Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Horse from the Sea by Victoria Holmes

{ Cover Credit}

It's 1588 in Ireland, and Nora is a peasant girl who loves horses. Tensions between the English, Spanish, and Irish are growing when the most unexpected event happens: a shipwrecked Spanish stallion and sailor wash up on the beach below her cottage. The horse is huge and beautiful, nothing like the shaggy mountain ponies Nora is familiar with. The sailor is hardly older than her 14 years, injured, and desperate. Against all common sense, Nora agrees to help the boy somehow get back to Spain. If he is found, he will be hanged and her family will undergo no pleasant circumstance's as well. She will have to keep the secret not only from English soldiers, but also from her family. And then there's the horse to think about, too...

Pros: I loved the setting.

Cons: The facts seemed to fluctuate as the story needed.

Altogether, I found this book to be a fun read. My rating is three stars.

~Margaret Rowena

Monday, July 26, 2010

Days 26-30

This challenge has been so much fun. Here is my final post-

26- A childhood memory
I am not sure how old I was, perhaps 6 or 7. My brother and I started a drawing club in our crawlspace. It's a little room beneath the stairs that we all used to regard as the most incredible place on earth. We drew all sorts of things, mostly strange monsters. I filled a whole notebook with my art forms! I wonder whatever happened to that book...

27- A physical feature I love

Eyes. They are different on everyone and so very interesting. If it weren't for the creepy factor, I would ask people if I could simply look at their eyes. Just kidding ;)

28- A scar I have and it's story
Two summers ago, I was camping with my family. One of my dogs was chained to a tree, and I was standing between her and the tree. My dog saw another dog, went all crazy, and ran toward it. The chain caught me by the ankles and I was down in a heartbeat. I now have this gnarly- looking light purple spot on the back of my left ankle. (Too bad it has faded so much)

29- Hopes, dreams and plans I have for the next 365 days
Hopes: That I will go to eastern Europe next spring
Dreams: That I may write the first several drafts of my story
Plans: A wedding, a conference, music lessons, camping trips, birthdays, friendships

30-A motto or philosophy
Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewal if your mind...

Days 21-25

21- Something I know I do differently than most people
The way I play "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair" by Debussy on the piano- I use different rhythm and even a few odd notes.

22- A website
A blog page I found today has some very cute blog flair. Other than that, I don't do much web surfing. Blogger and Facebook are my haunts. I do know a ton of ah-mazing blogs, though; check out the above page to see 'em.

23- A way in which I want to be remembered
I want to be the slightly eccentric old lady with long grey hair that lived with her multitude of animals in the middle of nowhere. She wrote under a pen name, so none of the skeptical neighbors knew that the nutty old lady was actually writing published books.

24- A movie no one expected me to love
Everyone thinks I am nuts for liking the old Alice in Wonderland. Yeah, that's all I got. The people I watch movies with are pretty unabashed by weird movies. Oh, they were surprised by my adamant dislike of Chicken Run. P.S.- I really want to see the new 'Alice' with Johnny Depp.

25- A recipe
Take a good slice of wheat bread. Homemade is ideal for this; thick and full. Slather some creamy peanut butter on one half. Don't be shy! Then spread some Nutella on the other half. If you want, put another piece of bread on top. You have just made the most wonderful sandwich in the known world.

Who's ready for a random photo?

Have a delightful day, everyone!

~Margaret Rowena

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Days 16-20

16-A song that makes me cry
'Morning' from Peer Gynt by Grieg, played by a good orchestra. I found a YouTube video for you to listen to. It's so full of soul.

17- An art piece
Once again, I am on the wrong computer so I can't give you a photo of any of my art. But I can put up....... Miss Mona! :)

18- A time when I felt passionate and alive
I had just finished a good book. It was one in the morning. The moon was bright.

19- A talent of mine
Piano. I may not be Lang Lang, but I love it enough to practice.

20- A hobby of mine
Happiness in the form of sunlight and music on summer evenings.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Little Girl

My Grandpa was so sweet. He noticed my lack of photos for the challenge and emailed me some of his to choose from:

I still have that beanie baby, and his name is Foxie, but I don't know what has happened to the pinecone and bunny dress.

When I look at old photos of myself, it feels like I was living a different life in a different place and with a different mind set, being four years old. Wow. People change so much, it just overwhelms me to think of it. I wonder... how will I and the people I love change in the next month? Year? Decade? Only one to find out- Stay tuned into life!

Thank you, God, for giving me a life to live! You supply me with joys and sorrows and LOVE.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Days 11-15

11- A picture of me taken recently
I am not using the computer that has my photos on, so you will have to wait. But you can see a recent photo of me on my last post. (I cheated ;)

12- A song I want played at my weddingLet's see... nothing by Elvis, for sure. Perhaps "All I ask of You" or another pieces of show music.

13- A guilty pleasure
Same as Ellyn's: blogging when I should be busy otherwise...

14- A vacation I would like to take
Easy: Italy, France, or Greece. Or England, Scotland, Russia... Anything Europe! (This photo is not mine)
15- A person I admire
Sarah Palin- she shares my values and is very courageous.

Look at that, I am half way finished! This has been fun so far, no? I may not be posting for the next two days, as I am about to become very busy, so I will see you later!

~Margaret Rowena

Monday, July 19, 2010

Days 6-10

6- A moment I wish I could relive

Last year, my ah-mazing violin teacher gave an ah-mazing lesson. We played and played and played, faster and faster. And it sounded so good! It was heavenly.

7- Five things I couldn't live without

~This may sound like the Christian stereotype, but I couldn't do without my God. He loves me and strengthens me and reminds me that I am not facing this confusing life alone.

~Food- I would kind of starve without it, you know. ;)

~My two binders, which are full of my writings.

~My camera.

~My imagination.

8- A thank you letter to some one who has changed my life

Dear friend, [This is a real person, I am just not giving her name]
Thank you for coming into my life and showing me that my dreams are achievable, and sooner than I was thinking, too. You have inspired me more than you know. I know that you are going to accomplish some pretty amazing things in your life, and now, maybe I will do something slightly great, too. I love you!
~Margaret Rowena

9- A photo I took

This photo hardly needs explaining, except that it is the randomest one I have!

10- A photo of me taken ten years ago

There are hardly any photos of me that are ten years old, and the ones that do exist are in the garage in a box somewhere. My mom never was very into documenting her childrens' lives on film. But I can give you a photo of me that was taken a couple weeks ago:

It's not a very good smile, I admit.

Here is list of people I know are doing the challenge:

Polka Dot



Are you doing it too? let me know and I will add you to the list!

~Margaret Rowena

The evolution of an idea

As a writer, I am always looking for ideas for stories and characters. Some of the ideas are forgotten or simply uninteresting after a time, but some are remembered, destined to become key elements in a story. I have several ideas that I hope to turn into novels, with one main one that is rather dear to me. (I will tell you about my life as a writer later. It's kind of weird.) I can't remember where the idea came for my main story, but I do know the inspiration for another one. . .

A few months ago, I was reading the Farsala trilogy by Hilari Bell, which is a great set of books, by the way. It is a fantasy loosely based on Rome's invasion of Persia, so Farsala is a place that is much like that area of the world: spices, heat, and silk. I thought of India a lot. As I read, I wondered what it would be like to leave a cold, harsh place like Norway to live in a place like Farsala. What if I couldn't go back? What if I never saw all that was familiar to me again? It stayed in the back of my mind for a few days, until I was playing Barbies with my little sister. I looked at one of the dolls and thought that she would make a very good princess. The more I thought about it, I was reminded of the girl from the North that went to 'Farsala'. This is the Barbie that tied down my idea of the girl. I named her Cadish:

I have not given much thought to the development of the plot, but the story is still in my mind and binder, ready to be watered and tended.
The other night, I was looking through a Bridal magazine and stumbled upon this picture:

It looks just like how I imagine Cadish to look in real life! A perfect match! I love finding pictures of my characters. And a few pages later, I saw this picture:

It looks exactly like a setting in the Persia-like land Cadish travels to. Excitement abounded. :)

Well, there is one story of a story. From where do you get inspiration?

~Margaret Rowena

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Days 1-5

Day 1: A favorite song

That's a hard one. It changes often, but there is one song that never fails to move me: Vida la Vida by Coldplay.

2: A favorite movie.

"Bride and Prejudice". It's a modernization of Jane Austen's classic about an Indian girl and a rich American. It's the first Bollywood film I had experienced, and, honestly, I loved all of the crazy dancing and music!

3: A favorite book.

Oy, another hard one. I will just choose one off my profile... okay, The Secret Garden.
I love it because it reminds me of a very happy night of my life, as well as being a great story.

4: A favorite television program.

First, I really don't watch very much real TV, so my favorite TV show was found at the library.
Monarch of the Glen is about a Scottish highland estate called Glenbogle and its young laird. My mom and I have watched all seven seasons twice (!) The series really, really pulls you in. (It's also BBC!)

5. A favorite quote

Well, if I thought about it, I could recall some deep, wise one I have heard, but for now, I will give you:
You get more with a gun and a smile than just a smile. -Al Capone

Thanks for reading and I will see you all again tomorrow!

~Margaret Rowena

30 Day Challenge

Hi there! Marie introduced this to me and it looks too fun to pass up. I will post a few of the below categories every day, or when I can, so it won't be a 30-day challenge for me- maybe more like fourteen or twenty...

Do you want to do it too? Go right ahead!
Day 1: A favorite song.
Day 2: A favorite movie.
Day 3: A favorite book.
Day 4: A favorite television program.
Day 5: A favorite quote.
Day 6: A moment you wish you could relive.
Day 7: Five things you couldn't possible live without.
Day 8: A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.
Day 9: A photo you took.
Day 10: A photo of you taken over ten years ago.
Day 11: A photo of you taken recently.
Day 12: A song that you want played at your wedding(or was played).
Day 13: A guilty pleasure.
Day 14: A vacation you would like to take.
Day 15: A person you admire.
Day 16: A song that makes you cry.
Day 17: An art piece.
Day 18: A time when you felt passionate and alive.
Day 19: A talent of yours.
Day 20: A hobby of yours.
Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people.
Day 22: A website.
Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered.
Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love.
Day 25: A recipe.
Day 26: A childhood memory.
Day 27: A physical feature you love.
Day 28: A scar you have and it's story.
Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans you have for the next 365 days.
Day 30: A motto or philosophy.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Letters and words

I had a photoshoot- with Scrabble tiles!

I love this one.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The journals

Yesterday, as I was doing some major closet re-organization, I came across some old journals of mine. I flipped through them, smiling and rolling my eyes every so often. I had so many questions about certain things, and no idea what the answers would be. Well, three years have passed since I penned those entries, and the answers to most of the questions gradually became clear over those years, although I didn't realize it until yesterday.

I was still the same person, depraved and fallen except by God, three years ago, but now I am such a different depraved and fallen human. I wonder what I will be thinking three years from now when I read my current journal. Will I laugh and think, What a silly little dreamer you were back then! What aimless things you worried about! I should certainly hope not... but how can I know the future? How can I know in which ways I will change in the coming years? I simply can't, and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other any other way. For one, that would take a lot of the mystery out of life. And if I knew exactly what is going to happen, I would have no reason to trust God, unless I knew things would be getting harder.

Another facet to this post: I sometimes feel quite wise and grown up, forgetting that I am fourteen years old and still have a lot of world left to see. Going back to three years ago, I remember how grown up I thought I was, and now, only in the future, do I acknowledge my immaturity. Reading the journals has been good for me. It has been a real killer of pride and a reminder to take life at the pace God has given.

~Margaret Rowena

P.S.- Here's a happy footnote: people from three years ago that I had many uncertainties over have become my firm friends over the years- time isn't all bad.

Monday, July 12, 2010

(of) HorseFeathers contest

Here are my entries for Olive Tree's contest: (Click the widget on my sidebar for contest info)

This photograph features two of my favorite things: nature and light. It inspires me for the memory of a special time and place attached to it, along with its obvious beauty.

Here is another showcase for God's creation. This is a picture of a place that could very easily be in my story's world or another fantasized realm...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

More lake photos

Okay, here are the promised pictures from the lake. The first four were taken between the hours of 4 and 7 in the morning:

I think that I need to make it a habit to arise at an insanely early hour to watch sunrises.

Three layers: sky, water, forest.

Ahh! I can see for miles! It reminds me of Middle Earth.

Very Little Mermaid, no?

One of the reasons I love this lake is that it and its surroundings remind me of so many different fantasy lands. It would be so easy to write my story in a place like that; I would hardly have to imagine any of the settings!

~Margaret Rowena

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lake sampling

Today, I returned from a delightful retreat at Lake Superior, what I think to be the most beautiful spot on this earth. Here are some samples of the beauty:

I had such a good time and so enjoyed God's stunningly gorgeous creation. I will be posting some other photos from this trip soon, so stay tuned. :)

Also, my friend Ellyn has arrived on the Blogger scene! She is a very cool person who rides horses and writes novels, so you really should go check out her blog.

Sorry about the wimpy length of my posts lately. I am quite busy as of late, but this shouldn't last much longer... thanks for reading!

~Margaret Rowena