Things that make me happy

I felt like doing a more personal blog post. I havent done too many personal posts on my blog, besides my poems. So I wanted to just write about the things in life that make me happy. I got the idea from Emma Blackery’s video “Things that make me happy.” Here is a link to it:

I thought it was a really nice blog idea so here it goes. The things that make me happy would be:

Tea

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First things first, I must talk about the love of my life: Tea. Very Irish, I know. But it is true. I adore a cup of tea in the mornings, before I start my day. Tea is my vice and a necessity. Coffee keeps other people awake, whereas I drink tea to stay awake. I know, there is not much caffeine in tea, but it still keeps me awake. It makes me happy and I cant imagine my life without it.

Writing/Reading

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This is an obvious one, but I love reading and writing. I place them in the same category, as you cant write without reading. Reading was what got me into writing, and if it wasn’t for books, I wouldn’t be writing today. I wouldn’t be writing a novel, and I wouldn’t have started this blog.

Kingdom Hearts 
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I think I might have mentioned this in a previous blog post, but Kingdom Hearts is my favourite game series of all time. Kingdom Heart 2 is my favourite game of all time. Its just…so good. I played the first game, when I was 11 years old. I had no interest in playing it, when I got it for Christmas that year. I didn’t like the cover of the game and it didn’t look cool. But I was bored and decided to play it. Im so happy I did. It was a convoluted but enthralling story. The characters are fantastic, and it has childhood nostalgia through the appearance of Disney characters in the games. However, it is not just a kids game. The story is so dark, so deep and sad, that itll leave you heart-broken towards the end. Kingdom Heart 2 is my favourite game, because of its darker storylines, such as the games intro. Playing these games brighten up my day, no matter what age I am. Now, Kingdom Hearts 3 is releasing soon, and Im so excited. Cant wait for the next instalment.

Dogs
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Always been a dog lover. Always will. I have grown up with dogs. They are so loyal, so kind and loving. How can you not love dogs? My favourite type of dog is a husky. Currently, I have a dog that is a cross between a Labrador and a husky, so my love for huskies is because of him. His name is Casper and my other dog is a cocker spaniel, named Milo. I love them to bits. I hope to get my own dog, when I live out on my own. Ill get my own husky, raise him and love him everyday. Cant wait for that.

Halloween

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Halloween is my favourite holiday. Christmas is amazing too, but I have a soft spot for Halloween. I dont trick or treat anymore, but I celebrate Halloween in my own way. I find the holiday a very comfortable day, but spooky at the same time. Last year, I watched the remake of the Evil Dead for Halloween. It was great. I have fond memories of Halloween, such as watching Monster House with my dad, going to school parties dressed as a witch and playing dunking for the apple. Its a fun holiday and Im delighted when it comes around every year.

Hot Chocolate (when done right)

In recent years, I started to love hot chocolate. However, I am still very picky on where I get my beverage. When I was a child, my mother used to make hot chocolate from the Cadburys chocolate powder or Aero chocolate powder. That made me hate hot chocolate for a while. But since going to Stanzas and other poetry readings, I get a cup at the cafés where the events are held. Some were good and some were bad. My favourite hot chocolates are from the cafes in Limerick, called Hook & Ladder and Insomnia. Just add whipped cream and a sprinkle of chocolate or a flake to dip with and I’m happy for the rest of the day.

Watching indie/any movies

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I love watching films. That was my thing, before reading took over. I wanted to become a film director. Thats how much I loved films. Just the feeling you get when you curl up on the couch and watch an amazing movie, is just so nice. Recently, I started watching more indie movies, instead of just blockbuster films. I love them, as they look more deeply into humanity, than blockbuster movies would. A good example would be Clouds of Sils Maria. This film focuses on an older actress played by Juliette Binoche, who is asked to act in a remake of a play she did when she was a young actress. This time, she is to play the older character in the story, while a new young actress plays her original role. The film explores the feeling of time passing, the differences in creative opinions and how that can destroy a relationship. This film got me into watching more artsy, indie films, as I was interested in films that creatively look at human life and human emotions, films that dive into deeper topics and give a real look at the issues of humanity. They are fascinating to watch and I may do a list down the line of indie films I recommend you watch.

Stanzas

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I have said this so many times, but ill say it again. I love Stanzas. It was the place that made me more confident in sharing my writing. It is such a welcoming place, for so many young writers. And even if youre not going to perform, it is just a nice place to chill, have a cup of tea and chat to new people. I made so many friends at Stanzas and I’m so grateful for what this event has done for me. I still go today and I dont see myself stopping anytime soon.

My family and my friends

And of course, the last thing that makes me happy is my family and friends. I have been through a lot these past 20 odd years, and I have to thank my family for being there for me throughout it all. I’m proud to say that I have amazing parents and supportive sisters, who I wouldn’t trade for anything. I love them to the moon and back. Always.

As for my friends, I havent had much luck with friends. People are very fickle and selfish beings, as I’ve come to understand these past few years. But I have a select few, who I trust immensely and I’m very lucky to have them. They have to put up with a lot of my crap, so I’m very thankful to them for that.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Let me know what makes you happy in the comments. Id love to know. I shall talk to you in the next post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Book to Movie Adaptations: Harry Potter

I recently was watching YouTube videos on Harry Potter and I got the idea for this post. When the films came out, I saw every single one in cinemas. I adored the movies. But when I read the books, I fell in love with the world even more. It has been years since I last read the Harry Potter books. I remember certain differences between the films and books, but I didn’t realize how much was left or changed for the sake of film-making. Certain info on the book series I rediscovered through a YouTube channel, called MovieFlame. His channel discuss the series by going through key details that were missed or left out of the films entirely, such as character arcs, backstories etc. You should go check out his channel. This is the video that inspired me to write this post:

I always read the books before I watch the films, but the Harry Potter series was an exception. I hated reading when I was young. I would always avoid reading assignments in school and watch the films instead. But when I read Harry Potter for the first time, it solidified my love for reading. It is interesting to compare both the books and the films and that is what I am going to discuss today. The first thing to look at is:

Change in Characters

Overall, the characters in the films were vibrant and engaging, just like their counterparts in the books. However, there were some characters who were badly represented in the films or some were dumbed down to bring other characters up. Three characters that come to mind for me are:

Ginny Weasley 

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For Ginny, I completely forgot what she was like in the books. The Ginny I knew was the one in the films and in that regard, I had so many questions about her character. She was portrayed as Harry’s number one fangirl and the only girl amongst the Weasley siblings. One of my friends told me that one of their favourite characters was Ginny and that they hated how the films portrayed her. I couldn’t remember what she was like so I watched a YouTube video, going through the life of Ginny Weasley.

In the books, she was fierce, intelligent and a very skilled Quidditch player. At the beginning of the series, she was Harry’s fangirl. The films got that right, but they never delved into Ginny’s true character. The youngest of a big family and the only girl, Ginny had to fight her own battles at a young age, especially when she had brothers like Fred and George. She taught herself Quidditch at a very young age, by stealing her brothers brooms at night. She got so good, she took over for Harry as Gryffindor’s seeker, and even won a few matches.

She was very loyal to her friends, such as standing up for Harry against Draco, defending Luna against school bullies and stood by Harry’s side when the world called him a liar. In the films, the relationship between Ginny and Harry was never explained. As a movie goer, Harry started liking Ginny out of the blue. Before the Half Blood Prince, Ginny was Ron’s younger sister and a fangirl. All of the sudden, he likes Ginny. There was no progression or sign in the films that Harry started liking Ginny. Whereas in the books. J.K Rowling started developing their relationship since the 4th or 5th book.

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Harry started pushing people away, when he felt Voldemorts control on him in the 5th book. Ginny was the one who told him, he was being an idiot and that he should have talked to her about Voldemort’s control since she was possessed by him in Year Two.

“I forgot” Harry said.

“Lucky you.”

Ginny became more out-spoken with Harry, unlike what she was in the films. She showed off her skills in Quidditch, and her fierce personality, such as when Ron shouted at her for kissing Dean in public. Ginny retorted and said, Ron was just jealous because he has as much experience as a 12 year old when it comes to kissing. And when Ron kissed Lavender in the Gryffindor common room, Ginny came up to him and said “Youre a bloody hypocrite.”

Moments like this were excluded from the film and her character suffered due to these changes. She was reduced to a love interest to the main character.

Ron Weasley

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Ron is a great character in the books and films. However, on closer inspection, youll notice one thing about Ron. In the films, he seems to be a complete bumbling idiot. He is what you call the comic relief. I have seen videos on the internet, asking the question: did Ron need to be there? Was he necessary to the story or was he just a tool? In the film, he cracks jokes and acts as that character who will liven up a scene when it gets too serious. He is not as skilled of a wizard as Harry or as intelligent as Hermione. So what is he doing there? The one thing the films failed to show more of, is Ron’s loyalty.

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Ron will do anything for her friends. Scenes that showcased this in the books, never made it into the movies. An example of this would be the scene in the Shrieking Shack in the Prisoner of Azkaban. In the film, Hermione stands in front of Harry and says to Sirius Black, “If you want to kill Harry, youll have to kill us too”.

In the book, it was Ron who said this. He stood up on his broken leg and bravely faced Sirius Black. Moreover, it is more apparent in the books, that Ron is essential to the trio. Without Ron, Harry and Hermione would be lost. Ron is the glue that keeps the group together as shown in the Prisoner of Azkaban and the Deathly Hallows, when the trio was broken up. His bravely and loyalty were put on the back burner in the films and they made him more of the funny, idiotic character amongst stronger characters.

Luna Lovegood

 

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For Luna, she was very much the same in the film as she was in the books. However, the films showed more of her quirky side. When I first saw her in the Order of the Phoenix, she was a very odd character to me and I didn’t know if I liked her or not. My mother loved her instantly. But when I re-read the books again, I realised how much of an inspiration she was, which I felt the films didn’t capture well enough.

She was quirky and bubbly. She knew who she was and that is an amazing trait to have. She had this sweet innocence that no bully or force of evil could take away from her. In the books, Luna was bullied severely for her unique personality. Students stole her shoes which forced her, to walk around barefoot. Luna would put it down to nargles. She believed in a world that might have been false but it was real to her.

She was a bright student and an amazing witch. She may have attracted some hate, but she also found loyal friends in Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville. Friendship was a huge thing for Luna. When she found her friends through Dumbledore’s Army, she remained loyal to them. After the events of the 5th book, Luna became closer to Harry and the others. She even had paintings of them on her bedroom ceiling with gold engravings around them, saying in Latin, “Friendship.”

She was kind person, even with the people who made fun of her. When the trio used to make fun of her, she stayed kind. Even when Hermione and Ron made fun of her father’s magazine and Harry disregarded her, she still helped Ron with his owl off the Hogwarts Express. When the wizarding world turned against Harry, she came up to him and said ” I believe He Who Must Not Be Named is back and I believe you fought him and escaped from him.”

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I have a new found respect for Luna’s character. Even when everyone hated on her and bullied her, she stayed true to herself and found true friends out of it. She was a shining beacon of light in the books and the films didn’t portray that enough.

 

Story alterations

I understand when it comes to adapting a book into a movie, things have to change or be left out. But there were some things in the books that I wished were in the movies. Examples are:

Peter Pettigrews death

Death, yes. Im pretty sure he didn’t die in the movie. He just got stunned.

The beginning of this clip shows what I mean. In the book, Peter Pettigrew was killed by the silver hand that Voldemort gifted him in the Goblet of Fire. The last time Harry and Peter saw each other, Harry saved him from being killed by Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. So Peter owes Harry his life. And Harry cashes in on that favour in Malfoy Manor, by asking him to help them escape. Peter’s hesitation showed an act of betrayal and the silver hand murdered him for it. It was a good scene, a nice wrap up to the Peter Pettigrew’s story. But it was reduced to being stunned by Dobby the elf.

I mean why??

Tonks and Lupin’s pregnancy

The fact that Tonks was pregnant throughout the final book, was never mentioned in the films. Instead, they had Moody interrupt their announcement to Harry in the 7 Potters scene.

Moreover, we never heard or saw their child after the Battle of Hogwarts in the films. Moreover, one of my favourite scenes from the last book was the fight between Harry and Lupin in Grimmauld Place. Lupin had just left Tonks who was pregnant at the time, using the excuse that he had to go help Harry. But Harry saw right through it, and gave out to Lupin for abandoning his wife at this important time. This scene showed Lupin at his weakest point, thinking he put his wife at a disadvantage, by having a child with a werewolf. He thought she would be better off without him. Also this scene showed Harry not taking his shit and told him to go home. Hermione may have been mad at him for that, but I agreed with Harry.

Character Arcs never fulfilled

Petunia and Dudley Dursley – They originally had scenes filmed with Harry and the Dursleys before they parted ways. It redeemed Petunia, who we assumed hated her sister, Lily. The truth was she grieved for her sister and missed her. Dudley was redeemed when he said to Harry, “I dont think you are a waste of space.” We never got the closure from the Dursleys in the final version of the movie.

Draco – He had a redemption scene that was deleted, where he threw a wand to Harry to help him fight against Voldemort. That small detail was replaced by the awkward hug between Draco and Voldemort.

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We didn’t need this. Or the Ginny and Harry scene at the Burrow.

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Why, Warner Brothers?

Percy’s betrayal

The films never touched upon Percy taking the side of the Ministry of Magic, when they called Harry a liar. It caused a rift within the Weasley family, which showed that this family can have cracks in their foundation. I despised Percy for that period of time. He was so ignorant and blindly followed the Ministry. It is all, but removed from the films entirely. Percy was just reduced to a tour guide for the Hogwarts castle.

Bill and Fleur

Yes, this couple. They never got much screen time in the films. Bill didn’t appear until the final film, and Fleur disappeared after the 4th film. There was no build up of their characters or their relationship before we were present at their wedding in Deathly Hallows Part 1.

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There was never the awkwardness at the beginning of the relationship, because of Ron, who asked her to the Yule Ball in the 4th book. There was never that funny banter between the family or the trio about Fleur and Bill. They just appeared out of nowhere in the 7 Potters scene in Deathly Hallows and we are supposed to root for them or love them on the spot.

Overall thoughts:

There are so many things I could point out, but well be here all day otherwise. Even though I have been bashing the Harry Potter movies throughout this post, I still adore them. They are amazing on their own, and they were a central part of my childhood. The films got me to the read the books and the rest is history.

But if you compare the films to the books, you know who would get the superior title. That is the case for many books to movie adaptations; the books are always better. The actors did a great job of bringing the characters to life on the big screen, but they had to follow a script given to them and controlled by a studio, who helped create this franchise, and who are still releasing new movies to add to this world (Fantastic Beasts). However, there are other book to movie adaptations that succeeded in following the formula of the novel and creating a carbon copy of the book. Some have even been better than the original source material.

I may talk about that in later posts but for now, that is all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed this post. It has been a long time coming. I have been busy with work lately so I havent been posting much. My last post was on the 2nd of August….that definitely needs to change. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed and I shall talk to you in the next post x

 

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Poets in Music (YouTubers Edition)

Everyone listens to music on YouTube as a platform. It has easy access to your favourite artists. However, YouTubers have been known to release their own music and reveal their musical talents. These received mixed reviews and I, myself, never listened to music produced by YouTubers.

However, in the past year, I have delved into this side of YouTube and I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of YouTubers with their music. For this post on Poets in Music, I decided to focus on two YouTubers who I found their music to be insightful and entertaining as a tune. The one thing I look for in music, is brilliant lyrics. That is why I called this blog series “Poets in Music.” If your lyrics inspire me in anyway, even if the music is sub-par, I’m all in. And these two YouTubers music had inspired some works of my own.

Emma Blackery 

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There have been mixed emotions about Emma Blackery’s music. Truth be told, I avoided her music for a long time. I just wanted to watch her YouTube content. I guess I was being a little bit of a snob when it comes to music taste.

I had heard that people didn’t like Emma’s voice and among other things. But recently, she started making videos about her journey making her debut album. She revealed snippets of her new sound in vlogs she posted every week. And to be honest, I was intrigued. I wanted to hear what she had to offer. Then I heard her song, Nothing Without You.

This song has both amazing lyrics and an upbeat tune. It is a song about heartbreak. It tells the story about a love that fell apart and Emma is trying to move on. The upbeat rhythm behind the songs lyrics, makes the song amazing. Its similar to how Paramore’s sound is now. They write about the hardships of life and have an upbeat tune, playing over the sad lyrics. The beat brought me to the song, but the lyrics is what kept me there:

“If I had the chance to say
“I’m sorry for how things changed,”
‘Cause I would be nothing without you
Nothing without you.”

Another favourite of mine from her, is her most recent single, Icarus:

This had the lyrics I was looking for. I fell in love with the reference to Greek mythology in the song, but I also loved the story-telling in the song. How someone could go so far, that they have to fall back to earth eventually? “You’ve got to let go, cos you’re flying too close.” I can relate to this song, because I knew someone who would take things too far, that it would get to the point of a crash and burn. You need to let it go, to move on. Emma can write great lyrics for songs, such as with Icarus and with her other song, The Promise:

This song represents the great songwriting ability of Emma Blackery. It is a letter to her fans, to tell them that everything will be okay. I promise if you go, I will miss you. I may not know your name, but I’m telling you, you do matter and I love you.

“‘Cause I believe if you go
My heart would break, just hold on one more day”

This is one of Emma’s most famous songs, and it is understandable. The message of the song hits you hard and this song resonates with me deeply. I appreciate and love this song for the message she is giving out to her fans. Even with her change of sound, Emma is great with her turn of words in lyrics. Even using the terms sipping on or spilling tea in Dirt, she writes what she feels and I respect her for that. Check out her stuff if you haven’t yet. Her debut album, Villains is coming out on August 31st, 2018.

Gabbie Hanna (TheGabbieShow)

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Gabbie Hanna, aka The Gabbie Show, is one of my favourite YouTubers. I love her YouTube content and her personality. She tells some insane storytimes and talks about her mental health with her fans. Along with her channel, Gabbie delved into publishing when she published her poetry book, Adultolescence last year. During the promotion of her book, she released her first song called Out Loud: 

It was meant to be for the promotion of her book. However, it blew up. It went to number 3 on the iTunes charts, behind Taylor Swift. No one expected this out of Gabbie when she released it. I fell in love with this song for its lyrics. Her lyrics were based off some of the poems in her book. Out Loud tells the story of a relationship (it can be a friendship, a romantic relationship, whatever your interpretation of the song may be), where she constantly reached out for this person but they just drifted apart. Words unspoken left the relationship broken and unfixable.

“It’s time to let it go, you left me all alone
It’s holding me down, it’s burning me out
I’m begging for sound, but I can’t bring you back now”

When I listen to this song, I associate it with a similar situation that happened to me with a friend. To lose someone so close to a lack of words or just a drifting that cant be stopped. I was pleasantly surprised by the lyrics Gabbie produced in this song. But she brought it further with her song, Satellite:

Honest opinion: Her lyrics in Satellite are far more superior than Out Loud. This song hits closer to home, because it talks about isolation and the need for companionship. Gabbie’s lyrics talk about her feelings of isolation and how, at first, she is content with it. But by the end of the song, she realises she doesn’t want to be alone anymore:

“Satellite
I’m a satellite
I’m on the outside looking in
Want you to know just where I’ve been
Don’t wanna be a satellite
So, please let me in”

My favourite lyric from the song was “Need to know you want me here before I ask.” I love this one line, due to the fact that I understand this feeling. You want to be ensured of a want or need from other people. I want to know if people want me around, before I ever ask. I always just assume that no one cares if I’m there. I relate to this concept of being a satellite. This song was more personal than the last, and I think that’s why many people resonated with it. It didn’t hit the charts, like Out Loud, but many fellow YouTubers preferred this song. YouTubers, such as Shane Dawson and Ryland Adams showed their support for the song, through Snapchat and Twitter. Further news, Gabbie has started writing more music and in her latest video, she showed some more of her music talents.

It seems like a typical Roast me video but please, watch till the end. She shows off some exceptional lyrics. It was almost like I was watching some Slam Poetry. Please check it out. I cant explain it. You will just have to watch it. Here is a sneak peak of some of the lyrics in this video:

“It’s an interesting dichotomy of monetized sincerity
Stir up my insecurity with constant uncertainty
Generation of anxiety
The “look at me” society
Dubiety of piety
The gods all suffer silently
I’m sorry for my obsession with attention
I have ungodly fear of rejection
My apprehension and objection is the viral infection
Of dollars and followers in place of affection
What i need is a human connection”

I urge you to watch this video. It is so good. Those are the two YouTubers I looked at for this Poets in Music post. I hope you enjoyed. Please check these girls out. They have amazing YouTube content and music. I cant wait to see what they come up with next.