Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jane Austen: My New Inspiration

The greatest writer of all time, Miss Jane Austen herself. She had been a credit to all lovers of love stories and a good novel.
The great authoress herself would have turned 234 years old today. So as a tribute to her I want to dedicate a blog post to her.
Miss Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775. While she went about writing her work, she published it anonymously. She published Sense and Sensibility in 1811, followed by Pride and Prejudice in 1813, Mansfield Park in 1814, and Emma in 1815. While in her life time she was not celebrated for her works, she became recognized as one of the greatest writers after her life. After her death in July 18, 1817, with her sister Cassandra Austen holding her in her arms, two other books were published. In 1817 Northanger Abbey was published along with Persuasion in the same year. There are other works that she wrote such as the short story Lady Susan and Love and Friendship along with a few other early works. There are two pieces of work that she didn't finish and that's Sandition and The Watsons. There are many more, but most are early works or just pieces that didn't get published. I personally have her six novels and Lady Susan in one beautifully leather bound book by Barnes and Noble, and is a must buy for any Jane Austen enthusiast. Let's just say it makes reading her books more authentic.
Many countless books have been published by other authors who wished to extend Jane Austen's original novels. Anywhere from the daughters of Mr. Darcey and Lizzy to weird editions about Zombies or Sea Monsters. Any Janeite (a fan/fan culture developed that's centered on Austen's life, her works, and the various film and television adaptations of them) can enjoy many different adaptions of their favorite Jane Austen novel.
I myself am just starting on the Jane Austen journey. I'm currently reading Sense and Sensibility. I've also had the great chance to read Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler and Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by the same author. While they are both works of fiction where the idea of turning up in Jane Austen's time or coming from Jane Austen's time to our time was just too fun to read. I highly recommend both of them, even if you haven't read any of Jane Austen's works.
All of her novels have been turned into television specials and major motion pictures. I've seen three so far, with one based on Jane Austen's life.
Becoming Jane is based off the biography written by Jon Spence called Becoming Jane Austen, and is set around Jane Austen's own love relationship when she was in her twenties with a young lawyer named Thomas Lefroy. Anne Hathaway stars as the young authoress and the yummy James McAvoy plays the Irish-born Mr. Lefroy. Anne does a great job at portraying Jane Austen, though at times it peeved me a bit that she isn't British, and thus lacks the proper accent. The score/soundtrack to the film is very gorgeous and is a must buy if you just want a little bit of Regency Era-type (the Regency Era is the name of the era in England during Jane Austen's time) of music.
Pride and Prejudice is by far one of my favorite films. Keira Knighley stars as the independent thinker Elizabeth Bennet, and along side her is Matthew Macfadyen, the most gorgeous Mr. Darcy I have ever seen!!! Both with their heads on too tight, they embark on a journey that takes them to a great understanding that their perceptions of each other were wrong in the first place. The soundtrack for this film is also gorgeous and my dream is to dance to the song that Mr. Darcy and Lizzy dance to at the ball for my wedding. The song is called "A Postcard to Henry Purcell." I purchased the special gift box edition of the film so it came with the film, the soundtrack, a ticket to see Atonement (also with Keira Knightley and James McAvoy), and a making-of book describing the characters, the clothing and everything else about the film.
Lastly, I've seen Sense and Sensibility and thanks to my cousin Maritza, I have this film. This movie has Emma Thompson as the shy Elinor Dashwood and Kate Winslet as the scandalous Marianne Dashwood. This film, along with the novel, concentrates on the lives of the two sisters, and how they cope with their circumstances. It's more about sisterhood than it is about romance. Emma Thompson did an excellent job writing the screenplay and received an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1995, two Golden Globe for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, and it won many other countless awards for me to mention them all here. It's just that good.
If anything Jane Austen has been an inspiration to me and she will keep on developing my love for the art of the novel. She has inspired me so much that my dream wedding dress is designed with the Regency Era in mind.
This gorgeous dress is very cute and very appropriate to get married in the temple. Naturally, I'm not even set with a boyfriend, let alone a fiance, but a girl always dreams of her wedding day, along with her wedding dress. The jewelry is also very cute and simple, which I can also purchase from the same etsy shop.

Here are a few Austen must haves:
The Jane Austen action figure
The Jane Austen Little Thinker plush doll (You better belive I have this one! ^_^)
Jane Austen Is My Homegirl tee (I totally want this in teal!!!)
Jane Austen: Her Life and Letters: A Family Record
(A collection of letters written by Jane Austen placed together in one book by her grand nephew and great-grand nephew)
Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners (An etiquette book based on the times of Jane Austen. You won't think about her world in the same way again)
Jane Austen Finger Puppet (Because your fingers need a little personality. Haha!)
Jane Austen Sparkling Pendant (This is the most beautiful way to wear Jane Austen around your neck)
Jane Austen's Little Instruction Book (A Little Gift Book
Pride and Prejudice
(The Comic book version of Pride and Prejudice!!! I can now die happy!!!)
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen
(A work of fiction, but it's not less fun to read than any other fictional book)
Lost in Austen: Create Your Own Jane Austen Adventure
(It's a "go to this page to do that" kind of book)
Becoming Jane: The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Aus
ten (The Miramax film edition, different than the one below)
The Wit and Wisdom of Jane Austen: Quotes From Her Novels, Letters, and Diaries

Everything this shop has is cute!
Your own Jane Austen lip balm!
A Jane Austen tote bag

So as I finish this post I want to wish a Happy Birthday the great Jane Austen. I wish you were still alive today to see how much happiness your novels have brought the world.

As a fun activity I found a website that had a quiz where you can figure out which Jane Austen novel heroine you are. I am Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility.

Here's what is said about my results:
You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

I want to challenge all who read my blog to take the quiz themselves, even if you haven't read any of her novels. You could end up finding out you are a particular character and you might want to read up on the book that your character was based off from. You can take the quiz in link. Then I want to ask you to post your results on the comments section of this post. Happy quiz taking! ^_^

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quote of the Day!

"Dance like no one's watching, live every day like it's your last, and love like you've never been hurt."

I don't know who said this, but I love it. I had it on my MySpace headline for a long while before there was a space to have a headline. There's no headline space anymore. I sort of thought of the film Labyrinth, which I'll discuss in a later post, but now, there's this...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Do You Know What I Did This Summer?

Gosh, it seems like the minute I got out of school and went back in for the the Fall, this blog ceased to exist, but here I am ready to give you another great update. This past summer was long, particularly because I didn't do much.

Let me give you an over view of the summer. I used June to plan out Girls Camp for the Huntington Park West LDS stake. Well for the Maywood Branch anyways. I was called to be Camp Director for our branch. It real went well. A bit stressful while I was there, but it was a good time. Lots of hiking this year... Hahaha! You can see pictures from Girls Camp in my facebook pictures.

I was also called to go with two of my girls to Youth Camp. It was totally last minute, but I was needed. Here are my pictures from Youth Camp.

I also went to Disneyland in July for my Birthday!!! I had so much fun! You can see pictures of my Disneyland trip here.

I also did quite a bit of reading. I can't remember that well all of the reading I did, but I think I can track it.

  • I finished up Chosen by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. The beginning was slow and I thought I was going to stop reading the entire series, but I'm glad I was persistent and that was thanks to a sweet assistant is Borders in Cerritos.

  • Along with Chosen I also got to read Untamed by the Casts. It ended with a GIANT climax to the series and I was hungry for the next book, but alas I wasn't able to borrow it from my cousin. Yet...

  • The same day I got the suggestion from the assistant at Borders to keep going with the House of Night series, she also suggested another series, The Immortal Instruments series. The first book is called City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. It's was really good, but I had a slow first half start.

  • I then started to read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, and I had a slow start with it, and it kept going slow. I felt like I had to read it because it's a classic. It's just one of those books you have to read before you die. I don't regret reading it. I never got the chance to read it when I was in school, so thought I would read it on my own. I paused half way to read a different book...

  • I was able to borrow The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold from my cousin Maritza, who borrowed it from the Long Beach Library. I told my cousin about the movie that's going to come out based on the book. We've both seen the trailer and it looks like the movie is going to match the book really well. You can see the trailer to the movie and a small featurette on the official movie website.

  • For my birthday, Maritza gave me Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball. Actually my cousin and me have been having I Love Lucy marathons from our own homes. It was a lot of fun laughing at all of Lucy's crazy antics and schemes. Love, Lucy is Lucille Ball's official autobiography. I was so fascinating to know how she grew up to be the person she is now.

  • A movie that I got to see during the summer was The Time Traveler's Wife with Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana as the main characters . When I went to see My Sister's Keeper I saw the trailer and loved it! The book was pretty good, but I ended up liking the movie waaaaaay more than I liked the book. It's up to you to judge though. Give The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger a chance. The DVD for the film comes out February 9, 2010.

  • A year ago I started The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory after I heard that the movie that was going to come out with Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana. I loved the movie, but I saw it with without finishing the book. I don't think I even get a quarter in when I stopped reading it because of school. I decided I wanted to pick it up after I found out Eric Bana was playing Henry in The Time Traveler's Wife. I wanted to see The Other Boleyn Girl before seeing The Time Traveler's Wife, and I decided I should finish the book, so I did.

  • I then sort of started City of Ashes, the second book in the Immortal Intruments series (I didn't get very far), but then I was able to borrow Hunted by the Casts from the library, so I figured I would stop to read the book that I had 3 weeks to read. I finished Hunted and then picked up City of Ashes again after I got it back from one of my girls from church that I had let borrow the book.

  • I then started The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong with a book club that I was able to start with a couple of friends. The book club is called The Order of the Moon and you can check out our blog at, though we haven't updated the blog in a looooong time.

I did a lot more reading than I thought I would, and I'm looking forward to a lot more reading. I then read more this past Fall and I'll post a list of books that I read during the semester later.

I saw a few movies this summer too. Like you remembered, I mentioned My Sister's Keeper, it was a good movie, but I didn't cry in at as much as I thought I would. I went with Maritza to watch that movie. My dear friend Carolina, or Carol like I call her, let me borrow 5 movies while I was in the Spring semester and I didn't get a chance to watch them before the semester ended. She let me borrow Too Many Girls, The Long Long Trailer, and Forever Darling. All 3 of them had Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in it. They both met each other when they were working on Too Many Girls. Carol also let me borrow Yours, Mine and Ours with Lucille Ball. It was really weird to see Lucille with another man besides Desi. She also lent me Stone Pillow which was her last movie that she made before she passed away. It was a very sad movie and she was very much aged.

I didn't get much of a chance to watch to TV except a bunch of reruns of SpongeBob SquarePants during the summer. I also got rid of the cable in my room because I noticed that I stayed up to watch Nick at Night before I went to bed and I ended up sleeping late. I also noticed that I got sleepy a lot faster watching TV and I lost the desire to read before I went to bed.

Now lastly, music. I had a lot of tracks for the soundtrack of my summer, but I found out about a bunch of bands and music artists. Silversun Pickups became one of my favorite bands. They have a very unique sound and I love them now. I L-O-V-E LOVE Carolina Liar. Gosh, what's not great about him... uh... yeah... well I can't describe him, but he has an excellent indie sound to his music. I was looking forward to Muse's new album The Resistance all summer long. Their single from that album, Uprising, became one of my favorite songs of the summer. Pheonix's song 1901 also became another favorite, along with Fireflies by Owl City. I also got a chance to listen to Killswitch Engage. My Curse and Starting Over were part of the soundtrack of my summer, even though they are scream-o. I was also able to go and see No Doubt in concert with my cousin Maritza. Paramore was with them and I was happy they were there.

Well this is pretty much my summer in a nutshell. Better late then never. Stay tuned for more posts and an overview of my Fall semester. I'll be ending my Fall semester in about a week.

Winter break count down: 8 days!