Monday, December 24, 2012

To All Of You....

I hope and pray you all have a beautiful, blessed, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jane Austen Tag

Miss Laurie over at Old–Fashioned Charm just finished her Jane Austen Birthday Assembly.  I wasn't able to participate much but I knew I had to find time to answer these fun tag questions.


1. How did you meet Jane Austen?
I had heard about her from my mother from a fairly young age.  I also knew of her and her books from encyclopedias.  But it wasn't until I was fourteen that I actually started to read her books, starting when I picked up a used copy of Pride and Prejudice.

2. In which order did you first become acquainted with and read Jane Austen's novels?
I knew the names of her major works before I read any of them.  Pride and Prejudice was the first book I read.  I think Persuasion was next, then Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Mansfield Park and finally Lady Susan.

3. Rate Jane Austen's major novels from your most favorite to your least favorite and tell why.
Pride and Prejudice will always be my top favorite.  Partly because I see quite a bit of myself in Elizabeth, partly because by the middle of the book, Darcy is such a great hero and well, I adore the storyline!  Sense and Sensibility is a very close second.  I am enough like Elinor I could be her twin and I love living the story with her.  Willoughby is thoroughly despicable and an excellent villain, and again, the storyline is wonderful.  Northanger Abbey is third, due to it's fantastic plot and how much plain good fun Henry Tilney is.  Persuasion- I love how Anne and Captain Wentworth have a second chance at happiness.  And Sir Walter is hilarious!  Mansfield Park and Emma tie for fifth place.  Mr. Knightley is great and Fanny is sweet.  Emma, I must confess, I don't like nearly as well as Mr. Knightley.  And Edmund- well, see #5.

4. Which Jane Austen hero/heroine couple is your favorite and why?
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet.  Forever.  I love how their relationship develops, and how they both have to change and grow before they can be happy.  Their chemistry is just wonderful.  I love her witty retorts and his fighting against his feelings for her and discovering he just can't stop them.

5. Which hero/heroine couple is your least favorite and why?
Oh, dear, I have to pick a least favorite?  But they are all so fantastic!  Oh, alright then.  Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram.  Edmund's blindness where the Crawfords are concerned always drives me crazy and I want to slap him upside the head. 

To be completely honest though, I would mix and match.  Edmund is my least favorite hero and Emma is my least favorite heroine.  I connect with her the least of all Austen's heroines.

6. Have you read any of Jane Austen's Juvenilia works? Which ones?
Not yet.  I hope to remedy that soon.

7. If you could change the name of one of Jane Austen's characters who would it be and why?
I can't think that I would!  Actually, I would change Mr. Knightley's first name.  He just never seemed quite like a 'George' to me.  And George is not my favorite name, though I don't exactly hate it.

8. Have you ever introduced someone to Jane Austen?
Um, sort of.  I loan my books to my younger sisters, because mine are currently the only Austen copies in the house.  But, I'm not sure I can honestly claim credit for introducing them to Austen.  I'm pretty sure that would go to my mother.

9. If a new film about her life was made, which actress would you want to play Jane Austen?
Hmmm.  *Puts on thinking cap.*  I think Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria) would do a very interesting portrayal.

10. Pretend you're having a weekend party at your very own country house, which Austen characters (up to five) would you invite and why?
Oh yay!  Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth (Bennet) Darcy, Eleanor Tilney, Henry Tilney and Frederica (Vernon) de Courcy.  Mr and Mrs. Darcy would be terrific to meet, I've always like Eleanor and wished she had more 'screen time', er book time.  Mr. Tilney is... well... Mr. Tilney.  Need I say more?  And I would love to meet Frederica after the written part of her story ends.

11. In your real life have you ever attended a Jane Austen themed event, party or ball? Or have you hosted one yourself?
I wish!  Sadly, no.  We live in a rather remote area of the country, and there aren't any such events around here, that I'm aware of.

12. Suppose you were given the opportunity to ask Jane Austen two questions: one in connection with her real life and one about her stories. What would they be?
I would ask why she accepted that proposal for just one night, and then I would ask how many ideas she had for further novels.


Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Snippets of Story: December

Aaand I'm finally putting up my December Snippets!  These are all from the 25,000 words I wrote on The Three Kyngdoms last month plus one bonus snippet at the end from a project I'm currently working on.  WARNING: these are unedited snippets!

"Was your journey well?" Arimathe asked the dark, grim man.
He shook his head.  "We are unharmed but I have bad news for you."


"Pax Vobiscum, Magister Merthyr," her soft voice said.  She extended her right hand in the elven salute.
"Seren!" Malagi exclaimed delightedly.
She turned toward him, smiling brightly, and held out her hands.  He threw himself at her, gripping her in a bear hug.  When he pulled back, she chuckled and ruffled his black hair affectionately.
"It is good to see you again."
He nodded, "I have missed you."
She rested her right hand on his shoulder, "How have you been?"
He shrugged, "Oh, well enough.  Busy.  Merthyr works us to death," he confided in a loud whisper.
"Humph.  If I didn't you would never be out of mischief," Merthyr grumbled.


"Or forced conscription into their army," Seren spoke disgustedly.
Seated behind Llancalot, Galath leaned forward, "I do not understand how humans can behave so.  Have they no conscience?"
"Galath, Shadows are not human," Rhianon told him wryly.
"They're fiends incarnate," Nimianne spat.
"Not human?" Galath mused.
"Strictly speaking, they are humans," Rhianon allowed.  "But they have lost all humanity."
"They have become brutal, mindless, murdering monsters."  Seren's voice was low and intense.


"You're not on guard duty today I see."
"Yes.  Dardanus told me Patruus and Amita have something for me to do here today.  I haven't seen either of them yet though.  Patruus has been closeted in his study with Merthyr since early this morning.  Merthyr can't have had much sleep."
"As usual.  Little sleep, little food.  I swear he lives on air," Emrys shook his head over his father's peculiarities.


Selyf reached for the pitcher of cream.  Dinner was over and sassafras cake, his favorite dessert, had just been served.  He poured a steady stream from the pitcher until the golden brown cake was floating in the smooth cream.
"Have some cake with your cream," Lenaig said, her voice heavy with sarcasm.
He ignored her and took a bite of the cake.  Chewing slowly he cast his eyes upward and smiled seraphically.  "Heavenly," he murmured.  Then he winked at Lenaig.
She rolled her eyes.


"Only while we're on duty," Loreius replied.  "Once off duty..." he left the words unsaid, but the look on his face was eloquent.
Philippon whispered, "Hopefully, by the time we reach the castle, Seren and Emrys will have a plan for something interesting that we can, er, help with before going back on duty."
Astrophel and Caie smothered chuckles.  The elves went to bring their unicorns forward from the shadow of the tree where they patiently waited.  Caie leaned over to whisper to his brother.
"Did he just say Seren?"
"I think so," Astrophel whispered back.  "Why don't you ask him?"
"Uh, no," Caie quickly shook his head.  "I think I'll wait until we are at the castle and ask Emrys."
Astrophel grinned to himself.  Caie the Bold not so bold when it comes to a certain elven maiden.


The crowd dispersed quickly as if afraid to linger.  A threesome consisting of an older man and woman followed by a young man wrapped in a worn cloak walked up the road to the nearby village of Breithe.  When they were a distance from the castle, the man snorted.
"Mordrech Pendragon, my eye.  That stripling is no more a Pendragon than I am."
"Shhh, Connor," his wife cautioned.  "Malduc has eyes and ears everywhere."
Connor snorted again.  "Balderdash.  He may have the eyesight of a hawk, but none can read lips from this far away, nevermind that my back is to the castle.  And not even Supreme Monster Malduc has ears keen enough to hear spoken words at a quarter of a mile."
The young man grinned and converted a laugh into a cough.


And this is the bonus snippet.  I just started this story last week, during a crazy day when I had a few minutes of down time.  For the rest of the week, I scribbled madly– two minutes here, four there, one over there, etc.  Between last week and this week, I have 2,800 words on it and I'm just going to keep going and see if it takes me anywhere.  It is sci-fi– actually more science fantasy– and its current nickname is Atlantica.

At the far end of the sofa Jeziora gave a bounce.  "I wouldn't.  I'm with Jyder.  Tight security, too much money, too much time, and no school with friends?  I might as well go live on an asteroid and be a hermit!  Or hermitine, whatever a girl hermit is called."
Now everyone laughed.  "I believe the correct word is hermitess," Kishi told her.

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'm Back Now!

Dear me, I sure missed all of you!!  I didn't realize how much I'd grown to love being on Blogger and reading and commenting on all of your posts until I was without them for a week!  And now I have a ton of reading and commenting and emailing to catch up on!!!

My friend Miss Jack Lewis Baillot has published her book Haphazardly Implausible and it is now available on Amazon Kindle and Lulu.  Congratulations Jack!!  I don't normally read steampunk books, (just because they never sounded interesting before) but when I started reading Jack's blog and hearing about her story I knew I had to read this one.  It sounds terrific!!

She has a blog party going right now to celebrate the book launch.  Be sure to hop over and check it out!

And the blog party for Jessica's book Annabeth's War is still going.  Stop by Safirewriter to see the latest stops and giveaways.  Currently Jessica is giving away a copy of Amy Dashwood's Only A Novel while Amy is giving away a copy of Annabeth's War at her blog.

Safirewriter


Yet Another Period Drama Blog

And now I must dutifully take to my bed and attempt that inconvenience er, delight called sleep.

Until next time!

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three Cheers!!!!!!!

Hello, my dear readers!!

First off, I have to tell you about a wonderful blog party going on RIGHT NOW.  My friend Jessica Greyson has published her first book, Annabeth's War, and it is available from Amazon!!!!!  I am super excited about this!!!!  I have been privileged to read some of Jessica's writing and it is FANTASTIC!!!  You do NOT want to miss this book!!

She is hosting a giveaway of her book right here:  (And isn't this cover art GORGEOUS?!!)

Safirewriter


Also, the delightful Katherine Sophia is hosting another giveaway: a beautiful charm bracelet for one winner and a copy of Annabeth's War for another winner.

Seek Him First

So please do go check them out and enter!!  You won't be sorry you did!


And, a quick apology and explanation.  Due to unexpected circumstances, I have not been online all week nor will I be back online regularly until Sunday.  I have a few minutes today, and then it is back to no computer.  So, the many things I had hoped to post about this week will regrettably be delayed until next week.  And to all of who that are waiting for emails back from me, I promise to do them as soon as I can next week.

Until Sunday!

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, December 7, 2012

Les Mis Excitement!! With Premiere Videos!

Les Miserables the movie is due out in the United States in exactly 18 days.  That is less than three weeks!!!  (Although I will have to wait longer to see it, until it comes out on DVD or Amazon Instant Video.)

I am SUPER HYPED about it.  Just ask my poor family who has to put up with my rambling and gushing over it, in addition to my excitement over The Hobbit, due out in a week.  (I think they are all ready to ship me off to China for the next three weeks.)

I've been following the progress of the Les Mis premieres.  There was the Tokoyo premiere, the New York screening, and then the London premiere yesterday (or was it the day before?).  For all of my fellow Les Mis fans, I present a collection of links to news articles and videos.

A BBC video of the premiere:  HERE
Jackman's "I was the boss" cracked me up!

And a few more pictures and interview comments:  HERE

THIS is a collection of interviews with the cast on the red carpet. Poor Samantha Barks was shivering!  Behind Eddie you can see Rosamund Pike (Jane in P&P 2005).  I have to say, during the interview with producer Debra Hayward, I was too busy watching the people passing behind her to watch her, although I was listening to what she was saying.  Hey look, there went Samantha!  I loved how Debra herself said the movie needed to be EPIC!  Ooh, look, it's Lady Grantham!  Russell Crowe started out in musicals?  I didn't know that either!

And another one.  WARNING: there are a few coarse words in this video during Sacha Baron Cohen's interview clips.  I think it is great how Jackman has been a fan of the book since he was 18!   And I think Sacha Baron Cohen is going to make a good Thenardier.

Ooh, THIS one!!  Some scenes from the movie interspersed with interview clips, including Debra Hayward telling of the audition video Eddie Redmayne sent in and Daniel Huttlestone telling how it was for him during filming.

It is blurry but LOOK it's Michael Ball!

And THIS.  I laughed over Crowe's 'singing fools' and Daniel Huttlestone teling how Crowe taught him how to punch!  You know, I think he'll do a pretty good Gavroche.  :)

Oh my gosh!!!  THIS is one of my favorites!  Mainly because Hugh Jackman and Michael Ball are such gentlemen in it!  Jackman helps Amanda Seyfried up onto the stage, and then!  Well, watch it to see what Michael Ball does.  Isn't it sweet??!!!!

And HERE is another video with clips of interviews with Jackman, Samantha, Amanda, Crowe, Redmayne and Tom Hooper.  I like the tiny clip we see of Eddie and Amanda walking toward the throng.  And Samantha is too fantastic!  I had forgotten that Eponine was her debut West End role.  MICHAEL BALL AND EDDIE REDMAYNE!!!  That. Was. SUPERB!  I think it is my favorite bit from this video!  And what Anne said about Tom during singing parts was hilarious!  And Isabelle Allen is simply too cute for words!

I think it is awesome that Michael Ball was helping host the premiere.  Definitely fitting for a man who has been so involved with Les Miserables from the very beginning.

Random red carpet shots
Samantha's hi five with the kid was fun!

THIS  I laughed so hard over Eddie's account of his audition video!!!

The current West End cast of Les Miserables also attended the premiere.  HERE they are arriving.  (Don't you love how One day More is playing in the background!)

I enjoy seeing red carpet fashions as well.  So, here is what Anne Hathway and Amanda Seyfried have been wearing at the premieres:
The London Premiere 
(In case anyone really wants a better look at those, um, outfits, they were wearing.)  There are some cool pictures of the cast in this set though.  Like....
#3 The current West End cast.  I spotted Sierra Boggess (Fantine) second from right, several of the students scattered through the group, including Adam Linstead (Grantaire), Craig Mather (Marius) and Liam Tamne (Enjolras).  The blonde in the middle of the front row, in purple, is Samantha Dorsey, the current Cosette, and the brunette next to her is Danielle Hope, the current Eponine.  (I love playing 'spot the actor'!)
#6 Isn't this one fun?
#12 Huttlestone is pretty cute here.
#19 I wonder what someone said....
#20 The three Leading Ladies.
#24 Another one of those, 'I wonder what they are saying' moments.
#25 Anyone recognize her??  :)
#28 Helena Bonham-Carter has always had an interesting fashion sense.
#30 Isn't she adorable??!!
#32 I WANT A HUGE POSTER LIKE THIS TO PUT UP IN MY BEDROOM!!!  Except that my sister might not like it....

And I'll just say that for me; Anne, Amanda and Samantha's premiere gowns were not the greatest.  I could have handled the front of Anne's outfit, especially since the color and sparkle looked great on her, but, um... yeah.  Amanda's was just blech, in my opinon, and although the color and fabric of Samantha's was stunning on her, I don't care for the style.  I would however, love the cape Anne wore when she arrived.  You can see it in some of the videos above.  Isn't it neat?
PLEASE NOTE: These are simply my personal opinions and I am not trying to put down these actresses or anyone else.

HERE is another picture of Isabelle Allen so you can see her dress.  Isn't it too cute??!!!

Annnnd: Frances Ruffelle with Cameron Mackintosh!

Tokoyo Premiere:
Anne with Hugh Jackman
Interesting dress, no?

Amanda Seyfried
Kind of cute on her, I thought.

From the New York screening after-party:
Anne Hathaway
(Every now and then, someone actually wears something on the red carpet that I would personally consider to be decent and modest.  This is a lovely dress!)

Amanda
I thought this one wasn't too bad.

And 'Marius' and 'Cosette' at another event:  (Gorgeous color and fabric on her dress.)

My friend Amy Dashwood did a great post with movie stills and links to clips from the movie.  Go check it out, if you haven't already.  It is fantastic!!

I CANNOT wait until this movie comes out!!!!!  Oh, and get this.  It is going to be over 2 1/2 hours long!!!!

Have a great weekend, lovely readers!

Miss Melody Muffin

Poem of the Week: To Kalakaua

Something about this poem jumped out at me and captured my imagination.  I think it is the way the lines sing together and evoke a far-off location and time.

To Kalakaua
Robert Louis Stevenson

The Silver Ship, my King – that was her name
In the bright islands whence your fathers came –
The Silver Ship, at rest from winds and tides,
Below your palace in your harbour rides;
And the seafarers, sitting safe on shore,
Like eager merchants count their treasures o'er.
One gift they find, one strange and lovely thing,
Now doubly precious since it pleased a king.

The right, my liege, is ancient as the lyre
For bards to give to kings what kings admire.
'Tis mine to offer for Apollo's sake;
And since the gift is fitting, yours to take.
To golden hands the golden pearl I bring:
The ocean jewel to the island king.


Have a great weekend!  I'm probably going to spend at least part of mine gushing over Les Miserables 2012 and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; thereby driving my family crazy.  :)

Miss Melody Muffin

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Awards!

Sooooo, I am finally catching up on my backlog of awards and tags!

Back in September, Kiri Liz from Lianne Taimenlore awarded me the Artsy Award.  Thank you very much, Kiri!


Rules:
1. Normally this is where it says "thank the person who gave you the award and leave a link to their blog etc. etc." Well, you can do that if you want. I mean, if you like the award and you're glad you got it and you can do that. Or you can just copy this and have people listen to me rambling. :)

2. Answer the five questions set out for you and make the next five questions for the people that you nominate. 

3. OK, so usually there's a "NO TAGBACKS" rule. I'm here to say that in #3 of this award you can tag or not tag or whatever you want to do. Agreed? Agreed. ;)

Kiri's questions:
1. Peaches or pineapple?
Hmm, pineapple, although I am fond of peaches, too.

2. Piano or violin?
Piano.  I do have a sister who is interested in learning the violin.

3. What famous literary character do you think you are most like?
Elinor Dashwood, most of the time.  Several years ago a friend told me if I had red hair, I would be just like Anne of Green Gables.  I was thrilled!  (And to those who may wonder, yes, like Elinor, there is much hidden beneath my surface personality.  And I still do have many facets of Anne's personality.)

4. Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Oooh!  I would LOVE to be living in England and be a costume designer for the BBC, and writing books and training horses on the side.  Ah, for a dream come true!  :)
Where I really see myself is still writing novels and hopefully with several books published.  And maybe training a few horses.

5. What is your main goal in writing?
To glorify God and hopefully bless others by the messages in the stories of all these characters who have invaded my life.

Five questions for my awardees:
1. Rain or snow?
2. Would you rather visit Paris or London?
3. Do you prefer a dark night or a moonlit night?
4. Have you ever seen a Mountain Bluebird?
5. On your dream vacation, where would you go?

I award:
Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Elegance of Fashion
Kellie of Accordion to Kellie
Miss Dashwood and Miss Marianne at The P&P95Forever Club
Sarah and Rachel of Two's Company
Maria Elisabeth at Miss Georgiana Darcy


Also in September, Jessa Bri at Life of a Michigan Homeschooler awarded me with the Versatile Blogger Award.  Many, many thanks, Jessa!

Rules:
1. Must state the rules.
2. Thank the awarded and link back to them.
3. Must pass this award along to five other bloggers.
4. List their names with links to their award winning blogs.
5. Must notify the awarded bloggers by commenting on their blogs.
6. Share seven unusual things about yourself.  Something that not many people could say about themselves.

1. I have a multi-track brain.  This means that most of the time, I can think about at least two things at the same time.
2. I would love to have a Siamese colored lion.  (These just showed up in one of my stories a few weeks ago.)
3. Actually I would love to have any color lion, tiger or jaguar for a pet.
4. I have jumbled Greek, Spanish and English into the same sentence.
5. I used to regularly wash my family's laundry in a ringer washer.
6. I have shocked oats, with some friends.
7. I enjoy exclaiming in other languages.  Caramba!  Eureka!

I award:
Jack at However Improbable
Kendra at Knitted by God's Plan
Katie at Whisperings of the Pen
Jessica at Safirewriter
Katherine Sophia at Seek Him First

And in October, Kiri Liz also awarded me with the Liebster Blog award.  Thank you, Kiri! 


Rules:
1. You must post eleven random facts about yourself.
2. You must also answer the eleven questions the awarder has given you and make up eleven questions for your awardees to answer in turn.
3. Tag eleven fellow bloggers.
4. Notify them that you've awarded them.
5. No tagging back.
6. The eleven blogs you tag must have less than 200 followers.

Random facts:
Okay, I did something a little different for the first few questions and asked some of my sisters for random facts about myself.  (I refer to them with numbers here but I do have a post in my drafts introducing my family properly.  Sometime I will actually post it.)  :)

1. Sister #3 reminded me that, like the Clampett family, I have eaten opossum.
2. And I have also eaten raccoon.
3. Sister #1 says I have never been to the ocean.  (And I do so long to go!)
4. Sister #4 says I have been to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert.  (Was it ever terrific, too!)
5. Sister #3 says I have unusually coarse hair.  (She's the hairstyle sister.)
6. I do not like peanut butter.
7. My grandpa informed me (in jest of course) that to not like peanut butter is un-American.
8. I am not fond of mustard either, except in certain dishes, like potato salad.
9. Pizza quesadillas are one of my favorite foods.
10. I enjoy seeing what actresses/celebrities wear on the red carpet (even if most of the outfits I would never wear).
11. I can hardly wait to see Les Miserables and The Hobbit!!

Kiri elected not to give us eleven more questions to answer since she had already given us eleven questions in an elvensies tag that I will fill out later.

My questions for the awardees:
1. What is your favorite holiday tea (or drink)?
2. Would you rather visit the mountains or the ocean?
3. What is your favorite soup?
4. A mouse runs out from under a wall and across your bedroom.  What do you do?
5. What was the last book you read?
6. King Kamehameha (the Great), who was he?
7. What is your favorite Christmas song?
8. What is your favorite traditional Thanksgiving food?
9. Have you ever been in an airplane?
10. Housecleaning, do you hate it, not mind it, or actually like it?
11. Ever played Ultimate Frisbee?

And I award:
TomWildRose at The Rambling Rose
Clair at Working Title
Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm
Hayden at Story Girl
Rachel at A Butcher, A Baker, A Candlestick Maker
Vicki at Sunshine and Shadow
Nessima Tavariel at Arda Nessimava
Charity at Austentitis
Storyteller at Storyteller of Weston County
Rose M at The Golden Road
Abby at From My Writing Desk

ETA: I just realized I forgot to check the blogs I awarded for the less-than-200-followers rule.  So I might be breaking that rule!  :)

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Quote of the Week: December 2, 2012

A great book should leave you with many experiences, and feeling slightly exhausted.  You should live several lives while reading it.
William Styron


Miss Melody Muffin