Sunday, March 29, 2015

Quote of the Week: Teresa of Ávila

It is love alone that gives worth to all things.

~ Teresa of Ávila ~

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, March 27, 2015

Poem of the Week: A Plea

We all have a purpose to fill, and no matter how small or dull it seems at the time, it is vitally important to the big picture.

A Plea
Edgar A. Guest

God grant me these: the strength to do
Some needed service here;
The wisdom to be brave and true;
The gift of vision clear,
That in each task that comes to me
Some purpose I may plainly see.

God teach me to believe that I
Am stationed at a post,
Although the humblest 'neath the sky,
Where I am needed most.
And that, at last, if I do well
My humble services will tell.

God grant me faith to stand on guard,
Uncheered, unspoke, alone,
And see behind such duty hard
My service to the throne.
Whate'er my task, be this my creed:
I am on earth to fill a need.

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Quote of the Week: Perfection

Strive for perfection in everything we do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough. 

~ Henry Royce ~

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, March 20, 2015

Poem of the Week: Coming Spring

Happy Spring Equinox, everyone!!!!!!

Coming Spring
Max Eastman

Ice is marching down the river,
Gaily out to sea!
Sunbeams o'er the snow-hills quiver,
Setting torrents free!

Yellow are the water-willows,
Yellow clouds are they,
Rising where the laden billows
Swell along their way!

Arrows of the sun are flying!
Winter flees the light,
And his chilly horn is sighing
All the moisty night!

Lovers of the balmy weather,
Lovers of the sun!
Drifts and duty melt together—
Get your labors done!

Ice is marching down the river,
Gaily out to sea!
Sing the healthy-hearted ever,
Spring is liberty!

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Quote of the Week: History

A page of history is worth a volume of logic.

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. ~ 

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, March 13, 2015

Poem of the Week: Peaks

Margaret Sangster

A storm may rage in the world below,
It may tear great trees apart;
But here on the mountain top, I know
That it cannot touch my heart.

I have struggled up through the lightning's glare,
I have walked where the cliffs fell sheer
To a gorge below, but I breathed a prayer,
And my soul passed doubt and fear!

Here on the mountain top the air
Is clear as a silver song;
And the sun is warm on my unbound hair;
And what though the way was long?

What though the way was steep and bleak,
And what though the road was hard?
I stand at last on the mountain peak,
With my eyes upraised to God!

A storm may sweep through the world below,
It may rend great rocks apart;
But here on the crest of the world I know
That it cannot touch my heart.

Have a good weekend!!!

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Brothers-in-Arms Giveaway

My friend Jack is giving away three copies of her as-yet-unpublished book: Brothers-in-Arms.

You do not want to miss this book.  I was privileged to read a beta copy and it is a WONDERFUL book.

The details about how to enter are in THIS POST on Jack's blog, so hop over and enter today!

Miss Melody Muffin

Lauri's Lord of the Rings Tag

My friend Lauriloth tagged me with this Tolkien tag.  Thank you, Lauri!  (By the way, I like that title- Tolkienknights.  It's cool.  :D)

-Link back to the blogger who nominated you 

Lauri @ Musings of an Elf
-Answer questions 

-Tag some of your own fellow Tolkienknights!

1. How were you first introduced to LotR/TH and was it love at first sight/read?
I'd known of the books and movies for years, but because my Mom didn't like fantasy, we didn't have any around (aside from some fairy tales) when I was younger.  Three years ago I decided I wanted to read the books and borrowed them from a friend (and yes, my Mom was fine with me reading them, for those of you who might be wondering).  It was most definitely love at first read.  From the first chapter of The Hobbit, I was hooked.

2. If you could meet the actors who portray the characters in the movies, would you?
Absolutely.  I've watched most or all of the behind-the-scenes videos from the filming of the LOTR trilogy and I eagerly watched every one of the video diaries from the set of The Hobbit as it came out.

3. What is your favorite credit song from LotR/TH?
THE LAST GOODBYE, HANDS DOWN, ALWAYS AND FOREVER.  Enya's May It Be is a close second and Neil Finn's Song of the Lonely Mountain and Annie Lennox's Into The West tie for third place.

4. The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit - which is your favorite?  *evil laugh*  (And no, you don't actually have to decide.  I'm merciful like that. *magnanimous smile*)
Whew!  You had me worried for a minute.  :)  In actuality though, I prefer LOTR to The Hobbit, because of the grander scope of LOTR.  I do love The Hobbit, but if I had to choose, I'd choose LOTR.

5. Who is your favorite all-around character?
ARAGORN, start to finish.  And if you've only seen the movies and wonder about my choice because of his character in the movies- GO READ THE BOOKS.
Seriously, though, for more on why I like Aragon, see this post.

6. What is your opinion on Boromir?
He was a noble man who, through his desire to save his city and his people, fell prey to the power of the ring.
For more of my thoughts on Boromir, visit this post and this post.

7. How many times have you watched the movies/read the books?
*blank look*  I don't remember?
*cudgels brain*  I know I've read The Hobbit at least three times and am currently reading it out loud to my younger sister, making a total of at least four times.  As for the LOTR trilogy... I think I've read each of the books at least three times... and ROTK I've probably read four or five times.
In the three years since I was introduced to Tolkien, I've seen all of the LOTR movies at least five times, AUJ four or five times, DOS three times I think and BOTFA once.  (Hurry up March 24 - I need that movie on dvd!!!)

8. What book is your favorite?
Oh very well, if I absolutely MUST choose... Return of the King.

9. Who is your favorite female character (other than your answer to question #5)?
Arwen and Eowyn have always tied for first in my affections.  I'm honestly not sure I CAN choose between the two of them.

10. Who is your favorite male character (other than your answer to question #5)?
Legolas.  :)

11. Which of the movies, in your opinion, has the best ending?
Return of the King... and The Battle of the Five Armies comes in a close second.


Miss Melody Muffin

Monday, March 9, 2015

New Book Review Blog!!

I love writing book reviews.  I've tried to post one book review a week on this blog, but it's happened less and less often.  For a few years now, I've been thinking of a separate book blog where I could review books more than just once a week, make lists and lists of books, and do several other things I didn't have the space or time for on this blog.

Finally, I just decided I needed to stop overthinking it and make another blog.

Hence, The Arrow and The Song.

I'll still be posting on this blog, actually, I'll probably be posting more here now, because moving my book reviews has freed up the schedule for this blog.  I'll be posting about writing, movies, characters, languages, music, and random other subjects, like horse racing or the language of flowers.

And now that I've crammed my entire afternoon and evening full of book lists, blog design and blog posts... I'm going to bed.


Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, March 8, 2015

"Why Didn't You Strike?"

My scene for the March Quote Queste prompt: "It's too early in the day for killing princes."

    “Why didn’t you take the strike?” a male voice hissed.
    Xerene did not glance at the figure that had slid through the crowd to her side.  Her eyes were fixed on the regal young man riding down the avenue, a few guards around him and the crowd cheering him adoringly.
    “It’s too early in the day to kill a prince,” she retorted flippantly.
    The man next to her choked and started to say something wrathful.  She halted him with a hand on his arm.
    “Something blow into your throat?” her amused eyes gleamed hazel in the early morning sunlight.
    He glared at her and growled, “Let’s get out of this crowd and plan our next move.”
    She took the lead, weaving through the crowd and then slipping down a narrow alley to a door whose color might once have been called some shade of green but was now a grayish color with hints of brown and green that reminded her strongly of pig swill.
    She knocked sharply twice, softly once and then sharply once.
    A blonde girl opened the door and the two stepped inside.
    The other four people in the small, dimly lit room stood up eagerly, all five pairs eyes straining through the gloom to search the face of the young woman.
    “Is it done?” the blonde girl asked.
    “No,” the man who had entered with Xerene snarled.  “Duh.  If it was done, you’d hear the outrage of the crowds even here.  She had a perfect strike and she didn’t take it,” he glowered darkly at her.
    “Why?” five voices asked at once.
    “It’s too early in the morning to kill a prince, or anyone actually.”
    The man who had come with her took a step toward her, fury in his eyes.  “Is this all a game to you?!  You were hired to do a job, confound your impudence!”
    “Sit down, Threve,” a younger, red-haired man said firmly.
    Threve slammed into a chair, seething.
    The redhead eyed Xerene coolly, “I expect a better explanation than that.”
    “Of course you do,” she replied smoothly, eyebrows arched innocently.  “I don’t kill people before breakfast or morning tea and I really prefer not to do it before dinner either."
    “Then why did you go to the parade this morning?” the short blonde demanded.
    Xerene didn’t even spare her a glance, but she did roll her eyes at the truculence in the girl’s manner.  “For your information, kid,” she sneered the last word and the blonde bridled, “I went to the parade to gather information.  You’re all so faithless,” she mocked.  “You hired me to do the job none of you would ever be able to do.  I’ll do it in my own time and my own way.”  She drew herself up and glared at the redheaded leader.  “My record speaks for itself.  Have I ever not completed a job I was hired to do?”
    The silence was answer enough and the redhead admitted her point with a tiny nod.
    She swept a bored look over the other five people.  “It’s too early for killing, but past breakfast time and I don’t work on an empty stomach.  Do whatever it is you people do in your spare time, but I’m going to find something to eat.”  She swung around and left the room, not bothering to look out the window slit before opening the door and stepping out.
    She heard Threve’s protest of her carelessness behind her, and smirked to herself.  He’s such a nervous ninny.
    None of the conspirators followed her.  She found an eating house and quickly disposed of a large meal of cider, bread and cheese.  Still alone, she sought the privacy of a tall tree at the edge of the exhibition grounds.
    A few moments later, a tall, slim young woman, clad in black leather, waist length braid so blonde it looked white, climbed up into the tree and perched, catlike, on a branch nearby.  In silence the two watched the gathering crowds.
    “Why didn’t you take the opening?”
    Xerene yanked the gold chain at her throat and brought out a gold medallion with a silver griffin in the center.
    The black-clad newcomer whistled.  “Seriously?”
    “He was wearing it in his hair,” Xerene was frowning.
    “A trick?”
    Xerene shook her head.  “Nearly impossible, if my mother’s words were true.  There were only two ever made.”
    “How did our research not turn this up?”
    “We only went into the jewelry he wore often and on state occasions.  He’s never worn this to a state occasion.  If he had, we’d have discovered it.”
    “Why wear it now?” the other woman slipped an arrow out of her quiver and began to finger the shaft.
    “Today is his investment into the Order.  Symbolism?  Significance?  A secret?  A sign?” Xerene shrugged.
    Her companion replaced the arrow and slid down from the tree.
    “Where are you off to?”
    “You’re not going to kill him now without more information.  I’m going to find that information,” she winked up at Xerene and darted off, fleet as a gazelle.
    Xerene stared moodily out over the exhibition grounds, easily locating the prince by his clothes of state.  Her mother’s words rang in her head, over and over like the clanging of the great palace bells.
    There is only one other such medallion... and it was placed about the neck of your brother.

You can participate in Quote Queste HERE.

Miss Melody Muffin

Quote of the Week: Battles and Victories

"Even if a king defeats his enemy in battle, that still doesn't settle anything. There are other, less numerous armies of philosophers and scientists, and their contests determine the true triumph or defeat of nations. One scholar is matched with another; one creative mind with another; and one judicious temperament with his counterpart. A victory won on that field counts for three won by force of arms."

~ Cyrano de Bergerac ~

Miss Melody Muffin

Friday, March 6, 2015

Introducing... Quote Queste!!

The monthly quote link-up I proposedt a few days ago is now premiering!!

I'm calling it Quote Queste because we're all in quest of a good scene or just some inspiration. (Thanks Mom, Butterfly and Billie for the brainstorm session, and Mom for graphic assistance.)

Here's how it works:
1. I'll post a quote the first week of every month.  You take the quote and write a short scene based on it.  It can be a scene for a story you're currently writing, one you plan on writing in the future, or you can make up characters solely for this challenge.
2.  Post your scene on your blog, with the banner from the top of my post and a link to my blog.
3. Come back to my blog and leave a link to your post so the other participants and I can read your scene.
4. Have fun!

Until I decide what kind of linky I want to use, for now, please leave your link in the comments.

This month's quote could be called a prompt or a quote, I think.  Whichever term you'd choose to use, here you go:
Found via Pinterest

Good questing to you!  I eagerly look forward to your scenes!

Miss Melody Muffin

Poem of the Week: Gethsemane

It comes to each of us, in our own time and in our own place....

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In golden youth when seems the earth
A Summer‑land of singing mirth,
When souls are glad and hearts are light,
And not a shadow lurks in sight,
We do not know it, but there lies
Somewhere veiled under evening skies
A garden which we all must see—
The garden of Gethsemane.

With joyous steps we go our ways,
Love lends a halo to our days;
Light sorrows sail like clouds afar,
We laugh, and say how strong we are.
We hurry on; and hurrying, go
Close to the border‑land of woe,
That waits for you, and waits for me—
Forever waits Gethsemane.

Down shadowy lanes, across strange streams
Bridged over by our broken dreams;
Behind the misty caps of years,
Beyond the great salt fount of tears,
The garden lies. Strive as you may,
You cannot miss it in your way.
All paths that have been, or shall be,
Pass somewhere through Gethsemane.

All those who journey, soon or late,
Must pass within the garden's gate;
Must kneel alone in darkness there,
And battle with some fierce despair.
God pity those who can not say,
"Not mine but thine," who only pray,
"Let this cup pass," and cannot see
The purpose in Gethsemane.

Miss Melody Muffin

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Quotes Are One of My Favorite Things

It's funny, but when I slip into the groove of not blogging, I keep myself busy enough doing other things that I don't really miss it.  Then I start to write a blog post and all the sudden I'm feeling like: "I'VE MISSED BLOGGING SO MUCH.  I NEED TO WRITE FIFTY POSTS."

I need to stick to my schedules better, is what I need to do.  My schedule does the job of keeping all the things I like to do in fairly regular rotation, when I remember to read it and follow it.  :)

The main reason for my post today is to ask a question....

Those of my blog readers who are writers... I had an idea for a monthly link-up.  Every month I'd post a quote and you'd write a scene inspired by that quote.

Anyone interested?

Miss Melody Muffin

Sunday, March 1, 2015

His Was the Most... Human

Instead of a single Quote of the Week, as a tribute to Leonard Nimoy, who died on Friday, I'm going to post several of my favorite Spock quotes- both spoken by him and about him.

Nimoy's iconic character Spock fascinated me from the moment I first saw him onscreen.  His cool, detached logic and his dry, sarcastic comments remain some of my favorite things about Star Trek.  The character of Spock was also a help to me in some emotionally turbulent times a few years ago.  When my emotions would start to boil, I would close my eyes and think of some snarky comment that Spock would have made.  (My family didn't always appreciate the snark, though, and at least once Spock was accused of having had a bad influence on me.  :D)

Mr. Nimoy, you will be missed.  Rest in Peace.

[Kirk has asked his crew for their opinions regarding the threat of the Romulans]
Spock: If we had not crossed the Neutral Zone, on your order, you would not now need our opinions to support a decision which should never have had to be made.

[Spock has hoodwinked the Romulan commander to help steal the Romulans' cloaking device]
Romulan Commander: You must be mad.
Spock: I assure you, I am quite sane.
Romulan Commander: Why would you do this to me? What are you that you could do this?
Spock: First Officer of the Enterprise.

Mr. Spock: Doctor, if I were able to show emotion, your new infatuation with that term would begin to annoy me.
Dr. McCoy: What term? 'Logic'? Medical men are trained in logic, Mr. Spock.
Mr. Spock: Really, Doctor? I had no idea they were trained. Watching you, I assumed it was trial and error.

Edith Keeler: You know as well as I do how out of place you two are around here.
Spock: Interesting. Where would you estimate we belong, Miss Keeler?
Edith Keeler: [to Spock] You? At his side, as if you've always been there and always will.
Edith Keeler: [to Kirk] And you... you belong... in another place.

Capt. Kirk: You were actually enjoying my predicament back there. At times, you seem quite human.
Spock: Captain, I hardly believe that insults are within your prerogative as my commanding officer.
Capt. Kirk: Sorry.

Edith Keeler: What... what on earth is that?
Spock: I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins.

Spock: [to Captain Kirk] I'll finish with the furnace.
Edith Keeler: [to Captain Kirk] "Captain." Even when he doesn't say it, he does.

Spock: Stonn, she is yours. After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing after all as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.

Dr. McCoy: There's just one thing, Mr. Spock. You can't tell me that when you first saw Jim alive that you weren't on the verge of giving us an emotional scene that would have brought the house down.
Spock: Merely my quite logical relief that Starfleet had not lost a highly proficient captain.
Captain James T. Kirk: Yes, Mr. Spock, I understand.
Spock: Thank you, Captain.
Dr. McCoy: Of course, Mr. Spock. Your reaction was quite logical.
Spock: Thank you, Doctor.
[Kirk and Spock head for the exit]
Dr. McCoy: In a pig's eye!

Dr. McCoy: Spock, I don't know too much about these little tribbles yet, but there is one thing that I have discovered.
Spock: What is that, Doctor?
Dr. McCoy: I like them... better than I like you.
Spock: Doctor?
Dr. McCoy: Yes?
Spock: They do indeed have one redeeming characteristic.
Dr. McCoy: What's that?
Spock: They do not talk too much. If you'll excuse me, sir.

Captain Kirk: Well, opinions?
Chekov: I think we're in a lot of trouble.
Captain Kirk: That's a great help, Mr. Chekov. Bones?
McCoy: I think Chekov's right, we are in a lot of trouble.
Captain Kirk: Spock, if you say we're in a lot of trouble...
Spock: We are.

McCoy: Well, you must be very unhappy, Mr. Spock.
Spock: That is a human emotion, Doctor, with which I am totally unfamiliar. How could I be "unhappy?"
McCoy: Well, we found a whole world of minds that work just like yours - logical, unemotional, completely pragmatic - and we poor, irrational humans whipped them in a fair fight. Now you'll find yourself back among us illogical humans again.
Spock: Which I find eminently satisfactory, Doctor, for nowhere am I so desperately needed as among a shipload of illogical humans.

Capt. Kirk: You're not going to admit that for the first time in your life you committed a purely human, emotional act?
Spock: No, sir.
Capt. Kirk: Mr. Spock, you're a stubborn man.
Spock: Yes, sir.

Dr. McCoy: Mr. Spock, remind me to tell you that I'm sick and tired of your logic.
Spock: That is a most illogical attitude.

Amanda: And you, Sarek, would you also say thank you to your son?
Sarek: I don't understand.
Amanda: For saving your life.
Sarek: Spock acted in the only logical manner open to him. One does not thank logic, Amanda.
Amanda: Logic! Logic! I'm sick to death of logic! Do you want to know how I feel about your logic?
Spock: Emotional, isn't she?
Sarek: She has always been that way.
Spock: Indeed. Why did you marry her?
Sarek: At the time it seemed the logical thing to do.

Dr. McCoy: Your pulse is two hundred and forty-two. Your blood pressure is practically non-existent. Assuming you call that green stuff in your veins blood...
Spock: The readings are perfectly normal for me, Doctor, thank you. And as for my anatomy being different from yours, I am delighted.

Lieutenant Dave Bailey: Raising my voice back there doesn't mean I was scared or couldn't do my job, it means I happen to have a human thing called an adrenalin gland.
Mr. Spock: That sounds most inconvenient, however. Have you considered having it removed?
Lieutenant Dave Bailey: Very funny.
Sulu: [grinning] Try and cross brains with Spock, he'll cut you to pieces every time.

Mr. Spock: Has it occurred to you that there is a certain... inefficiency in constantly questioning me on things you've already made up your mind about?
Capt. Kirk: It gives me emotional security.

Dr. McCoy: Hope? I always thought that was a human failing, Mr. Spock.
Spock: True, doctor. Constant exposure does result in a certain degree of - contamination.

Dr. McCoy: Well, Mr. Spock, if you're going into the lion's den, you'll need a medical officer.
Spock: Daniel, as I recall, had only his faith, but I welcome your company, Doctor.

Dr. McCoy: You're gonna leave here without them and run off on some wild goose chase halfway across the galaxy, just because you found a discrepancy in a hydrogen cloud?
Spock: Doctor, I am chasing the captain, Lieutenant Uhura, and Ensign Chekov, not some wild aquatic fowl.

Capt. Kirk: Bones.
Dr. McCoy: Hmm?
Capt. Kirk: Why do you think the symptoms haven't appeared on Mr. Spock?
Dr. McCoy: I don't know. Probably the little bugs or whatever they are have no appetite for green blood.
Mr. Spock: Hmm. Being a red-blooded human obviously has its disadvantages.

Captain Spock: Don't grieve, Admiral. It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh...
Kirk: ...the needs of the few.
Captain Spock: Or the one. I have been and always shall be your friend. Live long and prosper.

I shall end with one of the most quoted scenes from Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.  It's one of the most quoted for a reason- it's an absolutely beautiful, heartwrenching scene.

Kirk: [eulogizing Spock] We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted, in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human.

Miss Melody Muffin