Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving and such

Here's a picture of a few members of two clans having breakfast at our house on Thursday. :-)

We have had a blessed Thanksgiving (and surrounding days)! Every good and perfect gift is indeed from God, and He has been gracious to me and my family in many ways this year. We had our dear friends from New Mexico come down to spend a few nights, and ((except for Sam, who we missed very much but spent time with good friends in Iowa) it was the first time in years that all us kids were together! Emmy, the 7-month-old newest addition, who they are in the process of adopting, was often the life of the party! Huge black eyes, and forever finding string, crumbs, and unidentified objects to put in her mouth.

As always there was tons of food, both the formal meal type from "the meal" and the fun snacking sort. C
offee was quaffed by the potfulls, tea and hot chocolate coming in close behind. We've had an almost constant fire in the hearth, which old fat Bella enjoys as much as the people do. What all did we do with our dear friends besides eat? Well, we talked, played board games, played parlor games, played instruments (see above) and sang, did homework (a few of us desperate ones did it together, and it was actually a bit sociable and productive both!), read quietly, read aloud from our collected novels (finished and un) , watched too many silly videos on YouTube, did dishes, watched The Muppet Show, played in snow, made snow ice cream, watched Amazing Grace, wondered what to do next, and of course spoke in accents. Altogether, it was a regular get-together for our families, if a bit more crowded than usual. But no less quirky and edifying! :-)

The "Winter Weather Advisory" grey on the left, spreading conveniently right where I would drive, is why I shall not return to school until tomorrow, after the storm has moved on and the temperature, sun, and traffic help melt any ice. I've hardly missed any classes this semester, so I shan't feel very guilty about skipping a day.

Meanwhile, I'm quite content to plug away here at homework, which at the moment consists of reading
Little Women for American Literature. :-) Quite different from my normal depressing school fare! I also need to read King Lear, though shall refuse to let it spoil my cheeriness.

Only two more weeks of school, then Finals week, and then in less than a month I shall be a graduated English major, ready to get down to the serious business of writing, homemaking, serving, and seeking the Lord in a new season of life!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Pendragon: Sword of His Father

I love seeing Christians doing things in the arts well. Even more, I grow excited when they do not just go with their talents into the secular realm, but band together to do big, ambitious things well for Christ. A candle is bright, but many candles make a more powerful bonfire.

So I was thrilled to see the trailer of an upcoming film made by very talented and dedicated Christians, called Pendragon: Sword of His Father. A historical retelling of the story of Arthur, it focuses on young Briton named Artos Pendragon, who must bring hope to his people as he leads them against invading Saxons.

I love historical films, especially with plenty of courageous, virtuous men and women, and I'm drawn rather especially to anything remotely medieval (i.e. Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, and such have the right flavor, though they aren't technically set in our own medieval time period). Even watching the times... is exciting! It looks great. Parts look rather low-budget (which it is), but nevertheless I think I could get lost in the story quite easily. :-) I wish I could have been an extra or involved somehow- talk about having too much fun dressing up! ;)

Their website is here, and a large version of the trailer is here (it does take a while to load, so if you'd rather, see the smaller but faster one on the website). My dear penpal, Charity, told me about this Pendragon film earlier, but sadly I didn't get around to looking into it until now. What I was missing!
(Pictures are from the website blog)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Since people have been asking...

Alrighty, the story thus far is posted to my new blog! Though I didn't want to, I decided I must make it fairly private, because (with quite a bit of revising), I just might try to publish the basic plot. If you'd like to read it, tell me your e-mail address and who your are, and if I'm certain you won't run off with all my ideas, I'll send you an invite. Those of you who might read this but don't really know me or think that sounds like too much trouble, don't worry. I'm fond of my own story, of course, but it's a monster of unedited rambling. If you wait for the published version to come out in a few years it will be much nicer. Then you can carry the story on camping trips or or up into trees.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Coming Soon!

Well, I went to sleep last night (rather by accident...;) before quite catching up on words for NaNo. But I'm about there. Thanks for the plea for more, Charity, and thanks to all the Istres last night for supplying me with fabulous names for characters. (Thanks to Mr. Istre, there will probably be a Phineas showing up somewhere!) As soon as I get home tonight and can finish up a scene, I plan to share it with you. :-) You'll be able to find it by going to my profile, and then going to the new blog I created called (tentatively):

~ The Thistlebanes and Elanor Grey ~

I'm so excited! I had an epiphany about the main plot over the last few days, so the string of events I've been coming up with may actually go somewhere now! ;-D

Monday, November 05, 2007

NaNo Begins!

Call me crazy if you like. It's an accurate statement. ;)

On Thursday, November 1, I embarked on the great adventure called NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer's Month), the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. The purpose is quantity quantity quantity, practice, and loads of crazy fun. I'm on day 5, am hooked.

I'm already attached to my main characters, so far including
1. The Thistlebanes, a homeschool family that owns a coffee/book shop
2. Sandra Page, a professor at the community college who lives next door
3. Elanor Grey, a mysterious girl who moves in with Sandra Page and struggles to adjust
4. Another mysterious character (Muhahah! These are always useful, and plan on having plenty!), a man, who is snooping around the Thistlebane shop

Do I have my plot worked out? Ah, no. Ideas? ... maybe. ;-D Yes, I definitly have ideas, but hey, my main characters don't know who the bad guys are either. I'll find out when they do, possibly sooner. Hopefully sooner. :)

I'm not sure I've ever been so amused by or taken such great pleasure in corny lines and nutty similes of my own. I let them out to sit solemnly on the page, in hopes that when enough come out, their shyer relatives, the rare Original Phrases

If anyone would like to see the whole funny bulky thing, I might start another connected blog for that. Let me know. In the meanwhile, here's a few snippets for your amusement.

After the older children left the shop with her husband, Mary Thistlebane bustled about at the pleasant necessities of morning. After her quiet time, this included waking the three youngest boys, tempting them out with news of fresh cinnamon rolls after they did their morning chores.

"Mommy, can we go on a walk today?" asked Henry, who was heartily supported by choruses of, "Yes, Mommy, to the woods!" and "We can take our cimmonin wolls!"

"And your schoolbooks?" She grinned and tickled Henry, producing giggles.

“We can do that stuff later,” decided Jacob.

“No!” Jarred jumped in now. “Mommy, can you read to us while we eat?”

Mary laughed. “I think that sounds like a wonderful plan, Jarred. I tell you what. Why don’t we do a bit of everyone’s plan?”

So after chores, they trooped out to the front of the porch, which was wide and wrapped around the whole house. It was amply supplied with wooden rocking chairs, a swing, and a picnic table, but the three boys thought it would be “funnest” to not use any of this civilized grown-up stuff. They promptly spread out the blanket on the smooth wooden planks, half of it overflowing down the steps to the walkway. Jarred had the idea of pillows. Soon their spread of various quilts and cushions would have rivaled a sheik’s tent in luxury. Then with Henry bearing the bag of schoolbooks (reluctantly), Jacob with a small tray of sloshing milk-filled glasses, Jarred with napkins and pencils, they led their mother out to see their set-up. She was carrying the plate of steaming rolls, of course, crusty and brown.


I think my words flow out most quickly and pleasantly when I'm describing food. ;) Here's another bit, this time a bit more ominous...


Roger was bringing out an extra tray of chicken sandwiches to the front when a strange customer caught his eye. Not that a well-groomed man in a business suit was anything unusual. His starkly black-and-white peppered hair was what mainly drew Roger’s attention. But the first really odd thing was what happened after Beth welcomed him at her register with a cheery, “Hello, sir. What would you like today?”

He didn’t speak for an uncomfortable moment. It was not one of those customer silences of “Goodness, shall I order an Earl Grey in a delightful antique cup and saucer, or a hearty brew of fresh-ground coffee in a splendidly plump earthen mug?” Roger knew, and knew Beth did also, that this was not one of those pauses. The man was looking into Beth’s eyes in a way that made Roger decide to stay up front for a bit to arrange the displayed cups and mugs better.

“I hope you don’t mind my asking,” the man finally said in a decidedly northern accent, as well as in a way that said decidedly he decidedly wanted an answer, “but has school not started yet around here?”

“Which school do you mean, sir? Shadow Ridge college starts today, I believe.”

“Of course. And the public and private schools?

“Most of them started two weeks ago.”

The man nodded. He glanced at Roger, who smiled politely.

“We go to a school that is in session year-round,” Beth provided. “Some might think it’s for misfits, but actually you’d be surprised at the silly number of over-achievers who attend.”

She said this entirely straight-faced. Roger knew their father might not like all this volunteered information given to a nosy stranger, but Beth was in the habit of thinking up such great responses to people’s questions about school that always made Roger want to laugh.

“Does this school not meet today?” the man prodded.

“Sir, it does indeed. We work here to fulfill some business management and economic credits. It also helps pay tuition.” She smiled primly at the man, who smiled back and ordered a coffee and sandwich.

The moment Beth looked down at the register to ring up the order, Roger saw the man frown. It was only a slight squinting around the grey eyes, subtle lines etching a hair deeper into the forehead, and a tightening around the lips. But sophisticated as it was, Roger saw it. It was not the usual confused expression most of the victims of Beth’s humor wore. This man, Roger decided, was not fooled by clever talk.

When he had his coffee and sandwich, he sat at a window table near the corner. He ate with the efficiency of a machine, but slow and deliberate. After every third careful bite of sandwich and slow draw of coffee, he peered out onto the street. The rest of the time his eyes crept about the shop, from table to table to wall to counter to the opposite end where the bookshelves began to blend in with chairs. Roger even saw his eyes rise to the ceiling, though his head barely lifted.

And then his eyes were fixed on Roger.


Dun dun duuuun... ;) I hope you enjoyed these little snippets. Do have a wonderfully blessed day. Now I'm off to write more!