Cowardice and the Cowardly Dog

The Daily Post hosts a daily prompt every day, today’s being cowardice. As I was thinking about whether or not I wanted to participate I remembered thetelevision show Courage of the Cowardly Dog on Cartoon Network, and ironically you know what it reminded me of? Fear.

I remember the first and last time I watched that show; it left me in tears. I was pretty young, maybe five or six, but old enough to know that it was a cartoon and not real life, but nonetheless that show freaked me out. Actually to this day, I have no interest whatsoever in watching it. All I remember is there was this giant mosquito thing that the old man crashed into so the couple took it home to nurture it. Then the evil thing sucked all their life out! It left them as bones! Somebody tell me that is not a traumatizing thing for a juvenile to see. So yeah.

I cried.

A lot.

And I was scared.

A lot.

dog.jpgLooking at a image of the dog now, he’s honestly kind of cute. But whatever courage this cowardly dog has…I assure you I do not.

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Why I Really Want Quantico to be Good

*This video has a kinda sex scene, from 0:26-0:41, if you want to skip that or something… 

So, this fall ABC is starting a new series, Quantico. Based on what I saw in the trailer, the storyline doesn’t look particularly amazing. It didn’t grab me, which if I’m going to spend my time watching a TV show, I’d hope it’d engage me from the start. So why am I excited for this show? The lead. The main character of Quantico is played by a popular Bollywood actress, Priyanka Chopra, and this is significant. This means that the main character of a US television show is a minority and a woman. As many have pointed out in recent years, despite the United States being such a diverse country full of many ethnic groups and cultures, popular entertainment often casts mostly Caucasians, and women are often weak characters. Recent movies have been changing that, and it’s wonderful to see strong female leads who aren’t just lame damsels in distress, but the lack of diversity in movies is still astounding. So the fact that Quantico’s lead is a brown woman is quite exciting. There’s not really much else to say here. I want this show to succeed because we need more representation of strong females and minorities in popular media. Good luck Quantico!

A love for words

Call me crazy.
Call me a nerd.
Call me what you will, but I miss vocabulary words.

Yes. I miss those weekly lists we got in school. I miss having to memorize “big words.” I even miss the homework that came along with the words because that homework would ensure the new words’ definitions were memorized correctly.

I think having a love for words and being a bibliophile go hand in hand. After all, how could I read without words? Without words a huge hobby of mine would be destroyed. New words excite me. The feel of foreign sounds rolling off my tongue to form an unfamiliar word… and then learning the meaning and having the ability to use them with my regular speech.

Eighth grade was the last year we had vocabulary words in my district’s curriculum— the last year for English anyway. We still had to learn terms in math and science, but it wasn’t the same as using plethora in a sentence or creating a matching quiz with words like interminable or incognito. All these words now common in my language were once foreign to me. And I miss that.

In high school, my friend bought me one of those page a day calendars for my birthday. Beginning, appropriately with ab ovo and containing tidbits of knowledge such as the meaning of fiduciary, it was a fun little thing full of SAT-esque words. It was wonderful to reveal a new word every single day.

I came across a new word while reading the other day. The excitement was real. In fact, it’s in my latest posted poem. I was thrilled to have to Google it and I said it enough and used it enough that it’s in my vocabulary. (You know they say if you use a new word three times, it will be added to your permanent vocabulary.)

Words are beautiful. Words can create. Words can invent. Words carry more than meaning; they carry emotion. It’s absolutely fantastic to learn new words. And fittingly, as I discovered earlier today, there is a word to describe someone who loves words…and thus I self-proclaim myself to be a logophile.

Comics are not just for 10 -year-old boys

Seriously, they aren’t.

Comics are a wondrous sort of light reading, and I much appreciate their existence. Comics are fun and engaging. Having pictures there doesn’t make them childish; it only adds to the experience. Why are pictures associated with children? What’s wrong with picture books for young people and adults? The only thing that makes them children’s books is the wording. The sentences are pure and simple, often only one per page. That’s what makes them “childish” — the cute little stories that teach morals and fail to interest older people. Pictures are a great visual with any-age reading.

And in comics, they’re perfect. A good artist and a good author make an excellent comic. Pairs of talented people can bring an idea and story to life. More like a movie than a normal book, you’re able to see what the creators want you to. You’re able to envision the characters and scenes just as they are. With the added visual artistry, the story is easier to imagine.

Even though comics are easier and quicker to read (less words on a page), the stories are no less intricate. Characters still change; the plot still moves; twists and turns can be found around the corner… Why do you think some popular novels are turned into graphic novels? And then there’s manga, notorious for their complicated and intricately woven story-lines. Comics have their own charm. While they host a different experience than other types of reading, they are no less enjoyable (unless of course you just pick up a poorly executed one, which is just unfortunate then and inevitable).

I’ve been reading comics for quite some time. Of course, I started with daily funnies and Archies. (And to anyone out there who says those aren’t real comics, shush! They most definitely are. They might not be long and full of plots, but they are most definitely fun!) As a kid, I loved the Sunday newspaper for the insert full of colorful comics. I looked for it weekly and was so disappointed if my dad didn’t buy the paper. And then my mother introduced me to Archie.. I loved them. During the spring, starting from my tween years, I’d earn $5 mowing the grass, and I’d always ask to go to the bookstore to purchase an Archie’s double digest. The whimsical tales of Riverdale High could be silly, but they were always a source of entertainment that brought a smile to my lips or laughter to my face. So I moved along with those for awhile, reading back through my collection of digests now and again. And then the few graphic novels like Rapunzel’s Revenge and of course the wonderful classics of Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin! How I loved following Tintin and his dog Snowy around the world as he solved mysteries.

And then last year, my friend re-introduced me to superhero comics. I’ve always been a fan of superheroes and had read some of the original The Amazing Spiderman issues, so I was eager to jump in. The action packed graphic novels thrill. The art is amazing and the story-lines intriguing. Of course, I liked some comics more than others. Some dragged a little more and some the art was kinda lame, but most of them were entertaining and fun. And at no point did I feel like they were written just for boys as a few of my friends liked to tease me about. Girls are perfectly capable of reading and enjoying comic books. Just as we can enjoy a well-written book, our minds can also enjoy a well-executed comic. Of course comics aren’t for everyone. I can’t except you all to like everything I do. Do you know there’s some folks out there who can’t even stand glitter?!?! But the demographic of comic lovers isn’t limited to children and definitely not just boys.

Try them out. It can’t hurt you. It won’t take up much of your time to read a comic, and trust me, once you do, you’ll want to pick up another.There’s so many comics out there for whatever you’re interested in. Some are more light-hearted while others are dark. You can find silly stories in such things as Archie comics, serious drama in manga, action with the superheroes — if you have a favorite superhero, that’s a good place to start. You’ll see so many variations of your hero and you’ll find the author and illustrator that capture her or him perfectly. Go! Pick up a comic, open the front cover, and begin your visual adventure!

Adventures and a whirlwind

I’m a reader. Always have been and probably always will be. I love jumping into a book and entering a new world filled with adventure. Traveling beside characters as they encounter danger, thrill, betrayal, hope, romance, and gah! so many emotions!

I love it! I love when I pick up a good book and I can feel the story happening next to me. When I’m so lost, I don’t know what’s going on in the real world around me. When I can envision everything the author speaks of. When the words are so perfect, they flow together as a beautiful masterpiece. When I turn to the last page, and for a moment, I’m sad because there isn’t another page to turn, but I can still breathe a sigh of happiness, knowing my time was well spent on something worthwhile.

This is why I read. I read because for me, it’s an experience. Every time is a new adventure, and with a good book, it’s an adventure I’m glad I took. With a great book, it’s an adventure I will repeat. Then there’s the bad books. They’re like mistakes— adventures when you just wish you’d stayed home. Sometimes I feel bad, especially if I’m a writing a review because I know, no matter how awful the book, the author put time into writing the story. It’s a shame; sometimes, the story just didn’t engage me, but in some unfortunate cases, the writing was just plain terrible.

But when there’s so much good literature out there, I can forgive. I won’t stop reading because of some haphazard barely-worth-noting misadventure. There’s way too many brilliant stories waiting for me to dive into. Stories where authors dug into their creative imaginations and wove a masterpiece. Stories where the details take you on a journey to a new world, so vivid you’ll taste the air. Stories where the characters are so well developed, they’re tangible. Stories where the plot keeps you engaged until the very last word. These are the stories that surpass the title for “good book.” These are the stories you’ll never forget, the characters you’ll love like dear friends, the adventures you’ll return to again and again. These stories will become your favorites that you won’t be able to stop gushing about if they’re brought up.

These are the stories that make me love reading. The reason I’ve been addicted forever. They will whisk me away in a whirlwind of beautiful words that I never want to escape… and it is this whirlwind that entices me to return to the imaginative world of fiction again and again.