Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

As administrator of Regina Doman's FT-Novel Forum, it's no wonder that I'm always on the lookout for good retellings of fairytales. Those that are well done are a joy to read - but they can be hard to find. So I was intrigued by the positive recommendations of "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow" by Jessica Day George on the forum book thread.

The book came up in the discussion because one of Regina Doman's proposed future novels is based on the fairy-tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon." This has raised an interest in the fairy-tale on the forum and there were questions flying about whether there were any good retellings of this tale out there. Several of the member's recomended George's book.

I've learned to have a pretty high opinion of what these young ladies suggest, so I quickly placed an order at my library for "Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow." It arrived two days ago and I read it within hours - completely enchanted by the story.

This retelling follows the original fairytale very closely - with the embellishments nicely added - much in the tradition of Robin McKinley's "Beauty." Our Heroine is a young Norwegian girl called "the pika" (the girl) or "lass" since her mother left her unnamed at birth.

The pika's family is poor, but their fortune begins to change when the young girl rescues and recieves a wish from a magical white raindeer. The raindeer gives her a name (protecting her at last from trolls) and the ability to talk to animals. Several years later, having gained a reputation of being extremely good with animals, a huge white isbjorn (Ice Bear or Polar Bear) bursts into cottage of the pika's family. He promises them riches and wealth if the lass will come and live in his ice palace for a year and a day.

Despite the protests of her older brother, Hans Peter, (a former adventurer with a mysterious tragic past), the lass accepts the isbjorn's offer. She and her pet wolf Rollo go out into the spend a year and a day in the enchanted ice palace of the isbjorn. There the lass discovers that she is at the center of a dark and dangerous troll enchantment, which threatens to destroy all she holds dear. She is faced with a dangerous journey to rescue all...East of the Sun and West of the Moon.

I was delighted by the characters, the setting, and the plot construction, as well as the narrative voice itself. It fits well into the world of Norse fairy-tales and is much better written than most books for this age group. It is appropriate for a pre-teen audience, but will most likely delight older readers as well - especially those who, like myself, have Scandenavian ancestors.

The only part of the book that I find of lesser quality than Beauty is that the romance is somewhat underdeveloped. This disappointed me. However the gap is filled by the strong and loving sibling bond between the lass and her brother, Hans Peter. Which actually fits the purpose of the story fairly well. Still, the weaker romantic plot leaves for a less compelling third act than might be desired.

Still I greatly enjoyed this book and would heartily recommend it to any lover of fairytales.

No Babysitting Neighbor's Kids?

Goodness. Excessive, no? I'm quite glad to see that most people seem to be taking a sensible line on this and from my reading of the article, it looks like that law will probably be changed.

Really. That's just too much govermental control. Honestly.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Volturi

Hmmm. There's a part of me that likes the artistic stuff going on here. And the costumes. And there's part of me that just wants to howl laughing.

Seriously. I think seeing so many adults and famous actors take Twilight seriously is just weird. It's like seeing them play dress-up. It doesn't fit.

So I laugh.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

October's I&F Header

Introducing the Header for October's Issue of "Ink and Fairydust"

John Quincy Adams TWITTERS

Do you Twitter?

You're in good company.

President John Q Adams wrote diary entries that fit right into tweets! You can follow his 200 year old entries here.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I&F Teaser!

What can you expect in this month's "Ink and Fairydust?" Well, as a teaser, I'm releasing the list of article titles.

A Reflection on the March for Life ~ By Lady Rose
November is National Novel Writing Month! ~ By Delaney
A Note About Rain ~ By Elenatintil
Lanta says...(rain fun facts) ~ By (who else?) Lantalamiste
Prayer Spotlight on Padre Pio ~ By Maria
Winter of Death (fiction piece) ~ By Lantalamiste
Shea and Bergen (comic) ~ By Nenetta
Dear Fairy Godmother (advice column) ~ By Froggy
Dress up as a Saint for Halloween ~ By Dayandnight
A Cinderella Complex ~ By Gwendolyn Rose
Poetry Contest Winners and Poems!
The Source and Summit of Beauty ~ By Jo March
Photography Contest Winners!
How to Make Elvish Jewelry ~ By Nenetta
Book Review - "Persuasion" ~ By Lady Rafka
Regina Watch! (interview) ~ By Lantalamiste
Review of "The Pirates who don't do Anything" ~ By Lady Kathleen
A Work of Fiction ~ By Lady Blanche Rose
Forum Family Fantasies ~ By Lady Rose
SOTB Production Update ~ By Elenatintil
On the Dangers of Making Assumptions (a humorous lecture) ~ By Lady Rose
Concerning Waterfalls ~ By Lantalamiste
Rose's Reviews (Little Women and The Thirstings) ~ By *~*Rose*~*
From a Kitchen Window ~ By Qiscrazy
Robyn's Recipes ~ By Robyn
Ideas for Halloween or Other Fall Parties ~ By *~*Rose*~*
Concerning Fountains ~ By Lantalamiste
Weather in Film ~ by Qiscrazy
A Look at "The Hobbit" ~ By Gwendolyn Rose
Princesses in Disguise ~ By Naiadgirl

If you haven't subscribed yet, do so now by sending your e-mail address to under the subject heading "Ink and Fairydust Subscription."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wolverine Fun

So being sick (as I have been for far too long) means I don't have my normal sources of inspiration for blog posts. I've been too tired and yucky feeling to do much more than watch a few movies and write on the FT-Forum.

Thankfully there's a LOT happening on the forum right now. The Family threads are just about to explode with action and mystery, "Ink and Fairydust" is extremely popular, and OPERATION LIBRARY is in full force.

Yesterday, based on a storyline in the family threads, I made up a few basic signatures poking fun at the fact that Wolverine babysat my character's children...




I also did a couple of rough sketches and colorings based on the same adventure connections...(click for full size images)



And a photo manipulation of a new character that I'm rather proud of...


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Of Fall and Mafia and Daisies...

Fall is in the air. Although the summer temperatures continue to cling stubbornly, the leaves are spiting them by turning color anyhow. It is truly glorious outside!

We celebrated my dear friend (who writes as Froggy or Ella)'s birthday last night by dressing up in 50's clothes and doing fun things like playing Mafia. I do love being a Mafia narrarator. Watching "Pushing Daisies" has given me a whole new host of ideas for macabre deaths. ;)

Speaking of which, "Pushing Daisies" is a fun show. A mock crime show with sort of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" tone and "Penelope" colors. It's about a pie maker named Ned who can bring dead people back to life with a touch of his finger and with another touch drop them dead again. But if he doesn't touch them again in one minute, something of equal "life force" must die in their place...

It's funny, weird, quirky, morbid and odd. If that appeals to you, check it out. I'd say it's rated PG-13 for some innuendo, but I find it treated in such a way that makes it less offensive than most shows.

Actually, its interesting, because I went photographing with a friend today and we took some pictures in this little country cemetary and actually found a daisy growing over a grave...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Would You Preserve?

Sony is doing a poll to raise hype for their new end of the world film "2012." Now normally I wouldn't tell you to go vote for something, but "Twilight" is outvoting the BIBLE! Not to mention classics like "Pride and Prejudice" and "The Lord of the Rings!"

Something has to be done.

So vote! Show those executives that the majority of the world cares about more than VAMPIRES!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eustace speaks!

We finally get to see a bit of Eustace in action - throwing a temper tantrum! It's great!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Friendly Jane Austen

In preparation for an Austeneque book I plan to write this November, I have been raiding my library system for all sorts of Austen-related books. Some are beyond boring, some are quite amusing, and some are merely for glancing through.

"The Friendly Jane Austen" by Natalie Tyler is an excellent book for any Janeite - aspiring or advanced. It covers Austen's life, literature and legacy in a voice that is easy to digest yet not offensive to one's intelligence.

The book is not exhaustive, of course, but it is quite complete for its 299 pages. It gives a nice synopsis of each of Austen's works - major, minor or otherwise. And with the Major works synopsises there are plenty of other bits of fascinating information and interviews with Austen experts.

For example, in the section devoted to "Sense and Sensibility" we see these sections:

The Novels of Sensibility
The Dangers of Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility: a checklist
James Battersby on Jane Austen and the Eighteenth Century
Georgian London
Harriet Walter on Fanny Dashwood
Fanny Dashwood and King Lear's Daughters
QUIZ: Who said that? Great Lines from Jane Austen's Novels
Elinor Dashwood: Governor of Her Own Feelings
The Madness of Marianne
Cowper and Crabbe
Lucy Steele
Sexy Men

None of them too long - each just lengthy enough to capture our interest, answer it, and usher us along.

I heartily enjoyed this book and found it both interesting and informative. If you've read any of Austen's novels and would like to learn more about her, then this is the book for you!

Due to the fact that this book is written for adults, I'd recommend it for ages 16+.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Loving to Read

Looks like some teachers are finally starting to "get" it! Students have to be able to read books that they find interesting...pushing "boring" books on them before high school at the earliest can have devestating consequences.

Now of course, some children will need rather forcible prompting to pick up a book at all, but the books assigned to them should interest them. There is time enough for giants like "Moby Dick" later.

(And I think it's a rare high school student that could actually understand "Moby Dick." I know some who have read it, but they haven't enjoyed it.)

My mother's strategy was, for the most part, to buy good books and leave them on our shelves and eventually I'd read them. When I was very young she did have to strongly encourage me to read past the first chapter (which I would claim was boring) but I quickly learned that the books in our house were almost always interesting.

I also picked up an early love for classic stories through "The Great Illustrated Classics." Those may seem like a cop-out, but when you consider that I was 8 or 9 when I was reading the abbridged versions, it's not so bad. Especially because I fell in love with the stories enough to pick up the complete versions at the ages of 11, 12 or 13. Two of my favorite classes, "Pride and Prejudice" and "A Tale of Two Cities" were read this way.

As a homeschooler, I did not have a single formal literature class until I took "Brit Lit I" in college (as a 17-year-old), and I performed splendidly. Which I think goes to say that formal literature classes really are not needed or worth much until the last years of high school or in college.

If you say this is a biased assesment because I am obviously a huge bookworm, I'd like to point to my brother and sister. My sister loves reading, but she is more particular than I am. However she read and enjoyed what I consider Austen's hardest novel, "Mansfield Park" as a freshman in high school. No one told her to read it - she did it of her own prompting.

My brother really does not like the act of reading, but he is entirely capable of it and of appreciating what he does read. When he finally got down to reading "Harry Potter" this year, he rushed through the first three books nearly as fast as I did. And when his theatrical company put on "Pride and Prejudice" he showed himself capable of tackling the book (although I'll admit he only got half way).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

2008 Sense and Sensibility

Quite awhile ago I wrote a perfectly glowing review of the Emma Thompson "Sense and Sensibility. I went into a lot of detail about why I thought it such a well-made film and important story.

So why am I now reviewing another version of it?

The answer is quite simple. While I loved the Emma Thompson version...I fell in love with this one.

There is a fairly simple reason for this. When watching this version, I found for the first time that I not only genuinely liked proper Elinor and shy Edward - but I completely emphethized and understood their story. I loved them. They were young people of my own age, dealing with struggles similar to my own.

Emma Thompson, for all her brilliancy, is rather old. And Hugh Grant is just...awkward (and he's old too).

Hattie Morahan and Dan Stevens who play the young couple in this new version are both likeable and believeable as young people.

The other actors are quite good as well. I immensely enjoyed Marianne, Margaret, Mrs. Dashwood, Sir John, Wickham and the rest of the cast. Though not as prestigious as the Emma Thompson cast, they are nonetheless extremely good.

Fans of the A&E "Pride and Prejudice" will be delighted to learn that this "Sense and Sensibility" has the same screenwriter: Andrew Davies. Like that P&P, it follows the book well, expanding in ways that allow the story to breathe and live.

Of course, S&S has nearly fifteen years of technological gain on P&P, and is far more artistically creative and technically sound. (Focus! It has focus! It doesn't look like someone set up a home video camera in a living history museum!)

Also, the clothing is rather more attractive and colorful, allowing for more aethetically pleasing shots and easier distinguishing between characters.

On a bit of a cautionary note, the film opens with a tightly framed seduction scene that fans of the book will know plays a vital role later on. It's easy to fast forward through, but if you're watching this film with a younger audience, or gentlement, you will want to be careful.

Apart from that the film is quite Austen-ly appropriate. And it has a dueling scene. Hurrah!

Some Blogs You May Appreciate

Well over a month ago I asked those of you who link to me on your blogs to leave a description of your blog in my comments so that I could return the favor and link to you as well!

Several of you responded - and although I didn't get actually addresses from all of you, I am posting all the descriptions anyhow.

If you never got a chance to do this, just go ahead and leave your info in the comments below, and I'll do another one of these eventually.

Aspire's Purpose ~
At Aspire, I share what goes on in my life, go through tags, share computer graphics as well as create blog buttons for people, post randomly, and basically try to encourage everyone to "Aspire" in their daily lives. I may not be perfect, but I know that with God, I can, and will, aspire to be who I was created as.


A Rose in Bloom

Basically my blog is just what i have underneath my title "Reflections and Musings of a Sheildmaiden of Heaven." I post all sorts of things - funny, serious, religious, random, serious, rambling. Basically my mission is to make people laugh or at least smile, as often as i can and throw in a bit of evangelization here and there as well.

my url is

Victory Rose for Christ

My blog doesn't really have a main purpose. It’s a way to keep people updated on what is going on in my life, to do apologetics/spread the truth of the Catholic Church, share funny and cool pictures and video clips, talk about my obsession of Lord of the Rings or Narnia, and any other wacky thing that comes to mind.

Hannah's Scribblings
~what ever comes to mind: a humorous take on a domestic disaster caused by the name-defying klutziness of yours truly, or my thoughts on stories and story-telling. My dream is to be an author, so one of my goals with my blog is to improve my writing skills.

My Spare Oom

At the moment it is more random and "updating" but it's - in my head at least- about living a *good* life filled with Truth and in Middle-Earth and Narnia on the inside and modern society on the outside...the loveliness of books, home and hearth...and of course about my Faith. :) But first I need to do more posts on those subjects!

-Hopeless Ramblings-

HR's main purpose is basically to be an outlet for to me express my feelings, give my opinions on books, movies, etc., and share my graphics.

It's a fun thing to do, most of all.

If Elizabeth Bennet had Twitter...'ve seen "P&P on Facebook." Well now your internet sleuth has tracked down an equally entertaining "P&P on Twitter." Extremely hilarious!

Warning: Mild Language

Second Warning: if you know nothing about Twitter, this may confuse you.

Click here for lots of laughs.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Of Computers...

Surprised by the recent flood of posts? Don't be. I was kept apart from my computer for three and a half weeks due to some harddrive problems...and an information error at the store that made the tech people tell me I had to send it in and get fixed, when in reality they should have just given me a new computer (which is what we were lobbying for all along!). Finally, Wednesday night, my father and I went in and were able to pick up a new computer.

I love the new computer. It's WHITE - (mac-wannabe, my sister says) - which I'm happy about because the white keys reflect light, so when I'm typing in low-light situations I won't be straining my eyes the way I was with my black keys. It's also a bit smaller and lighter than my previous computer, which is nice for carrying purposes.

It was an interesting experience being without a personal laptop for an extended period of time. I was blessed by family members who understood that my hearing-loss, online responsibilities, and writing needs create a severe dependancy on computers, and they did their best to help me out. My grandparents had a laptop they were able to loan me for a week and a half, and my mother was gracious about sharing her laptop with me the rest of the time. For this I am extremely grateful.

But it is much, much nicer to have my own computer, on which I can save my documents, download my own software, and use whenever I want. Plus, my mother's laptop was about ten pounds, which is ridiciously heavy for a laptop these days.

Anyhow, there is the reason, you see the result. Explanation over.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The First Issue of "Ink and Fairydust" was a Sucess!

Greeted with cheers of approval by its recipients, the first issue of the e-newspaper "Ink and Fairy-dust" has been declared a sucess! We are now hard at work on our next issue, which will be released October 1st. If you haven't already, we'd love to invite you to subscribe to this publication! It can be done by simply sending your e-mail address to under the subject heading "Ink and Fairydust Subscription."

For a little more information about this project, I am sharing my introduction which appeared on the second page of the September issue.

“Ink and Fairydust”
An Introduction by Elenatintil

On your computer screen (or in your hands) you are currently reading the first issue of “Ink and Fairydust”, an e-newspaper.

This publication is the brainchild and work of the FT-Novel Forums, an online community joined by mutual admiration for the books of Regina Doman. Our goals are threefold:

1. To provide a place for our aspiring authors to publish their works within the confines of submission deadlines and (horrors!) editors.

2. To keep the FT-Novel community up-to-date on the events on the forum, in Regina’s life, and on the production of the movie “The Shadow of the Bear” (based on Regina’s first book).

3. To encourage others to grow both in their Christian faith and in their ability to look at the world through the wonder of fairy-tales.

By reading this publication you are making it possible for these goals to be accomplished. We thank you!

“Ink and Fairydust” is a name that declares our (the writers') love for the written word and for the wonder of faerie. We earnestly believe both aspects to be important ways of learning more about the world. It is also, in a way, a pointer to the way Christ, our Lord and Master, reveals himself to us both through his written word (The Holy Bible) and natural revelation.

If the words of this publication inspire you, teach you, or bring a smile to your lips, that will be one more blessing upon our work. Should you wish to seek out even more of it, we would first direct you towards Regina’s books, and secondly invite you to join our forum. We can be found anytime at

-Elenatintil, Editor-in-Chief

Writing Quote of the Week

I recall, when writing at white heat, the utter amazement I felt on reading something I had written, and saying, "Now where did that come from?" Thoreau felt somewhat the same when he said, "It is like going fishing. One never knows what one will catch." Writing at its best must come from deep within, for there is where truth and originality lie; none comes entirely from the upper tenth of gray matter. It is when one reaches down into the dark realms of the past that great ideas surge forth.

~Sigurt F. Olson, "Intuition" - Reflections from the North Country

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How to Host a Renaissance Fair

Ever wondered whether you could host a medieval feast or Renaissance fair of your own? Well you can - and economically as well!

I've written a three part series for publication on the Associated Content website. The nice thing about AC is that ever 1000 page views I get, I earn another $1.50. So I can earn a bit of cash to help stretch my pocketbook further, and you can get more cool information than I normally post on the blog! It's a win-win situation!

Part I - How to Host a Renaissance Faire
--On the basics

Part II - Hosting a Renaissance Feast the Cheap and Easy Way
--On the food

Part III - How to Decorate Your Own Renaissance Fair
--On the decorations

Monday, September 7, 2009

An Unannounced Change in the MPAA

According to Christianity Today Movies:

"As it turns out, movie previews are no longer approved for all audiences. The change, instituted by the MPAA’s Classification and Ratings Board, went into effect this April, but was not announced to the public."

What? Are they serious?

Yes. They are.

Read the rest of the article here.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

When Plotting Misbehaves

Well, I'm at a perfectly lovely coffee shop, but my story is refusing to cooperate. That is, the plotting of book two is being most difficult. I'd really like to send the disobediant thing into a corner for a time out...which would result in a break for me, which would really be sensible. But I'm a stubborn person and I hate to put aside problems that are unresolved.

Oh well.

Editing book one is going well, however. I'm really fine tuning now, making sure that every sentance conveys what I want it to. That each paragraph is important, that I show instead of tell, and that my premise is reinforced wherever possible.

(Oh yes, thanks to the help of dear Regina Doman I've been able to finally nail down my premise)

But plotting is frustrating. I have the first part of book two full of lovely things...(not lovely for them, necessarily, but most enjoyable for a reader)...yet part two is unsettled. I need to decide what the driving force is of the story...for the characters, that is. I do actually believe I have a premise. Perhaps I need to look at it again...


Or maybe I just need more coffee. Except that if I drink coffee now, I'll be up until 2:00 in the morning. Not a pleasant prospect.


Ah my dear friends! I've missed you!

My computer went into the shop to be repaired two weeks ago, and our family computer has a blocker on it that would not allow me to access my blogspot dashboard! I've felt so bad that I haven't been able to update!

However the blocker is removed now, and I shall be able to post again now.