Friday, September 24, 2010

Recent Lantern Hollow Blog Posts

Yesterday was my day to post on the Lantern Hollow Press blogs again. If you're interested, click on any of the links below to read what happens when Stephanie writes under duress at an insanely late hour (following a day of too much reading and a migraine):

While We're Paused -- Jasper's fans will be happy to note that I wrote my entire post for the official Lantern Hollow blog on him this time around. It's not easy writing with Jasper lurking about; click the link to read about some of his recent disruptive hijinks.

The Characters of Lantern Hollow -- Flavia and Edric are still on the run (they will be for quite some time) and are once again not getting along. I'd say the blame is about 50/50 this time.

Dark Characters of Lantern Hollow -- Renard Breen, my enterprising, magical, and mischievous sort-of-villain, has posted again, this time detailing the fun he had with a new adhesive he created. Renard comes from an urban fantasy (set during the Depression) that I've been working on.

Well, lunch break is over, so it's time to get back to my charts and proofreading (I love my job). Cheerio!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Best Weekend

Last weekend was a model example of the perfect weekend. No kidding. And considering the tremendous stress of late and my recent emotional state, I needed it.

On Saturday morning, a group of five us girls met up at the church (only three of us attend that particular one, but it's an easy place to meet at) and headed off to gorgeous Bedford. Out by the Peaks of Otter is an adorable apple orchard and working farm where we intended to pick apples. The public picking had ended the week before, sadly, but we were still able to get loads of delicious apples from the barrels. I bought an entire peck of apples, and I have a great many happy schemes for them. We were invited to tour the farm, so we took our time strolling out in the fantastic September weather (sunny and warm), admiring the mountains in the background, petting cute animals, and generally being rather silly. One particularly friendly baby goat charged down a hill bleating at us as we went to leave, then insisted on being petted and exclaimed over by all before he would part company with us. He reminded me a bit of Jasper.

After the orchard, we drove into the town of Bedford to an adorable restaurant, The Station, where, oddly enough, I had my graduation luncheon back in 2006. The food is still as wonderful as ever, I am happy to report. We followed lunch with some shopping and sightseeing, then went back to my place for an evening of old movies. Yes, I have successfully converted not one, but ALL of my friends! Thanks to me, they are all freshly minted Myrna Loy, William Powell, Jean Arthur, Doris Day, Jack Benny, and Lionel Barrymore fans (oh, and they are steadily being introduced to a healthy diet of other legendary talents as well). I feel very proud.

On Sunday, my dear friend Rachel and I went to the new Sunday School class at our church for the first time. It was excellent, more like a group discussion than a class. I cannot wait for the next one! The service, as always, was meaningful and pertinent. Afterwards, I spoke to our priest about my desire to join the church as a member, and was heartily welcomed. I'm hoping to be able to be confirmed when the bishop visits in October. (I'll post about my switch in churches later, as longtime readers may be curious by the obvious departure from my previous church experience.)

After church, Rachel and I prepared a wonderful high tea and spent the rest of the day delighting in Jane Austen (we watched Persuasion) and reading for class, while sipping properly prepared tea, dainty sandwiches, and delicious hot scones with clotted cream and lemon curd. I have seldom had a weekend that so thoroughly distracted me during a time of difficulty. It was almost medicinal for me, and I found myself greeting the new week with much greater strength than I had hoped for.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chaucer and Sondheim on a Friday Morning

"We little know the things for which we pray." ~ Chaucer

Maybe I'm odd (maybe?), but I've always liked Chaucer. I read The Canterbury Tales in high school, and found them enchanting. So I love it when a Chaucer quote pops up on my homepage; it's sort of like getting a morning greeting from an old chum. Today, perhaps owing to my pensive mood, Chaucer made me start thinking. The soundtrack from “Into the Woods” made me start thinking even more.

Anyone who has seen "Into the Woods" can probably remember the rather haunting song from the second act, “Children Will Listen.” The part of the song that has always stood out to me is where the witch sings

“Careful the wish you make
Wishes are children
Careful the path they take
Wishes come true, not free
Careful the spell you cast
Not just on children
Sometimes the spell may last
Past what you can see
And turn against you
Careful the tale you tell
That is the spell”

My thoughts led me in the direction of unanswered prayers, and what would have happened had they been answered the way I wanted originally. I don’t care to go into particulars here, but in every instance, I would have come out so much the worse. The consequences for getting what I wanted would never have been worth the pleasure of getting what I wanted. Who’d have thought? – I really don’t know what’s best for me. God does.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Podcast, Blogs, and Articles, Oh My!

Let me be the first to say, starting a publishing press is a lot of work. But, the work is it's own reward. I'm writing now at a rate I've never before accomplished, my writing is undergoing a great deal of polishing that seems to be trickling down even into my book reviews, and I have never before felt so much like a pioneer! Lantern Hollow Press is now up to three blogs, which we update DAILY. We have our Writers' Blog, where we post articles that in some way pertain to reading or writing, our Character Blog, where the heroes and comic characters from our stories roam free and interact, and our Dark Character Blog, where our evil characters have set up their own forum.

Since it was my day for posting today, I wrote as my heroine, Flavia Shanahan (click HERE to read the post) and as one of my villains, Alicia Fenn (click HERE to read the post). In addition, I also wrote a lengthy article on the importance of Giving Characters a History (click HERE to read the post). And, I also managed to get podcasts recorded for Alicia's blog post and the article.

If you want to imagine something hilarious, imagine me trying to do a podcast as my exceedingly evil character. Brian suggested that I should make her sound sultry; I pointed out to him that I am a Liberty grad (sultriness isn't part of ANY of the programs). On my own last night, I practiced every voice imaginable trying to get her to sound right. I went from sounding like a chain smoker to sounding like someone with indigestion, to sounding like a wino. Finally, I hit upon a voice that seemed right. It thoroughly creeped me out to listen to the podcast afterward though, as Alicia sounds so completely unlike me (in fact, I'm a bit disturbed at just how evil I've made her).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Odd Side Effects

I saw a doctor a few weeks ago about the possibility of trying out something other than Vicodin to handle my migraines. He put me on a nightly pill to attempt to ward the wretched things off (which, sadly, has yet to make a difference) and a new medication that is ingested through a nasal pump. It took Walmart two weeks to finally get the drug in, so I was not able to pick it up until today.

It's probably just as well. I've had five migraines in the past two weeks, so I definitely would have used this drug if I had had it then. And that could have been disastrous for my academic career. Among the many potential side effects (dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, etc.) is listed one side effect that made me do a double-take: pregnancy.

Anyone else think the pharmacy made a little typo?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Grad Student's Prayer

Now I sit me down to write;
Looks like I'll be up all night.
I've got to read this giant book
(Or fake it so that's how it looks),
And then write a book review,
Pointing out which points are true.
And so dear Savior, Lord of me,
Help these watering eyes to see
The thesis of this monograph --
Oh, intercede on my behalf!
Make my analysis astute,
Bless me with undeserved repute.
Help me analyze each source --
Oh, God, just let me pass this course!
"Passage—immediate passage! the blood burns in my veins! Away, O soul! hoist instantly the anchor!
Cut the hawsers—haul out—shake out every sail!
Have we not stood here like trees in the ground long enough?
Have we not grovell’d here long enough, eating and drinking like mere brutes?
Have we not darken’d and dazed ourselves with books long enough?

Sail forth! steer for the deep waters only!
Reckless, O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me;
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go, And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.

O my brave soul!
O farther, farther sail!
O daring joy, but safe! Are they not all the seas of God?
O farther, farther, farther sail!"

~Walt Whitman, "Passage to India"