Friday, August 30, 2013

Farewell, Adieu...

...for the weekend.  My family is going on a vacation this weekend for Labor Day and we won't be back till Tuesday, so I probably won't be able to post or anything until Wednesday.  If you comment, follow, etc. and I don't seem to respond, I'm not ignoring you- I'm on vacation. :)
Have a great Labor Day, everyone! :)

An Interview About One of My Favorite Subjects

Eva and Sierra wrote a musical for the barricade boys awhile ago and are giving it out to those who want to read it (such as me).  I really enjoyed reading it and am thrilled to announce that I'm hosting an interview with Eva!  Here it is.

1.       Who is your favorite barricade boy and why?  Hmmmm...this is a really tough question, simply because I love them all.  However, I would have to say that Jehan is my favorite followed very closely by Enjolras and Combeferre.  The reason that Jehan is my favorite is because he's so kind and gentle and he writes poetry and plays the flute and he's the only barricade boy that Victor Hugo said believed in God.  Cool, right?

2.       What is your favorite of the reworked songs?  Definitely Combeferre's solo - 'Light'.  I love it because it's set to the the tune of 'Stars' (from the original musical) and it really suits 'Ferre perfectly.

3.       Is “Barricade Boys: the Musical” a working title or the real one?  If it’s a working title, do you have any other titles in mind?  It's the real title.  I think it fits it well and anyone who's a fan of Les Mis would get the connection instantly.

4.       What was the most difficult part of making this musical?  I think it would be hard to pinpoint a difficult part, because the whole thing went so well.  Working with Sierra (the co-author) was really easy and we had so much fun collaborating on this.

5.       What was the easiest/most fun part?  It was probably re-working the original songs and finding ways to slip bits of the brick into the plot/lyrics.  Not everyone will catch our little hints, but they're there all the same.

6.       How did you get the idea of a Barricade Boys Musical?  Well, Sierra and I were lamenting the fact that the barricade boys hardly get any attention these days and one of us (I think it was Sierra, but I'm not sure) suggested, half-jokingly, that they should have their own musical.  The idea stuck in my mind and the next day, I wrote out the bare bones of the idea.  then we started re-working songs and adding all sorts of other details. 

7.       About how long did it take to get BBM finished?  I'm not quite sure, but I know it was less than a month.  Probably two or three weeks.  We were actually working under a deadline because we wanted to release the musical the same day that the Les Miserables 2012 movie came out on DVD.  We were able to :)

8.       If you could get any Les Mis cast that ever was to perform this, would you stick with the cast you have (the movie cast) or mix and match? (In other words, what’s your dream cast?)  I wouldn't want to break up the movie's cast of barricade boys because they were all amazing.  So they're my dream cast.

9.       If you were a boy, which part would you like to take?  Or would you rather be Eponine?  I'd rather be Eponine.  I mean, she gets to fall in love with Enjolras!  What could be better than that?

10.   What are your future plans for this musical?  Well, in our dreams, we'd love to see it actually performed on Broadway/West End, but I doubt that'll happen any time soon (mostly because of copyright laws and the fact that neither of us is rich enough to finance such a thing).  We'll just keep giving it out to members of the fandom and letting them enjoy it.  We may write a full-out screenplay someday, but that'll have to wait for a while as we're both very busy at the moment.

If you're interested in reading it, you can email Eva and Sierra at
Thanks, Eva! :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Writing Tag

There's a writing tag going on at Every Good Word, and I'm participating!  The button is on my sidebar if you want to know more, so without further ado, here is the tag!
What was your first-ever piece of writing?  I’ve never had anything published, but the first book I ever made was a five- or six- page book that I wrote in Kindergarten.  I never got it back from my teacher though. 
How old were you when you first began writing? I was five.  I began seriously thinking about writing as a career when I was seven or so.
Name two writing goals. One short term & one long term.  Short term would be finishing my novel, A Fortnight in a Lighthouse (working title).  Long term would be getting AFIAL published.  I’m still a beginning writer, really.
Do you write fiction or non-fiction? Unless blogging counts as nonfiction…fiction.
Bouncing off of question 4, what's your favorite genre to write in?  I really love writing books like The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright (I’m not sure what that genre is called), but I also like writing adventure stories.
One writing lesson you've learned since 2013 began.  That it’s not a crime to be better at writing about ordinary everyday things than heroic adventures.
Favorite author, off the top of your head!  Jane Austen, of course.
Three current favorite books.  Les Miserables, Emma, and Glimpses of Truth.
Biggest influence on your writing {person}: Jane Austen and Elizabeth Enright.  They have almost nothing in common, one being a writer of romance in the Regency Era (that was an alliteration, wasn’t it?) and the other being a writer of children’s fiction in the 1940’s, but whenever I’m stuck I can usually apply some technique of theirs to my writing.
What's your go-to writing music?  I actually don’t listen to music while writing because it distracts me too much, so none. 
List three to five writing quirks of yours!  I check my word count after every page, I type random letters when I’m having writers’ block because it seems to help, I carry around three or four notebooks and at least that many pencils to take notes with while I’m writing and I have a habit of dashing off six-page stories (I’m writing a whole series) when I need to take a break from my novel.
What, in three sentences or less, does your writing mean to you?  I’ve been writing practically since I could hold a pencil and even though I occasionally take a hiatus from it to pursue other interests, I always come back.  God gave me my talent for writing and I intend to use it for His glory.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Don't Quite Know Why I Feel the Need to Review This...

There have been so many reviews of the new Les Mis movie that I’m not sure why I’m reviewing it.  Be that as it may, I am indeed reviewing Les Miserables (2012).  I’m going to be using Eva’s method and dividing it into two parts.  In the first part I’ll talk about the actors and in the second part I’ll talk about the songs.  I’ll also do a shorter third part about what I thought about it overall.
Here is Part 1!
Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman)

Hugh Jackman looks exactly like the Valjean of my imagination.  But his singing…?  Well, I enjoyed it somewhat.  He couldn’t seem to convey much emotion in his voice, so when you listen to him without seeing him, you can’t tell much about what he’s feeling.  (With the exception of “Valjean’s Soliloquy,” which is probably his best performance.)  However, he’s my second-favorite Valjean because his acting is really, really good.

Javert (Russell Crowe) 

Russell Crowe has gotten a lot of criticism for his singing.  He has a pretty good voice; if he’d just put more power into it, I would have really liked his Javert.  But I felt frustrated a lot of the time because he just spoke-sang his lines without any emphasis.  Sometimes his voice got growly, which was much better, and then I enjoyed his portrayal.  He did a great job with “Stars” and “Javert’s Suicide,” though, so he wasn’t a huge disappointment.  Plus, his acting was marvelous.

Fantine (Anne Hathaway) 

I wrote a dream cast for Les Mis a while ago, and guess who my favorite Fantine was?  Anne Hathaway deserves every single award she got.  Admittedly she didn’t have golden hair, but I didn’t even care.  Her version of IDAD was heartbreaking, and you could see her hopelessness and pain.  Her voice was perfect for Fantine: fragile and beautiful.  It was really soft, which worked because, you know, she’s dying.  Which reminds me…her death scene was so well done.  It also made me cry, but that’s kind of a given.

Cosette (Amanda Seyfried) 

Amanda Seyfried is my favorite Cosette.  She’s an alto, but her voice was very birdlike, which goes with the bird comparison in the brick.  You could tell she was struggling in AHFOL, but most of the time I would never have guessed that she wasn’t a soprano.  Also, she’s beautiful in a doll-like sort of way- perfect for Cosette.  Her relationship with Jean Valjean was awesome- she wasn’t disrespectful or indifferent to him.  Instead, she seemed to really love and esteem him, which impressed me a lot.

Marius (Eddie Redmayne) 

I thought that Eddie Redmayne made a good Marius.  Of course, he can’t compare to Michael Ball, but he was reasonable.  His interaction with Cosette was cuteness itself, and while he was portrayed as more of an enthusiastic revolutionary than a dreamer who only joins because he wants to die (my goodness, what a noble motive you have, Marius.), I found it possible to like him. :D

Eponine (Samantha Barks) 

Samantha Barks played Eponine stunningly in the 25thAC, and she does even better in the movie.  Her voice is quite probably the best in the film, her acting and facial expressions are perfect, and she’s gorgeous even when she’s dressed as a boy.  She can make me cry with just a look.  Also, they kept a certain aspect of the brick in that made ALFOR even more tragic than it already was.

Enjolras (Aaron Tveit) 

Aaron Tveit is my favorite Enjolras.  He looks like the Enjolras I imagined (yes, even the hair…), he acts like a stern revolutionary leader, and his singing is really good.  Even though he and Marius are supposed to be good friends, they didn’t abandon Combeferre’s friendship with Enjolras, which was a major plus.  Aaron Tveit was enthusiastic with restraint and his relationship with all the other boys was what it was in the brick.  Also, his death scene was majorly epic and one of the saddest scenes in the entire movie.
By the way, even though he doesn't have a Legendary Red Vest of Power and Awesomeness, he does have an awesome red coat, which is almost as good.  In my opinion, anyway.

Gavroche (Daniel Huttlestone) 

Before I watched the movie, I didn’t think that Daniel Huttlestone would make a very good Gavroche.  He was too cutesy and not tough enough (sink me, the lady’s a poet!). However, I have completely changed my opinion.  Daniel Huttlestone is my favorite Gavroche.  He blended Gavroche of the musical with Gavroche of the book perfectly.

Little Cosette (Isabelle Allan) 

Isabelle Allan was completely adorable as Little Cosette.  She has a really nice voice and her acting was so good, especially for a young girl.  Plus, she looks exactly like the Cosette I imagined and her interaction with Valjean is so cute!  AND she looks enough like Amanda Seyfried to be believable. 

The Thenardiers (Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter) 

The Thenardiers were gross and disgusting and evil, but they were also really funny.  We skipped “Master of the House,” but we watched “Waltz of Treachery” and it was hilarious.  “Let’s not haggle for darling Colette.”  “Co-SETTE!”  “…Cosette.”

The Barricade Boys

Combeferre (Killian Donnelly) 

Killian Donnelly has performed as both Courfeyrac and Enjolras before, but I think that he made a better Combeferre.  He had that sort of calmness and strength combined and he looked like *my* Combeferre.

Courfeyrac (Fra Fee) 

Fra Fee as Courfeyrac was perfect.  The first time you see him, he’s giving Gavroche a piggyback: adorableness!  He has sort of a older-brotherly or fatherly (I’m never quite sure which) relationship with Gavroche and it’s hearbreaking during “Death of Gavroche.”

Grantaire (George Blagden) 

In about 10 minutes of screen time, George Blagden managed to give Grantaire a personality.  You can tell he really looks up to Enjolras.  

Jehan Prouvaire (Alistair Brammer) 

Let’s hear it for the kindest, sweetest, bestest barricade boy! *Enjolras fans scowl darkly*
Okay, so maybe I like Combeferre better. *Jehan fans look perfectly murderous*
…Just forget it. :D
Anyway, Alistair Brammer made a really good Jehan- sweet and shy without being wimpy.  I’ve become a fan of his…whenever I see him in a musical I shout, “ALISTAIR!!” rather enthusiastically. :D

Feuilly (Gabriel Vick) 

Gabriel Vick just looks like Feuilly.  He’s pretty close to the book Feuilly too…so I like him a lot.

Joly (Hugh Skinner) 

Joly is one of my favorite students and Hugh Skinner played him perfectly.  His facial expressions are priceless. 

Lesgles (Stuart Neal) 

Well, he was all right.  He was in the 25th AC as only problem with him was that he’s supposed to be bald and…he isn’t.  Not even close. :D  Also he's supposed to be the oldest of the group, and he looks like the youngest.  Which makes his death even more heartbreaking than it already is.

Bahorel (Iwan Lewis) 

Sorry!  This was the only picture I could find of him.

Bahorel only appeared in about two scenes, but I liked what I saw of him. 

And there you have Part 1 of my take on the Les Mis movie!  Part 2 should be coming soon.

-Miss Jane Bennet

Monday, August 19, 2013

In Which The One and Only Marius Makes An Appearance

I was trying to think of a sensational post topic for today, but I couldn't think of anything, so you'll have to be contented with another little review for the time being.
Today I'm reviewing Rilla of Ingleside.
 I'm sure that most of you have read Anne of Green Gables.  I'm not sure how many of you know that it has sequels.  Yes, there are seven sequels to AGG, and I love each and every one of them.  But Rilla (hereafter abbreviated as RI because it's too much work to click italics on and off. :D) has a special place in my heart.  It's my favorite in the series- I like it even better than AGG, and that's saying a whole lot.
This is one of those books that you finish with a contented sigh and then start again five minutes later.  I read it when I want cheering up and I read it when I want a book that will send me away thinking.
RI has extremely funny parts and characters- I've read it at least six times, but I giggle hard at them each time.  It never seems to get old, and every new turn of the plot is always unexpected even though I've read it so often.
It's also really sad.  It's set during WWI, so people go off to war and, well, die.  I always cry when a Certain Character (those of you who have read the book will probably know what I mean) dies. This is an incredibly inspiring book that always sets me on fire while subduing me as well.
The main character, Bertha Marilla "Rilla" Blythe, is the youngest daughter of Anne and Gilbert Blythe.  Like Johnny Tremain in my last review, Rilla starts out as a flawed yet likeable character and grows as the story goes on.
This is part of a series and will probably be a little hard to understand for those who haven't read the previous books, but if you don't have the time or inclination, you only need to read Anne of Ingleside and Rainbow Valley to get most of the history you need to know.  (And rain will make the flowers grow, but I'm sure you already knew that.)
You can get it on Kindle free here, and if you don't have a Kindle, you can read it online there as well.

And just as a little random tidbit, because a) this singer is marvelous, and b) this song fits pretty well with RI.

-Miss Jane Bennet

Sunday, August 18, 2013

In Which I Rant About Historical Fiction

There has been nearly silence on this blog of late.  It's the first week of school and all that, and I haven't had much time or energy for blogging.  Now, however, I am rejuvenated, because the weekend is before me!!  So, I decided to write a review of Johnny Tremain in celebration.
Johnny Tremain (by Esther Forbes) is about a young, haughty apprentice silversmith's actually so complicated that I don't know if I can sum it up.  I'll give you the summary on the back of the book:
"Johnny Tremain, a young apprentice silversmith, is caught up in the danger and excitement of Boston in the 1770's, just before the Revolutionary War.  Johnny can't help being swept along by the powerful currents that will lead to the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington.  But even more gripping than living through the drama of Revolutionary Boston is the important discovery Johnny makes about his own life."

There are a few books that have touched me in a special way.  One of these is Johnny Tremain.
I first read JT in fifth grade and I liked it all right.  I just didn't "get" it...I didn't really discover the meaning of the book.  Recently, though, I read it again, and this time...I found the heart of the book.
Now it's one of my favorite books ever.

The plot is really gripping.  (I'm not sure if what comes next has spoilers or not, so if you haven't read JT, proceed with caution.)  Johnny burns his right hand badly in an accident in the forge and doesn't get proper medical treatment.  He can't work with silver any more, so he's left to do menial tasks.  Finally he leaves the place where he was apprenticed and tries to make a life for himself.
It takes a while, but he finally makes a friend, Rab Silsbee (I may or may not have a very slight crush on Rab.).  Rab gets his family to hire Johnny.
The Silsbees' house is a regular meeting place for the Sons of Liberty, and, well, if you want to know what happens next, read the book. :D
The characters are lifelike and real, and Johnny rides a pretty awesome horse.  I absolutely love this book- it has a great message and it's pretty accurate in terms of history.  It has a bittersweet ending, and it always makes me reflect and think.
If you love historical fiction, this is for you.  If you want a Christian book, read it.  If you want a marvelous read with fun characters and real guessed it.  Read the book.
-Miss Jane Bennet

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Another Quick Note

As I'm sure most of you have noticed, my blog got a major makeover thanks to Eva of Ramblings of a Janeite!  She did an awesome job- I absolutely love the new design.  Please let me know how you like it!
Thank you so much, Eva!! :)
-Miss Jane Bennet

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I Got Tagged!

Ivy Miranda over at Fire Is Catching tagged me, saving me the trouble of writing a post myself. :P
Here's the tag:


1. List favorite movies (in no particular order)
2. Post James Movie Tribute Video somewhere on your blog

3. Tag other blogs (optional)

Now here are my favorite movies!
(In no particular order)

1. Pride and Prejudice (1995)

 As most of you probably know, I love this movie.  It has every single little detail of the book in there, perfect casting, and most of the original dialogue.  Plus the "lake scene" is hilarious.  I don't know why, but when Lizzy looks out of the windows at Pemberley, I always expect Mr. Darcy to pop his head out of the lake. :D

2. Les Miserables (2012)

 You knew this would be on here, didn't you?  But seriously, I love this movie. (And a certain revolutionary with hair like a Shetland pony's has absolutely nothing to do with it.  Just sayin'.)
Admittedly some of the singing is not as good as, say, the 10th Anniversary Concert, but some of the acting is better.  And it's so real- I kept saying, "Oh, is that how they did it?"  It was closer to the brick too...but I digress.  On to the next.

3. Emma (2009)

 When I first saw the cover, I admit my expectations weren't too high.  For one thing, they misspelled "Knightley" on the back.  They spelled it "Knightly!"  The indignity!
But I was proved COMPLETELY wrong.  They kept in most of the details, the casting was perfect- especially the leads- and even though they changed the dialogue, they made up for it by (dare I say it?) adding new depths to some of the characters like Miss Bates.

4. Little Dorrit (2008)

 I haven't seen the whole of this movie yet, but I've seen enough to know that this is really good.  The music, the acting, the dialogue...they're all wonderful.  I wrote a review a while ago of LD (book), and I like the movie as well as the book.

5. The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
 This movie is just epic.  Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour both did marvelous jobs, as did everyone else, and Gandalf…er, Ian McKellen was great as Chauvelin.  Plus, the costumes and sets are gorgeous and the dialogue is great.
Note: There are two questionable scenes in this one, both involving Armand, but they’re pretty easy to skip.

6.  Pride and Prejudice (2005)
 I don’t like this one as well as the ’95 version, but I still enjoy it quite a lot.  Keira Knightly looks a lot like the Lizzy of the book, and Matthew McFadyen, while not being perfect, presented an interesting Mr. Darcy who smiles more than once.  Okay, twice.

7. The Music Man
 This has been one of my favorites since I was about seven.  The music, acting, etc. are all good and very fun, and my family quotes it all the time. 

8. My Friend Flicka (1943)
I really like this movie.  It’s pretty faithful to the book (except they replaced the big brother with a little sister- what was up with that?), and the scenery is beautiful.  Good acting, good message, and great horses.
9.  The Man from Snowy River

 This is a really, really good movie.  The acting is great and it’s really inspiring and touching.  The end is bittersweet.  Jessica is kind of reckless and heedless sometimes, but all in all it’s a true classic.  Plus, the music is awesome and it’s set in Australia.

10. Treasures of the Snow

 I love the book and I love the movie.  It has some great scenery, wonderful acting, and a Christian message about forgiveness. 

 And I tag:


Bethany/Margaret Dashwood

Lucy Stewardson


Have a great afternoon, everybody!  A short review should be coming tomorrow.
-Miss Jane Bennet