Saturday, September 18, 2010

Summer Movies

I didn't go to very many movies this year, in general, but who can get through a summer without seeing at least one during the season? Certainly not myself. The selection is thankfully short for my readers. I went to see Alice in Wonderland (the remake, of course, with Johnny Depp in it) at the dollar movies and how could I resist seeing Salt when I heard the preview on television say, "I'm Salt. My name is Evelyn Salt" ? I've never seen but one movie with Angelina Jolie in it prior to this summer and that was Hackers. Yes. A very long time ago. So, I suspended my basic feelings of seeing any of her movies and went with all female family members to see this sleeper of the season.
I wasn't prepared for the Lara Croft treatment and so here I was trying to stay focused on the action as she landed flat on her back from great heights several times within seconds of each landing for the space of about five minutes of humanly impossible action. This was very nearly the beginning of the movie. Needless to say, I couldn't help but laugh at the most inappropriate time of the movie. How could I help it?

The actual beginning of the movie was horrendous and I won't go into why but it seems to me that as I watched her receive brutality after brutality on the screen for everyone's so-called viewing pleasure I started to actually feel sorry for all women by the end of it. The violence was so bad I couldn't get over the trauma of viewing more than an hour of this thriller. I'm especially bothered by senseless murdering onscreen of which this celluloid blunder contains a plethora. I don't know who I'd recommend this movie to or why. I suppose it was the finest of its genre but I believe my problem is with the genre itself- not its expertise. A funny paper cartoon pretty much says it all for me:
(Please turn off your brain cells ! ! )

Conversely, the grown-up Alice movie was a delight from beginning to end with some real thought provokers contained within the now somewhat fractured story through an adult onset viewpoint. In it the 19 year old Alice (played by Mia Wasikowska) goes through the same moves (and not without a comment made about her apparent inability to remember the mistakes she made the first time !) It was so darkly colorful ( with Depp as the Mad Hatter !) that it was absolutely charming and would be fun for children and adults to watch together. If you are a parent you may have to explain a few things to your child about what they are viewing but it's all good and in good taste with a little sexy playfulness that is absolutely innocent. If you don't believe me on that count please view it first (it's on DVD already !) before showing it to your child. The viewing should convince you.
That should get you up to date with my limited viewing. There are so many I miss anymore but after seeing Salt I'm convinced that in many cases I'm probably saving myself a lot of grief after all.

The Castle Lady with no grief

and lots of love !

Sunday, September 05, 2010

My Lucky Life ? ?

Ambition is a dream with a V-8 engine.

- Elvis Presley

All the faithful readers of my Castlelady blog are probably wondering about where I've been lately since my castle entries have decreased dramatically since March. I have a very good reason and no excuses. The main reason for the seeming abandonment has been a financial situation which has become intolerable and I've tried to turn the situation around since April with only a little success and a big waste of my precious time. It has been frustrating and there's no sense in trying to put up a positive front in this particular case because the financial need is so great. I can't honestly say I've ever made scads of money doing anything- manicuring and nails (for nearly thirty years !), bank teller jobs or my current self-employed salesperson status. However, I have always been able to pay my bills, live reasonably well and travel on what I made before I became a published author.(Don't let anyone think they can quit their day job just because they've had a book published by a major trade publisher, had articles published on the internet for pay or have self-published a book!) Self publishing is a great way to get in print but it won't make you rich unless you pitch your product towards other people wanting to get their books published. The subject of self-publishing is booming on Amazon dot com and Barnes and Nobel but guess who's making the money? I'm being gut-level honest with you when I say that the trade publishing game is absolute cut-throat. (Trade publishing is when someone else publishes your book- not a book you pay to have published !) During the current economic woes, which everyone is experiencing, this situation will probably get worse before it gets better.
Recently, the Live Space ™ team made changes again which didn't make anything particularly better and took out a valuable research tool I use frequently which gives statistics such as which pages have been viewed and the link from which it came, etc. In my case, often, it was a Google question for castles. When we had this feature, I checked them everyday no matter what else I did on the internet. It has been my first agenda for years! Now that this feature is gone I am completely cut-off from the public who haven't a Live Space™ or even people in my network, for that matter. It makes me too reliant on fielding questions in my comments. I feel that many people who don't subscribe to MSN™, Hotmail or their many services such as the Live Space blogs will also suffer since they may be in need of the information I impart on my castle entries.

To be be perfectly honest, though, I did not start a castle web site or my Castlelady ™ blog to please anyone but myself. My interest in castles began in my teen years and gained momentum with reading books on the subject and then, finally, - a short ten years ago- researching them on the internet. My fascination with castles and architectural history has kept me at it long after opposition and circumstances started to make it nearly impossible to continue. My livelihood always came from being a beauty professional- not as a writer. However, I have been a writer for a longer period of time. As you can see by my latest entry on my Castlelady blog

I have not given up nor will I be quitting for any reason. I have been asking God, for some time now, how to go about the business of writing and also go back to a livelihood that any able-bodied adult professional can expect to make. So far, I haven't seen any solutions materialize true success in this area, despite my greatest efforts. I haven't given up on God at all- I wish I could say the same for people. I'm just being honest. There are times I relate quite well to Socrates whose epitaph basically reads: He tried to make the people think so they killed him.
My request to all my Christian friends and contacts would be to pray in the area of my finances, stamina for all the work I will be doing and favor with publishers and the media, in general, for getting on with my vision for the books and the web site: Just lately I have been experiencing deception going on around and toward me which means that satanic forces are in force in almost every area of my life. I need clear direction from God in what to do next. Should I continue in my writing efforts ? Should I be seeking a grant and from whom ? These are just a few questions I need answers directly from God alone. I covet your prayers but not necessarily advice unless you're certain that God is saying something to you on my behalf. Your prayer efforts are priceless to me right now and I'm going to thank everybody ahead of time for doing so. God bless you and your household for taking the time to read this and pray on my behalf. If you leave a comment please also leave a prayer request and I will pray for your needs as well. That's how this whole thing really works.

Blessed kisses from The Castle Lady !