Music To Inspire! - God's Banquet of Mercy

Monday, 30 September 2013

via Worth A Thousand Words
'And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.'
Jonah 4: 2

Usually when it is close to the end of the year, my sisters and I get very active musically. This year, however, we have been 'into' it a little more than usual and quite a bit earlier too. For one thing, the choir which we are part of recently (that is in August) participated in a songwriting competition; we all got really busy with that! The group pitched in together to fully create the lyrics and music, and recorded a song of our own. It was an interesting experience, and we all definitely learnt a lot. The song is called Incorruptible Love and my sister Sarah got to write the lyrics with the editing help of another member of the choir and others came up with the music. The theme of the competition was on Church Communion, so that is the basic tone and theme of this song. You can check out the recorded link, Incorruptible Love. And now that this is over, my sisters and I are preparing for a fun music concert with another friend at the end of November which entails classical music playing, movie and game music duets/solos and ensembles and vocal music as well. I'm planning on playing a violin solo medley of Les Miserables, Lord willing, and also a violin duet with Mary doing a Lord of the Rings/Hobbit medley; I know my sisters, Sarah, Mary and Grace will all be performing different things as well. It is SOOOOOOOOOOO much fun playing from favourite movie scores, but it is quite challenging as well to get it practiced to perfection. So, all around, we're all very musically busy, and if you do happen to remember it any time, a little prayer for my sisters and me will be wonderfully appreciated!

And with all this music in the air, it is time for another Music To Inspire! As is usual, my sisters tend to be the ones to remind me to post another one when I start forgetting; so thank you, Sarah dear! Hmm, well... oh, by the way if any of you would like to know more tidsy bitsy information about this blog meme, hop over onto this link to learn more about it, please do. Leave your link for your own Music To Inspire! post too, so we can all enjoy in your favourite music of the month.

Here Are Mine!

'Horns of Hattin and aftermath' 
(Crusader Kings II Soundtrack by Paradox Interactive)
Sometime this month or the last, I stumbled across this game soundtrack by Paradox Interactive (I think it was Spotify's kindly suggestion); and it has been a favourite. It is so inspiring and dramatic and beautiful... you'll love it, so do check out the whole soundtrack on YouTube. This particular track caught me breathless and wrangled my emotions warmly with the ancient Gregorian vocals. I have been listening to it all month long while writing and studying!

Last night I listened to to two songs on my iPod which I had not listened to in a long while, - Graham Kendrick's Crucified Man and Come and See. Listening to those two songs blessed my heart so much that it brought tears to my eyes, just the encouragement and blessing I got from the beautiful words. Graham Kendrick, a Christian songwriter in the UK, is perhaps one of my most well-loved and favourite of modern Christian composers - with the exception of a few songs, I love every one of his albums and songs and some are old favourites!! Some favourite albums of mine are ones like, Sacred Journey, Banquet, The Very Best of Graham Kendrick, House Churches in England, Rumour of Angles and The Gift. I guess Kendrick's songs are as favourite to me as many of you are fond of Andrew Peterson's, though for some sad reason he doesn't seem to be as widely known as Peterson these days (if you are at a lost to whom I am talking about, you may be familiar with the song, Shine, Jesus, Shine which was written by him some years ago. One of the great things I love about his music is the theological depth in his lyrics - they are really quite biblical and deep without being stodgy! The music, while still being often upbeat and contemporary, is generally not over-the-top with hype and noisiness but really worshipful; many of the songs are about the Cross, which is a favourite theme of mine.

Though Australia is famous world-wide among Christian circles for its mega-church Hillsong brand (famous for quite a few songs like Shout to the Lord, and Thank You For the Cross - I love those ones, by the way) yet I personally tend to really dislike the repetitive shallowness of many of the newer lyrics boarding on being cliche 'I love you songs' and the worldly hype of the music. Meanwhile, songs like the ones by Graham Kendrick I find to be really encouraging to me in my walk with the Lord. I wish they were sung in churches more often! For a long while now I have wanted to get my hand on his newest album, so I was quite thrilled when I found it on Spotify! You can by the way find many of his albums there or on YouTube as well :). And so, here are a few of my new favourites!

This one is about the Lord's banquet - the communion of the Lord's table, speaking of His love mercy at the Cross; the beauty of the Lord's goodness, His Body and Blood blessed, broken, and shed for us. Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! 'There is a banquet so rich, as the Bread and Wine, no table more holy, no welcome so kind. There is no mercy so wide as the arms of the Cross. Come and taste, come and see, come find and be found...'

'Holy Ground'
This one is quite beautiful as well, a song seeking the Lord and trusting Him know that He is near, therefore we need not fear; 'in this darkening world, may we shine like stars, God's own children pure and blameless. Father! May our feet be found on holy ground, on holy ground; purify the Church to stand on holy ground.'

One of my favourites in the album, Merciful, is about showing mercy because God has shown us exceedingly great love and mercy... how can we not forgive? Nail all bitterness to the cross and God will turn all evil to good! 'At the cross where Jesus suffered, I lay down my bitter pain, where He prayed "Father, Forgive them", Lord, I know that I must do the same.... For my Father in Heaven showed mercy to me, how could I not be merciful when God's been merciful to me. God's been merciful to me...' 

Now that Yours Truly has finally gotten around to posting a Music to Inspire! post again after a long absenceit is your turn to share with us your favourite songs of the month, reference this post in your own Music to Inspire! post and leave a link in the linky below so we all may share in the music...

'You Are A Force to Be Reckoned With'

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

via The Crown of Life
'The blank page is God's way of letting us know how hard it is to be God.'
- G. K. Chesterton

The above quote has nothing to do with this post, I assure you, but being the instrument I bumped into tonight in effort to break the ice of my languid mind, I am tossing it back at you! There, don't blame me. It has been a sultry September day, the clouds have hung low in the sky and humidity has been about like an oppressive blanket, despite last night's furious happy storm of thunder, lightning and rain. I do hope summer heat retreats a step and chooses to approach us with the same languid pace, say at the same rate as I have been toying with my novel-writing of late*. Otherwise, I have been relishing Spring's arrival, pulling up bright, summery dresses and dainty blouses as well as pursuing my end-of-year-goals with a sudden feverish zeal that has been a bit absent during the last months. Ah, I am glad!

Methinks I will sometime share a post here on Fullness of Joy with little updates on life's little happenings as this month has been full of interest already (cue national elections, music concert plans, a new blog design - Ooo, wait! Did you notice? How do you like how my blog looks now? Hannah Beasley has just finished designing it, and I am loving it so, so much - do tell me what you think, because I personally think she's done a beautiful job!!). But, as it is for tonight... I thought I should pick up one of the Get 'em Tigers, questions you've asked of me, and see what we come up with. 

If you could meet four of your characters in real life, whom would you choose?
- Annie

Indeed, what a privilege that would be to actually meet a few characters of my pen in real life! But we can always pretend, can't we? Well, let me think - there is the good tribune Valerius Gallus from The Crown of Life; there are other characters from the tale as well - folks such as his sister Anthea, Claudia - the Legate's daughter, the Apostle Paul (no commentary needed, - he's real!), Seneca (the famous statesman), Flavius Apicius the old friend of the Gallus boys, sour old Quintus, Julius the eldest of the Gallus children, Talitha, the slave Apion, Senator Octavius Gallus, Legate Albinus, young Antony, Mercia a young slave-woman, Serigius Apicius - the loathsome relation of Flavius, Consul Apicius himself, Nero Caesar (who knew, right?), the beloved doctor Luke, Judah a Galilean shepherd, Prefect Festus of Judea... (just to name the important ones!), and as for from A Love that Never Fails, there are many more (many un-introduced on this blog as of yet): we meet Jane Wilson, Grandmamma Rosemary, George, Ernest, Amelia, Rosalie, Jack and Jeremy, Maria, Cynthia, Dickens, Margaret, Charlotte, Matilda Dew... and Elizabeth and William Munson... and then there are the other characters from background story-ideas that still remain mostly under wraps as of yet: Anne Stirling, Henry, Chloe and Jules (from Socks and Scatterbrains) Taurus, Itheldia, Elnath, Rosebird (from Taurus Elnath), Erica and John, Lady Zelda and the Prime Minister (characters from another story, Silent Song of Vienna), the Addison sisters (Lancashire Secrets), and Violet and Walter and Dorothy from another untitled story idea....

So you see, it really can't be thrown in like that so simply whom I would want to meet in real-life out of my characters, since I would be torn by conflicting motives - whom I would  most benefit in a literary sense from a real-life meeting; but on the other end of the spectrum those I most admire and love and look up to would cause a far more 'pleasurable' meeting. But I thank you for giving me a choice of four ^_^, and since you asked - and I'd love to respond - here is my wrung-out choice!

   Jane Priscilla Wilson
For one thing just for the motive of aid, I am right now desperate to get a grasp of her character and understand her more in my efforts of writing her story. You probably know if you've noted some of my last posts how she, with all modest shyness, has kept the cards of her soul and who she is close to her own, so only those nearest seem able to truly see her (Grandmamma and Pappa or maybe even Ernest will strike me as those to whom I should seek their aid on her behalf). But also, I think out of all the characters of my pen and imagination, Jane is the most realistically human of them all - I mean, she can easily be either you or me in our own world and time; her story is not so conjured up by times past or great dramas so as to be sparkling and romantic or heroic, her life is one that can dance in the light of any one of my loved ones and be ordinarily special in the same way you and I are. She is a beautiful girl, inside and out, and grows and matures through the many trials she faces into a godly young woman of virtue, meekness, love and quiet joyfulness - I know that she easily could be a friend or even like a sister were she real, because in a way... she is. So yes, I do wish I could meet her, for she would be a wonderful friend and because that would solve a million trials to this story. But on second thoughts, perhaps not.

    Valerius and Claudia.
They come in a pair, I guess, but I would dearly wish to meet Valerius and Claudia;... oh dear! Annie, why are you torturing me? This would be such a happy meeting-thing! Yes, I would choose to meet them, if I could. They will always be special to my heart. They are heroes of ancient times, but something tells me we'd still get along splendidly. 'Nuff said.

You are fully allowed to question my sanity in placing him among the fellows I would wish to meet in real life. Actually I am questioning mine. But you know... there ought to be a villain in this list, and if I must say it, he is such a fellow who would both cause my heart to tremble from head to toe with fright while at the same time melt my heart with deep sympathy and pity mingled with grief at his plight. You'll have to pardon me, and not take me seriously for once.

Oo dear! And now I am in a fix to whom I should tick off as the fourth character - Anthea, Grandmamma Rosemary, Ernest, Taurus...

   Grandmamma Rosemary.
<3 No commentary needed <3

And now, I have a little question for you all! 
From all the different characters I have mentioned and talked about on this blog, which four are you most eager to meet within the pages of a new story?

*The weather has sweetened into sunshine and gold, cooler colours since I wrote this post yesterday!

Flying Beyond the Stars {Mon Writer's Tics and Tricks}

Monday, 2 September 2013

via Pinterest
Everyone has the right, after reading this post, to brand me the most irresponsible, procrastinative rag-a-muffin alive. After all, I really much rather ought to be writing up long belayed letters to my friends Abigail and Sarah, answering a dozen emails from close friends who have sent me sweet messages more than a month ago, scribbling that key scene in A Love that Never Fails that's been bugging me and responding to comments cordially left on my blog months ago - or even if I really wanted to be a good girl and still blog, answer one of the Get 'em Tigers questions you've all sent me...

But you see, I am tired. Really, quite. Between the continuous see-saw of the daily hum-drum of life, I am a bit of a fatigued rag-doll each evening these days and I can't think of doing anything, except something fun like this post below. You will forgive me, I hope? Emails, letters, stories and comments will be attended to in time ^_^, Lord willing. But at any rate, a while ago I happened to bump along a blog, Just As I Am, of a sweet young lady, sweet Megan. I took note of it, but lost her blog link along the way (that's the price for not following a blog you like promptly!) As it happens, she just launched a new writerly blog, Every Good Word, a blog born out of a desire to share encouragement and wisdom with fellow writers. I think that is just a wonderful idea! We all need to be encouraging one another in this work of writing in a Christ-centered way, and I love how Megan has based her blog-name and theme on 2 Thessalonians 2: 16- 17, "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work." 

The tag questions had a positively intriguing flavor to them, and begged to be answered; besides, when Bree, Jenny, Miriam, Elizabeth Rose, Schuyler and Katie all join up on this writerly tag-link, it is quite hard to resist not joining the band-wagon, late though I be in the whole tagging game. So here, we go again... more tags. I know you all love tags, and I promised to do another one sometime but I've yet to keep that promise for you... so perhaps you'll join in this one until then ?? I, meanwhile, will try avoiding doing another tag for a while from now on and focus more on serious-no-nonsense posts. (tongueincheek)

1. What was your first-ever piece of writing?
Not the most promising sort of 'first-piece' of writing to my career I must say - it was a simplistic attempt at a medieval allegory inspired (I use the word 'inspire' loosely for now when I look on it, it feels like a direct rip-off) from Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and Christiana with bits of Holy War and Hannah Hurnard's Hind's Feet on High Places. It is pretty embarrassing how I almost stole whole scenes from different books and just changed perfectly good words so it would be my writing after all and not plagiarizing - which actually it was. I was 12 years old at the time, not much read in fiction besides Bunyan and Patricia St. John, so perhaps it can be forgiven. But I can say that it had some original ideas and scenes which, while badly written, had a promising premise and theme - for one thing, Ecclesiastes and Songs of Solomon made their way intrinsically into the story-line which makes me happy just thinking about it. I love the premise (not the plot, mind you!) that much that one day, I should like to pick up this mess of a story and write a sort of allegorical novella - not like Narnia or Lord of the Rings exactly. More of the same strain with Milton's Paradise Lost or the Divine Comedy of Dante. Actually, though the story was nothing brilliant (and I never got to finish it), I did show it to my Dad who read it and seemed to see something good in it; he suggested to me a title which I am still fond of, Escape from Vanity, and said that if I finished it, we could look into the possibility of self-publishing. I hope Dad was humouring me, though... I really do! Here are snippets for your amusement:

Her work was as what you would think very pleasant and easy. She also had a lot more time to enjoy herself but she was still very unhappy and even more so then when she worked in the palace. The reason was that she could find no meaning in life and felt hopelessly lost. She would weep, 'What will happen to me when my days are gone like a water down a stream? "For indeed I said in my heart, go now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure; and, behold, this also is vanity. I said of laughter, it is mad: and of mirth, what does it do? I made great works; I built myself houses; I planted vineyards; and behold all was vanity.”'
- Escape from Vanity
“Sirs, I and my fellow pilgrims are journeying to the Prince Emmanuel’s Kingdom; we go to the City of the King. As for you, you needn’t disguise yourself to be just, for with us is the Discerner of all thoughts and I know who you all are. You are liars! And Lucifer is the father of it. For a seed to bring forth fruit it must first go into the soil and be buried; then it will rise and bring forth life and strength. Now be gone from us, you enemies of the Prince!” And when they saw that it was useless to persuade them any farther they left them alone. 
 - Escape from Vanity 
3. How old were you when you first started writing?
I started writing when I was twelve and have been writing ever since. Of course, I have been creating stories for ever so much longer. Since birth, I should say. 
Name two writing goals. One short term & one long term.
Last week I was doing a bit of calculations and I realized how with my increasingly large school-load during these last two or so years of my highschool education, I have to set priorities straight. This means that I am giving myself longer time to accomplish some of the goals which would not normally take a long time to complete. One of those goals is to complete (edit, redraft, etc) A Love that Never Fails and take up The Crown of Life again. My other long term goal is to one day land myself a multi-book contract with publisher/agent, if it is the Lord's will.
3. Do you write fiction or non-fiction?
I write fiction mostly. I journal, I write letters and emails and blog and use facebook which sort of gets dumped in the 'non-fiction' genre... and I love it, but fiction rubs off in all that I write. I can't help it.
4. Bouncing off of question 4, what's your favourite genre to write in?
Most of my writing experience has been in historical fiction and I love it! I tend to write hard-core historical fiction in style with books like The Acts of Faith Series by Janette Oke and Davis Bunn, The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas,  Lew Wallace's Ben Hur or The Keys of the Kingdom by A. J. Cronin and love basing my stories on history and cultures of the past (i.e. one of my novels is set in 1st Century Ancient Rome and the other in World War 2 England/Australia); Elizabeth Rose put it so 'right' on the vast source of storytelling themes and plots one can glean from the history 'of warfare and siege, fierce pride in one's homeland and people, heroes and traitors, all-encompassing love and bitter hate, martyrs, peasants, and kings . . . and that's enough to keep me going for years.' Amen to thatBut I am also very fond of high epic fantasy/legend/fairy-tales, science-fiction and mystery tales (of selected authors) as well as inspirational classic-romance (if it is wholesome and clean!) and children's fiction, and have enjoyed dabbling in bits of those genres within my historical fiction works, and have many story ideas for the future within different genres up my sleeve so we'll have to see how that goes.  Unity in diversity is my philosophical idea behind it, I suppose. (But, hush! It was meant to be a secret.)
5. One writing lesson you've learned since 2013 began.
Can I mention three? Ooh, thank you, thank you!!! W-e-l-l, for one thing I am learning this lesson, abet painfully, that a first draft of a novel will rarely be a masterpiece. There will always be editing afterwards and that is where I can stress over the 'badness' of my writing; not before, since it will palarize my writing. Sometimes a little over-confidence (coupled with an angry red pen after the first draft of is completed) will go along way. The other lesson I am learning is not being afraid to write the painful and difficult scenes and characters/stories and allowing myself to touch on the more vulnerable, tough themes that I would be normally afraid to pen, and instead learning to trust My Heavenly Father to guide my words and meditations of my heart and mind - in every good word! This year I am additionally finding another lesson to be very important is how my attitude and mood will greatly affect my writing on a daily basis - physically, emotionally and spiritually; there is so much to the importance of allowing ourselves to occasionally shed tears of frustration and heartache over our work, but to use these self-same sentiments to goad us to persevere and 'never give up'!
6. Favourite author, off the top of your head!
I am sure this is not a question any bibliophile enjoys: if you will excuse me, I am gonna bend the rule and bash your head with three again. Sorry, Megan! I give you J.R.R. Tolkien as favourite author, off the top of my head... because I've never read any fictional work to compare with the masterpieces of The Lord of the Rings, Hobbit and Silmarrillion - his works are so deep with spiritual truths and beauty within the epic legends and tales of ordinary and yet extraordinary hobbits, elves and kings of old - they make me cry every time. And then there is C.S. Lewis, because as Rachel said... he just is... so good. I love C.S. Lewis! - and no, I am not building a sacred halo around him just so you'd know. He and Tolkien were fallible men and sometimes I archly raise my eyebrows and think I disagree... but even when I disagree my mind rebels and says, 'What giants!' ^_^ - and anyway, it is only rarely one disagrees :)).

And then, just because I cannot help it, I must include 'off the top of my head', my favourite children's Christian author - Patricia St. John. I will have to write reviews for her novels around here by and by - unlike any other book, hers (she wrote many!) affected my childhood growing up years in a special, beautiful, bittersweet way...

'One evening when I was eight years old, I had been sent to bed without any supper and I was in disgrace.'
 Tanglewoods' Secret, Patricia St. John

But he had come home to his living children and he had found peace. They would live a day at a time, and he need not be crushed by the burden of the future. He too had a Father.
 I Needed A Neighbour, Patricia St. John
7. Three current favourite books.
I've never been asked this question before! But it is all the better for originality and bibliophile-minded understanding of our love of books. A current favourite book  of mine would be Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South which I am currently reading for the first time. Gee, but it is such an excellent book with such delightful characters! Far better, in my humble opinion than Pride and Prejudice (there, I said it!), but maybe you'd not like me to compare so I will shut up. The Lord of the Rings, which is a constant favourite *rougish chuckle* and The Silmarillion which I am pretending is part of The Lord of the Rings; another book I am reading at this time, With Christ in the School of Prayer - that's one very good book.
8. Biggest influence on your writing {person}: I could get all philosophical about it but really simply put, my family has been the biggest influence on my writing (not to mention my life!). I would, if I had to boil it down to one individual, say that my father has been the greatest single influence on not so much how I write but rather why I do, what I write. He was the one who, by his quiet spiritual example, his instilling of the Christian faith and truths of the Word of God in my childhood, and his wonderful story-telling abilities, nurtured in me and helped lead me by God's Grace to faith Christ; the biographies he narrated with such life and vibrancy to my sisters and me as a child instilled in me the love of stories from a very young age and the desire to create them. Fiction was never part of the natural environment  I grew up in my younger years - stories were though, and so was the faith my dad and mum brought me up in, strengthened with the many discussions we have constantly as a family on theology, devotional thought, philosophy, history, daily life lessons... ^_^. Daddy has been always there to encourage me both spiritually and in my daily life and interests - especially in the books I read! I owe much to my Mama as well for my writing - she taught me my letters from infanthood and encouraged my love of reading and interest of writing; she's always got a sympathetic ear to hear me 'spill out' my frustrations, literary and otherwise. And of course... my sisters... where would I be without them? They are my closest kindred spirits so it is only natural that they influence all that I write! 

I can also say that the online Inklings I have come across through blogging-land - girls like Jenny, Abigail (you ladies have influenced me so much!!!), Elizabeth Rose, Rachel Coker and Rachel Heffington, Katie, Schuyler, Annie, Emily, Leah, Bree... ^_^ you have all, as iron sharpeneth iron, sharpened my countenance as a writer and worked your way to becoming such dear friends and writerly comrades. THANK YOU!
9. What's your go-to writing music?
Well, well, well - if you must must know it happens to be movie and game soundtracks, classical music and selected Christian songs and movie songs that inspire my current writing projects. But you knew that already, didn't you? Here are some I listen to constantly, though I haven't not watched all of the movies, and may not necessarily recommend them all either: The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Les Miserables 2012, King's Speech, War Horse, Lincoln, Schlinder's List, Ben Hur, Luther, Braveheart, Gods and Generals, Miss Potter, Becoming Jane, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, Crusader Kings II Paradox Interactive, Hugo, Young Victoria, Amazing Grace, Pirates of the Carribean, Thor, Soul of Ultimate Nation, The Prince of Egypt, The Nativity Story, How To Train Your Dragon, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Gladiator, Emma, North and South... as for bands and music groups as in, The Tolkien Ensemble, Celtic Women, Sons of Korah, The Gothard Sisters, The Von Trapps, celtic music, instrumental hymns  - composers/singers/musicians: Graham Kendrick, Hayley Westrana, Enya, Andrew Peterson, Audrey Assad, Julia Fischer, Howard Shore, Harry-Gregson Williams, David Arnold, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, etc. Some random favourite songs to listen to as I write are: Assad's Show Me, Regina Spektor's The Call, You Raise Me Up, May it Be, In Dreams, (Les Mis songs!), Misty Mountains and Song of the Lonely Mountain, Mockin Bird Hill, Frodo's Lament for Gandalf, Into the West, Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, Its The Little Things, You'll Find Your Way Home, Scarborough Fair, Water is Wide, Mary Did You Know? It is Well With My Soul, You'll Never Walk Alone, Blessings, Carry the Fire, Knowing You...
10. List three to five writing quirks of your's! Little habits, must-haves as you write, etc.
a. I cannot write unless there is the complete absence of distractions (people, usually, poking their nose over my head will drive me to the wall with irritation - you are warned!)) and I must be left alone in peace or else my writing is all cranked up and worth the backspacebackspacebackspace button.... Solitude, music on my Spotify or iPod, a hot drink at the table next to me and maybe an apple or a cluster of strawberries for when I am hungry adds to the perfect bliss of all my literary needs, though I can write well without such luxuries as long as I have quietness and a sharpened pen (Word-Document).
b. I usually need to give myself at least 1/2 an hour to warm up into whatever scene I am scribbling at the current time and I hate interruptions so much, my mood can swiftly fall down to the depths of the Grand Canyon if I have to stop in the middle of a paragraph/scene - unless those interruptions happen to appear in the form of mail brown-paper package tied up with string.
c. My writing basket which is clogged with my writing notebooks, pens, research material and current favourite books comes with me wherever I go and whenever I choose to write. I panic otherwise. 
d. I have to write in the company of good books close at hand - at times not relating at all to what I am writing. It is simply such a comfort to sit in the company of the Greats and glean inspiration and wisdom in the way Mark Twain described entering a library of great books.
e. I fumble and play with my hair, and stare into nothingness in effort to induce 'inspiration' when writer's block whispers its eminent presence. I get cranky being asked 'have you written anymore??'... when I have not. Natural.
f. One of my favourite times are those ungodly hours of the night when oft' the greatest inspiration and drama flows through my pen - curled up in my blankets under torchlight, scribbling with my fountain pen (pencils are hard to write with!) some really emotional melodramatic piece onto my writing notebook - I love waking up in the morning and going through it and laughing over the way my mind worked in those silent hours... But by far, my comfort zone is typing up my story on my laptop on a quiet afternoon or evening.
11. What does your writing mean to you?
Writing to me is a method of self-expression - a way of putting into a reality of flesh-and-blood peoples, distant lands and ancient realms and struggles the human tale of the Fall and, consequent of it, God's glorious Redemption, of mercy and grace, and the hope that comes from Christ. It is being able to capture, as it were, a shadow image of His Story in our lives and in the lives of those who've run before us. It is being able to put into thoughts the struggles and triumphs I go through as a person and as a Child of God - and being able to impart the blessings and ideas learnt and impressed in my heart as the Lord guides me through the path of life, through the narrow way that leads to Calvary and our Home High Up Yonder. Just as I have received through reading the treasure troves of the Greats in their books and tales of the past, I want to do the same to others - I want to inspire others with Sehnsucht for the transcendent and glorious - for our Lord; to 'recapture the splendour' through ink splatters and fragments of words and stories. Also, I cannot help but write - to relieve the flood of sentiments and high emotions and let myself dream and fly away in the imagination God has given me. It is a gift, to be sure. One I would never have dreamed to have been blessed with, but I am immensely, immensely grateful for. My writing has become part of who I am - through my writing, I've met wonderful real friends as well as imaginary ones. God has taught me so much on this writing journey which belongs in a story of its own. I always long to remember, how I am but a pencil, and HE is in fact the Author.

'The Christian is the really free man - he is free to have imagination. This too is our heritage. The Christian is the one whose imagination should fly beyond the stars.'
- Francis Schaeffer