Sunday, September 28, 2014

"I'm gonna eat this, but I'm highly offended."

 My friend nicknamed me Jim from Treasure Planet.

 There is one part in the movie where Jim's mother is telling her friend how she misses little boy Jim - this is after older Jim gets into trouble with the law. She says something like, "I miss him coming into the house, carrying another injured animal, begging me to let him keep it."

 I was like that as a kid.

 Correction, I still am.

 I see an animal in pain or need and I feel it is my sole duty in life to save it.

 This isn't typically a problem. I found a gray kitten once, a tiny thing with its eyes just opened and no mummy in sight. So I took it in, feed it milk, kept it safe until I was able to take it to s shelter. (I'd have kept it but I wasn't in my own state and didn't think it would survive the long drive home.)

 Only Friday, a couple days ago, I found another lost kitten suffering pink eye. Again I felt the need to care for it as long as I could.

 Caring for kittens in need of food and a pet until you can find them a new home is fine. No one really gets mad at you for cuddling kittens for a couple days. No one complains about the loss of a cap full of milk. No one almost dies from kittens sleeping in your sleeping bag.

 It is when you get to cows that the need to save baby animals becomes a problem.

 Calves are bigger than kittens. Cows are bigger than calves.

 One day I was out trying to find adventure - this is when I was about ten or so - and I saw a calf stuck in a fence. It's mum was on one side and couldn't get it out and the little calf was mooing and sounded heart broken.

 I have sympathy and insisted my brothers help me free it.

 Mum cows don't understand that three kids trying to shove her calf means they wish to help, not hurt it. 

 The calf didn't understand this either, and mooed louder and in fear.

 Mum cow got mad and gave us that, "Oh, you're going down," look. 

 I knew we were in trouble.

 My brothers knew we were in trouble.

 The cow was the only one who felt she had a handle on the situation as she contemplated the best way to trample us.

 In the end - thankfully before the trampling - the cafe got itself free and scrambled home to mum. My brothers and I headed back to the safety of our own home, and I contemplated my animal saving mission in life and considering looking for a new outlet.

 And that is the reason my brothers refuse to go along with any of my plans.

 Quote is from The Lorax



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Don't do it, Tommy! Don't you bloody do it!"

 Wherein Jack gets asked why a lot

 I have a motive for everything I do. Even the small, everyday things like getting out of bed - so I can eat breakfast - and brushing my teeth - so I never have to go back to HYDRA. I even have motivations for going for walks - because it is exercising and if I exercise it means I can have a cookie. (That is the only reason to exercise, no matter what everyone else tries to convince you of.)

 I have always been asked Why. Ever since I was young - er. Why am I climbing that tree? Why am I pulling my shoes off and running out barefoot in the snow? Why am I eating jalapenos right out of the jar?

 I've kind of reached the point where I'm no longer asked why. It is accepted that I'm just one of those people. Why do I plan world domination? Because I'm Jack. Why does my search record on my laptop have a list of Nazi torture methods? Because I'm Jack. Why do I slam doors? Because I'm Jack. That is just how I am now. I'm weird and everyone knows it and has either excepted it or moved to the other side of he globe to escape.

 Sometimes though, I still get asked why. It always catches me off guard. "Why do you wear green boots?" "Why is there red string connecting all your notes on your board?" "Why do you read so many kid's books?" "Why do you carry a fork around in your bag with you all the time?" (To explain the fork, because it has little to do with the others, I carry it in the chance I might someday need to stab someone with it.)

 My answer is always the same for most of these. "Because it's fun." And then I get the o.O look.

 But the truth is, that is the reason and the only reason I do a lot of what I do. 

 Life isn't always fun, we all know this. It is hard and sad. We have bad days. We have bad weeks. Sometimes we have bad years. We lose friends, family members. We go through trails we think we might never make it out of. Pretending life is always happy won't fix any of this. We have to go through them. 

 But at the same time, life has happen moments. There are summer nights with fireflies and watermelon seeds. Winters of sitting snug in our warm homes while the wind howls outside. Long drives in the fall to look at the leaves changing colour. Flowers blooming in spring. Everywhere we look there is hints of happiness, reminders of God's love and care.

 We forget to look though. We get busy, rushing from one thing to the next. There is food to shop for, jobs to go to, money to make, bills to pay. And all of that is important, but I don't believe it is as important as we make it to be.

 That is why I put red string over my notes. Not because I had extra red string but because when I sit at my desk and write I can look up and pretend I have a SHIELD or detective board over my desk. I wear green boots so when I look at my feet I see a random splash of colour. I put bobby pins in my hat....well, partly for fun and partly so when HYDRA handcuffs me I can pick the lock.

 Because my life is hard too, but I like to be reminded of fun and random things. Of possible adventures. That boots can be practical and fun. And I want someone to be able to look at me and smile. Everyone needs to smile more, and if I can make one person smile a day I have accomplished something at least.

 We all need to have more fun in our lives. Never become so busy, either with work or looking at the gloomy sides of life, that you don't take a moment to chase fireflies, spit watermelon seeds at someone, wear red shoes, or plot how to escape kidnappers - only for the reason that it is fun.

 Quote is from The Maze Runner. It is Newt and therefore a good quote because Newt is a cool character.



Sunday, September 21, 2014

"I think there needs to be more round things on the walls. I used to love round things, I wonder were I've put them all."

 This should have been up this morning, but I forgot today was the 21st! I am so sorry to everyone, especially Faith.

 Today I am taking part in a cover reveal! And there is some exciting extras! So enjoy!

 About the Author

An avid reader, Faith Blum started writing at an early age. Whether it was a story about the camping trip that summer or a more creative story about fictional characters, she has always enjoyed writing. When not writing, Miss Blum enjoys reading, crafting, playing piano, leading on the Holy Worlds Christian Writing Forum and playing games with her family (canasta, anyone?). As a history enthusiast who has been fascinated for years with the Old West, Faith has endeavored to create a clean, fun, and challenging Western story. Faith lives with her family on a hobby farm in the Northern Midwest, where she enjoys the many cats they have.

Find Faith on:


To enter the giveaway for an Advanced Reader copy of Be Thou My Vision and an ebook copy of Aundy by Shanna Hatfield go to Faith’s blog and leave a comment to either ask her a question, or make a comment about what you think about the article.

Book Blurb

The church was empty when I dragged myself out of the pew and headed out the door. As I opened the door, the corner of my eye caught a flicker of movement which I chose to ignore. I walked down the steps and was nearly bowled over by two wild boys. With arms grown strong and quick from man-handling two brothers growing up, I grabbed the two boys before they had a chance to escape me.

Anna Stuart is comfortable with her life. She may be a 30 year old spinster, but she has her routine and enjoys taking care of her father and older brother. One letter shatters all her routines, comfort, and enjoyment. After learning of her brother’s death, Anna feels like her life will never be the same again.

Then she meets two motherless boys. Did God place them in her life to lead her to a new vision of life? Can she trust God to give her the desires of her heart before she even knows what they are?

(Exciting, yes? And now for the cover!)

(I love her covers!)

And the link where you can preorder the book!

 And lastly, Faith has sent in a sneak peak!


Time passed slowly for me. The next few months were the hardest months of my life. Dealing with Jed's death, trying to allow God to have complete control of my life, being an example to my brother and father. All of it was hard. My work was monotonous and dreary. I tried to find joy in everything I did, but sometimes it was nearly impossible. When it got too bad, I would stop what I was doing and go visit Wilma.
Wilma was such a good friend. She visited me at least once a week, and I tried to do the same. At church, I almost always ended up talking to her—when I could get away from James and John. James and John were what kept me going to church each week. Except for James, John, Hester, the butcher’s wife, and Wilma and her husband, no one else had attempted to reach out to me or talk to me. When I tried to talk to them, they would chat for a little and then make some excuse to go find someone else. James, John, Wilma, and Pastor Jenkins' sermons kept me sane during those first few months as a genuine Christian.
One sunny, cool, early Summer Sunday, God took me in a direction I never would have dreamt possible. Pastor Jenkins' sermon hit me right between the eyes. He'd preached about being a living example for others and as he preached about ways to do so, I realized I had been failing in that area. When the service was over, I sat in the pew extra long. Between the sermon and knowing Caleb and Da both resented the time I spent at church, I didn't want to leave the peaceful, quiet sanctuary.

(TADA! Now I am going to go so I can post this before it gets any later.)



Friday, September 19, 2014

"Why can't you stay dead, coward?"

 Wherein Jack has a character reveal

 I've not done one of these in a while. I thought it might be fun.

 I was going to do another of the Blade boys, but I don't have their pictures back on my computer after wiping it. (It is for this reason I felt it only right that I name my computer Barnes.) Therefore, I will be giving you a sneak peak at Franz from Brothers-in-Arms.

 Franz Kappel is the youngest of six children. He has five older sisters, sisters he believes it is his sole purpose in life to annoy. The Kappels have lived in a little German village for generations and are a well known family there.

 Franz's life changes when he is eight and meets a Jewish boy named Japhet Buchanan. The two become fast friends, forming a brotherly bond which is tested when trouble starts to show up for the Jews. 

 As he gets older, Franz begins to feel responsible for the safety of his family - both his Kappel and Buchanan families. After tragedy strikes, he is determined to get them all out of Germany no matter what.

 Franz is the kind of person who doesn't think things through all the way and regrets it later. He is rash and so determined to save everyone he charges into things without fully realizing the risk he is putting not only himself but others in to. But he is also protective. Especially of Japhet. He believes if he doesn't look after Japhet and keep him alive and safe no one else will, and he isn't about to let anyone send him to a concentration camp.

 Had things been different, Franz would be the kind of carefree person who never stops laughing and is always getting into trouble just for the fun of it. As a boy he goes out of his way to prank his sisters and schoolmates. He also loved playing war games and getting into snowball fights. School was never something he was very fond of and usually only did it so Japhet wouldn't get a head of him.

 Franz hates what Hitler and the Nazis are doing to the Jews, but over time begins to second guess himself and his convictions when he is continually told the war has nothing to do with Jews but with saving Germany.

 And I know this is a bit shorter then what I normally do, but I still have a lot of work to do and it is already nine thirty. I'd like to sleep tonight so I need to get started on it.

 Quote is from Strax....the potato man from Doctor Who.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Hello, hello, rubbish robots from the dawn of time."

 My boss was hired after me. (You know, my normal job boss. Because I'm not famous enough yet to live off my writing, so I have to have one of those normal jobs.) He moved up in rank fast. He has one of those personalities, were he can manage employees and they love him, sooth over grumpy costumer issues, and keep a cool head when we are slammed. He was perfect for the boss position and no one begrudged him it. But that has nothing to do with this story.

 I arrived at work one day feeling slightly out of sorts. I'd only been working for about six months or so and still was adjusting to being around people, and having to talk to them, so often. This was before I'd become good friends with my Mercenary Friend, so work was not something I jumped up and down over.

 When I walked in, I noticed two new employees, which was always good because we always seemed busy and short handed. One girl looked sweet and friendly the other had long blond hair and a face I couldn't help staring at, because she looked just like one of my dear friends. I was delighted.

 "This is going to be just like working with (I never use real names on here, so just go with this.)!" I thought to myself as I went to clock in. When I came back, I got to meet the two new employees.

 The blond head, who looked just like my dear friend, turned out not to be a she but a he. (And later became my boss.)

 Sometime passed. When boss became boss he often worked in drive through. I didn't hear most of the conversation of what happened next, just the tail end.

 A lady pulled up and ordered and somewhere during the conversation and getting her food she called Boss a girl. When she realized her mistake - or Boss said he was a boy, as I said I didn't hear all of it - the woman apologized over and over. Finally, before driving again, she tried to redeem her awkward situation by saying, "Well, you're too pretty to be a boy and too ugly to be a girl."

 Once she was gone, Boss related some of what happened, adding, "I don't know if I should be insulted or complimented."

 Meanwhile, Mercenary Friend was having a grand time with this and laughing his head off. (One reason Mercenary Friend and I got on so well, we both had wrapped senses of humor.)

 Giving it some more thought, Boss finally decided to take it as a compliment. "I guess it means I'm a pretty boy and not an ugly girl."

 I silently stood off to the side, not sure if I should join Mercenary Friend in laughing or duck behind something so Boss couldn't see my red face, because the only thing I could think to add was my first thoughts when I first saw Boss. (I didn't say anything about that, by the way.)

 And this is why I am quiet. I'm not shy so much as I don't want my first impressions and thoughts jumping out into the world and greeting people before I have a chance to make sure they're safe to be revealed.

 The End

 Quote is from 12 again. I'm tempted to use it when costumers come in to work.



Thursday, September 11, 2014

"You should make that thing voice activated....oh, it is, isn't it?" "I don't want to talk about it."

 I live in a valley. I am surrounded by mountains on all sides, and I have lived here my whole life. I visit other states. I've seen corn fields, places where there are so many trees you can't tell you're in a city, and states with lakes so large you can only see across them if the day is clear. I like other states, I love traveling, but every time I leave I long to be back in the mountains.

 The mountains aren't looming over my head. I don't live at the foot of them. It takes me fifteen minutes to drive to them, so I am not far, but I am not right under them either. I live in a prairie. I can go out and stand in a field of yellow grass and watch as it bows to the constant wind. I like to stand, surrounded by grass, and watch the mountains rising up in the distant. 

 There is something about mountains. They hold a secret kind of majesty. Clouds settle over them, the sun shimmers down and casts long shadows. Storms roll off them, snaking down into the valley like a monstrous beast coming to devour us whole. And I can stand and watch it all. It is almost like watching a play, actors on a stage, telling a story. 

 Mountains inspire me. The crisp wind, the smell of pine and leaves. I go hiking, scaling rocks and hiking through the thick trees. When fall arrives I like to go for long drives and look at the yellow and orange leaves of the aspens. Whenever I can I will wade into the icy cold lakes which are really nothing more then ponds of melted snow.

 Maybe it isn't really the mountains I love, but the fact this is my home. I have lived here for so long I understand it. I know when light grey clouds roll in just before bed I will wake up to snow on the ground. I know if I go camping during our brief summers there will be snowbanks where I can have a snowball fight with my brothers. I know where the best rock climbing places are, where you can stand and feel like you are on top of the world. I've spent most of my life running through the trees, dodging under branches, climbing trees and dropping pine cones on the heads of siblings as they pass underneath. I've gone swimming in muddy swamps because they were there and I had little cousins begging me to join them. I've sliced my feet open on twigs and stabbed them on pine needles. I've gone camping in the pouring rain, and spent the day in it spying on family members who thought it would be more fun to sit under a tent flap then brave the wet.

 Winters here are long and bitterly cold. I've learned how to bundle up, learned the importance of wool socks and good snow boots. I am used to only having a month or two of summer, of squeezing in every possible summer activity one can in that short of time. I've learned the best places to sit when there is a fire blazing in the fireplace. I've learned how to cut wood and lug it into the house when there is five feet of snow outside in the middle of May.

 We are all attached to our homes, no matter where they might be. They inspire us in ways we might never understand. There is something special about God's creation, but the creation we always see around us has a way of endearing itself in our hearts. All the places I have gone and plan to, a part of me will always long to come back and stand on top of the highest rock I can climb to.

 There, a bit of sentimentality for over the weekend.

 The quote this time is both 12 and Clara.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Don't look in that mirror, it's absolutely furious!"

 Wherein Jack says Good Bye

 No, not good bye to you all. But to summer. 

 I woke up this morning to the sound of pattering rain, a sound I've been hearing more and more over the past few weeks. Only today was different. The clouds were darker, the air held hints of winter on the breeze. Even if a couple nice days sneak in with dazzling appearances of sunshine, summer is officially over in the state were winter loves to come and stay as long as possible.

 Last year I listed the books I read over the summer. I've decided to keep it as a tradition and go again this year.


 Some I cannot list because they were beta reads, and I don't have permission to talk about them or name their titles. But one trilogy was so good and left me shocked at the ending. Then another had me crying for half an hour.

  Scottish cousins, mishaps, Archie, Mac. I've had this one on my to read list for years, I am sorry I didn't get to it sooner now, though it was perfect for this summer. I loved it.

 I read this one because I make Oz references in my newest book. It wasn't what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it. It was my first book journey into Oz, and I plan to return soon.

 I read other books my Molly, even her newest one, Resistance. While I enjoyed this one, I didn't enjoy it as much as her fantasy series. Though I am not sorry I read this one.

 I recently reviewed this one. It wasn't my favourite, but not bad. Just wasn't really my type I believe.

 A brother story. I loved it and wanted more. Sadly, there is no more with Ross and Travis, which means I will need to reread it.

 LOVED the first one, and adored this one just as much. Stefan Bachmann is one of my top favourite Authors.

 This one had a Narnia feel to it. I loved it. I was thrilled to have the honour to read and review it.

 A Cinderella Beta read retelling. I wasn't sure about it, but in the end I decided I liked it. Even though I'm not crazy about the Cinderella story.

 More Cinderella retellings, A couple of them made me re-evaluate my thoughts on the story. I can now say I like the story of Cinderella.

 The last book I read before fall hit. While there are some things I didn't like, I did like the overall story but am glad I am reading the rest of the series with a friend of mine.

 And there it is. As I said, a shorter list then last year, but I am hoping to make up for it by reading more this fall. I'm already off to a better start.

 Now it is your turn. What did you read this summer?

 I am going to leave you now. I have things to do, like watch The Winter Soldier. So there.

 Quote is from 12, because I like quoting him.