the robin hood week tag

As many of you probably know, there’s a Robin Hood blog week going on right now, hosted by Olivia of Meanwhile, in Rivendell….  So far, the event has been lots of fun – fun that, I’m sure, will continue throughout the week.  In honor of the occasion, Olivia has created a great tag, and here are my answers.

Robin Hood and Maid Marian

~What was your first exposure to Robin Hood?

That is so difficult to pin-point.  For movies/TV shows, it was either Disney’s animated adaption (#nostalgia), the 1938 version, or a super old black & white TV series.  For books/stories, it could’ve been the Great Illustrated Classics version, the Robin Hood story in my grandma’s Disney anthology (based on the Richard Todd film), or the classic Howard Pyle stories.

~On a scale of 1 to 10, how big a fan are you?

Seven or eight.  Surprisingly enough, I’m not a huge fan of Robin himself (in any adaption/re-telling except Disney’s animated), but there are lots of things about pretty much any version that I love.  Mainly, the other characters and historical coolness and all the different legends.

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~How many versions and spin-offs of the legend have you experienced?

MAN.  Do you know how hard that is to answer?  Let me see…

  • 1938 Errol Flynn movie
  • 1973 Disney animated movie
  • 1952 Richard Todd movie
  • BBC TV series
  • A few episodes of the 1950’s TV show
  • 2012 Tom and Jerry Robin Hood movie (this one is rather awful, but some of the songs are good and Robin Hood is voiced by Jamie Bamber who also plays my dear Archie on Horatio Hornblower, so there are some good points about it)
  • Howard Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Paul Creswick’s The Adventures of Robin Hood: An English Legend
  • Great Illustrated Classics The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (adapted from Howard Pyle)

That’s all I can remember for right now.  I’ve read/seen some versions of Ivanhoe as well, but I don’t remember Robin Hood in any of those.

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~What is your favorite version of Robin Hood (can be book, movie, TV series, anything)?

Robin Hood (1973) with BBC’s modern TV series and Paul Creswick’s novel as second and third favorites.

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~Are you one of the lads? (Meaning, have you watched/are you a fan of the BBC show?)

Of course.

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~Who is your favorite Merry Man?

Depends on what adaption I’m watching. (I don’t really care much in the book versions I’ve read.)  In the 1938 movie it’s Will or Littlejohn.  In the 1973 movie it’s Robin Hood himself.  And in the BBC series, it’s Will in the first two seasons and Allan in the third.

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~Do you have a favorite portrayal of Lady Marian?

Another tough one!  Olivia de Haviland is Maid Marian, in my opinion, but Lucy Griffiths’ portrayal is one of my favorites as well.  And in Disney’s animated film, Marian is such a sweet, gentle lady…it’s very difficult to decide.  I think Olivia de Haviland wins, however.  She is radiantly perfect as Robin’s lady love.

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~Do you have any interest in or aptitude at archery?

No and no.  However…

Isn’t exactly true for me, of course, but the point still stands.

~Fact or fiction — which do you think?

I’m going to go with something along the lines of what my British Literature textbook said: that there were probably a bunch of guys who did similar things to what the legendary Robin Hood did and, sure, there may have been a few songs written about them, but I think it’s mostly just a bunch of stories that sprang from people’s imaginations.

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~Do you think Robin Hood has been “done to death,” or are there still new twists that can be found?

I don’t know how many new twists there are (I do dearly want to watch ‘Robin and the 7 Hoods’, though!) but I’m not tired of the Robin Hood story yet. (There’s tons of adaptions and re-tellings waiting for me to discover anyway.)  And even if every movie and book and and novel followed the same legends every time, there would always be new actors and actresses, new scriptwriters, and new writing styles.  I don’t think the classic stories and characters will ever truly grow old.

Thanks for the tag (and the blog week), Olivia!  I’m lovin’ it. 🙂

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Eva

the writer’s tag

I know I just did a tag, but…whatever.  Hamlette tagged me and here are my answers.

1. What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

While I’ve flitted around from genre to genre over the years (ranging from historical fiction to dystopia to fanfiction) I’ve come to settle into westerns.  Louis L’Amour’s stories have inspired me, as have so many of the western films that I love.  Westerns are my happy place, my sweet spot, and I love writing them.

Styles?  I don’t really know.  Sometimes I tend to copy-cat whatever author I’ve read most recently – consciously or unconsciously – especially ones with a strong voice, like Suzanne Collins.  Obviously, that’s a problem.  I can’t really define my writing style/voice/whatever, but that’ll probably come in time.

Topics, topics, topics…I have this weird fascination with the idea of someone being thought a traitor but actually isn’t, or someone who is, in fact, a traitor, but then changes their ways.  Is that an actual topic?  I’ve written a couple of things centered around that, but mostly the stuff I write is all over the place.

Indeedy!:

2. How long have you been writing?

I don’t know exactly how long, but it’s been several years.  The big thing that pushed me into writing was when I read Northanger Abbey in my pre- to early teens.  I became obsessed with all things Jane Austen + Regency, so I started writing my own Regency novellas (they. were. wretched.) and then it branched out from there.  But even before then, I’d write stories.

3. Why do you write?

1) God has given me my ability to write (however small that ability is) and I want to use that talent as best I can to bring honor to His name.  So that when people compliment my writing I can turn it all back to Him.

2) It’s just plain awesomeness.

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4. When is the best time to write?

For me, personally?  When I write, it’s usually sometime in the mid- to late-morning.  My brain’s not trying to wake up anymore and it’s not crammed full of things I’ve done during the day either.  Though writing in the evening has a certain charm about it as well.

5. Parts of writing you love vs. parts you hate.

I love thinking.  Thinking about how the plot could fit together, thinking of crackling, witty dialogue and lovely, brave characters who are wounded in some way, at some time, but still able to do What Needs To Be Done.  I love all that.  And I love listening to cool beans music as I write.

What I hate is actually sitting down and writing and realizing that all those plot twists and dialogue bits and brilliant characterization has flown from my head and all that’s left is the wreck of whatever I tried to write yesterday. (Okay, it’s not that bad.  But sometimes it’s pretty close.)  I also dislike writing dialogue; I feel like I can never get it to sound natural.

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6. How do you overcome writer’s block?

Ignore it and hope it goes away?  Usually, I pray.  Then I switch back and forth between the two major projects I’ve got going right now (more about those in a minute) or I write some fanfiction.  Eventually, it all works out.

7. Are you working on something at the moment?

Yup.  Well, I’m not actively working on it at this very moment and I haven’t written anything in a few days, but I’ve got some things in progress: two western novels – Reese and The Bounty Hunter – and then a spot of 3:10 to Yuma fanfiction.  I literally have no idea where I’m going with the fic ’cause the movie wrapped up so neatly, but I WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH THESE CHARACTERS. (With *cough* one character in *cough* particular.)

8. Writing goals this year?

Write every day.  Seems unreachable, but I haven’t been trying hard enough.

you bet!:

Feel free to snag this tag if you want to.  It’s open to anyone, as far as I’m concerned. 🙂

Eva

book lover tag

Kate over at Once Upon An Ordinary tagged me in this tag when she said “I happen to know you are a fellow book-lover (why else would you be reading this?), so I would love to see your answers to these questions!”.  So here are the questions and my answers. (I feel like I talk about movies more than books on this blog, even though I love books better.  Must rectify that.)

~Name a book you’re embarrassed to say you haven’t read yet.

Well, I wouldn’t say I’m embarrassed about this, but I haven’t read Jane Austen’s Sandition yet, even though I’m an ardent Austenite.

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~What is the strangest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?

No idea.  Most of the time, I either use a bookmark or try to remember whatever page number I was on. (Which rarely works.)

~Look at your bookshelf. What’s the first book you see with a yellow spine?

The first totally yellow one (besides the title, of course) was Shane by Jack Schaefer. *heart-eyed emoji*

~If you could have one new book from a deceased author, who would it be?

Jane Austen.  Duh.

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~Name an author who deserves more readership.

JACK CAVANAUGH.  Seriously, people.  Though my obsession with his books has cooled slightly (he’s no longer my favoritest author ever) he is still a genius in the world of Christian fiction.  And historical fiction in general, for that matter.  If you want to know where to start, I suggest The Victors.  It’s part of a series, but you can easily read it and not be confused in the least.  He’s a great author and his Songs in the Night series has impacted my life probably more than any other.

~Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Bookmark.  Sometimes a library receipt, but usually a real bookmark.

~Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter?

If I absolutely have to, I can stop anywhere, but it’s so much more comfortable to finish the chapter.

~One book at a time or several?

I used to be a ‘one book at a time’ girl, but not so much anymore.  For instance, recently I’ve been reading a book for school, a Christian historical romance, and a Suzanne Collins book, all pretty much at once.  But if I come across an epic book, chances are I’ll ignore all the others until I’m done that one.

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~Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I don’t read ahead and the only reasons I have for skipping pages are: 1) an inappropriate scene or 2) I’ve read the book before and I know of a particularly boring part that I don’t want to re-read.

~Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

If it’s a paperback (especially a cheap one), I’ll probably end up breaking the spine.  It doesn’t really stress me out to see cracked spines (unless pages are falling out, or something) ’cause it’s usually the sign of a well-loved favorite.

~What book do you regret reading?

The Fault in our Stars by John Green.  Just no.

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~On average, how many books do you read per year?

2014: 268 books read.  2o15: 167 books read.  2016: 107 books read.  2017: 58 books read (so far).  So I have no idea.

~What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

Emma by Jane Austen, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and anything by Suzanne Collins.

~What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?

Unless we’re talking about the Bible (in which case, there are probably dozens of lessons) it’s hard for me to say.  I really don’t know.

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~What is the most recent book you’ve read?

Gregor and the Code of Claw by Suzanne Collins.  An awesome conclusion to an awesome series.  For a week or two each year, I live in the world of the Underland – if you’ve never read the series, you need to because it’s an incredible experience.  Just don’t ever make a bad movie out of it, Hollywood.  Please.

~What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?

Major spoilers for Gregor and the Marks of Secret.  Y’all have been warned.

[Hazard’s almost-bond, Thalia, has died.  Howard tells him of his own bat, Pandora, who was killed earlier.]

“You’re not crying about her now,” said Hazard.
“No,” said Howard.  “I have become used to carrying her in my heart.”

“My heart is crowded already,” whispered Hazard.  “But I’m sure the other will make room for Thalia.  She is not a very big bat.”  And with that, he drifted off to sleep.

Don’t worry about me.  It’s just FEELS.  It’s stuck with me for so long, too, that quote.

~How many books do you own?

No idea.  Probably over two hundred, though, counting what I’ve got on my Kindle as well.

~In the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?

I’m not sure exactly what year this question refers to.  In 2016, it was The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  This year, so far, it’s Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray even though I hated the ending.

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So, those are my answers.  If you love books and want to participate, please do!

Eva

liebster award!

Hamlette tagged me with the Liebster award (thank you, Hamlette!), so here it is.

Eleven (hopefully not boring) facts about myself:

  1. My favorite flavor is lemon.
  2. I adore the Oxford comma.
  3. My new favorite actor is Glenn Ford.
  4. I share a birthday with Alan Ladd.
  5. My favorite comic strip is Calvin & Hobbes.
  6. I’m of Germanic + British + American descent.
  7. My middle name is Ruth.
  8. I currently own Lego minifigures of Mr. Incredible, Bucky, and Wyldestyle. (Wyldstyle id a key-chain minifig.)
  9. I named the horse + rider token in my family’s Monopoly game ‘Shane’.
  10. My favorite Disney song is ‘Go the Distance’.
  11. I have a hard time coming up with facts about myself.

Hamlette’s questions:

1. Is there a movie that has really yummy-looking food in it that you’d love to eat? Well, I don’t know how yummy-looking it is, but I’ve always thought that the mushroom soup in ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ (1959) would be delicious.  And I’m not even a soup person!

2.  What era do most of your favorite movies take place in?  My favorite movies are all over the place when it comes to a specific time era.  I do love war films and westerns, though.

3.  What two actors/actresses have you always hoped would make a movie together, but didn’t/haven’t yet?  I haven’t really thought about it that much, so I’m bypassing this question, at least for now. (If I do think of something after I publish this post, I’ll come back and add it in later.)

4.  If money and time and supplies (and crafting ability) were not considerations, what movie character would you love to cosplay or dress up like for Halloween?  Wyldstyle/Lucy.  She’s pretty awesome and her hoodie is cool and her hair would be fun to copy for once. (As long as I didn’t need to get it semi-permanently dyed or anything.)

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5.  Have you ever cosplayed or dressed up like a movie or TV character for Halloween?  My family doesn’t celebrate Halloween, but I have cosplayed a couple of times.  Once as Moffitt from the TV show ‘The Rat Patrol’ and once as Jed from the Night at the Museum movies (playing opposite my sister’s Octavius).

6.  What movie would your friends/family be surprised to learn you truly enjoyed?  I’m very vocal about my movie loves, so I have no idea.

7.  What’s one book you hope no one ever makes into a film?  That’s a tough one…because who doesn’t want their favorite books turned into movies?  I guess, though, that having no Jack Cavanaugh movies is better than having wretched book-to-film adaptions of his books, right? (And the same holds true for any of my beloved books that haven’t made the leap from page to screen.)

8.  Do you know the Wilhelm Scream when you hear it?  Yes!  So do all my older siblings, I think.

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There’s absolutely no reason to put this picture, except maybe because the Wilhelm Scream was first heard in a western and I’m crushing on Glenn Ford right now.

9.  When a character onscreen has to hold their breath, to you try to hold your breath to match theirs?  Sometimes, sometimes not.

10.  What upcoming movies (or TV series) are you excited about?  ‘Wonder’ (2017) and ‘Cars 3’ (2017).

11.  What are some of your favorite movie-oriented blogs?  (Or just blogs that post movie reviews sometimes.) I follow a lot of blogs that are movie-oriented, but most of them are not read (by me) with great regularity.  The only blogs I read a lot are those written by friends, people I know quite well – my taste for reading blog posts has dropped quite a bit in the past while.

My questions:

  1. Do you own any pets?
  2. What’s your favorite animated movie?
  3. What was the last book you read?
  4. Are you Introverted, Extroverted, or somewhere in between?
  5. Who’s one actor/actress everyone likes except you?
  6. Who’s one actor/actress nobody seems to like and/or know of except you?
  7. Can you whistle?
  8. What’s your favorite number?
  9. Do you collect fandom mugs?
  10. Louisa May Alcott or Lucy Maud Montgomery?
  11. Chocolate or cheese?

I am not tagging eleven people, so if my questions intrigue you and you want to play, go right ahead.

Eva

the movie tag

{I ripped this tag out of a library book  took this tag from Sidewalk Crossings.  Thanks, DKoren!}

Because ‘Hugo’ (2011) is a movie about movies.

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~Favourite foreign film –The Lady Vanishes’ (1938), a British film directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

~Most underrated film  So many!  There’s one gem of a WWII film, ‘Saints & Soldiers’ (2003) that I wish was better known.  There’s also Disney’s ‘Robin Hood’ (1973), ‘The Great Mouse Detective’ (1986), and ‘Meet the Robinsons’ (2007).  And the Air Bud film franchise (forget Air Buddies, though).

~A film that makes you happy – I’ve got some films I call “mac ‘n’ cheese movies” like ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (1960), both of the Anne of Green Gables movies (the Kevin Sullivan ones, of course), ‘The Happiest Millionaire’ (1967), ‘State Fair’ (1945), the second and third Night at the Museum movies, and ‘Cars’ (2006).  All of those make me enormously happy.  (By the way, I call them “mac ‘n’ cheese movies” ’cause they’re like comfort food for me.  Only movies.)  ‘The Outsiders’ (1983) also makes me happy, but in a different way.

~A film that makes you sad – Um…just one? *looks at DVD shelf for inspiration* ‘The Great Locomotive Chase’ (1956) was pretty devastating when I was younger (especially for a Disney film, of all things) and while it doesn’t hit me in the exact same way anymore (now that I’ve got movies like ‘Schindler’s List’ (1993) and ‘Titanic’ (1997) and ‘The Ox-Bow Incident’ (1943) under my belt) it still saddens me.  So I’m going to go with that.

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~Favourite love story in a film – Currently?  Mr. Knightley and Emma Woodhouse from BBC’s ‘Emma’ (2009), Don and Kathy from ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ (1952), and Flynn and Rapunzel from ‘Tangled’ (2010).

~Favourite actor/actress – Favorite old Hollywood actor: Dana Andrews (with James Coburn in second place).  Favorite old Hollywood actress: Audrey Hepburn (with Ingrid Bergman in second place).  Favorite modern actor: TomCruiseandHarrisonFord.  Favorite modern actress: Cate Blanchett?  I guess?

~The best plot twist/ending  –  Ooh!  Ooh!  I have the perfect answer for this one.  Absolute favorite movie ending EVER is the ending to ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ (2007).  When Nicky is listening to the radio (or is she watching TV?) and the newscaster says that nobody’s found Bourne’s body yet and then that delicious music starts playing and she smiles and then it cuts to him swimming away.  It’s gold, I tell you, and I can’t describe it well enough – you just have to watch it for yourself.  (The runner-up for this category would definitely be the ending of ‘The Great Escape’ (1963).)

~The best opening/closing credits – Opening credits?  ‘The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming’ (1966).  Always makes me grin.  As for closing credits, I’m partial to the closing credits to any Marvel movie I’ve seen, ’cause they’re so cool. (Plus, mid- and after-credits scenes for the win.)  Also, ‘WALL·E”s (2008) closing credits are simply the best.

~The best soundtrack/score to a film – HOW CAN I ANSWER THAT?  Impossible.  Hagood Hardy’s score for ‘Anne of Green Gables’ (1985) and James Powell’s score for the How to Train Your Dragon movies would definitely be near the top of the list, though.  And Elmer Bernstein’s iconic scoring for ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (1960) is awesome as well.  But, really, there are wayyyy too many for me to list here.

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~Favourite classic film –  Besides ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (1960) (which I’ll be putting down as an answer to the last question) my favorite classic film would most likely be ‘Casablanca’ (1942).  There are loads of other classic films that I adore, of course, but ‘Casablanca’ has always been special to me ever since it changed my opinion of old black & white movies.

~A film that you hate – Pinocchio’ (1940). *shudders*

~A film that changed your opinion about something – Well, I wish I could say something deep and powerful in answer to this one, but the only thing I can think of is how drastically ‘Minority Report’ (2002) changed my opinion of Tom Cruise (for the better).  Oh, and of course, ‘Casablanca’ (1942) changed my opinion of old movies (again, for the better).  As did ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ (1935), come to think of it.

~A guilty pleasure  The Air Bud movies.  So much cheese, but so much nostalgia and feels and amazingness, too.

~A film that you used to love but now hate – Basically any animated movie my little brothers have watched to death.  Also, ‘Frozen’ (2013) because it’s actually pretty lame. (At least, in my opinion.)

It’s still a gorgeous movie, though.

~Favourite film sequel – ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ (1989), ‘Catching Fire’ (2013), ‘Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian’ (2009) ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ (2014), and ‘Anne of Avonlea’ (1987).  All superb sequels.

~Film character you relate to the most – I don’t really relate to fictional characters all that often.  Rilla Blythe and Darry Curtis are two with whom I feel the most connection (and they’re so different, too!) but that’s only when it comes to the book (Rilla of Ingleside and The Outsiders).  I guess Belle, from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (1991), would be my answer.

~Favourite film quote – “I have no idea what I’m going to do tomorrow.”  “How exciting!” (Larry and Teddy from ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb)  That one always makes me tear up just a little and it’s so inspiring.  I tend to like conversations in films better than just single quotes, though. (Mostly funny conversations, if we’re being specific.) (Mag7 does have some super-duper one-liners, though.)

~A film that you wish more people had seen – In theatres, do you mean?  I really couldn’t say, so just take a look at the films I put in the ‘most underrated film’ category.

~The most hilarious film you’ve seen – ‘Meet the Robinsons’ (2007).  There are lots of great comedies I’ve watched in my time, but that one always makes me laugh and laugh and laugh.  ‘The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming’ (1966) also amuses me greatly. (As well as the Night at the Museum movies and basically every animated film ever.)

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~A film you wish someone would make – Not counting all the book-to-film adaptions I want, I’d have to say that ‘Finding Coral’ would be my first choice.  It would be the third film in the ‘Finding Nemo’ (2003) series and would begin with Marlin (somehow) finding out that Coral didn’t actually die, but instead was seriously injured/lost and now Marlin and Nemo have to set out on an epic quest to find her.  THIS HAS TO BE A THING, AMIRIGHT? (Note: this was originally my brother Ezra’s idea, but I’ve adopted it.)

~Favourite film from your favourite actor/actress  –  Dana Andrews – ‘Laura’ (1944) // Audrey Hepburn – ‘Charade’ (1963) // Tom Cruise – ‘Minority Report’ (2002) // Harrison Ford – ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ (1989) // Cate Blanchett – ‘Cinderella’ (2015)

~Favourite documentary – I don’t watch documentaries.

~Favourite animated film – ‘Meet the Robinsons’ (2007) and ‘Cars’ (2006).  Also, the How to Train Your Dragon movies and ‘Robin Hood’ (1973) and ‘Tangled’ (2010) and, oh, just tons and tons of others.  I guess it all depends on my mood, really.

~Favourite film based on a book/comic/etc. – ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ (2014).  ‘Big Hero 6’ (2014) is great as well.

~Favourite film villain – That is such a hard one to answer, because what does it really mean?  Evilest villain? (President Snow from the Hunger Games movies)  ‘Favorite’ in the sense of one that I have a weird, unexplainable liking for/crush on? (Ben Wade from ‘3:10 to Yuma’ – 1957)  A villain that I alternately despise and understand? (Professor Callahan from ‘Big Hero 6’ – 2014)  Is it a villain that’s so suave and smart that you can’t help but be fascinated by him? (Waldo from ‘Laura’ – 1944)  Or is it a villain that isn’t really a villain at all? (The Winter Soldier from ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ – 2014)  How am I supposed to answer that? 

Oh, wait.  I just did.

~A film that you love but everyone else hates – ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’ (2008) because seriously, people.  Why all the hate???  It’s a clever, interesting film that, while it doesn’t feel the same as the first three, still delivers fast-paced adventure and enough nostalgia to tug at your heartstrings and, admit it, Mutt isn’t all that bad.  And neither is the movie as a whole.

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~A film you wish you had seen in theatres – *shrugs* (This post is so long already and I’ve only seen a movie in a movie theatre once.)

~Favourite film from your favourite director  – Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Notorious’ (1946), William Wyler’s ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’ (1946), and Steven Spielberg’s ‘Minority Report’ (2002).

~Favourite film from your childhood – That would be Disney’s ‘Robin Hood’ (1973).  I’ve got it memorized.

~Your favourite film of all time – ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (1960).  And if you didn’t know that, you’ve obviously just stumbled across my blog, ’cause I’ve talked about my love for this film in at least three posts.  It’s a gloriously amazing movie with The Best Cast of All Time and The Best Soundtrack of all Time and The Best Quotable Lines of all time.  If you haven’t seen it, what on earth are you waiting for? 🙂

Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner in The Magnificent Seven (1960):

Wow.  That was a looooong post.  Congratulations for making it all the way down here!  Now let’s talk about all these movies (and more) in the comments, ‘kay?

Eva

the New Year’s tag {2016-2017}

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This post is so long that I’m not going to put some big introduction up here, just dive straight into the questions. 🙂

What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

Rode a bike, kept a diary for a whole year, and saw a Shakespeare play live.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make one this year?

The five things I wanted to do in 2016 were: Learn to ride a bike (see above), expand my bank robbery/hostage/western story (nope – tried it for a while, but my heart wasn’t in it), revise The Bounty Hunter (that’s a work in progress), spend less time online (definitely nailed that – except for emails and blogging, I’m not online as much as I used to be), and LIVE (not sure exactly what all I was thinking that would entail when I put it down, but I think I’ve succeeded).  Overall, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve accomplished this year.  

As for making a new New Years’ resolution, there are several things I’d like to do in the coming year, but there’s a section for those at the end of this tag, so I’ll just list them there.

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes!  One of the ladies in our church had an adorable baby girl – Yael Ruth.  She had five boys before Yael, so we were all pretty excited + happy that there’s finally a girl in the family.  The baby shower we threw for her was a riot of pink, believe me.  We can’t stop fussing over her.

Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no, though I was saddened by the deaths of Harper Lee, Robert Vaughn, Bernard Fox, Carrie Fisher, and Debbie Reynolds.

What countries/states did you visit?

I stayed strictly in Ontario, Canada.  Which I don’t mind much, since I’m an introverted homebody and I don’t have any form of wanderlust whatsoever.  Well, except maybe to visit my friends in the States (and Belgium), which didn’t happen this year. *sigh*

What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

A closer walk with God and a completed draft of The Bounty Hunter, among other things.

What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory?

Dates don’t tend to stick in my mind, so I had to look this one up in my diary, but June 16th is the one that comes most easily to mind.  That was the day I called on Jesus’ name and was born again, so that’s important to me for obvious reasons.  (Also, I quite liked my birthday.)

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Did you move anywhere?

Nope.  Really happy about that, since I think the house my family is in right now is pretty much perfect for us.

What was the best month?

2016 has been a year of ups and downs, so it’s difficult to pin-point a good month.  I had an amazing summer, though, what with becoming a part of God’s family and all the travelling I did with my grandparents, parents, and siblings.  That was also when I saw Macbeth live and really fell in love with Shakespeare.  Plus, I first read The Outsiders in the summer.  So, I’d say July/August was my favorite time of year.  There has been a lot of stress and strain throughout the second half of 2016, though…it’s probably been the hardest year of my life so far.  But God is so good to us in the hard times.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I learned how to ride a bike!  I tend to get frustrated very quickly when I can’t learn how to do something on the first or second try, but I was determined to learn how to ride a bike, no matter how long it took or how hard it was.  And my persistence paid off in the end, mostly thanks to my sister, Elisabeth, who stuck with me through all my spills and slip-ups. (And, in the end, a lot of prayer.)  I’m not perfectly proficient yet, but that’ll come in time.  Elisabeth and I have plans to cycle around the neighborhood pretending to be French resistance courier girls.  Should be lots of fun.

What was your biggest failure?

I’m wretched at completing to-do lists.  And I don’t trust God half as much as I should.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes.  In March all my siblings and I came down with rounds of ear infections.  We never get ear infections, unlike lots of kids, so it hit us really hard.  Plus, my eardrum burst (it wasn’t painful or anything, but I lost pretty much all hearing in the infected ear until it healed) and there were a few days where I was so sick I couldn’t even write in my journal (except to say “Too sick to write…”).  I think it’s the sickest I’ve ever been.

As to injuries, when I was learning how to ride my bike, I took a turn too fast and smashed down a bumpy hill and ended up with a horribly scraped up knee.  It took weeks to heal properly and if I hadn’t been wearing my helmet, I think I’d have seriously injured my head – I still remember the jar it got when I crashed.

My bike looks quite a bit like this one.

What was the best thing you bought?

Feast your eyes.  And, just for the record, the best thing I was given this year was a beautiful brand-new, pale-turquoise-with-white-trimmings bicycle.  It’s gorgeously elegant.  I’ve named it Adele, after the heroine of Violins of Autumn.

Whose behavior merited celebration?

My whole family, but especially my dad, who’s been splendidly brave during his battle with cancer.  Mom’s really been amazing, too, and I’m so awe-struck with and proud of how she and Dad never let things get them down (at least not for very long), but instead just keep trusting in God and doing things for other people and not thinking of themselves at all.  Also, our family doctor organized a food drive for us and pretty much everyone else we know has given us TONS of food and other lovely gifts (not to mention their prayers).  It’s been amazing, seeing how God uses ordinary people to accomplish His purposes.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Um…my own? (At times.)  But most of all, the Democrats.  Trump won, people.  End of story.

Where did most of your money go?

Books, of course.  Books, books, and more books.  (I have purchased soooooo many amazing ones from thrift/used book stores.  It’s crazy, the deals I’ve gotten.)  I also spent a fair amount on gifts for family and friends.  But there were no big purchases like last year, when I bought Hymie (my laptop).

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going to see Macbeth live.  Admittedly, I was also a little leery, but I knew it’d be awesome.  And it was.  Oh, and watching Captain America: Civil War was also a thrill.

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What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?

I don’t do concerts.  Sorry.

What song/album will always remind you of 2016?

Better Than I‘ from Dreamwork’s Joseph: King of Dreams.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. happier or sadder? About the same, though I’d say I’m more serious.
2. thinner or fatter? About the same. *sigh*
3. richer or poorer? About the same – practically nothing in my wallet.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Writing.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Crying?  Also, wasting time with dumb stuff.

What was your greatest musical discovery?

Blackapella.  Also Laura Bretan, Grace VanderWaal, and Sal Valentinetti.

How did you spend Christmas?

Christmas Eve, my family has a tradition where Dad and Mom give everyone a book, so that was lots of fun. (Because, you know, BOOKS.)  I was given a huge book full of reproductions of the New York Times’ front pages from 1851 to 2015.  Super awesome.  And then we all sat around with my grandparents and talked and ate pie and ice cream and drank lots of coffee. (We also had a big turkey dinner.)  And then on Christmas Day, we had church in our home, which was great.  My aunt came over and stayed for a while after all the church members left and I listened to Christmas music. ❤

How are you spending New Year’s?

We haven’t celebrated the new year yet, but I want to publish this post today, so I’ll just tell ya’ll what we’re planning to do, God willing.  My family gives gifts at New Year’s instead of Christmas, and we usually do that New Year’s Day, but since it falls on a Sunday this year (next year?) we’ll be exchanging gifts on New Year’s Eve instead.  We’ll be having chili dogs instead of a big turkey dinner, ’cause we had that on Christmas Eve.  And then we’re going to ring in the new year with Meet the Robinsons (it’s a tradition, people).

Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

I’m an introvert.  KEEP THE PHONE AS FAR AWAY FROM ME AS POSSIBLE.  So I really don’t know.

What was the best book you read?

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton.  BECAUSE REASONS.  It’s a wonderful, wonderful book filled with emotion and and rich, deep characters and a message that’s just as important today as it was in 1967.

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Did you fall in love in 2016?

Hahahaha.  YES.  Duh.  But it was with fictional characters (John Anderton, Ponyboy Curtis, Johnny Cade, Spike Scarlotti, Lightning McQueen, Gus Pike, Rye Tyler…) and celebrities (mostly Tom Cruise and Ralph Macchio).  Nobody real – yet. (I know celebs are real people.  But you know what I mean.)

What was your favorite TV show?

I watched three new TV shows this year: Psych, Road to Avonlea, and Flashpoint. (I also sampled several other shows, including The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Bionic Woman, Sanford & Son and Murder, She Wrote.)  And the spot for favorite show is a toss-up between Psych and Flashpoint.  (RtA was good, but it wasn’t great like those two.)  Psych is awesome and hilarious and full of pop culture references.  And Flashpoint… I love the characters, I love that it’s Canadian, and I love the tense, emotional storylines.  HOW CAN I CHOOSE?  I can’t, really, especially since the two shows are so different.  I just can’t.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Nope.  In fact, there are people who I disliked last year who I like better now.  WIN.

What did you want and get?

A bike!  After I learned how to ride on my sister’s bike I wanted my own and I’m so happy Dad was able to buy one for me.

What did you want and not get?

Can’t think of anything right now.  I’m pretty content with what I have.

What were your favorite films of this year?

Minority Report (2002), Cars (2006), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Back to the Future (1985), Megamind (2010), Brooklyn (2015), Lady and the Tramp (1955), Treasure Planet (2002), Titanic (1997), The Outsiders (1983), Holes (2003), and 3:10 to Yuma (1957).  To name a few.

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What were your favorite books of this year? (This question wasn’t in the original tag.  But I added it in anyway, because WHY NOT?)

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, Shane by Jack Schaefer, To Tame a Land and Last Stand at Papago Wells by Louis L’Amour, The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall,  Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill, All Fall Down and See How They Run by Ally Carter.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?

I’ve never had a personal fashion concept.  I just wear whatever, as long as it’s clean and neat and looks okay on me.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was eighteen. (I’m still having trouble believing it myself.)  And according to my journal: “Went out for breakfast at Wimpy’s [where the staff sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me because my grandpa told them it was my birthday + I got a piece of cheesecake + I got my picture taken with the wonderful, large poster of Casablanca they had hanging up], went to [a] bookstore, got lots of lovely presents.  Watched The Outsiders and started re-reading it.  Made cupcakes for church. :)”

What kept you sane?

God.  The Bible.  Prayer.  My parents.  Good books + movies + TV shows + music.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

*shrugs* I can’t really think of anything.  Of course, there are things I wish had/hadn’t happened, but I’m pretty satisfied with this year, overall.  Although if Dad was still perfectly healthy, that would be something that would have made 2016 a million times better.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Ralph Macchio.  ‘Cause he’s adorable.  And I did gain a great liking for Tom Cruise and a deeper appreciation for Harrison Ford.

What political issue stirred you the most?

Is this really even a question?  The US election.  Duh.  It’s the most I’ve ever gotten stirred up over politics, and I’m not even an American!  Dad and Mom stayed up until two in the morning on election night/day to hear the results and then Mom woke me up a few hours later with the news.  However, even though I got super interested (even excited + a little angry) over the election results, I wish people would stop talking about the whole thing now.  It’s over and done with, people.

Who did you miss?

All my internet friends who I’ve never met but still miss anyway.  Let’s meet this year, guys!

Who was the best new person you met?

I did have a lot of fun getting to know Jessica Prescott better.  She comments on just about every blog post I write, we’re friends on Goodreads, and we’ve exchanged a few emails.  She’s also recommended a few amazing books to me (To Tame a Land, Echo, and Salt to the Sea) which I’ve really enjoyed – that’s strengthened our friendship quite a bit.  It’s been great.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016.

Trust in God.  Always, even (ESPECIALLY) when it’s hard.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Time goes by,
Time brings changes,
You change, too.

Nothing comes that you can’t handle,
So on you go… 
~’Our Town’ // Cars

Five things I want to do in 2017:

  • Pray more.
  • Write every day.
  • Lose weight.
  • Read at least fifteen new-to-me books.
  • Meet at least one internet friend.

2017, HERE WE COME!

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Eva

a very merry tag

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‘Tis the season

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Rules

  • Link back to the person who tagged you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Add/exchange questions for the next people, if you like.
  • Tag as many people as you like!

 

The Questions

*** Does it snow where you live around Christmas?  How much? Any special snowy Christmas stories? ***

Of course it snows here.  This is Canada, where (according to pretty much everyone who isn’t a Canadian) it snows and hails and sleets all year ’round. *glowers at movies/TV shows/internet stupidity that makes it appear so*  In all seriousness, it does snow a fair bit where we live, though so far this winter has been a dismal disappointment – we get lovely, luscious snow one day and then the very next, it all melts away, leaving muddy, splotchy grass.  Not very uplifting.  But the month is young!  When my family lived in the country, my siblings and I would make giant snow forts/tunnels and play on/in them for hours.  Very fun.

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*** Do you get a real tree or a fake tree? ***

We haven’t ever had a tree.  But if we did, I’d want it to be real.

*** What is your favorite Christmas movie? ***

White Christmas, forever and ever.  There’s lots of other that I enjoy as well, but White Christmas will always be my favorite.  Most of the other Christmas movies I love aren’t what you would call traditional Christmas films. (Stalag 17, for one.)  I also find the Christmas episodes of classic (and modern) TV shows to be a lovely, heartwarming treat.  Along with this.

*** Where in the world would you like to spend Christmas the most? ***

At home.  Boring, I know.  Still, as Jane Austen says “There is nothing like staying at home. for real comfort”.

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*** What fictional/literary character would you most like to spend Christmas with? ***

When I first pondered this question, no one came to mind, but then possibilities began flooding in so fast that I haven’t sorted them out yet.  So I’ll just throw them all at you because I love each and every one: the Curtis brothers (The Outsiders), Mr. Knightley + Emma (Emma), the Finch family (To Kill a Mockingbird), the Pontipees (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), and Spike + family (Flashpoint). *siiiiigh*  I’d be more than happy to spend Christmas with any of these families (and they’re all families because I think a one-on-one Christmas celebration with a fictional character would be awkward).

*** What is your favorite Christmas song? ***

HOW CAN YOU ASK SUCH A QUESTION?  I adore ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’, ‘Hark, the Herald Angels Sing’, ‘White Christmas’, ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’, ‘Winter Wonderland’, ‘Jingle Bells’…oh, so many.  How can I chose?  I guess I’d pick ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’ because it means a lot to me (not that the others don’t, but that one especially).

*** What is your favorite Christmas book/story (besides, ya know, the story)? ***

How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. *bawls* It never gets old, it never fails to hit that sweet spot for me somewhere in the middle of humor, feels, and a very, very timely message for our generation.  LOVE.

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*** Which do you prefer: multi-colored lights or white lights? ***

Multi-colored!  They’re so cheerful and bright. ❤

*** What time period/decade would you most like to spend Christmas in? ***

Um…I like the way Christmas is now, but I guess the 40s.  Just because the 40s is pretty much the best in every way (except for, y’know, World War II and all) and all those Christmas carols would be playing the department stores and there’d be loads of gorgeous window displays and everything would be merry and bright and full of good cheer. (Not that it isn’t these days.  And I’m more talking about post-WWII 40s, by the way.)  That would be amazing.

*** Which period drama has the best Christmas scene/episode? ***

Another (almost) impossible question.  I love the Christmas scenes in Little Women (1994 version), White Christmas (of course), Eloise at Christmastime, It’s a Wonderful Life, Emma (2009 version)…there are so many, many perfect moments.  But I think I’d have to go with a Christmas scene that I’ve discussed before on this blog – the one from Stalag 17, when the gang gives Joey a new piccolo and everyone’s singing ‘Oh Come, All Ye Faithful’.  Because I really think that that scene sums up a whole lot of what Christmas is about (besides Jesus being born, of course – I’m talking more about the general spirit of peace and generosity and good-will).  Never fails to make me cry.

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I had so much fun with this tag – feel free to borrow it + don’t forget to listen to tons of good Christmas music this holiday season!

Eva