Behind The Scenes

Evening my lovelies, I was tagged for this special Behind the Scenes post by the ever awesome Jamie over at Through Two Blue Eyes and it was just too darn intriguing to pass up!

And if you all haven’t checked out Jamie’s site yet (like I’ve been telling you for years…seriously what are you waiting for!!!) run over there and take a peek, it’s full of heartfelt introspective posts, writing advice, Harry Potter and Sherlock appreciation, awesome lists (LOVE), and so much more!

So here’s a little Behind the Scenes with Moonstonemaiden!!! 😀

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Facebook. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Is there a certain snack you like to eat while writing?

Umm…not really. It’s a little hard for me to concentrate on typing when I’m trying to eat something. I mean it’s doable, but crumbs in my keyboard are not my favorite thing ever! 😀

When do you normally write? Morning, evening, or afternoon?

This generally depends on the writing mood I’m in. Normally I’m a nighttime writer, typing like crazy from six at night to three in the morning, but there are weeklong periods where I write from early morning until early afternoon. But these are admittedly rare.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Where do you write?

Usually in my living room, curled up on the sofa or an armchair (oh how I miss my red armchair!). I like having people around me when I write, company of sorts since writing is a bit lonely, but I don’t want strangers bustling around and distracting me so coffee shops and the like are out. I like have my family sitting around me, including me even though I’m ignoring them, while they watch T.V. or a movie or something. Thankfully they’ve gotten used to the sound of the clicking keyboard in the background of anything they try to watch!

How often do you start a new novel?

I get new novel ideas whenever they decide to show up, but I try not to actually start writing any of them while I have another novel going because it’s too much for me usually to switch back and forth between stories. I get too caught up in the thrill of the new and forget the awesomeness of whatever I was already doing and it’s just not productive for me personally. Unless I just have to get something specific down, I try to limit myself to just taking very detailed notes about new stories. There have been exceptions of course, I’m writing the Ratha James story while I write Prophecy, but I consider my Ratha James one more for fun than anything else, so it’s like a writing exercise.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Do you listen to music while you write?

YES! I have a playlist for almost every story I have in my head and songs for nearly every character so I make use of those, though sometimes I just want classical pieces that have no words, just emotion, or even just musicals on repeat for noise and so I don’t have to focus on the words. Silence is not fun. But on the other hand, I have had moments where music is too much and goodness knows people love to put on my favorite shows/movies when I’m writing (distracted…me? Not at all…) so there are RARE times when silence is golden. Like holy grail rare.

What do you write on: laptop or paper?

Paper is for poetry for some reason, and quick “I just have to get this down” moments, but all the polished forms of writing and editing are done on the laptop. I can’t read my own handwriting sometimes so typing is just so much easier. And it’s way easier to edit with a delete button. And copy and paste functions.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Is there a special ritual you have before or after you write?

I try to avoid rituals because once I latch on to them I have a hard time shaking them and then it becomes a hassle, but for a long time I had to play computer solitaire before I could start writing. Mostly I just listen to music for a bit and sing like I’m performing my own sold-out concert until I’m ready to settle down and start typing.

What do you do to get into the mood to write?

Sing! I listen to music and sing (badly but with feeling lol). Sometimes I daydream, especially in the car. Then it’s a race to my laptop to write down everything I was just thinking about before it all disappears into writer limbo. Sadly some great thoughts and ideas were lost this way…

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

What is always near the place you write?

My family is usually around but I’m not writing at a desk or anything so there aren’t any cute, inspiring objects that I keep nearby. I do make backgrounds for my computer though, inspiring pictures and snippets of my story that I find helpful, so I guess maybe that could count!

Do you have a reward system for your word count?

No. I keep an eye on my word count for sure, to judge the day’s progress but unless we’re talking college essay writing here (where I gave myself one episode of Merlin for every paragraph I wrote…highly effective) I’m not one for a reward system.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Is there anything about your writing process others might not know about?

Well nearly everyone who knows me and has seen me writing knows I’m secretive as hell about my writing and if I even think you’re looking at my screen I will promptly tell you off (sadly I’m often wrong but you know…CONSTANT VILIGENCE!) so that’s not new. Um…let me think. I dream about a lot of my characters sometimes and I feel like whenever I watch a movie/hear a song/do anything really I have to sift through all my character’s reactions to whatever it is until I find my own, which is discombobulating at times I can assure you, but also unexpectedly hilarious. And whenever I get really into whatever I’m writing I tend to start reacting to things the way my characters would and sometimes events in our lives seem to coincide oddly. But that’s all part of living the #writerlife, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Image From Google. All Rights Belong To Artist.

Up next for Behind the Scenes, I would like to nominate Megan from Invisible World and Juliette from Vampire Maman!

Advertisements

Musical Obession…And A Dash Of Storybrooke

Well my lovelies, I’ve happened upon a new song to love and much like last time, it has a dash of Hook in it. Or well, kind of. I don’t know if it’s more of a theme or a coincidence that such a good-looking pirate/actor shows up in some pretty damn great music videos that I just happen upon on YouTube, but I’m just going to go with it without question. You’ll get no complaints from me here 😉

Now unlike last time, this song didn’t immediately attach itself to any character or story of mine, though theme-wise it easily could have. This time the song resonated with me, not a story in my mind or a character in my heart — which is an unusual occurrence to say the least. Though as a writer I wonder, perhaps it’s a story and character I haven’t discovered yet, perhaps the adventure continues past my current understanding…

Or perhaps this is just a beautiful song that just needs to be heard. So I’m sharing it with you my lovelies, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 😀

Musical Fate

Hello again my lovelies! I stumbled across a new song that I’ve fallen in love with over the past week and I thought I’d share it with you, but before I do let me just ask (for my fellow writers out there), have you ever found a song that just speaks to one of your characters so perfectly it’s kind of scary? Or even just fit a scene or emotion just spot-on and it thrills you but at the same time scares the crap out of you that there are others out there who must think like you (how else would they come us with these amazing songs? I mean they clearly must write them only for the sake of our characters right)? I have this happen often enough, I think my characters love music just as much as I do and they all have pretty specific tastes, and I like to think of it as musical fate.

I love discovering these wonderful songs, but once I do I tend to avoid watching the music videos because I don’t want to be influenced by what I’m seeing onscreen and because I already have my own video playing to these songs inside my head and there’s no way the recording artist has made a more moving video that what my characters are showing me at the moment. Now there are some exceptions to this rule, sometimes I see the video first (like in this case), but very, very rarely does something in the video match up to what I’m thinking.  In the case of my newest musical fate finding, I watched the video purely because Colin O’Donoghue (Hook from Once Upon a Time) was in it and really, need I say more? I was shocked to discover that not only did the song itself seem like it was something to be spoken aloud by my one of my female protagonists in a future WIP, but the video had small things in it that hinted at the story I had in my head, especially the flowers! It took my breath away!

So as a believer in fate and magic I have become firmly attached to this song by Christina Perri and it’s beautiful video, so take a moment if you will and just listen to the words of a hopeful young woman trying to breakthrough to a heartbroken man who’s trying his best not to fall in love again, but failing miserably (at least in my story anyway lol!)

So what do you think, it’s lovely right? Have you ever found a song or video that captures a small moment you have written or plan on writing? Isn’t it amazing and frightening, this little touch of fate?

The Best Of Romance: Love, Passion, And Desire

Image From Google

Image From Google

Happy Valentine’s Day my lovelies!!! I hope you are all having a great day, whether it’s spent with a significant other, friends, family, or solo! And solo means you get the entire box of chocolates to yourself guilt-free, and you don’t have to shave, so really…ENJOY IT 😀 Smile at the dopey love-struck goobers milling around you in a love-drunk daze, or at the dopey love-struck goober next to you (who’s staring at you so ardently he/she’s beginning to drool a little bit, which means he/she’s pretty secure in the knowledge that lingerie is in the near future), and know that Moonstonemaiden loves you just the way you are (Bridget Jones Reference!) and you are my favorite valentine ❤

Image From Google. From Me to You with love my lovelies!

Image From Google.
From Me to You with love my lovelies!

I’m rather fond of the Valentine’s Day post from last year — probably because it’s a list of my favorite literary men! — but I think this year’s is pretty freaking awesome too 😉  I had so many idea’s for Valentine’s themed posts and I couldn’t quite decide which way I wanted to go, so I figured…what’s better than a collection of romantic-themed mini lists?! Nothing I tell you…NOTHING!!! Except a pile of love letters from Richard Armitage and other devastatingly handsome men, telling me of their undying love and devotion to me…but I digress.

Image From Facebook. ...Yours Forever --RA

Image From Facebook.
…Yours Forever –RA

Moonstonemaiden’s Collection of Romantic Mini-Lists!

Top Love Songs For My Characters:

1) Hero: Enrigue Iglesias, Never Alone: Barlow Girls — Rosalie and Jackson (The Butterfly Garden WIP)

2) Near To You: A Fine Frenzy — Freyton and Alaina (Battle-scarred WIP)

3) Beautiful Disaster: Kelly Clarkson, Almost Lover: A Fine Frenzy, Spanish Eyes: Backstreet Boys — Calahada and Mytheous (Believe)

4) You’ll Be In My Heart: Phil Collins — Ravenna and Varrick (Ashes WIP)

5) Just A Kiss: Lady Antebellum — Kalisada and Mordred (Prophecy WIP)

 

Image From Facebook

Image From Facebook

 

Top Five Romantic Disney Ballads:

1) Now I’ve Seen The Light: Tangled

2) Love: Robin Hood

3) Tale As Old As Time: Beauty and the Beast

4) Once Upon A Dream: Sleeping Beauty

5) A Whole New World: Aladdin

Image From Google. * Swoon *

Image From Google.
* Swoon *

Top Five Romantic Movie Moments

1) Smithy regain his memory for the second time: Random Harvest

2) Tristan and Isolde (Entire Movie!)

3) Christian Forgives Satine, Satine Saves Christian: Moulin Rouge

4) All the Lyla and Louis moments: August Rush

5) The Bridge in the Rain scene: Sliding Doors

 

 

Image From Google. Come What May!

Image From Google.
Come What May!

Top Fictional Relationships:

1) Katniss and Peeta: The Hunger Games

Image From Google.  All Rights Belong To The Artist.

Image From Google.
All Rights Belong To The Artist.

2) Muller and Chime: The Charmed Sphere

3) Ally and Nawat: The Trickester Series

4) Daine and Numair: The Wild Mage Series

5) Gemma and Kartik: The Gemma Doyle Trilogy

6) Clary and Jace: The Mortal Instruments Series

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

7) Mia and Michael: The Princess Diaries Series

8) Claire and Jamie: The Outlander Series

9) Sorcha and Red: The Daughter of the Forest

10) Liadan and Bran: Son of the Shadows

So there we have it, my Valentine’s Day romantic mini-lists! I hope you guys enjoy and let me know what you think! What songs do you’re characters share, and what romantic movie or couple tops your list?

And here’s some extra Valentine’s cards…just because I thought they were awesome (and they’re Downton themed)!

Image From Google. Why yes Branson!

Image From Google.
Why yes Branson!

Image From Google.

Image From Google.

 

Sexy Dwarves and Shadowhunters!

Hello again my lovelies, I told you I’d post a “real” post later today and TADA: here it is! It’s been almost a whole year since we’ve chatted and I sat here wondering what my first post back should be about and I came to the conclusion that in true Moonstonemaiden fashion, a good list is in order. Y’all know how much I love a good list! (And for those of you who are new to the blog, let me let you in on a little secret…I LOVE lists!) So here’s a quick little list of things that I love and will probably blog about again later on this year — I’m so excited 😀

1) The Desolation of Smaug released in December 2013 and I have officially fallen in love with the sexy dwarf Fili! His romance with the She-Elf Tauriel made me go all teary-eyed and added the perfect dash of romance to what I thought was an awesome adventure flick.

Image From Google

Image From Google

2) I discovered the awesomeness that is Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series and have since fallen completely in love with Jace and his sexy Shadowhunter self! I admit, I saw the movie before I started the series and I love the film, but the books have completely stolen my heart! I nearly fell out of my seat when the plot twist struck in the movie and needless to say, I promptly bought the books. Sadly, I have to wait until May to read the final novel…

Image From Google

Image From Google

3) 2013 was a year of reconnection for me. From family to close friends that I haven’t spoken to for years (for whatever reason) I am pleased to say that I gave things another try, and so far I’m thrilled with the results 😀

4) After seven years with my old, faithful laptop, I am pleased to announce that I have finally gotten a new computer and cannot wait to fill it with hundreds of stories, novels, pictures, songs, and everything that makes me who I am!

5) I discovered the song Let It Go sung by the incredible Idina Menzel from Disney’s Frozen and it had become my new theme song in life! I still haven’t seen the movie yet, but I will — and I’ll probably know the entire song by heart by the time I go to the theaters lol 😀

Image From Google

Image From Google

So what about you guys, any things you love and can’t wait to blog about? Any new books, movies, or songs that you’ve fallen in love with? Let me know! 😀

P.S.

IT’S DOWNTON ABBEY SEASON PEOPLE!

Monday Movie: The Pirate Movie

Hello my lovelies, welcome to my first ever movie recommendation/review post thingy! I plan on writing a new movie post every other Monday, so be prepared to talk scenes, lines, random memories and whatever else we can think of, lol! So here we go, I’m pumped, I’m excited, I’m…exhausted, I got up early to write this post and now my brain is somewhat foggy. 😀

For my first movie recommendation I was torn on what movie to actually start off with, I wanted something that would give you the right impression of who I am really, but then I wondered what the “right” impression was? Did I want something deep and meaningful to demonstrate how mature and intelligent I am, something snarky that would prove I’m above pop culture (which I hate to say, I’m not), or something dramatic and lovey-dovey since I’m a self-proclaimed romantic? There are so many options out there and so many conflicting sides of my personality that in all honesty I wasn’t sure what to go with. And I’m not going to lie, I wanted a great movie that would you know… spark conversation and make people think well of me. But the truth is, I’m goofy as hell most of the time, though most people wouldn’t know it considering I’m also serious and quite proud unfortunately and that pride tends to negate the goofy when I’m around people I’m not fully comfortable with – which is most people lol. So in honor of that side of me that doesn’t get seen as often as it should, I chose one of my old favorites, and it’s about as wacky as they come: The Pirate Movie!

Image From Google

Image From Google

Yes that’s the title, don’t worry, it confuses everyone whenever I mention it and then everyone starts trying to guess what pirate movie I’m trying to think of, but I assure you, it’s called The Pirate Movie. A classic 80’s play off of The Pirates of Penzance, starring Kristy McNichol and Christopher Atkins, The Pirate Movie is part musical, part dream, and 100 percent comedy fun! Filled with snarky lines (“Well run. For God’s sake run!”), laughable and adorable characters, and over the top sexual innuendos (that I didn’t fully understand when I was younger, and I have a horrible feeling I still don’t fully understand), this movie has it all…or does if you’re in the right mood. Note: if you’re in the mood for something meaningful or dramatic I advise skipping this one until you’re ready to laugh your ass off at one of the stupidest, funniest things you’ll ever watch.

From the Pirate King’s bedazzled codpiece and his near constant sexual word-play, to Frederic’s adorable inexperience with woman and all-encompassing belief in honor, to Mabel’s sharp wit and hilarious comebacks, and a rather questionable Major-General, the characters in The Pirate Movie are wonderfully over the top. And for those who can’t handle a movie unless there’s something to sing along to, have no fear, there are five or six delightful songs that will have you singing to yourself for days (I know because I watched this again last Friday and I’m still humming some of the songs this morning, lol). And I imagine some of you are waiting for me to go ahead and tell you what it’s about, but I figured The Pirates of Penzance bit already gave it away earlier (did your elementary/middle school not make you see the play as a child?). But if you still need me to sum it up, here you go: awkward girl meets handsome boy (dressed a pirate, it’s his job), boy invites girl and her sisters on a boating trip, sisters are b*tches, girl refuses to be left behind after said sister’s interfere, girl pursues boy and her sisters into a storm, nearly drowns and washes up on a beach where she then proceeds to dream her life in Pirates of Penzance fashion. Hmm, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do that, I’m not the best at summarizing lol.

Image From Google

Image From Google

This movie holds a special place in my heart. My dad and I watched it together when I was home one day during high school (I wasn’t skipping, I assure you) and since we’re pretty much the same type of person when it comes to comedies (we’re the type who laugh REALLY LOUDLY, and who will start laughing randomly at something we found funny ten minutes before because we thought of it again and it’s still funny), we both laughed like crazy and it was a great afternoon. It sounds silly, but I just associate this movie with a happy memory, so to me, this movie is priceless.

So all in all, I adore this movie. It’s cute, it’s hilarious, and it has fun songs…what else could you ask for? I mean really, the Pirate King has a sparkly crotch the entire movie, IF nothing else, THAT is sufficiently hilarious! (I tried to find a photo of this but unfortunately, I can’t. Instead I offer you this video, enjoy!) Have you guy’s seen this awesome movie, and if so what did you think? I think it’s one of those that you either really love or really hate, so which was it for you? Any favorite lines or scenes? (My favorite bit is where she is in the suit of armor but I can’t find the clip on youtube, lol.)

Big Plans For 2013

Hey everybody, I hope you had awesome holidays and one heck of a good New Year’s! I don’t know about y’all, but this whole holiday break thing still has me a little sluggish on the blog-writing front! I know it’s time to write one but I keep telling myself: later…I’ll write one later… but I guess later has finally arrived. 😀 But anyway, as I hinted in my last post, there will be some new things to look forward to on this blog for 2013 that I hope you will enjoy. Nothing is set in stone yet and titles and general ideas are subject to change at my every whim of course but basically, I plan on having one or two planned pieces every week or every other week (as well as my usual posts of course) including a Movie Monday as well as a Book & Music selection of sorts. As you’ve all probably guessed by now, I’m a music freak and I LOVE discussing my favorite finds, so get ready to talk music people! And movies!

Image From Google

Image From Google

I also will have a new segment that will appear sporadically –as in whenever I feel inspired to write one – that will be called Unsigned Letters, or something similar to that. Unsigned doesn’t feel exactly right though, because they’re more un-addressed than unsigned but I don’t think un-addressed is actually a word…is it? Either way, these will be letters from me to people I know (be they real or fictional), from character to other characters, and/or whatever else I think of at the moment. I think it sounds both exciting and cathartic at the same time. What do you guy’s think, good idea? I certainly like it!

Image From Google

Image From Google

Now, all the business aside, let me just say…I SAW THE HOBBIT! Last Saturday my mom, my bestie, and I all went to the theaters and loaded up on buttery popcorn (ick) and cheesy nachos (YUM) and waited gleefully to fall back under the spell of Middle Earth. I didn’t know whether to sigh or squeal when that familiar music first reached my ears! After a bit of a slow start, the movie picked up its pace and I ended up loving it! Watching it felt like coming home again…but to a new and slightly odd family. I missed my favorite characters and I admit it took me a while to truly comprehend that this was a new story and that it wouldn’t be like the others or have the same feel (even though I’ve read the book before so go figure) but overall I enjoyed the movie and the new characters, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here! There was this funny moment though somewhere in the first thirty minutes where the movie got really really quiet and I randomly heard the beginning of One Day More from Les Miserables (which I guess was playing in the theater next to ours and which I will be going to see hopefully this Saturday!) and I almost jumped out of my seat because 1) I wasn’t sure if anyone else heard it or of it was just me (and if it was just me, what did that mean exactly…?) And 2) I hate having movies spoiled before I’ve seen them (even if I know what’s going to happen already) and I was worried it would ruin the movie for me somehow. Yes, I’m weird like that 😛 But thankfully, it didn’t spoil anything and my best friend leaned over after a second and whispered “Do you hear that?!” which reassured me that I was not hearing things!

Image From Google

Image From Google

So what about y’all, anything new and exciting in the works for your blogs? Any awesome holiday stories to share? And have you seen the Hobbit yet and if so, what did you think?

I’ve Been Smiling Nonstop For A Few Days Now!

Hello my lovely readers! In case you couldn’t tell from the title of this post, I’m in a bit of a good mood 😀 I’ve been nominated for a few blogging awards over the last  few days and I’m just so happy and thankful that I’ve been dancing in my chair as I’ve prepared to write this post. It means a lot to me that people enjoy this blog and I want to say thank you to all my awesome new blogging buddies, all the commenters, the people who press “like”, and those who just scroll through my blog to see what in the world I’m writing about! You guys keep me blogging even when I feel like I have nothing to give. 😀

Ok, first up is the:

leibster-blog-awardI was nominated for the Liebster Blog award by the incredibly talented Sarah Monagle, from sarah monagle, pondering it all. If you haven’t read this woman’s poetry or seen her beautiful photography, do yourself a favor and go look at her blog…yes, I do mean right this minute…I’ll wait. Isn’t she fantastic?!

The Rules:

1) Paste the award picture into your blog.

2) Write up 11 NEW questions directed towards your nominees.

3) When you receive the award, you must post 11 random facts about yourself.

4) Pass the award onto 11 other blogs and let them know

Here are my questions from Sarah:

1)      If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

Probably a wolf because I love the structure of family and the comfort and familiarity that comes from being surrounded by those you love.

2)     What place do you find most captivating?

Ireland. It’s just so mystical and I can’t wait to see it for myself!

3)     What are your aspirations as a writer/photographer/artist/blogger?

Naturally, I want to be the best writer/blogger I can be and I work hard to perfect everything I do. I also want to publish my first novel (Believe) and the plethora of others that I am either working on already or have the idea for.

4)     What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

The scariest thing I’ve done is left home for college, it sounds so silly I know, but for me it was terrifying.

5)     What is your biggest regret?

I try not to regret things. With an anxiety disorder, I usually worry about everything all the time anyway but I’m trying to let go of things like regrets, fear, and worries.

6)     What would do if you weren’t afraid?

Swim in the ocean more I guess. I’ve lived right next to the ocean my entire life but going to the beach is not as much fun when you’re terrified of being eaten by sharks. I’m one of those nutty people who shriek like a banshee if I step on a shell the wrong way or seaweed touches my ankle.

7)      If you had to move to a country other than the one you are living in, which country would you choose?

Have I mentioned Ireland…? (And England, Scotland, and Wales…you know, that general area!)

8)     What is your all-time favorite book?

Way too hard of a question! There are so many books that I love… (I think I’m hyperventilating here)! For this question, I’ll pick one that I think isn’t too well-known, in the hope that y’all might want to check it out: The China Garden by Liz Berry. It is my idea of a perfect novel.  Find out more about it here. And Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, it’s just so breathtakingly epic and beautiful and set in Ireland! It too is another example of a perfect novel! Find out more about it here.

9)     What type of music do you prefer?

Again that’s a hard question. I love music, I couldn’t imagine life without it, but what I like really depends on what type of mood I’m in. I love big sweeping, dramatic musicals, pop, alternative, Irish, country…it really just depends on what I feel like singing that day. Right now I’m in love with Florence + the Machine, A Fine Frenzy, Heather Dale, the 25th Anniversary concert edition of Les Miserables, and a few Disney movie soundtracks, lol.

10)  What blog post (by another) stays most vivid in your mind?

I don’t know, I’ve read so many awesome and inspiring posts that I don’t think it’s possible to pick just one.  😀

11)   What is your one most favorite word?

I like words like: evanescent, shimmer, coalesce…pretty much pretty words that describe things, lol.

And my 11 questions for the nominees are:

1)       Are you a day or nighttime writer?

2)      Do you make a playlist for your writing projects or does music distract you?

3)      What new movie are you looking most forward to seeing in the near future?

4)      What was the last book that you read? Would you recommend it?

5)      What’s your idea of a perfect day?

6)      What is your favorite television show and /or movie? Why?

7)      Have you ever read a scene in a book that reminds you of a scene you’ve written before or had already planned to write?

8)      If you won the lottery, what would be your first purchase?

9)      If you could only eat one type of food (Italian, Chinese, Classic American etc.) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

10)   What is your favorite song at the moment?

11)    What is your favorite time period in history or who is your favorite historical figure? Why?

I’ll get to the random facts later, but here are my nominations for the Liebster award:

Fredrik Kayser

SCRIBEYOND

Lit and Scribbles with Jae

Mystic Cooking

Vampire Maman

Wildflower Women

Through Two Blue Eyes

youthful yogini worried writer

Justine Dee – Writer in Play

The Spidereen Frigate

Broken strings & Pretty things

The second up is:

versitle-blogger

I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger award by Jen over at the cuter than cute Winter Owls blog. I always end up smiling whenever I read one of her posts or just look at the lovely artwork that she displays! If you love owls, this is the blog to read!

1. Display the award certificate on your website.
2. Announce your win with a post and include a link to whoever presented your award.
3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers. Create a post linking to them and drop them a comment to tip them off.
4. Post 7 interesting facts about yourself.

Okay here’s where the 11 random facts from before is going to coincide with the 7 interesting facts from this award (because honestly, I don’t want to have to write any more lol)!

11 Random Facts:

1)       I love to sing. I have no actual talent for singing but I will belt out a song with all the emotion I’ve got in me.

2)      That being said, if I’m singing, I’m probably emotional about something and it’s a fifty-fifty on whether I’m singing because I’m really really angry or really really happy. My family and friends have learned to approach me with caution when they hear me singing in my room.

3)      I reread books. I’ve never understood people who only read books once; if I’m going to spend money on a book then I plan on enjoying it over and over again!

4)      Ancient history fascinates me but once you hit the 19th century my enthusiasm lessens considerably (with a few exceptions).

5)      I love BBC Dramas! The romance, the beauty, the peacefulness of times gone by, I just love it!

6)      After I first read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins I swore I would never watch reality television again. That lasted until I discovered My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding on TLC.

7)      I’m a sucker for anything romantic, the quickest way to get me to watch or read something is to tell me there’s a romantic element to it. (That’s how my dad convinced me to watch The Last of the Mohicans. He kept telling me how great it was, how there were fight scenes, people trekking through the wilderness, yada yada yada  until finally he stopped, remembered who he was talking to, looked at me, and said it also had an epic romance. No more needed to be said, and I fell in love with the movie and the music in it!)

8)      I lived on a boat for over a year with no heat or air conditioning, and here in the south, that means something. It was an experience I hated at the time but now I count it as one of my biggest learning adventures.

9)      I have played with actual tiger cubs! Tigers have been one of my favorite animals since before I can remember, so to actually play with one was thrilling. When I was little – like four or five – I had four imaginary tigers (and one plastic toy one) that followed me everywhere. My mom would have to open the door for them wherever we went and buy cat food for them and everything, lol.

10)   I like to watch Jeopardy and try to beat the contestant’s by yelling at the screen at the top of my lungs (because you know, if I say the answer loud enough, they’ll eventually hear me).

11)    I’m partially color blind; I have a hard time seeing differences in colors the closer they get to looking like one another, like blue, purple, and grey have the tendency to throw me sometimes. But I adore colors and whenever I write a character, I always give them a specific color palette so I can get a better feel for their personality.

And my nominations for the Versatile Blogger award are (I’m only doing 11 instead of 15):

The Blog of Otis

Creative Writing with the Crimson League

witches can be right

Sass & Balderdash

sarah monagle, pondering it all

Shannon A Thompson

Not Just Another “Dolce Vita”

Thoughts of a Shieldmaiden {wishful thinking}

Driving Towards Daylight

Another Wandering Soul

AdrianCharlesHoran

And finally:

sunshine-blogger-award-2

A big thanks goes out to the incredibly awesome Jae from Lit and Scribbles with Jae, who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger award! Somehow between all the different goals she sets for herself, she finds the time to not only write a kick-butt blog, but she also has a habit of drawing her fellow bloggers!

I nominate Winter Owls for this sunshine award because visiting her site leaves you with the joy and happiness of a sunny day! 😀

Thank you again for everything my lovely readers, y’all are the best!

A Very Musical Samhain

Forest Scene- found on Facebook

Merry Samhain and Happy Halloween everyone! I love this day of the year, it’s so steeped in magic and the unknown that it just makes me feel all tingly and powerful inside for some reason. Maybe it’s my Irish/Celtic heritage kicking into overdrive, or perhaps I just have a wildly active imagination, but whatever the reason, I just adore today! The costumes, the food, the candy, the bright colors, it makes me giddy thinking about it all. Oddly enough though, I don’t really feel like doing a Samhain/Halloween blog or anything today (possibly because I’ve done a few autumn-themed blogs already) but I’ve had music and musicals on the brain lately so I think a music rant/list/blog thing is in order.

(Just to forewarn everyone: I’m a bit of a List nut, I don’t know why but I love making lists for everything, so there will probably be more of them in this blog’s future!)

So here we go:

MOONSTONEMAIDEN’S LIST OF ALL-TIME FAVORITE MUSICALS EVER

These are in no particular order of affection because I find it way too hard to pick just one of them as my favorite and then start delegating second/third/etc. place to the others because they’re all just so amazing!

1)       Les Miserables– I only recently (like six or seven months ago) discovered this musical for myself and have since fallen HEAD OVER HEELS in love with it! (And have since driven everyone I know crazy by talking about it so much and playing the music constantly, but really the sooner they succumb to the charms of Les Mis, the sooner their lives will be that much more complete.) I remember a few years back hearing it in a friend’s car and having her explain to me what was happening but I found it all very confusing and I didn’t think anything of it afterward; it didn’t sound all that special to me. How wrong I was. Eponine has quickly become my new favorite (musical) character of the moment, everything she sings just makes my heart wrench with understanding (I’m talking Lea Salonga and Samantha Barks rendition of ‘Eponine’ here). The music is just so powerful and sweeping and emotional, I love it! I want drama, I want theatrics and big musical numbers I can belt to and lose myself in and Les Mis certainly delivers. And I cannot wait to see the movie in December! Favorite Songs: On My Own, Red and Black, One Day More, Empty Chairs At Empty Tables…and the list goes on and on!

2)      The Phantom of the Opera– LOVE. There is just no describing how much I adore this fantastic musical, the drama, the passion, the romance, the MUSIC! My heart swells with joy and a slight tingle of fear every time the Overture begins and in moments I am swept away into a glittering underworld of Paris theater intrigue. The Phantom is hands down my favorite guy in a musical; he’s just larger than life and dripping with emotion and sexual tension. It’s no contest between the Phantom and Raoul for me; I’m a Phantom fan all the way! I love the movie (it was my first intro to the musical) and recently discovered the 25th Anniversary Concert and have fallen in love all over again (the Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess version). Favorite Songs: The Phantom of the Opera (obviously), Twisted Every Way, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again, The Point Of No Return, and Down Once More.

3)      Love Never Dies– The sequel to The Phantom of the Opera and just amazing on its own. I was nervous at first at the thought of a follow-up to the POTO, and was not convinced at first that I liked the new music but it has quickly won me over. I won’t give away any details concerning plot here, but if you’re a Phantom fan and haven’t heard/seen LND then scurry on over to Wikipedia or Youtube and check it out! Though I forewarn you: if you like the ending of the Phantom of the Opera and have no desire to see anything change at all, this may not be a musical for you. Love Never Dies has one of the most beautiful scores I have ever heard in my life, it’s just…gorgeous and the songs are brilliant as well. Favorite Songs: ‘Til I Hear You Sing, Beneath A Moonless Sky, Devil Take The Hindmost (and reprise).

4)      RENT- This one is an oddball for me. I love it but it makes no sense for me to (there’s no fantasy elements, hardly any happy moments, and it’s set close enough to the present to make me lose any interest whatsoever) but somehow I’ve come to adore this melancholy musical. The music is heartfelt and powerful enough to bring tears to my eyes every time I hear certain songs and the story just breaks my heart. I will admit that I’ve only ever seen the movie with regards to RENT, but I’ve heard that it was a very good interpretation of the original work. There’s just something about singing my heart out to these songs that makes my world seem like a better place for a while. (My mom on the other hand, downright LOATHES this musical, I don’t actually know why, but I find her response amusing. Whenever it’s on she starts huffing angrily under breath and asking “Is THAT the last song…WHAT?! WHAT MORE COULD THEY SING ABOUT?! I’ve only gotten her to actually watch it once and she hasn’t trusted me with musicals since (even though she loves all the other musicals I’ve had her watch since then). It took me five years(!) to get her to watch The Phantom of the Opera after the RENT debacle, as I call it. And now she loves the Phantom but getting her to watch any new musical now takes months and months of hard work. I’m trying to get her to listen to Les Miserables now…it’s not working so far.) Favorite Songs: I’ll Cover You, Light My Candle, No Day But Today, La Vie Boheme.

 

5)      Wicked- There is just something in this beautiful piece of artistry that touches my heart and soul. I discovered Wicked when my parents were going through their divorce during my late second/early third year of college. My friend had given me a CD to listen to filled with music she thought I would like and on it was Defying Gravity. One moment, I’m sitting on my bed listening to new songs that would hopefully drown out the pain of what I was feeling, and the next thing I knew I was bawling my eyes out, gasping for breath thinking: This is exactly how I feel. Ever since that moment, Wicked has been a fierce favorite of mine; Elphaba seems so real to me…she seems like me and it helped to know that somewhere out there was a strong (green) woman who felt pretty much the same way I did. If you haven’t discovered Wicked yet, go do so now, my blog will be here when you come back. Favorite Songs: Defying Gravity, The Wizard And I, Dancing Through Life, I’m Not That Girl, Thank Goodness, No Good Deed, As Long As You’re Mine, and For Good.

6)      Hairspray- Oh the joyousness of this upbeat and dance-worthy musical! Again, I’ve only seen the movie version of this (and the old original movie that frankly I thought sucked) but still, I love it! I don’t know how true it was to the Broadway version, but the movie was good enough for me (until I see the other one anyway)! The music is just so peppy and happy that it just brightens my day to bounce around the house singing these songs at the top of my lungs 😀 Favorite Songs: Big, Blond, and Beautiful, I Can Hear The Bells, I Know Where I’ve Been, Without Love, and You Can’t Stop The Beat.

7)      Jekyll and Hyde- Now apparently there are quite a few interpretations of this musical, but to be clear the one I’m talking about is the 1995 Original Cast. The music and overall feel is just creepy and overly dramatic but I’m a sucker for drama, so this one is right up my alley! The lush and seedy story is romantic, wistful, frightening and haunting; there are musical numbers that utterly break my heart or make my blood run cold! Lucy is one of my all-time favorite musical heroines/characters! Favorite Songs: Bring On The Men, This Is The Moment, In His Eyes, The Girls Of The Night, No One Knows Who I Am, Dangerous Game (though not the 1995 version), and Confrontation.

8)      Mamma Mia– Just good fun! This musical is so bouncy and full of energy and love that it’s pretty much perfect (I’ve only seen the movie, but I can’t wait to see the real thing)! Mother/Daughter relationships, true love, hilarious hijinks, and GIRLPOWER…’nuf said. My best friend and I watched this again on my last birthday and it was fantastic fun, we sang our hearts out and I ended up with this musical stuck in my head for two weeks afterward! Favorite Songs: Does Your Mother Know That You’re Out, SOS, Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen…pretty much every song.

9)      Beauty and the Beast- Disney gold. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie ever (though there are many others in my fav list) and so unless they just completely changed the story, it was a given that I would love this musical! It shocks me just how similar the Original Broadway Belle sounds like the Original movie Belle, and it made the transition to this new interpretation much easier to handle. For me there is no comparison or competition, I love the movie the most, but the musical is very very good as well. Favorite Songs: Me (funniest song ever), Home, No Matter What, Maison Des Lunes, The Mob Song, Transformation.

And that my lovelies, is my list of all-time favorite (and therefore bestest) musicals ever! The next musicals I plan on checking out are The Little Mermaid, and The Pirate Queen and I hope to love them both! What about you all? What musicals do you love the most? What songs make your heart soar? Are there any musicals you think I should look into? I’m always open to new music and suggestions are welcome!