Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday Cinema

Lacey and I headed out early Sunday morning to go to the movies. We saw One for the Money and Beauty and the Beast 3D. In between, we had Chinese food, well, Bourbon chicken, and lots of sweet stuff that we sneaked into the movie theatre. I had a purse full of butterscotch and mints and chocolate... Which, I still have a lot of the butterscotch and mints and a bag and a half of M&M's. Unless someone goes into my room and finds it.

Maybe I should've hidden it before I left for the college today...

Anyway, yes, I did read One for the Money by Janet Evanovich before viewing the movie.  Read it weeks ago and read the second, Two for the Dough shortly after.


Yes, the book is still better.  They changed the last exchange between Plum and Morelli.  I mean, it was cute and all, but it wasn't the same.  Drat.

But it was a really, really great movie.  Those of you that aren't familar with it, Stephanie Plum got fired as a lingerie buyer six months ago.  She goes to her cousin's bail bonds business looking for a filing job and doesn't get it.

However, the other bounty hunter is out due to an appendectomy and Connie, the secretary, gives Stephanie his FTAs.  Failure to Appear's.

At the top of the stack is Joe Morelli.  The town's bad boy, and had a fling with our heroine in high school and never called back.  Oh yeah, and she ran him over and broke his leg in three places with her dad's Buick and few days later.  She attributes it to insanity and she's never run someone over again since.

It's a really funny book and a really funny movie.

And movie #2?

Beauty and the Beast is a classic.  It was great in 3D.  The theatre was, while not completely empty like it was when we went see the steampunk Three Musketeers where it was just me and Lacey in the theatre and we had a running commentary on the film, didn't have that many people in there.

Awesome heroines.  Well, Belle's kind of a stock character. But Stephanie's a great heroine.  And they both worked with awesome male leads.  Even if they both are beasts!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's, Like, So Ragamuffin

“I grew up hearing everyone tell me 'God loves you'. I would say big deal, God loves everybody. That don't make me special! That just proves that God ain't got no taste. And, I don't think He does. Thank God! Because He takes the junk of our lives and makes the most beautiful art.”
― Rich Mullins
I went with Lacey to a Christian concert Thursday night.  Rock n Worship Roadshow, or something like that.  Lacey had been talking about going for a while.  Considering I wasn't familiar with any of those bands there, I wasn't really into going.  Hey, my favorite Christian singer has been dead for 14 years, and he was the greatest.  Pardon me for listening to the old but best stuff than settling for the second best modern stuff.
Anyway, she inadvertently (at least I hope it was) guilted me into going with her.  Hawk Nelson was the band I was familar with and they performed "Bring 'Em Out."

Frankly, that would've made the whole night worth it.  Even the screamo band that I couldn't understand a word that singer sang before them that gave me a headache.

The second to last group was this group called Tenth Avenue North.  The lead singer of that band was the only one who smiled while he was singing.  He actually looked like he was having a good time there.  I know the rest were, but he looked as happy as he should've been.

I really liked this group.  As a Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band and Brennan Manning fan, I really liked them.

Brennan Manning's message was that "reckless, raging fury that they call the love of God."  He preached about Jesus.  Not about vices or virtues, not about what you had to do to earn salvation.  He preached about the love of Jesus, how He loves you as you are and not as you should be.  He preached that Jesus loves the poor, the sick, the whores, and the tax collectors.

Jesus loves sinners.  Ragamuffins.  Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band captured it wonderfully:

We didn't know what love was 'til He came
And He gave love a face and He gave love a name
And He gave love away like the sky gives the rain and sun
We were looking for heroes He came looking for the lost
We were searching for glory and He showed us a cross
Now we know what love is 'cause He loves us
All the way to Kingdom Come

-Composer Rich Mullins


There's a wideness in God's mercy
I cannot find in my own
And He keeps His fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
Keeps me aching with a yearning
Keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God

-Composer Rich Mullins


Well who's that man who thinks He's a prophet?
Well I wonder if He's got something up His sleeve
Where's He from? Who is His daddy?
There's rumors He even thinks Himself a king
Of a kingdom of paupers
Simpletons and rogues
The whores all seem to love Him
And the drunks propose a toast
And they say "Surely God is with us."

-Composer Mark Robertson (one of the Ragamuffin Band)


But this man of no reputation
Loved the weak with relentless affection
And He loved all those poor in spirit just as they were
He was a man of no reputation

-Composer Rich Elias (one of the Ragamuffin Band)

There was one particular line in one of Tenth Ave. North's songs that hooked me:

The One the wind and waves obey is strong enough to save you.

They had a lot of other songs that I liked, but that was the dealmaker.  It was early in their performance, so they really had me.

I don't care for a lot of Christian music.  I don't like most Christian fiction.  I don't like going to church.  I don't remember the last time I cracked my Bible.  Countless times I've asked myself why I even bother being a Christian when Christian things really bug me.

The answer that comes to mind is really embarrassing:  I was raised this way.  To change it would shatter my worldview and would mean a clean break with my past.  I grew up in church.  I would probably be disowned.  To quit at least trying to be Christian would ruin everything and require a completely fresh start.  I'm a little too lazy for that.

On closer inspection, I do believe in that reckless, raging fury that they call the love of God.  I don't have to like the other sheep, (if we're all brothers and sisters in Christ, that makes us all family. You may not always like your family, but you'll always love them.) but I like the Shepherd.  He hung out with sinners and got His fingernails dirty and He's not all that popular these days.  But He is nothing if not admirable.  He traded His life for a world full of sinners He thought was worth saving.  Not a lot of people would think that was very smart.  During Eastertime in France, people say, "L'amour de Dieu est folie!"  The love of God is folly.  Thank God!

When I find something I like, a style, a song, or whatever, I tend to stick to my tastes.  I love Ragamuffin-esque songs.  Rich Mullins and the Ragamuffin Band had plenty of other themes in their songs, and I love those too, but I tend to go for the Ragamuffin-y songs.

So, in addition to seeing Hawk Nelson sing "Bring 'Em Out," I found another band that I could listen to.

All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good night.




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Accepted Into Real Life

Since this is my last semester here at Perk, I've applied to a few colleges.

Well, I've only taken one application seriously.  I've decided to go into culinary and a college here in Mississippi has culinary as one of their specialties.  If I can't go there, I'll worry about the other places.

I got my acceptance letter today.

I've been waiting for this letter so I can apply for scholarships and whatnot.  I had to get accepted first, you know.

Irrational as this is, I was really afraid of getting rejected.  In writing, I can expect rejection.

In college, well, I'm in PTK and Honors.  There's a lot of doors open to me, and I've gotten stuff from plenty of colleges.  Come on, I've gotten stuff from colleges I've never even heard of.

Despite that, I was still kind of nervous.  I knew I was eligible, but what if they know I'm not one of those people that may not ever make a difference in the world?  I don't do THAT much community service and I'm not a zealot for anything except books.

What if they somehow found that out?

When I first discussed going into culinary with my mother, she said I needed a back-up plan.

Um, being in college was my back-up plan.  I want to be a writer.  Someday, I want to be a full-time writer.  If I'm going to make any difference in the world, it would be through that.

Although, the idea of cooking an awesome meal that totally makes someone's day is exciting too.  Food is God's piece of heaven on earth.

Being an English major was interesting.  But I hated the selections in Comp II and Lit I, and I hate writing essays.  And the very idea of becoming a teacher gave me a sick feeling in my stomach every time I thought about it.

No, I like this change quite well, thank you.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Anecdotes Anyone?

I drove today.  Since I've gotten my license, it's my second time.  I'm not going to go into all the implications of that, but I drove.


Mom had the radio on the Christian station.  I don't mind the Christian music (other than the fact I don't know half the songs), but I hate the complaining and political talk.  Don't talk, just play the music.


Well, a song by Rich Mullins played.  It was "Calling Out Your Name."  Since it played while I was driving, I took it as a good omen.  ;)


Honestly, I don't particularly care for this particular song.  Although, I like watching it because of the instruments used, as you will see below.  I think it's pretty cool.


After the song, whoever the DJ was at the time, said that Rich Mullins was probably the greatest Christian songwriter who ever lived.  I'm not used to my favorites being the best, so I was kind of surprised.  And as hard as I tried to think of someone better, I found myself of a similar opinion.  Which, considering he is my favorite, isn't that surprising.


"The reckless raging fury, that they call the love of God," the man had quoted, and went on to say a lot of good things about Mullins.


I wish this clip was available on YouTube, and if it is, I haven't found it, or found it by itself.  He was talking about the song "Let Mercy Lead."  He and Beaker wrote it to Beaker's son Aidan.  Another couple named their child that and he died a few months after his birth.  In the funeral program they printed up the lyrics to "Let Mercy Lead."  And in their letter to Mullins, they said that now Aidan did see the face of love.  Then he talked about being a Christian musician and how you take sentiments and how you learn to market it.  And then he says that no matter how cheap the words start to become to him, the truth is still the truth.


I love that story.  Anyway, about the song with the cool instrument:





Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm Done Waiting

"Patience is not among my virtues.”
-Gwydion, Nectar from a Stone by Jane Guill, pg 96
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” ― John Milton, Paradise Lost
Something good happened over the weekend.  Friday, to be exact.


I picked up the story I shelved.


No, it didn't stay on the shelf long, and I'm glad for it.  Friday the 13th is lucky after all.  Must be the black cats I got hanging around my yard.


I'm not one for planning.  If I'm writing about the story, then I don't want to write the story.


What I wrote this weekend is a total load of crap.  But I don't care.  I'm writing it again.  Amazing what a few thousand words between Friday through Monday can do for a person.


I'm a situational writer.  Some writers use the dreams they have.  Some writers start with a character.  I start with a situation.  Then I worry about who they are, what they want, and how are they going to get out of this mess?


Throw them in hell and see how they get themselves out of it.  Or drag them down with you and make them lead you out, depending on the kind of day you're having.


So, that's what I did.  Really, I'm not even writing the same story anymore.  I'm just using all the same character names.  That's how much has changed since 2005.


Also, remember that Typer's Block I've talked about?  I can finally write on my computer again and not in a composition book to be moved onto the computer.


I'm writing.  On my computer.  A lot.  I love it!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Shelved

Remember the story I've been working on since 2005?  The story I can't seem to figure out how I want it?  The story that got me writing in the first place?


I haven't the slightest idea what to do with it.  Not anymore.  The characters have changed (grew up with me a bit, in fact) and so have I.


It hasn't been quite a year since I finished it the last time, so I'm not so worried.  I've been writing a lot of other things so it's been left to flounder on its own.


When I came back to it not long ago, I thought I'd be able to work on it better.


Nope.  I'm just more confused.  I have a lot of ideas for it.  I know there are some things I want in there no matter what, but beyond that...


I'm in Editing Hell for the moment anyway.  I'm rewriting that second honeymoon piece.  Not to mention I want to revise another story or two.


I'm going to let the idea sit and simmer for a little while longer.  If I need something new to work on, I'll try to finish that other fairy story I started and then quit.  I kept all the parts of it, it's just a matter of finishing it.


I hate not knowing how/what I'm going to write with this.  It breaks my heart.  This is the story that got me writing.  Well, it helped me figure out that I wanted to be a writer and that I loved writing.  This is The One.


Actually, what I probably need to do is actually write down what the story will be, like take notes and stuff for it, and then try to rewrite it.  I can't write when I don't know what I'm writing.  I have to at the very least have an idea, otherwise, bad things happen.  Like me shelving the idea, bad things.


Now, on to working on that other story that's wanting my attention.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Thaw and Freeze Again

Ever since I found out Disney was making a version of Andersen's "The Snow Queen," my favorite fairy tale, I've been trying to find out what I could about it.


At the end of last year, some new articles were posted about it.


This project was picked up in 2002, but got shelved.  It was shelved again in 2010.  Now, it's been picked up again.


Release date:  November 2013


Title:  Frozen.  (They're doing the same thing they did with Tangled: changing the title to attract both little girls and boys.)


Format:  Probably CGI instead of hand-drawn.


Wonder how Disney's going to ruin it?  Best guesses?


Name changes.


What about the devil's mirror in the beginning?  Are they going to keep that?


Taken from the Haugaard translation:



Disney has shown that they're not averse to having demons in their stories.  The Princess and the Frog proved that.  But it also makes me wonder, how Disney's going to deal with this?  Some translations say "goblin" or "sprite" rather than "troll."  Not all translations say it was the devil.

What about the Prince and Princess?  The Finnish Woman and the Lapp Woman?

I'm really excited that there's going to be another movie of "The Snow Queen," but, when any story's turned into a movie, you have your worries.

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Last-First Day: Thoughts

I started classes today.  I only had two.

World Lit II and American History II.

So far, so good.

I dropped one of my classes, Art for Elementary Teachers.  It was a Tuesday-Thursday course.  I got into Theatre Appreciation, online.

I may as well take classes I'm interested in, or I can at least pass with little difficulty.  If my mom has her way, I won't go beyond this. Still, for the times I listened to my mom about important things like this, I usually wind up regretting it and wishing I hadn't.

I made my own decision and switched courses without discussing it with anyone, except I mentioned it to Lacey.

I'll probably change my major from English too while I'm at it. 

I want to be a writer.  Point blank.  However, that doesn't pay very well--if I ever get paid at all.

I talked with my mother about going into culinary arts.  One of the colleges I'm interested in transferring to has an excellent culinary program. One of their specialties, actually.  All new kitchens.  Nice PTK scholarships...

She said I needed a fallback.

I told her the whole college thing was my fallback.  That was the whole point of my attending. 

"Oh."

Actually, the idea of becoming a chef, maybe minoring in business, and starting up my own place, doesn't scare me half as much as the thought of becoming a teacher did.  I've entertained that idea, and I like it a little more.


Heck, I like it a lot more.

I spent a great deal of time in the library today.  It's my happy place.  That's going to be the big thing I'm going to miss when I'm done.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Post of the New Year

I am pleased to announce that I got my driver's license today.

My picture is crappy.  It's 2.5 years late, but I don't care.

I don't have to move to a big city.  I don't have to jump off a cliff.

Happy New Year indeed.