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Monday, June 8, 2015

MERLIN -- A Programme Review

It is time. This review should've been written years ago, when I finished watching the BBC television programme Merlin on Netflix, but it wasn't until recently, when my roommate finished the show, that I had mustered up enough courage to write such a thing...

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Warning: Content may contain minor spoilers.

Plot & Background

Merlin never wanted to be a servant in Camelot, much less to the Crown Prince Arthur. He is incredibly arrogant, and (at first) a rather unkind person to work for, at that. But after Merlin unwillingly saves the prince's life, it is up to him to do so time and time again.

And surprises are in store for Camelot. With assassins joining jousts, the wicked sorceress Nimueh on the rise, and Arthur's father willing to go to extraordinary lengths to rid his kingdom of magic, Merlin must decide between keeping his gift a secret... and saving so many lives.

Starring Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby, Anthony Head, and Richard Wilson, BBC's Merlin is a story you won't soon forget.

Rating

Five out of five stars!

Review

The middle ages is my time period, and I adore this show! I must admit that I've seen all five series-- well, about five times. :)

Merlin is incredible: it taught me so many things, took me on such amazing journeys, and introduced me to the most spectacular of characters. Not to mention that it helped me learn more about my era!

Common Remarks

"I've heard that the ending is sad."

Okay, alright, it is! I refuse to reveal anything, but your heart will be crushed...

"So, why should I watch it, then?"

Because Merlin will change your life -- forever! You will fall in love with the show, and go back to watch it over and over again!

"How? And I don't have the time."

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I'm sure you can find time, on the weekends, and such. :)

"What if I don't have Netflix?"

You are likely to find free episodes on Hulu. From when I checked, you don't even need an account to view them.

In Closing

In closing, you should definitely watch Merlin! I'm sure that you can find the time, the need, the proper website, and the courage. As to the ending? Don't worry about it -- it's only sixty-five episodes away! And whatever you do, do NOT look it up!

Love and smiles,

~O

P.S. You can check out my Pinterest board for Merlin right here. Fair warning: It does have major spoilers, though!!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Most Excellent Renaissance Faire

I had the pleasure of attending the amazing Koroneburg Renaissance Festival in Corona, California, this Saturday! It was, honestly, quite excellent, and I got such a thrill from going! Here are just a handful of the pictures I took:


Enchanted Realms, a spectacular Celtic duo, was there! They were incredible!


This is a goat. I'm not sure I have a comment about it, other than that...


Shooting! A good friend of mine helped me to recall the specifics of doing so.


Is this Poseidon? Or Neptune? Considering that there was nothing Greek there, but there were things Roman, then I would say the latter. :)


A lovely leather pouch.


The most beautiful gateway!


Unicorn love... <3


A wishing well!


A rather interesting title. My only wonder is why someone would name their hotel after a... well, a bug.


Something truly extraordinary occurred! My party and I arrived at the jousting arena extremely early so we could meet the baron and request a seat next to him, which was likely to be granted. Though this did not happen, something even better did.

As we were clustered underneath the baron's seating box, waiting for him to arrive, one of the women preparing the arena approached me and a friend, asking us to be the ladies to provide the competing knights with tokens of our favour. We elatedly agreed. So the woman bestowed upon us two "tokens" -- elastic hair ties with coloured ribbons to match our knights' uniforms.

My friend and I then went to our desired places, and the knights soon rode out...


This was the announcer.


...So the knights rode out, and began with a few simple tricks. After a minute or two, they asked for tokens of favour. When "my" knight (supposedly from France... so why is it he had a southern accent?) saw me with the token of favour, he began to approach...


...Once he had approached, he offered his lance for me to bestow the token upon. But, the knight (otherwise known as Sir Philippe), being incredibly awnry, would move his lance to a different place, and each time I would reach for it, he would move it to another spot. When Sir Philippe raised it high above my head then moved it to my right, I finally grew impatient enough, and snatched the end of it to place the token upon. Sir Philippe then requested my name, and I provided him with the title I was using around the faire: Lady Arwen. He bid me well, and then rode off to fight.

Soon after the jousting began, my friend came to my side, and when seeing Sir Philippe with advantage, rooted for him, shouting, "Kill! KILL!" The fight was extreme and entertaining, and Sir Philippe did indeed win, though he was struck in the face. There was [false] blood everywhere, and the opponent had [falsely] died. It was a joyful moment.


Sir Philippe's horse. After the joust, the knight was kind enough to take a picture with me. He did get his false blood on my sleeve, though... ;)


And so, after an awfully lovely day, I sleepily returned home with two treasures: a wooden replica of Frodo's sword, Sting, and...


...a unicorn charm, from a little shop called "Unicornicopia". The best day ever. :)

<3,

~O

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Titling Like a Potterhead

Am I the only one who thinks that J.K. Rowling has the richest words? She is the author most writers look up to, for her words, her skills, and her efforts.

On another note, but not entirely separate -- titling a chapter is HARD. Especially when you title it before the chapter is started. And when you don't keep track of the chapter, the title, and the page? Complete chaos. So, this post is going to be about (surprise!)... titling chapters -- in the style of Rowling!

I have here beside me J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and with its guidance, I am going to re-title the first ten chapters of the first draft of my novel-in-progress. Since you don't know the story of each chapter, they may not make as much sense, but I shall spice them up as understandably as I see fit...

Original: I. Princess Adrianna Rowling-afied: I. An Important Arrival

Original: II. Volunteer Rowling-afied: II. The Unwanted Assistant

Original: III. Christmas Eve Rowling-afied: III. Christmas Eve (I'm pretty sure that Rowling would title it the same thing. :) )

Original: IV. Changes Rowling-afied: IV. Rejected

Original: V. "A Little Young" Rowling-afied: V. "A Little Young" (Again, I believe Rowling would title it the same.)

Original: VI. Training with the Knights Rowling-afied: VI. The Weight of the World

Original: VII. The New Year's Eve Ball Rowling-afied: VII. New Year's Ball (Simple cutting and editing, my friend. :) )

Original: VIII. My First Suitor's a Charmer Rowling-afied: VIII. The Charmer

Original: IX. Run Away Rowling-afied: IX. The Runaway (Some revising will do, nicely.)

Original: X. Making Amends Rowling-afied: X. The Parting Glass

I hope this post will assist you in further titling your chapters. I have found J.K. Rowling's sense of titling to be direct and simple, making it easier to label a chapter mysteriously yet basically. So the best of luck to you all! :)

<3,

~O

Monday, June 1, 2015

Cover Reveal: FIVE MAGIC SPINDLES

It's that time of the year, again -- that's right, Rooglewood press has just announced their next creative writing contest! I am happy to present to you...

Rooglewood Press is delighted to introduce their third fairy tale novella contest--


Five Magic Spindles
a collection of "Sleeping Beauty" stories

The challenge is to write a retelling of the beloved fairy tale in any genre or setting you like. Make certain your story is recognizably "Sleeping Beauty," but have fun with it as well. Make it yours!

Rooglewood Press will be selecting five winners to be published in the Five Magic Spindles collection, which will be packaged up with the phenomenal cover you see here. Maybe your name will be one of the five listed?

All the contest rules and information (how to enter, story details, deadline etc.) may be found on the Rooglewood Press website. Just click HERE and you will go right to the page.

Rooglewood Press’s first collection, Five Glass Slippers, is available for purchase, and our second collection, Five Enchanted Roses, is scheduled to launch on July 27, and is currently available for pre-order. Be certain to get a copy of each and see what previous winners did with their wonderful retellings.

--Rooglewood Press

Blog Button

Rooglewood Press invites bloggers to share this image on your blog, along with its link, which is accessible by clicking the button below.


Cover Illustration Credit


This cover illustration was rendered by Julia Popova, "ForestGirl." You can find out more about this gifted artist on her website: www.forestgirl.ru.
--Rooglewood Press

Quick Advice... from a Blogger

Having entered last year's creative writing contest, I have learned from my experiences, and discovered that it is absurd to attempt to publish a story when you have not even bothered to write a second draft. So, don't be afraid to get into drafting! The more drafts you do, the better your tale will be!

Secondly, you want advice from others. Select a group of five to ten people, and ask them to read your novella and help you proofread it. Publishers (and everyone, at that) prefer a writer who is willing to spend time on their work.

Thirdly, have fun with your work! The point of writing as a career is not necessarily for the money, but for the fun of it all. So enjoy yourself and don't get to stressed out about it.

Lastly, remember that this story is yours. If Rooglewood Press does not accept your novella, then (at least in the past) they will allow you to publish the story as your own through another company. In other words, if you don't make it with this company, you can always publish it with another!

I hope you're stoked about the creative writing contest, and that you enjoy it and are seriously considered as an applicant! :)

<3,

~O

Notice

As of September sixteenth, 2015, this blog has been reformatted. However, all posts before that date have not been updated to fit the new format, and may not be as simple to read.

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