"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." - C.S. Lewis

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blog button for tribe contest

If you are in another tribe, please do not copy or use this button.

I painted a watercolor of the seven elf lords and decided to make a button out of it to earn a few extra vanadils.  =D  I emailed Wayne Batson about it and he said if you post it on your sidebar it is worth 100 vanadils, so please do this if you are in Swiftstorm to gain a couple extra points!!  If you put it up, please include a link to the Curse of the Spider King Amazon page.  Thanks!

ALSO:  if you are going to use it, please do not use it in any other way except for a sidebar button or included in a blog post - it is original work, so please respect that.  Thanks.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"I don't want to go by myself!"

We were in the car last night, and my little sister Gabrielle (age four) was sitting next to me.  It's dark out, and she's looking at the moon.  This was approximately the ensuing dialogue.

Gabrielle:  "I wish I could touch the moon."  *sigh*

Me:  "Well, if you grow up and become an astronaut then you could."

(some time passes)

Gabrielle:  "But I don't wanna go by myself!"

She is so adorable.  Oh yeah, and you have to hear about what she said the other day...(we were also in the car.)

*police car passes us*

Gabrielle:  "Oooo, a police car!"

Me:  "Gabbyelle, you wanna be a police when you grow up?"  (she nods with a big smile)  "Then you could drive one of those cool cars."

Gabrielle:  "Yeah, with those cool blue headlights."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So many books, so little time...

Well, at the moment I feel kind of swamped.  First, I'm way behind in reading for school...which makes it harder to read what I have lined up to read for fun (which is the reason I'm trying my best to avoid lining things up for fun...).  It's just that *Robinson Crusoe* can get a little tedious...it's taken me quite a while to get through it.  You don't even want to know how many weeks (yes, weeks) I'm behind in school reading.  *sigh*  But I just wanted to share with you my lineup so you guys can just get a glimpse of the stuff I'll be reading (hopefully) in the near future.

Going Solo, an autobiography by Roald Dahl of his years as a military pilot...

A Separate Peace by John Knowles...don't know much about what it's about...

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien - no idea what that's about  *looks a little scared*

and the last of the school books (up to now) - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Now for the for-fun titles...Dewey by Vicki Myron (my grandmother gave it to me for Christmas and I still haven't read it...*sigh* I feel bad...)

Aaand last but not least, the book we all know and love...*winks*...Eragon by Christopher Paolini.  Everyone's always telling me how "amazing" it is and I've just never gotten around to reading it.  I guess I'm behind the times a little...heh heh...

Obviously, I've never read any of these books before.  If you have, I'd love it if you'd drop me a comment and tell me what I'm in for.  ;D

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Historical fiction or fiction set in history?

My assignment: write a historical fiction short story set in any time period I choose.  My problem: what constitutes historical fiction?

I've been wondering about this lately, and I wanted to know what you guys think about it.  Is historical fiction a story surrounding a particular, specific event?  Or is it a work of fiction set in any time that's before now?

I could easily come up with a storyline that is set in a historical time...but doesn't really have much to do with an actual event or social issues of the period (for example: is Anne of Green Gables historical fiction?).  Obviously, a story like To Kill a Mockingbird is historical fiction, as it deals with social problems of the time.  But technically, if the setting is before now it's in history, and if it's not nonfiction it's fiction.  That presents a very broad scope.

What do you think?  I'd like your opinions if you have the time.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Start Here

I'm pretty sure the majority of you have either heard about or read the book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris.  I own it myself, and it has got to be one of the best books I've ever read.  It's an inspirational, challenging book, written by teens for teens, in order to spread the message that we can do more than we think (and more than our culture expects us to do).

Now Alex and Brett have authored a new book, Start Here, which illustrates how to put Do Hard Things into practice in our day-to-day lives.  It's basically a starting point - and if you reacted to Do Hard Things like I did - will hopefully help to channel the excitement that comes from reading the first book!

This is an excerpt about the book from their website:

"The Rebelution is an unlikely movement. It isn't the result of carefully laid out plans -- it was just two ordinary teen guys with a blog and a desire to glorify God.

It's also never relied on slick marketing or targeted ad campaigns -- instead it has been driven by ordinary teens like you spreading the word in your circles of influence.

Do Hard Things -- and the Rebelution as a whole -- is a grassroots success story. For the message to continue to reach our generation, it will take that same motivation and determined action. That's why we're asking you to join us in an exciting effort.

Two years ago, rebelutionaries drove Do Hard Things to the Top 5 on the Amazon.com Bestseller List - where it stayed for over 24 hours and shocked the publishing world.

Here's the question: Could we drive Start Here even higher? To the top spot? And what a platform to spread the message to a wider audience than ever before!"
To get this book off the ground, the Harris brothers are having an Amazon Book Bomb on February 23, 2010.  For every book you preorder on that day (if you plan on doing that, put your email address and the number of books you plan to buy on this page), Alex and Brett will donate one book to a ministry or organization to distribute free to people who can't afford them.

If Do Hard Things was any sign, I would highly recommend Start Here to any teen who is ready to do what they thought they couldn't.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Debate on predestination - in reply to Seth

On the Underground forum, we've been having a debate about a few theological things, one of them being predestination.  A fellow writer from the forum, Seth, just posted on his blog about what he thinks about predestination (click the link above to read it).  Instead of clog up his comments section, I thought I'd just reply here.

I'm going to say right out that I do not belive in predestination (the belief that God chose beforehand only some people to be saved and not others, and that you cannot turn to God unless he "lets" you.  Please someone, if you have an objection to this definition, say so!  :D ).

Seth quoted a couple verses from the KJV that supposedly support predestination.  (As a side note, King James himself was quite involved in the process of overseeing the translation work - he made sure that the new Bible supported the Divine Right of Kings and other theological traditions and wording.  In addition, King James was an Anglican, who believed in predestination.)  Those verses do not have to support election as Seth or myself have defined it simply because they use the word "predestination".  I will just touch on one of them before I go any further.

"In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."  Ephesians 1:5-6  NIV (The "in love" at the beginning is the end of verse 4.)

All right.  The word "predestined" simply means that we, as humans, were made to be adopted as sons.  That's what we were made for, that's our purpose.  But if we live like it isn't, we are rejecting our "destiny".(And note the phrasing "in love he predestined us" and in "accordance with his pleasure" - that means that God wants us to be his children and knows that we will be the happiest when we are his children!)  Now obviously, not all of us are going to be adopted as God's children.  According to those who believe in election, that is because of God.  He has not chosen to save them.  But take a look at this verse - I Timothy 2:3-7 (NIV):

"This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants ALL men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for ALL men—the testimony given in its proper time.  And for this purpose I was appointed a herald and an apostle—I am telling the truth, I am not lying—and a teacher of the true faith to the Gentiles." (emphasis mine)

Wait a sec - if God wants all to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth - and if Jesus gave himself as a ransom for all - that must mean literally what it says.  He wants ALL to be saved.  And right at the end there, he adds "I am telling the truth, I am not lying" - and that he is an apostle and "a teacher of the true faith".

If God wants all to be saved (and that is not the only place it says that!), then why would he choose only some and not others?  That is the question that no one has yet answered for me.  And why would such a loving God withhold from a human the chance to be saved from hell when he has done so to others (and when it is not based on the person's actions)?

In my opinion, the doctrine of election practically erases the Gospel message.  By claiming that each person's destiny is prearranged, Jesus' call to turn from the old way and accept him is useless.  A person who is not chosen will, of course, never do so; a person who is chosen will be "converted" by the power of God sometime during their life anyway.  So either you go to heaven, or you go to hell - it's prearranged, and basically, nothing you do on earth matters.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that nothing in this life matters.  There is a cry from every page, from the very heart of God, to turn to him and throw away our old life.

Of course God knows what we will choose in the end.  But he does not make us choose it.  We have to choose - that's the bottom line.  True love does not make anyone do anything.  I believe that God IS love.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Some great links

I just kind of want to promote some other people's blogs and sites that I follow - young authors, "real" authors - and sort of get some links around so you guys know who's in my loop.  Check them out:

Wayne Thomas Batson, Christian fantasy author

K.M. Weiland, Christian author

Christopher Hopper, Christian fantasy author

Jacob Parker, young author

Brianna, young author

Nathan Petrie, young author

Seth Reid, young author

Storyteller, young author

There's tons more in my sidebar.  Please check them out!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I'm going to be really sore tomorrow

I went back to dance for the first time today!!!  lol   I am so happy.  I had to take a semester off because we were moving, and I missed it so much.  I've known all my classmates there pretty much since I was four, and it was awesome and amazing to get to see them again and see my teacher again.  =D  I'm only doing two days a week as opposed to five, what I used to do, but it's still great to be back.  It's a wonderful, family-like feeling with the people there...and I'm so glad as I'm probably going to be able to go with them to perform at Project Dance in New York City this year.  That would be my first time...ahhh I have to vent my happiness to you guys I hope you don't mind!!  lol

But anyway it's a great, small Christian school, and I'm so happy I get to be a part of it.  =D

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cry Out to Jesus!

This is a favorite song of mine that I've been thinking about lately.  It really illustrates God's heart for us - I think it is SO sad when some Christians (or even non-Christians) think God is all about laws and regulations and how you have to be good to get to heaven, because all he really wants to do is love you.  =D  So I hope this encourages you.

"Cry Out to Jesus" by Third Day

To everyone who's lost someone they love
Long before it was their time
You feel like the days you had were not enough
When you said goodbye

And to all of the people with burdens and pains
Keeping you back from your life
You believe that there's nothing and there is no one
Who can make it right

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus

For the marriage that's struggling just to hang on
They lost all their faith in love
They've done all they can to make it right again
Still it's not enough

For the ones who can't break the addictions and chains
You try to give up but you come back agains
Just remember that you're not alone in your shame
And your suffering

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus

When you're lonely
And it feels like the whole world is falling on you
You just reach out, you just cry out to Jesus
Cry to Jesus

To the widow who suffers from being alone
Wiping the tears from her eyes
For the children around the world without a home
Say a prayer tonight

There is hope for the helpless
Rest for the weary
Love for the broken heart
There is grace and forgiveness
Mercy and healing
He'll meet you wherever you are
Cry out to Jesus