2017 Movie Rankings

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

2017 was a surprisingly good year for movies. I managed to see 21 movies that came out in theatres but there were so many more that I wanted to and didn’t get a chance.

This is the ranking of movies I saw in theatres (or rented) that were released in 2017. This doesn’t include Netflix originals, made for TV Movies, or straight to DVD releases.

  1. Coco (GAH! This was amazing in every way.)
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  5. Murder on the Orient Express
  6. Beauty and the Beast
  7. The Lego Batman Movie
  8. Thor: Ragnarok
  9. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  11. Monster Trucks
  12. Power Rangers
  13. Cars 3
  14. Despicable Me 3
  15. Baywatch (It had its moments but I was a little disappointed.)
  16. Justice League (Better than I expected but not by much.)
  17. Logan (This was a grittier X-Men movie despite being told it was different it was the same old plot holes.)
  18. Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Disappointingly this didn’t capture the fun and pace of the first one.)
  19. The Greatest Showman (Meh!)
  20. Atomic Blonde (I was expecting a Bond movie, not a half-assed mystery with brutal fight scenes. Not my kind of movie.)

I’m not sure what 2018 holds, but I’m guessing more movies and lots more superheroes.

What were your favorite movies for 2017?

Éric

Disney Dining Plan Update

Disney World has added the option, if you’re over 21 years of age, to get an alcoholic beverage with your meal. You can also get a specialty non-alcoholic beverage, like artisanal milkshakes, smoothies, premium hot chocolate, soda, coffee, or tea.

In the past, you were able to get a dessert and a basic drink (milk, soda, coffee, tea). Upgrading to a specialty drink means you get the dessert in the drink, I guess?

Image taken from the Disney website, able to be viewed by travel consultants only, so I won’t bother linking. 😉

Are you interested in travelling to Disney? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

2017 Book Ranking

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

This year I read 31 books. One of them was mine.

If you like paranormal fantasy or medical dramas, check out Parasomnia by Eric Desmarais

5 Stars

  1. Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1) By Grant, Mira
  2. Every Heart a Doorway(Wayward Children, #1) By McGuire, Seanan
  3. Daughters of Britain By Carrière, S.M.
  4. Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) By Christie, Agatha
  5. Once Broken Faith (October Daye #10) By McGuire, Seanan
  6. Haunted Mansion By Williamson, Joshua
  7. Voltron: Legendary Defender, Volume 1 By Hedrick, Tim
  8. Redshirts By Scalzi, John
  9. The Winter Long (October Daye, #8) By McGuire, Seanan
  10. Oddly Normal, Book 3 By Frampton, Otis
  11. Fowl Language: The Struggle Is Real By Gordon, Brian
  12. Dungeonology (Ologies, #13) By Forbeck, Matt
  13. Space Mall By Shaw, Natalie

4 Stars

  1. Temporally Out of Order By Palmatier, Joshua
  2. Spider-Gwen, Vol. 0: Most Wanted? By Latour, Jason
  3. Magic for Nothing (InCryptid, #6) By McGuire, Seanan
  4. Tortall: A Spy’s Guide By Pierce, Tamora
  5. Chimes at Midnight (October Daye, #7) By McGuire, Seanan
  6. Ashes of Honor (October Daye, #6) By McGuire, Seanan
  7. A Red-Rose Chain (October Daye, #9) By McGuire, Seanan
  8. Hi Mom! Hi Dad! By Johnston, Lynn

3 Stars

  1. Mik Murdoch: Crisis of Conscience By Plested, Michell
  2. The Mist By King, Stephen
  3. Delegates and Delegation(Schlock Mercenary, #15) By Tayler, Howard
  4. You Can’t Come in Here! (You’re Invited to a Creepover, #2) By Night, P.J.
  5. Silent Night (Fear Street Super Chiller, #2) By Stine, R.L.
  6. Virga: Sun of Suns By Schroeder, Karl
  7. The Librarians and the Lost Lamp (The Librarians #1) By Cox, Greg

2 Stars

  1. The Time Twister By Petaja, Emil
  2. Ready Player One (Ready Player One, #1) By Cline, Ernest

 

What was your favourite book for 2017?

Éric

In defence of reading for pleasure

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

In fiction, there is a serious case of classism. Multiple serious cases or classism actually, but I’m going to talk about one that pisses me off personally.

Just because a story isn’t dark and brooding, or doesn’t make you cry at the indignities of life, doesn’t mean that it should be held to different standards.

Fluff, Light, Dumb, Popcorn, Adventure, and Popular are all ways of describing things that are categorised as lesser in quality. As they are automatically lesser, they are then considered immune to certain criticism.

Let’s take Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. It’s a nostalgia-driven love letter to the 80’s. So much so that the plot, politics, and characters are all 80’s stereotypes. That’s not a good thing. The plot is lazy, the characters hateful, the diversity forced and self-congratulatory. I’d go as far as saying the book isn’t just bad, it encourages a level of navel gazing and retro social politics that are toxic.

When discussing this book on panel The Nights at the Round Table, panelists gave it a pass because it was a Light Fun Cottage read. I am not attacking the panelists, they are wonderful people whom I care deeply for!

As consumers we’ve been told our entire lives that there are two classes of writing, the fluff and the serious. Over the years that has changed. Early examples of light fluffy reading is anything by Jane Austin, who is now considered a classic author (Deservedly so she’s fantastic). Shakespeare was the Michael Bay of his time.

#HoldFluffAccountable

Disclaimer: I am an Adventure writer. What I write is considered low-brow fluff even by the most adamant genre writers. I also read a great deal of what people call stupid fun (Urban Fantasy, Supernatural Horror, Genre YA, etc.) so obviously my opinion is skewed.

I hate that no matter how much thought I put into my writing, it will always be considered low-class and fluff. BUT I hate so much more that books and movies that fall into the same categories are immune to criticism and analysis unless they are extremely popular or extremely depressing.

You can read for pleasure and still be immensely touched and even enriched by any form of story. Books by Laura Resnick, Tanya Huff, Seanan Maguire, or Tamora Peirce have worlds as detailed and content a deep/meaningful as anything in hard Science-Fiction or epic Fantasy.

There are themes and stories inside superhero films that are just as dark or just as thought provoking as the latest drama/tragedy.

When you dismiss a story as not worthy of criticism, you are accepting that story’s flaws and normalizing its harm. It’s the popular fluff that will cause the most damage because it’s what more people read or watch. You must hold it accountable for its flaws and its mistakes.

There shouldn’t be two classes of story and you have the power to change that by holding them all accountable and by critically analyzing everything.

 

Later Days,

Éric

 

 

 

Blush: A New Cup

I have talked about using a Diva Cup in the past, but over the past 9.5 years of my using a cup, I have come across several people who were not able to use one, for a variety of reasons.

I was very excited, therefore, to hear about a Kickstarter for a new cup: the Keela Cup. The new design should make the cup easier to use for a lot of the people who could not use a Diva Cup. I hope that they get the chance to try this cup out.

Check out this article by one of the creators.

The Keela Cup mascot, designed by Nomi Kane. Image from Kickstarter.com

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Results: 2018 Serial Story – You Vote, I Write

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

The Votes are in and everything is over but the writing.

The genre will be a Fantasy-Romance. I take it that you’ve enjoyed the romance elements from my previous serial stories since you as a group keep voting for it. The mood will be Comedy of Errors. Lots of mistaken identities, misheard information, and sill misunderstandings. The setting will be Steampunk and the main characters will be special humans.

My influences for this story are going to be The Comedy of Errors, Star Wars, The Three Musketeers, Warehouse 13, and The Librarians

This should be an interesting year.

The Devices of Desire

The island of Cillian is the technological and magical jewel of the world. It is the seat of the richest merchants, the most revered royal family, and the most dangerous fighting monks.

Artemis studied fighting with the greatest hero in the world but craved the knowledge that only the Fighting Monk order of Dumas could teach. Unfortunately they only teach men. That didn’t stop her and she disguised herself to get in.

Diana is the princess of Cillian and is ready to take over for her ailing father. She is loved by all her subjects but they don’t know that she’s also the inventor of half the new technomagic discoveries coming from Cillian. Unfortunately she has to disguise herself to do, and sell, her work.

Ezekiel is the heir to the Apollo Shipping Company fortunes. He hates everything to do with being a merchant and disguises himself to follow his true passion; Music.

Things get complicated when the Oracle of Espenson arrives and confuses Artemis in disguise for Ezekiel, Diana in disguise for Artemis, and Ezekiel in disguise for Diana’s long lost twin brother.

Look for the first Chapter in by the end of January.

Later Days,

Éric