Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

I just realized that I still haven't done a Christmas post! So Merry Christmas, you guys, and here's a random post full of all things Christmas-y...
I love this Norman Rockwell picture.
I found this great holiday poem by William Wordsworth called Minstrels on this great site called Poem Hunter. (It's got all kinds of great poems.) I think that this one captured the holiday spirit wonderfully.
The minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage-eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,
The encircling laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze,
Nor check, the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

And who but listened?-till was paid
Respect to every inmate's claim,
The greeting given, the music played
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And 'Merry Christmas' wished to all. 
And speaking of music...
Here's one of my favorite Christmas carols, Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming. I believe that Bach arranged the harmonies, but I could be wrong. (-;

I love this rendition of Oh Holy Night by Kings College Choir. You should look up their other carols, They are incredibly talented!

And on a different note, here's a more modern A Capella group that I'm sure you've heard of. Pentatonix does a really cool version of Go Tell it on the Mountain.

And because I love Celtic Women... (Aren't the fiddle parts are incredible?)

I've been listening to a lot of Christmas music. I'm currently in love with Spotify,because I can make  playlists of favorite carols, and I'm currently working on a playlist for my book. It's been a lot of fun. 
   We decorated our house this month, and our big tree makes our living room feel so cozy! I've nearly finished all of my gifts for everybody, and I'm so glad to be done with the stress of finding the 'right' gift for each person! I'm not mentioning what any of them are, because all of my sisters follow my blog, and I wouldn't want to ruin any of their surprises. (-: I have a few days left to get all of my gifts ready because my family celebrates Christmas on the Julian Calendar like a lot of Eastern European countries. 
   I can't wait! I'm also really excited about the food. I live in a family of foodies, so every holiday is filled with culinary excellence. I'm particularly excited about cardamom bread that we make every year with a delicious Serbian cheese spread... Yummmmmm... I don't know exactly what else is on the menu, but I'm filled with anticipation just the same. (-: What holiday food are you looking forward to this year? Do you have any special holiday traditions?
Have a wonderful (rest of your) holiday, and Merry Christmas, and God bless us, every one! (This makes me think, I should read A Christmas Carol again...)

Joyeux Noel,

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Books That Changed My Life 2014

 Yay!!! Finals are finished, and I really should have written a post earlier, but I was busy, ahem... reading. XD Judge me if you will, I had to wait a whole week to read some of the beautiful books I bought Black Friday shopping at Barnes and Nobles and I refused to be restrained any longer. So I read These Broken Stars and Cinder, and now Fahrenheit 451. (I found it in the for sale pile at our library and eagerly snatched it up) Let's just say, my brain has been overwhelmed with the awesomeness of all these books for the past couple of days, and I've hardly done anything besides surf the Internet, eat to much (especially sugar cookies), and read.  And speaking of reading, let's move onto the actual subject of the post shall we?

  I've read over 80 books this year. (I don't think I'm going to make it to my goodreads goal of 100, but that's okay) Perhaps saying that they changed my life is a little strong, but quite a few of those books made a strong impact on me. I doubt I'll have time to talk about all of them right now, but here are some of the best books I've read this year.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
   I got this amazing book for Christmas last year, and I already want to re-read it. For those of you who haven't read it or seen the movie, it is a touching story about a German girl during WWII who will do anything to get a book. The book is narrated by Death, (who is actually much less grim than you'd expect) as he goes about his duties. He sees Liesel often as he makes his rounds, and watches with interest as her love of books changes her life. Not too many books make me cry, but this one did.

Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
   I found Between Shades of Gray at the library after someone mentioned it being a very good book. I wasn't disappointed. It tells the story of a young Lithuanian artist, Lina, and her family when they are forced to leave their home and survive the terrible conditions of Soviet work camps. Despite the danger of being found out, she draws the story of their hardships, and buries it, in hopes that someday, someone will find it. It was also a tear-jerker, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was.
   It wasn't until months later that an other blogger recommended Out of the Easy, yet an other great story. It's about Josie, a girl who wants to leave her past as the daughter of a prostitute behind in New Orleans and go to a prestigious women's college. She's practically lived and worked at a bookshop for half of her life and it's her dream to go to a prestigious college in the East, but she is caught between loyalties, and her decisions could change her life forever. It was a great book (though I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under 13 for some topic matters). I may or may not have teared up... The characters were incredibly convincing and realistic.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

   This was definitely one of the longer reads this year. I read it over summer, and, wow, Charles Dickens incredible talent always gets me. His plots are always so complex and there are millions of important parts to the plot. But I can't tell you much, or I would ruin it for you. So, basically, it's about this poor orphaned girl (or young woman), Esther, who's fortune changes for the better when she is taken as a companion for two young people. She enters a world of unusual people, a never ending inheritance case, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, and the mysterious Lady Dedlock. I'm not explaining it very well, but then how does one describe one of Dickens' intricate plots? Oh, I loved it, even though I got a little lost in places, but in the end, it was all very satisfying, but somewhat sad. 

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry
   This summer I picked up The Giver at a bookstore in Portland, OR. I'd heard good things about it, and I had money to spend, so I though, why not? Probably one of my best buys on my entire trip. If you haven't heard about it, it's about this young boy, Jonas, who lives in a sort of Utopian community. Pain, love, war, in general, the real world, is unknown to them. One man, the Giver, has memory of such things, and Jonas is chosen by the community to know these things so they will not be entirely forgotten. Oh my gosh, guys! I had a hard time putting this book down. I can't tell you everything, because, spoilers, but it was amazing. There are so many things we take for granted in everyday life that didn't exist in Jonas' world. The ending is kind of a cliffhanger and left me watery-eyed. It's a beautiful book, and three other books are awesome as well. I was able to read them all this year, and you'll see how all of the characters' stories intertwine in the end. One thing though, don't read spoilers. Just read all of the books, and your questions will be answered, eventually. 

Divergent by Veronica Roth
   I decided to read Divergent this summer because I thought I should be more knowledgeable about YA literature. Yeah, I'm a few years behind track... Anyhow, I was expecting it to be too much like the Hunger Games, but I was pleasantly surprised. (It's not that I don't like the Hunger Games, it's just that I hate it when people copy each other too much.) Tris was a strong character, and I liked her ability to hang on despite being hated by so many people. I think I may have liked her a little better than Katniss.(!) The reason that I'm putting this on the 'Books That Changed My Life' list is because it kind of opened up a whole new world of teen fiction. After that I decided to expand more. I had thought that, The Hunger Games' excepted, I wouldn't really be a fan of futuristic novels. After reading this one, I decided to give a few others a chance, and I'm really enjoying them. They aren't always the best written, but they're interesting, exciting, and just fun to read in general. Anyhow, this book also had a sad ending and was a cliffhanger. If you love Dystopian teen fiction, then this is for you.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

   Let me collect my thoughts. Okay, first off, I didn't expect this book to be so amazing. So, it practically the story of the friendship of two young women during WWII. Verity, let's call her that for now, Verity has been captured by the Nazis after she and her friend (code name, Kittyhawk) crash-land in France on a mission trip. The book starts off with the line. "I am a coward." Yes, Verity is 'fessing up about their mission. However, there are some very incredible plot twists, and the ending crushed my heart like a grape. No, it doesn't end in any way that you expect, I'll just say that. And yes, there were some tears involved. The characters are incredible, and even when Verity was betraying her country, I felt empathy for her. This book is just, wow, just incredible. You must read it!!! 
Honorable Mentions
   I would also like to mention a few more awesome books that were highlights of my year. Okay, practically, I'm too lazy to write about all of their awesomeness, and it would be an incredibly long post if I did, so let me just say. These books were fantastic and beautiful and and interesting and (insert several other positive adjectives.) Just add them to your TBR pile.
Cyborgs in New Bejing? Yes, please.
This wins the best cover of the year!
Yes, I do judge books by their covers.
And I wasn't wrong about the amount of awesome.

Creepy, but cool. Like the cover.
A wonderful children's book. It left me with
watery eyes.

I liked the first one best, but this one
was very memorable.
The book in two words. Mythical, and
Omg, I didn't know Stevenson
could write such creepy stuff!
   Looking over all mini reviews, I realized that I chose books that made me cry. Let me explain, I'm not a drama queen, these books are just so good that the characters felt alive, and I cared about them. when a book makes me feel that way, I know it's good.
   What were your favorite books this year? What books do you want for Christmas? Which Divergent faction do you think would suit you best? (That last question wasn't really fair. I think I'd do best in Erudite or Abnegation, but I hate following guidelines about personality, so I'd probably end up as one of the factionless!) 
I missed you guys!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

For Your Entertainment

Hello my lovely readers! So, finals week came up on me like an assassin, and figuratively, I'm nearly dead with nervousness. It's what comes of my procrastination habits. I have this horrible research paper due on Friday, and I don't even know what my thesis is yet. It's not even funny. Plus I've got both of my music finals and my French final, and heaven knows how those will go either.
Anyways... The reason for this whole rant is that I'm probably not going to be doing a lot of blogging for a week or so. I have decided instead, to give a list of a few of my favorite blogs, vlogs, and other things of an entertaining nature as an apology and as an other way to procrastinate from homework. You're welcome.(-;

A few of my favorite blogs...
  • The Daisy Tree: Whenever Hannah does a new post, I clap my hands or squeal in excitement or both. Literally. If you have nothing to do today (or something to do that you're trying to avoid) go read few of her refreshingly original and fun blog posts, and I don't think I'll need to tell you to follow. (-;
  • Paper Fury: This is the blog that used to be Notebook Sisters if you don't already follow. (If you don't go and follow it right now so you don't miss out on any further posts.) Cait has an awesome sense of humor, and even though I'm not always huge on book reviews, I always find hers entertaining and awesome. If you want to know about probably any YA book out there, she's the girl to talk to. Seriously, she read more books a year than most people read in their life times! Plus she uses awesome gifs. It's worth following if it's just for the gifs.
  • Looking at Everyday Things: This is one of the first blogs I started following. It's full of inspirational and sometimes funny stories about the adventures of An Observant Girl. Follow her on bloglovin', and you won't regret it. There is some awesome stuff going on over there that you don't want to miss!
  • Sink Me!: This is an awesomely hilarious blog. Practically, if you're a period drama fan, you will love this blog. When I found it, I spent an hour scrolling through and laughing my head off at all of the insider jokes, only understood by period drama fans.
A couple of awesome vlogs I follow...
  • I just recently discovered the world of vlogs, and ever since, I've been obsessed. It started with The Lizzy Bennett Diaries. Go, watch it, it is awesome!!! So practically, it's a retelling of Pride and Prejudice vlog style. How cool is that? The actors are great, and I wish it hadn't ended. )-: Good news, however. Pemberly digital has done a couple more vlog series, including Emma Approved (an Emma retelling) and Frankenstein M.D. I still have to say that The Lizzy Bennett Diaries are my favorites.
  • This week I came across University Ever After. It's practically fairy tales turned into college life. Yes, it's sort of cheesy, I admit. But it's CUTE! And I watch cheesy, cute stuff sometimes, okay? Anyhow, I think my favorite is Belle and... well, you'll figure out who 'The Beast' is. They are super adorable. XD Snow is, surprisingly, the anti-social hipster girl who sings indie music. (BTW, I adore her voice, I want it!) So if you don't mind kind of sappy fairy tale stuff, you will enjoy University Ever After. Tell my who your favorite girl or couple is. (-:
  • If you're an Anne of Green Gables fan, you will thoroughly enjoy Green Gables Fables. Anne is really in character, and Diana is literally perfect! I am always so excited when I see a new video that Anne has posted. (Is it weird that I refer to her as Anne? I mean, it's not her real name... Whatever.) Anywho, just watch it, and subscribe for fun-ness every week. 
Other really awesome randomness...
  • Check out this video on how to fake a British accent. My attempts (in private, I haven't embarrassed myself with it yet) have been laughable, but I think I've improved. XD Yeah, I still want an English accent...
  • Yes, it's stupid, but it amuses me, and hopefully it will amuse you as well. (-;

Enjoy, and 'bye for now!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

First off, Happy Thanksgiving to you all!!! I'm sitting by my Aunt's backyard by the pool, enjoying the sunshine. It's warm enough to be barefoot, but I wouldn't want to fall into the pool like my little brother did earlier! We just had a delicious Thanksgiving Lunner or Dinch or whatever you want to call it. I am stuffed, but I still want some more stuffing and mashed potatoes. Maybe for a midnight snack. We haven't even eaten dessert yet! This morning my sisters and I did a 5K (my first one) before driving here, and gosh, I'm going to be sooo sore tomorrow. I haven't really run in four years, so I speed-walked 3/4 of the time. XD I think my final time was 41 minutes. Yeah, I should excersize more.
   It's been a nice, relaxing holiday with my family and Grandma and Aunty and I wanted to make a list of a few of the many, many things I have to be grateful for. (In no particular order.)

  • My family. I have to say they're pretty top on my list. I am grateful for my parents who have always made sure I had everything I needed and more. My sisters and younger brother have made life a lot of fun. We're all pretty close and we have a lot of fun together.
My siblings and I
  • My school. I'm not going to mention the name of the school for privacy reasons, but my community college has really been a big part in my life for the past year or so. I've been taking voice, piano, Eng101 and French. I love all of my classes and all of my professors have been really nice! I'm usually the youngest person in all of my classes (I'm 15) but the other students have been really friendly. I'm so glad I've had the opportunity to go to take classes there.
  • My best friend, Ekaterina. Ekaterina has always been there for me. We may live three hours away from each other, but we Skype every Sunday. It's always fun to share stories from the week. She is a great listener (I'm afraid I talk her ear off too much. XD) and she always has an awesome piece of music or book to share with me. I always look forward to Sundays. (-: And good news... I'm going to meet her tomorrow!!! She's going to come home with us on Saturday and we're going to spend the weekend together. I'm super excited!!!!!!!!! See ya' soon Ekaterina.(-:
  • Music, Books, and Food. These have been my comforts when I'm down, or when I need to relax. As some of you may know, I play piano and sing, and I love listening to a variety of good music. I don't often realize it, but there is almost always some music in our house. Two of my sisters play violin and both of the twins play piano as well and that adds up to a lot of background music. (-: Books, well, obviously, they are awesome!!! I spend a lot of time reading when I should be doing math or writing papers. I have read a ton of really interesting books in this past year, and I hope to read many more! I literally couldn't live without food. And I'd miss it a lot. Hmmm... I wouldn't mind some ice cream...
  • Last, but not least... All of my awesome blogger friends! I started this blog three months ago, but I've already made several new friends. (Yes, I'm talking about you.) It's been great getting to know all of you. Thanks for all of your support and comments! Love you guys!!!
What are you grateful for this year?


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Tags Times Threee...

These past couple of weeks I've received three tags from three of my lovely blogging buddies. I wanted to do them sooner, but my schedule hasn't been very co-operative until today, the start of Thanksgiving break! So thanks to Ashley at A to Z, Evie at Me, Myself, and I, for the Famous People Tag and to Hannah Mary at The Daisy Tree for The Bookshelf Challenge. I'm really excited to do these tags!
Okey-dokey, let's start of with the famous people tag from Ashley and Evie. Love you guys! (Oh, and y'all go check out their lovely blogs if you already haven't.)
The Rules:
-Put up the 'famous people tag button' and link back to the person who tagged you
-Answer the questions
-Tag the ten last people who commented on your blog (excluding anonymytes or the person who tagged you)
#1 Who's your favourite singer/group?
Ummm... *pulls out list* Well, I have a really hard time making decisions like this, but one group I have been obsessed with for over a year is Il Volo. Here is a video so you can see their amazing talent for yourselves. (This is from a few years back, and there are some more recent ones which you should check out as well on their Vevo channel.) Omg, don't tell me they're not adorable and amazingly talented. (-;

#2 If your favourite male actor was in the same room as you right now, what would your reaction be?
Gosh, as I said before, I'm not very good with favorites, and I don't fangirl over actors that much, but if this guy was in the room,
 my reactions might look something like this.
I don't know why it's a cat, it just looks as surprised as I would. XD

I don't know what's up with the cats

Okay, no more cats...
And then would come the questions:
"How are you such a good actor?"
"How do you make Shakespeare sound so dang interesting?"
"Ooooh! Would you recite some Shakespeare?"
And lots of other annoying questions.
Or, I'd just sit there looking shyly over the top of my glasses like a stereotypical nerd.
#3 Is there a famous person you used to love but (due to something they have done in their life) you've suddenly changed your mind?
Honestly, I try not to get into famous peoples' lives to much because I'm often disappointed. I was really disappointed when I learned that Judy Garland committed suicide, but I still love watching her movies.
#4 Name a famous person you like who's name starts with a V.
Viggo Mortenson
I've always wondered why Aragorn never washed his hair till the end?
#5 What's one of your favourite red-carpet dresses?
The first on that popped into my mind because it's so gorgeous. Kate Blanchet's:
The dress, we wantsss it precioussssss!!!
#6 Who's your favourite Royal person?
As I said before, I'm not really into famous people's private lives, but ever since I was a toddler, I've wanted to meet The Queen. You know who I'm talking about.

I did not know that! Wow, thanks Pinterest, this really made my day. (-:
#7 Who's your favourite child actor/tress?
I'd have to say, I've always loved Lucy Pevensie, so I'm going to say that Georgie Henley is my favorite. (-: Look at her, she's so gorgeous and grown up now!!!
#8 Is there an actor/actress you actually like their private lives of? (Not sure if that last question was properly phrased.)
I'm not exactly sure. See question 3.
#9 Do you think that the actors/actresses have improved these last 100 years?
Ummm, that's a hard one. I think that they're about even. I mean, I think that some of the great and mostly British actors of today are really hard to beat, so I guess acting may have improved in some ways. Although there are a lot of actors that... Let's just say, I'm a better actor than them, and I have never even been in a play. XD I have to say the dancing and singing skills of the actors from way back when were pretty impressive too, so it's a win-win.
#10 What's the weirdest famous-people name?
I don't know a lot of those, but try saying Benedict Cumberbatch ten times fast.

#11 Do you think you look like a famous person? Which one(s)
I really don't know. I have a really non-descript face, but my older sister says I look somewhat like Emma Watson, especially since I have a pixie cut.
The lovely Emma Watson

Me attempting to look like her XD (I don't really look
like that most of the time, so it's kinda' cheating.)
#12 Share your favourite famous-person quote.
Gosh, that's hard. Here, I'll just choose a random one I really like.
Yes! This is a truth universally acknowledged! Colin Firth speaks nerd too! I love it when actors and actresses are not only talented, but intelligent and nerdy.
#13 Who's your favourite dancer?
Umm, Can I say Yulia Lipnitskaya? Dancer and figure skaters are practically the same thing, sort of. Anyways, if you didn't watch the Winter Olympics, go to Youtube and look for this amazingly talented girl's performance. I can't believe she's only my age, she skates better than most of the people who were ten years older.

#14 Why is your favourite actress your favourite one? When did you decide that she was your favourite?
Umm, not fair! Do I even have a favorite actress? Let me see... I really think Kate Blanchett is incredibly talented and makes a wonderful Galadriel, Julie Andrews has some serious talent, singing, dancing and acting. Wow. And I love Georgie Henley as Lucy. (-:
#15 Have you ever met/seen/been close to a famous person?

Umm, I have never met a famous actor or singer, you know, but just over a week ago I had the incredibly opportunity to be in a piano masterclass taught by John O'Conor. Look him up on Pandora or Spotify or something, he's a brilliant pianist and performs worldwide. (He doesn't have a Youtube channel, so there aren't a lot of videos of him, but he's recorded quite a few albums which are on the above mentioned places.) And I think I owe you all an explaination. I am in no way a really good pianist, but it just so happens that the town I live in is incredibly small, and because my awesome piano teacher teaches at our local community college, she was able to chose two students to play at the master class. Anyhow, it was an amazing experience that I will never forget, and I learned so much. I doubt I'll ever have an opportunity like that again! Comment if you think I should do a music blog post from time to time. I'm really fond of music, and I love sharing my favorite pieces or musical experiences, but I don't want to bore you all. (-;

I guess that's it for the Famous People tag(-: I tag the last ten people who commented on my blog. Leave the link to your post in a comment so I can read it, and if you don't have a blog, just comment your answers.(-:
Skye Hoffert
Dr. Sus
Hannah Mary
Hannah (@ Fantasy Gypsy, there are a couple of Hannahs who follow me XD)
and Heidi ~ Lady of Anorien
And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, ahem, (or just ladies, I don't think any guys follow this blog.) The Bookshelf Challenge! Thanks so much for tagging me, Hannah. You guys, go check out Hannah Mary's blog, The Daisy Tree. It is absolutely scrumptious.
1) Is there a book that you really want to read but haven’t because you know that it’ll make you cry?
Oh, I always read a book that I think will make me cry. I applaud the writer who can make me cry real tears over a character. I know it sounds heartless and insensitive but I love sad books. Take The Hiding Place for example, now that is one beautiful book.
 2) Pick one book that helped introduce you to a new genre.
Hmm... That's hard. I've discovered a few new genres in the past couple of years. I'd have to say The Hunger Games introduced me to the world of Sci-Fi and Young Adult novels. I didn't grow up with a lot of fantasy so I'd have to say that The Chronicles of Narnia really did that for me.
3) Find a book that you want to reread.
Umm, everything I've rated four stars or more? Sorry, okay just one book. Let's go with Jane Eyre. I remember it being an eccelent book, but I think I would enjoy it even more now.

4) Is there a book series you read but wish that you hadn't?
I don't usually regret reading books, but (I know this isn't a series) I didn't really like reading I am the Messenger. It wasn't really a book I would recomend to kids or even teens. It had some graphic stuff that made me a bit uncomfortable. The idea of the story was good though.
5) If your house were burning down and all of your family and pets were safe, which book would you go back inside to save?
That is nearly impossible. I guess I'm really attatched to my Narnia compilation. I got it on sail two years ago at Barnes and Noble's. (Black Friday shopping if I remember correctly.) It is absolutely gorgeous, even on the inside, and there are excerpts from Beyond the Wardrobe: The Official Guide to Narnia. (Which, by the way, is a great book for  young C. S. Lewis fans.) It even has a blue ribbon and illustrations!

6) Is there one book on your bookshelf that brings back fond memories?
Haha, that is one hard question. One I really loved was Spilling Ink: A Young Writer's Handbook. I devoured that book like crazy. It was the first book on writing that I had read and despite the fact that it's directed to younger kids, I still think it has some useful tips for me. My dear friend Audrey, loned it to me and she didn't get that book back for months. XD My mom got me a copy, and I can't wait to share it with the next young writer I come across. I like to imagine that I will give it to my future daughter, or niece or nephew.

7) Find a book that has inspired you the most.
Hands down, The Lord of the Rings. It is my favorite book of all times. Special mentions going to anything by C. S. Lewis and Charles Dickens, and a ton of other amazing authors.

8) Do you have any autographed books?
Unfortunately, no, but I'd love to meet Lois Lowry and get my edition of The Giver autographed.
9) Find the book that you have owned the longest.
Yikes, this is going to be a big guess. Maybe Swallows and Amazons. It's a really charming book and I have five in the series. I got it for Christmas a long time ago it sparked my interest in sailing. (-:
10) Is there a book by an author that you never imagined you would read or enjoy?
Yikes, this is really, really, hard. I know I've mentioned The Lord of the Rings already, but I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked it and The Hobbit up at the library. It literally changed my life, and I don't regret it. (-:
My collection of Tolkien books. I really need to get a new
copy of LOTR, The Fellowship of the Ring is falling apart!

Thank you for tagging me, Hannah, I really enjoyed doing this! I tag anyone who is wearing green or is on Team Peeta!

Saturday, November 22, 2014


You may have already seen this, but I couldn't help but share. XD OMG!!! I can't wait for The Battle of the Five Armies! I think I'm going to bawl at the end because of *spoilers* because just listening to this song made me tear up. *waves hands around in speechless excitement* Ugg! I am so looking forward to it, but almost dreading it at the same time... Who else is in this same agony? Tell me in the comments below so we can rave together. (-:

Monday, November 17, 2014

In which I intruduce you to my story...

I'm back! Yeah, I said I'd be back earlier and all that stuff, but you wouldn't believe how crazy it's been. You know, I'm not going to go into detail, just think school, two recitals, a piano master class, family events, and too little time. You get the general idea. So let's just say, I probably won't finish the novel in November, or even December unless I'm lucky, but I have gotten a few chapters done and it's felt good.
 I know I've been talking about writing my novel, but so far I haven't told you guys anything about it! You're probably all wondering by this time, 'is she even writing a novel?' The answer is yes, and today I will give you a short synopsis of my novel. Oh, and by the way, it doesn't have a title yet, so if anyone can think of a good title after reading this post, just comment below. (-:
   My novel is a retelling of Snow White, but it's from the prince's POV. Gaspar (the prince) has just returned from two years away at school to his grandfather's chateau. The Annual Summer Festival held in Ivernia is just about to start, trouble is brewing between Ivernia and the neighboring country of Voralithia, Gaspar is wondering how he's going to impress the other prince's who are coming to the festival for the first time and will probably find Ivernia rather rustic, and to top it all off, Gaspar's old friend whom he hasn't seen in years, Princess Blanche arrives. Whew! That was a run on...He is soon to be engaged in a battle of loyalties. Insert dramatic music. And I haven't gotten much further than that.
Okay, so now for some pictures and short character descriptions.
Welcome to Ivern, probably one of the smallest, most vulnerable, thought probably most respected, countries in this made up story world. Here is the chateau where Gaspar's grandfather rules and where his close family lives. Yeah, I should probably include a couple of distant relatives who hang around to make it more realistic. Anyhow, moving on...

Here is the MC, a prince of 18, Gaspar. He's supposed to be a bit snobby at the beginning, but he gets better, because it would be a really lame story if he didn't. More about him later. Here's the picture. He looks a little older than he's supposed to, especially since he's been acting like an entitled thirteen year old lately... (No offence to 13 year olds', you guys are great, I'm just sayin' Gaspar acts five years younger than he really is.) 
Here is the beautiful Snow White Blanche, who is two years younger than Gaspar, and a very unconventional princess besides the fact that she's gorgeous. 1) She's blind 2) She loves animals 3)She's a bit of a tomboy even though it's hard to be one when you're blind and 4) She is very opinionated and sometimes speaks her mind more than a 'normal' princess should.' Yeah, she looks a little old to be 16. How come heroines in YA literature are always 16?
And here's a picture of Gaspar and Armand, who is Gaspar's awesome older brother, who behaves himself a lot better than Gaspar. Actually take that back. He's the crown prince and he's currently in love with a peasant (yeah, that was a little bit of a surprise for me) so he's kind of in a tight spot right now. I don't know what he's going to do when his grandfather, the king, finds out. Armand's the one on the right, although Gaspar isn't supposed to be that tall, this seemed like a pretty accurate picture of the two of them.
Here is a picture of the evil stepmother. She's not more than fifteen years older than Blanche, but she was tired of being a mere princess, and decided to marry King Rodger of Histobel and then murder him and his close relatives so she could be queen and take over neighboring countries. Yeah, she's only murdered one person so far and he was only a prisoner, so she's got a ways to go.

And this is how I imagine the cottage where Blanche will hide from her stepmother in. What should I do about the seven dwarves? I mean, it's not really a magical world, I don't know why, but so far I haven't added any magic in and even though dwarves aren't technically magical, it seems a little random for my novel.
Just imagine this a little less modern and in a forest.
Well, those are some of the main characters in the story and that's the general idea of the novel. There are a few more interesting characters of whom I do not have any pictures currently, but hopefully I'll get to introduce you to them sometime or other. If there's anything you'd like to know about my novel, just ask in the comments below and I'll comment back, or if there's a subject of interest to most people, then I will do a post about it. And speaking of posts, I have gotten three tags this month and I will do a post with those soon!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Meet my best friend!

She stared out at the audience not knowing what to say, then took a deep breath and said what she
would usually say, “Hi!”

My name is Ekaterina. I am a teenager who loves to read books and watch TV, especially classic movies and period dramas. I like to play the piano and used to take piano lessons, but now I am teaching myself and will practice a piece constantly in the hopes of getting better. I also like to sing, draw, and crochet. I enjoy spending time with my mom, and I couldn’t talk about myself without mentioning my mom because she is a huge part of my life.
Writing is becoming another activity that I really love to do. I have always written essays, but I never
wrote anything other than a school assignment. Elizabeth would talk to me about her writing, and it
sounded so fun and exciting that I decided to take a Creative Writing class for school. I have found that writing for fun is amazing. I enjoy writing short stories and poems. I was about to join NaNoWriMo, but then I talked about it with my Mom and realized that my schedule would interfere with writing 50,000 words. I want to write a novel someday, just not this month. I love to be inspired, and I love to write about what I am inspired by. I am mostly inspired by music and my life. What are you inspired by?
It was very nice sharing with you all and thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy the poem.
   Rose Dream
Roses sprayed across the bush
Are lovely and refreshing.
With a quiet smile and blush,
They wish you a good morning.
When I lean my face close
To a rose in its prime,
I inhale the sweetness
And am taken to somewhere sublime.
In and out I weave.
In and out of a fairytale
And not wanting to leave,
I continue on my trail.
As I pull my face away,
I am pulled from my dream
From all the play
And all the glitter and gleam.
I look at the world around me
Only to find it dull and depressful.
One look at the rose, bright and free,
And everywhere I look is now beautiful.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

If I don't post this November, I'm (probably) not dead...

   You might not be seeing much of me this coming month, because or the first time in my life, I have signed up for NaNoWriMo. Yay! Or more like I'm freaking out just a little bit. I, who have never written a full length novel in my life have decided to write one in a month. It sounds a bit un-realistic, but hey, it's possible so why not give it a try?

   As well as November being NaNoWriMo, I have both my voice and piano recitals and a piano master class then, so my spare time will be divided between writing and music. Actually, that doesn't sound to awful since those are two of my favorite things. (-: Maybe in December we can have a virtual party celebrating the end of November and the beginning of Christmas break!
   I have some good news though... I will have a guest blogger while I am busy tackling the first week of NaNoWriMo and my two recitals. You all get to meet my best friend, Ekaterina! Yay! She is absolutely awesome and loves cool, nerdy stuff, so I think you guys will really like her. (-:
Hopefully by the second week of November I'll be back and posting. I'm writing a retelling of Snow White with a few unusual twists. If you want, I can post some snippets of my story and introduce you to a couple of my characters.
   Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? And if you've ever done it before and have some advice for a newbie, comment below. So, I guess it's goodbye for now...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Discovering Emma Week Tag

Yes, I know, this is an other Jane Austenish tag in a very short amount of time, but when it rains it pours (in a good way), and I really like Emma, so I couldn't pass this up. Heidi ~ Lady of Anorien is hosting a Discovering Emma Week blog party, so just pop over to her blog and check it out. It's pretty awesome!

Okay, Now for the questions:
1) Have you ever read Emma?
Ahem, well, sort of. I read most of it, and by the time I got two thirds the way through it, I put it down to read some other book, because I knew how Emma ended. I've got to read that again...
2) If so, is that how you first made her acquaintance? (If not, feel free to elaborate!)
Well, I actually watched the Emma with Kate Beckinsale first. I was about ten or twelve then, and I liked it, but it wasn't my favorite. I guess what I mean is, I had kind of expected it to be a lot like Pride and Prejudice (1995), but it was much different. I've grown to enjoy it much more, though.
3) Do you have a favorite film adaptation? 
Yes, I think that would be 2009 mini-series of Emma. I think it did a lovely job with accuracy they didn't have to fit the whole story into a two hour movie. Besides that, Romola Garai was a brilliant Emma. Oh, and did I mention the costumes!?

4) Favorite dress(es) from that film?
Speaking of costumes, yes, I do have a few favorites. (-: I have to say the one in the picture above is one of them.
And the embroidered pattern on this one is gorgeous! I would very much wear this dress. I love the colors on it as well. Sorry I couldn't find a full length view of it, but this one shows the design pretty well.
I also really liked Jane Fairfax's dresses. I think this one was very classic and tasteful, which I love.
5) Share a line you love from either the book or movie/s—several if you like!
Oh, gosh, I always have a hard time with this. Okay, since I don't have a lot of time, here is just one of my favorites. (Mr. Knightley has some pretty great quotes (-: )
6) Is Emma one of your favorite heroines? Why or why not?
I have to say she probably is one of my favorite heroines (one of many) because she and I have a lot in common. I can sometimes be blind to the most obvious things around me, I tend to make tons of resolutions and tire of them early, and I think helping other people is fun, even though I get in the way more often then not. (-; In that sense, I think we are a bit alike, but what makes her one of my heroines is that she learns a lot of lessons the hard way throughout the story, and bears it well.
7) What is one of Emma’s strengths (good qualities)?
Only one? Well, she has quite a few, but one I really like is that when certain people point out her mistakes she doesn't try to justify herself, but tries to mend her ways.
8) Describe in one (or two…or three) sentences, why Mr. Knightley is so wonderful.
Umm... Well, he is very intelligent and a good judge of character. Despite the fact that he has to deal with so many annoying people from day to day, he treats them all courteously. Thirdly, he always puts Emma's best interest before his own.
9) Why do you think Mr. Knightley and Emma are so well suited to each other?
Well, I think that they are well suited to each other because they are opposites in many ways, but they also have some great similarities. Mr.Knightley always thinks before he acts, whereas Emma tends to make decisions impulsively which creates a balance. Both of them are smart and have good hearts, and I think that similarities like that make them even more compatible. I don't know if I described that very well, but I think you'll get what I mean. (-: I'm sure they get along wonderfully, well most of the time...

10) Would you rather spend a week in Highbury with the Westons—on Abbey-Mill Farm with the Martins—or in London with the John Knightleys?
I think I would enjoy spending a week on Abbey-Mill Farm with the Martins. It would be nice to get to know them better, and I think that a week on an old-fashioned farm with such real and unpretentious people as the Martins would do me good.
Thanks for reading, and definitely go check out the blog party at Along the Brandywine! Which film version if Emma is your favorite?

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