December 31, 2010

What Former Tribe Leaders Do

Silver Angel (former leader of Shadowtear) and Millard (former co-leader of Swiftstorm) created a splendid video concerning What Tribe Leaders Do When the Tribe-Building Contest Is Over. Enjoy. :)

(please watch full-screen for best effect)

December 23, 2010

Operation Christmas Child

I am pleased to say that our family had the privilege to participate in Operation Christmas Child this year! A month or so ago we packed and turned in a shoebox full of gifts to someone in this great world of ours. Just today we learned it went to a young teenage girl in Ecuador.

Because, as you have likely noticed, I have a boundless passion for lists,

The shoebox contained:
  • notebook
  • gloves
  • pack of pens
  • small stuffed dog
  • compact mirror
  • nail clippers
  • jump rope
  • glow sticks (although ultimately we didn't include these, due to a fear they were a violation of regulations)
  • washcloth
  • Nerds
  • flashlight (with spare batteries)
  • gum
  • bar soap
  • ponytail holders
  • socks (essential to life)
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrush
  • hairbrush and comb
  • lollipops
Merry Christmas, all! I hope you have a lovely holiday.

Among lights,

December 20, 2010


A collection of comics (you should be able to see them best if you click on them) that I've clipped from various issues of the illustrious WORLD magazine. They concern the effect of technology on humanity... my favorite is the top left. :)

Also worthy of note - Millard has posted on his blog an interview with author Amanda Bradburn, writer of The Keepers of Elenath. It's short, simple, informative, and worth checking out!

December 1, 2010


So. It is finished. I am through.

I have completed NaNoWriMo.

At 50,663 words, it - that infamous novel that has diligently plagued me all throughout the long November month - sits without a name. I only recently realized this problem. Hm. Titles I contemplate are "Wilderwood King" or "Rebel's Cause."

Because I enjoy listing elements of stories, I shall do so now for mine. My tale contains/concerns:

  1. Knights
  2. Slavers
  3. Nuns
  4. A peasant uprising
  5. Wolves
  6. Quartz
  7. A steep cliff
  8. A bonfire
  9. Waterfall
  10. Blood. Lots of blood. My poor characters suffered much. >_>

I freely admit that it is a poor story. Perhaps some characters, scenes, or threads of plot will be salvageable, but on the whole I have little affection for it. Yet I am still content. I did not jump into NaNo with the intention of coming out with a worthy story; I wanted to do it for the sheer challenge and adventure; to be able to say that I have done it! Here in prosperous America, I do not have many chances for true adventures, but I try to take what I can get. :) NaNoWriMo was not terribly adventurous or thrilling, but it was a challenge, a task, a quest - one that I have successfully completed. I am content. I can now say that I have done NaNoWriMo; 50,000 words, 30 days.

Thanks to Millard for the many word wars and vigorous encouragements! I think I would have lost strength and motivation and tossed the whole project without his help. :) You can read Millard's ominous story of his dreadful experience with NaNoWriMo here.

Millard was ALSO the one who, upon the completion of my novel, convinced me to - against my better judgment - write "NaNoWriMo" on my socks with a Sharpie, as he himself did. And (heheh) I took a video of the event. If you're truly so bored that you'd care to see -

And, finally, I shall close with a quote from the book "No Plot, No Problem!" written by Chris Baty, the man who created NaNoWriMo (and consequentially became the man whose name is alternately cursed and blessed by aspiring authors more than any other appellation). The following narrates his method of celebrating a NaNoWriMo victory:

“I tend to celebrate crossing over with a meditative ceremony where I print the book out and neatly stack the pages on the floor. When everything has been properly laid out, I take a few steps back from the work, close my eyes, and offer up my thanks to the writing powers for another bountiful harvest. At which point, I get a running start and dive headlong into my wordpile, rolling around and snorting like a pig.

"And then I fall asleep for three days."

Over and out.
The triumphant,

November 24, 2010


Attention, please! A most worthy and amazing book trailer has been recently released. It was created by some friends of mine and is very easily the best book trailer I have ever seen. Turn up the volume and brace yourself for extreme epicness. >_>

November 16, 2010

Artificial Beauty

"My lady's eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her skin is dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks,
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my lady reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My lady when she treads the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare."

This is Shakespeare's 130th sonnet (though I have edited it a bit to make it more family-friendly, if y'know what I mean). I and my classmates studied this poem in a literature class some time ago.

While this poem paints a rather unpretty picture of a lady, I like it. Shakespeare wrote this poem tongue-in-cheek; he jibes at other poets who describe their lovely ladies in exaggerated terms. For instance, in the fifth and six lines Shakespeare proclaims he has seen (heard of) red and white roses in the cheeks of other maidens, but they are not in his lady's. He's heard other lovestruck poets declare that their loves have eyes like the sun, but Shakespeare bluntly states that his lady's do not compare to that celestial orb. In short, to paraphrase what my good friend Noelle so wonderfully put it, "It's as though Shakespeare's saying, 'Quite frankly, I've never seen a woman with roses in her cheeks, snow-white skin, breath like perfume, etc.'"

I like that. The exaggerated, otherwordly beauty found in poetry (and, nowadays, in magazines and commercials) doesn't exist in real life. Yet Shakespeare wrote that though music sounded better than her voice, he still loved to hear her speak. He was content with her, a flawed mortal.


...a short video that goes to show what Shakespeare was insinuating: that ethereal, supermodel beauty is, almost always, artificial.

And lastly, please check out Noelle's blog, Seeing Beauty. I think I can honestly say hers is my favorite blog (and I've seen a lot.) Short, random, beautiful, well-written, frequent posts; all of which inspire me very, very much. 'Tis well worth your time to stop by!

November 9, 2010

The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel
Baroness Emmuska Orczy

This epic tale of a daring, Zorro-like hero - who is known only as the Scarlet Pimpernel, rescuer of dozens of innocent French nobles from the guillotine and clever evader of every attempt of capture - is one of my very, very favorites.

The story takes place during the French Revolution, so not only is it a gripping, mysterious adventure, but it also proves educational. I learned a bit about the political and social structures of England and France in those days.

The storyline is essentially as follows: Marguerite St. Just, a wealthy and seemingly flighty French lady, fled from her violent home country and to England. The news in those days told of the mysterious League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, a group of Englishmen who, for the sheer thrill and heroism of it, rescue doomed French nobility and bring them safely to England. Soon Marguerite, sought out by the French officer Chauvelin, under threat of her brother's death is forced to try to uncover the identity of the Scarlet Pimpernel, England's hero. What follows is an epic adventure.... I won't give it away to you, but let's just say it involves incriminating evidence, rescue, malicious Frenchmen, spying, disguise, and a dash of pepper. >_>

In my eyes, this book has very few flaws, but they may be enough to dissuade some uncertain readers. First and quite noticeably, the beginning is slow. I admit that the first few chapters are hard to get through. But intrigue and peril are quickly sewn into the plot, and by the end I was every bit as gripped by this classic as by any modern adventure. Another downside, a bit more grave, would be the minor but frequent language. The words are not strong but idly and often used. However, it is free, as I recall, from inappropriate content.

As for the upsides: thrilling plot. A deliciously despicable villain. A dashing, admirable hero. Clever escapes. Good morals. Heroism and loyalty. It's a small book, and once beyond the first few chapters 'tis very easy to get through.

I highly recommend 'The Scarlet Pimpernel.' This is, methinks, one of my top ten favorite books.

(I don't understand copyright laws. Just in case, the picture of the Scarlet Pimpernel flower was found on and the book cover was on

November 6, 2010

Sherlock Holmes

An entertaining story I read at the end of the astronomy section of a science book:

Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion Dr. Watson go on a camping trip. They find a beautiful spot and set up their tent. After a full day of enjoying nature, they go into their tent and fall asleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes Dr. Watson and says, "Look up at the sky and tell me what you see." Watson was awestruck. After a moment, he says, "I see countless stars." Mr. Holmes replies, "What does that tell you?" Watson considers for a moment and says, "It tells me that the universe is vast, and it will probably take us several lifetimes to gain even a small amount of understanding as to how it functions and what our place is in it." Mr. Holmes asks, "Anything else?" Mr. Watson thinks for a moment and says, "Based on the position of the stars, I would say it is approximately two o'clock in the morning." Once again, Mr. Holmes asks, "Anything else?" Desperate now, Watson replies, "Because the sky is so clear, we will probably have a beautiful day tomorrow." Once again, Mr. Holmes asks, "Anything else?" Frustrated, Mr. Watson says, "I can't think of anything else. What does it tell you?" Holmes is silent for a moment and then says, "Elementary, my dear Watson. Someone has stolen our tent."

- Exploring Creation with Physical Science, Dr. Jay Wile

November 1, 2010

Book Giveaway

The illustrious Millard is giving away a book! And not just any common novel, but one he described with the most glowing praise I have, I believe, ever before (or since) heard him attribute to any book. I have been quite eager to read it and I assume you are too.

In case you can't tell from the picture at left (which I found on the book is entitled "Beyond the Reflection's Edge" and is written by Bryan Davis.

If you'd care to take a shot at getting a free copy of this book, I direct thee hither:

And speaking of NaNoWriMo, my tale has reached 843 words, about half of today's required quota. I shall be bolstering that number throughout the night. Thus far the story has included the following three elements: a cherry tree, sheep, and slavers.

It's been a good start. :D


October 31, 2010

Yard Sale

A few weeks ago our community had its biannual Yard Sale, in which dozens of families pulled out their folding tables and displayed their unwanted possessions in their front yards for all to see and bargain for. Happily we kids and Dad piled into our van that morning and meandered all over the neighborhood, coming home with many treasures cheaply obtained.

The spoils included:
  • A clock for Hark and the Golux
  • A bag of assorted ribbons
  • Eragon
  • A big sword. :D
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • A cookbook
  • A birdhouse kit
  • A Coke
  • Five candles
  • A chess set
  • Two books for Dad (something about the history of America, I believe...)
  • Pokemon cards
  • Pokemon toys
  • A wooden display case
  • A bug/amphibian cage

My personal purchases, shown above, are the marble chess set (handmade in Mexico, apparently. Sting still has not accepted my challenge to play a game with it...) the candles, and Alice In Wonderland. 'Twas a good day!

As many of you know, NaNoWriMo (shorthand for National Novel Writer's Month, in which a bunch of crazy writers all attempt to each write a 50,000 word novel in during the month of November) is approaching. Soon. As in, tommorrow. >_> Or on my part of the globe, in two hours. *excitement* This should be great fun.

Over and out,

October 28, 2010


"Never alone."
- The Door Within

"Tell a man he is brave, and you help him become so."
- Thomas Carlyle

"The human race is a race of cowards, and I am not only marching in that procession but carrying a banner."
- Mark Twain

"When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Keep calm and carry on."
- British saying

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear."
- Mark Twain

Jelly Bean - 2

Sizzling Cinnamon

The spicy sugar of the crust, combined with the fiercely cinnamon jelly underneath. These greatly invigorate one's tongue with the hot bite of spice.

image from
For any who wonder: this is not a paid advertisement. :)

October 20, 2010

Tribe Party

I am sorry for the delay in posting this! There were some technical difficulties involving the photos, and I needed to publish them and my account together. I simply had to. >_> To release them separately would be like peanut butter without jelly. Calvin without Hobbes. A milkshake without wood chips. ;)

Thank you for your patience. Here is my account.


Once upon a time, there was an elf. A fickle and often-prone-to-rapier-warfare sort of elf, but she had become good friends with several others of her kind and conversed with them frequently in a magical place called the Underground.

One day, as she was skipping through the forest, there was a contest, and she joined a tribe, and worked for months, and wrote many reviews, and put up posters, and had embarrassing conversations with librarians. Her tribe fought valiantly in the contest but didn't win, and so they didn't get to choose the location of the prize: a booksigning party attended by the two authors who started this contest. However, the victorious tribe did, and they selected Champaign, Illinois.... *cue fateful music*

All right, if you're not an Undergroundian elf, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. It's a long story. Suffice to say that I participated in a contest, talked online with a lot of really cool people who called each other "elves," and as a result of the contest a booksigning was planned in Illinois, and I was able to attend, along with many other elves.

Sitting in the hotel, a half hour before the party began, Hark, the Golux, and I ate ham sandwiches for courage and bounced up and down on the beds, giddy with excitement. I had never before come even close to spending so much worry and care over my appearance, as this could possibly be the one chance I would ever see these elves in person.

When the time came to depart, we paraded into the van and sailed triumphantly towards the bookstore - then turned around and came back because I forgot something. :) I retrieved it and we ventured boldly forth to our destination, where we spotted a book table being set up. I and my siblings - my parents were roaming about close by - crept towards the table and peered around a shelf. Several rows of chairs were set up and in front of them, the two famed authors, Christopher Hopper and Wayne Thomas Batson, were working on laptops.

I timidly led my siblings into the back row, where we stared with huge, nervous grins at everyone. Two rows ahead, I spotted the first person I could identify with confidence: Millard. He was wearing a blue shirt and holding a laptop. My brother and sisters kept whispering, "Do you recognize anyone?" I grinned and whispered back, "The one in the blue shirt is Millard, and I think the guy in the brown shirt next to him is Silver Angel." The word was excitedly passed along. My suspicions as to these two elves' identity was confirmed when I heard them called by their real names, both of which I knew beforehand.

Silver Angel got up and walked towards the back, surveying the crowd. He paused near my chair at the end of the row and I, with a nervous burst of courage, asked, "Are you Silver Angel?" He said that he was, and I introduced myself as Whisper. We shook hands and he returned to his seat. Then, to cheers and applause, the mighty Tribe Nightwing came marching in. I heard people pull up a bench and a few chairs in the row behind mine, and I turned around and saw Yodeling Dwarf. We introduced ourselves and made small talk. Sitting beside him were Christian Miles and Cson, neither of whom I recognized at the time.

I saw Leighton meet Millard and Ness sit down nearby. A girl was sitting near us and I wondered if she was Goldarrow. My chief problem with this theory was that I saw no one near her who might be Anduril, and as it turned out later, it wasn't GA anyway.

Then the party began. The authors asked who had come the farthest, and many voices suggested that Millard (from Oregon) had. "Anyone traveled farther?" Sir Hopper asked. I raised my hand and said we were from Virginia. I didn't know if that was actually geographically farther, but we drove while Millard had flown, so I figured that counted for something. :) The authors soon dueled together, debating in Scottish accents about the hairstyle (or lack thereof) of a true warrior. At one point mid-battle, while Sir Hopper consulted a young lad, Mr. Batson dashed over to our row, dropped into the empty seat beside me, and asked if I had any suggested tactics. "I have no idea," I admitted with embarrassed honesty, but Sting saved the day by leaning in and whispering to Mr. Batson, "Football style. Tackle him." Mr Batson nodded, his eyes shifty and conspiratorial, and muttered, "It just might work."

He and Mr. Hopper met and dueled once more, neither really emerging the victor. After the battle was a dramatic reading, in which Sir Batson read a piece from his upcoming "Sword in the Stars" and Mr. Hopper read a bit of tale that he had just typed the night before. :) They finished up with a live performance of their song "The Lost Ones," then thanked everyone for coming and said that they'd love to talk to us.

Now came the part I had been most looking forward to, in a nervously-dreading sort of way: meeting my fellow elves. So far, I had only met SA, but I knew that Millard, Goldarrow, Anduril, Christian Miles, Evergreena, Ness, Star-Dreamer and others were scattered somewhere in the room.

Epic. XD

I walked to the front of the room, where the laptop was broadcasting live a video to those unfortunates unable to attend the party in person. An elf was petitioning Sir Hopper for a chance for us to speak to those watchers. 'Twas there Goldarrow found me and we first met. She was nothing like I pictured (methinks my impression of her was influenced by her namesake in Curse of the Spider King) but was an extremely kind and friendly elf, just as she was on the Underground. Then I got to meet Sir Hopper, who blew me away with his enthusiastic friendliness. We talked a bit about our trip and the Underground and I asked when Athera's Dawn was coming out. "Keeneye's on life support, remember? Waiting for it to come out?" I reminded him. It took him a moment to remember the conversation I referenced (Keeneye had once on the UG made a desperate and dramatic plea for the release of Athera's Dawn) but when he did, he laughed heartily. He disclosed that he wanted to move all three of his White Lion Chronicles to a different publishing house, and when he had found one he would hopefully then publish AD. But he expressed sympathy for his poor readers who have been wallowing in the depths of curiosity and ignorance, waiting for Athera's Dawn. He said that it had been two years since the Lion Vrie came out, and he would not force his readers to wait much longer. If he couldn't find a publishing house for AD soon, he might possibly self-publish and release it online. Readers and fans of the White Lion Chronicles, take courage! He has not forgotten us!

Then I got to see Millard! I approached him and with an introduction and a handshake we had officially met. :) Then I talked to Anduril... and Christian Miles... and some more with the Yodeling Dwarf... and I met Cottia.... and Ness... and Evergreena... and talked more with Silver Angel... and more GA... and more Millard... and Ness again...

I got the signatures of both kind authors and also those of many other elves. I got to hear Leighton play the bagpipes, Ness the fiddle, and Adele the Irish pennywhistle (or so I've been told it's called) and employ her lovely singing voice. We lamented that Macey, Keeneye, and so many others could not be there. I saw a lovely picture Star-Dreamer had drawn of Batson's character Anne Ross. I was present when Hark - under the instruction of Sir Hopper - revealed to a few elves gathered around the identity of the mysterious Undergroundian named X. (And sorry, can't tell you. Been sworn to secrecy.) ;) I got to speak with Mr. Batson about his pirate books (my favorite of his works) and he mentioned the vague possibility of a third one. *hopes*

Then, once outside, there were some epic duels between some epic elves with duct-tape swords.

Afterwards, several of us drove to Culver's (GA, Anduril, Cson, SA, Millard, myself, and our families, to be precise) where we ate salads and hot dogs and ice cream and talked. Much talk.

Millard had a leftover chicken strip, and SA made history by being the first person ever to write "pie" on a chicken strip with a permanent marker (if you follow the Flikr link at the bottom you can find a video of the momentous occasion), and then GA also made history by being the first person to eat such a chicken strip. It was here at Culvers I met the legendary Cson; I wish I'd had a chance to talk to him more! We elves debated Storyteller's gender (Hark and Millard are convinced, for some silly reason, that it's a he, while Goldarrow and I believe it's a she because ST is so secretive with his/her/its identity and shows care in word usage.) SA doodled frog faces and "pie" all through his notebook and various other pieces of paper he got his hands on. Then Cson left (*weeps*), we talked a bit more, took a group picture, and then stormed Millard's hotel.

There, the card games began. With Twizzlers supplied by the ever-thoughtful Goldarrow, we alternated between playing various card games with one another and checking up on the Underground. Spoons was tense, the Golux was ruthless in I Doubt It, and Millard and Anduril were Kings of Slapjack. As 'twas getting late, the Golux and Hark went home with my Dad to our hotel.

Then came what was, perhaps, my favorite part of the whole trip.

The Elves turned Ninja. >:)

Out in the chilly night air of the hotel parking lot, GA, Anduril, Millard, Shadow, SA, Sting, and I dueled one another in several epic rounds of ninja. Funfunfun. I tried to take a video of some of the battles but then... my camera died. >_>

After Ninja we trotted back inside, where Millard's dad had been kindly guarding our laptops and various other expensive electronic devices for us in our absence (thank you, Mr. Millard!). We talked for a few more precious minutes, and then - woe! - my Dad came to pick me and Sting up. We exchanged final farewells, hugs, and handshakes, then my Dad, Sting, and I went outside, with encouraging cries of "Always hope!" and "Endurance and Victory!" ringing in our ears.

As we stepped outside, the kind elves followed us for a last farewell. I clambered into the passenger's seat and, as we pulled out of the hotel driveway, was able to wave a final goodbye to those splendid elves. (Though as it turns out, for two of them, this was not the very last goodbye.) >_>

That night in the dark hotel room I spent a while on the laptop, sadly visiting the Underground and thinking about all the splendid elves.... 'twas fitfully I slept. Then the next morning, while eating our breakfast in the hotel, we received a final, happy surprise: Millard and Silver Angel jogged over to our hotel for a last farewell! 'Twas so very kind of them. :) After they'd left and we'd crawled gloomily back into our van to begin the very long drive home, we found a note in our car window. It was from SA and Millard, and it wished us well on our drive home.

I looked at it for a long, sad, grateful time during the drive back. What a marvelous privilege it was to meet all those great elves!

Well, that's about all of my side of the tale, and not nearly as well-told as several other witness to the great Gathering of the Elves. If you'd care to read some more entertaining accounts than mine:

Millard's -

Silver Angel's - (see also part 1)

And, to any who'd care to see a more complete collection of pictures of the event, I direct you here.

UPDATED - Now you can also see Goldarrow's pictures of the party! To laugh and cry all over again, click here.

To any who took the time to read this, thank you. To any who I met at the Tribe Party, it was wonderful to see you. To any who couldn't go (Jake, Macey, Squeaks, Vrenith, Eagles' Wings, Keeneye, Seth, Storyteller, AB, Madeline, and so many others), know that I hope very much to see you all at the next one!


September 25, 2010

The Rhyme of the Chivalrous Shark

"Most chivalrous fish of the ocean
To ladies forbearing and mild,
Though his record be dark,
Is the man-eating shark,
Who will eat neither woman nor child.

He dines upon seamen and skippers,
And tourists his hunger assuage,
And a fresh cabin boy
Will inspire him with joy
If he's past the maturity age.

A doctor, a lawyer, a preacher,
He'll gobble one any fine day,
But the ladies, God bless 'em,
He'll only address 'em
Politely and go on his way.

I can readily cite you an instance
Where a lovely young lady of Breem,
Who was tender and sweet,
And delicious to eat,
Fell into the bay with a scream.

She struggled and flounced in the water,
And signaled in vain for her bar,
And she'd surely been drowned
If she hadn't been found
By a chivalrous man-eating shark.

He bowed in a manner most polished,
Thus soothing her impulses wild;
"Don't be frightened," he said,
"I've been properly bred
And will eat neither woman nor child."

Then he proffered his fin and she took it —
Such gallantry none can dispute —
While the passengers cheered
As the vessel they neared
And a broadside was fired in salute.

And they soon stood alongside the vessel,
When a life-saving dingy was lowered
With the pick of the crew,
And her relatives too,
And the mate and the skipper aboard.

So they took her aboard in a jiffy,
And the shark stood attention the while,
Then he raised on his flipper
And ate up the skipper
And went on his way with a smile.

And this shows that the prince of the ocean,
To ladies forbearing and mild,
Though his record be dark,
Is the man-eating shark,
Who will eat neither woman nor child."

~ Wallace Irwin


By way of announcements: first of all, I shall likely be posting of my experience at the Tribe Party soon. For those of you who have no idea what the "Tribe Party" is, you have missed out on an unprecedented epic international gathering of men and Elves (with the occasional yodeling dwarf). >_> It's a long story... I'll explain a bit later. Secondly, you might have noticed that the dates on my posts are a little....... off. That's a long story too. It should be fixed soon.

Thanks for reading!

Over and out,

September 22, 2010


William Shakespeare

Macbeth is tragic and grim but beautifully written. Though laced with occasional phrases of "adult content," methinks that, for the older reader (perhaps 13+), the marvelous writing style and clever descriptions - not to mention the strong plot - make it a worthy read for a lover of literature.

Heh, I actually read Macbeth in bed with a flashlight, so eager was I to find out "what happens next!" Methinks that indicates a level of literary geekiness that many readers do not share. :) In other words, you may not like it as much as I. However, Macbeth is fairly short, and not too difficult for the reader with the right kind of edition (melikes the helpful kind that, while giving a few pointers as to the definition of tricky Old English words and phrases, still leaves room for ambitious and curious readers to spend a few seconds mulling over some confusing lines, and then to be rewarded with a joyous spark of pride as it all becomes clear.)

From this book I gleaned:

  • A new insult - "Young fry of treachery!" - which I now shout to my brother on occasions.
  • A deeper appreciation and knowledge of Shakespeare's culture.
  • The nearly breathless experience an avid reader undergoes upon reading a gloriously written line.
  • The opportunity to feel sophisticated as I make a bulleted list on a blog post.

Villainous characters reciting their gruesome and terrible morals, witches, and "content" would elevate this to older reader's appropriate level, but those who read it carefully and with discernment can even find their faith uplifted, as I did when I read these lines that Macbeth himself recites:

"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more."

Happily, 'tis not so for we who are Christians. Indeed we often squander our lives in strutting and fretting about, but through no merit of our own, we are not destined to "be heard no more." With inexplicable kindness, God has granted us the gift of dwelling with him for eternity. Marvelous fact, no?

D-Day Speech

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have
striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The
hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts,
you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the
elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and
security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs
of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great
defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously
reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on
the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority
in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great
reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of
the world are marching together to Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill
in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this
great and noble undertaking.

SIGNED: Dwight D. Eisenhower

Given June 6, 1944

Jelly Bean - 1


This brave jelly bean tastes of hearty coffee with plenty of sugar and a bit of cream.

Image taken from
(Just in case there is any doubt, this is not a paid advertisement. I just have a queer fascination with Jelly bean flavors. >_>)

September 17, 2010

The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux
Kate DiCamillo

This story is heartwarming in a simple, fond way. It concerns Despereaux, a mouse endowed with unusual boldness and an interest in chivalry and heroism. He lives with his timid tribe of fellow mice in the castle of a heartbroken king. The land is generally a quiet and dim place, deprived of the wholesome delight of soup. Despereaux comes to make the acquaintance of the Princess Pea, to whom he courageously pledges his love and protection. This little mouse's courage is put to the test when the Princess is kidnapped, and Despereaux - armed with a a needle-sword, brave love for the Princess, and the comforting smell of soup - embarks on a quest to save her.

Methinks that the movie did not do this story justice. It twisted in magic, exaggerated the villain, and as a whole lessened the tale. It hacked a simple story - one of the pleasures of soup and love and the flaws in good people, misconceptions, and forgiveness - into a story highlighted, as our culture demands, by drama. Something of the tale was lost when the movie makers twisted a climax that revolved around a few people in a dungeon - one reveling in bitter evil, another confused and unloved, a delicate, thoughtful princess, and a tiny mouse full of heroism - to something bigger, brighter, louder, and more intense.

Sometimes a climax is not all about the tension of immediate danger. DiCamillo indeed had that in her book's climax, but it was slower and and more thought-provoking. I, for one, walked away from the book thinking, but the movie I can quickly forget.

But I digress. The little Tale of Desperaux is a worthy read to young children. Though, as aforestressed, it is a bit sad, it points to innocent love and chivalry and brightness and forgiveness. It's a bedtime story, with morals and a worthy hero and the triumph of light over darkness.

"And then, something incredible happened: The mouse fell in love.

Reader, you may ask this question; in fact, you must ask this question: Is it ridiculous for a very small, sickly, big-eared mouse to fall in love with a beautiful human princess named Pea?

The answer is... yes. Of course, it's ridiculous.

Love is ridiculous.

But love is also wonderful. And powerful. And Despereaux's love for the Princess Pea would prove, in time, to be all of these things: powerful, wonderful, and ridiculous."
- The Tale of Despereaux

Cover image found on


Abstractly beautiful!


Both pictures found on

September 16, 2010

The Fellowship of the Vuvuzela

Highly amusing. :)


"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."
- Alice Morse Earle

"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."
Mark Twain

"Men talk of killing time, while time quietly kills them."
- Dion Buicicault

"Only one life,
'Twill soon be past,
Only what's done
For Christ will last."
- Anonymous

August 18, 2010


Welcome, reader! Greetings and salutations. I am whisper, and I thank you for visiting my humble blog. I admit I am poor at writing introductions; here is my brief and feeble attempt at one:

I hope to make Jabberwocky a place of great randomness. This blog will likely become a collection of curiosities, quotes, lists, book reviews, olde English (huzzah!!!) and jelly beans. As the illustrious Lewis Carroll once said,

"'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe."