Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

It is a strange thing to finish something that I first fell in love with when I was fourteen. Like almost every other American, I headed to the theater last Wednesday to watch The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies. The only problem is that I'm now perplexed. It didn't raise a single tear. I disconnected emotionally from everyone except Bilbo, so when everyone else in the theater is sniffling and weeping, I'm sitting there stoically calm, unmoved by everything except some of Bilbo's emotional reactions.

It's sad. Really, it is because I love this story. I've loved The Hobbit since the moment I first picked up the book. It's an incredible and imaginative tale of adventure and daring-do, with a highly courageous and blunt hobbit at the head. So why didn't this final movie impress me? I suppose I could spend time pondering and rehashing and tearing down, but I won't. I'd like to think that the fans, even the diehard ones, see the flaws and don't need me to remind them. I remember my frustrations with The Two Towers, its plot deviations and insanity, so this feeling is really nothing new. And it may change the next time I see this final installment.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Femnista - Nov/Dec Edition 2014: A Family Affair

It's the season again, both for the delights of the Christmas holiday and for the next issue of Femnista. The theme this time around is A Family Affair and this issue is in fact stocked to the rafters with the goods on various literary and film families we all know and love, or even love to hate depending on where you stand

Within these delightful pages you will find the goods on the Baratheons (Game of Thrones), the March family (Little Women), the Gilmores (Gilmore Girls), Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, the Gibsons (Wives and Daughters), the Crawleys (Downton Abbey), the Jones's (Indiana Jones), the Mikaelsons (The Originals), The Bennets (Pride and Prejudice), the Winchesters (Supernatural), and of course, the Holmes's (Sherlock), along with many others.

My article is, as promised, on Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, a movie I happen to deeply love. I hope you take a moment to peruse the articles, and may you enjoy each and every one of them, harboring any pearls of wisdom shared by the authors within your heart.

And remember, if you're a writer and want to participate, Charity is always looking for new voices. Give it a try, I'm sure you'll love it!

Book to Movie: Thoughts on "Stand by Me" (1986) and the original short story "The Body" by Stephen King

I know what you're thinking. What in the world is she doing reading a Stephen King story? Well, push your eyeballs back in your head and hear me out before you run shrieking from my blog. I have a very . . . liberal approach to literature. I have enjoyed many a story than most Christians make the sign of the cross over. That's just me, it's who I am, and while I'm not swayed by the stories, I do find them an intriguing psychological look at humanity. Know your enemy, so they say, not that I view Stephen King as my enemy, although I'm sure of my readers must disagree on that point.

No, what I'm saying is that I first encountered The Body not through King, but through the film Stand by Me that they based off his short story. I didn't even realize it was one of Stephen King's stories until I reached the end and did some online research. I had no clue. What you're probably wondering now is, what in the world is this story about other than a body? It's literally a coming-of-age story for 4 twelve-year-old boys in the 1960s who go on a trek over Labor Day Weekend to see a dead body. And not just any dead body, but the body of a kid their own age. It's the story of Gordy, Chris, Vern, and Teddy in the prime of their stupendously idiotic youth as they try to figure out who the heck they're becoming when their futures are pretty much already decided for them.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Murder Rooms Week: A Fandom I Love that Doesn't Get Nearly the Acclaim It Deserves

As you can probably guess, I'm participating, almost late might I add, in a BLOG PARTY for the great miniseries/book series Murder Rooms: The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes. If you've not heard of it, or if you have, come join me and may you come to love it as much as I do.

Do you ever have those moments when a fandom feels like it was only yesterday? When in reality it was 10 years ago? Because I have those moments, frequently, whether it's grieving the all-too-short run of Moonlight, the best ever vampire drama on television, or aching for the days when Lord of the Rings websites, blogs, and forums abounded online. Somewhere along the line, years passed, other people moved on, and I am left to remember in silence those beautiful stories that I loved for what felt like decades, but was, in fact, only a few years before everyone else found something new to love.

Femnista - Halloween Edition 2014

I know it's been awhile since I've posted links to Femnista, but that was rather a lack of thought on my part than intentionally ignoring it, especially since I write an article for every issue. My bad!

So, Femnista is still here and better than ever. The Halloween theme is, as you can tell from the cover image, Monsters & Madness. The issue itself is chock full of goodies, articles about all types of interests that deal with monsters, both supernatural and the very, very human variety.

If you're a Teen Wolf fan, as I am now, you should find my article Live by the Code to be intriguing at the very least, but you'll also find articles on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, the character of Loki from Thor, Dracula, Frankenstein, the hit tv show Sleepy Hollow, and even an oldie but goodie called The 'Burbs starring Tom Hanks. Lots of fun variety and I hope you'll take a peek and enjoy what you see.

The next issue will be released at the beginning of December and is themed A Family Affair. Prepare yourselves for my article on Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Not very Christmasy, I know, but it should be hilariously good fun.

Also, if you're a writer, keep in mind that can join us in writing for Femnista. Go HERE to find out more!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

POSTPONED - Elvis Presley Blog Party

Sorry folks, my life is too hectic right now, probably through the beginning of December, that I just can't commit to doing this. I'll tentatively mention maybe January, and then just a week. I'd love to just have the time to do regular blog posts let alone ones about Elvis.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Elvis Presley Octoberfest!

What happened to bring this on, you might ask? Well, my dears, I spent 3 days in Branson, MO and a glorious 2 1/2 hours with an Elvis tribute artist. No, they're not called impersonators anymore, something I learned while waiting in line for a photo with Joseph Hall. Those Elvis fans in their 60s adore their "tribute artists" and take great offense at the I word. On a random note, if you ever get out to Branson and happen to like Elvis, go to Joseph Hall's concert. He's marvelous on so many levels, not the least of which is that he's only 30 and he literally sounds almost identical to Elvis! It's uncanny!

Back to Elvis, not that I ever left the topic, but I'm going to do another blog party. This time it's not a blog hop, but if you want to participate, you can. The more the merrier.

Guidelines of Participation

If you do want to participate, just a few things to keep in mind.
  • If you choose to participate, please leave a comment on this post with your topic/s of choice and a link to your blog. I'll make a list on this post of any contributing blogs.
  • I don't care if people want to write on a topic or movie that's already been taken, so long as their post encompasses a different aspect of that film or Elvis' life.
  • All in all, simple guidelines!
Prepare yourselves for an awesome month with the King!

    Tuesday, September 9, 2014

    How do I recognize someone as being an ISFJ?

    I know I've said it before, but I'm going to go over the cognitive functions of an ISFJ yet again.

    The ISFJ is comprised of 4 cognitive functions in this order:

    Si (internal sensing)
    Fe (external feeling)
    Ti (internal thinking)
    Ne (external intuiting)

    What you all want to know is what do these words mean and how do I recognize them in the people around me, correct?

    Saturday, September 6, 2014

    The Steamcups Collection: Botanical, Avianatical Party Favors/Place Cards

    We are now embarking on a new business venture, selling Steampunk items and accessories. You will find our blog/website dedicated to this new business at the link below. At the moment all we have up are these delightful steamcups that my sister, Caitlin, made as party favors. I hope you'll stop on by the new blog, favorite it, whatever, and keep a watch on any and all new posts we add. Obviously, everything we'll put up is for sale unless otherwise stated. See you over at Steamporium!

    Steamporium: The Steamcups Collection: Botanical, Avianatical P...: Introducing The Steamcups Collection: Botanical, Avianatical Each of these fabulous teacup themed party f...

    Sunday, August 31, 2014

    Remembering Robin

    I've started this post so many times in my head and never knew quite what to say. But I figured I needed to get it out before any more time had passed.

    Robin Williams. Genie. Peter Pan. Mrs. Doubtfire. That crazy dad in RV. The semi-evil musician in August Rush. The professor in Dead Poets Society. And the professor in Flubber. Every time I look back over my life, he's been there, in some form or another. And when I heard he had died, not just died but taken his own life, I broke down. It was like losing a long-time friend. He gave me so much laughter throughout my childhood and into my adulthood, so much fun, and so much hilarity. A part of me always expected him to be there.

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

    And the Twelfth / Fourteenth / Whatever # He Is Doctor Arises

    If there is one thing I've learned in my years of watching Doctor Who, it's never get attached to any one Doctor. So I haven't. In fact, I even love classic Doctors like Six or Five or Seven. Heck I even really like the Original Doctor, obnoxious old crank that he is. So, I would be hard-pressed to pick a true favorite of the entire franchise.

    However, at the moment with the new set of Doctors, my favorite is Matt Smith. His eyes twinkle, he's laid back and just plain fun. He doesn't have zaniness of Nine or the broodiness of Ten, so I love Eleven. But, because I'm very accepting of new actors taking on the role of the Doctor, I was excited at the prospect of a new Doctor. That excitement doubled, maybe even tripled, when Capaldi was announced because he doesn't fit the modern mold that fangirls have come to expect. Capaldi is old and cranky with a lined face and grey hair. He isn't anyone's boyfriend. He is the Doctor and I'd like to think that maybe Capaldi will get the fan's focus back on him being the Doctor and far less on pairing him romantically with a companion.

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    Sunflower Blogger Award - New Round of Questions

    So, I've been nominated yet again for this award, which is so sweet of Hamlette! I think this makes the third, or possibly the fourth time. I love how everyone comes up with new questions that are totally unique from one another. On to the questions!

    Thursday, August 7, 2014

    In Defense of Severus Snape

    I was already an adult when I first experienced the Harry Potter series. My parents were of the same mindset as most Christian families, that Harry Potter was evil and their children needed to be protected from it. I never really minded all that much, apart from missing out on the latest thing that had all the kids my own age salivating. So, when I did finally watch the movies and read the books, it was without the wide-eyed wonder I would have used as a child reader. I wasn't moved by the story. Oh, it was interesting, but nothing spectacular, and I couldn't see what all the fuss was about. Ron was a jerk. Hermione was a know-it-all. And Harry, well, Harry goes it alone far more often than I liked in a child.

    Fortunately for me and the best friend who has waited oh, so patiently for me to join her fandom, my opinions are prone to change. I wasn't ready to love Harry Potter when I read it 6 or so years ago. But I was ready when I plunked myself down in my office chair for a long work-day, and plugged myself into the audiobook version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was hooked from that moment on. I couldn't wait to start my day so I could spend 6 or so hours with Harry and his friends. I love going to work every day anyway, but listening to Harry Potter made the day that much more enjoyable. I lost myself in that world, a world come alive through the voice acting of Jim Dale. I'm very much an auditory and tactile learner and the books themselves were too long, too burdensome, for me to fully enjoy reading. You must admit that Rowling got more verbose as she went along. I didn't remember much of them after my first reading. Now, I feel like I remember almost everything. Sure, some details have escaped me, but where I saw Harry's world in black and white before, now it's in vibrant color with scents and sounds and sights that before I couldn't even imagine. Jim Dale did it for me. He drew me into the world of Harry Potter, a feat I thought impossible.

    Saturday, June 14, 2014

    Give yourself permission to pursue your dreams

    Memories shape our lives, sometimes even shape our futures if we let them. When I was in my early twenties, I was completely adrift. I'd graduated from high school, and didn't want to go to college. I talked myself into thinking that I didn't need it, that I could be equally as successful without it. In some cases, it's true that you can be successful without college, but not with me. Despite everything I said about not needing college, my not attending college weighed heavily on me. The lack of a college education was like a millstone tied to my ankle. And before anyone asks, no, my family never made me feel that way. They never acted like I was wasting my life because I was only working a part-time job and not going to college.

    The final tipping point to action stemmed from the books I was reading at the time. I was a typical young Christian woman in her early twenties so I read a lot of Christian romance. Every time the heroine made a success of college I felt a pinprick of guilt. But it was Debra White Smith's book First Impressions that clinched it for me. The heroine, based off Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennet, was a college graduate who was younger than me. I had waited 5 years out of high school, was now 23-years-old and Lizzie had surpassed me in her college success. I couldn't let that happen, and I couldn't live with myself knowing that I was letting an education slip through my fingers and swirl down the proverbial drain.

    Tuesday, June 3, 2014

    I think it's time to . . . write


    So this is what it feels like to go for over a month without blogging. Weird. I'm not sure if anyone else suffers this fate, but the longer I go without writing, the creakier my style gets. If that's even a word. Creakier. That's not necessarily a good thing for someone who minored in Creative Writing. I suppose the only answer to this dilemma is to write more often. However, I do have a partially good excuse for my absence. I'm about 90% sure I posted about my job at Compassion International. The last three months have been spent in training and incredibly busy work days so when I get home the last thing I want to do is look at a computer screen. My job is data entry, so that's a little understandable, I think. But, I must get myself back into the rhythm of blogging since I do enjoy it, although I'm discovering that I'm less keen on reviewing books than I was before I was gainfully employed full-time. That aspect of my blog go by the wayside, or I might review only when I'm really keen on something. We'll see, no promises.

    I know that most of my popular posts are about the ISFJ. That's fantastic, and I'm thrilled, but I also need my readers to understand that I don't always want to talk personality types. So, I'll probably take a break from that aspect of my blog for awhile, try something new on for size, maybe even bits of creative writing. There's this fun writing contest for Beauty & the Beast that Serena posted over at Edgy Inspirational Romance that looks intriguing. I've always been partial to this particular fairy tale, but never really liked all the adaptations and re-imaginings that have come down the pike since the original story made its debut. Not a huge fan of Beastly, let me tell you. The contest ends in December 2014, so I have plenty of time to think up a retelling. Of course, if I do decide to participate, I won't necessarily post the writing here, unless it's something I don't plan to put in the final draft. Like an extra scene or a side bit, or something like that, a short as it were. It could be a fun way to spend a few months of my free time.

    Sunday, April 20, 2014

    An Easter Afternoon Tea

    Left to right: my sister Caitlin, mom Tammy, and me (probably the first time most of you have seen me)

    I realized that it's been months since I last posted about Afternoon Tea, probably because it's been months since we've really done one on a major scale. I figured there was no better time than Easter to enjoy a lovely tea so this morning we went all out with the preparations.

    So, my darlings, Happy Easter, and prepare yourself to enjoy the goodies I have for you today!

    On the Menu

    Spiral-Sliced Ham
    Cream Scones
    Mini Salmon Quiche
    Brie and Baguette Wheel
    Sauteed Mini Squash

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    A Lesson on Transformation from Gandalf and Will Graham

    With this being Holy Week, my thoughts have been focused on transformation for the last several days. Christians undergo a transformation when we're saved. Christ himself underwent a transformation on Resurrection Day, suddenly no longer confined by a physical body and its limitations. Transformation is something that everyone on earth undergoes at some point or another. A tipping point, as it were, from evil to good or from good to evil. Literature itself is ripe with the concept.

    Think of Gandalf the Grey transforming into Gandalf the White. Gandalf the Grey is impressive in his own right, but he is viewed by many, hobbits especially, as harmless. He is merely an old wizard who specializes in magic tricks. Gandalf the White is something else entirely. He has metamorphosed into a pure version of himself, the version of Gandalf that was always just below the surface but needed death and resurrection to be released.

    I've always been partial to Gandalf the Grey, probably because he's kick-ass tough and abounding with sarcasm. But I also appreciate the wisdom of Gandalf the White, who was only born out of sacrifice and death. Gandalf the White is the full interpretation of Gandalf. People who focus only on either Grey or White are missing Gandalf's journey, and thereby missing his point. He is the perfect example in literature of transformation from someone being merely a neutral color to being perfect purity. He is symbolic of Christ's transformation. Whatever else Peter Jackson might have done to Tolkien's work, he got Gandalf right, and for that I will always love him.

    Monday, March 31, 2014

    The Sunflower Blogger Award (Part 2)

    It seems that I've been nominated yet again for this award! Thanks very much to sweet Ruby for the nomination. I hope you head on over to her blog and read her answers to the questions posed by those who nominated her.

    The Rules:

    • Share 11 facts about yourself. 
    • Answer the questions set by your Nomination Blogger 
    • Nominate 11 bloggers. 
    • Set questions for the nominated bloggers.
     (Yet again, I won't nominate anyone for the award since I love all the blogs I follow and I hate to narrow them down)

    11 Facts about Me:
    • I have a thing for shortish, stocky men like Martin Freeman, Seamus Deaver, Jensen Ackles, and Jeremy Renner. My best friend can attest to it.
    • I met Michael Buble live and in person at his last concert! Fan-club prize passes are AWESOME!
    • I never wear mis-matched pajamas, ever.
    • My toenails and fingernails almost never match in the polish department.
    • I'm a total Kevin Ryan fan on Castle. As soon as he started wearing those three-piece suits, I started paying attention and now I adore him.
    • I listen to James Darren music while performing data entry at work. I commend those of you who know who he is.
    • I'm a cat person.
    • Disneyland is my favorite vacation spot.
    • I've seen Phantom of the Opera on tour twice, LOVE IT!
    • Mint green and shrimp are two of my favorite colors.
    • I dream of someday running a literary themed bed and breakfast with rooms dedicated to The Great Gatsby, Romeo & Juliet, The Lord of the Rings, Gone with the Wind, etc.

    Questions from Ruby:

    Is there a fictional book you think everyone should read at least once?

    I would say A Lesson before Dying by Ernest Gaines. I read it for college a few years back and it made a lasting impression about racism, sort of like To Kill a Mockingbird. It's brilliant and everyone should read it.

    Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley?

    I would pick none of Austen's heroes, but if I had to narrow it down, probably Mr. Knightley. Although I give more credit to Jeremy Northam's portrayal than to the actual character. I've yet to hate Northam in anything, even when he plays the villain. Like in The Net with Sandra Bullock. Yum.

    What would your dream car be?

     A black 1967 Chevy Impala in pristine condition just like the Metallicar that my boys own in Supernatural.

    Dude, that car is freakin' awesome!

    Would you rather wear your hair in a bun or a braid?

    My hair is baby fine so it always escapes a bun and looks entirely too messy. So I'm a braids girl by necessity, not by choice. Although a bun with a braid never hurts.

    What is your least favorite movie (or miniseries) of all time?

    Hah, that's a tough one. I pretty much hate Labyrinth and Willow, but I think the new winner in this category is the 1984 version of Dune. It's just gross. Love Paul, the hero, but it's disjointed and when it is cohesive there's a slobbery fat guy with homosexual tendencies pulling heart plugs out of his male servants so he can get aroused watching them die. Top that off with the rock star Sting playing the fat guy's nephew and very nearly stepping nude out of a shower and you've got a recipe for disaster. It's horrible so don't ever watch it, ever. 

    What movie do you think is the most underrated?  Most overrated?

    Well, let's see. The most underrated movie for me is the 1939 Pride & Prejudice with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. I love it. I think the hearts of all the cast and the crew were in the right place, and I couldn't care less that the costumes are off by 20 years. A lot of Austen's books were published years after she originally wrote them so she never imagined the clothing in the Regency era either. So I don't care one whit about those who dislike the costuming because I think it's darling.

    And the most overrated is not a movie but a miniseries, Downton Abbey. I watch it with my parents because they love it and I do find it fascinating, but it's not worth all this muss and fuss. Drama and tragedy is thrown in just to keep things moving and that's not fair to the fans or the characters. So, yes, at the risk of sacrilege, Downton Abbey is totally overrated.

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

    Are Daniel Craig and Benedict Cumberbatch introverts?

    Are Daniel and Benedict introverts?

    Why are people asking me if Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Craig are introverts? So funny!

    To hazard a guess, I would say yes to Daniel Craig, at least, he's a very strong Se/Ni user. With that focused stare he couldn't be anything else. So, if those are his top functions, the order in which they place determine what he is, either an extrovert or an introvert. But again, I don't know.

    As for Benedict, no, I don't think he's an introvert, plus he is probably a Fe user because of the facial expressions he throws out there for the camera and the way he can react to anything and everything in the blink of an eye. Plus, whenever you see him, he seems to have boundless energy. So, no, probably not an introvert.

    Charity, if you care to hazard a guess on their personality types specifically, be my guest! *smiles*

    Monday, March 17, 2014

    LoVe - Veronica Mars: The Movie (2014)

    Well, Veronica Mars fans, the movie is awesome. One of my friends and I hit the high road this afternoon after church, driving 50 minutes to reach a theater playing Veronica Mars. And do you know the main reason why we went? In the hopes that the movie would finally give us both the ending we wanted!

    This entire movie is LoVe themed (for the uninformed that's Logan/Veronica). She's had many boyfriends over the years, but the backbone of the entire show was always the chemistry between Logan and Veronica. So, for those few Duncan fans out there, you're out of luck. He's not in this movie at all, not even mentioned, and I don't miss him one wee little bit. Duncan was one of the most boring male leads ever to be written into a television show so I'm happy to have an entire hour and forty-eight minutes without him. Piz fans (seriously, who named this guy!?), you're out of luck too. Not that I ever disliked Piz, I just never cared one way or the other. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but let's be honest, V doesn't stay with good guys for very long.

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    Veronica Mars is back!

    I discovered Veronica Mars after the fact, probably in 2008 if memory serves me right, just as the show ended in flames of glory. I feel for the pain of the fans because I've been there, done that with Moonlight. I remember sending out postcards, emailing and calling networks, hoping against hope that someone would pick up the coolest vampire show in the history of television. Alas, it was not meant to be, and Moonlight fans are left with only our fond memories and the all-too short 1st season of 16 episodes. I suppose I should be grateful since not even Firefly, another fantastic show, had that many episodes. The Unusuals with Jeremy Renner was cursed with only 10, so 16 episodes feels like a winner.

    But enough about my fandoms and on to the one fandom that is actually getting a second chance. The Veronica Mars fans, or Marshmallows as they've termed themselves, have done something remarkable. In a massive Kickstarter campaign that could revolutionize the film industry, the Marshmallows raised a whopping 5.7 million dollars to fund the Veronica Mars movie. I know, in terms of real money, 5.7 million is chump change, but with the show's director and Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) backing the project 110%, the impossible became reality. And the fans have their movie.

    Monday, March 10, 2014

    Charity Bishop's "I, Claudia" in Kindle format is free this week on Amazon!

    Hello to my faithful readers! This week I've got great news for you!

    Roma Downey and Mark Burnett recently released the incredibly moving film Son of God in theaters everywhere. Seriously, it's probably in a theater near you, and if it is, you need to go see it. Mark and Roma have pledged a multi-million dollar fundraiser for Compassion International whose tagline is, "Releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name." It doesn't get much better than that.

    My own little plug aside, Charity Bishop, a long-time friend of mine and self-published author, is offering her book, I, Claudia, absolutely free in KINDLE format on Amazon. This is a special promotion that ends on March 15th so you have limited time to take her up on the offer!

    For those of you unfamiliar with Claudia, she is the wife of Pontius Pilate, the man who ultimately washed his hands of Jesus' fate, thereby condemning him to death. This is Claudia's story as you have never read it before, and will never read it again.

    Let's be honest, guys. It's tough being a self-published author! This is a fantastic book and it deserves a little added attention. You can't go wrong with a free Kindle download. So please, head on over to I, Claudia's page on Amazon and click the little button. Make me happy!

    If it all possible, even consider adding a review to Amazon for the book. Goodreads is another great option to give a book a little extra push to get it in the public sphere. I loved it, and I hope you'll love it too!

    Also, I reviewed I, Claudia several months ago when Charity first released it. So, if you like, check out MY REVIEW!

    The promotion ends 3/15 so get your copy now!

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

    Hamlette's Soliloquy: "Ivanhoe" (1982)

    All right, darlings, please make sure to read Hamlette's review of Ivanhoe starring Anthony Andrews. It is the official final post for the Anthony Andrews Blog Hop in February, and she absolutely loved the film just like the majority of people who see it. Enjoy!

    Hamlette's Soliloquy: "Ivanhoe" (1982): I was so excited when I won a copy of this on Musings of an Introvert !  I'd only seen the 1952 version before, and it rather... lacks...

    The Sunflower Blogger Award

    I was actually nominated twice for this award, which is quite amazing and I'm truly honored! So, thanks goes to Anna at A Cowgirl and a Dream and Hamlette at The Edge of the Precipice and Hamlette's Soliloquy. I'm only going to answer the questions, not nominate anyone. :)

    The rules:
    1. Share 11 facts about yourself. 
    2. Answer the questions set by your Nomination Blogger 
    3. Nominate 11 bloggers. 
    4. Set questions for the nominated bloggers.
    So here are my 11 facts:

    1. I was homeschooled through high school.
    2. My family sold spices and jewelry at fairs and festivals as an income up until I was 8-years-old, traveling around the west and midwest.
    3. I collect salt and pepper shakers.
    4. My family has been accused ( ? ) of being British due to the way we drink afternoon tea.
    5. I'm a cat lover.
    6. I only have one sibling, my sister Caitlin.
    7. I work for Compassion International as of last week.
    8. Brideshead Revisited is one of my favorite books.
    9. Sherlock is one of my favorite shows on television.
    10. I don't have a huge shoe collection, but I have more purses than I can ever use.
    11. I change my nail polish color every week.

    My Answers for Hamlette

    If you had to spend the rest of your life in a different century of Earth's past, where would you spend it?

    Probably in the twentieth century. I love the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s so that seems like a pretty good option. Plus I would get to see Laurence Olivier play Romeo on the stage!

    What's your favorite salad dressing?

    Umm, probably Newman's Caesar dressing. It has a lovely kick to it!

    What's the worst movie (that you liked least) you saw in 2013?

    That has to be The Lone Ranger. Sorry, Rachel!

    Do you paint your toenails?

    Yes, but mostly in the summer when I'll wear sandals. Less now because I have to wear dress shoes at work.

    What are your three favorite TV shows?

    Sherlock, Castle, and The Originals.

    Are there any books or movies you own more than one copy of?  If so, what are they?

    I own three copies of The Lord of the Rings in book form. One that's a boxed set, one that's all wrinkled and gnarly because it was my first set, and one incredibly heavy book that's illustrated by Alan Lee. I also own an e-book copy of Cornelia Funke's Fearless along with the physical book. I own more than one adaptation of certain movies like Pride & Prejudice, but not more than one copy of the same movie.

    My Answers for Anna

    Dogs or cats?

    Cats all the way.  Although I don't hate dogs, I just prefer cats.

    Eponine or Cosette?

    Mmm, neither really.  I'm not that big of a Les Mis fan.

    What is your favorite kind of cultural food? (Chinese, Mexican, Italian)

    Ooh, definitely Mexican. Although I love Chinese too, it's just that I adore enchiladas!

    One dream role on Broadway? (yes one!)

    Mmm, possibly Mrs. Fairfax in the no-longer-playing Jane Eyre that is absolutely brilliant.

    "One Day More" or "Do You Hear The People Sing?"

    Neither because I don't recognize the titles.

    "The Phantom of the Opera" or "Love Never Dies"?

    Phantom, hands down!

    Favorite Book?

    There are many, but Fahrenheit 451, The Lord of the Rings, and just about anything written by Cornelia Funke make that list.

    What would your ideal first date be?

    Since I've never been on a date, I have no clue. I don't see anything wrong with going to dinner and maybe seeing a movie.

    Where do you find the most beauty of God's creation? (sky, trees, your own home, etc.)

    For me, it's the power of the ocean. Some people are moved by mountains, but I have always found the ocean to be the greatest reminder of God's power and the glory of His creation. That's what comes of living in Oregon for 6 years. :)

    Iced tea or lemonade?

    Probably iced tea, although I like both.

    Who are some of your favorite blogger friends?
    Tops is, of course, my best friend Charity at Confessions of an INTP. Then there's Hamlette over at The Edge of the Precipice and Jody over at Author, Jody Hedlund. I also follow Lizzie at His Redeemed Child and Birdie at Lady of the Manor. I also have lovely friends who post on my blog, but don't necessarily have blogs of their own.

    Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    Moving Ahead: A New Stage in My Journey

    It's strange how emotions and feelings choose the funniest times to pop up and make a nuisance of themselves. Perhaps I shouldn't say nuisance since these are actually emotions I should be feeling, but I hate having the urge to burst into tears at the drop of a hat.

    The Lord has blessed me mightily this month. Starting next Monday I will be one of Compassion International's newest employees in the SDP department (a lot of financial and data entry work). If you're not familiar with the company, they focus on child sponsorship in 3rd world countries and also handle a lot of disaster relief and family training. It's a wonderful, wonderful company that uplifts the lives of the downtrodden and shines the light of Jesus into the darkest of places. I can't even begin to express my love for this company, and the honor and gratitude I feel for their hiring me. They're changing my life, and in the best way possible.

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    In Defense of Sherlock

    Right now there seems to be a lot of confusion running rampant about the personality and motivations behind Sherlock Holmes of BBC’s Sherlock. "He's selfish" crops up online regularly and I'm always left slightly puzzled at this interpretation of his behavior. I don't accept that interpretation of his actions. Okay, perhaps he is selfish, but the question should always come before the judgment. And really, just how selfish is he? Why is he selfish? What drives that selfishness? And perhaps, at the end of the day, we're left with the understanding that Sherlock isn't actually selfish at all, but something else entirely.

    You see, I think it's important to judge fictional characters based off their personality types and the mannerisms those personality types exhibit. Perhaps a lot of people don't interact with an INTP (Myers-Briggs Personality Test) regularly, but that is one of the three personalities (leave it to him to use THREE personality types!) that Sherlock exhibits, and if I know anything in this entire world, it's how an INTP thinks. Nope, not because I am one since I'm an ISFJ thank you very much. Rather, I've been blessed with an INTP for a best friend, and if that doesn't give me insight into Sherlock's lunacy then nothing will.

    Wednesday, February 19, 2014

    All Anthony-ed Out!

    Well, m'dears, I knew it would happen sooner or later, but I just can't write another word about my beloved Anthony Andrews. This Anthony Andrews Blog Hop Party is now officially finished on my end.

    Feel free to continue writing blog posts or posting ones you've pre-scheduled. I'll hop on and read them and comment and all that good stuff, but I'm literally drained of any words that could be used in context with AA.

    I do hope that this blog hop has inspired you to track down some of his lesser-known works, and that you've enjoyed the time spent with me this month in revisiting his terrific filmography. Now I can go back to just watching his movies and not psycho-analyzing them. So refreshing!

    Starting next week, I'll return to the regular regimen of posts, book reviews, and other good stuff.

    Anthony Andrews Mystery Collection: Agatha Christie's Sparkling Cyanide

    Anthony Andrews and Deborah Raffin in Sparkling Cyanide (1983)

    What is up with this man? Every time I turn around right now, Anthony Andrews is popping up in some mystery or other. First Columbo then Miss Marple then Rosemary and Thyme and now he's starring in a stand-alone Agatha Christie known as Sparkling Cyanide. I suspect that the screenwriters probably butchered Ms. Christie's original story, but like my fondness for By the Pricking of My Thumbs, it doesn't entirely matter.

    Friday, February 14, 2014

    Happy Valentine's Day

    From me, Bobby Darin, and Sandra Dee!

    TSP Quotation Challenge and Giveaway Winner!

    Congratulations to HAMLETTE!

    And we really must congratulate her since this was only her first watching of
     The Scarlet Pimpernel. Well done, m'dear! I'll email you tomorrow to
    verify your address! Ivanhoe shall be yours!

    Thanks to the runners-up, Charity and Marissa, for participating!

    Hamlette missed only 3 questions, Marissa missed 4, and Charity missed 8.
    I judged according to each fill-in-the-blank space so some of the quotations
    were actually worth 2 or 3 answers. You ladies were great sports!

    For those of you curious as to the correct answers to my little
    quotation challenge, here you go!

    1. "They seek him here, they seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere."
    2. "Od's fish, m'dear. Would you have me challenge the poor countess to a duel?"
    3. "Then your tailors will rule the land, and no one will make the clothes."
    4. "Percy. Fashionably late, as usual." "Sink me, your highness, it was this damned cravat. Simply refused to tie."
    5. "Oh, the English, and their STUPID sense of fair play!"
    6. "So much for French fashion and French politics."
    7. "Approval, sir, in my opinion, demands the attainment of perfection. And in that sense, you rather overrate the charm of your society." 
    8. "If I were to tell you that I adore you, would you have me do so stintingly? Or would you have me declare it as I feel it, with all my heart?"
    9. "I swear you've been taking lessons. The cravat's a picture."
    10. "My heart dictates the pace."
    11. "From this moment on, she must never be trusted. We cannot risk betrayal."
    12. "What I see before me is a facade. A shell of a man I once knew. This is some absurd role you're playing. I don't know why, but I'm sure it is. Perhaps to keep the world at a distance. And now you're shutting me out as well."
    13. "A phantom, my lady, nothing more than a phantom."
    14. "He was looking for the Scarlet Pimpernel. I pray he found a fool."
    15. "You must learn to trust me, my friend. Do not trouble your head with thoughts of Louise. I will see that she is safe."
    16. "It would seem your friend is in distress. To the rescue."
    17. "I see now what begins as a dream can end as a nightmare. Some causes can become warped and twisted, like some men."
    18. "My dear chap, I never would have dreamt of depriving you of your moment of triumph. Alas, a moment was all I could spare."
    19. "They knew that your tears would be the worst possible torture."
    20. "Ceased? I will love her to the day I die. That is the tragedy."
    21. "God bless the Scarlet Pimpernel, whoever he may be. Surely he must be an angel in disguise."

    Discovering True Love: Percy and Marguerite

    Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)

    What is romance? A lot of people picture it as hearts and flowers and that tingly sensation in the pit of the stomach. It can be that unspoken attraction between two people before they even really meet each other. A glance across a crowded room. A touch of a hand that sparks something unexpected.

    For Sir Percival Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel, it was a glance across a room that started his inexplicable infatuation with Marguerite St. Just. He knew nothing of her, not really even her name when he first encountered her. Only that she was the sister of a man he happened to save because that's what Percy does . . . he saves people. It is the perfect moment of love at first sight for any romantic dreamer.

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    Anthony Andrews Blog Count (Updated 2/25/14)


    All right, m'dears, these are all of the official posts for this Anthony Andrews Blog Hope to date, including a few, or maybe just one, that I added from another blog but was written years ago. I think the post covers the author's love for The Scarlet Pimpernel beautifully. I will continue updating this list as more of the links go live, and of course, if anyone new happens to add something, which you're always welcome to do.

    If you want a post added, please just comment down below and I'll update both this list, and the LINKY that apparently only works for some folks. Weird!

    Intro Post and Miscellaneous
    Anthony Andrews Blog Hop Introduction Post (mine)
    A Taste of the Real Anthony Andrews (mine)

    The Scarlet Pimpernel: Quotation Challenge and Ivanhoe DVD Giveaway! (mine)
    Quotation Challenge Winner (mine)

    Brideshead Revisited:
    Brideshead Revisited (mine)
    Gods and Teddy Bears: Sebastian and Aloysius (Charity's Place)

    The Scarlet Pimpernel:
    The Fop and the Fool: Christian Symbolism in The Scarlet Pimpernel (Charity's Place)
    Sir Percival Blakeney, Baronet (Marissa)
    Sir Percy Blakeney, Baronet: The Man Behind the Mask (mine)
    Sir Percy’s Personality Type (Funky MBTI Fiction)
    Discovering True Love: Percy and Marguerite (mine)
    Giveaway of "The Scarlet Pimpernel" DVD (Hamlette)
    An objective review on "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (Hamlette)
    Why I Love The Scarlet Pimpernel (Of Trims and Frills)

    Anthony as a delicious villain in the BEST Columbo episode ever!

     Misc. Roles:
    The Beast Within: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Charity's Place)
    Miss Marple - By the Pricking of My Thumbs: The Trouble With Tommy (mine)
    Lessons from Moriarty: Hands of a Murderer (Charity's Place)
    Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave . . . Columbo Goes to the Guillotine (Charity's Place)
    Sacrificial Love: Ivanhoe and Rebecca (mine)
    Agatha Christie's Sparkling Cyanide (mine)
    Frogs and Snails: Little Boys (Charity's Place)

    Charity’s Place Movie Reviews:
    Brideshead Revisited
    David Copperfield
    Hands of a Murderer
    The King’s Speech
    Love in a Cold Climate
    Marple, Season Two
    The Scarlet Pimpernel

    Remember to submit your answers to my Scarlet Pimpernel Quotation Challenge and GIVEAWAY! I'll post the winner tomorrow night around 8pm MST so get those answers submitted. A free Ivanhoe DVD is a lovely prize, if I do say so myself . . . which I do. *winks*

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

    The Scarlet Pimpernel Quotation Challenge and GIVEAWAY!!

    Come and join us on the Day Dream!

    All right, ladies (and gentlemen if there are any of you interested), get your little grey cells whirring for this exciting quotation challenge!


    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Sacrificial Love: Ivanhoe and Rebecca

    Anthony Andrews and Olivia Hussey in Ivanhoe (1982)

    The best stories leave you wanting more. And sometimes they don't have the perfect ending, like Ivanhoe. I've never read the book (it's on my to-reads list for sometime in the next 5 years), so I have no clue as to whether this film adaptation is faithful or not, and frankly, I don't care. Because Wilfrid of Ivanhoe's story transcends just the tale penned by Sir Walter Scott. It is a tale of chivalry, of honor, of defeat, and of romance, and it never fails to move me to tears because my favorite couple is doomed to the status of unrequited love.

    Friday, February 7, 2014

    By the Pricking of My Thumbs: The Trouble with Tommy

    Anthony Andrews and Greta Scacchi as Tommy and Tuppence in By the Pricking of My Thumbs (2006)

    I vaguely remember reading this Agatha Christie novel once, quite a few years back, and being surprised that she'd written something without either Poirot or Miss Marple. It didn't snag my interest for very long, possibly because I didn't have a visual to go with the story. Now I do, and I wish to high heaven that some genius had leapt to his/her feet and declared the necessity of a Tommy and Tuppence miniseries! Just a single season, possibly only 4 episodes, but each one casting this brilliant duo of Anthony Andrews and Greta Scacchi.

    Now that you've had my prologue (although I confess that Anthony doesn't have nearly enough scenes for a die-hard fangirl like me!), we can move on to the meat of Tommy and Tuppence's relationship.

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

    Percival Blakeney, Baronet: The Man Behind the Mask

    Anthony Andrews as Sir Percy in The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)

    Do you ever feel like you're wearing a facade? Like what the world sees is not who you really are underneath?

    Whenever I watch The Scarlet Pimpernel, I always ponder the difficulties of pretending to be an idiotic fop in front of the entire world. Percy is a first-class hero, one that should have really existed, a man who risked his life going into Paris and rescuing doomed members of the aristocracy during the French Revolution. Yet, to all but a few trusted associates, he is nothing more than a buffoon who cares more about his perfectly tied cravat than human lives.

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    Benedict Cumberbatch and the Sign of Four (or is it Three?)

    My dearest friends, meet Benedict Sherlock!

    Femnista: Jan/Feb 2014 - Disney Animation

    Welcome to the latest issue of Femnista! This is the webzine that I write for on a bi-monthly basis, and the theme this month is, as you can tell, Disney Animation!

    We've got great articles on all films Disney. My sister wrote about Atlantis, the movie that most Disney fans have either never seen or try to forget but is one of her top favorites. I wrote about the development of Tinkerbell through the release of the awesome Disney Fairies movies that I love so much. There's articles on Tangled, Beauty & the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Mulan, Cinderella, Treasure Planet, The Lion King, and many more!

    Come join us and delight in revisiting the films of your childhood!

    Monday, February 3, 2014

    A Taste of the Real Anthony Andrews

    As Sebastian Flyte from Brideshead Revisited (1981)

    And here's the official kick-off for my Valentine's Month Blog Hop for Anthony Andrews!

    Ordinarily, I don't like to look up information on the actors I adore. You never know what you might find, but I made an exception for Anthony Andrews because I feel that nothing will change my opinion of him. He's not perfect and I can't expect that of him. And delving a little bit into his personal life won't do me any harm.

    Keep going into the post to see more!

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

    The Delights of Anthony Andrews . . . or a Valentine's Month Blog Hop!

    I'm not usually all goo-goo eyed in the month of February. In fact, this is usually my least favorite month of the year! All single adults probably feel the same, inundated with red hearts and pink flowers and boxes of calories on every side, and no spouse to share them with.

    But, this year, for whatever reason, I felt compelled to try something new. This man, this gorgeous man, is Anthony Andrews. Born in 1948 in London, Anthony recently celebrated his 66th birthday. You might say that I like them old, or you could more accurately say that age never matters to me.

    The photo above is from his enchanting role as Sir Percival Blakeney, Baronet in The Scarlet Pimpernel in 1982. Yes, we're talking 32 years ago, making him a delicious 34-years-old during the filming of this movie.

    Tuesday, January 28, 2014

    From Jody Hedlund's Blog: 5 Elements Sigh-Worthy Romance Novels Must Have

    I usually don't share posts from third parties, but this one I absolutely must share! Jody Hedlund is fast becoming one of my favorite romance writers, but apart from her fiction, her blog is absolutely brimming with useful tips for folks like me who write, but aren't yet published. I agree wholeheartedly with 4 out of the 5 components that she lists.

    And because she inquires after opinions regarding whether fiction is becoming too formulaic, I figured that I might as well disagree with 1 point. I don't always like the hero of the romantic triangle. I read Lori Benton's Burning Sky last year, and absolutely LOVED it! But, a huge part of me liked the secondary male character better. I liked Joseph Tames-his-Horse a lot, at least as much as Neil and possibly more. I have to wonder, then, if it's possible for a romance to end with the heroine ending with the unlikely choice.

    What do you think about love triangles? Should the heroine ever choose the "other" man?

    Please check out Jody's blog post, it's quite brilliant!

    5 Elements Sigh-Worthy Romance Novels Must Have

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

    BBC Sherlock (2014): The Sign of Three

    Change isn't always easy or fun. Sherlock doesn't always adapt well to change, but in this 3rd season of Sherlock, he's at least trying. Episode 3.2, The Sign of Three, involves a lot of change for Sherlock and John. Why? Because John Watson has finally found the love of his life, Mary Morstan, and this episode covers their wedding. In other words, John's leaving for a new life.

    This season is more character-centric than the previous seasons. The cases are pretty much unimportant in comparison to the growth and development of the characters. Take, Sherlock Holmes, for example. In this episode, Sherlock is learning to be empathetic towards other people. This is not a primary function for him, as we all know! The episode opens with him sending an urgent text, pleading with Lestrade to help him, immediately, at once, and he gives no details. Lestrade, being the big boob that he is, doesn't ask for the details, instead flying to Baker Street with the entire cavalry in tow, helicopters and all. Sherlock needs help with his best man speech. That's it. This is typical Sherlock behavior if I ever saw it! What isn't so typical of him is his statement of hoping that Lestrade hadn't gone to too much trouble. This is unusual, my friends!

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

    How to Know if an ISFJ Cares

    I'm getting hits with ISFJ questions! This is so absolutely exciting!

    Q: How can I tell if an ISFJ genuinely cares?

    A: The ISFJ isn't like other personality types. Our top two functions are Si and Fe, meaning traditional memory/sentimentality and compassion for the emotions of others. We have a very high rate of compassion, with the only personality types higher being the ESFJ and ENFJ.

    Sunday, January 19, 2014

    BBC Sherlock (2014) - The Empty Hearse

    Imagine living 2 years without your best friend. Everything points to that person being dead. You've finally managed to move on, although life doesn't have quite as much excitement or meaning as before. Then, on a seemingly normal evening, you take your girlfriend out to dinner, planning to propose, finally meet the eyes of your waiter, and discover that it is none other than Sherlock Holmes, risen from the dead. Yeah, John didn't handle that one so well!

    Needless to say, Sherlock isn't dead. John's been living an average life for 2 years, actually fallen in love, grown a mustache, and when Sherlock pops back into his life, he runs the full gamut of emotions in the span of thirty seconds. Then, in true John fashion, he grabs at Sherlock's neck in a blind rage. It's funny. Yes, it's absolutely hysterical because John punches at him not once, but three times, and each time they get thrown out of the restaurant, moving to one progressively lower class. It's AWESOME!

    Thursday, January 9, 2014

    Things to Know about an ISFJ

    This is essentially a manual on what not to do to an ISFJ unless you are a heartless, well . . . you know what.

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Happy 79th Birthday, Elvis!

    Elvis Aron Presley
    Happy 79th Birthday!

     January 8, 1935 - August 16, 1977

    “Before Elvis, there was nothing.” - John Lennon

    Today, I went to lunch with one of my dearest friends who is old enough to have actually seen Elvis in person while he was filming It Happened at the World's Fair in Seattle. We settled into a booth at Carino's, ordered Coke products, and when the waitress brought them, we clinked our glasses to the King of Rock n' Roll. It's probably crazy weird for people to go out to lunch and celebrate Elvis' 79th birthday, but I can live with a little weirdness. Lynn and I love Elvis. She loved him first (obviously), but she passed that love on to me. And sitting there, in the restaurant, talking about our Bible study and about Elvis, made me so happy and warm inside.

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

    Movie Review: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

      The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013, PG13)

    Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers, Robert Sheehan,
     Lena Heady, Jared Harris, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers

    For once in my life, I'm thrilled that I didn't read a book before seeing its movie counterpart! I've heard nothing but negativity about the Mortal Instruments series from various people, even my sister, who only made it halfway through the first book before giving up in disgust over its unnecessary length. I had great aspirations to see the movie in theaters, but, well, school intervened and before I knew it, it was on its way out and I had to wait for the DVD.

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