Okay, I know I'm not the only person here who quotes movies/books/songs on an almost-daily basis. It's amazing how relevant How to Train Your Dragon is to everyday life. (And who can forget Ever After, and the grossly under-quoted line "Of course not, Mother. I'm only here for the food.") But there's that one song from Disney's Tarzan that says "In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn." And boy, is it correct.
In my quest to bring historical accuracy to my writings, I've learned a lot of things. Vikings ate beets, for one, and extended families lived together in longhouses with zero privacy. They wore their swords on their backs and their axes at their waist, opposite of how they're commonly portrayed now. And no, they didn't wear horns on their helmets.
Characters can never be smarter than their authors. And so, short of learning Hebrew, Greek, and Latin like Lukas or mastering Alynn's drop spindle, I've done a good amount of studying. Oh, you should have seen me with that pocket-sized Latin dictionary, scouring the grammar section as if every Classical Conversations graduate in the world were going to be critiquing my verb tenses. Latin's not dead, dear readers! It's the official language of the Vatican.
But the best things that are learned can't be learned from a book. It's when God takes something and reveals it to you in a whole new light. He showed me the love that prompted Rowan to save his daughter, not caring that it cost him everything, and said, "I love you more than that." It was taking a villain and saying, "Even if this person were to come to me while they lie dying, I would receive them." It was comparing sin to a thief, who when unmasked was nothing more than a slave serving their master, a slave both desiring and fearing freedom. It was the adoption that welcomed strangers with open arms.
My prayer is that God will take Where the Clouds Catch Fire, and the four sequels I have planned for it, and teach you more about Himself. What's the most valuable gem of knowledge you've learned from an unlikely source? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! God bless you, dear reader, and have an absolutely wonderful day!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.