Miss Alexandrina

The thinking-space of a not-quite novelist

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Quick Takes Friday: 7 Ways To Be More Like Jesus This Advent

Okay, it’s not quite not quite Advent, but I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and things I may do during this year’s Advent to better follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Of course, these are only some suggestions, of which there are many more to do.



Pray more earnestly. It’s easy to get into the routine of thanks, praise, intercession, confession, and petition, where one forgets to really connect with God whilst praying. Mix up the time in the day in which you pray, and the styles of prayer you use – praying over The Bible, reflecting on your week, using a chant or singing, etc.


Give your time as well as your money. Of course, around Christmas everybody is giving to each other and hopefully to charity. However, especially in the winter, many charities are busier than ever, and they may need more hands. Follow Jesus’ example of putting others’ needs before your own, and volunteer some of your time to assist others where they need it most.


In the same vein, volunteer at your church. Especially in a university community like mine, we lose a lot of the community at the start of Advent, but this is actually when some of the bigger services take place, sometimes one after the other. A smaller church might be in need of (more) cooks or readers or ushers.


Abstinence for Grace. Some, most notably non-Christians, consider abstinence as being a dramatic action for believers, but abstinence actually consists of less ‘effort’ – there is no removal of food altogether, but a changing of habits, a lessening of what we take for granted, in respect to those who do not have as much. For one day a fortnight, one could fast to experience the Grace of The Lord.


Think over a passage in the Bible. I love Lectio Divina, the practice of reading a passage in the Bible several times and seeing if any words or phrases are calling to you. As well as inspiring in us a sense of peace, Lectio Divina helps us concentrate more on the message and feeling of the Word than simply reading it.


Share a compliment with someone you wouldn’t normally. Because Advent is about doing something beyond the typical that we do the rest of the year, it might be worth sharing God’s Love with a stranger or a colleague one doesn’t normally speak to. Give them a positive something to lighten their day. These spiritual habits are great to make, and what better way to start than Advent?


Spend more time with the ones you love. In the rush of daily, it’s easy to forget about those we spend every day with, like our friends, colleagues, housemates, and family. This might sound easy to spend more time with them, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to overlook the ones we love the most. This Advent, take a second to remind them how blessed you are that God has guided you together.

Blessings, have a lovely weekend.

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10 Reasons I’m Thankful For Blogging

Alexandrina Brant:

In which Engie explains why she is thankful for blogging. I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving, but I have a lot of American friends and love this fun holiday.

Originally posted on Musings From Neville's Navel:


Instead of my usual “I’m thankful for my family and my health and my cat” post on this day, I thought I’d try something different! I thought I’d make a list of ten books I’m thankful for, but… apparently I did that last year! SO I’M MAKING A TOP TEN LIST OF REASONS I’M THANKFUL FOR BLOGGING.

1. It’s an easy, comfortable form of expressing myself 

I’m introverted and shy – I don’t have much to say to anyone IRL until I get to know them well. I stumble over my words, or get embarrassed and forget what I was going to say. But online my thoughts just come POURING out and I’m not nearly as awkward! (I hope!)

2. More specifically, I can fangirl! 

Blogging has given me a way to discuss my interests – especially those related to books, movies, and TV shows – that I…

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DIVIDED by Sharon M Johnston



Sharon M. Johnston

Publication Date: November 24 2015

New Adult Science Fiction Romance

A new heart should mean new life, instead it’s a living nightmare. 

Mishca Richardson’s life is at an all-time high after her heart transplant. With new boyfriend, Ryder, she has the perfect summer romance. Even the nightmares plaguing her sleep since her operation can’t dull her new dream world. Yet, life starts to unravel when Mishca develops superhuman abilities. She does her best to hide them so as not to end up a science experiment in a lab, but she can’t ignore the strange instant attraction she experiences when she meets her university professor, Colin Reed. Torn between love and the obsession, Mishca must decide between the two men. But as the organization responsible for her weird powers moves in, she’ll have a lot more to worry about than romance.




SOMEONE MUST DIE so I can live. I’ve come to terms with that. Before it turned my stomach, thinking about my donor’s death, but now I’m used to it. Most likely, it’ll be a car accident or a drunken fall. It won’t come from illness or any other natural causes that corrupt human organs and make the deceased ineligible to be a donor. A violent, painful death will be my savior. It’s the only way I’ll ever get my new heart.

I open my eyes and stare upward, hoping the white fluffy clouds splotched against the blue sky will distract me from my imaginings of people dying. I guess I’m not as used to the idea of getting someone else’s heart as I thought. The harsh Australian sun makes me squint.

I swing my legs around and hoist myself upright on the stadium bleacher, looking over the sports field. Readjusting my tank top strap that had slipped off my shoulder, I try to conjure up happier thoughts. At least I won’t be responsible for the person who dies, even if I get a new heart out of the mess.

Yeah, happier thoughts.



I’ve got one BIG prize bundle as part of the celebrations!

You could win:

  • Heart Marcasite Earrings
  • $10 Amazon Gift Voucher
  • Owl Christmas Decorations
  • Dinosaur Christmas Decorations
  • Owl Pen
  • Heart Pen

Author Bio:

Sharon JohnstonSHARON JOHNSTON is a New Adult author from sunny Queensland, Australia. She specializes in intriguing stories and soulful contemporaries across category boundaries. Working as a PR specialist by day, in her spare time she writes, blogs for YAtopia and Aussie Owned & Read, spends time with her fur babies, and plays computer games with her family. She’s also been trailed by women wanting to know where she buys her shoes.

Find Sharon on TWITTER and FACEBOOK and on her WEBSITE.

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Photo of the Week: Panels

Unfortunately, not much on the photo stakes this week, as I haven’t had much of a chance around my work to find subjects for photography.


Here, beads of light explode on a panelling decoration on the wall, shattering the illusion of stillness and quiet, by responding to the music around them with ever-changing colours. I tried to get a photo of the colours as the cascaded through, but managed with this as the best, yellow with hints of green. Pretty. :)

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Christ the King

We discussed Christ the King in our Word reading on Tuesday. How Christ is the bridge between this material world of our sins and God’s eternity. How he has power over death and to conquer sin.

This feast was created to combat the negativity and growing secularity after the first world war, something which resonates very much in today’s society. However – as I reblogged earlier – Catholics are not on the downfall, and there are still many Christians out there teaching about the Word. I still see, in my life, people being inspired towards God and learning about Him. We are growing by our strength of faith and community spirit.

It is also the feast of Saint Ceciliatoday, who, as patroness of musicians, I have always felt close to. God has always guided me to music, but it took me a long time to realise that he was showing me that I can use my passion and talent for singing in choral praise to Him. Looking back, it is interesting to notice how my singing habits and interests have changed over my life (for it does feel as if I have been drawn to singing my entire life). I have a much narrower focus of singing nowadays, but it is almost exclusively centred around choral music, where I feel I achieve the most. I know this is not a coincidence. God has led me here and given me the chance to sing for Him; and I will.

So, today, as well as praising and thanking God for sending His son to save us, I will also be thanking God for music in my life.

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7 Quick Takes: It’s Been a While

Or, at least, it feels that way to me. I have been so busy as I said the other day, but I’m trying to keep in order with the blog, even if I’m only doing three or four posts a week (and one is a reblog).

seven quick takes friday 2


I’m soon going to start collecting data for my Psychology dissertation project! It’s exciting. But it’s also beginning to get more I-tell-you-I-kill-you. ;) Well, private. However, if you want more information, I’d suggest reading this paper, off which we are basing our research.


I am also doing so much extra-curricula stuff that my weekday evenings are completely booked up, including the Fridays, which vary depending on the event. Same with Saturdays. Tomorrow is yet another friend’s birthday, for which I’ll jet home a bit.


I’ll say my favourite weekdays are my surrogate weekends: Monday and Tuesday. I am so blessed to have a place at the university Chaplaincy always welcome to me. As well as mass on Tuesday lunchtimes, I’m now part of the Rosary group in the evenings.


This also means my meals are changed. But with having to be on the two campuses at 5.30 on Tuesday and Thursday respectively I’m actually not too perturbed. It fits into my routine – and allows me to much a little healthier with my home-made rice and spiced veg dishes.

All is well with me, and for that I am blessed.


Celebrated one of my closest friends’ wedding at the weekend, which was an amazing and spiritually satisfying event. The service was lovely, if a little short, and God was definitely present in leading these two young people together in His plan. So I shed a couple of tears in the joy of the Lord.

And, yes, my partner and I had a good time, too. :D


Editing. Editing is going well, I think. I’m a couple of chapters away from the second round of edits on my contemporary romance short, SoS, and, apart from some spontaneous/unjustified arguing, the characters and their actions are falling into place.


I’m not going to share a snippet today, as I keep jumping around my editing, but I will share a list of the phrases I’ve recently removed from the document, fragments I remove as they are (so if they seem fractured, that is why).

Some meanie had emptied a vat of lead into where my heart was supposed to be, and the ache resonated down even to my teeth.
“Moving on…” Joel murmured to me.

, as I was now calling it
Well, I’d progress if Joel was my sounding-board. But…
Ironic – now I would’ve loved to have the ability to train myself away from donuts and back into that body.

Did you ever think?
Stop telling me to ‘chill’.
why wasn’t he replying?
I wouldn’t open my mouth.
I wasn’t over-exaggerating. Not at all.
“Never mind,” I said quickly.
I’m sorry you don’t agree.
She’d not said it back…

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Thursday Think on the Romance Genre

Alexandrina Brant:

But for some people, marriage and 2.3 children works towards this lasting relationship. It’s about relative feelings and situation – such that no relationship is like another. This post highlights that not all romance in novels has to end in marriage or commitment, though. You know – in life nowadays, there are so many different ways in and around monogamy, and it might be good to see more of those in popular fiction.

Originally posted on TRISH MARIE DAWSON:

Like what I assume are millions of other people over the last few months, I came across E! Online’s article this am about the lovely Goldie Hawn, pulled from her Porter Magazine article in June, and one of the things she talks about is her ongoing 32 year relationship with Kurt Russell. If you don’t know much about them, they still aren’t married, which is actually kind of awesome and impressive, considering this is a Hollywood couple, where dating/marriage status never seems to stay the same for long. Even us normal(ish) folks can look at a relationship such as Hawn’s and Russell’s and find it inspiring. In this interview, Goldie says about relationships:


I’ve always loved Goldie Hawn, but as she ages (beyond gracefully and beautifully, may I point out) she continues to be not only a positive influence for other women in the acting industry, but all women…

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