Here’s your apology in advance: my sister Emily is getting married in 19 days, and so blog posts may be sporadic and/or short ‘n sweet for the next couple of weeks! In the meantime, I’m quite busy and occupied with a few other interesting things apart from wedding prep. Here’s a quick, fun peek into my life right now!
Number One: I’m halfway through my third draft of Lionhearted. My mom finished reading it about a month ago, and since then I’ve been going through her notes–fixing typos, refining confusing sentences or situations, deleting anachronisms (because one probably shouldn’t include Shakespeare quotes and references to Humpty-Dumpty in a purely fictional world), and spotting overused words or phrases (I seemed to favor the word “deadpanned” in the last draft). I’ve got fourteen more chapters to go–and I’ve deleted about 2,000 more words so far!
Number Two: Work continues in earnest on my next book, which currently bears the working title of Morleigh Hall. This is my World War II novel, set in England. I think I’ve finally found my groove after switching back and forth between Third Person, First Person, and back to Third Person–and I’ve thrown caution to the wind and embraced not just one, but three different protagonists: a down-to-earth aristocrat, a London schoolteacher, and an orphaned refugee. I know the trend is to keep a keen, sharp focus on one character, but I’m in a “Know the rules well so you can break them effectively” mood right now 😉
Number Three: I checked a major box off my Fandom Bucket List: I finally “met” the Ninth Doctor! I’ve been told time and time again, “Don’t skip Nine”–but it’s not my fault if they don’t ever play his reruns on TV or they don’t have his one lone, single series at my local library, is it? In spite of all those obstacles, however, we have been introduced and I love him to bits. I even have a sneaky suspicion that he’ll be my second-favorite Doctor…but I’ll graciously withhold that judgment until I’ve seen more of Ten.
Number Four: Christmas is only three months away, which means that not only have we siblings already drawn names among ourselves, but our choir director also passed out four Christmas pieces we’ll be singing for our annual concert! As far as the drawing-names tradition goes, it’s a closely guarded secret: no one will know who got whose name until Christmas morning. As an added challenge, our gifts have to be homemade. I’m pondering what to give my person, but I won’t start work on anything until after the wedding. As for the choir music, there’s nothing like the Sussex Carol to get you in the Christmas spirit every Wednesday night.
Number Five: And speaking of Christmas, here’s what I’m currently reading:
I saw this on my dad’s bookshelf last week and was so intrigued by it, I decided to read it for myself! So far it’s wonderful. I’m a great believer in meaningful traditions that are full of joy and triumphant beauty, and I think this book will give me a whole new appreciation for the glory of Christmas. Meanwhile, I’m following my mom’s example of reading more than one book at a time: I’m also reading James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small.
Number Six: Movies I’ve watched recently include Braveheart, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, and Fiddler on the Roof. Except for A Beautiful Mind (a very well-told but heavy, mind-bending story) I’d seen them all several times before. Braveheart is, without a doubt, my favorite. It was my sister Carolyn’s first time to see it, and according to her, “It messed me up–in a good way.” (Which probably explains why she keeps watching the “Sons of Scotland” speech for personal motivation.)
Number Seven: Autumn is my favorite time of year–not only because the temperatures are juuuuuuuust starting to drop a bit, or because “everything is pumpkin and nothing hurts,” or because the leaves will soon be radiant–but because this is also Persimmon Season! I love persimmons so much, I’m pretty sure they’re my favorite fruit. We have two varieties on our property: one kind can only be eaten when it’s so ripe it’s almost rotten (otherwise its astringent quality will turn your mouth inside out), while the other kind tastes a bit like a mildly sweet, cinnamon-sprinkled apple. And know this, too: I will fight our chickens for them. If they try to go after my persimmons, I shall go after them.
Number Eight: I hardly ever listen to podcasts, but now that Mom and I have discovered Joy Clarkson’s delightful Speaking With Joy I think that may change. Joy, the daughter of one of my mom’s favorite authors Sally Clarkson, is a hilarious, deep-thinking Christian, currently studying for her doctorate at the Scottish university of St. Andrews. While I’ve followed her on Twitter for a long time I’d never listened to her podcast until the other day, when my mom and I heard her wax eloquent on “The Wisdom of Whimsy.” It made me realize how the majority of my favorite books, shows, and movies are full of the quaint, lighthearted goodness that inspires rich and compelling characters and plots. If you’re a writer or an artist I highly recommend “The Wisdom of Whimsy”–and indeed, the entire Speaking With Joy podcast. It’s definitely encouraged me in my own storytelling!
“This is the season [when] she will make beautiful things. Not perfect things but honest things that speak to who she is and who she knows she is meant to be.” ~ Morgan Harper Nicholls