Spider-Man: Homecoming–A [Spoiler-Free] Review

MV5BNTk4ODQ1MzgzNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTMyMzM4MTI@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,658,1000_AL_(Picture from IMDb)

I’ve finally been to see Spider-Man: Homecoming! I’ve been waiting for this movie for what seems like forever and I wasn’t disappointed. I enjoyed it so much. So, here’s my hopefully spoiler free review of the new Spider-Man movie!

***

Young Peter Parker (Tom Holland), thrilled by his brief stint with the Avengers, clumsily begins to navigate his way through his new powers with the help of his watchful mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). But Peter is desperate to prove him something more than a “friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man”.

But everything he holds dear is being threatened by a new, different sort of villain, the ambitious, bitter Vulture (Michael Keaton).

***

Continue reading

Winter TBR + Coldness + Writing = June’s Happenings

DSC_1203

All photos were taken by myself

Yes, that’s right, my Winter TBR. For all my lovely American friends (actually, all of you who reside in the Northern Hemisphere) Australia is currently in the grip of Winter, we have, in fact, just had the winter solstice.

So, for your enjoyment, here’s a snippet of things from my Winter TBR before we move on to other things:

DSC_1281

Some of my TBR. (I apologise for the funny background; however, I was quite pleased with how this photo turned out).

Scarlet and Heartless by Marrisa Meyer

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

The Women of Baker Street

Within these Walls by Robyn Bavati

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Valley of Fear Arthur Conan Doyle

The Mysterious Affair at Styles Agatha Christie

Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor Rick Riordan

Sherlock, Lupin and Me: The Soprano’s Last Song by Irene Adler

That’s just a snippet, ladies and gentlemen, I actually have a lot more on my TBR.

And I promised you a taste of coldness in my header, didn’t I? Well, this morning [author’s note: actually, the morning I wrote the post, not this morning] I woke up at seven to a chilly frost covering the paddocks. It was minus three degrees Celsius (literally below freezing). I had a wonderful time running around outside in my pyjamas snapping photos of the frost.

DSC_1193

DSC_1209

DSC_1206

DSC_1198

Writing

My writing has progressed slightly since I wrote my post on feeling overwhelmed. I cut out everything I told myself I would cut out and now my writing life seems so much more carefree and less daunting. I’ve made some progress on my rewrite of The Blade of the Dragon, which has been so good. I hadn’t realised how much I’d missed it until now. I’m also beginning the process of finding beta readers for Kameradschaft, so if you’re interested, let me know in the comments!

DSC_1308

Work begins on Draft 3 of Kameradschaft 

Reading

I also read a bunch of books. I was pleased with the amount I got read this month.

The Return of Sherlock Holmes, and His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle. Fantastic! This is Sherlock’s rise from the dead after apparently being thrown off Reichenbach Falls by Moriarty. Five stars. His Last Bow wasn’t nearly as good, so only three and a half stars.

The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff. This is honestly one of my favourite books ever and this was a reread. I love Sutcliff’s way of weaving words into a beautiful story about friendship and understanding. Its so worth the read. Five stars.

The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm. I listened to this as an audio book because I’ve never actually read any of the original Brothers Grimm fairy tales. It was…okay. I’m not really that keen on it though. Three stars.

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer and Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan. I feel the Riordan fangirls will clobber me with slippers if I say this, but here goes…I like Magnus Chase better than Percy Jackson. Why? I don’t really know why. At the beginning of Magnus, I felt like it was repeat of The Lightning Thief but it gained its originality about half way into the book, before reverting back to Percy at the end. It was good though, very good, and I love Hearthstone so much! Five stars. Sea of Monsters was not quite as enjoyable as the first, but still pretty good. Four stars.

Hercule Poirot: Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie. A radio drama which was, to put it mildly, awful. Two stars.

The Capricorn Bracelet and Black Ships before Troy also by Rosemary Sutcliff. The Capricorn isn’t quite as good as The Eagle of The Ninth, but it was enjoyable. Three and a half stars. Black Ships before Troy was my third Sutcliff book for June, this was a retelling of the Iliad and it left me kind of cold. There’s a lot of gruesome murder in the Iliad. Still, it was good retelling. Three stars.

The BFG by Roald Dahl. I’ve read this book so many times, but I recently just watched the new movie version, so I went back to reread the book. It’s so good. Four and a half stars.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. This has been on my TBR for ages and I finally read it this month. It was…thought provoking. It was a quick read, I read most of it in one morning, but the pacing was slow. It was good though, and an interesting look into the human nature and what makes us human. Four stars.

The Great Mouse Detective: Basil in Mexico by Eve Titus. Basil of Baker Street is the Sherlock Holmes of the mouse world, solving crimes that no one else can even fathom. I was hoping to enjoy this more than I did, but I found it too childish for me (maybe because it was a children’s book, I don’t know?).

Sherlock, Lupin and Me: The Dark Lady by Irene Adler. I wasn’t expecting much from this book, but I was presently surprised. It somehow recaptured the thrill of Sherlock Holmes, which Basil had been sadly lacking in. It was also an interesting portrayal of what Sherlock and Irene Adler might have been like as kids.

Kingdom’s Dawn by Chuck Black. This is my second Chuck Black book, but despite the way I hear other people rave about his works, I’ve never really enjoyed them. I felt like I was just listening to the Bible with the names changed. You’ll know what I mean if you read it. Three stars.

The Royal Ranger by John Flanagan. I finally got around to reading the final Ranger’s Apprentice book. I was thoroughly disappointed by the first four hundred pages or so, though I did like the idea of a girl becoming a ranger. The last fifty or so pages though, made the whole long, boring story worth it. The ending was by far the best part. Two stars for the whole book, three and a half for the last bit.

The Hermit of Eyton Forest and The Raven in the Foregate by Ellis Peters. These are both murder mysteries, set in a 12th century monastery. They center around Brother Cadfael and I was actually reading Cadfael long before I’d even thought of reading Sherlock Holmes. It bears similarity to Sherlock Holmes, but Cadfael is a much more human figure than Holmes is, and Hugh Beringar is a much better version of Watson, in my opinion. The mysteries here were good and I didn’t see the twist endings coming at all! Four and a half stars.

 

Doing

Currently, I’m allowing my fingers to go numb as I type this.

I’m getting ready for winter holidays and preparing for Camp NaNoWriMo. You can look me up there under the name SeekJustice, if you want.

Watching a fascinating TV series on the history of British castles which is giving me some marvellous story ideas (you know the saying: Truth is stranger than fiction? Well that perfectly describes Britain’s history).

Finishing up the school term of my Girls Brigade (basically a Christian girls group), St John Cadets (first aid cadets), and my Highland dancing.

I’ve been doing a leadership course with Girls Brigade, which I’ve found so much fun and so helpful. Leadership isn’t really something that comes naturally to me, so this has helped me improve my skills. Currently, my captain has put me as an assistant to another one of our leaders, working with the Cadets (girls from 4—8 years old). This has been testing my patience, but I’ve enjoyed it a lot.

I enjoyed a couple of eighteenth birthday parties and had a great time celebrating this milestone with two of my best friends. 😀

And I’ve finally planned a schedule for posting on this blog. It goes somewhat like this: 1st Thursday, a detailed review of a book I’ve read, 2nd and 3rd Thursday, either a piece to be critiqued or a writing tip, 4th Thursday, a monthly wrap up post. What do you think?

DSC_1271

Still studying Mark through my devotional. It’s a challenging book, but there are so many hidden gems to find if you read it hard enough.

dsc_1274.jpg

One of my favourite verses in Mark. So many times I’m liked the father of the demon-possessed boy.

And tonight I enjoyed a super nice night with a bunch of friends around a campfire, cooking dumplings (which were heavenly), potatoes and sausages and enjoying the fellowship of fellow Christians. Lovely.

So, how was your June? Is it just me or is the year going so fast? What’s on your Winter (or summer) TBR? 

God bless!

 

Praise: A Short Story

rain blog header

How are you all?

Well, today I decided to share a short story with you. But I couldn’t decide which one because I have written a lot of short stories in my life. So earlier today, I spent ages going through my old files and agonising over which one to choose and I happened to come across a very old story of mine, which I hadn’t so much as thought about in the last few years. I gave it a read through and found that I actually liked it quite a lot.

So, for your enjoyment, I present Praise: A Short Story.

(P.S. This short story came from a prompt I created for a friend of mine, the prompt being the first sentence, which is in Italics and it was inspired by the Casting Crowns song Praise you in This Storm.)

Praise

The wind blew right through the screen door and a phone flashed with new messages, and a hot cup steamed beside it, the storm clouds drew closer, threatening rain.

I sighed and stared at the phone with its new message icon flashing. You’d think it would have stopped. You’d think God would have reached down by now, you’d think he would have wiped my tears from my cheeks; you’d think the rain would have stopped pouring. But it hadn’t.

The drum of real raindrops woke me from my reflections, I dropped to my knees by the screen door, staring out at the sudden pounding downpour and I whispered a prayer. “Amen.”

I opened the door and stepped out into the rain, merely on a crazy impulse. I felt the cold sheets soak me instantly and a drop run down the bridge of my nose. I almost laughed.

I sat down, right there and listened to the thunder as it rolled over the hills in front of my house. Lord, where are you? I can’t carry on! I pleaded, whether or not aloud I’m not sure. I cupped my hands and watched as a small puddle of rainwater formed in them, before trickling away through the gaps in my fingers.

Another clap of thunder echoed in my valley as I stood there, blind and unsure of what to do, salt water melding with fresh on my cheeks. Then I heard it. Afterwards I was never sure whether it was real or whether I imagined it or both. But I heard it and it helped me, “I am with you.” Through the rain, through the thunder, through the storm. “I am with you.”

I lifted my face to the angry black storm clouds, rain pelting my face. A burst of laughter suddenly escaped from my throat. I raised my hands and found myself laughing in the middle of a storm. I did a little dance around my backyard and then stared at the hills that blossomed  just over from my place. It reminded me of a Bible verse I’d learnt as a child in Sunday school. I lift my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help? My help comes from the Lord.

I will praise the Lord who gives and takes away.

I threw my head back again, “I will praise you in this Storm!” I shouted.

There we go, what did you think? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments, :D. I hope my writing has improved since this piece years ago, however it will always hold a special place in my heart.