A Writer's Journey

February 12, 2019

My Favorite Movie and TV Couples

Let’s really kickoff my month of romance with some of my favorite couples from both the big and small screens.

1. Outlaw Queen (Regina Mills/Robin Hood), Once Upon a Time


the picture

I figured I would get this out of the way because I’m sure by now, some of you are probably tired of hearing about this couple. Robin Hood and the Evil Queen still sounds like a weird combination but in the hands of the Once writers (well, the ones from Season 3) as well as Lana Parrilla and Sean Maguire, it was magic. They were two people who loved and lost and who were both loving parents. Regina was still working on becoming a better person and Robin saw the good in her rather than just the Evil Queen. He believed in her and supported her when she she needed it, giving her romantic love.

2. Lucy Preston/Wyatt Logan, Timeless


An intelligent historian meets a jaded soldier and magic happened. Lucy and Wyatt built from coworkers to friends to the hint of something more. By the time they kissed in season 2, I was cheering—and so were other fans. Of course, a wrench got thrown into their relationship in season 2 but it was still clear that they cared about each other. Thankfully, they had a happy ending. (Unlike Outlaw Queen).

3. Belle and the Beast/Prince, Beauty and the Beast

beauty and the beast

Belle is my favorite Disney princess, a bookworm who loves to learn and tries to see the best in everyone. She sacrifices her own freedom to save her father, even if it means living with a beast. In some ways, he’s like Mr. Darcy and she’s like Elizabeth Bennet (with far less sass). Beast starts to change his behavior when Belle stands up to him and finally confronts him on how awful he treats everyone. He starts to care about someone other than him and it makes him more human, which draws her closer to him. Tale as old as time indeed.

4. Newt Scamander/Tina Goldstein, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


I wasn’t expecting to love them as much as I do. But there was just something about watching the rule-abiding, no-nonsense Tina slowly warm up to the kind-hearted if a big fan of loopholes Newt. They worked well together, balancing each other out—he brought out her more spontaneous side while she grounded him. Things were a bit tense in the second movie but hopefully we’ll see more in the third.

5. Usagi/Sailor Moon and Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen, Sailor Moon

sailor moon

I think the new version of the anime has done a better job at capturing their relationship than the original (or at least the dub). They are star-crossed lovers who are reborn and find each other again. Mamoru grounds Usagi and she gets him to not be so serious. They are also partners when fighting (once they realize they are on the same side and not foes) and support each other through all the weird things that come with fighting other worldly forces.

Those are just some of my favorite couples from movie and TV. Who are yours? Share below!

Next time: My favorite couples from books!

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January 6, 2019

Year in Review: 2018

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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So, 2018 has come and gone. At the beginning of the year, I made some “anticipations” for the year. Let’s see if how I did.

    • Work on The Christmas Wish with aim of self-publishing by Christmas

I have worked on The Christmas Wish all year long, though I didn’t manage to publish by this Christmas. Looking back, that might have been too lofty a goal.

    • Jump start the Big Project and work for self-publishing in 2019

I’m still focused on The Christmas Wish so the Big Project has remained on the backburner—for now.


December 11, 2018

2018 Reading Challenge Update

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Another year is about to come to a close. It’s amazing that it’s December already. So since it’s the end of the year, I figure it’s time to do my final Reading Challenge update.

My goal was to read 13 books. So how did I do?

I reached my goal! And I’ll most likely surpass it by one book. I’m currently reading three books but Wives of War is almost done as my Kindle says I’m about 90% of the way through it. According to Goodreads, I’m only about 38% through The Glass Ocean and 28% of The Impossible Girl. So I’m comfortable in saying that Wives of War will be my last finished book of 2018.

I am so proud of myself for hitting my goal. I worried there for a bit this summer but I made it.

How about you?

September 15, 2018

Paris: Wednesday and Thursday or All Good Things Must Come to an End

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Grace and I said our goodbyes Wednesday morning. She left to head to the British Embassy and I got a little bit more sleep before I headed into Paris myself. It was my last day before heading home and I had it all planned out.

I started off by going to the Arc de Triomphe. I walked up to it, admiring it, before following the pedestrian crossings through the roundabout that encircles it to get to the entrance. My Paris Pass let me use a separate entrance where I did have to pass through a metal detector. I then started to climb a narrow, metal circular staircase and I worried I had just signed up for a Bunker Hill mistake.

(For reference: My family went to Boston ten years ago and we did a bus tour, including a stop at Bunker Hill. It has a monument and you can go up to the top—but there are nearly 300 steps to do so. My family managed to do it, though I then had to crawl down the middle when curiosity got to me and I looked down a giant hole. There was nothing there but it triggered my fear of heights. Anyway, we all made it back down and our legs felt like jelly until we got back to New York a few days later).

Thankfully, it was not a Bunker Hill mistake as I only had a few minutes of climbing before I got to the big space dedicated to the arch’s history. It included some statues as well as video of the Allies marching through the arch after taking back Paris. There were then more stairs to the roof and I decided to go up there. It offered some great views of Paris but I never strayed from the middle of the roof as my fear of heights yelled at me to GET OFF THE ROOF!


(Pictured: The Arc de Triomphe)


September 14, 2018

Paris: Tuesday or Musees Ahoy!

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For those not  familiar with French—“musee” is the word for “museum.”

I actually slept late on Tuesday. Originally, I had planned on doing that on Monday but when my friends offered to let me into Paris with them, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. But I really needed to sleep in. The con had called for early mornings and Monday was even earlier. So I needed the rest.

Grace decided to stay behind to work on her situation, so I headed into Paris by myself. I went straight to the Musee de Rodin, dedicated to sculptor Auguste Rodin. You know—The Thinker:


(Pictured: The Thinker)


September 13, 2018

Paris: Monday or My First Day in the City

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 11:00 pm
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I must say, nothing seemed sadder than the hotel on Monday morning. The crowds of people that had been a constant presence were gone as most people had left or were leaving. It made me miss everyone but I was eager to head into Paris to finally see the city.

I had met one of my Twitter followers the day before at the con and she had invited me to come into the city with her and her friend. I accepted, grateful for the offer as I had been nervous about going into the city by myself. But I had them with me as I learned how to navigate the train system as well as how to get around the city. And it was nice to have the company.

They came with me as I went to pick up my Paris Pass, which I had to do right in the middle of the district bordered by the Louvre on one end and the Opera Garnier on the other. When I emerged from the Metro, I stopped to admire the buildings around me—gorgeous ones that I had only seen in pictures of Paris before. Now I was seeing them with my own eyes, drinking in the ornate architecture of the city.


September 12, 2018

Paris: Sunday or Con Day #2

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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Sunday started around the same time as Saturday. We all gathered in the panel room and the guests came in to greet us. This time they were joined by Robert Carlyle (Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold/ Weaver) and Emilie De Ravin (Belle). They stayed behind for a joint panel in which Robert shaded the writers and the show quite a bit.


(Pictured: Robert Carlyle on the left and Emilie de Ravin on the right)

After the panel, I had my meet and greet with Sean Maguire. There was about twenty of us who headed up to a private room where we sat in a circle. Someone from the con made sure we turned our phones off so we didn’t take pictures or secretly record the meeting and greet. These are private sessions where the actors can be more candid than they would be at panels, which are generally filmed and put on the internet. So I won’t get into specifics about what Sean said but it was essentially a master class in writing.


September 11, 2018

Paris: Friday and Saturday (Con Day #1)

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Well, maybe I should back up and talk about the flight. But it was relatively uneventful. I watched Black Panther, ate, tried and failed to get any sleep, ate breakfast and then landed in Paris. I had to wait about forty minutes to get up to the border police but I was quickly waved through after they checked my passport. I grabbed my luggage and went up to catch the shuttle to my hotel.

I stayed at the Hilton in the airport but unfortunately, I couldn’t check in yet—check in wasn’t until 2 PM and I got there around 9:30 AM. So I got to kill a lot of time in their lobby, which was very lovely. I fooled around on my phone, did some writing on my laptop and when that started to die, in a notebook. And I was able to spot one fandom friend, Grace, when she walked in. We chatted for a bit before I went back to waiting.

At last, I could check into my room. Once I was all checked in, I went up to the 8th floor where my room was and dropped all my stuff off. It was a nice sized room with a comfortable bed and a good bathroom (that had both a bathtub and a shower stall). It would definitely do for my stay.


September 10, 2018

Paris: A Look Back

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 am
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Well, it’s finally done! I managed to recount my week-long trip to Paris. They will take up this entire week, so I hope you enjoy them. I’ve also included pictures I took as well. You might even get to see me at last!



(Sign in the Charles de Gaulle airport)

September 3, 2018

2018: Chapter 8

Filed under: off topic — mackenziew @ 12:00 pm
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We’re almost at the fall? I mean, I love the season. I’ve documented it well enough…but it still feels weird to be approaching it already.

Time to look back at August!

It started with a visit from my sister and her dog, which was nice. I loved coming home and getting greeted by Balto—he even let me pet him for a bit rather than just walking away with a “Oh, it’s just you” attitude. He certainly was happy to be up here with all of us too.

Kathleen had come up for a family get together at our aunt’s. Though it had been raining for the past few days and looked like it might rain the day of the get together, the sun came out and we had beautiful weather. We had good food, good company and a fun time at the lake.

My CEO gave my parents tickets to one of the NY Giants’ preseason games and they went on August 8th to see them play the Cleveland Browns. Her tickets are in a good section with cushioned seats and access to a clubhouse, so they had a great time. I meanwhile stopped and picked us up some Seagrams Escapes, which we had enjoyed at my aunt’s.

The following weekend was OQ Angst Fest. It was three days of as much angst as we wanted to pack into stories based on a list of prompts. So I got another button!

My parents and I also went to see Christopher Robin. It was an excellent film, with poignant moments and funny ones as well. I teared up at a few points. And it’s always good to see Hayley Atwell on screen.

The next week was spent getting ready for our All Staff meeting, especially as it was the budget training. We had to figure a few things out so our CFO had everything in place for the supervisors to start figuring out next year’s budget.

I also made the decision to go to a Once Upon a Time convention in Milan next year. Lana had already been announced as a guest and Sean was added that week. After looking at all the other European cons and with no American ones lined up yet, I figured it was my best bet. So I bought a ticket. Now I just have to plan everything else. More on that in another post.

I was going to go to my cousin’s Greek Festival but my parents were also bringing some other relatives, so I would’ve been relegated to the back. My dad expressed some concern that I would get car sick so I decided to bow out. When that got home, they said I didn’t miss much due to the rainy weather and they confirmed I would’ve gone carsick due to traffic on the Belt.

I then had OQ on Holidays, another theme week. I wrote about it in this post.

On that Wednesday, I met up with Stacy—one of my Twitter OQ friends—and her friend Erica for dinner. We ate at a place in New Jersey and had good conversation until it got late—even after we had to move inside because a bee stole my martini! It was great to meet Erica and see Stacy in person.

After winning my OQ on Holidays button, I then had a busy week at work. We had a personnel issue to deal with and that did resolve before the holiday weekend. But it was a lot of work and a lot of waiting. We also went on a field trip to a building we’re buying and we might move our offices to it. I hope so as we would have a lot more space, especially for all the personnel files. But we’ll see.

That was August! Somewhat busy, somewhat lazy. We’re now heading into September and the autumn. Before I know it, the holidays will be upon us. But I’m still going to take it one day at a time.

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