S P R I N G '18 Update // Going to Europe?? + NaNo Prep

by - 4:17 PM

Wellll hello there! *salutes* I've been wrestling with what to post for the last couple of weeks, and since I lacked the motivation to write any of the dozen ideas I came up with, I'm taking the coward's way out and doing a life update-ish thing. (I'm so descriptive, wow, look at me.)

So if you could care less about my life (excuse you), now is your time to make your escape.

A wise decision, believe me.

Nothing's stopping you from leaving, Lieutenant.

*blinks innocently* Oh no? Someone has to stay here and make sure you don't cause everyone to collapse of boredom, love. 

Sureeee. Okay, that's enough insults for today, thank you very much. The door's that way. *grabs him by the uniform and shoves him toward the door*

Easy now, this is quality material! *jerks away and pouts* Look, now you creased it.

I'll give you more than just a wrinkle to complain about if you don't vacate the premises soon.

My, but you are charming when you don't get your cake, aren't you? *rolls eyes and strolls out*

I would apologize for his behavior, but honestly, you're all used to it at this point.

Ahem. :P

Onto the life update!

:: L A T E L Y ::

BASICALLY ALL THE OLD MOVIES. Guys, I'm obsessed with vintage films. I know, I know - I'M AN OLD LADY. I freely admit that. What can I say, there's just something about classic old movies that draws me to them. (Bonus points if they're black-and-white. ;))

So, specifics?

+ Casablanca. AAAHHHH. Excuse me while I go sob in a corner. This . . . this film is so perfect. The music, the characters, the plot, the cinematography, the character arcs, the intensity, the dialogue . . . literally everything is flawless. (I mean, except the characters - believe me, they got themselves some flaws. But they're still wonderful.)

I watched this for the first time in December and loved it, but it was just so much RICHER the second time. I don't know, guys . . . this is just simply one of the best movies of all time. (Like, it's up there with Lord of the Rings. NO JOKE.)


(This . . . *cries*)

+ The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947). Hilarious and so much more engaging than I remember! (I was but a wee child the first time . . . so yeah, I remember nothing.) Danny Kaye is adorable and 100% one of my favorite actors.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

+ The Quiet Man. *cringes* No. Just no. Domestic violence is never okay. I didn't at all appreciate the roughness of the male character towards his wife (whom I really didn't like anyway, BUT STILL - there's never an excuse for abuse). The Ireland scenery was gorgeous, and of course Maureen O'Hara is a lovely actress; but those are honestly some of the only things I liked about this movie.


+ Thoroughly Modern Millie. Oh boy. I'm not going into all the reasons I hated this. It was kind of shocking, to be honest, especially after having seen the theatre version and loved it. The movie, though? Full of innuendo and some rather surprising swear words. Not to mention the drugs and alcohol and just general . . . ick factor. Nothing at all like the play, unfortunately. I couldn't even appreciate Julie Andrews. So disappointing.

+ The Young Victoria. EEEEEP. This movie!!! Folks, I'm prepping for a trip to England (more on that later) so I just had to watch a movie about British royalty to get in the "mood."

This. was. glorioussss.

I loved it so much! The costumes were so stunning, the music was wonderful, and the characters? Oh my. *grins* (VICTORIA AND ALBERT THOUGH. They are so adorable, howwww??) I'm already wanting to watch this again, and it's only been less than two weeks. Help, I may be obsessed.

Content note: One use of language. There is a married couple near the end so expect a bit of kissing (some rather lengthy) and a few suggestive scenes. Nothing that was explicit or made me personally uncomfortable, but it's still implied. Probably recommended to teens, about 13 or 14+ for interest levels and the minimal content.


+ The Greatest Showman. YES I DID THE THING. This is proooobably the most "popular" movie I've seen in theaters. It was very, very hyped. And . . . my honest opinion? I really liked it, but I definitely think it's been a little overhyped. My expectations weren't quite met.

Howeverrrr. I really did enjoy it a lot! The more I think about it, the more I actually seem to like it. xD AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE SOUNDTRACK. My favorite songs are probably "A Million Dreams," "The Other Side," and "Tightrope." So much yes. <3

And Phineas and Charity? GOOD GRIEF THEY WERE ADORABLE. I also kind of loved Philip. *smile, smile*

There were honestly a lot of things to like about this movie. I have manyyyy thoughts. Anyone here actually interested in a full review? I haven't done a movie review in ages so I'm not sure if anyone would be interested *shrugs*

Content note: Two uses of language in one song, some flashy costumes, kissing between husband & wife and one other couple, an "unwelcome" kiss from someone else, a good amount of drinking. Surprisingly clean, though . . . for nowadays. I would say about 12+. 


+ Ummm . . . not much? I'm still working on a Christmas novella (YES CHRISTMAS) that I started back in December . . . needless to say, it's slow going. I only have 5,000 words so far. But the characters are THE CUTEST and I am determined to finish this soon. ("Soon" being next Christmas, knowing me. :P)

+ Also, CAMP NANO PLANNING IS A THING. I am not ready. At all. What else is new. *hyperventilates*

I'm probably going to be going rogue and working multiple projects again. I need to finish the first draft of last year's April project, The Scent of the Sun. I also hope to get more work done on Vagrant Embers and possibly something else. I'll be bouncing between a lot of different projects, most likely. And since I have *gasp* time to write this April, I will hopefully get a lot of progress done.

(Yeah right, we'll see how that goes. *cough*)

Where do I start with this? So. many. books. There's no way I'll be able to do a full account. (If you want to see them all, here they are on Goodreads). So for the sake of time, and everyone's sanity, I'll just list some overall highlights.

+ The good. I would still consider it a pretty good reading year so far, but I've only read one NEW book that earned five stars (A Song Unheard). I re-read  a few favorites (A Note Yet Unsung and To Get to You), but the rest have all been between 2 and 4 stars. But some notable good books I've read are:

Beautiful Blue World // war. heartbreaking yet hopeful. family. deep truths. aesthetic.


The Ringmaster's Wife // dual-timeline. circus. lovely characters. pure beauty. nostalgia. twinkling lights.


The Lost Girl of Astor Street (re-read) // MARIANO <3. mafia. candlestick phones. '20s. cutest couple.


Andora's Folly // Greek myth retelling. vivid writing. curiosity. character arcs.

+ The mediocre. So . . . it's kind of sad but the majority of books I've read have actually just been kind of "meh." Eight of the twenty-one books I've read have earned three stars. (Which doesn't sound too bad, but then add in the two-star ones and it's lookin' a bit bleak. xD)

Starflower // Eanrinnnn. touching themes. distant & "unconnectable" writing/world.


Love Comes Calling // Jazz Age. "hello girls." fun but annoying characters.


If I'm Found // page-turner. more deep stuff. PTSD. annoying romance.


Under the Wire // dystopian. sibling relationships. rather pointless.

+ The bad. Haven't read many "bad" books, just a couple that I didn't like. (Though one of the ones I'm currently reading . . . let's just say we might have another one to add to this category. :P)

Breadcrumbs // quirky illustrations. depressing & pointless. aggravating writing style. no connection to characters.

Not By Sight // suffragettes. very boring. flat writing style & characters. DNF.

+ THEATRE MUSIC. I have discovered a new favorite thing. My favorite musicals/theatre programs to listen to are "Anastasia" (the Broadway version <33), "Thoroughly Modern Millie" (again, ONLY the Broadway version), and of course The Greatest Showman. I'm . . . actually currently listening to that right now. *sheepish grin*

If you want to hear more of my faves (including Mary Poppins & Singin' in the Rain), I have a whole playlist dedicated to theatre right here.

+ Rend Collective. Their new album is gold. LITERAL GOLD. Go listen to "Good News" right now, and I promise your life will be 110% better.

+ Branches. Where have they been all my life?? Wow. Their music is so lyrical and deep and gorgeous. It almost feels like I'm eating rich dark chocolate when I listen to their music. Even though I . . . don't really like dark chocolate?? But it's how I imagine people who like dark chocolate feel - ANYWAY. You should go listen to them. xD

It's been so long since I've done a life update that I'm trying to think of what's been going on . . . *scratches head* So many things happened in the last couple months, but this month hasn't been nearly as busy.

+ I MET REND COLLECTIVE. AHHHH. This is one thing I will definitely never forget. For Christmas, I got my bestie and I VIP tickets to a Rend Collective concert . . . and we got to meet the band. LIKE EXCUSE ME CAN I JUST SCREAM FOREVER ASGDGFSL. I was a total fangirl and kind of just stared at them creepily. Oopsies. :P (One of them said they liked my hair and I felt so famous omw. xD) Honestly, the whole experience was just amazing. It completely changed my outlook on worship. I walked out of there feeling so spiritually fulfilled.

Not to mention, we got some pretty epic shirts and a signed poster. Oh, and the band members of Rend Collective are hilarious & sweet & totally have the world's best accents. Yes indeed.

+ Planning for Europe? I feel like I've been the most annoying person ever because I keep harping on this . . . but I actually don't think I've announced it officially on my blog. Which is really weird to me.

BUT GUYS - it's officially official. I'm going to Europe.

*chokes on glitter*

IT'S HAPPENINGGGG. We just applied for passports today, and we already got airplane tickets a couple weeks back. We booked our Aibnb's last week (they look adorable). So like . . . it's not a dream. I keep having to remind myself THAT IT'S TRUE. I. am. going. to. Europe. 

We're going to London, Paris, and Bath and spending around 10 days over there this summer. I AM SO EXCITED. Because we'll be visiting all these literary + historical places, including 221B Baker Street (!!!) and Notre Dame cathedral (!!!) and Buckingham Palace (!!!) and . . . SO MANY OTHER PLACES. My excitement levels are over the top. This is essentially my dream trip. And my dream is coming true. <3

The one thing I didn't expect with this trip was allllll the research. So much research, guys. I'm getting a teensy bit stressed trying to figure out how to fit everything in (I'm unofficially in charge of the itineraries). There's also just a LOT of stuff to know before you head off to Europe. So yeah. That's what I'll be doing for the next few months.


+ Swing dancing + watching the Olympics + practicing driving + senior photos. Wow, okay . . . I did all of this last month and it was busy. I'm a huge fan of the Olympics, especially the winter ones. I probably spent waaay too much time watching figure skating. :P I also tried swing dancing for the first time and looked like an idiot . . . but I also don't care. SO THERE.

+ Watercolor & photography classes + GRADUATION STUFF. I seriously have some of the best classes this semester. I've never had this many creative classes at a time, and frankly? I LOVE IT. But it's also rather odd to think that I'll be done with high school in only a little over a month. I FEEL SO OLD. *cries*

WELL, THAT HAPPENED. I had every intention of making it a quick post, I promise. But somehow it ended up morphing into a monster. #oops Here, take some cookies if you stuck around till the end.

I've rambled enough about what's been going on in my life. Tell me: how are YOU doing? Any exciting plans? What have been some of your current favorite books, movies, or music? SHARE WITH ME ALL YOUR SECRETS. *rubs hands together*

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  1. And THIS was one of the most exciting post in the history of ever ;D. Rend Collective (my sister's favorite band)! EUROPE (Just - EUROPE!)! The Greatest Showman (you must do a movie review, YOU MUST!)! Epic post, my friend <3.

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

  2. Squee! You get to go to Europe? That's so awesome!! I hope you have a wonderful time while you're there!

    Um, The Lost Girl of Astor Street? So much yes! It's an amazing book!

    I hope you have a wonderful last few weeks of school! Graduation is a bittersweet moment. Enjoy it!

  3. Wow! What a great life update post! I HAVE to watch that version of Secret Life of Walter Mitty! I love Danny Kaye too <3

    ANNNNND SO EXCITING, MARY! I was supposed to go to England with my dad this past February but it didn't happen *SIGH* But my family is going to Europe next summer... TOO BAD I CAN'T GO WITH YOU!!! That would be TOO much fun XD you seem like such an enjoyable person!

    And YAY cookies but I'm supposed to be fasting... :(

    1. AND ALSO YOUNG VICTORIA <3!!!!!!!!! Okay I'm leaving now. Bye!

  4. YOU WILL LOVE LONDON! I got to go a couple years back and MY GOODNESS IT WAS INCREDIBLE. <3 <3 <3 <3 I'd so love to go again. I think my family is going to Canada this summer though....


    Firstly I just have to flail some more about YOU GOING TO EUROOOOPE!!!!!!!!! I honestly can't even express how thrilled I am for you! Seriously, at random moments in the day I'll think, "MY MARY IS GOING TO EUROPE. THIS IS SO AMAZING!" Just... *FLAAAILS*

    Okay, just had to squeal for a minute.

    Would you believe I've never watched ANY of those movies you mentioned? I feel like I'm the only person in the world who hasn't seen Casablanca. Like...what is wrong with me? The Young Victoria is definitely something I've been wanting to try, and now even more so at your raving review. MUST. WATCH. MOVIE!!! And yeah, The Greatest Showman is so hyped. o.o And I'm not sure I'll like it because...well... *whispers*I don't actually like musicals. *ducks and hides* I KNOW. DON'T HATE ME. I just...don't enjoy it when the interesting story and fun dialogue is interrupted every few minutes by yet ANOTHER musical number. I'M SO SORRY! That's not to say I hate ALL musicals (The songs in Tangled give me life.) Just in general I rather no singing in my movies. XD But ANYWAYS, I also kinda of can't stand Zac Efron, and Zendaya really isn't my favorite either so...yeah. I KNOW I'M THE WORST. Buuut if it ever pops up on Netflix streaming, I'll probably will give it a try! I may be surprised!

    THAT'S SO EXCITING YOU'RE DOING CAMP NANO! I was reeeally tempted, since I'm doing a ton of editing and can just use Camp to keep up with that. But I'll probably be out of town some in April so decided I better not add yet another layer of craziness to my month with Camp. XD BUT I HOPE IT GOES WELL FOR YOU!


    YOU'RE GOING TO EUROPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, just had to scream my excitement one more time. XD

    I do hope the rest of your March and all of April will be a frabjous one! <33333

  6. YOU MET REND COLLECTIVE?!?! *is super jealous because they are like my FAVE* Their new album is the best, isn't it? =) And I'm glad that you get to go to Europe-eat a lot of sweets (Turkish Delight included) and takes lots of pictures! =D

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

  7. AHHH!! THAT IS SO EXCITING THAT YOU'RE GOING TO ENGLAND. You MUST write posts when you get back all about how it was (though if you don't want to, that's cool, too. This is America afterall. Land of the free. You do what you want. XD).

    It sounds like your life has been pretty full, and fun. :)

  8. I still need to see The Greatest Showman... All that I've heard about it is that the soundtrack is ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. So yeah. XD

    Aww, that's too bad you didn't like Starflower very much! But seriously, Eanrin is THE BEST. Easily my favorite character in the whole Tales of Goldstone Wood series. :D


  9. YOU'RE GOING TO EUROPE? That is absolutely awesome. I'm so happy for you!
    And. . . you met Rend Collective? That's also awesome!! I love their music so much, and I've seen them perform three times! And "Good News" is so. good. "Weep With Me" has kinda become my guiding star right now. <3

  10. I love the Greatest Showman so much. I'm addicted. XD Awesome for Europe! I've been to Paris and it was amazing and I'm saving my pennies to go to Iceland next year. So jealous you're going to London. That's also on my must-travel list!


  11. I haven't seen The Greatest Showman either, and seeing how I don't usually like hyped stuff...I'm a little iffy about it. But also liTERALLY EVERYONE is screaming about the soundtrack, so I probably will watch it, just so I can listen to the soundtrack XD


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