Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Try not to start a war before I get home. You know what it does to the traffic."

So with one thing and another (and a best friend dropping in unexpectedly) I never posted the I'd Like to Share list for October.  Abject apologies.  We'll be having a Double Dose (such a dose, old woman, such a dose!), featuring all the nominated posts from September AND all the posts you've nominated this month.  Well, actually, I'm the only one who's nominated anything so far this month.  So please do go ahead and nominate your favorite posts for this month!  (Don't worry if you already nominated something back in September-- you can still nominate another one for this time.  It's not your fault that I dropped the ball earlier this month, haha.)

Looking forward to your posts!  Don't forget to leave the links in the comments on the I'd Like to Share page, and remember to mention which category you're nominating the post for.  (Yeah, yeah, preposition at the end of a sentence.  I'm only human.)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Very Happy Un-iversary

Melody and me, performing a complicated dance routine known as Let's Cross
Arms and Clasp Hands and Look Coordinated For a Picture.

So I'm really, really late with my post commemorating three years of blogging.

In fact, it has now been three years and three weeks and two days.  If anyone's counting.  Which I bet you weren't.  But if you're one of those people who wants accuracy at all times, it's been three years and three weeks and two days.

That's a little less than one-sixth of my life, which when you think about it is a pretty significant figure.  As long as you ignore the fact that I'm only nineteen and hopefully have a lot more years ahead of me.   

The point is that I've been blogging for rather a while now, and it's become rather a big part of my life, and you've all probably noticed by now that I tend to overuse the word "rather."

Belle, me and Ally posing against a February-snowy backdrop

In the past I've written a blog post commemorating each anniversary (here and here) and of course if you want to see the original First Post I Ever Wrote On This Blog, you can go here.   This year I was at somewhat of a loss as to what I should write about.  I thought about sharing my favorite posts and whatnot of the last year, but then decided that was better suited to New Year's.  I thought about sharing stats, but though we're currently clocking in at 405 followers (WHAAAAAAAT) and about 477,000 pageviews at the time of this writing, with "Defending Mr. Darcy" STILL the most popular post of all time, there isn't really enough information in the stats to make for a worthwhile anniversary post.  Plus, it would be boring.  

So I thought and thought and took a few breaks to rest my brain because thinking is hard work, y'all, and thought some more and took a few more breaks, and finally decided to kinda-sorta copy my post from last year, but not really because I'm taking the same topic in a different direction.  Last year I talked about friendships and all the lovely people I'd met through blogging and how much fun it was, and blah blah blah.  Today I want to dig a little deeper and talk about how much my life has changed through the friends I've met through blogging.

Petie and me, getting our drama on
When I clicked "create blog" on my brand-new dashboard on that Monday morning in 2011, it was with some trepidation.  I could see the possibility of several scenarios unfolding-- one was that no one would read this new blog, because after all I didn't have any friends who wrote about this kind of thing.  Another was that a few people here and there might read it, but wouldn't like it, and I'd be so embarrassed that I'd have to take it down.  (This was part of the reason for my initial pseudonym and extra-special-care not to reveal anything about myself in case the Internet decided to hate me.  That, and privacy and caution and all the jazz that goes along with it.)  Yet another was that a few people might decide they liked what I had to say, and would follow my blog, and would leave comments and say friendly things, and maybe I'd become friends of a sort with some of them, or pen pals even.  I had a couple of daydreams about how cool it would be if I "met" some girl from Australia or something and we got to know each other well enough to talk on the phone, and then I'd get to listen to her really cool accent.  (Yes.  I'm shallow and I like people with interesting accents.)

None of these things happened.  Obviously.

Melody and me, telling all our most appalling secrets

The closest real life came to my imaginings is depicted in the third scenario.  That is to say, people found my blog (generally after I found theirs and left comments, and they'd come along to take a look at mine because they were nice that way), and they left comments and said friendly things, and I did the same on theirs, and before you knew it, I was actually emailing some of them (Melody, to begin with, and others soon after) and then bam, one day I realized I wasn't thinking of these people as "blogging friends," but just... you know... friends.

And at the risk of sounding cheesy, my life opened up in a way I never could have dreamed of.  Because of the friends I've made through blogging, I've come to understand what it means to meet a really-truly kindred spirit.  (Not to say I haven't met kindred spirits outside of blogging.  Because I have.  Heehee.)  I've been incredibly blessed with have the opportunity to travel around the United States and visit some of the people who've become very special to me (and have some of them come and see me, in turn).  I've been introduced to so many books and movies and music and recipes and games and who knows what-all.  I have so many more memories to cherish today than I did three years ago-- so many inside jokes, so many remember-when's, so many emails and letters and postcards and birthday cards to remind me of good times past.  I've gotten so close to people who used to be random strangers on the Internet (okay, that sounds creepier than it is...) and I never could have imagined that, three years and three weeks and two days ago.

With Emma, Alex, Addy, Belle and Ally, at the end of a cutthroat, late-night,
beyond-crazy Apples to Apples tournament.

A lot has happened in three years.  (And three weeks, and two days... yeah, I'm just gonna say three years from here on out.)  It wouldn't be quite accurate to say I'm a different person now that I was then (um, hello, I'm still me) but I definitely feel like I've changed.  I mean, duh, I'm three years older, and there IS a difference between 16 and 19 (I actually look YOUNGER in pictures from 2011... WHAT IS THIS PHENOMENON).  Obviously I'm not the only one who's changed-- since I started blogging, a great many new faces have joined the scene, and others who used to be regulars have sort of faded out of the posting habit.  Interests and tastes have developed and evolved over time, and I guarantee that if you look at the posts of anyone who was writing three years ago (and still going today) you'll see a lot of differences-- in style, topics, maybe even opinions.  

I've never liked change.  Not much, anyway.  I like things to stay the way they always were.  I look back on memories with a lot of bittersweet nostalgia.  I don't like to think about how the past is in the past and can't be un-past.  (Wait, that makes no sense...)  I was reminiscing with Melody, when she was here a few weeks ago, about the "good old days" in the blogging world, when our little circle of friends posted quite regularly and had long-drawn-out comment wars and fangirled excessively over that BBC Radio broadcast of My Fair Lady.  (See here and here.  Good times, y'all.)

"Knock knock."  "Who's there?"  "To."  "To who?"  "NO.  TO WHOM."
But nothing stays exactly the same forever.  (Okay, maybe Gilbert Blythe doesn't change-- that's the least he can promise you-- but he's the exception that proves the rule.)  And my little blogging circle hasn't stayed the same either.  People have grown up.  Gotten jobs.  Gone to college.  Acted in plays.  Written books.  Gotten engaged and even married.  (Wut.)  Gone through incredibly rough times.  Suffered heartbreak and loss and tragedy.  Made it through all of the above.  (People are, in general, tougher than they look.)

Over the last couple of years I've gotten very close to a few of my blogging friends (whom I'd now call my best friends :D) and with closeness comes sharing.  Sharing of joys and griefs and difficulties and sticky situations.  With closeness also comes friction at times-- much as you'd like to think you have the most perfect friendship in the world, nothing in this life is absolutely and entirely perfect, and sometimes people disagree and argue and have to deal with tension between them.  In the last few months in particular I've come to realize (not that I didn't before; but to a greater degree, now) that friendship is no bed of roses.  Tears are not always happy ones.

Petie and I are fabulous majestic beings who live in constant glamour and sophistication. Sometimes.
During the past year a friend of mine was dealing with a difficult and sad event in her life.  When she told me about it, I cried over it.  Um, a lot.  (I tend to cry over things.  One of my friend's sisters referred to me once as "the girl who likes sad movies."  Heh.)  In the midst of my angst (I'm good at angst), I remember asking myself why I was letting this affect me so much.  It wasn't my problem, after all.  It wasn't even my business, beyond the fact that my friend had chosen to confide in me.

And yet that's what friendship's about.  It's about other people's problems being your problems.  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with those who weep, and all that.  It's about being there for people-- for people you might not have known three years ago.  It's about trying to understand others, and being oh-so-grateful that they understand you.  It's about accepting change and moving through it and being all the stronger for the problems you've faced.  It's about sending hugs when they're needed and knowing when to say you're sorry and calling people on the phone just to hear the sound of their voice.  It's about love, when you get right down to it.

I find it ironic that the poster behind Ally's and my heads says "Keep Calm and Carry On"--
a sentiment we do not live out when we're together and squealing about everything. :P

(Drat. I'm tearing up writing this.  Even with all the goofy pictures illustrating the post.  Ha.)  

In 2011 I never could have imagined the relationships I'd be forging over the next three years.  I never could have imagined the laughter and nonsense and millions upon millions of written words (seriously not even kidding there), and the late-night chatting and worrying and crying and caring I'd be doing.  Sheesh, I was hoping to get a pen-pal out of the whole deal, at most.  I wasn't signing up for what looks like it's going to be a lifetime of friendship, and all the baggage that goes along with that.

It just goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for.  And that the Lord's plans are better than yours-- because I wouldn't trade what I have, the people I have, the roles they play in my life and (I hope) I in theirs, for anything in this world.

Thank you, all of you, for being my friends.

Melody and I share a less staged spin.  :D


P.S.  Couldn't end this post on too sad and sentimental of a note.  Here's Ally, Joey, Emma, me and Prissy being frogs.  Please enjoy what will now probably be my last blog post before Ally kills me for putting this picture up.  Farewell, my friends, I go on to a better place.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Short Version: Together Again

"Surprizes are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable."
~Emma, chapter 8 (volume II)

Well, then.  Which of our important nothings shall we tell you first?

Yes, we.
What might that imply?

We must, of course, contradict the statement above (though it DOES come from our favorite literary hero), because in this case a surprise was a very agreeable thing indeed.

Well, my friends, as you may have gathered, Amy and Melody are once again together in real life.  Only this time Amy didn't know it was going to happen.


I have no idea how I pulled that off.

Well, actually I DO-- verrrrrry carefully and much planning was involved-- but I'm surprised it actually worked.  (So in a way it was a surprise for us both :P)

You see, my parents had a vacation last week and they were going to visit my oldest sister, who lives in a state that is, shall we say, a lot closer to Amy's than mine is.  So I wanted to visit her at the same time, and then I thought, wait, she won't be EXPECTING me to be the next one to visit her... OOOHHHHHHHH.


Long story short, on Saturday afternoon I was standing in her kitchen when she came home from an Outing.  Her mamma and two youngest siblings kindly came and collected me from the airport while everyone else was gone.

Now, Amy, tell us what you thought. :D

I should note that the first, extremely rude, words out of my mouth were, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?" but I promise I didn't say it like THAT.  It was more of a squeal-sort-of-crying kind of thing.  And of course I was in total shock.  Haha.  Which was, I believe, the general idea.  It didn't quite seem real at first to just walk into my house and find my best friend standing there grinning at me.  We did one of those big squashing hugs.  :D

Melody and my mamma had kept this a secret ever since July (though Melody's Personal Plots and Plans and Machinations had been going on since February) and I still can't fathom quite how they did it, but at any rate, I was surprised.  :D  My other siblings didn't know until the day before and the day itself, so they weren't able to spoil the surprise for me, and Mr. Knightley wasn't there to make snarky remarks about it being inconvenient, so all in all it was eminently satisfactory.  ;)

You guys (er, girls) should have SEEN her FACE.  It was quite a fun sight to behold.  It all went so fast though, and then it was OVER.  Well, not exactly, because she was in different stages of shock for basically the rest of the evening. Heehee. :D  And oddly enough, it was quite surreal to see HER again, after hanging out in her house for five hours before she got home.  (That, let me tell you, was AGONY.) 

The best of it, though, is that she is not here for just a short pop-in, as I originally thought, but for nearly eleven days-- though six of those are already gone by, sad to say. :(  She will be here until the 15th, and we intend to use every minute to its fullest extent, and that you may tie to.   We've already had quite a bit of fun traipsing about hither and yon and going on adventures without any grown-ups, and naturally have staid up late each night watching movies and giggling and talking of Deep Dark Secrets.  

And of course we simply had to write a blog post and tell you all about it.  :)

That was, of course, the condensed version, so if y'all have any questions for me about planning the surprise or for Amy about receiving the surprise, feel free to ask.  

Cosette, we don't know what else to say, so we shall make no more sound and instead shut up and leave you with a nice quote.

“Our friendship has roots as deep as if we’d known each other for a lifetime…”
–Cherry Jones

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Big, Grand, Glorious Announcement


I tried for a while to come up with a really good sound effect to express how excited I am for this day, and "ka-blam" was the best one I could think of.  "Huzzah" also came to mind but that's probably because I've been steeped in Julius Caesar for the past six weeks-- and you're probably sick of hearing about that by now, so that's why I didn't go with "huzzah."  So "ka-blam" it is.  Ka-blam.

Have I said ka-blam enough?

Okay, moving forward.

...I can't hold it in any longer.


It all started back in January, when I started thinking about how much I'd enjoyed several of the literary web series on YouTube, and what a cool way that was to adapt classic works of fiction, and wouldn't it be fun if someone did that with one of my favorite books, The Scarlet Pimpernel.  But then, what if someone decided to adapt TSP into a modern setting with a new storyline and I didn't like it?  What if they weren't true to the spirit of the book and ended up changing everything in horrific ways and absolutely ruined Percy and Marguerite and the League?????

Once I'd calmed down a little, it occurred to me that if I wanted a good modern adaptation of The Scarlet Pimpernel, maybe I needed to write one myself.  And that's how Masked was born.

...Well, a lot more work came after that, of course.  I approached two good friends of mine to ask for help and off we went.  Storyboarding, working out plot holes, character development, scriptwriting, scouting out filming locations, casting, long frustrated phone calls... yeah, it's been a journey.  But now, today, on Julie Andrews' 79th birthday (happy birthday, Mary Poppins!), we've decided it's finally time to announce it to the world.

World, meet Masked, an innovative, online, modern-day film adaptation of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Masked, look at the world.  Just take a peek for now, of course, because you won't actually be released to the General Public until summer 2015.  (I know, it's a long wait, but patience makes the heart grow anticipatory, or something like that.)

There's a lot more information (including a storyline teaser!) over here at The Day Dream, the Scarlet Pimpernel blog that I help run... and if you want to stay updated even more, please check out the show's official Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook page.

Oh.  And if you'd like to grab this little advertising button for your own blog, that would be splendiferously magnificent and I will be grateful to you forevermore.