A word about my relationship with the stories I love.  The ones that burrow down deep and take root for a while.  Not forever, but long enough that I start to scribble in little notebooks or type on my laptop until my craving for words is satisfied.

Star Wars

I don’t classify myself as a sci-fi fan.  I remember seeing snatches of the original three films as a kid at my grandparents’ house when my older cousins were watching them.  I didn’t see them in their entirety until I was a teenager, after I’d already been listening to the music for at least a year.  I liked them, but at the same time it was a bit of an odd experience.  (And yes, I skip or cover Jabba’s Palace – I don’t go in for that kind of stuff.)  Since this was already well after the prequel films came out, we eventually watched those.  I liked The Phantom Menace (Qui-Gon!) but couldn’t care less for The Clone Wars, for the same reasons I don’t like Jabba’s Palace.  Blurgh.  As for the Revenge of the Sith, I was frustrated with the movie but absolutely loved the audiobook of Mathew Stover’s novelization.  I enjoyed The Force Awakens despite being a bit skeptical going into it (they had seriously better not kill Poe Dameron in Episode VIII), but the movie that has blown me away is Rogue One.

I left the theater in a daze of emotions, so worked up and happy and sad it took me a good hour to even process what I had seen and felt.  A week later, still hyped, I read the novelization and was disappointed that it seemed the author had not seen the finished movie.  It was close, but not good enough.

I don’t intend to write up the entire movie, but there are a couple scenes and perspectives that I’m looking forward to exploring.  I think they all involve Cassian in some way or another….

Rurouni Kenshin

I detest anime and manga.  I really do.  I almost certainly would not have watched a live-action film based on one if I had known it in advance.  But I didn’t know.

I was on a 4-hour flight to San Francisco scrolling through the seatback video options when I found a samurai movie.  I read the description, possibly watched a preview, and settled in.  I didn’t realize it at first, but I was actually watching movie 2 out of 3.  Thanks to flashbacks, it all made sense, and when movie 2 ended I hastily looked around for movie 3, which I was also able to watch, even if I had to finish it at my hotel that night.

Needless to say, I loved it.  Flamboyant action scenes grounded in historical reality, or at least a believable version of it.  Breathtakingly tasteful Japanese nuance without any of the heavy-handed drama of foreign attempts at interpretation.  A barely-there yet bone-deep romance that anchors it like a cast-iron cable embedded in rock.  Oh, yeah, and Saito Hajime’s life-or-death attachment to his cigarettes.  I died every time.

Secret Hunter

I had a tantalizing relationship with this play, which was originally produced by Takarazuka Revue (I do NOT endorse all of their plays – viewer beware!), for a couple of years.  I had seen about 5 clips, each about 5 minutes long.  I giggled, was reminded of Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn – and could not find a way to watch the whole thing for anything.  Talk about a bummer.

So…..I started doodling.  A scene here, a scene there (I had a tutoring job in college that left me with a lot of free time).  Shortly after I had completed my own version of the story, I was finally able to watch the entire play.  I like my version better.  So there.

Note:  Takarazuka Revue is an all-female, non-LGBT theater troupe based near Osaka, Japan.  They have been in business for over 100 years.  When they’re good, they’re awesome.  And they actually write music for altos.

The Lord of the Rings

I think I got into LOTR a little too young to write fanfiction.  However, when I was 15, I started writing a spin-off story that takes place years later and features several descendants.  I went back and re-read it fairly recently and it wasn’t too horrible, so I’ve decided to post it.  The illustrations are originals that I drew as I was writing it.