Monday, 28 July 2014

A Title and Some Inspiration

#1. Thankyou so much for your amazing ideas for my blog title!! Even though I didn't use them, thankyou for the suggestions :-)
#2. Please comment and tell me what you think of my new blog title. Is it too small, does it look good, etc.
#3. Do random pictures inspire you with ideas for stories? The book I'm writing at the moment has fifteen chapters so far and was inspired by the picture below.

#4. One of life's greatest joys is a piece of gooey chocolate brownie.

The Book Thief ~ A Review

This is a fairly thick book, but it didn't take me longer than two days to read it. It was gripping, wonderfully written, and very sad. If you haven't read it yet:
It's the story of Liesel Meminger, a young German girl who goes to live with foster parents during WWII. She can't read or write so she is embarrassed at school. At night she has terrible dreams about her dead brother. At his grave she had stolen a book. She couldn't read one word of it, until her kindly foster father teaches her. Liesel does make some friends: her foster mother, though prickly and irritable, does love her. Rudolf (Rudy) Steiner, a cheeky and athletic boy from a large family. The mayor's wife, who stays in her house and avoids the outside world. The house has a library in it. Liesel's next act of book thievery occurrs there. As the narrator ( Death) admits, quite a lot of stealing goes on. Liesel feels guilty whenever she steals a book. Her foster parents, the Hubermanns, end up hiding a Jewish fist-fighter, Max vandenBurg, who becomes Liesel's close friend. They share their dreams and stories. 
None of them can escape the war, however. Jewish prisoners are marched through the streets. Liesel and Rudy both see their fathers leave to fight. At night there are air-raid drills.
The ending is tragic. I will say no more.
I loved Zusak's use of words and imagery. (Warning: a lot of coarse language and blasphemy, I'm sorry to say. Could have done without that.)The story is carefully structured and full of surprises. This is a story that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it.
Have you read The Book Thief? What are your thoughts on it?

Monday, 21 July 2014

Favourite Period Drama Wardrobes #2~ Margaret Hale

Time for another Period Drama Wardrobes post. I love Victorian costumes (and North and South) and Margaret's dresses are some of my favourites. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era. Why can't I wear gorgeous ball dresses and bonnets? Anyway, I'll start with the dress above. It seems to be a delicate material, maybe white muslin with a green/grey pattern. The sleeves are slightly puffed and gathered at the wrist.

This is her travelling outfit. A well-cut fitted long coat covering her dress buttons down the front. The sleeves are quite wide at the cuffs. She wears a long scarf with it...the Victorian version of Elizabeth Bennet's travel outfit from P&P 95. Her hat is quite unique, too; I think that mostly fancily-trimmed bonnets were worn around this time, and wide-brimmed hats such as this were unusual. It's elegant but simple.
This outfit is quite plain. Margaret wears it when she does housework or runs errands. A neat blouse, blue skirt and brown shawl. The bonnet does nothing to shade her face. Can't say I'm a fan of Victorian bonnets in general. They're either too big or too small.

This dress is beautiful. Two-piece, I think; the bodice buttons over the skirt. It's a green striped gown with dark green.

Here's another view, which allows you to see the lovely cuff detail.

This dress is white of a partly-sheer muslin fabric. At least the bodice is. She wears a fichu over it secured by a pin.

Not sure if this is the same fichu, but the lace is exquisite.
The gown she wears to the Thorntons' dinner is a pale blue colour, probably silk, and very pretty although rather low.

Another view. See the detail on the skirt? I can only presume that is Fanny behind Mr. Thornton. 

Now I'm going to cheat a bit and use this lovely collage of her gowns. From the top: the dinner gown. A blue bodice with sheer sleeves over a darker skirt. A dark brown day dress with white undersleeves. The white day dress. Another patterned bodice worn with a belted skirt. A black silk mourning gown with a lace collar. The striped green dress. A short-sleeved pink gown which Margaret wears to Edith's wedding.
And that's about it!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Bucket List

So I was at a friend's place this week, and we were brainstorming about what to do that day. We came up with the idea of making bucket lists on a fancy scrapbook page. So we had a look at Pinterest for some ideas (though we did come up with some of our own!) and they turned out great! I don't have a photo of mine but here's the list:

~1. Go ice skating. Never been.
~2. Name a star.
~3. Visit the walk of fame.
~4. Have my own library:-).
~5. Swim in the Dead Sea.
~6. Read the Top 100 books of all time.
~7. Catch a bride's bouquet.
~8. See the Northern Lights.
~9. Ride a double decker bus in London.
~10. Go on a road trip with friends.
~11. Go paintballing.
~12. Dance in the rain.
~13. Learn how to skateboard.
~14. Visit Niagara Falls.
~15. Explore a cave.
~16. Release a floating lantern.
~17. Go bowling.
~18. Invent my own candy.
~19. Swim with dolphins.
~20. Be an extra in a movie.
~21. Have my portrait painted.
~22. Make a family tree.
~23. Learn how to surf.
~24. Write a recipe book.
~25. Ride in a hot air balloon.
~26. Send a message in a bottle.
~27. See the solar eclipse on the 21st of August 2017.
~28. Climb the Eiffel Tower.
~29. Get a university degree.
~30. Learn French.
~31. Give people a reason to remember my name.
~32. Travel the world.
~33. See Les Miserables live.
~34. Publish a book.
~35. Do missionary work.
~36. Learn to ballroom dance.
~37. Get auburn highlights.
~38. Do a half marathon.
~39. Meet the Royal Family.
~40. Go hunting.
~41. Go to Spain.
~42. Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow.
~43. Explore a real castle.
~44. Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
~45. Get married and have a family.

So that's my bucket list. But I want to see yours, so I've created the Bucket List Tag. Don't worry, you don't have to post 45 of them! It can be as many as you like but at least ten things and tag five people. Post this picture on your blog.\

I am tagging Miss Jane Bennet, Evie Brandon, Naomi, Jenn and Petie.
Anyone else who reads this post is free to do this tag:-)

Monday, 7 July 2014

I write.

So my blog has been called An Accomplished Young Lady for about two years, and when I first started blogging my aim was to put up regular posts about books, movies, cooking, sewing, etc. I still intend to do this, but a lot has changed since I was thirteen! I've become a lot busier and my tastes have changed a bit. I've met a lot of amazing bloggers ( not in person though. On my bucket list: meet them in person one day.)
Blah blah blah. To what does all this tend? Well, simply put, I need a new name for my blog. The problem is I have no idea what to change it to. Ideas please!

Anyway, I am going to write an Intelligent and Informative post today. Many of you who read this are writers. I read lots of blogs that belong to writers. If I may presume to say so, I am a writer. I've been doing a lot of writing lately, trying to improve my style. And I have a few tips for making your writing colourful and original.
~1. Use onomatopoeic words. Onomatopoeic words sound or look like they mean, e.g. crunchy, fizzle, grin. (On a side note, the word "onomatopoeic" is not strictly an onomatopoeic word because it doesn't look or sound like what it means. Got it?) Maybe "grin" doesn't look like it sounds to you, but it's really up to you to decide what words are onomatopoeic.
~2. Work out a simple main plot. But then add lots of side plots, which may or may not be connected to the main plot, like false leads in a mystery.
~3. Combine genres. To me, a fantasy-mystery-romance sounds scrumptious.
~4. End chapters with cliffhangers. I'm powerless to resist them.
~5. Try not to say "red" when you're describing something red. Say "scarlet" or crimson." They look so much richer. Same goes for other colours.
~6. Don't be afraid of killing/hurting your characters. I used to write stories that were so happy, nobody died and everybody became friends. But life isn't like that. People are sinful and bad things happen in real life. Not to say that I don't love happy endings, because I do. But don't be afraid of incomplete endings.
~7. Try to pack as much as you can into your sentences. Don't write a paragraph where one punchy sentence would do. Redraft your writing and improve it. Leave it for a month or longer and come back to it. Is it as good as you thought it was a month ago?
~8. Write all the time. Even if you don't have a story going at the moment, write something every day. A poem, a song. Keep a journal. Write descriptions of people you meet. Note their mannerisms and oddities. Keep a notebook to write in anytime you come across a new word, a phrase, a description.
~9. Good vocabulary. This is technical rather than creative, but if your grammar is bad and you don't have a big vocabulary your writing won't have the same style and effect. Write masterfully. Which leads me to the last and VERY important tip:
~10. Read. Lots. Both old authors and new. Reread old favourites and classics. Try a new book. Take note of the style and word use and what effect the authors create.

So these aren't rules for writing, but they work for me. Hope you enjoyed!