Greetings, everyone! I’m back after my two-week-long break from blogging. During those two weeks, I taught a Vacation Bible School class (the 3- and 4-year-olds) and then allowed myself some much-needed recovery time. The past six months have been a whirlwind for our whole family, but hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy our quiet little hobbit hole for at least the first part of the summer.
In the meantime, I’ll try to keep the next few posts short and sweet. This one should explain why my time is still a bit tied up.
I am currently…
Reading: several books at one time, haha.
- Bigger on the Inside: Christianity and Doctor Who*. This book is actually written by several different authors, and features essays on the Christian ideas hidden within a show that really isn’t known for its Christian ideals. But all truth is God’s truth, and there is plenty of truth in Doctor Who…which is pretty awesome.
- Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art* by Madeleine L’Engle. I don’t agree with all of L’Engle’s theology, but she has a gift for explaining why art is and should be so important in the Christian life–even if that art doesn’t necessarily come from a “Christian” source. ” ‘All shall be well,’ ” she says, quoting Lady Julian of Norwich, ” ‘and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.’ No matter what. That, I think, is the affirmation behind all art which can be called Christian. That is what brings cosmos [order] out of chaos.” (emphasis mine)
- The Door to Camelot* by Suzannah Rowntree. Written by one of my lovely Twitter friends, this is the first book in the Pendragon’s Heir series, and so far I’m really enjoying it! It has a great mix of fantasy, medieval adventure, and time travel, and it’s written in a very “old-fashioned” style reminiscent of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe.
I also just finished reading several Wendell Berry novels. A friend of mine recently stated (and not lightly at all) that Berry had done more for her sanctification than she would ever know. After immersing myself in the quiet stories of Port William–a fictional town in Kentucky rich in community values, forgiveness, and hard work–I can see Berry’s influence working on my own thoughts, values, and habits as well.
Writing: the fourth draft of Lionhearted. I get most of my writing done on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and if I finish one chapter on each of those days, I’ll be finished by August 8–right before the birth of my first niece and before my younger siblings get back to school. After working on this novel for two and a half years, I have to admit I’m getting a little weary. But I’m proud of this story, and I want it to be the best it can be before I send it to an editor and begin the publishing process.
I’m also working on my next book, which I’m keeping under wraps until it’s strong enough to withstand outside opinions. Camp NaNoWriMo helped me jumpstart it and I’m really excited about giving it more of my attention–but I can’t do that until I send Lionhearted to an editor. This definitely accounts for at least some of my increased motivation.
Watching: Lark Rise to Candleford*, and on the weekends with my parents and siblings, the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe from beginning to end. Stay tuned for a review of the first season of Lark Rise to Candleford! Also: can I just say that the Infinity Saga is a work of genius? The level of foreshadowing and character development is astounding, especially where Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are concerned. There are a few holes (example: why would Nick Fury act like the Chitauri in The Avengers are his first brush with otherworldly enemies when he’s already met the Kree and Skrull?), but for the most part, the Infinity Saga remained remarkably consistent over ten years of 20-something movies.
Re-evaluating: my habits–especially my social media habits. With the sole exception of this blog and sharing the links to my latest posts, I’m avoiding all social media for a month. Come July, I should be able to assess the effects of this break and decide how I can use social media more responsibly. In the meantime, I’ve already noticed I have a lot more free time to read and work on Lionhearted!
I’m also re-evaluating my whole skin care routine, which is pretty fun 😉
- The arrival of my first niece!!!
- Diving into some new books–especially The Everlasting Man* by G.K. Chesterton and The Flame Imperishable: Tolkien, St. Thomas, and the Metaphysics of Faërie* by Jonathan McIntosh.
- Seeing the live-action The Lion King in July! I saw the original cartoon in 1994, when I was two years old. I don’t actually remember that, but The Lion King* has been one of my favorite Disney movies ever since. I’m fully prepared for the possibility that I may get very emotional for the new one. After all, the trailers already make me cry.
- My favorite podcasts: Speaking With Joy, Redeemed Imagination, At Home With Sally, and Believe to See.
- The Avengers: Endgame soundtrack*
- Reading The Practice of the Presence of God* by Brother Lawrence as my quiet time devotional