From An Unapologetic Fangirl

October 23, 2011 - May 18, 2018

For the last forty days on Instagram I’ve been doing one of those posting challenges for the final forty days of my favorite television show Once Upon a Time. Let me stop here for a second, if you are not a fanatic kind of person, feel free to skip this. This is meant for those who love fantasy, fairy tales, and being swept away for an hour a week. Anyhow, back to the point… the challenge… well, I made it through all 40 days and today’s post is plainly stated: What is the best memory the show gave you? What impact will it have on your life? How it has changed you?

I thought I would open this up to my blog so I can share my true feelings without hinderance of space.

What is the best memory the show gave me?

Oh my goodness, SO many memories. At first, it was a time where my family and I could sit down together and fall in love with a show and it’s characters as a whole. I loved fairy tales as a child, my husband loved Disney, so we were easily swept away in the storyline. On October 23, 2011, we sat down watching this show and I knew from the first instant Prince Charming was racing across a road to get to his Snow White that I was going to love this show. I said it, right then and there, “Babe, I love this show.”

My husband had turned to me with a quizzical face saying, “It just started.”

But I knew. I was going to love it and I did. I watched all but 2 episodes live (and I know the exact 2 too, Heart of Gold in season 4 and Sisters in season 5). I had a set of rules that had to be followed for each episode too.

  1. There is no talking during the episode. You can speak during the commercials.
  2. I am not to be bothered for any reason, unless death is involved.
  3. I am to hold the remote. There is no channel changing during Once. (My husband has a bad habit of switching shows during the commercials and not going back).
  4. There is no making fun of me while I watch the show.
  5. Be quiet. No commotion in the background while I watch the show.

Most of the time these rules were obeyed, but Heaven forbid, one of these rules was broken – Mama was mad! Hell hath no fury like a woman being interrupted during Once.

Over the years of the show, my son grew up and stopped watching, my husband gave up during the Frozen arc, but I stayed on through it all – and none of that disrespecting season seven because the cast changed – no, I am in love with the show as a whole, not just specific characters. Sure, I have my favorites, but I would still watch even if they weren’t on it. I love the show as a whole, not just bits and pieces.

What impact will it have on your life? AND How it has changed you?

I think the impact it will have on my life is that it taught some life lessons that I can’t forget. Once taught me to dream unapologetically. And with those dreams, greatness can occur. Becoming an author was a huge dream of mine that I’ve been able to obtain in my life. I started writing well before Once Upon A Time, and was published before the first episode aired, but even through the tough writing times, I persevered because of the lessons I’ve learned on Once. You don’t give up. If you have a dream, you reach it. I don’t know if I would’ve been so persistent in my dreams if not for Once.

Also, I have met some beautiful friends through the show. These are wonderful, intelligent, funny, romantic people who I know will be bonded with for life. And through these people my life has changed too. I’ve learned to be more guarded toward some, more tolerant of others… I’ve learned that I’m not the only one who’s a dreamer, who’s anxious, who loves cookies and cream ice cream (Gabby!). These women, and some guys too, will be in my life for as long as they want and opened up my heart just that little bit more.

Heck, including parts of the cast… Adam Croasdell, Colin O’Donoghue, and Josh Dallas, have inspired characters in my books. Adam especially, we chat somewhat regularly about things far beyond the show, and I’d like to think of him as a really awesome internet friend.

The female characters alone have taught me how to embrace being a strong woman and to make my voice be heard. Lana Parrilla, especially, meeting her I saw this gorgeous woman from head to toe and when I said, “Oh my gosh you are so beautiful!” Her first response wasn’t, “oh thanks, I know,” like some stuck up snob… no, she said, “So are you!” And we are, aren’t we ladies? We’re all beautiful inside and out. Every woman should feel beautiful, because each one of us is special.

Through Colin O’Donoghue supporting his family through Twitter, I was able to “meet” his brother, Allen, who’s a life coach for parents on how to raise good, well-balanced children. His organization is called Help Me To Parent and his advice has saved my sanity more times than I can think of. From subjects on discipline to video games to my son’s always hungry stomach, I’ve learned some really wonderful, and life changing ways to guide my son through these awkward tween years.

What other show branches out this much and makes such an impact on lives? I don’t know many. Thank you Once creators and actors for bringing me this show for the last seven years. I won’t forget any of you and the memories you’ve given me.

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Just for fun, I thought I’d go through my social media history and gather ALL of the posts I’ve made over the years of watching Once Upon a Time. Yeah, there are a lot. But I have fun. I like being a fangirl. In a world where bombs go off, children’s schools are being shot up, and there are daily reports of abuse, murders, and heartache; getting away from it all an hour a week and celebrating something as simple as a favorite show is allowed.

GOODBYE ONCE

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Where Were You When…

Two very important world events will be happening in the next two days: The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and the end of Once Upon a Time (okay, so one huge world event and one series finale that’s very important to me.) If you know anything about me, you know that I am super excited to experience both, but then that started me thinking… when we think of tragic events everyone seems to ask – where were you when such and such happened? But instead of focusing on negative events like assassinations, terrorism, or accidents, let’s see if we can remember some happy events.

 

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Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s Wedding

“I, Diana Frances, take thee Phillip Charles Arthur George…”

Just like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, I was enthralled as a young girl (very young) over his mother and father, Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding. I was six, I believe, and my mother had gone on and on about this real life prince and princess getting married. I was already a very imaginative and romantic child, using the sheer curtains in the living room as a wedding veil when I’d play pretend, so of course I was excited to see a real royal wedding. I remember it was a hot day and my mom had spread a sheet on the floor, since we had a shag carpet and it was cooler, and plopped my sisters and I in front of the television set. The princess bride was gorgeous, the prince was doofy but handsome in his blue royal suit. I loved it and since then, I don’t think there’s been a royal wedding I’ve missed from Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, to Prince William and Catherine Middleton–where I shared my royal wedding fascination with my son and “daughter” Princess Ellie (may she rest in peace).

 

 

Classic Television Show Endings

“I’m sorry, we’re closed.”

I may not remember the ends of super classic shows like The Brady Bunch, M*A*S*H, or Little House on the Prairie, but I clearly was present for shows in my generation ending, like Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, Smallville and a bunch of others. Sometimes those final shows are awesome. Smallville, for instance, finally had our young Clark Kent that we had seen grow up finally don the red cape and save the day in a super suit. I shot off the bed, jumping up and down since I thought for sure they’d never show Tom Welling in the suit. Even still, we didn’t get much of a glimpse, but it was enough for me.

Some shows have had stupid endings like Seinfeld where everyone went to jail for all the narcissistic things they caused of the run of the series. They could’ve done better. Cheers too, it was so boring all sitting around the bar contemplating the meaning of life. Zzzzzz… The only thing I liked was Sam turning off the lights and telling the customer outside that they were closed. Great line, but very lack luster ending.

Friends though, oh boy. I cried. Those six people I watched every week were my friends and to watch them grow over the years into relationships and families of their own touched my heart. Then to have Monica and Chandler move away and everyone turn in their key was just heartwarming. I have a feeling my precious Once Upon a Time will be that way. From the way the actors on social media have been posting, it seems like this final episode will be bittersweet. Once has meant so much to me from the moment it aired too, so I know I will be sobbing whether it’s a good episode or not. I don’t want to see it go.

 

 

First Independence Day After 9/11

God bless America
Land that I love
Stand beside her
And guide her
Through the night with the light from above

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Yeah, yeah, so it’s not some big historic moment, but it definitely was important and I know exactly what I was doing. After 9/11 our country was in chaos and depressed – not economically, but as a mood. No one wanted to laugh at first, no one wanted to be adventurous. There was a heaviness to the nation and I know I had felt it. But that first Independence Day, July 4th, 2002, I will remember well. Jon and I had moved to Solana Beach, California from Tierrasanta, which is on the coast, north of San Diego. We lived on this hillside overlooking the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds, and the Pacific Ocean. We knew there were going to be fireworks shot off after the P!nk concert going on, so we (and most of the neighborhood) started setting up chairs overlooking the grounds down below. We couldn’t see the concert, but we could definitely hear it and when it was over, P!nk sang some patriotic tunes as the fireworks burst almost eye level with us on top of the hill. It was magical. I remember leaning on Jon’s shoulder at one point tearing because it was such a perfect moment to celebrate the first American birthday after such a tragic event shook our world. He knew I am a huge patriotic sap, and wrapped his arms around me, sharing in the moment.

 

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President Obama’s Inauguration

“We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin…”

Politics aside (and I don’t want to read them in the comments either), Barack Obama being elected to the presidency was an extremely historical moment: The first black person to hold the highest role in the country.

As a nation we unfortunately have slavery in our past. I am not proud of this. To me it’s a deep scar in our history and it shouldn’t be forgotten, but learned from so the same mistakes should never be made again. What our black ancestors went through was disgusting; how they were treated, how they were abused… and for what, because their skin is a different color? Seriously, beyond disgusting and it fires me up to no end. So to see how far people of this ethnicity have risen to such high powers makes me extremely proud.

The morning of President Obama’s inauguration I was in Springfield, IL, working for a company where the people weren’t too tolerant. In fact, some were down right ignorant, asking why I wanted to watch, since I was white. As if it shouldn’t matter to me since I’m not his same race. I remember shaking my head and fuming inside at the audacity of such a thought. I was so proud and here these people were ruining it. Anyway, I asked to take a long lunch so I could see the inauguration and witness the swearing in of our first black president. I came home and watched with chills gathering on my arms. The historical significance not lost on what was happening. I think I may have even shed a tear or two. Like I said above, politics aside, it was a beautiful moment in American history, seeing President Obama take on his new role.

 

Berlin Wall Coming Down

“Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall.”

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I specifically remember being in an elementary school assembly watching a movie about an East German family flying a hot air balloon over the Berlin Wall into West Germany to be reunited with the rest of their family. It was called Night Crossing, as I just looked it up, and I went home that night after watching it and asked my parents if it was a real story. That was the first time I heard about the Berlin Wall. Even as a child the story about the Berlin Wall effected me. How could families be separated and kept from each other like that? So fast forward to when I was in high school and I remember watching television in my parents’ bedroom when the show was interrupted with news that the wall was being torn down. There I watched as people were standing on top of this graffitied wall with pick axes, striking the concrete and breaking off pieces and panels of the wall that kept them separated from freedom. They were joyous and celebrating, crying for the freedom they’d been bestowed.

To this day, every time I hear President Reagan’s famous quote shown above, I smile and get those historic chills running up and down my arms and legs. What a privilege it was to have witnessed such an event.

 

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I could go on and on, but I’ve already written a short story here. So it’s your turn. In the comments below or back on any of my social media posts, tell me what some of your positive memories are from historic and/or world events?  

 

 

Happy Endings…Happy Beginnings…

A Norman Rockwell ending to the first book of Once Upon A Time.

As a little girl, I was in imaginary land all the time. I was a Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Wendy Darling, Dorothy Gale and I never grew out of it. I loved fairy tales – they are probably a good reason why I became an author! I’ve watched all the movies, plays, tv shows (side note: remember Faerie Tale Theatre with Shelley Duvall, and that cheesy sitcom called The Charmings – yeah, I watched them.) So from the moment I saw the first commercial for Once Upon A Time I knew it was going to be perfect.

Every week I fell in love with the stories and characters. They have been my solace, my joy, my time away from life every Sunday. And as this amazing 6 year chapter ends and a brand new chapter begins in October with new cast members, I will hold dear these last years of going through the journey these characters have been on. I’m not heartbroken…but to me it feels like the end of high school and graduation. I know college will be exciting, but it will be a world of change. Some of my friends will stay and some will move away, just like Once. I will miss Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas, Jared Gilmore, Rebecca Mader, and Emilie deRavin completely, but I am so ecstatic Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle, and my all-time favorite Colin O’Donoghue will be staying to continue the story.

Thank you Once Upon A Time for your stories, your message of hope, and all the beautiful friends I’ve met along the way. This show will be with me forever.

I cannot wait to see what the new chapter brings!

PS If you Once creators ever want to hire me on as a writer, I’m always available! 😉