Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Movie Review: One Day

   Sadly, One Day was a flop at the theaters. I was probably apart of the handful of people who really wanted to get to the theaters that weekend to watch it.  Actually, I didn't got that weekend, I went on a much less busier day to see it. I would like to also believe that maybe this story just wasn't as big in America, or maybe it was and I'm in denial.
   If you haven't read the many times I talked about it before then here I go again. Dexter and Emma are friends, and this book follows their lives over twenty years after they decide to be friends.  Through tragedy, good times, love, and death, Dexter and Emma experience all over the course of following the day they met on for each year.
   I have no idea what it would be like to watch this movie without having to read the book. Could it have felt disjointed? Possibly.  There probably wasn't quite the build up of emotions and character growth that there should have been. I think Jim Sturgess did a really good job of capturing the change of Dexter though.  He went from a charming, jerk type guy to a guy who was broken, and wanting to finally feel the connection to life he had been missing.
   Anne Hathaway grows into her character, Emma, but never truly captures the complexity needed. Of course the fact she has to mimic the accent the best she can doesn't help either. I'm sure for someone who knows the accent better it is quite distracting. Also, don't let the trailers deceive you into thinking this is like a over the top romance like Nicholas Sparks. This is a much deeper story, that is about life in general, and how our paths lead us to where we go. It's about the development of people. Also, the brutal tragedy in the story will leave you shock if you think it's like Sparks.
  Overall, I really enjoyed the movie, and I thought it capture the book as best it could. I'm sure it helped that the author of the book wrote the screenplay also, so he knew what he was doing.  I'm just not a Hathaway fan, which is what sort of kept it from being as good as it could have been. I think near the end she really felt like the character. You can check out the movie at Amazon.

Book Review: Amanda L. Davis' Precisely Terminated

  Precisely Terminated follows a new trend of showing the grim future, and hopefully one person who can save the people from what a new type of government is forcing it's people to live under. I think there is a reason are stories are shifting to more so ones like these, and it makes for an interesting read.
  Monica is the only known person who has been kept from being installed with a chip that allows the Cillianese to keep up with the people's every movement. Monica is given the task of rescuing the others since she can escape the scrutiny of being watched, and stop the control of the other people.
  Unlike other futuristic stories this is a bit brighter than others. The cover is deceptive in that fact, but it's true.  The lead character, Monica, is interesting, but the other characters aren't very stand out to me.  I thought the concept was also interesting, and it seemed to have a unique stride unlike others in it's genre.
  The only thing is the cover is terribly misleading. This story is not anyway near a horror story, and for some reason I got the feeling of zombies from looking at it, and it is nothing like that either. I also fell out of being interested in reading the story at certain points, but thankfully it is easy to keep up with so I was never extremely lost.
  I find this book interesting enough to recommend. The trailer for this book is also one of the best I've seen. They definitely did a good job with that. You can check out the book at Amazon.

This book was provided by Glass Road Public Relations in exchange for a review. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Final Week of NaNoWriMo

   There are only a few days left of NaNoWriMo, which is sad, and a relief.  There is always this hope, and excitement I am greeted with on November 1st that by the end of the month is long gone. As I read over my story I am sure I will find the remains of what a tornado left.
   For one I am not the best planner in the world. There is an outline of this novel sitting in a notebook tablet, but all my plans were took over by my intent on just writing whatever came to mind when I started. Then something happened and I switched from first to third person narrative. I have decided I like writing in it much better than first. The thing I am absolutely exhausted of the story, and have decided that if I continue writing in future NaNoWriMo that I will need to really change my approach because I am just not writing anything worth editing.
   I still have around 8,000 words to write before Wednesday, and I feel confident that I can finish if I stay focused. I want to write scenes that only apply to my story though. There are huge gaps of me rambling in my story, which will have to be cut out.
   I'm still making the attempt. I am also going to try to make a better commitment to only writing things that pertain to my story. Not to say that I won't drift and write other stuff, but my focus is to get as much of this story done as possible. I feel like the more I write just garbage to just be writing the further I get away from ever finishing this story though. As you can see by this blog post I can barely think of enough words to ever write about my story.

Getting to Know the Blogger: Former Problems

Day 26 - A Problem You Had In the Past

Image from by duchesssa
  I would say that a problem that is currently in the past, and hopefully will be for a while is my ability to doubt everything down to my faith. I'm a huge skeptic, and I sometimes really wish I could be more unaware of the reality of things as others are.
  I do worry a lot, and I analyze everything. I believe everything has a repercussion, and I guess that is how other people do the things they do, and the next day can pretend like it never happened. I often feel like I'm holding on to things that have happened to me, and sadly they've made me more of a skeptic about those things in the future. I'll be honest though that my ability to think over each scenario has probably kept me out of a good many things that would have furthered my lack trust in humans. Though it's always good to approach people with a lack of trust, it isn't healthy to completely not even be able to get to the point where you can trust as I have.
  I think people have a very "fluffy nice" view of the world, or at least they try to form a worldview that way. I think I've accepted that the world is just flawed, and it keeps me at bay as a skeptic of people.
  I'm going to end rant. Anyways, there are many problems, but thankfully I feel comfortable with my faith again, and have become active in living it again.  It is one of the few consistent parts of my life.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: Million Dollars

Day 25 - What would you do if you had a million dollars?

Image from by linder6580
  I think it is difficult to encompass all that million dollars would buy though of course it doesn't cover the cost of living as it once did around a decade ago.  I think there are two things that come to mind first that are things I really need to do, but can't quite afford to do.
   I would first find a place to rent.  Moving into my own place, without another being living there would be a dream come to true. I would buy a house, but I feel like I'm not settled enough somewhere to choose a place to invest in living for the long haul.
  The next thing I would do is invest in the equipment I need for my business, and get my own studio.  I have the basic, the camera. I hope once I start bringing in money that I can hopefully one day afford all those things, but having a million would speed that up quite quicker.  I can think of several equipment I would love to have for my camera to further my photography, including a couple types of lenses. The studio would probably send me into shock because the magnitude of amazing feelings that would stir in me. Then maybe I could churn a profit to keep affording that place I chose to rent.
   So these are the two things that come to mind first. I'm sure I could think of a lot of other things, including putting a percentage into a cause that I support. Now I'm sad because I don't have a million dollars to do all these things with!

Book Review: Donna Lee Schillinger's Purity's Big Payoff

  I'll go ahead and say that if you aren't waiting for marriage regardless of your past then this book isn't something you would be interested in reading. That is essentially what these essays are about. There are two sides to this book. One called Purity's Big Payoff, and the other title Premarital Sex's Big Rip-off both are edited by Donna Lee Schillinger. I will say that I wouldn't have chosen the second title. One features stories from people who waited, and stories from people that didn't. Take into account that all these people are Christians too. You may be able to relate to the scenarios, but depending on your beliefs this book will appeal or not appeal to you.
    If you are someone who needs encouragement in continuing to abstain from sex then this book actually is really good.  The stories feature a wide range of people from a variety of backgrounds, and not everyone ends up in marriage though the majority do.
    Whether you have a past or not you will find something in the book that tries to appeal to both crowds. I'll be honest, and say that I thought it was going to take the whole sappy "true love waits" approach. Especially after the little piece of the cover said something similar to that, but that isn't the vibe the book gives off. People are very honest about the effect, or lack of that sex had on them. They don't try to use the usual tactics to keep people from having sex. They just show a variety of backgrounds, and how it shaped their future.
  The only thing is the book assume that if you do have sex, you will regret it. I've known people who are Christian, and have had sex, and they don't regret it. If anything they felt more justified in the act because of how they felt afterward.  I'm not arguing anything, I'm just bringing up something the book obviously would not share.
   As I said though, if you intend to wait for sex then this is a book you should probably have on your shelf. You'll find people going through the same struggles in it, and you won't feel so alone in your endeavor afterward. If there is anything the book doesn't hide it is how difficult it is to wait. It stresses that it will be a difficult road to follow. If you have different sentiments on sex though, then you'll probably just want to skip this read. You can check out the book at Amazon.

This book was provided by Bookcrash in exchange for a review.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: Fascinating Person

  Day 24 - A person you find interesting.
                                                                                                                                                                            One person that I recently have found interesting is Michelle Williams. I'm not sure why exactly except maybe that she is a great actress who has good style, and a quiet personality. Also, she has to deal with a past that I'm sure put her in the spotlight way more than she wanted. I want to add that it's not that other people aren't interesting, she is just one of the few living ones.
  I saw her acting in Shutter Island, and Blue Valentine. At least those were the ones I remembered. I know she has been in quite a few other things. She has a very vintage hollywood style about her though. Williams can almost rock any look whether you think she can or not.  Her next movie is My Week With Marilyn. I've never been someone who was that interested in Marilyn Monroe's life, but I think the movie looks like it will be quite good. I also heard that Williams portrays her well.
  I think she keeps a good job of keeping herself out of the spotlight when she is not marketing a movie. Also, she has made me consider how cool a pixie cut would look several times even though I know I could never look good with that haircut.
If you want to check out her recent project then here it is:

Wednesday Movie Night: Green Lantern (2011)

  I saw the previews for the Green Lantern, and I wasn't what to expect from the movie. I honestly think the best thing to do for all movies is to approach them with low expectations.  After seeing the commercials, I thought I would not be too interested in the movie, but it surprised me.
  A pilot, Hal, goes to rescue someone after being chosen to be carried to their crash landing. At first he is unbelieving to what he has found until he discovers he is a part of a squadron of other people in another galaxy.  A professor also gets alien like abilities after he is infected with something in an alien. Hal ends up having to battle the evil the Professor is drawing to earth, while also defending his love interest.
  I personally liked the movie. For someone who was feeling sick, and half asleep it kept me awake enough to watch the whole way through. It was entertaining, and I thought it was well paced.  The only thing was it reminded me a lot of Spiderman in some ways. I find that DC Comics have very tragic villains. They are guys who were struggling with their selves, or in some other way who are then turned into villains by accident.  They don't ever have the chance to get out of the rut they are in. I think that is also what I like about these comic movies. Besides X-Men, I find them to be much more complex in story lines.
   If you are comic fan you might like this movie. A lot of people were a little bit harsh on it over the special effects, but I could see where they might be difficult to pull off. You can check out the movie at Amazon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: Favorite Movie

Day 23 - What is your favorite movie?

  My favorite movie depending on the day switches. Currently, I would say that it is 500 Days of Summer. I think it's one of those movies that I can like at any stage of life. It's about more than just love, but it's also about finding what makes you happy in life.
   Tom meets Summer, and think she is the one.  Summer doesn't think the one exists, but Tom hopes to prove her otherwise.  Instead of listening to her warnings that she isn't seeking anything Tom continues to hope that will change. This movie lets you know upfront how everything will turn out, but somehow it still manages to keep you intrigued, and even spark the hope that they will work out.
   In exchange both of them learn from each other what it is they are missing from their lives.  A lot of people judge the movie as being depressing, and only being about a breakup. It's about so much more than that though.  It is more so a life lesson.  I can see some of myself in Summer, and Tom, and I've experienced both sides of the scenario that plays out in the movie.  Everyone is so harsh on Summer as if they have never had to break someone's heart.  Even if you have never broken up with someone I think we've all caused someone to feel rejection.
   I have many favorite movies, but this one seems to consistently match my mood. I can watch it when I'm in a good or bad mood. I have never found it depressing, but more so encouraging.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Getting to know the Blogger: Attractive Celebrities

Day 22 - Post pictures of five celebrities you consider attractive.

I hate to admit this but as an a 10 year old I was a huge Leonardo Dicaprio fan. Then for a while I forgot about it. When I watched Shutter Island, and Inception my childhood crush was revived. Not only does he have this really masculine essence about him now, but he plays the role of "conflicted man" really well.

I hate to be so obvious, but I find Ryan Gosling really attractive. Also, I found him when I was 10, and he was on the show Young Hercules, I don't recommend watching that unless you need a laugh. I was not one of the crazy people that went insane when he wasn't listed as the Sexiest Man Alive.

You may have or may not have heard of Jake Johnson. I only know of him from New Girl though I know he had small parts in other things. There is something really charming about his personality on New Girl though.  It's one of the many reasons I look forward to watching it every week. 

I honestly didn't even think of him as attractive until a few listens of Mumford and Sons' Sigh No More.  After seeing Marcus Mumford play the guitar and sing while juggling other instruments at various times I have to say it really caught my eye.

The day I saw Norman Reedus in Boondock Saints was the day I became a fan. Just recently I found out he was on The Walking Dead, and though the show itself is enjoyable he makes it even better.  He perfects the bad boy he's always hired to play so well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Book Review: Todd Burpo's Heaven Is For Real

  I've been wanting to read this book for a while, particularly after hearing all the hype of indecisiveness on whether this account of Heaven is true. After the Burpo family finds themselves having a really bad year filled with broken bone, kidney stones, and even cancer, they find out their son Colton is severely ill. Throughout the next year Colton begins acting strangely after recovering from his illness.  His family begins to see that Colton may have visited Heaven in his time in the hospital.
   The book is rather short, which is appreciated. I think it helped the pacing stay interesting, and it was able to cut to the point quicker without it being drawn out.  I could really feel for the family through their difficult time, but that wasn't supposed to be what the book was about so it was vaguely mentioned. In all honesty I'd feel much more interested in a book about his family overcoming the obstacles of bad news, after bad news they received, because I assume your faith has to take a hit through that.
   I think this could be a good book to allow children to be exposed to to introduce the idea of Heaven, and death. I wished someone would have simply asked Colton what he saw though.  Instead the parents pick apart what they think he is talking about in pieces whenever he mentions it. Also, I wonder why Colton didn't tell anyone after waking up.  I'm not saying this discounts the story, but it leaves questions.  The different accounts of the afterlife are what always get me though. Everyone seems to have different variations. There isn't anything wrong with that, but it doesn't allow for much authenticity when someone begins questioning someone's account. We still are elusive as to what we will first see when we die.
   The root of this book is a very heavy topic that is put into a very lighthearted tale from a child's perspective. One other thing I had a little trouble with was the belief that Colton seemed to have that God will always answer his prayers as he ideally believes he will.  I'm sure Colton is going to encounter days when he prays for a rainbow that he won't see one as he had expected. I think that can be quite damaging to your faith if you live it in a "Joel Osteen" way. Life isn't easier because you chose to believe in Jesus.
   I think this can be an inspiring story, and encouragement to those who need it.  If you're reading for any other reason then you'll probably see some of what I did. You can check out the book at Amazon.

This book was provided by Booksneeze in exchange for a review.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: The Last Two Years of My Life

Day 21 - How have you changed the last two years of your life?

Image from by ilco
   This seems like such a huge question. I think the last two years of my life have been huge changes.  Two years ago at this month in my life I was a junior in college, and I was take the most classes I'd ever taken trying to catch up.  I hadn't ever really dated anyone, and I was still recovering from a string of time where I doubted my faith pretty heavily.
   I've graduated college, which is a huge relief. Sometimes I miss the busyness of it, but for the most part it's a relief to have it over, and now have the road open to do other things.  As far as dating, well I at least can't say that I don't know what it's like anymore.
  Then there is my faith, which was probably the hugest change. When I started college I hadn't thought much about it besides knowing that is what I believe, and I followed what I knew I needed to. Beginning college though got me to questioning further things that I knew people couldn't answer.  It was a rough time to try to make sense of something that I knew I would never have the answer for, but I was able to get back to growing in my faith again by being active and continuing to believe besides the pressure to think otherwise.
  These last two years haven't been the easiest, and actually a lot more have just happened than these things.  I don't even know if I have the time to ever write about all that though.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: Favorite TV Show

Day 21 - What is your favorite TV show?

   If I had to choose any show that will always be my favorite, and one I will never forget it would be Lost.  It's the only show I made sure I had a television for on the night it aired so I didn't miss it.  It impacted my storytelling, and probably even future shows I would watch.
   I am not sure why but the characters on the show are easily accessible to me. There was so much character development. I was glad the show got the opportunity to live out all it's season, but I still miss it.  Television isn't the same without it. Plus I really enjoy the inside jokes I can get in on because I watched Lost. I understand though that Lost isn't everyone's cup of tea. There is never a clear direction, nor is it any type of genre.  I think that is why it sums up life very accurately.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: Importance of Education

Day 20 - How important do you think education is?

Image from by adienache
  I grew up just believing I would go to college, and that's direction my life went. I hear almost everyone say they will go to college these days, but a lot of people I went to school with who said that didn't.  I think a higher education has became the next logical step these days.  How necessary it is I can't know.
  Obviously without a degree in something you usually get paid less, and you've obtained amazing skills in something.  I think someone with better skills will always outshine anyone else regardless of their educational background. Personally college suited who I am. I enjoy that type of environment, and I felt myself grow a lot as a person because of it.
  I think the weight of loans is outshining the use of degrees currently though.  People graduate expecting a job that they can pay off their loans with in a timely manner, but instead you find yourself either jobless or with years of debt that not only you will carry but your future family with. I don't know how much that makes graduating college worth in the end.  Not everyone is cursed with that major of debt, but the majority of people are.
  Personally, I would analyze who I am before putting myself in college. Most people who don't really want to be there won't make it the four years anyways. Don't put yourself through the ringer of it just because it was what was expected. At the rate we are going the college degree will be the new high school diploma, and the master's degree will the new thing we feel we need to achieve. That will be some hefty debt if true. The state of the American education is pretty bad off overall anyways, so this is a huge topic I could go on and on about.

Wednesday Movie Night: 28 Days Later (2002)

  After watching The Walking Dead it has gotten me curious about other notable zombie stories.  I think one of the ones I've heard the most about is 28 Days Later. 
  A group of survivors are left in London after a contagion is let loose from a lab.  The people left have to protect themselves from not only the infected humans, but also animals that can be carriers. This movie isn't just about the horrors of a homicidal virus, but it's also about how something that traumatic would shape our morals, and society when it has to start from scratch in a different world.
  I really enjoyed 28 Days Later.  The characters seemed real unlike most entertainment characters, and you could feel the conflict between the new morality being established versus the old that couldn't really exist anymore. I felt these people were having to live this life in a destroyed world. Something I didn't realize about these types of movies prior to watching them was the possibility to explore complex ideas, and concepts with a story. What would happen to our current morals? The group of survivors find out that no matter how hard they try to fight to live for themselves they can't forget the part of them that made them human.  They can't leave each other behind because they can't cut off their ability to need someone else even if it means risking their own life to include someone else.
   The only thing odd about this movie was the weird camera angles, and sometimes grainy screen.  I didn't see the point in sitting sideways to view a scene. I was laying my head on a pillow though so I guess at times it worked for me.
   I may have been one of the last people on earth to watch this movie, but if you haven't see 28 Days Later, it is a definite recommend.  This isn't really a horror movie, but it more so explores the lives of the characters and their adaptation to the environment. That isn't to say the infected humans weren't scary though. They were probably some of the creepiest zombies I've seen.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: My Biggest Regret

Day 18 - What is your biggest regret so far?

Image from by fireball45
   Regrets are a very personal thing.  Regrets are those things that still sting when we think about how they could have turned out differently had we done something different in response to something else. It's a tough pill to swallow.  I do have regrets though, and I think regretting things is a good thing.
   My biggest regret that I don't think is too personal to share is that I wish I would have began trying to make a name for myself earlier than I did.  I wish I would have picked up a camera in high school, or signed up to write a novel in 30 days earlier than I did.  Especially with the photography one. I keep thinking of how far along I would have been by now if I would have started photographing, and making it on it's way to be it's own business earlier than I did.
   I obviously can't go back and relive those days to do that so the best I can do is go forward with completing it now. I think it's better to have the opportunity now than to never have.  One thing I don't like is when people say they have no regrets and that everything made them the person that it did. While I think this is statement has good intentions, it completely causes a piece of a person to get cut off.  In the long run not regretting could lead to dismembering other feelings such as guilt. It is healthy to feel these things it allows other feelings like compassion, and grace to move because we remember our own imperfections in regret, and guilt.
   If nothing else regretting reminds you of things not to repeat. I encourage you to regret mistakes in order to change those things.  Don't deny you've made them. My regrets exist, and they need to even though they don't feel good all the time.

Book Review: Lynn Austin's Wonderland Creek

    I really need to get to researching history more so when I read these books I'll know how researched they are instead of making assumptions about the obvious things that seem inaccurate to me.
    In Wonderland Creek, Alice goes to the Kentucky mountains to deliver books she would like to donate after her boyfriend breaks up with her. She then stays there for two weeks helping deliver books after the library owner is injured. Somehow she ends up getting dragged in staying longer, which at first seems like a bad thing until other developments into adulthood and love happen for her.
    The over usage of "boyfriend" really irked me. Yes the term did exist in 1936, but did it imply good things about a woman during that time? No.  Maybe in the city where she was from it was a common word to call a guy you were dating, but in the country someone wouldn't have approached you asking if you had a boyfriend. They still used more commonly other used terms at the time such as "gentlemen caller", or perhaps even "beau". Usually if a woman said someone was her boyfriend it implied that more than the less than traditional courtship was happening between her and him. Courtship was still a very common practice up till the 50s. I would know this because my grandparents were not allowed to go out on dates without a chaperon.  This usually meant a lot more things had to be snuck around about such as openly referring to someone in such a casual dating sense.
    The book is a bit slow in some parts, but it keeps your interest enough to continue reading to see what happens.  Some of the scenes seem highly unrealistic, but without them this book would have had no entertainment.  I like that book's lead is an avid book reader though. I've actually experienced some of the same meanness Alice has for enjoying reading so much.
    If this is your usual genre you enjoy reading, then you will find it a good read, but if not then that is iffy.  You can check out the book at Amazon.

This book was provided by Bethany House in exchange for a review. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: Suggested Reading

Day 17 - A book you could read over again.

   I probably have several books I could read over again, but the one that comes to mind first is One Day. I actually have plans to try to read it yearly.  I don't think a book has personally resonated with me as much as it did.
   Dexter, and Emma seemed like characters I wish I could have wrote. they were so complex, and I enjoyed how the author showed their development as people throughout the years. I could see aspects of myself in both characters, but mostly Emma. Her life in her twenties was about struggling to find a place she was content with, and she had to work hard to eventually achieve that later in life. I hope that what happens for me, but now I just have to work with what I got now.
  On another note I'm really looking forward to when this movie is out on DVD. Even though it doesn't capture the book in every sense I think it was a good attempt.
  One Day isn't a book for everyone. It seems to be one that people like or don't. I recommend checking it out though. It's honestly not a chick book. I would say it's more of a book about life.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Review: D. Barkley Briggs' The Songs of Unmaking

  For some reason when I saw this book was available to review it vaguely caught my attention, and something vaguely catching me is never a good start.  I'm going to say that if you've read the first two books then you might jump right into this one, so my review can't be a full deterrence from reading.
  This is the synopsis from Goodreads: He was once the greatest champion in the land. Then he disappeared. With Nemesia's defeat, the Barlows have helped turn the tide in the Hidden Lands. But the victory is short-lived. An even greater evil stirs in the north with a fierce new army bent on destruction. As the twins, Gabe and Garret, discover their own special powers, a thin thread of hope emerges.
   It was so difficult for me to follow this book that I couldn't even write a good synopsis myself.  I'm going to blame it mainly on the fact that fantasy just hasn't ever interested me much. I know that it is a huge genre, and most people who write seem to stay in that genre.   I see what is so attractive and intriguing about the genre, but I'm still searching to read that staple book of it. 
   Anyways, I think if I had read the first two books I would have enjoyed this one much better.  If you're a fan of fantasy then I recommend checking out the whole series especially if you're young adult since this is the target audience.  You can check out the book at Amazon
  If you are interested Briggs is offering a Fantasy Prize Pack Giveaway. The giveaway includes 48 young fantasy author novels, and you can win a free Kindle. The runner up gets a free Ipod.  If you would like more information on this contest you can check out Dean Briggs' website

This book was provided by Glass Road Public Relations in exchange for a review. 

Getting to Know the Blogger: Highs and Lows

Day 16  - What have been the highs and lows of the past year?

Image from by windchime
I think it's much easier to talk about the high points than the low points. Thankfully it is much easier to recall the high points.
Beginning with the low points because I believe you start with the bad first then the good. I think the lowest point of this year was graduating and then being dropped into a new world. Not that this was a bad thing, because change eventually has to happen, but it is quite a drastic thing to get used to.
 As for the high point that is notable from the past year, I would say that graduating was the highest point. It felt more surreal to get out of college than I expected it to be.
Strangely my high, and low points both revolve around the same thing. I think change can feel like a bad and good thing, it just depends on the day.  Ultimately I welcome it.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My Second Week of NaNoWriMo

   Now I am arriving upon my second week of the challenge, and though at the beginning of the week I thought I might be rounding the bend for an easier week that was quickly squashed. I think I had two spots in this week where I didn't even meet where I should be for the goal for the day.
    I keep thinking about how I should press myself to stay late tonight to write till 20K, but I'm certain by the end of the day I will be there. I have no idea how to get any inspiration to write though. I actually want to go back and begin editing another novel that I have. Maybe I could do that and count it to my word count.
   I was very scared to begin writing this novel, so I think when I started it overwhelmed me.  I had such huge expectations for a first draft and that just isn't possible.
   Will this next week go better? I certainly hope so. I have nothing fantastic to report, nor do I even have an excerpt that absolutely catches me which is a first. I usually always have one scene that I love to share, but that just isn't the case this time, or not yet.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Getting to know the Blogger: Mainstream Music

Day 15 - What are your views on mainstream music?

Image from by mzacha
This seems like such an odd question to know about me, but I'll go with it anyways. Honestly, I don't listen to much music that would be considered mainstream, and if I do I usually consider it a guilty pleasure. Mumford and Sons, and Adele probably are mainstream, but I don't consider those guilty pleasures. I haven't turned on my radio to listen to the top 40 stations in forever so if anyone ever asked me what was trending besides those two I wouldn't know.
I don't have a problem with it though. People are into what they like, and if that's mainstream music then so be it. It just hasn't been much of my thing.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

  It is true that I am a huge Harry Potter fan. My dog is even named after my favorite character, Luna.  In return my dog decided to live up to the personality so I often see her sitting in water bowls, and scaling fences as if she is a squirrel instead of a dog. Enough gushing about my dog though she is awesome, and I can ramble about her forever. Earlier this year I was apart of the huge weekend crowd for the opening of the last Harry Potter movie. My sister and I are like movie buddies so we loaded up in my car, and got ourselves to the nearest theater to see how epic this movie would turn out.
  If you haven't read the books, or seen the movie yet here is a quick overview. Harry needs to defeat Voldemort to bring order back to the wizard world, and stop the crumble of society in general. Harry and his friends gather against the followers of Voldemort called Death Eaters. Every person brings their strengths to the table to participate in the battle, and while fighting they discover the most important unifying theme of all.
 I don't think that summary sounds as near epic as the last story is.  I was highly concerned before seeing this movie even though Part 1 had calmed me some. Ever since Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince I knew that David Yates could film a disaster is he wanted to. Yates stuck as well as he could to the book in Part 2, which I was impressed with. It is a huge story, and I'm glad they gave two movies to it to justify it. Neville Longbottom was the hugest stand out to me in this movie though. I think I can almost remember every part he was in this movie. For such a small character he makes him appear so strongly developed in the movie.
  This will not happen if you watch the movie at home, but while sitting in the theater there was an extremely bright part of the movie. I'll just call it the "Heaven scene". The whole movie is very dark, so my pupils were blasted wide open, and then all of a sudden this huge amount of light was poured into my eyes, and it felt like fire. I had to close my eyes till the scene actually went off because I was struggling to keep back tears, and not go blind.
  If you're a Harry Potter fan, and you don't go over all the little part they might have left out you'll love it. I thoroughly enjoyed Snape's scenes as well, and was so relieved to find the flashbacks in the movie. The movie kept my attention the whole time, and I felt the movie was a good sign off to the series. You can check  out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at Amazon.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday Movie Night: Scream (1996)

  Earlier this year I watched Scream 4, which got me curious about the previous Scream movies that I haven't seen.  Recently Scream was on television, so I decided to take the opportunity to check the first one out.
   Someone in town decides to begin imitating horror movies to live out their own. They begin by killing a girl, and her boyfriend which sends the town into a frenzy. Sydney begins receiving calls as the next victim, but gives the killer a good fight with others falling into the victims path instead.
   I want to say that Wes Craven is brilliant at building tension. Everything from the huge open windows to the killer taunting to his whereabouts sort of scares you. This movie doesn't seem near the parody that Scream 4 did. It actually seemed to confused as humor at points, but then this one felt like more of a horror film.
  It was interesting finally seeing the beginnings of all the characters. There were some who lived who I wanted to find out about in the 2nd and 3rd movies since they disappeared.  As for the shock ending, it wasn't really shocking.  The people doing it turned out to be pretty obvious. I was much more shocked by the ending of Scream 4. 
  I think the other two remaining Scream movies I haven't seen will be posted in future posts of Wednesday Night Movie. I for some reason decided to watch this at one in the morning which isn't too good of an idea.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: 15 Facts

Day 14 - Name fifteen facts about yourself

Image from by skate49.
1. I'm a guitarist, and have been playing for almost two months.
2. I'm making my fourth attempt to complete a novel, and have one I need to edit.
3. Printmaking is my art of choice.
4. I graduated with a degree in Communication
5. I've been blogging for two years.
6. I highly enjoy the mountains.
7. I've been building a photography business, and really enjoy it.
8. I'm not a huge fan of cake.
9. I honestly want to get rid of my social networking sites, besides Twitter.
10. I've been a participant in NaNoWriMo for almost four years.
11. I think facial hair is very awesome on men.
12.  I want to own a bicycle.
13. I don't like ground beef.
14.  I have a dog, and her name is Luna.
15. My favorite animal is the turtle.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: Earliest Memory

Day 13 - What is your earliest memory?

Image from by merlin1705
  I'm actually not sure what my earliest memory is. I remember when I was at Six Flags though when I was a toddler.  It's mainly bits and pieces. Anyways, I was approached by a person in a huge Sylvester outfit, along with Tweety I'm sure. I assume most kids would laugh, and enjoy these goofy costumes, but instead I begin to scream, and cry as if I'm being assaulted.  That's pretty much my earliest memory though. That seems quite traumatizing now that I think about it. Maybe that's why I turned out the way I did?

Book Review: Karen Kingsbury's On Every Side

   The first novels I read from Karen Kingsbury gave me the belief that I might have found a new writer to read, and then On Every Side left me with quite a different impression.
   Jordan has lost his faith in God after losing his mom, which he prayed would live, and then after his family fell apart. There is also a newscaster, Faith, who takes on a battle with Jordan to keep a Jesus statue in a courtyard. Through this they both grow in their faith, and Jordan discovers things he thought life would never allow him to.
   This book reminds me of the other Karen Kingsbury books I read, and it seems only the characters names were changed. For that it made it very difficult to get into the story, because I knew how it was going to turn out from the beginning. What made it worse is that it didn't have minor twists that the other books I read from Kingsbury did that kept me turning the page.
   I think the book has a good message, but I wish I would been able to stay focused more. These things that happen in the book seem likely to happen I guess, which is what gets people involved in wanting to read.
    If you are already a Kingsbury fan then you'll enjoy it. If you haven't read her other books then this one will be new to you. You can check it out at Amazon.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My First Week of NaNoWriMo

   It's almost been a week of writing, and it seems that I'm not the only one who hit a plato of problems once beginning.  My motivation was zero when the time to write finally happened Tuesday. I'm hoping this rebounds, but so far I'm struggling pretty bad with the first chapters. Twitter seems to claim that other fellow WriMos are in the same boat, and if I read correctly the "NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul" thread has over 800 posts compared to the "This Is Going Better Than I Hoped" thread at almost 200 posts.
  I'm not sure why this was the first year I didn't bust out of the gate on my idea with all the excitement I usually have. Nothing was different than past year's when I started, but I just didn't feel as thrilled as I usually do. The idea is one of the best ones I've had, and there are days when I look forward to writing it, and there are others where I'm forcing myself.  The biggest concern is that when it comes time to edit in December is that it will be completely be something that I can't edit.
   Maybe I've just had a lot working against me as far current happenings, and my allergies getting to me. I don't know if something will kick in the last half of the month and give me what I need to get through it.
   I'm obviously not the only one struggling though, and if you are someone who is also having difficulty getting through then take comfort in the fact I'm in the same boat too!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Book Review: Alisha Harris' Raised Right

   This book does a creative play on the title Raised Right. Either it means she was  raised politically right, or she believes that she was raised right to eventually find out her own political beliefs.  This book is a brave step in the world of a Christian publishing company though.
   Alisha Harris was raised in a Republican family, but as she grew up and got out on her own something began happening to her opinions. They changed as she began analyzing the world, and comparing it to what the Bible said about Jesus. Alisha Harris seems to be Democrat by the end of the book though she never clearly states it.
   I liked the refreshing viewpoints in this book. It gets you to thinking about how much Christians intertwine their faith to the world of politics, which in reality they shouldn't be.  I think politics has ruined how people perceive what Christianity is about. Harris makes good points to support her new views, while still respecting the way her parents raised her.
   The book needs better transitions though. It switches back and forth between things that happened in her childhood to where she is now as an adult.  I think it would have worked better if it read from childhood to adulthood. Though Harris provides good points for her her overall view she doesn't make exactly give any good ones for changing as she personally did. I think the balance between love, and acceptance still could have used better clarifying. Harris seems to have been raised in such a political family that it seems even as an adult, she needs to associate with one party or another to feel like her views are complete.
    There are some stories from Harris' childhood that are very intriguing, and if you don't consider yourself a Christian Republican then you'll highly relate to the book. I imagine someone who was strictly Christian conservative would be offended at her views. I remember being faced with the same questions Harris had though except unlike her it didn't take me until college to finally start asking them, and I wasn't raised in a family where politics defined me. I still have no political party I associate with. You can check out the book at Amazon.

I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for a review.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Getting to know the Blogger: Where in the World?

Day 12 - If you could choose anywhere to live in the world where would it be?

Image from by jpeabody
   I actually really enjoy living in Georgia where I'm at now. If I had to choose anywhere though it would be Ireland. It think it would be amazing to own a cottage there overlooking the sea, though I'm sure that would empty my pockets for the rest of my life. I've always been fascinated with Ireland though, and every time I see it in film or in picture it puts me in a trance for however long it's on the screen.
     I would be just as happy in where I'm at though. I would like to move a little closer to a city because there is always something going on there that I want to do, but it takes a lot of gas to get there. I'm addicted to concerts and wouldn't mind going to one whenever I could.

Wednesday Movie Night: Once

   I haven't watched many foreign films, and Once probably was only the second movie I've watched that is. If you're curious, it's an Irish film.  Don't let the advertisements fool you into thinking this is a romantic movie though, this movie is purely about music. It is for the music fan.
   The two lead characters are never given a name, and summaries only refer to them as Boy, and Girl. This doesn't detract from feeling connected to the characters though. Anyways, a woman finds a street  musician, and takes an interest in him. He ends up fixing her vacuum, and discovering her talent for playing the piano.  Though he does make a move for her she turns him down, and eventually he finds out why she has put down his advances. They continue to hang out and grow through music. Not only does their relationship continue to evolve, but the capabilities of their music do also.
    This movie was really good, and it even won an Oscar for the musician's featured music. IMDb even says that Bob Dylan was so impressed he signed them on for a tour.  Beyond the music the chemistry, and acting was great too. I think this was the most subtly romantic movie I've watched. The two leads have such a natural chemistry with each other. The Irish actor is quite a curser. I heard that cursing was way heavier overseas, and it is very true. The movie was rated R on language alone, which I thought was a bit ridiculous. The movie is actually very decent in my opinion. They even refer to sex as "hanky panky". I think we should take up using this word. It's fun to say.
   This movie has a really good story, and it is told very well. I'm very impressed with my selection of movies, particularly this one. If you are a musician, or huge music fan, then this one is a definite recommend. I'm personally also a huge fan of Irish things, so it was very nice having a small glimpse of what Ireland is like. You can check out the movie at Amazon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: A Day in the Life

Day 11 - Bullet list a day in the life of you

Image from by xaila
This is my day for the most part, but not in order as it always is.

  • Wake up to read for an hour
  • Help run eggs on a farm twice a day
  • Add photos to portfolio
  • Edit photos
  • Write my daily word count for a novel
  • Practice guitar
  • Write blog
  • Sit down with coffee and read some more
  • Research jobs
  • Sleep

Book Review: David Murrow's Why Men Hate Going to Church

   I'm conflicted on how to feel about a book like this. I think it's meant for only men to read because if you are a woman like me you'll be offended at all the finger pointing toward us that it does. This book is a good starting place to an issue that probably isn't too recognized yet, but it lacks the complexity needed to really address it.
    If you're a guy this book makes the assumption you only consider yourself masculine if you are into sports, and beer. If you happen to be into arts, and books well you are less masculine by his standards. I want to add that if a man is into arts, and books he is way more attractive to me, so you'll get masculinity points from my perspective if you are into those things.
    Anyways, this book advises church's on how to attract these types of men. Including not encouraging hugging, cutting out feminine words like "intimate", and "relationship", and ridding your church of flower decor. I'll agree that a lot of men are not secure enough in their masculinity to be around very feminine things. Women seem to have no problem being around masculine things without feeling we might be less womanly, but some men seem to be absolutely terrified of being less masculine if they are caught around anything less than macho. I'm going to be honest, but this is a highly unattractive trait in a man, because it screams he is insecure with who he is.
   The author even goes as far as to say that if women's ministries disappear in church that women would attend regardless, and be more appeased that more men were coming in return. Really? So that's all women think about is where men are at, and how to get them? I was offended by this, and if churches ever go as far to eliminate the fact that women exist from their services, I won't be attending. I think instead of doing as the author advises, and tearing out all things feminine in the church, the focus should be more on helping men finding more security in their masculinity. Women have had very different things expected from them in society, which has made it more acceptable for us to explore a man's territory whether it be racing cars, or building a career. I'm not saying that sexism doesn't still exist against women, but we are usually not ridiculed, but instead empowered when we embrace our femininity and push the limits of what women are capable of. Men have been treated very differently, and instead of embracing, and living out their masculinity, society has made them think they need to protect it against women.
    I think the book is a good starting place for discussing why men don't attend church as much as women. We can't give men a bunch of excuses to go off of though when at the end of the day it's your own choice to go or not. For another interesting point to add before I end this review, it was usually men who pressured me to go to church in the past. Food for thought to leave you with. You can check out the book at Amazon.

I received this book from Booksneeze in exchange for a review. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Getting to Know the Blogger: Music Shuffle

Day 10 - What are the first 10 songs that are shuffled on your Ipod?

Image from by magstefan
This is one of my favorites so far.
Train Song - Feist and Ben Gibbard
The Cave - Mumford and Sons
Give Me Your Eyes - Brandon Heath
Quelqu'Un M'a Dit - Carla Bruni
Rolling In the Deep - Adele
If There's a Rocket Tie me to it - Snow Patrol
Telescope Eyes - Eisley
In this Place - Eddie B
Cherbourg - Beirut
Listomania - Phoenix

Movie Review: Water For Elephants

   Did I say in my Crazy Stupid Love post that I was more likely to watch movies like Transformers? You're probably thinking I lied now since my next movie review is Water for Elephants. I saw these movies months apart of though. I can't be faulted for my love of circus themed stories though.
   This stories is told from Jacob's perspective. He is working on his degree in veterinary until his parents die in an accident, and he has to drop out to make ends meet. After losing his house he goes on the road, and finds the circus, which takes him in in hoping his veterinarian skills can contribute to maintaining the animals. At the circus he meets Marlena, who is the circus owner's wife. Not too long after meeting each other they find it more difficult to resist the chemistry they feel with each other.
   The most beautiful part of this movie are the circus scenes. The director goes all out to capture the vibe we all dream that the circus had when it was in it's heights during the 1930s. The acting is well done, particularly by Christopher Waltz who captures the love, and hate feelings his character struggles with.  Rob Pattinson also surprisingly did a good job in his role, and Reese Witherspoon fit her character as expected.
   The thing that was lacking was the chemistry between the two leads. It felt like the actors were struggling to get past their age difference. There was a time when Reese Witherspoon did play Rob Pattinson's mom in a movie! Though they acted well it felt they were forcing through to find chemistry. Maybe that's the way it was supposed to be considering they were a forbidden romance?
I enjoyed this movie, and I look forward to watching it again. I only wish I had read the book before watching instead of after. Check out the movie at Amazon.


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