Friday, December 28, 2012

Stealing another tag from Jack.

Jack tagged all her followers again and since tags are an easy post for one on vacation... I shall take her up on her tag!
I have to answer the following questions (they are all very writerly!):

1. When did you start writing?
I have been writing since before I knew how to write.
Wait, no, that's an oxymoron.
I have been creating stories and having someone else write them down since before I knew how to write (I was four or something).
Only last year did I start writing actual, long, novels.

2. Do you have a soft spot for a particular character (come on, be honest!)?
This is such a hard question because I have a soft spot for many characters!
Antonio, just 'cause he was my first real character.
Antony because he's funny.
Varina because of her past.
And Daniel. Daniel is probably my favorite character (Antony is glaring at me). I love him because he is so much like me - a geek and a piano player. He's also a genius but I don't take that title for myself. Hee hee. :P

3. If you had to choose between reading and writing, which would you choose?
I would choose reading. There are too many good books out there that need reading! I haven't decided how seriously I want to write yet.... So for now, I'd rather read.

4. How often do you have to "rush off" to write down an idea before it evaporates?
ALL. THE. TIME! I have so many little scraps of paper with one sentence ideas ("Story where two characters are in an old rickety train station") that it isn't even funny. The worst is when I have an idea in the shower or in the middle of the night - when I can't write it down.

5. Do you plot/outline your book or wing it?
Plan, definitely. If I don't have an idea of where I'm going, I can't continue. Usually I have a brief outline of the story and I follow it. Sometimes things get changed, things get added, characters get killed, characters mysteriously make it back into the book and I'm forced to kill another in their place....

6. Are you a sucker for happy endings or do you leave your readers in misery?
Here's the thing, I hate unhappy endings, yet, more often than not, I end my novels in some sort of misery. I love torturing my (invisible) audience, but I hate having it done to me.
Of course, not everything is left in misery. Most of the characters get happy endings.

7. How protective are you of your novel?
Hee hee hee.... Every time I start something new my friend asks me, "Oooh can I see?"
I reply with a sharp, "NO!" and clutch my notebook to my chest and cast suspicious glances around.
I am so afraid of plagiarists. So yes, I am very very very very very very very very very protective over my novels and characters.

8. Plans for publishing eventually? Self-publish or traditional?
This is back to the I-don't-know-how-seriously-I-write thing. Right now writing is my hobby. I write on the side. I know I'm good at it, and that God has given me a gift with the written word, but I don't feel that he's calling me to write full-time.
If I were to publish, however, I would probably go with self-publishing - at least with the After the Twelfth Night books. Once I finish my spy series and make it as good as it can be, I might see if a traditional publisher is interested (that's far in the future, though).

9. Are you guilty of using the old cliche plot element? How are you trying to make it fresh?
I don't like cliche plot elements, or cliche characters (such as... the girly girl falls in love with the nerd because they are forced to work with each other and it all ends happily ever after). I do, however, enjoy cliches such as... spies wear trench coats and stand under lamp posts, or pirates have peglegs and eye patches. Stuff  like that.

10. Tell a little about a character you are currently fleshing out.
I am so bad at character development... Either that or I can't tell when I'm doing it. I don't really flesh characters out either... I just write a brief biography (or in Varina's case, a loooong biography) or keep their personalities in my head.
I guess the two characters that I'm thinking about the most are Caroline and Jamie-Beatrice, two sisters. Caroline is 21 and Jamie-Beatrice is 14. I have decided that Caroline wants to be a writer, but I don't know what Jamie-Beatrice wants to be. She's very fiery and strong so I was thinking maybe the debate team... Or maybe she's interested in government or sports, but none of those seem to fit.
Any ideas?

11. Which is the better chocolate? White, milk, or 75% dark?
 Milk. =) White chocolate is alright, I haven't really had enough of it on it's own to decide. I strongly dislike dark chocolate.

Live long and prosper!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas everyone! It's time to celebrate our Lord's birth!
John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

I have a Christmas short story for you.
I wrote it for something called Character Encounters, which is a get-to-know-your-character hosted by Kendra at Knitted by God's Plan.

 

I did, however, take some liberty with it.... The first rule I broke was that I used my NaNoWriMo characters because they are the only interesting characters I have.
The second liberty I took was that instead of my characters coming into my world, I went into theirs. I didn't see any regulations saying I couldn't, and I wanted to visit their world to help them along.

Some things to know before you read the story....
Daniel and Varina are the characters.
Trench Coat Woman is Your's Truly.

 

The Wolf is the continuing bad guy of the series. He disappeared for awhile... But now he's back.

Without further ado.... Christmas Shopping!


   “Daniel! Come on! We’re here to Christmas shop!”
   Daniel Adams was jolted out of Debussy’s Reverie. He let his hands fall from the piano ivories into his lap. Still in the daydream produced by the melody which had so recently poured forth from his fingers, Daniel closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then he looked up, blue eyes flashing open. In front of him stood his friend, Varina Webb, her dark hair cascading down her shoulders in waves of soft curls.
   If Daniel had to pick one instrumental piece to accompany Varina through life, it would be Debussy’s Reverie. Starting soft and sweet, it soon unexpectedly turned wildly minor. Like Varina, it was altogether mysterious.
   “Daniel?” she said again.
   “Hmm? Oh sorry.” Daniel had drifted back into his muse. Varina smiled at him, though behind her patient exterior, Daniel could tell she was annoyed.
   “I know you love the piano store, and that playing a grand is wonderful-“ Daniel’s own grand piano had been left in London when he moved to the United States- “but we came to the mall to do some Christmas shopping, not to the play the pianos.”
   “I know,” sighed Daniel heavily. He reluctantly left his spot at the piano bench, casting longing glances behind him at the Steinway as he and Varina left the store.
   “Maybe we can come back after we’re done shopping,” Varina said kindly, “and after we meet… you know,” she whispered the last few words and Daniel was reminded why they had come to the mall in the first place.
   Under the false pretences labeled “Christmas shopping,” Daniel Adams and Varina Webb had come to the mall to acquire intelligence. For Daniel and Varina weren’t just friends out searching for the best deals, they were partners. Partners in solving crime.
   Daniel and Varina were secret agents who worked for L.U.K.E., an acronym which stood for League of Undercover Knowledge and Espionage.
   They had been contacted by the Big Boss himself the previous afternoon. The message had been short, and in code. Thank goodness Daniel was the world’s best code breaker (though he only ranked fifth in lock breaking).
   He had the message decoded within the hour.
   It read as follows: 

TOP SECRET:

An agent has important intel. Meet her at the mall tomorrow, 3:00, food court, under the palm tree. She knows who you are and she’ll find you. Ask her why she’s wearing sunglasses in doors. She will reply with, “Oh dear, am I still wearing my sunglasses? They’re clip-ons… etc,” and you will know who she is. Tell no one.
-BB.

   So Daniel and Varina had prepared to meet this mysterious woman, travelling to the mall under the guise of Christmas shoppers. They fit in perfectly.

****
   It was exactly 2:48 when Daniel and Varina entered the food court. Varina groaned.

   “What?” Daniel asked.
   “Look how many palm trees there are in here!” Varina said. “How do we know which is the right one?”
   Daniel looked around. “Hmmm…. I don’t know, how?”
   “It wasn’t a joke,” Varina rolled her eyes, a slight smile playing across her lips. They stood and stared for awhile, scanning the trees but trying to appear as if they were really scanning the food vendors.
   “There is only one live palm tree in here,” Varina muttered. “The rest are fakes. I say we choose the tree that is alive, it is the only thing that sets it apart from the others.”
   “Good eyes Holmes,” said Daniel with a nod.
   “Why thank you, Watson,” Varina replied with a smile.
   Daniel glanced at his watch. “2:52… Hmm, we’re eight minutes early. Can we get something to eat?”
   “I suppose so,” replied Varina.
   Seven minutes later they were seated at a table next to the live palm tree, trying to block out the noise of the court, and trying to enjoy their gyros without making a mess.
   “Mmmm, Greek food,” Daniel shouted over the din, taking a sloppy bite. Varina handed him a napkin. Daniel glanced at his watch. 3:00.59. Daniel was about to say , “she’ late,” when a woman in a trench coat, Indiana Jones fedora, and sunglasses clipped to her regular lenses, bumped into their table, a tray-full of food balanced precariously in her hands.
   “Oop!” she said. “Mind if I sit here for a moment to get my bearings?”
   “No problem,” Daniel said in a friendly voice. He stood up and pulled out a chair for the woman. She gratefully sat down with a plop and set her tray on the table.
   Varina cast a glance at Daniel who nodded slightly.
   “It must be awfully bright if you’re wearing sunglasses inside,” said Varina casually, casting a sly glance at the woman.
   “Oh dear, am I still wearing my sunglasses?” the woman said, putting on a practiced embarrassed look. “They’re clip-ons, see? Much easier than getting a prescription pair of sunglasses.”
   “I prefer contacts myself,” Varina replied.
   As the woman asked about the medical benefits of contact lenses, she slipped a scrap of paper to Daniel under the table.
   “Thanks for letting me sit here! I’ll be off now! Nice chattin’ with ya!” the woman smiled broadly at Daniel and Varina and then grabbed her tray and promptly left, disappearing into the crowd without so much as a backwards glance.
   Daniel and Varina finished their gyros, not wanting to draw any unexpected attention to themselves, and were just about to get up to leave when two men loomed up in front of their table, casting a shadow over them.
   “May we help you?” Daniel asked in his sharp British accent.
   “Where did she go?” asked one of the men.
   “Who?”
   “Don’t play ignorant with us skinny boy!” said the other man. Daniel glanced self-consciously at himself. He could eat and eat but never gain any weight – giving him many uncouth nicknames.
   “Where did she go? Short, trench coat, sunglasses, she was sitting at your table.” The first man glared at Daniel and Varina.
   “There has been no one sitting here but us and a pesky little fly that keeps trying to steal my food,” said Daniel casually, batting at the fly which had landed on his gyro wrapper.
   “What information did she give you?” demanded the first man.
   “We don’t know what you’re talking about and we’re beginning to feel threatened,” said Varina.
   “Threatened? I’ll give you threatened! I’ll call security! They’ll make you talk!” said the Second, becoming flushed.
   “I’m not the one making a scene and threatening people,” Varina said coolly. “I think security guards would enjoy our story much more than yours. Now, you can either let us go, or we’ll call over that nice, burly guard and tell him you’re threatening us.”
   The two men scowled at Daniel and Varina and then skulked back from whence they came.
   Daniel and Varina chuckled and after throwing away their trash, proceeded to actually do some Christmas shopping.
   Then they left the mall, heading to L.U.K.E.’s New York City HQ building.
   “Trench Coat Woman sure was mysterious,” said Daniel as he pulled to a stop in the busy NYC rush hour traffic.
   “Yes,” agreed Varina, fighting to be heard over the angry yells of other drivers and their furious, impatient laying on of their horns.
   “Did Trench Coat Woman seem at all…. familiar?” Daniel asked.
   Varina thought for moment. “Come to think of it… she did! Actually, I can remember seeing a woman dressed exactly like Trench Coat Woman at nearly every mission we’ve been sent on!”
   “Me too! Creepy,” said Daniel.
   “I wonder who she is,” mused Varina.
****
   Half an hour later Daniel and Varina locked themselves in one of L.U.K.E’s sound proof meeting rooms. No one had questioned their doings and Varina was glad. Not that L.U.K.E. agents went around blabbing about former missions. Everything was top secret for security reasons and questions pertaining to missions were rarely asked and answers never given, unless permission had been granted beforehand.
   The only people – outside of those that went on the mission – that were required to know about the missions were the Loggers, who wrote down mission notes to send to the Big Boss and the other L.U.K.E. bigwigs.
   “So did Trench Coat Woman give you something?” Varina asked when she and Daniel had locked themselves in the room. “She left in such a hurry! I hope we didn’t miss the message.”
   “She slipped me a slip of paper,” Daniel said. He pulled it out of his pocket and uncrumpled it. Two words were written across it:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

   “Why would the Big Boss send us to get Season’s Greetings?” Daniel asked.
   Suddenly the light bulb above Daniel and Varina’s head flickered and died.
   “Oh great…. We’ll have to call the janitor,” said Varina, feeling around in the dark for a light. 
   The light flickered back on above their heads and simultaneously Daniel and Varina had the same idea.
   “Microdot,” they said at the same time.
****

   Microdots enabled entire messages to be given in small areas – for example, the dot on a. lower case “i” or the period at the end of a sentence. The only way to recover the message was to read it with a microdot reader.
   Luckily, Daniel and Varina had one handy.
   “This looks like a job for the Sleuth42!” Varina said, pulling out to instrument from her trench coat pocket. The Sleuth42 had many features. It worked as a flashlight, a microdot reader, a master key, a syringe, and many more things (Varina even claimed it made good French fries).
   Varina handed it to Daniel who carefully swiped it across “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”
   “I got something!” Daniel said after a few minutes. He pressed a few buttons and the message hidden in the exclamation mark projected onto the wall.
   “I found a new use for the Sleuth,” said Daniel. “Projector! We could watch movies on this thing.”
   “Except that the message is scrambled and up-side-down,” said Varina.
   “I can fix that,” Daniel pressed a few more buttons and the message turned itself around, slowly aligning itself in the right order.
   Daniel and Varina gasped when they read the message.
The Wolf is in the flock. 

THE END.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A tag from Jack.

Jack has tagged all who follow her blog so I shall take part. Seems that all you have to do is share seven random things about yourself. Sounds fun to me!

1. When I'm cold I normally don't wrap myself in a blanket or pull on a jacket. Instead I slip my blue Starfleet uniform over whatever I'm wearing.

 

Yep, I'm a geek, but you already knew that.

2. This morning in church our pastor was using The Hobbit as a sermon illustration and he said that there were twelve Dwarves. Indignantly I went up to him after church and said, "You got something wrong. There are thirteen Dwarves, not twelve," and my friend added, "Yeah, the whole reason they needed Bilbo was because the Dwarves thought thirteen was an unlucky number and they needed an fourteenth member."
My pastor asked, "Are you sure?"
I proceeded to name all thirteen Dwarves off the top of my head.

Yep, I'm a geek, but you already knew that.

He laughed.

3. I am about to go Where No Man Has Gone Before. I had previously read the prologue and first chapter of Miss Jack's book (because once upon a time she posted them somewhere), but now I am at chapter 2... about to step into unknown territory. 'Tis exciting.

4. As long as I'm talking about friend's books.... I am SO curious about Kad and Kadet by my friend Jessica! I can't wait to read it! *hint hint Jessica!*

5. This is my first year reading A Christmas Carol, or anything else written by Dickens.

6. I should really go pack. We leave soon.

7. On our white board I have written, "Don't blink! Don't even blink! Blink and you're dead!" and "Run!" Because... well, I'm a geek, but you already knew that.

Live long and prosper!
 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Eeep!! So excited!!!

This should explain my uncontainable excitement!!!

video

AHHH! I can't wait to start reading it! But I have to finish the Short Story Collection first.  Eep! So excited! I have a feeling I will be reading a LOT in Canada. =D

Live long and prosper!

P.S. Hee hee sorry for the momentary pause in the video where I'm saying nothing. Something fell and bounced... which made a mysterious ticking noise. I used my super spy deductive skills to figure out it was a piece of candy from the gingerbread house. xD

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Last of the Mohicans review.


Title: The Last of the Mohicans.

Author: James Fenimore Cooper.

Synopsis: During the French and Indian War, Major Duncan Heyward has been entrusted to bring Cora and Alice Munro to their father, General Munro. Along the way, travelling in the woods, they run into Hawkeye, a white man gone Native, and his two Mohican Indian friends, Chingachgook and his son Uncus. As they travel through the woods, they run into danger and adventure - an an enemy tribe of Indians!

My rating: 7/10 stars.

Why I liked the story: The only reason that I rated this book a seven instead of a six is because of the style in which the author conveyed his story. Back in 1826 when he wrote the book, they didn't, of course, have television or even pictures to look at. Leaving your city was a huge trek - people didn't get around as easily as we do. Description was huge at this time, especially since it was the Romantic Era of writing.
Fenimore Cooper sure doesn't disappoint. His writing is extremely descriptive, to the point that you can almost hear the savage yells uttered in the action scenes.
I really liked the way Cooper wrote. I think description is an important part of writing - even though it can be boring at times!
Good, heavy description is definitely a gift now-a-days.
Another thing I liked about the book was the characters. They were all very available and fit the story well. And they actually seemed human!
One of the most human scenes I have ever read in any books took place between Cora and Magua (the bad guy). Magua says to Cora, "Come and marry me and live in my hut or I'll kill your sister," (or something like that, I don't remember exactly).
Cora is appalled at the thought of marrying and Indian and living the rest of her life in the woods and she refuses.
Now, most heroines would sacrifice their happiness for the lives of others (especially their sisters!), but not Cora. She doesn't want to marry Magua and that's that. Eventually they get away and they aren't killed and Cora isn't made to marry Magua.... So that part ends happy (the book doesn't).
I also liked Heyward, Hawkeye, and David Gamut. David Gamut was the comic relief of the story and that was his only job. He did a great job of it.
Also, Magua made an AMAZING bad guy! In the book it said that if Magua hadn't been evil, he would have made a good diplomat between Indians and Whites.
Magua was a very eloquent speaker and had both his allies and enemies under the spell of his words. He knew how to play his audience and get them on his side. As a bad guy, he did great.
At this time in the world, members of other races weren't seen as equal with whites (which wasn't and isn't right) but the author did a wonderful job as portraying the Indians as they were, just as smart as us, but with a different lifestyle.

Why I disliked the story: Too much gore.
While Cooper did a good job portraying the Indians as equals to us, they were overly bloodthirsty - which I believe was an exaggeration.
There was one chapter, which described a massacre of innocent women and children. Everyone except Cora, Alive, and David Gamut were killed. It was quite bloody and I never want to read that chapter again.
There were also many more skirmishes which involved fighting and gore.
Also, some of Cooper's facts were wrong. For example, the book is called "The LAST of the Mohicans" when really, the Mohican race is alive and well in Wisconsin.
There were some other discrepancies but I don't remember them.
Also, there were some concerning mentions of God... Though David Gamut, Cora, Alive, and Heyward are Christians, Hawkeye says several times, "Though we all call him by different names, we worship the same God" which is absolutely NOT correct. The Bible says there is ONE true God and he is called by that name.

Will I read it again? Maybe someday.

Do I recommend it? I think that some people would really enjoy this book, while others would find it a bore and a waste of time.

On a different note, I got Miss Jack's Short Story Collection!!

 

I am still awaiting the actual book... But it should be here soon. I can't wait to start reading it! I got really excited flipping through it tonight.

Live long and prosper!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reading, writing, and some random.

It is a fact universally acknowledged that if one starts a bunch of books at the same time, one will either A) Drop all the books or B) Finish all the books at the same time.
That's what happened to me. I started a bunch of books in October/November and now I'm finishing them all.
Namely, "The Last of the Mohicans" by James Fenimore Cooper. Although the book is very well written and I am coming to respect heavy description even further, it is such a looong book. Of course, it is much longer because I'm trying to finish it before the book discussion tomorrow. So far I've read about nine chapters today. I have one more chapter before the book is done.
I have been feeling very weighed down by violence lately... It is everywhere. I decided to read something innocent that would take my mind off this evil world. I chose the Doll series by Ann M. Martin, about dolls who are alive. A very good series. I am on the third book now (which I have never read).
"A Christmas Carol" and "Two Towers" are also waiting to be read.... I think I'll take Christmas Carol to Canada and read it there. Two Towers... may never get finished, I'm afraid.

As far as writing goes, I'm hoping to get a bunch of that done in Canada as well... I - with my mother's help - will get to editing After the Twelfth Night's sequel.
I'm also hoping to get some time in with my NaNoWriMo characters as well. I have two Christmas short stories planned starring Daniel and Varina and a new character.... Mwahaha.
I recently hand-wrote the first chapter of the second book. I'm planning on writing the first chapter of the third book sometime too... I'm not sure which one I was to write first. I have the basic plot for both, I just don't know which one to pursue first. Probably the third book because it was the first idea I had for the series (though I didn't know it at the time).

Have a random picture (because blog posts are much more fun with pictures than without):

 

Sadly we didn't have any gingerbread men come with our gingerbread house this year... Otherwise you would have seen some red shirt gingerbread men on my blog.
Instead, out house came with a gingerbread tree, which Rosey stole and ate most of. Her stomach has been making some very gurgly noises and I think she's learned her lesson.

I had my voice recital tonight. I sang "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).
I did well, if I do say so myself.

 

Hee hee, Nine's sneaky look as Ten open a Rose doll. I like the contrasting colors - warm and cold. Very cool.

I figured I should post something so there it is. Now I'm going to stop wasting time and I am actually going to do something productive - like finish the Mohicans. A review will be coming tomorrow or the next day.
In the near future you can also expect a review for A Christmas Carol, and some more musical preformances by Your's Truly, and at least one Christmas short story, if not two.

Live long and prosper!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Trouble with Tribbles....


ThinkGeek is an amazing website.

Live long and prosper! (Unless you are a Tribble.)

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Hobbit.

Well, this is new. I have never done a movie review before!

Movie: The Hobbit Part 1: And Unexpected Journey.

 

Director: Peter Jackson.

Actors: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, and a handful of Dwarves! Also, Andy Serkis and Sylvester McCoy.

Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit of the Shire, has lived a life of comfort, just as any other Hobibt. One day the wizard Gandalf comes a-knocking on Bilbo's door asking if he would like to share in an adventure. Bilbo says absolutely not, yet the very next evening, thirteen Dwarves and a wizard show up on Bilbo's porch, hungry for dinner.
Bilbo lets them in and hears all about their adventure. Years ago, a dragon named Smaug destroyed the Dwarves home and now they want to take it back again.
Bilbo decides to go with them to retake their home.

 

On the road they run into trolls which try to eat them.
Then they run into Radagast the Brown - a wizard who spends most of his time with animals. An evil has come back into Middle Earth.... A Necromancer.
After stopping off at Rivendell, the Last Homely House, Bilbo, Gandalf, and co. attempt to pass through the Misty Mountains where they are captured by goblins and brought far under the Misty Mountains into goblin town.
Bilbo is lost from the rest of the group and finds himself in the cave of Gollum, a creature who lives at the roots of the mountains.
Bilbo finds Gollum's "precious" and unconsciously sticks it in his pocket. Little does he know that it is The One Ring.
Gollum finds Bilbo and wants to eat him, but Bilbo puts off his fate by playing a game of riddles with Gollum. If Bilbo wins, Gollum will show him out. If Gollum wins, he gets to eat Bilbo whole.
Bilbo, of course, wins, but Gollum gets very angry and chases Bilbo out of the cave.

 

Bilbo puts the ring on and finds that he is invisible.
He is then reunited with the rest of the group, who have escaped the goblins.
The whole group descends from the mountains only to be attacked by a roaming group of Orcs with a personal score to settle!
Luckily, the eagles come and save them, dropping the group off at the Carrock. The Lonely Mountain is in sight! But there is still a long journey ahead of the Dwarves and Bilbo.
End part one.

What I liked: It is no secret that The Hobbit is one of my favorite books. I think that Peter Jackson did an absolutely stunning job turning the book into a movie! I can't wait for the next installment!
I loved all the Dwarves - Peter Jackson did a wonderful job of bringing them all to life! I especially liked Bofor, Fili, Kili, and Ori.

 

(Ori.)

"I don't like green food!" The quotes were amazing.
My favorite scene, the "good morning" scene, was perfect.
Also, all of Bilbo's confused looks. Hee hee... The cast was amazing and played their parts wonderfully!
The big plot changes fit perfectly. Most of them came right out of Tolkien's other works (mainly the appendixes at the end of The Return of the King). A number of other things were changed... (namely Azog the White Orc who does not appear in the book (except maybe in a flashback... I believe Thorin actually does kill him). I really liked how they included Azog... It actually gave the Orcs purpose for chasing the Dwarves and also added another dimension to Thorin's character.
All in all, THE MOVIE WAS AMAZING!!!!! And GREAT!! And like the book!!! AMAZING!!

What I disliked: A number of small things were changed which irked me, because they didn't need to be changed.
One was when Bilbo left to join the Dwarves. In the book, Gandalf bursts in on Bilbo's peaceful breakfast and says, "What are you doing? Did you get my note?" and Bilbo's like, "Huh?" and Gandalf's like, "You poor fellow, you really are out of sorts this morning! You haven't even dusted the mantelpiece! If you had you would have found my note saying that the Dwarves have left and that you need to leave right away if you want to join them!" So Bilbo runs out without a pocket handkerchief. In the movie, he makes the decision himself to leave and then runs to catch up to the Dwarves. I found this kind of odd because he didn't even know which way they had went.. Anyway, I like the book version better, but the movie version was alright! "Hey, Mr. Bilbo! Where are you going?" "I'm going on an adventure!"



The second part was in the Misty Mountains when the Dwarves are taken by the goblins. In the book, Bilbo is dropped by a Dwarf and forgotten. In the movie he's just left behind. As I said before, I like the book version better, but the movie was alright.
The only other complaint I have is that the Song of the Misty Mountain (the Dwarf song) could have been played a little less... It was like it was the only soundtrack they had for The Hobbit. It got kind of old after awhile, but since it was a beautiful song, I didn't mind too much. =)

Some people complain that the movie dragged and that there was too much action and not enough character development... I just want to say, the Lord of the Rings is very poetical. It focuses on description and at times, it drags. So really, the movie dragging, is capturing the book perfectly!
As for the character development... With 13 Dwarves and a moving plot, there isn't much time for deep development. The story is about Bilbo and it is fair that Bilbo gets most of the character development.
I think that Peter Jackson did a better job at giving the Dwarves personality that Tolkien did because he gave us something to look at. He gave them full beards and accents.... And fun things that made them them. For instance, Ori is polite and Oin has an ear trumpet (anyone notice that after the trumpet was squished, he grabbed it and tried o listen out of it at the end of the movie?).

Over all, I absolutely loved the movie and can't wait to go see it again!

Live long and prosper!

Friday, December 14, 2012

A review for you.

I had my big choir concert tonight and it went very well! Now I'm chillin' listening to "Your Song" by Elton John (Harry Connick Jr's version) - it's one of my favorite songs.
I figured I'd do a review on a series of books for you.
I'm not exactly sure what the series is called.... So I shall dub it the Larklight series by Philip Reeve.


Title: Larklight (#1), Starcross (#2), Mothstorm (#3).

Author: Philip Reeve. (Illustrated throughout by David Wyatt).

Synopsis: Arthur and Myrtle Mumby, siblings, go on lots of adventures filled with aliens and pirates!

My rating: 8/10 stars for the whole series.

Why I liked the story: I believe this series is set in the genre "Steampunk" (which is kind of an alternate history with cool machines). This was a great series to introduce me to Steampunk! (Next on the list is the Leviathan series! and Miss Jack's book [more on that later]).
I LOVED that these books took place in space. The author really changed it up and made space just another place to explore... And not in the usual Boldly Go way. The air in outer space was breathable (though thin) and all the worlds in our solar system were inhabited by all sorts of fun aliens. I really loved how inventive Philip Reeve was!
Larklight, Art and Myrtle's home, is soooo cool.


Is that not the coolest house you've ever seen? I would LOVE to just go explore it. Plus, it's in space, so that's an added bonus!
Jack's crew. Jack is a space pirate and his motley crew are all aliens! I loved them all... Very inventive and creative and each one had such a great personality! I can't decide who I like best... Perhaps Nipper or Mr. Munkulus.
All the characters were very vibrant and had the right amount of character development for their roles in the book.
I loved the Moobs. They are the bad guys in the second book and they come from the future. Even though they were evil and took over people's minds, they were cute. Especially at the end when they all fall asleep.
They mention God and ask him for help in situations. They don't make fun of God and treat him with respect.
The sheer imagination of this series is staggering and that - and the wonderful characters - are enough to make these books absolutely wonderful!

Why I disliked the story/things you should know: There were two big things that bothered me about this series.
1. All the swearing (particularly in the first two books, not so much the third). Swearing is never necessary - whether it be in movies, TV, or books. I especially didn't like the way Mr. Reeve did the swearing in his books... Instead of writing the words out he wrote the first letter and then cross the rest out. Like this: D---. I found it very unnecessary and quite annoying.
Myrtle (being a lady) always chastises characters for their dirty language but not much is done about it. The swearing seems kind of made fun of.... The only swearing I like is Captain Haddock's because it isn't swearing (blistering barnacles!).
2. I mentioned above that they give credit to God in the books.... They do. But Mr. Reeve also adds in his own invention... Shapers. According to the book, God sends out Shapers in their special Shaper ships to create galaxies for him, while he's the overseer of it all.
Now, the Bible says absolutely nothing about 'Shapers.' It says, In the beginning, God created the earth and he said it was good.
I felt uncomfortable with the idea of the 'Shapers.'
Those were the two biggest problems I had with the books. Now onto the littler things.
Jack and Myrtle's relationship. I agree with Art and Myrtle's father when he says, "Isn't Myrtle too young for a sentimental relationship?"
But that's probably because me myself am opposed to teenage dating and while Jack and Myrtle aren't dating per say... They still kiss and embrace each other. Luckily there are no drawings and they aren't elaborated on. Their relationship is a little comical and it didn't bother me too much... But I still wish that maybe they hadn't been so physical.
That's just me, though. I'm very sensitive towards those things (especially where teenagers are concerned).
And then there were the giant spiders.... I hate spiders and in book #1 the bad guys were giant spiders. This wasn't really a problem, except that I don't like spiders. xD

Will I read them again? Maybe someday!

Would I recommend them? If you are a fan of sci-fi and/or Steampunk you would enjoy this series. It is very fun and the characters and the imagination are great! You rarely find a really really good sci-fi series. This is an exception!

Now... Before I sign off... My good friend Miss Jack Lewis Baillot has just published her first book, Haphazardly Implausible! (Okay, that's a bit of a lie.. She came out with a Short Story collection as a prelude to Haphazardly Implausible last month, but I'm not counting that).
Here is the link to Jack's blog where you can learn more about her book! HERE.

 

CONGRATS JACK!!!! =D

Tomorrow I go see The Hobbit! Look out for my review. =)

Live long and prosper!

P.S. My condolences go out to the families who have lost their children in the Connecticut school shooting today.
Please be praying for the families, that they can get over their loses in healthy manners.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

'Tis the Season.....

'Tis the season of what?? Our pastor asked the congregation this question on Sunday morning. People shouted out, 'Peace!' 'God!' 'Stress!'
Our Pastor's answer was, 'tis the season of waiting!
How true. Mary had to wait nine months for Jesus. And today we still wait. We wait for stores to open on Black Friday so we can get the best deals.... We wait in traffic, this year we wait for The Hobbit movie (more on that later) and, just like Mary, we are waiting for Jesus to come back.

As well as the season of waiting, December is also the season of extreme business! There's Christmas shopping, and the tree, and decorations, and parties, and recitals! On top of regular schoolwork and eating and sleep.
December is, perhaps, the busiest month of the year this year around. Every weekend I have some sort of recital or concert (except the last because I will be in Canada).
This past week I had a choir concert, piano recital, and our church Christmas program! It was a very busy weekend.

Here is a video of me playing "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" arranged by Phillip Keveren.

video

Without further ado... I am going to go back to the subject of waiting. Mainly, the subject of waiting for The Hobbit!
My dad has bought us tickets to see The Hobbit in IMAX 3D on Saturday morning. I AM SO EXCITED!!! We are seeing it in IMAX 3D because at select IMAX 3D theaters across the globe, the first 9 minutes of the next Star Trek movie will be playing (only in front of The Hobbit)! Our movie theater is one of them! Which makes me even MORE EXCITED!!!
And because I'm so excited I am going to do something Hobbit-ish.
On one of the blogs I follow (Story Girl) posted a Hobbit Blog Party thing. (Here is the link to the blogger's blog who is putting it on. HERE!)

 

Now, I have never taken part in a blog party before..... From what I gather I just answer a bunch of questions. Soooo... Here are the questions!

1. How did you first hear about The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings?
My dad grew up reading Lord of the Rings (and Tintin) and he always read to me when I was little, before I went to bed. I'm not exactly sure when I first became conscious of Lord of the Rings.... I remember seeing the Veggietales version, Lord of the Beans, at Costo and saying to my mom. "Look! There's Daddy's favorite book in Veggietales! Let's get it for him for his birthday!" So we did. Then, shortly after, my dad suggested that he read one of his favorite book series. We started reading The Hobbit and then moved on to Lord of the Rings!

2. How many times have you read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, if at all?
I have read The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring twice, The Two Towers almost twice, and The Return of the King once.

3. Would you name your child after a character from it?
I don't know, maybe. I especially like the name Eowyn. Someone in my friend's church is named Galadrial (her daughter is named Eowyn).

4. What are your thoughts on Tom Bombadil? Should he have been in the movie?
I must admit, Tom Bombadil is one of my favorite characters from the book. I think Peter Jackson made the right choice, excluding him from The Fellowship of the Ring movie, but I do wish they had filmed his part in the book - as a special featurette or something.

5. Do you have a favorite piece of poetry from any of the Tolkien books?
Yes! I really like the "That's what Bilbo Baggins hates" poem/song thing from The Hobbit.

Chip the glasses and crack the plates!
Blunt the knives and bend the forks!
That's what Bilbo Baggins hates -
Smash the bottles and burn the corks!

Cut the cloth and tread the fat!
Pour the milk on the pantry floor!
Leave the bones on the bedroom mat!
Splash the wine on every door!

Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl;
Pound them up with a thumping pole;
And when you've finished, if any are whole,
Send them down the hall to roll!

That's what Bilbo Baggins hates!
So, carefully! Carefully with the plates!
 
My absolute favorite, though, is "The Road Goes Ever On and On."
 
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
 
6. Have you read any other works by Tolkien?
Yes! I started reading The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien with my dad but we didn't finish it.
I have also read Roverandom which is an adorable little book Tolkien wrote for his young son who lost a toy upon the beach. The story follows the toy's adventure. It is a really sweet book.
Mr. Bliss is another book Tolkien wrote for his kids. He illustrated it as well!
 
7. Can you write in the Tengwar?
I had to look it up to see what it was! It turns out that Tengwar is the Elvish script Tolkien made up. Yes, I can write in it.
 
8. Were you disappointed that Prince Imrahil wasn't in the movie?
I had to look him up too. Even after reading a bit about him, I can't remember from the books... So I guess I don't mind he wasn't in the movie. Which movie?
 
9. What would happen if you and Denathor were put face to face?
Well, I'd grab a fire extinguisher for one....
 
10. Would you rather reside in Edoras or Minas Tirith?
Hmmmm..... That's a hard decision. Probably Minas Tirith. I'm more of a city girl than a country girl and I wouldn't want to smell like horse all the time.
 
11. What think you of Eomer's armor?
It's cool! I love his helmet.
 
12. What do you think of Boromir?
After re-reading The Fellowship of the Ring I must say that I like Boromir more than I remember. He's a good character and served his purpose well. He's not my favorite, but he's not horrible either. And he's played by Sean Bean. (No wonder he dies). And he has a cool horn.
 
13. Which is your favorite Lord of the Rings couple: Sam and Rosie, Aragorn and Arwen, or Faramir and Eowyn?
Faramir and Eowyn all the way! I have always loved them the best and I'm not even sure why. Maybe because they go together so well.
 
14. Did you shed any tears when Thorin died?
No, although it was sad. I rarely cry when reading books or watching movies. I always thought Thorin's death was really really sudden though.... Along with Fili and Kili's. What was Tolkien thinking? "Oh, no one except the bad guy's have died yet... Let's kill some of the main characters so everything doesn't end completely happy!"
 
15. Which is the most terrifying of the following: Orcs nabbing you in your sleep, giant spiders crawling out of dark tunnels and forests, Nazgul standing right over you while you are hiding, or a ghost army that doesn't like you very much?
The giant spiders, most definitely. I HATE spiders.
 
16. How well would you enjoy life as a Hobbit? Would it be preferable to being something like, say, an Elf? Or a Ranger?
Being a Hobbit would be really fun! You just sit around and eat. Sounds good to me! However, if I had to pick any race in the Lord of the Rings, I would probably be an Elf.
 
And there we have it! Feel free to steal, just give credit to Arda Nessimava who is putting on this blog party. (Link above).
 
Live long and prosper!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why do people torture themselves with Glee?

I watched the first seven minutes of a Glee episode tonight. I was thoroughly disgusted and repulsed by what I saw.
The new girl fainted onstage during an important glee club competition, thus disqualifying the team.
As she recovers from her faint, her other team members scorn her and call her nasty names (including the name for a female dog). There were three swear words in the first two minutes.
This is a show that takes place in highschool. With highschoolers using these words.
Many teenage girls watch Glee and followers of this popular TV show call themselves "Gleeks."
We wonder why our society is so perverse. Perhaps it has something to do with our media....?

I went to a conference today with my mom, friend, and friend's mom (thanks for driving!). We were there to hear the session on essays (since that's what we're learning right now) but I found the first session very interesting.
The first session was about "The Four Language Arts" but what I found so fascinating was the lead-up to the speaker's points.
He said that babies today are born with overstimulated auditory senses. There is a constant buzz in our world, and even babies in the womb can hear it. There is the buzz of the lights, of furnace systems, refrigerators, TV sets which are in constant use, etc. We block out this background noise, but it still makes it harder to concentrate on one thing.
It isn't that there are lots of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in this world, it's that we all have short attention spans and lots of distractions.
The most interesting thing I got from the session had to do with the importance of reading aloud to children.
Most parents stop reading aloud to their kids when the kid is able to read on their own. But what do kids (learning to read) read? Picture books or beginner chapter books.
What do parents read to their children? Longer chapter books that are above the kid's current reading level.
When parents continue to read to their kids - a level or two above the kid's level - the kid takes in new concepts and is always learning. They ask questions - what does this mean? What does that mean?
But if parents stop reading to their kids when the kid learns to read, the kid will stay at the same reading level his whole life.
Let me explain this (they way they did).
A kid starts reading beginner chapter books like The Babysitters Club, Magic Tree House, or Star Wars books. The writing is simple and easy to comprehend, as is the plot line.
He gets a little older and starts reading books that look older and more advanced, but they still have the same writing style - simple and easy to comprehend. The example they used was The Percy Jackson Series.
Then the kid gets a little older and they start reading books that look older and more advanced, but they still have the same writing style - simple and easy to comprehend. The Hunger Games, or Twilight, for example.
And the kid keeps getting older and reading books that look older and more advanced but are really just filled with the same fluff parents give their kids to learn to read from.
I loved what the speaker said. "The only difference is the length and debauchery of the characters."

The 1800's was the most literate time in American history. Everybody read. Why? Well, no doubt they enjoyed it - but they didn't have anything else to do! They had no TV or radios. They had books.
They were able to read authors like Ernest Hemingway and, yes, *gulp* Herman Melville and appreciate those authors! Did you hear me? People in the 1800's appreciated Moby Dick!
Let me tell you something right now: I am looking forwards to reading Moby Dick.
Yes, you heard me right.
I am looking forewords to reading Moby Dick.
Why?
Because I think that reading challenging literature is important.
Moby Dick is certainly going to be a challenge, but I have made an agreement with myself: I will NOT going into a reading assignment with a pre-conceived idea whether that the book will be good or bad. I won't. Because that can ruin a book. I've done it before. "This book is going to be such a bore... Ugh, why do I even have to read it?" Well, with that kind of attitude even my favorite book will turn into a boring read!

Back to my whole reading out loud to kids thing.....
Kid's whose parents don't read to them after they themselves start to read, stay at the same level - reading basic fluff. Not because they're stupid, but because they don't know any better! They don't know the wonderfully literature out there waiting to be read! Shakespeare, Homer, Tolkien, Austin, Bronte, Dickens, Sawyer! I could go on and on.
But kid's whose parents read to them just above their reading level.... Well, the kids grow up reading harder things. Also, they learn good listening skills.
In our world with so many distractions, it is amazing if kids actually sit and listen to important stuff. They can sit and watch (or read) mindless fluff, such as Glee (or any TV show for that matter - yes, that includes Doctor Who!). I think there is some plot underway in the USA.... To create a generation that literally does not care about what happens to the world - just so long a they are entertained.
Here is some proof for you:
Fans.
Fans.
Seriously, if you want proof that my generation does not care about anything worth caring about, just look at fandoms (i.e. the art of being a fan. The things surrounding the following of something famous).
To a Sherlock fan, the impending Third Season and the return of the "dead" Sherlock Holmes is the most important thing in the whole wide world. Ooooohhh the Reichenbach feels! Sherlock "died!" He fell! How did he survive? They wrack their brains to try solve how Sherlock survived the fall.
Doctor Who fangirls spend their days wishing that the Doctor would come and take them travelling through time and space.
Trekkies. I really don't have to say much more. There are TWO documentaries out there about how crazy Trekkies are. One woman dresses in her Trek uniform to go to work everyday. When she was called in for jury duty, she wore her Trek uniform. People get their ears surgically altered to look like Vulcan ears! I have personally seen Klingons at a Multiple Sclerosis walk.

People do. not. care. about our world. And it is getting worse and worse every generation.

But I'm going off on a tangent again.

One more thing about the conference thing before I sign off.
One of the speakers told a story about a theory. A theory that if all a students would copy the Bible for four hours a day, they would get through life with a good education. They would get grammar, literature, penmanship, history, geography, etc. It turns out that illegal homeschoolers in China who don't have access to textbooks, use what they have - which is sometimes solely the Bible.

My point is that reading aloud is important. Good literature is important - not just mindless fluff. If we are to ever reach out to this evil world and make a difference, we have to educate ourselves.

We have to educate ourselves.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sherlock... Scrooge?

What would happen if Sherlock Holmes was visited by three ghosts? The ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas yet to come?

Sherlock Holmes has just returned from his three year absence after "plunging" into the Reichenbach falls. Professor Moriarty is dead, London has hardly any crime, and a bored Sherlock Holmes has retired. He has taken up his scientific experiments and is being even more rude than he usually is.
A very worried Watson goes to visit his friend but is thrown out, as is Detective Inspector Lestrade who comes in right after Watson, hoping for some help on a case.
(Sherlock doing experiments with Watson in the background).


After yelling at his landlady, Mrs. Hudson, Holmes falls asleep in his chair. Shortly he is woken up by a loud knocking.
"I'm not at home!" an annoyed Holmes yells.
The door swings open and ominous smoke pours out. A spirit bathed in green light walks into the sitting room at 221B Baker Street.
Sherlock Holmes quickly (and unemotionally) deduces that it is the ghost of Professor Moriarty. Holmes even shoots a bullet through the Professor's shoulder to make sure.


Moriarty tells Holmes that because he never allowed himself to love, he became a master criminal mind. They grapple with the morality of Holmes throwing Moriarty into the Falls at Reichenbach and then Moriarty leaves, telling Holmes that he feels compassion for him. Three spirits are to visit him - perhaps they will be able to help Holmes change; so that he doesn't end up as dastardly as Moriarty.
Then the Professor is sucked out the doorway back into the spirit world.
Sherlock Holmes foolishly laughs off the ghost and prepares so settle back down. Then the clock chimes the quarter of the hour. Then the half hour, then the next quarter! Then it chimes 1:00AM - the arrival time of the first ghost.
Shortly she arrives: The Spirit of Christmas Past.
She takes Holmes to the worst Christmas he ever experienced - the Christmas his mother died. His father urged him to study hard and Holmes was forced to overcome his grief. (We also learn that Holmes' real name is "William.")
Fast foreword a year and Mycroft, Sherlock's elder brother by seven years, takes him on a two week vacation to London where Sherlock first falls in love with the city.
Fast foreword another year or two - Sherlock is working for an acting company. He gives part of a Hamlet soliloquy and a girl comes rushing onto the stage, clapping her approval. She says he would make a superb Hamlet and then asks that he joins the rest of the cast for their party downstairs.
"Emphatically no," Sherlock replies cheekily.
She looks at him for a moment and then asked him to kiss her.
"Emphatically yes," Sherlock replies, still cheekily. They share an embrace and she says that he would make a good Romeo, and she a good Juliet. Holmes says that she would not make a good Juliet because Juliet was 13 and from a rich family, while she was 23 and from a poor family. He goes on to deduce several other things about her which both impresses and scares her.
He quickly explains his reasoning and then they argue a bit about the theater. Sherlock says (very cold and abrupt, as is his manner) that he is destined for better things and that he would be leaving the company, never to return.
(The Girl, with Young Sherlock. Old Sherlock is watching in the background.)


The girl says that she was under the impression that she and Sherlock had an Agreement. She says she is in love with Sherlock.
"I feared so," Sherlock replies.
They argue some more and finally part ways. It is then learned that she died two years later, acting in America.
The next stop is 221B Baker Street shortly after Watson first moves in. Watson is trying to hide a Christmas present pipe for Holmes in a place he wouldn't suspect. Mrs. Hudson steps in, unwraps the present, and sticks the pipe on his pipe wrack, saying that Holmes would never see it there and never guess it was a present.
Sure enough, Holmes admitted, he didn't notice the pipe for several months.
Spirit One's time is up and she hands Holmes off to The Spirit of Christmas Present, a cheery fellow decked out in bright green and red. He toasts to Holmes before whisking him off to see what Watson is up to.
Watson is with a friend, Tim, and relates to him all the details of his earlier spat with Sherlock Holmes. Tim says that once, when he was a little boy, he knew of a man just like Holmes. Suddenly, though, the man had a revelation and came to Tim's house on Christmas day bearing a large turkey.
"He was Uncle Ebenezer from then on," Tim says with a smile.
Watson goes on to say that though Holmes is the most infuriating person in the wide world, he is the most eccentric best friend ever.
Next Spirit Two takes Holmes to a street where two of the Baker Street Irregulars (beggar boys Holmes employs to get information and to keep them from pickpocketing). Whiggins, the Irregulars leader, has been jailed on a false accusation. The two Irregulars say that they wish Holmes was there to get their friend out.
Holmes is infuriated - why didn't the dunderheaded police look for evidence?
The Spirit then takes Holmes to Scotland Yard where a bright young officer is saying that he thinks there are some strange qualities and lack of evidence on the case which Lestrade had tried to consult Holmes upon. The young officer asks to interrogate the suspects once more but is refused. Holmes, even more mad at Lestrade (because he's wrong and the young officer is right), gets taken back home to Baker Street where the Third Spirit, the Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come, shows up. He is a masked figure, quite evil looking and dark, wearing all black.
He takes Holmes to a graveyard where two mourners talk about Sherlock Holmes and Watson. One of them has died and no one was at the funeral.
Sherlock, shocked, asks to be taken to see some normal people on the street - what is life like without Holmes' morality?
The Spirit does as Holmes wishes and he finds himself on the street, watching Whiggins (recently released after 15 years in prison) punching and pickpocketing people.
Holmes is very upset and asks what happened to all his scientific discoveries - all his deductive techniques - were they adopted?
The Spirit takes Holmes to a battlefield. Two World War One officers talk about Sherlock Holmes - how he was such a great man. The senior officer says he met Sherlock Holmes once, right before he retired. The senior officer used to work at Scotland Yard. Holmes refused to help him and Lestrade on a case on Christmas....
They allude to a Professor who is making a secret weapon.
Holmes is confused, but the Professor - Moriarty - had been dead for years! Who is this Professor person they talk about?
Just then a singing starts up in the German trenches. Soon a German braves No Man's Land (the space between trenches) with an offering of peace - sausage! All over the battlefield men are getting out of the trenches and sharing treats - chocolate, bread, cigarettes, wine, beer, pictures of loved ones, etc.
It is all left behind as the Third Spirit takes Holmes to a British HQ building where the superior officers are discussing the unexpected Truce and ordering its termination. Then the Professor is shown in. He describes his new invention, a gas which will kill - mustard gas. It will be ready to ship out at the end of the week.
As he leaves, the superior officer says, "Very nice to meet you Sherlock Holmes! And thank you for your effort to help with the war!"
"Don't call me Sherlock Holmes! I am simply the Professor now!" the Professor snaps and leaves.
Sherlock Holmes is distraught - he will be the cause of so much pain and suffering! He begs the Spirit to take him to the Watson of the present. His wish is fulfilled and Holmes is back in the graveyard - it wasn't him that the two mourners were talking about - it was Watson! Dead without a friend in the world!
Sherlock Holmes folds over in grief and then finds himself back in 221B Baker Street - it is Christmas morning. Before Holmes can collect his thoughts one of the Baker Street Irregulars rushes in with news that Whiggins has-
"Whiggins has been put in jail." Sherlock Holmes waves the Irregular away.
"How did you know that?"
"It it my job to know things."
Holmes then has the Irregular take down two telegrams, one telling the Bright Young Scotland Yard Officer to meet him at the scene of the crime the next morning, and one to Inspector Lestrade, telling him to release Whiggins because the facts don't fit his arrest.
Holmes also gives the Irregular money to buy a gift basket to be delivered to Watson, and money to reserve a special dinner room for all the Irregulars - they would have a Christmas Feast! And because you can't go to a restaurant wearing beggar's clothes, Holmes gave the Irregular enough money to buy all new clothes and bathes for the 11 Irregulars (including Whiggins!).
The Irregular runs off to do as he was told and Mrs. Hudson comes in. Holmes gives her a great big kiss on the cheek and promises to be a better tenant.
Then Holmes is off to see Watson himself. They make up and Holmes offers Watson the room he had previously occupied at Baker Street (because Watson was having some financial trouble).
They had a toast to their friendship and the play ended.

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol the play was called.
I went to see it with my mom this morning. It was written by a local playwright and was absolutely mind-blowingly BRILLIANT beyond compare!!!
It was basically Sherlock Holmes and A Christmas Carol mixed together. It was brilliant. Wow. I can't believe it.
First of all, the author must have been a HUGE geek to write it because he put SO many tasty references from the books into his play (right down to the Persian slipped full of tobacco and the correspondence knifed to the mantelpiece which were part of the set).
Secondly, the acting. This was one of the most accurate portrayals of Sherlock Holmes that I have ever seen. I found it quite amazing that the guy playing Holmes was so in character because of the mixed plot lines. He played it brilliantly, though. Instead of being afraid or surprised at the Spirits (as normal humans would), Holmes got bored with them and was like, 'there is a Spirit in my room, whatever. Bored. *yawn.*'
I already mentioned the accuracy from the books (right away, before the play started, I noticed the Persian slipper and the knifed correspondence on the mantle). I was also very very impressed with the historical accuracy. In 1914 World War One a Christmas Truce actually was held spontaneously. It started with a German singing. Then both sides started singing. Then brave soldiers began going over No Man's Land to trade gifts and show family pictures. Sadly, the next day they went back to killing each other. There is a brilliant movie about it but I can't remember the title (I think the title is in German).
The costumes were gorgeous and period accurate and the actors all faked British accents very well!
I loved how all the story lines intertwined and how we learned about Sherlock Holmes's past. It seems like what they showed could have really happened to him. The only part I didn't like about it was that Sherlock's "real" name was "William."
Another thing I really enjoyed was that there were only seven actors! Everyone except Holmes and The Girl (whose name I can't remember) had at least two or three parts.
Also, they didn't change the set at all (except for small things like bringing in a chair or putting a gravestone on stage).

This play was a 11/10 and I would go see it again and again and again! Everything was so accurate and professional and beautiful and wonderful and brilliant! It was great and I loved it!
Thanks for the surprise field trip Mom!

Live long and prosper! =D

Monday, December 3, 2012

Our Geeky Christmas Tree.

Most of our Christmas tree is decorated with traditional ornaments handmade by various family members and friends.
There is, however, scattered all over the tree, a number of, well, out of place ornaments....
That is because every year I get to pick out an ornament. This has been going on since I was born (except I didn't pick the first few out because I was too little).
I will let the ornaments speak for themselves. (The first few are quite normal because I didn't pick them out).

 



 
 
 

Then they start getting themed......

 

Awwww!!
 

 


Here's where they REALLY start to get themed!
Barbie Swan Princess with a beautiful swan to go with.

 

Sweet Samantha.

 

Best friends. =)

 

Garfield! I used to read his comics ALL the time.

 

Star Wars ornament. It talks too!

 


2008 was when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came into theaters. I went to see if with my friend, my dad, and her dad. That whole year was filled with Indiana Jones themed things. Indiana Jones calender, Halloween costume, and ornament!

 

2009 I was really into the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. This is Hazelfur, my Warrior. She's a ginger she-cat with grass green eyes. I really really wanted a cat for my ornament but Hallmark didn't have any.... Then we were at the hardware store and they had cat ornament and one looked exactly like Hazelfur! I was ecstatic.

 

Spock. I actually got him last year (I believe) because in 2010 I couldn't find an ornament I really liked. Last year Spock popped up at Hallmark and I knew he was the right fit for 2010.

 

Last year (along with Spock) I got two ornaments. One was a saxophone (because I started playing saxophone) and the second was a... well, you can find out.
I'll tell you the story of the second ornament quickly. Mom and I were at the thrift store and she was digging through the Christmas stuff and suddenly she said, "Abbey!" in a choked voice. Thinking she was hurt, I looked over and she was holding The Ornament. I was so excited and we bought it for cheap. Then we went to the store it had originally came from and asked if they had any others. Nope, it was a special offer they had - the first 100 customers into the store would receive an ornament on Black Friday!
We were sooo lucky to find The Ornament at the thrift store.
(Saxophone):

 

The Ornament:

 

This year, in honor of The Hobbit movie, I got a Gandalf ornament.

 

I hope you enjoyed!