April 24, 2017

Springtime Reading (Update One)

This springtime I've found myself selecting my reading material with more deliberation than usual. Spring is forefront in my mind, and so every time I go to my shelf and choose a book, I can't help but pick one that reminds me of the season. I've re-read a few springtime favorites, and I've tried a few that I never used to like, but now find I love.

But to point. Being that my reading has been structured around springtime, I thought I'd give you an update of what all those stories are, and what I hope to read before the end of spring! (Hopefully this will also give you some new book recommendations. That's always a  welcome thing, am I right?)

Catrin in Wales by Mabel Esther Allan
Ever since I first read this book two years ago I loved it. (Read my original review here.) Now, finally done with my second re-read, I find it just as much a favorite as ever. I honestly don't know how to put it in words, but this book is really, really special and dear to me.

*Reading this book was also part of the goal I set for Heidi's Adventure of Reading Challenge* Check it out here!*

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Again, this was my second re-read. I did this one early in the springtime, in March, because at the time I was yearning for spring and reading this book seemed a good way to satisfy myself despite the gray and muddy weather outside. (Thankfully those days are completely past, YAY.)  I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first time. It's odd in places (aherm), and most of the characters do things I don't approve of (aHERM). But on the whole, the story is so captivating (ha) and magical. And despite having next to nothing in common with Cassandra (other than being writers), I find her a very relatable and sympathetic heroine.
 (Despite her annoying love life, urgh.)
(He's just so nice.)

A Tangled Web by L. M. Montgomery
This is also a second re-read, and my goodness, what a change of opinion this time around! Quite on a whim, I picked this up and started reading it and couldn't put it down. The first time I read this I was close to eleven years old. Maybe that's why I found it insufferably boring the first time. I have no idea. But this time--this time! It was humorous, delightful, and just all around gold. Montgomery hardly ever disappoints, and I'm so glad I wasn't re-disappointed by this one!

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Eeeeee! I just finished reading this darling book, and all I have to complain about is where has it been all my life? I might have read it once when I was a wee thing, but most of my memory of the story comes from a movie version. :P But my foreknowledge of the general storyline, this book wouldn't let me go. I kept looking forward excitingly to whenever I had moments of spare time to read it. Seriously. This book is beautiful. I love it to death.
(Don't ask me who I ship Mary with once they're all grown up, because I don't know.)
(Yes, I do. Probably Dickon.)
(After all, Colin and Mary will grow up together like brother and sister. And he'll become a famous scientist and lecturer. <3)

And that's it! Now, you probably studied the photos above (if you're anything like me), and am waiting for me to mention all the other books. Well, those are books I'm hoping to read, especially Peter Pan and Northanger Abbey, for Heidi's Adventure of Reading Challenge.

Here's my full list of "hopefuls":
Peter Pan
Jane of Lantern Hill
Northanger Abbey
Emily of New Moon
Only a Novel

As of this moment, I have started Jane of Lantern Hill (hear that, Éowyn? :)), which is coincidentally the only book on my list that is not a re-read. (So far it's delightful, but we shall see. :)) (I have high hopes.)

Well! Now all we have to do is wait and see if I can conquer my list before June 21st! I was going to give myself until the end of May, but since June 21st is the official first day of summer, why not give myself more time? ;) Hee.

What books have you been reading this spring? 
Do you have any "springtime" favorites? 
Have you read any of the books listed? 
How has your spring been as of late?

March 30, 2017


Every once in awhile I feel the urge to write a post with no meaning behind it, just a post full of "what I've been up to lately". It's like having a conversation with you all, and that's so much fun :)
I know spring is here when the snowdrops in our yard finally bloom. :D
Lately I've been reading....
A Tangled Web by L. M. Montgomery. This is the first time I've read it since I was very young, so the story is practically all but lost from my memory. I only remember that the first time I read it I didn't much care for it and that poor Gay had Noel stolen away from her by the horrible Nan. Now, as I'm reading it again, I'm finding how much more depth and humor and drama the story contains than just the pages about Gay's romance. :P

I'm finding myself rooting for Peter and Donna, laughing over the fight at Aunt Becky's funeral, smiling over the humor of Big Sam and Little Sam's estrangement, yearning for Hugh and Joscelyn to get back together, and pitying so many characters—poor Margaret, and Brian, and Roger.

Altogether I'm enjoying this story much more than I expected. :)

The Lunar Chronicles. Now, I want to add a disclaimer before I continue. The Lunar Chronicles are a series of popular YA futuristic fairytale retellings. I've heard some good things about them, and being the fairytale retelling fan that I am, decided to give them a try. And I'm glad I did. However, there were certain things in the series I was not comfortable with, notably some description of violence. I combated that by skimming as much as I could, but I wanted to forewarn anyone. If you ever try these books just....be careful. They may not be for you. ;) In fact, they barely made it on my "standards" meter, but the characters and stories are so endearing I just...couldn't help myself. I had to keep at the series for them. :)

 (Now if there are any fans of TLC, can we please talk about them?? Because these characters. I love them so much; I need someone to sympathize with me!)

Cress and Thorne by taratjah on DeviantArt || A beautiful couple that would make amazing characters:
Lately I've been watching....
Okay. This is exciting. Guess what?? My family decided to try Clearplay's online streaming and now it feels like a magical door in the movie world has been opened to us. So far we've watched Top Gun, Captain America (!!!), and Indiana Jones. Captain America was my personal choice. I've been wanting to see it for years, have watched so many fan videos of Steve and Peggy, and have long considered Steve one of my favorite fictional heroes, even though I had yet to see his film.

Well, now I'm an official fan. And just as much in love with Steve as ever. :)

My brother and I are also on the third season of BBC's Merlin. I'm not entirely sure of my thoughts/approvals on the show, but on the whole it's really funny and thrilling. It's making me want to read more about Arthur and Merlin and all the lore of Camelot, that's for certain.

PS. I ship Arthur and Gwen so hard it hurts.

PPS. But then Lancelot comes into the picture and I just....I've never been so torn in a love triangle before....

Their faces are priceless!! This makes me laugh every time :D

Lately I've been sewing...

I know, this is a new one, right? Not many of you know I sew, do you? Well....that's because I don't. At least, not well enough to earn the distinction. My mom and I are working together on sewing a dress, but without her I'd be lost. :P

But, I have done a little altering and such by myself in the past and guess what? Over the past two weeks I've finished a tank top I created out of an old skirt, and finished altering a dress I bought from the thrift store. All by myself. I'm so happy. 
(It's also worth nothing that I started these projects about a year ago, so the relief in finally finishing them is extreme.)

Here is the dress. It used to be longer with skinny straps, and so I shortened it in order to make thick straps. 

Lately I've been listening to.....
Celtic music! I discovered the group Celtic Thunder via this blog post, and was instantly made a fan, much to Jessica's (Prescott) delight. :D This is one of my favorites at the moment. :)

Lately I've been writing....
Not a whole lot. :( But, I keep trying to chip away at my villain's backstory for my Princess and the Pea novel. I feel like the more time passes, the more I realize how much I still have to learn about my characters and their stories. *sigh* 
"You have heard that sermon before." 10 Ways You Know You're a Pastor's Kid | Project Inspired. Pretty much!
Arthur, looking disgruntled and confused for me because of my writing troubles
But, in the meantime, I'm planning on joining my dear friend Éowyn for Camp NaNoWriMo! Are any of you participating? 

(I re-did my writing page with a little more information on my stories. Check it out. :))

Springtime things I've been enjoying...
Late afternoon sunlight streaming through my window and hitting the lovely flowers on my desk.....drizzly, rainy days (like today).....little green shoots popping up all over the yard....air that doesn't freeze your nose (:P)....watching Pride and Preudice  1995 with my mom....plans for spring cleaning....pulling your spring/summer clothes out of the closet....

my flowers :)

Lastly, I'd like to tell you about two new, exciting things I did recently. One was that I tried out for a local theater's production of Beauty and the Beast!! I actually got cast as part of the ensemble (which is what I hoped for!!) (I still can't believe it, to be honest), but had to turn it down due to various reasons. I actually don't mind at all, because it was truly the trying out that I really wanted to conquer. I've always wanted to be in a play, but the thought of auditioning always scared me half to death. But, in Christ I can indeed do all things. He gave me the strength and courage to get up there and try, and I'm so glad I did. It was a really great, confidence-boosting experience. :) 

This is exactly Peter's thoughts right here. << sooooo perfect!:
literally me

A second scary/exciting experience I had was my first job interview!! It was for a position at the library, one I hadn't actually applied for, but it sounded intriguing. It's been awhile since it occurred, so I don't think I got the job. But that's okay. :) I'm still really thankful for the experience. 

Well, I'll bid you all farewell, now, and leave you with this adorable gif of Harrison Ford, which I didn't realize was from Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark till we watched it these past couple of days. :P 

PS. I feel like this gif needs some sort of witty caption, but my brain is not cooperating. Any ideas? I was thinking something along the lines of "My face when someone asks...." 

March 20, 2017

The Moon-Spinners

The Moon Spinners http://www.house2book.com:

What is it about some stories? The ones that cling to your heart the moment you meet them. The ones that you still love, after years and years and years. Perhaps you haven't even been reacquainted with them since that first meeting. But then you read it or watch it again, and find that nothing's changed. You still love it. Isn't that the best feeling?

✯ Full Moon:
Disney's The Moonspinners is one of those stories for me. I can't remember the first time I saw it, but it was a long time ago. I've seen it multiple times since, but every time cements it only deeper into my heart. 

This isn't a review by any means, but rather a list of reasons I love this magical story. It's not all extensive, and it will probably make no sense to you if you have not seen the film. If that's the case, I can only hope this post will make you want to see it!

Peter McEnery and Hayley Mills dancing in The Moon Spinners, (1964):
~I love Mark's character. When he's first introduced in the story, I'm a little unimpressed. Nikky looks out her window, soaking in the Crete sun and blinking against the dazzling light on the waters. Then he appears, sun tanned and athletic in his motorboat and she gets all swoony over him. ;) (Okay, not really, but it's obvious she likes him from the get go.) When she officially meets him, he seems a friendly, fun sort of chap—just the kind you'd like to meet on a foreign trip. But beyond that, my impression leaves me thinking he's kind of silly and shallow. But oh—no he is not. The Mark we know at the end of the story is so different from the Mark we meet at the beginning. Not because he changes, but because his shining character is revealed to us, bit by bit. He's a hero—always was—but it takes time to realize that. Much like real life, don't you think? In stories the hero is always identifiable, maybe even obviously so, like in fairytales when they come riding up on their white chargers, brandishing a shining sword. Nothing's wrong with that, but it's not real life. Real heroes aren't always evident. But they are there, all the same. It just takes time to realize it. 
Passageway to the sea on the Isle of Crete, Greece • Note: a comment on Murray's webpage has this passageway in Rovinj, Croatia:
~The blue waters, the golden warm sun, the sandy beach and hills—the landscape in this film is gorgeous. Every time I watch it, it's almost like traveling there myself (which I really want to do, so if you're planning a trip to Crete, please invite me!). The magic of such a glorious place is simply breathtaking, even in a Disney film from the 1960's. (One might claim that makes it more magical than it truly is, but I simply don't believe that. :))

~The suspense and tension of this film can set me on edge even after I've seen it so often. Yes, it's rather silly and unbelievable at times, but I still find myself deeply drawn into the story and the danger. The nighttime escapade on the rocky shore, the windy, harrowing moments on the windmill (with Mark looking adorably worried about Nikky <3 <3 <3), the fight between Stratos and Mark on the motorboat.......it's all thrilling, every bit of it.
Haley Mills, Peter McEnery - Disney's "The Moonspinners":

~Speaking of thrilling, are not the old church and the tombs another element of this story that just adds so much? I love it.

~Alexis. He's hysterical. I mean, for crying loud out, how could you not love such an adorable kid? ;)

Moonspinners - crisp white dress with a beautiful backdrop:

~Nikky's wardrobe. I have a notorious habit of expressing my admiration for movie costumes aloud when watching a movie with my family, and Nikky's outfits always make me do so. I love her sun dresses, her pink top and pants, the party dress she wears at the wedding.....I just really want all her clothing! But, my favorite is probably the green dress she wears at the end of the film. (I found this really cool post by someone who made her own dress based off of Nikky's green one. Isn't it stunning? Note: I have not checked out the rest of her blog, so I can't endorse it, content-wise.)
moonspinners- Hayley Mills:

~THE KISS. Does anyone else love that moment? Please? Anyone? I just.....warm fuzzy feelings, guys. THEY ARE SO CUTE. I love how after all this time of her liking him, and him acting like he doesn't really care for her in that way, he just kisses her. No words beforehand. No admission of love. He just kisses her, telling her to be safe, and knowing he may never see her again.
(Also, can we talk about how protective Nikky is, always telling Mark he's going to get himself killed if he's not careful? Always trying to keep him away from danger? Let's be real, Mark doesn't know how to stay out of danger. She shows how much she loves him by her actions and her words. Her line of "I just don't want you to get hurt," before he kisses her is SO SWEET.)

~I really want to read the book, though I've heard it varies from the movie. Can someone send me this copy, please? (Isn't it lovely??)

Well, 'tis late and this post is long enough, methinks. ;) I will leave you now with this adorable photo of Mark and Nikky (though it isn't actually from the movie....a press photo, perhaps?). <3
The Moon-Spinners - Hayley Mills & Peter McEnery - 1964:

Have you seen The Moon Spinners
Do you like it? 
Has my post convinced you to try it? (Please say yes!)