Friday, January 30, 2015

The Edge of Recall: Book Review


   Amidst a world plagued by malice and hatred, a world lacking hope and permeated by doubt, a world weighed down by darkness, a lone candle can illuminate the dusk. At times, that candle reveals itself in the most unlikely of people. That person grants a solacing hand to guide us through the maze of life.
   Tessa Young’s life is overshadowed by doubt. Having lost both her parents at a young age, her subconscious mind is trapped within an endless labyrinth, an ominous monster in pursuit. Her feelings are easily betrayed and she perceives affronts where there are none. Her life lacks faith and hopefulness. She specializes in landscape architecture and though labyrinths haunt her mind, she finds herself drawn to their creation. When charismatic Smith Chandler first enters her life, he becomes a caring mentor who brings to her troubled life the optimism she lacks. Their friendship flourishes and begins to grow into something deeper. Yet when she resolves to traverse a career path which he believes futile and a lack of appreciation for his mentoring, he opts to dissuade her. Overhearing a discussion Smith has with his friends, Tessa feels betrayed and deceived. Now, years later, when Smith requests her assistance in reconstructing a Colonial-era labyrinth, she must decide whether to deny him and regret the loss of a remarkable opportunity or agree and confront someone who once left her wounded. 

   Once she consents and begins the restoration, Tessa feels a vague foreboding and danger lurking. And though she at first denies Smith any associations outside the professional and is all but friendly, she soon comes to develop feelings for him.   

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Artemis


           The following is a short presentation I did in 8th grade on the Greek Goddess Artemis:
         Artemis is the Greek goddess of hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity.The name Artemis comes from the Greek word arktos meaning bear.  She is also known as a protector of young girls, both bringing and curing disease in women.She is often shown as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.
        She is the daughter of Zeus and Leto and twin sister to Apollo. ¨Hera, Zeus’ wife, forbid Leto to give birth on the mainland or an island. But the island Ortygia disobeyed and Artemis and Apollo were born there. Artemis was said to have been born first, aiding in the delivery of her brother, Apollo.
        At age three, it is said that Artemis, while sitting upon her father’s lap, asked Zeus to grant her six wishes: 1) to forever remain a virgin 2) to have many names to set her apart from Apollo 3) to be Phaesporia or "Light Bringer" 4) to have a bow, arrow, and a knee-length tunic for hunting 5) to have 60 "daughters of Okeanos", all nine years of age, for her choir 6) to have twenty Amnisides Nymphs as handmaidnes to watch her bogs and bow while she rested.
         
                       

Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Review


The Battle of the Five Armies is the final film in the Hobbit trilogy, prequels to the famous Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It is the culmination of Bilbo Baggins journey with the company of Dwarves. The stakes have been raised as the estranged Elves, Men, and Dwarves must join forces to combat the evil armies of Orcs. But something much more ominous is going on than anyone has expected...
I'll be honest, I went into this film not expecting much, especially after my disappointment in the rumors I had heard. But that just goes to show you shouldn't believe all the rumors surrounding movies....  This was by far the best of the three Hobbit films, though nowhere near the brilliance of Lord of the Rings. The actors performances were absolutely amazing, especially Richard Armitage as he traversed the darker facets of Thorin’s character. The ending of this film was beautiful, but heart wrenching. It certainly hurts to lose characters you have grown to love dearly....
Yes, some things drove me crazy, mainly the cheesy and unnecessary love story between Tauriel and Kili and the fact that my favorite character was not given nearly enough screen time. But overall, it was beautiful. By the end, I found myself asking "Why does it hurt so much?" and Thranduil's answer brought me comfort: "Because it was real." To Tolkien fans, these stories are real, they inspire us and give us hope. 
So was it worth watching? Absolutely! 
P.S.  That favorite character I was speaking about was Fili. At the end of this film, Fili had become the character closest to my heart. 

Lucerne, Switzerland

One of the most beautiful European countries, Switzerland is home to the elegant city of Lucerne. This city is seemingly born from the very pages of a Christmas tale.
Straddling the Reuss River, Lucerne features many bridges, including the famous Chapel Bridge, the oldest covered bridge in Europe. One of the most touching sights, the Lion Monument has brought many British tourists to Lucerne. For fans of C.S. Lewis' Narnia, the sculpture resembles Aslan at the stone table. Tourists can visit the magnificent Church of St. Leodegar or the vast Lucerne Concert Hall  which has hosted the Lord of the Rings Symphony. The Old Town of Lucerne, on the right bank of the Reuss, still preserves many old houses and little squares with fountains and the Glacier Garden (Gletschergarten), is an amazing relic of the Ice Age.
              As for natural wonders, Mount Rigi, the “Queen of Mountains”, is the most visited scenic mountain range in Switzerland. This magnificent landscape is surrounded by Lake Lucerne, Zug and Lauerz. In winter, Rigi offers sled runs, ice-rinks, panoramic cross-country courses, horse-drawn sleigh rides and 30 km of winter rambling paths. Between June and September, visitors can enjoy sunrise cable car rides and take in the scenery by hiking the trails.

              If I ever get the chance to visit Switzerland, Lucerne is the place I hope to experience firsthand. I’m keeping my fingers crossed….


Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Few of My Favorite Things: Part 2

These are the fangirl related ones ;)
  •  Lord of the Rings/ The Hobbit
This is literally my favorite book/movie series of all time. It makes me laugh and then cry. It is both inspiring and heartbreaking. It is something I will never grow tired of reading or watching because it's a timeless story of light conquering darkness, of unexpected heroism in the face of unfathomable fear.
              "There's some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for."  - Samwise Gamgee
  •  Star Wars
              I'll admit to liking the new Star Trek movies, especially Into Darkness. And that's only because of a man named Benedict Cumberbatch ;)
              But I'm really a Star Wars fan at my core. Original trilogy all the way. And as for the prequels, I couldn't understand why in the world my brother was making me watch A New Hope first. I mean, why not start at the beginning with Phantom Menace? Let's just say I learned his reasoning pretty quickly :) For me, the only saving grace of Episode 1 was Liam Neeson. And Revenge of the Sith wasn't terrible. But that's a discussion for another time.
  •  British Actors
              Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Theo James, Tom Hiddleston, Liam Neeson, Richard Armitage, Luke Evans, Dean O’Gorman… Okay, so maybe they’re not all British. And I do like some American actors (Chris Evans, anyone?), but again, that’s another discussion. 
  •  Pinterest
  •  Superheroes (as you already know)
  •  Writing/ Reading (particularly the World War II era)

And… the many other things I like but don’t have room for in this post.

A Few of My Favorite Things: Part 1

Let's be honest, I'm a terrible blogger. And I'm extremely sorry for the scarcity of my posts. So, if you have any advice, leave it in the comment section. Because hearing from you would make my day :)

Anyway, I'm just going to share with you a few of my favorite things. (By the way, these are the more serious ones.)
  •  God.
              My all in all. The one who has loved me more than anyone I know or will know. The one who sacrificed His very life to grant me salvation. And let’s face it, I’m not in any way worthy of what He has given me.
“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” - 1 Corinthians 13:7-8
  •  My Family and Friends.
              Even though they can drive me off the wall sometimes (this more pertains to my family), I can’t deny that I love them dearly and love spending time with them. Even when I’m down, they seem to lift my spirits, whether it’s my brother being his goofy self, or my Dad walking around the house talking to himself.
And then there are my friends. You know how they say sometimes it’s better to have a few close friends versus countless others? Well that’s what I’ve been blessed with. We’ve known each other since childhood and I can’t imagine my life without them. They’re the kind of friends I’ll always remember.  

Writing: Part 2


Another Time, Another Place
Part 2

In the following weeks, I see no sign of the stranger who seemingly saved my life and to whom I owe much gratitude. My wound has long since healed. Yet I still sense an ominous presence here.
              Once again, I find myself walking the streets. The day is dreary and a bitter wind stings my face. I raise my eyes to the foreboding sky and notice a cloud of dark smoke rising into the air, nearly unmistakable against the gloomy clouds. My eyes search the rooftops and come to rest upon a flickering light in the distance. As I run swiftly toward the light, my suspicions prove true. Flames leap into the air as the smoke billows, making breathing difficult. I gasp as I glimpse the building from which the flames rise, a once beautiful cathedral. I watch in helpless horror as the flames spread to a nearby villa. Screams of fear and pain fill my ears as the flames engulf the home. I react immediately, rushing toward the next villa. I stop dead in my tracks as I take in the scene before me. Lifeless bodies lay sprawled across the ground. As I stumble from one home to the next, I find the same horrific scene before me. Realization hits like a blow to the torso and I am falling to my knees in agony. A strangled scream escapes me as my eyes blur with hot tears. Yet suddenly a powerful blow knocks me into the ground and I feel blood gush from my reopened wound. Rough arms drag me across the street and into a villa. My head throbs with pain as I fall limply against a wall. I open my mouth to scream, yet no sound passes from my lips. As my vision blurs with both tears and pain, I watch as a shadowy figure advances slowly toward me. My heart hammers rapidly against my ribs as I glimpse the glint of flames on an outstretched knife, my eyes closing in defeat.
What misery can compare to this? Waiting for the plunge of the knife to end the rapid beating of my heart; but worse than that is the revelation that I will die with no memory of who I am. An overwhelming sense of guilt washes over me, knowing that those who have died before me were inextricably innocent. Can I say the same of myself, when I know not who I am? Somewhere deep within me, I pray to God that these dead will not suffer eternal punishment, that they will be lifted up to Him who will wash away every moment of their misery.

I sense gentle arms slide beneath my limp body and raise me upward, cradling me against them. Slowly, consciousness returns and a soft moan escapes my lips. I slowly open my eyes to the face of the stranger. His eyes meet mine and I glimpse in them concern and fear, but beneath those feelings, I see a tenderness. My eyes close in weakness and I sense his arms lowering me gently onto a bench. He slides something soft beneath my head and I feel his fingers smooth back my hair. I open my eyes to his own dark orbs. The tenderness is now unmistakable and I am unable to pull myself from his penetrating gaze