Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Artsy Award!

I've been awarded the Artsy Award by Marissa! Thank you ever so much, Marissa! :)

1. Normally this is where it says "thank the person who gave you the award and leave a link to their blog etc. etc." Well, you can do that if you want. I mean, if you like the award and you're glad you got it and you can do that. Or you can just copy this and have people listen to me rambling. :)

2. Answer the five questions set out for you and make the next five questions for the people that you nominate. 

3. OK, so usually there's a "NO TAGBACKS" rule. I'm here to say that in #3 of this award you can tag or not tag or whatever you want to do. Agreed? Agreed. ;)

Marissa didn't give any questions for the "awardees," so I went back through the links to the Kelller Girls' blog and borrowed questions from them. Hope no one minds! :)

1.) Skirts or Jeans? Both... I love wearing skirts (I'm actually wearing one right now), but there are a few instances where I deem pants the better choice.

2.) Cats or Dogs? Dogs all the way!! My family doesn't care for cats, an opinion well supported by the fact that my father and my sister are both allergic to them.
3.) Cows or horses? Horses. Yeah, I live in farm country, but I'm not overly fond of cows.

4.) Wood floors or carpet? Wood floors. Unless it's in the dead of winter and I've forgotten to put on socks, then carpet is the way to go when you're walking across your bedroom. :)
5.) Rain or sun? Ooh... hard question. I love both, because a sunny day offers beauty and warmth out of doors, but the rainy day provides a perfect excuse to curl up with a good book in your favorite reading spot.

And some extra questions just because...

1) What would be your idea of the perfect book? One that cleverly combined adventure and comedy into a well structured plot with believable characters that grow and learn throughout the story without having the need to include disgusting profanity or romantic mush (unless of course it was like Shasta and Aravis: "So that years later, when they were grown up, they were so used to quarreling and making it up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently."), and also knitted several subplots beneath the main plot of the story, satisfyingly resolving each and every one of them by the end of the story, and lastly, provided many memorable quotes for me to remember and use when the mood takes me. Yes, I expect a lot out of a perfect book. 

2) What would be your ideal home? Somewhere about twenty or thirty miles  (or more) away from the nearest Wal-Mart, not surrounded by fields or orchards, in sight of, at the most, one neighbor, on more than five acres most of it wooded with preferably a small stream and a large garden and a gazillion maple trees, old enough to possibly contain secret passageways, new enough to cater to my family's many allergies, containing enough rooms that we could have a library and a special spot for me to make into a writing office where I could spread all my inspiration and notes without having the thought of losing any of it, and most importantly, does NOT have squirrels in the attic and chipmunks under the porch!

3) If you could go anywhere in the world, what would you do? Europe. Tour all the old castles and get inspired to write more!

4) Elves or pixies? Elves. The Tolkien kind.

5) Pegasus' or unicorns? I don't know... hmm... I love both. I don't think I could pick between them. 

My 5 questions for those I award:
1.) Peaches or pineapple?
2.) Piano or violin?
3.) What famous literary character do you think you're most like?
4.) Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
5.) What is your main goal in writing? (if you don't write, pretend you do ;)

And after much consideration and hemming and hawing, the five lucky bloggers that I award:
Beth Grace
Kendra E. Ardnek
Miss Melody Muffin
Miss Elizabeth

As always,

Monday, September 24, 2012

Magic: Harry Potter Vs. LOTR & Narnia... And What God Says About It

Hey there, readers! This is the post for which you've all been waiting! The second part of my thoughts on LOTR and Narnia, and ultimately, the issue of magic. And I do sincerely apologize for taking so long to post this.

A quick warning: Be prepared to do a lot of reading. This is a really long post. :)

Many people I know have said (and I quote directly from an acquaintance not on blogger), “What's the difference between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings? They both have the same kind of magic in them.” It's a question I've long wanted to answer, so, as you can guess, this post is mainly about contrasting the magic in LOTR/Narnia and Harry Potter.

Theoden and Eowyn
I've wanted to study this issue for a long time now and truly discover the truth about it. I sort of knew that there was a difference, but if you asked me, I would only respond with vague answers. You see, I really wasn't sure. But I was certain there was a difference. I mean, Harry Potter was just downright evil, and Lord of the Rings and Narnia were... totally different, right? They just had to be. But were they? To tell you the truth, I was afraid of getting into study and finding out that the magic in LOTR and Narnia was evil, so for the longest time I kept pushing the research off. I am ashamed to admit that I didn't want to know about it if it was going to be bad.

Then Petie posted her thoughts on LOTR and Narnia, and the question of magic was once again pushed into the front of my mind. “This is it, Kiri,” I told myself. “Stop making excuses. Just research it.”

So, I did.

And I am not sorry that I did.

You know what I found? Oh, yes. I found a lot. This topic is much bigger than most people think it to be, and there's so much that can be researched and found.

Okay, before I go any further, I must put this note in: What I say here is not meant to change your opinions toward Narnia and Lord of the Rings. I am not trying to attack or challenge your beliefs. I respect each and every one of your opinions, and I realize that choice is between you, your parents, and the Lord. Here I am simply trying to answer the question and share my own research and what the Lord has impressed upon my heart.

Please also know this: You cannot automatically say just because there's magic in something, you must have nothing to do with it. I am not promoting magic here, but please realize that if that (steadfastly avoiding anything remotely connected to magic) were the case, we should not be able to read the Bible, which has many stories in it concerning witchcraft (1 Samuel 28 and Acts 8 to name a few), but all are viewed in a bad light. Sorcery exists, I hate to admit it, but it's real. It is evil, and must be seen as such.

I add this warning as well: I shall be discussing things that are deeper than a G level. If you are squeamish, I would recommend you proceed or don't proceed with your own discretion.

So, are you ready? In a nutshell, these are the magic differences between LOTR/Narnia and Harry Potter:

As the main character of the Harry Potter stories, Harry Potter is a human boy practicing occult magick for his own benefit with copyable spells in a fictionalized part of our world. The Lord of the Rings and Narnia stories take place in a make believe world where magic is a power given by a higher being to certain nonhuman, secondary characters to be used for the good of others.

Now, let's break that down a bit into various points...

1. The Source of the Magic

The magic in LOTR and Narnia is very, very similar and thus I will be linking it together in many of the following points, first describing the situation in Harry Potter and then following up with a contrast in LOTR and Narnia. When studying the issue of magic, one of the first things you must look to is the source of that magic. Should I write that again in all caps? THE SOURCE!!! Where did the magic come from? This is one of the biggest and most important points.

The problem with the English language is that we use one word to mean so many different things. Consider the simple, little word ball. Usually, nowadays when we hear that word we think of a fun, bouncy plaything, right? Jane Austen wouldn't have thought of such a plaything, but rather a party in which dancing was a common occurrence. Look at two different definitions of the word train: to educate and to teach; also, a string of railroad cars powered by steam, diesel fuel, or electricity. The same thing happens with the word magic. However, we do have a small change to the spelling of the word at times to help us distinguish what exactly we're talking about. Add a “k” on the end and we now have the word magick, which is not the same as magic. Magick (with a “k”) is what is in Harry Potter (more on that later).

God clearly condemns witchcraft in many passages in the Bible, one of the most famous being Deuteronomy 18:10-12: “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” (more on this in a bit)

The magick in the stories of Harry Potter Wikipedia defines as “a natural force that can be used to override the usual laws of nature.” The spells and chants that Harry Potter indulges in has been directly linked with occult magick, witchcraft and sorcery that gets its power from the king of darkness himself, Satan. J. K. Rowling has claimed that the magick in her works is nothing more than a make believe magic, a magic that she believes doesn't exist, but the type of magick in Harry Potter is real. Occult magick IS real. So... how do I know it's occult magick? Well, let's do some definitions here: occult magick includes the practices of divination, astrology, witchcraft, charms, spells, wizardry, and necromancy (communicating with the dead). Harry goes to school to learn these things. Spells that Harry casts consist of the gesturing of a wand combined with a verbal or mental incantation; they are an every day occurrence, along with charms, used on both friends and enemies in and out of the school. Some of Harry's friends consist of dead spirits who have been summoned to the present, and one of his classes is distinctly labeled as a divination class.

In contrast, the Wikipedia page on Magic in Middle Earth (the fantasy world in LOTR) states that magic here is defined as mystical, paranormal, or supernatural activity. This magic bears no resemblance to occult magick, and both Tolkien and Lewis describe it as coming from a higher being, a Creator. In Lord of the Rings, this higher being (whom Tolkien calls Iluvatar, meaning “Father of All”) gives magic to his servants (namely the wizards, and specifically Gandalf and Saruman) to do good and benefit the people. Iluvatar is a god figure, the god figure in LOTR, although he is never mentioned by name in the series. Readers can become acquainted with him in The Silmarillion, which I would recommend reading. These wizards (more on wizards in users of magic) cannot use the power for their own purposes, and when Saruman tries to do just that, he does not live long and sees a most bitter end. Gandalf, on the other hand, uses the power given him to help fight the coming darkness and destroy the evil that would pollute the world. In the end, good prevails and Gandalf's denouement is one of happiness. 

In Narnia, Aslan's powers are from his father, the Great King; again, a higher being who is shown as the one true god and Creator of Narnia. Aslan mentions the Deep Magic in Narnia many times, but you must realize that what is meant by “the Deep Magic” is supernatural power, which does indeed exist! Christ used supernatural power to raise Lazarus from the dead. In the Companion to Narnia, we learn that the Deep Magic is twofold: the Deep Magic and the Deeper Magic. The Deep Magic is defined as "the effects of justice in a created word, existing from the dawn of time." The Deeper Magic is eternal, from before the dawn of time, connoting a self sacrifice.

But how is it that I believe the magic in Narnia and LOTR to be good, while in Harry Potter it is bad? Let's go back to the verses in Deuteronomy and define each of the things that God condemns. The practice of having children pass through the fire (also known as febration) was common in the pagan nations around Israel back in Bible times. The parents who sent their sons and daughters through the flames did so to obtain an oracle or to avert national disaster. The fire was a purification process, namely to purify something by sacrifice, and bluntly, it was a human sacrifice by fire. Ugh! Is anyone else repressing disgusted shudders at this? Now, I'm not aware that Harry has to pass through any fire at any time in the series to purify himself, but as God had Moses mention febration in the verse, I thought I should mention it as well.

Divination Noah Webster gives this definition: the act of divining; a foretelling future events, or discovering things secret or obscure, by the aid of superior beings, or by other than human means. But wait! Superior beings? Can't that be the same as Aslan's father and Tolkien's Iluvatar? Let's keep reading. The ancient heathen philosophers divided divination into two kinds, natural and artificial. Natural divination was supposed to be effected by a kind of inspiration or divine afflatus; artificial divination was effected by certain rites, experiments or observations, as by sacrifices, cakes, flour, wine, observation of entrails, flight of birds, lots, verses, omens, position of the stars, etc. Occult magick is this artificial divination. I'm certain that Harry Potter wouldn't have been studying divination and learning by the aid of the One who we see as the Superior Being in our world, the Lord God. And if it is not of God, it is of the devil.

White Witch
An observer of times. It's wrong to look at clocks? No, I don't think that's what's meant here. This is also translated as “one who practices witchcraft.” Make sense now? But what is witchcraft? Back to handy dandy Webster: the practices of witches; sorcery; enchantments; intercourse with the devil.

The next couple of ones listed in Deuteronomy are grouped together with the times observer: an enchanter, a witch, and a charmer. These are also respectively translated as “one who interprets omens, a sorcerer, and a one who casts a spell.” I don't think it's necessary for me to give more than just the definitions. Enchanter: one who enchants; one who has spirits and demons at his command; one who practices enchantment, or pretends to perform surprising things by the agency of demons. Witch: a woman who, by compact with the devil, practices sorcery or enchantment. Charmer: one that charms, or has power to charm; one that uses or has the power of enchantment. Sorcerer: a conjurer; an enchanter; a magician.

But we're not quite done yet with Deuteronomy. Moses also lists “a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.” Again, translated also as: “a medium, or a spiritist, or who calls up the dead.” A wizard is described as an enchanter and a sorcerer. Necromancer: one who pretends to foretell future events by holding converse with departed spirits; a conjurer. Please notice that Deuteronomy 18: 11 specifically says “familiar spirits.” Those who take part in this magick are not doing so by accident. The spirits, to them, are familiar, and they know exactly what they're doing. I realize I'm posting a lot of definitions, but I want you to understand what I'm talking about. This is what God is condemning. It's basically performing by the power of the devil. That's magick. And that's exactly what's in Harry Potter.

Okay, are you still with me? I realize that was a tremendously long point, but the source of the magic really is the key difference between Harry Potter and LOTR/Narnia.

Although I really could just stop here as this issue of the source of the magic is the biggest and most imporant issue overall, let's keep going... there was some more stuff that I dug up, so I'm not done yet.

2. The Characters Who Use Magic

Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a human boy; there can be no mistaking that. He is born in England to human parents and, for the most part, lives with other humans. As he is the main character of the Harry Potter series, this shows magick as being a (I quote) “safe and lawful occupation,” thus encouraging readers to become more interested in it. Because Harry is their peer and role model, readers will strive to be like him, and as Harry uses magick and it's fine for him to do so, they assume the same about themselves. Pretty much this is the reasoning: Harry is human, just as we are, and because Harry is just like us, we can be just like him. Unfortunately, to be just like Harry is to practice the dark magick of the devil. To give you a statistic, a poll was taken a few years ago in which one out of ten children admitted that they were more interested in witchcraft after reading Harry Potter. Human characters acting as peers and role models and using magick are a dangerous thing as it encourages readers in the wrong directions.

Look at Lord of the Rings next. No peers are using magick or magic, but rather it is the mentor figures who have power. Gandalf and Saruman are called wizards. GASP! They're called wizards! Does that automatically make them bad? Before you judge, look at the context in which the word “wizard” is used. Tolkien describes Gandalf as one of the Istari, meaning messenger. The Istari were given power from the Creator (Iluvatar) to help and use for the benefit of others (look at purpose of magic), and these messengers do not call themselves “wizards.” When they appeared in Middle Earth, men were confused by their existence, as their power was something they could not understand. It was men who, in their ignorance, gave the Istari the name of wizards. The magic of these “wizards” is nothing like the occult magick of Harry Potter. Instead, it is like the power that Christ gave to his disciples, allowing them the ability to heal the sick and injured, cast out demons, and perform other miracles in His name.

But what of the Elves? They live in secluded places away from men and dwarves and hobbits and are seen by every other race to be oh so mysterious. They have magic, right? To answer bluntly, no. Not really. Their magic (I'm quoting here) “in the context of Middle Earth is in no way connected to supernatural power. It is a natural attribute, one that is given only to Elves, not humans.” Tolkien disliked using the word magic to describe the elves' natural abilities, but there wasn't another word to describe it. The other races (men, dwarves, orcs, and hobbits) called the elves' skill magic because they themselves couldn't understand it.

Moving on to Narnia. Like LOTR, magic is used by secondary, non-human characters. Aslan is the Great Lion, the Son of the Emperor over the Sea, the Real King of Narnia. As I have said before, Aslan is a god figure (please read the section on god figures in my earlier post), and I think all of this qualifies him as not a human.

So, what other Narnian characters use magic? Coriakin (from Voyage of the Dawn Treader) uses magic, is called a magician (and the Oppressor by the Dufflepods), and is a star. Yes, I said “star.” Coriakin may be wizard-like in appearance, but Lewis made him that way to separate him from the normal, human characters in his stories. The white beard and long robes are typical elements in a wizard's appearance, so that's how Lewis made Coriakin. Ramandu, in the same Narnia book (Dawn Treader), is also a star and the same things apply to him.

Then we have centaurs. Glenstorm is a centaur gifted with the ability to prophesy, and there are others who have the gift of prophecy as well. However, we must realize that the gift of prophecy given by Aslan (the Superior Being) to the centaurs is the same as the gift of prophecy given by God that Paul mentions in Romans 12.

Lewis was careful to include a cautionary note with the magic in his stories. Some of the characters (Lucy, Digory, and others) use magic objects in the stories. For instance, Digory uses the magic rings in The Magician's Nephew to go to the wood between the worlds and get Polly after Uncle Andrew sent her there. However, this is where the cautionary note comes in. Later, as Digory and Polly explore the desolate world of Charn, Digory rings the golden bell and wakes the evil queen, Jadis. The same thing happens with Lucy: she reads a spell out of Coriakin's book to free the Dufflepods from their invisibleness but falls to temptation in the same book and eavesdrops wrongly on her friends. Magic can bring about both good and bad results and is not something that should be taken lightly.

3. The Realm of Magic

The realm of magic is closely linked with the characters who use magic. And with the knowledge of magic's existence. Actually, these points are all pretty much linked together. Harry Potter takes place in a fictionalized part of our own, real world. The school Hogwarts that Harry attends is found in Scotland and is only accessible to wizards and other “magical” creatures. Humans, or “Muggles” in Harry's vocabulary, cannot get to this wizard world, but rather, they see only ruins of an old castle and several warnings of danger.

The Pevensies discovering Narnia
Okay, so Harry Potter lived in England. So what? This (and I quote here) “brings the practice of magic imaginatively far closer to the personal condition and experience of the young reader.” Because Harry lives in the same world that we do, there is a fine to no line between what is real and what is fantasy. I've said before, the magick Harry practices is real, quite real. Going back to what I said about peers: because Harry Potter is living in the same world we live in, we can do anything Harry does. That's the danger.

Narnia and LOTR both take place in make believe worlds, worlds that C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien respectively made up. As much as some of us would like it, we cannot go to Middle Earth or Narnia. There is a thick, definite line between reality and fantasy here, people. The magic here is, again, shown in a light where it cannot be copied.

4. The Knowledge of Magic's Existence

In the world of Hogwarts, the knowledge of magic is kept as a secret. Wizards and witches are encouraged not to show their powers to those who are not involved in magic, or muggles (humans). This corresponds directly with the occult idea, as the word “occult” literally means “hidden.” Magic is the main theme throughout the story and has been described as Harry's salvation, his means of getting through hard times and winning in the end.

The existence of magic is common knowledge in Narnia and Middle Earth. It is limited as to who can use it, but the knowledge that it exists and is real is openly acknowledged. However, though magic is common knowledge, it is used sparingly, and the characters do not depend on the magic to help them through their difficulties. The trials and battles they fight on their own, without any assistance from magic.

Aslan and Edmund
This point isn't necessarily as important as the source of the magic, but as it is a difference in the issue of magic between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings/Narnia, I deemed it important based on a passage in 2 Corinthians 4. God wants our actions to be out in the light, as things often done in hiding are of a darker nature. True, I realize that some actions we do are meant to be secret (I'm talking about giving without thought of reparation or glory), but be careful about something that is so solidly secreted under lock and key. What is it and what's the purpose of its being secret? There's where you have to look.

5. The Purpose in Using Magic

This links right up with the two points flanking this one: the knowledge of magic and the acquisition of magic. Harry Potter learns magick to accomplish his own goals. It's his salvation, his means of getting things done. Magic is his whole life, in a sense. Whatever he does with magick is done with the intent of bringing benefit to himself. Sure, he may save his world once or twice during the course of the novels, but he does so by the use of magick and by the power of the devil, the master of chaos and destruction. Now, I'm not sure about you, but that seems a little backwards to me.

In contrast, Gandalf from LOTR is given power for the express purpose of helping and aiding others. The power given to the wizards by the Creator Illuvatar is meant to benefit those with whom the wizards come in contact. The same goes for Aslan in Narnia: his powers as the Son of the Emperor over the sea are used for the good of others. Those in LOTR and Narnia who use power for their own benefit, such as Saruman and the White Witch, do so at their own peril and are destroyed in the end.

Orcs marching to Helm's Deep

To wrap up this point, even if you don't look at the all-important issue of the source of the magic, I view Harry's powers as bad because he uses them for selfish reasons. How can anything be good when it's used in selfishness? Granted, this point isn't very big in the overall issue of magic and magick, but it is a big difference between the power used in LOTR/Narnia and Harry Potter.

6. The Acquisition of Magic

Harry Potter learns how to perform magick throughout the entire series. Indeed, the main idea of the books and films is his education in the world of magick. He goes to a boarding school, Hogwarts, and is instructed in the ways of magick. Thus, by following Harry's adventures in that boarding school, the reader learns right along with him about the magick, what it's used for, and, the most dangerous aspect, how to use it themselves. At the risk of sounding redundant, the magick in Harry Potter is real! That fact cannot be ignored. It's dangerous and evil, and must be seen as such.

Whereas, the magical characters in Narnia and LOTR already have their magic when the stories take place, and the reader is not given details on how they acquired that magic nor are they encouraged to dwell on the actual process of getting magic. No character within any of the stories goes through the learning process of how to use magic.

Again, not a huge point, but one that definitely is worth mentioning.


If you're still reading this, I applaud you for getting this far. I realize that this was a rather lengthy post, so I'll hurry up and end this before I turn this into a novel. Please remember, I am not trying to challenge anyone's beliefs or convictions. I am simply presenting my research. Questions, comments... post as many as you would like, and I will do my best to respond accordingly.

The Fellowship of the Ring

As a final word, I would encourage you all not to take my word as golden truth. Look it up for yourselves. Discuss it with your parents. Pray about it. Dig into the Word of God and search some of these points out for yourself.

The following are links I used as part of my research for this post (other sources are listed in this post):

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Coming Soon!

I just wanted to let you all know that I am done with my magic post and will be hopefully posting it tomorrow (unless something else comes up, and then it'll be posted on Tuesday)! It's taken a lot of prayer and research to get me to this point, but I'm finally done! 

I do want to apologize for taking so long to write this magic post and get it up, but life hasn't dealt kindly with me these last few months that I've been working on it. I really wanted to be able to post it back in July, right as a follow-up of my LOTR & Narnia thoughts post. But, yeah... we all see how that worked out.

Anywho, be on the lookout for my magic post - coming soon!

God bless! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

We Wish It Was Our Birthday So We Could Party, Too!

My little, taller brother is officially 15!
Happy Birthday, Doofus! 

Doofus the birthday boy, little no-account me, and Jessa Bri,
the girl who always manages to get into pictures.

I know that most of the time many of us sisters are accused of never fully appreciating our brothers, especially our younger brothers, always ready to talk not so nicely about them and viewing them as a plain, old nuisance. Let me just say, that view of brothers is wrong. Dead wrong. If you take the time to know your brothers, you won't regret it, and it will open the door to a great sibling relationship that will never fade. 

Doofus, I love having you as my brother, and it's absolutely swell to have somewho who will...

... understand my every reference to LOTR, even if it's some obscure quote from the books or the endless appendix at the back of The Return of the King or The Simarillion or The Hobbit

... always reenact the whole of The Happiest Millionaire while doing dishes, focusing intently on getting every detail of all the best songs right.

... give me the basketball when we play HORSE, even though I'm better than you at the front shots. :)

... eat the mushrooms out of my spaghetti when I don't want them.

... answer any question I can come up with about the battle of Gettysburg.

... talk in Duck language with me even when no one else knows what we're saying.

... build a replica Middle Earth with me out of any and all toys we can find, including Legos, Lincoln Logs, dollhouse, and blocks.

... share my dislike of waiting for 45 minutes while other sisters shop for jewelry.

... laugh heartily at every stupid picture I find on Pinterest, namely ones with squirrels. "Chill out, people, I'm handling it!"

... ask about my books (yeah, "books" is plural on purpose) and listen patiently to my rambling answers. 

.. be a steadfast inspiration and a godly, young man.

And a whole lot of other stuff that I can't remember at the moment to add to my list. You're the best brother any sister could ask for, and I thank the Lord daily for allowing me to get stuck with you!! And yes, being stuck with you is a good thing. :)

Happy birthday, Doofus! 
P. S. Yes, I did intentionally put that song as the title of my post. And yes, now I realize that you will be endlessly singing it tonight.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Beautiful People: Bethjasmine

I know it's been a while since I've done a Beautiful People, so I thought it was high time that I began the practice again. I feel rather ashamed when I see everyone else's beautiful people posts, and then I realize I haven't done any... *ahem*

This month's beautiful person is Bethjasmine from The Twelfth Kingdom. I dove into the BP files and withdrew questions from February of 2012. Now that I'm getting more in the habit of remembering to fill out BP questions, I may become guilty of posting BPs too often... ;)


1. If your character could be played by any actor, who would it be? I've spent some time searching pinterest for a good pic of Bethjasmine, and I think I finally found success when I came across the picture I posted above (look up ^^^). The actress's name is Genevieve Bujold, and I think she makes a rather good Bethjasmine.

2. Does your character have a specific theme song? Hmm... I never thought about a theme song for Bethjasmine. In truth, I see her as a gentle Sleeping Beauty type of character, so I suppose a good theme song for Bethjasmine would be "Once Upon a Dream." She has many dreams, even though they don't necessarily relate to marriage. When TK begins, she's a sickly orphan living on the streets of Tellorn, the capital of Findenland, and despite the poverty and grime around her, she's full of hope and optimism. 

3. What’s their worst childhood memory? Really? I don't know that much about Bethjasmine's past. Yeah, that's not a good thing for a writer to admit about her characters. I suppose her worst memory would be watching her parents die. They lived poorly and when a deathly epidemic swept through the city, they didn't survive. Bethjasmine was alone until she met another girl who was orphaned in the same epidemic. For anyone who's interested, that's Josette. 

4. If your character had a superpower, what would it be? Based on her personality, Bethjasmine's superpower would be the gift of healing. 

5. If your character crashed on an island with a bunch of other people, how would 
your character help the group survive? Bethjasmine is not the type of person to dictate orders and manage big things. She prefers to stay on the sidelines and lend a helping hand where it's most appreciated but least noticed. 

6. Are they married? If not, do they someday wish to be? Bethjasmine is only 15, so she's definitely not married. She loves being part of a family, so naturally she would wish to be married sometime in the future, but at present, it's not a big thing on her mind.

7. What is a cause they would die for? The safety and well-being of her loved ones. Especially her best friend, Josette.

8. Would they rather die fighting valiantly, or quietly at home? Definitely quietly at home, surrounded by those she loves best. 

9. If someone walked up to them and told them they were the child of the prophecy, would they believe them? She might. It would really depend on what prophecy it was, and what was expected of the one being prophesied about. If it involved action and fighting, Bethjasmine would probably feel obligated to perform her duty, although she detests violence. 

10. Do they prefer the country or the city? Probably the country. I can really see Bethjasmine living on a large manor in the middle of the country with lots of gardens. 

God bless!

Monday, September 10, 2012

September Snippets

September has come at last! Is it just me, or did August fly by way too fast? Wow!

Anywho, a new month means new snippets! Be sure to stop by Katie's blog and check out all the swell snippets! The snippets I chose for this month are all rather lengthy, but I hope you don't mind. They're all from The Twelfth Kingdom. I'm trying to plan some TK posts for this month, to let you all know some more about the story, plot, and characters as I've mainly been posting about Children of a Legend

As for the picture on the right, it's not necessarily the castle from TK. But it was, in a sense, inspiring with the grayness and mysteriousness surrounding the riders in the picture. And I did write a scene in TK with rain beating down on the castle, so I like to think that it might be the same one. Only, I never wrote a moat in. But it's still swell to look at. 

As they struggled down a broad street, J's eyes drifted upward to gaze at an old temple. Years ago, the building had been a grand attraction in the city of Tellorn, and people came for miles to take in its splendor. But with the reign of recent kings, the temple had been abandoned and forgotten, leaving it to stand in ruins in the middle of Tellorn. J loved looking at the building and imagining what it was like years ago, when the windows gleamed and the marble steps were neatly swept. But with caving ceilings, broken doors, and dirt in every place visible, the temple was hard to see as something other than what it was: a ruin.
J shook her head. If only King Jakken believed in Père, maybe he would fix up the temple. She sighed. None of the rich people have any time for Père. They think He's only for the poor and destitute.
On the broad, filthy steps of the temple knelt about a dozen people, all clothed in tattered rags. J could tell they were praying, each one with a reverently bowed head and closed eyes. She could hear one of them praying aloud and, as she passed, she paused to listen to his prayer.
“Oh, Père, Creator and Lord of all, come to Findenland today. Let this new princess open the eyes of our king. Let him realize that You are missing in his life.” The old man stopped to wipe away his tears. “Do not abandon us, Père, because our king has abandoned You. Bring Your majesty back to Findenland.” He coughed, clutching at his chest weakly, then added, “Soon.”
J felt tears tugging at the corners of her own eyes and she added her own voice to the old man's. Answer his prayer, Père. Let him see Your glory restored before he leaves this earth. 

Josette sat, overwhelmed and enveloped in the cushy folds of a large chair in the middle of her chambers. She had never felt so clean in her whole life. After escorting her upstairs and down numerous halls, the maid Jakken had summoned opened a door behind which was a room beautiful beyond Josette's wildest imaginings. It was as if Josette had forgotten to breathe. 
The first things she noticed was the light. Soft candlelight gave the room a soft atmosphere. Two windows, both gleaming with utter cleanliness, looked over the courtyard, and a pair of double doors opened to a small balcony. The late afternoon sun cast golden rays through the glass and added to the richness of the room. Thick curtains tied on either side of the windows were opened now to let in the light, but promised to close at night to keep away the cruel drafts.

This is a map of the Twelve Kingdoms.” Laris smacked her finger down on a name in the middle of the parchment. “And this is Findenland, our kingdom.” She ran her finger along thick black lines forming a sort of circle around the name. “These are our borders; they're entirely made up of mountain ranges. We are completely landlocked.” 
“Yes, we have no access to the sea and our trade can only come to us from over the mountains. Now, because we have a strong mining industry, we're economically stable. However, we have a weak military and absolutely no navy. That gives us a disadvantage when it comes to political power.” 

Josette slowly pushed the blankets off and lowered her feet over the side of the bed. She allowed Aci to get her dressed and then sat while the maid fussed over her tangled brown hair with a brush.
When Aci was convinced she had done everything she could, she gestured to the floor length mirror. Josette stepped over, and her breath caught. Yesterday, when Aci had prepared her to meet her new sisters, she had been whisked away before she had even seen what she looked like. But what Josette saw before her in the mirror was nothing like what she expected to see.
Half of her long brown hair fell gently over her shoulders, and Aci had tucked the rest up in a simple, but elegant, twist. A white dress covered her frame, the bodice tastefully decorated with silver threads and tiny embroidered blue flowers. Heeled slippers peeked out from beneath the long hem. Josette gazed at her face, recalling the time when she had prayed in the rain at Père's temple. When she had looked into that puddle, the reflection she saw there was almost opposite of what she saw now.
“I look...”
“Pretty.” Aci beamed. “You look right pretty. Now let's get you to breakfast.”

Thanks for reading! God bless!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Character Tag Part Four - My Villains

I apologize for the lateness of this post. I posted the first three parts of this tag back at the beginning of August, and then part four kinda faded into the background as I got busy with the EDBP. And then it got further postponed when I couldn't find pictures to fit my characters. Character casting, IMHO, is harder to do than the actual writing. Is it just me? Please tell me it's not just me... And please note that I do not choose characters due to the movies they are in... I find it slightly easier to cast characters that I've never seen before so I can give them my own personalities. 

Well, let's get into the fourth and last part of this fun character tag. You can read the other parts here:

Mal Sorcell
Even though most people think of this character as Vizinni, every time I write about Mal Sorcell, this is all I can imagine. Mal Sorcell is bald, hunchbacked (except when he wants to walk straight), self-proclaimed miracle man that appears in Children of a Legend, and he's not the sort of character that you'd want to trust. He wears long purple robes and always tries to present himself as the amazing and the mysterious. He'll stop at nothing to get what he wants, and he works indirectly for Lord Vernd. His right hand man is a mute giant named Sordin, who basically serves as the muscle behind Mal Sorcell's brains. Mal Sorcell's name I created with a French basis (I use French words as a foundation for most of my names), and Mal Sorcell literally means "bad sorcerer." 

Lord Vernd
Now I'm sure you all know who Lord Vernd is. And I'm not saying Vernd is this guy in the picture. This is a little unsatisfying because Vernd has a bit of gray in his otherwise pitch black hair as he's much older than this guy, and he most certainly does *not* wear earrings. Ugh. And he never, ever smiles. At least, not in the way that we would smile. Anywho, Lord Vernd is my big bad guy in Children of a Legend. He hates the name of the Dragon Tamer, rejects the authority of Père, the One True God of Dron, and doesn't care what his actions might cause to others so long as he benefits. His entire life has been dictated by defending his rule from the attacks of the Dragon Tamer and ruthlessly searching out that same Tamer to destroy him. His reign will be unopposed, of that he is certain, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. If you want to read my Beautiful People post about Lord Vernd, click here

Now here's a guy you probably haven't heard about before. Randbec appears as King Jakken's royal advisor in The Twelfth Kingdom. Randbec's name was also taken from a French foundation, and it means "grand beak" or "large nose." For good reason. Did you see the schnoz on this guy? Yep, Randbec sports a profile that an eagle would envy. He's not what you might call a true villain from reading what I've written so far in TK, but you're prone to dislike him due to his stern aloofness and indifference to the princesses. As King Jakken's right hand man, Randbec serves whatever purpose the the king desires of him. 

Mistress Severamer
Please excuse the fact that this lady's garb does not match the medieval/fantasy garb of the preceding pictures. This is the perfect face for Mistress Severamer, and I could see no one else being her. For those of you who don't recognize this picture, it's Prunella from Eloise at Chirstmastime. Mistress Severamer, again, is not what I can truthfully describe as a real villain, just someone that nobody likes. The closeness of her name to the word severe is no coincidence. She is the head governess, in a sense, over all the princesses, and it is her job to see that they all perform their respected princess-y tasks, whether it be related to education, etiquette, or edibles. And she tends to use alliteration a lot when she speaks. 

Hope you enjoyed this! I had a lot of fun putting these four parts of the tag together! 

And now for the end: I'm to tag three people to continue this tag. So, without further adieu, I tag:
Miss Dashwood
Beth Grace
The Mad Elvish Poet

1. State the rules!
2. Post four posts about your sixteen favorite fictional characters, including four good and four bad each from novels you have read and stories you have written/are writing.
3. Tag three new people when you are finished and comment to let them know that you've tagged them.

If you want to participate in this tag, but I neglected to tag you, feel free to go ahead and snatch it to put on your own blog!

So long!