Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Just a Quick Shout-Out!

Hey, folks!

I just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten you all! College is going well, and I'm still trying to adjust to the new pace of life here. Am I busy? Yes. Am I going crazy running here and there to classes and choir practice? Yes. Am I staying up late to do homework? .... *inconspicuous cough* Yes. *moving on* Do I love it here? OH, YES!! Even in the mere five weeks that I've been here, it's been an experience I'll never forget, and I praise God every morning for His faithfulness and blessings. 

But college aside -- I'm making a slip of time to jump on Blogger and tell all of you just how much I love you guys. Lianne Taimenlore just hit 90 followers! Thank you so much, everyone, for making this blog what it is! I hope to find some free time SOMETIME to write a decent post.

God bless!

Monday, August 25, 2014

"I Bid You All a Very Fond Farewell."

Well, well, well.... here we are at last. The end of summer, and the start of something new. No, don't worry. I'm not leaving the blogging world. I love all of you too much to leave now. Whether you like it or not, you're all stuck with me. *grins*


However, that does not mean change isn't on the horizon. While Lianne Taimenlore and my other blogs will remain the same, I am anticipating the beginning of a great adventure this week. That's right, I'm going to college. I do not expect to be online nearly as much as I have been, so don't be surprised to see prolonged absences from me on Blogger, Pinterest, Goodreads, etc. With my new classes and activities, I don't think I'll have a whole lot of time for that, though I hope to be able to sneak on now and then for a quick update. 

Younger siblings waving g'bye to college-bound kids. Yes, that's my
family. Cousins, too. There's six of us leaving home all at once. Only
seven left behind. *sniff* I'm gonna miss them.

Maybe I should have titled this post "College and What I Think of It" because I'd like to explain some of my views on the subject.

For those of you who follow Hayden's blog and her Stay-at-Home Daughter Interviews, you will be familiar with the interview she did with me back in February. LINK. In it, I talked about college. While I've been a stay-at-home daughter since I graduated in 2011, I'm now following God's hand and taking the big leap into furthering my education.

Now, I understand that college isn't for everyone. If you'd asked me four years ago about college, I would have responded, "OF COURSE I'M GOING!" Two years ago, it'd have been more like, "Naw, I'm really not that interested." *cough* Now look at me. To be honest, I'm forever grateful for the three years I had out of high school to be with my family and prepare for college. If I had gone straight after I graduated, I would not have been ready. God's done things for me that I never could explain to show me that. But now, He's opened all the doors and given me a clear path to the very college my parents and grandparents both went to. Yes, they all met each other there and are now living happily ever after. 

Because bullet lists are so much fun (besides, they look cool in a post), I'm going to give you all a quick overview of what my thoughts are on my college experience. All the whys and why-nots. Ready?

Why I'm Going to College
  • To further my writing
    • I've been writing novels since I was fourteen (or earlier), and I love the written word. I fully intend to be a published author, but I know I'm not a perfect writer. I am pursuing a Creative Writing major in which I hope to learn principles behind style/prose/literature/all of that fun stuff and get some outside criticisms on my work. And ultimately, this all will pave the way for my one day being a true author and really getting published.
  • To get music lessons
    • My family's occupational hazard is music. You all should know that by now. We've been singing together for some 10 or so odd years, and we all love it. My parents are eager for their children to experience a real choir, and I can't say I'm any less excited about it. Especially since the college I'm attending will be doing a production of the Messiah this December. Pass up a chance to sing in the Messiah? I think not! I also know that I don't always sing correctly, and with choir comes singing lessons (of a sort), in which I hope to learn to control my voice better.
    • In addition to singing, I am an avid pianist. And a church pianist, at that. Unfortunately, I've been out of piano lessons for almost five years or more years now, and I miss it. There's so much I want to understand about the piano and music, and I can't learn it on my own. And it's impossible to get the piano lessons I need here where I live. However, my college has an excellent music program, and I will be taking piano lessons every semester I am able, with the hopes of possibly looking into flute lessons at a later time. 
  • To know God better
    • Many times we don't know what our faith looks like until we step out on a shaky bridge. I consider myself a girl of faith, but I know that I don't know all that I should know about God. The college I'm attending is a Bible college, and in addition to the Bible classes I'll receive, I will also get encouragement from kids my own age as we learn together in our devotions and study. For me, this is a big thing in going to college. I've lived at home for twenty-one years, under the influence of godly parents, and I'm eager to see what God will do for me once I'm in college. What I do, I do for His glory, and I hope that college will further train me to become a willing servant in His hands.
  • To challenge myself socially
    • Everyone who knows me knows that I am not a social person. I'd take a lonely corner with a good book any day over a party. Even if there was cake involved. I used to be painfully shy, but in the last few years, God has drawn me out of my comfort zone. I still abhor small talk and I always don't have the best response in loving the unlovely. I know that I will meet lots of people while at college, both lovely and not, but I also know that God will use this as a learning experience for me. Yes, I am scared thinking about all those strangers milling around me day after day, but I am thankful that I will have two sisters and six cousins about to muffle the shock of reality a little.
  • To obey my parents
    • Strictly speaking, this is a step of obedience for me as my parents have asked that I attend at least one year of college. If it were up to me, I might end my days still at home, acting like a cross between the Mad Hatter and a hermit Dickens, muttering to myself, eating ice cream, writing novels, and banging Disney songs out on the piano. But God has a plan for my life, and I don't think that's it. My parents love me like I don't deserve (gracious, I'm not exactly the ideal daughter), and they can't wait for me to discover the path God has set for me. I trust their judgement, and I appreciate their counsel. And one of the reasons I am going to college is because they have asked me to.
 
Preparing to leave! With that many girls, you can expect more
suitcases than that!


Why I'm Not Going to College
  • To get my MRS. degree
    • Which freshman girl hasn't dreamed of the special fellow she'll meet in college? The perfect mate who asks her out and ends up marrying her, beginning the classic "happily ever after?" I'll admit, when I was younger, I had this dream. I wanted the perfect guy. I wanted a happily every after. But now... it's not so much that I FIND him as it is that God puts us together. I am not going to college to find a guy, date around, and pursue a romantic relationship. Personally, I'd rather go through college without any guy at all. I'd be totally happy if I go all four years and come home unscathed in the romantic venue. I'm not against love, though. If God wants me to marry, if He's got that special guy for me, I'm all for it. But I know that He will bring him along just at the perfect time. Everything will happen just the way God intends, and when he knows I'm ready for it, He'll send my perfect fellow. Maybe we'll meet in a duet like so many Disney movies portray. Maybe I'll trip him (accidentally, of course) on the way to lunch. Who knows? But that won't be my focus. Why would I want to frustrate myself with searching around and going after numberless guys when I know God has the right one out there for me? Girls, don't pursue a romantic relationship just because you yearn for love. Seek after God, and He will introduce you to the perfect guy at the perfect time. But that doesn't mean you're to keep your eyes closed. Be on the lookout for opportunities as God brings them your way.
  • Because it's the thing to do
    • This one drives me nuts like no other. "Why are you going to college?" People ask. "Oh, you know," the freshman says, "all my friends are going. It's just the thing to do." NO. If that's your reason to go to college, then you'd better stay out of it. College isn't for everyone; God calls some for that type of experience; others He calls to other ministries. The worst thing you can do is attend college blindly. If you have no clear path, no goals... you're going to fail. Have a purpose. Make a path. Pray. Figure out if God truly wants you at college. Don't just go because it's the thing to do.
  •  To pursue a career
    • No, I don't believe that women are meant to have big, involving, money-making careers. And in that, I simply mean God created women to be a helpmeet, not to become president. Even for unmarried women, their first responsibility should be for their families. This is an interesting point, especially as so many people define "career" in so many different ways. The type of career I'm talking about is a profession that remains permanent throughout a person's life, an achievement and a pursuit that steals one away from family. Yes, I am studying Creative Writing in college, and I intend to make a career of sorts from that study, in the sense of writing novels at home. In my music instruction, I will be equipped to begin teaching piano lessons at home. And for women, that's the key: at home. 

Please note: I do not mean to contradict anyone's beliefs on this topic, nor do I wish to offend. These are just my personal beliefs as I've studied, prayed, and discussed it with my parents. If you have questions for me, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
 
Standing: Capt. Oblivious and Yours Truly
Seated (left to right): Em, Beth, Jessa, and Tora
Yes, we had a photoshoot. Didn't you get that by now?



Okey dokey, this is getting long, but I really wanted the chance to write this. I've known people with multiple views on college. In fact, my family has been lectured many times on why we're not in college yet, why we're not pursuing a full-fledged career, why we're not married yet, and even why we shouldn't go to college at all. I'm content to wait on God's timing and to follow His plan. There is no greater joy than knowing that He is in control of all things, and that everything works together for good. Nothing can happen without His knowing about it. Yes, I'm twenty-one. I'm not married. I have no career. I'm going to be a freshman at a Christian college this fall amongst a bunch of eighteen-year olds. Do I mind? Not in the least. If I'm where God wants me to be, then why should I regret anything? 

Thanks for listening to my rants and rambles! I'm going to miss all of you, but I'll pop in from time to time!

God bless!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beautiful People: Grant

I haven't done a BP in a while, and since Cait and Georgie so kindly are hosting it again, I think I'll jump on the bandwagon. 

This month, I'll be showcasing (showcasing? *thinks* ... showcasing... somehow that seems rather boastful of me... anywhoz...) Grant from my story The Dragon Tamer, which as many of you know, is broken into three books (Children of a Legend and Rebirth of a Legend being the first two).

~*~*~*~*~

1) What does your character regret the most in their life?
Probably his temper. Grant tends to rush into things without thinking them through, and then usually ends up regretting something. He can be very stubborn, and that stubbornness carries through with his apparent dislike for certain people. As for any particular regrets, I can't say because he hasn't gotten to that point --

What regrets?

Grant?! Where'd you come from? You nearly gave me a heart attack.

What are you talking about? What regrets? I need to know.

No, you'll find out later.

But...

Listen, what good is a story when I say what happens in the end? Don't worry... you'll know what it is when we get to it.

Not fair.


2) What is your character's happiest memory? Most sorrowful memory?

You know, Kiri, you should have asked me to fill out the questions. They are about me.

Oh, really? Do you think you could do a better job?

Hey, who can know me better than me?

Your author?

Ha. Not funny. Now... my happiest memory. When Davin found me and told me I was the son of the Dragon Tamer. We had an epic fight and then I got to meet a dragon for real.

Hmm... and most sorrowful?

When... nope, can't say, Kiri. Spoilers, you know.

You're incorrigible.   


3) What majorly gets on your character’s nerves?

Ahmis!

Grant, be nice about your brother!


I am! I didn't say how he gets on my nerves.


4) Do they act differently when they're around people as opposed to being alone? If so, how?

Nope.

I wouldn't think so.


What?

You're more pensive when you're alone.


Only when you want me to be pensive. You know, I really don't like to think that much.

I've noticed.


Ouch.


5) What are their beliefs and superstitions? (Examples: their religion or lack of one, conspiracy theories, throwing salt, fear of black cats.) 

I believe in the one true God of the universe, the eternal Creator, and the Savior of men's souls. 

Well said, my little fighter. But you still have a long way to go to learning more about Him.


6) What are their catchphrases, or things they say frequently? 

*rubs head* What do I say, Kiri?

I don't think you have a catchphrase. You just yell a lot.

Hey, now!  


7) Would they be more prone to facing fears or running from them?

Facing them. I'm always ready to fight.

Not everything.

*glares*  


8) Do they have a good self image?

Of course! Everyone loves Gruesome Grant! Or... at least, everyone in East Delt did.


9) Do they turn to people when they're upset, or do they isolate themselves?

He isolates himself.

No, I don't!

*pointed look* Yes, you do. You hate human intervention. 


10) If they were standing next to you would it make you laugh or cry?

If who were standing next to me?

If you were standing next to me, Grant. Technically, this question's mine. 

Oh, well... go ahead then.

I... hmm... I really don't know. You have a natural talent to make people laugh, but with everything you've been going through, I feel slightly frustrated with you, and I doubt you could make me laugh right off the bat.

Frustrated?

Yes, frustrated.  

Naw, but you wouldn't cry. You still love me too much to do that.

*sigh* I guess you're right.

Are we done now?

What? Yes, we're done. That was all ten questions.

Good. Now go finish writing my scene. You left me hanging there.

A "please" might be nice. And I did not leave you hanging.

That's because you know what's happening! I don't, dash it all!

Fine. I'll go write.

Thanks. I'll sign off for you. So long, folks!

Wait... my picture!

You don't need that.

Yes, I do!

But it's not even you.

It's nice to end a post with a picture.

Fine. Here's a picture.


Good-bye.

*growls*

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fiddler On The Roof (1971 Soundtrack)

This is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite CDs. I don't even know if I can describe how much I love this musical, but let's see if I can get a decent review done for you all. ;)



1. Prologue And Tradition & Main Titles - This song starts the musical off splendidly. I love every little bit that the fiddle plays (that high note at the end! :) and Tevye's narration is so funny! Sure, it's a little long, but you won't ever regret listening to it all. I don't think I can go a day now without snippets of Tradition playing through my head. If I had ten thumbs, they'd all be going up.... wow, that's a wonderful mental image. *cough*

2. Matchmaker - Tzeitel, Hodel, and Chava sing about Yente the matchmaker finding them all matchless matches. This was pretty much the only song I knew from FotR before watching the musical (if knowing the first stanza can count as "knowing" it), and it is a big favorite in our house right now. Since Tevye's daughters add up to five, the exact same number of girls in *my* family, my dad thinks that his daughters need to learn this song to sing together. *grins*



3. If I Were a Rich Man - Tevye's iconic song, and a definite favorite. I don't know what more I can say about this song, save for the fact that I laugh every time Tevye sings about his wife looking like a rich man's wife... with a proper double chin. If you haven't heard this song yet, you're totally missing out. You *must* listen to this one!

4. Sabbath Prayer - Not a huge song in the musical, but the rich and haunting melody has put it high on my favorite list. Love.

5. To Life - Lazar Wolf and Tevye have come to an agreement - the betrothal of Tevye's daughter to Lazar himself - and it's time to celebrate! "To life, to life, la'chaim!" Very fun.

6. Miracle of Miracles - Motel the tailor is a poor man, but wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, God did what he thought was impossible. This "love" song doesn't have the feel that most love songs do, but I love it just the way it is. 



7. Tevye's Dream - How to convince your wife to agree to something you know she never will? Give her a detailed description of a pretend nightmare - that'll do the trick! This song isn't as famous as other songs from FotR, but it's still fun. My sisters and I joke that our dream role in a musical now is to play the people popping out from gravestones. "It's her husband! Fatal wedding!"

8. Wedding Procession - Instrumentals only, but still awesome. This is (one of) my younger sister's favorite songs, and she asks us to play it constantly so she can dance to it.

9. Sunrise, Sunset - One of the most popular songs from FotR, and it is by no means less popular in our house. It's pensive, beautiful, melancholy, serene, rich, etc. etc. Highly recommend. :)


10. Wedding Celebration/The Bottle Dance - Personally, this is probably one of the least-listened-to songs on this soundtrack for me. Although the music for the celebration and dance is really pretty, it's not as epic as the songs with words. Good, but not an absolute favorite, in my opinion. The bottle dance is cool to watch, but of course, you can't do that with a CD. 

11. First Act Finale - A rather dramatic instrumental piece that ends the first half of the musical. Despite the wedding just taking place, we learn that peaceful times are not in store for Tevye and his family. It's a powerful scene to watch, but not particularly a favorite just to listen to.

12. Entr'acte - Epic. It's a minute and forty-nine seconds of all the big songs from the first half. Who can't love entr'actes?

13. Do You Love Me? - "Golde, I'm asking you a question!" The lyrics in this song are sweet, but for some reason, they always make me laugh. "You're upset, you're worn down! Go inside, go lie down!" Tevye and Golde have been married for twenty-five years after their parents arranged the match. They first met on their wedding day, and yet, they learn that after twenty-five years, they really do love each other.

14. Far From the Home I Love - This is a sweet song sung by the second daughter, Hodel, as she's leaving to go meet her fiancee in Russia. Tevye doesn't want to give up his children, and the relationship he has with his daughters is so touching. Hodel doesn't have a particularly strong voice, but this song is still one of my favorites.



15. Chava Ballet Scene - "Little Chavala..." this is probably the prettiest scene in the movie to watch. And I'm a little disappointed because my DVD doesn't have the whole song. It cuts straight from Tzeitel being carried away to Chava. They skip all of Hodel in the middle. As second daughter, I shake my head. Anyway, the song is still beautiful, sung by Tevye as he contemplates the different paths his daughters have taken.

16. The Rejection Scene - If I were to pick a least favorite track on this CD, this would be it. It's a powerful scene between Tevye and Chava, so I can't complain, but there's no singing. The raw emotion they poured into this really is... wow, but I'd rather watch the scene than just hear it.

17. Anatevka - "Underfed, overworked Anatevka." What's so nice about a little bit of this or a little bit of that? Forced to leave their homes, the Jews sing about what they're leaving behind. Which... amounts to nothing much. I consider this the saddest song in the musical as Motel says to the Rabbi in the beginning of the track, "We've been waiting all our lives for Messiah. Wouldn't now be a good time to come?" But that's real! The Jews have no idea that He came, He died, He saved them, and He rose again, and they His own people! Truthfully, it breaks my heart.

18. Finale - A five star finish! What starts out as the familiar violin solo soon turns out in a full orchestra commemorating the opening melody from the musical. "TRADITION!"

19. Any Day Now - This is a deleted song from the film. I'm sad it didn't make the final cut, because this is one of my favorites! Yes, I tend to have a lot of favorites when it comes to FotR. *sheepish grin* This tune is catchy, and the words are so hopeful. Love.


By the way... just something interesting to note: while Jerry Bock was the man behind writing the musical, John Williams was the composer who put everything together for the film. I find it funny that the man we know for action films like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and War Horse also worked on musicals. *grins* 

I have a feeling I should wait to post this until tomorrow, but I don't want to wait. Besides, it's only fitting that I should post a review of one of my absobloominglutely favorite CDs on my birthday. Yes, I'm justifying this.

God bless!

Officially 21...

I think the title's enough. Just wanted an excuse to sing Happy Birthday to myself. *winks* And for those who are interested, I had a birthday celebration with my sister and my cousin (both of whom had birthdays yesterday; yes, I know; we have a lot of August birthdays), and we had epic fun eating hot dogs and ice cream and BBQ chips and then going swimming in the river! Seriously, guys, pools have nothing on a freshwater river!

Hope everyone's having a great day!

God bless!
P.S. Did everyone see the EXTENDED EDITION scene for The Desolation of Smaug?? Epic in all respects! It's in MIRKWOOD, folks! If you haven't seen it yet, LINK. Just sayin'.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Interview with Robin and Madeline

 
 If you're not familiar already with Kendra's Bookania Quests, you don't know what you're missing. I've already reviewed the first of the series, Sew, It's a Quest, on KiriBeth, and I'm hoping to get one up of Do You Take This Quest? before too long. Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to the third installment, My Kingdom for a Quest! You should can purchase the first two books on Amazon. LINK.

Today's interview is with two very special characters from the world of Bookania: Robin and Madeleine. Robin is the best swordsman in the world, and Madeleine is her great-great-aunt who's a brilliant artist. Robin doesn't trust Madeleine.
 
Here we go!

Madeline {source}
Robin {source}
1. Do you have any special pets?

Robin: My red horse, Snow. She and I are close. Very close ... but Kendra says that to tell you anything more would be spoilers for the next book. I don't see why, but anyways.
 
Madeleine: I have a appaloosa named Splatter, but I'm not nearly as close to her as Robin is to Snow.

2. I know that your story is based on a fairytale/myth. Could you tell us which one? Also, if you were to choose another fairytale/myth to be the star of, which one would you choose and why?

Robin: I'm the twin sister to Sleeping Beauty's prince and, apparently, I'm the Lady of the Lake. Which basically meant that I gave Arthur his picky sword. Honestly, I don't mind them too much. Would have preferred it if the forest hadn't eaten Robert while he was trying to rescue Rosamond, but it's in the past now and he's all right. She's all right too, for the record.
 
Madeleine: I'm one of the princesses who fell asleep at Sleeping Beauty's party, and I'm involved in Arthur's story ... not exactly sure how ... maybe I'm Morgana. Yeah, that would be interesting.
 
Robin: And now she's off practicing her evil laugh ... I just thought she was creepy enough to begin with.

3. What's the best way to spend a slow summer evening?

Robin: Swordfighting Eric. Best way to speed up any summer evening. And when get tired of it, there's always chess.
 
Madeleine: Painting.
 
~*~*~*~
 
Don't forget to stop by Kendra's blog to check out the whole party! She's celebrating 5 years as a blogger and 3 years as an author! Very exciting stuff!
 
God bless!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Interview with Riley and Roxanne


See? I told you there'd be more interviews! Today, in Kendra's party (VISIT HER BLOG HERE) she's featuring her story HaV Academy which she describes as the following:


HaV Academy is an exclusive - and mandatory - boarding school to train superheros and supervillains. Once they assign you to your place, there's no changing it. To break the rules of their game will mean your death. Story of three attendies and how they coped.


Riley and Roxanne are the two characters participating in the interview today. Just for a little background, they are Twin Supers; she's a villain with Rock Manipulation, and he's a hero who can control plants.
 
Ready?

1. What's the greatest lie your friends may believe?

Roxanne: That the heroes are something special, and that villains are the problem.
 
Riley: That just because they're trapped in a life, they have to let it control them. My sister seems ruled by that philosophy.

Roxanne {source}
 
 2. I noticed a lot of masks on your story's Pinterest board. What does a mask mean personally to you?

Roxanne: Something you hide behind because you're to ashamed of yourself and you don't want  to let people see you for the real you.
 
Riley: A fun disguise.

Riley {source}
 
3. Favorite color, and why it's your favorite?

Roxanne: Black - The color of my villainous soul.
 
Riley: Will you quit with the dramatics? I think I would have to go with green, the color of life.
 
God bless!