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  • the book of lost things


    What would you do if someone came to you with a crazy, fantastic story of something that had happened to them? Something far-fetched, that may go against your idea of reality, but they are absolutely serious and sincere? Would you believe them? I just recently (a couple nights ago) started reading a book called "The Book of Lost Things" (thank you for the recommendation, Allison) by John Connolly. It is wonderful. I am enjoying how the author embraces the love of books he has and gives it life. So far (I am only maybe a fourth of the way in) the gist of the story is this. There is a 12-year-old boy in England in 1939. His mother has very recently died, and the thing the boy shared the most and remembers the most about her are books and stories. He got his love of them from her. His father moves on eventually, taking a new wife and they have a new child, and the boy feels very isolated. He also is experiencing blackouts that have no explanation. But instead of actually blacking out, he wakes up with the memory of something a crazy, crooked old man, or a castle, or a forest glade. Glimpses of another world. Eventually, the boy in this book experiences something a shift to another world, a world that really should only exist in books. The reason he decides to go forward, into this world, and not straight back home is because he knows his father would never believe him without physical proof. So he goes off into what I'm sure are life-endangering adventures, all because the person that matters the most to him back home wouldn't believe him. So back to my original questions. Would you really believe someone who told you something that questioned your perception of reality? I know that for me this is probably just something that I would LIKE to happen, because I'm not actually a fan of reality. I FAR prefer alternate realities, in which many things can happen that will never happen in my life, which is a very large reason I love books so much. But I have met people in my life who have told me of experiences they have had, and though I haven't had them myself (which I am glad of, because I would likely be an absolute mess. Well, more of a mess than I already am) I truly do believe they happened. Because I trust the people telling me. There are scary and wonderful things out there, happening in OUR world, that most of us completely reject or won't allow ourselves to see or believe in. Maybe we should try harder. It's scary, yes, but we can't use our reality as a security blanket. We should be experiencing ALL the world has to offer. I know this is something that I need to work on, rather than gleaning it all from my books. Books have been a blessing and a curse for me. I love them because everything is straightforward. You know exactly what the people in them are thinking and feeling, and that makes it harder for me to relate to people in real life. I often have no idea what is going on with them, and it drives me crazy. So I just go back to books. But I truly do learn so much from them, because the person who wrote them is imparting something they know and believe and love to the reader, in turn teaching and bettering that person. There are definitely pros and cons to books, but they truly do teach you to perceive the world in a completely different manner.

    at odds.


    I was reading scripture the other night, and the thing that was crossing my mind the whole time I was reading (and that I've thought about many other times before while reading scripture), was how absolutely violent ancient times were. Violence is something that I am vehemently against. I don't think there should be any need for wars, holy or not, and because of that, I do not support the war there currently is or ever was. Now, don't think me unpatriotic. I love my country (usually) and all the freedoms it affords me. And I am very grateful to those who fought and lost their lives for my freedom. The thing that I abhor is the fact that we ever NEEDED a war to get that freedom. Contention is of the devil, correct? So why, oh why, is the majority of scripture WAR?! It's what makes reading the scriptures the most difficult for me. I understand the concepts; fighting for what you believe in and what is right and good. And I also understand that they fought so that we could have the scripture that we do today. But I have a difficult time reading about it. I am a person who avoids confrontation at all costs, which is both good and bad. It means that I am very guarded with my feelings, because I get hurt easily, and feel very deeply. It also means that fighting and competition are things that I do not, nor will ever, understand. Pitting yourself against an opponent or enemy is something the world tends to focus on, which in my opinion is why sports are so popular. I'm not knocking sports (well, maybe a little), but people start to miss what the point should be - to better oneself physically and technically. It becomes all about the competition and proving you are better than someone else. I think this is a large reason that I prefer the arts. They focus on the individual, and on the skills themselves, the things that sports largely misses for the most part. So I don't get it. I don't like contests, I don't like competition, I don't like trying to prove that I am better than someone else. I want to prove to myself that I can be better than I currently am - for myself. No one else really factors in (except maybe God). So back to my anti-violence rant. I think the epitome of senseless violence is the Civil War (Katie, please don't hate me. I know it's your favorite era). Brothers fighting against brothers and people dying for someone else's opinion. They weren't fighting for their country, they were BOTH fighting for what they thought was the right thing. There are two sides to every war, and both think they are justified. And rationally, they are. So who is right, and who is good? The winner? I don't know that this is true. Just because the losers had less people, or fell into certain circumstances, doesn't mean they weren't correct in their belief. Because a belief is right, no matter what it is. It is something that matters to that person, specifically, and that is what's true and good. But not worth shedding another's blood over. I don't believe that anything is worth that. Because what does it achieve in the end? A false sense of superiority and rightness? Crushing someone else's life force or belief should never be justified, especially through warfare. So what is up with this war crap? Love your brothers and sisters for who THEY are and what they stand for. No matter what race, religion, or class. Why is that so difficult?

    shameless plug

    Yes, this is a shameless plug for my other blog, which is a compilation of my poetry, short stories, and story beginnings. A while back I thought it would be a good idea to post all of my stuff in one place, in case my computer dies or something, and also so other people could read it and share their thoughts. Most of it was written for my creative writing class in high school, but a couple things are newer. Some are super lame, some are pretty good (in my opinion). So I'm inviting you to read and share with me what you think about them. I hope something in them strikes a chord with you; I love being able to share this piece of me with others. Happy reading! (At least, if you decide to.)


    remember, remember the 5th of november...


    Well it's here, and I'm remembering it. One of the best movies I have ever seen, with important messages, is V for Vendetta. Based on the events of Guy Fawkes' Gunpowder Plot, it is a fantastic, poignant film. I wanted to include a great quote from the movie to pay tribute to the memorable events of November 5th, 1605.

    "Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot." - V, broadcasting to the people of London over the television

    Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes or http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0434409/ for more info!



    I love theatre. This fact was reaffirmed last night when we went to the midnight showing of Nosferatu at UVU. We got to the theatre, dressed in our fantastic costumes (I walked in to whispers of "that's Carmen Sandiego" and a lot of blatant stares. It was great), and sat down. I really wasn't sure what to expect, but I noticed that the stage was set up like a movie set (sort of), with lights and different scenes set all over the stage, and a large white projector screen above the stage. Which intrigued me. The play started, and I quickly caught on to the fact that we were going to be watching what the camera operators and techs (which were also present on stage) filmed right in front of us. They basically took the 1922 silent, black and white movie, and showed it on the screen, while substituting, oh, maybe 75% of it with scenes they shot in real-time on the stage. No words were said the entire play, except for by techs calling the cues when they paused for words to be shown on the screen (silent film) and to start, stop, and change scenes. It truly was phenomenal, and it was so interesting to see the correlation between stage and screen, and how different the two really are. I'd never seen anything quite like it before, but I certainly hope to again. Mixed-media productions definitely have a promising future in today's theatre world.

    The other most life-changing performance I have ever seen was Macbeth, during the fall season of the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, a few years ago (2004, I believe). It wasn't the acting that blew me away, though it was extraordinary as well. It was the set design, and what they decided to do with it. The stage was set up as the front hall of a castle, or manor, or whatever, with (from left to right): the large front door with a stained glass window above it, a staircase opening into a doorway, a very large tapestry, and another doorway at ground level. The performers were amazing (of course, since it was the Shakespearean Festival), and when Macbeth decides to kill King Duncan, and goes up the stairs and through the doorway, they shine a red light behind the tapestry, so we're shown a jagged-bordered silhouette of a rickety stairway, with Macbeth creeping up it, holding a dagger erect. Wow. When Macbeth kills the King, a bell chimes, an owl hoots, and the stained glass window breaks. The play continues, and then when Banquo is killed, the bell chimes again, and the stage separates (flies apart, more like) essentially down the middle, about 6 or so feet. Later on, when Macduff's family is murdered, the stage separates another 10 feet, with another chime. Next, when Lady Macbeth is proclaimed dead, the bell chimes once again, and the set goes off stage completely, leaving only a set of stairs and the silhouette of a graveyard in the background. With that as the set, we finally see Macduff and Macbeth fight, and Macbeth fall. A fantastic play, and a fantastic way of presenting it. It was so creepy and wonderfully done.

    And so, I love theatre. I love film as well, but for a few different reasons (cinematography being first and foremost). I've grown up around theatre, thanks to Tracy. When I was young, instead of playing cops and robbers, or cowboys and indians, or even fairy princesses, I was playing Romeo and Tybalt. That definitely says something about me. And I love that fact. So I hope to be involved in some form of theatre the rest of my life, whether it be behind-the-scenes, or just as a theatre-goer. I'm sure many of you appreciate the beauty of theatre as an art form as well.


    I'm not, by nature, a decisive person. At least about things that matter. And mainly, at this point in my life, is the decision of what to DO with the rest of it. "Jack of all trades, master of none" is a phrase that describes me well. There are so many things I'm interested in, but getting to the point where I learn what I want to know about any of them takes years of school, in many different directions. I can't afford the time or expense of that. I know I get bored easily, so I'm wary of what I get into because I don't want to grow bored with it. Which brings me to where I am right now, needing to decide what to do before my life passes me and I never have a chance to do any of it. I have so many things I want to accomplish, and they all take money and education. I can't pick just one, because then it will just be sullied by the fact that I can't accomplish the others. So I'm really at a crossroads, and there is no road less traveled. There are just wildlands with unexplored territory.


    I really do have a soundtrack for my life. But not in the conventional way. I enjoy a LOT of different bands and types of music, but the two things that pretty much all of them have in common are unique vocal styles and poignant lyrics. I’m a poet at heart, so the combination of saying something meaningful plus showcasing it in a way that adds more meaning through a musical medium makes my heart soar. Seriously, it really does. It helps me connect with the music in a way that transcends just a tune that you like. Music is something that can connect with people on many levels, whether it just makes you smile, or whether it hits on the exact emotion you were feeling, that you weren’t sure anyone else understood. I tend to listen to albums for weeks at a time, until I know every nuance of it and until I’ve worked out the feelings it strikes up in me. I have albums that I’ve owned since 8th grade that I still listen to and love, and I continually add more artists all the time. The thing that I love the most about music is that I can listen to one of the many albums I own, and that specific collection of songs brings back the exact memories and feelings of the time I listened to it the most. How amazing is that? Music is one of the most powerful tools we have on this earth. The right piece can be a pure example of unfettered emotion.


    I do my best thinking in my car. Which means I think a lot, because I'm in my car a lot. Recently, I was in said car, thinking, and came to the conclusion that my car is actually my home. It is the place that I feel the most comfortable. My apartment and my parent's house are definitely places I feel comfortable in, but there are always people around. My car is the one place I can sing at the top of my lungs and not feel self-conscious, or the one place I can sob to my heart's content without people crowding me or telling me to be quiet. It's a wonderful place to have and I am truly blessed to have it, for many reasons. You may be thinking to yourself at this point, "what about all the people around who can see into the car?" Well, I don't really care about them, because I don't really ever have to deal with them again. I mean, I care in general about their welfare, but I don't care about their opinion of me. But my neighbors in my apartment complex/house, and my family are all people I deal with on a somewhat daily basis. Make sense? So I just want to say that I am happy to have my trusty sidekick. And she is trusty. She's never broken down on me, ever, and I've had her since I was 16. Ergo, I am thankful.


    I noticed a scratch on my wrist earlier today. From my cat, of course, but it reminded me of the movie "Princess and the Goblin" for some reason (the girl in it gets a scratch on her wrist from a rose's thorn). It led me to thinking about how things are so different when we're children. I watch a Disney movie now, and they always let me down, because I have such a glowing memory of how I saw them as a child. Albeit, I was a very imaginative kid, and have become a somewhat cynical adult (something I'm not proud of), but I still have those memories. And I am happy I have them. Real life just sucks sometimes. Fantasy worlds are what I intend to spend the rest of my life using to escape from reality, whether I am writing them, reading them, or watching them. I just want to express my gratitude towards the things that taught us as children that life is ours for the taking, and we can do whatever we want. We may not have a fairy-tale ending, or mice or fairies to help us along the way, but we do have family and friends, and the opportunity to make our own path. And that is a wonderful thing to have. Stories keep us happy and hopeful. Without them, the world as we know it would not exist.


    So I'm hoping this whole blogging business will prove therapeutic for me. And poor you, you have to read it. I have a separate blog for my 'creative' ramblings, and almost never update it because I never write anything anymore. See kids, that's what lack of school and excess of work does to ya. Makes it so you don't even do the one thing you love. Stupid life. Anyway, that blog is called Fantastical Observations and I have no idea how you can get there. I bet there's a link on this page somewhere.

    I commit to writing in this blog whenever I remember to, because lack of things to say is most definitely not my problem. By making remembering my criteria, I probably won't write that often. Later today I am planning on writing a nice long, or not so long, post about my AWESOME costume for 2008. Complete with pictures! Yay! Halloween is my favorite holiday by far, just as autumn is my favorite season. All the smells, the crisp air, the excitement tangible. I LOVE it. So, look for that costume post later on!