the outsiders read-along: chapter 5

2018-05-28 20_01_02-Edit - PicMonkey Photo Editor and Graphic Design Maker

So, in this chapter, Ponyboy and Johnny hang out at the church in Windrixville.  They cut their hair, read Gone With the Wind voraciously, and stuff themselves with barbecue sandwiches and banana splits at Dairy Queen when Dally comes for a visit.  Not a lot happens in terms of action but this is a great chapter for character development.

All the thinking Ponyboy does about how Bob died only last night…it really brings home the fact that the entire story takes place in one week.  I know it’s a short book, but so much happens that it’s kind of mindboggling.

They watched Gone With the Wind together!  I would’ve loved to see their reaction to everything. 🙂  And I love how they read and discuss it, too. (Ponyboy must have been reading almost non-stop to reach Sherman’s siege of Atlanta on the fifth day.)

Image result for the outsiders gone with the wind

I know some people have said that it’s shallow and stupid for Ponyboy to be so worried about his hair at a time like this, but I think that’s ridiculous.  His hair is a part of his identity and, yeah, you’d hate having to give it up (especially with how awful it looks afterwards).  Like Ponyboy says…“Our hair labeled us greasers, too – it was our trademark.  The one thing we were proud of.  Maybe we couldn’t have Corvairs or madras shirts, but we could have hair.” (p. 71)

We get to see yet another side of Dally in this chapter – he really is quite a complex character, isn’t he?  As Johnny recalls… “…one night I saw Dally gettin’ picked up by the fuzz, and he kept real cool and calm the whole time.  They was gettin’ him for breakin’ out the windows in the school building, and it was Two-Bit who did that.  And Dally knew it.  But he just took the sentence without battin’ an eye or even denyin’ it.  That’s gallant.” (p. 76)

Also, Dally speaks up a bit for Darry but Ponyboy doesn’t even hear it. *sigh* (p. 81)

Quotes I Like:

I put the book down reluctantly.  I wanted to start it right then. (p. 71) [Pony Gets Me.]

I was glad I had to run away with [Johnny] instead of with Two-Bit or Steve or Dally.  That would be one thing they’d never think of – soap. (p. 72-73)

Dally was real.  I liked my books and clouds and sunsets.  Dally was so real he scared me. (p. 76)

Johnny shrugged.  “Yeah,” he said with a sigh.  “I guess we’re different.”
“Shoot,” I said, blowing a perfect smoke ring, “maybe
they are.” (p. 78)

Discussion Questions!

-Why do you think Johnny hero-worships Dally?

-What’s your interpretation of the poem ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’?

-Why do you think Cherry is helping the greasers when one of them killed her boyfriend?



liebster award (for the…third time?)

Grace and Katherine over at The Maidens of Green Gables nominated me for the Liebster Award.  Their questions are really cool but thinking of eleven random facts about myself is always such a drag so I’m just going to give you three.

  1. The last movie I watched was ‘A Monster Calls’.  Cried SO much over it.
  2. I just entered a short story contest.
  3. My current favorite movie soundtrack is the ‘Ratatouille’ score – thanks so much to everyone who mentioned/recommended it in the comments section of my post about Michael Giacchino!

Grace and Katherine’s questions:

1. What is your favorite quote?

I really dig this one:

“Well, this is a very personal opinion about seizing the moment. I think it has been one of the most damaging aspects of western society you know, the notion of seizing the moment. It has made us burn the forests that we have in front of us…it has made us live the now as if there was no tomorrow. As if we’re not engaging with a responsibility that freedom gives us to know that there’s a future. And there are people that will come after. It is not a rush, life is more, it’s more a craft. Seizing the moment sometimes makes you fall into a trap that it is now or never. And there’s moments that it is now or never but you know when that is. It’s not that there’s a rule that you have to follow that path.” -Gael García Bernal

2. Share your most used recipe?

I really would share it but I’m downstairs and the recipe book is upstairs and this post is pretty long already.  But this recipe is either really close to the one I use or the exact same – I can’t remember at the moment.

3. Are you a writer, and do you have any published works?

I am indeed a writer.  As for the second part of the question…no comment. *cough*

4. What are some of your hobbies?

A few months ago I might have said “writing”, but I’m taking my writing way more seriously now.  My goal is to be traditionally published before I’m twenty-five. (A girl can dream!)  So right now the only hobby I can think of is collecting little action figures, Funko Pops, etc.  Each one has a special meaning for me and I love ’em all.


5. Are you a fan of musicals?

YES.  Always.

6. What fond family traditions would you like to continue when you get married and start a family? Or if these joyous series of events have already arrived, what have you implemented already?

*shrugs* I like the tradition of everyone in the family receiving a book on Christmas Eve.  That and family devotions (of course) would be the most important to me.

7. What is one particular character trait that you would like to train your future/present children in?

Honesty.  Definitely.

8. What is a boy’s and girl’s name that you like?

I have to limit myself to one each??? *sigh*  Boy name – Paul.  Girl’s name – Marianne.

9. Tell us a favorite joke?

“Why did Zac Efron cross the road?”  “To get to the other side.”  HAHAHAHA.  I always grin so hard whenever I think about or tell that joke.

Image result for zac efron the other side

10. Recommend three books?

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, The Candymakers by Wendy Mass, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. (The first and third have some Adult Content, fyi.)

11. What is a period drama you love?

Soooooo many.  I’m going to go with ‘Little Women’ (1994) because it’s literally perfect.

My questions for the tagees:

1. Who are your top three favorite superheroes?

2. Who are your top three favorite superheroines?

3. Cake or pie?

4. Round cookies or cookie bars?

5. When was the last time you laughed really hard?

6. How many books have you read this year?

7. Animated or live action?

8. Drawn animation or CGI?

9. Have you read Do Hard Things?

10. What’s your favorite fabric?

11. Plaids or stripes?

Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor and nature

Random pretty picture I took in Montana.

I’m not going to tag eleven people, because duh.  So if you think my questions look fun, feel free to participate!


P.S. I believe this is actually the fourth time I’ve done the Liebster Award.  Wow.

arrow VS. the flash

“My name is Oliver Queen.  For five years I was stranded on an island…”

“My name is Barry Allen and I am the fastest man alive…”

Over the past several months my family and I have watched four seasons of The Flash and almost four seasons of Arrow.  While both shows definitely do their own thing, they’re also connected in more ways than one and I figured it was time to write a comparison post!

// Premise //

Related image

Arrow: Oliver Queen, billionaire playboy, has a secret mission: to right the wrongs done (sometimes in the Queen name) to his beloved Star(ling) City.  His ability to fight injustice comes from five years spent (mostly) on a hellish island that was basically a vigilante training boot camp.

The Flash: Barry Allan, CSI for the local police department, has a secret mission: to protect his beloved Central City by using his super-speed to fight crime, metahumans, and Big Bads.

// The Heroes //

2018-07-31 21_34_44-Collage - PicMonkey Photo Editor and Graphic Design Maker.png

Arrow: It took me a long time to warm up to Oliver.  He seemed cold and brutal and way too brooding (like Batman, but worse?).  However, since he took a ‘no killing’ vow and began to let the people close to him get, well, closer…he’s grown on me.  He recognizes that he’s done some terrible things but he tries so hard to make it right and I’ve got a soft spot for heroes like that.

The Flash: Barry Allen is one of my top five favorite superheroes.  He can be a little too mopey, a little too “this is all my fault”, but his heart is so big, his motives so pure, his kindness and generosity and just…*siiiiigh*.  But at the same time, Barry isn’t a Gary Stu.  He has faults (much as Joe would hate to admit it), he makes mistakes, but he always owns up and apologizes and, yeah, I love him.

// The Teams //

Image result for arrow and flash crossover

Arrow: Team Arrow is HUGE.  You’ve got Oliver, Felicity, Laurel, Sarah, Thea, Diggle, Roy…and I’m pretty sure I’ve missed someone.  There’s so many moving parts and the cool thing is that none of them have superpowers.  All they’ve got is their Mad Skillz.  My favorite in the team is definitely Diggle, closely followed by Oliver and Thea.  I really love the suicide squad episodes where Dig goes off and does his own thing.  So cool.

The Flash: And Team Flash, which started out very small, has added a lot of members over the years.  Barry, Iris, H.R., Cisco, Caitlin, Harry, Julian, Ralph, Joe.  Cisco is the best, as is Caitlin.  And H.R. and Harry…let’s just say, I love them all! 😉  Julian is awesome, though I have to admit that he doesn’t serve much purpose in the story once he joins Team Flash (other than being Caitlin’s love interest).  Oh, well.

// The Villains //

2018-07-31 21_33_08-Collage - PicMonkey Photo Editor and Graphic Design Maker

Arrow: My favorite villain is definitely Slade Wilson.  Season 2 of Arrow has been my favorite so far, mainly because Slade was such an epic villain and his connection to Oliver made S2 the most personal one so far (IMO).  Malcolm Merlyn is also a favorite – he’s so twisted, but there’s a glimmer of honour somewhere in there.  And speaking of honour…DEADSHOT.  (I hardly count him as a villain, though.)  R’as al Ghul was forgettable – I infinitely prefer Liam Neeson’s take on the character, y’know?

The Flash: This show has had some pretty unforgettable villains.  Eobard Thawne was the first and the best.  My mom and little siblings are re-watching/watching the first season right now and I’m blown away by how Tom Cavanaugh can convey trustworthiness, sliminess, and mysteriousness so well, all mixed up.  Zoom and Savitar were worthy opponents for Barry.  I liked DeVoe up to a point and then I was over him.  Still, the villains on The Flash are great overall.

// Ships //

2018-07-31 21_33_39-Collage - PicMonkey Photo Editor and Graphic Design Maker

Arrow: I hate Felicity.  Hate her.  Words can’t express how much I loathe her.  So, obviously, I don’t ship her with Oliver, but then, I don’t really ship Oliver with anyone.  Slade and Shado, Diggle and Lyla, and Deadshot and his wife are my favorite ships from the show.

The Flash: Annnnd I don’t ship Barry and Iris either!  But Caitlin and Ronnie, Caitlin and Julian, and Ralph and that country singer…those are the couples I love.

// Music //

Image result for arrow tv show soundtrack

Arrow: Dark, dramatic, and intense.  Blake Neely captures – and creates – the show’s atmosphere.

The Flash: Another Blake Neely score (I believe he’s responsible for all four Arrowverse shows in that department).  His character themes for Barry, Reverse-Flash, and Captain Cold are all excellent and I also enjoy the touches of quirkiness and humour that make their way into the score.

// Coolness Factor //

2018-07-31 21_35_08-Collage - PicMonkey Photo Editor and Graphic Design Maker

Arrow: The League of Shadows is pretty cool.  And Thea is literally the coolest, with her suit and the way she stands up to Malcolm.  She’s easily the least annoying female on the show and I find myself rooting for her even more than Oliver sometimes.  Slade Wilson is cool as well, in his own way.  Overall, the show has a gritty, sometimes epic vibe that I dig.

The Flash: Captain Cold.  I rest my case.

// Feels Factor //

2018-07-31 21_34_19-Collage - PicMonkey Photo Editor and Graphic Design Maker

Arrow: So, the last episode I watched of this show was the one dealing with the fall-out from Laurel’s death and, um, many tears were shed.  Many, many tears.  It was kind of surprising, because Laurel isn’t my favorite character by a long shot (though she did improve over the show’s run) but I guess I was more attached to her than I thought.  And seeing everyone else broken up about her death…GAH.  Oh, and add to that all the references to Tommy who is the best forever and ever and whyyyyy did the writers kill him off? (That thing in ‘Crisis on Earth-X’ when his doppelganger shows up?  TOO MANY FEELS.)

The Flash: So much sadness.  Nora Allen’s murder (and Barry deciding NOT TO SAVE HER), H.R.’s death, Caitlin’s tragic romances, Plastique…there’s some major feelsiness going down in every season of The Flash.  I might start crying as much as Barry if the writers don’t lighten up soon.

// Overall //

Image result for flash versus arrow

I have a friend who said that it took her until the third or fourth season to really enjoy Arrow.  I have to agree.  Season 1 bored me, Season 2 was the best (and held my attention the best), I skipped most of Season 3, and Season 4 has too much weirdness for me to fully commit.  But I do enjoy it.  So many of the characters have my heart and the action scenes can be pretty entertaining.

But The Flash is my favorite, hands-down.  The characters are more relatable and lovable than those in Arrow, the episodes are rarely boring, the seasons are more tight-knit (probably because there’s not many flashbacks), and overall I just like it more.

Both shows, however, are amazing and I’d recommend them to fans of epic superheroes (though not without a few caveats as to violence and adult content – mostly in Arrow).


Have you seen either – or both – of these shows?  Do you agree with my consensus?  Let me know in the comments!


similarities between ‘fawkes’ and ‘glimpses of truth’

It’s no secret that I love Nadine Brandes’ newest release, Fawkes.  While I was reading it, I noticed a few similarities between Fawkes and one of my favorite Christian novels – Glimpses of Truth.  Now this is NOT to say that I think Nadine plagiarized Jack Cavanaugh or anything like that.  I have a tremendous amount of respect for her and I would never suggest that; I just thought the similarities were interesting.


-Both books feature a main character named Thomas.  Both characters have serious problems with their vision – Thomas Fawkes’ left eye has turned to stone, Thomas Torr has black spots in his eyes that are steadily growing larger and impeding his vision.  IMO, this is the coolest similarity between the two books.  And the most obvious.

-Both Thomases have issues with their fathers. (Thomas Torr’s dad raped his mom and then tried to kill him.  Thomas Fawkes’ dad…well, just read the book.)  Both Thomases were raised by a man who is not their father (but who was basically a father to them) – Norwood and Howell.

-Both Thomases are in love with an awesome girl who is also being courted by a nobleman’s son.  Though that’s where this particular comparison ends because Henry is pretty horrid and Kendall is the SWEETEST BEST MOST BRAVE CINNAMON ROLL EVER.

-Both Thomases go back and forth in their convictions and beliefs, though Thomas Torr is much more certain of what he believes in than Thomas Fawkes.  Still, both wrestle with doubts relating to what side they’ll take in a religious power struggle. (I know that Fawkes is more of an allegory than a history, but you know what I mean.)

-And both books end with the Thomases and their lady loves watching their father/father figure be executed.  Both books leave me a blubbering mess because beloved characters die and other beloved characters have to see it happen and it’s horrible.  Nadine Brandes and Jack Cavanaugh are too good at messing with my emotions, tbh.


So.  Have you read either of these books?  Do you see the similarities?  Or do you think I’m totally off my rocker? *grins*


the outsiders read-along: chapter 4

2018-05-28 20_01_02-Edit - PicMonkey Photo Editor and Graphic Design Maker

This chapter is when things Get Real.  And I know I sound like a broken record, but if you’re new to The Outsiders, go read this chapter before diving into my spoilery thoughts!

Ponyboy and Johnny are threatened by five Socs at the local park.  It’s two-thirty in the morning, Ponyboy is emotionally unstable, the Socs are drunk, and Johnny’s scared stiff; it’s a recipe for disaster and disaster does strike.  When the Socs almost drown Ponyboy, Johnny stabs the leader (Bob) with a switchblade…and kills him.  With the fear of arrest, jail, and the electric chair hanging over their heads, Ponyboy and Johnny skip town with Dally’s help and head off to Windrixville.

Related image

This is a heavy chapter and I’ve got a lot to discuss today so it’s best we just jump in.  For starters, I really love how Johnny’s first thought is to ask Dally for help and how Pony calms right down because, of course Dally will get them to safety.  They trust him, despite his dangerous side, and that trust isn’t broken.  We really get to see a different side of Dally in this chapter, don’t we?  Before, we’ve really only seen that’s he’s angry and dangerous and doesn’t much respect girls and that he has a little bit of a soft spot for Johnny.  But between his helping Ponyboy and Johnny and what Ponyboy says about how Dally rides honestly in horse races (p. 60-61), you can see that Dally is more than a one-note hood.

Can I just take a moment to say how sorry I feel for Johnny?  Only sixteen and he has a death on his conscience (because whether or not it was murder – more on that in a bit – any normal person would still feel guilty, even if it wasn’t their fault).  MY PRECIOUS CINNAMON ROLL DESERVES HAPPINESS. 

Related image

And speaking of Johnny, I really got a sense of the age gap between him and Ponyboy in this chapter.  He’s so calm after The Incident (and Ponyboy’s freaking out), though that could be more shock than maturity.  And then when they jump off the train and Ponyboy’s like “Why didn’t you wake me up?” and Johnny says “I didn’t want to until I had to” – it’s something the Mom Friend would do. 🙂 (Not saying that Johnny is the Mom Friend of the gang.  But you get the idea.)

I feel so bad whenever I read the thing about Ponyboy and Johnny going to church…and then never going to church again.  I do hereby swear right now that I will never look back in church, no matter what I hear going on behind me.  Ugggh.  They’re so sweet, sitting in the back and “trying to get something out of the sermon” (p. 66) and then Two-Bit and Soda had to go and ruin it. *growls*

Quotes I Like:

Towheaded and shifty-eyed, Dally was anything but handsome. [And then they went and cast Matt Dillon in the movie!]  Yet in his hard face there was character, pride, and savage defiance of the world. (p. 59)

Dally handed me a shirt about sixty-million sizes too big. (p. 61) (This line always makes me grin.)

He messed up Johnny’s hair.  “Take care, kid,” he said softly. (p. 62)

I went to sleep in a hoodlum’s jacket, with a gun lying next to my hand. (p. 62)

There are things worse than being a greaser. (p. 65)

Discussion Questions!

-Do you view Johnny knifing Bob as murder or self-defense?

-What do you think of Dally at this point in the story?  He’s a complicated character and I’d love to know your thoughts!