Spring Ishness 2019 (The End, Merlin, & Camp NaNo!)

Oh, hi! I live! *gasps of shock*

In this edition of Ishness (which accidentally became quarterly instead of monthly this time), I:

  • finished writing a book (!!)
  • survived Camp NaNo
  • saw several delightful films (including How to Train Your Dragon 3, Endgame, and BBC’s Merlin)
  • read some lovely books
  • and met some famous people! (Kinda.)
  • Also, lots of pictures at a book fair or two.

Shall we dive in? πŸ˜€

March, April, and May Ishnesses, all squished into one! (Yes, the last time I did one was for February. *cough*)


March: #WIPobsessed

I had mentioned joining in on the #WIPobsessed challenge (which is actually the latest non-review post on here; oh help), but I neglected to report back on the results of that on here. (Whoops!)

I’m excited to say that I completed my challenge of writing three hours in three days — in fact I wrote 4.5 hours/3.5K words — on KW2! It was rather fabulous and I’m so glad I hopped aboard, and grateful to Liv K. Fisher for hosting! It was also good practice for . . .

April: Camp NaNo

I participated in and won Camp NaNo! Huzzah!

I set a 10-hour goal (since I didn’t know how much I had left to write, and thought that I might finish and go on to do plotting for a different book the rest of the month — HAHAHA).

About halfway in, things weren’t looking so well . . .

But I rallied and pulled a 4+ hour day, got over 3K words in, and finished up the climactic ending chapter of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood!

Which just left a wrapup chapter or two, which is how I occupied the rest of the month . . .

I hit my 10-hour goal with about 10K words, with a couple of days to spare, and then I just kept on writing — I wrote nearly 7K over the course of the last two days and SOMETHING REALLY COOL HAPPENED.


Sometime in the area of 2:30 a.m. on the night of April 30/May 1st, I finished writing The Secret of Kedran’s Wood, which is book 2 in my contemporary fantasy series and a book I’ve been working on for OVER FIVE YEARS.

So. Yeah. That was pretty momentous. πŸ˜€

The end is a bit messy, but first drafts, you know. (We just won’t discuss the fact that it’s currently a 145K word monster. *cough*)

So then I stayed up past 3 a.m. because I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited. XD

ANYWAY. It was a lovely end to Camp NaNo, which I ended with 17K words and one completed book. ^_^

May – June: What now?

I may have also started working on a new, smaller Kedran’s Wood story and I’m doing some plotting for another book, so I totally plan to do a WIP update post and talk about my writing projects, soon! Maybe I’ll also share some snippets. πŸ˜€

Writing Totals

I wrote just shy of 25,000 words over the course of three months! Which may not sound like much to many prolific writers out there, but I’d been majorly stuck ever since NaNo ended, so it felt amazing to write so much, particularly finishing a story and starting another! (Which are the best things. ;))

Nearly all of that was Kedran’s Wood stuff, which makes me and my character Tare happy. πŸ˜€ (I mean, as much as he’s capable of being happy. You didn’t hear it from him. >.>)

I’m basically a happy writer right now!

Life Highlights

In March, for my birthday, I got to go to a homeschool convention where I got the chance to see a talk on C.S. Lewis by Douglas Gresham (and he signed my copy of The Horse and His Boy!). So that was cool, to hear Mr. Gresham give actual personal recollections on Lewis and his life!

The best part of the day was getting to visit with author friends Claire Banschbach, Mollie E. Reeder, and Gillian Bronte Adams and hang out at the Realm Makers Mobile Bookstore run by the inimitable Scott and Becky Minor. It. Was. The. Best!

*pic dump*

Realm Makers Bookstore! They travel to different events, and even have an online store.

Gillian Bronte Adams!

Busy! Friends! Books!

Becky Minor and the beautiful sign she made!

The Wingfeather mini-film is SO CUTE. I need to finish reading the series…

The Rabbit Room was there too!

Can you tell I like chocolate? *cough*

In April, I got to attend two absolutely fabulous talks by author Bryan Davis, about writing and the Hero’s Journey, and hang out with the delightful people of Lorehaven Magazine!

Bryan Davis!

E. Stephen Burnett, Lacy Rhiannon Burnett, and Marian Jacobs at the Lorehaven table!

How about Lacy’s FABULOUS hat? πŸ˜‰

I got this magazine, featuring Morgan L. Busse (author of Flight of the Raven which I just reviewed)! You can sign up for the e-magazine list at Lorehaven.com for free! They have book reviews and all kinds of speculative fiction awesomeness!

Throw in get-togethers with some other dear writer friends of times past and it’s been a happy few months. ^_^

Between March Magics, Camp NaNo in April, and a social media hiatus in May, during which I stepped back to catch up on some things like review books and my editing job, it’s been quite a time!


I actually saw four new movies in theaters over the course of three months, and that’s not something I do . . . ever. XD But it was fun!

  • How to Train Your Dragon 3 — IT WAS SO PRECIOUS. The first movie is my favorite animated one of all time, so I was really excited and nervous about this one. It was GORGEOUS and I loved it! Especially Toothless and the Light Fury, and the Hidden World, and the end. So much laughing! So many tears! But I loved it SO, SO MUCH. ❀ (Even if I kind of don’t remember/care about the actual plot part involving a villain or whatever happened. I was just here for the gorgeousness and the epic music and the CHARACTERS like the dragons and Hiccup and Astrid. But I’m that way about a lot of things. XD) TOOTHLESS IS THE BEST. It made me so happy. ^_^
  • Captain Marvel — I’d heard totally conflicting views on this, both that it was awful and that it was the best thing ever. XD So I guess it’s no surprise that it’s simply a fun movie. It’s not my favorite ever, but I quite enjoyed myself watching it, and there were a few really fun moments, particularly with young Nick Fury, and Coulson briefly, and the cat. πŸ˜› (I knew most of the spoilers before seeing it, sadly, but it was still fun.) I liked Captain Marvel herself much more in this one than in Endgame for some reason. Also the villain was neat. And it was really weird having it set in the ’90s. Like. ’80s and ’90s are historical fiction settings now? IT’S SO WEIRD.

  • Endgame — No spoilers, don’t worry! But I actually really enjoyed this one, and aside from a few quibbles (like how one character was treated and a few plot things that I didn’t like or think are stupid), I thought it was super epic. πŸ˜€ I ADORED the time-travel and the characters and I laughed a lot and cried a bunch near the end but also less than I thought based on how some people had acted. XD I did see a fair handful of spoilers online before though, so . . . meh.
  • Tolkien — I was actually determined NOT to see this one, on principle, since I was sure Tolkien would hate it. >.> But I caved and went after all. I haven’t actually sorted all my thoughts on it. I think I enjoyed it as a movie, but can’t quite reconcile it to being about my favorite author as a person. I’m a super-huge Tolkien fan and just from that and reading his works, including his letters, I feel like a lot of it just didn’t get him right. I don’t know as much about that time of his life as I could, so I can’t back up all my doubts with fact, and they did stick to the big points in his life that I did know about, but . . . I don’t know. I have really mixed thoughts. I went “really?” a lot, but I did laugh too (the spears moment. XD I really liked the actor who played his younger-younger self), and there were some good moments. Just . . . I don’t feel like it was quite right. Very gorgeous movie, though, and I loved the shadow credits at the end. (Also, for anyone who’s seen it and/or has read The Beast of Talesend: there was a TOTAL Cordelia moment! It was probably out of character but it totally made me think of Cordelia. XD)

I also saw a few other movies and shows, but the highlights were definitely:

  • Christopher Robin — I adored this one! It was the best. ^_^ I mean, it was sort of like Mary Poppins Returns, plot-wise, but better! And so funny too. XD (Also, Mycroft is the villain. XD) I loved Ewan McGregor as Christopher Robin, and how Pooh and the others from the Hundred Acre Wood felt and looked a bit more like their real selves from the original books, which I grew up on. It just made me happy. ❀
  • The Incredibles 2 — Yes, I finally saw this one! At last I have seen the Incredibles movies and caught up on the hype. XD But it was so much fun and I had a blast watching it. πŸ˜€ I just love them! Especially Dash. XD And baby Jack-Jack and the racoon! *dies laughing*

And for shows . . .

  • Merlin

I at long last started watching BBC’s Merlin! Yes, I know, I’m only a century late on this one. *cough* But since March I plowed through four whole seasons, and since I’ve heard from reliable sources that the final season gets sad, I miiight call it quits there, at least for now.

SO YES. I’ve now seen Merlin and enjoyed it tons! XD It’s not my favorite thing ever, and there were definite missed potential things, but it’s just absolute loads of fun and a total blast! πŸ˜€ Merlin and Arthur are so much fun, and Gwaine is the BEST.

Absolute best bit = the donkey ears. XD



March Magics was a bit slower of a reading month than I wanted it to be, but I still found time to read a handful of delightful Terry Pratchett and Diana Wynne Jones books!

And there are the rest of my March reads, all quite good. You can read more about all of these in this Book Ishness post!


April was a very interesting month of reading, since I read some nonfiction, a bunch of delightful sci-fi short stories, and re-read some old favorites, as well as reading a couple of new-to-me Sleeping Beauty stories. XD You can read more about these in another Book Ishness post.


In May, since I was on internet hiatus, I actually focused more on reading than usual, and plowed through the rest of my review books, as well as a couple for-fun reads, and managed to read 8 novels and 2 novellas. IT FELT AMAZING. I haven’t read so much in a very long time and it was a blast! And I caught up on review books (for the moment) which was also a glorious moment. πŸ˜€

These were all excellent as well, and you can read more about them here — which is also my 200th post on my book blog!

All in all, I’ve had a very delightful last few months of reading! And I also hit my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 50 books for the year, so that happened. πŸ˜› (A lot of them are short stories, I promise. XD)


In audiobook news, I started Cress and then promptly derailed myself on that one by listening to The Electrical Menagerie audiobook, in full, and enjoyed myself to no end! (Read my audiobook review here.)

I’m getting back to Cress this month, though!

I also re-discovered the band Red and have been listening to them ever since. πŸ˜€ I hadn’t really paid attention to them back before I started enjoying Christian Rock, but I’m really enjoying their music now! (Some songs are too metal for me, but for the most part = delightful! I may have listened to their calm, melancholy song Hymn for the Missing 876384768 times in the last few months and have zero regrets.)

May Hiatus

I neglected to share about it on this blog (whoops) but I went on a blogging and social media hiatus in May. I pulled back from the internet somewhat and focused on catching up on my editing job, beta-reading, review books, and a few blog posts ahead! It was delightful and so refreshing, as well as productive, so I feel really good about it! (I also felt like I was barely home in May so it’s just as well I didn’t need to be online much. XD)

Now that I’m back, I’m honestly a little overwhelmed but I’m trying to make it through each day. (Doesn’t help that I’m fighting off a cold as I write this.)

June Plans

  • I’m back to blogging! Hurrah! (I know I’ve only been gone for . . . forever. *cough* I’m so sorry! I’ve just been terribly busy!) I have a few posts in the works so I’m hoping to get back on something of a schedule again on both my blogs. I’m so excited!
  • It also happens to be five-ish weeks until the Realm Makers writers conference in July, and just typing that is making me hyperventilate because I’m laughably unready. *nervous laughter* But I’m so excited for it, too! So I’ll be trying to gear up for that!
  • Otherwise, June is looking to shape up to be a busy one (and is somehow already a third finished?) but hopefully will contain lots of books, blogging, editing, and maybe a smidge of writing thrown in if my characters cooperate. πŸ˜‰
  • Also, I’m trying to post every day on Instagram this month! Just because. XD So check out my account if you like. Aaall the books.
  • I’ll have to work on that writing WIP update post to introduce you guys to my next couple of works in progress!

WHEW. If you read all that, you deserve a medal, or at least a virtual cupcake. *offers you one* How’ve you been? I’ve missed you guys! Let me know what you’ve been up to in a comment — or share your thoughts on any of those movies I mentioned, or whatever strikes your fancy! Thanks for reading. ❀

23 thoughts on “Spring Ishness 2019 (The End, Merlin, & Camp NaNo!)

  1. SUPER HUGE CONGRATULATIONS on finishing The Secret of Kedran’s Wood!!! I’m so excited for you!!!

    Also, we saw all the same movies in theaters this quarter πŸ™‚ except for Tolkien, which I’ve been waffling over since I saw the trailer. Chatted with someone about it at church and he said it was pretty good, so I’d love to hear further thoughts on it from you. He also told me that there are potentially 2 more Tolkien movies in the works… one focusing more on his friendship with Lewis and one focusing more on his faith? So that could be cool. I dunno. We shall see.

    You’ve been a reading machine this year! *salutes the master*

    Also, YAY, you’re back!!!! Can’t wait to hear about your new WIPs!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!! I’m still excited. ^_^

      Aha! Movie twins! πŸ˜€ Hmm, that’s intriguing. I know those two things were what a lot of people complained about wanting to see more of. XD I can definitely provide further thoughts on Tolkien but not sure what you want to know and/or how to avoid spoilers! Drop me an email about it?

      Thanks! I’m excited to be back! πŸ˜€ And aahh, that makes me happy! I’ll look forward to telling you about them in a future post!


  2. I didn’t quibble about Endgame, either — and there were so many great moments that made up for the eh ones. White Fang cried more than I did at that one!

    Totally the same for The Hidden World! I gave myself a gag order on the ending, since I had no clue who had/hadn’t seen it yet when we went to the cinema, and that was HARD!

    CHRISTOPHER ROBIN! Oh my gosh, that was ADORABLE. The bonding between the adult Christopher and the animals, and showing him how to connect to his own daughter, and the appropriate light-heartedness of the story…when so much is so *dark* nowadays…it was SO refreshing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yesss! There were just so many great moments!

      The Hidden World was amazing! And I appreciate that — I saw The Big Spoiler for the second HTTYD online on opening day, right before I went to see it. XD

      YESSS. Christopher Robin was just such a precious movie! I’m so glad you loved it too! I liked the light-heartedness too! ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Looks like you had a very nice spring!
    Congratulations on finishing KW2!
    Where did you get the audio book of The Electrical Menagerie? I must try it!
    I’m envious that you got to meet Douglas Gresham. I love how he hosts the Narnia audio dramas, and he always has interesting things to say in interviews.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m envious about so many things in this post. XD Mainly getting to meet all kinds of cool people. And congratulations on finishing Kedran’s Wood 2! Also, the mention of a Cordelia moment in Tolkien definitely has me intrigued, LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on finishing your wip!!

    I have somehow not watched Merlin yet. I might watch it one of these days, but I’m already so busy with other things, I kiind of don’t want to add a five-season tv show to that…

    It sounds like you had a pretty fun month! Yay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!!

      I felt the same way about Merlin, for YEARS, so believe me, I hear you. XD I ended up watching it with my younger siblings since it was a family-friendly fantasy show we could watch together. And there are thirteen episodes per season so it wasn’t as huge as I thought, for some reason! But I totally hear you. Fitting a TV show in during the busyness of life is hard — especially when there are so many other ones to watch if we only have time!

      I really did! Thank you for reading! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. SO MUCH GOODNESS IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS!!! Finishing KW2 (*SQUEALS*) and the RM bookstore and a Bryan Davis class and watching ALL the things (HTTYD3! ENDGAME!! MERLIN!!!) and all the booooks!

    I’m just so very happy you’ve had such great moments in the past few months! And you’ve been a writing and reading MACHINE. I’ve been in such awe of you!

    I know you’re overwhelmed with all the upcoming things (how is Realm Makers so close???) but you ALWAYS conquer everything like a ninja! I KNOW you’re going to make it! YOU’VE GOT THIS. *hugs*

    I do hope the rest of your June is the BEST! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aaaahh yes! It’s been so exciting! Thank youuu!! ^_^

      *Freaks out slightly because of how soon RM is* XD Thanks! I don’t know how but hopefully I will — and you too!

      I hope the rest of June is fabulous as well! Thank you!! ❀


  7. Congrats on finishing Kedran’s Wood 2! I’m pretty sure I said that a while ago, but I’ll say it again now. I’m glad you enjoyed Merlin and all the movies! (Was the one character in Endgame whose treatment bothered you Thor? Or someone else? ‘Cause I got upset about Thor, but there were others who I could see being upset about.)

    Also, so jealous of you getting to go meet the cool people and learn from the cool talks. I wish I could’ve been at, like, any of those things. Why do these things never happen near where I am at the time???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!! πŸ˜€ Merlin is sooo fun. And yep, Thor; I mean, I laughed a ton during his bits but eh, I feel like it was just… whyyyyy.

      Awww, someday you will hopefully get to do the things! You met Andrew Peterson, right? He was at one of the things but left before I got there so I missed getting to see him. These events would have been 100% improved if you’d been there ! πŸ˜‰


  8. Sounds like you had a productive and fun several months. πŸ˜€ Happy late birthday and so many congrats on finishing your story!!! I’m soooo jealous you got to hear Douglas Gresham speak! O.O

    Re the Tolkien movie: I got to see it too and really enjoyed it. I agree there were some parts I wasn’t sure about but overall I was okay with it. I also found this fact checking article about it that’s pretty interesting if you want to look. http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/tolkien/ Though some stuff indeed was made up, turns out there’s quite a bit they got right, too! Here’s an interview/rather relaxed talk with the director, too. https://youtu.be/yaf82URnAi0 It’s a little long (an hour) but interesting and informative. I was in the chat when it was streaming live. Seems like he’s a pretty nice guy who genuinely respects Tolkien.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did indeed! Aahh, thank you so much, on both counts! ^_^ (It WAS pretty cool!)

      I’m glad you enjoyed it — and thanks for the links; I will have to check those out when I get a minute! Even if I had my reservations, it did have its good parts. ^_^


  9. That’s so freaking cool that you got to meet Douglas Gresham! Squeeeee! He’s on my must-meet list! πŸ˜€ So many great things! I can’t wait to meet you next month!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Writing Update! (New Steampunk + Tare Snippets) | The Road of a Writer

  11. Pingback: June Ishness 2019! | The Road of a Writer

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