Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. - II Timothy 2:15

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Snippets of Story

I trailed Whispers of a Pen from another blog and thought it would be buckets of fun to join and see what other people write. I'm a horrid snoop that way - seeing what other people write. Here are some of the bits I've written in the near...ish past that gave me a thrill of excitement to see coming out on the page. 

            The promise he had made was a pretty one and I didn’t doubt that he meant it. But he didn’t know, as I did, what he held.
           When I picked up the wreath I had seen Kismet’s red cord and I knew that Kitta would never fight for me.

The Redemption Ring 

I decided to turn detective for two very good reasons:
One, I was bored to death, and two, I didn’t want to marry Roger.
 The last reason was really the most important, because I knew that someday I would probably end up marrying him just because he was hanging around.

The Adventures of Pim

Joseph hadn’t forgotten that Simeon and Levi had singlehandedly slaughtered every man in Shechem not so long ago. He kept his mouth shut.
“Speechless for once, dreamer?” Simeon taunted.

Son of Israel

“You want to go?” I asked, hoping I would hear the voice of the Kitta I had known in the garden, defiant and free, and not the reply of the Kitta who for the past year had played the woman’s favorite, breaking hearts with his careless smile and laughing dark eyes. Somewhere under that mask must be the boy I had first fallen in love with.

The Redemption Ring

Till next time!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


This time, THIS TIME, ladies, I actually have a good reason for blog-post-nonexistence.

As skit director (which basically means you get really no authoritative say in how the skit is performed or the set is built or how things are going, but it's your responsibility to make sure everyone's scripts are highlighted, everyone's costumes are ready, all the props are present and in order and all that *fun* stuff) I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off gathering this and taking care of that and making a zillion lists that I lose as quickly as I produce, spending almost every night after work designing, constructing and painting the enormous set we use (along with a handful of siblings and a dear friend), and then there are read-throughs, rehearsals, and dress rehearsals. It's been crazy.

And then I'm also the song director - sort of, I suppose - which means that I have to choose all the songs, find all the songs on mp3 to put on a cd for the kids to take home, make powerpoint slides of all the songs and then teach them.

So, that's why I've been off the blog for a while.

But I saved out some pictures for all of you and I shall see if they've uploaded yet.

Hold on a moment, please... =D

Ah, here we are!

The Craft Cave

The hieroglyphs we didn't notice were upside down until too late... 

The Set (the one and only)

Can you spot the out of place hieroglyph? 

With a quick stroke of a brush (and a few touch-ups), the unnamed Egyptian bird becomes a darling quail!

Closeup of the set fountain. =D

That's all for now, folks! I shall try to get another post in before I go camping next week, but we'll see. Can't wait for the Olympics to start!      

Till next time!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Book Review: Illusion

My first taste of the renowned and famous Christian author Frank Peretti. This is one of the only authors my brother will read and he's often badgered me to read This Present Darkness/Piercing the Darkness many times. I've flipped through them and have never been interested. When I saw Illusion, the cover caught my eye - and the synopsis snared my imagination. It sounded...good.

SynopsisDane and Mandy, a popular magic act for forty years, are tragically separated by a car wreck that claims Mandy’s life—or so everyone thinks. Even as Dane mourns and tries to rebuild his life without her, Mandy, supposedly dead, awakes in the present as the nineteen-year-old she was in 1970. Distraught and disoriented in what to her is the future, she is confined to a mental ward until she discovers a magical ability to pass invisibly through time and space to escape. Alone in a strange world, she uses her mysterious powers to eke out a living, performing magic on the streets and in a quaint coffee shop.
Hoping to discover an exciting new talent, Dane ventures into the coffee shop and is transfixed by the magic he sees, illusions that even he, a seasoned professional, cannot explain. But more than anything, he is emotionally devastated by this teenager who has never met him, doesn’t know him, is certainly not in love with him, but is in every respect identical to the young beauty he first met and married some forty years earlier.
They begin a furtive relationship as mentor and protégée, but even as Dane tries to sort out who she really is and she tries to understand why she is drawn to him, they are watched by secretive interests who not only possess the answers to Mandy’s powers and misplacement in time but also the roguish ability to decide what will become of her.
Frank Peretti has crafted a rich, rewarding story of love and life, loss and restoration, full of twists and mystery. Exceptionally well written, Illusion will soon prove another Peretti classic.

Plot: I must say that from all the hype I've endured from my family over this author, I expected a book I couldn't put down. I was disappointed. 
When I read the synopsis, I conjured the plot in my mind and the book didn't come close to my expectations (I really need to stop doing that...). It took a completely different track and I couldn't get into it. 
First off, as I got deeper into the book, I got bored. It's extremely repetitive and the aura of the unknown and mysterious happenings doesn't add tension. It's confusing and hard to get through. I felt almost as if Mr. Peretti himself didn't exactly known or understand what he was talking about and his confusion came out in the book. I found myself just going along with the flow and not trying to understand anything in an attempt to just finish the book. It's like a bad movie soundtrack. There are perhaps three good songs and the rest is dull filler.
I was also surprised that the Christian aspect of the book was so weak. There are a few mentions of church and the characters pray occasionally, Mandy often refers to events as "God things", but there is basically no message. In the author's note, Frank Peretti offers a few allegories between the book and Scripture that never would have occurred to me while reading. I've read other reviews and found this to be a common complaint.

Mandy Whitacre - Heroine
I got tired of Mandy rather quickly; she was such a repetitive character. Granted, she's confused and discovering things in the situation she's been thrown into, but she never really connected. Every once in a while she would have a flash of spirit, but most of the time she was a pale shadow manipulated by the plot. 

Dane Collins - Hero?
I guess you can call him the hero. He's the guy. The one the heroine falls in love with. But it's weird and slightly disturbing and just hard to understand. He's pretty bland too and his explanations of magic illusions are confusing at best.  

There are many more, but they don't seem very memorable or in need of a review. The plot is the dominating factor in this book - not the characters.

Likes: I love the cover. It's beautiful and eye-catching. Too bad what's inside doesn't do justice. This is a horrible book to judge by its cover.

There was some humor, I guess.

I found it rather interesting that Dane's name was actually a nickname for Daniel. I like names and that sort of thing.

Dislikes: The horrid repetitiveness. Mandy was always doing the same things over and over, explaining the same things over and over, going the same places over and over. This book spanned the country, but remained plodding and predictable.  Dane thought the same things over and over. And everything was just so SLOW! The plot didn't move an inch and is severely anticlimatic. 

The whole premise on which the book was built was difficult to understand, poorly explained and rather obvious in places. I figured out what Dane should have figured out CHAPTERS before he figured it out. All the scientific kerfuffle was boring and thick as pea soup. I began to wonder if anyone - including the author - really knew what they were talking about.

 It boiled down to two or three confused points and a climax that lost any semblance of sense and interest almost immediately. The bad guys were pretty helpless and didn't offer much suspense or tension. They were easily defeated, surprisingly inept and hardly threatening. They were built up to be so horrid that the end result was almost laughable. At page four hundred thirty, Mr. Peretti must have been as tired of his book as I was. 

At the end, I still had a bunch of questions without answers, but at that point, I didn't care for an answer anyway. I was just glad I was done.

Conclusion: I've heard that the "Darkness" books are Peretti's only triumphs, but after struggling through this five hundred and twelve page clunker, I'm not sure I'll be giving those a try any time soon. 

Till next time!

Friday, July 13, 2012

I Love Your Blog Award

I guess this is called the I Love Your Blog Award and I've been nominated by Madeline over at Slipping Through Your Fingers. I am honored that she chose my little blog as one of her five choices. 

1. Thank the person who nominated you and give the link:
Thank you, Madeline/Maddy/whatever your nickname is!  

2. Tell us why the idea of blogging popped up and why you still write on it.
I was reading a blog that my sister showed me, knew that I loved to write and decided 'why not'
? It's become much more than I ever expected, though. I'm very attached to the dear thing and all you lovely followers, so I can't bear not to type away a post when I can - though I've been neglecting things lately.  

3. Describe a usual day of your life:
I generally get up at 5:30 or 6, depending on whether or not I'm running, and then eat breakfast, and go to my office job. I work there until 11:30 and then eat lunch and go to my caregiver job. I stay there until 4:00 most days and then go home where, depending on the day, I either leave again to attend a scheduled activity or stay home and read, write, or whatever else I feel like doing. It's the life of the working populace, I'm afraid! =D

4. The best collaboration with a blogger?
I don't collaborate, I'm afraid. I am rather exclusive with my blog. Don't know what I'd ask anyone else to write about, come to think of it. 

5. The worst collaboration with a blogger?
Don't collaborate, don't run into 'worsts'!

6. Explain what this blog means to you:
Much more than I meant for it to at first. I like sharing my thoughts - MY thoughts - on books and culture and things that I care about. I like sharing my writing and knowing other people read it. I like having my own space to air my own opinions and know that if people agree they follow. I also like the bevy of friends I've met and seeing what they write and sharing interests and ideas. It's fun!

Till next time!