Saturday, December 31, 2011

My not so New Years Resolutions

Hello Lovely readers,

I have been trying to think of things to write since Christmas. During the fall I was really examining my life but lately the rush of completing the semester and the Christmas season I haven't really had much time to examine things. But now is the time to think of New Years resolutions. 

My friend was telling me she doesn't really care about New Years as it makes her look back on this year past. I told her I like New Years because I like to think of things I want to see different or better next year at this time of the year. I wouldn't really say they are resolutions. I mean usually resolutions sound like 
  • get in shape
  • stop smoking 
  • save more money
  • pray more
Well first I don't smoke and never will. I could get more in shape it is not on my list. I also could also save more though in grad school it seems hard but if I can save I do. Also I could pray more. I have been working on my relationship with God but it is not perfect... so this is on my list.

But the number one thing on my list is to staring at the rear view mirror of my life. I do this a lot and sometimes I can hold on to the past to much I forget to live in the moment. I also judge the present by the past, which means I don't allow the present to be just itself. 

And as I was trying to think of something to write... I found this song. 

I have recently been trying to discover new music and I have fallen in love with a few groups to name one She & Him. If you don't know them it has Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward and they have a fun sound I love. 

But back to the song... there is a line in the chorus that says "don't look back, all you'll ever get is the dust from the steps before" that part stuck out to me. It made me think I need to shake off the dust from my past and embrace the present.

I know we have to learn from the past but we can't hold on to it so tight we don't have a future. God gave us the present to actually be present in the moment. So this year I want to live more in the present. This will be hard for me if I am not holding on to the past I pine away for the future. I am a single grad student who wants to be in a relationship and done with school.  Right now my life is so blessed and God has put me in my current situations for a reason and he will bring me to the future he wants even if it is no what I planned or dream about. 

This isn't really a post about New Years Resolutions this more setting a goal not just year but for years to come. Like any goal I will need accountability, encouragement and little reminders. I hope you, my lovely readers, will continue to be there for me.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Welcome Mr. Caleb James

Okay I have gotten a lot typing done... woo hoo. I wrote on my last post on this story I had 16,000+ words now 18,000+ words.

Here is my preview to The Introduction to Caleb James 

Summer had begun to turn from cool mornings to warm afternoons back to cool evenings to just warm all the time. Sometimes it was almost unbearable to stand. Emmy one day needed a break and went down to cool herself off by standing in her creek. Since Kathryn James had arrived she had spent little time in her imaginary world so that day when the women were taking their usual afternoon naps Emmy snuck out and headed to the creek.
            The clouds were grey and the air smelt like rain. Emmy knew the smell well and knew it meant a storm was coming on but instead of being sensible and staying in she took her chances and headed out with no protection. The creek and the woods were peaceful and she lost track of time out there it was almost dusk before she realized it. Her feet were still wet from her last wade in so she decided to walk home barefoot.
            Little did she know nature or fate (as she later called it) was conspiring against or for her. For the last hour she had felt an occasional drop of rain but paid no attention to it. But it seemed as soon as she left her rock a dark cloud rolled over her and sent the storm she had long been smelling. She wrapped her arms around her book and ran quickly through the woods to Glenmoore field where she knew a little fort was built to protect drivers on the road from the rain such as this. This little fort would be faster to get to than the house and she would have a warmer reception at the empty fort then at her home, where she was sure to get a lecture both from Grandma Danford and Laurel and a sad look from her mother. She knew they would act as if it was her fault for it to be raining and they would both be upset she had snuck out and acted in a child like manor. Emmy remembered a time when Laurel would chase rainbows with her just to see what was on the other side. She remembered how fun Laurel was once and how she had as big of an imagination as Emmy did but now it all seemed like a distant past. Then it happened, fate, being lost in her remembrance she hadn't realized there was a little rock up ahead waiting for her to lose her footing. And she stumbled and was not able to catch herself. She was later not able to tell people how she fell all she knew was one moment she was running the next she was rolling down a hill trying to stop herself. And that’s when fate, or Caleb James, stepped in.
            He had been driving through to this desolate town at his sisters request when his engine stopped working. And his engine had stopped working then as he was tinkering on his engine it started raining. He saw the fort in the field and trumped towards it and with each step he sunk into the mud. Then it happened he saw a girl running through the field with almond hair and slender figure, he thought she almost looked like a deer. Next thing he knew she lost her footing and fell forward crashing into the ground and rolling down towards him. He picked up his feet from the mud and rushed towards her.
            She barely realized what happened, she could feel her head throbbing the fall was harder than she realized. She felt as every ounce of air was out of her and her lungs felt as if they collapsed.
            "Miss, Miss, are you all right?" A man asked.
            She could not answer him.
            "Are you all right?" he asked again.
             "I, I" she could say anymore.
            "Here give me your arm," he took her left arm and draped it around his neck and scooped her up.
            In his arms she felt as light as a feather.
            "A Danford I assume."
            "Oh Miss Cromwell my sister has written me about you."
            "Well Miss Emmy, it is a pleasure to meet you. May I take you home."
            "Thank you."
            Laurel was working on her needle point near the window it was the best light in the parlor. Mother and Aunt Victoria were chatting idly and she had lost her focus on her needle point and was absentmindedly staring out the window. When she saw him,  a stranger, carrying her sister up the drive.
            "What?" Fiona jumped out her seat, startled by her daughters scream.
            "A man has Emmy!"
            "What?" A dash to the window "who is he?"
            "I don't know!"
            Both Fiona and Laurel dashed to the front door. They began to run outside but he was already in the main door.
            "What happened?" Fiona asked flustered.
            " I am alright mother. I fell a bit."
            "Yes mam, I made sure she was all right before I lifted her, just had the air knock out of her and maybe some bruises."
            "She fell?"
            "Yes I lost footing. But I am fine, my head hurts a bit."
            "Come to the couch, I will fetch you both some tea," Laurel said as Fiona escorted them a mad rush.
            Caleb placed Emmy on the chaise as Fiona ran to get her daughter blankets. He took the seat next to her but when Fiona came in with Fiona came in with the blankets he got hop and let Fiona take the seat next to her daughter. Emmy tried to act calm but she could feel him staring at her and she felt flustering.
            "We are so thankful Mr.-"
            "James. Mr. Caleb James."
            "James? Mr. Brandon James and Miss James' brother?" Fiona asked.
            "The very same."
            "We were not expecting you till later this week."
            "Well I was able to get away sooner than I thought. But I do hope my early arrival is not an imposition."
            "No, no not at all. We have plenty of rooms to fill."
            "It just I am sure Miss James will be sad she and Julia  have gone out to call Miss Hester, she is the minister's daughter and runs a small school for under privileged children. She spoke on Sunday and your sister was quite motivated by the story. Your sister is so generous."
            "Yes always has been."
            Caleb stood when Laurel came in with the tea and Fiona quickly explained that the hero of the moment was Brandon and Kathryn's brother.

To read more click here.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Carol

Last night my family and I went to see a live production of A Christmas Carol at the Lyric Theater here in Oklahoma City. If you have been reading my blog you know I talk up the Muppet's Christmas Carol a lot but outside of that movie it is probably one of my favorite Christmas stories. I bet Charles Dickens when he wrote didn't know how many movies would be made out of his story, which is about 80 pages long, and really takes no time to read. My mom likes the 1970 version of it called "Scrooge" and my step mom likes one that was made in 1951. But no matter what version you like it is a great story about how people can change, I guess that is why I like it. 

Back to going to see the live version. It is always cool to see how a live production does things that you have only seen done on film with special effects. Since the plot of the movie is so well known I can not critique it and I really have nothing to say towards the acting because it was good (corny when it needed to be but not overly so). But kudos to the make up department because looking at the cast of who is who the guy who played Scrooge was actually really young but until I looked at the pictures I thought he was old. I usually like the ghost of Christmas Present, mostly because they seem more witty and a little more sarcastic then the other ghost but in this show the ghost of Christmas Past had more wit and humors lines and she was doing it all hanging from the ceiling. Also particular to this production the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, the creature usually has no face and I guess kind of looks like the grim reaper but this ghost looked like a big skeleton in a black cape but he had a face kind of ET looking (so my brother in law and I thought). 
Over all a great production, even though it was not a musical, I liked the songs they sung in between the scenes were traditional Christmas songs, so I did sing a long (but softly). Also one of the street vendors came down the aisle and asked me if I wanted to buy a center piece for my table. So good interaction with the audience. So if you are in the Oklahoma city area and can get tickets go see it, or maybe try it for next year. 

One thing I like seeing about multiple versions is comparing and contrasting them. I know you shouldn't always do this as you are always to prefer one version of one thing better than another, it is just natural. But I actually like seeing the similarities between the versions, like which lines sick. For example in multiple versions when Bob Cratchit makes a toast to Mr. Scrooge, the founder of the feast, Mrs. Cratchit says "The founder of the feast indeed... I would give him a piece of my mind and I hope he has a big appetite." Of course Miss Piggy playing Mrs. Cratchit says "I would give him a piece of my mind and I bet he would choke." But there are other similarities so two Christmases ago after seeing the Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey I decided to read the original source. It is not that long but Dickens can go into tangents about the conditions of society, that didn't really help the story, but I think he was paid by the word. But it helped me understand the story better.

A few more days till Christmas, hope you my lovely readers are having a good Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Break... Part 2

In my last post on Winter Break  I wrote the number one thing I wanted to do on this break was to work on my story. I have done a lot of writing in my notebook but now I am trying to transcribe it and post it on my blog. Yesterday on my flight home and today I have been typing a lot to bring my computer and blog up to speed. So now I am up to 10 post (yeah it is a slow process). But I have enjoyed it. I will keep posting as I get more work done.

If  you missed it November was National Novel Writing Month and the goal of it is to write 50,000 words. I knew I could never do that but lots of the blogs I followed did and I have a new respect for them. In my story I have written about 34 pages and I have only written 16,000+ words. It would seem like a lot if I was writing a paper but I am trying to write a novel and it is not much at all. Oh well maybe I will finish my novel one day (it is on my bucket list). Thanks for reading...hope you enjoy.

Here is a preview of The James Family (part 3)

That night at dinner Emmy sat next to Brandon.
            "Your sister, Mr. James, tells me you are the British Ambassador's right hand man."
            "I don't know if I would say that, my sister is always too kind."
            "Didn't you just return from a trip to England where you met the Prime Minister?"
            "I did."
            "Well I would say you are quite important then."
            "You are kind Miss Cromwell."
            Emmy laughed, no one ever called her Miss Cromwell, no one called her "Miss" anything she was just Emmy. But she could see laughter was not the right thing to do by the way he looked.
            "I am sorry Mr. James, I was not laughing at you, I was laughing at being called Miss Cromwell, that title belongs to my sister. I am Emmy."
            "How old are you?"
            "It is not right to call a lady by her first name."
            "But everyone does. Everyone calls me Emmy minus Miss Pembers. Though my real name is Emmaline."
            "That's an interesting name."
            "What you mean is odd."
            Brandon saw her sulk a bit. "No I mean not common but beautiful."
            "It was my father's middle name, I was born a month after she passed away. But everyone calls me Emmy. I am not graceful enough to have such a name as Emmaline."
            "Why do you say that?"
            "My Grandma Danford tells me."
            "Well I don't want to dispute your Grandma but I disagree."
            Emmy smiled.
            Then it struck Brandon how much this young girl looked like Marianne his love from Oxford. Their faces could almost be identical with the same almond shape eyes and sweet smile that made her nose crinkle a bit. Before he could speak again her sister Gloria had grabbed her attention. He overheard them talking about the piano.
            "Do you play the piano, Miss Emmy?"
            "Hardly, Gloria and I were discussing how she and Laurel should put on a musical number for you and Miss James. They have the beauty and musical skills. I can barely play hot cross buns."
            "You don't find music amusing then?"
            "To listen to yes, but I cannot play, even though to appease my Grandma I practice. I have neither the ear nor the talent."
            "Then how do you delight your time?"
            "With stories. I love to write stories, one day I hope to be published. Maybe be a great author like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell or the Brontë sisters," she saw his little smile. "I know it's silly," she said lowering her head.
            "Not at all," he saw her smile like she had before. "What do you write about?"
            "Adventure, passion, knights fighting for the girl he loves, princes in Africa. Everything my life is not."
            "What do you mean?"
            "I have live most of life in this house and this little town not very adventurous, and my Grandma Danford tries to stifle out all passion. "
            "Maybe one day you will see the world."
            "Maybe but it is unlikely."
            Emmy realized maybe she had shared too much. After all Brandon James was a stranger and he seemed so judgmental before. But now he seemed the polar opposite of judgmental and not as cold as Emmy originally casted him as being. But he still was a stranger and Laurel would be ashamed that she had shared even a bit of their financial hardships with a stranger. So Emmy changed topics quickly asking if he played the piano. He said not really. For a bit after that they sat in quietness not knowing really what to say. After dinner the men and the women separated for the men to have a smoke and a brandy.
            "You seemed to be talking to Mr. James," Laurel said.
            "He is very nice."
            "Oh Miss Emmy," Kathryn approached Emmy "thank you for amusing my brother during dinner he seems so lonely so much of the time. I wish he could find the happiness I have found with Nicholas."
            "Is he not married?" Laurel asked.
            "No he is an old bachelor, he is far too devoted to his work and my mother and myself to have time to look for a girl to settle down with. I keep trying to match him with one of my friends but he has shown no interest in any of them. The girl who does capture his heart will be the luckiest girl in the world he is so devoted and loyal."

To read more click here

Next to come... the introduction of Caleb James who plays the Mr. Willoughby character in my story.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winter Break

Hello lovely readers,

Thanks for much for your continuous support as I took a little time away from this blog as I worked on finishing up this semester. But now it is winter break... YEAH!!!
Of course it hasn't actually snowed here.
 The number one thing I want to do besides seeing my family is writing. If you don't know I have been attempting to write a story similiar to the plot line of Sense and Sensability. Sadly though with school I haven't had that much time and energy to write. So if you want to catch up on my writing click here for my story The Sister's of Pine Haven. (I only have written 9 post on that blog so it will be easy to catch up.)

I want to write so much that I even started carrying my little notebook around with me and have written a bit on the T (subway for Boston). Which is quite difficult when I am standing and holding my travel mug of coffee. But I must write... or else I will go bonkers.
I also want to read a lot. I have been reading the same book since October. Usually I am a much faster reader but like I said before no time.  I have been reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. (It is not about the Civil War.) And the only reason I have been able to pick it up and put it down so much is because I watched the minniseries on it a few months ago. I wrote more about the minniseries in my Love some Melodrama? post. I am happy I have a flight home to get some reading and writing in.

I also hope to watch some good Christmas Movies. I have done well on listening to Christmas music thanks to Spotify. (An online service kind of like Pandora but you chose your own music and you can re listen to songs). But I haven't watched many Christmas movies and I want to. (From the classics to the not so classics.)

I am also looking forward to spending unscheduled time with my friends. True, genuine time not just a pass by "hello."

Any way that is my winter break list. I know it will go by too fast and soon I will be in school again, so I want to remember to enjoy the month.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Muppets, the movie

I have been busy finishing things for the end of the semester but I wanted to write a post about the movie The Muppets. If you are in the middle of finals or just having a bad day take time to go see this movie. Now I am not a life long muppets fan, though I do enjoy the Muppet's Christmas Carol, but I have heard great things about this movie. It was just the cheesiness I needed to help my brain out during the final crunch of this semester.

I personally think it is worth seeing just for the cameos people from Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Krasinski, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jack Black (just to name a few). But it is also great for some laughs... the saddest thing about this movie is that Neil Patrick Harris doesn't sing. The best part was seeing Jim Parsons, Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, who actually did sing.  And of course Kermit does his classic song "The Rainbow Connection."
The basic plot line is this: Jason Segel and his muppet brother Walter are trying to save the Muppet Studios from being turn down by the evil Chris Cooper, who FYI does a rap. So they get toghether the gang of muppets to put on a telathon to raise money to save the studios. I will not give a spoiler alert so you will just have to see the movie to see how it ends.

There is music, dancing, corny lines and great fun to enjoy by both adults and kids. I really want to see the bloopers of how many times they cracked up laughing. There moments when they are poking fun at themselves like when Amy Adams says "this will be a short movie" or when they say they will go see the muppets in a montage scene. Over all it was just the basic cheesiness I needed to help my brain. So go see it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Christmas letter

This is kind of long.

I love Christmas but sadly this year has not felt much like Christmas. First I will blame the weather. The weather here in Boston has been unusually warm (I mean like 40s to almost 50s) which is great because I don't have to bundle up but it is sad because it doesn't have the feeling of Christmas in the air. No Jack Frost nipping at the nose and no real reason to climb under the blankets and drink hot coco. It is kind of sad because come February I will be complaining about the cold weather but now I kind of long for it to get the Christmas feeling. Second I will blame grad school/ full time job. I haven't had much energy to decorate my apartment and prepare for Christmas. But I have to say my office looks very Christmasy which feels nice and as finishing up the semester I am listening to Christmas music. So I get some Christmas feelings. I just wish I felt Christmasy on the inside.

One thing I love about Christmas is getting Christmas cards and sending Christmas cards. But I don't think this year I will get my Christmas cards out on time before Christmas is here so I am going to type a long post instead as if was a traditional Christmas card letter. This will be fun reflecting on the year past...

For me personally I don't feel like much has happened in my life (well I feel that no big event in my life has changed it). Last January I started my first semester in grad school. I took two classes one in Reference Library and one in Slave History. I only took two classes as I worked a full time job in Membership Accounting. In January my little nephew Jayden came into this world on January 14th, 2011.

During that semester I went to my first Boston Celtics game. It took me back to all basketball games I used to go to with my mom and step-dad when we cheered on the Seattle Sonics. I am happy to report the Celtics won. But I felt I spent most of the semester studying. So I will skip ahead to the summer.

In May, my month off before summer school. I went down to Cape Cod. I had only been there once before with my dad and step-mom but it was in November and I am sad I don't remember much of it. But this was a nice trip. Tried to dip my toe in the water but it was far too cold to get in any further than my toe. Also during May I celebrated my 25th birthday in a three day event. My birthday was on Thursday and originally I had nothing planned because it was on a work day, but then my co-worker had tickets to the Red Sox game he wasn't able to go to. So I bought them from him and went to the game. Red Sox won it was a great way to celebrate. Then on Friday night some of my co-workers and I went out for drinks to celebrate my birthday. Also almost all my co-workers wore pink for my birthday and threw me a little party with my favorite things (harvest cheddar sun chips, Dr. Pepper, and German chocolate cake) I love my co-workers. Then on Saturday as a gift to myself I got my hair cut and treated myself to a pedicure. My hair cut was a big deal because I had been growing it out since August for my younger sister's wedding but then she told me I could cut it. And I did really short. Also on Saturday my friends went out for Karaoke. I wanted to do something I had never done before for this big birthday and loved it. My friends and I sung "Baby" by Justin Beiber, attempted to sing "Telephone" by Lady Gaga and we did one Spice Girls song. It was lots of fun. I wonder how I will top it for my 26th. For other post on my birthday click here.
My friend and I singing.
Next on my fast pace moving May was a trip down to Atlanta to see one of my best friends. We didn't do anything too touristy as I kind of wanted to see her life. I had never really been to Atlanta so it was lots of fun getting away from Boston for the Memorial Day holiday and just hang out. I loved Atlanta and if I was to move south of the Mason Dixon line I could see myself living there. It had its southern charm but where my friend lived it had a good indie vibe. I am not indie but I like to pretend to be sometimes. I am happy to say I will be going back there soon when I watch my friend become a Mrs.
Sadly in June my grandma, on my dad's side passed away. It is sad but it is also really great now she is up in heaven. We pulled out all her photo albums and filled up a ping pong table and 2 card tables with all the photo albums she had. We were able to go through them and take the pictures we wanted. I got a lot of pics from my childhood that I didn't even knew existed. For other post on my grandma click here.
Then I had to start summer school where I took Technology for the Information Professional. I learned about HTML, CSS, and other geeky things. But June was also a good month as I watched my younger sister get married.  Weddings are another time I love. It is great watching two people who are so in love with each other commit their lives together. I also loved when my sister told her husband that he will always be her number 2 in her life as God is her number 1. And I loved when her husband put on chap stick before kissing her (it was so him). For other post on my sister's wedding click here.

My cat hiding
Most of July was spent at work and at school. I was writing more on this blog, which was nice then by August I was a full out blogger. I was also getting ready for my move. I grabbed boxes from my job or if I saw them sitting on the street. My cat was starting too get worried so she started hiding in the boxes.
I also attended another friend's wedding in August in upstate New York. I must say I like going to weddings where I am not busy doing other things so I can just kick off my shoes and just dance the night away. I did dance the night away and it was lots of fun. For other post on that wedding click here. (I love having this blog to sort of remind me what I did through out my year).

My cat blocking my reading
Then September 1st I moved. The move all went very well even with Hurricane Irene hitting the weekend before. I had some really good friends that came over in the storm and helped me pack. I spent labor day weekend unpacking and getting everything ready before school started this semester. This semester I am taking an Introduction to Cataloging and Historical Methods and still working my job. Next semester I will be going in as a full time student where I will be taking my last two core requirement Library Science classes (Evaluation and Management) and I will be taking my first Archiving class in which I will have an internship to do. It is not set up yet but I am really looking forward to being a full time student.
I am getting ahead of myself... back to this semester. I have tried to be better at juggling work and school but still remembering to take care of myself by taking naps even if they are for 20 minutes, hanging out with my friends even if all we do is crash on the couch and watch a movie. The big news of this semester is that my really close friends (practically family) had their little baby girl Brianna on Oct. 20th. I was so happy when I saw the first picture of her I began to cry. Then when I got to hold her I was over joyed. (If you haven't figured it our I love babies).
Some other big happenings in my life is if you have been following this blog you might have seen some changes in my life. In October I was kind of going through an identity crisis (more of a purpose crisis). I was wondering what I was suppose to be doing with my life. I have always wanted to be a wife and a mother and that felt so far away from me. That I honestly didn't know what to do. Of course this has a long back story of being upset at God. But some where in between my A Page from my Diary (Sept 28) to my Thought for Thursday (Oct. 20th) and even now my life has really changed. I still don't know what I am suppose to be doing but I lean a lot more on God to remind me to live in the moment and He has a beautiful future for me. I am also reminded on a constant basis that I have been blessed so much that I need not worry about the future for it too will be blessed. I am also letting go of my past (mostly my mistakes) so I can move on to a bright future.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. I hope even with all the stress comes from this Christmas time that you are able to remember the real reason for the season. It is not about presents, decorations and parities. It is about getting together with loved ones (friends and family) and celebrating the greatest gift of all when God gave us his son to live and then die for our sins. I was just told about this article from the Huffington Post on the Real War on Christmas a good little reminder.

Linus explaining what Christmas is all about.

I was talking to a married couple in my bible study and the wife was telling me she was worried about her kids having a good Christmas. She wasn't worried about the gifts necessarily she just wanted he kids to have a great Christmas. It reminded me why I love Christmas so much. I can't tell you everything I have gotten. But the memories that stick out to me was spending the night at my Mema and Grangran's house waking up on Christmas morning with all my family there. Then after eating a huge meal my mema would ask if any of us wanted dessert but we were too stuffed to say anything. Then when I got older I remember two years I made my dad cry (good cry) over the gifts I gave him. One year it was picture of me sitting on his lap resting my head on his shoulder the other year was I wrote him a poem about how I needed him. Other Christmas memories are my uncles fighting over Oklahoma State and Oklahoma University football and my mema who was as mild as a mouse usually but when we played chicken foot she was the most competitive woman. None of these memories cost much money and have little to do with the gifts it is more about the time we have had together.

Now the one thing I am looking forward to is getting home and when I land I know my dad will be there and he will give me one of his big hugs all of which will tell me I am home and loved. (I guess I am getting a little homesick in eager anticipation for Christmas).

So there is my Christmas, year in review, letter. I hope you enjoyed.