Life Update: Long Time No Write

WARNING: Lengthy  and brutally honest post Head:

Let’s play a game. I am going to write out two truths and a lie; then dear reader your job will be to decide which statement is the lie. Ready, Go:

  1. All written works are a different combination made up of the same twenty-six letters of the alphabet.
  2.  Writing is easy.
  3. There is no foolproof way to write the perfect narrative, no matter what the rest of the world thinks.

Okay, times up! where you able to find the lie?  If you weren’t able to it’s okay because I am going to tell you the answer to my little game anyway. The lie is…… writing is easy. In fact, anyone who tries to tell you that writing is easy is lying to you. Now, if you have ever visited this lovely blog before welcome back thanks for waiting for me drag myself back out of my hobbit hole. I greatly appreciate it.  To those who may be new, welcome to the California Bookworm I hope you enjoy your stay. All of this being said and you don’t mind having the shit scared out of you, please proceed.

Continue reading “Life Update: Long Time No Write”

Redefining Roses

Hello, lovely readers! After taking a two-month writing hiatus where I was struggling a bit to find my creative voice; I am beginning to find it again. Recently,  I have been going through some of the files on my computer in an effort to clean up a little and I was reminded of why I love literature as much as I do. I came across some of my work that I had written for my Into to Lit class and thought  I would share it with all of you. Most of it is my thoughts on short stories I read for class, sections of The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature (the textbook from class) or  Windows to the World: Literature in Christian Perspective by Leeland Ryken (the third book I read for class).

The truth is that I am still in the process of rediscovering my voice. I know it’s not lost, instead,  it is simply wondering. Therefore I have chosen to share this work with you because I hope that it would be enlightening to you and also that I may inspire myself again.

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner follows a town’s relentless quest to discover a mystery about a woman named Emily who marches to the beat of her of her own drum. Emily Grierson refuses to abide by any standard set by the present society and ultimately strives to hold on to her own definition of self-respect and love among a society that has left her in the past.

The short story A Rose for Emily explores what it means to grow up in a world that has never truly been yours, to begin with.When Emily kills her lover and then later dies beside his corpse, she doesn’t kill him because she does not love him. Emily carries out her murderous act because she is afraid of losing yet another thing that means the world to her. The Story of Emily is a tragedy, however, it brings to light some important lessons about society and generational differences. Emily suffers from being a part of a society where rules about personal relationships defined with each new generation,  prevented her from living her life the way she wanted.I think what Faulkner is trying to say about the inner struggle an individual feels when attempting to please oneself while still trying to abide by societal obligations is important.

The lesson for people today as they read this story lies in making the choice to stay true to what each of us wants in our relationships as well as the other areas of our lives. However, as active citizens of our society, we need to still be a part of everything that happens within it.  Emily felt confined by all of the different standards of every generation she lived through and so she took matters into her own hands. She decided to no longer define herself through the lens of her society in terms of her love life.In the end, though she chose to do her basic civil duties such as paying her taxes. For this reason, I believe that Emily can serve as a reminder to everyone that walking to your own beat isn’t always bad as long as you are not afraid to let go of things that are not concretely your’s to have.

This is something that needs to be remembered during every day of our lives especially now when our world has become so diverse and crazy at times. I am not suggesting that we as people should stop walking to our own drum. I am simply asking that Emily Grierson is remembered.

Literature and the Power of the Imaginative Christian

Hello, I know that it has been a long time since my last post but being a full-time college student is busy.Therefore I thought I would pass on some thoughts I had about the power of literature and the Christian life as my freshmen year of college comes to a close within the next two weeks. It is simply something I ask you as readers to consider, I know that it’s a little different from my normal review. However, please know that if you read this I am not in any way asking you to agree with my beliefs or my opinions. Your belief system and opinions are your own to decide not mine.

The two worlds of literature and the imagination have always been intertwined with each other from the very beginning of time. In my mind, it is impossible for even the concept of literature to exist without imagination.In fact, the world that we live in would not be in existence without imagination and creativity. God is the most creative and imaginative being I personally have ever had the privilege of knowing. It was His imagination and creativity that brought the creation of the world about in the first place. In order to create the world, He had to come up with every idea from scratch because He did not have anyone who came before him who had created anything.

Therefore, knowing that nothing had come before God and everything that came after he was created and shaped by God, makes me come to the conclusion that He is the greatest artist and author that I have ever seen the work of. From the beginning of time, God created mankind to have free will and likewise He created them to be creative. Mankind was not created by God as a second thought or to be clones of one another. It Is true that mankind was created in “the image of God,” but it is also true that God took the time to personally create every detail about who I am as an individual. This means no two people are ever the same even if they are identical twins.The same is true about how each person chooses to live out their walk with Christ in their lifetime here on earth. My faith walk is different from the person who sits next to me in every one of my classes here at Simpson.

Literature, in my opinion, is one of the many ways that the Lord chooses to communicate his purpose for my life and his redemptive power for all of his people throughout history. God wrote the most beautiful book in history, which is known as the bible. Throughout every short story, book or play there lies within its pages the story of redemption even if it is not blatantly looking the reader in the face. Even when an author is unaware of the redemption story line being present within their novel God places it there for everyone to see and experience. The idea that God could write a book that combines every single genre of literature in one work of writing is both fascinating and wonderful to me as an English major. It would be nearly impossible for a normal writer to incorporate every genre into a single piece of literature. Therefore the fact that a single story line about the redemptive power of love is successfully communicated throughout all sixty-six books of the bible is impressive.

Literature in all of its forms is a reflection of the human experience and how we choose to live it out in our everyday lives. As Christians living and working alongside Christ, we are called to be knowledgeable about what the bible says.On the surface level living, the Christian life asks believers to in some way receive the word of God rather it be oral, by turning pages or in some other form. In some way, though we are asked to know the literature that the Lord has provided us with. Then we are expected to take what we read in the bible and apply it to our own lives because if we do not practice what we believe through our actions faith ceases to be real. If I sit and think about all of the written work that either writer before me have created or that I have written myself nothing is original in origin except that which is created by the Lord.

The heavenly father is the one that places most ideas in our heads and then we as creatures of free will get to decide what to do with what we are given. However, when we as human beings decide not to do anything creatively with the ideas that are gifted to us by God I believe that we are not living the lives that we are meant to live as Christians. Our imagination is one of the ways we are able to express ourselves for the kingdom of God and something is lost to our soul when it is not being used. Personally, I believe imagination and creativity can play out in the way we worship as well as in the different ways that we show love to one another.

The most fundamental belief of the Christian life is showing love to all people and the truth is each person experiences love in different ways. Therefore, I have the ability to love people by sharing my personal love of books with them by physically giving them the book to read. Or on a deeper level, I have the ability to love better solely based on the idea that by reading literature I have a better understanding of the world around me and I am more empathetic as a result. The world of literature was created by God to be universal in its nature.

This means that stories and the boundless imaginations that create them are ageless. As a result, these stories rather they are written down on paper or told orally by mouth transcend cultural barriers and languages. Similarly, the Story of Christ is not confined by time, Language, place or by the medium in which it is told because its power is unending.

A person’s imagination, therefore, has great power when it comes to sharing the Gospel because there are a number of ways that the Christian life can be reflected in the art form that is literature. The imagination has the power to take the message of Christ to anyone no matter their age.  For example, the Chronicles of Narnia series has been pointing readers to the love of Christ for years and some who choose to read it may not ever be aware of its influence.Therefore, it is my opinion that literature and the imaginations of human beings hold more love and power in them then the world may ever realize