Friday, March 26, 2010

Music tag thingy

Ok, so this doesn't really have anything to do with literature, but it's music...which is still the Arts.... :-P Besides, I figured maybe there were people who needed cheering up and thought it would be a good idea to post something fun!

Put your iPod on shuffle and press FW for each question. Use each song title to answer each question!

1) How am I feeling today? Paper Heart – All American Rejects
2) Will I get far in life? Deathbed – Relient K. Ouch.
3) How do my friends see me? The Bird and the Worm- Owl City4) Where will I get Married? Swallowed in the sea- Coldplay; now that doesn’t bode well, does it?
5) What is my best friend's theme song? The Call-Regina Spektor. Yes, definitely.
6) What is the story of my life? Falling out – Relient K. Haha, isn’t it just.
7. What is/was highschool like? Hey Stephen- Taylor Swift. NOT. I don’t even know any Stephens.
8. How can I get ahead in life? Move Along- ARR. Sage advice, I suppose.
9. What is the best thing about me? Fearless-Taylor Swift. Indeed :-P
10. How is today going to be? Love Story-Taylor Swift. Hahah.
11. What is in store for this weekend? Lothlorien – LOTR sound track. Hey, wouldn’t that be cool!
12. What song describes my parents? Lion-o. Haha. I’m not sure my mom would appreciate that…
13. How is my life going? Tidal Wave – Owl City. You could say that I guess.
14. What song will they play at my funeral? California- Hawk Nelson
Let’s pack up and move to California, hop on board before we get older…hmmm
15. How does the world see me? Must have done something right- Relient K. HA
16. Will I have a happy life? Who I am hates who I’ve been- Relient K. Uh- oh
17. What do my friends really think of me? The Hardest Part- Coldplay. Really?
18. What should I do with my life? Rush of blood to the head- Coldplay
19. What is some good advice for me? Change your mind- The Killers. Hahaha!
20. How will I be remembered? Viva la Vida- Coldplay. Huh.
21. What is my signature dancing song? Strawberry Swing- Coldplay. There ya go!
22. What does everyone else think my current theme song is? Bring me to Life - Evanescence…Seriously?
23. What best describes my personality? A Beautiful let-down- Switchfoot. Oh dear.
24. What do I like in a guy? Halo –Beyonce. HAHAHAHAHA
25. What is my motto? Fidelity- Regina Spektor. Haha!
26. What do I think about often? Vanilla Twilight – Owl City
27. What do I want to be when I grow up? Stay Beautiful-Taylor Swift. Don’t I wish…
28. What do I think of my best friend? Never Alone – Barlow Girl
29. What do I think when I see the person I like? Breathe – Taylor Swift haha!
30. What song will I dance to at my wedding? Falling apart- AAR. Oh boy, wouldn’t that be sickeningly ironic….
31. What is my biggest secret? White Horse. Um.
Now it’s your turn…. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alice in Wonderland!!!

So, technically, Saturday is my day to post, but I’m having a crazy weekend, so I thought I’d do it early to make sure it gets in. :-P

ALICE IN WONDERLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Technically speaking, this isn’t really a review; it’s more of a rave. I loved it. Everything appealed to me; it’s crazy weirdness (typical Tim Burton), the characters, everything! It really was clever to place the story a few years ahead as a sort of sequel instead of making ‘a movie out of the book’. They could make up their own plot without Lovers of the Book yelling at them and accusing them of murder.

It had all my favorite actors:

Johnny Depp! (I’ve only seen him as Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka; but that’s enough to make me like him.) As the Mad Hatter, he was crazy and brave and sweet and weird and hilarious and sincere without appearing forced and wacky all at once. I loved his dance at the end. :-P

Helena Bonham Carter! She was SO AWESOME as Belatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter. Her role there was similar to the Red Queen; a delusional Villainess. Although, I have to say, I loved how they made the Red Queen a more complex character than just an essence-of-evil villain; she is the way she is because of a background of estrangement and lack of love. You can almost see glimmers of hope for her when she says, “Is it not better to be feared than loved? I’m not sure any more.” (Though of course she denies it in the end). And you can’t help feeling sorry for her when that creepy creep with the eye patch tries to kill her. She thought he loved her! What a creep he was! JERK!

Excuse me.


Anne Hathaway!!!!!! Her makeup was pretty wacky. But I liked her as the white queen. She made me laugh. I want to walk the way she did in the movie in the store one day and see how people react.

Stephan Fry! (He was only the Cheshire cat’s voice, but he’s still awesome). The Cheshire cat gave me bad dreams, though. His grin. Freaks me out.

Alan Rickman! Again, he only did the voice of the Caterpillar, but doesn’t he have the coolest
voice ever?
And Alice. Actually, I found Alice a little annoying on occasion - her attitude just seemed so typical of the young movie heroine. But what I really liked was what they did with the whole Fabjous Day (Calloo! Callay!) Battle and Alice being the champion. Usually, when movies have a girl do the killing they’re trying to score a point for their Feminist views, sort of a So there! Girls can fight too! But in this movie they didn’t seem to emphasis the fact that Alice is a girl fighting and winning, but rather Alice as a person who has lost her muchness, and is finding it again. It’s not about Feminism, or telling us girls can do that as well as boys; it’s about gaining personal courage to do the right thing. Queen Susan fighting with the boys in Prince Caspian? A jab from the feminists. Alice fighting the Jabberwocky? Anything but.

I didn’t think they should have let the Jabberwocky talk. It’s less scary that way. But his purple blood was cool.

And I loved the dog :) He was so sweet!
The movie was also hilarious. In some parts I couldn’t breathe for laughter! I have GOT to own that movie when it comes out on DVD!
Another thing: Though it was weird, it wasn’t merely weirdness with no point. It had a structured plot. It was funny without being cheesy or forced. The characters had depth (though those depths may have been just more craziness) :-P And I liked the song during the credits.
I need a pig here!
So yeah :) I loved it. I told you this post wasn’t going to be much more than saying over and over how much I liked it. But there it is. Beware, I shall quote it often in the future.

Take 6

Something odd. I enjoy these guys in short doses. They actually have a very cool David and Goliath song, but there wasn't a good version on youtube.
Their singing is amazing and always without accompaniment. Just thought I'd post something (and something rather odd) since I missed my day.

Miss Pickwickian

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

84 Charing Cross Road.

84, Charing Cross Road 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was a very short and sweet book. A compilation of the letters of Helene Hanff, and Frank Doel, the proprietor of an English book shop (I like how she used the term "book shop" instead of "book store"), and, eventually, the remainder of the book shop staff, and the wife of the proprietor. Very witty and charming.
The movie, I confess, was more appealing, as it showed the story of the writers of the letters. It starred Anthony Hopkins (one of my all-time favouritest actors), as the book shop proprietor, and Anne Bancroft, as the New York City playwright with peculiar taste in antiquarian books.
The movie makers faithfully used the majority of the letters found in the book.
I think I'd like to read some more of Hanff's works, since the way she wrote her letters was funny, witty, sometimes sharp, but very likeable. There was humor sprinkled liberally throughout the whole thing, along with the sweet, the touching, and, in one or two cases, the sad.

I wish English book shops of the sort existed today. I'd strike up a correspondence with the proprietor, or manager, or whoever would sell me the books, and become fast friends, and, eventually, go to England personally.

View all my reviews >>

Thus the review of Me. I'll try to have something more elaborate for next week. ;)
Thanks for reading!
Love you all!
- aisha

Friday, March 19, 2010


I have decided that this Saturday’s post (ooooh…doesn’t that sound official?) will be about the most wonderful book in the world. It never ceases to amaze me how few people have read it.
Well, at least I think it’s the most wonderful book in the world. It is a tough call, though. :)
The Title? Phantastes.
The Author? George Macdonald. For those of you who are familiar with George Macdonald, the mere fact that he is its author should automatically endear this book to you. Those of you have the great misfortune of never reading any of his works, you have only to talk to someone who has and watch them swoon at the mention of his name.
First, a quote. “It must have been more than thirty years ago that I bought – almost unwillingly, for I had looked at the volume on that bookstall and rejected it on a dozen previous occasions – the Everyman edition of Phantastes. A few hours later I knew that I had crossed a great frontier. I had already been waist deep in Romanticism; and likely enough, at any moment, to flounder into its darker and more evil forms. Now Phantastes was romantic enough in all conscience; but there was a difference. Nothing was at that time further form my mind than Christianity and I therefore I had no notion what this difference really was. I was only aware that if this new world was strange, it was also homely and humble; that if this was a dream, it was a dream in which one at least felt strangely vigilant; that the whole book had about it a sort of cool, morning innocence, and also, quite unmistakably, Death, good death. What it actually did was to convert, even baptize, my imagination.” -C.S. Lewis
When I first read Phanastes many years ago, I couldn’t have told you the main plot or what the point of the story was. At first glance, the story is about a young man named Anodos who gets lost in Fairyland, and wanders through many bizarre and random adventures trying to get un-lost. The nature of the story leaves one confused, befuddled, not knowing what the point to Anodos’ seemingly random wanderings is or where the author is going with this story. The whole tale has a quality of unearthly, bizarre beauty that initially can be mind-twisting if you’re not used to that sort of writing. But as I’ve read it over and over again, the point becomes increasingly clear. While Anodos has many seemingly unconnected adventures, two themes and two people run through the whole thing.
The first real mishap Anodos has in Fairyland is the acquiring of his Shadow. He finds his Shadow as a result of ignoring some wise advice, and the Shadow fallows his wherever he goes. The influence of the Shadow makes him moody, and makes him suspicious and distrustful. If his Shadow falls on flowers, they wither. If his Shadow happens to fall on a Fairy-child, the child becomes a plain and vulgar farm boy. In short, Anodos’ Shadow is a symbol of his Sin, and the process of disposing of his shadow a symbol of his search for redemption.
The other two people who run through the whole story are the White Lady, and the Knight. Anodos frees the White Lady from her marble tomb through his singing, though she runs away from him. Throughout the story, he is driven by his love for her and a desire to see her once more. Anodos also meets the Knight, who symbolizes the kind of man Anodos desperately, wishes to be. The Knight flits in and out of the story, and near the end Anodos comes to love the Knight as a master. Through the course of searching for the White Lady, however, Anodos learns that his White Lady loves the Knight, and that she is meant for him and cannot love Anodos in the way Anodos has been wanting her to. Anodos at first struggles with this, but later accepts it through realizing that the Knight, his master, is more worthy of the White Lady than he is. Anodos displays his unconditional love for both of them by sacrificing himself for their sakes. The ‘revelation’ is that Anodos has been searching for the wrong love and loving the wrong way; he eventually realizes “that it is by loving, and not by being loved, that one comes closest to the soul of another”.
Related to both the love theme and the sin theme is the Alder Maid, who Anodos mistakes for the White Lady, but who is in truth wicked and a snare for men’s souls. Her part in the story reminds me very much the Proverb’s Strange Woman.
In short, Anodos’ journey through Fairyland is a quest (the knight theme is very prevalent in this story) for both Redemption and a search for the right kind of love. It all gets resolved at the end, which is quite moving, and I won’t give it away. :) Phantastes can strike one as being odd or bizarre, but it is also intensely beautiful. It’s an unearthly, unreal kind of beauty that will leave you in a daze when you get up from finishing it. I highly recommend it- I read it every year to get my priorities straight:-P. If its weirdness puts you off at first, give it a chance. Underneath its seeming random and odd narrative, it’s truly the most beautiful story I’ve ever read.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hannibal's Elephant

So, I noticed things are relatively I thought I'd post a school paper. I love it when Mr. Davis gives us creative writing assignments. ;) The idea was to write 1000 words about the night before the battle of Cannae (during Rome's war with the Carthaginian general Hannibal) from a Carthaginian soldier's perspective. So here ya go :)
Comments are welcome, be they compliments or criticisms.
P.S. I'm planning on posting someting more real on Saturday, and I'll try very very hard to post consitently every Saturday. :-P

I am so deadly cold. The wind is unbearably bitter here, and the sky is grey and sunless. Elephants are not meant for the frigid North. Many of us died crossing the Infernal Alps; my friends, some of whom I had known in Carthage when I was young. They fell down in the snow, and never got up. I fear the country itself almost more than I fear its people. We will die of this dreadful cold yet. The men suffer too, for they were born in Africa and worship the sun like cats. And we are too poorly provisioned to have much of a barrier against the cold. The men’s armor, once a symbol of Carthage’s glory, is now so worn from our fighting that it amounts for little protection from Roman spears, let alone from the elements. The men’s tents are ragged and patched from a thousand set-ups and take-downs. Their shoes have holes from a thousand miles of ceaseless trudging, through ice and snow, over rock and rubble. Their minds are becoming numbed and exhausted from fighting a thousand battles, from killing thousands of other men, from enduring a thousand days away from their homeland.
The irony of our situation strikes despair into the hearts of our men. Thus far, we have been victorious in the field. When sword met sword, we have not failed to conquer. But that was then. That was when we were fresh, with plenteous provisions. Hannibal apparently has been so obsessed with hurting Rome he has been neglecting the very tool he is using- his own army. I have heard it said, back in the stables at Carthage- oh Carthage! - that an army moves on its belly. Apparently, Hannibal has not. Our provisions are evaporating like the dew off the grass (oh, how I would like some grass just now; even the dry summer straw of the savannas where I grew up). The rations that the men exist on are barely enough to feed a hedgehog. As for us, we are a little better off since we can eat the foliage of whatever plants happen to be around our camps- but we are hard pressed to find food in the amounts necessary to really sustain us. Have you ever seen an Elephant that is skin and bones? I bet you just can’t picture it. We’re starving. Though thus far undefeated by any man, we are defeated by starvation and the elements. And we all know that in this next battle, Rome cannot fail to defeat us when we fight them starving.
We elephants have no choice but to go on, to submit to Hannibal’s orders, for we are but beasts. And we are by nature patient beasts. But you can see the resentment and fear in the eyes of the men. We are on the verge of another battle, and they know they are weak from lack of food. They know now that Hannibal is a crazed (though albeit genius) lunatic whose sole purpose in life is to make Rome pay. When he was originally recruiting troops, they saw visions of glory and honor on the battlefield of Rome. But now, watching themselves die of starvation, they wonder why Hannibal had to drag all Carthage into his personal grudge. I’ve heard tell that some of the men- our Spanish troops- are planning to desert. I wish for Carthage’s honor, but not at the price Hannibal is willing to pay. I know it is honorable to fight to the end, but in my heart I wish we could surrender, quit, be done with this war. End the fighting and go home to Carthage. Feel the sun again. I envy the Spanish- they at least will see their homes one day. I will not.
It was my stable boy, Abdul, who told me of the Spanish defectors. It is from his conversations with the soldiers and the other stable boys that I get knowledge about what the army is doing. He was my stable boy back in Carthage; I know him, and he knows me. We met on the first day of my army training. I was nervous, fearful, untamed. The saddles, the ropes, and the earring that told my regiment all hurt; the noises of other elephants, shouting men, and trumpets were strange and frightening. But Abdul came up to me and gave me an apple; he spoke soothing words to me, and introduced me to the other elephants. He made me trust him. I love him, and I see the fear and pain in his eyes as he waits for death; death by starvation, or death by the hand of a Roman. I saw him say goodbye to his father and mother. I saw the pretty girl who used to come around the stable to talk to him give him her bracelet when he went off to fight Hannibal’s war. He’s wearing it now. He knows she’ll be waiting for him; but I fear he will never come back to Carthage. He fears it too. His fear is the fear of all the men. There is so much fear in the air tonight, I can almost reach out and grab a trunkful of it.
It is the night before the battle. The elephants whisper to each other as they huddle together against the cold air. Do you remember how we used to parade through the streets of Carthage on feast days? The children would ride on our backs and give us fruit from the palace gardens. And how we would lay in the sunny fields all day? Yes, I remember. I remember Carthage. But I will never see her again. I’ll never eat an apple or let a child ride me again. There is a battle tomorrow. I am fighting in it. Do not put despair in my heart by talking of my home. I will fall down in Rome, and never get up again.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shakespeare's Sonnets

Recently I've been dealing more with poetry and lyrics then I've ever done in my life.
I've never really read very much poetry because a lot of it has always seemed so over the top. I tend to dislike overly romantic or meandering drama over leaves and scenery etc.... And it seems like what there is to say has already been said and so much of it is similar. (Very narrow view I know.)

Lately, however, I have been trying to study some poetry and delve into lyric writing etc. I enjoy the actual writing part and I can think of plenty of things to write about. (And maybe since I don't like meandering drama I should do something about it. ;-)
I've been writing a lot of rough lyric sort of verses in short bits of time. It helps me feel like I've accomplished something well I still work on my long story. :-)
Anyways, I thought I should learn some stuff about how it actually should be done.

I've picked up two books on poetry (how to understand it, what it's uses/powers are, how to write it, etc...). I've also been working through a book on song writing, but it is a bit of a drag. (The first chapter is about diving into the depths of your soul to find your polished pearl of inspiration...exactly the sort of thing that put me off poetry to start with.)

Anyways, I thought a good place to start would be studying the best, so I picked up a lovely copy of Shakespeare's Sonnets at "Exodus". I can't say it's my favorite thing, but I am happy that they are enjoyable. :-)

What are your views on poetry? Do you have favorite works?

"Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget'st so long
To speak of that which gives thee all they might
Spend'st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Darkening thy power to lend bas subjects light?
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, resty Muse, my love's sweet face survey,
If Time have any wrinkle graven there;
IF any, be a satire to decay,
And make Time's spoils despised every where.
Give my love fame faster then Time wastes life;
So thou prevent'st his scythe and crooked knife."

Miss Pickwickian

The Erratic Muse

Monday, March 8, 2010

Self Inflicted Goals

For about two weeks last month I met my goal of writing 500 or more words a day.

Then....kidding and lambing season started happening and it all went out the window. I'm trying to start back up again, but lets face it, life is BUSY!
I haven't got any routine down since the critters started having babies everywhere. I need one! I have a lot of after highschool studies and such that I want to be making speedy headway through and I am 100% determined to write.

I'm working on a number of projects.
A book for our business
My Ligonier study course
School writing....
History and a couple other independent (and very fun) stuff for school
Song lyrics
And dearest to my heart, my story!

In January I set the goal as having the final draft done by Feb 1st 2011. It seemed reasonable as I was plugging through past 25,000 words and all. But then....CRASH! Now I'm on my 100 billionth redo.
I'm still hoping to make Feb 2011. There is an amazing contest that you can get feed back on and that is the deadline. I can do it! (..........maybe)

So I'm back to 500 words six days a week. It really isn't very much and only takes 1/2-1 hour. If I cut down other optional activities I
I can make it most days. And I want to write! It makes my whole day better. And writing every day keeps you in shape, it's the constant theme in all writing advice. It must be sound.

This year my journal has almost been reduced to plan schedules and goals, but I think it is good. Goals are good. I think their even gooder when they are self-inflicted. :-)

I hope I make it.

I don't know what this post was all about really...but I guess now you can all hold me accountable for my 500 words. ;-)

Thanks for reading,
Miss Pickwickian

The Erratic Muse

BTW, if you all didn't see Plushenko's Gala skate, you should see it!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Project Assignment

So, what if we all take a day of the week, and we post at least twice a month on that day of the week (or close to...doesn't really matter)?

It's just if we have a day then we'll be more apt to actually post and we won't get a bunch of posts on the same a day or something so people can see them all etc...

Please put out dibs on days. We have 8 people, so some of us will have to share. ;-) Those who don't wish to write much, can share if they like.

Please comment with the day you'd like or any other ideas you have on the subject.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Stardust Stardust by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read the graphic novel version. Which was neat. My first ever graphic novel, in four parts.
It didn't run all together like some stories I've read. I liked how it all came together very neatly at the end, though.
I especially liked how it has that taste of the old magic. Sort of reminded me of The Princess and Curdie, the way it was written, the way it wasn't just a bunch of magic spells and charms etc., it was a magic world.
It's a nice story. Kind of sad at the end. Graphic is right, though. Not child approved. It's alright for the discerning reader, but don't let your little brothers and sisters read this, kay? Thank you.
The movie, however, is very cool, though it doesn't follow the book exactly, and it *is* fairly child approved. Pretty funny too. Especially the dead brothers.
He's rather dashing, though you don't think so at first, and she's very beautiful. :)

Anyways. Thanks for reading!

View all my reviews >>