Sunday, January 31, 2010

Movies On DVD You Might Like

By Molly Noble Bull

I thought I would give you a list of movies you might like that you can rent on DVD. At least, I liked them. Some of these movies take place in modern times, and some are historical. I haven't listed them in the order I liked best because I liked all of them. However, I do love movies taken from Jane Austen's books. I put an H in front of the historical movies.
So, let’s get started.

H. The Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth. (From a novel by Jane Austen, this version was a mini series; so it is very long but worth watching.)

H. The Pride and Prejudice (short version -- 2 hours and nine minutes) starring Keira Knightley.
I have both versions and watch them again and again fairly often. You will see the difference when you view them.

H. Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow (Jane Austen)

. While You Were Sleeping starring Sandra Bullock (Loved this movie.)

. Miss Congeniality starring Sandra Bullock

H. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

H. The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott

. Kate and Leopold starring Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman

H. Middlemarch by George Eliot (I liked this movie least of all the movies listed, but it was okay.)

. Never Been Kissed starring Drew Barrymore

H. The Scarlet Pimpernel starring Jane Seymour

If you would like to read all my articles on ranch life, including old photographs, go to Bustles and Spurs and scroll down—down—down until you see Molly Noble Bull (10) Click there. If you don’t see the (10), you haven’t scrolled down enough. Here is the blog address.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Day I Got My First "Two Star" Book Review

by Molly Noble Bull

Book Reviews are very important to authors. As a published novelist, I am no exception. To me, a Five Stars ranking at Amazon is super encouraging. A Four Star ranking is all right, too. But when my overall rankings go below that magic "Four," I start to worry.
And when I got my first “two star” review? Well, I was crushed.
What was I doing wrong? I must be the worse published author in the entire world. Should I trade my computer for a shovel and begin digging ditches? Or was I shovel-ready enough to even do that?
After successfully removing the knife now penetrating my heart, I made a discovery. There was a place near the review to click-on—making it possible for me to read "the two star bandit's" OTHER reviews.
I clicked immediately—with shaky fingers I might add.
You won't believe what I found.
The "two star bandit" was actually "the one star bandit." And there were authors far more famous that I getting "one starred" right and left.
At first, I felt a lot better. But in the end, I was slightly disappointed.
Why wasn't my writing good/bad enough to rate "one star?"
A sense of humor is vital in this business. Otherwise, how can we hope to yank the knife from our hearts?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thicker Than Blood, an author interview

by Molly Noble Bull

Today I am interviewing C.J Darlington about her new book, Thicker Than Blood. Welcome to Writers Rest. What would some people be surprised to know about you, C.J.?

I started writing the story that would become my first published novel Thicker than Blood (Tyndale House) when I was fifteen-years-old. I was homeschooled Grades 1-12, and I’m really thankful for the gift my parents gave us in home schooling my twin sister and me. In many ways I don’t think I’d be where I am today if they hadn’t.

Tell us about the Operation First Novel contest.

The Christian Writers Guild, which is owned by New York Times bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins (of Left Behind series fame), runs an annual contest called Operation First Novel. CWG staff evaluate submissions, and the top four are sent to the acquistions team at Tyndale House. The winner receives a publishing contract with Tyndale, as well as $20,000. My novel Thicker than Blood won the contest in 2008.

Fantastic! What was that like?

It was a “dream come true.” I’d almost given up on Thicker than Blood. But I decided to give it one last chance by entering Operation First Novel, and I was shocked when they announced it as the winner.

Wow! What’s the novel about?

Thicker than Blood tells the story of two estranged sisters, Christy and May Williams. Christy works at the renowned used and rare bookstore Dawson’s Book Barn as a clerk and aspiring book buyer. May owns and operates a cattle ranch in southern Colorado. Here’s the back cover blurb: Christy Williams never imagined that a stolen Hemingway first edition would lead her back to the sister she left fifteen years ago. But when things begin to unravel, she finds herself on May’s doorstep, fearing for her life. After a bittersweet reunion, will the two discover that some hurts can’t be healed, or is there a tie that’s thicker than blood?

Sounds great. What makes your book unique?

I’ve been involved in the antiquarian book world for over thirteen years, and I’ve seen many crazy things in this industry. I wanted to incorporate some of what I’ve experienced in this novel. One of the rare books I learned about was a first edition of Ernest Hemingways For Whom the Bell Tolls. I loved being able to incorporate that book, as well as many others, into this story.

How does your book reflect your religious views?

I’m a Christian, and my faith is very important to me. There are several ways this plays out in my writing. First, I’m careful about how far I will go in telling a story. You can give my novels to your teen daughter without worry. There’s no swearing, sex scenes, or gratuitous violence. I do deal with some tough issues like alcoholism and abuse, but I’m always careful how much to show readers. I don’t like reading novels that make me feel dirty after I read them, and I think I’m not alone in this.

Also, an important aspect of Thicker than Blood is the spiritual journey of my main character, Christy. She has a hard time believing God would ever give her the time of day. She doesn’t believe she’s redeemable. But over the course of the novel she changes. I love being able to share her spiritual journey as well as her physical journey, which gets quite harrowing at times!

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

Reading! I love to crack open a novel with a cup of tea by my side. I really enjoy going to the movie theater and catching a good flick. Also, I’m the co-founder of Christian entertainment website

Wow, you are a busy person. I hope you come back and visit us again.
Until next time,
Molly Noble Bull

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Recent Visit to the Twilight Zone

by Molly Noble Bull

I was sending an email to a friend, and if you know me, you know that I always sign my messages “Love Molly” unless I am writing to a man who is not a member of my family. But yesterday, instead of writing the word Molly, I wrote the word Nikkt. And I immediately thought of my friend Nikki.
I thought, this must be a message from God. Nikki must be sick or in need of prayer. I hadn’t thought of Nikki in weeks, but I knew I needed to write to her and pray for her. At once.
So I wrote the message below.
Dear Nikki,
Your name just came to my mind in a very strange way. I think God wants me to contact you today. Are you all right?
Nikki wrote back and said she was fine but had been having some problems.
Then I wrote her a second message, but this time, I included a little white lie. I told her that when I wrote a message to a friend earlier that morning, I signed the message Love Nikki.
Actually, I wrote –
I am not in the habit of signing someone else’s name to my messages, and I knew in my heart that Nikkt meant Nikki. But I was in a hurry. I simply didn’t want to take the time to explain why I thought Nikkt meant Nikki. So I lied to save time.
I told her that I had signed a message Love Nikki.
Today, the truth dawned on me.
If you check your computer, the letter M is next to the N. The letter i is next to the O, and the letter L is next to the K. The letter Y is next to the T, not the i. Thus, I wrote Nikkt.
What I did was set my hands one space over, and it could happen to anyone. Nikki might one day write—Love Mollu instead of Love Nikki.
But is there a point to all this?
The Lord constantly tests His people, and perhaps He was testing to see if I would tell the truth—the whole truth and nothing but.
I failed the test.
There is no such thing as a little white lie. Lies are neither little nor white.
I knew I needed to repent, and I have.
And what did I learn from all this?
Though I never entered the twilight zone, I sinned. And look at all the time and effort it took for me to explain it.

UPDATE: January 14, 2010
Read the comments at the end of this message, and you will learn the identity of my friend, Nikki. Or should I say Nikkt?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Time Is The Ally of Deceit -- A Book Review

by Molly Noble Bull

According to the Bible, God hates idols and false gods. Since I didn’t really know a lot about that topic, I decided to do some research and bought a book titled Time Is The Ally of Deceit by Richard Rives. On the cover of the book was a photo of a statue of the ancient sun god—Sol Invictus.
Apparently, many once worshipped Sol Invictus. Perhaps some still worship that false god today.
On the head of this Idol, Sol Invictus, was a crown with seven spikes—three on one side—three on the other side—and one in the middle.
Yesterday a friend gave me an article with a photo of the Statue of Liberty on the cover. And guess what?
Lady Liberty was wearing a crown with seven spikes on it. I think the crown looked exactly like the one on the head of the statue of the sun god, Sol Invictus.
Was the similarity merely a coincidence? Or were Americans deceived all these years? Is Lady Liberty a he rather than a she? And is that he the sun god?
The United States is a Christian nation, and a majority of Americans still claim to worship the God of the Bible. So what is an image of Sol Invictus doing in New York Harbor?
The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York in June of 1885 and was designed as a joint venture between the United States and France—a symbol of friendship between the two nations. Later, its purpose grew to include freedom and democracy.
Until yesterday, I had never bothered to count the spikes on Lady Liberty's crown, but there are exactly seven—just like the crown on the head of the ancient statue of the sun god.
The Statue of Liberty was erected over a hundred years ago, and when I think about the words written on the tablet—“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” a lump often forms in my throat.
Or it did.
But I feel a little dirty right now.
And deceived.
Time really is the ally of deceit.
I gave this book five stars for content alone.

UPDATE: January 8,2009
A friend with knowledge of this topic suggested that the Statue of Liberty was probably not an image of the sun god. More likely, it was an image of a female goddess.
But whether false god or false goddess, the statue would not be pleasing to God.