Of Writing and …Stags? #TheWritersTag

I saw this tag on Mirriam Neal’s blog and decided to steal it.

Ahem. Borrow.

*scours entire internet to find gif of Captain Jack Sparrow saying “Borrowed. Borrowed without permission” and discovers that one does not apparently exist and is now sad*

Except there was permission, because Mirri left it open for people to consider themselves tagged. So I am doing so.

What’s with the stag, then, you ask?

Well, for one thing, they’re awesome and we should always have stags. *nods seriously*

What do they have to do with this post? Ohhhh, that’s what you meant…

Well, as I remarked over on Mirri’s blog: I first read “TheWritersTag” as “TheWriterStag” and now have images of an antlered author somewhere in a green wood living incognito as the White Stag and granting wishes to writers who are seeking release from the curse of Writer’s Block.

The Writer Stag is now a thing. We should all go questing for it together.

Aaaanyhoo… I’m doing this tag thing, so enjoy.

#TheWritersTag

1. What genres, styles, and topics do you write about?

Genres: Let’s just call it Speculative Fiction; for the most part Fantasy. Mostly epic fantasy, contemporary fantasy, or fairytale retellings. I occaaasionally dabble in steampunk, sci-fi, etc. All bets are off on my short stories, which are all different and weird. XD

Styles? I have no idea. But I hope they’re kind of funny? I try to adapt the styles for the “feel” of each book.

Topics… yeesh. I don’t put topics in on purpose, I just write the story that wants telling. If it wants to have specific topics, I won’t complain, but it probably wasn’t on purpose.

2. How long have you been writing?

It’s been 10 years since I decided to officially finish a book and be a writer (though I had been writing for a few years before that, even). Basically, it’s been awhile.

I started out with the first few pages of my (now) epic fantasy series (in a pink notebook); and a rather-obvious re-imagining of Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three (with magical chickens instead of a magical pig); and continuing from The Magician’s Nephew, the story of the first king and queen of Narnia (I got about a page of this done, which consisted almost entirely of a long list of what they were planting in their gardens. Yeah.).

Not actually sure which of those were first, second, or third, and I remember some other scribbles as well, but I barely remember a time when I wasn’t writing something.

3. Why do you write?

I’m going to commandeer Mirri’s answer to this one:

“Because I need to. Next question.”

(Because yes. Yes exactly.)

4. When is the best time to write?

Definitely the nighttime, when I’ve finished with the day and it’s dark and quiet and I have no distractions or things I need to do, and will not be interrupted.

Unfortunately, this makes for a very night-owl-ish writer.

I wish I wan’t a night owl because I know I should actually, you know, get up early and be on a good schedule, but night seems to be when my creativity awakes, so a night owl writer I be.

5. Parts of writing you love vs. parts you hate?

Um. It really depends. Sometimes I love the actual writing, other times I… don’t. But that’s usually a lack of writing, and hating having to start?

So, I’d say I love most the actual writing, when it’s flowing well. I also love the feeling of finishing a story. The best thing ever. ❤

I have occasional quarrels with editing, and dislike having to start, usually, because it’s hard, guys. Starting is the absolute worst part. Don’t try to tell me otherwise.

6. How do you overcome writers block?

I will… get back to you on that.

7. Are you working on something at the moment?

Sort of? It depends how recent/active qualifies as “at the moment.” XD

I also occasionally work on The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (because Tare and the Chess Club are always doing something in my head), and The Other Half of Everything (because my absentminded author character Teague loves to banter with his opinionated housekeeper Meridian).

I have a couple of short stories I’ve been writing and/or hoping to write this month for Camp NaNo, although there’s only a week left, so I suspect I won’t get anything else done.

But since I already wrote 11K this month and my goal was 5K, that’s probably all right…

8. Writing goals this year?

These are vague, nebulous and ever-changing, but at the moment:

  • Write a couple of short stories (I have a list…)
  • Finish the first chapter of The Other Half of Everything (I WILL do this someday, I WILL)
  • Write Part 2 of The Secret of Kedran’s Wood a.k.a. all of it that I have plotted at the moment (lofty goals, y’all. o.o)
  • Mayyybe finish The Library in the Stars (Camp NaNo round 2, do I hear you calling meeeee?)
  • Write something for NaNoWriMo. Current candidates to choose from: The Quest of Kedran’s Wood, Once Upon a November, or The Siren and the Skyship, or some rebel mix of several WIPs. No idea which of the four (or something else) it might be. But that’s very far out, so don’t quote me on this.

Likelihood of these things all happening this year?

I’ve been very timidly creeping back into the world of writing after a long year+ of burn-out.

So I have no delusions about getting all these goals done this year.

Oh wait. I do.

How foolish of me. >.>

So there you have #TheWritersTag or #TheWriterStag or whatever.

Feel free to consider yourself tagged if you want to do it!

What do you think? Was this a post about writing? Or about stags?

Or just an excuse to throw lots of Captain Jack Sparrow and Han Solo gifs at you?

…Probably.

If you need me, I’ll be on a quest in search of the Writer Stag to help me with my lofty writerly goals.

Gifs via Giphy.com, Stag images via Pixabay.com
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The Return of the Ishness!

Ishnesses of Late a.k.a. the Return of the King Ishness!

Heya lovely blog-readers! ❤

It’s been quiiite awhile since I did an ishness post of any sort (it comes to my attention I haven’t Ishness-ified anything from 2017 yet…) so here’s some of the ishnesses I’ve been up to in the last two+ months, ever since 2017 began!

LIFELY THINGS

GRAPHIC DESIGN IS FUNNNN. ❤

I designed my first “official” website for the Vintage Jane Austen series, as I may have mentioned.

I’d like to possibly get into setting up websites for people, as well as freelance copy-editing, so I’m starting to think about working toward these things. 🙂 I’ve just discovered that I really enjoy designing websites, graphic design work, and freeing the world from pesky typos, so I’d like to pursue these things in the future!

In related news, reading the punctuation section of The Chicago Manual of Style is beautifully refreshing because the punctuation is all correct. Be still my beating heart; what a breath of fresh air. ^_^

(On a related note: It pains me to use incorrect punctuation etc. on Twitter, but I often have to. The problems of being a long-winded perfectionist with only 140 characters in which to say something. -_-)

I started a Bullet Journal this week… It’s really mostly things I’ve been doing for ages now, but streamlined into one notebook with a couple new ideas. (Thanks to Lisa Pickle for introducing me to the concept, and Kyle Robert Schultz for a wonderful post on How To Make An Ugly Bullet Journal which inspired me to stop procrastinating and start).

Hopefully it will help me be more productive! (The notebook was a lovely birthday present from my sis. ❤ The epic Sherlock bookmark I won in a giveaway — and got in the mail today AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH — and was made by Hannah McIntyre of simplywalkintomordor @ Etsy. :))

WRITING

I’ve been creeping cautiously into writing this year. I’ve done more than I had this time last year, but less than I used to; I’m just trying to get back into it, carefully, without overwhelming or stressing myself. (I’m aware this makes me sound like a very small, very startle-able rabbit. Excuse me for being twitchy after burning myself out on writing and having too many expectations. XD)

I wrote a short story (Wintertale) and worked a little bit on The Other Half of Everything and The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (also know as Teague and Tare, respectively). And some random stuff like for a dare etc.

I’ve written 6000+ words this year so far, though I’m not keeping too close track (another thing I’m trying… less hounding myself like a police dog — remember the startled rabbit, self!).

SNIPPETS

“That’s none of your concern,” Greg said.

“I’ll find out,” Tare said. He raised one eyebrow, adding, “But you’re right, I’m not concerned. Threats don’t work on me.”

“Then what does?”

“Maybe I’ll let you know if I find that out.”

The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2)

***

Tare tilted his head. “Oh, I’m not playing this game.”

“What makes you think,” Greg said, bared teeth glittering, “that it’s a game, little boy?”

Tare smiled.

The Secret of Kedran’s Wood (KW2)

“With how absentminded you are, it’s a wonder your food doesn’t always burn to a crisp,” I grumbled.

“Oh, it usually does,” Teague agreed placidly. “Just not with so many—erm—flames.”

The Other Half of Everything

***

“What is it you do?” I asked, unable to stop my curiosity.

Teague beamed, staring dreamily off into the middle distance, and announced, as if it was the most natural thing in the world: “I write books.”

That was when I knew I had made a horrible mistake.

The Other Half of Everything

READING

Aside from short stories, re-reads, and beta-reads, this is what I’ve read lately (a.k.a. new novels I’ve read this year).

  1. Magician’s Ward by Patricia C. Wrede — Regency Fantasy with a former-street-thief heroine and a one-of-a-kind magician hero and humor and shenanigans and a dash of romance and basically Austen + magic? Gimme. (Seriously, I need more Regency Fantasy — where has it been all my life?) 5 stars
  2. Nyssa Glass and the Hall of Mirrors by H.L. Burke — Steampunk/sci-fi reminding me of Doctor Who a bit, with a catburglar heroine and a snarky computer? Yum. A little creepy for me and a touch short, but I quite enjoyed it. Humor makes me happy. Looking forward to the rest of the novellas in this series. 4 stars
  3. The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton — Historical fantasy; I admit, I’m only here for the faeries in Victorian (?) England and the mysterious dark guy named Rieker; oh yeah, it also features thieves (is this a trend??) and the heroine annoyed me etc. but still fairly fun. Ought to be 3 stars, but make it 4 stars for Rieker and creepy faerie things and the prince.
  4. King’s Warrior by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt — I FINALLY READ THIS ONE. Dragons and fantasy goodness and BRANT AND KIERNAN KANE. <333 I’m very attached, I tell you. ^_^ 5 stars
  5. The Firethorn Crown by Lea Doué — Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling? I’M ALL THERE. Great fun, a few annoyances, fun princes, conflicted about the villain. 4 stars
  6. Wild Robert by Diana Wynne Jones — Very short, very strange, stopped too suddenly but enormous fun and I loved the twist. One of the only books I’ve ever considered writing fan fiction to continue because I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT. Oh well. 😛 5 stars
  7. Aunt Maria by Diana Wynne Jones — MORE STRANGENESS BUT WOW. I can’t even describe it. Definitely one of the more strange DWJ books (but they all are) and… yeah, haven’t totally wrapped my mind around what I think, but it had time travel and a girl who writes, and actually delved into some deep stuff too, and was very interesting and fun. Plus Chris is the best. XD 5 stars
  8. Mort by Terry Pratchett — Um. It’s full of strange Discworldness because how else do you describe these shenanigans? I got very attached to Mort — he’s a great hero — and it’s dark in a way, so not for everyone, but quite funny. 4 stars
  9. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen — Finally read all the main 6 Jane Austen books! It was so difficult for me to read about all the HORRIBLE HORRIBLE PEOPLE in this book… ahem. But I ended up finding it a pretty good book all the same. 🙂 4 stars
  10. Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett — Another Discworld book, sequel-ish to Mort. Everything I said about that one applies; though Mort himself is not in this one. Bizarre/funny. 4 stars

I’ve also been doing much beta-reading, trying to catch up.

And re-reading lots of things, including the rest of the Chrestomanci books. ❤

I also read Howl’s Moving Castle for the 5th time. #NoRegrets

(See everything I’ve been reading here.)

WATCHING

  • The Deputy — I finished this and enjoyed it muchly. ❤ Favorite Western show ever! The humor and characters Deputy Marshall Clay McCord and Chief Marshall Simon Fry (Henry Fonda). Such a great “buddy story”!
  • Sherlock season 4 — I… um… don’t know what to think about this except the last episode was too creepy and the first episode was… yeah. But the middle one I liked muchly (I think?) and overall naturally it’s fun to have Sherlock and company doing stuff again. 😀
  • Gladiator — So I’ve heard a lot about this? A lot of people I know like it for some reason? I guess it was okay, but I don’t care much for Roman things and SOMEBODY neglected to tell me what happens at the end, so… yeah. But it figures. XD I like the music, though.
  • Archer’s Goon — I had no idea this existed until recently (a BBC mini-series from 1992 which is a total of 2.5 hours) and while it was super cheesy and 90s and lacking in budget and the actors weren’t quite right, nevertheless there were a lot of lines from the book and I just greatly enjoyed seeing a Diana Wynne Jones story onscreen. 🙂
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) — Yes indeed, I FINALLY saw the one with Anthony Andrews and Ian McKellen, and I must say, although it wasn’t totally like the book, I did quite enjoy it. 🙂 (Gandalf was young and black-haired and a villain once?? :O) Percy was cool (although huuuugely annoying sometimes XD), Chauvelin was an interesting villain, and Marguerite and Armand are like the most adorable siblings for some reason? I just irrationally enjoyed it a lot, so yes, quite fun. XD
  • Persuasion (1995) — Yes indeed, this is the one with Ciaran Hinds, another one everyone always said I needed to watch, so I finally was able to because I won it in a giveaway (thanks, Rachel!), and ’twas quite enjoyable. 🙂 Now I want to re-watch the other one to compare them. 😀

LISTENING

I’ve been listening to smatterings of gorgeousness by Michael Card and Lindsey Stirling, and various Celtic things like by Andy M. Stewart.

There’s so much gorgeous music in the world, and I don’t often remember to listen to it, so I’m trying to remind myself!

I’ve also been listening to Stars by Skillet, their acoustic version of it (which I hear is for a movie or something but it’s just SO PRETTY). Seriously if you haven’t heard this, go listen to it. ❤

ONLINE THINGS

I live on Goodreads and Twitter a lot lately. *gasp* So if I’m not blogging much about life or reading, I may still be talking about it over there!

In case you missed them… (Feel free to skip this bit. XD)

Book Blog posts this year:

Posts around here:

It’s March Magics! Celebrating Diana Wynne Jones (and Terry Pratchett) all month long. ❤ I’m having a blast, y’all. 🙂

It Is Not Too Much To Ask For A Happy Ending (from The Invisible Moth) — THIS POST MAKES ME HAPPY. PLEASE READ IT. ❤

Speaking of happy endings… This is the end of this (long) post, because that’s all I can think of just now. I hope you enjoyed the Return of the Ishness! Thanks so much for reading! Thoughts? Share them below, along with what you’ve been up to lately! ^_^ I hope you’re having a lovely March, roadlings! ❤

#DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords Tag

#DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords

#DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords

Quite some time ago, the lovely Rebekah Hendrian (@booklass13) tagged me for a writing tag on Twitter, #DescribeYourWIPinThreeWords, which is exactly what it sounds like. I promptly did not do it, due to not knowing which WIP to try. So I thought I’d turn it into a tag on my blog and expand it.

I decided I’d take a dozen of my WIPs (don’t worry, I’ve only started half of them; the others are in plotting mode) and do all of them with three words each.

It’s really difficult, by the way, so I don’t know how well I did . . . But I tried and it’s all in fun anyway. 😉

KW2coverP

The Secret of Kedran’s Wood

Winter, doubt, friendship.

OHEcover

The Other Half of Everything

Writer, worlds, siblings.

NewIMcover

The Invisible Mask

Secrets, mansions, gentlemen.

CoverHeartseeker

Heartseeker

Heartless love. Bard.

SPcover

Song of a Pirate

Memory, sea, selkies.

HH

Hairdo Havoc

Bizarre. Traveler. Humor.

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The Silver Forest

Curse. Faes. Princesses.

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The Siren and the Skyship

Steampunk. Love. Tea.

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The Library in the Stars (NaNo 2016)

Time, minds, space.

Once Upon a November

Magic, writing, pumpkins.

From That Shadowy Land

Changelings, shadows, Tamlin.

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The Princes of Starrellia

Adventure, princes, bears.

***

So there you have it! What do you think?? Also how would you describe your WIP in 3 words?

Writer’s Life Tag

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I was tagged for the Writer’s Life Tag by Lauri a.k.a. Christine @ Musings of an Elf — thank youuuu! ^_^ (Everybody go read/follow her blog ASAP because it’s fantastic in all meanings of that word. ❤ )

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I miiight have done this one once? It sounds familiar? But I don’t even care if I did because it’s a fun writer tag and is awesome. SO LET’S DO THIS THIIING.

Write-fuel: What do you eat/drink while writing?

I don’t, really. I can’t multi-task very well like that: I either write or I eat/drink, but not both at once. XD I’ve taken to having a glass of water nearby while I’m writing, but that’s about as food/beverage-y as it gets.

Write-sounds: What do you listen to while writing?

If I do listen to music, it’s usually instrumental Celtic music, or else music that’s inspirational for the particular book I’m working on.

Write-vice: What’s your most debilitating distraction?

Oh, so many. Internet. Pinterest. Goodreads. Blogging instead of writing “real” words. Endlessly making lists of my various WIPs instead of writing them…

Write-horror: What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you while writing?

When my computer starts freaking out and breaking in the middle of something. Horrifying. It gives me a heart attack and makes me fear I’m about to lose all my work. 😛 If the power cord accidentally got pulled out and the screen suddenly goes black… Also, recently, my “A” key has taken to falling off my keyboard. Yeah. >.>

Write-joy: What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you while writing, or how do you celebrate small victories?

Finishing a story, or the thrill of inspiration when you’re typing as fast as you can and still can’t keep up, when a scene is really shaping up as something special/unexpected and the characters are just being a blast. ❤

Write-crew: Who do you communicate with or not communicate with while writing?

While writing, no one. I need to write by myself, pretty much. But I’ll often talk to my sister about writing, and a few good friends online who are writers, as well as blogging… It’s very motivational to have writerly friends to talk with. ^_^ *group hug for all you wonderful people*

Write-secret: What’s your writing secret to success or hidden flaw?

Secret to success: draft-zero scene outlining. It works wonders. I really need to do a post about it someday.

(Not-so-)hidden flaw: I procrastinate and am afraid of starting. I don’t just sit down and start writing.

Write-spiration: What always makes you productive?

If I knew the answer to this, I’d have a lot more written than I do. XD I’ve noticed taking a walk helps sometimes… I should do that more often.

Write-peeve: What’s one thing writers do (or you do) that’s annoying?

Other writers: killing off characters. 😛

Me: not writing.

Write-words: Share one sentence from a project, past or present.

One-sentence snippet I wrote recently:

Ivan sent Teague a half-awake glare that read (even to my inexperienced-with-siblings eye) “I will hurt you” and then fell asleep again.

–from The Other Half of Everything

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 And that’s what’s up in this writer’s life! Thoughts? Consider yourself tagged if you want! 🙂

I’m Baaack! (All the Augustishness)

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August 2016

Hello, my roadlings! I’m back from hiatus. ^_^ …Though I didn’t do as much hiatus-ing as I planned. *coughcough*

Life-ing

It was overall a busy month and I spent a lot of it catching up on things instead of relaxing… Eheh. Because apparently I make sense like that…?

EH. Whatever. I WILL NEVER PRETEND TO UNDERSTAND MYSELF BECAUSE I’M JUST TOO CONFUSING. Ahem.

ANYWAY, I did catch up on reviews and reading for review, so that’s a relief. 🙂 I love reading books for review and beta-ing and stuff but sometimes it gets a bit much… There’s one book I hope to read for review in the next month or two (I CAN’T WAIT. :D), but other than that I’m hoping to officially take a break from review copies and beta-reading (once I catch up on a few beta-books I’ve currently got on my list, which I’m excited about).

I’ve just been focusing so much on reading things for other people that I haven’t been able to read for ME, and I’ve also noticed that my writing has seriously suffered for it. Balance and I do not really work together very well… so I need to work on that. But a break sounds kind of nice. I JUST WISH I HAD TIME TO DO EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE BECAUSE I WOULD LOVE TO IF I COULD BUT I CAN’T BECAUSE TIIIIIME. D:

Also! This happened:

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jackaby2

Actual conversation Jackaby and his author William Ritter had with me. It was glorious.

 

Writing

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I actually didn’t end up focusing on writing at all, but I did manage to write a couple thousand words of The Other Half of Everything snippets, as well as some plotting for that and a couple other things. Teague and Meridian make me happy. ^_^

S&Scover4A character in my steampunk/fantasy fairytale-retelling of The Little Mermaid, The Siren and the Skyship, informed me that I had gotten his name wrong and told me the correct one. Don’t you just love it when that happens? 😛

I also happened to dream about 3 different stories of mine this month, which I’m calling a win. Even if I wasn’t writing, at least there was no lack of reminding me that I should have been, even in my sleep. XD

In all honesty though, I’m just kind of kicking back from pushing myself on my writing currently. It’s been a slow year but that’s okay and I think I just might need some time to not stress over it. We’ll see what happens.

Also, August 31st marked the 8-year anniversary of finishing my first novel! So that was exciting. 🙂 Can you believe 2008 was 8 years ago? (Where does time even go??)

Snippet

OHEcover“We’ll go find some pastries and coffee. Celebrate, remember?” Teague said.

“You never drink coffee,” I objected.

“How do you know? Sometimes I do.”

“You said it’s an over-used cliché about writers and you abhor it, or some such.”

Teague looked taken aback. “I did not,” he protested.

“You did.”

“Well . . . I may have said something of the kind once. But I don’t honestly mind coffee. I do drink it sometimes.”

“You drink tea, though. That’s another writer cliché. Or so I hear.”

“Everyone drinks tea,” Teague remarked placidly. “It’s like breathing.”

— from The Other Half of Everything

Reading

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I… shall get a reading roundup post up on my book blog later this week, methinks. ‘Twas a very interesting month of reading! O_O I seem to be reading a strange collection of books these days. XD

An FBI mystery, an epic fantasy (reread) and modern fantasy both by Diana Wynne Jones, finally reading Emma by Jane Austen, The Bone House (book #2) continuing the series by Stephen Lawhead that started off with The Skin Map (EEP. ❤ ), and a historical fiction Christian romance, as well as some beta-reading. These all managed to snag 4 or 5 stars, so it was a good reading month. 🙂

Of course, it’s a liiittle bit sad that I was just one book short of finishing my “official” Goodreads reading-goal of 60 books for the year… But since I’m kinda-sorta hoping to read 75 books if I can (shhh, don’t tell anyone) I guess that’s okay. 😉

Blogging

You may or may not have noticed that I did a bit of design tweaking around here! New header, new blog button (feel free to borrow. XD), and an overall lighter look. I’m so happy with it. ^_^ *twirls around*

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I even added a page I’ve been meaning to do for quite awhile, a page of my reviews — so you can check that out if you wish (if nothing else, for all the pretty covers. ;)).

I was on hiatus (ish) this month, but I still got a few needful posts up… (I know they’re long titles, for which I apologize. XD)

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Lately on my book blog:

September plans

My September’s going to be REALLY busy… I don’t know how that’s going to go.

But I have some really exciting things going on here on the blog this month, which I will be ANNOUNCING ON FRIDAY! …What, why would I announce it now? Of course I’m not announcing it now. Not when I can keep you in suspense instead…

So stay tuned…

September’s right on the edge of prep-for-NaNo season, so I’d better get things done this month before October arrives and sweeps me away. 😉

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT’S SEPTEMBER??? THERE ARE LESS THAN 2 FULL MONTHS BEFORE NANO ARRIVES. LIKE. WHAT. HOW DO THESE THINGS HAPPEN TO US HONESTLY.

nano2016launchsoon

(I will also take this opportunity to quietly freak out in a corner about the fact that I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT I’M WRITING FOR NANO THIS YEAR — WHAT EVEN IS THIS NONSENSE.)

Ahem.

So that’s what’s been up with me! How about yourselves? Did you survive without me while I was on hiatus? (Haha, just kidding. XD) What have you been up to in August?

Have a splendid week, roadlings, and I’ll see you back here on Friday . . ! (I’m such a tease. ;))