- Still working on Fight Song.
- It's almost done, though! Like, I have maybe one or two scenes left before the climax! So if all goes to plan, I'll have it done before I go back to Cedarville!
- Um. Yeah. That's about it.
- So I don't know if you can tell or not, but December has been the best reading month I've had since August. AUGUST. There's seventeen books up there, plus at least four rereads that aren't pictured.
- The first half of the month- by which I mean the part when I was at college- was taken up by the Percy Jackson series, plus the first two Heroes of Olympus. I've enjoyed both series on the whole; they're surprisingly good. I'm looking forward to reading The Mark of Athena, but I won't do that until I go back to college.
- I read three books on the way home: a reread of Reapers, then Beyond the Gateway, and finally The Prisoner of Zenda. All were quite good; the two new ones were both better than I expected.
- And then, upon my arrival home, I found both White Sand and Ghostly Echoes waiting for me! White Sand was, as I mentioned yesterday, disappointing. Ghostly Echoes was decidedly not, and was one of the highlights of the month, after . . .
- Arcanum Unbounded! Which I already talked about yesterday, so I won't repeat myself, but it's basically awesome.
- The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, the next book on my list, was . . . interesting. Sort of historical fantasy, but it left me wondering a lot of things, and I'm not sure how much of it was even real, so . . . mixed feelings there.
- Then comes Christmas! I only read three Christmas-related books all month, and two weren't technically books, I suppose- they were holiday drabbles from the Raven Cycle world. But Behold the Lamb of God is an Advent storybook/devotional thing, which I enjoyed.
- Also, the night before Christmas, I started thinking about the Mistborn Wax and Wayne series, and how good those were, and how I wanted to reread them after having read some theories elsewhere that explained a link between them and Secret History that I hadn't noticed . . . and then I found Shadows of Self under the Christmas tree. Obviously that was a sign that I was supposed to follow through on my impulse, so I reread those three books and enjoyed them even more than I did the first time.
- And we come to the final book pictured: Paper Crowns, which was, as I mentioned yesterday, quite a fun little read- perhaps not quite as good as I hoped, but still very enjoyable.
- One other not-pictured book: my family is currently listening to The Scarlet Pimpernel as an audiobook. I'm enjoying it- I guessed the identity of the titular character correctly, which makes me happy- but I wonder a bit if the author was being paid by the word, because there seems to be a lot of repeated description.
- This month was pretty low in the watching category. My roommate and I, despite our plans, only managed one or two more episodes of Merlin, which means we still have two left before we finish Season One. I hoped to have the first season finished with the semester, but oh well . . .
- However, part of the reason we didn't get at least one more episode in is probably that we also watched How to Train Your Dragon with another girl from our hall. I've watched HtTYD before, of course, but, hey, I'm always down for dragons.
- That ends the semester . . . but not the movie-watching. During a stop at my grandpa's house on my way home from college, my family watched Home Alone, which I'd never seen before. It was amusing- not my favorite Christmas movie, but amusing.
- And on Christmas Day, we rewatched A Charlie Brown Christmas, as you can probably guess from the picture above. So that was fun.
- Yes, that is a dragon on top of a stack of Christmas presents. Yes, it is adorable. Yes, I will explain it . . . soon.
- Christmas, of course, took up most of the month- even if it didn't quite feel like Christmas for much of the month. True, my roommate and I had decorated our dorm room with candy canes and stockings and lights and a miniature Christmas tree. True, the SSC was full of Christmas trees and fake snow and holiday music. True, there was at least one Christmas party or event every week. Even so, it didn't really feel like the holidays until I got home.
- Of course, I didn't let that stop me from enjoying the season with Christmas music and the aforementioned Christmas parties and events. I made it to five different events, all of which were really fun: a Christmas brunch and white elephant gift exchange held by the heads of my major, my Comp professor's Christmas open house (at which I got to meet her kids, who are adorable), the Community Christmas Concert (which was pretty awesome, though Christmas Chapel the day before was better), Campus Christmas night (featuring midnight breakfast and various musicians in the dining hall), and the Honors Christmas Party (which introduced me to a new version of a white elephant gift exchange).
- And after the Honors party, Christmas was temporarily semi-forgotten to make way for final exams, which went well on the whole. I only had three exams, plus I had to turn in my final portfolio for Composition (a process which involved about twice as many walks to and from my professor's office than it should've). My hardest exam was on Friday, which was good- that was the only one I had a study group for, and we had the study guide finished a week in advance, so I was able to spend the next week studying.
- And then- then my family was waiting for me in the SSC to take me home!
- Well, with one stop- we spent Saturday at my grandpa's house, which I enjoyed. Normally I would've seen Grandpa a few times this fall, so getting to see him now helped make up for that.
- And then we came home and I had absolutely nothing to do except read and write and make last-minute Christmas preparations and it was glorious.
- As for Christmas itself- well, our church had a candlelight Christmas Eve service, which was lovely. Then Christmas Day was fairly quiet: just the four of us, eggs and biscuits for breakfast, present-opening, Christmas dinner, and the aforementioned movie. I won't go over all the presents I got, but- the dragon I showed you earlier? My little sister made that for me, and instead of putting it under the tree, she hid it and sent me on a treasure-hunt to find it, so that was lovely. (The dragon's name, by the way, is now Eirwen, meaning "white snow," which seemed a properly Christmas-y name to me, and also fits with my Berstru Tales lore, in which purple dragons are ice dragons.)
- Oh, and sort of for Christmas I got a new phone- my parents paid for part of it as a Christmas gift, and I paid for the rest. It's exciting, but also slightly terrifying, as I don't know the new phone yet like I knew my old phone (which was aggravating enough even as it actually did work that I unofficially named it Rand al'Thor- no offense, fellow WoT fans, but he spent most of the first three books getting on my nerves). But I'm figuring it out, and I have all my information transferred, so that's good. (I also downloaded EverNote on both my phone and computer, so I get to learn how to use that now. It seems fairly easy so far . . .) I still need to get both a case and possibly a name for the phone- I generally don't name electronics, but phones sometimes seem to develop a bit of personality.
- And now it's New Year's Eve and I'm preparing to ring in the new year with friends from Bible Study (hopefully there will be board games involved; I know there'll be food), and I am quite happy right now.
- There should be a Looking Forward-Looking Back post going up tomorrow, so a lot of my long-term goals and plans will be featured there. However, highlight on the plans for the coming month:
- I have another week of break left (roughly) before I tackle my second semester of college. Hopefully this one will go as well as my first one did.
- As I mentioned earlier, I hope to finish Fight Song before I go back to college. Once I do that, I'll have to figure out another writing project . . . I'll probably work on editing Dreams and Dragons and Between Two Worlds for a while, then pull Fight Song into edits once there's been time enough to create distance. Once edits start, though, I'll hopefully be posting chapters on here. As for new stories, well, I have a few potential projects, and we'll see what happens.
- And, honestly, if I've not started season two of Merlin by the end of the month, I will be quite put out. Even if my roommate and I just watch one episode every weekend, we should be able to get that far.
- Aaaaand I need to start looking into scholarships for my second year of college now, probably. Won't that be fun . . . I'm not complaining; I like it when people give me money to learn, and I'm quite willing to put in the work to get them to give me money. It's just time-consuming, is all.
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)