- Um. So. You remember how last month I made the goal of writing a hundred words a day every day in November? Yeah. That kind of didn't happen. I did manage a decent streak the first third of the month, and then it all kind of fell apart, and . . . yeah.
- On the upside, I finally got unstuck, thanks to my roommate helping me brainstorm! I'm still not 100% certain how my hero actually confronts my villain, but I did figure out how she can test and solidify her plan. So, that's good.
- I also wrote a research paper about online friendships, which I'm very proud of indeed. I haven't gotten it back yet, and I won't until tomorrow, but my professor did tell me today that she'd read it and liked it, so that's a good sign! I am mildly frustrated that apparently I made the same mistake (relating to quoting sources) about a half-dozen times in the essay, if not more- but, in my defense, I didn't know it was a mistake. I'm still annoyed that I'm going to have to fix it so many times, but . . . at least the rest of my paper was apparently good?
- Most of the month was taken up by reading the Cat's Eye Chronicles, one of my roommate's favorite series. The first book was kind of . . . eh. I liked it well enough, but I wasn't thrilled. I liked the second one slightly more, though, and they kept getting better from there. (My favorite is Caprion's Wings, which is actually a novella set before the rest of the series, but yeah.) And now I, like my roommate, am eagerly waiting for the next book- which makes her happy, that she has company in her waiting.
- For my literature class, I read Much Ado About Nothing (not pictured) and Brave New World. I loved Much Ado- Beatrice and Benedick seem to be the prototype for one of my favorite types of story-couples. Brave New World I didn't love, but it's not the type of book you can love- it's terrifying and fascinating and thought-provoking, but not lovable. That said, I would definitely recommend it to mature readers.
- Also not pictured are my two rereads: Jackaby and Beastly Bones. I reread them in hopes that I'd be able to read Ghostly Echoes while I was home on break . . . but, alas, it wasn't in at the library, and so I must wait until Christmas. (Ah, the agony!) Oh well. At least I enjoyed the rereads . . .
- Finally, I read the Wingfeather Tales, a companion anthology of short stories set in the world of the Wingfeather Saga. Not all were by Andrew Peterson (and, actually, the one he wrote was my least favorite- which isn't to say it wasn't good, but that I liked the others better), but they were all still wonderful.
- I also acquired some new books this month. Two were gifts: my parents bought me Samara's Peril, and my roommate bought me Jackaby (another reason why I reread the latter this month). Sadly, I didn't have room in my bags for Samara's Peril, so it stayed at my house and, like Ghostly Echoes, will have to wait for Christmas break to be read. But at least I have it now! And I bought Calamity, because Barnes and Noble had signed editions on sale on Black Friday, and Arcanum Unbounded, because I'd literally been saving my spending money all month so I could buy it more or less as soon as it was out. Calamity, like Samara's Peril, remains at my house- but Arcanum Unbounded I bought online, and I'm pretty sure the package will arrive in the next couple days.
- Still watching Merlin! We just finished episode 10 before Thanksgiving break. Merlin's still an idiot, but he is getting better . . . even if he did use magic in the most conspicuous way ever in the last episode. He did have a good reason this time. And Arthur and Merlin's developing friendship amuses me muchly.
- My roommate and I also watched the movie of Much Ado About Nothing after I finished reading the book. I enjoyed it, though I was mildly disappointed that a few of my favorite lines got cut. Also, I find Dogsberry annoying on the page, and he's far worse on-screen. Every time he appears, I cringe and hope he goes away soon. But I thought the other characters were well-portrayed, and the Benedict-Beatrice interactions were excellent.
- I feel like November was a super quiet month. It's not that I wasn't busy, but nothing particularly exciting happened- it was just business as usual.
- I did manage to survive a group project, though- and, in fact, I actually enjoyed this one. It helped that I knew and liked the people involved, as opposed to last time when I was randomly assigned to a group with four people I'd never met in my life and haven't interacted with since. (I also survived reading most of Luther and Erasmus's debate on free will . . . that was interesting.)
- On a happy note: I think I finally found a church! It's super small, and still pretty different from my churches in NY and VA, but I like it. It's within walking distance of my college, and several students and professors from the college go there. In fact, the pastor is also a professor here, which is one of the things that initially attracted me to the church. The pastor's style is closer to the teaching style that I'm looking for, and their Sunday school is more discussion than extra sermon, which is nice. Also, they have a fairly heavy emphasis on Bible memorization as part of the Sunday school, which will hopefully get me back in that habit.
- And on an even happier note: Thanksgiving break was last week, and I got to go home! Getting to spend time with my family, sleep in my own bed, and eat home-cooked food was generally awesome. I didn't realize just how much I missed home until I was there, honestly. (And now it's just three weeks 'til Christmas break . . . more like two and a half at this point, really.)
- Thanksgiving was different than usual, since we weren't able to go down to VA to spend it with our Bible Study there. But it was still great and contained much delicious food. (Funny thing- I've spent the last several years thinking that pumpkin pie was ok, but not that great. Turns out, that's because I haven't had homemade pumpkin pie all that time and I'd forgotten how yummy it is.)
- And, of course, after Thanksgiving comes the Christmas season! We put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, like we always do, and I've been listening to Christmas music the last few days. I'm not sure yet what this year's favorite songs will be- there's a few that stay constant, but I tend to have a few new obsessions every year- but Pentatonix's "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is looking like a pretty strong contender so far. It's also the first properly eerie rendition I've heard since the one that made me like the song in the first place.
- Finals would seem to be the most pressing thing on my plate at the moment- final exams in three classes, a final essay and a portfolio in a fourth, and nothing whatsoever in the last. I'm honestly not stressed- but maybe it just hasn't kicked in yet. I don't know.
- Other major thing that's happening, obviously: Christmas! I'm still working on gifts for most of the people to whom I'm giving things, but there's two people who I know for sure and one more who I'm pretty certain of. Plus there's lots of on-campus events that I have to decide whether or not to attend. (I know three that I'm going to for sure; it should be good.)
- One of those events, incidentally, is that one of my favorite professors has invited all her students to stop by her house at some point on a particular evening to have cookies and say hello and meet her family and generally have a good time. So that's technically not an on-campus event, but whatever. I'm going and I'm quite excited.
- Obviously, reading will continue. Hopefully there will be some long-awaited books in there, like the ones I mentioned above. We'll see what happens.
- And I'd really like to finish Fight Song before the year ends, but I don't know what'll happen with that either, especially given finals. (Though, on the other hand, since the portfolio's due the week before and I don't know how much time studying will take . . . maybe writing will be a good way to relax? We'll see.)
- And, obviously, there's Christmas break, which I'm very much looking forward to. Home! For three whole weeks! That's almost a month! And it's going to be lovely, let me tell you; absolutely lovely.
- And I should also probably finalize my schedule for next semester. Which I may be changing for the third or fourth time. Ah well . . .
How has your November been? What plans do you have for December? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)