Music to My Ears—Five Years A-Bloggin’

I was sitting at my desk the other day, contemplating what I would have for breakfast, when I suddenly realized, Oh my goodness! My blogoversary passed!

As of February 19, I’ve been blogging for five years. I didn’t think I’d last five minutes, let alone five years. But here I am. Like the proverbial bad penny, I keep turning up. I’m grateful to all of you who discovered this blog and keep coming back. Rest assured, the weirdness will continue. (Or, run away while you still can.)

On with the show. Recently, a friend who is taking a writing class shared the following video with me.

In case you elect to avoid spending almost eight minutes watching the video (though it was well done), its creator, Nerdwriter1, discusses the recurring musical themes (leitmotifs) of the Lord of the Rings movie soundtracks, composed by Howard Shore (movies directed by Peter Jackson, based on books by J. R. R. Tolkien). These are my favorite soundtracks of all time, so of course I had to take a look.

I was already well aware of Howard Shore’s genius. But the video was a lovely reminder of what you get when a powerful musical score is wedded to a powerful story.

   

See, kids? These are CDs. We used to play these back in the day.

On many days, I had the soundtracks playing in the background while I wrote. I can remember writing scenes that matched the tempo of Shore’s compositions. These soundtracks made me want to write the kind of story that would merit a skillfully written score played by an equally skilled orchestra.

So yeah, I love those soundtracks. But not just Howard Shore’s. I love the soundtracks from Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008) (movies directed by Christopher Nolan), which were composed by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. These soundtracks, with their edgy orchestration, are an interesting contrast to the Lord of the Rings soundtracks. But they all have an epic quality that evokes emotion. (If you look at the list of musical selections on the Batman Begins soundtrack, you’ll note that each was named after a bat genus. Also, BATMAN is spelled out.)

    

    

I have music in my head, even as I write this blog post. I’m hearing the horns from The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack. Being a blogger is a kind of fellowship. You post something and hope someone will read it. And when someone does, and you get to know that person, relationships are forged. I’ve met many great people through this blog. People like you. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Kitty and her interns. Somebody’s gotta get the coffee.

Batman Begins movie poster from geekynerfherder.blogspot.com. The Dark Knight movie poster from popcritics.com. Other photos by L. Marie. Snow-Fro and Kissy Boo Shoppets are registered trademarks of Moose Toys.

Tiny Treasures—Blogoversary Time!

004Ever have one of those weeks when you almost forget your own name? Last week was a really busy week for me, which culminated in a jury summons. So on February 19, I was taken aback when WordPress sent me this note:

anniversary-2x Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 3 years ago!
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

Thanks, WordPress! I had totally forgotten my blogoversary!

You might wonder about the post title—“Tiny Treasures.” Don’t let the photo at the beginning of the post fool you. The kitty in the teapot is less than two inches tall. This is a tiny treasure—one of the Littlest Pet Shop blind bag pets. (Um, I can totally see you yawning or fidgeting. There is a method to this madness. Really.)

When I was a little kid, I loved to collect tiny things. This was one of the reasons also why I loved to visit the Colleen Moore Fairy Castle at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. It’s filled with miniature furniture!

Colleen Moore Fairy Castle @ the Museum of Science and Industry

Colleen Moore Fairy Castle @ the Museum of Science and Industry

One Christmas I was given a box of 100 small, pink plastic ballet dancers. I played with them for hours. I’m glad I found a picture of them on the internet, since I no longer have the set. Some internet wag referred to these as the girl version of those little green Army men.

plastic-army-men-for-girls

These days I still collect tiny treasures, but mostly in book form. (Okay, yes, I have a few Shopkins and characters from series like My Little Pony and the Littlest Pet Shop. I also have a small throwing knife and like to crochet tiny envelopes. Eclectic is my middle name.)

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I love fantasy and science fiction books. I realize these types of books are not everyone’s cup of tea. But to celebrate my blogoversary, I’d like to give away a tiny treasure—a book under 200 pages in length—to a commenter. Normally I love a long book. But some books pack a punch in a short amount of time. I chose two that have inspired me over the years. They’re oldies but goodies.

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Why these books? Well, The Ordinary Princess represents everything I love about fairy tales. And I love the way Le Guin explores the different cultures in her tightly written classic, A Wizard of Earthsea.

Comment below to let me know which book you would like to receive if your name is chosen. (Do not be alarmed. I am not giving away my old, beat-up copies of these books.) It’s okay if the answer is “neither,” and you just wish to comment without participating in my book giveaway. Just know that I appreciate the fact that you found your way to my little corner of the internet. 🙂 You deserve some cake for that. Feel free to take a huge bite.

cake-hi

I’ve enjoyed writing this blog. Still, I never imagined I’d reach a third year! Thanks for putting up with me over the years.

What tiny treasures, if any, do you collect?

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Book covers from Goodreads. Plastic dancers from onemoregadget.com. Cake from clker.com. Fairy castle from msichicago.org.

Two Years, One Post, and One Ring to Rule Them All

67524Today is my two-year blogoversary. If only print could convey my amazement. Two years. When I began posting exactly two years to the day, I wasn’t sure I’d last two months, let alone two years. But here I am!

Home Alone

My amazement is sorta like this.

I won’t take up too much of your time today, however. Anniversaries are all about celebrating and giving presents. So this post is to announce a blogoversary giveaway: a $25 Amazon card (or some equivalent at Amazon.uk) to one reader. Woot! A winner will be announced sometime next week. (I have another giveaway to coordinate first.)

This giveaway is my way of saying thanks to all who welcomed me as a new blogger or to those who continue reading my posts even when I talk about books or magazines I read in the bathroom. Please comment below to be entered in the drawing. If you feel like mentioning what you’d get at Amazon, that would be lovely. Don’t feel obligated though. You could instead tell me about the weather in your neck of the woods (it’s freeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzing here), your favorite movie, or about an epiphany you had recently. Two years ago, I talked about a movie I enjoyed, so sharing your favorite movie would be very fitting. 🙂

While I wait for you to respond, I’ll continue mainlining Skinny Pop Popcorn and Reese’s. (Does one cancel out the other?)

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By the way, thanks for all of the memories we’ve shared over the years. (I can say that now. Years.) There have been many that still make me smile, especially as I think about your comments—the best part of having a blog. But reminiscing would only make me cry, and I’ve had enough of that recently, thanks to The Legend of Korra, Book Three: Change. (That’s not a spoiler by the way. I cry easily, at happy or sad moments.) So while you think of how you want to spend that gift card, I’ll go back to my popcorn and the series finale of The Legend of Korra, Book Four: Balance. (I’m bingeing on both seasons.)

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Thanks again for visiting my little space.

P. S. If you’re wondering where the “one ring to rule them all” fits in, you can stop wondering. It doesn’t. I just threw that in.

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Jordie and Kitty have put aside their differences to celebrate this blogoversary. Each, however, has decided to look for the one ring to rule the other.

Skinny Pop from the Skinny Pop website. Legend of Korra, Book Three from animationmagazine.net. Legend of Korra, Book Four from ign.com. Cupcake with candle from go4costumes.com. Macaulay Culkin from musiceyz.co.uk.