Hey, all! Today, I’m here with the recently released anthology (which contains two new stories from the incredible and thought-provoking Ke...

Review: The Clarion Call, Vol. 4: Fairytale Riot: All-You-Can-Read Fairy Tale Retellings

Hey, all! Today, I’m here with the recently released anthology (which contains two new stories from the incredible and thought-provoking Keturah Lamb!!), The Clarion Call, Vol 4: Fairytale Riot.

In this fourth volume of The Clarion Call, twenty-seven authors capture and retell the stories of our shared past – the fables we are told as children, the lore that continues to guide us through adulthood.
Within this collection of liberty-themed folklore, fables, and fairytales, these short stories:
Grow beyond the bounds of their first tellers, gaining in wisdom and power;
Break free from the borders of their homelands, crossing deserts, forests, mountains, and seas;
Evolve to challenge the mores and moods of this age—
While maintaining the timeless and enduring charm, insight, and guidance that made them classics.
All the stories in this book are so vastly different: there are fantasies with fates and fairies, magic and pixies. There are contemporaries, set in the dangers of an Alaskan winter or current Washington politics. There are action-packed paranormal plots and a story where the entire tale takes place within a shopping mall. Some of the lessons were rather heavy-handed; others were so subtle, I barely realized it was meant to be about politics or philosophy. While I did not enjoy all of the stories, there is such a variety of retellings here that it seems one should be able to find quite a few to love no matter what your preference is.  
A few of my favorites:
  • Ashley by Lynne Lumden Green: less of a lesson in this one, but the premise was quite unexpected and an amusing take on the Cinderella tale. I liked it, especially the ending!  
  • The Piper’s Last Song by Keturah Lamb: I got chills. Again, how the story turned out was totally unexpected, but it was still so good! The premise drew me in right quick, and towards the end, I was all tense, hunched over my kindle, devouring the words to finally uncover what would happen at the end. Amazing.
  • The Bremen Town Musicians by John M. Olsen: this one was just super cool! Exciting and gripping, you’re immediately interested in the characters, and it was just so neat to follow them on their impromptu spy mission. Unexpected (that seems to be a theme for these, lol), but super fun to see the surprising skills this motley, accidental crew possessed.
  • The Fairy Mothers by DonnaRae Menard: Too cute!! I adored!
  • Frogs by Marie Anderson: The ending was not part of the deal, lol, but the main character was 100% relatable for me.
  • The Big Bad Elephant by Andrew Bundy: Probably my favorite. I laughed out loud, this one was so clever, creative, and absolutely hysterical.
  • Artie the Millenial by Alexandra Faye Carrich: HIT ME RIGHT IN THE HEART I TELL YOU. I loved the Medieval references, I loved Merlin as a preteen, I loved Arthur as a lost twenty-something, just GOODNESS THIS WHOLE STORY. The quick character journey, the interaction between the brothers, gosh, it was adorable. And super funny too!
  • Prince Perfect by Keturah Lamb: Interesting, amusing, and full of her classic tongue-in-cheek sarcasm with that vital point.

So, what do you guys think of the anthology so far? Which kind of story do you think you'd be most interested in? Head over to Keturah’s blog and give her a hearty congratulations if you haven’t already! Can’t wait to hear from you all, and I will see you in the comment section!
Content Warnings: varied: some stories were completely clean, others contained quite a bit of language and/or violence.
Note: I honestly and voluntarily reviewed a free ecopy of this book.

I’M ALIVE Not only am I alive, I have turned 21 . And my birthday got me thinking about this accidental tradition I’ve had ever since I w...

Melodic Mondays: Year 20

I’M ALIVE
Not only am I alive, I have turned 21. And my birthday got me thinking about this accidental tradition I’ve had ever since I was 13 years old: I find songs that sort of represent my year, and generally, they were songs that actually had the number I had turned in the title (13 by the Rubyz for my 13th year, 18 by Daughtry for my 18th year, and so on). But I never was able to find a song for 20 that actually had the number “20” in it.
So instead, I figured I’d share a collection of songs that kinda represented my year, regardless of the numbers within them. 😉

I struggled a lot this year, with school, with life, just all kinds of things. Sometimes, I felt like more stress had been thrown at me in the past 365 days than in my entire life put together. This song made me feel so powerful whenever I wanted to throw in the towel. It reminded me to just do the next thing and keep doing it, to get up the next day and do it again, and to always remember that I am a Daughter of the King. That with Christ’s help, when I’m at the end of my strength, that’s where I find His. With Him at my side, I can get up everyday and do it again, until I reach the goals I’m striving for.

So much grace. I needed all the grace this year. :p Like I said, I struggled a lot, and this was the year that I realized how much I truly need Jesus and His grace to carry me through, not just in the big situations, but even in the everyday ones. Especially when the bigger situations had drained me and I felt like I couldn’t take a milligram more.


Despite my various issues and insecurities, I embraced who I am a lot more than I had in previous years. I wouldn’t say that I had spent a lot of time trying to be someone else exactly, but I have often thought of myself as just awkward or weird or some other trait too generally graceless and peculiar to be liked by others (this has, for the record, gone entirely unsupported by most of the people I know, but the idea remained in my head). However, moving forward into this year, I know my identity is in Christ. None of the rest of it matters, not my opinions, not the world’s opinions, not any negativity I come across and try to put onto myself. Yes, I’m awkward. Yes, I make a lot of mistakes. But my identity is in Christ and He made me, well, me. With Him at my side, I am ready to be the me He meant when He made. I am ready to be myself.


Three basically continues the above sentiment (and will likely be a theme that continues into my 21st year), but the last few lines tie it all together in one of the most beautiful ways I’ve ever heard.
Though these songs do describe my year in some ways, the above collection kinda makes it seem like all I did was angst, lol—which is not at all the case. Though I definitely had a lot of struggles, I also had a lot of fun. And here are some of my favorite songs that represent that.









And that’s a small snippet of my year in an annotated playlist, lol. Can you think of a song (or two or three) that represent your current age? Do you have any songs called 21 (or with 21 in them) for this upcoming year? Lol. Can’t wait to hear from you all, and I will see you in the comment section!


So I haven’t posted anything, but I have made it a point to be at least a little bit around the blogosphere this month, haha. Here are some...

Posts of the Month: September 2018

So I haven’t posted anything, but I have made it a point to be at least a little bit around the blogosphere this month, haha. Here are some of my favorite posts that I’ve read over the last couple of weeks:
Living Like the Amish: Interviews with Three “English” Families Part III by Keturah. This series has been so interesting! Probably read the other two first if you haven’t already, but definitely give it a look!
The Road to Overcoming Negative Thoughts by Sarah. I love this post,  just everything about it! It’s an older one, but her whole recap of the Strong&Sexy series has been amazing. So encouraging and so empowering.
How I Remain Productive Amidst Chaos by Abi. Found this incredible post when I was checking out Rebellious Writing’s August wrap-up, so I’m giving it a share as well, haha. It’s a reminder I’ve certainly needed as the to-do list just keeps growing. :P
Arranged Marriages and Romance in “Our Town.” by Megan. I love the way that love is described in this post. ;) It’s such an important message that our world most assuredly needs.
E-D-I-T-I-N-G by Priscilla. Golden editing advice! Definitely check it out if you’re in editing stages or getting close. :)
Tori’s Life Juggling Tips: How I Juggle Two Jobs, Writing, Editing, Social Media Managing, and Actually Having a Social Life by Victoria. The gifs are on point and the tips are incredible. Give it a read; this girl is superwoman!
***
Hope you all enjoyed these posts! What’s your favorite September post from around the blogosphere? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!

Hey, all! I just wanted to let you know that I didn’t do a Thursday post last week, because I have all of the sudden been swamped with stuf...

Blog Changes

Hey, all! I just wanted to let you know that I didn’t do a Thursday post last week, because I have all of the sudden been swamped with stuff this semester. :p Most of it’s not bad, I’m just super busy with school and work and other stuff. I don’t want to go on hiatus or anything, so instead of posting on a regular schedule, I’m just going to get one up whenever I'm able to properly write, edit, and polish one. So I will still do Monday, Thursday, and Saturday posts, only not in the former biweekly pattern, just whenever I'm able to set aside enough to time to make it good. I plan to do the same on Verbosity: whenever I’m able to read a book, lol, then write up and polish a book review, it’ll go live over there on a Saturday. :)
So, yeah, just to be clear; I’m not going on hiatus, I’m not closing down the blog, I’m not even really taking a break. I’m just not really going to have a schedule anymore.
Thanks for being the kindest community in the blogosphere; I’ll see you guys around, just not as often. :)

The tune of this song is really fun, but I especially like the words. That acknowledgment that those of us in are teens and twenties, we ar...

Melodic Mondays: Eyes Wide Open by Sabrina Carpenter

The tune of this song is really fun, but I especially like the words. That acknowledgment that those of us in are teens and twenties, we are young and because of that we are liable to make mistakes. I love that understanding that we do need to keep our eyes open, paying attention to the problems and the possibilities, as we forge our way forward into adult life.


What’d you think of the song? What would you say is an important lesson for teenagers and young adults of this day? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!


I Overcame by Reaching Out from EWC . Claire seems a really fun person and her words are solid , so inspiring. Plus, those pictures though...

Posts of the Week: 8.25.18 Edition: Reading, Reaching Out, and Living in our Real World

I Overcame by Reaching Out from EWC. Claire seems a really fun person and her words are solid, so inspiring. Plus, those pictures though. She is fierce with that chainsaw, and then so elegant and graceful in the pink dress. It’s an incredible picture (literally) of how we girls can be both at the same time.

On Science, Reading, and Why I’ve Been Getting Into More Nonfiction of Late by Shar. An interesting post on what you can gain from reading, particularly reading outside your field.

The Conundrum of Consequences by Keturah. Very interesting and thought-provoking post on the nature of choices (which is a topic I quite love).

The Comp Title Challenge by Faith. These sound like such fascinating ideas! Personally, I like Wings and Ink Storm best, but they’re all intriguing.

Twenty-Two and Smiling, also by Keturah. This post really encouraged me when I was having a bad week. If you haven’t already, you should read it. I hope it’ll help you as well. :)

Lost My Phone, Discovered How to Buy Cheese, and Embraced the Culture by Rachael. In which she shares her latest adventures from Indonesia! Also, the pic at the top, love that quote.

***
And that is it for this week! Do you read mostly fiction or nonfiction? (fiction for me, but I think I’ll try to branch out when I have more reading time). Have you ever had to purchase anything in a foreign country? Tell me about your experience! Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!


So, around a year ago, I was scanning the blogosphere for tags and I stumbled across this one on Bloglovin from It Starts at Midnight . I t...

The Book Title Tag

So, around a year ago, I was scanning the blogosphere for tags and I stumbled across this one on Bloglovin from It Starts at Midnight. I tucked the tag away for future stealing and when I decided to do a tag for today’s post, this one just seemed perfect.


Title That’s the Story of Your Life:

Technically, it would be Alex in the Real World, but whatever. I haven’t read this one yet, but I feel like I’m forever trying to figure out/get used to the real world? Plus, rather often, I’d rather not be in the real world, so this book seems appropriate.

Title That Describes Your Perfect Weekend:
It counts because there are novelizations, thank you.

That plus some ice cream and dark chocolate? Oh yeah.

Title of an Adventure You'd Like to Go On:

Between the Lines, hands down. If I could actually fall between the pages of my favorite books or read myself into them like in Inkheart, I would be thoroughly thrilled with that adventure (admittedly, things didn't turn out so perfectly in Inkheart, but there are a couple of safer series where I'd be happy to give it a go).

Title You Want to Name Your Child:
















Ever for a girl, Infinity for a boy (whose nickname would be Fin, which I think is adorable).

Title of Your Ideal Job:

World Traveler (via boat, plane, and car) and Universe Traveler (via books, magic portals, and the TARDIS).

Title of a Place You'd Like to Visit:

Narnia. Just Narnia. All of Narnia. I wanna see it.

Title of Your Love Life:

I mean, technically, it’s "never-started-state," but hey, this was the closest I could get.

Title That's a Question You Ask Yourself:

The constant struggle.

Title of a Kingdom You Want to Rule OR Name:

I have not read this one yet, but I want to, plus I love the sound of this title: Her Royal Majesty, Queen Alexandria of Elsewhere. Epicness and elegance all in one.

Title You'd Name Your Band:

Saw this one on display at my library, and it just sounded too cool to pass up.

Title That Describes Where You Live:

Haven't read this one either, but I do live kind of in the country, so literally in sight of stars. Also, from a philosophical point of view, I like to think that even if the stars aren't in reach, they're always in sight, so we can always keep striving for them.

***
Well, that’s the tag! What’d you guys think? How would you answer some of these?

I’m not tagging anyone, but if you’d like to do it, PLEASE, feel free to steal and link back to me in the comments, so I can check out your posts. Can’t wait to hear from you, and I’ll see you in the comment section!


I’ve been into Aaron Cole’s music since I saw him at a concert back in April , and after I discovered this new(er) song of his last week, I...

Melodic Mondays: Proud by Aaron Cole

I’ve been into Aaron Cole’s music since I saw him at a concert back in April, and after I discovered this new(er) song of his last week, I’ve been listening to it several times a day. Sometimes on repeat. It’s really catchy.


I love the beat behind this one; it’s such a chill kind of rap song, yet with a beat that makes you want to bounce and dance and skip around just for fun. Plus, I love the line, “I promise I’mma make you proud.” When I first heard it, I felt like a lot of us could apply that feeling: situations where we're striving for something huge and awesome and seemingly impossible, and at least a portion of our goal is, in the end, to make those who love us proud.

Then I went on Genius and read through all the lyrics along with Aaron Cole's annotations: the song isn’t just about making family proud, it’s about making God proud, particularly when He’s put you in a position where you can witness through your dreams. In the case of this song, it's Aaron Cole being able to witness through his dream of making music. The song is a prayer and a promise to keep God first, fix your eyes on a higher purpose when it comes to achieving your dreams, and with all of your actions, all of your hopes, in the end, to focus on making God proud.

What are some songs you’ve been listening to lately? A meaningful lyric that really hit home? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!


The Battle Wounds Are There But They Don’t Define Me from Empowered Women Collective . What she uses to define strength, though. I gotta r...

Posts of the Week: Edition 8.11.18: Power, Procrastination, and Everything in Between

The Battle Wounds Are There But They Don’t Define Me from Empowered Women Collective. What she uses to define strength, though. I gotta remember that; it’s so powerful and very applicable for me.

Captured from Bondage by Keturah. She handles this paradox so well! I loved what she had to say, and it really made me think.

Talking to Other Bookish People by Shanti. An older post, and a really interesting one. Besides, I need all the help that I can get with talking to people, lol

And Now I See the Finish Line, oh I’m Going to Finish Mine by Talya. She’s back now, but this is a really incredible wrap-up, a wealth of Godly teaching and inspirational experiences that we can easily take into our own lives. :)

Shut Up and Hustle by Deeja. Brief language warning, but this is a fierce and blunt wake-up call if you need to stop procrastinating and just get busy doing something. Never let procrastination get in the way of your dreams. Hustle and do the thing.

***
Well, that is it for this week! Have you ever connected with a stranger over a book? How are you going to hustle in the upcoming weeks to move toward achieving your dreams? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!

Oh, also, I’m going to try to start posting reviews on Verbosity again and the first one went up today. They will (ideally) be going up on the same days that these posts do, so you can still check out some of my thoughts over there when I don’t have anything new from me over here. :)


Several months ago, I did a post with some of the Bible verses that had been especially meaningful to me in early 2018 . I got a few sugge...

Thoughtful Thursdays: My Verses for Mid 2018: Colossians 3

Several months ago, I did a post with some of the Bible verses that had been especially meaningful to me in early 2018. I got a few suggestions that I should do it again, so here we have number two, the Summer 2018 edition. 😊


This year, I added memorization to my daily Bible study: I try to memorize 5 verses per week, ideally, one each day Monday through Friday. The last segment I finished was Colossians chapter three along with the beginning of chapter 4. It’s a super rich passage, full of inspiration and knowledge and all kinds of wisdom for basically every aspect of your life. I’m not going to do a sermon on the whole thing (however, if you’re an older teen or up, you should totally check out the passage for yourself 😉), but I thought I’d touch on some of the verses that have meant the most to me. 😊

Colossians 3:1-2: So, I’m a daydreamer, you guys. I spend a lot of time thinking about things that aren’t bad at all, but simply don’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. These verses, especially the “set your minds on things that are above” section, remind me that my mind should be mainly focused on the things that are of importance, things that apply to my life and will matter at the end of it. Not that I can’t daydream at all, because I often use it to give my brain a rest, but I try to limit the time I spend daydreaming or even use that time in such a way that it can be productive. For instance, if I’m working through a random story in my head—just a fun one, not one I’m actually going to write—I try to stir in some Biblical principles to brainstorm how they could be applied to specific situations. For instance, in this circumstance, how can the couple exhibit a godly relationship? In another, how can this character’s anger and violence be seen in a godly light—or, if it can’t, what are the consequences of his poor decisions? It’s always interesting to analyze the possibilities and it ensures that, even when I’m daydreaming, I’m finding a way to fix my mind on the things that have true value, the things that are above.

Seek the things that are above,
Where Christ is, seated at the right handed of God.

Colossians 3:22-24: These verses remind me to do my best in everything, but the biggest applications have been with my school and at my job. If I’m honest, I don’t always feel like giving my best effort. I mean, I love my work at the library—I really do—but there are days when I don’t feel like doing it, when the excitement just isn’t there. Yet these verses remind me that I’m not just working at my local library, I’m not just serving the community, I’m not just getting a paycheck, I’m working for Jesus, and that makes a difference in the way that I approach my work. It means that I focus on my work-related responsibilities before I search for that movie I want to watch; it means that I do my best to finish the things that have been assigned to me, even if I don’t feel like doing them, because I am serving the Lord Christ.

The same goes for my schoolwork: most days I really don’t feel like doing it. But it’s not just my professors who have given me these assignments; I believe that the path God has set my life on, at least for right now, entails me getting a two-year degree. That means that when I go in to do my schoolwork, I’m not just doing the next thing on my list; I am doing the thing that God has called me to do and that means I had better give it my all.

I’m not going to pretend that I always approach work or school with this attitude or that I’m the greatest worker and the most diligent student. However, these verses do remind me to do my best, and I am doing my best to hold onto them.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…
You are serving the Lord Christ.

Colossians 4:5-6: There are two parts to this section that really hit me: the first is walking in wisdom and making the best use of the time. Tying in to verses 22–24 of the previous chapter, this exhortation puts so much value on my time, on taking every moment and ensuring that I do the absolute best I can with it. Whether I’m having some leisure time, working, doing schoolwork, or writing, verse 5 reminds me to make sure that that activity is truly the best thing that I can do with that time and that, when it all comes down at the end of the day, there was a purpose to everything I did.

Secondly, there’s the exhortation to “let your speech be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer each person.” It’s often difficult for me to know what to say or how to say it, but this exhortation reminds me to try. To return to God when I don’t know what words to us and to pray in difficult situations that He would bless my speech, season it with His words, and guide me to the message that He would have me deliver. It also reminds me of why my speech needs to be gracious: I am Christ’s representative, therefore, even when I’m having fun and joking around, I need to be careful to choose my words wisely.

Walk in wisdom… making the best use of the time
Let your speech always be gracious.

***
There is, of course, much more in this passage and I encourage you to check it out. 😉 But the overall message for me has been to use my time wisely. The focus of being made new and doing my work unto The Lord, it puts such an incredible value on the time that I have and drives me to ensure that I put my days to their best use.

What are some Bible verses you’ve enjoyed lately? Have you ever memorized some? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!


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