My Morning Epiphany

This morning, almost immediately after starting my morning drive to work, I had a real epiphany.  In my first novel that some of you have read, I mention a song called Chasing My Shadow.  This wasn’t simply a song title I made up for the book, I’ve been wanting to write that song since my freshman year of college.  The problem: I can’t read or write music.  Regardless, I’ve had a vision for a music video ever since the title came about.

In the video, I had always pictured a young man literally attempting to catch his shadow.  Imagine Peter Pan or the way a child might attempt to step on their shadow, but always missed. That is the vision. Then add in the fact that he bumps into people and objects until the end of the video where he ends up next to a fountain and steps on the shadow of a girl with whom he shares a look of love.

Fast forward to today and I finally understand why this song idea has never left me.

Much of the video would be the same, but I realized, I should play the guy.  At the end though, my shadow disappears, I look up, and the video cuts to the real me. To Natalie. I’m smiling and happy for the first time.

It’s not a love story like I thought between two different people.  It’s a story about self-love and acceptance.  Its raw, real, bumpy, messy, but in the end, can be wonderful.  I know this is a short post, but I’m tearing up again.  Thanks everyone, you’re all amazing.

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The Acceptance and Evolution of the Singular They/Them

Natalie Summers, 11/30/18

From an early age, the pronouns they and them have been taught to be used when referring to more than one person. Prescriptive grammarians are going to insist that the only acceptable use of they or them is in this form. However, over the last decade, they and them are words that are often used to refer to a singular person as individuals buck the trend of using the traditional, he or she, pronouns. As psychology has advanced, it has become recognized that gender is a spectrum that can allow people to identify across the spectrum and for some individuals, gender can be fluid allowing for pronouns to be used interchangeably.

In 2015, the American Dialect Society named the singular they as the word of the year. Marriott Marquis reported the events on the American Dialect Society’s website. According to Marquis (2015), “Word of the Year is interpreted in its broader sense as a “vocabulary item”- not just words but phrases. The words or phrases do not have to be brand-new, but they have to be newly prominent or notable in the past year.” The society has the longest running vote for Word of the Year and they was selected, in part, because it is already in the English language.

This movement to use more neutral pronouns is mostly attributed to today’s youth as they are no longer feeling bound to one part of the spectrum. The vocabulary for gender has expanded considerably over the past few years. Fifteen years ago, transgender was barely a term taught through society and was often recognized as a mental disorder. Now, not only is it not characterized as a disorder, but states like New York have put out list of gender terms. The original list that New York released in 2016 contained thirty-one genders. The list is still expanding and there are resources for individuals to find various pronouns for individuals to look at as they attempt to find the correct pronouns for themselves.
Recently I had a conversation with a woman from Canada where we were attempting to identify a way to normalize chosen gender pronouns. It was her belief that when introducing herself to someone new, a person should always say their preferred pronouns to prevent any confusion and to keep people comfortable. The context for this conversation came from reading, as I was reading a novel for her and she has a character that prefers the use of they/them pronouns, but the conversation is very relevant in today’s changing society. It was my argument that, when reading, authors could simply use the desired pronouns without the conversation as it can be a bit tedious to read. However, to her point, to normalize that conversation in books could help to normalize it in everyday interactions to prevent any kind of misunderstanding or hurt feelings. The conversation would go along these lines:

“Hi, I’m Brittany. I prefer they or them pronouns. How about you?”

“Hi Brittany. I’m Natalie and I prefer she or her. Thanks for asking.”

In agreeance with this person’s argument, Time magazine had an article by Jacob Tobia asking people to verify pronouns with new individuals. Tobia specifically addresses the awkwardness of this conversation. Tobia states (2016), “Meeting new people is always awkward. But using the wrong pronoun to refer to someone is more awkward because pronouns are about respect.” Tobia asked Nick Adams of GLAAD’s transgender media program who they (Tobia uses gender neutral pronouns) quoted, “By using the right pronoun, you can show that you see and respect their identity.”

I have always had a strong desire to ensure that everyone is comfortable around me and studying to be a teacher, it is of the utmost importance to me to use language that my students are comfortable with when being identified. Prior to the last six weeks, not once in my life, have I ever been asked, what pronouns do I prefer? When I was recently asked, it was natural and easy to explain my pronouns. Specifically, I was asked if I preferred, they or them pronouns. After responding that I prefer she/her, the conversation was able to advance and we were both able to relax. It is a courtesy, like saying hi, for someone to use the correct pronouns when addressing an individual.

Gender specific pronouns for individuals can be a source of much anxiety for someone who does not fit into the traditional two fields of male or female. Someone who is transgender or agender may prefer they or them as it is more fitting to who they are. Across many mainstream media guides, the singular they has been accepted in recent years as psychologist and counselors have gained more of an understanding of the gender spectrum. The current political climate can be viewed as toxic in terms of how accepting people are of this reinvented use of old words.

In many languages there are gender neutral pronouns or forms, such as German, which has the male der, the female die, and the neutral das. American English has spent much of its time ignoring this habit even though the gender neutral they has existed for some time. Writers such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens have used the singular they in their writing. Geoff Nunberg of the National Public Radio points out that speaking the singular they has been accepted for some time such as when verbally asking Did they leave their purse behind? Prescriptive grammarians are more likely to attack the written word rather than a person speaking sentences like this. Nunberg states (2016), “But the Victorian grammarians made it a matter of schoolroom dogma that one could only say “Everybody has his failing,” with the understanding that “he” stood in for both sexes. As their slogan had it, “the masculine embraces the feminine.” Not only is this thinking ignoring a person’s desire, but it is also could be considered sexist, which Nunberg explains, was the reason why this was discredited in the 1970’s.

To his point, I grew up with individuals using the singular they regularly. One classmate would constantly refer to people by they instead of by name and she was constantly corrected by our teachers as it was not grammatically acceptable and could be construed as lazy. This is ignoring the fact that her grammar was easily understood and had a set of rules that descriptive grammarians would accept. Gasser notes, “In fact there is no evidence that people in some cultures speak in sloppier or more elegant or more monotonous ways than people in other cultures. And while languages do differ in striking ways, these different features seem to balance each other out. As far as we know, all languages are equally expressive, equally logical.” (qtd. in Kruse Ch. 1, p.8). This user was not being lazy, she was speaking with logic and was clear. They stole my pencil, is very clear when a teacher is breaking up a dispute between two students.
The media has been accepting of the singular they and them in recent years as several style guides and manuals have been updated to include these pronouns. As the American Dialect Society named the singular they as word of the year, the Washington Post added it to their style guide that same year. Bill Walsh, copy editor of the Post (2015), stated, “For many years, I’ve been rooting for — but stopping short of employing — what is known as the singular they as the only sensible solution to English’s lack of a gender-neutral third-person singular personal pronoun.” Now both the AP Stylebook and the Chicago Manual of Style have been updated to include the singular they, them, and their.

Even though these have become acceptable in media and outlets, one caution that Grammar Girl’s Mignon Fogarty states (2017), standard test still do not recognize the use of these pronouns, so studying for test, students still have to think of these singular uses as wrong. As language evolves, teachers often remain stuck on traditional prescriptive grammar because it is easier to explain to students these uses. For me, I want my students to understand that I will use their preferred pronouns, even if the test says they are wrong. I need my students to know that they can be themselves, but they need to understand that to succeed with the current rules in society, they will have to understand that it is wrong in this context. Fogarty does reassure teachers that this will probably change again in a couple of years.

Young people are extremely vulnerable due to changes in hormones and simply learning who they are that it is a kindness to be able to address them using their desired pronouns. It is common to see young people accidentally write the singular they on their homework as they attempt to tell a story. Teachers have often graded this as wrong, although there has been a movement as of late to correct this as we learn about family dynamics and home life. Parents who identify with they or them have reached out to teachers explaining the reasoning for the child’s mistake. In this case, mistake is used as a loose term.

Across the country, universities and schools alike are adapting gender neutral pronouns and are encouraging regular use of these pronouns rather than gender specific pronouns. Washington University in St. Louis released an article based on a report the University conducted on gender neutral pronouns. In the article, How and Why We Use Gender-Neutral Pronouns, it even asks people who find an opportunity to update pronouns, to contact the school with specific information such as the website to allow the school the opportunity to correct the pronouns to they or them. The report itself goes on to site that the gender spectrum has been accepted by various psychological and psychiatry organizations based on studies from around the country. Quoted within the article, the 2017 report “Use of Singular They in Academic Writing and Communications: Background and Recommendations for the Brown School” by Vanessa Fabbre and Peter Coogan states, “Accepting the use of singular they in academic and professional writing is the responsible choice for social work and public health programs because it recognizes the gender spectrum and aligns with the National Association of Social Workers’ (2008) core value of the “dignity and worth of the person” and the principle of treating “each person in a caring and respectful fashion, mindful of individual differences and cultural and ethnic diversity.”” Brown School is actively asking students and faculty to use the correct pronouns based on this report on everything including resumes that students are making for future jobs. This will overflow into employers as they will begin to see an influx of resumes and cover letters with pronouns that may not match the sex of an individual, making them use the correct pronouns in the hiring process and work force.

For someone who identifies as something not on spectrum that society has accepted for so long, the use of correct pronouns for individuals is incredibly important. These moments I hear my correct pronouns result in a spark of hope for myself. The fact that the media and style guides have adapted to accept individuals on different spectrums is a major step for society to take forward. As President Trump moves to dismiss the needs of individuals that identify as gender neutral or transgender, language becomes more and more important. While people have used the singular they for a long time, the majority of these people have done so in a different format than the American Dialect Society intended, it should not be a stretch for the majority of society to adopt these new norms.

Science has told us that a gender spectrum is a very real thing. From brain scans to psychology, evidence points to this thinking as normal and that the brain is more closely related to the identified spectrum of that individual. For me, my counselor is always encouraging the use of my own pronouns. It is a new line of thinking. Fifteen years ago, even though I knew what I was labeled as was wrong, I couldn’t accept my own pronouns. Terms have evolved and psychology has accepted that gender and sex are different terms. There are people who will ignorantly argue against this despite what the scientific evidence states and those are the people who will never understand the purpose of the singular they or them, despite probably using the term in their own livelihood.
Prescriptive grammarians will disagree on the appropriateness of the singular they or them, even if being used as a preferred pronoun as an individual. They would deem it to be a lazy use even though descriptive grammarians and educators around the country would disagree as it has been accepted into grammar guides as society accepts different norms. This despite the fact that it has been used in conversation and in plays going back to William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors. Should I be corrected by a prescriptive grammarian, I will refer them back to the likes of Chaucer or Jane Austen. In turn, should a student of mine ever question their ability to use their own gender-neutral pronoun, I’ll be able to point out that it has been used for centuries and would be accepted by descriptive grammarians as well as academic institutions around the world.

Someday. Someday I’ll use my preferred pronouns every day. Until then, I can accept any pronouns an individual prefers to use and do my best to teach the changing thinking of acceptability. Before this class, I had trouble accepting myself. This class has not changed me, but I started counseling for the second time in my life during this class for an issue that has changed drastically in today’s world. It was a thought of mine to use the singular they or them over the last few months, but it did not fit me. That does not mean that it doesn’t fit others. As NCLB continues to be repealed and teachers stop teaching to tests, teachers can start teaching to what is acceptable. Media and entertainment can continue to help normalize language that is more fitting to individuals across the gender spectrum which, in turn, will seep into everyday conversation. What foreign languages mastered eons ago, American English is only in the infancy stage of accepting. I’m hoping for a rapid maturation.

Bibliography
Marquis, M. (2016, January 09). 2015 Word of the Year is singular “they”. Retrieved from https://www.americandialect.org/2015-word-of-the-year-is-singular-they
Tobia, J. (2016, May12). Gender Neutral Pronouns: How to Use the Right Pronouns. Retrieved from http://time.com/4327915/gender-neutral-pronouns/
Nunberg, G. (2016, January 13). Everyone Uses Singular ‘They,’ Whether They Realize It Or Not. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2016/01/13/462906419/everone-uses-singular-they-whether-they-realize-it-or-not
Kruse, Martha. Short Course in Descriptive Linguistics. 2018.
Andrews, T.M. (2017, March 28). The singular, gender-neutral ‘they’ added to the Associated Press Stylebook. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/03/28/the-singular-gender-neutral-they-added-to-the-associated-press-stylebook/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6b9f91fb46ea
Fogarty, M. (2018, October 05). Gender-Neutral Pronouns: Singular ‘They’. Retrieved from https://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/gender-neutral-pronouns-singular-they
How and Why We Use Gender-Neutral Pronouns. (2018, January 30). Retrieved from https://brownschool.wustl.edu/News/Pages/How-and-Why-We-Use-Gender-Neutral-Pronouns-.aspx
Fabbre, V., & Coogan, P. (n.d.). Use of Singular They in Academic Writing and Communications: Background and Recommendations for the Brown School (Rep.). Retrieved from https://brownschool.wustl.edu/About/Documents/Web_Use of Singular They in Academic Writing and Communications.pdf.

Life Lately

If you had told me in August that I would be in counseling, coming out to a complete stranger basically, and coming out in papers I’m writing for school, I would have thought you were out of your mind.  Or I was out of my mind.  One of us would be losing it.  Yet here we are and it is freaking fantastic.

I’ve got an incredibly long journey ahead of me, I’m not naive.  I love my counselor.  I make a lot of mistakes and am still shy with her, but she is open and easy to talk to, and best of all, accepts me for me.  She reassures and provides meaningful feedback, helping me to create goals.  For a long time, I’ve searched out things to contradict who I am, to try and prove what I knew about myself was wrong.  Even the little things I did, the lies I told myself, I wasn’t fooling myself.  I even took every “Am I Transgender” quiz I could find, which is not scientific in any way, but I wanted to be accepted by my parents.  That isn’t going to happen.

Starting back in school for the first time in eight years, I was nervous.  My family grew in August.   My stress ramped up exponentially.  I literally didn’t know how to process my feelings anymore.  I’ve felt like I was being slowly suffocated for years.  Now I was being crushed in a landslide.  I have not dug out yet, but at least things have stopped to the point where I can breathe through the grit and grime.  I’m coughing still, yet things are clearing up, if only slightly.

What I have discovered the last few months is that my thoughts are really normal for trans individuals.  Doesn’t really make it easier, but it does provide comfort to know that I’m not alone.  For example, I hate being naked in front of anybody, including myself.  Turns out, that is fairly common.

This semester I have been observing a class of high school students for the first time as I study to become a teacher.  I  wasn’t expecting to have happen what happened.  I was able to observe a teacher who has a spark that is missing from some educators.  She is amazing.  Awkwardly, I emailed her and asked if she wanted to be friends, admitting that if she said yes, I would have a follow-up email with a bunch of information.  When she said she’d love to, I told her my story.   This morning I had coffee with her and our conversation was amazing.  I think she is my sister now, weird as that may sound.

As my semester winds down, I’m sad to see the students for the last time.  For my English class, I had to write a paper on a language topic of my choosing.  I chose to write about the use of the singular they/them in American English.  These are not my pronouns, but part of the paper I had to write about is why I chose that topic.  I could have changed my topic.  I thought about it strongly.  Instead I came out to my teacher after verifying that the paper wouldn’t become public domain.  I am not ready for that.

Things are far from perfect.  At least right now, I feel like I can survive, maybe even come out on top.  Where things lead, I’m not sure, but I’m a bit excited.

To Quote My Child, “What’s going on?”

First off, forgive my grammar as I blog from my phone. I have a ton on my mind and feel like sharing.

Whenever something doesn’t go the way my child thinks it should go, they like to ask the question: What’s going on with it?  There is a lot going on with me right now and its not good or bad, just a lot.

There was a time I moved 14 hours away. I thought about disappearing. Letting my lease go and becoming Natalie. Not telling anyone from my life, just finding freedom. I couldn’t do it.

Yes I have depression and anxiety.  I’ve been sort of treated before. I’ve seen two people in the past, one of which made me feel like a science experiment and the other I saw once as she made me feel more guilty than I normally do.  The first spent our sessions asking questions like, how would I decorate my room or apartment.  She really avoided personal questions.  The other, religion came into play. The last time I saw someone was about 10 years ago.

Now I’m going to someone new, someone who I know for a fact is accepting.  My problem, I’m still depressed and dealing with anxiety, but also confused and angry.  I’m trans. I know that. I can’t change that. And everywhere I go I feel judged even though I’m not out.  When I hear people judging others (has happened with a particular coworker twice in the last two days) I get so angry.  I want to scream and shout at her ignorance.  But in my workplace, she is in the right.  I don’t feel safe.  I never feel safe.  I’m not even sure what the word means. I’m terrified. My work is not safe for someone who is not a conservative flag waiver.

Honestly I feel like a phantom going through the motions. Like I’m on the outside of my body watching some joyless person do what is expected, but I have no real control. I’m helpless.

I bought a dress this week. It was my birthday, so why not? I drove to a city an hour away to do it so no one could recognize me. I wore it out with makeup and for a few wonderful hours, felt content.  Then I had to return.

To what?  What am I returning to? Who am I?  I’m getting lost and I can’t process it anymore.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be out, but god do I need to be me. I need to know me. I desperately want to be out.  Under my skin, there is someone clawing to break free, to explore who they are, and I have to lock that person away.  Its time I get help again.  I’m excited and terrified. I had an anxiety attack after calling the place.  People wonder why I’m so quiet in my life. If you can’t be you, can’t afford a slip up, how can I say anything?

Yes people know me as Natalie. Do you know how often I’m actually called Natalie by those who know? I can probably count the number of times on one hand.  Right now, I’m a disaster.  But that is only right now.  I’m confident in my future with who I’ll be seeing. I’m just not confident in what my future holds.

I’m Never Distrac… Squirrel!

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Lately I’ve really been feeling stretched thin.  Like a good poke would deflate or put a hole in me.  To take a break from Drunk and Disorderly posts (I do have the next chapter done, don’t you worry) I wanted to give you all a bit of insight as to why I feel like a paper airplane writer.  This post was inspired by @clarisseswrites and if you aren’t following her on twitter, you should be.  She is fantastic and far better at consistently blogging than I am.   Without further ado, here are the projects I am most excited about of the fifty-nine I have written down. (Seriously, my folders are getting ridiculous.)

Drunk and Disorderly

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What a random GIF!  See, I’m all over the freaking board right now.  The last two days have been productive writing, but with three different projects.  The two people in the middle of this GIF would make excellent characters in Drunk and Disorderly as Zaralynn and Doctor Carter.  (Also, if you haven’t seen Primeval and like dinosaurs, you should check that show out)

Zaralynn has given up on humanity.  She’s an elf with a drinking problem and wants nothing to do with anyone else.  That all changes on the day her drinking buddy is gunned down in her favorite saloon.  Now with the help of a ragtag group she wants revenge.  Putting together a crew consisting of Clemens, a gnome with fingers in all the right pockets, Tarnoak, a dwarf who has betrayed a number of groups for gold, Flake, a wood-nymph that was once rescued by Zaralynn, Spolt, a posh orc who comes from money, but is extremely loyal, and Dr. Carter, a mysterious financier of the expedition, she hunts down the bandits responsible.

Block 24

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This project is in the very early stages and will take me a long time to write.  I can’t devote myself to it do to the subject matter.  The above is a picture of Auschwitz.  The premise of the novel is based on block 24 which is fairly mysterious.  What is known is that it was home to a brothel where political prisoners were treated better than normal Auschwitz prisoners in exchange for working two hours a night in the brothel.  They were not allowed to service Jews, but the idea was that the Nazis tried to bribe prisoners that in exchange for work they would get tickets to the brothel.  This is a dark place to go, but it is a story that the world should know.

Sequel

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If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I released a book in May under the name my parents expect to see everything under.  I am hard at work on a sequel to it as it is a planned trilogy. It does involve aliens.

Untitled Trans Novel

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This is my latest idea.  A foster kid who has resigned herself to bouncing around from foster home to foster home comes out as trans when her guardian pushes to know why she acts out.  Lane (I haven’t figured out her trans name yet) knows that she will be kicked out as her foster dad is anti LGBT.  That’s when Sam steps up in a big way, divorcing her husband to adopt Lane.

Harpies

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This idea has been slightly abandoned, but sticks with me.  It takes on the mythology of the Harpy and modernizes. Three sisters who are actually Harpies move to small town Idaho on the run from the descendants of the Boreads who hunt their kind.  In the mean time they are trying to live normal lives, the youngest one who is in high school is dealing with social pressure and worst of all molting.  Their world is turned upside down when a boy sneaks up to get a glimpse of their house in hopes of running into the girl and asking her out only to discover what they really are.  

The Guardians of Atlantis

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This story has also been worked a number of times.  I keep coming back to it.  Three teens on a boat that capsize wash up on a beach.  When the locals find them, they discover it was their destiny to become the guardians of Atlantis and have entered a magical water that imbues them with certain abilities.

Demons

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When the end of the world approaches, Saiph does everything in her power to stop it.  Cast out of heaven, she repents for her sins in hell where she is dispelled as well.  Her only sanctuary is earth and with the decline of humans, demons decide it is time to unleash hell on earth.  The first draft of this novel is done.  And it is a trash fire.  Lesson learned: never force a plot point.

Secreted Away

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Some of you have actually beta read this one for me.  I’m not anywhere close to happy with it and am about to completely rewrite it.  Brody is doing everything right.  But when his cousin is left at the altar and runs from the church he chases after her into a mysterious building where a play is going on.  What he doesn’t know is that the play has other plans for him, bringing him into the act.  Now, in a body he doesn’t know, Brody must confront feelings about who he really is while trying to figure out how to get back to his old life.

The SOE

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Inspired by the events of WWII, we dive back into the 1940s.  This time exploring the SOE.  This novel will follow a group of characters as they attempt to become British spies and explore some real events of WWII.  What is fascinating about the SOE is that it was one of the only agencies actively recruiting women for front line duty.

These are just a sampling of ideas.  I also have thoughts towards good and evil wands, meteors that grant certain people powers, secret schools and so many others.  The ones above have actually been started.  So many different directions, so little time.

Stay tuned, next week you’ll get chapter 9!

My Favorite Animated Movies (And One I think is overrated)

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Yesterday I got into a conversation about overrated movies and it set me to thinking about movies from my childhood I loved and some I thought receive too much acclaim.  Most of these are Disney, because let’s face it, Disney is king in the animated film industry.  I’d love to know your thoughts and if there are some that you loved no one ever talks about.  First up are some underrated movies.

Image result for the great mouse detective One of my favorites is The Great Mouse Detective.  This movie, which came out the year I was born, was a take on Sherlock Holmes.  I loved the opening scene in which we meet the hero, Basil, fires a bullet into a bunch of pillows for a forensic test.  This movie is the main reason I’ve always wanted a basset hound named Toby.  The villain, to me, was also an extremely wicked one in Ratigan.  At the end, you see his crazed eyes that actually always give me the creeps.

Image result for Fievel Goes West Sticking with tiny heroes, Fievel Goes West was amazing.  It is the last credit for legendary actor James Stewart, has an amazingly fun song done by Tanya, and it is a little creepy because you have cats talking about making the hero Fievel into mouse burgers.  I loved the first movie in An American Tail, but this one was more of an adventure to me.  There are some racist elements to the movie which will always prevent it from being a great movie as it pulls from stereotypes that we are still fighting with its portrayal of Native American culture which I can’t condone, but that was not the part of the movie I remember most.

Image result for snow white This is the first overrated movie on my list.  Snow White, goodness I can’t stand this movie.  I understand what it did for the studio, but that doesn’t excuse what it does to me.  Snow White has one of the most shrill voices I’ve ever heard.  The story is slow.  The villain never did much for me.  I know that seats had to be replaced in movie theaters because of children wetting themselves at the time, but this movie doesn’t hold up to time for me.

Image result for beauty and the beast animated Rated just right. Beauty and the Beast is perhaps my favorite Disney movie.  Probably because I identify with Belle and her love of books.  Not to mention, she has a pretty nice wardrobe.  The characters are some of the funniest as Cogsworth and Lumiere go back and forth, all in the name of good.  Be Our Guest was my favorite song with the dancing dishes and that was probably the moment I realized magic could exist.  This movie, to me, can’t be over hyped.

Image result for treasure planet Underrated.  Treasure Planet.  Joseph Gordon Levitt.  I’ve never been attracted to men with two exceptions and Mr. Levitt is one of them.  This story is a little darker as Disney was struggling again with movies like this Dinosaur and Atlantis weren’t lighting up the box office (Again, both movies that I loved, but don’t make this list.)  This movie has a complex villain and hero which I appreciated.  Of course it is based on Treasure Island, but the adventure and colors of this movie, I love.  Knowing that one of my good twitter friends (@The_Book_Lander) is working on a Moby Dick novel in space, I can’t help but think of this.

Image result for Fern Gully Underrated.  Fern Gully: The Last Rain Forrest has  a weakness with a bit of a love story, but the love story isn’t what sustains this movie.  Robin Williams voiced Batty and his rap always cracked me up.  This movie also has a strong female lead in Crysta that I was always rooting for.  To me, this movie was ahead of its time in making children aware of world issues.  Also, this was probably the best movie I’ve ever muted and made up my own lines to while drunk.

What are some of your favorite childhood movies?  I kept mine to animated movies, but there were a ton of others that could easily make a list like this like The Little Giants or The Little Rascals.  Do you have any that you believe are overrated?  Thanks for reading. Keep writing.

Internet Friends Can Be Best Friends

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Earlier this week, Brittany Evans blogged about internet friends being real friends.  You can read her post in the link below.  I wanted to take the time to echo those sentiment As someone who grew up in a house where the internet was dial-up, the only form of social media was basically Myspace, and I went to a school where belonging to the LGBT plus community was unheard of.  There was no way for me to ever be me.

Now thanks to Facebook and the spin offs, such as Twitter, people who are different can connect all over the world.  Before I was big on social media, I had come out to a few people, but those people weren’t long for my life.  They left, moving on with their lives, not really interested in having a transgender friend.  Then when I came out on social media, that give me real courage.

I’ve met so many wonderful people, amazing people.  People I’d love to meet, but probably won’t ever get the chance as we are scattered across the globe.  I’ve held conversations with them about personal things, venting or being the listening ear they needed.  Once I came out and felt more comfortable online with people like C.L. Ogilvie and my Texas friend Leigha, I was able to come out to more friends in my life.  Friends that haven’t left me.  Even one who moved away and is probably my best friend, we keep in touch through text and social media.  To say internet friends can’t be real friends is ludicrous.

Online I can talk to people about similar interest.  Finding beta readers in my life outside of the internet is a horrible task.  Writers know the importance of betas and sharing ideas.  Friends are someone who listens, shares interest, can talk to you, and give honest opinions.  Friends care about you and your well-being.  Just because I’ve never shook your hand, doesn’t mean we aren’t friends.  If that’s what you need to be friends, that’s fine, but it isn’t required validation for everyone.  We can be friends without meeting, believe me when I say, the people I interact with online are my friends.  Internet friends are very much real friends.

https://myaceofhearts.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/internet-friends-are-real-that-is-all/