Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hug a Convert Day

So on my sidebar, I have finally added a button. This is a first for me so it took me quite a while to figure it out. But I was determined to do it because I love the concept so much.

Have you heard of Middle-aged Mormon Man? I've really enjoyed his blog. Last year, he started "Hug a Convert Day." This Sunday is the second annual "Hug a Convert Day." Take a few minutes to press the button and read what he has to say about it. It's delightful and will make you determined to find a few converts to hug. :) I am grateful for the converts I know in my life - and for the ones in my family history who first joined the church. I am in awe of converts! They inspire me.

(Go on. "Push the button, Max!")

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wife for Life Book Trailer

Ramona has published her book trailer. It's beautifully done. Gorgeous pictures and Daniel Beck singing a great "Wife-for-Life" song. :) Check it out on Ramona's website!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'm Feeling Romantic

Lest you be wary that I'm going to wax lyrical about my husband, let me put your mind at ease at once. I'm going to be talking about books. Specifically, literary genres.

I have been reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The House of Seven Gables." Hawthorne himself described this book as a "Romance" rather than a novel. In fact, you can read what he said:

WHEN a writer calls his work a Romance, it need hardly be observed that he wishes to claim a certain latitude, both as to its fashion and material, which he would not have felt himself entitled to assume had he professed to be writing a Novel. The latter form of composition is presumed to aim at a very minute fidelity, not merely to the possible, but to the probable and ordinary course of man's experience. The former--while, as a work of art, it must rigidly subject itself to laws, and while it sins unpardonably so far as it may swerve aside from the truth of the human heart--has fairly a right to present that truth under circumstances, to a great extent, of the writer's own choosing or creation. If he think fit, also, he may so manage his atmospherical medium as to bring out or mellow the lights and deepen and enrich the shadows of the picture. He will be wise, no doubt, to make a very moderate use of the privileges here stated, and, especially, to mingle the Marvelous rather as a slight, delicate, and evanescent flavor, than as any portion of the actual substance of the dish offered to the public. He can hardly be said, however, to commit a literary crime even if he disregard this caution.
In the present work, the author as proposed to himself--but with what success, fortunately, it is not for him to judge--to keep undeviatingly within his immunities. The point of view in which this tale comes under the Romantic definition lies in the attempt to connect a bygone time with the very present that is flitting away from us. It is a legend prolonging itself, from an epoch now gray in the distance, down into our own broad daylight, and bringing along with it some of its legendary mist, which the reader, according to his pleasure, may either disregard, or allow it to float almost imperceptibly about the characters and events for the sake of a picturesque effect. The narrative, it may be, is woven of so humble a texture as to require this advantage, and, at the same time, to render it the more difficult of attainment.
I think it is fairly clear what Hawthorne does NOT mean by a Romance here. He does not mean that the story centers around what we would term romantic love. Despite this definition, provided by the author himself, many people reviewed this book saying things like, "So weird. This is called a Romance, but there wasn't any romance in it, except at the very end when two characters declare love for each other." This annoys me. These reviewers are trying to write in-depth reviews about a concept they have completely misunderstood. Maybe they should do just a LITTLE more research before they write their reviews.

I realize that all five of you who read my blog are most likely aware that the Romantic movement of the late 1700s and early 1800s is QUITE different from the romance novels of today, but I had to rant to somebody. Thank you for listening. Uh. Reading. If you managed to finish this post, that is.

P.S. I realize I have misunderstood many things and stated my opinions according to my misunderstandings. I am simply flabbergasted that so very many people read the same preface I did with the same very clear definition and still completely missed the point.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Gardens Again

Just kidding. This time it is pirates. And cellos.

That's a lot of cellos, by the way. 120. And the cellists are between the ages of 7 and 71. Impressive! I like the sound of many cellos.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Different Kind of Garden

I sang and played this song a lot in college - it would just get stuck in my head:

Cute, no?

But look what I just discovered:

And believe it or not, it gets better:

If you didn't find these hilarious, pardon my terrible sense of humor.

Here's a bonus. It's not English Country Gardens, but on the subject of the Muppets...

These videos made my whole day.