Showing posts from July, 2015

Thirteen Black Cats on Friday the Thirteenth

Thirteen black cats on Friday the Thirteenth –
Now what is more hapless than that?
In front of Jack Jumper they crossed the street -
Crossed calmly, and that was that.
Thirteen black cats on Friday the Thirteenth -
What else but bad luck could follow black cats?
“I musn’t stay out – some misfortune I’ll meet,”
Said Jack Jumper; and that was that.
Thirteen black cats on Friday the Thirteenth
Forced Jack Jumper to stay home all day;
Yet the next morn he found he had reason to weep -
Missing work had cost him his pay.
“Thirteen black cats on Friday the Thirteenth!
Oh, bad luck is not to be evaded;
For though I did my best,” he groaned through his teeth,
“My luck’s dashed and my hopes have faded!”
Thirteen black cats on Friday the Thirteenth
Made the fourteenth all dismal and gray;
When an old man asked Jack what had caused him such spleen,
Mr. Jumper had one thing to say.
“Thirteen black cats on Friday the Thirteenth!
They’ve caused me such sorrow and strife.”
And he poured out his tale to th…

The Cinderella Saint

Did you ever hear of St. Germaine of Pibrac? She's quite fascinating and inspiring, but not quite as popular as saints like St. Agnes or St. Clare. Here's an essay I wrote about her some time ago. Maybe you can learn something from it. :) The story of Cinderella has been around for hundreds of years. There are many versions of the story, and of course there's the Disney movie. Nearly everyone knows the story of the scullery maid who became a princess. But how many people, I wonder, know that there is a true story about a shepherdess who became a saint?
At first glance, this true story does not seem very much like the story of Cinderella. Instead of beginning once upon a time in a land far, far away, it begins in 1579 in Pibrac, France. That is the time and place of our little princess’ birth.
Her name was not Cinderella, but Germaine Cousin. And she did not look much like a princess. Her right arm was deformed and her neck disfigured by the disease of scrofula. No one would…

One Touch of Rosy Sunset

G.K. Chesterton once said, “If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God.” What a beautiful goal. In his lifetime, G.K. Chesterton wrote oodles of wonderful things, from the Fr. Brown mystery stories to poetry to philosophy to an essay in the defense of Santa Claus. What with all those masterpieces he left behind, I'm sure he's put a touch of rosy sunset into somebody's life.

As a matter of fact, I'm 100% certain that he has. I'm 100% certain because at least one of those somebodies is me.

Chesterton's poem The Battle of Lepanto is one of the most beautiful pieces of literature I have ever come across in my life. Admittedly, the first time I read it, I had positively no idea what it was about. It went right over my head. A year, or a few years, later, I came back to it. This time it made a little more sense. When I tackled it line by line, I could actually understand it - and I found that it …

Ada's Bio

Alright, so today I'm going to post Ada's bio. Ada is a rather important character - as a matter of fact, she started out as my protagonist. Not sure if that's going to work anymore, as I haven't really found anything for shy quiet her to do...but she works as a nice point of view character. :)

Ada Albers Ada Albers is fourteen years old, with a shy, quiet, gentle nature. The first years of her life were the happiest; she lived in a simple little cottage on the planet Erda under the care of two loving parents, whom she adored with all her heart. When she was seven years old, however, her parents were killed in a tragic and devastating hotel fire, the origins of which no one has ever discovered. (Ada was in the building, too, but she was rescued by a fireman. The memory of that night accounts for her horror of fire.) After this terrible event, Ada was brought to live with her rich, well-meaning, and slightly worldly Aunt Angela, her father's sister. Aunt Angela tried…

Grace's Triumph

He stood outside the church, that man,
And paced, and paused, and paced again;
He’d not gone through that ancient door
In nine long years, or maybe ten. The chapel now he longed to see,
And loathed, and longed still, all the same;
The age-old boards where incense sleeps,
The faces in the candles’ flame. The silence of that silent room
Was one that probed his very soul;
He loved its peace, but hated more
To know it probed his heart’s dark hole. And peace, and hate, and misery
Struggled now in anguished fight;
Until that fear which in all creeps
Fled from the whisper – “Do what’s right.” With pounding heart and stricken soul,
He stepped into the church so dim;
He entered through the creaking door;
He yielded to fair grace’s whim. Before the sacred screen he knelt,
And in the darkness, whisper-fringed,
He spoke these words, that long-lost sheep:
“Bless me, Father; I have sinned.” And from heaven’s floodgates, an ocean streamed
Of grace flowing from a wounded Heart;
The blood, the water, forgive…

Timandra's Interview

Alright, here's Timandra's interview. I talk in blue type. Timandra talks in red type. Sorry this is so long, but Timandra is talkative, and doesn't know when to be quiet. :)

Hey, Timandra, can I ask you some questions?

Right before history class? *laughs* 'Course. I can spare a minute. Why?

I am going to introduce you to the world.

*perks up* Really? *face falls a little* I'd planned to do that myself, as a Shakespearean actress.

Well, not really the world. More like a handful of friends.

Oh, alright. The rest of the world can meet me as Juliet. Well, go ahead, fire away! After all, "Better three hours too soon than a moment too late."

*smirks* Alright. What's your least favorite subject in school?

Now, that's an interesting question! I've thought about favorite a lot, but never least favorite. *thinks with finger on chin* I guess I could get along without geometry. I like algebra and seeing the numbers all pop together just like that, but geometry g…

Hail, Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. It is a prayer which has echoed through the ages with an innocent ring;
the prayer of little children lisping as they cling to their rosary beads; the prayer of crusaders praying as they ride into battle. Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui Jesus. Sancte Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen. It is a prayer which we have known for as long as we remember;
the prayer to which we cling when this life seems so void of innocence;
the prayer which we take up as our weapon when we ride into the battles of life. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now …


Saturday. Chore day!

I don't know about you, but there are times when I can't stand work. Whether I'm doing dishes, folding laundry, or cleaning out my chickens' pens, there are so many things I'd rather be doing - writing, reading, playing outside, swimming, emailing, algebra. Okay, maybe not algebra. But in any case, chores are a botheration and a bore, a trial and a trouble, and I'm glad to be done with them.

If I saw things as I should see them, though, that wouldn't be the case. Work is hard, but it can also be beautiful! The Catechism says, "Work honors the Creator's gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work" (CCC 2427).

Even Jesus had to work. Sometimes thoughts like that help me see things in a different light. Chore…

Timandra's Bio

Today I'm going to post a bio of one of my characters from The Prince's Pendant, Timandra Clemmons. Although she is not the protagonist, she has a pretty big role in the story. Please feel free to comment and ask questions about her, and I'll implement them into an interview that'll be posted later.
Timandra Clemmons  Lively and optimistic, fifteen-year-old Timandra comes from a loving and affluent family. Her earliest memories are happy ones, mostly consisting of tumbling about with boisterous brothers and spirited sisters. (She has quite a lot of them.) Since the age of nine, she has attended Star of Heaven boarding school, and she does very well in academic matters; some claim that she is brilliant, but Timandra laughs it off as well-meant flattery. With her witty mind and loving nature, it's easy for her to make friends, and she has very many. Her brothers and sisters are her oldest and dearest friends, particularly Eldon, who attends Star of Heaven with her an…

The Light in Life's Darkness

They glimmer, and they sparkle, and they twinkle, far away;
And we see them in the nighttime, but they're also there by day;
And no matter what our troubles are, they never go away. Even when the clouds are thickest, and the strongest windstorms blow;
Even when the night is darkest, and the day has lost its glow;
Even then the stars are shining on this troubled world below. They glimmer, and they sparkle, and they twinkle, far away;
Yet we know that they are mortal, no matter what poets say.
And, someday, they will crumble; even stars must end one day. Yes, one day they will crumble, and their light will disappear;
But there is no cause for weeping, and there is no cause for fear.
The stars are not our source of joy as we live our exile here. In the black of life's darkness, when the light seems all but gone,
And we cannot see the reason, but just struggle blindly on,
We must always look to Heaven as we wait for Heaven's dawn. Even when the clouds are thickest, and the strongest wi…

St. Lucy

It is such a comfort to have the saints as friends! Not only are they great intercessors on our behalf, they are also wonderful examples of how to live a holy life. One of my favorite saints is St. Lucy.

According to her story, she was a beautiful young lady promised in marriage to a rich young man. Her mother fell sick, and no one could offer her a cure. Lucy piously counselled her sick mother to seek healing through the intercession of the virgin martyr St. Agatha. Accordingly, mother and daughter went to St. Agatha's tomb to spend the night there in prayer. Through the night, Lucy had a dream in which St. Agatha appeared to her, called her "sister", and promised that she would soon join her in heaven with a martyr's crown. It was not the only miracle to occur that night; Lucy's mother was indeed cured of her malady through St. Agatha's intercession! The daughter now confided to her mother her greatest secret: she had taken a vow of virginity for the sake o…

Pretty Chickens

Tragedy! Tragedy, tragedy!

It's fair-time in Clinton County, and if you drive down to the fairgrounds, you'll find them abuzz with once-in-a-summer excitement. You'll be greeted by a host of fair-time glories - the rides spinning around in colorful whirligigs, the clatter of harnessed horses as they thunder down the track, the tantalizing scents of French fries and popcorn floating through the air.  If you walk through the various barns, you'll find hosts of animals - great lumbering cows with gentle eyes, fat lazy pigs shuffling about in their pens, soft little rabbits looking out of their cages with frightened composure. But one barn stands empty at the fair this year, and without it, everything seems a little less perfect.

The bereaved barn in question - bereaved due to the threat of Avian Influenza - is the poultry barn.

No chickens at the fair! For poultry showers like me and my siblings, it doesn't get much more tragic than that. :)

Because I miss seeing th…

Jesus' Passion: The Proof of Love

How much does God love us?This question cannot be answered in human words. God loves us more than we can imagine. He always has and He always will. There is no way we can begin to understand the love God has for us. Through the ages, God has proved His love for us in many ways - through creating the world, through creating us; through becoming man; through establishing His Church on earth that men of all times and places might come to Him. But nowhere has God proven His love so poignantly and so magnificently as in the passion and death of Our Lord. This is the proof of love which surpasses all proofs, the crowning glory of all God's marvelous acts of love. For death is a horrible thing. Who has not feared it? It is more dreaded than anything else in the world. We humans would do anything to avoid it. And here, in the Crucifixion, the only man in history who could have avoided it not only accepted death, but embraced it. This is love. This is love that cannot be compared with anyth…

The Prince's Pendant

As some or all of you know, one of my favorite (and practically only) hobbies is writing. Snatches of poetry, half-finished short stories, and the confidant first pages of novels doomed never to be finished - I revel in it all. Currently, my biggest project is an action-packed space adventure set in 9000 AD. I've promised my siblings it'll turn out to be a trilogy...but we'll see how far that gets. :) Although I've messed around with several titles, I still haven't settled on one; for right now, I'm calling it The Prince's Pendant. Here's an introduction to the story world and plot.

      The Festerlonian Empire has been trying for years to conquer the universe - and, to all appearances, she should be able to. With excellent weapons, a committed army, and military leaders who could stand alongside Alexander the Great, Festerlon is in a prime position to dominate the world. Only one thing stands in its way: the Erdanian Empire.
     Erdania is t…

Sisterhood Award

Well, I've been tagged for the sisterhood award by my good friend Andrea Adams, at Thanks, Andi! Also, I'm tagging you back. You're going to have to serve as the ten blogs mentioned in the rules. :)

Alright, here are my answers to the ten questions:

If you had to go on an adventure with one book character, who would it be?
This is ever such a hard question. Well, let's see. I suppose it would be extremely egotistic of me to say Timandra from my book, but I do think it'd be fun to go on an adventure with her. :) I'd like to hang out with Anne of Green Gables, too, and Jo March - but I don't know if they'd be very useful on an adventure. Always getting into scrapes. :)

 What's your favorite musical?
Probably Oliver! The songs are so happy and fun.

What's your favorite movie?
Hmm.....I'm horrible at favorites. Right now, the movie I most want to re-watch is Gettysburg, based on the book The Killer Angels. I…

Tangle Webs and Fairy Rings - A Poem :)

I live in pursuit of fairy rings,
Of tanglewebs, and pixie-wings;
I live in constant wondering
At gossamer and rain.
For in all things does magic hide -
In flower, in starlight - and I've spied
It peep from hollows where life has died,
From loneliness, from pain.

It creeps about in all I see,
This glorious secret, merrily;
It smiles and sighs and laughs at me
Who am so coarse and dull.
It laughs - but sadly - at the blind
Which lowers its nets about my mind
And 'round my spirit twists and twines
The befuddling smoke of the Fall.

And yet, I am not wholly dead
To roses' beauty, dewdrop-fed;
My faculties have not all fled
The knowledge nature would impart;
For whenever beguiling enchantment I read
In a pebble-stone, or a thistle-seed,
I sense that, where magic has been decreed,
A Wizard has wrought His art.