Monday, June 30, 2014

Faith and Fantasy

I was going to do the Classics tag...and I realized it had been a while since I read any classics...and there were a lot of classics I actually disliked...and I figured fantasy would be easier. Lo and behold, I forgot I read not a huge lot in the way of fantasy while growing up. But I wanted to do this tag, so...XD 

1. Taken from a Christian perspective, what are your thoughts and feelings on the fantasy genre in general? Do you hold to any convictions or guidelines on things like magic, sorcery, fantastical elements or allegory in fantasy books?
Allegories are absolutely wrong and should never be written by Christians...wait, no, I wrote one...XD
Okay, this could take up several blog posts. And I still might not have perfectly explained my thoughts and feelings. So basically...look at the Bible. Talking donkeys, dead people coming to life, fleeces getting wet or not wet, oil jars never going empty, ravens bringing people food...that was stream of consciousness typing - I could go on for quite a while. (Have you read the book of Ezekiel lately? XD) A lot of things in there could be seen as "magic" but they're reality. I liked how Rachel Starr Thompson said it on her site:
Fantasy is the most natural genre for me because I think reality is in fact heavily supernatural and invisible, and fantasy provides an amazing way to make invisible things visible and give a tangible aspect to things that are otherwise hard to grasp.
I have no problem with fantastical elements/magic/etc...unless it is ill-defined. Power in our world comes from God, but there is a twisted power of the devil (see the demon-possessed in the New Testament) as well. If the story is set in our world, it kinda needs to play by the rules set up. If the story is in a different kind of world (like the Tales of Goldstone Woods and The Books of Bayern), then there's a little more leeway. But magic/power still has to abide by rules. Good and evil can't mix, no matter what universe you're in (you don't serve God using power from the devil). Basically, it has to be Biblical.

2. Who are some of your favourite fantasy/fairy-tale authors? (you can name up to three.)
Anne Elisabeth Stengl...Tolkien/Lewis...aaand Megan Whalen Turner. XD
(once Mirriam Neal gets some fantasy published I might add her to this list...XD)

3. Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia books, or watched any of the movies? Which, if so, are your three favourite books?
ohhh...three favorite...The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The Horse and His Boy. Prince Caspian. XD 

4. How many books by J.R.R. Tolkien have you read and enjoyed so far? Can you choose a favourite book (The Lord of the Rings can be considered one book ;)?
The Hobbit...Lord of the Rings...The Silmarillion...The Children of Hurin...oh, and Farmer Giles of Ham. If I can't remember others, I guess they don't count. XD I think of those LOTR would be my favorite, though the Silmarillion explains a lot, and The Hobbit is the least depressing. XD

5. Uhm. . . since, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were friends, I will not risk causing further estrangement to the history of their friendship by pitting them against each other! However, being the mastermind of mischief that I am, I will toss this question your way: which of the two are you most fond of in sense of storytelling, characters, themes and what personally touches/inspires you the most: The Lord of the Rings, or The Chronicles of Narnia?
LOTR is the more epic...Narnia is a piece of my childhood...but really, LOTR is how I started adolescence...touches and inspires me how??? both. in different ways. I can't do it.

6. Are there other books and movies of the fantasy/fairy-tale/legend genre that have you read and loved, especially from modern authors? Please tell us a little bit about them.
Well, I mentioned Megan Whalen Turner (because her books are fascinating and many-layered and genius, no matter how many times I read them)...
I've very much enjoyed Shannon Hale's The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets, Forest Born (which I did not like the first time I read it, but really did the second time), as well as Princess Academy.
I've also read some Robin McKinley...Stephen Lawhead...Madeline L'Engle...Diana Wynne Jones...George Macdonald....I will say L'Engle combined with Macdonald and the philosophical musings of a nonfiction author sent me into a bit of a tailspin faith-wise at one point, which I will not say was a bad thing, because it forced me to grab hold of what I knew to be truth and let go of some of the trappings I had decorated with...but it was extremely not pleasant and perhaps could have turned out not as it did. You really do have to be careful what you read, and you do have to examine yourself and what you believe and how what you are filling your head with is changing you. Because it will change you.

7. Have you read any Christian allegories, such as Pilgrim's Progress, Holy War or Hinds Feet on High Places? 
Pilgrim's Progress & Hinds Feet on High Places. And a few others...including some I really did not enjoy, though I've forgotten the names of them. XD

8. Share some of your most well-loved heroines from fantasy tales in literature (books, movies, modern and classics), and why you love them so much! What virtues/traits in them would you like to have yourself?
I'm going to close my eyes and pick one...'cause otherwise I'll be sitting at my computer all night. XD
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee from The Goose Girl - she actually reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger, with her shyness, love of her horse, and desire to be more like her mother. Thankfully, my mom is nothing like hers. XD It's been a while since I read it, but I think I have come to accept, as she did, who I am as different from some of those I dearly love, respect, look up to, and have always wanted to be like. We've all been given different gifts, and that I am not a carbon copy of another individual is not something to wish away. I was never meant to be a copy, and while there is an incredible amount I can learn from others and things in my life I need to work at and improve...I don't have to rewrite my personality and talents to be who I am supposed to be. Which kinda is something I think I wanted to do as a child.

9. Which land would you rather go, dwell in, or be a part of: Middle-Earth, or Narnia? (or maybe some other fantasy-land, you share!)
Middle Earth. XD

10. What kind of fantasy are you most fond of? Fantastical and "fairy-tale-ish" like Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast or Cinderella, or rather the mythological, high-epic-fantasies such as Tolkien's?
In general I like high fantasy...epic is hard to beat. I have read some delightfully fun fairy-tale-ish, really depends on the book.

11. Which is your favourite fairy-tale? 
I like the random ones...Snow White & Rose Red...Cinderlad...I can't pick favorites! I should have thought about that before doing this tag... XD

12. List some of your most well-loved movie adaptions of fantasy tales (this does not include Disney fairy-tale animations). 
I really haven't seen that many adaptations...I don't there a point in just listing the ones I've seen? XD

13. Who are your favourite heroes from fantasy books? (you may list as many as you like!) Tell us a little bit about why you love them so much :).
I'm only going to tell one, and he takes a bit of explaining, so I suppose it's good to explain it here. XD
Gen, from the Queen's Thief Series. I think the reason I love him so much is that the series actually has one of the most realistic and incredibly truth-filled salvation journeys I've ever read. The caveat you should be aware of here is that it's based off Greek mythology, and the premise of the series is that the gods are real. I actually read the series aloud to my younger siblings, editing as I read and making it monotheistic and Biblically based as I did so. It's not Christian fiction, but it was brilliantly done, and I thought lent itself very well to my editing. XD 

Gen starts out annoying, cocky, babyish, strange, somewhat infuriating. (And he chews with his mouth open, which is just nasty.) As a self-proclaimed genius thief, he's not exactly the hero you'd be looking for. In the climax of the 1st book, however, you find all is not exactly as it has been proclaimed to be (he's quite a liar, also), and he discovers that the gods [God, in my version XD] to whom he has always paid lip-service are in fact real. And interested in his life. And listening to his prayers. Book 2 has one of my favorite love stories ever, because of how it reminded me of the ridiculousness, really, of God's love for us. We are utterly unworthy, His enemies, and we killed God Incarnate. And He still loves us. If that is not mind-numbingly incredible, I don't know what is. Not only did the book help me realize that afresh, it also has some awesome observations on free will and God's omniscience, on why bad things still happen to us when we are doing right, and how God is able to work all things for good, even through circumstances that we think have destroyed our lives or our usefulness. Gen's growth as a believer is fascinating to watch. (Especially since I've RARELY seen a Christian book do that so well. The way his understanding of who he serves grows is fully part of the story as much as any other element, and key to everything that happens.) Book 3 is something of a fascinating commentary on politics and the difference between citizens and rulers - I'm not sure I agree on the book's conclusion of the matter (and your enjoyment of the book will probably depend on your views regarding lying done by spies for their country), and there are some painful but interesting questions regarding torture raised also...I think what I like most about that particular one is how love is exemplified in seeing who a loved one truly is, in protecting and caring for that one, and in making that one better with your love. Love that gives, instead of wants. Gen does show himself to yet be incredibly young and still with much growing to do, but his growth is obviously ongoing, and the way others react to his faith in a place where most do not believe as he does is fascinating to see. 

I've said a lot about the series in this post, and I should say I would probably not recommend it for young readers. But if you are looking for a way to make your characters' beliefs real, truthful, absolutely the opposite of preachy (or how to weave multiple story threads together and pull together a brilliant political love story, with awesome friendships and bromance and swordfights on the side), then you really should read the series. XD

14. Saddest moment in any fantasy tale you've either watched or read?
The whole ENDING to LOTR was sad...The Children of Hurin was one of the more depressing books I've ever read...The Last Battle was also sad to read in general...I don't want to sit and debate sadness of particular moments.... :(

15. How did you get into The Lord of the Rings and Middle-Earth books/movies? (If you're not into LOTR than you can talk about how you got into Narnia instead).
.....we had a copy of the Hobbit sitting on our bookshelf and I read it? Something like that, anyway. It was a book. It was not complicated. XD

16. Give a list (preferably with pictures!) of your favourite fantasy/medieval costumes/armour/gowns and from which movie/character they come from.
That would take me all year, which I plan to spend doing other things. XD Fantasy  in general has gorgeous costumes...

17. Which fantasy/fairy-tale has inspired and influenced you the most?
based on this post, you tell me. XD
18. Favourite character in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings/Hobbit universe? Favourite character in The Chronicles of Narnia? (Choose 1 each)
.....not fair...I'm going to say Legolas and Peter because I'm not letting myself sit and think about this for any longer than 1 second. XD (because seriously I can't pick favorites and I'm not even going to try. XD)

19. Favourite friendship in a fantasy book/movie/series?
gahhhhhh....okay, that between Eugenides and his Queen in MWT's The Queen's Thief series. (1 second rule...XD)

20. Which villain of fantasy strikes the most dread and loathing in you? Which foe strikes the most pity?
I thought about this for a while, and apparently I don't concentrate on villains much when I'm reading...I like being kind of scared of the villain, but it's mostly because I'm actually really hard to scare (so far as I can tell...), and I will scream at spiders or villains because it's fun, not because I'm genuinely afraid or dreading the villain. 
Sauron is completely unlikeable...Gollum perhaps most pitied, because his story is absolutely miserable. (So is Grima Wormtongue's, but he's slightly less pitiable. :P) Selia from The Books of Bayern was quite nasty. 
Actually the villain I'm most furious with at the moment is Samuel Lemeck from Mirriam Neal's This Mortal Coil - he's barely appeared in the story, but I'm quite mad at him. >:( 

21. Share some of your most well-loved quotes from fantasy books/movies :). 
this one I shall leave for a review post coming up on one of Stengl's books, and then a quote post I have in mind. XD

22. Favourite battle in a fantasy book or movie?
People die in the battles...that makes me sad...I will say there are moments I love - bits of snark and moments of beautiful sacrifice in the Queen's Thief Series...the same for others, though I can't think of a particular one at the moment (see, I read The Queen's Thief Series most recently, so sorry if I seem stuck on that one. XD)

23. Tell us which romance couple you love best in any of the fantasy stories you know about.
The main one in The Queen's Thief Series. XD

24. Elves or dwarves? Gondor or Rohan? Aragorn or King Tirian?
Elves. Rohan. Aragorn. Did anyone actually have a hard time with this one? XD
25. Who is your favourite side-kick (secondary character) in books/movies of this genre? (you are welcome to choose more than one ;). 
Samwise Gamgee...and I'll just stop there...(could you have a better side-kick? really?)

26. List five fantasy novels you are especially looking forward and eager to read in the near future.
Shadow Hand. Anne Elisabeth Stengl. (and Golden Daughter, Goddess Tithe, Dragonwitch, and Veiled Rose...also by her...)
something by Diana Wynne Jones that I have on my computer that I can't think of the title at this second.
Kenna.  Mirriam Neal. And This Mortal Coil, though it's very different from the others listed here. XD

27. Which fantasy work struck you with the most sense and depth of faith and the author's perception of morality, ethics, the distinction and battle between good and evil, and the Christian walk? Can you share a little bit about it?
I'm going to throw my answer to #13 here, because I had to think the most about these things in that series. In LOTR, it was epic and beautiful and profound...but it did not require me to debate the morality of torture, or to sort through such brokenness on the part of those fighting on the side of good and learning to walk the Christian walk when they started from a place so far from right.

28. What was the first fantasy novel you ever read and how did it strike you?
I have no idea. Probably The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe? I really do not remember.

29. What would inspire you to pick up a work of fantasy literature or watch a fantasy film? What do you believe are both the benefits, negatives and overall effects of enjoying this genre?
Well, if it was some random place and I picked the book up, it would probably be due to the cover...doing anything other than picking it up and setting it down would be due to what I read on the back cover/saw flipping through it for a second. Usually I go by recommendations, though - if someone I know enjoyed a story and mentions it repeatedly, that's probably one I'm going to go find and read. :) 
As I was answering these, I read Mirriam's answers and since she basically said exactly what I was just beginning to think for that last question, I'm simply going to quote her. XD
I believe reading fantasy will expand your mind and the way you think and perceive the world around you, as well as brighten and stretch your imagination. It teaches you to think outside the lines. As for negative effects, I think they are the same for every genre – you don’t want to read junk. It’s as simple as that.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Reflecting On My First Year of Med School. in gifs.


Me on half the test questions every test:

quickly followed by:

and then there's the practical exams during which we all basically look like this:
(such a lovely group of doctors we are... XD)

then I see the lecturers afterwards and I'm just like:

but there's always those classmates that are like:

which makes me go:


but y'know, they're med school tests, just another phrase for:


This part varies widely. We start by asking the 2nd years what to expect from each new lecturer and they say:



(I am not even kidding on that one...her shoes were pretty fun. And I totally love her.)

and they finish with:

and then we get to the lecture itself usually feeling like:

and when the lecture gets really, really, boring:

but then sometimes lecture is really intense and we go:

and the lecturers go:

though usually we all tend to focus on hearing these words:

and when we question physician guest lecturers who are specialists:

But when we question PhD lecturers on obscure pathways it's just:

When we ask about test questions:


And when we say we're aiming for 100%, 2nd years go:

and then after the test, if we complain about a question no one remembered the answer to, the lecturers say:

which can be summed up as:

but also
(because without try putting something back together without ever having seen it.) 


even though sometimes we wonder: 

and ask:

and our wise faculty tell us:

so we go from 



Year One is over today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


I saw a baby robin today. All creams and browns and an attempt at orange nearly as laughable as the feathers that stuck awkwardly out all over his body. A light summer breeze caught half-heartedly at the branch and he tipped sideways, strangely-feathered wings beating furiously in a desperate attempt to keep his balance. From below, one of his parents watched, a sleek Robin Red-breast unruffled by the wind. The breeze stilled and the baby shook the branch, his own weight making the branch bounce beneath him. 

I smiled, turning away from the patient’s window and straightening my short white coat, pockets bulging with otoscope and ophthalmoscope, my stethoscope hanging tangled around my neck like some sterile attempt at strangulation. Awkwardly attempting to balance my pen, paper, and instruments while shaking the patient’s hand, I quickly stepped back out of the way. My preceptor stood beside me, no white jacket, a stethoscope carelessly draped around his neck as if it were part of himself, expertly placing a massive folder of patient information as he greeted the patient and seated himself beside the wheelchair.

A few minutes later, a flutter of movement caught my eye. The baby robin jumped from his branch, fluttering furiously. Up, up up…and then he came spiraling around and down into a smashing crash-landing on another branch. But this one was a few inches higher than the one he’d left, and I turned my attention back to my preceptor and patient, smiling slightly. 

We’ll get there someday, he and I. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Say it.

Dying. Dead. Death. 
 Dying. Dead. Death.
Say it. All of you say it.

I entered this past week of school hating death. Despising it. We have immortal souls. Yes, we have a beginning...but we have no end. We were made to live forever. Death is the last attempt of the Devil to destroy the good God has made. It's the final result of the sin we were born into. God is the life-giver...death the end result of that agonizing, horrific thing called sin that stands between us. 

But then I was reminded of some things I had learned earlier this year (some of you have seen this part before :), particularly on Good Friday.
 As Christians we skip over the crucifixion just a bit. Yes, we have many songs about the old rugged cross...we wear cross necklaces...but really, isn't it all preparation for the glory of the Resurrection? The emphasis all on the fact that there is no one still on that cross?
We all want to get to the awesomeness that is Easter when Good Wins and Evil is forever defeated and glory reigns supreme...
but His death is actually the main part. 
He said It is Finished...and the victory was there, in the darkness and the sorrow and the agony of the cross. 
That was where everything changed and we were given life.

But we don't picture victory like that. It's all about the morning and the beauty in the garden and finding out He's actually alive and the overwhelming joy.
But that's not when He said it was done. He won 3 days earlier as the earth itself shuddered and those He had walked with for 3 years hid in horror.

One of my favorite quotes as a young reader was from one of Deborah Alcock's gorgeous historical fiction tales - Those who can die can not be compelled. I'm not sure if I can explain why...except that there was such love and faith in the stories of those martyrs who triumphed through death. Death was no defeat...they could not be forced, could not be destroyed, because they were able to die.

O death, where is thy sting...O grave, where is thy victory...we quote those words like they are rhetorical questions, as if we can fling them in death's face and by saying them make death and the grave meaningless. 
But the Bible follows those words up with an actual answer. 
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law
There is a sting in death. There is a terrifying finality about the ending of choice. I do not believe God "gives up" on anyone until that point...but once you are dead, it's over. Now is the day of salvation. Death is the point of no return - because it is given unto man only once to die and after that the judgement. 

But at some point, probably when I was 16 and first saw dying..dead...death...first watched the bitter struggle between a soul going to eternity and a body that was made to live for oh, so much longer than a sin-filled world would allow it to...first heard the death rattle...first saw a family gather and clash and sorrow and ache as their eldest was slowly pulled away from them...I turned death into the enemy. 

How big a role that played in my willingness to step through the door marked Medicine, I don't know...but I wanted to fight for life. I wanted to make life better. The opposite of death. Our Savior came that we might have life and might have it more abundantly...I wanted to mirror Him in doing that.

So, for me, a week on death and dying was like getting kicked in the face over and over again. I don't know that I've ever cried so many times in a single day as I did last Monday. (I DEFINITELY cry more easily the older I get. What on earth. :P) But every story, every time someone mentioned those they loved who had died, I cried again. Of course, I was not the only one - at one point I went in the bathroom to blow my nose, and there were around a 1/3 of the women in my class crowded in the tiny room, crying hard

And our lecturers knew it. And they acknowledged that physicians are terrible at meeting death. That most cannot say the words I began this post with. (Which is why they made us say them aloud, multiple times.) 

I know I'm nowhere near accepting of death. I know when my patients die, I will be devastated. I know when my patients cry, I'm very extremely likely to cry with them. I know when those I love die, I will again hurt like I've only hurt once before, though I hope that the next time it happens I will have a better response to the pain. 

But death is not the final enemy. There are some defeats more triumphant than victories...and while death may seem a defeat, to die in the Lord is triumphant. More triumphant than any life without Him could ever pretend to be.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Even when death comes, our work for Christ is not vain. He was triumphant in death...we can be also. 

I think I was surprised by how many layers there is to many little we can do at times and how much we try and yet how little we really know...Also, I realized that if I cannot accept death, I will burn out really fast as a healthcare provider. Because everyone dies. And though I may still see my role as fighting death, I'm not always going to win. Depending on what I focus on, I may never win. (Hospice care comes to mind.) But death is the side effect...sin is the enemy. Understanding that death may not have been the original intent for us, but at this point death is but a part of life...I might not be there yet, but at some point I will probably get there. 

I've never forgotten hanging out with my great-grandma, and listening as she asked a nurse about another resident at the nursing home she was staying at. "...She passed on," the nurse said gently, softly. "She died?" my grandma repeated bluntly. It struck me then how we tiptoe around the subject as young people, while my grandma, in her 90's, said the word we struggle to say in such situations without a second thought. She often mentioned which of her clothes she wanted to wear at her funeral, or some other subject related to death, without blinking, while the rest of us hesitated to mention anything near it. Perhaps it was her very livingness of life and careless regard for death that made her own death cut so close that even now it makes me hurt.

If you can't tell by now, I have many and conflicted feelings about death. I've learned a lot this week about myself, much that I don't especially like, but at least I've seen it now and so can begin to change. Part of that change may include coming to accept death and understand the role it plays in all our lives. 

However, I do believe we live in a culture that holds up death as a good thing, even as a desirable thing...and this week I've also seen how dangerous that view can be. I think I've focused here on the triumph that can be in death because for so long I've refused to see any good at all coming from such pain. But I'm curious. Talk to me.

How do you see death? 

At what point do you think care becomes futile?

At what cost would you continue living?
If your life would put your family into debt they would never be able to pay back, would you still want to live?  

One could say that martyrs commit suicide - they're choosing to die. But there are things more sacred than life. 
What are those things? 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Beautiful People - Bae

So. There was a final coming up. And, per usual, I got a story in my head. (I don't think it's ever failed yet...) Where it will go I have no idea, but Bae quite embedded himself in my brain before I managed to lock down his story to get studying.
Thus, when I saw the return of Beautiful People...well, he was waiting to be announced. :) Here ya go.

1) What is their full name and is there a story behind why they got it? 

Francis William Westmoore.

and yes, there is a story. Despite his father's rebellion and subsequent running away and becoming a sailor and falling madly in love with one of the most Eastern of the Far East, he never wholly forgot his duty as Lord Westmoore's last remaining when his own son was born, he gave him his father's name.

The rest of the story is that Lord Westmoore hates the foreign blood who stole his name, and the foreign blood despises the man whose name he bears.

2) How old are they, and when were they born? 

How old are they when? Because the story jumps all over the place. I think in the earliest scene (so far) he is about 6. In chapter one he's 15...depending on which direction I take the story he might end up 25. But we will see.
And the story's not exactly historical...but you could think mid 1700s.

3) Describe their physical appearance. (Bonus questions: 1. What is their race/nationality/ethnicity? 2. Do you have a picture of them? If so, include it!) 

A picture is worth a thousand words...and his appearance plays a huge role in the story. As the story is so far all his POV, I haven't yet found the perfect way to describe him. (Thankfully, mirrors are not even an option, since he smashes them all.) Ethnicity is difficult to describe in a story not quite historical...but think English/Scottish father and Korean mother, and you'd be close. (He looks like his mother.)
Here's a picture. Which is more important than the description, because picture of him have been waiting for months, grouping together and demanding I write about them. I just finally got the story for them in my head. XD

how about a moving one that says an awful lot about his personality?

4) Describe your character's personality first in one word, and then elaborate with a few sentences


He hates his grandfather. He is angry with his parents for their mistake in thinking their love for each other would not hurt anyone else, and then he is angry with himself for thinking it. But mostly he is terrified of himself and so hates himself with a passion that would I think frighten anyone who knows him, were they to discover it.

5) What theme song(s) fit their personality and story arc?

At the moment this story is pictures, rather than music, but the closest thing I've found for him so far is this:

It's over, it's over, it's over:

It seems you can't hear me
When I open my mouth you never listen
You say stay, but what does that mean
Do you think I honestly want to be reminded forever

Don't waste your time trying to fix
What I want to erase
What I need to forget
Don't waste your time on me my friend
Friend, what does that even mean
I don't want your hand
You'll I'll only pull me you down
So save your breath
Don't waste your song
On me, on me
Don't waste your time.

6) Which one of the seven deadly sins describes your character? 

Wrath (it does not describe him except in its purest form - ira, cold and continuous rage, mostly against himself. If you think of red-hot wrath, that would be the opposite of him.)
Second best would be Lust (again in its purest form, as in an intense desire for that which has not been given him and that which has been taken away from him, mostly his family.)

7) If they were an element (fire, water, earth, air), which one would they be?

Not so quick and dangerous as fire, not so flighty or so terrifying as air, not so solid as earth...but deep and still and silent and ultimately overwhelming.

8) What is their favourite word? 

Ani. For many reasons. The biggest is that Ani herself is the one person he allows himself to care for. She was born in the house he lives in, has known him his entire life, and, childlike, does her best to fill the emptiness in him without ever realizing what she is doing.

But there is also the fact that her name was a something of a language mix-up, and he takes perverse pleasure in hearing his grandfather call her without knowing its association with a language he hates.
It also works well for him, as he can call her himself, thereby expressing his disagreement with his grandfather, without the man having any idea what he actually means. (The word means no/you're wrong in the language of his mother.)

9) Who’s one person they really miss? (It could be someone who’s passed away, or someone they’re not close to anymore, or someone who’s moved away.) 

His father.

10) What sights, sounds, and smells remind them of that person?

Everything. Which is probably why he misses his father more than his mother, beside the fact that the loss of his father is more recent. He is in his father's house, after all, and each thing he sees reminds him of how his father described them to him when the man was teaching him the names for things in his own language. Worst is probably looking out at the moor beyond the mansion, where he has never been, but about which he has a hundred of his father's stories in his head. A close second are the robins that his father always talked about as part of his home, the robins that told him he was home when he returned, dying...and the girl whose hair color reminds him of those robins also sometimes makes him think of his father, much as he wishes she didn't.

and here is my snippets link, if you'd like to read a bit more about him... ;)

and if you want to join the lovely link-up or simply want to check out other people's awesome characters...go check out the delightful Notebook sisters' blog. XD


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