Saturday, September 27, 2014

Society of Literary Ladies: Naomi Bennet

  Hello friends! To start off our Society of Literary Ladies series, I have the great pleasure of interviewing my very dear friend Naomi! I'm guessing many of you probably know her, and if you don't, it's likely you've heard me mention her name on here before, seeing as she is a particular good friend of mine. ;-) Anyhow, I will stop blathering now and let her introduce herself!

Introduce yourself! Tell us your name, your age (if you don’t mind sharing), three of your biggest passions and one thing you love about September.

  What-ho all in sundry! Thank you Emma-sweets for interviewing me (Yes, I know I’ve thanked you on email, but readers will think I’m ungrateful if they can’t spot a ‘thank you’ somewhere in this interview and I don’t want to be prejudiced. Yes, yes, you understand.) Well, my name is Naomi Bennet to the blogging world, just Naomi to my family, and lots of other things to Emma. I am fifteen, going on sixteen, and I’m loving every bit of my young life. :-) Practically every bit, anyway.

My three biggest passions? That’s easy. First, spot on, is writing. Love it with a capital L. Secondly, it’s reading… mainly Lucy Maud Montgomery, Lynn Austin, Jane Austen and my own scribbles. Thirdly, I should say “children”. I absolutely adore playing around with little girls and boys (if they’ll let me – little boys often don’t) and holding a little baby in my arms is just something amazing. I have many younger siblings, so yeah – that’s good for me. If “children” doesn’t count as a passion, I’m going to say that my third passion is “Period Drama”. If that doesn’t count as a passion… well, don’t be so fussy. :-P

One thing I love about September is the fact that colder days are arriving… days for snuggling under blankets and cosily writing at my desk with the wind whistling behind the window-panes. I love cold days. One thing I hate about September is that school starts. Oh, you didn’t ask me that did you? Sorry.

Where is home for you? (Be as vague or specific as you like.)

   Home is our house. Seriously… I don’t feel at home in some sort of holiday house, even if all my family is there. I want my house. I want my room. With my family, of course. So, for me, ‘home’ is ‘our house’ together with ‘my family.’

  What is your current situation academically? (For example, what grade are you in, are you home-schooled, out of school, go to public school, or take lessons from an elderly spinster aunt?)
  Haha, take lessons from an elderly spinster aunt. Funny girl.

I’m a home-school girl and (love it by the way)… um, what grade? I can never answer that question. In American terms it’s different, in British terms it’s different, in Belgian terms it’s different – very confusing. Let me answer this question differently – I have three more years before finishing ‘school’. You can work out what grade/term/year I’m in yourself now. :)

  Is there one author who has particularly influenced you in your writing?

  Yes, Lucy Maud Montgomery, mainly. Her writing is so unique – so crafty – so special. For instance, she would describe her protagonist as ‘honey-like’. I just love that. I know of no other author who describes things in such beautiful ways – Montgomery does, and that’s why I love her to pieces. I myself love using unusual words or metaphors to describe people, nature, views or whatever, and it’s Montgomery who’s started me doing that. (In fact, I love her so much I’ve started a new blog about her and her books/film adaptions.)

  Another author that really influences me is Lynn Austin – it’s not as much her style as her plots and surprising story twists. I love how she dives into the storyline – decides what not to tell her readers and what to reveal. She stuns me.

Favorite book series?
FavoUrite, darling.

Favourite book series? Well, had you asked me this question several years ago I would have promptly answered, ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ whilst clutching my beloved books close to my chest. (Right, I’m not that melodramatic.) Now I still like the Little House on the Prairie Series, but as I know them pretty much by heart, I’ve sort of worn them out.

I love Lucy Maud Montgomery’s ‘Emily Series’, and, of course the ‘Anne series’. I also worship the ‘Refiner’s Fire’ Series by Lynn Austin. It’s a trilogy, but I’d say it counts as a series – so it’s probably that.

  A, yes, of course. FavUorite childhood book?

   Little House on the Prairie. Definitely. I practically tore them to pieces. I also loved the books about Laura’s mother as a girl ‘The Caroline Series’ and about Laura’s daughter, ‘The Rose Series.’ I still do – but yes, we just talked about that.

 I know it can be hard sometimes for us bookish personalities to pick a favorite author, but if you had to choose just one, who would you pick?

   It’s not that hard. My three favourites are Jane Austen, Lynn Austin and Lucy Maud Montgomery, and I think I can pick my utmost favourite of the three.

Lucy Maud Montgomery. I know, I really do love her. Her books have made me laugh out loud, sob like a baby (Rilla of Ingleside, especially) and they’ve just changed my life. If you haven’t read her books you missing out!!!

What’s your favorite book that’s been made into a movie? How do you feel about the film adaptation as compared with the book?

Pride and Prejudice time! I really, really like Jane Austen’s most famous novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and I think the BBC miniseries did a fantastic job creating a book-faithful movie adaption. I watch P&P95 every birthday of mine, and I’ll never, ever tire of it.

The only thing I feel they could have done better is make Mr Darcy smile a tad more. In the book you can surprise yourself by noticing how many phrases such as, ‘…said he, smiling,’ you can spot! In the movie, Mr Darcy is portrayed a trifle more sullen than he appears in the book. But for the rest? Spit-spot perfect.

Who is one literary character you feel you are most like?

Anne Shirley and Alice Grace Ripley.

Anne Shirley – we all know who she is, so I don’t have to explain. I have her vivid imagination, love for children, love for writing and romantic spirit. Also, I adore puffed sleeves and wish they were in the fashion. :-)

Alice Grace Ripley (one of my nicknames, by Emma) is the heroine of one of Lynn Austin’s books, Wonderland Creek. In fact, I named my blog after that book. Just like Alice, I read tons, I whine now and then and I have the most unfading scare of animals!

Where is your favorite place to read? What about writing?
   Both in my bed. The end.

 Do you normally write first drafts on a computer, or do you prefer old-fashioned pen and paper? (I say, three cheers for pen and paper!) :-)

   I can’t really answer that question now because you just wrote ‘three cheers for pen and paper’ and I – well – I… I use my laptop. Yes, even for my first drafts. Naomi! Unashamedly modern thing! Yes, I know, but it’s true. I’ve gotten very accustomed to being able to type fast, think thoughts better when my fingers are ready and steady on the key-board, and when I use pen and paper I get very easily distracted.

 Several months ago, though, I was trying to get through a rather challenging scene in the novella I was writing, and I find myself just staring at the screen, my mind having gone blank. It was then that I thought this scene would be wiser to write outside, with the breeze on my face and my back leaning against a tree. And it did work better.

  So yes, normally I do use my laptop, Jane, for first drafts. But sometimes I’ll take things easier and work out a tackling scene in the old-fashioned way.

 Be honest: what is your handwriting like?
  Heehee. Emma’s is the prettiest handwriting in the world, people – she’s too nice to admit it, but it’s true.

Anyway, my handwriting? It’s been described as ‘a cute handwriting with great personality’ and I must admit I like that description of it. Sometimes I tend to write rather messily, especially when I have too many ideas to cope with at the same time. Which often happens.

 How long does it generally take you to read a good book? (Of course I know it depends on just HOW good it is, but in general.)
   Two days, if I have enough time. One day if I have a lot of time (rarely, nowadays). About five days if it’s a normal school-day.

 What’s your record time for finishing a book?
   Love this question. You’ll be shocked. When I was young I once read four Little House on the Prairie books in one day. FOUR. Like four quite thick books in six hours. But then I had read those before, so I managed to flip through the bits I didn’t really like.

  Normally I’d maybe manage to finish a book in an hour – if it’s not too long and if I’ve read it before.

 Name five of the best books you’ve ever read that you recommend to other fellow bluestockings.
  1. The Refiners Fire series by Lynn Austin. (Right, I know that’s three books, but it counts as one. Yes? Yes.) I learnt so much of these books – they really touched me in a personal way.
  2. Rilla of Ingleside by L. M. Montgomery. Will make you cry. Promise.
  3. The Blue Castle by Ditto. I tare this book to pieces – it’s one of my all-time favourites.
  4. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s really long, but it’s packed with interesting words and… oh, I just love her style. And she has the most scrumptious dress-descriptions! Chapter five is my favourite chapter because it describes Scarlett’s whole Pre-war wardrobe! Oh, just buy the book for chapter five. What I don’t like about GWTW is the ending. It just spoils everything.
  5. Remembrance by Theresa Breslin. I was trying to think of a different author. If I didn’t, I’d have used another Lynn Austin book. But seriously, ‘Remembrance’ is a darling book – a World War 1 romanice. Very sad, but beautifully, soulfully sad.
Of course there’s also ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and ‘Wonderland Creek’ and ‘Hidden Places’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and so many others… it’s impossible to limit the number to five.

Tell about the things you think are most important in a good novel.
   I always like an attractive opening chapter. I like it when I open a book at Chapter one and I want to read it by just glancing at page one. I love it when it starts with someone talking rather than describing the front garden, or something – that can come later. I just want to get on with the story immediately.

   I also love good characters – chatty ones, especially. Characters with great imaginations and a funny personality trait… or just something unique.

  And, of course, I love a good ending. The ending is allowed to be a good, beautiful, soulfully sad one – like someone thinking back about a loved one dying, or something like that. But it’s not allowed to be like- really, sad. Or weird. Like with GWTW – there we have Scarlett O’Hara hoping that ‘tomorrow’ would solve all her many problems. No, just no. I love happy endings.

About what age did you start writing stories? Do you still have your early works?
      Oh, I've been writing down silly little things here and there ever since I managed to. My earliest “story” is about a girl who married and had twins, Lisa and Sara, and it’s about ten words long, only one of those spelt the right way. I must have been very proud of it.

  Luckily I do still own quite a few of my old stories – great stuff to read when I’m down. Hilarious.

Are you currently working on a novel/story/project?
  Ems, I'm always working on something. Don’t ask that.

So yes, I am. I’m now working on two stories. One is for my brother’s birthday – he’ll be nine – it’s about a boy who thinks of silly plans in order to get revenge on a flock of school-bullies – a ridiculous story, but nevertheless fun. The other is about a girl called Whitney Spears who goes back-in-time (to the Edwardian era). The story is different than stories/novels I usually write – very mysterious, a little creepy and very unrealistic – but I’m really enjoying it.


    Thank you for sharing some of your bookish fancies with us, Naomi! I'm guessing most of you
probably already follow Naomi and her online scribblings (which I mean in the best sense of the word ;-P), but if you don't and you'd like to read more of her writing I highly recommend paying a visit to her darling blog Wonderland Creek, where she writes about period dramas and books and writing and all sorts of lovely things.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Introducing the Society of Literary Ladies

   Hello friends! Today I have the pleasure of announcing a new series I will be beginning here at A Lantern In Her Hand, distinguished by the rather simple but sufficiently self-explanatory moniker of: The Society of Literary Ladies.

  So, what will this entail? Well, I've been thinking of how this blog has changed, and 'blossomed', if you will, from a sort of online journal where Emma rambles about movies and books and history and stuff to a *I hope* more organized outlet where Emma still rambles about the things she loves....with significantly more tact and finesse. Or at least, the finesse part. I'm still working on the tact.
  Anyway, that's not really what we're talking about here; back to the subject at hand. What really inspired me to blog in the first place was reading the blogs of all you lovely ladies, and you continue to inspire me so much. Since most of the friends I've made through this incredible and slightly unconventional journey of blogging are, like myself, writers and bibliophiles, I've decided to organize a sort of club (for lack of a better word-- no wait, there IS a better word)-- a society. A circle of friends (including y'all and me) who love writing and reading and books in general. Every month I'm planning on hosting an interview with a fellow reader/writer, so we can share with each other our love of literature and also spread the word about other charming blogs that need to be read and appreciated. So, what say you, my friends?

 If you are a reader and a writer who's interested in being interviewed, please don't hesitate to let me know! Really, this will only be a success if y'all are interested. I have an idea of some literary ladies I'd like to feature, but like I said, I really would appreciate your feedback and willingness to participate. I think this will be very diverting, and a good way to spread the word about other people's blogs.

What happens when you're interviewed:  I'll send you the questions, you'll answer them cleverly, and the interview will be posted here on A Lantern In Her Hand. You can put the society badge (above) on your blog sidebar or wherever you please, your interview will be listed on the Society of Literary Ladies page (which as yet to be materialized-- be patient), and you'll get to see your name in print. Of course, if you're a blogger, you've already seen your name in print countless times, so it may not hold as much charm as it used to. But still. ;-P

Bluestocking: a woman having intellectual or literary interests.

P.S. First interview coming soon! :-)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A little publicity

   Hello friends! I hope you're all having a wonderful day and enjoying glorious fall weather! :-) I'm just popping in to let you all know of a few new happenings going on in my circle of friends.

   First of all, my sister Sadie has just re-done her blog Birdie's Perch for the change in season and is also planning on posting more often in the near future. I helped her make the new header, and I must say we are quite pleased with the results. ;-P Do pay her a visit and let her now how you like it!

    Also, my dear friend Naomi has just started a new blog called Montgomery Love, which is dedicated to L.M. Montgomery and all of her well-loved books and characters and film adaptations, and anything related to her works. She's got some wonderful things in store, and I know she'd love for you all to go check it out!

  That's all for now-- toodle-pip! :-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Six Stages of Writing

    Lately I've been thinking about my habits as a writer (I say writer-- that is, a girl with a dream who still has a lot to learn), and how ideas come to me and unfold in different ways. I'm full of ideas-- at this very moment I have about five short stories and potential novels in the early stages of conception-- some have actually been begun, some are merely names and dates and locations written on a page. A lack of ideas is usually not the problem. In fact, I may have too many ideas, which often distract me from concentrating on just one thing at a time. (It's called 'scatterbrained'.) I come up with a story idea, and am usually convinced that this will be the on I'll actually finish....but then, I have years' worth of ideas written down in the pages of notebooks, snippets of novels that never came into being, and never once have I penned the last words of a novel. I haven't even come close, honestly. I come up with an idea, entertain it for a while, write out a loose outline (and when I say loose, I mean loose), and then, after a while, I lose my inspiration for that and move on to the next thing, which invariably follows the same sort of pattern. It can be very frustrating. And so I ask myself, am I just not cut out to be a writer? Will I ever settle down and stay focused on one thing long enough to see it completed to my satisfaction? Or am I just too scatterbrained and flighty?

   My first dream as a little girl was to be a writer. I started writing stories when I was about six, and I filled notebook after notebook with stories based on characters my sisters and I had come up with while playing with our Barbie dolls. There was a series of three books, and I fully expected to write more. I considered myself a writer at an early age, and I knew this was what I wanted to always do. I knew it, my family knew it, lots of people I knew were aware of the fact: Emma is going to be an author someday.

  I wrote several short stories and 'books' when I was around nine, ten and eleven-- most of which I can't find a trace of anymore, to my disappointment. Then when I got older I stopped writing as much. I still wrote some, but I wasn't all that sure anymore if I would actually become a writer, or if my writing of the previous years had been just some childish pastime. I was kind of indifferent on the matter for about a year or so, having decided that I might like to become a singer instead.
  I think it was when I was thirteen that the flame was rekindled. I wanted to write, but I almost didn't know how anymore. I had ideas, but I was at a loss as to how to give them shape. I was wary of beginning something, because I knew I'd probably never finish it. So I guess you could say I just tinkered around with words for a while. I made up characters; I wrote scenarios, learned lots of new delicious words, but it didn't amount to much.

    Then, slowly, I started writing more again. It really happened last summer, when I decided to go back to my old characters from those three books, a family called the Millers who lived on Prince Edward Island around the turn of the 20th century. It had potential. I knew the characters as well as if I'd grown up alongside them-- because I had. I could make it happen. That was when I really began to understand what being a writer meant.

  Well, I still haven't finished a novel yet. I've learned so much in the last year, and I have so many ideas that I want to write about someday, but I'm still not quite there yet. However, I'm closer than I've ever been before. This Spring, from a sudden inspiration, on a complete whim with absolutely no idea where I was going with this, I started a simple story. It's the story of a nineteen-year-old girl living in a small rural town in the Midwest in 1910, who wants another kind of life and who has a dream of what she wants for her future. It was a vague premise, but five pages later I couldn't stop. This was it. This was a story I was going to write-- I could feel it in my bones. And you'll never believe what-- I have.

   I'm not saying I've finished anything, so just hold your horses. The novel is not even half done, and what is done still needs a heap of revising. It's only 200 pages in an old black binder, and who knows what that'll amount to when it gets typed. But this is a huge milestone for me because now I feel I actually know what it is to take on a novel. It's no just a dream anymore; it's become more of a reality. I've been working seriously on it (well, most of the time) for almost three months, and I know I'll continue to because I just can't give it up now. I don't just think I'll finish it-- I know I will.

  Anyway, I've been thinking about the different stages I often experience when struck with an idea, especially with this novel I'm working on now. The same pattern seems to have re-occurred with several things I've worked on in the past, and so I've decided to write them down in the order they occur.

   This is just my personal experience as far as I know, though I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced these different stages of inspiration and discouragement. Not all writers have the same struggles, of course. All writers are different. Because all writers are weird. I'm sorry, but that's just the size of it.

Stage #1 Burning Excitement
    Ideas for stories come in all sorts of crazy ways. You may read a book, see an old photograph, or be struck with an inspiration so suddenly that you're not sure what hit you. However the idea strikes, if you're a writer you probably know what I mean. Suddenly all these possibilities for a story fill your mind, and you know you have to write it down. Maybe it's just a short story; maybe it's a full-blown novel. For me, I knew I wanted to do this on a grand scale. As daunting as it was, I was going to write this novel, come high water or....well, you know. *ahem* Whenever I get an idea like this, it's incredibly exciting. You feel sure that this is the one-- this is the novel you were meant to write.

Aren't they just adorable?!!

Stage #2 The Honeymoon Stage
    You're happy with your outline, your characters, and all you want to do is just write and write until this amazing story you have inside you can be put into words.

Stage#3 Peacetime
  You're very content with the way things are. You're working steadily on your novel, you have almost constant inspiration for plot details, twists ad turns and clever aspects of the story. You write as much as you can every day, and you just have this wonderful feeling that-- I'm going to finish this, and it's going to be amazing.

Stage #4 Stuck in the Mud
 You're novel has been coming along so well until now-- the story has been playing out nicely, you've written pages and pages of it that you're very pleased with and proud of. The words have just flowed out of you. You were in a good place for a while there, but now you feel....stuck. You're not sure where to take your story next, and you're afraid if you go on one impulse it might take the whole thing in the wrong direction. You press on,  somewhat listlessly, but it's slow going, and you're not nearly as driven by inspiration as you were before.

Stage #5 Boredom/Distraction
      You've been working on this story for months now. You have a pretty good idea of where it's going, and the characters have become like old friends,'re not sure why, you're just not feeling it anymore. Maybe the story has taken a wrong turn and you don't know how to get it back on the track you want. Maybe you're not feeling immersed in the story/era, and you want to go work on something else. You're just bored with it. There are so many other exciting ideas tumbling around in your mind, and you want to start writing something else that you actually have the inspiration for. So you set side your manuscript for a while and let it age, knowing you'll come back to it when the time is right.

Stage #6 The Returning Stage
     You've taken a break from your novel. You've expelled some of your other pressing ideas, those inspirations that simply couldn't wait to be materialized, and now you've come full circle; you're ready to begin where you left off. You're not as on fire as you were when you first began your novel, perhaps, but you return to it with a calmer, more mature steadiness, knowing that however long it takes you, you ARE going to see this through. You WILL and finish this thing. :-)
  These have been my feelings more than once, but mostly this is pertaining to my latest novel, because it's the only one I've ever gotten far enough to speak of with. So what say you, my writer friends? What are your struggles in this battle with the words? Do you ever experience some of the same stages

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Western Week Finale

   Our Western Week has come to a close, my friends! I've had fun with this-- I hope you have too! :-) I was able to review Hidalgo, Broken Trail, Silverado, and Lonesome Dove. Our level of participation was not exactly through the roof, but it's not matter-- I'm so glad some of you joined in! Here are the week's participants:

~ Heidi P at Along the Brandywine reviewed She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
~ Hamlette at Hamlette's Soliloquy wrote My Ten Favorite John Wayne Westerns

  Thank you ladies! And thank you everyone who participated in your own way! :-)

Some Westerns on my To-See List

      I've said this before, and I'll say it again-- my list of westerns to watch is quite extensive, and growing all the time. There are so many that look so awesome and that I've heard good things about! Here are just a few of the westerns on the top of my to-see list:
  (By the way, are you sick of the word 'western' yet?)
The Good Old Boys (1995)

     This is a lesser-known TV western based on a book by Elmer Kelton. It's not very popular, and the only way I found out about it is from reading a magazine article about Elmer Kelton, and the writer of the article expressed how he felt it was one of the best westerns ever made. I love Tommy Lee Jones, and I also love Sissy Spacek (the two of them together in The Coal Miner's Daughter  were legendary), and this movie also has a young Matt Damon. :-) I haven't been able to find it anywhere yet, so I may just have to buy it because I REALLY want to see it.

Riders of the Purple Sage (1996)

   This is based on a book by the well-known western adventure writer Zane Grey. (Fun fact: Zane Grey's first name is actually Pearl.) I don't know much about it, but,'s Ed Harris in a western, people. And Amy Madigan, who acted alongside him in Places in the Heart, is also a great actress. I don't know, it just looks good to me. And don't you like how they made the cover purple? ;-P

  The Homesman (2014)

    I can't believe there's actually a new movie that I want to see! This movie comes out in theatres November 7, though I'll probably just wait until it's on DVD because I'm not very fond of theatres. This is another Tommy Lee Jones movie, also directed by him. It's the story of a woman (Hilary Swank) who recruits an older man she found close to death and saved (Tommy Lee Jones) to help her escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa. It looks pretty intense but I think it sounds like a really good story. The cast also features Meryl Streep and....Hailee Steinfeld! Yay!!! :-)

(I couldn't find a trailer without Spanish subtitles.)

Tombstone (1993) 
   This movie is just a classic, and I've heard from various people that it's really good. It's about the town of Tombstone, Arizona, and the famous gunfight at the OK Corral. It's got a lot of great actors in it and the soundtrack is by one of my favorite movie composers, Bruce Broughton.
It's those long black coats I can't resist. :-)


 The Magnificent Seven (1960)

  This is another classic that I feel like I just HAVE to watch. There are so many legendary western actors in this movie, with a great score composed by Elmer Bernstein. It look like a wild good time!

 Wyatt Earp (1994)
    I don't know much about this movie except for the fact that it's about the OK Corral gunfight, the music is by James Newton Howard, and Kevin Costner plays Wyatt Earp-- which is quite enough to make me want to watch it. ;-P

  (Warning: you'll probably want to skip the part at 2:43.)

 Appaloosa (2008)
     I'm a little skeptical of newer westerns-- most of them just don't have what the good old ones from the 80s have, with a few exceptions like True Grit (2010). But this one has Ed Harris AND Viggo Mortensen AND Renee Zellweger, and it looks like it could be worth something. It's rated R though, so I'll probably have to wait a while before I watch it.

Hatfields and McCoys (2012)
    This is a newer TV series about the famous feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families in the years following the Civil War, starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton. There are also several other familiar actors, and I've heard some of the music both from the soundtrack and at Kevin Costner's concert and I really like it. It looks really intense but very historically detailed.
Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
    I've always been interested in stories about Indians and the frontier, and this is said to be some of the best Native American lore ever put to screen. It was legendary director John Ford's last western and has several well-known actors in it-- including my beloved Jimmy Stewart as Wyatt Earp-- and a host of Native American actors as well. I'm also very keen to read the book that this movie is based on.

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee (2007)
     Yes, I know what I said about modern westerns, but.....when I discovered this one
I just had to add it to my list. It's about the massacre of the Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee Creek, South Dakota, in 1890-something. This event was shown in Hidalgo and so I'm sort of familiar with it. The movie stars Aidan Quinn, who is a favorite in this household.

    Looking back over this list, it would seem I really have a thing for TV movies.

  So those are just a few of them! There are also a lot of other older ones I want to see-- I'm not very immersed in many of the older classics. You know, I've only ever seen John Wayne in one movie? And he was only in about five minutes of it, so even that didn't really count.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Lonesome Dove (1989) Flash Review

  That's right. This is going to be just a quickie review-- not much like the sprawling, long-winded reviews you're probably used to from me. Because normally when I write a review of a movie, I try to think of everything I feel and everything I think and pretty much everything I have to say about it ad then try to organize those thoughts in to some sort of orderly fashion so as to be easily readable by the common man. However, if I did that with Lonesome Dove, we'd be here all night and all day tomorrow, and I don't think any of you are really crazy about hearing me gush about this miniseries. (If you are, then you'll have to just come to my house, because to write it all down would take lots of time that I don't really have right now.) For that reason, I'm going to try to make this simple, concise, and as brief as I possibly can.

    So in summary, what is Lonesome Dove? It's the Pulitzer prize-winning book written by Larry McMurtry in 1980-something and made into a TV miniseries in 1989. It's the story of Augustus McCrae and Woodrow F. Call, two seasoned former Texas rangers who are now proprietors of a sorry little cattle company along the Rio Grande river in South Texas. It's about two old friends having what they expect to be their last adventure, which turns out to be the longest journey of their lives. It's about the people who travel with them, the ones they meet along the way, the stories of other people that get intertwined with their own. It's one of the most epic stories ever written, with some of the most genuine characters, and it's been said by many to be the best western ever made. Because, is.

  I'm a very ardent fan of this miniseries. I quote it all the time. I have a signed poster of Gus and Woodrow hanging above my desk. I have the collectible special edition American Cowboy issue all about the miniseries. I just bought the soundtrack and am listening to it as I sit on the living room floor typing this. (I'm also this close to weeping because it's just so gorgeously emotional.) We even named our goats and donkeys after the main characters. In my opinion it's one of the best stories ever written and some of the best eight hours of television ever produced. If you've read the book, then you know that there are few movies that have ever been cast so flawlessly or delve so deeply into the characters. Every character is so deep and complicated and real, and all the actors bring that to the screen so masterfully, making them unforgettable.


Robert Duvall as Captain Augustus McCrae

Tommy Lee Jones as Captain Woodrow F Call

Diane Lane as Lorena Wood (also known as Lorie Darlin')

Ricky Schroder as Newt Dobbs

Anjelica Huston as Clara Allen

D.B. Sweeny as Dish Bogget (I have a soft spot for Dish :-))

Robert Urich as Jake Spoon

Timothy Scott as Pea-Eye Parker

Danny Glover as Josh Deets

  There really is nothing like Lonesome Dove. It's a landmark film, an American epic. It's hilarious, it's tragic, it's powerful. It ties as my favorite western and is one of my favorite movies too. I hardly know where to begin to describe all my favorite parts, all the things I love about it, how incredibly epic the story is. It's the kind of movie that when you watch it, you feel like you're on a journey somewhere. You feel like you're right there with the characters, experiencing what they're experiencing, taking the same risks they are, and when you finish it you feel like you've just had an adventure you'll always remember.

  The musical score of this movie is a genuine masterpiece. It's just as epic and inspiring as the film itself, easily the most beautiful music I've ever heard. It's the kind of music that you can listen to and it takes you right into the story. I'm crying just listening to it. :-)

This picture is for you, Naomi. The dresses. :-)

  There are a lot of mature themes and intense scenarios in Lonesome Dove, so it really isn't a movie for children. One of the main characters is a prostitute, so that's a big issue and is prominent throughout the whole thing. There's quite a bit of language, but nothing really horrible. There's also quite a bit of violence, but if you're used to westerns it's nothing. I'd rate it PG-13 for mature themes and language. It's a western about men-- dirty, coarse cowboys-- so there's things some people might find offensive, but I personally don't think it spoils the fact that this is a wonderful story, and you can look past the bad to see the good.


"It ain't dying I'm talking about. It's living."
~Gus McCrae

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