Friday, January 18, 2019

About My Books: Designing a Harvest Moon


Welcome to my first post that will be "About My Books". We're starting with my first book of poetry, Designing a Harvest Moon. This one is all over the place, tonally and with the subject matter. I mean, there are ten chapters in it which talk about a wide range of things. Some of the things are uplifting and beautiful; some are the darkest and most horrible things you can imagine. But I'm a storyteller. And I had stories to write and tell and share. Some of what is expressed here comes straight from my heart, some of it comes from the feelings of others, some of it comes from the my imagination or someone else's. The point is, yet again, that this book is all over the place. And that is precisely why I wanted to start talking about all my books, because of this one, as there is much to explain about it.

So, I thought I would just discuss all these different chapters, what inspired them and why I wrote them. Just so people who might be interested in reading this book will know and be prepared. Because, as mentioned, I do cover some very heavy topics in this one. I'll take it one at a time and tell you all what they're about. And speaking of being prepared, this might be a long one.

"My Whole Wide World" - There is a movie called The Whole Wide World. I love this movie and not enough people have seen it. So, in order to get some exposure for this great piece of art, as well as pay tribute to it, I did two things. First, the title of the book. The title was inspired by a line I heard in the film, spoken by Vincent D'Onofrio, which is why he gets a little thank you on the dedication page. Second, this chapter. What I did was write some poems that were all inspired by scenes and characters in the movie. I loved writing this and I hope I did a good job. The best part is that I have had people ask me what this section is about and I am able to tell them about this film and that they should go and watch it. I want as many people to see it as possible and I wanted to do my part to make that happen and, again, to pay tribute to everyone who was a part of it.

"The Caged and Released Chronicles" - What an epic title. I guess. When I was writing this book, I was taking notice of everything around me. And I was around a lot of people. People who weren't shy about sharing stories with me about their lives and others in their lives and things they were witnessing. Well, between that and what I was seeing myself, I realized what a harsh world this is. So, I took all of it and came up with the idea of being someone trapped in a harsh world. I saw that I was using quite a lot of imagery that reminded me of fairy tales, like princesses and queens and dragons, which is why I came up with the "epic" title. Therefore, this chapter is a fairy tale world that I created which has some dark corners, as they often do. But thankfully, there is some light getting through the cracks of it and, in the end, there is freedom.

"Supernova" - There are some people in the entertainment industry that I love and admire. So, I thought I would write about some of them. Everything here comes directly from me. This is how I feel about these particular people. Sadly, in the subsequent years, some of the people I wrote about in this chapter would be moved to another. More on that later.

"Blackout" - Open a newspaper, turn on the TV and you will be confronted by a lot of unpleasant stories that may have something to do with unpleasant people. Here's another place where the opinions and ideas of others came into play. I would listen to where they stood on certain people and their actions. I would ask "What do you think about what so and so said?" or "What do you think about what so and so did?" Sometimes I agreed. Other times, I did not. But I wanted to write from different angles, so I did. There's a lot in here about trusting those you shouldn't and people getting caught in lies. There are a couple of things about how the world tries to convince so many of us that there is something wrong with us, sometimes to the point where we can get angry at God, because we're not "perfect". But He made us to be who we are, because He loves us. So, yeah, there is some sad stuff in here. But sadness does exist.

"Playback" - I listen to a lot of music. In this case, I listened to a lot of songs written by men. Then, I decided to take whatever stories they were trying to tell and tell them myself through my own female perspective. This was actually a fun one to write.

"Still Caged" - This chapter has a lot of spillover from the second one. Hence, the title, so you might still notice some of that fairy tale imagery here. Again, I was paying attention to what people around me were saying and sharing and how they felt about certain things. A lot of those things were quite difficult. I heard some stories from near and far that were terrible. I wished I could have ignored them, never to think about them, but I couldn't. One person said she worked in a place where one had to participate in . . . "extracurricular activities" to get ahead. And they thought no one knew, but she knew. I had heard of things like this. If this was true, I felt bad for her, but also for anyone who did this. Someone else told me she knew a woman who left a good man for a bad one because he fulfilled her physical needs but treated her like crap. That sounded like a foolish choice to me. I witnessed some incidents with people who were parents, but really shouldn't be. They had so much anger in their faces and eyes, and their children, so much sadness. And I can't take parents who treat their kids so badly. Makes me wonder why they keep having them. I heard about a place where they allow in every kind of awful person one can imagine, and I didn't even want to think about who they might let in next. So I wrote about all these things. I even wrote one called "Torture", which was, I realized after I wrote it, all about the Devil, along with horrid things he has done to our world and those within it, and how he will get no mercy, because he shouldn't. Some crazy imagery I used on that one. So, yes, some dark stuff here. And some of the bad things I was thinking about and writing about spill over into the next part.

"E.W.C." - This is the hardest section to read and to write. Let me explain. "E.W.C" is a term that I heard on Law & Order: SVU, a show that highly inspired this chapter. It means "Endangering the Welfare of a Child". I was watching this show a lot at the time, and the episodes that hit me the hardest were the ones about the kids. For so many reasons. So I started to write about that through my own eyes, often based on stories I saw on this show and others. Therefore, in a way, I dealt with real issues in a fictionalized world. I wrote about victims who were ignored and people who look the other way for whatever reason and how would they feel if it was their child. I wrote about how these abusers are master manipulators and will try to hide their actions any way they can, but it will all come to the light. I even wrote about people in law enforcement who I heard pose as minors in order "to catch a predator" and what a celebration there must be, by them and the public, when they do catch them. And one thing I wrote was based on an idea I had for an episode of SVU where the perp had a crazy defense, which did not help him get away with his crime, but instead of a script, I wrote a poem. Most importantly, though, I wrote about how we must always seek justice and not revenge. One poem called "After" is about how one can think they've defeated the guilty party and are so pleased with themselves, but it didn't work because they went about it the wrong way, and often our best weapon to actually defeat is to simply say something when we see something and do things the right way. Another called "Guilty Blood" talks about how intoxicating the idea of revenge can be, but if you try to become the hero that way, you've crossed a line into a place you may not be able to come back from and nobody wins. So it's best not to go there. I wanted to show how terrifying it can be if we let ourselves be overtaken by rage and the want for revenge if we ever are in this situation, God forbid. Because I thought about that, and it scared me. I don't want anyone to ever think they can get out of that dark place by adding more darkness. Only light can get rid of that. Only good can defeat evil. Revenge may seem like the best solution, but it's not. Justice is what we should strive for. And whatever rage we may feel, whether in the situation or not, as hard as it may be, we must let ourselves turn it into strength. Strength that can be shared with those who need it. I know I went to some dark extremes, especially metaphorically, but it's a dark subject. It can be hard to get through, but I wanted readers to feel something and not forget. Because none of us should ever be apathetic when it comes to protecting the most innocent of us.

"Dropping the Ball" - I am not a sports fan, but I started to pay attention to things that come out of that world. And, again, I paid attention to some fictional television shows that covered the topic and let that inspire me. Anyway, I noticed how a few people behaved in the community and I didn't like a lot of what I saw. I was upset by some of it. I also looked into some stories that were going around in the news where this subject was concerned, and I listened to people's opinions on them, because I've never really been a part of that world. Therefore, many things I wrote, yet again, are based on the thoughts of others. For example, there was someone who knew someone who, when any sports figure was accused of a particular crime, would never even entertain the idea that it could be true, so the question arose of how he would feel if someone he knew and loved was involved. So, I wrote about that. Then, in another situation that happened, I was surrounded by people who were on completely different sides, half blindly believing something about someone, the other half blindly not believing. So, I wrote from two different perspectives in one poem. I wanted to express how dangerous it is when two sides are fighting for what they think is the truth, instead of their number one priority being to seek out the actual truth. We have to be open to the idea that even people we admire are capable of doing bad things, and if we think someone broke the law, we can't fight it with more lawlessness.

"Memory Boxes" - There have been many people who we have lost and some of them I greatly admired. I was saddened by the thought of losing them, so I decided to do a chapter of tributes. And while it may seem like this would be one of the darker sections of the book, I tried to be as positive as possible. Talking about what a great impact that some of them had on the world and on me, personally. And in case you didn't figure it out, this is where some of my subjects from the "Supernova" chapter would be now. Gone but not forgotten.

"All Day, Every Day" - This last chapter is just a mix of all different kinds of poems. It's almost as though it is representative of this book in its entirety. I just had all this poetry that didn't seem to fit in any of the other sections, so I gave them their own. There are things in here inspired by musicians I love, friends, my life as a writer, my life in general and so much more. Some of my favorites are in here, some of the ones that I consider the best.

So, that is what my first book of poetry is all about. Once again, I know it's all over the place. I know I talked about very good things and very, very bad things, but that's life. And I wanted to tell stories about life. Whether they came from me or someone else, whether they were real or made up, whether they were beautiful or shocking, I wanted them to be told and to send the message that I want to be sent through them. That was what I wanted for this book. And what I still want is that only good come from its existence. Through the darkness and the light, only good. I hope and pray that I succeeded.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Talking About My Books


I am a writer who has self-published a few books. Poetry books, to be specific. Although, I do have some novels waiting in the wings as well. I never, in a blog post, delved hardcore into what they're about or what inspired me to write them, so I thought I should start doing that now that I'm selling them again. See, I took then off the market for a while so I could improve the insides, the formatting and front matter and whatnot, just so they can look the best that they possibly can. Sorry to everyone who bought copies before. Not that there were that many people who did that. Actually, looking back, I'm glad that there aren't a lot of copies floating around in the world. I mean, the poems are the same, but things just look better now.

Anyway, as I was saying, I wanted to go through each of my books and talk about them. I especially wanted to do that with my first book, because it's got a lot of stuff that covers a wide range of subject matter. A very wide range. And I want people to know exactly what I was writing about and what my intentions were with all these stories I was telling. As far as the other books go, I just really would love to talk about them. I do love talking about writing and inspiration.

So, over the next several days, I will be sharing my thoughts about the books I've published so far. As new ones get added to the list, I will talk about those, too. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it gives you insight on what I do as a writer, if you ever want to read my work outside of this blog.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top Ten Worst Hit Songs of 1978


Okay, yesterday, we talked about the songs I loved most from the year 1978. Now it's time to look at the other side of things. And what's sad is that I actually like a few of the artists on this list. I suppose they just were having some bad days. In my opinion. Off we go.

#10. "You're in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)" Rod Stewart - Is this a love song to a sports team? I don't like sports. Why, Rod, why? I really like you. For real, though, even if it wasn't about sports, I'm not a big fan of this one.

#9. "With a Little Luck" Wings - I've heard brilliant things from Paul McCartney. We all have. When he was in The Beatles, when he was on his own, and when he was in this band Wings. For some reason, I could never handle this song. I just don't get it. I've heard other people praise it, but it's one I never fail to skip. Sorry. I love you, Paul, but not for this one.

#8. "Can't Smile Without You" Barry Manilow - Again, I certainly can enjoy some Barry Manilow. Don't get me started on how much I love the song "Copacabana" . . . even though it didn't make my Best Of list yesterday. Bygones. Still, I can't take this song. And let me tell you something. I don't even like the version sung by The Carpenters. And for me to not like something that The Carpenters are singing? Let's just say it doesn't happen very often.

#7. "Short People" Randy Newman - I never understood the appeal of Randy Newman. I mean, I guess I can get a kick out of what he did for the Toy Story movies, but this? Yeah, I was never a fan of this song. And I am of fairly average height. Although, it did give us quite and amusing scene on Ally McBeal. Go figure.

#6. "Reminiscing" Little River Band - Rumor has it that John Lennon absolutely loved this song. Well, as much as I can admire him as an artist, he and I disagree on quite a few things. Let's just add the likability of this song to the list.

#5. "I Love the Nightlife" Alicia Bridges - I don't like the word "boogie". And this uses the word "boogie". A lot. And I'm not a huge fan of the singer's voice. I mean, to each their own. It's a voice that I think may be an acquired taste. It just doesn't happen to be mine. No offense. Still, even with someone else singing it, I would not like this song at all. Unless it was Harry Connick Jr. Then . . . maybe.

#4. "You Can't Turn Me Off (In the Middle of Turning Me On) High Inergy - What is up with that title? It certainly could get your attention, but maybe not in a good way. Look, until I started compiling this list, I never even heard of the group High Inergy. But I will say this, though. They have beautiful voices. Beautiful voices that are too good for this song.

#3. "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" Chic - I'm sorry. I really like Chic. They have written some amazing songs. But I just can't like a song that has "Yowsah" anywhere in it. I don't know why.

#2. "Boogie Oogie Oogie" A Taste of Honey - There's that word again. What is up with that "boogie" word? And may I say, once again, we have some beautiful voices here. I just don't want to hear them singing this song.

#1. "Miss You" The Rolling Stones - I've always been on the fence about The Rolling Stones. Do I like them or do I not? I don't know. What I do know is that I really hate this song? I am well aware that there are people who believe that no one should make disco music. I think only certain people should not make disco. Certain people like The Rolling Stones. I get that they wanted to cash in on what could be considered a fad, but just no.

So there they are. All the songs from 1978 that I liked the very least. Like I said, I love quite a few of the artists that I had to put on this list. I just happened to not like these particular songs. And again, these are just my opinions. If you like them, excellent. Keep on listening.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Monday, January 14, 2019

Top Ten Best Hit Songs of 1978


So, I decided to do another of my Best/Worst Hit Songs of Random Year lists. And to choose my random year, I did a Twitter poll. As usual I got not a lot of votes, but in the end, the winner was 1978. I'm happy about that, because I do, indeed, like the music of the seventies. Well, some of it. And today we'll be talking about the stuff I like, obviously. Oh, and I hope you all like the Gibb family. For real.

Now, let's go over the rules. I am only including songs from Billboard's Hot 100 Year End list, because I need boundaries, and none of the songs can have appeared on a previous list. Are we good? Okay, let's do this.

#10. "Come Sail Away" Styx - Alright, shut up! I like Styx. I can't help it. Do I have some issues with certain members of the band? Perhaps. But I try to not let that impede how I feel about their songs. And I do like this song, a lot. I also do occasionally have a soft spot for these kind of epic-y, arena rock anthems. I just wonder if my bringing up this tune will bring back to people's minds the Eric Cartman cover from the 90's.

#9. "Baby Come Back" Player - I think most people would consider Player to be a "One Hit Wonder" band, even though they have another song on this very Year End Chart. But this song is the one they tend to be remembered for. Understandably so. It is a great song and I love that very recognizable riff in there. Not to mention the falsetto notes in the bridge. Yeah, falsetto must have been a music fad at the time. More on that later.

#8. "Emotion" Samantha Sang - Remember what I said about liking the Gibb family? Well, here's the first song to appear on this list that was written by a couple of them, specifically Barry and Robin. Again, I do believe that Samantha Sang would also be considered a "One Hit Wonder", but if you're gonna be one, may as well have a Gibb brothers song as your hit. But she does give a great performance and her voice certainly lends itself to the kind of music they were writing at the time.

#7. "Dust in the Wind" Kansas - Nothing like a little Prog Rock, am I right? Anyway, I have always loved this song, but I never really knew why. I just happened to do so. But in doing my research for this list, I found out that the lyrics were inspired by a Bible verse and a book of Native American poetry. So many things that I love. That explains a lot. And let's be real. These are some beautiful lyrics we've got here.

#6. "If I Can't Have You" Yvonne Elliman - More from the Brothers Gibb. Most of you may know that this song appeared on the somewhat successful soundtrack to a little movie called Saturday Night Fever. I would call it one of the highlights of that album. The song is amazing and the lovely voice of Yvonne Elliman takes it to another level. Funny thing, she wasn't even supposed to sing this particular song for the album, but I'm glad that someone decided otherwise.

#5. "Just the Way You Are" Billy Joel - I love Billy Joel. He is so much fun. And he certainly knows how to write a beautiful love song. Case in point, this one. And he also knows how to be inspired. The title was actually taken from a line in the song "Rag Doll" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. And since these two songs sound basically nothing alike, he did things right. I love when one genius can learn from the genius of others.

#4. "Last Dance" Donna Summer - Donna Summer was amazing, in so many ways. Seriously, that voice is downright legendary. And while she had quite a few hit songs around this time, I think this one might be the best of hers. It is certainly the best she did this year. I love how many levels there are to this song, starting off as a slow ballad and then picking things up so we can all get our dance on. I think it was one of the songs that gave some legitimacy to the whole disco genre. But, then again, so did she.

#3. "The Name of the Game" ABBA - Some people think that "Dancing Queen" is the greatest song that ABBA ever gave us. Those people are sheep. For real, though, while I can appreciate what is probably considered their most loved song, this one has always been my favorite of theirs. And I hear that the opening use of synthesizers was inspired by Stevie Wonder. Good times.

#2. "Shadow Dancing" Andy Gibb - This was actually the Number One song for the whole year, but sorry, Andy. You're only Number Two with me. At least the song is. This is one of my favorites from the youngest of the Gibb brothers, and I think one of the reasons I love it so much is because all four of them wrote it together. In my eyes, that makes it very special. And I don't even really know what "Shadow Dancing" actually means. I can guess, though.

#1. "How Deep is Your Love" Bee Gees - Even though there are times in the Bee Gees career that I favor much more than the Saturday Night Fever era, I must admit that this song is absolutely beautiful. They also know how to write and amazing love song, and this is one to be treasured. In amongst all that dance and disco music, it gives a quiet and sweet moment that we all need. And those harmonies are exquisite as always. Definitely one of their finest.

Okay, so those are all my favorites of the year. I know some were obvious, but 1978 had some really great music. And some not so great music as well. Come back tomorrow for that.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Once In a Lifetime Sessions with Noel Gallagher - Documentary Review


I love Oasis. I have since I was a teenager and way into my "Isn't everything that is even remotely British the best thing ever?" phase. Which may or may not, every so often, revive itself to this day. Well, even though the British thing may have been what made me take notice, it was the music that made me stay. That and my crush on Liam Gallagher. Now THAT does not ever revive itself. In fact, as I've gotten older, I realized that, due to my infatuation with one Gallagher brother, I may slightly overlooked and underrated the talent of the other. Not any more, though. I happen to think Noel Gallagher is quite brilliant. So, you can imagine how thrilled I was when I went to my Netflix and saw Once in a Lifetime Sessions with Noel Gallagher.

First things first, I am calling this a documentary, though I think it may actually be a series on Netflix, since I've seen ones with other artists. But we're labeling it a doc. Anyway, what we get to see here is exactly what I love. We get some great performances by Noel as he revisits some of his most beloved songs. Yes, I may have sung along a few times. Don't judge me.

However, as much as I love the music, I love the stories even more. See, all the singing is intermingled with a lot of talking. That is more than fine with me. We get to hear about how these songs came to be and what was happening for Noel at the time they were written or when they became popular. He can tell a good anecdote, I must say. And to hear his feelings about all that music he created and how people reacted to it was very interesting. He also talks about his own influences as a musician, something I always enjoy hearing from artists. Noel just happens to have a lot of great stories in him, which he can tell through songs or just through an interview. Either way, they are engaging.

A couple of things he said really caught my attention. One was that he could never really predict the hits. Many times, the songs he thought the people would love would be largely overlooked and the songs he didn't think too much of ended up being successful. He also talked about B-sides, which is a thing that used to be a thing when we had CD singles. Those songs turned out to be almost little treasures that fans could hold on to. They were something special that you really had to go out of your way to find. As someone who always seeks out things like that, I appreciated these comments. It almost makes fans like me seem really special ourselves.

The bottom line is that I have always loved anything that goes behind the scenes with artists. In short, I really enjoyed watching this. Being such a long time fan of Oasis and Noel Gallagher, there was a touch of nostalgia to all of this. Just as Noel had memories of all the songs he has written, so do I. So do a lot of the fans, I would imagine. Therefore, anyone who loves the music that this man has made over the years should take a look at this.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Saturday, January 5, 2019

A Star is Born (2018) - Music Movie Review


For those of you who have read this blog in the past, you'll know that I do something called a "Straight From the Theater" review. That's where I go to see a movie at the theater and immediately come home and a write a review for it. In case that wasn't obvious. Well, I don't go to the movies very often anymore, for many reasons. In fact, I only saw two films in the theater last year. Unfortunately, one of them was during my personal hiatus. Therefore, I didn't do a review right away. So, I thought I should have my first one of the year be about this movie, A Star is Born.

Now, I'm someone who is not necessarily a fan of remakes. In fact, I tend to dislike them quite a bit. They just usually seem pointless to me. But the truth is, it can go either way. I mean, I thought the True Grit remake was great and I liked the recent incarnation of The Magnificent Seven. On the other hand, we always have the 1999 version of The Haunting. Yeah, let's not talk about that anymore. I still feel the traumatic aftereffects of the review I did years ago. So, when I heard about yet another A Star is Born being made, I was on the fence, but I kept my eye out for it and became intrigued. So, I decided to give it a shot.

A Star is Born centers around Jackson Maine, a successful rock star played by Bradley Cooper. He is still very popular, but he is dealing with personal demons, mostly pertaining to drug and alcohol abuse. One night, he comes across a waitress and a singer-songwriter named Ally. He is quite impressed by her talent and then end up spending the night talking with each other and really opening up about themselves. Eventually, Jackson invites Ally to one of his concerts where she ends up singing on stage with him. The crowd is extremely impressed and, thus, begins Ally's ascent into stardom. You could almost say that, on that night, a star was born. Yeah, I said it.

Predictably, especially if you've seen the previous versions of this film, the relationship between Jackson and Ally deepens, but with that beautiful love story aspect, it also brings more problems for them. Jackson continues to struggle as Ally continues to thrive, and they are both going in directions that the other thinks is the wrong way. Even though we can see how they can be, in some ways, damaging to each other, we can also see how they bring out some of the best as well. In ends up making us root for them, but almost reluctantly so, because what we think is best for them may not be. And wanting the best for someone at any cost is kind of a theme in this film. The thing is, though, that you can always feel the love between them. No matter what is said or what mistakes are made, there is no doubt about the love.

Now I refuse to spoil the end for anyone who hasn't seen it, but I must admit, it is rather perfect. Mostly because it is the ending that must happen in this film. That's one thing I can always appreciate from a movie like this. If it has a real ending. It can be happy, sad, ambiguous, I don't care, as long as it's real. As long as it's true to the story. And, in this case, it is very much an authentic ending for the story being told.

Okay, so about the cast. I really liked everyone's performance in this. I was very impressed with our leads, especially. I've always enjoyed Bradley Cooper as an actor, and he was great in this, even with the added task of being the director as well. That's another thing he did a good job with. Maybe he learned something from working with Clint Eastwood about pulling double duty. In addition to that, in this version, as opposed to the others, this film seems to be more about the man than the woman. I heard a rumor that some people thought Bradley Cooper made it that way so he could ensure himself a few Oscar noms, but I don't believe that. Honestly, I think he didn't want his co-star to have to carry the weight of the whole movie on her shoulders, as she doesn't have as much film experience as him. Just a theory. Speaking of his co-star, let's talk about Lady Gaga.

I've had my ups and downs with Lady Gaga, both as an artist and as a person, but I have never denied her talent. And much like I can say she's an amazing musician, I can now say that she is an amazing actress. She really did embrace this role and made it incredibly believable. I think she had a lot in common with Ally, especially concerning her insecurities, so she was able to bring a lot of herself into the part. Not to mention the fact that she and Bradley Cooper had some phenomenal chemistry, a must for a movie like this. My one complaint is that she didn't use her real name for this. I don't know why, but I would have liked it if, just for this, she was calling herself Stefani Germanotta instead of Lady Gaga.

Aside from those two, the supporting cast was terrific, as well. We had Dave Chappelle, Anthony Ramos, Rafi Gavron and Andrew Dice Clay, who I almost didn't recognize. But of all of the supporters, the best was Sam Elliot, playing Bobby, Jackson's much older brother. He was incredible as usual and, again, the chemistry between him and Cooper was about perfect and, in some places, almost heartbreaking.

Okay, it's time to talk about the music in this music movie review. It was wonderful and for me to say that about any music that came out last year is a lot. Look, let me honest. In 2018, there were only four artists who gave me any music that I cared to listen to: Avril Lavigne, Lana Del Rey, a friend of mine who is a brilliant musician and who I will talk about later at some point, and Lady Gaga. Okay, technically, I guess it would be her and Bradley Cooper, but whatever. The point is that this music is something special, and it all felt a bit throwback and retro-y to me. Maybe that's why, even though I know the film takes place in modern times, there are many moments where it feels like we're back in the 70's which I love. Now, obviously, everyone is always talking about how great "Shallow" is, and I agree. But there are other gems as well, like "Look What I Found", "Maybe It's Time", "Always Remember Us This Way" and my personal favorite, "Is That Alright?" Yeah, if that last one snuck in with "Shallow" to also get an Oscar nom, I'd be pleased.

So, in conclusion, I really liked this latest version of A Star is Born, and I'm glad I did. As I mentioned, it takes a lot these days for me to drag myself out to the theater. I really have to want to see something and I don't want to be disappointed. Well, I was not disappointed here. I love films about music and writers and all that, and I'd consider this one of the much better ones I've seen. I highly recommend it.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year, New Beginnings


It has been a while. I think about six months. So, to all of my regular readers, I apologize, but things have been happening. Or not happening. Depending on how you look at it. I'll explain. And my explanation may be a bit long, but there's a lot for me to say.

The last time I posted was back in June, where I talked about how I felt I had maybe lost my passion for writing this blog. Truth be told, I lost my passion for a lot of things. Including life itself. The last few years have been difficult for me, I must admit, and in the past year and a half or so, I have been dealing with some pretty severe depression. I know I mentioned it here, tried to talk about it, tried to be positive, but I think that had less to do with convincing everyone else that things were gonna be okay and more with convincing myself. I wanted to believe everything I was saying, and I think, in the moment, I did. It was true as I was writing it, and I think I said a lot of good things that I hoped may have helped someone. But looking back, I'm not sure I really believed it. I'm actually pretty sure I didn't.

Honestly, because of everything I had been going through, I kind of gave up on my life. I stopped caring. Sure, I acted as best I could like everything was alright, and there were moments when it was easier to let myself forget how bad things were. But in the many quiet times when I was completely alone, it was nearly unbearable. I just didn't think I was worth anything and I stopped living.

I'd been through times like this before, but never this bad. So, it would take a lot for me to be able to get myself out of this and be able to care and breathe and live again. Well, something came along and did that. I won't go into too much detail, but let me just say this. There are times in a person's life when they can feel like they're dangling over the edge of a cliff, trying desperately to not crash into the ground. Ultimately, they are the only one who can pull themselves back up onto solid ground. But, in the meantime, sometimes someone can come along and hold their hands so they don't slip while they're trying to build up all that strength. That happened with me. And you have to remember that it was still always my choice. I could have let go and let myself fall, or I could have picked myself up, stopped dangling in fear and started living again. I chose the latter. And as much as I can and do appreciate the people who helped me, I'm actually proud of myself for doing that.

Are things perfect now? No. They're not. I'm still struggling financially. I still live in a house that's not exactly in great shape, to say the least. Yeah, it's in pretty bad shape, but it has a roof and walls and doors that lock, so I'm safe and sheltered. Which is more than what some people can say. And there are other things, too. But I'm trying to not get held down by all of it. After my time of wrongly being apathetic, I'm working hard again and I know that God sees that and will bless me for it. Speaking of work, let's talk about some of that. Particularly, my work as a writer.

Well, obviously, you know that when it comes to my blog writing, I have returned to that. In fact, I've spent the last week or so trying to clean up this lovely little blog of mine. I re-read things, edited some things, deleted a few things that just felt like a waste of space. Although, I kept a few of my earlier, more pointless posts up. Just so there's a record of where I've been, so I can compare it to where I am now. I can actually do a lot of that comparing when it comes to my movie reviews, which, in some cases, I should call movie discussions. Yeah, in some of them, especially early on, I kind of went on and on and on about the plot, sometimes talking about the whole thing, instead of just saying "Here's what was good and here's what was bad". I think I may have improved on that, over the years, though. Hopefully. Oh, and I also changed my intro to the blog. Cut it in half, actually. Kept the outro the same, however, because I think I only need one "catch phrase" and I like that one better. So, having said all that, if anyone goes back and reads my old stuff, I'm hoping it's better than it was.

And then, there are my books. I think I mentioned this, but I had taken them off the market and had been planning to re-release them all with new covers and more professional looking insides. I even came up with a name for a "publishing company" and I wanted to come up with a logo for it. But there has been some upheaval where I publish my books and some of that is not possible at the moment. Don't get me wrong. I will be putting my previous books back on the market soon with the improved insides, but the covers will be the same. The thing is this, when I do re-release them, I want them to look the absolute best they can. Now I may have to spend some extra time and money on that, which I don't have now. But when God blesses me with the means to do it, I will. And I will also be putting out a new book of poetry and my novel . . . finally. I'll keep you all posted on that.

In addition to that, there is my podcast. Or the one I want to do. I still have plans for that. Again, though, I have to get some equipment, which costs more money, of course. But once more, I know I will be blessed with the funds soon. On the other hand, I've been thinking of maybe just turning my aforementioned movies reviews/discussions into videos for my YouTube channel. Speaking of which . . .

I will also be putting some videos back onto said YouTube channel. I'll start with some improved versions of my poetry videos and some more stuff. What stuff? Who knows? But I have plenty of ideas. I'm even thinking of making a trailer for that new book of poetry I've got coming out. We'll see.

The point is this. I have so much to look forward to this year. After everything I went through, I am looking to change my life for the better in so many ways, something I've already starting doing. And I plan to work to make those changes happen. I want to be happy, healthy, successful. I want a new home. I want to travel. I want a lot of things, and there is nothing wrong with that. But I want to earn them any way I can. At the same time, like I said, I believe that God sees my commitment to all this and that He will bless me for that.

I look forward to all the good that will happen in 2019. And I look forward to continuing on with the journey of this blog. I hope you all enjoy what I have to offer here.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer