Hello, bloggers and readers!!

Seriously, is there anyone there? Hello? LOL! I was just being

LOL! I was just being flippant, of course. But I know that my blog has been, up until now, not exactly the most active or engaging. It took some years, and practice and reflection, but I finally realized I need some order to make this blog work. And then I have to stick to that order. No excuses. Well, for the most part. If life gets crazy, and I have no prep for it, then yeah. That will be what it will be. But for a normal life, even illness is no excuse. So I am now going to do two things. One will involve you. The other will challenge me. One, let me ask what do you want to see more of? Is there anything that you must see that will involve writing, or books, or youtube/online websites, or movies. Do you want me to review shows? Warning, I do not

So I am now going to do two things. One will involve you. The other will challenge me. One, let me ask what do you want to see more of? Is there anything that you must see that will involve writing, or books, or youtube/online websites, or movies. Do you want me to review shows? Warning, I do not have any kind of cable, so that might limit shows or movies. But I currently have access to Youtube, and to Netflix. So it won’t be completely out of the question. Do you want me to focus on certain kinds of movies, or have monthly themes? Let me know on Youtube, or at my e-mail, greymountain37@gmail.com The second part is the one that will test me. I will parcel out each day of the week for differents subjects. Ron instance,

The second part is the one that will test me. I will parcel out each day of the week for differents subjects. for instance, Mondays might be media day. I could cover movies and t.v. show reviews and the like. Tuesdays could be writing news and fiction excerpts. Wednesdays could be book reviews, and so on and so forth. I won’t fully commit to a schedule for the rest of the month, as a way to see if I get any feedback in that time, and will post every other day, as I prepare material and work out a working schedule. Then, starting in July, I will

Then, starting in July, I will post the plan and see how that goes for the month. If it doesn’t get any complaints, then it will be the plan, with maybe a few tweaks as life happens. I will just say it, I might have two book review days. I am in a number of reading challenges right now, though one I no longer have the time to keep up with and might drop soon. The others are governed by me and might be able to fit in another readathon. That being said, I hope everyone has a great day and enjoy your happy wordy nerdy life!

Book Review-A Summer to Die

A Summer to Die Written by Lois Lowry

Unlike the other books by Lois Lowry, I read this one when I was actually a teenager. I was in love with it back then, and it was one of a handful that I manage to read to pieces. Some of the books I did that to was not as good, but I had a shortage of good books at the time. So when I did get a good book, I would read it till I had to tape the pages together.

A Summer to Die was surprisingly fun to read, despite the dark title. It follows a family, who goes to the country for a year so that the Father, who is an English Professor, can write a book on Irony. No joke. And along the year, the various members of the family live life and some of the life was not that good. The main character is the youngest, Meg. And she is a creative, highly intelligent, but moody thirteen-year-old who loves art and photography. She does not know what she wants from life, she just knows she wants to do something important with it. She has a fifteen-year-old sister, who is very sure of what she wants. To be Mrs. Somebody else, and have at least six babies.

As the title suggests, Someone dies. But I like how this is not obvious at first. It kind of creeps in on the family, unawares. Mixed in with making new friends, and finding boyfriends, with days of the sound of pounding typewriter keys, and quilt-piecing. Just like it happens in real life. And like real life, the more serious the situation gets, the more it consumes the whole family. Even Meg, who is left out of the loop on most of it, feels it slowly take over and change her family. And how it changes her sister most of all The book is just about perfect, in my mind. Though to be fair, it is the only one where I’m not sure I’m looking at it with clear eyes.

Nostalgia might be clouding my judgment. But every time I read it, I feel totally emersed in the world of a family who goes through some serious ups and downs, but continues to be a family, for better or worst. And you get the feeling at the end that, it may be a bit strained at the end of the year, that family would continue and endure and move past the trauma. Maybe even learn something from it, especially Meg.

I give it, like the other Lowry books, an Ultimate Recommendation, and strongly urge you to give it a good read. Check it out, and see if it is worth some serious fuss. And, by the by, this is Lowry’s first book. Just to let you know.

Book Review-Gathering Blue

Gathering Blue Written by Lois Lowry

A sequel to The Giver, it tells the story of a girl who has a bad leg, forced to learn to live on her own in a very brutal world. After losing her Mother, the last living relative, and last guardian, she finds herself challenged for the right to even continue to survive in the village, because of her disability. And in their world, if you have any kind of disability then you are going to die. You are not seen as having any value at all. But She is also strong, and clever, and has a talent in her strong, capable fingers that might not only end up saving her life but give her status enough to ensure comfort and useful work that she never dreamed of. But what would the price for that life be? And would she be willing to pay that price?

Lois Lowry did it again. This masterful writer once again invites us to an immersive world, that unlike the Giver, does not even pretend to be utopian. It is not friendly, it is savage, and the environment turned the people as savage as the world around them is known to be. Yet nothing is what it seems to be. And the twists and turns of the simple yet deep story will leave you guessing. Well, for the most part. There is a twist that happens near the end that I saw coming a mile away. But for the target

 

Book Review-The Giver

The Giver

Written by Lois Lowry

The book, The Giver, is a young adult fantasy novel about a seemingly utopian world. But when the main character got his job as Reciever, his whole world was turned upside-down. And he slowly found out that the perfect, serene world that he lived in was not at all what he had expected it to be. But what can he do about it? What would happen to him, if he dares to fix it? I was entranced when I first read this treat of a book. I first started reading it, when I saw it on the list of books, 150 book list, that was on the webpage, Level Up Live. It is a great site, by the way! One of many that allow you to gamify your life. But I will write a review of that later. When I read it, I thought at first that it would not be that great, but I looked it up at the library, ready to give it a chance for the points mostly. See, if I had remembered another book, A Summer to Die by the same author, I would not have been so nervious about reading this one. But again, the review on that book will be soon. I didn’t make the connection at first, and more shame to me. Also more shame to me for ever doubting the worth of this book. I cannot recomend it enough. the characters are wonderful. The setting is wonderful, the pacing, the story, the plot, all are completely wonderful, and wonderfully engaging. Written in sweet yet dark, and completely simple language, it is also a short read. Even slower readers would probably finish it in two or three days. I know I was a little let down at the end. It came too quickly for me. I wanted to live in the book a while longer. But it was amazing, and I give it an Ultamate Recommendation. Read it! As soon as you can. Don’t wait, go now!

What if you don’t want to write?

What do you write when you don’t feel like writing? Well, I guess you just write a bunch of meaningless sentences until they form something like an idea. Then you just keep writing anyway and hope that idea takes some kind of clear shape and purpose. Here I write to show that writing when you are not in the mood to write is possible.
Not only possible, it is mandatory. Why would you call yourself a writer if you don’t write? If you only write when the mood hits, your productivity would be really low. Let’s look at this another way. Imagine what would happen if a doctor does not feel like treating people that day? Well, several things happen. They would not have a job for very long for one, and there will be a lot of sick, maybe dying people who are not getting the treatment they need. And they and/or their relatives would not be happy. That is leading to a very high likelihood that someone is going to sue that Doctor with the lack of sense. Especially if they live in America. Hey, it’s what we do. Not happy with something, sue it.

I could bring up other examples, but I think I made my point. But anyone trying to get into the creative skills has some expectations placed on them. That they would be moody, and hard to work with. Maybe people expect them to be drunks or oddballs of some kind. And they would expect some kind of temperamental treatment from them. And one of those expectations is that they don’t always work when they are not properly inspired. Well, as a creative person trying to get into a field that would actually pay, I found this kind of thinking really distracting. And as a lazy person, I find it incredibly easy to fall into this kind of, must be inspired trap. It really is insidious.
The way I look at it, you got to see your writing, or your crafting or your artwork or whatever it is you want to turn into a professional job, as your job. Even when it’s not yet paying anything. You have to give yourself goals to reach. Such as, I’m going to write five hundred words today, or I’m going to finish this picture today. Or I’m going to research markets to sell my work in. Stuff like that. Then you plan how this work with being done, plan a timetable to get it done in and then commit to getting it done. Don’t let yourself dilly-dally once you got the plan in place. Stick to it, or find something else to do.

At the very least, you will soon learn if this is something you can do, by how often you have to force yourself to do it. Sure there are days where you won’t want to. Everyone gets those. Sure, there are times when you are more tired than normal or are not feeling well. On those days, don’t be as strict with yourself. Don’t give yourself a free pass though, unless you are really sick. Like, can’t lift your head from the pillow without making a mess somewhere sick. Those days are clearly free pass days. But on those blah days, don’t allow yourself to chunk the who idea away. You’re not at your best, and it is coloring your perceptions. But keep track of those days, and see if they come more and more often. They might mean you are trying to put yourself in a job that you are not a good fit for, and use that self-awareness to tweak the plan to something you can gain more satisfaction from. But don’t stop!

Always have goals to reach. You don’t have a boss to tell you when and how to work, most of the time, so you have to be that boss. Plan the work, maybe plan a contingency for those off day. Research and learn what the experts have to say about what you are doing to make your own efforts more time effective. Plan little reward to help motivate you. Plan for those annoying paperwork things that a boss would normally do that you would need to do, no matter how much you hate it. And be ready, once you start earning money, to hire someone who is much better at some of the things than you. Such as managing a schedule or paying taxes.

But the main theme I want to harp on is this. No matter what, no matter what you been told, or what you feel like or whatever is going on in your head, heart or life, just do the work. This is your dream, after all. Right? Besides, I just showed how this works by forcing myself to write one simple sentence. And it led to me writing a whole blog post. Thank you, and have a great day!

Severus Snape and The Marauders: Review

Severus Snape and the Marauders

 

Severus Snape and the Marauders is a fan-made movie, so it was not cannon or anything. It was posted on Broad Strokes, written and directed by Justin Zagri. And I will try to avoid spoilers so I won’t get in a lot of depth here. But that being said, I loved this!

It was about how the Marauders met up with Snape at a pub shortly after their graduation. There is unease because he who must not be named was starting to stir up some serious trouble. But James was more worried about keeping Snape from Lily.

The fight scene was spectacular. Each actor played their parts very well indeed. And every moment was simply brilliant. I did not expect this amount of quality from a fan-made movie like this. Very much worth watching. Please treat yourself to this short film as soon as you can!

 

Poems for the week

I Dream

I dream with eyes unblinking

I dream with mind unthinking

I watch the world around me

Around me, I see what I see

 

I live my life with heart unblinking

I commune with soul bleeding

I live a life wild and free

I live a life content to be me
The Hunt

Graceful trolls the beast

Stalking toward the feast

As the sun rises in the east

 

A huddled creature crouches near

Waiting, trembling with fear

Starts-puts his spirit in gear

 

An epic chase

An epic race

The drive to live decides the fates

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Review!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

 

Fantastic Beasts took the movie world by storm. It took off like a hippogriff in flight. But I won’t say yet what I think of the movie, as I had not seen it yet. And this review is not about the movie anyway. This is a joint review of both the book and the screenplay. Yup, Rowling allowed another screenplay to be published, and I just don’t know how to feel about that.

I have to warn you right off the bat. I do not care much for reading plays and screenplays. They bore me. I like prose that had good descriptive narration and plays never have what I most love about reading a good tale. So I went into reading the FB screenplay with a bias against it. It was a tedious read, and I hope that would be the only time I would say that during this readathon. Still, some lines were funny, some were dramatic, and reading it made me want to watch the movie. So it did accomplish that much. And at least I did read it. Which is more than I will do with The Cursed Child. More on that, when it’s time comes.

Now for the book. The book for FB had been a favorite of mine for years now. I heard there is a new edition out, but seeing it was a bit of a disappointment at first. It seemed a trifle too clean, without the scribbles of the kids in it. They added so much to the amusement factor in the book. Still, without them, it’s like getting a clean copy for your very own years at Hogwarts. Imagine the roleplay potential! Have your own FB copy to mark up!

As to the book itself, well, it was written to be a textbook. It was a trifle dry and as a stand-alone book, would not really work. But as supplemental reading for the Harry Potter books, it is brilliant. You get to immerse yourself even more into the world of Harry Potter and Hogwarts. Again, so many roleplay possibilities. I think I will end up writing fanfiction from all this. Again, been warned. Serious, I got to get started on this. About my character’s years at Hogwart’s. An outsider’s look at the events of Harry Potter, most likely.

So to sum it up. The two FB’s read was a good start to this exciting readathon. And now we are getting deep in the first of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

An Apology and An Update

Sorry for not writing for a bit now. But I have been on a kind of high over two discoveries I made over the last couple of weeks. The first was the idea of something called a readathon. I know, welcome to the internet, right? But the idea of a readathon never once even came to me. At least not one that was not some summer reading program that the local library ran. Just imagine, people getting together online to read books and talk about them! It’s like the internet just gave me this brightly wrapped present with a chipper little Your Welcome song in the background. I was stoked.

Number two was that one was going to start the next week, of me learning about them in the first place, and it was a three-month long readathon, all about Harry Potter! Enter hyper-excited fangirl squeal! It started with Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, both the book and the screenplay, and goes on from there. It is called The Annual Harry Potter Readathon.
As you can guess, it is already underway, and we are now reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone. There are great challenges, and questions that make you think about what you, or rather, your character would be during the books. There are quizzes, and a photo contest, and book-based contests and it’s just a wonderful, well thought out event. I’m glad this is my first foray into readathons!

By the way, my character is a Ravenclaw named Scarlett Hughes. I might end up writing some fanfiction about her…you have been warned.

An Update and some art…

Just a quick heads up, to show you some of the goings on in my life. I am working on some challenges currently. One is a walking challenge, where I follow the steps of Bilbo Baggins and company from Bag’s End all the way to Lonely Mountain. When I walk the collective miles to another spot, then I reach a new section of the novel. While I’m keeping track of this, I will also be reading The Hobbit through all the places I walked to so far. Almost caught up! So far I have been to The Green Dragon, The Floating Log at Frogmorton, and soon will be camping at Woody End. ^_^ This makes walking an adventure!

I have been writing something now almost every day for at east a week. A good streak for me! Lord wills, I will be able to keep this streak alive with few if any breaks. Some of my attention is on getting this blog going at last, and not letting it die like I did so many times before. I really hope to gain discipline in this.

Lastly, some art to share!! Yay! One is a drawing I did, in charcoal. A rough sketch, I know. The other is a bookmark I made from plastic canvas, shown earlier on facebook. Enjoy!