Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Book Review: "Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art" by Magelin L'Engle

I remember making a New Year's Reading Resolution recently that I was going to read more of Miss L'Engle's writings. I had recently reread "A Wrinkle in Time" which I think is one of those books that you read as a kid, and then re-read as an adult and you appreciate a lot more about it. Or at least different things.

This is a hard book to categorize. Though really it says it all in the subtitle "reflection on faith and art". She talks about both of those things both separate and together.

I think it's interesting that she found herself chaffing when she was referred to as a "Christian" author. It's not that it wasn't untrue (she is a Christian, and she is an author) but it pigeon holes you. Like how people would be shocked to know that Roald Dahl also wrote books for adults. I think there are plenty of people who were not Christians who read WIT and enjoyed it.

Kind of attached to that she talks a lot about choice. 

She talks a lot about how being open to things is great for art.

 Honestly, I'm having a hard time reviewing this book and there were so many great quotes but they will make no sense out of context. So I will just say this.

 I found this book thoughtful and lovely, with a great flow to the chapters. It was just a nice, reassuring, interesting, calming read and I'm so glad that I picked it up. I think that she has a lot to offer people (artists, authors, or noncreative folks alike) and that many people will find this book to be just a cozy kind of soothing read.

4 out of 5 stars!

This book was sent to me free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review

Friday, November 11, 2016

SciFi November Bingo Card!

I should have put this out right at the beginning of SciFi November, but if you want a laugh maybe fill these out while you read this Novemeber or whenever you find yourself reading SciFi/Fantasy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Ray Bradbury's "Halloween Tree" in Disneyland (The actual tree! Well, kinda.)

(This is probably a stretch for Sci-Fi November. Maybe it's more fantasy. But I think that counts)

So, there is a Ray Bradbury book that I love called The Halloween Tree. It's about this group of boys in the Midwest and how one  Halloween they and a mysterious man named Carapace Clavicle Moundshroud move through time and space to see how Halloween came to be as we celebrate it. Or other things that feed into how we feel about death and creepy things. Like Samhaim in ancient Ireland, Dias de Los Muertos in a small Mexican village, and (my personal favorite) the building of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris and just how did all of those creepy gargoyles get up there anyway? The titular Halloween tree is a huge tree in from of Mr Moundshrouds' creepy mansion in a ravine (because of course). When the boys stumble across it the tree has hundreds of jack o lantenrs filled with candles hanging from it's branches that all suddenly light of their own accord (awesome! scary!) 

Ray lived for most of his life in Southern California (though he is a Midwestern boy by birth, hence a lot of his story settings in the Midwest) and became friends with a man named Walt Disney. Two people with very active imaginations, I can only imagine what some of those conversations sounded like to an outsider! Ray was especially involved in Epcot in California. (I think he even wrote the narrative that plays when you go on the ride through the golf ball looking thing, but don't quote me on that).

Walt honored Ray and his friendships and contributions to the Disney "vision" by naming a tree in his park "The Halloween Tree" and every Halloween it's decorated with hundreds of jack o lanterns in it's branches. There's even a plaque! I imagine thousands of people walk by it every fall not knowing that it's Ray's tree. I found out about it on accident while scrolling through Pinterest looking for activities for when Quinn and I were at Disneyland (that post coming soon). I decided I MUST FIND THIS TREE. Luckily, one of my cousins works for Disney and was able to find the tree for me so I could take pictures with it. It was kind of dreary and spooky with none of it's leaves and no longer decorated for Halloween and I thought it was perfect.

Thanks Quinn for the tree photo shoot!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Friday Four - Four Favorite Sci-Fi Shows

(Will be traveling for a chunk of Friday, so you get this a day early!) And I'm so happy to be able to tie this one in to SciFi November!

I can appreciate that science fiction means something different to everybody and so what I consider science fiction might not be what you consider science fiction. so based on my understanding of what science fiction is, here are my favorite.


Oh man, I loved me some Fringe. Unexplained occurrences + Homeland Security + Parallel Universe = Fringe. The character John Noble played was hilarious and brilliant and infuriating and annoying and sympathetic. Also for those Dawson's Creek (or Skulls) fans out there...Joshua Jackson.



There were times that Lost INFURIATED me, but I always came back to it. It's one of the very few shows that I watched from day one all the way to the bitter bitter end. I even did a book series about it here on the blog! Time travel, unexplained polar bears, mysterious wheels, utopian fantasies, etc etc Lost is about literally all the things. There's not enough time.


Penny Dreadful

The fact that this show was only on for 3 seasons was basically a crime against humanity. The cast of this show were outstanding Eva Green, Rory Kinnear, Timothy Dalton, and (perhaps most surprisingly of all) Josh Hartnett. There is some intense violence and some weird sex stuff in this show. Also, I was terrified watching it sometimes. (There was demony stuff. And I don't watch the demony stuff. But for this I watched between my fingers.) But also surprisingly funny occasionally. I MUST love any show that brings characters from classic literature to life. I'm contractually obligated by my Maker. And even if I wasn't I'd still love the life out of this show. 

(Though, one thing. I know Timothy Dalton has been in a LOT of stuff *cough* James Bond but the first role that popped into my head whenever I hear him talk is when he voiced the hedgehog in Toy Story 3. So his character will be like, killing people left and right in PD and in my head all I can see is a hedgehog in liederhosen asking "Are you classically trained?" And then I laugh and laugh and laugh)


Anywhere with you hedgehog.

Warehouse 13

This show got a little dumb towards the end but the creativity and interesting scenarios kept me hooked.(Also, one of the characters was a recovering alcoholic and this was never joked about or made light of and was treated with respect and the realities of a person in such a situation. So, go you!)  The series revolves around secret government agents who have to collect dangerous objects that harm people and safely store them in Warehouse 13. Such items could be - W. C. Fields' juggling balls that induce drunkenness and blackouts or Ivan Pavlov's Bell, which will call any dog to you but causes excessive drooling for 24 hours. So it's about the agents misadventures and the interesting objects and it was just kind of good clean, unproblematic fun.

Though no good GIFS to be had. Bummer.

Who else has sci-fi tv show favorites?