If you are looking for an entertaining fantasy story with well-developed characters you are bound to get attached to, I highly recommend this book!!
My husband has published his book today, and I am so excited for him and for every reader to delve into the story! Gods on the Mountain by Ben Willoughby
I've had the pleasure of hearing this story in every step of the process. I got a first glimpse into the world he built when my husband initially started developing it. Even the world intrigued me, and I couldn't wait to hear what stories would come out of it. Then, my husband would read chapters to me as he was writing, and even in the very first draft, I couldn't wait to hear more. I like to think it's thanks to my pestering that he wrote it all so quickly. I had the pleasure of reading it, editing it, reading it, editing it again, and reading it. Each time, I loved it more and realized deeper elements to the story and characters than I had before.
If you are looking for an entertaining fantasy story with well-developed characters you are bound to get attached to, I highly recommend this book!!
Right after Robin Williams died, someone on my facebook list posted their thoughts. They said that they couldn’t believe that everyone was so upset over and talking about his death because suicide was “nothing but selfish.” That made a lot of people upset, myself included. It was one of those incidents where it was very difficult to keep quiet, but at the same time I knew that commenting would just create more drama. I wrote many responses, only to delete each and every one of them before I hit reply.
I am a suicide survivor. By that, I do not mean that I have attempted - I have found that people mistakenly understand that term as such. I mean that someone close to me has killed themselves. Unfortunately I know three people who have - a friend's brother, a best friend’s mom, and one of my own brothers. The pain of experiencing such a loss is unlike any other pain, and it is easy, while in the midst of that pain, to fall into thinking that suicide is selfish.
To survivors, it can be hard to understand how someone could not think of those who love them before they take their own life. To those who have been fortunate enough not to experience this tragedy, I reckon it’s pretty easy to think that the one taking their own life is thinking only of themselves. To be fair, I’m sure there have been some selfish suicides in the past. I don’t actually know who would fit this category, but I’ll grant that it could happen. However, the majority are not.
I know there are those who take their own life after an event which served as a catalyst, but more often than not, even when there is an event present, there are still additional underlying issues. So many have mental illnesses, or are otherwise not in their “right mind”. To them, all they are focusing on is a way to stop the pain. I also maintain that they do think of others - they honestly believe that taking themselves out of their loved ones’ lives is doing them a favor.
I’m not by any means saying that since suicide is not selfish that it is acceptable. It is a tragedy no one should have to face, in any way. However, to say that we know precisely what that person was thinking, feeling, and intending is arrogant. Furthermore, to state such an opinion does nothing to give support to survivors of suicide. For my own part, reading the post I mentioned before only made me grieve more, even nearly ten years later. It made me second guess memories of my brother, and tempted me to think less than highly of him. While I’m not one to put on rose-colored glasses and pretend my brother was perfect, I’d much rather remember the good qualities about him. I don’t think I’m being too presumptuous when I say that others would prefer the same.
All this to say, please think before you declare suicide is nothing but selfish. Those who have committed suicide can’t hear you anyway, and those who are considering attempting need help and healing, not more pain.
This post was supposed to be made yesterday, but I got caught up in one thing or another and never got around to it. Woops! So, today I shall make two posts.
I know a few people who will never reread anything, and to be quite honest, I think that’s just crazy. There are too many hidden treasures in books to not go digging for them as many times as possible. If I enjoy a book, I will reread it at least once. If I love a book, I’ll reread it more than that. My favorites, I reread regularly.
Some books I reread frequently are:
Harry Potter (all of them)
Catcher in the Rye
East of Eden (really and John Steinbeck
A Time to Kill
What books do you reread a lot?
I don’t really do well with quiet. There are times when I like silence to concentrate and times when I try to discipline myself to be without noise. Most of the time, however, I need some sort of sound. I turn on the tv and have a movie or show playing in the background, put music on, or at night, request that my husband types. It comes from the fact that I’m the youngest of eight and there was always commotion in my house growing up. I’m so used to noise, that if it’s completely quiet, oftentimes that creeps me out and I get a little scared. It’s pathetic, perhaps, but true.
Anyone else need noise? Or are you all the type who like silence?
“Does this coffee taste weird to you?” It was a question she had never asked in her life, given that she was practically addicted to the stuff.
“No, tastes fine to me.” He continued to sip on his, while she put her mug down and didn’t pick it up again for the rest of the morning.
Later that day, she was in the kitchen, getting out the fixings to make dinner for the two of them. She looked at the ingredients on the counter and shook her head. I would give anything not to have to eat this, she thought. She went out to the living room, where her husband sat, reading. “I don’t know what it is, but I have the biggest craving for Chinese food.”
Her husband had always spoiled her, and this time was no different. She cleaned up the counter, deciding to make the planned meal the next day, while her husband went to get take-out.
“Want your fortune cookie?” She held it out to him, and he took it and opened it. After enjoying the crunchy little “dessert” he read its contents:
Tomorrow will be an important day for you.
The couple never took fortune cookies seriously; they were just good fun, but jokingly they wondered what the day would hold.
She woke unusually early the next morning with that nagging feeling that something was different. Something had changed. The smell of the coffee grinds made her gag, so she put off brewing a pot. Instead, she went to the bathroom and got the test from the bottom drawer.
A few minutes later, she sat on the bathroom floor in shock. She couldn’t believe it was true. The test was positive. She was pregnant. It felt like a dream; she figured she would wake up any minute...but she didn’t. She wasn’t sure how long she stayed there, thanking God and asking Him to protect the little miracle growing inside her.
When, finally, she thought it was late enough to wake her husband, she went to their bedroom, and found him already awake and sitting up on the bed. Suddenly she found herself at a loss for words: how was she going to relay this amazing news? Knowing she needed to just tell him, lest he worry that her shy countenance was because something was wrong, she said:
“I took the pregnancy test, it was positive. I guess your fortune cookie was right.”
**Why yes, this is how we actually found out about the precious blessing who is currently napping in her crib. **
Yesterday I watched a Christian movie which I had heard from lots of people was “really good”. I watched and mostly shook my head at how ridiculous it was. When I was ranting about it to my husband, he asked me if it was worse than October Baby. Yes, it is, but since today’s letter is “O”, I thought I would write about October Baby since it’s on my mind now. Forewarning- SPOILERS!
The premise of October Baby sounds like it would be a great tear jerker and a powerful movie. It’s about a girl, Hannah who finds out she was adopted after her mother tried to abort her, but she survived. Hannah then goes on a journey to find her birth mother.
Of course, she is a teenager and her parents don’t want her to go on a long trip because she’s sick. I think maybe part of it was because it was with a bunch of other teenagers, but I might be remembering that incorrectly. So what does she do? She goes even though her father forbids her to go (well sort of - he forbids it and then says he trusts her to make the right decision). I think this is the first thing that makes me go “What?” Now, this is a Christian movie, and given that there’s a commandment about honoring your father and mother, it kind of shocked me that this movie included such blatant dishonoring, especially since it was presented as rather cool, or a good choice for her.
Anywho, she goes on the trip and from this point, the movie seems like a teeny-bopper movie. Among those on the trip are her best friend, Jason, and his girlfriend, Alanna. Alanna is, of course, one of those mean girlfriends without any redeeming qualities, making you want to root for them to break up and Jason to get with Hannah instead. Once again, this is a Christian movie, and it makes you root for the “other woman”. I know, they were only teens and dating, but still - what is with this trend? Can people not think of any other tension to bring to a love story? Surely even the fact that Jason and Hannah had been friends for years and now were beginning to like each other would have been enough.
At one point, Hannah and Jason break off from the group and go try to find Hannah’s birth mother by themselves. They stay in a hotel room and have a really awkward conversation because Hannah doesn’t want to sleep in the same bed and ends up confessing (and freaking out) about the fact that she is a virgin. She ends up going to the couch in the lobby, but then Jason comes too, and they end up falling asleep together there. Ya know, because that doesn’t just defeat the purpose of the whole previous scene. Oy!
They get arrested for breaking into an old hospital but they are let go without any charges. Hannah lies to her dad about still being with the group. The one good thing about that is that the dad finally catches up with the two and tells the boy not to contact Hannah anymore and Hannah gets in trouble as well. Good job, dad (and I mean that). However, the dad’s discipline here is kind of presented as over the top and as if you are supposed to feel bad for “poor Hannah”. Of course, later the teen guy apologizes to the dad, breaks up with his mean girlfriend, and the two teens end up dating.
When the movie finally does get back to the birth mother bits, you have almost forgot that was supposed to be the plot of the movie. Actually, that part is an alright plot, but it’s barely in there. The mother just rejects Hannah and so she is hurt, especially when she sees her birth mother with her husband and young child. Hannah later leaves a note for her saying she forgives her and the birth mother finds it and is overcome with emotion. That is the best part of the movie, but it’s only a scene, sadly.
So yes, there’s my rant on that. I probably could go on, but this is getting long. I’ll just finished with this: If you would like quality Christian movies, check out Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof, or Courageous. Those are great.
I have mentioned in previous posts that one of my big pet peeves is infidelity presented as romantic or something to be desired. Actually, it’s probably more than just a pet peeve - I’d likely turn off a show or movie, or stop reading something if it contains such a plot - it makes me that upset. One of the biggest and most popular examples of this I can think of is The Notebook. When this first came out, and even today, so many people hail it as a great romance story. They love it! I know several women who would name it as their favorite movie, or at least their favorite romance movie.
If the movie was simply about an older couple dealing with dementia together, i would love it. I thought that storyline was sweet, and the movie’s ending was one that made me teary-eyed, if I’m being honest. However, I very strongly disliked the story of how the couple got together.
I don’t mind so much the story of a couple whose parents don’t want them to be together, even though it goes over the top in some ways, like it does many times in this scenario. While I hope that my daughter, when she grows up, will take our thoughts into consideration when dating, I will concede that parents disliking their child’s love interests makes for good drama. I wouldn’t have been too bothered if the story was just about that. Then, though, Allie goes on and becomes a nurse and later gets engaged to someone else. Engaged - not single - she's taken.
Then comes the “romantic part”. She goes back to Noah, while still with her fiance, and sleeps with him. And all the girls swoon. They want a romance like that. Really? They would like a romance that starts with infidelity? They say it’s romantic because Allie loved Noah first, and they were meant to be. Well, yes, Noah and Allie were together first, and sure, maybe they were meant to be, but fact of the matter is when they got back together, Allie was taken. There is no way of getting around the fact that she cheated on her fiance...and there is nothing romantic about that.
I was going to post on my favorite musical, but how is it even possible to chose one? So, instead I thought I would do a top ten list of my favorites. :)
10) Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
9) The Phantom of the Opera
8) Mary Poppins
7) Secret Garden
5) West Side Story
4) The Sound of Music
2) Fiddler on the Roof
1) Les Miserables
Also, if I were going to make a list of my least favorite they would include:
How to Succeed in Business Without Trying
110 Degrees in the Shade
When I was in kindergarten, every week was designated to a different letter. One of the ways we learned about the letters was watching the The Letter People. My mom got rid of our television when I was four, so getting to watch anything at school was such a treat for me! I remember being really excited to learn about M (since my name is Mary) but then being disappointed when I found out the character was Mr. M. Granted, if I recall correctly all the consonants were males and the vowels were females, but at the time, I didn't necessarily notice right away.
This morning I looked up some Letter People videos on youtube while my baby girl was sitting with me. She started to watch and got so excited. She kicked her legs, squealed with delight, and talked to the video. I was hoping to be able to find these videos for her anyway, but now I can't wait to share as many as I can with her when she begins learning about letters.
I know that the style of this show is so outdated, but I wish that they would still utilize it. Clearly, it still captures children's attention. Then again, I tend to find old shows to be better than newer shows most of the time. I definitely prefer the very first seasons of Sesame Street over the new junk they make.
Anyway, "Come and meet the letter people. Come and visit the family!"
Anyone else remember this show? Or love it as much as I did?
When you are pregnant, you are supposed to be able to feel about 10 kicks an hour from your baby. I can’t remember exactly what point in the pregnancy they tell you to start counting kicks, but I think it’s somewhere towards the end of the second trimester. I was always very obsessive about it. Any time I noticed we had entered another hour of the day, I would count kicks. I am the biggest worrier in the whole world, except perhaps for my mother.
One night, I was trying to feel her kick and I hadn’t. So, just like the doctors and nurses told me to when I got worried, I drank some juice, relaxed, and waited. Nothing. I was just about freaking out. Luckily, my husband came home from work at that time, so I told him how I was worried. He leaned to my belly and said, “Baby girl, this is your father speaking. Kick so your mother doesn’t worry.” And I kid you not, that girl kicked immediately after he said that. Little stinker.