Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tag Interview

Here are my character's answers to Anne-girl's June Crusade Questions.  The characters answering the questions are Modran Lonish, Heleopolite Tajisscra, Elstav Hpetsen, and Nevarl Osrs.  These are the four biggest characters in my story, so they get the spotlight today.
Just so you know, Lonish is a Mortal Man, Tajisscra is a wicked, power-hungry Fairie, Elstav is the son of an elf lord and Lonish's faithful companion, and Nevarl is the daughter of another elf lord who tags along with  Lonish and Elstav, although neither of them knows why.

Do you want a hug?
Lonish: I would take one from my family, but my older brothers are more interested in teasing me, and besides, warriors such as us tend to be undemonstrative.
Tajisscra: There are none who would dare hug me.  The very thought is repulsive to me.
Elstav: I have never heard of such a thing before.
Nevarl: Neither have I.  Is it a pleasant thing, or do those wretched Mortals use it?

Do you have any kids?
Lonish: No, although Elstav's mother has predicted that I will be the ancestor of kings.  I guess that means that I will have to have kids someday.
Tajisscra: I have no children, but I hope for a son who will continue the war against Mortals with me.
Elstav: Nay.
Nevarl: And so say I.

Have you killed anyone?
Lonish: Yes, but only the enemies of my clan, the barbaric Amians.  I think I will be doing a lot more killing in this new land, but that is the way of the warrior.
Tajisscra: I have killed many, and will kill many more.
Elstav: There has been no war in my lifetime, and I have therefore killed none.
Nevarl: Nay, but I would kill the Mortals, for they spell our doom.

Love anyone?
Lonish: I love my older brothers and my friend Poldes, and I can't help loving Elstav and Nevarl for all the help they have given me, even though the elves really don't understand it.
Tajisscra: It is not in my heart to love.
Elstav: I know not what it is.
Nevarl: I feel many things, but love is a Mortal's feeling.

What is your job?
Lonish: Right now my job is to help my brother Kiltya establish a colony away from his rival, Rusalo.  I think this Land of Lucor is a good place for it.
Tajisscra: I live to serve my Lady, Diavla, but I want her place.  My job is to get it from her.
Elstav: I follow the good Master and help Lonish and defend my family.
Nevarl: My job is to become a ruler among the Cheol Ruvin someday, but I am more interested in finding out about the dreaded Mortals

What are you going to do when this tag is over?
Lonish: I am going to Legrolie to warn the Mortals that the Fairies will probably attack them.
Tajisscra: I am going to attack Legrolie.
Elstav: I am going to get my older sister, Birinin, to make me some arrows.
Nevarl: I am going to persuade Lonish and Elstav to let me come along with them.

What is your greatest fear?
Lonish: I am not allowed to know fear.
Tajisscra: Arglai, the younger sister of Diavla.  She is far more powerful, and where Diavla could never destroy me fully, Arglai could.
Elstav: I never thought about it before, but I think my greatest fear is losing my father's respect.
Nevarl: Mortality.

What do you think of your parents?
Lonish: I am honored to have the parents that I did.  My father was the greatest Blademan in the world and a wise ruler as well, and my mother was a beautiful lady who gave up her good family name to marry my father, a poor warrior.  She was also a really good cook.  I was very sad when they died in an Amian attack, but my brothers and I avenged their deaths.
Tajisscra: My parents?  Well, they had me.
Elstav: Father is a goodly warlord and mother is a lady of ancient knowledge.  They are the perfect parents.
Nevarl: My father expects the most of me because I am the oldest, and my mother never thinks much of me because she has several younger daughters.  I think they are good parents, but I wish they would pay a little more attention to me.

Any siblings?
Lonish: My brothers, of course.  I also have one sister, who married Kiltya's rival, Rusalo.  That broke up the family a little.
Tajisscra: No.
Elstav: I have one older sister and three younger brothers.  I think highly of Birinin and lowly of the others, but only because they are always playing pranks on others.
Nevarl: I have five younger siblings, but the youngest was kidnapped by Diavla long ago.  As for the others, I have one brother who gets rather annoying at times and three sisters I am not very close to.

Eye color?
Lonish: I have been told that my eyes are grey-blue.
Tajisscra: Any person who knows anything knows that a Fairie's eyes are black.
Elstav:  My eyes are blue.
Nevarl: As are mine.  All Cheol Ruvin have blue eyes.

Are you good or bad?
Lonish: I think I am good.  At least, I try.  I am fighting evil, so that is a start.
Tajisscra: I am pure evil and I know it.
Elstav: I, lie all the Cheol Ruvin, am good, but I am not perfect.
Nevarl: We have a problem with getting along with ourselves.  Otherwise we would be perfect.

Favorite season?
Lonish: Most definitely summer, when the days are ripe for adventure.
Tajisscra: I have no favorite season.  The thought would never have crossed my mind if you had not so impudently mentioned it.
Elstav: I prefer spring above the other seasons.  The new growing things remind us of the promise of Mortals who will someday defeat the evil Lucor.
Nevarl: Where you got that parallel I shall never know.  And my favorite season is summer.

Who is your best friend?
Lonish: Poldes.  Even if he is older than I, we have been inseparable for years.
Tajisscra: If you do not know that I would not deign to have a friend, then you have not paid attention to my previous answers to these insufferable interview questions.
Elstav: Devrogm and Lonish.  Even though Devrogm is your younger brother, Nevarl, and you have been extremely rude during this entire interview.
Nevarl: Well, I think this interview is an unspeakably dull idea in the first place.  And I don't think I have a best friend, although Birinin is usually nice to me.  She is about the only one, though.

Lonish: Don't tell Kiltya, but his wife Laiarol has been teaching me to cook.  I really like it, but I know I will get teased to death when he finds out.
Tajisscra: I enjoy watching the monthly Dragon fights that we have at Ribigalitorre.
Elstav: My hobby is singing, even though Nevarl has a much better voice than I.  Singing makes me feel so happy.
Nevarl: If you said that to calm me down, I tell you I won't be calmed down.  My hobby is watching the stars at night, since we all seem to have such unimaginative hobbies.  I might as well join the rest of you.

Do you care what others think of you?
Lonish: Yes.  I want my brothers to be proud of me for the legendary fighting that I wish I could do.  I want to be respected as a great warrior.
Tajisscra: Yes.  I want others to tremble in fear when my name is mentioned.
Elstav: The only thing I want others to think of me is that I am a just creature.
Nevarl: I care nothing for the opinion of others.

Was this interview fun?
Lonish: Actually, it was.  I hope we can do this again sometime.
Tajisscra: I would prefer to use a different word to describe this interrogation process.
Elstav: I enjoyed telling others about myself, although I hope that I don't have to again.
Nevarl: It was NOT fun.  Whoever came up with the idea ought to be banished to the pit of Solmar.

Sorry this took so long to get out.  Nevarl and Tajisscra were pretty stubborn about giving their answers.  Actually, I have been extremely busy the past four days, and that is what is the real reason that this is out late.  Anyway, thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June Crusade stuff, I guess

I haven't really posted much about my June Crusade novel, Lonish the Swordmaster, so here is a little bit about it.

Favorite Characters
1. Laiarol of L'Osseilles--She's the sister-in-law of Lonish, and the daughter of a barbarian.  She really loves her husband, Modran Kiltya, the leader of the settlement, and she fights beside him because she cannot bear to be alive if he is dead.  I like her because she has such a varied personality.  She is both feminine and fierce, depending on the situation.  The main point in her character is that she does NOT want to turn back or give up, EVER.

2. Elstav Hpetsen--He's the eldest son of the Younger Lord of the Cheol Ruvin.  He goes with Modran Lonish to the encampment of Mortal Men in order to prove that the Cheol Ruvin, or elves, exist.  He prefers to be alone or with only one or two others, but he is very loyal to Lonish because Lonish saved the elves from a monthly curse.  I like him because of his strength and nobility.  The main point in his character is that he is a loner.

3. Oln--This character is not yet in the story, but I already love him.  He is a talkative, emphatic Cheol Equav, or unicorn.  Even though his kind are doomed, he is a very optimistic character.  He seems to be a vain creature, but he turns out to be a very brave fighter, always  good to have in a pinch.  I like him because he is so ridiculously talkative.  The main point in his character is his optimism.

4. Modran Kiltya--I really love this character.  He is the horribly disfigured older brother of my protagonist.  He is a steadfast leader, and he takes his job very seriously.  However, he is always ready for a good joke.  He loves his wife and wants to protect her, but he knows that her heart will break if he is killed, so he lets her fight beside him.  He can't stand cowardice, and he desperately wants to follow in his famous father's footsteps.  I like him because he is such a good leader.  When he is at a loss, he always listens to the advice of others.  The main point in his character is his desire to be a good leader.

5. Heleopolite Tajisscra--Even though he is the servant to the evil Lady of Ribigalitorre, he is the main bad guy, as well as one of my favorite characters.  This Fairie is desirous of the power that his ruler holds, so he tries to use Modran Lonish to defeat her.  He pretends to be good to gain Lonish's trust, but he only sees his destruction.  I like Tajisscra because he is a cunning character, easy to hate.  He is even worse than his ruler, and she is pretty bad.  The main point in Tajisscra's character is his lust for power.

6. Nevarl Osrs--She's the eldest daughter of the Elder Lord of the Cheol Ruvin.  Her character is enigmatic and contradictory, and Lonish and Elstav cannot figure her out.  She puzzles them throughout the entire story, and it is only at the end that her odd behavior is explained.  She is a timid of fighting at first, but she soon becomes skilled in the use of the javelin and a renowned warrior.  I like her because no one can figure her out.  It's always fun to have a mysterious character.  The main point of her character is that she is resentful against the Mortals, because their coming spells the doom of Lucor, which the Cheol Ruvin are a part of.

I am really enjoying writing this, and I am very much into it.  Please leave comments and tell me what you think about these characters.
Thanks for reading!

Last but not Least

Here is the third blog award I won from my very dear friend, Beth Grace of The Musings of Me, Myself, and I...And Other Such Fantastical Nonsense.  Thanks so much, my dear Beth!

I must list ten random things about myself and pass this onto six other bloggers.

Ten Random Things

1. My favorite book is The Little Minister by James Barrie, who also wrote Peter Pan.

2. I immensely dislike (I won't say hate) asparagus, zucchini, and mushrooms.

3. I never write out character lists or plot blueprints when I write a story, unless I am working on a mystery, and then only loosely.  I find it easier to write when I am not tied down to a stiff pattern.  It seems more realistic to me, although I am hardly a realist!  :)

4. I love music, especially epic music, such as the Chronicles of Narnia soundtrack, and beautiful music, such as Mozart.

5. I am probably the only one in the world, or at least one of three or four at the most, who listens to the playlist on Kiri Liz's blog, Lianne Taimenlore, while I am writing, which is about all afternoon!

6. I am fourteen years older than my youngest brother.

7. My favorite movie is Lorna Doone.

8. I like Charles Dickens better than Jane Austen.  Please, withhold the tomatoes!

9. I still read Laura Ingalls Wilder and Francis Hodgson Burnett.

10. I wish that old fashioned gowns, such as were worn by the ladies in the 1840s, were still in style, and that we went around in poke bonnets, gloves, parasols, petticoats, and high-button shoes.  Simply Delightful!

Here are the lovely bloggers to whom I am passing on this award:

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Second Award

I am doing these posts one at a time, because it is easier that way.
The second award I received from my very dear friend was this one:

1. Must state the rules.
2. Thank the awarded and link back to them.
3. Must pass this award on to five other bloggers
4. List their names with links to their award winning blogs.
5. Must notify the awarded bloggers by commenting on their blogs.
6. Share 7 unusual things about yourself.  Something that not many people could say about themselves.
Let me first of all say that this is ridiculous.  I don't think that there are seven unusual things about me.  Also, I am not exactly sure how to link the winners names with links to their blogs, so, things might not go as planned.  Sorry for sort of breaking the rules.

Here are the five winners.

4. Charity
5. Kristin

Here are the 7 unusual things:
1.  I drink black coffee.  I would not have said that this was unusual, but I worked in a coffee shop for a couple months, and almost no one drinks black coffee, so I guess that makes me unique.

2. I am descended from a Swiss nobleman who fell in love with a village girl.  Since the family forbade the marriage, they ran away and got married in America.  I think I should research their story and write a book about it.

3. I read my entire Bible through in one month earlier this year.

4. I am a good shot with a gun but not as good with a bow and arrow.

5. My dad is a research chemist who has invented chemicals that were taken to space for testing.

6. I like mussels, which is apparently not usual for a young person.

7. I have made up two fantasy creatures, Dragyols and Pilhmoffs, both of which are mentioned in my June Crusade novel, Lonish the Swordmaster.

And that is that.  Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I feel Rich today!

Guess what?  I was working on my book, Lonish the Swordmaster, when I recived an email from Beth Grace of  The Musings of Me, Myself, and I... And Other Such Fantastical Nonsense, stating that she had been awarded four blog awards and was passing three of them onto me!  WOW!

The rules for this award are:
1. Put a link to who gave you this award.
2. Put the award on your post.
3. Choose five blogs to receive the award.
4. Let them know you awarded them.

Here are the five bloggers that I am awarding.

1. Kiri Liz of Lianne Taimenlore
2. Miss Elizabeth of The Country Handmaiden
3. Miss Dashwood of Yet Another Period Drama Blog
4. Hayden of The Story Girl
5. Miss Abelaine of Miss Emma Woodhouse.

I'm ducking the tomatoes!!!!!!!!!!

This morning I received two comments from my very respected friends asking why I do not like Fanny Thornton in North and South.  Let me just say that I find her excessively annoying.  At the part where the investment that her brother John refused to take a part in actually turned out very well, she was boasting to his face. 
"I was right and John was wrong!"  I'm sorry, all of you Fanny fans, but I just couldn't stand her after that.  Before she had been tolerable, even funny at parts, but after that it just went downhill.  SO....that line is why I don't like Fanny Thornton.  
I hope that the explanation is acceptable to you, and thanks for reading.

Monday, June 18, 2012

No, I'm NOT crazy!

Now, I'm afraid that I've been thinking (A terrible pastime...I know!)
and I just happened to be thinking that it has been quite a while since I have seen a Roy Rogers movie.    Some tend to think that he has had is day, and he has, or that he is boring and old-fashioned, which he is not.  I know that Roy Rogers is hardly period drama, but really, those movies were so good and clean, and when we watch them, we don't have to worry about profanity or inappropriate scenes or anything like that.  Also, he was a pretty good singer.
If you have never watched a Roy Rogers movie, you really are missing out.  My favorite is Under Nevada Skies because it is a mystery. :)  But some other good Roy Rogers movies are My Pal Trigger, Under California Stars, and King of the Cowboys.  It's good, clean humor and action, and that in itself is pretty scarce today.
Some of my favorite Roy Rogers songs include, Anytime that I'm With You, The Nerve of Some People, Trigger Hasn't got a Purty Figure, and  Lights of Old Santa Fe.

Thanks for reading!

At last I have seen it!

All right, I have finally viewed everyone's favorite Elizabeth Gaskell movie, North and South.  I can't say it was my favorite Gaskell movie.  I liked Cranford better.

However, it was very good, and I did enjoy it greatly.  Now I really want to read the book, which I probably should have done before, only I don't have the book.  So, here are some of the things I liked and disliked about North and South.  Just don't break out the rotten tomatoes, please!  :)

1. I loved the story.  It was a really interesting story, with a fast-moving plot and plenty of adventure to set off the romantic aspect.  I liked the element of the mills; they were a huge issue in Elizabeth Gaskell's time, so it's no wonder that she included them.

2. I liked John Thornton.  He was, I think, supposed to be a very harsh character at first, one that was supposed to repel.  Even thought you knew right at the beginning that Margaret was going to end up falling in love with him (It was pretty obvious to anyone familiar with any kind of a love story.), you were still supposed to dislike him, at first.  I did not dislike him.  I thought he was perfectly justified in being exactly the kind of person he was.  After all, even though he was supposed to be harsh, he was used to harshness and hardship, and it was no wonder that he had to act with a gruffness.

3. I really liked the music.  It was a great soundtrack, and it certainly captured the spirit of the story and the atmosphere of the setting.

1. I did not care for the ending.  It seemed unrealistic (to me) that Margaret would go off with Mr. Thornton if she was traveling with Henry Lennox first.  It would not have been proper in that day for her to do so.

2. I did not like the Fanny Thornton at all.  Big surprise, I know.

3. I was not happy that there was swearing, as it ruined the otherwise good movie.  If you have never seen North and South, I would definitely warn you to watch out for the profanity.
All in all, it is a movie that I would recommend to others, and I would watch it again.  Out of five stars, I would say that it deserves four and a half!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Good Friends and Good Books

I don't know about you, but I certainly love to spend time with my good friends.  *APPLAUSE*  Believe it or not, I recently spent some very good time with some very good friends which I don't see nearly enough, including KiriLiz of Lianne Taimenlore and her sisters, Beth Grace and Jessa Bri, both of who have cumbersomely long blog titles which I would rather not type out right now.  Their blog buttons are posted on the sidebar, if anyone is interested.  
So...you say, what does a good friend have to do with a good book?  That is, you say it IF you read the title of this post, and maybe not even then.  Anywho, as Kiri Liz would say, I think that good friends greatly influence what you read.  For example, here is a hypothetical conversation which  is rather akin to real conversations I have had:
Kiri:  You know, I read a really good book lately, called Book Title. (This is not the real name of a book.)
Myself:  Oh, really?  What was it about?
Kiri:  It was about a boy who killed dragons.
Myself: Sounds interesting.  I'll have to read it sometime.  It kind of reminds me of another book I read, called Book Title.  It was about a family that braved the American frontier.
Kiri: Wow, I really want to read it now.  Speaking of which, there was this other book I read...

And so on.  I promise you, we can go on and on and on about books.  And when we're finished, we'll want to read the books that the other told us about.  At least, I will.  I don't know about Kiri.  And about the conversation, we do a lot more explaining than I put there.  
So, friends are important as good book suggesters?  Yes, they are.  Friends influence us so much, that we really have to be careful about who we have as our friends.  I have a really good way to tell if your friend is a really good friend.
Does your friend make you want to read your Bible?  Does your friend talk to you about the Bible?  That is the best kind of friend, who, when the subject turns to books, not only tells you about good books, but leads you toward the Best Book. 

The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Psalm 119: 130

Friday, June 8, 2012

June Crusader!

Manic Mother

I'm one of the gang.  
By the way, I will be working on my story, Lonish the Swordmaster.

In the World of Fantasy

First of all, thank you, my new followers, for joining my blog.  It's encouraging, in the least.

Sooo, maybe you, like many people I know, wonder what the attraction is in fantasy.  I would have to say that the attraction is its versatility.  You don't have to stick to facts or formula!  Epic Win!

My brother, Count Bob, and I have made up an entire fantasy world, which as of yet is nameless.  We have named the countries in the world, though.  The main country is Torte, a huge empire ruled by Princess Loren D'Nore and her Wraiths, five people who are extremely well-versed in various arts of warfare.  Another main country is Korvask, a large southern country ruled by the cruel King Slograv.  Amia is a country of barbarians, called the shorthairs because they keep their hair cut so short.  These fierce tribes are ruled by the Daulot family.  Lor, originally the Land of Lucor, is a beautiful seaside nation ruled by half-human, half-elf King Rustrasken, whose ancestor happens to be Modran Lonish, one of the great heroes of Lor.  Lor's greatest hero, though, is a young girl of about twenty years, named Marie of Legrolie, also called Marie the Clever, also called Nariethiel Derethere.  Another country is the viking-like land of Skovaar, ruled by the berserk King Bantilisk.  However, the adventures in our fantasy world are not limited to the land.
Years before even the ancients, Modran Lonish and Marie the Clever, roamed the earth, the evil Lady of Ribigalitorre, ruler of Lucor, angered by the audacity of men, who had dared to kill her favorite dragon, cursed a whole family to live in the World Below, a land peopled by the dark Mers and other dreadful creatures.  The people called their land Sestravae, and they lived there, fighting the Mers, sharks, squid, and other mythical creatures.
Believe it or not, the Sestravaens grew webbed feet and hands, green hair, and blue complexions, and they rescued unfortunate prisoners that the King of Korvask had thrown into the sea.
So, now do you wonder what is so great about fantasy?  It's great when you simply need to let your imagination run wild!
Why not try it sometime!  Just don't forget the real world when you're in the middle of fighting dragons and Mers!
Thanks for reading!

I'm Joining the Party!

Here are my answers to the questions:

1. Have you ever read Around the World in Eighty Days or any other books y Jules Verne?
    YES!  I loved the book Around the World in Eighty Days.  Not only have I read it, but my family also has it on Audio Book, so we can listen to it being read.  I have also read, and enjoyed, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth.

2. It's your turn to travel around the world!  But you can only visit one country on each continent (excluding Antarctica).  Which do you choose?
Asia: Israel, for sure!
Australia: Let me think...Australia!
Africa: South Africa.  It's a real country, not just a region.
North America: The USA, of course!!!
South America: Peru.  I've always wanted to see the llamas in the Andes Mountains.
Europe: One Hundred Percent Italy!!!!!  Epic Win for cioppino, Venice, and the Italian Alps!

3.What's your favorite foreign song?
   "Oh For a Thousand Tongues to Sing"
    This is a British song, so, yes, it's foreign.

4. Do you know your heritage? From which contry(s) does your family originate?
   My mother is half Italian and half German, and my father is part Irish, part German, part French, part Swiss and half Puerto Rican.  I'm definitely a 'mutt.'

5. What is your preferred method of travel?
    Oh, my, this one is easy.  I have always wanted to ride on a flying horse, just like Digory and Polly in The Magician's Nephew.

6.  What is your favorite ethnic food?
   Definitely Italian.  And my favorite Italian food is cioppino (pronounced chioppinno)

7.  If you had to choose one literary character to travel around the world with, who would it be? 
     That is a hard one, because I have so many favorite literary characters, but I think that I would have to choose Phineas Fogg, only because he seems to know his way around, as well as having a lot of money to spend!

8.  From kilts to kimonos, most countries have some form of traditional dress- of which would you be most willing to wear?
     I've always been partial to the traditional Austrian clothes!

9.  If you could speak any foreign language, what would it be?
    Spanish.  I think it would please my Puerto Rican grandmother.

10. What is your opinion on the subject of hot air balloons?
     Well, I think I am a bit squeamish about riding in them, which is silly considering that I would ride on a flying horse!

11.Okay. Pick a country, any country. Now pick a piece of classic literature (fiction, please!). If that story took place in this other country, what would be different?
  Russia, I guess.  Anna of Green Gables.  Wow!  That could definitely be interesting.  Anne would probably be Anna and she probably wouldn't go to the schoolhouse, since in Russia at the time only boys went to school.  also, she might get Diana drunk on Marilla's homemade vodka, which is a disgusting thought, indeed!

12. Choose five of your favorite authors (or just as many as you can)...each from a different country!
    James Barry from Scotland
    L. M. Montgomery from Canada
    Charles Dickens from England
    Alexandre Dumas from France
   Louisa May Alcott from the United States

13. In Around the World in 80 Days, Phileas Fogg is accused of bank robbery. Of course, we know he didn't do it- but the book never explains who did. Who do you think robbed the bank?
    Uriah Heep is a worthy candidate.  Ha, ha!  He escaped from Australia and came back to England years later, where he became a famous and diabolical criminal.

14. Does your church support any foreign missionaries? If so, tell a little about what countries they are from!
   My church supports quite a few foreign missionaries, including the Weldons, who minister to orphans in Moldova, the Welches, who minister in Romania and Bulgaria to villages and the Turkish gypsies, the Farnhams, who minister in India, and the Gomez family, who are national missionaries to Mexico.

15. Time is running out! You only have a few days left to finish your journey! You're on the last leg of your trip, traveling through the American West by train, when suddenly Indians attack! What do you do?
    I take out my trusty sabre and my Colt pistols (the standard of every well-equipped Western traveler in those days) and shoot at the Indians until they are scared off by my courage and bravery!
(I love to dream.  In real life I would probably cower in the train coach until I was carried off captive.)  (Although, surprisingly, I am a really good shot with a gun.  I know, that's unbelievable, since I am such an inside girl.  But really, I am quite the family sharpshooter!)

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thank you, thank you!

Many thanks to BethGrace and KiriLiz for helping me out.  Beth designed the header now beautifully displayed at the top of this blog.  Actually, this was because I had no idea how to do so, and went crying for help to her and Kiri.  They were so nice and in a couple hours sent me two headers and three buttons to choose from!
Lianne Taimenlore

The Musings of Me, Myself, and I ... And Other Such Fantastical Nonsense

Be sure to visit their blogs, unless, of course, you happen to be the lovely writers of the blogs in question!

Thanks for reading!

The War of 1812

It started on June 18, 1812.  Some called it the second war for independence.  But two hundred years ago today, resentment against the British, who were impressing American sailors into their navy in order to fight against Napoleon's French army, was rampant.  England had no right to do such a thing, but the British still looked upon America as a rebellious colony, part of its ever-expanding empire.
The war marked the beginning of the rise of the United States navy as well as the beginning of the Leathernecks, or United States Marines.  Today, I want to look my favorite characters of the period we know as the war of 1812, a war which America had no chance of winning, but with God's help won anyway!

President James Madison

He was our fourth president and a great leader throughout the war, but he was also influential during the War for Independence and immediately after.  He closely documented the meetings where the founding fathers framed the Constitution, leaving us today with invaluable information about these meetings that would otherwise be nonexistent.  He was also the coauthor of the Federalist Papers, a series of essays which persuaded the Americans to adopt the Constitution as the basis for all United States laws and government.  The other authors were John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury.

First Lady Dolley Payne Todd Madison

She was the wife of James Madison and has been called America's most popular First Lady.  As a girl she was a Quaker, and she had two sons with her first husband, John Todd.  Tragically, John Todd and her younger son died in a yellow fever epidemic.  A little over a year later, she married respected politician James Madison, in 1794
Mrs. Madison is best known for saving important papers and a famous portrait of George Washington when the British army attacked  Washington, D.C.

General Andrew Jackson

This old fighter is one of my favorite  presidents.  Even though that is what he is most famous for, he was an outstanding general during the War of 1812, winning the decisive Battle of New Orleans when his army was outnumbered by British troops.  Even though he was known to be a strict officer, his command loved him, and he earned the affectionate title 'Old Hickory' because he was as 'tough as an old hickory stick' on the battlefield.

Mary Pickersgill, Caroline Pickersgill, Margaret Young, and Eliza Young

Now here are some unsung heroes.  True, they did not actually fight in the war, but they did sew the huge flag requested by Major George Armistead, the commander of Fort McHenry, the fortress that protected Baltimore Harbor.  The flag had to be so large that 'the British would have no trouble seeing it from a distance.'  Mary Pickersgill, a widowed flagmaker, her twelve-year-old daughter, and her two young teen-aged nieces, Margaret and Eliza, sewed this huge banner by hand.

Francis Scott Key

He gave us the greatest gift that came from the war.  This young man was a lawyer, author, and amateur poet from Baltimore.  In 1814, just before the decisive Battle of Baltimore, he and another man boarded a British ship in order to get a captured doctor.  Although the British said that the doctor would be released, they told Key and his colleague that only after the attack on Fort McHenry would they release the prisoner.  As he watched the attack from an enemy ship, Key was inspired to pen these words when he saw the American Flag still flying in the early morning hours:

O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

This year, the 200th anniversary of the Second War for Independence, let's remember what others sacrificed for our freedom.  God Bless the USA!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I love doing this sort of thing.  I wrote all of my answers out on separate paper, and I have to admit, I was laughing over some of the possible situations.
Sooo, here are my top twelve literary characters:

1. Gavin Dishart--the main character in my favorite book, The Little Minister
2. Babbie the Gypsy--another character in my favorite book
3. Valancy Stirling--the main character in The Blue Castle
4. Emma Woodhouse--I can definitely identify with her overactive tongue
5. Mr. Knightly--Badly Done, Emma!
6. Sydney Carton--One of the best characters ever invented!!!
7. Mr. Jarndyce--The kindest gentleman that ever walked the pages of a book
8. Aslan--Things never happen the same way twice, Dear One.
9. Mr. Bennet--Excellent!
10. Donal Grant--A godly young Highland shepherd from The Shepherd's Castle
11. Captain Ralph Percy--The hero of To Have and to Hold
12. Hercule Poirot--Use the little grey cells, mon ami.

Now to answer the questions:

1. Who would make a better college professor, 6 or 11?
    Definitely 11.  Captain Percy would certainly be able to teach good character, but I don't think that Sydney Carton would be able to manage a class at all.

2. 12 sends 8 on a mission.  What is it?  Does it succeed?
    Hercule Poirot sending Aslan on a mission?  He would probably tell the lion to get back to the zoo, and I very much doubt that Aslan would obey!

3. What, or what would be, 9's favorite book?
    I think that Mr. Bennet would really like Pickwick Papers.  Too bad that it wasn't written then.

4. Would it make more sense for 2 to swear fealty to 6 or the other way around?
    Sydney Carton should swear fealty to Babbie.  After all, who ever heard of a gypsy swearing fealty to anyone?

5. Number 5 is looking for a roommate.  Should he room with 4 or 12?
    This is just a wild guess, but I think that Mr. Knightly would pick his own wife as a roommate.
6. 2, 7, and 12 go to dinner.  Where are they going and what do they discuss.
    Babbie, Mr. Jarndyce, and Poirot.  A horrific combination!  They would, at the Belgian detective's insistence, go to a fancy and terribly expensive cafe.  While Poirot sipped his intolerably sweet cocoa, Mr. Jarndyce would feel the east wind when he looked at the bill and Babbie would dominate the conversation with ridiculous nonsense.

7. 3 challenges 7 to a duel.  Who wins?
    Valancy challenges Donal Grant to a duel (I can't imagine why!).  She would definitely win, though, because Donal Grant is too much of a gentleman to shoot at any woman.

8. If 1 stole 8's most precious possession, how would s/he get it back?
   If Gavin tried to steal something from Aslan (And who knows what his most precious treasure could be?), Aslan would probably roar Gavin into nonexistence and calmly retrieve the stolen item.

9. Suggest a story title in which 7 and 12 both attain what they want.
    Well, Mr. Jarndyce and Hercule Poirot both want to see justice done, so I guess a good story title would be "Justice"  :D

10.  What kind of plot device would you have to use to get 1 and 4 to work together.
      Gavin and Emma?  I guess they could work together.  Emma loves to matchmake, so she could probably help Gavin win his beloved Babbie's heart.

11. If 7 visited you for the weekend, how would it go?
     I think it would go well.  Mr. Jarndyce is such a gentlemanly and kind person, it would be a pleasure to entertain him for a few days.

12. If you could command 3 to perform one service for you, what would it be?
     Valancy would have to give me entrance to her wonderful Blue Castle, of course.

13. If 2 had to pick sides between 4 or 5, which side would s/he choose?
     I think 2 would pick 5.  Both Babbie and Mr. Knightly are usually right, and Emma, well, poor Emma isn't the best judge of things!

14. What might 10 shout while charging into battle?
     Donal Grant, being a Highlander, would shout some ancient Gaelic battle cry.

15. If you had to choose a song to best describe 8, what would it be?
     What song would YOU use to describe Aslan?  I'm thinking the Narnia battle song would do justice to his majesty and fierceness as well as his gentleness.

16. 1, 6, and 12 are having dim sum in a Chinese Restaurant.  There is only one scallion pancake left and they all reach for it.  Who gets it?
     Gavin would kindly sit back while Sydney carton continued to reach for the pancake.  Poirot would  reach in under Sydney's hand and take the coveted item, then smile benignly at Carton while he ate it before the astonished man's face.

17. What would 5 likely be arrested for?
     Do you honestly think that Mr. Knightly could be arrested for anything?

18. What is 6's secret?
    If you don't know, then you NEED to read A Tale of Two Cities.

19.  If 11 and 9 were racing to a destination, who would get there first?
     Captain Ralph Percy would definitely get there first.  (Imagine Mr. Bennet trying to race anywhere!)

20. If you had to walk home through a bad neighborhood late at night, who would you be more comfortable walking with, 7 or 8?
 Much as I like Mr. Jarndyce, I must say that I can think of almost no literary character I would rather have as my protector than Aslan.

   And that is that!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Writing

So, do you wonder, "What does she write?"
Well, to tell the truth, a little bit of everything.
My first love, as writing goes, is mysteries.  This is probably because the first story that I ever wrote was a seven chapter mystery consisting of about twenty pages and an unbelievable plot.  I was ten at the time.  From there I have branched out and have about five separate mystery plots churning in my grey matter.  Also, I have written a murder mystery play entitled "Christmas at the Tittletons."  In this story, which is one of my favorites, a middle class Victorian household investigates the murder of an unknown man during their Christmas Day celebrations.

I also love to write fantasy stories, since you don't have to stick to any facts.  My current fantasy story tells of three brothers who lead a group of pioneers into the unknown Land of Lucor, a land peopled with unhuman beings such as evil fairies, dragons, frightening dragyols, noble unicorns, and the shining Cheol Ruvin, whom humans know as elves.  In order to learn how to fight these mythical creatures, the youngest brother, Modran Lonish, must accept lessons from his archenemy, Tajisscra the Fairie, one who seeks to corrupt his mind and bring humans under the power of Lucor.  Thankfully, every human has the ability to resist Lucor, although he usually doesn't know how to use it.
I also write poetry, and so I can get overly poetic sometimes.  I just have to watch myself.
Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Book Review

Now, if you know me at all, you know that I love to read.  And I am currently reading To Have and to Hold by Mary Johnston, which is an excellent book in my opinion.  Some of my very dear friends dislike romance books, and if you are like that, I would say, "Read it anyway!"

The story is set in Jamestown, Virginia, in the year 1621, and tells the story of Captain Ralph Percy, who marries a young lady, only to discover that she was promised to a vain and pompous nobleman who comes to the colony to take her back.  Set among the adventurous backdrop of American Indian battles and superstitious pirates, this is a delightful story with enough excitement to satisfy even the most avid haters of romance novels.
I would also like to say that there is nothing indecent or unclean on this book, and it is a good read for any young lady who wants something more than the tasteless fluff of modern romances.  Actually, Count Bob likes this book as well, so it is not only a girl book!
Thanks for reading!

Welcome to Hidden Orchards!

Thank you so much for visiting this new blog.  I am new in this world, so you'll have to help me out by commenting.
I will start by explaining the title.  I live in the mid-west and in the semi-country.  My family owns five acres of land, a good portion of which is overgrown apple orchard.  It is very much hidden, so that if you did not know about it, it would be just an ugly tangle of dense underbrush and scraggly trees.  Like a lot of other things in everyday life, you have to look closely to find the blessings in it.

Now this is by no means our apple orchard, but I do like this picture.
We are presently trying to rejuvenate the orchard by adding four sapling trees.  Hopefully these won't become so hidden.
By the way, I want to maintain as much privacy as possible, so I will refer to my four younger brothers as Count Bob, Uncle J, Molgum, and Cyb.  Just so you know right at the beginning.
In closing, I would like to thank KiriLiz of Lianne Taimenlore for inspiring me to begin this blog.  Thank you, my good friend.