Tag Archives: recommended

On Christian Introverts by J. S. Park

So I was perusing valuable links and ran across this gem of a post called "14 Ways to Handle a Christian Introvert." Note: I am a Christian and an introvert. I rolled with laughter. This is me. You read my mind.

An excerpt:

2) We just don’t sing like the front row.

It’s great that extroverts can freely express themselves during worship time.  But introverts sometimes just read the lyrics, connect inwardly, and keep their hands inside the vehicle.  If you see us raising even one hand and singing a few words, we are seriously pushing the gas pedal all the way to the floor.

3) Do not ever rebuke us in public.

Or you and I are done.  Forever. You should never do this anyway.

7) We get super-tired around a lot of people.

My limit is about four hours, and then I actually get a headache from just hanging around human beings.  My Sabbath rest is leave-me-alone-time with my non-judgmental dog.  Give us that time without trying to counsel us about it.

8) Don’t be offended if we don’t reply right away.

Sometimes when we see a Facebook invite to that next big church event, we just let it sit there and think about it periodically throughout the week and then come back to it before committing.  We do the same thing with text messages, emails, phone calls, and you showing up at the door.

10) Please do NOT bring a lot of attention to us.

Not in the church bulletin, not the church site, not for my birthdays, not for that nice thing I did for the homeless — just please, no spotlight.

11) Sometimes we’re just moody.  It’s not depression or a “spiritual attack” or “unconfessed sin.”

One word: space.  Lots of it.

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Tuesday Tea and the Social Brew

How about some tea, crumpets, and social brew?

The Tea

I have some guilty pleasures. Bottled fruit yerba maté is one of them.


While I like many flavors, today I want to recommend this refresher by Guayakí: Pure Body Peach. The combination of peaches and yerba maté is smooth and absolutely perfect. It's my favorite of all the bottled teas they put out. Best served cool and guzzled in doses.

The Crumpets

Tried a new recipe this last week and I like it. We shall call it Blueberry Muffin Bread. The bread is dense and thick, so err on the side of too much water rather than too little.

  • a handful of frozen blueberries puréed in water
  • a handful of pecans
  • sweetener and salt to taste (err on the side of generous)
  • all-purpose flour mix
  • a pinch of baking powder

Pour the purée in a bowl and add the pecans and sweetener. Stir in flour until dough is very soupy and all flour is thoroughly mixed. Layer parchment paper two or three times over a baking dish, then carefully pour in dough. Bake at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes1 or until knife comes out clean. If it's almost clean, taste it: it might be done. Allow to set for 15–20 minutes. Enjoy!

The Social Brew

Manuscript Multiple Personality Disorder | on symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment

Diagnosis: Manuscript Multiple Personality Disorder. Often found in writers who are working on multiple projects in the same draft or stage of review, thus utilizing the same muse.

— posted in comments at Write a Book with Me

The Rules of Music | on study and creation

To study music, we must learn the rules. To create music, we must break them.

— Nadia Boulanger, tweeted by Finale Music
a thought which applies equally well to any creative endeavor

My Favorite Online Fiction | on reading

I try to never miss Kris Rusch’s Free Fiction Mondays, Melanie Edmond’s Starwalker, M.C.A. Hogarth’s Black Blossom, or new issues of Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

— posted in comments on Writer at Play

Passive Voice? | on grammar

I do agree that those are weak verbs in an action scene and should be excised, but this sentence is an example of a passive construction. Not all instances of those two verbs are passive, as this sentence is an example of an active construction.

— posted in comments on The New World of Publishing

Show 1 footnote

  1. The recipe is for high-altitude cooking. Adjust as necessary.
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These are a Few of My Favorite Things

We all of us have favorite things. Mine are primarily words, tea, fiction, and music. Cooking, organization, and analysis tend more to be guilty pleasures. What can I say?


tea • noun 1. the second-most perfect beverage in existence, the first being water; 2. nature's pharmacy for the soul.

My favorite current tea blend: CHICORY MATÉ SPICE

For an entire teapot:

  • 4 tbsp. yerba maté herb
  • 2 tbsp. stevia leaf
  • 1 tbsp. chicory
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp. ginger powder

For one cup:

  • 2 tsp. maté
  • 1 tsp. each of chicory, ginger, cinnamon, and stevia

Use a coffee filter to strain this tea! A regular tea strainer will get gunked up with powder and you may lose some of your tea. Steep in almost boiling water until a dark, rich brown. Strain and enjoy!


writer • noun 1. a reader who decided if you want something done right, you must do it yourself; 2.a reader who ran out of books; 3. a reader inspired to immitation.

Unseen by Rabia Gale

A collection of two previously published fantasy short stories about magic in unexpected places and about the loss of that magic. I had read the second selection—about a pudgy, ordinary man who has forgotten his own incredible origin and former life—before Rabia asked me to proofread this collection, but the first story—about a Pakistani girl who can see into a fantastical world others are blind to—was new to me. Both are enjoyable, full of choices between modern safety and wild beauty. Recommended to avid readers of Beneath Ceaseless Skies or Lightspeed's fantasy selections. [ ebook ]

Other Impressions of the Author:

Aphorisms of Kherishdar by M.C.A. Hogarth, voiced by Daniel Dorse

Being quite fond of flash fiction in the first place, Hogarth's fil ekain, or incense stories, drew me from our first introduction. The Ai-Naidar are a graceful alien civilization who value the society more than the individual; thus they seek to find the place of each in the fabric of the whole, that none endure separation. These are beautiful stories, "short and lingering," as the narrator tells us, and the reader does justice to them with his warm storyteller voice. If you have never tried audio before, this is a lovely place to begin. [ audio ]

Other Impressions of the Author:
Spots: the Space Marine

The Case of the Poisoned House


hardtack • noun 1. a boring, edible substance made from flour, water, and maybe a pinch of salt; 2. a base for creating simple, mouthwatering breads.


  • a bowl of all-purpose flour
  • a large jar of salsa
  • water

Combine all ingredients until all powder is thoroughly mixed in and dough is slighty soupy. Layer a baking dish in parchment paper and pour in mixture. Bake between 350 and 400 degrees until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean. Enjoy!

[Note: I live in high altitude and it seems to take roughly about an hour for the bread to be done.]

What are some of your favorite things?

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Random Updateyness...

I am now the proud possessor of Insurgent. Will give reading report next week.

They'll know next week if Awake is cancelled or renewed. Leonard Chang answered me himself. :crosses fingers:

I highly recommend Shattered and M.C.A. Hogarth for some excellent short stories.

I have three Tumblr blogs now. Well, four, but that one's private. Worldbuilding and personal, fandom, and Vardin. I'm officially nuts.

I've got another fic for my Safe reading list, but nothing for the original novels. :headdesk: Will post reading lists soon.

Speaking of which, I'm not reading Insurgent this week.


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Reading This Week

1. Spots the Space Marine by M.C.A. Hogarth

I've held off on talking about the amazing fiction I've been sucked into and reading like my life depended on it, simply because I seem to suck royally at motivating myself to do so. Well, this one broke that block.

I have loved her tragic, but transcendent The Worth of a Shell; I have adored her stories about Jahir and Vasih'th, the xenopsychiatrists; I have faithfully slurped up every possible smidgen of Black Blossom she could throw at me: it's like Emma with male aliens instead of female humans. It's a fantasy of manners, and I want her to write a zillion more. And then there's Spots.

I tried this book as an e-book first. Could. not. get into it. My paperback came from when I backed it on Kickstarter, and I pushed through the first four chapters and that was it. Hooked. The narrative zings along and you cannot put the book down without grumbling terribly at the requirement of doing so.

A 32-year-old mother is called up from the reserves and sent to supposedly in-the-middle-of-nowhere depot, which just happens to turn out to be practically on top of a crab breeding facility. I don't know even how to describe this book. This is a family, a Marine family, in space fighting crab-like aliens that look eerily like their allies, the violinists. It's a roller coaster, but it doesn't feel like one; it's that smooth and well-put-together.

Read it.

2. The art business book by M.C.A. Hogarth

The woman's earning a living doing what I want to be doing. Enough said. Please consider funding this book through IndieGoGo.

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Four Unlocked: Divergent from Four's POV

This entry is part 13 of 16 in the series Insurgent Countdown
Divergent by Veronica Roth

A scene from Divergent in Four's perspective and written by Veronica Roth. How could I not choose this for 8 days 'til Insurgent?


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Story Planning and Finishing

Have a few stories out on submission and a boatload in the oven. A new storyworld presented itself with some seriously finishable shorts attached, so it behooved me to consider it. I did and I hired it. In the process, I'm learning how to put together a coherent series bible for a world whose premise did not make itself immediately obvious. I'm utilizing mostly articles from Juliette Wade and my own natural worldbuilding process to flesh it out.

Then today, I read this: "A Look Back At The Book and The Rewriting Issue" by Camille LaGuire. I have been mulling over whether I wanted to rewrite "Crossing the Barrier" for a while now. My first rejection on the story was a personal one and stated that while interesting, it didn't make the editor want to reread it. I thought about that. I dug into the ideas behind the story and the stakes involved and realized that with a lot of work, I could make this story awesome. But I chose not to.

The story is what it is. It's meant to be a small window into Casal's life when she first gains hunter status that is hers and not her parents'. It's interesting; it introduces the world; it doesn't explain the intensity of how important that hunter title is to Casal or what it means to be a hunter. I would have to explain the latter in order to explain the former and some things are simply outside of the scope of a short story without adding a lot of explanation or ancillary material. So for reasons very similar to what Camille talks about, I chose to let it go and let the story be what it is, a hopefully entertaining read that is understandable within its world, if not a deep analysis of the meaning of that world.

If the story comes back again from where I've submitted it, I'll self-publish it. The illustration isn't done yet, and I figured while I was waiting, I might as well keep it circulating, but I'm ready to let this one go and find its own legs. It will never be my best short story in the world. But it isn't meant to be.

Anything new in your world, writing or otherwise? Hope you have a wonderful new year.

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