I was tagged by Heather Fitzgerald, a soon-to-be-published YA Fantasy author(!) to a game of “trivial pursuit.” The way it worked out with my already-scheduled posts, this post will fall two days after my 20th birthday which I thought was apropos.
Pen Name: when I was 11 or 12, I took to signing my name “Emily J. Shiflet” because I thought it sounded very author-like (the ‘J’ stands for ‘Jordan’) and if I ever published a book (as a single woman!) that’s the pen name I would use.
Age: 20 as of two days ago!
Food: I enjoy many different types of food and will try most anything that’s not (A.) Asian or (B.) spicy. I never grow tired of tacos, fajitas, quesadillas, beef roast, fried crawfish tails, mama’s spontaneous soups, my brother’s grilled hamburgers or pork chops with daddy’s homemade gravy. I could also easily make a meal on fried okra or fried and stuffed avocado.
Drink: homemade or Starbucks Frappechinos! Southern-Sweet iced tea. Both hot and iced herbal teas. An occasional Coke or Root Beer (I’ve never been a fan of carbonation and didn’t finish my first soda until I was nearly 18 but I’m coming around–or “losing it”, depending on who you ask, haha.)
the Bible–the “greatest story ever told”.
the 2nd London Baptist Confession of 1689
The Hand of God by Alistair Begg, Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield, Adopted For Life by Russell Moore, Prodigal God by Tim Keller, Reading Between the Lines by Gene Edward Veith, God at Work by Gene Edward Veith, Story Craft: Reflection on Faith, Culture and Writing by John R. Erickson, Telling the Truth: the Gospel as Comedy, Tragedy and Fairy Tale by Frederick Buechner, God the the Fairy Tale by Jim Ware, The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer, The God Who is There by Frances Schaeffer, Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung, The Consequences of Ideas by R. C. Sproul etc. etc.
The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien, Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, The Wingfeather Sagas by Andrew Peterson, The Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin, classic fairy tales in general, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in 80 Days, and Journey to the Center of the earth by Jules Verne, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (and Mark Twain in General ❤ ), the Hank the Cowdog series by John R. Erickson, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, Macbeth and Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, and a bunch of other classics. I could go on forever…this is a book review blog, after all. 😉
Movies: The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, the Bourne Trilogy, October Baby, Secondhand Lions, Saving Mr. Banks, Monument Men, The Village, Babette’s Feast, the Toy Story Trilogy, Lion King, The Incredibles, Bug’s Life, Up, Monster Inc., the Dark Knight (Batman) trilogy, the Spiderman movies, almost all of the Marvel superhero movies…
TV Shows: Sherlock, Sherlock, Sherlock, oh, did I mention Sherlock? I guess I did. 😛 Also Downton Abbey, The Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy, and Rifleman.
Singers/Bands: Andrew Peterson, Peter Hollens, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Tim McGraw, The Statler Brothers, The Church Sisters, Alabama, Dixie Chicks, Alison Krauss, old country such as Hank Williams, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash etc, etc. I also have sampled and come to enjoy some Switchfoot, Mumford and Sons, and Shai Linne this last year. My favorite genres are country, Celtic, classical, and folk in general. I love to try out new music and expand my tastes.
Place: Scotland, Ireland, England, Russia, Texas(!), Australia, “Middle Zealand”. Truth is, I’d travel anywhere (and everywhere) if given the chance despite the chronic map de pays I have anytime I leave home. I’m a Hobbit at heart who loves hearth and home but has a bothersome Took side that craves new places and adventure.
Subject: Writing, reading, mythology, and literature–obviously. I also love theology, philosophy, horticulture, and history, and dabble in science, especially genetics, taxonomy, and cryptozoology (the study of legendary creatures that may have actually existed and some that may even still exist–see the tie-in with literature and mythology yet?)
Sport: tennis, volleyball, badminton–anything involving a large net between teams. 😉 I used to play soccer too.
Actor/actress: Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Maggie Smith a.k.a. Lady Grantham (as a side note, I admire these individual’s acting abilities and adore the characters they bring to life, but am not necessarily impressed with them off-screen.)
School: went to government-school kindergarten in the small-town of Hillsboro. Then I was homeschooled the following year and never looked back. Graduated in ’13.
Political views: third-party-voting conservative (on the occasion when extraordinarily bad candidates require me to not align myself even with the Republican Party).
Religious view: Reformed Baptist
Piercing: One per ear.
Languages: decidedly Texan y’all, though occasionally British English. I have (briefly) attempted to learn Spanish, Italian, Russian, ASL, and Koine Greek but didn’t stick with most of them for more than a couple months. I started learning Koine Greek when I was 16, pursuing it in short burst over the last four years, but I plan to begin serious study next Spring. I learned a good bit of Russian when my parents adopted my two middle siblings from Russia in ’08 and my brother and I traveled with them on the two trips (a total of three weeks in Russia). I can still read most of the Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet and recognize and say several words in Russian which makes me happy.
Reason Behind Blog Name: the title is taken from my essay by the same name (see tabs above). The idea behind it is that we are living in the shadow of another world–a world that grows closer every day and will eventually be seamlessly combined with our own in the new creation–that is, Heaven, the dwelling place of God, residing among men once again. The shadow is looming larger whether the world recognizes it or not.
To live in Heaven’s Shadow is to be caught between what is and what is to come, it’s to live in the terrible birth pangs of the “not yet” but see the blessed hope on the horizon. Everything has to be interpreted by and understood in terms of the kingdom that is both here and coming. It’s the most important reality and it changes how we look at everything else.
Why I Blog: Stories are the air I breathe–it’s how I see the world. Analyzing literature and films is not something I have to think about doing, I just do it automatically–like adding sugar in tea. What other way would you drink it?
Over time I have found that many in my church family are interested in my analysises: young people puzzled by a book or film or wondering whether it’s worth their time and busy moms who’d like a source they could trust for the books they are unable to pre-read for their children.
That’s what prompted the idea for his blog. I write reviews because I love the dialogue, I love the feedback. I write reviews because I love stories, because I think they are the greatest reflections of our theology and worldview, because I believe they have the power to change us for good or ill and because I’m love with the Greatest Story Ever Told, the story behind all the stories, the story that makes our little stories worth telling.
If you have any other questions, let me know!