Life Updates, My Writing

It’s a Whimsical Life

Here’s your apology in advance: my sister Emily is getting married in 19 days, and so blog posts may be sporadic and/or short ‘n sweet for the next couple of weeks! In the meantime, I’m quite busy and occupied with a few other interesting things apart from wedding prep. Here’s a quick, fun peek into my life right now!

Number One: I’m halfway through my third draft of Lionhearted. My mom finished reading it about a month ago, and since then I’ve been going through her notes–fixing typos, refining confusing sentences or situations, deleting anachronisms (because one probably shouldn’t include Shakespeare quotes and references to Humpty-Dumpty in a purely fictional world), and spotting overused words or phrases (I seemed to favor the word “deadpanned” in the last draft). I’ve got fourteen more chapters to go–and I’ve deleted about 2,000 more words so far!

A great quote, and so true. (@ Pinterest)

Number Two: Work continues in earnest on my next book, which currently bears the working title of Morleigh Hall. This is my World War II novel, set in England. I think I’ve finally found my groove after switching back and forth between Third Person, First Person, and back to Third Person–and I’ve thrown caution to the wind and embraced not just one, but three different protagonists: a down-to-earth aristocrat, a London schoolteacher, and an orphaned refugee. I know the trend is to keep a keen, sharp focus on one character, but I’m in a “Know the rules well so you can break them effectively” mood right now 😉

From Morleigh Hall’s (currently secret) Pinterest board. @ Pinterest

Number Three: I checked a major box off my Fandom Bucket List: I finally “met” the Ninth Doctor! I’ve been told time and time again, “Don’t skip Nine”–but it’s not my fault if they don’t ever play his reruns on TV or they don’t have his one lone, single series at my local library, is it? In spite of all those obstacles, however, we have been introduced and I love him to bits. I even have a sneaky suspicion that he’ll be my second-favorite Doctor…but I’ll graciously withhold that judgment until I’ve seen more of Ten.

A TARDIS teapot and Jammie Dodgers = my aesthetic. @ Pinterest

Number Four: Christmas is only three months away, which means that not only have we siblings already drawn names among ourselves, but our choir director also passed out four Christmas pieces we’ll be singing for our annual concert! As far as the drawing-names tradition goes, it’s a closely guarded secret: no one will know who got whose name until Christmas morning. As an added challenge, our gifts have to be homemade. I’m pondering what to give my person, but I won’t start work on anything until after the wedding. As for the choir music, there’s nothing like the Sussex Carol to get you in the Christmas spirit every Wednesday night.

A British Christmas cake, if I am not mistaken. (@ Pinterest)

Number Five: And speaking of Christmas, here’s what I’m currently reading:

I saw this on my dad’s bookshelf last week and was so intrigued by it, I decided to read it for myself! So far it’s wonderful. I’m a great believer in meaningful traditions that are full of joy and triumphant beauty, and I think this book will give me a whole new appreciation for the glory of Christmas. Meanwhile, I’m following my mom’s example of reading more than one book at a time: I’m also reading James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small. 

Number Six: Movies I’ve watched recently include Braveheart, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, and Fiddler on the Roof. Except for A Beautiful Mind (a very well-told but heavy, mind-bending story) I’d seen them all several times before. Braveheart is, without a doubt, my favorite. It was my sister Carolyn’s first time to see it, and according to her, “It messed me up–in a good way.” (Which probably explains why she keeps watching the “Sons of Scotland” speech for personal motivation.)

“Scots wha’ hae wi’ Wallace bled…” (@ Pinterest)

Number Seven: Autumn is my favorite time of year–not only because the temperatures are juuuuuuuust starting to drop a bit, or because “everything is pumpkin and nothing hurts,” or because the leaves will soon be radiant–but because this is also Persimmon Season! I love persimmons so much, I’m pretty sure they’re my favorite fruit. We have two varieties on our property: one kind can only be eaten when it’s so ripe it’s almost rotten (otherwise its astringent quality will turn your mouth inside out), while the other kind tastes a bit like a mildly sweet, cinnamon-sprinkled apple. And know this, too: I will fight our chickens for them. If they try to go after my persimmons, I shall go after them.

So…maybe I should have more patience with the chickens? (@ Pinterest)

Number Eight: I hardly ever listen to podcasts, but now that Mom and I have discovered Joy Clarkson’s delightful Speaking With Joy I think that may change. Joy, the daughter of one of my mom’s favorite authors Sally Clarkson, is a hilarious, deep-thinking Christian, currently studying for her doctorate at the Scottish university of St. Andrews. While I’ve followed her on Twitter for a long time I’d never listened to her podcast until the other day, when my mom and I heard her wax eloquent on “The Wisdom of Whimsy.” It made me realize how the majority of my favorite books, shows, and movies are full of the quaint, lighthearted goodness that inspires rich and compelling characters and plots. If you’re a writer or an artist I highly recommend “The Wisdom of Whimsy”–and indeed, the entire Speaking With Joy podcast. It’s definitely encouraged me in my own storytelling!

(@ Pinterest)

“This is the season [when] she will make beautiful things. Not perfect things but honest things that speak to who she is and who she knows she is meant to be.” ~ Morgan Harper Nicholls

7 thoughts on “It’s a Whimsical Life”

  1. Oh, I listened to part of the Wisdom of Whimsy podcast. I’ve followed Joy’s blog then her sister Sarah’s (and I just bought and highly recommend Sarah’s book Book Girl which got me more interested in the family’s endeavors more).

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    1. I really want to read Book Girl! My mom has followed the Clarkson family for a long time (the mother, Sally, had a big impact on my mom through her books) and I’ve treasured an article of Sarah’s from a long time ago about writing and creativity. I’m so excited about following the podcast!

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      1. My mom had a few of Sally Clarkson’s books, so I knew about her, but I didn’t start finding about her kids works and blogs until rather recently. Nathan and Sarah have co-written books with their mom.

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  2. OMG I didn’t realize you’d never seen the Ninth Doctor’s season, I LOVE HIM. that season sold me on Doctor Who way way back…i haven’t kept up with the latest seasons well at all, but I do so love Nine and Ten so so much!!! I wish we’d had Nine longer; he was HYSTERICAL. XD

    and I just rewatched A Beautiful Mind a few weeks ago with James, I LOVE that movie. The soundtrack is especially to die for. *heart eyes* XD

    and man you are inspiring me to get back to writing!!! I can’t believe you’re writing two different books at once, that is so difficult for me! 😀

    ~Jamie

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    1. My Doctor Who experience has been appropriately wobbly-wobbly and totally out of order, haha!! I started with the latter half of Eleven’s tenure last autumn, then practically inhaled Twelve’s era this year while getting a few of Ten’s episodes and the Pond Era here and there–and now, at last, I’ve made my way to Nine XD I do intend to patch up the gaps with my own DVD sets quite soon but it’s hard to do with a show this vast!

      A Beautiful Mind was definitely a good movie; it gave me so much more insight on the challenges of mental illness, and specifically schizophrenia. I don’t think I could watch it often, but I learned a lot from it!

      IT IS SO DIFFICULT FOR ME TOO, haha! But I can’t help it: this WWII idea simply won’t let me go and I’m ALMOST finished with Lionhearted. The end is so close! If I’d been a lot further from the finish line I might’ve developed more resistance to plot bunnies…maybe? XD

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  3. Enjoyed reading your blog! Since I’m slightly “in a fog” due to this terrible cold, I had to go back and read everything again. I’m sure I’m one of those people who doesn’t realize how hard it is to write a book, but I know when you finish writing it will be a great read!

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