Book Reviews

Book Review of Shards of Sky

Woo-hoo! This is my first book review, and I’m ready. So, let’s jump in, shall we?

***

My book review for today is of Shards of Sky, by E. C. Colton (I’ve interviewed her once on the Right Kind of Writer). You may be wondering: “Danny-Boy, my good man, why do you post this on a Saturday?”

I’d have to answer with, 1) ‘Danny-Boy’ is reserved for my blog-conscious only, and, 2) this is the day I scheduled to publish a SoS (Shards of Sky) book review, as part of her blog tour, gaining anticipation for the launch of SoS on April 18! I was given an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), and, in return, I gave this honest book review.

Synopsis:

Will hope prove itself worth fighting for?

Nestled within the mountains of Colorado, life is anything but perfect for two children and their negligent aunt. Yet it becomes even more of a disaster when a mysterious accident leaves Aryon mute and Jenn terrified for their futures. Battling her own sorrow, bitterness, and distant memories, Jenn journeys through the mountains of Colorado in search of their father, who may only be as real as a wisp of mist. The biggest things standing in her way are the miles of seemingly endless forest, her shattered memories, and a mysterious woman trailing her.

As she journeys on, Jenn is forced to confront her past. Has time changed her memories? What will it take to be strong and unhindered by the darkness around her? And does this woman hold the key to her past—her real past?

But no matter where Jenn goes, a shard of sky shines bright overhead as a distant reminder of the hope she’s fighting to hold onto—and the person she could become. 

Heart-wrenching and emotionally moving, this story delivers a powerful message of courage and the wonder of hope.

My opinion:

I expected a good book from this young author, and that’s exactly what she gave me. The pieces of the plot of this novella fit incredibly well. Right from the start, I fell in love with the wording – very well done. Not to mention that the cover portrays the book’s vibe beautifully. The main character, Jenn, was portrayed incredibly. Her arc, her flaws, her good qualities… very realistic, and fairly easy to sympathize with. I would definitely recommend this. I’d give this 124-page YA fiction novella a 9/10.

***

Shards of Sky sound interesting? Here is the preorder link. For those who preorder the SoS ebook (before the launch date, April 18), if you insert a screenshot of your receipt into this form, E. C. Colton will contact you with the FREE preorder goodies that come with the preordered purchase of SoS.

Below are images of some of the goodies…

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 8 – E. C. Colton at Quill of Hope (intro), Cynthia at Achinty (interview)

April 9 – Mia Harden at Windows to Mia (interview)

April 10 – Daniel L. Amador at The Right Kind of Writer (review)

April 11 – J. S. Clingman at My Little Hole in the Ground (interview)

April 12 – Allie Jo Anderson at Allie Jo Anderson (review)

April 13 – Althea Truth at Apple Blossoms (interview)

April 14 – Liesl Brunner at Quote, Unquote (interview), Ryan Elizabeth at Ryan Elizabeth Writes (interview), Hannah E. M. at Precarious Book Stacks (review)

April 15 – Allyson Jamison at Shay’s Scribbles (interview)

April 16  – Addison Vallier at Story Well (interview)

April 17 – Cara from Paper Strider (review)

April 18 (launch day) – E. C. Colton at Quill of Hope (finale), Samantha Hopper at Stuck in a Story (review & interview)

***

E. C. Colton is a Christian, entrepreneur, cat mom, and author of A Change of Heart. She strives to write stories that illustrate deep truths through realistic characters. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her drawing, designing graphics, and scribbling away in a vintage notebook with a cup of tea. 

***

Thanks for reading! I hope you do decide to get Shards of Sky. It’s a beautiful book.

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Credit to E. C. Colton for photo [of Shards of sky paperback].

Uncategorized

A Few Fun Poems

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

As many of you may know, I’m a poet, though I don’t always own it (sorry, I just had to do that XD). I believe I’ve only shared a couple poems (if not just one) here, and I want to change that by sharing 10 poems I wrote for two classes. Five from Literature first, followed by five from Illinois History.

***

Recently, we (my classmates and I) have been learning about poetry in our Literature Class, and our teacher gave us a fun assignment. We were supposed to rip a few pages from a few books (imagine that; ripping pages from books in a literature class. It was an incredible experience, and we all revelled in it) and then circle different words, so that the outcome forms a poem, of sorts. Basically blackout poetry.

Here are the five I wrote for my Literature Class (I added the commas, periods, and such afterwards; I also formed them into lines they weren’t formed into before):

  1. The Coat Carriers. (Put together from page 29 of From Time to Time by Jack Finney.)

Almost at run,

Almost immediately,

The porters,

Dressed in white,

Haughty,

Jeweled turbans,

To the eyebrows,

Carried coats.

These woman,

The men,

A very few,

I suppose,

Were presented

With bouquets

By uniformed boys,

Some carrying

The dock entrance

Heavier luggage

  1. That Titanic. (Put together from page 30 of From Time to Time by Jack Finney.)

Sweating men,

With names

Of the city London,

Remember their streets right.

A few truly believe

I didn’t.

Couldn’t.

Along the ship,

Visored caps

Stood directly just short of the block letters.

But I,

No difficulty.

And of course yes.

That Titanic.

  1. Crazy Kites. (Put together from page 189 of From Time to Time, by Jack Finney.)

She mundanely talked

Of the English Channel

On accident.

Frank smiled

Toward the pier.

The presence

Of these crazy kites,

Awful;

Condemned;

Helpless

Over the evil construction

Of rough wood planking.

I want to fly

Like a boat!

He thought I shouldn’t.

I was seasick.

  1. Motions. (Put together from page 190 of From Time to Time, by Jack Finney.)

Frank,

The kind you’d find

In an electric chair,

Waited.

It seemed swift,

Our motion,

And I had

A hundred tons of sun

On my face.

I could feel the engine,

Loudly sailing fast,

Again.

Slow,

Slowly,

Engineless.

  1. Mundane Business. (Put together from page 140 of Under the Tuscan Sun, by Frances Mayes.)

The weather

Is the same.

The figs,

Apricots,

Lettuce.

The girl gave up eating,

As do clean, medieval buildings.

Stone.

Darkness.

The end.

Wooden customers.

Quality cares.

Shifting day

Gargantuan,

Misshapen tomatoes

Ever select produce.

Each.

***

The next five are haikus I wrote for my Illinois History Class. (Disclaimer: they’re not that good. I honestly didn’t have a lot of time to write them.)

  1. The Prairie State.

The Great Prairie State,

Founded in eighteen eighteen,

Is almost all corn.

  1. Illinoisians.

Obama and Abe…

Reagan and crazy Capone…

All Illinoisians.

  1. Chicagoland.

Great Chicagoland

Home to more than eight mill. peeps

What an awesome place.

  1. Cairo, Not Cairo.

Cairo, southern Il

Not the Cairo in Egypt;

Get it right, people!

  1. Things and Things.

Baseball, Wrigley field

Sadness in the Civil War

Meat from big stockyards.

And there you have it, friends! Ten poems for you to read simply for fun. I hope you enjoyed them!

With God’s Help,

Daniel L. Amador

Tags & Awards

The Narnia Tag

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

My good friend Esther tagged me for a “Narnia Tag” (thank you!). The only thing I was wondering about was… What on earth is Narnia?

I had heard that word again and again, but never knew what it was. I assumed it was some Greek mythological place or whatever, and didn’t really put much thought into it.

Finally, I had to research it. After about 30 minutes or so I found out that “Narnia” was a place in a book series called The Chronicles of Narnia, by some guy named C.S. Lewis.

Clearly, I had never read it before, so I hopped onto this laptop to write out an explanation and apology…

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

So, I apologize for those few paragraphs of false nonsense. I was just joking. Heehee.

That was seriously one of your worst jokes ever. Especially because HOW ON EARTH COULD YOU BE BOTH AN AMADOR AND A WRITER WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT NARNIA WAS??? You didn’t fool me for a second, Danny-Boy.

I know it was a horrible joke. Why do you think I apologized?

…Good point.

Of course it is. Now leave me be. You aren’t even supposed to be here. How did you get out of that cell anyway?

Secrets. And I will never leave!

You. Shall. Not. PAAASSSSSS!!!

*gasps, and flees in terror*

I apologize for that whole… scene, as well. *eyes him running away* He shouldn’t be back for a few posts, I think.

Anyway, on with the tag!

Below are the tag rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you (Done and done).
  • Describe the rate of your Narnia fanatic- nostalgic, serious, or maniacal (…still to be done).
  • Answer the questions below (will do).
  • Tag 5+ other bloggers (okay).
  • Have fun (I intend to)!

The levels of Narnia fanatic:

  1. Nostalgic fanatic- You read the book and/or watch the movies as a child and the word “Narnia” gives you a warm feeling.
  2. Serious fanatic- You rediscovered the wonder of Narnia after you were older and have read the books and watched the movies.
  3. Maniacal fanatic- You have lived Narnia from childhood, hid in closets on more accounts than is healthy, and have read and watched all the movies, including the BBC version.

Hmmm… I don’t think I fit into any of those categories… SO I WILL MAKE MY OWN!!! AHAHAHA!!!

I call it… *drum roll*

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The ‘DanLA fanatic’! *gasps* Oooh, I like it, actually! Kind of… sort of… not really… Maybe! I could use that some time actually… Let’s just say it’s a work in progress that I’ll likely never work on ever in my future.

  1. DanLA fanatic- You’ve watched all the Disney movies, and read through Prince Caspian. You never even knew there was a BBC version. You have hid in closets, but only for hide and seek, and you weren’t even thinking of Narnia at the time.

Now for the questions!

  1. Who is your favorite Pevensie sibling?

Hmmm… I think I’m going to have to go with… Peter… or maybe Lucy… For this tag, I think I’ll just go with Peter. He just seems like a good older brother.

  1. What is the most underrated book in the series?

It’d have to be The Magician’s Nephew. I don’t hear much about that book, but it’s honestly so good! Now they just need to make a movie… and make it accurate.

  1. Who is your favorite Narnian king?

Peter. A brave, just, strong, fearless leader, he is.

  1. Who is your favorite Narnian queen?

Lucy. A brave, kind, just, wise queen, she is..

  1. Which non-human Narnian do you like best?

Reepicheep. REEP-I-CHEEP!!! REEP-I-CHEEP!!! Second place is Aslan.

  1. Which book deserves a movie?

The Horse and His Boy. I’d love to see that as a movie- it would be so good! All they need to do is MAKE. IT. ACCURATE. FOR GOODNESS SAKES, ALL WE WANT IS THE ORIGINAL BOOK IN A MOVIE, OKAY, PRODUCERS??? PLEASE???? FOR ONCE??????

  1. What is one thing you did as a Narnia fanatic you did not regret?

Uuuummm… I’m not sure. Read at least some of the books, I guess?

That’s all for the questions! Now for the tags.

Timothy Benefield

Caleb E. King

Mia Harden

Liesl Brunner

Felicity Wales

Please note that you do not have to do this if you do not want to!

Thank you for reading!

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Interviews

Interview With Lucas Roberts; Artist

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

Intro: Now, I myself have dabbled a few times in music making, but nothing I have made has ever been as good as 12-year-old Lucas Roberts’ two instrumental songs Tsunami and Spring Rain. I met this young Virginian through the Young Writers Workshop, and when I heard one of his drafts, I had to hear more- okay, I wanted to hear more.

I am more of a Christian rap and hip-hop guy, but Mr. Robert’s songs are there with Electric Daisy Violin by Lindsay Sterling as some of the catchiest songs I’ve listen to; those three, along with Moon Trance by Sterling, are literally the only instrumental songs I like to hear. If I were to choose-

Alright, Danny-Boy, I think they get it; you like his music, and you don’t normally like instrumental music.

That’s true.

Now get back to your interview.

Yes sir.

You’re never this submissive…

Shush. I’ve got to get back to my interview.

Lucas Roberts is just one of the many amazing examples that prove that young people can.

When I looked at my blog post schedule, I saw that the post I was supposed to publish today was a ‘Book Review of ____’. I realized that I had not read any book that I really wanted to do a review on at the time, and that I did not have enough time to read another book, so I switched it to an ‘Interview With ____’, and immediately started thinking of a good person to interview. I was listening to Spotify at the time and had the YWW Community tab open at the time, and the combination of both made me remember Mr. Roberts and his amazing draft he let me listen to. I came to him with an interview request, and he accepted.

***

Let us now get started with the actual interview!

***

Question (Q): To start off, what are a few of your hobbies?

Answer (A): I like (of course) creating music. I also like playing sports including Basketball and Baseball.

Q: When, and at what age, did you start making music?

A: I started almost a year ago, right after I turned 12.

Q:  What inspired you to start making music, and where do you draw inspiration from still?

A: I listened to a lot of music, and I was interested in how it was made. So I looked it up. I realized that I could make it too! So that’s how I became interested.

Q: Are you ever going to put vocals into your songs, or will you stick with instrumental?

A: I am collaborating with other people, and they are singing, but no, I will probably never sing to my songs.

Q: Do you plan on pursuing music as a career?

A: All I can say is that I’ve thought about it. I don’t know how well I could become a pro.

Q: Who are your four favorite artists?

A: NF, Lecrae, Au5, and Capital Kings.

Q: Where can we find you- and your music?

A: You can find my music on basically any music sharing sites, with examples like Amazon Music, iTunes, Spotify, Youtube, and many others. My name on all of those sites is LJRoberts Music.

Q: What do you use to make music, and what do you suggest to others?

A: I use FL Studio (A digital audio workstation) and that’s what I would recommend to anyone else who decides to try out the music industry.

Q: What advice for anyone who may want to start making music as well?

A: The first thing you should do is watch some tutorials on how it’s done instead of trying to figure it out yourself. I know from experience that it takes a lot longer to do it yourself then get help from others.

Q: Do you have anything else you’d like to say?

A: Nope!

Outro: I’d like to thank you, Lucas, for allowing me to interview you! I now dub myself as one of the top twenty biggest fans of your songs. I’m not sure if I’m even allowed to do that… I’ll let someone else dub people, I guess. Maybe I’m in the top 50, or something. I don’t know.

To my readers, I hope you listen to the songs and love them as much as I did, if not more!

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

CREDIT TO LUCAS ROBERTS FOR PHOTO [LJROBERTS MUSIC LOGO].

Announcements/Notifications/Updates

Major Blog Updates

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

As you all may have noticed, I have majorly updated my blog. I wasn’t really much of a fan of the darker theme, and so I found something a bit brighter and… jumpier. I put a lot more thought and time into the design and colors. I came up with a color scheme. I changed my logo up a bit. I added a header… which is now the footer (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s the blog title, tagline, two red lines on the top and bottom, and a Bible on the left and right).

As for photography… I’ve made the decision (starting from the last post; before that all the images were self-taken) to mostly use the professional pictures from Pexels (maybe I switch to another photography site later). If I use photos not from Pexels, I will give the photographer credit.

I am currently working on changing the blog post tagline “Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!”. I honestly don’t really like it… I’m also thinking about taking it out entirely. (It would be appreciated if you would let me know your opinion on the matter, whether through the contact page or comments!)

 There were a few other changes, of course, among those already mentioned, and there will likely be more to come.

I’d also like to point out something in the URL. It shows it as “therightkindawriter”, instead of “therightkindofwriter”. The reason for this is because my blog was originally called “The Right Kinda Writer”, but when I changed it, the URL didn’t change. I’d just like to point that out to limit confusion. I’m working on a solution.

Finally, I’ve decided to move the day I publish posts from Sunday to Monday, as of this post. I was already publishing later than 9 pm… so it just works out for me, and is more convenient.

I’ll keep you, my readers, updated on any other major changes to my blog!

With God’s help,

Daniel L. Amador

Uncategorized

February- Black History Month

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

Wow. It’s just like me to post an article about the month of February less than an hour before February’s end. I sincerely apologize. I’ll try to get better at punctuality.

***

Black History Month, a.k.a African-American History Month, is observed and celebrated by the United States and Canada in February and Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands in October.

These two months in these two continents are dedicated to honoring and celebrating the culture and history of black people.

It was chosen to be celebrated in February, as that was the month when Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Doulgas were born.

For this post, I would like to acknowledge one very influential black person from every country that observes BHM (Black History Month).

  1. Canada. Viola Desmond. You see Viola Desmond everytime you pick up a Canadian ten dollar bill (sadly I haven’t been able to add one of those to my foreign coin collection). Desmond was born in 1914, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada to a black father and white mother, which was uncommon at the time. She was a businesswoman and beautician, and was also likely a Christian.

She is famous across Canada primarily for the event that took place during 1946, in Roseland Theatre, Glasgow, Nova Scotia. She was driving when her car broke down, and being told that it would take several hours to repair, so she went to a theatre to spend some of that time. She requested a ticket for the main floor, but was given one for the balcony, where all the black people would sit. Desmond sat on the main floor anyway. When she wouldn’t leave, she was forcibly taken out of the theatre (causing a hip injury) and taken to jail, where she was kept all night, given no access to a lawyer, bail, or other. She was also charged $26, which is around 300-600 Canadian dollars today.

Because of this, she is often compared to American Civil Rights Activist Rosa Parks.

Desmond died in 1965.

  1. Ireland. Muhammad Ali. Muhammad Ali and Barack Obama -though Americans by birth and residency- both have Irish roots. Let us take a look at Muhammad Ali. If you don’t know what he is then you have more in common with me than you thought then you are clearly not a fan of boxing, or at least not of boxing history. Ali was one of the best boxers, if not the best, in all of history. He was born in 1942 and died in 2016, at the age of 74. One of his most famous actions in the Civil Rights Movement was refusing to join the army when he was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, believing that it was unjust, and also it was a move by the white government to make black people work for them.

Ali had a score of 56 wins and 5 losses. Some of the many awards he received were Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year,  Arthur Ashe Courage Award, and the Millennium Bambi Award. About his Irish heritage, he is descended from an Irishman named Abe Grady, who moved to Kentucky in the 1960s and married an African-American woman. They had a family, and one of their daughters -Odessa Grady- married Cassius Clay. Cassius Clay Jr. -their son- changed his name to Muhammad Ali in 1942 when he converted to Islam.

  1. Netherlands. Boy Ecury. Boy Ecury was born into a big and wealthy Catholic family (I’m not sure if he remained a Christian for the rest of his life, but I definitely hope that he did for his and his family’s sake) in 1922, in Oranjestad, Aruba, an island owned by the Netherlands.

His story is a sad one, but noble. He went to the Netherlands for college, where he got a diploma. He did a lot of travelling in the Netherlands (funny, because the Netherlands isn’t very big) with his brother Nicky, and where there when World War II kicked up. At that time Boy befriended a boy (man, really, but I couldn’t help it, even if I could) name Luis (nice name) de Lannoy, who was part of an underground resistance against the Nazis.

In the resistance they would often go on dangerous missions, which included planting bombs on German trucks. Though colleagues would often betray them. Luis was once betrayed, imprisoned, and tortured, but he eventually managed to escape. When Ecury was betrayed and imprisoned, he was tortured for information, but did not betray his friends. He was executed the next day at the age of 22, in 1944. Ecury was buried and given military honors in 1947, and a statue was made of him in 1949. A movie was even made of him.

  1. United Kingdom. Mary Prince. 1788 – 1833. Born into an enslaved family in Bermuda, she experienced horrible, inhuman treatment. In 1828, her masters took her with them to England. There, she ran away and found freedom, though only in England. She campaigned against slavery, joining the Anti-Slavery Society. Prince was the first black, English woman to ever present an anti-slavery petition to Parliament. She was also the first black, English woman to write and publish an autobiography, which she called The History of Mary Prince: A West Indian Slave. Maybe I’ll read it… after everything else I have planned to read. XD Anyway, it was a huge part of her campaigns. It helped raise awareness in England, that, even though slavery was banned there, it was still practiced elsewhere. (Uh, well, duh! Come on, peeps. Get your head in the game, por favor. Gracias.)
  2. United States. Jackie Robinson. Hmmm… I know a lot more notable black people from the U.S. than the other states… which one… how about Jackie Robinson. Yeah, that’s cool with everyone, right? Yeah? Cool.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson (1919 – 1972) was the first African American to make it to Major League Baseball. (Aaayyyy good for you, Jackie! Nice! *back pat*)

A few fun facts featuring him… 1) Robinson’s older bro, Mathew, was a huge inspiration to him. Mathew won a silver metal in the 200 meter dash- just behind Jesse Owens (look him up; fascinating guy, that Owens), in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. 2) He played American football for the Honolulu Bears, though his time with them was short cut when the U.S. joined WWII. 3) He was a second lieutenant in the US Army from 1942 to 1944.

I don’t want to make this too long, so I’m just going to share a few interesting things about his baseball career.

At the time he started professional baseball in 1944 (hey, isn’t that when Ecury died? Wow. Strange how history overlaps), it was still segregated, so he played in the Negro Leagues. Though, he was soon chosen by Branch Rickey (Han Solo [Harrison Ford] in the movie about Robison, 42, in which T’Challa [Chadwick Boseman; RIP] acts Robison), the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, to join their team.

Jackie Robinson and his wife Rachel suffered so much racism, but they pushed on. Jackie was countlessly tested and mocked, though he persevered. A line I found interesting from the movie was when a reporter asked what he’d do if someone threw a ball to his face. He replied, “I’ll duck.”

Some of the people who stuck by his side included Leo Durocher and Pee Wee Reese.

When members of the Brooklyn Dodgers were saying that they didn’t want to be on a team with a black man, Leo Durocher, manager of the Dodgers, said that he would sooner trade any of them than Robison.

When people were yelling at and harassing Robinson on the field, team captain Pee Wee Reese walked up to him, and put his arm around him. That act then became famous throughout baseball.

Another interesting thing is that two of Robison’s children have the same name as two of my grandparents. Sharon and David, and sadly Robison’s other son Jack Jr. died in 1971, at the age of 24, the year before his father died.

To finish this part up, I’ll say that Robinson really did make a huge difference in baseball.

***

Though history can be boring at times, it is also very fascinating. Let’s give a round of applause for these five!

The photo’s credit goes to Pexels Free Photos. More explanation on this to come in the next post.

Holiday Specials

The Origin of Valentine’s Day

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

Valentine’s Day has been advertised and globalized as the day that seems to celebrate love/romance, chocolate, and apparently the colors pink and red also.

That’s wrong on various levels. First of all, they didn’t even have chocolate in the 5th century (when the origin occurred). I know, really sad, but I guess not for them since they didn’t even know it existed. Also, I guess the point of the pink and red is because those colors symbolize love… and about the love/romance thing, originally, St. Valentine’s Day was made to celebrate marriage, but, like many things, it has changed over time. Now forward with the origin!

***

During the 5th century, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage, likely so that more men would go out to war and spend less time with family. (He wasn’t the brightest guy, if you know what I mean.)

Of course, banning marriage is like… One can’t just ban marriage! Not even if you’re a crazy emperor.

Anyway, there were some people who were not okay with this (if not most people). One of the people who was strongly against Claudius’s decree was a saint named Valentine. He continued to marry couples in secret. One cannot simply ban one of the greatest gifts God gave people and get away with it.

After hearing many reports of secret marriages and the one who marries the couples, Claudius sent men to find Valentine. They did eventually catch him, and locked him up like a firefly in a tight-sealed jar, to be executed.

In prison, Saint Valentine met and befriended the jailer’s daughter, Julia, who was blind and therefore, according to her times, was supposedly only good for serving food to the prisoners.

The two grew to be great friends, and one day, with God’s amazing help, Valentine healed Julia of her blindness and she could see once again.

Claudius decided to give St. Valentine the chance to be free and not executed (because he didn’t want to risk riots and revolts if Valentine was killed. Never underestimate the power of the public) if he would deny his faith.

St. Valentine was brought before Emperor Claudius II, but, like every Christian should, he did not deny his faith. God was his number one, and God told him to marry people.

So then he was thrown in jail and beheaded. Sad, but not the ending. When Claudius died, marriage was legalized again. And people could legally marry each other. Like they should if God calls them to. Because you can’t just outlaw marriage. Oh right, I’ve already said that. Moving on.

Before Valentine was killed though, he wrote a love letter to Julia, and signed it “from your Valentine” (kind of disappointing, honestly, because I was going to say this whole thing on the fallacy of the popular phrase “will you be my Valentine” and how it didn’t make sense because people would say it to their lovers even though Valentine was the person who actually married the couples, but then I realized that Valentine himself was a lover. Fun fact, I’m a Lover. No, really, the last name “Amador” means “Lover”. Look it up. Random fact. Whether it is convenient or not for this not-actually-national holiday, I am still unsure).

Anyway, that is the story of Saint Valentine; the origin of St. Valentine’s Day. Even though I posted this around 11 O’ clock p.m., it’s still Valentine’s Day, so I can still say, I hope you have a happy rest of St. Valentine’s Day!

With God’s Help, 

Daniel L. Amador

CREDIT TO A RELATIVE OF DANIEL L. AMADOR FOR PHOTO.

Christian Living

Christians vs. Society; About Discouragement and Encouragement

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

Let us face it, friends: We live in a fallen world. Our everyday lives can reflect that. From a little fib, to maybe even physical abuse.

And society hasn’t helped much. We, as Christians, are in a continual battle against society.

What exactly is society? Here is one of the Google definitions: “The community of people living in a particular country or region having shared customs, laws, and organizations.”

Here is my mother’s exact definition of society: “A group of people living together. Establishing culture and customs.”

Now, bear with me because this will get a bit confusing (for both me and you).

Society isn’t really a bad thing, when looked at one way. It’s a group of people who live together, to establish customs, laws, and organizations. But try looking a little closer at its center.

The Google definition doesn’t say “The community of people living in a particular country or region having shared customs, laws, and organizations under God.” It just means the group of people, just themselves. But don’t start thinking “Oh, he’s looking at it too deep, from a different angle without common sense” or anything of the like! Just hear me out!

The society we live in right now is a group of people establishing laws, customs, and organizations, but, not gathering under God, it is chaos. There is so much hatred, discouragement, and just plain wrongdoing, to both others and one’s self.

I suppose what I have been trying to say in 199 words, is that, in this case and sense, society is people not under nor following God. People have been trying to rule themselves since the beginning without God’s guidance.

Alright, we’ve covered that part. Took me long enough.

Now to the point of this post! I would first like to share a story with you all.

I came into the building where my running team would meet. Our coach called us all together, and directed our attention to a piece of cardboard. On it was written ten math problems. We looked at them, and before my coach could explain, one of us pointed to a problem that was wrong, and we backed him up. Our coach then began to explain. He said that we noticed the one wrong one, and completely overlooked the nine right ones.

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O-O

Talk about the perfect chance to drop the mic.

He then pointed out that when one of the guys there planned to run five miles, but ended up running four, our coach fist-bumped and congratulated him for the four miles he did run.

He said that so many people focus more on the wrong things people do, and less at the accomplishments that are beside the wrongs.

Then he wrote two things on the cardboard beside the math problems. The first thing he wrote was “yourself”, then, below, “society”. Our coach said that those are the two things that can (and often do) bring us down.

He further explained that we can’t control what society thinks of us, and what it tells us, but we can control what we ourselves think! So many of us -including myself- are guilty of thinking lowly of ourselves. We make one mistake and beat ourselves up for it. In those moments we ignore the accomplishments we have done. We see what other people have done and how they are ahead of us, and we overlook what we ourselves have done, and that we are not in a race. We should try to be like God, not humans.

I have to confess, it’s hard not to feel jealous or unsuccessful when I see other bloggers “getting ahead” or publishing posts on certain topics I wanted to post on but couldn’t get to it first (even if they have been going a lot longer than me!).

I forget sometimes that I’m in this for Christ. I’m living for Him. Not for my own human want. I’m also going at my own pace. We all have our own paces. LIFE IS NOT A RACE!

Let me hand the mic over to God’s word for a second.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” -1 John 2:15. “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” -John 15:19. “We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.”-1 John 5:19. I think God says it very nicely. Don’t you?

To continue with what I was saying, we must learn to not hate or beat ourselves up. Friends, we live in a broken world. We are broken humans. And we break ourselves even more when we say: “I’m not good enough.” “I’m too weak.” “I’m not handsome or pretty enough.” “I’m not strong enough.” “I’m not smart enough.”

What are those called?

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LIES!!! THOSE ARE ALL LIES! DON’T BELIEVE THE LIES! SATAN LOVES TO SEE GOD’S CHILDREN HATE THEMSELVES! HE RELISHES AND DELIGHTS IN OUR SELF DOUBT AND LOW SELF ESTEEM! DON’T BELIEVE WHAT THE DEVIL SAYS OR WHISPERS! THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!

My coach said something similar to, “‘Oh, that girl’s too pretty for me to take out’, or ‘oh that class is too smart for me’. Those are lies! That’s deception!”

He’s right. We are strong, wise, and beautiful in Christ. Don’t let society tear you down and tell you you’re not good enough.

I’m not a pastor. I’ve never been to a Bible college. But I know enough to say that life in God is better than anything society can give you. So don’t believe the lies Satan tries to feed you. Stay true to God, and His beautiful Word.

With God’s Help, 

Daniel L. Amador

CREDIT TO CANVA.COM FOR PHOTO.

Announcements/Notifications/Updates

About My Blog Updates

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

 Dear readers… me being a fairly new blogger, I’ve been continually trying to update my blog to make it run better, look better, and just be better in general.

I have made the most updates on the homepage, and a few on the blog-page.

But are they improvements? Do they worsen it? Or do they just not really make a difference?

I am making these improvements for the sake of you, readers, so that things are more organized and appealing, not just to me, but to you all.

So I’ve set up this poll for you to share what you think on the matter.

Please answer, and please answer truthfully. Thank you!

With God’s Help, 

Daniel L. Amador

CREDIT TO DANIEL L. AMADOR FOR PHOTO.

Uncategorized

In Which I reveal to You Where Odyssey (from AIO) Is

Grab your atlas, running shoes, (Spanish to English translator,) and a good book! You ready? Let’s go, fam!

Alright, before I start, I’d like to say a few things. 1) CWW HAS ENDED!!! *sad* Neither the Fire, Water, nor Air Team won. The Fire Team was ahead in words, while the Water Team was ahead in hours. 2) I JOINED YWW AGAIN!!! After…*counts* *despises math* Um… around four months… yeah.

Now on with the post!!


I know, I know, this doesn’t have anything to do with writing, and not really much about Christianity, but I did say I would post random things every once in a while.

Anyway… I shall begin!

Many people have argued over where Odyssey (from Adventures in Odyssey) is located. I had an assumption based on several different facts. Then… I listened to an episode where it revealed the location. (Coincidentally, it was one of the very first episodes that started AIO, and is only available to members of the AIO club).

Where is Odyssey?

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Odyssey,

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 My friends,

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 is in Ohio.

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Yep. Before I reveal in which episode I found out factually, let me give you my reasons why I believed it was in Odyssey before.

  1. Odyssey is a drive, plane ride, and train ride from Chicago. It takes a day to get there by car and less by train and plane, and that’s the time it takes for people from Odyssey, not to mention that they often go to and talk about Chicago. To prove the car distance… when I went to Ohio once, it took a day to drive there, and planes and trains are quicker.
  2. In the episode Unsinkable, part 2, a character mentioned that Odyssey was around halfway between Chicago and New York, but closer to Chicago. That also means that Odyssey is east of Chicago, limiting many options.
  3. Just their general lives could be considered very midwestern.

Those are a few bits of reasons.

Now for the hardcore fact: Here is the first sentance in the episode (bonus, really) BONUS! Whit’s Visitor: “This is family portraits. A look at life as it’s lived day to day in the small town of Odyssey, Ohio.”

*when he hears this for the first time, his eyes widen and his jaw drops*

Of course it’s in Ohio.

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As for the more absolute location of Odyssey, this area is where I believe Odyssey is (I sent it to a friend before I actually discovered  that Odyssey was in Ohio):

My reasons are basically the same as stated earlier( 1) around halfway between New York and Chicago, but closer to Chicago 2) day-long car drive from Chicago 3) midwestern) except for one: in at least one episode they mention that Odyssey is close to the state border.

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There you have it friends. Tell all those questioning listeners about this post (and don’t forget to tell them to subscribe!) so they will know them FACTS. *whispers* The not-that-dirty secret of Odyssey!

With God’s Help, 

Daniel L. Amador

CREDIT TO DANIEL L. AMADOR FOR ALL PHOTOS IN THIS BLOG POST.