All About Books

Here are some interesting tags about books that have been floating about the blogosphere, which I have filled in my spare time. I thought you might enjoy them! Feel free to grab any you're interested in. :) 

Here's the first one:
Instructions.... Grab the nearest book and flip to page 123 and type up the first four lines (sentences). It has to be the nearest book, you can't pick one randomly... the only exception is text books :) They don't count as options in this case.

Well, the nearest book is Jane Eyre: "I should, if I had deliberated, have replied to this question by something conventionally vague and polite; but the answer somehow slipped from my tongue before I was aware-- "No, sir."
"Ah! By my word! there is something singular about you," said he: "you have the air of a little nonnette; quaint, quiet, grave, and simple, as you sit with your hands before you, and your eyes generally bent on the carpet (except, by-the-by, when they are directed piercingly to my face; as just now, for instance); and when one asks you a question, or makes a remark to which you are obliged to reply, you rap out a round rejoinder, which, if not blunt, is at least brisque. What do you mean by it?"

The Second One: (This one's a long one!)

Top 3 authors:
1. L. M. Montgomery
2. C. S. Lewis
3. J. R. R. Tolkein

Top 3 male characters: 
1. Frodo & Sam from The Lord of the Rings (I just love those hobbits!)
2. Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables books (he loves Anne so much and yet she won't see it!)
3. Sir Percy Blakeny from The Scarlet Pimpernel (love him both as Sir Percy and as the Scarlet Pimpernel)

Top 3 female characters:
1. Beauty from Beauty by Robin McKinley
2. Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice
3. Anna from my story Rescue My Heart (yes, I have to admit, I love a character I made up. After all, she is very similar to me!)

Top 30 fiction books in no particular order: 

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
2.The Chronicles of Narnia (especially The Horse and His Boy) by C. S. Lewis
3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
4. The Last Sin-Eater by Francine Rivers
5. Beauty by Robin Mckinley
6. Emily of New Moon series (especially Emily's Quest) by L. M. Montgomery
7. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
8. Wild Rose by Ruth Axtel Morren
9. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
10. Turn Not Pale Beloved Snail by Jacqueline Jackson
11.The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
12. Watership Down by Richard Adams
13. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
14. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baronness Orczy
15. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
16. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
17. Redwall by Brian Jacques
18. Mossflower by Brian Jacques (I love all of the Redwall books, but these are my two favorites)
19. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
20. At Home in Mitford series by Jan Karen
21. Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke
22. The Tender Years by Janette Oke
23. A Gown of Spanish Lace by Janette Oke
24. The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
25. Lady of the River by Dianna Crawford
26. Kilmeny of the Orchard by L. M. Montgomery
27. Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright
28. The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R King
29. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
30. Regina Silsby's Secret War by Thomas J Brodeur

Top 3 books most recently read:
1. Jane Eyre
2. Do Hard Things
3. The Book Thief

Worst 3 books ever read: (please don't read any of these! They are truly horrible)
1. A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King (the sequel to A Beekeeper's Apprentice). The name alone should scare you away! :P
2. Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaardner
3. Summer of the Swans (just kind of boring and dumb, in my opinion)

Top 5 scenes from any book:
1. The scene from Inkheart where Meggie is reading the book for Capricorn and his men to release the shadow. (I love how they did this in the movie!)
2. In Regina Silsby's Secret War, the scene where Rachel is playing the organ as Regina Silsby.
3. In The Last Sin-Eater, when Cadi and Fagan are running for their lives up the mountain and God sends a mist to cover their tracks.
4. In The Scarlet Pimpernel when Sir Percy and Lady Blakeney want to talk to each other and confide in each other so badly, but they both are restrained by their pride. It's just so sad and sweet! :(
5. In The Lord of the Rings, when Frodo and Sam are together at the end of all things.

The book(s) that made me cry the most:
1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Last Sin-Eater by Francine Rivers
3.The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
4. Watership Down by Richard Adams
5. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baronness Orczy 
6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The books that made me laugh the most:
1. At Home In Mitford (and other books in the series) by Jan Karen. The situations are too funny!
2. The Redwall books by Brian Jacques
3.Watership Down by Richard Adams (love this book!)
4. The Four-Story Mistake, and Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright

The books that made me feel the best at the end:
1. The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien (though it is so sad!)
2.The Last Sin-Eater (one of my favorite books ever!)
3. The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
4. The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (because they're all finally in Narnia and with Aslan forever!)
5.The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
6. Kilmeny of the Orchard by L. M. Montgomery

Contemporary or Historical?
I love both, though perhaps Historical a little bit more. :)

Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror?
Fantasy, definitely. I don't like horror at all, and I like only a few Science Fiction books.

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
It doesn't really matter to me I guess. I mostly have paperbacks.

Barnes & Noble or Amazon?
Hard to say - Barnes & Noble has some pretty awesome journals, but Amazon is really easy to order from. :)

Bookmark or Dog-ear?
Well, I tend to dog-ear unless I have a bookmark handy (yes, I'm bad, I know).

Alphabetize by author, alphabetize by title, or organize not at all?
In my room, I organize by how much I like the book. The books closest to the middle of the bookshelf are my favorites.I to try to keep books by the same author together, though. ;)

Keep, Throw Away, or Sell?
Keep, unless it's a book I already have, then give away/sell.

Keep dust-jacket or toss it?
Haha I never thought of tossing the dust-jacket!

Read with dustjacket or remove it?
Though it's annoying, I usually keep it because I thought that's just what you do. 

Little Women or Anne of Green Gables?
Ann of Green Gables. I love L. M. Montgomery's writing style!

Short story or novel?
Usually novel. Though I have found a few short stories that I absolutely love.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
At chapter breaks. That's the only way I can force myself to put down the book!

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Probably "it was a dark and stormy night," because that promises a slightly deeper book than "once upon a time." ;)

Tear Jerker or Belly Laugh?
Tear Jerker.

Buy or Borrow?
I usually borrow a book from the library or from a friend first, then buy it if it's really good.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation, or Browse?
I usually only buy books that I've read before, unless I'm at a garage sale or something where they're really cheap.

Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Either one!

Standalone or Series?
I kinda prefer standalone, unless I really love the author's style of writing.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
Definitely tidy ending. I hate it when a story ends with a cliffhanger or a kind of wishy-washy ending. :P

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?
I usually read while I eat breakfast and lunch, and sometimes before bed. It just depends if I'm really into a story or not.

Favorite genre series?
(I take it this means your favorite series from your favorite genre.) Have to say Lord of the Rings.

New or used?
Just depends. I usually buy my books used, though it's nice to have them new!

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Regina Silsby's Secret War by Thomas J Brodeur. It's really good, too, you should definitely check it out! :)

And the last one: 
Name 12 Characters and then answer the questions:
1. Anna (from my story Rescue My Heart)
2. Frodo (LotR)
3. Sam (LotR)
4. Jane Eyre
5. Lucy (Narnia)
6. Edmund (Narnia)
7. Sir Percy (The Scarlet Pimpernel)
8. Meggie (Inkheart)
9. Capricorn (Inkheart)
10. Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice)
11. Elizabeth (Pride & Prejudice)

12. Emily (Emily of New Moon)

1. Who would make a better collage prof, 6 or 11?
Well, probably Edmund. Though I don't doubt Elizabeth would have a sharp enough mind (and wit)!

2. Do you think #2 is nice?
Yes. :) It's so sad that the ring basically destroys his life.

3. 12 sends 8 out on a mission. What is it? Does it succeed?
Hmmm... interesting. Emily sends Meggie on a mission. Perhaps she sends her on a mission to get more paper for her... and Meggie just writes some into existence. ;)

4. What is or what would be 9's favorite book?

Now this I'm not sure of, but one thing I do know - he despises the book Inkheart. ;)

5. Would it make more sense for 2 to swear fealty to 6, or the other way around?
Frodo swearing fealty to Edmund... now this is an interesting thought. 

6. For some reason, 5 is looking for a roommate. Should (s)he room with 9 or 10?
Innocent little Lucy isn't going to room with either Capricorn or Mr. Darcy!

7. 3, 7 and 12 are going out to dinner. Where do they go and what do they discuss?
Sam, Sir Percy, and Emily. Hmmm... Sir Percy would probably be the one to pick the place, as he is the most talkative and decisive of the three (and he'd probably pick somewhere fancy). Sam probably would be too nervous to talk about anything, Sir Percy would be acting affected and foppish, and Emily would probably be writing down her thoughts about them in her journal. Altogether a very interesting scene. ;) 

8. #3 challenges #10 to a duel, who wins?
Sam challenges Mr. Darcy to a duel. Sorry Sam, but Mr. Darcy has quite the advantage over you with height, I'm afraid. ;)

9. If 1 stole 8's most precious possession, how would (s)he get it back?
 Anna would never steal anything from Meggie! They're both nice, sweet girls who probably would become friends since they have so much in common. (And they really do have a lot in common. Their stories are surprisingly similar!)

10. Suggest a story title in which 7 and 12 both attain what they desire.
Hmmm... how about: "Acceptance For Who You Really Are" (haha sounds like a self-help book. I'm horrible with titles!)

11. What kind of plot device would you have to use if you wanted 1 and 4 to work together?
Anna and Jane Eyre working together... that probably wouldn't be too hard as long as they both understood how the other person liked to work.  

12. If 7 visited you for the weekend, how would it go?
Well, that would be interesting indeed to have Sir Percy over for the weekend! I think I would be rather intimidated by him. :P

13. If you could command 3 to perform any service or task for you, what would it be?
Oh, good old Sam. I'd ask him to please come into one of my novels so I can write a wonderful character like him. 

14. Does 11 like to write or draw?
Elizabeth Bennet isn't very fond of either, I don't think, though she does "tolerably well" at both. :)

15. If 2 had to choose sides between 4 and 5, what side would (s)he choose?

So if Frodo had to chose sides between Jane Eyre and Lucy... I think he would probably chose Lucy. They have some similarities. ;)

16. What might 10 shout out while charging into battle?
Mr. Darcy charging into battle - now that's a new one! He'd probably shout "What's going ooooonnnn??" ;)

17. If you had to choose a song to best describe 8, what would it be?
Aw... probably Vanilla Twilight (for Meggie's relationship with her mom). 

18. What would be a good pickup line for 2 to say to 10?
Well, if they were actually going to duel like one of the other questions said, Frodo would say, "What big sword you have, Mr. Darcy!"

19. What would 5 most likely be arrested for?

LUCY??? ARRESTED??? Well, only if it was for doing what is right.

20. If 11 and 9 were racing to a destination, who would get there first?
This would be a very interesting scene. Capricorn would probably get there first, because he would do something to hinder Elizabeth. 

21. What is the lowest point of 1's story?
For Anna? Like... the whole story. :P (And for those of you who are reading it, I don't want to give anything away!)

22. 1 and 9 reluctantly team up to save the world from the threat posed by 4's sinister secret organization. 11 volunteers to help them, but it is later discovered that s/he is actually a spy for 4. Meanwhile, 4 has kidnapped 12 in an attempt to force their surrender. Following the wise advice of 5, they seek out 3, who gives them what they need to complete their quest. What title would you give this fic?

Okay, so let me get this straight:  Anna & Capricorn team up (unlikely!) to save the world from Jane Eyre's secret organization (haha!). Elizabeth Bennet volunteers to help them, but is discovered to be Jane Eyre's spy. Jane Eyre kidnaps Emily to force their surrender. Following the wise advice of Lucy, they seek out Sam, who gives them what they need to complete the quest. 
Haha! I would call it "In Cahoots with Jane Eyre"

This was a ton of fun to fill out, and I hope you had fun reading it! :D


Writing, Awards, and Sweet Friends

Caroline over at A Writer's Life For Me  is hosting something similar to NaNoWriMo: a 30,000 Words in 30 days challenge! Basically, like NaNoWriMo, you try to write 30,000 words in the month of June. But you can write in any story - one in progress, one you need to start, one you need to finish... whatever. Just write 30,000 words!

So what are you waiting for? Go on over and join up! This is the perfect opportunity for all you writers out there who (like me) need a bit more of a push to get started writing. I can't wait for it to begin - I only wish it started now because I'm feeling inspiration hitting me like the rush from a rollercoaster. ;)

Also, I want to shout out a HUGE thank-you to all of you who prayed for me about my Clep Test and who commented on my last post. I was touched by all of your sweet, uplifting comments, and encouragement for me. So I want to award all of you this sweet award I received from Ivorydancer and Lindsay. You are all very sweet friends! :)

The rules:
Tag at least five 'sweet friends,' on Blogger
Answer the tag (below) in your post
You may tag the person who gave you this award
Don't forget to comment on the post that awarded you! 

Now the tag....

You are _______ in your family. I am the oldest, and only girl.

Do you have your own camera?
Yes, one that my friend gave me. :)

List three of your character qualities: Creative, indecisive, compassionate

What is your favorite thing to blog about? Analogies that I find in everyday life that relate to God & His Word.

How long have you had your blog? Since last October... so almost eight months!

I also would like to give out the Sunshine Award, which I received from Jessica. I tag any of you who have not received this award yet. All of my readers spread sunshine to me with your comments! :)


1. Post the logo on your blog and/or within the post.
2. Pass it on to 12 other bloggers.
3. Add links to these 12 bloggers within your blog.
4. Let them know they are receiving the award.
5. Share the link of the person from whom you received the award.

I hope you all have a beautiful day, my friends. Oh, and keep an eye out for a new look on my blog soon - the makeover is almost done! :D


If We Win, We Praise Him

...and if we lose, we praise Him.

This was what was going though my mind almost the whole day today. As I studied all my vocabulary words for the Spanish CLEP that last time before the test, I just kept thinking of this quote. I knew the test was going to be hard, and I also knew that whatever the outcome, it was God's will. I prayed: Lord, if I pass this test, I'll give You the glory, and if I don't pass this test, I will still praise You.

Well, I didn't pass.

And still my hands and my voice are lifted in praise. My God is sovereign, and He knew the outcome of this test even before I ever planned to take it. He has a purpose in this, as he does in everything. And even though it may hurt my pride for me not to be able to say "I did it!", I know He is growing me through this.

And, as one friend said, "Well, who knows? Perhaps you'll meet your future husband in Spanish class at Cedarville!"


Just a note to say

I will be taking a break from blogging until this weekend.

I'm preparing to take a CLEP test this Thursday, so I've decided to limit my time on the computer (and on blogger) until then. I do have a post scheduled for my photography blog, and I will be publishing your comments, so I won't totally be gone. I just really want to focus my time on studying (and also practicing for my piano recital that's coming up this Saturday).

This test is for the Spanish language, and it's one of the most intense and challenging ones I've taken yet. Spanish is a difficult subject for me, and I'm having a hard time finding confidence that I can pass it. So I would very much appreciate your prayers!

Hasta luego, mi amigos!


So You Think I Plan...

I wrote a poem last week which is rather unique. Usually I try to write my poems with a general thought in mind, but not necessarily describing myself. Like for example this poem, though written out of my own emotions, does not specifically describe me. But this poem I'm about to share with you does. And it's called, "So You Think I Plan."

So You Think I Plan

I never plan inspiration;
Preferring to let ideas come to me
Still half-wild and fresh from the source,
Instead of searching and picking for them.

I rarely plan what I'm speaking;
Relying on my sharp mind
To form the right response
As my mouth forms words.

I sometimes plan to be organized;
Getting my room in perfect condition
And my lists all up-to-date,
Though it hardly ever stays that way for long.

But I always plan time to meet with the Lord,
To be strengthened by His Word
First thing in my day.
And this is what makes all of my plans succeed.
(copyright Melody 2010)


No More Boxes

May is one of the busiest months for me out of the year. Everything seems to come to a head - recitals (I'm currently preparing for three: accompanying a violin recital, my teacher's piano recital, and my piano recital for my students), end of the year activities, get-togethers with friends, graduation open houses, preparing for college... it's all coming on top of me. And my tendency when things get overwhelming like this is to start putting things in boxes. That way, it all still seems orderly and structured, and I feel like I can still manage. But I've come to realize that that isn't the way I should run my life.

When I put my life in boxes, I don't just put the activities and people I'm interacting with into boxes - I put the Lord into one as well. I realize that I've been stuffing His word into a box, trying to follow through with what He's called me to do but not actually taking His truth into my heart. I just put it in a box and promise myself that I'll come back to it sometime and actually think about how it can apply to my life later. On the outside I say I want to do God's will, but in reality, I'm just trying to fit Him into mine.

This is not the way I want to live! I want His truth and will to penetrate every area of my life, not be segregated into something I only think about at a certain time. I want to live my life under His will.

I came to understand that this putting my life into boxes - it's really a way for me to have control of my life. I figure I have to do something to cope, so I figure out a way that I can take care of it. See all of the "I"s in that last sentence? I was forgetting that I can't do it on my own strength. I have to let Him take control.

Are there things in your life that you are putting into boxes - i.e. trying to control by yourself instead of surrendering to the Lord? Think and pray about this, and see if God brings things to your mind. Then I would encourage you to pray a prayer similar to mine:

My prayer is that God: "Refine me, so I may be a better piece of clay to be molded into Your likeness. My life is not my own - and that includes my control of it. From now on, Lord, I want my life to be under Your control. Give me discernment and clarity of mind to see what Your will is. Help me to take Your words to heart.

I want to follow You, Lord - please take the reigns. I have been trying to put You in the backseat for far too long. From now on, You're the pilot. I'm just following orders.

No more boxes."


An Inspired Young Woman's Daybook #8

And, it's time again for an entry in an inspired young woman's daybook! But first, I have some fun things to let you know about. Livvy at A Daughter's Heart is doing a giveaway of  a Sense and Sensibility e-pattern (so you can make a dress just like the ones from a Jane Austen novel)! Go over to her site and enter soon, because the giveaway ends this Tuesday!

Also, Samantha at Simple Delights is doing a Modest Fashion Week on June 14-19! You post your modest outfit each day of the week, and then at the end of the week everyone gets to vote on their favorite. Click on over to her blog to find out more about it and sign up!

Alright, now here is my entry in the daybook (which I filled out earlier today):

Find out how to do An Inspired Young Woman's Daybook here

Today the world has finally decided to be springy. Therefore, so am I!
I'm feeling cheerful & chipper.
My outfit is jeans and a turquoise short sleeve shirt.
Outside my window it is a beautiful day, though come to think of it, the sky still is covered with faint clouds.
A song that's stuck in my head is Vivaldi's Spring (again!) I'm playing it to accompany a violinist, so I've been hearing it over and over and over again. ;)
Something (a book, song, movie, person...) that's inspired me recently: my church is doing an outreach to the community, and it's really inspired me to witness to those around me.
A prayer of my heart this week is to delight in God and in spending time with Him.
I am creating a lot of ongoing things... and I'm not really focusing on them at the moment (unfortunately).
I am reading Do Hard Things, (still), Passion & Purity (still), and I just got some books from a used book sale which I'm excited about starting as well!
I am thinking about the Spanish that I have to work on for my Clep study. :P
A scripture verse or passage that's stuck out to me this week: James 3:17 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere."
A spiritual lesson I'm learning is to listen to God's leading, and rely on Him for the strength to be bold and tell the truth to others.
An attribute of God I've seen this week is Holy. He is so pure and righteous - and it is my desire to be more and more like Him each day.
A picture I’d like to share: (this is one I've wanted to put on my photography blog but haven't yet)

A creative goal for next week is to try to get at least a few chapters of "Rescue My Heart" re-written. I have a lot going on this week, so this may not happen... we'll see.
Did I complete my goal from last week um... it was to work on "Rescue My Heart". Unfortunately (or fortunately) I've been working on writing just about everything else besides that, so I didn't complete my goal. 
But I did finish the allegory I was telling you all about awhile back! It's an allegory of Christ's work for us on the cross, called "Redeemed". If you all would like to read it I might post it on here. But I'd have to get a lot of responses in order to do it. ;)


I'd like you to meet...

I have a good friend I'd like you all to meet. Her name is Rosandra Seams, and actually she is a character in a book I'm writing with my (real life) good friend Violet. I asked her some questions about herself the other day, and I really got to know a lot more about her character. I thought you might enjoy getting to know her better. My questions are in bold, and her answers are underneath. (Note: please read this post if you aren't familiar with the story).

So, Rosandra, tell me about yourself. What's the most interesting thing about you?
Interesting? Well... [fidgets with hair], I'm not that interesting of a person, actually. I think I've lived a fairly normal life... at least up until now.

What has changed to make your life different?
Well... Diana moving in to our home has certainly been... a challenge. It's been hard for me to adjust to her and all her... needs. But please, let's not talk about her; I'm sure you have other questions for me.

Of course. Tell me a little bit about your family. What's special about each of them and how to you relate to them?
My brothers Kevin and Titus are typical boys, as most boys go. They're quite nice, actually, though I don't spend a whole lot of time with them. They're usually off together doing some boyish thing. My mom - she's special because she's so sweet. She always looks for the good in others. She's my treasure-bank of advice for all the tasks I have to do or the proper etiquette for a certain place. And she's very forebearing and long-suffering. Though she is not very strong, she always has a smile and a kind word. And my dad is special because he spends time with us. In the evenings, we all sit around the fire with him and he reads stories or the Bible or tells us about his day. I'm glad we are as close as we are.

What does a typical day look like for you?
Well, I usually rise early and help get breakfast on the table. I have various duties throughout the day (mostly supervising or directing the servants), as well as lessons. My mother is teaching me different skills such as needlework, knitting, sewing, and art. I also have a tutor once a week who drills me in different subjects in the humanities. It's not often that I have spare time during the day, but I don't mind it that much.

Do you have any hobbies?
Oh, I do love to go horseback riding when I can get the chance, and I enjoy composing small verses or pieces of prose.

What are your spiritual beliefs?
You mean what religion am I? My family and I are Christians, naturally. We go to church every Sunday, and often have devotions in the evening.

What is one thing you wish for more than anything else?
That's rather a strange question... I don't think I'm very dissatisfied with my life where it's at. [pauses] Well... I guess with Diana coming and all, I do wish that she wouldn't be so cold to me - that maybe we could be good friends like we had been before.

Would you still consider Diana to be a good friend?
Well of course. Though she's not the same as before, she still is my friend. I can see that she's hurting, and may take a long time to heal from the death of her family. So I'm just trying to do my part to support her in this process, as best I can. I really do care about her, deeply! It's just hard - because she doesn't seem to want to talk to me anymore.

So there's no hard feelings between you?
Of course not! I just don't understand her... and I try to overlook any hurt she might unintentionally cause.

Alright, let's get back to talking about you.

Can you remember a time when you felt extremely happy? Can you describe that time?
Extremely happy? I.. I can't really recall any extreme happiness. My life has been a blessed one, it's true, but there have been few extremes.

So no low points then, either?
None that I can recall. I try to take things in stride, regardless.

What are your dreams and goals for your future?
I am being prepared to be a wife and mother, to be able to run my own household someday. I don't have much of a prospect with drawing, sewing or the like, for I am only adequate in those areas. I do love to write, though... perhaps one day I shall write a full-fledged novel, or have my poetry published. [pauses] As for dreams... I've sometimes wished my life was a little more adventurous - tinged with mystery and romance like the novels I love to read. But of course that's just a wish, and a silly one at that.

What character qualities do you most admire, and wish to have?
I admire those who are carefree and confident, who know what they want to do or say, and do it. I can be decisive when I'm deciding what to make for dinner, of course, but it's harder when I'm trying to relate to people. I often wish to have more boldness to show how I really care about others.

How do you think others view you? Do you care what their opinion is of you?
I'm more reserved when I'm out and about, especially at balls and parties and such. So they probably see me as the homebody, the shy wallflower. And I guess... I'm pretty comfortable with that. 

What is your greatest achievement?
Well, like I said before, there's not a whole lot that's gone on in my life.
[I interjected here: surely there's something, though!] Well... it was a big achievement to take over the running of the household. Especially since I was only 13 at the time. It was a rather scary time for me, as I had to take things over without exactly knowing how they ran. My mother was such a help to me, though she was ill herself.  

What is your greatest regret?
My greatest regret? I regret so many things... I wish I was bolder so I could say the things I really want to say to people. Each time I don't, I regret it. 

What has been the most important event of your life (so far)? 
[sighs exasperatedly] I keep telling you - my life hasn't been that interesting!  

What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
This is always so hard... I guess I would say: hardworking, caring, loyal. 

What about three words to describe Diana?
I don't know. Right now I feel like I don't know anything about her, so I would only be able to describe her as mysterious and withdrawn. 

What part of your life is the most enjoyable to you - gives you the most fulfillment?
Um, let me think on this one... [pauses] Well, it's always fulfilling to go to bed knowing everything ran smoothly and the jobs were all well-done. It's a good feeling being able to live up to the standard that's set before me. But I do often wonder if there's something more.   

So you enjoy having people depending on you?
Well, yes. I really do love to help, and to know that I am a help to others. I've always had that feeling when people come to me with their problems that I've got to solve them somehow. And I've always worried that there will come a time when I won't be needed... that there will be no one who depends on me.
But I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now with all the obligations to all these different people I'm having to fulfill. Maybe it's just all the unknown, unmet expectations with Diana that's got me on edge. I'm sure it will blow over, though. Things will go back to normal. They always do.  

Well, there you have it. What do you think of Rosandra? How would you describe her character, based on the replies she gave me? Do you think there's anything she's not telling me? Would you like her if you met her?

If you would like to read Rosandra & Diana's story (which is still in progress), Violet and I have it up on a private blog. Send me a comment with your email address (which I won't post), and I will invite you to read the blog.



As I was studying my Spanish this week, I came across something which I thought was so cool that I just had to share it with you.

I don't know how many of you have taken Spanish (or are taking it), but I was reading about how to make a verb a command (like "Eat!"). For the informal form speaking to "you all", you take the infinitive, i.e. "vivir" (to live), and take away the -r, and put a -d in its place. So in this example, "vivir" became "vivid".

Now when I first read this, my mind connected the dots and I practically jumped out of my chair. Do you see it? In Spanish, vivid (you say vee-veed) means "You all, live!" And in English, vivid means brightly colored or "producing a strong and clear image on the senses" (definition taken from mirriam-webster.com). Put the two definitions together and you get: living in bright color!

Isn't that awesome? I just thought it was so cool when I read it. Because that's exactly what I want to do with my life. I want my life to be colorful and bright, not dull and gray. I want to take every opportunity to make a difference in others lives, to go out of my way to show them they're special and unique. I want to portray a strong and clear image to others - the image of Christ. 

So I'm saying to you all (and myself as well), VIVID!

By the way, speaking of vivid things - check out my photography blog if you haven't already done so! I just put up some pretty purple pictures up on there, which I'm sure you'll enjoy. ;)


Speak, Oh Lord

This week has been a crazy one for me (and the whole month is shaping up to be pretty busy), and this song has been on my mind a lot. I thought I would share it with you, because it is one of my absolute favorite songs, and really a prayer for my life.

Here it is for you to listen to as well: Speak Oh Lord

Speak Oh Lord
Written by Keith & Krystin Getty

Speak Oh Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your holy word.
Take Your truths, plant them deep in us,
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness.
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak Oh Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us Lord full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility.
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise, cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of power that can never fail,
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak Oh Lord, and renew our minds
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us.
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we'll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we'll walk as You walk with us.
Speak Oh Lord, till Your church is built,
And the earth is filled with Your glory.



That is the sound I made when I heard the news about Awel Prince's blog party. But... I'm not going to tell you the news until after this tag for her party. So read on, and you shall see!

1) What's your all time favorite blog/blogger? Oh man, that's like saying what picture is my favorite! I love you all, in different ways. :)
2) How do you personally define forgiveness? Being willing to let go of past hurts and see the other person as God sees them.

3) What object of your possession has the most sentimental value in your eyes? Hmm, this is an interesting question. I actually don't have a lot of objects with sentimental value. I'd have to say my journals, I guess. ;)

4) What song do you consider your personal theme song? "And Now My Lifesong Sings" by Casting Crowns. It's just exactly what I want to say with my life!

5) Do the opinions of others about you really matter to you? Unfortunately, yes. It's so hard to remember that they shouldn't!

6) Do you ever make up words? Sometimes, when I'm in a hurry I mash words together. :P

7) Off the top of your head, do you know what your middle name means? (You can look it up though!) Yes, Ann means full of grace.

8) What's something that never fails to make you smile? Catching sight of one of my friends, even if they don't see me. :)

9) What person has touched your heart the most? Wow... so many people. God first and foremost, of course, and my family and friends. I guess if I had to pinpoint one person - it would have to be my best friend. :)

10) Give a scene in a book where you really understood what the author was trying to convey. Hmm... it would be harder to come up with a scene in a book where I really didn't understand what the author was trying to convey. ;)

11) What do you think of HTML? Is it the ENEMY or your friend? I only know a little bit, but what I do know has helped me tremendously!

12) What person comments the most consistently on your blog? I'm not sure, actually. I know I have a number of devoted followers, and I love you all very much!

13) Who is your personal hero/heroine (fiction or real, or both)? Why? Fictional: Jane Eyre. She goes through so much, and yet still remains unshaken in her faith and ability to love. Real life: My parents. They are my heroes every day. :) 

14) Are you curious or are you satisfied knowing that "that's just the way it is"? Oh, I'm curious to the last degree! I am rarely satisfied with such a lame excuse as "that's just the way it is". :P

15) List your top 5 favorite songs. Do they have anything in common? Why do you love them? Only 5? "And Now My Lifesong Sings" by Casting Crowns (because this is exactly the prayer I have for my life), "Let the Waters Rise" by Mikeschair (because it is so true, and so sing-able), "You are the Sun" by Sara Groves (echoes my heart), "The Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven (I've played it, and love the romantic sadness), "The Giving" by Michael W. Smith (also a very emotional song). I think the thing that ties all these songs together is that they are predominantly minor (not all of them are actually in a minor key, though). And I love minor songs!

16) Do you ever get into arguments with your characters? (that's if you write a book :). And if you don't write, do you think you would? Well, I don't usually argue with them, but I do talk to them and try to figure them out. Typically, they're pretty cooperative (unless they do something behind my back, like throw me a completely different plot twist!)

17) While reading a book or watching a movie, were you ever blown away by an unexpected plot twist? What was it and how did you react? Hmm... I can't think of any of the top of my head.

18) What's your personal opinion of i-designs? (orignal, I know, but I really want to know!) Absolutely beautiful and elegant. I love every one of her designs! :D
19) What's your favourite color combinations? Brown and pale pink or blue, or brown on brown. :)

20) What's your favourite comic book series? Tintin. 

21) What is the oldest book you've read? How old was it? (By old, I mean, like antique books...the manuscript doesn't have to be old, just the copy of it.) I think the oldest book I read is "Sherlock Holmes" - we have a copy of it that was my Grandma's I believe (I don't know how old exactly). It was about to fall apart

22) What character in any movie or book, would you say is the MOST like you? Rachel from "Regina Silsby's Secret War". I'm sure most of you have never heard of this book, but I love it because she and I really do think alike. ;)

23) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I think I answered this question recently... well, I guess I would say I'd rather be more confident.

24) As a child, what was one thing that always frightened you? This could be something real or imagined!) The dark. It's true! I would sing little songs when I had to go into a dark place so I wouldn't be afraid.

25) What's your life motto? I don't really have one... but my life verse is Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore brothers, in view of God's mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. This is your spiritual act of worship. And do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is, His good, pleasing and perfect will."

26) As you're sitting in a café, you're given a note: "It's in your best interests to meet me at 7 P.M. tonight, alone, at Pine and 4th." How would you react? I would probably call up my best friend so we could go and investigate together. (I'd never go alone!)

27) Name seven of your favourite books. LotR, Chronicles of Narnia, Inkheart, The Last Sin Eater, Regina Silsby's Secret War, Beauty, "The Blue Castle" by L. M. Montgomery

28) Name your absolute favourite font (you can have more than one though)! I'm not too into fonts... I love the fancy swirly ones though.

29) Have you ever cried over...a book or a movie? Oh yes, many times. All of my very favorite books and movies I've cried over some point.  

30) What's something that's brought you so much comfort? The Bible, and my church. Ultimately - God! 

31) Describe what you would call a perfect moment. Sitting besides someone I love and just enjoying being with them and not having to say anything, feeling at peace and joyful, and enjoying a beautiful day! 

32) What's the fastest you've ever read?  Hmm... I honestly don't know. I do pride myself in being a pretty fast reader, though. ;) 

33) What's your favorite book/movie genre? Fantasy, Christian (of course), Romance, Historical Fiction. 

34) Do you say one word a lot just because of the way it sounds? If so, what's the word? Well, I like to say shnack instead of snack. ;) It just sounds cool!

35) What's something you thought you'd hate, but ended up loving? Hmm... I can't think of anything at the moment.

36)Do you prefer British or American spellings of words (ex: the British favourite to the American  favorite) American, of course!

37) List a few of your favourite names. Ack, I have SO many. For girls: Cecelia, Sabrina, Gwendolynne, Cassandra, Carissa, Emelie, Kiera, Lilliana, For boys: Kyle, Connor, Joel, Evan, Joshua, Keith, Nathan, Sean, Tristan. I love Irish names, or names that sound really pretty when you say them.

38) What is your favourite movie? I am currently completely tied between Pride & Prejudice, Facing the Giants, and LotR. Can't chose one over the others because they're all so different!

39) Imagine you're writing a story, and one of your characters keeps something buried in a box where no one will find it. What's in the box and what's its significance? A secret book they are writing... which contains magic to get into another world.

40) Was this boring? (be honest! :) Nope - it was pretty awesome! I hope it wasn't too boring to my readers, though. ;)

Whew, that was a long (but fun) tag! Alright, if you're still with me (which I hope you are), I'll tell you why this post is titled "SQUEEE!!!". I won first place in Awel Prince's blog party! I get a complete blog makeover and everything!

And I'm leaving it up to YOU, my readers, to tell me which kit she should use. Here are the kits I'm considering (click on them to see them larger):

Which one do you think fits the name Vividry, fits my personality, just fits the feeling about this blog? Or better yet, let me know what kind of feeling this blog gives you. Is it cozy, cute, crazy, kooky, elegant, shabby.... what? What do you think of when you think of the word Vividry? Let me know!

edit: I realized there was one kit that I left out:


A Rose in God's Garden photography

Well, I went and done it. After telling myself that I could keep all of my interests together on this blog, I finally realized that I really ought to have another blog for my photography.

So, I made one. It's called A Rose in God's Garden Photography. The subtitle is "Capturing Beauty Wherever He Plants Me". Here's a picture of the header to pique your interest:

Come on over and check it out! I would absolutely love it if you followed. :)

Also, Hannah is having her last week of Planting Chums, and this week's theme is "Four Facts about Me". So here goes! I've been doing a lot of tag & awards recently, so it's rather challenging to come up with more things about myself. But let me see if I can't come up with something...

1. I really do love photography, and I don't care that I don't have a very good camera. It's really a pet peeve of mine when people say, "I like to take pictures, but I only have a __ (whatever kind of cheap camera). Once I get __ I'll really be able to take pictures." I am perfectly content with what I have, and intend to use it to the best of my ability! Granted, it would be nice to have a nicer camera, but I still can take pretty cool pictures with what I have. 

2. I have almost perfect pitch. (I still need to work on it a little more.) Often, when my brothers play songs on the piano and get stuck, I'll yell across the house "It's a G!!" (or whatever note). :D And I can often figure out the key of the song I'm listening to.

3. I have 31 completed journals (working on my 32nd one), and I only started writing them when I was 13!

4. I've dyed my hair (but you really can't tell). The dye only makes it more of a lighter, redder sheen. I'm thinking about possibly dying the base back to my natural color and having this color be more like highlights. What do you all think about that?

Well, so there's my random facts about me! Hope you enjoyed reading them - and don't forget to check out my photography blog!


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