Thursday, May 30, 2013

A post about a whole bunch of random stuff.

Books first.
I finished seven books this month, although two of them were the same book.... (I read The Great Gatsby twice, as I mentioned before). Three of the books I finished yesterday! The Old Man And The Sea, which I did not particularly care for.... Kailey (and American Girl Doll book. It wasn't all that long. Neither was Old Man and the Sea). Also, A Hero for WondLa, the second book in the WondLa trilogy. I didn't like it as much as the first one. I think it was because of the weird Mother thing in the middle of the Wandering Forest. That was just weird. And Loroc is so creepy! But cool. He makes a cool villain.
Finishing all those books meant that I was only reading two books - and we can't have that! So I started two more. Fever Crumb, by the VERY talented Mr. Philip Reeve. I just finished chapter 5 and I'm really enjoying it! I also started A Year Down Yonder, which is the sequel to A Long Way From Chicago (both by Richard Peck). They are AMAZING books! Super funny... with a trigger-happy grama and illegal cat-fishing and small town charm... go read them.

Now onto writing:
My goal for this month was to edit Part One of After the Twelfth Night.
Done! Yay! I actually finished ten or twelve days ago, so I decided to read through it again, just in case I caught anything else.... and BOY I'm so glad I did. Here's a few of the typos I found....

Pirates are attacking and Matthias says: "Quick! We need a plant!" Instead of 'plan.' I guess a plant could work too... FIGHT THE PIRATE SHIP WITH THE RUMOR WEED! MWAHAHAHAHA. *ahem*
Then, possibly the worst typo EVER! "I'm going to accompany her to Illyria because I don't want her to go alive." Instead of 'alone.'


Anyway, Part One is now done for now. I also decided to make the book three parts, instead of two. Because otherwise, Part Two would be TONS longer than Part One. Plus, each part has its own set of characters and its own different location. Now I'm hoping that the parts will be more even in terms of word count/pages.
ALSO I emailed my editors. You know who you are. Some of you have replied... but some of you haven't. I would really like a reply as soon as possible. If you didn't get my email, tell me in a comment and I'll send it again.
Basically I was asking how you like to edit and if you wanted me to send each part separately (so it doesn't look like you have so much work to do :P).
A couple of you said yes, send it in parts. So if the rest of you want me to send it in parts... great! Part One is finished, as I keep on saying; and I wouldn't mind getting it sent off sometime in June, while I'm busy at work with Part Two and Three.

Which brings it to my June writing goals:
Edit Parts Two and Three with my mom and get them sent off to editors by July 14 (when we go camping). This is going to be a bit hard... Because several parts in Part Two need re-writing (aka, just expanding on the idea... showing, not telling the reader). It probably won't be that hard... but I really don't want to do it. I just need to sit down a GET TO IT! But I'm also a bit worried that I won't get Parts Two and Three done by July 14. After all, I took a month to do Part One... Of course, I wasn't editing every day.... procrastination. Heh heh. I also have to change some plot stuff so it corresponds with Part One.
To clear up some trouble: I haven't really made it clear what After the Twelfth Night is. It is basically the continuation of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. Maybe I'll do a post on that later... But yes, it can be seen as a sequel of sorts with Shakespeare's characters and my own characters mixed together.

In other news... Jack tagged all her followers! It's that elevensies tag again... where you have to do 11 random things about yourself, then answer 11 questions, then make up 11 questions, then tag 11 people.
I'm not going to do it that way.
Instead I'm going to do one fact. I got a new bookshelf today! Which is good because my other one was overflowing:


Things were stacked on top of each other, on the floor, and behind each other (which I personally HATE!)
My new bookshelf is much wider and taller (six shelves instead of five!) and nearly fits all my books.....

At the top is the Vancouver Sun classics, and some other classics (like The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells, some Robert Louis Stevenson, Robin Hood, Pride and Prejudice and Swiss Family Robinson).
Second shelf is Tolkien, then C.S. Lewis, then books I enjoyed when I was younger (and still enjoy!), then my mini E. Nesbit collection, and some more classics (Uncle Tom's Cabin, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Great Gatsby).
Third shelf is mysteries (Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and the No Place Like Holmes books) then some dystopian-ish stuff (The Alliance and The Freedom Factor by Gerald N. Lund and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury) and then some random stuff (Inkheart, Princess Bride, Watership Down....) then my Steampunk (Miss Jack Lewis Baillot, Behemoth and Goliath, and Larklight which I found at the thrift store the other day!).
Fourth shelf is comics (Tintin, Calvin and Hobbes, and Garfield) then some Christian books (Do Hard Things, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Crater) and finally, my collection of Shakespeare stuff.
Fifth shelf has all my Warriors books in chronological order (yay! I'm happy about that). There's also Varjak Paw on the fifth shelf, which is also a book about cats that live in gangs as opposed to the Warriors who live in the woods.
The last shelf is my American Girl books.
My Grama commented once, "Our school librarian once said.. you always have a friend if you have a book. My, you have a lot of friends. And keep getting more!"
Books really are my friends! And if I can continue to get them cheap at the thrift store, I'll continue buying them. =)

Sometime in the near future we're going to move my desk (erm, my thing to stack other things on top of) out my room, and move my other bookshelf back in. I'll have to do some more rearranging then.
For Jack's 11 questions, she did something different. She did 11 movie quotes. The people tagged have to guess which movie they came from!
Here I go... wish me luck....

1. "Whew! I thought you were dead!"
I have absolutely no clue. I feel like I should know, though. It isn't Star Trek, is it?
 2. "Look! I've found a place where you can put things! It's called a cupboard!"
Is this from Merlin? I haven't seen Merlin... but I think I remember once that you put this quote up your blog and said it was from Merlin. Either that or a saw it online as a picture. My guess is Merlin. Or Psych. Those are my two guesses. Psych and Merlin. I feel like the Spanish Inquisition.
 3. "Helloooo! I can hear you!"
I don't know if that's right or not... But in the Castafiore Emerald, Captain Haddock (I think), Iago the parrot, AND Castafiore herself says it.
Whenever I see/hear "hellooooo! I can hear you!" Tintin is the one I think of.
 4. "If you had killed Watson you would not have left this room alive."
This one is easy. Sherlock Holmes! The Three Garridebs.
 5. "You're saying I look like a toad?" "Yes. Maybe you will be magically turned into a handsome prince. But since magic is banned it probably won't happen."
I don't know this one either... I'm just gonna randomly guess the new Princess/Frog Disney movie... or Enchanted.
 6. "I told you, it will keep and keep and keep and keep!"
Nor this one.
 7. "Here's your pan, here's your frog."
Tangled? I think it's from Tangled.
 8. "Dishonour on you! Dishonour on your cow!"
Another easy one. Mulan!
 9. "Should we be hysterical?!" "YES!" "NO!" "Maybe!"
This is another one I feel I should know.
 10. "Your mother was a computer and your father an encyclopedia!"
And another one! This one wouldn't happen to be from Arthur would it? Fern's Slumber Party? The scene where she "invents" a supercomputer...
 11. "They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Naturally they became heroes."
This sounds superhero-ish. But since the only super hero movie I've ever seen is The Incredibles, I don't know.
I'm not tagging anyone.
How about you guys? How do you store your books? Nicely on shelves? In boxes? Do you have your own bookshelf? Does it bug you when you have to stack your books one on top of the other on the shelf when there isn't any room left? Does it bug you when you have to put them one in front of the other to make them fit (like, double rows)?
And editors: don't forget to answer my email!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Insert your own witty title here.

I've been sickish the past two days so there will be no Top Tuesdays for you today.

I could feel it coming on Sunday. In the morning I had to sing on worship team and I really didn't feel all that well... my throat was starting to hurt and it got increasingly worse as the day progressed.
Yesterday we were planning on going to a really cool sci-fi thing but I was still feeling pretty bad so we stayed home and I had a couch day watching movies. We might go to the sci-fi exhibit on Saturday instead.

First I watched some Carol Burnett... then I watched Tintin. Then I watched The Princess Bride because I've only seen it once or twice and that was a loooooongg time ago. It was about time I re-watched it, especially because I love the book so much. Personally I think the book is better.... But I love the movie too. Especially Inigo and Fezzik. They are my favorites.
After that I watched some Fellowship of the Ring special features while I waited for my dad to come home from Into Darkness (he went with his friends). Then we watched the first disk of Fellowship of the Ring until he went to bed. After that Mom and I watched more Carol Burnett. Then I went to bed.
Today I had to get up early for a piano lesson. Usually I have them on Mondays, but my teacher was away yesterday so we rescheduled for today. I am feeling a bit better today. My sore throat went away... but my sinus's have been draining all day.
We went to the thrift store and bookstore after piano lessons... then came home. After that was lit. class. We're reading The Old Man And The Sea. Then finally we could come back home. I crashed on the couch and slept for a little bit.... did some reading and writing and science. Then watched the other half of The Fellowship! Yay!

Now I'm writing this blog post.

What do you all do when you are sick?

Live long and prosper.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Well, I posted all the other days of this week!

So I had to post today too!
Now... what do I post about???
This week has been a week of reviewing things. So hopefully I won't have anything else to review for awhile.

I suppose I could blog about The Hobbit.

Here, watch this - it explains it:

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Into Darkness


Okay. Calm down.
So. I went to see Into Darkness tonight and here is my (hopefully) spoiler free review!

Let's get the bad out of the way first..... Lots of swear words in this one - more than the last one. A lot of b-words (both of them) and two or three s-words. I think a few h and d-words as well.
Also, some intense scenes... Several people die... and more people get sucked out of airlocks. There was one part (where Benedict Cumberbatch's [spellcheck does not like his name] character squeezes a man's head until his skull collapses... At least, I think that's what happened. I didn't watch that part.
Viewer discretion is advised! Although there were an awful lot of young kids in the theater tonight... *shakes head* Parents these days.
There was also a scene (shown in the trailer, of course) where Dr. Carol Marcus is only in her underwear.... But it isn't as bad as she looks. Believe it or not, she's actually only changing.
Then there's the scene where Kirk wakes up with two women in bed with him....
A couple characters also visit a bar.

Now the good:
AH OH MY GOODNESS THIS MOVIE WAS EPIC! Seriously: epic is the only word to describe it.
Okay, so I had really low expectations going into this movie. I was expecting it to be exactly like the other one.... The trailer's looked like the movie was all going to be explosions and fight scenes and battles - which I am not all that fond of.
Though Into Darkness had a lot of that, there was also some good character time and some SUPER funny lines. I loved the part where Scotty's running down the airlock going, "Captain, I'm running!"
Then there was a certain scene at the end that totally MIRRORED a scene from one of the movies... which was SOOOO cool! In my opinion. 'Cause this is an alternate timeline, it makes sense that things that happen in the Original series/movies happens in these movies... and I think they did a fantastic job doing that with this movie! Was it horrible that during that scene when Spock yelled a certain something I was laughing my head off? I was expecting Benedict Cumberbatch's character to go: "I will leave you as you left me... marooned for all eternity in the center of a dead planet.... buried alive."
Then there was the scene where Kirk woke up that reminded me of The Return of the King when Frodo wakes up... All those white sheets....
And it was SO hilarious when Kirk turns to Chekov and says, "Chekov, put on a red shirt" and Chekov looks back at Kirk with fear in his eyes.... because he KNOWS he's a dead man in a red shirt. xD That was so funny, even though I don't think it was meant to be.
Then there was Benedict Cumberbatch's character.... WOW WOW WOW! I must say, I've known all along about his real identity... because someone let it slip when they first hired BC. So I was expecting that. But I LOVED the twist!
THERE WAS A TRIBBLE!!! And it was amazing.
There were also super interesting (spoilers) Klingons. I must say, these ones were too... bald for my taste. I like to old ones better.
And Mickey the Idiot from Doctor Who! Wow, he made me sad. I thought he'd have a bigger part.
Something that really confused me.... He wore that ring that did that one thing, y'know? Well, weren't Scotty and Admiral Marcus wearing identical rings? Maybe they were just Starfleet issue rings or something...
The ending was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!! Oh my goodness! That was SUCH a great way to end the film! With the Original music and stuff....

Even though Original Series and Next Gen and all the original type shows (Enterprise excluded) are and always shall be my favorites.... Into Darkness was a very very good edition to the Trek family of movies. And I can totally see the next movie being more character/adventure centered rather than action/destroy the bad guy centered.

So yes, I enjoyed this. I want to go see it again. Ugh... Now I want to go watch First Contact or something. xD I need some Picard.

Live long and prosper!

Friday, May 24, 2013

On Characters.

I'm doing my character post today because Star Trek fell through... until tomorrow. Mwahahahahahaaa.... I think. My mom's friend had something going today so we decided to go tomorrow. And then she got sick today.... so we'll see if we actually get to go tomorrow. xD

Anyway, onto my character post! I am going to try make this short so I can go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Tonight I am going to be talking about male/male character friendships.
I think that male/male character friendships are some of the best in literature, movies, and TV. Sadly, it seems like in today's society, you can't have a male/male friendship without it being seen as gay or non-masculine. The man is supposed to be this loner tough guy who has no friends and then suddenly makes one friend.... but then that friend leaves/is destroyed by the bad guy and the character decides that never again will he have friends because caring is not an advantage. Friendships make one weak!
Either that or the guy character is somewhat feminine/weak/nerdy....
Sure, the guy is supposed to be the masculine one, but he can't be alone. Adam was lonely so God made Eve. And I guess I should say the cliché joke here.... It's Adam and EVE not Adam and STeve.
Anyway, their are many male/male character friendships in literature (and Star Trek) where the characters are neither seen as weaker because of it or gay.
I shall now list some for you!
From literature:

I'll do the obvious friendship first. Sam and Frodo! =D


Is there really anything that I can say about these two? Sam is Frodo's gardener and is SO loyal to his master. He literally follows him to the end of (Middle)Earth. He carries Frodo when Frodo falls.... he watches out for Frodo... he distrusts Gollum... He's very brave.

Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley from Pride and Prejudice:


Hee hee. I LOVE Mr. Bingley. He is SO adorable. The above scene is one of my favorites from the new P+P with Kiera Knightley.
Darcy and Bingley's friendship is an odd one to be sure.... Mr. Darcy isn't a very open man - he's kind of shy. Mr. Bingley is the opposite. Bingley is outgoing and loves people. He's very kind but a little bit simple in the brain.... So he takes the advice of his friends to heart. Mr. Darcy, as his friend, wants the best for him. Though he ends up breaking up Bingley and Jane, he does it with the best of intentions, thinking Jane is indifferent.

There are countless example from Shakespeare.... Benedick and Claudio are the ones that immediately come to my mind (they are from Much Ado About Nothing):

There's also Dogberry and Verges (from the same play):


Although their relationship isn't so much friendship as comically abusive.... The same can go for the Antipholus's and the Dromio's from The Comedy of Errors.

And finally.... of course.... Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson!

I LOVE their friendship. Holmes is basically a friendless man until Watson comes along. And Holmes is alright with that..... until he meets Watson. Watson is his buddy. His partner in solving crime (MY book title! MINE!). When Watson gets married and move away, Holmes feels comfortable enough coming in the dead of night, sitting with Watson for a bit, and then leaving over his back fence (The Final Problem). Watson often doesn't know what's going on (he represents the audience) but he trusts that Holmes will eventually give him all the answers.
Most people think that Holmes is just a cold, uncaring, calculating fellow. And he is. But he's very loyal to his friend Watson. In The Sign of Four, after Watson comes back from talking with Mary and is exhausted, Holmes plays his violin until Watson falls asleep. He also saves him in Devil's Food Root. And threatens to kill a man when Watson gets shot in Three Garridebs (I think that's the one).
Watson puts up with Holmes' moods and really becomes his best friend. He also watches out for Holmes and makes him rest when he overdoes himself (like in that one where they go to rest... and then Holmes gets a case... I forget which one that is).
From Star Trek:
Data and Geordi. This clip explains their friendship:
(Grr... it won't play ON the blog. But it's only 40 seconds long so click the link).
Data and Geordi watch out for each other... and they dress up as Holmes as Watson and go into the holodeck to defeat Moriarty!
Spock, Kirk, and McCoy (of course):
Hee hee hee....
The original trio! Though Spock and Bones can sometimes get on each other's nerves, Kirk is always there to smooth things out. He's got a great friendship with both of these guys and in the end, I think Spock and McCoy like each other as well. After all, McCoy did house Spock's katra for awhile.... and then there was that episode where they had to try and rescue Kirk from being in between dimensions (or something).
Tom Paris and Harry Kim from Voyager:
They are buddies. They give each other advice... and go on holodeck adventures together.... and go on double dates.... They have a great friendship. There is one episode (called The Chute, I think) where they are stuck in an alien prison together and have to get out somehow.
And I've been saving the best for last.... Julian Bashir and Miles O'Brien!
They are from Deep Space Nine and they have one of the best friendships in ALL of Star Trek's history.
Miles is a familiar face because he was in the Next Generation. He's an Irishman with a family (Keiko is his wife and his two kids are Molly and Yoshi), not to mention he's the chief engineer guy on the station. But he still has time to spend with his best buddy Julian. But their relationship wasn't always so good.... It started out very rocky.

Miles: "I hated you. And now..... I don't."
True friendship there guys!
Besides getting drunk together.... (which, I believe, only happens that one time) Julian and Miles LOVE to go have adventures in the holosuite. They always do the weirdest stuff....
"HuMANs.... all you care about is yourselves....." *shakes head*
Oh Quark....
To wrap it up: The Tintin characters!
Lots of guy friendships here that are great..... Haddock and Tintin are very patient with Professor Calculus and, even though he's a little hard of hearing in one ear, they do lots for him. Haddock braves the moon.... and they go rescue him - twice! I hope they put Calculus into the next movie because it really isn't Tintin without him.
I think that male/male character friendships are some of the best in literature and TV. I don't know why... Maybe it's because they aren't as wishy-washy and emotion driven as women. They can hate each other and have a fist fight one day and then the next day they are best friends and it doesn't bother them. I used to think it would be nice to be a boy because then I wouldn't have to deal with all the girly drama problems that come with our friendships.
Anyway, there is my character post! I hope you enjoyed.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Elementary," said he.

Here is my review of:

Hee hee.... I'm just kidding.

Elementary! Starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu. It is a Sherlock Holmes adaption set in modern day New York.
Boy do I have mixed feelings about this show....
When I first heard about this show (way back when CBS announced it) I was like, "WHAT A HORRIBLE IDEA!!! I HATE THIS IDEA! FEMALE WATSON???? WHAT???? THEY ARE TOTALLY RIPPING OFF SHERLOCK (made by the BBC, also a Sherlock adaption set in modern day)!!!!!! FEMALE WATSON?!?!?!?!?!?!??!??!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!! THIS IS GONNA BE HORRID!!!!!!!!!! UGH! I AM NEVER WATCHING THIS!!!!!"
And then we heard that Jonny Lee Miller was gonna be in it. Now, my mom and I love Jonny Lee Miller because he's in our favorite adaption of Jane Austin's Emma.

So then my mom started saying, "I might watch Elementary just to see him." Because, really, Jonny Lee Miller is a really good actor.
Then she started saying, "Maybe I'll watch the first episode."
Then I started saying, "Maybe I'll watch the first episode with you. JUST TO AFFIRM MY THOUGHTS THAT I HAVE ALREADY MADE ABOUT IT!!!"
Then we watched the first episode. And the second. And then every episode.
So now, here are my thoughts:
I will say right off - I did NOT like the first half of the season. Every episode was the same to me. No episodes from the first half of the season stand out to me. At all. I can tell you the synopsis of every one: Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson, his sober companion, help the NYPD investigate homicides. And E-Lock (as Jack and I call him) sleeps with a lot of prostitutes.
Really, that's what happens in almost every one.
Now, I have a couple of problems with that... One: When all the episodes are about the same thing, the writing isn't all that great. When none stand out in my mind, the writing isn't all that great.
Two: In the Sherlock Holmes books, Holmes almost never works with the police... The police have to BEG him to work with them. He doesn't particularly like the police. E-Lock, however, is as cozy with the police as Sherlock Holmes can be. He's always working with them. I had a problem with that. Sherlock Holmes is a CONSULTING detective. Individuals who don't want publicity/don't want the police involved come to Sherlock Holmes and he solves their cases. None of this happened in the first half of the season. Every single episode was done with the police. And every single episode was about murder.
Third, of course, the prostitutes. OH MY WORD I HATED THAT SO MUCH! They didn't show anything. But lots was implied. And it never had anything to do with the plotline. UGH. That annoyed me SO much.
Fourth, the random little nods to the books bothered me, because they almost never showed up again. Like E-Lock's violin. It showed up in one episode, randomly. Then it never showed up again after that. In the books, the violin is pretty important.... In the show, he tries to burn it. xD There were a couple of other things... but I don't remember them.
Then the second half of the season came and I started to like the show better. I will tell you why:
First, less prostitutes! HURRAH! They almost all disappeared.
Second, the plotlines started to vary, thank goodness! (Actually, I lied earlier.... the balloon boy episode stood out in the first season. That was the only one. 'Cause it was kind of a kidnapping/murder story). People actually started coming to Sherlock Holmes of their own will to have him consult for him. And I don't think they were all murder stories either. But I don't remember. Maybe I liked it better because Joan stopped being E-Lock's sober companion (because he's a recovering drug addict) and became his assistant, helping him with his cases and solving her own.
We also get to find out a bit more about E-Lock's past.... That he was once 'in love' with a woman named Irene Adler. We start to see him 'human' side. There was also Alfredo, E-Lock's sponsor, and I liked him. He was pretty cool. Also Joan wasn't all "I MUST help E-Lock become a REAL human person!" She's more understanding and knows that E-Lock just needs to be himself.
And then the finale. Oh wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. WOW! WOW! WOW! That was seriously one of the best season finales I have EVER seen. It's right up there with Doomsday/whatever the first half of that episode is called:

It's also as good as The Best of Both Worlds (which is a season finale/cliffhanger for season 3 of Star Trek Next Generation):
Oh my goodness.... the Elementary season finale... SO SUPRISING. And amazing.
That made me really like the show.
After the finale, I have thought more about the first half and the characters and such.... And I realized that maybe it wasn't so bad after all... At least the character development side of it. I still think the plotlines weren't all that great.
Looking back at the first season of Elementary, I can see how E-Lock started out as a broken man just out of rehab who works on homicide cases with his sober companion and has women who are not his wife come over. As the season went on, some of these things disappeared as he healed. I don't know exactly what changed.... Maybe having an actual friend - Joan. Maybe he realized that you can't buy love (can't buy me looove.... looove... can't buy me loo-o-ooove.... I'm a Beatles fan, remember?). Anyway, I could see the change in his character.
Joan too. She started out as someone who was always in E-Lock's face, trying to get him to open up about himself. Then she realized that that's now how E-Lock works. And they became good friends.
I mentioned the prostitutes already....
There was also bad words, of course.
And there was also a lot of gore for a TV Show - I thought. In the finale (or the second to last episode, I don't remember) Joan opens up a guy's chest cavity.... There's just a whole bunch of blood and gore in this show.
Like I said, I have very mixed feelings about this show. I really loved the finale because it totally caught me off guard - it was something that had never been done before that I thought was absolutely brilliant.
I also liked the parts where Joan and E-Lock were butting heads. Like when she knocked over his key collection. And when he burned his violin. They're a funny team.
But then there's all the content.... Which makes me really really really really dislike the show. As of now, I don't know if I'll be back to see the second season. The Bible says to think about pure, right things. And Elementary doesn't really focus on pure, right things. So I'm not sure. I don't have to worry about it for awhile yet. Before the finale I had made up my mind NOT to watch season two. But after the finale.... I don't know. It just seems like the show might be going in a cleaner direction. So we'll have to see.
So there's my review of Elementary. I can't say I would recommend this show. To me, it wasn't all that great (except the finale). I think their are plenty of other shows out there with wacky detectives (like The Mentalist). I don't think TV needs another one.... But I can see how Elementary appeals to some people.
In other news.... filming of my trailer has become dangerous. I built a jail in my hallway which we've been tripping over all day.

We've also been attacked by snakes:
Actually, I was doing science today and learning about snakes and I was like, "WAIT A MINUTE! I should have one of my characters in After the Twelfth Night be almost squeezed to death by an anaconda! Or a boa constrictor!" So I'm adding that in. Mwahaha.
I'm also thinking about making After the Twelfth Night into three parts instead of two... Perhaps more on that later.
Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Crickey mate!

I was going to do a post about characters for Jack's giveaway thingy (whether she decides to actually enter me in the giveaway is her choice - since I've already read the book).
Buuutt then I decided to do something more fun. Movie review! =D

When I was eight or nine I first saw The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, at my friends house.

This movie stars Steve Irwin, better known as The Crocodile Hunter, his wife Terri, and a whole bunch of other people (including the guy who played Faramir! I was watching and going, 'that guy looks so familiar... where have I seen him befor-FARAMIR!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!' It was pretty exciting).
Like I said, my friend introduced me to this movie. We watched it together and laughed SO HARD. Especially when the lady toots and the barn explodes....
After watching it with her, I got it out of the library very, very often. It was probably my favorite movie.
Then, in 2006 when I was ten, Steve Irwin was killed (by a stingray, I think). I severed all my connections with him. I was sooooo sad. I haven't seen Collision Course - that favorite movie of mine - since before he died. It was just too painful.
Now, seven years later I am finally brave enough to watch it again.
So I did, tonight. Because we bought it at the thrift store yesterday.
It was as good as I remember. But I did get sad at the end. I have to not think about his death so much, otherwise I get sad.
So now the review!
Here is what the movie is about:
A space shuttle explodes and a small ball of importantness falls into the Australian Outback. For some reason, the American government wants to get it back so they send two guys (which remind me a LOT of the two government guys in Eva Ibbotson's Journey to the River Sea) to retrieve it. There's also a girl who is trying to get it as well.... I'm not sure if she's working for America or not (to tell you the truth, I wasn't paying that much attention to the actual plotline).
Anyway, a crocodile ends up eating the important ball thing. It happens to be the same crocodile that an angry rancher is trying to shoot because it keeps eating her cattle. Of course, it is illegal to kill crocodiles because that is poaching. That's where Faramir comes in. He's a police guy who tries to keep the angry rancher lady in line.
So all these seemingly separate plotlines are going on... Steve and Terri Irwin are catching all sorts of animals. Then they find the croc and try and get it to a safe place.
Then all the characters intersect and there is a whole bunch of action including a cat/boat/plane chase.
It's a wonderful movie. But, of course, there's some content... A few bad words. A couple Australian swear words and then a few d- and h- words. And there are a whole bunch of scary scenes.... Mostly having to do with Steve catching animals. He wrestles with several crocodiles, two poisonous snakes, and a poisonous spider. Yeaahh... It's kinda scary.
Other than that, it's a wonderful movie!!! Very funny and fun..... It's like a documentary mixed with a plotline. I LOVE movies like that.... The gods Must Be Crazy is another movie like that. It actually reminds me a lot of Collision Course. Also two Beatles films... Help! and A Hard Day's Night are kind of documentary with a plotline.... I guess it could be described as satire. Which I love. The Princess Bride is the same kind of thing.
And now I should go to bed.... You know your tired when you type "The Princess Bride is the kind same of thing" and then stare at it going, 'something is wrong here....'
Tomorrow my review of Elementary will be up! And on Friday I might do my character post.... But I'm going to see a certain movie -
- with my mom's friend. (Funny story... she came over to so she and my mom could talk fabric - because they like to sew - and then she came in and said to me, "I want to go to the movies on Friday. What are you doing?" And I said "Nothing." So she said, "I want to go see Star Trek. Do you want to come with me?" I thought about it for .0000001 seconds and said, "YES!" So we're going to see Into Darkness of Friday. Even though my Star Trek skirt isn't finished yet.... Maybe I'll have to wear my red shirt instead. Orrr not..... That might be slightly embarrassing. Not to mention dangerous.
Anyway, Friday or Saturday my character post will be up. I might have to do an Into Darkness review as well.
Live long and prosper!
P.S. Don't forget to check out my last post - 300th!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Three hundreeeeeeddd!!!

It's my 300th blog post!

Watch this video to understand my blog title:

Guess who finished her first edit of Part One of After the Twelfth Night last night? "CONGRATULATE ME MAX!"


Now to start on the read through of Part One, fixing what little things I missed....

In honor of this first leap towards publishing, I have decided to reveal one of my secret projects! The big one - the one that I have been talking about (I'm still a tad bit iffy on the other one, that's why I'll wait to reveal it).

Meet the cast of the...


So yes. I am in the works of making a book trailer for After the Twelfth Night with my dolls! Personally, I think book trailers are kind of weird... Because, you know, it's a book, not a movie. I wasn't planning on doing one and then I thought WAIT A MINUTE! I could do it with dolls! Then it would be super cool! So that's what I'm doing. Look forwards to the trailer sometime in the summer... August maybe. Or maybe, since the book isn't coming out until November, the trailer will come out in September or October.

And finally, here is Top Tuesdays! Top favorite TV shows (in order, this time).

Live long and prosper!

Monday, May 20, 2013

The parties were bigger, the pace was faster, the buildings were higher, and the morals looser. - F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Here is my Great Gatsby review! In a somewhat new format....

Title: The Great Gatsby.

Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Synopsis: Nick Carraway moves in next door to a mysterious man named Gatsby who is not all he seems.... It turns out that he is in love with Daisy Buchanan, the wife of one of Nick's friend (she is also Nick's cousin).

Rating: This is kind of complicated. I read the book for literature but I finished the book about two weeks before the discussion.... I figured that I probably wouldn't remember much of the story by the time the discussion came around, so I decided to read the book again.
The first time around, I rated it a 7/10 stars because I hadn't done very much background information yet and I didn't see past the whole affair plotline...
The second time I read it, however, I had done a bunch of background information and I could see past the affair plotline. So I rated it an 8/10.

What I didn't like/things you should know:
The main plotline revolves around several people having affairs.
Eheheh.... yeah.
So there's that, which I wasn't really fond of.
Then someone gets punched in the face.... and several people die in not so nice ways. But nothing is really described, so, it's alright, I suppose? Sort of?
There's also some bad words. One character takes God's name in vain over and over and over again... I just skipped that.
The writing style is sometimes hard to understand.

The good/my thoughts:
He starts a metaphor and carries it through to the end (something we were told to do in essay writing class).
Here is my favorite quote from the book: "The wind had blown off, leaving a loud bright night with wings beating in the trees and a persistent organ sound as the full bellows of the earth blew the frogs full of life.
There are so many things I could say about this book....
It is set in 1922. And let me just tell you.... 1900-1945 is MY time period. I LOVE learning about those 45 years. So much happened... so many changes.... the two World Wars.... It is just fascinating to me.
The Jazz Age falls right in the middle... Also known as The Roarin' Twenties. The 1920's, in which this book takes place. It was a time where women wore shorter skirts and cut their hair in bobs.
Jazz music made its first appearance and became quite popular.
People everywhere were dancing new dances, such as the Charleston. The Catholic Telegraph reported, "The music is sensuous, the female is only half dressed and the motions may not be described in a family newspaper. Suffice it to say that there are certain houses appropriate for such dances but these houses have been closed by the law."
The Great Gatsby really captures the mood of the Twenties, when everyone seemed to have money to spend on lavish parties and the latest fashions. Fitzgerald expertly showed this side of the lifestyle, which is what I caught on to the first time I read the book.
The second time, however, I caught on to the other side of the lifestyle, that Fitzgerald was trying to convey. The meaninglessness of the lifestyle that people lived in the '20's.
Fitzgerald, more than anyone, is able to tell us about the parties and the flip side of them. After publishing his first book (This Side of Paradise, I believe it is called) he became rich quick. After marrying his wife Zelda, they became the couple that described the Jazz Age.


(Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)
They partied and Scott Fitzgerald became an alcoholic... They wasted a lot of their money and for the rest of his life, Fitzgerald had to rely on writing short stories, which  newspapers paid well for, to support his family, instead of writing novels like he wanted to.
Anyway, back to the Great Gatsby....
Fitzgerald really writes true to the time and manages to portray the time period wonderfully (after all, he was writing in the midst of this time period. The book was published in 1924).
The book takes place in the modernist writing period (from about 1890-1965) where authors experimented a lot with their writing. Like the art of the time (art deco; Picasso), the writing was often fragmented and confusing.
The characters were often not that heroic and more lost and... just not someone you would call a hero.
So it was with Fitzgerald's characters. They were preeeettty messed. Even Nick Carraway, the narrator. He describes himself as "one of the few honest people I know."
One thing all the characters, even honest Nick, have in common is that they aren't satisfied with what they have. I felt that this was a huge theme in the book.
(Minor spoilers:)
Gatsby grew up poor and then made a fortune in organized crime, selling bootlegged alcohol (during the prohibition). He wasn't satisfied with all the wealth he had and his big mansion. He wanted Daisy Buchanan, his true love from five years before who had since remarried. Daisy isn't satisfied in her marriage so she and Gatsby have an affair.
Meanwhile, Daisy's husband Tom is also having an affair because he isn't satisfied either. The woman he is having an affair with is also married - and not satisfied.
Jordan Baker, Nick's golfer girlfriend, lies to get what she wants, because she feels uncomfortable being in the wrong.
And Nick.... He moved east from the Midwest because he wasn't satisfied with small town living. In the end of the book, he ends up going back.
(End spoilers.)
No one is satisfied in this book. Like the Liberace book, I think this says a lot about life.
In Ecclesiastes King Solomon (the supposed author) says that tries doing all these things to fill the hole he has in his soul, but in the end they are all meaningless without God. He tries wealth, wisdom, building things, owning tons of stuff.... But everything is meaningless. Everything is meaningless without God. You can try and get an A on a paper, but if you aren't doing it for God, if you are doing it just for the A's sake, then it is meaningless. But if you are getting that A because you want to do your best for God (Colossians 3:23 says, "whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men." Which might be slightly out of context because Paul is talking to slaves in that passage... but I think it still applies to us), then that A is very meaningful.
The end of Ecclesiastes goes like this: "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil."
I love it when everything I'm learning all goes together..... The Great Gatsby is about not being satisfied and about a meaningless lifestyle.... In Sunday School we've been going through Ecclesiastes, which is about the same thing. And for youth group, I just wrote a skit based off of the three individuals in the end of Luke 9 ("the cost of following Jesus" as the header says). Basically, Jesus asks three guys to come with him. One says, "Let me just bury my father. Then I'll come." Jesus replies, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Another guy says, "I'll come with you, but let me first go say goodbye to my family."
Again Jesus says, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Now, burying your dad and saying goodbye to your family are not bad things. Jesus' point is that if the cost of doing what He asks (even if it's a good thing like saying goodbye) is too much for you, you are not willing to follow Him.
Because being a follower of Jesus DOES cost. It can cost lives and friendships... and small things, which are, perhaps the hardest. For me, it is TV shows and youtube videos. A small example (because I've already tried to write this about four times and each time it gets too long) is Friends. It's a TV show. A sitcom from the '90's. It's hilarious and the characters really seem like you 'friends.' But every episode is so filled with raunchiness.... well, I knew that God didn't want me filling my brain with that sort of stuff, so, in the past two weeks, I've been working really hard on NOT watching Friends, because really, it is a horrible show. Never get hooked on it.
I've gotten so lost (and tired, it's 11:00PM now. I need to go to bed....) that I don't even know what my point was going to be. So I'm going to make up a new point:
Sin is attractive, and the characters in the Great Gatsby definitely fall for the bait (the same bait, I might add, that Eve fell for in the Garden of Eden so long ago). But it is all meaningless. Underneath all the 'fun' is nothing. It's empty. There's nothing left when you take away the parties and the secret affairs. Nothing but empty meaninglessness. It is the same today.
Without God, everything is meaningless.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

In which I try to think of something to blog about.

I was going to do my Great Gatsby review but then I got too tired.

This weekend has been kind of a flop weekend for me. I did pretty much nothing. I already told you about Friday.... Yesterday I went to a work day at a local park with a group from church. Then I came home, practiced piano, and proceeded to spend the rest of the day curled up on the couch watching various DVD.
I started with the Beatles Anthology. Which is basically a documentary about, well, the Beatles.

Then I watched some Cosby.

And I finished with some Carol Burnett show, which was a variety show in the '70's. They had Sammy Davis Jr. as a guest star.... I love him. He has such a beautiful voice. And he sings so effortlessly. He's cool. Cool as a cucumber.

He guest starred on the Cosby Show the year before he died (or maybe it was two years? Something like that). After Sammy Davis Jr. died, Bill Cosby can always be seen wearing a pin that says SDJr. in the show.

Today was church. I was on worship team so I had to get up at 7:30. I ate a bagel for breakfast at church.
Then there was a potluck and I ate lunch at church. After that a girl from youth group gave  a very beautiful piano concert!
A hike with the youth group was next on the list. Four miles! Woo!
Then back to church for youth group.... We cooked our own meal! It was a good experience and we didn't burn the church down, so I call it a success! The food tasted good too. We only had one mishap.... Chips in the oven burned and smoke clouded the kitchen. We had to open all the windows and doors.
So I ate all three meals at church today.
Now I'm exhausted and going to go to bed.

Live long and prosper.

Friday, May 17, 2013

I have no decent title for this post.

To look forwards to in the next week: A review/my thoughts on The Great Gatsby book (which I just finished reading. Twice.)
Also a review on the first season of the CBS show Elementary.

Now onto other things plus a bunch of random pictures.

 I'm watching Get Smart.

Because I'm totally wiped out.
Today I had a finance class that was kind of unrealistic.... You are supposed to figure out a budget.... But then, instead of giving you the option of paying off stuff right away (such as buying a $300 laptop) they make you go into debt by paying $20 of said laptop every month until it is paid off.
It was kind of annoying. And loud. I couldn't hear myself think sometimes.
Nevertheless, I had fun.

Hee hee hee..... Look up Monty Python Silly Walk if you want to understand.

Anyway, then we went to church and had book discussion on The Great Gatsby.... while the boys set up for their art show.
Then we had the art show.
Since the boys are the only ones who do art (us girls finished the program a few years ago), there was also some entertainment... Some piano pieces... and a few readings.
I read the first chapter of After the Twelfth Night. =D
It went well.

Buuuuuutttt I'm starting to have my doubts about publishing... What if my book isn't good enough? Besides, so many people are pre-reading it before it comes out, no one will be left to buy it! Not that the money matters.... It really doesn't. I just want to entertain people. Well, maybe the money matters a little bit. I'm only human, right? But I do want to entertain people more. I want them to have the rush that I have when I buy books.... What will the story unfold? What kind of characters will let me into their lives? (This even happens with books I've already read. Re-living the story is sometimes better than reading it for the first time.)


My secret project is kind of on hold for now. Hopefully I can work on it some more next month.


Now I'm exhausted and going to go.

Live long and prosper.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Wonderful Private World of Liberace - review.

There are a number of people who really fascinate me. I like to read things about them such as articles or books - and I like to watch movies/documentaries or interviews about/with them. Here are a few of these people: George M. Cohan, George Gershwin, the Beatles, several actors, Liberace, and probably a number of others who I've forgotten about.
When I found out that Liberace wrote a number of books... Well, I went right to our library's website and looked up those books! I got his final book - the one he wrote a few years before he died.
Who is this Liberace?
Liberace was a very gifted piano player who was known for his lavish, sparkly, outfits.
Here is an early recording of him playing the Bumble Boogie (watch his legs.... I can't even keep beat like that when I'm just sitting around - let alone when I'm playing!)



Anyway, I read one of his books - The Wonderful Private World of Liberace - and here are my thoughts on it:

The bad:
I think that there was at least one swear word... maybe two or three.... But I can't remember. There may not have been any.
There was only one super big thing that you need to watch out for when reading this book... In chapter two or three he talks about meeting Miss Bea Haven (read it quickly) when he was sixteen and... doing things with her that a sixteen year old shouldn't be doing. The chapter has a pretty obvious title so there's no missing that that's what he's going to be talking about.... I did read the chapter... nothing was in detail, but I could have done without it (although in the same chapter he talked about how his family and he had to work through the Great Depression to get money, which was kind of interesting. He met Miss Bea Haven [his name, not mine] when he was playing at a piano bar).
He also makes some remarks that don't exactly correspond with Christian beliefs... More about focus on yourself/better yourself for yourself (as opposed to bettering yourself for God... to glorify Him).

The good:
This book fascinated me and made me a little sad.
Usually you think of performers as just that: performers. Liberace can almost be thought of as the ultimate performer. I mean, just look at the way he dressed!


But Liberace was so much more than just a performer... He had a life man! He was a renaissance man. He painted, he cooked, he owned lots of dogs, he ran a restaurant, he was an antique collector, and he was a bit of an interior decorator. He would buy an old lamp and people would say, "Why'd you buy that old thing?" When they came over next they would see he had a new lamp and say, "Where'd you get that? I LOVE it!" Liberace would say, "Remember that ugly old lamp? I turned it into this!" He would have large dinner parties and was on good terms with his family and those who worked for him.... Oh yeah, and he played piano.
This book really opened up a side to Liberace that I didn't know about before. It also gave me lots of good information that might be helpful down the road when I'm editing my first Daniel/Varina novel.... in which the plot centers on Liberace's rhinestone (which is the biggest in the world).

It also made me a little sad to read this book... Liberace collected so many things in his life and tried to make things beautiful. He also gave a lot of the money he earned from his museum and restaurant to the Liberace Foundation, which gave scholarships to music students. Now, I'm not sure how active it is anymore.... so I won't talk anymore about it.
What makes me sad is that he worked so hard to try and make things beautiful and now everything he worked so hard for is in a state of disarray. His museum has been closed for ten years-ish (though I heard a rumor that they're opening it next year. I HOPE SO!! Because I really want to go there. And I hope they keep it in the same state it was in when he was alive... Such as letting people play his pianos.... He says in his book that he didn't want there to be ropes around the exhibits).
His house has been foreclosed and who knows what happened to all his bejeweled cars, pianos, and clothes.
Here is an except from the book: "Whenever we get an inquiry about selling to the museum an article that should be in it, we send a letter saying the museum doesn't buy pieces but receives them as donations for which a tax deduction can be taken. We've been blessed with many gifts of historical interest, such as George Gershwin's piano. We also have a piano that was used by Frederic Chopin.
"I often take friends like Dolly Parton on personally conducted tours of the museum. There's always a question about how the Gershwin piano sounds. If I sit down to play something by Gershwin, we feel awed by the fact that the number was actually composed on this instrument.
"I'd never play anything but a piece by Chopin on the Chopin piano."
Where are those amazing, loved and cared for pianos now? I don't know. I sure hope that they've been taken care of the right way. Because it would be awful to have them disappear. George Gershwin's piano! He's my favorite composer!
And yet, isn't the fact that Liberace's homes are in foreclosure and in ruins - after he worked so hard to make them beautiful (he had a copy of the Sistine Chapel painted on his bedroom ceiling) - somewhat reflective on life? Nothing on this earth will last. Everything will eventually deteriorate. So why should we, as Christians, focus so much on the worldly things that will deteriorate? We should focus on our relationship with God, praising him, and going out and telling others about the hope that we have!

I rate this book a 9/10 stars because it was really fascinating to get an 'inside look' into Liberace's life - written by the man himself! Perhaps I'll try and locate one of his other books.

Live long and prosper!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A question to you authors out there. And another question for everyone!

Really serious heart-to-heart moment in my book.... someone has just been killed and there's all this tension and moral stuff going on... and then I put this line in:
"I never knew my father."

I can't get through a serious moment without putting something funny in it! I just can't! There's a part in Part Two where they are being attacked by creatures that I describe as "lolloping." Not "terrifying" not "atrocious..." "LOLLOPING!"

Anyway, that's not my question.
My question to you authors is.... Do you have as much material for your books or am I just strange?


This is all my After the Twelfth Night stuff. On the very bottom is a folder with pictures/descriptions of the different characters, in case I ever get motivated to draw one or two of them.
Next is Part Two edited-on-paper. Above that (in the black binder) is Part Two waiting to be edited by Abbey and Mom next month.
Then on top of THAT is all my Part One stuff along with character descriptions and plots.... On top of that is Part One in book form (since I got it published after I finished writing it two years ago - never knowing that it would become what it is today).
I also have another notebook with the plot of Part Two in it.... amongst other things.

Do you authors have this much stuff for your books to? Or am I crazy?

Second question for everyone: Do you have any questions you want to ask me? About writing.... me.... my dolls... books... things that matter.... the universe... Just anything really.
I'm asking because it has to do with my secret project (which has now kind of evolved into a double secret project). So if you want to ask me anything - however irreverent it might be, ask away. =) It shall be answered in the future. Ask multiply questions if you want.

Back to editing now.

Live long and prosper!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The one where I talk about my book cover.

I have gleaned from several of my friends that the book cover is one of the hardest parts of publishing. For me, it is extremely easy. Probably because my cover is already done and has been done for two years.
Two years ago, however, I remember having an EXTREMELY hard time with it.
My cover picture is a painting by Ivan Aivazovsky, a Russian painter from the 1800's, known for his seascapes.

I liked this painting because of the ship in the background. I thought it fit After the Twelfth Night very well.

I didn't just want my cover to be the painting, however, so I added a picture of me - as Antonio from a production of Twelfth Night that I was in in 2009 - to the cover (I believe I used Gimp, but I'm not sure).


It was too bright, however, so I started experimenting with color.


Too light.
Sometime in the process, I experimented with a different Ivan Aivazovsky painting (which has now become the back cover of the book; without my face):


Eventually I came up with this cover:


But, as most of you know, my computer got wiped somehow last spring, therefore losing that particular cover. Luckily, I had some uploaded onto photobucket, so I still have most of my work. Just not that particular cover. And I can't figure out what I did to make that cover look like it does. I half wonder if the publishing thing I went with last time (to get my four copies) kind of changed the color....
Anyway, I've been kind of poking around with the cover again today, experimenting with different colors.
This is what I came up with:


Haha just kidding. That was me being bored. (My mom's comment: "I'm so glad she can keep herself entertained.")

This is the real cover (which I'm not altogether sure about... is the lettering too dark? Is it too hard to read?):

Enough about that. I've been working on my secret project today. Here are some pictures to muddle with your brains:

(Dolls playing Dominion???????!!)


(Dolls dressed in interesting costumes?????!!)


(RUTHIE WITH GLASSES AND BUNNY SLIPPERS??????? [Anyone who has read the Meet the Dolls page knows that Ruthie is a bit of a fashionista and does NOT - I repeat - does NOT like appearing sloppily dressed] And is that a sword that the doll-in-white-pants is holding?)

Live long and prosper!