Finding Neverland – A Guest Post by Brianna Merrit

Today I have a fabulous treat for you: I’ve asked the lovely writer Brianna Merrit to guest post on my blog! She has some wonderful inspiration and epic encouragement to share with you all and I am honored to have her do just that on my blog. Go ahead and enjoy! (Warning: Use fairy dust in moderation but don’t be afraid to fly.)

A Guest Post by Brianna Merrit Finding Neverland - Tea with Tumnus.jpg


That…is Neverland.”

~J.M. Barrie

 

If you’re a writer or anyone loosely associated with the Arts you can probably find that you identify, perhaps even relate, to the character of J.M. Barrie in the 2004 film Finding Neverland. I’ve been involved in the Arts since I was 3 years old when my mom enrolled me in Ballet class. And for as long as I can remember I’ve loved telling stories through dance as well as the written word, so to say that I felt a special connection to Johnny Depp’s character, J.M. Barrie, would be putting it lightly.

 

As Peter Pan is one of my all-time favorite fictional characters, I’m somewhat floored that I only saw Finding Neverland for the first time this year. But let me tell you—it was well worth the wait.

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In the same vein as Saving Mr. Banks (another film that I laughed, cried, and dreamed myself through), the film transported the ever-present writer inside of me to the world of J.M. Barrie and what it was like for him to come up with his greatest work.

 

Exploring the movie’s themes and underlying messages, you can find many lessons to be learned and many nuggets of wisdom to glean, but I want to look at two of them in particular.

 

One.

“You find a glimmer of happiness in the world,

there’s always someone who wants to destroy it.” – J.M. Barrie

 

Have you ever been told you can’t do something? Or that you’re not good enough?

 

“That’ll never work” and “Don’t get your hopes up” are very common phrases told to the dreamers of the world. Three groups of people have seemed to emerge from the masses: the dream achievers, the dream stealers, and those without a dream. (Think about the “I’ve Got A Dream” song from Tangled and you’ll know what I’m talking about). Out of the three groups the biggest happen to be the dream stealers because they were once the dream achievers. Because someone chose to steal their aspirations away they see fit to steal others as well. We can’t let that happen. Do you know why?

 

Everyone wants to have a dream. And even more than that, they want to see their dream take off on fairy wings.

 

As Jefferson, the Mad Hatter from Once Upon A Time says, “You know what the issue is with this world? Everybody wants a magical solution to their problem, and everyone refuses to believe in magic.”

 

If you’re a writer or dancer or artist don’t let other people steal away the happiness you find in your magical creativity. In fact, never stop sharing it with them because they are the people who need it the most.
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Two.

 

“I’m not Peter Pan. He is.”

– Peter Llewelyn Davies

 

What we create defines us. It is who we are as an individual, and as a culture. Art is essential to our world, and stories are at the very center of every art form out there.
Painting, Dancing, Singing, Writing…

They’re all forms of story performed by storytellers.

 

Be transparent in your work. Be honest and vulnerable.

 

Be you.

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Brianna Merrit

I’m a dragon-loving, tea-addicted writer who loves to share the joy of adventure and grace of redemption through my writing. I write Christian Speculative Fiction and Fantasy for teens and young adult readers .

As well as writing, I love dancing and currently teach Ballet and Jazz in Virginia where I live with my family and spoiled rotten Dalmation, Valentine.

briannamerrit.com

January’s WIPjoy: Snippets & a Sneak Peak of Fiction’s Lie

Look up the hashtag #WIPjoy. It was put together by Bethany Jennings, who’s not only a fantasy writer, but also a Christian and homeschool mom, a lovely person who has inspired me in many different ways. (Check out her blog.) Basically, WIPjoy is answering questions about your WIP, one question per day of a designated month, and it happens about three times a year. There was just recently one in January (which I stopped 1/4 of the way through because I would rather answer them all in a blog post) and the one before that was in September.

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My Bullet Journal: Scatter-Brain Meets Organization

I did a post a little while ago on how to keep a bullet journal specifically for writing (characters, story/plot ideas, etc.). It is one of my most popular posts and is still getting the majority of views. That’s pretty cool considering the lack of picture quality and the fact that the only thing about that journal that was similar at all to bullet journaling was that I numbered my pages and dedicated certain sections of pages to different topics. It wasn’t as organized as I would have liked, but it worked for me personally, and the idea obviously appealed to some people as well.

But then I decided to take the risk and start what I call my “official bullet journal.” It’s worked so far and I’ve come up with some unique twists of my own. Of course, I’m still experimenting, and since I like to plan ahead, I sort of overdid my organization instead of just adding to pages month by month. Instead I set aside about 150 pages for the whole year because I wanted to get to the pages/collections (I doubt that such forced organization in the realm of bullet journaling works at all). More about that later.

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Lyric Discussion of “Stressed Out” by Twenty-Øne Piløts

As you can tell by simply glancing at this blog, I focus a lot on stories. Most of the time, I post about stories in books: writing. Writing is a HUGE way to tell stories, if not the most mainstream. Don’t even try to count all the books in the world that tell stories (if you’re up to the challenge, then fine, go ahead, and it’ll just prove my point).

But books aren’t the ONLY way to get a story across. Storytelling comes in different forms such as art, dancing, photography, films, theater and music. And in this music post, I’m going to talk about a specific song that tells a story: “Stressed Out” by Twenty-One Pilots (TØP).

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Review of 15 Best Books Read in 2016 (With Pictures)

I’ve decided to experiment a bit this Tuesday. I’ve taken my favorite books I read in 2016 and compiled them into one blog post, complete with a short review and book photography of each. (Except for the books I don’t own. These are stock pictures I edited onto a picture I’ve taken.) Each book title has an Amazon Affiliate link, which means if you click the link and buy the book on Amazon, I get a tiny percentage of your money (so thank you, in advance, for your future hypothetical support).

I’ve never really shared my photography on my blog before, so this also gives me a chance to talk about and direct you to my Instagram. I try to post quality photography on there every other day at the most and I post pretty much anything from bookstagram attempts to random pictures of nerd collectibles, cosplays, tea in cool looking mugs, nature, and anything that has to do with writing and aesthetics. My siblings and I also went on a rainy, muddy photo shoot the other day in which I dressed in a cloak and held fantasy books in what we call the “woods” (a small patch of trees behind our neighborhood). Future Instagram posts will feature those, and I personally think they’re epic, thanks to my brother, the photographer (Michael Jr.).

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Life Beyond Our Galaxy: In Which I Examine Possibilities and Rant about Sci-Fi

Last fall, I went to an ICR conference (Institute for Creation Research) and got to hear an astrophysicist, Jason Lisle, talk about how science confirms biblical creation. It was absolutely enthralling. The overall topic isn’t related to this post, but he did mention the impossibility of extraterrestrial life forms towards the end.

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A Critical Review of Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” – 2 ½ Stars

On my blog, I’ve reviewed quite a few books that either receive 4 or 5 star ratings. I think this will be the first “critical” book review, and it’s a good one to start out with, as it is pretty popular.

I believe it’s my first time reading a contemporary distopian, popular YA novel. Picking Divergent up to proofread for my sister, I wasn’t expecting anything great; I’d heard there was teen romance combined with a poor writing style, but I was still curious. Turns out, it fit my expectations pretty well. It’s hard to say whether I actually “liked” the book or not; there were things about it I did enjoy, whereas there were things about it that makes me not want to read the second book.

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