Thought I’d Do Some Light Reading..

“She wandered within the Forest of Tales, her fingers following the trail of spines until her imagination became lost.”

As I am writing a fantasy novel, I have decided to read up on the genre. I recently visited the library, thinking I would borrow a book or two. Library Books

But, as you can tell, there are many YA fantasy novels to choose from. Unable to make up my mind, I carried about a third (of the ones I found interesting) to the checkout desk. I told the librarian I am “doing research”, but I’m pretty sure she doubted the veracity of my explanation.

Furthermore, publishing companies seem to really prefer images of swords on fantasy novel covers…

*Featured image found on Rachel’s Studio Blog

Words Sprout from Clever Hands

As a chronic klutz, learning American Sign Language is a challenge for which I was woefully unprepared.

This semester I decided to take ASL classes. I imagined myself slowly mastering signs and gaining the impressive ability to interact with deaf people.

Then reality hit me.

You have to be able to read the other person’s signs. Duh! Well, it is much, much more difficult than I had anticipated. Every time I attempt to decipher my instructor’s words all I see is blur of hands and a grimace or eyebrow-raise every few signs (for grammar).

Chinese was easier for me. At least the characters stay still!

Hopefully I shall find motivation to pursue ASL after this semester, but for now I remain a perpetually embarrassed student.

 

Dread of an Author

What if my passion is for naught?
If the novel I have attempted to perfect for so long results in an unopened dream on someone’s shelf, collecting dust upon yellowing pages?
What will happen if not a soul appreciates the words I have so zealously pondered?

Why are some books great and others tossed in the trash? When I walk through the bookstore and see the thousands of books that line the shelves I worry mine will be one of those that never feels the stroke of a hand within its pages.

Do other writers fear the same fate or am I the only one?

 

Why I Give Up on Giving Up.

Wow. I see the images on the news and I feel absolutely helpless. War, disease, fear– they all ravage the world.
My whole being aches to change the world and make a difference in just ONE PERSON’s LIFE. I am one of those people that knows my purpose in life, but achieving it as akin to realizing there is a fierce mountain looming above you, taunting you.
Well, I am also an advocate of Faith. Not blind faith or plain stupidity, mind you, but the “if you have faith and do not doubt…you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’, and it will be done” faith.
For years now I have been struggling within a storm of depression and I can honestly say that I have made horrible mistakes that I cannot take back. My imperfection pains me, disgusts me. There is a constant feeling of inadequacy that shadows me.
I live on the East Coast and I have a dream to attend a university in Vancouver. Yes, living in Canada sounds exciting to me, but that’s not the true draw; this school has a unique Linguistics program. They teach you to learn indigenous languages that lack writing systems. Then, you learn to create writing systems for these languages. According to Wycliffe Bible Translators (the organization I yearn to work for), there remain nearly 2,000 languages that do not have written word. These indigenous people are persecuted by others that speak majority languages, leaving them to believe their cultures are somehow less valuable. I want to reach out to these people so they know their cultures are beautiful. Furthermore, I wish to create alphabets for them so their communities can become educated and their children can become doctors and teachers for their own people.

Three years ago, I discovered a college in Canada that looked like a dream. My parents told me to think realistically and I had to withdraw my acceptance to the university. Now, community college has left me longing to delve into the study of Linguistics. Yet, there is a financial issue. There seems to always be one. I understand that my parents wish to view this from a realistic point of view, but God does not fit into their perspective. Once, I gave up on achieving my dream, but now I must give up on giving up. I will attend Trinity Western University next year because money is nothing to a God that can move mountains.

Image of Slovakian church courtesy of Wycliffe Bible Translators

CREATING A MAP FOR YOUR FANTASY NOVEL

This is something I would like to do!

JADE M PHILLIPS

An ongoing trend for fiction and fantasy novels is having a map for the reader to follow along with, just after the title page in the book. It is also very helpful for the author and the development of their fictional world.

When I first started writing my young adult fantasy novel, MER, I was like “A map seems way too difficult.” But I REALLY wanted one. And despite my inhibitions, I dove in head first. Hell or high-water I was going to have a map for my book, even if it meant handing my two-year-old a paper and crayons, and calling the scribbles my map. (Hey that’s not such a bead idea! Hahaha!)

I’m going to talk a little about my experience with creating my map for MER, soon to be released in late December, along with other methods of either creating or obtaining your map. And don’t…

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SurReality

It is incredibly surreal to feel the ping of the keyboard beneath my fingers as I sit here in a well-furnished room…
since,
There have been crowds rioting in Missouri over the death of a man named Michael Brown…
Yet in a village in the Congo a young boy attempts to hold back his tears at the sound of mothers keening as he holds his father’s hand and knows that Ebola will take him next.
Yet a figure draped in black stares down at another body of a child he decapitated, but he is no longer a man–he is a monster.
Yet there is a woman raped and tortured awaiting the same fate as the journalists before her.
Yet in Ukraine a mother watches helplessly as a Russian soldier threatens her family.
Yet a pile of rubble in Gaza used to be a home where two parents and their children resided.
Yet a Christian in the Middle East flees to the mountains because it is the only safe place…
But I want to lose weight because I have enough food to eat.
But I wish my job were not so stressful because I overwork myself to buy nice things.
But I need to attend my dream college.
But we complain, “Why can’t the news station talk more about the Emmy awards so I can avoid macabre reality?”
If you want to make a difference in the world then you need to look around you and realize that you are alive. Your life is not threatened.
Rioting and violence brings more pain, hurts small businesses, makes you look like an arrogant fool.
WATCH that boy give in to the tears he tried to hold back for so long as his father no longer recognizes him!
SEEK JUSTICE at the sight of an innocent child’s headless body.
FIGHT for the woman that wants to live a day without terror.
FEEL for the mother as she sees the world raging about her.
LOVE the family that lost everything in one fatal blow.
PRAY for the Christians that have had the strength to recognize their God.
What if you had been born in their place? Imagine waking up one day…
…knowing your father is dead and his body will never be buried because the Disease killed him.