Ren: The Girl With the Mark – Season 2?

Friends, I’m excited to share some news with you!

The Indie-made fantasy show Ren: The Girl with the Mark is gearing up for a second season — but we need your help!

What is Ren?

If you haven’t heard about this original fantasy TV show (which has one season so far, consisting of five 10-minute episodes), and would like to know more, you can check out the official website or my post Ten Reasons Why Ren the Series is Awesome.

I stumbled across it years ago when it first released, since it was made by the same talented filmmakers who made the Lord of the Rings fan-film Born of Hope (about Aragorn’s parents). I adored the first season of Ren, and I’m excited to share the news with other fantasy fans!

Scary things going down in the woods . . .

I absolutely love the characters (Ren! Karn! Hunter!) and the acting, as well as the setting, look, and feel of it. The story kept me holding my breath. And the music! I love it so much that I had to buy the soundtrack — it’s good for listening to while writing exciting scenes. 😉 Ren is simply an excellently-made show and I need more of it in my life. ❤

Watch it Free!

You can watch the first season of Ren the Series on the website or Youtube!

Or, if you have Amazon Prime, the first season has been re-edited and put together there in one place! Seriously, go see it. (It’s a total of 45 minutes, so you really have no excuse not to! ;))

So check it out if you love fantasy! (And join me in waiting for a continuation of that explosive cliffhanger! XD)

Karn being mysterious and epic. He’s my favorite!

How You Can Help

If the Ren team can get enough sign-ups for their new newsletter, they’ll know they have enough support to launch a crowdfunding campaign for season two, and they’re over halfway to that goal!

So if you are an old or new fan of Ren, or just want to help out, be sure to spread the word and sign up to renew Ren for a second season!

Ren and Hunter, my other favorites!

Check out the latest update on Youtube!


Here’s some more information, taken from the official press release:

SECOND SEASON OF REN: THE GIRL WITH THE MARK IN THE WORKS

The team behind Ren: The Girl with the Mark, the ambitious short-form fantasy series about a young woman marked by an ancient spirit, is asking fans to support a second season.

The premiere episode has had over two million views to date, while the season as a whole has received over 40 award nominations from festivals around the world, and a dozen actual award wins.

Gongs collected include the Grand Jury Award at Melbourne International WebFest in Australia, and Best Series awards at GenCon and FilmQuest in the US and at Bilbao WebFest in Spain. Skelton’s performance was honoured at Hyperdrive Sci-Fi & Fantasy Festival in the UK, while director and co-creator Kate Madison took home a Best Director award from South Korea’s Seoul WebFest.

Fans will be delighted to hear that a second season is in the works. “I’ve just finished writing the last episode,” Madison reveals. “I won’t give you any spoilers, but you can expect a much bigger scope and scale to this season, as Ren and Hunter journey across Alathia to try to find the answers to some of Ren’s many questions.”

The first season was crewed by an army of volunteers – some from as far afield as Germany, the Netherlands and even the US – who descended on the small English village of Caxton, Cambridgeshire to help build the set, make the costumes and appear as extras. Madison notes that “it was their talent and enthusiasm that allowed us to make an independent series of such a high quality that many viewers thought they were watching something from a major TV
studio.”

The community ethos is something she is keen to continue. Before launching a crowdfunding campaign, Madison and her team have challenged themselves to get 5,000 fans signed up to their new mailing list. “Social media is great,” says Madison, “but with the wealth of information out there things can be missed, and nothing beats getting something straight into your inbox.”

You can show your support for further adventures of Ren: The Girl with the Mark by heading to rentheseries.com/renew and signing up to the mailing list.


Have you seen Ren the Series yet? And what do you think? If you’re a fellow fan, are you just as ready for the next season as I am? Aaahh! I’m so excited to continue this journey! 😀

All images belong to Mythica Entertainment.

Fantasy Favorites Tag!

G’day, my Roadlings!

It’s the LAST day of February (say what? How did this happen?) so I’m squeezing in at the last second of February Fantasy Month to do this lovely tag that the hostess of this awesome event, Jenelle Schmidt, put together.

No, I’m not late—what gave you that idea?

Ahem. On with the tag, shall we? All of these questions are so hard! O_O

What is your favorite fantasy book?

(I lied. This question is super easy.)

The Lord of the Rings/The Silmarillion and Howl’s Moving Castle. I KNOW. SUCH A SHOCK. XD

(Okay, I know that’s not one. But. You know.)

Also, I’m looking forward to reading Howl’s Moving Castle for the sixth time (I think?) next month for March Magics since there’s going to be a readalong for it! 😀

What is your favorite fantasy movie or TV show (or both!)?

At first I couldn’t think of any fantasy TV shows, which shows a definite problem somewhere . . . But I’m going to go with Ren: The Girl with the Mark, which I mentioned before, and if you haven’t checked it out, I totally recommend doing so!

I’m going to be posting about that soon, regarding a possible season 2 (!!) so stay tuned!

For movies:

(I need to see the new How to Train Your Dragon movie! Aaahh!)

  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • Prince of Persia

And if you haven’t seen Prince of Persia yet — what are you even doing with your life?

Prince Dastan can’t believe you haven’t watched it, either

Who is your favorite fantasy hero/heroine?

I have SO MANY FAVORITE HEROES, I’m not even going to try listing anybody. My mind overwhelmed itself and short-circuited with the sheer amount and left me suddenly unable to recall anybody. I’ll regret it later but I’m going to skip that.

Instead, I’ll just do heroines, since that’s a much shorter list. 😉 Here are some:

  • Mina Klug (The Bright Empires series by Stephen R. Lawhead)
  • Eowyn (The Lord of the Rings) and Luthien Tinuviel (The Silmarillion), both by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Eilonwy (The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander)
  • Ginny (Paper Crowns by Mirriam Neal)
  • Cordelia Beaumont (The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Robert Shultz)
  • Echo (Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer)

It takes a LOT to write a heroine I really love and admire. I’m not sure exactly what quality these heroines share but they’re all fabulous! (You can read a post I wrote which in part concerned those first few heroines, if you like.)

Who is your favorite fantasy side-kick?

Uuuurgh. Do you realize how difficult this question is? Do you realize how many amazing fantasy side-kicks there are? This is threatening to short-circuit my brain again.

*panics* *scrambles around* *grabs one name from the swirling mass and tosses it out*

CRISPIN BEASLEY HE’S JUST THE BEST OKAY BYE

*panting*

*thrusts The Beast of Talesend haphazardly in your face*

*hurries on*

Who is your favorite fantasy villain? (the one you most love to hate?)

For some reason all I can think of right now is the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair from Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. He’s just . . . really creepy. O_O

(I was tempted to list Carhartan from Orphan’s Song or Rupert de la Mare from Plenilune or the Keeper from Entwined but “most love to hate” might not apply; it’s more like I HAVE FEELINGS WHICH MAY BE HATE I DUNNO. I talk about villains here.)

I . . . don’t want to linger on this question; there’s a sort of chill in the air over here. I’ll just . . . Yeah, I’ll move on.

*sprints hastily to next question and locks door behind self*

What is your favorite fantasy sub-genre?

*breathes sigh of relief* Much safer, cozier, warmer question. 🙂

Fairytale retellings, and steampunk-fantasy or Regency-fantasy! Those are ones I’ve been really into lately, anyway.

I love a good classic epic fantasy, too!

What is your favorite thing about fantasy?

The limitless possibilities and imagination and wonder. There’s just so MUCH that can happen! It also has great potential for my favorite sorts of character types, and of course fantastical creatures and settings! And . . . well . . . everything.

Fantasy is my home, and while I enjoy other genres from time to time (non-speculative fiction, and non-fiction occaaasionally), they just often seem . . . dry. They don’t have the wonder. I enjoy visiting them sometimes but Fantasy is where I live.

It has so much potential. I find I learn truths about life more deeply when I encounter them in fantasy.

Lloyd Alexander said it best.

What is your favorite fantasy realm?

Tolkien’s world, absolutely. I have recently been re-immersing myself in Middle-earth and particularly Beleriand and the other lands of The Silmarillion, reading Tolkien’s Book of Lost Tales and The Fall of Gondolin.

I “grew up” there, living and breathing the richness of his world and the far-reaching wonder of the ages of Middle-earth. I had no idea how much I missed it until I went back again and realized it was so natural to slip back into this world. I do need to give The Lord of the Rings a good re-read one of these days soon, but at the moment I’m enjoying going through the older drafts of what later became The Silmarillion and having a blast.

If you need me, I’ll be walking the shores of Valinor or visiting the hidden valley of the city of Gondolin between the mountains; treading under the trees of Doriath with Luthien and Beren or staring at the wide sea from the cliffs of Beleriand; visiting the Shire or the Lonely Mountain or Lothlorien or Minas Tirith; spending a couple of weeks by the fire in Rivendell with the music and the books, the food and the Elves; galloping the vast plains with the Rohirrim; or walking the woods of Ithilien with Faramir. Watch out; I may never come back. 😉

What is your favorite fantasy magic system?

I’m not sure! I don’t always pay that much attention to how the fantasticalness works in the fantasy I read? But I will say that I know I liked Spellsmith and Carver (where it was half like computer coding) and Beggar Magic (the “strains” sort of like music), both by H.L. Burke. And the Song from the Songkeeper Chronicles by Gillian Bronte Adams, and the aether gifts in the Sentinel Trilogy by Jamie Foley, are all coming to mind. So I guess I’ll go with some of those. XD In Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer, I ADORED the book-mirrors where you can step into a story, so if that counts . . .

Sell me a fantasy book! Have you written a fantasy book? Give me your best pitch for it! Have you read an exceptionally great fantasy book recently? Convince me to make it my next read!

Wellll. I have written a fantasy book, or several. But they’re not exactly available yet. XD *cough*

My latest is basically a Steampunk-Fantasy Little Mermaid. Except that the Little Mermaid is neither little nor Mer nor a maid — being a cloud-siren prince on a quest to find his father’s killer — and he gets mixed up with Princess Tasmania who is the captain of a skyship. Cloud cities, assassins, tea, love, and clockwork dragons ensue.

So yeah, that’s The Siren and the Skyship, currently in needs-to-be-edited limbo. I’m working on trying to figure out the plot for the sequel right now and it’s giving me headaches.

Maybe I’ll do an update post about how my writing is coming, since I haven’t talked about that or anything on here in awhile . . .

Actual book

In the meantime, how about a book that is actually finished! and published! and awesome!

I wanted to screech about Echo North or The Electrical Menagerie, but since y’all prooobably know by now how much I love those (given all the shrieking I’ve done. XD) and things like Howl’s Moving Castle, I think I’ll give a quick shout-out for a book I haven’t talked as much about for a little while! (But seriously, go check those out if you haven’t!! They make me happy!)

Blood Ties! By Hazel West!

Alternate modern Ireland! Warriors with swords and fast cars! Brothers by blood and by bond with great messy relationships I love! SNARK. Fighting. Epic characters! (I love them ALL! AWK!) Loyalty and goblins and castles and cell phones! (Those are good because they’re all together in one book, not because goblins or cell phones are necessarily inherently good in themselves.)

Did I mention Ireland? Because it’s almost Saint Patrick’s Day so you OBVIOUSLY need something to read for that.

I love it so much and I’ve been missing this series (the sequels are just as good if not better) and wanting book four BADLY. So go read this one if you haven’t. 😀

And look, I’m part of Ciran’s Company! And I have a real BPAFF (Bureau of Protection Against Fair Folk) shamrock necklace I won from the author, so if any of you reading this are actually malevolent fae or goblins trying to convince people not to read this book, I KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Ciran and I are comin’ for you. And the rock band Swords and Shamrocks are going to write a ballad about it. So watch out.

So there you are! I hope you enjoyed this fantasy tag and my answers — do feel free to steal the tag to use on your own blog, even if Fantasy Month is over. Because the time for fantasy is always!

What are some of YOUR fantasy favorites? Let me know in the comments!

10 Reasons Why Ren the Series is Awesome

IPHONE_REN

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) prompt was is Ten Reasons I Love X — which I’m turning into Ten Reasons Why Ren the Series (a.k.a. Ren: The Girl with the Mark) is Awesome and Why You Should Watch It.

I’ve mentioned it before, but it deserves its own post.

Let’s get to it!

(Warning: If you’re allergic to fangirling, this post is not for you. There will be a lot…)

TopTenTues

Ten Reasons Ren the Series is Awesome

1. It’s an original, indie-made fantasy adventure webseries available to watch online.

Okay, so if that’s not reason enough…? Well read on. But really! It’s basically the best indie-made film-ish thing I’ve seen, tying with Beyond the Mask, I’d say (even though they’re both quite different). And it’s fantasy and online and indie authors and film-makers are awesome, don’t you agree?? Speaking of which…

Ren1

2. It’s made by the talented Kate Madison (and Christopher Dane) and their crew, who made Born of Hope.

These people are AWESOME I tell you. In case anyone doesn’t know (where have you been? Goodness. XD) Born of Hope is a fabulous fan-film that’s a sort of prequel to The Lord of the Rings, about Aragorn’s parents and the Dunedain. (It also features the sons of Elrond, who are EPIC, by the way, but I’m getting sidetracked.) I loved Born of Hope back in the day, so I’m so incredibly excited about the Ren series, which is even better than BoH (if possible) and is an entirely NEW story. It would be like if a favorite author of mine wrote wonderful fanfiction I loved… and then came out with an original novel so that even the people I know who don’t know the fandom can enjoy it because it’s ORIGINAL. EXCITEMENT.

3. The CHARACTERS

So… characters tend to be one of my favorite things about books/film. This show has so many fascinating and cool characters!

Ren, Hunter, and Karn are my favorites so far… Ren herself is a really likeable heroine. Hunter, the rogue-for-hire, is awesome. And my favorite of all, the mysterious Karn… YES. 😀 But I love all of the characters (except creepy villains. EEK). They’re all fantastic and real and loveable. ❤

SCREENSAVE_KARN

4. The Visuals/Scenery/Sets/Costumes

The awesome forest (can I live there please and thank you) and real-feeling medieval-esque village are just so amazing. And don’t get me started on the costumes because I could be there all day. XD This thing just looks so REAL. I’m so impressed at what this small group of filmmakers was able to accomplish. It feels like a large-budget movie/show and it’s just fantabulous, I tell you.

5. The Music

THE MUSIC. I love love love the music so much. Here, give it a listen in the credits. It has a sort of Celtic-esque, thoroughly fantasy feel that I love. It’s so wild and beautiful and free and it just makes my heart soar and my feet want to leap in a dance and go off on an adventure through the forests and mountains with Ren and her friends. ❤ I need a soundtrack for this thing, SO MUCH. ❤

(I was in fact assured that there will be one forthcoming, since I managed to get in on a live-stream chat thing Kate Madison and company held after the final episode aired. You know, one of those things where fans type questions and they answer them. They answered my question about a soundtrack and mentioned my name when they did, and later moved the camera over to show off Ren’s costume since I asked to see it up closer. Excuse me while I fangirl, but THAT WAS KIND OF AMAZING OKAY SORRY BUT NOT SORRY.)

6. The Accents

Okay, so call me shallow. But I adore accents. And all of these characters have absolutely fabulous British accents (some Scottish perhaps thrown in there) and I’m assuming they’re real too because the actors are British and it was I believe filmed in England… Like how cool is that? (I particularly love Ren’s father’s voice… the accent and growly quality. He just has a really cool voice. *thumbs up*) (Aaand you all probably think I’m crazy. Oh well. :P)

SCREENSAVE_REN1

7. The Story

It’s exciting, action-y, mysterious and thrilling. You’ve got the scary uptight “officials” who are basically out to terrorize everyone (apparently. I mean, what else would scary guys in ninja-esque outfits who march grimly around be doing). You’ve got the secret fugitives on a mission… Mysterious backstory that’s only hinted at… Family troubles… Mixed in is some humor… (particularly from Baynan. XD) And I don’t want to give all the story away but I’ve really enjoyed it so far and I have so many questions and just yes.

8. The Worldbuilding

I should have put this one up front because IT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT THIS SHOW. Don’t you love that feeling when you read a really good fantasy book and are swept away in the world? This is like that. You can tell this one’s really well put together and that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. It makes me really really excited for more! (And also it’s fun to rewatch and discover stuff I missed and make theories…)

9. Because it’s awesome and I love it and I need another season, so it needs to go viral so that we’ll get one soon!

I… don’t really think this point needs further elaboration. XD

SCREENSAVE_HUNTER

10. It’s free on YouTube and short enough it won’t become a black hole that eats your time.

So you don’t have to worry things like: “Oh, well, it sounds kinda cool, but I don’t have TIME because I’m in the middle of 10904930 shows already and I need a time machine to keep up with them all already,” and/or “Oh noooo not another show — it will suck away all my time faster than pinterest!” (Or am I the only one who thinks that last thing? *cough*) The point is (much as I would love to watch hours of this thing) the first season consists of 5 ten-minute episodes, so it’s less than an hour to watch, and we all probably spend at least that much time obsessively reloading our inboxes waiting for a particular email (oh, just me again? >.>) — so why not go watch an awesome thing instead?? 😀 (And did I mention FREE?)

Ren the Series Website

Watch Ren

On Youtube

So shoo, why are you still here, you lovely blog-readers? Go watch it! (And if you have already, well then you obviously know what’s up. ;)) Did you enjoy Ren? Do you need the second season as badly as I do? BECAUSE I NEED IT LIKE I NEED AIR. *flails*

This has been an almost-belated (but not quite! It’s still Tuesday, I promise!) Top Ten Tuesday post from a vaguely sleep-deprived writer who should be asleep (which may or may not account for the flailyness of this post).

Thank you and good night. *exits stage left*

(*whatever on earth that means because I fail at theatre references*)

(*Ahem*)

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. >.>

20160321_175410

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! ^_^

tolkprof

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! 🙂

Ishness of a February Variety

ishness

Good day! Time for another round of Ishness… 🙂

LIFE

I’ll get to the writing/reading/etc. categories in a little while, but first, I actually had quite a lot going on the “life” front during February, which is odd for me. 😉

The main thing that happened was halfway through the month I injured my back, which has accounted for my trying to be on the computer/internet less since it seems to do better when I’m not doing that. If I’ve been somewhat less active on the interwebs of late, that would be why.

It’s funny how we take things like moving for granted! I’m very thankful now to be able to move. For a couple of days there I could hardly get around at all and hobbled around with a cane and everything — I felt exactly like Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle, suddenly old! XD (Howl’s Moving Castle makes everything better, including hurt backs and colds. ;)) So if you can move around, remember what a blessing it is, okay? I’m already forgetting and need to try to remember. It’s so good to be able to move! 🙂

It’s been a very interesting experience, and made me slow down and think, which is always a good thing in this hectic life we lead, always dashing about with to-do lists and not stopping to breathe.

But it’s made me realize I need to re-prioritize my life and put health/exercise/looking after myself first. I can’t just live on my computer, apparently, since that’s largely what made me hurt my back.

I’ve been reading some books by a fellow named Pete Egoscue, on using certain stretches and exercises to end chronic pain without drugs or surgery and fix the musculoskeletal system. He makes a very compelling case for many of the health problems and chronic pain going on today being due to a sort of alignment dysfunction of the human body brought on by a lack of varied motion, in this “civilized” world that doesn’t require us to move. It may sound odd but it makes a TON of sense.

I’m still reading through them, but I can’t recommend his books highly enough. Pete Egoscue is AMAZING. The exercises in his book Pain Free got me back on my feet quickly, and I only had a couple of days of extreme pain. Between his books and exercises, prayer, and an amazing family looking after me, as well as a good deal of patience (NOT my strong point… it’s been interesting) I’m happy to say I’m nearly normal again. Yay!

I don’t usually talk about “real”, “important” subjects on my blog, like health and opinions and things, striving usually to just stay on the happy/safe end of the spectrum with things like books and writing and music and movies. But pain is a serious thing, a serious motivator, and I’m quite blown away by Pete Egoscue’s books and simply had to tell the world about them. I’m still doing the exercises for my back, but hope to eventually move on to ones that are supposed to “fix” the structural alignment and help provide a life of motion to prevent future injuries/chronic pain of this kind.

It’s going to be a journey, and one that I know many people (including myself) feel they don’t have time for. But I don’t have time to stop my life for a week due to pain, either. I may say more on this in the future, but in the meantime, I highly recommend his books Pain Free (which I haven’t finished reading), and Pain Free at Your PC (which I read in its entirety since, after all, for a couple days there I couldn’t do much besides lie in bed and read… my back was helpful like that. ;)).

But it wasn’t all bad, this month of February! I also managed to do some fun things, even after the whole back fiasco, which I’m super thankful for being better enough to do.

For one thing, I made it to a library booksale, which is always fun, and found a smallish stack of books.

librarysalefeb16

And I had the chance to go to a writer’s workshop held by Christian YA Fantasy/Thriller author Jamie Foley, speaking on writing, self-publishing, marketing, etc. It was extremely fascinating and Jamie herself was super sweet, funny, and informative.

WRITING

KW2coverPI was supposed to get back into writing during February, after my month off from writing in January… But this month arrived and I realized I had no idea where to START. I was trying to decide what story to work on and consequently got hardly anything done, just editing a couple chapters of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Then with the whole back thing and suddenly spending a bare minimum of time on the computer, writing just suddenly wasn’t a priority anymore, and I gave myself permission to relax on that front as well.

OHEcoverWith the consequence that, since computer time was precious, I actually got around to starting The Other Half of Everything! I’ve written snippets before (over 6K words of them…) but hadn’t officially “started” it with an opening and everything. So I did that. Which is most exciting! Even if it was only 400 words, at least I “started” it! ^_^

But what with everything else going on, a couple of edited chapters and a page of OHE is something to be proud of, so I’m pretty happy with the pitifully small amount of writing I got done in February. 😛

INTERVIEWED

The last day of February (I told you it was for leaping!) I was interviewed by Heidi Peterson! Some fascinating questions there that I had a ton of fun answering — check it out if you haven’t. 🙂

READING

feb2016read

I read 12 books in February… quite an odd bunch, as you can see!

I was thrilled to find the Jackaby books at my library, and read them both, plus the free Kindle novella, all in a week… I’m rather addicted, and very excited about the next book, coming in August — which just had the cover revealed! *flails*

Also, can I take a moment to say: R. F. Jackaby himself TALKED TO ME ON TWITTER. *dies of fangirl feels overload* (Yes, he’s on Twitter. Yes, this is the coolest thing I’ve heard in a long time.)

jackabytweet

It was the best thing EVER.

I also took part in the Fantasy Love February Reading Challenge held by Grace Mullins @ Fictionally (and she just won a place in the Five Magic Spindles collection! Yay! :)) so it was fun to read some more fantasy for a change, even if I didn’t get to everything I planned to read.

And, as I mentioned, Pain Free at Your PC by Pete Egoscue, which is amazing.

I should have another Reading Roundup over on my book blog soonish, talking about all the books… Speaking of which…

ON MY BOOK BLOG IN FEBRUARY

LISTENING TO…

Blessings” by Laura Story. (And, to be honest, still Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey. What can I say. The obsession runs deep. I adore it. <3) Both have been apt for this chapter in my life. Sometimes life has clouds and it’s hard to keep going when it’s hard to remember that there are sunbeams… somewhere…

(There were also large amounts of Silly Wizard music consumed and re-consumed on Youtube, but that’s not unusual…)

WATCHING

Occasional episodes of Jeeves & Wooster, since I found a few at the library sale. So much fun! (I still love P.G. Wodehouse’s books better, but the episodes are quite different and still hilarious, in a different sort of way.) Bertie and Jeeves are a great pair and their actors are just perfectly hilarious together.

AROUND THE INTERNET

I haven’t had this category before, and I don’t know how good I’ll be at keeping up with it in the future, but here are a few things that went on or are going on around the internet recently or soonish.

MARCH PLANS

I… don’t really know what my March plans are. Aside from a few books to read for beta or review, which looks to keep me busy, nothing else is set in stone… I hope to do some writing of some kind, but we’ll see what happens. I’d love to read some Diana Wynne Jones books but might be too busy… I may try to keep my computer time down, and I’ll be trying to figure out a new outlook on life involving exercise and actually taking care of myself — novel concept, right? 😉

I’ll also be attempting to survive Daylight Savings Time this week. …Ahem.

How was your February and what are your March plans? 🙂

I’ll just leave you with this. XD