Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween through the years.

My family doesn't celebrate Halloween. My mother can't stand it and always locks herself up in the house and turns off all the lights.
For the past few years I have either gone to my friend's church (where they have a fall carnival type thing where you can dress up) or I've done stuff with my own youth group (we set up a hot chocolate stand).
The best part of Halloween (for me) is the dressing up. I LOVE to dress up, especially if I can make my costume myself (or have my mom do it....). I love putting together the costume and it's even better to wear it around. If I could, I would dress in costume every day.

Now, let me take you back to 2008.... Either the first or second year I went to my friend's church. 2008 was when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out in theaters and I kind of went crazy for Indiana Jones.... So it was little wonder when I dress up as him for Halloween!


I won best costume that year. Lots of candy.......
 
2009 I dressed up as Han Solo while my friend dressed as Princess Leia ("HEY DARTH VADER, I'M YOUR DAUGHTER, PRINCESS LEIA!")
 
 
In 2010 my youth group had a door which we took around and had people knock on... We would hand them a candy bar wrapped with information about our church. A second group stood outside the church by the road handing out hot chocolate to passerbys. I was a Star Trek character that year.... A doctor.

 
 
Last year I spent most of Halloween night with my friend who had recently had back surgery and couldn't go out. I spent the last hour or so with my youth group...
In honor of the upcoming Tintin movie, I dressed up as Tintin! Rosey made a good Snowy.
 
 
 
 
I was amazed that this year I survived Halloween.... I had one person come up to me and say, "I'm so sorry, but you will not make it through the night."
Why did he say this you ask? Simply because I was an Expendable Crewman. A redshirt. The one sent on away missions to die.....
 
 


Yes, that is a phaser in my hand. My dad is amazing.
Speaking of him.....



I didn't win the battle....
 
 
"Beam me up Scotty!"
 
Live long and prosper!






Tuesday, October 30, 2012

No Place Like Holmes.

I did something I've never really done before
I bought a book.
That isn't strange in itself, as I buy books all the time. But I almost never buy books new. Unless I've read them before (and can't find them used), I have a gift card to Barnes and Nobles, the book is part of the Warriors series, or some other series.
But yesterday I bought a new book. At the Christian bookstore non-the-less!
When I go to the Christian bookstore I always look at the youth books... And I always see the same three types of book.

1. Pink frilly girly books about a girl who loves boys and then realises that God has all she needs. While this is a good plot.... It's overused. A lot.
2. What if.... What if I could see angels? What if I knew someone who could sense others emotions? What if I was sent to live with two horrid aunts who lived on a streets full of aliens? What if I found a gateway to another world?! What if... what if... what if....
3. Human from earth gets thrown into a different (dark) world where they have to learn to survive... Oh yeah. And there's a dragon. There is always a dragon in these stories. I don't know why. I don't know how they contribute to all those stories.... But somehow they do.

This book that I bought (well, half bought. Mom paid $5 and I paid $5) was the only one that was different on the whole shelf.
It initially caught my eye a few months ago when I was at the (same) bookstore. The name was what caught my eye.
"No Place Like Holmes."
I remember pulling it out a few months ago and reading the back.... Something about a boy going to live with his uncle who lives at 221A Baker Street. I didn't really think much of it a few months ago - I thought the story took place in present day.
Well, yesterday when I was at the Christian bookstore I saw it again and started reading it.
Low and behold, the story doesn't take place in present day, but in 1903! I started reading and got hooked!
Not that the writing is particularly grand. The author (one Jason Lethcoe) has a habit of repeating the same thing over and over again and using too many words to say something. But the story is brilliant!
Not to mention the cover... LOVE it.


Griffin Sharpe is 12 years old and has the uncanny ability to notice everything. When he is sent by his parents in Boston to live with his uncle in London for the summer, Griffin becomes excited because his uncle lives at 221 Baker Street. Griffin, who has never meet or seen a picture of his uncle, assumes that the great detective Sherlock Holmes is his uncle. However, Griffin is solely mistaken.
He meets his uncle, Mr. Snodgrass, who lives in 221A Baker Street, not 221B. He is the downstairs neighbor of Sherlock Holmes and, strangely enough, Mr. Snodgrass is also a consulting detective! However, living below the world's most famous detective doesn't get Mr. Snodgrass much work. Oh yeah, and did I mention Mr. Snodgrass is a brilliant inventor with a mechanical butler named Watts, a vacuum cleaner, a lie detector, and other advanced inventions?
Mr. Snodgrass was not aware of Griffin's coming and gives the boy several harsh rules, including staying out of the flat from 6 in the morning, to 6 at night. On the first day, Griffin hails a hansom cab which nearly runs over a lady looking for Sherlock Holmes. Because the great detective isn't home, Griffin and his uncle take her case. And what a case it is! She claims her husband has been eaten by the Loch Ness Monster! There was even a witness who seems to be telling the truth (the lie detector doesn't lie).... And what about the 1500 kilograms of Chinese fireworks that were stolen from a cargo ship which also held several artifacts worth lots of money? Griffin is sure the two mysteries are connected... but how? And how to get Mr. Snodgrass to believe that the two are connected?

That's as far as I've read in the book.... I was really not expecting the mechanical butler. GREAT plot twist! Especially in 1903.... My question is, how did Mr. Snodgrass invent all these things? And if he's starving, why doesn't he sell his inventions? Unless he didn't invent them.....
Thus far, I have NO CLUE what is going to happen in the book. Usually I can sort of see where the book is headed (because it's obvious or I've read ahead and sort of know what's going to happen) but this book.... I honestly have no clue!
I really like Uncle Snodgrass. He absolutely hates Sherlock Holmes which makes the story pretty funny.
I also like Watts, the mechanical butler, though he hasn't been in the story very much.
And how did the Loch Ness Monster get from Ireland to the River Thames??
Another thing I really like about this book is that it's plot isn't about salvation. So many Christian books have themes centered around salvation (i.e. kid not Christian - has something happen to him - turns to God - loses friends - hangs onto God - finds new friends - happily ever after) and it's refreshing to have a Christian book that has a plot other than that, while still including God in the story. That's how I'm going to attempt to write my NaNoWriMo novel. Why read about salvation in fictional books when you can read about the REAL thing and experience it for yourself when reading the Bible?

And now I have to go to bed. You can probably expect a book review when I finish it....

"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."
Isaiah 12:2.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I've been tagged!

Miss Jack Lewis Baillot tagged me!

First, 11 random things about me:

1. I'm being something red for Halloween.
2. Dressing up is the only good thing about Halloween.
3. I'm going to friends church for Halloween and I'm exciiiiited!
4. My dad is amazing because he makes things.
5. He got that from his dad.
6. I shop at thrift stores and I look good.
7. George Gershwin. Rhapsody in Blue. My new favorite song.
8. NaNoWriMo starts in 3 days, 3 hours, 43 minutes, and 48 seconds.
9. I'm excited for that.
10. I would love to see the Borg and the Daleks have a face off. They both have similar motives.

11.


Now to answer Jack's questions (I LOVE these questions!! The Big Fat Tintin Quiz is such a funny video.)

1. Who would win in a sword fight, Steven Spielberg or Peter Jackson?
Neither, they would plan out this big huge fight scene on the deck of the Unicorn and then act it out and neither would win so they would go make a movie about it.

2. Have you ever tried to do Tintin's quiff while in the bath?
Unfortunately no... My hair's a bit too long for that.

3. Which books aren't the Thom(p)sons in?
The Tale of the Missing Thom(p)sons. Tintin Meets Timson and Gimpson. And Tintin in the Congo.

4. What are the two phrases Tintin likes to shout?
"GREAT SNAKES!" and "Crumbs!"

5. Name one of the phrases Captain Haddock yells.
"Billions of blue blistering barnacles and ten thousand thundering typons!" Also, "Ectoplasm!" (which is part of amebas or something.... I just learned this in science!)

6. What is Snowy's name in the French language?
Milou.

I FOUND MY PEN!!!!!!!!! Sorry, that was just good news.
Congratulations!

7. The Milanese Nightingale miss prounces Haddock's name all the time. What is one of the names she calls him?
Captain Paddock.

8. Why does she miss prounce his name?
Because she's hard of hearing? I don't know. She would be a good match for Professor Calculas.... My personal favorite mis-pronunciation is when Captain Haddock calls the Grand Abbott (from Tintin in Tibet) the Grand Piano. 

9. What three books did the writers base the new movie after?
The Crab with the Golden Claws, Secret of the Unicorn, and Red Rackham's Treasure.

10. Do you know how Tintin got his name?
I think I heard the story once but I honestly don't know. How? I know that his name means nothing or something.

11. In which book does Tintin reveal he is not, in fact, using his real name?
Oh my goodness... I can't remember! But I remember what he says! He's like, "My name doesn't matter, but at home they call me Tintin." And I remember where he says it... He says it in an arab's tent, doesn't he? So.... Cigars of the Pharoh? One of the early books... The one with Oliviero Defigiero I think.
 
Thanks for the fun questions! :D
Also, I do not tag anyone.
 
Live long and prosper!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

NaNoWriMo Checklist.

 
Plot:

Characters:

Evil plot twist that will make my characters hate me:
 
 
Time (more or less....):

Noveling music (Music to Spy By!):

Candy (to get Oct. 31):
 
Procrastination:

Looks like I'm already to go!
Live long and prosper.


Friday, October 26, 2012

My decision accompanied by lots of screaming.

*drumroll*
I am doing NaNoWriMo.
*takes deep breath*
Yes.
I am doing it.
MWAHAHAAA.
Last night I was brainstorming with my parents about my plot and I was saying something like, "IF I do NaNoWriMo..." and my mom interrupted and said, "Oh come on, you KNOW you are going to do it."
And so I pretty much caved.
I think I've known in my hearts of hearts for a week or two now that I will be doing NaNoWriMo. I just didn't feel up to admitting it. I still don't actually. My brain is screaming, "ABBEY: GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF! YOU ARE TOOOOO BUSY!!" But my inner writer was arguing back.... So now it seems like it's won.
I am doing NaNoWriMo.
And now I'm panicking.
FIVE DAYS AND ONE HOUR UNTIL NANOWRIMO! MY PLOT IS IN SHAMBLES! ONE OF MY MAIN CHARACTER'S DOES NOT HAVE A PAST! AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
At least my bad guy sort of has a motive? I know what everyone is after.... But... but... I have to do research! On rhinestones none the less! AHHHHHHH!!! Not enough time!!
Brain. On. Overload.
Like I don't have enough to think about anyway.... I'm gonna be up all night. Sigh. My brain already keeps me up thinking too late!!
One good thing: Most of my characters have names! My two main characters... their friend.... My female main character's family.... But..... but.... I need names for their boss! And the evil minions! AHHHHH!!!
Ok... Get a hold of yourself Abbey. Pull yourself together. It's only 50,000 words in a month.... AHHHHHH!!! Ok maybe not 50,000.... 40,000? 30,000? We'll see how far that gets me.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Live long.... and... prosper...?

*faints*

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Literary rambles.

So (what seems like) a looooong time ago I posted on my blog a list of books I'd like to read.
Here it is (with one or two added or subtracted...).

1. Vancouver Sun books by various authors. (I have three and a half of them read... The Jungle Book, The Secret Garden, half of Frankenstien, and book #25 which is Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories which I had to read for literature!)
2. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. (Still working on this one.... I'm more than half way through! The end is nigh!)
3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
4. Emma by Jane Austin.
5. Books by Charles Dickens.
6. Books by Jules Verne.
7. Books by H.G. Wells.
8. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.
9. Re-read Watership Down by Richard (?) Adams.
10. Re-read The Freedom Factor by Gerald L. Lund.
11. Re-read The Alliance by same author.
12. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
13. Leviathan by Scott Westerfield.
14. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien.
15. Re-read Robin Hood by Howard Pyle.
16. A biography on J.R.R. Tolkien. (I'm one step closer.... I now own a biography about Tolkien. I just have to find time to read it.)
17. More of the Bible. (I have certainly read more of the Bible since the last time I posted this list! But I don't think it counts, yet.)
18. The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
19. Books by C.S. Lewis.
20. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

After I finish the books I'm currently reading, I am going to read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (should be easy, it's less than 100 pages long!) and hopefully start Jane Eyre. However I'm not sure if Jane Eyre will ever get read because Moby Dick is threatening me from literature class.... It's 130+ chapters long! I'm not sure if I'm excited, upset, or just plain nervous. I have never read anything that long before.



NaNoWriMo. AKA National Novel Writing Month. AKA November. AKA 7 days, 5 hours, 42 minutes, and 8 seconds from now.... 7.... 6.... 5....
Anyway.
NaNoWriMo is where you try to write a 50,000 words novel in a month (although you can adjust your word count if you want).


(Hey, I resemble the guy on the left with the colorful hat).

Last year NaNoWriMo completely burned me out. I had my 50,000 words but my novel still wasn't finished by the end of November....
Actually, my novel still isn't finished. I've done the first two edits and now I'm waiting for my editor (COUGH COUGH MOM! COUGH COUGH!) to look over it and find any mistakes.
I am still undecided whether to do NaNoWriMo this year or not.... I know, I only have 7 days, 5 hours, 18 minutes, and 50 seconds.... But I just can't decide! Just in case, I'm getting my plot and my characters all ready to go. This year's novel will be an espionage story and that's all I'm saying about it right now. Other than the plot has been spinning around in my head all summer.
Outlining. There are many different preferences when it comes to outlining. Some like to have bullet points, some have detailed summaries of every chapter, some go without outlines. My personal preference is a paragraph for each scene in the story. Not particularly detailed... Just a brief summary of what happens in the scene.
For example....

Scene 1: Han Solo and Princess Leia are in a room in the Cloud City. Chewbacca comes in with parts of C3PO and says he found him in a junk pile. Talk about it. Lando comes in, asks if he can fix Threepio. They say no. Lando invites them to dinner. They leave.
Scene 2: Arrive at the dining room, find Darth Vader.
Scene 3: etc. etc....

In my outline, I have the first two scenes outlined and the third in the back of my brain. I need to look at some of my notes before proceeding any further.
Something different that I will do this year - if I do undertake NaNoWriMo - is the dares. On the NaNoWriMo Youth Writers Program website they have a dare machine. You can click it and it will give you a dare which you have to (if you want to) incorporate into your story. Last year I wasn't able to do any dares because they wouldn't fit with my 17th century theme. This year, though, my novel will be set in 2022 and the dares will be perfectly acceptable!

So I have a big decision before me....

Live long and prosper!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Another book review.

Title: Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories.

Author: Washington Irving.

Synopsis:
"Rip Van Winkle" is about a man who had a nagging wife. One day, Rip goes up into the mountains to get away from his wife. He follows a strange man carrying a barrel and ends up drinking some of the substance inside. Rip then falls asleep for 20 years, sleeping through the entire Revolutionary War! When Rip wakes up he returns to his villiage to find that many years have past and his wife has died.
"The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" follows Ichabod Crane the pedagogue (teacher) of a small town. Ichabod is long and lanky and loves to eat. He also loves ghost stories and spooks. And a girl named Katrina. Since Katrina is the prettiest girl in the villiage and her father the richest farmer, she has many men after her heart. The strongest man is Brom Bones, the hunk of the villiage. Ichabod is no match to Brom Bones in strength, but in mind he has the advantage. When everyone is invited to a party at Katrina's father's farm, Ichabod stole the dancing floor and also heard one too many ghost stories... One that particularly frightened him was the tale of the Headless Horseman, said to be a dead British officer whose head was lost in the Revolutionary War. He rides every night looking for a head. When Ichabod rides home after the party he has to go through Sleepy Hollow, where the horseman rides every night. Will the spook show up or will Ichabod get home alright?
"The Spectre Bridegroom." A duchess is to be married to a man to connect the two kingdoms. But when the bridegroom is killed on his way to meet the bride, his friend poses as him.
"The Pride of the Villiage" is about a girl who falls in love with a man who then leaves her. She dies from a broken heart.
"Mountjoy" is a seemingly unfinished story about a man who learns about learning and love.

My Rating: 8/10

Why I liked the story: Some descriptions are lush and seem to drag on, even though they are brilliant (Lord of the Rings). Washington Irving's description is lush, gorgeous, and funny. Most of his stories are description, but they are so wonderful that you hardly notice.
Here is the first sentences of Rip Van Winkle (one of the most brilliant pieces of writing I think I've ever read):
Whoever has made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Catskill Mountains. They are a dismembered branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country. Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, prodces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the good wives, far and near, as perfect barometers. When the weather is fair and settled, they are clothed in blue and purple, and print their bold outlines on the clear evening sky; but sometimes, when the rest of the landscape is cloudless, they will father a hood of gray vapors about their summits, which, in the last rays of the setting sun, will glow and light up like a crown of glory.
I wish I could write like that... His description is my favorite part of the stories.
I also really like how his sort stories seem like such bigger things than they really are. Washington Irving was truly a great short story writer.
Lots of great vocabulary words!

Why I disliked the story/things you should know: Mountjoy isn't completed! It leaves you hanging! You don't know whether Harry goes back to studying or ignores the old man's advice! What about Julia? Do they fall in love?? And why is she only 15? Anyway, that was a let down.
I didn't really get anything from Rip Van Winkle... He was a lazy man whose wife had every right to nag him, yet that was portrayed as a bad thing. Sure, we shouldn't nag people... But we also shouldn't be lazy and not do our work. Falling asleep for 20 years to wake up and find all your problems dead and gone doesn't seem like the right solution....
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow may be scary to some.
I found the whole Pride of the Villiage story a bit weak and cliche and ridiculous... A lot like Marianne and Willoughby from Sense and Sensibility. But at the same time it was sad and a bit beautiful... Warning girls to not fall in love without God, perhaps?

Will I read it again? Yes. Actually, I'm re-reading Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow already because it's my assignment for literature class.

Would I recommend this book? Yes! I think it is a good book for any aspiring author to read, so they can see the different writing style and creative descriptive language the author uses.

Live long and prosper!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Freedom Factor: A review.

(I promise; reviews are not the only thing I do anymore.)


Title: The Freedom Factor.

Author: Gerald N. Lund.

Synopsis:
"And this new amendment that passed the Senate yesterday? A lot of people are saying that this will return the government back to the people. How do you feel about that?"
Gorham smashed his fist against the arm of his chair, startling even the host. "It cannot be passed! It threatens the very heart of the freedoms we (the Founding Fathers) fought for. You may as well gut the whole Constitution, for it breaks down the check-and-balance system almost completely. How can you have a strong president if he can be tossed out of office at every whim? And how can Congress function without set terms of office? Already your senators and congressmen are so worried about winning the next election, they can hardly function. This amendment will put that completely in shambles!"
The camera had moved in tight on Gorham no. He leaned forward and peered into the lends. Bryce felt a sudden chill, as though Gorham were looking directly at him. "We gave the best blood of our generation to win liberty for ourselves and our posterity. Would you throw it away so cheaply? And with the very instrument we gave you to protect it? How can you be so blind?"
Byrce Sherwood is a senator's aide living in Washington D.C. - the beating and throbbing heart of the United States. The Hawkes/Larkin bill has just past the Senate and he - as Senator Hawkes aide - is thrilled. But what exactly is the Hawkes/Larkin bill - the proposed 27th amendment to the Constitution?
"Under the new amendment," Bryce continued, "Congress can pass a resolution of no-confidence in the administration. If two-thirds of both houses concur in this no-confidence vote, the government is dissolved and new elections are held within six weeks."
AKA, if both the House and Senate (two-thirds) agree, the president and Congress members are thrown out of office and new elections are held.
But there is opposition towards this amendment. The "Save the Constitution" group believe that if this amendment is passed, it will destroy the checks and balances set up by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.
Evidently, the Founding Fathers agree because they send one of the representatives from the Constitutional Convention - one Nathaniel Gorham from Massachusetts - to talk with Bryce.
You see, Bryce has been offered senatorship and a shot at the White House by a powerful man named Elliot Mannington.
Though Gorham, Leslie Adams - a fervent supporter of the "Save the Constitution" movement and Bryce's new girlfriend - and Leslie's father Paul Adams give Bryce good debate against the bill, Bryce still won't change his mind.
Gorham and the council of Founding Fathers (in the spiritual realm) take drastic measures and send Bryce to an alternate reality where the Constitution was never ratified.
Bryce, horrified, has to find a way to live in this alternate universe where there is no United States and Canada, but several nations instead. Unfortunately, Bryce didn't land in Free Canada or the small coalition of states that calls themselves the Unite States. Bryce landed in the Confederacy of New England where there is an oppressive military government in control of the masses.
Will Bryce be able to survive in this dangerous world where he knows nothing? Especially when he joins the resistance movement and meets the evil Elliot Mannington of this reality? Will Bryce ever return to his universe or is he stuck forever?
The Freedom Factor, filled with espionage, action, and love, is an eye-opening reminder of just how important our Constitution freedom is.

My rating: 10/10.

Why I liked the story: TOO MANY REASONS TO COUNT! This is one of my favorite books ever.
The characters are brilliant and vibrant. Bryce grows throughout the book. It's very interesting to see the alternate Leslie's and Paul's.
I love the double agent theme that plays through the second half the of the book (the half where Bryce in is the alternate reality).
I like that almost half of the book takes place in our universe before Bryce is thrown into the other. It makes for a nice blend and transition - you get enough in both worlds. It's nicely balanced.
Bryce and Leslie are just too cute as a couple (though I wish they'd cut out some of the kissing. xD).'
The point of the book is wonderful and brought off in an easy to understand fashion.
The descriptions are fabulous.
It's just a wonderful book with a great plot and characters! Go read it.

Why I disliked the story/things you need to know: This books probably shouldn't be read by people under 12. The storyline is just a little too complex for kids under that age to comprehend.
Bryce and Leslie kiss. Not too terribly much and not very graphically. But still... I wish they'd held off a little bit.
A number of people are shot and one smashes against a wall, leaving a smear.
A few bad words.
Though the plot is and writing is really great, there are a few parts where the plot is rushed and bit and there are a few discontinuities.

Will I read it again? YES! I read it at least once a year.

Would I recommend this book? YES! To every American. I think someone needs to send a copy to Obama...

Live long and prosper!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Let sleeping dogs lie: a day in the life of Rosey.

Between 8 and 9.... Quietly sleeping on Abbey's bed. Wait! Wait! Is that Mom I hear shifting in her bed down the hall? MOM! MOM! MOM!
Unfortunately to the still sleeping Abbey that sounds like, "YELP! YELP! YELP! WHINE! BARK BARK!"
Rosey then procedes to spend the rest of her day napping under various items in the house.


Under the coffee table....


The star chair....


Under the OTHER coffee table....


Play with me!


Protecting the backyard. Rosey likes to sit outside and just look. Though in the past few weeks she has caught a killed two young possums. That's my fearsome fluffball!


Pretending to be in the depths of depair because Mom went to the dentist.


"Why does Abbey do this to me?"


Under the computer desk.


"Me and my giraffe are just going to ignore you." In her dog bed....


In her kennel....


On the sofa....


"Oh look, a bone."


Under the table....

And the days ends back on Abbey's bed, fast asleep until tomorrow.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin - A Review.

Most everyone has heard of Benjamin Franklin.... He did some sort of experiment with a kite, right? is most people's knowledge of the man.
Oh yeah, and he attended the Constitutional Convention.


But there is so much more to this man!
Benjamin Franlin was born to Josiah and Abiah Franklin in 1706 in Boston. He was somewhere in the middle of 17 children (some were by Josiah's first wife who died).
Though Josiah Franklin was just a candlemaker (who didn't make much money), people would come from all over Boston to consult him on different issues. They were invited to stay for dinner and there was always some sort of intelligent debate going on at the table, which the children were encouraged to take part in.
Little Ben Franklin delighted in these debates so much that he didn't even notice how little their was on his plate!
When he was 10 or so years old Benjamin was sent to school to become a clergy but with 16 other children to provide for, Josiah Franklin had to pull Benjamin out.
Benjamin Franklin had always loved swimming and the water and wished to runaway to sea to become a sailor. To prevent this, Josiah Franlin apprenced 12 year old Ben to his older brother James who ran a printing press.
Benjamin soon learned the trade and became a very skilled printer.
He and James argued about the business and when Benjamin was 17 he ran away to Philiadelphia to get work there.
Ben was employed at one of the local printing shops and because he was such a hard worker and didn't drink like the majority of other workers, he soon caught the eye of the govenor.
The govenor offers Ben the chance to go to England to get a printing press of his own so he can start his own printing busines. So after a few months of being away from home, Ben goes back and everybody is glad to see him. His father, however, tells his that he is too young and inexperienced to start his own printing business. So Ben goes back to Philiadelphia to continue working for his boss.
The govenor keeps talking to him and eventually Ben decides to go to England. The govenor was going to write him letters of recomendation but when Ben's boat finally reached England, no letters were to be found and another passenger told Ben that the govenor was all talk and no busines.
So now Ben Franklin was stuck in London England. Without much ado he found work in a printing shop in England and stayed there for 18 months.
Ben Franklin had every intention of sailing back to Philiadelphia to continue printing, however another oppertunity arose.
The same passenger who told Ben of the governor's character offered to start a store with Ben. Ben readily agreed and the two carried on in business for a few years until the man died. Then Ben went back to the printing office where his old boss had hired many new hands - of which, none knew how to run a press! So Ben tidied up the office and taught the others the trade of printing.
Ben and one of the men he had trained decided to buy a printing press and building together and start up the third printing press in Philiadelphia.
They borrowed the money from the other man's father and soon became the most popular press in Philiadelphia - especially when they started printing their own newspaper.
Eventually the other man left and Ben payed off the debts of the printing house.
After working in the printing business for some time and amasing great sums of money, he let one of his apprentices take over the trade.
Ben, meanwhile, was working on his electricity experiments and was an active member of his self-formed club the Junto (they were kind of like the Inklings... they wrote philisophical papers and discussed current events with another) and in the Assembly (which was kind of like Congress - only this was before the Revoultionary War and before the Constitution).
Benjamin Franklin was so successful that everyone came to consult him on everything. Hardly anything would be approved by the people if Benjamin Franklin didn't first approve it!
He started the first subscription library, a firehouse, and he aided in starting the hospital and university in Philiadelphia.
Around this time (1755) the French and Indian war started. Benjamin Franklin did a lot to muster the troops in the colonies because he didn't think the British were very capable - especially after the defeat of General Braddock! Benjamin Franklin even led an army for awhile - they built three forts to defend themselves before Franklin was called back to the Assembly.
In 1757 Franklin was sent to England to talk to the government over there about taxation in the colonies.
Then the biography ends because Benjamin Franklin died. The year was 1790. He accomplished many many many things in his life. One thing that stood out throughout the whole book was Franklin's sense of morality. He wanted to achieve perfection - or as close to it as he could get. That is why he created his 13 virtues. He would work on one virtue a week for 13 weeks and by the end of the 13 weeks, his faults would be a little less than they were before. Franklin never drank like the other men of the town and would only support causes that he thought were right.
The only downfall to his life was that he wasn't religious. He seldom went to church and though he believed that God created the world and that we will all be judged eventually, he didn't outright say that he believed Jesus died to save him from his sins.

I read Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin for my literature class and I'm so glad I did! I thought that it was a wonderful read, despite the older english. It wasn't dry (at least I thought so - others might) and Ben Franklin has a very entertaining writing style! I found him quite funny.

Overall, I give this book an 8/10 rating.

Live long and prosper!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Day by day, and with each passing moment....

....Strength I find to meet my trials here; trusting in my Father's wise bestowment, I've no cause for worry or fear.

Those who have been around since my first month of blogging may remember THIS post about my first day of school.
I thought I'd do a post similar - about the curriculums I am currently using.

In science, I am studying biology with Exploring Creation with Biology by Dr. Jay Wile. I have been using the "Exploring Creation...." curriculum for almost my entire student life. They are very good books, though sometimes dry and boring, like all science books can be. I am enjoying biology a lot more than physical science, which was the last book.
And off to the left is my self-decorated amazing science notebook.... complete with Paul McCartney, the Beatles, a Star Trek logo, the TARDIS, the Ninth and Tenth doctors, and a picture of my piano.
And above the Beatles is a quote by Benjamin Franklin: "Never leave that for tomorrow which you can do today."


In math I am grade or two behind... So I'm trying to get caught up in that.
So far in algebra we've just been doing review... All the easy questions are throwing me off! I expect them to be hard, over think them, and end up getting the wrong answer. Sigh....
Teaching Textbooks is a good math curriculum for those who don't understand how math works (that would be me!). It explains things very well and you can buy an explanatory CD for the computer that helps you along as well.


My mother is the teacher of my writing "class" made up of me and two friends. We are learning how to write good essays using The Lively Art of Writing by Lucile Vaughan Payne. I am learning lots of good things! I only wish the author would cut back on the examples!


I'm learning cursive for the first time....


And I'm still learning Dutch with Rosetta Stone.


The literature course I am currently going through is Excellence in Literature the American literature study. The books to read include, Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin, Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, House of Mirth by Edith Wharton, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.


Then of course there's music..... I'm in choir and ensemble where we are singing very very fun songs!
I also started singing lessons! Very very exciting... I'm sing the Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) currently... Maybe I'll post me singing it when I get it worked up.
There's saxophone:


And piano! Right now I've got lots of piano on my plate.... scales, Hanon excercises, a Handel Gavotte, the Solfeggietto, Beethoven, Christmas jazz.... Lots to work on.


And here is me playing "Day by Day" arranged by Mark Hayes. I playing this in church on Sunday.

video

Live long and prosper!

Monday, October 8, 2012

When there is simply nothing else to blog about.....

I do not consider myself an infinitely clever person (unless it is in creating very complex plotlines and confusing the reader, making them think that this is the plotline when really it's just a tease. I like doing that). I have been having trouble thinking up a blogpost but I decided I had better post something lest you think I had abandoned you....
Well, I still don't really know what to post about so I guess I'll write about which books are currently holding my attention.

Frankenstien by Mary Shelley. It is the third book in the Vancouver Sun children's classics series (although how Frankenstien made the "children's classics" list I have no clue....). I have decided to put the Vancouver Sun books on hold for now because of all my other reading responsibilities.


The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien. I have been trying to get through this book all summer.... I just can't seem to do it. I'm at the part where Frodo, Sam, and Gollum are trying to get through the dead marshes. The only time I really read this is at drivers class on Saturdays and Sundays during break, when I'm not talking to my friend who likes Sherlock.

Ephesians by Paul from the Bible. My Sunday school class is going through an inductive Bible study of Ephesians. It is quite interesting, though we are only 2 chapters in!

I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. I started this book a few weeks ago and have gotten a fair way through it.... Though I may have to abadon it once more.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin. My literature "class" (made up of me and two friends - taught by my mother) is currently reading "Autobiography" (correction, I am reading it.... my friends have already finished). We are using a literature course called "Excellence in Literature" and it has (I believe) nine classics in it. "Autobiography" is the first. So far I am really enjoying it! Benjamin Frankling is an amazing man. I will likely post a review once I have finished the book.

And finally....

The Freedom Factor by Gerald N. Lund. This is one of my all time favorite books ever. It is about a man named Bryce who is a senator's aide in Washington DC. He is working on an amendment that will destroy the checks and balances in the Constitution. A man named Gorham and a very pretty lady named Leslie are against the bill but whatever they do, Bryce refuses to change his mind.... until he's thrown into an alternate universe where the Constitution was never ratified.
I will probably do a review on this book when I finish it as well.

So there you have it, the books that currently hold my attention, "Autobiography" and "The Freedom Factor" being the main ones.

Tomorrow or the next day I will perhaps write about the different curriculums I am using right now.

Live long and prosper. =)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Doctor is Dying.

Doctor Who is the saddest show I have ever watched. The end of episode Doomsday was especially sad because (SPOILER!) Rose is separated from the Doctor and not by choice. She is saved by her dad and brought into an alternate universe, where the Doctor can not follow.
Though Rose has her parents and her friend Mickey in this alternate universe, the Doctor is - once more - left on his own to travel through time and space. But he burns up a star to say goodbye to Rose. Rose tells the Doctor she loves him and he's about to reply... when the transmission cuts out.


Look at that! He's devastated!
Doctor Who is a brilliantly acted television show, which is one reason why the Doctor and Rose's goodbye scene was so painful.
Another reason is that you can really tell that the Doctor and Rose loved each other.
In America our version of "love" isn't really love at all. It's just lust. But in Doctor Who, Rose and the Doctor don't go past holding hands. You can tell that they love eachother (the Doctor is very protective of Rose and if she is in danger, he WILL rescue her at all costs) but it's not in a physical way. Than you brilliant British people for making quality television!

As well as having many many many sad looks in Doomsday, the Doctor had a lot of strange looks as well....


 
 
But back to his sad looks.... I decided to draw the Doctor just after he loses Rose (that scene was even sadder than the goodbye scene!).
 
 
Step by step, I took pictures of the drawing at various stages. Here you go:
 
 
It begins.
 
 
Hair! And sideburns. Oh yeah.
 
 
The eyeball. "I always feel like, somebodies watching meeee!"
 
 
The nose, which was waaaaay too big at first.
 
 
The other eye.
 
 
Then I realised his chin was too big and had to erase everything below the nose... including his lovely collar.
 

The redrawn chin....


Mouth.


A bit of shading.




Hair!!


Eyebrows!!


Shading....


The finished project!

 
 
Not perfect but I'm happy. =) I love the shading. I'm rubbish at shading... And people for that fact; but I'm getting better!
 
Next I want to try draw this:
 
 
In other news.... I finished the second edit of my novel today!! Hooray! Now to the library to print it out and have Mom read over it. Then we'll go over it together a few times and then it will be finished! I estimate that the whole thing will be done in two weeks time.
 
Have a great week, live long and prosper, and allons-y! =D