This Young Writer Just Wants To Make People Smile

This Young Writer Just Wants To Make People Smile

You could say I write official fanfiction these days.
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Every now and then, I get an email alert from FanFiction.net. I haven’t posted anything on that site in about five years – and my writing has improved exponentially since those days, so I’m not about to recommend that anybody reading this go track it down – but once every couple of months, someone clicks the little “favorite” button on one of my stories, and I get an email to let me know.

Sometimes that someone also takes the time to leave a review. This doesn’t happen often, but in the past few months, a few people have been commenting on one story in particular, something I wrote way back in 2011. It’s called “Tiger and Tigger.” It’s just under six hundred words long, and it describes the happenstance meeting of Tigger from Winnie-the-Pooh and Shere Khan from The Jungle Book.

Most of the reviews talk about how funny the story is, but one had another thing to say: “PS: My eight-year-old daughter liked it, too.”

The next day, another review appeared: “I'll be reading this to my children. Wonderful.”

It hadn’t occurred to me before that something I wrote on a whim and threw to the internet seven years ago would one day be read to someone’s child. It warms me to imagine it: parent and child sitting together on the bed, laptop at hand, giggling over the antics of two diametrically-opposed Disney cats.

On a completely different whim, I went to an opening night showing of Avengers: Infinity War. I usually don’t do opening nights, and I didn’t expect to find a seat in the theatre, but I did.

I also didn’t expect to spend the next two and a half hours going through what I would later describe in a text to a friend as “the most brutal film experience I’ve ever had,” but I did.

I can’t ever recall hearing an entire theatre around me cry out in agony as the screen cut to credits. I don’t think I’ve ever spent an entire credits sequence trying to stop hyperventilating, or spent a good twenty minutes after that sitting in the parking lot messaging my sister before I felt up to driving home. I don’t watch movies that I think will have that kind of effect on me; I leave parties when someone puts on a horror film. Even with all the exposure to film spoilers my current job gives me, I had no reason to think that that was what I was in for.

As a storyteller, I can recognize the artistry required to create such strong emotions in an audience. I can imagine how thrilled the people responsible for that film’s creation must be, to know how large an impact they’ve had on people all over the world.

I can also come to one very firm conclusion: that is not what I want to do with my writing. Not at all.

I don’t want to create shared agony. I want to create shared joy.

Walt Disney once said that the idea for his theme parks came from days spent watching his daughters on the merry-go-round, wishing that there was a place where parents and children could have fun together. Like him, I want to create that space where people will have fun together, where all will feel safe and encouraged, free to wonder and laugh.

I suppose that’s why I ran off to Disney World after college, in pursuit of the ability to take the tigers and Tiggers who made me happy when I was little and create new stories for them that children and parents will share and enjoy.

And it’s nice to know that I’ve already been doing so for years.

Cover Image Credit: Sophie Katz

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10 TV Shows You Need To Watch On Hulu

Hulu is slept on

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I have recently moved to watch shows and movies on Hulu and Netflix. Hulu has a lot of great shows and movies to offer that aren't on Netflix. While Netflix is still great, Hulu is definitely starting to grow on me. Here are some shows that I have watched or have started watching on Hulu that I think are pretty great!

1. 11.22.63

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If you love James Franco and Stephen King, you'll love this show. The first episode is a bit long, but all the other episodes are only 45 minutes. The plot line is pretty interesting. I also like that it doesn't tell you everything, it shows it to you and you piece things together.

2. The Act

The fact that this show is based on a true story is just insane. The acting is really great, especially if you watch actual videos of Gypsy, Joey King does a great job.

3. Castle Rock

Another Stephen King masterpiece. This show is riveting and really makes you think about what the truth is in the context of the story, and brings in some ethical questions.

4. Future Man

I've only recently started this but it's pretty interesting and funny.

5. The O.C.

The O.C. (TV Series 2003–2007) - IMDb

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This show was great. Sometimes it was a bit annoying, but it is a classic show from the early 2000s. You really become invested in all the characters and your opinion may change on some characters because they grow and develop throughout the show.

6. The Handmaid's Tale

If you've read the book, you should definitely watch the show.

7. Obsession: Dark Desires

https://www.hulu.com/

I just love true crime stories and this really dives deep into crime stories and the darkest parts of humanity.

8. Intervention

This show can be really sad or frustrating, but I think it's good for people to see the reality of addiction.

9. Smallville

Smallville (2001-2011)

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I also started this one very recently and I've always wanted to watch it. It can be cheesy but it's pretty entertaining.

10. Brooklyn Nine-Nine

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This is a great show if you want to laugh. I love all of the characters and everything they bring to the table.

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