Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My Lenten Revelation

As some of you may know, I gave up gum for Lent. When Lent was over I had lots of gum. But Monday night I laid there about to go to sleep and thought "man, I'm seriously addicted to gum" which led me to thinking about giving things up like that and I realized something.

Every year we give up something for Lent that we love. Something we'll have a hard time living (normally) without. And we for the most part, do. I think I'm starting to figure Lent out. When I thought about how hard it was to live without something trivial like bubble gum I thought, wow, how hard would it be to live with out knowing Jesus saved us? Or how hard would it be to live without God period? It's a scary thought. So, one aspect of giving something up is the realization of how we can't live without somethings. It also shows us which things are more important. Obviously God is more important to me than gum, but it's like one of those things you always knew but never really thought about. It's a reality shock.

Also, like Advent, Lent is a time to reflect on and grow in your relationship with God. It's a time to slow down a bit from your totally hectic lives and think about your beliefs and where you want to go with them. Want to read your bible more? Lent's a great time (especially on that long weekend off from work and school). Want to pray more? Well, religious holidays always remind people to do that, just try to keep going after Easter. Want to get closer to God? Well, talk to someone else about it, or read your bible, or just go to church on Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and even Easter Monday (it's that extra day off work some of us have to reflect more).

I couldn't really include all I thought about that I wanted to because, well, I have one horrible memory and I can't think about all that right now. If I think of anything else I'll add it in a comment.

Just something to think about, I'd love to hear your thoughts on Lent too!

(x-posted to Friends in Faith (Ambassadors for Christ) and Typeset World)

Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines (review pt 1)

My notes on Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines, full review to follow

London is always moving
•Tom’s view is always changing
•Changes in his life and how he feels about different topics

Simple choice launches Tom into an adventure
•Tom dreams of adventure
•Careful what you wish for

Constant theme: Only the strong survive

Character Changes and Notes
Tom Natsworthy
•Irresponsible > responsible
•Trustworthy > suspicious
•Loves Municipal Darwinism > thinks it’s barbaric
•Loves Catherine > Loves Hester

Hester Shaw
•Doesn’t trust anyone > trusts Tom (and possibly Anna Fang?)
•Hates Valentine > feels sorry for him (similar losses)
•Hides all emotion > shows emotions (loves Tom and cries at the end)
•Angry with Tom all the time > understands and accepts him

Thaddeus Valentine
•Ruthless > understanding
•Loves Medusa > realizes how bad it is
•Obedient > questions Crome (the Lord Mayor)

Catherine Valentine
•Obedient > questions everyone’s motives
•Trustworthy > suspicious
•Quiet > brave and bold
•Secondary protagonist

•Has nothing > gains adventure and love (a purpose?)
•Feels little > gains emotions

Review: Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm

Review of Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm by Lois Gladys Leppard

Spoilers ahead.
As I mentioned in my last post, I started reading the Mandie series when I was 12 years old, and I'm still reading them. Mandie and the Missing Schoolmarm is book number 39 in the series (out of 40 total) and really leaves more to be desired. I love Mandie books, and Mrs. Leppard, but this book didn't do much for me.

The mystery in this book is where as Mandie's teacher, Miss Hope, gone to? Really, I solved this mystery on page 23. And Mandie didn't even solve this mystery, the answer was revealed to her. Miss Hope ran off and got married, I saw that one coming. Of coarse, I did have the groom picked out wrong, but I got the basic idea correctly. This was really predictable and could have been played out better as well.

I normally wouldn't nitpick the writing style of this series because I am not used to reading the simplified language of junior fiction books, but this time it really started to annoy me. The thing that really bothered me was the redundancy and repetition Leppard included in her tale. The narration states one thing, and on the next line the character says the same thing. If we already know that, why do Celia or Mandie restate it?

One other thing that bothered me about this particular installment in the series was how fast it went by. Of coarse, with all the coffee they drink it's not surprising. Everything seemed to be really rushed, time wise and in the writing style. I understand that you can't have non-stop action all day long, but you could mention what happened in between the main occurances. The story skipped over many things and I find this to be poor narration.

But, for this series and genre, it was an okay book. Not a great one though. Still, if you plan on reading the whole series, don't skip this one because it is mentioned in the next book Mandie and the Graduation Mystery. Overall, the book ranked a 5 (points for continuity, character development, and general battling for Mandie's heart).

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I'm an avid book reader, so I relate everything to books. Because of that most of my examples for this will be for books, but you need no prior literary knowledge. You can relate this to anything you love.

When I was younger my grandmother gave me a book for Christmas, Mandie and the Jumping Juniper by Lois Gladys Leppard. I loved that book, and it was number 17 in a series, so naturally, I read the other books. A few years ago I won a copy of the newest Mandie book, Mandie and the New York Secret, autographed by Mrs. Leppard. I had found my holy grail, and loved that book emmensely. But soon enough I got bored with it and wanted something else.

Which brought me to thinking, what will make me satisfied? No earthy thing came to mind, and I started to see that humans will never be satisfied. Something can hold their attention for some time, but a better thing comes out and the old is forgotten. You love your 8-track tapes, but then you want cassette tapes, then CDs, then MP3s, and soon you're waiting in line at Apple at 5AM waiting for the newest iPod to go on sale.

We will never be satisfied because something better will always come along, that's how most companies make their money. They create a product that's okay, then they give you something good, knowing you'll want it, then they come out with great, fantastic, amazing, etc. So if we can never find that one thing that will make us happy, why do we keep spending our money on all this junk just so it can sit in our closets and start gathering dust two weeks later?

Truth is, I don't have the answer either. Sorry to tell you, but no one does. The advertising companies may try to convince you that they know, but they have no clue, just like us. But the advice I can give you is don't worry about what's the latest model or newest upgrade, find something you're happy with that works for you. If AIM 5.0 works great for you, why would you need to upgrade to AIM 9.0? Just stick with what you know and what you like. It'll work for you and you can be more satisfied than before because you won't feel the need to rush out and buy something, that pressure will be gone. Plus, you'll have a lot of extra cash, and cash is usually good, right?

Just something I thought of.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Introduction (1st Post)

Hello there, somehow you wound up on my blog! I suppose you want to know what to expect, eh? Well here I'll be talking about society and my life, along with many book reviews (in depth and basic), and beware, I'll rant about mass media brainwashing issues. But you'll probably get more book reviews than anything, I'm a major bookworm.

A little about me: I'm an author who writes young adult novels. I don't have anything published just yet, I'm only just starting out, but I hope to be published in the near future. I'm a huge cybergeek, typesetter (online writer/journalist/blogger), and bookworm. Basicly geek in general, but stay tuned and you'll find out.

First real post will be soon. And I've got a lengthy in depth review of Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines coming up. I wrote up my notes a long time ago, but never typed it all out in coherent fashion, but trust me, this could probably qualify as a spark-note level review. Look for it sometime next week

Be sure to visit my writing journal by clicking on the post title, or by clicking here


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