Looking Forward, Looking Back (2016/2015)

dannygokey

I love the change of the year and have been doing many of my favorite New Years things like starting new journals. A fresh year is waiting, like a blank page to be written on, and the old year is gone, with all its good times and, yes, failures. It’s time to start fresh.

Danny Gokey says it beautifully in his song Tell Your Heart to Beat Again: “Yesterday’s a closing door — you don’t live there anymore.” Give the song a listen! (I heard it on the radio this week, fell in love, and have listened to it ten billion times since and am listening to it on repeat as I write this post). It’s beautiful and feels just right for the New Year.

Here are some of my excitements for the new year of 2016, as well as a brief look back at my 2015. And — yes! — lists!

2016

My word for 2016

Joy is my word this year. I want to find joy in everything if I can. It’s going to be hard, since I struggle with a tendency to be stressed and down on myself. But I’m tired of feeling crushed beneath expectations, beneath things I feel are obligations which ought to be enjoyable but have become chores. This includes — yes — writing, reading, emailing… even the things that I usually love, sometimes can become a burden because I’m a chronic procrastinator and a perfectionist. I’m hoping to approach everything, the fun and the not, with Joy. To rediscover my Joy in writing and life and find a freedom I’ve been looking for . . . that is my wish for the new year.

JOY! 🙂

I’M EXCITED FOR THIS YEAR:

aspysdevotionThese books coming out:

Yorien’s Hand // The Goblin’s Puzzle // A Spy’s Devotion // Fridays with the Wizards // Rebel of the Sands // Songkeeper // The Story of Kullervo // King’s Folly // The Beautiful Pretender // Five Magic Spindles // Defying Shadows // Stolen Crowns #1 // The Bone Queen // Crooked Kingdom

(I did a post about this if you want pics/links to Goodreads, but I’ve since added Songkeeper by Gillian Bronte Adams — sequel to Orphan’s Song — and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo, both of which are sequels that I need this instant. *flail*)

These movies releasing:

  • The Abominable Bride (Sherlock special which I’m hopefully going to see on Wednesday… YAY!)
  • Captain America: The Civil War (YESSSS!! As I may have mentioned, I’m kind of looking forward to this a lot, primarily because BUCKY and HAWKEYE!)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Because Star Wars…)

(Also, perhaps someday I’ll see Kung Fu Panda 3, Alice Through the Looking Glass, and Batman Vs. Superman, which are releasing this year, but I’m not in a super hurry as they also sound weird…)

sherlockspecial

I’d also like to see:

  • Pan (missed that when it came out last year)
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy (somehow still haven’t seen this)
  • Thor 2: The Dark World (which I technically saw once but need to rewatch since I have no memory of it which is slightly terrifying since I think I liked it a lot?!)

My 2015 at a Glance

READING

66 Books

2015books

I read many lovely books, notably many retellings and much Diana Wynne Jones; and discovered steampunk and heist books. (Yay!) And I just posted my top 15 favorites of the year.

Goodreads has a lovely new “Year in Books Feature” which I love! (Mine is here.)

WATCHING

Shows I saw:

  • Leverage (seasons 1-5) — everyone knows how much I love this… *cough*
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (BBC Miniseries) — interesting to see on screen
  • Star Wars: Rebels (Season 1) — I ADORED THIS! Sooo much fun. ❤

ezra

I don’t go to the theater often, but this year I saw:

  • starwars7posterStar Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens — AS;LDKJFLSK FEELS. WHAT. Still haven’t decided what I think of it except that I know I had a blast and then felt extremely sad near the end… I think overall I loved it? But I’m not sure yet! *flail* One thing’s for sure: ALL OF THE FEELS. And I adore the new characters, particularly Poe, and want to see the movie again.
  • Cinderella — Gorgeous.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron — Hawkeye!!
  • Mockingjay Part 2 — Um.
  • Beyond the Mask — EPIC!!! ❤

beyondthemaskDVDshelf

BLOGGING

87 Posts

I really discovered my love of blogging this last year, and started my Ishness posts, and just had a fun time.

My top viewed posts were:

ccakeFrom which I discern that people are unprepared for NaNo (always), and love movies (or characters), bookshelves, Christmas, and cupcakes (or possibly denial). Basically you, my blog readers, have your priorities in order. *thumbs up*

WordPress has a handy blog report showcase for the year which is fun. Take a look at my blog stats if you enjoy numbers like I do. XD

It says my top commenters were Sarah, Tracey, Christine, C.B., and Abi — thank you guys! And to every single person who reads this blog and who has commented (even just once) a heartfelt thank you. ❤ You make my day every time. ^_^

WRITING

Over 100,000 Words

DRcoverishR&RI wrote an entire novella and two whole short stories (and a couple fanfictions) — namely:

KW2coverPSilverForestCoverFinalAnd worked on several other books:

  • 2. The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (mostly this one)
  • The Silver Forest (and this one)
  • 0.5. Child of Kedran’s Wood
  • 2.5 Mixup at Kedran’s Wood
  • 3 The Shadow of Kedran’s Wood
  • 4 The Writer of Kedran’s Wood
  • Heartseeker
  • The Other Half of Everything (snippets)

S&Scover4

OHEcoverI was attacked by several new plotbunnies that I adore and can’t wait to write, most notably:

  • The Other Half of Everything
  • The Siren and the Skyship

My Kedran’s Wood series exploded into several different books/novellas/short stories.

starrellianicon

My epic fantasy series the Starrellian Saga is taking shape in a new and exciting way as I reimagine all of the threads into a different sort of book structure.

A few other exciting things:

ac46bd_75dff376188e4a22af1238184833ab1e.jpg_srz_p_856_300_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

***

PonyFrom the start of the year when I was followed by a pony from the post office, through seeing my first stage play, spontaneously going on a few roadtrips, being a NaNo Municipal Liaison for the third time, all the way to spending my last days of the year frantically editing a novella under a deadline for the first time . . . it’s been a very interesting year!

With my new word (Joy) in hand, I look forward to what 2016 holds!

I haven’t made specific writing/reading goals yet. I’m on a semi-hiatus from writing for a bit, so we’ll see what happens after that… I’m currently leaving my options open. 🙂

How was your 2015? I wish you all a truly fantastic 2016!

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where is the silence

silence

(pinterest)

“where is the silence where is it hiding”

do you ever feel like everything in your life is noise

everywhere surrounding you drowning you

so you can’t even think or do anything anymore

and all you want is some silence that you can curl up in to be alone and okay

maybe that doesn’t make sense to anyone else

but for me it just clicked when i heard this song by colton dixon

i really connect with it

give it a listen and maybe you’ll think so too

“every day is a car alarm
that I don’t know how to disarm
where is the silence
that simple silence

everything is noise

i’m getting lost in the sound

i need to hear Your voice
reminding me that at the end of the day
no matter what goes down i’ll be okay
even through the noise

whisper my name
whisper my name
tell me that it’s alright

where is the silence
can’t get no silence”

— some lyrics from “noise” by colton dixon

dock

(pinterest)

i might disappear from online for a bit

i’ll be back

it’s just that everything is noise

i’m getting lost in it

and i need to find some silence

*

keep being awesome

swing

(pinterest)

Infinity Dreams Blog Award

O Frabjous Day! I was tagged by Candice Williams @ O Ye Scribes for the Infinity Dreams Blog Award! Thanks muchly, Candice! 🙂

Rules

  • Thank the blog that nominated you.
  • Tell us 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.
  • Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them.

Eleven Facts About Mwah [I know, it’s French and I’m misspelling it. Boohoo]

(Oh dear. Prepare to learn all about this odd humanoid behind-the-blog…)

1. I’m an INFP. I recently saw somewhere the Meyers-Briggs personality types assigned to fairytale archetypes. Which makes me the Princess, the “dreamy, naive, and idealistic girl wandering the woods singing”. Oh dear… (Also, I only remember which letters I am by turning it into an acronym for It’s Never Fully Perfect.)

2. I am an introvert. I would rather sit in my room with the doors closed and read or write than go anywhere. I enjoy being with people but am exhausted and burnt out after the fact, which means that if I do go somewhere, even if it’s just a writing meeting, I consider that the primary focus of my day because I know I won’t get anything done afterward…

introverts

3. I am a perfectionist. Which can be useful, but mostly it’s really bad. You don’t even want to know how many times I edit, preview, tweak, preview, adjust, preview, polish, preview… etc. my blog posts…

perfectionist

4. I’m also a chronic procrastinator. Yes, this is a lethal combination with #3…

procrastinators

5. I have FOMO (yes this is a thing, which means Fear Of Missing Out) and an inability-to-say-no. I want to do aaaall the things and not miss out, plus I can’t turn people down. Which when coupled with  #2, #3, and #4, means I am constantly over-committed and stressed and behind… But it also means that I have my fingers in all of the pies whenever possible, which can be fairly awesome, when I can keep up.

6. I should be reading the lovely books I’m supposed to review instead of blogging right now. (Case in point. BUT LOVELY BOOOOOKS. <3)

7. I want to start a book blog for sporadically reviewing random books. This is something I must do. Yes. And it will be fabulous, surely.

8. My favorite foods are Fettuccine Alfredo, strawberries, apricots, chocolate (totally a food), and anything that tastes like mint or orange-flavor, and my favorite snack is cream-cheese on crackers. (I have no idea, they are just amazing.)

9. I am very excited about the first look at the Sherlock Christmas Special episode! I HAVE NO CLUE (haha see what I did there) WHAT IS GOING ON OR WHAT THE DEAL IS WITH THE COSTUMES/TIME PERIOD BUT I REALLY DON’T CARE BECAUSE I’M JUST SUPER EXCITED. Why is December so far awayyy? And why is 2017 even farther??

10. My favorite funny things to watch on youtube are Blimey Cow and HISHE (How It Should Have Ended), both of which I discovered recently. I don’t always agree of course, but it’s still funny. [Warning: both are at times extremely hilarious and always extremely addicting and therefore time-consuming!]

11. I’ve recently gotten into listening to Christian pop/rock on the radio. I don’t enjoy all the songs but there are a surprising amount that I’m starting to like a lot!

Candice’s Questions

1. Would you rather grow a garden or raise a puppy?

I honestly don’t know… I have a cat, which mayyy be similar to the latter? So maybe? But I’d also be paranoid of doing either wrong, so a garden if I failed it would just be… dead. Which, dead plants are a better option. But gardening can be enjoyable, at times. I JUST DON’T KNOW! O_O

2. What’s the last book you read that had the word the in the title?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Which was a reread… *realizes I haven’t finished reading a book since June 24th and freaks out slightly*

3. If you could create a theme park, what would the theme be?

Interesting question! I actually have no idea… Maybe Middle-earth themed? Or else book-themed (but maybe libraries count…?). It’s kind of a toss-up. But both would be kind of awesome.

My Questions

1. If you could have any superpower/ability, what would you choose? (My cruelty knows no bounds. ;))

2. Would you mind sharing a snippet of your latest work-in-progress? Do so! (Alternately, tell us a little about what it’s about?)

3. What’s the best book you read recently and why did you like it?

I Tag

Ashley @ [insert-title-here] // Aspen @ Texas Rebel Girl // C.B. @ The World of the Writer // Sarah @ Lights and Shadows // Abi @ Rambling Writer // Lisa @ God’s Daughter 4 Ever