Friday, February 19, 2016

Reading, writing, and Downton... the things in my life

Hello lovely readers,

I hope you are all (who ever you are) are having a good week and are excited for the up coming weekend... I am, my mom is town and we are going to be enjoying some pampering, also doing a little bit of shopping and just enjoying some mom and daughter time. But before the weekend begins I just wanted to give you all a quick update on my life...
 I tried reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier as it was recommend to me by my friend and while I was intrigued by the story I didn't get past 100 pages. One night I was reading in bed and the book Me Before You was sitting on my book shelf and I kept thinking I want to read that instead. So I began reading it. I will also admit while I have wanted to read this book for a while and when I saw the ad for the upcoming movie I was more intrigued... plus I love Sam Claffin (aka Finnick).
Re-watching trailer I think I am going to need tissues... Yep I am a sap. 

I think I am two or three plot points away from being done, which feels very weird and cool all at the same time. Currently I am trying to type up every thing I have written out in order to get my mind settled on how I want to finish the story. I have it outlined and I know how I want to end in my head putting words on paper feels hard. But as I have been reminded I have to keep pushing myself.
{The Future was Theirs}
I have been thinking more and more about preparing for my second draft and sharing my work. I know this goes against some advice but I am thinking of sharing the story through a blog format. I am not so concerned about being published or the money, and to me that sounds like a headache. For me it is more important to share my story with my friends and family and anyone else who reads this blog. But I am still thinking through this process.
For now I just have to finish the first draft.

Thinking about
Even though I am working on the first draft of my story my brain can't help but wander to my next story.  
A couple of months ago I thought of a story line where a modern day girl finds a journal from the past only to find out that it is hers. Then a few weeks later I quickly jotted down this scene...
He was perched on the bench ready to jump into action, clasping the edge of the seat to make sure he didn't fall off. He eagerly awaited her to arrive on the incoming train.
Later I saw a man sitting on the T wearing a tweed jacket and sweater vest and the name Crispin came to me and wrote this out...
Crispin was wearing his best forest green collar button up with it nearly matching green tie, wool sweater vest with a red and gold diamond pattern, and his tweed jacket that had patches on the elbow. He loved that jacket, it had been his fathers and still smelled of his father's pipe tobacco. Crispin thought if gave him a scholarly look, and when her wore it he stood a bit taller. He been in the library shuffling through papers looking for some some notes on the archaeology diggings in Pakistan. His uncle had referred to it the other day and Crispin was certain his uncle had misquoted the author, however scholarly his uncle pretended to be he was always misquoting someone. Crispin had made it a game to look up the quotes to discreetly and politely correct him. He was shuffling through some papers when he caught out of the corner of his eye a movement in the garden. No one besides the gardener went out there after Aunt Edith passed away and even out of the corner of his eye he recognized this was not Marion, the crotchety old gardener, who was only kept on in respect of Aunt Edith. This movement was a woman who clearly did not want to be noticed. Crispin slammed the files shut and marched to the garden, he wasn't sure if was more curious by the woman's movement in the garden or angry someone would intrude on them. There had been tales of ghostly figures on the property and youngsters had mad it their mission to hunt these out and these escapades had happened more since Aunt Edith's death but never in the day time. Crispin was happy to finally be able to have his say in the matter once he captured the intruder.
{This is not how I pictured Crispin but I like the suit}
Not sure what is going to happen with this but I feel all these plots are intertwined.

I am greatly enjoying watching the last season of Downton Abbey and I am interested in seeing how it will all end. During the first season of Downton I didn't care for Edith at all but over time she has grown on me, she sometimes whines too much, I feel she is becoming more empowered. Now if only Mary could stop picking on her I would be happy. In this season I am feeling more sorry for Thomas or Mr. Barrows but I think if he had just been nicer earlier on more people would be rooting for him, but I do want him to be successful at the end of the series.

I do want Mary to be happy but I honestly don't understand why they made Henry a race car driver of course this was going to be a hang up for Mary after Matthew's death. I am actually surprised how long she has pursued him because of it... but I guess sometimes love is a risk. I think Branson was very wise (as he has always been) in the last episode.

Also I have been binge re-watching Hart of Dixie, which I enjoyed the second time as much as I enjoyed the first time and knowing what was going I enjoyed watching the character development more. I will say right now I wish Lavon and AnnaBeth had ended up together as I thought they were perfect together. 
{AnnaBeth and Lavon}
 Plus she was good friend to both Lemon and Zoe even though they hated each other. Plus her fashion (minus some green eye shadow) was better than Lemon's... I know this shouldn't be the reason why she should be with Lavon but its true.
{One of my favorite outfits}
Overall I am happy with the ending of the show.

Video contains some spoilers up to season 3

 Looking forward to
In March I will be going to visit my sister and family to celebrate my little ginger man's 1st birthday. I cannot believe he will be a year old. 
{Him and I over Christmas}
That is all for now hope you guys have a good weekend. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Future was Theirs

{tea and thin mints... help this writer}

Hello lovely readers,

Please forgive me for being so long absent in sharing part of my story. In my previous post, What Happened to January, I wrote about how some things I was going through were mentally blocking me. The biggest way has been in my faith, but also in my writing (which is probably just as much as a part of me as my faith). I have been trying to push myself to write but I have not felt content with my writing. I know a lot of people say to keep writing even if it is not good but I feel I wrote my main character Mattie into a corner and I wasn't sure how to get her out... I am still not sure, but I am trying. Over last weekend I talked to my Grandpa and he reminded me that writing is a practice that must be done daily. So while I am mentally trying to figure out what is going to happen to Mattie I have some pages written that I need to type up. I have always found that when I am stuck if I get some typing done it helps me through the process.

Below is a scene of a party set in 1916 before Marcus returns to the front and Mattie is about to get a surprise... 

She whipped around to see him as he entered when he came into the ball, she couldn't believe what she saw, he slowly made his way in the parlor. The deep chestnut eyes and brown hair that perfectly match, for which she had not seen in nearly six months. Was it really him? No it must be an illusion, but it was so life like. He finally stepped in front of her and she could smell the fresh scent of soap and shaving cream, it was him, he was in the flesh.
            "Mrs. Jenkinson, thank you for the invite," Marcus was the first to speak when they arrived. "I do so hope it is not an imposition that I invited my dear friend Corporal Kelby Foster along with me."
            "No, not at all— I do not think I have ever had a corporal in my house before," she teased with a gentle smile.
            "I assure you, he is better than most officers. He is in the medical corps and just returned from France."
            "You are most welcomed."
            "Thank you ma'am," Kelby bowed his head in gratitude.
            "Mrs. Jenkinson," Mattie was finally able to speak. "May I introduce my brother Marcus Harrington of the Royal Flying Corps and our friend Kelby James Foster."
            "Yes, it is always more pleasant to have more company than less, you are both welcomed here."
            Both men gave her their thanks.
            Mattie wanted to sat so much at the surprise of seeing Kelby, her Kelby, standing in front of her. He had written to say he would get leave but since then no word of his leave had come. Now he was standing front of her. Deep breath.
            "Well I thought Miss Mathilda had bloom about her before her brother appeared, now she has blossomed to be sure," Mrs. Jenkinson teased. "If I was more selfish young man I would sit you next to me and investigate you myself, however that would be unkind to my friend so I will arrange to have you sit next to her."
            Mattie eagerly, maybe a little too eagerly, thanked her. Then Mrs. Jenkinson left the threesome to their devices, Marcus was shortly to follow Mrs. Jenkinson's example stating that he would go and distract mother.
            "What are you doing here?" Mattie burst out when they were alone.
            "Surprising you clearly. I received leave and I wrote to Marcus to arrange a surprise. Has it worked?"
            "Very much so."
            "I am glad — I am only sorry we will have to wait for dinner to be over, until we can dance and I can hold the most beautiful girls in my arms." Mattie blushed at Kelby's sentiments. "I am glad I can see you blush my dearest Rose."
            "Perhaps you may escort me into dinner," Mattie suggested.
            "It would be my honor, though I fear Marcus will not be so happy I capture his favorite sister's attention."
            "Georgie will do him well," Mattie smiled. At that moment Mattie didn't care how selfish it appeared she wasn't going to let him go now that she had him. "How long will you be in town?"
            "A few days actually, Marcus got a room for us at a hotel, so we could have a little freedom in his last week before going to the front."
            "Can your mother spare you?"
            "I have written to her about my plans, I am sure she will understand."
            "Yes but if you have written me, I might have been able to request a few days off."
            "Have no on that account Miss Mathilda, your brother wrote to Sister Bennet to inform them your beloved aunt has passed away. So when you return act as solemn as you can."
            "You lied to Sister Bennet?" Mattie was actually surprised.                         
            "I did no such thing, Marcus did," Kelby was cheeky.
            The gong announced to dinner rung before Mattie could say anything else. Kelby gallantly held out his arm for her to take, he was taller than she remembered, or maybe it was the tuxedo he was wearing. She didn't know he had a tuxedo but she didn't doubt she that Kelby had ways to procure such an article. If she hadn't known otherwise, she would have assumed he was a gentleman. She wanted to take him all in and remember every detail about him from the way a loose strand fell across his brow, to his gentle smile that brought her reassurance, to the way he guided her through the parlor into the dining room. It was all perfect and when she was with him, it was like everything in the world faded away.
            The dinner went splendidly as Mattie sat in between her brother and Kelby. Only once did she notice her mother giving her cross looks but Mattie didn't care. No matter what her mother said to her later it would never take away the fact that Kelby was with her. Over dinner they discussed what they wanted to do in their days in London, Mattie talked of exhibits at the Victoria and Albert but Marcus said that sounded too stodgy and thought of going to Brighton for a bit, of fresh air. "It is October, the water will be frigid," Mattie reminded him.
            "If you are too weak you don't have to go in."
            "Perhaps our guest should decide," Mattie looked at Kelby.
            "I want to do it all, I have never been to London for that matter out of Derbyshire, I went right from Derbyshire to France without truly seeing England."
            "The Victoria and Albert it is," Mattie declared.
            "If you think you can see England in a museum you must be mad."
            After dinner Mrs. Jenkinson pulled Mattie aside, "my dear nephew is going to be jealous to know how much you gave your attention to this Kelby Foster."
            "Please Mrs. Jenkinson, do not say anything he is a long time friend."
            "Yes my dear, I have had many long time friends but none of them have looked at me like me like he looks at you. Do not fret my dear, I will say nothing. Now I have already heard the request for dancing, what do you say to that?" Mrs. Jenkinson gave her a wink.
            "That sounds very pleasant."
            "I thought so too. I will try to keep your mother at the card table."
            Mattie shyly thanked Mrs. Jenkinson.
            "You didn't tell me Kelby was going to come." Georgiana pounced on Mattie when Mrs. Jenkinson walked away.
            "I didn't know myself it was a surprise between Marcus and himself."
            "Now it truly is a shame Sir Brashware is not here. for a good duel would be so fascinating."
            "Georgi, do be serious—a duel would not be fascinating and I doubt it would happen as you know Brashware and I are just friendship as Kelby and I."
            "You are a terrible liar."
            "Georgi, please do not say anything to mother or father."
            "I promise, I am just surprised Daphne has not said anything."
            Mattie had not thought about Daphne, Daphne had no reason to protect. Mattie's secret but she had no reason not to give her younger sister up. As much as they did not see eye to eye, they had both fallen for Foster brother and Mattie hoped that fact would keep Daphne from ruining things for her. Though since Shane's death Daphne had run hot and cold, one day being as gentle as a lamb the next day being angry and hurtful toward Mattie. Daphne had never approved of Mattie becoming a volunteer and Mattie felt there was not much in her life Daphne would approve of.
            Once the gentlemen returned to the party Mrs. Jenkinson announced that she had given into the request for dancing. It was obvious there had been at least three other couple who had wanted to dance and were very pleased with the turn of events.
            "May I have this dance?" Kelby was quick to ask.
            "I don't know as you said earlier my brother may not like losing all my attention towards home."
            "I am sure Miss Georgiana can take care of him."
            "As long as you don't mind Marcus?" Mattie turned to him.
            "No not at all, I have had my sister all to myself for almost eight months."
            "Then I am all yours," Mattie told Kelby.
            The music started a slow waltz and as they took each other's hands Mattie felt a bit of a shock between them.
            "Are you all right?"
            Mattie was puzzled why he asked, she wondered if he felt the shock too. She simply nodded though as to not let her puzzlement known. "No terrified this time?"
            "No, why do you ask?"
            "I remember the last time I hold you like this you were terrified about making a mistake."
            Then it all came back to her, how they had danced in the woods before she first came to London. "Has it really been that long since we have danced together?"
            "Feels like longer. Oh Miss Mathilda how I have missed you."
            "Not now Kelby, I feel the whole room is watching us."
            "You maybe, you are beautiful and I am just a simple man in tux."
            "No you are not, not to me." Mattie looked into his eyes, she saw the same thing she did a year and a half ago , their long future.
            His touch was warm and gentle and the way he  held her during the dance it felt as if their bodies were always meant to be together. "Come out with me to the terrace," he asked as the music stopped.
            Mattie anxiously glanced around the room. She felt a light graze as he let his finger caress her arm, it made her dizzy to feel his touch against her. "No one will know," he whispered and as the couple dispersed off the floor they snuck out to the little terrace garden.
            She had a little shiver.
            "Are you cold?" He generously took of his jacket off from the excitement of seeing you and having you so close.
             "I don't think I am cold so much as shivering from the excitement of seeing you and having you so close."
            He stepped closer to her and she felt he towered over her. "I am glad the surprise was not wasted."
            "No it is wonderful."
            "Good," he brushed her cheek, leaned down, and gave her a kiss. It was soft and gentle, just as they always were, it felt tender and hopeful. Then she felt his fingers stroll down the front of her dress between her bosoms and over her waist, it made every part of her tingle. No one had ever touched her in such a way, and she didn't know if she was entirely comfortable with it.
            "Please Kelby—" she didn't mean to sound as hesitant as she did.
             "What? Do you not like it?" He whispered in her ear."
            She stepped back a bit, "It is not that, but I don't know if it is proper."
            "You are my girl, I am your solider returning from war, it is just a little touching."
            "Please Kelby, we have not seen each other in months, let's not rush things."
            "We have not rushed things for so long. I just want to hold the woman I love."
            "What if we get caught?" Mattie whispered.
            "Caught by who, your mother? Daphne or that Sir Brashware character? I know this is his aunt's house."
            "I have already told you we are just friends." Mattie was on the verge of tears. They were having such a marvelous time together and yet one simple mention of Leopold had ruined it. "I love you, Kelby James Foster. I love you more than anyone else. Is that not enough?"
            "No , of course it's not, he gets to see you every day and I don't. You could be as open as you want with him and yet we have to hide away. It's not fair."
            "That’s not fair, but we will be together forever after this war, nothing with stop us." Mattie was now holding Kelby's face in between her hands to make sure he looked her in the eyes.
            "You promise?"
            He took her hand and kissed  the inside of her palm. He didn't say he was sorry for his stupid jealousy, he didn't have to. They had been together for years even if not always romantically and they would be together for years to come. War was just separating them for a time, but the future was theirs. 

Piano Cover of Ed Sheeran- Thinking out loud

Friday, February 12, 2016

Book Blurb... A Desperate Fortune

Hello lovely readers,

Over the summer I got addicted to Susanna Kearsley's writing in reading The Winter Sea (for more about this book: click here). One thing I really like about Kearsley's writing is that it is dual plotlines between past and present stories and it does a good job of showing that history has a way of impacting us today. In The Winter Sea I got swept up into both stories of the past, Sophia, and the present, Carrie McClelland. In the present Carrie is trying to write her next novel about the James Stewart trying to regain his throne (this is not a part of history I knew much about). She quickly realizes while she is trying to write fiction her story is a lot more real than she could have imagine. I got swept away in the way one story bled into the other and I was intrigued by the love story of both Carrie and Sophia as they discover secrets, mystery and adventure. I thought it was so well written that I detoured from my "26 Book Challenge" I was doing in 2015 to read more of Kearsley's books. I will say as much as I liked The Rose Garden (book blurb) and The Firebird  I was not swept up in them as much, so I was a hesitant to read the novel A Desperate Fortune.  I'm happy to say I was not disappointed. 

The present story is about Sara, who has a slight form of Asperger and gives her the skill of cracking codes as a hobby. Her cousin who works for a publisher has an author who wants a decipher a code in a journal from 1732. Sarah, currently out of work, goes to France where the journal is to spend a couple of months deciphering and transcribing the diary. While working on her transcription she meets an array of characters from Claudine, who privately owns the diary and Denise, Claudine's housekeeper and Luc, Denise's ex-husband. Sarah is immediately attracted to Luc but knows she is not good at relationships and decides to keep her distance but this does not stop Luc from pursuing her. Sara must learn who she can trust and who she can't.

In the past Mary Dunbas must learn the same lesson of trust while she seeks out a new life and adventure. Mary has been raised by her aunt and uncle as her mother passed away and her father and brothers have followed King James (or known James Frances Edward, Prince of Wales(link)) to Rome. Mary barely remembers her family but one day her brother returns from Rome and wants to take her into his home and family. She thinks she has found a family once again, only to realize her brother wants to use her as a pawn in a scheme. She is being used to protect a man's identity in Paris and soon learns things are not what they appear. People are full of secrets and the one man she swore to hate, might be the only person she can depend on.

From the back of the book... As Mary's gripping tale is revealed, Sara must let go of everything she thought she knew--about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. These two women, divided by centuries, are both on a quest to discover the limits of trust and the boundlessness of fate. 

Overall: I really enjoyed this book and found it in line with The Winter Sea, that I fell in love with over the summer. I found both stories captivating and I wanted to just read the end to see how it all worked out. And while I think The Winter Sea could be read without reading the other books in Kearsley's collection I don't think A Desperate Fortune could be read separately because it doesn't go into a lot of the history of the Jacobite uprising that I think is important to know. However, if you are wanting or willing to get lost in books that deal in intrigue, love, adventure, mystery and history I highly recommend these books. So good for some winter reading.

P.S- I have taken my "All about the Books" page as it looks like it was having some technical issues that I want to resolve before I put it back up.

Monday, February 8, 2016

What happened to January?

Hello Lovely Readers,

I did not mean to ignore you for the last half of January... I feel like I spent most of January settling into a new year and then without even realizing it half the month had gone by and I was spending most of my days in jury duty (the case is over now so I can, I just don't want to talk about it). Up until now while I have been called 4 times but this is my first time serving and my only knowledge of jury duty was 12 Angry Men with Henry Fonda and Runaway Jury (both book and movie) and both these were far from the realities. My own personal take away is 1) I am surprised listening to a case for about 4 hours a day can be very mentally draining and 2) I am surprised at how (for the most part) we all agreed we wanted to give the plaintiff money but yet we still had very different feelings on it.

{Twelve Angry Men}
I didn't want you all to think I have forgotten about you because I haven't. Lately I have been feeling mentally stuck and it is leaking into a lot of aspects of my life. I don't really want to go into the reasons why I am stuck on social media and all that (sorry). One of the major aspects in my life that have been affected by this mental stuck-ness is my walk with God. I have spent pages and pages in my prayer journal moaning and complaining about what is going on. (God is probably getting sick of it).  Awhile ago my friend shared with me that she was reading verses on God's faithfulness and God's promises. Let me just say she is going through harder times than I am and she seemed way more positive and encouraged than I could be. So I thought reading passages on faith and faithfulness might help... I realize I need to have more faith in God that He will get me through this time and He is faithful towards me (even when I am not always faithful to Him). I have a Life Application Bible which a nice topical index in the back and it has little notes that help the reader understand how to apply it their lives (I call them cliff notes)... so I have been going through passages that talk about faith.

Through this study I came across a passage in 2 Kings 7 that had a cliff note that said- "Sometimes we become so preoccupied with the problems when we should be looking for opportunities. Instead of focusing on the negatives, develop an attitude of expectancy. To say that God cannot rescue someone or that a situation is impossible demonstrates lack of faith."*

I am still no sure what it means to "develop an attitude of expectancy" if you do please give me some guidance. However, the next night  I wrote in my prayers... Lord you have blessed my life so much. Lord I have a job, I have a warm apartment, I have my volunteer work, I have Reunion (my church), and my family. Lord I am so thankful for all the blessings I have. Lord you have provided for me this much and I know you will continue to provide for me. Lord help me to change my attitude to focus on your goodness and await with expectation. Lord I know you are are going to do something amazing. Lord you have done something amazing, you sent your son to this earth, you created this earth, you created me and you call me child and beloved. You gave up your life so I may have eternal life in you, Lord only you who are truly perfect could save the world. Oh Lord my God you are master and creator, you are hope beyond hope. You are abundant in love and mercy. Your grace and love know no bounds. Your timing, your will, and plans are perfect.

Lord I do pray for your help. Oh Lord, for I know I can spout these words and I know I can really want to mean to mean them but I feel my so little reflects that. I feel I keep burying myself in negatives and sorrow. Oh my Lord my God, forgive me for my doubts, forgive me for my lack of faith. Lord I am weak and I stumble. Lord I so desperately want to live in your glory and to succeed in following you but it is to do that. I feel loss and sometimes hopeless. I question oh Lord my purpose and my reason for being here. My mind and focus are lost. Lord help me to cling to you or I know you have a plan and purpose for my life. Lord, I am sorry I dwell so much in negativity when you oh God are so wonderful. 

I know in one little prayer I do not have this all down. Staying negative is easy because it puts no effort into trying to find the good in the situation and it allows me to focus on myself. At my church we had a message on generosity (not just with our money) and the more I talked about the more I realized generosity comes from a place of gratefulness. How grateful can I be if I just sink in negative thinking? And if I can't be grateful for what I have, how can I demonstrate God's hope and security that I know He gives to me? So I am trying. I am trying to change my mindset and know that God is in control and that He has great plans for me and look forward to what is coming.

As I was writing this post a short song came on my shuffle with the lyrics -"Hope means holding on to you, Grace means you're hold me too," I thought this was applicable for this topic so I wanted to share it with you...
Song: Painted Red
By: JJ Heller

I don't really have a conclusion for this post...just I want to keep trying.

*- Life Application Study Bible: New International Version, Zondervan, 1991. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Movie Monday... Lee Daniel's The Butler

Hello Lovely Readers,

This post is dedicated to the wonderful Alan Rickman... who I fell in love with as Colonel Brandon.
Last week after hearing of his passing I went home and searched Netflix to see what films they had of his on. One of his films is Bottle shock, which if you haven't seen it is great, but I have seen it a few times and at that moment didn't feel the need to re-watch it.

 He has some great lines in it...
Another one of his films on Netflix was Lee Daniel's The Butler, it had been on my list for awhile but I never got around to watching it... so I wanted to check it out and see how Alan Rickman fit into the casting. Just to let you know he plays Ronald Regan and is really only in the film maybe 15 or 20 minutes, but was still a powerful movie.
{Alan Rickman as Ronald Regan}
I know there are a lot of racial issues in the film that I don't feel adequate to discuss...that almost made me not want to write this post. However, I think it is important for the lessons of the past to continue on to the present.
I don't like to consider myself an ignorant person (I guess no one does) but as history lover sometimes I will admit I like to sugar coat things or romanticize things... but there has been lots of struggles in our country and I think it is important to remember them because if we don't we will continue our ignorance. I think what got to me the most was just the hatred that exists in people (I almost typed "existed" but I know hatred still goes on). Which, I think is so sad because over and over again we are told that we are all God's children and God died for us... so how can we hate? I am not saying I don't have this down perfectly but I found this film to be a good reminder of how a little hate can become a big hate.


Okay I will step off my soap box and will now discuss the film... the casting was great from Forest Whitaker playing Cecil Gaines to Robin Williams playing President Eisenhower. I felt the story did a great job of showing the transition in time in the costuming, hair and makeup, and setting of the Gaines' home to the decorations of the White House. I also think the movie showed a great transition of what one man and what one family can go through to make a difference in small and big ways.

{Lenny Kravitz as James Halloway}
The movie starts in 1926 where we see Cecil's father shot in cold blood for standing up to the boss's son, which shocked me and then a few minutes later see two African American being hung. Yeah it really takes your breath away... So don't watch if faint of heart. But Cecil gets out of the situation and grows up to be a strong worker and though some think he is being "subservient" he is doing his best with the situation he has born in. We watch his son Louis Gaines (David Oyelowo) become more political doing protesting, freedom rides, and he gets beaten up, thrown in jail, attacked by KKK. (Yeah this is the part where the hatred comes in and it was hard to watch).
Over the course of the film both men grow... one learns not be so quiet and one learns to work more withing the system to effect change. But beyond the lives of these two men times continue to change and stories continue to unfold. I found it amazing to watch how much the country and even the world can change within a few decades.

Not to detract from the story, there was just a few details issues I that made me question it... the biggest one being James Marsden playing President Kennedy, as much as I think James Marsden is gorgeous I don't know if he looks like John F. Kennedy.

I also did not like that at the end it felt a little to political and that it was pushing an agenda. However, I will not let these facts detract from the powerful story it told. It is rated PG-13 for some language and powerful image (I would say the language that got me the most was how many times they used the N-word).

As this post is dedicated to Alan Rickman- I wanted to share this short interview of his I found on making this movie...

Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Mostly Picture Update

Hello Lovely Readers,

I hope this New Years is finding you well... I know its only been six days but if you are like me you are still writing 2015 and then doing your best to make the 5 look like a 6. A few of my last post have been about movies, books, and favorite Christmas songs so I thought it was time for a little update on my life. 

I know Christmas is behind us but I am still replaying the moments I had with my family...

 A morning selfie of my nephew and I (he loves me even if it doesn't look like he does in this picture)
... he is showing signs of having red hair so I call him "little ginger man"
This is us at the park... notice the short sleeves, yeah Christmas in Houston is hot and humid
Playing with my niece and nephew... they invented the game "Squish Attack Aunt Blaire"
Helping my "little ginger man" open his first Christmas gift from me... Yep its a book
Books was unintentionally my theme for gifts

So even though the weather did not feel like Christmas with the family and the kids it was very Christmas-y

Speaking of books...
I am currently re-reading Mansfield Park and it quickly topping my list of favorite Jane Austen novels. Emma and Sense and Sensibility are at the top of my list but this one is joining the ranks. It is not the typical Austen novel because Fanny Price is not like her other heroines who speak their minds or stand up for themselves... no Fanny spends most of the time sitting around and thinking about the people around her, she is also often ignored by her family, and she seems okay with this because she doesn't want attention. The very first time I read this I couldn't finish it because she was so quiet and so mousy that I couldn't stand Fanny Price... now with age I have begun to love her.
Great article "In Defense of Fanny Price" {link}
If you are looking for a modern update of Mansfield Park I recommend the YouTube Series "From Mansfield with Love" (link to channel)

Here is a short trailer:
It is told as a video letter from Franks (Fanny) Price to her brother who is in the navy (or something like that) and she is recording her life for him. Thus far I have enjoyed these YouTube series updates on classic literature... so good job media specialist on keeping us in love with classic stories.

With my progress in NaNoWriMo (I got to 35,000 words) I was able to finish the first part of my story and made a good start on part 2... so I am eagerly making progress on it. After November, I didn't get much writing done, and while I was away for Christmas I didn't get any writing done (I did do some minimal editing on the plane rides). That's okay, as my friend reminds me I am doing this for myself... and while I would one day love to be published I am not on any deadline. Though I do have the goal of finishing the rough draft this story and get to the editing process. Though sometimes after writing a scene I think "Oh this would be much better someplace else" so my outline has gotten a bit of editing to it... and I think I might have to go back and re-write some scenes. Oh well... I love this process and enjoying the moments.

 I don't have a lot of prime time shows I am watching right now. But New Year's weekend was a good TV/ Movie weekend for me.
My friend and I went to go see Star Wars ep. 7 on New Year's day and then I watched the Sherlock "The Abominable Bride" episode. I don't want to give away any spoilers on either one of these things but I thought both were great... obviously for different reasons.
Also this weekend was special as it was the premier of Downton Abbey season 6.
Uh once again I don't want to give out any spoilers but the scenes between Mr. Carson. Mrs. Hughes, and Mrs. Patmore were my favorite. 
{Scenes from ep.1}
 Also over Christmas the show When Calls the Heart, also released their special episode. 
When Calls the Heart, is probably one of my guilty pleasures but I don't care it is a cheesy Hallmark Channel on the frontier period drama.
Needless to say my fangirl heart was very happy over New Years.

Usually I end these updates with a YouTube video I have recently discovered... and I don't want to break with tradition.
Song: "Hello" by Adele (cover)
Clips: Gilmore Girls- Rory and Jess

I think this song is actually quite fitting for their relationship and as the cover is sung by man, I think it tells the story from Jess's perspective.
I am eagerly awaiting for the release of the Netflix reunion episodes that last time I checked were to begin being filmed this year. YEAH!

Hope you have a good day.