Thursday, April 23, 2015

{Papers and Coffee!}

Editing essays this morning! Almost done with this semester!

It's cold out this morning, and I have a giant mug of coffee to keep me warm as I go through and proofread one of my papers. I am not overly fond of this step in the essay process, honestly... at least when it's my own work. But it has to be done, so I shall do it with joy!

Have a lovely Thursday morning, all! ♥

P.S. Editing is done!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

To-Read List -- Updated Once More!


The Red Queen -- Philippa Gregory
The Boleyn Inheritance -- Philippa Gregory
The Queen's Fool -- Philippa Gregory
The Virgin's Lover -- Philippa Gregory
World Without End -- Ken Folleett
The Norton Anthology of: (complete sets)
English Literature
World Literature
American Literature
The Mists of Avalon -- Marion Zimmer Bradley
Her Fearful Symmetry -- Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveller's Wife -- Audrey Niffenegger
Pirate Latitudes -- Micheal Crichton
Selected poems of Seamus Heaney
A-Z Aromatherapy -- Patricia Davis
On Writing -- Stephen King
The Book of Virtues -- William J. Bennett
Game of Thrones -- George R.R. Martin
The True History of Tea -- Victor H. Mair and Erling Hoh
The Bedford Anthology of World Literature
The Doctor's Wife -- Elizabeth Brundage
The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
Wives and Daughters -- Elizabeth Gaskell
The Faerie Queene -- Edmund Sepnser
Robert Browning's Poems
Sherlock Holmes -- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Shogun -- James Clavell
Les Miserables -- Victor Hugo
Dragon Rider -- Cornelia Funke
Jesus, CEO -- Laurie Beth Jones
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World -- Joanna Weaver


Philippa Gregory creates another masterfully written account of the life of queens in King Henry the VIII's court. This tale brings in dear Anne of Cleves firstly, who is ever so kind and sweet down to her core, Katherine Howard, a naive girl who thinks mostly of pretty possessions, and Jane Boleyn, a woman with a dark past haunted by the ghosts of her late husband George and his sister, former queen Anne Boleyn. This story, much like the book before it, is filled to the brim with family plotting and innocent desires for happiness and freedom, and it is all wrapped in a thick layer of court life affected by a very irritable king who, in his old age, suspects everyone of treason. Gregory has crafted a novel that is not only worthy of being classic historical fiction, but a thriller in its own right, and I highly recommend it to those who favor these two genres and day-in-the-life stories undermined by plotting and deceit.

As I read through these books, I am constantly amazed by Gregory's ability to portray an unlikeable character in a light that makes you pity them. Such is the case with Jane Boleyn, whom the reader does pity very greatly as she comes to grips in the novel that she is, indeed, human and has feelings. Dear Katherine Howard, while a young girl when we first meet her in the story, is vain and a little on the ditsy side. By the end of the book, though, we learn that she, while still very, very vain, is only ditsy because of her youth. Anne of Cleves, the poor dear, is perhaps the sweetest character I have read in a Gregory novel, and goes from being an awkward foreigner in England to a graceful lady who was loved by the country she looked over for such a short time. She was my favorite character in this novel, and I admire her kind nature and concern for the people she was brought in to rule beside the tumultuous King Henry VIII. 

All in all, a joyful novel full of emotion and the human nature!

On a side note, I am quite happy to have finished this novel, and not because I was tired of reading it. This is the fastest I have finished a book in about three years. I am overjoyed about that, truly! I used to be able to finish 300+ page books in four to five days. This one was 500+ pages and it took about a week, but that is better than several months! 

Onto the next book in the series, the Queen's Fool!

Rain-Rivers & Water-Blossoms

The rains have officially come. The entire week has been overcast and chilly, though today is quite humid. The sky is gray and threatens thunderstorms near constantly, and it is not uncommon to see a steady barrage of rain falling throughout an entire day and into the night. The yard squishes with every step, and pools of rainwater linger everywhere.

The rain has withheld for the time being, allowing me the opportunity to yank on some boots and run outside. The most darling patch of mushrooms sprouted some ways down the yard and I have been itching to photograph them since I saw them there this morning. They are darling in person -- quite the characters as they stand there silently and simply exist! 

Once their portraits were captured, I was lured about the yard by the few flowers that have not been washed away this week. I do not know their names, but there are sturdy bunches of them gathered in places where water does not run through during the river-rains.

I finished my work yesterday and have nothing left for the weekend except projects hanging above my head like the cotton webbing of clouds above today. I can say with all honesty that I do not wish to spend time on them right now, as my mind has been running strictly in work-mode all week. My Wednesday break was removed when a cough kept me from choir, so I dedicated the day to writing a paper. As a result, I am sitting about today feeling drained and almost useless. It is rest, though, I tell myself, and my feeling of needing to do something productive is no doubt my body's way of unwinding. No matter how hard I try to unwind, however, the knowledge of what work lies ahead winds me back up and I spring about like the hares that rummaged through the yard this morning in search of tender leaves to munch on... though my springing is with significantly less spontaneous freedom. Not much longer, though! Soon I shall be able to rest knowing I don't have to work quite so hard all the time. The mental drain is quite strong this semester, that is for certain, and I know I have vented on it quite a lot here, but I do not say it lightly. It has been rough. I am thankful and happy, but oh. It has been rough.

Thankfully, walks through nature help, even if that nature is only my own dear front yard, battered by rain and almost unrecognizable beneath layers of mud and foliage.

Happy Saturday, all! ♥