Saturday, October 30, 2010

Photo Entries

There are some great photo blog hops going on right now! Right now, I am entering two:

For Polka Dot's photo contest, I am entering this one:

Purple Sun

I took last June while I was up north enjoying the sunrise. Need I say it was the most beautiful morning of my life? God is so incredibly good to have given us this world to live in. For editing, I sharpened, warmed, and saturated it. I think. It was fun to mess around with! :)

For Carlotta's photo challenge, themed COLOR, I am entering this one:

Le petit océan

Thanks for looking!


PS- NaNo! Less than 48 hours away!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A friendly conversation?

Today, I am going to show you a conversation I had with one of my characters. I saw Gwyn and Ellyn do this a few months ago and highly enjoyed their conversations. :) Today, my conversational partner is Cadish, my MC for my NaNo novel. Enjoy!

Margaret: Hi Cadish! How are things?

Cadish: Uhh, fine. But why are you grimacing?

Margaret: *fake smile* No reason! Anyway, how are you? Do you like my blog?

Cadish: Your blog is fine, but come on! Something's wrong with you. You can tell me. If you want. And I want you to.

Margaret: You almost sounded threatening right there. But... since you seem so eager, fine, I will tel you what's on my mind. But you may be offended...

Cadish: I am thick skinned, and you know that. Now stop stalling and continue.

Margaret: *laughs* I don't know what I was thinking when I made you bossy. But seriously, something is off in our relationship. Why is it that I really have to think about it before I start being your friend? Why are you so... distant?

Cadish: Whoa, wait a sec. You are asking me why you don't like me? This is a super awkward position, you know! Should I just start listing all my faults? Let's see here, I can be proud, bossy-

Margaret: *interrupts* No, no, it's not like that. You are just so confident, unafraid, beautiful-

Cadish: *interrupts right back* You speak as though those traits were my evils! Am I a vain, egotistical, show off or something?

Margaret: *frustrated* NO! Cadish! We have to become friends, and within the next three days, too. So let's just start over. *clears throat* Hi, my name is Margaret! How are you doing?

Cadish: *scornful* This is stupid. I have known you since my whole life. You are the one that started my life! How can you expect me to just 'start over' and look at you with new eyes?

Margaret: Lightbulb moment! cadish, we are just such different personalities! That's why we can't connect!

Cadish: Ahh, I think you have it. But what now? We can't change ourselves or each other at this point.

Margaret: Okay, you're right. We just need to see past each others faults and differences, like true friends do.

Cadish: *interested* Wait a second! That word you used! 'Okay'? What in both out worlds does that mean? It sounds interesting....

Margaret: *scrambling to right the mistake* Nothing! Nothing important. It's just, ah, a silly nonsense word. Forget I said it. *pauses, then darkly* And don't you ever say it again. If by some whim of fate I lose control of you and you repeat that word, oh, the sky will fall in and all will perish.

Cadish: *unconvinced* Yeah. Right.

Margaret: *becoming desperate* Please, Cadish! Just trust me. Listen, we got really off topic. We were supposed to friends, right?

Cadish: *Hopelessly*But if we have to work this hard to be friends, maybe we should we just give up.

Margaret: No! Cadish, we are spending the next month together in very close quarters. Either we love or we hate each other. And I think we should go for the former. So let's not give up.

Cadish: You sound like that person I have heard of named Dr. Phil. You writers live in a strange world, do you know that? But I am willing to be your friend. Just please don't do anything too brutal to me!

Margaret: I wouldn't be worried. As far I can see, you stay pretty intact throughout the story. But I am thinking of changing your name...

Cadish: What?! But my name is... special!

Margaret: Don't take this wrong, but it really isn't. When I first thought of you, I just took a name off of my "name list" and attached it to you. And I bet people read it as "Ca-dish", not its true "Cay-dish".

Cadish: *subdued* Well, maybe you're right. But you need to replace it with something really good.

Margaret: Don't worry, I will try to. And remember, I may not even rename you after all.

*Not awkward pause in conversation*

Cadish: *happily* You know, I really am looking forward to November.

Margaret: Good! I am too. Well, it has been lovely talking to you, dear girl!

Cadish: *skeptical again* Dear girl? What am I, your pet? Are you trying to sucker me into some evil trap or something?

Margaret: *manically yelling* CADISH!! PLEASE COOPERATE! Oh, where is a knife? I feel the need for a dramatic death scene. Should it be mine or yours? I think yours.

Cadish: Alright! I doubt you would actually whack me off, but alright. I will behave.

Margaret: Truly?

Cadish: *honestly* Yes. We will be friends, even if it kills both of us.

Margaret: *smiling broadly* Then I will see you in November.

Haha, that was fun. If you are having trouble connecting with your characters' having a conversation really helps. :) Hey, did you check out my new art page? What do you think?

Thanks for reading!


Friday, October 22, 2010


Nela at Beloved Star and Marie at Marie Loves tagged me! This is how it works: I answer the eight questions the person who tagged me wrote, then make up eight more for those I tag to answer. Here are my answers for Nela's questions: :)

1. If you're writing a book what would be the title, plot, and characters?
It would take me a few posts to fully answer this one! The temporary title I have given my book is The Pace, the plot is... uhh, moving on, it has three MC's. :)

2. What animal would you prefer to be for a day?
My little sister asked me this just last night! Haha, I told her I would be a raven. Flight, oh, flight....

3. Did you ever have a baking disaster? (like the cake didn't turn out right, or the cookies were too thin, etc) If you did, what happened?
Ohhh yes! Read about it here. :)

4. Whose you favorite Christian singer?
Hmm, I am not a big Christian music fan, but I don't mind Britt Nicole.

5. Tell about your favorite birthday celebration that you've personally experienced.
My fourteenth birthday was fun; I went to the zoo with my family and had DQ, then my friends and their parents came over in the evening. Simple joys. :)

6. What is something you've done that you never thought you'd do?
Made it down the double black diamond at the ski resort my family always goes to. I was scared stiff and basically snowplowed the first half on the my first time, but now I can do it with relative ease. My friend and I always told each other we would never attempt so frightening a slope. But somehow we got dared or talked into it or something and we did it. And now it's so fun! (I am really getting ski fever right now, can you tell?)

7. If you could add any person to Mount Rushmore, who would you add and why?
Well, since they are all presidents, I would say George W. Bush. He was our president during some of our toughest times ever and handled everything very well. Sure, he made mistakes, but he's human! Why couldn't people give him some slack? Okay, I'll stop before I start ranting. Politics don't agree with my conservative self. :)

8. If money were no obstacle, what would be the perfect birthday gift to receive?
A Nikon D3100 and plenty of lenses to go with it!! Or my own really nice set of skis, boots, and bindings. *Sighs blissfully*

And Marie's questions:

1. What is your favorite Winter accessory?
Tasteful hand knit lovelies! I love my scarves and mittens. :)

2. How do you like to spend your Winter weekends?
In the piles of snow, having cookies with friends, and being cozy at home. Mmm, I love winter. (And it's almost here!)

3. List your top 3 favorite things about the Winter season.
1. Skiing
2. The cold
3. The SNOW

4. What is something new you'd like to try this year?
I want to solidify my new crochet skills! It's lots of fun, but I need to, um, get better. granny squares are my highest aspiration.

5. If you could spend your Christmas abroad, where would you go?
Scandinavia. It may not be home, but at least it would have the chill of my wonderful Northern home.

6. Your favorite historic monument and why?
The Washington Monument. It has the the words Laus Deo carved onto the eastern top, so the first rays of sun that hit our capital light up the words Praise God. How sweet is that?

7. What museum would you most love to visit?
Well, I have been to NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art once already, but it was a very short visit and I would love to go back and really, really look at that art.

8. If you won a shopping spree tomorrow, which store would you want to spend it at?
J. Crew. I have never bought anything from this store, as it isn't in my price range, but I love their stuff. Or maybe I would choose Toast, if I could figure out my Euro sizes!

Here are my eight questions:

1. If you could be rich or famous, what would you be?
3. How do you feel about The Lion King?
4. When did you begin blogging?
5. Do you like bonfires?
6. If someone gave you a pet monkey, what would you name it?
7. Which continent would you most love to have a nice, long, wonderful tour of?
8. Pens or pencils?

I am tagging:

Kaley Grace
Charming Elephant
Polka Dot

Have a beautiful Friday, lovelies! I have some good news from my life: NaNo is once again looking amazingly fun to me! It had lost its appeal for a little while there, and that scared me. But that's over, thankfully. And my brother is coming home from college for the weekend! I haven't seen him since August! Eeee! Okay, those were a lot of exclamation points. I am going to give us a breather and sign off for now! :)

Signed with a few grins,
Margaret R. :) :) :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker

Toma Nicolescu is a very accomplished warrior in the service of the empress of Russia. He and his friend, Alek Cardei, are given a break from the battlefields to guard the Cantemir's, an important Moldavian family of two daughters and their mother. The daughter's are twin sisters, each very beautiful. Alek wastes no time in falling in love with Natasha, but Toma is resolute and will remain emotionless over the gorgeous Lucine.

Trouble starts the first night of their arrival. The mother, Kesia, who loves merriment of any kind, throws a sparkling party. Among the guests are some of the Castile clan, a mysterious family of Russians, headed by Vlad van Valerik. They charm the Cantemirs, except Lucine, who is dubious of their unconventional ways and quick work of wooing Natasha. Toma is flat out against the Castiles, forbidding Kesia to ever see them again. But the foolish woman refuses and repeatedly sees them.

They are a very seductive group. Alek, who was at first infuriated at them for taking Natasha's affections away from him, is eventually infatuated with the strange Castile's as well. He and Natasha run away every night to their castle in the mountains, coming back . . . changed.

Toma is overwhelmed. His best friend is turning on him, his usually unquestioned authority is being disregarded, and he is quickly falling deeply in love with Lucine. Things are getting out of hand at a very high speed, and something life changing for everyone involved is going to happen . . . soon.
*Warning! Plot spoilers ahead!* I was very disappointed with this book. Usually I like Ted Dekker a lot and I wanted to read Immanuel's Veins as soon as I heard about it-- an intense plot and a love story? Great! I started it with much zeal, loving it immediately, but the love was not to last. The plot quickly became awkwardly paced, and the storyline sensuous. Very sensuous. The book is advertised as one about overcoming seduction, but I didn't realize that until I was right in the middle of it.

The Castile's are vampires. They are never called that, but that is obviously what they are. Dekker is a Christian author, but I felt like I was reading a cleaned up Twilight anyway. I have not read those books, but I saw the first movie. Never watching that one again! I really don't like vampires. At all.

Another thing that bothered me was Toma. He becomes all weird and desperate in his love for Lucine. I can't bear that kind of thing in an otherwise cool character. I was convinced she would be killed in the end, and he would be a wandering madman the rest of his life, but the two of them end up living happily ever after. That was a bright spot. :)

But Alek and Natasha are killed. Toma even kills Alek himself. That was a hard part to read. Ohh, how I despise it when best friends kill each other! (Uhh, who does, I guess?) Sure, Alek had basically become a vampire himself (*major dislike and a long story*) but. . . argh, why did the author have to do that?

One last thing that probably won't bother you: there was a line that almost perfectly matched one from my book! One that is essential and I thought original! But maybe it isn't after all. Oh well.

Okay, I have expounded on most that I disliked about this book. But I did like something: the ending. Dekker can write such fantastic, satisfying endings.

Have you read any Ted Dekker? And what do you when you start disliking a book you're in the middle of?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

November cometh

Fact #1: NaNoWriMo is 15 days away.

Fact #2: Margaret is shamefully unprepared.

Can she do it? Can this waif of a writer truly pound out 50,000 words in 30 days? Oy, I am nearly frightened. This is my first attempt ever at the great achievement: the title of novelist. *sighs*

I first learned about NaNo through my friends Evergreena and Hepzibah, during many animated conversations on the way to and from homeschool band. Good memories. I remember sitting in the band's break room during November, watching them passionately peck at their laptops. I loved watching them and hearing about their stories and woes that came with them. I thought, I will do that someday. When I turn 13.

Well, I have been past 13 for two years and still haven't done NaNo. I am not sure why. But now, in 2010, I am aspiring to do it. *trumpet tune*

I have speculated much over which of my story ideas to do, and settled on this one. I have tried many forms of outlining, but nothing was working. I tried many times to do the Snowflake, but I felt like such a loser when I couldn't see very far ahead in the story. Then I found these questions, which are a golden treasure. Sure, it's not quite outlining, but they are helping me get to know the world better, so they are winners.

But they are only winners if I actually do them! I have been procrastinating, preferring my favored story to my NaNo one. Why don't I just do that favored one for NaNo, you say? Honestly, I can't bring myself to. It has grown too near to my heart to subject it to the ferocity of NaNo. I would love to tell you more about it later, though. :)

Anyway, I have just snooped around the NaNoWriMo website and found some lovely inspiration to keep going (even though November hasn't started yet. . .), and now I will chain myself to my desk and get some more ideas for this novel!!

So, are you going to be a NaNoWriMo participant as well? Are you as scared as I am? Do you have any advice for this desperate writer? I would love to hear your thoughst on November!

Want to add me as your NaNo buddy? Click here!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Cold no more.

Hmm, I am not sure if I love this photo or not. I edited it slightly, and I would like to hear what you think of it. I took it last winter when my family and I were enjoying a backyard fire, something we do quite often. I tried to make it warm and cozy, but do you think it looks too hot and stuffy?
Isn't October lovely? I have positively loved the incredible sunlight of late. My camera has been a great friend to me as well. . . ^_^ September and gold go together perfectly, but October and gold are not a bad pairing, either. But I would appreciate the traditional nip in the air- the temps have hovered between 70 and 90 degrees! It doesn't seem right to watch my sister rake leaves with bare feet and shorts on.

Thanks for all the comments on my last post! I loved hearing about all of your names.

Be blessed!

Monday, October 11, 2010

What, exactly, is in a Name?

Names are fascinating, aren't they? They are the first thing your parents gave you and a big part of your life. When someone says anything that sounds even slightly like my name, I straighten up and temporarily put my life on hold. (Well, when I am at my obedient best!) A name is something that is kept for life, mostly. I have detailed lists of names I would give to my future children, which I update and revise often. :) Yesterday at church, my friends and I had an animated conversation about the good and bad of names. Good times. Okay, I will stop the rambling and get to the point.

Now, as you may know or have guessed, Margaret Rowena is not my real name. I have thought of using my true life name as my Blogger name, but decided against it. Besides, I have grown rather used to Margaret Rowena. That's what happens after eight months of blogging! I want to share with you what it means and why I chose it.

Margaret~ This is my real-life middle name. 'Margaret' means 'pearl'. I chose it because it makes my false name a bit more real to me.

Rowena~ I chose this name because I think it's pretty. Is that a good reason? :) Although it does make my blogger name a dramatic six syllables! I have seen lots of different meanings attached to it: white mane (?), well-known friend, fame, and joy. Wow, I don't think I could live up to this name!

So those are my web names. Now, for the sake of this post, I will give you a real name of mine.

Mia~ This what I commonly go by, but it is still a nickname off my real real name. Confused? I am too. ;) Mia is an Italian name that means 'mine'. I think that's a great meaning and look at it as "I belong to God." Which I do. :)
I know that most people pronounce this one 'mee-ah', but I say it like 'my-ah'. More confusion! Ahhh!!

Moving on. . .

Writers and non-writers, what are your opinions of pen names? I am fine with my name, but not sure how good it would look on a fantasy book cover. And there are some pretty amazing author's names out there, right? Think of Nicholas Sparks. That name is just too good to be true! If you were to be published, would you use one?

My apologies about the meandering-ness of this post! I feel out of practice with blogging for some reason. And thank you Kaley Grace, Squeaks, Lady Greenleaf, Katie Dean, Lily, and Emily for following my blog! I hope you enjoy it.

Au revoir! I am off to cheer for my favorite NFL team! :)

~Margaret Rowena

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Autumn Fashion Showcase - 5 -

It's the last day of the AMFS. :( This has been so much fun. Thank you again Marie for hosting it!

I saved a favorite outfit for this final day. I hope that you like it as much as I do!

The top of this dress is really weird, so I use a black jacket to cover it up and add some sophistication to the mainly casual feel of the outfit.

This is my favorite, favorite ring ever! I found it in my mom's jewelry box one day. She said it was my great-grandmother's and that I could have it. Yay!

My fringed boots, which I love passionately. I wear them everywhere and with everything. Sure, the whole fringed boot trend ended a while ago, but that is not making an impact on me! :)

Dress~ Converse One Star at Target (For $7.50!)
Jacket~ DKNY
Tights~ They appeared in my sock drawer one day.
Boots~ Xhilaration at Target
Ring~ Vintage

Now, on the topic of dressing in a feminine way. I was at a conference today with my grandparents. During a break, I was walking around with my grandma, who always and anytime looks her best. Today she was wearing a simple and classy outfit composed of a long skirt, white shirt, and silk scarf. An older man, a total stranger, stopped us and said to her, "I am so glad to see a woman who is dressed like a lady. There just aren't enough of those today."

Wow. People do notice and appreciate women and girls who are willing to be different and be feminine! While I am not going to stop wearing jeans anytime soon, I am very willing to make skirts and dresses parts of my everyday wardrobe.

Thanks for looking!
~Margaret Rowena

Friday, October 8, 2010

Autumn Fashion Showcase - 4 -

My fourth outfit for Marie's Fashion Showcase:

This outfit is good for chilly fall days, as the hoodie is very warm. I love color, and this outfit is bursting with it! It's a very casual and easy outfit.

Hoodie~ Old Navy
Pink shirt~ SO at Kohl's
Jeans~ Levi's
Scarf~ I knit it myself :)
Hairclip~ A gift
Shoes~ Xhilaration at Target

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Autumn Fashion Showcase - 3 -

The look I was going for with this outfit was friendly. The brown shirt was way too dramatic for my style without some tempering, so I added gentle touches with hearts, flowers, and a tee shirt in a happy color. Unlike yesterday's outfit, this one is very feminine and easygoing. It also includes my favorite pair of jeans. :)

Having fun with the autumn colors! ^_^


Brown shirt~ Gap
Pink shirt~ SO at Kohl's
Jeans~ Old Navy
Beaded necklace~ Burlington Coat Factory
Heart necklace~ Charm from Michael's
Watch~ Merona at Target
Hairclip~ Ragstock

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Autumn Fashion Showcase - 2 -

My second outfit for the Autumn Modest Fashion Showcase:

Urban cowgirl

This outfit is a bit of a joke. I would never be brave enough to wear it out of the house, but it's super fun to get out of one's fashion comfort zone every so often.


Jacket~ DKNY
T-Shirt~ American Apparel (It has my cousin's band's name on it. Cool!!)
Cords~ Analog
Boots~ They were my mom's from her Colorado days. Vintage sweetness! :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Autumn Fashion Showcase - 1 -

This is a favorite outfit of mine. It's easy to wear, includes some of my favorite accessories, and is tire swing compatible. (Very important!) It is very basic, nearly to the point of boring. So I enliven it with a nifty headband and attractive necklace.

Little things of beauty. :)

I love this cardigan. It is really light wool, very comfortable, and goes with anything.

Cardigan~ Gap
T-Shirt~ Merona (Target)
Jeans~ Aeropostale
Hairbow~ Forever 21
Neckalce~ I got the charm at Michael's, the chain from... somewhere.
Hint: If you are looking for cute, affordable accessories, Forever 21 is perfect. So many cute, feminine, pieces . . . I could nuts in there!
Marie, thanks for hosting this event! And dear readers, I will get back to normal, non- entry posts soon. Life has just been . . . well, life lately. So cynical, I know. God still reigns, though.

Merry October to all and to all a goodnight! [Ooh, that was corny. I cringe! :)]