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Briony Tallis,13-year-old girl from a wealthy English family has a childish infatuation with Robbie Turner, played by James McAvoy, a servant’s son. When she finds out he’s attracted to her older sister, Cecilia, played by Kiera Knightly, she’s so jealous she tells a lie that changes their lives forever. She tells everyone (including the police) that she saw Robbie rape her cousin, Lola. She shows them a shocking love letter that Robbie meant for Cecilia. Everyone believes her story except for Cecilia and Robbie’s mother; Robbie is arrested and sent to prison.
Four years later, Robbie is released from prison on condition that he join the army. After reuniting in London with Cecilia who is estranged from her family, they renew their love before he is shipped off to the French front. Briony, now 18, attempts to make things right with her sister, but fails. Robbie dies at Dunkirk of while awaiting evacuation and Cecilia dies a few months later in a bombing during the blitz.
Briony must live with her lie. She becomes a published author and writes a story about Cecilia and Robbie in the hopes that by reuniting them in fiction she can give them the happy ending they always deserved. The last scene of the movie shows a happy Cecilia and Robbie together once again as imagined by Briony.
Tea Time (something Briony’s family would observe)
Afternoon tea consisted of things like freshly baked scones, served with cream and jam and known as cream tea, thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and assorted pastries. Even though it’s available at many the many tea rooms in England, it’s no longer a common thing, because it interfered with the schedules of working class people.
It became popular during the 1800s when the wealthy began to invite friends for an afternoon cup of tea and began to offer guests sandwiches and cakes. Before long it became something expected. Traditional high tea was served between five and seven o’clock at a time when most people these days eat their dinner or supper. The meal combined sweets such as scones, cakes, buns or tea breads with things like cheese on toast, toasted crumpets, cold meats and pickles or poached eggs on toast.
Multi-talented fellow Muse author, Stan Hampton, has agreed to share some of his stunning photography with us today. Thanks for coming, Stan.
When was the last time that you watched the clouds?
Not looked, in between tweets, text messages, and other social media, let alone computer games, but actually took the time to watch the clouds?
I am fascinated by the slow movement of the clouds and how their shape changes while you are watching. Add the play of sunlight across them—even the time of day—and the play of light and clouds take on a whole new sense of being. The clouds can look fluffy white, or thin grey, and during storms, a mixed hue of dirty white, greys, and blacks. Sometimes the clouds move lazily across the sky as if in no particular hurry, while other times they are racing as if bound for a distant destination.
And at night, particularly during the full moon, clouds take on an entirely different aura. Some might say the moonlight adds a mysterious, perhaps haunted ambience to clouds that become dirty white, light grey, or dark grey, particularly when drifting across the face of the moon. Especially in moonlight, when the clouds change, alter their shape, it seems as if in response to invisible, ghostly hands.
Particularly impressive, out on the Kansas plains, are the late afternoon thunderstorms. Huge thunderheads with anvil shaped tops peek over the western horizon; as the hours pass they grow larger until you have to crane your head back to see the face of the thunderstorm towering over you. By then the clouds are bathed in angry and strangely hypnotic pastels of red, yellow, white, grey, and almost black. When such thunderheads are lit by flashes of lighting within, or lightning arcs across the outside face of the storm, they are particularly awe inspiring. And maybe a little frightening.
Ultimately—at least to my way of thinking—clouds, and the way the wind sculpts them minute-by-minute, is something primal and eternal. The sculpting has been a part of life since the wind and clouds first appeared in the world. Invisible fingers mold the clouds into pleasing or puzzling patterns, take away from the shapes, or add to them.
Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two clouds are alike. Each is unique and ever changing; they always have been, and always will be.
And then, I wonder. In a world, in a time when there was no speech other than an early proto-language, how and what did our distant ancestors think of the changing shapes of the clouds overhead? How did they try to explain the clouds, or what first stories were created from watching the clouds?
How would you explain the clouds to a child, or what story would you come up with, from watching the wind-sculpted clouds?
Stan Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007) with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.
He has had two solo photographic exhibitions and curated a third. His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.
As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran.
In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. A future goal is to study for a degree in archaeology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology (and also learning to paint). He is currently studying in a double major in Art and Creative Writing at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
After over 14 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters.
Hampton can be found at:
Dark Opus Press https://www.createspace.com/3685965
Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing http://www.edgewebsite.com/books/dansemacabre/dansemacabre.html
Amazon.com Author Page http://www.amazon.com/SS-Hampton-Sr/e/B00BJ9EVKQ
Amazon.com. UK Author Page http://www.amazon.co.uk/SS-Hampton-Sr/e/B00BJ9EVKQ
Goodreads Author Page http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6888342.S_S_Hampton_Sr_
“Better Than a Rabbit’s Foot.” Ed. Joelle Walker. MuseItUp Publishing.
BLURB: Sergeant Jerry Stanton is a young soldier serving in the War in Iraq. He is a gunner on a gun truck nicknamed “Lucky Bear,” one of those tireless workhorses that escort supply convoys from camps in Kuwait to destinations scattered throughout the war-torn country. In the early morning hours before a scheduled mission, a dust storm howls across his camp and threatens to bring convoy operations to a halt. Worse, the camp receives word that a gunner from his company was killed by an IED while on a convoy mission. Unlike most soldiers, Jerry doesn’t carry a lucky charm, but upon receiving news of the death of the gunner, he begins to mull over/ponder the merit/virtue of a good luck charm—for him? Perhaps mail call will provide the answer.
We’re all stumbling down the road called Experience, but it’s nice to know I’m in good company.
When I sat down to write my first story, I thought I was ready. I had created an interesting world, complex characters, and had a plot. What more could a writer ask for?
Answer: A crap ton more prep work and advice.
Here’s what I’ve learned through the creation process of two series:
- World building is more than location
- Complex characters have more sides than a D&D die
- Plots are not simple lines
- Learning from the advice of other writers is invaluable
- I feel damn lucky I got published in the first place
Yep, you read that right, I count myself extremely lucky to have my writing published, because from where I started to now, is worlds apart. As I work on my new project, I give much thanks and offer many sacrifices of chocolate, coffee, and alcohol on my Alters to Editors and other Writers, for they have ensured…
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What a wonderful experience. The author made me feel like I was there with her.
The sun gently creeps over the recently harvested cotton fields of the North Alabama landscape. We pull onto a muddy road and make our way to a remote nook where fellow farmers and landowners are anxiously congregating. Polite conversations suddenly halt as the sound of horse hooves hitting the ground and dogs howling steal our attention. We race to the cleared field to observe this historic Southern ritual of the blessing of the hounds. Spirited speckled hounds with their ivory and chocolate colored coats happily lead the way to the alcove while still residing close to poised riders with crimson coats and deeply black helmets.
It is as if I stepped back in time. A time when tradition was not only revered but cherished, when etiquette reigned above victory, and a decoration on an outfit spoke volumes about a person. A last name could be traced back generations in the mind…
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My sister had taped this movie from TMC and we watched it during our New Year’s Even marathon of movies. It’s not a new one, but it was fun.
Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov star in this 1955 comedy as three convicts who escape from prison on Devil’s Island just before Christmas. They happen upon a store in a nearby French colonial town, managed by the Ducotel family. While there, they notice its roof is leaking, and offer to fix it, intending to remain until nightfall, steal clothes and supplies and escape on a ship waiting in the harbor.
When they realize how kind the family really is, they have a change of heart and that’s where the fun begins. They discover Felix, Amelie, and daughter Isabelle, are in financial distress and offer their services. Joseph cons customers and falsifies records to make the store appear to be prosperous. They prepare them a delicious Christmas dinner for the family using stolen goods.
In the middle of things, store owner Andre Trochard arrives from Paris with his nephew Paul and plans to take over the store. I have seen the movie many times, and I especially enjoy seeing these actors play the part of the less than honest convicts with a soft spot in their hearts. Humphrey Bogart’s sarcasm is delightful. If you have an hour and a half and you’re in the mood for a good chuckle, this is the movie for you.
I used to think roasting a turkey was difficult. Until I was grown and actually cooked one. All I do is spray mine with olive oil so it turns a nice golden brown, put it on foil in a turkey roaster with the lid off and cook using the directions on the package…easy peasy.
The fixin’s are far more complicated. And it depends on where you live. In the south, we do cornbread stuff, cranberries, candied yams, green bean casserole, fruit salad and brown and serve rolls. For dessert, there are lots of pies to pick from.
A turkey dinner is good eating, no matter where you come from or what kind of dressing you prefer. Don’t you agree?