Monday, October 31, 2016

November is shaping up to be a very busy month...

So busy in fact that I've decided I probably need to take another blogging break.  I really hate to do that since I just took a month long break back in August, but...desperate times call for desperate measures.

And yes.  The current situation really is desperate.

Because you see, I've gone and signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which means that for the next thirty days I'm to be working on writing a novel.  A 50,000 word novel!  Which is totally ridiculous, considering that I'm horrible at writing full fledged stories.  I mean, I've never even written a decent short story before, so how in the world am I going to write a 50,000 word novel

Yep, I think I've just gone crazy.  (And I blame Natalie and Cordy for this problematic situation, because I am not "the kind of girl to do this sort of thing, if I had been properly looked after."  But it seems they encouraged me too much, and now here I am.)

So yeah.  Just wanted to let you all know that you probably won't be hearing as much from over the next month.  I'll miss you, but I'll look forward to catching up with all of you come December.  :)

Also, I wanted to remind you that Rose is hosting a Classic Hollywood blog party over at her blog the first week of November.  Anyone is welcome to join in, so head on over there and enjoy the fun!

Have a lovely week, my friends! 
And Happy Thanksgiving!! 
(You know, just in case I don't have time to wish you happiness on the actual holiday.) 
(Better early than never, I always say.)
 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Moments in Fiction: Clever and Humorous Descriptions

Here I am with another Moments in Fiction post.  I've called this edition "Clever and Humorous Descriptions" because the excerpts here included are...just that.  Clever and humorous descriptions.  What I mean is, it's not so much the subject itself that is hilarious in these passages, as it is the way the author chooses to describe it.  

Now you may not find these selections as diverting as I did (though if that be the case, I must ask, where's your sense of humor?  --Haha! Jut kidding) but I do hope they will prove of some interest to one or another of you.  And particularly to you, Cordy, as this is the post I promised you months ago.  (Sorry it's taken me so long to actually publish it.  Procrastination really is a thing!  Also lack of inspiration...motivation...dedication...you get the idea.) 
 

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

After a proper resistance on the part of Mrs. Ferrars, just so violent and so steady as to preserve her from that reproach which she always seemed fearful of incurring, the reproach of being too amiable, Edward was admitted to her presence, and pronounced to be again her son.
     Her family had of late been exceedingly fluctuating.  For many years of her life she had had two sons; but the crime and annihilation of Edward, a few weeks ago, had robbed her of one; the similar annihilation of Robert had left her for a fortnight without any; and now, by the resuscitation of Edward, she had one again.
     In spite of his being allowed once more to live, however, he did not feel the continuance of his existence secure, till he revealed his present engagement; for the publication of that circumstance, he feared might give a sudden turn to his constitution, and carry him off as rapidly as before.

Okay, so I hardly know what to say about this, except that, goodness me! This is my kind of humor!  Such creative cleverness to liken Edward's disinherited state to a state of actual decease, and to talk of the publication of his most recent engagement as possibly giving a "sudden turn to his constitution, and [carrying] him off as rapidly as before." *amused chuckle* Seriously, who writes stuff like that?  Precious few of our modern day authors, I'd say.  And it's such a shame because this kind of description adds so much personality to a story (in my humble opinion).  It can turn the most commonplace description into a delightful treat! 

*****

Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

In the luxurious library, at the well-spread breakfast-table, sat the two Mr. Carsons, father and son.  Both were reading--the father a newspaper, the son a review--while they lazily enjoyed their nicely prepared food.  The father was a prepossessing-looking old man; perhaps self-indulgent you might guess.  The son was strikingly handsome, and knew it.  His dress was neat and well appointed, and his manners far more gentlemanly than his father's.  He was the only son, and his sisters were proud of him; his father and mother were proud of him; he could not set up his judgment against theirs; he was proud of himself.

I don't know about you, but I literally laughed out loud when I came to the end of that last sentence.  It took me so by surprise.  I just love the way Elizabeth Gaskell chose to describe this character, because honestly, she could have kept it simple and merely written, "His sisters were proud of him; his father and mother were proud of him; and he was proud of himself."  But would that have been as interesting?  No indeed!  By adding in that little jab regarding his unwillingness to "set up his judgment" against that of his family's, the author comes at us from a side-wind, bringing a spark of humor to the mix, and almost (it seems) having a laugh herself at her character's expense.   Love it!

*****

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

"...And now you wouldn't mind telling me and this lady some of the things you've learned--no, I know you wouldn't--for we are proud of little boys that learn.  Now, no doubt you know the names of all the twelve disciples.  Won't you tell us the names of the first two that were appointed?"
     Tom was tugging at a button-hole and looking sheepish.  He blushed, now, and his eyes fell.  Mr. Walters's heart sank within him.  He said to himself, it is not possible that the boy can answer the simplest question--why did the Judge ask him?  Yet he felt obliged to speak up and say:
     "Answer the gentleman, Thomas--don't be afraid."
     Tom still hung fire.
     "Now I know you'll tell me," said the lady.  "The names of the first two disciples were ----"
     "DAVID AND GOLIATH!"
     Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of the scene.

It's that blunt, ending statement that makes this passage so hilarious.  Not that the passage wasn't humorous in and of itself, but that small tag on the end is like the icing on the cake.  And it's so cool, too.  For here's the author himself suddenly appearing before you on the page and saying, "let's have pity on our poor hero.  Let's close the scene."  And you can just hear, beneath those sympathetic words, the author chuckling to himself over his character's sorry predicament.   (And if the author's chuckling, how you can you possibly keep yourself from doing so? ;)) This is what I call clever writing.  For though it's obvious the last sentence is not needed in order to further the plot of the story, yet it serves a very important purpose by giving the reader an extra laugh and making the passage that much more memorable.  (That line has in fact been a favorite quote of my brother's for years!  I always think of him when I read it.)

*****

Penrod by Booth Tarkington

     Thus began the Great Tar Fight, the origin of which proved, afterward, so difficult for parents to trace, owing to the opposing accounts of the combatants.  Marjorie said Penrod began it; Penrod said Mitchy-Mitch began it; Sam Williams said Georgie Bassett began it; Georgie and Maurice Levy said Penrod began it; Roderick Bitts, who had not recognized his first assailant, said Sam William began it.
     Nobody thought of accusing the barber.  But the barber did not begin it; it was the fly on the barber's nose that began it--though, of course something else began the fly.  Somehow we never manage to hang the real offender.

Okay, so apparently it's the ending sentences I'm hitting on today.  Why?  Well, because that's where the punch line is, I guess.  "Somehow we never manage to hang the real offender."  Seriously people, if that passage didn't at least make you smile to yourself, I don't know what I'm going to do with you, because that was FUNNY!  Really!  It WAS!  (Well, at any rate, I thought so.)  I just love how the author calmly inserts that statement at the end.  It's a joke, of sorts, but at the same time so ridiculously true, as I think we can safely say, every event in life is triggered by something that came before it.  And of course we could go back in time endlessly trying to figure out who actually began it, but we'll have small success in that regard, for by the time we've arrived at the source, we won't have a clue where we are anymore!  (Which is probably how you're feeling right about now, as that last sentence was most painfully confusing.  And to own the truth, I'm no longer sure where I'm going with this so...just agree with me.  That was a humorous bit of writing.  Wasn't it? Wasn't it? Right.  Thank you.)
  
 
Do you like this kind of humor in writing?
Have you ever come across a modern day novel with this style of description?
(Because if you have, you MUST tell me about it!)
Can you think of any similar passages in any of your favorite books?
(And no, you do not have to answer all of these questions.  I'm just putting them out there in case you'd like to!)



Sunday, October 16, 2016

Just thinking about a special someone today...

Most of you probably don't know her.  After all, she's one of those free people--one of those happy, carefree individuals who are unencumbered with the endless work of writing word-filled thingys and posting them regularly on the internet.  (In other words, she doesn't have a blog.  So unless you have the privilege of knowing her in real life, I pity you. Because she's an awesome person to know.  She really is.)

Ahem.  She's my older sister.  And she happens to have a birthday this month, so I thought to celebrate I'd tell you all what a cool person she is.  And what it's like to be her sister.  And how very grateful I am for the distinction.  (This is going to be a rambling post,  so don't look for any cohesive order of subject.  I just feel like talking about my sister, so that's what I'm going to do.)


To begin with, it's Fall.  And Fall reminds me of my sister for three main reasons:

~Firstly, because she was born in the Fall.  (Okay, so that's not a very original reason, but it's true nonetheless.)

~Secondly, because Fall is her favorite season.  The cool weather, the beautiful colors, the inevitable death of the insect population...it's just her time of year.

~And thirdly, because the feel of a crisp fall air always manages to shoot me back to my childhood, when Sister and I used to play dress-up outside for hours on end.  Our long dresses flowing in the wind, our shawls draped elegantly over our shoulders, and our high-heeled shoes going clip, clop on the well traversed driveway.  Oh!  Happy times.

We always used to say this was a picture of us. 
I'm the girl with brown hair, and my sister's the one with blond hair.

The things we do together:

~Talk, talk, talk and TALK.  We can have the most hilarious conversations.  Also quite serious ones.  (Yes, we are capable of being sensible.  I kid you not.  ;))

~We read each other's minds.  Really, you don't always need words to communicate.  Especially when your sister's got half of your brain and you've got half of hers.  ;)

~On cold winter days, when we haven't anything else to do, you can find us in front of our bedroom heater. Keeping warm...and  yes, talking.  (It's what we do!)

~We dream about our future homes.  Like what kind of a man each of us is going to marry, and how our families are going to be super close friends.  (Yes.  Our husbands will get along with each other, and they will be friends! There's no two ways about it.)

~Together we keep invasive insects under control. You see, my sister can't stand bugs, but she's super good at spotting them in the house.  That's where I come in, and where we make an excellent team.  She spots 'em, and I kill 'em.  (Sometimes I wish she wasn't so very good at spotting them...)

~Shop for clothes. Shopping isn't our favorite thing to do, but every now and then we'll find ourselves in the mood and then it's always more fun to do it together.  (Also going out to lunch afterward as payment for our hard work of looking for new clothes can be a great incentive.)

~Baking cookies.  We've had a cookie baking partnership ever since we were nine and ten years old.  Our specialty is a quadruple batch of chocolate chip cookies (with a family our size there's no point in making anything smaller), and we've had the recipe memorized for ages.  We also very much enjoy eating the cookie dough.  (I mean, that's the whole point of making cookies, right?)  And I admit, we eat rather a lot of it.  When it comes to cookie dough and cookies (or anything sweet for that matter) we're like Frog and Toad.  We've got lots of willpower.  


My sister's humor is sort of like my own, dry and sarcastic.  Here's a sample of some of her great quotes:

~ "Every time I get this outdoorsy, adventurous, tomboyish feeling...I see a bug...and the feeling leaves me."

~ "In all things strive to do your best.  If that is not possible than please refrain from doing your worst."

~ "In life one must learn to deal with difficulties.  Sometimes you just have to eat oatmeal."

~ "Life is peachy.  It's like a canned peach.  I hate canned peaches."

~ "What did The Hobbit gross in its first year?  I don't know, but it grossed me out!"

 
And finally, her plan for regulating one's activities to correspond with the ever-changing temperature of the outdoors.

Freezing: Better thaw the house out by making cookies
Cool: Perfect time to make cookies.
Warm:  Last chance at making cookies before it gets too hot.
Hot:  For the good of the family, deal with the heat and make cookies.


10 Random Facts about my Sister:

1. One of her very favorite movies is Amazing Grace.  She used to watch it every year on her birthday.

2.  She loves J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.  And Frodo is her favorite character.

3.  She is one of the most generous people I have ever met.  Giving money without a second thought when she sees a need.  (You may want to steer clear of asking her for a quarter, though.  In the matter of dimes and nickels, she's stingy.  She collects them, and they're very precious to her, so ask her for a hundred dollars or something, but don't try to take one of her cent pieces.  ;))

4.  One time she won a game at a baby shower where you had to connect sixteen baby names to their meanings.  And she didn't just win the game, she got every single answer right.  (That's because she reads baby name books for fun!)

5. She collects tea cups.  But they must be bone china, made in England, and very pretty.  Otherwise they won't make the cut.

6. She's an excellent piano player, and plays somewhat by ear, which means she can pick out songs without having the music in front of her.  (I'm so envious!)

7. Singing is another of her talents.  Don't listen to her when she says she can't sing.  That's just her being a silly perfectionist.  (Something that tends to run in our family, I think.)

8. Sometimes I liken her to Sally from the Dick Van Dyke Show, because she enjoys making jokes about her desperate state of singleness, and how there really ought to be "mail order husbands."  Really, it's only fair.   ;)  

9. She's the type of person who brightens up a room, and is more often than not the life of the party.  Things are a lot less fun when she's not around.

10. Talking is one of the things she does best.  She'll say she talks too much.  But I say, somebody has to do the talking.  And when she does it so well, why knock it?


Dear Sister-Mine:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Here's a piece of cheese cake for you.  Sorry it's not raspberry cheese cake, but it's the best I could find.  (Oh, and pardon me for taking a bite out of it.  It's not that I was hungry or anything. I just had to check and make sure it wasn't poisoned!  You know.)  I want to say something profound about how much you mean to me, and all that, but I find it's rather difficult.  All I know is, I miss you when you're not home. I get excited when I hear you'll be home from work earlier than usual.  I love spending time with you, even if we're doing nothing.  You make life so much fun.  (And I'm not just saying that.  It's absolutely true!)  Thanks for sharing your heart with me.  For confiding in me.  For allowing me to experience your experiences with you.  I'm excited for what God is doing in your life right now, and I'm so blessed by your sensitivity to His spirit and your desire to hear His voice and fulfill His plan for your life.  

I just love you.  That's all. 

*****
To the outside world we all grow old.  
But not to brothers and sisters.  
We know each other as we always were.  
We know each other's hearts.  
We share private family jokes.  
We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  
We live outside the touch of time.    
~Clara Ortega

My sister and I when we were little.  Aren't we cute? :)

The best thing about having a sister was that I always had a friend.  
~Cali Rae Turner

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Blogger Recognition Award

My friend, Rae has nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award!  What is that, you ask?  Well, read the rules and you'll find out!  ;)
 
-Thank the blogger who nominated you.
-Tell a little bit about how you started blogging.
-Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
-Nominate 15 other bloggers.
 

First off, thank you so much, Rae!  It's always fun to be tagged! 
 
And now, the bit about how I started blogging:

Well, I'd been reading blogs for quite awhile, and had discovered this little community of Christian girls who liked to write about movies, and books, and stories, and basically some of my very favorite subjects.  And I said to myself, "It would be so cool if I could be a part of that, too."  This was a BIG deal, people.  Really.  The fact that I would even consider such a thing was totally "out there".  Because, you see, I'd never had a blog before.  Not one of my siblings had ever had a blog before!  It was not the normal thing for someone in our family to do.  And when something's not the norm, I tend to be very hesitant about trying it because, well, "what will my family think of me?"    But at last I did it.  And rather sneakily I admit.  Telling no one except my mom and one of my brothers.  (Well, I didn't want to talk it all up, just in case it all came to nothing, you know?)  I had grand plans to eventually show my siblings one of my posts (very casually, of course, and as if it were merely some random post written by some random person) and then when they'd finished reading it, cry proudly "I wrote that!"  Ta-da! *Dramatic and triumphant music*  Well, but I'm afraid I never got that satisfaction, as everyone in my family found out in a much lamer way.  (Which is typical.  Dramatic experiences being in the habit of avoiding me, I think.)  But anyhow...where was I going with all this?  Train of thought, off the track; disappeared, and can't come back!  (Hey.  That's a nice little jingle, don't you think?  And I made that up all by myself.)  'Hem.  To sum up.  I didn't have a blog, and now I do, and boy are we happy!
 
 
Advice Tidbit No. 1:  Make your blog your own

[This is the "Do as I say, not as I do" part.  Or in other words, the part where I find I'm giving advice to myself, and not just to new bloggers!]

Don't try to make your blog like someone else's, or feel bad because it isn't like someone else's.  That's a losing battle.  Yes, I know.  There are so many wonderful blogs out there.  And so many wonderful posts.  And it's only natural that you should like to write similarly to the posts that you so enjoy reading.  But well...sometimes that just isn't possible.  And that's okay.  You have a unique personality; unique interests, passions, and delights; a unique sense of humor and a unique style of writing.  (And if I say unique one more time it's going to stop sounding like a real word!  Just sayin'.)  No one else can blog the way you do.   The things you write are not going to appeal to every single person out there, but there are some who are going to love them!  So just write.  And don't bother with the idea that's there's a "proper" way to blog and that you're failing if your blog doesn't end up being like So-and-so's.  After all, So-and-so's blog isn't like that other So-and-so's over there, and who's saying which is best?  (Now I'm sick of the word, "so"...)
 
 
Advice Tidbit No. 2:  When you feel like no one is reading your posts...

This is probably no help at all, but for myself when I feel like no one enjoyed the post I just wrote (judging from the amount of comments I got on it or something--yes, I count comments, that's a bad idea, too) I like to remind myself that there just might be a silent reader out there.  Someone who never comments, but who greatly enjoys my posts and checks my blog frequently hoping for something new to read.  Because I was a silent reader myself once.  I would check the same blogs multiple times a day hoping, just hoping, there would be a new post to read.  And sometimes there was, and it would brighten up my day! 

So.  When you feel like no one is reading what you write, imagine that one silent reader who may just be waiting anxiously for a new post from you, and write for them.  Just that one person.  Because even if it's only one person who is blessed by your writing, that's enough.  Really.  That's success.

 
P.S. I'm afraid my advice may have turned out a bit lame, but that's only because certain friends of mine stole...ahem...came up with a lot of the really good advice before I had a chance to.  (coughcoughAbbyandRaecoughcough)  But at any rate, I hope you managed to get something out of this, and if you're still looking for more blogging advice, please head over to Rae's and Abby's blogs.  They had some really good things to say.
 
I tag:
 
And I'm too lazy to tag anyone else.  (Besides, Rae and Abby already tagged some of the people I was going to tag...hem.  Sorry. I really shouldn't be blaming everything on you poor girls, should I?  That's not very nice of  me at all.  "Bad girl, Miss March!"  ;))
 
Okay, I have a feeling I missed someone I should have tagged.  If I did, please come and scold me.  I deserve it.  And just so you know, this tag is free for the taking. (I mean I have seven extra spots, right? 15 minus 8 equals 7?  Yeah, that's right.  I learned math in school.  I did!)  So if you'd like to complete this tag PLEASE DO!  And then let me know so I can read your post because...I need all the blogging advice I can get!!
 
Cheerio my friends! Have a wonderful day and don't forget to...I don't know.  Do that thing you were supposed to be doing, I guess. 


Monday, October 10, 2016

Anne of Green Gables Week Tag!

Miss Evie is hosting an Anne of Green Gables Week at her blog, Over the Hills!  Do check it out! 

Here are my answers to the delightful tag she created to start off the week:
 
 
1. How did you get introduced to Anne of Green Gables?
I guess through the movies--way back when I was little.  I hardly remember anymore.

2. Are you more like Anne or Diana? Why?
Hmm...not sure really.  But probably Diana.  I'm not the exciting, talkative, full of grand plans, type of person that Anne is.  I tend to be more quiet and in the background.  Happy to be a faithful friend who's always there to listen and encourage.


3. If Rachel Lydne called your hair as red as carrots how would you react? 
Well, seeing that I don't find red hair particularly abhorrent; and seeing that I'm not given to expressing my displeasure in as straightforward and heated manner as Anne--especially to a stranger--I have a feeling my reaction would be anything but dramatic.  Probably something lame like, "Oh, really?"  *polite, but slightly confused, smile*

4. Gilbert or Morgan Harris? 
MORGAN HARRIS, OF COURSE!  He's so utterly romantic and handsome and charming...what am I saying?  ABOSLUTELY NOT!  He's obnoxious and annoying and...*shivers*  I can't stand him!!  His smile gives me the creeps.  (Why do I always have to start out by giving a fake answer, before I give my real answer?  What is my problem?)  Anyway, of COURSE I like Gilbert best.  Who wouldn't? He's such a dear, sweet, wonderful person, and ANNE SHOULD HAVE LIKED HIM FROM THE START! She really should have.  (Silly Anne.)

I mean, look at them.  They were totally meant to be together.  :)

5. Honest opinion on the third Anne film. 
Ahem.  It's been a long time since I've seen it but I really didn't like it when I did.  It just wasn't right.  In fact, it was all wrong.  And I'm sure I could get on my soap box about this for quite sometime, except that the memories of it have grown rather dim, and thus I find myself highly lacking in ammunition.  (Aw. Too bad.)

6. Have you seen the New Anne film?
No, unfortunately.   (Or would that be, fortunately? ;))

7. What in your own words is a Kindred Spirit?
Someone who understands how I feel about the things that are nearest and dearest to my heart.  Someone who shares common interests with me and who I can talk to about almost anything.  Someone who's totally comfortable to be around because we just enjoy being together, even if we're not doing anything special.


8.  Movie Gilbert or Green Gables Fables Gilbert?
I've never seen the Green Gables Fables Gilbert, so Movie Gilbert.  Definitely.  (And I think I should like movie Gilbert best in any case.  After all, he was the first Gilbert I was ever introduced to, so it's only natural.)
 
9.  Does anyone know where we can watch Road to Avonlea online?
I haven't a clue.  Sorry.  :(

10. Favourite book cover?
Oh, dear.  I don't know.

11. The Films or The Books?
It rather goes against my principles to say this (considering that I usually prefer to like the books better than the movies) but I think I do probably like the films better.  At least the first film.  I've read most of the books, but I don't think they endeared themselves to me as much as the movie did.  For one thing, Gilbert wasn't in the books enough.  (Not in my opinion anyway.)  And for another, I was one of those poor children who watched the movie before reading the book, and thus got off on the wrong footing from the start.  (I can't help it.  It's just one of the facts of life.)


Well, that's it!  Thanks for a very fun tag, Evie!!
 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Answers to "A Very Random Game"

Just popping in with the answers to last week's game.  Thank you all for playing!  It was fun!  (And obviously we are all quite familiar with Emma 2009!  Haha!)
 
To make things simpler I decided to count it as a correct guess even if you didn't know the character's name.  So that means as long as you got the correct movie, well...you got it!  (I say, girls, good show!!) (Winnie-the-Pooh quote, I think.  Yeah, once I've started quoting I can't stop...)
 
And speaking of Winnie-the-Pooh...
Here's  a random Winnie-the-Pooh picture...
Because I needed a picture in this post, and Pooh was good enough to oblige me.
 
The Answers
 
1. "Knittin', Zeb?"
Movie: Sergeant York // Character: Alvin York
 
2. "You speak as though it was something to eat."
Movie:  Anne of Avonlea // Character: Mrs. Harris
(Yes, our VHS tape is called Anne of Avonlea, not Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel.  Still, it counts as the same thing, of course. ;))
 
3. "Madness in this weather.  Insane!"
Movie: Emma 2009 // Character: Frank Churchill
 
4. "My advice to you is get yourself a job and look after your kids."  "They're not my kids!"
Movie: The Apple Dumpling Gang // Characters: Dusty and Donavan
 
5. "I do wonder he did not remember the book."
Movie: Emma 2009 // Character: Harriet Smith
 
6. "My father taught me that victory goes to him who takes the greatest risk."
Movie:  The Fighting Prince of Donegal // Character:  Hugh O'Donell

7. "I do not enjoy dancing and I'm not good at it."
Movie: Emma 2009 (yes, again!) // Character: Mr. Knightley
 
8. "I always wanted to be a June bride.  And have a baby right off.  In the Spring maybe."
Movie:  Seven Brides for Seven Brothers // Character: Dorcas
 
9. "I fear you have long been desiring my absence.  I shall leave you now."
Movie:  Pride and Prejudice 1995 // Character:  Mr. Darcy
 
 
Players Scores:
 
Miss Meg: 40
Rae: 50
Cordy: 60
 
 
Good job everyone!!   Thanks again for playing!