9. FROZEN — Which character that you’ve written is Most Likely to be misunderstood or incorrectly interpreted as a villain? I actually have two for this one, and they are related. Prior to the events in the book and for part of the book, Marge was misunderstood. That was only because she was related to Sarge. Many of the toads thought she was literally just like him, but in reality- not true. Sarge is the one most likely to be seen as villain- but he really isn’t. He is confused, conflicted, jealous (in particular to Marge), and angry about his past. He is still quite bitter about what happened- he does not want to reveal the truth of his past. All because of how his father treated him, he ended up putting his pain on others. He isn’t exactly a villain.   

10. MOANA — If you had to go on an epic journey with ONE of your characters, and the two of you were tasked with saving the world, who would you choose and why? One of my characters? Boy- my main character, Sparkle, is adventurous. No matter who I pick, most likely they will go on this epic journey with at least one or more of the Fairy Frogs or Toads. Still, “Tale of the Cattail Forest”, has the main theme of friendship. Darcy and Felipe are best friends- they wouldn’t want to be apart- nor would Sparkle and Misty. If this epic journey happens to Sparkle, Misty, or Marge- it would have to happen when they are older- they are only 12. Still- they will take others with them. 

11. PINOCCHIO — What’s the most common lie you tell people about your stories or writing? I do not know if I told a lie about my stories or not. Well, now that I think of it- I once told people that my 2nd WIP will be Greatest Discovery, but that will change. Now my 2nd WIP has changed to Lizzy the Lizard. 

12. SIDEKICKS — Who is your favorite minor character you’ve written that you wish you could give their own full story to? I think my favorite minor character is Tweetsie, a five year old. She is the most energetic. She is still trying to figure out her Fairy Frog craft. She may mostly show her energetic side, but she does have a brave side as well. Her energetic nature can drive my main character nuts at times. Actually, part of the personality of a Fairy Frog does connect to their craft- which does explain why she is so energetic- of course, she is that way due to her age and (SPOILER): she does learn she is a performer. However, Tweetsie only only shows her bravery when it is needed the most. Like all Fairy Frogs, she is compassionate and clever. 

My Love for Romanticism

It already is an known fact that I love the classics. When I mean classics, I tend to think of those from the romantic time period and before. Those authors include Charles Dickens, Victor Hugo, Miguel De Cervantes, and Homer. My love for the classics strongly comes from Romanticism. What I love about about that style of writing?

For starters, Romanticism focuses on the fact that humans are flawed. So, these authors create characters who have flaws. That would mean that the characters have a lot of believability- this is an important fact. It does focus on this question: “what happens if people believe you can be perfect”. So, it shows that if you take things too far on this idea of being perfect-then it can lead to major problems in the end. The flawed characters feel a lot more real- that is a major reason why I love romanticism.

This is a 2nd reason- what are we driven by: reason or emotion? Romantic authors and thinkers feel like we are driven more by emotion. Even the characters show that, but not all of them. Yes, reason and emotion are connected. There is some emotion factor in reason. Romantic authors try to prove that “reason can lead to perfectionism”- is a flawed idea: if we take this idea too far, it can be too extreme that it can lead to your ultimate demise.

So back to, driven by emotion. I love it when books have emotion in it. That is what romantic books have. Characters are driven by emotion-they are not driven by reason- I love character-driven books so I would them to express their emotions- you are more likely to become attached to them. I do have this creative mind and have always believed that we are driven by emotion. I do love the arts and has a wild imagination- those two have an emotional nature.

Musical Theatre is known for being emotional- there is such a wide range- there are five core emotions (excitement, joy, love, sad, and heartbreak), and the rest sprout from those. Characters that are driven by emotion rather than reason are able to thrive no matter how difficult their life is- some of them do live a tragic life, but still are strong. There is a reason why I tend to love the more emotional musicals (when I mean emotional, it can mean they have at least sad or heartbreaking song): shows like Les Mis, Wicked, Newsies, Lion King, and Phantom of the Opera are more real.

How I Feel about Sarge

Here’s the thing. Followers who have been with me feel like I should have been disliking Sarge. I know he mistreats and bullies the Fairy Frogs and Toads. I know his easiest target is Marge, his younger cousin. Sarge is only 17 and Marge is 12. I know I should really dislike him for his actions. However, I can’t help but feel bad for him even though I do not like a lot of his actions. He does call these characters names, shove some of them in the mud, throw rocks, etc… as in being a bully. However, I can’t fully dislike him for his action. I do not want him to suffer any more.

He had to get mistreated once his mother left him. For some reason, his father was a monster. His father started out abusing from words alone and later the abuse got more physical- it got physical to the point where Sarge ended up with permanent scars. Sarge could not even rely on his loving uncle: his uncle only wanted to protect Marge. If his uncle could have found a way to protect both Marge and Sarge, things would have been better. It is complicated: their two fathers were raised by loving parents and were raised the same way: so why was Sarge’s father this monster? At age 13, Sarge’s father left him. Growing up, before his father left him, Sarge only found one comfort, which was found in “The Bog”- that was the only place in Graysloup his father never knew existed.

To Sarge, Marge was his easiest target, but the same time he still mistreated the toads and eventually the Fairy Frogs. I just want things to be better for him-I know it sounds crazy-I know I should have hated him- but I feel worse for him than disliking him. That is what tends to happen when your are the author.

Sarge was only lost, alone, and confused. He was unloved, neglected, and abused. He was conflicted. He did not know how to show love or how to deal with the anger he felt. It all had to do with a past he did not deserve. It all led him to the bully he was in my book. He still has nightmares about his past. He defiantly was not a villain- he was only an antagonist- his father was defiantly someone I would hate and fit a profile of a villain.

Look- Marge felt like an outsider all because of Sarge’s actions on her and because she was related to him. She started being abused by him when she was about 8 or 9: that young. She still felt love from her father, but she, at times, felt misunderstood. I cannot believe she was misunderstood at times just because she is related to Sarge. She still was able to stand up to Sarge starting at a young age. In my book, she has this incredible amount of wisdom and is an inspiration. She just wanted compassion and friend: she got that from Sparkle, my main character. Marge is one of the major characters of my book.

My Love for Mythology

I don’t know when it started, but I have loved mythology for a long time. I feel like I loved the genre since elementary school. I don’t know why I love it. I think it is a combo of the Gods/Goddesses, the quests, and the beasts and creatures the characters that exist. I remember loving the Percy Jackson series in middle school. One of my favorite units in tenth grade in literature was our mythology unit- two of the works we studied were Illiad and Odyssey. Obviously, it was not the full works of both- but I still fell in love with both of them.

Now, I am about to read the FULL works of Illiad and Odyssey. I actually own the unabridged copies of BOTH copies.

Ever since the Tonys, I have been fascinated by Hadestown, which is a tragic MYTH. I never knew that myths could be tragic. I knew musicals could be tragic, but myths. I became fascinated by Hadestown all because it was a myth. A couple days ago, I heard incredible news= the musical is going on tour in Fall 2020. I know I mainly can see musicals on tour through Blumenthal Performing Arts. I know Hadestown will NOT be part of Blumenthal’s 2019-2020 season- that season is already set, which is one of its strongest. I do know that the musical will not skip Charlotte when it goes on tour- just not in 2020.

What to Say to my “Tale of The Cattail Forest” Characters

As you have noticed, my Fairy Frogs book I have been writing now has a working title. That title is called “Tale of the Cattail Forest”. I called it that because Graysloup and Fairy Creek are located in The Cattail Forest. My book is also a children’s fantasy. I decided to write a post that has me talking to all 13 characters in my book.

Sparkle

  • As the main character of the book, I loved getting to know you. I loved how you went above and beyond with your compassion. Yes, befriending Marge was against the rules. However, I am glad you did what you did. It was needed- not just on Marge, but on all of Graysloup. I loved exploring your flaws and strengths. You were easy to get to know, and I think that was because you were the main character.

Sarge

  • I cannot believe you had to go through all the abuse you had to go through (from age 4-13). I wish things would have better. I know you feel like no one would understand. I know you feel like you are alone. However, you are not alone, and others will understand. There are other ways to deal with the pain, anger, jealously, and confusion you are feeling. You don’t have to put your pain on others to deal with this. I still wish things were better.

Marge

  • I do admire you in so many ways. I love how you stand up to your cousin. You may be his easiest target, but you still stand up to him no matter what. Because of how he treated you, you did feel like an outsider. I can’t imagine the kind of pain he put on you. No wonder, you feel like you needed someone to show you compassion and that you needed a friend. No one else would until Sparkle entered your life. I love your incredible wisdom, and I think that comes from how Sarge, your older cousin, treated you. You saw the truth about Graysloup, and you knew that all the toads needed help. I love that you and Sparkle both came up with the decision for all the Fairy Frogs to befriend the toads- it came a long way.

Misty

  • The thing I love the most about you is your protective nature. That truly shows through your relationship with Sparkle. You don’t want her to get in trouble. She is your best friend, who did help you through a rough time when you were younger. You sometimes have to not report to Aries in order to keep Sparkle safe or not tell the truth.

Norg

  • You are one of the most interesting characters in my book. I believe you are the only one, besides Sarge, who knows of Sarge’s backstory. You are aware of who his father is. The only thing you are clueless about is how angry and abusive Sarge can get. I do love how you develop through the course of the story.

Aries

  • You are so many things in my book- leader of the Fairy Frogs, head carpenter, and an uncle. Whose uncle? You are Darcy’s uncle. You are a confident leader who sometimes can be doubtful. That is when you have to rely on your nephew. You want to protect all of the Fairy Frogs. I wish you knew from the beginning the truth about the toads. That would have helped things a good deal.

Darcy

  • What is fascinating about you and Felipe is how similar you too are, but at the same time so different. I think that is why the two of you became best friends in the first place. I think it is interesting to me that Felipe let’s you use some of his same woodcarving pieces into your sculptures. To me, it shows your guys’ best friendship in so many ways. I do love how you help out your uncle out at times.

Felipe

  • Like I said with Darcy, you too are so similar, but so different. It is hard for me to see a time where you too are separate from each other. When working on your crafts, you guys are always together.

Claude

  • You are one of those toads that did not let Sarge’s mistreatment make you turn into someone like him. You may appear to be rude and disrespectful, but it is not in your heart to do use. You never wanted to act like that. You are not at all like Sarge- you were never affected by his actions. In a way you were, but it never affected what is really in your heart.

Celeste

  • As a younger Fairy Frog, I loved getting to know you. You are at a very exciting time in your life. You are at the beginning of experimenting and getting to know your craft at a much deeper level. I know all you can make are pots. It still is an excited period of your life.

Tweetsie

  • The key characteristic found in you is energetic. That is what several characters, especially Sparkle, think you are. They don’t think there is more to you. At the same time, you are still trying to figure out where your craft is. One of the other Fairy Frogs can relate to this- Misty can- she didn’t find it until she was close to six years old. Look, Tweetsie- you are both energetic and brave.

Effa/Rudy

  • I could have separated the two of you. However, there was no way to. You two are what I would call “peas in a pod”. You two are identical twins, and make sure Sarge does not clear up Graysloup when it starts to brighten up.