Archive for October, 2009

Fall Pics

Hey, ya’ll! I’m still blogging! Hurrah! =D We’ll see if I can keep up this good streak, huh? Thanks so much to those of you who have been leaving me comments. I appreciate it so much! I think that comments always make people happy. Here are a couple of questions for you to answer in the event that you don’t have a comment to leave after reading my post:

  • What are your plans for this weekend, if any?
  • What do you love about fall?

My answers to these questions are: For this weekend I’m hoping to be able to hang out with my good friend Erin. She lives about an hour away from me, but there’s a family who goes to our church that live out near her. So what I’m hoping will work out is this: There’s a youth activity tomorrow night and the M’s are planning on coming. So I’ll ride home with them, spend the weekend with Erin, then get a ride with the M’s back to church on Sunday morning. The only thing that might ruin my beautiful plan is the weather… We’ll see how it goes.

My favorite part of fall is pretty much everything, but especially the weather. And leaves crunching under my feet. I love the colors all around and the crisp air. I love drinking hot tea or apple cider on a fall morning. Fall is just my favorite season! I just now realized that I keep saying ‘fall’ in spite of the fact that I think the word autumn is much nicer… Anyhow, on Monday I posted and mentioned to ya’ll what a gorgeous autumn we’re having. I don’t recall whether or not I actually said this, but it was inspiring weather. The type that makes me want to go outside and write poems or stories. As I hadn’t taken any pictures yet, I determined that I would post later in the week with pictures of our lovely fall. Here is a sample of what procrastination does to such a post:

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I had wanted to get some pictures of the trees and snowdrifts in our back yard, but our back door was frozen closed… so I went around to go through the gate, but this is what I saw:

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The ice didn’t show up too well in the picture, but the gate is pretty stuck, too.

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DSC02840Not the most flattering picture I’ve taken of myself, but here is yours truly, blogger (on occasion lol) and photographer. =D

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DSC02844What’s still visible of our raspberry bushes. I guess we won’t have fresh raspberries ’til next summer. =(

The next part of my morning was to warm up –

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So… Happy Fall, everyone! =D

What did I get done?

Nothing. LOL Okay, I got a lot done, but not really all the stuff I WANTED to get done. I’m not quite finished with Hope Rising, but I did get closer. I did clean my bedroom and bathroom, but it didn’t last long. And I did finish my history book. Memorizing? Let’s not go there for now and nobody will get hurt. LOL I’m kidding, of course. It just didn’t go too well.

I have to head to bed, but I think I’ll do an autumny-type post this week. Today was just gorgeous!

Bye for now!

My goals for this week:

Perhaps no one is really interested, but I thought I’d do a post on my goals for the week. On Saturday I’ll try to do a post on my success!

  • Finish my first history book
  • Memorize one chapter of 2 Timothy
  • Clean my bedroom and bathroom
  • Finish reading Hope Rising

It doesn’t look like much, does it? It might be harder than it looks, though.

Anyhow… I hope ya’ll have a great week! See you around!

The Thing About History

I have always been a readaholic, reading and rereading books until I’d memorized some passages. Although reading is a good thing, my Mom recognized that I was taking it to an unhealthy level. Mystery was my obsession, and I was caught reading the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew when I should be doing school. Secret of the Golden Cowrie was confiscated when I failed to set the table for supper. Mystery of the Missing Stamp had to be given up for a week because I was found with a flashlight under my blanket, reading into the wee hours of the morning. And the American Adventure series? I dove into those so whole-heartedly that my Mom put a restriction on me: I was only allowed to read for 1 hour every day. TORTURE! At another time, I had to take all of my books into my mom’s room so that she knew what I was reading and when I was reading it. I’d trek in early in the morning and ask for Twig the Collie, read a few chapters, and return it to her before breakfast. So went my early life.

When I turned 13, however, Mom came up with a new idea. I must say it was rather brilliant, though I did NOT think so at the time. She told me that for one whole long month, I could not read any fiction. Her goal in doing this (I think) was to have my “must-be-reading” nature turn me towards biographies and autobiographies of missionaries and other more worthy heroes. I imagine that she didn’t want me trying to turn into a Nancy Drew, getting kidnapped every few months and being incommunicado for days on end during a case. (LOL Like that would ever happen!) Anyhow… I didn’t see the sense of her idea, so I resolved that if I couldn’t read fiction, I wouldn’t read anything. I lasted for THREE DAYS, people. Yeah. It’s an obsession. The first thing I picked up was a biography about Jim Elliot. I don’t remember which one it was, but I do remember reading it and thinking, “You know, this is kinda cool.” And then someone suggested that I read about Anne Frank. I wish I knew who it was who gave me this suggestion, because they opened a new chapter in my life. You see, my library didn’t have any books about Anne Frank that weren’t checked out. But they DID have dozens of other World War Two and Holocaust books. Memoirs, autobiographies, timelines, histories. I checked out a few in desperation: I felt that I just had to be reading! As I read, I started wanting more. These were REAL people, things that REALLY happened! I read about concentration camps and battlefields, then one memoir mentioned a pilot… so I read about him, then I had to read about airplanes. Planes can take off from onboard ships, so then I read about ships. Then I checked out books on secret codes. And the process just went on and on. It was at this time that I discovered the classics, as well. In one of the many biographies I read, I found that a girl loved Jane Austen and George Eliot. So when my month was up, I read Jane Austen. And George Eliot. Charles Dickens. Elizabeth Gaskell. Arthur Conan Doyle. Lloyd Douglas. Alexander Dumas. etc etc etc. My fiction addiction leveled off a bit, but my obsession with the written word reached a feverish all-time high. I decided to break my mystery habit in my own writing and wrote my first historical fiction. I don’t know if I’ll ever love any of my writings as much as I love that book. The story takes place during the Holocaust, and it involves finding new life at the end of tragedy. I had found a new life for myself in the world of the past. The things that really happened are often just as (or more) exciting than what authors come up with.

So here’s the thing about history: It opens your eyes. I found links from the past that explain some of my world today. I discovered just how amazing things are – things that I just take for granted. What went into the radio? The light bulb? Airplanes and cars? The people who invented these things are honored in our society today, but in their own world, they were thought of as total jerks. I’ve just written about 750 words to say something that could be said in a mere five words: “Don’t be afraid to expand” Try something new! As unwilling as I was to enter the “real world” of non-fiction, I found it to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Don’t get stuck in your little corner, ’cause another thing about history is this: people who stay in their own cozy little corners don’t make a difference.

Youtube Tuesday

A lot of people… okay, three people… that I’m subscribed to have been posting youtube videos rather frequently with either a favorite song, movie scene, or just something funny. So since I’m TRYING to get back into blogging, and I’m tired of just staring at this blank white space… I think I’ll join the crowd (or shall I say group?) and just post a video. Don’t worry, though! I won’t make youtube the majority of my posts. I don’t think. =D

It seems as though this one has been full circle, but I never know what my readers may or may not have seen, so here’s a little humor for the day:

Confusion with derecha

This year I’m learning Spanish. It went really well for the first 7 weeks, but now I have hit a tough spot. It’s called “right vs. left” or, “derecha vs. izquierda” (I don’t know if I spelled that right…)

I have always been directionally challenged. Even though I’ve reached the ripe old age of 17, I still use my hands to tell directions. How? Quite simple, actually. I have a mole or birthmark or something of that sort on my right hand. All I have to do is look at one of my palms and I know right from left. My right palm has this little mark on it, and my left palm is blank.

Wait, how does this apply to Spanish? Well, I’m to the part where I’m supposed to learn right from left. The problem is, I can’t even do it in ENGLISH… so Spanish has been a bit of a problem. I’m using Rosetta Stone, and as many of you will probably know, they give you a phrase and show four pictures, leaving you to click on the picture that matches the phrase. Pretty easy stuff, really. I mean, if it says “elephant” I’m not going to click on a picture of a woman. But if it says, “The ball is in the woman’s right hand…” AAAAAAAAAAAACK! Here is the problem:

1. I already have right vs. left problems

2. I’m new at this Spanish thing

3. MY right is the PICTURE’S left!!!

So if you’re in my neighborhood and you hear a scream between 10:30 and 11:15, you may just shrug and say, “Ah, Emily is doing her Spanish.” =D

Pride and Prejudice

This is a post which I intend to update several times over the coming months. I am going to dedicate it to one of my favorite books: Pride and Prejudice. In this post I will make a list of all of the sequels I have read and tell whether or not I would recommend them to anyone. I hope that someone will find this list useful!

1. LadyLady Catherine’s Necklace by Joan Aiken

It has been several years since I read this book, but from what I recall it had a rather poor writing style. An even greater objection to it however was the total transformation of several characters. This book was totally untrue to anything that Jane Austen wrote. The plot was a little amusing, but I would not recommend this book except to the VERY bored person. I also cannot recall for sure if there was any language or inappropriate behavior, so perhaps the best thing would be to stay away.

DarcysStory2.Darcy’s Story by Janet Aylmer

This is one of my favorites so far – Pride and Prejudice told from Mr. Darcy’s point of view! In most cases the dialogue comes directly from Jane Austen. Ms. Aylmer didn’t take too many liberties with the characters, either – a fault I have found with many authors of Pride and Prejudice fan fiction. The only thing that bothered me was the author’s word choices on occasion. There was no objectionable language, I just thought that she could have picked better words. Great addition to a bookshelf!

TwoOne3. Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan

I found myself unable to read this book due to inappropriate material. I don’t know if I made it as far as the third chapter. This book is a total failure in my standards and I would never recommend it to anyone. As with many other authors, Ms. Lathan has fallen into the trap of trying to make the Darcy’s most intimate moments an entertaining read. I find this to be an even more disgusting flaw than the changing of a character’s character.

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4. Letters from Pemberley by Jane Dawkins

This book was well-done in comparison to many others I have read. Though at times it seemed a bit simplistic and the length of the book was certainly not satisfying, I enjoyed these letters from Elizabeth to Jane. I have not been able to read the sequel, but I admit that I am glad that there is one. The first book was far too short. Though this book does not reach my list of all-time favorites, I wouldn’t have a problem with recommending it to anyone.