Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January Doings!

Well, we've made it through the first month of 2017! Overall, I think it's been a good start to the year. (Or, at the very least, it hasn't been terrible.) Not a lot happened, really, but that's ok- and there's still enough to make a decent Doings! post about.

Writing!

  • As I mentioned earlier this month, I finished Fight Song! I haven't started editing it yet, and I'm not sure when I will, but we'll see. Since I don't think I'll be using yWriter for it, I may be able to edit on University computers, rather than having to stay tied to my laptop. I'm not sure yet. 
  • I also wrote two new chapters for my new subplot in Destinies and Decisions. I haven't gotten any more than that because (A)reading, and (B)I have to figure out how to modify a particular scene in a different subplot- namely, whether or not I'm going to keep a character I added in. On one hand, I like the character, and he does contribute a bit to the plot later; on the other hand, I'm worried that he's a bit cliche, and half of his plot contributions were added so that he'd have a role to play in the story (and also to add a bit of conflict, but mostly to give him something to do). Also, if I take him out, I have to rework every. single. subplot. in the whole book, and that's mildly terrifying- but I'm not sure if having him really makes for a better story.
  • I'm currently reading The Writer's Journey, which is about mythic structure and archetypes in stories. I got it out mostly because I needed to do research on character archetypes for one of my classes, but it's still fairly interesting. It also seems to draw a lot from The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which I'm probably going to read next if I have time. In any case, I think it'll be useful for my writing as well as for research.
  • Um. Yeah. That's about all. But all things considered, I think it's enough.

Reading!

  • So it looks like I read a ton of books this month . . . and I guess I sort of did? But not nearly as many as it looks like. Why? Well . . .
  • I started out the month with Nimona, which is a somewhat weird, highly amusing graphic novel featuring a villain protagonist and a strange mix of sci-fi and medieval-fantasy stuff and . . . I don't even know how to describe it. Sometimes it was adorable; sometimes it was surprisingly dark. On the whole, though, I enjoyed it . . . and it also put me in the mood for graphic novels. So, I headed to The Silver Eye and checked the links page, and what did I find but . . .
  • Inverloch, which is a fantasy webcomic about elves and wolf-people and mystery and magic and a grand quest. It's five books long, but as I read it online, I didn't really notice- except I happened to look it up on Goodreads and decided to mark that I'd read it. 
  • And then I finished Inverloch and moved on to the author's next project, The Phoenix Requiem, which was . . . odd. Much creepier than Inverloch, that's for sure, and with some weird spiritual stuff, and a few scenes that were a bit . . . well. However, it, like Inverloch, was technically five books long- and I did notice that time, because it felt longer.
  • In between all that, I finally finished Twinepathy by C.B. Cook. I say "finally" because I beta-read a large portion of the book, plus I read the story on C.B.'s blog until she stopped posting it. However, I ran out of time for beta-reading because other things took priority, and I didn't manage to get my hands on the book until this past Christmas, when my sister got it as a present.
  • (. . . Yes, it might've been me who gave it to her. Maybe. The fact that I wanted to finish it had nothing to do with that decision. Nothing at all. Really. I just thought she'd like it, and I wanted to support my author friend. Nothing more to the story. Moving on.)
  • I also read The Invisible Library which is AWESOME and AMAZING and there's a MAGIC LIBRARY and DRAGONS and STEAMPUNK and a magic library and mystery and intrigue and creepy fae villains and did I mention the MAGIC LIBRARY? (I want to work there, please and thank you very much.) And I'm pretty sure that this book was written specifically for me because it's awesome and I love it and you should all go read it now. In fact, stop reading this post, request it from your local library, and then come back. Go on. I'll wait.
  • Done? Fabulous. Moving on to the rest of the month: my next amazing, awesome highlight-of-the-month read was Samara's Peril. Someday, I swear, I am going to read these books at the same time everyone else does and not procrastinate for half a year, but no luck yet- which is unfortunate, because Samara's Peril is the best book yet in the series. There's Jace stuff. And Jayrin stuff. And Marcus-and-Liam-continuing-to-be-awesome stuff. (Especially Marcus . . . he's definitely one of my favorite characters at this point.) And the battle at the end- oh stars. Jaye did an amazing job on it, that's all I'm going to say.
  • Continuing the trend of recent-but-not-too recent books I hadn't read yet: on the drive from home to college, I read Fallen Star, which was an interesting story. Not my favorite, and I understand why some people have said it feels like a fanfic, but I enjoyed it all the same. I also reread the other two Goldstone Wood novellas, and let me tell you: if you haven't read Goddess Tithe since Golden Daughter came out, go fix that now. Knowing some of Sunan's history makes the story twice as awesome.
  • With the return to college, I also returned to a bit of unfinished business from last semester: the Heroes of Olympus series. I only had the last three books left, and I enjoyed them all well enough, though I don't think they're my favorites. And now I'm left debating whether or not to read The Trials of Apollo, because on one hand, I've discovered I really enjoy the Percy Jackson 'verse and Rick Riordan's writing style, but on the other hand, friends have informed me that it's heavy on a certain thing which I'm not comfortable with. So, yeah. I don't know.
  • Finishing up the month: I reread The Rithmatist, which my roommate gave me for Christmas (because she's awesome), and then went on a Discworld kick that lasted until yesterday and might continue if I get my holds in soon enough. Of the two new Discworld books I read: The Last Continent was ok-but-not-amazing for Discworld overall but pretty good for a Rincewind book, and Carpe Jugulum was slow-starting but pretty awesome once you got further in. And then I reread the Tiffany Aching sub-series because the next few books in the series chronologically were checked out. Sigh . . . 
  • (And I think that, despite the fact that I didn't read half as much as it looks like I did, this still ended up the longest section in the entire post. Oh well.)

 Watching!

  • Yep. Still watching Merlin
  • I've finished Season One, which is good, and I just finished episode 3 of Season Two. Apparently the next episode has Lancelot in it, which is good.
  • Also, the design for the Great Dragon changed slightly from the first season to the second and I greatly approve. The new design looks more . . . more real, if that makes any sense when applied to a mythical creature. Also more intimidating.
  • And Merlin is slightly less of an idiot, so yay for that. Except in this last episode . . . Seriously, if you're not going to follow advice, don't follow it all the way. None of this half-and-half nonsense.
  • And I'm currently alternating between liking Arthur and wanting to smack him upside the head for being a pompous idiot. 
  • Actually, a fair portion of the time I spend watching Merlin goes to wanting to smack one person or another upside the head, but it's typically because the character in question is getting in the way of something else being awesome, not because he's being an idiot.

Life!

  • The final 9 days of Christmas break were just as awesome as the first two weeks. Much reading, much writing, much playing of board and card games, all that good stuff. I got to go to youth group and see everyone at church again, and generally enjoyed not having any schoolwork to do.
  • And then I had to pack up and go back to college. Sigh.
  • Second semester is going well, though, and I'm enjoying most of my classes. I have a lot more tests and quizzes than I did last semester (a fact which pleases my roommate) but it's OK; I'm dealing with it. (I actually have a test today in Cultural Anthropology . . . which I'm feeling a bit nervous about . . . hopefully it goes ok.)
  • One nice thing is that the amount of reading and projects I have to do have gone down, which means I have a bit more free time- thus why I've been able to do so much writing.
  • Oh, and I got a Pinterest account, partially because I wanted a way to keep all the story ideas and inspiration in one place, partially so that my roommate could just send me whatever fandom or MBTI or such things she finds and thinks I'll like. So far, I like the site, and it is useful for both of those things. I can't go on there just any time, though, since it's so easy to lose track of time; usually I don't allow myself to get on until I've finished everything else I have to do.

February Plans!

  • School as usual, naturally. I have to give a speech on the 15th, which I'm not much looking forward to, but at least my topic is interesting- that's what the character archetype research is for.
  • As far as creative writing goes, I'll be spending most of the month editing. Editing what exactly I don't know for sure; it depends whether or not Fight Song demands yWriter after all and whether or not I decide to give up my Awesome Hour (the hour in between breakfast or chapel and my first class) in order to have more time to do stuff in my dorm room. It also depends whether or not I can figure out what to do with the character I mentioned earlier. I'll sort it out eventually.
  • Nearly forgot- Thursday is opening night for my college's winter play: The Music Man! That's one of my favorite musicals ever, and I'm going to usher on Saturday, which means I get to see the play for free. It's going to be awesome. (And it'll probably result in my looking up the songs on YouTube afterwards and listening to them obsessively again  . . . which will end with said songs being stuck in my head for at least a week, if not longer. Not that that's a bad thing.)
  • There's also a movie night coming up with the Honors organization, which should be cool . . . I missed the last one because I had work to do and other events going on. Not missing this one, though, even if it is inconveniently scheduled for a Thursday night. (Seriously, why does everything happen on a Thursday? Movie nights, hall dinners, shooting club range nights, other club and hall events . . . and the worst of it is that I have to get up early on Fridays. It's like the people organizing all this are conspiring against me so that I have to try to prioritize which friends I want to spend time with.)
  • (Note if you happen to be one of those people organizing events: That was a joke. I'm not mad at you. Just mildly bewildered at why these conflicts always seem to happen on Thursdays. It's honestly getting a bit ridiculous at this point . . .)
  • And that's about all I can think of. Given that it's February and February is basically the most boring month of the year (I'm sorry, but it is), I'm amazed I came up with this much.
How has your January been? Any mildly-exciting plans for February? (Or, any arguments for why February is secretly the most awesome month of the year that aren't "I live in the Southern Hemisphere and it's nice here"?) Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)  

10 comments:

  1. NIMONAAA. It makes me ridiculously happy that you read that book, because it is one of my top favorites. Especially how it ended -- perfectly bittersweet. <3

    I agree with you. February is an uninteresting month. It's cold and it's bleak and it's not the start of the new year like January is where everyone's excited and ready to conquer. It's just... meh. Poor February. xD

    katie grace
    a writer's faith

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    1. I know. :D And I think I actually found it through you? Probably? Maybe on Goodreads?

      Exactly. At least it's the shortest month of the year . . .

      Thanks for commenting!

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  2. It seems every time I read your monthly wrap-up posts I add a book to my TBR list! I want to read the Invisible Library now!

    I remember reading Interloch and Nimona. They weren't my favourite, but I found the world-building in Nimona intriguing.

    Enjoy The Music Man! I love that train scene.

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    1. Heh. I'm not sure if I should apologize or say "You're welcome" . . . but, yes, READ THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY.

      Yeah, it was pretty awesome. I liked the mix of medieval and sci-fi.

      So do I! (Actually, I love most of the show . . .)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Ooh that is a lot of books you've read! YAY. I did have a good reading streak in January too which was nice, and devoured some epic audiobooks so afjdksafld I'm really excited. Also Trials of Apollo is super hilarious, if that helps. XD And why haven't I read The Invisible Library?!? It sounds incredible. Dragons. I so need more dragons in my life.

    CONGRATS ON FINISHING FIGHT SONG!!!

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    1. Nice! And I have indeed heard Trials is super funny (it's Riordan; how could it not be) but I'm not certain that overrules the other elements? And YES you should read The Invisible Library. I'm pretty sure you'd love it.

      Thank you!

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  4. GEEEZ! That's a TON of books read! I remember when I found Merlin, I marathoned a TON! It is a SUPER good show! It get's even better mid-season 2. Good post! Have a good Tuesday!

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    1. Less than it looks like, but still- yeah. It makes me happy.
      I'm aware Merlin's good. I don't have the option to marathon, though, 'cause schoolwork.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Yay for writing :) Sadly I didn't get any words penned at all :( But like you I also managed quite a bit of reading. And glad you are still enjoying Merlin - I also liked that series, but I remembered struggling with the last season since years have passed and the characters still look super young. That aside though it was really good :)

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    1. Aw, sorry. Better luck this month? And good to know.
      Thanks for stopping by!

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