Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dangerous Things Are Splendid Things

It's a completely random title to go with a completely random post.
Can I just say that I am so excited for so many things? Life is always full of new surprises around each bend and corner, but in especially the last several weeks I've had so many things to anticipate.
God is exceedingly good to me, and more and more I'm realizing how truly undeserving I am of that Devine goodness.

I'm seeing how easily my heart puffs itself up and thinks so highly of its petty accomplishments and successes.

You know, I could take today's knife throwing photos and relay it to some sort of allegorical or parable for this post. If I wanted to, that is.
 I could try to make them relate somehow to some life familiar lesson - like, how easy it is for me to miss the mark and fall short of God's will and how difficult it can be to get a bulls-eye on fulfilling what He wants me to do, obeying His Word.

Yeah, I could write something up on that, couldn't I? Why not?
Eh. I don't feel like it today.

Sorry. I lost my train of thought. Where was I again?

Oh yes.
Knife-throwing. It's a reeeeeaaaaally fun sport, and I applaud anybody else who's taken it up and diligently practices. Not saying I'm doing that, but I try to get in some time on it each day if I'm not too lazy not to.

There's nothing quite like the sound of the blade sinking into the wood.
It's music to my ears, the boost to my morale, the peanut to my butter - oh phooey, never mind; I'm sure you got the idea long before my ridiculous analogies began.

Wielding my throwers, I feel a sense of...epicness, if you will. Okay, okay, I know that sounds as cheesy as they come. But still. If I actually hit the darn target I feel like a boss.

I'm not sure what spurred the urge to take these photos, honestly. People ask me about how my photography is going and I'm just like...My photography?
It's been so sporadic, that I hardly dare to call it much of a hobby. It's just something I do, when I get the sensation that I need to capture something in photographic form.
Most of my life has been sporadic lately, come to think of it.

Gil Hibbens!

No seriously, it has. I practice piano sporadically, write sporadically, work out sporadically, do blog posts sporadically. 
 Everything has been done...sporadically.
It's not ideal, but in some ways...well, I'm not complaining. It's a season of life which I am thankful for. It's a constant struggle to use my time wisely, try and point others to the Creator and give Him the glory in all that I do. It's a constant struggle.

 And now I'll leave you marvelous peoples with a scene from today which I found quite amusing.
"Fish on!"
Okay, that's it.
I'm gone.
Time to make myself scares on the internet, read my Bible and hopefully get some more writing done on the good ol' screenplay! When I can muster enough diligence and self-control to stay off of social media, (*coughfacebookcough*) I can actually get a lot done...surprising, isn't it?
 But don't mind my random ramblings, do tell me about how y'alls summers have been going so far! What's been new with you guys?
Soli Deo Gloria,

Friday, July 19, 2013

AssafPelleg Summer Fashion {review}

SO, we're smack-dab in the middle of summertime. The heat's upon us, and in Florida, that means you can expect 100% humidity to go with it. It can be a less-than-comfortable end result, for climate.
When faced with this sort of weather, what does one wear? Something light, comfortable and summer-y of course.
The shop Assaf Pelleg sent me a fun summer tank/tee and it certainly fits under the above description.
One of the most awesome things about this review is where it came from.
That's right, Israel! I was so excited to get a package from one of my favorite countries. It's not every day you see a package with Hebrew written on it! ^_^

The shirt came with this pin, at least, that's what I think it is. Personally when I first saw it in the box, it looked like packing material. I think it's rather strange for a pin honestly, but I guess somebody, somewhere wouldn't mind wearing it.

The shirt is extremely lightweight, and very see-through - I added a black tank underneath for modesty.

I simply adore the pattern. It's so cute, and so perfectly summer-y! I don't think I've ever seen a shirt that had sunglasses covering it.
This is probably my favorite thing about the top, and it's also what first caught my attention in the beginning while browsing the AssafPelleg shop.

There's only one thing I don't like about this shirt.
You can't really tell in these photos, but the blouse has a fold of fabric that crosses the midsection diagonally, and while some women would be delighted with this addition, for covering their tummy regions, I am not a fan of it personally.
Actually, at one point my aunt said she had thought I'd gained a little weight, wearing this shirt.
(I'm not one to go making decisions based on what others say/think about it, but...The last time somebody told me I looked like I'd gained some weight...I can't even remember that time if it was in existence at all. So, yeah...)
It's not the pattern, or fabric itself. It's that fold running across the front. My mom said she would gladly wear a shirt with that kind of fold to help cover her abdominal region better. For me, it just poufed out and made me look pregnant...which I'm not.
So. This would be the perfect summer top if not for that fold. It does have a cute pocket on one side of the chest, which I like, but otherwise I'd totally opt for a version of this shirt without that extra  bit of fabric.
That's just my take.
I'd still recommend this store, however. I'm a huge fan for a number of reasons right now. One, the clothes are made right in Israel! Two, it appears to be quality stuff. Three, very professionally-presented and organized. I could go on, but that might get boring for you readers so how about you just go check out AssafPelleg for yourself?
Note: I was provided this item from AssafPelleg in exchange for my honest review. All opinions remain mine and mine alone, and I am not paid for presenting any of them. I employ no means of flattery or falsehoods in my reviews.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

70 Followers Giveaway!! TWO WINNERS!

Soooo guess what we have starting today, folks?
A GIVEAWAY. Yesss, that's right, finally another giveaway! The occasion? This blog reached 70 followers about two weeks ago.
I can't believe how this blog has grown in the last year. You all have really blessed me with your encouraging comments and just the fact that you take the time to even read my crazy stuff. I know I'm a mess and hard to put up with a lot of the time. So, just so you peoples know, I love you guys. Thank you for being who you are!
Sooooo. I guess most of y'all probably didn't know that I am actually already a published author.
Self-published, I'll admit, but still published. So there.
Anyways. How that applies to today's big giveaway?
When I was 12 years old, my awesome writer/journalist dad helped me self-publish my first poetry book. How exciting that was for me way back when.
Now, it is pretty amusing getting to look back and read the work of a 12 year old version of me!

When I was 14, another volume came along, also once again self-published with the help of my dad's skill. I'm a lot more 'proud' of this one I'll admit, since my writing greatly improved in those two years.

So. Today, I'm giving away a copy of both books, plus a pack of organic eye shadows from Willow Tree Minerals, and a pair of homemade earrings from Wonder and Whimsy.
So, I think this time I'm gonna split this into two different winners. Two lucky peeps will get something here - a poetry book, and either some eye shadow or earrings! How fun is that? Now you have all the more chances to win. *wink*
(Note to any guys who might be reading this/might want to enter. I know there's girly stuff predominantly in this giveaway...the eye shadow, earrings...I wish I had something to include that was more masculine. :P So. If you want to enter just for one of the books, and say you do *win*, I can leave out the eye shadow/earrings or give them to another winner. :P)

Now get entering! And why not spread the word around about it, too? Pretty please?
Have fun and 'good luck!'

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Paradox" by Brian McBride {book review}

| Music listened to while writing this post:
Bullet Soul - Switchfoot
Under My Thumb - La Roux
Hurricane - Natalie Grant
Stompa - Serena Ryder
Brave - Sara Bareilles | 
So, I was given the privilege of getting to read and review an awesome Christian fantasy volume, created by a teen writer friend of mine, Brian McBride.
First of all, let me give you a little snippet of what this thing is about.
Paradox is a self-published Christian fantasy novel aimed at the young adult audience (14-18).
    Here is the premise/back cover description: Four troubled teens, two worlds, one God, one goal: to defeat the Darkness before it's too late. When David, his twin sister Alicia, and their two best friends, Jake and Hannah, stumble through a portal and into another world, Paragon, they discover that they are not who they thought they were... they are descendants of an ancient race known as Starcrafters, and they've been endowed with God-given abilities - impossible abilities.
    They train and learn to harness their abilities. Now, they are ready to take on the Dark Prince.
    Their attack on the prince is interrupted, however, when they are taken by a group known as the Renegades who are after universal domination by means of an artifact known as the Paradox Stone.
    They must escape the Renegades, retrieve the stone, and defeat the Darkness; all while learning to trust one another and work as a team, and to put their faith in the one true God.

Okay. So let's get something straight before we go any further.
I. adore. the. title. of. this.
Isn't that just the most epic title you've ever seen?
I'm totally serious. Paradox is one of my most utter favorite words ever and so therefore you can imagine my ecstasy to see it being utilized as the title of an awesome YA fantasy novel!
 I haven't read a whole lot of fantasy lately, and in general, my reading list stays pretty much to the bare essentials - school-related stuff, Bible, etc. I just don't generally have much time for anything else these days.
So therefore Paradox was probably the first full-fledged fantasy that I have read for a while. And let me say, I will never ever tire of fantasy. Ever. As much as I love historical fiction, and reality-based stuff, there is nothing like stories involving griffins, dragons and knights in shining armor!
If you're in the mood for a read like this, then you won't be disappointed with Paradox.
While I was unable to devote an entire day to reading it, like I would've liked to, (once I get going on a good book I just can't put it down!) it definitely held my attention.
As I've said before, I am always really interested to read the works of other teen authors - especially when they're Christians! So, from the beginning, I was anticipating this read even for that reason alone.
Now, unto the review!
I liked it. Sometimes it was a little hard to follow, but overall it was good. Definitely a strong, medieval-fantasy plot and nothing short of a thriller!
As stated previously, it's a Christian medieval-fantasy. I mean, are any words further necessary?
I think that's just about as epic a genre as they come. In Paradox, you get all the details about medieval fantasy which make it so fun, and at the same time it is all tied together by solid Biblical foundations and allegorical references to Scriptural truths.
My favorite character in Paradox was Jarush. I loved his strong, leader-like position in the story and group of other characters. Being random here, I'll also note Shael - simply because, being obsessed with cool names and such, well, I love his name.
As for the four teens, the main characters, I had some trouble relating to them and therefore found their emotions hard to empathize with. It was slightly difficult to follow their inner conflicts and thoughts since the story flitted back and forth from their perspectives so frequently.
However, it was refreshing to see their characters develop as the story progressed. Especially with David and Alicia, who had a terrible relationship in the beginning of the book. I was really touched by how they grew in maturity and even a relationship with God as time went on.
 I was hardly left to my own imagination when it came to picturing the setting in which the story took place. Brian has painted a very detailed, vivid picture of the world which Paradox unfolds in. I'll add, since we're already on the topic, that detail was one of the greatest strong points in this book. Excellent mental imagery and exposition, all around.
Underlying theme(s):
This is one of my favorite things about Paradox. The underlying theme. As said previously, Paradox is full-to-the-brim with Scriptural references and analogies, very blatantly so.
I love this. It's great to read a fantasy novel so unabashedly promoting the truths of God's Word.
Of the different allegories and references, my favorite was the continuing theme of humility and complete, 100% giving-yourself-to-God and being willing to do whatever He wills. Even if it means jumping off a cliff into a seemingly endless abyss. The emphasis on totally-devoted faith was excellent.
Overall? It was a great volume! I enjoyed reading it, and it certainly had me flying through the pages! I loved the bright contrast of good and evil. When I finished, it made me want to write in my own medieval novel, honestly. There is just so much in this book. So many immensely creative characters, places and concepts - It's inspiring!
Yes, I would definitely recommend it. It's an awesome book, I lie not.
{Get your own copy of Paradox here here.}


(Come on, you know you wanna check them out!)


Note: I was provided an E-copy of Paradox in exchange for my honest review. All opinions remain mine and mine alone and I never employ flattery or falsehood in my reviews.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rehoboam Snippet & Boadicea Sheet Music! {WriterlyWednesday}

Welcome, welcome... to a long-neglected WriterlyWednesday post. I have some fun and exciting things to share with you, this evening, so stay tuned.
One of them namely, is music related.
A fellow writer from GTW, Sam Graber, transposed my arrangement of Enya's Boadicea!
Sooo, you can now grab your own PDF sheet, right here! Isn't that exciting? I'm really thrilled about it- it's the first of my covers which has been officially made into sheet music. *does happy dance*
A big shout-out to Sam for taking the time to do this!
Let me tell y'all - for you people that are already playing piano, this song should be a breeze for you. And yet, even though it's so simple and easy to play, it still has that awesome Enya ambience to it. So it's a win-win situation! (Go check it out!)
Now. Just the other day, I was asked to expound a little on Arden and the Rehoboam medieval-fantasy novel which my song "Marred Legacy" was inspired from.
I wasn't originally planning to post anything directly from the manuscript, not for a while anyways, but after a bit of work on it today, I figured - heck, why not.  I'm pretty pleased with it so far.
So, here you go, guys. I hope you enjoy it! Please don't be shy about giving honest feedback!



Things have not always existed as they do today. 

History repeats itself, but change comes in a variety of different forms.


Just as castles crumble to dust within the passing of time, so the purity and perfection of mankind has dissolved since the day that we allowed ourselves to be deceived by a Serpent. 


Change can be an evil thing, and all too often it is thus.


But in years long past among the souls of the great country Apriori, it was not so.  A change of a good tide had rolled over the nation’s great borders.


Swords were exchanged for plows and tilling tools and fields of corn stretched for miles underneath the giant golden sun.


The great land of Apriori had just awoken from a dark age of war against one of the most fearsome enmities in its world. Apriori was free once more, and no longer did its people lay to disintegrate in great seas of crimson blood.


Rosyar was a peaceable man, in those times.  In that age, he was a man content on going about his own business, and he didn’t care to mingle in the affairs of others.  His heart retained good and mercy, even though he was a man of few words and generally approved of keeping to himself.



Now it happened that one day; this solitary fellow was going through town making his routinely errands, when he spotted a thing that normally would have not have caused him to take notice. His eyes beheld the weekly auction taking place. 5 young children stood, fettered, in the center of the meeting place courtyard - a small crowd gathered around, talking amongst themselves. 


For a moment Rosyar didn’t take much thought of this, and silently he kept walking onward.  

But for whatever curious reason, he found himself stopping; looking at the small younglings huddled together with pieces of iron bound on their wrists and ankles.


A chill entered Rosyar’s being, and the man stood motionless, haunted by the scared-looking little faces in the courtyard. What a peculiar thing this was, indeed – many a day had he quickly observed the events at the public auction, and many a time had slaves been sold before his eyes. Why was this moment any different than the others?


But somehow, it was. He decided to venture over to the crowd of onlookers, and observe quietly the outcome of the children. 


He watched keenly, captivated. Maybe it was the protective arms of the older girl, clinging to the baby against her chest. Or perhaps the middle-sized boy, holding the hands of his younger twin sisters.

Rosyar had never been very acquainted with youngsters. He could only remember one relative, a niece, when she was a baby. It was nothing phenomenal and hardly even remained a point in his memory.

So thus he did not recognize any of the children to be from any state of importance, let alone very different than the usual street urchins. Still he was drawn to them, for a reason unidentifiable.


He tarried, absorbed in studying the five, and was about to leave when he heard someone call out a bid.


“80 shekels for the two elder ones together” A voice penetrated the low hum of voices. The older girl’s free hand instinctively reached down, encircling her other siblings protectively.


Rosyar’s heart was pained suddenly at the sight and realization the children would be split up if this person were to obtain them.


“What of the other infants? I want them all to go together so I may be rid of them entirely.” A thick, masculine-in-appearance woman said firmly. Rosyar studied the female quickly. She must have been the owner of the five.


The person who had previously inquired shrugged, but raised his hand higher to confirm his bid. “I still want them. I can always turn the littles out in the forest if need be.”


“Fine.” The woman replied, emotionlessly. “Anyone higher than 80 shekels? Do I hear 90?”


Rosyar‘s hand rose up, almost involuntarily, in fact. All eyes turned to him. He swallowed, realizing what he had just done. What in the world had gotten to him? He looked at the big-eyed children, standing there in the midst of a sea of strangers.

 Suddenly he felt a resurgence of compassion for them, even though he had no clue what in the world he might do with the little family. “90.” He announced, clearing his throat.


The woman appeared pleased. “Anyone higher than 90? Do I hear 95?”


A hand rose.


The woman inquired again, “Do I hear 100?”


Rosyar released a long sigh. What was he doing? 100 shekels wasn’t a small amount of money, and it would take him a good while to earn it back.


“Going once…”


Besides, what would he do with these little peasant children anyway? He had never raised a child in his lifetime, let alone five.


“Going twice…”


But that didn’t really matter. Besides, he could always use them to help with farm labor and such.

He raised his hand.




So there the fellow was, going up and asking that the children be unfettered.  

He had bought them, now they were his responsibility. But whatever would he do with them? Especially the 3 littlest, a baby and two toddlers? For the love of Zenith.


Examining each member of the clan, he quickly escorted the children from the bustle of the auction.


 “What’s your name?” He asked the oldest girl, a dark haired child with searing ice-grey eyes.  


“Kelita.” She answered quietly, still gripping the infant as tightly as before.


“Kelita?” Rosyar repeated. That sounded awfully familiar.


His heart sunk, as the girl nodded distrustfully.  A sick sensation plagued his stomach. O, it couldn’t be!  Suddenly he realized the connection. Was it possible this scrawny girl standing in front of him now was the baby niece he had held in his arms years ago? The daughter of his brother Rudekk? 


No, it couldn’t be.


 Why would she be here, now? Whatever did happen to Rudekk and Virgata, anyway? And who were these other children?


“Are these your kin?” He inquired of Kelita.


“Aye, my brothers and sisters.” The girl replied, undaunted.


Rosyar stood back and looked at the group again. Sighing, he pondering to himself the possibility. It was true, yes quite true that the last time he’d seen Kelita was when she was a baby. Thus he didn’t know what she would have looked like in the present day, if he were to see her again. There was no way to know since he had not gone to visit Rudekk and Virgata since the war’s beginning. 


There was a slight chance….maybe….


“Do you have any parents?” He led the group away from the town’s commotion, to his own abode in the woods.


“We did…”


“Where are they now?”


“I don’t know.”


“Are they alive?”


“I don’t know.”


“Where did you come from?”




“Isn’t that a rather dangerous place for such young children?”


“We had to escape the soldiers.”


Rosyar’s eyebrows furrowed. Was this child telling the truth or was she simply attempting to give her new master the hardest time she could muster?


He didn’t recall Rudekk’s family residing within the realm of Sabatia. Maybe this was indeed a wild, insane notion after all.


“What were your parents’ names?” Still, he must at least know a bit more exposition on these children, if he was to keep them under his own roof.


Kelita was silent, her eyes shifty and doubting as they stared up at Rosyar. The girl was clearly distraught.


“Please tell me child, I may know of their whereabouts.” He lied, hoping to gain her trust.


The man thought he saw Kelita’s eyes almost light up in hope. “Honest?”


He smiled, persuasively. “Honest.”


“Rudekk and Virgata.” She replied slowly, as if the words were knives cutting her tongue as they slipped across.


Rosyar caught his breath, and his gaze shot away from the children, absentmindedly.

Was he hearing things? How in the world…. Was it just some incredible coincidence that this girl happened to have the same name and parents’ names as did his kin? It didn’t seem possible…but what else could it be? Could it truly be his little niece?


“Do you have any relatives?” His heart rate increased in dread.

“Such as cousins?”


“No…aunts, uncles, that sort.”


“Well, mother said once I had an uncle still alive somewhere,” The girl’s tone was as indifferent as her facial expression.


“Did she tell you his name?” Rosyar found himself swallowing, none too happy with the way things were looking so far.




The words fell as if they were a rock, a great heaving boulder.  Rosyar almost choked stifling a cough, feeling like a tremendous force had slammed through his body.  This was simply impossible.


Arriving at the front door of his homely bungalow, the fellow turned around quickly, his long black tresses swinging over his shoulders.


He hadn’t intended for any of this to happen. None of it, none at all. This event was the last thing the introverted man had needed to enter his life.  


“Did you ever live in Bloodwort?”  His voice snapped, agitated.


Kelita nodded subtly, staring up at him with fearful eyes.

“What happened to your father?” Rosyar whisked out his house key from a side pouch on his left hip, and inserted it into the front door’s keyhole.


“He… was called away to fight.” Kelita wrapped her petite arms more protectively around the miniscule baby, as it started to whimper.


Rosyar swallowed, pausing a moment. Rudekk…his brother…could easily be dead this very moment. For all he knew, he’d been dead for years.


Rattling the iron key roughly in the keyhole until it finally caused the door to open, he growled

“What of your mother?”  The man swung open the door with such force it slammed against the wall, startling the infant, who let out an ear-piercing wail.


“She stayed behind to distract Varchess’ soldiers...” Kelita began rocking up and down on her small heels, in an attempt to comfort the child. “…So we could run into the forest.”  She continued to stare at the ebony haired man, in a mixture of contempt and distrust.


Rosyar closed his eyes, taking in the news. He didn’t know quite rightly what to say. It was very likely both Rudekk and Virgata were now dead –leaving Kelita, and apparently his other nieces and nephews, permanently orphaned.  What a fine fix.


In those days, Rosyar was a man who would risk his life to save another’s, but only if it proved the utter last resort. The fellow wasn’t fond of heroic efforts or patriotism, nor did he stick his neck out for just any person that cried for help. Why in the name of all the heavens had he done such a rash thing, on this day? What insanity had stirred within his indifferent heart, that such a choice would be made?


The man let out a long sigh, resting his arm against the pine door frame and letting his head sink against it.


Rosyar Seosamh wasn’t created to be a father.


And there you have it! Hope you enjoyed!
Have a blessed day,