What are some of the most important things you’ve learned from having a job of your own? God has used this new job of mine to teach me tons of life-lessons. It has NOT been easy (I’ve had quite a few meltdowns) but looking back on how far God has brought me in my walk with Him, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’ve been forced to become more relaxed and confident when dealing with all sorts of people (and often in high-stress situations). I’ve grown tougher skin emotionally, not running off and hiding when my feelings are hurt. And most of all, God has shown me over these past few months (as clearly as if He put up a bunch of neon signs) that He is my all in all. He is enough, in every sense of the word.
I see that you’re reading Harry Potter these days! Hope you don’t mind me asking what your opinion is at this point in time. I don’t mind a bit! I know that this is an extremely touchy subject for most Christians, but I am trying to learn how to handle the subject of Harry Potter delicately and honestly when it comes up in conversations. So this’ll be good practice. 🙂
Unlike 99% of the world, I never read the HP books or watched the movies growing up. A couple of months ago, I decided to try just the first movie and make my own decision regarding the stories. And to my utter surprise, I found almost nothing that pricked my conscience when watching the films. (I could fill a whole blog post describing the pros and cons about HP, as well why I did/did not find certain elements offensive; that will have to wait until another time.) I watched all eight movies, and then started reading the books. (This was a big mistake, by the way – most of the movies were good, but extremely confusing and a little shallow if you’ve never read the books. So now all the plot twists and surprises are ruined for me. Argh!)
The books are much better than the movies – very well-written, witty and engaging. The character development is phenomenal. Because Rowling had 7 huge books (some bigger than Les Miserables) in which to develop her characters, she developed dozens more characters than most writers have the time to develop. I am so attached to everyone! I do think that the bad guy in HP (though creepy) is not as powerful a bad guy as I’m used to in many fantasy stories, which is a bit of a disappointment. Also, the magic in HP is less of the jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring magic that Aslan and Gandalf use in The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. It’s more…I don’t know, trite or juvenile. And of course there are some elements in the story that I wish Rowling would have left out, or word choices that I thought could have been more tactful, such as: why call the HP magic “witchcraft” if it’s so obviously not witchcraft? It’s no different from the magic in Narnia or Lord of the Rings – I really wish Rowling wouldn’t have associated her fantasy magic with images/words we associate with evil. So I’m not sure that I would recommend it for everyone, but personally, I’m really enjoying my first read-through of Harry Potter!
What is one thing you learned from the adoption process in your family? How has it changed you or molded your perspective on family life? Great question! I don’t think I’ve ever been asked this before. One thing that I’ve learned through our adoption process is that the love in your heart doesn’t divide when you add new people to the family – it multiplies! And as for how it’s changed my perspective on family life, I believe that adopting two new sisters when I was ten helped me not to become apathetic. It might have been very easy for me to sink into the comfort of being part of a family where nothing challenged me. Keeping up with two little sisters has forced me to step up to the plate in a really good way, I think.
I’m going to give you the same question you gave ME on my post (*wink*): If you could only read TEN books/series for the rest of your life, which 10 would they be?
I didn’t realize what a cruel question this was until it was turned back on me! 😀 Still, I had lots of fun coming up with my answers. (By the way, I forgot to mention to you that I considered the Bible to be a “given”, and didn’t intend for you to have to use it for one of your 10. It’s fine that you did count is as one of your ten, of course! But in my list, I’ll consider the Bible to be “given.”) OK, here’s my ten:
The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, both by J.R.R. Tolkien; The Chronicles of Narnia and Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis; the 100 Cupboards series and Notes from The-Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson; Enemy Brothers by Constance Savery; the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Emma by Jane Austen; and Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas
If you could pick ONE thing that you’re most excited about regarding your trip to England, what would it be? Oh my GOODNESS! And I thought I was cruel when I asked you the 10-books question! 😉 This is impossibly hard, since I am ecstatic about every single aspect of the Europe trip. But I shall do my best to choose one…oh goodness…hmm…I guess I’m most excited about Paris. I’ve always dreamed of going to Paris and trying to survive on my limited French; trying the pastries; looking out over the city from the Eiffel Tower. I can’t wait!!!
What is your favorite time period? 1940’s, WWII. Even though it was a time when darkness and evil were more prevalent and threatening than in centuries before, there was such heroism and bravery that rose to defeat the evil. WWII was a time when good and evil were more clearly distinguished and more clearly opposed than any other modern war. My favorite authors (Tolkien and Lewis) published many of their works around that period. And I also love the clothes and music from the ’40s, as well. (Not to mention the fact that WWII is the setting for Captain America!)
If you could live in a place from a book (i.e. Baker Street, The Burrow, Hobbiton, etc.), where would it be? I love all of the settings for my favorite books! It’s so hard to think of choosing between them, but I would definitely choose to live in Hobbiton. Even aside from the fact that it’s in Middle Earth, and that Gandalf might drop in for tea at any time, it’s such a “heaven-on-earth” place in my mind. I love the rolling hills, the fields, endless rounds of birthday parties, abundant food, and overall peace. I honestly think of Hobbiton when I think of what Heaven will be like.
What are you most afraid of? Getting into a car wreck. *shudder*
Who are your top ten favorite literary characters and why? It’s so hard to narrow my favorite characters down to just ten! But here are my tippity-toppity favorites that I admire most:
Dym Ingleford (Enemy Brothers) – Dym is without a doubt my biggest literary hero of all time. His Christ-like, sacrificial love for his family (and especially his brother Tony) is astounding and humbling to read about. I can never read Enemy Brothers without being challenged in my walk with Christ, and in my role as an older sister. (Dym is also an RAF pilot in WWII, which is a huge plus. ;))
Sherlock Holmes – He is mind-blowingly awesome. No further explanation needed.
Aragorn/Strider (The Lord of the Rings) – Confidence, courage, nobility, honor, kingly lineage and strength of character – all hidden under a scruffy, weather-beaten exterior.
Gandalf (The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings) – Gandalf is one of my oldest literary friends – I met him on Bilbo’s doorstep when I was eight years old. Little did I know that behind the bushy eyebrows and twinkling eyes lay ages of wisdom and power that I never could have fathomed.
Henry York (100 Cupboards) – I never get tired of Henry’s journey from a timid child to a powerful, confident hero. (In fact, I read the trilogy three times in one year.) He is extremely real, and Wilson’s warts-and-all portrayal of Henry helped me to relate to, and eventually love and admire the boy from Boston. And he has some of the best quotes ever.
Frank Willis (100 Cupboards) – Like I did upon first meeting Gandalf, I completely underestimated Uncle Frank when I read the series for the first time. I love that Frank never feels the need to fill silences, used to play baseball, loves his family intensely, and turns out to have a more rich, deep history than could ever be guessed just from looking at him.
Edmund Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia) – Edmund’s journey from brat, to traitor, to hero and eventually king is one that never ceases to move me. I see so much of myself in Edmund’s story – a traitor and sinner who didn’t deserve to live, and yet has been forgiven and loved. Much of the inspiration for my Narnian short story came from my fascination with Edmund.
Charles Moody (the Little Britches series) – Meet my one literary hero who isn’t fictional. Charles Moody is the father of the author of Little Britches, Ralph Moody. If you’ve never read the Little Britches series, well, go forth and sin no more. Yes, there’s a bit of language when the cowboys ride into town, but don’t dare let that stop you; it’s nothing a little white-out can’t handle. If you are ever in need of a role-model encompassing unbelievably wise father, incredible Christian, and all-around honorable man, look no further than Charles Moody.
Harry Potter – Unlike Aragorn or Charles Moody, Harry hasn’t “arrived” at the ideal hero standard when the story begins. But he honestly and doggedly tries to do what is right, even when he falls down a hundred times in the process. Harry always picks himself up and tries again – the mark of a true hero.
Mr. Knightly (Jane Austen’s Emma) – Mr. Knightly is another of those extremely real characters. He does have his faults, but his heart is absolutely in the right place. I love Knightly’s honesty, sincerity, gentleness, consideration, and earnest desire to do what’s right. And who else would voluntarily go to visit with Miss Bates?
If you won a thousand dollars, what would you do with it? Use it toward my trip to Europe, of course! 😀
What is your favorite movie?
The first Iron Man, without a doubt. A lot of people might be surprised at that answer, since my favorite books are either classics or classic fantasy. But the story of Iron Man fascinates me. (I watch this movie edited for a few inappropriate scenes and language.) I just love the idea of a self-indulgent, rich brat making a complete 180 and becoming a hero willing to risk everything for the sake of others. Tony Stark is so layered and deep – one minute he’ll be goofing off, being sarcastic and giving people a hard time. The next minute, all flippancy disappears and you see an unexpected strength and seriousness in Stark’s character. Plus, he’s absolutely hilarious.
How many blog posts have you put up? This is my 43rd post!
What are your 3 most favorite cooking things? (Note: This is my little sister’s way of saying “recipes”.) I love to cook all kinds of things. But my favorite recipes are chicken Parmesan, chocolate cake, and fajitas.
What were some of your favorite books or book series to read as a young child? As a really, really little girl I wanted to read Cookie’s Week by Tomie DePaola over and over. My other favorites were the Little House picture books illustrated by Doris Ettlinger and Renee Graef.
As an adolescent? The Chronicles of Narnia, mystery stories, and the Millie series by Martha Finley
As a young adult? The Lord of the Rings, Enemy Brothers and (more recently) 100 Cupboards
Pepsi or Coke? Coke! Though now that I found out that I’m allergic to corn products (including corn syrup), I haven’t even tasted Coke for a few years.
Reading or writing? And I thought Maribeth’s questions were the hardest in the world!! Well, though I don’t think I could live for long without a combination of both writing and reading, I think that if I HAD to choose one or the other, I’d have to go with reading. After all, extensive reading is the only reason I’ve been able to write any of my stories. All good writing comes back to lots of good reading.
If you could pick one book that best relates to your life, what book would that be and why? The Bible is a given, of course! 🙂 But if we’re talking about fiction books, I think that Enemy Brothers is the book that has helped me so much practically, as an older sister and as a Christian. And if we’re talking about non-fiction books, It’s (Not) That Complicated has been a huge help to me, and is especially helpful at this point in my life.
What is your favorite book out of all the ones you have written? Well, I enjoyed all four of my books as I was writing them, though one of them is no longer my favorite (due to writing style). If I had to choose a favorite story, I think I’d go with Year of Lost and Found, because of the characters. 🙂
Thanks to everyone who asked me such fun questions! I had a blast putting together this post. I hope that you enjoyed reading my answers as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them!