TELEVISION

As it did every other person who once played

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Credit: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX

I was taught chess at the ancient age of 17 by a learned and cultured boyfriend. He was an avid player and we spent countless weekends at the local chess club. When I was there, I never dared play with others but I watched and analyzed the many games.

Our relationship didn’t last but my fascination with the game endured. When I was 23 and working in a pub as a bartender, I set up my chess set by the counter and I’d play in between serving drinks. I won every game. The exhilaration was unparalleled.

Life shifted and other things took precedence. I stopped playing. Work and later, parenthood consumed my time and attention instead. There, another opportunity presented itself. When my son was 5, I taught him the game, and soon after, his younger sister. Both children play regularly together. …


A full list of my articles and essays on Medium

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Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

Self:

5 Tips on Self-Healing During Tumultuous Times, The Ascent, November 2020

Make Writing Your Therapy, Write Like a Girl, November 2020

How I Began To Breathe Again, In Fitness And In Health, October 2020

A Guide to Self-Care, In Fitness And In Health, August 2020

TV and Movies:

The Queen’s Gambit Got Me To Play Chess Again, Cinemania, January 2021

A Journey into the Darkness of a Violent Mind, Cinemania, January 2021

Peppermint (2018), FanFare, December 2020

The Boys: A Subversive Tale of Superheroes, Cinemania, December 2020

The Best Superhero TV Series to Watch with Your Daughter, Interstellar Flight Magazine, August 2020

Humour:

Your Cat’s Sleep Cycle Changes Over The Years, MuddyUm, October…


I’m struggling to write and that is normal.

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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

All my life, writing has been my therapy. Then came the triple whammy of 2020: the pandemic, divorce, and my dad’s illness.

Some days, I can’t write. Not poetry, not fiction, not an essay.

The feelings swirl inside me like fragments of fruit in a blender not yet ready to become a smoothie. I pick up a pen, and there’s nothing.

Then, I turn to drawing.

My hand remembers. I sketch the faces I’ve trained it to sketch and in them, there is some peace and comfort.

Often, it is the other way round. I can’t draw but the words pour out of me like hot water into my teacup. …


ANIMAL ADVOCACY

Their actions tell you in crystal clear terms how they really feel about you

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Photo by elCarito on Unsplash

It has been known now for some time that cats have deep emotional lives and are capable of great love and affection for their humans.

We frequently read about it in news stories, the most recent of which is the Malaysian cat Nana who still visits her human’s grave every day since he passed on 2 years ago.

Love is always best shown through actions, not words, and it is in these 8 ways that your cats show you they love you.

1. They keep you company

When you love someone, you want to spend most of your time with them.

For cats, it’s the real deal. …


POETRY

A rather different account of the fairy tale

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Photo by Jocelyne Yvonne on Unsplash

Hansel and Gretel lived with
Their father and stepmother
After their loving mom
Suddenly died of cancer.

Their father’s new wife told him
To get rid of the children.
She said she’d love him better
If they were no longer with him.

So he took them for a walk
Into the deep, dark forest,
And left them there
To a wintry death sentence.

“I’ll return soon,” he promised,
Before leaving like a coward.
Gretel had a bad feeling, but
Thought, he’d never abandon us.

By nightfall, she was less certain
As the winter cold set in. …


POETRY

The first 115 years of Sleeping Beauty’s life in poetry

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Photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash

Born into royalty,
The first female child in a century,
Her parents named her Beauty,
For her porcelain white skin
And her sweet angelic face.

12 good fairies attended
Her christening, bestowing
Gifts of kindness and artistry,
Intelligence and generosity,
Traits a princess should have.

The uninvited 13th fairy,
Banished for always bringing
Chaos and cruelty,
Crashed the party
And cursed the poor baby:

She’ll be pricked
By a spindle’s needle
And be dead before 30.

With that, she cackled
At her triumphant victory,

And left with a fruit cake,
Humming a ditty, something
About sewing and diddly,
Vanishing through the grand exit
Before anyone could say a word. …


A commentary on the American horror movie Becky (2020).

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Photo by Bloody Disgusting

At which point do we pass the point of no return?

In a revenge tale about how dark we can go when pushed to the edge, 13-year-old Becky’s rage, fervor, and inventiveness escalate with each kill, fuelling the argument that violence begets violence.

Spoilers ahead.

Already traumatized by the death of her mother from cancer, Becky (Lulu Wilson) takes hit after hit when her father Jeff (Joel McHale) moves on far too quickly with a single mother Kayla (A Handmaid’s Tale’s Amanda Brugel) and her child Ty, inviting the uninvited to their family holiday home without asking Becky, and then springing the news that he and Kayla are planning to get married. …


MOVIE REVIEW

A satisfying revenge movie in the vein of John Wick

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Credit: http://stxfilms.com/

I grew up watching violent action movies from the Dirty Harry series to everything Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger had made, including Commando (1985) where Schwarzenegger played Colonel John Matrix whose daughter Jenny was kidnapped.

Today, I watched Peppermint (2018), headlined by Jennifer Garner who has made a name for herself playing action heroes in Elektra, Daredevil, and the Alias TV series. The movie was widely panned but many viewers have come out to say it was great!

The plot is similar to most vigilante movies: after the entire family is gunned down, the mild-mannered survivor becomes a hardcore fighter and kills all the bad guys. …


TV

What if superheroes are actually evil, not the paragon of goodness we are often led to believe?

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Queen Maeve and Homelander. Photo by Amazon.

In the TV series The Boys, we look at how the commodification of heroism hides the ugly underbelly of the truth to keep up the veneer that we need superheroes and that they are good.

*Spoilers below*

In this highly watchable TV series based on the comic series by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, humor, gore, and really bad superheroes are the fascinating highlight while the real heroes, The Boys, are actually a ragtag group of regular folk without powers but a whole lot of street smarts led by Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher.

All of them have a stake in taking down the “Supes”, as Butcher coins them. …

About

Christina Sng

Poet, artist, essayist, animal activist, mama | Author of Bram Stoker Award winner A Collection of Nightmares | christinasng.com

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