NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

I Love to Laugh

I’ve been reading the Brotherband Series by John Flanagan recently and I was struck by one character’s action. The whole group or brotherband as they are known were worried about one of their group who was injured and left behind to recover and also missing the constant bickering that usually came from that member’s presence. So this character, Thorn, decides to create some bickering with another crewmate’s help and soon everyone is laughing and enjoying themselves again.

I’ve also been rewatching a lot of Marvel movies with my sister, and each of these movies intentionally adds a lot of comedic scenes and moments into their plots. I think this is part of the reason that they are so well liked.

We all like to laugh, to smile, to experience joy. It’s part of our human nature. Now laughter may not always be the appropriate response, it could be seen as offensive or hurtful in certain situations. Just as Solomon writes there is “a time to weep, and a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4a). Sometimes it is not a time to laugh. But laughter is important. Whether it’s laughing with friends at an inside joke, or a funny line in a movie, or book, or just at a punny situation, laughter is part of life. And often, it’s the best medicine.

Laughter breaks up boredom, releases tension, heightens enjoyment and has many other physical benefits.

So I’m thankful for all the people that make me laugh: my family, friends, and even the comedians online or on TV. I hope you have a good laugh today. Remember to enjoy life, laugh at the awkward situations you find yourself in, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Sometimes all someone needs to brighten their day is a little laughter.

So here’s a clip to help you laugh a little today. Enjoy!

 

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John Flanagan or Rick Riordan

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I was thinking about what my favorite book series are and that got me thinking about two authors that I have enjoyed a lot in the past few years: John Flanagan and Rick Riordan. I was introduced to Riordan’s books first by a 6th grader who was reading The Lightning Thief. It was an awesome book with lots of humor, very good descriptions, an intriguing story and great characters. I read the whole Percy Jackson series that summer and loved it. Then I eagerly awaited each new book in his Heroes of Olympus series. So when someone has asked me who my favorite author is in the past, I’ve often said Rick Riordan.

But more recently I’ve started reading John Flanagan’s Brotherband Series. I got into his Ranger’s Apprentice books several years ago but I was always hesitant to try this new series. Often with authors, I find that I like stories with certain characters but once they bridge off to new stories with new characters, I don’t like them as much. But I was surprised as I started reading Brotherband. Even though I had seen none of these characters before, except for brief mentions of Erak, I fell in love with the characters. Each book has been interesting and has an intriguing plot. It made me wonder why I hadn’t tried this series sooner.

Then I had a realization. Even though I love the Percy Jackson series by Riordan, I haven’t loved his other series. I never could get into the Egyptian one, the Norse one sounded interesting, but I never started and even though I’ve been trying to read the one about Apollo I’ve found it hard to get into. It’s like I’m forcing myself to read it, instead of getting sucked in. There are still some good characters and plenty of humor and references to modern culture, but it’s missing something. And I think that something is a connection to the characters and a desire to see them succeed. In Apollo’s series, his character is so full of himself that it’s hard for me to care if he complete’s his mission or not. Plus Riordan’s thing is to write all about other gods and that is sometimes hard for me to read as a Christian. He has also started adding more and more non-traditional relationships in his stories and that just make it harder for me to enjoy.

John Flanagan on the other hand, has a way of creating an intriguing story with diverse characters that you can still relate to. Even though I love Halt and Will from the Ranger’s Apprentice Series, I’ve found that I love Hal and his friends just as much in this new series. There’s even a girl character with my name so that makes it even better.

So even though I’ve said Rick Riordan was my favorite author in the past, I don’t think I can say that anymore. I’ve definitely enjoyed some of his books, but I can’t say that for everything he’s written. But from all that I’ve read from John Flanagan, I can say that.

So anyway, if you’re looking for a good book series to read this summer, I’d suggest Ranger’s Apprentice, Brotherband, or Percy Jackson if you’ve never read it.

Happy Reading!

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My Top 5 Inspiring Book Series Authors

So I’ve enjoyed a lot of good books in my life that have influenced me and inspired me. Some were novels; one good book that I really enjoyed, but often I’ve found myself engrossed in a series of books. Which is fine with me because I get to read more about the characters I’ve already connected with and see an author expand on their universe. There are several authors who have written a series that has a special place in my heart and impacted my own writing. I could read them again and again. So, here we go with a count down for My Top 5 Inspiring Book Series Authors.

Number 5 is C.S. Lewis for his Chronicles of Narnia series.

Monochrome head-and-left-shoulder photo portrait of 50-year-old Lewis

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I’ve grown up with these books and enjoyed rereading them on several occasions. I love the characters, especially Lucy and Eustice. But all of the characters are so wonderful. And I enjoy the British accent I can easily slip into if I read it out loud. But I also just love the way these books connect to my life as a Christian and getting to see the themes of Christianity woven throughout the seven books. I especially love the way Lewis describes what heaven is like in the last book. In any case, I could reread this series at the drop of a hat and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. And I hope that in my own work my beliefs will come through just as they did for Lewis.

Number 4 is Brian Jacques for his Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series.

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I didn’t discover this series until I was older, in high school I believe. I had read one or two of Jacques’s other books about the mice. But I never got caught up into that series. However, with Castaways I couldn’t help myself, these books were full of adventure, excitement, a boy and dog going on amazing adventures and joking with each other along the way. I’ve reread them, especially my favorite parts over and over and it has influenced my own writing as well. It’ll always have a place on my bookshelf and I hope that my own writing is just as full of adventure.

Number 3 is Rick Riordan for his Percy Jackson series.

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I didn’t hear about this series till I was in college, but as I saw the kids I helped with at a middle school reading them, I was intrigued. Riordan has a comedic style of writing that keeps his audience giggling, yet he also comes up with the most fantastic adventures. He’s continued his writing with several other series, though I haven’t read them all. Percy will be a classic for me and I hope to reread the series sometime soon and perhaps learn something new from Riordan’s style of writing and incorporate it into my own.

Number 2 is John Flanagan for his Rangers Apprentice series.

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Another great series that I was not aware of till after college, I quickly became a fan and read all twelve books in one summer. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting the author and it was a great experience. In any case, all of these books are enjoyable to me and the characters’ development are so well done. Though I may have written them a bit differently if I was the author, I cannot help but be impressed and hope that my own writing and character development may eventually be just as good.

And finally number 1 is Michael and Jeff Shaara for their Civil War series.

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In contrast to all of the other books I’ve mentioned these are meant for adults and would not be categorized as youth fiction. All of Shaara’s books are historical fiction. But boy can these guys bring the past to life. History books have nothing on these fantastic novels. I started with Michael’s “The Killer Angels” and soon got wrapped up in the prequel and sequel that Jeff wrote. And since then I’ve read every single book that Jeff Shaara has written. I’m currently reading “The Fateful Lightning” and it’s just as good. Though the style may not be what I’m going for in my own writing, I hope to become better at researching for my own books and bring some realism to my own work.

Looking back at this list of authors gives me much encouragement. Many of these authors have inspired movies and although the quality of the movies may not compare to the original writing, it is still impressive to me. I hope one day my own books will inspire other authors just as these ones have inspired me to write.

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The Ranger’s Apprentice

The Ruins of Gorlan

So now that it’s summer, I’ve gotten to spend some time reading a new young adult fiction series. Since these are the types of books I like writing, it’s always good to keep reading them too… plus it’s really fun. This summer I’ve started reading the Ranger’s Apprentice series. There are 12 books in all, and I’m about halfway through, still reading book 7 currently.

I’ve now fallen for all the characters and each new book has me engrossed in the adventures and bantering of characters throughout the story. The one thing that has confused, or bugged me about this series, is when the author ends a book. Several of the books end without a real climax, and the next book must be read in order to finish the founding plot. This has happened in several of the books, where it seems like it would have made more sense to make one longer book than two shorter books that straddle the same overarching story. I still love the books, but I think John Flanagan could have made some wiser choices about when to end his books.

Otherwise I love the books! I especially love the relationship between Halt and Will. Their bond grows steadily throughout the series and starts to look more and more like a father son relationship, than a teacher student one. Which is all the more heart throbbing when we know that Will is an orphan and has never had a real father, and Halt has never been married and so has never had children.

I might write another blog post about this series in the future, but for now, if you happen to be in the lazy days of summer and need something to read, this is a good series to get into. I highly recommend it. It has action, adventure, good characters, funny moments, intrigue and a little dash of romance too.

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