8 Good Things in 2016

2016 hasn’t been easy by any means and I know people are worn down by the year as a whole. I also know some of us (me included) are concerned about the aftermath being carried into 2017. It’s hard not to feel cynical, but I’m an optimist at heart. Even if I join in on the 2016 meme, I don’t think this year was a complete waste. Let’s end it on a happier note and remember the good in 2016.

1.) Great Year for Movies

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Remember this is the year that brought us Deadpool, Captain America 3: Civil War, Rouge One, Shin Godzilla, and Doctor Strange. Those are only a few of the films that made a brighter weekend for many of us.

2.) Great year for Superheroes

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Aside from phenomenal blockbusters with our favorite Avengers, this year was also good for superheroes on the small screen. Netflix gave us season 2 of Daredevil (and introduced Punisher who was fantastic) and Luke Cage in beautiful looking and heart pounding first season. We also got a 4 night crossover event from all of the DC shows on the CW. On a personal note, I also started watching all of the DC shows this year and as someone who grew up reading DC comics and watching Teen Titans and Justice League, it was wonderful falling in love with all my old favorites again.

3.) Televised Live Shows

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I am a musical theater nerd. I can’t help it. Only I live 2 or more hours away from cities that put on big shows so besides that one amazing Chicago production of Wicked, I haven’t seen many theatrical productions. I love that some channels are now doing live productions for people to watch at home who may not be able to travel to the theater let alone afford the tickets. This year we were given Grease Live and Hairspray Live, which I adored and I can’t wait for more!

4.) Cubs Win!

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I’m not a baseball fan (or even a sports fan), but my hometown is 2 hours from Chicago and most of my family adores the Cubs. My dad and grandmother especially do and seeing them get excited over this historic win made me happy too. Also, how can I not feel proud of my home state?

5.) Hamilton Mixtape

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Some people may say Hamilton is overrated, but I don’t care. It’s wonderful, give it a listen.

6.) Dirk Gently

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2016 gave us some great movies, but also a great show. I love Douglas Adams and seeing a version of one of his novels come to life was a blast to watch. There are only 8 episodes in the first season, but if you haven’t watched it yet I recommend it! It’s ridiculous, heartfelt, and witty with A+ casting.

7.) Little Celebrations

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On a small note, just remember that someone met the love of their life this year. Someone traveled for the first time. Someone got married. Someone got a promotion. Someone adopted an animal. Someone graduated. Someone found good friends. Someone finished their novel. Someone found a sense of purpose. Someone binged a whole series on Netflix and lived with no regrets (this last one is me).

8.) My Personal Successes

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I haven’t accomplished great things, but I did have some personal successes this year. I finished 2 more semesters of grad school. I had 3 poems get accepted into the International Pop Culture Conference for 2017. I reconnected with some old friends. I had a bit more courage this year to chase after the things I wanted and to break out of my shell a little more. This year I want to be more courageous, kinder, and wiser. Yes, I did just ask for the end results of the Wizard of Oz.

 

Feel free to comment with your best memories this year. Sending out good vibes for 2017!

Hidden Serenity

2016 hasn’t been an easy year for most of us, but I want to focus on the good little things still out there. The simple, peaceful things we don’t always notice.

 

Hidden Serenity

Sleeping in on a rainy morning

The sound of coffee brewing

Afternoon tea

Cozy cafes

The first warm day of spring – no jackets needed

Fireflies & campfires

Small bookstores hidden in old cities

Catching up with friends over coffee

Long car rides with good music

Gourmet chocolates

Star Wars marathons

 

 

 

 

Christmas Reading

Ah, Christmas break. It’s arguably one of the best times of the year because A.) Good food and B.) Time off work. And time off work means catching up with that reading list I made over the summer that never got completed. Only during the holiday season I usually want some festive reading material. After all, tis the season of Christmas movies and specials so why not add in books?

The only problem with festive reading is that my break is never quite long enough to devour full length novels despite some Christmas classics out there that deserve attention. That’s why this year I’ve been turning to short stories and poetry because they satisfy my book craving and fit into my schedule. Right now I’m on the hunt for short Christmas stories, but I haven’t quite found what I’m looking for yet. That doesn’t mean the search isn’t fun though. The more I research poems and short stories, the more authors I’m introduced to who would have slipped under my radar.

I also discovered that some of my favorite authors have posted their own holiday special from series online. Maggie Steifvater wrote a Raven Cycle holiday short story, which is everything I ever wanted and more. I discovered it last year and I’ve found myself coming back to it already. The nice thing about short festive stories is that they can be easily read year after year to keep the tradition alive much like my favorite holiday films.

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I really want to throw this blog post out to you guys though. What holiday stories do you fall back on or have discovered this year? Also, if you know any good authors of short fiction or poets please recommend them in the comments!