Actually Finishing Something [in] July + a blog-shout-out

#A Love that Never Fails
In complete accordance with my spontaneous craziness, I've decided to jump in the band-wagon and join in Katie's Actually Finishing Something [in] July blog event (despite having a current blog event on my own blog already running). It may seem like it clashes with the blog-party event, and it does, but not really when I think about it. I shall still keep up with answering the questions of the blog-party and I shall try to come up with another tag or two for everyone to join in, though maybe at a slower pace. However, you probably all know very well how much I long to get my fingers writing again seriously in A Love that Never Fails, and how I have had such a trial of a time getting passed the first-chapter-stage. So, I decided to link up on this challenge (a week late, so I could indulge in my procrastinative nature I am sure) to help me get all this shebang nonsense of Chapter 1 done and over with. Here is a few tag questions Katie asked to help in motivation of the writing challenge, and I hope you enjoy!

But if you will allow me to ado a bit more about some really important stuff, I have a happy little announcement to make. My sweetie sister, Sarah, who I am sure you've heard a thing or two about on this wee blog of mine, recently started a new personal blog of her own called, Of Simple Things. She used to blog a while back on her history blog but what with lots of uni-work and the stress of exams, etc, she found it hard to keep up with it, being more formal and serious in topic nature. So now that she's on holidays (hurrah!), she's started a personal blog in which she can share all the fun, happy, simple things of her life and faith... and I am sooooooooooo excited to have her back blogging - it is such fun. I don't believe I am biased in saying that I think you will love her blog, her and her posts as she pens them (especially, if like me, you are partial to hobbits). So why don't send her a bit of love that will put a smile on her face, and go over and check it out, and if you really liked it - follow and leave her a sweet note or two too? I'd be glad, glad, glad! You will be too. And so will she ^_^

Now, for it!
1) What is your writing goal? 
To put it plainly, and shortly, I want to finish the first chapter of A Love that Never Fails. It doesn't matter if it isn't too brilliant, but I do care that I be at least moderately satisfied with it and that it would help give me a launch pad for the coming chapters and the plot. I think I shall start from scratch too. Also, I want to do some serious historical research and plot/character-outlining. Sounds like fun? I think so.

2) Give us a short synopsis of your project. What makes it unique?
Perhaps the unique element about it is the theme; I don't believe I forced this theme, as I realized its presence seriously only after starting to write the short story (near the end of it in fact). A Love that Never Fails has been inspired somewhat by 1 Corinthians 13, in the theme of love and what it really means. When I mean love - it is not confined, though it does include romantic love, alas, but the world seems to think that is the only meaning of love (if they understand the word at all). Love is so much more than that. As C.S. Lewis put it 'Love is more stern and splendid than mere kindness'. I do not think it will be the only theme, and as  I write; there are themes, other components to the tale and I think I will be dealing with this theme of 1 Corinthians' love in a lot less thematically focused way then I did in the short story, but it will and is there still. I think another unique element is that the story is set both in England and in Australia (yay, for Queensland), deals with the evacuation story of London children, and is set in World War 2 which is always fascinating I find.

The story goes like this...
The year is 1940, London. Despite the encroaching shadow of evil from Hitler's Germany, Jane Wilson's world consists of the love, memories and daily happiness of those whom she loves best. But when she is torn from her beloved father and Grandmamma by a war she cannot understand, she finds herself one of many children evacuated to the golden shores of Australia, away from England and all that she held dear there. In a new land, with a new family, Jane discovers, against the grief of loss, the truth of her grandmother's words, 'love never fails' in an unlikely way. 
3) How long have you been working on this project? 
The story was born in May, 2012, when I wrote a short story during a family holiday on a beautiful island off the coast, for a local competition at our library. After it got short-listed, I edited and edited and then edited some more at the writer's conference and at home till I deleted some of my favourite paragraphs of the whole story! Sad, that, but it finally got published in an anthology with other teen writers which made it worth the effort and I was quite a happy lark for a while. Nonetheless, I had from almost as soon as I finished editing the short story a nagging feeling that this story deserved to be told in its full-length and space within the happy confines of a novel. Ideas came and went to inspire and excite me, while I patiently waited and wrote other things.  Finally, in November I started writing it for NaNoWriMo; I did not write much though - a little less than a first chapter, which now belongs somewhat further into the story with Jane's evacuation. I've been fiddling about with this first chapter since then, but have only come up with bits and pieces of scribblings I am only half-happy with. Let's hope for better things, shall we?

4)  How often do you intend to write in order to reach your goal by August 1st? 
Well, we've got three weeks till August. Hmm - well, I think I shall confine myself to writing in the evenings ( a full hour and 1/2) every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and if I can snatch anymore time during the rest of the week or Saturday/Sunday, than I am all the happier... though I think I shall confine these days for catching up on emails, letters, and blogposts and happy reading of course! But writing means writing, you know... no facebook, google+ pinterest, blog nonsense!

5) Introduce us to three of your favorite characters in this project.
Ooh, that's hard. I'll try...

Jane is the heart of this story - the story is mostly told from her perspective. Jane is a happy girl, with a high-spirited character - actually, she is very loving, affectionate and humble, but she can equally be naive about life, with a bent for cheekiness and the instigator of infrequent harmless mischief, shy at intervals, and very much afraid-of-change. Her quiet thoughtfulness and genuine love and care for people generally endears her to those around her, but she can also be a puzzle to figure out what with her absent-minded daydreaming, social awkwardness and fun-loving ways. She loves her Pappa fiercely like thunder and storm and is fond of her Grandmamma like nothing else. I don't think she could ever love anyone quite the way she loves those two, except she learns that love is bigger than her small sentiments. She dreams big and has high hopes, but the reality of war and grief of loss make her grow up and realize life is beautiful and happy but not in the way she used to look at it. It is hard to say much, for fear she eludes me as I try to reach for her. She's too much like a cloud that can't be pinned down. But if I master her character and get to know her, it will be such a happy victory! I love her a lot, that girl.

I always smile when I think of Grandmamma - not because she is funny. Oh no! But because I never meant her to exist from the first place - or if I did, she was to be that heartless, unemotional old woman who cared little for her flighty granddaughter and wished to be rid of her at all costs. Oh but that woman lifted her little finger and defied my stupid notions with her gallant spirit and loving heart. Grandmamma is the total opposite of all that meanness. She's not a silly woman, nor is she unduly emotional and sentimental. She is a fiery woman with a strong personality, but she loves... she loves deeply and wisely. She feels strongly too, but is self-controlled and patient. She is a silent woman, who says little except on occasion when she says... a lot. In a gentle few words. She loves her son, George, and Jane very much. Perhaps more than anyone else, she suffers the most, because it is in silence and alone as those dearest to her are scattered across the globe, and she is left to face the horrors of the war in England. Grandmamma is a gem. <3

Jane's father is a professor at the Queen Mary, University of London (disclaimer: the exact university is subject to change with more research ^_^), as a tutor of ancient literature, history and philology; he is an intelligent, slightly philosophical but diligent man who knows the meaning of honourable toil and hard-work and has an obsession with books, languages and airplanes  What with his meekness and quiet, bookish nature, one would think him a pacifist, but George has strong patriotic love for his beloved England; his greatest earthly joy is Jane and coming back home to a warm hearth, a comfortable arm-chair and a good book by the fireside. It broke his heart when his wife, Abigail, died when Jane was but seven, and yet he himself remained a solid rock of support and strength to Jane in her growing up years, holding unto his faith in God, and the love of his mother and daughter for whom he would sacrifice anything for their well-being. After Abigail's death, he temporarily gave up his place at Queen Mary and moved with his little girl into his widowed mother's estate in the countryside, as Grandmamma longed for Jane to grow up within her care but loathed the city. He took up a position of tutor at a boy's Grammar School in the small town they lived in, and spent his time in teaching, quiet study and time spent personally tutoring Jane in her education until she grew older. When Jane was around eleven, he felt it was time to return to his work in London, so he and Jane (and Grandmamma for she found she could not part with them) returned to the bustle of their old home. But some things are never the same, and for George he finds he cannot stand idly by as England is battered by war...

6)  Go to page 16 (or 6, 26, or 66!) of your writing project. Share your favorite line or snippet on the page.

When the light of morning met their faces, they saw a pearly mist of cloud drift sadly against the fume-ridden crumbling buildings that lay twisted in a hazy spiral of charred flame and smoke before them. The London Jane had known and loved the fourteen years of her life now lay in ruins. Worst of all the destruction, her city faced the loss of life and the sufferings of the injured. Despite the pale light of the sky, the day hung with darkness and gloom. In her soul Jane wondered if ever a bright morning would dawn in the hearts of those around her, or in her own.
- A Love that Never Fails (pg. 6) 

7) Tea or coffee? 
Well, I have not really started drinking proper caffeinated tea or coffee, though I think I'd enjoy both very much. I have drunk decaffeinated coffee before though and that was quite something, and once or twice chai tea which was enjoyable in a spicy way. And I dearly love drinking a nice cup of herbal tea such as mint or roobios. It is quite perfect on a cool, rainy day. Oh, and I enjoy a hot cocoa. Immensely. 'almost any day <3

'Little by little, one travels far.'
J.R.R. Tolkien


  1. The more I hear about your novel, It grows more heartfelt and wonderful. My courant novel started as a short story too. Strange. I'm toying with joining this too, and your post has got me seriously thinking about it. I love that your goal is simple and not some huge lofty goal. Happy writing.
    Blessings ~ Rachel Hope

  2. This is a lovely post Joy! I really like getting a peek into people's characters through blog parties etc.. :o ) I especially loved where you told about three characters from A Love That Never Fails. So amazing.
    Love in Christ,
    Ysa <3

  3. this was wonderful to read! i am so excited for what's to come!

  4. Rachel, thank you so much! It is just the sort of thing, your sweet words, as to make me both happy and daunted. I don't know if that is good or not, but I am grateful, because it is cheering to know you are getting as excited for A Love that Never Fails as I am ^_^.

    Really? I am glad to hear it! Do you find that the transition from a short story to a novel a bit of a challenge so much as knowing how to 'adapt' it? I've found so with A Love that Never Fails.

    Actually Finishing Something (in) July is quite the thing to get you up and kicking when one is continually fussing with excuses. A bit like NaNo but at your own pace and with your own challenge, so it is not so draining. The only problem is writing up posts weekly to keep up with the challenge takes up time from that same time which could be used in accomplishing the goal. So, I am just going to write up the last tag question post by August so as to save time. It is a lot of fun!

    Thanks for commenting! I love reading your sweet notes of encouragement and hope to stop by your blog soon, Lordwilling!

  5. Ysa, thanks so much for commenting. It put a smile to my face (as did your other comment on my Guestbook page; thanks for that!)

    I am glad you liked reading about my characters... I am having such fun getting to be close friends with them and only hope others will grow to love them as I am doing now =).
    God bless and thanks for commenting!

  6. thanks, petal and plume! :)


Post a Comment

"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!