I apologize for not posting for several months and being generally absent from the writing world. I left for my first semester at college in the middle of August, and I finished my first week of finals on last Thursday. It has been an interesting and even difficult few months for me, but I am back to blogging—at least, until the beginning of February, when I go back to school and must figure out if I can manage college and blogging at the same time.
Before I update all of you on what I have been doing, here are a few house keeping things for this blog.
I have nine submissions for critiques—the oldest dating back to May… which is unfortunate for everyone involved. So, this week, I will be e-mailing everyone who submitted to Open Pen and seeing if they are still interested in having a critique and if they would like to change or update the piece that they originally submitted. As soon as I get responses, I will start a new queue and will be posting the pieces for critique starting this Saturday. If you would like to submit a piece for critique, please feel free, but priority will be given to those submitted before I returned.
Monday Writing Tips
Yes, I will start posting writing tips on Mondays again. Do I have any idea what I will be posting about? No. None whatsoever. So if you have any requests, I am taking suggestions.
Beta-Reading of Child of the Curse
Back in July, I asked for beta-readers for my work-in-progress, Child of the Curse. A surprising number of very kind people volunteered, and I never got back to them with the actual manuscript. I am dedicating myself to finishing my edits of the last three chapters, and then I will e-mail those volunteers asking if they are still willing to read it. I know you have heard this story from me three or four times over these past months, so I have low expectations. Mostly I have learned not to ask for beta-readers until you finish editing—no matter how close you are to the end.
Highlights of my First Semester at College
For those of you who do not already know, I am studying English Literature at a small Christian school (which will remain undisclosed to you, though you may find hints about the climate and such below– probably enough hints that you could figure it out if you really tried. Oh well.) I am in their general honors program (which is fantastic—if you hear me talking about a courses with weird titles like “Wisdom” or “Beauty” this is the honor’s program). I despise the climate, but the people and professors are wonderful.
I learned a lot this semester, so here is a quick and incomplete list:
- I learned that I need to double major if I want to stay at this school for four years.
- I did not learn what I should double major in.
- I learned not to write blueprinting thesis statements.
- I learned what a cicada is and how much I hate them.
- I learned that wisdom is actually about loving rightly.
- I read Harry Potter for the first time and learned that I am a Slytherin.
- On a completely unrelated note, I also learned that ambition is a sin.
- I learned the value of ritual and joined a liturgical (though Protestant) church.
- I learned exactly why George Washington did not want a two party political system.
- I learned that caffeine is a precious necessity.
- I learned that some states should really abstain from cooking “Mexican” food.
- I learned the value of not understanding.
- I learned that the modern, Christian fiction writer should take up the role given to Old Testament prophets.
- I learned that prophecy is actually about “showing sin as sin and grace as grace.”
- And finally, I learned that Jesus wants to devour me. (E-mail me if you are too curious.)
Books I Read
I have read a lot of books over the past couple months, including my favorite novel, Till We Have Faces, a bunch of new books, and a couple new series. So I won’t go through each book with my recommendation (with the exception of my favorite book), but if you want to ask me in the comments about what I thought of these books, I would love to discuss them!
- Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis (Reread): This is my favorite book, even before this semester when I reread it as the capstone to my honors course—if you have not read this book, you need to. Not only is it a retelling of a Greek Myth, has a sword fighting queen as a main character, and is written by C. S. Lewis, but it is one of the most beautiful, challenging, and relevant books that I have ever read. Read it.
- Confessions by Saint Augustine: Highly recommended though it is a hard read and not for everyone
- Shop Class as Soul Craft by Matthew Crawford: Highly recommended
- Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies by Marilyn McEntyre: Recommended
- Mengzi: A highly situational, cautious recommendation
- Leisure by Joseph Pieper: Highly recommended
- Christian Scholars in the Age of Reformation by E. Harris Harbison: Informative but not enlightening
- Various Short Stories by Flannery O’Connor: Highly recommended
- The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis (Reread): Highly recommended (duh—it’s Lewis)
- The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (Reread): Highly recommended (duh—it’s Tolkien)
- Harry Potter (through The Order of the Phoenix) by J. K. Rowling: Enjoyable and extertaining but not my favorite
- Attack on Titan Manga (through Chapter 88): Highly Recommended with a few disclaimers
So I am back and ready to write and interact with you guys again. I have missed blogging and writing.