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Pic of the Week - CW 32


Last week I was taking a walk around our castle, and on my way back was gifted with this beautiful sight. Despite its beauty, it reminded me of certain movie images of watching towards Mordor... *g* 

Evening sky walking down from the castle
I'm also in awe of the quality of pics my phone takes.  Merken

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Pic of the Week - CW 29



The other day, we had one of these skies that seem like an enormous cupola, seemingly arching up much more and giving you the impression that the sky is higher and wider than usual. It's impossible to really capture this on a photo, of course, so such a pic likely is just a reminder of the impression you get when you take it.

Cloudy sky





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From the SWG's LJ (emphasis by me):

The SWG moderation team has been discussing improvements for our site and our group that we hope to undertake in the months to come. In keeping with our mission, we want to direct our efforts in the way that best benefits the Tolkien fan fiction community of which we are part. We have put together a survey to get a sense of how best to meet that goal.

We appreciate the input of anyone interested in Tolkien fan fiction and references/resources related to the legendarium. You do not need to be a member or user of the SWG or a writer of Silmfic to participate.

The survey takes between 5 and 15 minutes depending on the level of detail of your responses. We’ll leave the survey open for about a month and will collect responses during the first week of August.

Please feel free to signal boost this on other groups where this is acceptable. Thank you in advance to all who share their opinions and ideas with us.

Silmarillion Writers' Guild Site Use Survey

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Faerie is back online and has a new home!

As many of you know, the Tolkien Fanfic Archive Faerie has been offline for a few days due to provider issues and is now back online in a new place, at faerie-archive.com .
esteliel has moved all our accounts and stories, but it was recommended that you check if your stories and chapters open properly, if there are diacritic issues and if all tags are ok and so on.

There's now also a new LJ community, faerie_archive, as a place to go to for updates and news when the archive has a downtime or problems, other news, and a little bit of socialising (although that's still mostly happening in the rebirthed famous shoutbox).

Thank you so much, esteliel, for continuing to run the archive and for having moved everything so quickly to the new place. I can only begin to imagine how much work this must have been!







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Pic of the Week - CW 25

Two horribly hot days and one night of torrential rain this week - what could fit better than a life buoy? *g* 

Life buoy in Karlskrona Maritime Museum, Sweden
Taken at Karlskrona Maritime Museum.


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Pic of the Week - CW 24

 
For last week, I give you an older pic: the Mosque at Schwetzingen Castle Gardens, built by Nicolas de Pigage in the late 18th century.

Mosque, Schweztingen Castle Gardens

The gardens are an eclectic mix of the formal gardens of the time and the new fashion of landscape gardens, and the main aim of creating the Schwetzingen gardens was to successfully join both styles together in a natural way. Of course, various buildings in different styles were added throughout the large garden, like a Minerva Temple, a Bathing house,  an artificial ruin, and, as most famous and beautiful part, the mosque, which is also the earliest mosque-style building in Germany, built when the 'Turkish' style was in fashion. It hadn't been intended for religious service, but has been used as such occasionally over time, but also as a Jazz Club after WWII.


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Sultry in September Sign-up still open!

Sultry in September 2016 Rules & FAQ

Critical Dates:


  • Sign-up period: June 17th - June 26th (I AM WILLING TO OFFER EXTENSIONS ON THE SIGN-UP! JUST LET ME KNOW!)


  • Assignments to be distributed by July 10th


  • Deadline for first-time participants: September 4th


  • Deadline for returning participants: September 11th


  • Archive opens: September 18th, 2016




Full details are available here: http://slashy-santa.livejournal.com/83681.html


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Still without words...






 

A rainbow made of flower pics with a candle in the middle



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Pic of the Week - CW 23

Sorry for yet another garden/flower pic, but this is a special one: 

A bee orchid or Ophrys apifera (Bienen-Ragwurz in German), growing wild and in abundance in my parent's garden. It's considered to be extremely rare in Germany, due to the climate and because the bee pollinating it in warmer climates doesn't exist hereabouts.

Bee orchid in my parent"s garden
A few years ago, my father discovered the first one and asked a botanist acquaintance, and learned about its rarity and that it's protected and considered a particularly endangered species, and he's not allowed to mow it down / has to take care not to mow or cut the plants. So the lawn of my parents is now full of little islands with these prezzies. :D

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Story: The Meaning of Snow

Title: The Meaning of Snow
Author: Ysilme
Characters: Elrohir/Erestor, Elladan, Cameos by Glorfindel, Galadriel and Celeborn
Genre: Drama/Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Slash
Rating: Teen
Content: Forces of nature, minor character death, non-graphic description of injuries, winter in the mountains
Words: ~8300
Disclaimer: This is a work of transformative fiction based on JRR Tolkien's creation, done purely for enjoyment. No money is being made. I promise to give the characters back more or less as I found them.
Notes: Written for Aglarien for MySlashyValentine 2016. My most heartfelt thanks to curiouswombat, keiliss and lordhellebore for idea-bouncing, hand-holding and beta-wrestling a monster on very short time, and to my flist for helping me figuring out travel- and survival-related issues. This story wouldn't have happened without you. All remaining mistakes are my own.
Summary: On the verge of adulthood and very much in love, Elrohir is reluctant to meet again the elf who does not return his feelings. But the pitfalls of travelling in winter bring them together in an unexpected way.

Read it on AO3 | SWG or Faerie.



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100 drabbles with Elrond: 15

Wow, it's been nearly a year since my drabble muse has stopped by. But inspiration came yesterday in the hardware store of all places, for a drabble for the current challenge of tolkien_weekly, and also just perfectly fitting into my much-neglected 100-drabbles-with-Elrond-challenge. I'm giving up on the loose timeline I had until the last drabble, though.



Written for the Cluedo challenge at tolkien_weekly for the prompt "hallway". Many thanks to curiouswombat for looking this over!


15. ConstructionCollapse )

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Pic of the Week - CW 20


Butterfly on a lantana blossom in the butterfly house on Mainau Island, Lake Constance.

Butterfly on lantana blossom

The visit to the house was awesome, the amount and variety of butterflies was the most I've ever seen in such a house. Taking pics was not so easy since the beauties rarely sat still, and every so often a misting unit came on in the part of the house where I was at the moment so I had to cover the camera. Most are lucky shots (and some are nicely detailed even without a macro lens! :o) ), and this is the one of them I like best.
I recommend viewing the image in larger version, just click on it.



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Pic of the Week - CW 18


We have tadpoles! :D

Tiny tadpoles in our tiny pond

Siljan has this tiny, ready-made pond of the size smaller than a bathtub - he loves ponds and wants a large one evenutally, but since that will take time, he got this small one a few years ago. It's horribly overgrown and always full of submerged plant life, but the few exotic (as in: not your typical and hard to come by pond plants) things that fit grow well, even if it always looks as if there were more plant material than water in it. Birds and cats alike use it to drink, and the birds to bathe, and now it's obviously also being used as a toad nursery. We used to have one or two toads somewhere in the garden, but hadn't seen them for ages.
The whole pond is full of them, and I really hope a few will survive. I'm also worrying what will happen to them, as they don't have many places to go from our garden - behind the plot, there's the much-used district lane which might prove a dead trap,  and the neighbouring plots are sterile pseudo-gardens not offering anything as food or shelter; so I hope we can catch them in time and bring them somewhere they might have a chance.



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Pics of the Week - KW 16 + 17

Week 16:  I got some shrub roses last week, so have one of my favourite rose pics to celebrate the occasion (taken at Villandry castle a few years ago): 

Roses at Villandry Castle
We had planned a trip to a local nursery last week, to get some herbs, and finally some roses four our wild chaotic overgrown natural garden, something I wanted for a while. I wanted impervious, wild or old variety shrub roses suitable as bee and insect food. For various reasons Siljan went alone and came home with a selection of three that looks very promising. I'll doubtlessly post pics of them at a later date! :o)

For week 17, I give you snow - or something snow-related. This week has been crazy, weather-wise: we experienced real, true Apirl weather of the best kind. Or so. Temperatures had been so warm already that I went out just in a T-Shirt, but on Sunday we had a bit of snow and hail, and a heavy thunderstorm at night. Monday was cold and brougth heavy rain, and on Tuesday, I woke up to a close, thick cover of over 2 inches of snow! The most we had all winter, although it was gone quickly. Poor Siljan, though, he needed to bring a lot of his plant darlings inside for the night again for four days.

The occasion seems fitting to show this curious sighting we once had in Denmark in summer: a private yacht from Greenland!

Greenland Yacht
When we saw it first we couldn't quite imagine what kind of boat this was; looking rather sturdy and in no way like something used for leisure, although nothing hinted at a professional or official use, too. The riddle was solved when we noticed the home port, Godthåb (Nuuk), and learned that it looks so sturdy because it needs to have ice breaking abilities, too.



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OMG, how awesome is this? Hear Moby Dick read in its entirety as an open project, and read by some of the most awesome voices, too! Among the readers are Tilda Swinton, Simon Callow, Stephen Fry, Sir David Attenborough, Fiona Shaw, Benedict Cumberbatch, Nathaniel Philbrick and many more... *heavy breathing*

Check out the link above for more info, including links to downloading and podcast sites, or chapter by chapter here to also see the awesome artwork that has been done for it and get a list of the individual readers.





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Pic of the Week - CW 8


Just a random window in a small open-air museum / historic township in Norway last summer.
It seems very fitting for my mood last week. ;o) 

Vintage window in Norway
Agatunet, Hardangerfjord, Norway

(I still haven't found out why upright images get cropped when I upload them into my gallery, sorry)


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My Slashy Valentine - the Reveals!


The reveals are up at slashy_santa for My Slashy Valentine 2016!

Over 50 awesome stories are waiting for you to give you a great reading time.
You can find them on the Masterlist or directly in the MSV 2016 collection on the AO3.


samtyr  wrote the loveliest gift for me, Starting Over. It's a Lindir/Erestor story with delightful hurt/comfort and a sweet Elrond/Celebrían in the background, starring also Gildor, Gil-galad and Thranduil and a few more, and also has lots of things and little details I love. (~6500 words) 
Summary: There are many turnings and by-ways in life.

I haven't managed to read much else so far, but it looks like a great collection once again with lots of well-known authors as well as a few new ones I'm curious to check out.

*****

On a technical side note, though: I noticed that you don't get AO3 notifications for stories  posted to a collection with later reveals, like in this case. I'm subscribing to various authors who participated, but didn't get a single notification. I know I didn't get any leading to a "mystery work" earlier, too. Does anybody happen to know if this is a new occurence or standard? Either way I find it frustrating.
 


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As we begin our second decade of Back to Middle-earth Month at b2mem, we're looking back and celebrating our first ten years by revisiting all the previous B2MeM events.

All prompts from the previous years are on offer. There are no sign-ups, no claims, and no deadlines. More information and links to all 3291 prompts can be found in our Intro and FAQs post. We also have a collaboration post for those wishing to work with other people.


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Snowflake Challenge #7



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Day 7

In your own space, share a favorite piece of original canon (a TV episode, a song, a favorite interview, a book, a scene from a movie, etc) and explain why you love it so much. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I actually managed to start the answer to this challenge day twice - with different subjects. How embarrassing can it get, completely forgetting about the first one? *sigh* So now you're getting two favourite canon pieces.

Read more...Collapse )





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Fandom Snowflake #6





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Day 6

In your own space, create your own challenge. What’s something you want to see more people doing in fandom? Is there something you’ve tried that you think other people would enjoy if they gave it a go? Dare your friends to try it out, and have fun with it. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone. Read, and perhaps even write something you don't usually like to do, for whatever reason. Different genre, different rating, different orientation, different fandom, pairing you never liked, whatever. Not something that makes you really uncomfortable, but something you would usually skip because it fits some of  your likes, but has something in it you never gave a chance before.

Over the years, I've been challenged to do this myself for various reasons, and gained something new every time, and I hope you will share this experience.



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Snowflake Challenge - Day 3 & 4



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Day 3:
In your own space, post a rec for at least three fanworks that you have created. It can be your favorite fanworks that you've created, or fanworks you feel no one ever saw, or fanworks you say would define you as a creator. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

1) My favourite Potterverse story, for those of you who love books and libraries as much as I do: 
A Very Special Edition / Irma Pince, Severus Snape / G / gen with offscreen F/F / ~3300 words
The Library of Hogwarts has more to it than one would think, and is a haven not only for books.

2) The two main stories of my Dragonverse, which are closest to my heart among my published stories, and so far also the most intense I've written. The Dragonverse was inspired by that scene in TH:DOS when King Thranduil talks about dragons and shows these unexplained scars to his face. Neither movieverse nor movie!Thranduil, though, except for this detail. Both can be read as standalones.
The Wrath of Dragon Fire, Thranduil/Gildor, Elrond  / M / hurt/comfort, permanent injury, First Age, War of Wrath / ~ 9500 words
Thranduil meets a dragon, Gildor meets a Wood sprite, they meet each other, and battle sets things into motion.

The King of the Forest, Thrandui/Celeborn / M / hurt/comfort, Third Age, Battle Fatigue, PTDS / ~ 7400 words
After the Battle of the Five Armies, King Thranduil brings a badly decimated Elven host back to the Greenwood. Dealing with the losses of battle and the aftermath is a bitter task, threatening to overwhelm the king and guardian of the Woodelves and their forest.

3) A story and the artwork that went with it, done for B2MeM 2014. I think this is probably the fanwork I had most fun with ever, particularly the paper dolls. *g* 
Spring in Imladris, Elladan, Elrohir, Erestor, Celebrían / G / gen / Third Age, the twins as children, / ~ 3400
At the evening before Nost-na-Lothion, the Spring Festival, Erestor puts the twins to bed and tells them a story about how the festival came to pass.

The Twins of Imladris as Paper Dolls, meant to go with a part of the story, but this part didn't happen, so they're just about the twins at the same age. There's a link to printable files to cut the dolls out, including an uncoloured version to do it yourself. ;o) 
Elladan, Elrohir / art / gen /
Thumbnail of the paper dolls



Day 4

In your own space, create a fanwork. Make a drabble, a ficlet, a podfic, or an icon, art or meta or a rec list. Arts and crafts. Draft a critical essay about a particular media. Put together a picspam or a fanmix. Write a review of a Broadway show, a movie, a concert, a poetry reading, a museum trip, a you-should-be-listening-to-this-band essay. Compose some limericks, haikus, free-form poetry, 5-word stories. Document a particular bit of real person canon. Take some pictures. Draw a stick-figure comic. Create something. Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.


Just a quick doodle, an idea for an inital to be used as such in a fanfic, inspired by heartofoshun's challenge answer of a story banner. I don't think it's clear enough to be used as an inital, but it was fun to draw. I call it "Ents in Love". *lol*

Ents in Love





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Pic of the Week - CW 2

The first event of this year was our electric kettle giving up the ghost, and now we're having this cool rocket-age thing from glass, glowing blue. I took a pic of it for a photo_scavenger prompt - and so have to show this to my dad, retired physics teacher. When I was a kid, he was forever showing me how things worked and how the world is functioning; I think he'd be thrilled about being able to watch water boil so easily. *lol*

Illuminated glass water kettle glowing blue

I'll have a go at it with the large camera and the tripod, too, particularly since I didn't get a chance to try my luck with the Christmas tree - we had intended to keep it up until the last weekend, and as we were so lazy I hadn't tried the lighted-tree-in-darkness-shot yet. Only last Wednesday, Siljan came down to find the tree on the floor, with the water merrily spreading... such a joy on our plank flooring. Thankfully, it had happened only shortly before, but there was no point in putting it up again. The next one is definitely going to be fixed to the ceiling! Water damage is the only thing that can happen, but also the one thing I don't care for.

I've been owned by Findis, too, concerning the Christmas decorations. We had kept the non-tree decorations until Saturday when I took them off, collecting them on the dining table to be put away. I couldn't finish because I needed the ladder for some ceiling stuff, but the ladder was at the other end of the garden, and it was raining cats and dogs since days --> everything is muddy and sodden. As one of the ceiling thingys needs to go into the box first, I left all the small boxes with decoration in them on the table. Findis is strictly forbidden to be on the table, which doesn't mean that she won't try it occasionally when something promising can be investigated. I had already shooed her down various times on Saturday when I passed the table again a few hours later. And there she was, lying on top of the closed decoration box on the chair, at table-level, her paw outstretched and just touching the table with one claw, looking at me in that challenging manner only cats can do. "I am NOT ont the table, mommy!" I laughed so hard I cried.
Of course she wasn't, so I let her stay. But I swear, they're far more intelligent than we give them credit!



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To Snowflake or not to Snowflake... ;o)



Fandom Snowflake Challenge banner
Day 01

In your own space, talk about why you are doing the Fandom Snowflake Challenge? What drew you to it as a participant? What do you hope to accomplish by doing these challenges? Leave a comment in this post saying you did it. Include a link to your post if you feel comfortable doing so.

I participated two or three years ago, I think, and loved the experience. However, since then, my January was already so full that it felt just one commitment too much - like this year, although there's one family birthday less to celebrate. Now so many on my flist are doing it I decided to do it again, too, to celebrate fandom and showing my appreciation of the awesome people I've met over the years, and the outstanding, wonderful sense of belonging and community I've met with over and over again. Thank you all, folks, my life has been made so much richer becaue of you all, and because of all what you're giving to fandom!


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Story: Coming Home

Title: Coming Home
Author: Ysilme
Characters:Samwise Gamgee, Elrond, Elaniel (OFC),
Genre: Hurt/comfort, gen
Rating: PG-13
Content: Mention of minor canon character death, grieving
Words: ~1600
Summary: After the loss of his beloved Rosie, Sam Gamgee travels West, unsure what might await him. Does Mr. Frodo still live? Will anybody even remember him?
Disclaimer: This is a work of transformative fiction based on JRR Tolkien’s creation, done purely for enjoyment. No infringement is intended and no money is being made.
Notes: Written for shirebound for the MPTT Yule Fic Exchange 2015.
Many thanks to dreamflower02 and lordhellebore for the beta!

Coming HomeCollapse )





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Pic of the Week - CW 51

I'm not late for week 51, noooo.... *whistles*

Have one of my most favourite shots of this year: a Hardanger Fiddle, shot in Norway in the Eidborg museum of local history.

Hardanger Fiddle

Ever since I heard it the first time, the sound of the Hardanger Fiddle became one of my favourite instrument sounds, wth the additional sound of he sympathetic strings (what a fun name this has in English! :D ) - I really am into this instrument group. *g*
Here is how it sounds, a snippet you may know very well (I made the snippet for myself to use as message/text sound).

I'm quite proud of this shot, too, as the fiddle was inside a glass case with lots of fingerprints on it, in a rather dark room, I didn't have a tripod and my arms were about to fall off from taking SLR pictures all the time. (One of the many instances when I'm wishing I had chosen a smaller and lighter camera ;o) )




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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



Blessed Solstice, Merry Christmas,
and Happy Holidays to you all!
Thank you for making my life brighter and warmer
throughout the past year.


Seascape photo with Christmas greetings



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My Slashy Valentine 2016

From the Years of the Trees through the Fourth Age – it’s time once again to make your Tolkien FPS fanfic dreams come true…

Have you always wanted to read a certain pairing or scenario, but couldn’t write it yourself? Have it written for you – specifically and especially for your own sweet self! And share your own gift in exchange!

That’s right, it’s time for My Slashy Valentine! The exchange focuses on the Elves, Men, Dwarves, Valar and Maiar of J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium. Maybe it’s Gildor and Glorfindel you love, or perhaps Boromir-on-Theodred strikes your fancy... or maybe Lúthien and Thuringwethil is your OTP? From the Years of the Trees to the Fourth Age, from sultry tales of the Silmarillion to romances in the Ring Wars – spread the word, recruit your friends and fellow authors, and have some fun!
Critical dates:

  • Sign-up period: December 6th to December 20th

  • Assignments to be distributed no later than December 27th

  • Deadline for first-time participants: January 31st

  • Deadline for returning participants: February 7th

  • Archive opens: February 14th, 2016

Read more and sign up
here.

I'm really looking forward to this again!  Now to figure out what to ask for in my request... :oD



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Two weeks ago, we watched Spectre.


I loved it. A well-made, well-photographed Bond flick with everything you expect in one of these, highly entertaining. Cool action, cool bad guy - I love Christoph Waltz, and hearing he was the baddie this time notched my thrill of anticipation even higher, and I was not disappointed. Cool characters, too - I wasn't overly fond with Daniel Craig as Bond in the beginning, since Pierce Brosnan had been my personal first Bond, and I'm not into these kind of testosterone-soaked, muscular guys anyway. But I came to love his take on the role, and really liked where they were going with him, story-telling wise. Speaking of, Spectre now closed the circle of what was a larger story arc, and a well-fitting one, although I had expected more about Bond's past after all that innuendo in the last films. Best for me were the side characters, though: as much as I miss Judi Dench as M, Ralph Fiennes is terrific, and Q (Ben Whishaw) is pure delight. I also loved the settings: some awesome landscapes and photography in places, and the intro in Mexico City during the Día de Muertos had the coolest visuals and music.

The weekend before last, we were lucky to find The Martian still on show somewhere - due to some RL troubles and being away for a week, we had missed this so far. I'm so happy we managed to watch it, and on a large screen in 3D, too, as it was doubtlessly one of the best and most beautiful films I've ever seen.

Geeky me was in absolute heaven, as was geeky Siljan. A brilliant, believable and realistic story turned into a terrific visual experience, played by really gifted actors. I loved every single minute of it, and can't recommend it more, adding my praise to that of various flistie's of mine. I can't even say what I loved best - the brilliant acting, the story behind, the side characters, the technical part (always a big treat for me if it's well done, and this is excellent - and even Siljan, who always finds something illogical or impossible in SciFi settings, no matter how much he loves them, didn't find anything. *lol* This time it was me, though; I had one objection about the potato issue concerning soil, but it's taken care of in the book, so it wasn't the author.) I was really floored by the breathtakingly beautiful landscape shots. They were not only utterly beautiful by themselves, but also so real that the whole movie didn't feel like a SciFi film, but a contemporary thriller or drama.
(cairistiona7, Siljan hadn't been that interested when I told him about the book, for whatever reason, but now he wants it for Christmas. *g* I've already started reading it (in English) and love it.)

Last night, we also saw In the Heart of the Sea.

This was another absolute winner. It was really weird, though - Sunday evening, and we were the only people in the theatre... ok, we watched it in our small town, and Spectre and Hunger Games 4 was on at the same time. But still, this was odd - if cool, we could talk as much as we wanted. *g*
The subject interests us both very much, and Siljan has read the book the film bases on last year or so. The German reviews of the film aren't very good, but we found we completely disagreed with them, we really loved it and found it a terrific filming. Again, great acting, great scenery, gripping story, and lovely, lovely photography! The camera did some brilliant angle rides (can you say that?), along masts and spars, or pieces of rigging, from underwater, or sometimes half under- and half above water, creating images of breathtaking beauty even when the scene is all about danger and destruction. Some of the most awesome seascapes ever, too. I also found it impressive how they managed to convey the drama and desperation of the story, and the shipwreck with all its consequences, without showing too much detail and more gore than necessary (sailing on a whaler comes with some unavoidable gore, of course). The acting was good, I particularly enjoyed Ben Whishaw as Melville, and Chris Hemsworth as Owen Chase was a really good choice as well.
Still, there were some points I'm not completely happy with: some parts  felt a bit shortened, as if the director had needed to cut something short with an eye to the overall length - but this could also be because I know the whole story and background history so well, and am probably also thinking in the epic dimensions of the writings of Melville; it might be differently for somebody else. But what really was missing for me was the mysticism about whales, which was hinted at here and there, but never elaborated. As I haven't read the book so far, I can't say if this is mentioned there, though.
Still, definitely a recommendation to watch it, if only for the beauty of the scenery and the human story told within. :o)



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Writing Quotes





Thank you for this quote, indy1776!


Seascape with quote by N. Hawthorne
(click right for larger size)
"Words, so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who know how to combine them." (Nathaniel Hawthorne)




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Music to live and write by #9

I have a deep love for the Cantigas de Santa Maria and its various interpretations by the various medievalish groups and ensembles, and this is one of my favourites, interpreted by a German ensemble for Medieval Music:


Big extra for me is the use of two of my favourite instruments, the hurdy-gurdy and the nyckelharpa (keyed fildde).


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