The Genius of Small

As I have continued to make friends and connections throughout my college career, several courses and professors have stood out to me. One example of a professor that really influenced me with his class is Jeff Benedict. Throughout his course, he introduced us to several individuals who were exemplary in their fields.

I learned several things during this class that helped me during my final project. First of all, you want your audience to expect something to happen, but be surprised at the way it happened. This was really helpful to me as I navigated through plot points and characters.

Another tip I learned during this course was to allow things to change. You may have one idea of how your story is going to go, but anything can change at any moment. You can think of a new character or a new plot point that you cannot imagine your story without. This may force you to change your plot or your ending or your overall theme. This does not mean that you have failed as writer. It simply means you have found a new direction to travel in during the course of your novel or article.

Being a writer means being adaptable. It means being able to look at your story objectively and decide if something needs to be taken away or added. A story is a living, breathing work. It needs to be nurtured and taken care of because you never know if you will need to bring it back or start over.

As I worked on my short story for my final project, I found myself thinking back to each visit we had during the Jeff’s class. From the NFL Films crew to the writers from Power, each meeting left me feeling inspired and ready to conquer my project. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities I received from this class.


Your favorite bookworm ❤


Becoming a Better Writer

When I sat down with Jeff Benedict last Thursday, I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought that I was receive insight into my projects, but I wasn’t entirely sure if anything would really hit me as crucial information.

As we discussed my writing and future goals, he asked what I watch on television. This struck me as kind of odd, but I told him that I prefer crime shows, like Burn Notice and CSI:NYI, as well as teen dramas, like Riverdale and Teen Wolf. He told me that to be a better writer, it was important to read and watch and observe.

Jeff suggested watching Stranger Things. But, more so than that, he told me to watch the writing. Watch how the characters interact and how they behave in certain situations. Watch the plot as it progressed, both slowly and quickly. Pay attention to the details. He said that if I ever get Writer’s Block, I should put my writing away and watch three episodes of Stranger Things, then come back to it. This could potentially trigger my own ideas and help me break out of my comfort zone a bit.

I had always heard that to be a good writer you need to read a lot, which I have always prided myself on. I have a library of over 600 books. I read at least one extracurricular book a week, though normally more. I am currently rereading all of Robin Benway’s novels. They make my heart happy.

Anyway, I knew that reading was important. But I neglected to realize that television shows also feature writing, though it is portrayed in a different way. However, this is just as helpful because you can visualize the situations and characters. It really helps you think about things regarding your characters and storylines that you might not have realized.

Jeff’s advice really hit me and it made me think about how I view different mediums in my life–from television to plays to music. Writing is everywhere and if we study and pay attention to it, it will exponentially increase the success and color of our own writing.


Your favorite bookworm ❤

Rejection and What Comes After

When Damione Macedonia and Raphael Jackson, who serve as producers and writers for the show Power on Starz, came to SVU to talk to us, I expected to learn about screenwriting and producing and the television world. I did not expect to learn about rejection and how to handle it.

As my graduation date grows closer, I have been applying to several different graduate schools all over the country. My number one choice is the University of Iowa, where I hope to attend their Writer’s Workshop, a creative writing program. This particular university is extremely exclusive and only lets 50 people in each semester. This is slightly daunting, especially to someone with anxiety.

I got the chance to talk to Damione and Raphael after the discussion and asked them if they had any advice for someone struggling with the worry that comes with potential rejection. Damione said something that has really stuck with me. “No does not mean no. It just means not right now.”

This quote is something that I think everyone should hold onto for the entirety of their lives and careers. No is not always a rejection and it shouldn’t feel like one. It might just mean you need to wait a bit until you’re ready for the opportunity, whether it be an internship, career, or graduate school. I have not submitted my applications yet, but I know that whatever the answer will be, I will be ready for it because I am confident in my ability as a writer. Not getting in to my dream school would be painful and all sorts of painful, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t try again next year and the year after that.

Being passionate about something does not mean that it will come easy to you. It simply means that you have the strength to keep going.


Your favorite bookworm ❤

The Girl Behind The Blog


I suppose introductions are a thing that must occur. First of all, hi, my name is Molly. I’m 21 years old and I am currently a senior in college. I am majoring in English and Psychology with a minor in Creative Writing. Here are ten random facts about me: 

1. I used to have a pet squirrel. Sadly, he passed away. 

2. My favorite color is mint. Also, rose gold. 

3. I want to be an author with every fiber of my being. 

4. I am married to a wonderful man named Brendan. Our dating, engagement, and marriage anniversary are all on September 6. 

5. My puppy’s name is Poe, as in Edgar Allen, not the panda from Kung Fu Panda. 

6. I also have a cat named Tigger. He likes to sit on bouncy chairs and stare at the world around him passively. He also likes to hide on top of the fridge. 

7. My favorite author is Victoria Schwabb. I have a signed book of hers and it makes me cry with joy every time I look at it. 

8. Clowns freak me out. Don’t even talk try to talk to me about It. I’ll scream. 

9. I am very much in love with mythology, particularly Greek and Roman. 

10. I suffer from anxiety and social situations make me very uncomfortable. While anxiety is a miserable thing to have, I have learned a lot from it. However, don’t ask me to speak in public. I’ll cry. 

And that’s me! Thanks for reading ❤



For our first session of “Writing for the Mass Media,” we got to meet Angela Torma, as well as several other crew members working with NFL films. The Q&A was extremely interesting and informative, which was surprising to me because I am not particularly interested in sports. However, the session made me realize that writing and editing are things I am passionate about, even if they are related to subjects I am not entirely familiar with.

After watching Angela’s new segment of  Unlikely Champions, Jeff Benedict and Angela began to tell us stories about the three individuals featured in the show. Jeff started talking about Kyle Van Noy, a football player with the New England Patriots who was a crucial part of their win during the Super Bowl. He described Kyle as “really honest,” something that stuck with me throughout the following days. He explained that he was open and sincere about his mistakes and his past, as well as confronting his decisions candidly.

This description of Kyle reminded me of a quote from Riverdale, one of my favorite television shows. Fred Andrews tells his son, Archie, “These decisions that you’re making now, son, they have consequences. They go on to form who you are and who you’ll become. Whatever you decide, be confident enough in it that you don’t have to lie.” This quote is basically saying what Kyle Van Noy already demonstrated— that you should be confident in your choices to the point of not having to make excuses for them. I think honesty is a huge part of integrity. Even if you make mistakes, be confident that you’ve overcome them and that you know you’re making better decisions in the present.

Another aspect of the interview that hit me particularly hard comes from Angela as she was discussing the difficulties that come with filming. She said that, “You’ve got to be able to adjust.” Adapting is part of life, especially as you get into careers and monumental life decisions. Things are not always going to go your way and, as Angela pointed out, sometimes what you end up with is better than what you had when you started. Life is complicated and it will result in plans changing and situations going astray. This does not mean that all hope is lost. It just means that a few adjustments need to be made.

Overall, the session taught me several things about life in general. I thoroughly enjoyed Angela’s presentation, as well as the stories from the other crew members about their backgrounds and career with NFL Films. I look forward to seeing more of their work in the future.


Your favorite bookworm ❤

The Potter Project: The Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)

Image result for harry potter chamber of secrets book cover

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. Honestly, this was my least favorite novel of the group, but that more than likely has to do with my fear of anything that can slither and the giant snake that the book centers around. However, I did enjoy it, as I do all of the Harry Potter books.

In regards to psychology, the most prevalent aspect in this book is the idea of discrimination and prejudice. Throughout the novel, we see certain characters who condemn and mistreat those termed Mudbloods, which refers to a witch or wizard whose parents lack magical abilities. Hermione Granger, for example, was considered a Mudblood.

In chapter 7, we see an encounter between the Quiddich teams of Slytherin and Gryffindor. There has been a dispute over who has rights to the field for practice. As Oliver Wood, the captain of the Gryffindor team, attempts to get the field back, we find out that the Slytherin team has a new Seeker, none other than Draco Malfoy. We then see the following exchange:

“At least no one on the Gryffindor team had to buy their way in,” said Hermione sharply. “They got in on pure talent.”

The smug look on Malfoy’s face flickered.

“No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood,” he spat.

Harry knew at once that Malfoy had said something really bad because there was an instant uproar at his words. Flint had to dive in front of Malfoy to stop Fred and George jumping on him, Alicia shrieked, “How dare you!”, and Ron plunged his hand into his robes, pulled out his wand, yelling, “You’ll pay for that one, Malfoy!” and pointed it furiously under Flint’s arm at Malfoy’s face.

We can clearly see that Harry has never heard the term before and is confused by the reaction, though he realizes immediately that it was something awful. I think we can attribute this to his childhood and environment. While everyone else on the field was born to wizarding families with a knowledge of magic from the start, Harry was completely out of the loop until Hagrid entered his life on his 11th birthday and told him everything the Dursleys had been keeping from him.

Harry hadn’t even heard the word wizard, much less a derogatory term for wizards with so-called “filthy” background. Alicia, Ron, Malfoy, etc., had all grown up in a culture where they heard the terminology for wizards and witches and they had all experienced discrimination within their community. If they didn’t fit the role of either bully or bullied, they were still sure to hear about or observe such prejudice.

We see this idea even more a few pages later when Harry, Ron, and Hermione go to Hagrid’s hut to get help after Ron inadvertently casts a spell on himself.

“Malfoy called Hermione something — it must’ve been really bad, because everyone went wild.”

“It was bad,” said Ron hoarsely, emerging over the tabletop looking pale and sweaty. “Malfoy called her ‘Mudblood,’ Hagrid —” Ron dived out of sight again as a fresh wave of slugs made their appearance. Hagrid looked outraged.

“He didn’!” he growled at Hermione.

“He did,” she said. “But I don’t know what it means. I could tell it was really rude, of course —”

“It’s about the most insulting thing he could think of,” gasped Ron, coming back up. “Mudblood’s a really foul name for someone who is Muggle-born — you know, non-magic parents. There are some wizards — like Malfoy’s family — who think they’re better than everyone else because they’re what people call pure-blood.” He gave a small burp, and a single slug fell into his outstretched hand. He threw it into the basin and continued, “I mean, the rest of us know it doesn’t make any difference at all. Look at Neville Longbottom — he’s pure-blood and he can hardly stand a cauldron the right way up.”

“An’ they haven’t invented a spell our Hermione can’ do,” said Hagrid proudly, making Hermione go a brilliant shade of magenta.

“It’s a disgusting thing to call someone,” said Ron, wiping his sweaty brow with a shaking hand. “Dirty blood, see. Common blood. It’s ridiculous. Most wizards these days are half-blood anyway. If we hadn’t married Muggles we’d’ve died out.”

As shown above, Hermione also was not aware of the term Mudblood and what it meant. Our theory of culture influencing beliefs is proven yet again since Hermione also grew up in a home without wizardry for the most part. Her parents were Muggles, so they couldn’t share the culture of the wizarding world with Hermione. She simply had to figure it out on her own once she came to Hogwarts.

Going back to the book in general, the premise is that something sinister is happening at Hogwarts. People are becoming petrified and no one knows why. Harry and his friends get involved once people begin to get hurt. They start investigating and trying to find answers as more questions appear and more lives are at stake, including Ron’s younger sister, Ginny. We see the personalities of Harry, Ron, and Hermione really start to shine through as we watch them make sacrifices to save Ginny, Hagrid, and Hogwarts.

For example, it was already a well-known fact that Hermione is extremely intelligent. However, we get to see her solve a mystery with little to no information, not to mention put herself in danger to tell her friends what she found. She allows herself to get petrified so that Ron and Harry can have the information they need.

Another character that really expands his role is Hagrid. He gains much more depth and characterization, showing that he is much more than simply an animal-loving half-giant. He has a rich backstory that truly shows his caring nature and morality. He is unwilling to accept anyone placing the blame on innocent creatures, especially when he sees them as his friends, like Aragog.

All in all, this novel truly showed some depth and psychological ideals. I really enjoyed rereading it and it gave me a new outlook on why people do not see prejudice and discrimination the same way.

The Potter Project: The Sorcerer’s Stone (Film 1)


While extremely similar to the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone shows us how film can truly illuminate some of the more social aspects of psychology. In particular, it shows up the depth of relationships in the series.

For instance, Harry’s relationship with the Dursley family. We already knew they treated him terribly, but the movie shows us the effect it has on Harry’s psyche. You can see in his facial expressions the wariness whenever anyone approaches him. In the scene where Hagrid appears at the hut to give Harry a birthday cake, we see Harry’s complete surprise that anyone remembers his birthday, let alone acts on it. Birthdays are supposed to be special. You’re supposed to get spoiled and treated like royalty. It’s heartbreaking to watch Harry’s face light up at the realization that someone actually genuinely cares about him.

Later in the film, Harry has trouble trying to get to Platform 9¾. Molly Weasley appears, trying to usher her own kids to the platform. As Harry watched them literally pass through a stone column, he finally finds the courage to approach her and ask if she could teach him how. He stutters and looks completely unsure of himself, though Molly Weasley is more than warm towards him. This just goes to show the effects of neglect on a child. The pure joy on his face when he finally escapes the Dursleys perfectly captures his desire to be free.

Another great example of social relationships is the friendship between Harry and Ron. Harry and Ron first meet on the train to Hogwarts when Ron asks if he can sit in Harry’s compartment with him. This scene is adorable because they immediately hit it off and you can see how happy Harry is that he finally has a friend. He is so excited by this that he spends a ton of money on candy because he can see that Ron wants some, but can’t afford it. This goes to show the loyal nature that Harry possesses and how quick he is to trust someone once they show him affection or kindness. It just goes to show that he is so unused to the idea of someone treating him well that he believes it right away since it’s so foreign to him.

Hermione, unlike Ron, is more unsure of herself in a social capacity. She comes off as rather snide because she is confident in her intellect, though she does later prove herself to be a kind and caring person. She takes the blame for Harry and Ron when they fight the troll in the castle because she realizes they were trying to protect her. She is also shown to be extremely sensitive when she cries after overhearing Ron speak rudely of her. Hermione is by far my favorite character because we share quite a lot in common, including the lack of skill in social situations.

Overall, this movie really did a great job depicting relationships between the characters, both good and bad ones. It was interesting to witness the change in Harry’s personality as he escaped an abusive home and found his own happy family.