You know, it has suddenly struck me that it's a little weird to be writing 2017 after these things. Somehow that didn't occur to me at all last month, but it's pretty crazy. I've been doing these Happenings of the Month posts since December of 2015. Over a year now. And I really enjoy writing them. I hope you all enjoy reading them.
Entertainment of the Month:
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a 2013 film directed by and starring Ben Stiller as a shy manager of the photo negatives at Life magazine named Walter Mitty. Reserved and seemingly inept in social settings, Walter goes through life vividly imagining himself as an action hero, someone he thinks his new co-worker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) would be attracted to. But when profound changes occur at Life, Walter finds himself shoved into real life and out of his daydreams. This film starts rather slowly, but it builds to an absolutely beautiful story about seizing the life you're living. It's one of those films that gets in your head, and, though I typically don't like those kinds as much, I adore this movie. It is aided by beautiful cinematography and an amazing, unique soundtrack. I highly recommend it.
When Character Was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan. It's such an elegant title, evocative of such a beautiful image. In it, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan takes the reader on a wonderful journey, revealing the lowest and highest moments of Ronald Reagan's life through both her own insights and the experiences of those close to him – his wife, his children, the men of the Secret Service who protected him. This book doesn't tell everything – no one book could possibly put the spotlight on every part of a person's life. But through a warm, readable writing style, Noonan shows readers Ronald Reagan's heart. It is an informative, impactful read.
"Newsies Medley" - BYU Vocal Point - I am so in love with this medley, ya'll. I've never seen the musical Newsies, but I really want to, and that desire grows a little more every time I listen to this track.
"Carol of the Bells" - Peter Hollens – I don't even care that this is technically a Christmas song. This acapella version is just so haunting and gorgeous.
My Life This Month:
College has evened into a fairly stress-free experience for the time being, thankfully. It still has its moments, of course, but I don't feel like I'm walking around as a zombified-stress-muffin, either. So, that's nice. I'm being pushed out of my comfort zone again this semester, this time with my journalism ethics class. It's hard to be surrounded by people with very different opinions from your own and then have to defend your thoughts, often on the spot. Sometimes I feel like a ridiculous amount of meaning hinges on what I say.
I'm also learning something about trusting God, though. I believe strongly in my convictions. No, I don't always have the perfect words to defend them. But I don't always have to defend them. God doesn't need to be defended. And if He wants me to say something, He'll give me the words. I can't say I've fully figured it out yet, but He's showing me step-by-step.
I'm trying to expose myself to more of what's going on in the world around me. I'm attempting to read more varied news and get myself out of my bubble, to listen to opposing opinions without raising my hackles, to really seek Truth. But then there are those times that people just really irritate me with the things coming out of their mouths. Some of those moments inspire me to be more well-read, though, to encounter more nonfiction, to better understand history and people's real experiences. It's comforting to exist in a bubble, and sometimes I need the bubble. But I don't want to live my whole life there. Expanding it takes a lot of work, though.
Also, on a less heady topic, I'm job hunting again! So not fun. I need a good, steady, well-paying summer job to help with expenses and the extra year of school that's going to go beyond my scholarship. I haven't written a cover letter in a while, so it's good practice, at least.
Other Web Happenings:
How to Write Battle Scenes When You're Not Into Battles | One Year Adventure Novel – This post was such gold for me, since fight scenes are a serious weakness of mine.
I'm Tired of YA | Aimee Meester – In a highly insightful post, Aimee basically explains why I don't read young adult fiction.
The Case for Religion in Your Novel | One Year Adventure Novel – Guest contributor Jerah Miller points out the effect religion has on the world and reminds us not to forget it when writing.
So, how was your month? Read any good books? Let me know what's going on in the comments!