30 September 2014

Writing Class!

Among the several thousand things I've been doing, I started writing class! This year I'm taking Advanced Fiction Writing: The Hero's Journey and Mythic Structure from Homeschool Connections. My writing teacher is the same, and it's great to have a longer class with her. I have five classmates, so it's a nice small class size. (More teacher time!) So far we've learned about archetypes and the Hero's Journey, and then started looking at each archetype individually. We're doing the Hero first, naturally. We are using the book The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler. It's basically our "textbook," though it doesn't have textbook qualities (i.e. dry, boring, long...). It's a fun and fascinating book, and very informative.
So. Pretty much I get the best of the best. What could be more fun than a small class in which we study in-depth the nuances of fiction writing? Okay, it may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I definitely enjoy it. 

26 September 2014

Patrick's Visit

Biggest brother Patrick stayed over for a week before heading back to Amsterdam! While it may not have been a very academic week, it was tons of fun.

We went to Oakwood Lakes State Park for the last day of summer:

We also went out for sushi, ice cream, and other such fun things while he was here!
At the SDSU Dairy Bar

They went to the art museum while I was at piano.

Patrick, Dad and Thomas came here to watch football. Notice I have a book. 
Miss you already, Pap!

17 September 2014

Jane Austen

Have I ever mentioned Jane Austen before? I certainly hope so. Mom and I love to listen to the books and watch the different movie versions of her novels. We've listened to all seven of her novels. My favorite is Emma, because it's lighthearted and hilarious, but I think Mom prefers Pride and Prejudice, which is my second favorite. There's something so universal about Jane Austen's books. Even though they're very culturally specific, the themes and issues are close to home for everyone. That must be one of the reasons they're still read today. 

I watch Pride and Prejudice every once in a while as a matter of course. We own both the newer version and the BBC miniseries. While the BBC version is far truer to the book and therefore somewhat more enjoyable for someone who has read the book...

...the newer one is still delightful. I actually watched it last night. :-)

Two days ago Mom and I watched the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility, which we hadn't seen for quite a while. It's not one of my favorite Austen books, but still a great story.

BBC did a wonderful miniseries of Emma which I love. It's much better than the movie. 

Mom and I have also watched versions of Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Northanger Abbey. The latter is a bit silly but an entertaining read. You can tell Jane Austen was young when she wrote it. 

Lovely, all this Austen stuff. I'm so glad there are good movie versions of the books. They're some of the best movies I've watched.

(PS is there some copyright thing I'm supposed to say when I use a photo from a movie?)

15 September 2014


I have not, in my experience of piano and voice, done much by Debussy. The only song I played by him was Clair de Lune:

But now--behold! I have three new pieces by Debussy at once. The first is one I'm doing in voice: Beau Soir.

The other two are piano preludes. La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin...

...And Minstrels.

Maybe after all this I'll take a break from Debussy for a while...

14 September 2014

French class

In French III we are reading novels in French this semester. At the end of the semester we will write a book report in French. My classmates and I discussed what book to read for a long time, because we wanted to read the same one to make for better discussions. We threw around many ideas, including La Tulipe Noire, Les Trois Mousquetaires, or Le Comte de Monte-Cristo by Dumas, different works by Jules Verne, etc.
We finally decided on Friday to read Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. In French that is Le Tour du Monde en Quatre-Vingt Jours. 

I'm excited for this year's French class! I think it will give us good practice reading French and translating in our heads. So far I'm only on chapter one. It's a bit challenging, but that's what classes are for, right?

08 September 2014

Family Camp

I said I would post about our Labor Day weekend, so here it is.
I already explained how Family Camp works, so no need to cover that again.
As always, it was WAY too fun! My friends and I once joked that when we grew up we would all pool our money and buy Broomtree, then live in the cabins.
There was lots of singing, swimming, laughing, talking, lying around, walking, and other fun stuff. It's rather tiring but really amazing to see your friends 18 hours a day for three days.
Here are some pictures! Courtesy of Mrs. Scott.
He jumped over us several times. It was terrifying.

We do an annual picture on the web thing at the playground on the last day.

The little ones! Aren't they cute?

Speaking of cute...

There is a huge hill up to the lodge and we usually lie down on it and talk.

The last night the moms summoned us for silhouette pictures.

All the highschoolers--there are a lot of us!
I'm counting the days until next year's Family Camp...

05 September 2014

Now to tell you...

...why I haven't been blogging lately!
The reason is that
(a) I was preparing for the school year
(b) I was helping Isabel get packed for college
(c) I was camping for Labor Day weekend
(d) then I started school

So ha! I have excuses!

For Labor Day every year a bunch of families get together and rent cabins at the diocesan retreat center. Then we all have "Family Camp," in which we stay there from Friday to Monday! There is a pool, volleyball courts, a lake to canoe, fish, or paddleboat, there's always a campfire, a little hiking trail with the Stations of the Cross, a cute village church, and gorgeous views. We all wish we could live there. Anyway, more on that plus pictures in my next post.

I started school on Monday. I am doing:
Geometry (my teacher is really funny)
AP Latin (I was doing that all summer!)
French (we are reading novels this year)
Understanding the Scripture for religion
Conceptual Physics (which I haven't started yet because the book just arrived today)
British Literature (currently reading Beowulf)
Fiction Writing (doesn't start until the 18th)
The Rending of Christendom (history of the Protestant Reformation; doesn't start until the 24th)
Poetry (starts on Tuesday)
and, of course, Piano and Voice!

Among other things, I read a lot of Agatha Christie over the summer. My two favorites so far are Murder on the Links and Murder at the Vicarage. Next on the list is Sad Cypress. 

Oh, and church choir started up again as well. We had our first practice of the year on Wednesday.
As you can see, I'm a busy girl this year! But I still have time for the things that really count, namely, going to Adoration on Thursdays, reading, and writing. (What more could you want??)
I'm planning my next novel, and just added two new characters, plus I just added a plot twist to my current novel!
So yeah, that's Maria B-H: 2014-2015 edition.
Hope to expand on some things soon, we'll see how the week plays out.