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Original Fairy Tales Challenge

If you would like to post a story in March for my Original Fairy Tales Challenge (reading an original fairy tale and then writing your own version of it or a blog post about it), I will be posting my story on March 8th. So you have just over a week to get it ready. Please join in, I love reading fairy tales!


Drabble Dienstag - Proving Herself

We did a lot of snowboarding in Colorado. I love it there.

She feels the wind biting her cheeks; her knees are shaking. Why would she ever agree to do this? She wanted to show him that she was tough, but she’s terrified. She’s never been snowboarding before. He puts his arm around her, sheltering her face from the onslaught. She makes it off the lift and buckles in. He’s already gone because he thinks she’s good at this and can keep up. She watches someone else carving the powder. Attempting to copy them, she pushes herself up and gains some speed without knowing how to stop. She falls on her ass.


Peter Pan Fever

Peter Pan and Wendy Kiss - monaco

Finding Neverland is a wonderful movie. Not only does it capture J.M. Barrie's imagination (him walking into a bedroom that is really an African plain...) but it pulls lines directly from Peter Pan. I'm kind of in a frenzy over the whole thing right now. I finished The Complete Adventures of Peter Pan (which I enjoyed immensely) and have rewatched that most awesome movie. I'm in the process of writing my own short story based on Peter Pan and Wendy.

But in the midst of it all, my kindle died.

I'm guessing it was airport security. Hopefully I can get it replaced. But in a pinch I needed my highlights from my kindle. I downloaded the kindle app on my phone and found my highlights in just a few minutes! So now a few of my favorite quotes.

"All children, except one, grow up."

"'You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.'"

"'To die will be an awfully big adventure.'"

"'Proud and insolent youth,' said Hook, 'prepare to meet thy doom.' 'Dark and sinister man,' Peter answered, 'have at thee.'"

"'The window must always be left open for them, always, always.'"

"'Keep back, lady, no one is going to catch me and make me a man.'"

Of course a lot of those are simply timeless and everyone's favorites. Pan is such a saucy little creature. He is definitely not human, that much is for sure.


My Kindle is Broken!

I need to write a blog post for tomorrow, but I'm kind of in crisis right now. I put my kindle in my bag for the trip back to Germany and just now took it out. The screen is all funky and it won't turn on. Help!


Portrait Photos of My Nieces - Squeaker and Bella

My nieces are the cutest things in the world. Sam (Squeaker) is three and the most articulate person I know. She does not say 'farted,' she is not that impolite; she says, "Excuse me I flatulated." (Considering that is her parents just being awesome, but she says it very clearly.) Ella Bella, the youngest, is always smiley, but she kept turning away from my camera. They were both difficult to catch since Sam was fast and Ella was shy. It was just too much fun running after them all morning.

Now I realize these are all vertical. I have some horizontal but I definitely need to vary my camera angle some more.


Books I Read in 2011

I read 94 books in 2011. Since that is quite a bit more than last year (59) I don't think I'll list out for you every book I read. I have this handy image from Goodreads and if you want to see more about my reviews you can friend me there!

My only 5-star rating was for Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. If you want to read some of my reviews, click the Book Reviews button to the right.


Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie - Original Fairy Tales Challenge

I am reading the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie so I can write a fan fiction short story based on the fairy tale. You can still join my challenge. I'm going to be reading and writing stories about three different fairy tales.

Peter Pan

J.M. Barrie has an amazing sense of what makes a person smile. He was truly Peter Pan at heart, never having grown up. His imagination flits around like Tinker Bell, and he must have childhood caught in a jar.

I have a first draft of my short story. I will post it in March. Which original fairy tale is your favorite?


Guest Post: Hanna My Writerly Friend

I have a guest post today! In my travels back home I stopped in Oklahoma to visit a blogger friend of mine, Hanna from I'll Name My Typewriter After the Moon. We had a spontaneous writer's retreat. She explains it way better than I ever could so I will turn it over to her.

Hanna and Amie at Hanna's morning writing spot and the crazy Ophelia.

The internet is a strange and wonderful thing. When Amie sent me a brief message on blogger a year and a half ago wondering if I would want to swap writing critiques sometime, I never dreamed that she would eventually be sitting in my living room asking me to write a guest post on her blog. Why? Because I live in Oklahoma, and she lives in Germany, and those two places don’t intersect much.

But such is the mysterious magic of the internet—and the kindred pull of books—that complete strangers can form lasting friendships across great distances. I was thrilled to have Amie come visit this weekend for myriad reasons, but especially because it meant we could at long last sit and talk about books and writing in person.

If you are a writer, you know how it is. Your family and most of your closest friends know about your writing—possibly they even venture to ask you about it every so often because they sense how important it is to you—but rarely does someone actually satisfy the secret itch you feel to talk about it… to be understood. Anyone who does not bear the burden of stories (or a similar art) themselves must always struggle to comprehend the strange ache of those who, because it is not an easy thing to understand. Even I am often baffled by the force that pushes me out of bed in the morning and steers me to my computer: why would any sane person give up precious hours of much-needed sleep just to put words on a page?

But other writers do understand.

Amie and I answered several “So what are you going to do this weekend?” queries with laughter, because the honest truth was, “We’re going to write and read.” To those who asked, this answer was inconceivable. Amie’s husband Albert said, “You’re going all the way to Oklahoma just to do what you always do?” And though she was—and indeed, we often did just that—there was something about doing those things in the company of another writer that made the ordinary tip-tapping of the keys feel something like a party. And I think I’ve figured out why.

You see, writers are usually quite solitary by nature, and even if they’re not, the act of writing tends to demand solitude. You can’t exactly bring other people along with you into your imagination, after all. And even if you like to be alone, the longsolo journey can take its toll after a time. But when you write alongside someone else who shares your passion for words and stories, it’s almost as though you can, for a short time, have a companion on the adventure; a friend to walk with you along the endless, winding path of your art, and share both your burden and your joy for the brief period you are walking in tandem. The result is both refreshing and reassuring, because it reminds you that you are not alone. That even if you must forge through the underbrush of your own imagination unaided, there are others out there hacking through similar jungles and experiencing the same kinds of successes and failures as you are… and one of them is only as far as the next couch.

And when the alarm goes off after fifteen minutes of word-count sprinting, you can look up at your friend, grin broadly and say, “Swap!”

The crazy and awesome Ophelia.


The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler - Book Review

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler is about knowing what will come and how Emma and Josh react to that knowledge. In 1996 they sign onto AOL and are prompted to log in again, but what they log in to is Facebook, fifteen years in the future. There’s some sort of time warp and Emma’s Facebook login is still the same. Emma takes the information and tries to change her future – the butterfly effect. Josh just wants to flow with the current and let his future happen as it is.

The first few chapters are a little overwhelming with the constant mention of Dave Matthews, Toy Story, AOL, and all the other 1996-ish things. I felt like a mole getting wacked over the head.

I found Emma to be a shallow character. But I also found that she had the most growth. She had a true catharsis by the end where Josh had a slight realization. The premise is amazing, and I think the authors did a great job of making it seem normal. There was nothing too drastic; that I love. They didn’t bring science into it because the idea was too unexplainable so they left it as a phenomenon and let the characters make the story. Their voices were very distinct and recognizable. Granted, it’s two different authors, but still, the flow of the story and the flipping of characters each chapter was smooth and unhindering.

The ending, oh the ending; it was simple, natural, easy, and wonderful. There was no big bang or open ending. It simply ended.