Femnista Sept / Oct 2015: Magical Realism


Inside This Issue: A Snicker of Magic, Teen Wolf, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, The Fisher King, Mithermage, Severus Snape (Harry Potter), Winter’s Tale, Dustfinger (Inkheart), and The Vampire Diaries.

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A FREE product of Charity’s Place. Please read and recommend to your friends. Our next issue features literary and film female villains and will be out on Halloween. Want to contribute? Click here for more info.

Hannibal : The Art of BECOMING


Obscure spoilers for the series finale. You were warned.

In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis approaches the idea of transformation through individuals given a chance to escape their dreary world for one day and dwell on the outskirts of a higher plain. Some of them retreat back to the bus, to return to the dismal world “below,” because they cannot endure the pain of walking on the grass. It is so much more “real” than they are, that though they are like ghosts in this place, it pains their feet. Only a few choose to walk toward the distant mountains and endure the pain, growing “more real” with each step. Lewis is illustrating the idea that our journey into eternity begins here and now. To borrow my favorite quote from Gladiator, “what we do in life echoes into eternity.” Once we make the decision to follow Christ, we begin our transformation into realness; for we are but ghosts, a pale imitation of our desired form, and it is through our steady walk toward the mountains and eternity, enduring each agonizing experience of becoming more “real” that we begin to BECOME.

All of us are in a state of “becoming” – either transforming into realness, or fading away. We are either walking toward our true purpose and form, or away from it into… well, to borrow another quote from Gladiator, “shadows and dust.” Meaningless specks cast into the wind. In the act of doing, we BECOME… more like our Lord or more like the forces of evil. Continue reading

Grace and Hellfire: Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame


I have an interesting relationship with many Disney animated films, and varying degrees of love for all the animated classics, but one absolute fascinates me each time I watch it, resonates on much deeper levels than I can explain, and is my favorite because its messages are so daring and powerful: The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

I have blogged about it twice before, and even done a video review highlighting some of the things I enjoy most about it, yet each time I see it, as I grow, mature, learn, and evolve in my spiritual walk, new things emerge to fascinate me, which serves as a tribute to the intelligence and depth that went into producing this film and its many layers of symbolism, artistry, and beauty. It is a far more realistic and compelling look at beauty than Beauty & the Beast, encompassed in a single line uttered by Chopin: “Who is the monster, and who is the man?” Gaston has nothing on Frollo, just as the Beast has nothing on Quasimodo. Continue reading

Liebster Award


I was nominated for this award by Musings of an Introvert. Usual policy is that I nominate someone else, but… I’d rather not, since it infers a sense of obligation. Answer and post them if you wish to.

Where do you go to decompress from the world?

Home. I curl up on the couch with my cat and watch something that I love, to de-stress.

If given $10,000, what would you do with it?

Since I’m not currently in any debt, give some of it to my favorite charitable organizations (Wild Animal Sanctuary, Dumb Friends League), and either save the rest or use it on the following projects.

What is one major renovation you would love to make on your house?

There are several massive projects I would like to do.

The primary one is the guest room. I want to either modify or rip out the giant old closet with the heavy doors so that it’s a more workable space, then finish redecorating and figure out how to make it feel warmer. It’s so cramped, and cold in there.

I’d like to either have a new front door or an enclosed porch on the front of the house, with room for coat and boot storage.

I’d like to remodel the closet and create more space in my bedroom, by removing a niche that no longer serves any purpose.

What is one movie that you love and didn’t expect to love?

Arsenic & Old Lace. It sounds stupid, and it looks stupid, and it is stupid, but it’s HILARIOUS.

What is the oldest knick-knack you own and what is its sentimental value?

… uh, nothing? Everything inherited from my grandparents was made in the last decade or so.

Do you own any books you keep out of obligation, but actually hate?

No. If I don’t like a book, I usually get rid of it. I try and sell it if possible, but if that fails, I MIGHT keep it if it’s decorative. I’ll usually keep it until I get sick of looking at it, then chuck it in the Goodwill box.

How many countries have you visited outside of the one you live in now?

None. Part of me wants to go to England someday, though, just to tour all the Tudor palaces and spit on Henry VIII’s grave.

Have you ever read only part of a book, but claimed you’ve read the whole thing?

No. Though sometimes I’ll allow people to ASSUME I have read the book, though I’ve only seen the movie, which is just as bad. ;)

Dry climate or humidity?

I HATE humidity. It’s gross. Give me a dry climate over your sweat not ever drying, any day of the week.

Sherlock Holmes or John Watson and why?

Sherlock Holmes, because he’s the brains of the operation. Don’t get me wrong, I like John in his many incarnations, but I love Holmes’ insightful deductions more. Plus, John is forever falling in love with beautiful women and Holmes is asexual, which means he’s immune to charm. I like that.

Why did you decide to start blogging?

I figured it was a good way to meet people with whom I have things in common, so that we can discuss things. Sadly, people don’t seem as interested in intense online discussion anymore in blog comments, so I don’t blog nearly as often.

My questions, should you take up the challenge:

What is one historical figure you would love to meet and why? What item within sight of where you are currently sitting do you value the most? What was the last book you read? Have you ever spent a lot of money on something? What was it? Do you have a bucket list? What is one item on it? If you could invent a real person, what would they be like? What is one thing you are excited about or looking forward to? If you could change your name, what would it be?

Through a Mirror Darkly


Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell was one of those books I started to read right after it came out, got distracted from, and then it went back to the library and I forgot about it. Once the miniseries started airing, I couldn’t stand not knowing how it would end, so I read it with great gusto in two afternoons and fell head over heels in love with it. One thing I really adored was near the end, when the prophet says something quite profound – the magicians Strange and Norrell think they are spinning spells around the Raven King, but in reality, they are his spell. They are doing his magic, for his purposes. Continue reading