Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Today we celebrate Christ's victorious Resurrection, and the promise that our sins are forgiven and after death Christians can look forward to our own resurrection and joining Christ in Heaven.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Credit Where It's Due

The TSA gets a pretty bad rap, and I think a lot of the time it's completely deserved. But I thought I'd give credit where it is due and give a shout-out to the TSA folks at the SeaTac airport this morning. Every one of them was polite, helpful, and respectful. It was especially noticeable to me because I'm something of a difficult traveler - I never pack in a way that lets me take stuff out of my bags quickly and efficiently for security, so I always take a long time. I also ask if I can keep my shoes on to help protect my feet (remember that I have dance-induced arthritis in at least one toe, and sometimes cold tile or pressure changes can make that hurt badly for a while; if they tell me to take my shoes off, I do, but I always figure it never hurts to ask), which makes me an extra pain to deal with. Finally, there was something in my bag that looked suspicious (I suspect it was the birthday present Haleigh's parents asked me to bring to her - I don't know what it is, and it's all wrapped up), so they had to open it to test for dangerous things. 

Well, the fellow who had to deal with me taking a long time was perfectly polite and courteous; the lady I asked about my shoes was accommodating, and the lady who ran the extra test on my shoes was accommodating, polite, and respectful; and the guy who searched my bag didn't make a mess, ran a quick test without being invasive, and was respectful and polite to me the entire time. That's actually something else I should mention - all the agents I interacted with were friendly, professional, and polite. 

So, to the SeaTac TSA agents of this morning: thank you very much for helping to keep us safe and also being professional and courteous. I said it in person, but I'll say it again: I hope the rest of your weekend is interesting, but uneventful.

Now it's off to Milwaukee for Faith's wedding!!! 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Idle Thoughts

I'm on spring break, at least from my classes, so I'm spending a lot of time mostly just relaxing. I'm trying to read some so that I can prepare for Turkey, and I'm trying to find books in SPU's library that are relevant to where we'll be going.

I really am working on Arashna. I don't know at all when I'll have it done, but I am working on it.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Return to My Travel Blog!

Lovers of my Travel Blog, I have some exciting news!

Remember last July, how I posted that my trip to Turkey to photograph old Roman roads was cancelled? Well, on Tuesday I heard from my professor, letting me know that there is another opportunity to travel to Turkey for the same project this May! I had to ask around to see if I could get off work and school, and if I'd have done enough school work by then, but it looks as though I will be good to go!

So, starting this May, remember to check out my Travel Blog!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Recent Events

Part of my struggles in posting new blog posts is that most of my life these days is taken up by things I really can't blog about. At the one job at an insurance company, where I deal with people's highly personal information, I really can't share what happens each day on the internet. My other job is working at a school, where I'm around kids, who I'm really hesitant to blog about. It just seems like a bad idea or an invitation for trouble to talk about them to the entire world, (to say nothing of the fact that it's a little disrespectful). But I will say this: on multiple occasions, the kids have said things to me that remind me that a life of serving others is the most rewarding life out there. I'm going to miss those kids when I have to do student teaching!

That's about all I have for now... More later!

Monday, February 6, 2017

There Be Snow!

Hey everyone! If you're in western Washington, you probably heard that snow is shutting down most of the Seattle area, which includes my Monday job. So I'm currently home working on the next Darkwoods novel! I've already made lots of progress - three pages longer! (Trust me, that's lots of progress compared to how I've been doing.)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Here's a Singer for Fantasy Fans!

I'm so silly - I've been trying to think of something to post about for quite a while now, but I completely forgot about one very obvious topic!

Do you all remember last year when I posted about one of Celtic Woman's music videos? Well, the guest singer in that video is Oonagh, a German singer. I don't know why, but for some reason I didn't really investigate to see what else she sang. I Googled her, which is how I know she's German, and I vaguely remember finding a video of her singing some heavily electronic song that just wasn't my cup of tea.

Anyway, fast forward to last summer, about mid-July. I was listening to Tir na nOg on YouTube, and YouTube's Autoplay, instead of playing more Celtic Woman, sent me to one of Oonagh's videos called Orome. I think I was writing something at the time, so when I heard the opening sounds, you can imagine my surprise. But I listened to the video, thinking that "Orome" really sounded familiar, but I couldn't place it. So I scrolled through the comments on the video, and I came across one comment (from a woman with my first name, no less) explaining that Orome is one of Middle-Earth's Valar! Replies to that comment added that Oonagh sings a lot of the choruses in Tolkien's Elvish!

To put it mildly, I was thrilled. I went scouring all over the web looking for her music, and I found out that, in addition to singing about Tolkien's stories (mostly from Silmarillion), she also uses mythology, legends, and fairy tails. But from what I can tell, most of her songs are inspired by Tolkien.

She had two albums out over the summer, called "Oonagh" and "Aeria"; then in October, she released a third album called "Märchen Enden Gut", which according to Google Translate means "Fairy Tales End Well". Every album a few songs about Silmarillion characters or places, and each one also has a few songs about other stories. So, if you're into fantasy (which I assume you are because you're reading this blog), you might like Oonagh!

The problem is that her music isn't on iTunes, and it's not available for Amazon Music in America, so you'd have to get one of the CD's from Amazon, Ebay, or some similar site. I recommend getting the extended versions of each CD if you can.

If you're curious, here's her Facebook page. There's a link there to a pretty amazing website that plays excerpts from "Märchen Enden Gut".

Oonagh (Attea Ranta)
Aeria (Sartoranta)
Märchen Enden Gut (Deluxe)