Cinema Toast

My Disney Princess Carried a Blaster

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We all loved her.

Last year ran roughshod over my list of Hollywood Heroes. From start to finish, David Bowie to William Christopher, we’ve all lost some of our favorites. But for me, Carrie Fisher’s passing probably hit the hardest. Was there anyone who didn’t love her?

She ushered in a new age of Princess. She took that character genre from damsel-in-distress to kick-butt hero. She was sassy, smart, smart-mouthed, skilled, and stunning. And this is before she ever stepped in front of a camera. She was honest, brutally so, about her struggles. She was willing to step from the shadows, rip off her bandages, and show us her scars.

How best to honor her?

As a writer, I hope to honor her memory by infusing my “princesses” with her strength and presence. I want them to have vulnerabilities to face, mountains to climb, partners in passion, and character oozing from every pore. I want them to defend the less able and champion the righteous cause. I think Ms. Fisher would appreciate that. I think that’s the legacy she’d like to leave.

The Princesses next in line?

From the moment I first saw her on screen, I decided I needed to let my hair grow long enough for the bun-do and then the braids. I had grown up with tall, blonde, Barbie-type princesses, and she was a short brunette. Yay! I hope that the role models for tomorrow’s princesses will buck the trends, not just for the bucking, but to send the message that buying into the mass-production idea of beauty will never bring happiness. Happiness is a decision. It is a condition of contentment and reconciliation with one’s own actions and responsibilities. It will never be a product you can purchase or a sheep-like trend.

Carrie Fisher let us know, in no uncertain terms, that growing up as a Hollywood Princess didn’t make her the happiest girl in the kingdom. I want the next generation of role models to be grounded in reality, willing to show their flaws without making excuses. She embraced the role of princess, but not without disclaimers. She showed both that she could be romantic and rough at the same time.

Ms. Fisher requested of her obituary, “I want it reported that I drowned in moonlight, strangled by my own bra.”

Rest in peace, princess.

Carrie Fisher

October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016


Living Write

June Blogging Challenge

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crownOnce upon a time there was princess who inherited a great kingdom from her father. Growing up, the princess imagined that when she became queen, it would be easy to rule the kingdom, and so she spent much of her time with her hobbies, friends, and family. But when the princess actually became Queen, she realized that being in charge took much more time and energy than she ever thought. One day she found that she had all but given up her hobbies, and had nearly forsaken her friends and family in order to run her kingdom.

With that revelation, the queen decided that she had better make time for all the things she loved, not just the kingdom, or she would be a sad and lonely monarch, hunched over her desk. Thus the queen embarked on a great adventure of a blog challenge, reconnecting her daily with her passion for writing.typewriter

Okay, maybe that introduction is a tad dramatic, but I have missed my blogging since taking over our family business. For the month of June I will be trying to blog every day, if only to prove to myself that I do have time to write. And if I have time to write a little piece each day, then I probably have time for all of the other important people and events in my life.

Why the month of June? Well, lots of reasons. It’s a super-busy month for me. My baby boy’s birthday is in June. (My baby turns 21 this year.) My anniversary is in June. (30 years, thank you very much) I’m hosting a big party/ fundraising rehearsal event  for my local writers’ group. AND I have a self-imposed deadline for a book I’m trying to finish this month. But even with all of that, and the 15 active business projects I have, I am determined to write a little blog post each and every morning.

Kim 2Thank you for reading, and please comment when you feel so moved. And if you have an extra minute, please sign up for my newsletter. I promise I won’t email you with every blog post I write. I reserve my newsletter for big events like book releases, signings, and other major milestones.

If you have an idea or suggestion for a blog topic, shoot me a message. I would love to hear it.

Cinema Toast

My Disney Princess Carries a Blaster

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People are cranky about the whole thing. “It’s selling out,” they say. “How could George do this to us?” they ask. “He handed the whole Star Wars universe over to a mouse,” they claim.

And then there’s me, just as pleased as punch about it. Lucas made a business deal that will preserve his Empire for generations beyond his lifetime.

I fell in love with Star Wars right from the get-go. I stood in line for a ticket in 1977. I saw Episode IV over a hundred times. I had it memorized. I know, but it’s a GOOD MOVIE!

I appreciated the innovations in technology. I adored the characters. Most of all, I loved the story. I know that Lucas has made some controversial editing to his original films.

I get why he changed Solo’s first scene, even if I don’t agree with it. I know that Han shooting first contradicts the spirit of the Jedi code, but purists see it as the power of a changed man.

Why don’t I join the true fans that are up in arms about George Lucas selling Lucasfilm to Disney?

First, I don’t consider this a sellout. Lucas revolutionized the commercialization of movies all those years ago. My best friend still has an original Luke Skywalker doll/ action figure. Actually it was her brother’s, but she commandeered it to have a cute boyfriend for her Barbies. I knew lots of kids that had Star Wars lunch boxes, soundtracks, and tee shirts.

I don’t believe Lucas is dumping us. Kathleen Kennedy is still the head of Lucasfilm. She’ll help maintain the integrity of the story. She’ll insist on quality across the board. By selling to Disney, Lucas is insuring that his legacy will not become lost to time. What story-teller has been more faithful to preserve legends than Disney? Yes, they’ve been known to candy-coat a few fairy tales in their time, but let’s remember that Jar-Jar Binks was one of Lucas’ creations, too.

As far as “the mouse” goes, let’s take a minute to consider what Disney World could do with a Star Wars-inspired theme park. Imagine a virtual trip on the Millennium Falcon, competing in a pod race, or piloting an X-wing or Tie Fighter. I’m there.

And if Disney wants a new role model princess that can take care of herself—and lead a rebellion against an evil empire—Princess Leia is armed and ready for the job.

As far as the storylines and characters for Episode VII and beyond, I’d love to see Zachary Levi donning a Solo-esque vest and blaster.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. May the force be with you!