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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: 'Dream The Dream' - 25th Anniversary Cast Recording Review

First off, let me say that this is not a recording of the 25th Anniversary Concert: Live at the O2.  It's a recording of the stage production done in 2010.  It has a totally different cast from the 25thAC, and it has all new, revolutionized orchestrations (more on that in a bit).  It also includes the audience's cheering (something that's never been done before, I believe), so you really get the feel of actually being there.  However, there are a few problems, mainly having to do with the cast.  I'll review the cast, the orchestrations and...whatever else randomly comes to mind.  But since those are the two main things, I'll focus on them.

John Owen-Jones as Valjean
  • Jean Valjean was played (sung?), by John Owen-Jones.  Overall, he was a good Valjean, but I found that his voice was a bit too young to be good for Valjean.  It worked all right for the prologue, but after that, it got a little distracting.  However, his big numbers (Valjean's Soliloquy, Who Am I?, and Bring Him Home) where done well, and he got the emotional aspect of Valjean's part perfectly.
Stars, scarce to be counted, filling the darkness, with order and light.  (Earl Carpenter as Javert)
Earl Carpenter as Javert
  • Earl Carpenter played Javert.  I really liked his performance, especially the emotion he brought into Javert's Suicide and the way he bit out his lines, just the way Javert should.  His singing got on my nerves a little bit at times, mostly because of the way he rolls his 'r's a lot, but he was still really good.  I can't wait to see him playing the part live in October :)
Madalena Alberto as Fantine in LES MISÉRABLES.  I saw her in February when les miz came to NC
Madalena Alberto as Fantine
  • I have a major problem with Madalena Alberto's portrayal of Fantine.  She was way to modern in her singing, and she put little, or no emotion into I Dreamed A Dream.  How can you not put emotion into that song?  I just didn't like her performance, both singing and acting-wise.
Gareth Gates as Marius (2010 Cast)
Gareth Gates as Marius

  • Meh.  That's pretty much the only word I can think of to describe Gareth Gates as Marius, uncultured as it may be.  He was good in some places, and in others...well...not so good.  A Little Fall Of Rain did have me in tears though (it was actually one of the most moving versions of the song I've ever heard) and his "I'm here" rivaled Eddie Redmayne's.  But Empty Chairs at Empty Tables left something to be desired, and his parts in Red & Black were pretty much the same.  His voice was definitely not the greatest I've heard, but it wasn't the worst either.  So, you see, he's pretty much a 'medium' Marius to me.
Les Miserables   Katie Hall as Cosette
Katie Hall as Cosette

  • Katie Hall as Cosette is the only cast member who plays the same role in the 25thAC, and I was really happy about this.  Her sweet clear voice is perfect for Cosette and she's always been really good in the acting facet of her part.  Her and Valjean's interactions as father and daughter are perfect.
Rosalind James (Eponine) #theatre #lesmis #musicals
Rosalind James as Eponine
  • Rosalind James was wayyyy to pop-starrish in her portrayal of Eponine.  I mean, her take on the line "All my life, I've only been pretending!" was just...ugh.  I seriously didn't like the way she sang/acted Eponine's part and I felt she was too whiny as well.  Her only good part was A Little Fall Of Rain, and I much preferred Marius' part in that anyway.  Probably my least favorite Eponine ever.  Even over Frances Rufelle (I'm actually starting to like her performance, if you can believe it).
John Owen-Jones (Jean Valjean), Earl Carpenter (Javert) and Jon Robyns (Enjolras) during the curtain call for the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at The O2 Arena, London, England on the 3rd October 2010. #theatre #lesmis #musicals  (Credit: Dan Wooller/
Jon Robyns as Enjolras.  Guy on the far right, in case you didn't know ;)
  • Although I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, I really didn't care for Jon Robyn's Enjolras.  He didn't have enough fire and passion, he sounded almost like a girl at times, and the notes that should have been held out were cut off, hardly before they begun.  He did do a pretty good job in One Day More, but that was about the extent of his epicness.  I was really disappointed.
The Thenardiers were okay - I hardly listened to any of their parts, since I somehow skipped The Robbery/Javert's Intervention and, of course, I never listen to Master of the House.  The barricade boys were quite good (Jamie Muscato played Jehan - sort of weird, since I'm so used to him as Joly, but it worked pretty well), except for Grantaire.  Grantaire was just...wrong in this recording.

As for the new orchestrations...I was really impressed.  The music has been ever-so-slightly modernized and I actually like it a lot.  I found that some parts of the music were played by different instruments than they usually are and little additions were put in here and there.  Overall, it was a fresh take on an old classic, and I think the composers did an outstanding job.

Would I recommend this recording?  Definitely, for long time fans of Les Mis, but probably not so much to newbies for the simple reason that the cast is hardly as good as the 10th, 25th, or movie.  Still, it's an exciting new version of Les Mis, and for that reason, it'll always be one of my favorites - give or take a few character portrayals.

Have you listened to this recording?  What do you think of it?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: My Les Miserables Ships

Most accurate post about fandoms. Ever.
So true.
When my obsession with Les Miserables first started, I knew nothing about 'ships'.  I hadn't started a board for the show on Pinterest, my computer filter blocked tumblr (it still does), and besides a couple of blogging friends, I didn't know that anyone else was really interested in Les Mis like I was.  But then I created a board on Pinterest and started pinning Les Mis-related pins like crazy and I discovered that there was actually a fandom completely devoted to Les Mis.  I didn't know what any of the language meant like 'brick', 'ship' or 'OTP' (One True Pairing), but people kept throwing around the word 'ship' so much, that I looked it up online.  Even after I discovered what the word (both noun and verb) meant, I didn't do much about it besides ship the obvious - Cosette and Marius.

And then...I saw an pin promoting 'Enjonine' - Enjolras/Eponine - and I fell in love with the idea.  I gushed over the ship with some fangirl friends, and even went so far as to write some fan-fiction about the pair.  But the awesomeness really started when I began to create my own ships.  Now, some pairings I've seen are just plain silly.  Enjolras and Cosette?  Seriously?  Or what about the dumbest one ever...Enjolras and Fantine.  What?  That makes no sense at all.  I don't know how they do it.

Anyway, here's a list of all my Les Mis ships and my reasons for each...

GAH...these two are perfection together! <3
My biggest ship, the one that I obsess the most over is Enjonine.  It's got huge support in the fandom (tied with E/R, I think), and it really is a gorgeous ship.  Now, I couldn't ever see Enjolras and Eponine from the brick falling in love because 1) Enjolras is really, really stern and 'head in the game' - even more so than the musical, which is why I ship Entria (Enjolras/Patria) in the brick and 2) Eponine is so...rough, that I couldn't see her with Marius, much less Enjolras.  But in the musical, both of their characters are slightly softened.  Plus, the film gives us so many amazing Enjonine moments that it's kind of hard not to ship them.  The one in the picture above is probably the biggest one, but there's so many others as well.  If you want a complete list, just comment and I'll be more than happy to share them all.

Eponine needs someone to watch over her.  Not someone like Marius, who always has his head in the clouds, but someone firm and dedicated like Enjolras.  I think they would go well together because Eponine really is a strong, brave woman, and that's the kind of person Enjolras would need behind him.  Not like Cosette who's way to flighty for Enjolras.

Hugh Jackman as Jean Verljean and Anne Hathaway as Fantine from the new Les Mis movie
Faljean is one of the most hotly debated ships in the fandom.  It divides the fans into two groups (don't all the ships?) - those who love it and ship it ardently, and those who hate it and shoot it down every chance they get.  I used to belong to the hate it group because I honestly couldn't see Valjean and Fantine together.  He's about twenty-five years older than her when they meet, and, really, there's nothing in the brick to back it up (actually, there's nothing in the brick to back up any of my ships - but I still keep them).

And then the 2012 film came out and made me a huge fan of Faljean.  Because there's hardly any age difference in the film, and the lines in Fantine and Valjean's respective deaths really spoke to me as being appropriate for a Faljean ship, and, yeah.  I was hooked.  Again, I can't ship brick Valjean and Fantine, but for the movie/musical?  Definitely.  Someone on Pinterest suggested that what should've happened in Les Mis, is that Fantine survived and when Valjean went to get Cosette from the Thenardiers, he also 'bought' Eponine, Azelma, Gavroche and the two little boys (because the Thenardiers didn't care about them, you know), and he took them back to Fantine and they got married and took care of all the children :)  I should write a fan-fic about that...

Okay...I know I'm probably going to get a lot of 'hate' for pinning this, but I think Jehan and Cosette make an adorable couple and they've become a new ship obsession for me.  I'm already planning some fan free to get some [friendly] comment wars started :)
Okay, you've got to admit that this ship is just plain cute.  I mean, look at them.  Even though I'll always prefer Marius and Cosette as a couple, I really, really like Cehan as well.  I've written/planned a couple of fan-fics for them, based more on Jehan's unrequited love for Cosette, than both of them falling in love with each other.  My novella length story about Jehan (which I really need to actually write), will probably include some Cehan shipping.  Well, not probably.  It will.  I'll most likely use the smaller piece I wrote and posted one here for that part.

Some people ship Jehan with Eponine and Cosette with Enjolras, but I prefer Jehan/Cosette.  They're both really perfect for each other - they like flowers, music, poetry, nature and as for Jehan's brave side, well, Victor Hugo said that Cosette was 'wild and brave at heart'.  I think this ship is actually the most plausible of the three.

And there you have it - my three Les Mis ships.  I also ship Couzelma (Courfeyrac/Azelma), but I haven't full thought that ship out and my reasons for it, so I'll probably just do a separate post on them later :)

Who do you ship in Les Mis?  Do we share any of the same ships?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: Songs That Share Tunes

Les Mis. some of the songs are out of order, though. On my own comes after building the barricade in the Broadway musical.

It's common knowledge around the fandom that almost every Les Miserables song has 'match' - a song that shares the same tune.  Even if it's not an entire song, there's often at least bits of the same melody in more complicated, multiple-part songs like the Epilogue.  I thought it would be fun to list all the songs that have matches (along with their matches) and see what sort of things come up.  I'll just be going in order of how the songs are in the musical, and I'll stop when I start repeating myself :) Of course, I don't want to read too much into all of this, but it is interesting to see little connections between certain songs.  I have a feeling this post is going to be huge...
  • Look Down - This song is the iconic opening ensemble number to the musical, and besides the obvious connection to 'Paris-Look Down', the same tune is used almost every time Valjean and Javert meet.  The first time, of course, but also for the 'Confrontation', 'Robbery-Javert's Intervention', that bit with them at the barricades, and the sewers.  I'm sure this is no accident - the melody is perfect for all those scenes because it's pulsating and full of tension.
  • The Bishop - All the bishop's lines are sung to the same tune as 'Empty Chairs at Empty Tables'.  Frankly, I see no connection between Marius and the bishop, and, like I said, I'm not prepared to do an in-depth study and find all the hidden meanings and special connections between the songs.  I will say that the melody itself is perfect for the bishop, as it's soft and gentle.  It's the same with 'Empty Chairs', although it gets more dramatic at the end (naturally).

    This part made me sob my eyeballs out.   "But my friend, you left so early, surely something slipped your mind? You forgot I gave these also, would you leave the best behind?"  THAT is how a Christ follower should act. <3
  • What Have I Done? - This is probably the most symbolic song when it comes to matching tunes.  WHID? is, of course, set to the same tune as 'Javert's Suicide' and it even shares some of the same lines, something that's quite unusual, even for matches.  The two lines the songs share are "I am reaching, but I fall" and "I'll escape now from this world, from the world of Jean Valjean".  Sometimes when I'm singing one or the other, I just switch back and forth from song to song quite effortlessly.  I think the biggest connection between the two songs is that both men are at the end of their figurative rope, having been shown a strange act of kindness (well, the acts themselves weren't strange, but it was strange to them), and they don't know what to do about it.  But while Valjean decides to turn his life around, Javert simply can't deal with the decision before him and drowns himself.  Big difference.
  • At The End Of The Day - I think that this tune is repeated in 'Fantine's Arrest', but I'm not sure.  And that's really the only thing I can think of :P

    I dreamed a dream - Les Mis
  • I Dreamed A Dream - This tune is repeated quite a bit.  The earliest moment after the song itself, is right after the 'Confronation' ("And this I swear to you tonight...").  That part always makes me tear up.  Then, when Valjean goes to get Cosette from the Thenardiers, he sings a few lines to the same melody ("And the mother is with God...") which I heard for the first time in the film (it's in the CSR as well) and found hugely heartbreaking.  Both of those bits have something to do with Fantine, but the next one doesn't (not really, at least).  Cosette, Marius, Eponine and Enjolras' parts in 'One Day More' all follow the same tune with Marius and Cosette singing the counterparts to Enjolras and Eponine.  I actually never realized all of that until I was humming ODM one day and heard it seguing into IDAD in my head.
  • Who Am I? - This song is the first song that has the classic tune that's largely recognized as 'One Day More'.  I really love how the first few opening notes spill out and then Valjean starts singing ("Who am I?  Can I condemn this man to slavery?").  As well as being repeated in ODM, this melody is also used for 'Valjean's Confession', probably one of the reason I love it so much.  I think it's sort of like Valjean's 'theme tune' because it's used for two of his solos, and he really is the main force behind ODM, since he keeps repeating the iconic phrase throughout.
  • Fantine's Death - For the longest time, I thought that this song and 'On My Own' were hugely similar in tune.  But having listened to instrumental versions for both, I discovered they're actually quite different.  Sure, the basic melody is the same, but OMO is a lot 'bigger'.  'Fantine's Death' is much quieter and simpler. does share a lot of the same tune with the Epilogue, which is quite fitting because Valjean is dying now and Fantine's comforting him.

    Les Mis | From Les Misérables: Castle on a Cloud, lyrics by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil.
  • Castle on a Cloud - I'm racking my brains, seeing if there's any other moment besides the "Three men I saw beyond the wall..." bit that shares the same tune as this song.  But I don't think there is.  I still think that Sierra and I should've written a solo for Courfeyrac in the Barricade Boys Musical, to the tune of 'Castle on a Cloud' but we just didn't think of it at the time :P  Anyway.  That doesn't really have much bearing on the topic on hand.
  • Master of the House - Okay.  I haven't watched MOTH, but I know the tune, and let me just say that it's the Thenardiers theme tune (wow.  That must be really surprising to hear).  Every time they come on stage, this tune is always playing in some way.  It fits them perfectly.  Not that I'm surprised ;)

    red and black- Les Mis  <3 BEST song <3
  • Red & Black/Do You Hear The People Sing? - The only time the melody of R&B is repeated is during the barricade scenes.  DYHTPS? is, of course, repeated in the amazing, stirring and tearjerking finale.  I can't believe I'm actually going to see it live.  AHHHHHH.
  • Stars - Basically my favorite orchestration in the entire show, and it's really a shame that it isn't repeated at all.  Except for the instrumental interlude after "That those who falter and those who fall, must pay the price..." which is played at the end of 'Javert's Suicide' when he sings his last big note, I can't recall the tune of 'Stars' being used anywhere else.  *le sigh*
  • In My Life/A Heart Full Of Love - 'In My Life' isn't repeated in the musical, but AHFOL gets a reprise during 'Every Day', using almost all of the same words.  I've always loved that song - I think it's one of the cutest little songs in musical theatre :)
  • Bring Him Home - The melodic reprise of this song is sad.  It always made me tear up during the concerts, but I was sobbing during the film.  Definitely one of the most moving parts in the entire movie/musical.
  • Turning - 'Lovely Ladies', just slowed down (and I know that just because I have a half hour long LM instrumental medley that happens to include LL).  Oh, and might I add that it's a gorgeous song.  'Turning' is one of my absolute favorites.
So, that's pretty much it.  I think I covered all the songs, and if I didn't, well...what can I say?  Les Miserables has over forty songs and I'm pretty tired right now.  Oh, I forgot 'Dog Eats Dog', but I don't think of that as Les Mis, in any way shape or form, and it doesn't have a 'match', so forget it.  Now off to bed...


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: Character Differences Between The Musical & The Brick

Les Miserables Character Guide-- an excellent diagram to show all your petty confused friends while you give them the hour long lecture on the plot ;D

Several of the characters in Les Miserables (the brick) are quite different from Les Miserables (the musical).  I'll be listing every character, with the differences - and similarities - between their portrayal in the brick and in the musical.  I might miss a few things, though, so if you can think of any other points for the characters, please comment and let me know.

Les Mis (2012) | Who am I? #24601. Hugh Jackman (Valjean).
  • Jean Valjean - In the musical, Valjean is portrayed as a saint, sometimes almost too perfect.  While most of the time in the brick, he is like this, there are several differences.  For example, the song 'Bring Him Home' is actually quite brick-inaccurate.  Valjean actually hated Marius, even when he was dragging him through the sewers.  It was only after Cosette married Marius and they had a happy life together, that Valjean found any kindness in his heart for Marius (which I sort of don't understand, because Marius shuns Valjean like the plague when he learns about his backstory).  I do understand the limitations in having a 1,200+ page book being turned into a musical and I think the musical actually did an excellent job capturing Valjean's character.  They just ironed out all his bad points and threw in a few new amazing ones for good measure :)

    'Do not forget me, do not forget my name.' - Javert
  • Javert - The character of Javert is changed quite a bit in its transition from book to musical.  Sure, Javert is the same obsessed police officer in both mediums, but in the musical, he's wayyyyy more religious.  I mean, 'Stars' is a hugely religious/Catholic song if you think about it (he's basically trusting in good works - finding Valjean and putting him behind bars - for his salvation).  I think that's one of the reasons 'Stars' makes me feel so sad at times.  And, of course, his suicide.  All Javert's ever known about right and wrong and God has just been shattered beyond being recognizable and he can't handle it, so he kills himself.  In the book, Javert only views religion as an authority only slightly higher than the law, and while he shows due respect to priests and nuns, it's not the focus of his standards.
Anne Hathaway as Fantine in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables 2012
  • Fantine - Well, besides Fantine's part being so small in the musical (unlike the brick where she has a whole backstory and book dedicated to her), I can't think of very many differences - if any.  Except for the fact that she's always played by actresses/singers who are too old (not counting high school productions), which actually doesn't count at all.  Fantine was only twenty-five when she died, which, of course, adds to the tragedy of her story.  But the musical conveyed everything about her character really well in the twenty or so minutes it allots for her.
Thenardiers  les-mis-les-miserables-2012-movie-33779843-1366-740.png (1366×740)
  • Thenardiers - Again, hardly any differences between the book/musical, besides the fact that there's almost no comedy in the book concerning the Thenardiers and the musical focuses hugely on that ("Let's not haggle for darling Colette."  "Cosette."  "-Cosette.").  And I don't want to spend too much on this post on them, so, moving on...
Marius is awesome but the problem is that he falls in love with a girl (Cosette) right when he saw her and his best friend (Eponine) has been in love with him forever at first site and he didn't know... Until Eponine died. SAD!
  • Marius - Soooo...Marius.  I think the musical is to blame for a lot of the hate Marius gets.  In the musical he basically has his head in the clouds the entire time, only talking about Cosette and not really caring that much for the revolution.  I'll admit that he's the exact same in the book, except he has a huge backstory that always makes me like him, he actually does fight at the barricades quite a lot (even though he does it so that he'll die because he can't marry Cosette), and there's just so much more depth to him in the brick than in the musical (well, that goes for all the characters, but especially Marius).  Seriously, if you don't like Marius-in-the-musical, read the brick.  You'll like him a lot more.
Eponine is by far the best character in Les Mis
  • Eponine - Let me just say right off that Eponine's a whole lot nicer in the musical than in the brick.  In the brick, she has an extremely rough voice and manners, she drinks a lot of alcohol, she talks to herself in a weird way, and she's all around creepy.  I still like her ('cause she does get a lot better as the story goes along), but it always shocks me when I first read the description of her, no matter how many times I do.  In the musical, she's a lot better.  She has an amazing voice, great songs, and she just generally endears herself to the audience.  I definitely like Eponine better in the musical (who doesn't?), but her character is richly complex in the book, and that's why I like her in both the musical and the book.
This is one of my favorite quotes from the Brick!
  • Cosette - Ahhhh, Cosette.  One of the most disliked literary characters ever (I'm really going to have to write a post defending her sometime soon).  Again, I believe it's the same case with her as with Marius.  She doesn't get fully developed in the musical (in fact, her character's rather flat), but in the book, she really is amazing.  I'll save most of my thoughts for that defense post I mentioned, but she really is the embodiment of Fantine's dreams.  And if you don't like her, at least find a little place in your heart for Cosette because of Valjean's sake :)  Note: If you want to watch an incredibly well rounded musical portrayal of Cosette, watch Amanda Seyrfried's.  She gets the character of Cosette beautifully and it's a real joy to watch her performance.
Before I saw the movie, when I would watch the 25th anniversary concert and listen to the soundtracks, I never understood why Enjolras was so popular. Then I saw Aaron Tveit in the movie and I realized why. I think every Les Mis fan loves a certain  Enjolras from a production. You just have to find him(;
  • Enjolras - *sigh*  I really didn't mean to leave Enjolras till last, but that's the way I always list the characters, for some reason, so I'm just sticking to it.  Just think of the phrase 'saving the best for last' :)  The only real difference between brick Enjolras and musical Enjolras, is that I can see musical Enjolras shipped with Eponine, but definitely not brick Enjolras.  He's way more severe in the brick.  Especially with Grantaire.  Note: All the barricade boys are portrayed pretty well in the musical, although if you read the brick, you'll discover all sorts of new amazing things about them.
What do you think of my analysis?  Do you have anything to add?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: Les Miserables 10thAC & 25thAC Reviews

I'm going to be doing mini-reviews of the 10thAC and the 25thAC.  Enjoy!
10th Anniversary Concert Review - The TAC has been, and always will be, my favorite version of Les Miserables.  The dim lighting, rough costumes and sometimes less-than-perfect voices (especially on the part of Fantine and Cosette) are all extremely evocative of Les Mis and what it stands for.  The cast has my favorite Valjean, favorite Javert, favorite Marius and tied-for-favorite Eponine.  The orchestrations in the 25th and the film are beautiful, but, in my opinion, the TAC nails the music.  There's no big difference between the three, but I like it better all the same (the orchestration for Stars is out of this world).

The singers/actors are amazing.  While there's not as much acting as in the 25thAC (and definitely not the movie), it's not a big requirement.  After all, this is a concert, not the actual play.  Still, I think that most of the singers did a remarkable job both vocally and emotionally, with what little opportunity they had to really show a lot of acting.  One of my personal favorites for that is Michael Maguire, who plays Enjolras.  From the first moment he came onto the stage, I was swept away by his passion and fire for the revolution.  And even though he's now my third favorite Enjolras, I still really enjoy his performance.

The 17 Valjeans singing Do You Hear The People Sing? is phenomenal.  I always get chills, especially when everyone breaks our into 'ONE DAY MORE!'  That was epic and really surprised me the first time I watched it.  Even though the 25th has more color, lights and acting and the movie steals the show when it comes to emotion and stunning visuals, the TAC is still my favorite.  Every time I watch it, I get sucked into the world of Les Mis for a good two and a half hours, something that the 25th can't quite do.

25th Anniversary Concert Review - Once upon a time, I was completely obsessed with the version of Les Miserables.  I watched it every chance I got (and then some), but the silly thing was, I skipped a lot of it.  I was really young back then and I thought several of the songs that I love now, were boring.  So I only really watched about half of it each time.  But now I'm older and wiser and I don't skip a thing except the bad songs.  And maybe Empty Chairs at Empty Tables ;)  I've noticed that the orchestrations - and the songs themselves - are quite a bit faster than in the TAC.  It doesn't really pop out to me, unless I have my music on shuffle and a TAC song plays right after a 25th song.  But it's still there, and I'm not sure why they did that.

That was sort of random.  Anyway...moving on.  I have mixed feelings about pretty much all the cast members.  In my opinion, Alfie Boe is only good as Valjean in the prologue.  The rest of the time, I don't really like his portrayal.  I really don't like Lea Salonga's Fantine (sorry, guys) and Norm Lewis' Javert is just...okay.  I like his version of Javert's Suicide but everything else is sort of 'meh' (hehehehehe...if my brother ever reads this post - which I doubt - we'll probably get into another argument).  Cosette is really good, Marius is...well...let's not go there, and Eponine is amazing (although I think Sam did a better job in the movie).  Enjolras is...hehehehehehe.  I could go on, and on, and on about Enjolras, but I won't (I am going to see Ramin Karimloo play Valjean in October...SO HYPED).  And all the barricade boys are perfect.  The End.

If you've never watched right to the end of the 25th, go do so at once.  After the reprise of One Day More with the original cast, there's speeches and stuff (which, frankly, I skip) and then an awesome reprise of the reprise of DYHTPS?  With everyone singing (well, except the audience...I think).  And then once that's done, the credits start rolling, but you can still see everyone on stage hugging and grinning and laughing and having a great time and the poor orchestra still doesn't get a break because they start playing this amazing instrumental medley.

Which version do you like the best?  Who's your favorite cast?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Celebrate Musicals Week: Tag

Yet Another Period Drama Blog

Amy is hosting a Celebrate Musicals Week over at her blog, and naturally, I had to participate.  The way it all works is - you pick the musical that you're going to focus on during the week, and then write posts about that musical all week long.  Amy suggested writing your posts ahead of time and scheduling them, and so that's what I did.  I have a post for every day of the week, except for today, because I knew there was going to be a tag.  Here are my answers to her tag questions.

First Official Les Miserables Poster Pays Homage to the Iconic Stage Musical’s

1.  What musical did you pick to "spotlight" this week and why?  LES MISERABLES.  No big surprise there.  I chose to focus on Les Mis this week because it's the musical I'm mainly obsessed with, which means that I've listened to all the cast recordings (not all in their entirety, but I've listened to at least one song from each - most of the times more), watched almost all of the different versions/adaptions (including non-musical ones) and just generally know a lot about it.  And it's gorgeous.  The End.
2.  How did you discover the musical you picked (hereinafter referred to as "your musical")?  Well, I first heard about Les Mis in 2009 when Susan Boyle stunned the world with her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream (frankly, I don't care much for her version, but she does have a great voice) and later on when Jamie Pugh sang Bring Him Home in Britian's Got Talent.  Then, in June of 2012, Petie and Amy hosted their Les Mis Comparison Week, and I persuaded my mom to let me watch the TAC.  I then devoured the book, the 25th, the movie, etc, etc.  It was crazily fun.

Les Mis (2012) | 'Do You Hear the People Sing?' Poster.

3.  If you had to pick three favorite songs from your musical, which ones would they be?  Three favorites?  Only three???  Very well.  Stars, Drink With Me, and...and...Do You Hear The People Sing? (reprise)  Those are my top three but I have tons of other favorites.  Basically every song in the musical is my favorite.
4.  What's your least favorite song from your musical?  Not counting LL and MOTH, since I never listen to those anyway, it would definitely be Dog Eats Dog.  To me, it is totally not Les Mis, and it's just really weird, depressing and...weird.  Especially the 25th version with those creepy green lights and all the fog.  I'm so glad it was cut out of the film (the only cut I'm happy with, really).
5.  Who are your favorite characters (choose up to three)?  Enjolras, all the barricade boys, and Eponine.  Followed very closely by Javert, Valjean and Cosette.  With Marius and Fantine bringing up the rear.  I guess this is rather hopeless...
6.  Which versions of your musical have you seen/listened to, and which is your favorite?  10th, 25th, movie and countless highschool productions.  The TAC wins hands down and my reasons for this will be explained more fully tomorrow.
7.   Is this your favorite musical of all time?  If not, what is?  Yup.  Les Miserables is definitely my favorite musical ever.
8.   Which cast album/musical soundtrack in your collection do you listen to the most?  Hmmmm...well, that depends on what you mean by collection.  If it means actual CDs, it would be the LM 2012 soundtrack.  On my iPod, it would probably be The Sound of Music soundtrack.  I absolutely love those songs.

Cosette's wedding dress, Les Miserables, 2012

9.   What is your favorite costume from your musical?  I really, really love Cosette's wedding dress in both the 25th and the movie.  It's so beautiful and elegant.  I also wouldn't mind wearing Eponine's costume(s).  Oh, and don't forget...ZE RED VEST OF POWER AND AWESOMENESS.  Also The Jacket.  But mostly the RVoP&A.
10.  If you could change anything about your musical, what would you change?  Cut Master of the House (Lovely Ladies is sort of vital to the plot, if you think about it), and give Enjolras a solo.  I mean, even Thenardier has a solo, so why not Enjolras?
11.  Which role(s) would you most like to play in any musical, if you had the opportunity to do so on stage?  I'd really love to play Cosette, but even though I'm a soprano, I doubt I could do her role justice in the vocal department.  Eponine is, of course, another huge favorite, but in terms of vocal ability (A Little Fall of Rain is actually an incredibly hard song for me to sing), I'd pick Liesl from The Sound of Music.  I love her solo and I think she'd be a great person to play. 
12.  If you could choose one performer to play any part in your musical, who would you choose and which part would you have them play?  Oooooh...this is hard.  I think Eddie Redmayne would make an amazing Charles Darnay in the A Tale of Two Cities musical.  Much better than the guy who played/sang the part in the concert, in my opinion.  And on the same note, I think with a little more voice training, Amanda Seyfried would be a fantastic Lucie.

Yeah boy! It's that time of year again. Can't wait!

13.  Do you consider yourself a musical theatre fan in general or do you just like a few musicals?  Well, I'd consider myself a fan in general, even though I've only watched a relatively few amount of musicals, because I've listened to several songs from other musicals and loved them, even if I've not watched the musicals themselves.  I think this would be a good time to list the musicals I have watched/loved - Les Miserables (duh!), A Tale of Two Cities, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver!, The Sound of Music, The King and I, Mary Poppins, Cinderella, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Singing in the Rain.  Ally recommended Miss Saigon to me a little while ago and I'm planning to watch that the next time I can find some time (a precious commodity, I'm quickly learning).
14.  Are you tired of the word "musical" yet?  No.  Definitely not.
15.  Turn your music playing device on shuffle (or utilize Pandora if you don't have one) and tell us the names of the first three show tunes that come up-- no cheating!  How do these rank on your favorites/most-listened-to list?  The musicals soundtracks I have on my iPod are the Les Mis movie, the Les Mis 25th Anniversary Cast Recording (not the concert at the O2), Oliver!, The Sound of Music and Fiddler on the Roof.  And here are the first three songs...My Favorite Things - I love this song.  I believe I have the whole thing memorized, and it's such fun to sing, the way the words just go together.  Definitely high on my favorite list.  On My Own (from the Les Mis movie) - another favorite!  The intro music to this song is gorgeous, and so are the vocals.  One Day More (from the Les Mis movie) - need I say anything?  It's not my favorite version of ODM, but definitely up there on the list.

Are you participating in Celebrate Musicals Week?  What did you think of my answers?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

30 Songs {#13}

This was the first movie scene that ever made me cry (when I watched the 10th, which technically isn't a movie, but you get what I mean).  I didn't understand the story of Les Mis at that point, but I did know that the girl who loved a guy who didn't love her back was dying in the guy's arms and it was really, really sad.  Along with being special for being the first thing that ever made me cry during a movie, it's just such a beautiful song.  In a tragic way, of course.  As much as I like Eponine's part in this song, Marius' lines have always been my favorite.

But you will live, 'Ponine,
Dear God above!
If I could close your wounds with words of love...
You would live a hundred years,
If I could show you how.
I won't desert you now...
So hushabye,
Dear Eponine,
You don't feel any pain.
A little fall of rain,
Can hardly hurt you now.
I'm here...
And I will stay with you, till you are sleeping.
And rain...
Will make the flowers...grow.

Of course, it's even more heartbreaking when you read the scene in the book.  But I'd rather not go there right now, so just go over to Youtube and listen to the movie version along with the 10th.  It's a total toss-up between which version I like (and much as I love Samantha's acting in the 25th's ALFOR, Nick Jonas kills that song).  They're both so gorgeous, but seeing how most of the song was cut in the film (grrrrrr), I probably like the 10th a wee bit more.

What is your favorite version of A Little Fall of Rain?  What's your favorite line (or lines) from the song?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Art of Writing Fan-Fiction

Fan-fiction is awesome.  I mean, you can take the characters that you love, plunk them into your own writing, using your own words, plot twists and fresh takes on the subject matter and create something totally new, while still sticking to your original obsession.  You can resurrect the character that BBC killed off somewhere around the first few episodes, or kill a baddie that just seemed to keep sticking around, no matter what happened.  You can fast-forward through the hero's life to discover What Happened Next, or delve into the heroine's backstory and give new depth to a character.  At times, your brilliance is writing plot twists and thinking up scenarios is so, well, brilliant, that you're amazed the author/screenwriter didn't think of it in the first place.

But.  There are several problems with fan-fiction, or more particularly how fan-fiction is written (at least a few of the pieces I've read), that I felt strongly enough about to write this post.  Just as there are so many advantages in writing the stuff - I've only listed a few of them up above - there are challenges and pitfalls as well.  Some of them I've fallen into, some of them I've seen others fall into, and some are just my personal opinion :P  I'm going to go through them, point by point, along with throwing in a few tips and some things that you can do while writing fan-fiction (it doesn't have to be perfect, believe me).
    ...and no one else....
  • Stay true to the characters.  One of the best things about writing fan-fiction is that you don't have to create any new characters unless you want to.  As a writer who struggles with creating well-rounded, interesting characters, this is a big plus for me.  But you have to stay true to the character(s), and if you break the mold, you'd better have a good reason.  For instance, I used to write Enjonine fan-fiction where Enjolras saw Eponine and he instantly fell head-over-heels in love, giving almost no more thought for France/revolution.  That is wrong.  Enjolras could definitely fall in love with Eponine ;), but it most likely wouldn't be instantaneous and he would never forget France.  I've stopped writing that kind of thing now.

    Also, even though actions speak louder than words, don't forget the actual words the character says.  Unless you've moved a period story to modern day, or a modern story to period times, keep the flavor/vocabulary of the words authentic (this goes for any kind of creative writing, really, but people will jump on you even more, it seems, if you're not authentic in fan-fiction - lots of people are fiercely protective of their favorite books/movies/shows).
  • You don't have to match the writing style of the author.  I've read a few pieces of fan-fiction where the author went out of his/her way to perfectly match the author's writing style.  It...didn't work.  Not by a long shot.  The author was so intent on making their work appear exactly the same as the original that the rest of the story got lost in 'translation'.  What I would suggest is this: let your own writing style show through, but add a few key phrases/thoughts/techniques that would subtly show the author/screenwriter's influence.  That way, your reader isn't bogged down with technical writing mechanics, and instead be able to enjoy the story, while still hearing echoes of the original work.
  • The writing doesn't have to be perfect.  I rarely, if ever, edit my fan-fiction.  I write them for friends who are just interested in seeing my take on different stories - mostly Les Mis - so I don't really bother about ruthlessly cutting out adverbs and unnecessary words.  I just send it off once I'm done the first draft.  I call fan-fiction 'fun writing', because it really is.  I don't have to worry about getting every little thing perfect, so I can focus even more on the story.  It's basically brain candy for both the writer and the reader :)

    Samanthan Hahn Write Every Day Big Click Magnet
  • Fan-fiction is fun, but don't let it take away from your regular writing.  This used to be a tough one for me.  I wasn't all that interested in my novel a little while ago, so I wrote tons of fan-fiction, comforting myself with the thought that it was still technically writing.  Well, it was, but it wasn't really doing my writing life any good.  So I set it aside and focused on my novel.  Pretty soon, I was engrossed in the story, and I didn't have the slightest desire to write anymore fan-fiction.  Now that I'm finished my novel, I've gone back to it and it's more fun, now that I don't have to feel guilty about an unfinished draft in limbo.  All this being said, if you're novel is one big piece of fan-fiction, that's an entirely different story :)
  • What are your obsessions?  I only write fan-fiction about things that I'm so passionate about, I can't help but write about it (blog posts don't count).  I've always wondered about certain things whenever I've watched/read certain books/movies.  I've written a couple of Jane Austen pieces, one Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye fan-fiction and several Les Mis stories.  I'm considering writing a full-length Robin Hood novel based on a couple of the books, with tie-ins to the BBC show, but that's still completely in the pre-planning stage.  What I'm saying is, if you're going to write fan-fiction, and you're going to be spending a good chunk of your writing time doing it, pick something that you won't slow down on half-way through.  I never waste good writing time on a project that I'm not entirely enthusiastic about (I just don't start it at all), and I think that's what's helped me write so much - both 'normal' writing and fan-fiction.
  • If you're a person who listens to music while you write, listen to music that's specific to your project, if at all possible.  This is a fun one.  I've listened to Jane Austen music a lot while I've written Emma fan-fiction, and it really helps.  I'll probably listen to the BBC Robin Hood soundtrack when I get around to writing that novel.  If you want to do this, but don't have any music, I suggest going to Youtube.  You can get pretty much any soundtrack ever created on there, and it's been invaluable when I need good writing music.  I've found that music actually helps me get into the right flow, especially if I'm listening to the appropriate tracks for certain writing moments :)
#music #quotes  via

Annnnnd...that's pretty much all I have to say :)  I hope you found at least some of this post helpful - please comment and let me know what you think.  Oh, and if you have any other tips, put them down too.  I'm always open to new suggestions.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

30 Songs {#14}

Do You Hear The People Sing? has often been called the theme song of Les Miserables, and for good reason.  Both the original song and the reprise perfectly sum up everything that Les Mis stands for.  While I prefer the reprise of this song to the original (just slightly, though), I'm focusing more on the first version today.  It's a beautiful, spirited song in its own right and it sends me into major chills whenever I hear any version of it.  The film version is really the best.  Since Amy just about summed up my thoughts perfectly in her review, I'll post a bit of what she said here.
That version of the song is my favorite now, though, and I say that without reservation.  The way it begins so softly--revolution starts with a whisper, you know--and then builds and builds until the whole street--the whole city, it seems--is swept up in the people's song.  Oh, and having Javert show up and save Courfeyrac's life is pretty cool. 
And just because I've been putting up lyrics for every other song, I'll just write my favorite verse of the song here and it's counterpart in the finale (yes, I can do it from memory)...

Will you give all you can give so that our banner may advance?
Some will fall and some will live,
Will you stand up and take your chance?
The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France.
They will live again in freedom in the garden of the Lord,
They will walk behind the plowshare,
They will put away the sword,
The chain will be broken and all men will have their reward.

Now go read Isaiah 2:4.

What's your favorite version of this song?  Do you think it deserves to be called the theme song of Les Mis?

Monday, September 09, 2013

30 Songs {#15}

Red & Black.  The song of worlds about to dawn and despair and the dark of ages past.  This song is probably in my top five favorite Les Mis songs mainly because of the barricade boys.  The 10thAC is probably the worst version, when it comes to the barricade boys (is it just me, or do they all look way to old?), bu the 25thAC and the movie pretty much tie.  More on that in a bit...  I like how Enjolras and Marius sing their lines to the same tune, but totally different lyrics.  Enjolras is inspiring everyone, and Marius is entertaining everyone =)

Red!  The blood of angry men.
Black!  The dark of ages past.
Red!  A world about to dawn.
Black!  The night that ends at last.
Red! I feel my soul on fire.
Black!  My world if she's not there.
Red!  The color of desire.
Black!  The color of despair.

The movie would be my favorite version if it weren't for the fact that so much of it was cut out.  There was a little clip in a featurette that had Courfeyrac singing "Students, workers, everyone..."  WHY WAS THAT NOT IN THE MOVIE?!  And some of Enjolras' lines were cut as well (how dare they?).  The 25th would be my favorite version if it weren't for the fact that Nick Jonas was Marius.  The awesomeness that is Enjolras and Grantaire in the 25th almost make up for it, but not quite.  If I had to go with one version, I would have to say the 25th wins.  But only by a fraction.

On a side note, this is the 15th song, which means we're half-way through the 30 Songs blog series.  It's gone so fast...

What's your favorite version of Red & Black?  What songs do you think I'll feature next?

Friday, September 06, 2013

Elegant Blogger Award {& Tag}

Elegant Blogger Award

Maribeth awarded me the Elegant Blogger Award a while back and I've just gotten around to answering it (I've been so busy these past few days - where does the time go?).  Here are the rules...
  • When you receive the award, link back to and the blog that nominated you.
  • Display the award button in the post.
  • Answer all of the 12 questions given in this post (Do not make your own questions).
  • Nominate 12 bloggers. {note from Eva - I'm not going to do this because everyone I know has either been tagged already or doesn't ' do' tags}
  • Notify them that they have been awarded.

And here are the questions...

1. What made you decide to start blogging?  I've had several blogs before this one, so I'll just talk about why I decided to start this blog :)  This blog was originally called Elinor and Emma and it was just about Jane Austen.  Which was fine, up to a point.  That point was when I started broadening my horizons - I discovered Les Miserables, The Scarlet Pimpernel, other classic books and period dramas, started writing in earnest, got tagged several times (and the tags weren't JA related) and this blog was turned into an all-purpose one.  But the driving force behind my blog is Jane Austen (hence, the title) and always will be.

2. What is your fashion style?  Hmmmmm...I like tailored clothes.  Blouses, pleated skirts, no 'fussy' details (like bows, ribbons, frills, etc).  I prefer dark colored clothing to light and denim to cotton.

Pleated denim skirt
I would wear something like this.

3. What is something none of your followers know about you?  Off the top of my head, the first thing I can think of is that when I was ten, I held an albino python.  I don't think I've ever mentioned that before.   My family was at a zoo and we were watching an animal show and then the workers asked for volunteers to do 'something' (they didn't say we would be holding a giant snake and if they had, I wouldn't have volunteered).  Anyway, four kids, including me, came up to the stage and together we all held the python.  It got really heavy.

4. What are some of your blogging goals?  I want to write 500 posts, for a start.  I want to meet all of the friends I've made through blogging and I want to post more.  While I don't see that happening in the near future, due to my busy schedule (school, answering long emails, writing...) but I'm working on at least gathering post ideas so I won't be at a loss for topics.

5. Where is your favorite place to shop?  Any bookstore, but most especially Chapters.  There are usually great deals on classic books there, so I love going and seeing what I can find.

6. What would your ideal amount of blog followers be?  Five hundred?  I don't know, really.  I'm just happy for each one I get.

7. What are your talents?  Well, I'm not sure how talented I am as a writer, but it is something I love doing, so I'd probably say that's my talent.  Some days I feel like a genius when it comes to writing, and other times I just feel like trashing all my projects.  Speaking of which...I really should get back to my writing.  I've been away for a couple of days and I'm really feeling it :P

8. Are you a leader or a follower?  A mix, I think.  And I don't really know how to explain.

9. What is one of your favorite quotes?  "It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done.  It is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known..."  ACK.  That gets me every. single. time.

10. Do you have a favorite book or book series?  A favorite book?  How can I pick just one?  Well, fine.  Glimpses of Truth by Jack Cavanaugh.  Followed closely by Les Miserables, all of Jane Austen's books, Little Dorrit, Bleak House...

11. Out of all of the synonyms for elegant, which would you describe yourself with (smart – stylish – dressy – graceful – dainty – fine)?  Probably smart.  Not that I'm bragging, or anything, but that's the only adjective that looks like it would even remotely fit me.

12. What is your favorite flower?  Irises.  They're so gorgeous and elegant and purply.  I want to have them in my wedding.
The word iris is Greek for 'rainbow'. The iris flower's meanings are faith, wisdom, peace of mind, friendship and hope. Purple iris is symbolic of wisdom and compliments.  Irises may also express admiration and courage. February is a month of romance and the iris is a fitting symbol.

Iris flower-The word iris is Greek for 'rainbow'. The iris flower meaning are faith, wisdom, peace of mind, friendship and hope. Purple iris is symbolic of wisdom and compliments, yellow iris symbolizes passion, blue iris symbolizes hope and faith while white iris symbolizes purity. Irises may also express admiration and courage. February is a month of romance and iris is a fitting symbol.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

30 Songs {#16}

I have mixed feelings about Brave even though I've never watched it (and most likely never will).  On the one hand, the animation is breathtaking (from bits I've seen), the music is gorgeous (Patrick Doyle composed the music so that was a given) and it's set in Scotland (!).  But, on the other hand, I think Merida would drive me up the wall.  I mean, in all the trailers and clips I've watched, she's always talking about 'changing her fate' and 'finding her destiny', which, in my opinion, is more than a little annoying.

But this song...I love it.  My favorite part is the chorus because of the way it flows.  It's like nothing I've ever heard before when it comes to sheer poetry and rhythm.  You really have to listen to it to fully understand what I mean.

I will ride,
I will fly,
Chase the wind,
And touch the sky.
I will fly,
Chase the wind,
And touch the sky.

I haven't listened to any other songs from Brave (although I've listened to most of the instrumental tracks), but I should probably do that soon.

Have you watched Brave?  What do you think of this song?

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

My Birthday

*I don't have Birthdays. I level up! Happy Birthday quote

September is my birthday month (I can't give you the exact day - sorry) and I thought that for the first time in the history of this blog, I'd write a post in celebration of it, with a list of things I've done that are noteworthy (at least to me), and a mini-bucket list for the following year.  Let the fun begin!

{read the Bible through in a month}

This was huge.  It was exhilarating, fun, interesting, exhausting, and so much more.  My favorite book of the Bible is still II Samuel (I'm not exactly sure why, it just is), followed by Ruth, Esther, Psalms and John.  It's rather hard to pick a favorite though :)  I probably wouldn't have done this challenge for quite a long time (I'm such a procrastinator), but when I got the idea for this post a couple of months ago, I realized that I'd better do this challenge if I wanted to include it in this post (funny how that works).  I'm so glad I did.

{discovered two new musicals}

The Scarlet Pimpernel and A Tale of Two Cities.  I actually have only listened to two songs in TSP, but I am going to listen to more someday.  As for AToTc...well, from the first few minutes of watching it, I fell completely in love with the musical (I already knew the story, so that probably helped as well).  I can only think of a couple of songs in it that aren't gorgeous and spine-tingling, which is a great compliment.  And it also has the distinction of having that one line that always brings me to tears (and no, I'm not sharing it here.  That's private information and if I told you, I'd have to kill you afterwards =) )

{discovered The Scarlet Pimpernel}

This is not to be taken lightly.  On January 11th, 2013, I was sucked into the world of TSP with a very traumatic initiation - staying up till three o'clock in the morning reading the first book and El Dorado and sobbing my eyes out over both of them.  I was wrecked for the day.  Anyway, after that I quickly downloaded all the books onto my Kindle and read them with supersonic speed.  I can't tell you how much I love the books, the hero, and pretty much everything else surrounding the elusive pimpernel.


I have several things to say that fall under the category of writing, so I'm just giving them a general heading.  I wrote 63,000 words in my first novel which, in my opinion, is absolutely amazing.  I love seeing the words pile up.  I'm getting so close to the ending of the first draft...the next chapter will have the proposal, and then I'll write the duel and the deaths of at least two characters.  This will be interesting.  And I promise to post snippets when I'm done.  I also wrote a 4,000 word story in just two and a half hours.  I co-wrote a musical (it was crazy fun and I love every moment of it - even if it was a bit labour-intensive) and also starting co-writing a book based on the premise of the main character falling in love with the reader.  I may write a post about that some day as well.

{started reading Shakespeare}

I've always meant to do this, but it wasn't until a month ago that I really dived into the world of Shakespeare.  I started with Romeo & Juliet and moved on to several other of his works.  Right now I've stalled when it comes to reading more because I'm really busy, but I hope to read some more soon.  Especially Hamlet.  For some reason, I've always been intrigued by the story.

{watched several films on my bucket list}

I ticked several movies off my list and with the exception of one, I've loved them all.  BBC Robin Hood (we only have four episodes left in season three.  In a way, I can't wait to watch all of them, but I'm also sad because we'll be done.  Finished.  And I sort of don't want to leave.), Fireproof (wow.  That film was so good.), War Horse (again, I loved it), Courageous (loved that one!), Beveryly Lewis' The Confession (this was the one that was meh.  Typical Hallmark Channel.), and...saving the best for last...Les Miserables 2012 (need I say anything?)

{made three awesome friends}

Sierra, Miss Jane Bennet and Anne-Girl.  In that order.  Sierra and I became friends several months ago when she commented on a few of my Les Mis pins on Pinterest.  We struck up a friendship based on our mutual love of Les Miserables but it branched out from there.  We've grown so close, especially over the past few weeks, and we're trying to work out a plan for her to come and see me sometime soon.  

Miss Jane Bennet (obviously not her real name, but I've promised not to reveal what it actually is) asked me for help designing her blog a couple of weeks ago and after I did that, we started emailing each other about Les Mis (again!), Jane Austen and so many other things.  I've had the privilege of introducing her to BBC's Robin Hood (she's still trying to persuade her family to watch it, but I've sent her a few clips.  Mostly of Will Scarlet.) and we've had some awesome moments together.

I've known of Anne-Girl for a long time (I follow her blog and leave an occasional comment), but we'd hardly ever emailed each other until she sent out an email, asking me if I would be willing to beta-read A Legend of Honesty.  I said yes, and after I read it (and sent her several emails using all-caps regarding the fate of a certain character), she asked if we could be friends.  And I said yes :)  We've only exchanged a handful of emails (so far), but I love talking about writing and the writer's life with her.

Okay, if you've made it to here without giving up, have some virtual chocolate.  You deserve it. 

yes chocolate does help! It releases endorphins in the body, also known as the happy hormone, more happy = less pain!!

I promise to be brief with my bucket list.
  • Publish my novel
  • Write its sequel during NaNo (and finally win the challenge)
  • Write more poetry
  • Write all the fan-fiction/short stories I have planned out
  • Reach 100 followers
  • Meet at least one blogging friend
  • Host another blog party
  • Read the Bible through in a week
  • Watch/read more films/books on my bucket list
  • Discover a new musical to love (suggestions?  And no, I'm not allowed to watch/read POTO, or believe me, I'd have done it already)
  • Leave random notes in library and/or bookstore books
  • Throw a surprise party
And just because I want to end this post with a random photo that I love...

Tomorrow came.
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