Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I have to forgive THOSE people?

Forgiveness. What does it even mean? I spent literally years living next door to people who despised the very ground my family walked on. And I'm ashamed to say that I did a fair bit of hating in return for the hating they showed us. It's the human reaction to such circumstances, even though it's not the heavenly reaction. For that, I will always suffer mild guilt. Is there a bridge I could have crossed to meet this family halfway? Is there something I could have said, something I could have done, some gesture that would have suddenly turned the loathing into love? I don't know.

All I do know is that forgiveness is crucial if I am going to move on from this place in my life. They're not next door anymore. A house foreclosed, mixed feelings of sorrow for their circumstances and hesitant, unbelieving relief that they were finally, after 11 years, leaving the neighborhood. No longer would I have to step out my front door and see their house. No longer would I dread that garage door going up. And no longer would I have to pretend not to hear the mock whispers of derision intent on bringing about a reaction that would warrant calling the police.

This was my life for 11 years. It's my life no longer. I step out the front door and see a "For Sale" sign on the lot. The rooms are barren, the driveway deserted, and my soul feels lighter than it has ever felt living in this neighborhood. Even in the backyard, my heart would clench at the sound of their voices, and I constantly fought the instinct to run away, to hide in the house, to never set foot in a place where I would be forced to remember they existed.

But I have done what I previously thought was impossible. I've forgiven them. For all the years of rancor and distasteful scenes, for all the bitterness in my own heart. I've forgiven them. And I pray for them. That they find peace in their new home, a fresh start, that they would be free from the same bitterness that for years managed to enslave me. Forgiveness isn't about them. It's about me. It's about both letting go and taking back at the same time. Recovering a piece of myself that was lost. A heart that was almost destroyed.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mr. Holmes (2015)

When I first realized Ian McKellen was going to play an old Sherlock Holmes, I balked. Not because of Sir Ian, but because the very idea of an "old" Sherlock Holmes just didn't sit right with me somehow. It's a reminder of mortality . . . the notion that the world's greatest detective could grow old. And worse yet, grow senile.

Such is the case with Holmes. It is now well into the early 1940s and Holmes is aged, well into his 90s, if I were to make an estimated guess. He's become something of a recluse, hiding himself away in the country with his bee gums for the past 30 years. Why? All because of his last case, the case that went wrong. Now that he's setting out to correct the misconception John Watson created about this particular case, he can barely remember the details. They come to him in irksome snatches where only a few years before he could have told anyone every single detail of any one of his cases. Not so now.

If not for Roger, the young son of his housekeeper, Holmes might have actually given up trying to remember. But the lad wants to read the story Holmes is writing, is eager, even desperate, to connect to the world-weary detective. And Holmes finds an affinity in the boy's wit and intellect, for Roger loves learning in ways that the child's mother cannot even begin to comprehend. So the two, old man and young boy, journey together down memory lane, as Holmes fights every step of the way to maintain the vast intellect that earned him so much respect during his career.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Moving all of my book reviews to a new blog!

So, I've done something almost unthinkable, but also something I've meant to do for a year.

I've split this blog into 2 blogs with the other one named Bookshelves and Daydreams. I feel a little bit . . . strange having done this because change doesn't come easily for me. But I think in the long run, and probably the short run, this will streamline my blog posts in a way easiest for you, my readers.

Honestly, I hesitated to post book tags or participate in giveaways or write too many book reviews because I didn't want to irk some of my readers with too many "book related" posts. That will no longer be the case and so I can post about books, upcoming or classic, as often as I like for those of my readers who enjoy my book reviews and would like to see more of that ilk! So I'm finally, as I write this, letting some excitement start to flow.

I consider myself something of a Dustfinger lover from Inkheart and I thought of him a bit while making this change because he is so unrelentingly adverse to change. He never truly adapted to our world even after living in it for 10 years. Even though my beloved Dustfinger never overcomes his longing for the Inkworld, it doesn't mean I have to stick with the sameness of having just a single blog. Of course, if I were him and could manipulate fire into flower petals while in the Inkworld, I doubt I would be entirely pleased at being uprooted to our sad, ordinary world. No, not at all, and it is because I long to write posts about favorite literary characters, like Dustfinger, participate in read-alongs, be involved in giveaways, that I absolutely must do this split.

In fact, the split is already done. If you look back through my posts on this blog, you will find that all of the book reviews are gone. They have now migrated over to Bookshelves and Daydreams, and so it will be from this point onward. For those of you still interested in reading about faith related posts, movies, my personal life, and any ISFJ posts that I may have written in the past, feel free to continue reading this blog. I won't stop updating Musings of an Introvert, I promise. Different doesn't translate into bad, only a new chapter. Who would read books at all if there was no climax and the characters never learned anything? I am in the midst of my learning.

So I encourage you, if you have enjoyed my book reviews and would like to see more of them and other things regarding books as well, then hop on over to Bookshelves and Daydreams. Also, if you ever misplace this new blog link, just look over into my sidebar and you'll find a photo link to it, right under my profile.

Thanks again, everyone for all of your support, and I'm sure we'll go through many more years of blogging together.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Liebster Award

I was nominated for this award by Hamlette over on Hamlette's Soliloquy, and got to this one a lot faster than the favorite actor's tag, so I'm proud of myself. Thanks, Hamlette!

Here are the rules when nominated for a Liebster:
 a) Answer the eleven questions of the tagger.
 b) Share eleven facts about yourself
 c) Nominate up to eleven other bloggers
 d) Ask those nominees 11 new questions

1.  Do you have a favorite mug or teacup?

Actually, I have so many that it's hard to pick just one. I have a gorgeous hand-painted set of teacups from Japan that I adore, and that set is probably my favorite. I'll try to take a photo of it when next I do a tea post.

2.  Are you an adventurous eater?  (Do you try "strange" foods?)

Not usually, but I did try Ethiopian food for the first time only a few weeks ago and really loved it. Very exotic and flavorful, lots of spices!

3.  What fandoms are you into?

Oh boy, there isn't enough time in the world for me to cover this and I would still forget some of them. The main ones are still The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek, but I also love Teen Wolf, When Calls the Heart, and a new miniseries called Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell based off a book by Susanna Clark. Seriously though, there are a ton of fandoms I love, far, far too many to mention.

4.  What famous author/book do you not really care for?

I'm really not fond of Hemingway, which is strange because I love Fitzgerald and you would think the two would be interchangeable.

Oh, and I've never really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice in book form. I enjoy film adaptations of it, but the book itself, not so much. Sacrilege of some sort, I'm sure.

5.  What obscure author/book are you nuts about?

I'm crazy over Cornelia Funke's Mirrorworld series! Most people know her because of Inkheart, and that series is excellent, but there's something about the Mirrorworld that just speaks to me.

6.  What's the oldest movie you've ever watched?

I've watched A Trip to the Moon by Georges Méliès from 1902, a stunning silent French film that I absolutely love.

7.  What did you have for breakfast today?

Two sunny-side up eggs fried inside slices of orange bell pepper with melted cheese on top. Divine.

8.  When did you first see your favorite movie?

The Fellowship of the Ring, seen the day after Christmas 2001, in theaters, with my sweet father.

9.  Do you prefer fantasy or sci-fi?

I like both equally although I often find that very few sci-fi films live up to my standards.

10.  What did you expect your blog to be like when you started it? 

I think originally I thought my blog would be about my personal life, but to be honest, sharing too much about my personal life with total strangers makes me nervous, so I gravitated towards entertainment type posts instead, films and television especially. I didn't expect to ever have 48 followers though, so that's quite exciting.

11.  Has it changed?  If so, how?

Yes, it's changed a great deal. I'd never imagined I would write book reviews, yet here I am doing just that. I'm still not sure what I think of that side of my blog, to be honest. I also write, sometimes, about life as an ISFJ, and I'm not sure what I think of those posts either. It saddens me that they're always the top posts on my blog. I'd rather write something longer-lasting than simply advice on how to befriend an ISFJ when in reality, we're all different. No other ISFJ will be like me because they haven't had the same life experiences as me, which is awesome because that means, even with a personality type that millions of other people have, I'm still entirely unique.

11 Facts about Me
  1. I love attending the Colorado Renaissance Faire every year.
  2. And I go in full costume.
  3. I love the ocean more than the mountains.
  4. If I had the guts, I would quit my job tomorrow and take a driving tour of the country.
  5. I've seen Michael Bublé 3 times in concert.
  6. I'm tired of reading Christian romance.
  7. I would give anything for the Colorado skies to cease their hailstorms.
  8. A part of me never wants to leave home.
  9. Fandom t-shirts are my favorite, comfy attire when I don't have to impress people.
  10. I wish I didn't feel guilty about not liking everyone I know.
  11. And thankfully my faith is secure in Jesus Christ: my Redeemer, my Savior, and my Best Friend.
Now, I don't religiously follow a whole lot of blogs, so I can't nominate 11, but I will nominate those that I would love to see get a little more traffic and attention because I think they're awesome.

I gift the Liebster Award to the following 4 blogs:

A Shroud of Thoughts
Lady of the Manor
Idle Wanderings
His Redeemed Child

And finally, my questions to these terrific bloggers should they choose to participate:
  1. Where do you go to decompress from the world?
  2. If given $10,000, what would you do with it?
  3. What is one major renovation you would love to make on your house?
  4. What is one movie that you love and didn't expect to love?
  5. What is the oldest knick-knack you own and what is its sentimental value?
  6. Do you own any books you keep out of obligation, but actually hate?
  7. How many countries have you visited outside of the one you live in now?
  8. Have you ever read only part of a book, but claimed you've read the whole thing?
  9. Dry climate or humidity?
  10. Sherlock Holmes or John Watson and why?
  11. Why did you decide to start blogging?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book Review: Ravenswolde by Charity Bishop (5 stars, 2015)

Charity Bishop

Purchase from Amazon. Purchase from CreateSpace. Purchase from Smashwords. Add on Goodreads.

Having read all of Charity's books, I'm comfortable in my expectations of her talent. Up until this point, my favorite of her stories was [book:The Secret in Belfast|19271147] which adds a new, dynamic twist to the building of and the sail of Titanic. Now, sadly (or maybe happily), my prior favorite has been usurped by Ravenswolde.

What you have here is the intriguing rendering of an assassin's school, placed in the Regency era. The heroine, Elspeth, is a young woman of strong faith who really, really doesn't like the idea of attending such an academy, but her her mother insists upon it, and so to Ravenswolde, Elspeth must go. Trusting anyone is a dangerous idea since all of the students have the ability and urge to regularly shove one another down the stairs or poison the drinking glasses of their peers. It's a deadly and terrifying place to live, made even more so by Lucian Graystoke, the son of Lady Graystoke who runs the school with an iron fist. While Elspeth spends half her time attempting to avoid meeting a gruesome end, the other half she spends desperately attempting to avoid Lucian. He at once draws her and repels her interest. A lone girl of faith with a strange connection to death, Elspeth can either lose herself at Ravenswolde or reanimate her faith in ways she never imagined possible.

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