Wednesday, February 22, 2017

In which I participate in the Pinterest Storyboard Party

Hello, dear people!

As some of you may know, I rarely write creatively.  At least, not fiction.  I LURVE writing analytically about fiction, and I like writing devotionally, but making up stories hasn't really been on my radar for a while.  When I was younger, I wrote short stories a LOT, and I enjoyed it.  But, due to various circumstances (and also just loss of interest/time, I suppose), my authorial inspiration sort of fizzled out as I got older.  


I think it may be coming back, which makes me excited.  :D  I've had a few vague ideas for potential stories to write "someday when I have time" (haha) for a while, but recently two have really been taking more shape and sticking in my mind more often.  

So, not wanting to be behind the times, I decided to go out on a limb and make some Pinterest storyboards for The Ideas.  And soon after, having actually loved that process, I saw a post of Hamlette's talking about the 2017 Pinterest Storyboard Party, initiated by Elisabeth Grace Foley.  And, dearies, as the title of this post may or may not have informed you, I have decided to participate.  Of course, by the time most of you read this, it will probably already be the last day of the party, but better late than never, right?

As I said, I'm quite new to this, so we'll see how this goes.

The first idea I'll share with you all is one I've mentioned previously:  a continuation of Susan Pevensie's story.  (If any of you don't know who Susan Pevensie is, I shall swallow my horror and tell you that she is a character from C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia.  Hopefully nobody needed that clarification :-P)  This will take place several years after The Last Battle, but will be full of flashbacks and memories, etc. 

// Once a King or Queen //

Now for some snippet ideas!  I haven't really begun writing anything, but these are just some ideas I have so far.

On a drizzly, rather miserable evening in London, Susan Pevensie walked slowly into her apartment. She looked profoundly dejected, but those who knew her often felt that it must have been many years now since Susan Pevensie had looked anything but profoundly dejected.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Of all the siblings, Edmund had always seemed to understand Susan the best.  In point of fact, though, Susan reflected, he had always seemed to understand each of the siblings better than the others did.  After their first foray into Narnia, Edmund had become quieter, but he had also become kinder and more sympathetic.  While Lucy and Peter both found it difficult to tolerate Susan's tendencies towards skepticism and pessimism, Edmund never upbraided her for it.  He said he had often felt the same way before -- and then he would get that reflective look in his eyes which meant that he was thinking of Aslan.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"Look here, Su," Edmund had replied. "I know all this new rot about agnosticism and existentialism and all the other isms sound nice and convenient, and they seem to provide a tidy explanation of things. But the difficulty is that I know all too well what Aslan saved me from in Narnia, and how he taught me to look for another Savior in this world, to be able to doubt the truth of the old ways -- that is, the things Mum and Dad brought us up to believe -- anymore.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 Memories began flooding Susan's consciousness -- memories of crystalline streams and vibrant woods, of magnificent parties held for days in rooms flickering with firelight and comradely laughter, of a wardrobe and a lamppost, of music that seemed to sound like silver itself, of her three siblings, of long talks with the naiads and dryads, of happiness, of a time when fear seemed very far away, and of a great and glorious Lion. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The other idea I'm chewing on is a novel about a woman who was requested to kill herself by every single person on the planet.  (I know, I know, but stay with me.)  It's difficult to summarize the idea, since most of the key elements are still coming together in my mind, but basically:  there's a boy who finds this woman one day, a generation or two later.  She lives as a hermit, since the antipathy against her is still very much alive.  And it'll be about how he gets to know her and what he learns from her about self-worth, God, forgiveness, etc.  It also may or may not be set in a dystopian time/place -- I don't quite know yet.  Like I said, I really can't provide a synopsis at present, but here's the board.  :-P

 // The Hated //

And zee snippets:

The world was slanted that day.  

Why that particular detail is the one that stands out so prominently in my mind among the multitude that made that day extraordinary, I couldn't say, but I do know that as I climbed Edda's Knoll that afternoon, I happened to glance up and subsequently noticed that the world was unprecedentedly askew.  

That is to say, the world itself was not actually slanted, of course, but the sky definitely was, and since I was climbing a hill, the sensation that immediately presented itself to me was that the ground and the trees and the birds were, as well.  The profusion of cumulonimbus clouds were tilted at a sharply diagonal angle, and their murky gray and blue tint seemed to threaten malevolence rather than intend to dole it out, given the fact that though it smelled like rain there was not the sign of a single drop forthcoming.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The hut left much to be desired in the way of appearance, I ruminated as I crouched behind my boulder.  It was neither neat enough to be picturesque nor squalid enough to be penurious; it was merely rather disheveled and weatherbeaten, with a clothesline strung in no very aesthetic manner about its face and assorted odds and ends stacked along its exterior walls.  It was, to be ruthlessly frank, slovenly.  I didn't like to be critical of an adventure so early on, but really, this middle ground was rather disappointing for a solitary cabin mysteriously hidden away in the mountains.  One expects a hermit's hideout to be either impossibly dainty or unspeakably ominous, not bourgeois.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

"Of course," she added calmly, "I haven't exactly been 'in the loop' for quite a while.  You see, many years ago I found out that the world, in perfect cordiality but total sincerity, had high hopes for my suicide.  Naturally, this led to some social difficulties."

I stared at her for a moment.  "The world?  As in, the whole world?"  Then, naturally, I began to laugh at such a preposterous notion.  "That's ridiculous and impossible -- how on earth could you know with certainty that the entire human population personally wanted you to kill yourself?  Every single human being on the planet?"

For the first time, I saw a brief glint of what could have been hardness or cynicism in her eyes, but it was gone as quickly as it came, and she gave a rueful chuckle.  "Never underestimate the capacity of the human race to find ways and means of facilitating its cruelty, dear boy.  I could know with certainty because they all signed a document making the request -- a petition, if you will.  It was rather a lengthy document.  You must keep in mind, though, that the planet's population was significantly smaller at that time than you might think, what with the unfortunate crater incident."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"I like the way good books echo," I remarked as she poured our hot chocolate.

She looked at me, clearly amused but interested.  "Explain."

"I mean, the the way that stories echo through the years -- not to be too cheesy," I replied.  "The cultures and people and even the civilizations vanish, but the thoughts of the authors are always there.  And more often than not, they're influencing the formation of new cultures and people and civilizations.  It's like they contribute to the music of history -- complex and varied, but always swelling into unity and beauty.  And don't laugh at me," I continued, as I saw her grinning.  "I know you've thought the same thing before.  Why, one of your own favorite authors likened God's creation to music, didn't he?"

"You're getting too cheesy," she laughed.  "But you're right."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When I stopped to consider our acquaintance, I often realized that, in spite of every rational expectation, she was more full of  love and joy and peace than anybody I had ever met before.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"I find the fact of death to be the most thoroughly unacceptable institution there is," I muttered, fists clenched and tears, despite my best efforts, beginning to escape my eyelids.  

"So does He," she responded quietly. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Ta-ta for now!  I hope you all enjoyed that, and do be sure to check out the fun over at Elisabeth Grace Foley's blog!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sunshine Blogger Award

My dear friend Miss March recently nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  *huzzahs and confetti*  Do go and check out her blog, peeps -- she's awesome and she writes awesome posts.  Thank you for the award, Miss March!  

1. What was the last book you read? The last book I read was a short story called A Flame Shall Spring from the Embers, written by none other than our very own Heidi Pekarek!!! *confetti* It was awesome :)

2. On a typical evening at home, what are you most often found doing -- reading a book, watching a movie, playing games with your siblings, twiddling your thumbs...what? Watching something with my parents. Lately we've been watching a lot of Leverage or Andy Griffith or Inspiring Dramas.

3. You have the choice of being an only child or having twenty siblings. Which do you choose? *blinks*  Umm . . .

(I seriously don't know.)

4. Do you prefer bike riding or walking? Walking, I guess. I haven't done a whole lot of bike riding, which may be the thing . . . I do like it when I do it, though.

5. If you had to create your own family made up of characters from literature (or film) who would you choose to have as your father? As your mother? Choose a brother and a sister, too, just for the fun of it. :) Yikes, good question.  Atticus Finch as a father, perhaps . . . maybe Mrs. March as a mother . . . aaaaaannddd . . . let's say Wendy Darling as a sister :)  Oh, OH, and I saw Miss Meg's answer to this question, in which she said that she'd choose Edmund Pevensie as a brother, and I was like YAAAAAASSS.

6. Did you ever receive money under your pillow after losing a tooth?  Nope :'(  You may now all mourn for my cheerless childhood.

7. What's your favorite color?  I'm pretty sure my favorite colors are blue, pink, purple, and green.

8. Would you rather wash dishes or iron clothes?  Wash dishes :)

Because reasons.

9. What is your opinion on zoos? Interesting or boring?  Y'know, I've been to zoos before, but to be honest I don't really remember it so I don't know that I could say :-/  I really like aquariums, though.

10. Growing up, did you have a favorite doll? What was her name?  I'm not sure that I could say I had a favorite doll . . . but I spent a LOT of time with my American Girl squad.  Josefina, Julie, a Bitty Baby named Jasmine, and Bitty Twins named Johnny and Rebecca :)  (Full disclosure: I still sometimes want to get them out and play with them.)

And now for my questions!

1.)  Is there a particular fictional genre to which you keep returning? (i.e. period drama, action, fantasy, etc.)
2.)  What type of toothpaste do you use? ('Cause I'm weird like that.)
3.)  In general -- can be for yourself or for others or for both -- do you prefer straight, curly, or wavy hair?
4.)  Do you like musicals?
5.)  What is your third favorite season?
6.)  Jewelry -- yea or nay?
7.)  Have you seen any of the live-action remakes of the classic Disney movies (Maleficent, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, etc.)?  If so, what are your thoughts on them?
8.)  Are you adept at cookery?
9.)  Is there anybody you really wish would start a blog?  
10.)  Do you know what your Myers-Briggs personality is?  If so, do share.

I nominate . . .

Jessica Prescott (in the comments)
Rosie McCann (in the comments)
Rilla Blythe (in the comments)

Have fun, fam!  I shall close with a picture that has been cracking me up for  a few days now:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Reality Check

There are some hefty run-on sentences in this post.  So, y'know, prepare yourself.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Some days, I'm productive.

Some days I get up at a reasonable hour and I "have a good devo" (what a ridiculous phrase) and I eat a good breakfast and I attack my schoolwork and I help out around the house (and thereby actually move a bit, dontcha know) and I take my brother to sports practice and I get my music responsibilities done in a timely fashion and I respond to blogging comments and emails and I write a blog post and I comment on other people's blog posts and I catch up on Once Upon a Time while I'm at it because I'm super behind and Must Make Headway and I finally change my bedding to flannel sheets and I make crafts and laminate them and then later I watch something with my parents because #qualitytime and I read Peter Pan or The Help before bedtime because experts say that it's better for a screen to not be the last thing you do before going to sleep and I get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour and voilĂ , I have done this day well.

Other days I sleep in till an hour that I shall not name because I'm not yet sanctified enough to be willing to sacrifice my pride to such an extent and I don't read any of my Bible and I eat pretzel crackers for breakfast and I stay in my pajamas until I finally shower at like 3:00 and I do my school somewhat sluggishly and get distracted by "quick email checks" and I complain about doing my musical practices and I don't do any housecleaning and I stress about my future because how do I do money and college and I spend the entire day on my rear end and too much time in front of the computer and then I freak out because what am I doing to the body God gave me and I stay up until midnight and I don't do any reading before bed which means I'm going to sleep less soundly and why haven't I managed my time better today or been a better Christian or done anything with my liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiife?!?!?!

What it takes me a while to realize some days is that I am just as worthwhile a person when I get squat done as when I do mountains of awesome things.  God loves me the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  

For those of you who, like me, often base your self-worth and the way God feels about you on what you do or don't do -- and I know you're out there -- what do you say we try to stop together?  What do you say we start committing to purposefully calling Satan's bluffs?  I've a feeling it's more important than either of us realizes.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Btw, if any of you do have a tendency towards unmerciful perfectionism with yourself -- or even if you don't -- I highly, HIGHLY recommend David A. Seamands' book, Healing for Damaged Emotions.  I'm not trying to "be a shrink" or anything, but I discovered it recently and people, it is GOOD.   

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Movies: Month in Review {January 2017}

Hello, all!  I hope you're having a splendid Saturday <3

I really enjoyed writing my previous "month in review" post, so I decided to try to keep a record of this past month's new cinematic experiences, too :)

Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)
I actually quite enjoyed this one, which kind of surprised me since I have to be "in the right mood" for the first Alice movie, and I'm not a big Alice in Wonderland fan in general.  But this movie was really fun and clever :)  I especially loved the character of Time.  He was cool.  And there were so many familiar faces in the movie!  Richard Armitage and Hattie Morahan made appearances, and it was simultaneously exciting to see them and also a little . . . weird.  Like, "should they be playing in an Alice in Wonderland movie?"  It was also funny to see Sasha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter opposite each other, because Les Mis :-P

Some of the lines were extremely quotable:  *walks into room and extends hand* "PWESENT!" ~ "Earthquake.  HAHAHA!" ~ "How was it?"  "The world?"  "Yes."  "Most interesting.  You should visit it sometime." ~ "Well, thank you for your you."  "What?"  "Thank you for your time."

Ben-Hur (2016)
Well, *I* liked this one, but I hear that I may be in the minority in that.  Apparently it ends rather drastically differently than the book?  I haven't read the book (though I do want to one day), so I couldn't say whether it is or it isn't.  Anyway, the movie certainly had its flaws, but overall I thought it was compelling and touching and well-done and all that.

Die Hard (1988)
So that . . . happened.  Ahem.  Don't judge me :-P  My brother wanted to show it to me, guys!  "I'm a good girl, I am." ;-P  

I'm not even sure how to talk about this . . . I guess just that it's telling when, in a movie about terrorist-y people, more F-bombs are dropped than any other kind.  (Seriously.  It felt like the F-word was used in colorful variations nearly every other word.)  And, of course, the violence and all.  Needless to say, my mom and I were doing this a lot:  


But I think what disturbs me most is that I kind of liked it.

Pollyanna (1960)
I feel a little silly saying this, but FEELINGS THOUGH.  LEGIT FEELINGS.  This was a darling, thoroughly enjoyable movie :)  I read an abridged Illustrated Classics version of the book when I was younger, but now I want to read "the real deal," dontcha know ;D

The Man from Snowy River (1982) & Return to Snowy River (1988)
Umm . . . let's just say that there were things I liked about these movies and others that I did not like so much.  For one thing, DA HECK WAS THAT WITH THE DEMON/WEREWOLF HORSE HERD????  Those eerie full-moon shots?  I don't understand.  However, I have to admit that the scenery in these movies was S.T.U.N.N.I.N.G.  And the music is definitely up to snuff, too.  Like, buy-worthy :D  And the relationships were pretty good, too.

Oh, and I watched about an hour and a half of Free State of Jones (2016), which . . . may or may not have been a good idea.

Did you discover any new movies this month?  Have you seen any of these?  What did you think of them?  

The Domino Effect {by Davis Bunn}

*cringes*  This post should have been written a LOOOOOOOOONG time ago.

Y'see, once upon a time I don't know how long ago, Bethany House let me have a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Clearly, that honest review didn't happen.  But today I shall try to mend my ways and explain myself.

I didn't finish The Domino Effect.  However, that's not to say that the book wasn't good.  It's just . . . I probably shouldn't have requested it, since it's about economics and math and such, which, as we all know, are two subjects to which I'm not exactly passionately devoted.  Also, I think I somehow got the impression that it was going to be a sort of allegorical retelling of the Biblical Esther story?  I don't know where I got that idea, but it wasn't really the case.  

However, aside from those subjective issues, I did like the characters, I think (it's honestly been a long time, so I don't remember much of what my thoughts were).  It was well-written -- taut and tense but also indicating a level of depth behind the characters.  And the economic aspects -- though kind of over my head -- sounded like they were legitimate and well-researched.  

So, overall, the main purpose of this post is just to acknowledge to the Bethany House people that I did read a good amount of the book, I am grateful that they sent it to me, and I do apologize for not posting a full or timely review.