Friday, 28 June 2013

Tagging Fun!

via Fullness of Joy

I think one of the best ways for you to get to know me a little better and me getting to know you better, too, is by playing blog tag!

Joy, my younger sister (from Fullness of Joy), asked me to join in her blog-party tag game. 

'Tis true that the questions are bit literary and directed mainly to writers. However, I'll answer them as best as I can. So, please just relax and enjoy my clumsy attempts at playing tag!!

Tag Questions:  

1. Pretending if need be that you never read any of those titles, (unless you actually haven’t), which book-title intrigues you the most that it would make you abandon all the others and read THAT one book...? Roverandom, The Keys of the Kingdom, That Hideous Strength, The Conflict of Religions in the Early Roman Empire, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Kidnapped, The Ballad of the White Horse, The Robe, The Man Who Was Thursday, or Surprised by Joy...?

Mmmm...I know quite a few of those titles already... My immediate choice would definitely be, The Keys of the Kingdom or The Robe! However, I can't use these titles for this question because I know what the books are about already! 
So, I think I would probably choose The Man Who Was's got a rather intriguing title...mysterious...The man who was Thursday???? Yeah, I think this is interesting...

2. How do you reconcile yourself with an offended cat? (Tell a clueless girl, here!)

Wow! That is an interesting question! Well, I can't say I've had much experience with house cats...hardly any in fact! However, I do remember what my Granny used to tell us about her Siamese cat. 
An offended cat, I believe, should be left quite alone if possible, especially if its in an agitated mood...
However, I think a cat could be won back by giving it its favourite food. What do you think...I'd like to know from an expert!

3. Can you describe to us in a seven-word sentence your current surroundings using the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch? Otherwise you can name in order the thirteen dwarf characters in The Hobbit without looking the info up online. ‘Tis your choice, you know!

Well, I think I'll go for the second option!
Here I go: 

1. Dwalin
2. Balin
3. Fili 
4. Kili
5. Bifur
6. Bofour
7. Bombour
8. Oin 
9. Gloin
10. uh...mmmm...uh...what's his name?....uh...I think it's...uh...Dori! Yes, I think this was it...
11. Nori
12. Ori
13. Thorin 

Well...I believe I've named all thirteen, but I'm not sure they're 'in order'...what do you think?

4. Tea or Coffee? Or lemonade?

Tea...especially in winter...I'm having a good one as I'm writing  now! 
I'd probably prefer a lemonade in summer over a cup of hot tea, though. 

5. Do you think your writing voice and style on your blog (or novel) is so very different from your normal, day-to-day voice and personality? Or is almost identical?

No, I think my writing voice and style on my blogs tend to be from a bit to very different from my normal, day-to-day voice and personality...especially in my other history blog, Beacons of the Past, which tends to be much more formal and academic. I hope to make my writing style in this blog to be closer to me in 'real' life. However, this is a challenge for a meticulous history student!! So, please, bear with me!

6. Puddleglum or Mr. Tumnus?

I would say Puddleglum! I love that character! Such a loveable, humerous character - a happy, eternal pessimist! What a combination!

7. Which of the seasons, spring, summer, autumn, or winter, appeals to you most in a literary sense and inspires you to write?

I'm not a 'writer' as such...but I love autumn and spring very much....they both represent endings and beginnings and often bring refreshment from the seasons that often weary us. Autumn and Spring are very special in colours...that's when creation put on it's best garbs. 
Just a note: actually, I may not be inspired to write about the seasons as much as to sing about them!

8. Cast your mind back to childhood, what was your favourite Old Testament Bible character as a child? What was your most dearly loved Bible Account? Why?

I think I would choose the story of Joseph. I never failed to be intrigued by the how God shaped the story of Joseph - how He guided Him through all the twists and turns, valleys and mountains of his life and also how Joseph remained faithful to God even when God seemed to 'hide' His face from him. What always fascinated me was in seeing a shadow of Christ in the life of Joseph...most notably in revealing himself to his estranged brothers who had cruelly betrayed him into slavery.
I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life...And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. (Genesis 45: 4-8 NKJV)
This part never fails to bring tears to my eyes...what faith and forgiveness!
So, yes. Joseph was and still is my favourite OT character. 

9. What are some of the films/books or songs that make you tear-up or cry the most (be it because it is so beautiful, or really sad or tragic, etc), tell us why they do that; do you actually like to cry in a movie/book?

Yes, I do like to cry in a movie or when reading a book. It's quite special when that happens. It means the movie/book are deep enough to have touched my inner heart and life.

I think the movies that make me tear-up the most are, first, the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, because it is so beautiful, so sad, and so joyful...all at the same time; second, Les Miserables, because it's such a touching human story of love, pain, suffering, forgiveness, and beautifully demonstrates the light that shines in the utterest darkness...the hope of redemption, salvation, and resurrection, and the beauty of grace vs. the Law without mercy; and third, The Keys of the Kingdom, because it is so genuine, pure, and good.

With books, that is much rarer, and that varies when reading each from time to time....So, it's difficult to name least at present...

10. Do you have any special literary goals or dreams that you wish you could accomplish as a writer during your lifetime (besides publishing, that is!)?

Well, as an historian-in the making, I hope to research and write on topics that are dear to my heart...on eras that I enjoy the most...especially on the Reformation and the Post-Reformation Period,  usually called the Early Modern Period by historians, especially on the English Civil War and the Puritans. 

11. If you are a writer, which one of your characters’ internal makeup most echoes a likeness or similitude to you? If you have none of your own – what other fictional character (book/film) does? Explain your answer.

I think I'll pass this question as it is directed more to fictional story writers...which I certainly am not!

12. Excuse me for another Tolkien reference, but I couldn't help it, alas! Which of the five Middle-earth hobbits do you identify with the most: Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, or Pippin?

That's difficult to decide. I think I identify with a little from all five... I think Bilbo and Frodo would probably be the most that I have most to identify different ways and at different moments of their lives.

13. What special topic do you relish talking/writing about the most? Like – like a tap that can instantly be turned on... please, do tell!

My family would probably have very little difficulty in figuring that out! What else?...Oliver Cromwell and his extraordinary legacy in history, of course! 
But no, I don't think I'll let myself fall into the trap of 'turning on the tap' on this topic now, lol! It's rather late at night for me to do that...If you're interested for a glimpse, though, you could visit my history blog, Beacons of the Past. It'll give you a little bit of an introduction!

14. Make your choice, adventurous Stranger; Strike the bell and bide the danger, Or wonder, till it drives you mad, What would have followed if you had.  – The Bell and the Hammer, C.S. Lewis ...thus said the inscription next to the bell in that mysterious place in which Polly and Digory came upon, in The Magician’s Nephew. If you had been in their place, would you have taken the adventure of ringing the golden bell as Digory did (not knowing that the White Witch would be awakened) or would you have acted sensibly like Polly but risked being driven mad by the thought of ‘what if’ when you were back home in England?

That's a tricky question, because I'm ashamed to say I'm not sure of the answer! I like to think I'd be sensible and cautious in a situation like that...but I also know that I could be rather adventurous and too curious for my own good at, I really don't know how that would turn out...
But it's a very interesting question...makes you think...

15. What is that which makes you keep blogging and writing in general in the times when your blog/and or you yourself are at a low ebb? Do you like taking breaks from blogging or miss your followers too much? 

I'm not a very good blogger in general. However, I think it's because my life as a student has not been giving me the opportunity to be more regular. 
To be honest, my experience with my history blog, Beacons of the Past, was quite mixed in the area of interaction with readers. I guess it's because it's more of an academic blog and about history. It's not a very 'personal' blog, so, I guess, readers took it as such. I got very little comments and very few 'followers'. So, yes, I've had a lot of disappointments in that area and I have had to (and still have to) learn not to rely on this as a measure of 'success'. 
What has your experience in this area been like? I'm really interested in your thoughts and ideas!


Wow! That was fun! I hope you enjoyed my faltering attempt at answering those questions. I also hope you've come to know a little bit more about me from them. 

I know that the game Tag requires me to pass on the game with questions of my own. 
I will definitely be doing this. But since this has been a long post already, I'll post my questions in another post sometime later!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Simple Words...of Introduction!

via Pinterest
Have you ever witnessed a grand opening of something new or the introduction of something or someone important? A great deal of fanfare is often involved including the rolling of drums, the blaring of dramatic suspenseful music, the clapping of hands, the shining of blinding spotlights, the raining of balloons, and the flashing of many cameras. It is something usually expected. 

However, as Edith Schaeffer pointed out in her book, L'Abri
No, trumpets don't blow in they would if we were putting on a play with sound effects. But we hear the faint echo in memory as we look back.
I've often thought of this. Everyday life just passes us by with its simple and often monotonous and mundane tasks and events, while  all the while we are dreaming of 'that' great event(s) that would somehow change our lot or give us extra excitement and adventure. 

There is nothing wrong in dreaming or wishing for adventure. I do that often and I think its a good thing. In fact, many of those dreams are part of God's will and desire to fulfil in our lives. But I often wonder that in our dreaming we often miss the real, simple things of everyday life...the everyday tasks, events, and relationships...the small things that He has placed in our lives. I'm beginning to learn that they are just as important as the big times even more so. Because that's where character really develops and life is really lived before God and fellow man. Often those little things in our lives become great things in hindsight and we wish then we had taken better notice and learned something extra special from them. 

I'm a Tolkien lover (as many of you will not fail to notice). One of my favourite 'race' of people in Tolkien's Middle-Earth are the Hobbits of the Shire! I just love Bilbo, Frodo, Samwise, Merry and Pippin...I enjoy watching the goodness and the simplicity in their everyday life. It is not really a naive sort of simplicity...for I also see a depth and a profoundness there that is so amazing and touching, too, especially in the hero characters. I like to think, like Tolkien, that I'm a Hobbit...that is at heart...not size! 

via Pinterest
In fact, this is what has inspired this blog. I've enjoyed blogging in Beacons of the Past, and I'll continue to do so, by God's grace, as time and inspiration allows. But I wanted a place for a 'wider scope for the imagination'. A place where I can share those simple things in my everyday life in which I see glimpses of His care, tenderness, beauty, and grandeur. The things that He uses in my life to disciple me and make me grow in Him. 

So, even though, drums may not be actually rolling nor trumpets blaring for the launching of this new blog, nor for that matter, when you wake up in the morning to face a new day with all its events and responsibilities - either big or small - know that you serve a great God and Redeemer who cares for the small, simple details as well as the big things. 

So, with Bilbo Baggins I say...

It's no bad thing to celebrate a simple life!

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