Sunday, September 29, 2013

Guess who...

...finished the Lord of the Rings last night?
Although I must admit, I didn't read all the appendixes. I skipped over most of them, except for Arwen and Aragorn's love story and the stuff about the Dwarves. I kind of skimmed... But I think that's alright. After all, I've been reading this series for over a year!

Anyway, I loved this final book. It had action and it had Faramir and Eowyn... And it had the Scouring of the Shire. I loved that chapter, I really did.
And for the first time, I was sad that a book ended! I have never had that sensation before - of ending a book and feeling a loss because I won't get to read about the character's anymore.

So what's next? Well, I have City of Ember out of the library that I need to read. Once a long time ago I started the book but never finished it because I felt it was... too middle-schoolish? It seemed too young for me. But then I watched the movie last Saturday with my friend and I remembered how cool a concept it was. So now I'm going back to read the book again. Hopefully I'll get through it this time.

I also want to start Little Women soon... and I have to finish Assignment: Eternity. And Beowulf. I am really super enjoying Beowulf. So many people hate it, but I'm loving it! The language is SO beautiful! It's full of alliteration. People just don't write like that any more. It's a pity.

In other news, I've put the pictures back on my blog as far back as May 2013. Eventually I'll get the other 1900 odd pictures put back on. But that is not this day!

Now I'm off to read.

Live long and prosper.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What happened to all the pictures?

Simply, I don't know. All of the pictures on my blog have simply gone away. I asked Google for help but they haven't gotten back to me... I clicked something which made the pictures disappear, but when I undid it, the pictures didn't reappear. So, I'm going to go back and over the course of the rest of my life, re-upload all the pictures to each individual post. So, no fear, there will be pictures on this blog again eventually!

Do any of you know any way to fix this? Here's how it happened: I was on Google+ exploring my picture album sections and I clicked "share" and changed the albums to private by taking off the link... and then my pictures on here disappeared. I put the link back on but nothing happened. Any ideas?

Also, you like the new header?


Live long and prosper!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Jim Henson!


1936-1990. He would have been 77 (that is, if I got my math right).

Live long and prosper.

Monday, September 23, 2013

"Snakes! I hate snakes!"

It's that time of year again... It's starting to get cold outside, and all the giant spiders think it's time-to-scare-Abbey-to-death time. It's that time of year when you just can't help but quote Indiana Jones.


"Snakes! I hate snakes!"
Only I'm shouting, "Spiders! I hate spiders!"

I was cleaning my room today and there were four spiders in my room... Five, including the already-dead one. And one got away. So now I'm left wondering... how in the world am I going to sleep tonight with a spider running rampant in my room? (I started reading Beowulf tonight, and the alliterative verse is getting to me.)

Somehow I'll manage... And now my room is clean, so that's nice. I gave it a nice vacuum, the best it's gotten in probably a year. That's where one of the spiders came from... I accidentally sucked it out of a crack. And then it disappeared through another crack. *shivers* Hey, maybe there's hope - it could have gotten erased from history!

Because it's Batman.

Anyway, I moved some boxes and threw away a bunch of unneeded stuff and now feeling accomplished! Only I'm not done yet. I have re-arrange my bookshelves yet again... because I've gotten more books. And I've gotten more paper. And they are all trying to share the shelves together. And it's not going so well.
I also have to change the dolls out of their costumes for the After the Twelfth Night book trailer, and into regular clothes again. And go through their cabinet and re-organize it. But that's a job for another day.

Well, I'm gonna go read now. Maybe some of the Star Trek novel... Or Return on the King. I'm nearly finished with it! Only two more chapters. I want it to finish it before the month is over. Partly because I've promised myself not to start more books until it's finished... Which is kind of messed up already with starting Beowulf today. But that's for literature, so it doesn't count.

Now I really have to go. Goodnight!

Live long and prosper.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The first book review since when?!

Title: Heist Society.


Author: Ally Carter.

Synopsis: Katarina Bishop comes from a long line of thieves and conmen. But she wants out of the life, so she cons her way into an elite boarding school. But it's not long after that The Life catches up with her and sweeps her back into the ring of secrecy.
Her friend Hale comes to tell her that her dad has been framed for robbing five paintings, and that he needs Kat's help. She has to find the paintings and return them to their owner, in only two weeks.

My rating: 6/10 stars.

Let's get the bad over with first of all...
What I didn't like/what you should know: There is one character, Gabrielle, who wears extremely short skirts and tight shirts... She's a flirt and let's people know it. She hangs on the boy characters.
There was one scene towards the end that changed my rating from 7 stars to 6, and that was when Gabrielle made up the main character, Kat, in a short skirt and tight shirt. Kat comes downstairs and the boys all stare at her. They've never seen her in form-flattering clothes, and it surprises them. They exclaim that she has legs and a bust. I didn't think that was necessary. At all. So, that's why I rated this book a six.
There's a hinted at romance, which is kind of annoying because there's a lot of 'his breath came warm on her cheek' and 'he stood too close to her, making her skin tingle.'
The book is about thieves who, obviously, steal, for a living. I wasn't sure about the morality of this... Sure, it was a fun book, but the Bible says don't steal. So the moral side of reading this book was a bit confusing.
My biggest problem with this book was the characters. They seemed half-baked. They were lots of discrepancies. Like one minute the love interest is upset because Kat brings another guy onto their team (to get the paintings back). He hates the new guy and is mad with Kat. Then, the next minute, he's totally fine with it and he and Kat are back to being great friends again. Also, the characters seemed more like 21, than 15.
There were some plot problems as well... I don't feel like we got an adequate ending. They should have answered the question 'who is Visily Romani?' Instead it seems like the author didn't know, so she didn't bother trying to write out who he was.

Now onto the good!
What I liked: This was a really cute, easy read, which is nice once in awhile. I think I would have enjoyed it a little bit more had I been younger, so that I could have pretended to be in this whole secret world.
I enjoyed the plot. It was cool seeing the characters running all over the world trying to figure out where the paintings were. They met lots of cool people on the way. Plus, it's just cool to have a book where characters go lots of places, and don't just stay in one place. It was a good plot overall.
It was really funny!
The cover is gorgeous.

Would I recommend this book? I would, to a certain audience. If you are looking for a quick, easy, fun read about a secret society of sorts, this is a good book for you! The romance isn't over the top, which was nice, and the plot is fun. There are lots of great one-liners as well.

Live long and prosper!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My first introduction to Marvel.

Yesterday, while I was recuperating on the couch from two consecutive migraines and the resulting trip to the ER for dehydration (not being able to keep anything down for 14 hours leaves one a little dry), I found Iron Man 2 on TV.
Some people grew up with the Marvel comics, or the TV shows. Some people now are growing up with the new Marvel movies, like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and the Avengers. Since I'm not big into superheroes, I haven't seen any of these movies. Until last night. I was flipping through channels on the TV and there was Iron Man 2! So I watched it.
I can see why people like these movies so much! It was very well done and visually a treat to look at.
In addition to the way it looked, the plot was cool. Basically, what I gleaned in my drugged and half-asleep state, was that Tony Stark told the world he was Iron Man and now the United States is expecting him to either protect everyone, or hand over his technology so that they can protect the public. Also, his company is in shambles because he's not taking care of it properly, and there's this guy with electronic whips that wants to kill him.

Some other cool stuff happens, like a Grand Prix, and a court scene, and some of the characters I've heard so much about are introduced/brought back.
The characters were pretty cool too. I liked Pepper Potts' name. And I was impressed by the wide array of famous actors/actresses that were in this movie...
Robert Downy Jr. AKA Sherlock Holmes.
Gwyneth Paltrow AKA Emma Woodhouse.
Samuel L. Jackson AKA Mace Windu.
Oh yeah, and that one guy whose name I don't know... But he played Mr. Hammer:


And I couldn't take him seriously throughout the whole movie because I kept expecting this to happen to his head:

What's the President of the Galaxy doing on Earth anyway? He already has Trillian er- Trisha McMillan.

Well, that was my first experience with Marvel. Will I go back for more? Maybe. I'd still like to see the Avengers eventually.
Now I'm off to do some schoolwork!

Live long and prosper.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


The story you have just seen is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Friday, September 13, 2013

"The theater, the theater, what's happened to the theater?"

Let's just take a moment to say how absolutely amazing musicals are...


My first musical love.

Need I say more? My favorite Christmas movie. Plus Bing... Plus Danny Kaye = AMAZING. Danny Kaye is a legend. And one of the most talented actors/comedians/people in the world.

Two words: Donald. O'Connor. Another one of the most talent people in the world.

Plus Debbie Reynolds, who is Princess Leia's mom... And Gene Kelly, who is, of course, amazing also.
Guess what? We're singing Singin' in the Rain in choir this year! Guess who's excited?

I like how Frank's name is before Gene Kelly's, even though Gene is the main character. (Edit: I just re-watched this movie yesterday. It's so cute! And Jose Iturbi is a genius)

Did you know Frank Sinatra was 30 in this movie? He looks 18! He was 40 in Guys and Dolls.

Tonight I watched both I Love Melvin, and Singin' in the Rain, starring Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor. I Love Melvin is a little-known, cute, 72 minute musical with some great songs and dance numbers - including one where Donald O'Connor dances on roller skates!

And now I'm left thinking... Why can't we dress like this:

Or this?


(Donald O'Connor and Vera-Ellen in Call Me Madman. Look at that skirt!)

Or this?

(From I Love Melvin)

There's about a million others I could mention...

Hello Dolly
Les Miserables
Fiddler on the Roof
Chess (this is one my parent's like that I know nothing about)
West Side Story
Bye Bye Birdie
Marry Poppins
Into the Woods
The Phantom of the Opera
The Sound of Music
My Fair Lady
Call Me Madman
Marry Poppins
Anything Goes...

I'm sure there's millions more.

So, until Tomorrow! Tomorrow! there's always, tomorrow! It's only a day away...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jerusalem and Minas Tirith.

My mom and I were doing our Bible Study this morning, and we were reading in 2 Chronicles (and 2 Kings) about King Hezekiah, of Judah.
He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but the Assyrians still invaded Judah during his reign. Sennacherib, King of Assyria, did lots of horrible things to the people of Lachish, and then continued on to Jerusalem. But King Hezekiah, prayed to God (2 Kings 19 - it's a really great prayer, go check it out) and an angel went out and put to death 185,000 of Sennacherib's soldiers, and Sennacherib withdrew to Nineveh and stayed there (and proceeded to draw the whole thing on his palace wall - except for the part where all his men get killed).

The Siege of Lachish, as depicted on Sennacherib's palace walls.
While we were studying this, I got to thinking...
I'm reading The Return of the King and I'm trying to pick out allegories, because some people say that they are there, and some people say that they aren't. I've found one or two plausible ones, and then I got to thinking about Minas Tirith, in relation to the Jerusalem of Hezekiah's reign.
Both Jerusalem and Minas Tirith were major cities. You could say that they are the capitals of their region (Jerusalem of Judah, and Minas Tirith of Gondor).
Both Jerusalem and Minas Tirith have guard cities, which were taken out by the enemy.
Jerusalem had several cities, on different sides, that served as 'guard' cities. One such example was Lachish. It protected the valley that lead to Jerusalem. If Lachish fell, there would be an open passageway to Jerusalem.
In Lord of the Rings, Osgiliath served much the same purpose as Lachish. It used to be the capital of Gondor, but was abandoned for Minas Tirith. During the War of the Ring, Gondor and Mordor fought many times over the city, with Mordor eventually prevailing for a short time.
In the same way, Sennacherib took over Lachich, killing most of the inhabitants, and leading the survivors back to Assyria by rings pierced through their lips.
Both cities are relatively near water... Lachish is near the Via Maris, and though Jerusalem is a bit father away, they still show on the same map together (at least in my book). Also Jerusalem is very near the Dead Sea.
Minas Tirith is near the Great River, Anduin.
Both cities have two walls.
In 2 Chronicles 32: 5, it says,
Then he (King Hezekiah) worked hard repairing all the broken sections of the wall and building towers on it. He built another wall outside that one and reinforced the supporting terraces of the City of David.
Similarly, the city of Minas Tirith has it's outside wall, and also the wall/fence surrounding the Pelennor (which is a big field).
Both cities were laid siege to, but won their battles.
Jerusalem did so by the Grace of God, and solely with His help.
Minas Tirith did so with the help of Rohan, it's neighboring kingdom, and with the men following Aragorn.
I don't know if Tolkien was influenced by this particular part in the Bible, but I thought it was cool to find the parallels.
Live long and prosper!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Books, books, books!

Summer is over! (Technically is doesn't end until September 22, but we're not being technical here.)

I got quite a few books ticked off my summer reading list (though some were added, and some were taken off in the process).
  • The Future Door by Jason Lethcoe - A good sequel to a good book.
  • Crater by Homer Hickam - Loved this book!!
  • A bunch of random Agatha Christie - I read four: Murder at the Vicarage, the first Miss Marple mystery; And Then There Were None, an amazing book that every mystery fan should read! Death on the Nile, which was a great mystery set in Egypt; and Dead Man's Folly, which was a quick read... I enjoyed it because it had Ariadne Oliver, though the rest of the characters (excepting Poirot) were kind of dull, and the plot wasn't as brilliant as some of her other novels.
  • Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - Brilliant book, if you can get past the swearing and slang phrases.
  • Emma by Jane Austin - I loved Emma! It was great.
  • Sew, It's a Quest and Do You Take This Quest? by Kendra E. Ardnek - Check! These are great books. I especially liked the second one.
  • The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss - We listened to this in the car to and from Minnesota. It was wonderful, as usual... though in some parts it was kind of unrealistic.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - LOVED this one! Great.
  • Assignment: Eternity by Greg Cox - I didn't get this one done. Haven't even started it yet.
  • The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien - I started RotK about two or three weeks ago... And it's so exciting! I can hardly put it down at night. Sam just rescued Frodo from the Tower of Cirith Ungol. I'm about a half-way through, hoping to finish by the end of the month.

  • We'll be starting up literature sometime soon, so I will have some nice books to read there... Also, I have some books that I would like to read in general. And I made a decision. This school year, I would like to always be reading one non-fiction book alongside the fiction I normally read.
    So here is my list of books I'd like to get done before next summer:
    • Crescent by Homer Hickam - This is the sequel to Crater. I read the first chapter a few weeks ago... and never got any farther.
    • Finish Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien - Yes!
    • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - To prepare myself for the second part of the Hobbit movie (which sounds like it will be nothing like the book at all, sadly).
    • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Just because.
    • Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll - Because I enjoyed Alice in Wonderland so much.
    • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin - This is the one Jane Austin novel that I don't really know the story of... I saw the movie once a long time ago, but I can't remember much of it. I don't want to see the movie again until I've read the book.
    • Persuasion by Jane Austin - Because the movie is so good.
    • Kat and Kadet by Jessica Hammond - I've read the first chapter! Kadet has a comfy chair.
    • Finding Lily by Jessica Hammond - Because I've only read this one once, when I was editing it. I feel bad about never reading the finished copy. I'm looking forwards to those llamas again!
    • The Ankulen by Kendra E. Ardnek - Because it sounds like a really good book!
    • Assignment: Eternity by Greg Cox - The Star Trek novel. I read the prologue and first chapter a few days ago.
    • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie - Because it's short.
    (now the literature books)
    • Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney - Because it's literature. And our copy has a super cool cover. And because I think there's a Star Trek Voyager episode where Harry Kim does something Beowulfish in the holodeck. I can't remember exactly.
    • Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer - An epic poem.
    • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by J.R.R. Tolkien (and other Arthurian legend) - This will be good, I think. I'm interested to know a little bit more about Arthurian legend.
    • King Lear by William Shakespeare - Why couldn't it be Hamlet? Hopefully the play isn't as boring as the movie we watched.
    • Paradise Lost by John Milton - I think this is another epic poem (about the Fall of Man).
    • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin - I'm excited for this one! I love P+P. Also, it will help me with a story idea...
    • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - I'm excited for this one as well. I've been wanting to read Dickens.
    • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - This one shall be interesting. It seems like people either love this book or hate it. I'm curious to see which I'll be.
    • To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf - I've heard about her, but I don't know anything about her. I'm interested to see what all the hubbub is about.
    (and now the non-fiction)
    • Nazi Prisoners of War in America by Arnold Krammer - I already started this one. It was a book our tour guide in Algona recommended, at the P.O.W. museum.
    • Various books on church history (mostly bios of important figures in the church - to be read for history).
    • George Gershwin: His Life and Works by Howard Pollack - Because I love Gershwin.
    • Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter - Because Tolkien is my favorite author and I'd love to know more about who he was as a person. That's what I'm Tolkien about!
    • A biography on Beethoven? I've always been fascinated with Beethoven, and would love to learn more about him. I'd need to do some research on a good biography, though.
    • Autobiography of Agatha Christie by Agatha Christie? I'd like to read this at some point... I'm not sure when, though.
    • A Backwards Glance by Edith Wharton? This is Edith Wharton's autobiography... Again, I'd love to read this, but I'm not sure when.
    • A book or two about trains - I love trains. I want to learn about trains. Their history, their impact on society, how they work... Trains. I have to go to the library and find some books on trains, first, though. And do some research on what sort of books I should get.
    I'll probably add more to the list(s) as I think of them, or as my interests shift. For now, though, that is what I hope to read before next summer!

    How did writing go the month of August?
    I didn't quite finish Part Three... But I got a lot of good work done on it, what with writing some new scenes, editing with Mom, and typing in other's edits into the computer.
    My goal for this month is to finish editing with my mom and finish typing in the edits that people have sent me. I would really like to get this done sometime before Sunday, the 22nd. Then, I can have a good nine days of so off of editing, so when I go back to editing in October, I'll be new and fresh and ready to go!
    Also, I would like to set aside time with my dad to work on a new cover.

    Any of you reading any good books?

    Live long and prosper.

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    Tags gallore!

    Two bloggers are doing tags to celebrate the releases of their books!

    The first tag I received from Miss Jack Lewis Baillot over at However Improbably... She received the tag from Joan Bassington-French, who published her first book, Christmas at the Tittletons, on September 4. It looks like a wonderful mystery book, so go check it out here!

    Here are the rules for the tag:

    1. Please post ALL the rules
    2. Please answer ALL the questions
    3. Comment on THIS post when you have completed the tag and include a link to your tag post
    4. Tag five other people
    5. Let the people know that you tagged them
    6. Include a link back to this post. There is the link to her blog, since the link to the specific post is up in question #3.
    And now the questions...
    1. What is your favourite Historical Mystery book? I'm not sure if he's exactly historical... but the Sherlock Holmes mysteries are my favorites.
    Is Tintin considered a mystery? There is certainly mystery woven into his stories, and you don't know how many times in past years, when we were learning something in history, and I would jump up and say, "I learned about that in Tintin!" I would run to my room and grab whichever Tintin book it was and bring it back to my mom, flipping to the page where it mentioned whatever we were learning in history at that moment.
    2. Would you rather read a Classic or a Mystery?
    How about a classic mystery? Sherlock Holmes! If I had to choose between the two, I would probably choose... a classic. Maybe? I don't know! That's a hard question! Probably a classic, because mystery can fit under that genre, and then I can still have my Jane Austin and Robert Louis Stevenson (why is it, that every time I try to write out his name, it comes out as 'Roberty Lousid Stevenson'?)
    3. How do you think Christmas at the Tittletons will compare to your favourite mystery?
    I'm not sure, I haven't read it yet! Though I'd like to. Hopefully it will fit in nicely with the other mysteries I've read.
    4. How do you think Christmas at the Tittletons will compare to your favourite Classic?
    See above answer.
    5. Do you think you would like to write a Historical Mystery sometime?
    A mystery: yes. Actually, I've been working on my first mystery (it's a short story) since April. I need to sit down and finish it.
    A historical mystery... perhaps someday! You never know. Currently, I don't have any plans to write one, though.
    Hmmm... I don't know if I have five people to tag... but I'll try.
    I would tag Jessica at Authorly Insane (to annoy her :P) but she's on hiatus for a month or so due to the beginning of school...
    And I would tag Kendra at Knitted by God's Plan, only she's already been tagged.
    And I would tag Clair at Working Title, but I have a sneaking suspicion that someone else is going to tag her... But if they don't, consider yourself tagged, Clair!
    So I will tag Emilyn J. Wood at The Story in a Spider's Web. Her blog is fabulously thought-provoking, though I'm not sure if she does tags or not.
    And I will tag Arabella at ShiningHisLight97 so that she will have to post there! Hee hee.
    And there's five people, even though three of them I didn't technically tag... Does it still count?
    And now I will stop starting sentences with 'and.'
    The second tag is from Kendra E. Ardnek, who is celebrating the release of her third book, The Ankulen, with a party! Go check it out, there's bound to be lots of fun! (Also, if you do this tag, and comment on her blog before Monday, you get entered in a giveaway!)
    Here are the questions:
    1. Did you have any imaginary friends as a child? If so, tell me about them!
    I had quite a few imaginary friends when I was younger! There was Dabby (a clever play on my own name... I think he was a whale). And there were also the two birds from the Your Big Backyard magazine (or was one a squirrel? I can't remember). There were one or two others, but I can't remember who they are at the moment.
    And, of course, I could go no where without my two favorite stuffed animals. They were kind of like imaginary friends. They had special voices and still sleep with me every night.
    2. An Ankulen is a piece of jewelry that brings imagination to life. If they actually existed, what would yours look like?I'm not sure... I don't wear jewelry. Maybe a simple ring with a stone set in it. Or maybe a watch? Is a watch jewelry? That's the only kind of thing that I wear on my wrist/hand/neck/ears/wherever else jewelry goes.

    3. Based on what you've heard about the Ankulen, what part of it are you most looking forward to? If you have already read it, what was your favorite part?
    I'm looking forward to all the places Jen goes in her imagination! Especially the mermaids... I'm looking forward to the mermaids.

    4. What was your favorite book as a child?
    That's a hard question. When I was too little to remember, my mom says that I loved a board book called "Eating the Alphabet." There were a million picture books that I loved... like Tuesday by David Wiesner, Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel, Harry the Dirty Dog, Bread and Jam for Frances, and Richard Scarry. As I got older, I enjoyed the Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osbourne and Bernstein Bear mysteries. After that, for a loooong time, my favorites were the Warriors series by Erin Hunter, books by Sharon Creech, and Tintin by Herge (which are still my favorites!).

    5. How do you think this book will compare to my previous three books?
    I think that The Ankulen will be the best out of all of them! One, because with every book, you learn and mature and grow. Two, because it's longer. :P Three, because I LOVE the idea behind it.

    And there you have it. Hopefully I have not forgotten anything.

    Live long and prosper!

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    I feel so ashamed.

    I can't believe I did it.
    I caved.
    I gave into the desire...
    ...the desire to listen to Christmas music
    ...three months before December.
    There is a Dean Martin Christmas CD sitting in my CD player right now.

    And now I feel like Frank Sinatra, "Sue me, sue me, shoot bullets through me... but I love Christmas music."

    "So give a holler and hate me, hate me, go ahead hate me... I still love Christmas music."

    Have a merry Christma- er, live long and prosper!