Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What do you look for in Critiques?

What's the biggest thing you look for in a critique?

What do you hope people will give you in their critique?

I happen to have a remarkable crew of critique partners. In my humble opinion, they are awesome. They are wonderful, because even after I proofread and proofread, they still catch the things I always, always miss.

For instance, I have a terrible habit of repeating a word, such as "then," "and," and "but." It's almost like I get addicted to a certain word, and just have to use and use and use it... rather like "use" in this sentence.

Another bad habit of mine is my overuse of commas. Sometimes I catch myself, and then I have shocking lack of commas. I always do one or the other. As I said, it's a bad habit. Or habits.

Me, the biggest thing I look for is readability. If a story doesn't flow, I can't read it properly until I've edited it and made a sentence flow more cleanly into the next. That's the one thing that niggles me the most when I critique. Flow is so important to me. What's the most important story element that you HAVE to correct when you're critiquing someone's story?

When I send a story to my friends, the biggest thing I hope they give me is their honesty. I don't want praise (though that can be balm to the writer's soul). What I want are their honest opinions and suggestions that will make my story that much better.

How about you? What's your critiquing attack?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

About Me... not really.

'Once upon a time there was a girl named Catastrophe. In all the kingdom of Serenity there was never a girl so catastrophic as Catastrophe. Whatsoever she did or touched or made was either ill-done, broken or destroyed. She could not even dream, for when she did her dreams were shattered.

When Cat was first born, she was the seventh daughter of the seventh son of the seventh son, and on and on for quite a few generations. When she was born it was quite tragic for her parents, for she broke the seventh son trend. When she was born her father looked at her and cried out, "Catastrophe!" That was how she got her name.

Isn't that sad?

When Catastrophe turned eighteen, she became a maid in the Castle of King Melliflous. When she swept the floors she did so carefully, so that she would not break the stones. She was often scolded by the Official HouseKeeper for damaging Royal Property. She wept at nights behind the cupboards in the kitchen, and escaped her sorrows by retreating into her imagination. In her made-up world, she poured forth such tales of wonder that she found solace even in the worst days.

One night, after Cat had finished sweeping and scrubbing and cleaning for the day, she lay down on her pallet behind the warm fireplace and shut her eyes. She could not sleep. Too much sadness was going through her mind.

"I shall never be anybody," she thought sadly. "I shall always just be a catastrophe. Why, even tonight I managed to destroy the Official HouseKeeper's broom. Now I must pay her for a new one, and heaven knows I make few enough Ownsies as it is. This is a tragedy."

Cat turned over and stared at the sooty cobwebs above. She wished she could take them and make a ball of wishes from them.

"Soot of cobweb, can't you see

how sad I am? I beg of thee,
Send me something, one or three
wishes small that are just for me."

When she had finished her little rhyme, Cat lay awake in the darkness. As she lay there, she noticed one of the stars in the sky dancing about as though it were alive. From where she lay, near the fireplace, she could just see through a little cell-like window that was above the kitchen sink. The night sky glimmered through the slit, and occasionally Cat caught a whiff of cool outdoor air. Now she saw this star, dancing and glimmering like nobody's business, and she sat up in amazement. It was drawing nearer. As it grew closer Cat noticed a figure taking shape inside it. She stared, so amazed that her mouth hung open. All of a sudden there was a flash, like lightening, and the star was in the room with her.

Isn't this exciting?

Cat sat up, staring at the figure that materialized from the starlight. It was a little woman, very old but still very pretty. There was a mischievous gleam in her eye and she was dressed all in white, with a little silver tiara on her brow. Her white hair was braided and bound in a bun about her head. About her waist she wore a blue sash and in her hand she carried a wand.

Cat stared: the wand looked very much like a fountain pen.

But surely, she thought, it really isn't!

"Hello." The old lady spoke then, and her voice was very sweet. "Dear Cat, don't look so alarmed! I am the wish fairy, here to grant your wish."

Cat stammered in amaze, "But Lady, what did I wish?"

The wish fairy tutted. "You must remember. You wished for something, one or three, wishes small that were just for you."

Cat's mouth formed an O.

"Quite right," said the fairy and she handed Cat her wand.

Cat took it reverently and looked at it. It is a fountain pen, no doubt about it.

"I perceive," the fairy said, "That you have a vivid imagination, yet you cannot afford the money it would take to buy yourself a pen and paper. So here. Here is the pen, and here," and the fairy pulled out a monstrous ream of paper, "Here is paper. And don't worry. No matter how much you write there will always be paper for you. It will magically replenish. Isn't that something?"

It was something.

Cat sat upon the floor, marvelling at the white texture of the paper, at the fine nib of the pen. She wrote the first three letters of her name upon the whiteness. Cat. The blackness of the letters looked very fine against the white.

The wish fairy smiled. "No matter what you write, there will never be a catastrophe so terrible that it can't be fixed. That is the power of writing. Happy writing," she added, and vanished.

Cat smiled. Happy writing indeed! Perhaps she could write and sell her work. Think of all the Ownsies she would earn! Cat shivered and ran her fingers along the edge of the paper. These white pages are full of possibility.

"The tale of Catastrophe," she whispers to herself, "By Cat Scribbler. That sounds fine."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How's Your Day Been?

So far, mine's been quite nice. Of course, it's almost over now, but it was a good day.

For one thing, I had a stellar moment with my Whisper Mansion novel, and have drafted a whole new outline that hopefully takes care of the holes I discovered in it earlier.

I bought eight new books from the library, all in fantastic condition and just BEGGING to be read.

I worked on a collaborative synopsis that I'm doing with a writing pal over at the Writer's Retreat, and just sent that off to my buddy. (I'm not naming any names, 'cause this is a secret story. :-)

I took ten minutes to help with dinner and thought about a possible story for the Monthly Write Off at the Writer's Retreat, with a prompt that calls for either western, or science-fiction, or a shocking combination of both. The shocking combination is the one that's stirring my imagination more.

I read two book that I got from the library yesterday, and hoped that I could one day be as good writer as they.

I listened to my new Narnia soundtrack, and practiced my two songs for my singing class.

Now, I'm going to have tea, and watch "Behind Enemy Lines" with my family. This ought to be good!

Good night, God bless, keep writing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

How To

Sometimes, when writing just doesn't do it for me, I like to read books on the craft of writing. How many of you like books like that, those "how to write" books? All of those who do, raise your hands.

That many, hey? Hurray, I'm not alone!

Seriously, now, which is your favourite "how to" book? I have read one that is an absolute must-have. It's called "No More Rejections" by Alice Orr, and it is fabulous! She really pinpoints the elements of a stellar manuscript, and gives fantastic tips on how to compose a perfect manuscript. There's a little section on sex and love scenes that I don't really like, because she gets a little too familiar about what to include in an adult novel, but other than that, the book is great.

For fantasy writers, check out Orson Scott's Card's "How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy." Heavens, but that man is a masterful writer! After reading his book, I was inspired beyond inspiration to get myself published. He's that good, and that motivational. It was amazing.

There's another book I love, that I found at Barnes and Noble one time. It's called "The Little Red Writing Book", written by Brandon Royal, and there's nothing in it that's not to love. It's got these lovely black-and-white illustrations that complement the simple, funny style of the book. It reveals twenty "powerful principles of structure, style, and readability," defining each principle with examples, exercises, and the occasional anecdote. It's a wonderful read, and it's adorable, too. It's fun to read just for the pictures and the exercises.

One other book that I think is awesome is one called "Police Procedure and Investigation" by Lee Lofland. That is a fantastic read. It's part of a "Howdunit" series, of which I own "Police Procedure" and "Forensics." There's another one, about poisons, that I really want to get.

Oh, and there's this writer's toolbox that looks like fantastic fun. Just as an aside. It looks super cool and fun. Here's a link, so you can peruse it and drool, too. The Writer's Toolbox: By Jamie Cat Callan.

What sort of "how to" books do you like? Which do you own, and which ones do you recommend?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The One Thing I HATE

I love writing. I love, love, love it. It's one of the things I do best. Some would say it's one of everything I do best, but I disagree. I admit, I'm a good writer, and a good singer, and a good artist, but I am NOT good at everything.

Anyhoo, there is one thing in writing that I hate most of all, and that's when I'm writing a story, and I get to this great part, and suddenly realise that the story has changed and I have no idea what I'm doing in this part of the tale anyway.

Don't you just hate that? Usually, that occurs when my characters take on lives of their own and rather peremptorily TELL me what's going to happen in the story, instead of me dictating to them what really is supposed to happen. I don't mind too much. I mean, it's nice when my characters answer the questions I put to them, such as, "Do you like Ramen noodles?" I love it when they answer me. But I hate it when they change the story on me, and I'm typing (or writing) away, and when I stop for a second to think, I realise I have no idea where the story is going from here.

That's probably the only thing I hate in writing. What about you? What's the one thing in your writing that you simply can't stand?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Look, Same Writer

Since I needed a change, a fresh look to my site to get me excited about writing again, I'm trying out a new blog.

Isn't it funny how a little thing like a blog can make you feel so warm, contented, and peaceful? I just LOVE working with my site. I could stay in my little world all day. Seriously. I have so much fun there.

When I got home from work today, my family was watching "Romancing the Stone." The main female character is this funny romance writer, and there is one line she says that is so me. During a dinner with the main male character, she says that writing is the one way where she can live in a different time. Don't you SO relate to that comment? I sure do. That's what writing does for me. It lets me live in my different world... or worlds, as the case may be.

Until tomorrow, have a wonderful evening! God bless, and keep writing. There's nothing like it in the world.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Your First World

What was the very first world you created? What was the setting of the land that made you realise anything was possible in a book?

Mine was a world created in my own backyard. My very first story idea was about a girl who shrinks down to the size of a caterpillar, and finds adventure in her own back yard. She explores her world from the perspective of an inch-high person, and discovers just how challenging the life of a bug can be.

In this here and now, that world of the back yard has been reborn, and become a whole different land called Entomologia, the world of insects. Before last year, that place was simply Bonnie's back yard, and her garden, where she tries to find a way to return back to her normal size and life. Now, it is Entomologia, and the stakes for Bonnie have been raised higher.

Since that first venture into the imagination, I have discovered a whole slew of new worlds just waiting to be explored. However, Entomologia is one that is closest to my heart, since it was the very first world to be crafted out of my mind.
So, I just wanted to know. What was the very first world you created, and how special is it to you?

Leviathan: Scott Westerfield

Prince Aleksander, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in the year 1914, is woken up in the middle of the night by his tutor and his fencing master. At first, he thinks they're taking him out on another one of those midnight drills that he is expected to do whenever it is deemed necessary. However, this time it is not a drill. It is an escape. Alek's parents have been killed, poisoned by German sympathizers, and the prince is next on their hit list.

   Alek's escape coincides with the escapades of Deryn Sharp, a young girl who has joined the British Air Service disguised as a boy. Deryn, a midshipman aboard the Darwinian airship Leviathan, is a brilliant airman. Her love of flying makes the danger of her deception a worthwhile venture. During an intense air battle, theLeviathan is heavily wounded and forced to crash land in the freezing Swiss terrain, coincidentally near a secret castle where Prince Alek and his men have taken refuge.

   This story ends on an unexpected cliffhanger, leaving you open and ready for the second book in the trilogy, Behemoth.

   This story, set in a steampunk World War I, grabs hold of the reader from the first paragraph. Scott Westerfield writes an imaginative alternate world about how history could have been. Peopled by Clankers -- men who put their faith in machines of metal -- and Darwinists -- men who command genetically engineered vehicles such as the Leviathan. an enormous whale-like air ship with it's own ecosystem --Leviathan is a must-read for the avid steampunk reader.

   This book was a masterpiece of storytelling. Perhaps my only complaint about it was the Darwin element. I am NOT a fan of Darwin, nor do I believe any of the theories he came up with. However, Scott Westerfield manages to take the theory of Darwinism just far enough to explain his biological air ships. Aside from that one element, this was a fantastic story.

My Rating:

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

I'm trying to work on other stories, and different articles, to keep my mind away from one nerve-racking memory: I sent in two submissions last week.

How do you feel, after you've submitted a piece of work? What goes through your head as you slide that envelope containing that little piece of your heart into the mailbox?

Me, as I prepared the submission packages, I felt very writerly and efficient. As I got in the car to drive to the post office, I felt exultant. As I pushed those envelopes through the slot, and they left my hand, I felt terrified. This was it. Now, those ideas, those stories, are making their way to different editors. They are going to be ripped open, and perused with a critical eye. Those little pieces of me are going to be taken apart, and put back together, and it's as though a little bit of me is being weighed and judged.

To keep my mind off that grim aspect, I close my thoughts down and set about trying to come up with other stories, and read up on different markets. I try to pretend that I haven't submitted anything, so I shan't get too nervous. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

Through it all, I stretch my hands and discover I've still got my fingers crossed! Here's to good news, right?

Where did I put my pen?

Thanks for reading! I've just finished a book myself, Leviathan by Scott Westerfield. He gave me a bunch of good ideas. Don't you just LOVE it when that happens? Me too!

God bless

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Don't Day

I have to admit, there are days when I feel like writing, and there are days when I don't.

Today was an "I don't" day.

I think it's just being so tired, and trying to shake the worst part of a cold that has me so 'blech' about writing right now. Instead, nothing sounds better than a book, a cup of coffee, and perhaps some music: Josh Groban's Illumination, maybe. Actually, I should probably listen to Hayley Westenra's "Scarborough Faire," or her "Lascia Chio Pianga", since I'll probably be singing both of those as solos for my singing class, and I need to practice.

Reading can recharge my mushy brain. Usually when I read, I can shut out the part of the world that's making me anxious. Actually, critiquing another writer's work also helps. No, I don't mean that nastily, either. I like to hone my critiquing skills, and see if I can help my fellow writer become a better writer by what I say. It's a good feeling, to contribute to another's hard work like that. It makes me feel needed, you know?

When you're just too tired to do any writing of your own, what do you do? Do you feel guilty about not writing? Me, I feel that EVERYONE needs a break sometime, even writers. Hey, other workers get weekends. Do writers also get a "weekend" off work?

Well, this writer does! Happy weekend!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Under the Green Hill: Laura L. Sullivan

Perhaps the Morgan children would never have met Phyllida and Lysander Asher, their distant English relatives, were it not for the epidemic that threatened America. Afraid for their children, college professors Tom and Glynis Morgan ship their children off to England.

For Rowan, Meg, Priscilla, and James Morgan, life with the Asher's seems like it could be ideal.  The house, officially named "The Rookery", is enormous, with lots of places to explore, and a fabulous garden just outside the house. The only downside to their stay may be the last-minute additions of two boys, both of them sons of other college professors: Finn Fachan, an annoying boy that the four Morgans despise equally, and Dickie Rhys, a bookish boy that the Morgans mostly ignore.

The Ashers are pleasant old people. However, they have some very strange rules. The children wonder, why is the forest forbidden? Why can't they give their names to strangers? And why mustn't they accept food from anyone?

Very soon, the Morgans discover the reason. They have arrived in England on May Day, and when they ignore the Ashers' warnings and venture beyond the grounds on the first night of their stay, they come upon the Green Hill, threshold of the Seelie Fairy queen's domain. There, Rowan is chosen to be the Queen's champion in the Midsummer War, a battle fought between the two opposing fairy courts, Seelie and Host. Rowan is their human champion. He must fight the Host's human champion, and either he or his opponent must die.

Determined to save her brother, Meg vows to do all she can to prevent Rowan from fighting in the battle. When she discovers that, without the spilling of the blood of mortal man the land will die, Meg is in a quandary. Can she justify preventing the War to save her brother if it means destroying England?

This was a very gripping story. Laura L. Sullivan draws heavily on Celtic and Arthurian legends to create a story that is as real and believable as the sun outside.

My Rating:

Ideas From Books and Writers

Do you read just to read, or do you read to get new ideas? How many times do you finish a story, and find that your brain is suddenly teeming with new ideas?

I don't really go to a book, intending to be struck with new ideas. However, I admit that most books inspire me to read more in whichever genre I just finished, and to see if my brain kicks in with some inspiration of its own. For instance, I just finished "Under the Green Hill" by Laura Sullivan, and now I'm dying to read up on May Day, and the Seelie and Unseelie courts, and see what kind of story my mind comes up with. Now, I'm reading "Leviathan" by Scott Westerfield, and I'm itching to read more Steampunk and visualize old stories in this Steampunk setting. I mean, how novel would it be to have a Steampunk Rapunzel? Seriously?

(As an aside, I watched "Tangled" a couple weeks ago. I highly recommend it. It was such a novel take on an old story.)

In the same tone, do you read of another writer's success and get excited to start submitting more? Or do you just feel depressed and rather "un-writerly"? How often do you read of someone else's success, and get pumped to do some success writing of your own? I admit, reading of others successes makes me DETERMINED to succeed, as well.

For example, one of my critique partners, Kelly Hashway, is ROCKING! She is a serious role model for me. I want to be just like her when I grow up. (Including the stay-at-home Mom addition, Kelly. Just so you know. ;)) She has gotten tons of acceptances recently, including a forthcoming Picture Book. Congratulations, Kelly! She has inspired me to get digging into my own writing, and not just to write, but to submit, submit, submit.

So, what's your opinion? Do you read books to get ideas, or just to read? Do you read success stories just to get motivated, or just to congratulate the writer?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Epiphany!!

Happy Epiphany, everyone!

Today is the day we celebrate God's manifestation to the Wise Men. There was a sermon I listened to once, by Fulton J. Sheen, that described the two classes of people God revealed Himself to, in His humble form. God showed Himself to shepherds, "they who know they know nothing," and to Wise Men, "they who know they do not know everything." I thought that phrase was the most perfect description of those God deemed worthy enough to behold Him.

Well, now that the season is drawing to a close, I am going to focus more on my writing. I had a lovely Christmas, and the Epiphany was very calm and enjoyable, and now I'm just going to settle back into my routine and start submitting, submitting, submitting. Please God, this year will be a fruitful one.

Have a lovely day! Good night. God bless.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Twelfth Night

Today is Twelfth Night.

Twelfth Night is the evening before the Epiphany. In the older days, Twelfth Night was a festival of reveling and merrymaking.
Many different kinds of pastries, sweets, breads, and drinks were made only at this time. One notable drink, the punch called wassail, a hot, spiced, and usually alcoholic drink, is served on this night. Special cakes, the king cake and the tortell, are baked on this night, to be eaten the next day on the Epiphany.

The king cake is a cake with a small trinket baked inside it. Whichever person gets the piece of cake with the trinket receives various privileges and obligations. Oftentimes, the receiver of the trinket is proclaimed king or queen for the night. The tortell is basically the same.

Today is the last day we receive a gift in the Twelve Days of Christmas. This Twelfth Day of Christmas, we are given Twelve Drummers Drumming. The Twelve Drummers represent the Twelve Points of Doctrine in the Apostle's Creed. These are the twelve points, in sequence:

"1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, 2) and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, 3) Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, 4) suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave] 5) and on the third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty, 6) from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Ghost, 8.) the holy Catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting. Amen."

Happy Epiphany to you all! Even if I'm a day early, at least I managed to say it, right?

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my True Love (God) gave to me,
Twelve Drummers Drumming, (the Twelve Points of Doctrine in the Apostle's Creed.)
Eleven Pipers Piping, (the Eleven Faithful Apostles)
Ten Lords a-Leaping, (the Ten Commandments)
Nine Ladies Dancing, (the Nine Fruits of the Holy Ghost)
Eight Maids a-Milking, (the Eight Beatitudes)
Seven Swans a-Swimming, (the Seven Sacraments)
Six Geese a-Laying, (the Six Days of Creation)
Five Gold Rings, (the Pentateuch)
Four Calling Birds, (the Four Evangelists, or the Gospels)
Three French Hens, (the Theological Virtues)
Two Turtledoves, (the Old and New Testaments)
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (Our Sweet God, Jesus Christ)

All Twelve Days of Christmas

Thanks for following these posts!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's Almost the Epiphany!

Some days just seem to float along so beautifully, don't they? Yesterday, my mom and I went shopping for the Epiphany.

See, in our family, we celebrate Little Christmas, the feast of The Epiphany. It's the day reserved for the Wise Men, when they followed the Star in the East and came unto the Child in Bethlehem. In some countries, Little Christmas is the day for gift-giving, so that they take away nothing of the spirituality of Christmas by focusing attention on gifts rather than Christ.

Anyhow, my mom and I went shopping, and purchased one gift for each member of the family. These are the "Wise Men" gifts. I've got them all wrapped now, and hidden away in my closet. Tomorrow night, after all the little girls have gone to bed, we're going to put out the presents, and it will be as though the Wise Men have come and left a gift for each member of the family.

Isn't that the nicest tradition? It makes the season of Christmas go on so much longer. I just love being able to get one more special, unexpected thing for people. It was particularly lucky this year, because my lovely, dear employer gave us all a Christmas bonus, and I was able to use that to help my parents do the Epiphany gifts. I just LOVE getting things for people.

For today, we celebrate the Eleventh Day of Christmas, which is enlivened by Eleven Pipers Piping. This day commemorates the Eleven faithful Apostles. The Twelfth Apostle, Judas Iscariot, is excluded from the list. Below are the faithful Apostles:

Simon Peter
James bar Alphaeus
Judas bar James

Happy Almost Epiphany, everyone!

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my True Love (God) gave to me,
Eleven Pipers Piping, (the Eleven Faithful Apostles)
Ten Lords a-Leaping, (the Ten Commandments)
Nine Ladies Dancing, (the Nine Fruits of the Holy Ghost)
Eight Maids a-Milking, (the Eight Beatitudes)
Seven Swans a-Swimming, (the Seven Sacraments)
Six Geese a-Laying, (the Six Days of Creation)
Five Gold Rings, (the Pentateuch)
Four Calling Birds, (the Four Evangelists, or the Gospels)
Three French Hens, (the Theological Virtues)
Two Turtledoves, (the Old and New Testaments)
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (Our Darling Jesus Christ)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ten Favourite Things

I've decided it's time for me to discover what kinds of things my friends like to do. In return, I'll list some things that I like to do. We'll take turns.
What are ten favourite things you like to do? These are mine:
  1. Writing
  2. Singing
  3. Reading
  4. Drawing
  5. Baking
  6. Music Theory
  7. Photography
  8. Scrapbooking
  9. Clay Modeling
  10. Star Gazing
With writing, I can explore new worlds, create fantastic new settings, tug at someone's heart with poetry.
With singing, I can inspire myself, and make myself cry. Isn't that funny? Reading gives me relaxation.
If I've had a particularly hard day, or just want to give myself a mental break, reading helps.
Drawing helps me visualize a setting I've come up with, or put a face to a character I've created.
Baking just makes the house smell good, and makes everything feel warm and friendly and creative.
Music Theory is just cool. I love how it gives me that deeper understanding of the way music works.
Photography gives me pleasure in capturing a perfect moment, and lets me kind of hide behind my camera when I'm in an awkward gathering.
Scrapbooking is a very relaxing pastime. I love how I can create a whole page of memories, accented with stickers, quotations, and funny little sketches.
Clay modeling is just fun. I love to see the faces I can pull out of the clay, and form the eyes, mouth, and smile into something that makes me smile back.
Star gazing brings me right into the glory of God. When it's dark outside and I look up and see that unending stretch of diamond gleams, I think of Silent Night, and feel an incredible peace in my heart. 
What are your ten things? 
As an aside, it's only three days until the Epiphany, two days until the Twelfth Day of Christmas, and Twelfth Night. Today, on the Tenth Day of Christmas, we receive Ten Lords a-Leaping. They represent the Ten Commandments. 
On the Tenth Day of Christmas my True Love (God) gave to me,
Ten Lords a-Leaping, (the Ten Commandments)
Nine Ladies Dancing, (the Fruits of the Holy Ghost)
Eight Maids a-Milking, (the Eight Beatitudes)
Seven Swans a-Swimming, (the Seven Sacraments)
Six Geese a-Laying, (the Six Days of Creation)
Five Gold Rings, (the Pentateuch)
Four Calling Birds, (the Four Evangelists, or the Gospels)
Three French Hens, (the Theological Virtues)
Two Turtledoves, (the Old and New Testaments)
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (Our Jesus Christ)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Nine Ladies Dancing

First off, this is post number ninety for me! This is a reason to rejoice! I didn't think I'd EVER hit this many posts. Ten more, and I'll be in the triple digits. A little applause would be nice.

Second, I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Day. Ours was good. We had a beautiful steak, and enjoyed the company of good friends. What more can one ask for? Good food, good movies, good friends... yep, It was indeed a good day.

Third, tomorrow some of us are going to go shopping for the Epiphany. That will be a fun bit of action. Hopefully, it'll ease the sadness of saying goodbye to our friends. Don't you wish life was full of hello's, and you never had to say goodbye? Of course, if that was the case, there wouldn't be much joy in the hello's, would there?

Last, here is the ninth installment of the Twelve Days of Christmas. We are given Nine Ladies Dancing. I admit, that does seem to be a pretty funny gift to receive, but they symbolize the Nine Fruits of the Holy Ghost.

On the Ninth Day of Christmas my True Love (God) gave to me,
Nine Ladies Dancing, (the Nine Fruits of the Holy Ghost)
Eight Maids a-Milking, (the Eight Beatitudes)
Seven Swans a-Swimming, (the Seven Sacraments)
Six Geese a-Laying, (the Six Days of Creation)
Five Gold Rings, (the Pentateuch)
Four Calling Birds, (the Four Evangelists, or the Gospels)
Three French Hens, (the Theological Virtues)
Two Turtledoves, (the Old and New Testaments)
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (Our Dear Jesus Christ)

God bless you all, and I hope you all have a wonderful night. See you all tomorrow!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

On the Eighth Day of Christmas...

Happy New Year, everyone! Today is the very first day of a whole new year. May this year be one full of joy and goodness, and if you suffer tribulation, may God give you the strength to grow from it.

Today, or rather tonight, I'm just going to post the verse for the eighth day of Christmas. I stayed up too late for New Year's, toasting it in with a small glass of whiskey and a couple chocolate-covered coffee beans, so I'm pretty tired. I know you'll all understand.

On the eighth day of Christmas, we receive Eight Maids a-Milking, which symbolize the Eight Beatitudes. These are:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The beatitudes are very beautiful. Each one is like a special promise that God made to us. For those who do what is listed, the reward is given.

So here you go, then. Here is the verse for Day Eight of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas my True Love gave to me
Eight Maids a-Milking (the Eight Beatitudes)
Seven Swans a-Swimming, (the Seven Sacraments)
Six Geese a-Laying, (the Six Days of Creation)
Five Gold Rings, (the Pentateuch)
Four Calling Birds, (the Four Evangelists, or the Gospels)
Three French Hens, (the Theological Virtues)
Two Turtledoves, (the Old and New Testaments)
and a Partridge in a Pear Tree. (Our Lord Jesus Christ)
May you all have a Holy and Beautiful year. God bless.

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