Monday, June 27, 2011

peace of mind.

I've been struggling with a lot of anxiety lately over big questions. My faith has been tested the past couple of weeks, and I have been feeling down and isolated. I have been praying every night for aide and peace of mind.
And tonight, God was great.
I'm not sure how, but while driving I just looked at the sky and felt this weight lift off my shoulders. I felt peaceful and strong. It's almost like God was whispering in my ear, "You will be okay."


"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength." -Mark 12:30

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I like...

purple and yellow.
nail polish.
laying in the warm grass, smelling the sweet air and listening to the wind through the trees.
being moved by a beautiful song.
holey, mismatching socks.
pictures that capture wonderful memories.
looking at the stars on the beach.
wearing dresses.
learning about our past.
being with friends.
buying books.
not worrying about waking up on time.
a cold shower after a sweaty day.
the feel of my beat up yellow converse.
the smell of lilacs.
boys that treat girls with respect.
fairy tales.
the thought that i will be in london in a year and two months.
wrapping up in a warm blanket.
harry potter.
being a nerd.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

favorite literary characters.

I should be cleaning my room, but I couldn't resist writing this blog.

1) Hermione Granger: I know I'm not the only girl out there that can relate to Hermione. She is an inspiration to so many, because of her confidence, loyalty, intelligence, and determination. Without Hermione, Harry would have been screwed all the way back in the Sorcerer's Stone when they first ran into the forbidden third floor corridor and met Fluffy. Hermione is the strongest female character I have ever encountered in young adult literature, and I would even wager to say of all literature. She sets a true example of what all little girls should aspire to be, especially ones with overly curly and bushy hair. <3

2) Peeta Mellark: Call me a nerd for saying this, but I wish boys in real life were like Peeta. I think I might shock a lot of you when I say this, but I would choose Peeta over Ron any day. (Don't doubt my love for Ron though. He is still the sexiest ginger ever.)  I honestly think he's the best character in "The Hunger Games" series. While re-reading the series, this has become even more apparent to me. While Katniss is a good character, Peeta is the true star. Like Katniss says all through out "Catching Fire," Peeta is better than all of them.  He puts everyone else before himself, he is kind and gentle, he is intelligent and a genuinely good person. Peeta has always been my favorite, ever since I first read "The Hunger Games" and unless Josh Hutcherson really screws his character up in the upcoming movie, I don't see that changing anytime soon!

3) Ron Weasley: Loyal. Funny. Quick-tempered. Ginger. Protective. Brave. Those, and more, come to mind when I think of my favorite red-head. Him and Hermione will always be my favorite HP characters, which is fitting since they are also the best couple in the whole wide world. I guess the main reason I love Ron is because he is not perfect. Throughout the series, he struggles and fights with himself and others. He has to grow up a lot and become the hero, while Harry was pretty much thrusted into that role.

4) Alanna the Lioness: When I first stumbled across "The Song of the Lioness" quartet in the 8th grade, it quickly become a favorite series. Alanna was one of the main reasons. She is such a unique and fun character to read about. Her personal strength and determination is extremely admirable; I don't think I would ever be able to become a woman knight and endure all the hardships she had to in order to earn her shield. Her story fascinated me 5 years ago, and it is still an all-time favorite today.

5) Laura Ingalls: I grew up on her stories. They are my most worn out books on my bookshelf, even more than Harry Potter! I don't really know why I love her stories, other than they were just simple, realistic stories about a little girl growing up in the prairie. To this day, I plan on visiting all of her homes in the USA. I think it will make a perfect road trip someday!

6) Percy Jackson: I wish I had learned about Percy way earlier than a year ago. I feel like such an impostor when I say I'm a Percy fan, because the first time I read his books were this winter. But, I guess it's better late than never right? I have always looooved mythology, and Percy's story is such a thrill to read, because of the combination of mythology and present day life. Percy is such a fun, sarcastic, strong character. If only he was a little bit older, I wouldn't feel like such a cougar. :P

7) Evie Millward: I realize that most of you will read that name and be like "Who?" See, Evie isn't a book character. She is a character from the play "The Distaff Side" by John Van Druten. If you read the title of this blog carefully, you will notice that I said favorite LITERARY characters, meaning characters from any form of literature, plays included! Anyway, why is Evie a favorite? Well, part of it is because I played her when my high school theatre company put on a production of 'The Distaff Side." It wasn't always an easy ride. I really struggled with trying to understand Evie, because she is a middle-aged widow, whose life experiences are vastly different than my own. What I decided was that Evie was a compassionate and wise woman, who loved fiercely and wanted only the best for the ones she loved. She was someone that I could see myself admiring in real life. Evie will always hold a special place in my heart, and is my favorite part I have had so far.

8) Jonathon of Conte: Best. Royal. Ever. He is another huge reason I love "The Song of the Lioness" quartet. He wasn't always the nicest person, and sometimes all I wanted to do was chuck my book across the wall because of his immaturity... but in the end, I think Jon lived up to his potential and more.

Monday, June 13, 2011

to be a best friend.

You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your friend's nose. 
Or can you?

Friends are essential to life. Without them, I know i would have gone mentally insane a loooong time ago. They are there when you need to get away from your crazy family. They are there when the going gets rough and you just need some encouragement. They are for a great laugh. Most importantly, they are there to help define you as a person.

Then there is that one person, or multiple persons, that come into your life and mean even more to you.
They are called best friends.

Personally, I have a few best friends. I have met them at different stages in my life, but they have each impacted my life in such a way that, without them, my life would be dramatically different. 
They are the ones that have been there when I felt like my world was crashing down, and they helped keep it together. 
I have been through really great times with them, and then I have been through really difficult times with them. We have fought, cried, and laughed together. They are the people that I am not afraid to speak my mind around. They are the people that I appreciate and care about a lot, even if they do make me want to pull my hair out sometimes. 

"Most important in friendship? Tolerance and loyalty." -JK Rowling

Saturday, June 4, 2011

harry potter vs. twilight.

Harry Potter: The series have 7 books, which gives them more time to develop an interesting and well-thought plot. Each of the books has their own plot, but they all follow Harry in his quest to defeat Voldemort. The plot is unique and highly detailed; Jo hardly misses a beat throughout the novel, making careful note to tie all the novels together.
Twilight: While the idea of a vampire falling in love with a human and not wanting to suck her dry could have been interesting, Stephenie’s lack of storytelling abilities doesn’t allow that to happen. The books seem to be all about the same thing: Bella and Edward’s rocky and masochistic relationship. There are a few subplots, but even those aren’t interesting enough to make the books bearable.

JK ROWLING: Jo is one of the best author’s of our generation. It’s not because she has the eloquent language of the classic authors, but it’s because of her ability to tell a story. She created a masterpiece in that coffee shop over ten years ago, by simply telling a story about an orphan boy who becomes a wizarding hero. Her fantastic mind came up every detail of the series; she knows more about Harry’s world than we, as fans, could even imagine. That, my friends, takes talent.
STEPHENIE MEYER: Despite going to college for an English degree, Stephenie obviously didn’t learn a thing. There are many grammatical errors throughout the books, as well as terrible descriptions and dialogue. I will admit, she has the ability to draw a person in, but she isn’t able to keep the attention because of her terrible writing abilities.

-Main Characters: Harry, Ron and Hermione make up one of the best trio’s in literary history. They each bring something to the table, and deliver throughout the series. Harry shows us constantly that just because someone is considered a hero, doesn’t make them any less human. He makes mistakes, he gets scared, but he is still a great hero to all. Ron is “the sidekick”, but shows growth throughout the series and really becomes a hero in a way that’s different from Harry. He’s the comic relief; without him, the readers wouldn’t laugh nearly as much as they do. Hermione is a strong female character, a role model for all the nerdy girls out there.
-Villains: Voldemort is a bad guy. One could argue that he belongs on the list of “Best Villains in Literature.” He doesn’t give a damn about anyone, and is trying to take over the whole freaking’ world! If that’s not badass, then I don’t know what is.
-Main Characters: Bella, Edward and Jacob: literature’s worst love triangle ever. Jacob is the only character with some personality, and the only one with a sense of humor. Bella is a one-dimensional, weak female character that only teaches girls that you need a man; otherwise your life is pointless. Edward, while being charming, is also slightly creepy. Who really wants a vampire watching you sleep, night after night?
-Villains: THERE ARE NONE! You can’t even call the Voltaire villains, because they don’t a damn thing to stop the REAL horror in the story: BELLA AND EDWARD’S RELATIONSHIP! Oh, and James and Victoria aren’t villains. They had the right idea, but a bad follow-through plan.

HP NERDS: Let’s see… Harry Potter has:
-An amusement park
-A musical
-Wizard Rock
-The Potter Puppet Pals
-Awesome charity projects. The Harry Potter Alliance raises money for charity. Jo has written three books for charity!
TWI-HARDS: What does Twilight have? Parodies. A lot of parodies that make of fun of it, because it sucks, not because it’s good.

HARRY POTTER: I won’t argue that the books are the truest book-to-movie adaptations, but they are generally great movies. (With the exception to the 5th movie. That was just terrible.) The acting is top-notch, and they always manage to get some of the finest British talent added to their ensemble. Plus, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One has been nominated for an Oscar. That’s pretty freaking awesome.
TWILIGHT: I have nothing to comment on about the movie adaptations of the Twilight series, because they don’t even deserve the energy it would take me to type it out my opinion. But, I will mention this: The only awards Twilight has been nominated for worth mentioning are The Razzies. Who cares that the movies took practically every freaking award at the Teen Choice Awards; TEEN FANGIRLS HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS.

HARRY POTTER: The series will continue to live on in the hearts of fans for years to come. And when they have children, they will read Harry’s story to them. And maybe even their grandchildren. His story will continue to affect the lives of people, because his story can speak to everyone, regardless of age, race, gender, etc.
TWILIGHT: Will you read Twilight to your 12-year-old daughter? Do you want her thinking that moaning for some sparkly vampire is the best way to live her life? Yea, didn’t think so.

On a final note, Harry would kick Edward’s ass in a duel. Stephenie Meyer even said so.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

the tale of the girl on fire.

I am hearing of more and more people reading, or recommending, Suzanne Collin's hit trilogy "The Hunger Games."
Which makes me so incredibly happy, because after Harry Potter, it's probably my favorite book series.

Let me give you a quick synopsis of the first book!
Katniss Everdeen is a sixteen year old girl who lives in futuristic North America, which is now a country called Panem. The country is split into 13 districts, and is ruled by The Capital. Panem and The Capital were established after a great war broke out. For a while, the Capital was able to rule the thirteen districts. As time went on, the districts grew weary of their rulers and revolted. At the end of the war, District 13 was destroyed and The Hunger Games were established. The Hunger Games is a yearly tournament where a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are picked from each district. They are placed into an arena, where they are forced to fight for their lives, while their families and friends back home are forced to watch the bloodbath. After Katniss steps up to take her sister's place in the Hunger Games, Katniss and her fellow tribute Peeta Mellark's lives are forever changed.

I first heard of the series last spring from a friend. She told my best friend and I about them one day while sitting in my car before theatre, and we were both intrigued. I picked up "The Hunger Games" shortly afterwards, and fell in love. I quickly finished the first, and then moved on to "Catching Fire." When I heard that the third wasn't going to be released until August, I was so angry because I wanted to know what was going to happen NOW.
So, as August approached I pre-ordered "Mockingjay", and bought the first two books. Sadly, because Wal-Mart hates me, I didn't get the book until almost a week after it was released. But I finished it in less than a day, and was left speechless.
Then I heard there were plans for a movie, and I almost died.

Whenever people ask me for a good book recommendation, I tell them about "The Hunger Games." My own brother, who hates reading, read the first book for his book report AND LIKED IT. Another one of my friends hates reading, but after I read him (yes, I read it to him. He's really lazy) the first part, he went out and bought himself a copy! I've been trying to get my sister to read them, but she's harder to convince.

So, why do I recommend these books so much?
It's not because the writing is so incredibly skilled and refined, like Shakespeare or Dickens. It's meant for a teen audience, so it's not going to be a difficult read.
It's not because it's a love story and I want to find out if you're Team Peeta or Team Gale. Yes, it has a love story in it, but that is not the main point of the book. (But, in case you guys are wondering, I am totally for the boy with the bread <3) And for the record, The Hunger Games is not the next Twilight. Too completely different plots, better developed characters and much better writing.

Why I recommend these books, is because it tells a story of a world that is so realistic and all-too-possible that it terrifies and fascinates me. The characters are real, and have a way of getting inside of you and making you cry or cheer for them. It leaves you guessing until the very end how Katniss will or will not survive. It's a book about loss, violence, government, power, independence, love, strength, and overcoming obstacles.

So, to everyone who has not read "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins, I highly recommend it. If you decide it's not the right book for you, I have plenty of other recommendations you might enjoy! :)