3 Quotes, 3 Days… Day Three!

For my third and final 3 Quotes, 3 Days challenge, it will take even more thinking and probing the depths of my memory to bring you a quote that I adore from my readings.

I believe I will choose a quote from the author that has most inspired me as a writer. Since I’m choosing quotes from books and since I’m a writer, it seems fitting.

But narrowing down the genius of L.M. Montgomery is a monumental undertaking.

Hmm…

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It was hard to choose, but here it is,

“In imagination she sailed over storied seas that wash the distant shining shores of “faëry lands forlorn,” where lost Atlantis and Elysium lie, with the evening star for pilot, to the land of Heart’s Desire. And she was richer in those dreams than in realities; for things seen pass away, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of the Island

I believe this encompasses my love for all things imagined, and one of the most inspirational books for me as a writer. I adore L.M. Montgomery, and if she were still alive, I’d do almost anything to meet and talk to her.

For my last day, I’m going to tag Herminia Chow over at aspiringwriter22. She posts beautiful poems, thoughtful questions, fun trivia, and generally makes me smile on a daily basis.

There you are! My three quotes in three days. If anyone else wants to participate, feel free!!! Tag yourself and be off! I love to see other peoples’ favorite quotes.

Cheerio!

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Anne of Green Gables Reboot!

For all you fans of Anne Shirley, I’m excited to announce that there is a reboot TV movie in the process!

YEEEESSSSS!!!!!

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Most of us who are current fans of Anne of Green Gables adaptations are familiar with the 1985 and 1987 versions of the TV movies. (I don’t like the 2000 continuing story. WAY off plot line).

Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie (RIP) were the lead characters in the 80s version. And this time around, Martin Sheen is playing Matthew Cuthbert!

I’m usually pretty skeptical of any new adaptation of Anne because the man who owned the rights to the movies, Kevin Sullivan, did so much to the story that the original plots from the books were barely recognizable. And, L.M. Montgomery is one of THE most influential authors in my life. Far surpassing many of the popular authors of today. So I take these adaptations with a grain of salt and try not to get too upset.

But this time around, L.M. Montgomery’s granddaughter is one of the lead executive producers and is agreeing with this adaptation. So THAT really got me excited!

Of course, it probably won’t air in America right away because it’s being shot in Canada (as is proper). But I’m still so excited!

Have any of my Canadian brethren heard about this? What do you think? Is anyone else excited for this new adaptation?

Go check out one of the blurbs about it and see what you think.

Happy writing!

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

“People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

“I’d like to add some beauty to life,” said Anne dreamily. “I don’t exactly want to make people KNOW more… though I know that IS the noblest ambition… but I’d love to make them have a pleasanter time because of me… to have some little joy or happy thought that would never have existed if I hadn’t been born.”
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne’s House of Dreams

Because I’m Lazy and Need to Update… A Questionnaire

Hey, yo!

Man, this updating stuff is something that’s been on my mind all week. I feel terrible that I haven’t updated more on here. I really miss interacting more with my WP buddies, but time is a nasty you-know-what.

I was over on bluechickenninja’s blog just now, and she posted a really cool questionnaire that she snagged from a fellow blogger, as well.

So, since my brain is mush from my new job and getting so much writing done (yay!), I’m going to do the questionnaire.

Not that anybody really cares to know this crap about me, but I like doing questionnaires, so you’re all going to suffer.

Here we go!

Reader (I’m adding writer) Questionnaire:

1. What is your favourite book?

My favorite book ever is not something that I can narrow down. There are too many amazing choices. I’ll include a few that just pop up continually: Lord of the Rings (obvious if you actually read my blog), Anne of Green Gables (also obvious), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Flowers for Algernon, Persuasion, The Princess, Forevermore, umm… umm… I like so many others, too. Gah!

2. What are your goals? For the year? For your life?

My goal for the year is to finish the massive re-write of my first book and get an agent. Also, I need to finish the first draft of the second book in that series. My goals for life are vast. I have too many to list here, but I’ll say I want to be published, adopt a bunch of kids, and be happy.

3. Are you a writer? If so, tell me about your work. 
Yes. My work is varied, depending on what you’re talking about. The piece I’m working on right now is a series of books for the middle grade market (7-12 year-olds). It’s a fantasy based around a young girl and her friends who are part of an ancient race of beings who protect humans and the Earth. It follows them for a few years and we watch as they battle “the bad guy,” each other, and themselves.

4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Everywhere. I want to see it all.

5. What was the last movie you saw in the theatre and was it worthwhile?
The last movie I saw in the theatre was The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. I’m sorry to say I was extremely disappointed in all three of those movies. The acting was good, and most of the digital effects, but I’m sorry. I am a HUGE fan of the book and all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing on Middle Earth and everything else. The amount of changes they made to the storyline was RIDICULOUS! I was so mad because Peter Jackson is an amazingly talented man. Why did he let this nonsense go on? Yes, they took information from the indices, but much of what was changed wasn’t even in those! Yagh! The Hobbit is an awesome story without all the added goop. The Lord of the Rings are my all-time favorite movies, so I had high expectations and hopes for The Hobbit movies. They didn’t come anywhere close to my expectations.

6. I’m curious, are there any books that you’ve tried to read and simply couldn’t finish? This is a no judgement zone.
Yes, I’m sure there are many. I can’t stand forcing myself to finish I book I despise, unless it’s for school. But honestly, I enjoyed pretty much all the books I was assigned for reading. There are too many other books out there to waste my time reading something that doesn’t hold my attention. Twilight was one of them. *Shudder* Blech. I rolled my eyes about a dozen times in the first two chapters. I never finished any of them.

I know there are more, but that’s the most memorable one that comes to mind.

7. Are you currently working on a new book/project right now? If it’s secret, you don’t have to tell me about it. If so, however, I hope it’s going well.
I already talked about my re-write for my first book. That’s the major project. I have about 12 other books in the making, all in various stages of completion, so occasionally my mind wanders to one of them and I get sidetracked from my main project. My other writing projects range from Christian fiction/romance, to children’s books (think under seven years old), to murder mystery, to non-fiction books on Christianity, to comedies, to historical fiction… It’s an awesome list of projects and I love them all, but it’s definitely overwhelming.

8. If you could live in any of your favourite books, which one would you choose?

This is difficult because there are so many books I love. Middle Earth is probably my first choice (LOTR), but it’s a close tie to Prince Edward island, where Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables) grew up. I’d also love to live for a time in Jane Austen’s England. Many people tell me I was born 200 years too late, so that would put me right about in the correct time period.

9. Are there any book-to-movie adaptations that you think are just incredible? That you absolutely hated?

I think LOTR was amazing. Yes, they changed things, but the story pretty much stayed on track. The cinematography and special effects were groundbreaking for the time. It won a million awards, and rightly so.

My least favorite adaptation is the third Anne of Green Gables movie. The man who owns the rights to the stories mucked it all up. The first two were good, a bit off, but nothing completely unforgivable. The last one was horrendously off-story. The writer/director basically made an entirely new story to suit himself. I love the characters and the acting was great, but I’m ashamed of Kevin Sullivan and his wanton abuse of the success of L.M. Montgomery’s magnificent books.

10. What do you look for in a book that you want to read? What’s the first thing to capture your attention?

Sometimes it’s the cover. Especially for kids books. I read a lot of them because that’s the age-range I write for, and if the cover is boring, kids won’t pick it up.

For other books, it’s the synopsis and the first page or two. If I roll my eyes even once during the synopsis, I put the book back. If I’m not hooked after two or three pages, I set the book down (assuming I’m in a bookstore). Sometimes I’ll read two or three chapters just to see if it gets better, but if not, I won’t finish it.

11. If you’re an author, what do you do when you first get an idea for a book?

I get ideas at the most inopportune times. Usually in the shower, while I’m driving, or when I’m at work. None of these times are conducive to writing something down, so if I can’t do that, I say the idea in my head over and over again. If I’m near my ever-present notebook, I’ll write down as much as I can on the topic. If I’m driving, I’ll pull out the dictation app on my phone and talk away until I’ve exhausted the creative juices.

I have waited too long and lost the idea for a book. That makes me nuts. Usually it’s a dream or some passing thought while I’m driving and I don’t get it down quick enough, thinking “Oh, I’ll remember on my own.” Pfft. Not.

12. How do you feel about different genres? Romance? YA? Sci-Fi? Poetry? Do you have any favorites? Any least-favourites?

I love many genres. Middle grade fiction (what I write), fantasy over sci-fi, fiction over non-fiction. Prose over poetry.

I’ve read a little of everything. I love the classics. And magical realism.

13. If you could meet any writer in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?

J.R.R. Tolkien. No question. The man was a genius. He created multiple FULL languages that people can actually learn and speak. He also crafted the most historically complex and detailed modern epic fantasy masterpiece. I’d love to pick his brain.

14. Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Fiction.

15. Are there any characters that everyone loves that you can’t stand? Or vice versa?

I despise Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility. I honestly don’t know how anyone could like her. Also, Bella Swan from Twilight. She is the epitome of what a main character ought NOT to be.

16. What do you like to do besides reading/writing?
I sing. I’m a die-hard Detroit Red Wings fan. I like movies. I love to travel. Having dinner with friends. Exploring someplace new.

17. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?

I’d just like to have made a positive influence on someone’s life. I’d love it if someone told me, near the end of my life, that being friends/enemies/co-workers/neighbors with me changed their life for the better, I’d die the happiest person on Earth.

Does that sound too self-absorbed? Oh, well.

18. What is your favourite guilty pleasure book?
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

19. Do you have a reading goal set for this year?
I never make reading goals. I usually read well over 100 each year, so it seems pointless to make a goal for more than that.

20. Tell me anything about yourself that I haven’t asked. Random fact. Weird human trick. Whatever.

I have GPS fingers. Seriously. If you tell me something hurts, even a vague spot, I will be able to put my fingers exactly on the spot causing pain. Part of that is my career as a physical therapist, but I know other PTs who aren’t as good at that.

Listen to me boast. 🙂 GPS fingers. That’s an Amy-ism right there. It’s a thing.

Ergh! Enough about me. I’d like to hear about you! Feel free to steal away and let me read all these lovely things about you.

Happy writing!

Top Ten Tuesday – Books To Give Away

It’s that day again!

Top Ten Tuesday

This week’s Top Ten list by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish is a topic that took me some time to think about. It was Top Ten Books I’d Give to Readers Who Have Never Read X. Over at their blog, they picked historical fiction. In a similar fashion, I’m going to pick the Classics. Top Ten Books I’d Give to Readers Who Have Never Read the Classics.

1. Shakespeare. Shakespeare, Shakespeare, ANYTHING Shakespeare! I know this isn’t a book per se, but he is my top pick for anything classical. I especially love his sonnets, but I know poetry isn’t for everyone. My favorite play is Macbeth, which is much darker and brooding than my normal taste allows for. I’ve never read anything by Shakespeare I didn’t like. I understand the classics aren’t for everyone, but I think we all enjoy a good spooky story. Macbeth is a great place to start.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Many modern authors have criticizes Jane’s writing, but she was a female author in the early 1800s… of course she’d write about love and gossip and scandal and family. Although Pride and Prejudice isn’t my favorite Austen book, it is the favorite of the general population. What I think appeals more to people who may not like the classics is the stupidity of the Bennet women and their antics. I’m excluding Jane and Lizzie, of course. It’s hilarious to watch these women make fools of themselves. The humor in that book, alone, makes it worth the read. 

3. The Divine Comedy/Dante’s Inferno by Dante Alighieri. Instead of reading the actual work, which is quite difficult, I’d go ahead and pick up a modernized version of it so that it makes sense. When I first read it, I had to write down everything that didn’t make sense to me and look it up. Let’s just say it was a long read. But if you get, say, this version, it’ll be easier to read. Many current literary experts agree that the two most prominent writers of classical literature are Dante and Shakespeare. Dante’s work is dark and imaginative, and I always learn some tidbit about creativity and writing from it. 

4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – I’m not really sure if he’s considered a classical author, but I consider him to be one. These books/stories are a lot easier for people who don’t like classical literature to swallow. They’re generally pretty short, and have a certain storytelling rhythm that’s repeated in each tale (the adventure/mystery happens, then the backstory is explained for the reason behind it). It’s fairly straightforward stuff, but fun to read and extraordinary in detail. If you know anything about Sherlock, it’s how smart he is and how much he notices every little detail. That comes through in the books in a subtle way, and it’s brilliant.

5. 1984 by George Orwell. I read this book in high school and was completely weirded out by it. I’m even more so now because of how much written in that book is now coming to fruition. Big Brother, indeed. He was spot on. It’s not a difficult read, nor is it overly long. One of my faves, for sure.

6. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. This was my favorite book in high school. I couldn’t even pinpoint why. It was depressing most of the time, but such an easy and interesting read. It was originally a short story, but then later turned into a novel. For those who haven’t heard of it, the story centers around Algernon, a laboratory mouse who has experimental surgery to make him more intelligent. His changes are recorded and observed by Charlie Gordon, who is mentally disabled, and the first human subject in the experiment. What happens to Algernon eventually happens to Charlie, and it’s a testimony to the human condition and the morality/ethics of human and animal experimentation. I consider it a bit satiric, which I like in the classics.

7. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This is a must read for everyone, whether they like the classics or not. Atticus Finch imparts some crazy good philosophy and is a moral hero for many people. It’s a quote-worthy book unlike many others.

8. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. For those of you who’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that he is one of my favorite authors and has influenced my writing the most (along with L.M. Montgomery). I wouldn’t recommend LOTR to people who haven’t read the classics because it’s much meatier and harder to get into. But The Hobbit is a fast read full of adventure, and it opens up the world of Middle Earth and all the wonder of Tolkien’s genius. 

9. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. She, along with Tolkien, are the writers I admire the most. However, the story of a young orphan girl who has a tendency to rant on and on in long soliloquies is not for the faint of heart. It’s set in Canada in the late 1800s, early 1900s, and follows the hilarious antics of an orphan who gets herself into a lot of trouble because she’s so curious and full of life. She’s my favorite literary heroine, and always will be.

10. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Another gritty, morally enlightening book that puts things into perspective on how we treat people who are different than us. It’s set in Puritanical Massachusetts in the mid 1600s, so you can imagine how people acted and how they talked. But it’s not a long book, and there are a lot of good lessons to be learned. 

 

Wow. That was hard. There are so many other classic books I would love to recommend: Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Secret Garden, Moby Dick, The Phantom of the Opera, Little Women, The Count of Monte Cristo… the list could go on for pages.

What do you think of my choices? Do you like the classics or would you ever consider reading them? Why or why not? I used to hate them, myself, but now I can’t get enough of them!

Happy writing!

Top Ten Tuesday – Authors Who Fill My Bookcase

It’s Tuesday! 

Top Ten Tuesday

As has become a weekly post for me, I’m participating in Top Ten Tuesday put on by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish blog

This week’s topic: Authors whose books I own the most of. (Weird sentence, no?)

Here we go!

 

1. L.M. Montgomery ~ 15 books. She wrote a lot more than just the Anne of Green Gables books, but that’s what she’s most remembered for writing. If you recall from this post, Anne is my all-time favorite literary heroine, and L.M. Montgomery (with J.R.R. Tolkien) are the authors who have most influenced my own writing. Love her!

2. J.R.R. Tolkien ~ 10 books. Since he’s one of my favorite authors, it makes sense I’d own a good portion of his books. Besides LOTR and the Hobbit, he’s written and published much  more about the history of Middle Earth, as well as other scholarly books. He’s a fabulous, classical writer and I love him. 🙂

3. Cathy Marie Hake ~ 10 books. She writes historical Christian RomComs, and her books always make me laugh. I read a lot of them in my teen years, but I still love them now.

4. J.K. Rowling ~ 9 books. I own the HP series in paperback, as well as Quidditch Through the Ages, and Fantastical Beasts and Where to Find Them. An amazing imaginative genius, and her writing is so down-to-earth.

5. Jane Austen ~ 8 books. I own all of her novels, as well as some of her children’s stories, poetry, and short stories. I know many contemporary authors hate her, but she’s still one of my faves!

6. William Shakespeare ~ 20 works. I’ve read a great many plays by Shakespeare, keep a smallish book of his sonnets (that has a ton of post-it notes all over inside), and can quote a bit of Macbeth from memory. He was and is one of the best writers of all time, and he revolutionized speech, I think. So many phrases we use today were originated in his works. He’s a hero of mine, for sure.

7. Bibles ~ 15. I own a great many bibles in different translations, as well as from different time periods. I have a New Testament that’s 150 years old and in decent condition. I mentioned in this post about my devotion to my faith, so bibles and Christian books are very important. I have around 50 non-fiction Christian/Catholic books (yes, I’ve read them all). I adore history, so having old books with me is like surrounding myself with the past. And I love it.

8. Grace Livingston Hill ~ 30 books. I don’t know how many people have ever encountered Grace Livingston Hill, but she was a prolific author in the early 1900s. One of my top ten favorite books of all time, Marcia Schuyler, was written by her. Some of her books are very short, and others are longer than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (the fifth HP book, and the longest). Another one of my author heroes.

9. C.S. Lewis ~ 15 books. Besides his seven part Narnia series, I also own the Space Trilogy, The Screwtape Letters, and many, many of his writings as a Christian lay theologian. I hear there’s a movie coming out about the friendship between him and J.R.R. Tolkien. I can’t wait to see it!

10. Mary Connealy ~ 20 books. Another Christian historical RomCom writer. (Can you tell I like historical/fantastical books, yet?) She’s hilarious! I don’t like reading depressing fiction that much (although who couldn’t use a good cry every now and then, right?), so I usually tend towards the funnier or more fantastical writers. Especially in this genre.

 

Well, there you have it! The top ten people who fill my bookcase! I know you don’t see tons and tons of MG fiction here (since that’s what I primarily write), but I do own a substantial amount of that. It’s just not enough by one author in particular to include it on my list.

What authors do you keep most on your bookshelves?

Happy writing! (And reading!)

 

Anne-Girl

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There’s no doubt about it, Anne Shirley is my all-time favorite fictional heroine, and she always will be.

When I turned 12, I received my favorite birthday gift ever: The entire Anne of Green Gables collection in a nicely packaged holder. I even have a picture of me with it, though you’ll never see it. I look 40 years old. Sigh. The fashions of the 90s with a hopelessly unfashionable mother.

Anne epitomizes everything I wish I could be. Intelligent (although I think I am at least a little of that), determined, talented, impulsive, curious, passionate, and so much more. Her life began tragically, but she makes it a memorable one and rises above the tempests that storm her way in every chapter of every book. 

L.M. Montgomery has influenced my writing more than any other writer. The only other author who comes close to the impact she had on my life is J.R.R. Tolkien. Those two, but primarily Montgomery, showed me what writing and reading should be about. The passion and drive that’s required, as Anne herself finds out, in the written word is something to be cherished and encouraged, and not smashed to bits by ignorant people.

The friendship of Anne and Diana is the basis for the friendship between my MC and best friend in the middle grade fantasy I’m writing. Ava, the MC, has Anne’s curiosity and tempestuousness, but also her love for other people. Ruth, the best friend, shares Diana’s softer antithesis to the quirky and outspoken Ava (Anne). Their friendship is one that lasts a lifetime, and even when they argue, they’re always there to pick the other up out of the dirt and dust them off.

And can I just say a few words about Gilbert? Whoo-eee! 

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Despite their tenuous beginning, Anne and Gilbert become friends. And that friendship is the basis for one of the sweetest and truest love stories of all time.

Gilbert is the perfect match for Anne. He’s just as smart as she is, and doesn’t take her crap. Anne is such a powerful character with plenty to say and a boundless energy for life. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind, but sometimes that needs tempering. Gilbert provides Anne with a sounding board, but he is also the person that doesn’t let Anne walk all over him. Anne is such a strong woman that she’d trample anyone that wouldn’t fight back. 

I think Hugh Jackman said it right:

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Haha! Honestly, Gilbert is my favorite hero, just as Anne is my favorite heroine. He loves Anne without fail, and even when they go through rough patches, and Anne’s imagination runs away with her, he’s there to steady her and keep her sane.

He respects her talents and intelligence, and still treats her like a lady. 

And Anne, for all her impetuousness, vivacious arguments, and willful nature, still acts womanly (after she is taught what that really means). The depth of her character isn’t altered simply because she is a woman, and her feminine nature only acts as a catalyst for the story. She’s courteous and proper (as much as possible), while still being a force to be reckoned with.

Yep. 

Anne of Green Gables. Anne and Gilbert. My favorite fictional couple ever. Nobody will ever compare.

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Happy writing, all!

 

“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.” 
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

“For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps. . . perhaps. . .love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath. ” 
― L.M. MontgomeryAnne of Avonlea