From the Heart by Eva Grace ~ blog tour and author interview

(Apologies for the scatterbrainess of a post- school is exhausting)

Hello, friends!
Today I have a very fun post for you- my pen-pal, Eva, is publishing a poetry book and I get to be part of her blog tour and interview her! squeals in excitement

First of all, here’s a little bit about her:
Eva Grace never imagined she would become a poet, but life enjoys creating unexpected and often missed opportunities all around us. So, now she is a poet. An athlete and extrovert, she enjoys swimming, running, and having fun with all people. They’re what makes life so interesting. She currently lives in southern U.S. with her family and spends her days learning, exploring, and documenting her days through art, photography, and writing.

Now I must add a little bit to that: Eva is also the sweetest person ever and she writes the best and longest letters, which I LOVE. Also, she’s an amazing writer, so you should totally go buy her poetry book and read it. You can do so here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/eva-grace/from-the-heart/paperback/product-pj77gv.html

I suppose I should tell you a little bit about the book, though I’m terrible at that sort of thing.
From the Heart is, as you may have figured out, a poetry book! I don’t read a lot of poems, but recently I’ve been become more interested in the art of poetry, so getting to read this book was really fun. The poems in it have such a warm and fluffy feeling, and I think I could read them a hundred times and never get tired of them!

And now, let’s move on to the interview with Eva!

Chloë: How long have you been writing?
Eva: Since I was 8–I had a green notebook with white polka dots. 😊

Chloë: What gave you the idea for From the Heart?
Eva: I’m not sure exactly. I’d say quarantine made me reflect a lot and From the Heart is the physical product of that reflection.

Chloë: Do you prefer writing poetry or stories?
Eva: I prefer writing short stories, because I love creating characters, but this poetry book was a lot of fun to write too.

Chloë: What’s something that’s encouraged you during the writing process?
Eva: Your long letters and my other friend (she knows who she is) who, even though she knew almost nothing about the project, was so supportive.
Chloë: Gasp. I’m very touched and I’m glad you like my letters. Ahem. Next question.

Chloë: Do you have a favorite writing related quote?
Eva: Of course! I don’t remember who said it, but it’s “you have to write the book that wants to be written”.

Chloë: Who’s your favorite author?
Eva: JRR Tolkien without a doubt.

Chloë: Do you think they had an influence on how you write?
Eva: Oh, definitely. He’s well know for the Lord of the Rings but his poetry was absolutely incredible. He also began my interest in fantasy which is carrying over to all my writing.

There you have it! Please go check out From the Heart, and have a lovely day!

the musical theatre tag

Hello, friends! Long time no see. I’ll give you all a life update in another post, hopefully soon. But today I’ve got something fun to share with you. I don’t do too many tags, but I found this one online and had to do it. So we’ll just jump right in!

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1. Plays or musicals?
I love both so much, but I think if I absolutely had to choose one, I’d say musicals because they have acting, singing, and dancing all in one. Though I wouldn’t want to go without plays!

2. When did you start liking performance arts?
I’m really not sure. I feel like I’ve always loved them, but it wasn’t until five or six years ago that I actually started performing myself. I always liked music and I did a little bit of dance when I was younger (even though I was awful at it and still remain awful at it), and I was always making up little songs and talking to my imaginary friends. And then I enrolled in an acting class and it went from there.

3. Ever been in a musical?
Ohhh yes. 5 or 6 of them, which doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but added up with my plays and an operetta, it comes up to a lot of theatre experience. XD

4. What was the first musical you saw?
The original question says “Broadway musical” but I actually haven’t seen a musical on Broadway. I saw the Broadway tour of Wicked this year, but way before that I saw a musical called Casanova. I was in the Czech Republic with my mom and sister, staying with some family friends, and the two daughters both act on the Czech Broadway (the younger daughter played Galinda in Wicked last year 0.0). They took us to see Casanova, and I loved it. Even though I didn’t understand all the words. And now I’ve spent years searching for the music online, but no luck.

5. If you could be any female character in any musical, who would you be?
Elphaba in Wicked for sure. Or Christine from Phantom of the Opera or maybe even Elsa in Frozen. Oooh, or Anne Boleyn in Six. Or Maria in The Sound of Music. Or Eliza in Hamilton…. But Elphaba is my top pick and dream role. Though I’d also take Glinda/Galinda.

6. Which male character?
Hmmm… Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen, I think. Or maybe Hamilton in Hamilton.

7. Favorite musical song to sing in the shower?
Oh, I have wayyy too many. Some of my favorites are Defying Gravity from Wicked, Some Things are Meant to Be from Little Women, and, as of a couple of weeks ago, When He Sees Me from Wicked.

8. Who is your favorite theatre actress?
I’m not really sure. I don’t know a lot of theatre actresses, but I think Idina Menzel is great.

9. Favorite theatre actor?
Again, I don’t know a lot of theatre actors, but Ben Platt has a great voice.

10. Favorite film adaptation of a musical?
I haven’t seen very many film adaptations of a musical, because there really aren’t too many! I guess probably Wizard of Oz, since it’s the only one I’ve really seen. WAIT. The Sound of Music! Or Mary Poppins.

11. What do you think is the most overrated musical?
Can’t answer that one as I’m not sure. XD

12. What musical made you cry?
Oooh… let me see. I think it was Wicked. Or possibly Dear Evan Hansen. I know I’ve cried over one or both of those. I try not to watch or listen to too many sad things, though. Oh, and The Lion King.

13. What musical made you laugh?
Mary Poppins and Wicked.

14. Are there any musicals you hated?
Nope, thank goodness.

15. What musical do you want to see as a film?
Wicked, IF they don’t ruin it.

16. Which musicals are you dying to see?
Many, including The Phantom of the Opera, Six, Hamilton, and Newsies.

17. What is your all time favorite musical?
Wicked. (You’ve probably already guessed that.)

18. What would you do if theatre didn’t exist?
Cry. Very loudly.

 

Thanks for reading, friends!

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The historic parallels between Shakepeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” and the life of Anne Boleyn

Wow, what a title- a long one and one you probably never expected to see on this blog. However. I’m a history nerd. Also, I had to write a research paper for my literature class, and I figured I may as well share it, because otherwise all my hard work will be buried forever. XD

So, here you are! Presenting my research paper, hopefully you enjoy it! 🙂 (note: my lit class teacher told me some places need citations since some of the info is not, as I thought, common knowledge. As my paper has already been graded, and this is a blog post, I’m not going to add in more citations. So.)

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The Historic Parallels in the Winter’s Tale

The exact year that William Shakespeare started writing his plays is unknown, however, the general belief is that Shakespeare wrote his plays between 1590 and 1613. Queen Elizabeth I ruled from 1558 to 1603. Thus, Shakespeare would have been very familiar with his sovereign’s parentage.
Elizabeth I was the daughter of the infamous Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn, who is probably the most well known of Henry’s six wives. In The Winter’s Tale, Hermione faces very similar circumstances to what Anne faced, and indeed, Anne Boleyn’s biographer, Eric Ives, thought that The Winter’s Tale was based on Anne’s circumstances (“The Winter’s”).
The first similarity between Anne Boleyn and Hermione are the charges they were accused of. Hermione was accused of adultery. Anne was also accused of adultery, but in addition, she was also charged with incest, witchcraft, and treason, though she wasn’t convicted of all of those. Hermione was clearly innocent.
Today, the general consensus is that Anne was also innocent, but while the courtiers in The Winter’s Tale believed in and defended Hermione’s innocence, the people of Anne’s country were completely against her. However, when Queen Elizabeth I rose to power, she defended her mother, so Shakespeare very likely believed in Queen Anne’s innocence. At any rate, if The Winter’s Tale was indeed based on Anne’s circumstances, it seems that Shakespeare did believe Anne’s innocence. (Or perhaps, he just didn’t want to upset his sovereign, and patron.)
There was not a single logical piece of evidence against Hermione, only Leontes’ imaginings. Anne did have a piece of evidence against her, but that was the confession of a single man. This man was named Mark Smeaton, and he gave his confession while under torture. Of five men accused, he was the only one to eventually plead guilty to being one of Anne’s lovers. We cannot know whether he made the confession up in hopes of being released, or whether being under torture made him give a real confession.
Kings Leontes and Henry VIII both accused their faithful wives of charges they did not commit. For Leontes, this was an out of the ordinary thing. He was enveloped in a cloud of rage and jealousy. That was not his usual nature at all.
Henry, on the other hand, is known for his fickle nature when it comes to his wives. He was continuously changing his affections from one woman to the next. He made changes to the church just so that he could divorce his first wife (and later, he also ended up divorcing his fourth wife), and accused and beheaded his second and fifth wives. Some people think that this was just Henry’s nature, but other sources believe otherwise.
It is known that Henry suffered several blows to the head during jousting matches and other occasions. Doctors, scientists, and historians now think that those blows to the head caused brain damage, which changed his personality (Hathaway). There is no explanation as to why Leontes had a sudden change in personality, however, and no explanation as to how he went back to normal just as suddenly.
Probably the biggest difference between Anne and Hermione’s cases are that Hermione was never actually convicted and punished, while Anne was. Anne’s punishment was execution. Hermione’s cause of death appeared to be shock at the death of her young son, though of course, we find out at the end that she didn’t actually die and instead went into hiding to wait for the right time to reveal herself.
Anne and Hermione also had different ways of defending themselves while on trial. Hermione tried to defend herself, but Anne seemed resigned to her fate. She probably knew from the minute she was accused that she was doomed, as there is usually no way of arguing with a king and a court who have made up their minds.
Even as Anne was about to die, she blessed her husband and his reign: “I am come hither to accuse no man, nor to speak anything of that, whereof I am accused and condemned to die, but I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord” (Hanson).
While Queen Hermione did make a gallant attempt to defend herself, some of her words at her trial are, however, very similar to Queen Anne’s words just before she was executed: “Since what I am to say must be but that which contradicts my accusation, and the testimony on my part no other but what comes from myself, it shall scare boot me to say ‘Not guilty;” (Shakespeare 41).
Anne was born in the United Kingdom, but she did spend some time in France growing up. Ultimately, though, she was born and grew up in the country she later helped rule. Hermione, however, states: “The Emperor of Russia was my father” (Shakespeare 44). That suggests that Hermione probably was born and grew up in Russia, before marrying Leontes and moving to Sicilia.
Hermione was higher in rank than Anne when they were young, given that Hermione’s father was apparently an emperor. Anne’s father was an earl and her mother was a countess. When they married, they both became queens, thus making them an equal or at least somewhat equal rank.
At the end of Hermione’s story and the end of Anne’s short life, the two queens both have only one surviving child, both of which are girls. Hermione’s little son, Mamillius, dies early in The Winter’s Tale, leaving Hermione and Leontes with only one child, Princess Perdita, who is, of course, cast out, but later found.
Anne had one daughter, who grew up to be Queen Elizabeth I, and three miscarriages, which is very likely one of the things that pushed King Henry VIII to execute her. Henry was desperate to have a male heir, and since Anne couldn’t produce one, he got tired of her and thus started to want to get rid of her so he could find another, more suitable wife. After all, what was a kingdom without an heir?
When Leontes accused Hermione, her ladies and servants remained loyal to her, especially Paulina. They did their best to make their queen comfortable while she was in prison, and Paulina did her best to try to bring Leontes to his senses, though in the end, she did end up making the whole situation slightly worse. Her intentions, however, were pure and well meant.
Anne did not seem to be as fortunate. There is no record of any of her ladies defending her or trying to make her comfortable in her last days, or if there is a record of any, it is not readily available. Perhaps her ladies were just too scared to try to stand up to Henry, or perhaps they just weren’t loyal at all. We don’t know and probably never will. The only lady who it seems was for Anne was possibly her old nurse. It is said that “Mrs. Orchard was in the gallery at the trial of Anne Boleyn when the Duke of Norfolk condemned Anne to be burned or beheaded at King Henry’s pleasure. At those words, she “shrieked out dreadfully” (Larson).
Hermione’s story ended at the end of the play. She was reunited with her repentant husband and her long lost daughter. There would probably be a wedding in her future, between her daughter Perdita and Prince Florizel, she might have more children, as after the death of her son, Mamillius, Sicilia still needed a male heir, and she would probably have grandchildren in the future, as well.
Anne was not so fortunate. Her story ended at the end of her life. On May 19th, 1536, she was beheaded by a French swordsman. Her execution had been delayed twice. The five men who had been accused and convicted with her were also killed, but on different days. They were also beheaded, which was considered “fortunate”, because King Henry VIII could very well have condemned them to die in more gruesome, painful ways, such as hanging and being drawn and quartered. Anne had been queen for only three years, which made her the wife married to Henry VIII the third longest. (Catherine Parr beat her by only a few months for the spot as second longest marriage.)

Works Cited
Hanson, Marilee. “Anne Boleyn’s Speech At Her Execution – Primary Sources.” English History, 19 Mar. 2015, englishhistory.net/tudor/anne-boleyn-speech-at-her-execution.
Hathaway, Bill. “Did Henry VIII Suffer Same Brain Injury as Some NFL Players?” YaleNews, Yale University, 2 Feb. 2016, news.yale.edu/2016/02/02/did-henry-viii-suffer-same-brain-injury-some-nfl-players.
Larson, Rebecca. “The Ladies Who Served Anne Boleyn.” Tudors Dynasty, 18 Sept. 2017, http://www.tudorsdynasty.com/ladies-served-anne-boleyn.
Shakespeare, William. The Winter’s Tale: Oxford School Shakespeare (Oxford School Shakespeare Series). UK ed., Oxford University Press, 2013.
“The Winter’s Tale.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Winter%27s_Tale. Accessed 14 June 2020.

Ramblings

Well, hello there, friends. It’s been a while. As it always seems to be between posts. I’m sorry.
Today I just felt like writing a blog post. It’s just going to be random thoughts of mine. A sort of life update, I suppose. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a mess because I am tired and lonely and really not in the best state of mind right now.
Anyway, so what have I been doing while I disappeared off the face of the blogging earth?
Not all that much, to be honest. But there are a few little things, so I’ll cover those.
First and foremost, I’ve been rehearsing for a musical I’m in. It’s called Night at the Wax Museum, and if any of you have heard of it, I applaud you. No one I’ve asked has. I’m playing Anne Boleyn, which involves being as queenly as I possibly can muster and running around in character shoes yelling at Henry VIII and Cleopatra. However. There’s one small problem…
The people playing Henry and Cleopatra are very busy and thus have not been able to attend many rehearsals (I’ve only met Henry once). This is tough because all my scenes are talking (or rather, yelling) to them. I’m sure I’ll manage, though.
I figured out how to bake a pie, and now I think pie is my favorite thing to bake. Making and rolling the dough is just so satisfying, and there are so many different kinds of pie. (I don’t think I’ll be making a chicken pot pie again anytime soon, though… why? I spent three hours in the kitchen when I attempted one. It was delicious, though.)
On the track of cooking, I made butterbeer the day before yesterday. (Should I post a recipe for it? Which brings me to another question. I’ve been wanting to start posting recipes, but would any of you even read those?)
It (the butterbeer) was probably the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life.
Andddd, on the track of butterbeer, I’ve been rereading Harry Potter. MY HEART. *hugs pretty much all the characters* *except noseless guy* (VOLDEMORT YOU NOSELESS SNAKE)
I’ve also been doing a lot of snail mail and envelope art. To me, there’s nothing nicer than getting really long letters in the mail (though to be honest there’s only like one pen pal I have who does reallllyyy long letters XD but that’s okay I love allll letters!). It’s very lovely to go the mailbox and find a letter waiting with only your name on it and no one else’s. I have like… 16 penpals (which my parents think is crazy) but honestly I could probably have like fifty and still want more. (More penpals = more friends and more letters).
I have not been working on my novel. It just… I love my story. I love my characters. But oh, how I loathe my writing. No matter what I do, I just can’t stand my writing.
I have been writing fanfiction, but I’m starting to have the same problem. I just loathe how I write it. Pretty sure the people who’ve read it feel the same way.
Hopefully I’ll figure something out, because I do miss writing.
Another thing I’ve been writing is a MLA research paper for literature class. To be honest, I hate hate hate it. It’s due in a week. I have one and a half pages done and I can’t think of what else to write. (It needs to be five pages. I’m doomed.) In case you’re wondering what it’s about, it’s a comparison of Anne Boleyn (Night at the Wax Museum has awakened my inner historical nerd) and Hermione from the Winter’s Tale by Shakespeare. It’s quite interesting, but I just don’t know how to present all my thoughts. After next week, though, literature exams will be done and I will be officially out of school for the summer!
I have a couple of plans this summer. Except they mostly all depend on whether specific places will open up, etc. This summer is definitely going to be different for a lot of people. I just want my summer to be… well, summery. With lots of summer aesthetic, I guess. Which to me means happy and sunshiny.
I’m going to try to make this summer the best I’ve had in years. We’ll see what happens. (Should I post a summer bucket list? I kind of want to.)
I’ve also been reading home economic textbooks from the 1920’s to 1940’s. They’re really interesting to me, and some of the recipes and things in them are actually useful. I can just imagine the teen girls in the past reading the books and answering the questions in them. The books also give me a sort of Captain America and Agent Carter feeling. I guess because of how the textbooks are written… it’s hard to explain.
My family rewatched Wonder yesterday. That movie is just too precious. Auggie is a sweetheart and I love him. And on the topic of Wonder, my lovely neighbor gifted me a copy of White Bird, which all of you should go look up because it’s gorgeous and I love it so much.
My goodness. What a rambly post this is. Ah well.
Thank you for reading, I love you all!

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The Hope Project launch!

Well, friends, today is the day! The Hope Project is being launched!

We’ve got an amazing team, consisting of amazing bloggers, and I can’t wait for you to see who they are. I would link to their lovely blogs, but unfortunately, our internet is terribly slow and it has taken me forever to just open WordPress for this post!

If you’d like to check the Hope Project out, the link is: https://hopeproject.home.blog/

Have a lovely day, friends!

11 books that shaped my life

Hello, friends!

Before we start off, I want to thank you all for two things: Firstly, the incredible support you gave me after my last point about the passing of my baby kitty, Pepper. It means so, so much to me, and I cried a little reading all your messages, and thank you. So much. ❤ I wish I could hug you all.

Number two: a couple of days ago I hit one hundred followers, and honestly I’m sorta in shock. I think this is the first of my many blogs to reach one hundred followers, and I really can’t believe it. I’m so thankful for you all. ❤ I wish I could do a giveaway for this occasion, but on account of all the craziness in the world right now, that’s currently not a possibility. BUT maybe once things clear up, I can do it! Thank you so much, all of you. It truly means the world to me. ❤

Now, onto today’s post! Continue reading

Goodbye, my sweet

My cat died today.

I had forgotten how it feels to lose a pet. Especially one that’s all your own.

She was fine three days ago, and then she got sick. She was tired and feverish and she reminded me of one of my characters from my book.

this afternoon, she had trouble breathing and my dad took her to the vet.

She didn’t come back.

I knew she probably wasn’t going to. But it was still a shock.

She was a black cat. I think she was pregnant. Her name was Pepper. I had had a hard time naming her; I couldn’t choose between Shuri or Loki or Pepper. She wasn’t even a year old yet.

she had liver failure and paralysis from a diesease she got from a tick bite.

It seems unbelievable that one small tick bite killed my cat. One small tick bite from a tick who bit a bobcat carrying the disease and then bit my cat. Stupid tick.

I miss you, Pepper. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more for you. I love you. Have fun over the rainbow bridge with Ginny and Alaska.

 

A prickly friend

(Photo credit all goes to Keziah) (I can’t take pictures like this XD)

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Who could that be?

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My dear readers, let me introduce you to little Prickles.

Name: Prickles Macaroni Mali

Age: Nine weeks tomorrow!

Birthday: January 11th

Likes: Crickets, mealworms

Dislikes: Being awakened from his naps.

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Yes, I did get a hedgehog, and let me tell you, he is my absolute pride and joy. He is a bundle of… well, many things. Grumpiness at times. (But ahhhh his little grumpy hiss is ADORABLE.)

How did I come about getting a hedgehog? Well, he was a very early birthday present. I’ve been wanting a hedgie for a very, very long time, but I never ever ever thought I’d get one. My mom doesn’t like animals very much, and we already had a ton. But she agreed to let me have one and now I do!

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He’s a very small little baby. (He fits in one of my hands, and he’s smaller than a small banana.) (I took a picture for scale, but that shall come in another post).

He’s also very picky. All he’ll eat is crickets, mealworms, and cat kibble. (Yes, hedgies eat kibble and perhaps I shall tell you why, if you don’t mind hedgie care posts) (I think I’ll write some no matter what. Do you know how deep I had to dig to find any information on pet hedgies? I figure now that I know, I’d better make some posts so other people don’t have to dig quite so far.)

Oh, he will eat a bite or two of a popcorn kernel (unsalted, no butter, don’t worry). (Hedgies are lactose intolerant)

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He’s very adventurous. He likes climbing. And running on his wheel. Also sleeping in pockets. And in his little igloo.

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He doesn’t quite get the concept of chess.

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But he does love books!

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Well, I’m going to go tend to Prickles now, but you can expect to see much more of him soon!

Love from both Prickles and I ❤

Hotdogs and hedgehogs- Saturday musings

(To all those who have applied for the Hope Project, I hope to pick the team within the next week- rest assured, I haven’t forgotten!)

When I was little, Saturdays were the best days. I remember waking up and having my dad move my Dora The Explorer table in front of the TV, and then my sister and I would eat oatmeal with raisin smiley faces while watching the morning Tom and Jerry cartoons.

And then after that, we’d go to the Farmer’s Market, and after that we’d go to the Lakeshore store for Saturday crafts. I remember that my sister used a lot of glue on her crafts and they were all sticky in the car.

When we got older, we got rid of cable TV, so that was the end of the oatmeal and Tom and Jerry. We still went to the Farmer’s Market and the Lakeshore store, though.

And then we got too old for the Lakeshore store crafts, so we just went to the market. Sometimes we went to the zoo, too, because we had stopped our family zoo days (those were Sundays. One of my most vivid memories is of a zoo day, and I miss them.).

Except as we got older, even that stopped.

Today was the last day of the Farmer’s Market, and we didn’t get to go. We haven’t gone more than twice since we moved.

And I miss the happy Saturdays we used to have. I miss the thrill of waking up and thinking “yay, it’s Saturday!” Honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve woken up thinking “yay, it’s *insert day*!”

Today was a good day, though. I’m not feeling great mentally, but at least the day was good. It felt like one of the old Saturdays, even though we didn’t make it to the last day ever of the Farmer’s Market.

But I cleaned my new hedgehog’s cage (does anyone want more on him because I will talk about him all day) and I gave him a bath and my aunt came over and we made s’mores and had hot dogs and went on a walk. Of course, my hedgie’s heat lamp went off, which is not good, but we’ll get it figured out.

It was a day like Saturdays used to be. And so I guess some things are still there, even when it seems like they’re far, far, far away.

I have no idea what this post is, but hey. I wanted to write. So here I am.

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