Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some Quotes

Authors who never give you something to disagree with never give you anything to think about.
Michael LaRocca

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.
George Bernard Shaw

The brain that doesn't feed itself, eats itself.
Gore Vidal

One of the things that draws writers to writing is that they can get things right that they got wrong in real life by writing about them.
Tobias Wolff

The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.
Tom Clancy

Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.
Stephen King

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero, but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
G. K. Chesterton

Writing fiction is a solitary occupation but not really a lonely one. The writer's head is mobbed with characters, images and language.
Hilma Wolitzer

I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
Bill Cosby

Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.
Albert Einstein

Success comes to a writer, as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the heights to which he has climbed.
P. G. Wodehouse

Miss Pickwickian

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Across the Green Mountain

You can listen to the recording of this song that was originally put in Gods and Generals here. However, if his spooky appearance is going to have negative effects on how you judge this cool song. Please listen to it here. Listen all the way to the end. Sorry its long!

Scary version.

Harmless version.


I cross the Green Mountain
I sit by the stream
Heaven blazing in my head I
I dreamt a monsterous dream
Something came up
Out of the sea
Swept through the land of
The rich and the free

I look into the eyes
of my merciful friend
And then I ask myself
Is this the end?
Memories linger
Sad yet sweet
And I think of the souls in heaven who will be

Alters are burning
The flames far and wide
the fool has crossed over
from the other side
They tip their caps
from the top of the hill
You can feel them come
All brave blood do spill

Along the dim
Atlantic line
The rapper's land
lasts for miles behind
the lights coming foreward
and the streets are broad
all must yield
To the avenging God

The world is old
The world is great
Lessons of life
Can't be learned in a day
I watch and I wait
And I listen while I stand
To the music that comes
from a far better land

Close the eyes
of our Captain
Peace may he know
His long night is done
The great leader is laid low
He was ready to fall
He was quick to defend
Killed outright he was
by his own men

It's the last day's last hour
of the last happy year
I feel that the unknown
The world is so dear
Pride will vanish
And glory will rot
But virtue lives
and cannot be forgot

The bells
of evening have rung
there's blasphemy
on the end of the tongue
Let them say that I walked
in fair nature's light
And that I was loyal
to truth and to right

Serve God and be cheerful
Look upward beyond
Beyond the darkness that masks
the surprises of dawn
In the deep green grasses
and the blood stained woods
They never dreamed of surrendering
They fell where they stood

Stars fell over Alabama
And I saw each star
You're walking in dreams
Whoever you are
Chilled as the skies
Keen as the frost
And the ground's froze hard
And the morning is lost

A letter to mother
came today
Gunshot wound to the breast
is what it did say
But he'll be better soon
He's in a hospital bed
But he'll never be better
He's already dead

I'm ten miles outside the city
And I'm lifted away
In an ancient light
That is not of day
They were calm they were gloomed
We knew them all too well
We loved eachother more than
we ever dared to tell

Bob Dylan

I've never been a big fan of Bob Dylan's voice, but I love some of the lyrics to his songs. (Tim Obrian's CD "Red on Blond" is all Bob Dylan songs!) I Across the Green Mountain! Bob Dylan wrote it for Gods and Generals and he incorporated a lot of that story (especially Jackson) as well as some cool symbolism.

Anyways, just thought I'd share. I especially like the lines:

"Let them say that I walked
in fair nature's light
And that I was loyal
to truth and to right"

I believe most people would want this to be said of them.
I also like these lines...

"You can feel them come
All brave blood do spill"

And the very end...

"We knew them all too well
We loved eachother more than
we ever dared to tell"

Miss Pickwickian

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I forgot! I was going to do a post about Peter!

Peter Petrelli is from the TV show "Heroes". He is one of the main characters, and is definitely the one who is always trying to help people and do the right thing. One of my favorite things about him is that even though several people treat him like dirt occasionally (namely, his jerk brother Nathan), he forgives them and doesn't hold grudges.

One of the coolest things that Peter does is that he is really nice to this one gal and saves her and stuff, and she turns out to be his niece. (Daughter of aforesaid jerk brother). I think it is really cool how he sacrifices himself to protect her, when they are obviously not romantically connected. It is cool when guys are just gentleman and are nice to girls even when they aren't in love with them...

Anyhow. Forgive all the pictures. But I really like him. He has really great brown eyes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sweet Words.

A friend of mine was gone, and on one morning I got an email from this friend, which said: "it's strange, even though i'm in my favorite place with friends all around me, i still manage to miss you."
You may imagine how happy that made me. Anyways, that's just a background for the reason I wrote this:

Sweet Words
by Aisha

It's like a hug in the lonely darkness,
A whisper in the silence of Sorrow.
It's like seeing the full moon through a rift in the clouds.
“I miss you” means a sweeter tomorrow.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Heroes :)

So, it's taken me a long time I know... :P But I have waaay too many heroes...

These are a few of them. :)

Photobucket Peter Petrelli from Heroes. What I like about him is that he is one of the few people in this show who is ALWAYS trying to do what's best for everyone. He's caring and compassionate.

PhotobucketGuilford Dudley from Lady Jane... Nuff said.

My favorite hero at the moment is Anthony "Tony" Dinozzo from NCIS. At first I didn't like him, because he's a huge flirt and says things that shouldn't be said all the time. He is always goofing off at work and doesn't seem to take anything seriously. But, then you get to know him better... Underneath, he is the best agent on the team. He loves his team mates and always has their backs. He constantly puts himself in danger to save their lives and he's always the most level headed when it matters the most. When he falls in love he does absolutely everything in his power to keep her safe, but at the same time he doesn't let his feelings for her get in the way of protecting his team.


So yeah :) He's cool.

And of course there's Westley... The greatest fictional hero ever!

Photobucket <3


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So.......I was using an acrylic sealer on the item I made for Hadley(I would say what it is but she isn't opening it until the day of) for her birthday........and I guess the fumes got to me. :P
So once she has opened her gift, I will post a couple pics and ask for suggestions for the next time I make one.
HA! Now I have posted something Bethany! Even if it has nothing to do with literature, I would say that what I made has some art quality to it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

You're Going to Miss This

View the video here.

This is a good reminder, especially to girls our age, I think. :-)
Miss Pickwickian.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Aisha!

Happy Birthday Aisha!

Here is our silent Happy Birthday song to you!
(You'll have to imagine our melodious voices along with it. :-)

Hope you had a great day!
We all miss you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love from all of us!
Miss Pickwickian

Here is a link to a less encouraging Happy Birthday song. ;-)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Leverage Slideshow

George Washington

Recently I've been going over the War for American Independence (Revolutionary War :-) and the Constitution and such in some history lectures.

Since we were talking about heroes I thought I'd just post some quotes up by George Washington who was an amazing hero! :-)

I wish I could have found some more descriptions from contemporary men because some of them are pretty amazing, but as it was, I only could find one by Thomas Jefferson and an Englishman. Both not completely unbiased. :-) Thomas Jefferson, being a much more liberal non-Christian type, disagreed and argued with Washington a lot, but obviously still respected him. So, I guess its sort of interesting to have some descriptions from his "enemies".

George Washington receives a lot of flack today, but if you go to his original writings and quotes, it is completely unfounded. I hate it when people try to ruin a perfectly wonderful hero! Grrr....

I found the following on a George Washington Website....

The following description of Washington was written after his death by another founding father, Thomas Jefferson.

"His mind was great and powerful ... as far as he saw, no judgment was ever sounder. It was slow in operation, being little aided by invention or imagination, but sure in conclusion ...

"Perhaps the strongest feature in his character was prudence, never acting until every circumstance, every consideration, was maturely weighed; refraining if he saw doubt, but, when once decided, going through his purpose, whatever obstacles opposed.

"His integrity was the most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known ...

"He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good and a great man ... On the whole, his character was, in its mass, perfect ... it may truly be said, that never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great ..."

And you can see a description of George Washington by a Englishman here. Its pretty interesting...

Here are just a few quotes I wanted to post. :-)

"I die hard but am not afraid to go."

"Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth."

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good."

"Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected."

"The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it."

"Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over the another."

"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience."

"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."

"I have no other view than to promote the public good, and am unambitious of honors not founded in the approbation of my Country."

"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without the God of the Bible."

One of his officers, Henry Lee (father of Robert E Lee), summed up contemporary public opinion of Washington: "First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Collision Movie

So, I just watched the movie Collision. It is a documentary of the totally EPIC debate between the renowned Douglas Wilson and famed anti-theist Christopher Hitchins basically over Christianity: is it valid, is it true, is it good for the world, etc. Wilson and Hitchens had previously collaborated on the book IS Christianity Good for the World? , and this time they went on a debate tour together. The movie, directed by Darren Doanes, documents this debate tour. Part of what makes it so epic is the incredible importance of the topics: They are essentially debating whether God exists and whether Christianity is true or not. The other reason why it is such an incredible movie is the effectiveness and impact with which they both defend their positions.
With my completely unbiased opinion (hee hee), who did I think did the better job of defending their arguments? I would have to say Doug Wilson did a better job, for this reason: He gave answers to all of Chris Hitchens questions that were satisfactory and that made perfect sense. Hitchens gave him difficult and challenging questions, But Doug Wilson’s arguments answered them completely. Hitchen’s arguments, on the other hand, often had wholes or unfilled gaps that did not fully satisfy.
I felt that Hitchens was severely hindered by his lack of scriptural knowledge. Half the time he based his arguments on something that the scriptures said, only to have Doug Wilson correct him by saying, No, when the scriptures say this, they actually mean this, thus your premise for this argument just fell through the roof. For example, Hitchens made the argument that since Jesus predicted to end of the world to come within his generation, and it obviously didn’t occur, Jesus and his doctrine must be invalid. Doug Wilson corrects him, stating that when Jesus predicts the darkening of the sun and the moon turning to blood, he is actually predicting the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., which did indeed occur. Thus, Hithcens’ argument right there was shot down due to his incorrect interpretation of scripture.
I also felt that Chris Hitchens is not used to the Reformed Christian’s interpretation of the Bible. He used arguments that normally would have the average Evangelical stumped; but presented to Doug Wilson, he always got satisfactory answers. Many times Wilson would say, Yes, that is how they think; but no, that is not how I think, thus you can’t use that argument against me.
Near the end of the movie, Wilson and Hitchens debate in a pub, with the customers for an audience. They both had to face hostile questions from the audience, but it was apparent that especially Wilson was in hostile territory. I was impressed with how Doug Wilson kept his calm while under fire, and how he was still able to think clearly and effectively defend Christianity during heated debate. It struck me then that had I myself been in that situation, I would have collapsed. I think what this movie showed me was that there are people in the world who hate God, believe he does not exist, offer intelligent arguments against Him, are prepared to insult both Him and you; and most Christians are not used to it. The average Christian is not used to that kind of combat. I thought Wilson did an incredible job under these types of hostile circumstances, and it motivated me to become better equipped for defending Christianity effectively. It is an incredible movie that every Christian should watch.
P.S. I also love the part where they find out that they both love P.G. Wodehouse and are quoting him to each other, laughing hysterically. J

Monday, November 2, 2009

More Heroes

Ok, so here are some more heroes. :-)

Prince Charmont (Char)
from "Ella Enchanted"
acted by Hugh Dancy

I absolutely adore "Ella Enchanted", the book. However, the movie is kinda... bleh. If they had just stayed with the book it would have been great, but they changed it completely and it was pretty much stupid. If any of you haven't read the book, YOU MUST!!!

Prince Char looks perfect in the movie, however, he kinda acts stupid. : ( But anyway, in the book, he is a very sturdy, realistic, brave type guy. He has brown curly hair and brown eyes and freckles. :-) He slides down banisters with Ella and kills ogres and is just really awesome.

Even though this is sort of a kids' book, it is definitely on my top five (possibly top three) favorite books. It's just really great. At least I think so.

Everyone read it if you haven't! I have two copies if anyone wants to borrow it.

Prince Char proposing to Ella

Mr. Tilney
from "Northanger Abbey"
acted by JJ Field

Mr. Tilney is my favorite Jane Austen hero. His wit and understanding of muslins is far more endearing to me than all of Mr. Darcy's stoic good looks and coolness. I love him both in the book, and the movie, although the movie wasn't long enough to get in all of his awesome lines. :-) I liked how in the movie, they portrayed him as totally falling for Catherine, because in the book, it says he fell in love with her out of gratitude for her loving him or something stupid.

He doesn't do anything too sacrificial... but he is a clergyman, which takes sacrifice. I love/hate the scene pictured above, when he rebukes Catherine after her imagination has run wild and has caused her to at least mentally accuse decent people of horrible crimes. I love when heroes have the courage to do this, even at the risk of offending/hurting/making a girl hate them. (Mr. Knightley is really cool that way, too). I feel so bad for Catherine in this scene, though! She already as completely fallen for him, and if I was her I would just die!

Mr. Tilney is really humorous, which usually is on my qualifications for a good hero. It cracks me up how he is always confusing Catherine.

Well, I've got to go to bed now... so that is all for now. An extensive post all about my current favorite hero....


Eliot Spencer

will be forthcoming.

Couple Heroes

Thank you to those who have done hero posts! Great job. :-)

So, I have loads of heroes...just like most of you, but I'm going to just randomly pick a couple. First, I have to agree with Polka Dot! Both of those guys are awesome and true heroes! And with Miss Rose, at least on the Mr Knightly and Tuvia Bielski. (I haven't seen "Wolverine" and I'm not planning too. :-) And with Esmeralda on Sir Gawain (not into "Spider Man" and have never seen any Star Wars).

Thanks for your guys post! Now the rest of you post too!

A lot of my heroes are historical and book heroes. Currently, Samuel Keaton is on the top five list. :-) But I don't think very many of you have read those books, so I'll try to do some heroes that are more generally known. ;-) Also Quinn! And a million Dickens characters!
So, to begin with....

Mr. Thorton is an amazing hero! He is a real, hard working middle class man. I really, really like the way they portray him as working man with lots of problems he has to juggle. He really thinks and he really has compassion for people.

He changes over the movie and risks a lot to help people.

He is also a dutiful and loving son and good brother, even to difficult ladies...

He sacrifices for and is kind to Margret even when it would be very easy to be mean and bitter. Even when he has no hope, he does the right thing and the things she would have wanted.
He is cool.

Tuvia Bielski (Defiance) is also a extremely neat hero. Mostly I enjoy this character because you see the way he changes and improves. You see his high and low points and he seems real and never tries to cover up his mistakes or puff up his accomplishments.
He is a great leader and a loyal brother.

Really like this hero.

Doug Carlin (Deja Vu) is very self-sacrificing even to people he doesn't know. He risks his life for others. He is a good leader and honest, strait forward person. He is compassionate and gentle.

Along with my other hero associations with Denzel Washington (Don Pedro and Coach Boone) I think Carlin is on the top right now. :-)

Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg is also a true hero! He risks everything to do what he believes is right for his country and future generations. He knows this will probably end up in death, but he does the right thing. And he carries himself nobly through it all.

(Probably as much as Stauffenberg, I love his assistant! He is SO amazing!)

S0...what I see is that I tend to like heroes that work hard, are loyal, compassionate, get their hands dirty, and make mistakes.

Mr. Thorton misjudges people and can be rude and bitter...but he's trying to improve and do what is good. He is capable of great compassion, but it takes hard work.

Tuvia Bielski has a bad relationship with his wife (even though he obviously still cares) and doesn't always get along with his brothers (big fistfights, etc...) and he isn't always able to lead as he should. He struggles with a lot of issues, but he eventually is trying to do what is right...And he his helping a lot of ungrateful people.

Doug Carlin has no family at all and has a bad argument with his partner, and what looks like his only acquaintance, right before his partner dies...which is pretty much Carlin's fault. He is often a little to blunt with people, but he sincerely wants to help them. He ends up risking his life to be able to go back in time, and then risk his life again single handedly trying to save the girl and a
ferry full of people.

Stauffenberg has to make some horrible decisions, especially with a wife and kids to leave behind if they fail. He obviously hasn't made all the right choices up to this point, but he's trying to be truly loyal to Germany and to his family. (Who would want their boys growing up in Hitler's Germany?) Stauffenberg and Tuvia are especially cool because he really existed.

Some more people that shouldn't go unmentioned are...Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Hans von Dohnayi, Julius, Elliot Spencer, Deacon, Guido, Sir Percy, Horatio Hornblower, William Bush, and on and on... (Side note...normally if they die, they are on my heroes list. :-)
Who has read Tale of Two Cities and loved Lucie or Darney more then Sydney or Miss Pross? It is the people who might not be perfect, but make that hard, life altering decision that they knew is right even though they have know idea where it might lead.

So relating, I believe is important. Inner struggle is always very endearing. Humility and self-sacrifice, compassion and suffering, etc... I think another very key factor is if the character is loyal friend. I noticed this the other day when we were watching "Rudy". Rudy's friend, Pete, isn't a major character in the movie but he fits all my hero requirments. And the key reason he is so lovable is that he is a very loyal friend! (This is the same with Lightwood in "Our Mutual Friend", Sam in "LOTR", Geery and Julius in "Remember the Titans", Bush and Kennedy in "Horatio Hornblower" etc...)

Another thing I find particularly necessary is
determination. Never quiting. Even when it gets hard. All heroes really have to do this at some point...and the more extreme, the more endearing.

So when creating characters, what are all the factors that can make them truly heroic? I like to think about the qualities when I want to make a guy for a story. What can he do to make him real, but still be amazing?

Thanks for reading!
Miss Pickwickian

After Polka dots and Esmerelda’s incredibly awesome posts this may look puny and insignificant, but I’m sick and not in a very deep and contemplative frame of mind

I’m also really sorry, I know I haven’t been writing on our blog for a long time… it just so happens there are a few extenuating circumstances….first of all, I spent all of last week working on two dresses, secondly I then went to Reformation night, after which I spent the night at Shay’s. When I finally arrived home from church the next day, I had a VERY bad illness of some kind (headaches, congestion, sore throat, etc.) and btw I’m still REALLY sick, so this might be slightly boring… I always write boring stuff when I’m sick. :P

Anyhow…Ok, so I happen to have over 3 million heroes, and I couldn’t possibly pick one, so instead I randomly chose 3 that I like the most at this particular moment….of course that could change within the next 15 minutes…so here ya go!

Hero: Mr. Knightly

Why do you like this hero? Because he is a true gentleman, and I am starting to notice and appreciate that quality A LOT in men

How can you relate? Um… I have no idea really… I’m not the gentlemanly type, and I happen to have a nice nose…

Does he seem realistic? Does this make him more lovable? He doesn’t seem realistic to me in the slightest, but then I’ve given up on ever meeting a guy that perfect, most of them are practically just at different levels on the loser scale.

Hero: Wolverine

Why do I like this hero? Well apart from the obvious… HE’S HUGH JACKMAN!!!!! I like him because he goes berserk when he someone he loves dies(like Sayid! J), which is really awesome… and I can’t really think of anything else at the moment, though I do know he has a lot of really cool qualities and abilities.

How can I relate? Uhh… when I angry I tend to tear people apart with these clawlike things that shoot out of my knuckles… really.

Does he seem realistic? Does this make him more lovable? No, he is totally unrealistic, as I said, guys don’t come that cool.

Ok, now best for last! :)

Hero: Sayid Jarrah

Why do I like this hero? Woah… lots of reasons… He is really loyal, he always knows what to do in a difficult or dangerous situation, he is really incredibly cool headed and brave, although he has a dark past, he is able to put it behind him and behave with true integrity, and um… I REALLY LOVE HIS BROWN EYES!!!!

How can I relate? Yes, I used to be an Iraquian torturer.

Does he seem realistic? Does this make him more lovable? No, he is not realistic, guys don’t come that cool.

What do I think is necessary in a true hero? To start with, everything Esmerelda said! :)I really appreciate loyalty to friends right now.
What makes or break a guy or gal from reaching the hero status? For me…random chance…it also depends on whether or not I am in a good mood when I am first introduced to this character.

I just realized that my alltime hero is actually Tuvia Bielski, but right now I have to go, so if you want to know more about him, read my post of Defiance, it's the best movie ever!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A couple movie heroes

Well, I'm sick at home and thought I might give this hero thing a shot. I have an extremely extensive list... but I don't have that on hand right now, so I will just do whoever pops into my head.

Dr. Robert Neville
from "I Am Legend"
acted by Will Smith

This is a rather strange movie, because there is very little interaction with people until the very end. Robert Neville mainly hangs out with the zombies (they aren't actually zombies, they are humans infected with a mutated virus thing), and his German Shepherd. I am assuming all of you have either already seen this, or have decided not to see it, so I hope spoilers are all cool with you.

Robert Neville is a hero definitely in the self-sacrificial sense. When he blows himself and the zombies up at the end, he is making it possible for Anna and her young son (people
who found him and told him about the small community of un-infected people in another state) to take the cure and save the world by giving this antidote to these infected humans.

He discovers the antidote after much trial and error (which involves catching creepy super-human strength zombies, locking them in his basement, and having cages of aggressive, hairless, red-eyed rats). He saves the world in a way that is a picture of when Jesus Christ died to save the entire world.

Plus, he is Will Smith, has big cool guns, and a German Shepherd.

John McClane
from "Live Free or Die Hard"
acted by Bruce Willis
Heh heh.

We just watched this on Friday night for Benjamin's birthday. I LOVED IT! We had ClearPlay on, of course, which was helpful because muted out stuff constantly. So, it is probably a pretty bad movie without editing, but it was AMAZING with the bad stuff taken out!

Anyway. So, the hero.

I love how he isn't a genius... more like a supremely awesome brute. :-) (I tend to like those types).

He is a police detective, and is directed to go collect this geeky hacker guy for questioning. While he is at the guy's house, all these bad people start shooting them like crazy, and eventually blow up his entire apartment. Fortunately, John and Matthew (the geek) are far enough away that they don't get hurt.

The main reasons I really like this guy are: he is trying to save the world from being taken over by creepers. He never hurts innocent people while doing all these crazy things to get the bad guys. He has a daughter, who, although they have both made mistakes in the past in their relationship, are reunited at the end after the bad guys kidnap her and hold her hostage.

McClane and Matt start heading toward where they found out the evil dude is keeping her.

Matt Farrell: Do we have anything, like, resembling a plan, or anything?
John McClane: Find Lucy, kill everybody else.
Matt Farrell: I mean, more like a plan, like, a way to do that.


He also has some really good lines about treating people like human beings instead of like objects.

So he is a big strong beater-upper with surprising compassion and humor. (And you guys can't accuse me of being trivial and liking this guy because of his looks... because... he doesn't have much for those. Notice: baldness).