Most of this week was a mad scramble to pack, since I moved in with my aunt to be closer to school. With spring in full bloom and everything feeling a fair bit like summer, everything’s looking very bright.
After a long period outside of the classroom, I’m back at school, taking a course in Publishing for the summer. I also moved in with my aunt and uncle to shorten my commute, so things have been busy on my end. While everyone else is finished with exams and starting their summer job search, I’m going to be busy with my course, since it’s covering a lot in a short period of time. Like a lot of people, I love learning but dislike some of the more stress inducing parts of school, so the whole thing is exciting, and ever so slightly nerve wracking.
Feel free to respond with your school must haves in the comments!
Overwhelming and often so much at once, travelling in India can be off putting. In a country where the unexpected is always around the corner and anything can happen (from pickpockets to wedding parades), India is a country where a little advice can help make a huge difference.
What It’s About: Code Name Verity follows the confessional writings of a young, female captured spy during World War II. Slowly, she weaves together the story of how she got to be in France and everything she knows about the British war effort. Her story starts with her best friend Maddie, a talented female pilot that flew them both into France. Rose Under Fire follows Rose Justice, an American pilot serving under the British. Rose is captured while flying from Paris to England and is sent to a female concentration camp called Ravensbrück. Forced to live with little hope and horrific circumstances, Rose relies on her friendships and her poetry to help her get by.
Who Will Love It: People who love historical fiction, fans of books like Between Shades of Gray and anyone who enjoys books about female friendship.
What I Loved: Both books are thoroughly researched, well written and extremely poignant. Code Name Verity is one of my favourite books with two of my favourite characters. The ending is heart wrenching and impossible to forget. Rose Under Fire features poetry and lyrics that add a lot to the novel, as well as strong female characters and relationships. It shares many of Code Name Verity’s strong suits, and the women that Rose meets at the concentration camp are all unforgettable
Hitting up Netflix or putting on a DVD may seem like the ultimate form of procrastination, but sometimes movies can be a resource of inspiration as a writer. Here are my picks of movies about writing and stories, or just movies that are inspiring all the same.
Little Women (1994) The only adaptation of the book I have seen, and I had a furious pre-teen crush on this whole movie. Wynona Ryder stars as Jo March, and maybe my love for this film is because Jo reminds me of young me. This story of four sisters growing up and apart in civil war era Massachusetts is also about Jo finding her voice as a writer.
Amelie (2001) This movie has nothing to with writing in the least, but the story and characters are so original and whimsical. Shy dreamer Amelie finds her life changed when she finds a long lost trinket and returns it to its owner. The simple act leads her to doing anonymous acts of kindness to those around her. As she watches the world from a far, she finds a kindred spirit in the odd collector Nino, but lacks the courage to speak to him.
Dead Poets Society (1989) This film is every English teacher’s best friend. Set at an elite boarding school in the 1950’s, a group of boys are inspired by their English teacher Mr Keating, who teaches them to seize the day and look at things from a different perspective. The boys resurect the Dead Poets Society, which Keating and his friends had formed in his school days. Together, they learn about the importance of words and stories and discover how to live the lives they want, not the ones chosen for them.
Whisper of the Heart (1995) While often overlooked because it wasn’t directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Whisper of the Heart features a screenplay written by the Japanese director. Shizuku is a fourteen year old girl in the midst of exams, but can’t stop herself from reading fairytales when she should be working. When a cat leads her to an antique store, she sees a beautiful cat statue that she can’t forget. The shop owner’s grandson Seiji, is a hardworking boy her own age, who inspires Shizuku to work hard towards her own passion, which is writing.
Finding Neverland (2004) A biopic about J.M. Barrie and the writing of Peter Plan, inspired by the Llewelyn Davies children and his adventures with them. The film explores the life of the real boy who never grew up; Barrie himself.
Julie & Julia (2009) Wait, isn’t this movie about food, not writing? The film is inspired by Julia Child’s life in France and her discovery of cooking, as well as Julie Powell’s blog about cooking every recipe in Child’s cookbook. The film follows Julia’s quest to write and publish her cook book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and Julie’s blog project that leads to her writing a book. When I first saw this movie, it got me excited about blogging, although I had a slow start to actually doing it. This movie has double inspiration, with two women achieving their dreams.
Spring, winter, spring again….. Read More
What It’s About: The way Cullen Witter sees it, everyone is looking for someone, at least in the small town of Lily, Arkansas, where he lives. That couldn’t be more true than during the summer Cullen is seventeen, when everyone in town is looking for the Lazarus Woodpecker, which was supposed to be extinct and has allegedly been spotted in Lily. Everyone is obsessed with the woodpecker, because in a town no one can seem to escape from, the Lazarus gives them hope. There are people who are always looking for their destiny and there are people who have lost someone and will always be looking for that person in everyone they meet. Cullen is looking for himself, and just wants to know why he does the hings he does. But everything changes when his younger brother Gabriel goes missing. Suddenly nothing makes sense and the bird that was just an annoyance and maybe the savior of his hometown is now distracting everyone from Gabriel’s disappearance. As the town searches for the woodpecker in a frenzy and the Witter family searches for Gabriel, Cullen can’t help but wonder if what everyone is saying about the Lazarus woodpecker is true and Lily really is the place where things come back.
Who Will Love It: Fans of realistic teen fiction, and specifically books by John Green.
What I Loved: It’s perceptive, original and well written. In a town where everyone tries to fit people into a bubble or a label, Whaley wrote characters that broke free of this and were more than what people saw them as. It’s a insightful YA novel with a tightly written plot.