Saturday, May 28, 2016

May Doings!

May is (almost) at an end, and summer has (unofficially) begun! Which is why this post is going up a few days early . . . but more on that later.


  • I finished Mechanical Heart fairly early in the month, as I expected to do. Overall, I’m fairly pleased with how the ending worked out. It’ll take a bit of editing, yes, but not as much as some stories I could name.
  • A friend and I also did our own NaPoWriMo event during May. I’ve never before tried NaPoWriMo, which is a challenge to write a poem every day for a month. I quite enjoyed it, and it was a bit easier than I expected. Usually, I only write poetry when the mood takes me, so I thought thinking of something to write about every day might be a considerable challenge. But since I was actively seeking ideas, they came more readily, and overall I’m pleased with what I wrote.
  • And a good thing too, because I basically did no other creative writing this month. (Well, unless you count roleplays.) Once I finished Mechanical Heart, I didn’t have another story to work on, and I didn’t have any strong enough ideas to start one. Granted, I probably should’ve been working on editing and rewrites . . . but I didn’t. And, to be honest, I don’t entirely regret that decision. I pushed myself pretty hard January through April; I can afford a month off.


  • Again, I had a really good reading month- perhaps not quite as good as April, but still excellent. All thirteen books I read are pictured above.
  • The highlights of the month should be pretty easy to guess. I finally read Mistborn: Secret History, and well, wow. It’s hard to say anything at all without giving away spoilers, but basically, there were several questions answered, more questions raised, and I got to see one of my favorite characters again.
  • The other highlights were The Raven King (final book in the Raven Cycle, which gives just enough closure to say “Ok, yeah, the series is over” but leaves enough loose threads that you’re certain the adventures aren’t done by any means), Lady’s Pursuit (not my favorite in the Knight and Rogue series, but a fitting end, and I kind of want to write a Knight and Rogue fanfic now), and The Dragon Reborn (my monthly visitation to the Wheel of Time series and a significant improvement over the other two- perhaps because there’s less of Rand being an idiot and trying to escape his fate and more of Mat being awesome).
  • In addition, I finally reread The Phantom Menace as my little Star Wars Day celebration. I remember liking it more the first time around, but it was still enjoyable. And I finally read Stasis, an anthology by J. Tobias Buller (known on the Underground as Jake of the Sadaar), which was very enjoyable. It was also set largely in Africa, which was an interesting change from the usual.
  • The main disappointment of the month was, surprisingly, The Princess Bride. It wasn’t bad, exactly, but for once I think the movie was better. You get all the best bits of humor, and if you miss a few plot pieces, I don’t think the story suffers for it. Inigo’s backstory was fun, but overall, I wasn’t impressed. (Of course, the three introductions to the story didn’t help matters, nor did the “excerpt” from Buttercup’s Baby.)


  • Things I learned this month: how to take a halfway decent video; where to find free, legal stock photos and music; how to use Windows Movie Maker; how to not throw the computer containing Windows Movie Maker out a literal window when the program keeps vanishing bits and pieces of my audio and shutting down when I try to trim sections of video; and how to improvise a rolling camera stand out of a tripod and a rollerblade.
  •  (For those curious: the stand works pretty well, though you have to be careful to keep the rollerblade moving in a straight line. And I was doing all this for a scholarship project. I probably won’t win, but it was good experience. And if I end up needing to do a lot of video work later in life, I’m definitely going to invest in a good post-production software. Windows Movie Maker may be simple to use, but it’s a real headache at times.)
  • About halfway through the month, I got to meet Lalaithiel in person! She and her family were passing near my town, so we were able to meet up for breakfast at a little diner near my house. She’s just as awesome in real life as she is online, and I really enjoyed our meeting.
  • My family went down to White Sulphur Springs for a retreat with our old Bible Study group. I got to see a lot of my friends and we played Mafia and Murder Murder (which is like Mafia, except not, and I swear we’re all very nice people). Because there was a wedding going on at the new hotel the weekend we were there, we stayed at the old hotel, which was a lot of fun. We had the whole place pretty much to ourselves, and I got to do some exploring in the bits I’d never seen before.
  • Being in the old hotel did mean that we had to do our own cooking most meals, though . . . which was a task that got handed off to the teens because we didn’t have anything better to do. As most of the other teens in the study are better in the kitchen than I am, this worked out pretty well- they cooked or grilled or baked what needed to be cooked or grilled or baked; I cracked eggs and made lemonade and fetched things and helped set things out on tables; and everyone was happy.
  •  I officially finished with school on the 20th. For all practical purposes, I was done a week or so before then, but whatever. I’m done. Yay!
  • I’m trying to do more walking now that we finally have nice weather on a regular basis. I didn’t exercise quite as much over the winter as I perhaps should have, so . . . yeah. I miss the walking paths in Virginia, but at least here I can walk to the library if I want to.

June Plans!

  • Some of you may have noticed that every year, I take an internet hiatus around the beginning of June. Surprise, that’s happening again this year and starts on Monday. Thus why the post is going up early.
  • Those of you who’ve noticed the yearly hiatus may also have a guess about what I’ll be doing during that hiatus. If you do, good for you. If not . . . well, I’ll tell you when I get back.
  • Also after the hiatus, I’m starting an internship at the same place my dad works. I honestly didn’t expect to get said internship when I applied back in February, but there was a communications position open and I got it. I’m excited, but mostly I’m scared . . . Prayers would be appreciated.
  •  On the writing front, I don’t plan on doing a ton, but I am joining in Go Teen Writers’ 100-4-100 Challenge. I’m not 100% certain what I’ll be doing for it, but I’ve been informed that rewriting and short stories both qualify. So I may use it to get back into reworking Destinies and Decisions, since the next bit I need to work on is actual rewriting as opposed to just editing. Or I may end up writing short stories and fanfiction until July.
  • With all that, I probably wouldn’t do a ton of reading . . . but there are some books I’m looking forward to, as I mentioned in a recent post. Besides that, I want to read Fahrenheit 451, a recommendation from my former youth leader, as well as the next Wheel of Time book and some of the pile of Star Wars Expanded Universe books a friend supplied to me. So, yes, I’ll have plenty to keep me busy.

How’s your month been? What plans do you have for June? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)  


  1. Sounds like your May was pretty awesome! Ooo, you're starting an internship at the same place your dad works? Cool! I'll be praying :).

  2. You finished Mechanical Heart! Congratulations!
    Congratulations also on getting that internship. I'm sure you'll do well there.

    I'm sorry, but what is happening to your 'Reading' section? Those are Greek letters, aren't they? I'd like to know what you've been reading and what you thought of the books, but I can't read Greek.

    1. Thank you!

      Greek? O_o It looks fine to me, but I don't know. I tried fixing it; can you read it now?
      (If you can't, can you try pasting the Greek into Google Translate and then posting the result in a comment on here? I want to know if something somewhere translated my words into Greek or if there's something else going on here. I mean, letters suddenly turning into another language . . . sounds like someone could be trying to get a secret message somewhere!)

    2. Ah, it's in plain English now. That was interesting, I wonder what happened.

    3. I've no idea. But I'm glad it's fixed!

  3. Aw, you didn't care for the Princess Bride book? Too bad. I love that book and all the extra tidbits- and the excerpt from the non-existant Buttercup's Baby cracked me up too. I loved all of Goldman's little inserts- one disaster after another.

    That's cool that you got to meet Lalaithiel in person! I've always dreamed of meeting one of my online friends in real life. Came close that one time I figured out that one of the members may have worked at the same hotel as me at one point- but still no banana. :)

    1. Yeah. I know I'm in a minority of people who don't love the book, though. And maybe I was just expecting too much, I don't know.

      Meeting her was definitely awesome! I hope you can meet someone sometime- maybe even me. :)

  4. Awesome doings. :D

    Praying for you. <3

    I followed the 100-4-100 link, and was thinking about starting it, but then I realized that today is the now would probably not be a good time to sign up. XD

    Main plans for June: figure out how to plan a daily schedule without driving myself nuts, find a way to make some money from home, write a little every day (creative and non), get in some driving time without getting into an accident.

    1. Thank you!

      Heh. No, probably not. Though there's worse things to do on impulse.

      Sounds like a good set of plans. Good luck with the driving; that's not fun.


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