October Goals Wrap-Up and November Goals

It’s hard to believe October is already over. Here’s how I did on my goals for the month.

October Goals photo

1. Have at least two voice lessons.

Accomplished! In light of my career decision I’m going to try to continue having them, but probably more like once a month.

2. Go to barre class at least twice.

I went zero times. Womp womp. I suck at motivating myself to work out… anyone have any tips for me?

3. Learn all my recitatives in Don Giovanni.

I managed to get most of them learned (and some memorized), but I didn’t quite finish by the end of the month. I’m okay with that though. There’s still plenty of time.

4. Save at least $300.

Accomplished! I picked up a sub gig at a church on a Sunday afternoon, so I was able to use part of that paycheck to meet this goal.

5. Finish That Hideous Strength and read another book in its entirety.

As you know from my mid-month check-in, I actually already accomplished this. So I went ahead and read ANOTHER book in its entirety: Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford. I’ll be posting a review of it soon.

And as for my November goals…

1. Clean my house thoroughly, one room at a time.

It looks like T and I will be hosting at least one Christmas this year (we participate in about five Christmases over two days), so I want to get our place to a party-presentable state.

2. Get cast from one of my auditions this month.

I’m auditioning for five different shows (seriously) over the course of November and the first week of December, and I’m really hoping to get cast in at least one of them. I would have to choose just one anyway because they all perform at the same time, but I would really like to do a show this spring.

3. Save another $300.

Pretty straightforward. We need to get on this whole saving-for-a-house-and-kids thing, so the more I can contribute, the better.

4. Finish learning music for Don Giovanni.

I probably won’t quite make this one, but I can try. The good news is, I already know most of Act 1 and my Act 2 aria, so really it’s just the big ensembles.

 5. Plan a January retreat for my church choir.

Now that I’m taking over church choir starting this week and I can run things my way (mua-ha-ha!), I really want to take them on a one-day mini-retreat on a Saturday in January to start working on music for the spring, particularly Holy Week and Easter. I would love to get this on the calendar and planned by the end of November, before things get absolutely insane during Advent.

How did you end up doing on your October goals? And what’s on your short list for November?

October Goals: Mid-Month Check-In

At the beginning of this month I set some goals for myself. It’s now halfway through the month (can you believe it?!), so let’s check in to see how I’m doing.

October Goals photo

1. Have at least two voice lessons.

I’ve had one so far, and I have another one tomorrow. Success!

2. Go to barre class at least twice.

I haven’t even gone once. Womp womp. Guess I have some catching up to do in the next couple of weeks. I’m determined to call today and reserve my spot for tomorrow’s class so I’m forced to go.

3. Learn all my recitatives in Don Giovanni.

I’m about halfway there (almost done with Act 1 of 2), so I’m on track to accomplish this one by the end of the month. Huzzah!

4. Save at least $300.

This one isn’t going so well. I had excellent intentions at the beginning of the month, and I even transferred $150 from my paycheck for the first half of the month into savings, but I had some unforeseen expenses, i.e. Blue Shield being one giant idiot, so I’ve only managed to save $225. Hopefully I can do more next month.

5. Finish That Hideous Strength and read another book in its entirety.

I finished That Hideous Strength and reviewed it, and I also read #GIRLBOSS in its entirety and reviewed it as well. Now I’m reading Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford.

I think I’ve done pretty well so far. How are you doing on your monthly goals?

C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy (a.k.a. His OTHER Fictional Series)

Everyone has heard of The Chronicles of Narnia. Many of you probably read them as children (or maybe even as adults). If you grew up in a Christian environment (or maybe even if you didn’t), you also know that C. S. Lewis is considered one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century, and you can probably list several of his philosophical writings, including Mere ChristianityThe Great DivorceThe Screwtape LettersThe Four LovesThe Problem of Pain, and more.

As it turns out, Lewis also wrote a second fictional series: the Space Trilogy. Comprised of the books Out of the Silent PlanetPerelandra, and That Hideous Strength, the series details the adventures of Dr. Ransom, a British professor who travels through time and space and experiences previously unexplored theological ideas.

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The trilogy begins with Out of the Silent Planet, in which Dr. Ransom is captured and drugged by two scientists and taken on their spaceship to the planet Malacandra, which turns out to be Mars. Upon arriving on Malacandra and escaping from his captors, Ransom meets and befriends three entirely alien species, learns their languages, and lives among them. The book ends with the introduction of the heavenly spirits, or eldila, that will come to dictate many of the events in the second and third books.

This was my favorite book out of the three. It’s simple, charming, and easy to follow, and while there was some religious allegory in it (it is C. S. Lewis, after all), it isn’t so dense that you lose track of the story. Of the three, it’s definitely the most alike to the Narnia books in tone and readability.

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Perelandra takes a completely different approach. This time, Ransom travels alone to Perelandra, more commonly known as Venus, and discovers a planet with an unfallen human race. A significant portion of the book is devoted to lots of philosophical musing, either between characters or as Lewis’s own narrative. It can be difficult to follow, which will come as no surprise if you’ve ever read any of Lewis’s nonfiction books, and when I read this book by itself in high school, I had a hard time understanding it. However, it asks an interesting question: what if there is a race on another planet that remains unfallen from God?

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The third book in the trilogy, That Hideous Strength, is much longer than either of the previous two… in fact, it’s about the length of the others combined. Instead of focusing on Dr. Ransom, this book is centered around a young British couple who are being torn in different directions and forced to choose sides in the battle between the Christian faith and science gone wrong.

To tell the truth, I had a bit of trouble getting through this book at times. I generally think the world of C. S. Lewis’s writing, but this one wasn’t always paced evenly. There are sections with tons of action and other sections with long speeches by characters or by Lewis himself, like in Perelandra. It only gets really exciting in the final third of the book, which probably explains why T got about halfway through and then quit. For me though, it was worth working my way through the first two thirds to get to the end, which was where most of the action happened, as well as some extremely significant scenes of faith.

Overall, I recommend the Space Trilogy to a) avid readers who have a particular fondness for science fiction and/or philosophy, and b) Christians who appreciate the other writings of C. S. Lewis. However, if you’re looking to introduce your kids (or friends) to Lewis as well as broad religious metaphors, I would stick to The Chronicles of Narnia.

Have you ever read the Space Trilogy? What did you think of it?

October Goals

Nicole at Treasure Tromp is so good about setting monthly goals for herself and then checking in with herself to see how she did. I want to give this a shot for myself. So, here goes!

October Goals photo

1. Have at least two voice lessons.

I haven’t had a voice lesson since I got back from Germany, and my voice is a little bit of a mess right now. I’m having one on Friday and it can’t come fast enough, especially with a lot of auditions around the corner.

2. Go to barre class at least twice.

Exercise is another thing I’m really bad about doing consistently. I can’t focus through an entire yoga class, and I’m not strong enough for Pilates or flexible enough for ballet, but this is a combination of all three, so I can find ways to be successful.

3. Learn all my recitatives in Don Giovanni.

Next spring I’ll (tentatively) be singing Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with a small company here in San Jose, and I need to start working on the role. A great first step would be to have all my recits (sections of singing that are more like speech and less melodic) learned and memorized by the end of the month.

4. Save at least $300.

Now that I’m back from Germany and working consistent hours again, I should be getting a full paycheck tomorrow. T and I are starting to think a lot more seriously about what the next couple of years will look like regarding home buying, so I want to contribute to our savings every month.

5. Finish the book I’m currently reading, That Hideous Strength, and read another book in its entirety.

That Hideous Strength is the third book in C. S. Lewis’s space trilogy. I plan on posting a review of the entire trilogy when I finish this one, and then I’d like to read a whole other book by the end of the month.

So there you have them, my goals for October! I plan on checking in about halfway through the month to let you know how I’m doing. Will you share your goals for the month?