Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Snippets of Story: January 2013

Oh dear, I'm very late in posting my Snippets again.  Some of these are from December and some are from January.  I didn't write as much this month as I had hoped to, but I've gotten a few thousand words done the last few days.

When the door had closed, Timotheus threw himself into a chair on the other side of the desk. 
“I don’t like it.  Kohlan is accused of consorting with the duchess?  What was he doing that they could have accused him  of that?  Kohlan is a very careful man!  And if he didn’t even know who she was....”
“That means she had to have been disguised.  Intentionally, which means it was a trap, or unintentionally, which means it was an accident and thus they should have no reason to hold him.”
“And yet, Darigo said they could not return.  And he sounded quite final about it.”
“That’s what worries me,” his sister confessed softly.  “I don’t like the resignation in that note.  Or his asking us to not come after them.  And then saying there was nothing that could be done.  Why isn’t there?”
The Land Beyond The Sunset  (Quara)

Nicanor’s eyes twinkled down into Seren's, “It is said Valkyrs do two things superbly; fight and dance.  I speak from experience that you are skilled in the former, but now I should like to test the latter."  He held out his hand.
The Three Kyngdoms

"The Ruling Council has declared a vote of No Confidence in Queen Calunga," Kia Rosenberg explained quietly.  "She is expected to formally resign by the end of the week."

Suddenly Kinth sat bolt upright on the king's shoulder, one paw burying itself in the hair at the back of his head.  Alarmed, Sojeph knocked quickly.  Ariana's voice called for him to enter.  He pushed the door open, Kinth clutching his hair tighter. 
The tension in the room slammed him like a roll of thunder.
The Land Beyond The Sunset

"And then we're not letting the councilors go home until we have figured out what the doggrief is going on," the High King's brown eyes flashed fire.
The Land Beyond The Sunset

And here's a longer snippet for you all from The Three Kyngdoms:

Suddenly a shadow passed over the clearing.  Instantly Kahenis was on his feet, alert.  He scanned the sky, aware that Igerna had risen next to him and was doing the same.
“There!” she whispered, pointing to a hawk.  Kahenis had seen it too.  “Just a hawk,” he breathed in relief.  Then, the hawk glided down to gently land in the clearing.  It sat, blinking at the two young people, both of whom were frozen in surprise.  The hawk took a step toward them.  Kahenis stepped in front of Igerna, “Go fetch Aunt Glori,” he whispered swiftly.  Igerna, careful to move slowly for fear of startling the bird into an attack, backed toward the caves.
Kahenis studied the bird.  He noted the left leg bore a collar of sorts.  A falcon. It must have gotten loose from someone.  Then he saw the strange binding on the right leg.  It was a wide strip of cloth, and it appeared to have something beneath it.  He took a cautious step toward it and the bird tilted its head, fixing him with an unblinking glare.  Kahenis bent lower to see the right leg more clearly.  Now he suspected what this hawk was.  “You’re a messenger aren’t you?” he spoke softly to the bird.
“Not just any messenger,” Gloriana said from behind him.  “A Cristati.”
“Cristati?” Igerna was clearly puzzled.  The word however stirred something in Kahenis brain.
“An elven messenger hawk!”
“Yes.” Gloriana confirmed.  She spoke a single sentence firmly to the bird, “Afferte mihi nuntias (bring me the message).”  As she spoke, she extended her wrist and the bird hopped gently onto it.  Deftly she unwound the message and then handed the hawk to Kahenis, “Here.  Hold him while I read.” 
Igerna edged closer and tentatively reached out a hand to stroke the hawks’ crest feathers.  When he did not draw back, she grew bolder and stroked down his head and neck.

Hope you all enjoy!

Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, January 28, 2013

Grey Days to Glimmering Blog Party

Today is the last day of Kellie's Grey Days to Glimmering Blog Party!  Her tag is an excellent way for me to begin my return to blogging!

1) What's your favorite thing to do when you've been feeling uninspired?
Read.  And browse Pinterest, especially writing boards.

2) Tell us about a really great movie/show that you've just discovered.
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries on YouTube.  It does have a few bad language issues and nearly everything that comes out of Lydia's mouth is inappropriate by my standards, but I am loving them and can't wait for the next one to come out.  (I'll post a proper review on them sometime.)
First video here.

3) What do you like to do to change your mood?
Read.  And write.

4) Your favorite drink is currently...
Earl Grey tea with cream and sugar.  Coconut Chai, also with cream and sugar, is a very close second.

5) When you hear the word exuberant, what's the first word that comes to mind?
Lydia Bennet.  :)

6) What made you smile last?
A quote from one of Natasha's Pinterest boards:
'Normal around here is just a setting on the dryer.'
This is so spot-on for my family it isn't even funny.

7) What five songs would make a playlist to describe your week?
I'm not really sure but I'll give you the five songs I've listened to the most the last several days: The Parting Glass- The Kilkennys, Until Tomorrow- from the musical A Tale of Two Cities, Isle of Hope Isle of Tears- Celtic Woman, Written in the Stars- from the musical Aida and Defying Gravity- from the musical Wicked.  I'm also loving the song For Good, also from Wicked

8) What's at the top of your creative 'To-Do' list?
Now that I have straightened out some knots in the plot of The Land Beyond the Sunset, I'm hoping to put in several thousand words on it in the next few days.  If only the days were a few hours longer!

9) The last thing you crossed off the above list was...
To figure out how many ladies-in-waiting each queen in Esidaraq had.  Minor but necessary information.

10)  Quickly - the first movie quote from the top of your head, please!

"There's only one God ma'am, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't dress like that." Captain America- The Avengers

11)  The best thing about January is...

The beginning of a new year!  Two of my sisters' birthdays.  And the big dump of snow we had yesterday.

12) The worst thing about January is...

The intense cold we had for the first few weeks.  I hate below zero weather.

13) What's your #1 resolution for 2013?
To live life to its fullest and not look back too often.  "You will always be more sorry for the things you didn't do than the things you did do."

14)  And lastly, share a quote or verse that you've found especially inspiring lately.
A writing quote: "If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word." Margaret Atwood  (I really need to remember to act on this one!!)

Part of my absence from Blogger has been due to the fact that I've had a lot going on last week and this week.  Last week I spent three days at a friend's house, helping them out (she broke her arm).  Yesterday was the birthday of one of my sisters and tomorrow is another sister's birthday.  And my characters have been doing their best to demand my undivided attention- and then going rogue on me with problems that I have to fix before I can move on with the story.  Sigh.  How is it that we manage to adore our characters even when they are giving us fits?

I should be posting more this week.  Posts about characters, stories, movies and probably some books, too. 

Until next time, dear readers!!

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, January 18, 2013

This Is Amazing!!!!

I don't watch American Idol.  In fact, until last year, I knew little about it other than it was an American talent show.  But thanks to my teenage sisters, who are fans of Scotty McCreery and Colton Dixon, last year I, um, got a little more educated on what it was and how it worked.

All that aside, when I went onto my computer this morning to check the news feeds, there was this American Idol contestant video.  I almost didn't watch it.  I mean, normally, I wouldn't give it a second thought.  But for some reason (I think it is called a Divine nudge) I clicked on it.

As some of you may know by now, I'm a pretty unemotional person.  I don't cry at books, movies, etc as a general rule.  But I was crying by the time I finished this.  Watch it.  It is beautiful.


Isn't it wonderful?!!

Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, January 14, 2013

Three cheers for Les Miserables!!!

Last night was a fantastic one for Les Miserables at the Golden Globe awards.  Not only did it take home Best Movie (comedy or musical), but Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway took home the awards for Best Actor (comedy or musical) and best supporting actress respectively.  I was thrilled to see the movie being recognized as it deserves.  (Though I think Tom Hooper should have gotten one as well.)

So I present videos of the actors accepting their awards.
Anne Hathaway:

I think this is beautiful!

Hugh Jackman:

I laughed so hard through this!  And did you see how Eddie And Amanda were cheering for him?!

Best Picture:

Isn't this terrific!!  I loved the reactions of the stars. 

Now if it will only do as well at the Oscars next month....

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, January 11, 2013

Poem of the Week: Words

This fits us writers so well, does it not?

John Hay

When violets were springing
And sunshine filled the day,
And happy birds were singing
The praises of the May,
A word came to me, blighting
The beauty of the scene,
And in my heart was winter,
Though all the trees were green.

Now down the blast go sailing
The dead leaves, brown and sere;
The forests are bewailing
The dying of the year;
A word comes to me, lighting
With rapture all the air,
And in my heart is summer,
Though all the trees are bare.

Have a delightful weekend!

Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, January 7, 2013

100th Post!!!!!

Wow, it hardly seems possible that I am at post one hundred already.  It truly doesn't seem that long ago that I began this blog,  And yet, at the same time, it seems forever.  Funny how that works.  But what a terrific journey it has been!

I had the great honor and privilege of guest posting at Miss Jack Lewis Baillot's blog today as part of her blog party celebrating the launch of her book Haphazardly Implausible.  My post is about my Three Kyngdoms story, specifically the first book.  You can go HERE to check it out.

And I'd like to extend a thank you to my three newest followers for joining my blog!  Welcome!!!!

Miss Melody Muffin

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas Time Is Here....

Vicki from Sunshine and Shadow tagged me with a Christmas tag a couple weeks ago.  Thank you, Vicki!  I know Christmas was days ago but at least the Christmas Season won't be over until January 6, so I'm not exactly late filling this out.  :)  (At least, that's what I tell myself.)

My family doesn't celebrate Christmas in the traditional way so I don't know how many of these will have interesting answers.

What's your favorite Christmas song?
Do You Hear What I Hear.

Who sings it the best?
Third Day, unquestionably.

Do you change your favorite Christmas song every year?
No.  It has been consistent for several years now.

What Christmas song do you hear the most?
Umm, I have to think about this one.  Probably This Is Christmas by Kutless.

Does your family mostly agree on what Christmas music to listen to or are you constantly changing the song?
Well, most of my family likes the same kind of Christmas music- contemporary Christian and a few Country artists' versions of traditional carols and their own songs (like Kutless's This is Christmas or Matthew West's One Last Christmas).  My Mom introduced us all to Mannheim Steamroller last year and they have become another family favorite.  I like all these too, but I also like artists such as Celtic Woman and classical Christmas music like Handel's Messiah.  So, I just listen to those songs on my own time.  :)

Who's your favorite Christmas movie side character?
Well, I've only seen two Christmas movies: Hallmark's The Christmas Card and A Princess For Christmas.  Hmm, favorite side character... Uncle Richard from The Christmas Card (he is hilarious).  Paisley Winterbottom and Mrs. Birch from A Princess for Christmas are also fantastic.

Besides George and Mary Bailey, who's your favorite character in It's A Wonderful Life?
I haven't seen this movie.

Do you like Santa Claus in Miracle On 34th Street?
Haven't seen this one either.  :)

Vera Ellen or Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas?
Or this one.  :)  :)

Bing Crosby or Danny Kaye?
Bing Crosby.

Besides "White Christmas" what is your favorite song from the movie?
Not having seen it, I haven't heard all the songs, so I don't know.

What's your favorite (or one of your favorite) lines from a Christmas movie?
"Good evening.  My name is Paisley Winterbottom."
A Princess For Christmas

"Really?  I thought butlers were extinct."
"Oh no, we've made a comeback."
A Princess For Christmas

Do you own a special ornament?
Umm, not that I can think of.

Did you break any ornaments this year?
No.  But since I didn't decorate a tree, there isn't much merit in that.  :)

What's the oldest ornament on your tree and where did it come from?
We don't decorate a tree.

Do you like pretty trees or fun trees better?
Pretty trees, though I usually enjoy fun trees.

Have you ever had a fake tree?
Years ago, when we lived with my grandmother for a while, she had a small fake tree she put up every year.

Green tree or a different color?
I love fresh green trees but white trees are gorgeous.  And the Victorians had some trees of other colors.

Who sweeps up the pine needles and waters the tree?
No one.  No tree to do it for!  :)

Have you made any Christmas crafts this year?
Not this year.

Does your family read a Christmas story every year?
Not really.  We do discuss Jesus' birth though.

If so, which one?
See above.

What do you do on Christmas Eve?
Well, this year, I stayed up late watching ABC's old show The Young Riders and some Doctor Who.

How many Christmas's do you usually have?
Er, one, sort of.

Marshmallows or whipped cream in our hot chocolate?
I have to choose just one?!  Well, whipped cream then, although either and especially both are delicious.

Do you like the flavor cinnamon or peppermint better?

Have you ever had a white Christmas?
Many times.  Last year was pretty brown, but this year there was a fair amount of snow.

Ice skating or driving around looking at Christmas lights?
Ice skating!!!

Do you like the blow-up Christmas decorations people put in their yards?
Uh, no.  Except to give me a good laugh.

What is something you are going to do new this year to celebrate?
Watch more Doctor Who!

Have you ever celebrated Hanukkah?
No, but I think it would be interesting to sometime.

How many people are you giving presents to this year?
A few, I don't remember the exact number at the moment.

What's your favorite kind of Christmas card to receive?
A personalized one.

Do you eat breakfast first or open presents first?
Well, this year we opened presents first while breakfast was in the oven.

Stockings first or last?
We don't do stockings.

What present do you REALLY want this year?
Well, worldwide peace on Earth would be marvelous.

Do you like a star on top of your tree or an angel?

Do you like the color red or green better?
Green, usually.

Silver or gold?

On word to describe Christmas?

My Christmas went well.  It also happens to be one of my younger brother's birthdays.  We celebrated that and then my mother surprised us- she had rented Chariots of Fire for us to watch!  My parents had seen it years ago, but none of us children had.  I LOVED it!!!!!!!!  It is now on my list of Top Ten favorite movies!

Since the Christmas Season is practically over, I'm not going to tag anyone.  If you see this tag and would like to do it, please do!  Next Christmas I'll come back to this and tag people then.  :)

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, January 4, 2013

Poem of the Week: A Winter's Ride

This is one of my favorite winter poems.

A Winter Ride
Amy Lowell

Who shall declare the joy of the running!
Who shall tell of the pleasures of flight!
Springing and spurning the tufts of wild heather,
Sweeping, wide–winged, through the blue dome of light.
Everything mortal has moments immortal,
Swift and God–gifted, immeasurably bright.

So with the stretch of the white road before me,
Shining snowcrystals rainbowed by the sun,
Fields that are white, stained with long, cool, blue shadows,
Strong with the strength of my horse as we run.
Joy in the touch of the wind and the sunlight!
Joy!  With the vigorous earth I am one.

Have a good weekend!

Miss Melody Muffin

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 – Looking Back

And now for a look back at the past year, and a look ahead at the coming year!

2012 was a rough year in many ways for me.  There were some life lessons and spiritual lessons that were really brought home to me– some of them the hard way.  ):  I went through several disappointments (our computer crashing for one).  But these lows were balanced by many thrilling high points.

  • I had the incredible experience of starting a personal blog and meeting many wonderful friends.  Girls who share so many of my interests and who have introduced me to new ones.  
  • I took part in several lovely blog parties and a few book tours. 
  • I went to a local museum and saw their exhibit on The Treasures of King Tut's Tomb.  For this Ancient Egypt nut that was a dream trip!
  • I took my plunge into the wonderful world of the books of J. R. R. Tolkien.  I read The Hobbit twice and also the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  (I'd known of him, just not read him before.)
  • I watched the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.  Even though Peter Jackson made some unforgivable changes to the story and characters; his casting, sets, scenery and costumes were PERFECT.
  • I met the marvelous characters of BBC's Merlin (though I do not wholly recommend the show).
  • I read Jessica's book Annabeth's War.  (And loved it!!  Review to follow sometime this month.)
  • I have two of Kendra's books downloaded and they are next on the 'to read' list.
  • I read Victor Hugo's magnificent tome Les Miserables (encouraged by several of you, thank you!).
  • I saw the 10th and 25th anniversary concerts of the Les Miserables musical (and yes, I promise reviews are coming sometime!  They are still in draft- and have been for months....)
  • I met the Avengers and the characters of Thor.  And discovered that I actually like those superheroes!
  • Through the blog world I was spurred to watch Doctor Who.  The fantastic Nine, quirky, brilliant Ten, and geeky Eleven.  And all the companions: hilarious Donna Noble, smart Martha Jones, the amusing, sometimes clueless Mickey Smith, interesting Captain Jack, terrific Rory and Amy Pond, spunky River Song, delightful Sarah-Jane – my second favorite... and my absolute favorite, Rose Tyler.  (Again, there a a few things in this show I cannot recommend.)
  • I attended the wedding of a dear friend.
  • I had a fun sleepover with the aforementioned friend.
  • Another dear friend had her first baby.
  • And a delightful shopping trip with this same friend.
  • I watched The Phantom Of The Opera with Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom, Sierra Boggess as Christine and Hadley Fraser as Raoul.  Wow.  Only Les Mis beats it.
  • Beta-read for some Blogger friends.

I want to say a giant THANK YOU to all of the people (and John the hedgehog) who have followed my blog and commented over the last several months.  You all make blogging a beautiful experience!!

I don't really do 'New Year's Resolutions'.  However, I do have a long list of things I hope to accomplish in 2013:
  • Do more of my Three R's- reading, writing and riding horses.   Specifically:
  • Read at least 2 books a week.
  • Read at least five Dickens novels, beginning with A Tale of Two Cities.
  • Read every unread novel in the house.  Currently that includes several westerns and some of my sister's Grace Livingston Hill novels (they are generally boring and very predictable but I usually read each one once, just because).
  • Finish the first drafts of the first books in the Quara and Three Kyngdoms series by May.  
  • Write a story with four of my sisters.  We worked on plotting it today and I'll post more about it next week, hopefully.
  • Post more regularly on here.
  • Watch at least one movie or episode of a TV show a week.  Including:
  • All the TV/movie adaptations of Jane Austen's books that I haven't seen that have been made since 1980.  (Except Mansfield Park 1999.)
  • Watch The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and Les Miserables 2012
  • Get to know many fellow bloggers better.
  • Not stress as much.  ( I have a HUGE stress problem.)
  • And of course, try to be a better person!

I think I'm going to make this list a tab at the top, and keep it updated through the year.

Looking at this list, I guess it is pretty ambitious, but you never know if you can do it all until you try, do you?

And one piece of good advice I want to keep in mind for this year is, "One is always more sorry for the things one didn't do, than the things they did do."

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!!


I'm still a little tired from my late night and less sleep than usual last week, so I shall save my big New Year's post until tomorrow.

Wishing you all a bountiful, fantastic year ahead!!!!

Miss Melody Muffin