If you, like us, have seen the entirety of Bridgerton on Netflix all the way through and are asking yourself what’s next?, we have just the cure. …Reading List: For Fans of ‘Bridgerton’
ELEMENTS OF HISTORICAL FICTION
Every genre of fiction has its own special elements. The elements of historical fiction are varied. They include characterisation, setting, plot themes, and specific styles and tones.
Let’s start with characters.
Your characters may be real people that have lived in the past.
Oftentimes, these people are famous but, of course, they do not have to be. You may do research on someone who lived in the past and shape your story around them in order to give more notice to that character. They may be someone you feel should be noted for deeds accomplished but so far, is a bit overlooked, historically speaking.
A recent novel titled Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin is a good example of this. This is a historical fiction novel that tells the story of the girl who would later become Alice in Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland. Additionally, it tells a bit of the story behind Lewis Carroll.
The story is historical fiction because we could never be privy to all of these conversations and thoughts, but for all the research the author did, we have an excellent idea of how things were and what happened.
Another option is to create completely original characters who are not based on anyone who has ever lived. If you do this, in order to make it historical fiction, you must set your characters in a historical period. Choose a specific date or event and then do as much research as you can to bring the story to life.
One thing that happens in historical fiction–that happens in all fiction, is that your characters will change over the course of your novel. The difference here is that this usually occurs because the characters are shaped by their settings.
The setting of your novel is so very important in historical fiction, almost more so than in any other genre of fiction. It is almost a character in itself. Your characters are shaped by it. Because your story is historical and set in the past, your characters will be defined by it.
It means you must also research the moral constraints of the time period.
What were the social constructs of the day?
What was acceptable and unacceptable in terms of behavior?
As your characters are shaped by this, they will change and grow throughout the story based on these morals, constraints, and patterns of behavior.
It is also important to note that you will set your story in a specific geographical place and time. This will require lots of research. Make sure you know everything you need to know about your chosen place and time, and everything your readers will want and need to know to help them through the story.
We will talk more about research in a later lesson, but be prepared. Know that research is your best friend and the most essential tool when writing for this genre.
The plot elements in an historical fiction novel can be quite unique, especially when compared to the plots of other genres. For example, the problem or problems in your historical fiction novel will usually be a result of the time and place that the story is occurring.
Another way that your conflicts or problems will be a result of time or place may simply be those moral constraints we talked about before. If you are writing a historical fiction romance novel, the courtship rituals were much different back then and this could be your characters’ problem, or it could be some type of familial censuring, such as an arranged marriage, which is causing the difficulties in your story.
Your research will be a great help in showing the reader this problem and allowing them to understand where your characters are coming from.
You want your readers to read along and really feel as if your story happened, the way readers do in Alice I Have Been. You cannot possibly know everything about the characters or the time period, you want your readers to feel that you do. They should be so swept up in your writing that they never stop to question or contradict a point. This is where a good, solid plot line comes in, as does good, solid research.
The themes of historical fiction are somewhat similar to the themes of any genre, which mostly is good versus evil. However, in historical fiction, we use the people and events from the past to shed light upon some basic truth about the past.
Style and Tone
The style of an historical fiction novel includes a great deal of detail. You want to use as much accuracy as possible. Your reader must feel like they are there, in the story, in that place and time, if you want to be successful.
Style is a very important element when writing for this genre.
If you were to write an historical fiction novel without giving any thought to the style, it might come out a little, well, odd. Because you live today and you are writing about the past, the language, word choice, vocabulary, etc. might not sound quite right. What you need to do is to come up with a style and a tone that fit with your story.
For an assignment I have to choose one historical figure and characterise them, so off I go! There is an assignment to complete for this lesson for that and then an exam to submit.
I think character is important and setting are the main ones you have to start off with as it sets the tone for the rest of your writing.
I have a novel in the works while I write this, and have written three chapters but I may have to learn to be more verbose and include more dialogue in it as I included in my first assignment in the first blog post series I did for this. I mentioned in my Introduction that I am more descriptive rather than putting lots more dialogue but I believe that you have to have a balance.
This next week I will be working on the rest of the Lesson while working at small goals of assignments and exams for each lesson, so I will post each lesson on the blog!
I hope you enjoy!<p class="has-drop-cap" value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">EmmalisaEmmalisa
Now that I am qualified as a Library Assistant and I have completed Styling Essentials, lots of new things are in the works.
I decided to take a novel writing course – a short one – online – so that I can further develop enhance my skills in that area of writing, so I am not just freely blogging, or typing away with no thought. Novel writing is not careless, it is complex, and there is so much to it that I thought it would be a challenge to take up a new course in something else that I love and am passionate about!
It is through Universal Class which is the same provider I used online when doing the Historical Fiction writing course online as well.
You start out with being shown what your Learning outcomes are, such as:
Defining what a novel is
Describe working philosophy
Summarize novel writing methods
Select a specific class to write about
Select a specific genre to write about
Select a point of view
Summarize manuscript formatting
Create a storyboard
Define the synopsis
Summarize 5 elements involved in fiction writing
Describe building character development
Describe plot/conflict development
Summarize plot requirements
Create the setting, theme, style and tone
Create the climax, identify critical scenes. Recognise cause and effect.
Create proper dialog and illustrative details
Write a conclusion. Edit and revise. Publish the work.
Lets begin with the first lesson!
Definition of. a novel
“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”– Nobel Prize-winning American author Toni Morrison
With origins dating back to poetic prose from thousands of years ago — Elizabethan times, fanciful French romance narratives from the mid-17th century, and episodic, central-figure adventures from the Spanish Don Quixote era — novel writing is an art form that has long been an integral part of our culture.
WHAT IS A NOVEL?
- A fictional prose narrative of considerable length, typically having a plot that is unfolded by the actions, speech, and thoughts of the characters
- The literary genre represented by novels
In our contemporary world, the use of “novel” has shifted to focus more on the central character, than on the plot. Also playing a defining role in the novel, is the sense of realism. novels are developed as fictional stories the underlying element inherent in all are truisms based upon human behaviour and the ways in which we interact with others.
As a whole, the three primary features of a traditional novel include:
- A cohesive, believable plot structure
- Well-defined, credible characters
- A strong undercurrent of reality
It has been said that a work of fiction is measured by how well, or poorly, the author is able to unify the story and control its impact. Therefore, the only obligation of the writer is to make the story flow well for the reader, and have strong elements of interest.
- Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (1811), and Pride and Prejudice (1813);
- Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847);
- Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights (1847);
- Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter (1850);
- Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851);
- Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884);
- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925);
- Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (1926);
Can anyone write a novel?
wanting to write a novel, and actually writing it, are entirely different things. In order to produce a novel, you first will need to create a structure around your project, define your objectives, and prioritize this project in your life to ensure you follow it through to completion.
Novel Writing: Rewards and Payoffs
Attracted by the following rewards and personal payoffs, many people do go forth with their plans to write a novel.
- Satisfaction of achieving a hard-earned goal.
- Medium to utilize creative skills, which may not otherwise be used in one’s professional life
- Opportunity to hone one’s writing skills
- Forum to focus one’s ideas and life experiences
- Area over which one does not need to conform to anyone’s standards or rules
- Outlet to showcase one’s theories, ideas and creative visions (albeit masked within a work of fiction)
- Ego-gratification endeavor, culminating in one’s name appearing on the book jacket of countless copies
- Lasting legacy
Regardless of what becomes of the finished product — picked up by a publisher, self-published, bestseller, etc. — the fact that you stayed the course in writing your novel is something that will remain with you for your entire lifetime.
Committing to the generation of your novel, and seeing it through to completion, is an endeavor that will leave you with a new-found confidence that will carry over on to any project you put before yourself.
Ideally, the following chapters will help you feel more secure with the novel-writing process and, thus, better able to navigate as you head out on this memorable journey.
I had to upload an assignment
Lesson 1 Assignment
Here is what I did:
My favourite novel that I like to read is called The Governess of Highland Hall and the Author of the novel is called CARRIE TURANSKY
I am a sucker for English Historical Romance novels, and when I read this front to back, I loved it from the characters to the setting to the situations etc. It is a perfect and ideal novel to look at as it is my favourite english historical novel based in England.
This is one of my favourite books because I am a sucker for English Historical novels and out of all the ones I have read, this by far has to be my favourite because of the story, and the writing is so easy to read, yet so eloquent and very English at the same time without it being too verbose.
It gives you a beautiful feel overall when reading, because of the choice of words, and the way it is written. The author puts words in a very articulate and expressive way through the characters view points and sets a delightful tone throughout the story.
When the reader is reading this kind of book I believe that they would be experiencing something pleasant as even though there is a section with conflict, the way it is beautifully written, it would give a feeling of delightfulness, which is also captivating, enchanting, joyful and cheerful.
I also had to submit three paragraphs for my novel and submit an Exam.
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: Read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative center of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”– Stephen King
Novel Writing Boot Camp 101
Writing Schedules”Try to write every day; if you don’t, you’ll lose the rhythm of your prose, as well as features of the plot, characters and, most importantly, your ‘voice’, the very timbre of the book that you are trying to maintain.”
— David Armstrong, author of How Not to Write a Novel: Confessions of a Mid-list Author
Thus, in order to acquire a manner of discipline around your novel writing process, the first thing you will want to do (before mapping out the story lines, or fleshing out your characters), is to assess your project in terms of the total time it will require you to invest.
Once you have gained an idea as to the amount of time your novel will demand of you, you will then be able to determine when — during the course of your busy life — you will realistically be able to sit down, concentrate, and write.
if we were to effectively use the time on our writing that we spend aimlessly wandering the Internet or mindlessly watching television, then we should be able to carve out a sufficient number of writing sessions per week.
After formulating a working writing schedule, you can shift your focus to the best ways for sustaining your motivation and ability to focus solely on your novel.
It is at this point that you may find yourself falling somewhat short in your ability to hold your attention throughout long, intense writing sessions. Fortunately, should you find this to be the case, there are numerous methods you can employ to increase your levels of concentration and motivation.Capturing your ability to focus on one activity for a sustained period of time, is something that can be greatly enhanced by integrating some form of regular meditation into your life. The simple act of learning how to sit still, and focus your mind, offers immeasurable benefits. Not only can it increase the satisfaction you derive on a daily basis, it can also contribute to your writing, in terms of allowing you to hold your thoughts for longer periods, and to explore multiple story scenarios without losing sight of the principle idea.
Helpful Novelist Tips
Chart your progress — Documenting the number of hours worked per day, and specific novel-related tasks accomplished, can be helpful in numbers of ways
Create an incentive for meeting your daily/monthly/overall writing goals — If you need to encourage yourself to stay on course, you may want to build in a series of goal-oriented incentives.
upon wrapping up the entire novel, do something very, very nice for yourself! Go to the movies, buy yourself a new piece of jewellery, perhaps a pretty journal like I posted in my previous post, 4 Books to read this year in 2020. And buy yourself some flowers if no one else is going to buy them for you!
As a whole, it is probably most important that, as you divide your time up among your family, friends, work, and writing, you pay attention to what you are eating, the amount of sleep you are getting, the time you are allocating to physical fitness activities, and the degree to which you are using stimulants, e.g., tobacco and caffeine.
While you are attempting to stay focused and encouraged, it is essential that you take good care of yourself to ensure that your productivity and the quality of your work do not suffer.
Lesson articles featured are:
Lesson 2 Assignment was:
Exercise: To get a realistic sense of the amount of work/time you will need to commit to writing your novel, take a few moments to look at your calendar and block out the day\times you can allocate to the project. You can begin by answering the following questions:
1. Realistically, how much time will you be able to commit per week to writing?
2. Do you have an ideal timeframe for completing your novel?
3. What types of activities, e.g., exercise, meditation, establishing calming environments can help you get and stay motivated during your blocked out writing sessions?
I am about to submit this exercise tonight and then tomorrow will work on Lesson 3!
I showed you my example of my first assignment in Lesson 1.
In the comments tell me if you would enjoy doing a course on Novel Writing. Would you do Novel Writing 101?
What is your favourite novel to read?
Can you write Lesson 2’s exercise in the comments below?
Do you like to write during the day or night?
If you could quit your job and write for a living would you do it?
Her love knew no bounds……
As a noble mans daughter Jane Lane longs for a life outside the price lived walls of her family home.
Her quiet world is shattered when Royalists arrive one night, pleading for help.
They have been hiding the King, but Cromwell’s forces are close behind them, baying for Charles II’s blood – and anyone who helps him.
Putting herself in mortal danger, Jane must help the King escape by disguising him as her manservant.
With the shadow of the gallows following their every step, Jane finds herself falling for the gallant young Charles.
But will she surrender to a passion that could change her life – and the course of history?
The UNFORGETTABLE TRUE story of CHARLES II’s escape, and the love and bravery of the woman who made it POSSIBLE.
This is DEFINITELY perfect for fans of PHILLIPA GREGORY AND ELIZABETH CHADWICK
Book Review on the way!
Today I went to the Girrawheen Library which is a part of the City of Wanneroo here in Western Australia. I picked up FOUR books which I will be listing in this particular blog.
You will find the first book really shows that it is the type of novel I would DEFINITELY read. Just look at the FIRST WORD! But it is BOOK FIVE of the “The Selection Series”.
The Selection Series is a series of five young adult novels written by Kiera Cass. It focuses on The Selection, a competition for the current king’s heir for a hand in marriage. Source: Wikipedia
A selection can ONLY have ONE winner. A PRINCESS only has one HEART. ❣
When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illea to hold her own selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty five suitors but as events at the palace force her even further into the spotlight she realised that she might not be content remaining alone.
She still isn’t sure she will find the fairy – tale ending her parents did twenty years ago but sometimes the HEART has a way of surprising you…….
and filled with JUST the right amount of SWOON!
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author, Kiersten White
TWO FREE BOOKS on Amazon, Google Books, Apple and Kobo
Know you who are: live like it matters, is a christian filled book written by a former professional American football quarterback and current professional baseball outfielder in the New York Mets organisation, Tim Tebow. It is a ‘homeschoolers interactive guide to discovering your true identity.’
“Tim Tebow played college football for the University of Florida, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and appearing on BCS National Championship-winning teams during the 2006 and 2008 seasons. Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft and spent two seasons with the team. He also played for the New York Jets in 2012. Additionally, he had pre-season stints with the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and 2015 respectively. In 2016, Tebow announced he would pursue a career in professional baseball and signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets on September 8.” Source: Wikipedia
In Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters, he shares the wisdom he’s learned—not from what the world says, but from what God says in His Word.
There are 36 sessions that Tim shares with you to share his deep-rooted faith with those that need just a little encouragement, and want the need of a purpose-filled life.
Tim’s Guide has 4 Parts with 9 Lessons in Each part
Part 1: Who Are You? (Learning about the source of your identity)
Part 2: Don’t Sweat It; God’s Got It (You’ll uncover guidance when the going in life gets tough)
Part 3: Others Matter (Relationships are important.)
Part 4: Live Bigger (Learning why and how to live in a way that impacts eternity.)
* Building godly character
* Maintaining great relationships
* Standing out from the crowd
* Doing things that matter in the big picture
but we are going to cover only the following which is Part 1 of the book, on asking a simple question.
Before we get started with Part 1, here is a note from Tim:
“You and I have something in common. We may share similar traits I don’t know about, but here’s what I do know: I was homeschooled, just like you! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate my parents for making a personal investment in my education. One of the things I loved about being homeschooled was being able to focus on the things I was passionate about and how much time it left for things I loved, like sports and exercise.
Here’s something you may not know: my mom and dad decided to homeschool my two brothers, my two sisters, and me before people even knew what homeschooling meant. At the time, some people thought they were nuts. Some wondered if homeschooling was evenlegal! But despite the challenges they faced, it was worth it. Mom and Dad’s careful and thoughtful instruction helped educate my siblings and me. Each one of us was even blessed to receive a college scholarship!
I know being homeschooled may not be the easiest thing in the world, so I wanted to write a book just for you. I’d like to encourage you in your studies by offering some lessons I’ve learned in my personal journey, lessons I want you to be a part of. I want this book to be about you: digging deep to find out who you are and what that means in real life.
You may or may not know this already, but writing is powerful. In fact, an esteemed professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin studied the impact of journaling. Through a handfulof studies, this expert found that expressive writing in a personal and meaningful way positively impacts health, well-being, and self-development. It can put us in a better mood. It can help us process tough situations. It can challenge us to make good changes. It can pave the way for a more impactful future.
Knowing how journaling can be a great tool for self-reflection, I decided to write Know Who You Are. Live Like It Matters. just for homeschool students. You may think you don’t like writing or that it doesn’t come easy for you. That’s okay! As we travel together through the course of this book, writing will become easier. And you may even discover it’s one of your passions!
Here’s what you’ll find in the following pages. Each week for the next thirty-six weeks, I offer a verse from the Bible and a lesson that helps illustrate that verse. Each teaching ends with a section titled “In Your Own Words.” This is your opportunity to reflect on what you’ve learned. You can connect what I talk about with what’s going on in your life. Use my questions as prompts to fuel your thoughts.”
Before we dive into the next topic in the Writing 101 series, there is a housekeeping issues I’d like to address. I have decided that I will publish writing posts not once but twice a week. You heard correct. That is twice not once a week. These days are Monday and Friday. I am going to try my best to get one done and published on Friday which will begin this new routine. Now for this evening’s topic.
Every book (whether good or bad) has characters. It is not a book or a story with a cast of main characters and secondary characters.
As the title suggests, main characters are the ones that drive the story.
For example, Frodo and Sam in Lord of the Rings drive the story. The same goes for Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.
What should an author’s characters look like? Most characters are shaped from the author’s experiences. They are a form of who the author knows and of herself.
Developing characters that are based on yourself is totally okay too. Many authors before us have done this. I have two examples of this.
The first comes from one of my favorite childhood authors: Madeleine L’Engle. She wrote the famous Wrinkle in Time series and the Vicky Austen series.
When asked if she was like her heroines, she responded that she was both Meg Murray from A Wrinkle in Time and Vicky Austen.
My second example is J.K. Rowling. Rowling based the character of Hermonine a bookish young red head on herself.
Now, how does one go about forming a character? Well, it is safe to say that it is good to start perhaps with a name. Then from there start describe the person. Does she or he have blue eyes? Brown? Hazel? What hair color do they have? Where do they live?
But characters are more than just how they look. You need to make them three dimensional.
What does that mean? It means you must make your characters as real as possible. Readers must feel as if they characters they are reading about are real. Like someone they have known all their lives. Otherwise they won’t care about the story.
A while back I came across a wonderful worksheet for writing characters. A worksheet that goes beyond just giving your character a name, eye color, and hair color but it goes deeper to help you flesh them out.
I hope you find this chart helpful. Please let me know how forming your characters goes in the comments below. I’d love to hear how it goes! I am also filling out this chart for my characters in my new story.
Comment below and I will share how it is going for me as well. Stay tuned for the next installment which will be coming out on Friday. Until then, happy writing!
This is part of the Writing Series, Writing 101 with Gabrielle Emmons. The first post was “How to start a novel”.
Recently I have been talking and collaborating with my very good friend, (a novelist and history enthusiast), an intelligent, studious and amicable lady who strives for greatness in her writing, Gabrielle Emmons. We have been talking a lot about writing in general and I came up with the idea of her doing a guest post on how she begins to write a novel. This is fantastic for those who are budding authors, ready for a new breathe of fresh air or something to their writing life.
I am proud to introduce her to my blog and with the upmost sincere thanks and gratefulness to have her feature on here.
You will find the full article here on her blog, Gabrielle M Emmons and you will also find that she works and keeps up with her own numerous blogs showcasing her work and authorship.
My absolute favourite blog of hers is Tea, Books and Britain because well, you know me! I have become the bit of an Anglophile! And the title is just Oh so perfect! And sums up my life basically. A cup of tea while watching “Escape to the country” or “60 Minute Makeover” has truly been the highlight of my afternoons.
Before I post her article I totally recommend for you to check out her excellent Book Review on “The Mark of the King”. This description on the back cover definitely makes me want to delve into it.
After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?
With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.
So, even if you haven’t clicked on that review, bookmark it or save it on your internet and make sure you get that little glimpse of a story of great and hopeful history. It truly has made me want to read it very soon!
In her Writing 101 – a new series blog post she states how we specifically have been discussing the idea on HOW to BEGIN writing a novel. It has truly been amazing talking with her about ideas and brainstorming and starting that novel in particular.
Now, let’s get started with her article which was published on September 12th 2017 on her History with Flair website. Grab yourself a drink (tea or water) and a notebook & pen or laptop. There is an activity at the end!
Many people have asked me how do I start the process for writing a novel. They have also asked me how do I find inspiration/ideas. So I thought I would do a blog series featuring writing. This is the first in the series and you can find more about it here.
So pull up a chair, grab your favorite beverage (mine is tea), and let’s get started. (Just a heads up there will be an assignment at the end of this post. But it shouldn’t be too bad).
First off, there is no one way to start the process of writing a novel. Each author has their own way of how to start that is unique to them. The key is to find one that works for you.
For example, some have a vague idea right away. Others have pictured a character or characters. Again, others have a couple of scenes already figured out.
It is all up to you.
For me, it varies. For my WWII novel set in England (which I have put on hold for now), I already had a vague understanding the plot.
For my Autumn themed story that is currently in the very early stages, I knew I wanted to have setting of the novel be during the Autumn months in MA because I love the Fall. I also knew who my main characters were.
Okay, homework time.
I want you to grab your favorite notebook and writing utensil. You can use your laptop if you prefer to type. I usually for this stage write it in a notebook and then transfer it to the computer later on.
Now, I want you to write down five ideas that could be potential stories. Don’t feel bad if you can only come up with one and two. It is a start.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Writing a novel should be fun.
How did you go with the activity?
I thought I would share one idea I came up with. Here is what I wrote:
Idea 5. Professor Wickman travels to London to start a new job at the City University of London. Committing his time and energy to his work and study is his priority and is all work, but through a period of time he learns to apply his work to excellence and focus on a project with his enchanting partner Lady Grosvenor from the affluent suburb of Mayfair. They eventually fall in love whilst working together and get married at St George Hanover Square.
It is not a complete idea but that is an example of ideas. First off starting with the main character, then a setting, place or particular location, the body and then the minor character fixed in there somewhere.
I skipped a whole part of what “could be” (a long plot) There could be so much more I could add to it and I am excited at the thought of creating a story again!
but I liked the idea of this so much I am thinking I am giving away a good story already! Well, that can be my next project!
The following article I did is featured on Taylor Magazine, an online London magazine that is a minimalistic guide to life, which is “Taylored for you”. From articles that speak about the matters of the heart, celebrity interviews, Life, conversations, culture, and they also include favourite books! Which is the category that I chose! According to their About page, Taylor was born out of the need to have something that combines EVERYTHING that consumes our world. Something that is taylored specifically for you.
Here is the link to “Enjoy” by Trillia Newbell – Review on Taylor Magazine, and I have put the article up so you can read it on my blog. I also did an article on “Feminism” on Taylor Magazines website, which you can find HERE. It is probably one of my best work, ever!
I am currently reading a book called “Enjoy – Finding the freedom to delight in God’s good gifts” by Trillia Newbell. I received this book from ‘Blogging for books’. I have done two book reviews so far, “How to own it” by Sallie Krawcheck, and “The Women of Easter” by Liz Curtis Higgs. I thoroughly enjoyed writing these, and have been looking forward to doing a different book. “Enjoy” is a faith-filled illustrative, scriptural based book on experiencing the fullness of life, and truly learning how to enjoy life in general. They cover the basis with scripture such as 1 Thessalonians that says to “rejoice always”.
They also reveal that joy is a fruit of the spirit – something that is developed and nurtured within us. I was a little unsure of doing a review on a Christian book, because some people aren’t religious, and it caters to people who believe in the Holy Bible. I was brought up in a Christian home, so I find this kind of reading therapeutic for me personally. I like how they talk about gifts, gifts He intends for our enjoyment. We have been given gifts in life. For example, I am truly learning the gift of writing. Growing up, I did love my books, and relished in an Enid Blyton story, but I honestly never thought I would create my own website, and write personal stories on my blog. This happened during my late twenties, when living in a small country town called Merredin, so it became a creative outlet for me to break out, and just write.
We can experience the fullness of enjoyment as we use our gifts daily. We can and should ‘enjoy, delight and rejoice’!
Have you struggled with enjoying things in life, such as gardening, or just sitting down in your lounge and reading a good novel, or listening to classical music?
Sometimes we feel confused about the significance and purpose of leisure, but it is really quite simple. Turn on the radio, and dance your heart out, or sing to your hearts content. It is with learning to enjoy, recognize and appreciating things like leisure that you learn to see more clearly, and more passionately.
I particularly like how they say in the first chapter that there must be purpose in order for us to make sense of the world, and that we can easily fall into the snare of discontentment. It would make life hard to live if you are not feeling content with yourself. Life was created for us to enjoy, so, do things for yourself that would truly make you feel a sense of joy.
Through this book you can gain a deeper understanding of what it means to delight in good things, and to simply, enjoy your life. I also like how they created an “Enjoy Project” as a tool where there is a list of suggestions at the end of each chapter, and you can decide which suggestions you would like to do, such as journalling and you can write down if it was effective or enjoyable. For example, they put ‘start a blog series’, when I started blogging I felt a sense of joy and achievement from typing and it was out of pure joy that I started doing it.
If you do something similar to this, or just writing anything down in a journal, you will feel challenged, encouraged and inspired. We are not called to do life on our own, we are created to also work together and have relationships where we can sit down and talk to one another sharing our goals and dreams and aspirations for the future. That is one of the best things you could ever do, is get with people and talk about what you want to do with your life, and then truly embrace your god given talents. Our goal can also be to learn what it truly means to enjoy. Maybe create a random encouragement card to someone that you admire – investing in other people is worthwhile.
I love how at the end of every chapter there is a section/list on what you can do to create that joy, for example, scheduling a coffee date with a friend, making a meal for someone, or making certain lists. And each chapter starts out with an inspirational quote, which is pleasant to start off with.
I particularly liked Chapter Nine, which is called “The Art of Life” opening up with the sentence, “It’s interesting how something can be so central to your everyday life and then gradually fade away”. I have had this in the area of friendship specifically, and also when playing an instrument. My life was focused on piano playing for about eight years, but over the past few years I have forgotten what its like to sit down, and let my fingers tap away with such joy in my heart, and I miss those days. Sometimes life gets in the way of enjoyment and it is important for us to delight in everything that we do. If certain obstacles prevent us from fulfilling our dreams it is easy to fall into the trap of self-pity, we need to put our hope into pursuing and cultivating a great life for ourselves. This chapter really stood out to me because it’s so easy to get lost along the way that you forget to truly enjoy life.
You can delight in a variety of things, and I particularly liked that chapter because it talks about the arts. I delight in painting and music, and theatre, so it really stood out to me.
Last, but not least, the last chapter called “Everlasting Enjoyment” focuses on the spiritual side of things, delighting in not only the here and now, but looking forward to the future, and it talks about faith and hope. To be truly complete, you must have hope. I particularly like how they use scripture such as Romans 5:35 how it says that ‘suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope’, and especially it ends with a C. S. Lewis quote: “For the present is the point at which time touches eternity.
So, I hope that even if you don’t read this book, that you have learnt something to truly learn to enjoy your life by doing things that you love.