April in a Nutshell





















And I missed my blog!  *pats blog tenderly*  It’s good to be back, gang!  April nearly did me in at a couple of points, but HERE I AM, IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING.



And now to summarize my April.  Onto the nutshell!






Inside Out


I rather regret now that I never saw this in theaters.  After watching large chunks of it on Youtube (out of order) I finally rented the movie to watch it properly.  I was enchanted.  The touching themes, heartfelt characters and the imaginative world building (Pixar made the human mind one of the most unique pieces of world building you’re likely to see) and colorful animation was woven together into a sweet film that I will definitely be watching again.

My twin also informed me that Joy reminds her a lot of me and I can’t deny it.  ?



As a side note, I will say that this movie is really more a movie about adults trying to understand their changing children (or reflecting over their growing up years) than a movie for children.  In either event, I found it delightful. A poignant, heartwarming story about growing up.




For sheer unabashed adventure, this movie has it all.  It’s hard to find a lighthearted action adventure movie that is comparatively clean – but Sahara fits the bill.  Full of rip-snorting escapades, beautiful and immersive locales, quirky characters, hilarious dialogue and a relentless plot that keeps dumping our scruffy heroes into deeper and deeper holes, this is the quintessential adventure.

can I also mention the editing?  Oh my goodness, actual film-making was involved in the making of this movie, as opposed to the butchered, soulless choppiness of most modern films.  It isn’t just the people who are bursting with personality, the film itself has a personality, a distinct fingerprint of skilled editing, gritty cinematography and fine scripting that blends intrigue with a rollicking cheekiness that never takes itself too seriously.


The Fellowship of The Ring


Since I don’t like being mildly disturbed, depressed, or watching endless hours of miserable characters who get emotional over everything (i.e. crying a lot) and live in constant dread and defeat because of a itsby bitsy ring and a Giant Eyeball . . . I didn’t enjoy this movie.

There was also a campy, stilted, would-be Shakespearean quality to it that was alternately laughable or painful.

Plus, it was also kind of dull.


As a side note, I’m not sure why there’s so much angst about how the Hobbit trilogy was so different from the books and yet they don’t mind this remake.  I just read The Fellowship of the Rings and they changed a LOT in the movie version.  *scratches head*

There were some good actors and few moments / scenes that weren’t bad.  I did adore Gandalf, so I hope that makes my LOTR fans feel a bit better. :/

Most of the characters were disappointing to me, though.  Aragorn’s role as the navel-gazing, would-be-heir was especially disappointing.  And his voice.  *winces*  WHY was his voice so high and silly sounding?  Somebody should have told Mortensen not to attempt an English (?) accent.


The kicker for me was when he roughed up Frodo.  He literally grabs Frodo by the scruff and throws him!  #Disrespectful



It was a mystery to me why someone as beautiful, strong, and fearless as Arwen was even interested in the guy.



YET ANOTHER UNPOPULAR OPINION TO INCREASE THE MISERY OF ALL YE TOLKIENITES.  I didn’t think Elijah Wood was bad as Frodo and that his youth actually added something to the bland role of book Frodo.  *shrugs*

Welp, I could go on and on ruining your day, but I shan’t.  #TooBusy


But mostly #SelfPreservation  #TolkienitesAreGonnaKillMe



Let us summarize:  I wasn’t impressed, but I know a lot of my friends adore it, so . . . I’m glad you did!  You know I love you, even if I don’t love LOTR. 🙂



Ben Hur (1959)

Words fail me for this movie.

One of my favorite movies of all time and one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. This is what art looks like. Long before CGI, true artisans used talented matte artists and brilliantly constructed models to fulfill anything that couldn’t actually be built.

This epic film contained such things as 1 million props, 100,000 costumes, and 300 sets, 10,000 extras, 365 “speaking roles”, and 110 minutes of music, making it he longest movie score ever composed.  It won 11 Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Original Music Score, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Best costume Design, Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing) the only two other movies in history to have ever won this many are The Titanic and The Return of the King.  This is a movie so beautifully constructed, that the famous Chariot Race scene was used in film schools to teach editing and inspired future film makers such as George Lucas.

The script was brushed up by a poet / playwright creating a cinematic masterpiece where, out of reverence, Christ’s face is never shown in this movie and we never see His face – to great effect.  His presence is greatly felt in this movie, and every time I watch it, my heart swells.

Don’t take my word for it – watch it.  There’s a reason the American Film Institute named it one # 2 in the history’s most epic films of all time.

Here’s one of my favorite scenes – one that never fails to bring tears to my eyes.




Sorry, I get a little passionate about this movie.  CAN’T YOU TELL??

– READ –


I read 20 books in the month of April!




No five star ratings from me this month – but there were a couple of four star ratings!





Really, don’t be too impressed.  I had to do a lot of resting in April, so I listened to a powerful lot of audio books.

I also count DNF’s, skim reads, and books that I started in March but finished in April – but let’s not split hairs.





Do you remember that little non-fiction article I mentioned to you in March Nutshell?  The one I was submitting to be included in an author’s nonfiction book?




You can add Not Write Now to your Goodreads shelf RIGHT HERE to read my snippet of success!



There wasn’t any money involved in this transaction (#pity) but it’s good publicity and I’m very excited to be included in Mr. Shultz’s latest release!

You’ll find my article “The Danger of Showers” amidst the Cautionary Tales section near the back of the book.

Camp Nano


Basically, all of Camp Nano looked like this.



My goal for the month was 10,000 words and I managed to churn out a little over 12,000!


Again, as I mentioned in my March nutshell, I picked The Frog Prince as my April project and entertained the vague idea that I might possibly be able to finish the first draft this April.




Unnnfortunately, I am really struggling with The Frog Prince, in spite of brainstorming sessions, Pinterest mood boards, playlists, and everything else a person can do to heave themselves through a first draft.  If you guys want to read this story someday, I’d really appreciate your prayers.  <3




Watching the Beresheet spacecraft attempt a moon landing!  My family and I watched the live stream via SpaceIL (even though the bulk of it was in Hebrew and not translated) and while it’s unfortunate that Beresheet crashed landed, I was still excited for Israel and what they have accomplished.  They are the seventh country to orbit the Moon, and the fourth to reach the Moon’s surface.  I eagerly await their next attempt and may it be successful!  הַשֵּׁםבְּעֶזְרָת (B’ezrat HaShem), Israel!  With God’s Help.

Eating strawberry glazed donuts.



Swinging at the park while my brother and I brainstormed.  We were at opposite ends of four sets of double swing-sets so we probably freaked out everyone at the park by bellowing back and forth about the world building, Communism (why it’s straight out of hell), and man-eating monsters.


Received a letter and an email that were a combination of a thank you note / fan mail.  FAN MAIL!?


Reading beautiful leather bound editions of books.




Spontaneously buying Josh Groban vinyls at Barnes and Noble.



Listening to audio books.


Beautiful spring weather!  Unfortunately, I have to hide from it 95 percent of the time because of pollen and allergies but whatever.


Stopping in the middle of a writing session to turn on my record player and my amazing twin starts a dance party.  We danced and brainstormed at the same time – talk about making a chore fun.  You’re awesome, Surely.   ❤


Having a breakfast date with my twin at Panera Bread.


Playing Star Trek board games with my siblings.


Courtesy of Google Images


Mom and Dad talks.  ?


Making (and eating) a fudge chocolate cake with Irish cream filling and espresso frosting.



We have now officially reached the end of April and its recap.


So what about you, my friends?  Did you have a good April?  How did Camp Nano go for you (if you participated?).  Did you do anything special for Easter?  Tell me everything, because I missed you!!!  *HUGE GROUP HUG*  *OFFERS CUPCAKES TO TOLKIEN FANS, CAUSE THEY IS COOL*




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13 thoughts on “April in a Nutshell

  1. Yay!!! You’re back with a slamtastic post!!!

    Glad you survived April and I’ll definitely be praying for your bookish endeavors!! ^^

    Truth be told…I get a little bored with LOTR, too. I like the movies, but they’re so slow moving!!! Yeesh.

    Sounds like you’ve had a crazy time of it!! xD

    May I ask if the Louis L’Amour book was in the 4 star rating?? I really enjoy Louis L’Amour books. My mom and brothers do too, but I feel like we’re the only fans. LOL

    And so I exit with a dramatic flourish of my…shirt? I don’t wear skirts…so maybe that won’t work. Whatever. *Throws cookies*

    ~ Lily Cat (Boots) |

    1. BOOTS, HI!!! *beams* I’m so glad to see you!

      Aww, thank you so much! *hugs* I truly appreicate it.

      Oh goody, I’m not entirely alone in thinking LOTR was a bit boring! *fist bumps* So much walking . . . and talking . . . and more walking. 😛

      YAY – a Louis L’Amour fan! To Tame a Land was three stars from me – but I’ve LOVED some of L’amour’s other books! I only just recently got into them and have a goodly pile on my TBR stack. Which are your favorites?

      If one can spin, one can manage a dramatic exit – no matter what one wears! Leaving cookies in your wake is especially impressive. *high fives*

      Thank you sooo much for commenting! <3

      1. Hi!! I’m glad to have you back!! ^^

        *Fist bump* Yessss!! So much sedentary action (don’t know if that’s possible, but oh well!)

        Ohhh, sweet!!!! I probably like Cherokee Trail, Ride the River, and Passin’ Through the most, though all of them are good!!

        Ahhh, well thanks!!!

        You’re welcome!! <333

        ~ Lily Cat (Boots) |

        1. Forgot to mention…I’ve seen one version of the Ben Hur movie (can’t remember which), and I LOVED IT TO PIECESSSS!!! Definitely another fan right here!!

          ~ Lily Cat (Boots) |

        2. AW, THANK YOU, BOOTS! *waves*

          “Sedentary action” – that is such a unique way of putting it but very apropos! *impressed nod* – AHH, I’ve read Ride the River! I thought he did a really realistic representation of a female character getting in on the action. 🙂 I think Cherokee Trail is on my to-read list but I shall double check!

          OO – another Ben Hur fan, AWESOME! *high fives*

  2. (I’ve got to learn to keep my comments more concise but…)

    Pt. 1

    ALLISON IS HEEERE!!! *TACKLES* So very happy to have you back, m’dear! I absolutely loved reading about all the things that’s been going on with you.

    Wasn’t Inside Out so, so good?? I didn’t see it in theaters either, which was sad. Because wow, what a heartfelt, beautiful movie. And oh my goodness, you ARE like Joy! It’s true! That’s great! XD

    Sahara! I forgot about that movie! I saw it once yeeears ago, and was expecting a dumb guy action film, and ended up getting a very enjoyable (and shockingly mostly clean) movie. I need to go watch it again, because I barely remember anything that happens. I just remember being pleasantly surprised.

    1. Pt. 2

      Excuse me while I just skip over saying anything about your LotR thoughts so we can still be friends… (JK! We’re all different people! There’s NO shame in not liking something a lot of other people do. I’m proud of you for being honest and admitting it’s just not your thing.)

      Annnd you’ll probably unfriend ME for this but… I’ve never seen that Ben Hur movie. o.o Yeah. I apparently need to!

      Congrats on getting your piece published in Kyle’s book! THAT IS SO EXCITING!!! And another congrats on churning out 12k words for April and conquering Camp NaNo! 😀 YAY, ALLISON! I am sooo sorry you’re struggling with this story though. OF COURSE I will be praying! *hugs*

      Sounds like you had a lot of lovely moments throughout the month (I laughed so hard about you and your brother’s conversation while swinging. That is SO what happens when my sister and I get out into public. We probably scare everyone. XD). I do hope your May will be a spectacular one! <3

      1. But I LOVE your long comments!!

        CHRISTINEEEEEEEE!! *tackle hugs back* AHHH, I’ve missed your comments so much!! <3

        IT WAS SO GOOD. When I first heard of it, I thought it sounded a bit weird, but it was delightful!!
        Haha! “Why, thank you so much – I love the way it twirls!” ?

        Ahh, you’ve seen it!! It’s so much fun and, as you said, shockingly clean, all things considered!
        HAHAHA – you are FREE TO SKIP and I don’t blame you! I know I've skipped things in the past that criticized, say . . . ewoks!

        *hides* Sowwwy. I did love Gandalf and Arwen – if that helps! *hugs* You’re awesome, Christine. Thanks. <3

        LOL – OF COURSE NOT. That would be silly. ? No movie could possibly replace the one, the only, Christine Smith. ? I do recommend it, if you ever feel the inclination to try it though!

        Thank you!!! *beams* You’re the best! And thank you so much for your prayers. *hugs*

        Haha – that’s so cute! Creative siblings will terrorize the world! ?


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