Hello Lovely Readers,
I have a stack of reviews to be finishing, an even larger stack of books, and so much paperwork that it is a bit ridiculous. Having said that, I thought it was time for a quick post to give a sneak peak at something I have been working on for the last few months. It is going to be the Hogwarts Crest, including the school motto in Latin. Below are two pictures, the first is from right near the beginning of this process, and the second is after at least 60-70 hours of work. If everything goes according to plan, there should be a couple videos that show the process for this project, and I will provide more information about it then (such as the link where I found the free pattern, which I don’t have on hand at the moment).
Hopefully you guys don’t mind having the surprise spoiled a bit, but I just wanted to show off some of my work! If I ever finish this one, I have a list of others I want to attempt as well! So stay tuned for more posts and videos on this one!
Until next time,
Hello Lovely Readers,
While several major gift giving holidays have passed (sorry I missed Hanukkah, I blame Thanksgiving) but at least two religions and secular people have some major gift giving events coming up (Christmas and Yule, and possibly a couple more). With that in mind, I thought i would share a couple of neat ideas for those book lovers in your life. The first and obvious gift is a book, but unless you know someone’s taste in books and their current mood for what they are reading, a gift card may be a better bet. However, sometimes there are other things that might be just as nice as a book (because as much as I love books, there are only so many I can read in a year!). Buzzfeed has had some really great list of products for book readers and those who love them, and I have gathered a couple of these lists.
The first is the 20 Thoughtful Gifts for Bookworms. This has some really great ideas on the list, and a lot of them will fit in amongst the books. I really liked the book cake mold. It is so versatile, you can use the same mold to make personalized cakes for everyone, as long as you have a steady hand for writing some words on it!
The second list is the 24 Insanely Clever Gifts for Book Lovers. This is probably my favorite list, even if some of the items are a little impractical. I really liked the story duvet cover.
The third list is not specifically for book lovers, but many of the items should appeal to them, it is a list of 19 Legitimately Awesome Cookie Cutters. One of my favorites was the Pride and Prejudice face cookies.
I think my favorite item from any of the list is the personalized Library Embosser, that you can buy here. While I have always loved book plates, I never actually use them because I hate my handwriting. However, an embosser is a whole new level of cool! Plus it looks rather grown up. I may have to treat myself to this once I can add Dr. to the beginning of my name!
What do you guys think make good gifts for book lovers? What are you getting for the book lovers in your life? Frances gave me a Shakespeare mug a year ago and I love to drink tea out of it while I read Shakespeare. Although I think planning a book based trip are great gifts too, as Frances also gave me our trip to The Harry Potter Studio Tour and Phantom of the Opera!
Until next time,
Hello Lovely Readers,
I am one of those people that love to try learning new languages, but as I say when people ask, “I can hardly speak English!” Language and grammar are things I have always struggled with in English, but that does not stop me wishing to learn other languages. While some might think that this is an admirable trait, really it is not. Especially when some of the languages I want to learn were create for some of my favorite books. I thought I would share some sites I have found to learn languages from Fantasy Novels. I have not tried any of these so I cannot say if any of them are really helpful or not.
From The Game of Thrones (or the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin)
Klingon Writing Sample
John’s speech about Sherlock in the writing of the Time Lords
Writing in Gallifreyan
Elvish Writing Sample (which style of Elvish is unknown)
JRR Tolkien Languages
Elvish (to my understanding this has the several variations that Tolkien created)
The only source that I have used is a book called The Languages of Tolkien’s Middle-earth by Ruth S. Noel. This contains introductory information on 14 of Tolkien’s languages!
Dwarvish writing Sample
Creating your own Fantasy Language
So have any of you tried to learn any of these languages, or other fantasy based languages? Any good resources you recommend? Are there any languages you wish you could learn? I am so much more of a writing person, and would like to learn to write many of these!
Until next time,
TV Series Title: Witches of East End
Season: Season 1
“I’ve given birth to [Ingrid and Freya] and watched them die a dozen times, and neither of them’s ever lived past 30” Joanna Beauchamp in Witches of East End
Final Verdict: Once you get past the melodrama, Witches of East End will definitely capture your interest. The mystery surrounding the Beauchamp woman is intriguing, and the magic, although nothing new, is just what you want in a TV show about witches.
For the full review, and the trailer for the TV series, click the TV series title above.
Lynne and I both really disliked The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie adaptation of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bonesbook written by Cassandra Clare (released on DVD 3rd December 2013). The movie was a terrible mix of cheesy moments, a love-hexagon, and a plot that made pretty much no sense if you haven’t read the book! We weren’t the only ones left unimpressed by the movie. For example, The Telegraph said, “the plot is an incomprehensible tangle of dead ends and recaps, and afterwards you realise only two things have stuck: the story’s countless unsubtle borrowings from very recent pop culture… and a brief aside in which we learn one of the earliest demon-hunters was Johann Sebastian Bach“.
According to The Hollywood Reporter (see articule here: Constantin to Restart Production on ‘Mortal Instruments’ Sequel in 2014 (Exclusive)) The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie bombed in the box office, bringing in under $100 million. The company halted the production of The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes, based on the second book in The Mortal Instruments series, which was already underway. Constantin has announced that they will be resuming the production of The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes after all. Martin Moszkowicz, Constantin Film’s head of film and TV, is quoted as saying, “We are analyzing what we did wrong with the first film — particularly with the positioning and marketing — and what changes we have to make. We are working with a great group of people to reposition the franchise [for City of Ashes]…The readers of Mortal Instruments are older than you might think…That may have been one issue in our marketing, that we focused too much on a very young audience segment.”
My concern is that Constantin are focusing on the marketing as being incorrectly targeted at a very young audience segment. There’s no mention of the movie, and yet this too was aimed at a very young audience segment. The cheesy moments might young, young-adults between 10-13 year olds swoon, but they make older young adults roll their eyes and scream “Oh, no, they didn’t!” I am not expecting The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes to improve, and even if it someone miraculously morphs into an epic movie, there will always be The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie. They need to stop and start again.
What did you think of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones movie? Do you think that The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes will be able to redeem the franchise?
Movie Title: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Director: Francis Lawrence
Notable Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Lenny Kravitz, Stanely Tucci, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Sam Claflin, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Plummer
President Snow: “Her entire species must be eradicated.
Plutarch Heavensbee: Her species, sir?
President Snow: The other victors. Because of her, they all pose a threat. Because of her, they all think they are invincible.”
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Final Verdict: I enjoyed the movie and I’d watch it again and again. The purpose of the movie, and the book itself, is to prepare the path for Mockingjay, however. Consequently, there’s a little too much setting up and not enough action.
For the full review of this movie and the movie trailer, click the movie title.
What did you think of the movie? Did it live up to your expectations?
Hello Lovely Readers,
After reading today about the Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie setting new records for sales over the Thanksgiving holiday (you can read here), I thought I would take a moment and talk about some things that bother me with the fandom and make me concerned that some people are missing the main point of the trilogy. This is something Frances and I have talked about since before the first movie came out, and we continue to discuss every time there is something new in the series.
The first time I thought that maybe some people just didn’t get the books was a could months before the first movie came out. Unfortunately, I have no screen shot to prove what I saw, but trust me it is out there somewhere! I was on a Facebook page for the upcoming movie and glancing through some fans’ post and saw that someone had actually posted something along the lines of, “I wish I could live in Panem.” I quickly called Frances over and we both just shook our heads in disbelief. Then there was so much of a push from the advertisers on the novels and the movie to focus on the love triangle. Even recently Liam Hemsworth (I think it was him at least and I can’t find the article) said that the the love triangle has very little to do with the plot, and the series is really about revolution. This is a point that many fans seem to miss, or they just focus on the love triangle. When people ask me if I am “Team Peeta” or “Team Gale” I usually respond that I am “Team Katniss choosing whoever she wants, which could be someone completely new or no one!”
I was further concerned with how people reacted after the first movie when they found out Rue was black. There are some great articles and collection of ignorant tweets about this (see one here). It really shocked me that people could like the same book as me, yet still be very racist! It was eye opening to me and a bit disheartening to see so many people with that sort of response.
Then this summer I saw several articles that again caused me to worry. One was the idea for a Hunger Games inspired theme park, yes something like The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or something (check it our here). While I still think a theme park is highly unlikely the second article was even more worrying because it was already taking place. There are already Hunger Games themes summer camps, where on the last day the kids have a sort of Hunger Games (here for the source). I am all for encouraging kids to try new things (like archery) and stay active, I think this is very concerning. While the camp has tried to tone down the violence, at least one kid was left crying at the end. I think the Hunger Games shows what happens when we commercialize violence and the dangers in that, and these two ideas are following exactly what the books warn against.
What do you guys think? Are people missing the point of the books? Or am I just getting too old and grumpy about things? One thing is for certain, that the people who read the Hunger Games trilogy for the love triangle and I are probably going to continue to have disagreements!
Until next time,
The first character photos have been released for the movie adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey written by E L James (expected release: Valentine’s weekend, February 2014). When I saw the headline, “Fifty Shades of Grey: First Character Shots” I wasn’t certain what the images would be. I mean, Fifty Shades of Grey for all intents and purposes is an erotic novel. There’s more sex in the book than there is plot! I let out a breath of relief when I found the actors were not nude in the photos (trust me, they spend most of their time nude in the novel).
To be honest, I found the pictures rather disturbing to look at. Anastasia Steele, played by Dakota Johnson, looks very child-like. In the images, she has wide, innocent looking eyes and is biting her nails or biting her lip. While this is in-keeping with Anastasia’s behaviour in the books, seeing the images really drives home how child-like Anastasia’s character is.Christian Grey, played by Jamie Dornan, looks kind of stern and possessive. In the images, he’s staring down the lense of the camera and cuddling Anastasia in a protective kind of way. Oh! And, he has his silk scarf. I’ve included a few of the images below, but you can see all of the images on Entertainment Weekly: First Character Shots and Six Bonus Character Shots.
Both taken from Entertainment Weekly (see links above).
I am utterly confused by the decision to turn Fifty Shades of Grey into a movie. If the director stays true to the book, the movie will be a glorified porno! Probably the first porno to have such a large budget. While other movies and TV series include sex scenes–for example, the TrueBlood Series by HBO–there just isn’t enough plot outside of the sex in Fifty Shades of Grey to carry a movie. I mean, who in there right mind would want to go to the cinema to see Fifty Shades of Grey? If anyone has any insight into this, please let me know. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It.
In other, Fifty Shades news –> Never, ever, ever, borrow or buy a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. You just don’t know how clean it is! Literally! According to The Guardian (see article here: Fifty Shades of Grey Goes Viral-Literally), library copies of Fifty Shades of Grey contained traces of both cocaine and herpes! These traces are small, so they are not harmful, but still ick!
Title: Much Ado About Nothing
Written by: William Shakespeare
Where: Old Vic, London, England
When: 26 October 2013
“Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.”
Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare
Final Verdict: A disappointment all around and the only saving grace is the script that is over 400 years old. Watch a better version on DVD.
For the full review of this performance, click the title.
Hello Lovely Readers,
For many people the new Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire, has just been released in cinemas. I have not been able to make it to see the movie yet, and to my knowledge neither has Frances. Hopefully for those of you who have seen it, it was good. For the rest of us, here are some finds to help raise our excitement until we get to see the movie.
The first is an article about a very important re-cast between the first and second movie that you can read here. Apparently, I was not the only person who was rather upset that Buttercup, Primrose’s cat, was not even close to how he was described in the book. So before the filming of him in these later movies, he was recast to more closely resemble the description (and the implications from the name). While it might seem like a small issue, it was something that could easily have been fixed before the first movie came out!
The second, is a great list of 15 tattoos people have gotten that were inspired by The Hunger Games Trilogy, you can see it here. They are supposed to be “rebellion inspired.” There are some really neat ones, but my favorite is below.
Lastly, is a collection of 17 funny posts that are supposed to be funny to fans of the trilogy. You can read them here. There are some I really like and some that are just ok. While not really a joke, my favorite is the one below…as I am sure no one is surprised by it!
Have you guys seen the movie? Are you planning on seeing it?
Until next time,