Guest Post [From L&P to English Tea]

Hello, friend!

Guess what?  I have been featured as a guest poster at Anjali's blog, From L&P to English Tea!  Please click here (or the image below) to read my post on Writing Tips.

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Character Profile [Mo]

Welcome back, dear readers!  

I've wanted to do this for a little while now, and finally it has happened!  I give you the first in my line of Profile posts, in which I will give an overview of my original characters in my WIP, Safia, and the medieval-fantasy world of Everon.

And so, without further ado. . .

original character MO; artist - Julia
Mo'mbweno "Mo" Bongali
age:  um, 32-ish? 
(late twenties, early thirties)
height:  6 foot, 7 inches
weight:  230 lbs
eye color:  dark brown
hair color:  none (he's bald!) =]
home country:  Makar [pro. ma-KAHR]
(based on Africa)

 Known to all simply as Mo.  He is extremely loyal and would readily, without hesitation, lay down his life for a friend.  Recognized for his size, impressive strength, and pearly-white smile.  Quick to give encouragement, and/or correction if needed, he acts as a bodyguard and friend to the crown prince of Gondoa, Rydan--to whom he owes his life.  Needless to say, he can be a bit overprotective.
A devout follower of the true Light, Eliadan, God of Creation, Mo does all in his power to live as He would, to pattern his life after the One who gave him life.

Ship's bosun (officer in charge of ship's rigging, cables, anchors, and deck crew) for the royal Gondian vessel responsible for the transportation/pleasure of the king and queen of Gondoa, christened the Victory's Crown.  Also, first mate aboard the crown prince's personal ship, the Sea Falcon.

Worst Fear:
Catfish's ladle.

Personal Quote:
"Aye. Beware the ladle."

Role in Safia:
Bosun on the Victory's Crown, first mate on the Falcon.  Mo is the bodyguard of Prince Rydan and loyal to the crown of Gondoa.


What did you think?  

The picture is courtesy of my sister, Julia.  Didn't she do a great job?  He looks just like I imagined him!

Many thanks for stopping by!  Fairfarren, for now. =]

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What's in a Name?

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Indian, Literature
Pronunciation:  ro-HAHN, ro-HAN

Meaning & History
The meaning of this name depends on its usage.  In Indian, it is derived from the Sanskrit rohana, meaning "ascending."  In Literature, it is used by J.R.R. Tolkien in his trilogy, "The Lord of the Rings" (1954), as a place name meaning "horse country" in Sindarin.

<left photo -- The Lord of the Rings, Éomer, nephew of King Théoden, ruler of Rohan.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Italian
Pronunciation:  EL-sǝ (English), EL-sah (German)

Meaning & History
Short form of Elisabeth, which is the Dutch and German form of Elizabeth, meaning "my God is an oath" or "my God is abundance."

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Dutch
Pronunciation:  KOON (Dutch), KOH-en (English)

Meaning & History
Short form of Koenraad, the Dutch form of Conrad, which is the combination of Germanic elements meaning "brave" and "counsel."

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Czech, Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian
Pronunciation:  zor-RAH

Meaning & History
From a South and West Slavic word meaning "dawn, aurora."

{Side Note: This was the given name of my great-grandmother, and is the middle name of one of my little cousins.}

Name definitions and history via
Photos via Pinterest.

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Book Review

I Kissed Dating Goodbye
A New Attitude Toward Romance and Relationships
Joshua Harris

[rear cover]
Tired of the game?  Kiss dating goodbye.
Dating.  Isn't there a better way?  I Kissed Dating Goodbye suggest there is.  Reorder your romantic life in the light of God's Word and find more fulfillment than a date could ever give--a life of sincere love, true purity and purposeful singleness.


In all truth and honesty, I kissed dating goodbye more than five years ago.  Never did the thought ever enter my mind that dating would be the way to go.  I guess it was drilled into me by my parents, and the fact in seeing those my age jumping on the dating roller-coaster and exiting broken and sick; it disgusted me.  Though I didn't realize at first, deep down I knew I wanted something more real.  Pure.  True.

I wish I had read this years ago.  (Though in my mind, it seemed there was no need for me to do so, seeing as I already agreed whole-heartedly regarding this subject.)  Probably should have, but then again I might not have come away with what I've learned in reading it now.    However, I am glad to have read it, and now hope in my doing so, I may encourage others and spread the Light.

Joshua Harris, age 21 at the publication of this book, does an incredible job in getting his point across.  Through his own personal experiences, and mistakes, he serves as a guide, lending answers to what he has learned and exposing the dating game for what it really is.  [Please do not misunderstand me!  Many good marriages have resulted from dating, yes, but sadly the majority of problems, I believe, outweighs the good.]

Have you heard the phrase, "Dating is practice for divorce."?  Think about it.  This is true in the most absolute sense.  Guys and girls go out on an innocent date, ride to highest of the coaster, speed back down, and break up only to take the ride again with another person.  The result is broken hearts, anger, and in some cases, defiled purity.  

"God wants us to seek guidance from scriptural truth, not feeling," says the author in the first chapter. "Smart love looks beyond personal desires and the gratification of the moment. It looks at the big picture: serving others and glorifying God." (pgs 24)

In the same chapter, he states: "Does this mean we'll never mess up? Of course not! We can only stand before God because of His grace and the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. And yet this grace doesn't give us license to be lax in our pursuit of righteousness. Instead, it should urge us to desire purity and blamelessness even more." (pgs 25)

In this book, Mr. Harris tackles the hard questions with biblical truth, answers truthfully on account of his own experiences, shares what he has learned, and suggests a new path.

I would definitely and most readily recommend this book to teens and adults alike, whether they are just entering high school or have encountered the age of 30 and remain a single, sick of the game.  

A new perspective is needed.  Have you thought of courtship?  =]


Thank you for reading!  This post could have definitely been longer, filled with many words of wisdom (from me, of course!  Just kidding.).  But I decided to leave that to you to learn on your own. =]

Recommended ages: 16+  
(Because, seriously, you shouldn't even be thinking of dating any younger than sixteen.  Or even at sixteen!  Are you ready to be married?  They why are you dating??)

My rating:

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What's in a Name? [SURNAMES]

Another addition of Surnames!  I apologize. . . No pictures.  =]

Remember, these Name and Surname posts, as well as the Word posts are to serve a purpose for you, my fellow writer!  And that purpose is to help you in choosing the perfect name or names for you character (or characters) as well as widen your vocabulary.  =]

If you have a request for a name or two, be it a theme (names with Fire meanings, or Forest, Elvish, Desert, etc.), or a set of Surnames for a Medieval, Period Drama, or whatever setting, drop me a comment! and I will see what I can find.

Usage:  Dutch, Danish, English, Norwegian
Pronunciation:  HOLT

Meaning & History
Means "a wood" or "grove" in Old English or German.

Usage:  Irish
Pronunciation:  kav-ǝ-NAH, kav-ǝ-NAHG

Meaning & History
Variant of Kavanagh, which is derived from the Irish Gaelic name Caomhánach meaning "a student of saint Caomhan."  It was a name used by a 12th-century king of Leinster, Domhnall Caomhánach (Donal Kavanagh), the eldest son of an Irish king.

Usage:  English
Pronunciation:  NOR-wood

Meaning & History
Originally derived from a place name meaning "north wood" in Old English.

Source:  Given Name
Usage:  Irish
Pronunciation:  TEEG

Meaning & History
Anglicized form of Ó Taidhg, meaning "descendant of Tadhg."  Tadhg (pronounced: TIEG) is an Irish given name meaning "poet."


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A Word, Guv'na?

It has been quite a while since I've featured a word post here.  High time for another, don'cha think? =]

Webster's 1828 Dictionary
noun  a spirit of friendly good fellowship

From the French word camarade meaning "comrade."  A comrade is "a fellow, a mate or companion; an associate in occupation." (Webster's 1828)

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Book Review [Emma]

Jane Austen

[Synopsis from GoodReads]
'I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.'

Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegee Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen's most flawless work.


I must admit, I did not like this book half as much as I should have.  At least the first half.  For some reason, it took me a great deal longer to read, but by the end I was the happier for having read it.

By no means is Emma Woodhouse perfect.  You discover this fact within the first few pages.  The theme of this story, by the famed Jane Austen, is of a hopelessly flawed girl and her attempts at matchmaking.  We find that Emma is rich, clever, quick-witted, and a bit of a romantic.  She sees people as classed in ranks of poor, to whom she can stoop to help, modest, whom she would have nothing to do with, and rich, those equal to or perhaps superior to her, if any.  She has great compassion for those who have nothing and assists them in her neighborhood, whether it is providing a meal or simply being there.  However, and this is what got me, she has nothing to do with farmers and the like, laborers who work hard for their living each day to provide for their family.  When her little, weak-minded friend Harriet receives a marriage proposal from a modest, young farmer, Emma does what she can to "persuade" Harriet to refuse his offer and set her eyes on a more "noble" gentleman.  The result is disastrous, but I will not go into that.

I confess, from the beginning I did not like her personality.  Well, her character in general.  Probably because she snubbed farmers. . . (I mean, come on!  I'm a farmer!) =]  But, ironically, her faults are what makes her a likable character and one we can relate to.

With the help of a family friend, who graciously points out the mistakes of her character and is the only one to whom she listens on such things, Emma grows and matures completely, wishing to correct the many offenses she has made and to better herself in such matters.  From there on, her love story unfolds and all ends well regarding her own marriage, as well as that of Harriet (to the farmer) and another couple.  Happily ever after for all.  =]


Because of the style in which this novel is written -- meaning the dialogue, wording, and writing style in general -- I would recommend readers from the age of 14+.
My rating:

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What's in a Name?

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Eastern African, Swahili
Pronunciation:  noo-ROO, NEW-roo

Meaning & History
Means "light" or "born in daylight" in Swahili, ultimately from the Arabic nur.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Indian, Greek
Pronunciation:  UN-jah-lee, AHN-jah-lee

Meaning & History
Means "offering" or "divine offering" in Sanskrit.  Other definitions translate "a gift to God" or "angel"; the Greek, meaning "messenger."

[Side note]  I found this name through our fellow blogger Anjali (who hails from New Zealand, though currently living in England) of the blog From L&P to English Tea, and simply fell in love with its simplicity.  Such a beautiful name! Variations can also be spelled as Anjalee.


These last two names belong to characters of mine in my WIP currently titled Safia.  For some reason, all of my concept stories are entitled with the first names of the main characters (Safia, Kyndi, Chess, Ru, Kaely).  Call me lazy, but I like it.  =]

I've probably used this pic before, not sure... Ah well. =]
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Pronunciation:  PEE-der

Meaning & History
Scandinavian form of Peter, meaning "rock" or "stone."

[my notes] Well, not much to say of this guy.  You should know him pretty well by now.  =]  He is the fun, care-free, much-needed ice-breaker character of my story, Safia.  Aged around 22 years old, he is the childhood friend of Prince Rydan, and a member of Gondoa's special fighting force known as the Guard.  Loyal to the tee, he would not hesitate to lay down his life for a friend, or stranger, for that matter.  Extremely skilled in the chosen weapons of the Guard -- the longbow, broadsword, and dirk (or long dagger) -- he is a warrior of excellent talent and strength.  Though he suffers from impatience, has a slight temper when annoyed, and is a bit showy when it comes to weapons skill, Peder has a big heart and works hard to better himself.  He has a passion for the poor and those who would be classed as "inferior" in rank, for he himself was one of them.  The eldest of a family of six children, whose father died within the last few years, he cares for his mother and younger siblings and strives to make their lives comfortable.  He delights in making those around him laugh, jokes at his expense, and would readily take on a burden in order to relieve the weaker person.  A strong follower of Eliadan, the God of creation, he serves as a Light in the dark world of Everon.

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Arabic
Pronunciation:  SAH-fee-yah, sah-FEE-yah, SAHF-yah

Meaning & History
A variant of Safiyyah, which in turn is the feminine form of Safi, meaning "pure" or "sincere friend."

[My notes]  Ah, my dear, dear Safia.  She has to be one of my favorite characters.  The reason being, I suppose, is that she is really the first to have a full story, background, and world all to herself.  I must be brief in a summary of her character, because their is so much I could say of her.

Seventeen years old, she is the daughter of former pirate-turned-merchant master Gunnar Leifson, a Skahman (based off of the Vikings) of the country Norska, and the lovely Faina Rouseau, the eldest daughter of the rich and prosperous family who rule and govern a province of Charan.  Charming, quiet, reserved, and quite beautiful, Safia takes on the personality of her sweet and gentle mother, rather than her commanding and rough father.  Despite a deep fear of the ocean, due to the fact it was the cause of her mother's death nearly eight years before, she travels the world of Everon with her father and his crew on the magnificent merchant vessel dubbed the Lady of Leif.  Fluent in many languages, both spoken and written, she assists her father in his business.  In a tragic battle on the open ocean, Safia's world falls apart and all she has ever known sinks to the depths of the sea.  Her father and all of his crew are killed in a fight with pirates, whose purpose has a bigger meaning than she had ever thought, and she alone is rescued from the wreckage.  Who should rescue her but a prince?  That's every girl's dream, right?  Safia becomes a passenger on the royal Gondian ship Victory's Crown, and sails to Gondoa with a valuable gold medallion and a promise, made to her dying father, to journey to Charan and seek her mother's family.  And perhaps something more.  Unfortunately, at times she seems to have inherited her father's stubborn attitude and hot temper.  Her emotions are kept hidden from all, sometimes herself, and she shies from human contact.  Trust is not so easily given.  Fear is ever-present.  Grief threatens to tear her apart.  Safia struggles with her faith in Eliadan, or Adaan (the Norskan name of God), and must ultimately learn to surrender all to Him -- her life, her passions, her family.  Acceptance of a new life with forever friends is difficult and she struggles to find that she can belong anywhere, be it Gondoa or Charan.  However, she gains a new perspective, learns to fully rely on her King, and in so doing finds closure from the over-bearing sorrow and a future free from fear.

And there you have it.  =]  In the near future, I plan to post some character spotlights, where you can read of one character at a time, their interests, dislikes, and fears, as well as their part in the story.

Any requests?

Name definitions and history via and
Photos via Pinterest.

New Blog Design!

What do you think?  Is it a keeper?

I think so.  =]

A HUGE thank you, once again, to Anna! from Hero (as well as Dragonmaster and Rubberboot Girl).

I'm still tweaking the sidebar a wee bit.  It was rather cluttered. . .  Please do not be alarmed, or angry, if you see that your blog button is no longer there.  I still love you!  *heehee*

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[Every Good Word] Writerly Link-Up!

I know I'm a little late in joining the party, but I decided to do it anyway!  This is a get-to-know-your-fellow-writers link-up at Meghan Gorecki's blog, Every Good Word

  1. What was your first-ever piece of writing? I guess that would be a short story I wrote, set in the Old West, about a Ranger named Jacob "Jac" Crews. I must confess it was wholly inspired by Louis L'Amour and greatly resembled his writings. =]
  2. How old were you when you first began writing?  Hmm. About 14, maybe. I'm not quite sure, my writings then were sporadic and didn't happen often.
  3. Name two writing goals. One short term & one long term.  Short term goal: To actually finish my main WIP, Safia, and possibly publish it. My long term goal: To keep writing! And complete other unfinished works. Safia, first.
  4. Do you write fiction or non-fiction?  Fiction, all the way!
  5. Bouncing off of question 4, what's your favorite genre to write in?  It would have to be Medieval/Fantasy. =] There's just something about knights, dragons, elves, and fair ladies that calls to me. ;D By far, it is the easiest to write about, in my opinion. You can make up your own world and language, places and creatures, and not have a worry or care about messing up anything. Call me lazy, but it is hard to do the research it takes to have a story setting in a real place -- for example, London, England. Especially if you have never been there yourself. By the way, I have a WIP set in England already. =] Just floating around in the off-stage area right now...
  6. One writing lesson you've learned since 2013 began.  I have learned so much this year! Too much to condense it to one thing... I would say I've learned the importance of having an outside editor to look over my work. In my case, it is my family (mother and sisters), who spot the mistakes and details that have slipped by me in their sneaky ways.
  7. Favorite author, off the top of your head!  This is too hard! I would have to say Louis L'Amour. 
  8. Three current favorite books.  ARGH. Um, "The Walking Drum" by Louis L'Amour, "North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell, and the Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan. Actually, I have so many more, but those are what came to my mind first. =]
  9. Biggest influence on your writing {person}:  My sisters, of course! Jenny & Julia, who help me come up with ideas in the first place. Love you, ladies! You are my bestest friends! But then I have to say my other best friend Risa! Who has always been there with her sweet encouragement and prayers. Thank, dear Risa. <3
  10. What's your go-to writing music?  Hmm. Actually, I don't really listen to music when I write. I get distracted easily... But I do love soundtracks! LotR, Narnia, Brave, Tangled, Rise of the Guardians, you name it. Video game soundtracks are awesome, too (though I do not play/own any of the games): Halo or Assassin's Creed (yes, it has incredible music!).
  11. List three to five writing quirks of your's! Little habits, must-haves as you write, etc.  a] Absolute quiet -- just me... in my alone-ness. Maybe with a soft instrumental playing in the background. Rainy days are good for inspiration. b] A good pen, fine, with plenty of ink. c] My Sustainable Earth (by Staples), recycled sugar-cane paper, Eco friendly notebook. My favorite notebook ever! (I love the feel of the pages...) My strategy is to write, then type to computer. I just love the feel of pen to paper. ^__^
  12. What, in three sentences or less, does your writing mean to you?  A way to express myself through the written word, and hopefully encourage others to stand up for the faith. I feel I "speak" better through my writing then through actual speech; I want my characters to be to be someone the reader can relate to, no matter the genre. =]

What's in a Name?

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Italian
Pronunciation:  or-LAHN-do

Meaning & History
The Italian form of the name Roland, which means "famous land," from the Germanic elements hrod "fame" and land.  A city in Florida bears this name, as does a character in Shakespeare's play "As You Like It" (1599).

Gender:  Feminine
Usage: Hawaiian
Pronunciation:  [possibly] ma-LEE or mah-LIE-ee

Meaning & History
Means "calm" in Hawaiian.

Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Irish, English
Pronunciation:  KWIN

Meaning & History
From an Irish surname, an Anglicized form of Ó'Cuinn, which means "descendant of Conn."  [Conn means "chief" in Irish Gaelic.]

Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Japanese
Pronunciation:  na-NAH-mee (English)

Meaning & History
From Japanese nana "seven" and mi "sea."  Could possibly come from na "vegetables, greens" duplicated and added to mi "beautiful."

[Personally, I like the definition of "seven seas" better than "beautiful greens". . .]

Guess what?  This marks the 100th post on this blog!

Many thanks for stopping by!  Any requests?

Name definitions and history via
Photos via Pinterest.