Return of the Ishness! {March 2016}

We will just ignore the fact that while I was trying to write this post I got distracted looking at Sherlock pins on Pinterest for far longer than I would care to admit. Yep. Because That Would Never Happen. John-est. Honest. Never.

Ahem.

Anyways, THAT was a sidetrack. But HI! Hello everyone! ^_^ I’m… trying to wrap my mind around the fact that it’s April? Say what?

I’ve also kind of… forgotten to post over here. *shifty eyes* I’ve been posting bookish things on my book blog, so it vaguely slipped my mind that I hadn’t posted here in awhile, what with not having life/writing things to say. But I am back! 🙂

And now that we’re a week into April *cough* it’s time to look at what happened in March…

ishness

WRITING

R&RThe month started off with the Rooglewood Press announcements, putting a bookend on my first writing contest, which was definitely an interesting experience! I’m very glad I wrote The Rose and the Raven and glad I entered; and actually, now, glad I didn’t win. I’m not ready for that kind of pressure, that kind of being-edited, and it’s quite clear that my somewhat whimsical, more fantasy retelling would not have fitted with the selection that was finally made…

Anyways! I learned a lot about writing and cutting words and editing under a deadline and all that good stuff. 🙂

Now that this chapter of my writing is closed for now (I’ll likely go back to the story and re-edit/add some eventually but not right now), I feel ready to focus on something else! …What that something else will be remains to be seen, though. 😉

OHEcoverAs far as what I actually wrote in March, I wrote a bit of The Other Half of Everything for later on in the story (Teague and Meridian are so fun to write…).

I also finally edited the horrendous bits of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood that I wrote during NaNo (they were a mess) and wrote a bit more of that, officially finishing Part 1 of KW2! *confetti* (We’ll just ignore the fact that it’s passed 60k and only allegedly one-third done… *cough*) But that was a HUGE milestone for me! I’ve been trying to get to that point for a looong time. Very excited about that! Though… my characters are not. Ahem. Tare may or may not be verrry done with me right now. >.>

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I printed out Part 1 as a reward/incentive

And as per usual, there’s a lot of plotting of various books going on. I changed the title of my epic fantasy series from The Starrellian Saga to The Princes of Starrellia (because… er… there are many characters of a princely variety… And I like the sound of it). I’ve been working a bit on that.

I also have a new-ish book knocking at the back of my brain to be let in, which is actually a combination of several different ideas I’d had before (namely a sci-fi/mind thing, an alleged Doctor Who fanfic which I’m taking the germ of the story and just making it an original, as well as a steampunk time-travel thing, another time-travel thing involving books, and another vague idea featuring a very special library). This new/old story is called The Library in the Stars and it’s still in fledgling state, especially since I haven’t sorted out exactly how all the threads fit together, but I’m excited to see what happens with it.

libraryinthestars

So that’s what’s going on on the writing front for me! I’m still a bit writer’s-blocked and having a hard time focusing. I consequently decided to spend much of March reading instead.

Speaking of which . . .

READING

march2016reads

Again, these are in reverse-order of when I read them, because it’s from my Goodreads Reading Challenge.

I read 13 books in March which is… a lot for me.

What a mix! Some Moomin books (a fun, hilarious children’s fantasy series originally written in Swedish); a couple of Regency books; two utterly different fantasy books set in modern-day Ireland (Blood Ties and Skulduggery Pleasant); a time-travel book; a collection of essays on writing; a splendid Beauty and the Beast retelling from Melanie Dickerson of which I got an ARC and hope to review soon; and another Diana Wynne Jones book, featuring centaurs and a Sci-fi/Fantasy Convention and tons of wackiness.

I will likely post a reading roundup on my book blog soonish… (I know, I know, I still haven’t posted my roundup for February. *cough* It will happen, it will…)

ON MY BOOK BLOG

I took part, slightly, in March Magics, which was quite fun, most notably listing the books by Diana Wynne Jones that I’ve read so far. Yay!

WATCHING

I got to see Thor: The Dark World again (yay!) and greatly enjoyed being able to actually see the faces and what was actually going on due to not having a bunch of fog between myself and the screen. Thor and Loki together are the BEST. XD

I also finally saw The Guardians of the Galaxy, which everyone and their Groot have been telling me to watch ever since it came out, and found it extremely odd but quite fun and sometimes hilarious.

I also saw Megamind, which… again, quite weird but more fun than I’d expected.

(Are you noticing a trend? Lots of superhero movies…)

And I pretty much finished watching Jeeves & Wooster. SO fun!

But most of all, I saw the first season of an original fantasy webseries, Ren: The Girl with the Mark, by the people who made the Lord of the Rings fan-film prequel, Born of Hope, and I loved it! Now they just need to do a second season! O_O (Seriously though, they need to. NEED!!!) In case you are wondering, it was AMAZING and I have very definite opinions on if you should watch it or not. (Hint: YOU TOTALLY SHOULD.)

ren

MUSIC

Can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that I got to see my favorite singer in concert this March for my birthday? Hearing Loreena McKennitt live on stage was MAGICAL. ❤ (If you’ve never heard her gorgeous Celtic music, you’re missing out.) Loreena herself was so lovely — charming, witty, insightful, and gracious. I just love her music so much, and it was so immersive live! So many emotions with that amazing music — one moment achingly beautiful, another hauntingly sad, and the next laughing at one of her jokes. It was so much fun, so gorgeous, and I was utterly enchanted. An incredible experience that I’m so thankful to have had the chance to have. ^_^

LIFE

‘Twas an interesting month, was March.

I kind of struggled through the Rooglewood announcements and other involved things (though I’m over that one now, thankfully! :)), Daylight Savings Time (argh! I still have not recovered. -_- *shakes clock because surely it must be incorrect*), a lot of various writing self-doubts (thanks very much for all the support on that! I love you guys! ❤ ), and a bout of writer’s block, which is lurking still, slightly…

But aside from that, the rest was really an amazing month. 🙂 I read a lot of fabulous birthday books (and a few review books), saw Loreena McKennitt, enjoyed my very first Twitter Party (for Diana Wynne Jones. It was SO FUN!) and generally… lived. Which is good, I guess. 😉

I’ve also gotten back into listening to Corey Olsen, The Tolkien Professor, since it’s handy to have something to listen to while exercising, and I had wanted to get back to listening but hadn’t found an excuse. So this is awesome and I’m very excited to get caught up on some of his awesome (free!) podcasts and lectures on Tolkien and Faerie & Fantasy and other works of literature. 🙂 Corey’s a really awesome guy, both funny and really interesting, to listen to. I always have great fun with his lectures! ^_^

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APRIL THINGS

*ignores fact that we’re already a week into the month* Dunno what my plans are for this month besides all the reading I need to do. I’ll (hopefully) have a few book reviews popping up over here soonish!

I am not, in fact, doing Camp NaNo, but for those of you who are, I wish you the best of luck, you awesome people! YOU’VE GOT THIS! I do however hope to figure out what writing projects to work on and get some writing done all the same… but we will see. *fingers crossed*

That was my March! How was yours? Any plans for April? I hope you’ll have a wonderful month! 🙂

In the Merry Month of May

Firstly: giveaway winner! (Lena K. was the winner of Shantelle’s awesome giveaway, in case you didn’t see…) And the winner of my mini giveaway on this here blog iiiiis…

Christine!

Congrats! I hope you’ll enjoy A Dream Not Imagined!! (Who’m I kidding. Of course you will. Because it’s fabulous.)

And thanks y’all for entering and sharing your favorite Cinderella retellings! I must read them…

On to the rest of the post! Which is of an ishness variety.

The calendar has flipped again, so it’s time for a look-back at what went on in the Merry Month of May! (Does nobody else call it that? Is it just me and my crazy self who grew up listening to The Rocky Road to Dublin?)

I had a rather hectic but overall awesome May, involving a lot of rain/storms and consequently dead internet most of the month, or — worse — undead internet, i.e. it kind of wandered around claiming it was there but for all practical purposes… kind of too dead to be useful. But that was probably okay because of all the busy! I’m just very behind on interwebish things. What else is new. XD

But the rest of my month involved:

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(from Pinterest)

  • Seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron on opening day. THAT MOVIE. What even. This was a month ago, peoples, and I STILL am trying to work out my feels/opinions on this thing. I think I need to see it again but probably won’t till it comes out on DVD sooo… But although it broke my brain several times — All the shock! All the things! — and I’m still trying to figure out what I think about a few things, it was mostly sheer fabulousness. Also Hawkeye. I loved how much more he was in it! Because he’s my favorite, obviously…
  • And oh, yeah, I took a totally random, spontaneous, last-second roadtrip through a couple states for a homeschool alumni get-together thingamy which was very much out of my experience but turned out totally awesome. Lots of new experiences with that.
  • Going to my first stage play! I know, I know, I’ve been missing out. It. Was. Amazing. Oh my goodness. It was The Little Mermaid (the movie of which I also saw for the first time this month, to warm up) and I loved this play version way more than the movie. And all the actor kids were adorable and amazing and awesome, especially my friend who played Ariel which was why I went–she was incredible! I just loved and adored it and it was so so fun and sweet and cool and funny and awesome. 🙂 Alskdjflkdlakdj.

I tell ya, this was a month for new experiences, y’all! We shall call it “The May Deborah Actually Did Things”. *nods seriously*

Reading

So… remember that post I did where I talked about all the books I wanted to read in May? Well… yeah. That didn’t happen. I only managed to read a handful, and some weren’t even on the list.

May2015reads

I think I tend to not read as much when I’m in the middle of several books… I think I get daunted. XD Plus I was busy. But I managed to read a few, so yay! “The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest” was AWESOME and I reviewed it. “Touch Magic” was actually a nonfiction (gasp!) which I actually didn’t love… which was sad because I wanted to. Meh. “Fairest” was a reread with my bookclub and I really enjoyed it. “The Grimm Legacy” was super fun! I don’t think it was quite as amazing as I’d hoped, but I just really… enjoyed it. So yay! And “Galdoni” was super random and weird but I couldn’t stop reading it… I’m not even entirely sure what I think of it… Some of it felt sloppy, which I don’t normally notice, and it was pretty scary (I don’t read a lot of modern/futuristic, okay, guys!) but like I said it kept me reading and I kinda enjoyed it too.

(I am feeling superbly lazy today, too much so to link all hundred five books, so you can find them on my Goodreads reading challenge…)

So! My reads of the month. I just didn’t manage to read nearly as much as I wanted, and basically all I want to do in June is read but that probably won’t happen…

Oh! But look! My birthday presents finally came in the mail (like, a couple months late because of waiting for the pre-ordered one to actually release… Hee) so GORGEOUSNESS!

booooks

I’m now officially dying to read “Illusionarium” (I’ve never read a steampunk before!) and “The Merchant’s Daughter” (Melanie Dickerson, yay!). I’ve already read “The Word Changers”, but I just HAD to own a physical copy of this gorgeous thing! ❤

Writing

So, partly due to how busy I was, and partly due to laziness, I didn’t do a super amount of writing. But I did manage over a thousand words of Tare series stuff, and nearly 2,000 words of my new short story, Darkling Reflections — which I really must finish writing soon. And I also plotted all of Darkling Reflections (yay!) and got re-excited about my epic fantasy series the Starrellian Saga, and did a bunch of plotting and figuring out for that, which I’m super excited about. But mostly quiet on the writing front.

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So! That was my May! And it is now June… What even. Is it just me, or has 2015 been buzzing by faster than a freight train? (Not that I actually have the tiniest clue how fast freight trains are or if they actually buzz. But anyhow.)

Plans for June?

Well, I have soooo many books I want to read it’s not even funny. (Or… actually it’s extremely funny because of my lack of being able to actually read them all at the moment because it’s just ridiculous. So let’s just all laugh together, shall we?) I’m still in the middle of reading like five books, and I have a library book I should read too and my lovely new books and another stack I just have to get to and just… yeah. So much reading I want to do!

I have been woefully slacking on writing most of this year so I really would like to do some more of that. I have a short story to finish and Tare’s getting impatient at my ignoring of him, and Heartseeker wants to be finished sometime in the next decade. I MUST DO ALL THE WRITING THINGS. The stories call. And yet… at the same time… they don’t. It’s kind of sad. I WANT to write more but I just… don’t… feel like it. Meh. So we’ll see. I might totally slack off my writing again and just devour pretty books… XD

(from Pinterest)

Then of course there’s Life Things. Y’know, that pesky category of stuff that keeps one from spending one’s life doing 24/7 bookish/writerly/internet things. Because clearly Life Things hasn’t gotten the memo about those being more important. HAHA.

And I want to catch up on all the lovely blog tags I’ve been given over the last like 6 months! So that may be a thing. You guys might in fact end up learning a super frightening amount of things about me through tags, so keep an eye out for that. 😉

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How about you?? How was your May? And do you have plans for this month and/or for summer? Spill, spill!