June 29, 2012
That just says it all.
*jumps up and down, first attempting Scottish dancing, then doing a Mr. Collins jig, then ending with the sprinkler*
Acknowledgements!! Let me just shout out a HUGE thank you to Anne-girl. Without her cheering me on for the whole month with her awesome blog posts and frequent words of encouragement, I don't think I would have been able to do it! And a big thank you to one of my good friends, 'Elinor.' She called me on the phone a few days ago when I had ten thousand words left and was such an encouragement! Thank you both!!!
Also, to my fellow Crusaders... YOU CAN DO IT!! Look, I just did it. Isn't that proof enough that if little old me did it, you can, too?!
Last night, I had about four thousand words left. I had to work in the morning, but I plopped down at my desk the first chance I got and wrote like an insane person until we had to leave for my aunt and uncle's house. Fortunately, they live about an hour away. Heehee... I wrote until we got there... then a few minutes more... and charged my laptop up at their house. (I told my mom that I would seriously wound myself if I left it there. Like, tears and everything....)
So then, today, I got up and started writing as soon as I could. I took a break after I'd gotten seventeen hundred words done and found myself out on the back porch. I laughed and said to myself, "I'm grilling hamburgers I've made... from scratch... outside on the grill... all by me onesies... while I'm taking a break from writing a fifty-thousand word novel." I flipped over a burger and grinned. "All in a day's work." (Sorry about the major story going on there.... Hey. I've been writing all month. Your point is?)
When I started out this month, I missed the first four days because I was studying for my SAT and then was gone all day Sunday. I started Monday, the fourth, and sat down at the computer, a little depressed that I'd missed so much writing time. I didn't think I'd be able to do it. I mean, a fifty thousand word novel in less than a month?! Come on!! Yes, I'm homeschooled, but I didn't think I was that capable of doing it!
NaNoWriMo has been described as a dragon by a few people I know. I didn't doubt them for a minute. "Me? Slay a DRAGON?!" But, as I went though the month, I discovered that it was more of a journey with some of my best friends, working alongside them to slay this dragon. I've met a lot of new people on the way - both in the real world on blogs and in the 'real world' inside my head.
During the month of June, I did a lot of brainstorming and a lot of praying and asking God to help me get it done and be glorified in my novel. (I think that's what's really helped me get it done!) The other day, I wondered if I'd be able to do it. It's a DRAGON, for the sake of Pete!!! But then I remembered one of the last scenes in Return of the King, when Eowyn has to fight the Witch King all by herself. I decided that was what the NaNo dragon looked like, making me feel like it was too long and too hard and taunting me, saying, "No man can slay me!" I just smiled, pulled out my imaginary sword and said, "I am no man!!!" and slayed the dragon. I still can't believe it.
I guess that officially makes me one of those weird writer people, right? (Love you all, by the way!!) To which I say, "BRING IT ON!!!"
PS: Oh, and if anyone cares... my novel is only half done. I'm looking at another fifty thousand words to finish, but I'm really excited about it!
PPS: Thank you for your patience. Camp NaNoWriMo has taken up my entire month and I'm really surprised at myself for being able to get any blog posts done!! All of the blog posts I've promised you are coming up - including the rest of the Les Miz experience posts (it's like July and I saw it in April. Golly Pete... Sorry, y'all...), my excerpts, and the final days of Camp Grandma-Honey. : D
PPPS: I've tried to fix the font size on this post a few times, but it's all whacked out. Silly Blogger..... Soary... : P
June 25, 2012
I'm going to do this with my two main characters (yes, you CAN have two main characters - "I believe I just did."), Nikki (15) and Alec (17).
(FYI, they're brother and sister. Clearing up a little boyfriend/girlfriend rumor that's going around.....)
Do you want a hug?
Nikki: Yes, please. All of this nonsense you've put us through has made me feel in need of a hug!
Alec: You? Hug... me? A writer hugging a character?! Talk about weird... I think four thousand words in three hours made you a little... um.... Oh, look, a shiny quarter!
Do you have any kids?
Nikki: No way!
Alec: Silly girl. You should know - you invented me.
Me: Heehee... that's true...
Have you killed anyone?
Nikki: No... unless hating counts...
Me: I don't think that's what Anne-girl meant.
Nikki: Then no. And I don't plan on it. Even though I feel like seriously wounding Liam and Kylie...
Me: Watch it, Nick. Alec?
Alec: Nope. Next question.
Nikki: Besides Alec and Dad? No. Although... you've made Dylan start being friends with me and that's totally weird.
Me: I'll make him leave for a Christmas vacation.
Alec: That's a personal question.
Me: I already know who you love.
Alec: That's because you're the writer. Duh!
What is your job?
Nikki: Oh, great. Um, I don't have a job. I'm a sister and a competitive ice dancer... very competitive.
Me: Oh, really? I didn't know that.
Nikki: Just wait til Nationals. *rubs hands gleefully* Liam and Kylie are in for it.
Me: I can't wait! Maybe I'll get to that tomorrow.... Alec?
Alec: My job? I don't have a job, either. I'm Nikki's brother.
What are you going to do when this tag is over?
Nikki: I think you had me going to Natalie's house. Or... um... something else. I was talking to Kate.
Me: Yeah, you were. No idea what you're doing next.
Nikki: Oh, great. That's just perfect. So I have to decide for myself?
Me: That's about it. Yeah.
Nikki: Then I'll take a nap.
Alec: I'm going to talk to Dylan. (Purple shotguns, heehee...)
Me: You can't talk about purple shotguns yet! That's later! With Nikki, remember?
Alec: How am I supposed to remember it if it's later?!
Me: Good point.
What is your greatest fear?
Nikki: Personal much?!
Me: Well, it's on the list! Be a good girl and answer, please.
Nikki: Ugh, fine. My greatest fear is that *whispers* Alec won't remember something.
Me: I know what she's talking about, and you're not supposed to... yet. Your greatest fear?
Alec: That I won't be able to remember anything.
Me: You'll remember.
Alec: Really? Ooh, goody - spoilers direct from the author!
Nikki: Oh, shush!! Don't tell him any more! Next question!
What do you think of your parents?
Nikki: I love Dad a lot, and I loved Mom a lot. Didn't I just tell Kylie how much she meant to me?
Me: Yeah. That was good. *high five* You, Alec?
Alec: Well, at this point in my life, I have no idea who my parents are. (No idea who I am, actually.) So I can't really say what I think of them.
Me: This is a sad question. Thanks for making me tear up. Moving on.
Alec: Um.... Didn't you say that you were my sister?
Alec: Then we're siblings.
Nikki: Um.... *runs to a mirror*
Alec: What about it?
Me: What color are your eyes? Don't be difficult, Alec.
Alec: Who's being difficult? I'm just asking. Goodness. I always thought that my eyes were red, but I think they're green.
Me: No, they're not. They're brown. Nikki, yours are blue.
Nikki: *comes back* Okay, thanks.
Are you good or bad?
Nikki: I have my good moments, and I have my bad moments. I'm a sinner saved by the grace of God.
Me: Good answer! Alec?
Alec: Uh.... From what I gather from Nikki's conversations with Natalie that I've read -
Alec: - I was mostly bad. But I'm working on myself. Being good and all.
Nikki: He's more like the old Alec now... and that's great.
Nikki: Winter. I can practice on ice better than I can on roller-skates.
Alec: I don't know. Summer, I guess?
Who's your best friend?
Nikki: Natalie Fraser. Hands down.
Me: Did you know that she was named after Hadley Fraser?
Nikki: You're weird. Been watching too much of the 25th Phantom?
Me: No. Well.... I think I named Natalie right after I found out that Hadley was in the 25th Les Miserables. *coughs*
Alec: That's disgusting. I thought you liked Sir Percy!
Me: Who I like is of NO concern to you. (Although you are correct - Sir Percy is farther up on my heroes list than Hadley because Hadley isn't a hero. He just has a really good voice and does an amazing Raoul and a deep Grantaire. Moving on.) Who's your best friend?
Alec: I've recently discovered that Dylan was my best friend. (Unless Allie counts....)
Me: No, she doesn't.
Nikki: I love ice dancing. And watching period drama films - you discovered that a few days ago. (Beating carpets?)
Alec: I don't know what I like, heehee, so I'll just say that I've liked reading whatever book I'm reading right now. You never named it, did you?
Me: Uh, no.... Wait!! The List by Robert Whitlow.
Alec: Oh, yeah! It's good. Intense and suspenseful - isn't that what I said?
Do you care what others think of you?
Nikki: Yeah. More than I should, probably. I'm an introvert, and that probably doesn't help much.
Alec: Sort of. Right now I'm just trying to figure out what I think of me.
Was this interview fun?
Nikki: Yeah, I guess so. It was a good break from all of that nonsense you've put me through.
Me: Deepest apologies. Alec?
Alec: *yawns* Yeah, but it's made me tired. I'm ready to go home.
Nikki: Me, too. Can we go home now?
Me: Yeah, whenever I have time to write it.
Nikki: Good. I can't wait to see what happens next!
Alec: Me, neither. Hopefully I'll remember soon....?
Me: We'll see. I've been getting a little long-winded, heehee.
Wow, that was fun! Now for a little break before I start at it again. I just passed 35k this morning - woot! - and can't wait to finish!
BUT! Due to some news my family got on Wednesday, I don't know if I'll be able to finish my novel in time. We might have to take a sudden, long trip. (Exciting, exciting!!!) Any prayer would be great and appreciated! I'll have more news whenever I get more!
June 22, 2012
My picture was selected as a runner-up in the Sink Me! contest (a little late notice, I know...) and now it's tied with another! Wahoo!
Hie thee to Sink Me!, check out all of the very funny pictures, and vote on the sidebar for the two you think are best!
Congrats to everyone whose pictures made it to finals!
Oh, and two random things...
Another one of my pictures made it to Sink Me! the day after the finalists were annouced - I was ecstatic!
And... I just passed the 25k mark on my June Crusade novel!! WAHOO!!
June 19, 2012
AGHHHHH!!!!! PANIC!!!!! I'm not NEARLY done and we're ALREADY at WEEK THREE!!! *pulls hair out* AGHHHH!!!!!
Okay. Whew. Thanks. Moving on...
1. What is your word count now?
18,021 words. Ouch... Well, I'm going to keep working at it and not let a little number like that get me down....
2. What is your favorite paragraph so far?
Ooh... good question. Hmm... I think I'm going to have to say this one, on page three. : )
(A little backstory.... My main character, Nikki, has just been talking to someone and her best friend, Natalie, is very surprised and can't say a word.)
"What?" I asked. "Do I have something on my face?"
Natalie shook her head. "Dost mine eyes deceive me...?"
I rolled my eyes. "Nope."
"You were actually talking to Dylan?! The cutest guy in school?!"
I folded my arms and nodded.
"And he talked to you?"
I nodded, then added, "Actually, he started the conversation."
Natalie gasped and grabbed my arm. "I think I'm going to faint. Catch me, please."
I rolled my eyes again. "Can I slap you, please?"
She smirked. "But it's Dylan Bronson!"
3. When you are writing what is your favorite song to listen too? Not theme song for your book but favorite song for while you're writing?
Song? Oh, my dear gracious, I don't think I can pick a song. I think the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack is what I'm writing to the most. Very good writing music, that!
4. Do you love your villains or do you relish hating them?
I have two villains... well, three, but the third one doesn't really count... Anyway, I really like them. I'm the one who loves the bad guys, remember? : )
5. What was your very first piece of free writing?
Oh, my stars... please don't ask. Fine. I'll tell you. The Greatest Adventure of the Summer. *blushes* It was a short story (five pages, to be exact) that I submitted *blushes again* to the American Girl Magazine for a contest. It's about this girl whose father is the president and has to ransom him after he's been kidnapped. With a grand total of $35 people. Not $35 million, just flat out $35. (An enormous sum of money when I was only ten, you guys!) I can't believe I actually submitted it... I'll have to type it up some day (spelling and grammar errors included) and post a little of it. It'll be like Jane Austen's Love and Freindship (sic). (If you guys haven't read that, look it up. It is SOOO funny!)
6. What was your first completed piece of fiction?
Another juvenilia. The Christmas Wish, a short story that was completed when I was 12. It was about a girl whose mom and sisters die in a car crash right before Christmas and her dad gets remarried a while later. I forget most of it, and nothing will convince me to read it again for a while!!
7. What are some of the plot bunnies that you are being teased with right now?
Ooh, plot bunnies! Yay. Not so embarrassing... : ) Let me see... Well, I have a few novels started, but one actual official plot bunny is about a guy and a girl... I don't have all of it right now. I'm also aching to start writing Aaron's Journey again, but that won't happen for a while - at least, not until I convince myself that I can write from a guy's perspective again. : P
8. What is your strategy for writers block?
What's that? Seriously, there is no such thing as writer's block. (So I've heard...) My solution is to just re-read the past thousand words you've written and delete what you think has gotten you into a hole. I thought I had writer's block a while ago, but I just asked myself what the focus of the chapter was and went on from there. (Also... I thought I had it this morning, but I realized it was time for a new chapter, so I skipped over to the next exciting part! Easy peasy, squeeze the lemon!)
9. If you could meet one famous author which one would you pick?
Wayne Thomas Batson or Robert Whitlow. *sigh* To think, I actually lived twenty minutes away from the latter at one point in my life.... *sigh* (Them, or the Baroness Orczy.... *sigh*)
10. Who is your favorite secondary character so far?
Natalie. : ) See the above paragraph. She's so much fun to write! She's so happy and bubbly, too. Ooh, and Dylan. : ) I really like writing him, too. (Alec isn't a secondary character, or else I'd pick him!)
Well, that's all! I'm thinking of posting excerpts... what say ye?
EDIT: Okay, so after I posted this I ran upstairs and started writing. After a slow start, I finally hit my stride and...
*cue Jurassic Park theme or Chariots of Fire theme or something big and awesome and monumentous (not a word, I know...)*
I just passed 20,000 words!!! WAHOO!!! There's a light at the end of this tunnel!
INTO THE FIRE!!! (After a Little Dorrit break... watching it with my younger siblings - their first time... *rubs hands gleefully*)
June 18, 2012
Anyway, I have two more days to blog about, but if you guys don't want to see pictures of us at Stone Mountain or whatever (Haley...? : P), then I won't post it. Comment away.
So! I have a lot of different projects going on right now - three, namely.
First of all is me and my brother's Lego project. Well, it's not really a project, but it's something we've been excited about for forever. (Well, not forever, but a really long time!!) Anyway, we've decided to save up our money and buy ALL of the Lord of the Rings Lego sets and the video game. (Yes, I'm seventeen and love Legos. Your point is...?) We've been waiting and waiting for them to come out and we finally got the first two sets yesterday!! Wahoo! Shelob's Lair and Weathertop were finished yesterday in about two hours and would have probably gotten them built faster if we weren't quoting the movies and laughing and slapping each other - playfully, social services. It's a slap of endearment, people.
So, without further ado...
I know I have some non-LOTR fans reading my blog, but you have to admit... the spider's pretty cool. All of the legs are moveable and only took three seconds to make! : ) (Also, each set came with extra One Rings, so now we have six One Rings! HA!)
Heehee... Doesn't little Frodo look scared?!
Now, before I move on, let me just say that I'd like to sue Lego. If I had a lot of money and personally knew a lawyer like Robert Whitlow (LOVE his books!), I would think a little more about it. What is my problem, you ask? Well, I'll tell you.
There is no Faramir Lego man.
Need I repeat it?! ARGH!!! I can't believe it! There's a Haladir, whoever he is (yeah, I know who he is...). He's not NEARLY as cool as Faramir! And I'm not just saying I like Faramir because I picked Eowyn as my online username and they get married in the end. Far from it. Faramir is my favorite character - by a lot. Talk about sacrificial love! When my friend came over to have a Lord of the Rings Extended Edition marathon with us, she screamed for Legolas, I screamed for Faramir. That's just the way it works around here. Anyway.... I'll have to do a post on him soon.... Hmmm.....
Project number two is an actual project. Some of you may recall (besides the strange affair of the Phantom of the opera, a mystery never fully explained... Whoops. Sorry. I had that memorized the second day after I saw Phantom... heehee) the fact that I'm doing a huge history project.
No? I never blogged about it? : P
Well, I am. The history course I'm doing (well, heehee, DID, because I started in eighth grade and now I don't have to do history my senior year, WOOT!!) has a few projects you do in each year. A poem, a character essay, a thesis paper, and a persuasive paper, to name a few - all with a certain amount of pages you have to use. The last project of every year is called The 40-Hour Project. *cue creepy music* It has to take - surprise, surprise - forty hours and can be on anything you want, you just have to incorperate something you've learned into it. A few of my friends made diaramas, one made a wooden ship, one did theirs on Theodore Roosevelt... I've even heard that someone made a sword. Like, metal and seven times purifying it and everything! (You can bet that took forty hours!) Anyway... I've done two. Four years of history equals to projects... how did that happen? Well, the first year, I did it on Jane Austen. Researched her with friends, made a slideshow presentation, and sewed Regency dresses. We even learned a few Regency dances and taught them to the class!! (Interesting story... there were more guys dancing than girls. I'm not kidding. We had girls standing to the side while guys had to not dance because the girls didn't want to. I'll save my true feelings on that subject for later...) Then we moved and I just focused on actually listening to the lectures and doing the other projects.
Anyway. This year, since it's my senior year of history, I've decided to actually DO it. Like, forty hours and all. I'm doing it Scottish-themed. I'm going to research my family's Scottish heritage, research and make a real Scottish meal (minus the haggis...), and, last but not least, make a dress. : )
Now, we decided that this dress had to be able to go Scottish and Lord of the Rings because The Hobbit is coming out near my birthday and I'd like to do a Hobbit-themed party. (Not sure that will happen, though...) So we found a pattern that we think will work and got some fabric.
Isn't it pretty?! (This is my actual fabric that I took a picture of, by the way...)
I can't wait to see how it turns out! After last year's Dixie Ball dress project (which turned out fabulously!!), I was really excited to start a new project... even though my sewing attention span is insanely short and I hate every minute of it. (We were cutting out the pattern and Arwen goes, "Yeah, the cutting part is the boring part. Sewing is fun!" That's Arwen. I'm just like, "I prefer wearing it." That's me. : P)
I'll let you guys know how it turns out!
And my third and final project... The June Crusade.
I almost stopped writing during camp. Yes, I had my laptop, but there were so many other things going on, I didn't get in bed until midnight and then it was too late to write.... : P Anyway, I'm at 16,000 words. It doesn't sound like much (actually, it isn't much!), but I think I can get done in time. The greatest thing is that my novel is just coming along swimmingly!! It's so great to watch it get longer and longer and I'm liking it more and more and enjoying every minute of it! I'm falling in love with my characters... yes, even the main guy character. : )
I think I might even be very brave and post a few excerpts... what say ye? WHAT SAY YE?! (Sorry, random quote from Return of the King... my favorite one! What can I say? All of this LOTR stuff is getting me into a LOTR mood!)
Well, that's about it. My answers to The June Crusade Tag Questions are coming up. I'm going to attempt to post it in the queue (or whatever it's called) and let it post in a few days. The spacing always gets messed up, but I'm going to try something different this time. Hope it works and I'm sorry if the formatting is wrong - I'll fix it as soon as I can!!
June 12, 2012
Still here at camp. I've been here four whole days, and we see the end coming closer and closer. "The awful thing about vacations," says Sallie McBride from Dear Enemy, "is that the moment it begins, your happiness is already clouded by its approaching end." Too true. We're having as much fun as possible under the circumstances, though. (This is where you say, "Do tell!" Whoops. Sorry. Been reading a little too much of Right Ho, Jeeves!)
Yesterday, we got up fairly early after a late night, had one of Honey's Big Breakfasts, and headed off to the bowling alley with all of the campers. Another cousin of ours joined us this year and had a blast. We're going to see him again tomorrow when we go swimming again.
We all perfected our bowling swing... or whatever it's called...
... but some of the campers still haven't gotten the fact that you throw the ball, not kick it. (Kidding, Shultz! He was just throwing it.... Funny picture enclosed.)
MagicMan, the alias of The Other Cousin, decided he wanted to bowl backwards. He won the second game. (Which puts me in mind... why is it that whenever we bowl and play mini-golf, I always - for the past quite a few years - have gotten the lowest score on bowling and the highest on mini-golf?! I think my mind is messed up and thinks I should score that way...)
Little Bit, which is what the grandparents/camp counselors call my little brother - isn't that cute?! - had a good time bowling, too, even if he didn't bowl the whole time. Those with railings let him bowl in their stead - after all, they had throws to spare!!
Afterwards, the great grandparents treated us all to eight tokens each in the arcade. My winnings - 35 tickets - earned me a Jolly Rancher and an Airhead. (I won't be able to eat any more without thinking of Cosette from Les Miserables now...) Li'l Bit enjoyed "playing," too.
We came back to the campground, watched some interesting shows on TV (including "Toddlers and Tiaras" - I can only stand that show for so long, then I start yelling at the moms - and "Say Yes to the Dress" - which I only turned on because Arwen wanted to watch it), then ate hamburgers - YUM!!!
After dinner, we walked to two of Grandma's friends' houses and met them. We organized in order of height and sang that song from "Peter Pan." It was fun!
Then, we all went to bed early because we had to go somewhere early - the big surprise of the year. Arwen and I attempted it - I even got in bed at half past nine, Mother dearest! - but, heehee, you know how girls talk. We stayed up until a little past midnight... and I think I paid for it the next morning. (There wasn't any breakfast left, so instead of oatmeal, I got cereal. Yippee.)
We were all really excited to see what the surprise was. (Of course, I already heard what it was, but I was excited anyway.) We went to the movies to see Dolphin Tale! We'd never seen it before and it was only a dollar per person (that just screams BARGAIN!!), so we went. It was really good! Grandma cried for a solid hour, and I felt like I was on the verge of tears for the entire movie. Arwen and I both agreed that the little boy who played the main character, Sawyer, will probably be in a lot of other movies pretty soon! I'd tell you more about it, but... that might take a while. I'll wait 'til I get home. BUT, before I move on... Arwen and I agreed that you guys are GOING to watch it sometime soon!
Afterwards, we went to downtown... somewhere, but not Atlanta, and ate at a really good homestyle Southern restaurant that had been there for forever. It was delicious! The grandparents met us there, which was a surprise.
The campers only get one phone call a day. I haven't had my allotted call for the week. Guess you're glad to be rid of us and are having fun with my aunt and uncle! : D
We had a lot of fun taking pictures of all of us!
It took forever to get Little Bit to smile. I hope you enjoy the enclosed work of art. : )
Then, we let them get their Funny Picture taken. They had a blast! (I think I took more pictures in that thirty minutes we sat at the restaurant than I have the entire week!)
Ooh! Funny story. We got stopped by two people in the line asking about our t-shirts (homemade and proud of it!) and one lady even said, "That's the sweetest thing I've ever seen!" We had to explain to them what exactly Camp Grandma-Honey was and what we do to keep us occupied. (They actually asked!) Then, as I was taking my tray to our table, I got stopped by an older lady who asked, "Now, is this a summer camp?" I just smiled and told her all about it all over again. Heehee... but before that, we were standing in the looooooooong line to see Dolphin Tale and I heard the lady behind me say, "Aww, such cute shirts! Oh, and look - those people have the same kind of shirts! I wonder if they're in the same group?!" Then, as Honey and the guy cousins walked up from their car, she seemed so excited - "They are!!" Then, Arwen turned around and explained what we were. Yup, we've gotten some stares, but it's fun. : )
Little Bit has really gotten to be good friends with one of the other cousins, and even asked if he could hold his hand as we walked down the street! He also requested to sit in this cousin's lap during the movie! I snapped the enclosed picture while we were walking down the street, looking at the shops and random painted horses.
Heehee... I saw a shop sign and just had to snap a picture of it! This letter will probably cost me a fortune to send, but I just wanted to show you how cute it was!!! Notice the bottom, please - I think it's the funniest part!!
I really liked this horse - and not just because it was green or had the word "horse" in Irish and painted a beautiful dark green color. Well... maybe that is the only reason why I liked it. : )
Then, we came back to the campground and let Little Bit take a nap. (He was SO tired, and even told us he needed a nap!) While he slept, we all went to play games at Grandma and Honey's church. It was a lot of fun!
'I must go... they'll wonder where I am.' : )
June 11, 2012
Anyway, Amy over at Sink Me! is having a contest. Sink Me! is a blog devoted solely to pictures of historical dramas with, heehee, quotes from other movies that work perfectly with the pictures. I've laughed really hard over some of the pictures, and decided a few weeks ago to make my own. I've had a little too much fun, as you can probably tell. Then, lo and behold, Amy decided to do a contest! I wanted to enter all of my pictures... because they're all really funny... but she said only three. Below are my three, plus a few more that I couldn't help but post.
You may notice that *ahem* all of the pictures are from The Scarlet Pimpernel. Teehee... Well, that's the only movie I've 'screencapped,' so that's all the pictures I had. : P
My Three Entries...
Quote: Pride and Prejudice
Quote: Pride and Prejudice
June 10, 2012
Here I am at Camp Grandma-Honey. Camp is very entertaining (or, should I say, the campERS), and they say we'll have some fun if it (literally) stops raining.
We arrived yesterday afternoon and, for the first camp activity, got our hair cut. Well, the guy campers, at least.
We all watched pictures of Grandma and Honey's recent trip to Yellowstone. I think I enjoyed it the most because it was so pretty!
Afterwards, the younger campers immediately started playing with toys while the older campers - those that lasted the first five minutes, that is - started tweaking the design for our t-shirts.
I enjoyed getting to know the other campers. Within five minutes, Arwen and I became fast friends. We're even sharing the same bunk! (Please notice my t-shirt in the enclosed picture, if you will!)
A few of the less protective parents (that's y'all!) left, and we had spaghetti and salad for dinner. I thought I'd get a break from eating gluten-free and what does the cook bring before me? Imagine that...
That night, the other campers had to go to a going-away-party for themselves and the older campers stayed home and watched half of the 25th Anniversary Concert of Phantom of the Opera. It was really good... even though I've seen it a half dozen times already! We stopped right after "Wandering Child" because some campers had to go to sleep. Arwen and I stayed up and talked about ice dancing. (I've been writing my novel, you know, and had my two main characters pair skating instead of ice dancing! Imagine my horror after a few minutes of research!) The campers came back at about eleven, and Arwen and I stayed up talking to the more protective parents until midnight. (We didn't want to stay up any longer - we had church the next morning!)
Today, we got up earlier than normal and had a big cereal breakfast. (Don't worry, mother, I had coconut milk and gluten-free cereal.)
We attended Grandma and Honey's church - just the Sunday school - and then the other campers parents left. (We practically booed them away...)
After a quick stop at Wal-Mart for provisions (chicken, broccoli salad, iron-on transfers, and candy to be precise), we had a big lunch of chicken, broccoli salad, rolls, carrots, and green beans. (Healthy Food Day... we're about to die from healthiness...)
Then, we all packed up and hopped into the car so that we could swim before it rained. I rode in the boy's car and worked tirelessly in the ten-minute ride to get the work of art I've enclosed.
Then, we went SWIMMING!!!
I had a great time getting action shots...
... and pictures of random flowers.
A camper and I posed for a picture while he took a break from swimming and wanted to see what I was reading (She Stoops To Conquer). I knew what he was doing without even looking (sisterly intuition?) and made a face to compete with it.
We spent the entire three hours relaxing at the pool. It was a blast!
It started to trickle and we hopped into the cars right as it started to pour. (It takes two this year! Eight cousins and two grandparents - I mean, campers and counselors/cooks/everything else...)
I started reading the camping literature (Sir Percy Leads the Band and Right Ho, Jeeves!) and am very excited about the media that we will see during camp, especially Mary Poppins and the rest of Phantom of the Opera!
Don't take me home... even if it doesn't stop raining.
Your darling daughter,
PS: To all of my readers besides my parents, here's a little explanation. I'm here at my grandparents' house with my cousins until Thursday for our annual get-together, Camp Grandma-Honey! We do lots of fun things - bowling, put-putting, puzzles, and watch movies! There's even a chocolate fountain... which, sadly, only makes it's appearance once a camp. All other posts - including my Les Miz experience, which I can't wait to tell you the rest of! - will be on hold until camp is over. Meanwhile, enjoy my letters home!
June 8, 2012
Anyway, I was watching my copy of the Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Performance and I realized that the two main characters in my novel, Nikki and Alec, are Christine and Raoul! It was a really weird but cool feeling. : )
I had a blast screencapping from 'Masquerade' and 'All I Ask Of You' for Alec and Nick's dancing scenes, and I made a collage of pictures. Take a look!
I also did a few collages with quotes from The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I want to tweak it a little before I post it.
Heehee - my two favorite musicals collide!!!
June 7, 2012
Wow. This is quite a task – to write an entire post on our cast without boring you with teeny-tiny details and a fangirlish amount of exclamation points. Well, here goes nothing.
I'm starting with who I believe is the main character (Valjean, duh) and going on in no particular order from there. It's too hard to pick a favorite of any of the characters – just thinking about it gives me a headache! I think it's more like their rank in main-character-ness in the musical. (I'll just say that if I were ranking them in the order of my favorites, Jean Valjean, and Gavroche would be taking first place and Marius, Javert, and Eponine would be in second.)
I already put a few video links in my last post, so I won't bore you with any more. Just click on the link and find the videos again yourselves. : )
I've also already talked about these characters a little in my last post, so this one will be a little shorter than that one. But only a little. : )
Peter Lockyer (Jean Valjean) – Whoa. This guy had some major talent and only looked about twenty-three! He'd only just joined the cast in March or April – before, it was Mark McVey. I really think that his version of 'Valjean's Soliloquy' was almost better than Colm Wilkinson's – I'm sorry, but it's true. I am a huge fan of Colm (I like him only a little better than Alfie Bowe...), but Peter... he blew it out of the water. He sang with such passion – he even fell to his knees at the end of the song! 'Jean Valjean is nothing now! Another story must begiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin!' Powerful and wonderful. That just about describes Peter's rendition of every single song he sang – 'Valjean's Soliloquy' (aka 'What Have I Done?'), 'Who Am I?,' 'Bring Him Home,' and 'Finale' being a few of the highlights. I wish there were more videos online of him singing, but I shall be content with 'Bring Him Home.' Muchly hoping that Hugh Jackman will do a good job in the movie version coming out in December because he's got some big shoes to fill. (Or however the idiom goes...)
Andrew Varela (Inspector Javert) – Yes, I know I've already done a post featuring Andrew, and, yes, I know I'm biased, but... I mean, really. He's soo convincing as Javert – so twistedly awesome. (Also as the Phantom, but that's another post for another time...) His version of 'Stars' and 'Javert's Soliloquy'... Really quite amazing. I haven't heard Russel Crowe's version of either song, but if I were a betting girl (which I'm not), I'd bet that his version is better. Yes, Philip Quast and Norm Lewis were quite amazing, too, but... *sigh* Can't decide. I guess you're tired of my gushing. What can I say? I'm biased.
Max Quinlan (Marius Pontmercy) – Yet another favorite! Seriously, peoples. He had some talent. Like, majorly. I'm so bummed out that I can't find a video of him singing 'Empty Chairs' anywhere! My friend and I both agreed that he looked like he was about to start sobbing at the end as he blew out his candle. And he's very good at doing the whole AWD thing. (Amazing Wounded Distress, to borrow a phrase from Alexandra.) I have a picture of him and Mark McVey during The Sewers in my program and I'm always like, “Poor guy!” because he actually looked like he was shot! He also put a lot of personality into his singing, including, but definitely not limited to, that few lines I expounded on in 'A Heart Full of Love.' (Another really good song was 'Red and Black.' 'Black - my world if she's not there!') Again, we'll have to see how Aaron Tveit does with Marius in the movie, but... there are so many different versions that I like better (soary, but Nick Jonas is NOT one of them and Michael Ball IS!), he'll have to do really good to even make it on my list. Right now, it's a tie between Michael Ball and Max. (By the way, for a really good post on Michael Ball vs. Nick Jonas, please, please, please read this. Amy and Peyton did a really good job nailing down exactly why Michael Ball IS Marius and Nick Jonas is NOT! Now... to whether he's “my” Marius... read on, Lizzie!)
Chasten Harmon (Eponine) – Now, I can't put my finger on it, but there's something that I didn't really like about the way Chasten played Eponine. Her voice was almost too pretty to be singing 'On My Own.' I really can't say what it is, but I just didn't like Chasten's version. I'll see if there are some videos somewhere so I can figure out what it is, but for the time being I just really, really like Lea Salonga's Eponine better.
Lauren Wiley (Cosette) – Wow. Now, this version of Cosette I liked. (More than Judy Kuhn and maybe more than Katie Hall!) My sister, Arwen, doesn't like it when people... what's the word? I guess 'swing' the notes. You know, when they sing the note below the one they're supposed to be singing, then swing up to the one they're supposed to be singing. She says they have “too much 'pop' in their voice.” (Arwen also doesn't like Ramin Karimloo's version of 'Wandering Child' from the 25th Anniversary Concert of Phantom of the Opera. She and I disagree – I love his version!) I like it when people sing like that, and that's what Lauren did. It's how I sing 'A Heart Full of Love,' and I was really happy when she started singing it that way. : ) Anywho, she did a really great job of acting like she'd actually fallen in love with Marius in those two seconds they met eyes in the market! I really liked her interpretation of Cosette, and wish, like with Max Quinlan, that there were videos of her singing online!
Betsy Morgan (Fantine) – I told Arwen after the show that I couldn't decide which I thought was more of a brilliant choice for whoever cast everyone – Max Quinlan, Peter Lockyer, Andrew Varela, Lauren Wiley, Joshua Colley, or Betsy Morgan. I really think that it's Betsy now. She was sooooo good. Her one line, 'Then it all went wrong...' was almost haunting. As much as I love Lea Salonga and Ruthie Henshall, I have to say that Betsy Morgan is my favorite. (Hard decision, but I think it's true...) Not only was she very good at singing, but she was absolutely amazing at becoming the Fantine that utterly despises the person she'd become. When she sang 'I Dreamed a Dream,' you can just feel the passion and anguish in her voice. I was so sad when the Really Sad Thing happened and I knew she wouldn't sing again until the very end of the musical. Also, not only could she sing, but she could act, too! 'Lovely Ladies' – wow. Her part was the only part I liked in that song. Almost made me tear up as the mean old guy kicked her around. : ( Then Javert almost arrested her... but Valjean saved her!! Until I watch the 25th Anniversary Concert in it's entirety (Nick Jonas is the one that's kept me away; Ramin Karimloo is the one that's kept me coming back and reconsidering...), I'm going to have to say that she was my favorite Fantine ever. Hands down.
Jason Forbach (Enjolras) – I can't decide if I liked him or not. I do know that I LOVED Ramin Karimloo as Enjolras from the 25th Anniversary Concert and liked Michael Maguire from the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast, but I can't say which I liked better. Glad he wasn't a blonde, though, like whoever the original US Tour Enjo was! (The pictures in my souvenir program show a BLONDE guy as Enjo, and I'm like, “That is not Enjolras.” SO glad it's not him!) : ) I think Jason was more like Michael Maguire from the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast, and maybe I was expecting someone with a little more punch than how he delivered his lines. However, Ramin's got to be my favorite Enjolras ever.... By far! He sings with SO much force and passion for his cause, you can't help but like him! (Well, that... and his Red Vest of Power and Awesomeness and Lightburst of Complete Awesomeness!)
Joshua Colley (Gavroche) – Oh, my stars. If he were just a hint less cute, I think his death wouldn't have been as bad as it was. I didn't think Gavroche was going to be that important to me – don't know what possessed me to think that! – but after his first solo 'Look Down'... I was taken. Joshua did such a good job – I don't think I can say it enough! He didn't look more than eight or nine, but he sang with as much emotion in his voice as Peter or Andrew or Betsy or any of the other cast members! True, I don't think he was quite as cheeky or cute as Robert Madge from the 25th Anniversary Concert (who was about seven years older than Joshua, by the way!), but he was definitely better than Adam Searles from the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast! And so good at acting... Especially the reprise of 'Little People.' I didn't actually start crying, but I did get a little teary-eyed. Why must the cute die young?!
Grantaire (Joseph Spieldenner) – I liked Joseph's voice much more than the guy in the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast. I didn't even know how much of a part Grantaire had – the only thing I'd heard of him was, 'Grantaire, put that bottle down!' and 'Give me brandy on my breath and I'll breathe them all to death!' He had such a bigger part than I thought – including one of my favorite lines in one of my new favorite songs, 'Drink With Me.' *tears up* Then he had to go and die... : ( He and Gavroche had become really good friends – I think he was the one that felt the most when Gavroche died. (He fell to his knees after the last shot. Really sad...) Anyway, Grantaire was almost a surprise character because I just didn't expect him to be that important. Joseph did a great job with him – especially his greasy hair. : P However. I just found out that Hadley Fraser, who is MY Raoul and played him in my favorite version of Phantom – the 25th Anniversary Performance and was absolutely, stunningly awesome! (If you haven't seen that version yet, please do so. Certain clips are on YouTube, but the DVD of the entire performance is at Target for $15. More than worth it, because you get to hear Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom – minus his Red Vest of Power and Awesomeness, but still his Lightburst of Complete Awesomeness, heehee – Hadley Fraser as Raoul, and Sierra Boggess as Christine. Highly, highly recommended. But this is about Les Miz, not Phantom.) Where was I? Oh, yeah – Hadley as Grantaire. Oh, yeah. Well, I just watched clips and... he might be “my Grantaire.” Absolutely loved him. Anyway, Joseph was still pretty good and was my Grantaire before I saw those clips. : )
Erin Cearlock (Young Cosette) – I didn't like her singing much. : P She had a British accent for the first line, then forgot it and stared down the middle aisle as she sang. I didn't really pity her much, which is not good.
Timothy Gulan and Cathryn Basile (The Thenardiers)... I didn't like them at all. Even when they said something that was actually funny and not crude or disgusting, I couldn't laugh. Not cool. Not a good feeling. Everything they sang was nasty, and the things going on in the scenes with them were disgusting. Definitely going to take a strategic bathroom break during 'Master of the House' in the movie this December!! (That, and 'Lovely Ladies'. Un-lovely is more like it...) Although... hehehe. Their funniest line was in 'Waltz of Treachery,' when Valjean is trying to basically buy Cosette from them. 'Let's not haggle for dar-liiiing Colette!' 'Co-SETTE!' 'Cosette!' That I laughed at.
Okay, now that all of that's over, let me do a little fangirlish bit.
*begins fangirlishly squealing*
Oh, my stars, everyone was SOO GOOD!! I can't believe it!! I'm so mad that there aren't any videos of most of them singing – but I am endlessly thankful to whoever uploaded the video of Betsy Morgan singing 'I Dreamed a Dream' on YouTube. If only they'd make a recording of all the people I saw. I would TOTALLY BUY IT!! : ) If only they'd replace everyone from “my” cast for the people in the movie – Peter, Andrew, Betsy, Max, Joshua, everyone – I'd buy that on DVD, too, and the soundtrack!
*ends fangirlsishly squealing*
I'm done. Thanks for letting me do that. : )
Wow. Now that I've read what I've written, it seems like more of a comparison between “my” cast and the 10th Anniversary Dream Cast and the 25th Anniversary Concert. Let me re-read it and make sure I agree with myself about whatever I said.
I do. : )
And please – don't hate me for liking, say, Max Quinlan over Michael Ball. To defend that opinion, let me just say that I love Michael Ball's voice. It's just his emotions and facial expressions while singing that I don't like so much. He looked way too happy while he was singing 'Little Fall of Rain' with Lea Salonga. (I mean, he's supposed to be really sad!) That, and his age. Nick Jonas is the other extreme – almost too young! Anyway, I think Max is “my Marius” because of his voice, his age, and his acting. He literally burst into tears after Eponine's death and I totally believed him.
Here I stand. Let the comment war begin!
June 5, 2012
I was a little nervous about Pimpernel Smith at first. I mean, it's set in Nazi Germany! I didn't know if it would be okay for my younger siblings to watch, but we all agreed to start it and if anything came up, we'd turn it off and watch it with my dad. Also, I wasn't sure they'd do Sir Percy justice. If they got my favorite literary hero wrong, I'd probably be more than a little mad. (Not to mention that I'd never watch another Leslie Howard film ever again!!)
Boy, was I wrong!
When the credits first rolled, I noticed that not only had Leslie Howard starred in it, but he also directed and produced it. Then, the first scene started. The Scarlet Pimpernel character (who they never called anything like that) saved a man, and all you could see were shadows. Soon after, Professor Horatio Smith appears on the screen. He's a very absent-minded professor, interested only in antiques and his upcoming excavation. The instant he showed up, I knew I liked him. No, it wasn't Sir Percy, it wasn't Anthony Andrews, and it wasn't even Leslie Howard as Sir Percy. But I liked him anyway. A lot. Soon, things happened that made me like him a lot more. : )
There is also a romantic aspect of the film, which didn't really develop until the end and even then didn't really finish - which worked out in a very cool way. The young woman's name was Ludmilla. (I only knew that was her name because I looked in the ending credits... I don't think they ever say it in the movie...) She's been appointed by General von Graum to find out the identity of this mysterious man in exchange for the life of her father, who is in a concentration camp. (See the parallel?)
A few of my favorite scenes were ones that involved a train (“You're the bravest man I've ever known!”), a scarecrow (talk about nerve-wracking!), and a ball invitation (“They match!”). However, one of my favorite scenes was in the end. The entire “You are doomed.” scene. We actually skipped back to the opening of the scene and watched it a second time because it was so cool! So very like Sir Percy! It's exactly what he would say, too!
"We Germans fear nothing."
"Ah. Because you have a pistol?"
"Yes, I have a pistol. It has eight bullets. Eight lives."
"And I have twenty-eight lives..."
I'd better stop before I start quoting the entire thing...
Ooh... one more! Horatio actually said, “Yours, I believe.” I nearly shrieked again!
Just So You Know...
A few slight warnings. There are some not-very-good statues and paintings depicting women that are very scantily dressed. It's basically just Professor Smith's Aphrodite statue that he found (both the actual one in the first few minutes when he shows up for the first time, staring at it, then the photograph he shows Ludmilla), and the paintings in General von Graum's office. I just told my younger brother to close his eyes. Nothing really important happens in those scenes that you have to watch – it's okay if the guys just listen. Also, my sister said that Horatio smoked too much... but it plays a key part in the last scene. One more thing – there are no scenes about what actually goes on in a concentration camp and only a little blood from when a character gets shot. Nothing really major, except for the statues and paintings.
Pimpernel Smith is a movie that I'd totally recommend to any TSP fan. It's not too hard to find, either – you can wait a few days to get it in the mail from Netflix (I think it might even be streaming), or you can watch it on YouTube here.
"Don't worry - I shall be back!"
June 4, 2012
This morning, I...
Got up (that's always helpful...)
Went downstairs, utterly surprised that it was almost nine and no one was up (strange, because I usually get up LAST... by far)
Loaded the dishwasher and washed a pot from making food for a fellowship meal at our church yesterday (insanely fun, especially since we went over to a friends' house and the parents all left. See, if I'd known that they were going to see the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Jackie Evancho, I would have begged to go...)
Took my medicine (including the nasty grapefruit seed extract... nastiness in liquid form!)
Heated myself up some oatmeal (mixed with craisins and almond slivers... yuuuum!)
Ran upstairs and cleaned up my room to have a tidy workplace (which I think is invaluable in inspiring this often-writer's-blocked-writer...)
Wrote a movie review for a blog I follow (hint: it has nothing to do with writing and everything to do with a hero I greatly love)
Made yet another Sir Percy backdrop for my laptop (I'm thinking of doing one Les Miz-themed for this Les Miz-themed writing intensive I'm doing)
Changed from my pajamas into jeans and my Les Miz t-shirt (Love, love, love...)
Made some Hobbit Tea – Bilbo Baggins Breakfast Blend (I only take out my special teas about once or twice a year... I told myself this was a special occasion!)
Got myself a half-cup of chocolate chips (for additional motivation...)
Ran back upstairs and started listening to The High Kings ('Low lie the fields of Athenry...')
Now, here I sit in my room, listening to 'One Day More!' while drinking Hobbit Tea in my sister's One Day More! coffee mug, wearing my Les Miz shirt and my Scarlet Pimpernel ring.
Yes, I believe I've gotten off to a good start. I just hope I'm able to end like this, too. : )
ONE DAY MORE!
Later... That was about three hours ago. Since then, I have written a very extensive document on each of my main characters (including Unknown Friend, who I've named Hayden Bronson - yahoo!), finished my Hobbit Tea, and have since felt very inspired.
Oh, yeah... and written the first - and highly important - scene.
Total word count: 1,736. WAHOO!
June 3, 2012
It's Les Miz-themed, which I think is a totally great idea, seeing that I'm still all hyped up from going to Les Miserables... : ) It's just like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), except for since NaNo is in November and no one - including me - can do it because of school, Anne-girl has decided to host something exactly like it in June, the first month of my glorious, blissful summer break. : ) Great idea, Anne-girl!!
The idea is to write a novel in one month - at least 50,000 words. It's quite a challenge, but I've accepted it heartily and can't wait to actually start writing!!!
Below are my answers to the tag questions that Anne-girl posted the first day.
What is the name of your novel?
Untitled Work in Progress. (Kidding, Schultz...) I haven't named it yet. I'll figure something out when I actually start writing it. (Yeah, I'm a little behind... SAT on Saturday, then a graduation, then a dinner, then church today... busy, busy, busy. No time to write and I'm sorry for it. I'll have to catch up sometime soon!!)
Are you doing the book in a month challenge?
Oh, yeah! I've been telling people for the past few days. Conversations go something like this...
"So, any big summer plans for you?" someone will ask.
"Oh, not really. I'm writing a novel this month," I'll nonchalantly add, "but other than that..."
"Yeah. 50,000 words."
Name your three main characters.
Nikki Scott, age 15, her brother, Alec Scott, 17, and a friend named Unknown Friend, age 17. : P I haven't quite named her yet. I think her name is Haley... Idk.
Give a basic summary of the plot line. Sort of like a back cover blurb.
On the outside, siblings Alec and Nikki seem to have everything together - a blossoming career as ice dancers stands prominent. However, their relationship is far from perfect, to the point where they have absolutely nothing in common besides their love for dancing. Suddenly, right before a big audition, tragedy strikes. When Alec has to start over from square one, Nikki finds that she'd rather things not go back to where they were before. (Rough, yes.... Your point is?)
Which character is your favorite so far?
Definitely Nikki. She's so great... *falls into reverie about said character, then snaps out of it a few minutes later* But I also really like Unknown, too. Very strong girl, and a very good friend to Nikki when she's going through a hard time.
Do you believe in assigned word counts and deadlines, or just writing whenever you feel like it?
I try to get at least a thousand words done whenever I sit down. Sometimes it's more, sometimes it's less. I really can't sit down and write unless I have all of my school done (which, in my case, isn't very often). Now that I have a motivation and everything, I'm really looking forward to sitting down every day and pouring my heart into my story. Can't wait!
What's your books theme song?
Uhh... Something like "If I Never Knew You" from Pocahontas, probably. (Don't know all the words to that song, though... : P) Strangely, for some reason, I can't think of that song without thinking of Anthony Andrews in Ivanhoe.... : P
What inspired you to write this?
I don't remember. I do remember when I got inspired, though. It was about a year ago. Sitting in my grandparents' house, I thought of something and immediately and frantically searched for paper and a pencil. The story shot off from there. I wrote about four pages and went on to other novels and short stories, but I've always wanted to return to Alec and Nikki's story. I'm planning on re-writing the beginning and starting at a totally different time in their lives, but the basic story will stay the same.
Have ever read or seen Les Mis?
Yes. : ) I'm one of the highly blessed few who have seen it live. At the Fox in Atlanta. *sigh* I'm not trying to brag, but... it was really good! And I CANNOT wait to see the movie in December. I'd go to the opening night, but I have a conflict... in the form of a short little hobbit named Bilbo Baggins. : D
What author has inspired you the most?
Ooh, good question! Robert Whitlow and Wayne Thomas Batson are my favorites, and I really can't say which has inspired me the most. Robert Whitlow writes what I write (minus all of his lawyerisms, of course!), but Wayne Thomas Batson frequently puts writing tips on his blog, which helps me tremendously. I can't thank either of them enough for being such good examples of Christian writers! My shelves are full of their books and quite a few of them are present in my Favorite Books of All Time list. : )
Ooh... now I'm inspired to write. Goody-goody-gum-drops! I'll start first thing in the morning! My blog will be full of updates, more than likely. But don't worry - I'll still be writing about Les Miserables! : )
Onward and upward with The June Crusade! (Great... now I'll be humming 'One Day More!' with the new lyrics all night...)