August 27, 2015

August Inkling~A Train Scene

For this month's Inkling Explorations the subject is a scene happening at/on/around a train or train station!

I had hoped to find a selection from a book, but when Return to Cranford was mentioned, I decided I would use that story, if no one else used it. :)

I absolutely love Cranford, and Return to Cranford is just as good (perhaps even better) than the first.

The people of Cranford (okay, mostly the ladies of Cranford) have been fighting change for so long. After the departure of Jem and Tilly, Miss Matty is the first to realize why Cranford needs to move forward. Without industry and work, Jem couldn't stay-and neither would many other people be able to, if the town remained frozen in time.  She realizes that as unpleasant as change might be-losing loved ones is even worse.

In an admirable moment of courageous decision, she wants to welcome the railroad with open arms by issuing an invitation to her friends to take an exclusive ride with her on the new train.

Imagine how that would be! Miss Matty has lived her entire life without riding anything faster than a horse. She-and the other ladies-are used to gentleness and quietness. The peace of the country is all they've ever known. To see a giant, smoking, noisy apparatus invade their home would be so unsettling. And to ride one.....a train going no more than 30 mph to us seems slow, but to them it must have been the most frightening thing they ever undertook!

(by the way, shout out to Captain Brown for being so patient with the ladies. It's adorable when he answers all their questions while helping them into the train. And patiently deciding not to comment on Miss Pole's opinion that "we must not look-lest we fray the optic nerve!" heehee)

The ladies board the train in hesitant and nervous apprehension. By themselves in another car (wholly inappropriate for the times, I suspect, but very sweet and romantic for the story!) William Buxton and Peggy Bell experience their first train ride together (well, it might not be his first train ride....but it is certainly Peggy's!).

William watches Peggy delightedly while she, like a curious, excited little girl, tries to stand and balance as the train rushes them joyfully down the track. He had admired her from the moment they met, I think, but until this moment he didn't realize how much he cared.

Look at his face!!!!! So adorable...
After the train rolls to a halt, we witness one of the sweetest proposals EVER as William asks Peggy to marry him.

Ohhhh myyyyy worrrrddd it is sooooo cute. Just, here. Watch it:
(I apologize for the Spanish subtitles, although it is not my fault in the least ;))

Due to Miss Matty's courage, Mr. Buxton agrees that he cannot stand in the way of the railway any longer. He will sell his land, which will allow the train tracks to continue their journey and reach the little town of Cranford.

Thank you for this link-up, Heidi!

August 24, 2015

Time and the Management of It

I feel like I'm always rushing. Rushing to add another pencil line through the words on my to-do list. I get caught up in the endless cycle of "to do"..."it's done"...."a new to do"...."it's done". I yearn to get everything crossed off my list so I can feel free and accomplished.
But it never ends. It seems as soon as I complete one task, I add a new one. Soon, all the accomplishment and fun out of getting things done disappears as I stress that it's 3:00 in the afternoon and "I still have so much to do!"

I slowly start to treat things that should be fun and relaxing--writing a blog post, emailing a friend, working on my story, as ominous to dos that MUST be done.

I become torn between the "important" things of the day--my schoolwork, household chores, and helping my mom and the things I love to do-reading, writing, photographing flowers.

Then I start thinking. What is the point of all this? I rush to get everything done today only to have to do the same thing-or new things-- all over again tomorrow. It never ends. What does it gain me???


What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 1:3

The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. 
Ecclesiastes 1:5

All things are wearisome, more than one can say. The eye never has enough of seeing, nor the ear its fill of hearing. What has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. 
Ecclesiastes 1: 8-9

These frantic thoughts were skimming through my head when I remembered.

the meaning of life is to glorify our God.

The meaning is not to accomplish goals. Not to cross items off my to do list. Not to go to bed feeling proud in my productive day. Not stressing over having enough time to do all I want and should do.

It's about praising God. Glorifying Him. Serving Him in everything I do. To give Him my best. To show His love and mercy to others-even if it's just to my own family. 

Everyone once in awhile I need to sit down and remind myself to take it slow. Spend some time poring over my Bible and absorbing what the words are saying to me. I need to sit in the sun filtering through the trees in late afternoon. Watch the fireflies blinking in the dusk and feel the breeze coming through my window and filling my lungs with fresh cool air.

Sometimes it's okay to relax. To forget about the to do lists, the emails piled up in my inbox, the half-finished school assignment.  I'm not saying I shouldn't do these things, of course! Just that I shouldn't let them be a cause of worry and stress to me. If I let them do that, I'm letting my focus from God be distracted and distorted.  How can I do what He wants me to do if I'm distracted like that? How can I help my mom with dinner if I'm stressed over a school assignment? How can I patiently answer  my brother's question if I'm lamenting over the lack of hours in the day? Wasting time worrying over the time I have to get things done is just that-a waste of time. And how pointless is it to be wasting time over THAT--the exact thing I want more of! (okay....sorry if that was a little jumbled.)

Anyways, this is something I catch myself struggling with now and again. But, I know that I can and will conquer it through Jesus. Already I am becoming more and more aware of when I fall into this habit of thinking, and am grateful that with God's help, I can stop.

Life is too precious to just "exist". Crossing things off a to do list is just existing. Working with a joyful  heart and seeing and appreciating God's blessings while doing so is living. I just think it's so important to "stop and smell the roses". That could mean different things for different people. I want to enjoy the life God has given me--not rush through it stressed on completing my to-do list!
Which, if I look at it, is usually not "life or death" tasks anyways. ;)

 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6:27

I feel like I rambled on a bit and went off in a couple different directions... but hopefully you got what I'm trying to say. :)
Do any of you feel the same way? I'd love to hear how you combat "to-do list stress".  haha

ps. I took all of these pictures with my new 35mm 1.8 lens!!!'s a-mazzzing. I'm having so much fun with it. 

August 18, 2015

The Period Drama Tag

This tag was bounced around on the blogs awhile back and I immediately wanted to do it. I was going to do it even if no one tagged me. (although I feel like SOMEONE tagged me for this, but I actually can't remember who!! Sorry! So, if you were the one who tagged me for this, thank you!)
am I the only one annoyed that there's more than one Lizzy in this picture? It's just Not Right.

Aaaannnd, then I didn't finish filling out the tag, and forgot about it and so here I am months later. But that's okay. It's kind of fun to do it when no one else is, hahaha. :D

What is your favorite Austen book?
Kiera knightly is another one of my favorite actresses, especially in the movie pride and prejudice.

At this time, I'd probably have to say Pride and Prejudice.....although I did enjoy Emma exceedingly!
this is such an adorable copy!! No, sadly, it's not MY copy. :)

One Austen movie you dislike the most?
Umm...out of all I've seen? Oh! The 1980's version of Pride and Prejudice. It was...quite bad. Except for a few humorous non-book lines, the whole thing was a shambles. Mr. Darcy was like a walking mummy and Elizabeth was just simply annoying. I can't remember that much about it except that it was terrible. (sorry to anyone who did like this version...) It bored me half to death.

This is actually quite a lovely picture from it but do not be deceived!!! (heehee, just kidding. Go ahead and watch it, I won't mind.)

Favorite dresses?
Thank you for making that plural. Here's a few of my favorites!
sorry it's not full length... (from Northanger Abbey)
from Testament of Youth
Romola Garai in Amazing Grace
from Amazing Grace
Laura's blue dress (and her hair!!) from Lark Rise to Candleford
Lizzy's ball gown from Pride and Prejudice '05
 (although it is a little too "nightgown-ish". I just love the simplicity if it.)
This costume has been seen several times firstly by Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale in North and South 2004, in Bleak House 2005 worn by Gillian Anderson as Lady Dedlock, in Cranford Christmas 2009 worn by Michelle Dockery as Erminia, among others
North and South

Least favorite hair style?
My image of Sebastian's sister, Isabella - grown up and physically transformed in THE SECRET OF LOVE.

I don't like it when Emma wears her hair tightly pulled back in the 1996 version.

What is your favorite film adaptation to Austen's books?
I'm going to list a couple. It's my blog, you can't stop me.
For Pride and Prejudice, it's the 1995. For Sense and Sensibility it would probably be the 1995 version, although I do also love the 2008 film. For Emma, the 1996 version. For Northanger Abbey it's the 2007 version. For Persuasion it's a toss up between the 1995 and the 2007.
I have yet to see a Mansfield Park version. Any suggestions?

Favorite Downton Abbey character?

Because I haven't seen it!!!
(I haven't seen Doctor Who, either, but the gif worked ;))

Favorite BBC show?
Ha. Easy. BBC's  Robin Hood!!!!!!!!!

Favorite Austen Heroine?
Probably Lizzy Bennet. I know, I'm so unoriginal, aren't I? ;)

One BBC you watched which you disliked very much.
Under the Greenwood Tree. It was perfectly clean and wholesome, and yet I just did NOT like it. The characters annoyed me, and I just simply didn't care for it that much. 

Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen?
Errgg. This is hard. Colin Firth is PERFECTION as Mr. Darcy, but I must admit I think I like Matthew MacFayden a little better.....his portrayal of Arthur Clennam is stellar.

Jane Austen, Margaret Mitchell, or  Lucy Maud Montgomery?

How can I choose between Jane Austen and the creator of my beloved Anne?

Okay, I don't really mean that. But still. This is such an upsetting question!

I guess I have to go with L. M. Montgomery. I've been reading her books longer than Jane Austen, and I just love Anne and Gil and Avonlea too much to choose otherwise.

but I still love Jane Austen too!!!

Mr. Knightley, Mr. Darcy or Matthew Crawley?
Mmm.....well, this is easier in the sense that it's only between the first Wow. It's kind of even.
Mr. Knightley, Mr. Darcy, and Henry Tilney are my favorite Austen heroes. I just don't know which one is THE favorite....

awwwwwwww my word he is precious

Which Charlotte- Claudie Blakley or Lucy Scott?
Lucy Scott. She just is Charlotte for me. Although I did like how Claudie's Charlotte was more pitiable and sympathetic. I could understand her better than Lucy's Charlotte.

Thank you for reading! I wish I had time to touch on more of my favorite period dramas (there are sooo many) but this will have to do for now. :) Ta ta!

August 8, 2015


Henry, my main hero in my current work-in-progress.

A few posts ago, I introduced my book. It's the longest piece of writing I've ever written.

In that post I shared some snippets and then asked you what character you would like me to post more about. The first request was Henry (from Heidi!) and so here I am to talk about my story's main guy character and his irritatingly stubborn ways.

It's okay Henry, I still love you. ;)

Yes...I talk to my characters as if they were real. Is there a problem?

I'm going to answer a bunch of random character questions I took from the Beautiful People archives of the Paper Fury blog. Hopefully they'll help shed some light on my character--without giving away too much!

But. I have a surprise. Henry will be answering these himself.

-shoves Henry in front of the keyboard-
Henry: What are we doing?
Me: You're answering questions so my blog friends can get to know you better.
Henry: I don't want them to know me! I don't even know who they are. Why should they care-
Me: Henry, please don't be stubborn. Can you do it for me? Please?
Me: Ok good. First question.
Henry: Wait-
Me: "What do you absolutely hate?"
Henry: These questions. -grins mischievously- 
Me: Okay, fine, I'll let you get away with that.

Henry dressed for dinner....or perhaps the ball his mother hosts.

Me: "Who is the most influential person in your life?"
Henry: I would say Arthur.  (his best friend since childhood)

Me: Yeah, I agree. Okay how about " Are you a night owl or morning person?"
Henry: These are strange terms.
Me: Welcome to the 21st century.
Henry: Is keep tapping from the 21st century as well?
Me: The keyboard? Yeah, it is. I could teach you, if you like.
Henry: What happens if I touch hjkkj
Me: -pushes his hand away- Those are the letter keys. You tap the letter you want to spell the words on the screen.
Henry: May I try?
Me: Fine. Here's a question, now you answer it with the keyboard. "What is your full name and is there a story behind why you got it?"
Me: Type.
Henry: What?
Me: Click the keys.
Henry: mynameisprince
Me: click this big key in between words so they don't run together like that.
Henry: This is complicated.
Me: No, it's not, you can do it.
Henry: my name  is   prince henrry of bevonh urst   (Prince Henry of Bevonhurst)
Henry: It doesn't look right.
Me: Yeah...why don't I just take over?
Henry: -hands the laptop back-

(As a note, I realized Henry and I got distracted and he didn't answer the night owl question. I will answer it now and tell you he is a definitely a night owl. He doesn't usually like getting up early.)

Me: Okay, "Where would you go to relax/think?"
Henry: The tower room.
Me: Does anyone go there and bother you?
Henry: Only Arthur. And Alethea came up a few times to find me.
Me: I really like your tower room. I wish I had one like it.

Me: "Do you say everything that pops into their head, or leave a lot unsaid?"
Henry: I suppose I don't leave much unspoken.
Me: Yeah, you tend to wear your heart on your sleeve.
Henry: What does that mean?
Me: It means pretty much everyone knows how you're feeling. You don't try to disguise your emotions-whether it's annoyance or anger...or your love for a certain somebody. ;)
Henry: I don't want to talk about that at the present moment.

Henry waiting outside to welcome guests.

Me: "What are your nervous habits?"
Henry: I don't know if I have any.
Me: Mmm....yeah, I can't think of anything outstanding. You'd probably pace a lot. You get easily agitated when you're nervous or excited.

 Me: "How do you deal with conflict?" -starts laughing-
Henry: What amuses you?
Me: Just....this question...I was thinking of all the times you get mad and I was reminded of your fight in the library with Arthur after he tells you...well, I can't say because of spoilers, so let's move on.

He leads a large detachment of soldiers when helping an ally at war.

 Me: "If you were writing this story, how would it end?"
Henry: I would marry the certain someone referenced above.
Me: Yeah.....I had a feeling you'd say that.
Henry: At the moment I'm not satisfied with your writing.
Me: Oh really? Well how do you know I won't end it the way you want? ;)

Henry and a Certain Someone

 Me: "Describe your current place of residence."
Henry: Erm. It's a large, stone castle.
Me: Due to Henry's lack of detail, I'll also add that it has lots of big oaken doors, a large carpeted great hall with a sweeping staircase, and a garden in the back with a fountain. It has tall windows in the second floor hallways, many guest bedrooms, and a gorgeous ballroom that opens onto a veranda

 Me: "How old are you, and when were you born?"
Henry: I'm almost twenty-one. I don't know when I was born because my author hasn't decided upon an exact date for this story. -gives me a pointed glance-
Me: It's just somewhere between the the Middle Ages and the Tudor time.

Me: Well. -leans back in chair-I think you can go now, Henry. There's a few more questions but I think I'd be better suited to answer them. Thanks for obliging me.

Henry: Your welcome.

Me: Oh! And please tell Arthur that if my blog readers like this style I may want to do an "interview" of sorts with him when I do "his" post. So, tell him to be prepared to answer some questions.

Henry: You know Arthur and I aren't on speaking terms right now.
Me: -sighs- Oh yes, I forgot. You two are incorrigible.

Henry after days of war....and not cutting his hair. :P

A few more questions....

What do they want (consciously and tangibly)?
At the beginning of the story, Henry wants nothing but to be left to his own devices. His father wants him to marry, but Henry resents being forced to make a decision when he can never seem to meet a woman he even likes slightly. That all changes when a certain Lady comes to his castle. He never wanted something as much as he wants her.

On the other hand: what do they need (on the emotional, subconscious level)?
Henry needs to learn to accept what comes to him. He's selfish and stubborn and angry. He feels cheated when things he felt rightfully belonged to him -even when they never did belong to him- are no longer his to claim.

 Describe your character’s personality first in one word, and then elaborate with a few sentences.
Hasty. Henry is hasty to fall in love, hasty in anger, hasty in almost everything he does. He does not contemplate things as he should. He lets his emotions guide him almost without any restraint.

 Which one of the seven deadly sins describes your character?
I would have to say wrath. Anger, hatred, jealous revenge...those are Henry's top vices.

 What theme song(s) fit their personality and story arc?

Funny you should ask. ;) This isn't a perfect song for Henry, but I like it and it slightly reminds me of him and his struggles.

And, just for fun, here's another snippet. (it's a very rough edit, so try to look over the flaws. :))

'[Henry] stood. "If you'll excuse me." He turned and walked away and out of the room, still seething. He heard an agitated step behind him. "Henry! What do you think you are doing? I cannot believe how abominably rude you were! You can't leave your guests like that."
Henry gave a short laugh. "No, mother. They are your guests. Not mine." 
He turned to keep walking but Julianna grabbed his arm. "Henry, I command you to stay." 
Henry could hear the tense seconds pass in his mind. He knew he should obey his mother. He knew he should return to the drawing room. It was the right thing to do. The gentlemanly thing. 
The thing Arthur would do. 
Something inside him snapped. "I can't, mother. I just can't." He ran down the hall blindly and found his way up the tower stairs. Up and away to his sanctuary. Every step jolted through his foot to his head. I'm tired of being bested by Arthur. I'm tired of playing the patient suitor. I'm tired of pleasing my mother and obeying my father and never getting what I want. '

Thank you for reading!!