what’s up! (with me, in my current life)

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I’m reading through the book of Job.  Very weighty, very good.

My siblings and I have introduced Mom to BBC’s Sherlock, so that’s great.

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The Inspirational Heroes Blogathon is coming up soonish and I still need to get my entry about Meet the Robinsons (2007) written.  There’s nothing like procrastination, eh?

Almost all my Christmas shopping is done!

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Just finished reading The Four Feathers today and now I have a book hangover.  I still like the 2002 movie better, but the book is amazing.  And it included a reference to Hamlet, which made me happy.

Speaking of Hamlet, the David Tennant/Patrick Stewart version is at my library.  Can’t wait to watch it.

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My church is having a Christmas party and gift exchange in a few days and I’m also excited about that.

I discovered today that, when put-on-the-spot-ish, my five favorite literary heroes are Atticus Finch, Ender Wiggin, Colonel Brandon (OR Mr Knightley), Peeta Mellark, and Johnny Cade. ❤

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Writing wise, I’ve set aside Shoes & Spies for right now to work quite hard on editing a piece of fanfiction so that it’ll be ready by Christmas because I’m giving it to one of my siblings as a present.  I was also tossing around the idea of writing a blog post about my take on fanfiction and the ‘rules’ I follow when writing it.  Thoughts?

Anyone have a great recipe for DIY hot cocoa mix?

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I’m looking forward to digging into the complete soundtrack for The Great Escape (1963) because it’s brilliant and Elmer Bernstein is a genius and I now own said soundtrack because a dear friend of mine gifted it to me.

Even though it’s winter in Alberta, the days have been almost spring-like.  Amazing.

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Annnnnd that’s about it for right now.  What’s been going on in your life?

Eva

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my life in books tag

Snatching this from Naomi’s lovely blog, Wonderland Creek.

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Find a book for each of your initials.

E – Emma by Jane Austen
J – Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
R – Rilla of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery
S – The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

Count your age along your bookshelf.  What book is it?

Macbeth by William Shakespeare.  Used to be my favorite of the Bard’s plays, but has recently been overturned by Hamlet.

Pick a book set in your country.

There are many to chose from, since I live in Canada and have several of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s books, but I’ll go with The Blue Castle.  I love it so much.

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Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan, because it’s a goal of mine to someday visit each of the five D-Day beaches.

Pick a book that is your favorite color.

There’s not many purple books on my shelf, but I’ll go with my copy of Sense & Sensibility (by Jane Austen, of course).  The book’s cover isn’t purple, but the spine is and that counts.

Which book do you have fondest memories of?

My copy of Cloaked (by Rachel Kovaciny) brings back a lot of good memories – reading drafts and giving my thoughts and, of course, my time with her and my time in America in general.

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Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Usually, I don’t keep books on my shelf that gave me a difficult time of reading, but I admit that Code Name Verity (by Elizabeth Wein) was a hard, confusing slog the first time I read it.  It’s improved on me, though, so I still have my copy.

Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

The Second World War by Antony Beevor is huge and looks amazing and I’m sure I’ll feel very proud, accomplished, and knowledgeable about WWII when I get around to reading it.

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This was such fun!  I hereby tag anyone who’s read any of the books mentioned in this tag. 🙂

Eva]

the marvel heroes movie tag

Remember the Disney Princess Book Tag?  Well, Hamlette had the rather brilliant idea of using the same concept to create her own tag, one focused on movies and that uses Marvel characters as inspiration for the categories.  I love Marvel second only to Disney (aren’t they the same thing now, anyway?), so here are my answers!

Marvel Heroes Movie Tag

Captain America: Name a movie with a “fish out of water” theme.  Enchanted (2007).  Not only does Giselle go from an animated, old-fashioned world to a real-life, modern world, she also changes aspect ratios. (Watch carefully.)  Seeing her navigate New York City with all her naivety and enthusiasm is hilarious and heartwarming.

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Thor: Name a movie about learning to use power for the good of others.  Batman Begins (2005).  As we see through flashbacks, Bruce Wayne only cared about himself as a young adult.  But when he comes back from training with R’as al Ghul, he tells Alfred that from now on, he wants to work to make Gotham a better, safer place for everyone.  And the rest of the film is him figuring out just how to do that.

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Iron Man: Name a movie about an inventor.  Meet the Robinsons (2007).  Lewis is a gifted, innovative young inventor.  I think Tony Stark would be proud of him.

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Incredible Hulk: Name a movie with a main character who has two sides to them.  Minority Report (2002).  By day, John Anderton is the best and brightest rising star in the world of Pre-Crime.  But by night, he’s a drug addict who mourns the abduction of his son and his estrangement from his wife.

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Hawkeye: Name a movie that involves archery.  The Hunger Games (2012).  Cliched answer, but archery is such a big part of THG.  It’s the skill that Katniss shows off to the Gamemakers and also the means of destroying the Careers’ supplies.  And she shoots people, too.  Of course.

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Black Widow: Name a movie about spies.  Notorious (1946).  Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman is an amazing spy in this movie and does her job very well indeed.

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Black Panther: Name a movie about royalty.  The Young Victoria (2009).  Such a rich, textured period drama.  I know a lot of people prefer the new-ish TV series Victoria to this film, but TYV will always take up a special place in my heart.

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Vision: Name a movie involving androids or robots. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951).  One of my favorites.  Sure, it’s cheesy, but it’s also interesting and moving, with some great characters (including Gort, the seven foot tall robot).

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Spider-man: Name a movie about teens.  I’m Not Ashamed (2016).  At least, many of the film’s characters are teenagers.

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Ant Man: Name a movie about thieves.  Robin Hood (1973).  Well, Robin would call it ‘borrowing’, but much of the film is taken up with creative and daring schemes that invariably leave Prince John that much poorer.

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Scarlet Witch: Name a movie with powerful female character.  Wonder Woman (2017).  Diana is both physically and morally powerful.  Love her!

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Dr. Strange: Name a movie where a character learns to be a better person.  Cars (2006).  Lightning McQueen’s journey from arrogant jerk to someone who would put the needs of others ahead of his own desires never fails to make me cry.  He grows and changes so much throughout the film, thanks to the residents of Radiator Springs.  And that carries over into Cars 3 as well.

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Falcon: Name a movie with a great sidekick.  The LEGO Batman Movie (2017).  While some of my friends (you know who you are!) can’t stand Robin, he fully engages my attention and heart every time, making me cry and laugh.  He’s a pure ray of sunshine, a precious cinnamon roll, and my favorite part of the movie.

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Loki: Name a movie with an antagonist/villain who steals the show.  3:10 to Yuma (1957).  Glenn Ford’s Ben Wade is a-MAZING.  I watch 3:10 to Yuma mainly for him and find new things to notice and appreciate about the character (and Ford’s acting!) every time.

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Agent Coulson: Name a movie where an ordinary character faces an extraordinary situation.  Night at the Museum (2006).  Very, very extraordinary.  Larry Daley works as the night guard at the American Museum of Natural History and let’s just say that the job doesn’t go quite as planned.

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Peter Quill: Name a movie with a character who is more than they appear to be.  Tomorrowland (2015).  At first, Athena looks like any other little girl, but that appearance is very deceiving.

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Gamora: Name a movie with a character who changes allegiances.  High Noon (1952).  Marshall Kane’s wife, Amy, is a Quaker who believes in a non-violent approach to every situation.  But her ideas gradually change until she eventually takes up arms against the men who are targeting her husband.

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Drax: Name a movie with a physically powerful character.  Les Misérables (2012).  Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is shown to be very strong in two different scenes – when he picks up the mast/flagpole/beam and then when he lifts the cart off Fauchelevant.  And his considerable strength is what causes Javert to recognize and remember him.

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Groot: Name a movie with a character who doesn’t talk much.  Holes (2003).  Zero doesn’t say much, but when he does, everyone takes notice.

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Rocket: Name a movie with a talking animal.  The Jungle Book (2016).  I went into this movie with zero expectations and left it wowed by the gorgeous scenery, intriguing characters, and great story.  All the animals talk in here and the voice casting is perfect.

Thanks for creating this tag, Hamlette!  I love it. 🙂  And I’m tagging anyone who’s a fan of Marvel.  So…basically everybody?

Eva

the great american road trip

Warning: this post will be long and rambly and most likely filled with confusing tangents, because I’m writing it almost more for myself than you guys.  Just so you know where I’m coming from.

My big silvery purse was my trusty companion throughout the road trip.  It held almost all of the souvenirs I picked up along the way and so I thought it would be fun to dump everything out, photograph it, and then talk about the road trip by referencing the different church programs, books, and other paraphernalia that I collected along the way.

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Our journey started in Michigan, where we visited a pastor’s family that was close to Mom.  We attended their church – Westside Bible Baptist Church – on a Sunday and you can see the program in the second photo (it’s the white one with a picture of their church on the front). 

After Michigan, we left to see Rachel/Hamlette, a great event that she and I wrote about in this post.  She truly is like a fairy godmother and didn’t let me leave her house empty-handed: in the first photo, you can see a copy of her new book, Cloaked (it’s autographed!), as well as a DVD of Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as Hamlet (*swoon*) and John Williams’ epic score for The Patriot.  Wedged in between the pages of Cloaked is one of the maps she provided my family with when we went to Washington D.C.  She was the best tour guide.  And I picked up those two ‘Identification’ cards (second photo) off the ground in D.C.  They’re related to the Holocaust, so, yes.

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My family and me at the Lincoln Memorial.

Oh, and you see that tattered, folded-in-on-itself piece of lined paper beside Cloaked?  It holds some of my first notes for Shoes & Spies, my NaNoWriMo project, and the reason it’s been ripped out of its notebook is because my little brother was whining about not having any paper left to color on…so I ripped out the one page I’d used in my notebook and gave the notebook to him.  He filled it very, very colorfully.

When we left Michigan, it was on to Tennessee to stay with my second cousin for a little while.  She and her husband are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and before we left their house, she gave me a copy of Frank Peretti’s Prophet (shown in the second photograph).  Which was awesome of her – I love receiving books as gifts.

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At my second cousin’s house.

Our next stop was also in Tennessee and we stayed for several days with a pastor and his wife.  Everybody was wonderful to us on this trip, but the Morrises are some of my family’s dearest, best friends and we had an amazing time with them which included an eating-four-packets-of-hot-sauce challenge, a delicious trip to Starbucks, ‘scary’ stories, deep conversations, good preaching, fun and games, and a ginormous, slobbery dog.  Oh, and tons of good food.  Seriously, the food was the best I’ve ever eaten.  My souvenir from their home was the big purple notebook in the first photo – the itch to write was strong and I had nothing.  Mrs. Morris provided me with that notebook, though, and it ended up holding the first few pages of Shoes & Spies.

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Clyde, the dog, and my brother Ezra.

(I also got my BatBear Build-A-Bear while in Tennessee.)

The Ark Encounter was next.  Mom originally wasn’t going to take us, but thanks to the generosity of several people, we were able to and I’m incredibly thankful for that.  It was a stunning, enormous, breathtaking experience and…yeah.  I’m still blown away.  There’s lots of pamphlets and that sort of thing from the Ark, plus our tickets, plus that adorable red panda who I’ve named Shifu Jr. (and also Hamlet – I know, he has two names).

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At the Ark!

Then we traveled to Indiana and stayed at the Williams’ home.  Mom has known them for decades and it was so neat to make friends with a new generation of the family.  We laughed, talked, watched movies, drank loads of coffee, and ate so much good food.  And left their house fast friends.  Awesome.  The church program in the first photo that says ‘Abiding’ is from the Williams’ church.  Also, the tiny box of Tic-Tacs beside the program (they made us a care basket).

The second-to-last stop in America was in Illinois, where we stayed with my aunt and uncle and their family for almost a week.  It was crowded and messy and showering was a bother (don’t ask), but I would’ve stayed even longer.  We went to two great history museums while there and hung out at home and watched Gladiator and ate a lot of cold cereal.  Our uncle is a ‘funcle’ (fun + uncle) and our aunt is one amazing woman and our cousins are hilarious, so we had a lot of fun.

Some of my cousins and some of my siblings.

Our very last stop in the US was with a pastor and his wife, both of whom were friends of Mom, but all of us children liked them a lot, too.  The pastor was a Vietnam veteran and it was amazing, humbling, and chilling to hear the stories he told.  The program in the second photo, the one with a maple leaf on it, is from their church.

Then it was on to Canada and our new home!  The hotel key card leaning against Prophet is one that I accidentally kept at one of the many hotels we stayed at on the way home. *shrugs*

So, that was our road trip.  I ended up going to thirteen states, plus Washington D.C., which I think is awesome. ❤

Eva

a literary christmas challenge 2017

A Literary Christmas: 2017 Reading Challenge // inthebookcase.blogspot.com 

In The Bookcase is hosting a Literary Christmas Challenge this year and I’m pretty excited about it.  Over the years, I’ve made it a point to read appropriately Christmas-y books in December, but I like the more structured feel this challenge has already given me.  Plus, this is the first year that my family and I are celebrating Christmas for real, so I feel like things should be a little different.

Anyway, here’s the list of books I’ll be reading/reviewing in the month of December. (I have to finish The Candymakers right now, so that’s why I’m waiting even though the challenge started on November 18th.)

~A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (duh)

~The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

~Christmas in the Crosshairs by Gerry Bowler

~A War of Gifts: An Ender Story by Orson Scott Card

~Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh (not strictly a Christmas book, but it takes place around Christmas time and two of the characters’ celebration of the holiday is beautiful)

I might end up reading other Christmas books, too, but those are the ‘official’ ones.  What books are you planning to read this holiday season?

Eva

the disney princess book tag

Hamlette graciously tagged me with this tag – otherwise, I’d have totally stolen it.  I mean, Disney + books?  Works for me!  And I’m just going to say right now that I tag anyone and everyone reading this post who wants to participate.  Go have lots of fun. 🙂 (After reading my post, that is. *wink*)

1. Snow White – Name your favorite classic

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell.  There are so many outstanding classic works that I hold dear to my heart, but since GWTW is my second favorite book of all time, I kinda had to pick it.  And it truly is an amazing classic.

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2. Cinderella – Name a book that kept you reading well past your bedtime

The Scarlet Pimpernel and El Dorado by Baroness Orczy.  I say both of them because when I finished reading TSP for the first time, it was already quite late, but I dove into ED right away because I wanted to stay with the characters and story world longer.  I stayed up ’til past three in the morning, as it turned out.

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3. Aurora – Name your favorite classic romance

Emma by Jane Austen. *swoons*  Emma and Mr. Knightley’s relationship began as friendship, which has always been my ideal.  And the way Emma grows and Mr. Knightley guides her and helps her, all the while falling in love with her…it always makes me happy.

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4. Ariel – Name a book that’s about making sacrifices and fighting for your dreams

The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.  Okay, first of all, do not get me started on this book, because I will not shut up.  I think it’s about as close to perfection as a middle-grade book can get.  All the characters in here fight for their dreams in one way or another – for the competition, definitely (except Daisy?), but also in their own personal lives.  And the sacrifices made at the end of the book…well, I might just cry.

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5. Belle – Name a book with a smart and independent female character

The Cherokee Trail by Louis L’Amour.  Mary Breydon is one of the very best female protagonists I’ve ever come across.  In the wake of her husband’s death, she travels on to the stagecoach station he had agreed to run and fights off all sorts of unsavoury types as she makes a life and a name for herself on the frontier.  So great.

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6. Jasmine – Name a book with a character who challenged the social conventions of his or her world

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.  So many of the characters in this book challenge the conventions and ideas held by Nazi Germany.  The Hubermanns and Liesel hide a Jew in their house after all.  Liesel becomes friends with Max and she and Rudy give bread to starving Jews and their courage is incredibly inspiring.

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7. Pocahontas – Name a book with an ending that was a roller-coaster of emotions

Above All Earthly Powers by Jack Cavanaugh.  Pretty much everyone survives, but Jack Cavanaugh doesn’t wrap everything up with a neat little bow, which always leaves a bittersweet ache in my heart.  It was one of the first books I read where not all the ‘good’ characters are totally happy by the end and that’s stuck with me.

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8. Mulan – Name a book with a kick-youknowwhat female character

The Uglies series by Scott Westerfield.  Tally Youngblood is a great female character.  She doesn’t have all the answers, but she’s willing to fight to find them.  And she’s a great ‘action girl’.  However, it wasn’t until I read Extras that I realized just how amazing, ferocious, and wonderful she is – the main character in that book was horrid, so she provided a nice foil for Tally.

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9. Tiana – Name a book featuring a hardworking, self-made character

The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer.  And all the other books in the series.  Enola works hard to solve her cases and she is very, very much self-made, though probably not in the way the tag creator meant.

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10. Rapunzel – Name a book that features an artist

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  In the second book in the trilogy, Peeta really comes into his own as an artist, since being a victor means that he has to have a talent…and that talent is painting.  From what Collins describes, Peeta’s paintings are truly breathtaking (in a slightly scary way) and he also taps into his artist’s side to comfort the dying morphling.

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11. Merida – Name a book that features a mother-daughter relationship

Eve’s Daughters by Lynn Austin.  My sister and I are kinda obsessed with this book, and as the title hints, it includes several good (and not so good) mother-daughter relationships.  My favorite is the one between Emma and Grace.  Emma loves her daughter with everything in her and goes to great lengths to make sure that Grace has a sheltered, happy childhood even in the middle of the Great Depression.

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12. Anna and Elsa – Name a book that features a great relationship between sibling

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  Just thinking about Darry, Soda, and Ponyboy makes me grin.  They might not always agree – what siblings do? – but they’re always, always there for each other.  I feel like Hinton did a very good job of portraying accurately the complicated relationships that siblings can have with each other.  And I love her image of Soda being the person pulling the whole family together. ❤

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13. Moana – Name a book where the main character travels a great distance (note: Moana was not included in the original tag.  This category is my own addition.)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.  From the earth to the stars and all that. 🙂

What did you think of my answers?  If you do the tag on your blog, please share a link in the comments – I’d love it read your answers!

Eva

i’m back! (sort of)

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Hello again, all you wonderful people!

I’d love to stay here and write for ages, but seeing as there’s currently no internet in my new home (and won’t be until at least December 1st – UGH) I’ll have to make do with a short post.  I’m at a new library right now and it’s awesome and I can’t wait to explore it further.  But first, I felt like I owed all of you some thoughts and an update.

The trip was amazing.  I plan to write a good long post about it when I get the chance, but for now, let me say that I met a million amazing people and the Ark Encounter was unbelievable, and I kinda want to live in the States now.  But Alberta is coolest place ever (literally – it’s freezing outside right now).

NaNoWriMo isn’t going all that well, word count wise, but I’m happy with what I’ve written so far, which I suppose is the important thing.  I recently finished reading a Louis L’Amour book – Killoe.  And the last full movie I watched was ‘Mockingjay: Part 1’ and I thiiiink ‘White Christmas’ before that.  I say last full movie because I’m currently in the middle of a watching Hamlet.  The one with Benedict Cumberbatch.  And so far it’s blown me away.  Seriously.  I knew the guy could act, obviously, having watched Sherlock, but him as Hamlet is an entirely different thing and it’s amazing to watch.

And now I must go. 😦

Don’t forget to be awesome, you guys!

Eva