Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The time has come," the Walrus said, 

"To talk of many things: 
of shoes - and ships -and sealing-wax -
of cabbages and kings..."
The Walrus and the Carpenter, Lewis Carroll

For no due reason, except most probably a 'slight' lack of time, I have not done much work on the blogsphere of late. My deepest apologies. I regret to say, life has been getting along at a fairly quick pace, leaving me little time for writing, be it blogging, e-mailing or novel writing; even though my brain has practically been shouting at me to put unto paper (or in this case, viral paper) those thoughts and ideas that have been cramming inside me, and my fingers have been begging and beseeching and plotting lethal schemes for them get into typing and writing again after so, so long an absence. Enough said, I sometimes like to be melodramatic! So considering my absence of a total of sixteen days, I thought that "the time has come to talk of many things: of shoes, and ships, and sealing-wax, of cabbages and kings..." Let me tell you a little about the things that have occupied me lately and I hope you will forgive me if that is all that this post is about today. 


I have finally applied for my violin exam, and Lord willing, I should be having my exam soon. Naturally, I have been getting a lot more worked up about my pieces, scales and technical exercises in general as the day approaches, and as the drums roll and I have to play in front of 'somebody' besides my family and teacher and of course that 'somebody' is the Examiner... (hmm, can anyone tell me why I am being so. very. dramatic. today please?) I would really appreciate some prayers for this. Because like any exam, it needs a lot of hard work to go through an exam and sometimes it just feels too exhausting to press on when the bow crazily bounces off the string, or my fingers just randomly decide NOT TO MOVE RIGHT, or when the rhythm of the pieces are far beyond my comprehension... *sigh*. I know the Lord will be with me in it, and I just must trust Him and cast my burdens at His feet. There is a Scripture that says, "Casting all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 3). This is such a comforting verse, and a reminder to let God carry our burdens, for they are too heavy for us to carry on our own.

It seems to be very common that when a student graduates (particularly for homeschoolers), his/her response would be that they'd say how they'd miss their schooling years, and regret not having enjoyed it so much when they were actually in it. I feel quite certain I'll be saying the same thing one day, but there are times when I feel am not very grateful to be still studying and think I would be happy if I never saw another maths problem in my life again! Those moments usually come by fleetingly, and after a little while I'm relishing my schoolwork and wondering what ever possessed me to hate it? About a week ago however, I was feeling really, really low about schoolwork... will it ever finish? Why do I have to do this formula in mathematics when there are all those vivid words of imagination and stories flitting in my head... who knows, they could be potentials for great tales!! Why was I stuck doing schoolwork when I wanted to write...? *sniffs*. Well, I just wasn't motivated at all, until my mum and sisters pointed out to me what I was doing wrong... in my effort to "be rid of it once and for all" I was basically doing nothing but maths day in and day out for all school hours, and only taking a slight break every other day from that subject. You can imagine how tiresome that can be, especially for someone who doesn't relish maths so much, as well as hindering me from accomplishing much. It just bogged my head in the mire of numbers and figures and I would find myself getting distracted; so I thought that if I spread myself out with other subjects (particularly the ones that I really enjoy!) I will get more schoolwork accomplished and I'd be enjoying it, which would motivate me to work harder!! So I have been trying to do other subjects, along with maths in the last couple of days, and things have been going so much better, praise the Lord! In this English PACE I'm currently working on, the subject is all about writing... so what can be better than that? I actually found some beautiful paragraphs of description and comparison that I positively have to share with y'all sometime on blogger, when I've got some free time. They are just so vibrant and vivid in the use of words so as to create those images in your head!

This reminds me that I want to share with you a bit about my progress with The Crown of Life. I opened up my Word Document for The Crown of Life yesterday and realized how it had not been really touched in weeks, much to my consternation and sorrow. It has come to me at last, that I am in this stage of pausing in my tale to reflect and research, and to work out scenes, characterization etc for a time when I finally throw myself to the task of finishing my book. Lord willing it should be sometime within the coming year or so. Having more schoolwork to manage and a violin exam coming up, finding time for finishing has been a real challenge and I think this is okay. I mustn't push or rush it. Right now, struggling and squeezing my head out to write will not help me. In fact I believe I need to take a step back, take a deep breath before immersing myself in the challenge of completing this project. And this "deep breath" will involve writing a history profile for each of my major characters as well as some minors, writing a kind of loose outline of the major events (past, present and future) of the characters, and doing more historical research into Ancient Rome, the early Church and the times of first century Israel and Italy. This will be fun, and definitely needed in completing the tale... even though challenging. Besides that, I really want to seek the Lord in writing this next stage... without His guidance, His leading and inspiration in what I do, I know I cannot complete this journey, not in my own strength or in a pride in my own achievements. I need HIM!

Despite the fact that I will be diverting my attention for a little while and concentrating on editing what I have already written, doing historical research and such, I am hoping to still write in The Crown of Life a bit whenever I get the chance, especially going through the first ten chapters and kind of reworking many of the scenes that need to be done over again as well as putting in minor changes to certain events and facts that have developed since writing them. One does tend to forget what has been written already, and write things positively contradictory to what was previously recorded, so that I am left wondering which idea I had first and which one in all probability is the right one to use. Whenever I think of all that still has to be done and all that is involved in finishing The Crown of Life, I sometimes wonder what made me write in the first place! But this is something that all writers face, and I see that it is a gift God has given me... I cannot but write. And yet... how I truly long that in everything, He may be glorified! I don't want this, to be my desire... but His. He is the Author, and I long to be but a pencil in His hand. Well, I really intended to share these writing thoughts in another post, one I've been planning on writing in response to a blogging friend's post on her own blog sometime ago. If the Lord wills, I hope to work on that within the coming days when there is time, as well as some other posts (not necessarily writing-related all of them, though some will be).

I am sorry this post has been so long... but hopefully this will give you a glimpse to what's life been like for me lately. It positively has been hectic, but happy all the same, through the ups and downs. Knowing that He is faithful in all His doings, that nothing we do is hidden from His all-seeing eyes. That He cares and knows are fears and sorrows and burdens. He is there, and that is such an encouraging thought! All He does is good.
He. Is. Faithful!

Here is a lovely song, an adaption of the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness" that encouraged me so much when I listened to it for the first time. It is called, "He's Always Been Faithful", by Sara Groves. I pray it will bless you too!

May the Lord Jesus bless you all and guide you all in this coming week.
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
 
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

-Lamentations 3: 22-23 (NKJV)-

All Images except the second one from the top are via Pinterest

7 sweet note(s):

  1. Hello, Joy!
    Glad to see you back again. :) I am in prayer for your violin exam; let us know how it turns out!
    I know what the s.l.o.w. reasearch is like, in my WWI novel. ;) I find it to be quite enjoyable, but I'm always wanting to get back to my characters. But the research is so important to give the flavor and acccuracy that readers will love. I can't wait to see the results of all your effort. And Eusebius' Church History has a lot of good bits about the Roman empire; he lived during the time of one of the Caesars, but I don't recall which one at the present moment. You might find it useful, as he details some of the history of the early church throughout the Roman Empire. And I really like the edition translated by Paul L. Maier. :)

    Blessings!
    Schuyler

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Schuyler!

    Thank you :), I am glad to be back. I appreciate your prayers for my violin exam, thanks.

    Research is trying to one's patience sometimes... especially when real historical events don't match up with what you'd want your novel to be i.e. in the date of a certain incident. Like, I would have liked the Flavian Amphitheatre (the Coliseum) to have been there in A.D. 64-66 because it would be a great setting for some scenes, but that building wasn't built for another thirty years... grrh!! Still it is enjoyable to do all that research. But as you said, there is nothing like going back to one's characters :). How's your WWI novel going?

    Thank you for recommending Eusebius' Church History; I have a copy and I've browsed through it before... but I'll need to get back to it. I read two historical novels by Paul L. Maier "Flames of Rome" and "Pontius Pilate". They were really accurate to the times and offered a fresh new dimension to the first century Rome even though it has some mature and vivid themes coming along (especially in the Flames of Rome). But they helped me a lot.

    Blessings and thanks for commenting :).
    ~Joy

    Schuyler, out of curiosity, did you subscribe to my posts through atom?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Greetings, Joy!

    I second Schuyler; it's lovely to hear from you again! :)

    I just wanted to let you know that I'll be praying for you concerning your violin exam. Speaking of which, could you let me know what day it is on so I can be praying for you even more on the day of?

    I feel exactly the same as you regarding math! Being one of my least favorite subjects I can also scarcely wait until I am completely finished with it. May that day come quickly! ;) And yes, schooling does so get in the way of writing...ah,well, at least there are always car rides, saturdays, and tiny spare moments for doing a wee bit of scribbling. :)

    Have a enjoyable time doing your research!

    ReplyDelete
  4. My book is progressing nicely; thanks for asking. :D I am 240 pages into it, and going strong.
    I had to chuckle when you mentioned the Flavian Amphitheatre, because I'm constantly doing that too--finding that the events I wanted to put in are just a tiny bit off, time-wise. When I first started my book, a crucial part of my plot synopsis was nine months off target, so needless to say I had to change a few things. :)

    I read The Flames of Rome as well, and enjoyed it at the time, though I agree, there were some mature plot themes. I would have to read it again to offer an informed opinion on it, but I remember it being very interesting. I hope you enjoy Eusebius. I've read him twice, just for fun. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Annie H,

    I am sorry I have been away for a while, but it is nice to know I've been missed :). I have been very busy lately, and probably will be for a couple more days, but then things will Lord willing calm down and I can blog frequently again :).

    Thank you for your prayers! You don't know how much I appreciate it. No, I actually don't know myself the exact date (but I will be sure to tell you when I do so you can pray :D). What I know though is that (Lord willing) it will be in the month of July , so I have a month at least to practice :).

    I am glad you feel the same way about Maths ;). I have found listening to movie soundtracks while working on the problems to help me a lot though. Have you ever done that? Yes, you're right... there is a little free time, if one looks for it, outside of school time!

    Blessings and I hope you enjoy your time of "scribbling" as well :D.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are most welcome, Joy.:) I agree, it is always a lovely, heartwarming feeling to know someone is praying for you. I can hardly wait until you will be able to blog more! *squeal of anticipation*

    Oh, my! You listen to soundtracks whilst doing math also! What a coincidence! I discovered how helpful it is a month or so ago. I listen to my brother's mp3player almost every day now while I'm doing my school. :)

    Have a blessed Day! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I awarded you on my blog!
    http://theendlessroad-elizabeth.blogspot.com/2012/08/an-award-from-cultured-enthusiast.html

    ReplyDelete

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body..." ~Proverbs 16:24

It is a great delight to hear from viewers of this blog! Comments always make blogging a lot more fun, rewarding, engaging as well as being a blessing. So please type away! I try, busy schedule not hindering, to respond to each comment. And while you're at it, it will be lovely if you could sign the Guestbook page. Just please remember to keep your comments gracious and God-honouring at all times. Thank you!