Tag: writing

Overrated and Other Modern Nomenclature

I had an interesting conversation with a friend on twitter this morning. He was upset about an article entitled “Why Guardians of the Galaxy is Overrated- Especially When Compared to Farscape“.  In his mind the use of the term overrated was polarizing and an attack on all those that like Guardians of the Galaxy. That it cuts off conversation and tells people they are wrong. I don’t disagree that the word overrated is overused (it’s an overrated word you might say!). However, I think there is a much worse problem going on.

If you look at the article in question she spends 16 paragraphs (about 4 pages) detailing the issues she has with Guardians and why this show Farscape does the same thing better. I’ve never heard of Farscape so I found it quite interesting. I don’t find it threatening in the least that she isn’t in love with a movie I enjoy- Guardians of the Galaxy. That’s what makes life great is people with different opinions and perspectives. It would be one thing if she just trolled and said “Guardians is overrated” but she detailed quite thoroughly why she felt that way. What more can you ask for?

My biggest concern is that so often people look at the headline or title of an article and have an immediate visceral reaction. “This person doesn’t like Guardians. How dare they!” and then they shut off and don’t read/watch what is being said by the contributor. As a blogger it can be incredibly frustrating to work hard on an piece and have someone focus on one tiny little thing that they disagree with. Like the  other day on my Boss Baby review I mentioned I felt it was the 3rd worst Dreamworks movie after Home and Shark Tale. Despite spending nearly 10 minutes explaining my issues with the film someone in the comments just focused on the one passing mention I made about Home. It was very frustrating.

This leads to another problem. It comes down to an issue of nomenclature. As a society we assign certain words to fit situations, people, emotions and everything else. These words can change over time. For example, on airplanes people flying used to be called passengers and now the accepted word is customers. Someone may feel passengers is a more appropriate word but it really doesn’t matter because society has deemed otherwise.

It’s the same way with a word like overrated. There is a human experience of watching/reading something that most people seem to love and not loving it. That happens and will continue to happen from now until the end of time. So how do we discuss or talk about that experience? I’m sorry but the nomenclature or word society has chosen is overrated. I have yet to hear another option that is as concise or as instantly understandable for this type of discussion. It’s also important to understand this is mostly a discussion of titles and headlines. For example, in the article in question she only uses the word overrated once. The rest of the piece is her explaining why she feels the way she feels. Nevertheless, when coming up with a title for the article it is hard to debate the most universally accepted word to describe what she is saying is overrated.  I mean what is she going to say “Why I Don’t Like Guardians of the Galaxy as Much as Most People and Here are the Reasons why Farscape is Better”? I mean what she already has is unwieldy but this is even worse.

Recently I did a podcast with a friend of mine on Disney movies that we like or don’t like as much as most. I don’t know what else we could have called this podcast but Over and Underrated Disney Films? If any of you have some great way to say this then please let me know. It is the responsibility of the listener to then absorb our arguments for why we feel the way we do and see if they agree or disagree. Again, I don’t know any other way to say that?

The fact is we have to accept the nomenclature society has chosen for certain experiences. Overrated is the word we have chosen to describe having a contrary opinion than the majority. As a content producer I do not see any way to avoid using it or any other word to use. That’s just the way words and language work. We don’t talk like they did in Regency novels even if it is more technically correct. Why? It’s not the socially accepted way to talk. Certain words move in and out of fashion and if you are going to publish media you have to use the words people will understand. It’s just the way it is.

I guess my only advice might be to try to use overrated or any other hyperbole sparingly. The other day I was complaining about people using the word masterpiece to describe everything. Maybe try to throw in some other adjectives every now and then. 🙂

So, in conclusion, there are two problems here. First, people get too caught up in a headline and don’t actually read many opinion pieces. Second, society has yet to come up with a better word to describe many situations and until they do we are stuck with the overrated ones.


Talking Finding Wild

My sister joined me today to talk about her first book, Finding Wild. I think any of you who are interested in writing or literature will find it interesting. And even if you just need motivation for your dream project give this a listen.

8 Year Anniversary

8 yearsI just wanted to share with you guys that today marks my 8 year anniversary as a blogger! I can hardly believe it has been so long and yet in many ways it seems like I have always done it.  I think back to that girl who started the blog. I was unemployed and rebuilding my confidence after a rough 3 years. I thought it might give me something to do and could be fun.

I had never thought of myself as much a writer but it turned out people responded to my essays. Sometimes they even responded more than I bargained for like when I dared say The Godfather is a little overrated…(I’ve come around on that one even though it still not a favorite of mine).  But for the most part people have been incredibly supportive and kind. I know I’m not the greatest writer in the world but I feel like you guys have understood my heart through  my words. You have no idea how rewarding that is.

In the last few years I have split my focus between the movie blog, youtube channel and this blog, which has proven difficult. But I will always have a special place in my heart for this blog and I plan on keeping it as active as I can for as long as I can.

Thank you for all the support and to the next 8 years!

Finding Wild Debuts

Hey guys!  I have an exciting announcement.  Today my sister is officially an author! Her book Finding Wild is now available to purchase and I got my first copies today.

finding wild2 finding wild22It is a story about getting out in nature and having an adventure. My sister has dreamed of publishing a book for her entire life.  When she was little she would have these little notebooks full of poems and commentaries. I think she wants to someday write a novel but this book is a great opportunity for her. I think if you have kids they will really enjoy the story and illustrations by Abigail Halpin.

If you are interested in ordering here is the link on amazon.com Purchase Here

I am also going to be doing some giveaways over on my facebook page so let me know if you have any ideas.  Make sure you are following Rachel’s Reviews on facebook.

Find the wild!

Screenwriting interview with Melissa Leilani

Hi guys! Many of you know I have dabbled in writing over the years and participate in Nanowrimo each year.  Of course, I also love movies and especially a well written script.  Well, today I had the cool experience today where I got to interview Melissa Leilani and find out what it is like to be a screenwriter.  She was the main writer for a film I loved in 2015 called Freetown.

Freetown is a faith-based film but one that is approachable to anyone.  It tells the story of a man who must smuggle 6 missionaries out of Liberia during their brutal civil war.  Things are tense and Brother Abubakar is a man of practical faith mixed with a healthy dose of skepticism.  It makes him a very compelling character.

What I really appreciated about Freetown is that it told a compelling story and let the messsaging take care of itself.  Unlike many faith based films (that I still find some value in) I didn’t feel it was preachy or forcing a message upon me.  In fact, my friend Yusuf who is Muslim liked the film as much as I did.

Here are both of our reviews:

I think you might find it interesting to watch the film and then listen to the interview about her experience.  However, I also think it will be interesting if you are just interested in screenwriting or writing in general.  It was really cool to hear about her process, the research that went into the film and how she approached characters and faith.

We do get off topic a few times (we have very similar movie and theater taste!) but it was a lot of fun for me.  She has a theater background so her transition from playwright to screenwriter was very interesting.

Anyway, this is only the 3rd interview I have done, so if you have any feedback that would be great.  I hope you enjoy it.

Friday Five: Instrumentals and Nanowrimo Update

Hi guys!  I hope you are all having a great start of Fall (or at least that’s what it feels like here in Utah with things getting very crisp and cold this week).  I’ve been busy with NaNoWriMo so that’s why I haven’t posted on this blog this week.  My apologies for that but doing best I can.  My  novel is coming along pretty well.  I am ahead of the game as far as word count which makes me feel good because I don’t know how much I will be able to write this weekend with stuff going on.

wpid-snapchat-100529400831000105.jpgSo far I feel like the book has done a lot of describing things and not quite enough character development so that is something I need to work on but I am able to get my daily word count in and sometimes more which is what is most important to me. I really like the lead character I’ve created and feel a little bad for the mess that is about to happen in her life.  Poor fictional characters and their hard life! 😉

How are you guys doing with NaNoWriMo?  How are your novels coming along?


This is Friday so it also means it is time for the Friday Five!  This weeks topic is all about instrumentals and being a movie fan of course I had to include mostly scores as my choices but I love the 5 songs I picked.

What are instrumentals that you like?  What scores from movies are your favorite?  Put in the comments section and if you like the video I would love if you gave it a thumbs up.  Thanks!

NaNoWriMo Tag and My Writing Process

So NaNoWriMo is coming and I feel a little unprepared but am excited!  I filmed this video about NaNoWriMo video today and it included a tag.  In the video I go into my process for writing and has little segments of all 3 of my books (this will be my 4th year doing NaNoWriMo).

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?  What are you writing about?  What strategies do you use to finish the challenge?  I would love to discuss it in the comments.  It is going to be a challenge for me this year with everything else I have going on but luckily I am a pretty fast writer so it should be ok.  I will certainly do my best.

If you are doing NaNoWriMo please follow me on the NaNoWriMo website and let’s support each other!


Happy writing!!

I Have an Idea for Nanowrimo

nanowrimo2013Hey guys!  Well I am very excited to tell you I finally have an idea for this years Nanowrimo challenge!  This is the National Novel Writing Month and the challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  This will be my 4th year participating and honestly it kind of crept up on me. The previous years I had an idea ready to go I had been thinking about all year but this year with my job, 2 blogs, and youtube channel I kind of forgot about Nanowrimo.  There was a side of me wondering if I should even try to do it this year, but a friend of mine encouraged me to give it a go so I figured why not!  But I still couldn’t think of a good idea…

Then last week I was watching the show American Greed about ponzi schemes and swindlers and I got the elusive idea.  The show was profiling a man who ran a ponzi scheme and got kind of exposed throwing a lavish party for his daughter on the show My Super Sweet 16 on MTV.  While watching the thought occurred to me ‘what must it be like to be that girl?’.  To go from your father throwing you this insane party with rockstars performing and Mercedes to drive to not long after it aired your father getting arrested and convicted for fraud.  In addition, many people saw her throwing away their money they had invested with her father.  I’m sure there must have been a lot of anger and outraged at the daughter since she was the one the show focused on.  It struck me as an interesting character to write a story about.

Again I asked the question “what must it be like to be that girl?”.  I wonder if she hates her father or maybe she always hated her father and he made her go on the show?  Maybe she just went on the show to spend time with him since he was always at the office?  Maybe she got caught up in it and had a change of heart after seeing the suffering?  Maybe she lost friends. a boyfriend, over the whole thing?  I just feel like there is something to talk about and will make for a good book.

What do you think of this idea for a story?  Do you have any suggestions for the story?  I would love to hear them.  Are you guys doing Nanowrimo? What are you writing about? If any of you are in Utah I would love to a do a write in or meet up.

Last year my book ended up being very intense and it was kind of tough to write but I learned a lot as well.  Hopefully this story is more inspirational but we will see where the words take me!

This is the girl on the Super Sweet 16.

Here’s a little thing about the Dad