Oscars: Free Us Or Die


The end is near.

Lady Gaga proved herself to be a stellar contender for the lead in what is now an inevitable contemporary remake of The Sound of Music. In a formidable triad with Lupita Nyong’o’s fabulous dress (adorned with six-thousand-handsewn-pearls) and Patricia Arquette’s rousing acceptance speech, three women were prominent in salvaging the 2015 Oscar telecast from utter disaster. The male standout, in my opinion, was The Imitation Game’s Graham Moore speaking so honestly about suicide and feeling out of place in society.

This year’s self-congratulatory motion picture awards/fashion show will otherwise be remembered for extended lulls, failed comedy, and Neil Patrick Harris embarrassing himself and the celebrity-filled auditorium by appearing in his underwear. That was almost as unfunny as it was lacking in class for a show that likes to think of itself as the stylish global celebrity affair of the year.

Dozens of media sources are reporting today that this Oscar show’s ratings were significantly down, with drops ranging from 10% to more than 15%, definitely the smallest television audience in the last four years. With some variances, the downward trend seems persistent.

This year, it occurred to me that the Fireplace Channel might be more interesting and yet there is vicarious pleasure in watching Hollywood’s old guard get it wrong—again.

The Academy Openly Dismissed Popular Movies

Liam Neeson’s presentation speech was a surprise, whether the words were his own or provided by Academy writers:

“Hollywood is often criticized for making too many movies based on toys, . . . → Read More: Oscars: Free Us Or Die

Geek Out Your Workout


The other day I was on Pinterest looking for a good plank challenge plan when I saw a pin for a Black Widow workout. Black Widow as in Black Widow who can be seen in many of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies but not on much of the merchandising Black Widow? Yes, that one. It was indeed an illustrated workout combo inspired by the woman who, among other things, saved a super soldier multiple times. There was punching, kicking, and oh yes, climbers. So I decided to give it a try the next day. Let’s just say it looks easier than it is. But it’s a fun element to add to your fitness regime. I’ve heard of a couple gyms being based around geek/nerdy themes or incorporating them into their WODs, but it’s something I had never tried.

Then I realized there were several other similarly illustrated geeky-interest-inspired workout sets floating around from the same site. So I ended up on neilaray.com and there is literarlly a treasure-trove of these with instructions, info about what muscles you’re working, and tips. They even have timer buttons for your rests in between sets. It’s all part of the NR Project, which is a volunteer-run passion project to make fitness fun and accessible. As such all the workouts are available for free; you can even download them as pdfs.

What’s more most of them don’t require equipment so you can do them anywhere you have the space. A whole range of female, male, . . . → Read More: Geek Out Your Workout

WYNDE: Romance Is In The Air

Wynde Final Cover

An audio excerpt from Chapter 43 of WYNDE. . . . → Read More: WYNDE: Romance Is In The Air

Fangirls Around the Web: February 10, 2015

duke youdontsay_22436

Fangirls Around the Web for February 4, 2015. . . . → Read More: Fangirls Around the Web: February 10, 2015

Agent Carter, Superheroine

Agent Carter

Agent Carter is a super heroine. Learn more about the history of her character from Alan Kistler. . . . → Read More: Agent Carter, Superheroine

Strange Age of Tomorrowland World Awakens: Kay’s Top 10 Movies to Look Forward to in 2015

Last year I set a movie-watching agenda for myself with Only Grand Captain Mockingjays of Future Tomorrow: Kay’s Top 10 Movies to Look Forward to in 2014. For the most part, it worked out pretty well. It motivated me to get out and see most of those movies in theaters, and I largely was pleased with my choices. You can read my reviews of all ten films here on FANgirl. Making the list, I would not have guessed Muppets Most Wanted would be the one to disappoint me the most. If I could time travel, I would have replaced it in the top ten with Snowpiercer, but I hadn’t heard anything about Snowpiercer when I made the list. And even then, I don’t know if I would have gone for it, but it turned out to be a very intriguing (albeit violent) film.

I’m still concerned I’m missing 2015’s Snowpiercer on the new list, but here goes something (in U.S. release date order)…

Strange Magic – January 23rd Here we have an animated fairy tale with a tagline (on at least one of the posters) “Everyone deserves to be loved.” That’s attention-catching, but it’s also inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which may well very be my favorite Shakespearean play. It’s a Lucasfilm project with a soundtrack of popular songs and standards. And oh yeah, some guy named George Lucas worked on the story.

Chappie – March 6th

After Elysium I’m not entirely confident in jumping on board the Neill . . . → Read More: Strange Age of Tomorrowland World Awakens: Kay’s Top 10 Movies to Look Forward to in 2015

Starting Off the New Year Skywalking Through Neverland


It was a pleasure to join Sarah and Richard Woloski, along with Mark Newbold, to discuss 2014 on Skywalking Through Neverland! From the show notes:

Direct Link | iTunes Link

Well, crack open a bot­tle of cham­pagne cause it’s time to cel­e­brate the new year and our 60th episode!

To cel­e­brate, we brought on two awe­some guests: Mark New­bold (Jedi News UK and Radio 1138) and Tri­cia Barr (Fan­girls Going Rogue, co-author of Ulti­mate Star Wars, FangirlBlog.com) join us to look back at the hits, the misses and sur­prises of 2014, and what is on our bucket list for 2015.

What’s your hash­tag for 2014? Can you guess what ours were? Find out!

Also on this episode:

Sky­walker of the Week Sky­walker Shout-Outs

And for the last time in 2014:


We love when you tweet at us dur­ing the show: @SkywalkingPod.

And we love your feed­back! Send emails to share@skywalkingthroughneverland.com and fol­low us on Face­book.

Sub­scribe on iTunes | Stitcher | YouTube


Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and strong female characters. She is one of four authors on the upcoming Ultimate Star Wars from DK Publishing, has written several feature pieces for Star Wars Insider magazine and is a contributor for Her Universe’s Year of the Fangirl. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts . . . → Read More: Starting Off the New Year Skywalking Through Neverland

WYNDE Chapter One Audio Excerpt

Wynde Full Banner

An audio excerpt of Chapter One from WYNDE. . . . → Read More: WYNDE Chapter One Audio Excerpt

Creating Vespa of WYNDE: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Wynde Vespa Portrait

Here’s the thing you learn as a storyteller: sometimes you have to take a leap and see where it gets you. ~Tricia Barr

To me, stories aren’t just words on a page, but whole ideas realized in my head. When I write a character, I know who they are, which made it really fun to hear Star Wars Rebels Greg Weisman share his thoughts on creating strong characters on Fangirls Going Rogue. He talked about giving the characters first and last names, histories, anything that helps shape their motivations. As he spoke, I heard affirmation of my approach on my space opera Wynde. While in the process of writing the novel, I always knew there would be more to these characters’ stories. I have a larger master plan that includes five novels in the series, stand-alone tie-in novels, numerous short stories, and artwork. Additional goals are even loftier than that, but the foundation upon which the characters are built is the most important part.

When I got to a point where I was ready to commission the first artwork, finding an artist whose art spoke to me, and would also be willing to work with an up-and-coming storyteller, was a challenge. I also had set a goal to work with a female artist. After a couple of starts, I realized the artist I really wanted – if I could dream impossibly big – was Magali Villeneuve. At first, I never considered asking her; she was too amazing. She works on . . . → Read More: Creating Vespa of WYNDE: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Athena’s Daughters Interview with Editor Maggie Allen

Athenas Daughters Cover

Interview with Maggie Allen, author of numerous stories and editor of Silence in the Library’s Athena’s Daughters 2. . . . → Read More: Athena’s Daughters Interview with Editor Maggie Allen