Saturday, June 22, 2013

As summer flies by...

things I've done this summer so far:

worked on my soon-to-be-published (really, truly, this time lol) book
(very little, though 'cause TIME appears to be difficult to get a hold of :P Also, author bio = drive me up the wall. Anybody wanna just write me one and I'll stick it in there? XD lol)

gotten vaccinations
(which I've managed to skip out of most of my life...apparently med school does not approve of that. *rubs shoulder* The hep B series is not supposed to hurt... :P Now I need to go find a fax machine somewhere and send in my records, so they know for once I DID get vaccinated)

met in real life an author whose book's I've reviewed on this blog
(Regina Doman...she's fascinating and it was an awesome afternoon!)

(and packed and packed and packed... :P my family is switching houses here...I'll be staying with an AWESOME and amazingly generous family my first year in med school and my younger brother is working/trying to decide what he wants to do with his life...the rest of my family is getting back to regular life in the country and OY I'm gonna miss them)

run alllllll over town a dozen times over looking for packing boxes
(highlight of that was getting a bunch at one store, stopping at the store exit because my hands hurt, and looking at the boxes and getting completely distracted trying to read the hangul on them until the manager walked by and told one of the check-out girls to help me carry all the boxes. *blush* Apparently it wasn't the best place to practice reading Korean. XD)

(goes along with the packing. after the above misadventure, I went home and cleaned for the rest of the evening, listening to the Rurouni Kenshin soundtrack - very appropriate, as I later learned it was his birthday this week XD - and random songs from my story playlists)

gone to all my brother's graduation thingishes
('cause he graduated!!! :D Which is kinda frightening...and he left immediately afterwards to go to work on a border resort. It's a great summer job, but gah, the house is soooo quiet without him...and I'm just like...this is my last summer before med school...and he's gone...ack. We did have a totally fun party for him - in the rain, but it was still cool; we went on rides and ate cake and had lots of friends come. XD) 

learned to ride the bus
(it was a rather epic adventure spanning an entire afternoon and involved me and a brilliant friend braving the insanity of my town's go exploring. It was super cool. And not exactly something I want to repeat on my own! O.o I'm quite obviously a country girl.) 

started learning how to read hangul
(it wasn't a totally random stop in the store with boxes, I promise. XD The above-mentioned brilliant friend and I discovered the secret and set to work on learning it. I've spent maybe 15 minutes on it...but seriously, the person who invented Korean writing was GENIUS. Absolute genius. Right now I'm working on translating the Lord's would help if I knew what the words MEANT that I was reading...but hey, being able to read them counts for something, right? XD And with the help of google translate and the fact that I know what the Lord's Prayer says, I should be able to understand it pretty well. XD) 

(I hope you guys are ready for the next story of Jessica Greyson's...I know I'm super excited! it's one of my favorites, and oh, you'll love it. XD)  

(not so much as I'd like...I keep falling asleep when I try to write. :P Maybe I ought to get to bed some nights before 3am and see what happens... :P :P :P But just about any writing makes me happy, and right now I'm at 68,000 words in my Contract to Time Travel story. Finally hitting the painful part, and's definitely painful. :P
though sometimes there are more fun parts... XD)

Ellian dropped down onto the ugly couch with a grimace. Something flipped upright just inches away from him and he barely stopped himself from squealing in surprise like a pig. It was Fae, sleepy eyes blinking at him, baby lips turned in a tiny pout.
He shook his head at her until he could breathe again. “Sorry, I almost sat on you, didn’t I?”
She nodded drowsily, and then crawled closer to him, curling up into a tiny ball beside him, resting her head against his leg.

And now I'm setting to work on packing again, while listening to music and using 2 sets of earbuds and a splitter, because both my sets of earbuds only work on one side. :P It's interesting...

But I will leave you with the cutest thing I've seen in...a while. IT'S ADORABLE!!!! XD

Friday, June 14, 2013

short reminder:

via Mirriam's pinterest

Tomorrow is the Amazon Blitz for Mirriam Neal's incredible book Monster! And she's having a giveaway on her blog - go enter it and check out some of the other interviews listed there! :D 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Monster Blitz, Giveaway, and Author Interview!!!

So. Last year I mentioned a book. The best book I read in 2012. Brilliantly thought-provoking, heartbreakingly beautiful, and incredibly amazing, Monster was a gorgeous story that went straight to my heart. It is still there, and I am BEYOND EXCITED to say its release date is June 15!!! 

I begged to interview the author, Mirriam Neal, last fall, simply because I loved Monster so much, and now that the publication date is FINALLY HERE, I just had to do it again. She's an awesome person, as well as an awesome writer - go follow her blog and like/share her author page on Facebook and see for yourself, if you don't know already! XD

From the book's cover:

The year is 2053, and the world is recovering from Morbus, a plague that swept across the globe, destroying millions of lives. Eva Stewart is a promising young WorldCure scientist assigned to a facility in Alaska where she is made a Handler and given her own Subject for research and experimentation. What she believes to be a step up in her career becomes a nightmare when she discovers writing on her Subject's cell wall. 
I still have a soul.
Soon Eva is drawn into a horrific plot kept quiet by WorldCure, and as everything she knew collapses around her, she must discover the truth behind her Subject, her beliefs, and herself. 

Mirriam is doing a giveaway on the 14th on her blog, as well as posting all the details of where you can buy the book! Speaking of, Blitz = buy Monster on the 15th and get as many other people as you can to buy it also! Let's see how many sales we can make happen the day it comes out! :)    

And now for the interview. :) Welcome back, Mirriam! 

So, what is your one-sentence synopsis of Monster
“A dedicated young scientist must question everything she has worked for when her Subject begins to show signs of humanity.”
*shiver* Okay, just that was enough to send several of my favorite scenes running through my head…

Out of the stories you have written, why did you decide to publish this one first?
Honestly, because it was finished first. *grin* I think it’s a good first novel; I just hope people won’t think I’m going to stick to one genre. Every book I’m working on is totally different.
That is for sure! Your ability to cross genres and give every story a completely different feel has me awed. J

What was the hardest part about writing Monster as a whole? The easiest? Hardest/easiest scene? The hardest part about writing Monster was knowing it would eventually end. Writing the last few chapters was incredibly difficult, but physically, the hardest to write is a scene where Eva tells Pocky some important information about Mir. The easiest scenes were, interestingly, the ones where Mir and Eva talked to each other. Their dialogue and chemistry came very naturally, none of it was forced.

How many songs are on your Monster playlist? :) I actually would love to know what they all are, if you wanted to share that! :D Do you tend to listen to music while you are thinking about the story or while you are actually writing it? or both?
I love music + writing questions! My playlist wasn’t too long, but it was key in playing through emotions in the book. Big Bang’s “Monster,” DMTN’s “E.R.,” Tritops’ “Love Addiction” and “Bad Boy,” Owl City’s “Gold,” and MBLAQ’s “Cry” were replayed so many times they got moved up to my ‘most played’ category! I listened (still do, all the time) to music while writing AND thinking about it. It’s such a powerful mood enhancer.
It is!! So very cool to hear what songs influenced Monster... J  

Are you totally ready for this or does the thought of sending your characters out into the world scare you?
I know my characters can handle themselves; I’m more worried about their author! *laugh* I’m not as nervous as I thought I would be. I want to see them do well, because I want to feel like I’ve done right by Mir and Eva and the rest. They deserve it.

How did you choose the cover design?
I knew I wanted Mir’s face. (I’ll have you know that the face on the cover is not Mir’s face in my mind’s eye, but it was perfect because nobody else knows that!) Jessica Greyson, a talented graphic artist, came along and offered to make the cover – and she did a stunning job!
I see a different face in my head also, but the cover looks amazing! J

Is there anyone you really hope will read Monster? Anyone you would actually rather not read it?
If I’m going to shoot for the stars, I’ll say I would love Lee Joon of MBLAQ to read it, because he is Mir. His character, his personality (and his looks – he’s who I envision as Mir) – they are Mir’s heart. And I would love him to know how important he was (and is) to me. I can’t think of anybody I don’t want to read it – I want everyone to meet Mir!
That is so cool...and Yes!!!!! Everyone, go read it.

Is there anything in Monster that you thought people would ask you about that no one has mentioned?  Or a part/character that people loved/hated that surprised you?
I was pleased that everyone loved who I wanted them to love and hate who I wanted them to hate. I think everyone grasped the characters and their identities really well – sometimes so well that it surprised me! As for questions I thought people would ask, I can’t think of any. People are good at asking questions; they don’t tend to leave many out!

Did you hit writer's block anywhere in the story/how did you get through it?
I hit writer’s block before the trial scene and it took me almost a week before I was given inspiration again. As providence would have it, I went to a conference in South Carolina that gave me all the information and inspiration I needed to finish it up!
Awesome… J It was rough waiting to read; must have been dreadful waiting to write it!

Have you found there to be any occupational hazards to being a writer? The occasional growing of claws and the tendency to growl at interrupters. Also, sitting in a computer chair for an extended amount of time isn’t exactly comfortable. I also tend to lose sleep, but sleep can be forfeited.
J Just so long as you don’t burn yourself out…you need to keep writing until forever. XD

Did you start writing Monster right at the beginning or somewhere else in the story? Do you remember what was the scene that made you start?
The first sentence you wrote? I like to write chronologically; otherwise I get confused. I may start with a certain scene in my head and write up to that, but I don’t start with it. The scene that came into my mind was when Eva first sees the writing on Mir’s wall; I knew it would be pivotal, and so I sat down because I wanted that scene to happen.
Gah, I love that scene…You have no idea how excited I am to be able to hold this story actually in my hands and read it in just a few days instead of somedays…

Is there one scene that is your favorite/has stayed your favorite through any rewrites/edits? Can you share it? (without spoilers? :)
Oh, goodness. I love so many scenes…I really love The Kiss (I don’t want to say too much without spoilers) and the dancing scene, but here’s a conversation I also love that shouldn’t be too spoilery.

               In that moment, the carefully held-together pieces of Eva’s heart broke. “Love is…” her voice faded. How was she to explain something as complicated and foreign as love to this creature before her – a product of darkness and fear and abandonment, everything love was not? But Thirteen’s luminescent eyes watched her unblinkingly, waiting for an answer. She began again. “Love is when… when you feel strongly for someone in a good way. You want what’s best for someone else because their happiness is more important than yours.” She took a deep breath and rubbed her shaking hands together. “Love is when you’d give up everything you value if it would help the other person. You would die so they could live.”
            Thirteen curled his left arm around his stomach and Eva paused, waiting for him to speak. After several heartbeats, she asked flatly, “You don’t understand anything I’m saying, do you?”       
            When Mir spoke, his voice was thick and hard to make out. “You would die?”
            “Yes,” said Eva, swallowing past a lump in her throat, “if I loved them enough.”
            More silence, while Eva, growing uncomfortable on the hard, cold ground, shifted into a more comfortable position. She waited, and finally in a quiet, husky voice that Eva had to lean forward to catch it all, he asked, “You would live, too?”
            “Live?” Eva could feel her composure cracking. “Well, of course I’d live. Everybody wants to live.”
            Mir lowered his head and looked away, ghostly in the blue glow of her flashlight. “Not everyone.”

Kills me….every…time…thank you for sharing it here! *goes off to cry by myself*

Do you have plans to publish any other books in the near future?
Yes, I hope so! I’m working on several books that I would love to see get in other people’s hands. I’m the sort of person who wants everyone to love what I love, so I want to see my characters enthrall people. When someone cries or laughs along with my stories, it makes me the happiest person in the galaxy.
I can’t wait for the next one, whichever it ends up being! J

Is there anything in particular you would like to say to someone considering reading Monster?
Yes. I know, looking at the cover or reading the synopsis, this may not sound like your kind of book. But please give it a chance – I’ve had quite a few people read it and tell me, “I never read this kind of book, but I loved Monster.” So don’t judge it before you read it. You may hate it – but you may love it. Don’t waste the chance to meet Mir.

Yes, yes, yes. Don't miss the opportunity. Mir changed my life...let his story change yours. And no, I was not hired to say that. When I say buy Monster (on the 15th!!!) and read it, I'm saying it because I loved it and I want you to be able to love it too! So mark the 15th! And then come tell me what you think of Monster, because I would be absolutely delighted to hear! :D 

And if you want to read a little more about Monster while you're waiting for the 15th, check out these posts and be watching for more! :) 

Sofia (Great interview...I love Mirriam's answer to did writing Monster teach you anything - that's exactly what it taught me, which is pretty awesome. :) 

Ashley (Ashley's better at writing feels than I am...and gah, just the title of her post...leave me to my tears...)

Lisa (another great interview - but please don't explode, Mirriam. XD Though I think I might, if the 15th doesn't get here quickly. :P)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Shattering of the Rose

This is a random scene I wrote for my retold fairytale Tam Lyn. It takes place years and years before the beginning of the story, and will not appear in it at all, but this is one of the moments that leads to The Shattering of the Rose...i.e. The Creation of Tam Lyn.
And I thought some of you might enjoy reading it, short-scribble piece though it is.
:D If you do, let me know - I have several more I can post if you enjoy it at all. XD 

The Tam that will someday be...
and as usual, credit due thebrilliant Jessica, who is really the reason
for these short story pieces. :D (She sent me a whole set of pictures
changing Tam's eyes brown and putting my character models
together - quite delightfully fun - and got me working on the story just a bit more than usual. XD) 

“Brayden, darling, would you mind helping me?”
Brayden turned from the window, his heart aglow with the sunshine that filled the air outside. “Can you hear the trumpets, Mother?” he asked, resisting the urge to jump up and down. He was not a baby any more, after all.
But his mother gave a little bounce on the chair before her mirror, his own excitement reflected in her eyes. “Yes, and they’re telling us to hurry! So—” She ducked her head done, towards the necklace she was holding to her throat. He nodded quickly and went to her, puzzling over the clasp for only a moment before he had it done.
“Why didn’t you have the servants help you with it?” he asked curiously, looking at her in the mirror, his head cocked to one side. She reached one arm back, slipping it about his neck to draw him close.
“Because only men of the Roxbury line and those they loved have touched that necklace since it was first made. Your great-great-grandfather gave it to his bride on their wedding day, and asked that she wear it as a symbol of her love for him—and she refused even to let the servants polish it. The others have done the same…and I will not be the first to break that tradition.”
She smiled at him, her nose crinkling teasingly. “And if you wed a woman who breaks it…I shall be quite cross with you, after all the trouble I’ve gone to myself.”
She laughed, and he laughed with her. It was a day for laughter, after all, and when she rose to her feet he caught her hands in his own and spun her around.
“I would never marry a lady who would make you cross, Mother-Dear.” He meant it, but the meaning of it made him frown suddenly, and he stopped mid-swing. “I hope there are not many who would?”
His mother was still laughing, though she stood still now, swaying with slight dizziness from their spin. “I’m sure there are not, but whatever is the matter?”
“Well,” he said, trying to sound as Father did, when saying something serious. “It’s already hard enough trying to think who I might marry—I do not wish to marry anyone who is not almost as beautiful as you, and she must be good, too. And fun,” he added, as an afterthought. Fun was important, though. Nan, who brought the eggs to the castle kitchen, was fun; Ellissa, who the dancing master had asked him to dance with last week, was not. Ellissa was far prettier, but he had a sneaking suspicion that Nan would be nearly as pretty, if she but had the clothes for it. Neither could hold a candle to his mother, though, and he looked up at her now.
Almost as beautiful as me?” she asked him, her eyebrows raised, and he nodded.
“I’ve never seen anyone so beautiful as you,” he said honestly, and did not understand why she laughed again.
“Not even the queen was so pretty as you,” he said, in earnest, and she bent and kissed his forehead, though she was still laughing.
“Careful!” she said as she straightened, brushing his blonde hair away from his eyes. “Do not step so close to treason!”
He felt his mouth fall open before he could catch himself, and she laughed again, ruffling his hair all over. “Oh, darling, I was joking! Of course that is not treason.” She gave him a secretive smile. “And if it was, I would not tell on you.”
Then the trumpets sounded again, and all thoughts of treasonous words were driven from his head. “Are you ready?” he cried, and his mother squeezed his hand.

“Never more so!” she cried, and then they were both running hand-in-hand down the long hall, sending servants scuttling out of their way left and right, both of them laughing as if nothing could ever make them stop. Father was coming home today.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Doubt that the stars are fire...or that I will ever manage to state my thoughts clearly and concisely....

via google

Ahhh, Hamlet...the perfect thing to with which begin a post on love. *facepalm* 
Okay, it's probably the Shakespeare play I know best, thanks to David Tennant and, more recently, this. (Okay, no, that wasn't Hamlet...but the same singer was in a Hamlet musical, and I admit, I'm intrigued. Also, that song, with this one, just changed many things about my story Tam Lyn, which yes, does have several dungeon scenes. Now you know something new. XD)

Anyway. I was just told by another girl not to get a boyfriend...since they're "more trouble than they're worth 70% of the time." 
It always surprises me when I'm told something like that, but evidently it's obvious that I don't have one. :) 'Cause I don't, in case I'm sure none of you were wondering. XD Maybe this would have been better as a Valentine's post, but what can I say, I do things on my own timing. ;) 

As a sometimes-hopeless-romantic (have you ever read certain of my story snippets...*cough*), I have always adored the glimpses of "true love" I've seen in stories, and looked for evidence that it's actually real. (I'm also a wretched cynic at the two combine I'm not you know the secret to my troubled mind. XD) Unfortunately two of the fairytale romances I set my heart on in real life fizzled into nothingness as I watched in disappointment on the sidelines, and two of the most perfect marriages I've ever seen, I later found, upon growing up, not to be perfect at all, but merely steadfast because the people involved chose to make a difficult thing work.

*fizzle* go my dreams of true love. 

Oh, sure I've seen marriages that were beautiful (is it weird that two of my favorite couples are in their 60's?), but even they have overcome hardships I'd rather avoid. This post says so much about what I feel about love, and whether or not such 'epic love' exists, it's the kind I want. Dare I say, the only kind I want? This post says quite what I feel about my life at the moment, and with so many people in my life (doubt truth to be a liar indeed, but never doubt I love, and quite a lot, at that), how can I wish for more?

Um...because I'm a girl? Ha. :P

I want there to be epic love and I want it for myself. I was thinking about this the other day, and wondering what on earth Paul was talking about 1 Corinthians 7, and praying and reading a bunch of commentaries and thinking. Sadly, the more I read/prayed, the more I sensed a growing disgust with much that I've heard growing up. 

American TV, admittedly, wouldn't know true love if it hit them like a Mack truck and ran them over a dozen times in a row. (Then again, I myself might not recognize true love if it manifested itself in such a manner. :P) But there are reasons my family has never had a TV (and why I do not plan on ever having one myself), so that's not the kind of thing I'm talking about.

 It's not just my culture that has lost its grasp of love's meaning and purpose.
Yes, I have read (and actually quite enjoyed) books like Before You Meet Prince Charming and Preparing to be a Helpmeet. That aside, the idea that an "unmarried daughter" has no further purpose in life than to assist her father and prepare to be a suitable helper to her someday future husband makes me ill. We (as in a collective, all mankind) were created to glorify God. Do you know what I got out of 1 Corinthians 7? 

The only reason to get married is if I can glorify God more by getting married than by remaining unmarried. 

So often I've heard people talk about how "special" these "single years" are, and it's scared me. These are the years I will be closest to God? This is the time I can do the most for Him? Once I get married and have children, it's all distractions and no time to spend with Him?
With all due respect to those who gave me that idea, I don't think that's what Paul is saying. For one thing, if it's true these single years are so special and a time when we can serve God like no other, why on earth would we spend them preparing for the coming years when we'll be busy and distracted with pleasing our husbands? (Is it enough to say I've heard some confusing talks on this subject? Wouldn't it be either/or, people, not both?) (For a rather more balanced view, look at this post. Don't worry, I'm not saying I think married people have the same amount of time/responsibility as unmarried people - and I like the author's focus here! :) It's a much clearer look at it than some of what I've heard... :P)
More than that, though, why on earth would God create/design something absolutely necessary to the continuation of the human race (marriage) and then have it run to cross purposes with the entire point of the human race (glorifying Him)? 

If I cannot glorify God more by being married than by being single, I don't want to be married. If it's not an epic, crazy, God-glorifying love, than I don't want it.

This time in my life is not about waiting, or preparing to someday be a wife, or determining to be single forever because that's "better." It's about seeking my God and His kingdom and glorifying Him in the place He has called me to be and with the people in whose lives He has placed me, while readying myself for whatever He has planned for my future. His love for me is both true and epic, and I want my love for Him to be the same, no matter who else I love.

Monday, June 3, 2013

My Heroes

Who do you look up to? 

Who you look up to says a lot about who you are. I think I first really realized that when I did a "character interview" with a character in my story The Jeweled Dagger, a historical fiction novel about Naaman's servant girl. One of the questions was about who the character looked up to, who their heroes were, and I had to stop and think. Who would this particular character look up to? I had a few ideas, but once I had them all written down, I was surprised to see how perfectly they all fit together and how obviously they had inspired my character. 

So I like to ask this question, because it tells so much about a person. When I've stopped and thought about my own heroes, I've been amazed at how their lives have influenced mine. As a child, I was blessed to have a natural inclination for for reading biographies and learning about amazing people in history, a mother who insisted and even a church that encouraged I do so. I made it through a few biographies by the sheer force of my mother's will, but I got through them, and I learned a lot. Not all of the people I read about interested me, but there was always something interesting in their stories. And some of them I fell as completely in love with as if they had been a fictional character, only I liked them even more because they were real people. XD

So who are my heroes? In no particular order (how do you order or rank the people who have influenced you?), here are the first ones who come to my mind:

Amy Carmchael, via google
George Muller. The amount of time he spent in prayer and the absolute dependance he had on God have inspired my prayers on many occasions. The fact that he cared for 10,024 orphans in his life makes him epic.  

Amy Carmichael. Her books have delighted, encouraged, and absolutely caused me to grow as a Christian. Plus, she was a missionary who founded an orphanage.

Adoniram Judson, Jr. Okay, he I mostly thought was cool and had an exciting life - he learned to read when he was three years old, he was one of the first American missionaries, and his Burmese translation of the Bible is still the popular one in Myanmar, for starters.
(His wife Ann was awesome as well. And a piece of trivia: my older brother and his now-wife played Adoniram and Ann for a Vacation Bible school skit at her church before they fell in love. XD So I think these missionaries will remain on my list of heroes. ;) 

Darlene Diebler Rose. I love her book Evidence Not Seen - she was really one of the first missionaries I read about where I actually felt like I was reading about a real person who I could majorly identify with. Plus, she was a good writer. :) 

Mary Slessor. She was Scottish, for one thing...and a missionary who adopted many of the babies she found abandoned (most of which were twins, which is something I've always wanted), and saved hundreds. I was terrified of Africa for years after reading about her story. XD She was inspired by David Livingston, who technically should be on my list (erm...he checks off a lot of boxes: Scottish, doctor, missionary to Africa...), but...I don't know. I think he might be on my secondary list. (Think David's mighty men - there were quite a few sets and sub-sets among them. XD)

William Wallace. This is entirely the fault of Scottish Chiefs, which I read when I was ten years old and which colored my view of Scotland (see above), England, and heroes for years to come. But the man was pretty amazing, and he and Robert the Bruce both remain on my list of awesome people. (Honorable mention goes to Richard the Lionhearted, only that's more the fault of Sir Walter Scott. Some people are on that list because I want to be like them, others just because they were too larger-than-life not to be included. XD He's on my secondary list too.)

Elizabeth Blackwell. First woman to get a medical degree in the US, abolitionist, and major proponent of socio-moral reform as linked with health. Very cool. I read I-don't-know-how-many biographies of her growing up...I told my mom she was purposefully brainwashing me into becoming a doctor. XD 
The Flying Tigers, via wikipedia...epic!

The Flying Tigers. Speaking of cool...these guys were awesome. And probably sparked my interest in the Far East, after Hudson Taylor, Adoniram Judson, and the fact that my Grandpa was stationed in Japan after WWII. Anyway, read a biography of these guys - you will not be sorry. I am totally writing a novel about one of them some day...

Gladys Aylward. Mostly I loved her work with Chinese and Taiwanese orphans...haha, the fact that Darlene Rose is the only married woman on this list used to scare me a bit, but Muller was married and Judson married three times and Rose married twice - maybe that makes up for it. Otherwise...I can totally see myself running a giant orphanage somewhere in the world, I really can. XD

Paul White. I grew up on the Jungle Doctor series, and love the man for being a doctor and a writer, and a Christian missionary. His stories did not make me less afraid of Africa, but I have a feeling they influenced my desire to become a doctor. 

Luke. I think I've mentioned him before. He wrote a book of the Bible. He was a doctor. He was awesome. 

Daniel. He also wrote a book of the Bible, and what's more, he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. That's pretty amazing. Also, he was called greatly beloved by angels. Like I said, amazing.

Hannaniah, Mishael, and Azariah. There were so many justifications, so many excuses they could have come up with for obeying the king...but they were not even careful to answer the king. I love them.

Joseph. While I'm listing favorites from the Bible...he and Daniel were tied for the longest time on my favorites list. Come to think of it, I still don't know who's ahead...

Susanna Wesley. The care she put into raising her children, and the fact that the Great Awakening and several thousand hymns are in large part due to her influence on two of them is nothing if not inspirational. 

Ben Carson. He's a doctor. And a writer. And brilliant. Need I say more? I read his first autobiography years and years ago, watched a documentary on his life, read his second book, watched a movie made about him, and it was actually reading quotes from some of his more recent talks that got me started on this post. :D

The White Rose, via google. Seriously...these people are amazing.
Sophie Scholl. Part of the White Rose, an incredible group of people. Every single one of the them was amazing in their own way, and reading the writings of the male members confirmed my belief that yes, awesome heroes do exist and these fictional characters that we swoon over can be cartoons compared to the real thing. Sophie herself, as a 22-year-old student in an extremely hostile environment with a faith in God that would not allow her to remain silent about the atrocities that surrounded her is absolutely one of my all-time favorite heroines. 

Who are your heroes?

"The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive.' The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves—or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.”― Sophie Scholl


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