How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Indie e-Con 2017

Christian indie author Kendra E. Ardnek is hosting an exciting online writers’ conference from March 20-24. It looks fantastic – packed with guest posts (aka, speakers), videos, games, Q&A, contests, and other events that everyone can enjoy from home. I know what it’s like to wish you could go to an in-person writers’ conference, but end up prevented by cost and distance . . . this convention is designed for people just like that! 

The bulk of the events will be held on Kendra’s blog. Hop over to this page on her blog for more information about all the planned activities and to see how you can participate. There’s even a writing contest where you could win a book cover!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

2017 in Writing

If you set yearly goals, doesn’t it sometimes seem like it takes all of January to grasp just what they are and where you’d like to go in the year ahead? Several weeks into the new year, I finally feel like I know my writing goals for 2017. 

Goal number one I’ve actually known for a while now: publish my 1930s Sense and Sensibility retelling, Suit and Suitability. Thankfully, it’s temporarily out of my hands now and in the beta-reader domain! (I appreciate these people so much!) I hope to post a few articles on the 1930s era leading up to my release, and I can’t wait to be able to announce the actual publication date. The whole Vintage Jane Austen series should be debuting in the coming months.

Goal number two is something I haven’t even hinted at until now. In the midst of editing S&S last year, I desperately needed to exercise different writing muscles now and then: creativity, whimsicality, simplicity . . . and so I pulled up a backburner idea and wrote a fairytale retelling. Have you ever heard of the Grimm Brothers' “Bremen Town Musicians”? Four old farm animals have outlived their useful years and, with their lives now threatened, leave their homes to be musicians in the fine town of Bremen, Germany. I had so much fun spinning this story I’ve always loved into a short children’s novel. I’m editing it now, and Lord willing if all goes well, it should be published later this year. In a future post I’ll share more!
Ivana Ebel

Goal number three is to write another Six Cousins novel. The one I’ve begun, however, is focused on Marielle and her mom instead of all the cousins. (Though Reanna has recently informed me, in her quiet manner, that she would love to be included; since she never asks for much, she’ll probably get her way.) It takes place on Prince Edward Island (I made sure to record my P.E.I. impressions while I was there in September!) and should be much shorter than the other two. I’m happy to be writing about Marielle again and exploring how she’s grown, as well as revisiting this beautiful island in my imagination.

So those are my writing goals for 2017 so far! In the coming months, I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about each of them. What are your goals, writing or otherwise, for this year?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Music Masterpieces


 Something that goes hand in hand with good literature, in my mind, is good music. And while there is good music being produced today (especially movie soundtracks!), my personal favorites are all what you’d call classical. There’s nothing that soothes me more than hearing these pieces . . . especially those from the nineteenth century and earlier. They’re beautiful, rich, and timeless. (Plus studies show that listening to this kind of music is good for you!)

If you’re looking for some music to slow down your pulse, or maybe to make up a writing soundtrack or give you some inspiration, here are twelve of my favorite short and sweet pieces:

Pavanne for a Dead Princess - Maurice Ravel
Reverie - Claude Debussy
Gymnopedie No. 1, 2, & 3 - Erik Satie
The Girl with the Flaxen Hair - Claude Debussy
Standchen (Serenade; Swan Song) - Franz Schubert
Lark Ascending - Ralph Vaughan Williams
Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis - Ralph Vaughan Williams
Adagio in G Minor - Tomaso Albinoni
In the Steppes of Central Asia - Alexandr Borodin
Symphony No. 6, “Pastorale" (First Movement) - Ludwig Van Beethoven
Swan Lake, Swan Theme - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Notturno in G Minor - Fanny Mendelssohn

Of course, I have favorite longer pieces, too, but posting their links would be overkill. But here’s a partial list:
Swan Lake - Tchaikovsky
Nutcracker - Tchaikovsky
Carnival of the Animals - Camille Saint-Saens
Four Seasons - Antonio Vivaldi
Scheherazade - Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov
New World Symphony - Antonin Dvorak
Symphony No. 6 - Beethoven
The Planets - Gustav Holst

Do you like classical music? What are your favorite pieces or your favorite composers? 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Guest Post: Interview with Relghim Film Makers

Enjoy what Hannah Bergeron, from the Relghim team, has to say about this exciting upcoming movie!

I would like to share with you a little bit of the film Relghim (Rel-Hime), which is currently in the process of being made.

Relghim, an action war drama that has a heart-punching story. With a feud between the Oghean and Haan (hane) clans, a family must fight against the odds for peace and restoration. With forgiveness being the message of the film, you will see how Dale, an Oghean, and the Wense family work together for good.  With much hurt and pain in their hearts, they strive to work harder than anyone to meet their goal.

I am the Behind the Scenes Director for this film; basically, my job is to film and photograph anything that is behind the scenes and create quality content, to show you what it is like to be on set! What is Relghim to me? Relghim is that eye-opening, heart-changing experience I feel everyone should see.  The message in this film speaks volumes, and really makes you question what you might have in your own personal heart that may need some tweaking.  Since being on set, working behind the scenes, and watching this whole thing develop and come to life, I have been more encouraged than I have been in a long time. I am genuinely very thankful for our Director, Grae Maer, and Producer, Lawrence Miller, for helping all of us cast and crew members to see the bigger picture in life!

I had interviewed both our Director and Producer and asked them some questions on why this film is so important to them, etc. One of the questions I had asked is, Why did you choose the name Relghim? The director's response was: “The name ‘RELGHIM' was created by my brother, Lawrence Miller [Producer of RELGHIM], and I.  Originally, we wanted to have a name that came from the meaning of restoration and forgiveness. We had called our film ‘The Forgiveness Project' at first. One night, my brother [Lawrence Miller] and I were working late, and I came into his office and I said, ‘You know, I think we should try to find another name for our film, instead of “The Forgiveness Project."' And after a lot of thought, we decided to use something from the language that is partly spoken in the film. (The language is called Tadar, which is made up for the film.) And that's how we came up with the name!"

I had also asked what had inspired them to make this film; here are their responses:

Grae: “What inspired me to make this film, I would say is about three-fold. The first, and biggest, inspiration I had for this film is that I feel very deeply for a community sense.  I also feel very deeply for culture. I have had so much happen in my own life that I wanted to share something personal with people.  I wanted them to not have to experience what I have experienced. The biggest inspiration or reason why I wanted to write a film was to touch some real topics on real things, things that we face every day. And to give people an opportunity to kind of, maybe, ask some questions."

Lawrence: “Film making has always been a passion of mine. I was originally inspired by my older sister actually, who dove into the world of film making. There is something about taking an emotion, a thought, a story, and putting it onto the big screen and to watch it. I work in production, and seeing all of the hard hours come to pass, just to see the final result of all of our work, is always something that made me stand in awe of the power of God.  To bring something together and the team effort that brought it is there.  Originally when I was looking to produce a film, I started with something short. I began talking with my brother and we somehow ended up like, ‘Yes, let's actually do a feature.' And from there I think the rest is history."

Another question: Is there something in the story you can relate to?

Lawrence: “Yes. Bitterness is a rotten thing, and as the scripture says, ‘Bitterness rots the bones.' [Pro. 14:30]  For a long time, actually, many years, I was very bitter towards someone. Little did I
know how it was coming into my life and affecting me so negatively. I have often seen the ‘tentacles,' you can say, of it.  This message that we're bringing is the power of unforgiveness.  I can relate to the story in that way, because I know the power of unforgiveness. I know that it reaches deep into our lives, and into the lives of our friends, family, culture, and nation if left unchecked.  I also know the power of restoration. I know that it is a very good thing, and I just want to let the world know about these two things. Yes, we have great unforgiveness, we can be very bitter towards someone. But! We can be restored in our relationship towards them, we can forgive them and move on.  Everything won't be the same as it was, but we have an understanding, and a great one at that. We can use those life lessons to improve upon our past situations. So yeah, the one thing I can relate to mightily in this film is the power of unforgiveness. Don't let it sit and rot. Don't be bitter. It rots the bones, and restoration is a beautiful thing."

So with that said, please join us by bringing this film to life! How can you help? There are two very important jobs.

The first: you can donate to our fundraising Kickstarter page and get some fun and exciting pledge items, like an original Oghean or Haan sash, custom mug, and more!

Secondly, you can spread the word by emailing your family and friends, or you can share our social media links on your own!

We are so excited to make a good quality film that teaches family unity, forgiveness and faith. Come join us and spread the word!
 Facebook: [1]

Twitter: [2]

Instagram: [3]

Website: [4]


We have YouTube videos you can watch!

Our Behind the Scenes Trailer: [5]

Our Channel: [6]