Hello, everyone! Can you believe the end of January is nearly here? Crazy! I don’t know what that says about time flying, but it does mean that it’s time for my Happenings of the Month post!
Entertainment of the Month:
Marvel’s Agent Carter (2015-present) – Peggy Carter lost the love of her life when Captain America dove into the ice. But her life is far from over. After the war ended, Peggy (Hayley Atwell) went to work for the Strategic Scientific Reserve, where she fights for one thing: to protect America. Unfortunately, she’s often relegated more to the role of secretary than agent. When Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) asks for her help to clear his name, though, she discovers that she is uniquely gifted for this new era of crime-fighting. The second season just aired and acts as a fill-in betwen the two season halves of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I love it for it’s 40’s flair, loveable characters, and plots that feel very different from the gritty darkness of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Other characters include Stark’s butler, Edwin Jarvis (James D’Arcy), Jack Thompson, SSR Agent (Chad Michael Murray), and Daniel Sousa, another SSR Agent (Enver Gjokaj). The series airs Tuesday nights on ABC.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Cinder would love to be normal. To be respected as a mechanic and loved for who she is. But that’s impossible. Cinder is a cyborg and, as such, she is the property of her stepmother. All her earnings belong to the woman who “graciously” provides her with a home. But Cinder wants to be free of her family, of the fear of the deadly plague letumosis, and of the terrifying Lunars whose threat grows ever stronger. Then she meets Prince Kai, the Commonwealth’s heir, and her life rapidly spins out of control. Can a prince love a cyborg? And, more importantly, can a cyborg be more than a piece of property, maybe even a hero? This is the the first book of the Lunar Chronicles, which I am rapidly devouring. I love the worldbuilding, characters, and stories of these books. Absolutely wonderful.
Outcast by Aaron Allston – In this first book of the Fate of the Jedi series, the Jedi’s relationship with the Galactic Alliance is spinning out of control. Jedi Knights are randomly succumbing to a mysterious madness, and Chief of State Daala is on a hunt to bring the Jedi under her thumb. With the galaxy still reeling from Darth Caedus’ reign of terror only a few years before, the government wants to blame someone, and Daala decides Luke Skywalker, Grand Master of the Jedi Order, is the perfect target. Banished from Coruscant and his position there, Luke sets out to understand Caedus’ descent into darkness on a journey through the galaxy. Meanwhile, those in Coruscant fight to keep civil war at bay. I haven’t finished this series yet, but it’s already ignited a desire to read everything preceding it. I’ve never read much Star Wars fiction other than Timothy Zahn’s novels, but now I am extremely curious.
Fight Song/Amazing Grace - The Piano Guys – This is a gorgeous rendition of “Amazing Grace” and Rachel Platten’s “This is Your Fight Song,” complete with Scottish landscape and bagpipes.
"Live on Forever" - The Afters – In Christ, our lives go so far beyond the here and now. Our lives on earth are just a vapor, a fragment. But there’s so much more, because we truly will live on forever.
My Life This Month:
With the start of a new year came my return to school. Strangely enough for me, I’ve struggled to get a handle on my homework. I’ve been staying up too late and goofing off when I have time for homework. So, I’m working on that whole focus/procrastination issue. Anyway, I’ve got a full slate for school, including my second semester of American Sign Language. I love learning ASL, but it sure can be exhausting sometimes. Especially when the teacher conducts the entire class in ASL. Sometimes my brain wants to explode from the effort of concentration. Nonetheless, I’m really excited to be learning more and being better equipped to interact with deaf people.
I read an autobiography this month, which I haven’t done in a very long time. Honestly, I can’t remember the last autobiography I read that wasn’t for school. This story was written by Robert Clary, best known for playing Corporal Lebeau on the 60’s TV show Hogan’s Heroes (which is amazing, by the way; if you’ve never seen it, do). What many don’t know is that he was a teenager during WWII and spent three years in concentration camps. The interesting thing for me with the book was that, though it wasn’t the most amazing writing, it had a distinct impact just because it was real. I want to read more nonfiction this year, and I’ve realized that reading stuff like that will impact me more than fiction. Reading real people’s stories burrows deep inside; I feel that it will benefit both me personally and my writing.
I’m having to come to terms with people’s imperfections and my own expectations. Sometimes we want something so badly, but it seems like it’s never actually realized. I’m experiencing that with some relationships right now, and it’s definitely not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Life is rarely what we expect it to be; it’s important to recognize that. Instead of wallowing in frustration, I’ve got to learn how to be realistic. Not always my strongest suit, unfortunately.
Other Web Happenings:
A Piece of My Heart Linkup | Silver Mess – My friend Rachel over at Silver Mess has started a neat monthly linkup, where you create something (picture, story, etc.) based on her given theme. This month’s theme is “Where It All Began.”
A Thousand Words | Gillian Bronte Adams – What happens when you can’t pick just one word for your year? Maybe you just might learn to look for all the blessings God’s bringing your way…
February's Monthly Challenge | Go Teen Writers – Can you come up with a new story idea every day for the month of February?
So, how has your January been? Read or watched anything good? Let me know in the comments!