My 2 Cents… Unicorn Store

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

unicornTitle: Unicorn Store (2017) 
Director: Brie Larson
Writers: Samantha McIntyre
Stars: Brie Larson (Kit), Samuel L. Jackson (The Salesman), Joan Cusack (Gladys), Bradley Whitford (Gene), and Mamoudou Athie (Virgil)
Genre(s): Comedy/Drama

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★
Cinematography: ★★★
Story: ★★
Acting: ★★★★
Overall: ★★ (2.75)

STORYLINE:
A woman named Kit receives a mysterious invitation that would fulfill her childhood dreams.

MY 2 CENTS:
It will pass the time. This movie is more about the message than it is the acting or the script.

Let’s start with the cast. The lineup is pretty amazing. I mean, come on… you’ve got Brie Larson (AKA Captain Marvel) playing the lead – and, oh by the way, she directed the film too, ‘A List’ actor Samuel L. Jackson as the strange yet inspirational Salesman, Joan Cusack as Gladys, Kit’s quirky emotional mom, and Bradley Whitford as Gene, Kit’s caring and insightful father. The cast was great, so I expected the film to be great too. That is where I made my mistake.

I knew nothing about this film when I decided to watch it. I was Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson on the Netflix poster and said, “Yeah ok. I’ll give this a try.”

The idea of a store called “The Store” in the movie, or “Unicorn Store” in the title of the film, being able to fulfill your childhood dreams is somewhat intriguing. But then again, what were your childhood dreams? I mean really think back to when you were a little kid and what was the one thing you wanted more than anything?

The lead character, Kit, wanted to have a pet unicorn. Oddly enough, she carried that childhood dream into her adult life. When I was a kid, I’m sure I wanted a pony at some point or another, but more than anything I think I wanted a chauffeur driven limousine. Do I still want a pony? Probably not. Do I still want a chauffeur driven limousine? Sure, but not enough to follow a mysterious invitation into what appears to be an abandoned building to see if my dreams could be realized.

As I’ve gotten older, my dreams (or rather my goals) have changed. In most cases, I would think this is true for just about everyone. I think it would be hard to find someone with the same goals and dreams they had as a child well into their 30s, 40s, or even 50s and beyond. So, for me, this film lost its reality when we find a 20+ or 30+ struggling artist who still have a very powerful dream of one day owning a pet unicorn.

Don’t get me wrong, I know this movie isn’t just about the pet unicorn or struggle to obtain a unicorn. It’s a metaphor. Behind the weird script lies a message is about belief, I not only yourself but others. It is full of childlike love, ambition, wonder, and even fear. Think of it as a mid-life crisis… a coming of age story about a woman in her late 20s/early 30s struggling to find herself, her purpose, and most importantly her place in life.

This movie is not for everyone, and I don’t really think I am part of the target audience. With that said, I’m sure there is an audience perfectly in tuned to its unique sense of quirkiness.

If you’ve seen this film, please comment below and let me know what you thought. If you haven’t and are daring, I’d love it if you’d watch it and then come back to share your thoughts with me and my readers.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
“The most adult thing you can do is failing in what you really care about.” ~ Gladys

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/DTwewG2zwQ4

You can watch the official trailer here:

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One Two See by Bob Lee

Would you prefer to watch the video, instead of reading the review? CLICK HERE

123TITLE: One Two See
AUTHOR: Bob Lee

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★
Story: ★★★★
Characters: ★★★★
Appearance: ★★
Overall: ★★★ (3)

GOODREADS DESCRIPTION:
Counting enables Andrew Strong to see the future. He has to be careful though as changing the future can get people killed. He decides to ask a psychiatrist for help but has to save his life first and convince him that his abilities are real. Even with help, it’s hard to stop a kidnapping and break up a Miami Street gang while you’re falling in love.

Buy the book HERE!

WRITING (★★): I love reading. I love supporting self-published authors. I love a captivating story that draws me in… or at least a story that intrigues me. This one did that, which is why I was able to overlook the obvious lack of editing. However, because it was so obvious, I couldn’t give the writing anything higher than a 2-star rating.

I double checked the copyright page, wanting to make sure I was correct, and no editor was listed. It’s sad, because so many readers will put a book down faster than they pick them up, if there are too many editing issues in the first chapter. This story, as you will read next, was very interesting, but the constant grammar issues and incorrectly used words was very distracting.

Just a couple of examples would be the use of the words coarse and cloths

  • Instead of saying ‘of course’ the author used ‘of coarse’ throughout the book. This happened several times, to the point that I began counting and then lost count. Sure, the two words are pronounced the same, but they have different meanings. Coarse is always an adjective meaning “rough or crude” and is often used to describe the texture of something like a material. “This shirt is so coarse, it makes my skin itch.” Course, on the other hand, can be used in several different ways, the most commonly used, of course, is ‘of course.” However, it also can be used as ‘a route, direction, or path’ that something is going. “The trail’s course was steep and winding.” It can be a series of lessons, such as those learned in school. “I’m taking a debate course and learning all about public speaking.”
  • Cloth, which refers to fabric or material was used in the plural ‘cloths’ throughout the book in place of the word ‘clothes.’ This word wasn’t used nearly as often as ‘coarse’, but it was enough that I remembered it.

These are simple mistakes that could have been fixed by the use of an editor. As a self-published author, I know the importance of utilizing beta readers and a professional – PAID – editor before publication. I’m an author, my passion is in the written word… telling my story… and seeing where my characters take me. I am not an editor, which I’m sure if you’ve read enough of my blog posts you can tell. However, that is why all of my books go through extensive rounds of beta-reader edits as well as multiple rounds of professional editing.

My suggestion to Mr. Lee would be, “get this book professionally edited then, republish with a new cover.”

STORY (★★★★): I probably would not have picked this book up if I saw it in the bookstore. The fact that it isn’t available in bookstores, or anywhere I could find online, would make it hard to pick up anyway. However, if I did see it, I can say, I wouldn’t have bought it. The cover alone turned me off, but I’ll get to that later.

The first grammar error I noticed was on the back cover, not a great sign. However, a friend loaned me the book and said she really enjoyed it. She knew the author and wanted to know if I wanted to read it. Since I love reading, I said sure. I pushed aside the grammatical issues and just focused on the storyline. I won’t lie, it’s intriguing. The author is able to weave together a number of small plots very well. He brings characters together at just the right moments and ties them into the main story in a pretty seamless way. Once I got into the story, I was invested in knowing where it was going and what would happen next. Andrew’s ability to count things and see the future was exciting and somewhat daunting at the same time.

There were times when the story seemed to drag on, giving a bit too much exposition. However, in the end, it all tied together and as a reader I was thankful for all the extra scenes he plugged in throughout the book that didn’t seem to be necessary at the time I read them. I know, that may seem a bit cryptic, but I really don’t want to give to much away. I think, for the story alone, this book is worth reading. You just have to be prepared to ignore the grammar.

CHARACTERS (★★★★): Lee brings together two very unlikely characters and turns them into fast friends. That part didn’t bother me. I could envision Andrew and Leo as friends. The character development and back story of both Andrew and Leo was well written, although Bob Lee often used dialogue to tell the reader, instead of descriptive language to show the reader what he wanted us to know.

I felt that the book was a bit to dialogue heavy at times and Lee doesn’t always tell you who is talking, so there were times when I lost track and wasn’t sure who said what.

With all that in mind, I have to say he did a wonderful job of fleshing out the character of Andrew Strong. He is a fully developed character with a complete back-story and a consistent attitude throughout the book. There isn’t much growth for any of the characters, but there is conflict throughout and obstacles that they all have to find their way through.

APPEARANCE (★★): There are two titles for this book ‘1-2-See’ and ‘One Two See’. There are also two covers for this book, the one above (on the left) which I found on Amazon and the one on the right, which I read. Neither does the book justice. The one on amazon looks like a child using scissors and glue put it together. The one I have just had no imagination to it.

A novel’s cover is the first impression a reader has of your book, of you. If the cover isn’t appealing, readers will not pick up the book. As an author, I highly recommend hiring a professional cover artist as part of your preparation for publication. There is so much to this story. I feel a real cover artist could have given it a great, eye-catching cover that would have drawing readers to it.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/k7boJFtz2B4

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Week 11 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the Eleventh Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Writing Wednesday 5

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

• Read the writing prompt below,
• Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
• DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Sophie, one of the characters in my upcoming novel The Beast Within (This is not a selection from the novel, but part of my character development journal.)

Today’s writing prompt:

What stupid question have you heard someone ask (or asked yourself)?

Will you marry me?
He was my college sweetheart…my high school sweetheart really. We had been together, off and on, for eight years. He hadn’t asked me, so I did it. I said those four little words and changed my life forever.

Will you marry me?
He said yes and two months later, we eloped. My mother was devastated. I’m not really sure his mom even cared, they didn’t have the best of relationships. That probably should have been my first clue.

Will you marry me?
It was like I had flipped a switch, turned the lights out, released the beast. That’s what he was, a beast…a brut…a monster. He didn’t hurt me, not physically. Mental abuse is different. You can’t see the effects, not on the surface, but they’re there. They might be deep down. You might be able to hide them from the rest of the world, but they are there. You feel them in your gut. You see them staring back at you every time you look in the mirror. You can’t erase them, not with a bath or even a hot shower. Putting on a new dress can’t make you feel pretty, not when the one person who is supposed to love you has drilled into your very soul that you are nothing.

Will you marry me?
I wish he had just said no. I wish he had chosen someone else. I wish he had loved me just a little… loved me enough to leave me.

Will you marry me?
It was the stupidest question I could have ever asked.

Will you marry me?
It almost killed me.

© 2019 Nina Soden

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Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with!

What stupid question have you heard someone ask (or asked yourself)?

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51gqQbGYyAL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_Author Bullet Journal 8x10 Front CoverAre you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal

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#MindfulnessMonday 4/15/19

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: Be aware of the choices you’re making in order to avoid SELF-SABOTAGE!

Mindfulness monday Template Image

Check out today’s #MindfulnessMonday video to learn about 6 steps you can take today to help you recognize and avoid SELF-SABOTAGING habits. You can check out the video by clicking HERE!

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With that little piece of advice, I give you today’s Mindfulness Exercise:
Positive Self-Talk Meditation

Sit or lie somewhere you feel comfortable. Close your eyes, slowly breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Allow your body to fully relax into the position. Focus on your thoughts. How are you feeling? What is your emotional state? What do you think of your body? Your hair? Your job? Your house? Your family? Etc. Listen to the way your thoughts respond to these questions and the way you instinctively talk to and about yourself. Each time a negative comment or thought comes up, push it back and say something positive about yourself. The goal is to push out the negative thoughts and replace them, over time, with healthy, positive self-talk.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt: Now that you’ve completed the Positive Self-Talk Meditation, take a few minutes to write down how it made you feel. What emotions were you feeling when you started? How did you feel when you were done? Did your mood change throughout the process? What negative self-talk did you discover you do? Was it hard to find positive things to say to yourself? Etc.

Mindfulness journaling can be very private. However, if you are willing to share your thoughts with me and my readers, I would love to invite you to comment below and let me know how this exercise affected you and what you learned about yourself through the Positive Self-Talk Meditation.

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Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

EPISODE 15 ~ How to Recognize and Avoid Self-Sabotage!

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51Pe04-x+wL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_Would you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!

I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

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My 2 Cents… 11.22.63 Hulu Mini-Series

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

11.22.63 mini seriesMini-Series Title: 11.22.63
Creator: Bridget Carpenter
Based on a Novel by: Stephen King
Stars: James Franco (Jake Epping), Sarah Gadon (Sadie Dunhill),
George MacKay (Bill Turcotte), Chris Cooper (Al
Templeton), and Daniel Webber (Lee Harvey Oswald)

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★
Story: ★★★
Acting: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★ (3.333)

 

STORYLINE:
A teacher discovers a time portal that leads to October 21st, 1960 and goes on a quest to try and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which is complicated by the presence of Lee Harvey Oswald and the fact that he’s falling in love with the past itself. Written by Anonymous

MY 2 CENTS:
I was so excited when I finished the novel that I immediately turned on Hulu to find the mini-series. My hope, was to watch the story that Stephen King had created come to live. I wanted to watch as Jake Epping discovered the “rabbit hole”, see how he would handle Harry Dunning’s murderous father, watch him plot and plan how he would save the president, and… I wanted to watch as his relationship with Sadie turned from friendship to love.

Did Hulu give that to me? NO!

If I had watched the Hulu mini-series prior to reading the novel, maybe I would have enjoyed it more. However, having known the characters so well, having known what actually happened in the novel, I was SO DISAPPOINTED by the mini-series.

Although I think James Franco is a fine actor, I don’t feel he was the right choice for Epping. He just isn’t strong enough and he doesn’t feel the part. Chris Cooper was wonderful as Al Templeton as was Sarah Gadon who played Sadie Dunhill.

There were so many deviations… changes that were made when the mini-series was developed, things that just didn’t have to be changed. Some of the minor ones that just irked me a bit where:

  • The book, like so many Stephen King books, connects to other Stephen King books. In particular the mention of the Derry murders… IT! We even get to see two of the young children, Beverly Marsh and Richie Tozier, while Epping is in Derry… However, the mini-series leaves this out… WHY?
  • In the book, we get to see Epping learn about how his actions in the past affect the future when he first goes back to stop Harry Dunning’s father from killing his family. When he returns to the present, he finds out that Harry once alive is not dead. He then goes back to the past to try again… Why the producers decided to take that out, I don’t understand.
  • The relationship between Al Templeton and Jake Epping is beautifully written in the book… We also get a better feel for why Al chose Jake to share his secret and we understand more why Jake decides to go. In the mini-series, the spread the conversation between Al and Jake out across the series, instead of putting it all up front and then letting Al die (LIKE IN THE BOOK). The book gives a finality to the relationship, an urgency to Jake’s decision, and a purpose that the series didn’t do.
  • There is virtually no character development for the students at the school Jake teaches at in the past. We don’t get to know Bobbi Jill Allnut or Mike Coslaw. We don’t watch them grow as people. The book allows these smaller characters to shine… I think the producers forgot they even existed.

That was just 4 of MANY minor differences that bothered me along the way… The thing is, the book was 849 pages, that was more than enough material to make a wonderful 8-episode series. Yet, I found myself saying “That wasn’t in the book,” “That never happened in the novel,” over and over as I watched the series. WHY?

NOW FOR SOME OF THE BIG STUFF…

  • In the series Bill Turcotte, played by George MacKay, was a huge part of the story. He became Epping’s side-kick… his brother from another mother… his support system. WHAT? WHY? In the book, King left Epping to carry the responsibility of saving the president on his own. Epping didn’t run around telling everyone he was from the future, that the president was going to die, and soliciting help. In the novel, Bill Turcotte played a small role, important but small, and his role ended when Epping killed Harry’s father. That is where it should have ended in the show as well.
  • Again, with Bill Turcotte… WHY did the series have to make Bill Turcotte fall in love with Lee Harvey Oswald’s wife? That side story was not in the book, did not further the story in any way, and was completely unnecessary!
  • Relationship and character development are one of Stephen King’s strongest talents… he laid out the unconventional (for the early 60s) interracial relationship between Deke Simmons (played by Nick Searcy) and Mia Mimi Corcoran (played by Tonya Pinkins) so beautifully. In the series… well, their relationship didn’t really exist. We never got to see that love affair, and yet we were supposed to just believe Mimi when she told Jake that she was dying and that she loved Deke and he loved her. We didn’t get to see the wedding… but they, at some point, got married. SHOW US, the book did!
  • Mia Mimi Corcoran… She was a pivotal character in the novel and yet, the series all but reduced her role to almost nothing. We didn’t celebrate her wedding to Deke Simmons, we didn’t mourn her when she died… in fact, the viewer has no idea she died… she is just gone one day and eventually there is mention of her death.

I didn’t list everything, I don’t have time. I guess I just wanted to prove a point… the book is often times (99%) better than this show/series/movie. This novel was fantastic and I highly recommend reading it, but the series more than disappointed me. Purchase your copy of 11/22/63 by Stephen King HERE!

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/NtvGj-SwiXc

You can watch the official trailers and video clips here:

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Want to know my thoughts on the novel by Stephen King? Check out my blog post HERE

You can also check out my YouTube review of 11/22/63 by Stephen King below:

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11/22/63 by Stephen King

Would you prefer to watch the video, instead of reading the review? CLICK HERE

11.22.63

 

TITLE: 11/22/63
AUTHOR: Stephen King

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★ (5)

 

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
One of the Ten Best Books of The New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Now a miniseries from Hulu starring James Franco

ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Buy the book HERE

MY 2 CENTS:

WRITING: I love reading, and I’ll be the first to admit that if the story is good enough bad writing doesn’t necessarily ruin the experience for me. Because of this, some books may receive a higher rating from me simply because the story was fantastic… maybe as a reader you don’t agree with that method, but I feel that creativity in a story should outweigh the other flaws one might find. HOWEVER, this was not one of those books… This one topped the charts on writing, story development, character development, back story, flashbacks, structure, etc. etc. etc.

Stephen King is a master when it comes to creative writing. He develops characters that are more believable than the people you live next door to… but, with this story, he weaved together a fine thread of life. Creating fictional characters and weaving them into a reality with real life historical figures can’t be easy, yet King makes it seem seamless.

STORY: At first glance, looking at the cover, one might think this book focuses on the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy. In reality, this is a time-travel novel. Sure, it involves the Kennedy assassination, but that is not the primary focus. This book focuses on Jake Epping, a man of 2011 who travels back in time to 1958. We get to see how his actions in the past affect his life and the lives of others. It shows how the butterfly effect can have both positive and negative ramifications on the world and the course of history. It begs the reader to think about what he/she might do in a similar situation, or to think about the decisions you make in your every day life that seem mundane or harmless… How do those small decision affect the greater good?

CHARACTERS: As with all of King’s novels, I loved getting to know the characters. I enjoyed reading the details of Jake’s realization of what was happening and the weight of the responsibility that was placed on him. His journey takes him through struggles we can only imagine. He grows, learns, fails, succeeds, falls in love, and endures unmeasurable loss.

APPEARANCE: The cover is simply perfect.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
I’m an author, so of course I loved this one: “When all else fails, give up and go to the library.”

“Sometimes the things presented to use as choices aren’t choices at all.”

“When you put on a clown suit and a rubber nose, nobody has any idea what you look like inside.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/Xg3c7K5Tb88

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11.22.63 mini series

 

Did you know that Hulu turned 11/22/63 into a mini-series? It did… Want to know my thoughts about the mini-series? Check out my blog post HERE! Blog Review of the mini-series will be active on Sunday, April 14, 2019. 

 

You can also check out my YouTube review of the mini-series below (video review will be posted on Sunday, April 14, 2019:

 

Posted in #FridayReads, Day to Day... and Off the Subject!, reviews, The process | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Week 10 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the Tenth Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Writing Wednesday 4

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

• Read the writing prompt below,
• Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
• DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Austin, one of the characters in my upcoming novel The Beast Within (This is not a selection from the novel, but part of my character development journal.)

Today’s writing prompt:

Were you born to shine in one special way? What makes you really stand out?

Special, what does that even mean? Sure, I’m special. Or maybe a better word would be different. When I was a kid, I was just like everyone else. I loved baseball and riding my bike and fishing with my dad. I had sleepovers at my friends’ houses and loved late nights watching movies and eating pizza and popcorn.

Then, I grew up, fast. I turned ten and my whole world seemed to change. My dad said I was given a gift, but it didn’t seem like a gift. I don’t have super human powers, well maybe a few, but it’s not what you’re probably thinking. I’m not Superman, Spiderman, or even The Flash. I’d like that though, to be The Flash. I think, if I had his power of speed, I’d run so fast and so far, that I could just escape. Escape all the problems…all the pain…escape life.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to die. I just want to be normal. That’s why I do what I do. I became a doctor to find a cure, but its hard when you have to do it all on your own. When you can’t tell anyone what you’re doing or even what you are.

I don’t shine, I’m not special, and what makes me stand out is the one thing I want to change about myself.

© 2019 Nina Soden

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Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with!

Were you born to shine in one special way? What makes you really stand out?

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51gqQbGYyAL._SX398_BO1,204,203,200_

Author Bullet Journal 8x10 Front Cover

Are you working on a manuscript, but need a little help getting organized? Check out SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ~ An Indie Author Guide to Outlining and Planning Your Next Novel

Want help meeting your writing goals? Check out JUST WRITE: The Ultimate Author’s Bullet Journal

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#MindfulnessMonday 4/8/19

Today’s #MindfulnessMonday Tip: How to just BE HAPPY! (1) Make a choice, (2) Cultivate habits, (3) Practice over and over and over, and (4) Make space for life.

Check out today’s #MindfulnessMonday video to get more details on how to just BE HAPPY. You can check out the video by clicking HERE!

dance

With that little piece of advice, I give you today’s Mindfulness Exercise:

Happiness Dancing Exercise

Physical movement is just as important to our mental health as it is to our physical health. It is one of the primary ways we express ourselves and yet, if we aren’t dancers or we don’t have a lot of physical activity in our day-to-day jobs, we often tend to ignore how crucial it can be. So, for today’s Happiness Exercise, I want you to dance like no one is watching! Put on music or just move to the music in your mind. Dance in a way that makes you feel… in a way that expresses how you’re feeling in that moment. No movement is right or wrong, so don’t worry about messing up. Allow yourself to just enjoy the freedom that dancing provides.

Mindfulness Journaling Prompt: Now that you’ve completed the Happiness Exercise, write down how it made you feel. What emotions were you feeling when you started? How did you feel when you were done? Did you dance longer than you expected? Did your mood change throughout the process? Etc.

Mindfulness journaling can be very private. However, if you are willing to share your thoughts with me and my readers, I would love to invite you to comment below and let me know how this exercise affected you and what you learned about yourself through the Happiness dancing exercise.

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Check out my #MindfulnessMonday YouTube Series and don’t forget to click subscribe so you never miss an episode!

EPISODE 14 ~ How to just BE HAPPY!

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InvisibleWould you like to take the 52-week challenge and experience a more mindful existence? Check out The Invisible You ~ 52 Weeks of Meditations, Activities, and Writing Prompts to Help you Discover You!

I’m certified in Holistic Stress Management and Mind/Body Fitness. I’ve been practicing Mindfulness for 10+ years and am passionate about helping others in their pursuit of a more mindful existence.

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My 2 Cents… Five Feet Apart

Would you prefer to watch the video, instead of reading the review? CLICK HERE5 feet

Title: Five Feet Apart (2019)
Director:
Justin Baldoni
Writers:
Mikki Daughtey and Tobias Iaconis
Stars:
Haley Lu Richardson, Cole Sprouse, Moises Arias, and Kimberly Hebert Gregory

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★
Cinematography: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Acting: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★ (5)

PLOT SUMMARY:

A pair of teenagers with life-threatening illnesses meet in a hospital and fall in love.

SYNOPSIS:

Stella Grant (Haley Lu Richardson) is a cystic fibrosis (CF) patient who actively uses social media to cope with her illness and try to live a normal life. Her sister, Abby, was the adventurous type and died a few years ago while she was cliff diving.

Stella’s best friend, Poe (Moises Arias), also has CF and is openly gay. He tells Stella that he broke up with his new boyfriend; Stella later realizes Poe pushes him away because of his CF. 

Stella meets another CF patient, Will Newman (Cole Sprouse), and they quickly develop feelings for each other. Will finds Stella’s Vlog on YouTube, in which Stella discusses living with CF. Will is intrigued and watches every single video she posted.

CF patients are strictly kept at least six feet apart at all times in an effort to reduce the risk of cross-infection, as contracting bacterial infections from other CF patients can be life-threatening. Stella’s nurse, Barbara (Kimberly Hebert Gregory), previously had a pair of romantically involved CF patients who died from cross-infection, and Barbara does not want to see this happen again.

Watch the movie to find out what happens next!

MY 2 CENTS:

To understand this film, you first have to understand what CF is. CF or Cystic Fibrosis is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.

This film broke my heart!

I believe on IMDB, this film has a 7 out of 10 star rating, I’ve rated it 5 out of 5. 

When I go to a movie and can hear crying throughout the theatre, and am crying myself, I know they’ve done something right. 

Five Feet Apart is full of laughs, loves, heart-felt moments, and devastating loss. I’m not going to tell you who dies, who leaves, or who is heart-broken. What I will tell you, is that I cried… I wept… I mourned. I was on the edge of my seat with my heart racing in my chest for the characters to just be ok. If I could have hugged them, I would have. I was utterly and completely lost in the film and invested in the storyline. 

I forgot they were actors and fully believed their reality. That, to me, says a lot about the acting, the writing, and the directing.

Five Feet Apart is a fatalistic love story that must be told, seen, and remembered. If you haven’t seen it yet, I hope you do. If you have seen it, comment below and tell me what you thought. Misery loves company, so if you were as devastated as I was let me know that too!

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“Human touch, we need that touch from the one we love almost as much as we need air to breathe.” ~ Stella

“This whole time I’ve been living for my treatment, instead of doing my treatment so that I can live, and I want to live.” ~ Stella

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/LPs5-58YwFM

Check out the official movie trailer here:

https://youtu.be/Ts1t_lgdyUY 

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Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard

 Would you prefer to watch the video, instead of reading the review? CLICK HERE

Finding GobiTITLE: Finding Gobi
AUTHOR: Dion Leonard

RATING OVERVIEW
Writing: ★★★★★
Story: ★★★★★
Characters: ★★★★★
Appearance: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★ (5)

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:
Bring home the incredible true story of a friendship so strong that it crosses the globe! You will love the inspiring tale of Gobi, a lost dog who kept pace with an ultramarathon runner, Dion Leonard, across a vast desert. Follow their unlikely friendship through the challenges of an 80-mile race and Dion’s struggle to bring Gobi home for good.

Finding Gobi: The True Story of One Little Dog’s Big Journey is the incredible true story of Dion Leonard, a New York Times bestselling author and athlete, who was befriended by a stray dog while running an ultramarathon through the Gobi Desert. Named for the desert in which he found her, Gobi became Dion’s closest companion for 77 miles of the 155-mile race across China. The scrappy little pup ran mile after mile alongside Dion, through treacherous conditions and across raging rivers. He let her sleep in his tent and share his food, and eventually, his focus shifted from winning to the newfound friendship he and Gobi shared.

They crossed the finish line together—not first, but together—and Dion decided to bring Gobi home to Scotland. Just before they were about to leave, however, Gobi disappeared, setting off a worldwide search for the stray. In a town of more than 3 million people, the search seemed hopeless, but this tale of friendship will surprise and delight you as you find out what happens!

Join the almost too-good-to-be-true story of hope, friendship, and beating incredible odds in Finding Gobi: The True Story of One Little Dog’s Big Journey by Dion Leonard.

Buy the book HERE

The Critical Points:
Finding Gobi is the true story of one little dog’s big journey, written by Dion Leonard.

WRITING: I read this book with my 11-year-old son, as part of our mother/son book club. I had never heard about Gobi or the story that went global, but was pleasantly surprised to find that I really enjoyed the book. My son enjoyed the book as well. I love the fact that Dion Leonard not only wrote his story, he chose to write a children’s version too. I don’t think my son would have made it through the longer version, but the Young Reader’s Edition was perfect for him.

I highly recommend this book. The young readers’ edition is perfect for readers of all ages from children to those young-at-heart. The sections written in Gobi’s perspective are very endearing and sweet.

STORY: You just can’t go wrong with a true story of a man and his dog. Much less one that carries the reader around the world on an epic adventure of friendship, heartache, and eventually a joyous reunion. Did I give away too much?

CHARACTERS: Gobi and Dion aren’t really characters… they are the real life dog and dog owner. So, I can’t judge the character development as everything that happens in Finding Gobi is true to life.

APPEARANCE: The cover shows a cute image of Gobi, trotting along across a map… showing, through the image, the journey she must have taken.

MY FAVORITE QUOTE:
“They say it takes a village to raise a child. I think it takes almost half a planet to rescue a dog.”

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

https://youtu.be/Q6O2HcuYqw8

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