Friday, January 2, 2015

After All These Years--3 Years of My Lady Bibliophile



well after all these years i thought 
the rhythms and the rhymes 
would come so easy 
but it's still so hard.
it's the same twelve notes, six strings
and a million little mysteries
in one broken heart. 
~andrew peterson "after all these years"

Whenever I click on the Articles and Book Reviews tabs on this blog, I always get a little sense of awe. I spend most of my life living in the future--next deadline, next chapter, next book, next year, do better, read faster--

And then I stop. And pause. And see what God has done.

It's pretty incredible.

Certainly the journey here has gone beyond what I could see or hope for. In the three years of My Lady Bibliophile, this blog has tracked 74,438 pageviews, 317 posts, and 1,728 comments. The top 3 posts are The Lord of the Rings (Part Two), A Happy Birthday Blog Post, and The Lord of the Rings (Part Three).  We've enjoyed so much fellowship over the Christian importance of stories and how to read them from a biblical perspective. By the grace of God, this blog will be dedicated to spreading that message for a long time to come.

Last year's theme was best-of. I found in 2013 I often put aside 'best' for 'good'--reading mediocre books for deadlines rather than books I really liked. In 2014 I set out to read books that I was especially interested in, and wrote articles on favorite characters such as animals, friends, heroes, heroines, etc. Blogging was much more enjoyable, and reading was much more rewarding as a result.

I also started merging my writing and reading interests by posting writing articles and launching snippets and character interviews for my WW1 espionage novel, War of Loyalties. That will continue in the months to come!

I was talking to my mom the other day and mentioned that this year was an especially inspiring year on the blog. I was at home for a good deal of it, and had time to think--time to read--time to ponder new themes and learn new things about writing and Christian storytelling that I had never considered before. Principles of biblical fantasy, giving gracious critiques, and trying new genres that I had dismissed in the past. A quiet year is a gift, albeit not without its challenges, and in this instance it helped me lay another foundation piece in my theology of reading. I hope it did in yours as well.

New This Year 
I'm still thinking about themes to focus on this year, and when I settle on one I will announce it. In the meantime, I have a lot of ideas in the works for you all to look forward to:
First of all, I have a hobbity kind of book giveaway right around the corner, so stay tuned for that in the next couple of weeks!
This year I have several books that I'm planning (Lord-willing) to read and review: Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Tales of Goldstone Wood, and an in-depth exploration of L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series. Anne Shirley sparks some debate, and the more I read her, the higher respect I have for her story. I'm really looking forward to it.
Along the articles line, I have a couple of last 'Best Of' posts in the works, as well as some deep thoughts on romantic affection in literature, and requested articles on writing for God's glory, writing historical fiction, and Christian liberty in reading.

Would you like to see me review a particular book this year? Do you have a subject you'd like me to tackle in an article? Please comment with your suggestions, and I will add them to the queue. :)

Other Ways to Connect 
You may have noticed the shiny new social media icons on the upper right blog sidebar! Believe it or not, writing and reading isn't all I do, and I'd love to connect with you on other platforms as well. I'm a Bright Lights ministry leader and attend Bible Study Fellowship meetings. I'm currently studying French, Gaelic, and Greek, and love scrapbooking and jewelry making. I'm also a novelist, and I love watching period drama shows and listening to all kinds of music. I'd love to connect with you about these things on other platforms.

I just launched a Facebook account in November, and this morning I launched a Twitter account. You can keep track of what I'm currently reading on Goodreads, and find beautiful inspiration and a laugh or two on my Pinterest boards.

Let's keep in touch! If you've liked the content you've received here, would you consider following on your favorite platforms? It's a way to spread the word to others, and would help me as I try to spread book reviews and my own novels to as many people as possible. Thank-you so much!


Finally, thank-you for all the book suggestions and birthday wishes, the emails and Skype chats, the beta reading opportunities and eager interest in my own writing efforts. The community of people who love the Lord and love good literature has blossomed so much, and expanded my horizons in ways I never imagined. I've met people from different corners of the globe, from different denominations, of different ages and perspectives. It's been wonderful.

Three years of ever-deepening love for the way God touches hearts through stories.

And here's to many more to come.

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. ~Psalm 126:3 (KJV)

Blessings,
Schuyler

12 comments:

  1. Congratulations on three years. I appreciate your faithfulness to the blog. Keep up the good work my daughter.

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  2. Good for you for hitting the three year mark! :) I enjoy reading your posts and I'm glad you're doing a couple more "Best Of" ones. You've blessed a lot of people with this blog, and I hope that will continue for many years. :)

    Sure, I'll keep in touch with you! x) What shall we connect over?

    Love,
    Carrie-Grace

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    1. How 'bout Skype? It's been ages, darling. :P

      I had fun shopping with you today.

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  3. Congratulations on your successful journey so far! I cannot wait to see what this year brings.

    I think I have asked you concerning Twelve Years a Slave before, also I would love to see a review on John White's series Archives of Anthropos. I recommended that series to Carrie-Grace, and I would love if you two read it. An article subject which I would be interested in reading is the topic of science-fiction.

    I also love de shiny social media buttons. =D

    Keep up the work for Christ's kingdom, Schuyler dear.

    ~Victoria

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    1. Thank-you so much! I have Twelve Years a Slave on my to-read list; and I will file your other suggestions as well! Sci-fi is something I haven't touched on. I love Jules Verne's sci-fi, but he's more inventions sci-fi than planets/space. I would love to delve into that.

      Your comments on the blog have been so encouraging. I always love it when you stop by and join the conversation. :)

      Love,
      Schuyler

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  4. I have to say, I do love the start of a new year of blogging... :D And I love this post, too. Congrats to all your hard work and perseverance. I've greatly enjoyed this year of blogging, and I could tell you did, as well. I'm looking forward to what you'll publish in this new year, and my God continue to reward you for your efforts.

    So many ways to connect....I shall find you somewhere. :P :D

    Love,
    Kaleigh <3

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    1. There is always something beautiful about new beginnings. A fresh year with no mistakes in it, as AoGG would say. ;) I'm so glad you've enjoyed the blog this year; I always love your input.

      Yeah, let's start tweeting away. :P

      Love,
      Schuyler <3

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  5. Congratulations on three years! I've only started following recently (through my friend Victoria at Ink Drops and City Lights), but I am already loving your blog. I'm an avid reader, so your thoughtful, Bible-based posts are a real treat.

    I'm excited for this year—I just finished Crime and Punishment and can't wait to see what you think of it, and Goldstone Wood is one of my favorite series ever. Like Victoria, I'd be interested in your thoughts on science fiction. Another topic I'm interested in is what Christians should do with depressing books, or books that end with seemingly no hope (like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or Tess of the D'Urbervilles).

    Unfortunately, I'm not any other social media, but I'll link you on my blog (aberdeen92.wordpress.com). :)

    Blessings!

    ~ Abby

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    1. Hello Abby!
      What a joy to meet you. Thank-you for dropping by and saying hello! I can't wait to read some Russian lit. I've been rather wary of it, but I had a nice conversation with a Christian English professor that made me eager to give it a try. :) He said it had some of the best literature of Christendom, which is a wonderful recommendation.

      I like the topic you suggested! I've done a post called "When a Character Chooses Evil", which may have some thoughts along those lines, but I will definitely add it to the queue: http://ladybibliophile.blogspot.com/2013/11/when-character-chooses-evil.html

      Aw, thank-you so much for linking up to my blog! I do appreciate it, and will come visit your site. :)

      Blessings,
      Schuyler

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  6. Hi Schuyler,

    I am a little late on this, but I want to congratulate you on 3 years of blogging. They have been wonderful years as far as your blog and getting to know you has been :). My Lady Bibliophile has been a great encouragement and edification to me, and I am excited as to what the Lord will guide you in for this new year! As Abby has mentioned, I would be curious to see you explore Russian literature, like Tolstoy and Dyvostky and such works sometime. I recently watched a TV adaption of War and Peace (2007 version) and I found it very fascinating and thought-provoking - a bit intense, and I had some bits I was wary of, but then it was also very deep and touching. I just got a copy of the novel, which I hope to read sometime. It would be interesting to see you exploring more of this genre!

    I also would be fascinated at some more posts on worldview and how that influenced authors and literature over time. Have you read much literary fiction, Schuyler? I have lately become more fascinated with this genre of literature, in the vein of the stuff Marilynne Robinson, A. J. Cronin, Elizabeth Goudge, Madeleine L'Engle and Flannery O'Conner go. I would like to look more unto them sometime :)

    Lots of love and blessings, Schuyler! Please keep blogging and sharing what the Lord puts on your heart, for your blog is a true blessing, and so are you!

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    1. Thank-you so much for your congratulations, Joy! I'm putting together a giveaway, so we'll have more celebration coming. :) I'm so glad this blog has been a blessing to you!

      I hear that PBS is putting together a new War and Peace, so we'll have to see what that's like. I don't know anything about the story, but I'm interested in checking it out. I always thought Russian novels were rather pagan, but find from those who have studied them that I've actually been making some erroneous assumptions. :) I'll be keeping an eye out for them at book sales.

      You will be seeing more worldview posts, Lord-willing! I have a literature study guide called "The Great Books Reader" that I'm hoping to read part of this year, and it will delve into that worldview aspect. I'm looking forward to sharing those thoughts on the blog.

      I have not read the authors you mentioned, and some of them I haven't even heard of! An intriguing bunch to add to my to-read pile. :) Thank-you so much for the suggestions. :D

      Aw, thank-you, dear. You are a wonderful encouragement. <3

      Love,
      Schuyler

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