Saturday, February 25, 2017

Favorite Film Ships : Other Romantics





Hello all,

I know that Valentine's Day has come and gone (a while now....) but I really wanted to get this post done before February!

I got inspired by Christine Smith's post on her blog Musings of an Elf to create a post of my favorite screen couples. If you would like to see her original post, click here: http://musingsofanelf.blogspot.com/2017/02/10-screen-couples-who-give-me-all-heart.html

I gave myself an extra challenge....no Jane Austen and no Disney. (*GASP*) Seriously though, I think almost all of the Jane Austen stories are perfectly written and Disney....is Disney. It was just too easy to go from these two.

(Warning: All of these will contain Spoilers....)

So....here we go!




10. Chava and Fyedka (Fiddler on the Roof)


This is actually my favorite couple from Fiddler on the Roof, despite the fact that their romance was downplayed a bit in the film. I love how Fyedka is sensitive to Chava after he sends off his "friends". And he opens up their friendship with a book. What better way?

Honestly, though I can understand Tevye's position, I found it heartbreaking when he disowned Chava for marrying Fyedka. That took guts on her part to leave family and faith behind for a man she loved.

My favorite part of their romance? Its a toss-up between their meeting and the sillouette scene of them dancing. So cute!

9. Laurie Williams and Curly McClain (Oklahoma!)



The sass flies high with these two. But it's clear that these two are stuck on each other from the beginning. They may pretend, they may have people on the side, but they return to each other every time.

My favorite scene? The proposal of course! To me, there is nothing sexier in a man than the ability to comfort a woman. After Laurey sends Jud off packing, it's Curly who picks up the pieces of her broken security and seals it again with his devotion. And even then Curly is downright scared that his love will be rejected. Heart eyes all around!


8. Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor  (Rogue One)


This romance really snuck up on me. When I watched it in theaters, I was really surprised at how platonic Jyn and Cassian's relationship was, but how they thought of each other throughout the film. Then toward the climax, the loving looks started. Then Cassian doing his darnedest to support her....leaving even his beloved rulebook to follow her. He stops Jyn from going too far when she is meets with the General, keeping her focused on the task needed.  And the ending....GAHHH MY HEART. It hurt. A lot.

I had seen Felicity Jones in a Northanger Abbey film adaptation before, so seeing her again in this totally different setting threw me a bit. She definitely gives her character a quiet rebellious quirk, which is balanced by Diego Luna's character's stubborn by-the-book attitude. I don't really have a favorite part of their romance and I hate the fact that this romance was cut short before it really began to bloom. Ah, the horrible question of "what might have been".....

7. "Calamity" Jane and "Wild" Bill Hiccok (Calamity Jane)


Ah...the classic frenemy romance.....

My favorite song from this musical is "I Can Do Without You". These two are honestly so cute when they fight. Their squabbles border on the ridiculous but their comebacks are even worse. They keep me in stitches every time....

But my favorite part is not when they are fighting, but right before they realize they love each other...when Bill shoots the sarsaparilla glass out of Jane's hand and the emotions that follow.

Now, that definitely is not the most romantic scene in the entire film. But here's the deal that everyone misses. Throughout the film, Bill gives subtle nudges to Calamity that she should dress and act more like a female. He KNOWS in his heart that the buckskin-clad, rooting-tooting character that Calamity Jane passes herself off as is not HER. And even when he is pursuing Katie Brown, he never seems to mind too much if he is stuck with Calamity. And in the end, he's also willing to publically humiliate her a bit in order to get her head screwed on straight. Trust me, That. Takes. Guts.

6. Helen Alderson and James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small)


I got hooked into the James Herriot books as a young teen from my parents. Somehow, they found out that some friends of theirs had this TV series on DVD. For several months, we were borrowing them and watching them with all the family and it is now one of my favorite TV shows.

This series by BBC did a very good representation of the books, particularly Helen and James's romance. It starts out super awkwardly as poor James ends up on the wrong side of her father on multiple occasions. It also doesn't help that her father also has another suitor lined up for her - a wealthy one at that. But what I found absolutely cute was watching Helen fall in love with James...every last awkward strand of him.

Most of their romance takes place in Season One, as it was mostly confined to Herriot's first book. I think my favorite part of their romance was when James asked her out the first time...washing teacups nonetheless!


5. Leia Skywalker-Organda and Han Solo (Star Wars Episodes IV, V, VI, and VII)


Angry woman meet cocky man. Doesn't sound like a good combination does it?

For some reason, it worked with these two.

First came the mutual annoyance with each other (and the sass that came out that was downright entertaining). Then the fascination and the jealousies. Then whoops! A kiss in the back corner of the spaceship. And it all went downhill from there.....

While I love all of their romantic story, I think my favorite part is in Episode VI when Han looks at her and says "I love you" as they are about to break into the Empire stronghold on Endor. I'm not sure I totally like how the writers handled their relationship in Episode VII though. I mean, I know that grief has a funny way with dealing with relationships. But from what I can remember from earlier episodes, the two of them used each other as leaning posts (especially in VI). Don't those normally get stronger as they age?

I don't know...too many unanswered questions and plot holes. But I guess that happens when a new generation of writers takes over doesn't it?

4. Jessica Harrison and Jim Craig (Man From Snowy River, I and II)


The Man from Snowy River is one my favorite films from my childhood. I loved Tom Burlinson, especially in the first film. The sequel seemed a little off to me, and I think they could have finished the romantic line better.

The romance between the two is more of a subplot in the first movie, but a big subplot if you get my meaning. A handsome cowboy, looking for work, makes his way to a cattle ranch. He soon meets up with a really sassy and stubborn rancher's daughter. A covert operation to break a prize colt leads to a complicated and messy relationship between each other and the rest of the Harrison family. It becomes part of the giant struggle of Jim Craig trying to prove his worth as a man.

Jessica is a headstrong girl, (she gets it from her dad, I'm fairly sure). Jim is a very steadfast and solid guy. He knows when to put his foot down when dealing with her, but is always tenderly concerned for her. To me, that's a mark of a really good, well-written hero.

Gosh, this one was hard to pick a favorite part...I love it when Jim finds Jessica's dead horse and immediately leaves valuable cattle in order to search for her....and that he made sure that her father knew where she was....and at the end when he looks directly at her and claims that he will come back "for whatever else is mine." ACH, be still heart.

3. Margaret Hale and John Thornton (North and South)


When viewing this particular mini-series, I felt that it was Pride and Prejudice on steroids. Which made it all the more enjoyable.

Margaret and John's romance is spattered throughout with prideful distain, shattered social conventions, and lots and lots of....emotion! Neither one of these two likes to back down from their high horse at first. But Margaret fascinates John to no end....who is this woman who dares to speak her mind? Eventually, tragedy forces to see each other in a new light, and a wonderful role reversal brings forth enough loving tenderness to leave any girl swooning.

I really didn't like how John was portrayed in the first episode. I later found out that it was a sharp departure from the book, to my relief. He did grow on me as the series went on, and I've been a big fan of Richard Armitage ever since.

My favorite part of their romance was the part in which they meet each other halfway at the train station at the very end of the series. Gosh...those adoring looks....and the rose...and the restrained emotions....its enough to send you running to Pinterest and pinning every single image you can possibly find.

2. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Green Gables, The Sequel)


While the second film obviously wasn't as good as the first one...I will admit that Sullivan did do an excellent job of capturing this timeless couple's romance almost perfectly. (I'm not even considering the third one...that one is strictly a romance story between characters by Megan Fellows and Jonathan Crombie. Enough said.)

Everything that you can throw at a pair of lovers - hatred, unforgiveness, suitors on the side, awkwardness, serious sickness, broken hearts....you name it, they experienced it.

Gilbert had to deal with a very....umm....difficult female. She had to have broken his heart multiple times before she came to her senses. And Anne? Poor girl had to deal with a blind and rather rebellious heart of her own. How he stood by her, sacrificed so much for her....it gets me right here *taps chest as the tears start*

This one was another one that I had trouble picking my favorite part. I loved it when she broke the slate...the rescue from the lake....but I guess my favorite would have to be the bridge scene with the line from Anne....

"I don't want diamond sunbursts or marble halls....I just want you."


1. Elizabeth Thatcher and Jack Thornton (When Calls the Heart)


OH MY GOSH, WHERE TO START?

These two characters were matched perfectly. Enough sass to keep it entertaining, but both reveal their hearts enough to keep the "awwwws" going. Their personalities and abilities complement each other so well. I must take my hat off to the writers of this series, they have done an awesome job!

This one is a bit unusual in that it's a current series and I haven't seen all the episodes. As of right now, I'm only a quarter of the way through Season 2. So far, my favorite part was when the school children took down the Founder's Day backdrop (that Jack had secretly painted) and discovered that Jack and Elizabeth were in the tapestry....K..I..S..S..I..N..G. Elizabeth's reaction is priceless and his reaction to her confronting him is absolutely hysterical....gosh I'm squealing as I write this.....


*********

And there you have it....10 non-Austen and non-Disney couples that set me fangirling. What are your top ten "other romantic" couples? Share in the comments!

Scribbingly yours,

Catherine




Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Canadian Morning : A Short Story



Hello all,

The muse has been at it again....bored with response papers, it has created a character sketch instead.

What is a character sketch? It's a really short story or a dialogue. I first heard the term "sketch" in Anne of Avonlea, as Anne is stuck in a duckhouse and she thinks of a cute dialogue story. It can be used for exercises as well. It's a great term for this story.

I was partially inspired by an episode of When Calls the Heart, but it's mainly a product of my rebellious muse. For this story, I wanted to my muse to play with humor, sarcasm and covert dialogue after imagining the main storyline. Please critique in the comments and enjoy!

Catherine

A Canadian Morning

“Good morning, Mrs. Brackman.” The post office clicked shut behind a stout woman as she stepped up to the mercantile counter.

“Good morning, Mrs. Hersh. It is simply too good of a morning to be an ordinary one.” The middle-aged postmistress moved to the back slot to reach her neighbor's mail.

“I would quite agree, it is an extraordinary morning.” Mrs. Hersh simpered.

“Oh, I don't believe it was an extraordinary one, just an ordinary one. Morning, Mrs. Brackman and Mrs. Hersh.” The door had banged open again to reveal a rather skinny personage with soft black hair and piercing blue eyes.

Mrs. Hersh and Mrs. Brackman exchanged smiles. They had seen the call of those blue eyes as clear as day.

“Just an ordinary one, Miss Sable?” Mrs. Brackman arched an eyebrow.

“Mmm. No ruckuses, no embarassments. Just an ordinary pleasant day.”

“Oh? Tell me, Miss Sable, what is so ordinary about today?” Mrs. Brackman leaned forward as she handed a small parcel to Mrs. Hersh as Miss Sable began her story.

“Well…...there was a handsome Mountie who was on his beat not too long ago. Naturally he was in a civilized part of the town, never the backwoods for him. He never did appreciate the fine qualities of coal dust in the air.” To which sentiment, Mrs. Brackman and Mrs. Hersh nodded in agreement.

“He spurred on his horse, naturally a very majestic black horse with a white star. A brown horse with mismatched socks simply is undignified for a Mountie to ride.”

“Of course, but a man can't exactly look a gift horse in the mouth, Miss Sable. Particularly a Mountie.” Mrs. Brackman said briskly. Now that he had been positively identified, the story was beginning to get interesting for the two ladies.

“As he passed the general store, such as a gentleman should, he tipped his hat to the lady on the porch.”

“Any particular one? I've heard that quite a few have set their cap for that particular Mountie.” Mrs. Brackman gave a knowing look.

“Of course it was a dark haired beautiful young woman. Would you expect him to tip his hat at a simpering blonde, or worse a dumbstruck little chick with hair that was not just one shade?”

“He would not be a true Mountie if he did not.” Mrs. Brackman agreed, almost laughing to herself. It was hard to identify just what color Jessamine Coulter's hair really was. Why she was favored with the Mountie's attention was beyond her personally, but….

“And just as naturally he passed by, with her gazing blue eyes behind him.” Miss Sable gave a toss of her head.

“Is that all?” Mrs. Hersh sounded rather disappointed.

“Well of course that was all! It would simply be disgraceful to mention the wagon rushing by like a gale, cutting of the view of so many....” Miss Sable's rogue eyes betrayed her shamefully.

“Not old Silas's wagon, surely??” Mrs. Hersh broke in.

“Oh, the very same.”

“Oooohhh, that man ought to put slots on his wagon so that a self-respecting busybody can know what is going on in this town as he passes by...” Mrs. Hersh sputtered.

“With how fast he was probably going, it would not have mattered, Mrs. Hersh.” Mrs. Brackman turned back to Miss Sable. “I would suppose that, naturally, his horse behaved in the best manner possible?” She asked with a twinkling eye.

“Not even a toss of the head, never mind the hooves.” A rogue smile crossed Miss Sable's face, thinking that surely the sky must have been torn asunder by those said hooves.

“I'm sure that the Mountie in question maintained perfect poise through all?” Mrs. Brackman's voice held strong despite all.

“I don't think I've heard such an….ahem….eloquent address as the one that the Mountie gave at that time. Or seen such a….um….graceful...dismount from a horse.” Miss Sable could not resist a grin.

“I would suppose that it would have been equally insignificant to mention the state of his uniform?” Mrs. Hersh ventured, finally catching on.

“Equally, Mrs. Hersh. Of course it was a spotless bright cherry red! After all, a Mountie wouldn't dare leave the barracks, much less mount his horse, in a uniform that even showed the slightest hint of a common color such as BROWN.”

“Oh dear! Were the roads ever so bad?”

“Well, Mrs. Hersh, it DID rain last night….” Mrs. Brackman suggested knowingly. “And his hat, Miss Sable?”

“Of course it was the rounded variety! How do you expect any man to wear one that was flat as a pancake?”

Mrs. Hersh caught a laugh before it escaped completely. “I dare say he would look rather silly if he did, Miss Sable.”

“With a man with such poise, such rugged handsomeness, he would be in a class of his own, Mrs. Hersh.” Mrs. Brackman drolled as she handed Miss Sable two letters.

“A fine example of manhood is our young constable. So strong and independent….” Mrs. Hersh sighed.

“Aye, Mrs. Hersh. But even the strongest fall at least once. And they that fall often need help to get back up again.” Mrs. Brackman looked knowingly at Miss Sable.

Miss Sable snorted. “It would be disgraceful to think of him so weak as to need assistance in anything, Mrs. Brackman. Surely those beings helping him onto his charger were ghosts of the old friendly miners from years gone by.” Miss Sable looked a little guilty at this admission. The miner's progeny really was much friendlier and...helpful as well.

“Leaving his boots much blacker, eh?” Mrs. Hersh simpered.

“Aye and much more too!” Mrs. Brackman's laughter joined that of Mrs. Hersh and Miss Sable at the pretty picture now in their minds.


“All in all, a very ordinary morning. Good day, Mrs. Brackman, Mrs. Hersh.” And with her tale told and her mail collected, Miss Sable left the post office.  

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Catherine's Craziness: My Backstory




Hello all,

I promised that I would tell my backstory, so buckle your seat belts and don't feed the animals on the way please.....lol.

My imagination started creating worlds when I was little. Playing pretend was one of my favorite games (still is!!). And when my inventions gave out, I pretended that I was in my favorite movies, changing the plot rather shamefully.

I truly started writing fiction when I was in middle school. I started out with some really bad stories that were true products of my imagination. Not realistic at all. It makes me laugh to think about it now....

But then my best friend at the time gave me a story draft that she had written. We soon were swapping drafts via email, but neither story never really got any further than the first few chapters. (That draft is currently hiding on my computer somewhere....)

To this day, I blame that innocent story for the consequential damage that followed. Because.....a muse had been awakened. Suddenly I was writing my own stories, crowding various notebooks and several hundred pages of loose paper in my *spare* time. Several short stories drafts and one novel idea emerged in various stages.

I was writing on and off when I took a creative writing course in high school. In this course, I had to create "journal entries" which were mostly either chapters of a novel or short stories.

I took the short story route. My first stories in my high school journal were a series of 3 short stories called Carla Rosa Train of Thoughts. They were about a girl detective who, in the middle of busting drug gangs, pursues a handsome but hard police sergeant. They were inspired by a random five-word bank, of all things. I used the rest of the journal to try out other short stories and other forms of writing (including writing songs for a melodrama that I was writing for another class!). But I really liked my Carla Rosa stories the best.

After high school, my muse went back to its on-again-off-again relationship. I explored my muse a little more, discovering the art of list making on paper and the computer. I would write scene ideas and characterizations as they came to me, but never really completed any stories. In college, I started realizing the power of music for inspiring stories. I was looking for Celtic music and found Adrian von Ziegler. He is a neo-Celtic fantasy composer and places a lot of his compositions on Youtube. I still use a lot of his music to help me write out story ideas.

In the spring of my sophomore year of college, I took another creative writing course....one vastly different from my high school one. In this class, we had to create only three short stories, in addition to a couple of exercises. We would then critique each others stories.

My first story was a reboot of my first Carla Rosa story. My muse was really rebellious...it refused to create a story. My poor little resurrected story was lauded as good, but unrealistic. I started to figure out that tales needed a grain of truth and reality to them, not to be creations of pure imaginations.

My second story idea came to me in my creative writing class one day, and to be honest I spent more time creating it than paying attention. After I had written the whole idea out, I became obsessed with one character. I ended up leaving my original idea and wrote a two-part backstory about her. To this day, it's the only story that I've really finished, though I plan to resurrect that original plot bunny into a sequel in the near future. My professor has wanted me to go further with the story, possibly to get it published. I haven't really pursued it....yet.

The main reason is that I discovered that I write in "snapshots". I write out individual scenes (mostly as they play out in my imagination) and then weave them together in a plot. It's these "seams" that are my Waterloo. I don't feel that my story is good enough yet because of the 'seams' that I've put into it. I've got a feeling that the fact that I list everything before I write it may have something to do with it.....any ideas?

And so....to the present day, with me surrounded by many story ideas and drafts of stories, with nothing published yet. I write simply because.....I enjoy it, a lot. Lately, my muse has been wanting to create little sketches instead of stories right now. I'm thinking of posting one soon. 😁

Scribblingly yours,

Catherine

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Welcome to My Muse




What??? A second blog in less than a year??? Aren't you busy enough with cooking, sewing, and pursing your agricultural dreams???

Well.....



I have a confession to make....

I

Have

A

Muse


And lately, IT HAS REFUSED TO SHUT UP. 


To the point where I'm writing poetry spontaneously, writing fan-fiction and character sketches when I should be writing essays.....

And listening to music is starting to become a very dangerous activity......


When I started my first blog, Frugally Fancy, it was with a purpose. I had a lot of personal experiences in my life's journey that I felt that people could enjoy and learn from. I had started creating potential posts ever since my late high school days and finally gathered the courage to put them to the world in November 2016 at the repeated urging of my best friend.

In the short time that I've been blogging, I find that I really enjoy it. It's really encouraging to see people share my ideas around the globe. I'll still blog on Frugally Fancy a lot in the future.

But lately, I've been feeling really, really restless. Because my muse is not satisfied with my non-fiction or even my personal writings.



At heart, I am.....a fiction writer.



Ever since I can remember I have always been fascinated by stories.

God saw fit to bless me with a very vivid and emotional imagination.

He also gave me the talent of writing, and sent numerous teachers and friends to help me refine it.

I've always had a very rebellious muse. It tends to distract me from my schoolwork, disturb my sleep, make me an absolute fool (especially when the ramblings exit my mouth....), and causes me to have unnecessary worry and anxiety. Lately, it's been running a-muck and ignoring my muse has not been working very well.

There really is only one thing to do: harness it for good!!!!


While I doubt that I will publish any full-length novels here, I will share some short stories and some sketches that my muse loves to come up with. In my next post, I'll tell my journey into the writing world.

Oh, there is one more thing before I leave for the night. While I'm known on the online world mostly as Farm Lassie, it doesn't seem a very good writer's name does it?

So, just call me Catherine.

And.....welcome to my writers corner.