Saturday, October 24, 2009

About Me

Today I thought I'd share some interesting things about me. Well, at least I they are interesting... Anyway, I have these lists on my facebook profile as well, and because today just called for an all-out random post, I am sharing them with you today.

write, quizzing, blog, draw, read, sit outside, think, come up with deep questions- and discuss them, waste time on the computer
green tea,green tea, a good book, catching up, soft Kleenex, 'Japanese Cherry Blossom' sent, being organized, being a bit cluttered, spring, fall, jacket weather, Psych, Bright Lights, reaching a goal, reading the Bible, finding poetic passages of scripture, hats, sisters, inside jokes, clean humor, friends, epiphanies, good quotes, defending my opinions, obeying God's nudges, paper, paper, paper, pencils, erasers, learning new things, shorthand, texting, trees, nickles, Narnia, meeting and or interviewing authors, music, iced tea, lemonade, Arnold Palmers, reading something I wrote a long time ago, that feeling when I realize I wrote the scene just right, when God gives me opportunites- and I seize them, bookshleves, new books, old books, old old old books, books with discreet Christian themes, doing quizzing, writing, eight oclock, updating things, ellipses..., talking to my cousins on the phone, acting in cousin-produced movies, watching home movies, blue, the sky, clouds, good pictures, libraies, librarians, 4th and 5th grade 'ah-ha!' moments, doing my devotions, praying for a l-o-n-g time, punctuation smiley faces ;), words, language, tea parties, good movies (I have high standards, though), modesty, young men strong in the Lord, STRAWBERRIES!!!, feeling good, realizing I cant save myself; while knowing I'm already saved, Jesus, His sacrifice, His resurrection, deep conversations, truth (telling and being told it), stone arched doorways...

Favorite Music:
Switchfood, Chris Rice, Nate Dreg, Worship Music, Regina Spector, The Call, Hymns, Instrumental, soundtracks...

Favorite TV Shows:
,Dick Van Dyke Show, I love Lucy, Psych, 18 Kids and counting...
Favorite Movies:
Lion witch and wardrobe, prince caspian, (hopefully voyage of the dawn treader), pride and prejudice (new), Nancy Drew, The Truman Show, A walk to remember...

Favorite Books:
Chronicles of Narnia, Dandelion Fire, Masterpiece, Point Blank, Spiderwick Chronicles, Tuck Everlasting, Eat This Book, The Deadliest Monster, Savvy, Ella Enchanted, Mara Daughter of the Nile, A Curse Dark as Gold, Wildwood Dancing, Anne of Avonlea and more....

Favorite Quotations:
"walk softly and carry a big stick"-Teddy Roosevelt

"we read to know we are not alone"-C.S.Lewis

"strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say tot he fearful hearts, 'be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance, with divine retribution he will come to save you."- Isaiah 35: 3-4

"For God will bring every deed to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether is is good or evil."- Ecclesiastes 12:14

"we tend to forget how very different a thing Christianity is- how decisively and uncomfortably different."- Kilpatrick

"our only hope is to recognize the depths of our sinfulness and cry out... [to] God... we must... depend on God, expecting Him to rescue us. " Baldwin

"you can't argue a person into the kingdom of heaven." - Baldwin

"we can no more separate religion from the state than we can separate people from their thoughs. No one is neutral..." - Baldwin

"To dismiss the supernatural because you've never seen it is as analogous (the same as) to the color-blind man dismissing the color red because he's never seen it." - Baldwin

About Me:
I love to read, (fiction and non fiction)
I like tea,
I have a birthmark,
learning is exciting to me,
I have a blog,
I love Jesus,
I enjoy drawing,
I write a lot of fiction,
I can be excited about almost any day as soon as I remember God created it,
I wear a promise ring,
I love to smile,
I can be opinionated,
I miss my family...,
I am majoring in Elemenaty Education,
I prefer modesty,
I don't try to mean, it just comes out that way sometimes...
I have a list of goals,
I obsess about things,
I will always be a quizzer at heart
I don't like being touched at all
I don't like hugs
I'm pretty weird, but who isn't?
~~ the end~~

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Girl in the Arena~ Tour

Notes and Quotes:

"weapons were modified so no one would get seriously injured, but it's possible this concept put him [the creator of GLAD sport] in league with the scientists who worked on atomic energy and didn't foresee Hiroshima, Mon Amour."

"Eventually Glad sport, though not always a fight to the death, certainly offered this possibility."

-Lise doesn't use quotation marks, she uses new paragraphs and dashes... its hard to read at first... I think it feels more like I'm reading, and less like I'm living it.

-Although Lyn is the daughter of a gladiator, and stepdaughter of six others, she has decided she wants to be a pacifist...

-upon my reread, I realized how much foreshadowing there is...

haha, I just have to share this quote "cleaning up soap is not an easy task because it keeps trying to clan the thing you're trying to clean. "

-Lyn's mom, Alice, expects her to go to Gladiator Wives College and marry a Gladiator, but Lyn doesn't want to do this...

-Lyn seems to be as much of a mother figure as Alice. Alice is losing it, and Lyn has to take more responsibility. Lyn seems to take care of everyone because Alice can't handle it any more.

-Lyn's favorite father is Tommy, her current one. He takes an interest, tries to befriend her, acts most like a father than any of the others.

-I think its kinda weird that Thad's medication gives him the ability to 'prophecy'...

-By the end of the third chapter Lyn talks a lot about ritual. She goes through her life and everything is how it normally is, everything that has happened is normal, expected. She can, at this point, predict what will happen next. It wont last long...

-Lise has a wonderful way of describing things perfectly "He's [Thad's] fast asleep, bathed in anime colors streaming from the silenced TV."

-I don't like how the cover is so inaccurate. If there is a picture on the cover, I expect to see that somewhere in the book... The hair is wrong, and so is the outfit...

Here is part of the review provided on the back of the book:

"Lyn is a neo-gladiator's daughter through and through. Her mother has mad a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family: "Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator, Remind him constantly of his victories." and most importantly: "Never leave the stadium when your father is dying." The rules help the family survive, but rules- and the GSA- can also work against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn's seventh father, she also captures Lyn's dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him. To win her freedom, Lyn will enter the arena to face her father's murderer in mortal combat. And she'll do it even though she may be falling for him..."

Other bloggers on this tour:

Abby the Librarian, A Patchwork of Books, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Book Buzz,, Maw Books Blog, My Own Little Corner of the World, Reading is My Superpower, Through a Child’s Eyes

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Girl in the Arena~ Tour

Thanks to Bloomsbury USA for generously providing me with an ARC of 'Girl in the Arena' by Lise Haines.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Its kinda gory in some parts, and I'm not good with gore. Not a fan at all... It seemed very dramatic at other parts, as if some things didn't really need to happen the way they did... like some things took a turn for the worst and everything went downhill from there. Its a sobering book; sad, bad, and tragic things happen and the characters have to deal with their situation as best they can. Things happen that shouldn't happen, just like in life, and although it may not have the ending I'd hoped for, its a good one.

But its growing on me.

I'm still not a huge fan, but its growing on me. I keep thinking about it, and pondering it, and reliving different scenes like when Uber visits Lyn for the first time, and when Thad goes to the museum with Lyn, and when Lyn spars against Mark... I've already begun my re-read. Tomorrow I'll post some of the comments I've written on the first fifty pages or so.
Late tomorrow....

would do it today, as well as include the synopsis provided, but I don't have my copy of the book... I'm on fall break, and I'd forgotten when the tour was, and I left my copy on my desk in my dorm. I don't know when for sure I'll be able to post with the book in hand, but it WILL happen tomorrow... it just might be kinda close to Wednesday ;)

Anyway, there is still more in store for you today, the author was kind enough to do an e-mail interview with me:

Interview between Lise and Marie:

Lise: Hi Marie. Thanks for including me on your cool site!

Marie: How long did it take you to write 'Girl in the Arena' from the first glimmer of an idea to the last draft?

Lise: Maybe I had the first inkling three or four years ago. But most of it was written over a couple of years while I taught full-time and was busy raising my teenage daughter. It felt like a particularly intense process since I sold my novel when it was less than half finished.

Marie: Are any of the characters in your book based off people you know?

Lise: Maybe bits and pieces but not whole characters. Though I certainly feel I know them the way one knows close friends or family. Like a lot of writers, part of the process for me is about tapping into vivid daydreaming—which is a lot like hanging out with people I’m tight with.

Marie: Do you listen to music as you write? Why or why not?

Lise: I certainly have in the past but not so much with this book. I haven’t had a lot of time to do the download thing. And then the idea of starting with a blank IPod or an empty CD cabinet becomes pretty daunting.

Marie: Where did you get your inspiration for ‘Girl in the Arena'?

Lise: I think I have at least three different answers to this question, and they’re all right in a way. Some of it was about working with my college students—thinking about the way they handle violent info and things they’re fascinated by. Some of it was about my daughter introducing me to virtual reality, manga, anime, etc. And some of it was about reflecting on the events of the last few years like 9/11 and Iraq. I’ve written a blog about the number of young women going off to war on my website. You can also find some of my daughter’s avatars there as well:

Marie: How did you come up with the names for the characters?

Lise: One of my best friends is named Lyn. I think of my friend as a rather heroic person. Very genuine and real—someone I can tell anything to--but she sets the mark high. You probably already know that Uber comes from a German word meaning excess or superiority. It’s become so overused it’s almost lost its meaning, and seemed kind of funny to me: uber this and uber that. I think of my character Uber as someone who’s trying to find meaning in his life. Thad just sounded right on the tongue. There’s something very sweet about Thad and quite unique so he had to have a particular name.

Marie: What is the first thing you do when you get a new story idea?

Lise: I rarely start with an idea. I get an image, a voice, a line. Then I just start writing and see where it takes me.

Marie: Time and money aside, what would you rather be doing?

Lise: I hope I always get to write. It really is an essential part of me. I’ve been writing forever. And I love teaching though like most dedicated teachers, I wouldn’t mind a sabbatical now and then. I love hanging out with my daughter—always--as in: let’s go shopping, though we also go for walks, check out museums, hit movies. I’ve worked incredibly hard the last few years to support us and I think more than anything I’d like to take a whole month off. Loll around at the beach, go to the gym, hit the movies, put my feet up, and read great books. And sleep. I’d really love to get some sleep.

Marie: What obstacles would you warn beginning authors of?

Lise: One of the primary things an author has to come to grips with is: who holds the emotion in a work of fiction—the author or your reader. If you dump your emotions onto the page, the author holds the emotional content—and the reader observes things from a distance. If you show some restraint and simply convey very specific, concrete details and show us what happened, the reader feels the emotion in an almost effortless, and deeply satisfying way.

Marie: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you bring with you, and why?

Lise: I assume you don’t mean people, so I’ll focus on objects. I know my survivalist nature would kick into gear big time. First, I’d want a good knife. With that I could do a thousand things including writing on bark. A magnifying glass to start a fire. And maybe a copy of Alice in Wonderland or…a needle. I could make clothes with a needle, I could fall down a tree with Alice. Hmm. Alice, needle, Alice, needle… (It’s one of my favorite books.)

Marie: What question have I not asked that I should, and what is the answer?

Lise: Ha. Okay. Maybe you’ve heard that I have a strong intuitive nature. Let’s see, you were thinking of asking something about what we could all use more of, so cautionary tales like Girl in the Arena never become a reality. And I would probably answer: compassion. It’s something all young writers need in abundance, to really get inside another life and report back to the rest of us.

I’m so grateful that you included me and Girl in the Arena on your site. I wish you lots of good energy in the coming year. I’ll enjoy following Fireside Musings.

Marie: Thank you, Lise, for the interview, and the wonderful answers!

Follow the links below, they are also hosting this tour and have all kinds of information for you!

The 160 Acre Woods, A Patchwork of Books, All About Children’s Books, Becky’s Book Reviews, Fireside Musings, Homeschool Book Buzz,, Maw Books Blog, My Own Little Corner of the World, Reading is My Superpower, Through a Child’s Eyes

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Betsy-Tacy Books

I had no idea what these were until last week when I stumbled upon THIS POST by S. Mehrens from Library Hospital. I took the quiz and found out I am Tacy. I became interested in the books, and wanted to read them. I joined the challenge. I only hope I can find a copy of at least one of the books now! The campus library doesn't have them, and I don't know how to get a library card from the library in town because my permanent address is 50 miles away, and I don't go home often enough to borrow books and return them in time... so I'm at a dilemma as to how to read books I don't own. Thats why all these audio books I can borrow offline are so wonderful! (If I need to, I'll borrow it when I visit home, read it then, and return it before I come back to school. There are ways around everything ;D ). Anyway, my spirits rose when I found out Library Hospital was hosting a book give away; check it out!

Thursday, October 08, 2009


More notes from College Writing I, these on design elements. We are learning to critique ads.

Formal balance
-Symmetric, weight on each side is equal
~this communicates dignity, solidity, refinement, reserve

Informal balance
-Asymmetric, visually balanced but not equal
~ communicates excitement, optionality, forcefulness, and gives the element of surprise

- relationship between objects, size, negative space, depth perception, color, black and white
-size and shape generally communicate importance

-where your eyes move
-your eyes usually first rest a third of the way down the page
-gaze motion, you will look at what the people in the ad are looking at
-structural motion, using elements in the ad to direct the reader's attention

-achieved when elements tie into one another by using the same basic shapes, sizes, textures, colors, and mood
~ a border, a theme, 'white space'-empty space

Clarity & Siplicity
-clear, easy to read, easy to understand
~images, contrasts, text size and font...
-eliminate 'extra' elements
-combine elements into one grouping

Emphasis (use of text and diction)
-something should dominate everything else
-how much emphasis is needed?
-placement, size, shape, color, and white space are used to show emphasis

The most important question is 'did the ad succeed in capturing attention and getting a message across clearly?'

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Wednesday We-view

So, the pictures I posted yesterday were from Barbados... doesn't it look beautiful? Can you imagine living there once, and then moving to an American Puritan town? Well, thats what Kat did in The Witch of Blackbird Pond.

(I meant to write this earlier, but sadly 6 page papers take precedence over blogging. Anyway, its rather late for me, and my thoughts may not have the best transitions... and be full of random thoughts and observations)

Things were pretty tough for her, coming from a life where she could do whatever she wanted whenever she wanted to a life with her Aunt, Uncle, and cousins where she worked all day long and had rule after rule to comply to. And she didn't understand most of the rules, nor the Puritan's way of life.
She meets some people who the reader can't help adoring, and breaks a few rules along the way.
She is rather rash at times.
At one point she is given the advice to listen to her heart, which I was a bit nervous about considering how evil and corrupt our hearts are, and things don't go as planned and problems arise.
In chapter 9 Kit says something that I just MUST quote, its just so wonderfully put and echoed by myself: "If only patience was contagious as mumps."
Kit teaches a Dame school with one of her cousins, and instead of using punishments like the Puritans did, she gave rewards to the children for doing the right things- which is what my Early Adolescent Development Proff. strongly suggest. I haven't taken a methods class yet, but thats what people keep saying....
It practically drove me CRAZY listening to this book because I've read it before- about ten years ago- and when I listened to it I.Couldn't. Remember. How. It. ENDED!!! And when you listen, you can't read faster, or skip to the end without losing your spot! It was quite a dilemma... :) needless to say I didn't get much else done that day. =D

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tuesday (Imaginary) Travels

wouldn't it be fun to go here? If you don't know where this is, stay tuned... it has to do with a book I recently finished... ;)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Story Time!

Want a random glance into my life? Keep reading!

My Roomie and I went for a bike ride Sunday afternoon. We had both been working on homework, and facebook, for a while and needed to get out of the dorm room. Desperately. Personally, I'd been craving 'fresh' air for a while. Having the window open wasn't helping much either, it only made me want to be outside even more. She suggested a bike-ride, and I eagerly agreed.

We biked around campus, through the Quad, by the fine arts building, around the clock tower, the Mile track, the tennis courts, the unofficial frisbee field, the Admissions building, the Eternal Flame, and we just biked around until we were tired.

When we had been by the tennis courts I noticed something weird. Between the courts and the Athletic building is a medium sized parking lot, and in this parking lot there are random squares and rectangles of grass with zero to five trees in each patch. I decided I wanted to have a pic-nick there. I thought it would be so fun!

But Monday morning came, and it was one of the coldest days I can remember this year. Of course. Tuesday wasn't as cold, but still not nice enough weather for a pic-nick, and Wednesday was the same. Thursday had the nerve to rain. So I wait here now, a leetle impatiently for a nice day where I can take a blanket, a friend, some food, and a camera out to the Random Patches of Grass for a pic-nick.