We have this lovely blanket at my house; I think my grandmother on my dad’s side gave it to us years ago. It’s soft, knitted, sunlight ...

The Names of God


We have this lovely blanket at my house; I think my grandmother on my dad’s side gave it to us years ago. It’s soft, knitted, sunlight yellow, and covered in the names of God with their various meanings.

The other day, I was sitting on the couch, wrapped in this blanket, contemplating something I’d just read in my Bible. As I did, my eyes roamed over the blanket and caught on the words “Jehovah: Unchangeable, Intimate God.”

I'd read these words a million times, but they hit me with thunderous power that morning: Unchangeable. Intimate. God.

My first thought was… Whoa. That’s so… big.

And it is. It's such a huge thought to try to cram into my brain, that my next thought was, “I like calling Him Papa better,” something I’d begun a few months ago, as it embodied the feeling of a loving and caring protective authority, someone I could adore endlessly and trust without fear, all things He's been teaching me to do. Papa was much easier to understand than Jehovah.

A second later, I realized how ridiculous my own thought sounded. How wrong it was for me to retreat to the name “Papa,” as a way to hide from the idea of God being so big. Not that it’s wrong to use a name that feels personal and holds specific meaning to what He’s been teaching me, but it’s silly—and worse—to attempt to disregard the other parts of His nature just because it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around them.

I think sometimes, we as Christians need to be reminded of just how big God is. That He is in fact more than justsomeone you can trust, that He entails even more than the Savior who loved us enough to die for our sin. He is these, yes, but He is also The Unchangeable, Intimate, Eternal God of the Universe. The Creator and Judge of us all. The Author and Perfecter. The Alpha and the Omega. He is before eternity and in eternity and after eternity. He is.

He just is.

And that is a shocking thing to try to comprehend.

But sometimes, I think we do need to at least contemplate that idea. To sit and just be aware of the holiness and awe-inspiring, incomprehensible greatnessof our God. He puts a whole new meaning on any word you use to describe Him, and every once in a while, we just need to be reminded of that. To stand in amazement as the knowledge of His magnificent, awe-inspiring, holiness and greatness and Godnesswashes over us.

He is Jehovah.

Unchangeable.

Intimate

God.

Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe.
Hebrews 12:28

Hey all! So last week, the lovely Shanti at Virtually Read did the Beauty and the Beast tag , and though she didn’t tag anyone, she did le...

Beauty and the Beast tag

Hey all! So last week, the lovely Shanti at Virtually Read did the Beauty and the Beast tag, and though she didn’t tag anyone, she did leave it open for anyone who wanted to go for it. I wanted to go for it, so I mentally added it to my List of Posts I Will Do In A Year or Two Once I Have Forgotten And Remembered Them 96,000 Times and/or Finished The Backlist of Posts I Still Need To Do.

Then I realized I needed a post for this week and didn’t have another readily available.

And so voila.

Original Photo From Pixabay

Oh, What a Guy, Gaston! (A Villain You Can’t Help But Love)
Honestly, the only one I can think of is Hades from the Percy Jackson series. And even he isn’t necessarily a villain or even a character I necessarily love. I love certain headcanons and such that I’ve seen of him on pinterest, but in the actual books, he’s amusing at best and fatal to my faves at worst. For some reason, I tend to only really love movie or TV villains.


Although I probably will think of a lovable book villain as soon as this post goes live. *sigh* Oh well.

Here’s Where She Meets Prince Charming (Your OTP)
I always say Anakin and Padme in response to OTP questions, using the excuse that the novelizations of the movies make them count. This is actually still true, but since you already know about them, I will pick another one this time.


This book represents Kishan Rajaram and Kelsey Hayes from the Tiger Saga. Again, I’m not sure I’d say they perfectly fit the answer as my OTP, because I’m a little too pragmatic, I think, when it comes to any romance that I didn’t fall in love with before the age of 13. However, especially since I reread Tiger’s Voyage this week, I really do think that Kishan could've been good for her. He was a bit of a rogue, but mostly in personality rather in values. He was kind and good, yet fun (I mean, they had ice cream battles!!!), and she was comfortable with him, in comparison to the awkwardness she often felt around Ren. He protected her both physically and emotionally, yet respected her enough to let her make her own choices and, by this point, abided by them without question. He did everything to make her happy—and not in a ridiculous way, like him desperately scrabbling for her affection, but in this perfect, sacrificial, best-friend, love-you-always kind of way. Like he truly, deeply, lovedher, and he spent the entire last two books loving her enough to let her go.

Also, she is fantasticdiscussed further in this postbut the gist of what I said is that she’s clever, kind, and compassionate, yet she’s not soft at all. Kelsey packs a dry wit, kickbutt powers, and the courage to give both brothers a piece of her mind whenever they're being idiots, while still having more than enough flaws and insecurities to make her human. I think the biggest reason I love this series is that these characters are so well done... But anyways, returning to the point, I love Kelsey and Kishan. And I think they fit really well together.

I Want Much More Than This Provincial Life (A Character Destined For Bigger Things)
I just finished The Raven Cycle as well this week (I have done much reading lately), and I think that both Adam Parrish and Blue Sargent fit this category very well. They’re both characters who have seen and been through a ton of crazy stuff, but through it all, they still had possibilities and goals outside of this fantasy realm. So I just think it would be really interesting to see those two in particular just going into the world and living a normal life as these absolutely amazing people who have already experienced such extraordinary things.

Be Our Guest (a book that makes you hungry)
Mossflower by Brian Jacques, hands down. Seriously, I never thought I would so need a mother badger cook in my life, but this book has shown me the error of my ways.

Beauty and the Beast (opposites attract)
Cress and Thorne, from The Lunar Chronicles. Complete opposites, but goodness gracious, are they beautiful. I still remember this scene at the end of Cress where they’re battling the bad guys and losing and it looks like it’s all just gonna go to heck, and then formerly foreshadowed things happen, and it’s epic and romantic and absolutely adorable. If you’ve read it, you probably know what I'm talking about, and if you haven’t, you think I’m crazy, but I’m telling you, it was gorgeous. :D
***
And that is the tag! I’m not going to tag anyone either, but if you want to do it, go for it. :) Just don’t forget to leave a comment with a link to your post, so that I can check it out!

So, have you seen the new Beauty and the Beast movie? (I actually haven’t). Have a song from the movie not mentioned in the tag that you’d like to pair with a book? Can’t wait to hear from you all, and I’ll see you in the comment section!


Today’s song is another one of my sidebar-of-YouTube, recommended-for-you finds. I used to listen to this band, Royal Tailor, before they b...

Melodic Mondays: Hills and Valleys by Tauren Wells (Acoustic Version)

Today’s song is another one of my sidebar-of-YouTube, recommended-for-you finds. I used to listen to this band, Royal Tailor, before they broke up; so when the former lead singer came out with a new single, the Great YouTube Algorithm figured I’d be interested.

As it happened, it was right. ;)


I like the regular version of this song too, but I think the acoustic one is particularly lovely because of the way the instruments just blend with his voice, and also because you can focus so much more on the lyrics and message of the song. The fact that, if you’re a Christian, then wherever you are, whether it’s a good place or a bad place, on a hill or in a valley, God’s still with you and the most important thing for us to remember is to keep our focus on Him. To never get too prideful on the hills and never forget to cling to Him in the valleys, because no matter what, He is God over both. :)

So what’d you all think of this song? Had you heard it before? What have you been listening to lately? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I’ll see you in the comment section!

PS: two quick notes: one, I have to get my laptop fixed this week. Hopefully, it won’t take so long that I miss a lot of posts, but I don’t know for sure yet whether or not it will. So if I dodrop off the face of the earth, it’s not because I’ve forgotten again, lol, but because I still don’t have my laptop back yet. ;)

Also, a while back, I started an editing service with two friends of mine, and on May 15th, we’re launching our first ever editing contest to win a free Full Edit from us! We have a link here for more details if you happen to be interested. :)


As readers, writers, and general fandom individuals, we all have lists of characters we'd kill villains to meet, authors we'd love ...

My Dream Fandom Conference

As readers, writers, and general fandom individuals, we all have lists of characters we'd kill villains to meet, authors we'd love to learn from, and conferences and comic-cons we can only dream of attending. But imagine... what would it be like to compile your dream list of all the bookish people you've ever loved and get them to meet you and each other at one epic event in the fandom location of your choosing?

Well, at this point it actually remains a dream (fingers crossed though). A dream... and a series of blog posts that Eventbrite is putting together. They're an online ticketing platform to help creators organize events and attendees register for them, and they invited me to be part of this cool new project where bloggers dream up their ultimate author and/or character conference panels, and then do posts about them. Although, because I am, well, me, one panel was not enough... so I created an entire conference instead.

You're welcome.

Panel 1: So You're the Chosen One: Advice From Those Who Have Gone Before
Obviously, this is a must-have for any character conference, covering such topics as managing homework from all classes, everything from potions to maths to kickbutt fight skills; various relationships (including the necessary best friend and possible love triangle/significant other); blocking out the haters who don't believe in you or your prophecy; how to handle your first encounter with your respective Dark Lord/other villain; and, for the YAs, how to not die before your 16th or 17th birthday (no guarantees can be made after that though).
Panel features: Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and the crew from Heroes of Olympus' Argo 2, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and special guests: Blue and the Raven Boys to add a unique perspective if your villain is a little out of the ordinary.

Panel 2: Chosen Nones: So You're Not the Chosen One
This one's for the secondary characters, particularly those who actually could've been the Chosen Ones if given the chance and/or were particularly instrumental in the Dark Lord/Lady's defeat. Tips include how to not-die if someone you know suddenly has a prophecy surrounding them, encouragement you can offer when they're certain they'll never be strong enough to win, as well as general Do Not's (i.e. betray them to the Dark Lord, get captured, die, etc) and Do's (health and meal management, humor to lighten the moment, general motivation to give them something to fight for, and of course killing henchmen while leaving the big baddie for the Chosen One).
Panel features: Neville Longbottom, Nico di Angelo, Grover Underwood, Samwise Gamgee, Carswell Thorne, Scarlet Benoit, and Cress Darnel.

Panel 3: Brains, Brawn, and Blaze: Resistance 101 for the Completely Unqualified
For the dystopian/post-apocalyptic/general BRING-DOWN-THE-MAN authors, books, and characters in attendance. We'll cover the necessary tech, sparkling personalities of the faces of the resistance, and imminent betrayal of all who are supposedly on your side, leaving your unqualified self to battle the baddie alone with your equally unqualified, motley crew.
Panel features: Linh Cinder, Kaito, Katniss Everdeen, Gale Hawthorne, Zane, Four, Tris Prior, and Day Wing.

Panel 4: To Steal the Hearts of Fangirls: (or really just me)
I'll admit it: this is a panel just for me, where I bring in all the characters who completely stole my heart, whether in a romantic sense, because they were just wonderful people, or because they were small, fluffy babies who desperately needed someone's protection and sure as heck weren't getting it from their authors.
Panel features: Noah of The Raven Boys, Peeta Mellark, Sohan Kishan Rajaram, and Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Obviously, no fandom could ever be complete (or even begin, actually) without its author, and so after a week-long brief break to fangirl, the final four panels will feature the authors themselves.

Panel 5: Weird Writers: Where in the Heck Did You Get That Idea?
Panel covers what to do when your idea is flying out of the box; how to answer this question when people inevitably ask it and deal with the following criticism; and how to find confidence and just write no matter how unorthodox your story happens to be.
Panel features: Suzanne Collins (for obvious reasons), Phil Vischer (we're going to talk about VeggieTales, but he has written books, so he counts), Patrick Carman (particularly concerning Dark Eden), and Rick Riordan (because seriously Greek gods are actually really weird).

Panel 6: From Ordinary to Extraordinary: Writing about the Real World
Panel covers both historical and contemporary fiction, teaching things like who, what, and where to draw inspiration from, how to find the incredible in the seemingly uninteresting, and how to breathe new life into stories as normal as your life, making them as remarkable and captivating as a bestselling fantasy.
Panel features: Laura Ingalls Wilder (because in my imagination bringing her back is totally a thing), Sarah Dessen, and C. Lee McKenzie (Double Negative though).

Panel 7: To Write by Faith
A discussion with writers from several genres of Christian fiction. They'll be teaching us how to create stories that are both brilliant in delivery and built on faith, containing lifelike characters instead of unreal caricatures, and whose themes and plots are entertaining, exciting, and encouraging all at once.
Panel features: Ted Dekker, Jill Williamson, Rachelle Rea, C.S. Lewis (yup, bringing him back too), and Robin Jones Gunn.

Panel 8: To Weave a World Out of Words
The final panel covers everything from basic setting and description to the deeper nuances and thought processes behind the worldbuilding; how all of these come together to develop the worlds we know and love; and how the rest of us can turn our 2-dimensional squiggles on a page into a 3-dimensional world of unfolding awesomeness that fans can revisit for ages to come.
Panel features: S. E. Groves, Cornelia Funke, J. R. R. Tolkein (also returning him from the grave), Cameron Dokey (even the names were characterized in Winter's Child), Maggie Steifvater (who I actually am going to learn from at First Seven Sentences!!!!), and Gail Carson Levine.
***
And that, my friends, would be my dream conference! Honestly, there's probably a lot more panels I could come up with, lol, but we'll go ahead and stop at eight because I think these are pretty solid. ;)

So, who would you have at your dream conference? Care to attend mine, lol, or would you do something completely different? Can't wait to hear from you, and thanks, Eventbrite, for inviting me to do this post!

That moment when you realize... oh crap it is Monday and I said I would post. And so here I am, sliding in at the very end of the day w...

Melodic Mondays: Waves by Mattia Cupelli

That moment when you realize... oh crap it is Monday and I said I would post.

And so here I am, sliding in at the very end of the day with aforementioned promised post. :p Honestly though, this is better than I’ve done all year, a fact about which I am not certain if I should feel proud or slightly sad.

Enh. Let’s go with proud. Proud's definitely better.


I mentioned in the last couple of posts that I’ve been really into epic/emotional music lately, and this has been one of my favorites since the beginning (said like I don’t have 20 million favorites that change on a daily basis). I love the quiet, almost soothing feel of the music that slowly, steadily, gently rises, all the way up till that epic, victory-filled crescendo at 4:54. I’ve listened to this one a lot while studying for school, but its great writing music too, and I’d love to find a character that I could match it with someday. :)

So what do you all think? What have you been listening to lately? Have a character or a story that seems to fit with Waves? Can’t wait to hear from you all, and I will see you in the comment section!

Hey, everyone! So like I said in the post before last, I was fully planning on coming back to blogging consistently, but—as you can see...

What Have I Been Up To?


Hey, everyone! So like I said in the post before last, I was fully planning on coming back to blogging consistently, but—as you can see—I did not. Mostly because I was planning several different posts, trying to get my thoughts together on all of them... without actually writing or posting anything about them. :p To be honest, I think it might take me a little while to get back into the swing of blogging consistently, so I'll just be upfront about that right now. Feel free to nudge me in the comments if it's been a little too long. ;)

Anyways. Before moving on to those posts I was planning, I thought I'd let you know what I've been doing to take up all of my blogging time, lol, and also, what I hope to be doing over the summer.

I explained the gist of the changing work schedule + moving + college in other posts (here and here if you missed them), so I won't repeat all of that except to say that even going to college part-time was a wild change for me. I'm the kind of person who thrives on routines and schedules, and having quite settled into the one I had before... well, while the classes themselves were not particularly difficult, the schedule changes and all that came with beginning college was a lot to get used to for me. To be honest, I don't think I ever did. Get used to it, I mean. Which is probably why I stopped posting.

BUT I AM NOW FINISHED. Well, for the semester, anyway. ;)

Anyways, once the moving and the work schedule was settled, I spent a lot of time editing my book Low Expectations, because I have decided to get it published this year—or at least to move toward that. Over the summer, I'm going to finish polishing and do some hardcore querying. If that goes nowhere by the late fall/early winter, I've decided to self-publish it. I've known for a long time that LE is in a difficult niche to market, but the problem is that all the things that make it unmarketable (the MC's age, the homeschooling, the foster care, the fact that he is a he in a more female-MC YA genre, etc) are all of the things that make the story exactly what it is. And so, while I would love to see it traditionally published, I have come to the point where, one, I know it's a great book, and two, I'm okay beginning its career saying that by myself and self-publishing it instead. :)

So I actually have been writing, just not blog posts. ;)

I also read, just not for reviewing, so if you follow me on Goodreads, you might have seen a few mini reviews popping up here and there. There was something really freeing about that, reading a book not because it was an ARC or because I had promised I would, but just because I had seen it at the library or a friend had recommended it and I wanted to. So I've decided that, as awesome as the ARC-getting status is, I'm not going to review for the ARCs anymore. Not to say that I'm going to stop accepting them or that I'm going to stop reviewing (here or on Verbosity), just that I'm not going to review for the ARCs anymore. I'm going to review for the books, picking the ones that look interesting to me and giving the best review I can based on my thoughts/feelings, without feeling pressured (a self-induced pressure, I will add) to finish in a certain amount of time or portray my thoughts in a certain way. I'm reading and reviewing for the reason that I began reading and reviewing: because I love books.

As for summer plans, I think from here on out, Summer Snowflakes is going to become very eclectic. I've got plans for writing posts and book posts and even a life post of sorts about something of a mental illness that I've wanted to talk about for more than a year now and am working up to do very soon. My posts on Verbosity are going to stay about books, but because I am accepting fewer review copies, the posts are probably going to be more sporadic. I refuse to give up on either of my blogging projects, so they'll probably both be more consistent than they were this past semester, but less consistent than they were when I began them.

Is there anything else... OH YES. I'M GOING TO GO BACK TO MELODIC MONDAYS. One of the reasons I stopped (apart from the time factor) was that I was honestly having a really hard time finding new music to share with you guys. But, one, I've started listening to Epic Music playlists, and two, I went to WinterJam last month, so now I have all kinds of new music that I absolutely cannot wait for you all to hear. :)

Well, that is all for today (said like this post isn't nearly a thousand words :p ). Let me know what you all have been up to! What have I missed this semester by not being around the blogosphere? Can't wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!
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