A Spin on the Normal Routine: Disney Challenge

A fellow blogger and friend of mine challenged me to this fun Disney questionnaire. Considering how busy I have been lately, I thought, why not? Besides, I love Disney films way too much. Ironically enough, I spent all last week discussing how I prefer television shows over movies, which I do. But, if I were to watch a movie, it would more than likely be a Disney film, especially any time I want to be nostalgic.

Favorite Disney movie of all time? Tarzan

Favorite Disney Character? Koda, from Brother Bear. Now, I know most people would typically say their favorite Disney character is in their favorite film, but I just LOVE Koda. The bear in the film encompasses brotherhood and unconditionally love so beautifully.

First Disney movie seen in cinemas? Treasure Planet. Not only was it the first Disney film I saw in theatres, it was the first film I saw in theatres, period. I am not a big fan of the movie now, but I will watch it every now and again.

What Disney item do you collect the most? I do not collect many items from Disney, really. If I did, I would probably just get coffee mugs to further my always growing collection.

What is your favorite Disney song? “You Will Be in My Heart” from Tarzan is definitely high on the list. This is probably one of the toughest questions you could ask a devote Disney fan. A song is most memorable to me during a poignant part of a movie. Another song I love is “On My Way” from Brother Bear. I will keep it at those two songs, but the list really is endless.

Which Disney voice actor would you like to meet? I would absolutely love to meet Zachary Levi, voice actor of Flynn Rider in Tangled. He also stars in one of my all-time favorite television shows, Chuck. I would love to nerd-out and talk with him about his acting experience. And, if I could meet any musical genius behind Disney, without a doubt, it would be Phil Collins. He is the legendary voice behind countless classic songs.

Favorite Disney movie that is not a classic? Monsters University; the film has only been out for a few years. However, I love it for the back story we learn about Sully and Mike. As always, the writer in me loves further developing a connection with characters. The film does just that while providing great laughs and thematic elements as well!

Flounder, Sebastian or Scuttle? Sebastian, hands down. He is just the best little crab a mermaid could ask for. But really, I prefer him over all because he is the protective figure for Ariel. Even when she goes away and makes him upset, he still wants to help her.

Saddest moment in a Disney movie? Here’s a little tidbit you all may not know about me: I am not the most emotional of individuals on the surface. However, movies make me cry. In fact, I almost always judge how good a film is solely by if it makes me cry. That may be a little depressing, but for someone like me who does not cry often, it means something. With that being said, there are two significant moments Disney made me bawl my eyes out. First, the opening scene of Up. I think almost everyone who saw Up cried within the first ten minutes of the movie. I think that is what makes the film so great, too. Instantaneously, audiences felt connected to the story. It was in that opening scene that movie-making changed, and for the better. I cried witnessing the beauty of the beginning and end of a love relationship. I am sure if I watched it again, I would be even more emotional simply knowing I am going through that life journey in a few short months. It really is breathtakingly wonderful. Secondly, the closing scene of Toy Story 3. The biggest reason why that scene got to me is that in those two minutes, I felt my childhood officially ending. I grew up watching the series, so to see Andy give away his toys told me I was officially an adult. It may sound cheesy and unrealistic, but I think everyone has that moment in life where they realize childhood really has ended. Now, that isn’t to say that someone cannot be a child at heart, but responsibilities do come along.

Which Disney princess has the best sidekick? I was not really into the Disney princesses, to be honest. However, I did rather enjoy Mushu, Mulan’s sidekick of a fierce dragon.

Of the lesser known Disney movies, which would you recommend? This is tough for me to answer because I did not watch many Disney movies outside of the classics, and even then, I have not seen many of the classics!

Well, ladies and gentlemen, thanks for reading through this fun survey with me. I would love your input! Share your answers on some of these questions, or better yet, recommend a film to me! I would also be interested to see if there is anyone who does not like Disney films. I know there is someone out there. I think it could provide some great discussion. Regardless, I know this post was unlike my others. I just thought it would be exciting to change things up a bit, especially considering summer is here! I assure you next week’s post will be back to the usual; I have had one of the busiest weeks of my life, so a spin on the normal routine was necessary.

Blessings,

Renata

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Binge Off: Television Shows vs. Movies

“The more intelligent the storytelling becomes and the deeper the character development, people will realize in film and television, like they do in real life, that human beings possess both good and bad.” — Robert LaSardo.

I am sure almost everyone knows a movie buff or two. However, in this day and age, the term movie buff has evolved to Netflix binge-watcher. Of the two categories, I would identify myself with the latter—Netflix binge-watcher. But, I am not a binge-watcher for the same reasons that most people are. In fact, I do not watch any movies on Netflix. I hardly ever watch movies, period. I prefer to watch a television show over a movie any day. Unlike movies, television shows provide true, authentic character development. Most movies are only about 90 minutes: a director only has 90 minutes to introduce characters, create a relationship, uncover a problem, and define a solution…all the while trying to maintain an audience’s attention. I don’t know about you, but that is way too much pressure to me.

Television series, on the other hand, can spend YEARS developing characters and telling a story. The writer in me gets so attached to television characters. It can almost seem like real life. In a series, audiences can see characters grow and change through hundreds, if not thousands, of events. Personally, television series are much like books to me. Every chapter in a book is much like an episode. Both offer a stronger understanding of mankind in some way, shape, or form.  I think a lot of people watch television and movies (media, in general) because they yearn for a human connection. They yearn to know they are not alone in the mountains and valleys of life. Most of all, people yearn to escape to a world that could be better.

There is something beautiful about watching someone or a group of people change and evolve over time from beginning to end. When I watch Netflix, I watch a series all the way through. Once I am attached to a character and their story, I am attached. You bet your bottom dollar I will be the devoted fan to the end. In a deeper sense, I like to look back and see how much I, too, have changed in the timefframe of watching a series. To me, a television show is successful if I can feel with the characters. Right now, I am watching “Friends” all the way through. I have seen bits and pieces of the series before, enough to know all the main plots. However, I have not watched them consecutively.  Let me tell you, I have already gotten emotional several times. Movies cannot provide that strong of a human connection. I can walk out of a theatre and be a little upset that the film is over. But, I am fine. The movie was only part of my life for a little over an hour. Television is not the same way. I already know for sure that I will cry when I watch the final episode of “Friends.” I will cry because I no longer get to witness great character development.

No matter who you are—a movie buff, a Netflix binge-watcher, a bookworm, or all the above—ask yourself why you devote time to what you do. Though some people might find Netflix and television to be pointless, nothing makes the writer in me giddier than an ongoing story of life and human growth. I challenge you, next time you watch a television show, focus on the character development. It does not have to be everyone; it could just be one character. Whether you watch an episode or the whole series, see what changes a character goes through, good and bad. If nothing else, television series provide great opportunity for discussion. Do not be afraid to ask yourself what you would do in a situation. You could learn a thing or about yourself in the process. Binge on, my friends. Binge on.

Inspiration Forever Blossoms

“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.” – Winston Churchill.

This past week, I visited a former teacher of mine. I had not seen him in over a year, by that time. My discussion with him covered an array of topics, from my past, my present, and my future plans. However, in the midst of all that, though, it sparked reminiscing as well. I thought of a sweet, dear woman that has since gone and left this world. But, she has not left the inspiration that will she forever have on my life.

I was not very close with this woman that I am thinking of; however, the impact she made on me is tremendous. She was one of the first people to believe in my writing, and to encourage me in my passion. She wrote several children’s books, and devoted her life to writing. She was the reason my grade school had an annual writing contest, which is absolutely amazing to me. Nowadays, almost always, the first programs or groups to go in any institution are the arts. In my opinion, they should be one of the last to go. At the end of the day, when there is no academia left, what do people have to understand the messiness of life? A textbook will not teach life lessons, but arts will. Oh, believe me, they will. I am not writing this to stand on a pedestal, but to say that there were people in my life who believed in the arts.

Outside of school, she judged numerous writing competitions I participated in. I had the honor and privilege to receive an award from her on several different occasions. The last time I received an award from her, she told me, “Continue writing. I enjoy reading what you have to say.” Hearing those words from someone that I know understands the backbone that it takes to publish a work meant the world to me, especially in a frail part of my life. I walked into high school with those words being my motivation to fully bring to surface the writer that was in me. I spent majority, if not all, of my high school career writing. I clung to every beautiful word I put to paper.

My senior year, I began writing a book in one of my classes. It was in those hours of dedication that I vowed to myself that one of my life goals was to publish at least one book. The next time I saw her, I told her I was working on the book. She told me that whenever I was ready, she would help me send it out to editors, as part of the first step in publishing. It was no coincidence that was my last conversation with her, but only God-ordained. Less than three months later, she passed away from a disease that she had been battling for quite some time. She was one of the strongest people I had ever met. Doctors told her she would not live long, but she proved them wrong for years.

At her funeral, the same teacher I reconnected with last week, told us that he had finished his first book, and that he planned on sending it to her to edit and help him publish. Shortly after her passing, I was the first person to edit this book. I do not know if I can properly put to words, just how humbling it was to know that he saw me as much of a writer as he saw her. To be placed in the same category as her was something it took me awhile to grasp. I told myself that whenever I published a book, I would dedicate it to her—my biggest inspiration as a writer.

Now, a little over two years since her passing, my former teacher is coming out with another booklet. Again, I have the honor and privilege of being one of the first to see the work, and edit it. I write this entire post with tears in my eyes, I know her legacy lives on through everyone that loved her and knew her, and especially those that share her love for writing.

My Writing: From the Beginning

“If the writing is honest, it cannot be separated from the man that wrote it.” — Tennessee Williams.

As an English major, I am a lover of words, whether they be in the form of a quote, book, or paper. From a very young age, I remember vividly enjoying the writing process, and all that it entailed. For the longest time, writing was my escape from reality and all of the turmoils I faced. I would not be quick to say to I had an extremely difficult childhood, but I would definitely say it was one filled with many trials. Writing was my only way to understand what exactly I was going through.

Growing up, I did not have a relationship with God; therefore, I had no one to turn to. As an introvert, major nerd, and bookworm, I did not have many friends. I mean, yes, I can remember being around the same kids all the time and thinking they were my friends. But, now that I look back, they weren’t. We were mere acquaintances. Honestly, I was just the girl who was the teacher’s daughter, who struggled on a daily basis to embrace her adoption and disability.

I honestly do not remember the first time I really began to enjoy writing. It just came so naturally to me. My first real memory of actively writing on a consistent basis came when I was a staff member of the newspaper at my grade school. Yes, my grade school had a newspaper. It was during my experiences there that my love for writing and meeting new people started to unfold. I have been on several newspaper staffs since grade school. I can still say today I most thoroughly enjoyed interviewing people, and turning their experiences into a great piece of writing. Granted, some days it was much harder than others to get said thoughts to paper, but I always made it possible. Typically, I do not get writer’s block, but when I do, there is no doubt about it. It can last much longer than appreciated.

Anyway, because I liked writing, I did not mind writing papers during schools. In fact, I generally looked forward to doing so. Each paper meant another opportunity for growth. I have had experience writing articles, poems, stories, and memoirs of sorts. I have written a little bit of everything, though I enjoy memoir type the most. When it came to school, I loved reading a piece of writing, and then answering questions about it. It allowed me to connect deeper on multiple levels.

Truthfully, I do not write as much I used to; that is part of the reason why I began this blog. Writing is a stress reliever for me, which I know I will need with every passing day that gets closer to my wedding. Regardless, it is an outlet for me. Now, I spend most of my time helping others write papers and improve them. If I had to have a “favorite” part of the entire writing process, I would have to say it involves editing a manuscript. It is satisfying to take apart a document, and uncover the beauty that is already within it. Most people I talk to think they are bad writers, and I do not necessarily think that is true. I think there is a writer in all of us; someone just has to let it flourish. Countless of people typically do not take the time to have someone read their paper a loud to them. There is a beauty and awesomeness in closing your eyes and just listening. It is amazing what people discover simply by truly, and I mean, truly listening to a composition of words. People focus on the intimidating technical aspects of a story or work of prose, instead of sinking into the life that lies within.

As long as the writing is honest, nothing else matters. To me, the most important part of any piece is the author’s voice. Without the author’s voice, all I see and hear are words. With an author’s voice comes character, substance, and truth. I can connect with the writer’s voice instantaneously.

I suppose I wrote all of this just to say that writing isn’t just a method of practice, but it is a beautiful art form and way of expression for me. Everyone needs that one way to show the world who they are in whatever way, shape, or form it may be. It does not matter if you have practiced this art for years, like I have been blessed to do, just newly began, or have yet to figure it out. All you have to do is take the time to explore.

Lastly, be sure to check out my “About” page. I finally updated it. I got so excited about actually creating a blog last week, that I did not change it.

Blessings,

Renata

Hello world!

Hello, everyone!

My name is Renata. I am a deep lover of Jesus, coffee, and long conversations. I am an introvert at heart; however, nothing nourishes me more than deepening my relationships. People are so beautifully and wonderfully made, thanks to our Wonderful Creator. Nothing amazes me more than the people God created. Even though some may upset me and break my heart, others fill me with so much joy and laughter. It is absolutely precious to get to know people. I get to know myself best, though, through writing.  I find the most peace when putting words to paper (or computer!) while drinking some coffee.

This blog is mainly a place for me to share about my life and all that has occurred within it. I think everyone can learn from someone’s life events. I think there is something real and honest about getting one’s thoughts down. You know, I find it so fascinating to look back at journal entries I have written before and think, “Wow! Things really did work out,” or “Man, that sure was unexpectedly great!” Truthfully, though, there is nothing I appreciate more than learning from tragedies and hard times. Those are the sweet moments in life when all I can do is cling to the glorious name of Jesus. Even on the hardest days, I know Jesus is holding me through. Every day is a beautiful day with a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.

I sincerely cannot wait to share with all of you, whomever you may be! It is exciting to think I may or may not be sharing with a familiar face. I truly do love sharing how Jesus has and continues to change my life. It is so overwhelming awesome to think about. Whoever you are, welcome. No matter where you are in life, come. Let’s have a cup of coffee and get to know one another.