Whew! What a Week

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Hulloa, m'dears.  You've probably noticed my absence in the bloggy world this past week.  If not, I assure you, my feelings aren't hurt. . . too bad.  :]

But to explain, it's not been overly busy.  I've just had one of those weeks.  My awesome, profound brain things have been rather few these passing days and when I sit down to do a normal post, nothing comes.  Hence, no Names or A+A.  :[

Also, I'm requesting your prayers.  For the past two weeks, my grandfather (mother's side) has been struggling with his health.  Long story short, he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and prescribed medicine to help with that.  But last Saturday, he was taken to the Emergency Room at UT Medical Center with a sugar level of 580+ and a yellow tint to his skin.  More tests were run and we were told he has a mass on his pancreas.  He underwent a biopsy yesterday and came through just fine (Praise God!), expecting to come home later this evening.  So, now we are simply waiting for the results.  They haven't said anything yet, but I get the impression that we are looking at pancreatic cancer.  But God is in control, no matter the outcome.

If you have any down time, please remember him and my family.  His name is Milton, he's 68 years old and in better shape than any of us! :D  We just, still need him here.  

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On another note, I'm taking this entire week off of blogging.  So, it will most likely be Monday or later before you hear from me again.  I'll still be in touch via contact form and comments, just no posts.  Might even have a small surprise to reveal by then. . . :]

Thank you in advance, my friends!  Love you all!



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Hey, Y'all

Not much going on here.  I apologize for missing a Name post.  I had one planned for Monday and I was gonna do another set of twins. . . 
But apparently, this is one of those weeks where I don't know what to write, or what I do write doesn't seem right.  O_O Heheh.  Make sense?  Come on, I'm sure I'm not the only one with this problem! 
So, here's just a note to say hi, and a wee bit of encouragement.


My God is so gracious.  Especially when I don't deserve it!  I can't thank Him enough for the many blessings He has given me.  

Stand strong, fellow Christian.   For our God is mighty.

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A + A Friday!


AWKWARD
  • Accidentally swallowing a bit of your gum--it's that really weird feeling as it goes down your throat.  *bleh*
  • Getting bruises for doing stupid things: like jamming your knee into the corner of a shelf.  If I get a bruise or a cut, I want it to be something cool, you know? Like from working on fences all day, or mechanickin' on my car. . . or dragon fighting.

  • Working at the registers when an older guy walks in, glances at you, and says, "So, this is where you work." O_O  He apologizes a few seconds later, before explaining he thought you were someone else.  Still, it was very awkward and kinda creepy. . .
  • When an older gentleman asks how you "stay so slim," as you ring up his items.  You blank out for a moment at the random question and mutter blandly, "Um, well, I try to stay active. . ." *awkward chuckle* (Haha, Lifeway customers. *shakes head with a grin*)
  • Oh, the accuracy:

  • The fact that, no matter how many times you try them, COLD French fries are just: 
Does anybody remember this show?? xD


AWESOME
  • The countdown for Beyond the Mask is ticking! Helping to promote a screening, and now lacking only 18 tickets to reach the minimum number of reservations needed in order to tip the theater. If you live in my area and are even the least bit interested in this new film by the Burns Family Studios, visit this link to reserve tickets for Monday, April 6th at 7:00 at the Bradley Square 12 in Cleveland, TN.  You won't regret it!! (I'll try to publish a post next week with more info. . .) I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to watch this thing??
It's actually "Coming 2015" :]
  • Nerdness.

  • Today marked the first day of Spring!!
  • Purchased two new CDs this week:  Jonathan Thulin's "Science Fiction," and Tenth Ave. North's "The Struggle."  LOVE them both, but especially Thulin's newest album! Check out his single, "Mockingbird"--AWESOME.
  • "We have not lost the battle.  We have merely lost the fight." (paraphrase of a quote from Lego Ninjago, Season 2)
  • The PENGUINS movie.  SO HILARIOUS!! I laughed the entire time. 

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So, that was my week.  Not too much to report, I know. But I do hope you still get a laugh or two. :]

Happy Weekend, all!

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Another dose of A + A!

AWKWARD
  • "Whoa! He blew a smoke ring," you exclaim, as your family's van passes a car on the interstate. "Oh wait.  SHE blew a smoke ring," you correct yourself after a better look.
  • And oh, the painful truth:

  • The fact every time you see this GIF, you burst into laughter:
  • Dreaming that you were overrun by cats.
  • So engrossed in a book that you jump at the slightest sound. (RESISTANCE)
  • Holding your umbrella under your arm, but when you pull it free, you feel as if you are drawing a sword.


AWESOME
  • When your brand new camera comes in a few days earlier than you expect, and the big box is waiting for you when you return from work.  A perfect end to a good day.
  • When you nearly drop a snowglobe right in front of the customer, but catch it just in time.  That's AWESOME, because you don't have good reflexes. . .
  • Receiving your AUTOGRAPHED copy of ANON, SIR, ANON. Currently reading and loving it! Such hilarity.
  • And wit (coming off from the previous point):
            "Oh yes.  I'd almost forgotten about that in the fair presence of your niece."
            "Nonsense.  Live women are a dime-a-dozen.  You're here to tell me about the dead one."
Anon, Sir, Anon (p. 28)

There will be a review once I finish! :]
  • Cinderella is finally out! And now to wait two WHOLE weeks before we can see it, and Frozen Fever!!
  • (I'm running out of awesomes, though there is always an abundance--it's just the thing of whether or not I can remember them. . .) So, here's an awesome shirt! Definitely on the wishlist. :]
  • All the new films coming soon this year! (Sorry, no time for links) Besides Cinderella, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Minion movie! Star Wars, Hotel Transylvania 2 (Yes, I think it's HILARIOUS), Jurassic World, and so much more.  
Yes.  I'm a nerd.  :]


Happy weekend, all!

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Book Review | Resistance

Resistance
The Ilyon Chronicles #1
Jaye L. Knight

Publisher:  Living Sword Publishing
Genre:  Christian Fantasy, Clean New Adult, 
Released:  May 20th, 2014

{Goodreads}
“Don’t you know? Animals like you have no soul.”

Could God ever love a half-blood all of society looks upon with such fear and disdain? Jace once believed so, but when a tragic loss shatters the only peace he’s ever known, his faith crumbles as the nagging doubts he’s tried to put behind him descend on his grieving heart. With them come the haunting memories of the bloodstained past he longs to forget, but can never escape.

Taken from home at a young age and raised to serve the emperor, Kyrin Altair lives every day under a dangerous pretense of loyalty. After her unique observation skills and perfect memory place her into direct service to the emperor, Kyrin finds herself in further jeopardy as it becomes increasingly difficult to hide her belief in Elôm, the one true God.

Following the emperor’s declaration to enforce the worship of false gods under the penalty of death, many lives are endangered. But there are those willing to risk everything to take a stand and offer aid to the persecuted. With their lives traveling paths they never could have imagined, Jace and Kyrin must fight to overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.

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WARNING: Possible Spoilers
NOTE:  This is, as per usual, a rather thorough review.
Forgive the longness, but I feel I should share it.  If you are not up to reading the whole thing, it might suffice you to read at least The Basics section as well as the Conclusion.  :]

{The Basics}
Wow.  This book was AMAZING. And I do not exaggerate.  It is incomparable! I knew from the second chapter this would be a five-star review, and I'm not sure that has ever happened.  Usually, if a novel is to my liking I vary with giving four to five stars, depending on content.  But with this adventure, there was no doubt.  I heartedly recommend to all my fellows!! Especially if you love clean, Medieval fantasy.

Briefly regarding the characters: Jace is a slave--a gladiator--forced to fight due to the raging ryrik blood running through his veins.  He's been told his entire life that he is no more than an animal, a soul-less monster.  And he believes it.  Until an older man, by name of Rayad, stumbles upon him as he is beaten by his merciless master.  Rayad had seen his most recent fight in the arena; had seen him best his opponent, and instead of giving in to the will of the crowd, who shouted for the defeated man's death, watch as he merely knocked him unconscious and left.  Rayad, a follower of Elôm, the One true God, bought Jace's freedom and took him in as a son, despite being on the run from the emperor.  Jace still struggles with his faith, doubting the truths Rayad drills into him, but with war brewing between the emperor and the rebels, he learns to surrender in order to protect those he loves.

While this story picks up on the point of view of many different characters, including a few minors, it plays mainly with that of Rayad, Jace, and Kyrin.  Kyrin is a young lady of seventeen, raised in the capital city of Arcacia at the emperor's school for gifted children, along with her twin brother.  Kyrin is blessed (though she might call it cursed) with a vivid memory and the keen ability to read people's personalities and characteristics.  She is summoned by the emperor himself to act as an assistant of sorts, serving to discern the motives and thoughts of the ruler's subjects.  She, too, is a follower of Elôm, forced to keep her faith a secret or suffer the consequences.  In this case, death.

{Positives}
Kaden is very protective of his sister.  They are incredibly close, inseperable, and have a sweet relationship.  It is obvious, they would do anything for the other.  When attacked by Ryriks, Jace puts himself between the danger and Kyrin.

The two men and woman facing execution, stand strong in the face of death and firm in their belief, they nobly meet their end.  (Oh, to have such courage!)

{Negatives}
Bullying in the emperor's academy at Tarvin Hall is rather common, especially if one is overly different from others--Kyrin, for instance (Kaden stands up for her, every time).  

Due to his blood-line, Jace faces persecution for his race by men who claim to be followers of the One God.  Because of this, he severely struggles with the possibility that he has no soul and is a monster, giving in to the lies of men.

If a young woman (in the emperor's castle or at Tarvin Hall) found herself to be with child, she was to go immediately to a palace physician to have it "dealt with properly" and "at [her] own expense."

{Spiritual Content}
This is a beautifully written Christian fiction.  Therefore, faith wars between that in the One God, or the pagan moon gods, Aertus and Vilai.  

When given the opportunity to witness to a young man about her faith, Kyrin stalls, and later feels intense disappointment in herself for her cowardice.  That might have been the only time they man would have ever heard of Elôm.  

Many of the faithful stand up for their God and boldly renounce belief in the emperor's false gods.  Elôm gives physical strength to His people when they need it most, and true courage is found only in Him.

Kyrin feels a strong prodding, believed to be from Elôm, to connect with the outcast Jace.

{Violence}
Jace is beaten and whipped by his master.  Others are beaten when it is learned of their faith in Elôm.  Broken ribs, swollen jaws, cuts, and aching muscles result.  A farm is attacked and burned to the ground, it's owners killed and left exposed in the yard.  Rayad and Jace fight the soldiers left in waiting.  They kill all but one.  A noble is reported dead after a government meeting with the emperor, it is suspected he was murdered on the way to his home.

Ryriks, a savage race known for their quick rage and violence, are despised by the people of Arcacia.  When caught, they are publicly executed (by beheading) for their various crimes.  A group of six such ryriks attack Kyrin and Jace as they are hunting.  [SPOILER] Kyrin and Jace fight well, killing all but one, with Jace coming away with a minor wound. 

[SPOILER] Kyrin, herself, is nearly executed after voicing her faith.  Thousands gather to see her the day before, and, as she's leaving the platform with her guards, throw rotten vegetables and trash.  A rock hits her in the head, causing a small gash. So begins the fight for Elôm.  Later, two men and one woman are executed for this belief.

An evil knight threatens to send pieces of prisoners' bodies to lure out a person wanted by the emperor.  He goes so far as to begin cutting a finger (all the way to the bone), but is interrupted.  Later, he pierces a man's cheek, with another threat to blind him, simply to say he could do so. 

{Language, Alcohol & Drugs}
None.  Brief mention of certain drugs to end pregnancies.

{Love-y Content}
As an assistant at the palace, Kyrin wears a uniform gown (to her relief, rather modest) of sorts and cosmetics are layered to her face.  At one point, she is made to wear a more revealing, low-cut dress for a special gathering of the lords.  Needless to say, she gets more than one look her way.

After her arrest, Kyrin is imprisoned and forced to give up her dress.  She is left with naught but her shift, drawing soldier's acute attentions.  (Nothing happens, never fear!)

There is an obvious love interest between a knight's daughter and a baron's son.  Turns out, she is also pursued by a disgusting captain, as well.

Jace and Kyrin embrace twice--once for comfort in grief and the other in friendship.

The emperor's wicked daughter attempts to seduce Kaden.  He sees through her scheme and tells her it won't work on him.  Here, I wanted to shout a hoo-rah! and give him a fist bump. :] 

{Conclusion}
Oh, dear.  What more can I say, without making this any longer??  

This story was FANTASTIC.  MARVELOUS.  INTENSE.  GRIPPING.  A must read, for sure!  I can't wait to get my twitching hands on the sequel.  Don't miss out!  If you appreciate a good clean adventure, filled with daring fights, white-knuckled scenes, and the even more dangerous subject regarding the Christian faith, this is the book for you.

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Recommended ages:  16+
Due to violence.

My rating: 


If you made it this far, I salute you!  Muchly thanks.  :]

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What's in a Name?

Alden
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English
Pronunciation:  AWL-den

Meaning & History
From a surname, derived from the Old English given name Ealdwine, taken from the Old English elements eald "old" and wine "friend."








Nyree
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English (New Zealand)
Pronunciation:  NIE-ree

Meaning & History
Anglicized form of Ngaire, (pro. NGIE-re) possibly meaning "flaxen" in Maori.  This was the given name of Nyree Dawn Porter (1936-2001), a New Zealand actress.
Tadashi
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Japanese
Pronunciation:  ta-DAH-shee

Meaning & History
Possibly means "loyal, faithful" or "correct" in Japanese.

Tadashi is the given name of Hiro's older brother in Disney's film Big Hero 6.  (And one of the best characters EVER, in my opinion.) :]






Wayra
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  Native American, Quechua
Pronunciation:  (possibly) WAY-rah

Meaning & History
Means "wind" in Quechua.










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So, I was thinking of doing a set of names for twins. . . :]

What do you think?

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Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.

A Song of Praise





O praise to my Guardian!
for God has rescued me.
Life spun out of control,
but He heard my frightened plea.

O praise to my Guardian!
for I know He is with me.
He holds frail life in hand --
O praise to none but Thee!



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I should have a song of praise everyday, for God has given me breath!  But today is extra special to me.

Why?
Because yesterday I experienced my first-ever car accident. 

 
But fear ye not, for my sake!  I walked away unscathed, praise God.  He was with me all the way.  :]

I was on my way to work, driving on the interstate and nearly two miles from the destined exit, when I realized with dread that my little Nissan Xterra was jiggling more than usual.  Then suddenly, I heard a pop, and I lost control, swerving right-left-right and finally skidding a full 360 before slamming into the guard rail on the left-hand side, facing NORTH in a SOUTH-bound lane.  If that rail hadn't existed, I know I would have been tumbling into the trees.  (I'm still seeing just how much God has blessed me.  Doesn't it feel good to be loved?) :]

Shocked and shaken, I grabbed my phone and called home, reaching my sister Julia.  I relayed what had happened, probably causing momentary panic to my family, before assuring them I was fine.  They hopped in the big Dragon (our Ford van) and headed my way.  I then called 911 and explained my situation, then sat in the back of my car to wait while cars sped by way too close for comfort.  But I wasn't going anywhere--didn't know what else to do but stay put.  A man must have seen what had happened, for he stopped to check if I was alright, bless 'im.  I gave him a thumbs up and he left after seeing me punching in the emergency numbers. 

At long last, a state trooper arrived and moved my vehicle safely to the right shoulder and out of the line of traffic just as the rest of my family pulled up behind.  We then limped slowly to the Cleveland exit, where my brother changed the tire and paperwork was sorted out.  My mother and sisters took me to LifeWay and I finished the day at work, coming in only about an hour late.  :]  (If I hadn't gone in to work, I would have most likely bawled all the day long.  And I admit, I was pretty shaky.)

Anyway, I am so thankful for the prayers and concerns of my friends, family, and co-workers.  But even more grateful to my Lord for his protection.  Truly, I am very well, not even the least bit sore!  

And that's my tale of adventure for the YEAR.  Haha! Well, at least that kind of adventure.  I'd rather not repeat it. . . Ever.  

Maybe Gandalf will stop by next time adventure calls.

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I do hope you had a great week!  Ready to begin another?

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Go conquer the world.  ;D

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Book Review & Blog Tour! | Paralyzed Dreams


Hey-o, dearies!  I am participating in a blog tour!!  

You can find the book here, and the author's blog, here.

And now, for the book review.  :]

Paralyzed Dreams
C.B. Cook
Publisher:  Amazon Kindle
Genre:  YA Fiction, Christian
Released:  2015

{blurb}
          Fourteen-year-old Pam Wilson's life is going perfectly.  She and her best friend, Lauren, are becoming an amazing volleyball duo, and her dreams of playing in the Olympics are coming along wonderfully.  
          Then a car accident paralyzes Pam from the waist down, and her dreams for her life are shattered.  No more volleyball, no more walking, no more future.
          The only thing she has left is her faith in God. . . If only she would turn there.


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NOTE:  I was provided a copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review.  (Thanks, girlie!)

{The Basics}
Pam Wilson has her life all figured out.  She's got an awesome best friend, loving parents, and volleyball.  Her dreams are just beginning.

But it's when we are at our highest that God sees fit to give us a little lesson in humility.  We must learn to rely not on our strength alone, but His.  Our ways are not God's ways, and Pam learns this the hard way.

Small misspellings, slight mistakes/typos--but not many at all.

{Positives}
Pam and Lauren love volleyball, but when teamed against the snobby twins (who always win every match), they dread the practice.  Despite the hostile, arrogant attitudes of their opponents, the girls try to keep everything cheerful and positive, no matter the outcome.  They even go so far as to invite them for ice cream afterwards, whether they win the match or not.

Lauren is the perfect definition of a best friend.  She sticks with Pam through thick and thin, always encouraging and present amid the difficulties.  And Pam is eternally grateful.

Pam's youth leader, Jeremy, is genuine and compassionate.  Pam's parents are so supportive of her passion in volleyball.  When Pam is injured in the car accident, they are always near, catering to her every need and/or giving her space to sort out her future.

Eventually, Pam comes to forgive the young driver, who is broken over the accident.  She, in turn, apologizes to him herself, and is given the chance to be an example of persona of Christ.

She learns that this accident did cause some good and helped grow her relationship with Christ.  She needed to rely on His strength and not solely her own.

{Negatives}
Pam talks back to her mother, whose simply trying to cheer her up to see the positive.  She [Pam] is very sarcastic.  And at first, she feels only anger for the driver, who, in her mind, caused all of this.  She finds forgiveness nigh impossible.

She feels anger towards God (but, honestly, who wouldn't, at first?), and is a bit terse with her youth pastor.

A nurse is far too cheerful, in my opinion, and obviously doesn't think before speaking: "Although I don't envy you. . ."  What?  O_O You don't say something like that to a girl whose just had her life drastically changed by the fact she'll never walk again!! 

Following the accident, Pam is rather selfish, thinking of nothing but herself, and throwing a perpetual pity party.  (She comes around, though.)

{Spiritual Content}
Pam and Lauren are very active in their church and youth group.  Even when facing off to the dreaded twins, they strive to show Christ and mention inviting them to church.  

Her parents and youth leader work together to uplift and encourage her.  Going so far as to make her go to a Wednesday church service.  Pam later decides to go on a kind of mission trip to a local nursing home, and leaves refreshed and cheered, or in other words, blessed.  (That was a sweet scene.) :]

{Violence}
A car accident leaves Pam paralyzed.  Upon learning she has no feeling in her legs and would never walk or play volleyball again, she throws a kind of panic/anger tantrum.

{Language, Alcohol & Drugs}
None.  A nurse gives a sort of sedative to a injured, panicked girl, so she wouldn't harm herself further.

{Love-y Content}
Schoolgirl crushes.  Girls tease each other over liking certain boys.

{Conclusion}
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this little novella and the message it conveys.  A quote that really stood out to me was this, "Her dreams were no longer paralyzed; they were His."  Beautiful!  

For a debut novella, I say well done!  The characters were relate-able, the dialogue fun and perky in places, and the moral, fantastic! 

To repeat, our ways are not God's.  Pam's story felt real.  I don't know about you, but if I were in a paralyzing accident, I would definitely feel the anger she felt.  The support from her friends and family and the lesson of seeing the good in the midst of suffering, was sweetly portrayed.  

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Recommended ages: 10-18
My rating:


C.B. Cook is a teen author with many short stories under her belt, and now a published novella, Paralyzed Dreams.  She has been blogging for over a year and is working on writing a middle grad fantasy series.  When she's not balancing homework or writing, she can often be found messing around with Photoshop or talking to her dog.  You can visit her at www.theworldofthewriter.wordpress.com.

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Thanks for reading!  Happy Saturday!

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A + A Friday!


AWKWARD
  • When someone greets you on your lunch break right after you took a bite, and an awkward silence ensues while you chew hurriedly with a loopy grin to finally say, "I'm good, how are you?"
  • When you overhear a sister talking to the cat in a Gollum voice: "Is it sweet?  Is it cuddly?"  O_o
  • Using four sticky papers from the sticky roller to delintify and de-fur your black coat.
  • Just thinking about the purpose of shedding eyebrow hair, and wondering if that didn't happen, if one's eyebrows would get bushier and bushier. . .
  • Oh, the accuracy!
  • When a sister holds a teddy bear hostage during a brief Nerf war. . . Nothing's really fair in love and war.
  • Walking to your bed from the closet and a sister is standing in the doorway; you flinch because you think she's gonna shoot you or throw the giant penguin.
  • On your way to Cleveland with your sisters following behind in their car for a shopping trip before work.  A red truck passes and you wave before you realize that's not your brother coming home from school; turns out your sisters waved to the poor guy, too! 
  • Getting ready for bed and all of a sudden you blurt out: "Whaaaa--? That's a GOOGLY EYE!" (because there was a googly eye lying randomly near the trash can.


AWESOME
  • That feeling when you finally saved up enough green paper to buy that expensive something you really want: in this case, a new CAMERA!!
  • The sweet glory of a Little Debbie Fudge Round.
  • Trying to find the perfect text tone and going through tons of funny ones.  That's when the nerd kinda comes out.  xD  I currently have the Kimmunicator beep as my text tone!!
  • Receiving my autographed copy of Anon, Sir, Anon!! (by Rachel Heffington)
  • Putting in a request for a new blog design (AGAIN).  [Yes, yes.  I know, this one is cute, but I am having technical problems and I think it involves the template. . . So, I've asked Brittney, from Daughter of the King blog, to make me a new template! And I'm getting so excited!]
  • Thanks to my good friend, Amanda, I'm officially a Kombucha girl.  Here's a great article on the benefits of Kombucha tea. 
  • Remember Calvin & Hobbes (mentioned last A + A)?

  • "I am sure that God keeps no one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait." C.S. Lewis 
  • This:


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Thanks for reading!

How was your week?  :]

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"He never knew when he was whipped. . . So he never was."

This has been such a lazy day.  And rainy-cold as well!  AGH. I am so ready for Spring.  I suppose the gloom is a good explanation for the laziness. 
*edited*

Because of that I have hereby decided to throw in a random, motivational, writing post today.  :]  And upon thinking of this "motivational" theme thingy (simply because I couldn't think of any other subject to write on, although there are plenty out there, and also due to the fact I tend to do spur-of-the-moment things instead of planning ahead--when I especially LOVE making plans/lists/etc. . .), I was originally going to give you this:


And call it a night.

But you deserve more than a cute 'tater.  So I called in some favors, checked with a couple sources, and--

. . .

What?  You don't believe m--  Okay, okay.  You're right.  And I'm. . . less right.  All's I did was take a wee trip to *cough HACK* Pinterest, found a pretty photo, and browsed through my "Novelty Nook" board.

So, my goal today is to make you smile and maybe laugh, then I'll give you a teensy bit of advice regarding the awesome, yet INTIMIDATING, self-chosen task of being a writer.
Well, here's hoping I've already somewhat accomplished the first part, for I am taking a chance and moving on to the next.  :]

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So, you think you're a writer?  Do you actually write?  Do you sit down for combined hours of your free time and simply put pen to paper (or, if preferred, fingers to keys)?  Do you enjoy the thrill of words and stories and ideas ebbing and flowing in the vast reaches of your mind?
I do.  But it's the -getting started- that is difficult.  I get far too depressed and discouraged far too easily.  This might be the same for you.  If so, "Courage, dear heart!" This is a part of the passion you've chosen, just as much as it is a part of life in general.

And that's why I love the title quote so much.  "He never knew when he was whipped. . . So he never was." As quoted by one of my all-time favorite authors, Louis L'Amour, in his novel "To the Far Blue Mountains."  And it's simply defined: If you don't ever know when you are defeated, you'll never know when to give up.  And therefore, you'll never give up.

As the wise Wayne butler, Alfred, once said, quoting Bruce's late father, "Why do we fall?  So we can learn to pick ourselves up."  A harsh way to learn, but definitely effective.  If you have the bravery and fortitude to see it through to the end.

Before I conclude my incessant ramblings, I will leave you with a few tips and links to get you started on your stories, or to help you move on. :]

1.  RESEARCH.  
No matter what genre you are currently dabbling in, it will most likely require a good bit of research.  Don't neglect this!  Your research will help define your novel and give it depth and dimension.

2.  WRITER'S BLOCK?
Try this exercise: Chainsaw Therapy! It's a fun and surefire way to get the creative juices flowing once again.  You can find the first version of mine here and the second, here.

3.  WRITER'S HELPS
Here's a brief list of websites I've found most helpful:

- Go Teen Writers -
- Helping Writers Become Authors -

. . . and a few more of my favorite blogs!  
(So sorry to leave some out!  There are far too many to list, and just as many blogger friends to name that have always encouraged me in everything I do.  So thankful for each and every one.  All my love, dearies!) 

- Musings of an Elf -
- Inkpen Authoress -
- Tales of Goldstone Wood
- The Penslayer -
- Jaye L. Knight -
- Further Up and Further In -

*edited*
4.  SHARE YOUR PASSION!
Don't be afraid to pass along your stories/writings to willing siblings, parents, and/or friends.  External output is a MUST!  Those friends of yours will catch the teensy typos, misplaced something or other that you have missed again and again, and maybe even have an idea or three for you to try out.  Siblings are great built-in editors, in my opinion, and a different perspective is always a fantastic thing to have.
I admit, it's sometimes hard to allow someone else to read my writings, simply because I'm self-conscious of nearly everything, and I constantly worry what people may think.  But this is a chance to break out of your comfort zone and face your fears!  A little rebuttal from a friend is far easier to take than all-out criticism from a professional editor (although that's good in itself--don't take me wrong! If you make it to that level, well done! I'm simply stating, it's easier to take criticism from a good, familiar friend than worry yourself to the death over that of an unfamiliar editor.  Make sense?  No offense meant to any editors!).
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My words of wisdom for the day.
Thanks for reading!

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What's in a Name? | More Medieval-ness

Aaaaand this post comes merely a day late.  :]  That's not bad, seeing as I helped with the removal of brush and tree limbs yester-morn and then it was the evening shift at LifeWay. 

Anywho, mah dears, here's another set of Medieval names!


Dunstan
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  English (rare), Anglo-Saxon
Pronunciation:  DUN-stǝn (English)
Meaning & History
From the Old English elements dun "dark" and stan "stone."  This name was borne by the archbishop of Canterbury, a 10th-century saint.  Occasionally used in the Middle Ages, it died out after the 16th century, but was revived again by the Tractarian movement in the 19th century.
Kinsley
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English (modern)
Pronunciation:  KINZ-lee
Meaning & History
From a surname which is derived from the given name Cynesige, taken from the Old English cyne "royal" and sige "victory."
Godric
Gender:  Masculine
Usage:  Anglo-Saxon
Pronunciation:  GAHD-rik (English)
Meaning & History
Means "power of God," and is derived from Old English god combined with ric "power, rule." This name faded away a few centuries after the Norman conquest.
Hilda
Gender:  Feminine
Usage:  English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Spanish, Anglo-Saxon (Latinized), Ancient Germanic
Pronunciation:  HIL-dǝ (English), HIL-dah (German, Dutch)
Meaning & History
Originally a short form of names containing the Germanic element hild meaning "battle."  It was used for both Old English and continental Germanic names, and was borne by Saint Hilda of Whitby, a 7th-century saint and abbess.  This name became rare in the Middle Ages, but was revived come the 19th century. 


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What think ye, friends?  Any more requests?  :]
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Names & meanings via behindthename.com.
Photos via Pinterest.