Friday, August 28, 2015

"Tut-tut, It Looks Like Rain"

I'm ashamed to admit it...this being a sunshiny place and all...but rain does seem to be the typical forecast for my emotions these days.  And when one is feeling especially cloudy, it's hard to keep those raindrops from trickling over into ones writing.  At least for me.  I'm a very honest person, and especially so when I'm writing rather than talking (I open up a lot quicker on paper), and so I feel that I may have been giving the impression in my comments--on my own blog and other people's blogs--that I am somewhat emotional and prone to feelings of discouragement.  If you happened to notice this about me, please let go of all assumptions...because, there's no assumption about it.  You were totally correct.  I am currently an unpredictable, emotional, nut-case.  Haha!  (My family doesn't know what to do with me sometimes!) 

And, so you might be wondering, what is the reason for these varying emotions?

Well, there are many factors to be considered, I'm sure.  It's hard to delve into the inner-most workings of ones self and discover exactly what is making one feel out of sorts.  But I can tell you for sure that yesterday it was all owing to...

...that infamous art of writing.

(So I'll just focus in on that factor for today and leave the other ones in obscurity.)

I find that writing is the cause of a bad mood for me more often than I'd like to admit.  (It's terrible, I know.  I shouldn't let it affect me so.)  But it's true.  When I'm happy with my writing, I'm on cloud nine!  (That's not a storm cloud, by the way.  That's one of those fluffy-joyful-fat-little-white clouds.  That's a good cloud.)  At these times I'm enthusiastic and happy and full of hopeful thoughts about the future. 

But when my writing is not going so well...when I sit down and stare at the computer screen and find nothing but blank thoughts in my head...when I'm stewing over the perfect words for hours and end up with nothing to show for it...when I finish a writing project and then hide my head in the sand until people are finished reading it because I'm sure they're not going to like it... 

That's when my writing begins to dictate my mood and I fall into a slump of discouragement.  (Don't pity me.  I do enough of that already.)

Yesterday found me in a "what's-the-point-of-anything?" mood.  My writing projects were at a stalemate, and this frustrated me and lead me into a downward spiral.  I began by thinking that doing a blog was really quite pointless--and that my other writing project, which is a family newspaper, was not worth doing either--that nobody could truly care what I had to write about--and that if they didn't care what I had to write about then they probably didn't care what I had to say in general.  And, naturally, if people don't care about what you have to say then they really can't care too much about you personally...and so I was a friendless, lonely, unhappy person!  (That's how my little mind works.  Real logical, isn't it?)

(Yep, that was me.)

I begin to see that I'm an incurable pessimist when it comes to my writing.  It doesn't matter how many times people tell me that I'm a good writer (and believe it or not, people have told me that) I still come right around the next day fully convinced that I'm horrible at it.  Even when I finish a writing project to my own satisfaction, it's not good enough, because then I worry over whether or not other people will like it, and whether or not they will understand what I was trying to say...and blah, blah, blah.  I'm scared to have people read my writing because, frankly, it embarrasses me.   (Which is why it makes no sense at all for me to have my own's quite ridiculous.)

And then I begin the comparison thing.  "There are so many other good writers.  I can never write as well as them.  Nobody would ever enjoy my writing like they enjoy so-and-so's." get the sad, depressing picture.  "Oh, I'm just a little black rain cloud..."   Anyway, I was thinking about the comparison thing today and I remembered a scene from Chariot's of Fire where Harold Abrahams says to his girlfriend, Sybil Gordon, "If I can't win, I won't run."  Sometimes I feel like that.  "If I can't write so well that everybody in the whole world loves my writing...then I just won't write at all." 

Silly person, I say.  You don't really want to stop writing.  What you need to do is stop thinking about yourself.  Write for the joy of writing, not for the sake of recieving praise or commendation from others.  Write for the hope of putting something good...something healthy...out into this dark and needy world.  Write for the purpose of bringing a little sunshine into somebody's life, even if it is just ONE person.  Because somewhere out there, there's a place for your writing.  God didn't give you words for nothing.

And, anyway, what did Sybil Gordon say in response to Harold Abrahams complaint?  "You can't win, if you don't run."  Ouch.

Feeling sorry for yourself never accomplishes anything.  (Self, are you listening to me?)

And really, when all's said and done, it's not so much what you've written as how you've written it.  If you've written with joy and enthusiasm and hope...if you've written to bring glory to your Creator and not to yourself...if you've written to encourage, to uplift, to turn people's focus in the right direction, then no matter how well it was worded, no matter how many people read it and enjoyed it, it was still worth writing.  Every word of it.

You know, I think the rain is lifting a bit--at least for the time being.  Thank you all for so patiently wading through the puddles. 

And I assure if I ever have reason to indulge in one of these rainy-day posts again, I'll be sure to let you know, forthwith.

"Hey everybody!  There's a party over Miss March's blog!"

"It's called a Pity Party."

"Oh, I always have so much fun at those kinds of parties."

(And just for the record, I don't feel down all the time.  Truly.  In fact, I'm feeling just fine right now...until I click that publish button...  Oh dear.  Why do I even try?)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Why I Would Never be Chosen to be the Heroine in a Romance Novel

Quite frankly, because I do not follow the rules.  From my own experience with reading romance novels (and this is not all-comprehensive because of course I haven't read every romance novel that is out there) I have come to my own conclusions as to what constitutes a typical heroine, and--in my opinion--I simply do not fit the criteria.  

1. To begin with, I am NOT drop-dead gorgeous.  This is highly unacceptable for a heroine, and is therefore a pretty heavy mark in my disfavor.

Yeah.  This is not me.  (By the way, I'm not necessarily saying that Mary Crawley is drop-dead gorgeous...but apparently the gentlemen in her life seem to think she is, so I guess she's a pretty good example.)

2.  I can cook, believe it or not.  I am not a great cook, but, sadly, I can make food that is fit to eat...which is not heroine-like at all.

3.  I am a bit sassy, which is good.  But unfortunately, I do not make a habit of being sassy to complete strangers, so I'm afraid that leaves me little to no hope of ever attracting a true hero.

4.  I have a horrible habit of thinking before I speak.  This makes conversations and their outcomes very lame indeed, and allows no room for misunderstandings with the hero.

5.  Also, I seem to have been very misinformed as a child, and have grown up thinking that if a misunderstanding does happen to arise between me and the-man-of-my-dreams, the proper way to fix the situation is simply to talk to him about it.  I see now that, that is a very juvenile--not to mention irregular--idea.  Talking through one's problems is not proper behavior for a heroine.  AT ALL.  (I'm sorry.  I guess I'm just a mess.)

6.  I like to read, but I am not an excessive reader, which fact is a plain mark against me, for every heroine MUST have her nose stuck in a book at all's just the right way to be.  And on top of that I am not a huge fan of poetry, which is totally unromantic.

(Anne would never approve.)

7.  I am a very sensible person.  I do not get overly excited about things and am not the dreamy type who's always got her head stuck in the clouds.  This is a failing indeed.  It makes me much too level headed and hinders me from making those kind of silly mistakes which every heroine ought to make in order to further the suspense of the story.

8.  I am not prone to argue with men I have just met, which makes it impossible for me to get acquainted with the hero in the proper and accepted fashion.

9. I do not like men with big muscles.  Oh, I do like men who are strong--of course--but I would much prefer their muscles to be quiet about it and not shout from the roof tops how amazingly strong and powerful they are. 

10. Here's another thing.  Would you believe it?  I have never in my life been asked out on a date by anyone!  This is a glaring representation of my lack of heroine qualities, for everyone knows that a heroine must be proposed to at least ten times throughout the course of the story.  (Alright, so that's a slight exaggeration.  But she must at least have two or three gentlemen vying for her attention at the same time...that's a fact.  And me?  Well, I haven't even got one.)

11.  I also have this problem with listening to people when they're trying to explain their side of an issue.  I know.  It's terrible.  It doesn't help at all with making a  complicated plot.  But, somehow--I don't know--I just can't seem to help it.  That's just the way I am.
So you see?  I would be an author's worst nightmare. 
First she would try to get me and the hero together by expounding upon my unimaginable beauty.  But as that is just what it is...unimaginable...the hero himself would never fall for it.
Secondly, she would throw us together into a perfect situation where I would easily be able to display my  independent spirit (which is always so attractive to a hero), my brilliant wit, and my charming sassiness.  But I would be too overcome with habits of politeness and decorum, that the whole scenario would end with him thinking me a most commonplace individual, indeed.
Thirdly, the author would try the old argument trick.  Get the hero and heroine into a fight upon their first meeting, and you'll be guaranteed a wedding by the end of the book.  However...I don't argue--not with gentlemen I have just met.  So I'm afraid that would be a failure, too.
Finally, the poor author would have to fall back on the old childhood friend/turned lover scenario.  But...
...I haven't got a childhood friend.  (Oops.)
Yep, no Mr. Knightly.  :(
So there you have it.
 A perfectly hopeless candidate for the position of a romantic heroine.  :D

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Match It Game ~Number One~ {Answers}

Disney's Cartoon Robin Hood

Robin Hood: "Rob?  That's a naughty word, we never rob.  We just sort of borrow a bit from those who can afford it." 
Little John:  "Borrow?  Boy are we in debt."
Sarah Plain and Tall

Caleb:  "Is my face clean?  Can my face be too clean?"
Anna:  "No, your face is not too clean."
The Happiest Millionaire

Cordy:  "What were you doing shaving at this time of day?"
Mr Biddle:  "I haven't been shaving.  And since when do I shave my finger?"
Cordy:  "Well, you don't shave your ear either but last week you cut it."
Mr. Biddle:  "That's different.  The ear is in the general vicinity of the face!"
Cordy:  "Well, so's the finger when you're shaving."
Pride and Prejudice (1995)

Mr. Bingley: "So, I have your blessing?"
Mr. Darcy:  "Do you need my blessing?"
Mr. Bingley:  "No.  But I should like to know I have it all the same."
Mr. Darcy:  "Then get to it."
Mary Poppins

Michael Banks:  "I put that in, too!"
Amazing Grace

William Pitt:  "Which is why we're too young to realize certain things are impossible.  So we will do them anyway."
All Creatures Great and Small

James Herriot:  "You know what I really dislike about your brother?  It's when he starts to get patient with you.  And then he gets that angelic look on his face and you know that any minute now he's going to forgive you...for something he's just done!"
Little Dorrit

Edmund Sparkler:  "Not much ratting in Venice.  A lot of rats, though.  Odd that."
Saving Mr. Banks

Mrs. Travers:  "Rain brings life."
Ralph:  "So does the sun."
Mrs. Travers:  "Be quiet."
Emma (2009)

Emma Woodhouse: "I've known him all my life!  And even I don't call him that!"

Evie: 60
Olivia: 170
Naomi: 100


Good job, everyone!  Thank you so much for playing!  I really appreciated your participation!  And I'm thrilled that you enjoyed my first attempt at a game!  :D
(Adding up some of the scores was a little tricky, so if I missed anything, please, let me know.)