Hodgepodge

Why You Should Check Out Pixar in a Box — The Art of Storytelling

Pixar in a Box
“Photo Credit: Miguel Á. Padriñán”

Unless you have a Khan Academy account and are on it often (or you’re my mom—hello!), you’ve probably not heard of Pixar in a Box. And that’s just sad.

So, information and facts time.

Khan Academy (a free learning site) partnered with Pixar a while back to make Pixar in a Box — a series of courses centered mainly around animation. But, about a year ago, they came out with a course focused on storytelling.

In these lessons, story artists, writers, editors, and other people who work at Pixar teach and share insights on how to develop plots, worlds, and characters. Along with this, they teach the basics of film grammar and visual language and give tips on how to pitch story ideas and give feedback. Continue Reading

My 2018 Blog(ish) Goals

Goals
“Photo Credit: Fempreneur Styled Stock”

This probably should have been the first thing I posted this year, but I have no regrets about my priorities (which obviously favor invented species over goals and resolutions.)

Also, by this point, you probably thought you were done reading about resolutions, but nay. You are not done. You’ve still got one more to read. Unless you decide to just throw your phone across the room. That’s fair.

My 2018 Blog(ish) Goals

•Read 50 books.

Last year I read 52 books, so if I’m being honest my goal is to beat myself by at least one book, but 50 is more aesthetically pleasing, sooo…. Continue Reading

The Cat Owner’s Guide to Wrapping Presents

Wrapping Presents
“Photo Credit: Kaboompics // Karolina”

Christmas is nearly here. And if you are me, then there’s a 100% chance that you haven’t wrapped any presents yet. There’s also a 100% chance that you have a cat that you do NOT want in the room with you while wrapping presents.

Even if by some weird chance you are not me, and you don’t have a cat (or any other animal), I’m sure you’ll enjoy the following article that I found on messybeast.com.

The Cat Owner’s Guide to Wrapping Presents

1.

Clear large space on table for wrapping present.

2.

Go to wardrobe and collect bag in which present is contained, and close door. Continue Reading

How to Get Comfortable While Reading

Reading
“Photo Credit: John-Mark Kuznietsov”

If you’ve ever even thought about reading, you’ve had this problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re reading from a book, magazine, tablet, ancient scroll, or milk carton—the process of reading has one fatal flaw: you cannot stay comfortable for more than fifteen minutes.

It doesn’t matter what position you’re in. Standing up or sitting or lying down. On your back or on your stomach or on your head. You’ll lose circulation, get a cramp, or your right hand will fall off. Nothing works—and this post probably won’t either. Continue Reading

The History of Halloween

History of Halloween
“Photo Credit: Freestocks.org”

To the surprise of basically everyone, it’s almost Halloween, and because of this, it’s almost November. Even though 2017 started approximately two days ago, soon we’ll only have two months of it left. So, because I knew nothing about the history of Halloween and I enjoy learning weird historical facts (and asking questions that my mom tells me to google and then write an essay on—WHICH I DON’T DO), I decided to do some digging (which was mostly me being on Pinterest.) And, lo and behold, Halloween started in Ireland. Hands up, who’s surprised? Continue Reading

Disney World Recap 2017 (Hint: It Involves a Hurricane)

Disney World
“Photo Credit: My Mom”

Everybody smile like you’re having a good time.—Said some woman outside of Thunder Mountain Railroad who was probably talking to her children.

I AM BACK. And I did have some fun. So there’s that.

Also, in a surprising turn of events, my family and I did not die, which is what I would call a successful vacation.

But in all seriousness, I learned a good handful of things about hurricanes while we were in Florida.

1. If you want to have a whole plane all to yourself, always fly right before a hurricane. (I technically learned this in the Indianapolis Airport.)

34 people. 34 people including us, plus the crew. That was everyone on our flight down to Orlando…and it was amazing. There were no loud children (more on that later), you could sit wherever you pleased, and you could get honey roasted peanuts and  pretzels. #Blessed. Continue Reading

Why Rainy Days Make the Best Reading Days

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Rainy Days
“Photo Credit: Gabriel Santiago”

In my humble opinion, which is 100% right all the time, rainy days make the best any day. There’s something magical about them that can dial your senses to eleven, or release all the tightness around your neck at the sound of the first downpour, or possess you to build a blanket fort and then do nothing but watch movies in it all day long. Even if you have school work.

Another thing that’s wonderful about rain (which you’ve probably already guessed if you’ve read the title) is the itch that you get to snuggle up with a good book. Continue Reading

The 5 Best Upgrades That Make Books Awesome

Best Book Upgrades
“Photo Credit: Dariusz Sankowski”

All books are cool, but not all books are equal… Some of them have been upgraded. Here are five of the best book upgrades.

1. Maps

—Okay. I know what you’re thinking. LOTS of books have maps, especially in fantasy genres. That doesn’t cancel out the fact that they’re nifty and actually helpful. If you use a map right, you can basically predict the course of the story. Unless you’re reading on a Kindle. Then it will take approximately two years to flip from the page you’re on to the map and back again. Continue Reading

Prologue

Willow Snug
“Photo Credit: Miguel Constantin Montes”

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.  —Jane Austen

If you don’t think this quote is at least a little funny then you should probably stop reading now. This blog isn’t for you. But to everyone who is still reading, welcome to my new, first, and only blog, mes amis.

So… the dreaded introduction. Because most of you reading this already know all about me or don’t care (or both, maybe), I’ll keep this short and sweet. My name is Grace Batronis (Batronis—part Batman, part Patronus) and I’m old enough to use magic outside Hogwarts (i.e. seventeen.) My parents have homeschooled my brother and I since third grade and first grade, respectively. And now I’ve decided to start a blog. Continue Reading