Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Winning Story: The First Noel

It was the twenty-fourth of December, 1950. Gingerbread-men and chocolate cookies filled the kitchen, the Christmas tree was in full blaze, and the walls were decked with holly and Christmas cards. The house was hued in blazes of gold, red and dark-green; the streets sprinkled with wreaths and lights. To be unhappy on a day like this was considered positively indecent in the Knock family. It was even snowing, for crying out loud.
Jemimah, however, had on a very miserable face. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, she had set her heart on a Vera Lynn record, and she had just come to discover that there was none among her Christmas presents. Secondly, she heard someone in the market say, “I think nine is like a midget. Ten is like a grown-up. I read that in a book so that means it’s true.” This crushed her heart, seeing she was nine, and not ten. The third reason was because her Christmas dress, which, however pretty it was, had a collar which looked painfully like a baby bib. The mortification of wearing it on the best day of the year would be huge.
Being gloomy on the twenty-fourth was a sin in this household, so Jemimah was sent out to the grocery store to buy two pounds of brown sugar and twenty inches of red velvet ribbon.
It was obvious that everyone around her was having a jolly time. Children were building snowmen in their front gardens, young couples were holding hands under lanterns, and some fathers were buying Christmas trees. Laughter and merriment danced around, people were singing ‘T’is the season’ in the snow, unashamed to publicise their untalented vibratos. The Christmas spirit truly had intoxicated the nation, like it did every year.

2015 Christmas Short Story Contest Winner!

Regency Delight Story Contest

Yes, and here we have come to the conclusion of my little contest.  Thank you to ALL who entered! I was pleasantly surprised by how many people participated! I really didn't expect such a response on such short notice.  Thank you, thank you!

I know I said I would announce the winner on December 31st, but I changed my mind.  December 30th just seems a better day to me.  Not running into New Year's Eve and all that.

Well, I shouldn't keep you all in suspense.  The winner is:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Book Review: The Photograph by Beverly Lewis

Since you can learn the synopsis of the book from other sources if you look around a bit, I won't bother to talk about it here.  My purpose in reviewing things is just to give my thoughts on how I liked it. 

As you can see from the rating, I didn't think it was one of Beverly Lewis' best, but I didn't think it was one of the worst either.  I liked the main characters, even the guy, which is somewhat unusual.  (His narrative actually seemed necessary for once, and wasn't as boring as I generally find a MMC's narrative to be.) As always, I appreciated the author's tactful approach to romance--that is, you could tell that plenty of emotions were involved without the characters being ridiculous and, more importantly, without a bunch of physical attraction nonsense.  (This is such a pet peeve of mine I feel like I should abbreviate that in my book reviews to PAN. Ha.)  

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Very Short Christmas Story Contest

So, as a lot of you know I have been contemplating a story contest for Christmas.  It is now December 14th, when I am only beginning to write this, so I think my original idea is a little bit unrealistic.  Heh.

Therefore, I have decided to save that up for another year.  When I can give you all some more time to write to your heart’s content.  

However, the idea of not doing anything at all disappointed me, rather.  So, what I propose is, this year, to have a Christmas (Short) Short Story Contest.  In the hopes that all of you are not like me, and you can actually write something short in a shorter amount of time than something long.  (I have a leetle problem with being concise when I write. Amy, I forbid you to make a snarky remark about this. :P)  

Well, without more blah-blah-ing, let’s get to the Guidelines/Rules/All That.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Announcements of Varying Variety

All right, I have a lot to say.  So, I’m going to make this post COLORFUL and do different colors for different Topics so you don’t get lost.

As you can see for yourself, I have changed things a little bit.  Rather than making a whole new header for Christmas this year, I decided just to decorate the one I already had. ;)

And yes, I am aware that the background color doesn’t go so well with the header.  But if you want my opinion (and I’m sure you all DO), Christmas is one time of year where we can dispense with caring so much about what ‘goes’ and what clashes, and do what gives us joy. Especially where festive decor is concerned. ;)

*inserts random Christmassy pictures*

Thanks so much to everybody who has answered my blog survey! (If you have not yet done so, you can find it here.)  Upon reviewing the answers, I have a few things to say.  So if you answered the survey, listen up. :)

Friday, November 27, 2015

Because surveys are fun, right?

Hello, dear, patient, lovely readers of mine.

First of all, MERRY CHRISTMASTIME.  I've practically been bouncing with excitement with the season coming up.  Also, I may or may not be leaving in ten days to see my best friend and stay at her house for two weeks at Christmastime.  I will leave that up to your little gray cells to determine.

But the reason I am here today-- well, typing here today-- is that I've yet another favor to ask if you all.  I feel like every time I am on here that's what I do.  And I DO want to change that.  And I know I've begun every year with "I'm going to try to post more this year!" and then I keep posting LESS... but, since I may or may not be having some time off work soon, I may or may not also have some extra time to try and work ahead with planning posts for my blog and make a goal for myself that is realistic enough to actually stick by.

And I'm actually thinking ahead this time, instead of waiting for January 1st.  So.  Before I try to devise any plan, I would like the advice of my readers.  What I write is for you, after all.

If you would take a few minutes to fill out this form, I would be very 'appy. :D Just click on the link.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Jane Austen Week- Tag

WARNING: Having lots to do and feeling low on motivation, there are no pictures in this post.  Sorry.

So Naomi is hosting a JA Week over at Wonderland Creek, and I could hardly resist filling out the tag, because I mean... duh. JANE AUSTEN.

1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of a Jane Austen fan do you consider yourself?

Hmm. Well, that depends on whether we're talking sane fans or crazed fans.  Because there are some weeeeeird JA fans out there, who are... weird.  Well, okay. Compared to anybody I know personally, I'd say 10.  Compared to the world at large, I'd say...7.5.  Haha.  But it depends on where "fan" ends and "obsession" begins. Obsessions, despite the way the word is thrown merrily about these days, are not good things.

2. If "they" would make a new Jane Austen Movie, and you would be able to be cast in it, which Jane Austen character would you most like to play?

Well... Elizabeth Bennet.  ;)  But we don't really need a new P&P as much as some others.  If it was Mansfield Park, I would want to be Fanny Price.  I think I could Do her. :)

3. Is there any felicity in the world superior to a walk?

...Yes. :P

4. Who's your favourite Jane Austen 'villain'? (As in 'villain' meaning 'the bad guy.')

Favorite??? Ehm... as in, least objectionable, or the one I love to hate the most?  Willoughby, I suppose.  He's kind of both at the same time.  I hate him but he could make an interesting companion.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Whole New World...

So, I am here today to tell you about A Thing.

Most of you guys have heard of ClearPlay, right? For me, ClearPlay has always been this unattainable thing that I would like to have but it's too expensive, etc etc.  Well, then I heard about VidAngel.

At first I was put off by VidAngel because of three things.
1) I couldn't view what movies they had without creating an account.
2) Their lingo seems to be "Watch movies however the bleep you want," and I think that is kind of in poor taste.
3) They advertise watching movies for $1 (SD) or $2 (HD), if you sell them back.  In the interest of full disclosure, they charge $20 right off, and when you sell it back within 24 hours (which you can have done automatically so you don't forget, which is cool) instead of actually refunding to your credit or debit card, they put $19 (or $18) credit on your VidAngel account, to be used for your next movie.  Which will dig into your actual money another $1, and so on, so it's basically like you're keeping $19 in your account at VidAngel in order to use their service.

So, for number one... it was true, but all they required was your email and a password made to view and change settings and everything. They won't actually ask for billing information until you're really going to buy a movie.

For number two... I have no excuses to make for them.  That's in bad taste. :P

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Picture Book Review: Thankful

It occurred to me one day that there's no reason why I shouldn't be reviewing children's books.  There are some really cute ones available through the blogger review programs, and since they're short it won't be as big of a commitment to get it read on time.  Then I can have books to bestow upon children whenever I choose.  Whether or not I have children of my own someday, I'm sure I will have children in my life who are dear to me.  (I already do, being an auntie of eight!)

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Any volunteers?

Hiiii, lovely followers.

Insert apologies for absences.  I AM still here and I have a lot of posts in draft and... sigh.  Life.  You know.

The fact that I've felt so busy and, to be honest, not quite as motivated about blogging (don't worry though, I'm still planning to stick around!) has led to me neglecting certain things on my blog.  Like my quizzes.  For those of you who know, I've written "Which Character Are You" quizzes for P&P, Emma and then JA heroines in general... and I still get comments with the answers to the questions, and absolutely no motivation to figure out their results, which makes me feel bad.  But so it is.  So they sit in my inbox for... a long time.  For example... cough... I have one from February 6th.  Eh-heh. And four others from July-Sep.

Sooo I was wondering.  Would any of you dearies be interested in taking over that?  I don't want to just shut it down and not make it available anymore... I could try to make it into automated quizzes but good programs for that are hard to find.

Let me know if you are interested and leave me with some way to contact you.  (If you leave your email in a separate comment, I won't publish it. :))  I would send you the answer key and every time I get a submission, I'd publish the comment and forward you the email so you could take care of it.  You would just comment with your own account, and I'd publish that too.

I would be supremely grateful to anyone willing to do this.  However, if you start doing it and you, too, get tired of it, you are free at absolutely ANY time to discontinue (as long as you let me know!).  And I will not think badly of you at all. :)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

'Twould seem this blog has been hacked...

Melody is the best friend in all the world.  She is also the most trusting, loyal and unsuspecting person in the world as well.  Do you know why this is?  Well, it's because when she's not home and needs to check her email and can't access the internet, she calls her best friend on the phone and gives said best friend her email password, and directs said best friend to peruse her inbox and give her the information she requires.  And then?  And then... she doesn't change her email password.  Even after weeks and weeks. 

Some would call this "not bothering."  I would call this "an incredible display of trust in a person who obviously does not deserve it."

Because if you haven't figured it out already, this is Amy, and I am hacking Melody's blog.  She's at church right now, so I'm taking this opportunity to write a long and rambling post.  Which she may take down later at her leisure if she so desireth, but I think you guys will enjoy reading it, so I hope she leaves it up.  (Please comment and back me up here.)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Book Review: Through Waters Deep

Hey there!  I'm thrilled to participate for the first time in a Revell blog tour!  Here is a review of Sarah Sundin's most recent novel, Through Waters Deep.

First of all, here's the front cover.

My first impression of the cover was that it was a little overly drama-romance-ish.  Also that I really liked the girl's hair. 

Aaand because I'm bad at synopses, here is what the back cover says... 

"It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war.  Handsome and outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood.  On shore, Jim encounters Mary Stirling, a childhood friend who is now an astute and beautiful Boston Navy Yard secretary.

When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is discovered, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit.  A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion.  With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them." 

Like many back-cover synopses, I have a few disagreements with that one and how it does or does not represent the book.  But I won't bother critiquing it... I'll just move on. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

"At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice."

(Yes, I just irreverently quoted Mr. Knightley... don't kill me please.)

I know, Amy and I were rather terribly silent whilst she was at my house.  We did not give you any amusing tales of weird guys in malls and so forth.  To try and compensate, here is our podcast.  And you shall hear my voice for the first time ever. ;)

We watched Les Mis again after this podcast was recorded, and I decided that I would actually pick Courfeyrac.  Because his emo-ness pleased me.  And he's nice.  And he doesn't seem as much of a dweeb as some of the others. :P  (Even if Amy did just call him a total goof.  He's not a TOTAL goof.  Mind, I don't know much about him since I haven't read the book.  But in the movie he was the one I felt I'd get along the best with.)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Stereotype Busters: Jane Austen (Part I)

So most of you probably guessed what I was going to talk about first.  ;)  I thought I was going to do one post, and then realized that there are many different paths I can take with this one, because Jane Austen has SO many stereotypes.  And then I was like, hey, why do one post when I can stretch it out and make more posts for my blog? (Well... it's only the truth. :P)

So let's start with two of the most common misconceptions about Jane Austen.


I have to say, covers like that are very deceptive.  I almost feel sorry for the person who was attracted to the book because of that cover... what a shock they'd be in for!  I bet they wouldn't make it past the first two pages.  "A couple old married people talking... ?! Who cares??"

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Introducing: The Stereotype Busters

Okay, folks, I had an idea.  It's going to be a bit unusual for this blog, but hey, it's my blog and I can say whatever I want.  So I'm gonna.

Now you have all been in this situation.  Somebody makes a reference.  Or starts talking about something as if you didn't know about it.  Or snarkily asks you a question because they know you DO know about it.

Stereotypes.  They're all over the place.  The ones I'm most acquainted with have conservative circle connections.  "Oh, you're homeschooled!  Do you have any friends?"  "You still live at home and don't have a REAL JOB? Are you just waiting around to get MARRIED?"  "You always wear skirts!  Are you Amish?"  And, if you have at least three siblings and are similar ages, "Your family's so big, you're just like the Duggars!"

Getting annoyed yet? :P

Sunday, April 19, 2015

In which I waltz in here just to make an exciting announcement...


It seems the only time I get on my blog these days are when I have an exciting announcement to make, and I do apologize that.  But do you want to hear my exciting announcement?  Of course you do.


(Just had to get that out of my system.)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

An Interview With the Creators of Green Gables Fables

Hello, dear readers.

As some of you may have noticed, there is a new sort of classic literature adapting that, starting a couple years ago, started sweeping the world-- well, the YouTube world.  Literary vlogging.  Sort of.  In any case, a book being adapted to be told in the form of short (about 3-8 minutes) videos put on the internet.  Most of these series are kind of interactive-- all the characters have social media accounts and fans can keep up with what they're doing in-between videos and sometimes actually 'talk to them' and get replies.  (I know all about doing that.  It's fun. :D)

Most people trace it all back to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, which 'aired' (or whatever the Internet equivalent would be) in 2012-2013.  That company, Pemberley Digital, followed it up with Welcome to Sanditon, Emma Approved, and then-- going out on something of a limb after all the Jane Austen-- Frankenstein, MD.  But although their other shows (especially EA) were widely popular, Pemberley Digital was suddenly not alone in the production of that particular genre.  Other entrepreneurs all over started latching onto the idea of updating classic literature and giving the story to the viewers in another format-- a more personal one.

I scoffed at the idea at first.  I don't like it when people update Jane Austen, or really any good classic lit novel.  It just can't be done without turning out horridly.  Buuuut I began to change my tune a little and now I think the realm of web series is rather fascinating (although there are plenty of series that I don't condone or patronize).  All that to say this-- more recently I became interested in some of the slightly smaller web series, the ones actually put out by a group of 'ordinary' people, but that were still making an impact on the internet.  One of them is Green Gables Fables, a modern adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

MFL 50th Anniversary: A Review

(That's MFL for My Fair Lady, not NFL.  Never that.  MFL definitely trumps that.  Can I get an amen.  *we* know how to better occupy our time. :P

Well, here we are again with our recap of this week's fabulous My Fair Lady 50th Anniversary watch-along!  Whew, that's a mouthful.  :P

My Fair Lady 50 years

On Wednesday evening, Melody and Amy convened at Amy's blog with Hayden, Ashley, Evie, Jess and Ally to watch and discuss the first act of My Fair Lady. (We called it the first half but really it's closer to the first three-fifths, as the show isn't divided evenly down the middle the way it should be.)  Hayden sadly had to leave early, but the rest of us stayed around and nattered for 254 comments.  (And made the discovery that Blogger has learned to make multiple pages in comments when we talk too much.)  We were united in our disapproval of Eliza's father Alfred, rejoiced in the delights of the Rain in Spain, and made fun of Henry Higgins and his rudeness.  Also we agreed that Freddy Eynsford-Hill, despite his nice singing voice (Prince Philip!) and his moderately nice face, is a dweeb and we hope Eliza didn't go for him.  Naturally we fangirled over I Could Have Danced All Night.  Because who doesn't.  And wondered why on earth Higgins has so many servants.  Because he's a bachelor with a medium-sized house.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Fair Lady 50th Anniversary Watch-Along: Part II

My Fair Lady Watch-Along Event

Hello, everybody!  We'll be watching the second part of My Fair Lady over here tonight, at 8 PM sharp, Central time.  So get on around 7:45 so we can all get ready and set to go.

I recommend we all pause the movie right (supposing you all have DVDs) right when the screen goes black after the Entr'acte bit, and then we'll be ready to put it on play at 8.

For the evening I'm putting the comments on automatic to speed up the process (because I would be totally frazzled if I had to keep up with the conversation AND publish comments, haha) so we can all have a nice chat. :)

If you missed last night but would still like to see the second part with us, feel free to join in tonight!

Also, if you haven't voted for your favorite dress on the sidebar, be sure to do that!  I have pictures of them all in my last post. :)

Aaaand here's a timer so we can all start at exactly the same time.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cups of tea and lots of chocolate... no wonder I like My Fair Lady.

Hello one, hello all.  If you've come here for the viewing of the first half of My Fair Lady at 8 PM CST, I'm afraid you're in the wrong place.  But if you'd like to traipse on over to Amy's blog, you can join us there.  Don't forget to meet in this spot tomorrow at the same time. :)

But don't leave yet!

Behold the poll on the sidebar.  You may vote at any time between now and midnight tomorrow (Jan. 8th).

In case you can't remember what all the dresses look like, here are some pictures to jog your memory.

Most of the images are bigger if you click on them. :)

Purple "Just You Wait" dress

Thursday, January 1, 2015


The title of this blog post WAS going to be something rather long and complicated, but then I figured I'd shorten it to one simple word that kind of fits it all.
  • New Anniversary 
That one doesn't make too much sense, but technically it IS a new anniversary-- it's the 4th anniversary of this blog, and I've never had it before.  Wow, four years.  That's a bit hard to grasp, indeed it is.  However, I'm going to skip all the stats and such this time... just imagine that the followers when up somewhat and the number of posts went down.  (how that works, I don't know, but it's nice. :P)  Thank you to everybody for hanging around and encouraging me even when I'm absent so often.  Your comments and friendship are very special to me!

  • New Blog Design
For a while thing I did a new one every year, and then last year I kept my header from 2013 because I liked it so well.  I still like it, but I think it's time for something new, so here we are.  The back of the header is from Shabby Blogs-- isn't it cute? :D As is the background. No, of course I don't like roses. What would make you think that?

Would you rather hear the story...

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