Monthly Archives: March 2013

Pride And Prejudice

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Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For over 150 years, Pride And Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen herself called this brilliant work her “own darling child.” Pride And Prejudice, the story of Mrs. Bennett’s attempts to marry off her five daughters is one of the best-loved and most enduring classics in English literature.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

So begins Pride and Prejudice, a witty comedy of manners that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

I gave this classic 4 Stars because — I Really Liked It! I’m proud of myself for becoming a reader. Think what you will, but this was the very first classic that I’d read in my entire life, and one of the first books of any genre. It came free on my Kindle, so I only had to invest a casual effort and give it some time.

Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.

I remember reading this book, thinking to myself, how I’d missed out on this incredible experience my whole life. The experience of being able to pick up a book and to propel myself into late eighteenth-century England. I had never experienced anything like it before.

Since reading Pride and Prejudice, my first classic, I’ve been to the future, I’ve been to the past, and my next trip could very well take me all the way to another world. I have found much adventure and comfort in books. I’ve wept, I’ve chortled. I’ve found a new passion.

In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

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The Story Template

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The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of StoryThe Story Template by Amy Deardon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Writing a novel or screenplay sounds like a fabulous idea. But where do you start? And how do you finish?

Award-winning author, Amy Deardon, answers these questions in The Story Template: Conquer Writer’s Block Using the Universal Structure of Story. This approach will help you focus your creativity and complete your unique and compelling story, script, or novel. With this tool and more than 100 targeted writing exercises, you will learn to:
* Ascertain the four foundational story pillars, and use the “secret weapon” of the story template, to structure your story.
* Build character depth with believable change.
* Create subplots to raise tension while you deepen and contrast story themes.
* Review writing techniques that shape your ideas into a compelling manuscript.

The Story Template is a product of Amy’s comprehensive research — as well as her personal experience — for what makes a story “work.” No matter your level of accomplishment, this book will help you build a better story.

I gave this book 5 Star because – It taught me what I wanted to know about how to structure a story for the greatest impact and reader satisfaction, and it gave me the confidence that I can actually do so one day.

When you’ve finished with these exercises, you will be ready to start writing your manuscript, with ease and flow and speed, because you will have already done the hard organizational work.
You will have a detailed roadmap that will allow you to bring your vision — your book or screenplay — to completion.

If you’ve ever thought about writing a novel, or even a short story, this book is for you. If you’ve never written anything before, have writer’s block, or just don’t know how to get started putting your ideas for a great story down on paper, reading this instructional book with its easy to follow exercises is sure to jump-start your imagination and creativity.

While I haven’t published my first widely acclaimed novel just yet, nor started writing it, reading this book has certainly gotten me to believe in the possibility.

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The Dream

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The DreamThe Dream by Tyler Scott Hess

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After years of toil working his way up the corporate ladder, Tim has his world turned upside down when his boss turns his back on him and personal tragedy sends him into a tailspin. Tim is forced to make some tough personal decisions while trying to make sense of his dreams.

I gave this book 3 Stars because – I Liked It! I thoroughly enjoyed this authors writing style. The pace of the book was comfortable, and a good story line captivated my imagination and drew me in. However, the conclusion fell flat as the story seemed to cut off abruptly. An epilogue, or a resolution to wrap things up, would have made my reading experience even more enjoyable.

I knew in the deepest recesses of my core that this idea was nothing but a wonderful, impossible dream. That in reality my nightmare was about to unfold before my eyes, the one where I’m left naked on the streets to die like an injured animal that no one cared to pick up out of the gutter and rescue to safety. I am roadkill, rotting on the side of the road, there’s no way out.

As I read the protagonist’s stream of thought, I easily imagined myself in his shoes. I have not ever been literally thrown to the curb as Tim was, but I have felt that same overwhelming feeling where you just want to start walking away and leave your struggles far behind.

Maybe in some far away land there are people who know what they really want to do with their lives. They know who they want to be, then they go out and fulfill their dream.

Tim eventually discovers through his struggles that life isn’t about all the “stuff” you have, it’s about love, the kind of love found in the Bible.

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The Last Azawufe

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The Last Azawufe

The Last Azawufe by Rachel Helms

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While out for a walk with Thorn, her horse, Leona comes across a strange liquid. When Leona is transported to the world of Polyenses after touching the mysterious liquid she finds life to be very different. Women are wearing tunics, men carry swords, and everyone seems to be a bit more proper. There’s one thing that’s incredibly different about Leona though – she has the ability to communicate telepathically with Thorn, and every other animal for that matter. She soon learns that only an Azawufe has the ability to do that. But what is an Azawufe and how did she become one?

I gave this Young Adult Fantasy novel 4 Stars because – I Really Liked It!! This first time author has spun an exciting tale with an unexpected twist at the end of the novel. I finished the book feeling satisfied as the story reached its resolution, but its ending also left the door opened for an equally satisfying sequel.

A heavy wind went careening across the Oklahoma plains. The wind carried the rain of the heavens, sweetly enticing in its freshness. It swept across the crops of corn and wheat until it came to a large farm. The howling current of air slowed down in the presence of trees, but only somewhat, and then came to rest on a young girl who was brushing her filly.

I have always liked reading books written by Oklahomans, and I am especially intrigued by stories about Oklahomans. This book offered me both. That, and my love for reading fantasy made this novel a book I had to read. And I’m glad I did too, because this book is exceptionally well written and hugely entertaining.

I am acquainted with this author, if only casually. My wife and I have bought fresh vegetables from her many times at the local farmers market. This connection to the author made the reading a little more fun for me as it gave me a measure of insight into the protagonist. I chortled to myself when Leona said, “we had a huge garden. It was filled with everything: watermelon, tomatoes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, corn, carrots, squash, peppers, and even more.”

I look forward to Rachel’s sequel.

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Nunsensations

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sensations_colorNunsensations: The Nunsense Vegas Revue by Dan Goggin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Nuns are back!!! Performing at the Guymon Community Theatre on March 1st, 2nd, 8th & 9th at 7:30, then Sunday the 3rd & 10th at 2pm. Yes, the little sisters of Hoboken are back, and they’re better than ever too.

When a parishioner volunteers to donate $10,000 to the Mt. Saint Helen’s School if the Nuns will perform in Las Vegas, Mother Superior is hesitant to accept. However, after being convinced by the other sisters that “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” Reverend Mother agrees. What follows is more nonsense, shtick, and feather-boas than any Nunsense show yet! Performing in “The Pump Room” at the Mystique Motor Lodge, the sisters experience “show-biz” like never before. You’ll meet Sin-City Sue, find out who’s Black and White with Her Money on Red, and try to win a new car with the “Holy Rollers” giant Wheel of Fortune. You’re sure to hit a jackpot with these crackpots.

I gave this show 5 Stars because – It Was Amazing! And pretty funny too.

The format of the show is familiar to anyone who has seen one or more of the five Nunsense shows before this one. The gags may be freshly written, but the act itself really hasn’t changed that much over these six shows. As usual, each nun has done an impressive job of portraying her character’s established quirky identity to a tee, and of course the entire cast remains quintessentially nunsense-ical. The jokes are all new, so you’re sure to enjoy the sisters’ antics regardless of the level of fandom you bring to the theater.

There’s no need to go all the way to Vegas to see a good vaudeville show with a little T & A. These little sisters of Hoboken have brought plenty of Talent and Attitude right here to Guymon, USA.