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"wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight"

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I've had all seven books of The Chronicles of Narnia sitting on my bookshelf, neatly collecting dust between the spines, for many many years. Every time I would glance at them I would think to myself: "I should just sit down and read all of those someday..." But someday never seemed to come, and the books remained in their little box set. 

Of course I already knew the stories of all the Narnia books. But I had yet to read them all on my own. The stories had all been given to me secondhand. My mom read a couple to me and my sisters when we were young, and I've seen the movies multiple times. I wanted to read them for myself to develop my own personal, untainted thoughts on the popular series.

It wasn't until I was stressed beyond belief that I started to crave a children's book. I wanted something that would lift my spirits, and something that wouldn't take much effort to read and get into. After scanning my shelves for options, The Chronicles of Narnia seemed like the best choice. 

I know there's a mild controversy among readers as to which order is the best to read Narnia. I decided this time to simply read them in the order starting with The Magician's Nephew and ending with The Last Battle. If I ever pick them up again, I'll try to read them in publication order so that I can begin to form an opinion on the matter. For now, however, I'm sticking with the order they're presented as.

Reading these books as an adult was a very different experience than I expected it to be. They still read like children's books, with plots that are easy to follow, characters that are somewhat childish, and writing that isn't too complicated. I found, though, that while they were entertaining, there's so much more to these books than a simple children's fairytale story.

I truly enjoyed reading all of the books in the series. All very short, very quick reads, each like a little treat. They all had special parts or themes that have stuck with me since I finished them. My personal favorites, however, were The Silver ChairThe Last BattleThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and The Magician's Nephew, in that order. While the other three were still good, they didn't quite touch me in the same way those four did.

As I was reading, I was struck again and again by just how deep these books could get. There were times, especially in the last two books, that I found myself pausing to think about a particular passage or to underline a quote that I thought was profound. Theology and Biblical lessons are woven so tightly within the story in a way that could only be done by C.S. Lewis. From the birth of Narnia, to its rebirth; the speech given by Puddleglum as he resists the manipulations of the witch; Eustace and Edmund's redemption stories; and, of course, the iconic scene of Aslan dying on the stone table.

I strongly believe that Aslan is one of the absolute best illustrations of the character of Christ ever written in literature. "He is not a tame lion."

I will always regret the fact that I never read all of these books when I was younger. But I do feel that I have understood them, and have received so much more from reading them as an adult than I ever could before. They were a lot more than I expected them to be, and I'm sad to see that my journey in Narnia has come to an end.
"I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia." --Puddleglum

am I a writer?

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Am I really a writer? I've been trying to answer that question about myself. Trying to gauge whether I should consider myself a writer or not anymore. 

It's been a long time since I've felt joy from my writing, since I've felt that sense of satisfaction I used to get from writing my thoughts down on a page. It's been over two years since I last remember staining paper with my story ideas. I've been thinking a lot about my writing, where I'm going with it, if I will ever write a book like I've always dreamed of, or whether I am a writer anymore or not.

Writers are suppose to write recklessly with fervor and urgency, like they must form words and sentences and paragraphs in order to simply breathe and survive. Whatever spark for writing I used to feel has dulled. I haven't had any bursts of inspiration to write. My mind is as blank as the pages in my journals.

I think I've finally come to the conclusion, though, that it isn't an issue of my not being a writer anymore. Just sitting at my laptop right now composing this insignificant little blog post is enough to nudge the storyteller living within me into action... I'm just a different sort of writer now than I once was.

I'm a cautious sort of writer now. I don't have a lot of time anymore to write for myself very often, so when I do, I pressure myself for it to be great, something that I will be proud of. But that rarely happens. I don't want to take any risks in my writing.

It's hard to get back into something when you're so out of practice. But I'm trying. Maybe I will write a book someday, or maybe not. Maybe I will write something else in a format that I haven't thought of yet. I'm trying to learn how I write now and how to utilize my writing the way it's meant to be shared.

Writing will always be something that is important to me. Whether I feel like a writer or not.

Book Review | The Night Circus

| goodreads |
I have never read a book more atmospheric than The Night Circus. I have never envisioned a world or characters as clearly as I did while reading this book. The way Erin Morgenstern expertly utilizes all of the senses in her writing is astonishing.

This book is deceptively labeled as a romance. When I first picked it up, I was expecting a magical, mystical romance novel. Honestly, I was uncertain whether I would really like it or not. I cannot emphasize how happy I am that did end up reading it, despite my skepticism. There is a romantic story arc woven into the plot, but it is much more minimal than I had expected initially going in.

This is a story that completely revolves around a circus. Le Cirque des Rêves is the heart and soul of this book, and it is what makes it such a special read. The author's writing is so descriptive and beautiful, and when I read it I get lost so easily within the world she has created.

I wish more than anything that the circus could be real, I want to explore the Ice Garden, the Cloud Maze, and the Labyrinth. I want to make a wish on the Wishing Tree, and, most importantly, I want to eat all of the delicious food.

The story surrounding the circus is also very intricate and detailed, jumping from different perspectives from different characters, and going back and forth in time until everything comes together beautifully at the end. The writing and plot can feel somewhat slow at times, but I hardly noticed since I was so enthralled.

I also fell completely in love with all of the characters. They were all very well balanced throughout the whole novel. There didn't seem to be any secondary characters as they were all vital to the circus. Isobel, Poppet and Widget, Chandresh, and Marco intrigued me the most. Celia, however, was the most difficult for me to like, even though she is technically the main character. I think this is because she keeps her feelings and emotions hidden away most of the time, making it harder for the reader to really get to know her. But it's part of her personality and who she is, so it was easy to get over, and I did eventually learn to like her.

Ever since I've finished this book, it has haunted me. Every time I think about it, I get this aching desire to read it again and again. The writing alone makes it worth the read, but it also has so many important and thought provoking themes such as sacrifice, love, wisdom, knowledge, and dedication, making it so much more than a simple romance or fantasy novel.

The Night Circus is most definitely a forever favorite for me, and I feel like I can never do it justice.
“You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” 
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

écouter | a playlist in French

J'aime écouter le musique français. Quelquefois je ne comprend pas les chansons, mais ils sont belles. Musique est la langue parlé de tout le monde.

translation// 
I love to listen to French music. I don't understand the songs sometimes, but they are beautiful. Music is a language spoken by everyone.
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I've been collecting French songs.

So much can be revealed about people through their music. Just by listening, I've been able to gather so much about language and culture in these songs.  

This is a work in progress, something I will continue to add to as I delve deeper into French and Francophone music.
Give a listen:
Can we just talk about how awesome Let it Go is in French?