Monthly Archives: January 2021

Vision Board – PUB 201

This is a vision board I’ve created to display what I’m hoping to present this semester in PUB 201. It shows what my blog is about, which is books, but also represents some of the new components I’m hoping to add to my blog as I start to look at it as a professional space.

There are some pictures of books and fantasy-related images, since this blog is heavily based on my reviewing and talking about books I’m reading, which are often fantasy books. It also shows a lot of writing and scraps of written work, because I’ve recently gotten into writing my own book, which I’ll probably talk about in some posts. I also currently have a book club running with three of my close friends, and I’m thinking of potentially including some podcasts on my blog in which we talk about the books we’re reading.

Looking forward to this semester!

Let’s Talk About: Tenet

Where do I even start? 

As much as I would love to try to set this movie up for those who haven’t seen it and see it to you, I really honestly have no idea what it’s about, even after watching the whole thing. 

With a running time of just over two and a half hours, Tenet will surely throw your mind for a twist and somehow make Interstellar look super straightforward. To add onto it’s run-time, the fact that the plot is beyond baffling makes it feel even longer. At just half way through I remember thinking “wow, I really have no idea what’s going on and the movie’s probably almost done!” It wasn’t. And I continue to have no idea what was going on for nearly another hour. 

And this isn’t trying to say the movie felt too long. For reasons I’ll soon discuss, this was still a visually fantastic film and I never found myself bored. Just super confused.

Now let’s talk about a few aspects of the movie that I can actually discuss because they have nothing to do with the plot. 

The score is amazing. Composed by Ludwig Goransson, the guy who brought you the music behind Black Panther and The Mandalorian, the Tenet score works so unbelievably well with the action-packed scenes and mind-bending cinematography. For lack of a better description, the score has tech-y futuristic undertones (which fits well with the technology-from-the-future-plus-time-travelling plot-line) and works the entire time to build tension, even when the audience might not really understand what is truly happening. 

Speaking of cinematography, Hoyte van Hoytema does not mess around. Hoytema, known for his work on Spectre, Interstellar and Dunkirk (not exactly films you don’t want your name on), made the movie what it was, which the plot couldn’t do for me throughout most of the film. Usually, with tense, mind-bending plots like these where most of the time I sit there confused, there has to be a pull that keeps me hooked until I can figure out the story. For example, with Interstellar, I had no idea (have* no idea, sadly if I’m being honest) what the bookshelf scene was and why it was necessary but the entire movie was visually so eye-catching and fascinating that in the end I was hooked in enough to see it three times and kind of figure it out. Same goes for Tenet. While I truly had no idea what was even happening at all until the last 45 minutes (and that’s being generous), I had no intention to stop watching because the half-backwards, half-forwards action scenes tied together with some unbelievably cool shots made it all worth it. 

Now I don’t want to drone on about how confusing the film was for too long, so I will keep this conclusion short and sweet. While it wasn’t Nolan’s best film, it sure as heck was a Nolan film, and one with fantastic performances from John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki and Robert Pattinson at that.

And as one of the only big blockbuster, not-made-or-released-by-a-streaming-service films to be released in 2020, Tenet does double-duty, not only with it’s length but the fact that I’m pretty sure to understand it all you have to watch it twice.

Overcoming My Fears

I grew up playing a plethora of different sports. At the ripe age of 3 started swimming, then age 5 started playing soccer and T-ball. Some sports stuck more than others, like soccer until I was 14, and softball all the way until 19. Volleyball, basketball, badminton, soccer, ultimate frisbee, and floor hockey were just a few that I played throughout middle and high school. Volleyball was the one I took the furthest. When I was 14 I made Team BC training and I played very competitively for 3 years, before slowing down and focusing again on softball. Due to my overly active childhood and adolescence, I have always been an active person.

I started going to the gym regularly at 15, while balancing school and league volleyball, and softball all during the same season. I wouldn’t realize this yet but it would lead to a few issues in my later teens and now early 20’s. Being born in 2000, I was also included in the generation that began growing up with social media. By 13 I was already starting to compare myself to other girls my age and celebrities who had the perfect body. I could wrap my head around why a lot of the girls I was playing against and/or with looked so much more fit than I did. This lead me to begin exercising TOO much and restricting myself to a mere 1200 calories a day. (which is not nearly enough for anyone, let alone 14 year old be who was burning close to that just from sports). I had ruined my metabolism already and found myself to be constantly hungry. As a grew up, I played sports less and less, until all I had left was softball. It was sad, but also a really good thing.

Due to my It wasn’t until last year that I began to realize all the lies that we are lead to believe about our health. I was vegetarian for almost 5 years, 1.5 of them being vegan. This lead for major physical and mental health issues as well as an ED. I had a horrible relationship with food and although I had been working out since I was 15, I really had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t know what kind of exercises would get me to where I wanted to be, and I was genuinely just so tired of feeling hungry. I started to get on the right track, finding a routine that worked for me, but then COVID shut all gyms down, and mine personally was unable to reopen after.

Lifting weights has changed my life. I always assumed that lifting weights would make me appear bulky and too strong, as it is often portrayed in the media as being something that large, buff men do. However, that is the farthest thing from the truth. I’ve learned so much in the last year about my body and what it’s capable of. I am learning to heal my body and my metabolism and understand than FOOD IS FUEL and not something I should be afraid of. It took me almost 21 years to realize it, but I have the ability to change my life.

xx Savannah

Long Time, No See…

2020. A year in review.

Well I for one am so happy to see 2020 be sent on its way. It was an interesting and challenging year for many, including myself. I was fortunate enough to never catch COVID nor anyone of my family members or friends, I know that others were not as lucky. To think that this all started around this time last year is just mind blowing, as the year has gone by so quick, yet so agonizingly slow at the same time. While I had it easy compared to some, making the switch to online school, being out of work for several months, and the inability to see my friends and family was definitely challenging.

2020 taught me so much about myself, and was definitely a period of learning and being patient with myself. As someone who has and continues to struggle with mental health, the prospect of losing any sense of normalcy was super tough. I always truly valued a sense of structure and consistency in my life, and that was taken away when this pandemic truly took off in March. I was fortunate enough to get to celebrate my 20th birthday with my friends and live it up for one last weekend before everything was shut down for what we believed to only be a 2 week quarantine. Boy did I have no idea what was in store for me.

The first 2 weeks of quarantine were a dream. I was getting to sleep in, I didn’t have to go to work and it was like an extra spring break on top of reading week. But then it just kept getting worse. Everything continued to be closed and I was starting to miss my friends. This was when my mental health really started to decline. I struggled to leave my bed, hardly ate anything and barely spoke to anyone. My days were filled with movies, binging TV shows, endlessly scrolling TikTok. I maybe drank 1 litre of water in the entire 2 week period.

Finally, the sun started to come out and I was finding it easier to get out of bed. I started painting, reading books, and going on daily walks with my mom and the dogs (something I’m so glad I did, which will make sense later). I started exercising again and was finally allowed to see my friends again. While it was a far cry from life before COVID, seeing my best friend made the whole thing a lot easier. While my life seemed to get a bit better, the world was in shambles. The murder of George Floyd reignited an anger that I forgot I had inside me. I unfollowed and unfriended a lot of people after that event happened, and even more after the US and Canadian elections. A lot of peoples true colours shone through and the toxic people kind of sifted themselves out.

Summer was different that I had expected, but great nonetheless. I spent a lot of time back at work, and a lot of time in Osoyoos with my small group of friends. In August, my dog Charlotte passed away from an unbeknown cancer that was really unexpected. This made me so much more appreciative that I was able to spend so much time with her this year. However, life went on and I know she is happier and healthier where she is now. Once school started again in September, I was feeling motivated to start the new semester and ready to approach the task of online school in a new way. October was a really hard month, my mental health wasn’t great, I was no longer exercising and had almost given up. But I pushed through and the last few months have really passed in a blur.

After taking a month off from school, blogging and most other responsibilities, I am feeling motivated and ready for whatever 2021 has to offer. While my expectations are low based off of 2020, there’s always some bit of hope for what’s to come because, how much worse could it be?

xx Savannah

2020, a year of God’s sovereignty

2020 was a year of unexpected happenings. I had envisioned a comfortable year, but what transpired were events that could not be foreseen: a global pandemic hit, the dynamics of some of my friendships shifted, and studying to become a teacher challenged and stretched me in ways I did not anticipate. I struggled with an ocean of emotions and wrestled with a million questions throughout this period of time. However, looking back now, each of these events revealed to me a new thought that collectively pointed me towards God’s character.

When COVID-19 hit in March, not only were social interactions suddenly prohibited due to lockdown, but it affected the way we knew life. Routines had to be adapted to adhere to safety guidelines and downtimes were either spent quietly at home or out in the natural world rather than in regular social spaces. It was as if the world took a pause. The standstill was suffocating at times, but it forced humanity to rest. As a result, these questions came to my mind: What is the purpose to life if busyness is removed from our lives? What are humans without productivity? Prior to the pandemic, I had always been “too busy” to spend time with God. Distractions or a feeling of hurriedness would usually deceive me to move onto the next thing on my to-do list, but the sudden abundance of time allowed me to ruminate. Finally, I was brought to the conclusion what the pandemic only emphasized: God is the purpose to life and humans are worthy not because of productivity, but simply because we are created and loved by Him.

While the state of the physical world was strange, my personal world had also turned upside down. What I thought would remain constant changed, and what I worried would change stayed the same. I read the book of Job to gain insight on how Job dealt with the turn of events in his life. I did not find the answer to my questions by the end of the book, but I did learn three things: nothing that happens goes unfiltered through God’s hands; it’s okay to not know the answers; and the process is the point, as most growth tends to happen during the process of our suffering. To this day, I still do not understand what purpose the shift in my friendships served. I can only hold onto the assurance that they did not occur by mistake.

The third way in which 2020 took me by surprise were the obstacles that I faced during my short and long practicums. I felt the most hopeless I had ever felt, questioned my future, saw how weak my faith is amid trouble, and learned more about who I am through my reactions to situations. I recognized how prideful, selfish, ignorant, and ugly my core self can be. It was an eye-opening and frightening experience. Had I never noticed? As being my own saviour was impossible, God came to be mine. In my disfigured and broken state, He came to my rescue by remolding me. I had to start by changing my ways of thinking, then my habits, which then led to my actions. The process was difficult, but my God had the ability to transform me with His strength.

2020 was undoubtedly one of the most difficult years; yet, it is one which I strongly believe displays God’s sovereignty. No one could have predicted or controlled the events in 2020 nor will anyone be able to do so for 2021. However, this only makes more evident the supreme power that God possesses. We were never in control of our lives anyways. He is the King who holds the scepter for now and for forever and we are to be brought low in humility.

Romans 5:3-5 and Isaiah 55:8-9 are verses that became a running theme for me this year. The former one reminds me that none of our sufferings go to waste, while the latter one reminds me of my place in relation to God’s:

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”– Romans 5:3-5

“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’”– Isaiah 55:8-9

Phil Wickham’s song, Battle Belongs, is also my song of the year. The battles I faced this year which had seemed impossible to overcome were only overcame because of the One who was fighting them for me. Instead of doing more in my own efforts, I learned to “fight on my knees.”

Despite the challenges of 2020, there were still many highlights that marked my year. I got to spend much time with my family, outdoors on my patio, writing, exploring the beauty of Vancouver, eating homecooked meals, and building both new and old friendships. I am grateful for the health and safety of my friends and family members and for the lessons I learned through God’s grace.

2020 marks the end of a chapter for me. I have completed my years as a student and am about to embark on a new career. In addition, hearing about my friends’ engagement plans, and seeing some of them get engaged and married has been been hitting me how fast the process of growing up is. I feel a mixture of curiosity, excitement, uncertainty, and nostalgia starting 2021 – curiosity for what is to come, excitement for the stories yet to unfold, uncertainty for the obstacles I will face, and nostalgia for the days I am leaving behind… Suddenly, life feels like it is moving very fast.

I hope that I will carry with me the reminders that direct me towards God’s sovereignty while I move into the unknowns of this year with courage, resilience, and discipline. May 2021 be a year of fresh beginnings, growth despite discomfort, truth in love, and gratitude.

Blog Post #28: Didn’t See That Coming Review

Hey folks! What is this? Another post this week? Yup. That’s right. I’m trying to make up for the fact that I’ve been neglecting Four Purple Walls for 6+ months.

So… This post is going to be a review on Didn’t’ See That Coming by the one and only Rachel Hollis! I’ve written reviews on her work before, which you can read here and here.

This book evidently is different from Hollis’ other, self-motivating novels I discussed previously. In Didn’t See That Coming, Hollis talks about how to navigate and move forward from difficult situations life hurls your way, even if it initially seems impossible.

In addition she shares very personal experiences as examples while also incorporating a bit of humour along the way. For example, as soon as you turn to the first page, the novel begins with her divorce from her husband, Dave, that happened last year. She also takes us through the day her brother tragically took his own life, as well as Hollis’ mother and father giving up on parenting their three other children afterwards. But, despite the heaviness a lot of the content in Didn’t See That Coming carries, she always manages to crack a smile from me, like when mentioning her accident of the fecal-matter kind.

As usual, the advice included is hard-hitting and straight-to-the-point – what I love about Rachel Hollis. The main lesson I took away from this book was essentially, the reminder of how individual the picking-yourself-up-when-your-down process is. Bottom line: Address the situation in front of you by taking an avenue that you think works best for yourself, but don’t EVER give up. Overall, these hardships make us truly appreciate the good things life has to offer as well.

I think so many people can learn from this book. Whether you’re currently in the stages of experiencing a life-altering event, recovering from it, or feeling long-lasting guilt, taking the tools she provides will definitely help.

Check out more of Rachel Hollis’ work at Rachel Hollis Lifestyle – a better life in simple, achievable steps (msrachelhollis.com)

Blog Post #27: Dancing Girls Review

Happy New Year! Oh my gosh, it’s been forever. Hi everyone! Long time no see. Trust me when I say that I’ll definitely try to update this blog more often. I apologize again for being MIA.

Well… Now the wait is FINALLY over. This week I’m reviewing Dancing Girls. Someone mentioned that they wanted to hear my thoughts on any work by Margaret Atwood, so…Hazzah!

Dancing Girls is a collection of short stories all following the theme of people encountering normal and relatively common human experiences. However, these experiences are enhanced by Atwood’s clever as well as extensive use of metaphors, which draw readers’ attention to significant problems about life that ironically, often remain overlooked.

Some examples include two people choosing marriage as an obligation rather than possessing a genuine desire to be a married couple; therefore the relationship is stuck in a rut, with both questioning why they’re staying together, and a woman coming to terms with the status of her professional and personal ongoings when having a heavy nosebleed. (I used to get nosebleeds ALL THE TIME so I can definitely relate to her in that sense)

Additionally, another overarching idea rooted in these stories is discovering a critical attribute of oneself through unexpected means. The discoveries made by the characters in Dancing Girls really inspire me to be more self-aware and pay attention to unhealthy patterns or anything about my surroundings that maybe are not helping me grow as a person. Its funny how, often, the seemingly little things in life have the biggest impact on us. Unfortunately, because they’re always put in the background on account of their monotonous nature(s) and we’re constantly preoccupied with other responsibilities, it takes a certain world-turned-upside-down kind of event to bring them to light.

I’ve known for a while that Margaret Atwood has written many critically acclaimed novels such as The Handmaid’s Tale, (I heard of the TV series first, then later found out it was based on a book) but haven’t read her work until now. Although I concluded that Dancing Girls overall wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, Atwood evidently is an extremely talented novelist, and I liked the topics she covered.

I lied: A TikTok Post

So I know I said I wasn’t going to make another TikTok, but I definitely did. It started with me wanting to make myself a live Cedric Diggory wallpaper, and then suddenly I was making a bunch of them, plus some Harry Potter edits. Anyways, I made one and it kind of blew up, and I wanted to share it here! 🙂