Behold the Ishness! {Feb-March 2018}

Oh, look, the last time I did an Ishness was for January; it’s high time to let y’all know about the ishnesses going on in my life these last two months!

Let’s see what I was up to in the blur that was February and March . . .

WRITING

(via pixabay.com)

I wrote a grand total of 1.5K words in these past two months.

I know. So amazing.

Ahem. XD

Basically, I’ve been in a little bit of a writing slump this year. πŸ˜› I’m hoping Camp NaNo will help with that.

BUT! I am very pleased with those 1500 words, so that’s a good thing, yes?

I finished a particularly tricky chapter of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood. This work-in-progress is now 75K words long, so far. (Yikes!)

(via fellowshipoffantasy.com)

I wrote We Otter Do It, which, although it was small, I really enjoyed writing. Having such a tight wordcount limit was a fascinating puzzle, and I kind of loved it. πŸ˜€

I’ve also been doing some plotting for The Other Half of Everything and some other stories.

READING

In reverse-chronological order (recentest reads at the top), here’s a screen-shot of my March and February reads taken from my Goodreads challenge.

(via goodreads.com)

(If you are curious what I thought of any of the books/stories pictured, just ask!)

So much reading! Actually, a lot of those are short stories and novellas and random things, so it’s not as many as it looks like. XD I’ve been including everything on my reading challenge, not just novels, so . . . yeah.

I’ve enjoyed most of these, but highlights were DEFINITELY:

Β 

  • Lady Moon by Rachel Starr Thomson — With a subtitle like A Tale of Love & Magic & Other Improbable, Unpredictable Things of COURSE I love this book! I have no words for this other than it’s one of my new top favorite books and I loved it SO MUCH that I read it twice in February. You know: that short month? TWICE, I say. I read it in a single day and then the next week I turned around and read the whole thing aloud to my younger siblings because I just could NOT resist re-reading it at once. Everyone should read this if you like whimsical fantasy. It’s DELIGHTFUL and Tomas is my favorite. ❀ (Thanks to Mary Horton for the recommendation!)
  • Masque by W. R. Gingell — I adored this book and I can’t wait to try more by this author. It was brilliant and hilarious, a Beauty and the Beast magical murder mystery which felt rather like a magical Georgette Heyer novel. I LOVED IT. There were a couple very gruesome scenes (because magical murder mystery) which I could have done without, but otherwise it was PERFECT. Everyone go read it, right now. (Thanks to Suzannah Rowntree for bringing this delightful novel to my attention.)
  • Minstrel’s Call by Jenelle Leanne SchmidtReviewed this one; I absolutely loved it! Brilliant conclusion to one of my favorite fantasy series! ^_^ Gaah. Brant! KIERNAN KANE! (Thanks to Jenelle for my review ARC. <3)
  • Sage by Jamie Foley — Let’s just say the same thing about this as about Minstrel’s Call. XD Because it was an awesome conclusion to another favorite fantasy series! (Look at me, actually finishing series I’ve been reading. #SoProud) Read my review here. ALSO JET IS STILL MY FAVE. ❀ (Thanks to Jamie for my gorgeous copy. <3)

(Look at how pretty the series is together! ❀ )

WATCHING

Er… not much? A little more Once Upon a Time (I think I still enjoyed Season One more? But still enjoying it somewhat and we’ll see how it goes), some old Batman movies which were weird, Alex Rider which was kinda fun.

Oh! And I started watching White Collar, a show about a con man who works with an FBI agent to solve crimes. I’ve only seen the first half of Season 1, so I don’t know how it goes on from there, but I LOVE it so far! XD It’s like Leverage meets Castle, and the characters are great. πŸ˜€

(via giphy.com)

BLOGGING

I’m also working on my “official” website, which reminds me I need to finish that . . .

(And I passed 1000 followers here, which — JUST. GUYS. ❀ *flails* I know some of those are my social media numbers, BUT STILL. THANK YOU SO MUCH, EVERYONE.)

LIFE

I had a birthday and got the One Ring for it. Which means it was my birthday present, Preciousss . . . Yes, I made all the jokes. XD

I also had my bjournal anniversary. I’ve kept a bullet journal for over a year now! *gasp* I’m on my fourth one, and I’m not as organized with it as I should be, but it’s still helpful.

A few writer workshops happened, which I attended, and they were interesting. I always learn SOMETHING new, even if it’s just a couple little tricks or a new perspective, but it’s also getting to the point where I seem to already know 80% of the information presented. That makes me feel weird, because I’m not a published author, but I’ve been learning so much about all of this for so many years that I’ve accumulated quite a bit of knowledge. People I meet seem to assume I don’t know much because I’m younger than they are. It’s kind of funny. XD

I’ve also been kicking off my editing freelancing, which I’m really excited about! Shoutout to fabulous author Kyle Robert Shultz, whose book I’m currently editing. πŸ™‚

(via realmmakers.com)

And, most exciting of all, I signed up for Realm Makers! I’m going to the 2018 Realm Makers conference in July! Which means I’m trying to prepare for that, which means work, and trying to get my website and other things done, and starting my costume, etc. But I’m SO excited about going and getting to hopefully meet so many good online friends, and see a few I’ve met before, and just — I’M EXCITED.

APRIL PLANS

(via campnanowrimo.org)

I’m doing Camp NaNo! Which . . . well . . . as usual, I have no business doing, because BUSY, but at the same time it’s my excuse to make myself write again. So that makes me happy. πŸ™‚ I’m working on plotting/outlining/draft-zero/writing The Siren and the Skyship, with slight forays into trying to wrangle the plots of the two sequels in this Sky Voyages series. I’m doing a 10 hour goal, so we’ll see how that goes!

(via Bethany Jennings @simmeringmind on Twitter.com)

I’m allegedly doing #WIPjoy with The Siren and the Skyship over on my Twitter and Facebook, although . . . I haven’t been keeping up very well. XD

I’m also participating in a couple of bookclub readalongs, which are fun so far! The three short stories I’ve read so far in the Mythical Doorways anthology have been delightful, and Trial by Song (a modern-day Jack-and-the-Beanstalk novel with scary Fae) has been quite creepy but otherwise fascinating. I can’t wait to see how both books finish up! (The FB book club group links for both are here and here.)

Mostly, I’m trying to keep up with whatever busyness life throws at me, and wondering how on earth it’s April already . . . (Because SERIOUSLY, THOUGH??)

So that’s what’s new with me! πŸ™‚ How about you? What are you up to? I hope you enjoyed this glimpse at the goings-on around here. ^_^ Thanks for reading, and have a lovely April! ❀

The “What If…?” Fantasy Tag! #FantasyMonth

I’ve been tagged for the “What If…?” Fantasy Tag by Jenelle Schmidt! Thanks, Jenelle! As #FantasyMonth draws to a close (aww! It’s been so funnn! *clings*) I thought it would be fun to round off the fantasy celebrations with this fun tag. πŸ˜€

Also, appropriately, I hear that today is “Tell a Fairytale Day.” Make of that what you will…

Rules

  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Include the graphic somewhere in your post.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Tag a few blogger friends – and let them know they’ve been tagged
  • Have fun!

The Questions

1. Your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere. The cast of the most recent fantasy book you read comes to your assistance… who are they? Will they be helpful?

I’ve got the cast from Rachel Starr Thomson’s book Lady Moon! And yes, they will be MOST helpful. >:D

(This is going to be fun.)

Celine will eye everything critically and give advice. Little Winnie the wombat will break off from eating a bush by the road, clamber into the glove compartment, pull out the manual, itch her ear, and say “Will this help?” and drop it at Celine’s feet. And Celine will smile, and perch on the trunk of the car with her dress blowing in the wind, and start to read the manual.

Shepherd boy Aldon will crawl underneath the car and start looking at the engine, even though he has no clue what he’s looking for — and his border collie Brig will helpfully lick his face. Grandfather Monk will totter around and offer everyone coffee (because it’s cold out here while we’re trying to fix it). The little pyroline fire-cat will rub against the tire and leave a smell of burning rubber…

Sir Brian will bellow something about exactly what we should do — and then kick the car with a clang of his suit of armor and leave a dent, in his attempt to get it working. This will jolt Aldon, who will shout his annoyance from under the car. Fiery washerwoman Tereska scolds Sir Brian and then grimly rolls up her sleeves to her bony elbows, and sets about tinkering in the engine from the top, getting greasy hands and rags involved.

And Tomas? Tomas will stand cheerfully by and watch with interest while everyone tries what they can. And then, when all efforts are exhausted, Celine will look at him and say “Tomas!” And Tomas will smile his sun-like smile, and he’ll fix the engine. We don’t know HOW, exactly; just that he does. It has something to do with the memory of the engine working before… It might not last for long, but it should long enough to get the car to the shop.

And if that doesn’t work — well, they’re all in the car with me now, so if it stops working again, they’ll be along to help. Tomas will pick up the car and carry it the rest of the way, defying all rules of gravity and reality to save the day, because that’s what tall and thin, dandelion-haired, smiling Immortals do. We’ll just have to make sure he doesn’t procrastinate his destiny to do so.

2. You go to bed one evening and wake up in the lair of the villain of the last fairy tale you read, where are you and how do you plan to get out?

Oh dear. I’m in the castle of the witch Watho in George MacDonald’s The Day Boy and the Night Girl. My best plan for escape is to wait until she’s distracted by Photogen and Nycteris, and slipping out a back door and swimming across the river…

3. You are transported into a fantasy realm and given a mythical creature as a companion and best friend… which mythical creature do you get?

I get a gryphon! He’s brown and black and gold, and he’s terrifying to some people, but he and I are the best of friends, and we can talk through our minds. He’s loyal, fierce and brave, and doesn’t mind when I ride his soft fur-and-feather back over the forests. He seems to have a grim personality, but has an unexpected edge of humor beneath.

4. In a strange series of coincidences, you end up needing to take the place of your favorite fantasy hero or heroine. Who are you?

I’m Wilhelmina from Lawhead’s Bright Empires series! I’m running the Kaffeehause in Prague, making delicious pastries, and helping save the universe(s). (And… oh dear, this is probably bad because I doubt I could stand up to events like she did! o.o )

5. To go along with question #4, now that you are that character, is there anything you would do differently than that character, now that you are running the show?

The problem is, I probably would, but I’d get it all wrong… Ahem. So I think I’d try very hard to be brave and do things like her. (Except I think I’d try not to break my arm. You know. Just on principle. *cough*)

6. If you were yourself in a fantasy novel, what role do you think you would play in the story?

I think I’d be some kind of scholar or librarian — the one who has some tidbit of information the heroes are looking for. I’m suddenly thinking of all the great fantasy libraries, and YES. This would be the best job. πŸ˜‰

Or maybe I’d be a magical storyteller… who paints pictures of tales in the air…

I doubt I’d be a main character (I’m not even sure I’d want to be! They have such hard lives…) but I could definitely hope to be some interesting side character — hopefully one who survives to the end! πŸ˜‰

7. One morning, as you are going about your daily business, you pick up an everyday item and a voice booms in your head with prophetic words about your future. What object is it, and what is your prophecy?

It’s my bullet journal, and it says that I must beware the owl that eats the moon at midnight, and that one day I will have a part to play in something rather vaguely described, with dire words about what I should or should not do, so that I will obviously not recognize it (due to said vagueness), or will misinterpret it, so it won’t do any good at all. Except for when everything is over, for me to look back and see it was right all along, and the prophecy smugly says, “I told you so.” Because that’s how fantasy prophecies often go. XD

8. You are transported into a magical realm and turned into a mythical beast… what beast/fantasy creature do you want to be?

I’d be a Faerie, the tall, elven kind. I think I’d be able to have wings sometimes and not other times (they’d be silver and blue and black).

9. If you could read your way into any fantasy realm, but the catch is that you can never leave, would you? Which realm would you choose?

Um. Wow. Fantasy worlds are so fabulous and also usually so dangerous! But I think I would — and I might pick Middle-earth (because obviously!). Maybe I’d go to the beautiful woods of Ithilien and visit Faramir and Eowyn after the end of the Third Age.

Or I might go to the world in Lady Moon and live in Tomas’s clock tower!!! #goals (Honestly, it’s my most recent Favorite Fantasy Home.)

Then again, I’d probably end up moving to Ingary, and staying in Howl’s moving castle. (And there I get to cheat the “and never leave” caveat, since the doors open to multiple places, so why shouldn’t one lead back home anyway…? ;))

10. As you are going about your normal day, you discover that you have a magical power. What is it?

I thought about this one a lot…

The ability to open portals and so be able to visit all my friends and top places throughout the world(s) would probably be my top pick. Because that would be amazing!

Then again, I might instead have the ability to get ALL the stories in my head written down Just Right, because YES. #moregoals

Tagging

#FantasyMonth is nearly over, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hop onto this fun “What if” fantasy tag wagon (don’t ask whether that sentence made sense) and do it any time!

I’m not sure who-all’s been tagged or not, but if you haven’t and it looks fun, consider yourself tagged! πŸ™‚

(Though I retroactively tag Sarah @ Dreams and Dragons since I said I was going to and she already did it. XD)

Or answer one or more questions in the comments!

What do you think? Thanks for reading! And happy Fantasy Month! ^_^