the Tales of Goldstone Wood tag

Well met, Knights (and everyone else)! Today I’m doing the Tales of Goldstone Wood tag, which was created by the Knights of Farthestshore. (I did help found that site, but I didn’t create this tag… credit for that goes to Knights Kendra and StarJoy!)

rules:

~ use the tag graphic (see above)
~ link back to Knights of Farthestshore as the creators of this tag
~ answer the 10 questions
~ tag at least 4 people

Note: minimal spoilers here! You can enjoy this post even if you haven’t read the books.

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introducing Knights of Farthestshore, a Tales of Goldstone Wood fan site

Beyond the Final Water falling,
The Songs of Spheres recalling,
Won’t you return to me?

If you’ve been paying attention to my posts, you know that I absolutely love Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Christian allegorical fantasy masterpiece, the Tales of Goldstone Wood. (And if you didn’t know that, I just neatly summed it up in one sentence — check out my posts featuring the Tales here). I first read the series in February and I’m currently rereading it (next up is Shadow Hand, my favorite the first time around).

I began to research the series and learn more about the author, and I discovered that she stepped back from writing the books and managing the old fan site about three years ago. So three months ago, I thought I might create a new fan site. I played around with a new WordPress blog and, after I had something I liked, I emailed a bunch of other fans and asked if they’d be interesting in collaborating on a fan site. I also — and this is the best part — got permission from the author (!!) to create the site.

And so, my friends, today I get to announce the launch of our fan site, Knights of Farthestshore: a haven for fans of the Tales of Goldstone Wood. Run by fans, for fans, the site will feature posts about the Tales. What character are you? Which love confession was the best? What do we still not know about Eanrin’s eyes? (Disclaimer: none of these posts are yet published, or even written. They are ideas for the kind of posts you’ll see.) We’re also accepting submissions of fanfiction and fanart from the Tales!

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the Hamilton book tag + the outstanding blogger award II // ft. mini book reviews and random appearances by my WIPs

Tag posts are fun to write, but I have an (irrational?) fear that people don’t like them as much as my other posts.

Since you’re one of these “people,” do you mind telling me? I’d like to know the truth instead of clinging to an assumption that may or may not be true.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are the tags I’ve been tagged for.

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the Hamilton book tag

I found this tag at J Long Books; Jaedyn said anyone who loves Hamilton could do it. Since I am doing it, you’ve probably (correctly) assumed that I love Hamilton.

This post is not supposed to be a Hamilton review, but… I have a hard time stopping myself from reviewing things. I’ll be brief.

  • THEATRE // I love all things musical theatre, and have seen quite a few shows (live and recorded) and participated in dance, acting, and singing lessons. Thus, I know (a little) how hard it is to perform well, and Hamilton is performed very well. The second time I watched it I watched mostly the ensemble, which I encourage everyone to do on their second time through!
  • WRITING // I also (surprise!) love to write. I consider myself to be fairly good at it (twelve years of practice, six of which were spent consciously trying to improve, helped in that regard). So I advise you to trust me when I say that the writing is marvelous. For example:
    I’m in the cabinet. I am complicit in
    Watching him grabbin’ at power and kiss it
    If Washington isn’t gon’ listen
    To disciplined dissidents, this is the difference:
    This kid is out!

    Read that aloud. Can you rhyme as well? I doubt it. (I can’t.)
  • HISTORY // Hamilton is not completely historically accurate. Basic knowledge of the Revolution/early American history, and access to accurate historical information, is important if you want to fully understand the context and reality of the time period and events portrayed in the musical.
  • CONTENT // The movie is rated PG-13. It has more profanity than almost any other PG-13 movie I’ve seen. The sexual content is about what you’d expect from that rating. All violence is portrayed via dancing and acting (no blood is actually shown, and gun duels are dramatized). I personally recommend it for ages 15 and up, but please read reviews, talk to your parents (if you live with them), and think carefully before viewing.
  • That being said, I could easily squeal about this movie all day, and I highly recommend watching it.

Mini review done. Let’s do the tag.Read More »

how NOT to confess your love // with examples from literature

Confession: I love reading stories with romance.

(Notice that I didn’t say “romances.”)

I used to pretend I didn’t. I used to say oh, I don’t care if a story has romance and I wish there were more books with platonic relationships instead of all this romantic stuff. It was out of a desire to seem open-minded, to make it clear that I don’t think everyone needs to fall in love and I don’t think every story should be a love story.

But I eventually realized that, despite my attempts to make it appear otherwise, I really, really like reading stories with romances. I ship couples with my whole heart, squeal when they finally get together, cry when they’re separated, and just can’t stop reading until I know how their relationship ends.

I still haven’t changed my mind on the issue of whether or not every story should have romance: no, they shouldn’t. Some stories shouldn’t be romantic (for example, almost every story for young and middle-grade readers, stories about characters who don’t want romantic relationships, stories where romance doesn’t add to the plot, etc.). But… I personally love reading books with romance.

Sometimes I even love it when the romance doesn’t work out. When it’s cringy and awful and they break up… even if they never get back together, it can be incredibly, weirdly enjoyable to read.

In my many years of reading, I’ve amassed a large collection of scenes (yes, you can collect scenes) in which confessions of love don’t go quite as planned. These passionate admissions amuse me every time I read them, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

I do want to get married someday, so future husband, if you ever read this, take note: please don’t propose like these characters. Thank you 😆

Warning: spoilers ahead. Each section heading includes the name of the book, so feel free to skip a section if it spoils a book you want to read.

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the mid-year book freak-out tag // speculative, historical, and much Goldstone Wood

Hello hello, readers, and welcome to (as the title suggests) a post in which I talk about the books I have read so far this year, the books I want to read later, and the fact that despite my grand plans to read 40 works of nonfiction this year, I have yet to read a single one.

(Yes, seriously, I haven’t read any nonfiction.)

I’ve seen this tag on several blogs already; I’m going to be taking my questions from Heather @ The Frozen Library and May @ Forever and Everly.

Before we start: I wrote this post on June 21; I will have (hopefully) read more books before its publication. (Including some nonfiction?) And, I’m going to relegate rereads to the “honorable mention” category (unless there’s a very good reason not to).

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reading stats

books read

  • total: 77 (+ two in-progress works by friends and about 10 Melanie Dickerson books — more on that later)
  • library books/borrowed: 47 (that was hard to count!)
  • ebooks/read on computer: 18
  • audiobooks/read alouds: 3
  • DNF: plenty that I will finish (including some I’m currently in the middle of); I don’t think I’m abandoning any
  • rereads: 46
  • sequels: 46 (I think?)

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flotsam & jetsam | 5

Hello, all!

At this point, you probably know what my flotsam and jetsam posts look like. (If you don’t, read some old ones.) I’ve got a lot of random things to write about today.

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Lent & Easter

Lent is the season leading up to Easter, during which many Christians remember Jesus’ suffering by fasting, reading the Bible, and praying. My family often gives up screens for this time; however, we decided not to this year because of the quarantine. We don’t watch things much anyway, but it certainly helps to be able to turn on a show or movie occasionally when you’re stuck at home with nothing to do.

brown and silver cross table decor

We still observed Lent, though, by praying and reading the Bible and remembering Jesus’ suffering. If you’ve never tried it before, mark your calendar for 2021 and get ready to more fully appreciate what Jesus did for you. Read More »

fast-paced books to read while you’re stuck at home

Hello, my friends!

It’s been a little over a week since everything shut down in Michigan. My tae kwon do class was canceled. My church is livestreaming. My ACT was postponed and my AP exam will be at my house. My musical is on hold with no definite plans to actually perform.

Most of you are probably in a similar situation. While I’m not going to be talking about COVID-19 specifically on my blog, I want to let you all know that I’m praying for us all and that you are not alone. We’re all in this together.

If you’re looking for resources to get you through all of this, here are a few things that I’ve found helpful:

Once you’re done checking all those amazing resources out, though, you’re still going to be stuck at home. So you’ll probably go do your chores, and finish up your homework or schoolwork, and take a walk down the road, and get the mail, and call or text your friends, and check social media, and talk to your family, and watch a movie…

…and you’ll still be stuck at home.

Since I, like you, am stuck at home, I’ve decided to use my extra time and my intense boredom to read a lot of books. Of course, it doesn’t mean I’m not stuck at home, or I’m not bored, but it definitely helps to reduce my boredom, and when I read, I get to experience the life of someone else who lives somewhere else. So… I sort of get to travel.

I think that reading is one of the best things to do when you’re stuck at home and completely bored — and I also think that while setting goals to read classics or hard-to-read books is never a bad thing, your boredom will not end if you’re slogging your way through Orthodoxy or North and South (both of which excellent books I have recently read).

I think that right now, the best books to read are the kind that keep you up at night, the ones you can’t put down, the ones that make you care and cry and laugh and scream right along with the characters. So today I’m going to recommend books that I can’t put down, fast-paced and addicting stories with compelling plotlines and lovable characters.

I hope one of these books helps you escape to a different world and fall in love with its characters during this quarantine!Read More »

the mystery blogger award

In my attempt to catch up on all the tags I’ve been tagged for, I found this one. True @ True-Story tagged me for it (thanks, my friend!).

the rules

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  2. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  3. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well. (This award was created by Okoto Enigma.)
  4. Answer the 5 questions you were asked.
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  6. Nominate 10-20 people.
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs. (I decided to link to each of my nominees’ most recent posts instead.)
  8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
  9. Share a link to your best post(s).

dividerthe questions + my answers

What was the first blog post you ever wrote?

When I was eleven, I wrote a blog post about the three dance recitals I was in that year. (I had a private blog which was then called “inkling.” When I created this blog, I moved my favorite posts from the previous one over. My first post ever didn’t make it.)

grayscale piano keys

What is your favorite song/artist at the moment?

I’ve been listening to BYU Vocal Point a lot lately. Some of my favorite of their songs are “Nearer My God To Thee,” “Homeward Bound,” and “Be Still My Soul.”

Some other songs I really like just now:

  • “Be Thou My Vision” by BYU Noteworthy
  • “How Great Thou Art” by Eclipse 6
  • “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” by Collabro
  • “This My Soul,” “Sirens,” and “Diamonds and Gold” by The Gray Havens
  • “The Wizard and I,” “Popular,” “Defying Gravity,” and “For Good” from Wicked

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flotsam and jetsam | 4

Hello, my friends!

I’m back with another flotsam and jetsam post. I’ve been very busy with school, extracurriculars, and other things, plus my family is stepping back from screens for Lent, so I haven’t had much time to put into my blog. But this kind of post (for those of you who don’t know, it’s a collection of random things I want to write about) is easier to finish up and fun to write.

We’ll start with the Wingfeather Saga. The first two books have re-released and are out as of TODAY! This series is one of my very favorite fantasies. It’s middle-grade (but I, as an older teen, still love it) and by a Christian author (but definitely not only for a Christian audience).

buy book one here

buy book two here

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fantastical realms blog tag

Today I’m doing an amazing tag that Jenelle Schmidt created! This tag goes along with the theme “February is Fantasy Month,” and Jenelle’s also created a linkup and a giant giveaway. All the information for that is in her original post, so go check that out!

As you probably know, fantasy is my very favorite genre, so I’m super excited to do this tag!

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the rules

  • Thank the blogger who tagged you. (Well, I wasn’t technically tagged for this, but Jenelle left it open to anyone who wanted to do it, and I first saw it on Christine’s blog. So thanks to both of you!)
  • Include the graphic somewhere in your post.
  • Link back to Jenelle’s blog somewhere in your post.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Tag a few blogger friends, and let them know they’ve been tagged.
  • Have fun!

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the questions + my answers

1 // In a strange twist of fate, you are transported into a fantasy realm of your choice. The catch? You have also been transformed into your least favorite fantasy creature. Where are you, and what are you?

I’m in Goldstone Wood! I just recently read Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s series (you may know this, since I think I’ve mentioned it in every post for the past while), and I wish I’d discovered it sooner! It’s fantastic.

But… I’m a burrow grub, or íllgrathr, from the Inheritance Cycle.

. . . it was heavier than it looked, and its underside gripped her with what felt like hundreds of little hooks . . . Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the burrow grub lift up its eyeless head and point it toward her face, as if testing the air. Its tiny mouth opened, and she saw that it had sharp cutting mandibles behind its upper and lower lips . . . there seemed to be something profoundly wrong about the burrow grub. . . . Then its fat, limbless body contracted, and it hopped four, five inches straight up into the air and then dove headfirst toward the inner part of her elbow. As it landed, the burrow grub divided into a dozen small, bright green centipedes, which swarmed over her arm before each chose a spot to sink its mandibles into her flesh and bore its way through her skin . . .

from Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

They are very distasteful creatures, and I have no idea how I’m going to make my way through Goldstone Wood as one. Someone send help.

2 // What fantasy creature do you wish featured in more stories? What is your favorite story that has that creature in it?

I’m going to reference the exact same two series as I did above: I love the character of Solembum, a werecat, in the Inheritance Cycle. And the Tales of Goldstone Wood also feature several characters who have two forms (one animal, one human). One might even be able to be called a werecat…? So I’m going to say that I’d love to see more stories featuring humans that also have an animal forms (or basically shapeshifters of any kind). The Fablehaven/Dragonwatch books also feature this kind of creature, but their “animal” form is a dragon or unicorn, and when they’re human, it’s called an “avatar,” which added a very interesting twist to the story.Read More »