Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dancing through research

I wrote in my post "I do not have a post for today" that I would like to learn more about Edwardian dancing. As much as I love Downton Abbey I feel like it is missing dancing... minus one very important scene in season 2. (If you watch Dowton you know instantly what I am talking about but I love posting pictures of Downton and Dan Stevens.)
Any way after writing that post I remembered a very helpful resource, Edwardian Promenade, I have used it to find great pictures but it is quite insightful on Edwardian life. So I thought I would take a shot and see what it had on dancing. And I found a very interesting article with a few YouTube videos to give examples. For example...

You might recognize "The Grizzly Bear" from Season 1 of Downton Abbey
 as Thomas and Daisy do a bit of it. 

I know not all my readers are as interested in Edwardian dancing as I am, but I think in writing one should be a truthful as possible even if the story is completely made up it is in the details that matter. One of my favorite authors (besides Jane Austen) is Jennifer Donnelly and I feel she must spend so much time doing research to get the details so accurate, I am impressed. I have always loved historical fiction for this reason because the elements have to be precise for them to be believable but yet the writer can sweep you away in to a world and time we can only imagine about. I know that is why I personally am drawn to historical fiction, the indulgence to escape into another life. 

I hope I can write my character a good dance scene... I feel sometimes when watching people dance you can see their true feelings... Just think what Emma would be with out the ball when you finally see Mr. Knightley admits his feelings (at least to the audience). 
Mr. Knightley: Who are you going to dance with?
Emma: You if you should ask me. After all we are not brother and sister.
Mr. Knightley: Brother and sister.... indeed we are not. 
So if you are like me and trying to write some historical fiction, I recommend reading history (rather on a blog or in a book), watching period dramas (from a time period you love), and reading other historical novels. I know it may not be official history but I have fallen in love with this series called the Morland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. It starts in pre-Elizabethian era but goes up to the 1920's as this family evolves through time. I  read The Dream Kingdom going from 1909-1912 and I am reading now The Restless Sea about the Titanic and I look forward to going to reading the books about WWI. While I was reading The Dream Kingdom, I underlined lots of text that described society, to the food they ate, to the dresses they wore. I loved it and have gone back to it in writing my own story. 

Okay this post has gotten longer than I thought, so I will leave you with this last photo... 
Couldn't resist one more Downton Abbey photo. 

Wishing you the best in your writing.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Rewriting...enjoying the process.

Since finishing my semester I have been enjoying getting back into fun writing and enjoying bits and pieces of it with you my loyal readers. I have written about my writing process a bit (post: Writing is my oasis) about how I have to hand write my stories and then bit by bit type them up. I have discovered that one thing that is useful to me is when I am writing my stories and I feel like I have written my characters into a corner, it helps to type it out. Through typing and giving my mind to meld it over I can usually work out how to get my character out of the corner. I have found this beneficial. 
In my current story I got to a scene that I didn't honestly know how my character should respond. An author should know everything about a character but in my times of writing as much as I put myself in a character sometimes my character goes places in the story I never imagined when I started. I am still an aspiring author so I wonder if this is common. Because I had put my character in a situation I did not know how to respond to, I decided the best thing for my story was just to begin again. I went back to the start of the story I liked and began from there and re-wrote lots of pages and now I am writing with any spare moment I have. 

I know as a writer you pour your heart into your work. I know I am constantly looking in my thesaurus to find the right word perfect word to grasp at what I mean and with that sometimes it is hard to cross out paragraphs or tear out pages. It was hard for me but I feel in sometimes in doing this I get to the best in your story and the best out of my characters. As much as it sucked to tear out pages of my hard work I am happy I did because I feel my story has gone to better place.

I know I am still a naive writer but if you are a writer and feel stuck in a corner I recommend going back to a paragraph, a page, or a scene you like and start over again. It might help. More thoughts from a naive writer click here...
Well put Hemingway

Monday, June 24, 2013

I do not have a post for today...

Hello lovely readers, 

Ever since school has ended I have been trying to post almost every two days but I am sorry to say I do not have a post today. Well I am not really that sorry because I have been actively working on my story. I hope you will be patient with me. In the mean time here is a good fan made video of dancing scenes to the song The Laendler (you might recognize the song from Sound of Music). I do so like watching dancing scenes.

Posted by: MissAspka

In order of movie appearance:

- Becoming Jane
- Emma (BBC 2009)
- The Sound of Music
- Anne of Green Gables (The Sequel)
- The Young Victoria
- Pride & Prejudice (2005)
- Stardust
- Anne of Green Gables
- Onegin--- This is the only one I had not seen. 
- The King & I
- Pride & Prejudice (BBC 1995)
- Daniel Deronda
- North & South
- Sense & Sensibility (1995)
- Emma (1996)

I need to read up on some Edwardian dancing so I can write a good dance scene. I really only know the Waltz.

Will post more later.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Heroine in the rain

Every heroine deserves a great moment in the rain. This is a truth from both period dramas (rather they happen in the book or not) and modern TV and movies. There just seems to be something about the rain that makes a scene more romantic. I am happy I let my heroine, Rose, have her moment... 
A Folly
         At that moment we heard the overcast sky give a little grumble and the pale gray sky was now presenting us with a summer shower. Kelby without thinking took my hand and lead me to the Temple of Diana. It wasn't really a temple just a folly. It had been popular in the eighteenth century for grand estates to build these little arch ways and call them temples. Now they mainly served as places to hide during the rain. But it was the closest structure to the backwoods and a good place to wait out this summer storm. Even though it was the closest structure we were still soaked causing a shiver over my body. Kelby must have seen me shiver as he pulled me close into his arms and held me there. I think outside of Marcus, who used to hug me when I had bad dreams, Kelby was the first man to hold me.

            "Come let's get me home," he said once the rain had stooped.
            "Oh Kelby I do not want to go home. I cannot face her."
            "Miss Rose, one must never be afraid to face your fears." With that he took his thumb  and brushed the hair that had fallen in front of my face. "But perhaps you need some tea to strengthen you up." And he gave me a little smile.

            I was only eleven so I could not explain how I really felt then but I mark this down as the beginning of my love for Kelby Gray.
Here are some great rain moments...
Colonel Brandon and Marianne
My new favorite..

And probably the most famous...

And in modern days...
Jim and Pam
Sweet Home Alabama
Saw this on pinterest and just thought it was funny...
Needless to say when the time does come, I hope I get a romantic moment in the rain. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tune for Thursday...

Song: Who are we fooling 
By: Brooke Fraser featuring Aqualung

I have had this song in my head all day. It is kind of a sad song, I feel like it is a couple staring at each other and just wondering why they are staying together. Even with the sad message the music is beautiful. Brooke Frasier has been featured a few times on this blog and if my life was a musical I would totally break out into one of her ballads. Hope you enjoy...

So we're back here again
Tiptoeing round the edge of the end
Wondering who will be last to admit
That we're finally over

Turned twenty one on a day that we met
Terrible shoes, implausible dress
It's funny how sad the funny things get as you grow older

Better or worse
But what else can we do?
For better or worse
I am tethered to you
If it's not either of us
Tell me who are we fooling?

I learnt the art of biting my tongue
I tired of trying to guess what was wrong
Both agreed on where we should go
But not how to get there

We tried and tried to loosen the knots
Thinking once we're untangled we'll be better off
But it's these failures and faults that hold us together

Better or worse
But what else can we do?
And better or worse
I am tethered to you
If it's not either of us
Tell me who are we fooling?

This beautiful tangle that's bruising us blue
It's a beautiful knot that we just can't undo
Together we're one but apart tell me
Who are we fooling?

Cause real love
Is hard love
It's all we have
It's a break-neck
Train wreck
It's all we have

So we're back here again
Turning away from the edge of the end
Arm in arm

Better or worse
But what else can we do?
And better or worse
I am tethered to you
If it's not either of us
Tell me who are we fooling?

This beautiful tangle that's bruising us blue
It's a beautiful knot we just can't undo
If it's not either of us, tell me who are we fooling?

Together we're one, but apart tell me
Who are we fooling?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Some wanderings....

Dear Anne,

My mom read my last few letters and she said it sounded like I was "lost", I responded quickly that I am not lost, I am just trying to seek out the best God has to offer and I have a lot of thoughts and questions. 

I still don't think I am lost just hazy on where to go and what to do with my life. I am guessing that is pretty typical, after all I am soon to graduate grad-school, and is making me think of what to do and where to go. 

I have been going through this 30 day challenge, recommended to me by a friend, it has no strict guidelines just 5 out of the 7 days to be in the Word and praying. I made up a schedule of switching between the Old Testament (which I need to read more of), the New Testament and a devotional I have.  But the main point of it is just to listen to God. She read my post Spiritual Jealousy and knew my desire to grow in God. So after I got back from my time in Newport I set out on this challenge. 

As of Friday (6/14) I am on day 15. I thought by now I would have some big revelation of what God desired. The only thing I feel sure of is that I think too much of myself and that I knew going into this. I have written about how I want to make an impact on the world but how can I do that when all I think about myself  and find more comfort living in the world of my novels than I do in the real world. I feel more comfortable writing this blog than actually talking about my feelings with my friends. 

I wrote in my journal: "How do I continue to put others first?" Then I wrote "I am so selfish to even  have to ask that question. " First thing I know is my heart must change, I must focus on other people's needs. How do I do that? That seems like a weird question to shouldn't that be just instinct. 

After I wrote that I reflected over the last time I felt really useful  and it was in Honduras, last August.
one of my favorite pictures from my trip
I so want to be of use in this world. But I am not sure of the next step I should take. Once again I leave this letter with no conclusion. I guess that is okay because a life of faith is not about coming to conclusions is it about the process of being transformed. 

Yours wandering,

P.S.- My friend, who challenged me, sent me a quote who she thinks is by CS Lewis..."Spiritual growth and maturity comes when we start to realize our sin and shortcomings." I tried to look it up but could not find it, I did find a blog called Desire Spiritual Growth  that I will have to check out in more depth. Also I found this... 

Monday, June 17, 2013

A new to heroine love...

I have found another heroine to love. It is Molly Gibson from the novel Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell. Molly Gibson is an only daughter of the strong headed and odd Dr. Gibson and she has made it her life's work to serve her father very unselfishly. At the beginning of the story a Mr. Coxe has fallen for her but her father, kind of selfishly, keeps Mr. Coxe's feelings unknown, and sends his daughter off to Hamley Hall. This is where the real action starts. At Hamely Hall we truly see Molly's sacrificing soul as we see her take care of the ailing Mrs. Hamely. Also during this time Dr. Gibson gets engaged to a silly woman. But what is most important for this blog post is we meet Roger Hamley, the second son of the Squire.
Molly and Roger
I have watched the mini-series a few times and I have fallen in love with it. Plus I know from the comments on YouTube it doesn't have the great romantic ending that the mini-series has because Gaskell dies before she finished the book. So I was intrigued to see where the novel ended. I began reading the novel and I have fallen in love with Molly Gibson.
Molly, Cynthia, and Mrs. Gibson
Molly is frequently compared to with her step-sister, Cynthia. I feel Gaskell stresses Cynthia's beauty because it is seems to be only outer beauty. Cynthia wants to be good but her mannerism is prone to trouble and while she talks a good deal of goodness she doesn't really improve. Also Cynthia knows she is a beauty, she likes to flirt with men, and use her beauty to get men's attention. Any way Molly is all goodness and everyone around her can see her sweet nature but the man she loves hardly notices her. In fact he sees her only as a sister. And Molly is so sacrificial that she never says one word of her love to Roger Hamley and actually encourages Cynthia in her relationship with Roger.

I am right now at the part where Molly is in pain because she is realizing that Cynthia does not truly love Roger and it breaks her heart. I am happy that have watched the mini-series to know that there is a happy ending for her because right now my heart is breaking for her. 

Molly is the kind of person who is sensible, good hearted, always caring for others over herself, and while she does not speak of it much she has a deep and passionate heart. In some ways I feel she is the heroine I wish I could be and in other ways I feel very much like her. By this I mean, I am not always good at expressing my emotions but I do have a deep heart to love. Molly is written off as plane and I sometimes when I look in the mirror I see a plane girl. Also Molly is noted for spending too much time in her books. But I wish I was like Molly in the way she is always caring for others above her own self and this in the end gives her a happy ending.
I used to get annoyed with characters who are seen as behaving properly all the time, they seemed too perfect, and a good heroine has flaws. Though the more I read the more I find the more I love these heroines who are sacrificial in the way they act, do not always let their hearts known, but yet they do long for passion and a soul mate. I would count Elinor Dashwood, Fanny Price, Amy Dorrit, and Anne Elliot even though I am not a big fan of Persuasion.

If you love Jane Austen or if you are looking for another heroine to fall in love with I recommend Molly Gibson. I hope she is the kind of heroine I can become and write about in my stories for I feel she is a great role model to live up to. 

Besides my love for Molly Gibson, the whole mini-series is great with some great one liners...
To read more on other heroines I have fallen in love with... A Jane Austen Heroine

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Last year I did a mother's day post so this year I am doing a father's day post...

Song: The Words I would Say
By: Sidewalk Prophets

I heard this song through some random search on Spotify a couple of months ago and loved it. At that time I was going through some hard emotional things and spent a night crying on the phone with my dad. God has truly blessed me in my relationship with my Dad and my Step-Dad, though they are far away... they love and support me. So this post is for them and all the dads in my life. I have other great examples in my friends, brother-in-law, and grandparents on strong and loving men. Thank you for being men to look up to.

my dad and I
my Granddad and I

My dad was always good at hanging us upside down... and we loved it. 
my granddad, my sister and I

my grandpa, my sister, and I 


my grandpa and I 

my grandpa visiting when we were living in California 

my step-dad and I on our cruise

my dad and I, just having fun

my dad and I dancing at my sister's wedding

my step-dad and I at my college graduation 

my brother-in-law as dad and my dad as Pops 
(yeah I cut my sister and I out of this pic)

Step-dad and I last Christmas decorating cookies

On vacation in May 


I tried to put these pictures in chronological order oddly going through my computer/facebook I couldn't find any pictures from my middle school/high school years...maybe it is good not to have my awkward teen years documented. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lessons from Jane Austen

I found this post through Pinterest and loved the thoughts behind it.

1. Turn your hobby into your career

As a young girl, Jane Austen wrote stories and plays for her family for entertainment. She presented a different and very honest kind of voice during a time when more books were coming out, but they were of lesser quality. Austen was clearly giving the world some quality work (I mean, does quality work get turned into a modern day rom-com?).
To see more click here

An example from the movie Becoming Jane of Jane Austen's writing as a hobby. 

I love seeing how much Jane Austen  has inspired people around the world. She is not just an author of love stories but if you give her a chance she brings out the best in people.  I love the first lesson from this post of turning a hobby into your career.

On Friday I was getting coffee with my friend, we come from different back grounds and we have different passions and I think our passions bring us together. We admit we are both geeky but I think everyone as there geeky parts... some people geek out over video games, others geek out over Broadway musicals, and a lot people geek out about sports. But the point of it is to find a passion and pursue it.

So many times I consider her my inspiration for my writing. I mean I literally used her story of Sense and Sensibility as a basis of my story Sisters in Pine Haven. She had a heart to write about every day things or interactions and make them special. Her stories have lasted through generations and have been re-made and updated. For Example:
Jane Austen and the modern girl 
I know I can only hope to as inspirational as her... but I do so want to make an impact in this world, rather it be in my writing or doing my best to live out my faith.

To read more on how Jane Austen has inspired me read A Jane Austen Heroine

Monday, June 10, 2013

A naive writer's sentiments

One of the many blogs I follow is Scribble Chicks. It is written by 4 women who blog about being a writer. I find it very amusing. Well in Monday's post Confession they wrote:

MYTH: You can tell you are supposed to be or are a writer because you cannot imagine living life without writing and you don't enjoy the time when you aren't writing.

They explained this as a myth because...

TRUTH: There are definitely times when I greatly dislike writing. Usually it's when my deadline is creeping up on me and I have gotten myself backed into a wall in my story. There are often times during breaks in deadlines when I really wonder if I have another book in me. Or after I've gotten a contract when I stare at a blank Word document and I can't for the life of me figure out a good opening scene.

To read more click here 

I know right now I am just an aspiring author with this blog and some poems I got published my high school literary magazine as my only publishing credits. So I know I do not feel the pressure of a deadline on me... though I will say I do try to publish here once every 2 days. Though I write frequently in between to prepare for up coming post. And I know I have never gotten a contract so I can't go against their truths but I do question their myths.

Over my trip with my mom I told her even though I am in grad school for Library Science, I long to be a writer and I think the reason I gave was much the same as the myth. When I can't fun write thanks to school it is hard and I long to write again. Then when I can write, thanks to summer or long snow storms, I feel like writing is the only thing I should be doing. Rather it be this blog, my journal, or my story I love seeing my thoughts on paper. Sometimes writing is the only thing that makes sense in my life and in my stories I can escape and make sense of things. Maybe in my naive sense I feel like that is why people enter the world of writing.

I am still thinking over this myth. Maybe if I ever truly become a published author I will understand the pressure of a deadline. Right now in my writing I have finished my story The Sisters of Pine Haven and have sent it to my mom, my current editor, to read over. In the fall I have to write my Master's thesis so I don't think I will get back to it until after that. Now I am just trying to work on my story, Rose Gray, as much as possible. Then with two stories under my belt and having finished Grad-school I might feel like seeking publication. Right now I still believe this...

Yeah my thoughts might be naive but I am hoping I will always love to write as it has been such a comfort all these years.

More from a naive writer:
posted: June, 2012

If you a published author I would love to hear your thoughts on this. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I got Tumblr


I love collecting pretty pictures hence my addiction to Pinterest and through that I have found lots of Tumblrs that have pictures I like. I know not every one that reads my blog cares to look at pictures from Downton Abbey, Jane Austen, or other things old fashion. So I am using my tumblr to collect and share those pictures. So if you want to see some pictures I love click here for my link to Liblairian's Pics Tumblr. I am still new to Tumblr so if you have any advice let me know.

Example of the awesomeness I have found on Tumblr:
100 Years of Dance.