Showing posts from January, 2017

January's Jumble of Books

It's the last day of the first month of a new year, so of course it's the perfect time to give my first-ever monthly update! A reading update, that is. Here's a list of all the books I finished in January, and a little bit of what I thought of them.

The Story of the Other Wise Man, by Henry Van Dyke

It was Christmas at the beginning of this month, you know--strange thought!--so I started the year with a Christmas story. I think this was the first time I'd read it all the way through. Although I enjoyed it--it was full of lovely descriptions and had a good theme--I can't say I was very deeply moved by it. Artiban was my favorite character by default.
How close, how intimate is the comradeship between a man and his favorite horse on a long journey. It is a silent, comprehensive friendship, an intercourse beyond the need of words.
--The Story of the Other Wise Man
The Song of Roland, translated by Dorothy Sayers

This was my favorite book in literature class during my fres…

Abortion: A Struggle Against the Powers of Darkness

Today is the Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children. Forty-four years ago, the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade led to the legalization of abortion in the United States.

Forty-four years, and counting. 59,742,440 babies, and counting.

Take a look at this abortion clock that tracks the number of unborn children being slaughtered each day. It's sickening. Truly and utterly sickening.

How can we have let this go on for so long? How can we let it go on for another minute?

This morning, my family and I attended daily Mass. As I thought and prayed and listened to the readings and homily, it became increasingly clear to me that this is a spiritual battle.
It isn't just a political issue.
It isn't just a civil rights movement.
It isn't just the crusade of a select group of religious fanatics.
It is a struggle between good and evil. It is a war threatening all things good and innocent and beautiful. It is a battle more epic than anything in the Iliad

The First Fatima Apparition: May 13, 1917

Today's italicized quotations are once again taken from Fatima: A Message More Urgent than Ever, by Luiz Sergio Solimeo.

It was May 13, 1917. Three shepherd children were watching their sheep in the Cova da Iria, a piece of land near Fatima, Portugal. It was a beautiful morning, and Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta were busy playing. Suddenly, they saw a flash of light. Thinking it was lightning, Lucia, the oldest, recommended that they go home. Her cousins, who were nine and seven years old, agreed.

They began to drive the sheep back home. But as they neared a young oak tree, there was another flash of light; and there, atop the oak tree, stood a beautiful lady, shining like the sun.

Years later, Lucia reported the words the lady spoke to her:

Then Our Lady told us, "Don't be afraid. I will not hurt you."

"Where are You from?" I asked.

"I am from heaven."

"And what do You want from me?"

"I came to ask you to come here six months in a row o…

Meet the Books! Lillian

So, ever so long ago Belle Anne @ Worlds of Ink and Paper began a lovely feature called Meet the Books! As soon as I saw it I thought, "Oh, how delightful! I shall participate in this, yes I shall."

And then, of course, I procrastinated.

But the reign of procrastination (over this matter at least) has come to an end! And for this first Meet the Books! post, I thought I should take the opportunity to talk about my current project, Lillian, in detail. So here you go.

Who are the characters?

There are lots of them! Here they are, roughly in order of appearance.

Lillian: the protagonist, a Lillidy raised by mice in the very much mistaken belief that she is a mouse

Mrs. Mouse: Lillian's bustling, capable, emotional mother

Mr. Mouse: Lillian's quiet, sensible, ever-so-slightly-henpecked-husband father

Melissa: the oldest of the Mouse children, a lovely and sweet young lady

Andrew: Lillian's older brother

Clarksie: Lillian's mischievous best friend

Trinket: Clarksie's w…

The Angel of Fatima

Hello, everyone! It's time for our second Fatima post. Today we're going to talk about the Angel of Fatima, which appeared to the Fatima Children in 1916 to prepare them for Our Lady's visits.

Before we begin, I have exciting news: Belle Anne @ Worlds of Ink and Paper has agreed to take over Catholicism Explained. I still may do CE posts with her on occasion, but in general I'm going to focus on these Fatima posts while she covers Catholicism Explained. So keep an eye on her blog for some interesting discussions about Catholic theology!

And now, on to our Fatima post. Much of this information is drawn from Chapter Two in the book Fatima: A Message More Urgent Than Ever by Luiz Sergio Solimeo. All italicized passages below are taken from that book.

The Fatima apparitions which took place in 1917 actually began in 1916.* One day in this year, Lucia and her two cousins Francisco and Jacinta were watching their sheep in the hills surrounding Fatima. Since it had been drizz…

Sam Gamgee Character Study

As you may know by now, I love Sam Gamgee. Out of all the characters in The Lord of the Rings, he is my absolute favorite. Indeed, I would go so far as to say he is my favorite character ever. From the moment he leaped up "like a dog invited on a walk," said "Hooray!" and promptly "burst into tears," there's been something about him, something that took a hold on me and hasn't let go.

And I'm not the only one who feels that way (although whether or not anyone can match my love of Sam remains to be seen). Recently, I've talked to several good souls who claim Sam as one of their favorite Middle Earth characters.

What is it about Sam that makes him so appealing? Why does he seem, to me at least, to embody the heart and soul of The Lord of the Rings?

While puzzling over this, I've put together a list of some of Sam's distinctive qualities. Here it is.

1. Simplicity

Sam is simple. His background is about as commonplace as it gets. He liv…

Beautiful Books: 2017 Writing Goals

It's time for January's link-up with Cait and Sky! Guess what. It has now been one entire year since I began participating in the Beautiful People/Beautiful Books link-ups. Every minute of it has been stupendous, and I would like to thank the wonderful hosts for, well, hosting it.

And now! On to the questions.

What were your writing achievements last year?

2016 was a very productive writing year for me. Or at least, it was very productive first-draft wise.

At the beginning of the year, I drafted the second book in my space trilogy, tentatively entitled The Prince of Erdania. (Haha, that's funny. That space trilogy seems so far away and long ago. Oh, those characters...I love them still, but I'm in the habit of forgetting they exist, in a way.) That draft turned out to be 40,931 words. And it's messy. Very very messy. That entire story world is messy. Let us move on.

After finishing (ha! "finishing") The Prince of Erdania I started "pantsing" a fa…

Entering 100 Years of Fatima

It was the year 1917. World War One raged elsewhere in Europe, but for three young children of Portugal, life consisted mainly of watching their family's sheep. The oldest was named Lucia Santos; she was ten.  The other two were her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto; they were nine and seven.

From May through October of 1917, these children caused quite a stir in their hometown of Fatima and the surrounding lands. They reported that they had been visited by "a lady from Heaven," a beautiful lady who first came to them on May 13, while they were watching their sheep. She had asked them to pray the rosary, pray and make sacrifices, and to come to the Cova where they had seen her on the thirteenth of each month. The children had wanted to keep these visits a secret, but little Jacinta let the story slip, and it was impossible to keep the news from spreading. 
Some believed the children were telling the truth, that they really were favored with visions from Heaven. Some a…

New Year's Plans

Happy New Year, everyone! And Merry Christmas, too, since it's still the Christmas season. :)

So, I thought it was high time I made some New Year's plans concerning this blog. Here's a list of things I want to do/continue.

Spread the Fatima Devotions
    This year, 2017, is the 100th anniversary of the appearances of Our Lady to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. Ever since I was a little girl, I've really loved this story, and for the last few years I've felt there must be a way for me to help spread the Fatima devotions. So, why not try on this blog?
     I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing with regards to this, but here are some ideas:
     - a monthly First Saturday post, possibly in the form of a meditation on one of the mysteries of the Rosary
     - weekly Saturday posts, just little snippets of things about prayer and sacrifice and the Fatima message, and things like that
     If you've got any ideas, please share in the comments!