Thursday, September 24, 2015

5 Male Characters Tag I actually wasn't tagged with this one. But I saw it, the wheels in my head began turning, and I wanted to do it myself. So here I am. :-)

1.) List 5 of you favorite male characters (book or screen)

2.) Tagging other people is optional

3.) If you are tagged link back to the person that tagged you

4.) Link back to Revealed in Time

Choose one from each category:

1.) Hero

2.) Villain

3.) Anti-hero

4.) Best book-to-screen adaption

5.) Best character perception 

William Wilberforce in Amazing Grace

     "That winter, we should have won. With the evidence we'd collected, by natural justice we should have won."

     *long dramatic sigh* Where to begin with this man? What to even say? He's amazing. He literally gave his all for a cause he wholeheartedly believed in, and that's one of the things I admire most in any character. He worked tirelessly to abolish the slave trade, and then he was humble when he succeeded. He was an ordinary man who said yes to the call of his extraordinary God, and he let his whole life be turned upside down for that greater good. (Plus....he's played by my favorite actor. Which may or may not have anything to do with why I love him so much. :-D) Seriously, though, Ioan Gruffudd hit the nail on the head with William Wilberforce. This has got to be one of the most inspirational movies ever made, and it'll always be among my favorites.

Elkanah Bent in North and South

"I love to have fun."


     There are some villains I like because I understand them, or I feel sorry for them. Some of them I'm even fond of. Then there are the ones I can't stand, don't even want to think about, because they're just so horrible. Beyond both those categories, there are the scant few who are just so hilariously awful I don't know whether to laugh at them, shout at them, or just turn away so I don't even have to look at them. Elkanah Bent is such a one. I can't STAND him, and yet, he's so much fun! He's bossy and ridiculously conceited. He's a bully, a swindler, a womanizer, a child-kidnapper, and a psychotic murderer. The guy is horrible, and he CRACKS ME UP. "I have extraordinary leadership abilities!" "You are killing Bonaparte!" "Don't you ever laugh at me. I will kill you if you laugh at me." Bent leaves you no choice but to laugh.
     Short story? I hate Bent. Would North and South be half as entertaining without him? Absolutely not.

Eugene Wrayburn in Our Mutual Friend

Jennie Wren: "If you're good, you can come in."
Eugene Wrayburn: "I am not good, but I will come in."

     Is Eugene an anti-hero? I think so. You could say he's also the hero of the story, but he's definitely not your average shining white knight. He's got some issues. He stalks a guy all over London every night, for goodness' sake. Eugene is selfish, lazy, and lacks motivation...until Lizzy. Lizzy is what saves him from himself. She gives him something to care about, and consequently causes him to realize how much he has to give of himself. I love characters like that, and if they're played by Paul McGann,'ve sold me.

Best book-to-screen adaptation
Matt Damon as Mr. LaBeouf (who doesn't have a first name) in True Grit

Laboeuf: "Yes, that is the way. Make me out foolish in this girl's eyes."
Rooster: "I think she has got you pretty well figured."

     Usually whenever I talk about True Grit -- which I do a lot -- I talk about Mattie Ross and Rooster more than I do LaBeouf. But that's not because LaBeouf isn't awesome too. Mr. Labeouf is the epitome of awesome. He's cocky, macho-man, how-you-like-me-now awesome. And beneath his cockiness he's devoted to his duty as a Texas Ranger. He'll do what he has to in order to get the job done. He can shoot a man off a horse at 500 yards. He'll even pull you out of a snake pit, if he's not too beat up. And Matt Damon covers every inch of the Labeouf of the novel, in my opinion. 

     (Note: In my review of this movie, which was written several years ago, I mentioned that I didn't think Matt Damon is handsome. Apparently I was a delusional child. I have since woken up.) ;-D

Best character perception
Robert Urich as Jake Spoon in Lonesome Dove

"I didn't see no line, Gus. I was just tryin' to get across the territory without bein' scalped."

      You all knew I couldn't get through this post without sticking in someone from Lonesome Dove. ;-P I really could have picked any of the characters to fit this description, but I chose Jake. Why? Because Jake is, regardless of his superficial facade, a deep character. The fact that he's so shallow is what makes him so complex. (Haha, yeah, right. What sense does THAT make?) No, really -- Jake may be "too leaky a vessel for anyone to put much hope in", but he's got his own real troubles and his own hopes. In his heart -- flawed though it is -- he doesn't want any trouble. He doesn't try to hurt people; he just lets it happen. He just wants to get through the territory without getting scalped. Robert Urich brilliantly portrayed him as the easy-going but easily dissuaded wanderer he was.

     Alright, I've had my fun! You can all go back to whatever you were doing now. :-)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Do you ever wish...

     ...that your life could just stay the same? That you'd never have to grow up and take charge? I do.

     I wish life was just golden cornfields and fall sunshowers. I wish I could spend my days romping around in mud boots and reading shivery-good books for as long as I want to. I wish nothing unpleasant would ever happen to me, and I could feel sure of being kept safe all the time. I wish I could do what I like without being bothered. I wish I didn't have to worry about getting older, being responsible, caring what people think of me. I would love to throw care to the sou'westerly wind.

     I want to go out in the middle of a cornfield with a good book and stay there for hours, with no one knowing where I am. I'd catch the breeze on my face and watch out of the corner of my eye as the afternoon wears, turning over into evening. I'd ignore everything else and stay in my own little cozy, apple-cider world where it's just me -- no one else.

    I wish stories would breathe themselves into words, onto paper, without me having to do the work. If only I could describe everything I feel. If only words were like autumn leaves, twirling around in the air, engulfing you in beauty without your even asking for it.

     I wish I could know that my home will always be there. Every crack and crumble of it -- the old silo foundation behind the barn, the bridge over the creek, the mailbox with the door that falls off. I wish time wasn't so ruthless. I wish nothing would have to change.

     I wish I wouldn't have to change. I wish I could still be a little girl, so I could carry my Millie Keith doll around with me everywhere. I wish I could talk to good-looking boys without feeling silly. I wish I could watch Barbie movies and eat pretzel sticks and not have to worry about how much work I'm getting done. I wish I could laugh at the world and not try to be a part of it.

     I wish life was simple and happy and gay. And I wish all good things would last forever.

     But I suppose there are a few things that do.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Society of Literary Ladies // Miss Meg March

     Howdy friends!

     Y'all remember the Society of Literary Ladies? That interview series I started last fall that went on for a few months before it slipped into oblivion? Yes, that's the one. Well, guess what! Here we are again with another installation! This time I'm pleased to introduce to you all a dear delightful girl by the name of Miss Meg March. Miss Meg started popping up in the comment box a few months ago, and it's been such fun getting to know her! I'm happy to call her a friend. :-) So, without further ado, please welcome...

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.

    Hello! First off, let me say thank you to Emma for ‘hosting’ me. She’s so sweet. :-) Alright, now we may continue! I go by the name Miss Meg March in the blogging world, and I am fourteen years old, turning fifteen in a few months. I am a Christian saved by the grace of God, a homeschooler, and an extrovert. I have many hobbies, ranging from archery to embroidery, but my three biggest passions are as follows:
Music – Coming from a musical family, music has always been a great part of my life. I have dabbled in recorders and guitars, but my favourite instrument by far, is the piano. I play for leisure, but I do get taught, by my eldest sister, and am working my way up through the grades. I also sing on a daily basis, whether it is a Disney song, a pop song, a country song or a song from a musical (especially Les Miserables, which happens to be my favourite musical ever.)
Reading – I was always a bookworm. Classics and I get along the best, I reckon, but I love discovering new stories and characters. I used to be rather boring when it came to genres, but now I am beginning to take delight in many different types, whether they are biographies or fiction. Yet I am quite sure that nothing will ever replace a good old classic. ;-)
Writing – Only a few years ago did I discover the charm of writing. After that, I became addicted. Almost every day I write a few paragraphs because I feel like I almost need to let the words out. I write in my journal, I write letters, I write stories and I wrote poems. Sometimes I almost exhaust myself with writing, but somehow I never regret it afterwards. ;-)
As some of you may or may not know, I come from Australia, so September for me is the first month of spring! Spring is my favourite season. :-D All the flowers popping open, the baby animals frolicking in the green grass, the days warming up, being able to wear clothes that don’t weigh you down, going barefoot around the yard, feeling the fresh air blow in, knowing that our huge school holiday break is within a few months – that is what I love most about September. 

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

     My home is in the land Down Under. It is a small brick house, rather squishy as I come from a large family, but cosy all the same. I am surrounded by 600 acres of rolling hills with many trees, and a river within a few minutes’ walk. Our neighbour/land owner owns and breeds cattle which occasionally come up to our fences. We have a couple of horses and countless chickens. It is rather ‘in the middle of nowhere’ and you cannot see any neighbours from our house. But even though I’m not completely a country girl at heart, I love it for all of that.

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

        Haha, no, I do not take lessons from an elderly spinster aunt. (What an amusing idea!) I am home schooled by my mother, and I am midway through high school. :-)

How would you describe your writing style as?

     I have never really thought about it before. It’s almost as if I would have to ask someone else to answer that for me. :-P Well, I suppose I would describe it as simple but still somewhat stylish, and hopefully amusing. ;-) Apparently I have a strong ‘voice’, as in, several people have told me that they recognize my writing even if my name is not on it, and can tell it’s me just by the way I write. (Actually, speaking along these lines, I have a question. I have never done an entire creative writing curriculum, and seeing as you are all such excellent writers, I was wondering if you could suggest one to me? Have you ever done a creative writing course that you found especially helpful?)

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

     Well, several really. L.M. Montgomery is someone I like to take inspiration from, she can write simply but still so interestingly and with such amazing detail. Charles Dickens also taught me to make my characters memorable. ;-) Louisa May Alcott influenced me a lot as well. So I would say a combination of all three, really. (But if I HAD to pick one, I’d probably choose L.M. Alcott.)

Favorite book series?

     Eeeekk, that’s hard! I wish the word ‘series’ was in the plural. (It makes SUCH a difference.) :-P I suppose I’d have to say the Anne series or the Narnia series. (Little House on the Prairie was good too though!)

Favorite childhood book?

     Well, depending what part of my childhood we’re talking about – I had new favourites every year! There is one, though, that I particularly loved (and still do!) called “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry. It was about a little girl whose best friend was a Jew, and they had to hide their family from the Nazi soldiers during World War 2. It always gave me chills reading it. :-)

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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?

     Ugh, Emma, what a nasty question. :-P If I HAD to choose just one....what an awful suggestion.... I reckon it would have to be Louisa May Alcott. Little Women and Eight Cousins are just THAT good. But still, it’s so hard to decide....

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?

     Um....let me squeeze in a few. Pretty please? I was very happy with the adaption of Lorna Doone, (the one made in 2000,) as well as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped (the 1960 movie) and the first Anne of Green Gables movie (with Megan Follows). But my favourite of all would have to be Little Dorrit (the movie made in 2008). If I may be so bold, the movie may have even been slightly better than the book! I heartily recommend both, however, but the movie was basically perfect in every aspect. The cast, the sets, the music, the scenery – everything.

Who is one literary character you feel a kindred bond with?

     Haha, I think you all know what’s coming. ;-) I particularly bond with Meg March from Little Women, as I find myself strikingly like her, but of course, not entirely. We both dream of being married, and become envious of those girls who seem to be so blessed in life, tend to mother-hen our siblings, try to make a good impression, like to wear dresses and pretty things and also have a weakness for gloves. (Among other things.) ;-D Another literary character I feel a kindred bond with would be Anne Shirley, as we both somehow find ourselves in awkward situations, are hopeless romantics and can ‘talk the hind leg off a mule’. ;-D

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

   I don’t have a particular place I read or write – anywhere that is quiet is good enough for me! Often I sprawl out on my bed, sometimes I cuddle up on a lounge chair, and occasionally I go outside and prop myself up against a tree. When I’m writing stories, I’m either outside or on the lounge chair, but I very often write my poems outside. I suppose it’s because there is just more scope for the imagination. ;-)

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

     For both stories and poems, I used to use computers, but after they died numerous times (and I lost several of my writing projects), I thought better of it. Now I’ve made myself a book in which I scribble away to my heart’s content. :-D

 Be honest: what is your handwriting like? ;-D

     Ahem. Nowhere near as nice as yours, Emma. ;-) (I think I studied it for 5 minutes straight when I first saw it, hehe.) It kind of depends if we’re talking cursive or print. For print, it’s readable but not wonderfully neat or pleasant to the eyes. For cursive, I have learnt a rather old fashioned one so that some people have trouble reading it, since it’s quite swirly and so different to the modern kind these days. Personally, I really like the style. 

 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.)

     In, that’s hard. :-P It differs exceedingly, mostly because my life is constantly changing and free time expands and decreases within each week. A good book, in general (and I only ever read one novel at a time) takes me around 2 weeks to read, of late. (I used to think I was a quick reader, but then life happened and I find that I’m not.) 

 What’s your record time for finishing a book?

I never wrote it down or anything but I suppose less than 12 hours. :-P I read “True Grit” a couple weeks ago within..... 5 or 6 hours? I wasn’t counting, but I’m sure I wasn’t reading any longer than that!

(This picture was Emma's addition) ;-D

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

     As it’s totally impossible to name all my favourites, I’ll name 5 of the books that I currently think are the best. It changes on a monthly basis, you see. ;-)

- “Eight Cousins” by Louisa May Alcott. It’s in contest with being better than Little Women. Seriously, it’s amazing! (Yes, that’s high praise, coming from me. I discovered it less than a year ago, and only read it once, whereas I’ve read Little Women 5 or 6 times.)
- “True Grit” by Charles Portis. I can just FEEL Emma beaming on me. ;-P She recommended it and I took it up – and was so glad I did! It’s simple, it’s fresh, and it’s captivating. 
- “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. They’re one of my favourite stories ever, and I know they’re a controversial topic, but I think they’re superb. People who have never read them (and have nothing against them) don’t know what they’re missing out on! But I do understand they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, all the same. ;-)
- “The Prince and the Pauper” by Mark Twain. Mark Twain is most known for Tom Sawyer, but this is also a marvellous tale and for some reason quite overlooked. (There was also a movie made on it that I highly recommend, made in 2000.)
- “David Copperfield” by Charles Dickens. That man had to be put on my list somehow, and I decided to choose this one. Besides Oliver Twist, this was the first Dickens book I ever read, and my twelve year old self got hooked onto him after that. David Copperfield and Little Dorrit are the two best of his books (that I’ve read so far, and I believe I’ve read 7 of his works at least) in my opinion. The characters are memorable, the dialogue is entertaining, the storyline is clever and it’s a thoroughly good story. :-D (There was also a splendid movie made of it, in 1999.)

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

      To have a fresh plot, that is new and intriguing, to have a wholesome middle (often times books have good beginnings and endings, but the middle is a little tedious) and to have relatable characters. There are so many things that make up a good book, but those are the first things I tend to notice. Particularly having relatable characters – if they are too good (I must admit, Elsie Dinsmore satisfied me until I realized she was ‘an angel come down to earth’) it’s rather annoying. Yet they can’t be your normal, nice person with a couple flaws who happen to be pretty and talented in everything and make up your perfect heroine. There should be something gripping about them, that makes you remember them, and leave you crying and laughing alongside of them. 

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

     I think I began writing stories for fun when I was 10. I vaguely remember my first story, and it makes me blush crimson to think of it. I lost several long stories (and I mean very long) from the computer, that I hadn’t saved on paper, when our computer died (and then died again :-P), but I do have a few short stories I wrote for school. I also remember writing my first poem. Other than memorizing them for school, I had never ‘done’ poems before. When I was 10, I wrote this, on a whim, with no clue whatsoever on how to write poems:

My Mother
She is awake early in the morning; she has so much to do.
When you cry, she always comforts you.
When there is work, she does not shirk,
She is good and kind and true.
I love my mother, and always will do.

     I wrote that out from memory. ;-) I distinctly remember – I was so proud of it, I couldn’t wait 2 months for Mothers Day, I had to rush right out and show it to her. ;-D

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

     Well, I’m ¾ through writing a poem at the moment, which I really should finish. I am also writing 3 stories in my little story book. One is about a little girl living in modern day Australia (I thought I’d TRY modern, but I’m quite sure it’s not for me) whose life is changed drastically within 24 hours. I’m also writing another one about the author(ess) of  the song “Lavender’s Blue”, which I am completely making up (after discovering the songwriter was anonymous and being inspired from watching Cinderella) about a girl living in the 1800s. The last one is the one I’m particularly focusing on, and it’s about a Christian, 17 year old girl in a concentration camp during World War 2. You may well draw back and gasp, as it’s a huge project to take on, but I’ve been researching and using my imagination. I hope to make it as accurate as possible, but the characters are fictional (although the camp isn’t). It’s got a complicated romance thrown in there, as well. I’m rather excited to see how it turns out. :-D

     Well, I’d like to thank you (one last time) Emma, for asking me to do this. I was so stoked when you suggested it, and a little nervous. :-P Your blog is so inspiring and entertaining, you are truly a talented writer, and such a dear girl! I say, three cheers for Emma! :-D


Thank you, Miss Meg!

Friday, September 11, 2015

// Five Things for Friday //

     Thing One: I watched a movie last night! (What else is new, Emma?) :-D A chick-flick; a rom-com -- You've Got Mail. I've been intrigued for a while by Kara's mentions of it on her blog, and I was excited to finally see it! I liked it a lot -- it was cozy, funny and it made me smile. It also reaaaally made me want to own my own bookstore someday. :-)

   Thing Two: Any of y'all hear of the makeup company Cowgirl Dirt? They're a family-owned natural makeup company based out of the Texas hill country, and let me tell you folks -- I have a new favorite company. How can you resist products with names like 'Ponderosa blush' and 'Wheatfield eye shadow' and 'Mud-slinger eye pencil'? I plan to be a loyal customer of these guys in the future.

   Thing Three: I had the most lovely surprise this afternoon! Guess what I found in my mailbox today? An envelope addressed to me -- from my dear friend Miss Meg March!!! And inside, a note and a beautiful handmade bookmark with my name on it (literally)! I was delighted! Thank you so much, Miss Meg! :-)

   Thing Four: Another special delivery in the mail today: the Little Women piano book Sadie and I ordered last week!!!! *major squealing* Sadie's playing it right now as I type this. :-) Oh my goodness, I LOVE this musical so much. So much beauty. Gaaahhhh. I may have a lack of desire to do anything else but play these songs for the next....oh, week or so.

   Thing Five: Over at the Inspired by Life and Fiction blog (which is awesome, if you didn't know that already), Becky Wade has written a post of 4 Steps for Beginning Writers that I happen to think is pretty awesome. If you're an aspiring writer, go read it!

     And this doesn't really count as one of the five things, but I thought some of you might like to know that I now possess a ball cap with the Ford logo on it.

     Is that cool or what?!?

     Happy Friday, everyone! I'm off to do laundry now. :-)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me // review

Lorilee Craker

     What a special book this is! When I requested this to review, I had no idea how much I'd enjoy it. It was about Anne of Green Gables, and I thought the cover looked cute. That was all. I had no idea.

     I don't read many memoirs. I'm a fiction snob, all the way. I'm not saying I don't care about your life, just...I don't need to read about it. Give me a western or romance or something.

     Needless to say at this point, that was NOT the case with this book! I really liked this book. I think I even loved it. It's a memoir, telling a lot about the author's growing up and adult life and her experiences with being adopted, then adopting a little girl of her own, which on the surface didn't sound extremely interesting to me, but surprisingly it was. Maybe because this lady's personality is so much fun. Maybe because she's so relate-able. Maybe because her writing is GOLD. I loved the influences of the Anne stories flowing throughout, and the author's obvious enthusiasm for everything pertaining thereto. Her love for Anne's world is contagious and intoxicating, and her careful and delighted romp through the Anne stories gave a deeper insight to the life lessons found within that I'd never thought much of before.

     This book was like hot tea on a chilly autumn night for me. It was like a healing salve on my heart. It reached its fuzzy fingers into my soul and made me feel wonderfully at home within its pages. I LOVED the parts about Lorilee Craker's childhood friends (Clara sounds perfectly awesome); it made me think about all the wonderful friends I have in my own life, and how blessed I am to have them. I also particularly enjoyed Lorilee's reminisces of meeting and falling in love with her husband, Doyle (who sounds like a good old boy). Seriously, though -- the woman made everything funny. Even the super deep recounts of finding and getting in touch with her birth parents again were funny. She just has this innate sense of humor that shines through her writing. That was what I ultimately loved best about the book. I think this lady and I would get along real well. She's definitely a kindred spirit. :-)

     My rating: 9/10

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


Thursday, September 3, 2015

"It ain't dyin' I'm talkin' about, Woodrow, it's livin'."

     Or, why Lonesome Dove is the best movie in the history of ever.

     It's no secret that I love Lonesome Dove dearly. If you've hung around my blog, you know that. If you've seen the pictures on the wall above my desk, you know it. If you spend enough time around me, you'll probably hear me quote the characters. It's my story. I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH. Occasionally I just need to take a moment and express that. Thus, I'm sitting here listening to the LD soundtrack and unloading these pressing emotions on all of you. :-D

     What brought this all on again, you ask? Well, I just finished watching the series the other day. I guess that was it. This was my second viewing, and I loved it even more than the first time. Which is significant, because I adored it the first time. That was two years ago, when I was fourteen. I was sick that day, and I watched all seven hours of it in one stretch. It was epicness. I had never seen anything so mind-blowingly amazing. (Though, I'm not sure I whole-heartedly recommend showing Lonesome Dove to any old fourteen-year-old. I was an unusual fourteen-year-old, having been already heavily influenced by Mattie Ross, but probably most wouldn't fully appreciate Lonesome Dove for everything it is.)
     This time, I was laid low with my chronic seasonal allergies. I was feeling lousy. It was just me in the house, and I had no motivation to do anything I did the only thing I could do. I broke out the Lonesome Dove DVDs. I let myself fall into this legendary Old West world, when men were men, savagery ran rampant, but good always triumphed over evil in the end because that's the way things work.

     I think I got a lot more out of Lonesome Dove this second time. (Not that I didn't get a lot out of it before -- but I was younger then, and besides I think you probably catch more every time you watch it.) I know the characters now -- they're my friends. I understand their feelings. I FEEL THEIR PAIN. It hurts me to watch them make wrong choices, it gladdens me to see them happy, it makes me sad when they have to say goodbye to things they love. I care about them. I love them.


     Watching the story play out before me once again, this story I know so well, was like going back to an old familiar place I hadn't been to in awhile, but that I'd missed sorely. And, being the emotional sixteen-year-old girl that I am, I cried. I don't mean I teared up once in a while; when I say I cried I mean I wept. The tears ran. I cried when Gus read the grave marker Woodrow put on Deets' grave. I cried when Woodrow beat the living daylight out of that snotty army scout who tried to take Dish's horse. I cried when July Johnson walked into that little doctor's room where Elmira lay and said, "I found you, Ellie." I cried when Gus rescued Lorena, and I cried when he left Lorena with Clara in Nebraska, riding off across the wide prairie. I think I basically cried all the way through the second half.

     I SOBBED over Newt. I'm not even kidding. I think I'm a little bit in love with Newt.

     After accomplishing the impressive feat of watching this series all the way through for the second time, I made an official decision: Lonesome Dove is my favorite movie ever.

     Some people might think that's a little strange. (Especially considering the fact that I'm a sixteen-year-old girl -- apparently sixteen-year-old girls don't normally watch stuff like this. Well, I've never claimed to be normal!) Why is it I love this movie so much? It's about disgusting men who spit tobacco juice and drink whiskey and talk about inappropriate things. It's about prostitutes. It's about nasty mean Indians who do terrible things. Why would I like something like that, anyway???

     Well, let me tell you something. All this, in part, is why I love it so much. By saying I love these characters, I don't mean I agree with or approve of every single little thing they do. I DON'T. They all have failings. Because they're human. You don't love a person because they're perfect. You love them for who they are regardless. Yes, these men are disgusting. This is the old west, people. They were cowboys. They were brought up in dust and they were probably never taught any better than to drink and curse and take advantage of women. But true chivalry comes out in spite of all that; in a place and culture where women were good for little more than a man's pleasure, there were men who saw their real worth. 

     Lorena: (to Gus, about Clara) "She'll know what I am."
     Gus: "That's right. She'll see that you're a fine human being."

     That's why I don't think Lonesome Dove should be labeled 'inappropriate' because of the predominance of prostitutes in the story. In fact, it bothers me when people say that. Of course it's not appropriate for all audiences; it's not a movie for young children because of many things. The story is just too heavy. But heavy doesn't always mean bad. Gus's friendship with Lorie emphasizes the very fact that she is more than the profession she's fallen into. He cares for her because of the person she is. He risks his life to protect her, after all, and he stays with her when she's got no one else in the whole world. And that, my friends, is powerful. 

I was gonna go with all sepia-toned pictures in this post. Then I saw this one and thought, well, forget that!

        When it comes right down to it, the reason I love this story is so much is because of the characters in it. They're so real it hurts. They're so flawed, they're perfect. And once you know them, you won't ever forget them.

     I could talk about Dish, and his unwavering devotion to Lorena even though she hardly even notices him. I could talk about Newt and how he "ain't kin to nobody in this world" (though I'd probably start crying). I could talk about July and how I love him even though he wastes his time going after a woman who doesn't care whether he lives or dies, much less the pain she's caused him. Heck, I could probably spend a long time talking about any one of these characters, but it ain't necessary. Just go watch the series. It's worth it. It's a good story.

     So there you have it. Let's just say that's a few of the reasons why Lonesome Dove is my favorite movie ever. :-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

"Beautiful hours move so quickly."



     It's always a queer feeling when September rolls around -- summer's over already? But...where did it go?!?! Believe me, I'm feeling it! When I glance over the last two months, it's ridiculous how fast the time flew by. Another summer, gone on down the lane. What did I even do in all that time?

late afternoon sunlight in the barn

     I went to rodeos with my cousins and swooned over cowboys.
     I watched Kevin Costner movies with my mama.
     I picked blueberries till I felt like a blueberry myself.
     I drove the gator back and forth from the stand to the house so many times you wouldn't believe it.
     I listened to country music till I wanted to either scream of delight or exasperation.
     I made a nuisance of myself and had a ridiculously fun time doing so.
     I laughed so hard I could barely breath.
     I lived. 

     There were a lot of things I said I'd do this summer. I said I'd finish my novel, for one thing. I said I'd finish the short story I started writing in the spring. I said I'd read the North and South trilogy.  (Which, now that I think about it, sounds like some form of suicide....! ;-P) Well, I didn't do all those things. The novel is still growing, and the N&S books are still languishing on the library shelf, calling me.

     There were a lot of things I wanted to do that I didn't. But, there were a lot of things I wanted to do that I did.

     It was a summer of country music and Ford trucks. Of flower bouquets at the stand, green onions and zucchini bag sales. Of yard sales and Amish; rodeos and cowboys; haymows, notebooks and pens; westerns and Google chats; cousins and craziness; kayaking and chalk art; straw hats, green beans, fireworks, blue fingernail polish, bunnies, Broadway songs, blueberries, dreams and laughter.

  I learned some things. I learned how to ride a horse. I learned better ways to look at my own writing.  I learned that I look better with long hair! I learned a TON of country songs. I learned what a sub-woofer is. Actually...take that back. I still don't know what a sub-woofer is. ;-D

     But maybe the most important lesson was this:

"It's not how many hours you put in, but how much you put into the hours."


     Yes, I had some very beautiful hours. I put a lot of work, laughter, singing, goofing, walking, and dancing into them. It was hard, it was fun, it was glorious -- it was my summer. :-)
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