Get 'em Tigers!

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

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I was planning on taking the time to respond to all of your sweet comments (thank you so much, everyone!), but alas, I am really quite late and must turn in to bed now (also, my laptop has been playing up a bit so things are taking longer than usual, plus it is the last week of the 2nd term, so things are rather busy!), so I shall keep the responses to a later date (hopefully tomorrow!). But by the way, despite saying that the blog-party is from the 12th to the 18th, I have decided since we all lead busy lives, to extend the party for a little longer so that everyone can take time to answer the tags, and also give me time enough to write posts and answer your comments! 

You know how I said you can ask me questions and I will be, Lordwilling, responding in posts relating to the topic questions afterwards? Well, here is your chance! Emily was first, and asked me a delightful array of them which I am excited to answer bit by bit like a snail; so now, all of you are welcome to ask away too! Leave the questions here below (if you have any, that is!), and I shall do my very best to answer them in time with as much wit and thought and grace as I can muster. *hugs* God bless you all!

Lastly, I am working on making some more tags for all of you to join in, if you enjoyed the last one. Did you, by the way?

"Ask, and it shall be given you"

Outline versus Outline

Monday, 17 June 2013

My Literary Lounge 
One of the questions I got tagged in some months ago, was by Katie of Whisperings of the Pen, and set me on edge for how very timely it was. I can't say my response was brilliant... actually it is is all rather bewildering, but I thought you might be curious to know my response: do I outline before starting a novel? If so, how extensive an outline do I create? First of all, Katie, how on earth did you know that I've been wrangling my head over this question lately? I have yet to discover.

Generally, I am a very structured and un-disciplined writer at the same time (if you're thinking this is contradictory, well it is); but I am one who likes using 'the snow-flake' method, a little of free writing and a little of structured outlining, knowing ahead of time where I am going and what I'm doing (that's very important for me!), but at the same time with relative freedom to change and expand. With The Crown of Life I used to do a relatively extensive 'outline', but it was not a traditional one with points and subpoints etc (that I feel is too restricting). Basically what I do in the process of 'outlining' is to take time to think and talk over plot ideas and an outline of what happens in the story as ideas come (usually with the help of one of my sisters, a friend, etc) and then jot them down in my 'Ideas Notebook' so as to not forget them. When I have gathered a rough idea of how things are going in the next few chapters, I write a loose 'synopsis' of a couple of pages in length recording events/characters/themes and what happens next: sometimes I can go into great details with what happens in each scene, while at other times it is a little less so as I work more on themes or character development. With that 'synopsis' in hand I feel ready to write in my novel the next big scene. However, I give room for changes and new ideas and usually after any major phone-calls/facebook chats with one of my beta-writing friends or a discussion with one of my sisters I have new plot/character plans that contradict what's written in the synopsis which I had been planning to try fitting into the story. It can be a huge challenge to work out the jigsaw puzzle of scenes, but I try not to be too legalistic about the 'synopsis', because it is only a rough guide, a general map of the direction of the story. The harder part is when I've written a scene based off the synopsis and I get a new idea that demands I rework a passage for that earlier scene to fit the new idea, without knowing whether the new idea will turn out better than the first one! That is usually my biggest challenge, but often one I really have fun with (at least it was so with The Crown of Life). Since my ideas are continually revolving and evolving I have of late almost entirely dropped out on writing the 'synopsis' and instead I keep it stored in the deep caveats of my brain--not that it is a safer way using memory instead of a USB-flash, it just tends to take less time, and something of that seed of inspiration remains in my heart that can get lost in the translation in an outline. When all this is done, I then write a list of chapter titles in proper time-order which is the relative of a proper outline without being too restricting. So far, this method has worked splendidly with me and I've had no trouble on account of it. A Love that Never Fails has been giving me a lot more of trouble with plotting and outlining though, due to the fact that I currently have very little plot ideas to go on... the story seems devoid of a proper outline or plot at this early stage and I cannot recall what I did when I was in the early stage of 'The Crown of Life'. Did I use my outlines, did I know where I was going? I am still in search for answers, and for now, I am writing 'A Love that Never Fails' in a more haphazard 'just write' method which I will confess has been so far somewhat scary! But there is a sense of adventure too, in the 'not-knowing'. It is a fun ride!


So - how do you outline your novels as you write? Do you have one? Please, do tell!

Gratitude - To You and You

Sunday, 16 June 2013

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This blog party has not gone exactly as I had planned (ahem, cough, cough) - I did not do too much planning to be honest! It was quite spontaneous ^_^ But anyway, I failed to blog daily since last Wednesday. Actually, the challenge has not failed though, because I have not been afraid to blog, but rather I was jolly well occupied watching lots of movies with my family during the weekend (yay, for Little House, The Return of the King and War Horse!), going out shopping with my sweet sister, Mary, buying groceries and a nice big new notebook to write and use for my novel (photo coming soon!), working at scaling down my laundry bags (yep, they pile up!), taking a history test and having a round of fun and busy-ness with family so that I nearly forgot about you! Good gracious, thankfully,  I did not, actually. But that is something I have learnt during my blogging journey, that important as my blog and my online friends are to me, my life with God and family and school always must come first. I have not always succeeded in this; often, I had to learn this lesson the hard way (and am still learning it!), but truly, there is nothing like the blessing of family and faith and friendship.

Friendship. That is one of the biggest things I have been blessed with through the presence of Fullness of Joy, blog. The friendships I have met and found in you, my dear readers, has probably been the biggest reward and blessing for having this blog, aside from things I have learnt about myself and writing and my faith. But also, knowing that this journey - the path of life - is something we are all learning and growing in together as we seek to abide in His Presence and His Love and Joy. Abide in Him. And see the light of His love and truth in every aspect of our lives - like in writing, family, faith, relationships, and friendships. This has been truly wonderful, amazing and challenging to me. As the Scriptures say, '[as] iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.' You have all done this to me... you have challenged and sharpened my countenance in so many ways - and while I often failed and made a mess of things you stuck by this blog and have been real friends. So from the bottom of my heart, I just want to say thank you to you all. God bless you all!

'Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one."'
- C.S. Lewis

P.S. I will answer your beautiful comments, and comment on your tag-responses as soon as possible, Lord willing! O.o.o, and are you thinking up some questions to ask me? Please do!

Balloons O' a Party! {Announcement}

Wednesday, 12 June 2013


Well, everyone, here is the little surprise I was hinting about in my last post! Fullness of Joy is celebrating its 2nd Blogoversary - in other words, it is having a Birthday and it is hitting 2 years old today! I am just so happy, humbled and blessed at the thought, thankful to you all, but most of all deeply grateful to the Lord for bringing me along this wonderful journey and leading me and teaching me so much through this dear little blog. It had a very small beginning and God has just blessed it so much and taught me so much through it and made me meet so many wonderful and dear sisters and friends in Christ through it. How grateful I am! How blessed! It has been soooo exciting! 

And because I know that we all love to celebrate the tiniest joys in life, I am hosting a special sort of blog party in gratitude to all of you, my sweet friends, for your love and support of Fullness of Joy and its authoress; yes, you heard right - a BLOG PARTY! It will be lots of fun, you bet! So come and join in the fun with me and have a jolly good time telling and tagging along your friends to this party - pretty please? Sadly, there will be no giveaway in this party; I did consider it for a while, but upon thinking it through - I think I want to earn my followers through friendship and through an interest in what I write; you see, it can be so tempting to gain more followers and viewers by giving away material prizes and giveaways to attract people, but it just doesn't seem right  - does that make sense? Not that I think giveaways are bad things *shakeshead* - I think it is very special and sweet and a very nice way of saying thank you to your dear special viewers (I dearly love a giveaway myself, especially if it is a book giveaway!) but it just did not seem to work out this time; so if you were expecting something like that I am really sorry about that. On the happy side though, I plan to make this party very fun and special. So make sure  you don on your party frocks and fancy heels, bring along your umbrellas, and favourite books and enjoy an array of fruity blogposts, cheesecake-yummy questionnaires, sweetie glasses of lemonade and a ball dance of literary-balloons and tags. 'Tis Party Time!

Basically, I have to confess that this party is to celebrate the presence of this blog for two wonderful years, say a heartfelt thank you to you all *big hug*, and finally to be a sort of challenge for myself and all of us to blog more regularly and get involved in connecting with each other and uplifting/encouraging/challenging one-another as sisters in Christ and fellow writers through in-depth posts, tags and lively comments. For to be perfectly candid with you, I have more and more gotten into the absurd habit of starting out posts - sometimes really in-depth and exciting posts - that I either have had little time to complete, was at a loss as to how to complete, or worst of all was simply afraid of posting because... well, it did not feel on par in quality and interest with the manner in which I was looking for in those self-same topics that had been occupying my mind. I often have those thoughts and ideas forming in my head, and in excitement start to write them in posts, but find myself questioning the credibility of how well I am communicating those thoughts, and quit or delay the posts until I am 100% satisfied with it, which of course is never. And you, naturally, are left with very few posts to read, or posts that have a far more rambly nature; meanwhile blogger drafts is left to gawk at my abandoned scribbles. Shame on me! So, in effort to remedy this, I thought up of something that might help me overcome my fear of posting those epistles (yes, I think you know me by now to be of a melodramatic turn), and perhaps by joining in this party, you could help me too and we can all be inspired to do better.

The idea came to me while I was answering the tags of three fellow bloggers during the Christmas break, and fretting over the fact that that my answers were so long for each question and thus I was unable to finish them. And then, as I wrote, I thought that perhaps I could really write them up in separate posts, which gave me the thought that you'd enjoy the opportunity to ask me some questions in a particular post relating to life by me, my faith and beliefs, my writing, questions about my novels, my writing style, characters, etc, favourite books, authors, movies, thoughts on modesty and fashion - all that sort of fun stuff! And, in response to your questions on that particular post, I will go about answering them in 'topic/discussion' posts during the next coming few weeks. What do you think about that? Of course I retain the right to ignore certain 'spoiler' questions, or 'too-private' inquiries, but I know you to be a thoughtful bunch not inclined to too much prying, so I will risk it ;). I think it may prove fun! So keep a lookout in the coming week for a post in which you can ask me all the questions you would dream of asking, while meanwhile you can think them up ^_^. Actually, if you do come up with questions now, you can leave a comment and tell me from now!

But that is not all! Throughout the rest of this week, I will be posting daily with a small topic post in response to the questions in those tags I so sweetly got tagged in - topics ranging from how I outline my novels, do tv episodes inspire me, blogging tips and tricks I blundered through in the last two years, favourite authors, to what my thoughts are on such poplar fandoms as The Hunger Games and The Twilight. But there is also going to be a game of 'tag it', for you too, in which just about everyone can join in! Please do, because I think we'll all have a lot of fun together in it. Today's tag contain more literary-bloggish--fun-and-random questions :D, but I will be posting more 'themed' tags in the next coming days and I really hope you join in. If you do not have a blog, that is no problem, since you can just write up the posts for fun and maybe e-mail or something (Annie, that's for you!).

The Rules:
If you are a follower of this blog, or even a regular viewer, you are tagged in this set of questions. 
1. Copy/paste the tag questions onto a post on your blog, and answer them
2. Leave a link below to your post so we all can join in the fun and get to read your delightful responses.
3. Place the 'Balloons O' a Party' button or link to this post on your blogpost with much hearty love and thanks from Yours Truly (loveyou!)
4. Finally, have fun!

And that's basically it ^_^ Ooo, and Hannah from The Road Goes Ever On is currently working on re-designing my blog. Three cheers for the one who guesses correctly what the colour scheme of the final design will be ^_^.

THE PARTY TAG QUESTIONS:

1. Pretending if need be that you never read any of those titles, (unless you actually haven’t), which book-title intrigues you the most that it would make you abandon all the others and read THAT one book...? Roverandom, The Keys of the Kingdom, That Hideous Strength, The Conflict of Religions in the Early Roman Empire, With Christ in the School of Prayer, Kidnapped, The Ballad of the White Horse, The Robe, The Man Who Was Thursday, or Surprised by Joy...?

2. How do you reconcile yourself with an offended cat? (Tell a clueless girl, here!)

3. Can you describe to us in a seven-word sentence your current surroundings using the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch? Otherwise you can name in order the thirteen dwarf characters in The Hobbit without looking the info up online. ‘Tis your choice, you know!

4. Tea or Coffee? Or lemonade?

5. Do you think your writing voice and style on your blog (or novel) is so very different from your normal, day-to-day voice and personality? Or is almost identical?

6. Puddleglum or Mr. Tumnus?

7. Which of the seasons, spring, summer, autumn, or winter, appeals to you most in a literary sense and inspires you to write?

8. Cast your mind back to childhood, what was your favourite Old Testament Bible character as a child? What was your most dearly loved Bible Account? Why?

9. What are some of the films/books or songs that make you tear-up or cry the most (be it because it is so beautiful, or really sad or tragic, etc), tell us why they do that; do you actually like to cry in a movie/book?

10. Do you have any special literary goals or dreams that you wish you could accomplish as a writer during your lifetime (besides publishing, that is!)?

11. If you are a writer, which one of your characters’ internal makeup most echoes a likeness or similitude to you? If you have none of your own – what other fictional character (book/film) does? Explain your answer.

12. Excuse me for another Tolkien reference, but I couldn't help it, alas! Which of the five Middle-earth hobbits do you identify with the most: Bilbo, Frodo, Sam, Merry, or Pippen?

13. What special topic do you relish talking/writing about the most? Like – like a tap that can instantly be turned on... please, do tell!

14. Make your choice, adventurous Stranger; Strike the bell and bide the danger, Or wonder, till it drives you mad, What would have followed if you had.  The Bell and the Hammer, C.S. Lewis ...thus said the inscription next to the bell in that mysterious place in which Polly and Digory came upon, in The Magician’s Nephew. If you had been in their place, would you have taken the adventure of ringing the golden bell as Digory did (not knowing that the White Witch would be awakened) or would you have acted sensibly like Polly but risked being driven mad by the thought of ‘what if’ when you were back home in England?

15. What is that which makes you keep blogging and writing in general in the times when your blog/and or you yourself are at a low ebb? Do you like taking breaks from blogging or miss your followers too much? 

I tag all my sweet followers and regular viewers, and:
(here's to daring that these girls will join in, as will, I hope, all of you! ;)

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P.S. ladies, have you yet seen the new Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug trailer? Just in case you haven't you must check it out: here. It is soooo epic! 

In Which I Tell You Why I Was Gone... for a month!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

THIS TIME - this time! well, I have a good reason for having been away from Fullness of Joy; (not that I have been trying to avoid you, folks, or anything!!) But you see. I have been busy. I mean extremely B.U.S.Y. (no fibbing). My sister Sarah had no less than a dozen university assignments/exams/essays during the month of May (poor girl!), and the most jolly thing, of course, happened - her laptop crashed! Nice. So, I had to lend her my laptop for a month and, *sobs*, I had to go about begging to use the other computers belonging to the other members of the household and straining my eyes on the iPod just so I could use the Internet for emails, fb, google+, blogging or even do any proper novel-writing :'(. The Lord was teaching me a bit of lessons on 'being weaned' of things I take for granted, am addicted too and rely on too keenly at the time (like my laptop and internet) so it was not altogether an unprofitable experience. All things work together for good indeed! But now I have my laptop back, thank The Lord *happy dance*!

So you see, now, that this is the tale behind my long absence. I don't know if anybody missed me so much since it seems that for the most part most of my viewers and the majority of my fellow bloggers have been having it very busy too with the end of the school year and start of the Summer break (Brrrr, but we have it winter here! And the school year is as demanding and intense as ever), so that things have been relatively quiet on the blogosphere. Glad I haven't missed much :). But now everyone seems to be getting back on their feet and have their blogs buzzing and exciting. So I will try to amend things and do something to bring a bit of cheer to this dear ol' blog of mine. That 'bit of cheer' will come in the form of a big surprise which, Lord willing, I shall announce very soon on Fullness of Joy. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for more exciting updates!