Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7/31/2013 - The Escapist Recommends...

Happy Last Day of July, people!!!

For this week, I've been escaping into some delicious books, which I'm going to share with youse all here.

As a fantasy buff, I have a hard time raving about much other than fantasy, but since I know you people like to dapple in more than just that, I've found a couple other non-fantasy books I think you'll enjoy.

Featuring Books:


I'm pretty sure we all know this story, about the little hobbit who takes the Ring of power and destroys it in the Cracks of Doom in the land of Mordor. I re-read it very recently, and it is such a beautiful story. Frodo - or rather, all the hobbits - start off as such carefree folk, and as the story goes on they see the damage Sauron has done to the world, and they begin to grow, and change, and become a little wiser, a little better, a little more thoughtful than they once used to be.


Gandalf also changes from the sometimes cantankerous, sometimes merry wizard to a great leader, a wise leader, the White Rider to whom all look for hope.


All the characters undergo the most amazing character arcs, including Strider, who long resists the role he has been born for, but at the end accepts and indeed even embraces his destiny as King of Gondor.


Then there's Eowyn, White Lady of Rohan, who desires such great things in her life yet finds her dreams cast aside daily for the cause of duty.


And there's Faramir. I have always loved Faramir. His story is one of my favourites. Against all odds, he remains one of the truest men of Middle-earth. Despite his father's lack of love and favour, he does his best to be a good captain of his men, and a dutiful son. He is so uncomplaining, so selfless, so dear. He would go to his death, if his father asked it of him.


However, reading this time around, I developed an unexpected love for the hobbit Merry. I've liked Merry for years and years. But his, I think, is one of the saddest stories. While Frodo and Sam go off together to destroy the Ring at the end of book one, and Pippin is taken by Gandalf to Gondor after Pippin looks into the palantir, Merry is left behind. In fact, Merry is always getting left behind. He feels like such a useless member of the Fellowship, and his loneliness and sense of unworthiness really touched me. I think, after Frodo and Sam, Merry has become my favourite hobbit.


You all know the story... at least, you all OUGHT to know the story. I'm not going to bother telling you what it's about here. But give it a read. It starts off as a slightly more advanced fantasy novel, and develops into an epic High Fantasy read, but the beginning is really easy to get into. Hopefully you'll just keep going on, all the way through the Appendices. :) (You Tolkien diehards know what I'm talking about.)



It is the summer of 1889 when the man known only as Shane rides into a small town in Wyoming. The young narrator of the story, Bob Starrett, sees him as he's passing by on the road, and recognizes something dangerous in him. Shane stops for a drink of water, and stays for dinner with the Starretts, Joe, Marian, and their son Bob. Late, Joe invites him to stay throughout the winter in exchange for helping on the farm.


It is a time of unrest in the town. A man called Fletcher, a powerful cattle rancher, is trying to buy up all the farmers' land to expand his ranch. If a person doesn't want to sell, Fletcher has ways of persuading him. Tension escalates while Shane stays with the Starretts, until a time comes when he knows he has to face Fletcher and his gunman Stark Wilson. Otherwise, all the town is at risk, and Shane is in danger of losing the Starretts forever.

This is a great Western. I read it in one afternoon, and it is not boring at all! There are some great bar fights (sheepish grin), some good old fashioned Western justice, and a touch of romantic tension. This is one of my most favourite Westerns.




This is just one of the best books ever. Period.

Twelve hundred British soldiers are marooned on the island of Kheros. The Royal Navy plans to send ships to rescue them, but there is a problem. The only deepwater channel through which ships can sail is heavily guarded by radar-controlled guns of gigantic magnitude: the guns of Navarone. Navarone is an island off the Turkish coast which is heavily fortified by Germans in an attempt to stifle British activity in the Aegean.

After a failed bombardment attack, Captain James Jensen brings together a highly specialized team of saboteurs. Their goal is to sneak into Navarone by climbing the island's unclimbable south cliff and penetrating the German fortress housing the guns.

They have one week.

Leading the team is Captain Keith Mallory, a New Zealand Officer with the Long Range Desert Group. He is fluent in Greek, and is well-known for his incredible rock climbing skills.

Then there is Andrea, a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Greek army. He has a secret past only Mallory knows of, and he is a ruthless fighter when aroused.

Corporal Dusty Miller, an American explosives expert is chosen precisely for that reason: his expertise in explosives.

Petty Officer Telegraphist Casey Brown is a Royal Navy engineer. He is in charge of the boat that will bring them all to the south cliff, and takes care of communications.

Last is Lieutenant Andrew Stevens R.N.V.R. He is a young naval officer in charge of navigation. He is fluent in Greek, and also an experienced mountain climber.

There is a skirmish on the sea.

There is a storm.

There is a terrible accident.

There is survival, capture, and escape.

Someone dies.

And the guns of Navarone are waiting.

Alistair MacLean

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Six-Sentence Saturday 07/27/2013

Good Saturday to you all! Hope your week was good. Mine was lovely. I got a 100% on my last Medical Transcription quiz!

1.) I am excited about the grade.


2.) I'm less excited about going to work.


3.) I am reading The Lord Of The Rings.


4.) I am crying like an idiot over these books!


5.) I wonder why epic, gorgeous books like that aren't getting published anymore?


6.) I am not wildly fond of most new fiction/fantasy/stuff I check out from the library these days.

A Whisper Man. 'Cause Whisper Man are freeeeaky!

That's all for now. Talk to youse all later. Have an amazing day!

God bless!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Escapist Recommends...

Yes, my friends. I admit it. I am an escapist. (For Pete's sake, why do you think I'm a writer? The world is terrifying. Full of... enemiesssss.)

When I get overwhelmed with life, the world, and the future seems bleaker than normal, I usually head over to my collection of books or movies and drown my thoughts for awhile in some epic tale.


Featuring Movies and TV Shows:


For you action/adventure lovers, this is a brilliantly enjoyable movie. Bruce Willis, Justin Long, and Timothy Olyphant create a brilliant trio of casting. Bruce Willis reprises his role as John McClane, Justin Long stars as a nerdy hacker with the ability to stop a terrorist attack, and Timothy Olyphant is featured as the nemesis, intent on taking America down a peg or two.

 *Warning: Contains a "scene" at the very beginning of the film with McClane's daughter Lucy and her not boyfriend in a car.


this one is sci-fi, but it sometimes feels a bit more fantasy than sci-fi. Really, the only thing sci-fi about it is that the baddies are aliens. Mostly that's the difference, anyway. :)

Okay, I'll be honest. DOCTOR WHO is an acquired taste. I was lucky, 'cause I started with the Eleventh Doctor, played by Matt Smith. The effects in his series are much more better than either the Ninth Doctor's (Christopher Eccleston), and the Tenth Doctor's (David Tennant). That being said, the Doctor is an alien who flies about in his spaceship called the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), saving earth, (primarily London) from evil creatures (also aliens) who want to take over or destroy the world. The Doctor usually picks up companions on the way as well.

My favourite Doctor is the Eleventh, but I recommend you give Doctors Nine and Ten a watch as well. There are some great episodes in their seasons, and they are awesome Doctors too.




This one is a beautiful little romance starring David Duchovny and Minnie Driver. David Duchovny plays Bob Rueland, a man who has been recently widowed. Minnie Driver plays Grace Briggs, a restaurant owner's daughter who receives a new lease on life when she gets a heart transplant. Little does she know this heart belonged to Elizabeth Rueland, Bob's deceased wife. In a twist of fate, Bob's path crosses with Grace, and there is something about Grace that attracts him. As the two of them get to know each other, Grace realizes she bears Elizabeth's heart inside her, and when Bob finds out he will have to choose which woman now holds his heart: memory of Elizabeth, or genuine love for Grace.

*Warning: This film, while not really dirty in any way, does contain more adult humour and settings. The story is very sweet though, and one of the few "chick flicks" I enjoy watching.

So there you go! The Escapist's Movie and Telly recommendations for the week! I hope you find them edifying, and/or inspirational. Or both. Both is good. :)

God bless!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Six-Sentence Saturday 07/20/2013

I'm not even going to meander this time, but I'm going to leap straight into my six sentences.

1.) I think someone has used my printer, because yesterday it was saying everything was fine, and today it says I have to replace yellow and cyan.


2.) I have come to the disturbing conclusion that it takes me forever to settle in and become comfortable with a job.


3.) I am reading Lord of the Rings again.


4.) I have a hard time going back to my writing after reading several chapters of it, because my writing suddenly becomes flavoured with a quaint, old-fashioned style that does NOT work in the book I'm currently writing.


5.) I can't believe I used the word "writing" three times in that single sentence.


6.) Now none of you can believe I used the word "writing" three times in that single sentence either.


That's all for now, except I'm going to share this song by Josh Groban, because I freakin' LOVE this song, and the music video is AWESOME!

God bless! Hope you all have a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Shall Wear Midnight - Book Review

Fyrefly's Book Blog

There is an outcrop of land called the Chalk. This land, and all the villages along it, are called a steading. This steading belongs to Tiffany Aching.

And Tiffany is a witch. steadings went, this one was pretty good. Not many witches got a whole geological outcrop to themselves, even if this one was mostly covered in grass, and the grass was mostly covered in sheep.

Tiffany has spent years studying her craft under senior witches such as Granny Weatherwax, Annagramma, and Nanny Ogg, and now has charge of the Chalk. As witch of the Chalk, Tiffany performs all sorts of odd jobs; assisting at births, attending weddings, tending to the needy, mixing healthful potions. All of it very needful and quite unglamourous.

"I’m a witch. It’s what we do. When it’s nobody else’s business, it’s my business."

But there is something evil afoot in the world. Tiffany begins to notice an increasing distrust among the people of the Chalk, a distrust aimed against her and all witches in general. When the old ailing Baron of the Chalklands, (a kindly man who Tiffany has been tending, easing the pain of his last days,) dies, Tiffany is accused of murder. Tiffany refutes this charge impatiently, but it is a sign of the rapidly growing distrust that few of the folk believe her.

"Poison goes where poison's welcome."

In order to discover the source of this mistrust, Tiffany must set off on a quest, armed only with her courage, her broom, and her friends from an earlier book, THE WEE FREE MEN... little blue men with Scottish brogues and a penchant for brawling, drinking, and stealing.

The Nac Mac Feegle (Wee Free Men) could be pretty worrying to those who did not know them very well, although now she thought about it, they could be pretty worrying however long you had known them.


On her way to the city of Ankh-Morpork, where she is going to inform the Baron's son Roland (introduced previously in THE WEE FREE MEN, and one of Tiffany's truest friends) about his father's death, Tiffany is accosted by a frightening, ghost-like figure with an evil aura and holes in his face where his eyes should be.

A man with no eyes. No eyes at all. Two tunnels in his head...

Tiffany escapes the nightmarish figure, and in Ankh-Morpork (where she meets fellow witch Mrs. Proust, has an unexpected altercation with Roland and his fiancee Letitia Keepsake, is arrested after the Nac Mac Feegle destroy a pub, and escapes next day with the Nac Mac Feegle's help), she learns about the eyeless man from a legendary witch named Eskarina Smith.

[Eskarina] had learned secrets that made the mightiest of magics look like nothing more than conjuring tricks.

This ghostly figure haunting Tiffany is something called the Cunning Man. Long ago, he fell in love with a witch who had been condemned to death. However, she, knowing the evil in his heart, contrived to trap the Cunning Man in the same fires that devoured her, killing him as well.

She remembered the screaming figure on the road, shadowless in full sunlight, delivering abuse as if it was vomit and leaving her with a sick feeling that she would never be able to get clean again.

But not entirely. The Cunning Man returned as a demonic spirit of hatred. His very presence brings out the darkest emotions in a person's heart, and since his hatred is directed against witches this explains the hostility Tiffany has notices in the Chalk, and indeed in the world beyond the Chalk. He returns every couple hundred years, seeking a young witch whom he can successfully possess. For, if he were able to do such a thing, he would be able to destroy all the witches.

And he has chosen Tiffany for his next victim.

“One day all of us will die but - and this is the important thing - we are not dead yet.”

Tiffany has to find a way to confront - and defeat - the Cunning Man. If she doesn't - if she fails - then all of Chalk will fall with her.

“It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you don't know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you're going. And if you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.”



I have been a bit hesitant about reading Terry Pratchett. I'm not sure why. Probably because I'm never sure if there's going to be "junk" in his books or not.

This book - I think #38 in the Discworld series, and the final book in the Tiffany Aching quartet - did contain a few moments of adult-ish content, and some almost-but-not-quite descriptive moments regarding inappropriate matter, but it was all handled in a way that was nearly discreet and not in-your-face blatant, which I appreciated. I didn't care for some of the religious sarcasm, but that's just me. I tend to get uppity when people treat religion like a joke. There was also some language, but since the author is British I tended to overlook many, if not all, the bad words. (Shame on me! :)


That being said, this book was well-written, was humourous, and I didn't feel lost at all, despite the fact it was the FINAL book about Tiffany Aching, and a good ways into the actual Discworld saga. I liked Terry Pratchett's descriptions, his word usage, and the liberal amounts of humour sprinkled throughout the entire story. I even liked the dark element of the Cunning Man, who was sufficiently eerie enough to make me shudder, even though I read this book during the day.

I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT was a fun read, an enjoyable book, and a great relief to find, after spending an entire week of opening new library books, reading the first couple pages, and tossing the book aside in disgust. I recommend it for anyone who's in the mood for a light fantasy and isn't expecting something incredibly epic. Tiffany Aching is a great character, the side characters provide lots of laughs, and the Nac Mac Feegle are well worth the time.

I give this book four and a half stars.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Six-Sentence Saturday, 07/13/13

What ho, my beauties! It's another Saturday.

1.) I haz ambitions to get back onto a Wednesday / Saturday posting schedule rather than this one pathetic Saturday post.


2.) Those ambitions have to be seen in order to be believed.


3.) I am hoping I get to make more corsages at work today, 'cause I love making corsages!


4.) Perhaps I'll see if I can make a clay corsage.


5.) I saw two episodes of Supernatural.

My Life Is A Notebook

6.) I'm not certain whether I liked them or not... I will say I prefer Sam over Dean.


And that's my Saturday! I haz studied, posted, and now I must get ready for work. Duty, Adelaide! Always DUTY! (Name that quote. ;)

Till next time,

God bless!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Six-Sentence Saturday

It was such a beautiful day, I was perfectly IDLE and did not do much of anything!

1.) I painted my toes RED for the fourth of July, and now I have washed all the polish off, and I am going to paint them GOLD tonight.


2.) I forgot how much I love the TV show, REMINGTON STEELE!


3.) Laura Holt reminds me of one of my bestest friends. (LOL)


4.) I have been in a Taylor Swift mood.

Daydream Stars

5.) For some reason, all of her songs have been making me cry.


6.) I want to have cookies now, thanks to the episode of Remington Steele we just watched.


That's all for now. Ta, my beauties! Hope youse all had a glorious Fourth! You can see the kind of fourth we had over at Treskie's blog. Good times. :)

Until next time,

God bless!


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