Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Remember the Alamo!"

   I'm always game for a good historical drama. I remember seeing the trailer for The Alamo several times on Hidalgo and being mildly interested. It wasn't really high up on my list of movies to watch, but the other day when I was browsing the library looking for a movie to watch that night while my mom and sister were gone, my eyes happened to land on this one. I picked it up, looked at it for about five seconds, saw that Jason Patric played Jim Bowie, and thought, that's it. You're coming with me.

   Well, turns out I was even more impressed with this movie than I'd even expected to be. It's got a definite somber tone to it, and there's not much of anything lighthearted. For the most part it's very intense, with lots of fighting scenes, but there's soooooo much good history in there and it's presented in a very accurate picture, with just the right amount of dramatization to make the story alive and real. It drew me in from the beginning, and by the end it'd definitely passed the 'cry test'. :-D

   The movie starts really quiet, deathly quiet, as the camera takes in the view of the men who fell at the battle of the Alamo. There's no music or anything, and then the words appear on the black screen: THE ALAMO. It's pretty powerful. If you'll pardon the expression, I almost died.

   The story revolves around the central figures of Sam Houston (Dennis Quaid), Davy Crockett (Billy Bob Thornton), Jim Bowie (Jason Patric), and William Barrett Travis (Patrick Wilson), leading up to and during the battle of the Alamo during the Mexican war.

    I was HUGELY impressed with Patrick Wilson as Col. Travis. When he first appeared, I immediately thought, I know that guy. Who is that guy. WHO ARE YOU. It bothered me tremendously for a few minutes, but then I figured out that I know him as Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera. It was really nice to see him with flattering hair and playing a role I could take seriously, haha. Colonel Travis is young, a little listless and not sure at first what he's fighting for, but he becomes an able leader and a very honorable man. Right before the big battle happened, Travis gave a speech to the men at the fort. That has got to be one of the best movie speeches I've ever seen. For five seconds, I was actually there in the crowd hearing his words, knowing I was perhaps about to die. Totally blew me away.

    Jason Patric, as I said, was mainly the reason for my wanting to watch this movie in the first place. A while back I saw him in a movie called Geronimo, and I was immediately won over. I'm continually rendered speechless by his acting abilities. Seriously, this guy is amazing. His portrayal of Jim Bowie was legendary. Not a very charismatic character, Jim Bowie is bitter and wild-tempered and dying of consumption. The scenes with Travis and Bowie were my favorites, because the actors had such a mesmerizing communication with each other and their characters had such a rocky relationship. Bowie at first doesn't take Travis seriously, and there's a constant tension between them. Finally, though, they come to respect each other, and trust me when I say it's quite something to behold.

   I must say, I find Jason Patric extremely easy on the eyes. :-D And his accent is enough to make me swoon any day of the week, just sayin'.

    Speaking of being blown away, that's what Billy Bob Thornton did. He. Blew. Me. Away. Oh my goodness. There's not much I can say, except that this fella ought to have gotten some sort of award for playing Davy Crockett. He completely embodied the character, the time period, the struggle, everything that was represented in the movie. Really, he was superb. And his accent is so awesome, just listening to him talk is pure joy. His hairstyle was super unattractive, but that doesn't really matter because he was just so cool. Okay, I'd better shut up.

    Oh, but I can't shut up yet, because I haven't even mentioned the scene where he plays the fiddle with the Mexican military band!!!! This has got to be one of the best scenes in movie history. Something about the pink sky, the haunting, ironic beauty of the military march, the look on Davy Crockett's face, and when the Mexican soldier whispers to his comrade, "Crockett." Ohhhhhmygoodness. It's really something.

    (Even though I'm putting this video in here, I recommend not watching it if you haven't seen the movie, just because you can't get the full scope of the moment otherwise. But I can't stop you. ;-P)
Don't ask me why he's wearing a tricorn hat. Dennis Quaid does his own thing.

    Dennis Quaid is given most of the publicity in the movie for being Sam Houston, but really he makes himself pretty scarce throughout the better part of the movie. He wasn't actually at the Alamo when it was attacked, so I always forget he really had anything to do with it. He played his part well, and I did get shivers when he was rallying his troops and shouted, "Remember the Alamo!" But up against Billy Bob Thornton and Jason Patric....sorry, Dennis Quaid. Maybe you'll get the Academy Award next year. Keep trying.

    The scenery was beautiful, huge, and epic. The costumes were awesome. The music was rapturous.....yeah, I don't really have anything negative to say about this movie. :-) Watching a well-made historical epic always gives me a deep-down timeless, wholesome feeling inside, and that's what this is. If you like historical dramas, you definitely need to watch this. (Or if you're a Jason Patric fan...*ahem*, enough of that, Emma.) It has all the components of a good movie, but it's also got that ring of historical truth to it, that shivery sensation of actually being there, seeing the events unfold before your eyes. 

  Long story short, it's a spectacular film and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Glimpses of Life

    Whenever I go to write a post, there's always that awkward moment of staring at the screen, watching the cursor blink, that feeling of...oh, what do I even want to write? How to say what I want to say? A very hard job, breathing my feelings to life through words. But it's one that I love, so I reckon I'll keep at it.

    Truth is, I miss blogging about my silly, small, insignificant, crazy everyday life. I realized I haven't let you in on the adventure for quite a while (not that you would have any reason to care, but y'know...) For some reason, it gives me a sense of fullness, of deep-down joy to share my thoughts and fancies, the fleeting ones and the ones that take root deep down in my soul, with all of you. It's like unloading all the feelings that well up within me, examining them, admiring them, letting them air out in the open. So, dear reader, I give you a small glimpse of Life.

    I've spent most of April in a dress and mud boots, trudging around outside picking violets, sitting on fallen trees writing stories, sprawled out on the bridge reading crazy-good books that give me tingles all the way to my fingertips. Spring always gives me that renewed sense of freedom, making me feel like I can do whatever I want. (Of course, school still stands in the way, but there are ways of getting around it....) I admit, I'm a very independent-minded, I'll-do-what-I-want type of person. I know I won't be able to enjoy that luxury when I'm officially an adult, so I'm doing my best to live in the moment. :-D Really, these days are wonderful. Basically all I require to be happy is a warm sunny spring day, a good book, a pen and paper, some flowers, and a comfortable place to sit. Oh, and a song to sing.

   Sometimes it seems like I grew up while I wasn't looking. (I don't know where I was-- probably watching Downton Abbey. It happens.) Well, at any rate, I appear to be steadily getting older; and with that comes new and exciting adventures! One of them is that I CAN NOW DRIVE A CAR. Whaaaaat!!!!!! Yes, I'm learning to drive! It's terribly terrifying. ;-P But I'm told that'll pass, and before I know it it'll be second-nature. (I'm not seeing it yet, but then I've just started.)

    I'll always remember the night I had my first driving lesson. My super-awesome cousin was kind enough to lend me his car, and to point out which pedal was the gas and which was the break. (I started with a completely blank canvas, you see.) :-D I could not stop giggling, intoxicated with the thrill of driving, the novelty, the freedom.

   And no, I haven't done anything really stupid yet. Well, I did almost hit a tree, but I'd hardly say that counts. I was only within a few inches of it.

     As for something else exciting....(this requires dramatic introduction)....The time has come for me to tackle Lonesome Dove! *cue fangirling noises* I'd started it last spring, but after almost 200 pages I decided I wasn't really ready for it. (I love the book, but I'm not about to defend all the language and other icky-ness thrown in there.) But just last week, the urge hit me, and I knew it was time. I'm almost half done with it now. And people: it's so good. It's everything everyone claims it to be. It's an American epic, a classic western, a sprawling story of quirky people, good and evil, rough frontier life, complex human personalities. It's gold. Read it.

   Do you ever just want to be normal? Do fun things, have friends, go see a Nicholas Sparks movie in the theater just because Clint Eastwood's son is in it? Sometimes I think how lovely it might be to just take a break from being me. It gets exhausting from time to time, believe it or not. I feel like I would love to just break free for a while and try being 'normal' for a change, not invest myself so much in little things, stop being scared of big things, be more interesting, prettier, funnier.'s just a dream. There ain't nothing I can do about it. And you know, after I've dreamed my little dream, I realize just how much I like being 'me' anyway. I don't really want to give up any of that. Sure, I might have a secret wish of going to see Scott Eastwood in a movie, but when I really search my heart, normal is about the last place I want to be. God gave me this crazy spirit for a reason-- so I would use it to please Him. That in itself is a full-time job. :-)

A few of my favorite things in April....

~ The 1776 soundtrack

~ Wyatt Earp (review coming...eventually...) ;-D

~ mud boots

~ letters from dear friends, near and far....there's basically nothing better.

~ straw hats with pink ribbons

~ violets

~ Carry On, Mr. Bowditch-- such a good little book! Especially if you're interested in ships and maritime history and *ahem* stuff like that *ahem*....what are you looking at?

~ brownies. I made some the other day, and I didn't blow up anything. One must count one's blessings.

~ little perfume bottles that spill all over me when I try to use them but look pretty and antiquated on my dresser

~ a little black leather notebook, my new carry-everywhere companion. It needs a name, don't you think? I'm still musing on it...

This post of Michaela's, which is awesome! Go read it!

~ discovering new blogs and kindred spirits. I think I followed, like, five new blogs this month.

~ getting to know some swell girls better!

~ watching the Hornblower movies again. (this has got to be the, what, eighth or ninth time around? Are we crazy? Wait, no, don't answer that.) Short version, they're still just as good when you know every line, and I am still irreversibly in love with Archie Kennedy.

~ short, sweet little books that only take a day to read. In my book, those are the best. :-)

~ The Lincoln movie soundtrack....ohmysoul, this music just breathes Civil War. In a fit of madness, I ordered the piano score and I'm just sitting biting my nails until it gets here.

~ crazy, impromptu bike rides that turn out to be horrendous misadventures but at the same time ridiculous fun!

~ fits of fangirling delight with my sister Sadie, making up silly stories in bed, trying to mimic Hornblower characters' accents, planning our double wedding when she marries Horatio and I marry Archie....

~ those sweet, breezy moments of sunshine, birdsong, and stillness; sitting on the deck with a book or a pen, watching the creek flow, letting your hair get all tangled in the wind because it's too glorious a day to care what you might happen to look like.

     No, I don't want to be normal. Yes, I want to learn to do new things: I want to be confident, vivacious, and never afraid to laugh at things that are actually funny. I can melt at the sound of John Cullum's voice if I feel like it. I'll wear my favorite shirt day after day, I'll let the wind transform my hair into a bird's nest, I'll hang my head out the window of the car and sing Broadway songs as loudly as I can. I'll keep fawning over my fictional characters. I can be silly once in a while; I'm a girl, after all, and girls can do that. ;-D I want to hold tight to the One who made me who I am, but more importantly, Who keeps me His. Because really, that's all I want to be.

  Our dreams are firsthand creations, rather than residues of waking life. We have the capacity for infinite creativity; at least while dreaming, we partake of the power of the Spirit, the infinite Godhead that creates the cosmos.

~Jackie Gleason

Friday, April 17, 2015

Life-Ruiners// 7 Fictional Men Who Make Me Swoon

      I saw this idea on Kara's blog, and it looked like too much fun to resist! After all, I'm quite the swooning type, and I love to dwell on fictional characters; therefore, what could be more fun? :-D So here's a list of seven fictional fellers who have metaphorically ruined my life with their swoonworthy ways. These are the men that make me stay up late at night with a flashlight under the covers, holding my breath and just hanging on their every word. They're the ones who give me overblown dreams of romance, high ideals for men in general, and just a shivery-wonderful feeling inside. I've also added a few from movies and shows, too, simply because I can. They were in books first, after all. ;-P

     {Oh, and just so we're clear-- my sister looked at this list and said, "where's Archie?" These aren't necessarily my favorite fictional men, but they are the ones who make my slightly ridiculous fangirly heart beat twice as fast as it's supposed to. As to Archie, he is in a class all his own.}

#1 Cabot Murray {Yankee Stranger}~ I've probably mentioned once or twice or ten times just how much I adore this series. Eden meets Cabot one rainy day when they both seek refuge from the thunderstorm in a post office, and it didn't take long for me to fall just as head-over-heels in love with him as Eden did. He's gallant, dashing, a bit brash, but very determined to hold to his strong convictions of what he believes is right. And one more thing-- he's absolutely wonderful. :-)

#2 James McGrath {Fire By Night}~ He's always reminded me a bit of Mr. Rochester-- moody, troubled, misunderstood. (I have a weakness for moody and misunderstood men.) But as you chip away at his crude exterior, you start to realize what a good man he is beneath it all.

#3 Luke Ansell {Celia Garth}~ Oh my soul! Let's see if I can even be coherent. ;-D Luke is....he' do I describe him? Imagine Rhett Butler, only with principles and a firm belief in a worthy cause that he'll give his very life for. Then add in a slightly naive but iron-willed girl whom he loves passionately, a spy ring, a man called 'The Swamp Fox', a secret room under a bakery, and....I'm sorry, you've lost me.

#4 Eugene Wrayburn {Our Mutual Friend}~ Alright, I haven't read the book, so this is based entirely on Paul McGann's portrayal of the character. But OH MY. That's about all I can say.

#5 Tom Branson {Downton Abbey}~ Something about Branson is absolutely irresistible. No, make that everything about him. His fiery Irish temper, his brogue, his rugged features, the way he rolls up his shirtsleeves when he's working on the Crawley's car...but I'm getting carried away. Let's just simply say I'm not completely immune to the shirtsleeves being rolled up. ;-D

#6 George Hazard {North and South}~ George is such a loyal, dependable, stalwart, honest, true-blue guy. I could fill a whole post with his merits. (Hey, there's a great idea!) He's a solid friend, a loving husband, an able leader, and I'm rather half in love with him. :-)

I'm a really terrible person.

#7 Tristan Ludlow {Legends of the Fall}~ Should I put him on the list? Should I? Well, I did. ;-D Tristan is definitely a piece of work-- that is, he has lots of issues, and basically everything he tries goes badly for him through some unfair twist of events. But...there's just something about him that draws me in. He's another of those broody, misunderstood types. He's terribly wild (he is part grizzly bear, after all-- HAHA) and not someone to take example from, but....well, I couldn't very well resist mentioning him. Thank you for giving me my little moment, now I'm content. You can go on with your life. ;-D

Can you relate?
Who are some of your favorite fictional men?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Society of Literary Ladies// Olivia

       Howdy folks! Time for the next installation of our Literary Ladies Interviews! I've had the pleasure of getting to know Olivia these past months from her blog, Meanwhile, In Rivendell..., and have been very blessed to find a kindred spirit in her! She's lots of fun and her blog is a delight to read. She also likes westerns, Robert Duvall, and musicals, so of course we had to become friends. :-) I'm pleased to introduce her to y'all, and do take a look at her blog too!

  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 April.

’Ello, all!  Thank you sooo much for having me, Emma!  It’s such an honor to participate:)

My name is Olivia, but you can also call me Liv, Livvy, Lulu, I’ve heard it all;)

I am a girl who doesn’t really want to grow up; that’s about all I’d like to say of my age, but you’ll probably figure it out before too long *ahem*

Three of my biggest passions…I’m going to lump stories (movies, books, books on audio, etc.) into one category, because they are a HUGE passion of mine.  Another one is music (yes, yes, I know I sound clich├ęd, but hey, there’s a reason books/movies and music are passions for so many).  Music is amazing, the end.  A third passion…I also enjoy crocheting, sewing occasionally, writing poetry, and rearranging/organizing my room.  Take your pick;)  Oh, and cherry trees!  I dearly love cherry trees…

…Which ties into the next question.  One thing I love about April?  Spring.  More specifically, the cherry tree blooming, flowers, grass, and that unbelievably amazing scent that permeates the air in the spring.

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

Home is located in a beautiful valley in a location that I will not reveal, muhahaha.

What is your current situation academically? (For example, what grade are you in, are you homeschooled, our of school, go to public school, or take lessons from an elderly spinster aunt.)

I am homeschooled with a co-op, about to finish my sophomore year of high school.

How would you describe your writing style as?

Assuming we’re not talking school writing, I guess it would depend on whether I’m writing fiction (which I don’t do very often, anymore *sniffle*) or poetry.  When I write fiction, I supposed relaxed would be the best word, when I write poetry, rather sentimental.

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

There are several…I suppose C. S. Lewis and Louisa May Alcott, to name two.

Favorite book series?

Hmm…I don’t read that many series, I must say.  But for the sake of the question, the Chronicles of Narnia series.

Favorite childhood book?

I loved the Dear America and Royal Diaries series, and Girls of Many Lands, One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (the original one) and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

 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?

*flails*  Oh, the PAIN!  Okay, C. S. Lewis.  For Narnia and for Aslan! , yes, but more for Mere Christianity, Till We Have Faces, etc.

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?

Well, do you mean my favorite-EVER book?  Because no.  I refuse;)  One of my favorite books, Peter Pan (yes, I love juvenile fiction, don’t judge), has of course been made into several movie versions...and the two that I’ve seen – the animated Disney classic and the live-action remake from 2003 – frankly don’t cut it in my opinion.  There are, of course, things I love from the movies, but overall the book is just better, to me.

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

Molly Gibson.  We’re both fairly quiet in company, rather thoughtful, and content in our own little corners of the world;)

 Could you tell us some of your favorite names of characters you’ve created?

’Hem, well, I haven’t really created that many original names.  I do like to look up unusual names for characters, but most of them are, in fact, already names.  Actually, the only one I can really remember inventing is ‘Calaman’ (it’s a guy name), and I’m not overly excited about that one, so…yup.

Where is your favorite place to read? What about writing?

For reading, I love to snuggle – into my saucer chair, a couch, or another stuffed chair.  I actually don’t really prefer to read in bed (gasp!), but occasionally I will.  For writing, I have to be sitting – for some reason, I can’t write reclining.  Again, my saucer chair or the chair in front of the computer, hee;)

 Do you normally write first drafts on a computer, or do you prefer old-fashioned pen and paper?

I write first drafts for papers and fiction on the computer, but I write poetry by hand:D

 Be honest: what is your handwriting like?

I’ve been told it’s good, but I’m not sure.  It’s not (usually) sloppy, but it’s not Edwardian calligraphy, either, ha.

 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.)

I’m a bit of a slow reader, actually:-/  It depends on how much else is going on at the moment, but I usually take my sweet time with books…I’d better not say, actually :-P

 What’s your record time for finishing a book?

I don’t think I’ve ever actually tried to read a book in, say two hours, but I don’t think I could (at least, not if it was the usual-sized book that I read).  Maybe a day?  Two days?  I’m really not sure.

 Name five of the best books you’ve ever read that you recommend to other fellow bluestockings.

Sheesh…this is harder than it looks!  Here are five random ones that have made deep impressions:

Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Pearl Maiden by H. Rider Haggard
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Tell about the things you think are most important in a good novel.

Writing style is what makes it or breaks it for me.  The story might be great, but if the writing isn’t “quite the thing,” I won’t enjoy it.  Of course, this is partially just personal taste over what constitutes a writing style that I’ll enjoy…which is why I must admit that I don’t care for Jane Austen’s style of writing.  Except in Pride and Prejudice…that I liked;)  A novel, to be really great, has to have little “gems” of prose that express an idea or truth in a truly powerful way.  It could be simple or elaborate, but I need some great one-liners in a book.  Also, characters that you can stomach with equanimity are nice – which is something certain authors needed to know *cough cough Martha Finley cough*.

 About what age did you start writing stories? Do you still have your early works?

When I was younger, I wrote little short stories a lot (now, like I said, I tend more towards poetry).  I think I still have a few of them.  I enjoyed writing stories that took place in magical/mythical worlds, such as mermaid or fairy tales;)

Are you currently working on a novel/story/project?

I’m attempting to buckle down more seriously and polish up my poetry efforts, as well as make more thereof.  There are also a few story ideas swimming around the ol’ noggin, and hopefully, someday, I’ll find the time/motivation to develop them.


Thank you, Olivia! :-)

Monday, April 13, 2015

a Deliciously Random Tag!

    Hello friends! :-) My adorably fun and quirky best friend Naomi created this fun little tag, and now it's my turn to fill it out! Thank you, Naomi dear! You make the blogging world such a fun place. :-)

The rules for the tag are:
~ Paste the button onto your blog post.
~ Leave a new list of questions (or just pass on the question list you answered) and tag a few people of your random choice (and say why you tagged them, if you have time!) (Be original and nonsensical in your question-creativity - make the blogging world a cheerful place :-) And be disastrously random.)
Now for the fun...
~Write down three facts about you - one of them is WRONG. Let your commenters guess in the comments which one is wrong (and tell them in the comments after a while)
~Answer the questions of the person who tagged you - make it all super random and interesting :-D

My three facts (one of them is wrong and you have to guess which one in the comments. :-))

#1 I drove a car for the first time three days ago.
#2 I've never read a whole book by Jane Austen.
#3 I just went to see The Longest Ride in the theater.

Are there flowers in your bedroom?

    Not at the moment, there aren't, but you can be sure as soon as there are more flowers in bloom they'll be everywhere. I am like Anne Shirley in that respect; I love to bring the outdoors indoors. And I love waking up next to a bowl of tiny pale violets. :-)

Who was your first - really first - (fictional) crush?

     First ever? Joe Hardy from the Hardy Boys. Yup. I think I was about nine when we first started listening to the books on tape, and then I read a couple of them and was convinced I had fallen in love. True story. (By the way, in my mind, Joe Hardy looks like John Schneider. Someone should have thought of that before John Schneider got too old to play him!)

What is, in your opinion, the prettiest Little House Book cover?

   I have to agree with Naomi, the over of These Happy Golden Years is my favorite. I have yet to read the book, but I don't have any doubt I'll love it. :-) Because really, who reads the Little House books and DOESN'T love them???

On pictures, do you smile with your teeth or without?

     Sometimes I smile with my teeth, sometimes I don't. It depends on my mood, who I'm with, what kind of picture it is, what I'm thinking, if I'm even paying attention to what's going on....yeah. But I do smile. :-)

In 'Return to Cranford' Miss Matty gets a turban. What do you think of her in a turban?

    I think it's awfully cute that she finally gets her turban of 'sea green silk' just like she's always wanted! (Well, of course, everything about Miss Matty is adorable.) :-) It looks sweet on her, though I will say it's a tiny bit strange. But hey, Miss Matty, if you're feeling all that, you just go for it.

Did you get fooled this year on April the 1st?

     I got fooled on March 31st, actually, by Naomi's Baby Bates joke on our Downton Abbey Fan Blog. With the time difference, it wasn't quite April 1st for me. But yes, I was duped. Other than that, no one tried anything with me. ;-P

Do you think it's rude when girls re-do their whole hairstyle in public?

    I'd say it depends on the setting, and the scope of the hairstyle said girl is attempting to re-do. If there's, say, some girl sitting in front of me at a concert or a very interesting historical reenactment who's trying to re-create an elaborate up-do, yes, I'd say that's most definitely distracting. But if your'e just somewhere with friends and you want to fix your ponytail, go ahead. :-)

Keira in 'The Duchess'. Some of the most fabulous costumes in this film hardly got shown at all.
See, something like this would totally be distracting.

What's your least favourite song in 'The Sound of Music?'

    Actually I haven't seen the movie in eons, so I don't remember all the songs enough to really have a least favorite. Maybe 'I Have Confidence'-- there are just so many others I like more. My favorites are 'I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen' and 'Something Good.'

Blog post: I missed the only year of my life when I could sing, "I am sixteen going on seventeen."

Do you chew your inside cheeks when you're thinking?

   I don't, actually. Nor do I chew on the end of my pencil. I don't really chew on anything unless I'm of a mind to eat it. When I'm thinking hard on something, I tend to gaze off into the wild blue yonder, out a window if there's one handy. It helps.

Your how-many-ienth post is this?

  This is my 220th post! Wow! I'm an old-timer.

Does anyone share my obsession for bandboxes?
What's your favourite Dickens movie?

    Ehhhh.....if I absolutely HAD to chose, it'd be Little Dorrit. Everything about it is amazing; the intricate plot, the characters, the acting. Oh my goodness, it's just SO GOOD. I also reeeaaaally really love Our Mutual Friend (um, EUGENE WRAYBURN) and Nicholas Nickleby (the 2002 version, you know, that one everyone else doesn't like ;-P) and Martin Chuzzlewit. Martin Chuzzlewit is. absolutely. hilarious. Mr. Pecksniff is the most disgustingly comical character Mr. Dickens ever wrote. Everything he says is so creepy, and so quotable! "Communing with nature, are we, Miss Graham?" Ewwww!

Eugene Wrayburn....I'm having serious heart problems.

What should you be doing right now?

    Well, I have a book to write. :-) Several, in fact. And the sun is shining and the birds are singing, so my natural instinct is to run outside and twirl around.

Do it. ;-)

    Thank you, ma'am, I believe I will.


    Thank you, m'dear Naomi! Randomness can be such jolly fun, when it's done properly. :-) So now it's my turn to tag some people! I hereby pass on this tag to...

Eowyn (because she's such a lovely girl)
Hamlette (because she's just so awesome, not to mention an expert authority on all things western)
Jess (because she's so much fun)
Sadie (because she's my sister and won't feel like she has to do it, haha)
Kara (because she's so cute and interesting)
Kelly-Anne (because she's such a sweetheart)

And here are my questions!

What was the last blog you visited?
What is one of your favorite movie soundtracks to listen to?
What's the absolute weirdest movie you've ever seen?
What are the first flowers to bloom in the spring where you live?
What is the longest book you've ever read?
Are you on Goodreads?
Have you ever been in a musical production before?
Is your mailbox on the same side of the street as your house, or do you have to cross the street to get to it?
Do you subscribe to any magazines?
Would you ever consider dying your hair?
Is there a particular actress you think you look like?
Do you decorate your bedroom with pictures of period dramas?
Oh boy, now you've got me in a mood.... ;-P

Friday, April 10, 2015

On Shifting Sand// Review

Allison Pittman

   Long before anyone would christen it "The Dust Bowl," Nola Merrill senses the destruction. She's been drying up bit by bit since the day her mother died, leaving her to be raised by a father who withholds his affection the way God keeps a grip on the Oklahoma rain. A hasty marriage to Russ, a young preacher, didn't bring the escape she desired. Now, twelve years later with two children to raise, new seeds of dissatisfaction take root.When Jim, a mysterious drifter and long-lost friend from her husband's past, takes refuge in their home, Nola slowly springs to life under his attentions until a single, reckless encounter brings her to commit the ultimate betrayal of her marriage. For months Nola withers in the wake of the sin she so desperately tries to bury. Guilt and shame consume her physically and spiritually, until an opportunity arises that will bring the family far from the drought and dust of Oklahoma. Or so she thinks. As the storms follow, she is consumed with the burden of her sin and confesses all, hoping to find Russ's love strong enough to stand the test.

    It isn't often that I can't decide what to say about a book. I'm still not sure what I think of this one. It's a good story,  it's quite well-written, and yet-- I just didn't like it. Most of that, I know, is because it's written in the dreaded present-tense, which I really dislike reading. It often makes me confused, and it annoys me so much that it's just plain distracting. I know I would have gotten much more from this book if it hadn't been written this way.

   Another reason why I didn't particularly enjoy it was the dark subject matter. It's not a happy story at all. I often love stories that deal with heavy issues, hard times, wrong choices, and end in redemption. This one, however, just didn't grab me. As I said before, the writing bothered me immensely, and wasn't enough to attach me to the characters and pull me into the story.

   If you can get past the weird way it's presented, I'm sure it is a powerful book.So while it didn't do anything special for me, I definitely don't discourage others from reading it.

 My rating: 5/10

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

(By the way, if you follow my book blog as well, I'm sorry for the review coming up two times on your dash-- I still have to review books for publishing companies here, so that's why.) :-)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Violets, plot holes, and tea with strange floating particles// Awkward and Awesome {3}


~ When you walk into a movie theater and there's a trailer playing, you don't really pay attention until you suddenly hear the buzz of George Clooney's voice....and then you shriek. Thankfully it wasn't very loud!

~ When you can't find a good seat in the movie theater and end up having to sit in the second row. This is coming from the girl who gets motion sickness watching a big screen from the back row. Aaahhhhh.

~When you realize that you've started waaaayyyyy too many subplots in your novel, and now you have no idea what to do with this mess you've created. Like, where did all these people come from and what am I supposed to do with them?

~ Invading your sister's Goodreads account and going crazy adding lots and lots of books. So if you wondered...all that Civil War stuff was me. ;-P

~ Reading a really funny book and laughing so hard, you spill the mysterious tea your sister made for you all over your shirt.

~ Nearly gluing your fingers together with hot glue. That hurts, ladies. Do not try it.

~ When you're listening to a playlist on Youtube and every video starts out with an advertisement. It's the height of annoying.

~ When you're driving by a house, you see a life-size cardboard cutout in the window and you jump in your seat because for a moment you thought it was a real live person staring at you.

~ Waiting and WAITING for your Copperhead soundtrack to come in the mail....


~ Watching a movie from your childhood for the first time in literally eons, and being transported back to a sweet distant time when you were a little girl....

~ Dancing around outside WITHOUT A JACKET OR TIGHTS. Pure bliss!

~ Swooning over Hornblower gifs on Pinterest.

~ Finding the entire Copperhead Soundtrack on Youtube! This calls for a celebration!!!! You really have to look for it, but it's there.

~ Listening to the 1776 movie soundtrack while doing schoolwork. This isn't distracting at all! "Sit down, John! Sit down, John..."

~ Eating brownies because you're the only one home and you can. ;-P If you leave Emma alone in a house full of brownies, you'll come home to find a house full of...crumbs. It takes several brownies and the Anne of Green Gables soundtrack to get Emma through a math lesson.

~ Listening to the Anne of Green Gables soundtrack over and over again while doing school, writing, working on random projects....I just want it to be the soundtrack of my life. :-) That music is the closest thing to heaven you're bound to hear on earth.

~ Making beautiful collages of pictures for both the novels you're currently trying to get written. This was SO much fun, and I'm so tickled with how they turned out!


Are they not gorgeous?! Are you not impressed?! I'm so pleased with myself, it's really quite ridiculous. ;-P I've put them on the wall above my desk, where I can look at them and be inspired. I can't seem to stop gazing at all the pictures of Archie.

~ There are TWO violets in bloom in the woods! I cannot even tell you how delighted I am!!! (But you can probably imagine.) :-)

~ Reminiscing with your sister about past trips to Williamsburg, all the fun things we did, all the people we saw, the beautiful memories we made....

~ Inducting new stuffed animals into your society late at night in your sister's bed, and making up the life stories of said stuffed animals. Oh my goodness, we laughed SO hard. We have a very prominent community of stuffed animals in this house. Oh, yes. :-)

~ Getting inspired to re-arrange your bookshelf in a new way. I'd give y'all a picture if I had one, but I don't. It looks very charming, though!

~ Listening to Les Mis again after literally months of withdrawal and realizing again how utterly amazing it is. I fell in love all over again. :-)


Just a little of what's been unfolding in my little valley lately! What's up with all y'all?

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Christ is Risen!

     "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  ~ Romans 5:8

I hope you all have a very blessed and happy Easter!

Friday, April 3, 2015

A girl needs a hero

    April 3rd is Jamie Bamber's birthday. Which makes it not exactly Archie Kennedy's birthday, but close enough. At any rate, I've sort of dubbed it "Archie Kennedy Day." (Because we needed one, right? ;-P)

    You've probably heard me gush about Archie to some extent. I do rather a lot. Archie Kennedy is my first and, really, only love from all of literature, or cinema, or anything. I love his vulnerability, his whimsical side, his caring nature, and how he's willing to lay down his life for his friends. I also love his blue eyes. :-)

   Happy birthday, Archie.

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