callistahogan: (Default)
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I have not, as of yet, stopped being friends with a person just because they share different political views from myself. There have some situations where I felt uncomfortable in a friendship, and perhaps didn't talk with them for a period of time to calm my temper, but never have I ended up leaving a friendship because of differences in political views. I find that speaking calmly and rationally about issues makes me understand more clearly where other people are coming from, and for that reason, I enjoy hearing about people's opinions that are different from my own.

This fact is of course helped by me being an Independent. To be honest -- as I've said numerous times before -- the whole liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republic battle is pointless. If anything, they are the ones tearing apart our nation together, not the ideals that the two hold. I feel that there is a compromise on every major political issue out there, from abortion to gay marriage to the health care debate (that I have admittedly not been following). If we could only reach across the aisle and talk through our issues, not getting offended when people say something we don't agree with, then we might actually get somewhere.

I illustrate this point. Just a year and a half ago, I was the most conservative Christian Republican you can imagine. I was a creationist. I was pro-life, anti-gay marriage, and staunchly in favor of John McCain for the presidency. Now, at fifteen, there are only two of those views I still hold and those are the facts that I am a Christian and a creationist. Everything else has been -- and will still be -- changing. I am no longer the naive Republican. In some ways, I am still naive and ignorant about many things in the world, but I realize that. I realize that there are things I need to learn more about, things that I don't have the whole story on. I also realize that Republicans and Democrats both have views on these issues, and both of them have good points and bad points.

That is exactly why I am an Independent. Not only do I think that the polarization in the government is tearing our country apart at the seams, but that it can be changed if people would just listen to what other people have to say. Republicans have pertinent words to say about abortion, homosexuality, religion, and health care, if we would just listen. Democrats have pertinent words to say about abortion, homosexuality, religion and health care, if we would just listen. If we would just listen to each other and find out a compromise, then maybe our country wouldn't be losing respect everywhere.

What did George Washington and the other 55 delegates do at the Constitutional Convention when they disagreed? They didn't force the other side to acquiesce to their demands. No, they compromised. When the larger states like Virginia wanted Congress representatives according to population, and the smaller states wanted everyone to be equal, what did they do? They penned the Great Compromise: the House of Representatives has representatives according to population, while the Senate has equal representatives for each state. Neither of them got their way -- not entirely -- but they got what they wanted, didn't they?

Take the Three-Fifths Compromise as well. While the very idea of something like that actually being in our Constitution at one point makes me sick, they compromised on that issue. Neither of them made the other side agree to their demands, instead compromising and creating a solution that makes everyone happy.

Compromise worked back then, so who's to say it won't work now? Nothing. It would work, but people are so locked into their views that they can't bother looking outside their own little box. I am guilty of that, but I am trying as hard as I can to see other peoples' viewpoints. That is what I feel being an Independent allows me to do: to become an observer, an outsider, reading and hearing about the two parties and their viewpoints and forming my own, independent opinion.

This is just a very long winded way of saying that: no, I have never stopped being friends with a person just because they have different political views than I do, and I probably never will. As a writer, after all, I relish in the idea of seeing all sides of an issue and putting my own spin on it. The only possible way I would stop being friends with a person because of their political views would be if they were an unashamed racist, for example, or if they supported something heinous like partial-birth abortion.
callistahogan: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]At first thought, I would say Order of the Phoenix. This seems to be a book not many other people really enjoyed, but it was one of those books I could not put down. Harry might be argumentative and surly, but can you blame him? After all, he's a teenager who has lost everyone close to him, fights an evil lord on a now-yearly basis, and on top of that, he finds out at the end of the book that he is the only one who can save the world from aforementioned evil lord. I think he has a right to be a bit argumentative and surly. Let's face it: Harry was written realistically. The entire book just gripped me from start to finish; the first time I read it, I finished it in eight hours.

Oh, and I am a staunch "Sirius lives" conspiracy theorist. :D

callistahogan: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Honestly, no. There have been moments where I have doubted Christianity, but never in a "Let's look at other religions and see if they make more sense" way. To me, Christianity just  seems to make the most sense, and I have seen God working through me and others. There are just moments where I lose sight of God for a moment, and I am ashamed of that, because I want to be more dedicated, but... I dunno. I just have to pray for God's guidance, I guess.
callistahogan: (Heart Icon)
[Error: unknown template qotd] This is a very sensitive topic for me, because the answer is most definitely yes. I'm not proud of this fact, but I have tried to change myself to stay in a relationship. It was more than a year ago now, but I still remember. I will never forget, and I am not proud of it.

I tried to push my faith in the background. I tried to always agree with the person I loved (did I love him? It's hard to tell, now. I like to believe I did), for fear of hurting him. I walked on eggshells, and ended up succumbing and making him happy, instead of making me happy.

Needless to say, it didn't work -- and the way that particular relationship ended still haunts me to this day.
callistahogan: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd] Top 10 Books (though not in this order; I can't choose one fav. book):

1. Red: Teenage Girls in America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today by Amy Goldwasser
2. All the Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear
3. Set This House In Order by Matt Ruff
4. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
5. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
6. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
7. Possession by A. S. Byatt
8. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
9. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
10. Mere Christianity by C. S.  Lewis

Mind, this is just a tentative list. There are a few more books I'm reading, and they might sneak onto this list. (Am thinking The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson might sneak in there.)

Ugh, I need more list ideas, 'cause books is just... so expected. Anyone have other ideas?
callistahogan: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Oh, boy.

Since I grew up in a fairly conservative home, the only books forbidden to me were, ironically, the books that made me so dedicated to becoming an author: Harry Potter. My mother and father were rather anti-Harry for a while there, but my mother moreso than my dad was. They thought it promoted witchcraft, instilled false values, blah blah blah.

Considering I was my parents' little girl, I agreed with them. In fact, I remember an incident in third grade where parents had to sign a slip giving the teachers permission to show PG movies (that whale movie, Harry Potter), and I believe I was the only one whose parents refused to sign the slip purely because of the mention of Harry Potter on the list. Apparently they didn't want me watching it because of the wizardry, as typical.

Of course, my sister, River, had already read the Harry Potter books and enjoyed them. For a few years, I refused to read them because of my parents' reactions to them, but then in either... fourth or fifth grade, I think, I succumbed and read the first five.

I enjoyed them, as is obvious, but my mother threw a fit.  My dad was all right with it (he thought that as long as I didn't go off the deep end and think it was fact, reading them was fine), but wow, my mother was angry. She went all "Harry Potter promotes witchcraft and you should not be reading it" on me, ignoring her endorsements or at least indifference to books such as the LoTR series and the Narnia chronicles. I distinctly remember lying in bed in my room, hearing my mom rail on and on about Harry Potter, and me screeching that Harry Potter wasn't the only books that had witchcraft in it and that she had no problems whatsoever with me reading the Narnia series.

She eventually stopped pestering me about it, but she refused to read any of my fanfic. The only time I gave it to her, she ended up throwing it out at the slightest mention of witchcraft. Needless to say, I never gave  her another fanfic again.

However, it's kind of funny, because without Harry Potter entering my life, the best things wouldn't have either. If I hadn't gotten acquainted with the Harry Potter fandom at such a young age and become part of a group that loved both Harry Potter and writing, then my writing would be a lot worse than it is now. I wouldn't have even considered being an author beyond a vague muttering in the back of my head every once in a while. But Harry Potter restored the love of writing to me after I wrote that first Harry/Ginny fanfic, way back when I was nine or ten.

Since then, I've been writing nonstop, pursuing my dream of becoming an author. Isn't it funny how the one thing forbidden to you can end up being one of the best things that's ever happened to you? I find it so. :)

(And yes, this thing was long-winded. Sorry 'bout that, just had a lot to say.)
callistahogan: (Book Addict)
[Error: unknown template qotd] Wow, I think the person who thought up this prompt would probably get a lot more than they bargained for if they came across my post—when it comes to certain topics, like this one, I can ramble on and on and on and on... especially when there are like three things to respond to in just this one post.

First of all, reading is important to me in a lot of ways. For me, it's an escape, a way to get rid of the pressures of the daily world we live in and just walk into another world, enjoying journeys and adventures of people that we don't know, but might get to know if we only choose to open up that book and open your mind as well. It's a way of learning more about the world you live in. You learn more about the human experience; the best books teach you something you don't already know, or put something you do know into more concise words than you could do it yourself.

Reading is something I've been doing for a long time, and the older I get, the more I enjoy it. When I was younger, I only enjoyed books because of the adventure. As I get older, though, and have more experience under my belt, I relate to events. I see what's happening through new eyes. I look at the words the author uses and remark on its fluidity. I read books first and foremost for enjoyment, but reading is so much more than that for me.

It's a way to let go. People don't understand why I like reading so much. I like it because it's more than just words on a page. It's a separate life, a separate world that I can step into whenever I please and leave my old self behind.

And when I read a book I like, I contemplate how much I like it. And then wonder what will happen when I get my book published. I want someone to have the same feeling about my book that I had about... well, Harry Potter, for example. Or Twilight. Or The Host. Or The Other Boleyn Girl. I want to write a book that people automatically want to go out and buy, if they haven't already. I want to be an author because I want to impact someone's life for the better.

And I like authors because they do that. I want to be just like them.

But I digress, since this is getting long enough. As for the book I'm reading now, I'm currently making my way through His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik. It's very good so far, but I'm not reading through it as quickly as I thought I would, probably because of my upcoming skit (that's something that's been taking over my thoughts lately). I'll probably have it done by Monday at the latest. That means I won't finish fifty books by the end of September, but by October ... fifth, I'll probably have reached my goal.

And for books I'd recommend, here's a short list of books that I enjoy:

Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer
His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Set This House In Order by Matt Ruff
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
World Without End by Ken Follett
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

The list goes on and on and on from there. If you read through my LJ, you'll probably find some more recommended books, or if you don't want to go through all that trouble (my tags are all messed up and I don't feel like fixing them), then I'll probably be able to put together a bigger list.

But for now, let's cut this ... not short, because this will probably take up half of someone's friend-list as it is! :-D

(I have to admit, I have a tendency to ramble. What, you hadn't noticed? ;))


callistahogan: (Default)

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