Saturday, May 18, 2013

Elevensies Tag

Since I have only recently become a blogger, I have never done this tag. Though, I've heard it's been very popular in the past. =) 

We're supposed to list eleven random facts about ourselves, answer the eleven the person who tagged us came up with, come up with eleven of our own for the people we tag, and then tag eleven people.

Thus, the 11 random facts about myself. =D

1) I'm a bookworm
Which often gets me in trouble...
2) I'm a brunette 
3) I like making people smile
4) I love having talks with my big brother
5) I play the piano, and love doing so
6) My motto for books and movies is 'Never judge a book by it's movie' 
7) I'm beginning to understand why Peter Pan never wanted to grow up
8) I love Charles Dickens' writing 
9) I recently burned dinner and cookies within 2 days (the dinner was extremely embarrassing)
10) I have a very hard time controlling my laughter... especially when I'm laughing with a friend.
11) I'm very good at mispronouncing words that people use in books but not so often in this day-in-age. And foreign names... very bad at pronouncing those.  

Here are my answers to the 11 random questions that Melody has created for us to answer:

1) What email server is your favorite? (You know, Gmail, Yahoo, etc.)
Gmail. I used to use Comcast, but Gmail is way better!

2) Which place in your own country do you most long to visit?
Actually I think Maryland would be an awesome place to visit!
Fort McHenry,Maryland. The fort that defended Baltimore against the British invasion in the War of 1812, and the birthplace of the National Anthem.
3) Who was the last person you emailed?
Um.. I'm not sure, but probably one of my closest friends who I'm constantly emailing - poor girl!

4) Who was the last person you talked on the phone with?
 My brother's friend who called to talk to him.

5) What is your favorite candy, chocolate excluded?
This is really hard... I think I'll have to go with frozen Milk Duds. (That's not chocolate, right?)
That's what I always get when I go to the movie theaters (which is really rare) so it's got memories. =D

6) Within the next...oh, say, six months, what are you looking forward to the most? (As in, general life event)
No school? Summer... oh! This year is a big salmon run in our river, so we have relatives come and we all fish for a solid week. One of the coolest weeks of the entire year. (well, it's every two years, but yea.)

7) Hardcover or softcover books?
uh... I think I'll have to say softcover. Though I have a couple books that I love as hardcover. =) Soft cover are more personal and 'cozy up next to the fire' books to me. 

What's your favorite quote about...

8) Friendship?
This one. It so applies to a couple of my friends. x)
9) Music?
I actually have several favorite quotes about music, but one of my favorites is:

Though sometimes I don't have to be sad just serious. x)
10) Books?
This one.... It's very true. =)

11) So, you're standing in a group of three people (this includes you) where one person is a friend-ish acquaintance and the other person you don't know so well. You're not really adding that much to the conversation, but then the person you don't know so well criticizes one of your favorite books/movies/characters, etc. What do you do? Scowl and shut up, jump into defense, or other? 
Jump into defense. If they don't know me that well they soon will! If someone criticizes something I love, it's very likely I've defended it before and have a very thought out argument. =)

Here are my Eleven (random) Questions for the people I will tag:

1) What's your eye color?

2) Narnia or Lord of the Rings?

3) Are you a brunette, blond, red head, or other?

4) Would you rather live in the city or the country?

5) Are you an early bird or a night owl?

6) What was the last book you read?

7) Do you like tea, coffee or niether?

8) What's your favorite instrument? Do you play it? 

9) Cat or dogs? Why?

10) If you've read or watched Little Women then: Are you more like Meg, Jo, Beth, or Amy?

11) If you could go to one of the three scenes described in the following sentences, which would you choose?
A cute cottage over looking a lake with the sun setting softly, and a loon calling in the distance, while you're sitting cuddling a puppy. A grand castle with beautiful gardens surrounding it, while you're headed down in a pretty gown to a grand feast, lots of friends, and dancing. Or a big vineyard in Italy, the sun starting to set throwing pretty light on the hundreds of rows, while you're heading eagerly towards a large house where the sound of laughter and teasing come drifting from the windows, glowing with the light within.

Now for the 11 people I tagged. I'm eagerly awaiting your answers! Though anyone is welcome to answer them using a comment!

Little Lady

I would love it for anyone to answer my questions even if I haven't tagged you, just leave them in a comment! I hope you enjoyed learning random things about me. =)

Monday, May 13, 2013

North and South; A Refreshing Romance

And why, you ask, is it refreshing? What is the difference between this and any other romance? Let me begin...

Elizabeth Gaskell, author of this novel, was born in 1810 and died in 1865. North and South is one of the many novels that she wrote in her life time, and appeared in 20 weekly episodes from September 1854 to January 1855 in Household Words. (A Charles Dickens' Magazine) It is said that since it was being featured in a magazine it had to move quickly in order for people to keep peoples interest alive and that it was possibly rushed. I, however, think it was just right! It was not rushed nor to slow.

 This type of book is called a Industrial Novel. An Industrial Novel, or sometimes called a Social Novel, is a "work of fiction in which a prevailing social problem, such as gender, race, or class prejudice, is dramatized through its effect on the characters of a novel".

However, the question I'm suppose to be answering is why is it refreshing? Upon reading many a romance novels, I have come upon the sad realization that half the time (I said half the time, not all the time) romance novels are simply that. Wait, what? That doesn't make sense...! Of course a romance novel is a romance. Bur really, admit it, isn't it nice to read a novel that has enough romance to make the story sweet, but enough story line to make it interesting? One of the reasons I love this book is the character depth. I used to read Elsie Dinsmore and don't get my wrong I love these books. If you say anything against them I will defend them. There are things I don't like, but I will give a
Margaret Hale
reason why I don't like them and then tell you what I do like about them. =) (And if your thought is 'Elsie is a perfect angel and I can't stand that' well then....lets just say that that just makes one more person in the crowd of people who thinks that.) Anyway, back to the point of bringing this up: At one point in the series there are frivolous love stories, people getting married left and right. There's no character depth in these people, just the top layer. Just the 'I love this person' emotion, or 'I love him, but he doesn't love me' emotion. (Though my favorite character does have depth, at least, as much as she can. Hehe, I wonder why she's my favorite?) So when you read Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth Gaskell, you're amazed at the depth of the character, of the hardships they go through, and realistic circumstances. Ok, well Jane Austen's isn't really realistic. I heard someone say once that her characters lived in 'Austen Fairyland'. lol.

In North and South, Margaret Hale (The heroine and main character of the story) goes through a lot of hard times. Her father all of a sudden tears his family from Helstone, a paradise-like town, to live in the smoky, dirty, manufacturing city, Milton. With this sudden move Margret is forced to mature and grow up in only a few short weeks. In this book you get a taste of the miserable circumstances of the
Margaret, in one of the cotton factories
poverty stricken workers of the mills. You get to know these workers, really know them. Know that they were people, not some dirty creature to be kicked around as the masters pleased. Ah, and you also get to see what the Masters were like, what their thoughts were. Margaret was forced into this city with no idea of how the mills worked. She was shocked and appalled at the strife that was between the masters and workers, surprised that they didn't work together but seemed to work against each other instead. She becomes friends with a family of workers, as well as one of the masters. Hearing both sides of the argument she tries to figure things out, but this is no petty argument for her to dissolve like any other. Instead of fading in time, it only grows larger. She was once a peacemaker in her small country town... but this argument is to big to be solved by herself. Everyone needs to work together, but that looks like it'll never happen.

I think that this book does a very good job on combining realistic circumstances with a sweet romance. Yet these 'realistic circumstances' aren't simply showing death, or war, or one of those often 'show reality' subjects (though I'm not denying that they aren't unrealistic, or not sad), but showing the harsh side of life back then. Showing the contrast between the rich people who live far from the smokey mills, yet get the profit of theme, and Margaret's in this dreadful city. Her cousin Edith lives a 
John Thorton, master of a large cotton mill
spoiled life of luxury and is constantly telling her cousin that she should come and visit her, that 'she had no idea what Uncle (Margret's father) was thinking of when he moved them to that horrid, horrid place.' You're shown the downside to all these new inventions, the struggles of men, woman and children trying to survive in these miserable circumstances.

I heard someone once say that North and South was a mix between Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. And that is exactly what it is. You've got the romance, yet you've got the realistic circumstances. Just like Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell pushes aside the known facts of that time and shows you the harshness that many people shrink from...

So why is it refreshing? Because it is realistic.

“I wish I could tell you how lonely I am. How cold and harsh it is here. Everywhere there is conflict and unkindness. I think God has forsaken this place. I believe I have seen hell and it's white, it's snow-white.” 
-Margaret Hale, describing Milton and the terrible cotton factories that run there.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mothers' Day!

I want to thank all those wonderful moms out there, for all their hard work. Thank you especially for the moms who love the one true God and choose to bring their children up in the Lord showing them what is right. I have learned so much from watching my mom and the all the wonderful God-fearing ladies of our Church. So to all of those wonderful moms out there, here's a rose,

Happy Mothers Day!

P.s. A special thanks to my wonderful mom, I love you!