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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

October Doings!

Hello, everyone! It feels like it's been a long time since I wrote a non-tour blog post . . . probably because it has been. Whoops. In my defense, October's been a pretty busy month, as you're going to see in this post.

Writing!

  • Guys, I actually wrote something this month! Not for school, I mean!
  • Seriously, though. That's a pretty significant thing. Not that it's a significant number of words- only about a thousand- but that's better than I did last month.
  • (Admittedly, half those words only came about because some friends reminded me that I needed to hurry up and finish my part of a story we're coauthoring. And the other half happened because I went outside in the evening to do schoolwork, but then I realized that, nope, tonight is not a night for planning an essay; tonight is a writing night. Also, I had no idea how to organize the essay and made the executive decision to go to the writing center for help. So, yeah. I wrote. It was lovely. Maybe it'll happen again next month?)
  • I also wrote two papers and an annotated outline for actual classwork. I'm quite proud of the first paper- it's the justice paper I mentioned last month. Not only did I reference The Princess Bride, but I basically used it to frame my essay in certain respects. So, yeah, that was awesome. I'm slightly less satisfied with the second paper, but I still have time to edit it, and I don't think it turned out too bad. (It better not have- I've already spent twice as long on it as I meant to!
  • Oh, and I'm sticking this in this section because it doesn't quite fit anywhere else: this past Friday, I discovered Ambient Mixer. Basically, this creates "background noise" loops meant to evoke a certain atmosphere. But that's not the best part. The best part is all the fantasy/sci-fi themed atmospheres. For example, there's a whole section based on The Lord of the Rings (I love the Rivendell Library mix), another section based on superhero movies (which I haven't explored much, but looks pretty cool), and even a mix based on Howl's Moving Castle. How awesome is that? (Note: this doesn't mean that I'm giving up on music- some of these have music included in them, and those that don't, I tend to use in conjunction with music, usually something classical or just instrumental.)

Reading!

  • Um. So my reading went waaaaaay down this month, if you can't tell. It's not as bad as it was back in July. But it's still pretty bad. 
  • I continued my reread of the Queen's Thief series, as you can probably see. I just finished A Conspiracy of Kings, which I enjoyed more the second time around, even if Sophos is slightly an idiot at times. I also enjoyed The Queen of Attolia more this time, since I knew what was coming and could see the clues when they showed up. And, of course, The King of Attolia is absolutely fabulous; it's still my favorite book in the series. And there's going to be a new Queen's Thief book coming out and it has a title and a cover and a synopsis and it's going to be awesome and I'm so excited!
  • Plus I read Lady Dragon, Tela Du, which is the latest release from Kendra E. Ardnek. Y'all should read it, because it's awesome. If you didn't notice, I also participated in the release tour, which was super fun. I got to interview Petra, and she's one of my favorite Rizkaland characters. 
  • My second-to-last book for the month: Amusing Ourselves to Death, which I read for my Comp class (as I already mentioned). It's nonfiction and was written in 1985, but it's still pretty interesting, all about the effect of news media and other "serious" TV on the way we think, act, and carry out things like politics and education. I highly recommend reading it. 
  • And my final book, which I also read for school and just finished yesterday: Augustine's Confessions. It was long. And rather dense in places. And more than once climbed into theological discussions that made me go "Wait, what? There are words, and there are sentences, but I think I'm missing some pieces here?" Augustine was, obviously, a very smart guy, and I am very glad that my Honors professor went over two of the hardest sections last month or else I would've been totally lost and very much stressed. So, yeah.

Watching! 

  • My roommate and I finished Firefly over fall break. And now there's no more Mal and Kaylee and River and Simon and Serenity and everyone else and I'm sad. Hopefully we'll get our hands on the movie sometime . . . except I've heard that characters die in it. So. I don't know.
  • On a happier note: as you can probably guess from the image above, we started watching Merlin! So far, I'm enjoying it, but I'm looking forward to whenever Merlin stops being such an idiot. Also, I'm having a very hard time not shipping him and Guinevere, even though I know they're both meant for other people.
  • My roomie and I also watched Spirited Away, which is a Studio Ghibli film. It was . . . interesting. Very weird in some ways, very good in others, and sort of fairy-tale-ish but not exactly. I did enjoy it, so that's good.

 Life!

  • I made a Mistcloak!!!!!!!! And got to actually wear it out to a legit costume party!!!!!
  • (And obviously that's the most important thing that happened this month. Obviously.)
  • Going back to the beginning, though- I left off in my last Doings post with Parents Weekend, which was awesome. The week after that was pretty uneventful, if I recall correctly. 
  • And then Fall Break arrived! And I spent an entire day doing almost nothing productive. And then the day after that was . . .
  • Craft day! My roommate decided to do art and made three paintings for our room. I think they turned out pretty well. And I fulfilled a life-goal and made a Mistcloak! Which took the better part of a day and a half, though it would've taken less time if I'd realized sooner that I could cut strips and watch Firefly at the same time.
  • Pictures and a tutorial will be coming, by the way. I just need to get a weekend that isn't totally  consumed by schoolwork in which to edit the pictures. 
  • Oh, and over fall break my roommate and I got a diffuser for our room. So occasionally our room smells like essential oils, which is nice, especially when it's peppermint. And playing with the steam/mist stream amuses me, particularly when I'm tired.
  • And then I got back from fall break and immediately panicked because I had three million things due in the next three or four weeks and I had done (almost) nothing useful towards that end over break. Plus I had misread the reading assignment for one of my classes, and so I only read a fraction of what I should've.
  • It got better, though. Both of my midterms went well, though I'm still waiting for the grade on one of them. And I'm done with all but two of the big assignments, so that's good.
  • And I got to dress up twice in the space of a week!!!!!!! (Three times, if you count wearing a capelet and vaguely fantasy-ish outfit on Halloween.) My major has a Halloween party/costume contest, so I wore my Mistcloak to that. No one recognized what I was, but they all seemed fairly impressed by the cape, so it was ok. And then my dorm holds another Halloween event, which was two days later, and which provided a much-needed study break at the end of a stressful day. So I dressed up in my Lorien cloak and an elven-ish outfit and wandered the halls of my dorm and got candy and a cupcake. It was quite enjoyable.
  • I'm also just about done with the cowl I've been crocheting for the last few months, which I'm rather happy about. 
  • Still looking for a church. I've made some progress, in that I've eliminated churches I was thinking about and found new ones to try. But, yeah. It's a long, slow process.

    November Plans!

    • Most of you have probably figured this out by now, but I'm not doing NaNoWriMo, not even as a rebel. I have enough on my plate as it is. 
    • However, to keep y'all company, I am thinking that I'll try to write something creative every day- a hundred words at least, maybe more when I can. (I'll allow one grace day a week, like during the 100-4-100 challenge.) I know I can manage that.
    • The press of major papers and assignments has also slowed down. I have a group project for Honors, an exam in New Testament Lit, and a research paper for Comp, and that's pretty much all for the month in terms of big schoolwork stuff.
    • On the topic of the research paper: it's rather pleasant when very smart scholars who spend all their time studying stuff write long papers that tell you you're right about something you feel passionately about. 
    • Also: Thanksgiving break is coming!!!!!!! And that means I get to go home! And see my family! It's going to be awesome.
    • The reading will continue as usual, of course. I'm currently working on one of my roommate's favorite series, The Cat's Eye Chronicles. I'm about a third of the way through the first book and currently don't know how I feel about most of the characters, save one. But I am enjoying it, so yeah.
    • And I'll keep looking for a church. I have two that I need to revisit and two others I want to visit for the first time, so we'll see how that works out. Hopefully this will be the month I find the right place . . . I want to find the right place by the beginning of next semester if I can, just so I can be settled.
     How was your October? What are your November plans? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? Please tell me in the comments!
    Thanks for reading!
    -Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

    4 comments:

    1. AHH your October sounds amazing, and don't worry, I love book tours, so much fun :D Your reading looks amazing to me, I can barely get 4 books in a month, 6 books is a good reading month for me XD

      sigh. I am doing NaNoWrimo which I'm probably going to hate myself for in a couple weeks but oh well, the joy of winning NaNo is definitely worth it.

      ~ Noor

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      1. Thanks! And I think my average is 10-ish books a month? But it does depend somewhat.

        NaNo is always worth it. :D Almost always, anyway. Good luck!

        Thanks for commenting!

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    2. I'm not doing NaNO either this year (sad sigh). But I like your idea of still doing something like the 100-4-100 challenge.

      Studying Augustine's Confessions sounds like fun! What stood out to you the most?

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      1. Danke! You're welcome to join me, if you like!

        It was interesting. Not always fun- Augustine's too hard to understand for it to always be that. One of the things that stood out to me the most was how smart the guy was, and how effortlessly he seemed to weave Scripture into his writings. That's impressive. (As far as lessons go- the proper place of suffering, thoughts on time and God's relationship to time, and how the mystery of the human mind testifies to the glory of God were probably my biggest takeaways).

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