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Saturday, September 3, 2011
The Help
Mood:  energetic
Topic: Entertainment

Amidst running a ton of errands today, I made a special note to stop by the movie theatre to see The Help.

While I wanted to, and still want to, read the book, I also didn’t want to miss seeing it in the theatre. So, there I went.

The Help (movie) is based off of a fictional book, which is based off of a true story (that was written in a book). Whew! 

 

This story is truly complex. For starters, it is the story of a girl who wants to be a serious journalist (ah, don’t we all?). She revels in a job she gets at the local (Jackson, Mississippi) paper writing a column focused around house cleaning. Although she has friends, she is generally seen as an outcast because she isn’t married or dating, she works, and she just isn’t as wealthy as her peers.

Hrmm…this story is hitting home!

Although I’m unsure of her motivation, Skeeter (the journalist) wants to interview and write a book from the point of view of the help. I am assuming she gains her insight from witnessing her friends treat their maids/nannies poorly because they’re black—separate bathrooms, kitchen utensils, etc.

To Skeeter’s surprise, her venture is illegal, so she must find a way to make the help open up, while keeping their jobs safe.

When the book is released, the town is awkened to an entirely new point of view. But unfortunately, that doesn’t mean things will change for the better. Even Skeeter learns a lot about her family, and their treatment of her nanny growing up.

I’ll leave the ending a surprise. However, I will say this is one of the most emotional movies I’ve seen in years, if ever. Even the guy next to me was crying. But, there is plenty of room for laughter in this film, too. 

 

What I love most about this movie is that is drives home a point that I’ve spent years, as a journalist, trying to prove—everyone, even the janitor, has a story to tell. 


Posted by wittywriter7 at 12:01 AM CDT
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Friday, September 2, 2011
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Entertainment

After a grueling workout at the gym tonight, I swung by my nearest RedBox to see what was in stock.

As with any RedBox, it was a mixed bag of choices. I really wasn’t in the mood for a romantic comedy, so I picked a flick I wanted to see in the theatre, but missed—Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.

The movie is based off a popular book series, which I haven’t read (shocker, right?), but follows Greg Heffley as he suffers from middle-child syndrome. He’s got the bratty baby brother who catches him doing mildly bad things (stashing candy bars for example), and an older brother who thinks he’s too cool for school (lead band member for ”Loded Diaper”).

And so, he is left trying to be the good son, while fitting in with his older brother. A tough task, indeed.

Although he doesn’t have many lines in the movie, his friend, Rowley, is truly the star of this movie—his facial expressions kept me laughing the entire movie.

I'm sure you saw this part in the previews (Greg and Rowley's attempt at a viral video):

Don't Stop

So, will he fit in with his family, or will he be left to fend for himself until graduation? You’ll have to watch and see.

Yes, this movie was cute and funny. But I will say, I’m glad I only had to pay $1 for it. 


Posted by wittywriter7 at 12:01 AM CDT
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Monday, August 29, 2011
Breaking Night
Mood:  accident prone
Topic: Entertainment

I just finished reading Liz Murray's, "Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey From Homeless to Harvard."

As you can tell from the title, it is an interesting book—riveting, and nonetheless inspiring.

Murray was born and raised by drug addicts. Her mom and dad ouldn't maintain jobs, so they lived off the government, often blowing their monthly check within a few days—mostly spending it on drugs, maybe a little on food for Liz and her sister Lisa.

Often, there was no food, and the girls would live off of toothpaste and chapstick.

From the time she was old enough to go to school, Liz often skipped, and was threatened by social workers to straighten up, or she would be put into a home.

Later, Liz's mother broke the news—she had AIDS. Shortly after she was diagnosed, she entered an affair and moved in with her new boyfriend, leaving Liz with only her father.

But soon, Liz was taken into the system and placed in a group home because of her truancy record.

After a semester in the home, she moved in with her mother, the boyfriend, and her sister. There, she continued to skip school and was witness to her mom's alcohol problems, not to mention the disease that was slowly killing her.

It wasn't long after this when the book's subtitle kicks into play—homeless to Harvard.

Liz moves out on her own, faces even tougher situations than I've mentioned here, and makes it to Harvard. Or, as she puts it, she knocks down her brick wall.

Today, Liz has dedicated her life to inspiring others in order to make their dreams come true, also. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves stories, and to anyone who is looking for a little inspiration. 


Posted by wittywriter7 at 3:45 PM CDT
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Thursday, August 25, 2011
2011...so far
Mood:  mischievious
Topic: La vie

It's hard to fathom that 2011 is already half over...where did it go?

Over the last few weeks, I've been making a conscious effort to remind myself of my goals, and perhaps those resolutions that I made so many months ago.

Okay, so I don't really make resolutions, but I'm trying to keep myself in check. Each year, at the end of December, I sit down and take a look at the things that have happened over the previous year.

But why do it just then?

So I took a look today...and it was a great reminder that I've got some things to do before the year is over.

So far this year, I've read 19 books this year. Last year, I read 27 books...can I read at least 9 more in three months to beat last year? I hope so!

I've only been to the movies 9 times. This is something I need to work on...I say "work," it's fun! I need to make more time for the movie theatre.

Clearly, I've been spending a majority of my time writing articles for freelance work or for full-time work because so far, I've written more than 26 of them.

And some other stuff? I gave a presentation at a social media workshop, I fell in love with Justin Bieber, saw Harry Connick Jr. in concert, and survived hours in the dentist's chair.

So...here's to ending 2011 on a strong note! 


Posted by wittywriter7 at 12:24 PM CDT
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011
3-minute fiction
Mood:  happy
Topic: Writing

Earlier this week, one of my coworkers sent me a challenge: write a 500-word piece of fiction that begins with the line, "Some people swore that the house was haunted." and ends with, "Nothing was ever the same again after that."

Here is what I came up with:

The Beliebers 
By Holly A. Phillips
 
Some people swore that the house was haunted. 
 
But I didn’t care. After all, I wasn’t sure how much I believed in ghosts anyway. 
 
It was a simple dare: go to Justin Bieber’s house—the one that was supposedly haunted—steal a single strand of his blond hair, and get out of there unnoticed. 
 
It was a no brainer. I wanted to see the Bieb’s house, after all. But everyone said the noises coming from the house were freaky—blood-curdling screams, deep chortles. 
 
How could it be? The Bieb was so sweet, so innocent. It didn’t make sense. 
 
I had seen my fair share of scary movies. The characters in them did give me nightmares. But it was the masks, the bloody knives, and the small children that bothered me more than anything. Not some silly ghost laughing. 
 
I could picture it now, creeping up to Justin’s house and opening the door…just in time to catch him and Usher in a full-on dance spectacular!
 
So I took the dare, even though it wasn’t a double-dog dare. 
 
And on that Thursday night, just after a fresh episode of Project Runway, I dressed myself in all black. 
 
I felt like I was back in high school, on my way to slap a few fresh eggs on my ex-boyfriend’s car. 
 
But this, this was something a little different. I was going to be in the presence of the Bieb. I was even going to touch his hair. 
 
I locked my door, skipped down the cement steps, and started the short walk to the infamous mansion. 
 
It was cool out, and quiet, aside from the occasional dog bark. I will admit it, walking alone was scary. I started thinking about all of those missing women in the headlines lately. Did they get snatched? Were they in the dumpster ahead?
 
I shook my head and told myself to grow up—since stalking Justin Bieber was so adult-like and everything. 
 
I rounded the corner and saw the house. It stood tall, the multiple roofs were pointed, shadowing over the sturdy brick structure. The yard was dark, but there were a few windows showing light inside. 
 
I don’t know what was more frightening—getting caught by someone in the house or going in when it was empty. 
 
Either way, I was on a mission. I had to get the job done. So I walked faster, my hands in tight balls, one grasping the plastic bag for Justin’s hair. 
 
When I reached the yard, I took a deep breath. This was the closest I’d ever been, yet I had no real plan on how I should get inside. 
 
I stuffed the bag in my pocket and tried to squeeze myself through the iron bars of the gate. If I sucked in enough, I could graze my ribs right on through. 
 
I got to the ground, low, and crawled like a pathetic soldier to the side of the house, where I peaked into an illuminated window. 
 
And then I heard it:
 
“I was like baby, baby, baby, oohhh!”
 
I turned, gasping for breath when I saw him. 
 
The Bieb. 
 
Singing to me as if it was no big deal. He was even wearing the purple letter jacket!
 
Out of nowhere came a group of backup dancers to finish out the song. As it came to an end, the Bieb approached me, taking my hand. 
 
He opened it, my palm facing up. In it, he placed a single strand of his golden hair. 
 

Nothing was ever the same again after that.  


Posted by wittywriter7 at 12:01 AM CDT
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The Final Testament of the Holy Bible
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: Entertainment

I FINALLY finished reading James Frey's latest work, The Final Testament of the Holy Bible. 

I was so excited to purchase this book because Frey's previous works (A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard, Bright Shiny Morning) have earned him a spot as one of my favorite authors.

So, when I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday (thanks, Dad!), I snatched the book right up.

I was shocked and somewhat intrigued to find that this book was printed to look like an actual piece of the Bible—black leather cover, thin white pages with metallic silver paint on the edges. Each chapter was even named someone different, just like the real deal.

The story is one of a modern day Jesus, God, Messiah, etc. A "what if God was one of us" take on fiction.

This Jesus goes by the name Ben. He lives in an apartment in New York. He works as a construction man, has been homeless many times, enjoys the work of strippers, and believes there is no such thing as sinning.

Needless to say, the book is provocative and innovative.

I will admit, it isn't my favorite piece of his work, but I won't deduct points for that.  


Posted by wittywriter7 at 12:01 AM CDT
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Delish Fish
Mood:  hungry
Topic: Writing

My latest article for Dig is certainly a delicious one—it's the story of Serious Fish Tacos.

Although it's just a small yellow shack in BFE, they make some seriously awesome mahi tacos. 

YUM:

http://digbatonrouge.com/article/delish-fish-2716/


Posted by wittywriter7 at 12:01 AM CDT
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Kevin, say you're sorry
Mood:  blue
Topic: La vie

I am offering up a sincere apology today. 

I know I've been slacking on updating this blog.

Like so many other times before, I let too many things get in the way of the things I really like to do—such as writing this blog.

Does that ever happen to you? I constantly let work or sleep or something pretty much useless get in the way of the things I really enjoy like my personal writing or reading for fun.

Is it because we truly don't think those things matter? Or is it because we aren't getting paid for them? It is because it takes effort and planning in keeping our hobbies in check?

Whatever it is, I'm making a sincere effort to get back on track. Not that anyone cares except me, but I am making that promise.

So, here's to more blogging! 


Posted by wittywriter7 at 12:01 AM CDT
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Friday, August 12, 2011
Pretty salad
Mood:  hungry
Topic: Food

This afternoon, we had a going away party for one of my coworkers. 

For the party, we had a potluck.

Instead of baking something, I signed up to bring the Ambrosia salad, or as some people call it, the 6 cup salad.

As a child, my grandmother used to make this salad for gatherings. She used the colored marshmallows, so I used to call it the pretty salad.

Whatever you call it, I think it is absolutely delicious. And, it's super easy to boot.

Ingredients:

1 cup sour cream

1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 cup mandarin oranges

1 cup pineapple chunks

1 cup mini marshmallows

1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut

Mix together.

Voila! 


Posted by wittywriter7 at 12:01 AM CDT
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Thursday, August 11, 2011
Make it Work
Mood:  caffeinated
Topic: Writing

Today, a fun story of mine was published on the LSU website. 

It is an interview with a contestant on the current season of Lifetime's Project Runway—Anthony Ryan Auld.

Auld is an LSU graduate, so I jumped at the chance to write his story. Not only is he an amazing designer, but he is one of the favorites among the group.

I look forward to watching him this season; I think he has a real shot at winning!

Check the story out here:

http://www.lsu.edu/departments/gold/2011/08/auld_runway.shtml


Posted by wittywriter7 at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, August 25, 2011 10:45 AM CDT
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