Book and Movie of the Year

Books on Bookshelves

About the Award

The True and Pure Book and Movie of the Year award is an unofficial, created-by-me award. I recognize what I consider the best book I read and the best movie I saw in the previous year, along with a runner-up in each category.

I make an effort to choose more modern books, since we can all agree that classics are classics for a reason, and my goal is to help you find amazing media that you might not have heard of or be unsure about. But the award in general is not limited to media that was released this year. I choose out of everything I read and watched in the course of the year, not only things that are brand-new.

You can find previous awards here:




Book of the Year: Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley (2015)

Runner-Up: Greenglass House by Kate Milford (2014)

circus mirandus.jpggreenglass house.jpg

About the winner: 

Do you believe in magic? Micah Tuttle does.

Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. (from Goodreads)

If you loved The Night Circus, or if you have any kind of interest in magical circuses, or if you like children’s books that feel deep and meaningful and old-fashioned in the best way, Circus Mirandus is for you. The magical-circus atmosphere is lovely, and the story is wonderful. It doesn’t use magic as an excuse, presenting realities of life in a way that doesn’t deny their weight. But it does it in a childlike way, balancing innocence and hope with the pain.

I’ve been really enjoying children’s books lately, and it’s always a delight to find more recently-published books that have this kind of quality and depth. Unlike the runner-up, this one isn’t a Christmas read necessarily, but the magical feeling lends itself very well to this season. It would be a great family read-aloud, a great one to give to younger siblings, or something to read by yourself on a cozy winter day beside the light of the Christmas tree.

About the runner-up: 

It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House-and themselves. (from Goodreads)

This is another more recently-published children’s book that has an atmosphere very similar to The Mysterious Benedict Society. I love it because it has the innocent feeling of childhood, but yet is a complex and deeply meaningful story with real conflict. The characters are interesting and complex, the family dynamics between Milo and his parents are really enjoyable, and the plot has plenty of twists and turns and different elements that all weave together really nicely. It takes place leading up to Christmas, so it’s a great one for the season, or to read at any point during the winter, and would also make a great family or sibling read-aloud!

Movie of the Year: The Truman Show (1998)

Runner-Up: The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)

Image result for the truman showImage result for the importance of being earnest

About the winner: 

In this movie, Truman is a man whose life is a fake one… The place he lives is in fact a big studio with hidden cameras everywhere, and all his friends and people around him, are actors who play their roles in the most popular TV-series in the world: The Truman Show. Truman thinks that he is an ordinary man with an ordinary life and has no idea about how he is exploited. Until one day… he finds out everything. Will he react? (from IMDb)

This is one of the most thought-provoking movies I’ve ever watched. It’s entertaining, definitely, with plenty of humor and an intriguing premise. But when you start to think harder about the premise, you realize all of the questions that the movie is really raising, and what a serious movie it really is. It leaves you searching, trying to put words to its themes, raising questions of ethics in media, of what reality TV does to our society, of consumerism and entertainment culture. And it does all of this in a carefully crafted story, in which no detail of cinematography, costuming, setting, etc. is overlooked, and in which we are equally made to laugh, cry, and think.

About the runner-up: 

Two young gentlemen living in 1890’s England use the same pseudonym (“Ernest”) on the sly, which is fine until they both fall in love with women using that name, which leads to a comedy of mistaken identities… (from IMDb)

I love this play, and the movie is an excellent adaptation in which everything was done pretty much exactly as I had imagined it. The whole story is an absolutely hilarious comedy of errors, making this probably the funniest period drama that exists. The actors are amazing as well: the cast features Colin Firth and Judi Dench. Overall, it’s just a quality movie that’s full of innocent fun, one that can be watched over and over, on rainy days and sick days, with other people or by yourself, a movie that, at least for me, will never get old.

Have you read/watched my selections? If so, did you like them as much as I did? What are your favorite books and movies of 2018? Share in the comments! 

love, grace


The Book Life Tag


When I saw this tag on Hailey Hudson’s blog, I knew I had to do it. Who wouldn’t want to create their dream life from their favorite books??

So let’s take a chill Wednesday, a break from the deep posts, and flail over the stories we love…

Who would your parents be? 

Mr. Penderwick and Iantha from The Penderwicks (the fifth book just came out!! go buy it!). They are so kind and wise, firm when they need to be yet always loving. (Not to mention present, rather than being dead or something, and heavily involved in their kids’ lives.) Plus Mr. Penderwick speaks Latin all the time, which is cool!

(And if you haven’t read this series, I insist that you drop everything and go read it. Now.)

Who would be your sister? 

Jane Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. She would probably give really great advice and just generally be an amazing person to have around.

Who would be your brother? 

Peter Pevensie of Narnia. I’ve always wanted a much-older brother to protect me and watch out for me, and he’s basically the epitome of what I would want that older brother to be like.

Who would be your pet? 

From The Penderwicks again…Hound. And Asimov. Because the most fun is when you get to see the two of them pretending to hate each other.

Where would you live/where would you go to school? 

The Children’s Academy of Dancing and Stage Training from Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. That book was such a huge part of my childhood, and I’ve always wished there were performing arts schools like that now, complete with British atmosphere. Those kids live the dream life, let me tell you.

And in order to attend that school, I guess I would need to live in London, where the book is set. Which I definitely have no problem with.

Who would be your best friend? 

Iko, from The Lunar Chronicles! I love her cheerfulness, her unconditional love, and the way she brings humor and brightness to every moment. She would help me get out of my comfort zone and keep me from taking myself too seriously. Plus I could give her all of my hand-me-downs.

Who would be your significant other? 

Calvin O’Keefe from A Wrinkle in Time. He’s so mature and sweet, and would have no problem meeting the approval of older brother Peter 🙂

Okay, I’m picturing this life now and it sounds absolutely perfect. Who wouldn’t want Jane Bennett and Peter Pevensie to be their older siblings? And live in London? And attend a performing arts school? (I mean, that might not appeal to everyone. But it does to me!)

Mainly what I’m thinking now, though: I really need to reread Ballet Shoes.

What do you think? How do you like my answers? What would your book life be like? Pick a question or two and answer them in the comments below! 

love, grace

Read more:

7 Childhood Books I Still Love

Book Review: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

My 7 Favorite Book Couples (in honor of Valentine’s Day…)

Book and Movie of the Year 2017

book and movie of the year edited

About the Award

The True and Pure Book and Movie of the Year Award is an unofficial, created-by-me award. I recognize what I consider the best book I read and the best movie I saw in the previous year, along with a runner-up in each category.

Starting this year, I will make an effort to choose more modern books rather than classics; we can all agree that most classics are classics for a reason, and my goal is to help you find amazing books that you might not have heard about or might be unsure about. Plus this will help me narrow it down a little bit. But the award in general is not limited to media that was released this year. I choose out of everything I read and watched in the course of the year, not only things that are brand-new.

See previous awards here:

Book and Movie of the Year 2015

Book and Movie of the Year 2016

Book of the Year: The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp (2016)

Runner-Up: Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler (2016)

Image result for the broken wayImage result for vinegar girl

About the winner: 

New York Times best-selling author Ann Voskamp sits at the edge of her life and all of her own unspoken brokenness and asks: What if you really want to live abundantly before it’s too late? What do you do if you really want to know abundant wholeness? This is the one begging question that’s behind every single aspect of our lives — and one that The Broken Way – also a New York Times bestseller – rises up to explore in the most unexpected ways.  (from Goodreads)

The Broken Way, if read and digested carefully, is a life-changing book. Voskamp’s writing style is painfully beautiful; her words are filled with hope and joy; the truths that she speaks of are truths that we all need to be reminded of again and again. It is a beautiful book that every Christian should read, no matter your situation, and store up in their hearts for a time when life may be a struggle.

Read my earlier review: The Broken Way: Finding Beauty in Brokenness and Suffering.

About the runner-up: 

Kate Battista feels stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and uppity, pretty younger sister Bunny?

Dr. Battista has other problems. After years out in the academic wilderness, he is on the verge of a breakthrough. There’s only one problem: his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, all would be lost. When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Kate is furious: this time he’s really asking too much. But will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around? (from Goodreads)

Vinegar Girl is just so much fun. It’s a touching, sweet, funny romance novel that doesn’t feel like a romance novel at all, taking The Taming of the Shrew and perfectly transplanting it into modern life. This is one of those books that I will probably reread over and over, and recommend to everyone. It’s especially perfect if you’re looking for a light, enjoyable beach read that still has substance.

Read my Goodreads review: Vinegar Girl.

Movie of the Year: Les Miserables (2012)

Runner-Up: Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical (2017)

Image result for les miserables movieImage result for disney's newsies the broadway musical

About the winner: 

Jean Valjean, known as Prisoner 24601, is released from prison and breaks parole to create a new life for himself while evading the grip of the persistent Inspector Javert. Set in post-revolutionary France, the story reaches resolution against the background of the June Rebellion. (from IMDb)

Note that I have not read the book, so I won’t be able to compare quality in that regard; but I watched Les Miserables for the first time back in January and absolutely loved it. It is a serious, rather dark, sometimes hard-to-watch movie, but it has a beautiful, hopeful conclusion that is missing from so much of today’s media. The music is so powerful as well, and adds to the development of its soaring themes. (Warning: there is some content that you may want to research beforehand. Most of it is easily fast-forwardable. Overall I wouldn’t recommend this movie for those under 14.)

About the runner-up: 

Set in New York City at the turn of the century and based on a true story, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged ‘newsies,’ who dreams only of a better life far from the hardship of the streets. But when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst raise distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack finds a cause to fight for and rallies newsies to his side. (from IMDb)

This played in theaters one evening this year, and my sister and I went to see it with some friends. It was awesome. We love the musical, and it was so great to get to see the whole show with all the epic dancing! Best of all, I think it’s on Netflix now, so if you’re looking for a feel-good musical to brighten your winter, go check it out! I definitely need to watch it again soon.


What do you think? Have you read/watched my selections? If so, did you like them as much as I did? What are your favorite books and movies of 2017? I’d love to know! 

love, grace


Fun Friday: Liebster Award!

liebster award.png

Here I am with another installment of Fun Friday for you!

The lovely Miriam over at Crafted By Christ nominated me for the Liebster Award. Thank you, Miriam! Definitely check out her blog. She’s a gifted writer and writes about many of the same topics that I do!

The rules:

  • Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  • Answer eleven questions that the blogger gives you.
  • List eleven random fact about yourself.
  • Nominate up to 11 other Bloggers that 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.

Miriam’s Questions

How long have you been blogging? I have been blogging for almost three years now. I started my Blogspot blog in the fall of my freshman year, and now I’m about to be a senior. I can’t even believe how much my platform has grown since then…I’m not even sure I really knew what I was getting into, and I can’t wait to see what else God does with my writing!

How has God been working in your life this summer? This is a small thing, but I went to a dance intensive last week and stayed in a dorm three hours from my parents. Before I went, I prayed that God would give me a good roommate, and He did! I really lucked out. There were some not-quite-as-nice people there who I could have ended up rooming with (it was randomly chosen) and I’m so thankful that God gave me such a sweet girl to stay with.

What is your deepest passion? I hope and pray that it will always be the glory of God, knowing that only the Holy Spirit can make that true.

Describe your dream vacation. Spending a week in New York City: seeing a show (Broadway or dance) every night, trying to dress like a New Yorker, exploring all the neighborhoods and the tourist attractions, revisiting favorite places, and going to all of the places that I saw but didn’t get a chance to go to last time.

If you had three wishes, what would you wish for? 1. Freedom from the various bonds that I struggle with every day. 2. Complete and full joy. 3. A revival across the world of people who know and love God.

What is your greatest goal? To use some talent that God has given me for His glory and to advance His kingdom in the world.

Other than writing, what are your hobbies? Dance, although I’m not sure that counts as a hobby because it’s more serious than that, like a potential career path. Piano. Choir. Latin (yes, this counts. It’s a club!). Reading, followed by obsessive fangirling.

How did you come to know Jesus as your Savior? I was blessed to be born into a Christian home, so I’ve known about Jesus for my whole life and was saved at a very young age.

What is your favorite book? Why? Why, Miriam? Why would you ask this question????????? Seriously???????? I refuse.

I refuse.

I will not answer.

Moving on.

If you could only write or only read, which would you pick? I’m going to have to say reading, despite how horrible it sounds not to be able to write. Because I could definitely read without writing (if I absolutely HAD to…) but I don’t think I could write without reading. But the best part is, I don’t have to choose and I can continue to do both!

What is the most random fact you can think of right now? Did you know that in that one scene in The Two Towers, where the find the pile of burning bodies and Aragorn kicks the head and screams, Viggo Mortenson actually broke his toe kicking it? He acted through it. That’s why it sounds like he’s in so much pain when he screams, because he was! 😉 (random enough…?)

Eleven Random Facts

  1. I think both dogs and cats are super cute, but I’m actually really scared of cats. Making me a dog person.
  2. I made my Common App account today. (gasp!) (And for those of you who don’t know what that is…you will learn, small child. You will learn. It’s called college applications. It haunts you in your sleep. Mwahahaha.)
  3. I hate drinking straight coffee (give me tea any day), but I love unsweetened lattes!
  4. In theory I like the idea of painting my nails. In practice, my nails are never painted. Except maybe like twice a year.
  5. I have never seen Star Trek…I guess I should really get to it…
  6. Also I have never seen The Lion King. (Cue shrieks of horror in the comments section. *ducks behind couch* Don’t hurt me!)
  7. I used to draw a lot as a child. Now I never draw…my talents in the area of arts and crafts are really limited.
  8. I have lived in basically the same place my whole life. (Several houses, but in the same area, and the same house for the last twelve-ish years.)
  9. I have seen two shows on Broadway: Wicked and Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. They were both amazing!
  10. I love pasta. Especially mac ‘n’ cheese. And apparently National Mac ‘n’ Cheese Day is on my birthday, so that’s cool!
  11. I have a strange obsession with things that are British.

The Nominees

I’m going to be lazy now. If you are a blogger who is subscribed to True and Pure and has less than 200 followers, I nominate you! If you do it, be sure to leave me the link to your post in the comments so I can check it out!

Here are your questions:

  1. What is your favorite genre of music and why?
  2. What is a book you are really excited to read soon?
  3. What is a popular movie that you really should have watched by now, but haven’t?
  4. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
  5. Which dessert do you find irresistible?
  6. What are your writing goals for the next five years?
  7. What is your favorite part of your house?
  8. How many books do you think you own (personally, not your family)? (Just an estimate for fun!)
  9. And to follow up, is there such a thing as owning too many books?
  10. What is your favorite thing about your church?
  11. What is one of your favorite childhood memories?


Now it’s your turn! Share your answers to any of the questions in this post in the comments below; I’d love to hear them! 

love, grace

Read more:

Sunshine Blogger Award

Fun Friday: Blue Sky Tag

The Wisteria Writer Tag

Fun Friday: Blue Sky Tag

And now for an installment of “Fun Friday”, where I pop in unexpectedly and give you an extra, random post!

Thank you to Hailey from Now All I Know Is Grace for tagging me for the Blue Sky Tag! Hopefully the questions will help you learn a little more about me and/or encourage you in your faith. Here we go:

Why did you start your blog? Basically, I got the idea. And then it didn’t go away for months, until I finally decided to go for it. I think that was definitely God nudging me, because I have so enjoyed my blogging journey so far and He is blessing my efforts beyond what I ever could have imagined when I wrote my first post!

If you could have dinner with any one person who’s alive right now, who would you choose? Jaquelle Crowe, the editor-in-chief of The Rebelution and the author of This Changes Everything (which is a great book that everyone should read) as well as the co-host of Age of Minority, my favorite podcast.  She’s a huge role model; besides that, I just think she would be really fun to talk to. And she loves food, so dinner would be an optimum time to have a conversation!

Favorite book of the Bible and why? I have a lot of favorites, but if I had to pick one I would probably say Hebrews. The entire thing is full of such beautiful writing and is just…so beautiful. It’s hard to understand but once I did understand it more I fell in love with it. (Amanda Beguerie’s Hebrews Bible Study was instrumental in developing my understanding of this beautiful book, by the way!)

Favorite music genre to listen to? My taste varies widely, but I always come back to hymns when I don’t know what else to listen to. I especially love Selah’s hymn albums…it’s music that I’m always in the mood for.

What’s your earliest memory? I honestly have no clue.

What job would you be great at, and what job would you be horrible at? I think I would be good at administrative jobs, teaching, or something else that required a lot of organizational skills. I would be horrible at anything that required advanced math or artistic skills.

Dream vacation spot? London.

big ben, bridge, clock tower

When writing, are you a plotter or a pantser? Most of the time I’m a plotter. I almost always have at least some kind of plan before I start writing. I do just wing it occasionally, though.

What makes you angry? Injustice in the world; abortion; people who say they are Christians but don’t live like it; people who make assumptions about Christians without really knowing what they’re talking about.

What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of? This blog is probably the biggest one. A hundred followers…I’m still wrapping my mind around it!

What has God been teaching you lately? That I am called to live for His glory even through hard circumstances, even when I don’t feel like doing anything…and that doesn’t mean doing things for Him all the time, but it can just mean simply leaning on His strength instead of my own, because that is just as glorifying to Him as working for His sake.

I tag:

Abigail Faith @ Faith and Mustard

Shantelle @ Between the Pages of This Bookish Life

Amanda @ Scattered Journal Pages

Deborah @ The Road of a Writer

Patricia @ Hello Beautiful People

Ashley @ Inklings Press

Emily @ For the Bookish

Christine @ Musings of an Elf

Victoria @ Ruffles and Grace

Abigayle @ The Left-Handed Typist

Grace @ From the Tip of Grace’s Pen

Here are the questions:

1. What would you say is the hardest season that God has brought you through so far? Looking back, what did He teach you through that season?

2. If you could only have three books with you on a desert island for the rest of your life, what would they be?

3. Do you prefer tea or coffee? And what kind (black or with cream and sugar, herbal tea, lattes, etc.)?

4. What is one sermon/talk that you think every Christian should listen to?

5. What is one book that you think every Christian should read?

6. What is your favorite way to rest and destress?

7. Was there a time in your life that God answered a prayer in a really amazing way (share the story!)?

8. What is one childhood hobby that you wish you’d kept pursuing?

9. What is one childhood hobby that you’re really glad you stopped pursuing?

10. What is your favorite hymn?

11. What books do you really want to read this summer?

The rules are: thank the person who tagged you, answer their 11 questions, then tag 11 people and give them 11 questions to answer.

(Please don’t feel any obligation to do this tag if you don’t want to…I would love to see how you answer these questions, but I know not everyone has time/energy/tags aren’t their thing/etc.)

There you have it! I hope you learned something new about me! Now, it’s your turn: pick a question, from the ones I answered or the ones I asked, and answer it in the comments! 

love, grace

Read more:

The Wisteria Writer Tag

Infinity Dreams Award

The Christmas Tag!!

It’s Christmas Eve Eve, as my sisters like to say!

Today I’m taking a break from the Advent posts (there will be one more post in the series tomorrow) to bring you a fun Christmas tag from my fellow Grace. Because it’s a Friday, the Friday before Christmas, and sometimes something lighthearted can be healing to our souls.

Here we go:

1. What’s your favorite Christmas film?

Well, The Nutcracker, of course, as I mentioned last week. I also just (finally!) watched Elf all the way through for the first time. I’d seen the beginning countless times but never all the way to the end. It was great! Probably a new favorite. It is a classic, after all.

Hm…I also really like Disney’s Prep and Landing, about the team of elves that prepare houses for Santa on Christmas Eve. I feel like it’s not nearly as well-known as a lot of Christmas films, but it deserves to be! And the second one is good too.

2. Have you ever had a white Christmas?

I don’t remember. Probably at some point in my life, but not very often. It snows a lot where I live through January and February, but usually not early enough for white Christmases.

3. What’s your favorite Christmas song?

I did a whole post on Christmas music so I’m not going to elaborate much here. But I would like to add one more favorite song to that:

IT’S SO GOOD! So much fun. It makes me want to dance every time I listen to it.

4. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph. Did I get it? I think I got it.

5. Do you have a real or fake tree?

We used to have a fake tree, but we got rid of it and now we get a real one.

6. Where is your dream place to spend the holidays?

I would LOVE to be in New York City during Christmas. Everything happens there- the Macy’s parade, all the Christmas shows (like New York City Ballet’s The Nutcracker!), the decorations and shopping, and then of course New Year’s Eve. It would be amazing!

7. How good are you at wrapping?

I think I’m pretty good at it. I took like half an hour to wrap four presents yesterday, so I’m not particularly fast, but I like to take my time and make the ribbon all coordinated and make the gifts look really pretty.

8. Do you open presents on Christmas Eve?

Nope! We open stockings and presents on Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve we go to a church service, drive around and look at Christmas lights, and eat cookies.

9. Do you do anything for Boxing Day?

(The only reason I actually know what this is: other Grace didn’t and looked it up and explained it in her tag :))

No, we’re usually at my grandparents’ house for a few days after Christmas, just hanging out. So if that counts as doing something?

10. What is your favorite Christmas food/treat?

Pressed cookies. If you’ve never had these they are tiny and bite-sized and delicious and dangerous because you want to eat about five thousand of them at once. Behold:

Image result for pressed cookies

They have a certain flavor that just melts in your mouth and I love them so much.

So now I tag some people.

*lazy feelings*

If you’re reading this and you want to do this tag, consider yourself tagged!

I hope you enjoyed this little fun interlude of Christmas spirit! I’ll see you tomorrow with the final Advent post!

How good are you at wrapping presents? Where would be your dream place to spend the holidays? And what is your favorite Christmas treat? Tell me in the comments! 

love, grace



Purposeful Pages October 2016

Purposeful Pages Meme

Linkup info: Amanda’s blog / Hannah’s blog

It’s time for this month’s installment of Purposeful Pages! I love this linkup and am always excited to answer the questions. It gets me thinking and helps you learn more about me while also hopefully taking away some kind of advice or truth.

What Exactly Is Purposeful Pages?

Purposeful Pages is a monthly link-up designed to unite bloggers on answering questions about life, blogging, the Bible, writing, and books.

October 2016 Questions

Question One // What is something (or who is someone) that has encouraged you to grow in your faith?

The fellowship group at my school has been a very important part of my life since freshman year. It’s been a place where I can go each week to unwind, enjoy conversation with other awesome Christians, and learn more about God’s truth. Now that I’m a leader, it’s great to be able to affect the lives of others through the things we talk about as well.

Question Two // Has blogging showed a side of you that you normally don’t see?

I don’t think so. This blog seems to me like an expression of who I actually am, just slightly more polished than real life. I purposefully don’t try to be super sarcastic or funny in my posts, even though that’s something I like in a lot of other bloggers, because that’s not how I am in real life and it feels sort of fake.

Question Three // What inspires your “creative genius?”

I always feel more inspired to write after I read something good. The author’s genius seeps into my soul and makes me long to pour out my own words on the page. Even if I haven’t written in a long time, reading kickstarts my motivation.

Question Four // Why do you write?

I hope to be published someday, because I want to write to share truth with the world. I want to write to inspire and uplift those who read. Mainly, though, I write because there’s no way I can’t.

Question Five // Your house is on fire, and you only have time to save one thing. Do you grab your hand-written manuscripts or your cat?

My cat, of course! It’s a living thing. Those manuscripts probably were really bad anyway, and I can always come up with more stories out of my brain. I can’t recreate my cat out of my brain.

(Not that I have a cat, but, you know, for the sake of the question)

Question Six // If you could ban any book, which one would it be, and why?

Twilight. Do I really need to explain?

Question Seven // What is your Myers-Briggs personality type (if you know it), and what unique aspect of your personality makes you who you are?

I am an ISFJ. For those that don’t know, that means I am introverted, sensing (or more focused on the concrete over the abstract), more emotional than logical, and super organized. I think one unique part of my personality is that I am very organized, good at time management, etc. and yet I am also very creative. Stereotypically, those two things don’t go together, but here I am!

Question Eight // Did you have any kind of “breakthrough” point in your life, whether it had to do with writing, blogging, art, or anything else? If so, would you like to share about it?

…no…not that I can think of off the top of my head.

Question Nine // Are there any hobbies that you have that don’t fit the stereotypical you?

Hobbies? What hobbies? Who has time for hobbies? Definitely not me. Other than reading, writing, and playing piano, none of which fit this question.

Question Ten // Even if you haven’t written an official life purpose statement, can you tell us in a few sentences what you feel called to do with your life right now?

I feel called to study hard in school and work toward college to the best of my ability, trusting God to take care of the details. I feel called to cultivate my dancing to the best it can be as a possible career path. I feel called to continue writing on this blog, to share my thoughts with the world. I feel called to live every day in the moment and enjoy what God has for me in that day.


I hope you enjoyed this month’s Purposeful Pages! If you have a blog, be sure to join the linkup, and if any of these questions intrigued you, please share your answer in the comments! See you next week! 

love, grace


September Purposeful Pages

Purposeful Pages Meme

Linkup information: Hannah’s blog / Amanda’s blog

It’s time for another round of Purposeful Pages questions! Be sure to check out my previous ones for July and August if you haven’t seen them yet.

What is Purposeful Pages?

Purposeful Pages is a monthly link-up designed to unite bloggers on answering questions about life, blogging, the Bible, writing, and books.

September 2016 Questions

Question One // How have you been growing spiritually this month? What has God been teaching you?

God has been teaching me that it’s okay to not be perfect all the time. I know I’ve blogged about this before, but I still struggle with perfectionism in the tiniest little areas of life, even when no one is watching. Recently God has reminded me that seeking fulfillment in exact perfection will never work, and that I need to relax and seek fulfillment and happiness through Him.

P.S. Amanda published a great post today that reinforced everything I’d been thinking about. If you’re struggling with perfectionism too, I highly recommend it!

Question Two // // When you’re under stress, what actions do you take that help calm you and keep you sane?

Cry? Haha. Well. Um. Moving on.

Actually, I gravitate toward playing the piano when I’m overstressed. It helps me calm down but still feel kind of productive at the same time. And it’s super therapeutic!

Question Three // Who are some people that inspire you, and in what ways do they do that?

William Wilberforce, for being basically the biggest goal-achiever in history.

C.S. Lewis, because his writing is on a level unlike any other author ever.

Elisabeth Elliot, because she had such a beautiful heart.

Gabby Douglas, because her book inspired me to work hard for my dreams.

Misty Copeland, because she’s a dancer who has made it where no one thought she could.

Question Four // Have you learned any tricks this past month that have helped you in your blogging journey?

It’s okay to take a break. Not a trick, but something I learned that is so true. Having some time off from blogging helped me so much and guess what? All of you lovely followers are still here. In fact, for some reason I gained quite a few followers while I was on a break (maybe God reminding me that it was okay to step aside and not be online all the time?).

Question Five // What is it about a book that makes you keep on reading? If you’re a writer, how can you  incorporate that into your own books?

If I want to know what happens to the characters. Nothing else grips me quite as much as characters that I care about. Obviously the plot has to be well-done, the writing has to be good, etc., but if I don’t LIKE and care about the characters the book has less chance of survival than a spider crawling across my floor at night (read: none).


Question Six // What’s a book cover (or album, movie, etc.) that describes your life right now, and why?

Image result for dancing through it

This is a hard question. But I think “dancing through it” describes my dance life and pretty much my entire life right now. I’m trying to push through the busyness and still enjoy every day. And in dance class…”just get through it” tends to be an often-replayed phrase in my mind. (As much as I love it, it’s difficult!)

Question Seven // Do you have a song in mind that you’d consider your current theme song? (Or a book, movie, TV show, etc.)

“First” by Lauren Daigle

Question Eight // If you’re a writer, how do you see yourself incorporated (most of the time unknowingly) inside your stories?

I think all of my stories are very clean, innocent, because there are things that some Christian writers deal with that I’m completely uncomfortable writing about. I have a feeling my protagonists tend to come across as very innocent as well, which I think is a reflection of my own values.

Question Nine // How have you seen aspects of God’s character through other people recently?

Someone held the door for me today and that was really nice. And I think that counts, because it’s a form of showing love to people and really brightened my day, and chivalry is growing more and more obscure.

Question Ten // How long, on average, does it take you to put together a blog post? Are you the morning person working at 5 am, the afternoon blogger, or the night owl up until midnight trying to throw things together?

I am definitely the afternoon blogger. Well..right now I’m the evening blogger, but that’s because I wasn’t home most of the day. But I tend to do my blog posts during the day around the same time I’m doing my homework and other “desk-work” type things.

Typically I would say it takes me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, sometimes longer if it’s a month-in-review or something that requires a lot of research, pictures, or linking. I’m a pretty fast blogger.


So there you are! I hope you enjoyed this post and learned something about me through the questions. If any of the questions interest you, share in the comments below! And if you have a blog, you should definitely join the linkup! 

love, grace

Purposeful Pages August 2016

Purposeful Pages Meme

Linkup information: Hannah’s blog / Amanda’s blog

I was on hiatus when this month’s Purposeful Pages came out, but now I’m going to finally participate! I had lots of fun with this last month and am so excited to do it again!


What Exactly Is Purposeful Pages?

Purposeful pages is a monthly link-up designed to unite bloggers on answering questions about life, blogging, the Bible, writing, and books.


August 2016 Questions


Recently, I’ve started reading a Psalm or two before bed every night, and am realizing how much I love the Psalms. If you need encouragement and strength, go to the Psalms. If you need to be reminded of who God is, go to the Psalms. If you want to better appreciate the beauty of the Bible, go to the Psalms. It’s the best way to end the day!


Ooh. I like to think I would do what Esther did and be brave and stand up for herself…but no one knows how they would react in a situation like that until they are actually there…


Elsie Dinsmore. It’s no secret how much of a role model I’ve always found her, and maybe just by being around her some of her incredible love for God would rub off on me?


Going with the main character of my Alice in Wonderland retelling, Helen:

In England, she would spend her Friday night at home with her father and sister reading and keeping an eye on the house. If her brother William dropped in, she would be obliged to entertain whatever girl he brought with him.

In Wonderland, she would get dragged to a lavish dinner party by Adelaide, her royal friend.


  1. The Five Enchanted Roses collection (neeed to reeead)
  2. Wicked by Gregory Maguire (because I saw the musical this summer, it’s great and I want to see how the book compares)
  3. Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Caldwell (a vintage book I picked up on a road trip that’s about the man who wrote the gospel of Luke…how cool is that?? Plus vintage books are cool anyway)


My blog’s name comes from Philippians 4:8, which I actually shared in my last post:

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” -Philippians 4:8

I want to encourage us to live out this verse, to think about things like those, and to live lives that are honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, etc.


That’s a hard question.

I definitely think my writing style is different from a lot of blogs I’ve read. I try to be professional and helpful in the majority of my posts while still being inspirational and coming across as a person. (How am I doing?)


Cait, who I recently discovered and makes me laugh out loud while reading her posts. I’ve followed Deborah O’Carroll for a long time and really love her blog(s). Katie Grace is another one who makes me laugh a lot. Emily is great. Schuyler makes me think. Olivia, who hasn’t posted in a while but still has lots of great stuff in her archives. And of course Amanda, who co-hosts this linkup and inspires me so much!


I would gather my sisters and all of my closest Christian friends together, add in a sprinkling of Christian blogger friends who I would love to meet in person, and throw in my dog for fun. We would start in Florida to visit Disney World, Seaworld, and Harry Potter World. After that we would make our way up the East Coast, stop at the Outer Banks for a while, and then stop in D.C. to see some shows and visit some museums.

Once out of D.C., we would continue north, stopping in Baltimore and Philadelphia before reaching our final destination: NYC. There we would stay for a couple of weeks and take in shows and city life galore before heading home. (Can you tell I love cities?)


That day, she won life.

(hmm…new story inspiration? maybe…dystopian? we’ll see.)


I hope you enjoyed this month’s Purposeful Pages! If you have interesting answers to any of these questions, share them in the comments, and if you have a blog, be sure to participate! Visit Amanda or Hannah for more information. (If you participate, leave me the link. I’d love to read it!) 

love, grace

The Wisteria Writer Tag

Surprise! Here I am posting on a Friday. What??

I was tagged by the lovely Emily at For the Bookish to do the Wisteria Writer tag! Thanks, Emily! It looks like fun.

So why am I posting on a Friday, you ask?

Well, I enjoy doing tags. They don’t really fit with my normal content schedule/blog focus, however, so I don’t like to do them for regularly scheduled posts. This blog isn’t about me, and answering a bunch of questions about myself, while fun, isn’t what I want the regular content on here to be.

So when I do get tagged, I do the tag on an off-day, so we all get the fun tagginess (and you get an extra post!) but you don’t lose out on the other important topics I have planned for regular posting days.

Now that we have that explanation out of the way, let’s get to the tag!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you. (Done!)
  • Answer the ten questions asked.
  • Add ten (writing or book related) of your own.
  • Nominate ten people.

The Questions

When did you start writing? 

As soon as I could write the letters of the alphabet, probably. (And before that, if you count all of the stories I made up in my head.)

What do you use to document inspiration and ideas? 

I write down all of my ideas in a document on my computer. Little plot snippets, premises, title ideas, settings that I really want to write a scene in someday, and more all go in that document. I’ll likely never use half of it, but it’s fun to read through once in a while and helpful if I need an idea.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? 

The prep stage, definitely. It’s so fun when you first have the idea and you think about it all the time, come up with outlines and character sketches and find pictures for all of your characters, etc. In theory I enjoy the first draft, but in actuality it’s a very slow process. And revisions just overwhelm me. I probably will enjoy editing once the big problems are taken care of and it’s mostly style issues, but I haven’t ever gotten there yet, so who knows…

What genres do you like writing best? 

Fantasy. Hands-down. I have written things in a lot of other genres, but fantasy is what works the best for my voice and style. It just flows on the page the easiest. Especially the fairy tale style fantasy; that’s my favoritist of all to write.

How do you begin the outlining of your novels? 

It depends. Recently, I’ve been starting with a basic premise and then developing characters before I make an outline. I find that the plot focus becomes a lot clearer in my mind if I have backstories for the characters and understand them really well first.

Can you share a snippet of one of your current pieces of writing? 

Helen moved back and sat. Len sat next to her, looked at her, and shook his head, although a smile was playing about the corners of his mouth.

“I don’t know you very well, but it strikes me that that little act in the council room today was exactly the sort of thing you might do.”

“What else was I supposed to do?”

“You could have told me about your plan,” Len said. “Just a thought.”

What authors or books inspire you? 

C.S. Lewis (you knew that one was coming!). J.R.R. Tolkien. Charles Dickens. Louisa May Alcott. Robin McKinley. Marissa Meyer.

Who do you trust to edit/critique your writing? 

Someone I know well who I am also sure knows a lot about writing. Preferably a more experienced writer than me.

Where do you hope to be as a writer in ten years? 

Hopefully I’ll have something published in ten years. That would be nice. I will still be writing, although still part-time (I never plan to be a full-time writer). Mayyybe with multiple things published…? *crosses fingers*

What advice do you have for other writers? 

I don’t think I’m experienced enough to be very good at offering advice…but I will say to remember that your motivation will run out for a project at some point. And you just have to keep going anyway. Otherwise you will never finish a thing.

My Questions

  1. What is the first story that you ever completed?
  2. What story (short story or novel) do you consider your best work so far?
  3. Do you outline your novels before you start writing, and if so, how?
  4. Who is your favorite character that you created?
  5. What style of prose are you best at writing (description, dialogue, action, etc.)?
  6. What is the first thing you do when you start revising a piece of work?
  7. When do you write (in the morning, after lunch, before bed, etc.)?
  8. Where do you write (on your bed, at your desk, etc.)?
  9. What is your favorite music to listen to while you write?
  10. What writing advice do you want to give yourself?

The Nominees

Please don’t feel obligated to do this! Only if you want to. And if you’ve been tagged before, sorry about that.

Hannah@Furious Ever Afters

Abi@The Left-Handed Typist

Deborah@The Road of a Writer

Grace@The Lucent Logophile

Rissi@Finding Wonderland

Schuyler@My Lady Bibliophile

Shantelle@A Writer’s Heart

Ashley@Inklings Press

Cait@Paper Fury

Miriam@Crafted by Christ


Hopefully you enjoyed this bonus post! I had lots of fun doing it. 

Feel free to share your answers to any of Emily’s and/or my questions in the comments below! See you tomorrow with something bookish! 

love, grace