Thursday, February 26, 2015

These Are a Few of My Favorite Authors

I have decided what book to read for English now... drumroll, please!... the winner is...

Sound of Music - watched this every holiday season at least once with my friend Marti growing up!
via Pinterest
"Ruby in the Smoke" by Philip Pullman. 

Also, I wasn't sure what to post today so hopefully this isn't too lame... to the tune of "My Favorite Things"...

"L.M. Montgomery and C.S. Lewis,
Agatha Christie, of course Bryan Davis,
E.D. Baker and Veronica Roth--
These are a few of my favorite authors.
When the dark bites,
When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling, sad--
I simply go read my favorite authors
And then I don't feel
So bad!"

So, yeah... I've been watching The Sound of Music lately. :)  There's nothing better than old musicals.

A Few of My Favorite Things – August
via Pinterest

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Can't Decide!

My English teacher (For the sake of this post we'll just call her... Ms. Snickerdoodle. Or whatever. )assigned a list of classic books today.  We have to read our chosen book cover to cover and do a project on it.  I've narrowed it down to these few.  I was wondering if y'all could help me decide?

The Ruby in the Smoke
Author:  Philip Pullman
Genre: Historical fiction, mystery
Summary according to Goodreads:
"Sally is sixteen and uncommonly pretty. Her knowledge of English literature, French, history, art and music is non-existent, but she has a thorough grounding in military tactics, can run a business, ride like a Cossack and shoot straight with a pistol. When her dear father is drowned in suspicious circumstances in the South China Sea, Sally is left to fend for herself, an orphan and alone in the smoky fog of Victorian London. Though she doesn't know it, Sally is already in terrible danger. Soon the mystery and the danger will deepen - and at the rotten heart of it all lies the deadly secret of the ruby in the smoke..."

The #1 Ladies Detective Agency
Author:  Alexander McCall Smith
Genre:  Mystery, comedy
Summary according to Goodreads:
"Precious Ramotswe in Botswana sits in the shade and ponders the wisdom of her cattle father, observes her neighbors, and cares for employers and subjects with humor.  A clinic doctor has two different personalities depending on the day of the week.  A Christian sect member vanishes.  A witch doctor may have the bones of a kidnapped boy in his magic kit."

Night of the Hunter
Okay, so I've already read this one, but it was AWESOME.  I finished it in one night.  And then couldn't sleep, because "Preacher" was such a terrifying character.
Author:  Davis Grubb
Genre:  Thriller, fiction
Summary according to Goodreads:
"Inspired by serial killer Harry Powers, "The Bluebeard of Quiet Dell," who was hung in 1932 for his murders of two widows and three children.  This best-selling novel, first published in 1953 to wide acclaim by author Grubb, (who like Powers lived in Clarksburg, West Virginia), served as the basis for Charles Laughton's noir classic.  Rnemaed "Harry Powell," the lead character in this book, with LOVE and HATE tattooed on his fingers, is remembered as one of the creepiest men in book and cinema history."

The Key to Rebecca
Mostly chose this one because my name's in the title...
Author:  Ken Follett
Genre:  Historical fiction, mystery, adventure
Summary according to Goodreads:
"A brilliant and ruthless Nazi master agent is on the loose in Cairo. His mission is to send Rommel’s advancing army the secrets that will unlock the city’s doors. In all of Cairo, only two people can stop him. One is a down-on-his-luck English officer no one will listen to. The other is a vulnerable young Jewish girl…."

Wuthering Heights
Author:  Emily Bronte
Genre:  Romance, literature
Summary according to Goodreads:
"Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature."

+So what do you think? Which one should I choose? 

+And also, how do you like the blog design?  Thank you so much to MorningTime4 for doing it!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chatterbox: Passing the Time

Good afternoon, my dear blog readers.  I hope you are all enjoying your Sunday afternoon.  Today I'm going to be participating for the first time in Chatterbox, a linkup hosted by Rachel over at The Inkpen Authoress.  (Go check out her blog-- it's really cool!)
This month's theme is:
Passing the Time
Sometimes the wheel of time turns slowly.  Other times it winds on and on without stopping to let you catch your breath.  Today was one of those slow days, where the seconds seem hours and the hours seemed years.
"I'm cold, Jacob,"  whined Tessa.  Her brother looked at her in disdain.
"Cold?  Haven't you heard?  Hell's frozen over, and now we're living in it.  We're snowed in, dummy, and now the power's out.  There's nothing to do."
"Be quiet, Jacob."  Great-Aunt Eliza was rocking rhythmically back in forth in her wooden chair.  Her knitting needles clicked in time, slowly forging a large pea-green sweater to match her knitted cap and socks.  "If you can't say an'thing nice, don't--"
"Say anything at all," finished Tessa.  She stuck her tongue out at Jacob.
"That's right."
"Stupid," muttered Jacob.  At nine, he was anything but a gentleman.
"You children are obviously bored.  What should we do to pass the time?  Maybes you'd like t' go and shovel the walk again--"
"No, Aunt Eliza," said Jacob quickly.  "Please."
"Or maybe you'd like to hear the story of the time I went to Europe and saw the Eiffel Tower and London Bridge--"
"I believe you looked up at the Eiffel Tower and knit,"  Jacob said into his glass of milk.
"I may be nearly blind, but my hearing's just fine." said Great-Aunt Eliza.  "And I can still arrange for you to shovel snow."
"That's all right, Aunt Eliza," said Tess.  "Jacob would love to hear your story, wouldn't he?"
Jacob was silent.
"I don't know, would he?  He seems very eager to pass the time shoveling snow."  The elderly woman's fingers never stopped driving the knitting needles back and forth.  They were like the wheels of time itself:  they never stopped moving.
"Sure," he said.  "All I know is, Mom and Dad better be back soon."
"I don't think there's much chance of that," Aunt Eliza prophesied, gazing wisely out the window.  "Now, we set out in the spring of '48--"
Also!  A couple quick updates:
+From now on I'll be posting about every other day.  And probably once a day on the weekends.  No more tardy posts for me!
+Things are about to change up in my little corner of the blogosphere!  I'm super excited about getting a new design. :D
+I've been thinking about getting an Instagram... what do y'all think?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

The White Witch

This is a poem I wrote recently.  It's a bit of an inside joke between me and a friend (long story), and I wondered what you guys would think about the actual poem? 

The White Witch

Her pure white heart froze long ago,
Left for dead out in the snow.
The storm raged on, the frost seeped in--
The heart should never love again.

Whence she woke, gathering up her skirts,
The White Witch settled down to work.
She built a castle made of ice
And stayed there away from prying eyes.

Upon the great ice gate she drew
A warning that proved tried and true:
"Enter not for fear of shame
And curses rained upon your name."

Meanwhile, in the Upper East Side
A girl set out for Low West Side.
Her mother packed her basket, wished
Her well, and blew her a kiss.

A storm blew up, as it often had
When the Witch was feeling bad.
Going was hard on the little girl,
Fighting the wind the howled and whirled.

The small girl came with hands outstretched,
To touch the words the Witch had etched.
"Please let me in. It's cold out here!"
So innocent; she knew no fear.

At her smile the gates burst apart,
Giving the Witch an awful start.
"Stay away, you little beast."
She could not move, could not speak.

"Thank you so for letting me stay--
Here, try this.  I've brought it all this way."
"What sorcery, what spell is this?"
"Silly, that's a Hershey kiss."

This simple act of sweetness wrought
A miracle in a frozen heart.
Her wintry reign blossomed as spring
And still she rules, a well-loved queen.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Marshmallow World

It's been an eventful day.  No school for the third day in a row.  We're still getting a piling of snow on top of our pile of snow.  (Right, my friends in the northeast USA?)  Joshua lost his glasses playing in the snow.  The garage door got stuck open and the dog got into the trashcan.  And I wrote half a page of my latest novel.
And here are a few pictures I took a few weeks ago that I finally got off my camera.  Enjoy!

One twin
The other twin, Hannah, and Joshua.
Or maybe that's the first twin again...
Who knows?

I put a filter on this one
just so the snow would stand out more.


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Beautiful People Linkup-- February 2015 edition

I've been participating in these linkups for a while but this is the first time I've published one.  This is always fun to do.  Each month these two blogs post ten questions to help you learn more about your character(s). If you'd like to try it, head on over to Paper Fury or Further Up and Further In.  Have fun reading!

Note:  I know my blog design's pretty messy right now.  Please excuse that-- I'm having some issues with blogger and it may take me a while to fix them.  Thanks! :)

Okay, so this is about two of my characters, Starr Spencer and Teddy (insert last name here).  Teddy still doesn't have a last name; I'm working on that.  They're in the book I've been working on for the past few months.  If you keep reading my blog, you'll get to know them very well in the next couple of weeks.

 Now, for the questions!

1. How long have they been a couple?
I'm not actually sure.  They met when Starr was 12 and Teddy was 13, and the book follows them through their teenage years.  They don’t like each other all this time-- actually they had quite a rivalry for most of it-- but they’ve been a couple in my mind since the first time I thought of them.

2. How did they first meet?
Teddy was a wild-haired orphan that Starr’s father caught sleeping in their barn and stealing eggs from the henhouse.  It was late at night when Mr. Spencer dragged the troublemaking Teddy into the kitchen by the ear, waking up the entire family.

3. What were their first thoughts of each other? (Love at first sight or "you're freakishly annoying"?)
Starr:  “Ugh.”
Teddy: “Ugh.”

4. What do they do that most annoys each other?
Starr is most annoyed by “that awful pipe” Teddy keeps smoking.  And his pranks!  Before he and Starr were friends, he used to help Starr’s brother hide small, unpleasant creatures in her room. (Toads, crickets, snakes, etc.)
Teddy is annoyed by Starr’s bossiness, and incessant attempts to civilize him. He likes running free.

5. Are their personalities opposite or similar?
They are both strong-willed and independent. On the other hand, Starr is more down-to-earth while Teddy is wild and carefree.  Starr takes things seriously; Teddy likes to joke around.

6. How would their lives be different without each other?
Starr would have drowned in Mr. Lantz's pond without Teddy.  
Teddy would have run away from the Spencer's  if he hadn’t thought it was fun to hang around and prank Starr.

7. Are they ever embarrassed of each other?

8. Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?
Starr’s father disapproved of the match at first-- “She seems to be spending an awful lot of time with that boy”-- but once he realized Starr was growing up and that Teddy had, too, since he first came to Jessimon, Mr. Spencer relented a little. A little.
Oh, yes, and nasty little Velma Huffman.  She likes Teddy and abhors Starr.  (But Velma's opinion is not usually taken seriously.)

9. Do they see their relationship as long-term/leading to marriage?
Maybe.  Starr wants to be a doctor first.  Teddy-- towards the end, anyway-- just wants Starr to be happy, whether they marry or not.

10. If they could plan the "perfect outing" together, where would they go?
To the ocean. Neither one has ever seen the ocean.