Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reading....WHY don't you have time for it?

Hello everyone!

I was just on my brother's blog where he linked this article on President Bush's reading habits.

If the President can read forty books a year, why shouldn't you be able to read a hundred or more? I'm not saying that I will live up to this standard, but it would be fun to try, wouldn't it? And good for me too. I wonder if I'll ever remember how important it is to read lots of different books, different genres, different authors, different styles. I'll have to see what I can do to record what books I read, review the ones I feel like, and keep a count on how many I manage to finish next year. Just a fun thought!

Anna

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve everybody!


I don't know who'll be reading this. I just felt like telling everybody who might stop by today Merry Christmas. I always check my mail if the computer is working, even on holidays, and if I check my mail I check my blog reader, so maybe some of you will be doing the same.

Today we're going to my Nanah's, and I'll see my brothers and their families, and at least one uncle. :D I don't know who all will be there, but I'm excited to go.

This morning I have to make a pie to take up there, which I'm excited about because it is my favorite pie in the world. Heh heh (It has a whole pound of Hershey's milk chocolate in it.)
It's also very easy, so I promised Nanah I would bring one.


BTW, some if this music below is really pretty, and I've been listening to it on youtube, so I thought I would just post it. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Christmas though.
Also, for those of you who liked the Village Soundtrack and the Peter Pan soundtrack, the composer, James Newton Howard, composed the Lady in the Water soundtrack. :D

Monday, December 15, 2008

Movie of the Month: The Nativity Story


All I'll say is that I really like this movie a lot, and that it reminds me of why we really celebrate Christmas. It's very well done. You should get it and watch this Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe




Hello virtual peoples!

I recently finished reading TLWW for the second or third time, along with a chapter-by-chapter commentary on it, and tonight I watched the movie, so I thought I would post some thoughts.


The Book:
First, I have always thought that Narnia was great, but not fantastic or amazing. Or at least, it feels like that. Rereading TLWW made me change my mind; Narnia is amazing. Rereading the book with the commentary deepened my appreciation for what many consider Lewis's greatest work.

Reading it with the commentary was eye-opening to all the little details and also the way that Lewis writes. There are so many hidden meanings...or at least the author of the commentary says so. Note before I go on: I wonder if the author of the commentary (Devin Brown) was reading stuff into the story, or if he was just suggesting things? It just makes me wonder how much was really behind Narnia. Maybe people think that there is more than there is. It's possible.

Anyway, the book was a lot more enjoyable to read with a commentary, because I understood and appreciated so much more of it, and I got lots of cool facts about C.S. Lewis and his writing style and stuff like that.

When I reached the chapter where Peter, Susan and Lucy first meet Aslan, I was moved. I don't remember being moved before...Aslan was completely majestic, and literally awesome. (I use the word awesome a lot, but most of the things that we use it for aren't really awesome. Does anybody pause to actually check what that word means? It comes from the word awe, and the word awesome has become slang for 'cool' or 'neat.' Here's a link to see what the word awe actually means. I'm not saying you shouldn't say awesome...I'm just saying that I like to know what awe actually is if I'm going to use 'awesome' for slang. ) Aslan is really awesome. It is one of the greatest parts of the book when they first meet Aslan. It makes me wonder how great it's gonna be to meet Christ!

(Although Aslan is not an allegory for Christ, he is a Christ-figure.)

Then, when the White Witch killed Aslan on the stone table, I empathized with Susan and Lucy, and I was actually kind of sad! It was a sad chapter, and I don't remember really having my thoughts provoked by that. I might have nearly cried; I can't remember.

I just remember that it was reminscent of that chapter in Red where Justin dies, and was sad then too.

Then there was the Eucatastrophe when Aslan came back to life, and he and Susan and Lucy had their amazing and wonderful romp before they rode Aslan to the Witch's castle, and Aslan breathed on the statues! Just like I had been sad when Aslan died, I was happy that he came back to life and that he and Susan and Lucy spent time together having fun before saving Narnia.

The book was more meaningful for me when I finished it this time, and I'm really looking forward to reading Prince Caspian now.

The Commentary:

Inside Narnia was a great chapter by chapter book on TLWW that has lots of great insights to C.S. Lewis and the world he created, and it deepened my appreciation of Narnia a lot. Maybe sometime I'll put some quotes up.

Devin Brown discusses characters, Lewis's writing style and Lewis himself, along with a myriad of other things in and out of the story that helped me to understand it a lot better. I'm going to read Devin Brown's commentary on Prince Caspian with the book, and I'm looking forward to it. For serious Lewis readers, this is a good book to get.

The Movie:

I don't have a whole lot to say about the movie, but I'll say a little.

First, the movie was well done. I like James McAvoy as Mr. Tumnus, and I like most of the other actors they got to be in it.

The parts with Aslan aren't quite the same, although I like the CG design of the lion. If you haven't read the book, you obviously won't appreciate the part when they meet Aslan as much, and the part when comes back to life isn't as meaningful either. I don't think that part did the book justice at all.

When Susan and Lucy go with Aslan and then watch the Witch kill him, I think that there are some things they could have done better, but the part from when Lucy and Susan go from their tent to when Aslan is resurrected, I thought it was done pretty well. The music was good there, and there was quiet emptyness in the feel of the movie that fit the part well.

However, Aslan lacked the majesty and awe that he has in the book, and as many others have noted....he is too tame in the movie, even though a character quotes from the book and says "After all, he is not a tame lion."

This is book of the month over at Sock Monkeys.
Anna

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christian the Lion

I thought this was a cool video. It makes me so excited that God made animals and beautiful creatures like lions! I wish I could have one. :D

Hint to Mom and Dad: Can I have a lion cub for Christmas?

I think there was something about this being from the Born Free Foundation.....which is a cool movie.
Enjoy the video!
Anna

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cool update with Christmas Colors.


Okay, so yesterday me and my parents left at 7:35 am to go to Fort Worth for doctor stuff. I got to see my little cousin. We talked, made a big pile of leaves and jumped in it, posed for the camera, watched Boys Town, and made some funny videos. Funny Video One: The scene in Boys Town when Father Flanagan comes to get Whitey Marsh. Abby was Whitey, and I was Father Flanagan. Funny Video Two: The same scene, but I was Whitey Marsh and Abby was Father Flanagan. Funny Video Three: Scene in Boys Town where Mo was humming and looking really stupid and Whitey tells him to stop. I was Mo, Abby was Whitey again. Funny Video Four: Abby videoing me rake leaves, saying and singing stupid stuff. Funny Video Five: Abby telling me to say goodbye and singing "Bye Bye Birdie." Okay, enough about the five funny videos. On the way hope I slept, ate greasy sonic food and had a mocha flavored java chiller that was nothing compared to what Starbucks can do for you. I also read some in a Warriors book that has been sitting around for awhile, listened to the third Harry Potter soundtrack, and got a very good idea for a book. Two in two days. (I got a good one yesterday too.) I read a chapter in the Silmarillion, which is amazing. I wonder what Dad got me for Christmas? I wonder what Mikaela got me for Christmas?

I wonder what I got Mikaela for Christmas? Just kidding, it's already wrapped. Wasn't that the coolest update ever? Anna

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chosen Alternate Cover


I don't know that I've ever seen this cover in a store, but I found it online. The font that is used for the title is the font for the chapter numbers. Isn't it awesome looking? Really cool. Sharp and swirly at the same time.
Anna

Chosen


YAHOO!!!! GOOGLE!!!!!!!!!! Our internet is working again! I am so excited. I called and talked to the Windstream people, and they were very helpful and patient and helped me get our internet working. Hopefully it will stay up now. So now I can bombard the few faithful readers that I have with posts. Actually, just a few. :D I started another Ted Dekker book yesterday that I bought several months ago with Saint. Mardel has great deals on Ted Dekker books. If you must buy them in a store, Mardel is the place to go. I started Chosen yesterday, and finished it today. I was nearly halfway through the book when I quit last night, and this afternoon I read the last sixteen chapters. It was simple and easy to read. The plot was good and kept me reading. I was actually surprised at how quickly I was drawn in...and then stuck. I stayed up a little later than I intended last night to read more until sleep was more appealing.... Anyway. Chosen is about a sixteen year old boy named Johnis. Thomas Hunter, the commander of the Forest Guard (yes, the Lost Books series takes place in the same world as The Circle Trilogy. The Lost Books takes place in the fifteen years between Black and Red.) has pushed the age limit on joining the Forest Guard from eighteen to sixteen. Johnis was one of the first in line to join, but was turned away because he was too small, too weak. While watching some of the new recruits of the Forest Guard play 'football,' a game that Thomas Hunter says come from his dreams, Johnis suddenly finds himself hiding the ball (made of Horde hair) from the players, the four that will very likely be chosen to be Thomas Hunter's new commanders. Johnis suddenly finds himself one of the chosen four, and is sent on a quest to retrive four catalina cacti and bring them back, all in one piece. The other three don't like him, call him names, and taunt him, even before he begins to see the Shataiki bats in the trees. Johnis is thrown into a world that many call legend or myth when he meets two Roush, white bats that are the enemies of the Shataiki and followers of Elyon, the YHWH figure in Ted Dekker's world of colorful forests, bats, and green water. Michal and Gibal, the two Roush, tell Johnis that he must find the seven lost Books of History, and he is to tell only his three comrades, all of which seem to think him crazy, accept perhaps for Sylvie, who seems to be more open to him than the other too. I love Roush! And especially Gibal. You have to read the books....but the fuzzy white bats with their glowing green orbs for eyes are sort of like angels in Ted Dekker's fantasy world. Chosen was excellent, much better than Showdown and Saint, although not quite up to par with The Circle Trilogy. Chosen references both Skin and Showdown. I haven't read Skin yet, but it only referenced it a little. You only have to read the back of Skin to understand what Dekker was talking about. Seven stars! Also book of the month over at Sock Monkeys! Definitely worth reading, but you MUST read The Circle Trilogy first, and you'll understand it better if you have read Showdown, but it isn't entirely necessary. The Lost Books series is targeted at younger readers, one of the reasons it was such an easy read, and so fast. Can't wait to read Infidel!
Ann
a

Hello, Happy Thanksgiving, and...hmm

Hey everybody!


I know I haven't posted in a looong time, but there is a reason.


Windstream internet service is having problems. We're having problems. In other words, we've been without properly working internet for over a week. I'm at my Dad's office, using his computer, since mine at home are currently unusuable. I don't think unusuable is a word, but who cares? It is now. I made it up. Unusuable. You should start using it! :D

So, when and if I ever get internet back, I will post about movies, Christmas Shopping, and book reviews, and book and movie of the month and all that. Thanks for commenting on Rescue Dawn everyone! Keep it up.

Also, don't forget to check out Sock Monkeys. Mikaela and I work hard to keep it updated.
Anna

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rescue Dawn


I have seen Rescue Dawn twice now. I don't remember exactly what I thought of it the first time, but I can tell you now that it has got to be one of the greatest hero movies ever made.

Rescue Dawn tells the true story of Dieter Dangler, a Navy pilot. His plane crashes on his first mission, and he then becomes a POW.

I'm not going to try to give a plot summary here. I hate writing those...but I am going to explain what I thought of the movie.

Dieter and his friends react to their imprisonment and torture the way a normal person would. That's why the movie is so fantastic, and that's why Dieter Dangler is a hero. Because he did fall, he did hurt, and he nearly went crazy. Comic Book Heroes wouldn't do that.

What's so great about the characters is their weaknesses, and how the few strengths that they have help them through their imprisonment and escape.

This has got to be the ultimate trial for any human being. I can't imagine how terrible it would be to go through what POW's go through and have gone through. In Rescue Dawn, the jungle that I always admire in other stories and dream about for my own (pythons, tigers, dark leaves, etc.) becomes menacing and frightening. The jungle that Dieter and Duane travel through is incredibly green and dense at the same time...something that always seemed beautiful. It might take awhile for me to see the mysterious beauty that I admired before. What I saw in Rescue Dawn was harsh brutality in the immense green leaves.

What else can I say? I thought this was a really good movie. Steve Zahn and Christian Bale star in it, so it has to be good right? We do have TV Guardian, and I'm warning against the graphic violence, another part that made the movie so harshly realistic. It was a great story. Because it had a happy ending after all that Dangler went through. Christian Bale is an amazing actor and gave an awesome performance. I was practically astounded. Just watch him when he explains to Duane why he became a pilot. You could just about see the story he was telling.

So, ten out of ten. I'm glad I watched it again. Also November Movie of the Month. :D
Anna

Oh, and here's a trailer so you can kind of see the jist of it. Looks pretty amazing doesn't it? The movie is better than the trailer. I had forgotten how good it was.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Cool Spanish Cover of Brisingr



I thought this was interesting. I found it when I was looking for a pic for the Brisingr review. I like the original better, but this one is still neat looking. Also the cover of the original self-published version of Eragon. I would like to read it sometime to see how much of a difference there is between it and the Knopf Edition. You can see it's Barnes and Noble Page here. I think you can purchase it.
Anna

Brisingr, or The Seven Promises of Eragon Shadeslayer and Saphira Bjartskular


Well, I did it. I finished Brisingr.
All I can really say is that I am in awe at Paolini's success at writing three books of such enormous size. I don't care what anybody says: yes, some of the plot elements are similar to Star Wars, and yes, there are ways in which the book could be better edited.
But so what?
Brisingr was a joy to read. He has a pretty solid plot, and pretty good characters, and pretty original ideas. All in all, Brisingr was incredible for somebody so young. No matter which way you look at it, Paolini is incredibly talented. Just think what amazing books he is going to write in the future! He made a few mistakes, but all writers do. Even J.K. Rowling has flaws, although hers are few.
However, I don't want to talk about Paolini's faults. He has a lot of talent, and I'm not interested in wasting my energy on criticism on the things he did wrong when they didn't really bother me. I love details. Details are great. Details give me a vivid picture of what I'm trying to see.
I didn't really bother reading the first chapter very closely, because it wasn't all that interesting to me. The second chapter was very interesting, and I read that in a book store. So finally, when I got the book from the library, and I began reading, it took me a day or two to realize how much I was enjoying it. Reading Brisingr was an ordeal, because its so long! But I love long books, so that's okay.
I don't like Roran's plot. I just don't like Roran. Maybe I'm not supposed to like him, but there is this arrogance and almost ridiculous air about him that just...I don't know. I just don't like Roran and Katrina. I'm partial to Eragon. I think that Paolini does a good job with the subtle romance between Eragon and Arya, which is still very undeveloped, but I like that. I loved the chapter when Eragon and Arya were around the campfire, and I also loved the scene where Eragon and Saphira were reunited. I felt their joy when they ran to each other and embraced! I realized how much pain they suffered being apart. Another highlight of the book was Saphira's perspective for the first time! She cracks me up, because she is soooo vain. I suppose I might be vain if I were a dragon, but Saphira is almost as bad as the beauty queen at school. I think that's part of her personality though. Saphira is so proud and even full or herself that I wonder if there might be something that's going to happen to her in book four? Just a thought. I can just see her downfall. Maybe she'll lose a leg like Glaedr, or something.....it just made me wonder when I was reading her chapters. I did enjoy the Roran chapter where he had to fight the Urgal. That was pretty cool.
And then....Spoilers again, I warn you......

The whole Star Wars plot thing is washed away! Morzan is NOT Eragon's father, Murtagh is only his half brother. I was so excited to find out. Mikaela spoiled it for me, but it was still fun to read it. I like Brom. I like Brom a lot. Jeremy Irons did an excellent job portraying him, I thought, and that was the best part of the movie...which was kind of sorry compared to the book. The book was really ten times better than the movie, but anyway....

Brom is Eragon's Father!!!! I was so excited! I always hoped that Eragon would eventually think of Brom as his dad, not Garrow (come on. Nobody likes Uncle Garrow.) and the chapter where Saphira shares the memory where Brom talks to Eragon as a father was really cool and neat. That was awesome.

The chapter where Eragon and....Rhunon forge the sword Brisingr was really amazing. I read with a hunger, and I am awed at how well Paolini describes the importance of a good weapon, of a sword, of the romance of it! Eragon named the sword Brisingr, which is the first magic word he uttered, the first magic word he heard uttered. Brisingr! The chapter Mind over Metal was probably just about my favorite.

The rest of the book was very good, and Paolini reveals how Galbatorix has risen to such great power, and also how Murtagh and Thorn are so powerful, but I'm not going to talk about it here. Despite the many faults of the Inheritance Cycle, Paolini gave me several hours of delight as I read about Eragon and Saphira's adventures in Book Three, and if I enjoyed it even for a moment (which I did) and if I am eager to find out what happens (which I am) then Paolini has done is job as a fiction writer. And he did his job very well. Brisingr was a joy to read, and it inspired me to add a layer to my book which I think is going to make it better and more enjoyable to write. So, Mr. Paolini, thanks for that. Haha, that would be awesome if he posted a comment. Authors do that a lot on my blog, seems like. I hope that someday I can complete a novel with as much depth behind its world as the Inheritance Cycle.
Finish it Mike! It was worth it. And those of you who haven't started the Inheritance Cycle, I think you should give Eragon, the first book, a try. I own the first book, and I want to add Eldest and Brisingr to my collection. I think they're worth the time it takes to read them.
Anna
As another thought, an afterthought, a post review thought, I think I've decided that I like the idea of Arya and Eragon being together. I hope they'll make it work for Eragon's sake! :D
Oh yeah, I enjoyed and appreciated Brisingr so much, it's November Book of the Month.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Of Reading and Writing

Hello everyone!

I felt like writing a blog post devoted to writing techniques and reading, but just a short one, because I began Brisingr two days ago, and I have had to relearn one of the my most important rules for writers/readers.

That is that you can never have too many different kinds of books in your book bag. As a writer, I can't stress this enough, because nearly every book I read and enjoy influences me one way or another. I had forgotten how much Christopher Paolini influenced me. I really admire him for writing such a detailed and complicated series at such a young age....something that I am striving to do, but it is not as easy as it sounds to write a good novel, let alone a series of novels.

I don't want to talk too much about Christopher Paolini this post because in a few days I will post my review of Brisingr and discuss his technique then, but reading Brisingr has inspired me to start over....or at least add a completely different layer...to my book. I just started over recently, for.....don't ask me I've lost count. I don't know how many times I"ve started over, but I've done about three or four drafts that would ever even possibly be worth finishing, but as I am no longer interested in completing those, the effort would be worthless.

For one thing, the way I have been writing has been very 'spacy' my cousin's favorite way to describe it. Meaning that I don't give the proper details where they are due, or conversations or character introductions are too short (although I have begun to notice how short some of these things are in novels like Harry Potter!) or I skip an important event or such as that.

It is mostly details. I used to think details were easy, but I've realized that they are NOT. They may be the hardest part. Details are fairly easy to make sound good, but when you are trying to describe something, or more than one thing, or more than one thing about a certain thing, it gets very confusing and a little bit confusing and awkward.

I recently read in a Ted Dekker blog post that he had heard writing a novel compared to rowing a bathtub across the ocean, and he also said that he knew how it felt. He has completed an enormous amount of novels for such a young author...I mean, he's only in his forties.

I think I almost agree. Rowing a bathtub across the ocean sounds impossible, but writing a novel doesn't sound impossible, but it is SOOOO much harder than it sounds. Movies make it sound so easy...authors make it sound so easy. LIARS!!! Just kidding. I'm sure that once I finally finish a book it will be easier for me as well, but I want that now, not later!

Oh well. You see, reading J.R.R. Tolkien makes me feel like my book is AWFUL. And impossible to live up to standards. Tolkien is sort of my set standard. If Tolkien did something, then it is acceptable. :D Christopher Paolini's writing makes mine look awful too, but it also gives me hope, because I can see how I could make my book as detailed as his, or at least it doesn't seem as hopeless as when I open the vast world of Middle-Earth. I don't strive to copy either of them, but I do strive to write a book that lives up to certain standards, MY standards, and my standards demand that my book is as fun to read as something like Harry Potter, as magical to read as The Lord of the Rings. Middle-Earth and Alagaesia are very real to me because of all the history behind each of them...all the details. Some people get bored with details, and I do see the importance of not putting your readers to sleep with them.

But I'm not writing a book to please anybody else. I'm writing a book to please me. That sounds like a self-centered way to put it, but if you want to write something worth while, you don't write what other people will like, you write what you like.
ARgh, sorry. I think I'm just venting frustration. More on all this writing/reading stuff in a few days when I post my review of Brisingr, which I am planning to be November Book of the Month.
Sorry if I bored you to tears....:D
Anna
Oh, sure that was short. :D

Friday, October 31, 2008

Blink of an Eye


Okay, this is actually the real new post, or the good new post. So, update on myself before the review...

Last week, Brian and Holly came to Texas and stayed with us. It was great! I got to spend a lot of time with Stephen, Matthew and Susanna, all of which I never get to see. They are all so cute! Stephen is really into Bionicles, Legos, and Bionicle Lego computer games. :D He's also starting to get into Lord of the Rings, and I got to read to him from The Fellowship while he was here before he went to bed every night. He stopped me every paragraph or so to ask a question, and I think the cutest was when he asked me what it meant when Gandalf's eyes 'glinted.' [Gandalf looked at Frodo, and his eyes glinted.]
I wasn't sure how to make him understand that, but I did my best. Stephen kept on rolling his eyes and moving them around funny and asking me if that's what it meant. I tried to explain that it meant that they were sort of sparkling, and when he finally figured it out, he said: "Is it when light is sort of shining on them?"
Triumphant, I said, "Yes!"
Stephen: "Your eyes are sort of glintering right now!"
Me: "Thank you! Yours are too!"
He cracks me up. Unfortunately, several of us were sick, and by the last night, I had a severe sore throat, and then I got the stomach bug, which I had for twenty-four hours. I was alright for two days, but last night I made the mistake of reading too much and eating a few pieces of fried balogna and then I lost it later. :(
I feel good today, though, and last night, when I was trying to relax and go to sleep, I managed to finish Blink of an Eye.
Blink of an Eye is a rewrite of Blink, which was first published in 2003. Blink of an Eye was published in 2007. According to the Dekker interview in the back of the book, he mostly changed the romance thread of the story, and made it 'tighter.'
Blink of an Eye is a mystery novel about a Saudi Arabian princess, Miriam, and a brillaint college student named Seth with an IQ that challenges Einstein. Miriam flees Saudi Arabia whn she finds out that she is to be given to a man named Omar bin Khalid in marriage. Once she makes it to the United States, she's nearly taken back by some agent sent by....I can't remember who sent the agents actually. But she's nearly taken back to Saudi Arabia, or nearly killed, until Seth intervenes. Seth starts having premonitions about things that are about to happen, and at first just labels it as deja vu. While in the middle of a speech, he sees a woman being shot, and barely manages to save her. His actions throw him and Miriam in together, and Seth uses his gift to keep himself and Miriam alive.
It was a fast paced, page-turning book that I enjoyed from the moment I opened it. I don't think anything will ever top The Circle Trilogy, but besides that, Blink of an Eye is the best Dekker book I've read. Blink of an Eye offers a glimpse of Middle East traditions and rituals, and Dekker's honest prose captures his characters as if they were actually real people. Something funny I've noticed in the last two Dekker books I've read (the other was Saint) is that Dekker sometimes labels his characters as looking like a movie star...in Saint, the villain resembled Jude Law, and in Blink of an Eye, one of Seth's professors looked like Charleton Heston. I thought that was funny. I definitely recommend it! Eight and a half stars on the ten star rating system. :D Plus, it's honorary book of the month. And I did get it on time! Oh cool, today's Halloweeney. Today is also Dwalyn Kitt's Birthday, which is one of the main characters in my book.
Anna

New Post

Your wish is my command Colonel Brandon!


Oh bother it.


There, I did a new post. :D
Anna

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Monkey Business


Hi everyone!

I guess it's been awhile since I've posted...not since Harry Potter 3, but now I give you Movie of the Month, Monkey Business, starring Cary Grant.

I've always liked Cary Grant movies, because I think he and my dad look a lot alike, and Dad probably could do a cool impression of him if he really wanted to. Monkey Business was hilarious! It was the first Ginger Rogers movie I ever saw, or Marilyn Monroe either, and it was so FUNNY!!!!

It's about a man who is trying to invent an elixir of youth, and tests it on chimpanzees. One of the chimpanzees is very mischevious, and gets out and starts playing around in the chemistry lab, and ends up mixing up an elixir of youth and dumping it in the water jug dispenser thing!!!!!

It was so funny because when Ginger Rogers drank the mixture, she acted so goofy and funny....just like my cousin Abby does! Abby makes me laugh like Bill Cosby does. She's so goofy that it gives me hiccups to talk to her on the phone. So here's a trailer for it (and don't let the trailer put you out, the movie is better than it looks).
Anna

Friday, October 10, 2008

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


I recently bought, read and finished Harry Potter the Third for the second time. It was great, again! It is my favorite of the first three in the series, and so far the best movie. I own it. :D I think that the second and fourth movies are second best, and the first and fifth are the third best. In other words, the first and fifth are the worst ones, so far. But they still get high ratings. :D In this one, two of the greatest Harry Potter characters ever are introduced...Sirius Black and Remus Lupin! I think its sooo sad that she killed both of them. Comment if you felt the same rage I felt!!!!!! (Hint hint Mike. :) ) I actually forgot how bad Severus Snape could be. I'm always amazed at how great a writer J. K. Rowling is. She has a good, solid voice, and great plot twists, original characters.... Yeah that was a really boring comment. Any body with even the slightest bit of a literary brain could see that...but I'm tired, and I have very little to say at the moment. Has anybody besides me noticed that my reviews always sound really stupid after midnight? I'll try harder. Kay. Let's see....(tapping temples...or some other cool gesture that signifies thinking or working hard) I had a lot of fun reading this one, because I have the soundtrack to the movie, and because I got a Hershey bar after Lupin reminded me how much I liked milk chocolate...I like how Lupin is really nice and cheerful, even when he's had such a hard life because of being a werewolf. I was disappointed that Harry never got closer to him. It almost seemed to me that Harry owed Lupin in a way...I mean....he gets so close to Sirius, but he yells at Lupin in the Deathly Hallows, and then Lupin DIES!!!! (again, comment if you felt the rage I felt. Ahem. Mike.) And Sirius Black. Ah. I really wish I had thought of Animagi first, although she technically copied the whole shapeshifter angle. And that isn't copyrighted. Heh heh. I found out in Science ( so yes, I am learning from it) that there is a star called Bellatrix, and I already knew that there was a star named Sirius (also known as the dog star, btw) and I thought it was cool that the cousins were both named after stars. I wonder if there's some more mythology behind that...like maybe the Bellatrix star would eventually destory the Sirius star for some reason? Anyway. I think I thought that up myself, but maybe somebody could like it up. (**Coughs** Mike.) Definitely a four, five, six, or ten star book...whatever my highest rating is. **Yawns** Maybe someday I'll actually post an interesting book review. :D
Anna

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Music I've been Enjoying lately.....


I've bought, borrowed and been given several CD's over the past few months. First, the CD's I was given:

1. Peter Pan, by James Newton Howard
Mom and Dad got this for me for my birthday. It's an absolutely beautiful soundtrack..pleasant on the 'boring tracks' thrilling on the violent tracks, and breath-taking on its best ones. James Newton Howard is a really fantastic composer...I really want to get the soundtracks to Unbreakable and Signs, two of his other very best. Just go to iTunes and listen to the sample track of "I Do Believe in Fairies" or "Flying" and you'll see what I mean by breath-taking on its best ones.

2. Raising Sand, by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss.
Andy and Alissa gave me this one for my birthday. I had heard it before, but I was thrilled to get it. I found a new favorite on it this time though; Stick With Me Baby. I didn't remember liking it as much as I do now; maybe I over listened to my other favorites. It's really a beautiful CD, with nice, mellow songs. I put together a playlist of songs to put me to sleep (sometimes I do fall asleep listening to music) and several from Raising Sand are on it.

CD's I bought for myself:

3. Heroes and Thieves by Vanessa Carlton.
I found out about Vanessa Carlton from the music video for her song Ordinary Day. She's not as good as Michelle Branch, and I think she's a little bit darker. The song that the CD is named for is cool, though, as are Nolita Fairytale, Fools Like Me, Home (the sweetest song on the album) and Spring Street. My Best is pretty good. The others a little bit blah. This Time and More than This are good though...:D

4. Be Not Nobody by Vanessa Carlton
I bought her first CD too, and I'm disappointed. There are only four songs on it I really care about listening to...all the others are boring and gothish. I'll probably take them off of my iPod eventually. She covers the Rolling Stones song Paint It Black on this CD....she has a boring version. So, her last CD was a lot better than this one, I think. I really wish I hadn't wasted my money on this one. Heroes and Thieves was worth it, but the only songs really worth it on Be Not Nobody was Ordinary Day, A Thousand Miles, Pretty Baby and Twilight. So shrugs. I recommend Heroes and Thieves over this one, but a few of the songs on this one are definitely worth listening to/ buying.

CD's I borrowed from Andy and Alissa

5. Live by Alison Krauss and Union Station
I had heard this before....one of my favorite traveling memories is when it was after dark in December, and Mom and Dad and I were going to Brian and Holly's in Indiana. We kept on going through little towns, and it was snowing, and were listening to these. I just remember it because I thought it was so pretty how all the street lights were lighting the snow all orange and blue and stuff, and it was really cozy and fun to have Alison Krauss playing all through it. My favorites were the ones I was familiar with; I never listened to every song. Let Me Touch You For Awhile, Maybe, Every Time You Say Goodbye, New Favorite and Stay I particularly enjoyed.

6. Desire by Bob Dylan
I liked this CD a lot more than I thought I would, which is often the case with these Bob Dylan CD's. I really really liked Hurricane, which was my favorite song on the album. I like how he used violin music and almost a spanish sounding style on it or something...it was really different sounding, and I liked it a lot. Joey was a cool song too, and I liked all the other songs moderately. Joey and Hurricane were my favorites, because they were the most interesting to me. I like listening to Romance in Durango too though...I like the harmony vocals on all the songs.

Anna

BTW, be checking Sock Monkeys for CD's Books and Movies of the Month from me and Mikaela....if she'll ever post hers....:D

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Anne of Avonlea


Well, it's eleven minutes till midnight, and I've just finished Anne of Avonlea. I enjoyed it as much or more perhaps than Anne of Green Gables...and I can tell that the more I read of Anne, the more I'll understand romantic personalities, because I realized how much Anne and I are alike, no matter how many people say I'm like Diana. :D It will never be entirely true, because I've got qualities from both of them, but I'm the most like Anne, whether I've got the right hair color or not. It's a simple fact...because Diana wouldn't ever be able to think up some of the things that I do, because Diana and Anne are nearly opposites when it comes to being romantic.
It was so much fun to see how L. M. Montgomery writes her characters, and character introductions, and how Anne gets into the most ridiculous scrapes still...my favorite was probably how she died her nose red when she thought she was putting freckle lotion on it and then answered the door to some very important people.
I just loved the chapter where Anne started teaching for the first day! All the descriptions of the kids in the book were enchanting, and I can full-heartedly say and know that because I've got six nephews and nieces. I love kids!
And it was a lot of fun to see Gilbert too, when he and Anne are friends, and interesting to see how Gilbert dotes on her, and how Anne doesn't notice! Poor, sweet Gilbert. And I see how frustrating it can be to Anne sometimes too...I mean...I think I mentioned in the last post that Dad laughs at me when I say romantic things about ice cream...but that's alright. It almost makes it more fun if you're laughed at for being romantic. It would be weird if you weren't laughed at. Right? Right.
Anne of Avonlea was wonderful...so it is the first October book of the month, and there will be another one later on, when I finish it...probably another L. M. Montgomery book. L. M. Montgomery has certainly been added to my favorite authors list...right up there with Tolkien! (And this is saying a LOT.)
Every girl should read the Anne books at some point or another, but I warn that the romantics will appreciate them the most. :D
Anna

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Anne of Green Gables


Oh!
I've just finished reading a wonderful book....and I'm quite sure that as long as I read enough of L. M. Montgomery, my already hopeless romantic personality will never be quenched. Of course, I would never let anything happen to it anyway, but Anne really brings out the feminine part of it! My dear Aunt Darla (I'm sorry, I just finished! I'm still thinking like Anne) told me that I was a bit like Anne's intellectual side. I wasn't content to just be like Diana....I prefer Anne a thousand times over.

I began Anne of Green Gables on Monday, and I just completed the thirty-eighth and final chapter. I feel exhausted! I've been reading it vigorously for an hour and a half or something, and I've finished! I'm so proud of myself. I'm always excited to notice similarities between myself and characters or authors I read about, and I've noticed that Anne and I both tend to rattle on about nothing at all, except that it seems very important to us at the time. Dad has laughed at some things I have said before about ice cream....but honestly. Don't you think that all that smooth, creamy chocolate syrup on hot fudge sundaes looks like a blanket? I'm disappointed that that doesn't sound as romantic as I wished it would, but oh well. I was just looking at my thumbs, and I held the book so tightly and rubbed the pages so many times that some of the ink rubbed off! My thumbs are gray. I think that's funny....

And I'm so excited that I finished reading it! And that I have this whole myriad of L. M. Montgomery books before me for the fall.....the next two on my last are Pat of Silver Bush and Anne of Avonlea. Pat of Silver Bush I have started so many times.....and I loved it when Mom read it to me. It's actually a perfect October book, so perhaps it shall be October honorary book of the month or something. In any case, Anne of Green Gables makes it for September book of the month, and I'm sorry it's the end of September before I'm posting it! I'll post again very soon, I imagine. IMAGINE! Isn't imagining fun! That's why I'm going to be a writer. God gave me my imagination, right, so I want to put it to good use. :D
Goodnight!
Anna
As an after thought, although I admire red hair, I don't think I would trade my brown. Nut brown. But my name isn't Cordelia. I would rather be named....if I had to pick...hmm. For some reason I like the name Gillian right now. But I'm kind of attached to my name, so perhaps I could just imagine that I have...a tiger friend that talks. YES! That would be awesome. If only and I wish.....Good night....for real this time...Sweet Dreams....

Cool Poster.

The Dark Knight


WOW!!!! Last night I spent the night with Jason and Shannon and the kids (which was soooo much fun!) and Jason took me to see The Dark Knight. We started out the evening with a amazingly delicious dinner fixed by Shannon, which included several of my favorites...fried chicken, cheese potatoes, cheesecake, and even broccoli with cheese on top. Then we played with the kids for a while, watched Hannah and Joel climb on Jason....Hannah has been home for a month or so now, and she's been really shy about letting us hold her, but she's gotten to where she isn't quite so shy with me, because yesterday she acted like she wanted me to pick her up, and when I put her back down, she wanted me to pick her up again! I was so excited. I still am! And she let me play with her a lot that evening. Noah, who doesn't ever act as shy as Hannah, was more shy last night than she was. I only held him once, and the rest of the evening he kind of stayed close to Shannon or Jason. Joel and I also had fun hiding from mosquitoes and monsters. We hide from monsters a lot, and we often have discussions about how scary they are or aren't. Joel usually votes for how scary they are....I usually vote for they aren't so bad. :D After watching some of The Biggest Loser and Without a Trace, Jason and I headed to Tinseltown and stopped at a United and got some candy. Hershey's....man. I love solid milk chocolate. It's like a mouthful of joy. No wait. It IS a mouthful of joy. :D I had sooo much fun watching The Dark Knight! Although Gotham's existence wasn't as threatened as it was in the first one, the whole theme and layout of the movie was dark. Heath Ledger did a really good job as the Joker...which his next to last role. The Joker was very creepy....I fell asleep thinking about him and Harvey Dent. Yuck. I didn't like Harvey Dent, not even from the beginning. Especially not at the end. Especially not when (SPOILERS) Rachel agreed to marry him instead of Bruce...she SAID she would wait for him! Gosh. At least he never found out. Oh, and especially not when Batman decided to take the blame for the murders that Dent committed. I liked the new one a lot, although it lacks some of the humor from the first one, and you see more of Batman than you do Bruce Wayne. It's definitely darker. The beginning was pretty funny. But I won't reveal any more! You'll have to watch it yourself. It was brilliant, it really was. I can't wait for them to make a third one. I give it ten out of ten....wow it was good! I think it's the highest grossing movie of all time except for the Titanic.
Anna

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Magic of Autumn

Ooh it's happened!

Every year whenever the chilly winds of autumn finally hit Brownfield, I get the biggest bug to start reading and writing...a lot.

Fantasy is my preferred genre....and I can thank my brother and Peter Jackson for that. I remember that when we first saw the trailer for The Lord of the Rings, I didn't really know what to think about it, and I didn't really care....until Brian started getting all excited about it, and then I remember how Mom talked to him on the phone about it, and I remember her taking notes on what was in it so she would remember....there were things called orcs, and dark black pits where old guys fell in! We heard about it from word of mouth, first Brian, then Andy.

And then we went to see it!
I didn't get really crazy about it until I started watching the extended editions...courtesy of Brian, again. And then Brian let me borrow his copy.....of the book. Oh, I didn't get very far. Not far at all. I started it countless times; always trying to finish it. I finally gave it back to him, several years later, still unfinished.

Then, I made up my mind that I was going to read the whole trilogy; and I made it through the first two. After that, The Return of the King wasn't interesting enough to continue reading; I was burned out of Tolkien and all that heavy literary language. It was difficult to read, still is a bit difficult to read, but it's so worth it!

And then, as I get steadily more interested yet again, I did it. I read the entire trilogy, although I admit that I haven't read all of the appendices. I have a fair-sized Tolkien Library, but I don't have half of the books available!

Just thinking about Frodo and Sam and Merry and Pippin...and Aragorn and Legolas makes me want to DO something about it. So my plan is to get some of those books I keep putting off finishing out of the way, finish the Silmarillion and those pesky but wonderful appendices, and start another Tolkien book. Save up for an Enya CD, maybe read some Tolkien Letters.....Autumn is great isn't it?

Even my dog (ironically named Autumn) changed in the fall. She's pretty blond throughout the summer and spring, but she sheds all of her fur and gets this pretty red coat for fall and winter. I can't wait to see what she looks like when I finally get around to giving her a bath and cutting those matts off...then she'll be the prettiest dog on the street, or at least, I think so.

I'm going to stop my rambles now, because it's a beautiful day and I've got a lot to do. School for instance. House cleaning. Stick-throwing (Autumn and I both enjoy this activity) and book-reading. I'm especially looking forward to the book-reading. And I need to throw together a special playlist with elvish-sounding songs on iTunes for the Silmarillion for me to listen to. Thanks for reading this Roverrandom post (probably only Tolkien people will get that) and I hope that you're having a great fall too!
Anna

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Martian Child


Recently we joined Net Flix, and I've had fun looking for clean science fiction movies. One of the ones I found was Martian Child, a story about a science fiction writer whose wife died two years ago and who wants very much to adopt a child.

He gets Dennis, a little boy that insists that he is from Mars. The Martian Child tells the journey of how David Gordon, an awkward writer, learns how to be a dad to this little boy that says he is from Mars, and how they eventually learn to love each other, despite the struggles.

I think this is a really great movie, with a nice performance from John Cusack, who plays David Gordon, and Bobby Coleman, who plays the Martian Child, Dennis.

Joan Cusack, John Cusack's real life sister, plays David Gordon's sister Liz.

It was interesting to watch for the first time, and fun to watch a second time (I watched part of it over with Dad) and I thought the whole movie was really sweet and kind of funny in some places. My favorite part is when Dennis teaches David to dance...I think it was a Martian Dance, probably.

I liked it so much that it is September Movie of the Month...if I finish any books this month, I'll post two, since I forgot to last month.

Anna

Monday, September 15, 2008

Awards and Tags and Answers. And..JK


Mike tagged me, and I'll do my best about tagging, except I don't really have enough bloggers that will do this. Sorry. So....maybe I can tag...hmm...no...:D thanks for the award Mike.


1. Where is your cell phone? idk
2. Where is your significant other? Say What
3. Your hair color? nut brown....:D
4. Your mother? here
5. Your father? work
6. Your favorite thing?good books/movies. sorry, more than one word.
7. Your dream last night? gone
8. Your dream/goal? there are two many for one word.
9. The room you're in? living room
10. Your hobby? several
11. Your fear? again, unexplainable in one word
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? family
13. Where were you last night? pirates 3
14. What you're not? perfect
15. One of your wish-list items? hoodie
16. Where you grew up? Earth
17. The last thing you did? breathed
18. What are you wearing? turtleneck
19. Your TV? living room
20. Your pet(s)? dog
21. Your computer? Toshiba
22. Your mood? relaxed
23. Missing someone? yah
24. Your car? ukon
25. Something you're not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? american eagle
27. Your summer? awesome
28. Love someone? family
29. Your favorite color? all colors
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? idk

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Close Encounters of the Third Kind



I'm doing this post to review Close Encounters of the Third Kind and to appease Mike, because she says that I need to update my blog.
So here.

Close Encounters was....different. Not exactly what I expected, but I enjoyed watching it. Here's my take;
It was a bit slow getting off, and it was pretty long. It seemed like there were a lot of boring spots for all of the interesting ones, and it wouldn't have been nearly as interesting if Richard Dreyfuss hadn't been in it. That was why the movie was as good as it was....for me at least. He's a really good actor. I can't decide if I like him better in Close Encounters or Jaws...or What About Bob? those are the only three I've seen him in.

The space ships in this were really really cool. That was one of the best parts. Those were really cool, especially for a seventies movie.

I liked Close Encounters except for the few long boring spots and the general length. It just seemed really long. It lacked the enchantment that E.T. had, as it's really more of an adult drama. So. Not my favorite Spielberg movie, but definitely worth seeing. I don't know if I woudl want to own it or not though.....
Anna

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Day of Birth....Birth of Day...Birthday!

Yesterday was my fifteenth.


It was fun.

Andy and Alissa and Jason and Shannon and the kids all came over, and Alissa and Shannon and Andy made me a great birthday dinner, and we went swimming, and I played hide and seek with my nephew, held my other nephew and niece, and opened some great presents. Had some fantastic cake.

It was a good day. I got two Ted Dekker books from Jason and Shannon and a journal from Guatamala.
Andy and Alissa gave me that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss CD which I LUV.....and Mom and Dad got me the second season of the Dick Van Dyke Show and the DVD set of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and the soundtrack to the best adaption of Peter Pan ever, by James Newton Howard!
And a few days before I got a book on writing from Brian and Holly. It's going to be excellent. Can't wait to read it....The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.
AND Mikaela gave me an olive green hat. A conductor hat. Thanks Mike. And Thanks everybody else! I loved everything you gave me, and I had a ton of fun yesterday...



BIG NEWS:
Abby is coming over tomorrow! and Aunt Carol too, of course. :D
They are going to stay for most of the week, and we're going to have BIG FUN that will be AMAZING. I feel sorry for my dad. Gosh, all that giggling for the next week. Poor Dad. Anyway, just wanted to tell everybody that I'm fifteen now and that I got cool stuff. :D Rock On.
Anna

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wall-E


Today we went to see Wall-E on my 'birthday outing' where Mom and Dad take me to see a movie, go to the restaurant of my choice, and the past two years they took me to Barnes and Noble. Last year I got a candy bar, this year I got Starbucks.
I thought Wall-E was fun, cute, and I loved listening to the robot voices. The short at the beginning of the movie, Presto was really funny too...about a magician and his two magic hats and his rabbit. Dying of hunger.
Walle is about a robot, designed to clean up garbage and organize it into mountains of cubes.
However, most robots don't have something that Walle has. A personality. A personality with a mind of its own....and Walle's only companion on an earth that has become a trash dump is a cockroach.
We follow Walle as he meets another, very pretty female Robot named Eve, falls in love with her, travels after her into space, and how she eventually falls in love with Walle. Excellent, and the soundtrack was pretty good. LOF!
Anna

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Music I've been Enjoying...


I've been listening to a lot of different CD's over the past several months. Here's a list of some of them and what I think of them.

1. Bob Dylan
Blood on the Tracks.
I borrowed this a while ago from Andy and Alissa...I guess I borrowed it in May....and I've liked it. It isn't my favorite Bob Dylan CD, but it is among my favorites. I like the songs Buckets of Rain, Tangled Up in Blue, Simple Twist of Fate, and Shelter From the Storm. I also enjoy listening to Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts and You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.

2. Michelle Branch
Hotel Paper
Nice, easy to listen to girl music. At least, it's more like girl music than Bob Dylan! But it's classified as rock, not girl music. There are two songs on this CD that I really don't like listening to very much, while on her first one I enjoy every song. Oh wait, I don't like the Intro on this one either. So three. I like all the rest pretty well though.

3. John Williams
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Soundtrack, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 20th Anniversary Edition Soundtrack
I love soundtracks, and I recently ordered both of these and have enjoyed both of them, although probably E.T. more so. Each has beautiful tracks from the movies that are fun to listen to. I like to listen to them in the dark on the way home. :D

4. Waterdeep
Sink or Swim
Andy and Alissa also loaned me this one.
I didn't enjoy this one as much as I thought I would, but it's still a good CD. It isn't as much fun to listen to as the Derek Webb CD Andy and Alissa loaned me. There were several songs I liked though. My favorites were 18 Bullet Holes, Both of Us'll Feel the Blast, Legend of Vertigo, and And. And is a song. t33 h33.


Anna


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Minority Report


The other night we watched Minority Report with Jason and Shannon. Very excellent and very weird.
Tom Cruise stars as John Anderton, a pre-crime police officer who heads the pre-crime police office. The movie takes place in 2054, and there hasn't been a murder in several years. Remember it's called pre-crime. The reason for this is because that pre-crime is apprehending criminals based on knowledge of the future, obtained from psychics called pre-cogs. Their names are Agatha, (and I don't remember the other two, which are the boys.)

Sounds great doesn't it? There never being a murder? Complicated, confusing, and sometimes dangerous, especially when John Anderton witnesses himself murdering a man he's never heard of, thirty-six hours from the moment he sees it. He's not a killer. He runs to prove his innocence, finding out astonishing secrets about the pre-cogs along the way. He even gets a new pair of eyes.

Minority Report was great science fiction. Creepy, yes. But that's to be expected with science fiction. I suggest it for people who are fans of The Matrix and War of the Worlds. Creepy, gross, full of cool gadgets. Futuristic. Excellent.
Anna

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial



Ah, E.T.

Ever since I saw it all the way through for the second time in my life, last October, I have really admired E.T., and have recently decided it is one of my favorites.

My review from October puts it lightly how much I like this movie. I wish I were Elliot so I could meet E.T.
First of all, this movie is incredibly original. I'm sure there are a ton of movies where kids sneak in pets that they are not allowed to have. But how many kids sneak in extra-terrestrials?
This might be my favorite Steven Spielberg movie, of what I've seen. I'm starting to get really interested in seeing some of his others.

I am getting this for my birthday (Mom and Dad don't worry about surprising me...I actually ordered it myself on a birthday budget!), and it has both the 2oth Anniversary Edit and the original from the eighties. I haven't seen the edit, but I love the original! I also ordered the soundtrack for myself, which I love. John Williams is a fantastic composer. I have two soundtracks of his, and I hope to expand.

Second of all, the acting is supreme. It really does take talent to act, and just because you or in a movie doesn't mean you can act. Probably the worst example I can think of is Facing the Giants, which is a good movie with a wonderful story, but there were not very good actors. Some of them were pretty awful.
Henry Thomas plays Elliot, a lonely kid without any friends. E.T. changes that. E.T. was inspired by a childhood friend of Spielberg's after his parent's divorce. Movies and stories inspired by stuff like that have a ton of emotion behind them. E.T. is no exception.
Drew Barrymore plays his sarcastic little sister. Spielberg was impressed with her stories of running a punk rock band. I think that's funny. :D
So, since I've been listening to the soundtrack since the Floo Helmets (I got the soundtrack the day after Mikaela and I made the space helmets) and since this is August, and this month is my birthday, and this is one of my favorite movies and I'm getting this movie for my birthday, it is August Movie of the Month.
There are a lot of other things that are great about this movie, but don't let me spoil it for you. Watch it yourself. :D This has got to be the greatest movie about extra-terrestrials ever made.
Anna

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ...August Honorary Movie of the Month


This morning, Mom and I watched Ben-Hur, a movie that I have been watching probably since I was six or so. Probably before. We haven't watched it in a long time, and this morning Mom didn't feel like going to church, so we stayed home and put it on.

As it's been a long time since I've seen it....or at least payed it proper attention, perhaps a few years, even...I enjoyed it a whole lot.

Since I've developed my literary and music taste since I've last watched it, I noticed lots of different things about it. I enjoyed Charlton Heston's performance more than I ever have in a movie. I enjoyed the music a whole lot...and I'm shocked that there are eighty-seven tracks on the two-disk soundtrack. I want it now. :D

There was something about the love themes in the movie that reminded a lot of the Unbreakable Soundtrack, (which is excellent, BTW).

I understand how hurt Judah Ben-Hur must have been when Messala imprisoned his mother and sister and sent him to the galleys. How humiliating it must have been, and how good it must have felt to be freed.

It also made me want to pick up the book again, in which I only read the first 'book' of it. So now I'm four chapters into the seven chapter book two. Very exciting! And I enjoyed those four chapters a lot.
Ben-Hur is honorary movie of the month, because I don't think I ever picked a movie of the month for July. :D
Anna

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Top Nine Movie Quotes


Helooooo... (Horton Voice.)

For fun, I decided to do nine great movie quotes from my favorite movies. See if you can guess what movie it is before you highlight right beneath the quote to get the title. The poster pic is one of the movies...but it's a randomly long quote, so see if you can figure out which quote goes with the poster before you highlight.

1. On me back Mush.
Newsies

2. Oh there you are, Peter!
Hook

3. I've never driven forward before!
E.T. The Extra-terrestrial

4. I'd say that she gets under your skin as soon as you meet her. She drives you so nuts you don't know whether to hug her or, or just really arm wrestle her. She would go all the way to Europe just to get a stamp in her passport. I don't know if that amounts to insanity, or just being really, really... likable.
While You Were Sleeping

5. There's a monster outside my room, can I have a glass of water?
Signs

6. And just think, Whenever he gets dirty you can take him out and beat him.
The Lion King

7. Most of these are important papers...and some of them might be doodles I never had framed...I can't tell the difference.
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium


8. Shoot him and cut out his tongue, then shoot his tongue! And trim that scraggly beard!
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

9. Of course you are. And I'm coming with you!
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings

For Mike

Mike told me to do a new post. Hi Mike. :D

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dragonlight: July Book of the Month


On a trip to Barnes and Noble with my cousin the other day (see Nerdy Skater Chick) and bought two books: Dragonlight and Treasure Island. I haven't started Treasure Island, but I've been intrigued with it for awhile.
I was very excited to finally get it. I've been looking forward to it ever since I finished Dragonfire last year!
I was looking forward...through the whole book....when Kale would finally find out she was pregnant. I saw the signs coming! I thought the book was excellent, and I hated to put it down yesterday.
It was a magical journey to finally reach the end, and though I'm sad that Kale's Story is over, I hope I get to see some of her kids and Regidor's Egg in Mrs. Paul's next fantasy book. I'm still not sure I completely understand what happened to Toopka...I might need to reread a few chapters.
Sorry, this is the way I review. I talk about it like everyone else in the world has read it.
The book was great and I really really enjoyed reading it. I think my favorite in the series is still Dragonquest, but Dragonlight has the best cover. :D
Can't wait to read more about Amara.
Dragonlight is July Book of the Month....:D Yays. I finally got to it.
Anna

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Questions and Answers with J. Scott Savage

Here are the really cool, random random questions that I asked J. Scott Savage.



1. How long did it take you to write Farworld: Water Keep?

Less than three months to write the first draft. The story had been in my head for several years, but once I started writing it, it was like a waterfall. Fastest book I’ve ever written. Book two is coming just as fast.


2. What inspired you to write about a little blue dragon, a crippled boy and a smart girl?

I love Harry Potter, but sometimes when I read those types of books, I wish the protagonist wasn’t always the best magician, or the fastest Quidditch player. I like people who manage to do extraordinary things while overcoming the kinds of obstacles real people face. You look at those three and think, “How the heck are they going to save the world?”


3. Would you say that Tolkien and Lewis influenced you a lot in your writing? If not them, then who?

Oh, absolutely. Along with Donaldson, Brooks, King, Koontz, and Straub. I love fantasy with a little edge to it, or thrillers with a fantastical element.


4. What is your favorite fiction novel?

One of my personal favorites is Lord Foul’s Bane. I think because of when I read it and how different it was from anything I’d read before.


5. In Farworld, which character did you enjoy writing the most?

Gosh, I couldn’t pick a favorite. They all become real people to me. I’m hoping to get into Bonsplinter’s head more in book 2.


6. What part in Farworld: Water Keep was the hardest to write?

Interestingly enough, the Earth scenes were the hardest. I think it was because I was trying to see the familiar through the eyes of someone unfamiliar. I was afraid the Earth scenes might slow down the fantasy. But from what I’ve heard it seems to have worked okay.


7. Tell us something about Farworld: Land Keep

A sneak peek, huh? How about this: You will get to meet a character you met briefly in Book 1, who it should be impossible to meet.


8. Is there anything from when you were a kid that influenced the story or the way you write?

I think my best writing is when I go back to being a kid and just having fun. I had a pretty crazy imagination as a kid. It actually got me into quite a bit of trouble as a kid. But now I tell my parents, “See it finally paid off!”


9. Do you have any plans for other books after the Farworld series is over?

My dream has always been to write full time so I get have the time to write all the ideas I have stuck in my head. If that happens, I could easily imagine writing three books a year. The one that I currently feel the strongest about is a kind of urban fantasy about a hit man/PI who dies and goes to hell, but has a chance to come back if he can track down the demons who are trying to overthrow it. Kind of a dark/magic/thriller.


10. What's your favorite animal? :)

I really like frogs because they come in so many colors, shapes, and sizes. Plus they make cool sounds.

11. Where do you get ideas for names? (Kyja and Riph Raph aren't names you hear every day....)

Some names are totally just made up. I just play with sounds until I find one I like. Others, like the Unmakers, Mist Steed, and Mimicker, are names that sound like what they are. Finally there are a few names that are plays on words. Look up the name of the frog that leads Kyja and Marcus to Olden. It’s only used once, and most people will have no clue what it means.

12. How important is the naming process for you? Do you slave over trying to pick a name for you character, or do you just grab one and use it?

Very important. Occasionally I just stick in an X until I find the name, but most of the time the story stops until I find one that works for me.

13. Where did the inspiration for Galespinner come from?

It seems to me that there are three ways of approaching creatures in fantasy. 1) Just rename common Earth creatures with fantastical names. (e.g. call a shark a kitz.) In my opinion that is really lame. As a reader it takes you about ten seconds to go, of I get it, that’s a shark. 2) Use creatures from Earth myth or literature. For example a unicorn, or a minotaur. An elf or a dwarf. That works, and Terry Brooks, among others, does a great job with it. But I wanted Farworld to feel very different for the reader so instead, I went with a third option which was to create creatures no one has ever heard of. Of course it’s hard to be 100% original. There are plenty of creatures in literature for example that can mimic other creatures, but I tried to make them all unique in some way. In the case of Galespinner, I wanted a magical steed that wasn’t unicorn, or gryphon, but something in between. I also have always been intrigued my how the triceratops has a beak and teeth. So I added a little of that in too.

14. What is your best advice for aspiring writers?

Give yourself the freedom to color outside the lines. I don’t mean try to write something just to be strange like 2nd person, present tense, through the eyes of a trash can. “You eat the empty soup can and grin inside.” But more, allow yourself to play. Don’t think everything you write has to be published. Try copying other authors’ styles for a little bit. Try writing just dialog or just action scenes. Spend a day making up creatures or characters. Learn to write the same way kids learn to draw. They don’t do a whole painting right up front. They draw faces for hours, then move to stick figures.


15. What advice helped you the most?

When I first started writing, there was so much I didn’t know. I just dove in with no real idea how to swim once I got in the water. Later, as I spent more time reading books on writing, attending conferences, and talking to authors, I realized how much I didn’t know. There’s no one “key” that will make your writing great. But if you are serious about writing, invest a little time in reading books and attending conferences.


16. Favorite character from Star Wars? :D

Han Solo. He was just a total stud. Although Yoda was darn cool too.


17. Favorite character from The Lord of the Rings?

Aragon. Hands down.

18. Have you always wanted to be a writer?

No. I always loved making up stories. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized someone might actually publish something I wrote. I wish I’d started twenty years earlier. But better late than never huh?

I've really enjoyed doing the blog tour! Thanks for the opportunity Scott!
Anna