Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Talk

I couldn't think of any better titles for this post than Random Awards Given to The Books I've Read, and Book Talk sounds more interesting anyways, doesn't it? I am going to throw out labels(i. e. The Most Inspiring, The Hardest) and fill in which books fall under those categories. Make sense? Good!



The Saddest Book I've Read This isn't a sad book like Old Yeller or Where the Red Fern Grows, but the story that always makes me the saddest is Return of the King. If you've read it, I think you'll understand. If you haven't read it, read it and then you'll understand. ;)



The Weirdest Book Well, A Series of Unfortunate Events is weird through-and-through. I'm going to try and only answer one book, so The End which I think is the peak of the weird-ness.

The Most Inspiring Book The Hiding Place.

The Hardest Book Probably The Scarlet Letter. I'm really going to have to get used to "hard" books. . .



The Scariest Book The Clocks by Agatha Christie. I know, it's silly. It's just that I was around 11, I read it with my mom, and I got pretty creeped out near the end. I still really liked it, though!

The Best Book Inspired By Some Form of Mythology The Castle of Llyr by Lloyd Alexander(I'm sorry to always talk about the same books!). It's inspired by Welsh mythology.

The Most Suspenseful Book Also Agatha Christie! Death on the Nile boasts some incredible suspense.

The Oldest Book Besides the Bible of course, Beowulf.


So, how 'bout you? What would you answer to these questions?



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer Reading

Seeing as my homeschool group begins tomorrow, I guess it's time to publish that summer reading book list I mentioned earlier. My definition of summer is-- "the block of time from when I finish one grade and start another", which makes for an extensive list of books. We take long summer breaks:) 

I've included my reviews I posted on Goodreads, but I'd be impressed if anybody actually reads all of them:) And, of course, these are organized by when I read them.

Oh, and one last thing, please excuse the varying font sizes. I don't know what was going wrong! 

Messenger by Lois Lowry Rating: 4 stars

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall Rating: 4 stars

The Penderwicks. The family has drifted in and out of my reading list starting at the age of four(ish) when I couldn’t read, but listened to a ton of books on audio. I picked the first Penderwicks book up, and I’ve been a fan ever since. Later, age six, we listened to the first book again as a family on the drive up to Alaska. And then a year and a half ago(or something along those lines) I re-discovered them while browsing through our library’s shelf of audio books: The Penderwicks at Point Mouette. And so, I read that, and then the second book, and then the first book(for at least the third time), and now The Penderwicks in Spring. 
So, as you could imagine, expectations floated high. And, although it came very close this latest installment fell a little short. Why? Well, there’s a couple reasons:
1. The Penderwicks(and Nick) appear, for lack of a better word, snobbish, at times. Take Jeffrey’s parents, Batty’s last music teacher, or worst of all- Oliver. After not initially failing to be quite as polite as I hoped they would be to the poor guy, Jane proceeds to write rude stories about him, even after he left her life completely. Maybe I’m just too picky, but Oliver never did anything malicious to deserve this treatment. The characters fall short of loving their enemies, including annoying boyfriends who like to pretend they know everything there is to know about movies. :)
2. In The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, Jane and Skye swap assignments ending in disaster. When Mr. Penderwick(who by the way is an awesome fictional dad) finds out, he tells them to never do so again. Implying, or so I thought, that cheating on school behind your parents back doesn’t pay. However, the issue arises here, yet again. The solution? Compromise! Jane types up Batty’s book reports she writes orally, while Ben guards outside her bedroom door to ensure the parents don’t find out. This aggravates me, even though it is only a small part of the story, because honesty would’ve paid off so much better. In fact, why wouldn’t the Penderwick parents approve of Jane typing up Batty’s reports? And if they didn’t, shouldn’t Jane and Batty question whether carrying out the plan is a good idea at all? 
Okay, enough complaining, because the truth is, I still really enjoyed it. Positive elements?
1. Latin Phrases- This being my second year of serious Latin study, I’m finally starting to understand some of Mr. Penderwick’s spontaneous Latin references. Whoohoo! The Latin conjugations and stacks of flashcards have finally payed off. ;)
2. Music and Doctor Who- Always love characters who share common interests. 
3. Characters- Because, seriously, where would the series be without Jeanne Birdsall’s incredible character development? I could go on forever about her characters but for now I’ll just mention my excitement over: the arrival of a new young Penderwick, Nick(a recent favorite Penderwick character), and watching Batty grow up.

Mattimeo by Brian Jacques Rating: 3 stars

Eh... Redwall was SO much better and this one stretched for SO many pages... I wanted to like it... But, hey, well done on Slagar's history, I'll give you that! :)
Favorite Character: Basil Stag Hare("A Redwall feast, wot?") 
The Moorchild by Eloise Jarvis McGraw Rating: 3 stars

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood Rating: 4 stars

No. I won't do it. 
Last summer my life was interrupted by the infamous Series of Unfortunate Events, and once the series was over life did resumed, but feeling a little strange. Hilarious, but the ending was so unsatisfying! I do plan to read until at least the next book in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, and re-evaluate whether I'm ready to enter such suspense and depression again. *winks*
But, having said all that(and I was more than partially joking), the series holds promise and might be better written than a Series of Unfortunate Events, which is a plus! 
Favorite Character: Penelope
 The Book of Three by Alexander Lloyd Rating: 4 stars


This is what I've been looking for. A fantasy like LotR.

However, it just may be a little too similar to Lord of the Rings. Without reading one complaining Goodreads user's review on the similarities, I may not have noticed, but now that I have the un-original pieces stood out. 
And, I love that it's based on Welsh mythology, I'm going to research that more thoroughly now. :) 
Favorite Character: Eilownwy
The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander Rating: 4 stars

Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey Rating: 3 stars

I debated between two and three stars, but settled on three for the author's writing style and cute characters. All the same, the story was quite boring, besides the last few pages which were weird, and almost disturbing. I don't see myself finishing this story(or even starting it, for that matter) if it weren't for my goal to read all the Newbery Winners. Favorite Character: Miss Hickory, herself :) 
Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott Rating: 3 stars


Fun read. Folded between the covers, a reader might find relatable, likable characters, an intriguing setting(the 1800's), and memorable scenes. But, coming from the author of Little Women and Little Men, I suppose I was hoping for a little more. I guessed who Rose would marry and even one death a few pages before it happened. That's not terrible, it's just not outstanding. So, though while in my opinion Rose in Bloom is better than the book it follows, Eight Cousins, it simply earned a good rating. Nothing more.
Favorite Character: Mac

The Story of Eli Whitney by Jean Lee Latham Rating: 3 stars

Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott Rating: 3 stars

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu Rating: 4 stars

Based on the Hans Christen Andersen Fairy tale, "The Snow Queen", this story held some potential. We've all read modern re-tellings or twists of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, etc. But, how about an obscure lesser-known work on a mirror shard embedded in a boy's eye causing him to see the world differently? And that, my fellow readers, is what this story is about. I'd read the original story years ago and then again fairly recently after Frozen came out(which BTW is inspired by "The Snow Queen"). The original story- well, it's kind of weird. So I was interested to see where Anne Ursu would take a modern retelling. And, she did pretty well. I haven't been so excited about a young adult book in a long time. Many YA novels include characters' disrespect towards adults/authority. "Breadcrumbs" didn't escape this stereo-type altogether. It couldn't without lacking character development. The author accepts that kids often dislike grownups(particularly their teachers), but subtly hints maybe they shouldn't. Maybe adults aren't so bad after all, she hints. To quote Cinderella, "Just because it's done doesn't mean it should be done." And then, on top of that, she adds an adult readers just can't help liking. He's a great character. :) But, one of my favorite elements was her book references which she sprinkled generously throughout the pages. I succesfully managed to "get" most of them, much to my amusement and delight. Favorite Character: Hazel
The Castle of Llyr by Alexander Lloyd Rating: 5 stars



 The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers Rating: 3 stars

Wellllll, the writing style is the bestest(*grins*) I'll say that, no surprise the author was part of the Inklings(which produced Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, and other such classics). But, she let the story drag in parts, and included mild(though a bit frequent!) language. Agatha Christie is better.
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by C. S. Lewis Rating: 4 stars

I felt conflicted between four or five stars, but settled on 4 for-- 1). a tad bit weaker character development than I was hoping 2). one or two words the author used which weren't bad in themselves, but made me wonder if he couldn't think of an alternative after awhile. But, other than that, I was impressed with the author's skill in wielding words, well-developed setting, and good sense of humor. Favorite Character: Peet

Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis Rating: 4 stars

The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo Rating: 3 stars

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne Rating: 4 stars

I read "The Scarlet Lettrer" for a summer school assignment. The story follows Hester Prynne, a woman who is tormented by the scarlet letter sewn on her dress, a punishment chosen by the Puritan leaders of her town. 
The writing style called for serious concentration, but was so pretty I still enjoyed it. 
Besides the required re-read later this school year, "The Scarlet Letter" is a book I hope to give a re-read someday, and will remember it as a challenging, thought-provoking story. Favorite Character: Mister Dimmesdale 
The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley Rating: 2 stars

"The Outlaws of Sherwood" tells the story of Robin Hood(as one may gather from the title), his group of fellow criminals and their activity as outlaws. Did I like it? Not really. I've always viewed Robin Hood stories from a lighter, more action-packed, happier approach. The author killed who I'd come to think of Robin Hood and his friends. Would I recommend it? No; there are way too many other Robin Hood adaptions out there. I absolutely love Roger Lancelyn Green(who, by the way, was a member of the Inklings!)'s "The Adventures of Robin Hood". So, please, if you're interested in RH, read that. Favorite Character: Much 
Billy Budd, Sailor by Herman Melville Rating: 3 stars



Herman Melville tells the journey and fate of Billy Budd, a young, athletic, and kind sailor press-ganged into the King's navy. He also runs off on a few tangents, but nothing awful(he didn't have much chance in only 85 pg.). I felt bogged down by historical references I was clueless about and the difficult writing style during the beginning, very much enjoyed the middle, and then lapsed back into frustration at the end. I probably wouldn't recommend it to most people for its difficult writing style, but to readers who want a challenge-- go for it! 
Favorite Character: Billy Budd

North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson Rating: 5 stars

Oh, wow! This series is so good! 
I think the best way to describe it is as a cross between Lord of the Rings and A Series of Unfortunate Events. It has the fantasy element of Tolkien, and the humorous, though occasional and subtle gloomy feel of Lemony Snicket. Unlike in a Series of Unfortunate Events, however, the author does impressively well with incorporating hope and avoiding leaving stings untied(the worst part of ASOUE!). 
Other than that, the writing style is beautiful, the character development thorough, the plot-line entertaining, the Christian themes encouraging, and Fangs of Dang terrifying. :DFavorite Character: The Florid Sword 
Heaven to Besty by Maud Hart Lovelace Rating: 4 stars


The first two thirds annoyed me. Betsy was so silly; she lived at parties and spent all of her energy on boys. It drove me nuts. 
But, then the author corrected that in the last third, which was marvelous. I never saw how much I had in common with Betsy(don't you love it when you find characters you can relate to?). 
One reason I loved it so much was the vintage feel. Maud Hart Lovelace wrote it in 1945, but it takes place in 1906. Before iPhones, John Green, and Meghan Trainor. And before internet. If this book had been published yesterday, I would've lost the sense of being taken to a different world and the opportunity to learn a bit of history to boot. :) 
I didn't love it enough to dash off to the library and check out "Betsy in Spite of Herself". I did, however, like it enough to add that to my "someday" list and finish "Heaven to Betsy"(something I seriously considered skipping during the first 2/3).Favorite Character: Betsy

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke Rating: 5 stars

I enjoyed the character development, the quotes to introduce each new chapter, the plot twists, the concept, the book references, almost everything. There were a few strings left untied(particularly concerning Dustfinger), but judging by the synopsis printed on Inkspell's front cover, those will be addressed. I actually don't plan to read Inkspell due to the language I heard was there, but it's nice to know.
What I Didn't Like: 
~The Occasional Mild Language. 
~Although this couldn't really be helped since it was translated from German, the writing style read a tad awkwardly. 
That's about it! Favorite Character: Resa
~~~

Books I Read this Summer: 23

Books I Read Last Summer: 44(how did that happen??)

My Favorite Book: Inkheart(probably)

The Longest Book(by number of pages): Inkheart

The Best-Written Book: The Wingfeather Saga(books 1 & 2)

So how about you? Which books have you read this summer?







Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Music Tag

Thank you to Alicia at Sweet 'N Salty for the tag! As my header suggests, I'm a big music person(and I use a mp3 player), so this tag looks like tons of fun!

Rules: Answer the questions on your blog. (You can have more than one answer)



Who is your favorite band or artist? 

Howard Shore. That was easy. Films I like his music in: The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit Trilogy, and Hugo. There may also be others I'm forgetting.

Who is your favorite male singer?

Not as much anymore, but I used to really like Owl City/Adam Young.

Who is your favorite female artist? 

My favorite female artist. . . probably J. J. Heller. Look her up!

What is your favorite "type" of music?

It's probably cheating to say "music from movies", since I like both show tunes and film scores, so I'll go with film scores. I've been a fan of those longer.

What is your favorite musical? (It can be a movie or broadway) 


Probably Les Miserables besides the fact that I've never actually seen it and I skip some of the songs. Soooo, Beauty and the Beast

Have you ever seen a musical performed on stage? 

Yes, I've been to a handful of local productions and one or two high school performances. 

What is your favorite song duet? 

Sixteen Going On Seventeen, because I don't talk about The Sound of Music often enough.

What do you think is the best music score?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, even though I do talk about that enough:D

Do you play any instruments? If so, for how long? 

I started studying piano 8 years ago, but I've taken summers off and breaks between teachers. 

Have you ever been to a concert(s)?

A violin concert once, that was fun.

Everyone I would tag has already been tagged, so if you're interested go ahead and take it! 






5 Things I Like About How God Made Me Tag

Bekah at Bekah the Bookworm has tagged me for the brand new 5 Things I Like About How God Made Me Tag. Right, then!

~Rules~

1. List 5 things you like about how God made you (God made everything about you; the family you were born/adopted into, the fact that you enjoy the stuff you enjoy, your looks, your personality; everything. So, it can't be too hard to think of 5 things you love about how God made you. Right?)
2. Tagging other people/excepting a tag is optional
3. If you are tagged (and if you except), link back to the person who tagged you
4. Have fun!

Well, that sure doesn't seem too difficult!

1. My Nerdiness


You've probably already painfully aware of this, I shouldn't wonder(*cue Puddleglum*), but it is something I'm genuinely grateful for. I'm glad God has allowed me to see it's okay if I'm totally weirder than other people. If I were always trying to conform to everybody else's standard of average, I'd get discouraged and begin wasting time trying to be "normal" rather than using my interests to glorify God. 

2. My Family

I guess this technically isn't an element of the way God created me, but it's a circumstance God created me into, so I'm going to count it. :D 

Anyways, I'm thankful for my parents because they have lead me in a Christlike manner and always seek to give me a Godly, happy home. I'm thankful for my siblings because they give me writing material(*winks*), put up with my constant notebook-scribbling, and eat the things I mix up in the kitchen no matter how chunky the frosting or strong the health drink:)

3. My Hair

My hair isn't exactly what I'd pick if I'd been given a Pinterest selection of gorgeous hair types. In fact, it might be one of my last picks, considering how much work it can be. 

What I need to remember is that when I give 30+ min. to toying with my hair, it turns out quite satisfactorily and I like it. Well, hey, at least I have hair, right?


4. My Interest in Blogging 

I didn't begin wading very deeply into the blogging community until a few months ago, but now that I have, I like it! I've always wanted friends who would discuss Lord of the Rings with me all the time and have "book talks" and compare writing. It's seriously fun:)

5. My Interest in Music

Enough said. 

Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Here's the Gist of It

Hello! You may have read the post I published a bit ago on writing. I included a snippet of what I've been scribbling lately at the end, but neglected details or even the name of what I'm writing. So here you have it:



Name: Stowaway of the Silver Seas

Genre: Fantasy

Setting: Unnamed(for now) Fantasy World

Word Count(so far): 20,919 I'm  hoping to eventually have 50,000 words at least.

Perspective: 3rd Person

~~~

Okay, so there are two main plot lines I'm following.

1). Myriam's story 


Myriam is a roughly fourteen year-old girl who decides to illegally join a voyage she wasn't invited to join. In other words, she becomes a stowaway for this quest decreed by the king who she's always second-guessing anyways. The mission of the voyage was to find a man who had gone missing ten years ago.

Myriam's plan was to end up on the same ship as her parents who were invited(a. k. a. commanded) to come. But, as always happens in stories, things don't go as planned and she ends up on a voyage captained by her friend's father, Steven. She doesn't recognize him(she'd actually never met him before), but he recognizes her.

Anyways, it's a long story and not very well thought out at this point, so I'll move on to Argown and try to explain this better in another post(*fishes out notebook to re-sketch the basic plot-line*).

2). Argown's story. 

Argown, who at this point is my favorite character, was overly sheltered by his parents and released into the world, clueless of how the government works, how to buy a loaf of bread, or how to deal with the crimes and evil he encounters. 

He struggles with coming to grips with crimes and sin. Gunt, an as-of-yet poorly developed character who has the weirdest name, rather takes Argown under his wing and hires him as a spy.

Eventually Myriam and Argown's paths cross, but I'm not quite there yet. There are also a couple other side stories skittering through the draft and thoroughly distracting me;)

My goal is to write about 5 pages on this story and 1,000 words on a Sleeping Beauty twist(my other project I haven't quite started yet every week.

Here's another snippet(this one is Myriam's story):

A wall of water cascaded through the opening. Myriam’s cry was was muffled under a pocket of seawater. A crack split the room neatly down the middle. Myriam bobbled in the salty fluid. Thrashing, her feet struggled for purchase. Keira sputtered across from her. “Where’s that girl who was in here?” Keira spit out.
"Sheila? I don’t know!” 
Her body burst to the surface. “Get me out of here!” she bellowed, “I can’t swim!” The friends gripped her shoulder and legs and braced against the current swirling in the room. Into the hatch opening, they guided her, giving each other encouragement between the gaps in their gritted teeth. 
Oh, and one other thing before I let you go. If any of you enjoy writing I'd be thrilled to swap drafts with you for critique, just be aware mine aren't very polished yet!

Monday, August 10, 2015

21 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Me


1. I live in Alaska(I'd prefer to not give away where in Alaska I live, but if you have any questions about Alaska life, I'd be more than happy to answer them).

2. I have precisely 67 books on my Goodreads to-read list. I started working on that list last year when it was around 69 books. It's not that I've only read two books, but that I add new ones to the list almost as quickly as I check them off.

3. I generally prefer Classics to books written nowadays.

4. I have a puppy named Bailey who is completely adorable.



5. I've taken piano lessons for eight years with summer breaks and breaks between piano teachers.

6. I'm currently reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer on audio with my sister(we listen to a track or two before going to bed), The Green Ember by S. D. Smith which my Dad is reading to all of us, Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, which I read on Sundays, and A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park, which my mom is reading to all the kids. 

7. I'm the oldest of five kids.

8. I'm involved in a homeschool program called Classical Conversations(in case you hadn't figured out yet that I'm homeschooled). Does anyone else do Classical Conversations?

9. The Battle of Five Armies is the saddest movie I've ever seen.

10. I am taking my third year of Latin this year(it's kind of complicated, but that's the simplest way of putting it).

11. I think I may like Martin Freeman's portrayal of Bilbo better than the book-Bilbo. 

12. I'm the only person in my family(excepting my Dad) to have seen or read Lord of the Rings

13. I have never seen anything from the TV show Sherlock, not even a clip. 

14. I really like cross-stitching. I'm working on a fairy right now, but my favorite project may have been this one--


15. Although I don't remember ever mentioning it here, It's A Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas movie. 

16. I have exactly 200 pins on my Pinterest boards. 

17. I have two bookshelves in my room which are arranged by the author's last name.

18. Fairy slipper is my favorite flower(google it, they're really pretty!).

19. I consider myself a grammar nerd and would be thrilled if you corrected any bad grammar, should you ever come across any here. 

20. I find anything related to England fascinating(besides their music groups).

21. I volunteer at the library re-shelving books. 



Thanks for reading! Did you find anything we have in common I didn't know about? 





5 Female Characters Tag

Hooray! Another opportunity to talk about my favorite characters:) Thank you, Olivia for kinda-sorta tagging me. And I apologize in advance for not posting pictures(how do you link Pinterest pictures, anyway?).

Rules:
1.) List 5 of your favorite female 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 character from each category:
1.) Protagonist
2.) Villain
3.) Superhero
4.) That I would want to be friends with
5.) That I wish had better development


Protagonist

Well, I couldn't say for sure, but I really like Anne from Anne of Green Gables, meaning the books not the movie, although I don't really have a problem with the first movie. 

Villain

Probably the wicked stepmother from the newer Cinderella. You know what would be really cool is if she had her own separate movie, like Maleficient does. Disney should start making live-action villain movies. That could be really cool! 

Superhero

I don't watch too many superhero movies, so I guess I'll go with Natasha. She's pretty good, I guess. 

That I Want to Be Friends With

Jane Penderwick from the Penderwicks books. Like me, she always carries around a notebook, hopes to be an author, and loves books. 

That I Wish Had Better Development

Estella from Great Expectations. She was pretty well developed, but she was also the interesting(though not always likable) character who maybe could've been a tad deeper. 

Well, that was fun! 

Since tagging is optional, anyone who is so inclined may answer the questions in a blog post or comments. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Best Books from A to Y

Okay, I'm totally aware that this idea sounds like something out of a picture book, but I thought it'd be worth a try anyway. And I substituted Y for Z in the title, because I had nothing for Z. xD

So here are my favorite books for each letter:


  • A Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  • B Beowulf 
  • C The Castle of Llyr by Llyod Alexander
  • D Duncan's War by Douglas Bond
  • E Enchantress from the Stars by Sylvia Enghald
  • F Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • G Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • H The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • I The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
  • J Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
  • K The King's Arrow by Douglas Bond
  • L The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis
  • M The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • N North! Or Be Eaten by Andrew Peterson
  • O Over Sea, Under Stone by Susan Cooper
  • P Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis
  • Q The Queen's Smuggler(this book wasn't great, really. It was just the only book I've read that starts with Q) by Dave Jackson
  • R Return of the King(if I had to pick one favorite of everything I've read, this would be it) by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • S The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis
  • T The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • U Usborne Time Traveler(a history book I used to really like. It's not amazing, though, I've just only read two books that start with U) by Judy Hindley
  • V The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis
  • W Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  • Y The Year of Miss Agnes by Kirkpatrik Hill 
How many of those have you read? 

My Love/Hate Relationship With Writing

I love writing. I wish I'd never started writing so I could spend more time reading. I like writing better than reading now! Writing is way more work than it should be. Writing is the BEST THING EVER!!!

Those are the cycles I'm always circling through. One day I'll sluggishly scrawl out 100 words, another day I'll write 1, 000+ in an evening and forget there ever was such a thing as "not enjoying to write".

And I'm only at 20, 324 words! I'm also scheming out a twist on Sleeping Beauty to enter into a writing contest, and a few paragraphs from a short story I'm hoping to enter into another contest.

Writing is hard work. If reading is like eating, writing is like cooking off your own recipe. It could take hours for only a few minutes of eating. In cooking, I spill ingredients and have to clean them up. I have to make changes I wasn't expecting and skip directions I'd fully intended to do.


So, anyways. I'm no expert at writing but I do love to talk about it-- so tell me: what do you think about writing? Have you ever tried writing novels or do you prefer short stories and poems?

Oh, and in case you'd like to see a bit of what I've been working on-- here's an excerpt.

Resting on a thin carpet, Keira wedged her fingernails underneath the dusty lid and yanked. Nothing. It felt like the box and lid were gummy. She curled her fingers around the edges and pried on the lid. Again, nothing. The girl rubbed her thumb against her fingers and set spinning whirls of thick, furry dust. Keira anchored her legs around the wooden cube, gripped the top, and yanked. 
Crack. 

She tumbled backwards and massaged her hands satisfyingly. Keira dipped her arm in the wooden frame. A shriveling paper slipped inside her hand. Someone had scribbled a happy face in oil crayons on the yellowed sheet. The subject was a young girl. About 2 moons. A puff of straight, frizzy hair and green eyes sparkled through the sketch. The artist had written “Greta” in the bottom right corner. 

Keira gently placed the portrait next to her folded feet and reached for another item. A leather-bound journal slid from the wooden frame. A fraying ribbon bookmark was pinched between the last void pages. Keira flipped to the first page and began to read its scrawled contents. 

Any critique would be quite welcome. Seriously.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Belle(Reprise)

This song is short and sweet, so there isn't much to say about it.

Belle is quiet, polite, strange, and a bookworm. Gaston is loud, arrogant, popular, and a dedicated hunter. Anyone could see they'd make an awful match. Anyone except Gaston.

I think Belle is the only Disney princess to refuse a proposal. Unlike Snow White who falls in love with a guy(he doesn't even have a name!) after singing a duet with him, Belle is practical while still avoiding snobbishness. Even Gaston could sing a duet!

That's why I like Belle so much. She's practical, kind, and bookish.



"Madame Gaston! Can't you just see it! Madame Gaston! His little wife! No sir, not me! I guarantee it! There must be more than this provincial life!"-Belle

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Wingfeather Saga(Books 1 & 2)

Hello, readers! I'm not sure if you've heard of it or not, but there's this great fantasy book series called The Wingfeather Saga written by a Christian songwriter and it's incredible. 

I've only read the first two books, so I'll paste what I wrote on Goodreads down below. 

Review of Book 1(On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness):


Oh, wow! This series is so good! 
I think the best way to describe it is as a cross between Lord of the Rings and A Series of Unfortunate Events. It has the fantasy element of Tolkien, and the humorous, though occasional and subtle gloomy feel of Lemony Snicket. Unlike in a Series of Unfortunate Events, however, the author does impressively well with incorporating hope and avoiding leaving stings untied(the worst part of ASOUE!). 
Other than that, the writing style is beautiful, the character development thorough, the plot-line entertaining, the Christian themes encouraging, and Fangs of Dang terrifying. :DFavorite Character: The Florid Sword

And then, on North! Or Be Eaten

Oh, wow! This series is so good! I think the best way to describe it is as a cross between Lord of the Rings and A Series of Unfortunate Events. It has the fantasy element of Tolkien, and the humorous, though occasional and subtle gloomy feel of Lemony Snicket. Unlike in a Series of Unfortunate Events, however, the author does impressively well with incorporating hope and avoiding leaving stings untied(the worst part of ASOUE!).
Other than that, the writing style is beautiful, the character development thorough, the plot-line entertaining, the Christian themes encouraging, and Fangs of Dang terrifying. :D
Favorite Character: The Florid Sword

So, what about you? Have you read this series? What have you chosen for summer reading? I'm considering posting a list once the school year begins of what I've read this summer. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Me(The Song)

I had to put (the song) in parenthesizes, because I really didn't want you to think I'm devoting a whole post to myself. That would be a little self-centered, wouldn't it? :D 

No, I'm devoting this song to one of my favorite villains-- Gaston and his ill-planned proposal to Belle. 

Sorry this post is so late in coming, I've given up on writing these one day after another. Maybe trying to get through all the songs before the school year starts is a better goal. 

A friend introduced me to this song(before I hadn't listened to many of the Broadway additions to the soundtrack). Usually, when I give a song(particularly from a musical) a listen for the first time, I have to wait for a few re-listens to appreciate it. Not so with Me. It's hilarious and perfect for Gaston. One can almost feel the selfishness of Gaston leaking through everything he says, and Belle's sense of sarcasm is perfect. 


~My Annotations~

0:16-  "Hoping, scheming just one thing, will you be a wife?" me: (sarcastically)Oh, I'm sure that's exactly what she's thinking. 

0:25- "Good news! That he-man's me!" *grins*

0:43- "On occasion women can have their uses, too! Mainly to expand the family tree!" me: And he expects her to marry him after saying this?

2:23- ". . . is it 'Yes' or is it 'Oh, yes!'?" :D 

2:33- Belle: "I- I just don't deserve you!" Gaston: "Who does? Me!!" Belle: "But thanks for asking."

I'll be back tomorrow soon with Belle(Reprise)