1. Cinderella III: A Twist in Time – JenEric Movie Review

            How This WorksRead Other Reviews

            Hello Cinephiles,

            Today we’re talking about the 2007 film Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.

            Story

            Interesting, if overdone, idea of using time travel and magic to alter what originally happened in the first movie. It’s endearing for nostalgia and because the prince, still unnamed, is the nicest person alive.

            Score: 0

            Characters

            The characters are all played by different actors than the original and they do a wonderful job. The king gets a little more character development, as do the stepsisters.

            The prince again is absolutely the nicest person and really rolls with the ridiculousness of the plot.

            Score: 1

            Dialogue

            Some of the dialogue is quite clever and some was intentionally funny. Overall, it wasn’t great.

            Score: 0.5

            Visuals and Music

            The art was pretty, especially when it borrowed from the original, but not the best quality for Disney. They definitely took some shortcuts and it shows that this was straight to video release.

            The music is pretty good and really takes inspiration from the original.

            Score: 0.5

            Fun

            The first time I saw the movie I liked it, the second it was okay. It doesn’t have the narrative or humour levels that many Disney movies have that make it re-watchable. It’s better than the second one, but no where near the original.

            All that said, it is watchable.

            Score: 0.5

            Overall

            This is a cute straight to video Disney sequel that is fun to watch but utterly forgettable.

            Final Score: 2.5 Stars out of 5

            LAST CHANCE to vote for the TARDIS!

            Hello My Imaginary Friends,

            The Travelling TARDIS has been nominated for an Aurora Award. (4th year in a row)

            Voting for the Auroras is now open and will close TOMORROW (Saturday, September 4, 2021). Please vote for the Travelling TARDIS.

            Voter’s Package

            The majority of nominated works are available in the voter’s package now. Simply make an account, pay $10, and you’ll have access to a wonderful library of Canadian Science fiction and fantasy.

            The Travelling TARDIS isn’t part of the package because you can access it for free on this site.

            The Travelling TARDIS

            The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

            Thank you to everyone who nominated and especially to everyone who reads and enjoys our content.

            Thank you!

            éric

            Dragon’s School Year 2021-2022

            Hello readers!

            Last year, for Dragon’s first school year, we decided to do a combination homeschool/virtual school. Her teachers were really accommodating and understanding.

            However, after looking back on the year, despite Dragon learning a LOT and having a lot of fun, there were several aspects that she clearly missed.

            The major one being French. She resisted learning French and, well, I am NOT a French teacher, or a kindergarten teacher.

            She also missed seeing her classmates.

            So after several discussions with Dragon, she has suggested (after leading questions from us) that she attend virtual school full-time this Fall.

            I discovered that the reason she was hesitating to suggest this was because she was afraid of hurting my feelings. Once I reassured her that I thought virtual school was a good idea, she was very happy with the idea.

            I also told her that we could do the big activities on the weekend, if she wanted.

            Considering I told her the same thing about this summer and she has yet to suggest we do one, I’m not sure if she’ll take me up on that offer.

            The biggest change that her attending virtual school full time will cause is a change in the kids’ bedtime routines. In order for Dragon to get a full night’s sleep, we’re going to have to put her to bed an hour or two earlier than we have been. One day up early wasn’t hurting her, but a full week of it would definitely be a problem.

            And since it seems silly to put Pegasus to bed after we finish putting Dragon to bed, we’ll be adjusting his sleep schedule as well.

            So much for sleeping in on the weekends.

            On the selfish plus side, Dragon attending virtual school means I have an awful lot of writing time. I also don’t have to do all the school prep (lesson plans, worksheets, activity planning, etc) I did last year.

            Let’s hope this plan goes well!

            Guitar Lessons Part 5

            July 26: Ugh

            I passed the Am/C chord lesson once. I didn’t pass a second time, so I’ll be trying it again tomorrow.

            The lines on my fingers from pressing on the strings were turning purple, so I stopped for the day.

            Then I tried to play the melody line I had written out yesterday and it sounded all wrong.

            Sigh.

            I had (mostly) forgotten that I have an annoying little problem with my ear.

            Any note I sing will change to the note I play.

            This makes writing a melody incredibly difficult.

            I tried to avoid this problem yesterday. Apparently it didn’t work.

            I need to figure out a different way of doing this.

            July 27: Not much

            I didn’t play much today.

            I completed the Am/C chord song, somehow.

            Then I moved onto the next Am/C chord song. I got 3 stars on the first part of it, and then only 1 on the next two parts. Sigh.

            I know that Am and C are super easy to switch between, but I’m looking forward to the difficulty of switching between chords that require me to move all my fingers around so that I’m not digging gauges in my fingers every time I play.

            I tried out a new app to translate my song into guitar chords. It’s called MyChord. I’m not sure how pleased I am with it. It definitely records, and it definitely gives me chords (most of the time), but I feel like it picked the most complicated chords imaginable! I need to figure out how to transpose them to chords I can actually play, or maybe just cut out half of them.

            It’s probably that my voice isn’t perfect. I know it isn’t. I have choral training from high school and that’s it, no private lessons.

            Anyways, I’ll muddle along. At least this gives me something to start off with!

            July 28: Ups and downs

            I had a really hard time getting my fingers to cooperate holding down the strings today.

            I gave up on the Am/C chord lesson after five attempts and practiced the chords I knew, plucking each string individually to make sure I had no dull notes.

            Which I did.

            On many chords.

            Like I said, my fingers were not cooperating today.

            Then I tried the lesson one last time.

            And I passed with only one mistake!

            I’m going to play it again tomorrow to make sure I do have it down, but yay for only one mistake!

            I sang my song once.

            I talked with a musician friend last night about guiding me on how to write the music. First step is to record me singing it. So I guess I’m doing that at some point this week.

            Did you want to hear it?

            Bear in mind, I’m not a professional singer by any stretch of the imagination and that this was “written by a 14yo boy” as his coming out love song to the guy he likes (I am not 14yo, gay, or a boy).

            July 29: One Whole Month!

            It has been a month since I officially picked up a guitar!

            I am very happy with my progress, even though it feels slow at times.

            I passed the Am/C chord song and moved on to learning G.

            One of the major benefits of getting this Fender; the neck is narrower and G is easier to reach. The only trouble I’m having with it is switching in and out of it.

            I passed the chord player, where the app gave me a series of chords that I had to play in a certain amount of time. I played 14 on the first try. I’ll probably play it again tomorrow.

            Then I played the first G chord song.

            Whew!

            This song had G/C/Em/Am!

            My fingers are still feeling cramped from playing. It’ll get easier though.

            I didn’t pass the lesson, but I’m really excited to be moving onto a more complicated song!

            I tried to find a simple app that would tell me what notes I was singing for my song. All I learned is that my voice is wildly out of tune.

            Sigh.

            Maybe I shouldn’t try to write the song.

            July 30: Fun!

            I had a lot of fun playing today.

            I played the G/C/Em/Am song multiple times. Haven’t passed it yet, but it felt really good to play something that required a lot of brain power.

            I even played it for an audience! And the toddler didn’t attack the guitar!

            I sang my song a few times.

            I’m supposed to record it for my friend to help me and I keep putting it off because a) we’ve been busy, and b) I’m nervous.

            July 31: Moving right along

            I passed the G/C/Em/Am chord song twice today. I’m very proud of myself.

            Then I moved on to the next song, Em/G/C chords. I passed it on the first attempt, and then had trouble the next two times.

            Sigh.

            I’ll get it tomorrow, I think.

            I sang my song once and then I recorded it to send to my friend who’s guiding me.

            Good day today!

            Aug 1: Progress

            I passed the Em/G/C chord song today.

            Then I learned about up strumming. That was… Interesting.

            Then I played a G/Em chord song that was all about switching between down and up strumming.

            I did not pass it, but I feel pretty good about my progress on it.

            I put on my recording of my song and sang along with it multiple times.

            I need to work on my confidence.

            Diamond Stars and the Galactic Heist – Chapter 8


            Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


            Chapter 8

            After a few hours of being in the conference room, I started to wish I’d taken up the Sun Speaker on his offer of food.

            The door finally opened and Diamond was shoved through. She looked rough, like she’d been in a fight. Whatever had hit her had left a dark bruise over most of the left side of her face.

            When the door closed, I asked, “What happened?”

            She took a deep breath and sat on a chair. “They must have figured out our plan. We have to warn the others.” There was a breathiness to her speech, like she’d been punched in the throat. There was definitely something wrong.

            “What plan?” I asked, using my best confused voice.

            “The jig is up Samuel. They know what we’re going to do. It’s like they have someone on the inside.” She gave me a sidelong look before resting her head on the conference room table.

            The thing about this plan was that I had no idea what came next. I suspected that neither did Diamond, but I couldn’t tell. The woman seemed to be part genius and part ridiculously lucky.

            “Oh. The plan!” I said, trying to buy some time. Either Diamond was trying to send me a coded message or this wasn’t her. “Well… Nice job testing me. There is no one else.”

            “Right. Of course. Now how about we get out of here?” Diamond said, standing and going to the door. She pulled a pass out of her sleeve and flashed it at the door. It had a little picture of the guard that had brought her to the room. “I nicked it off the guard when he shoved me.” There was a proud mischievousness to the look on her face. It looked right on her face, but not right based on my experience. It was a face she’d fake around others, not one she’d use with the crew. She was definitely trying to tell me something, or this wasn’t Diamond.

            “Remember that we need to turn off their outside sensors and long range communications,” I said. It wasn’t part of the plan, but it sounded like it should be and even if this wasn’t Diamond it could be useful.

            “I saw a server node when they brought me in. This way.”

            I followed until we got to a door that indicated it was a server node. We went in with the help of the purloined pass and found a tiny room. The computers took all the wall space from ceiling to floor on all three sides that didn’t have the door. With both of us standing we would bump into each other as we worked. “You do the long range coms and I’ll do the sensors,” I said.

            We worked in silence as we hacked our way into the system. While I worked diligently with my right hand, my left took out a hidden drive and plugged it in. I had just deactivated the sensors when Diamond said, “This is harder than I thought. I need more time.”

            “We don’t have much, I’m almost done with the sensors,” I lied.

            I looked at the bottom screen and transferred any files related to Project Replicator. The transfer finished and I saw another folder called Operation Black-Sun. Even though it was dated from almost two hundred years ago, I still took it. I placed the small drive back into the tiny hidden pocket in my hip. Onyx had made it and when I pressed the right way, it sealed so that the only way to know there was anything in it was an x-ray.

            “I’m done,” Diamond said. “We should get out of here.”

            “What about the plan?” I asked.

            “Shove the plan into the vacuum of space, they have a Sun Speaker. We need to get out of here. No pay is worth this.” That’s when I knew it wasn’t the real Diamond.  

            I needed to make sure whoever this was believed that I didn’t get what I wanted. “We need that prototype weapon. Our buyers aren’t going to take failure well.” I felt like I was getting pretty good at lying.

            “Right. I looked at the floor plans while taking down the coms and I think the labs are this way.” Once again I followed her and when we got to an unmarked door she said, “The labs are in there. I just have to get this door open.” The pass didn’t work when she tried it, so she forced the door open. It was completely dark inside. She grunted and said, “I can’t keep this open for long. Get in there and unlock it from the inside.”

            Walking into a dark room that I knew was a trap wasn’t fun, but I did it and when I did, the door closed behind me. Over the door coms I heard, “Thank you for telling us everything we needed.” It started out as Diamond’s voice but faded into that of the Sun Speaker.

            “Wow, he does a great impersonation of me,” said a voice in the dark.

            The lights turned on dramatically and I could see Diamond chained to the wall by her hands and feet. I was starting to miss the conference room. This one was all metal walls and uncomfortable rust coloured stains.

            “I didn’t realize you were into this sort of thing,” I quipped, hoping her answer would tell me if this was another fake out.

            “Yes, yes I am. But I usually prefer leather or silk. Metal is so unyielding.”

            The lights went out again and then so did the hum, which I’d started to tune out, of the air support system.

            Read Chapter 9 (September 2021)


            While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:


            Want to learn more about what Sun Speakers are? Check out what the one in our solar system is up to.

            Read Chapter 8 (August 2021)


            While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:


            Want to learn more about what Sun Speakers are? Check out what the one in our solar system is up to.

            Sun Speaker

            In the distant future humanity has spread to the other planets in our solar system. These stories follow Hal (a prophet for a godlike entity that lives in the sun), and his friends, as they try to make the solar system a better place.

            Hal The Sun Speaker

            Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

            The Assassin

            Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

            A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral

            Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

            Gladiators in SPACE!

            Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

            Ghost Ship Robinson

            Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7

            Vivo – JenEric Movie Review

            How This WorksRead Other Reviews

            Hello Cinephiles,

            Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Vivo.

            Story

            The beginning was a little predictable in its “Pixar” style twist. The rest was a usual road trip buddy story. It was a fun story.

            Score: 0.5

            Characters

            We don’t see a lot of Cuban or Cuban-American culture in animation. It was nice to see the art, music, and accents take centre stage. The characters were all motivated by relatable emotions.

            The character of Vivo is sassy, funny, and filled with heart.

            Score: 1

            Dialogue

            The running commentary by Vivo is both adorable and refreshingly funny. I appreciated the music, situational, word, and absurd humour.

            I liked that they treated parts of the dialogue like motifs in music. They repeated or altered certain phrases to create more of an emotional impact and to pull the various parts of the movie together.

            Score: 1

            Visuals and Music

            The movie was absolutely beautiful. It might not have been up to Pixar or Disney quality but they captured the Cuban art and colour style fantastically. There are a few times that the face and perspective in that art style didn’t translate well to a 3D animation, but over all, it was great.

            The music was Broadway with the Lin-Manuel Miranda twist and a large dollop of Cuban influence. It’s a little reminiscent of his other work, but that doesn’t detract from how good it was.

            Score: 1

            Fun

            The movie was colourful, never wallowed too much, and had multiple levels of humour. It was poignant and had a pretty good message, plus both kids loved it.

            Score: 1

            Overall

            It takes a lot of elements that we’re familiar with in animated and musical movies and mixes them together with a Cuban-American influence making it feel fresh and vibrant. The visuals, music, comedy, and heart warming story make for a wonderful film.

            Final Score: 4.5 stars out of 5

            Please Vote for the Travelling TARDIS

            Hello My Imaginary Friends,

            As you know, The Travelling TARDIS has been nominated for an Aurora Award. (4th year in a row)

            Voting for the Aurora’s is now open and will close on Saturday, September 4, 2021. Please vote for the Travelling TARDIS.

            Voter’s Package

            The majority of nominated works are available in the voter’s package now. Simply make an account, pay $10, and you’ll have access to a wonderful library of Canadian Science fiction and fantasy.

            The Travelling TARDIS isn’t part of the package because you can access it for free on this site.

            The Travelling TARDIS

            The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

            Thank you to everyone who nominated and especially to everyone who reads and enjoys our content.

            Thank you!

            éric

            Process of writing

            Kennedy and Jason, in their first iterations, appeared in our D&D game in 2010. Kennedy Fairfield was Kennedy Lake, and she was a kindergarten teacher who had an affinity for guns. Jason Johnson was Giles Momoa, and he was a Mafia leader that the player characters had to interrogate. Kennedy rolled a natural 20 and did something fancy, getting his attention, and they flirted and eventually became romantically involved. The other players liked him too, and he kept coming back into the game. When that game ended, we played a superhero game, and Jen played Giles’s niece, a 6 year old water creator named Chelsea who couldn’t control her creation. She appears in our book as Brooke, Jason’s niece. After that game ended, that was it; we put them all aside.

            Fast forward ten years, and we didn’t really remember the storylines from the game, but the characters really stuck in our heads (although we had forgotten most of their names, other than Kennedy’s first name). And then we started discussing potentially writing a book about them, together.

            We started off by talking about it A LOT in Fall 2020. Then on Jan 1, 2021, we sat down and wrote jot notes for the first Act. We split the book between us by main character and alternated chapters (minus a couple places in Act 2). When we finished the first Act, we made jot notes for the second. And again for the third.

            We have a separate document for the cast of characters and important locations, with descriptions about each so we could stay consistent.

            We wrote in Google docs. After each chapter, the other person edited, and then Jen read it aloud to Keladry (4.5yo). She picked up on a lot of repetitive words and typos that way…

            It worked really well for us, but we understand why it wouldn’t work for everyone.

            We finished the first draft on March 14, 2021.

            More than half of the words Jen wrote were written on her phone while nursing Adrien (18-20mo) to sleep!

            Lots of writing late at night happened. éric would bring his laptop to bed and write while Jen was nursing Adrien (when it was his turn to write). Occasionally, we’d get a nice chunk of time in the middle of the day when the kids were playing well together, and we could write.

            One memorable occasion, Jen wrote 4k words during our daughter’s virtual school day while she (Dragon) was paying attention to the teachers. :O

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