"A Party of Special Magnificence" | Blog-Birthday Celebrations

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Hello, my wonderful readers! Last Thursday the 12th, Fullness of Joy blog turned 4 years old.

Oh my gingersnaps.

I am not so sure I can grasp how quickly the years have flown! It is wonderfully thrilling, but also extraordinarily strange to look back over those years and see how this wee little blog has grown; how it aided me, its faltering authoress, to discover new things about life, faith, writing and stories, and cross paths with lovely new people that I otherwise might never have come to know. I am amazed, and so very, very grateful to the Lord for this special provision and encouragement in my life! Through blogging, the Lord has blessed me with  getting acquainted with many special and dear friends, kindred spirits who have encouraged me, built me up and helped me learn so much about myself and my calling as a young Christian reader and writer. . . 

So much of what I have learnt about writing and literature and sharing and creativity has been through the people I have met online, who have become very dear friends <3. Almost all of you I have yet to meet, but I feel like I know you so well despite the lack of physical interaction, and I love how we have clicked and shared our hearts together as kindred spirits in our mutual love of literature and writing as well as our faith in the Lord, and just learning to go through the struggles of living a Godly Christian life through suffering, trials, and our dreams and aspirations. God is so good in His blessings and leadings, and I know Fullness of Joy, and the online literary community of likeminded young people have been such a gift! 

It is, therefore within the tradition, that I have "a Party of Special Magnificence" to share with you all (though neither my blog nor I are eleventy-one years old!)... ;)

I would have loved to have made as dramatic a party as last year's Through the Looking Glass Literary Party, but with the busyness of life, I chose to go a little simpler with it being just one day of celebration! But, I still hope you will all enjoy it immensely :). The order of things with this party is as follows. Below is a Birthday Tag which you can all join in and be a part of. This will tag will be focused on stuff of literature, and should be an interesting and hopefully fun thing to participate in (I am joining in with you too, to add to the fun!) And just to say "thank you, dear friends, so much for sticking around Fullness of Joy blog and making it special", and to top things off nicely, I am hosting a fun Literary-themed Giveaway with first and second place winners!! Three of the sponsors of the giveaway are Masha Laurence from Antique FashionistaCasey from Tea and Tentacles, and Klaudia from AwwBooks on etsy, who own lovely shops and are offering wonderful, charming literary items in this giveaway. Do head over and check out their lovely etsy stores - they've been so generous and sweet :). Also, I am excited to be sharing two personal prizes for the party which I am super excited about!

But first, the tag!

"Fullness of Joy Literary Celebration Tag"
1. What is your favourite "happy" sort of book? (a book that either has joy/happiness as a major theme, or a book that gives you a happy, cozy feeling inside).
2. Did you ever have, in your childhood/youth, a certain book that launched you into a serious love of reading which made it something bigger than a mere hobby in your life?
3. What is one overhyped novel that people nowadays term as a "classic" that you really didn't like as much as everyone else? What made you dislike it so much?
4. What makes you motivated to blog, and what is your favourite aspect of the blogging experience throughout the years you've been writing?
5. What are 4 works of literature that you are particularly looking forward to reading in the near future?
6. What are some of your favourite non-fiction books?
7.  What are some of your favourite time-periods to read about?
8. Is there a special book that influenced you to do something new in your life, or changed you in a profound way?
9. Do you have a favourite contemporary fictional novel?
10. Persuasion is a very autumnal book, and many authors and poets have beautifully described and romanticised that season, which leads to the question: why is autumn so often idealised, and does it hold that certain magic and charm to you? What is your favourite season?
11. There are many novels set during the era of the French of Revolution, especially books written in previous generations by authors such as Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, and Baroness Orczy. Which, if any, are your favourites?
12. What excites you the most about literature and its influence in culture, and how it effects the way people think and act?
13. Is it ever a struggle to reconcile reading fiction/entertainment with the struggles of reality, and to place the importance of fiction within one's daily Christian life and walk with the Lord?
14. Would you rather you lived in the countryside of England during WW2, or in the American Prairie during the 1800s, or during the Neoplonic Wars in Europe? (basically favourite historical era/setting to live)
15. What is your favourite Jane Austen novel? Do you have a favourite film or tv adaption?
16. Describe your ideal reading nook! 
17. Is there a particular book that is quite underrated and yet you think is undeservedly so and should be read by everyone? 
18. Do you have a favourite Parable that the Lord Jesus told? What inspires and encourages you the most about it?
19. Name a book you've reread more than twice. 
20. The main character in one of the giveaway books (Until that Distant Day) is a superb cook. How fond are you of cooking/baking and homemaking in general? 
21. What is a book you're intimidated to read but really want to read in the near future?
22. What 3 novels (or series of novels) would you like to see adapted to film or television?
23. What would be the first thing you would like to say to/ask your favourite author if you had the opportunity of speaking intimately with them for ten minutes?
25. Favourite quote by your favourite author?
26. What is your greatest wish/purpose in picking up your own pen and writing?

Thank you so much for joining in this tag! If you participate with your own answers on your blog, please leave a link to your post in the comments section below so we can all see your responses and share together :).

And now, we come to the grand giveaway! What are the special prizes? How can you all enter? Three fabulous shops are sponsoring beautiful prizes, plus my own contribution, and at the end of the blog-party, I will be drawing the two winners next Saturday (the 27th of June). To enter the giveaway, enter in the Rafflecopter below! 
First Prize (#1)
Persuasion by Jane Austen (Vintage Classics edition)
I've been slowly collecting these beautiful editions of Jane Austen's novels - the Vintage Classics are one of my favourite book editions for literature; I normally just love their format and covers so much, and this series for Jane Austen's novels are no exception. I thought about it a bit, and as Persuasion is one my favourite of Jane Austen's novels, I am excited to be offering this Vintage Classic edition in this giveaway prize, and share my love of this beautiful story with you too!
(Sponsored by AwwBooks: https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/AwwBooks)
6 Literary Authors Magnetic Bookmarks

x1 Jane Austen Bookmark

 x1 William Shakespeare Bookmark
 x1 Charles Dickens Bookmark
x1 Agatha Christie Bookmark + x1 C.S. Lewis Bookmark 
x1 J.R.R. Tolkien Bookmark

These convenient magnetic bookmarks made by the lovely Klaudia are very loyal and won't escape from your book, besides being absolutely quirky, cute and delightful! You'll just love them so much, and with a Shakespeare to bookmark your Hamlet, Jane Austen to fit nicely into your Vintage Classics' Persuasion, Charles Dickens to grace your Dickens book collection, an Agatha Christie to accompany you on her cosy murder mysteries, C.S. Lewis to peer at you beneath his quirky spectacles as you read Narnia, and J.R.R. Tolkien to smoke his good old pipe with you and and the Wizard Gandalf, I think you'll be in happy company! Made of durable photo stock and magnet (Height aprox. 5.5 cm)


The Jane Austen Necklace, Books, Library, Literary, Victorian, Steampunk, Quotes T893
"There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart" - Jane Austen
Handmade item
Materials: antique bronze chain, antique bronze pendant, antique bronze, print, digital art, digital collage, art, pendant, glass, glass dome, dome, 1 inch digital collage, 1 inch circle.
This high quality image is enhanced with a glass dome to add depth and set in a 1" antique finished pendant bezel. Each pendant comes with a matching 24" chain. 
This gorgeous glass pendant with the "Jane Austen" quote from her novel, Emma, is not only a beautiful piece of literary artwork, but also a lovely, and special quote for any lover of literature and Jane Austen's novels. Casey does some beautiful literary pendants in her shop; this particular pendant can be a beautiful, vintage necklace "statement piece" and also work as an excellent, handy bookmarker to keep you on track with your favourite reads!

Second Prize (#2)

Until that Distant Day by Jill Stengl (ebook)
I am excited to be doing a giveaway e-copy of one of my most well-loved modern historical fiction novels I've read in recent years, written by the wonderful award-winning author, Jill Stengl. "Until that Distant Day" is a beautiful French Revolution tale, that is deep, inspirational, touching and reminds me remarkably with Charles Dickens :). I wrote a review of it a while back, if you're curious about this book as well!

Please note that this ebook will be given as a gift through Amazon.com. Even if you don't have a Kindle device, you still should be able to download a free Kindle app to your PC or Mac laptop. (P.S. As I am having a bit of a struggle with working out how to give a kindle gift on Amazon, due to living in Australia and using the Australian website, if I encounter problems, I will be emailing to the winner the prize as an Amazon Gift Voucher with which to buy Until that Distant Day himself/herself :).

Les Miserables Necklace, Victor Hugo, Literature Quote, Book Pendant, chain included X318  "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."

Handmade item
Materials: antique bronze chain, antique silver pendant, antique silver, print, digital art, digital collage, art, pendant, glass, glass dome, dome, 1 inch digital collage, 1 inch circle.
This high quality image is enhanced with a glass dome to add depth and set in a 1" antique finished pendant bezel. Each pendant comes with a matching 24" chain. 

This gorgeous glass pendant with the "Les Miserables" quote from the musical "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise" is not only a beautiful piece of literary artwork for any Les-Miserables fan, but also a lovely inspirational quote from an inspiring tale that can personally inspire you. Casey does some beautiful literary pendants in her shop; this particular pendant can be a beautiful, vintage necklace "statement piece" and also work as an excellent, handy bookmarker to keep you on track as you plow through a 500 page tome by Dickens or Alexandre Dumas! 
*1. Mr.Darcy and Lizzy Get Lost 5x7 art print. Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice.
*2. Pride and Prejudice art print. 5x7 You must allow me to tell you.. Mr.Darcy. Jane Austen art. Austenite Gift.
Handmade art print item.
Dimensions: 5x7 inches
Materials: watercolour paper, watercolours
*1. This listing is for a 5"x7" art print on archival quality matte photo paper. It depicts Lizzy and Mr.Darcy "getting lost" in the lanes around Longbourne after they declare their love for each other. 

*2. This listing is for an art print depicting perhaps the most quoted sentence from a Jane Austen novel. "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you" uttered by Mr. Darcy to Miss Elizabeth Bennet. This watercolor and ink is printed on matte paper, it measures 5x7 inches.

These charming paintings of Jane Austen's characters from Pride and Prejudice, handmade by the lovely Masha Laurence, can work beautifully as charming, feminine bookmarks, or lovely posters to frame and place among one's favourite classics on a bookcase.
The giveaway will be open till Saturday. Winners will be announced the same day. A different winner will be selected for each of the two Prizes.

There you go, dear friends! Please have fun and join in, enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below; share, tweet, pin, comment, blog and enjoy this little party! All the best and lots of love! xox <3

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When Life Gets Busy Like a Speeding-Engine

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

#via Pinterest - Daily Joyfulness

"To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing, that is enough for one man's life." 
- T.S. Eliot

Hello, dear friends! How are you all? It has been a few weeks since I last wrote a blogpost, and while I honestly missed sharing with you all, the little break I took is perhaps a bit of a reflection on how my blogging has been like so far this year - a post here, a post there, a random book update, or a cover-reveal for a friend's book. My lack of any in-depth posts and articles on Fullness of Joy, reflecting on literature, faith and life, is mostly due to the fact that my life has been so cramped busy, filled with activities, travels, study, reading, exams, chores and daily living, so that sharing much about those activities has not been as easy as before. 

I do feel like I have let this blog down a little bit, and that makes me painfully sad, because honestly that's the only real bit of writing I get done these days, and I just love sharing and connecting with fellow writers, readers and young ladies with similar interests as myself through my blog. . .  I miss it! 

You can imagine my delight though, that despite the lack of quality stuff I've been sharing, this blog has stayed alive and fresh through your impute, encouragement and sweet comments along the way. Thank you so, so much. I don't know how to express to you what a delight it is, whenever I read any of your thoughtful notes on my blog, your messages, and what a big smile it puts on my face to connect with each face, new or old, on this blog. 

You mean so much to me, dear readers.

I have so much I want to share with you all, about the little things in my life, the books I am reading, my studies and how they're progressing (because you all want to hear me grouch about Geometry, of course), my music playing, the travels I've gone on with my family, the things I am learning in my life and my walk with the Lord, and hopefully by and by - my writing! Within the caveats of my mind, there are so many half-baked ideas for blogposts in the works, and so little time to write them in. It can be really frustrating, especially when those ideas are brewing, and I long to share them and interact with you all; but my real focus these days is definitely finishing my high-school education within the coming year or so - so the less you see me on here for the next few months, the better it really is for my studies (*sighs sadly*). Besides, with my only available writing time to be found late in the evenings past 9pm, when I'm pretty worn out by the day's study and events, inspiration is insipidly sponged up, and time is too much like a speeding-engine/chariot. . . (whatever!). 
Right now, bed sounds like a beautiful place!
But somehow, someway, I do wish to write more on Fullness of Joy in the next coming months. There must be a way to fit it, and I plan on figuring out a schedule to do so, if possible. Do any of you have particular posts you'd especially like to see me feature on this blog? Please share, because your impute truly inspires me, and it is always nice to feel like my post is meeting a particular interest or request ^_^. 

Tomorrow though, I have a special little surprise that I am excited to be sharing with you all. So please stay tuned!

Five Magic Spindles | A Rooglewood Fairy-Tale Contest

Monday, 1 June 2015

"I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream
I know you, the gleam in your eyes is so familiar a gleam
Yet I know it's true that visions are seldom all they seem
But if I know you, I know what you'll do
You'll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream"
Music by Tchaikovsky
Lyrics by Sammy Fain and Jack Lawrence

Fellow Inklings, I have an exciting little cover-reveal for today! But more than that, it is a fairy-tale contest reveal, and it comes from Rooglewood Press, so I am super pumped about sharing it with you all. To top it off, it is the reveal of a fairy-tale I've only recently watched the Disney animation for, and am really loving at the moment. . . *smiles happily*

So without any further ado. . . 
*drums roll*
Are you ready?!
(Actually if you follow any of the blogs I follow, you'll probably already know what it is. . . I am always so late to post these delightful reveals. But anyhow!)
*think of a contest of a pink and blue dress*
*and wands*
*and a prince and his horse*
*and a beautiful princess*
*a bad fairy witch whose name starts with M*
. . . and spindles!

Yes, you guessed it!

Dear readers, Rooglewood Press is delighted to introduce their second fairy tale novella contest—
Five Magic Spindles
a collection of “Sleeping Beauty” stories
OH MY! Isn't the cover absolutely GORGEOUS? *sighs deeply*
I love it so much!!
The challenge is to write a retelling of the beloved fairy tale in any genre or setting you like. Make certain your story is recognizably “Sleeping Beauty,” but have fun with it as well. Make it yours!

Rooglewood Press will be selecting five winners to be published in the Five Magic Spindles collection, which will be packaged up with the phenomenal cover you see here. Maybe your name will be one of the five listed?

All the contest rules and information (how to enter, story details, deadline etc.) may be found on the Rooglewood Press website. Just click HERE and you will go right to the page.

Rooglewood Press’s first collection, Five Glass Slippers is available for purchase, and our second collection, Five Enchanted Roses is scheduled to launch on July 27, and is currently available for pre-order. Be certain to get a copy of each and see what previous winners did with their wonderful retellings.

This cover illustration was rendered by Julia Popova, “ForestGirl.” You can find out more about this gifted artist on her website: www.forestgirl.ru

So friends, what do you think? I was so thrilled when I heard what the fairy-tale was about, and saw the gorgeous cover. . . also, Sarah showed me the animated Disney adaption of "Sleeping Beauty" for the first time last week, and I just fell in love with the three little good fairies! It is such a medieval, mythical classic story, and I love how the Prince fights Maleficent to reach the princess (I know, this is probably not quite like in the original Grimm Brothers' tellings of the tale, but still, it's awful sweet!). Were it not that I was bound so tightly to my studies this year, I would so try to enter this contest. As it is, I might see if I can work on a short-story or something. . . I mean, it is sooo tempting! What do you all think? Would you try to write a retelling of the classic fairy-tale Sleeping Beauty?