Wednesday, July 31, 2013

writing and faith

Hello,

I am writing this post in hopes I am not alone in these feelings. I am a Christian and I truly believe God has blessed me with my imagination and my love of writing.

But sometimes I wonder do I live in my imagination too much? God gave me this life to be present in it, to full fill His purpose. And I feel I frequently I just want to escape my life (not that my life is bad) but most of the time I feel more comfortable reading a book and I feel more alive in writing my story. Sometimes I feel guilty for this. I try to spend 1 hour doing my quiet time (and I usually find I cannot make it that long), however when I am writing and all the motivation is flowing I can go for 2 hours. I sometimes drudge through one chapter of the Bible but when I am reading a novel I can read for hours without even thinking about it. I am wondering if I spend so much of my life escaping reality am I truly living the life God wants for me.

I don't have the answer to this quiet yet. I am putting this post out there to get feedback.

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Song for Saturday

Yes, I am still on vacation with my family but I have set up some post while I am gone. I have too many thoughts, too many words, and too many songs not to share. I love on BlogSpot you can schedule post so while I am away from my computer the internet still goes on.
I have shared my love of Brooke Fraser a few times she writes such beautiful songs that at different moments speak to me.. so here is her song Shadowfeet from her album Albertine.

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Lyrics:
 

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
towards home, a land that I've never seen
I am changing; less and less asleep
made of different stuff than when I began
And I've sensed it all along
fast approaching is the day

[CHORUS:]
when the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and the mountains fall on their knees
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

There's distraction buzzing in my head
saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
but I've heard rumors of true reality
whispers of a well-lit way

[CHORUS]

You make all things new

[CHORUS]

[CHORUS 2:]
When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I'll be found in you

found at: AZlyrics

Friday, July 26, 2013

Family Vacation

Hello lovely readers,

I am off for a long weekend at my aunt and uncle's house in Florida to be with my dad's family.


Some of us together... I am the blonde not looking at the camera.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A literary fear

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Have you ever been scared by an author or a book? I don't mean because the book is a thriller a suspense, but because the author or book has such a reputation for being "high brow". Well there are a few authors and books for me on that list.

  1. Anna Karenina
  2. War and Peace
  3. Vanity Fair (book not magazine)
  4. Henry James
  5. Edith Wharton
  6. and anything by Charles Dickens...

I mean I have read the Christmas Carol but it was 80 pages and I own Great Expectations and I keep thinking of reading it, but I can't bring myself to read Dickens. Well that is changing... at least I hope it changes. I have started the book Little Dorrit. I know it is cheating but sometimes conquering these big "scary" novels I have to watch the movie or miniseries to know the characters and to love the characters.  I mean Amy Dorrit is one of the heroines I look up to. And I love the miniseries so I felt I was doing Amy and Mr. Dickens a discredit by not reading her story. So here I go I am going to give my best try to conquer an author that scares me.

Here is a little preview...

Video: Little Dorrit - Author and Amy
Song: Love Sick Mistake by Erin McCarley
Video made by: SimplyDarcy

I watched a few other fanmade videos before choosing this one. I chose it because 1) I felt it had no spoilers and 2) I loved the description...

Amy and Arthur are hopeless in love with each other but due to tragic circumstance and meddling of dark souls, they part ways and separated by ocean with only time to heal their heart. They are lonely, heartbroken and miserable. With the discovery of new friends, they are able to be loved and fall in love again but only have their love unreturned.

I will keep you posted if I conquer any more "scary" books...

Monday, July 22, 2013

Royal Baby

I am not ashamed to admit I am so excited to announce the Royal Baby is here...IT'S BOY! (8lbs 6oz) Now I eagerly await the name.

The Royal couple's first child is due on Saturday, and will hold the title of Prince or Princess of Cambridge
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Girl Power in film

I am bringing you some empowering women first Coco Before Chanel
Okay guys I am back to the period dramas... I think minus all the convinces of electricity I much rather live in the past... too many sentimental ideals.

Why I watched- I don't know much about Coco Chanel minus her awesome quotes that pop up on Pinterest and the perfume I wear. I actually didn't know much about her life and actually but I love the Edwardian time period or as in French called La Belle Epoque era. And so in some Pinterest searching I saw this...

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it had the quote... 

Audrey Tautou in Coco Avant Chanel. Chanel pioneered a change in fashion away from La Belle Époque era. She criticized women for wearing excessive lace, jewelry and feathers and admired men's clothing for its simplicity and elegance. Many of her designs were inspired by her lovers' wardrobes.


So I was intrigued to watch the film. Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel and her sister were left at an orphanage when they were children, so she had a hard life and that made her a little tough. But then through a twist of fate she meets Balsan and lives a "grand" life but is not in love or very happy till she meets Arthur 'Boy' Capel. (He was the only actor I recognized as Henry Crawford from Mansfield Park (1999). They have a passionate love story. However, the story has an ending kind of like Becoming Jane where she is successful but she does not have a romantic ending... I guess that is real life.

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What I love- It was beautiful all the costuming was wonderful and there were so many extras it was all very elaborate and beautiful. Everything looked like the pins I have posted on my Edwardian Eloquence board. So for this Edwardian lover it was perfect.  For example the picture from above was from a scene at the races and it reminded me of this picture...

What I didn't like- It was hard to like Coco because she was harsh but I guess that was Coco so I guess Audrey Tautou played it well.
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Over all- I think I liked the costuming more than the plot. The movie was all in French so some times it was hard to follow. Because it was in French with English subtitles it is a film you have to pay attention to....it is worth it though.
Coco and Boy dancing
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Now for an independent modern day woman Ellen Page playing Bliss in Whip It... with the subtitle "be your own hero" (as a librarian you learn to love subtitles).


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Why I watched- It was another film I wanted to watch when it came out but didn't get around to it. It has a great cast (Ellen Page, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, and Jimmy Fallon). Bliss is from a small but is dying to get out and she finds Roller Derby to be her ticket out.

What I liked- She follows her dreams. There is a part of the story where she is being selfish because she thinks her parents just don't understand her. But then she wises up and even though she is not pageant girl she agrees to do a pageant because it is what her mom wants. But her mom lets her follow her dream.

What I didn't like- I thought the story was good and I was glad it based off a book but I don't feel like there is a depth. I like Bliss but I didn't fall in love with her and I wish I had.

Overall- good for a girls night but probably not a must run out and buy.



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Google knows me so well



I love my blog... I love that Google thinks related searches are Jane Austen, Writing Romance, Pride and Prejudice, Romance Fiction, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (incase you thought P&P was by someone else) and other things. I guess Google knows me well.

Pin of the Week

After writing my post "Dancing through Research" and "A Debutante through the years" I re-found this meme on Pinterest and got a big laugh at how true this post was for me.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Film Flicks Friday

Hello,

I know lately I have posted a lot about reviews about period drama and I am sure some of you thought "come on Blaire live in the 21st century" so I am happy to present you with a non-period drama movie review.



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First The Decoy Bride - For my Dr. Who fans you will recognize David Tennant, he plays James, an author about to may the film star Lara Tyler when their first wedding gets crashed by paparazzi so they decide to escape to a secluded island of Hegg. Hegg is a Sottish  island where apparently James' book takes place. Though we learn that he has not really ever visited the island and we learn he has writers block. Anyway Lara's publicist, who my Ugly Betty fans will recognize as Marc, saves the day. He takes the run down castle and turns into Lara's dream and finds the perfect decoy bride, Katie, to distract the press. (I recognized her from Nanny Mcphee and Godsford Park.) Anyway she has just given up on love and has returned home. As any romantic comedy would go the people who do not like each other in the beginning end up loving each other by the end with some plot twist in the middle.

Why I watched this film- I loved the character Marc on Ugly Betty and wanted to discover more of Michael Urie's work. Then I watched the trailer and I thought it looked like a typical but cute romantic comedy and summer is a good time to watch frivolous films especially when you can check them out of the public library film.

What I liked about the film- There were some cute lines. And it is nice to see a boy fall for the awkward, maybe a bit plain but cute girl. It was funny to see David Tennant to wear an outfit straight out the 1970s with fur vest included. Plus the scenery mostly set on the Scottish Island was great. Some of the cute moments...
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What I didn't like- There were some plot twist that didn't really help the story like Kate's ex-boyfriend, or the paparazzi guy that was in love with Lara. Sometimes when there are plot twist that don't make sense I wonder "if this was a book would it be better explained" and my hope is yes.

Over all cute story and I glad I checked it out for free instead of paying for it. I would recommend it for a lazy weekend or a movie to have in the background while doing dishes. Just watch it to see the boy fall the awkward door next door.
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Next The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel...

I don't think I have to introduce this cast. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy. Come together with some others who I might have to introduce Tom Wilkson (you might recognize from Shakespeare in Love, Valkyrie, and Sense and Sensibility (1995)... which is just amusing because he plays Mr. Dashwood in this film too), Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey) and  Dev Patel (Slum Dog Millionaire). The plot is simple take some elderly people trying to escape being old and send them to India to live out their lives there. After that let's see what happens. The lesson I learned from this movie is that you are never too old to follow your dreams and find love... I just hope for myself I don't have to wait till I am in retirement to see this through.
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Why I watched- I love the cast. I wanted to see it when it was in theaters just didn't get around to it. Plus I think I have a weird pull to India. It is one place I want to go and may be do a mission trip there.

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What I loved- The story line I loved the most was Judi Dench. Her husband has passed away and left her with his debts to cover (I don't think that is a spoiler because you find that in the first few minutes). Any way instead of giving in and living a more "suitable" life with her son and his family she goes off to India, gets a job at one of those Indian Call Center places and teaches them better communication. But she completely falls in love with India and her new life. I thought she was very empowering character.

I also liked the Tom Wilkinson character, Graham Dashwood... he starts off kind of rude but as soon as he gets to India he lightens up. He is actually coming back to India and wants to correct some errors of his past. His character is sweet and he tries help everyone around him love the India he loves.

At first I really didn't like the Maggie Smith character she is kind of a racist. But there is a moment when she changes and starts to be more of a loveable character...and somewhat saves the day. Plus as only as Maggie Smith can do she has some great one liners. But if you watch it to see another "battle" between her and Penelope Wilton (in Downton Abbey Style) you won't see it they actually don't interact much.

Next I loved Dev Patel and the story of Sonny he had big dreams but not the best way to see them through. He has to fight against his mother and her desires for his life, which takes a great amount of courage. He has to believe in his dreams and his love more than following what the world wants. Plus in all the sadness in the facts of getting old he is the great comedic relief.
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What I didn't like- I didn't like Penelope Wilton's character. She started the movie unhappy with the circumstances given to her and stayed unhappy. She didn't embrace India and in the end just returns home. But she was half of good story. Her husband Bill Nighy, in the other two films I have seen him in (I capture the Castle and Love Actually) he plays a grumpy guy who you hate to love. But in this film he was actually very considerate, sweet and very loyal to his wife.

There were two other plot lines I didn't like either fortunately they were just minor characters.

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Over all the story was very sweet, and I think if I had seen this in theaters I probably would have been the youngest one in the theater. But the scenes of India would have been nice to have scene on the big screen however I would not rate this as one that has to be seen in theaters.  I would say good for a date night at home.

Behind the scenes of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Lastly I have to give a shout out to the Boston Public Library for providing so much amusement for free. If you don't want to spend money on a Netflix account I suggest you see what your local library has to offer.

From The Decoy Bride.
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"I am enough"

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I saw this pin and felt the need to write... so this is sort of a free write. "I am enough." Easy words to say, harder words to believe. "I am enough." I have to say it with a long sigh. "Enough" What does that fully mean?

For me it comes with multiple meanings. In my quiet times God has constantly reminded me of his completeness. He is full of love, truth, grace, justice, hope and joy. He constantly reminds me that when I seek completeness from other things I will always be left incomplete. Things of this world our temporary. They are fleeting. They are here today and gone tomorrow. We might feel temporary full but it is gone as quickly as it came in. I constantly look for things to make me feel complete. I look to school, approval from co-worker, friends and family, even a future relationship. But I never feel complete even when I have approval because God is the only one to complete. So maybe that I in "I am enough" is God. He is enough, He is more than enough to fill me and make my life worth something. He is more than enough to save me from my doubts, insecurities, shame and pride. So maybe when I hear the voices of my doubts, insecurities, and shame I should remember God's whisper "I am enough."

"I am enough" another deep sigh. Most of my life I have dealt with questioning doubts wondering if I am good enough... sometimes it almost paralyses. I feel I haven written about this before but I keep coming back to it. My church is going through a series called "My important question" last week a girl talked about shame and this week a guy talked about deserving God's love. Shame she said is the idea that you are a bad person. As many good days as I have deep down I still know the pain of never feeling right. I have gotten so used to wearing mask, for people to see the "Blaire" I want to them to see sometimes I question who I really am. Then I feel sometimes if people saw the "real" me... they wouldn't love me. Even writing that I know that is a lie. But there is something in me that listens to the lie more than the truth. I need to hear God's whisper that "I am enough." He created me in His image, He created me to be His masterpiece, He calls me His child, and His beloved. No matter what I can do can separate me from Him. How can I write those words with out a second thought but it still takes more energy to believe those truth.

That made me think- I am currently a A Voice in the Wind the title comes from the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19 about how God calls Elijah not in an earthquake or fire but in a gentle whisper. I think God desires us to listen closely to His whisper... it is just hard when there are so many other voices, louder voices but I know God is in the whisper. However, I know God presence is more real than the lies and that is truth I hold onto.

"I am enough" because God is more than enough and I have God to love me. I have God to give my doubts, pain, insecurities, question and shame over to and he will flood me with His hope, love, grace, mercy, wisdom and strength.

This has been a great free write, might do more of them.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A Debuntante through the years

Edwardian Debutante
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Hello,

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I am sorry I have not posted much of my story here... I have been writing I promise. As I have said in the past I usually have to write out my story in my notebook and then I type it up. Unfortunately with the heat wave we have had in Boston  and also due to some of the emotional issues I have shared I have not had the energy to sit at my computer and typed it up. As I have postponed my thesis I want to spend more time fun writing and then typing it up. In my story I am up to the year 1913. Daphne, the oldest daughter is now being presented into society. I was first introduced to the idea of a debutante through Gilmore Girls... though the debutantes have changed over time there definitely something very traditional about them.

I know it is old fashioned but there seems something about a girls debut that seems so nostalgic. In the books I have been reading The Dream Kingdom and The Restless Sea the author Cynthia Harrod-Eagles makes a girl's first season to be the height of their life. It is also a pivotal point in a girl's life... it is here the girl can finally leave the home and perhaps have some adventure. It is also during the season a girl had hopes to find love and marriage. (I had truly wished Downton Abbey had shown Lady Sybil's season.)

The book To Marry an English Lord writes "In the June fortnight between the Derby and Ascot, the seasons reaches its peak. Invitations like in stacks on silver salvers just inside every front door. More dinners, parties, balls, concerts, teas, breakfast even, than anyone can possibly attend. The aristocracy socializes morning, noon, and night, going without sleep for the sake of another dance or one last hand of 'baccy'" (p. 25).

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And now it is Daphne's turn to partake...

          It was now the early spring of 1913.  My sister, Daphne, was now eighteen and the height of her beauty and was preparing to be presented in society. Lady Adelaide had slowly come back to us, though she was forever weakened. She could be lively when she need be. Lady Adelaide had generously invited the position of tutoring and hosting Daphne for the season. When I asked her if she was sure about this position knowing how her heartache when Aurora died, she promised she was certain. Daphne was to attend the best of society. Father grumbled at the dressmaker's bill but mother  knew it was all the key to getting Daphne married off well. Mother wanted Daphne to be the talk of the town and mother was repeatedly telling Daphne she had the beauty to capture a viscount or earl if she put her mind to it.

      Daphne and I spent most of the spring practicing dancing and other refined manners. Mother though t best that I too be prepared for my debut. Of course by the time my presentation would come we would be at war and the season was hardly thought of. However, for now I was happy to have such an open time at Cranston Court. I enjoyed being able to see Lady Adelaide most everyday and I felt our presence was a comfort to her since Lord Welford had been splitting  his time between York and Manchester only rarely coming to Cranston. Parker was away at University and even when he had a holiday he spent it with some of his classmates. Marcus did the same.

      "Men were not to stay at the home," she once told me. I never knew if that was meant to console her heart or just a truth.

      And as Parker and Marcus were away Lady Adelaide enrolled Shane and Kelby to be our dance partners. Until now I only saw Daphne having a crush on Shane but it was during our time at Cranston I began to see Shane had feelings for Daphne. It all came on gradually it would be hard to pin point when I first notice an affection between them. Then one day we were dancing and the floor was too slippery and Daphne tripped and he gallantly picked her up and carried her to the sofa. I am sure any man would have done the same but there was a look that I saw pass between them. After that it was only looks I noticed. They had to be discreet as it would bring ruin to both Daphne and Shane if a servant to fall for a lady. While at this point it was only looks I never imagined either one of them would act on it. Daphne knew the desire mother had for her life and Daphne was the finest defender of propriety. So the moments of their affection would be off the page if it wasn't for my for my vivid imagination.

This has been particularly interesting in writing this part as my story is told from first person perspective, Rose's perspective and she is not with Daphne. So far letters have told the events of what is going but I need to think of other ways... perhaps more will be told when Daphne returns home.


Besides the books I have listed there have been some websites that have been quite helpful...


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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pin of the week

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During some random Tumblr time I found this picture from John Green's Hipster Tumblr. I saw it and instantly thought of the verse John 16:33-
 
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

No ryme or reason... just love




Hello lovely readers,

I have posted some deep blog post so to lighten the mood I thought I would post this cheesy period drama montage video. I am kind of a closet "fan-video loving girl". When I fall in love with a movie, or TV show I love seeking out these fan-video music videos. I am going to say it is my hopeful romantic side that still wants to hold on to the story and not let it go, however it is probably just my geeky side.  
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It is funny as much as I love the love stories, I am more and more starting to appreciate the hero or heroine's journey(as the case may be). I have given my friend some books of mine to read and she gotten annoyed at me because the last few I have given her (I capture the Castle and A Northern Light) do not have the typical romantic ending. In fact the heroine leaves the "hero" of the story to have a very independent life. She thinks it is odd that I have such strong hopeful romantic feelings. I told her "I am giving her heroines that are strong that settle for nothing but the best in life." I have a very deep heart for love and sappiness but I think the only way to have true love is not to settle for anything but perfection. I know love will not be perfect (I am not expecting a Disney movie), I know it is hard work, but I also know that love should not feel like settling. I can watch sappy movies but at the end of the day the love stories I admire are the ones where the characters grow and empower themselves. So I am still on the look out for these heroines...

Some I highly recommend (highly bias but in no particular order)
Cassandra- I Capture the Castle
Molly Gibson- Wives and Daughters
Elinor Dashwood- Sense and Sensibility
Amy Dorrit- Little Dorrit
Fiona- The Tea Rose
Hadassah- A Voice in the Wind and Echo in the Darkness
Shelby Parker- The Princess
Mattie- A Northern Light
Fanny Price- Mansfield Park

Cassandra from I Capture the Castle
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Monday, July 8, 2013

Holding onto Truths pt. 2

Hello,
 
When I posted my Holding onto Truths  I wrote that I needed to add a part 2... First I am rather surprised how many people have read that post and my Life Update post. Let me go back and explain a few things, halfway through writing my "Holding onto Truths" post was when I was having trouble with my blogging on my home computer, so I didn't write it all together. That was probably good because I feel like I was kind of throwing myself a pity party, then once I postponed my thesis I felt like the cloud that had been hanging over me was gone and I felt much more relief. I actually felt like deleting that post, but then I felt that would be as if I was pretending that I never had those doubts or concerns and I want to be honest with you my readers. I feel like today so much of social media is concerned with showing only our best side, but this blog is not only for my best it is also to help work through my worst. So I posted the post and I hope if you are feeling doubts, and insecurities, that you will read that post and know you are not alone.
 
After posting "Holding onto Truth" post my mom called, she so wishes she could fix all my problems. I told her "at least I know these are lies." I think we hold onto lie because it is the devils way of keeping us from God. I honestly believe the verses that God created us in His image, to be his masterpiece, but if the devil can slip doubt into that, then he can separate us from God and separate us from doing the work God wants us to do. I will be the first one to admit sometimes the voices of doubt, insecurities, pain, regret, shame, and others cab scream louder than God's whisper of peace, beauty, hope, love and truth. I know the feelings of being surrounded by those voices, feeling lost in the woods and not knowing a way out, or feeling you have sunk to the bottom of the ocean and see no life preserver. I know those feelings but I also know God's truth. 
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Somewhat related post:

I am still struggling with it. I know God is present in my life but right now I can't feel Him. I am sticking to my quiet times but they are more like a to do list than an experience. I am hoping now that I have postponed my thesis and the cloud has lifted I can get real and honest with God. Its funny God knows everything, He knows the desires of my heart, He knows all my bruises, all the pain I carry around pointlessly and yet sometimes I feel I can hide from Him. Right now I don't want to hide from any more. I know I have issues but I think the only way to move on is to open my heart to God, truly open my heart, hand over the pain and tears and let Him be in the moment. I told Him, the other day in prayer, that get glimmers of His goodness but I don't want to just settle for moments of it. I want it to be fully in my life. 

It is interesting that in my community groups we were talking about Romans 12 and my friend asked us which one of the following in the "Love in Action" part is hardest for us. I said "12:12, because I have felt like beaten down, at a loss, and not knowing where to go in my faith. I have felt passionless in my faith, and I have felt for awhile sometimes I am just going through the motions." I have had moments of passion but they are short and far between. I am longing for a moment of His glory and my passion. 

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.Practice hospitality.

In my last post Music for my soul I wrote the truths I am holding on to:

  • I know God is present in my life even if I am not feeling Him right now.
  • I know God wants only the best in my life, so while this is just a phase, it is not forever.
  • I know God loves me and will not let go of me.  

I don't really have a conclusion to this post but I felt I left my "Holding onto Truth" post on such a low note that I wanted to let you, my readers, know that in my heart I know the doubts and insecurities are lies and I trying very hard to cling to God's truth. 

Thank you for reading,
Blaire
 
Some good finds on Pinterest:
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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Music for my soul

Hello lovely readers,

I have been posting a lot of songs lately. It is amazing to me I will just be listening to my spotify playlist and songs I selected months ago are still so powerful to me. This is one of those songs. From my Dear Anne letters, I think you tell I have been going through a hard time in my faith so the words of the song are very true for my present.
 
Truths I am holding onto in my life:
I know God is present in my life even if I am not feeling Him right now.
I know God wants only the best in my life, so while this is just a phase, it is not forever.
I know God loves me and will not let go of me.  
 
Song: Silence
By: Joy Williams

Are you listening
TO anything that I say
'Cause I been praying
How many prayers can I pray
I'm still waiting
Maybe You'll show up today

I know You're here, but I can't feel You
And if You're speaking, I can't hear You
How much longer will this last

Chorus:
So okay Answer me with silence
It's okay if You don't say a word
You're testing me to trust You'll be faithful in this quiet
So okay
Answer me
With silence

Why do I question
Your intentions for me
When Your affection
Is a proven legacy

Oh Father, Father
Turn my fears into peace
I know Your love will never leave
I know You want what's best for me

You're testing me to trust You'll be faithful in this quiet

Oh, it's okay
If You answer me with silence
And it's okay if You don't say a word
You're testing me to trust You'll be faithful in this quiet
So okay
Answer me
With silence