Monday, October 23, 2017

It's My 15th Blogaversary! Ask Me Anything :-)

Well, how cool is this?  Today is my 15th anniversary as a blogger.  Fifteen years ago, waaaaay on back in 2002, I decided to try starting my own blog.  This very blog you're reading now, Hamlette's Soliloquy.  I've called it that since day one.

Back in 2002, blogs were kind of a new thing.  I read about them in a newspaper one day at work and decided it might be fun to have an online place where I could share my thoughts and random things I wrote.  I'd been out of college for five months and married for four, and at the ripe old age of twenty-two, I was convinced I had lots of stuff to say that people would want to read.

But truth be told, I had about ten readers and knew most of them personally.  In fact, for about ten years, I really didn't interact with a lot of other bloggers on any kind of a regular basis, DKoren excepted.  But in 2012, I started to read a lot more blogs, and in 2013, I joined two blogging events that really got me out into the blogging world.  The first was the Period Drama Challenge hosted by Old-Fashioned Charm. The second was the Literary Heroine Blog Party hosted by Accordion to Kellie.  Those two events introduced me to so many wonderful bloggers!  And from then on, I was a much more social blogger :-)

Now, the title of this post says "Ask Me Anything," so... ask me anything!  Within reason, of course ;-)  I mean, if you ask me for the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow, I probably won't have a great answer for you.  But you probably know how AMAs work, right?

And actually... depending on the questions I get and how much time I have (and if I can get it to work), I might try my hand at something new!  Like... a vlog post.  A very short one.  Maybe.  We'll see.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

New "Femnista" Article About Anne Morrow Lindbergh

This fall, Femnista is focusing on "powerful women."  I chose to write about a woman from the twentieth century whom I admire for her courage, determination, and creative talent.  You can read about her in my article "Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Aviatrix and Author."

Thursday, October 19, 2017

"If They Ain't Thrown it at Me, They Ain't Got It."

You may have known this, but then again, you might not, so just in case you didn't... Eva (of Coffee, Classics, and Craziness) is at my house right now!!!

And this is Eva, popping in to say that I'm at Hamlette's (of Hamlette's Soliliquy)  house right now for all those who are reading this post on my blog instead of hers.

And yes, we have been drinking coffee, watching classics, and being crazy.  By "crazy," I mean staying up far past my bedtime, of course.  Nothing truly crazy like, I don't know, spending all day walking about seven miles around Washington D.C.

Oh, wait, we did that too.

Maybe I should let Eva write this post -- I'm sleep-deprived and caffeinated, which is never the most coherent state of being for me.

That's very true. *winks*  Last night, we watched a Glenn Ford western and a Combat! episode and we were both pretty crazy, even though we only had hot chocolate then.  We're talking lots and lots of fangirling and general swooning.

Anyway, I feel like I should properly start with the beginning of our visit, instead of just last night.  I got to Hamlette's house on Monday evening - I thought it was later than it was, because for some reason my family and I assumed that Virginia was an hour ahead of Ontario, time zone-wise.  But it turns out I got there with plenty of time to spare.  We talked for over an hour that first evening, and also watched a few minutes of a Combat! Recon (AKA fan convention) so I could see what Conlan Carter and Jack Hogan look like now-ish. (It was taken a few years ago.)

Over an hour?  People, I think we might need to worry about Eva's concept of time.  We talked from 10pm to 12:45am.  "Over an hour" is an understatement :-)

Well, I don't own a watch, so there's that.

So yes, we talked a lot and completely disregarded our careful planning exactly what movies and TV show eps we planned to watch together.  Oops.  We meant to watch The Young Victoria the first night, but nope, just gabbed.

And then yesterday, I played tour guide and led Eva and her pack of siblings (and their mom!) and my 3 kids all over D.C.  Highlight of the entire day was when we got to the area around the Lincoln Memorial where Steve Rogers was jogging in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  One of her little brothers just took off and ran around the whole reflecting pool.  And we all cheered and clapped for him -- such a little hero!

He is!

Last night, we did finally settle down and watch a little of what we'd planned to watch together.  Sort of.  Since we're both big fans (understatement) of Glenn Ford and westerns, I'd been telling Eva she needed to see The Fastest Gun Alive because he's just awesome in it, and I love the townspeople, and yeah.  So we watched that.

And then we had planned to watch some Combat! together, since that show is what brought us together in the first place.  We were going to watch "The Hostages" and "The Walking Wounded," basically her favorite ep and then mine.  But we chucked all plans out the window and watched "A Gift of Hope" instead because it's wonderful.  We spent a lot of time talking about how lame I am for having had an idea for a fanfic story about the guest character in that one and never writing it.  Maybe I'll throw caution to the wind and try to write it for Nanowrimo this year or something.  If a plot presents itself!

Well, I will definitely think about plots you could use for your fanfic.  I'm not clever enough to write Avery, but I could probably (maybe) come up with a good story. was very difficult to figure out what to watch, even though we had a rough idea of what we wanted to do, because when I got to Hamlette's house, I was rather overwhelmed by the number of amazing movies and TV shows she has on her shelves.  I WANT TO WATCH THEM ALL.  In fact, I took five films to my room last night, but was too tired to even finish one. *sigh*

Which is why we're finishing it today.  I mean, you can't just watch half of a Glenn Ford western.  Would be so wrong.  So yup, we're finishing Cowboy while all the little kids are playing restaurant behind us.  And speaking of cowboys, my own Cowboy just flew back from his business trip, so I'm going to go pick him up, so I'm going to let Eva finish off this post :-)

Thank you. :)  So, yes, these past few days have been very full of Glenn Ford and westerns and general awesomeness.  Including our trip to Washington DC, which was AMAZING.  Throughout so much of our visit there, I felt like Po in Kung Fu Panda - "I've only seen paintings of that painting!"  Only in this case it was the Washington Memorial (!!!!!!!!!!) and the White House (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and the Lincoln Memorial (!!!-okay, you get the idea) and two Smithsonian Museums (American History and Air & Space) and, yes, I loved everything.  There were many Winter Soldier and Night at the Museum jokes made, let me tell you.  My top three favorite exhibits were the LEGIT Star Spangled Banner (I had no idea it was even still around), the whip and fedora that Harrison Ford used/wore in The Last Crusade, and the original model of the USS Enterprise. *all the heart eyes*

Oh!  And I forgot to mention that I read all of Hamlet on the way to Hamlette's house and I loved it and we talked about it more than a little.  Very cool.

Hopefully you got an idea of the fun we've been having together.  Just a little idea. ;) (Oh, and the title of this post comes from the aforementioned C! ep we watched together.  It's one of the coolest lines in the entire show.  For real.)

Well, I'm back from picking Cowboy up at the slug lot, and the movie's over, so I'm thinking some supper might be in order.  Adios!

Monday, October 16, 2017

For All Those Who Live In (or Near) Virginia

As you may know, I live in Virginia. Several of my blogging friends do too, and we're going to meet up at the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton this fall. If you'd be interested in joining us, please email me at rachelkovaciny at gmail dot com and I'll fill you in on details.

To avoid creepy stalker types of people, I'm not posting the names of other people who are meeting up with me, or which date and time we'll be there. Not that I know I have any creepy stalkers in my life or anything like that, but better safe than sorry, you know?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Announcing the Inspirational Heroes Blogathon

You know those movies that make you want to stand up and cheer?  Maybe even inspire you to actually do so, whether you're in the theater or the comfort of your own living room?  I love those movies.  If you do too, then you're in for a treat.

Quiggy at The Midnite Drive-In has invited me to co-host another cool blogathon!  We invite you to join us as we celebrate films about inspirational heroes, those men and women who inspire us with their beyond-ordinary achievements.  Maybe they're average, ordinary people standing up for what they believe in.  Maybe they're aliens or mutants or the product of science experiments that gave them superpowers.  Maybe they're champions of old, saving a damsel or righting a wrong. Whatever the case, we are here to celebrate those heroes and heroines with this event!

If you'd like to join us, but aren't sure what movie to blog about, a good place to find ideas would be the American Film Institute's list of the 100 most-inspiring movies of all time.

Since there are a massive number of movies with inspiring heroes in them, we are asking that there please be no duplicates.  Of course, if one person chooses to write about Rocky, but someone else wants to write about the character arcs presented in the whole series, that would be okay.  But no multiple reviews of the same movie, got it?  If you're not sure if your idea would qualify, just ask!

This blogathon will run from December 29 to January 1 -- let's ring in the new year with a round of cheers for heroes, both fictional ones and those drawn from history! Since the holidays are very busy, we will allow early entries, and we'll probably be fairly forgiving of late ones too.  But we'd appreciate it if you'd aim to post during the four days of the event.

If you're interested in joining us, you can sign up either on this post, or over on Quiggy's announcement post.  And share the news so others can join!  Feel free to use any of these banner/button/images on your own blog, invite friends, and so on.

The Roster:

The Midnite Drive-In -- Rocky (1976) and Hoosiers (1986)
Hamlette's Soliloquy -- Apollo 13 (1995)
Angelman's Place -- It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Caftan Woman -- Torchy Blane
Cinematic Scribblings -- The Ascent (1977)
The Story and You -- Good Will Hunting (1997)
Maddy Loves Her Classic Films -- To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Jessica Prescott guest post -- Stand By Me (1986)
Movies Meet Their Match -- Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Silver Screenings -- The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Meanwhile, in Rivendell... -- Secretariat (2010) and Megan Leavey (2017)
Love Letters to Old Hollywood -- His Girl Friday (1940)
The Wonderful World of Cinema -- Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
Coffee, Classics, and Craziness -- Mister Roberts (1955)
Realweegiemidget Reviews -- Blade Runner (1982)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Why am I a Lutheran?

I had these big plans to do a post every month for all of 2017 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing the 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenburg church.  And then I kept letting those plans slide, and now here we are in October, and the Big Day is just a few weeks away (it's October 31st, if you don't know), and I've done one post.

Time to change that.  Over on my book blog, I've started reviewing some Reformation-related books for different ages.  And I have some things I want to write about over here too, starting with... what are Lutherans, and why am I one?

I'll start with the second question.  When I was a kid, the answer would have been easy.  My dad is a Lutheran pastor, so of course, that's where I went to church.  Obvious.

As I grew up and learned more about the Bible, about various different Christian denominations and what they taught, and specifically what different Lutheran synods taught, that answer started to change.  When I was in my teens and knew that I wanted to be a wife and mom some day, I realized that I might possibly meet my future husband in college.  And if being a Lutheran, marrying a Lutheran, and raising my kids to be Lutherans was important to me, it might be a really good idea to go to a Lutheran college.  So I did.  I went to college hundreds and hundreds of miles away from home because I found a college that fit me personally but that I also was pretty sure would attract the sort of guy I might want to marry.

Which, as you probably know, it totally did.  Cowboy and I met in college, got married a month after I graduated with my BA, and so on.

But why was I so focused on finding a Lutheran husband?  And not just any brand of Lutheran (there are several), but what is called a "confessional" Lutheran husband?  What is a Lutheran, anyway?

Well, I'll tell you what a Lutheran isn't.  It's not somebody who worships Martin Luther.

Martin Luther was just a human being.  A sinner like you and me.  A brilliant, brave, flawed, stubborn, weird, angst-ridden, unhealthy, outspoken, generous, angry, loud German who loved beer and sausage and probably told fart jokes.

Martin Luther does not save sinners.  Only God does that.  Martin Luther did not die for my sins.  Only God did that.  Martin Luther did not create faith in my heart.  Only God did that.

In fact, Martin Luther did NOT want people to call themselves Lutherans.  He wanted them to call themselves Christians.  But a lot of their detractors would call them Lutherans, and eventually, those who followed his ideas adopted the name.

So anyway.  Lutherans are Protestant Christians who follow the ideas of Martin Luther and his cohorts.  Confessional Lutherans are a particular branch of conservative ones who are kind of... I don't want to say militant, so maybe I'll just say stubborn... they're stubborn about adhering to these things called the Lutheran Confessions that are basically statements of belief about various doctrines that were drawn up by Martin Luther and his fellow reformers -- they're collected in something called The Book of Concord, which is not about tasty grapes (Concord grapes are my fave, just so you know), but about agreement -- "concord" can mean "agreement," you see.  If you want to learn more about it, this website has lots of amazing information as well as the full text.

And basically, the Lutheran Confessions are just all about how the Bible is the basis of our faith, not people's ideas.  If someone has an idea about God and it doesn't agree with what the Bible says, then it's a wrong idea.  That's kind of a simplistic explanation, I know, but this is a blog post, not a thesis or something.

So, yeah.  I'm a Confessional Lutheran because I believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant word of God; that I (like all people) was born a sinner and cannot save myself from my sins; that the only thing that can save me from my sins is the loving grace of God; and that the Bible is the only place I can learn about God and his forgiveness.

Okay, that's enough for today.  More about the Reformation and Luther later.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Exchanging Mugs

Do you remember when I said I was going to take part in the 11th tea cup and mug exchange hosted by the Enchanted Rose?  Well, the exchange has taken place!  Here is what I received:

That's a floral scarf that kind of matches the travel mug, plus some hot cocoa mix, plus a portrait of Arwen from LOTR, plus a cute hair clip from Lilla Rose!  As you may know, I have LOTS of hair (about 4 feet right now), and it's hard to find clips and so on that are strong enough and big enough to hold it all up.  I tried this one out right away, and here's an awkward-cuz-I-took-it-myself picture of the hair clip in action:

It's really springy and strong, which it would have to be to hold up my heavy hair.  I'm not sure if it will work if my hair is loose and then coiled up, but when I have it braided and then coiled like I do right now, it does the trick!

Just for fun, here's a shot of what I sent off to the person whose name and address I received:

She said she likes to read and that she has country/western decor in her home, so I sent her an autographed copy of Cloaked and a mug from Tweetsie Railroad, one of my favorite places on earth.  It's a little Wild West theme park in the North Carolina mountains with a real steam engine to ride and so on.  The mug is actually enamel-covered metal, just so cute.  I also sent her a cowboy boot Christmas ornament and a pack of Tim Tams.  Tim Tams are Australian cookies that a Combat! friend of mine taught me to love years ago.  Once in a while I can find them in stores here in the US, which always makes me so excited.  So when I found them while getting coffee for this package, I was really happy because I could include them too.  (Caffe Verona is my fave blend from Starbucks, just in case you were wondering.)

So, that was my adventure participating in the exchange!  I will definitely be doing this again in the future -- maybe not every time, but once a year for sure.