Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hand Fans

I was going to work on Hellen's story (due to my own inclinations and the general consensus) but then I went shopping with some friends today and happened to buy a hand fan.
It looks a lot like this:
So now I'm into fans. Did you know, in the Victorian times, they had a language with fans? An open fan on the right cheek meant "yes" (the left fan meant "no"). Fanning yourself slowly meant "I'm married", and so on.
And I thought, Winny is in the time period where she could use fans! And then I thought of this horribly chilling scene where she uses fan signals... so now I have to use fans!
Anyway, it's late and I have to go. Tomorrow – auditions for our homeschool play, Anne of Green Gables!!

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Movie Review: Nancy Drew (2007)

I've been going nuts over Nancy Drew recently. Ahh... I wish I could find and solve mysteries like Nancy Drew.
I really recommend the books. I've been reading the old ones, of course – The Bungalow Mystery, The Secret at Shadow Ranch, the The Secret Staircase, etc.
Last night we watched Nancy Drew (2007). My sister and I had watched it once before, a few years ago, but I'd mostly forgotten it, so it was perfect.
Bad picture, I know
We all really enjoyed it! Really funny. Especially if you've read Nancy Drew, because the little references to the books made it extra fun.
 Really, the only thing I have against the movie (besides the fact that she and Ned didn't kiss at the part I wanted them to) is that her relationship with her father was.... confusing. He wasn't much like the Carson Drew of the book. He wasn't very supportive of her, but yet he was... in the wrong way.
The movie starts with him telling her "No more mysteries, you need to be a normal teenager." 
(Maybe I'm over-analyzing this. But I'm reviewing the movie, and this was what I found to be wrong with it.) 
Another bad picture – I really wanted to find one with her father, though
He was wrong to say that. He needed to either (1) support her in her mysteries, since that's a part of who she is, or (2) he needed to seriously talk to her and say, "I'm serious, this is dangerous, no more mysteries, at least while we're in California."
But because he didn't say that, she kind of took his "no more mysteries" as a suggestion. Sort of like he was always saying that, but didn't really mean it. 
And she was kind of right. During the movie, he gives her an early-birthday present for staying mystery-free (she feels rightly guilty, since she hasn't been mystery-free). At the end of the movie (no, this isn't a spoiler  – everyone knows she solves the mystery!), Carson Drew congratulates her and praises her for solving the mystery, helping some people and "doing the right thing even though it was hard for you." 
I felt like that was kind of... confusing.

But other than that, it was great. No weird sexual references, except for one kiss (and I was mentally begging for it throughout the movie, so it didn't bother ME). No language.
These two were funny. The scene in the clothing store? Ha!

And of course, Porky Corky was funny too. A little weird? Yes. But funny. Poor Ned... :)

I highly recommend this movie, and the books as well. I can only complain that there isn't a sequel. :)

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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Beautiful People

I'm between stories right now, and I'm trying to decide which story to go with. The two I'm deciding between both need some more development, so I'm going to do a Beautiful People thingy for them both. They haven't made a new one for quite some time, so I'm going to use some from the archives.
When I'm finished, you'll have to tell me which one to work on. I'm just not sure...

The first one, which I'm using on Hellen McCoy and her husband, Kenneth, is the March 2012.

1. Do they believe in anything that most people think is impossible?
Hellen believes in True Love. As in, fairy tale, happy ending, no problems that can't be solved by a rescue scene and sword fight, sort of true love.
And Kenneth? Well, Kenneth is Different (but only on his mother's side). So of course, he knows that many things which people think are untrue are really quite possible and real.

2. Are they strong, or the "damsel/knight in distress" sort?
Hellen is definitely a damsel in distress, but in her own way, she is strong. She is a wistful dreamer, and longs to be rescued by a knight. That is why Kenneth's strong personality (and arms! Ha ha) appeal to her.

3. Do they have a special place? (e.g. a corner in his/her bedroom, under a tree…)
Kenneth does not, unless it's where his father is not.
Hellen does, because she's that sort of person (easily attached to people and things). In her closet (in her parent's house), behind her clothes, there is a pillow where she sits and dreams.

4. What occupation do they have, or plan on having?
Kenneth was a teacher before he was drafted into the army.
Hellen had no real ambitions – she really just imagined herself living at home for the rest of her life, or getting married and having a passel of children.

5. Describe their current place of residence.
Hellen has just moved into a tiny (no, I really mean TINY)  four room house (bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen). It is very bare, with a comfortable chair and one table in the living room, a bed in – you guessed it! – the bedroom, and maybe a few other sticks of furniture. But she spends most of her time in her parents house.
Kenneth has just been drafted, so he lives in... wherever army people live, I guess. I have no idea. But the story isn't  from his POV, so I don't really care.

6. Explain their last crisis. How had they changed when they came out of it?
When Kenneth was drafted. They found out the day before their wedding day (great timing, right?).
Because of this, Kenneth decided not to tell Hellen that he was Different (to protect her, you see, because he knew the army might find out and then she might be in danger if she knew).
I think Hellen became stronger. I think she stepped into the position of wife/grown-up in general, faster than she would have otherwise (She's only 19, peoples!)

7. If they could drive any kind of car they wanted, what would it be?
Hellen does not actually know how to drive (she learns how to in the course of the book). So she doesn't really care. And Kenneth is not a car person. He's more of a gryphon person.

8. How do they deal with change?
Hellen does not deal well with change. As I said above, she is easily attached to things, so she has emotional trauma over losing even little things (like getting new shoes).
Kenneth is more used to change, and he adapts better to it. He clings to what stays the same (God), and isn't rooted in this world.

9. If they had to amputate one body part, which one would they choose?
Hellen would choose a leg, because, as said above, she's a damsel-in-distress kind of person, so she wouldn't mind not having her legs because it would mean that she would have to be rescued.
Kenneth would, of course, not choose his legs (they're very important to him). He would choose his ears, because he knows how often people lie, and he communicates quite well without needing to hear people.

10. What would their favorite be at the local coffee shop?
Hellen would have a mug of steaming tea to go along with her book. Kenneth would have black coffee.

11. How did they meet?
Well, they live in the same smallish town, so they've always kind of known of each other. They met at a benefit dinner, and then her parents had him and his mother over for lunch one Sunday, and they just hit it off.

12. How do these two deal with conflict?
Kenneth grows quiet. ("What's to be done with a man who just looks?" Congrats if you know that quote.) He doesn't say anything. Just stays firmly, stubbornly, sure of his opinion.
Hellen gets hurt, then defensive.

13. Do they have a special song, phrase, item, or place that they share?

14. What kind of things do they like to do together?

15. Describe their relationship as a whole in 3 words or less.

Trusting, confusing, shallowish.

This one, from August 2011, is about my laundress, Win.

1.What is their biggest accomplishment?
She would say it was turning down her cousin Colin and moving to town as a laundress. And at the beginning of the story, I would agree. But by the end, I would say solving the mystery is her greatest accomplishment.

2.What is one of their strongest childhood memories?
Her father teaching her to brush her horse.

3.What is their favorite food?
She's not picky. But she likes fried food – not like french fries, you know, but fried greens, or fried eggs, or fried rice.

4.Do they believe in love at first sight?
No. She's not the romantic type.

5.What kind of home do they live in?
A one room cottage at the edge of the town.

6.What do they like to wear?
Practical, no nonsense clothing. But this is several hundred years ago, so even the plain dresses were beautiful. She wears black a lot after her parent's death.

7.What would they do if they discovered they were dying?
She wouldn't be sad for herself exactly (until she really realized that she was dying) but would set about making preparations for Laurelle (her baby sister).

8.What kind of holidays, or traditions do they celebrate?
Her parents used to have lots of grand feasts for no reason at all, but now she doesn't really have celebrations.

9.What do your other characters have to say about them?
Colin would say she's foolish and naive. But he's prejudiced because she refused his offer of marriage. 
At this point in the story, I don't have many characters. I need to bring in another one, as an friend or mentor sort of person, but I don't have that worked out yet.

10.If they could change one thing in their world, what would it be?
She would not have to go to the run-down apartments (to deliver laundry) in the southern part of town, but they pay too well for her to just stop going.

So, which one should I work on? I'm still undecided. 
Ta ta for now, darlings!

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

General Update from Minas Galen

Hello, all. I know I just blogged yesterday, but there are some important things to be said.
One, my dog Murphy got shaved yesterday. He is so bare and pink. I feel almost bad petting him because he seems so tiny and vulnerable. But he smells much better now, so I'm glad.
Another thing, I just wanted to share some blessings God has been sharing with me. A few days ago, I was reading my Bible, and Crazy Love (by Francis Chan) and I felt that God wanted me to give fifty dollars more. Let me explain. A friend and I are doing a bakesale fundraiser to purchase some things from World Vision, and I think we made a goal of a couple hundred dollars. But I felt that God was saying, "Try me on this. Do fifty more dollars." And if he didn't provide it through the bakesale, I knew he could provide it through me. And guess what:
On Thursday my sister Nan and I babysat my friend's baby sister (a 1½ year old, very adorable but very  tiring – I had to drink a cup of coffee, I was so tired!) all day. The next day, we babysat for two other kids for two hours. And yesterday, we watched the same kids for one hour. So how much money do you think is in my wallet now?
Fifty dollars. God is already providing, and we aren't having the bakesale until September 21.
And then the blessing of last night. Do all of you know that the Perseids is going on right now? The Perseids is an annual meteor shower. The peak night is tonight and Monday night. We went last night, even though it wasn't the peak, because you have to go late at night to see them well.
Seriously, if you've never done this, DO IT. This is the second time I've done it. It was spectacular. We saw about 40-45 meteors, some tiny, some quick, a few slow, and one really cool one that we all saw. It was copper colored, with a really long tail (some of us think it had two tails).
This is something that I think everyone should experience. Take a blanket, go find a field away from the city and just lie down and watch. We got there around 11 and stayed till 1. Seriously, it was so amazing. To just lie in awe, even though you grow tired, is beyond describing. But pack warmly, because it's cold out there (cold, in August? Who would've thought?). :)
Only three weeks until Reading Buddies. Wow. I never thought the summer would end. Once again, I entreat everyone who can to look into Reading Buddies and similar programs at their schools. You will be abundantly blessed.
Blessings on your week –
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Saturday, August 10, 2013

A new story

I have a new idea. But this time it's good, since I'm finished with Maurelle and haven't been working on any story since.
I got the idea from two things, one of which was the movie we watched last night. If you haven't seen it, I recommend it: Charade (1963) with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. It reminded me a little bit of Wait Until Dark, also an Audrey Hepburn movie. I really liked all the actors in this movie. You should really check it out. Netflix labels it as a comedy, but IMDB is more correct with Comedy/Mystery/Romance.
Anyway, this idea is the second most modern thing I've ever seriously considered writing. A while ago, I used to endeavor to write stories in current times, but I've given up on that idea. And of course, I once had a futuristic story idea about the world becoming totally dependent on electricity, and then there is this big electric storm and they lose all electronics and electrical anythings. So it goes into a second medieval times (this story idea is my hope, if not exactly my prediction, for the world.) :)
It starts in the 1940s with Hellen McCoy. She's newly married (she's 19 and has been married about a week) and her husband has just left for the war. Her husband has told her that he is just an average soldier, and for a while she receives letters from him, and everything seems to be going well. But – to protect her – he didn't tell her the truth. He's not just an officer. He's some sort of special something. Like a scout or something like that. I don't know the details (I'm planning on writing Hellen a letter to ask her). And so people are chasing her and stuff (I know, it's all very rough right now) to find out information from her.
And then she gets a letter that he's dead (but he's not). So for a while the chasing and interrogating stops. But then the enemy peoples found out that he's not really dead (but she doesn't know). So they resume their stalking of her, and she keeps saying 'he's dead, I don't know, leave me alone' but of course they don't. And I don't know what would happen after that. But it would kind of be a mystery.
I have another mystery I need to write, too. My laundress story, about Winifred/Win/Winnie. So I may go back and forth between Win and Hellen. Both of their stories need outlines and plans and word count predictions and much finalizing (besides all the actual writing!) before I can give a detailed explanation, but I'm very excited.
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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Red and Black

OK, I'm not a poster of youtube videos usually, because I'm not allowed to go on Youtube. But my mother has been obsessively watching/listening to this video, after she went to a friend's house last weekend and watched Les Miserables.

I've had this song in my head for the last three days. Either that or 'Look down, look down, don't look them in the eye, look down, look down, you're here until you die!'
I've never scene Les Mis, but I feel like I've watched it vicariously through my mother. :) I almost cried when she told us about it. I mean, does not this scene cut you to the heart?

Also, my sister and I have been semi-obsessing(let's be honest) obsessing over Star Trek (hence the vulcan salutation in the last post). About a month ago, we watched the 2009 Star Trek movie (AKA the one where the characters are cute instead of old) and since then have watched two of the old ones, too. We watched The Wrath of Khan and The Search for Spock. Both were pretty good. I didn't like the wormy things in Wrath of Khan, but The Search for Spock was very... odd. Sort of mystical. It just felt weird. But I liked some of the actors better. So I don't know.
I've got to go now, so, once again, live long and prosper!
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Saturday, August 3, 2013

A black nose

Not black all over. Just a little grayish. And black on the inside, oddly enough.
So – contrary to what my previous post about our bedroom remodeling says, we actually painted our bedroom a lovely blue gray. Very pale. Very gentle and calming. I think it's perfect.
And our white iron beds – well, we found them (in the form of a blue bed and a gray one), and today we are painting them. We decided on black instead of white. So that, people, is why the inside of my nose is black. And why my feet are grayish.
I helped spray paint the headboard of one bed, and I stepped out of the little booth my dad made by hanging plastic sheets. I stepped out because the heavy smell of the paint was noxious. My nose felt as though there was still a paint cloud hanging around it. I touched my nose – and my finger had black spots on it.
Even now, an hour later, black stuff comes out of my nose. :) Ah, well.
Live long and prosper!
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