Monday, October 26, 2009

The Bane of My Existence

Hey everyone!! How's this month been going for you?


It's been a nice, slow month around here, in terms of busyness. But I still can't believe that its time for another update--really, it can't have been a month already, can it? :0)


Justin moved to Michigan this month, as y'all know--and it's been sad and lonely without him. It's also been a wet, drippy, cloudy month, which doesn't help--can you say seasonal depression is here? LOL. I've actually not been too bad, beyond missing my guy. My family is hoping to go visit him soon *crosses fingers* but if not, he has five days off the weekend before Thanksgiving...yay!!! If y'all haven't seen them, hop over to his blog and look at pics from his adventures!


Miss Olivia is doing well. They had concerns about her liver earlier this month, but recent tests indicate that it's doing OK right now. And she's growing back hair!! Tammy said she has about a quarter inch of fuzz on her little bald head. :0) I'm not sure when she'll start the next round of chemotherapy, I'll be sure to update everyone on that. And please pray for her--this is the fifth round and the first of the most intense treatments she'll receive. But thankfully they're almost done!!!


As for writing, it is going slowly. I've been stuck forever on chapter four of The Second Crown and (I'm ashamed to admit) have been neglecting most writing in the worst manner! I think it's because Justin's gone and I've been busy moping... ;0) But I'm getting back to it. Soon I should be out of the rewriting section of TSC and hopefully the editing will progress quicker after that. Rewriting is hard with having to fit everything in, make sure it matches the story, etc...but I will finish it!


So, that's how I've been! And now, I'd better go to bed, because my family has several bushels of apples to turn into applesauce and butter tomorrow--it's going to be a loooonng, sticky (yuck!) day, but I'm sure that I'll appreciate it this coming year (especially the apple butter...mmhmm!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Movies I Like Better Than the Books

Gasp! Did an author/book junkie really just write that title? Seriously? How could I admit to such a thing? It might be barely acceptable for me to say that I liked a movie that wasn't based on a book, but how could I ever say that there are movies I like better than the books that they're based off of?

Just kidding. We're all allowed our little idiosyncrasies.:0)

Lorna Doone

The book Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackamore, is an old classic that I loved when I was younger. Recently, I watched the A&E film version of it and then revisited the book. I emerged wondering, How in the WORLD did I handle this? Granted, it was written in the first person pov of a basically uneducated Exmoor farmer in the 1400s. The author does a wonderful job of showing that John Ridd didn't have much schooling. But it created a style that was irritating for me to read. Plus, the movie was much easier to understand, since the author writes some words as if a person with a Westmoor accent was speaking them (think mole-talk in the Redwall books, but much worse).

The Princess Bride

OK, shoot me! Go for it! Yes, I do not like the book version of The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

I just reread it, thinking, "Oh, maybe now that I'm older and my sense of humor has been refined, I'll like it better."

I'm sad to report that though I found Fezzik and Inigo's backstories as delightful as ever, I still didn't care for the book as much. Maybe because, while it includes most of the funny quotes from the movie, they're spread out more, and I liked them one right after the other. Plus I kind of got tired of hearing the "author" breaking in--it slows up the action and just annoys me.

Something I did find funnier this time though--all the parenthetical explanations. (This was after blue jeans...) (This was before Europe but after Paris...) OK, yes, and Westley and Buttercup's dingy, overblown love story is funny, in a way.

But I just like the movie better. Excuse me while I go paint a target on my t-shirt. :0)

So there you have it--the secret confessions of an author. Anyone else want to chime in with their confessions? Is there a book that, for some reason, you just like the movie version better? :0)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Justin's Job

Hey everyone,

I'd like to ask you to pray for Justin, me, and our families this week. Justin moved up to Michigan Sunday and started his new job today. While I'm super happy and excited for him, and know he's super happy and excited to be getting back into the weather stuff that he enjoys, it's really hard for both of us to be separated like this! :0( Saturday night was a very joyful, yet painful night for both of us.

But Marquette is a beautiful area (from what Justin's said and what I've seen looking through his motel window via webcam...thank the Lord for skype!) so I know that he'll enjoy it up there. And I'm confident that we'll both enjoy the chance, once we're married, to be together in such a pretty place. Just pray we have the patience to get through this time of separation, and that we'll discover new, beautiful ways to support and encourage each other even this far apart.

Also, please pray that Justin would be able to find an apartment up there. I know yesterday was a very frustrating, non-productive search for him.

I love you, sweetheart!

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul

Storyline: Tipper is a young woman with a mother whose mind wanders, an estate to manage, and a grand parrot, Sir Beccaroon, as her guardian. Everyone thinks that her father, the famous artist Verrin Schope, has abandoned them.

Tipper has been selling her father’s artwork to bring money into the household. Despite that, they’re still struggling. Then, inexplicably, Verrin reappears with a couple of wacky companions, his artistic skills better than before, and an urgent quest for three of his missing statues.

My Thoughts: Donita K. Paul has done it again!!

I’d grown to love all of her characters from the Dragonkeeper Chronicles—Kale, Bardon, Swamp-wizard Fenworth, Sir Dar, Toopka—and wasn’t sure I’d like a new book with new characters. But a couple of old friends showed up, much to my delight, and the author kept her old perfect mixture of high adventure and humor. In fact, there were several breathtaking scenes, a few heartwarming moments as Tipper and her father bond, and several exchanges involving Sir Beccaroon or the prissy artist Bealomondore that had me laughing out loud.

One thing I didn’t like (granted, it took up only one sentence of the book): a male friend gives Tipper a kiss on the cheek. Once again, my “unmarried couples kissing” thing.

Some of you might not like the whole “good wizards” and magic element, but I find that Donita K. Paul did very well with it. The good magic follows a very specific set of rules set by Wulder (God) and wizards are evil when they bend and twist the rules. Plus, a lot of the magic done by good wizards involves something useful, light, and fun. To me, that doesn’t make it so difficult as when the good guys consider always consider their magic serious. The part I like least about it is mindspeaking (although there's plenty of humor involved with the mindspeaking dragons), but the other stuff is fine.

And there are dragons. I love dragons! I find Donita's classification of the dragons according to sizes very cool and original, plus the different talents she gives to the minor dragons are always fun to read about (minor dragons are kitten-sized). I honestly wish I could have about a dozen minor dragons. :0)

If you appreciate good fantasy and humor, definitely check out this book and the others by Donita K. Paul (DragonSpell, DragonQuest, DragonKnight, DragonFire, DragonLight).

Rating: four and a half stars

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

4th Round

Hey all, just wanted to let you know that Olivia went to the hospital today to start her 4th round of chemotherapy.


This last round went really, really well--Livie got to come home early in September, after her 3rd round of chemo, and was allowed to stay home until she got a fever--which never happened. Her counts took a while to drop but then popped back up very quickly.


Please pray that this round would go as well, that she doesn't get sick, and that she'll be able to stay home again--it's so much easier for everyone and Livie is so much happier when she's at home.



Monday, October 5, 2009

Late To Bed, Late to Rise...

...accomplishes about the same thing as 'early to bed, early to rise' only at different times. ;0)


Ahh, the quiet solitude of the night....


I think that's when I work best. When the house is so quiet that I'm afraid I'll wake people up with the tapping of my keyboard. When, for the same reason, I stay glued to my computer and don't go gallivanting around in search of a drink, or needing to do laundry or dishes or the million other little things that call. Less distractions, thankfully! :0)


Yes, I'm one of those people. Those weird night-owls. The ones who function extremely well after 6 PM. The ones who detest getting out of bed before 11 AM. OK, so that stretches it for me. I usually get up before 10, even. Just don't expect me to fully wake up for a couple of hours, nor expect me to stay awake if the situation is remotely compatible with a nap (i.e., car ride, lull in the conversation, sitting at a table when no one's talking to me, etc).


Thank the Lord for giving me my daddy's ability to sleep wherever and whenever! :0)


I've never understood how my mom and brother can stand to be morning people. I heard a quote once that said, "Early morning cheerfulness is extremely obnoxious." YES!!! Let me be grumpy until I at least have a hot shower--then you can be as cheerful as you want! :0)


Mom always likes me to get up early and get stuff done. I'm of the attitude of, "What? I'd rather work longer into the day, because as long as I stay up late, there's still the same number of hours to get things done in!" Hehehe. No. Not according to my mom! :0) (Love you, Mumsie!)


Thank the Lord I'm marrying into a family who understands the late-night, late-morning concept. Although I must admit, Mom's slowly turning from a early-morning person to a sometimes-late-morning person.  And I think I've rubbed off on my friend Mary too. Mwahawhaw-haw-haw-HAW! :0D


So, all you late-nighters out there--you rock! And for you morning people--I'm sorry, where did y'all come from?!?!? Just remember, it's not always the early bird that catches the worm...sometimes it's the bird that stays up all night in order to catch the worm!


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