Friday, September 3, 2010

Disneystrology (Lisa Finander) and Year in Review

If you're a long-time fan of the site, you might remember last year's Year in Review post. Written shortly after my 24th birthday, it recounted my writing year and laid out some of my goals. I'm pleased to announce that many of these goals have been met, and several others surpassed, but I'm getting ahead of myself.


One of the books that I recently picked up from Quirk is a fun little coffee table thing called Disneystrology: What Your Birthday Character Says About You, by Lisa Finander. As yesterday was my 25th birthday, I thought it would be fun to share what the book says about the day, September 2. My Disney character is Hop Low, the smallest mushroom in the Nutcracker Suite's Chinese Dance, from Fantasia. Now, I don't particularly like being called a tiny mushroom, but I do love Fantasia, so I guess it has some credibility. Here's what the book has to say about the little guy:
Hop Low: Your showmanship emerges at a young age. Before your talents are fully developed, your achievements already captivate others. You seek out older and accomplished mentors to help develop your skills. Focused, you work dilligently at becoming proficient in your trade, knowing exactly where you need to improve and what you must master to succeed. Others respect your efforts and surround you with positive reinforcement.
Magical Gifts: Hop Low bestows the gifts of patience, aptitude, and physical agility. With his help, you can reach your goals and take your place at center stage.
Keys to Your Success: Finding your own rhythm.
Hop Low's Story: Fantasia (1940)
So that's not too bad. Even if you don't find your Disney character accurate to your personality, it's still a fun book to check out, just to see what characters you and your friends are alleged to be. Just so you can get a better idea of what to expect in the book, here's a random sample of dates and their associated characters. Completely random. No significance whatsoever...
January 23: Mama Odie, from The Princess and the Frog
May 18: George and Mary Darling, from Peter Pan
May 26: Grand Councilwoman, from Lilo & Stitch
June 11: Mr. Soil, from A Bug's Life
July 18: Dallben, from The Black Cauldron
July 25: Luigi, from Cars
August 30: Eli "Big Daddy" Labouff, from The Princess and the Frog
September 4: Bernard, from The Rescuers
In case you're wondering about some of the big guns in the Disney Universe, Princess Ariel is October 8, Aladdin is August 7, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse are November 18. If you'd like to find out what your Disneystrology character is, write down your birthday in the comments section, or better yet, go out and pick up the book! It's not expensive, and it's a fun book to have around.

***EDIT***I will no longer be taking requests to inform people of what their birthday character is. I apologize, but the number of requests has been staggering, and a) I would love for you all to go out and buy the book, and b) I just don't have the time to get to them all. I will finish up those that I have now, but unfortunately that will be all.***EDIT***

So anyway, birthday characters aside, it has actually been an exceptionally good year. If you recall, my goals from last year, as ever, were the following:

1) Continue to perfect my craft.
2) Develop more disciplined writing habits.
3) Meet more people who were interested/working in the industries I was hoping to break into (comic books and poetry, mostly, but writing is writing).

I am proud to say that I've successfully continued on with all three of those. Achieving #1 comes from writing, reading and learning as much as possible. #2 comes from sitting down and actually producing work, which I'm excited to say has been the case this year. The past three months alone I've written close to 70 new poems, which couldn't have happened if I hadn't just sat down and started writing. #3 isn't always easy to control, but I've been very lucky in that regard the last 12 months.

Last Fall I was going into my final year of USC's Master of Professional Writing program. Through the implementation of summer courses, extra credits for teaching, and other small things here and there, I ended up primarily working on my thesis those last two semesters. While it might have been fun to have more classes with my fellow writers, this meant that I had more time to write, which is always a plus. Also, as Poetry Editor for the Southern California Review, I was still seeing plenty of my fellow students. With the help of my thesis advisor, the extremely talented Amy Gerstler, I wound up finishing my thesis collection of poetry a full semester early. This meant two things: one, I was able to shop out my thesis to publishers during the Spring instead of after graduation, which we'll get back to in a bit; and two, I was free to pick up an internship. I was lucky enough to find my way into an internship with Archaia Comics, a relatively small comic book publisher based right here in Los Angeles. The time I spent there was absolutely invaluable, and I'm much more informed about the workings of that industry now than I could have ever hoped to become on my own. The real news, however, came the morning of May 13, the day before graduation, when Quirk editor Jason Rekulak, well-known as the brains behind Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, gave me a call to say that Quirk would love to publish my thesis! It was the best graduation gift possible. I headed into the summer with an insane amount of work to do to get the manuscript ready, but it was a problem I was glad to have. I can't talk too much about the book yet, but know that I put absolutely everything I have into making it something that I hope everyone will enjoy! It should be coming out next summer, so I'll let you know more closer to the publication date.

I've also been fortunate enough this past year to meet plenty of extremely talented people. Some of these include writers we've published in the Southern California Review, whom I met at a conference in Denver. Others are comic book creators whom I was very excited to meet at conventions in San Francisco and San Diego, via my friends at Archaia. The icing on the cake this past year, though, was the recent inclusion of two of my poems in the Summer 2010 edition of Disquieting Muses Quarterly, a prestigious online poetry review. Having to work constantly at my writing is sometimes exhausting, but the joy of getting an acceptance letter or email more than makes up for the hours of hard work put into each poem.

One of the most exciting things about this past year is that I'm still here writing book reviews. Thank you all so much for sticking around and reading the Daily Genoshan! By this time next year, my book will be published, and I hope to have even more projects in the works and news to discuss, but the DG will always be my first love. In the coming year I'd like to expand and use more guest reviewers, as well as introduce new features to the site, but at its heart it will always be a book review blog.

Thank you for your support, and, as always, keep reading, Genoshans!

Brian McGackin


  1. Berlioz—You refuse to be left behind. You push yourself hard to keep up with and impress others. Clever and direct, you don't fall for people's antics. You like playful fighting because you envision yourself needing these skills in the future. (At least that's what you tell others.) Creative endeavors engage your mind and give you another means to release extra energy.

    Magical Gifts—Berlioz gives you the gifts of confidence, intelligence, and musical abilities. He believes you should practice all the things you are good at to ensure your success.

    Keys to Your Success—Developing your strength through positive channels.

    Berlioz's Story—The Aristocats (1970)

  2. This is adorable! What's March 30?

  3. Chicken Little—You allow your perceptions to operate outside everyday awareness. At first, it's difficult for you to act on your discoveries; but your determination helps you succeed. You work diligently to fulfill your goals, and your closest allies are the ones who support your efforts, even when still untested. Although many of your ideas are ahead of your time, people eventually come to understand your visions and value your accomplishments.

    Magical Gifts—Chicken Little bestows the gifts of open-mindedness, resiliency, and compassion. He reminds you that many geniuses were considered crazy in the beginning.

    Keys to Your Success—Never giving up on what you know is true.

    Chicken Little's Story—Chicken Little (2005)

  4. What is August 13th?

  5. Skippy—You are confident that you will make it no matter what obstacles come your way. Your optimism comes from experience because, like magic, help always appears from unexpected sources when you need it most. You idealize the accomplishments of unconventional individuals and work to support their efforts. Others may tease you in your initial attempts to achieve success, but you emerge victorious in the end.

    Magical Gifts—Skippy gives you the gifts of skill, imagination, and gratitude. Whenever you think a situation is hopeless, he will provide the help and tools you need to triumph.

    Keys to Your Success—Believing in your ability to prosper.

    Skippy's Story—Robin Hood (1973)

  6. what is October 7th? Thanks!

  7. Baloo(!)—You have a big heart and a lighthearted attitude. If you could get away with it, you'd fool around all day long. Strong-minded and persistent, you don't let others tell you what to do. You teach what you know best to those who are interested. If the safety of your loved ones is threatened, you become fierce and selflessly defend them.

    Magical Gifts—Baloo gives you the gifts of charm, joyfulness, and freedom. He teaches you to have fun, to be serious only when you have to, and to take naps.

    Keys to Your Success—Acquiring the bare necessities of life.

    Baloo's Story—The Jungle Book (1967)

  8. Can you tell me what June 2 is? :) Thanks!

  9. JUNE 2

    The White Rabbit—You're always on the go. You definitely believe in multitasking; because of your eye for detail, your environment distracts you. A perfectionist by nature, you can't possibly fix everything that's not working, but you try. You are a sensitive, kind individual who selflessly tends to the needs of others. Whenever you show up, you get things moving forward.

    Magical Gifts—The White Rabbit bestows the gifts of examination, gentleness, and thoughtfulness. When you want to visit someplace new and are in a hurry, just follow him.

    Keys to Your Success—Knowing what time it is.

    The White Rabbit's Story— Alice in Wonderland (1951)

    MAY 27

    Roger Radcliffe—You spend the early part of your life developing your talents. You often choose artistic careers that require you to work on your own. The solitude is great for inspiration, but it leaves you feeling lonely. Fortunately, there are others around you who prod you out of the house and have your romantic interests at heart. Once you make room in your life for love, you share a home filled with delightful and affectionate muses.

    Magical Gifts—Roger gives you the gifts of creative ability and determination. Together, they assure your success.

    Keys to Your Success—Knowing that dogs truly are people's best friends.

    Roger's Story—101 Dalmatians (1961)

  10. April 5th? And March 11?

  11. June 22 & Aug 18? Thankyou!

  12. Woah, this is a bunch!

    APRIL 25

    Heimlich—You like comfort and are in touch with the needs of your physical body. At any age, you have a commanding presence and move through the awkward stages in life willingly and with a childlike innocence. You focus intensely on your future, knowing and believing that great things are in store for you. As a result, you center your day-to-day activities on preparing for that distant goal.

    Magical Gifts—Heimlich bestows you with persistence, foresight, and friendliness. He encourages you to put your heart and soul into manifesting your dreams.

    Keys to Your Success—Enjoying where you are at the moment.

    Heimlich's Story—A Bug's Life (1998)

    APRIL 5

    Nanny—You are an invaluable member of any family or business. You're skilled in a variety of areas, and no job is too big for you to handle with ease. You're full of energy, feisty, and down-to-earth. Those closest to you rely on your nurturing and expertise. Optimistic, you believe in love and that everything will turn out fine in the end.

    Magical Gifts—Nanny gives the gifts of generosity, compassion, and courage. She is always ready to help you succeed; all you have to do is ask.

    Keys to Your Success—Fighting for what you know is right.

    Nanny's Story—101 Dalmatians (1961)

    MARCH 11

    Nana—You have a talent for discerning what others need. Intelligent and intuitive, you know better than anyone what's really going on in the lives of loved ones. You're protective, efficient, and kind. Family members adore you and cherish your company. There is more to you than meets the eye, and only special people see the entirety of who you are and what you can do.

    Magical Gifts—Nana bestows the gifts of wisdom, tenderness, and reliability. No matter what your breed, she will watch over you and help you grow.

    Keys to Your Success—Enriching the lives of those you love.

    Nana's Story—Peter Pan (1953)

    JUNE 22

    Bashful—You are in love with love and the adventure it promises. Idealistic, you are capable of great emotion. Since you don't like to draw attention to yourself, the object of your affections may never know your true feelings. Still, you can be a bit of a flirt and are a sucker for love songs, love stories, and basically anything that has to do with love and the wishes tucked inside your heart.

    Magical Gifts—Bashful bestows the gifts of aesthetics, imagination, and adoration. He quietly advises you to follow your dreams, even if they make you blush.

    Keys to Your Success—Using your modesty to your advantage.

    Bashful's Story—Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    AUGUST 18

    Simba—You are destined for greatness, but your path will not be easy. At times, you are carefree and enjoy a leisurely lifestyle. But if something unexpected happens, you tend to want to run away and forget. That is not your fate. Your ability to feel profound emotions and take responsibility for your actions makes you a wise and much-needed leader.

    Magical Gifts—Simba gives you the gifts of wisdom, strength, and conscience. He encourages you to never shrink away from your destiny.

    Keys to Your Success—Remembering who you were born to be.

    Simba's Story—The Lion King (1994)


    Taran—You have an active mind and love to daydream. Your thoughts revolve around exciting adventures; as a result, your everyday life seems quite boring. Whenever an opportunity arises for you to prove yourself, you don't hesitate to take it. Intuitive and spontaneous, you are a quick learner committed to realizing your goals. Certain of your abilities, you take on responsibilities that test you to the core.

    Magical Gifts—Taran bestows the gifts of willpower, friendship, and vision. Under his guidance, you'll learn what it takes to be a true hero or heroine.

    Keys to Your Success—Turning your fantasies into realities.

    Taran's Story—The Black Cauldron (1985)


  13. Thanks for answering.

    Great, my sign is a fat German caterpillar. LOL

  14. Can you please tell mewhat October 3rd is?

  15. What is Sept 18th?

  16. Can you please tell me July 16th?

  17. Could you tell me when Belle's birthday is?

    Could you also tell me which character has August 20th and September 28th?

    Thank you very much!

  18. Woah, a lot this time! After this, only one at a time from now on!


    Bianca—You are capable, focused, and optimistic. Because you have a big heart, you choose vocations in which you provide people with much-needed assistance. You are daring and love to conquer challenges. When you require the support of others to complete your missions, you have an uncanny ability to pick the perfect allies. Your loved ones are eager to impress and care for you.

    Magical Gifts—Bianca bestows you with the gifts of knowledge, ability, and attractiveness. No matter where you are, if you need help, just send her a message.

    Keys to Your Success—Bringing beauty and humanity bravely into the world.

    Bianca's Story—The Rescuers (1977)


    Rick Dicker—You tend to be a private person and excel at handling confidential information. Because of your ability to get things done in a proficient and sensible manner, your talents are highly respected and sought after by important people. Empathetic and protective toward your friends, you will tackle difficult circumstances to ensure their safety. You are a realist with a soft heart and never give up on causes you believe in.

    Magical Gifts—Rick gives you the gifts of reliability, concentration, and discretion. He reminds you that even superheroes need the help of trusted friends.

    Keys to Your Success—Using your skills to mediate extraordinary situations.

    Rick's Story—The Incredibles (2004)

    JULY 16

    Prince Eric—You are a dreamer. If something catches your eye that resembles your heart's desire, you immediately go after it. You're quite capable of making what you want happen as long as you don't get sidetracked and lose sight of what you originally wanted. Although you're strong and protective, you will accept the help of others when you need it.

    Magical Gifts—Prince Eric bestows the gift of profound love for partner, family, animals, and the sea. He encourages you to pursue, with bravery and determination, the vocation that calls to you.

    Keys to Your Success—Finding the one you're looking for.

    Prince Eric's Story—The Little Mermaid (1989)

    Bell is MAY 6.

    AUGUST 20

    Bolt—Your life is a mystery waiting to be unraveled. Hidden in your past are untold stories of your origins. Sometimes they aren't literal secrets, but something you don't entirely understand about yourself. Either way, once you awaken to the truth about yourself and your true talents your life changes dramatically for the better. You are happiest when you use your imagination to create something real and lasting.

    Magical Gifts—Bolt bestows the gifts of compassion, artistic expression, and bravery. He helps you perceive yourself and the world as it truly is.

    Keys to Your Success—Having people around who love you and think you are super-wonderful just for being you.

    Bolt's Story—Bolt (2008)


    Megara—You are romantic but also realistic. Much of your life experience revolves around your relationships and the choices you make to sustain them. Even though you're partnership-oriented, you remain self-sufficient. You can be sharp witted, especially when protecting yourself from potential disappointment. No matter how difficult the circumstances, you have the courage and ingenuity to achieve your desires.

    Magical Gifts—Megara bestows the gifts of resourcefulness, confidence, and devotion. Ask for her guidance when you have to make tough decisions concerning your future happiness.

    Keys to Your Success—Opting for sacrifices that will enrich your life.

    Megara's Story—Hercules (1997)

    Wow, that was a lot of writing! If there are any typos, don't blame me. Blame the episodes of Big Bang Theory that I've been watching.

  19. And by "Bell" I clearly mean "Belle." Again, blame the Big Bang Theory.

  20. Thank you! This is awesome - Aug 18 is my son's birthday - he is 18 and Lion King is still his fav movie!

  21. Can you tell me who is May 15th? Thanks!! Deb

  22. How about July 26th? DALE

  23. i'm using this on my LSAT personal statement---can you tell me what MAY 6 says for BELLE?

  24. MAY 15

    Prince Edward—You believe in your ability to succeed. You're unafraid to show your talents to the world, and you charm and entertain others with your lofty outlook. People may question your rationality, but they soon realize you can accomplish feats they never imagined. You're in love with life and throw yourself completely into your endeavors.

    Magical Gifts—Prince Edward bestows the gifts of faith, resiliency, and dramatic flair. No matter how outlandish your ideas might seem to others, he will escort you to your dreams.

    Keys to Your Success—Going to the places where true love lives.

    Prince Edward's Story—Enchanted (2007)

    JULY 26

    Mowgli—You feel at home in nature and have an exceptional bond with animals. You prefer to do things your own way and at your pace. With your magnetic personality, making friends comes easily; but your agreeable nature sometimes makes you too trusting. Wise beyond your years, you have a lot to offer your family and community. Animals willingly befriend, nurture, and protect you.

    Magical Gifts—Mowgli bestows the gifts of confidence, playfulness, and adaptability. He teaches you how to create a home in many different environments.

    Keys to Your Success—Listening to advice and accepting when it's time to move forward.

    Mowgli's Story—The Jungle Book (1967)

    MAY 6

    Belle—You have an eye for authentic beauty. You enjoy learning and are imaginative. Even though you appreciate the comforts in life, they are not what drive you. Instead, you sacrifice your security for loved ones and choose companions who can match your level of devotion and loyalty. Feisty, you aren't afraid to ask for what you want and need. The strength of your love brings out the humanity in others.

    Magical Gifts—Belle bestows the gifts of independence, determination, and individuality. Call on her when you need to break the spell of enchantment.

    Keys to Your Success—Turning beasts into princes.

    Belle's Story—Beauty and the Beast (1991)

    Unfortunately, I think that's have to going to be it as far as giving out information from the book. If anyone else wants to know what characters match up to a specific birthday, I highly recommend that they go buy the book! It's a bargain at $16.95!

  25. may 11 and june 25?!? greatly appreciatedd<3

  26. Would you be able to tell me what July 1st and October 6 are?

  27. Last ones, all requests after this will be ignored.

    MAY 11

    Jack Skellington—you have an unusual imagination. Because repetition bores you to death, you envision exciting adventures and are often oblivious to obstacles. Unless you find new sources of inspiration that allow you to create something new, you feel empty. you're excited to share your ideas with others, and those who care for you support your dreams even if they don't wholly understand them.

    Magical Gifts—Jack bestows the gifts of curiosity, charisma, and tenderness. Ask for his guidance when you're feeling melancholy and need some otherworldly advice.

    Keys to Your Success—Knowing which doors are yours to open.

    Jack's Story—Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

    JUNE 25

    Kanga—You devote yourself to what is most important to you, whether family, work, or self. You love to take care of people, solve problems, and give thoughtful advice. In your home, you prefer things to be clean and organized. Intuitive, you always seem to know the right action to take, which impresses others. It doesn't matter if someone is family or friend; you treat them both with equal compassion.

    Magical Gifts—Kanga gives you the gifts of observation, a warm heart, and a gentle disposition. Call on her when you need comfort and nurturing.

    Keys to Your Success—Caring for those in your neighborhood.

    Kanga's Story—Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (1966)

    JULY 1

    Runt of the Litter—You are concerned with living up to the expectations you've set for yourself. You admire family members and want to be like them. Although having positive role models to emulate helps you, it also causes you to overlook the unique qualities in yourself that are worth developing. Luckily, you have loyal and empathetic friends who understand and feel the same way as you.

    Magical Gifts—Runt bestows the gifts of devotion, belonging, and love. If you need protection, he will courageously come to your aid.

    Keys to Your Success—Listening to soothing music.

    Runt's Story—Chicken Little (2005)


    Tweedledum and Tweedledee—You hold mock battles in your head about what is the best course of action. You aren't weighing the opposing options so much as coming up with ways to make mundane tasks more pleasant. Good-humored and loving, you enjoy the company of those who share your inclinations. You are an idealist and like to suround yourself with beauty and comfort.

    Magical Gifts—Tweedledum and Tweedledee bestow the gifts of contentment, creativity, and affection. They encourage you to leisurely pursue your idea of the good life.

    Keys to Your Success—Having fun daily.

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee's Story—Alice in Wonderland (1951)


    David—You are optimistic and intelligent. Setbacks and roadblocks don't get you down because you're patient and prepared to try again. Never afraid to take opportunities that are beyond your capabilities at the time, you have a unique sense of humor and an open mind that lets you take life in stride. Having fun and being outdoors enliven you and keep you in shape. You are kind, encouraging, and willing to help people out.

    Magical Gifts—David bestows the gifts of wit, compassion, and talent. Ask for his guidance whenever your goals require extra determination and daring.

    Keys to Your Success—Knowing that life comes in waves.

    David's Story—Lilo & Stitch (2002)

    Okay, no more! Go buy the book!

    if it is anything to do with pocha, alice, NBC, toy story, or aladdin ill die. pleasw!

  29. What character is May 22

  30. I have been looking everywhere for July 22nd with no luck of finding which character falls on that date,would you be able to tell me who it is?thank you in advance =)

  31. Whoops it says no more entries,Sorry about that,thank you for posting up what you have though.

  32. Hello my name is francesca and i am the biggest lover of astrology and disney and havent been able to find a copy of the book in any shops where i live?! And i cant buy it online as i dont have a debit card :s i really would love to know what 30th oct is please... I know you said you will ignore but i am desperately wanting to know and cant find it anywhere :s please help? X


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