Bonus Films: Videos for Mr. Rickman

Today, though it is my ‘day off from posting’ I did two BookTube videos in honor Alan Rickman. The first one was a sort of rambling tribute to his characters and what he’s brought into my life, culminating in the original purpose of the video…my two favorite quotes from a highly talented and seemingly giving man.

The Second video is about Harry Potter and is really a ‘tag’ video in which you are supposed to answer the questions posed about the Harry Potter Universe. I did…

 

As always, if you like any of my videos please let me know. Give me a thumbs up and/or comment either there or here. Tell me what you like or don’t like so I can up my game, so to speak. However, with these two videos I think the content is more about remembering and mourning a great artist…as with my David Bowie video on Tuesday…so these are really just a way to connect with other fans across the world.

 

I hope you are all having a fabulous week. May God bless you all.

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Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore[ from J.K. Rowling’s immensely popular and amazing hit, Harry Potter, is one of my favorite characters from all of literature…and he’s pretty smart too! I often quote Dumbledore to myself, or to friends and family, and today I am quoting him to you. Here for your enjoyment are my top 3 favorite Dumbledore quotes (decoratively pulled from my Pinterest account). This was a difficult choice, as he has so many wonderful quotes, so if you have other Dumbledore sayings you prefer I would love to hear them!

"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?" -Albus Dumbledore There have been times in my life when I struggled to pull myself out of my head. The worlds and stories there are gripping and, to me at least, at times just as real as the ‘real’ world around me. I suppose that is why this Dumbledore quote has always resonated with me. Do you have that problem?

 

Harry Potter Dumbledore quote Art Pint Wall Art by geeksleeksheek As an author, a teacher, a mother, and a big mouth sass machine this quote both lifts me up and knocks me down every time I read it. He’s right of course (well, I suppose Ms. Rowling is right, as she wrote Albus Dumbledore’s lines for him) but sometimes we all forget the truth in this. Do you know the feeling?

 

Albums dumbledore quoteFinally, this quote has helped me deal with sadness, depression, and frustrations…whether my own or those belonging to my friends and family…by reminding me that life goes on, happiness is a daily choice, and it is up to us to be open to the light. We have to choose to flip the ‘switch’. I would love to have this around a light switch someday…perhaps in my writer’s loft when we get the lights set up. Where would you put it?

 

 

Interpretations

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The rhythm and cadence of every written piece is the same for each person who reads it…right? No matter who they are, no matter where they are from, and no matter what possible differences they might have, every single one of the will read or sing each word in EXACTLY THE SAME PRECISE MANNER…or not. Even if two people from the same household read a poem, they will each put their own spin on it. Everyone has their own interpretations, that is what makes the written word such a powerful thing.

Nations can rise and fall with the flick of a pen and when you combine that power with spoken words in the reading or singing of a piece and the entire feel can be manipulated through inflection. Read a recipe out loud (I recommend my newly published on Yahoo! “How To: Juicy Herbal Chicken” http://voices.yahoo.com/how-juicy-herbal-chicken-12587872.html). First, read the ingredients as if you are starving and those are the most beautiful words you have ever seen…then read it again as if you hate chicken, can’t stand the thought of even smelling the cilantro, and never want to eat again. Be angry at the words…see how that works?

One of my personal favorite ways to demonstrate this is to read Dr. Seuss, A.A.Milne, and/or other classic authors such as Alfred, Lord Tennyson or Edgar Allen Poe with different tones and emotions.

Try reading Green Eggs and Ham (Dr. Seuss) as if it makes you terribly sad. Read The Raven by E.A. Poe as if it makes you giggle uncontrollably in places.

Sing A.A. Milne’s Tigger’s song like you are Eeyore or drop the drama and quote The Lady of Shallot (Alfred, Lord Tennyson) as if you were merely reading a bit of a gossip column (Oh look dear, The crazy lady in the tower passed away. Huh.)

Do you see the difference a little change in your voice can make?

Sometimes when I’m reading, I hear the words as spoken by a teacher or an actor, their interpretations coloring even my own private readings. For example, I always hear The Lady of Shallot (and usually read it as) Megan Follows in the movie Anne of Green Gables. And I am willing to bet you that the vast majority of people don’t just read through the Gollum lines in any J.R.R. Tolkien book…precious.

As a slight side note, I would like to also mention the actors who portray beloved characters in live action films. When Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark confesses to being Iron Man it is done completely differently than expected, but absolutely perfectly. Here is a man who is a narcissistic play boy that doesn’t care for many people, admitting to himself that he is a hero. Perhaps an entirely flawed and destructive hero, but a hero none-the-less.

When you meet the Ninja Turtles, or when you see yet another James Bond and you almost recognize them…this is an example of the chance every actor is given. With direction, they can change their characters and inject their own spin, their own mannerisms by using the written script as more of a jumping off point.

Case in point—everyone in Harry Potter and Johnny Depp.

p.s. this was supposed to be a video blog and I chickened out…But I would LOVE to hear suggestions or see your own videos of songs or prose that you found to practice this concept with!

Last Lines

I recently read an article on the first lines of a novel (http://cristianmihai.net/2014/01/28/opening-lines-2/) and in thinking about those, my mind slowly turned to the last lines of my favorite works.

Some of the most moving, and sometimes simple, lines of text in literature are the finale sentences. They are the culmination of their tales, the punctuation at the end of the sentence. And they can sometimes change the entire feeling of the novel.

Although not a novel, one of my absolute favorite last lines in all of literature is that of William Shakespeare’s King Lear. After five acts of his life, the entire story is summed up and left hanging on two little words, “He died.” I’m not too proud to admit that I cry every time.

(the movie end, slightly different but beautiful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPI5EgqQoy0)

After amazing adventures and death defying acts made even more amazing and frightening due to their small stature, the hobbits return home at the end of The Return of the King and the final line, said by Samwise Gamgee, is this: “Well, I’m Home then.” What simple fervor and contentment this brings to me. He’s home, they are home, and after everything he has been through, Frodo’s faithful gardener and best friend sits in his chair with his family, and is home.

(images courtesy of a convoluted line of repinners on Pinterest)

At the end of Louisa May Alcott’s thriller love story, A Long Fatal Love Chase (published two years before Little Women and well worth the read) Tempest, described as a libertine who resembles Mephistopheles (i.e. a man of low/no moral character who resembles a demon, or possibly the demon), gathers his drowned wife in his arms and stabs himself, declaring defiantly “Mine first-Mine Last-Mine even to the grave” I got chills just typing that up for you.

                                                    (picture via Eleanor Mackender

   Guildford Castle secret garden)

Some books, like Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass leave their reader to wonder exactly what happened, or will happen. Though Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ended with a paragraphical sentence describing how Alice would be when older, Through the Looking Glass leaves us with the questions, “which do you think it was?” I, personally, believe it was all real.

Finally, the sum of everything that happened in one of the most famous book series to have been written in many, many years, J.K. Rowling’s final sentence in the epilogue of The Deathly Hollows is this, “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” Every time I re-read this book, and this line, I feel both a weight on my heart from the losses and a weight lifted because now there is safety. Now both the muggle world, and the wizarding world, are free to exist as they do without threat from a man who wouldn’t just die when he was supposed to.

Yes, I know these are books and not technically reality. However, they are a big part of my life and, hopefully, will be a big part in the lives of many of the children in the world. Books provide escapes, imagination exercises, and just good fun. So now that I’ve shown you mine, why don’t you show me yours? What are some of your favorite closing lines?

Not Necessarily Mysterious

Not Necessarily Mysteries:

 I was going to just talk about Young Adult/Teen mystery series today, but then I began to think.

There are several great book series that contain mysteries within their plotlines, even though they may not be designated as such. A good example of this in the Young Adult/Teen section is that of Rick Riordan’s three mythology based series. Each one is shelved as a fantasy novel, but each one also contains mysterious elements which lead the protagonists on their journeys and build suspense for the reader. 

Other such novels, like the Mortal Instruments series written by Cassandra Claire, build suspense and keep readers coming back for more by dropping hints and providing small and large mysteries that float throughout the stories.  Harry Potter has mysteries sprinkled in each book and even romance stories, like the Just a Little series by Tracie Puckett weaves tales of mystery and dropping clues, even if just to discover what that cute guys ‘deal’ is!

 

If, at the end of the day, you prefer just a good old fashioned mysterious book then I suggest these titles for your reading pleasure:

 

 

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

 

The Catalyst Series by Heidi Willard (supernatural thriller mysteries)

 

The Academy Series by C. L. Stone

 

Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mysteries by Sarah Woodbury