Categories
Events

Winter Writer’s Festival – Ravenna, Oh

I was fortunate to be involved with the 2021 Winter Writer’s Fest in Ravenna, Oh. This year it was virtual, but we had a good time being remote.

In the class I taught, I worked with kids to help spark their imaginations and help them make creative stories. We didn’t have much time, but we did write a short cooperative story. Each person supplied one line to the story. I think the kids were coming up with a better story than the adults.

Here are a couple clips from the class:

https://www.sa-schneider.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/speaker5bclip.mp4
challenging the class to color but think outside the lines
https://www.sa-schneider.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/speaker4clip.mp4
Where do you get ideas?

I hope to return to this fest and work with kids more on story creation.

Categories
Events Misc

Justice League movie – story fail

Have you seen the Justice League movie? If you haven’t, it’s pretty good, you should check it out. It’s supposed to be DC’s answer to the Marvel multi-movie universe. That’s a whole different discussion and not what I want to bring up today.

In the movie, Batman gathers Flash, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Cyborg to take on this threat to the world. The climax of the movie sees the team battling flying, demon insects while trying to stop the big, bad guy. OK, so far, so good. (Warning: there’s a bit of spoilers below, so if you haven’t seen the movie, go see it before reading.)

When this big, bad guy shows up, another dimension starts intruding on our world. Essentially a portal opens up and the demon bugs come out and the portal is getting bigger. When the portal opened, it was right in the middle of this town. Of course, most of the people, being smart, bug (ha ha) out and get away as fast as they can. That is, except for one family.

This guy boards up his windows to keep the bugs out and he’s ready to fight with his shotgun. His little girl, the star of this little scene, is scared and hiding under the table. After listening to the bugs slam into their house, she decides to crawl over to a cabinet. Reaching inside she pulls out — bug spay! I loved it. This little girl isn’t going to be afraid, she will fight the bugs and gets the best weapon she can think of.

Fast forward: The Justice League shows up and is fighting the bugs. The father, realizing he can’t fight them, takes the opportunity to skeddaddle. He loads the family up in the pickup truck and gets out. Except it isn’t that easy. The portal is getting bigger and about the engulf their truck and the bugs are swarming and will be attacking the family, and the little girl, riding in the back. Of course, there are superheroes to save the day, and the Flash uses his super speed to move the truck, and family, far down the road out of danger.

Right here is the missed opportunity. Flash tells them bye, and leaves. Ugh, ball dropped. Here’s what really should have happened. As he’s about to leave, the little girl tugs his sleeve and hands him the bug spray.

That’s it. Nothing super big or spectacular, but it’s exactly what was needed. They had this whole arc with the little girl and her family. They are trapped and she’s afraid, yet she decides to fight back and does what she can. Now, there are super people that will take care of things, yet, she wants to help and gives him her can of bug spray. She doesn’t need it. Regardless of the abilities they have, she is helping him and giving him the only thing she can, not only as thanks but because she knows they will need all the help they can get.

Even better would have been as the Flash is running around, he actually gets attacked by a group of bugs and pulls out the bug spray and blasts them, causing them to all fly away, maybe some fly into trees or buildings or whatever. He then smiles and looks at the can. That, to me, would have been perfect and was really missed. They could have finished that little sub-plot very well but left it go and it feels missed.

Wait, there could have been one more thing. End of credit scene, the Flash visits the family and gives the girl a new bottle of bug spray. Yeah, that would have been great.

Did you see the movie? Did you like it? Do you think they should have done what I said? Just curious. Thanks.

 

Categories
Events Kids Reading

Get to reading – the Great American Read

Have you heard of the Great American Read?

Sponsored by PBS, this documentary special is a celebration of reading. There are 100 books on the list, and you can vote for your favorite. There will be 1 winner based on these votes.

http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/vote/

It’s pretty cool and exciting, go check out the list. Going through, there are many I have read and there are many that are surprising. Tom Sawyer is on the list, of course. But so is Ready Player One, which was interesting. So it’s not just a list of books that are more than 100 years old, though many of those are pretty good.

There are some books I’d still like to read, but here are the ones that I’ve actually read:

1984

Adventures of Tom Sawyer (personal recommendation)

Alex Cross

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (personal recommendation)

Call of the Wild (personal recommendation)

Charlotte’s Web (I like the overall theme of this one)

Chronicles of Narnia

Count of Monte Cristo

DaVinci Code

Dune

Flowers in the Attic

Frankenstein

Giver

Gone with the Wind

Grapes of Wrath

Gulliver’s Travels

Harry Potter (recommended, well duh)

Hatchet

Hunt for Red October

Jurassic Park (one of my top 3 books ever)

Little Women

Moby Dick

Ready Player One

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (highly recommended)

Hunger Games

Lord of the Rings

Martian (one of my all-time favorites)

Outsiders

Stand

Watchers

Where the Red Fern Grows (recommended)

 

Thirty-one out of 100 – not great, but not bad. There are a couple still on my list to read, so that will bring it up. Likewise, there are a couple that I’ve tried to read but couldn’t get into and didn’t care for. That’s ok, you’re allowed to not like a book.

Parents, if you are looking for a good summer read for the kids:

Charlotte’s Web, Tom Sawyer, Where the Red Fern Grows, Hatchet would be good ones. Alice’s Adventures is a good one to read together, it’s trippy and is great with a discussion.

For the older kids, try: Outsiders, Hitchhiker’s Guide, Call of the Wild and Harry Potter.

How many have you read? Go vote!

http://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/vote/

 

UPDATE: I left the article above as originally posted, but they have finished their voting. Check out the page to see their list.

Categories
Events

Manga for everyone

I recently came across something that has me completely intrigued. I was at the Cleveland Wizard World Con in the Manga/Anime area. I normally am not a manga kinda guy, but I wandered in. Looking at the one table, a young lady started to tell me what they were about and I must say, I loved it.

The table was for Saturday AM. In a nutshell, these guys and girls are doing a western manga and they are focusing on new creators. They use writers and artists from all over the world, not people that are known and already in the industry. They are open to new ideas for stories. If you have a good story and good art, you could get into their monthly magazine.

The monthly magazine is how they get their comics published, similar to Shonen Jump. The magazine is distributed digitally and is very reasonable – about $2.50 per month. They have a slew of stories already and seem to keep adding more.

I have started at the beginning with issue #1, because you know, it only makes sense, right? Anyway, the characters and stories are fun and very Manga. I don’t normally read this type of comic, but I love to support people when they are trying to do something with a good purpose.

One of the other things they do is a yearly contest. This is to get their name out, but also to get artists and writers interested in submitting their stories. Last year, the prize was an iPad pro! Along with that, they have a comic drawing app called Comic Draw, so it made sense to give away the iPad and show off this app.

I love this and am in support completely. They showed us a comic that was created and made by a 16 year old! This is fantastic! I encourage kids to look into this, don’t wait until you are out of school, do it now.

Head over to Saturday AM, read some of the online comics, maybe get an issue or two. They even have some physical books for really good prices.