Monday, December 29, 2014

Next week on the Seventh of January, I proclaim MFL-watching dayyyyy...

Hello, all!  Today I am excited to bring some loverly news to your dashboard.

In case you weren't aware, this December is the 50th anniversary for the debut of the oh-so-popular, ten-million-award-winning, insert-professional-sounding-praises film My Fair Lady.  (If you don't want to do the math-- and if you're anything like me, you don't-- that puts us back to 1964.)

At the premiere

Well, a certain best friend and I decided we couldn't let it pass completely without doing something.  (It just happens to kind of be our special musical, so, you know.)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Death Comes to Pemberley (2013)

Jane Austen meets murder mystery?  What.  Even.

Yeah, that sounds like it came straight from the realm of stuff-I-just-don't-mess-with.  But when I've seen so many period dramas that there isn't much New left, well... anything coming out set in the Regency period that doesn't seem completely horrible... I might be tempted to watch.

This one got me.  I actually watched it way back when it first came out in Britain because someone put it on YouTube (but got taken down shortly after that).  It actually reminded me a little bit of a Dickens movie set in Regency time, which in itself is interesting.  When it finally aired on PBS, I watched it again.

It's really better than I expected.  Granted, I didn't expect much at all.  But none of it was really a complete travesty, and most of the character representations didn't make me too mad.  There were a couple I was particularly displeased with, but we'll get to that.  To prevent myself from rambling, I shall attempt to make a structured outline. ;)

Friday, December 5, 2014

It's Christmas Once More

Well, this year I had limited time so just kind of threw together my New Christmas Design as quickly as I could.  And--gasp--for the first time ever, none of the pictures on my header are connected to Jane Austen.  Ha.

Now, this is a little more than a "look at my BLOG!" post-- I want to ask for recommendations.  Because when Christmas comes, I like to do Christmassy things.  I alter all my entertainment accordingly.  Music and movies I have pretty well covered, but this year I'm looking for book suggestions.

So, any books you like that are Christmas-themed?  Or set at Christmas with a festive feel?  Anything goes-- I don't mind whether it's adult or children or whatever, so long as it's clean and nice. :)

Much obliged to you.

I have several blog posts in The Plans for this month, so if I can actually get them written... December is always too busy!  But I will definitely make an effort. ;)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

P&P95Forever Club Giveaway

Anybody who's interested in a P&P/Jane Austen themed-giveaway, hop on over and see us at the Club! :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

So I did a thing...

"Surprizes are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable."
~Emma, chapter 8 (volume II)

Well, then.  Which of our important nothings shall we tell you first?

Yes, we.

What might that imply?

We must, of course, contradict the statement above (though it DOES come from our favorite literary hero), because in this case a surprise was a very agreeable thing indeed.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Gift of Friendship

God never loved me in so sweet a way before.
'Tis he alone who can such blessings send.
And when His love would new expressions find,
He brought thee to me and He said—"Behold a friend."

Friendship is a wonderful thing, isn't it?  The more I go about life, the more I realize just what a difference it can make to have good friends to see you through each different phase.

I haven't actually come here to ramble about friendship itself though-- my intention is to ramble about one particular friendship.  Which I know, I've talked about before... I have a special place in my heart for each of my friends, but one has a profound connection to blogging that makes it more natural to ramble here.

“There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one’s self, the very meaning of one’s soul.” 
–Edith Wharton

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Janeite Tag - My Answers

My dear blogging friend Miss Jane Bennet (of Classic Ramblings) has invented a tag where the crazy Janeites can do their favorite thing: talk about all things Jane Austen.  For no particular reason, just as a form of entertainment.

I find this rather nice because although I enjoy filling out tags from various blogging events, I sometimes feel that I don't have time to participate fully and shouldn't really fill out the tag if I'm not going to do anything else.

...rambling there.

Anyways, moving on. :D

Monday, August 18, 2014

Help! The Historical Fiction genre is suffocating me!

That ought to get your attention. Haha.

Well, folks, it's like this.  I always used to consider myself to be a fan of historical fiction, until I tried reading more of the stuff that's come out in the last decade or so, and found myself getting more and more fed up with the whole genre.  (Before, you see, I read children's books, which were better in some ways.)

But here's the other thing.  I really love the IDEA of historical fiction.  I like to read about eras gone by, and if it can't be actual classics, it has to be set in a long-ago time period.  And there's tons of it out there-- it's hard for me to believe that none of it would be suited to my tastes.  I mean, this one's great.   But I had 'inside knowledge' that led me to that, haha.

As hardly any of you probably know, I've been working at a library for the last two months.  (I know-- swellissimus, right? :D I've really been enjoying it. Boooooks.)  I'm what they call a "page", and my #1 task is shelving the books.  And keeping them organized on the shelves.  Which takes work when there is a perpetual stream of people messing it up.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

JA Book Giveaway and Screencap Website

First of all, the lovely Miss Laurie is hosting a giveaway of various Jane Austen-themed books, so do go check that out!

And when I have one announcement to make I often think of another I've been meaning to do... you all should also check out this website, it has period drama screencaps and links to other ones, all in one place. :)  Some of the links to Grande-Caps site won't work but that's because said site is undergoing a change of domain right now and the person who runs Period Drama Screencap Source will correct the links as soon as she can. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Four Temperaments, As Explained By Characters in Period Drama

In recent years I've grown somewhat fascinated by personalities and studying them and knowing what makes people the way they are.  Which sometimes leads me to try to kind of pick people apart and figure out 'what they are', and I tend to ramble on and on about the subject to the possible annoyance of certain people I talk to a lot.  Ahemmmm.

I saw the Myers-Briggs personality test thing when it was kind of flying through the blogging world a while back, and that did interest me a lot.  I'd never seen it all divided up that way before... and from that I started thinking a lot about extroverts and introverts, too... I can get a bit... energetic discussing that. Heehee.

The first time I ever took a personality quiz was when I was around twelve-- my brother had found this personality book that had a quiz in it and we made everyone in the family take it.  It was covering the four temperaments-- Melancholic, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Sanguine.  I found it quite interesting to learn about each one and detect different mixes of them in people.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Have you heard the news? Netherfield Park is-- oh, wait.

As much as I had hoped that the year 2014 would inspire somebody to make a new—and worthy—version of Mansfield Park (because it is the 200th anniversary), and as disappointing as it is that that doesn’t seem to be happening, there are at least some delights in store, one of which is an old BBC radio version from 2003 of the story being rebroadcast.

Not quite interesting enough for you?  Okay, well, Felicity Jones, who plays Catherine Morland in the 2007 version of Northanger Abbey, will be Fanny Price.  Julia McKenzie, who is in a number of period dramas including Cranford and Little Dorrit will be Mrs. Norris… and, which seem to be the most popular names at the moment... wait for iiiit... our hero Edmund Bertram’s voice will be nobody’s but everyone’s favorite Benedict Cumberbatch (or maybe that should be ‘The One and Only’), while his older brother Tom is David Tennant.  (They’ve both been in period dramas, too… Amazing Grace and He Knew He Was Right, for example, but everyone seems to know them better from Sherlock and Doctor Who.)

I’m not really the Actor Fangirl type, but the fact that those gentlemen were going to be those characters DID excite me greatly, and I do think they’re quite superb actors, sooo… I’m looking forward to this.  Muchly.  Especially since there’s such a lack of good versions of this story.
(And I was a bit of a rebel, I suppose, putting a picture of Felicity Jones and not either of the guys, but... well, that's what everyone else is doing, and besides, we have HER in Regency costume. ;) )

The first broadcast will be May 12th, and every successive weekday for the nine following, and each installment will be fifteen minutes.

This is where you'll be able to listen; the first episode (and probably all of them) will be from 2-2:15 pm their time, which would be 6 am PST and 9 am EST for us Americans.  (If you're in-between, you can figure it out. Heehee.) Which could mean getting up pretty early for some of us, but from the looks of it, the radio at that link seems to have old broadcasts from the last week or so, so we'll probably be able to listen to it afterwards. 

Anybody else tuning in? :D 

*Update: Here is where you can get started, and here is a list of all the episodes.  They're available for seven days from when they were first broadcast, so don't get too far behind!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Excerpt of the Day (and some Janeite rambling)

After the workshop, I drift back to the Emporium, where I am alternately charmed and repelled by the merchandise on display.  For every apron or tea towel or mirrored compact bearing a genuine Jane Austen quote, there seems to be a key chain or plaque or note card adorned with a line found only in an Austen movie.  The real Jane Austen, I’m sure, would have died rather than write anything as maudlin as “Sometimes the last person on earth you want to be with is the one person you can’t be without” or “Perhaps it is our imperfections that make us so perfect for one another.” Hasn’t anyone around here READ THE BOOKS? I find myself wondering.  The movies had made Jane Austen more accessible than ever, broadening the base of her fandom and diversifying her appeal, and even as I register my silent squawk of protest, I feel a bit churlish… (But really—“Sometimes the last person on earth--?” That one wasn’t even in an Austen movie!  It was on the poster for an Austen movie!)  Once again, I’m face to face with the contradictions of fandom: I’ve come to a Jane Austen conference to enjoy the company of other Janeites, but I can’t help turning up my nose, just a little, at the gross ignorance—the sheer bad taste!—of people whose idea of Pride and Prejudice owes more to Keira Knightley than to Jane Austen.

In my reading of Among the Janeites, there have been moments—many moments, actually—where I groan inwardly, roll my eyes, and think such phrases as “oh, brother” and “ewwww no, stop” and even skimmed a little to get past some stuff.  But the paragraph above… it just spoke to me on a Deep and Personal Level.  (I wonder if that would qualify me as a “real Janeite” according to the ideas of its author, Deborah Yaffe?)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why I Don't Like the Darcy Fandom: A Rant

Some of you, I think, may raise your eyebrows at that post title.  "Wait a minute.  Melody IS a Darcy fan... isn't she?  Or has she changed drastically lately?"

No, my dears.  I don't believe in doing that.  Changing drastically, that is.  Yes, I am a fan of Mr. Darcy.  He ties for top spot in my list of favorite heroes.  So why do I dislike the Darcy fandom?  Wouldn't I enjoy fellow admirers of Mr. Darcy?

Indeed, I do love finding people who agree with me.  But so many who have similar opinions as I do on Jane Austen subjects hold Mr. Knightley to be their definite top-favorite Jane Austen Hero.  Now, I don't think there's anything wrong with that; I quite understand it.  Mr. Knightley is very admirable.  Yet, I honestly think that many people flock to Mr. Knightley while ignoring Mr. Darcy because he is... ha, too mainstream.  Mr. Knightley seems like a real character, the perfect gentleman, but Mr. Darcy is... a Janeite stereotype.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How To Waltz...

...according to just about any movie I've ever seen that includes teaching somebody the dance, no matter how clueless and inexperienced the trainee is.

  • The first think you need to do is to find or be found by some guy, preferably a dashing one, who already knows how to waltz beautifully.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

So, I generally try to stay away from controversial topics...

...but when somebody makes a request, what can I do? ;)

Ahem.  Well, see, it was suggested I write this week about Why I Don't Like P&P 2005.  Y'all know that's the case but I try not to be too detailed about that because I know I have readers who do like it and I have no wish to annoy anybody.

Also, a post is in the works for the P&P95Forever Club blog which will be an official P&P05 bashing.  Ha.  But I won't do that here... in fact, I'm not going to give you all the reasons I don't like this version because there are kind of a lot and I don't want to get carried away.  So I'll just go with the main reason-- I find it Inaccurate To Jane Austen's Novel.

Which I suppose requires further explanation.  In a nutshell, these are the particulars, not in any special order:

~The time period in general is inaccurate.  I could go into detail about what I mean, but I don't feel like bothering, so let's just say even the makers say they meant to set it in the late 1700s.  Pride and Prejudice was published in 1813-- they were about twenty years off, and you can definitely tell.  (Some may argue that this makes sense because Jane Austen started writing the novel in the 1790s, but I will argue back that that doesn't make much of a difference-- she started working on Pride and Prejudice in 1811.  She was writing a thing called First Impressions earlier, and this wasn't just editing, it was revision.  And updating.  Therefore, the book is supposed to take place when it came out.  The end. :D)
Besides for having the wrong time period, I think they give it a distinctly modern feel, and for me that Will Not Do.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Top Ten Dickens Adaptations

A dear girl suggested that I do a post listing my favorite Charles Dickens adaptations and talking a little about them.  Splendid idea. :D

I'm going to do this in the form of Top Ten, even though I have seen more than that... I may mention the others I've seen at the end.  Anyway, we're going to go from Tenth Favorite to Top Favorite.  Ready, set, go.

A Tale of Two Cities: The Musical
This would actually be higher (or lower, in this case) on the list if it wasn't for a couple things.  It's not that it's a musical.  I've, um, kind of outgrown that prejudice.  Haha.  It's because it's not really an adaptation-- not a movie, anyway.  In fact, I haven't even been able to watch one that's actually a full play-- the 2009 concert thingy is what I saw, and though they did remarkably well for not having much of a set and having the orchestra right behind them, it's just not quite the same.  But it was remarkably gripping, I thought, for being the way it was.  They didn't refrain from actually acting and they had costumes.  (Costumes are just important.  They are.) 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Period Drama Addiction: My Story

How about a post explaining how you got interested in period dramas and the Regency era in the first place? 
That was one of the post suggestions, so I figured I'd just stick it at the top here so you all know where I'm coming from. :)

First of all, I'm not the first person in my family to be interested in this sort of thing.  Both my older sisters would watch Jane Austen and some other based-on-classic-literature movies; but by the time I was old enough to understand them, neither sister lived at home anymore.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Perfect P&P

Today I'm supposed to talk about what my dream casting for a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice would be; not by finding certain actors, but just talking about what I think they should be like.  It's a very good idea but I must admit at this time I do not have much enthusiasm for writing about it.  Sooo I'm going to be kind of minimalist and just talk about five of the characters.

Also, I'm going to be boring and not include any pictures.  We're supposed to be picturing the characters for ourselves, after all.  ;)

Elizabeth Bennet
We must start with her, mustn't we?  Let's see now.  My perfect Lizzy Bennet would be between the ages of 19 and 24, not very tall in height (Mr. Bennet refers to her as "my little Lizzy", and Lydia is the tallest of the family; her figure is also not supposed to be perfect and in S&S JA mentions height as an 'advantage'-- those are some things that brought me to that conclusion), have dark brown hair and eyes, and be on the lighter side but not skin-and-bones like Keira Knightley.  Her eyes really should be striking, and very expressive.  Her face in general should be expressive when she's animated, so that it's interesting to watch her talk and display emotions.  She needs to have a very good smile.  She should be pretty but not perhaps in a very usual way.  (Jane should be more regularly pretty.)  Like, the more you get used to her looks the more you like them.  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Double Identities: Actresses in Pride and Prejudice

I got a request for a post about "anything to do with P&P95".  That should be easy enough, but the thing is, being co-authoress of The P&P95Forever Club, I usually write anything to do with that subject over there.

But today I'll just be a little different.  One thing I love about watching period dramas is recognizing the actors.  Pride and Prejudice (1995) was one of the first 'real' period drama mini-series I ever watched, so I didn't recognize any of the actors in it-- that came later on with other movies.  So just for fun, I'm going to ramble a bit about my favorite role in another period drama for each applicable actress in P&P95. (I'm leaving the men out, just because.  Well, mainly to make the post shorter, haha.)  Ones who are not applicable don't have any period drama role that sticks out to me, if I have seen it at all, and obviously I'm not going to talk about ones I haven't seen for myself.  However, be aware that I probably do know they were in such-and-such movie, because I've done all the research.  Speaking of that, if you want a full list of the period dramas the actors from P&P95 were in, see here.

Monday, February 3, 2014

The One About Villains

I got a suggestion for a post on villains-- "who I really love to loathe."

Okay, let's start with Jane Austen. (Surprise there, right?)  Which do I hate the most... Willoughby (Sense and Sensibility), Wickham (Pride and Prejudice) and Henry Crawford (Mansfield Park) are the first three who come to mind.  Not sure which one is the worst... the W's are both similar; they put on a show of being splendid, dashing, honorable gentleman, when in fact they are dishonorable and have sordid pasts involving women.  (eww.)  Willoughby seems a little less scoundrel-y in some ways... he shows a bit of remorse for some of his actions (although mainly because things didn't work out the way he wanted) and seemed to have more real feeling.  However, he purposely set out to amuse himself by winning Marianne's heart only to break it.  That's just evil.  Wicked Wickham didn't exactly do that... but but he's more all-around jerk-like and slime-bag-ish, I think. Sort of less human, almost, than Willoughby.  But... I hate them both.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A very good place to start...

Welcome, one and all, to the first post for my self-inflicted week-long February blog posting challenge.  To begin it all, I'm going to recap and explain a bit...

In this post I requested that anybody inclined to do so give me up to two topics they'd like to see me post about, and seven would be randomly chosen--one for each day of the week.
Now, some people ended up suggesting more than two things--in those cases, I chose the two I'd rather talk about (haha) and put them on the list for the Random Selection.  There were also a few that I thought could be condensed into one post--a little like Q&A things--so on the list for the Random Selection, I added a space for a post to answer those questions.  And, as it happens, that ended up getting the first spot for the week, which I considered quite appropriate.

So, I'll answer those now, after thanking everyone who suggested topics for their contribution. :)  I hope you'll enjoy the posts this week!

And here are the questions/topics for this post...

Joan asks what I would do if someone gave me a million dollars.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Pretend This Is A Very Exciting Post Title

(Because I'm too dull to think of one myself.  *Lydia-snort*)

Heyyyyy, everyone.  So, I have a sneaking suspicion that maybe my last post might have the appearance in one's dashboard that I was just going to ramble about how I haven't been blogging lately... well that was actually just the beginning of it-- there is a plan in motion for which I desire the input of anybody who may be interested.

I also totally understand if you saw it but couldn't think of any ideas, or are still thinking.  And I do have just enough to post for the week, so that's actually not a problem, I just wondered if not everybody had noticed it.  Blog stats and all that. ;)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Me? A procrastinator?

So, I haven't been blogging much lately.  And that's been the same story for the past who-knows-how-long.  (I don't think I want to look.)  The reasons for this are mainly three things: 1) lack of inspiration, 2) lack of motivation, and 3) procrastination and laziness.  Which could be in the same category with 2, but whatever.

Monday, January 13, 2014

New Poll!

I think it's pretty much been an age since I've had a poll.

Anyway, random question for you on the sidebar.  Please do leave your feedback.  Just toying with an idea (at present my lips are sealed) and I wanted to know. :D

Saturday, January 4, 2014

How to Fold a Regency Letter

I recently got a request from somebody for instructions on how to fold a letter, Regency style.  Many parts of the 19th century would be the same, actually.

So without further ado, we shall begin.

I'm going to start with the most basic way.

Step One
Write whatever you choose on one side of a blank piece of the paper of your choice. I recommend using the inkiest (preferably black) pen you have to get the closest to a dipping-ink effect.

Step Two
Turn the paper sideways, and fold down one side, as shown below.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

It's that time again...

Happy third anniversary to meeee!  Er, to this blog.  Something.

Here I made that nice header for Christmas and then only posted once-- talking about the header & design. :P  What can I say... it was an extremely busy month.  If not the busiest month I've ever experienced... definitely right up there, especially when it comes to personal busyness (that is, not just that of my family, haha).  Why, you might all wonder?  Well, I had a job.  Have, sort of, but it will be ending this week-- a seasonal position. It was at a local shipping retail store... worked more with boxes than mail itself, but don't think that didn't stop me from pretending to be Laura Timmins. ;)  

Would you rather hear the story...

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