About Me

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eleven Days!

So, it's only eleven days until NaNoWriMo. Who else is doing it? Here is my profile for those of you who are daring the dangerous waters of November. Click Here.
This will be my second actual time of doing it; last year doesn't count because I quit very early on. 2009 I failed, but got quite a ways into Red Sea Rising. Here's to hoping I win this time! I've also made a website for my novel, which you can see here. There isn't really anything to see as of now, but on November 1, I will begin updating. Come join me, if you dare!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Place to Call Home

I found this lovely poem on Fanfiction.net yesterday, and I just had to post it here (with the author's permission, of course). It is a poem from Gimli's point of view, musing on the glittering caves beneath Helm's Deep. It's so rare to find good poetry that moves the heart to wonder and lets you see the beauty it describes; and, best of all, it rhymes and has a good rhythmic flow to it. So, here it is:

'Twas on the day the Wall was blown
My eyes the joy of light were shown
As Horsemen fought their lands to save
There I beheld a wondrous cave!
Amidst the gore of battle fierce
Its beauty bright my heart did pierce
Beyond Deep walls by orc defiled
Its beauty ran untamed and wild
At battle's end when all lay still
This Dwarf returned to take his fill
Of columns yellow, white and rose
Ebony pools in sweet repose
Great caverns stretched both far and tall
And crystals lit the polished wall
With ceilings high and flowing air
Its beauty was beyond compare

Oh brilliant light! Beauteous gleam!
Bewitching sight! Enchanted dream!
Whose fair walls shine with gems and ore
These Dwarven eyes thy halls adore!

There is no land of Men so fair
As what my eyes have seen in there
No Moria, no Rivendell
Could e'er ensnare my heart so well
No golden hall with gilded dome
Could e'er aspire to be my home
For peace and joy my soul has found
In Nature's garden under ground
Her flowers line the soil of wall
Their colours bright the eye enthral
Her vines be sprawling veins of gold
That warm the heart when day is cold
Her silent lakes be pools of dew
Serene and calm their waters true
Her caverns deep within the earth
Give weary feet a homely berth

Oh splendour pure! Delightful place!
Enticing lure! Unrivalled grace!
Whose glory none could e'er ignore
I name thee home for ever more!

Now Elves may tend their forests green
And Nature's blessings may be seen
Wherever they imbue the grace
That lingers in their song's embrace
But Dwarven touch may too be kind
In passages that roll and wind
Beneath the mountain obdurate
Our hands may tend and cultivate
And mayhap Men may till their land
To see it flourish by their hand
Reward of all their hardened toil
May soon be seen on fertile soil
But Dwarven hands may labour too
In places where no others do
In stone and rock our fingers sow
As Dwarven lamps set caves aglow

Oh mighty halls! Glorious scene!
Bejewelled walls! Alluring sheen!
Whose beauty makes my spirit sing
No other home such joy could bring!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

They'll Try Anything!

Phillip Pullman is the author of a trilogy of fantasy books which have been described by Christians as the exact opposite of the Chronicles of Narnia. His books, The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass, are quite popular and the first was made into a movie. Pullman absolutely detests Narnia and all that it stands for, and accuses it of many different things, including racism and sexism. I found a very good article on this by Michael Ward, who is very well versed, not only in Narnia, but in everything Lewis wrote.
Here is the article.
The thing that I find funny is how people are always trying to pin accusations of racism on everyone and everything. I once had a rather lively discussion on the Amazon comments with a lady who thought that The Horse and His Boy is racist. I attempted to show her that racism does not mean what she thinks it means. Nowadays, racism is thought to mean a negative portrayal of a colored person (usually black). However, that's ridiculous. Black people aren't perfect, and to portray one of them negatively is not racist.
The proper meaning of racist is someone who dislikes all blacks (or Hispanics, or Asians) merely and only because of their skin color and wishes that they did not exist. In this definition, it is impossible that Lewis was a racist, because he portrays dark skinned people (the Calormenes) as having both their good (Aravis and Emeth) and their bad (Rabadash and the Grand Vizier). This is something which Mr. Ward doesn't really touch on: that the definition of racist has been twisted, and no longer means what it's supposed to mean. That's why I've written this. However, the article itself is excellent.
They'll try anything to discredit Narnia. And while there are some legitimate criticisms of the series, because Lewis obviously wasn't perfect, the books are a testimony to (in my humble opinion) perhaps the greatest writer ever. And Phillip Pullman, with his anti-Narnia books, will probably (or at least, hopefully) be forgotten in a decade or so, while Narnia will continue it's popularity for hundreds of years.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pastor Youcef

An Iranian pastor has been imprisoned since 2010 on charges of blasphemy and apostasy against Islam.

When asked to repent, Nadarkhani stated: "Repent means to return. What should I return to? To the blasphemy that I had before my faith in Christ?"
"To the religion of your ancestors, Islam," the judge replied, according to the American Center for Law & Justice.
"I cannot," Nadarkhani said.

The courage of this pastor, this man, breaks my heart. Wow! To stand before a Muslim judge, knowing that a death sentence is hanging over you, and to still call Islam blasphemy? That takes a courage and a faith so strong that it could only come from God Himself. May God bless this man a thousand times over, and his dear wife and children. Please pray for all of them.
What should we pray? Of course, that his life will be spared, but most of all that he would continue strong until the end. An example and a witness. That a huge number of Muslims (and atheists, and others) would come to Christ because of this man's valiant stand. Also, pray for his wife, that her faith would continue as well. I can only imagine the fear and the grief and the doubt that she must be going through. And pray for his children, that God would bless them with saving faith, that they might follow in their father's footsteps and be courageous witnesses to those around them.
May God use Pastor Youcef to bless and encourage many other Christians also going through persecution in Muslim and Communist countries. 
Dear brother, you and your family are in our prayers. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. May God bless you, and keep you, and cause His face to shine upon you, and give you peace in this time of trial.