I thought I’d take Sundays to post updates about what I’m working on with the blog and other projects.
As I mentioned recently, I’m cutting down on the number of blog posts I publish each week, from 4-5 to about 2-3 between the two blogs. I hate to do this (I love blogging about Star Wars) but as I also mentioned, I’ve started writing a fan fiction piece, and need to make some time in my schedule.
I free-wrote about my idea for awhile, and as of today I have two scenes written: a Prologue, and a first scene. It’s first draft stuff, of course, but I’m happy with where it’s going so far. I’m eager to keep going and see how it comes out.
I’ve never written fan fiction before, of any kind, and it was a little weird inserting my characters into the familiar world of Star Wars. I worried I wouldn’t do it “right”, that I’d get details wrong and be called out on it, that it would be boring, etc etc. But once I got into the story and started writing it, I loved it, and those worries faded into the background (they’re still there, lol, but quieter). I haven’t written fiction in a few years, so I’m a little rusty, but it really is like riding a bike. You get back into a rhythm, and it just feels right.
I won’t go into too many details, but I’ll tell you that my story takes place at the palace of Alderaan, when Leia is sixteen years old. Leia isn’t my main character, but she makes an appearance, as well as Bail and Breha Organa. My character is about Leia’s age, visiting the palace with her mother. I was inspired to set the story here by Claudia Gray’s book “Leia: Princess of Alderaan,” which is a great book, by the way. But you don’t have to read it to understand my story. I think, lol.
So I’m busy doing that; and I’ve also mentioned that I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a podcast. I noticed that WordPress advertises using Anchor to turn your blog posts into audio versions, or record new ones. And I thought, hmmm, why not? As a means of growing the blog, it couldn’t hurt. And it might be fun. I’m not saying I’d be COMFORTABLE doing podcasts, lol, but I’m working on going beyond my comfort zone in order to grow, as a person, and as a blogger and writer.
So just for ha-ha’s, I clicked into Anchor and set up the whole thing, and then converted one of my older blog posts into an audio version (it was My Five Favorite Romances in Star Wars). And surprisingly, it sounded–not bad. Not completely like a robot, but you could definitely tell it was automated. There were some mispronunciations (Vos was pronounced “Vo” for some reason) and the inflections of grammar weren’t perfect. It was cool actually hearing my blog post, but I’m not going to go with the automated versions. So that means I’ll be talking into a microphone to bring my words to life, lol.
I’m just not sure what, exactly, I want to do with a podcast. To start, and as an experiment, I might just record some older blog posts to see what it sounds like, and how it would do. But ultimately, I don’t think I want to just regurgitate old blog posts, or even record new ones that I put on the blog. I want to do something different, narrow the focus, but I’m not sure in what way. There’s also the possibility of collaboration. Endless possibilities.
So I’m still in the brainstorming phase of the podcast, but I’m hoping to have something going by the end of next month, at least. And to have the fan fiction piece finished and posted here even sooner than that.
So lots of fun and exciting Star Wars stuff to work on. I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you in the blogosphere!
I’ve been thinking about the Obi-Wan series coming out next year (as I often do) and thought I’d post some fan art pertaining to Obi-Wan on Tatooine throughout the years of his vigil over Luke.
So this is your basic Obi-Wan-meditating-in-the-desert theme. I love the details in this one, like the strands of hair in the face, the folded hands, and the shredded cloak.
I love this one of Obi-Wan sharing tea with Qui Gon’s Force ghost. Not sure how the ghost is going to drink the tea, but it’s a nice gesture anyway. Just about convinced we’re going to see Qui Gon in the show (it just seems inevitable, lol).
This one of Obi-Wan still grieving and obsessing over what happened with Anakin is one of my favorites. I’m guessing the show will address how he’s coping with his, what we would call, PTSD. He still hasn’t changed his tunic, which still has burn-holes from embers on Mustafar.
I love this one of Old Ben in his light-filled house.
Here’s Old Ben meditating in the desert, levitating Anakin’s lightsaber, and sitting atop a pile of burning lava. Clearly those memories are burned into his consciousness.
I love Swanland’s style of movement and vitality in his works. Here it seems Old Ben’s avoiding detection, with a dead Tusken Raider at his feet. Just another day on Tatooine.
What do you think of these images? Do you have any Obi-Wan favorites? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!
I was recently having a discussion with my fellow writer, blogger and Star Wars fan Julie G. about affirmations and positive mindset (check out her post that got the discussion going here), and we both mentioned some books that have helped us in this regard. Julie has read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson; I’ve been reading Jen Sincero’s You Are A Badass series. Julie suggested I write a review of the book(s), and while this post isn’t exactly a “formal” review, I thought I’d write my thoughts on it and how it ties into the future of my blog.
So Julie and I agreed that, at first glance, all this self-helpery and positive mindset stuff is a bit corny. And it’s true; I’ve never been that much into self-help books, and historically rolled my eyes at it, thinking it was up there with rainbows and unicorns. If it helped people, great; but I doubted it could help me. I was just destined to be a vaguely talented writer who could never really get her shit together, and would remain penniless her entire life while she worked at the local grocery store for minimum wage. I turned out to be the starving artist, and I guess that was just my fate. Sigh. Poor me.
My husband, meanwhile, has struggled with a directionless life, going from job to job, not really liking any of them, certainly not making much money, and not really knowing what to do with his life. We’re both about 50 years old, and so both of our struggles with purpose and success had been going on for decades. Like us, it was getting old.
One day he was perusing some books at the bookstore and saw a bright yellow book called You Are A Badass, by a woman named Jen Sincero. He picked it up, read a few paragraphs, and decided to buy it. He told me about it, I glanced at the book, and thought, huh. I didn’t have any interest in reading it at first; I was still in denial and subconsciously didn’t want to change. Looking back, I can see that I was in my comfort zone of excuses and limiting self-beliefs.
The book really revved up my husband, and he did things I never thought I’d see him do. He was interested in humanitarian causes, and decided he was going to walk 500 miles total in our local area to bring awareness to volunteers. He spent hours making signs that said things like, “Thank A Volunteer” and then spent two months walking at least ten miles a day (in a New England winter, mind you) with said signs held up over his head along roadways where cars could beep at him in support. He alerted the local newspaper to his doings, and they did articles on it. The next year he did another 500 miles, this time circling the local high school track, putting the spotlight on opioid addiction. More articles ensued, and he even got on TV with a local station. It was crazy, amazing, and very brave for my shy, don’t-put-the-spotlight-on-me husband. I was proud and a little awed. What the heck’s in this book, anyway?
So I picked it up and read it. And I have to tell you, it literally changed my life. Not so much on the outside–yet (it will happen eventually, I’m determined)–but mostly in my head. It completely changed my mindset. And that’s a good start.
So here’s what I learned from You Are A Badass:
Most people who are living sucky lives do so because they have sucky thoughts. Basically, you create your own reality. What you focus on, you create more of. If you focus on thoughts of how much of an idiot you are, for example, well, then you’re going to be an idiot. If you’re convinced you can’t make money, you’ll be buying your groceries at the dollar store the rest of your life. If you believe you’re unlovable, you’ll either remain single, or have a string of terrible relationships.
Our thoughts are often driven by our subconscious minds. Somewhere along the way, we picked up the beliefs that we are idiots, unlovable, don’t deserve money, etc. Sincero calls your subconscious The Little Prince–basically a toddler who throws tantrums anytime you try to do something out of your comfort zone. The Little Prince wants to keep you safe, and will do just about anything to keep you in that comfort zone.
If you want to change your life, you MUST change your thoughts and beliefs. The way to do this is to basically be nice to yourself and repeat affirmations like I deserve love or Money comes to me when I call or I ambeautiful and love the size of my ass (she’s very funny, by the way). Even if you don’t believe it at first, and feel ridiculous saying them, you must retrain your mind with repetition, and sooner or later you’ll even come to believe what you’re saying. You’ve trained your mind for years with negative thoughts that aren’t true; why not retrain them with more positive thoughts? (Remember when Luke failed to raise his X-Wing out of the swamp because he didn’t believe he could do it? Hmmm….I can hear Yoda now: “You must unlearn what you have learned.”)
This one is the kicker, and what a lot of people have a problem with: you must believe in a Higher Power, a Creator, Lifeforce, God, the Universe, Spirit Guide, Universal Intelligence, whatever you want to call it. Because what you’re doing with the affirmations and positivity (aside from retraining your own beliefs) is “raising your frequency”. And when you raise your frequency, the Universe pays attention. Basically, we ARE the Universe (Stardust?); we’re made of the same stuff as the Universe, including our thoughts. It’s all energy, and it vibrates at various frequencies. When we raise our frequency, we attract more of the same frequency. It’s the whole Law of Attraction thing. Ask, and ye shall receive. If you want to make more money, for example, let the Universe know that that is your intention, you’re not messing around, and this is how it’s gonna be. I know, corny, right? Downright crazy. But tell me this: how’s your negative thinking been working for you? Yeah, me too.
This one is even tougher than believing that the Universe loves you and wants you to be happy–you MUST force yourself out of your comfort zone. Period. There can be no change in your life if you’re not willing to take risks. If you stay in your safe little comfort zone, you may prevent yourself from being uncomfortable, but you’ll be unhappy with your stagnant and ho-hum life. This one really caused an epiphany for me: it really got to the root of my lack of success in life–I was unwilling to be uncomfortable. No way. If something scared me, I ran away from it. No thanks. I’ll just stay here in my safe little bubble. When you do this, you’re certainly letting the Universe know you’re not really serious about whatever it is you want.
There’s so much more to these books than what I’ve rather clumsily said here, and Sincero gets really detailed about how you can go about changing your life. But what I really love about her books is that she’s hilarious. She tends to curse a lot (so if that bothers you, you might want to skip her books and learn these same principles elsewhere), and she tells a lot of funny but illuminating stories from her own life and the life of her clients (she’s a life coach). I love her personal success story, which I won’t get into here, since this post is seemingly never going to end, but trust me when I tell you she’s entertaining, she knows what she’s talking about, and she’s lived it herself.
So yeah, I haven’t even gotten to how it inspired me to start this blog, even though I was afraid my family would think I was reverting back to childhood talking about Star Wars, of all things. You’re 49 years old, grow up! (No one ever said that, lol, in fact they’ve been very supportive). I actually had a false start of learning about copywriting and trying to get into that business, was all fired up about it, but then realized my heart wasn’t in it. I was only doing it because of the financial potential, and it involved writing in some form. But when I thought about it, what I would rather have been doing is writing about my love of Star Wars. So why not? That’s where my passion lies. And you must be passionate about what you’re doing, or you’re doomed.
It’s been great fun, I’ve found my tribe, and I’ve been much happier this past year than I have in a while. But I’d also like to grow the blog, and so I need to do something that scares me, right? I’ve mentioned writing the fan fiction for the blog, but that in itself doesn’t scare me (besides the usual What if it sucks? thoughts, lol, which I’ve learned to ignore). What scares me is that I’m thinking about expanding the blog with podcasting, with either the fan fiction or the blog posts, or both. That is SO out of my comfort zone. I’ve always hidden behind the written word. It’s why I became a writer in the first place, for feck’s sake. It’s a solitary pursuit where I don’t actually have to talk to anyone, or have anyone see me, or interact like a normal human being, lol. But that’s not actually true, is it? You can’t create in a vacuum. You need readers, viewers, listeners, as well as any number of helpers along the way. Writers must interact with editors, publishers, do interviews and book readings, interact with readers. Making art may be solitary, but bringing it out to the world isn’t. And that’s why I never succeeded in writing–I was never willing to put myself out there. I shrunk back, hid, wanting my words to be seen, but not me. It was a terrible dilemma, and kept me from pushing my boundaries, from taking risks. Not anymore. Now I’m more afraid of living an unfulfilled life than putting myself out there. Well, I’ll still be scared, lol. The difference is, I’ll do it anyway.
So this post is WAY longer than I planned, and if you’re still with me, I’m impressed and thank you, because it’s not my typical Star Wars post. I won’t write too many of these off-topic posts, but Julie gave me the idea, and so here it is. I hope it helped you in some way, and as always, May the Force be with you (hey, the Force is another way to envision the Universe, the Creator, God, Higher Power, etc. If those other words don’t resonate with you, well, use the Force, Luke!)
Have you read these books? Do you have any favorite self-help books? Or do you think it’s all a bunch of hooey (or should I say, a bunch of simple tricks and nonsense)? Let me know in the comments, and we’ll talk about it!
I had a surprisingly hard time finding Padme art that I really liked. Most of the fan art I found was simply regurgitations of Padme in her famous outfits. Which are gorgeous (check out my post on Padme’s fashion sense here), but not quite what I was looking for. I wanted to see her in a different light, if possible, rather than just as a paper doll or Anakin’s love. Her character deserves so much more than that. Anyway, here’s a few that I found that I liked:
Padme is a warrior in her own right in Jake Bartok’s medieval Star Wars series (which I adore, if you haven’t figured that out by now).
Okay, so this is Padme in her famous Naboo picnic outfit (which is one of my favorites), but I loved the background and just thought it was lovely.
This is the cover of the paperback version of the first Padme book by E.K. Johnston called Queen’s Shadow. I love this image, how Padme looks sophisticated and determined, and the view of Coruscant in the background. The book is pretty good, too, more of a character study than anything else, but I liked it.
I guess Padme as a Jedi is a thing in some parts of the fandom? It’s an odd thought to me, but I like this image of her with a lightsaber, another instance of her as a warrior in her own right.
I do believe this is a take on an outfit she wore in an episode of Clone Wars (don’t ask me which one, please!). I like the action shots of Padme, as a woman taking control and getting shit done.
What do you think of these images? Do you have any favorite Padme fan art? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
There’s so many Han Solo moments that I love, because I just think he’s a cool character. But there are a few moments that exemplify his true character (despite what he might say) and make me love him:
Giving the coaxium to Enfys Nest (Han Solo: A Star Wars Story).
Although Han Solo had just recently insisted to Q’ira that he’s “an outlaw,” her assertion that he’s one of the good guys is proven true when he gives the stolen coaxium to Enfys Nest and her crusade against the Empire and criminal syndicates. He could have given the coaxium to Dryden Voss, or kept it for himself, but he chose to give it to this young woman who had suffered at the hands of bullies. He can deny it all he wants, but he’s got a heart (even though it’s been broken by Q’ira).
Last minute assist with blowing up Death Star 1 (A New Hope).
This is another moment that proves Han’s a softie; thought long-gone with his reward money, he makes a surprise appearance to rid Luke of the TIE fighters dogging him so he could focus on blowing up the space station. He did it, of course, as only Han Solo could: making himself look like a hero (and of course, he is). Still, it’s a great moment–once you see the Millenium Falcon appear, you just want to cheer.
Navigating the asteroid field (The Empire Strikes Back).
When Han decides to fly into the asteroid field as they try to evade the Imperials, his crewmates look at him as if he’s insane. And maybe he is, just a little bit. Crazy like a fox, that is: he thinks the Imperials would be crazy themselves to follow them into it. But they do, and the Falcon ends up hiding in a cave that turns out to be a space worm that wants to eat them, and…oh well. They make it out alive, Han does a few shifty maneuvers, and they hide in plain sight on one of the Star Destroyers, floating away with the rest of the garage when it’s released. Even though they’re followed to Cloud City by Boba Fett and….oh well. Even Leia admits that Han has his moments (not many of them, but he does have them), and this is one of them.
On Endor with Leia (Return of the Jedi).
This is a great little scene that shows just how much Han loves Leia–he’s willing to let her go if it would make her happy. After the Death Star 2 blows up, he senses her worry about Luke. He also senses that maybe she loves Luke, and asks her that question. When she replies that she does, he misunderstands and tells her that when Luke gets back, he won’t get in the way. When we first meet him, it’s clear Han Solo’s favorite person is Han Solo. The fact that he cares more about Leia’s happiness than his own here shows how he’s grown as a character and a human being since ANH. And it’s just so damn sweet. Also, the look he makes when Leia tells him that Luke is her brother is priceless.
Facing Kylo Ren (The Force Awakens).
In TFA, Han Solo is older and more emotionally battered, but still has that Solo charm. He drops it all when he confronts his son, Ben Solo, who’s now calling himself Kylo Ren. He’s lost his son to the dark side, and when he steps onto that bridge to confront him, he must know he could very probably die. But it doesn’t matter. I think most parents would do whatever it takes to snatch their child from the abyss, and Han doesn’t hesitate. There is a heartbreaking moment when he thinks he might have broken through, that Ben will come back home with him. But then the sun on Starkiller Base goes out, the light disappears and darkness sweeps in, and Kylo makes his choice. This was one of the hardest moments for me in Star Wars, as my childhood idol was killed by his own son. I was shocked into speechlessness; did that just really happen? I kept thinking. Then I was angry. I hated Kylo. I cursed the powers-that-be that allowed this to happen. WTF???
But then I read later that Harrison Ford himself wanted the character of Han Solo to be killed off–not because he hated the character, but because he wanted to lend Han Solo more “emotional weight.” And it makes sense in a weird kind of way. Han Solo had always been the charming rogue, the swashbuckler, the scoundrel–and we loved him that way. But here, at the beginning of the end of the Skywalker saga, just like Luke, he needs to be different. Characters can’t stay static, especially after thirty years. He’s a father now, a man who’s come to understand that the Jedi, the Force, the dark side are real, not just “simple tricks and nonsense.” Evil has snared his son, and this was his chance to do something about it. It didn’t work–not in the way he’d hoped or that we could see–but it’s such a crucial scene as it plays an important part in Ben Solo’s redemption in The Rise of Skywalker. This is the scene that Kylo plays over and over in his mind–of his slain father touching his cheek in love as he falls to his death. Han Solo’s last act is to love his son, even as that son has killed him. I’d say that’s a lot of emotional weight.
Honorable mention: This gesture.
So those, in my opinion, are Han Solo’s best moments. What do you think? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!
So I’ve been blogging about Star Wars for a year now, and I LOVE it. It’s so much fun, and there’s always something to say about it, whether it’s about the films that have been around for years, or the new stuff coming out. I’ve truly found my tribe here, people that understand Star Wars, people that just GET IT. I will never stop blogging about Star Wars (just giving you fair warning, lol).
But once upon a time I was a writer of fiction. Nothing published, just one story and a couple of essays that won contests. I loved writing fiction, but after years of doing it (decades), learning about it, pursuing publication–and not really getting where I wanted to go–I got tired. I wanted to do something new, something that excited me again. Hence, the Star Wars blogging.
But the fiction bug has begun to creep in again, and I thought maybe I’d try it again. Only this time, I thought I’d write some Star Wars fan fiction.
Here’s the thing–I’ve never been a huge fan of fan fiction. I think it’s great that some fans want to write about the main characters of Star Wars: alternate stories, new adventures, love stories, etc., and I wish them all the luck in the world with that. But I’ve never been interested in that, either writing it or reading it. To me, the main characters and their stories in canon have a kind of sanctity about them–they’re perfect as they are, and I won’t touch them.
I’m more interested in the kinds of stories contained in the From A Certain Point of View books:
These are stories that take place in and around the main characters and storylines, but are usually told from a minor character’s point of view, or some totally unexpected viewpoint. I’m interested in writing those sorts of stories (and so I have to get going and actually read these books already). Mostly, I want to create my own characters in the Star Wars universe and place them in familiar settings and storylines, with a main character or two making a cameo.
Anyway, the whole point of this post is to let you know that while I’ll still be blogging about Star Wars, I may scale it down a bit–maybe two posts a week for My Point of View, and a book review on The Star Wars Reader when I actually finish a book, so I have more time to work on the fiction.
I’d also like your opinion on this plan–what do you think? Would you be interested in reading these stories? Should I put them right on this blog, or create a new one just for the fiction (with links on my current blogs, of course)?
I’m warming up to this idea and getting a little bit excited about it, and have a few ideas. Comment below and let me know what you think!
With the release of the cast of the Obi-Wan Kenobi show, and a new trailer for The Bad Batch, it’s ratcheting up my excitement for the new shows. First, I want to briefly address these recent announcements, and then I’ll rank all the new upcoming shows based on my preferences and why.
First, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Starwars.com released the cast list and stated production will begin in April. From what we understand, it will release sometime in 2022. I’m going to go ahead and admit I don’t know half the actors in the cast list. Ewan and Hayden are obvious, and Joel Edgerton and Bonnie Piesse are returning as Owen and Beru from Revenge of the Sith. The only other person I know is Indira Varma from Game of Thrones. But that’s all right–I prefer unknowns (to me) in Star Wars, as they don’t bring along any of their other roles. They’re blank slates and can truly become the character for me.
As far as the trailer for The Bad Batch, it’s getting me a bit more excited for the show. The characters themselves aren’t as interesting to me as the setting of the show itself–post Order 66 as the Empire takes power. I love the Clones and want to see what happens to them after that fateful order, and whether or not the Bad Batch have a chip in their brains as well (I’m guessing no? Maybe?) Fennic Shand is an interesting addition, and was that Saw Gerrera I saw? As far as that kid goes–hmm. Not sure what that’s all about, but we’ll see. Looking forward to this show’s premier on May 4th.
So, without further ado, here’s my personal rankings based on my excitement and interest of the new shows coming up:
10. Droids. I don’t necessarily hate the kid’s shows, but no thanks.
9. Visions. I’m not sure what this is all about, but it might be interesting.
8. Lando. Look, I love Lando, but for a whole freaking show? I’m not sure that will work. But of course I’ll watch.
7. Boba Fett. So I loved Boba in The Mandalorian. Does that mean I want a whole show of him? Not really. But I’ll tune in to see what it’s all about.
6. Rogue Squadron movie. Not a show, of course, but the next movie coming out in 2023. I’m not a huge fan of pilot stories, but it’s a Star Wars movie. I’m going to go see it.
5. Rangers of the New Republic. Again, pilots. But will probably cross-over with Mando, so I’m on board.
4. The Bad Batch. As explained above, I want more Clones. This is what we get, so I’ll take it. I’ll probably love it, lol.
3. The Acolyte. Super curious about this one. I think it takes place about 50 years prior to The Phantom Menace, at the end of the High Republic. I’m thinking darksiders, Sith stuff, maybe Plagueis or Palpatine. Finally, some Force-users! Dark side, in all likelihood, but I’ll take it.
2. Ahsoka. Duh. I can’t wait to see Ahsoka in live action again, looking for Thrawn, maybe find Ezra, maybe with the help of Sabine. This one’s gonna be good!
#1. Obi-Wan Kenobi. This is, of course, my number one, because: Obi-Wan. As you might have figured out if you read this blog, Obi-Wan is my favorite character. For a long time, fans have wondered–just what did Obi-Wan do to fill his time on Tatooine while watching over Luke? And since most of us would happily watch Obi-Wan drink tea in the desert for 6 hours (am I the only one?) this will be a real treat. With Hayden coming back as Darth Vader, the excitement level is off the charts, at least for me. I can’t wait to see how it’s all gonna play out.
I didn’t include The Mandalorian Season 3 simply because it’s not a “new” show, but obviously looking forward to it returning, sometime in 2022. I’m really gonna miss Baby, though.
What are your thoughts on these shows? Which ones are you looking forward to? Let me know in the comments and we’ll talk about it!