Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's about time!

 I know everyone has just been waiting for my latest book, movie, and life musing updates, so here they are.

Movies - loved Star Trek Into Darkness.  It was such a fun movie to get into, even if you aren't a big trekky, which I'm not.  It is such a character driven story, that it was so easy to get sucked in to the story line and love/hate what was happening.  I was totally surprised at what awesome acting all the actors did.

Prince of Persia - way cheesy show, produced by Disney, but had a surprisingly awesome ending, that made me like it better than I thought I would because of all the cheesy lines and acting.  It seemed like the show was trying to be a little like Pirates of the Carribean, with the funny banter throughout, but it wasn't.  However, overall it was good.

Books- Okay, I'm in love with Shakespeare.  He was a genius and I am baffled each time I read/listen to a play at what a master he was at understanding human nature in all it's variables.  Twelth Night was one of my favorite laugh out loud plays.  So fun.  Just read it, or even better, listen to it with a full cast audio book production.  It will rock your world.

Rachel Morgan- one of my new favorite authors.  I recently just read the first two books in a series called The Faerie Gaurdian and The Faerie Prince.  Very fun fantasy books with awesome writing and hilarious banter between characters, and just the right amount of romance for my liking.  Way fun.

As for life musings, I may have something to add after I finish King Lear.  My heart is breaking for Lear, and I love the loyal Kent!

Well, happy reading/watching/running/pondering, or whatever it is you do for leisure.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

"The Fiddler" by Beverly Lewis

"Fear is courage on your knees."  This quote from the book could probably be the theme for most Christian fiction novels, as it was for "The Fiddler."  Like so many Christian novels, this story is sweet, clean, and sometimes painfully predictable. However, I still enjoyed it, especially since the author uses the power and love of music as a viable character throughout the story. 
Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which is a church that is very regimental in it's standards and observance, I loved reading about the struggle some of the characters faced as they tried to decide whether or not they believed and wanted to follow the teachings of their parents, and also what they felt was okay to hold onto from the world and their teachings.  
I found the balance Amelia was searching for in her life, which as a solo violinist who tours and plays all over the world was hard for her to find, interesting.  In contrast, I loved how the Amish life presented, in it's plainness and shunning of wonderful things, like some music, was just as unbalanced as Amelia's never ending concert playing.  I loved that Amelia and Michael both were looking for something in the middle. Michael says, "Despite their vastly different backgrounds, they were better together than apart." 
This book reminded me that there is so much that is good in the world, but that certain people classify as bad, and also, that there is so much bad in the world that people classify as good.
Not the  most engaging book, but definitely a wholesome contribution to literature.

Make a difference!

I recently posted a comment on a friends facebook update about how wonderful it must be for her to feel like she is making a difference in the world.  My friends name is April Perry and the main writer of  She recently posted a "Your Children Want You!"  post, in which she talks about her feelings as a mom and how she feels that she comes up short and fails in her parenting in so many ways.  However, as she shares these thoughts, she also tells about what makes her mom wonderful and about wonderful mommy moments she has had, and all of her special experiences don't have anything to do with what size pants she wears, or the decorations around the house, or the sweet smells coming from her kitchen as a result of her amazing cooking skills.
I really appreciated her words, and the post was such a wonderful reminder of what is really important.  Mother's Day is coming, and I hope you all can read her post and realize that YOU make the mom, not the stuff around you.

Monday, May 6, 2013

13 days and counting . . .

We are on our 13th day with someone in my family having flu like symptoms.  The first child to get it had the worst of the full tobacco flavor (vomiting, high fever, and other gastrointestinal joys), while the next two have just had the high fever for the most part. I'm hoping the last one doesn't get it.

While different aspects of parenting present challenges, I find that being the best, most loving, kind, and patient mom when my kids are sick and want or need something 24/7, is not my first and foremost talent.

I find myself disengaging when I need to be most engaged, and desires of boarding a cruise ship and sailing the ocean blue, keep entering my mind.

Since being more engaged as a mother is something I have been working on, I find it interesting that I am given the opportunity to hone some of the motherly qualities that I would like to be better at, and failing miserably. 

I realize that I am getting exactly the kind of chances I need to help me develop better mothering skills, but now that I have them, I find that I don't want them. 

When all is said and done, it's really not that bad.  My life is so easy and wonderful and overflowing with blessings I can't ever number.  And the perspective I feel that I have on what is important and what is not, helps me to not freak out (well not too much) about the spilled milk, vomiting, diarrhea filled underwear, and constant bickering that seems to come with sick kids.

Talking about perspective, check out the movie "Bernie" with Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, and Shirley MacLaine.  It's a true story about a mortician in this little town of Carthage, Texas.  It documents the town's people praising Bernie as the nicest, most kind man they have ever known, and who would do anything to help you and your family.  The town's people go on and on about how much they love Bernie, played by Jack Black, while they demonize Ms. Nugent, a recent widow whom Bernie befriends out of an attempt to help her in her grieving over her husbands death, and with whom he becomes something of a lap dog.  The town's people describe Ms. Nugent as the meanest, most cantankerous, disagreeable old woman, and when they learn that she is dead at the hands of Bernie, they don't believe it at first.  Then when they find out he is guilty, they still think he is the most wonderful man and say that if they are put on the jury, they are going to acquit him. 
Is that a crazy perspective or what?

  So give me 13 days of flu, and bickering.  I'd rather have moments of disengagement, then think it's okay to murder the little old lady down the street.

As always, have a good day!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Here's What I Think: Date night at the movies - in which I review Iron ...

Here's What I Think: Date night at the movies - in which I review Iron ...: Almost 13 years ago, while my husband and I were preparing to get married, we met with our ecclesiastical leader for some council and advice...

Date night at the movies - in which I review Iron Man 3 and The Impossible

Almost 13 years ago, while my husband and I were preparing to get married, we met with our ecclesiastical leader for some council and advice, and he encouraged us to make sure that we made date night a priority in our marriage.

We have been pretty good at having a date at least 2-3 times a month.  We love to do tons of stuff, but we are easily entertained, and movie night is almost always our choice of a crazy night away from the kids.

Last night we went and saw Iron Man 3, one of the highly anticipated action packed block buster films of the summer.  The line was out the door, where we waited patiently for our chance to make a mad dash to get the perfect seats (in the middle of the theater in the middle of the row, right?).  There wasn't too much pushing and shoving, although I did ask my husband to hoist me over the railing so I could get in front of some of the slower moving movie goers.  But, it was unnecessary.  We got out perfect seats.

The movie was ok overall, but it was your typical action packed movie, with lots of buildings, cars, etc. blowing up. Nothing mind blowing, or life changing.  Not that I'm saying that each movie I see has to change my life.  I like to be entertained by comic book movies.  I think they are fun! 

But there was just a lot going on, and some of it didn't seem to fit. Like the stupid scene with a bikini swim suit competition being judge by some old grandpas, that had absolutely nothing to do with the plot.  Even though it wasn't that long, it felt like it had been thrown in the movie just for affect.  Pretty lame.  And no, it was not lame because I am feeling angst over the thought that I would not look as good in a bikini as the actors in the movie.  It was just lame because it didn't fit in the story.

It was pretty violent also, with humans who were genetically enhanced to have super human strength and power, and who were a little creepy with red eyes and over heated bodies.  I know action packed movies have violence, but this movie has been advertised on Disney Channel, making my kiddos want to see it.  It is so not a kid friendly show. 

Overall, I did like it, but I wouldn't rent it when it comes out, even to see the fifteen minutes I missed while I took a call from our babysitter in the middle of it so I could help her figure out what our youngest wanted after waking up crying for mommy.  It is a fun entertaining movie, but not very memorable.  I know I won't be thinking about it in my sleep.

But speaking of memorable movies, check out "The Impossible" with Ewan McGregor.  It's a true story about a family that was caught in the horrible Tsunami that devastated parts of Asia ten years ago.  Now that movie was awesome, even if it is quite intense with the realistic portrayal of what happened.  Very good, and will keep you thinking.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Five Book Give Away!

I just entered such a fun book give away!  It includes books by some of my favorite authors, Cynthia Hand, and Veronica Rossi.  Check it out at  Have fun!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Seraphina" by Rachel Hartman

This is one of my favorite fantasies that I have read this year.  I have quoted a couple of passages to show what an awesome writer Rachel Hartman is.  Here they are - "Love is not a disease...I cannot let them cut you out of me, ...I will cling to my sickness...if it is a sickness...I will hold it close to me like the sun..."
"If I could keep a single moment for all time, that would be the one.
I became the air; I was full of stars. I was the soaring spaces between the spires of the cathedral, the solemn breath of chimneys, a whispered prayer upon the winter wind. I was silence, and I was music, one clear transcendent chord rising toward Heaven. I believed, then, that I would have risen bodily into the sky but for the anchor of his hand..."
I knew from the moment I opened this book and read the first line, that I was in for a treat. This story is such a perfect blend of fantasy, adventure, philosophy, mystery, and romance. I kept looking at where I was in the book and mourned, knowing I was getting close to the end.
I don't want to even say what the story is about because it will ruin it. Just read it, and enjoy!

"Unraveling" by Elizabeth Norris

I always feel bad for writing a review for a book that I haven't actually finished.  However, I feel the reason why I didn't finish the book gives me the right to write a review.  Some may argue that I didn't give the book a fair chance, and that I can't really know what the book is about if I don't finish it, or that it might get better so stick with it.  But I don't think so with this book. This book falls under the genre of mystery/sci-fi/paranormal romance, which are all genres I enjoy.
It starts with a life and death situation where the main character, Janelle, is hit by a truck, and is unquestionably brought back to life by some supernatural power boy named Ben.  For me, this is a fun, mysterious beginning.
My beef with the story isn't so much the plot or subplots, although, I think the story could do without the ridiculous high school drama some of the characters bring, who don't even seem to be essential to the storyline.  My beef is with the language.  I feel that any writer who quotes writers such as Dickens, Dickensen, authors who had such mastery of the English language, and who wrote, in my opinion, transcendentally, uplifting and inspiring you to be better and feel proud of yourself for having read their writing, is making a mockery of literature, or being a hypocrite in a way, by having characters with such potty mouths!
I realize this is a personal preference thing, but seriously.  If these authors have inspired you to be a writer, than don't mock their literary geniuses by dropping the F bomb everywhere.  Show them you are equal to them and write as well as they do!  That may be impossible in some ways, but I think it shows a serious lack of intelligence when the best you can come up with for your characters is profanity spewing forth out of their mouths left and right. Show how smart you are as a writer by making your characters have some admirable qualities coming out of their mouths!
I know I am being dramatic about this, but I feel dumb when I read books that have stupid language.  And I ask myself, "Is this really the best I can do?  No, it's not!"
This is a harsh review. And I feel that anyone that writes a book is smart and has a lot of determination and will power to create a fun story that readers will love to lose themselves in.  I just think Elizabeth Norris is smarter than this book makes her, and that she is doing herself a disservice by ruining her story with potty mouth characters.
Some people may really relate to this type of language, but it just didn't work for me!

"Oblivian" with Tom Cruise

I loved this movie.  I new it was a futuristic story, but I was so surprised with what happened.  I loved the sci-fi elements throughout.  It wasn't predictable, and kept me guessing the entire time.  I kept asking my husband what was going on, and he would say, "I don't know.  I haven't seen this before!"  He loves when I ask him questions during movies.

I wasn't prepared for the loves scenes, and I think the movie could have done without them, but I did think the love triangle angle was really interesting and unique. 

If your into sci-fi, you'll dig this movie.

"Romeo and Juliet"

I loved and hated this story.  With the entire play fraught with dramatic irony, it was just painful at times.  Yes, I get why it is considered a great love story, but it's got some serious problems. 
What's with Romeo being considered "The Man" when he laments about Rosalind for the entire first scene?  His turn-about love sick moaning for Rosalind to intense love for Juliet, just isn't believable to me.
Also, as much as I love the characters of the nurse and the friar, they have some serious issues with concealment. If they had just been open with the parents of the "star crossed lovers", tons of drama could have been avoided.
I was surprised that I liked Juliet as much as I did.  Even though she is way too young to really understand anything about what is going on, I admired her sweet innocence and whole hearted love for Romeo, even when she knew it was going to end in her demise.
What I did love were the beautiful play on words and soliloquy's.  Shakespeare was a master with words, and it was truly enjoyable to be taken to another place through the beauty and tapestry of words.

"The Samantha Project"

"The Samantha Project" by Stephanie Karpinski

This is a really fun light sci-fi book that is totally believable.  With all the science out there concerning studying DNA and how to manipulate cells, etc. (can you tell I'm a scientist, with all my scientific eloquence?), it was totally realistic.
I loved the characters and the entire story line.  It's very well written and so evenly paced, with one event flowing so evenly and nicely to the next.  I will totally read the rest of the series.  Way fun!