Little by little

“Little by little, one travels far.” J.R.R. Tolkien Berry College has begun to feel like home. I can’t point to a specific day on the calendar that this realization happened. It was more of a slow awareness of my comfort with this place. That’s good, because I’m planning on being here for a while. There are so many things that have made my transition to college a happy one. The football team played their first game ever in the new stadium. Thomas Lux visited the Chapel to read some of his poetry. The eagles are flying around and getting their nest ready. Fall is a busy season, and I love it! And on top of everything, the final book in the Brenwyd Legacy was finally published. This has existed in my head for so long; what a relief to hold the story in my hands! I honestly don’t go back and read it that much. But a published book is a published book, and I’m sure every other author looks at their own pages with pride at least sometimes. “May this blade always be wielded for the cause of truth and righteousness.” I won’t spoil anything. You’ll have to read Finding Freedom to get the details for that quote. But that little bit of encouragement caught my eye this week. The journey of life is such a process! And so much of it seems to be little details that only become important in retrospect. Someday, somehow, all of these hours spent in stables and lecture halls will turn into a veterinarian career. At least, that’s my plan. Wherever I...

Brenwyd Legacy Blog: My journey to Camelot and back…

Hello, again! It started out as a feeling Which then grew into a hope Which then turned into a quiet thought Which then turned into a quiet word… (“The Call” by Regina Spektor in Narnia: Prince Caspian) I’m still surprised that the meandering story I started telling my sister five years ago has grown into such a real thing. It’s not just a published book. It’s an entire series! Cassie has been through a lot (as the creator and author of the Brenwyd Legacy, I suppose that’s somewhat my fault). She has discovered more about her identity and destiny, and it has been such a privilege to be along for the ride. Adventures have a beginning, and they have some sort of ending. The final book in the series, Finding Freedom, will be released on September 22. This passage from “reader” to “writer” has been an enlightening one. People who existed only in my imagination became real, complete with a cover and illustrations. The adventure has been shared. Maybe there’s someone else out there who likes horses and history. Maybe she’s trying to figure out how an ordinary person can live an extraordinary destiny. I’m hoping Cassie’s journey to Camelot and back gives someone else out there the encouragement to ponder deep questions and trust God. Above all, don’t lose hope. Sometimes, a chapter has to be started over. But eventually the words flow and the characters figure out what to do. Sometimes, dreams seem impossibly far away. But eventually you graduate from high school and go off to college. It’s been thrilling to discover the layers of Cassie...

Brenwyd Legacy Blog: Four tips for other young writers

Hi! I was fourteen years old when I started writing the stories that became the Brenwyd Legacy. In the years since then, I’ve written (and deleted) millions of words… and learned a lot in the process. Hopefully there’s someone out there who can benefit from these writing tips!   “Before you can create good writing, you need to learn what it looks like.”   – Geoff Rodkey Read. A lot. My mom read The Chronicles of Narnia to my sister and me throughout our childhood. C.S. Lewis introduced me to the possibility of mixing characters from my own world with a world of fantasy and legends. I write the kind of books that I like to read. Find the stories that really speak to you!   “What you write becomes who you are… So make sure you love what you write!” – J.K. Rowling You can’t fake it. Researching a person or place is necessary, but the story will only work if you’re truly writing about what you know and are passionate about. The Brenwyd Legacy was an opportunity to explore what already interested me. I could not write stories without some sort of animal interaction. I’ve been in horse barns since I was a baby; I got my first pony at age eight. So it was easy and natural to use riding terms.     “There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” – Beatrix Potter   Plan ahead…but allow surprises! Some characters introduced themselves and I simply let them proceed as they needed. But I...

Coming Soon! Book 3: “Finding Freedom” by Rosemary Groux

Coming Soon! Book 3: “Finding Freedom” by Rosemary Groux Cassie’s parents remain trapped at the Brotherhood’s castle in the present day, but she and her friends are stuck fifteen hundred years in the past – and they now seek to free hundreds of Brenwyd prisoners from that very same ancient castle. An epic battle ensues in the final book of the Brenwyd Legacy trilogy, going beyond the physical with spiritual forces at work on both sides. Much is at stake: the vast treasure store of King Arthur, the personal safety of Cassie and those she holds dear, and the future of all Brenwyds to exist peacefully among other humans. Cassie has not forgotten the prophecy foretelling her role in the conflict between Brenwyds and their enemies. But with each new challenge that arises, she wonders… Can an ordinary girl like her live up to such an extraordinary...

We all roll like Martha

Hi. This year is all about change. I’ve moved from Virginia to Georgia to continue the lifelong dream of becoming a vet. I want to remember every step of this journey. Berry College is my home for the next four years. I’ve never spent this much time away from my hometown before, but it’s been an incredible experience so far. And this is only the beginning! All of us first-year students went through Viking Venture. This is Berry’s way of welcoming us with an exciting, chaotic hug. I went through Orientation earlier this summer, but this week was completely different. There were a lot of sessions, but there was also a lot of fun. We had a giant slip-and-slide, a scavenger hunt all around campus, board games…and this: I’m in the Berry “B” with the Class of 2019! There’s no way I’ll ever know everyone here. But it’s wonderful to meet so many people excited about college. We are all Vikings, after all. And I’ve learned so much about Martha Berry, the woman who started this amazing place 100 years ago. It all began when some kids stumbled upon her cabin in the woods, which she used as a haven for reading and writing. They didn’t know about reading or basic Bible stories or anything, so she started teaching them. That turned into a school, and that eventually turned into Berry College. The technicalities are more complicated than that, but there’s the brief history of my current home. I wonder if Martha knew how far her vision would reach. Here I am, finally taking classes like Introduction to Animal...
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