bargains into wares

There’s something I should confess: I am a buyer of books. I glean thrift stores of rare, old, dusty books. You see shelves, I see a deserted island with certain hidden treasure under some lot of ground.

This hobby began a few years ago. I started buying books at thrift stores and reselling them online, namely, on eBay. They may be books on subjects from Indian basket weaving to pipe organ stops – subjects I know little to nothing about. But they are rare finds, small treasures to the discerning eye. I’ve enjoyed finding them, buying them, and turning my bargains into wares.

See some of my recent discoveries:

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the challenge

Start a blog about your bargains into wares. Maybe you buy and sell old cars, books, music, garage sale finds, kitchen appliances, furniture. Whatever your specialty, share your adventures. Maybe this could be a blog that accompanies your eBay or other account and helps potential buyers learn more about your products.

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inspiration here and there

Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but I find inspiration everywhere.

In listening to Coldplay CDs. In watching interviews of unknown to famous people. In hearing memorable quotes from the average people I know. In reading. In learning to cook. In driving down the interstate. In walking up and down stairs. In browsing through professional photographers’ websites. In cleaning out the junky drawers in my bedroom. In writing itself.

*Recent inspirations*

Quote // “The life in a graveyard is so beautiful.” – a friend of a friend

Slam poetry // Listener’s “Wooden Heart”

 

Phrase // “and so forth and so on”

Cause // Timestwo

Movie // The Book of Eli

challenge

Start a blog showcasing the small to big things that inspire you every day. It may be a list of words, your description of experiences, photographs, websites, movie clips, graphic images – anything, really.

possible blog names

InspirationStation

AspireInspired

TheOnePercent

InspiringThing

chapter titles for all your days

for the love of chapters

When I was in eighth grade, I chose all the titles for the chapters in the novel Johnny Tremain. Granted, Esther Forbes wrote the book in the 40s (I wasn’t born yet. My parents weren’t even born yet.), and she was never informed of these chapter titles. Nevertheless, they were inscribed in my paperback copy beneath each of the large, centered chapter numbers.

It was because of Mr. Perry, our small-Christian-school’s middle school literature/P.E. teacher. Consequently, he wore wind pants most days and the corded whistle around his neck. We didn’t hold it against him. We liked his unconventionalities. He was the easiest to convince to take us out and sit on the grass when it was warm.

After reading a chapter, he would let us name it what we thought it should be named based on the chapter’s content. And we loved it. I still have that copy, and I still remember to this day that I named one of the chapters “Burnt Flesh” (It must have been the chapter where Johnny burns his hand in the silversmith’s shop, which alters his entire destiny.).

Shop in Old Salem

We love chapter titles, if we’re completely honest with ourselves. The titles often foreshadow what is going to happen. They’re sorta like clues dispersed throughout the story, and each clue leads to the next.

challenge

Start a blog that is journalistic in nature. For each entry, describe what you would name your day if it were a chapter, and explain why. Include events and memorable details of the day.

possible blog names

  • FortheLoveofChapters
  • BytheChapter
  • DaysTitled
  • ChapterandVerse

movies to watch for (and my predictions for best movies of 2012)

Someone should start a blog about movies to watch for . . .

Every time I’m ready to head to the movies, I have not the slightest clue about which ones are out, much less which ones are worth seeing. I probably can’t name a single movie out in theaters right now.

Someone should start a blog that keeps updated posts on movies to look out for in the near future. The blog could also include some movie reviews (after the fact), but it would focus mostly on upcoming movies.

Hm. So what kind of factors would the blogger have to consider in calling these movies worthy of “look out for this one” status? Probably, at minimum, these things:

  • Actors/actresses in the movie and their roles – Is this Harrison Ford in another Indiana Jones type film, or is he branching out and playing a softie minivan-driving dad?
  • Director, screenwriter, and the other big shots – If James Cameron is directing, it’s probably a winner.
  • Plot originality – No offense to the genre of romantic comedies, but if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.

Anyways, in celebration of the almost new year, I’d like to give my predictions for movies to watch for based on these factors.

Predictions for Best Movies of 2012

1. The Hobbit

Peter Jackson directing. Most of the original cast returning. Based on the novel by Tolkien. Follows in the footsteps of the trilogy for The Lord of the Rings, one of the highest-grossing film series of all time. Need I say more? Look for it in December.

Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins

2. The Great Gatsby

Sure to be another great book-to-movie, this adaptation of Fitzgerald’s novel stars three big names: Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway. The film is directed by Baz Luhrmann, whose previous work includes Romeo + Juliet (which also starred DiCaprio) and Moulin Rouge, which was nominated for Best Picture back in 2001. I’m personally stoked to see this film, since DiCaprio is my favorite actor by far for his history of films like Titanic, Revolutionary Road, Inception, and Catch me if You Can, to name a few. I also look forward to seeing Mulligan’s development as an actress. For her work in Never Let Me Go, she was described as an actress who “feels” instead of acts. I can’t wait to see the two together. This one also comes out in December.

Cast of The Great Gatsby

3. Men in Black III

Though worldwide earnings were “down” to $442 million for the second movie, I believe it’s safe to say that people like the Men in Black movies. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back in their classic partnership. Can you believe it’s been over 10 years since they first hit the big screen together? Smith has developed so much as an actor since then, breaking his “funny man” stereotype with roles in The Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, Ali, and I am Legend. Though he’ll likely be cracking jokes on screen for this one, I think his recent successes will bring a loyal fan base to theaters in May.

Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in Men in Black

4. The Wedding

Although I haven’t heard much talk about this movie, it’s one of those “ensemble” or “all-star cast” types, with the big names being Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, and Robin Williams, plus more. I won’t claim the plot is very original (it’s one of those “let’s pretend we’re married for this-and-this reason”), but similar films like The Family Stone, which Keaton also starred in, have done well. It’s sure to appeal to families that want a good laugh. Look for it in October.

5. Les Miserables

This must be the year for novel-to-movies, because yet another classic, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, is lighting up the screen. The film will attract not only the literature lovers and those just curious enough to see a movie about a book they read in high school, but also those wanting to see how the producers have adapted this from its popular stage form to film. (Besides, Susan Boyle popularized the song “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical version in 2009. When things like that seep into pop culture, people don’t forget it.) Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and Anne Hathaway are the three main characters. Expect to see it in theaters in December. (Are you, like me, starting to wonder why all the good movies come out in December? It’s gotta be some kind of marketing scheme to steal our money intended for Christmas gifts.)

6. Safe House

This is a suspense/thriller, and the main plot is that a CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) must move a criminal (Denzel Washington) to a new safe place before violent forces kill them both. I believe the movie has a few things going for it: Denzel, the genre, and, of course, the whole CIA ingredient. It’s out in February.

7. The Vow

Starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams and based on true events, this is the story of how a couple’s life is torn apart when a car accident takes away the wife’s memory, and she can no longer remember her husband. He has to try to win her heart all over again. The film hits theaters in February, the perfect time to catch the romantics looking for a good Valentine’s Day date. Both of the stars previously acted in Nicholas Sparks book-to-films, so they’re sure to know how to pull the heartstrings.

The Vow

*** If you’re mathematical, unlike me, then you might have noticed that 3 out of 7 of my top picks are book-to-movies. I can’t tell you what percentage that is, but I would like to recommend reading this recent post, What Should Come First . . . by fellow blogger BookBlob, if you need help deciding whether to read the books or watch the movies first.