Monday, January 26, 2009

Tagged!

Alissa tagged me!

Things like this are so fun.
Here's the rules:

1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer. **
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder.
3) Explain the picture.
4) Tag 4 people to do the same.
No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.) Have fun!!

Kay, here it is:

This is my nephew Joel out in our yard (which is mostly concrete) pushing around Grandpa's lawn mower. He doesn't do this as much as he used to anymore, but he used to push them around all the time! I think this is at my fourteenth birthday party, in August '07.

I have to cheat a little bit: Here's three people, four blogs. I never have enough blogs to tag on these things.

1. Mattie
2. Brian
3. Mikaela
4. Mikaela (Her Disney Blog)

Anna

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Books I've been Reading Lately:


I've been doing lots of reading this month, and I'm very proud of myself. I'm starting to get a little nervous about finishing my designated quota of ten books, but I plan to finish number six today, and I've already started seven, so there is still hope. Let's hope so. :D

I've finished four books since The Silmarillion. After the Silmarillion, I started one book, endured 200 pages of pure boring and copy cat Harry Potter, and then I put it down.

1. Restless Pilgrim by Scott Marshall and Marcia Ford.
I started and finished this book all in the same day. It's about the Spiritual Journey of Bob Dylan. I borrowed it from Andy a LONG time ago, and I finally decided that I needed to read it and give it back. It was a lot easier to read than I expected, and interesting too. I'm excited to read more Dylan biographies soon.

2. The Princess Bride by William Goldman.
This book was very funny, if not a bit annoying in several places. Still, it was worth reading, and I'm glad I did. I laughed a lot. I think my favorite character is Inigo Montoya. When I first saw the movie, I immediately liked him. He's a good character. Westley annoys me after awhile, but Inigo is always fun to read about.

3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Excellent, of course, and fun to read again. It took me about a week to read the whole thing. I wasn't as enthusiastic about finishing it since I've already read it once, but I got through it, and I even forgot about one of the major cool things that Hermione found out at the end of the book, so it was fun to see Rowling's plot building there again.

4. The Book of Names by D. Barkely Briggs.
It took me a little longer to read this one than I expected, but I had been interested in it ever since I found out about it on one of Donita K. Paul's blogs. Not a bad read. Very creative.

I'm going to finish Beowulf today (Jason actually beat me!) and I started Watership Down last night, and I read a bit further earlier today, and I'm VERY excited about it!

Funny, the thing that pushed me to finally getting interested in reading Watership Down was the random fact that (highlight if you want a cool TV spoiler) Sawyer was reading it all through the first season of Lost.

Fun, right?
Anna

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Poll

Hey guys!

I just have a quick explanation about the new poll:

I'm not starting a band, I'm just trying to decide on a cool name for some characters in my story, and I wanted to see what the world thought! You can pick more than one answer. Your comments are welcome, with ideas, or the reason you picked one or several, the ones you hate, anything.

I admit ahead of time that the ones with 'Star' in it sound the slightest bit retarded, but a lot of band names do. Remember the Goo Goo Dolls.

Thanks everybody! Be sure to vote! Soon. Like, as soon as you read this, because I don't want to wait forever.....

Anna

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lost: Season One


Hey Everybody!
Happy Monday.

I was posting to give a fast review of Lost Season One (also Movie of the Month. :D)

I don't want to write a long review, so let me just say that it is as good as 24 (which is saying a lot for me) even though they're both very different.

I give it ten stars.

Lots of interesting characters, good plot twists, and very good acting.

Anna

Friday, January 9, 2009

Things about each Season that I like.....

Spring:

It starts to get warm
The promise of Summer
New things
Mostly warm weather, but a little bit cool
Green!
Wildflowers
Birthdays....Dad, Three brothers, Sister-in-law, Niece...


Summer:
T-shirts and flip-flops
Water
Less school to no school
Hot like the desert outside, but FREEZING and awesome inside
Swimming, especially when it's like a huge family swim party
The sun stays up really late
Ice cream
My birthday :D
Two of my best friends have birthdays in the summer

Fall:
Mostly cool but a little bit warm
Just a clean adventurous feeling in the air
Pumpkins
The leaves change
Fall is SUCH a cool, romantic season
Halloween (Who doesn't like moons and stars and black cats and pumpkins?)
Thanksgiving
More birthdays...Mom, Aunt, Cousin, Niece, Nephew, Nephew.......

Winter:
Christmas
Long sleeved shirts, jackets and hoodies
Shoes
Snow
The only warm place is your bed or the shower
Hot chocolate
More birthdays...Cousin, Sister-in-law, Sister-in-law, Nephew

I was just thinking about summer, and then I thought it would be fun to do a post like this. I like everybody's birthday, because we get to hang out, make cakes, and I'm always ready for a change of season. I'm so excited about spring and summer!
Anna

My Perfect Writing Atmosphere....


I was just thinking about how and where I like to write, because I just recreated my atmosphere.

I think that some of my best writing last year came when I had my writing kicks. I would get a really good idea for a draft, and I would outline and plan and everything, and just get really inspired.

I would spend most of my afternoons writing, as much as possible, and I did it at the kitchen table, with my laptop.

The table didn't have to be clean, but it worked better if it was, and the light in the dining room had to be off, but the blinds had to be open so that some natural light came it.

I usually write with iTunes blaring. If I have a really good writing kick, I usually go about a hundred pages into the draft before I begin to lose interest. I love my writing kicks! I can't wait for my next kick to come. I hope to trick myself into finishing the book before the kick is over, or to at least keep myself interested long enough to get further, or finish Part One, or something. I want to get somewhere this year.

I was just thinking about that, because I shut off the dining room light and opened the blinds. It certainly does look welcoming, except I'm on a reading kick (hopefully I can train myself to write during reading kicks this year too.) and my laptop isn't working, just the desktop.

Do you have a special place you like to write? If you do, why?
Anna

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Random...


Random thing I think I should do this year...

Look into Calvin and Hobbes. Isn't one of them a tiger? Yeah, I definitely need to check into this. :D

Sell me to my bird

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Silmarillion


Yesterday, I finished the Silmarillion, making it the second book that I have finished since 2009 has begun. I'm excited that I've finished it; it was very difficult to read, but it rewarded me with its best chapters, and it was definitely worth it. It was quite an undertaking, but I've accomplished it! I started reading it pretty early in the year, I think, shortly after I ordered it, and then I just read it when I felt like tackling the vast chapters of hard-to-read history. I know, it probably doesn't sound very appealing, right? I have a good excuse though....

I'm a Tolkien Fanatic. Tolkieologist, Tolkien Freak, whatever you want to call me.

If I'm not one yet, then I'm training to be one. :D

Tolkien even admitted that the Silmarillion could be 'nothing but hard to read.' I'm not sure of his exact wording, but it was something like that. The book includes Ainulindale, The Music of the Ainer, and the Valaquenta, an account of the Valar and Maiar. The biggest part of the book, Quenta Silmarillion makes up the largest body of it, and that was where the most interesting stuff was. My favorite tales was that of Thingol and Melian, the parents of Luthien (if you like Tolkien you should have heard of Luthien Tinuviel) and also the story of Maeglin, The story of Beren and Luthien, and The Tale of Turin Turambar, which is a short account of the book The Children of Hurin (which I got for Christmas. I'm really excited about reading it now.)

Some of the Silmarillion was really boring, and I don't think it's a favorite among Tolkien fans. Most of the tales end in the characters becoming crazed and doing tragic things because of the hardships they've gone through, such as killing their best friends when they thought they were enemies. One character has to cut his friends' hand off to save him. None of them end very happily... which is probably among the main reasons why most people don't really care for it. Of course I liked it; I just like Tolkien.


It lacks the warmth and charm of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, arguably Tolkien's best works, but I had better shut up. I haven't read all of his works yet. :D

I remember reading somewhere that The Silmarillion is, to the characters of LOTR what LOTR is to us. Great legends and stories, incredible, amazing stories. The Silmarillion is a book holding how Middle-Earth and its people came to be. After reading the Silmarillion, you will understand the tales that characters in LOTR allude to all the time. Following the Quenta Silmarillion, there is an account of the Fall of Numenor, Tolkien's Atlantis that was based on a dream he had over and over when he was younger, and a dream that he passed to his son, and also to his character Faramir. The Fall of Numenor is titled Akallabeth, which gives a glimpse of Isildur before they are doomed to live on Middle-Earth. After Akallabeth is a detailed account of how the Rings of Power came to be, what happened when Sauron made the One Ring, the battle for it, and more of the history from the time that Isildur cut it from Sauron's hand to the time that Gollum found it. That was really enjoyable to read. You get a lot more background that way. Akallabeth and 'Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age,' give a lot of information about Sauron as well, and his rise to the Dark Throne and how he became the Dark Lord.

'Of old there was Sauron the Maia. whom the Sindar in Beleriand named Gorthaur. In the beginning of Arda Melkor seduced him to his allegiance, and he became the greatest and most trusted of the servents of the Enemy, and the most perilous, for he could assume many forms, and for long if he willed he could still appear noble and beautiful, so as to deceive all but the most wary.'

That's the beginning paragraph of the account of "The Rings of Power and the Third Age." I always liked clues and hints to the rules of Tolkien's world. In the chapter about Beren and Luthien, there was a wolf named Huan that helped them. He was a really great, big wolf that was important to the story.

'Now the chief of the wolf-hounds that followed Celegorm was named Huan. He was not born in Middle-Earth, but came from the Blessed Realm.....' 'But Huan the hound was true of heart, and the love of Luthien had fallen upon him in the first hour of their meeting; and he grieved at her captivity. Therefore he came often to her chamber; and at night he lay before the door, for he felt that evil had come to Nargothrond. Luthien spoke often to Huan in her lonliness, telling of Beren, who was the friend of all birds and beasts that did not serve Morgoth; and Huan understood all that was said. For he comprehended the speech of all things with voice; but it was permitted to him thice only ere his death to speak with words.'

Huan was among my favorite parts in the Beren and Luthien story! All in all, The Silmarillion was really good. Certainly not as good as The Lord of the Rings, but it was definitely worth reading. I wish they would make a hardback with Alan Lee illustrations. I think they have a hardback with illustrations by John Howe; but I like Alan Lee's Tolkien stuff better than Howe's. I like how The Silmarillion is written in old, medieval romantic language and style. That made it more authentic. I'm really excited to move on to other Tolkien books now, such as The Book of Lost Tales Part One, The Children of Hurin, and rereading The Hobbit and the LOTR Trilogy. Yeah, I'm actually planning on reading them AGAIN this year. :D I'm excited about it too.


Here ends the SILMARILLION. If it has passed from the high and beautiful to darkness and ruin, that was of old the fate of Arda Marred; and if any change shall come and the Marring be amended, Manwe and Varda may know; but they have not revealed it, and it is not declared in the dooms of Mandos.

Anna


All quotes belong to J.R.R. Tolkien and/or Christopher Tolkien, the editor. Oh yeah. Hi January book of the month. :D

Library of 2008 Part 2


In October, I started doing a book of the month over at Sock Monkeys, my other blog that I share with my cuz.

My books of the month were:

The Witch Family by Eleanor Estes.
This is the first Eleanor Estes book I've completed, and it was well worth the read. I enjoyed it a lot. It was whimsical, light-hearted, and held my attention well. I'll be keeping it on a bookshelf probably as long as I own books. I wrote a review at Sock Monkeys.

Chosen by Ted Dekker.
An excellent, original read, and easy. I started it one evening and finished it the next day. Probably among his best...it was much better than Saint, and I probably enjoyed it more than Showdown.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
Do I need to say more? I wrote a review of it.

Anna

Reviews of Chosen and TLWW can be found in recent posts on this blog.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Library of 2008


Well, it's 2009 now. What can I say? 2008 went by awfully fast! It's right after Christmas again, and before we know it it will be right after Christmas in 2010, which is incredibly scary. A number of scary things will probably happen in 2009, but I suppose I can crash through it alright, just like I did last year. Scary things being last year that: okay mostly that I turned fifteen. That's scary. WOW!

Anyway, this post is about the best books of the year, or about the books of the month, or something along those lines. :D

I was thinking about picking a book of the year for last year, out of all my books of the month. But that might be impossible, because how can I choose one book and then betray all of my favorite authors? It might be impossible. However, among my favorites that I read through this year was...in no order, because I can't do that.....

Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis,
which was the first official book of the month, for March, which is when I started doing this.

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien. I'm not going to lie. I'm a Tolkien person first, then Lewis. I enjoyed The Return of the King more than Till We Have Faces, even though both were excellent. Can you believe that I'm on the verge of plunging into the trilogy again?

The Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker. This started out as Red, the second in the trilogy, being May book of the month, but then I read White and had to put all three in as May Book of the Month. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried, and it was spiritually uplifting to read it. Wow! He's coming out with a fourth book this year. I can't wait! I'll have to post some updates about that.

The Story Girl by L. M. Montgomery.
This book was so much fun! I love L. M. Montgomery. She writes with such a clean, romantic voice that when I get into one of her books I can't stop. I read three of her books this year, and hope to top that by five or seven this year. I'm excited to read the Anne series plus all of her other books!

Dragonlight by Donita K. Paul. This is the fifth and final installment in the Dragon Keeper Chronicles, books I love for being original, yet reminiscent of Tolkien and Lewis. The main character is also a girl named Kale, and she gets to hatch all of these beautiful little dragons, and there are battles and dying and big walking dragons. (sorry, that was a play on a line from the Peter Pan movie.) Dragonlight was fun to read, but Dragonquest is still my favorite in the series.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. Excellent, ten star novel. Loved it, couldn't put it down. It was fun to read, romantic, (in a....medieval, dragons and swords kind of way) and I was raised on the movie, and I'm pretty sure my Mom read me this one a long time ago.

Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery. I loved this one as much or more than the first one, because I loved when Anne started teaching and how she noticed each kid in her class and became friends with Paul. I just liked the description of the kids and all of Anne's predicaments, and then there was Davy Keith. Little rat. :D I like little rats though.

Blink of an Eye by Ted Dekker. The best Ted Dekker novel I've read outside of the books concerning Thomas Hunter (The Lost Books, The Circle Trilogy). It was a fast pace, with likeable characters, and an incredible plot.

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini.
Despite the flaws, Brisingr was a very enjoyable read. Roran annoys me, as do the five-ten chapter intervals of pure boring, such as when Eragon is stuck with the dwarves discussing politics. Still, I delighted in reading it for a whole week, so Paolini did his job. Doesn't mean he did it well, though. :D

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I haven't posted a review of this one. I finished it last night, right after midnight. I was determined to finish it yesterday, and had two long sittings of it. I think I've forgiven Jo for turning down Laurie, and I think I like Laurie and Amy together now. But I'm not real psyched about the Bear Man. Bhaer. :D Good character and all, but I just don't like him as Jo's hub. Like his name though. :D And now I'm curious about Little Men, what happens to all of Jo's Boys, what happens to Laurie's namesake, and what happens to Laurie's little girl, Beth. It was an excellent read, and I like Laurie more than ever. He's always been a favorite, And so he is again! (So Little Women is December Book of the Month three days late.) I watched part of the movie (I don't much care for the second half) and then decided that it wouldn't be such a bad idea to read the book. I'm glad I did! Little Women is officially the first book I finished in 2009, despite the fact that I started in 2008, but it still counts. So, that's the first book I've read this year, making the total a grand and lonely ONE. :D

Those are my books of the month, among the best books of the year. I'm excited to see what books '09 will bring. Tootles!

:D
Anna

Friday, January 2, 2009