Monday, March 28, 2011

Alice in Wonderland

This book is absolutely, positively ridiculous.  And I love it.  Everyone needs to read this book.  It's completely magical!  Having finished it a couple of weeks ago, I don't actually remember much about it (see? memory like a freaking goldfish), but you should at least try to give this very short, whimsical book a try.

I never liked the old animated Disney movie of the same name.  It didn't have a direction, or motive for anything at all!  One might say the same for the book, but I disagree.  Everything is still pretty much pointless in the book (if you're not dissecting it and looking into the subtext that is really quite obscure), but makes a whole heck of a lot more sense than the movie.

My friend Megan made a point about reading the classics that I completely agree with, though I'm not as dutiful at reading them as she is.  However, I'm starting to get there. :)  I like to think that Alice is a step in the right direction.

Overall, I enjoyed it very much!  I give this one a 10/10... which is unheard of.  So go read it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I hope they call me on a mission...

"...when I have grown a foot or two!"

Only, now, I'd really rather stay this size.  When I was a little girl in primary, I sang this song as loud as I possibly could, fully believing that after I graduated high school, I was going to be a missionary called of God!  Somewhere along the way, though, I got side-tracked.  I think I got into the state of mind that missions were just for the guys.

Then, I got so caught up in what I wanted to do...  I wanted to be a photographer, band director, history teacher, filmmaker.  I still want to be a lot of things, but I find myself distracted from what I need to do.

I've been asking for a long time about where I'm needed, what He wants me to do, what He has planned for me.  I've been asking for years, and several times I've felt like I finally found the answer, but then it turns out to be wrong.  But it turns out, it's been staring me in the face this entire time.

I wasn't listening.  Or, I was, but I wasn't accepting the answer.  For two years, I've been playing around with the idea of serving a mission.

I came up with all sorts of reasons why I couldn't.  I wouldn't be able to stand not writing in my stories for eighteen months, I'd be leaving right after Jon got home, I couldn't leave my family, picking school up again after a mission would be too hard, I don't have the patience or self-discipline, yadda yadda.

But I was missing the point.  There was a reason I can't stop thinking about it.  Every Sunday, every single time someone mentions missionary work, I get really excited, and I have a strong feeling that that's what I'm supposed to be doing.

I've got my answer, and to the best of my ability, I'm going to follow it.  I know I've got a lot of hard work ahead of me.  When is it ever easy?  I also know a lot can happen in a year.  Believe me, I've learned that lesson.  But, whatever happens, my goal for the next year is to submit my mission papers.

I want to serve a mission.
I need to serve a mission.

"Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in store that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul."
(Doctrine & Covenants 7:3-4)

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Film Viewing Experience

As part of my Film Application process, I have to go through an interview where I tell about a film viewing experience.  When I sat down to write the writing sample for next week's creative writing class, I decided I'd try to put on paper what I wanted to say in my interview.  It came out a little more nostalgic than how I think I'm going to actually tell it, but here it is in all it's glory, haha.  Honestly, when I was asked about a film viewing experience, this is the very first thing that popped into my head.  I wish I had a better memory.

I almost cried when I read through it after writing it.  Gosh, I'm so homesick.

            I was eleven years old, and entirely too ecstatic to be at the movies on a Saturday morning, just Daddy and me.  I didn’t know what we were there to see, but it really didn’t matter.  We watched TV together all the time, but we never went to the movies all by ourselves!  It wasn’t that I was excited to get away from my mom, or anything.  I liked going to the movies with her, too.  I think I was just happy to do something special with my dad that I’d never done before.  He held my hand all the way from the truck to the lobby of the dollar theater.
            He bought us tickets to something called Star Wars II.  As we sat down right in the middle of row, Dad explained to me what clones were.  Then, he quickly tried to tell me what had happened in a previous movie—or was it movies?—so I wouldn’t be totally lost.  I didn’t really understand any of it, but it was interesting.  When the movie actually started, I had no idea what was going on most of the time, but it had a lot of action and running and shooting, so I liked it alright.  It was my very first experience with science fiction, and I was definitely intrigued.
            It wasn’t the movie that made it special, though.  We were the only ones in the whole theater, so I sat with my legs draped across his lap.  I could ask aloud why something happened, and what something meant, and my dad could answer, because there wasn’t anybody around us to bother.  We had a great big bag of popcorn all to ourselves, a bag of regular m&ms and a bag of peanut m&ms that we took turns trading.  Honestly, I only remember one scene from the entire movie, and nine years later, I still don’t understand Star Wars.  Mostly, I just remember that I went to the movies with my dad, just the two of us.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pantoum - Light in my Kitchen

Would you believe it?  This creative writing class has prompted me to write another poem that I like.

The light is better in the kitchen
Though it faces south
I could read in here for hours
And pretend that I’m alone.

Though it faces south
I can see the empty windows
And pretend that I’m alone
Sitting here at my table.

I can see the empty windows,
Once so full of life.
Sitting here at my table,
It’s empty here, too.

Once so full of life,
The courtyard’s tree is bare.
It’s empty here, too.
There’s no one left to care.

The courtyard’s tree is bare
It’s been a long time since it snowed.
There’s no one left to care
Spring is almost here.

It’s been a long time since it snowed.
I like to sit beneath the window.
Spring is almost here
The colors will be returning soon.

I like to sit beneath the window.
The light is better in the kitchen.
The colors will be returning soon,
I could read in here for hours.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wild Target

This movie starring Emily Blunt, Bill Nighy, and Rupert Grint was...  Well.  I can't even think of a good single word to describe it.  How's about "promising"?  Yeah, that one kind of fits.

It was good.  I think I would've enjoyed it more in the company of friends, but it was good.  It was funny, creative... but it could've been so much better!

It honestly felt like a low-budget film, which is strange, since it's got three, not just one or two, but three high-price actors.  This film felt like watching The Losers right after The A-Team.  If it had just been written a little different, it would have been so much better.  The actors all did a fantastic job.  It had a nice comedic set-up, but after that, it felt like it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be one of those highly intense action dramas (which it definitely wasn't) and a really good comedy.  If it had dropped the seriousness a little bit more, it would have worked much better.  I think they were going for an Ocean's Eleven-esque sort of story, but they didn't quite hit it.  The plot was much too watered down for that.

There was a wailingly silent lack of music.  I mean, when they were being chased, yes, there was music.  But other than that, it was so quiet.  That could have worked for them, if they'd made the dialogue, actions, whatever... more awkward.  That sounds funny, but that's the point.  There needed to be more awkward moments.  That, and a little more music.

I was bothered that at the end, it seemed like what they were doing was a plan...  And, okay, maybe it was, but they needed to bring that together much better.  It didn't quite work.  The very last scene was cliche, the death of the bad guy could be seen coming from a mile away...  It just really should have been written better.

Rupert Grint's character was hilarious.  I think he did the best job out of the three of them (tiny growing crush on Rupert...check).  I think he, of the three of them, did the best job developing his character where he didn't have a lot to work with.  [Have I bashed the writing of this script enough yet?]  I just love the way he uses his expressions and his body movements.  He does a really good job with creating comedy.  That being said, I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to anyone, unless you're a die-hard fan of Rupert Grint.  If that's the case, by all means, check this sucker out!

Forever is a Long Time

And here it is!  The finished product of my creative sample for my film application.

I don't know what I'd do without the people that helped me with this.  My heart goes out to Rhonda Gray, Samantha Arellano, Richard Dennis, Paul, Nita, Ken, and Karen Caldwell, and the random people here and there that made suggestions.  Thank you!

Monday, March 7, 2011


“Hey Mel, what’s crackin’?” Sassy asked casually as she sauntered into the kitchen. Melody jumped about a mile high and quickly wiped the milk she’d sloshed from her cereal spoon off of her hand.

“Oh, you know…” she said noncommittally. She slurped a spoonful of cheerios into her mouth and dipped her spoon back into the bowl for more before she even finished chewing.

“Fantastic,” Sassy thrilled, opening the refrigerator and ducking into it farther than she needed to find her apples. She was being too loud, and Melody was bound to notice. For some reason, Sassy was always way too bright when she was hiding something, almost like her happy demeanor could automatically dispel any second thoughts to her lies.

Melody shoved her backpack under the counter with her foot while Sassy rummaged around in the fridge. She was still stuffing her cheeks full of heart-healthy whole-grain O’s. She knew Sassy couldn’t have any reason to look into her roommate’s backpack; to think such was completely absurd. Simply having it in the room made her nervous, let alone the fact that her roommate might, at any moment, ask her where she’d been the night before.

Sassy finally just grabbed a Tupperware of pineapple she’d sliced a few days before. Her hands were shaking too badly to cut the apples anyway, even if she’d had the patience to keep looking for them. She popped off the top, grabbed a fork from the drawer, and leaned over the kitchen island to smile at Melody.

“So,” she said, and popped a large bite of pineapple into her mouth. It was overly sweet, and stung the top of her tongue, as if it were the burning consequence of the lies that were bound to come out of her mouth sooner or later.

Melody grabbed the bowl and hastily started chugging the leftover milk. She had to get out of there. She just had to get out of the kitchen. If she could get out in time, maybe she could avoid telling a fib altogether, and it seemed like Sassy was about to ask her exactly what she didn’t want to say.

Sassy swallowed the pineapple and licked her lips. “Oliver told me you have a date this weekend. With Connor,” she said. The last word came out as almost a squeal. If Melody hadn’t been so busy trying to escape, she might have noticed Sassy’s overlarge eyes, and the fake eagerness of her tone.

“Oh,” she said, and almost sighed with relief. Of course she doesn’t know anything about it! she reasoned with herself. Sassy wasn’t going to ask, because she couldn’t possibly know about—about that thing—anyway. “Yeah. He asked me yesterday. We’re going to the movies on Friday.” She nearly fell off the stool in her haste to get to the sink and rinse her bowl.

“That’s GREAT!” Sassy shrieked, and plopped another bite of pineapple in her mouth, grinning as some of the juice started dripping down her chin. She could have fainted with happiness. Melody had no idea what had happened. Surely she would’ve said something, or made some kind of inclination when Sassy had mentioned Connor’s name.

“Yeah, I’m excited,” Melody said, and smiled, hoping it was at least a little bit convincing. “Well, I, uh… gotta go,” she said, grabbing her backpack and nearly running to the door.

“Okay, see you later!” Sassy said, and followed her roommate to the door. She locked it behind her and leaned her back against it in relief. She doesn’t know, she thought to herself, satisfied. She held her stomach as if she could feel the weight literally being lifted from it.

On the other side of the door, Melody leaned her back against it, rubbing her face with both of her hands before staring down at the navy blue bag at her feet. She doesn’t know, she thought to herself, and almost laughed with happiness.

The Dark Divine

The Dark Divine is a book about sixteen-year-old Grace Divine, the daughter of a pastor trying to make sense of why her brother is so bothered by the return of their best friend after three years of his absence.  In the mean time, she breaks promises, discovers what true love is really about, and what trust is made of.

Yeah, okay, cliche discription, but I don't want to give too much away!

I really liked this book.  I scoffed in the beginning because I figured out on the seventh page it was about werewolves.  However, as it continued, and especially in the end, I really came to appreciate the different angle Bree Despain took on lycanthropy.  I've never seen an interpretation like this before, and I believe it to be truly unique.  I really love how she brought everything together to make sense, and the twists that made the story so much more profound.

I love the main character.  It absolutely ruins the story when the main characters (especially if they're teenagers) feel fake, but Grace was so real to me.  She really felt like a high schooler just trying to make good grades and get into art school.  She had true emotions, and didn't handle her situations in overly cliched ways.  I'm also appreciative of this girl's morals, and additionally how clean this book was.  That's so nice to have.

As good as it is, though, it has it's weaknesses.  The writing style isn't one I'm particularly pleased with.  It's not very descriptive.  The killer is the headings of "later," "in the kitchen," and "after showering."  I think we could've made most of those connections without the headings.  Those were quite childish.

Overall, an 7/10.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Oh, I have been waiting for this movie to come out!  Tonight I went to see it.  :) 

Beastly is based on a book of the same name by Alex Flinn.  I read the book a few years in high school.  Of course, I love everything Beauty and the Beast-related, regardless of how good or bad it is, but this movie really was spectacular.  I haven't seen every version of this story, but I will say flat-out that this is by far the best live action representation I have ever seen!

I loved the script of this movie.  Yes, it was based off of a book (and did a pretty dang well doing it), but the movie added some details that made the movie closer to the original story than even the book did.  I loved that.

The acting was fabulous.  I'm sad Will wasn't shown more, but I loved the phases each character had to go through.  I also like that we got to know Zola better.  I did, however, understand these characters more clearly than I did in the book.  That was a rather pleasant surprise.

The cinematography and lighting were pretty good.  They could have been better, but I really liked the "magic" scenes.  It didn't look animated at all.  In fact, I don't think they animated those scenes at all, it was all camera and editing work.  That was impressive.

His appearance was... interesting.  When I saw the first pictures of his tattoos and scars a few months ago, I thought, "Oh NO they're going to RUIN this!"  But, actually, they made it work.  I thought it was interesting that the witch put words and tattoos on him in addition to the slash-scars to make him ugly.  It was a rather unique portrayal of the Beast.

Overal rating of this fabulous movie: 9/10.  :)  Definitely one that I want to eventually add to my library!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"I Hate Memoirs"

To say "I hate" something automatically makes it a strong statement.  I usually don't like that word, but here I have to explain my disdain for memoirs...

I just don't like writing them.  Either I have to write about something really intense (as my "insignificant" memoirs generally don't turn out how I want them to), and I sit there blubbering for a couple of hours as I write it, or I have to wrack my brain for hours and hours, trying to remember enough details.  I'm not very good with remembering details.  I remember movements, thoughts, and feelings, but I have a hard time remembering sounds, words, and colors.  Why?  I have no idea.

Perhaps it's because they take more effort, but I really don't think that's it.

There's a quote from Bones that goes something like,
"Authors reveal more than they intend on every page."
"You know, I never really believed in all of that English 101 stuff.  Sometimes a river is just a river."

I whole-heartedly agree with the second statement, but when it comes to writing memoirs, I have to really open up, and let people see my insides more than I'd like them to.

And, you know, sometimes it's bad enough to exerience it once, and not have to write about it and then subsequently read over it, edit, explain, and then take criticism on it.

It's easier to make something up.

Robert Frost

I'm not really a big fan of poetry.  A lot of it is just lost on me, because I don't understand obscure metaphors right off the bat like everyone else seems to.  However, every now and then I fall across a poem I can appreciate, even come to love.  This is one of those poems.  One day I hope to have it memorized. :)

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Walking Encyclopedia of Weirdness

When you’re first getting to know someone, there are always the inevitable questions of, “Where are you from?” “What are you majoring in?” “What’s your favorite color?” and, sometimes, “What color is your toothbrush?”  (Thank you, EFY!)  Every now and then, however, you get a question that’s actually kind of thought provoking.  One such question came to me very recently: “What is your favorite thing about yourself?”
            In middle school, I got the nickname of “The Walking Encyclopedia.”  Since I’ve been able to read, I’ve been reading everything I can find on things that interest me.  I probably wouldn’t know the answer if you asked me something about starfish (though I could tell you dissecting them in the seventh grade was simultaneously gross and exciting), but I’d definitely know every Robin Batman has ever had (Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, and Damien Wayne), and why vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies (particular to four different mythologies).
            In the TV show “Supernatural,” Dean Winchester says to his brother (in season 2, episode 16 “Roadkill”) , “Dude, you are a walking encyclopedia of weirdness, do you know that?”  I laughed when I heard that line, and my best friend looked at me and said, “You know, that totally applies to you.”  The more I’ve thought about it, the prouder of that fact I become.
            I love that I know just about everything there is to know about at least three different TV shows, four book series, and the mythologies of several different creatures and stories.  I love that in one specific online community, I’m to go-to girl for 1,200 people when they have questions about anything ranging from vampires in general to the TV show The Vampire Diaries.
            I love the fact that I am a Walking Encyclopedia of Weirdness.
            Then again, that’s probably not the answer someone is looking for within five minutes of meeting you.  Giving them that little spiel would be like saying I adhere to the five-second-rule after two minutes, or that I wear some of my jeans several times before washing them (which I’m, um, not admitting to).  So, I’m pretty sure I told him I like the color of my eyes.  Oh, well.  He’ll find out eventually!