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