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Archive for the ‘Little Bits of Random’ Category

Twitter pal, fellow Newsies lover and book blogger Kim of Reflections of a Book Addict recently tagged me in post in which she asked me and other bloggers questions about books and other randoms. I’m supossed to tag eleven other bloggers and come up with eleven new questions, but guys, I’ve had this in my drafts for over a week, so I’m just going to publish this now, okay? If you want to answer these questions on your own blog, please do and let me know! I’ll read it and tell you I think you’re swell. Because if you are still reading my blog, you are indeed a lovely, lovely person.

What is the one book you recommend to people over and over?

 Persuasion for everyone who thinks Pride and Prejudice is the only book Jane Austen wrote. I am also working to spread the gospel of YA books and have been shoving The Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner in the face of everyone I know.

Why did you start blogging?

I was bored with a lot of time on my hands. Hahaha, okay, that is only partially true. I had been reading blogs for a few years and I decided I wanted to join in with all the fun. I’m glad I did. I would have never met Kate and Kate is swell.

If you had all the money in the world and could travel to ONE place, where would it be and why?

ONE place—just one? Kim, why are you trying to kill me? I have a bad case of Wanderlust and would be happy to travel anywhere in the world (and universe, once that option becomes available). But if I can only choose ONE, it has to be Egypt. I have been in love with that place since I was a tiny baby Christine and I would happily spend months traveling up and down the Nile, visiting museums and archaeological sites and tombs and markets and OH MY GOSH SOMEONE TAKE ME THERE RIGHT NOW.

Who is your favorite author?

AustenDickensTolkienWallace. Can you imagine what that book would look like? It would probably be so amazing you would go insane once you finished it because you couldn’t handle its genius. I just figured out what the Infinite Jest is—a film adaptation of the book written by AustenDickensTolkienWallace.

Since I can’t pick one all-time favorite, I’ll say that my favorite living author at the moment is John Green. Not only for his books (one day, maybe I’ll write about how much I loved The Fault in Our Stars and what it means to me), but for the community he and his brother Hank have fostered over on the YouTubes. I wish the Nerdfighter community had been around when I was a teenager, but I am so happy and thankful it exists today for the teens I know. I have mad respect for that man and I think he’s cool.

If you had to give your blog a color to describe it, what color would you give it?

Green with white polka dots. My blog is a print.

What book started your love of reading?

Probably this book.

I literally can’t remember a time I did not love to read. Thanks Mom.

What is your favorite genre to read?

Books about books. That one goes out to The Brother.

Is there a film adaptation that you think was better than the book? What film?

I can’t think of one. I do think the film version of The Virgin Suicides is the perfect companion to the book.

Where is your favorite place to read?

I’m partial to the couch in The Brother’s house whilst he and BFF X play video games. Otherwise, I’m quite fond of my bed, under the covers. Or on a bench outside. Actually, I don’t think I have a favorite place to read. Wait—at the box office when I’m working, because then I am getting paid to read and I feel like I’m living the dream.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure read?

Re-reads of books I love and know by heart. There are so many books out there I have yet to read, so I do sometimes feel guilty for reading Harry Potter for the 20th time. But it makes me happy, so oh well. Who cares.

Do you prefer solids or e-books?

Solids. I am learning to like ebooks and I enjoy checking ebooks out of the library, but I still prefer to carry around a physical book.

That was fun Kim! Now if anyone has books they want to recommend me, leave a comment! You know I always need new books to read.

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I have so much going on in my head right this minute—good things and exciting plans—and I’ll share them with you soon enough, but right now I need to take a break and calm myself down. So I thought I’d take a moment and tell you about fun things happening ’round the internets that you may not have heard about. Or perhaps you did see it at one point, but it’s always good to have a little reminder, isn’t it?

Sew A-Long

If you read any sewing blogs you know that there are approximately 472 Sew A-Longs going on right now, but these are the two I am definitely participating in. Both patterns are from Sense & Sensibility which are easily purchased as either an e-pattern or you can have a physical pattern mailed to you. Casey is hosting the Swing Dress Sew A-Long which has just begun and Lisette is the lovely gal behind the Regency Wardrobe Sew A-Long. It may seem a bit silly to some to sew a dress that is essentially a costume, but some of us never quite grew out of playing dress up and find it fun to lounge around the house, drinking tea and reading whilst pretending to be a Jane Austen heroine. Besides, we’ll already have a head start on Halloween.

Jane Austen Short Story Contests

At this moment there is not one, but two—TWO!—Jane Austen related short story contests you can enter. The first, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, is an amazing opportunity to possibly get your story published in a new collection of stories inspired by the beloved writer which is being edited by the amazing Laurel Ann of Austenprose. The contest runs through February 13th and there have only been a few entries thus far, so your prospects are looking mighty fine.

The second contest is put on by the Chawton House Library in England with a theme of heroes and villains in Jane Austen’s novels. There is a cash prize, but more exciting to me is that the three finalists will win a week’s writer retreat at Chawton House! The deadline is March 31st, so sharpen your pencils or fire up your laptop and start writing!

Downton Abbey

The last time I fell this hard for a mini-series was Bleak House in 2005. Downton Abbey is an original story (written by Julian Fellowes of Godsford Park) set in Edwardian England that basically takes every plot and element one could love about period dramas and mashes it all together into an engaging, dramatic, touching series. Even my dad has caught Downton fever and gets exasperated at the end of each installment (“It’s over already?!”). The last episode of the first series (a second series and Christmas special is already in the works, hurray!) is set to air in America this Sunday night, so I highly encourage my US readers to head over to Masterpiece, catch up with the episodes online and join us for the Twitter party Sunday night.

People Problems

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I have a younger brother, Daniel, who is in a band (like everyone else in Austin, haha). The past few months have been very exciting as their second album, People Problems, was released. I’m not going to tell you to go and buy it or anything, but if you want a listen, it’s up on iTunes and of course available in a local independent record store near you (well, it SHOULD be, no guarantees). They are currently touring Europe for two months, so if you live in England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and basically anywhere in Europe, you should go see them; tell them I sent you; give them a hug and tell them I miss them so.

Making Do

I stumbled upon this post a few months ago and completely forgot to link to it, though now I find it more apropos to share it with you in The Year of Making Do. The post, entitled “You Do Not Need Neil Gaiman’s Gazebo“, is aimed at writers, but the idea and advice given can be applied to everyone. Your gazebo could be a sewing/craft studio or a kitchen with an island and a large stove or maybe a new MacBook pro. The point is we all procrastinate and dream of our ideal “space”, when really we should just hunker down make do with what we have. It was a good reminder to me this morning.

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~This is going ’round the blogosophere like wildfire, as it should, because it is so clever! Patricia of A Little Hut shows us how to create a simple and remarkably elegant stationery set from recycled security envelopes.

~Kim (The Girl Can’t Help It) is giving away a vintage breadbox—a pink breadbox. I know, it’s super awesome—I thought you deserved the chance to win it.

~I am thoroughly enjoying reading Following Jane, the blog of a man chronicling his first time reading all of Jane Austen’s novels. He just started Mansfield Park, which is is my least favorite Austen. I’m very curious to see how he reacts to Fanny Price, because I can’t stand her!

~One day, I will go to the San Diego Comic Con. And I will wear a costume, because that is how nerds roll. Until then, I’ll just read the coverage online and look at thousands of photos. These are a few of my favorite costumes (and some shots that just made me laugh) that were seen on the convention floor this year (all images from Tested.com’s cosplay gallery):

Hope your week is treating you well, thus far!

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Hello Internet

I found this on Tumblr a few weeks ago and for whatever reason it seemed very apropos tonight. Consider yourself hugged.

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The Sun!

{This photo has nothing to do with any of the following—it just makes me happy}

~Kristen of the lovely Pommes Frites is having a map magnet giveaway to celebrate the Fourth of July, yay! You needn’t be an American to like or enter this giveaway, but you only have until noon tomorrow to enter, so hurry along now.

~Listen to the late great David Foster Wallace talk about a myriad of topics, including pop culture and art as magic. I’m itching to get my hands on a copy of the book that was born out of the interview clips, “Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace”. The library needs to hurry up and order more copies.

~It’s Meg’s birthday this month and to celebrate she has having a book giveaway! I love books, especially free ones, don’t you?

~I’m addicted to Tumblr now. Yep, it’s true. Do you have a Tumblr account? No? Well, go get one! Be sure to tell me if you do.

I’m off to the farmer’s market in search of watermelon, blackberries, peaches (yes, more peaches!) and other deliciousness for a BBQ tomorrow. I’m crossing my fingers, hoping the rain will stop and the sun will come out so us Austinites can enjoy our 4th of July celebrations outside. How else can we hold a watermelon seed spitting contest?

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If I had been a clever or more prepared blogger, I would have posted a nifty little “Blog-vacation” notice last week, ’cause I knew life during SXSW was going to be all kinds of epic crazy—but I didn’t, so there. And now I’m back! I’m starting with Pip’s “Five Faves” meme that started last week.

Five Favorite Things From This Week (Thus Far)

1. This weeks episode of LOST, “Ab Aeterno”. I try not fill up my blog with LOST ramblings, but in “real life” I could probably talk about this show 24/7.  This weeks episode told a story us LOST nerds have been waiting years to know and it exceeded my very high expectations. LOST, I love you so.

2. Remembering Fess Parker and watching Davy Crockett. I cried as I watched the above clip after I learned my beloved childhood hero had passed away last week. He deserves his own post.

3. Bluebonnets! Wildflower season has begun and the Bluebonnets have started popping up here and there. I can’t wait until they take over the Hill Country (like in the above photo). Fields and fields of wildflowers make me happy.

4. Solitude. I’m a girl who likes her alone & quiet time and though I did retreat to my bedroom several times last week to escape the French invasion, it just didn’t feel the same. But now my house is quiet and mine once again and I am reveling in my moments of solitude.

5. Drinking Sweet Leaf Tea. Currently, I am loving their green teas—pomegranate, citrus, mint & honey—they are scrumptious! I think this Austin tea is now widely available in places like Whole Foods, so you should go try it. Your taste buds will thank me.

What are some of your favorite things from this week?

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call

~I am enamored with this series of reminders from local Austin artist Recovering Lazyholic. Be sure to check out the Need to Want Less set up on flickr. {via Austin Eavesdroper}

Elven Leaf Brooch

~The majority of all the crafty skills I’ve picked have been due to the fact that I am a huge nerd. I wanted to dress up for the Lord of the Rings midnight show; I taught myself how to sew. I wanted a Harry Potter scarf; I learned how to knit. This awesome elven brooch requires simple crochet skills, so I think I just found a reason to pick up a new craft. {via Geek Central Station}

Flipping PancakesFlipping Pancakes

~This series of photos from a Disneyland pancake flipping contest is highly amusing. Who knew flipping pancakes required such concentration! I am also quite taken with the two girls in the back in the plaid skirts. I think I may need some of those for my fall wardrobe.

Accio wand!

~I know I’m not the only one who yells “Accio!” when I’m searching for my phone, keys or the TV remote. So what could be better than using a wand to turn up the volume during your favorite part of Harry Potter & the Sorcerers Stone? Hmmm, let me think about that. Aside from actually going to Hogwarts, nothing comes to mind.

Pride and Prejudice

~For Buy A Friend A Book week, I suggest the new “classic couture” edition of Pride & Prejudice from Penguin books. I have seen it in person and it is exquisite; the illustration extends to the inside flaps and the pages have a lovely rough, uneven texture which I find to be a lovely touch.

Hope you all had a lovely Wednesday. I can hardly believe September is over! October is going to be good—I can feel it.

Christine H.

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