Currently Reading Book Tag

Well hello there! Welcome back! 🙂 How was your week ? Mine has been pretty busy, what with celebrating Thanksgiving and lots of school work (what else is new :D). But it’s been good, and I’m starting to get really excited for Christmas! I suppose I should warn you all that I am slightly crazy when comes to Christmas. 😀 It’s my absolute favourite holiday, and I love to milk it for all it is worth. So bring it on – Thanksgiving is over, it’s time for Christmas!! 😀

So this week I was tagged by the lovely Ruqs over at Many Things Bookish to do the ‘Currently Reading Book’ tag. Thank you, Ruqs! 🙂 So without further ado, let’s get on to the questions:

  • How many books do you usually read at once? – It really depends. I normally have at least one school-related book and one pleasure-related book going at one time. But I often have more than that, so that’s just the bare minimum really. Right now I have probably about 4-5 books that I’m reading.
  • If you are reading more than one book at a time, how do you decide when to switch books? – Well ideally I read the books that I need to read for school first, leaving the pleasure books for when I’ve finished everything else. But that’s more of an ideal than anything else. 😀 I’ll normally switch between books either when I need to due to school deadlines, or when I’ve gotten tired of one and fancy a taste of the other. But to be honest, I read so fast that often I’ll have finished the book before I have a chance to put it down and read something else.
  • Do you ever switch bookmarks while you are partway through a book? – Is it terrible that I don’t really use bookmarks? I tend to either read so fast that I’ll finish the book in one sitting 😀 or I’ll just try to remember what chapter I’m on. Or, in a pinch I’ll grab a pencil or a piece of paper and stick it in so I don’t lose my place. But I would say 80% of the time I don’t use bookmarks.
  • Where do you keep the book(s) you are currently reading? – On my desk. I have a lined up stack of books I’m currently reading, are on my TBR, or I’ve just finished sitting in the corner. When I’m feeling organised, I put my school-related books in their related desk drawers. But I’ve got more books sitting on my desk than inside my desk. 😀
  • What time of day do you spend the most time reading? – Haha, I think the question would be better of as ‘what time of day don’t you spend reading?’ 😀 It varies hugely, depending on my schedule and what work I have to do. Ideally I’d do my school-related reading during the day, and my pleasure reading at night, but again, I’m afraid that’s just an ideal… I’ll grab any spare moment I can to squeeze in reading!
  • How long do you typically read in one sitting? – Again, it really varies. I can spend anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours straight reading. Last night I read for 90 minutes straight. It was lovely. 😀 But yeah, it really just depends on where and when I can find the time.
  • Do you read hardbacks with the dust jacket on or off? – Hmmm… Thinking about it, I don’t actually read that many hardbacks. But when I do, I think I just leave them on – unless they’re hampering my reading (aka. falling off). Then I take them off.
  • What position do you mainly use to read? – I’ve probably used pretty much every position you can think of. 😀 Lying face down/face up on my bed, curled up on the couch, perched in my desk chair, sitting on the trampoline, while walking, while vacuuming, up in a tree, hiding in a closet, upside down, in a car – you get the picture. 😀 But though my reading positions vary widely, I’d have to say the first three mentioned above are the ones I use the most.
  • Do you take the book you are currently reading with you everywhere? – If I know I’ll be in a position to read, then yes. So if I know I’m going to be in the car for 40 minutes, or babysitting for an evening, then yes I’ll definitely bring it. But if I’m driving 5 minutes to church, or popping out to the store, then I wouldn’t. It’s just not worth it to bring a book when you know you won’t be able to read it. 😀
  • How often do you update your Goodreads progress on the book you’re currently reading? – I’m afraid I must confess that I do not use Goodreads. :/ I know of it, but as of yet, I have not jumped into using it. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it though, so perhaps I’ll make the plunge one day! 😀

And I’m going to tag Bethany from The Treasure Within, Bethany from Behind the Pen, and Lydia from Noveltea.

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers to the questions! 🙂

See you back here next Saturday! 😉

 

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Liebster Award x2!

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This week I have another blog award post for you! I was nominated for the Liebster Award  by both Cora from  Cora’s Bits and Pieces and Anna from Northern Hearts Alaska . Thanks,  Cora and Anna!

Here are the rules for this award:

  • Acknowledge the blog that nominated you and display the award on your blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you.
  • List 11 random fact about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers who you think are deserving of this award (with less than 200 followers).
  • Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.

Okey-doke, here are the answers to the questions!

Cora’s Questions:

  1. Do you have a pet? – Yes, I do! I have two rabbits named Sandy and Sleepy that are very old, but still very cute. 😀
  2. Favourite topic to blog about? – It’s probably a tie between sharing my favourite books, and sharing my favourite pieces of writing. And since that is what my blog is about, it’s a good thing I like doing that! 😀
  3. What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?  Well if I’m in an unhealthy mood, I love a good cinnamon roll… Mmm! But if I’m trying to be healthy, I really like having fruit smoothies!
  4. What is your favorite school subject and why? – It’s a dead-on tie between History and English. I’ve loved history for as long as I can remember – something about all the stories hidden in the past just waiting to be discovered thrills me! But then I absolutely love putting those stories down into writing – i.e. English. Writing gives me a huge amount of joy, and learning how to write better is something that I’m trying to work at. So I guess I’ll just just leave it at that – History and English, my two favourite subjects. ❤
  5. What’s your favorite colour? – Blue, all the way! I love pretty much every shade and variation of that frabjous colour. 😀
  6. Favorite song? – Ok, now that’s hard!! Just one song?? I like so many different types of music! But I guess if I narrow it down to my favourite Christian song (since that is the genre I listen to most) and even further down to ones we sing at my Church, that leaves me with… still a very large pool of songs. 😀 I guess I’ll just go with one of my favourites. Which would be ‘This is Amazing Grace’ by Phil Wickham. I really love that song a lot! The message is so true and so encouraging!
  7. Do you like sports? If so which ones? – By  like, do you mean to play or to watch? I guess I’ll do both. I’m not really a hugely sporty girl, but to play, I enjoy swimming and martial arts. To watch, I love gymnastics and figure skating.
  8. What’s the strangest place you’ve ever been? – Strangest? Ummm… Strange situationally or strange geographically? I’ve been to lots of random places, but I’m not sure if they count as strange. But would the engine room of a ship count as strange? That was pretty interesting but in a randomly strange way. 😀
  9. Favorite fruit? – Oooh, again, that’s a hard one! I will have to say peaches. Because seriously, can any fruit be better than a warm-from-the-sun, juicy, sweet peach?? Mmmm…
  10. Do you like to be hot or cold better? – I would say hot. Because that means it’s more likely to be summer, and I love summer!! But not super-duper hot, and not humid. I like around 25 degrees Celcius (which is pretty hot for England) ( that would be 77 Fahrenheit for my American readers) with low humidity.
  11. Why did you start your blog? – Well, I wanted a place where I could share my writing with others, but also something that would keep me writing on a consistent basis. And a blog fit the bill!

Anna’s Questions:

  1. What is your favorite season? – SUMMER!!! I love the warmth and the sunshine and the freedom of cool dresses and bare feet. Plus the fact that everything is alive and that there is no school stress, just relaxing to be done!  I love pretty much everything about summer! ❤
  2. Coffee or tea? – Well I don’t drink either. But I love the smell of coffee, and I sometimes drink herbal teas. But that gets me to an even position again. Soooo… both..? 😛
  3. If you could go one place in the world where would it be? – This might seem kind of mundane, but I would absolutely love to travel around the East coast and down to the South of the US. There is so much history down there, and I would love to see all the places I’ve read about in my history textbooks. Especially all the places involved in the Civil War!
  4. What’s your best article/story you’ve ever written? –  I think a story that won honorable mention in a contest was probably one of my best. I might post it on here one day! 😉
  5. Dream vacation spot? – A beach in a warm place. Preferably with turquoise waters, pearly sands and shimmering sunshine.
  6. Why do you write? – Because I love it. Writing gives me joy and satisfaction, it poses a challenge and it draws me to it. It’s something that has become more and more a part of myself as the years have gone on. 
  7. Do you read mostly in the Old Testament or New Testament? – I try to read a good mixture of both! I’m aiming to read the Bible through at least once this year. I’ve been in the NT for the past couple months, but I’ve just recently come back into the OT for a nice dosage of some prophets – Isaiah to be precise!
  8. The Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit? (books or movies) – I know that probably most my readers are going to recoil in horror at my answer, but… neither. Because I haven’t read or watched either yet! It’s on my list of ‘things I will do someday in the future’. And I will do it… one day in the future. 😀
  9. ‘If you could make a cake in whatever flavor you wanted, what would it be? – Something peanut-buttery. My family is conflicted over the subject of peanut butter – some like it, some love it, and some vehemently hate it. So even though I love it, I’ve never made a peanut-butter-something cake because there are too many people to shout the idea down. But I have loads of recipes on Pinterest that I would love to try! That’s another thing on my ‘things I will do someday in the future’ list. 😀
  10. What’s your least favorite holiday, and why? – Probably Halloween. It saddens me to see people celebrating darkness and evil. (For you Americans – in England the dark side of it is a lot more pronounced here than over there.)
  11. Who is your hero? – Jesus. He is the one person who I would love to completely and utterly copy every action and thought from. And that’s what I’m trying to do, though I fail more often than not. It’s a good thing he is overflowing with grace and love for fallen people like us!

11 Facts About Me:

  1. I’ve read 122 books so far this year.
  2. I have never been to school in my life. (#homeschooled :D)
  3. I play guitar and bass guitar.
  4. One of my best friends lives over 4000 miles away from me.
  5. I’ve lived in 6 different houses in my 16 years.
  6. I witnessed the birth of my youngest sibling.
  7. I do not own a phone.
  8. I have two passports – one English, and one American!
  9. Chocolate chip cookie dough is one of the best things ever. 😛
  10. My current WIP story/book that I’ve been writing is just over 25,000 words long.
  11. I am going to Holland for two weeks tomorrow! (posts will be scheduled, but no comments will be moderated until I return.)

And now for the people to nominate… I’m going to nominate:

Anyone!

Due to lack of time to find people that haven’t done it yet, I’m opening this award to anyone who reads this post and wants to do it – either in the comments or on your blog! Have fun! 🙂

Here are your questions:

  1. What are your top 3 favourite books?
  2. How do you like your eggs – fried, scrambled, or other?
  3. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  4. Would you rather live for the rest of your life without pillows or without blankets?
  5. If you could meet any author from any time – past or present, who would it be and why?
  6. What is your favourite joke?
  7. Introvert or Extrovert?
  8. What is your favourite thing to write (e.g. – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, etc)
  9. What is your dream job?
  10. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future? Why?
  11. What is your favourite holiday, and why?

Okey-doke, that’s it for this week. Thanks for sticking with me through this very long post! 🙂

5 Things God Taught Me on my Short Term Mission Trip

This past week I had the pleasure of guest posting on Heather’s Ambitions. I wrote about some of the lessons that God taught me while I was in Ireland. Click here to view it on her blog.

Today I’m going to be reposting it here on my blog. I hope you enjoy it!

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Recently I had the opportunity to go to Ireland for a two-week mission trip. I worked with an organization called OM Ireland (OM = Operation Mobilization), and I participated in their Impact Ireland short-term mission. The first week the teams were given training, and the second week we split up and went to six different towns all over Ireland. During that next week, my team worked with a local church doing a variety of outreaches – kids clubs, street evangelism, visiting nursing homes, and doing community outreach events. It was a challenging time for me, as I was stretched and pulled out of my comfort zone in many different ways. However, I came out of the two weeks feeling very encouraged by all that I had experienced, and blessed by all the things that God taught me. Here are a few of the main lessons that I learned during that time.

  1. God’s love really does transform lives – I was so blessed to meet many different people during my time in Ireland. As I got to know my team members and local believers, I was constantly being confronted with the reality of God’s transforming love. I met people who had been Christians for many years, and came from normal, average places in life, but were willing to come to Ireland to share the love that Christ had so freely lavished on them. I met people who were local townsfolk, who have incredibly rough and broken pasts. But they are on fire to share the transformation that had come about in their lives through Christ’s love. Each person had their own story of how God had changed them, and it was amazing to see!
  2. God has the power to unite random, ordinary people – My team was composed of people from 8 different countries, aged from young teenagers to middle-aged adults. Coming from all sorts of backgrounds in life, both socially and spiritually, we were a random bunch of just ordinary people. Because of Christ’s transforming power in our lives, we were all united in the same Saviour, with the uniting passion to share the Gospel. That is what is so amazing about being a Christian! You automatically have a giant family of brothers and sisters who, though very different in many ways, are all united with the same bond – Christ. I saw the power of that bond very clearly during my time in Ireland serving with the team.
  3. God uses random, ordinary people to make an impact – When the Gospel transforms people, it then unites them, and then it empowers them to make an impact in other people’s lives. God loves variety, and when a variety of united people serve him, he uses it to his glory! Because of how diverse my team was, we were able to reach out in many different ways. Some people were amazing at children’s work, others were better at engaging people on the streets. Still others found their niche in serving practically by cleaning and cooking. But God used everyone’s unique talents to reach a wide spectrum of people with his love.
  4. God strengthens those who serve him – I’m surprised at the amount of energy I had considering the intensity and busyness of the two-week outreach. During the first week we had at least 3 training sessions a day, covering a huge amount of information that we would need during the next week of outreach. The second week was crazy busy with full schedules of kids’ work and evangelism. Every night was a late night (or very early morning, depending on how you look at it!), and there were last minute changed plans and working around holes in those plans. Under normal circumstances, I probably would’ve crashed and burned at some point due to the lack of sleep and hectic nature of our schedule. But, I didn’t! God kept giving more and more strength, energy, and grace. When I felt like I couldn’t go on, I found I could. It wasn’t in my own strength that I was working; it was in Christ’s. He sees when we strive to serve him, and he gives us the strength that we need to continue. He truly is good!
  5. God cares about the little things – Sometimes you just have to laugh at how impeccable God’s timing is. I can think of many occasions during the two weeks when he brought just the right person along at just the right time when we desperately needed help. I remember the many divinely appointed conversations we had with people while we were out on the streets. I could tell many stories about all the times God showed he cared about details. He sent just the right kids along to the kids clubs, he provided new face painting brushes just when we needed them, he brought specific people we’d prayed for along to a Gospel presentation – all very little, and sometimes seemingly insignificant details. But not in his eyes! He sees everything, and fits every little detail into his perfect plan. I was reminded so many times of how much he really cares about the details.

I came away from Ireland with a myriad of different emotions swirling in me. Sadness at having to say goodbye to the team that I had so closely bonded and served with. Excitement at seeing how God used us and how he is continuing to work in Ireland. Wonder at seeing how God has the amazing power to lavish love on sinners and totally transform us. And probably most of all, gratitude: for the opportunities I was given to serve and be stretched, and for all the lessons that I learned.

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My team and I praying together on our last evening together.

Bonus Post! Awesome Blogger Award

Processed with Rookie Cam

Thanks to Cora for nominating me for the Awesome Blogger Award! Check her blog out at Cora’s Bits and Pieces.

Created by Maggie

This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.

The RULES:

Thank the person who nominated you.

Include the reason behind the award.

Include the banner in your post.

Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.

Answer the questions your nominator gave you.

Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.

Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.

Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

The questions:

  1. What’s your favorite food? – Ummmm…. just one food? That’s practically impossible. 😀 Can we go for a whole meal? But even then, that’s really hard… I’m just going to say chicken enchiladas. Because I really like those!
  2. What’s your favorite part about blogging? – The writing! I love writing, and I love sharing my writing. So blogging is a great combo!
  3. What’s your least favorite part about blogging? – Well, I haven’t even been blogging for a month yet, so I can’t really say I have anything I don’t like yet. Everything is still new and shiny and fun!
  4. Cats or Dogs? – Dogs, just marginally. They’re bouncy and loving and fun! (They have to be big dogs like Labs or Golden Retrievers or German Shepherds. No yappy little things for me, thank you :D) (No offence to owners of small dogs. They just aren’t for me) Though cats seem that they would be great writing buddies, as they just sit around and purr a lot. But then I’ve never owned either as a pet, so I can’t really say for sure…
  5. Do you like fiction or non-fiction books better? – Definitely fiction. I just love stories and all they contain! Though I am trying to widen my horizons and read more non-fiction…
  6. Do you write any fiction? – Yes, I do! That is actually primarily what I write. My current main story is about a girl growing up during the American Civil War, and it will probably feature on here at some point.
  7. Would you rather be inside or outside (generally)? – Ohhh, another hard one. It really depends on the weather. If it’s a gloriously sunny day, I love being outside! But if it’s rainy or dull, then I’d much rather be inside with a good book. Actually, as long as I have a book, I don’t really mind if I’m outside or inside. 😀
  8. Android or Apple? – Well, I don’t have a phone, so that kinda knocks this question out. But I do use our family iPad quite a bit, as well as our family iMac desktop. (I’m writing this post on it right now, actually!) So I’ll just say Apple, since that’s what I use the most.
  9. Favorite blog post ever (your post)? – Again, I’m a newbie at blogging! This will only have been my 5th post. 😀 So I can’t really judge accurately yet. But I do have to say that my last post with my favourite books I read in May was really fun to write!
  10. What’s your favorite girls name? – Oh dear, now you’ve opened a floodgate. So you probably don’t know this, but I am a self-proclaimed name nerd. Seriously. I love names!! I have a whole word document dedicated to my favourite names, and I’m always adding to it. So this question is great fun, but practically impossible to answer :D. I’m going to cheat a bit, and say my top 5 girls names, because I simply can’t narrow it down to 1! And my top 5 would have to be: Arielle, Avonlea, Jayda, Quincy/Quinn, and Zaylee. As you can probably tell, I have a rather eclectic/funky naming-style. 😀 But I really do love those names!

Thank you Cora for those questions, they were really fun!

So now for my 5 nominees for this Awesome Blogger Award. I nominate:

Naomi Sarah from Wonderland Creek

Heather from Jeans and Dresses

Lydia from Noveltea 

Julia from The Barefoot Gal

Emma Jane from Truth and Tailgates

And my questions are:

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. What is your favourite part of blogging?
  3. Would you rather have a few loyal commenters or lots of silent followers?
  4. What is your favourite childhood memory?
  5. What is your favourite topic to write about?
  6. Funniest moment of the week?
  7. What is your favourite word and why?
  8. Who is your favourite fictional character?
  9. What did you have for breakfast this morning?
  10. Who/what inspires you the most?

Right, there we go! See you back here on Saturday!

In Which I Begin a Blog

Well hello there! Welcome to my blog!

Let’s just cut straight to the chase. First posts are… kinda awkward. You’ve walked into the sphere of  blogging, and now you need to give an amazing intro to your blog to make sure that people know exactly who you are, what your blog is going to be about, and why you’re blogging. And it needs to be well-written, concise, friendly and convincing. That’s quite an order to fill!

So, just be aware that as this is my first ever blog post on here, I’m a newbie to all this, and so just give me a little wiggle room. And hopefully this will turn out ok!

So first of all, who exactly am I? Well, my name is Hannah, and I am 16yrs old (at the time of writing this). I live in the lovely country of England, and have been homeschooled all my life. Hard-core homeschooler right here, y’all. My loves in life include: First and foremost – Jesus Christ, as well as children, sunshine, L.M. Montgomery, the beach, and primarily – reading and writing. Which leads nicely into what this blog is about…

I’ve created this blog with the intention to post my writing as I wend my way through the wild and wacky ride that is trying to become a good writer. I write primarily fiction, with a side helping of poetry and a small dab of Christian non-fiction. Those are my ‘for-fun’ writings. My other writings are ‘for-school’ and they include essays and book reviews. Now I’m not planning to dump all my essays on you (though I can’t promise I will never post an essay, as I just might at some point. You never know!), but book reviews I most certainly will be posting! As I said a minute ago, I love reading. Like LOVE LOVE LOVE reading. I am a prolific reader. (mostly of historical fiction, if you were wondering. Though I am trying to broaden my tastes and read more widely.) So it kinda makes sense that I love writing. I find they go together quite delightfully. They’re both to do with words, one with writing words, and one with reading words that others have written. Both of which I highly enjoy. You could call me a logophile – a lover of words, as well as a bibliophile – a lover of books, and have quite a accurate portrait of myself. Anyways, where was I… Oh yes, reading and writing. So yup, this is going to be a place where I shall post all manner of writing – stories, poetry, book reviews – and I hope that you may find something on here that will strike your fancy, and you can return for more!

Which again leads nicely into my third point (goodness, I sound like a professor or a preacher using points! xD) – why I have started this blog. I think there are two main reasons why. First of all, I really want to grow in maturity as a writer, and I think that having a blog will force me to write consistently and more, and that will help me get better. But even more importantly than that, I really hope and pray that what I post on here may be of encouragement to someone. I hope that the different genres I write will be able to reach a wider audience, and thus encourage more people. And I pray that God may use my humble attempts at writing for his glory.

For that is ultimately why I write. To point others to the goodness and beauty of our loving Father. Soli Deo Gloria.