June 29, 2016

Friends, I beseech thee to follow me


Public Service Announcement......I now have a Pinterest page!

If you'd like to check it out, here is my link:

(And you know, cough, you can follow me if you want. ;))

ps. I will warn you though that I block any shady, creepy people, so if you're a stalker don't even try to follow me. Muahahaha.

(Am I the only one who is creeped out by random people I never heard of who start following me? And they usually have a minimum amount of information about themselves, and their own Pinterest boards showcase no similarity to my interests. :P)


June 25, 2016

How Not to Be a Gentleman

So a long time ago (eek, it was half a year) I created this post about unladylike characters in period dramas. I promised Miss March per her suggestion that I would create a similar post for the gentlemen of period dramas, and....well, here I am fulfilling that promise. Six months later. -blushes- (Actually, I hardly ever blush, but it's such a period drama-like thing to do.)

Dear Mr. Guppy,
I must put your upbringing into question when I ask--did your mother EVER tell you that it is highly rude—and creepy—and disgusting to stalk a young lady? She has refused you quite plainly and kindly, and yet you hover under lampposts at night, staring at the windows of the house she occupies....I'm sorry, but you simply must stop. (Of course, if you were the handsome hero, we might have more sympathy for you, but your methods of attracting her attention would still be brought into question, so therefore the comparison is retracted.)
Photo: Bleak House 2005, Quote: 'On The Street Where You Live' from My Fair Lady:
Dear Mr. Elton.
I don't care if you are an old married man of 5-and-twenty or 5-and-eighty. To refuse a poor girl a dance practically to her face in the most rude, hypocritical way possible is inexcusable.

Thank goodness for men like Mr. Knightly.
Mr and Mrs Elton.:

Dear Mr. Collins,
If a woman says "no" to your proposal of marriage, I think it best to believe that she truly means "no". Not "maybe", "yes, but I won't admit it", or "I wish to heighten your love by suspense."

ps. Stop waving like a little girl, it's most unbecoming in a man, especially a member of the clergy.

Dear Mr. Wickham,
Practically everything you say is a lie. Just leave the country, please. Go work in the salt mines of Bolivia or something. Just...go away.
What would it be like to date Mr. Wickham from Pride and Prejudice? Find out in Dating Mr. Wickham by Katie Oliver.:

Dear Mr. Preston,
I really don't know what to say to you. You obviously have NO idea of how a gentleman should behave. Not only do you haunt Miss Kirkpatrick with your icy, creepy glare of yours, but you arrange clandestine meetings in the woods with her. IN THE WOODS. This is simply not proper. You obviously have no regards for the reputation of young ladies. Of course, this could undoubtedly call into question Miss Kirkpatrick's regard for her own reputation, but the poor girl only wanted to repay the money she owed you. You really ought to have graciously accepted it and stop acting as if she owed you her hand in marriage because she promised you once a long time ago. You are a revengeful, cruel man. You may have honestly loved her, but your kind of love is twisted and cruel. True, noble love would have made you give her up so that she would be happy instead of tormenting her (and yourself) by a continual pursuit of her.
Iain Glen as Mr. Preston in  Wives and Daughters (1999) I know Mr. Preston wasn't the greatest person, but I liked him mostly because it was Iain Glen who is Scottish and has an amazing accent.:

ps. You should have made it quite clear to that man who assumed you and Miss Gibson were lovers that you and she were indeed not. You injured her reputation by not setting the falsehood to rights.

(This next one is for you, Jessica :))
Dear Mr. Willoughby,
While I don't hate you like I hate some of the villains on this post (see my Sense and Sensibility review for reasons) you really have done some horrid, awful things. Seducing a young girl and abandoning her even when she bears YOUR child....breaking another young girl's heart when you leave her to pursue a wealthy heiress...someone ought to do something horribly traitorous to you. Maybe then you'd see what it's like to be treated how you treat others. You really are perhaps the worst of Jane Austen's villains because you see where you've done wrong...and yet do nothing to correct it. You really should try to emulate heroes like Colonel Brandon, instead of resenting him for being a better man than you are.
John Willoughby:

ps. Don't waste your time thinking of Marianne, she's much better off without you.

Dear Carter,
I...I honestly have no words. You're horrid. There's absolutely nothing to be done about it. I'm sorry.

Dear Mr. Rochester,
Now, you are the hero of your story, and I do like you a lot (especially after you reform) but can I make a small suggestion? Honesty is a great virtue. We women like to be told the truth.
Cough, evenifthetruthisthatyouhaveamadwifeinyourattic. Cough.

I laugh every time I see this....:

Dear Dr. Marshland,
PLEASE do NOT send anonymous valentine's. To anyone. You really need to grow up and realize how your actions affect people...their reputations...their love lives...their sanity.

Dear Mr. Thornton,
Ignore everything that Margaret says about your acting in an un-gentleman like manner. You are quite the gentleman. Just wait patiently. There will come a day when she will look back at you.
Richard Armitage, Mr. John Thornton - North  South directed by Brian Percival (TV Mini-Series, 2004) #elizabethgaskell:

~The End~

June 21, 2016

The Rose~Inkling Link Up

My selection for this month's Inkling Explorations Link Up (the subject of which is "Roses in book or film") is the scene from Disney's Beauty and the Beast when the Beast decides to set Belle free. Choosing Beauty and the Beast feels rather unoriginal to me, but I love the movie (and am consequently over-the-moon excited for the new live action version coming out in 2017!!!) and so I couldn't resist. :)

The Beast has a magical rose that tells him how long he has to live, and the Rose is slowly dying. Once it dies, the Beast will die too, unless he comes to love a girl—and have her love him in return. Only then will he be released from the spell.

Even though the Rose is visibly wilting before his eyes, the Beast decides to willingly give up the very thing that would ensure his freedom and life—Belle. Because he loves her, he puts her needs and feelings above his own. He sacrifices himself for her, showing how completely his character has changed and evolved into the hero that the sorceress who cast the spell upon him hoped he would become.

Here is the scene I'm highlighting, although the main part is at 1:05 to 2:21. The last part with the Beast telling Cogsworth why he let Belle go is one of my favorite scenes. :)

Thank you for this lovely Link Up, Heidi! 

ps. I find this very amusing, indeed. ;)

June 18, 2016

With Every Letter~Sarah Sundin

I realize that I tend to write full book reviews on only my favorite of favorites. Which, I suppose, is only natural. Why waste time constructing a post about a book you hated or just couldn't care less about? (Although, ranting can be fun sometimes heh heh)

Guuuyyyss, I loooove this book!!!

(Oh yes. Be forewarned this is going to be a rambling, fan-girl-y review. :P)

-sigh- How do I begin to express my love of this book's amazing characters, stunning settings, and wonderful plot? In order to inject some semblance of order into this review, I'll start with giving you my own short synopsis. 

Well, I went onto Goodreads to take a look at the official synopsis and got distracted by reading all the one and two star reviews for With Every Letter. 

What is wrong with people?

Guys, word of advice. Don't read the hate reviews of your favorite books. Unless you enjoy having your blood pressure elevate in annoyance and anger. If you do, go for it.

Oh yes, the synopsis. -tries to focus-

Set during World War Two, the book follows two main characters— Mellie, a flight nurse, and Tom, an engineer. Although they've never met, they've been writing letters to each other through an anonymous letter program (in the story, the program is inspired by the Jimmy Stewart movie, Shop Around the Corner, which just makes me plain happy because I really like that movie!). Mellie is painfully shy and lacks confidence in her looks, personality, and social skills. She's always been different from other girls her age, and she finds that to hold true even among the other nurses. Tom lives under a shadow. He has spent the greater portion of his life trying to live down his father's violent reputation. Through their correspondence, both find friendship and encouragement in their walk with God.
Problems arise when they fall in love (it's a Christian romance novel, what did you expect?) because they both think they need anonymity to retain their friendship. Each are convinced the other could never look past outward appearances and see what truly lies in the heart.

And, that's all I'm giving you synopsis-wise. Now I'll just fangirl. ;)
I picture Mellie as a mix between Agent Peggy Carter and the girl on the cover of the book haha
Awww, dearest Mellie. Poor little thing. I just want to give her a hug! Mellie is so sweet, so kind, so helpful—but painfully shy. With Ernest's encouragement and advice (Ernest is the name she gives to Tom, her anonymous correspondent) she is finally able to learn how to reach out to the other women in her squadron (group, battalion, or whatever it's called) and experience true friendship for the first time. She forms a trio with Rose and Georgie, two other flight nurses, and with more help from them, learns to come out of her shell. 

 *spoilers * 
The only time I get annoyed with Mellie is when she meets Tom and DOESN'T TELL HIM THAT SHE'S ANNIE (her "pen name"). But, I DO understand why she didn't.

Mellie came a loooong way from the beginning of the book. By the time Tom wanted to meet her, Mellie's confidence and social skills had improved by leaps and bounds. 

But, she still wasn't there yet. She holds back for two reasons:
1) She's selfishly afraid of being rejected. 
2) She's unselfishly wanting to protect Tom from disappointment. You see, she's convinced herself Tom could never think she is beautiful. (And that's where we all groan in frustration because every time we read Tom's point of view, he's berating himself for being attracted to Mellie when he should only have feelings for "Annie". )
*end spoilers* 

Now, before you assume Tom is head-over-army-boots for Mellie only because of her beauty, let me explain what a wonderful guy he is.

Oh Toooommmm. 

Guys, how do I count all the reasons I love Tom? Honestly, he is on the list of "fictional guys I would actually marry if they were real" (versus just plain ol' fictional crushes). That is, if I wrote out said list. It's a mental list. ;)

Shall I list the reasons?
1) He's kind. Part of this is due to the fact that he's been taught that he HAS to be kind in order to "erase" the stain his dad has given him. But, even if that weren't the case, Tom would still be kind.
2) He has a rather tragic backstory but rises above it. (And it hurts him so much and affects his life and I just want to hug him because the poooor thiiiinng.)
3) He looks like Steve Rogers (Okay, I picture him like Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America).
4) He's really sweet and funny and just SUCH A GENTLEMAN.
5) He writes letters. Long, descriptive, lovely letters that any girl would love to receive.
6) He puts others before himself. Like when he wants to dance with Mellie, but holds back because girls get a "reputation" by dancing with him. Because of his name. (He's just so chivalrous!)
7) He's incredibly faithful and trustworthy. He resolves to love "Annie" no matter what she looks like. Yes, he would prefer her to look like a certain exotic girl he knows, but he's ready to sacrifice that.

And see, that's where this romance is different. Tom is so faithful to "Annie". Instead of trying to seek out Mellie, he does his best to avoid her. Instead of trying to win the one woman he finds absolutely gorgeous, he puts that aside and channels his heart and soul into writing to "Annie". Because he knows her heart, her dreams, and her thoughts, and he loves her for them. 

He realizes that a beautiful heart is much more important than a beautiful face.
-sigh- Tom and Mellie...they're just one of my favorite fictional couples ever.
Excuse me while I go off into a squeal of fan-girly giggles and screams.
Thank you, random gif boy. You totally define fangirling. haha
I honestly have no words to describe what a beautiful relationship they have. They're just SO SWEET. They both struggle with their past. Tom has to learn to forgive his father for his mistakes, and Mellie has to learn to forgive her mother for hers. They learn that forgiveness does not mean approval and that they don't have to live in fear of becoming their respective parents. They encourage and uplift each other in their walk with the Lord and help each other grow.

Another reason I love this book is that I relate strongly to Mellie. No, I was never as introverted as she was and I had plenty friends growing up, but I did struggle with shyness and insecurity. Around my early teen years, I was very insecure with my looks. I was taller than most girls my age (and boys...how awkward is that!?), I had VERY thick hair that I couldn't style very well, and frequently had acne on my face. And that's only a few of my "complaints"! ;)  I would compare myself way too often to movie actresses or older girls that I knew. Now, my insecurity wasn't enough to "ruin" my life—some of my happiest memories come from those years! But it was hard some days, and I feel bad for any girl going through the same.

I am quite content with my looks now. God helped me out of that "phase" and showed me that no matter what I looked like (or thought I looked like) I WAS beautiful, because I was his daughter and his creation and nothing would change that. Everything he creates is beautiful! Why would his people be any exception? 

(And, it's worth mentioning that the early teen years are the most awkward years. If you're in that season of life and find it unbearable some days, please know that it WILL get better. I absolutely promise.)

Mellie thought she wasn't beautiful—but she was. Not every man found her so—but the right one DID. And more importantly, God found her beautiful. Because of her kind, selfless soul. No, she wasn't perfect. But she is a "gentle and quiet spirit" and this is so very, very precious to God. 

I could watch this gif all day.
(Pretend that gif takes place outside, under the stars.)


When Mellie is told by her commanding officer to stay and have fun with the other nurses and officers at a dance, Tom, in his wonderful gallantry, "rescues" Mellie from a man he knows to be "bad news". He saves her from dancing with him, and instead they talk together. I won't explain the entire scene but suffice to say that they eventually dance together and it's soo cute and sweet and....yes. It's perfect. They laugh and banter and are just so happy to be in each other's company.

This post is getting so long, but I just want to mention a few more things--I love Tom's friendship with Larry Fong and Mellie's with Rose and Georgie!  Both characters deal with the excitement of having a real friend...and the bitterness of having misunderstandings and betrayals (mostly unintentional) within these relationships. Of course, this causes them to grow in ways they couldn't have foreseen and it's all just so wonderful. :)

Sesame (Tom's dog)  is so darn cute and the scenes with him and Tom are just perfect. <3

So, of course, I could talk about the end of the book, but I want you to read this for yourself and see what you think. I feel as if this review has been less of a review and more of a fan-girling, nonsensical post, but hey. I did warn you of that, didn't I? ;)

Content wise, I do think this book is one of the nicest Christian fiction romance novels I've ever read (not too much over-emphasized physical attraction blehhh) and has one of the strongest Christian messages I've come across in CFR novels. Now, with that said, it IS a romance novel, and it can tend to be a little sappy and overly detailed when kissing is involved. :P Sometimes women are mentioned as being "curvy" and one character is called a "slut". 
Other than that, I can't think of anything else that could be included as "content."

I hope you give this book a try if you haven't already!
 If you have read it, do you like it?
 If not, why ever not?!
 (I won't be too mad, I promise. ;))

June 10, 2016

Of a photography job and Mr. Thornton's accent

It feels so good to be writing to you all again! I've missed blogging. The break has been good, but I've missed it nonetheless. A lot of the busy-ness in my life is now past, and so I'm hoping to ease back into blogging--but I'm not sure how frequent I'll be with it. I dream of getting into a groove of posting once a week or so, but being that strict scheduling is not one of my fortes, don't count on it. :P
As you know, I took a break to finish up my schoolwork for my senior year of high school. I'm done with MOST of it. Yes, most. A couple of my subjects were started late in the school year (because it's the home school life and it can be so all-over-the-board sometimes haha) so I have them to finish up, plus some history activities and a test.....

But, I didn't come on blogger to complain of my woes about schoolwork. ;) Far from it. I mostly wanted to enlighten you all as to what I've been doing with my life lately.

On June 4th, I officially had my first photography job!

For a few years now I've been hoping to move my obsession with photography forward into a small business of sorts, not just a hobby. I'm still such an amateur and have a lot to learn. Despite this, I had the immense pleasure of being asked by my pastor's wife to photography her parents' 50th  wedding anniversary. This led to a month or so of mental preparation (perhaps with just a few sessions of complaining to my mom about my worries) (make that more than a few), not to mention making sure I had the right equipment. The days on the calendar rolled away and before I knew it was "the day". I was thankfully able to go shopping with some friends in the morning, and the fun we had kept my mind from thinking about that evening and worrying about it. But soon, the evening came and I was officially a photographer.

It all went much better than I expected. There were a few issues, most of which I predicted, and most of which had to do with lighting. But, for better or for worse, I made it through the evening (after being on my feet for about 3 hours straight) and was finally able to go home. I was so happy to have done it-so happy to be done-so happy everything went well-and so happy it was over. :P
Of course, don't get me wrong. I enjoyed my job very much, but oh what a relief to have it passed!!

And now, today, I finished editing the photos --hallelujah. I started out with about 700 photos....and narrowed it down to about 200. (So no, I did not edit 700 photos. What a nightmare that would be.)

 I did it in one week because I wanted to get it over as soon as possible in order to move on to my leftover school and the fun things--like blogging!! :D 

Guys, NAOMI AND EMMA HAVE MET IN PERSON! Hop over to their blogs and congratulate them because they've been waiting yeaarrs for this and it's just so exciting!!

Am currently participating in Hamlette's Jane Eyre read-a-long. Go join in if you'd like to! We're only on chapter 4 so far. :)

I'm also reading A Year With C.S. Lewis. This man was brilliant. All there is to it.

I'm watching North and South with my mom for the 50th time or something. We love it. :)

When Mr. Thornton proposed I said to my mom something to the effect of, "How could she refuse when Mr. Thornton says 'I wish to marry you because I love you!" in that accent of his?? I mean, what more do you want from life?" (joking...but come on. How was she not melted by his words?)
Of course, you must watch the scene to understand how he says "love." Annnd, unfortunately there is no clip of it on youtube. :"(

I just finished an all-three-seasons-of-BBC's-Robin-Hood-marathon that I watched with my brother and...and....*sob*. I've seen the end so many times that I didn't think I'd cry, but I lost it when Marian came on screen. I don't know why I watch this show; it's scarred me emotionally.

(Also, this was the second time I watched all of season 3 and ALLAN. Allan. He's so heroic. I love him. And just....why....)

(I really want to dedicate some posts to some thoughts on Robin Hood. I hope I can do it soon.)

I also just watched Only Angels Have Wings with my family and The Pride of the Yankees. Two of my absolute favorites!

I looked up the real Lou Gehrig and his wife. Do you know what she said after he died? 
"I had the best of it. I would not have traded two minutes of my life with that man for 40 years with another." 


aren't they adorable??

Sadly, my writing and editing has been thrust to the back burner due to school and my photography job. But, now that I'm almost done with all that.....I'm hoping to get back to my beloved child my book. I miss my characters so much!

We have peonies blooming in our yard, and all I gotta say is that I have a new favorite flower.
(Photos are mine; please don't steal. :))

I'm so happy to be "back" in the blogging world!! 
What have you all been up to lately?
 Has life been crazy for you, too?