Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Did It!!

Yesterday, at approximately 10:30 p.m., I, a first-time NaNo-er, wrote my 50,060th word, pressed "validate my novel", and...
won NaNoWriMo.

It's been an amazing journey.  I've fallen behind, I've gotten ahead, I've been in the depths of despair (and moaned about it to my friends; sorry, Eowyn ;)), I've soared on the heights of joy...okay, enough. ;P  But I've kept writing.  A few times I've stopped, and only written a hundred words or so, several times I was gone the whole day and unable to write, but I kept going and I'm really thrilled that I was able to do this.
It was a very last-minute decision; I signed up on the very last day possible, wrote out a hurried outline, and began to write.  A chapter each day.
It was hard, stressful, and tiring.  It was also exhilarating, enjoyable, and all-around amazing. 
And I'm definitely going to do it next year.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I've Been Tagged!

The lovely Elizabethany over at An Accomplished Young Lady gave me the Friends Award, so I'm filling out the tag!  It's a new one and it looks quite fun. :)


1. Let your tagger know that you received notification.

2. Post the award picture and rules to your blog,

and answer your tagger's five questions.

3. Tag five blogger-friends, but at least ONE OF THEM



4. Give them five questions and notify them that you have tagged them.

5. (Optional Rule: Give your readers a friendship quote at the

end of your tag post : )

[P.S. You may tag group-bloggers]

The Questions

1. What is your favourite colour?

2. What food would you never eat and why?

3. Do you have a favourite place to meet with your friends?

4. What do you and your friends like doing together?

5. How do you greet your friends every time you meet them? What about on Blogger?

My Answers:

1. Umm...probably red, like the blood of angry men.  I also like silver, purple, indigo (yes, there is a difference...), and bronze.  

 2. Um...monkey brains?  I don't know.  I'm willing to try a lot of new foods, so it would have to be something pretty weird.

3. Church, probably.

4. Fangirling. :P  Having Deep Conversations, silly debates, playing games that make us howl with laughter...that sort of thing. ;)

5. Mostly with a resounding, "Heyyyy!"  Or a simple, "Hi" if I'm tired.  Or sometimes, I just dive right in. ;)

My Questions:
1. Do you like coffee plain or with sweetener?  Or do you not like it at all?
2. Name two of your favorite historical hero/heroines.
3. Who do you prefer: Enjolras or Sir Percy?
4. What's one "go-to" Bible verse you have?
5. If you could enter into the world of one story and have the villain capture you, the hero rescue you, and the heroine give you her wardrobe, which story would you choose?

The Five Friends I'm Tagging:

And the friendship quote:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Amazing Grace: A Review

Last Saturday, my dad, my sister and I watched Amazing Grace, so today I'm writing a review of it.  My titles are so original, aren't they? ;P
Anyway.  I love this movie--it's now one of my favorites--, so please excuse any enthusiastic, incoherent ramblings on my part. ;)
I first heard of Amazing Grace through Romola Garai.  I had loved her performance in Emma'09, and was curious about other roles she may have played, and I found out about AG.  My dad had heard it enthusiastically recommended by several people, and so we attempted to watch it.  It took us three tries (times we checked it out of the library but had to return it because we ran out of time), but finally we watched it.
I LOVED IT.  This may be one of the very best movies I have ever watched, and it's definitely one of my favorites.
Despite its title, the movie does not revolve around John Newton (although he does make several appearances).  Instead, it's about William Wilberforce ("Wilber") and his fight to abolish the slave trade.
Ioan Gruffudd (pronounced Yo-an Griffith, I think; he's Welsh) stars as Wilber.  He really doesn't look much like the actual Wilberforce (who was short and actually looks more like Benedict Cumberbatch, IMO), but he has everything else to a T.  The charismatic, witty, charming side of Wilberforce is shown, as well as the faith and, later, his bitterness and defeat.
The movie actually starts out with Wilberforce, in ill health and nearly cynical, fifteen years after he started his abolition movement.  It then tells the story of his attempts to abolish the slave trade through flashbacks, and then goes on with the story. This actor played each part perfectly and believably, which really impressed me.  In case you couldn't tell. ;)

Ah, Romola Garai.  The whole reason I wanted to watch this movie in the first place.  Even after I decided that I liked this movie (which was very early on), I was curious about how Romola Garai was going to do.
She blew me away.  She plays Barbara Spooner (later Wilberforce), and I really loved the saucy wit and yet compassionate understanding that she put into the character. (Rather like Emma...although, strange coincidence, this time she's having a match made for her, rather than making one for others.  The tables have been turned. ;P)  She didn't get much screen time, but she stole the show when she did, and her romance with Wilber was so gorgeous.  As was her wedding. *siiiiiiiigh*
And I want her hair.  Also her dresses.  Also her hat.  And I really wouldn't mind living in that time period either...

On my first viewing of this, I honestly had no idea who Benedict Cumberbatch was playing.  I didn't even know that it was Benedict Cumberbatch.  However, that changed on my second watching; I watched the credits and listened to the conversations (and did some research), and quickly found out
who he was.  He was quite interesting as William Pitt the younger.  His close friendship with Wilberforce was shown, as were his political ambitions and growing uneasiness about Wilber's cause.  Again, he played the character to perfection.

I was pretty much jumping up and down throughout the beginning credits because there were so many period drama actors I recognized.  There was Romola Garai, of course, but there were also Ciaran Hinds (Captain Wentworth in Persuasion 1995, among other things) and Michael Gambon.  When I saw his name, I just said, "SQUEEP EMMA'S FATHER IS IN THIS IT'S SO PERFECT."
Which pretty much sums up my feelings on the matter.  He plays Lord Fox (who is not in the habit of putting other politicians in the stocks...sorry, I couldn't resist.  You'll get this if you've seen the movie. ;)), one of Pitt's and Wilberforce's biggest political enemies.  This is actually not accurate, as the real Fox was dead before the abolition movement succeeded, but I honestly didn't care that much.  Michael Gambon just brought the character to life and I, as usual, was impressed.

Albert Finney was the other older star who has been much remarked on.  He plays John Newton with incredible power and faith, and I loved the scenes between him and Wilberforce (which, sadly, are the
only scenes he appears in). 

 Rufus Sewell and Youssou N'Dour were a dynamic duo as Thomas Clarkson and Olaudah Equiano, respectively.  In the movie, the two convinced Wilberforce to fight for the abolition of the slave trade.  I don't think that this was what actually happened in history, but I found it to be very moving anyway.  Neither got very much screen time, but they managed to pack an incredible amount of meaning and personality into the scenes they were in.

 The other "dynamic duo", composed of Ciaran Hinds as Lord Tarleton and Toby Jones as the Duke of Clarence, was not as pleasant.  Lord Tarleton was imposing and threatening, but the Duke of Clarence got on my nerves. (He has no compassion for them, either. ;D)  They were quite good as antagonists, and again, they did a great job.


Content: Despite the PG rating, it does have some disturbing images/scenes about slavery, and I would not advise this for younger kids.

In case you hadn't guessed already, this movie is one of my favorites ever.  It was fabulous, gorgeous and amazing (and it had fabulous, gorgeous and amazing costumes to boot!) in almost every way.  There were some historical inaccuracies, predictably, but the main spirit came across admirably and I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a lovely, inspiring movie.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Unexpected Announcement

When Eowyn and Miss Jane first began emailing in September, it didn't take them long to discover that they were both huge Lord of the Rings fans.  What with much squealing about FARAMIR and counting down the days till The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug came out, a large portion of their emails became LotR-themed.

(Okay, we're going to stop talking about ourselves in third-person now. We're sure you know who we are!)

Then, one of us-- we aren't sure who-- suggested that we hold a LotR blog party. We were both tremendously enthusiastic about the idea, so we began to plan one. In spite of several roadblocks (including school, work, spotty internet, and NaNo), it all began to take shape, and today, we are thrilled to announce that we will be holding a LotR blog party in a little less than a month!

It will take place from December 9th through the 13th. (And, yes, we did chose this week because of Desolation of Smaug, among other things!) We have lots of exciting things planned – including guest posts and a giveaway – and anyone and everyone is welcome to join in! It'll be held at both of our blogs. We do hope that you'll attend!

If you want to spread the word, you can take any of these blog buttons and place them on your sidebar.

Classic Ramblings

Classic Ramblings

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Classic Ramblings

Classic Ramblings

More information will be coming as the event approaches. In the meantime, as neither of us can resist a good Les Mis quote:

Thirty more dawns! One more month! ONE MONTH MORE!!!”

Well, okay, so maybe it wasn't perfect. But it works. ; D

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Guest Post!

I have already mentioned on this blog that Eva is doing a Robin Hood Week on her blog, Ramblings of a Janeite.  And today, I'm doing a guest post!  It involves this guy, 'cause I love him:
Also this awesome hen:
...I think you get the picture. ;)  My post is here.
-Miss Jane Bennet

Friday, November 1, 2013

Robin Hood Week Tag!

The lovely Eva over at Ramblings of a Janeite is holding a Robin Hood Week from November 1-8.  Being an ardent fan of Robin Hood, I am participating, so here's the tag!
  • How where you introduced to the story/character of Robin Hood?
 Through the animated version, when I was about seven.  Then I read the Howard Pyle book when I was in fourth grade, and now I'm watching the BBC series.
  • What's your favorite book or film adaption of Robin Hood?
The animated version, hands down.  I love the wit, the characters, the way it perfectly captures the spirit of Robin Hood, the romance...okay, I'll stop. :P

  • What's your favorite Robin Hood story or legend?
Um.  This one's a hard one!  I guess I'd have to say...the ending story of the Howard Pyle book, because it's so sad and bittersweet and heartbreaking and amazing.  It makes me cry every single time.  
  • Who's your favorite character?
Yes!  An easy one!  Definitely Will Scarlet.  Robin Hood would come in second, because he's awesome.

  • Who's your least favorite character?
It depends which version you're talking about.  From the Howard Pyle version, definitely Guy of Gisbourne.  If you mean the animated version, the Sheriff.  If it's the BBC version, the Sheriff of Nottingham wins again. ;)
  • What was the last Robin Hood-related thing you watched/read?
The last?  Actually, the animated movie.  I rewatched it recently with my brothers, who had never seen it.  Predictably, they loved it.
  • What is your favorite Robin Hood-related quote?
 Haha, that's easy.  My favorite quote is from the animated version:
Robin Hood: Rob? Tsk tsk tsk. That's a naughty word. We never rob. We just sort of borrow a bit from those who can afford it.
Little John: Borrow? Boy, are we in debt.
  • How would you rate your obsession with Robin Hood from 1 to 10 (with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest)?
Um...probably an 8.  

 And that's the tag!  If you'd like to participate in Robin Hood Week or do the tag, it's all here.
-Miss Jane Bennet